Often I have seen on forums or heard the question asked: How do we prepare for the tribulation? Responses have varied from storing up beans to trusting in God to figuring out how one can escape when it hits. But, how does God see our need for preparation? Can He work a miracle to provide for us in hard circumstances, a future one being the necessity of a mark to buy and sell? Can He heal under these same circumstances? Can He send the right person we need to hear from at any given moment? Are His ways too numerous to mention through which he can totally and absolutely preserve His people in them midst of Great tribulation? The answer to all of these questions is an emphatic, "YES!"
About twenty years ago, I remember beginning to look at circumstances and the tug of the Holy Spirit to rely more deeply on the Lord Jesus in all things. I would say to myself regarding the circumstance of the moment, "Persevere. There's an end to this. God knows what He's doing. This is only preparation for tomorrow." I found that quite encouraging. And I eventually came to look at all the trials and tribulations and bad circumstances as only preparation for going through the Great Tribulation. But, even that, I am now realizing, is NOT the real focus of what God is doing in His people in this hour.
Last week, He began to talk to me about holiness, and the words of Isaiah kept ringing in my ears:
Isaiah was all but devastated at the sight of the God of Israel, and the realization he had was how unclean he was, and of the people he exclaimed, "I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips" (verse 5). My instant thoughts contrasted that statement with this verse:
What a contrast between the people of Isaiah's time and those who will be waiting for Him when He returns for His millennial reign. What makes the difference? That Christ WOULD SANCTIFY those who believe in Him through His finished work and His word in order to present to Himself a people that would BE HOLY AND WITHOUT BLEMISH when He returns.
My thinking then progressed to what Scripture says about sanctification and holiness and I soon realized that such a sanctified and holy people is THE VERY PURPOSE OF GOD for all who believe:
I thought, If being conformed to the character of the Lamb is God's purpose for us at the end of the age and God works progressively in us to bring this about throughout our Christian life, then wouldn't it be reasonable, very reasonable by the Scriptures that to prepare for tribulation from God's point of view would to just continue as we have since we believed on Christ? Doesn't this present work of sanctifying us, conforming us to the image of the Lamb, maturing us to walk in holiness find its ultimate fulfillment in the coming of Christ when He gathers His spotless Bride and glorifies her with Him? Isn't it reasonable also by the Scriptures that if one walks in holiness and pursues holiness (in spite of his sinful nature being present) because that is what God called us for, that God will take care of us, even if we're martyred? Isn't it reasonable by the Scriptures that if we continue to work out our salvation with fear and trembling by daily being conformed to the image of the Lamb all the way to the end of the age, that God will THEN WORK ALL THINGS TO OUR GOOD, EVEN IN THE MIDST OF GREAT TRIBULATION? Read Romans 8:29-30 again. The answer to my question is, "Yes!"
I want to look at preparation for the Great Tribulation from this point of view. I don't mean to belittle any preparation someone might feel they should be doing, because I'm sure God can inspire Christians with such things. I also think there can be extremes on both sides of the issue. But, I am not concerned with those here. Regardless of whether you think you should prepare or shouldn't prepare, one thing we all have in common within the plan of God is this:
End of Intro.
Introduction: Tribulation Preparation: Called To be Holy