Christ Tells Us Why No One Can Be Really Prepared For What Is Ahead

In a recent sermon I started by saying, “You do not have enough of God’s spirit to face what is before us, nobody does.” Christ tells us why no one can be really prepared for what is ahead: “For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be.” (Matt. 24:21)

These are Christ’s own words. In the years ahead the world will be facing a time so dangerous mankind will be helpless against the powers that are to be unleashed. We do not know when the events of the Tribulation will overtake the earth; but we can know and watch the trends in the world that culminate in the Tribulation. These trends reflect the troubles that have plagued mankind throughout history. They are, by and large, a result of mankind’s sin – his utter refusal to keep God’s laws. These constant evils traced throughout history are never defeated; and only at times, held at bay so as not to destroy mankind.

In Matthew 24 Christ lists these mostly man-caused evils for all to see. They are described in Matthew 24:4-7as religious deception – that is teaching a false religion but using Christ’s name – wars and kingdoms fighting kingdoms, famines, pestilences, and even what we call natural disasters – earthquakes. Christ makes it clear that he was describing only the beginning of mankind’s troubles, and he was not describing the end to man’s rule or sorrows at that time. (Matt. 24:8)

Christ also makes it clear, as quoted in verse 21, that in this prophecy he is describing a time when these cataclysmic events will culminate in the Tribulation. In Matthew 24 the Tribulation is only given a brief description. Christ, through the apostles’ writings, fills in some of the picture of mankind’s unsolvable ills. However, before the death of the last apostle, Christ revealed these prophecies with much greater detail in the Book of Revelation. In the Book of Revelation Christ interpreted the prophecies of Matthew 24 and the parallel prophecies in Luke 21 and Mark 13.

However, before giving the greater detail, Christ said these prophecies will “shortly take place” (Rev. 1:1). As people of our modern age, we tend to think this statement gives a measure of time, but this is wrong. It is not a measure of time in the sense of days or months. It is a description of the suddenness of destruction that will come because the prophesied end time events will have built such a huge momentum they will suddenly overpower the earth and bring on the most destructive “tsunami” to ever hit the globe.

“And unless those days be shortened, no flesh would be saved” (Matt. 24:22). This scripture goes on to state that the elect will be saved during this time of worldwide upheaval. To be one of the elect it is necessary to be preserved by keeping God’s commandments during this time of unprecedented disaster. These times will “test all those that dwell on the earth” (Rev.3:10).

What Christ warned about in Revelation will also test the Church. To persevere in keeping God’s ways and to live by every word of God, we must be led by the spirit of God. Nothing but God’s spirit can give us the powerful and unwavering Faith we will need to see us through the terrible times ahead. Therefore, we must use the weapons and tools God gives us NOW as we watch the world race toward the Tribulation. Through Bible study, prayer, fasting, sermons, and fellowship we can grow in His spirit. With His spirit powerfully working in our minds, we can overcome the time of testing that will bring the world to its knees. Right now we must be asking God for the help of His spirit to be prepared. If we are doing what we need to be doing, God will pour out more of His spirit to us as those days draw near.

We all need to keep in mind the very simple statement that Christ said, “See, I have told you beforehand” (Matt 24:25).

Recently I gave a sermon and discussed the prophecies of Matthew 24 and how they are explained by the seals of Revelation 6. I have set the following scriptures in a chart that reflects those connections.