Delivered to the Tribulation

Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake.

Matthew 24:9

We love receiving good news, but we hate to give up. Many people come to Christ’s feet burdened with problems and are hopeful that they will tell Him that He is the key to changing their lives on earth, to be happy, to lack of problems and to prosperity. That is why it is not very frequent to listen to a sermon on things like those that says Matthew 24: 9: Then they will deliver you to tribulation, and they will kill you, and you will be hated of all the nations for My name’s sake. Jesus Christ did not hide the truth about what would happen to those who follow Him and we are no one to prevent this from being known today as well.

Contrary to what is often taught, being a Christian does not come with the guarantee of lacking problems, quite the contrary. And now that the last times are near, it is an act of utter cruelty to take people to the feet of Christ by hiding these biblical truths. Whoever becomes Jesus Christ must know the whole truth and not just things that look beautiful. Without a doubt that we will be delivered to tribulation, many will be killed and people will hate us because of the name of Jesus.

The preachers of the gospel, like the doctors, are called to give all the news, the good and the bad. And as that doctor who without hesitation communicates to his patient that the cancer has metastasized in his body and, therefore, his days are numbered, we have to tell the believers that at some point, before the coming of the Lord, there will be persecution against us which was never before. A patient with a terminal illness can become depressed or enjoy his last days, the Christian will be with Christ no matter what happens.

Why Christians will be delivered to tribulation? It is written that the whole world is under the wicked one; but before the coming of the Lord the manifestation of the man of sin, the antichrist, the beast, will occur. If we already walk by a minefield, imagine how the world will be when the beast has it under his control. The name of Christ will be vetoed and anyone who calls on that blessed name will be persecuted without mercy. The Christian will be made to choose between denying his faith or dying.

There are those who comfort themselves saying that before that happens the Lord will come secretly and take His chosen ones, who will suffer absolutely nothing of the terrible things that will happen. I have carefully reviewed the entire New Testament several times and found nowhere to say that we will be raptured or rescued from the Tribulation. What I have found are things like these: Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake.

You will then say that you made your worst mistake by becoming a Christian because, instead of giving up on problems, you are going to have bigger ones. Well, I tell you, it was not a mistake, but the wisest decision you ever made. Do not think that those who persecute you or those who are saved from persecution will be better off than you. With Christ you have the guarantee of eternal life, that even if you are dead you will live because He is the resurrection and the life. Without Christ, it would expect a safe place in hell for you, perpetual torment. To live is Christ and to die for Him is gain. God bless you.

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Hated by His Name

And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake. But he who endures to the end will be saved.

Matthew 10:22

The true gospel speaks the truths unobtrusively. Jesus Christ never promised those who believed in Him that He would make them rich, happy and accepted by the whole world. On the contrary, he said things like these: And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake. People do not love Christians but hate them. People do not accept Christians but reject them. People do not make life easy for Christians, but they make it difficult for them. So is it worth following Christ? I assure you that it is the only thing worth really in this life. And the Lord says it this way: he who endures to the end will be saved.

It could be that you became a Christian because someone told you that God had a wonderful plan for your life. Then you thought it was a good idea to accept Christ because then you would stop having problems. And you believed that as a Christian you were going to stop getting sick, you would prosper and everybody would like you. Unfortunately, when you became a Christian, you renounced the world and therefore the world was not going to see you as your friend, but you went to the opposite ranks. The world already sees you as an enemy and hates you.

Now you could put on a sad face saying that you screwed up to become a Christian because now people hate you. Before you try to go back, let me tell you something, would you like to know why we are hated for the name of Jesus Christ? Look what it says 1 John 5:19: We know that we are of God, and the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one. As a Christian, you belong to God, while those of the world belong to the devil, the wicked one. It is quite clear that whoever does not know Jesus Christ will hate you for His name’s sake.

If you are sad to stop being popular or that your friends do not give you a “like” to your Christian comments on Facebook, I say that now you are a child of God and your popularity in the heavens is such that your name is written there and all Angels know who you are. But if that does not please you because you still fear the enemy, I remind you of what the Word says in 1 John 4:4:  You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. A defeated devil cannot against a victorious Christ.

