The antichrist will be the most powerful and evil ruler that the world has ever known. He will be responsible for great acts of cruelty, especially towards Godís people (Daniel 11:31-35; Mark 13:9-20). He will force some of them to leave their homes (Hebrews 11:37-38); he will murder many of them. They will suffer much. However, he can only hurt and kill their bodies; he will have no power over their spirits (Matthew 10:28). During their lives, God will help them (12:14-16). When they die, they will go to be with God in heaven. So, even in this terrible situation, God will be looking after his people.
God knows the people who truly belong to him (John 10:14). Even before he created the world, he chose them to be his children (Ephesians 1:4). He wrote their names in his book (Daniel 12:1). That book is a register of the names of all the people who will be citizens of the New Jerusalem (Hebrews 12:23).
God made that possible by the death of Christ, here called the Lamb. Like the lambs (young sheep) that people offered to God in the temple (Godís house), Christ died for the sins (evil deeds) of other people (John 1:29; Isaiah 53:4-7). He died so that God could forgive his people. As Godís people, they are now under Godís protection (Psalm 91). Their bodies will be in great danger, but their spirits are safe.
God is looking after his people, so his people must show endurance and faith. People sometimes translate endurance as patience but it means more than just to wait. Someone with endurance stands firm during his troubles, so that those troubles cannot disturb his relationship with God. Faith means that a person trusts God loyally during his troubles (Hebrews 10:35-39). That is how Godís people will live during their greatest troubles (Habakkuk 2:4).
Next part: The false prophet appears (Revelation 13:11)
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© 2016, Keith Simons.