An age-old question is whether the return of Christ will be before, during or after the Tribulation period. Good people can believe in any of the 3 positions. But I will make the following observation.
To major on Prophecy is wrong. Jesus made the statement, the reason He came to this earth was, “To seek and to Save that which was lost.” Luke 19:10 The Fathers business at this time, is to Glorify the Son and to seek after a lost world. To win souls to Christ. To be a fisher of men. Should a Christian pay attention to Prophecy? Absolutely! All of Gods Word is important. Paul wrote Timothy, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.”
The book of Revelation is a wonderful book. It has a divine purpose. The subject of the book is found in the very first verse of the book. It is the Revelation of Jesus Christ. For that reason alone the title of the book is not plural. There is no S at the end of the word revelation. The book itself reveals many things but the revelation concerns itself with revealing the Son of God in a much different light than previously given. When Jesus came the first time, He came as a lamb for the slaughter. He came as a servant in the book of Mark. He came as Immanuel, the anointed one. He came as the final sin offering. When He comes again He is coming as a lion of the tribe of Judah. As a warrior to make war.
In my view the book of Revelation is divided in the following way.
1. The subject—-Jesus Christ Chapter 1 points this fact out
2. The seven Churches–chapters 2 & 3. These churches were present when the book was written and like churches are present to this very day.
4. Chapter 4 is amazing for the following reason. John talks about a door being opened and a trumpet talking and to come up hither. Where else in Scripture do we find this happening? Paul wrote to the people in Thessalonica in his first epistle chapter 4:16 For the Lord Himself shall descend from Heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first: then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up in the together in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.”
Notice the trump of God will sound. Christians leave the earth. Starting in chapter 4 of the book of Revelation the church is not mentioned again. Why? Because the church is no longer on the earth. Starting here, in chapter 4 of the book of Revelation, the tribulation forms and begins to take place. Not before chapter 4 but starting with chapter 4. Now follow below the following Scripture:
In Scripture the Great Tribulation period is described as “The day of Gods wrath.” Ezekiel 38:19 says this: “For in my jealousy and in the FIRE OF MY WRATH have I spoken, surely in that day there shall be a shaking in the land of Israel;” In reading the entire chapter it is plain that the subject matter is the Great Tribulation period. Nahum says this; “God is jealous, and the Lord revengeth’ The Lord revengeth and is furious; The Lord will take vengeance on His adversaries, and He reserveth WRATH for His enemies.” Now notice what it says in 1st Thessalonians 5:9; “For God has not appointed us to WRATH, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ.” This is the same book where the saints leave this earth and we commonly call the rapture.
All prophecy centers around Israel. At the last, all Nations will go against Israel and seek to destroy her. At this time Christ will return to earth to stop further destruction. Will He come alone? NO! When we get to chapter 20 of the book of Revelation we find that Jesus Christ Himself returns with the armies in Heaven and puts a stop to it and completely conquers those at war against God. Who are the armies of God? The Christians who were taken up prior to the Great Tribulation period.
Contrary to a recent accuser, I have not added to the Word of God but instead diligently compared Scripture with Scripture. Though the above is a brief synopsis and there is much more Scripture that can be given, it is my belief that what I have given is to rightly divide Gods Word. I am a sinner Saved by grace. I have no lock on Biblical interpretation. Others closer to God and much smarter than me, may have a different point of view and they certainly have my respect. I get a little frustrated when, I am sure, good folk, teach that the tribulation period has already started or the seals of the wrath of God have already been opened. I see no evidence or sound reasoning for any of this.
Again to major on the teachings from Scripture on prophecy in my view is completely wrong. We are living in the church age. Jesus died to Save sinners. That is the main theme of Christianity. At this time in history, Jesus is gathering His Church. We, as Christians should major on what He is majoring on. Telling others about our wonderful Saviour. Praying for the lost. Witnessing to the lost. Lifting up the name of Christ. Winning souls to Jesus. Taking stands against evil but with our eyes on the prize, the Lord Jesus Christ. All praise and Glory goes to the Saviour. The King of Kings.
Telling people that there is none righteous, no not one. That each one of us are guilty sinners before a Holy and righteous God. That we all have fallen short of the glory of God and deserve Hell. That Jesus paid our hell for us. That Jesus is the answer. That when we admit to God Himself that we are guilty and turn to Jesus Christ, that He indeed does Save us. “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be Saved.” Romans 10:13
Many through human reasoning get caught up into all kinds of beliefs that take away from what we are supposed to do as Christians. Many spend their life arguing over which version of the Bible to use. While this is important to spend a life as that being the main part of our effort as a Christian is just plain silly. Or, there are those who argue over Calvinism and take it as telling people about the Saviour and lifting up the name of Christ as the Saviour in nonsense. They would never stoop so low as to knock on a strangers door and tell them the wonderful news of Salvation. They take the attitude of, What ever will be, will be. There are way too many Christians that have a pet hobbie horse and neglect the purpose of Jesus coming to this earth, which is, to Save sinners. More later as I recall……