24.6 The great tribulation and the false Christs.

May 19, 2009 at 2:28 pm 5 comments

As we move through Matthew 24 we are looking at the prophesies that Jesus makes to see if they were fulfilled during the 40 years or so that immediately following the time He spoke these words.  There are several different prophesies in 24 and I wrote about a number of them in the last post.  Even though I will not take the time to do it, it can be shown that all the prophesis of 24 were fulfilled during the time period Jesus said they would and there is no need to be looking at the “signs” of these current times to determine when Jesus will return.

Here are two of the remaining ones that get peoples attention.

A great tribulation: For then there will be a great tribulation, such as has not occured since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever will.  Unless those days had been cut short, no life would have been saved; but for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short. (24:21-22)

Futurist teachers say this time of great tribulation (greater horror than anything the world has ever seen-NLT) will come at a time, yet in the future, just before the end of the world.  Christians, especially western Christians, have talked so much about this horrible time it has taken on a life of its own own- known as- The Great Tribulation. 

If you know anything at all about the time when Jerusalem and the Temple were destroyed, you know it was the most horrific of times, perhaps not in magnitude (6 million Jews slaughtered by Hitler, the killing of millions in Africa in the 20th and 21st centuries are both larger in number) but certainly no period of time rivals the anguish and suffering of the days that occurred during the Roman siege of Jerusalem and the total destruction of the Temple.

Josephus, (the dude has his own website [HERE] and he is nearly 2000 years old!) perhaps the best historian of that period, tells how the Jews committed unthinkable atrocities to each other, including cannibalism, during the famine I wrote about in the last 24 post.  He tells a story of a woman murdering her little boy, cooking and eating him and then arguing with thieves who broke into her house looking for food, as to who would eat the other half. 

During the famine Jews swallowed diamonds and other precious stones in hopes of escaping and carrying them to a safe location.  The Romans knew about this ploy and captured these men and women and cut open their stomachs and intestines searching for whatever they could find.  They ripped open dozens of empty stomachs to find one with a diamond.

Titus put a stop to that kind of torture but the Romans found other ways to massacre Jews.  Jewish men, desperate to find food for themselves and their families, would try to escape the city only to be caught by the Romans who would cut off their hands and send them back into the city.  Josephus writes that 500 men were whipped, tortured and crucified, everyday.  There were so many crosses at the gate of the city they ran out of room.  This slaughter continued until there were less than 100,000 Jewish people left in the city and these were led off to captivity in Egypt or given by the Romans as gifts to the leaders of nearby provinces to be used for sport in their coliseums.

When Jerusalem was destroyed it set off the killing of Jews in other regions and countries surrounding Jerusalem.  Even places where the hatred of Rome was nearly as great as it was in Israel joined in the frenzied genocide of the Jewish people.  You can easily find periods in history where more people have been killed, but the violence during the AD 70 tribulation of the Jewish nation was extreme in its horror.

One of the problems I have long had with The Great Tribulation is attempting to vision how things could be worse then they were during this historical period.  We have seen and will continue to see horrible treatment of human beings by other human beings, even treatment as terrible as it was during these days but we will never see a time where the torture will be worse.  To suggest there is a tribulation of greater horror than these days, prophesied by Jesus yet to come, is to miss the point.

I was going to write about the anti-Christs too but will add that in later.  Can’t stomach any more today.

My point with all of this will be made clear in the days ahead but I need to say this: A Kingdom view of the end of days focuses not on how bad it is or how bad it might get but instead focuses on making ready a victorious Bride for the coming of the Bridegroom and the establishing of an unshakable Kingdom, one rescued life at a time.

The American church especially, has spent so much of it’s time and resources warning people about the perceived horror of The Great Tribulation and visualizing some AntiChrist in every leader they don’t agree with, including the current president of the USA, while ignoring the strategic mission of  the Church.

Our mandate is to change the culture by being salt and light, bringing real hope, real healing (especially physical and emotional), real deliverance (there is a war out there) and real freedom by loving people, especially those who “persecute us and say all kinds of ugly stuff about us, which is untrue” (Matthew 5:11)

It doesn’t matter, in fact won’t matter, what any world leader or culture does if the Body of Christ will actually be the Body of Christ.  We must stop looking for the return of Jesus and start being Jesus.  I am pretty sure the point of His leaving, was so there would be billions of Jesus’ to do the job rather than One.

His Kingdom will come and His will will be done on earth in the same way as it is in heaven, not when Jesus returns or we are jerked out of here but when each one of us, operating by the Spirit in the “spiritual places” wages war and takes back the territory lost in the garden proclaiming Jesus is Lord to the glory of God, one day at a time, one person at a time, one situation at a time, one location at a time. 

Trying to re-fulfill prophesy is a monumental distraction we do not need to waste our time on.

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Entry filed under: Authority, Belief, Bible, Christian, Christianity, Church, Culture, End of the world, End times, Eschatology, Faith, Healing, Holy Spirit, How will the world end?, Institutional church, Jesus, King Jesus, Kingdom, Kingdom Gospel, Matthew 24, Miracles, Revelation, Supernatural, The Father, Theology, Thoughts.

Monday morning meanderings. Vol. 79 100K

5 Comments Add your own

  • 1. BS  |  May 20, 2009 at 12:23 pm

    this isn’t a comment to what mario said … he completely missed the point … but i just have one thing to say …
    AMEN.
    especially on the last portion about being JESUS and taking back territory … redeeming what the devil has sought, killed and destroyed.

  • 2. Linda  |  May 20, 2009 at 12:10 pm

    If Greg embraces the new prosperity gospel – I sure have not seen any of that “prosperity” – I should know, I live with him. His trust is in His Father who richly blesses us each and every day – He fills our lives with good things – see Ps 103. He believes and teaches that Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life – the only way to the Father, Jn 14:6. Sorry you missed that in your reading. 🙂

  • 3. Dennis  |  May 19, 2009 at 4:20 pm

    Not sure where Mario got what he said out of what you said. I know you believe in a literal second coming. I think he missed the point of what you were trying to say.
    I’m enjoying your current blog thoughts – sound historically and biblically.

  • 4. low5point  |  May 19, 2009 at 2:52 pm

    Hmmm…not sure how sound liberal in any way. In fact the view espoused is as old as the Church itself. Only in recent times have the Dispensational futurist tried to argue that Jesus was talking about some long term future event and not the actual event that took place within the generation of His speaking it.

    Also, I’m not sure where you were denied the return of Christ or that you stated everyone goes to heaven. Just because you rightfully placed the events Jesus described EXACTLY WHEN HE said they would take place, that makes you a liberal?

    In fact it’s quite ironic that in the passage that is supposedly about His Second Coming (it isn’t) he spends more time telling His disciples NOT to look for Him!!!

    How sad that today’s evangelical world has created such a Biblically illiterate polity! One that actually believes and teaches that the mustard seed won’t grow, the leaven won’t consume and that the gates of Hell will prevail against the church.

    Really pitiful!

    David

    http://low5point.wordpress.com

  • 5. Mario  |  May 19, 2009 at 2:38 pm

    sad to see that you are sounding like these pro liberal type of preachers, lets get along garbage, everyone goes to heaven but jst using different ways type of garbage preached by Oprah, the truth is the truth and Christ will return soon, your denial of the return of Christ shows your true colors the Bible says by the fruits you shall recognize them, and your fruits are of those who have embraced the new prosperity, charismatic garbage gospel.

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