Tag Archives: bible study

Dealing with Temptation

We’re often tempted to do or say unhealthy things. The temptation alone isn’t an issue. However, losing the battle in our mind by sinning or at least intending to sin (rebel against God’s ways) IS! Here’s what Jesus’ half-brother James had to say about this:

But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death. —James 1:14-15.

So, we must learn to squash temptations before they become intentions and sinful actions. But, what is temptation? It’s a strong desire, but still in the mind. So, it isn’t a problem as long as it stays there. By the way: temptation is common.

No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it. —1Corinthians 10:13.

We have the freedom to do what we ought—choose the right path and not let temptation lead to sin. We who have the Spirit of God can walk by that Spirit to ensure we don’t sin.

But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please. —Galatians 5:16-17.

Reading the Bible daily and praying and meditating all the while can help us imitate Christ as we walk in His ways and away from temptations to do bad things.

Let us behave properly as in the day, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual promiscuity and sensuality, not in strife and jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts. —Romans 13:13-14.

And, we should avoid temptations we can’t control. For instance, anyone with a weakness to gamble should stay away from places that host gaming. Have a weakness for alcohol? Stay away from friends who drink and places that sell or serve alcohol. Tempted by sexual misconduct? Stay away from media that show nudity and sex.

Finally, pray, pray, pray!

Keep watching and praying that you may not enter into temptation; the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak. —Matthew 26:41.

Next week, we’ll look at the concept of judgment by Christians.

Blessings and peace,

Ron Braley

How to Read the Bible Part V: Change!

So far, we’ve learned that regular Bible study is critical to understanding God’s nature and His desires, spiritual growth, and salvation – rescue from judgment at Christ’s future appearing. We’ve also learned techniques and tools to help us. This week, I’ll share a few approaches to reading and applying what we read to become like Christ as God intends.

First, approaches to Bible reading. Here are three ways to read or study the Bible. All three can be done at the same time.

  1. By Genre. Stuff in the Bible usually falls into one of several categories: history (e.g., the Chronicles or Kings); wisdom and poetry (e.g., Job or the Proverbs or Ecclesiastes); prophetic (e.g., Isaiah); apocalyptic (e.g., Revelation); epistles (e.g., Paul’s letters to specific churches); gospel accounts (e.g., the book of Mark, the first gospel written).
  • By Topic. We’re real people with real issues. Jesus knew this, so He addressed what his hearers needed and referred to specific scriptures (what we call the Old Testament) to accomplish His purposes. Apostles James, John, Peter, and Paul did the same. If you look for scriptures that address a specific topic or need, just make sure that you keep the original meaning using what we’ve learned (i.e., context, concordances, and commentaries).
  • By Book. Studying a single book, like the gospel according to John, can be rewarding! Again, use your tools to stay focused on the writer’s intended meanings.
  • Sequentially. Starting at Genesis and reading the entire Bible (even if it takes a year or more) can be rewarding. Begin reading sequentially and never stop! Do you know that the Israelites were required to experience the Law of God repeatedly? Why? Because we tend to forget stuff, and what’s important to us changes over time.

Second, Making it Stick! Reading for pleasure and head knowledge is one thing; living it is another! Knowledge that doesn’t move us to action is worthless to God and our fellow humans (cf., James 1:22-27; 2:14-26)! To truly be transformed as Christ-followers, we can use this process when we read or study the Bible:

  1. Read the text, perhaps a few related verses at a time.
  2. Consider what it means in its context (not what it means to us!).
  3. Assimilate the text by thinking about it (meditate) while pausing to pray for guidance in applying what you learn.

In summary, start reading and studying the Bible and don’t stop! Use your tools and don’t be afraid to seek guidance about specific life needs. To make it stick, Read, Consider, and Assimilate! Next week, we’ll begin exploring faith, hope, and love and their relationship to each other and our relationship with people and God in a new three-part series.

Blessings and peace,

Ron Braley

How to Read the Bible Part IV: Tools

By now, you may be feeling as though understanding the Bible is hopeless. Don’t fret! Tools abound! You may not be familiar with Jewish idioms or cultural influences on scriptures, but commentaries can fill you in! So you’re not a biblical Greek or Hebrew scholar. No problem! Dictionaries, interlinears, and concordances are your friends! The following are the essential tools, along with a brief description of each.

