Biblical Audio Commentary – Christian Prepping for 7-Year Tribulation
Over the years in my discussions defending the doctrine of the pre-Tribulation Rapture of Christ’s true church, there have inevitably been those who pushed back, saying believers must endure the indignities of the 7-year Tribulation. The amount of Scripture which contradicts their position, and the logic against it, never seems to deter these people. I have no doubt that many are good and true Christians, but I also believe they are deceived – something the Bible explicitly warns us about in these last days.
One of my major arguments has to do with the character of God. He went to all this trouble to redeem us by sending His Son to be tortured and killed on our behalf. Jesus took ALL of our sins upon Himself by His grace and mercy. Ephesians 2:8-9 famously tells us it’s solely by God’s grace that He’s done this, and we have no works, nor effectively anything to prove given Christ’s sacrifice. Because of God’s character – His love – He has given His all to us who were held in the grip of sin and could do nothing. There isn’t anything more we can add to our deliverance. Yet, for some reason, many of our brothers and sisters in Christ think we have to join in with unbelievers during the Tribulation to suffer God’s wrath.
Of course, a significant problem with this position is that it refocuses people’s eyes on the world rather than on Jesus. Instead of watching and waiting for Him with breathless anticipation, far too many of God’s people are worried about having prepared enough to make it through these seven years. Christian prepping is probably as big of an industry as secular prepping. Both groups know something big and bad is coming, it’s just that the spiritual aspects of each differ quite a bit – or they should at any rate.
I’ve asked the question any number of times: Do Christians taking this prepping approach truly understand the horrors to come in the Tribulation? I keep coming back to the conclusion that they seemingly don’t. For the sake of brevity, I won’t insert all of Isaiah 24 into this commentary, but I recommend you read it. However, here are several verses pulled from this passage which give us a sense of how awful those seven years will be:
Behold, the Lord will empty the earth and make it desolate,
and he will twist its surface and scatter its inhabitants.
Therefore a curse devours the earth,
and its inhabitants suffer for their guilt;
therefore the inhabitants of the earth are scorched,
and few men are left.
Terror and the pit and the snare
are upon you, O inhabitant of the earth!
The earth is utterly broken,
the earth is split apart,
the earth is violently shaken.
The earth staggers like a drunken man;
it sways like a hut;
its transgression lies heavy upon it,
and it falls, and will not rise again.
Now, I don’t know about you, but this description by Isaiah is one that makes want to stay as far from this world as possible when all this comes about. I’m very happy to be an escapist given what is soon to befall this earth.
This is not “normal” tribulation as we read about it in the Bible. This is far more than that. It is the wrath and judgment of God for a very specific purpose – namely to bring punishment upon this Christ-rejecting world. How do you prep for that?
Interestingly, God addresses the Israelites in Isaiah 22:8-11 for their prepping in the past that was to no avail:
He has taken away the covering of Judah. In that day you looked to the weapons of the House of the Forest, and you saw that the breaches of the city of David were many. You collected the waters of the lower pool, and you counted the houses of Jerusalem, and you broke down the houses to fortify the wall. You made a reservoir between the two walls for the water of the old pool. But you did not look to him who did it, or see him who planned it long ago.
It’s the age-old problem: Man can do all he wants to prepare for what is to come, but if he doesn’t consult God, it’s all for naught.
Jesus teaches us this in the Beatitudes in Matthew 6:19:
“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal . . . “
He expands this idea in Luke 12:13-21:
Someone in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.” But he said to him, “Man, who made me a judge or arbitrator over you?” And he said to them, “Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” And he told them a parable, saying, “The land of a rich man produced plentifully, and he thought to himself, ‘What shall I do, for I have nowhere to store my crops?’ And he said, ‘I will do this: I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.”’ But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul is required of you, and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’ So is the one who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God.”
It doesn’t matter what we do to prep for any coming situation in this world, God is in charge. As The Preacher – King Solomon – says in Ecclesiastes, all that we do in this world is vain – it’s folly – unless we turn to God as our source and hope of life.
It’s for this reason that Jesus told the parable in Luke 12:35-40:
“Stay dressed for action and keep your lamps burning, and be like men who are waiting for their master to come home from the wedding feast, so that they may open the door to him at once when he comes and knocks. Blessed are those servants whom the master finds awake when he comes. Truly, I say to you, he will dress himself for service and have them recline at table, and he will come and serve them. If he comes in the second watch, or in the third, and finds them awake, blessed are those servants! But know this, that if the master of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have left his house to be broken into. You also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.”
The only prepping we have to do is to be ready for Christ’s imminent return. This is our job – our purpose, i.e. to occupy until He comes by proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ for the salvation of souls. The virtuous servants in this parable watched the horizon and kept the fires burning for their master who might return at any time. The dishonorable servants had no clue and apparently didn’t care. Who was faithful?
