Who Will Stand Before the Son of Man? Examining Luke 21:36

But stay awake at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that are going to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.  

Luke 21:36 ESV

I imagine if you are reading this, that you are interested in “escaping all these things” that are going to come upon the earth.  You want to be worthy, or have the strength, to stand before the Son of Man.  Let’s examine how to do so!

Stay Awake

Staying awake means being spiritually awake or alive, as opposed to being dead in our sins.  It means being clothed in the righteousness of Christ.  A parallel warning Jesus gives is to watch.  It involves a state of spiritual readiness.

So then let us not sleep, as others do, but let us keep awake and be sober.  1 Thessalonians 5:6 ESV 

Therefore, stay awake, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming. But know this, that if the master of the house had known in what part of the night the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and would not have let his house be broken into.  Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect. Matthew 24:42-44 ESV

But watch yourselves lest your hearts be weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and cares of this life, and that day come upon you suddenly like a trap.  Luke 21:34 ESV

 You have the reputation of being alive, but you are dead. Wake up, and strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your works complete in the sight of my God.  Remember, then, what you received and heard. Keep it, and repent. If you will not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what hour I will come against you.  Revelation 3:1-3 ESV

Besides this you know the time, that the hour has come for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed. The night is far gone; the day is at hand. So then let us cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light. Let us walk properly as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and sensuality, not in quarreling and jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.  Romans 13:11-14 ESV

I counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire, so that you may be rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself and the shame of your nakedness may not be seen, and salve to anoint your eyes, so that you may see.  Revelation 3:18 ESV

(“Behold, I am coming like a thief! Blessed is the one who stays awake, keeping his garments on, that he may not go about naked and be seen exposed!”) Revelation 16:15 ESV

Paul rightly warns each and every one of us to examine ourselves, to see if we are in the faith.  Those who are truly saved will persist in the faith until the end (death or rapture).

Praying for Strength (Worthiness)

What about that word “strength”?  What does it mean to have the “strength” to escape?  The KJV translates it as being “accounted worthy”.  Who is worthy to escape all these things?

The word translated strength here is katischuo, Strong’s 2729.  There is only one occurrence for this particular word tense.

katischuó: to overpower

Original Word: κατισχύω
Part of Speech: Verb
Transliteration: katischuó
Phonetic Spelling: (kat-is-khoo’-o)
Short Definition: I prevail against, overpower, am able
Definition: I prevail against, overpower, get the upper hand.

κατισχύω: imperfect κατίσχυον; future κατισχύσω; 1 aorist subjunctive 2 person plural κατισχύσητε (Luke 21:36 T Tr text WH); the Sept.mostly for חָזַק; among Greek writings especially by PolybiusDiodorusDionysius Halicarnassus; properly, to be strong to another’s detriment, to prevail against; to be superior in strength; to overpower: followed by an infinitive, Luke 21:36 T Tr text WH (prevail (i. e. have full strength) to escape etc.); to overcome, τίνος (Jeremiah 15:18), Matthew 16:18 (meaning, ‘not even the gates of Hades — than which nothing was supposed to be stronger — shall surpass the church in strength’); absolutely, to prevail (i. e. succeed, accomplish one’s desire): Luke 23:23.

Source: http://biblehub.com/greek/2729.htm

I am intrigued by the connections to of this word “strength” to overcoming, overpowering and prevailing.

And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail [Strong’s 2729] against it.  Matthew 16:18 ESV

And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, “Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ have come, for the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God.  And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death.  Revelation 12:10-11 ESV

…if you confess with your mouth [word of their testimony, Rev 12] that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead [blood of the Lamb, Rev 12], you will be saved.  For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.  Romans 10:9-10 ESV

For everyone born of God overcomes the world.  This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith.  Who is it that overcomes the world?  Only the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.  1 John 5:4-5 ESV

I believe that we have the strength, or are made worthy, to escape all these things not by anything we do.  I believe that the rapture is akin to salvation, in that everyone who would go to heaven if they died that moment will be taken in the rapture.  The rapture, as with salvation, is by grace through faith in Jesus Christ.  It is a gift, not by works, lest any man should boast.  So who will have the strength, or worthiness, to escape the coming wrath of God on earth?