Lexicon. These are dictionaries of foreign languages that can also help bridge cultural differences between today’s world and Bible times.

Dictionary. This contains important words (e.g., people’s names, topics, etc.) found in the Bible and is based on specific translations. Many Bibles have abbreviated dictionaries in the back of the book. A Bible dictionary can help us understand historical and cultural contexts, key people and events, and the original meanings of words written in other languages such as Greek, Hebrew, and Aramaic.

Concordance. Key words in the Bible are listed alphabetically and can help locate scriptures related to them. If you can think of a word, the concordance can point you to the actual verse containing it. Strong’s Concordance is a popular version that also gives the original language wording and definition.

Interlinear. This tool is excellent for those of us who aren’t biblical Greek or Hebrew scholars! We often believe that the Bible is a word-for-word translation from original languages, which is untrue and impossible. The English language is severely limited compared to biblical Greek. For instance, our word ‘love’ must represent several different kinds of emotion or action mentioned in the Bible. An interlinear will show you the original wording alongside the English renditions so that you can see the intent of the passage.

Commentaries. Well-trained scholars write these to explain biblical texts. They inform of figures of speech, verses such as John 6:4 that have been added, and the context in which the scriptures were written. Because we are so far removed from the language, culture, and contexts of biblical writing, we should never consider doing serious Bible study without using commentaries! But here are a couple of warnings: 1. These are written by humans and, therefore, are often created through a personal religious bias; 2. Use multiple commentaries!!! No one is accurate and unbiased in everything. Using numerous commentaries will help provide a well-rounded understanding of the scriptures you’re studying.

Online Tools. Many Internet sites provide online access to Bibles, commentaries, dictionaries, concordances, lexicons, and interlinears. Here are several good choices:

https://www.e-sword.net   (excellent downloadable Bible software with commentaries and Strong’s Concordance)

https://www.blueletterbible.org

https://www.biblegateway.com

https://www.biblestudytools.com

https://biblehub.com

https://www.studylight.org/bible-study-tools.html

https://www.bibleref.com/

Next week, we’ll add one more golden nugget to this series: change our life through what we read from the Bible. That’s a good thing since we’re to be transformed into the image of Christ!

How to Read the Bible Part III: Examples

Last time, we learned several practices for giving Bible reading and studying our best shot. Here’s a quick review:

Grammar. Match personal pronouns to proper names carefully. If the text is “He …” then find out who “he” is. Does the text state “this?” What is “this?”

Literal Approach. Take Bible texts literally unless there’s a good reason to do otherwise.

Figures of Speech. Hebrew speech and writings were often very poetic and rhythmic. Sometimes, they contained figures of speech, as does English. Using a commentary can help identify these so that we don’t create prophecies or doctrines where they don’t exist.

Contexts. Keep biblical texts in its sentence, paragraph, chapter, and book. Always understand the writer, audience, purpose, and any problems addressed.

Consider the timeframe and culture. What was going on during the time of the writing? Was it meant to be a command – or just something from which you can learn?

Here are two examples of what happens when we don’t apply solid reading principles.

  1. “Where two or more are gathered, so is Jesus!” The misquote comes from taking Matthew 18:20 out of context. Matthew 18:1-9 and 15-20 deal with removing stumbling blocks to the Kingdom of Heaven and correcting Christians who insist on practicing sin. In 18:20, Jesus quotes the Old Testament requirement for multiple witnesses to a crime that requires a death sentence (Deuteronomy 17:6). Why? Any Christian practicing sin will not inherit the Kingdom of God (Galatians 5:19-21) and has earned a death sentence. Church discipline (not for punishment!) and discipleship can help keep this from happening. So, why does Jesus say “. . . I am there in their midst?” The Spirit of Christ is present whenever justice and obedience prevail.
  • “God has a special plan for my life!” The misquote is a gross and dangerous abuse of Jeremiah 29:11, where God rebukes Israel through the prophet Jeremiah. Here, God reminds her (the nation as a whole, not specific individuals!) of her role in God’s plan to reconcile the world. Why is the misquote so dangerous? While God often includes and equips people to play a part in His plan, there isn’t necessarily a ‘special plan’ for each person. Automatically thinking that there is can cause someone to lose focus of God’s desires and forget that we’re meant to be servants of Christ, not spiritual rock stars! How wasteful it can be to sit around waiting for a ‘special plan’ to unfold! What is the proper focus? Vow to serve God and ask Him to lead you to help in His mission to win back what He created.

