In the last days, we know there will be seven years of Tribulation hitting this earth with a vengeance, and many Christians don’t want to be on the planet when it happens. The book of Revelations is filled with terrible events, including the antichrist’s introduction. The antichrist will bring many curses on the earth. He promises the world freedom but only brings death, hell, and destruction.
We know the antichrist works with a false prophet, creates an image for everyone to worship, and doesn’t allow anyone to buy or sell without a mark on their forehead or right hand. The antichrist hates the children of God. Many people believe a rapture of the Church will happen before he comes on the scene. A Rapture may occur for some of the children of God before the Great Tribulation, but that doesn’t mean every believer will be taken out beforehand. Too many verses indicate some believers will be on the earth when he arrives.
I will explain what the rapture is for those who don’t know. The rapture takes away God’s people either before or during the Tribulation. The word rapture is not found in the Bible, but the concept of a taking away is. Let’s look at the verse where they get the idea of rapture.
1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
13 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. 15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. 16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: 17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. 18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.
The Tribulation is a time of great wrath, and the Bible says that God’s children are not appointed unto wrath.
1 Thessalonians 5:9 (KJV)
9 For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,
My point in this chapter isn’t about the rapture’s timing but about revealing what is coming on the earth and what God is looking for from the Church. God will not pour out his wrath on the Church, but the antichrist will pour out his wrath on the earth. I know all of this may sound scary, but I want to reveal some things from the Scriptures that will bring hope and understanding. Christ is not looking for a weak church when He returns. God is looking for warriors who are not afraid to stand up to the antichrist and overcome everything thrown at them through their steadfast faith.
Let’s look at some powerful verses in Revelation 15 that mention this victorious Church. Unfortunately, you don’t hear too many ministers today preach these verses.
Revelation 15:2-4 (KJV)
2 And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire: and them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God. 3 And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvellous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints. 4 Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name? for thou only art holy: for all nations shall come and worship before thee; for thy judgments are made manifest.
These people were victorious through the Great Tribulation. Therefore, the only overcomer in God’s word are people of faith.
1 John 5:4-5 (KJV)
4 For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. 5 Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?
2 Corinthians 4:13 (KJV)
13 We having the same spirit of faith, according as it is written, I believed, and therefore have I spoken; we also believe, and therefore speak;
We know that faith has everything to do with what you believe in your heart and speak out of your mouth.
When you look at the life of Jesus, He faced everything with boldness and confidence. He never feared what the devil threw at Him because He overcame by His faith. When a storm came to kill him, He rebuked the storm, and it became calm. When His hometown of Nazareth rejected Him and tried to throw Him off a cliff, He walked right through them. Finally, when they crucified Him, He rose from the dead and defeated: death, hell, the grave, and the devil.
Nothing could defeat the Son of God because He always had an answer with His faith. I believe in the Last Days, the Church will rise to this call of faith. No matter what they will face during the Tribulation, they will have an answer with their faith. It could be a miraculous provision of food when we can’t buy or sell without the mark. When Elijah, the great prophet of old, was hungry, he was fed by ravens when he hid from Ahab and Jezebel. God can do anything. During the ministry of Moses, God protected the Children of Israel throughout the time He was pouring out His wrath on the Egyptians. It says in Revelation 15 that these victorious people sang the song of Moses.
Revelation 15:3 (KJV)
3 And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvellous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints.
God revealed to me a prophetic scripture in the book of Hebrews 11 that I had never heard preached before. The 11th Chapter of Hebrews is known as the Heroes of Faith chapter. The whole chapter walks you through the history of the Bible and how all of the saints of the Old Testament overcame by their faith. Let’s look at some of these stories through the lens of faith.
Hebrews 11:4 (KJV)
4 By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh.
Hebrews 11:5 (KJV)
5 By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.
Hebrews 11:7 (KJV)
7 By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.
Hebrews 11:8 (KJV)
8 By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went.
Hebrews 11:11 (KJV)
11 Through faith also Sara herself received strength to conceive seed, and was delivered of a child when she was past age, because she judged him faithful who had promised.
Hebrews 11:24-27 (KJV)
24 By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter; 25 Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; 26 Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward. 27 By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured, as seeing him who is invisible.
Hebrews 11:32-33 (KJV)
32 And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of Gedeon, and of Barak, and of Samson, and of Jephthae; of David also, and Samuel, and of the prophets: 33 Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions.