The short answer is that everyone who confesses with their mouth that Jesus is Lord and believes in their heart that God raised Him from the dead – these will be saved.  The true Church – the invisible body of Christ, all who are born again and sealed by the Holy Spirit – has the strength and is worthy!

Escaping All These Things

What are “all these things” that true believers will escape from?  I believe this includes all the events in the “7 year tribulation” period – the Time of Jacob’s Trouble.  This would include the effects of the 7 Seals and the wrath of God found in the 7 Trumpets and 7 Bowls.

Generically, these things include:

global earthquakes
volcanic eruptions
asteroid / meteorite collisions
economic collapse
infectious disease outbreaks

Specifically, these things also include:

  • An “antichrist” will be allowed to rise up to political and religious power, and will gradually establish a worldwide rule
  • Wars will be allowed to occur, likely centered in the middle east / around Israel
  • Famine, economic controls, and deaths will ensue, likely as a result of wars and the natural disasters (earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, tsunamis, infectious disease)
  • There may be asteroid and meteorite collisions on or near earth
  • 1/3 of trees will be burned up, all green grass will be killed
  • 1/3 of the sea will “become like blood”
  • 1/3 of fresh water will be made bitter
  • 1/3 of the light from the sun, moon, and stars will be dimmed
  • supernatural creatures (fallen angelic beings) will torture humanity for 5 months with stings; death will be suspended
  • after that, a 200,000,000 strong fallen supernatural angelic army will kill 1/3 of humanity
  • lightnings, thunderings, earthquakes, great hail
  • in order to be able to buy or sell, some type of mark will be required to display allegiance to the “antichrist”.  This might involve DNA manipulation.
  • painful sores appear on humanity who take a mark of loyalty to buy and sell in the new world system
  • all the seas turn to blood
  • all fresh water turns to blood
  • sun becomes scorching hot for a time
  • the world will be plunged into darkness
  • the world will be gathered for battle
  • huge worldwide earthquake will flatten the mountains and make the islands disappear
  • 100 pound hailstones will fall

Perhaps if you were not interested in escaping all these things before, you are now!

Standing Before the Son of Man

Standing before the Son of Man I believe means literally standing before Jesus.

After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands,  and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!”  Revelation 7:9-10 ESV

I understand that some are worried that if we admit to seeing the church in this passage then somehow it negates a pretribulation rapture.  This is not the case, I assure you 🙂  I have devoted several posts specifically to this great multitude:


But stay awake at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that are going to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.  

Luke 21:36 ESV

The true church, the “born again” believers that make up the body of Christ, is spiritually awake and will have the strength (worthiness) to escape all these things that are going to take place.  We are not destined for wrath.  The church will be safely whisked away and stand before the Son of Man while chaos and terrors unfold upon the earth behind them.

Now, brothers and sisters, about times and dates we do not need to write to you, for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night.  While people are saying, “Peace and safety,” destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape. But you, brothers and sisters, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief.  You are all children of the light and children of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness.  So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be awake and sober.  For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, get drunk at night.  But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet.  For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.  1 Thessalonians 5:1-9 ESV

And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience—  among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us,  even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—  and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,  so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.  For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.  For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.  Ephesians 2:1-10 ESV

This salvation event, the rapture, is by grace through faith in Jesus Christ.  Oh the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness towards us in Christ Jesus!  Thanks be to God, who pours out His lavish love towards us.


Further Resources:

Are you CERTAIN of your Salvation, beyond a shadow of a doubt?  Do you KNOW that no matter when the rapture occurs, you will be counted worthy to escape?  If not, please read What Must I do to Be Saved.

The Overcomers – Studying the Letters to the Churches in Revelation 2&3

The Large Multitude Coming “Out Of” Great Tribulation – Part 1

The Large Multitude Coming “Out Of” Great Tribulation – Part 2

God’s Mosaic – A Whole Scripture Overview of Things To Come

Main Menu – God’s Mosaic Prophecy Model

The Bible is infallible.  I am not.  I am merely challenging traditional models and testing them against Scripture.  I believe that traditional pretribulation teachings provide a solid backbone upon which to lay the musculature of details.  I encourage you to consider my thoughts as you also examine the scriptures to see if these things are so!

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