Intro: Today, we continue our study of what the Bible
has to say about the end of time, and the events that
will take place as God completes His great plan of the
ages. Thus far, we have considered the Rapture of the
church and the man who will be known s the Antichrist.
Today, we will be looking at a period of time known in
the Bible as "The Time Of Jacob's Trouble."
This phrase is found in Jeremiah 30:6-7. In these
verses, Jacob, or the nation of Israel, is portrayed like
a man who is about to give birth. This man is suffering
great pains and is bowed in agony. The Bible tells us
that there are no days to compare with those that Israel
must endure. However, verse 7 shows us that Israel
will be saved out of those days.
By way of introduction this morning, I would like to
share two major reasons for this time known as the
Tribulation. There are many more reasons that could
be stated, but these seem to stand out to me as some
of the more crucial.
1. To Punish The Gentile Nations - Rom. 1:18; 2
Thes. 2:12-13; Rev. 19:15. For many thousands of
years men have spurned the call of God to
repentance and salvation. During the Tribulation
Period, God will visit wicked humanity with the fruits
of their sin: divine judgment!
2. To Purge The People Of Israel - Eze. 20:37-38;
Zech. 13:8-9; Mal. 3:3. The Nation of Israel is guilty
of rejecting the Messiah and of having a part in His
death. However, God will use the terrors of the
Tribulation to prepare Israel for the return of the
Lord Jesus Christ. When Jesus returns to the earth
in power and glory, He will be met by a believing
remnant of the Jewish people.
I want to say that I will be covering some frightening
material this morning during the course of this
message. However, we need to hear these things
because there may be those people here this morning
who have never repented of their sins and believed on
the Lord Jesus Christ. These people, if Jesus returns
in their lifetime, will face many of the things we will
discuss during the course of this message.
Those of us who are saved will not be here for even
one minute of the Tribulation, but we too need to hear
about these things. We need our hearts stirred about
what the lost of this world are going to face. We need
to realize that the responsibility of reaching this world
before the Tribulation is on the shoulders of the
redeemed people of God. May the Lord use these
truths to stir the hearts of His children to action!
Now, having said all those things, I want us to spend
some time this morning in the 24th chapter of Matthew's
Gospel as we think together about The Time Of
I. V. 1-14 HOW TRIBULATION COMMENCES
(Ill. This passage is part of a sermon preached by the
Lord Jesus known as the Olivet Discourse. This
message came about as Jesus and His disciples were
at the Temple. Jesus told His disciples that the Temple
would eventually would be destroyed. This intrigued
these men and they wanted to know more details about
the end of time, vers. 1-4. In this message, Jesus tells
them some of the events that will transpire during the
course of the Tribulation. Even though these words
were spoken to the disciples, they are a message to the
nation of Israel. Even though these words are not
addressed directly to the church, there are still lessons
given here that we can learn from and grow from.) The
first half of the Tribulation will be a time of:
A. V. 5, 11 Spiritual Deception - There will be a rise
in the appearance of those claiming to be the way
of salvation. There will be many false Christ's and
false prophets during the Tribulation. However,
none power or the fame that will be enjoyed by the
Antichrist and the False Prophet, Rev. 13. The
two reprobates from Hell will deceive the world into
believing that they are literally gods and they will
demand and receive the worship of men! The
Tribulation will be a spiritual time, but it will be
marked by great deception. One of the great tools
used by the Antichrist to deceive the world will be
his ushering in a time of peace, Rev. 6:2; Daniel
(Ill. We are already seeing these things being
manifested in our times. Remember men like
David Koresh, Jim Jones, Sun Myung Moon and
many others who claim and have claimed to be
the Messiah. False prophets abound. However,
these are just the tip of the iceberg. The crazies
will crawl out of the woodwork during the
B. V. 6-13 Social Devastation - The Tribulation
period will be marked by an increase in the
instability of society. Notice these pictures that are
1. V. 6-7 This Time Will Be Marked ByDisruptions
a. There will be an increase in warfare and the
hostilities between nations, v. 6-7. The
false peace instituted by the Antichrist will
not last and will be replaced by the
devastation world war! This is made clear
in Revelation 6:4. The Rider on the Red
Horse is War!
b. There will be an increase in anti-Semitism
and persecution aimed at the Jewish
people, v. 9.Daniel 7:25 refers to this.
(Ill. Again, many of these things seem to be going
on around us this morning. For instance:
1. The world's political scene is becoming
increasingly unstable. Now, small nations ruled
by unprincipled men have nuclear capability.
Economic pressures are forcing countries to
seek the resources that belong to neighboring
nations for their very survival. The world is
poised for war!
