Overcomers

For those days will be a time of tribulation such as has not occurred since the beginning of the creation which God created until now, and never will. Unless the Lord had shortened those days, no life would have been saved; but for the sake of the elect, whom He chose, He shortened the days. – Mark 13:19-20

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In his description of the end times, Matthew followed Mark to the letter (24:21-22). Luke, however, differed slightly to say that the “celestial powers will be shaken (21:26).” Do Matthew and Mark speak of the Great Tribulation at the end of this earthly age or just the tribulation Judea would face at its destruction in A.D. 70? Obviously, theologians have opinions that vary

Many years ago, a pastoral search committee asked for my view of “the tribulation.” I realized that the person forming the question already had his own definitive answer and just wanted to know if my view of the “end-times” matched his. I replied that, according to James, a believer should “count it all joy” when he faced tribulation, because everyone will face it in one form or another. The man was not amused and, as you might guess, I was not invited to be their pastor.

Yet, I still stand by my answer. To the person who must endure it, tribulation will always seem great. The “end times” may largely be a mystery, but trial and tribulation are a “right now” reality to the person who is suffering. The great promise is that “in Christ,” you can and will conquer both.

God would not rub so hard if it were not to fetch out the dirt that is ingrained in our natures. God loves purity so well that He had rather see a hole than a spot in His child’s garments. – William Gurnall

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