We now know why proper study is essential, and we’ve seen multiple examples of the damage flawed study can do. Next week, I’ll give you tools to aid your quest for biblical accuracy and spiritual growth!

Blessings and peace,

Ron

How to Read the Bible Part II: How??

Last week, we learned that every Christian is responsible for growing spiritually through Bible study besides discipleship, prayer, etc. Not only that, we’re responsible for ‘getting it right.’ Putting someone else in charge of our spiritual development without our involvement is a horrible idea! So, together, we’re going to explore how to study effectively and find tools to help. To start, here are a few principles basic principles I present in greater detail in my book Finding the End of the World.

Grammar. The essential grammar-related thing to remember is to match personal pronouns to proper names carefully. If the text is “He …” then find out who “he” is. Does the text state “this?” What is “this?”

Literal Approach (when possible). Unless there’s a good reason to believe that biblical writing should be taken symbolically or ignored, keep it as written. The Bible does a great job explaining most symbols, so look before deciding that something is symbolic or that the text should be ignored or ‘spiritualized.’

Figures of Speech. I’m an end-times author, so I understand how important it is to be aware of Jewish idioms (figures of speech). A great example of careless theology is claiming, as some do, that the “budding of the fig tree” of Matthew 24:32-33 forecasts Israel’s becoming a nation in 1948. Here’s the text:

“Now learn the parable from the fig tree: when its branch has already become tender and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near; so, you too, when you see all these things, recognize that He is near, right at the door.

Jesus is just telling His and subsequent disciples that “when you see the signs I mentioned, your redemption will follow.” It’s like another saying He made in the same context (Matthew 24:28): “Where there are vultures, dead bodies are near.” In summary, it’s a “when you see this thing, you will also see that thing” idiom (saying).

Contexts. Make sure that you consider verses within paragraphs within chapters within books. Always keep text in its ‘home’ to keep the intended meaning alive. And, answer these fundamental questions:

“Who is the author?”

“Who is the intended audience?”

“What was the author’s purpose in writing?”

“If addressing a problem, what was it?”

Consider the timeframe and culture. And, remember that some biblical text is prescriptive (e.g., a commandment – something you must do). Some text is descriptive, something that may not apply to you (as in descriptions of cultural challenges Paul often addressed in letters, biblical histories, etc.). We can sometimes benefit from using descriptive stuff, though.

In summary, be diligent Bible detectives through proper techniques, watching for symbols and figures of speech, and keeping contexts. Why? To understand the single, intended meaning (one meaning, many possible applications!). Next week, we’ll continue our journey by exploring examples of theology-gone-bad through flawed Bible study.

Blessings and peace,

Ron Braley

How to Read the Bible Part I: Why??

Each Christian can benefit from basic instruction for reading the Bible. Sure, we can read it at a high level and understand most simple messages. For instance, God’s desire to reconcile His creation through Israel and then Jesus is understandable. He loves the world, so He gave. Jesus’ mandate to respond with the same kind of love through obedient charity and personal purity is also pretty straight-forward. However, many messages can be challenging without essential guidance. Reading alone isn’t always enough, though – the texts are often meant to transform us through meditation and application. So, why should we care?

First, we need help in understanding the meanings and applications of things written thousands of years ago. Also, biblical texts in the form of poetry, histories, proverbial wisdom, and instructional letters were often written to or for particular people in a specific place for a unique reason. For instance, the apostle Paul wrote several letters to solve specific problems in particular churches. We’re not those people, and we’re far removed in language, culture, politics, and geography. We may not have been the original intended recipients, but we get a good shot of understanding the author’s intended messages if we use a few basic tools, which I’ll give you starting next week.

Second, we’re responsible for understanding biblical messages – especially if we pass on what we may think we know to others. Be careful: there’s a massive penalty for anyone who teaches anything other than God’s truths, even if out of ignorance (e.g., 2 Peter 2)!

