Waiting to Launch

I am finding that is has become a bit unpopular to be a watcher in these last of the last days.  I mean, not for other watchers so much as it is for those believers who perhaps are not looking for the Lord’s return like He commanded us to do in these last days. 

“Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour (day) your Lord is coming.”

– Matthew 24:42

  • The Lord doesn’t want to catch His Church unaware when He returns for them no more than He wanted the five foolish virgins to have no oil in their lamps (Matthew 25:1-13).   Waiting for the Lord implies that one is ready in their waiting and not just waiting because they are having a bad life, so to speak

I remember talking with one of my neighbors in Gardena about 20 years back. He wasn’t a believer by any stretch of the imagination based on his lifestyle of sin in spite of his familiarity with the Bible.  However, he did identify as a believer and made it clear to me that he was ‘ready’ for the Lord to come based on his own personal suffering and dissatisfaction with life.  Through this experience I was able to better understand what a foolish virgin looks like in a modern context.  I was sad for him, but could do no more than I did in my witness, mainly because of his disposition; that is, thinking he was saved but in reality, he was lost as a goat in a hailstorm.  That kind of waiting doesn’t cut it in a court of God; when the trumpet blows; because that person is not saved, they only think that they are, which is the worst place to be at spiritually, they’ll be left behind.

Jesus said that we would know when He was near, even ‘at the very doors.’

“So you also, when you see all these things, know that it (or He) is near—at the doors!”        

– Matthew 24:33 

  • When someone is at the front door at our house, our dogs go berserk with barking and clawing at the door.  Our 100 pound Irish Wolfhound sounds like a terror, but in reality, he just wants to play with whoever is on the other side of the door, because he knows someone is there. 

Likewise, we as Spirit-filled believers should be able to tell that the Lord is near; especially with all that is happening around us and in the world at large.  Jesus is at the door, ringing the door bell and He is ready to receive His Church at any moment.  Our waiting prowess implies that we are to also be ready and serving the Lord while waiting to launch. 

Watching while waiting to launch doesn’t imply that we are not to be doing what the Lord commanded us to do while we watch and wait; rather, it should be a major motivator for us to press in like never before because we can clearly see that the hour is late.

“Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect. 45 “Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his master made ruler over his household, to give them food in due season (at the right time)? 46 Blessed is that servant whom his master, when he comes, will find so doing. 47 Assuredly, I say to you that he will make him ruler over all his goods.”       – Matthew 24:44-47 

  • Being ready is the command from the Christ, who is telling us that we won’t know the day or hour, but we still need to be ‘faithful and wise’ in our service to the Lord.  Whatever that looks like for you will better define your waiting discipline; which must include really being ready, with our lamps full of oil.

When that trumpet sounds, let’s hope that the Master will launch you out of some ministry roles, beginning with your faithfulness to your family, and the ministry He has called you to, which begins with yours own spiritual life formation.  When Jesus finds us faithful to His task when He returns, we will be called ‘blessed’ and this will render us rewards at the Bema Seat when we arrive in Heaven.

As far as all of the scoffers out there, and even the ones in the Church who are saved, but somewhat intolerant of those of us who are proclaiming the nearness of the Lord’s return for His Church. 

“knowing this first: that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of  creation.”      – 2 Peter 3:3,4

  • Make no mistake friend, some of these scoffers are in the church.  They’re saved, but just not watching to the degree that the Lord commanded.  When the Lord returns, they will be more surprised when they arrive in Heaven as compared to those of us who were watching and working while waiting to launch.

I remember interviewing a Lutheran brother who took over our school about 10 years back.  He was part of the Missouri Synod, which is a conservative branch of Lutheranism.  His spiritual life formation was in order, but his eschatology was kingdom now and post-millennial.  He was saved by grace, just very much not aware of Bible prophecy as it related to the Rapture of the Church. He told me the same and I hired him, knowing that he would be pleasantly surprised when the trumpet blew and the Master calls us all home.

NOTE: There are some well-meaning pastors and teachers out there who believe and teach that if a person is not watching for the Lord’s return in a pre-tribulation Rapture, than He is not coming for you.  While this may sound good in the meter of a sermon, it’s simply not true; otherwise you would be putting more stipulations on salvation that are just not biblical.  They’ll figure it out on the way up.   

Watching today is not like watching 30 years ago.  Things are a bit different now, with all of the technology that will support end times Bible prophecy like the mark of the beast, instant global communication, and the ability to kill 1/4th of the world’s population with WMD’s and such. 

Look, I get that things look bleak out there with the stock market getting ready to crash, banks collapsing, and numerous fires and explosions happening all around the nation.  I get it, we’re under attack by the powers that be, but God is still in control and is setting up the scenario for the seven-year tribulation.  This being said, we, as true believers in Jesus, are NOT to be worried or troubled over this pre-trib show; this is what Jesus said it would look like just before His return for His Church.   

“But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. 38 For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, 39 and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. 40 Then two men will be in the field: one will be taken and the other left. 41 Two women will be grinding at the mill: one will be taken and the other left.”                              – Matthew 24:37-41 

  • This is a Rapture passage, not a Second Coming one.  There is only so much time left on the clock to be able to eat and drink, plan weddings and so forth.  Normalcy is leaving us a little bit each day; and it’s much worse in war-torn countries.  As I have said before, we could be out of here in the next few months, or even weeks.  Being truly ready in our waiting to launch is a critical element for sure.

As you wait, be sure to work while you watch and continue to plan for the long run, which is a key element in our readiness of waiting. Be strong in the Lord and continue to press into Him with prayer, Bible reading, worship, and fellowship.  Our righteous acts won’t save us (only Jesus can do that), but they do make a statement of our love for the Lord. See you real soon.


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. 

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