While listening to a television program (I’m blind, but I do “watch” TV in my own way) I heard the program’s host –of whom I’m not exactly a fan because he is a “prosperity preacher”—say something that is nonetheless very true. He said his wife told him, when he began wondering out loud whether this is the “last generation,” that for him it is indeed the last generation, because when he leaves the planet, whether in the rapture or at death– it will be the last for him, personally.
The somewhat amusing truism was stated in the context of how Christians should live in light of the imminent return of Jesus Christ.
The program’s guest that morning was David Barton, who, in my estimation, has done some great work, from a biblical perspective, in the area of holding political leaders’ feet to the fire regarding truth about America’s founding principles as laid out by the founding fathers. He receives much praise, but also considerable criticism, for his work.
The praise comes from all who want a return to sane thinking in matters of how to govern this once-great nation. When I say great, I mean great in the sense of its leaders and people realizing that the one, true God of heaven should be at the center of life for any people, whether it is the life of an individual, a family, or a nation.
The criticism comes from some of those who believe that what will be will be–that prophecy will play out, regardless, and that no efforts are necessary to try to elect people or develop and institute laws that will make things better, in terms of personal or national life.
I was doing an interview some years ago for an audience that consisted largely of those who view Bible prophecy as, at best, the second-class citizen of God’s Word. That is, they believe prophecy has been fulfilled already, is to be considered primarily as allegory or literature, or is to be spiritualized as mere concept that really doesn’t have any relevance to life now or for the future.
The host hit me with the argument I hear incessantly from critics of the rapture “theory,” as they put it. He said something to the effect that he finds that when talking to people who believe in the pre-trib rapture of the church, these people always indicate that they don’t worry about living by strict Bible rules, or about world conditions, because they know Christ will come and take them out of this world before the tribulation, and His wrath and judgment fall.
I told him –and it is absolutely the truth—that I know of no one within my circle of acquaintances within pre-trib believers–all who truly believe in the pre-trib rapture– who think the way he described. On the contrary, our belief in the pre-trib rapture makes us more desirous of doing God’s absolute will in our lives. We want to hear our Savior say “Well done, good and faithful servant.”
No Christians who really believe they might stand face to face with the Lord Jesus at any moment can have the attitude that they can live any way they want because they are automatically secure. The Christians who know they will stand before Jesus –who truly understand and believe this—rather want to do all they can to kneel before Him in that great judgment hall of the BEMA and cast the crowns earned in physical life upon earth at His feet. These will be the many crowns He will be wearing when He returns to this self-destructing planet at Armageddon (Rev. 19: 11).
We are to be busy upon this sphere where we have been placed. Christians are to be working at every level of our influence to make this a more godly place. That activity begins and ends with our introducing people to Jesus Christ, the ONLY way to God the Father and heaven for eternity. Our influence is to permeate all, and everyone we touch. We must lift up Christ so that all men, women, and children will be drawn to Him for salvation.
We are to be salt and light to a decaying, dark world. Jesus spoke to this mission upon which each of us who name the name of Christ has been sent, while here in this flesh. Jesus’ disciples thought He was talking about bringing in the Kingdom of God immediately, as the Lord spoke of that coming time. They expected this to happen immediately, because they were nearing Jerusalem, and they knew this is where the Kingdom would be centered. Jesus told the parable of the nobleman who went away after providing those under his charge the mission of handling his wealth. I’ll let you read the parable; it is found in Luke 19: 11-27.
The story was of servants given different amounts of money, and different talents. Some servants, his lord called evil because they sat on these talents/monies –i.e., did nothing with them. The other servants, their lord commended, because they used the talents and wealth he left them with while he was gone to increase their master’s realm, etc.
Jesus was telling His immediate disciples, and those who would come down through the centuries, that this is what He expects of those of us who call Him Lord.
The specific Scripture that makes this clear is the following: “And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come” (Lk. 19:13).
He was saying that Christians are to not be twiddling our thumbs, or be self-absorbed in the luxuries of this world. His telling us to “occupy” includes his instruction that we are not to neglect doing all we can to work within the governmental process to help assure that we can worship and spread the Gospel as freely as possible. As a matter of fact, I’m convinced that’s why America was founded: to act as a bastion of freedom so that followers of the true God of heaven could spread the salvation message of Christ alone throughout the sin-darkened world.
Yes. Our primary mission is the Great Commission of Matthew Chapter 28, but within those marching orders are Jesus’s words, “…occupy until I come”. We expect Christ to come at any moment. All of the signals of the tribulation are already in view, and since we know the rapture will take place before the tribulation (God’s wrath) begins, we must be very near that stunning moment when Jesus will shout “Come up here!”
One of my duties is to work with the www.raptureready.com website. That means we are expecting that stupendous harpazo event at any second. However, Rapture Ready also means that we are to be prepared to look our Savior in His wonderful eyes and know that we have done all we could while laboring in His service –while serving as royal ambassadors on this fallen planet. We are to occupy until He comes.