2. There is a marked increase of hatred towards
the Jewish people in today's society. This is
profoundly clear in the attitudes of Israel's
neighbors. The Palestinians and the Arabs
would love nothing more that the total
destruction of the nation of Israel. It is also my
conviction that they will attempt this during this
first part of the Tribulation. Ezekiel 38-39
seems to indicate that the Russians will be
involved in this attempt to destroy Israel, but
the plan will fail and Israel will use the weapons
of this warfare to provide fuel for their people
for seven years, Eze. 39:9.
However, when the actual Tribulation comes to the
world, there will be an astronomical increase in
this kind of activity. The things that are transpiring
in the world today are only the first rumblings of
what is yet to appear.)
2. V. 7 This Time Will Be Marked By Desperation - According to this verse,
there will be "famine" during the
Tribulation. This is again made even
clearer by the words of the Revelation,
Rev. 6:5-6. A careful look at these verses
reveals the following:
a. The black horse speaks of death.
b. The balances refer to a careful
rationing of food.
c. A "penny" was a days wages. A
Roman penny would purchase 8
measures of wheat or 24 measures of
barley. In other words, the food
supply will be 1/8th of what it is
d. However, the rider is told not to hurt the
"oil or the wine". It appears that luxury
items enjoyed by the rich will not be
harmed. Sadly, the common man will
not be able to buy these things.
Therefore, he will starve!
(Ill. Again, we are already seeing these things
begin to take shape. We are living in the most
prosperous days this world has ever known.
However, the world has never been this
populated before. Much of the land that was
once used to grow food now has been
transformed into places for people to work and
live. Our world faces genuine food shortages.
Think about the following for just a moment.
1. One person dies from starvation or one of
its related diseases every second of every
2. This translates into 86,400 per day;
2,592,000 per month, or 31,104,000 every
3. 75% of those who die and infants and
children under that age of 5 years of age.
(Ill. That is the grace of God! Imagine that,
over 23 million precious, innocent, souls
ushered into the presence of God every
year. They died a horrible death, but they
have everlasting life!)
During the Tribulation, these things will just
grow worse and worse. Want to stay here for
3. V. 7 This Time Will Be Marked By Diseases
a. Verse 7 refers to "pestilence". This tells us
that the Tribulation Period will be a time
when diseases will run rampant among the
human family. Again, this is referred to in
the book of Revelation, Rev. 6:8. This awful
look into the future tells us that 25% of the
world's population will die at one point in
time. At present, there are over 6 billion
people in the world with a new one being
added every half-second! Every year, there
are over 78 million new births in the world!
Imagine a scene where over 1.5 billion
people died during the same terrible
tragedy. Imagine the disease that would
result because of the lack of proper burial
sites for the dead.
During World War II, 1 person out of
every 40 died. During this terrible plague, 1
out of every 4 persons will die! Just look
around and count them off in this building.
It will be terrible time!
4. V. 7 This Time Will Be Marked By Disasters -
Jesus says that there will be earthquakes and
natural disasters during these early years of
(Ill. Again, the Twentieth Century saw a dramatic
increase in the number of earthquakes. These
quakes became very intense and began to happen
in places that earthquakes usually did take place.
These things, again, are simply setting the stage
for what will happen in the future.)
5. V. 10, 12 This Time Will Be Marked ByDisobedience
(Ill. These verses seem to indicate that the
Tribulation will be marked by a total disregard
for the sanctity of life, property, or the rights of
others. This is clear by two statements.)
a. V. 10 Betrayal and Hated - These verses
seem to indicate that men in that day will
have no respect for one another. Certainly
violent crime will increase and many will die
at the hands of their fallow human.
(Ill. Of course, the population of the world is
already being trained to disregard the life
and rights of their fellow man.
When we live in a world that allows the
murder of over 55 million unborn children
every year it sends the message that life is
When we see an increase in euthanasia and
other forms of mercy killing become
accepted by the people of the world, we
know that have lost our respect for human
life. It seems that we are not too many days
removed from seeing the elderly, the
mentally handicapped and others being
exterminated to prevent them from being a
drain on society.
When the world accepts the foolish notion
that man evolved from lower life forms, that
when he dies, he is like a dog that merely
goes to the grave, it becomes easy to take
lives. If men saw one another as what they
are: unique creations, each made in the
image of God, it would prevent some men
from taking the life of another.)
b. V. 12 Wickedness and the love of sin - The
Tribulation will also see an increase in man's
attraction to and indulgence in sin. After the
church is removed at the rapture, all restraints
on society will be removed as well. No longer
will there be the presence of a people who are
filled with the Holy Ghost. No longer will there
be people on the earth who pray for society
and their neighbors. The world will continue its
slide into Hell by following sin with all the power
(Ill. Again, we can already see these things
happening all around us. A quick look at 2
Timothy 3:1-5 proves this beyond all dispute!
