Why Will This Happen? – Matthew 24:21

by Pastor John Fredericksen

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Many times when great heartaches occur, hurting and confused individuals ask, “Why did God do this to me?” In general, it is important for Christians to understand God does not cause our sorrows! Our pain and hurts come from a variety of sources: the attacks of Satan as with Job; the consequences of unwise choices; “time and chance;” (Ecclesiastes 9:11) propensity to illnesses; and opposition from sinful people. God is simply not always behind what we find hurtful. However, when it comes to Israel’s future seven years of agonizing tribulation, God will bring these trials to pass for several specified reasons.

Jeremiah 30:7 refers to these seven years as “the time of Jacob’s trouble.” Early in Israel’s history, God promised to bless her if she followed Him faithfully, and curse her if she would not. These coming years of tribulation will be the consequences of Israel’s continual, spiritual rebellion, when God will “punish” her (Zephaniah 1:12). God will use these days, particularly the Second Coming of Christ, “So the house of Israel shall know that I am the Lord their God” (Ezekiel 39:22, 27-29). The Lord will use these intense trials to purify the nation of Israel, or “refine them as silver is refined” (Zechariah 13:9), therein removing the “dross” of rebellion (Eze- kiel 22:17-22). When purged from her iniquity, Israel will be prepared to properly worship Jehovah and “offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness” (Malachi 3:3). The Tribulation will also fulfill prophecy, as God accomplishes the seventy weeks “determined upon thy people” (Daniel 9:24). These terrible days will also punish the entire world justly for its rebellious, sinful conduct. Just as Isaiah 13:9-11 promises, “I will punish the world for their evil, and the wicked for their iniquity” (Isaiah 13:9-11); God will bring the “haughtiness” of even “mighty men” low (Isaiah 2:11,17; 13:6- 11). These events will be used to open the hearts of many to saving faith. Revelation 14:1-7 describes thousands who will proclaim “the everlasting gospel” to lost souls in peril of eternal punishment, and many will be saved.

We who have trusted in the Lord Jesus Christ alone for eternal life need not fear these days of tribulation. First Thessalonians 1:10 promises we have been “delivered from the wrath to come.” Praise His name for this merciful blessing. Our responsibility is to rejoice in this truth, share the gospel that others may likewise be saved, and rest that even when trials come our way, God’s grace will carry us through.

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Start each day with short, devotional articles taken from the book Daily Transformation by Pastor John Fredericksen. As Pastor Fredericksen writes in the introduction:

"We welcome you, as you journey with us..., to not only learn information, but to benefit from examples of faith and failure, and seek to apply God’s Word to every day life. Together, let’s transition from only studying theories of doctrine, to applying God’s truths in a practical way every day. May God use these studies to help you find daily transformation."