By Jerry Baysinger

The Lord Jesus told us in Luke 21:8-36 about things in the latter days that we would see going on around us, for us to be aware of them, but not to be in fear.  Man’s nature is to worry about that which he cannot control, and it’s a very powerful instinct to try to overcome.

 8  And he said, Take heed that ye be not deceived: for many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and the time draweth near: go ye not therefore after them. 

 9  But when ye shall hear of wars and commotions, be not terrified: for these things must first come to pass; but the end is not by and by.

 10  Then said he unto them, Nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom:

 11  And great earthquakes shall be in divers places, and famines, and pestilences; and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven.

 12  But before all these, they shall lay their hands on you, and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues, and into prisons, being brought before kings and rulers for my name’s sake.

 13  And it shall turn to you for a testimony.

 14  Settle it therefore in your hearts, not to meditate before what ye shall answer:

 15  For I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay nor resist.

 16  And ye shall be betrayed both by parents, and brethren, and kinsfolks, and friends; and some of you shall they cause to be put to death.

 17  And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake.

 18  But there shall not an hair of your head perish.

 19  In your patience possess ye your souls.

 20  And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh.

 21  Then let them which are in Judaea flee to the mountains; and let them which are in the midst of it depart out; and let not them that are in the countries enter thereinto.

 22  For these be the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled.

 23  But woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck, in those days! for there shall be great distress in the land, and wrath upon this people.

 24  And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.

 25  And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring;

 26  Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.

 27  And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.

 28  And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.

 29  And he spake to them a parable; Behold the fig tree, and all the trees;

 30  When they now shoot forth, ye see and know of your own selves that summer is now nigh at hand.

 31  So likewise ye, when ye see these things come to pass, know ye that the kingdom of God is nigh at hand.

 32  Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass away, till all be fulfilled.

 33  Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away.

 34  And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares.

   For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth.

 36  Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.

            When examining this passage, I’m led to believe God’s people will still be here among all that is going on, not “raptured out” as some think.  In verse 28, the Lord Jesus said,  28  And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.

Now, if we were already gone, how could we be here to see these things coming to pass?  We couldn’t!  We’re told to “watch and pray” so we know what’s going on, but we’re not going to be able to “pray it away”, because the LORD has already determined these things will come to pass.  The object is to pray to keep our peace as the world falls apart all around us.  Jesus said in verses 18 and 19, But there shall not an hair of your head perish.  In your patience possess ye your souls.  That does not mean every one of us will escape being killed, but rather, after they kill the body, that’s all they can do, they cannot kill our soul.  And in our patience, we possess our souls.

We would all do well to read Luke 21:8-36 several times until we get what the Lord is telling us.  I believe there will be many, expecting to escape the tribulations coming on the earth, and finding themselves smack dab in the middle of it, that will get discouraged and accuse God, “You said You would deliver me from this, and You haven’t!”, and will turn their backs on God.  Keep in mind, we may not escape the tribulation, but if we belong to God, we will escape the WRATH OF GOD!  There’s a difference between the tribulation, and the wrath of God.

It is written in Matthew 24:24-31,

 24  For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.

 25  Behold, I have told you before.

 26  Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not.

 27  For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.

 28  For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together.

 29  Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:

 30  And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.

 31  And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. 

            Please notice in verse 29 it says Immediately after the tribulation of those daysIt does NOT say BEFORE the tribulation of those days. Immediately AFTER is when the sign of the Son of Man shall appear, and then shall He send His angels to gather His elect.  Not before.  So that’s why it’s so important to be watching and praying, that we might be found worthy to escape the WRATH OF GOD, which is coming afterwards.  Yes, if we remain faithful unto the end, we will escape the time of wrath which is coming upon those who work evil, and “watch and pray” will keep us abreast of what’s going on in the Word of God.

But to think we can change what’s coming down the pike is foolish.  God went ahead in time and came back and told us all the horrible things mankind would do.  We won’t change a thing, it will all happen exactly as it is written.  But if you keep your face in the Word of God and study it fervently, and pray and let yourself be led continually by the Holy Spirit, you will not need the news on TV to tell you what is going on, you’ll already know.  It’s all right there in the Word of God.

He is telling us NOT TO FEAR, it’s going to happen just as it is written, in all it’s horrible glory, but He won’t drop us out of His hand.  Will times get really scary?  Yes, BUT, we are safe in the LORD.  Our physical body very well may perish, but in our patience, we possess our soul, and that’s all that really matters.  All the earth will perish in fervent heat one day, and God will create a NEW heaven and a NEW earth, and God’s children will be there to enjoy it.  So be watching and praying and worshipping God, for He has something FAR better in the future for us!