This week’s commentary is a reminder for those who believe in Jesus Christ as defined by the following scriptural description of the term “Christian”:
“That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved” (Romans 10:9).
Tragically, if the reader hasn’t genuinely confessed sin and asked forgiveness of the God of Heaven, and adopted this faith prescription from God’s Word, this essay cannot apply to his or her life. Thankfully, all people everywhere are invited to come to belief in the Son of God, who came to Earth the first time specifically to die so that anyone who accepts Christ’s shed-blood antidote for sin’s deadly venom will be saved from the eternal fires of Hell, and will instead live forever with the Father in Heaven. My prayer is that the reader, if he or she hasn’t done so, will do so right now–for this is the only moment guaranteed to you. You might not have a follow-up second of life. Your last heartbeat might come before you finish reading.
Paul the apostle reported God’s words on the tenuous nature of life and the importance of immediately making the decision in the matter of salvation: “For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.”
With the gospel message offered, as the Holy Spirit draws, we will proceed with additional good news, something that some accuse is a rarity for a prophecy writer’s commentary. The mention of prophecy often conjures in the imagination darkness and foreboding–a very bleak outlook for America and the planet we call Earth. When considering the troubling course we see narrowing in the distance, while we examine today’s issues and events under the microscope of God’s prophetic Word, we must be truthful and faithful in giving the forewarnings of the watchman (Mark 13: 37).
But, while nearing midnight, the world keeps turning. There is coming a moment after the gore and terrible dangers of the battle at twilight’s last gleaming–like Francis Scott Key wrote—the dawn’s early light. The flag of the United States of America is under attack, and the nation is staggering. It might well fall this time, unlike during the time of its birth as given in the “Star Spangled Banner.”
But, as much as we all love this nation, we look toward a heavenly home, built by the Lord Himself (see 2 Corinthians 5:1; John 14:1-3)–a world without end (Ephesians 3:21). The matters to think upon for you and me as God’s children involve a glorious dawning of unimaginable things to come. Paul the apostle puts it this way, as we have all read many times: “But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him” (1 Corinthians 2:9).
While I often express in this column frustration over the fact that the majority of Christians are today inward turned, not at all thinking of things of God, and are asleep in the pews because they get only pabulum from the pastors in the pulpits for the most part, I am of the conviction that this is a malaise that is an important indicator of exactly where we are on God’s prophetic timeline. Jesus said the following: “Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?” (Luke 18:8b). This said, each child of God–whether on fire for the Lord, or living life oblivious to the things of God–needs to know that when Christ’s call “come up hither” (Revelation 4:1) is heard, every truly born again (John 3:3) believer will go instantaneously to be with the Lord. He will then take us to the home He has been preparing for us (John 14:1-3).
Even if the child has not been watching for His coming for them in the clouds–in the Rapture—each and every one will go in that stupendous atomos of time to be with Him, forever!
I know the foregoing will be angrily disputed by many. There is an erroneous visceral belief among many who know the PreTrib view of prophecy to be truth from the Bible. That mistaken belief purports that the watchful Christians will go to be with Christ when He calls, and the slothful, Earth-minded Christians will stay behind to–well, I’m not sure to do what.
Those holding this view just cannot accept the full scope of what the Bible says about God’s love for His family. Christ did it all on the cross at Calvary, so what can we do to make ourselves more secure in Christ?
Paul said in 1 Corinthians 15 and 1 Thessalonians 4 that ALL will go in that twinkling of an eye. The Word of God didn’t say that some will stay and some will go. Here’s the thing: God knows who is and is not His child; we, His children, are not privy to that knowledge.
My friend, Dr. Dave Breese, used to say that the Lord Jesus will not leave part of His Bride, the Church, here on Earth to be bloodied and bruised during the most horrendous time of human history. He will take a perfected Bride home to the Father’s house. Jesus did the cleaning-up when He shed His precious blood at Calvary two millennia ago. He cried “It is finished!” –And, it was! The translation –the transformation from mortal to immortal–that will take place in that stunning, glorious, split second will make every one of us worthy and acceptable in the heavenly city!
Now, let me say that the child of God living like the devil, with unrepented-of sin, will pay a tremendous price at the Bema Seat (judgment seat of Christ). Make no mistake: there will be an eternal instant when all will look into those eyes of absolute love and understand their Lord’s disappointment. We will at that moment want more than anything we’ve ever wanted to hear Jesus say, “Well done, good, faithful servant.”
The dawn’s early light will one day shine its rays of glory. It will happen as Christ breaks through the dark, death-decaying clouds at Armageddon (Rev. 19: 11). He will defeat all of His–and our—foes. Antichrist will be thrown in the lake of fire, with the false prophet. Satan will be chained for one thousand years. Jesus will clean up Planet Earth.
But, that’s not the really good news for you and me. Just consider…you and I are here at this strange time, and in this foreign land, for purposes the Lord, Himself, has determined. We could have been placed here at any time in history. But, He chose us to serve Him, and now, while all around us breaks the most stunning prophetic possibilities imaginable. For example, no other generation has seen Israel reborn and as hated by the entire world of nations as has our generation –exactly as prophesied. Something is up –and it is big!
We will see the “dawn” at the close of Armageddon described above as we descend on gleaming, white, heavenly steeds as Christ leads the way.
However, for believers of this Age of Grace, “Dawn’s early light” is scheduled to break brilliantly and instantaneously much earlier–during this darkening hour we presently face. We do not have to wait at least seven years for that other “dawn” as Christ returns at the end of the Tribulation. The Rapture is very near! Serve Him as if He could call in the next second. He just might! Take heart!