We saw in Part 1 that it’s the attitude that makes all the difference. God will save the righteous, the ones who are willing to sacrifice and the ones who aren’t in it to save their own hides. God will save the ones who exhibit brotherly love, which doesn’t mean slapping a label on oneself does any good.
However, in the end, what will God save them from?
Keep in mind that we are promised persecution. We are promised that people will kill us and think they are doing it for God. We are promised that Satan will hunt us down to kill us. So, save us from what?
Do I believe in a Place of Safety? Actually, I do. However, I want to point out this Scripture before we get too far along:
9He who has an ear, let him hear.
10If anyone is to go into captivity,
into captivity he will go.
If anyone is to be killed[a] with the sword,
with the sword he will be killed. This calls for patient endurance and faithfulness on the part of the saints.
~ Rev 13:19-10 (NIV)
If you notice the footnote, there is a discrepancy about how this verse should be rendered. However, I believe the context justifies the above translation. Otherwise, why would there be any need for “patient endurance” of the saints if it simply says that what goes around comes around?
What does this mean?
It means just what it says! No need to read into the text. If you are slotted to be killed, you will be killed. If you are slotted to be imprisoned, you will be imprisoned.
9But take heed to yourselves: for they shall deliver you up to councils; and in the synagogues ye shall be beaten: and ye shall be brought before rulers and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them.
10And the gospel must first be published among all nations.
11But when they shall lead you, and deliver you up, take no thought beforehand what ye shall speak, neither do ye premeditate: but whatsoever shall be given you in that hour, that speak ye: for it is not ye that speak, but the Holy Ghost.
12Now the brother shall betray the brother to death, and the father the son; and children shall rise up against their parents, and shall cause them to be put to death. (Mark 13:9-12, King James Version)
It really should be considered an honor to be killed for the Kingdom’s sake!
Consider that the Apostles weren’t given a Place of Safety! All were killed except John, who probably died in prison. And, I should add, prison in those days was not like how we think about them today!
So, really then, why all of the fuss over a Place of Safety? It really keeps coming back to human nature and the desire to save one’s own skin.
However, I do believe some will go to a Place of Safety. I really and truly hope it is the elderly and very young of believers.
Regardless, I want you consider how God pictures His dealings with the world. There is much rich typology throughout the account of the Exodus and subsequent wanderings in the wilderness of the Children of Israel.
I want you to consider the plagues of Egypt. The first 3, turning the Nile into blood, the frogs and the lice, were against all of Egypt. Each plague turned up the heat a bit. The 3rd plague could not be reproduced by the magicians.
However, notice the 4th plague something different begins to occur:
20And the LORD said unto Moses, Rise up early in the morning, and stand before Pharaoh; lo, he cometh forth to the water; and say unto him, Thus saith the LORD, Let my people go, that they may serve me.
21Else, if thou wilt not let my people go, behold, I will send swarms of flies upon thee, and upon thy servants, and upon thy people, and into thy houses: and the houses of the Egyptians shall be full of swarms of flies, and also the ground whereon they are.
22And I will sever in that day the land of Goshen, in which my people dwell, that no swarms of flies shall be there; to the end thou mayest know that I am the LORD in the midst of the earth.
The Israelites were not separated off until the 4th plague!
We know that the Great Tribulation lasts 3-1/2 years. Yet, we seem to conveniently forget that there is a time simply called the tribulation leading up to it! How many plagues will lead up to it? How many Christians will be killed before we even get to it? Imprisoned? Chased off into hiding? The answer is we don’t know!
There may be some that are sitting in God’s church week after week hoping to save their own hides when the nasty truth is that the majority of God’s people may not live long enough to get to a Place of Safety!
Who is of more worth?
9And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held:
10And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?
11And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled. (Revelation 6:9-11, King James Version)
Which is of more honor? To give a testimony for Jesus Christ or to be stuck on a rock in the middle of nowhere? To die for a cause or to be whisked away into obscurity?
14And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent.
15And the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood.
16And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth.
17And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ. (Revelation 12:14-17, King James Version)
So, who are these people that are carried off for 3-1/2 years, and who are the “remnant”? We simply are not told. However, I do have something for you to consider.
There is only one other place I know of where the earth opened up to do God’s will.
10And the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed them up together with Korah, when that company died, what time the fire devoured two hundred and fifty men: and they became a sign.
I want you to consider how it states that the children were left (it isn’t clear that the women were left, but the context suggests that is the case). In several places, God shows Himself to be a defender of the defenseless. How much more when it is children of believers?
And, while I’m at it, wouldn’t that be what a true Philadelphian would want?