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Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Book Review of "Why Christians Will Suffer Great Tribulation" by Joe Ortiz
Book Review by Richard Deem

Why Christians Will Suffer "Great Tribulation" is Joe Ortiz's sequel to His book, The End Times Passover, which will be reviewed separately. Mr. Ortiz makes the point that "The" Great Tribulation is actually not mentioned in the Bible. The definite article "the" is not part of Matthew's description of end times tribulation events. So, Christians will suffer great tribulation in the end times, although it will vary from the tribulation the saints have received throughout recorded history only by degree to which the saints will be persecuted. Many Bible teachers are claiming that end times Christians will escape tribulation and be raptured prior to these events (often referred to as "pre-tribulation rapture" or "pre-trib rapture"). Since Christians are not destined for wrath, why would God put us through great tribulation?

Mr. Ortiz first makes the point that Jesus told us that we would suffer tribulation and persecution because of His name. Since the original apostles were all martyred for their faith (except John), why should we expect to escape unscathed? Many examples of tribulation are described within the passages of scripture, including the tribulations of Paul, and warnings from Paul and Jesus that believers would experience tribulation. This tribulation would increase greatly immediately before the return of Jesus Christ.

Why would God put His people through tribulation at all? It is clear from the New Testament that God wants His people to testify to others of His Son, and His gift of salvation through faith in Him. Under intense persecution, early Christianity spread over much of the Middle East, western Asia, and Europe. Just prior to the return of Jesus, persecution of the saints will increase greatly, yet the gospel will be preached over the entire world. Although some of the saints will be executed for their faith, others will be brought before government authorities to witness to them. Although the suffering of tribulation seems to be bad, the Bible tells us that this tribulation produces endurance and perseverance, "so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing." Christians should be prepared to endure persecution during the end times, lest they be discouraged and fall away from the faith.

"Why Christians Will Suffer Great Tribulation" is one of the best short books on end times prophecy, and is an excellent rebuttal to the prevalent pre-tribulation rapture teaching. The text is written in an easy to read style, yet cites the relevant scriptures to back up its interpretations. The book has changed the way I look at some end times events, and has clarified my picture of the end times. It is highly recommended reading for those interested in end time's interpretations."

Mr. Richard Deem is an editor with GodAndScience.Org, an Internet web site that believes there is harmony between the Bible and science, and is also employed as a Researcher/Specialist in the Inflammatory Bowel Disease Center at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center