Where Is It Safe?
There is an old saying, "No one is going to make it out of this life alive." Sooner or later, one way or another, everyone's physical life is going to come to an end - the only difference is how and when. Some are more fortunate, for example dying peacefully in their sleep after a good, long life, while billions of others have died painful, and even violent deaths - as did Jesus Christ Himself (see How Did Jesus Christ Die?). Death is unavoidable, as God intended (see The Quick and The Dead) - the best that we can reasonably do is to avoid "the end" as long as we can, according to God's will, while living our lives as normally as possible - just as people have always done through humanity's stormy history. As another old saying goes, "A coward dies a thousand deaths, a brave man but one."
Yes, Tribulation Is Coming
God's people were, and are, simultaneously at a great advantage, through His blessings and protection, and a great disadvantage, through the persecution that "Satan's world" (see The Lame Duck) has always brought upon them - and which will be most severe at the time prior to Christ's return:
"Then they will deliver you up to tribulation, and put you to death; and you will be hated by all nations for My name's sake. And then many will fall away, and betray one another, and hate one another. And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. And because wickedness is multiplied, most men's love will grow cold. But he who endures to the end will be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached throughout the whole world, as a testimony to all nations [see The Two Witnesses]; and then the end will come. So when you see the desolating sacrilege spoken of by the prophet Daniel [see Daniel's Statue], standing in the holy place [see The Abomination of Desolation], let the reader understand, then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains." (Matthew 24:9-16 RSV)
"Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken [see Signs In The Heavens]; then will appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory [see The Return Of Jesus Christ]; and He will send out His angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather His elect from the four winds." (Matthew 24:29-31 RSV)
Note from the above verses that:
- Some people, in specific places, should get out of there, when certain things are seen to be happening.
- The Elect will not be all in one "place of safety" during the tribulation prior to the resurrection at Christ's return ("For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the archangel's call, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first; then we who are alive, who are left, shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air" - 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 RSV), otherwise they would not be gathered "from the four winds."
Some Protected, Some Not
Some of God's true people will be protected, others will not. Those who will not be protected from martyrdom will not suffer because of some sort of punishment from God upon them. As the Scriptures below make plain, they are "those who keep the Commandments of God and bear testimony to Jesus." They will be faithful and obedient witnesses of the truth - and they will lose their lives directly because of it. The two greatest servants of God of that time will be the two witnesses, who are not going to run and hide from anything (see Down Without A Fight?).
"And when the dragon [see That Old Serpent] saw that he had been thrown down to the earth, he pursued the woman who had borne the male child. But the woman was given the two wings of the great eagle that she might fly from the serpent into the wilderness, to the place where she is to be nourished for a time, and times, and half a time. The serpent poured water like a river out of his mouth after the woman, to sweep her away with the flood. But the earth came to the help of the woman, and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed the river which the dragon had poured from his mouth. Then the dragon was angry with the woman, and went off to make war on the rest of her offspring, on those who keep the commandments of God [see The Ten Commandments and
The Ten Commandments Now?] and bear testimony to Jesus [see Jesus Christ and The Way]." (Revelation 12:13-17 RSV)
"As I looked, this horn made war with the saints [see The Great False Prophet and The Two Beasts], and prevailed over them, until the Ancient of Days came, and judgment was given for the saints of the Most High, and the time came when the saints [see What Is A Saint?] received the kingdom [see The Kingdom of God]." (Daniel 7:21-22 RSV)
God Can Protect His People Wherever They Are
"He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High, who abides in the shadow of The Almighty, will say to The Lord, "My refuge and my fortress; my God, in Whom I trust." For He will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence; He will cover you with His pinions, and under His wings you will find refuge; His faithfulness is a shield and buckler. You will not fear the terror of the night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in darkness, nor the destruction that wastes at noonday. A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand; but it will not come near you. You will only look with your eyes and see the recompense of the wicked. Because you have made The Lord your refuge, the Most High your habitation, no evil shall befall you, no scourge come near your tent. For He will give his angels charge of you to guard you in all your ways." (Psalm 91:1-11 RSV)
"For I will pass through the land of Egypt that night, and I will smite all the first-born in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and on all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgments: I am The Lord. The blood shall be a sign for you, upon the houses where you are; and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and no plague shall fall upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt." (Exodus 12:12-13 RSV)
Note: That blood of the Exodus Passover lamb is especially significant when one realizes that it was the future "Lamb of God" Who brought the Israelites out of Egypt - see Rock Of Ages.
"But The Lord has become my stronghold, and my God the rock of my refuge. He will bring back on them their iniquity and wipe them out for their wickedness; The Lord our God will wipe them out." (Psalm 94:22-23 RSV)
"The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: He leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for His name's sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for Thou art with me; Thy rod and Thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: Thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of The Lord for ever." (Psalm 23:1-6 KJV)
The Bottom Line - God Is Your Place Of Safety
Obey God, do what is right according to God's Word, and you may be protected. But even if you find yourself among those left to face persecution, and even martyrdom, in the end time, keep in mind that the physical life of humans was designed to be temporary, and when the day comes, as it does for everyone one way or another, there is no more honorable way to go than in the service of Almighty God - Who has the power to resurrect His faithful ones to glorious eternal life, and to destroy the wicked in the lake of fire.
"And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather fear Him who can destroy both soul and body in hell." (Matthew 10:28 RSV)
"He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it." (Matthew 10:39 RSV)
Fact Finder: Does God allow His people to be subjected to more than they are able to bear?
1 Corinthians 10:13
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