There’s nothing wrong with prudently preparing for a short-term emergency, in fact, we should, given the instability in the world.
I don’t expect my feeble arguments to change the minds of our prepping friends, but I do hope that they will reconsider who God is and His promises to His church – His Bride – His friends – His children – His Beloved. God will not allow those of us who are called by these names – His Name! – to suffer alongside the unbelieving world in the days soon to come.
How thankful I am for what he has in store for those of us He loves – we who have loved Him in return.
Perfect timing, blessed assurance on this article. We cannot, we WILL NOT Rambo-our-way through the Tribulation, to quote a favorite PreTrib podcaster. Not going to happen. I do not believe enough people are asking these questions:
1. What is the PURPOSE of THE Tribulation?
2. What is the PURPOSE of the Rapture?
3. Why would one generation be singled out to not only bear the scars of (tiny t) tribulation throughout their lifetimes BUT ALSO the enormity of “end of the world” (as we know it) matters? There has NEVER been a time like this, there never will be, and God’s character being what it is, it would be totally anti-“chesed” (Hebrew) for His kids to undergo it.
4. Why does loving and accepting Jesus Christ as Savior and LORD also entail taking Him at His word and being willing to submit to His plan and His pace? None of what I just wrote is EASY…but it surely brings peace. Like all else, we must lay human striving down on this phenomenal occurrence that is just around the corner. If EVER there was a time when all would have the capacity to LET GOD BE GOD and KNOW that He is, this will be it.
Much appreciation, Brother Gary…and as well, for your recommendation to continue looking for good Christian FICTION to teach and slightly diffuse the tension with all of the quite-possibly-true but overwhelming news headlines. I honestly believe Heaven will be devoid of the word, “COULD.” 🙂
A blessed Thanksgiving to you as we occupy…and “COULD” perhaps celebrate it in Heaven! 😉
You’ve nailed it, Danna. The post-Tribbers fail to understand purpose. What’s the point and why are we so special that believers now have to suffer through the Trib? Makes no sense.
Thanksgiving with the Lord sounds good to me!
So well said👍🏻
Great comments Danna, you are so right.
A well-known Christian columnist and blogger got into a thread about prepping (he is a Post Trib Believer) and along with others who were commenting, openly declared they would not share their goods if anyone came to their doors. In fact, they went so far as to indicate that their heavy artillary supplies would insure they could protect what they had spent their money and time toward prepping, away from anyone who might want a portion of THEIR inventories. (This thread I reference came about as a result of a comment I made about God’s command to share with others as it applied to their Mad Max Tribulation World.) I was aghast at their attitude, but it was revealing. My respect for this man fell through the floor, so I can only imagine what non-Believers thought by reading the comments.
I gained some important insights about “Christians” in our times. First I learned that everyone who rejects the biblical, scripturally accurate Pre-Trib Rapture is devoid of hope. They become just like the world and believe it is ALL up to them. You don’t want to read the comments or hear the thoughts of the majority of mid and post trib Believers, they are understandably miserable, angry, and frightened. They don’t realize their unbiblical views all but destroy their witness. Second, like Gary said in this post, they have no understanding of what they are even trying to prep against, nor how futile their efforts will be. It will be like a 6-year-old trying to fight an army of trained soldiers. Third, that Jesus doesn’t expect, nor want, His Church to endure the Tribulation, and as you so wisely observed, they fail to understand the Lord’s purpose for the Tribulation! Four they are DEEPLY attached to this world. No one in their right mind would want to survive what is coming if one believes that the alternative is eternity in Heaven with Jesus. The majority of Tribulation Saints will willingly go to the gallows, with joy! And this in turn will become a very powerful witness to the world, especially to their executioners. It is clear to see how a multitude of the as-yet-unredeemed will turn to Christ. Praise God for His plans and His wisdom!!!
Our present times are only bringing a small, unsaved remnant of people to Jesus, because most can’t see…yet. But, they are also refining the Church and burning off the dross. Yes, we all fall short, thank you Lord for your patience and grace! Still, I pray Lord, You will open the eyes and hearts of Your children who are hardening against others out of fear (more prophecy being fulfilled). Please protect all of us from hardened hearts.
It is a struggle to not hate the wickedness and the evildoers in our world.
They are especially inflicting so much damage upon our innocent children, it is impossible to be anything but grieved by this. Our righteous anger is natural, but in the Lord there is no fear.
We know, God, for You have to told us, perfect and holy vengeance is Yours alone.
Maranatha! We are looking up Jesus, and so excited for Your coming!
My commentary for next week is on this very topic. You’ve basically said it all, Robin, but it’s already written – so too bad! LOL
Excellent post. Non PreTrib believers are mostly all doom and gloom and rightly so if they believe their future is trying to survive Gods wrath-It couldn’t be more bleak than that! They’ve decided to reject the peace and hope God promises us and the crown we will be awarded. Like Gary said, there really isn’t much difference in their mindset to non believers.
