I was pondering all of the stuff that is currently going on in the world today and I came to the conclusion that what we are seeing now is nothing less than the beginning of the ‘end of days’ being played out right before our eyes; right before the Rapture of the Church. Jesus gives us a lot of pertinent information regarding His return for His Church in Matthew 24, things that I have covered in other blogs on this site. However, what I am focusing on now is the passage in verse 33 that reads,
“So you also, when you see all these thing, know that it (or He) is near-at the doors!”
– Matthew 24:32
- The phrase, ‘all these things’ is a convergence statement. If we were to see a few of these things, or one or two of these things occurring that would be one thing, but to see ‘all’ of them occurring at once, well that’s quite another thing entirely.
While Matthew 24 has been debated ad nauseum over the decades by well meaning scholars and pastors, in the end, these are the words of Jesus to us, His Church, that is living right now, in the day of His return to the earth. Alas friends, we are the terminal generation.
In Luke, Jesus said it this way, “Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near.” – Luke 21:28
- The phrase, ‘when these things begin to happen’ is also a convergence passage. Jesus gives His people further instruction, ‘look up and lift up your heads.’ The direction that we are to be looking in is up, not around. The spiritual posture we are to have is an upward one. This speaks to a believer’s state of focus and emotional health; both are relevant in this convergence. Don’t be distracted by the flesh tendencies.
Earthquakes, food shortages (famines), the systematic dismantling of our global financial infrastructure by the powers that be (i.e. global elite) are just a few things that Jesus mentioned. We’re seeing major troop movements, saber rattling, the posturing of military equipment, and the demonstrations of missile capability from enemy nations. Did I mention the fact that these super powers are talking nuclear weapons like they actually intend to use them? I wasn’t around during the Cuban missile crisis of 1962, but it would appear to me that what is happening today pales in comparison; yet nobody seems to care. This sense of apathy is unsettling at best and a very real threat to our civilized way of life at worst.
A lot of folks gave up watching the news as their hearts can’t handle it. They are looking in other places for comfort and strength, they are absorbing their latest distraction in an effort to put off the inevitable, that is, how this will eventually impact them personally, and more likely, eternally. Did I mention that the Chiefs lost today? I think HyVee (a local grocery chain in the Midwest) is having a sale on stew beef this week. Oh yeah, the local pumpkin patch is really busy with many parents and their kids coming out to partake in the festivities.
The Bible says, more specifically, Solomon said, “I have seen the God-given task with which the sons of men are to be occupied. 11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also He has put eternity in their hearts, except that no one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end. 12 I know that nothing is better for them than to rejoice, and to do good in their lives,” – Ecclesiastes 3:10-12
- While this passage comes from a very informative chapter in this book, it speaks to how folks tend to react to such things like we are seeing right now. They continue to occupy, like Jesus instructed us to do. They embrace the beauty of their lives, their families, their world around them, and the limited time they have. It’s not a bad thing to occupy, I mean, a sale is a sale, but not if a person is not ready to die.
Solomon reminds his readers that ‘God Almighty has put eternity into the very heart of man.’ This means to say that no matter what lie you may have been told in your growing years, you will live forever in one of two places, heaven or hell. You just didn’t evolve like some amoeba and turn into a person over millions of years like the evil-loutonists would like you to believe. That lie is from the devil himself.
The reality is that all of us have been created in the image and likeness of our Creator. We have an eternal nature like God, only we had a beginning, God was always. Since God is and forever will be, so we, because He created us in Him image, will also forever be. This doesn’t work for pets or any other lifeforms in this world, only people. We had a start date, we will not have an end date; eternity, it’s forever, get used to it.
Solomon infers that if a person is right with God, that is, they are ready to meet Him as it were, than they should ‘rejoice and do good in their lives.’ How we occupy depends on where we are at with Jesus. If we are in a right relationship with Him, that is, we are saved by His grace and walking with Him each day in accordance to His Word, than we are good to rejoice and do good in our lives; even if Russia is parading their latest piece military hardware, in this case, another nuclear submarine, through the streets of St. Petersburg. I thought those things worked best in the ocean. At least there were plenty of tires on the trailer they were towing the submarine on.
My point is that we are seeing ‘all these things’ beginning to happen right now. This is a genuine clue from the Lord that He is near, at the very doors, to pick us up. I would say that His hand is on the doorknob to heaven and He is about to open the door for His church, His bride, living and asleep in Him, to be ‘received’
(Greek: paralambano) into His kingdom. While I am sure there are many believers who are more than ready for this event, the Rapture, to occur, I am equally sure that although many are ready, that is, wanting the Lord to return, they are not really ready, they just think that they are. Being ready is being right in God’s sight according to His Word, His standard, not ours. How we live our lives depends on how it aligns with God’s Word. Being a Christian is about being like Christ. It’s a lifestyle of discipline and faith, coupled together in a love relationship with the Father through Jesus that is made available to us by God’s grace and our faith in Him.
The Lord is telling us that He is near, at the very door, by the signs that we are seeing all at once, this convergence. We have never seen anything like this before, at least not in our lifetime. I think Noah and the people of his day experienced something similar to what we are today; and we know how that ended. For the believer who is genuinely ready to go, they should occupy as the Lord has enabled them to do so. They should rejoice and enjoy the fruit of their labors, take their kids to the pumpkin patch, buy stew meat that’s on sale at HyVee, and enjoy your team’s latest game, even though it’s temporary and limited to this life, it’s part of what we do to occupy. As long as we are witnessing along the way, it’s a good thing. We do have a reward waiting for us in heaven that we have been laying up for ourselves over the years as we have served and obeyed the Lord. This will be revealed to us at the Bema Seat judgment, just after the Rapture.
Someone once asked me, ‘What would be the first thing I would do if I weren’t saved?’ I said, ‘I would get saved!’ There’s no other way to be or to live, especially as we see all of the things that we are seeing occurring in the world, all at the same time. I am a watchman and I have exposed myself to other watchman who have been proclaiming the relevant events that are happening in the world which pertain to the Lord’s soon return for His Church. The ‘day of your watchman’ is quickly approaching and we need to maintain a posture of readiness, while at the same time, encouraging others to make ready as well. Every person we win to Christ on this side of the Rapture is one less person who will have to endure the seven-year tribulation, or a portion thereof, that is currently looming over the earth right now. It’s like people know something bad is on the horizon, but they are not sure how to prepare for it. You and I, if we are in Christ, have the words of eternal life and we need to share it with them as best we can; gently, but with wisdom. We must pray for opportunites to witness as the Lord sets up these divine appointments for us to be His ambassador to them because when that last Gentile receives Jesus, (Romans 11:25), we’re outta here!
Encouragemen is a blog written by Pastor Rob Lee, recently relocated to Northern Missouri. He lives with his wife of 33-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 who are in the ministry.