In Mark 4:35-41, when the disciples finally wake up the sleeping Jesus, and rather pointedly ask Him whether or not He cares if they perish in the storm at sea, Jesus counters by saying “Why are ye so fearful? How is it that ye have no faith?” Jesus is the Almighty God and Creator of the universe. Jesus cannot perish in a small boat in peril of a strong storm on a lake. The Christian church can follow Jesus anywhere, even into the dreaded tribulation for a few years if need be. Spirit-born Christians have the Holy Spirit residing inside them. Nothing on earth can overturn the Christian who is rooted and grounded in faith in Jesus Christ (Revelation 21:7). Luke 21:36 can be applied to any appropriate time during the seven-year tribulation. The fulfillment of Luke 21:36 does not have to occur before or at the beginning of Daniel’s seven-year tribulation period in order to be a blessing, a relief, and a hope-filled motivation for continued watchfulness.
The Holy Spirit, living within the Christian, is not afraid of the great tribulation. Jesus Christ securely enthroned in our hearts is not intimidated by Lucifer or the Antichrist. The Bible tells us from beginning to end that God has complete mastery over spiritual opposition. This is an extremely important concept to grasp as we approach the upcoming end-times events.
As Spirit-born Christians, if we find ourselves someday soon in the midst of Daniel’s end-times tribulation period, this means God pre-destined us for these times, and this also means we have the capacity through the power of the Holy Spirit and the mind of Christ to step up to the challenge at hand. If we find ourselves in the tribulation, Jesus Christ will be there with us.
The tribulation can therefore be alternately viewed as the opportunity for the “ordinary” Christian to become a great hero of the faith. Instead of something fearful to avoid, the Holy Spirit empowered participation for a period of time in the last great harvest of souls, amidst the tribulation, should be viewed as a privilege of inestimable value. To be chosen and called…to “be purified, and made white, and tested” according to Daniel 12:10, is no small thing in the grand expanse of the history of the saints of God. To experience the total abandonment of self-interest and self-preservation, lost through the loving outreach component of the power of the Holy Spirit like Stephen experienced before the Sanhedrin (Acts 6:15), is to become Christ-like in the penultimate demonstration of character…the sacrifice of the cross. To overcome the “accuser of our brethren” by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of our testimony, and that we loved not our lives unto the death (Revelation 12:10-11), is something that will bring victorious closure to human redemptive history that would endure for an eternity.
For Holy Spirit filled and empowered Christians during the tribulation, “ye shall be as gods” (Gen 3:5) does actually come true for human beings, but in the narrowly right way in divine loving self-sacrifice as patterned for us by Jesus Christ on the cross of Calvary. This unexpected outcome is to the eternal chagrin, consternation, and judgment of Lucifer the archangel who wanted to become god for all of the wrong reasons (Isaiah 14:12-17; Rev 12:12). God is so imaginatively creative He can bring the destructive words of the temptation in the Garden of Eden back full-circle upon Lucifer’s own head. God pouring out His divine power and grace in demonstration of self-sacrificing Christ-like love through end-times Christians would place an emphatic period at the end of the final chapter in the long story of human redemptive history.
Human efforts to create a better world are rife with failure and shortcomings. The narrative stories of faith in the Bible are the only sure examples of success having eternal benefits. When God joint-ventures with us in an adventure of faith we have the potential for large results on an unimaginable scale.
God has to initiate drastically enhanced worldwide circumstances one last time to attempt to break through the stubborn rejection of faith in Jesus Christ as Savior. For many people adversity is the only thing that brings focus to our shortcomings that leads to seeking heartfelt repentance toward God. We therefore need God to set-up the precisely targeted conditions on earth whereby the task of salvation is completed and the church becomes the light of the world. We need God’s divine help to finish the job at the end of the ages.