One comment I read recently about mid/post Tribbers which was spot on said, “When the Rapture occurs, I fully expect to see them going up feet first with clumps of grass in their fists”. Had to laugh at that visual but that’s how tight their grips are onto this sin sick world.
Excellent way to say it!
I simply tell them that they will just have to be surprised.
Exactly. My line is that I’ll explain it to them on the way up.
Another timely post Gary. I’ve noticed more recently many Christians have been chastising PreTrib believers and it seems they really enjoy doing so. I guess they think they are going to prove how capable they are trying to endure to the end. It’s prideful and reminds me of works based salvation.
I’ve also noticed more PreTrib believers questioning if we’ve gotten it wrong because we are still here and it’s getting more uncomfortable. It makes me wonder about the Luke passages you included about the Master coming in the second or third watch. I take that as it will SEEM like it’s taking longer than it should for the Master to come back which could make us lackadaisical as we grow weary. It says He’s coming at an hour you do not expect, which has always puzzled me if we are to be watching and recognizing the signs. It seems to be contradictory and I’d love to hear your take on why we would be surprised at the hour He comes. A second or third watch may be saying we will all be so weary that we’re running on fumes when He finally calls us up. I feel we are at the third watch now.
No matter how long we have to wait we know His timing will be perfect. We don’t need to fret over whether or not we have enough weapons and provisions stockpiled. We can be at peace and put our focus fully on our Rescuer! Prepping for a time that we will not be a part of takes our focus off our Master and puts it right back on the world where Satan wants it.
Haven’t really thought about your question. It may very well be the issue of being tired and discouraged, as in: “Maybe these other people have it right.” and we close our eyes for a moment. Brew some more coffee!
As a coffee lover, that is excellent advice!😆
Kim, could it be that the Lord’s warning to watch is for those many”Christians” who claim faith but scoff at His coming, as describled by Peter?!
I know too many people who make the comment “People have been saying He is coming soon, for 2000 years, and He’s not here yet. Don’t hold your breath.”
That’s a good point Robin. The lukewarm Christians are ignoring all the signs and choosing not to watch. They are definitely in need of being warned and our merciful God is doing His best to do so!
I agree with you Gary but I do prep some for my unsaved daughter who will be left behind unless she accepts God”s give of salvation in Christ. Being a mom it hurts so much to see your own child has rejected Christ. I am praying that if she will not accept Jesus before the rapture that she will after and will have some food at least till she is called home. Maybe others too will need food and will see my Bibles and books and accept Jesus then too. I am looking up and even though she has not accepted Jesus yet I still beg Jesus to come soon!
I have the same kind of unsaved family issue. It doesn’t seem like enough, yet all we can do is witness and pray after that. Have to leave it to God. If it’s in the Trib and they get saved then, well…at least they got saved.
Me three. I don’t know quite how many family members that are unsaved as I lost contact with all of them, but I do have two daughters in their 30’s whom have grown up in the saving knowledge of Jesus, but they seem to be so far from Him. I’m not talking about back-sliding either. I pray for them all the time, and their children, but I camte to a place where maybe the best I could hope for is they would be tribulation saints. This is a problem for me, and I have fear in my heart and I’m trying my best to trust God. On the day of our departure from this planet, there will be many thousands, maybe even a million or two, of people that will be killed by unmanned machines, without a chance to ask for salvation or seeing tribulation. This frightens me, and is where I need much prayer for the Lord to calm my heart.
Of course, we just have to come to a point of peace in the whole process and just trust God. It always comes back to that, doesn’t it?
Robin, I share the same concerns over my brothers and a few others. I pray every day for them, as well as for all the unsaved. I think our fear for others is the anxiety we’re all dealing with. It’s heartbreaking. ☹️
It seems like every Believer I know is struggling with these same issues; children, grandchildren, friends and other family members who are unsaved. It’s heartbreaking when we see the TRUTH so clearly.
I’ve done some prepping for those who are left behind as well Food, water, batteries and the like, but most of all…Bibles and messages about the Rapture and what is coming upon the whole Earth.
There are plenty of days where I think, “Isn’t God going to be more subtle than to take us out of here in the twinking of an eye?” I mean, that seems so OBVIOUS, and in a way outrageously bold. Nothing subtle, or mysterious about it, at all. Then I remember that the entire period of time beginning with the Rapture, and all that transpires after, from the signing of the covenant (whenever that takes place) thru to Jesus’s Second Coming throws the whole planet into supernatural overdrive.
The Lord doesn’t intend for those last days to be mysterious, or subtle. He is dropping the hammer on earth-dwellers as hard as He can without destroying every person, in one fell swoop. He truly wishes that none would perish, and therefore, there will be myriads of people who turn to Jesus when we are gone.
All we can do is pray that our loved ones are included in that glorious multitude.