As a watcher pastor, my life has recently gone into ‘warp drive’ (Star Trek fan) as I sense the Lord revealing more and more information to His people as to the nature of His soon return for us in the Rapture. However, in order to hear His voice, we need to be listening for it. I am reminded of the song Liv’in for the Bell by Greg X. Volz (former lead singer for Petra) who wrote it for his first solo LP (remember those?) In the song, one of the lyrics goes, ‘it’s hard to get to it when you just want to go.’ The premise of the song addresses those believes who are about looking for the Rapture, and that’s all. They stop working, serving, and sharing Jesus with others. We are to be the Church at large for the world to see up until the very moment the Master calls us home. Now I am not a calculus major or anything, but I feel that the Lord has given us an ample amount of warnings that His return for His Church is imminently close. If this is true, and we are living in a pre-tribulation era, than what we, as believers in Jesus, are to be looking for is a pre-tribulation Rapture; but not at the expense of the ministry that God has called us to, or the people He has entrusted to our care.
I am not a date setter or a rapture rusher, but I am a season senser and I feel very strongly that we are living in the season of the Lord’s return. This being said, I have found myself being very introspective regarding my faith, my life, my current life situation, and wondering what all of that will look like at the Bema Seat. I am sure this is somewhat normal as we draw nearer to the Rapture, but I am amazed how seemingly aloof some believers seem to be regarding the Lord’s return. I can understand why the world would be aloof, but the Church? For the most part, most people can see that the game is afoot, as it were, and that we’re living in a time that is clearly unprecedented. I believe that Jesus wanted it this way to get our attention off of ourselves and our agendas and such, and onto His Word and the unspeakable joy and glory that awaits us in His Kingdom. As I watch the various YouTube watchers and prophets, the Holy Spirit is quick to help me discern the truth from the distracted. Some of these YouTubers are as harsh as they are critical with their postings and comments; quite honestly, it breaks my heart. The Lord reminds me that He loves them, but some of them have chosen a shallow walk with Him; nonetheless, it’s still a walk that will be reflected in their actions and, for them, rewarded at the Bema accordingly.
I love Jesus very much and while I don’t consider myself to be anyone special in this life, I know I matter to the Master. I love God’s Word, praying, spending time with Jesus in quite places, worshipping Him and fellowshipping with my brothers and sisters in Christ. I love what Jesus loves, His Church and His people, even those who are not saved…yet. While this blog is not being written to exploit my spiritual life formation, I do want readers to understand that I am a mature, solid, and strong Spirit-filled, tongue talking, believer. With that, I have been struggling with my confidence, and more so lately. My prayer is that God would give me a renewed confidence (this blog title) in Him and the promises of His Word, particularly those related to the Rapture. As an Ordained AG pastor, I have had the privilege of teaching Eschatology at the collegiate level for the better part of 20 years at our School of Ministry. I have presented the various views of the timing of the Rapture in relation to the seven-year tribulation, the timelines of Revelation, and the OT prophets and their forecast of the coming seven-year tribulation and ensuing millennial reign of Jesus. While it would seem almost unnecessary to know all of this stuff, in reality, it is extremely necessary to both understand it, and to teach it to others accurately. I have learned that some people want to argue their position ad nauseum while others just don’t care. I am not much of a debater when it comes to things like this because at the end of the day, I teach all the views, present the case for my view, which is for the pre-tribulation Rapture, and I let them decide. I am a firm believer that if a person loves Jesus, but is unsure about the Rapture, they will figure it out on the way up. Yet a lot of people believe that if a person doesn’t believe in a pre-trib Rapture, they are not going in it. I don’t get that. This blog is not about that issue. (see ‘Is Jesus Coming for Me or Not!?’) As we near the Rapture, we also near the seven-year tribulation and all that it entails. The closer we get to the Master’s return, the more excited we should be for it, and Him. In the same light, the closer we get to the tribulation, the more dread and fear we will feel for those who are left behind. While it’s true that we don’t fear what the world fears, we still feel what they feel because of the nearness of the seven-year tribulation. It’s presence has its own pre-event manifestations which include, but are not limited to, governmental and economic collapses, military troop movements and subsequent attacks, earthquakes and other weather related phenomenon, and sicknesses and diseases.
Jesus spoke of all of these things happening just prior to His return with the command, ‘not to be alarmed.’
“You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. 7 Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. 8 All these are the beginning of birth pains.” – Matthew 24:6-8
- For a seasoned believer, full of the Holy Spirit, this may be a bit easier to comprehend. For a novice Christian or an unbeliever, it can be quite unsettling. My prayer is for a renewed confidence that shores up my faith in Christ and helps me to be strong and useful for the Master during these last days.
It’s similar to how Jesus would spend quality time with His heavenly Father in quiet places of prayer and medication. He was soaking in the presence of God, listening to His voice, and communion with the Lord. This in of itself will provide a level of emotional strength and spiritual confidence for any believer, and it was demonstrated by the Christ Himself. Some argue that Jesus was, in essence, talking to Himself, but in reality, He was communing with the part of Himself that was in heaven; He is a triune God. For me, this is how I renew my confidence in the Lord, in the midst of the pre-storm.
