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Lesson XVI - Will Believers Go Thru Tribulation

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Bible Text: 1 Thessalonians 5:9-11, read 1-11

Subject: Great Tribulation

Title: Will Believers Go Through The Great Tribulation


Biblical Orientation:

The Thessalonian church, no doubt about it, anticipated the return of Jesus Christ. Paul himself was excited of Jesus’ return, as he ends every chapter of this letter with the coming of Jesus as motivation for carrying out His will. Both of Paul’s letters to this church are saturated with truths regarding Jesus’ return

There were certain things relative to Jesus’ coming about which the Thessalonian church was slightly over-anxious and about which they over-reacted. Some apparently quit work to be ready. Many apparently thought their saved loved ones who died would miss it all

Then, from verse 1, it appears they were very interested in knowing the time and date. Who isn’t? Paul tells them/us that Jesus’ coming will occur as a thief in the night – without warning – and as travail upon a woman with child – without escape

If you recall, he told us of three groups and their response to the fact of His return

ü Verse 3 The unsaved; the “peace and safety” group, who deny His return or that no salvation will have an effect on eternity

ü Verse 4, 6, & 8 The “brethren” who are saved, watching, hoping, loving, and by faith expecting Jesus

ü Verse 6-7 Those who are saved but who sleep a spiritual sleep, insensitive to spiritual realities and priorities

Sermon Orientation:

Our text for this lesson is verses 9-11, but we must return to verse 2: “The day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.” The “day of the Lord” begins with the rapture (4:16-17) and includes the seven year Great Tribulation period, or the 70th week of Daniel. It also includes the 1,000 year reign of Christ, the final put-down of Satan, the purging of the earth, and the Great White Throne Judgment

**Larkin Chart

In this lesson, we will address that part of the Day of the Lord to which Scripture most often refers: the seven year Tribulation period, many call it the Great Tribulation

The debate rages and the battle is in this arena: Will the believers of this present age enter into and be called upon to experience the Great Tribulation period? Will we be here for this portion of the Day of the Lord on this earth? This is an important question. You would be surprised how wide a variety of beliefs there are about this even in Baptist churches



A. The Day Of The Lord (Great Tribulation) Will Be God’s Dealing With Unbelieving Israel

1. The 1,907 references in Scripture to the Day of the Lord are direct warnings from Jewish prophets to Jewish people (Israel)

2. Matthew 24, the Olivet Discourse, is about this time period

a. It tells of God’s dealings in judgment with Israel

b. Revelation 12 even tells of the devil’s wrath toward Israel

c. Jeremiah 30:7 refers to it as the “day of Jacob’s trouble”

3. Through wrath and judgment, God will prepare Israel to believe in and receive her Messiah, which she will do at the end of the Great Tribulation

B. The Old Testament References Prove The Day Of The Lord (Great Tribulation) To Be Characterized By Wrath, Judgment, And Indignation From God

1. Isaiah, Ezekiel, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Zephaniah, Zechariah, and Malachi all refer to the Day of the Lord as awful judgment, indignation, and wrath from God

2. The book of the Revelation describes the time as God pouring out His wrath upon the ungodly of the world who reject Him

a. 2 Thessalonians 1:7-8 And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ

b. God does not just deal with the Jews, but the Gentiles as well

3. The seven seals, the seven bowls, the seven trumpets, and the seven vials all represent acts from God in the way of judgment

4. Earthquakes, stars falling, fire and heat, pestilence and famine, war and carnage, and hail and death all show God’s wrath and judgment

5. Jesus said in Matthew 24:21, “For then shall come great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be”

5. Let me re-emphasize: It will be a time of awful wrath!

a. We live in a day of grace!

b. The natural disasters, pestilence, famine, and wars we see now are a Sunday school picnic compared to what is coming

i. There ought never be pleasure in saying so
ii. God’s wrath is not a hallelujah moment

c. This earth will experience the unparalleled indignation and wrath of a holy God

d. He has endured 6,000 years of rejection from man, thus far

e. Which leads us to our text, and the original question: Will the believers be here to experience the wrath?


A. A Thought Before Addressing The Text

1. The question is not whether Christians suffer tribulation and persecution

a. Two thousand years of Christianity has been written in large part by the blood of martyrs

i. Baptists and our forefathers have received a majority of the persecution directed towards the Biblicists
ii. Every one of us ought to have read “The Trail Of Blood”

b. John 16:33 “In the world ye shall have tribulation”

c. Tribulation and the Great Tribulation are not the same

i. The tribulation we experience from the world is one thing
ii. The Great Tribulation God inflicts upon the world is another

2. God will protect his 144,000 witnesses through the Great Tribulation, so there is no doubt He could protect all believers

3.  That is… if He had not revealed otherwise…

B. God Has Not Appointed Us To Wrath

ü The wrath under consideration in our text is the day of the Lord, not hell

1. Put 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17 with 5:2, 9-10 and 1 Corinthians 15:51-58 (see chart)

2. We are not to be a part of the exercise of His wrath and fury

3. Our appointment (ordained position) is salvation

a. Salvation means to be delivered

b. There are both physical and spiritual aspects to being saved

c. Physically, if you are not where the wrath is, you have been delivered

d. Spiritually, the sins of the saved have been judged

C. Yet, Why Should We Escape It?

1. Verses 9b & 10a “Christ died for us”

a. Romans 5:9 Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him

b. 1 Thessalonians 1:10 …even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come

c. Romans 8:1 The believer is “in Christ”

2. Jesus already took our wrath from God upon Himself

a. On the cross, when He became our sin bearer, Jesus suffered the wrath of God for all our sins

b. We will never pay for our sins

c. We will never experience sin’s wrath or punishment

3. If Jesus will be here during this Day of His wrath, so will I. If He will not, I will not

ü Read 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 and 5:9-10

a. The rapture will take place and then we are with Him, to ever be with Him

b. Revelation 19 We will return with Him at the end of the Great Tribulation

ü You cannot return if you never left

D. The Scripture Teaches Clearly About God’s Deliverance

1. Rahab was delivered from Jericho before destruction

a. The Jews swore an oath

b. God protected the wall

2. Lot was mercifully delivered

a. The Lord did nothing until Lot was delivered from the wrath of God (Genesis 19:16 & 22)

b. Even backslider Lot missed wrath!


ü As believers, we need to know and understand where we stand with God. As we study the Word of God we find out that positionally, we are found righteous. God literally does not look at you and think “sinner.” God only sees the cleansing blood of Christ applied to your life

ü We all manage stress. Sometimes we cannot see the light at the end of the tunnel. This is when we need to live in the hope of Christ’s return

ü It is not much hope when all you have to look forward to is the wrath of God. However, through Christ, we will never be the recipients of God’s wrath


Therefore, we can comfort and build up each other on a daily basis. You have been appointed to obtain deliverance. Let that comfort you as you go through the days ahead and use it to comfort those that are around you

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