It is impossible to hide biblical truths. If you misunderstood the gospel and accepted Christ because you thought He would solve your earthly problems the day you opened the Bible, you would certainly read something similar to Matthew 10:22. Then you saw that all would hate you for the name of Jesus Christ. Perhaps you already realized before reading it in the Bible because your own family began to reject you from the same moment that you accepted Christ and that gave you much sadness.

We cannot deny that rejection is not pleasant, especially when it comes from the beings we love. But it is much more than we risk succumbing to the hatred of the world and going back to our previous life. Without Christ we are hopelessly lost. Our works do not serve to achieve salvation, only the precious blood shed by Jesus on the cross of Calvary could pay the price of our redemption. Remember the words of the Lord: he who endures to the end will be saved. Persevere to the end, even if they hate you. God bless you.

The Enemies in the House

Now brother will deliver up brother to death, and a father his child; and children will rise up against parents and cause them to be put to death.

Matthew 10:21

The risk of being a Christian, in the midst of persecution, is not limited to strangers. We must take care of even the members of our own family. In Matthew 10:21, the Lord warns us: Now brother will deliver up brother to death, and a father his child; and children will rise up against parents and cause them to be put to death. Nothing of what is written in the Bible is a joke. This is not a heavy joke of the Lord, we must be alert and not astonished that, when the final persecution is openly unleashed, it is our own relatives who deliver us to death.

Traditions throw such strong roots in societies that sometimes outweigh blood ties. In countries like Pakistan it is very common what has come to be known as a crime of honor. This type of crime is mostly perpetrated with the women of the families. When a daughter departs from the guidelines of the Muslim faith, either by marrying for love, wearing western clothes or becoming a Christian, her brothers, and even her father and mother kill them with their own hands. Generally justice does not sanction them on the grounds that it is for honor.

For those of us who have lived in America, what happens in the East may seem wild and inhuman. But that is nothing compared to what is going to happen when the man of sin, the son of doom takes over the reins of the planet. It is very likely that in future, in our own countries we will see the new version of honor crimes. And that this type of behavior is a standard of world character, which is seen as something reasonable that happens for the well-being of the family.

It is written in Revelation 13:15-17: He was granted power to give breath to the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak and cause as many as would not worship the image of the beast to be killed. He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or[a] the name of the beast, or the number of his name. A true Christian will neither worship the image of the beast nor let it be marked.

But most likely there is no unanimity in the faith among the family of Christians. Therefore, some brother, father or son will prefer to adjust to the swings of the world so as not to have problems. If worshiping the beast’s image maintains his physical integrity, many will deny their faith in Jesus Christ. And that member of the family who remains faithful to the Lord is going to be denounced by his relative, who is going to prefer death to his son, brother or father rather than himself.

It sounds cruel, but that will happen without any doubt. And now some of you could be bothered by conscience. However, when the days of the ultimate manifestation of evil on earth come, such things will be interpreted as legal and politically correct. Are you afraid that that time comes? Would you join the rest to not die? Would you deny your faith or accept to be a martyr? The Lord said that he who loves his life will lose it and whoever loses it for His cause will preserve it for eternal life. You decide which life to love more, this or the eternal. God bless you.

Upcoming Persecutions

But beware of men, for they will deliver you up to councils and scourge you in their synagogues. You will be brought before governors and kings for My sake, as a testimony to them and to the Gentiles.

Matthew 10:17-18

Being a soldier of Jesus Christ is a profession that carries risks. Bearing in mind that this world is still under the power of the evil one, it is obvious that worldly values conflict with the values of God. We are at war and the enemy will not stand idly by while we carry out our great commission. In Matthew 10:17-18, the Lord warned His disciples that they should take care of men because persecutions would follow. In these persecutions, there is the possibility of being imprisoned, mistreated or dead.

