Category Archives: Tribulation

APPOINTED TO TRIBULATION

Disciples of Jesus will escape God’s “wrath” but are appointed for “tribulation” in this life for the gospel‘s sake.

The terms “tribulation” and “wrath” are NOT synonymous in the New Testament. The former is what disciples endure for the gospel, but the latter is the horrific fate that awaits those men and women who reject the good news of the kingdom. Rather than life, they along with apostates will undergo the “second death.”

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SAINTS, TRIBULATION, AND WRATH

His disciples escape God’s “wrath” but endure “tribulation” to which they have been “appointed”1 Thessalonians 3:1-4.

In the New Testament, the terms “tribulation” and “wrath” are NOT synonymous. “Tribulation” is what disciples endure for the sake of Jesus, but “wrath” is the horrific fate awaiting the wicked at the “end of the age,” the “second death,” which unrepentant sinners and apostates endure on account of their iniquities and betrayals.

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TO THE ASSEMBLY

The Thessalonians received the gospel in tribulation but remained faithful in anticipation of the arrival of Jesus 1 Thessalonians 1:1-10.

Opposition to the new faith forced Paul to leave Thessalonica before his work was completed. When he attempted to return to the city, he was thwarted “by Satan.” Because of anxieties about the congregation, he sent Timothy to investigate. His first letter is his thankful response after receiving good news about the congregation’s faithfulness.

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CHURCH AT PHILADELPHIA

Philadelphia receives no correction, for she has remained faithful, and therefore, she will be kept from the “hour of trial”Revelation 3:7-13.

Philadelphia lay fifty kilometers southeast of Sardis, where it straddled a major road into the interior, making trade with the other cities of Asia vital to its economy. The city was established in 189 B.C. by the king of Pergamos, and later, came under Roman provincial government when the last king bequeathed his realm to Rome in 133 B.C.

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CHURCH AT SMYRNA

Ironically, the church at Smyrna was promised even more “tribulation” after its past faithfulness in persecution – Revelation 2:8-11

The city of Smyrna was a seaport approximately fifty-five kilometers northwest of Ephesus. It marked the start of the major road and trade route into the interior of the province. As a leading commercial center, the city prospered from its location and the importation of goods by sea. The imperial cult was well-established and widespread in the city.

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AN ABSENT CHURCH?

In its entirety, Revelation is a message for, to, and about the church, the people of God, and concerns its situation on the earth – Revelation 4:1-3.

After Jesus finished dictating his letters to the “seven churches,” John saw an “open door in heaven” and heard the trumpet-like voice from his first vision summoning him to “come up here.” Next, he found himself standing before the “throne set in heaven.” Does this image symbolize the physical removal of the church from the earth prior to the rest of the remaining visions of the book?

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