I remember seeing my mother sew a pouch in my father’s long johns with their life’s savings in it, when news of bank failure came many years ago. My father went to work carrying a shotgun. Why was all of this necessary? Are we talking about the good old United States of America?
The peaceful town we lived in had become a place of fear. The reason: we were the subject of jealously and hatred was because my father had one of the few jobs in town. People were suspicious of each other and there was some violence. The situation called for self-preservation. This was the beginning of the Great Depression, which was to last for nearly a decade and would dramatically change our country. During the ensuing years the U.S. was to take a giant step backward when it came to personal behavior, family unity and an honest interest in self-preservation. The interesting thing is, that piece of history is going to be repeated in many of our lifetimes by troubles on the horizon, described by the Bible as the Great Tribulation and the great Day of the Lord.
The Bible reveals this in Matthew 24, in what is called the Olivet Prophecy. Christ gave this prophecy to His disciples, and explained it to them in detail. He talked about the events of the end time—wars, famines, pestilences and earthquakes. These will happen over time and become very intense. Jesus states, “Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My Name’s sake” (v. 9). He goes on to explain the effect this will have on human relationships: “And because lawlessness will abound, the love of may will grow cold” (v. 12). Now if this is going to happen to future disciples of Christ, it is going to happen to everyone. The Bible has many references to the coming tribulation and what it will be like—and why.
In Daniel 12:1 we see one of these references: “At that time shall Michael stand up, The great prince who stands watch over the sons of your people; and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation, even to that time. And at that time your people shall be delivered.” There are other references in the Old and New Testaments about a time when everyone is going to experience the hardships of a world in trouble: food shortage, war and ultimately the end of civilization.
However, the Bible also promises a Deliverer (Romans 11:26-27). Jesus Christ will return and not only redeem the remnants of Israel’s descendants (including the English speaking peoples) but will straighten the whole world out (Revelation 19:14-16; Revelation 21:3-5). Jesus Christ and His disciples referred to this time as “the Kingdom of God” (Matthew 6:33; Mark 1:14; Luke 4:43; John 3:5; Acts 14:22).
If a person is alert and not too deeply engaged in this present evil society, they might see that distress and upheaval are coming. Many live in denial, and choose not to acknowledge that hard times will become worse times, but one thing is certain from the Bible: it is going to require more to survive than protecting your money and carrying a shotgun (Matthew 24:22).
In Ezekiel chapter 5, the prophet describes how one third of the modern descendants of ancient Israel will die of the troubles, one third will be affected by war, and one third will be scattered—and that God would bring these calamities as part of His wrath on their disobedience. The Great Depression never came close, but it left us with a glimpse of things to come.
If you would like to know more about how to truly prepare, order our free booklet Armageddon and Beyond and Revelation: the Mystery Unveiled! Do not delay—your future depends on understanding God’s plan for the times just ahead.