Why was Jesus born when He was?

Jesus was born in Bethlehem, a city of the province of Judea, under the rule of Herod the Great. Herod was the king of Judea appointed by the Roman government to oversee the region. Jesus was born into a captive nation under the dominion of the mightiest empire the world had known. Why then? Why was Jesus born in the Roman Empire instead of into a Jewish kingdom? Why not earlier in history? Or later?

The Bible says in Galatians 4:4-5, “But when the fulness of time was come, God sent forth His Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law that we might receive the adoption of sons.” God’s Word does not give the reasons why Jesus was born when He was. Scripture makes clear, though, that Jesus was born at a very precise time, a time determined and prepared by God for the redemption of men. Jesus was born at exactly the right time.

Some Biblical factors shaped when Jesus was born. Following the covenant between God and Israel the Jews constantly rebelled against God. Their rebellion eventually resulted in the nation being conquered and many Jews being taken captive by the Babylonians. The prophet Daniel was one of those taken captives. He knew the writings of the prophet Jeremiah and knew when the time of captivity was coming to an end. As Daniel prayed God showed to him things that were going to happen in the future. God showed Daniel that the Jews were going to be returned to Jerusalem and that the temple would be rebuilt. God said the Messiah would be in Israel 483 years after the command to restore Jerusalem. Jesus was the Messiah and was in Jerusalem 483 years later, just as God had promised. This does not answer the why but it does show that Jesus was born precisely when God intended.

Historically there were advantages to Jesus being born at that time in history. The Middle East and Europe were under the control of the Roman Empire. A large portion of the world’s population was united together by Roman government, Roman peace and Roman roads. This aided the spread of the gospel. This was a rare time for Jerusalem in which Jews were under outside domination but were at relative peace. By 70 AD the city of Jerusalem was besieged, the temple destroyed and the Jews scattered. Nearly two thousand years would pass before the Jews would once again have a kingdom in Palestine. Greek was the common trade language of the Roman Empire, aiding the spread of the gospel across broad regions through the use of a common tongue. God does not tell us that Jesus was born at that time because of these historical advantages, but they help us see some of the wisdom of God’s determination.

God was not showing favoritism to the Roman Empire by sending Jesus at that time. Nor was God arbitrary in determining that Jesus would be born during that era of world history. The birth of Jesus was precisely when God determined it would be. He rules over all things and worked specifically in the world to prepare things for the incarnation of God the Son.

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How much more deserving is the worst person in heaven than the best person in hell?

In an article entitled “Ten Questions about Hell from an Atheist” author Herb Silverman writes, “Our earthly binary divisions are usually quite arbitrary. People may vote when they are 18 and buy alcohol when they are 21, but they are not permitted to do so the day before. We recognize such rules for what they are — distinctions without a real difference. Not so when it comes to the cutoff between an eternity of bliss and an eternity of torture.” He wonders, “How much more deserving is the worst person in heaven than the best person in hell?”

Only one person in heaven deserves to be there. That one is Jesus who is fully God and fully human. Aside from Jesus the best person in heaven is not in the least degree more worthy to be in heaven than the worst person in hell. The difference between heaven and hell is not worth, merit, deserving or goodness. No one goes to heaven because they deserve it. Those who enter heaven do so because they have been saved from what they deserve.

Salvation is never an issue of what the person deserves. “For by grace are ye saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, not of works, lest any man should boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9) “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us.” (Titus 3:5) Heaven is not about getting what you deserve. Heaven is about the mercy of God which does not give you what you deserve and the grace of God which gives you what you do not deserve.

Every person deserves eternal judgment in hell. “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:” (Romans 5:12) “But he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” (John 3:18) “But the fearful, and unbelieving . . . shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.” (Revelation 21:8) Because all have sinned, all deserve eternal punishment.

What everyone deserves has been placed on Jesus. What no one deserves is given to those who trust Him for forgiveness. “For He hath made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.” (2 Corinthians 5:21) “For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God.” (1 Peter 3:18) The punishment of sin that everyone deserves has been suffered by Jesus. Those who turn to Him for salvation are forgiven and given eternal life.

