Updated: Sep 15
By Doug Bell
2 Corinthians 4:
7 ¶ "But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us.
8 We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair;
9 persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed—
10 always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body.
11 For we who live are always delivered to death for Jesus’ sake, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh.
12 So then death is working in us, but life in you."
I think I understand why so many people today like the pre-TRIB (tribulation) pre- Mill (millennial) view of the book of revelations. This belief holds that at the beginning of chapter 4, the Church is raptured to Heaven. BEFORE all the nasty stuff happns! Who Wouldn't want to escape all the terrible things that are mentioned after this. BUT, is this view of 'escapism' what the Bible teaches as the normal expectation of the average Christian? I believe NOT! In fact, it is really the opposite.
35 "Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
36 As it is written:
“For Your sake we are killed all day long;
We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.”
2 ¶ "My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials,
3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.
4 But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing."
3 "Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance,
4 and endurance produces character, and character produces hope,
5 and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us."
Considerthe words we began with. Are these verses for the Apostles alone? No! We see:
10 "that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death,"
And Luke 9:
23 ¶ And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.
24 For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it.
25 For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself?
26 For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words, of him will the Son of Man be ashamed when he comes in his glory and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels."
33 “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”
No, Escapism is not what the Bible promises about the average Christian. Suffering, persecution, and tribulation are our lot. And why?
22 "and you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved.
23 When they persecute you in one town, flee to the next, for truly, I say to you, you will not have gone through all the towns of Israel before the Son of Man comes.
24 ¶ “A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a servantfn above his master.
25 It is enough for the disciple to be like his teacher, and the servant like his master. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebul, how much more will they malign those of his household."