Third, we can’t be what we don’t learn and internalize. In other words, we’re called to imitate Christ and reproduce that image in others through discipleship and godly living. We must become Christ in our communities. The process requires (1) learning truth through reading the Bible aided by tools such as commentaries, a concordance, or a theological dictionary and through illumination by God’s Spirit, (2) meditating on what we learn, (3) applying what we’ve taken in so that it becomes a part of us. Learning can also be aided by applying fundamental concepts such as using sound grammar principles to ‘follow the theological breadcrumbs,’ considering author, audience, and purpose, and thinking about the scriptures’ context.

Next week, I’ll begin giving the techniques I promised and will provide some very provocative examples of how carelessness has resulted in many rotten Christian understandings and sayings. We’ll unmask “Where two or more are gathered . . .” and “God has a special plan for my life . . .” And, you’ll learn about idioms (cultural sayings) and how not to turn them into the religious stuff.

Oh – here’s your first golden nugget of biblical truth: There’s only one meaning to a text but often multiple possible applications. Tune in next week for Part II: How??

Questions or comments? Email publisher@taylorpress.net.

Blessings and peace,

Ron Braley

Soul Food, Anyone?

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!” resonates with those of us who understand the value of caring for what we value from home and car maintenance to finances. Care of the ‘soul’ should get no less attention and upkeep; spiritual formation points us in the right direction and can help us remain healthy in body, soul, and mind.

Because I understand the soul represents what the spirit doesn’t (e.g. body, mind, intent, etc.,) spiritual formation (soul-care) makes perfect sense to me as the ounce of prevention needed to be faithful, obedient, and healthy. The lack of attention to relative formation elements introduces the risk of stress, anxiety, poor physical and mental/emotional health, and limited or non-existent faith – all of which can become roadblocks to spiritual effectiveness!

Here are a few standard disciplines related to spiritual formation and the reduction of the risks I just mentioned:

  • Bible Study & Prayer. The Bible makes clear that our faith (belief/confidence) is formed largely through exposure to the Scriptures (e.g. Romans 10:17; 2Timothy 3:16-17). The learning provides boundaries and guidance, builds our ability to follow, and reduces the chances of deception (cf. Colossians 2:7-8). Most Christians (more than 98%, statistically) don’t read the Bible regularly. And, although prayer is our communication with God through the Spirit, we don’t do that regularly or effectively either. Setting aside at least one period each day (ideally at the same time) for prayer and Bible study will allow us to ‘renew our minds’, avoid deceptions (g., equip to train others, and petition or thank our God.
  • Physical Exercise. Physical exercise reduces stress and illness. And, the better we feel, the more efficient we’ll likely be in our walk as Jesus’ followers. A regiment of at least 30 minutes or so several times a week in some cardio and physical exercise would be an excellent start.
  • Mental Exercise. The brain needs stimulus too. Engaging in educational pursuits, intelligent conversations or debates, reading, etc. will help keep you mentally healthy and productive in your work, play, and witness.
  • Financial Stewardship. Financial problems provide much stress and distraction from important and healthy pursuits. Stress over financial trouble strains relationships and physical health alike. God calls us to be good financial stewards as shown by the Bible throughout the Old and New Testaments (e.g. Psalms 37:21; Proverbs 22:7 & 26; Matthew 25:27; Luke 20:20-25; Romans 13:8). Following biblical advice will aid greatly in keeping us healthy and financially stable.
  • Relationship Maintenance. Finally, we’re social creatures and must maintain our relationships to reduce stress and loneliness. Relationships are also critical to our ability to evangelize and disciple others. Therefore, we should make time to maintain our connections to family and friends.

In conclusion, my challenge to all followers of our Christ is that we continually engage in spiritual formation – ‘soul care’ – to ensure we’re active participants in our covenant with God.

Blessings,

rb

On the Last Day . . .

As revealed in the last blog, an end to this age and judgment are coming! There’s no point in sugar-coating the basic truth regarding how things will end, and of the salvation God has offered from His judgment to come:

  • Jesus came to save the lost and accomplish the will of His Father: reconcile with His creation.

This is the will of Him who sent Me, that of all that He has given Me I lose nothing, but raise it up on the last day. For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life, and I Myself will raise him up on the last day.” —John 6:30-40.

Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. —2Corinthians 5:18-20.

He has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death, in order to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach —Colossians 1:22.

  • All will be raised in the last day: some for punishment via hell, prepared for all disobedient spiritual beings; others for reward and eternal life as they’re reconciled with their creator.