The fulfillment of the Lord’s prophetic word in Matthew 10:17-18 began from the earliest years of the church. The book of the Acts of the Apostles outlines the persecutions of the early Christians. Peter and John were imprisoned and beaten for preaching in the name of Jesus Christ. Stephen was the first Christian martyr to die stoned at the look of approval of a young Pharisee named Saul of Tarsus. After the death of Stephen, the persecution did not cease and the church was dispersed from Jerusalem to other places.

Saul of Tarsus himself, who witnessed Stephen’s death, wanted to become the most zealous persecutor of the Christians and set out for Damascus to capture those who believed in Jesus and bring them prisoners to Jerusalem. But on his way to Damascus, Saul had an encounter with the Lord who transformed his life. The rabid Pharisee Saul of Tarsus, persecutor and accomplice of the death of Christians, was transformed into Paul, the apostle of the Gentiles, who traveled by numerous places expanding in gospel.

But the fruitful ministry of Paul was accompanied by many persecutions. The Lord himself warned him in Acts 9:15-16: But the Lord said to him, “Go, for he is a chosen vessel of Mine to bear My name before Gentiles, kings, and the children of Israel. For I will show him how many things he must suffer for My name’s sake.” And certainly Paul suffered all kinds of abuse because of the name of Jesus Christ. And as a persecutor of Christians, Paul became one of the most persecuted among the servants of Christ.

The persecution of the Christians barely began with Peter, John, Stephen and Paul. For centuries, millions of believers in Jesus Christ have been persecuted and martyred. Even in our day persecution continues. Of course, in some places such persecution is quite obvious, as in Muslim-majority countries, India, China, among others. But also where the Roman church is majority or has a great influence, those who follow biblical Christianity are objects of censorship or open persecution.

However, the fiercest persecution of Christians in history is yet to come. In fact, the enemy is already preparing his agents for the final thrust. The approval of laws contrary to what the Bible commands and the consequent disavowal to preach their truths are the first signs of what is coming. And before this panorama will know who follows Christ for who He is and who will run and deny their faith with the intention of not being persecuted. Let us not forget that we can lose eternal life because we want to save the earthly. God bless you.

God Comforts Us in Our Tribulations

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.

2 Corinthians 1:3-4

The word tribulation can cause panic to most people. Certainly, we all want to live peacefully, without surprises or concerns. However, we know this is not possible. While we live in this world we are continuously exposed to events that are not always pleasant. The apostle Paul tells us in his second letter to the Corinthians that God comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort those who are in tribulation.

What do we call tribulation? According to the dictionary, it means trouble, grief, disgust or very large concern that a person has; adverse or unfavorable situation experienced by a person; anguish, distress, torment or adversity. Some synonyms of trouble include: adversity, misfortune, misery, grief, anguish, distress, pain, embarrassment, sorrow, anxiety and eagerness. Therefore, it is clear that every human being has to go through tribulation throughout his or her life.

If I stop to meditate upon the events of my own life, I find many examples of tribulation. I lost my last job in early April 2010, just when it was one year after losing my mother. Like many others, I came to the territory of the United States with a visa then stopped beating and I took a couple of years legalize my immigration status. I have been involved in businesses in which I failed. I went through the experience of losing a child at birth. One of my daughters and my granddaughter were born prematurely, needing to spend several weeks in an incubator. My other daughter has endured numerous serious ailments in her health. The list is so long it would take me several hours to tell all.

Now when I read what Paul writes to the Corinthians, I realize that all my trials have had their purpose. Besides serving to strengthen my character and build my faith and trust in God, each of my adversity has served to give comfort to those who are suffering the same ills as I passed. In this regard, I can comfort those who are unemployed, who have immigration problems, those who have lost a child or parent, who have illnesses or have sick children or parents, who go through economic difficulties, among other things.

If this day you are reading or listening to this message and you are going through tough times, think that our Lord is the Father of mercies and God of all comfort. Note that you are not alone in your issue; you’re receiving the consolation that gives you your Heavenly Father through someone who already went through the same tests. Then, use your experienced adversity to give comfort to those in need by using the same comfort you received. God bless you.