The distinction between those in heaven and hell is not an arbitrary division. The difference between those who make it and those who don’t is not based upon a barely understandable determination that one is slightly better than another. All are guilty. Everyone has been condemned. The difference between heaven and hell is the response of the sinful person to Jesus. Those who believe Jesus is God and Savior, who trust Him and only Him for forgiveness of sin, will have eternal life. Those who do not will not. “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life.” (John 3:36)

When did Christian’s start meeting on Sunday?

Why does the church meet on Sunday? In the Old Testament Saturday was the day set apart for the Lord. The Christian church was initially made up of Jews but within a few decades the majority of the church was Gentile. The Jewish way of thinking and living faded away, including the observance a Saturday Sabbath. The church met together on the first day of the week and treated Sunday as the Lord’s Day. Why did the church start to worship on Sunday instead of Saturday?

The New Testament indicates that the early church began meeting on Sunday from day one. The church began on a Sunday. The day of Pentecost, the day when the Holy Spirit came upon the disciples and thousands of Jews believed the gospel, was a Sunday. Pentecost Sunday was the beginning of the New Testament church.

Other New Testament passages indicate they church was in the habit of meeting on Sunday. In Acts 20:7 Paul met with the church in Ephesus. The meeting took place on the first day of the week, “when the disciples came together to break bread.” The custom of the church seems to have been to meet together on Sunday. In 1 Corinthians 16:1-2 Paul instructed the church in Corinth to be taking up a collection “upon the first day of the week.” This instruction makes the most sense if the church was in the habit of meeting on Sunday.

Church and Roman history reveal that the church was in the habit of meeting on Sunday very soon after the death of the apostles. Pliny was a governor in the Roman Empire in the early 100’s. He wrote a letter to the Emperor Trajan asking what to do about the Christians. In that letter he describes their meetings. “They asserted, however, that the sum and substance of their fault or error had been that they were accustomed to meet on a fixed day before dawn and sing responsively a hymn to Christ as to a god.” The early Christians met early in the morning on a certain day each week. Pliny does not say what day that was, but other historical references make clear that day was Sunday. In 150 AD Justin Martyr wrote in “Dialogue with Trypho a Jew”, “And on the day called Sunday, all who live in cities or in the country gather together to one place, and the memoirs of the apostles or the writings of the prophets are read.” “Sunday is the day on which we all hold our common assembly.

The Didache, a series of teachings written to the churches late in the first century, says, “And on the Lord’s own day gather yourselves together and break bread and give thanks.” Though this day is not specified in the letter, the church obviously knew what day was “the Lord’s day.” The epistle of Barnabas, a letter to Christians written around 100 AD, says, “Wherefore also we keep the eighth day for rejoicing, in the which also Jesus rose from the dead.” In the gospel of Peter, written sometime in the early second century (100-150AD), Sunday is called the Lord’s Day. “And at dawn upon the Lord’s day Mary Magdalen . . . took with her friends and came to the sepulchre where he was laid.”

The change of worship from Saturday to Sunday was something that began very early in the church. The New Testament does not give a definite command to worship on Sunday, but the pattern that unfolds in Scripture and the earliest church history is of the church observing Sunday to gather together in worship and instruction.

Why doesn’t God stop senseless tragedies?

Another terrible tragedy has hit America. This time a gunman murdered dozens of people and injured hundreds more. We all grieve for the families of those killed and pray for those recovering from their injuries. We weep with the thousands of people directly affected by this horrible event.

Tragedy leaves many who are interested in the claims of Christianity tragedy asking the question, where was God? In times like these Christians also wonder what is God’s involvement in the catastrophic moments. Underneath everything is a sense that this should not happen and a question of why God does not stop senseless tragedies.

When tragedy strikes the presence and plan of God is no mere intellectual theory. God becomes personal and very real. For some God is the source of comfort and hope. For others God is the subject of their anger and bitterness. An in-depth theological discussion of all the issues is not appropriate. Now is not the time to solve the dilemma between Divine sovereignty and human responsibility. However, some principles from Scripture help us better understand why God allows tragedy to occur.

