Thursday, January 6, 2011

Tribulation Saints are "in the Lord"

In our last post, we began an in depth study of the so-called Tribulation saints. We saw that they are indistinguishable from today's members of the Body of Christ. They are saved, blood-bought, and have the righteousness of God.

Their deaths are "in the Lord" (Rev. 14:13).

In today's post, I'd like to take you through a brief Bible study on what it means to be "in the Lord."

First, could we all agree that Jesus Christ is Lord (Phil. 2:11), and there is none other? So, to have their deaths be "in the Lord" is synonymous with dying "in Christ," is it not?

Of course, it is!

Christ is the "saviour of the body" (Eph. 5:23). And he is NOT the Saviour of any other! So, if these Tribulation Saints are praising God for salvation (Rev. 7:10), then they MUST be in the Body of Christ. They MUST be IN HIM.

If they are not in Christ, then they would still be in their sins and under the condemnation of the Law. Remember what Peter said, "There is NONE other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved (Acts 4:12).

Did you see that? The book of Revelation explicitly says that the Tribulation saints are "in the Lord" and it implicitly teaches the same thing!

Let's keep going and see where our deductions will lead us.

If the Tribulation saints are in the Lord, then they are in Christ. And, if in Christ, then they are dead to the Law, and free from condemnation.

Only those who have been "crucified with Christ" can be made alive again in him (Romans 6:1-10), and so our Tribulation saints must have been crucified with Christ! And being in Christ is the ONLY place of justification (Romans 3:24), so our Tribulation saints are justified.

And having been crucified, they are also risen; and having been risen, they are also justified; and having been justified, they are also glorified!

There is only one way to be placed "in the Lord" and that is for the Holy Spirit to baptize them into him (1 Cor. 12:13). The same way that we got in!

Listen! No one is ever reconciled with God apart from being in Christ, and ALL who are in Christ are reconciled to God. Christ is the place of reconciliation (2 Cor. 5:19, Rom. 5:10, Eph. 2:16).

Are you still willing to say that the Tribulation saints are not members of the Church?

Perhaps they died "in the Lord" but not really "in the Lord"? It would take some major hoop-jumping to explain how a person could be in the Lord but not be a member of his body, the Church!

"If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature:" (2 Cor. 5:17), and that applies to them as much as it does to us!

So these Tribulation believers, who are from ALL nations:

  • Are called saints
  • Are in the book of life of the Lamb
  • Are saved from the second death
  • Have access to the New Jerusalem
  • Are clothed in white robes (righteousness of God)
  • Washed in the blood of Jesus
  • Are martyred for faith in Jesus
  • Die ‘in the Lord’
  • Have been baptized by the Spirit into Christ
  • Are crucified with Christ
  • Are dead to the Law
  • Are risen in Christ
  • Are glorified in Christ
  • Are reconciled, justified, redeemed, and forgiven

AND, if they are in the Lord, then they are also in Abraham's Seed, and they are heirs according to the promise (Gal. 3:29). And if they are heirs, then they are sons (Gal. 4)! And, if they are sons, then God has sent forth "the Spirit of his Son into" their hearts (Gals. 4:6)!

Let's hear the end of the matter: The Tribulation saints are just Church members who are alive during the Tribulation. I could be one of them, so could you - if we live to see that day. Immediately after the Tribulation, AT the time of the Revelation of Christ, they (we?) will be Raptured up to meet the Lord in the air. They (we?) will then escort the Lord on the final leg of his journey to the earth, where his enemies will be destroyed with fire.

Because the Tribulation saints are members of the Church, then the Rapture of the saints MUST follow the Tribulation.

One last passage, from Daniel 7:21-22, and 24-27,

"I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them;"

The Antichrist makes war against the saints, that is, the Church.

"Until the Ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the most High; and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom.

The Antichrist makes war against the saints UNTIL the Lord Jesus returns. At that time, the saints will judge the earth (Do you see how these saints are the Church?), and then the saints enter the Kingdom of Christ on earth.

And again:

"And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise: and another shall rise after them; and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings."

This is the Antichrist showing up.

"And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time."

The Antichrist fights against the saints of God. That's you and me.

"But the judgment shall sit, and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and to destroy it unto the end."

We will sit in judgment of the Antichrist. His kingdom will be destroyed.

"And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him."

The same saints who were persecuted by the Antichrist in verse 25, are the same saints that rule and reign with Christ in verse 27.

The CHURCH goes through the Tribulation.

Are you ready?

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