Disciples & Tribulation

The New Testament exhorts followers of Jesus to expect tribulation because of their faith. While it may not be an everyday experience in the life of the church, neither is tribulation for the kingdom unexpected. And the chief cause of tribulation and persecution in the life of the disciple is his or her faithful witness of the life and teachings of Christ.

And this understanding is especially prominent in the Book of Revelation. In Chapter 7, for example, John saw countless followers of the “Lamb” exiting the “great tribulation” after persevering through it.

Continue reading


Jesus is the Faithful Witness who summons his disciples to emulate his example by themselves bearing faithful witness in a hostile world.

Two themes are repeated in the book of Revelation – “witness” and “overcoming,” and they are closely related. Beginning with Jesus and his own witness in his death, his followers must persevere in his “testimony,” and in this way, they “overcome” and one day will emerge victorious in the city of “New Jerusalem.” They are called to “overcome, even as I overcame.”

Continue reading


The New Testament warns of a future apostasy caused by deceivers that will precede the day of the Lord.

The New Testament warns repeatedly and consistently that before Jesus arrives at the end of the age the church will find itself under assault from within by deceivers. And before the “day of the Lord” comes, his disciples will be confronted by the “man of lawlessness,” a figure linked inextricably to the coming “apostasy.”

Continue reading


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.”

Continue reading


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.

Continue reading