God allows tragedy as part of His judgment and His mercy. God allows tragedy so people might be brought to salvation. The tragedies of this world remind everyone that things are not as they should be. All know the sudden death of many is not right. All creation groans under sin. In tragedy it becomes impossible to ignore those groans. Tragedy brutally tell us something is wrong with the world and causes us to long for a fix. The solution is not in gun control, mental health care or tighter security. The solution to these problems is only found in the transformation of hearts and the eradication of sin. God allows these things to reminds us this world is broken and the only solution has been provided by Him.

God allows these things to bring sinners to repentance. Tragic death is a reminder that all humanity is under sentence of death. God decreed, “The wages of sin is death.” Because all have sinned, all will die. The people who die in tragedies do not die because they are more wicked than the others. Their death is a reminder that everyone will die and warns us, “Except ye repent ye shall all likewise perish.” (Luke 13:5) When death dominates the news coverage it reminds us that we all suffer under the sentence of death.

The wise man considers death. He says, “teach us to number our days that we may apply our hearts to wisdom.” (Psalm 90:12) Like the judgments of Israel, the warnings of the prophets and the tribulations of Revelation, God uses tragedy to call men to turn to Him that they might be saved. Tragedy reminds us that this world and all humanity is under the judgment of God. God allows tragedy that we may not forget our condemnation. God works through tragedy that men might turn to Him for mercy. God says through the prophet Ezekiel, “I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live.” (Ezekiel 33:11) God uses tragedy so men will cry out like the Psalmist, “Hear, O Lord, and have mercy upon me.” (Psalm 30:10) When men call out to the Lord He saves them. “His anger endureth but a moment; in His favor is life.” (Psalm 30:5)

Is there any evidence outside the Bible that Jesus really existed?

Few historians or religious scholars today deny that Jesus was a real person. During the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries skeptics attempted to refute the historical reality of Jesus. Every so often a skeptic will pop up who insists Jesus did not really exist. They claim that apart from the Bible no ancient record mentions Jesus. Are there any extra-Biblical references to Jesus of Nazareth?

The oldest mention of Jesus, outside the Bible, was written in the early 90’s AD by a Jewish historian named Josephus. While discussing Pontius Pilate’s governorship of Jerusalem, Jospehus said, “About this time there lived Jesus, a wise man, if indeed one ought to call him a man. For he was one who performed surprising deeds and was a teacher of such people as accept the truth gladly. He won over many Jews and many of the Greeks. He was the Messiah. And when, upon the accusation of the principal men among us, Pilate had condemned him to a cross, those who had first come to love him did not cease. He appeared to them spending a third day restored to life, for the prophets of God had foretold these things and a thousand other marvels about him. And the tribe of the Christians, so called after him, has still to this day not disappeared.”

The Roman historian Tacitus wrote in 109 AD about the fire in Rome during the reign of Nero. “Nero fastened the guilt and inflicted the most exquisite tortures on a class hated for their abominations, called Christians by the populace. Christus, from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators, Pontius Pilatus, and a most mischievous superstition, thus checked for the moment, again broke out not only in Judaea, the first source of the evil, but even in Rome, where all things hideous and shameful from every part of the world find their centre and become popular.” Tacitus was not a friend of Christians but he affirmed without question the existence of Jesus and the fact of His execution during the reign of Pilate.

References to Jesus can also be found in other ancient sources from people who were opponents of Christianity. These include Jewish authors and Roman officials. They had no reason support Christian claims about Jesus. The existence of Jesus could not be denied. Extra-Biblical evidence for Jesus remains today and supports the teachings of the Bible.

Ancient history gives a few passing references to Jesus, but to really know who Jesus is and what He did one must read the gospels. The gospels are reliable accounts of Jesus. Two of the gospels were written by close companions of Jesus. At least two of the gospels were written within thirty years of Jesus death while many eyewitnesses of His life were still living. Jesus is real and the Bible’s teachings about Him can be trusted.

Will we have freewill in heaven?