We live in a nation where 85% of the
population of the United States claims to be
Christian. Look at people live and tell me how
this can be!
How can that be when 62% of all Americans
believe that Bible is not totally true?
How can that be when 75% of Americans do
not believe in the existence of a personal,
How can that be when pornography earns
an estimated 14 billion dollars per year in
the US alone?
How can that be when 4 million men, every
day, visit porn sites on the Internet?
How can that be when 1.5 million unborn
babies are aborted in the country in the
name of convenience?
How can that be when the rate of pre-marital
sexual activity in the church is the same as
that of the world?
The world looks around and declares with
joy that the divorce rate is dropping. They
are right, but the reason is that the marriage
rate is dropping. People are just shacking
up and living in sin!
How can that be when 32% of professed
Christians and 64% of non-Christians say
that they consume alcohol every month?
I could go on and on with that same kind of
depressing mess, but I think the truth is evident!
Our world is going to Hell in handbasket! While it
does, it thinks all is well and good. It has a form of
godliness, but denies the power thereof. This
means people claim to be godly, but they refuse to
repent of their sins and receive Jesus into their
hearts. They refuse to allow the Lord God
Almighty to be the Lord of their lives! Our world is
already manifesting signs of the way things will be
during the Tribulation Period. However, things will
be far, far worse than this.
C. V. 14 Special Declaration - Thankfully, not all
the events of the Tribulation will be bad. During
these years, God will raise up some men who will
carry His message to the farthest ends of the
globe. This great mission will be accomplished by
two separate groups of preachers.
a. The 144,000 - Rev. 7:1-8 - God will raise up an
army of Jewish preachers that He will seal,
protect and send out to tell the world about the
Lord Jesus Christ. The world system, the devil
and the Antichrist will be powerless to stop
these men from their appointed task.
b. The Two Witnesses - Rev. 11:1-12 - These
two mystery preachers will stand at the Wailing
Wall outside the newly constructed third temple
and they will preach the Word of God. All
attempts to stop them will fail until the Lord
allows them to be slain. Their bodies will lie in
the streets of Jerusalem for 3 days while the
world celebrates their deaths. Then, they will
rise from the dead and ascend into Heaven.
(Il. Even in this dark hour that will come upon the
earth, God will have His men proclaiming His truth
to a world that desperately needs to hear it. By
the way, million will be saved by the preaching
during this period, Rev. 7:9-17. Now, if you are
not saved this morning, don't think you will wait
until these fellow start ministering to be saved.
What if you are part of that crowd that dies from
war, starvation and disease? What if you are
deceived by the devil and worship the Antichrist, 2
Thes. 2:12-13? The time for you to be saved is
right now, 2 Cor. 6:2; Isa. 55:6. Where do you
stand with God?)
I. How Tribulation Commences
II. V. 15-29 HOW TRIBULATION CONTINUES
A. V. 15a They Are Treacherous Days - This verse
refers to the Antichrist breaking his covenant with
the nation of Israel. This was prophesied by the
prophet Daniel, Daniel 9:27, and will be fulfilled
during the Tribulation Period. The Antichrist's sin
will amount to him entering the Holy of Holies in
the newly constructed Temple in Jerusalem. He
will declare himself to be God and will demand
that the world fall before him in worship. The Bible
tells us that this will most assuredly happen, Rev.
(Ill. What is it that motivates the world to give their
worship to this mad man? The Antichrist will be
assassinated, Rev. 13:3, 14. Then, before the
wondering gaze of a watching world, he will arise
from the dead. When this happens, the world will
fall at his feet in worship. It is ironic that sinners
will refuse to bow before a risen Jesus, but they
will bow before a risen devil. The reason? One
promises then everlasting life. The other
prosperity! It will be at this time that the Antichrist
institutes some sort of a marking system that must
be possessed before a person can either buy or
(Ill. Before this prophecy can be fulfilled, the
Temple must first be constructed in Jerusalem.
For many years this seemed to be an absolute
impossibility. However, recent years have seen
the rebirth of the nation of Israel, and have brought
about the real possibility of this happening in the
very near future. Friends, you can count on it!)
