The Tide is Coming In :: By Todd Hampson

After a very busy summer of mission trips, business trips, college visits, and visiting relatives, my family and I snuck away for a short beach vacation before school, sports, and other activities ramp back up to full capacity.

At the beach where we stayed, the oceanfront receded about 1/8th of a mile at low tide, and we could wade out into the water about the same distance with the water still only coming up to our waist. My kids loved when the tide would come in because that meant bigger waves so they could body surf and stand in deeper water.

With current events and Bible Prophecy on my mind, I noticed something about the tide that made me see it as a fitting metaphor. When waves come in, they surge and recede; but each time they surge, they come a little bit further in until finally they reach maximum height.

The vegetation line shows us where the maximum tide will reach; so if you are staking a spot on the beach, you can analyze the distance between the water’s edge and the vegetation line to gauge where to park your chair, towel, or umbrella, based on how much time you have to enjoy the sand and surf.

Those of us who study Bible Prophecy are familiar with the concept of birth pains. Jesus himself spoke about them in his Olivet Discourse while sighting the end-time signs he said we should look for. Birth pains increase in frequency and severity until finally the baby is born. Once initiated, nothing will stop the birth pains from increasing or the baby from coming.

Here’s where I’m going with my high-tide analogy. First century Christians thought the Lord’s return was imminent because of the severe persecution they faced. Modern-day Christians have been beating the “Jesus is coming soon” drum since the explosion of last-days awareness stemming from Hal Lindsey’s 1971 book, The Late Great Planet Earth, and the related 1970’s revival known as the Jesus Movement.

After a decade, the fervor subsided a bit, but a broader understanding of Bible prophecy and the waning church age was the result. Then in the 1990’s, The Left Behind book series by Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins rekindled a similar fervor for Bible Prophecy and a greater awareness of the signs of the times. Once again, the broad excitement of the masses died down a bit, and another generation became familiar with Bible prophecy and end-time events.

I see a similar phenomenon occurring now. Since about 2015, I’ve sensed an increasing broad grassroots awareness that we are ebbing ever-closer to the end-time events foretold in Scripture. There hasn’t been one particular book to spark the interest, but an increasingly large group of trusted and well-studied theologians, pastors, and experts who agree we are seeing a convergence of end-time conditions like never before. Rather than one book, there has been a steady stream of books on the topic.

Daniel 12:4 predicted just an awakening in the last days. The predicted explosion in travel and knowledge includes an increase in knowledge of prophecy—the immediate context of the surrounding verses.

With each surge of the prophetic waves, the puzzle pieces more closely align with the Biblical model:

The national alignments and geopolitical conditions; the extent and severity of natural disasters; the subsequent iterations of the long-foretold and ever-looming Mideast peace plan; the increasing isolation and hatred of tiny Israel by the world community; the level of lawlessness, violence, and immorality; the exponential curve of technology; and the dimming light of Christianity in geographic and institutional sectors that once championed its cause.

All of these harbingers and more are screaming at us that the tide is indeed coming in.

With each set of crashing waves, we creep closer to the vegetation line known as the tribulation period. In between surges, the current momentarily drifts back out—only to be eclipsed by another set of waves that ebb even further up to approach their appointed apex.

How much longer until maximum high tide? Only the Lord knows, but it is closer with each passing day and with each new development. Although we “see through a glass darkly” and don’t have the crystal- clear view that will one day be offered by hindsight, there are enough major pieces in place that we can confidently say that the tide is most definitely coming in. Only God knows when it will reach the vegetation line, but in my studied and humble opinion, that time is fast approaching and sooner than most people might think.

The paradoxical truth of our “blessed hope” is understanding that as the world grows more precarious, evil, and godless—that simply means that our departure is closer at hand. The rapture of the church precedes the time of God’s judgment, so those of us who have received Christ will be removed from the earth before high tide becomes a raging tsunami.

If you don’t yet know the Savior who died for you, please take time now to investigate his claims and his word. Don’t leave any stone unturned. Don’t wait; because even if the Lord’s return is not in our lifetime, we are not guaranteed our next breath.

With the heaviness inherent to discussions about the last days, I want to end this post on a high note and remind us of a key command Jesus gave about these times. In Luke 21:28, he said, “When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.” Please take note that he did NOT say, “When you see these things begin to happen, FREAK OUT!”

The beautiful message of prophecy is that, even in the chaotic waves, God is still in control. He is firmly in control of history and he is firmly in control of your life. Please trust Him today.

One day relatively soon, our faith will become sight. Do now what you can’t do then. Take Him at his word, trust him as your Savior, then tell others about the wonderful gift that is available to them as well. Life is short. Eternity is long. Let’s focus on what will be important to use 10 million years from now.

1 John 3:2-3 reads, “Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. All who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure.”

Waiting expectantly for the Lord’s return has a purifying effect on us because it brings perspective. Trivial things fade away in the bright light of His soon return. World conditions show us the tide is coming in. Are you ready?

Please feel free to contact me today if you want to know more about how to become a Christian or if there is any way I can serve you.

Todd Hampson | ToddHampson.com