Within that message is what amounts to a survival guide to believers who have to exist during the Final Holocaust.
Although the believers He is addressing are Tribulation saints, Jewish believers, and those saved through the ministry of the 144,000 Jewish evangelists and the Two Witnesses—the lessons have deep implications for us living in the days just prior to those events.
For us this morning, Christ’s words are a call for us to be ready for the onset of the worst time in history. It will begin after the Church is raptured, but the climate of the Tribulation is already here. Are you prepared to survive the storms before the final storm?
This week across the world, dignitaries marked the 60th Anniversary of the liberation of the grisly death camp complex called Auschwitz.
Hitler’s Holocaust, horrible as it was murdering over six million Jews alone—pales when compared to the Final Holocaust. If you watched the news this week you saw images of what we most often use to remind us of the Final Solution—Hitler’s genocide. Briefly, here are the facts:
About 1.5 million people died at Auschwitz, of whom about 1.2 million were Jewish. That means that 1/5 th of the six million Jews exterminated by Hitler died in this complex
Other groups of people who died included Polish political prisoners, Soviet prisoners of war, Gypsies, people with disabilities and prisoners of conscience or religious faith.
The complex contained three camps and at least 36 sub-camps which were built outside the town of Oswiecim, on an isolated 40 sq km site, between 1940 and 1942.
If you listened this week there is an incredible comparison that can be drawn from Auschwitz and the Great Tribulation.
- Most scholars see the first half of the seven year final period of the earth’s history to be relatively normal. It is the second half that seems to have the incredible destruction, demon armies and death. So in Bible terms, the Great Tribulation lasts 3 ½ years or 42 months.
- Auschwitz opened its doors to death by gas chamber on September 3rd 1941. The advance of the Soviet Army closed down the camp on January 27th 1945. The death camp of the Holocaust was operating for 3 ½ years or 42 months.
- So the death camp at Auschwitz and the Great Tribulation last almost exactly the same length of time. That is where the comparison stops. The Final Holocaust is so terrifying, so deadly, so inescapable that God personally steps in to stop it lest not one human be left alive!
|6,400,000,000||World population||15,222||1 st gassed victim|
|76,190,476||Die each month||1,242||Days|
In the Great Tribulation 2 ½ million die every day for 42 months. In Auschwitz less than a thousand died each day. That means 2500x as many people die every day. Or to put it in Auschwitz terms—the number of people that died every day at Auschwitz will die every 30 seconds in the Great Tribulation! Or in other terms living on earth will be like living in an Auschwitz death camp—and in death toll there will be the equivalent of an Auschwitz Holocaust twice a day for 42 months!
A brief look through the pages of Revelation chapters six, eight, nine, and sixteen–describe the living hell you can avoid if you are saved this morning. Here are only a few of the dreadful disasters that take place during the Tribulation:
- One out of every two people will die (see Rev. 6:8 and onward), some through the ravages of war, others by starvation, and amazingly many others by the ‘beasts of the earth’. So, whether by death that comes instantly and thus less dreaded or a slow and painful death that is lingering and agonizing-50 percent of all people will die. The world’s population was 6,415,574,176 yesterday, so that means at least 3,207,500,000 will die. That amounts to just about eleven times the current population of the United States-can you imagine that? And remember that the population of the world is doubling every 39.5 years. So every day the number of people who will die becomes larger and larger.
- One third of all vegetation will be burned up. All grass, every tree, everything green will be destroyed (see Rev. 8:7).
- The sun and the moon will be darkened as nature goes into revolt (see Rev. 8:12).
- The gates of hell will open and hordes of locusts, the size of horses, will come upon the earth. Those locusts will be allowed to sting men like scorpions and the pain will last for five months. The Bible says men will beg God to let them die but they will not die (see Rev. 9:3-6).
- There will be worldwide famine unlike anything the world has ever seen (see Rev. 18:8).
- There will be a world war so bloody that the blood of those killed in battle will flow for two hundred miles up to the bridle of a horse in the valley of Jezreel. This will be the Battle of Armageddon (see Rev. 14:20).
