Harkening back fifty plus years ago to my time in the United States Air Force, memories of the jet fighter trainers we were responsible for maintaining further stimulates thoughts on Bible prophecy. The words of Dr. J. Vernon McGee come to the forefront of that time a half-century ago.
Dr. McGee once commented in answer to the naysayers about him being an “escapist” in regard to his pre-Trib view of Bible prophecy. He answered the detractors in his typically southern, cornpone, yet brilliantly humorous way.
The arguments of those who poo-pooed the Pre-Trib Rapture usually went something like this.
“Those who preach that that Christians will somehow avoid being part of the Tribulation are pie-in-the-sky escapists. They are preaching and teaching false doctrine. They just hope to escape that terrible seven years of God’s judgment and wrath.”
Dr. McGee would say something like: “You better believe I hope to escape that time of God’s judgment and wrath. If the house is on fire, I’ll go out the door, through the window, or up the chimney. I’ll leave that burning building however I can.”
Then McGee would usually add: “That’s who Jesus Christ is. He is the blessed hope. And He is my way of escape from that coming time.”
“Boy howdy!” as ol’ Dr. McGee might say, were he here instead of with the Lord in Heaven. “Are we ever in a house on fire today!”
As we’ve covered time after time, every which direction we look we see signals that indicate, like the title of a Billy Graham book once read, in a World Aflame!
Societally and culturally, the landscape is so debauched that nothing short of a miracle can bring things back into a normal pattern of life with morality at its center. The Antichrist spirit has brought about a turning of humanity’s back on God. The result is the reprobate mind of Romans 1:28 for the majority across the world.
Consider the gravity of the sexual revolution of the 1960s that has pulled human sexuality ever downward into some sort of insane-asylum configuration. Men can now be women and women can be men. Boys and girls are taught they can be whichever gender they decide, leaving the parents out of any decision-making. Sodom and Gomorrah-level homosexuality and other depravity is not only accepted, but embraced and championed by governmental leaders and mainstream media. Even worse, a large portion of so-called Christian clergy declare it all to come under God’s love, with no condemnation. The Bible is old-fashioned, out of tune with the times, and should be rewritten to be inclusive of all these new ways of sexuality and human behavior.
Governmental and political lies reside at the heart of everything from legislation to judicial decision-making. Deceivers are on the scene as never before, just as Jesus forewarned for the end of the age while sitting atop the Mount of Olives answering his disciples’ questions about when the end would come.
All nations mentioned in Bible prophecy for the wrap-up of human history seem at play at this very moment. Russia is about to assault Ukraine; Iran threatens Israel with utter destruction; and the Europeans are in turmoil, becoming lockdown states as the likes of Emmanuel Macron of France becomes more dictatorial by the day. China is on a tear, threatening all within its sphere of hegemony and promising to bring Taiwan back into its orb, even if it takes kinetic war.
Pope Francis embraces the dark side at every turn. He fires from the Catholic government longtime clerics who don’t go along with his rewriting of the Scriptures to include homosexuality in biblical approval.
It is indeed a World Aflame!
So, this brings me back to ol’ Dr. McGee and my time in the US Air Force all of those decades ago.
Just as McGee said he would go out the door, through the windows, or up the chimney to escape a burning house, so pilots of those high-performance jet trainers we worked on wanted to escape sure death if necessary.
All jet fighters have an egress system. This is that means of escape. The seats in which the pilots sit and in which they, with their parachutes, are strapped tightly, have what was called in my day t-handles. As I recall, there was a metal handle that the pilot could grip on each side of the seat so it was easy to pull if necessary.
The t-handles were painted bright yellow in the T-38 trainer, as I remember. The pilot could pull straight up on the t-handles. When that happened, the canopy was supposed to pop loose and the wind would take it away. Instantly, a small but powerful rocket ejected the pilot high above the doomed aircraft. At least this is how it was supposed to work. There were times when the canopy wouldn’t pop loose and be carried away by the wind stream. The top of the seat above the pilot’s helmet-covered head had a canopy piercer. It was a piece of metal shaped kind of like an axe blade. If the canopy didn’t deploy, the canopy piercer would crash through the canopy bubble when the rocket fired.