Now at that time Michael, the great prince who stands guard over the sons of your people, will arise. And there will be a time of distress such as never occurred since there was a nation until that time; and at that time your people, everyone who is found written in the book, will be rescued. Many of those who sleep in the dust of the ground will awake, these to everlasting life, but the others to disgrace and everlasting contempt. Those who have insight will shine brightly like the brightness of the expanse of heaven, and those who lead the many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever. —Daniel 12:1-3.

 “He who rejects Me and does not receive My sayings, has one who judges him; the word I spoke is what will judge him at the last day.” —John 12:48.

Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat upon it, from whose presence earth and heaven fled away, and no place was found for them. And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged from the things which were written in the books, according to their deeds. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead which were in them; and they were judged, every one of them according to their deeds. Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire. —Revelation 20:11-15.

  • After the last day, The Father of Spirits (as He’s referred to by the writer of Hebrews) will destroy the old creation and usher in a new heaven and earth. At that time, He will dwell amongst those rewarded for their faithfulness. They will be His people, and He will be their God.

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them, and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.” —Revelation 21:1-4.

Where will you be on the last day . . . or the day after?

Keep an eye out for “Finding Answers to Stuff Churches Don’t Discuss!” scheduled for a mid-2015 publication. There, you’ll find roughly 60 topics related to daily life (such as sex, religion, finances, tattooing, and everything in between!) along with practical application of God’s guidance for navigating those difficult waters!

And, for a very comprehensive and detailed study of the very important topic of God’s judgment to come and being rescued from it, feel free to read my 2011 guide titled, “Finding the End of the World” available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and from www.ronbraley.com in paper and e-book formats. In the guide, you’ll find roughly 500 pages of building blocks to help you do your own complete and unbiased study based on Scripture and history!

The “A-B-C’s” of the End of the World (Originally “It’s the Final Countdown”

According to Jesus, the “end of the age” will be the conclusion of this current age – era or world – with the Great Judgment and the creation of a new heaven and earth. According to the apostle Paul, we’re already in the “last days” leading up to the end.

The final countdown to the grand finale of our world as we know it has begun and the clock’s ticking is getting louder as we see signs of the times and anticipate the conclusion of God’s creation in its current form. A glimpse of what’s to come:

  • Increase in the frequency and intensity of false saviors, wars, and earthquakes & famine/financial disaster.
  • An evil authority we call the Antichrist and an agreement with Israel, kicking off a final seven-year epoch.
  • Breaking the agreement in the middle followed by a three-and-a-half-year reign of terror like never seen before or again.
  • Jesus’ highly-anticipated appearing and the gathering of the spirits of those who are His, and the wrath of God against the rest of the world.
  • The 1,000-year reign of Jesus following God’s incredible wrath.
  • Destruction of Satan and final judgment.
  • God’s new and never-ending heaven and earth.

Looking for guidance? Many man-made theories propped up by a few, specific Biblical verses (usually taken out of context) abound.  So, find out for yourself!  Here’s how to begin:

  1. Read Matthew chapters 24 and 25 together.
  2. Read Revelation chapter 6. There, you’ll see that the signs revealed by Jesus to John in about 90 AD in a vision match what He told His disciples on the Mt. of Olives decades earlier as recorded in Matthew 24 up to the appearing of our Lord at the future, complete darkening of the sun, moon, and stars.
  3. Compare what you read in Matthew 24 and 25  to the entire book of Revelation. You’ll find corroboration between the two and a sequence resembling that given here.
  4. Look for unbiased and complete studies such as my “Finding the End of the World” (available on Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble, and ronbraley.com) to broaden your knowledge and faith.

Remember: a countdown is no good if you don’t know when it began or what time it is!

Keep an eye out for “Finding Answers to Stuff Churches Don’t Discuss!” scheduled for a mid-2015 publication. There, you’ll find roughly 60 topics related to daily life (such as sex, religion, finances, tattooing, and everything in between!) along with practical application of God’s guidance for navigating those difficult waters!

And, for a very comprehensive and detailed study of the very important topic of God’s judgment to come and being rescued from it, feel free to read my 2011 guide titled, “Finding the End of the World” available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and from www.ronbraley.com in paper and e-book formats. In the guide, you’ll find roughly 500 pages of building blocks to help you do your own complete and unbiased study based on Scripture and history!

