God Will Protect His People Through Difficult Times
A Study Outline
I. Mankind has always lived in troublesome times.
A. The root cause is Lucifer, the arch-enemy of the Father’s plan, who first tempted Eve in the Garden of Eden. Genesis 3:1-6, 14-19.
B. Yet, “… in the last days perilous times shall come.” II Timothy 3:1. These times are brought on by the evil character of people, as described in II Timothy 3:2-5.
last (Strong 2078) = eschatos, “farthest or final (of time or place).”
perilous (Strong 5467) = chalepos, “hard to do or deal with, difficult, fierce, perilous, or dangerous.”
II. We are approaching the most challenging times for humankind to live on the earth, a just punishment for sins that mankind has committed.
A. It is getting to the point that even to challenge evils like homosexuality, abortion, and such is becoming criminal all across the country … an insanity that can only remind us of the character of Satan the devil.
B. God tells us that with sin comes personal and national punishment. Leviticus 26; Deuteronomy 28.
C. Jesus Christ outlined the end time events for us, and John and the prophets fill in many more details.
1. The destruction of Jerusalem was foretold, which occurred about 40 years after Jesus’ prophecy given in 30 A. D., when Titus invaded Judea and destroyed the Temple in 70 A. D. Indeed, not one stone was left upon another (Matthew 24:2). Luke 21:20-24; Matthew 24:15-20; Mark 13:14-18.
2. Jerusalem was to be “trodden down of the gentiles until the times of the gentiles be fulfilled.” Luke 21:24. See Daniel 9:27 and 12:7, and Romans 11:25.
3. Then, after centuries pass, the great tribulation will arrive, a time of trial and testing worse than any other during the history of mankind. Matthew 24:21-22; Luke 21; 25-28.
tribulation (Strong 2347) = thlipsis, “a pressing or pressure; anything that burdens the spirit.”
4. The resurrection follows the tribulation. Matthew 24:29-31; Luke 21:27-28; I Corinthians 15:51-52; I Thessalonians 4:15-17; Revelation 11:15.
III. In spite of the challenging times we are entering, the laws of God and the guarantees to His saints have not been suspended. Our position is little different than for the disciples in the first century A.D., except we have not yet been thrown into prison and physically persecuted like many of them were.
A. We are guaranteed trials.
I Peter 1:3-7. “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy has begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fades not away, reserved in heaven for you. Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in that last time. Wherein you greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be you are in heaviness though manifold temptations. That the trial of your faith being much more precious than of gold that perishes, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ.”
2. I Peter 4:12-14. “Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: but rejoice, inasmuch as you are partakers of Christ’s sufferings that, when His glory shall be revealed, you may be glad also with exceeding joy. If you be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are you for the spirit of glory and of God rests upon you; on their part He is evil spoken of, but on your part He is glorified.”
3. Galatians 2:20. “I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me.”
4. Hebrews 11:32-40.
B. We cannot be accepted by Him without enduring trails and sufferings.
1. Romans 8:17. “… and if children, then heirs, heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ, if so be that we suffer with Him, that we may be also glorified together.”
2. Matthew 5:10-12. “Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake; for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for My sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.”
3. James 1:2-4. “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into diverse temptations. Knowing this, that the trying of your faith works patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that you may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.”
4. II Timothy 3:12. “If we suffer, we shall also reign with Him; if we deny Him, He also will deny us ….”
C. With trials of this age we are promised protection and deliverance; and for some there may be persecution and martyrdom for His sake.
1. Psalm 34:19. “Many are the afflictions of the righteous; but the Lord delivers him out of them all.” See the entire chapter of Psalm 34.
2. Psalm 37:25. “I have been young, and now am old, yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.”
3. Matthew 24:8-13, 21-22; Luke 21:12-19.
IV. What must we do during these times ahead?
A. Pray and meditate for our own families and for each other.
1. James 5:16. “Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that you may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.”
2. Acts 12:6-12.
3. I Thessalonians 5:17. “Pray without ceasing.”
4. Ephesians 6:17-18. “And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.”
5. Philippians 1:3-4. “I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy.”
6. Philippians 1:19. “For I know that this shall turn to my salvation through your prayer, and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ.”
7. Luke 21:36. “Watch you therefore, and pray always, that you may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.”
B. Do good to one another as the opportunities present themselves.
1. Matthew 25:37-40. “Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when did we see You hungry, and fed You, or thirsty, and gave You drink? When did we see You a stranger and took You in, or naked, and clothed You? Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and came unto you? Ant the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as you did it unto one of the least of these My brethren, you have done it unto Me.”
2. Galatians 6:9-10. “And let us not be weary in well doing, for in due season we shall reap if we faint not. As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.”
3. I Thessalonians 5:15. “See that none render evil for evil unto any man; but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all men.”
4. I Timothy 6:17-19.
C. Fellowship with the brethren.
1. Leviticus 23:3. “Six days shall work be done; but the seventh day is the sabbath of rest, a holy convocation; ye shall do no work therein: it is the sabbath of the Lord in all your dwellings.”
convocation (Strong 4744) = miqra, “a public worship service or convocation.” According to Vine, this meeting is a product of an official summons to worship, for the reading and exposition of the law.
2. Malachi 3:16. “Then they that feared the Lord spoke often one to another, and the Lord hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before Him for them that feared the Lord, and that thought upon His name.”
3. Acts 2:42. “And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.”
4. Hebrews 10:24-25. “And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is, but exhorting one another, and so much the more, as you see the day approaching.”
D. Fast on occasion for important issues.
1. Isaiah 58:6-7. “Is not this the fast that I have chosen?, to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that you break every yoke? Is it not to deal your bread to the hungry, and that you bring the poor that are cast out to your house? when you see the naked that you cover him, and that you hide not yourself from your own flesh?”
2. Acts 13:2-3.
E. Do not be afraid of evil men and what they might do.
1. Proverbs 24: 1-2, 19-20.
2. Psalm 37:1-40.
3. Exodus 14:13-14. “And Moses said to the people, Fear not, stand still and see the salvation of the Lord, which He will show to you today, for the Egyptians whom you have seen today, you shall see them again no more forever. The Lord shall fight for you, and you shall hold your peace.”
4. Joshua 1:5-9. “There shall not any man be able to stand before you all the days of your life; as I was with Moses, so I will be with you: I will not fail you, or forsake you. Be strong and of a good courage, for unto his people shall you divide for an inheritance the land, which I sware unto their fathers to give them. Only be strong and very courageous, that you may observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded you; turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may prosper wheresoever you go. This book of the law shall not depart out of your mouth, but you shall meditate therein day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written therein, for then you shall make your way prosperous, and then you shall have good success. Have not I commanded you? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wheresoever you go.”
5. Psalm 2:1-5.
V. Even though we are moving into times that will be extremely trying to all of us, these events are for our good and the good of all mankind, and of God’s creation, for He is going to lift from His creation the “bondage of corruption” that afflicts this age (Romans 8:18-21).
A. We will be protected through all of this, and we will win, but we must endure to the end. Matthew 24:13.
B. We must be confident that if He has drawn us to Him (John 6:44), and promised that He will be faithful to complete the work He has began in us (Philippians 1:6), and our names are written in the Book of Life (Revelation 3:5), that we will be raised at the seventh trumpet and rule with Him forever!