There is something very special and unique about this year, 2021. A lot of us were looking for a Rosh Hashanah Rapture last week, but in reality, we still have a few more days to go to fulfill the Fall feasts for this year. While the Gregorian and other calendars show these feasts are now passed, the Lord’s calendar, written in the heavens, still places them in front of us. This means that for this year, we still have hope. This blog is not about dates, times, and calendars so much as it is about helping men to renew their confidence in the Lord. We walk by faith in Jesus, we do so with the integrity that commands the respect and level of faith that God has placed into us for this walk. It’s not for lightweights or for those who cower (shrink) back into perdition.
The Hebrew writer, quoting Isaiah 26:20 & Habakkuk 2:3,4, said it this way,
“For, “In just a little while, he who is coming will come and will not delay.” 38 And, “But my righteous one will live by faith. And I take no pleasure in the one who shrinks back.” 39 But we do not belong to those who shrink back and are destroyed, but to those who have faith and are saved.” – Hebrews 10:37,38
You must not lose faith man of God, you must be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might; not your own. You must renew your faith in God, recommit yourself to Him, and walk closer to Him. Let your love for Jesus and your confidence in His Word be made manifest in how you love your wife and your children (grandchildren). If need be, repent, repent, repent, of any and all wickedness that may still be attached to your soul. Be sure you have forgiven those who have trespassed against you and request the forgiveness of those you have trespassed, as best you can. Jesus is coming, we need to get our house in order. Renewing your faith and confidence in the Lord is key to this ‘getting in order’ process and it ups the integrity of your walk with Jesus.
One final note about the nearness of the Rapture. Even if we know the day and hour (which we don’t), the Lord expects us to be working right up until the moment the trumpet blasts. This is why He doesn’t give us an exact day and time, He knows our nature is to be lazy and it we could, we would coast across the finish line. How many believers out there have taken the bait of receiving federal money in place of working. If you can make $50. working for a day or be given $100. from the government for not working, our tendency is to take the larger amount, not realizing that we are playing into their plan to cripple our economy. Better to work for less than be lazy for more; it’s a strong work ethic thing. Be sure to thank the waiter or waitress for working. Remember to give them a good tip because they could have stayed home instead of serving you. This is exactly what the Lord expect of us, to be working for Him to the very end, not cowering back in a secluded place of perceived safety, doing mindless routines and wasting valuable time.
Jesus said it this way,
“Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom the master has put in charge of the servants in his household to give them their food at the proper time? 46 It will be good for that servant whose master finds him doing so when he returns. 47 Truly I tell you, he will put him in charge of all his possessions.” – Matthew 24:45-47
Be faithful and wise, man of God, you have what it takes to be about the Master’s business till He returns.
Jesus reminds us that we are to be…
“like servants waiting for their master to return from a wedding banquet, so that when he comes and knocks they can immediately open the door for him. 37 It will be good for those servants whose master finds them watching when he comes. Truly I tell you, he will dress himself to serve, will have them recline at the table and will come and wait on them. 38 It will be good for those servants whose master finds them ready, even if he comes in the middle of the night or toward daybreak.” – Luke 12:36-38
I encourage you brother, don’t lose faith or heart, hang in there and keep on keeping on. We can see the finish line is not far off; we just don’t know exactly where it is to cross it, but we know it’s very close. Renew your faith and your confidence in the Lord, in His Word, in His promises, and in His plan for your life.
Remember the words of Jesus,
“It will be good for that servant whom the master finds doing so when he returns.”
– Luke 12:43
We don’t know how much time that we have so we must make every day, every moment, count for the glory of the Lord. Just to let you know, I live what I preach. While I currently don’t have a church, I am doing side jobs, driving a bus part time for a local Christian school where Debi teaches, I am hosting one of the campuses for our School of Ministry, and Debi and I are hosting a small group from our church in our home. We don’t do this for bonus points at the Bema; we do it because the Master has instructed us to be working in His vineyard when He returns. Even if you’re not looking for the Rapture, be ready for it. The idea of being ready is to be in a right relationship with the Lord and with others. We must be working in the capacity that God has entrusted to us and to be anticipating what the next thing is that God is doing in our life.
If you are reading this and you don’t know Jesus or perhaps, the Rapture has already occurred and you have been left behind, please see ‘In the Event of Global Vanishings’ in this blog site, get saved, and brace yourself. If you’re reading this and we’re all still here, it’s not too late for you to go with the rest of us; receive Jesus today! He loves you and has prepared a place just for you in His Kingdom. (John 14:1-3)
Plan long, but look short; Jesus is coming soon!
Encouragemen is a blog written by Pastor Rob Lee, recently relocated to Central Missouri. He lives with his wife Debi of 32-years, near their three adult children, their spouses, and children (their grandchildren). Pastor Rob is an Ordained Assemblies of God minister, a former Lead Pastor (25 years), police chaplain, and community advocate. He continues to serve, consult, and disciple men of God; including those in the ministry.