The eternal existence of believers is almost impossible to comprehend. A serious consideration of what things will be like in eternity soon brings the mind to the end of its imagination. The most profound speculations end grasping at tenuous threads of understanding. One matter of question is the internal makeup of the believer. Will the saved have freewill in eternity? If they do what is to keep them from sinning? If they don’t would that not mean they are little better than organic robots?

The Bible’s teachings about eternal joy does not provide a psychological profile of the saved. Scripture describes the bliss of eternity in the presence of God, the beauty of the place God will make for His people and the glory of God. The Bible does not say much about how men will think, how they will act or what will motivate them in eternity.

In the Old Testament one key passages helps makes sense of these questions. Jeremiah 31:33-34 says, “After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.” God promised the believing Israelites, and all believers (Hebrews 8:6-8), to place His law in their hearts. He promises to re-create the person to place His law within them. In eternity none will need to teach another the truths of God because everyone will know Him. The heart transformed and written with the law of God so changes the person that he will always desire to do what God has commanded. He will no longer desire to do that which is contrary to God. In eternity the saved will will always desire to do that which is right.

The Bible does not say anything else about the extent of human freedom in eternity. Revelation speaks of the nations serving God and going into the city to bring their gifts to Him. This may imply substantial freedom of movement and decision, in which the person is able to come and go, labor and serve how they please. Whatever the saved do in eternity they will do of their own freewill because they desire to please God.

Many understand free will as the ability to do anything desired, regardless of whether it be right or wrong. This is not so. Having a heart that only desires to do the will of God does not make the person an automaton. God is the only being in the universe with ultimate and true free will. He does whatever He pleases. (Psalm 115:3) At the same time God does not and cannot sin. He is not limited in his ability or His freedom. He cannot sin because sin is foreign to His nature. This does not constrain His will or bind His freedom.

A man cannot determine to become a hen and then lay eggs. This is no restriction on his freedom but a product of his. None but a deranged man would desire to sit in a box of straw and cackle while he deposited calcified ellipsoids. The saved will be given a new nature which delights to do the will of God. The ability to dishonor God is not an improvement on the nature of man, it is a derangement of man. The will of the eternally redeemed can no more desire to sin than a human male can lay an egg. This is not bondage but true freedom.

Do I need to confess every sin to be forgiven?

Alan Redpath, a famous evangelist and pastor, said, “God has not promised to forgive one sin that you are not willing to forsake.” Other pastors have said, “God only forgives the sins that we confess.” Does every sin have to be confessed to be forgiven?

Confessing every sin is impossible. Sin is so much a part of every person’s daily life that complete confession is not possible. More important than the impossibility of confessing every sin is the lack of any Biblical command to confess every sin. The Old Testament commanded offerings to cover sins, it provided for sins committed in ignorance and for all sins to be forgiven even the ones unnoticed and unremembered.

The New Testament never commands or implies that confession of every sin is required. The promise of salvation is that in Jesus “we have redemption through His blood, even the forgiveness of sin.” (Colossians 1:14) 1 John 1:7 assures Christians, “The blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin.” God promises full forgiveness through Christ. The Bible never makes total confession a condition of salvation.

1 John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” This verse has been used as the proof text to show that full confession is required before there can be forgiveness. John is not teaching that forgiveness is dependent on confession. He is teaching the Divine promise to forgive. First John assures forgiveness without implying a need to exhaustively list every sin committed. The depth of our sin is deeper than we can confess but the grace of God is greater than all our sin.

God promises to forgive every sin. He does not promise to forgive every sin we want to have forgiven or of which we have repented. He does not forgive every sin we want forgiven. He forgives every sin. If He only forgave the sins we wanted forgiven no one would make it into heaven. If you have asked Jesus to save you, then every sin, conscious and unconscious, past, present or future, is completely forgiven.

This does not mean the Christian can sin as much as he wants because he is forgiven. The child of God is not going to want to live in sin. He will be convicted of sin and will be continually confessing and forsaking sin. Because he is forgiven the Christian will no longer delight in sin.