B. V. 16-29 They Are Terrifying Days
(Ill. These verses bring us into the second 3 ½
years of the Tribulation. They will be days of such
a horrible nature that they are almost
unbelievable. However, the things we will
encounter as we study this section of the text are
as sure to happen as anything else contained in
the Word of God. Let's take some time to look
into the truth behind the awful days.)
1. V. 16-20 Days Of Intense Persecution -
Jesus reveals to the Jews that when they see
the Antichrist claiming to be God, they are to
flee. It seems that this will usher in a period of
persecution against the nation of Israel like
nothing the world has ever seen. In fact, it will
be the goal of this mad man from hell to totally
destroy the people of God from off the earth,
Rev. 12:1-17. (Ill. The woman in this passage
is Israel, and the dragon is the devil. He has
tried for centuries to destroy the Jewish
people. He has failed! This will be his last
great effort.) Of course, the 144,000 Jewish
preachers will be unable to die. Sadly, the
same cannot be said for the rest of the human
race that falls under the Antichrist's
(Ill. Jews will find themselves traveling one of
three possible roads at this point.
1. Many Israelites will die - Zech 13:8.
2. Some will follow the Antichrist - Matt.
24:10-12; Rev. 2:9; Rev. 3:9.
3. A Remnant will be saved - Rev. 12:14;
2. V. 21 Days Of Intense Pain - In this one
verse, the Lord Jesus capsulizes one of the
most horrible times in human experience into
one verse. I would like to spend a few
minutes looking at this time in a little detail. It
seems that the tragedies I mentioned that
would occur during the first portion of the
Tribulation are going to intensify and be far
worse during this period. A little glimpse of
some of these things may be helpful to our
There will be two sets of intense judgments
that will take place during the latter half of the
Tribulation. These judgments are known
respectively as Trumpet Judgments and Vial
Judgments. Let's take a moment to look at
these terrible events.
a. The Trumpet Judgments
1. The First Trumpet - Rev. 8:7 - 1/3 of
the green vegetation on the face of the
earth is destroyed.
(Ill. This will have an impact on oxygen
levels around the world. In fact, in the
US, we have denuded our nation to the
point that we only produce about 60%
of the oxygen we consume!)
2. The Second Trumpet - Rev. 8:8-9 -
1/3 of the oceans become blood and
1/3 of the life in the sea is destroyed.
1/3 of the world's shipping is also
(Ill. Imagine the impact this will have on
world food supplies. No doubt this will
bring about even more death by
3. The Third Trumpet - Rev. 8:10-11 -
Perhaps this refers to a meteor that
falls into the water supplies and pollute
1/3 of the freshwater of the world. This
poison the water and many more
people perish in this plague.
4. The Fourth Trumpet - Rev. 8:12 -
Some even takes place in the heavens
and the sun's light is diminished by
one-third. Also, one-third of the light of
the other heavenly bodies is destroyed.
(Ill. Before the Fifth Trumpet sounds, an
angel flies through Heaven and
pronounces three woes upon the earth.
The reason? Things are about to take a
turn for the worse. Rev. 8:13.)
5. The Fifth Trumpet - Rev. 9:1-12 - The
earth is invaded by an army of demons
from the pits of Hell. The demons have
the power to torment men for 5
months. They won't kill men, but the
pain will be so intense that men will
want to die, but they will be unable to
achieve death! Hell will literally visit the
6. The Sixth Trumpet - Rev. 9:13-21 - A
demonic invasion of an army that
numbers 200,000,000. The results of
this invasion will be that 1/3 of the
human population will be destroyed.
Note: when this event is coupled with
the 4th Seal, it means that over ½ the
population of earth has been killed.
But, what is the reaction of humanity?
Rev. 9:20-21, they remain
(Ill. Notice that before these 6 judgments
are poured out on the earth, there is a time
of silence in Heaven, Rev. 8:1. It appears
that what is about to happen is so severe
that calls for a time of silence and of
mourning. All of God's judgment is
performed out of holiness and not a desire
to make men suffer! God does not like to
destroy the wicked. But, His
righteousness demands it!)
7. The Seventh Trumpet - Rev. 11:15-19 -
This trumpet announces the soon return of
the Lord Jesus. It also introduces the
seven Vial or Bowl Judgments.
b. The Vial Judgments
1. The First Vial - Rev. 16:2 - Some kind of
vile cancerous sore in poured out on
2. The Second Vial - Rev. 16:3 - The waters
of the sea are turned to blood and every
creature in the sea dies.
3. The Third Vial - Rev. 16:4-7 - The fresh
waters of the earth are turned to blood.