- All told, during the Great Tribulation, as many as half of all the people on the earth will be killed. Now do you see why God refers to the Rapture as a ‘blessed hope’? Because the Tribulation to come is so horrible!
But that means we are gone and will escape everything, right? Yes, exactly, we will miss every part of the TRIBULATION, but we will probably go through some of the worst days we have ever seen before it starts. And that is what Jesus is pointing out to us in Luke 21 where we open in God’s Word today.
In Luke 21 we see the end of everyone’s life as it was. Time stops. Life ends. Nothing is the same again. Christ’s Coming simply reveals what people have been all the time. Paul tells us later that “each man’s work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it” (1 Corinthians 3:13).
Remember what we have already learned from Luke 21:36.
36 Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man.”
We can learn from Christ’s description of the Age (Luke 21:8–19)
The dangers Jesus warned of are what His church has faced from the beginning. There have always been deceiving teachers, persecution, and disasters. But what He says is that each of these areas will increase and intensify as Christ’s Coming draws near.
There will be religious deception (Luke 21:8). “Be not deceived!” is Christ’s admonition to us, and we must take it to heart.
Luke 21:8 And He said: “Take heed that you not be deceived. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am He,’ and, ‘The time has drawn near.’ Therefore do not go after them.
Twelve Step Survival Guide: Part I
- SURVIVAL GUIDE: I will—Know God’s Word so I won’t be deceived.
John 8:32 And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”
Acts 17:11 These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so.
There will also be global distress (Luke 21:9–11). “Be not anxious!” is Christ’s admonition to us, and we must take it to heart.
Luke 21:9 But when you hear of wars and commotions, do not be terrified; for these things must come to pass first, but the end will not come immediately.”
- SURVIVAL GUIDE: I will—Trust God’s Promises so I won’t live a fearful life.
2 Timothy 1:12-14 For this reason I also suffer these things; nevertheless I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day.13 Hold fast the pattern of sound words which you have heard from me, in faith and love which are in Christ Jesus. 14 That good thing which was committed to you, keep by the Holy Spirit who dwells in us.
There will be religious persecution, public (Luke 21:12–15) and personal (Luke 21:16–19). “Be not afraid!” is Christ’s admonition to us, and we must take it to heart.
Luke 21:13 But it will turn out for you as an occasion for testimony. 14 Therefore settle it in your hearts not to meditate beforehand on what you will answer; 15 for I will give you a mouth and wisdom which all your adversaries will not be able to contradict or resist.
- SURVIVAL GUIDE: I will—Speak for Jesus in any circumstance.
Acts 4:31 And when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness.
Acts 5:20 “Go, stand in the temple and speak to the people all the words of this life.”
Luke 21:16 You will be betrayed even by parents and brothers, relatives and friends; and they will put some of you to death.
- SURVIVAL GUIDE: I will—Purpose to never quit even when those closest to me fail me.
Mark 13:13 And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake. But he who endures to the end shall be saved.
“ True believers are “are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation” (1 Pet. 1:5). The guarantee of our perseverance is built into the New Covenant promise. God says: “I will put My fear in their hearts so that they will not depart from Me” (Jer. 32:40). Those who do fall away from Christ give conclusive proof that they were never truly believers to begin with (1 John 2:19).”
Luke 21:17 And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake.
- SURVIVAL GUIDE: I will—Expect that life will be hard and full of trials.
2 Timothy 3:12 Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.
Luke 21:18 But not a hair of your head shall be lost.
- SURVIVAL GUIDE: I will—Trust Jesus with my fears about physical death .
Psalm 23:1 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.2 He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. 3 He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake. 4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. 5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over. 6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me All the days of my life; And I will dwell in the house of the Lord Forever.
Luke 21:19 By your patience possess your souls.
- SURVIVAL GUIDE: I will—Give my emotions into Christ’s care and live in the peace He gave to me.
Philippians 4:6-7 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
To obey Jesus we must “watch and pray”. That is how we can resist the temptations that lure us. Then we will be ready when our Lord returns.
John F. MacArthur, Jr., The MacArthur Study Bible, ( Dallas: Word Publishing) 1997.