I was thinking, “What would a Post Tribulation church look like?”, if there was such a thing? Would it be pretty much like any other church? Go to church once a week, sing, listen to the announcements, hear a pretty rousing sermon from a sincere pastor, go home or to the restaurant, have lunch and maybe catch the game on TV later in the afternoon? Start over with the same thing next Sunday? If there was a Post Tribulation church or fellowship of believers, would it just be the same thing?
Somehow I don’t think so. Not to be negative or critical, but personally I believe a Pre Tribulation view of the Lord’s Return breeds complacency and laziness in Christians.
“Why get stirred up? Nothing at all to worry about. Jesus could and will come back any minute now to whisk us all away in the Rapture. Then all those “left behind” will have to go through all that horrible stuff the Bible talks about. Jesus wouldn’t allow that to happen to His bride. God is not a wife beater.” So the Pre Tribulation line of teaching says.
So believers just become observers, not participants in Christian evangelization. OK, maybe the church talks about it a little but even then it ends up that it doesn’t go much further than that. Christians get together with other Christians and talk about reaching those who don’t know the Lord. But somehow this never really happens. They don’t know how. The only people they know are other Christians. If they had to witness on their own to unbelievers, they don’t really know what to say. “Nobody really does that anyway. We just talk about it. Besides, we could be Raptured any minute anyway. So just be cool, hang in there and we’ll soon be with the Lord, just watching from heaven the horror unfolding here on earth.”
I really and truly believe that is a false vision. And it weakens and emasculates 10’s of millions of Christians who believe that way. No sense of urgency. No practical experience in knowing how to personally win souls or to disciple people further into their Christian life. Yes, admittedly there are a small few who have real fervor to witness and win the lost. But it’s a tiny few.
Would a Post Tribulation church be different? It really and truly should be. For one, if a Post Trib fellowship believed that sooner or later, a time of great trouble was coming on the world and that they weren’t going to get whisked out of it, then they’d get really serious about their discipleship and relationship with the Lord.
If they read the verses in the Bible about the endtime, they would see there that “They that understand among the people shall instruct many” (Daniel 11:33). Who’s that going to be? Unprepared, visionless Pre Trib believers? Nope, they will totally be caught flat footed and possibly will be utterly confounded when they find they’ve not been raptured away. That verse is talking about witnessing, activist, persecuted Christians in the endtime.
Another verse Post Trib church people would read would be “Some of them of understanding shall fall, to try them and purge them and to make them white, even to the time of the end.” (Daniel 11:35). So that verse completely contradicts what they’re hearing from the Pre Tribers that God “wouldn’t let His Bride suffer”. That verse says that in witnessing and standing up for the Lord in the endtime, some of the people of faith are even going to fall. And get sent to hell? Failures? Nope, “To try them and purify them and make them white”, just as has happen to His Bride under persecution for centuries in the past.
I believe a Post Trib church would concentrate like never before on discipleship and on witnessing, really knowing how to bring others to the Lord. Daniel 12:3, yet another endtime verse, says, “They that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament. And they that turn many to righteousness as the stars forever and ever.”
Believers in the endtime are going to be “turning many to righteousness”. They’re going to be a witnessing, on fire, fruit-bearing church. Not just the fruits of the Spirit but the fruit of new Christians for Him. Jesus told His followers, “Here is my father glorified, that you bear much fruit, so shall you be my disciples.” John 15:8.
Much of John 15 is about fruit bearing. Witnessing, discipleship based. A fellowship of believers that truly believed that they, or those after them, would be facing some of the worst times ever on earth would strive to prepare, to have their lamps burning, would make every effort to have their hearts right with the Lord, like their life depended on it. And their hearts would be broken to win as many as they could to the Lord as the final signs of the Last Days became clear around them. They wouldn’t be fluffy, complacent, worldly, political Christians. “For the joy set before them“, they would “take up” and “endure the cross“. (Hebrews 12:2; Luke 9:23) That’s what a Post Tribulational church would be. Or so it seems to me.
Paul Valour says
Robin Roque says
Wow, Mark! Thanks so much for opening our eyes to be prepared for greater spiritual warfare (and greater victories!) And may God bring a mighty shaking in the hearts and minds of complacent believers to realize that we may soon be headed for the most challenging battles of our lives, as we stand up for our faith to proclaim and live the truth Jesus has revealed in His Word. (Matthew 16:33)
Helen Berrong says
Powerful message. A dynamic truth which is truly needed for our day. It’s truly time for the wise to begin instructing and preparing as many as they can.