4. The Fourth Vial - Rev. 16:8-9 - The sun's
heat is intensified and men's bodies are
burned by the heat of the sun. Yet, with all
these torments, they do not repent!
5. The Fifth Vial - Rev. 16:10 - This plague
brings darkness and intense pain to the
inhabitant of the earth. Again so intense
that they gnaw their tongues in their pain,
yet they still refuse to repent.
6. The Sixth Vial - Rev. 16:12-14 - The
Euphrates River is dried up preparing a
pathway for the nations of the earth to
descend upon Israel for the final conflict.
7. The Seventh Vial - Rev. 16:17-21 - This
vial brings with it a terrible cataclysm in the
earth. There is an earthquake of such
magnitude that the islands of the sea sink
and all the mountains of the earth fall
down flat. On top of this, all the major
cities of the earth will be destroyed! Then,
hailstones fall from the heavens that weigh
in at around 125 pounds each.
(Ill. This is just a portion of the events that will
take place during the Tribulation. It will be a
time of unspeakable horrors and trials.
However, no one in this room should ever
have to worry about this. If you are not saved,
I challenge you to come to Jesus and be born
3. V. 23-28 Days Of Intense Personalities -
During the Tribulation, there will be many
personalities involved in the devil's work. It
will be a time of great deception. Surely,
some will be looking for a means of escape.
However, no false Christ can offer humanity
the peace and salvation that comes only
through the Lord Jesus Christ, John 14:6.
4. V. 29 Days Of Intense Presentations -
These events have already been touched on
previously. However, suffice it to say that
there will come a day when the moon will turn
to blood, the sun will be darkened and the
stars will fall from their sockets. There will be
signs in Heaven surrounding the return of the
(Ill. I remember that as a child I would hear
adults speak of these things. I remember
being terrified by them. I remember seeing
that big, red, harvest moon as it hung on top
of the hills. I remember thinking that the end
had arrived. I knew that I was lost, but I never
tried to do anything about it. Then, when I got
saved, I learned the truth. Now when I see
that red moon, I rejoice! It just reminds me
that Jesus is coming soon!)
C. V. 22 They Are Temporary Days - The Bible tells
us that, even in the midst of His wrath, God
remembers mercy. Hab. 3:2. He will accomplish
His purposes, but He will preserve the remnant of
them that love Him to the end. Even while He
judges the world, He still deals with His people in
I. How Tribulation Commences
II. How Tribulation Continues
III. V. 30-31 HOW TRIBULATION CONCLUDES
(Ill. These truths will be covered in far more detail in
later messages, but for now, I will just say a word about
each of these three things.)
A. V. 30a The Triumphant Savior's Appearing -
Verse 30 tells us that Jesus will return in great
power and glory at the end of the Tribulation
Period. When He returns, He will destroy the
Antichrist and all his followers in one moment of
time. Jesus will rule the world in an instant!
These things will be covered in more detail in just
a few weeks, but for now, you can read about
them in Rev. 19:11-14.
B. V. 30b The Terrified Sinner's Agonizing - When
the world experiences the return of Christ in glory,
they will react in terror. They have gathered their
armies together at Jerusalem to fight what is
known as the battle of Armageddon. It is at this
battle that the blood will run "to the horses
bridles", Rev. 14:20! However, the armies of the
Antichrist and of all the other armies of the world
will be destroyed with the Word of the Lord Jesus!
These people had refused to bow before Him
under grace, they refused to bow under
judgment. Now it is too late for them to bow. The
time has come for them to reap what they have
sowed. They will be judged and they will be
destroyed with the word of the Lord Jesus Christ,
Rev. 19:15-21. The Antichrist and the False
Prophet will be cast alive in the Lake of Fire and
all their followers will be obliterated in an instant
of time! Jesus will return, not as a meek Lamb,
but as the Lion of the Tribe of Judah!
C. V. 31 The Tribulation Saints Assembling - After
Jesus has returned and defeated the armies of
His enemies, He will gather together those people
who believed the preaching of the 2 witnesses
and the 144,000 Jewish preachers. They will be
gathered together and they will enter alive into the
Millennium. Again, there will be more about this
Conc: My friends, we have just touched the surface of
the events of that terrible seven year period that is to
come upon the earth. It will a time more terrible than
men can imagine. I just praise the Lord that the people
of God do not have to fear these things. Now, the
question that must be answered: Are you ready for the
return of the Lord Jesus? Are you saved and sure that
you will not be here for these terrible days? If not, you
can be, all you need to do is to come to Jesus by faith
and He will save you. If you are saved, praise the Lord!
Now, go out and share Him with a world that needs to
hear about Him and what He can do for their souls!