I don’t remember when I became interested in studying “end times.” I always had a faint idea that some day Jesus would come back and be our King. Our daughter was interested in learning about the end of the world when she was in 7th grade. So a schoolteacher friend from church explained to her that Jesus wins. She seemed satisfied with this explanation. We made no attempt to understand the prophesies until many years later in a home Bible study. We studied Revelation. It made no sense to me.
But now with worldwide upheaval due to war, increase in wickedness, natural disasters, persecution, false prophets, secularism, loss of faith for many, I believe that we really are in the end times.
With the opportunity to study Revelation with Bible Study Fellowship this year my eyes and heart have been opened by God to understand more of what is happening in the scripture and thus in the world.
I believe that God is leading the U.S. off of the global stage. When we are no longer a "Christian" nation it will be easier for the antichrist to take over. God is putting everything in place for the final judgment of those who have not repented of their sins.
However, God delays and delays again and again to give time to those who have not yet believed in the Lord Jesus Christ.
When I began this study I was a Pre-Tribulationist because of what 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 says--16 For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord.
Sounds to me that there are clouds involved and those in Christ will meet Jesus in the air. I would call that “rapture.”
But then in Revelation 9 we see believers on the earth while God pours out judgment on 1/3 of the earth and on the people who do not believe.
Revelation 9: 4 They were told not to harm the grass of the earth or any green plant or any tree, but only those people who do not have the seal of God on their foreheads.
So there are believers on the earth at the time of that judgment.
Next in our study of Revelation 14 and 15 we don’t see any believers on the earth. We see those who have been victorious over the beast and his image and over the number of his name standing by a sea of glass mingled with fire. The judgment of the whole earth is about to be poured out. So apparently all the believers have been transported to heaven by then.
Believers may or may not go through the tribulation. From Revelation 14 and 15 I believe it is possible that the believers will go through part of the tribulation. So then if I believe this I would be a Mid-Tribulationist.
The most important thing Christians can do is pray that all those who have accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior will study the Bible and become more in love with Jesus, walk in His way, and live as lights in the society for what little time is left until the end of the world.