As I say, there were cases when the whole egress system didn’t work properly. These sometimes ended with the pilot being caught up in the destruction of the plane.
All this is to say that we are on a planet about to crash, and, like ol’ Dr. McGee, any sane person would want a way to escape any such holocaust that Bible prophecy foretells.
I’ve given the commentary the title “God’s Egress System” because that’s exactly who His Son, Jesus Christ, is. He is the “blessed hope”—the Savior of the world that is aflame. He came to seek and save the lost—all who are headed down into flames if not ejected into the air when Christ calls all born-again believers to Himself.
The crash into judgment and wrath could happen at any moment. This world is aflame with all of the things we have looked at as indicators of the end times. God’s escape is available for all who will grip that blessed hope—the t-handle of God’s egress system.
Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. (Titus 2:13–14)
God is a God of both justice and mercy. Allowing his son to suffer a horrible death on the cross to save us is proof of that in a way that nothing else is.
Leaving his people, those who believe in Jesus’ atoning sacrifice on our behalf, on Earth during the seven last and worst years of history as we know it would be both unjust and unmerciful, wouldn’t it?
Good morning, Terry !
Ohhhhhh, what encouragement you have given me today, as once again I face a day in this wretched world ! I am completely excited, as I await the Call to go Home to finally be with Jesus forever and ever.
Have a nice…..expectant……day in our Lord, Terry.
Carol Cole Atlanta
Sent from my iPad
Yes Terry completely correct. The present conditions upon this earth are totally as our Holy Bible describes. The behaviour of politicians and leaders throughout the world also align with scripture to say little about the drive to cause us more fear and destruction. With the ”meeting” just finished in Davos we se everything is lined up such that we would not be surprised to hear our Lord Jesus Christ of Nazareth call out ”Come up Here at any second. Do keep on encouraging the body of Christ and simultaneously warning the world.
It is sad to realise that so many do not agree or even understand what is about to happen, however they have been told and there is no second chance whatsoever.
Thank you Terry.
Well put! I keep looking up but praying for those in my family to get their lives right with God before the rapture comes.
I believe there is too much focus on escape. Remember God is always in control. We have no need of an escape. God has already rescued us from sin and death. He will catch up His people to be Him as He said He would and it will occur at the time He intended. Just as a parent picks up his children from school, only He will not be early or late. We should simply wait . I know it is hard not to get excited, but we are not children. He has told us what to do in the meantime. We want to hear the ‘well done..’ don’t we?
I really do not think we have ”too much focus on escape”
We who know what God has said through His word, the Holy Bible has said. He has been consistent throughout His word. He has repeatedly warned those who defy Him what will happen.
A major example of this is the flood of the whole earth. Only 8 people listened!
Now we have had at least a warning for the last 2600 years and it has been re-enforced by our Lord Jesus Christ of Nazareth before He hung on that horrendous cross and died for mankind.
We are focused upon Jesus Christ and He has told us what will happen in the very near future.
Terry James and very many millions of Bible believers are engaged in declaring the Gospel message. Telling the vast multitudes who disagree that they must be prepared OR be left behind. Yes, I really do not wish to be here on earth, when the prophesied Tribulation begins for it will be the worst time ever here on earth. It will be Gods’ Wrath poured out upon a rebellious, unbelieving world and He has told us that He will not pour that out upon His Bride. If this is ”escaping” I, and millions of others, are ready – I do trust that you are ready.
I believe we can anticipate with excitement our rescue from the coming wrath and still remain mission focused. Paul told the Thessalonians they should comfort each other with the truth of the rapture. But they were not focused upon that. They were known for preaching the Gospel and their love for God’s people. I agree the mission is always the priority (as an old air force guy myself). But the hope of being removed from a sick world prior to divine judgement is comforting as it was meant to be.
Much needed reminder. Love in Christ Jesus.
And the Lord’s Egress System will not fail!
Praise the Lord for our Blessed Hope! ♡
“Indeed, none of those who wait on you shall be ashamed.” (Psalm 25:3)
Thank you for another wonderful article.