Learn what will happen during the tribulation period from beginning to end
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Updated October 22, 1999
Over the years I have dealt with many who have questioned why God has caused bad things to happen to good people. Many have questioned their own devotion to a God that would allow poverty, war, and other atrocities to take place. This is an age old question that many today are puzzled over, primarily due to the standards we have set for ourselves. When our goals are not achieved, or life does not live up to our expectations, we question God, many times blaming Him for the results of a sin sick world. Can we hold God responsible for the poverty, sickness, death and destruction that has occurred in the world?
First of all, we must look to the source of our knowledge of God. The Bible is the only true inspired link of our knowledge of the Holy Trinity (God the Father, God the Son, & God the Holy Spirit). It is also our only knowledge of satan. Although others wrote of them, the Bible is where our primary knowledge comes and is God inspired. The other writings are not so. If we believe that the Bible is truly inspired of God we must accept its total writings as fact and without error. Now that we've established that, let's explore what the Bible has to say about each of the principals.
I think that most consider satan to be an evil force that is opposite to God. But he is much more than that. The Bible describes satan as the accuser of the brethren (Revelation 12:10), who roams to and fro upon the earth seeking whom he may devour (I Peter 5:8). He is the one that fooled the world into turning from God, and tried to exalt himself above God (Isaiah 14:11-19). He is your enemy and seeks every opportunity to destroy you. He is the driving force behind every evil thing that may come your way. But his ultimate goal for you is to see that you end up in hell, separated from God. Many do not know this, but he is the god of this world (II Corithians 4:3-4) and does gain more of it as we as individuals will allow him. The more we allow satan to rule our lives the stronger his grip on this world becomes. Unfortunately, the world has chosen to follow satan. Therefore, God has allowed us to pursue our desire to follow him.
From this has come poverty, disease, war and other problems that have been brought on by direct disobedience to God's Word. The Biblical principle of sowing and reaping brings results. Unfortunately, sin is like the black plague and has spread quickly from generation to generation. Today, it has become a like a snowball out of control getting larger and larger as it picks up momentum. The works of satan have blinded the eyes of man to the established principles of God which have been establish from the foundation of the world and cannot be revoked. When these principles are violated, the results must follow. It is as the law of gravity. Whatever goes up must come down. This is an unchangeable law and must be adhere to or grave consequences could result.
But should the innocent pay for the transgressions of those who lead them or for the sins of others. Sadly, many innocent well meaning individuals have had to reap the consequences of poor leadership and the sins of others. This has been going on for thousands of years. When Daniel was carried off to Babylon as a captive of war he was an innocent person. He wanted to obey God, but the majority of Israel did not. All of Israel reaped the consequences of death or captivity. Yes, God was merciful to those who were faithful to Him in that He spared their life, and some were even used mightily in Babylon, but they all reaped the consequences of disobedience. The laws of God are established and are unchangeable. When man chooses to violate them they must pay the consequences. This is not only a spiritual law but also a historical fact. Every generation has reaped the results of their own actions and that of their leaders whether good or bad. Do you think God was responsible for the disobedience of the children of Israel? Of course not, and He's not responsible for the actions and results of today!
Now let's take a look at what the same Bible says about God, His Son Jesus, and The Holy Spirit. First of all, God, out of love for man, devised a plan to bring us back to Him (John 3:16). Of course, that plan being Jesus, who died on the cross for our sin's, that we might have eternal life and restored fellowship with the Father. We have no excuse for not having fellowship with the Father because Jesus made that possible through His death, burial and resurrection. If anyone goes to hell it will be over the shed blood of Christ and with his or her sin's paid in full.
Why did Jesus come? To seek and to save those who have no hope (Luke 19:10). Unless a person has accepted Jesus as Lord of their life, satan is their god (Hebrews 12:6-9). It is also important for you to know that when Jesus ascended to the Father following His death, burial, and resurrection, He left a Comforter to compel those who would come to the Savior. This person is the Holy Spirit. This was out of God's love for you (Romans 5:8). All who have come to know Jesus as Lord have done so through the power of the Holy Spirit. We as men do not seek God, but He does seek us (Romans 3:11).
Now regarding the troubles of this world. God loves you and me, but He can not go against His law of sowing and reaping as stated earlier (Galatians 6:7-8). The troubles of today are directly in response to this principle and man's allegiance to serve satan, although very few would directly say they were. Aids is in direct response to sexual sin. Unfortunately, even the innocent are sometimes caught in the web of this deadly disease. Murder can stem from many different sins. And yes, most of the time the victims are innocent. Hunger is in response to man doing the work of satan through war, political corruption, and the fact that God just can't bless the land. America is a land of plenty because it started out as a nation under God. Even today, many still hold to His principles, though we have faltered a bit.
These are only a few examples of why the world is in the shape it is in. But one things for sure, it's not God's fault. It has been said that man if left to himself would destroy himself. I believe that is true. But there is a force that is leading man down this road to destruction and it is satan. There is also a force that is slowing the pace, despite man's stubborn persistence to destroy himself. But God has a better way.
Even though man has rejected God, He is still actively seeking men and women whom He can save. God never wanted the world to turn out like it has, but He has given us a free will to choose whom we will serve. You and I have made that choice. I have chosen to serve the Lord. Yes, tomorrow I may get gunned down in a drive by shooting or become paralyzed from a terrible head on collision from a drunk driver. I may even contract aids from a blood transfusion and die six months later. These all being the results of years of man sowing the wrong seed. Unfortunately, we must all reap the consequences of that sowing. But thank the Lord, He is still in control. But as with the gift of salvation, we must accept it of our own free will. God can not, and will not go against the principles of His Holy Word. Nor can He ignore the sins of this world to go unpunished or stave off the affects of reaping from running its course.
I realize that this life is not easy and very puzzling at times. But it's good to know that we can come to the Lord, who knows our future and put our trust in Him that He cares for us (I Peter 5:7). You can be assured that He is working out things for your good (Romans 8:28). The answer may not always be to our immediate liking, but God's long range plan is always for our good. You should also know that God's plan for a Christian does not end with death, but extends into eternity.
God does love you and has a great and wonderful plan for your life. Don't allow the temporal things of this world to shake your trust in His ultimate plan for you. Contrary to what many name it and claim it preachers are spreading today, God never promised us a bed of roses here on earth or the American dream. He did however, promise to meet our needs (not wants, whims, and lusts) according to His riches in glory (Philippians 4:19), and I can assure you that when all is said and done, all who put their trust in the Lord will not be ashamed (Romans 9:33).
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