Gen--thanks for that response and I couldn't agree more. I forgot about the one world govt. stuff and the currency.
I wanted to add a little more to complete my thoughts.
We, the believers, must be transformed and conformed into the same image of Him. We will eventually be His bride. Christ cannot marry someone who does not match Him in life and nature. Some of us have to mature, grow in Christ, to become His bride to enter into the wedding feast.
For clarity sake...we do not marry out of our species because we don't match in life and nature. Likewise we do not marry children (except in cultures who do give their young teenage girls up to marry men). But in general, adults marry adults because we want someone who matches us.
Continuing on...we all need to mature and be transformed. The question is will it be now or later? I choose now, at least I tell the Lord that because I don't want to go through the tribulation.
1 Cor 3 There is a reward depending on the materials you use for building. I look at it as if i don't have the Lord as my source, or I waste my talent (Matt 25), or I don't get my vessel (meaning me) filled with the Holy Spirit (Matt 25), then I won't receive the reward and I have to stay longer to be transformed probably going through the great tribulation. I think of it like going to summer school because of bad grades through the year.
However, it's not all about me trying to avoid the tribulation because I just don't know if I will avoid it anyway. I really want the Lord to return. What is He waiting for anyway???!!! He's been waiting 2000 years now. What is going to bring Him back?
I believe it is His bride. We have to make ourselves ready by loving Him, pursuing Him, turning to Him daily. I think He is waiting for His bride. On the other hand, He is wooing and courting us and calling us day by day if only we would respond to Him.
Precious stones are made by heat and pressure. A diamond is made by heat and pressure. We are earthen vessels, but we have a treasure in our earthen vessels (2 Cor 4:7), which is Christ. But our being transformed and conformed into the same image has everything to do with heat and pressure coming from our environment. The suffering that we go through in our daily life need not be in vain, rather it is for us to gain Christ in order to make us precious stones, good for the building up of the body of Christ. The great tribulation will be for this purpose, as well, to gain Christ.
Eventually we will have gained Christ to the extent that we are saturated and permeated with Him even into our physical bodies. Glorification, God saturating us to the point of exploding (can't think of a better word) or being fully expressed through us. The Lord will return on a cloud and also He is coming back through us and out of us.
I believe during the great tribulation there will be believers who need further transformation as well as unbelievers. I also believe there are some believers who will be rewarded and escape the great trib to be in the wedding feast. In the end, all believers will be a part of the New Jerusalem (meaning be organically joined to God for eternity, or be in heaven as most people say).
Sorry if this is all disjointed. I had trouble making my thoughts flow.
But anyway, what matters to the Lord is our response to Him. He's calling us and loving us and we just need to say, I love You, Lord, and I am here for You. I am a big failure, but I am here if You want to use me for the building up of your body.
I can't stress enough that all God has to work with is us sinners. I mean in us humans, He doesn't have some good material to start with for His building because we are all natural, fallen sinners. It's the Christ growing in us that is the good material for His building. This is why growing in Christ is the key, rather than trying to be a good Christian person. We can be good, good, good people, but void of Christ, it means nothing. Lots of unbelievers are excellent people, and I would say much better than me, a believer for 10 years. But void of Christ, all of that goodness is going into the lake of fire. It is simply not the material with which God builds His body...it's got to be Christ. I am also talking about all of our good works as believers. If the source is our self, then it is natural, and will be burned up in the lake of fire. We will not perish. Our salvation is secure. See 1 Cor 3. However, wood, grass and stubble represents our natural man, our building with our self as our source. Gold, silver and precious stones represent building with Christ as our source.
May the Lord have mercy on us all. Sorry, too long. Thanks for sticking with me if you read this far!