Apocalyptic Misquotes . . . Part XI: “Jesus can’t come back until we evangelize the world!”

Misquote: Jesus can’t come back until we evangelize the world!” This is based on taking Matthew 24:14 out of context and without consideration of its collaborating text in the Revelation given by the very Jesus that spoke of this topic to His disciples while He was on earth.

I’m intrigued that churches propagating this false doctrine will also tout a contradicting ‘imminent return’ doctrine that claims Jesus can come back at any moment . . . (please see my earlier blog titled, “Jesus can come back at any moment!” for more information). Claiming that Jesus must rely on mankind for the timing of His return (which is actually determined by God the Father!) is certainly contradictory to an ‘imminent return’ position!

Additionally, evangelizing every human on planet earth from the time of Jesus until the end would be quite impossible. I’ve heard many interesting theories about how we can do this today with the Internet or radio as some people try to rationalize a position where we dictate the timing of Jesus’ return to earth; however, our present day is just a bump in the long road from Jesus’ time until the very end. The fact remains that there’s no way every man, woman, and child from Jesus’ time until the end of all time could’ve been, or can be, evangelized.

Whether it could happen is irrelevant anyway. Consider the verse in its context and what you’ll learn is that the preaching of the Gospel to the entire world will be one step in an end-times sequence just before, and leading up to, Jesus’ return and our gathering.

Here’s the abused verse and its context of Matthew 24:3-31 (similar to Mark 13:4-27 and Luke 21:7-28).

Verse 3-8 (from Jesus’ time until just before the end): As He was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things happen, and what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?” And Jesus answered and said to them, “See to it that no one misleads you. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will mislead many. You will be hearing of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not frightened, for those things must take place, but that is not yet the end. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and in various places there will be famines and earthquakes. But all these things are merely the beginning of birth pangs. [compare to the events revealed by the breaking of seals 1-3 in Revelation Chapter 6]

Verses 9-13 (introduction to the Great Tribulation that will come at the end): “Then they will deliver you to tribulation, and will kill you, and you will be hated by all nations because of My name. At that time many will fall away and will betray one another and hate one another. Many false prophets will arise and will mislead many. Because lawlessness is increased, most people’s love will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end, he will be saved.

Verse 14 (this is the verse taken out of its context): “This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come.” [see Revelation 14:6 for a reiteration of this ‘preaching of the Gospel’ that will happen just before the gathering of Jesus’ followers and the wrath of God on all who are left on earth]

Verses 15-26 (more about the Great Tribulation that will occur just before Jesus returns to gather His own for the marriage supper in heaven):Therefore when you see the ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION which was spoken of through Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place . . .  For then there will be a great tribulation, such as has not occurred since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever will. Unless those days had been cut short, no life would have been saved; but for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short. . . . [the persecution and death here are reiterated by Jesus in the events of the 4th and 5th seals of Revelation Chapter 6]

Verses 27-31 (the ending of the Great Tribulation with a complete darkening and the gathering of Jesus’ own): “For just as the lightning comes from the east and flashes even to the west, so will the coming of the Son of Man be. But 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 the sky, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. And then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the SON OF MAN COMING ON THE CLOUDS OF THE SKY with power and great glory. And He will send forth His angels with A GREAT TRUMPET and THEY WILL GATHER TOGETHER His elect from the four winds, from one end of the sky to the other. [this darkening at the end of the Great Tribulation and at the time of our gathering is reiterated by Jesus in the event of the breaking of the 6th seal of Revelation Chapter 6]

In summary, the preaching of the Gospel Jesus refers to will be done by heavenly messengers at a very specific point in the last days as the Great Tribulation of the Antichrist is brought to a close and the wrath of God is about to begin. It will be a last chance for repentance.

But . . . remember that Jesus commanded us to tell others about the good news of salvation – God’s grace that offers us a way out of the judgment to come. After all: How will they hear if we don’t tell them?

For a very comprehensive and detailed study of this very important topic, feel free to read my 2011 guide titled, “Finding the End of the World” available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and from www.ronbraley.com in paper and e-book formats. In the guide, you’ll find roughly 500 pages of building blocks to help you do your own complete and unbiased study based on Scripture and history!