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A Study in 1 Thessalonians Chapter 5
As we continue
our study, we will look into the subject of persecution and how it relates
to the Church.
In the book of John, Jesus said:
"If the world hates you, keep this in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as it's own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. Remember, the words I spoke to you: ' If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. They will treat you this way because of my name, for they do not know the one who sent me.
John 15:18 NIV
If there is persecution now, what's in store for us during the tribulation. John wrote in Revelation concerning the beast:
And it was given to him (the beast--verse 2) to make war with the saints and to overcome them...
writes the beast was given to him to make war with the saints (as the
beast has rule for three and one half years). And he will overcome them by
persecution. As we look for a moment
on the tribulation, The Greek word for tribulation is "thlipsis"
or thilibu," which means "pressure" or "affliction."
In The King James Bible, the word "distress" is used for the Great
Tribulation in Luke 21:27. The Greek word for distress is "thilipsis."
The tribulation is a period of affliction, pressure and distress upon the earth. If
there has been persecution on Christians throughout history, then why should
we expect anything different during the tribulation? Many professors of
pre-trib agree about persecution, but they insist it won't happen to the church
during the tribulation because we are not "destined for wrath" and we'll be gone.
Can they come to this conclusion if they thoroughly examined
scripture just to see if it was so? Paul said in his second
letter to the Thessalonian Church:
"...among God's churches we boast about your perseverance and faith in all the persecutions and trials you are enduring.
All this is evidence that God's judgment is right, and as a result you will be counted worthy of the kingdom, for which you are suffering. God is just: He will pay back trouble to those who trouble you and give relief to you who are troubled, and to us as well. This will happen when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven in blazing fire with his powerful angels. they will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and of the majesty of his power on the day he comes to be glorified in his holy people and to be marveled at among all those who believed. This includes you because of our testimony to you."
2 Thessalonians 1:4-10 NIV