I Thought I Saw It Coming
Commentary on the News
Monday, January 16, 2012
Commentary on the News
Monday, January 16, 2012
It is incredible, yet true. We are witnessing the unfolding of events long prophesied to take place during the last generation before the return of Christ. We knew that it was coming – we were almost eager to see this day because it means the Rapture is that much closer.
But as the day approaches, it becomes less an abstract notion and more a crushingly painful reality. It has made that transition from theoretical possibility to actual fact.
We always knew, in theory that, one day Christians would be marginalized to the point of insignificance.
We always knew that one day, some new religion having two horns like a lamb but speaking as a dragon would overspread Planet Earth. For decades we’ve made a guessing game out of what it would look like and who would be its leader.
As we see the hard-and-fast answers crowding out our best guesses, the game isn’t as much fun as it used to be. In fact, it isn’t any fun at all, any more.
This IS what we’ve been expecting. It is what the Bible forecast for the last days. Jesus said the Tribulation Period would be a time so terrible that if He didn’t return to put a stop to it, there would be no flesh saved out of it.
So it is entirely reasonable to expect that the period leading up to it would be, ah, unpleasant, to say the least. Jesus prophesied that the time will come when those who kill you will think they do God service.
He reminded us that the world MUST hate us because it hates Him - but that doesn’t make it any easier when it happens.
There are two competing sets of values here and it is out of that conflict that all the angst arises. If we are where I believe that we are on Bible prophecy’s timeline, then America’s (and the West’s) days are numbered.
If we are where I believe we are, then the decline we are experiencing is both inevitable and unstoppable. This is only part of the Big Picture – there are other, bigger and scarier parts yet to come.
Why are they scarier today than they were, say, ten years ago? It isn’t as if Bible prophecy changed in the last ten years. What we are experiencing is the realization of our expectations.
Did anybody really think that witnessing the unfolding of last days’ prophecy would be fun?
If you did, now you know.
You also know why you were but one of only a tiny handful of ‘prophecy nuts’ in your church. I say ‘were’ because as we move forward on the Bible timeline, prophecy doesn’t seem so nuts anymore.
In the grand scheme of things, very few Christians in these last days have been called as watchmen. Even fewer have responded to the calling. It’s not for everybody -- for some it is too much. That is why we are necessary – to give the warning.
God has set each of us in the place He wants us to be for this time and place in human history. That doesn’t mean it is a pleasant place – we had our pleasant time. But God in His wisdom, and for reasons known only to Him, has called us – you and me and others like us – as witnesses.
He promises a special crown for us at the Bema Seat. There are only FIVE crowns and this is one of them. So what made you think that earning it would be easy? It is supposed to be hard.
Out of all the living Christians on this planet, God called YOU to bear witness for all those too afraid to look.
Yes, it is frustrating. Yes, it is infuriating. Yes, it is frightening. And YES – it is unfair. Why can’t YOU be one of those Christians just strolling through life, tra-la-la-la-la, in blissful ignorance?
I dunno. Because you can’t. God called you and you answered the phone. Sorry. This is a bell that you can’t unring. Read through your assignment again -- note in particular the parts in italics.
“I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom; Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.
But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.” (2nd Timothy 4:1-5)
Somebody has to watch in all things, do the work of an evangelist and make full proof of the ministry to which God called them. That’s the charge. You accepted it -- or you wouldn’t be reading these words now.
Now the evil days are upon us and somehow, we are surprised to find we don’t like it. I am not saying that sarcastically – I am as surprised as anybody at how surprised I am, if you can follow my drift.
I thought I was made of sterner stuff than that.
So, what are we to do as Christians? Our job. Be witnesses. Watch and observe and give the warning. You know, the Bible says that Noah preached for one hundred and twenty years and never made a single convert.
But when the rains came down, Noah still got to ride out the storm in the ark.
It is easy to become discouraged, frustrated and even angry.
But it is part of a plan that the God of the Universe has not only let you in on, He has included you as a necessary part.
“Now unto Him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy, To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.” (Jude 1:24-25)
He can keep you from falling. He will present you faultless before the Throne with exceeding joy. He knows what He is doing, and He has let you in on some of the details.
Here's what we know -- and we know it for sure. There is lots to be scared of. But nothing to be worried about. Because He is able. And He loves you more than you know.