This commentary is offered in consideration of Christian young adults—those who are God’s children. That is, they are God’s own through belief in Jesus Christ according to perhaps my favorite scriptural passage on how to be saved from sin’s dread sway:
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. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. (Romans 10:9–10)
We will delve a bit into the plans of these young adults in consideration of Bible prophecy. The concerns they have too often go without much notice by those of us in the Bible prophecy ministry, I’m afraid. Their worries, which might have at one time been the very ones of my generation and younger, now can be easily overlooked by us older ones. We have lived our lives, we’ve had and raised our children, and we’ve completed many of our family, social, and business desires and expectations.
I can remember when, on the rare times when those of us in our twenties and thirties had discussions about the Rapture and of the Second coming, some—perhaps most—would say something like: “I want the Rapture and Jesus to return, but I hope I get to enjoy life and see my kids grow up.”
Otherwise, we didn’t talk about Bible prophecy much in our social gatherings—or even in our church gatherings, as I recall. The subject was almost taboo, because it engendered thoughts of separation. Somewhat like the thought of death, the Rapture threatened to separate us from those we loved –especially in thinking about our babies or our future life with family and children.
Of course, this was because even back then, pastors rarely taught about Bible prophecy. Our Sunday schools and other forums almost never dwelt on God’s prophetic Word, either. Those of my era and subsequent eras of young adults, like today’s young adults, never were led to understand the promises our Heavenly Father has made in His prophetic Word.
So it is understandable why today there is little interest in the teachings of Rapture and the Second Coming of Christ. I, too, am guilty of pointing only to the gloom and doom of these darkening times. There’s not much hope—or certainly not much fun—in thinking about the evil that permeates our world in ever-increasing virulence.
We who are commissioned to analyze and dissect the prophetic implications of these days leading to the Tribulation too often don’t take into account the fact that the young adults of our time don’t see the final outcome of the prophetic stage-setting as wonderful and magnificent as we do.
The young people only see the problems of making their way into life’s mainstream and preparing for or working toward building their families and security for those families. Looking up for the any-moment Rapture is, most times, far outside of their worldview. All they know is the here and now and trying to find their way through the maze of growingly difficult social and cultural situations they face daily. And, again, the Rapture seems to be something more to be feared than looked forward to with great anticipation, as we are exhorted in Paul’s words of Titus 2:13.
As I write, I’m reminded deeply in my spirit how the Lord wants those who are in His family to gather within their redeemed spirits the astonishingly wondrous things He wants them to anticipate—the things that are coming much sooner than we can realize.
My spirit tells me that reaching the ability to have this kind of anticipation comes most often from years of studying Bible prophecy. And every generation has failed to properly bring the young to such a level of study.
In other words, I and others who have spent most of our adult lives deeply rooted in the study of and prayer about Bible prophecy now know in the deepest reaches of our being the wonders that await just after the final heartbeat or that glorious moment when Christ shouts for His Bride to come to Him. The young ones, and even older Christians who haven’t studied the prophetic Word on their own or in churches or other venues, don’t have the assurance or even knowledge of that magnificent future on the very cusp of pulling them instantaneously into glory.
It is not possible for a writer or a preacher to make these folks understand the joy that awaits the believer in Jesus Christ. But it is possible, if they can just be convinced to take God at His Word, that a fantastic future beyond anything imaginable is approaching at a speed never before experienced by God’s people.
The Scripture I would encourage every young person to include in their plans is given by the Apostle Paul—the same prophet who revealed the mystery of the Rapture:
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)
It seems, then, that no one can know with great inner assurance of the glories that await believers. But God’s promise goes beyond this seeming inhibition against knowing Heaven’s wonders.
Paul tells us further the following about knowing that blessed eternal life to come:
But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. (1 Corinthians 2:10–13)
Those words from the very heart of our God tell His family that the desire to know of the never-ending life of glorious exultation can be fulfilled through Holy-Spirit revelation. This is what each believer needs to understand and apply—study, prayer, and a deep belief in God’s promises. The Holy Spirit will give understanding and deep, abiding faith in the promises of God regarding our eternal life with Him.
To the younger and older members of God’s family—who are already citizens of that place called Heaven: Make Bible prophecy a big part of your plans for the future. God’s powerful promises will bring your earthly plans into focus with a heavenly perspective. And you will begin to understand that leaving this earth doesn’t mean you will lose the children and family you love so much. You will begin to know beyond any doubt that the life God has prepared for you is billions of times more wonderful and fulfilling than any time you spend with them on earth. Your life with loved ones will be enhanced beyond what you can fathom.
Excellent, simply excellent!
Young people who look forward to the Rapture know this world is passing away.
And young people who cannot comprehend what Heaven has in store for them, will be pleasantly surprised!
Having been interested in Bible Prophecy for many decades, I have “kept my bags packed,” even from the days I was young.
Not so anymore, I’ll hit 70 this week. As the years have passed, I find that my connections to this world are becoming more and more tenuous.
Reckon I’ll move those bags closer to the door!
Haha, congrats and happy birthday Ed.
Thanks, A. Clark.
I’m not so sure if I phrased it right. I think it’s more like 70 is about to hit me. When I look in the mirror, it looks like it already ran me over! Feels that way, sometimes, too,
Good word to young people, of which there are fewer in our churches. There is a lot of silver hair in my own church as young people walk away from the church. I have thought about this and concluded a few things just from my own observations and interactions with unchurched youth out on the streets. This is a little frank but it is what it is.
1) Young people want the unvarnished, raw Truth. They want to know not only the “what” but also the “why”. They question everything and are very smart. They will debate you until the cows come home but they are willing to listen to you if you listen to them. They have excellent questions and they want answers. What I’ve found is they are not getting a lot of satisfying answers.
2) They want results. They will absolutely call you out on your own walk of faith. When the mission is to preach the gospel and make disciples, they look around and see pathetic results, to them its just hypocrisy. We say but we don’t do. Its not that the church doesn’t want to live up to the mission, its more that the mission has been lost. Its pretty far down the priority list. Young people see that. Why should they stay.
The last observation: in equipping people to share the gospel (which many churches just don’t do), there is never any aspect that covers the prophetic aspects of the coming Kingdom. Young people want to know what is in it for them – why they should trust Christ. They get the typical responses of eternal life and forgiveness but then the question goes to “eternal life for what”? Few Christians can explain much about the coming Kingdom of God. Sad thing is, there is a ton of information about it in the scriptures. We just don’t unpack it for people.
I walked away from “church” a long time ago because most of mainstream religion is nothing but a social club which makes up its own rules instead of following the Bible. Easy to see why young people just keep walking past the door.
I don’t have much interaction with young people these days, but when I did, I found them as you mentioned above. You have to know what you’re talking about and be real, because they’ll know right away if you are just acting, especially when it concerns Scriptural matters.
It’s too bad their parents and clergy people just aren’t doing the jobs they ought to be doing – either out of laziness or lacking the knowledge, which could be ascribed to the aforementioned laziness.
Unfortunately, because of this, the Neo-Laodicean church is alive and growing, but hardly well!