Why do Christians need to confess their sin? Confession of sin serves to maintain the intimacy of the believer’s present experience of his relationship with God. Sin hinders fellowship with God during this life, but does not change the Christian’s eternal destiny nor does it change God’s love for His children. Sin does affect God’s pleasure of your life, it affects your walk with God and it hinders your effectiveness in prayer.

When you are convicted of a sin confess the sin, but do not worry that you have not confessed them all. Trust God and rejoice in Jesus that your relationship is dependent on Him not on you, your memory or the extent of your penitence. God has already forgiven the Christian’s every sin. Rejoice in His complete forgiveness.

What is unlockrevelation.com?

It has happened again. Millions of homes across Michigan received bright, glossy, full color advertisements for a conference on Bible prophecy. The brochure promises a three day course on the end times followed by more studies in later weeks. The website promises to give the key to understand prophecy and to reveal secrets about coming world events. In less than a week the conferences will begin all across the state. Unfortunately the brochure and website give no information about the church or churches affiliated with the conference. The organization has carefully removed any specific information about the church affiliation of the sponsors. In those places the conference is being held at a church they have gone so far as to remove the full name of the church from the website.

A little digging reveals that Unlock Revelation is a conference sponsored by the Seventh Day Adventist Church. The area sponsors are pastors and members of the Seventh Day Adventist Church. The presenters are Seventh Day Adventists and the teachings will be Seventh Day Adventist doctrine.

The Seventh Day Adventist view of the end times is very similar to this author’s. Many within the Seventh Day Adventist church are genuinely born again Christians. Despite significant areas of correct doctrine the Seventh Day Adventist teaching is dangerous. The official doctrines of the Seventh Day Adventist church put it at odds with most of Protestant Christianity.

The Seventh Day Adventist church reveres Ellen G. White as a prophet of God. They do not believe her words or writings are Scripture. Her writings are from God and are “inspired counsel concerning spiritual personal religion and the conduct of (Seventh Day Adventist) work.” (Questions on Doctrine) Their belief about Ellen White’s prophecies contradicts the Biblical description of prophets. The prophet of God uttered Divine revelation- “thus saith the Lord”- that was always accurate and always authoritative. They never gave “counsel”. They commanded because it was the Word of God.

Seventh Day Adventism denies the eternal suffering of the lost. They teach that at the very end all the unsaved will be completely destroyed. This is a problem because it denies the clear teaching of the Bible. The Bible says the unsaved will be condemned to the Lake of Fire where “the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night.” (Revelation 4:11)

Adventism teaches that the believer can lose his salvation and that Jesus is still active in atoning for the sin of believers. Instead of Jesus’ atonement being finished on the cross and being applied once for all time to those who believe Jesus is now in the temple of heaven active in atoning for the Christian’s sin. Ellen G. White said, “Christ (on the cross) had only completed one part of His work as our intercessor, to enter upon another portion of the work.” The atonement was not completed on the cross and will not be complete until after the day of judgment. Only those who “are abiding in Christ, keeping the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus, and in Him, therefore, are ready for translation into His everlasting kingdom.” (www.adventist.org) “All who who hope to be saved by the merits of the blood of Christ should realize that they themselves have something to do in securing their salvation.” (Ellen White) According to Adventist theology, only the one who believes Jesus and is in obedience to Him is going to be saved. This is in clear contradiction to the plain words of Scripture. At salvation the believer is fully saved and his salvation is “kept by the power of God.” (1 Peter 1:5) Salvation is only by grace through faith and not at all of works. (Ephesians 2:8-9)

The Seventh Day Adventist church is not a reliable source of teaching about Scripture. Their errors make them a dangerous place to go searching for truth. Many in the movement are saved, and quite a few Seventh Day Adventists reject the errors of the denomination, but the official teachings of the church undermine the work of Christ, obscure the truths of salvation by grace through faith alone and hinder the believer’s confidence in the Word of God.

Do Christians have to go to church?

Many professing Christians do not attend church. Researchers have identified a significant and growing part of the American population that professes to be religious but has no church affiliation. This is somewhat understandable given the many abuses, scandals, fights and problems in churches. On the other hand, longheld tradition and the teaching of most churches is that Christians should attend church on a regular basis. Does the Bible teach church attendance is an obligation for the child of God?

