Escape to Pella

There are Brothers and Sisters in Christ who interpret the Bible in such a manner that they have come to the conclusion that the Church will go through the Tribulation. Those that believe the Church is destined for the Tribulation say that we who believe the opposite are merely seeking to escape.

Well, call me an escapist because there are many scriptures that indicate we will escape. No less authority than the Lord Jesus said, while delivering the Olivet Discourse, “Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass.” (Luke 21:36) In the Olivet Discourse Jesus was discussing signs of End Times events. The Apostle Paul spoke several times of the Church escaping God’s wrath. (First Thessalonians 1:10, First Thessalonians 5:9, Romans 5:9) The Lord Jesus in speaking of the Church at Philadelphia, which is representative of the true and faithful Church, made this promise, “Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world.” (Revelation 3:10)

In the Luke version of the Olivet Discourse the Lord warned the Christians of those days, “But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation is near. Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, let those who are in the midst of her depart, and let not those who are in the country enter her.” (Luke 21:20)

In 66 A.D. the Roman consul Cestius marched against Jerusalem and surrounded it with his army. Cestius was not a military man and made several tactical mistakes. Despairing success, he withdrew from Jerusalem. Jewish historian Flavius Josephus said, “he (Cestius) retired from the city, without any reason in the world.” This gave Christians in Jerusalem the opportunity to heed the words of Jesus and escape. And they did.

The Christian historian Eusebius wrote, “The whole body, however, of the church at Jerusalem, having been commanded by a divine revelation, given to men of approved piety there before the war, removed from the city, and dwelt at a certain town beyond the Jordan, called Pella.”

They went to Pella, which was in what is now the country of Jordan. To this day, there is a tradition among the residents of that area that First Century Christians came to Pella to escape the destruction of Jerusalem. The local residents also have a tradition that when Jesus was in the wilderness for forty days, it was in the region of Pella.

The whole church at Jerusalem escaped, because they listened to the words of Jesus. The Apostle Peter, after describing how the Lord protected Noah and rescued Lot, said, “the Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptations and to reserve the unjust under punishment for the day of judgment.” (Second Peter 2:9)

The Lord has provided several historic pictures of how He provides for His own. He provided for the Christians in Jerusalem. He is able to provide for the Christians of the Last Days. May His name be praised always!

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