On Sunday night, my house became a theater of tears. My little daughters (Eden and Abigail) wailed uncontrollably for about half an hour. It had finally dawned on Eden, the older sibling, that what happened to her heroes on DayStar TV’s Torch-Lighters programme was a very real possibility for her too, in the not too distant future. Abigail ignorantly joined the wailing as she asked questions. The answers only helped to worsen the wailing!

It all began when their mother (my wife Geraldine) shared with them what she had heard me preach that morning and evening. I had taught that Jesus is returning for us in about 15 years’ time after we have suffered in The Great Tribulation. Geraldine told them that they might be killed in the Tribulation because of our faith in Jesus. Because the video “I Pledge Allegiance” by Ray Boltz was very fresh in their minds, having watched and sang it that morning, they knew that they too may suffer the tyrant’s sword. Consoling them with the hope of heaven that follows martyrdom and forever being with Jesus did not help much. Abigail, as she cried, asked me whether I will be in heaven with her after she has been killed. (Jesus was a lesser deal to her than her daddy!). She also asked – in tears – whether we would come back home from heaven. (East or West or Heaven, home in Kiwatule is the only thing that mattered to her!). However, as they went to bed, Eden who understands these issues better, prayed for all her friends that they would go through the Tribulation without falling away from faith in Jesus Christ.

It is sad that my wife made little children cry by telling them that the Great Tribulation in which they might die as martyrs awaits them. (And it is not just my wife; while Eden cried, she told me that her Sunday school teachers at church had taught her the same thing). Nevertheless, it is better for our little ones to know, and thereby be ready for the sufferings they must go through than for them to think that everything will always be rosy and therefore deny Jesus when the heat, which they never expected is turned on. It is better for them to cry now before the Tribulation (so that they ready themselves not to love their lives even to the death; Revelation 12:11), than for them to cry forever in hell.

And that is my message to you and your children. The fear of the Tribulation should prepare you for it, by causing you to build the necessary endurance now so that you will go through it until the end. When Jesus said that “He who endures to the end shall be saved” (Matthew 24:13), He meant that only those Christians who do not turn their backs on Him because of the sufferings of the Great Tribulation shall enter the kingdom of heaven.

It will not do us any good to deceive ourselves that we shall be raptured ‘outta here’ before the Tribulation. That false mindset will not prepare us for what must happen. For that reason, many will sadly depart from the faith when those terrible times come in the very near future.

Jesus categorically stated that, “Immediately after the tribulation . . . the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven . . . they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds . . . He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet . . . they will gather together His elect” (Matthew 24:29-31). This means that we are only raptured (gathered up to Jesus by the angels) after – not before – going through the Tribulation. Paul did not preach otherwise; for he said: “We must through many tribulations enter the kingdom of God” (Acts 14:22). Be ready therefore for the Tribulation and of course, most importantly, for the return of Jesus after that Tribulation.

If the prospect that the Tribulation is going to find you here makes you shed tears, consider the worse scenario of crying forever in hell because you were not prepared to endure through the Tribulation! I therefore believe that pre-Tribulation (before the Tribulation) tears are better than the eternal ones in hell. The former will get you ready to endure suffering – and God will wipe them away any way (Revelation 7:17). The latter are forever, while in hell fire where: “Their worm does not die And the fire is not quenched” (Mark 9:48).

God bless you.