Yes, the child of God is commanded by God to regularly attend church. God specifically commands Christians to make it a habit to go to church. “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together.” (Hebrews 10:25) This instruction carries the weight of an imperative, it is a command. Christians are to be a regular part of the church gathering. The problems of our world and within churches does not justify a lack of attendance. Hebrews 10 says church attendance becomes more, not less, important the closer we get to Jesus retunr.

Besides the specific command to attend church the New Testament also gives commands that a Christian can only obey by participating in the regular assembly of the believers. The Lord’s Supper is an obligation for every Christian to observe on a regular basis. The ordinance of communion is so important it was given to the twelve disciples by Jesus and later Paul was instructed by Jesus Himself concerning its keeping. (1 Corinthians 11:23) The Lord’s Supper is always a corporate event to be observed in the church gathering. For the Christian to be obedient by celebrating Communion on a regular basis he must also be be a regular part of the church gathering.

The Christian is to be active in a wide range of Christian virtues that can only be accomplished by faithful church attendance. For example, Colossians 3 commands Christians to be patient, forgiving, loving and peaceful. In that passage the commands are not given to individuals to be obeyed in isolation. They are commands given to Christians gathered together. Christians are called to have those virtues as part of a body of believers. (Colossians 3:15) Christian virtue must be exercised in the public gathering. The very next verse in Colossians continues in this corporate focus by directing the gathered church to sing together. “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.” (Colossians 3:16) For the Christian to practice Christian virtues in the church he must be a regular participant in the gathering of believers.

Church attendance does not save a person. Salvation is only received through faith in Jesus without any work on the part of the Christian. To conclude that because a person’s salvation is not dependent on church attendance then a Christian does not have to go to church is to completely miss the point. The Bible is full of commands that have nothing to do with salvation but are nevertheless required for the believer. God expects His children to gather together as part of a church.

Walking in the woods and worshiping God is not the same as attending church. Private prayer and personal Bible study are not the same as going to church. Watching a preacher online is not the same as being in church. Private worship, listening, study and prayer are essential, but the Bible commands the Christian to assemble. Yes, Christians must regularly assemble together as the church.

Is Weird Weather a Sign of the End?

The second coming of Jesus will be preceded by seven years of catastrophe. The seven year tribulation will begin with the rise of a powerful leader who will consolidate world power into his hands and require everyone to worship him. During the seven years of tribulation the world will be rocked with earthquakes, wars, famines, plagues, darkness, demonic assault and Divine judgment. The earth will reel under the catastrophes of that time. Many people are interested in knowing when these things will begin. Many turn to the Bible looking for clues to know when the Great Tribulation is approaching. Some say changing weather patterns is evidence Jesus is about to return. Is an increase of extraordinary weather events a precursor to the Great Tribulation?

Many passages in the Bible describe events on earth during the tribulation, including Matthew 24-25, Mark 13, Luke 21, Joel 2 and most of the book of Revelation. These passages all describe events after the tribulation has begun. None of them give specifics about the physical conditions of the world just before the tribulation except to say that the world will endure many troubles in the time between Jesus’ earthly life and the tribulation.

The Bible makes no statement about an increase of unusual weather events before the tribulation. The Bible is silent on the world’s weather before the tribulation. Scripture does promise in Genesis 8:22 that normal seasonal cycles will continue until the very end. “While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.”

The book of Revelation reveals that the events of the tribulation are supernatural in origin. A gradual increase in natural disasters is not required to accommodate the horrendous catastrophes of the tribulation. An upswing in weird weather is not an indicator the tribulation is about to begin.

The only warning of the beginning of the tribulation will be the rapture of Christians. When all Christians are taken out of the world then the antichrist will rise to power and the worldwide catastrophes will begin, but then it will be too late for many. The Christian is not to concern himself with trying to figure out when Jesus will return, but is to live in his life in faithfulness and service he will be ready whenever the Lord comes for His people. “For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.” “Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.” ( 1Thessalonians 5:2-3, 6)