The fig tree parable, at the heart of Jesus’ Olivet Discourse, was meant by Him to be a literal “wake-up call” to the last Church generation. The 70-80-year generation (Psalm 90:10) that began with the reemergence of “fig tree” national Israel on May 14, 1948 “will not pass away” (those born in that year will not die off) “until all these things take place” (the rapture and Tribulation events of which Jesus speaks in the Olivet Discourse). “Take it to the bank”, says He, for “heaven and earth will pass away but My words (regarding the earth-shaking significance of the reemergence of national Israel) will not pass away” …Matthew 24:32-35).
IS YOUR PASTOR WILFULLY OBLIVIOUS?
So, what has been the response of most of this generation’s pulpits to Christ’s demand that we pay strict attention to the meaning of May 14, 1948? Clearly, it has been to hit the “purpose driven”/seeker sensitive/church-as-business snooze button. Rick Warren’s disparaging, “prophecy is a distraction” quip is now the mantra of this Laodicean generation. The thus “nauseated” Jesus (Revelation 3:16) warned us that this lukewarm apostasy was coming to a last-generation pulpit near you. It is clearly portrayed in the last parable of Matthew 24 (see also the apostle Peter’s identical warning... 2 Peter 3:1-9). Observe:
42 "Therefore be on the alert, for you do not know which day your Lord is coming. 43 "But be sure of this, that if the head of the house had known at what time of the night the thief was coming, he would have been on the alert and would not have allowed his house to be broken into. 44 "For this reason you also must be ready; for the Son of Man is coming at an hour when you do not think [He will.] 45 "Who then is the faithful and sensible slave whom his master put in charge of his household to give them their food at the proper time? 46 "Blessed is that slave whom his master finds so doing when he comes. 47 "Truly I say to you that he will put him in charge of all his possessions. 48 "BUT IF THAT EVIL SLAVE SAYS IN HIS HEART, 'MY MASTER IS NOT COMING FOR A LONG TIME,' 49 and begins to beat his fellow slaves and eat and drink with drunkards; 50 the master of that slave will come on a day when he does not expect [him] and at an hour which he does not know, 51 and will cut him in pieces and assign him a place with the hypocrites; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
The fig tree generation’s “heads of the house” (pulpits) will, for the most part, be prophecy-denying frauds. They will be issuing high-sounding platitudes that will subtly shift attention away from the risen, returning Christ to the “felt needs” of the church and especially to the smiling but deceptive and worldly leader. This will stand in stark contrast to the few “faithful and sensible slave(s)” who are issuing the scriptural “food at the proper time” …the fig tree parable-based warning of an imminent, pre-Tribulation rapture:
36 "But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone. 37 "For the coming of the Son of Man will be just like the days of Noah. 38 "For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, 39 and they did not understand until the flood came and took them all away; so will the coming of the Son of Man be. 40 "Then there will be two men in the field; one will be taken and one will be left. 41 "Two women [will be] grinding at the mill; one will be taken and one will be left.
Jesus will come at the rapture on a “day and hour no one knows” but He has gone to great lengths throughout the Olivet Discourse to disabuse one and all, especially last days’ pulpits, of the notion that we would not know and be held accountable for knowing the GENERATION of His return. As in the days just preceding the global flood, the rapture removal of the Church will initiate a “days of Noah” nightmare for a God-and-truth-denying world as it is swept into the nightmarish seven-year Tribulation period…along with the “teeth-gnashing hypocrites” in many pulpits.
IS YOUR PASTOR AN “EVIL SLAVE” SHEEP-BEATER?
Jesus has boxed us in here. From its context right after the fig tree parable and the rapture, this last parable of Matthew 24, shows itself to be a litmus test for true faith. Does your pastor point you to a truly imminent rapture in this fig tree generation? Then he is the real deal and you can trust him.
A pulpit enamored with “purpose-driven” ideology on the other hand, will have no real use for the risen, returning Christ, functioning just fine thank you on a worldly business model that “does church” very successfully for those with “itching ears” (2 Timothy 4:3), but treats those “who love His appearing” (2 Timothy 4:8) at the rapture despicably. In fact, these wolves in sheep’s’ clothing will gladly “beat their fellow slaves” while proceeding to reveal their true worldly nature. They will openly mock them and the whole notion of the return of Jesus saying, “My master is not coming for a long time”.
IF YOU AREN’T SPECULATING…YOU AREN’T PAYING ENOUGH ATTENTION
Before May 14, 1948, speculating as to the timing of the rapture was indeed…well…just that…baseless speculation. But Jesus warned us that everything would change with the reemergence of national Israel. We can now speculate as to the “day or the hour” since we now have His SWORN TESTIMONY THAT THIS IS THE GENERATION of the rapture and the events of the seven-year Tribulation period. Doing anything less than contemplating and teaching these things could reveal a heart that has either gone cold toward Christ or does not truly contain a saving faith.
I wear the “date-setter” tag with pride. Scripture may not give us the exact day or hour but I believe God has left us tantalizing, generational bread crumbs. Follow some of them here: