When I was younger, we used to live out in the country. We owned 24 acres I could roam freely around and our property and backed into a much larger property that was several thousand acres. Needless to say, I had plenty of backwoods to explore. There were many a time I would arrive home from school before anyone else and I would go wandering thru the woods with my dogs hunting for snakes, lizards, and the like.
Often times I would be so consumed with exploring, daydreaming, or both, that I let the time slip away from me. Then that sixth sense would kick in and I would notice that the shadows from the trees had begun to grow longer. In those moments, a slight panic would come over me as I realized that I was a lot further out than I intended to be, and making it back before dark was now in question. Prophetically speaking, that is where I think we are today. It is the end of the day, and the shadows have grown quite long indeed.
For those of us who have awakened from this daydream, we call life…we have awoken only to realize that there is another, more permanent reality to our existence beyond that which our five senses can perceive. We have taken notice and sense an evil creeping over this land like the onset of twilight. The sad truth for many is that this twilight’s last gleaming, which lay before all of mankind, as bad as it is, will be the best their existence will ever know. It will also be the last glimpse of daylight many will ever see.
Perhaps that evil was always there, but as of late, it seems more intense and more foreboding than it ever was before. I liken our day unto a ‘thinning’ between the realms, similar to where man was before the great deluge of Noah’s dispensation (Conscience). A day when dimensional boundaries were being crossed, and once opened, cannot be closed. We are back in an age where man is once again trying to play God and is opening portals and unleashing things that he does not fully understand.
The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 2 Thess. 2:9-10
As believer’s in this final stage of the Church age, we have been blessed with a complete set of Scripture, expanded doctrines of Soteriology (of Salvation), Ecclesiology (the Church), Eschatology (the last days), and every other ‘ology’ that could be defined within Christian academia. Since the Reformation, there has been an ever-increasing accumulation of knowledge and clarification about our faith since men were unleashed to begin using Scripture alone as a guide to understanding our belief system. This being opposed to the thousand years of Roman Catholic dominance where dogma, tradition, creeds and papal bulls stifled and hindered Christendom’s ability to mature spiritually.
We do not really have any excuse to discount what the Bible has to say about what is coming nor being prepared to that end. We have been blessed with great thinkers, scientists, theologians, and preachers who have propelled our understanding by leap-frogging us theologically speaking, to about the greatest understanding of any generation could have since the first century. Yet many (dare I say most?) within Christendom, slumbers in apathy and the cares of this life?
While the world is crumbling around us, a growing majority of Christendom does not know, does not care, or is too busy building their own little denominational empires to address the crux of the problem. This is the exact place the Bible said we would be, especially, in regards to the social, cultural, economic, geopolitical, and theological realities of our day.
Many church leaders are more preoccupied with turning their churches into efficient business models and leadership factories, rather than focusing on the gospel of Christ Crucified. Most churches today are functioning in a society that is preoccupied with committing cultural suicide, and yet, are not reaching out to the dying masses in any real, eternally, meaningful way.
They are too busy accommodating destructive lifestyles by undervaluing the gravity and seriousness of sin. They ignore the prophetic writing on the wall by redecorating the wall around it, so that it does not offend anyone. They are more preoccupied about the physical structure of a church building then they are about being the Church. Because they refuse to acknowledge the truth of the lateness of the hour, they become fixated on accommodating people who are fascinated with their own demise.
Rather, we need to be warning, pleading, and praying for the salvation of all those around us. We do so because there is coming a time so horrific, that if God does not intervene directly, no flesh would survive it. Skeptics, scoffers, the theologically lazy and ignorant Christian, often view the study of Prophecy as a distraction and/or as only sensational mumbo jumbo with no theological meat behind it. Admittedly, there has been much abuse in these regards, but to be fair, every major doctrine has been abused and/or sensationalized to one degree or another.
As Christians, we have the ONLY document on the planet that has and does tell the future about what is coming upon the earth. No other system, religion, “holy book”, technology, government, or philosophy can predict what is going to happen before it does. We are the only ones who have this truth. We have been afforded this privilege to bear as a burden, a testimony to the supernatural and divine nature of our Bible. Think about that for a moment.
Being a ‘watchman on the wall’ has been a term used so loosely as of late, that I think the weight of that burden, gets lost in the frequency of its usage. Let me put this in a more practical scenario.
Let’s say that you lived in a small island community in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. This island was paradise, and it has never been hit by a storm before. In this community, you are one of a select few with a functioning radio that can receive broadcasts from the mainland. One day, you begin hearing broadcast messages, which state that due to the current wind, temperature, and ocean currents, the conditions were ripe for a hurricane-size storm to form. A short time later, the messages then began to broadcasts that the storm they feared could form, was now in the process of becoming.
The other watchmen who were supposed to be monitoring the weather radios with you, have all changed the frequency and are now listening to all the hot new music coming out from the mainland. The music is so entrancing that an island-wide party has begun to form. Everyone is dancing and drinking, and acting as if they did not have a care in the world. However, as the days go on, the weather broadcasts became more specific in regards to the size, direction, and potential intensity of the storm that was forming.
As it draws closer to forming an eye, the wind speed intensifies and the urgency of the warning over the radio becomes direr as the storm’s size and strength catapult itself into a Category 5 typhoon. This typhoon has begun to follow a particular path. The radio broadcast then names the storm “the Apocalypse” because of the destructive potential it is bringing with it. The forecasted path now puts your island (and your community) in a direct-hit scenario. The good news is, is that a rescue boat is speeding out ahead of the storm, and has room to take you and all your family and friends to safety.
However, you need to be ready by the dock when it arrives, because there will not be much time after it arrives. You begin warning your friends and family. Moreover, you try to enlist your other friends with radios to warn their friends, but they refuse. You get your family and close friends to gather with you at the dock so that when the rescue arrives, you can leave immediately. You head back inland to make one last sweep through the party. The party is in full swing and no one wants to leave.
Everyone is having a good time dancing and drinking. You even attempt to change the channel, but the partygoers catch you and begin beating you. Afterward, while you are laying there bloody and beaten, they begin to laugh at you. They tell you mockingly that a storm like that has never hit their island, nor will one ever hit it. You manage to pick yourself up and begin heading back toward the docks. Still, you have managed to convince a few more to come and they follow. Meanwhile, this massive storm is barreling towards your community and those who have chosen to remain have no idea how bad it is going to get.
For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be. And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened. Matt. 24:21-22
The above example is equivalent to the island ‘Christian’ today. He/she has a complete Bible and enhanced understanding of the prophetic events playing out in real-time in our day, and yet, most refuse to speak out about it. They do not want to be seen as “controversial” or “sensational”. When Christians refuse to speak the truth about what is coming, they are doing exactly like those island watchmen are doing, those who refuse to warn their friends and family about the storm heading their way.
We exist on an island planet in an ocean of space we call earth. The Bible says that there is a storm coming to earth, filled with violence, murder, natural and supernatural disaster, and wickedness on such a grand scale, the likes of which this world has never seen…and yet, so many preachers, teachers, pastors, priests, theologians, and so-called learned spiritual leaders, refuse to acknowledge the possibility that Christ will return. In a bit of friendly encouragement, I will conclude, that if you’ve been regularly attending a church for more than six months in which the pastor/preacher has yet to utter the words, “Christ will come again soon”, you’re probably in the wrong church.
You might be wondering, who has ‘awakened’ and how do I do that? Well, the only ones who can be awakened physically are those who have been born-again spiritually. Man is body, soul, and spirit, (1st Thess. 5:23) and if one of those is lacking, they then cannot function in the way God intended. Like a transistor radio, we can only pick up the radio waves if there is a message to receive. Next, there must be a machine/mechanism to receive the message. Lastly, one must be on the right frequency to receive said message (John 14:6). All three must be operational. Those who still sleep spiritually, have the body (the flesh) and the soul (the mental cognizance), yet, do not have their spiritual nature reborn, (i.e.…lack the correct frequency) to which the message of salvation might be received and believed.
In order to receive this new birth, one must first realize that they are incapable of saving themselves. The only means, by which salvation is possible for mankind, is by accepting the free gift of pardon. This is done by placing your hope and trust, in the finished work of Christ on the Cross. The death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ…that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth, confession is made unto salvation. For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.”For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. For “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Romans 10:9-13)
That by God’s grace, through our faith (to which He gives us), that we receive the Holy Spirit who indwells your, permanently sealing you unto the day of redemption; you have now have been given eyes to see, and ears to hear what the Spirit is saying to the Churches. The Spirit confirms what Christ proclaimed to those who are born-again and are cognizant of the times in which they live.
These same are grieved at the growing darkness and oppression enveloping the world. These same must endure to the end, but need not lose heart…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, to test those who dwell on the earth. Behold, I am coming quickly! Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your crown. (Rev. 3:10-11)
The Holy Spirit then moves amongst the Churches according to the times in which men find themselves. Unfortunately, the Holy Spirit’s message of warning has fallen on deaf ears on many within greater Christendom in these last days. They either do not think or do not want to believe Christ will ever return. Thus, they have received a warning beforehand, that should they slumber, they will be in for a rude awakening…Remember therefore how you have received and heard; hold fast and repent. Therefore, if you will not watch, I will come upon you as a thief, and you will not know what hour I will come upon you. (Rev. 3:3) Clearly, Scripture teaches that the only prerequisite for our ‘catching up’ is being born-again, but by not watching, and not understanding the times we live in, we not only fail to warn those around us so they too might find salvation but we ourselves are caught unawares.
At that moment of the Rapture event, we shall be thrust upwards into our new and final reality, in which the first event we undergo is the Bema Judgment. Here, believers are judged, not for sin (as that was paid for at the Cross), but are judged for the things we did or did not do for Christ in the time that was allotted to us. We will be judged on the stewardship of the gifts, talents, and opportunities we did (or did not) make full use of in our lives. Many today will state emphatically that one’s eschatological leanings does not affect one’s salvation…to which I would agree.
However, not having the correct eschatological view, often means you are working towards the wrong end-state. The Amillennial and Post-Millennial views, for example, being the two largest within greater Christendom, views the Kingdom as not some future reality that Christ must usher in, but as a current, spiritual kingdom that we have to build in the here and now, either in lieu of Christ or so that He can return. However, if the Bible teaches that the next kingdom coming upon the earth is that of the Antichrist, who then are they really helping?
The born-again believer has an unbelievable future in our Lord Jesus Christ. Paul writes…eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him. (1st Cor. 2:9) The Pre-Tribulation Rapture of the Church then will instantaneously remove us from this island before that dreaded storm (the 70th Week of Daniel) makes landfall.
Yet, our means of salvation still has many open seats available. We believers, in this age with Israel restored after 1,900 years (Ezekiel 37, Luke 21:24, Romans 11:25), bear the responsibility in our own spheres of influence, to warn those around us who have no idea what is coming upon the earth, that salvation is found only through Jesus Christ so as to escape the coming wrath.
But take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that Day come on you unexpectedly. For it will come as a snare on all those who dwell on the face of the whole earth. Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man. Luke 21:34-36