The Old and New Testament saints overcame all adversity and obeyed God through faith. This chapter is a powerful example of how you can overcome anything with your faith. If they could do it, we all can. Jesus is the Author and Finisher of our Faith. When you read this chapter, you can see how God can do anything. What I want to look at now is the end of the chapter. At the end of this faith chapter, we find a hidden prophesy.
Hebrews 11:39-40 (KJV)
39 And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise: 40 God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.
God is saying in this passage that all of these heroes of faith are not perfect without us. Us, referring to the last generation. God has always looked for faith in every generation. God will pass over millions of people to find someone of faith. Faith is what pleases God.
Hebrews 11:6 (KJV)
6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
Jesus put out a fantastic challenge about faith when He was on the earth. Let’s look at this challenge.
Luke 18:8 (KJV)
8 I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?
Jesus, our Saviour, is looking for “Overcoming Faith” when He returns. This is a faith that takes God at His word and walks in boldness. These believers are not afraid of what the devil or the antichrist throws at them. On the contrary, they overcome everything with their faith. Even if they were to face death, they take it head-on with no fear.
I want to ask you a question. How would a Billionaire know if a person who he wanted to marry really loved him and not just loved him for his money? The reality is they may never know. God showed me that He has the same problem. Jesus is coming back for a bride, but how will He see if they truly love Him? No one wants to go to hell, and Jesus has the power to let someone live forever. He also has the ability to make them rich and give them an eternal mansion. God can only really know if you love Him if you are willing to die for Him. The only thing we can give God is our life. This is also how we know that God loves us. He died for us and proved His love for us.
John 15:13 (KJV)
13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
First John tells us that there is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear.
1 John 4:17-19 (KJV)
17 Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world. 18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. 19 We love him, because he first loved us.
God revealed to me that the only way you could face death boldly, as the early Church did, is if it was out of love. Perfect love casts out fear. You don’t fear because you love God, and you know you are showing your love if you are ever put in a situation where you have to die for Christ. Those who love God will gladly lay down their lives out of their love for God.
The heroes of faith in the New Testament were willing to die for God. It says that they did not accept deliverance because they knew they would have a better resurrection. God would reward them with special blessings in heaven if they were willing to die for Him.
Hebrews 11:35-38 (KJV)
35 Women received their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection: 36 And others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment: 37 They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented; 38 (Of whom the world was not worthy:) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth.
These heroes faced death boldly and did not back down. We are in a war, and there is a war of words. We will always have victory through faith. I added this chapter to reveal the overcoming victory we will have in this war when facing the antichrist himself. The last days’ Church is called to overcome the antichrist’s words and everything he throws at them. In the book of Daniel, the three Hebrew children told the king of Babylon they would not bow down to his image, and God showed up with them in the fire to protect them when they were thrown in.
Daniel 3:16-18 (KJV)
16 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, answered and said to the king, O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer thee in this matter. 17 If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. 18 But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.
They overcame Nebuchadnezzar and his words by faith. God delivered them by faith after they had a war of words with this wicked king.
Daniel 3:23-25 (KJV)
23 And these three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, fell down bound into the midst of the burning fiery furnace. 24 Then Nebuchadnezzar the king was astonished, and rose up in haste, and spake, and said unto his counsellors, Did not we cast three men bound into the midst of the fire? They answered and said unto the king, True, O king. 25 He answered and said, Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.
The Son of God showed up because of their faith. Their faith spoke against the words of Nebuchadnezzar and won. The antichrist will come speaking great swelling words, and the saints of God are called to face him boldly and declare they will never bow down to him or his image. The last day’s Church is called to walk and live by faith. This faith will be expressed in what they believe and say. They will win any war of words they are faced with and not back down.
Oppressors come to shut the mouths of those they are oppressing. Oppressors rule by fear. The devil is the greatest oppressor of them all, but Jesus came to defeat him and set the oppressed free.
Acts 10:38 (KJV)
38 How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.
Jesus paid a heavy price for us to have overcoming faith that will defeat the devil. Now is the time to rise up and, with your mouth, declare the glory of God and defeat any words that are coming against you. If the day comes when you are given the opportunity to lay down your life for Christ, do it with boldness. You can do this with boldness because your love is perfected. Your perfected love will not only live for Christ but die for Him.