When I was a kid, like many people, I heard the story of the little boy who cried wolf. The moral of the story was to instruct us to only “cry wolf” when there really is a wolf, otherwise people will turn a deaf ear!
To many in the church, the message of Jesus’ soon return has been relegated to “crying wolf” It's a 2,000 year-old message and many have heard it all their lives and have put it in a category of non-relevant at a time that it’s becoming most relevant.
2 Peter 3:3-7:
“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.”
For this they willfully forget: that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of water and in the water, by which the world that then existed perished, being flooded with water.
But the heavens and the earth which are now preserved by the same word, are reserved for fire until the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.”
SCOFFERS ARE SCOFFING
In this late hour and it is late, how do we know? Because the Bible said that when we saw the nation of Israel reborn that a final countdown would begin and that the clock for us to watch would be Israel. That there would come a time when the nations of this world would begin to align against Israel and that Jerusalem would become a burden to the world in regards to Peace. “Jacob’s trouble” is a time our God has mercifully warned us about and told us how the state of mankind’s hearts would be...“as it was in the days of Noah” and “as it was in the days of Lot”.
“HELLO?” When have we ever seen a more volatile time─globally speaking? The enemies of Israel are aligning at an alarming rate and they have made their intentions very clear... “Israel shall be no more.” Hmmm, or should I say: “Holy Moley?” Psalm 83 warned us that this mindset would be prominent at such a time as this. Psalm 83:4: “They have said, ‘Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation, that the name of Israel may be remembered no more.’”
Coincidence? Crying Wolf?
How ‘bout our culture...has it changed in recent years? I mean there was a time people left their doors unlocked, where shows on TV were The Waltons, Little House on the Prairie, and The Andy Griffith Show but we are not in Mayberry (RFD-TV) anymore.
I mean do you NOT think Paul was speaking of “this time” when He penned these words to Timothy?
2 Timothy 3:1-7:
“But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power.
And from such people turn away! For of this sort are those who creep into households and make captives of gullible women loaded down with sins, led away by various lusts, always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.”
Now, before you just say to yourself, “ I've heard this all before,” please take a moment and stop and think about what we are talking about as Bible believing followers of Jesus Christ. This is a SIGN POST at a time that we were told to look for.
The apostle Paul writes Timothy a letter of description of what the world will be looking like when “it’s the LAST DAYS.”
“LAST DAYS? Awe, man! I’ve heard this all my life...I mean Hal Lindsey’s Late Great Planet Earth is over 40 years old since it was first published! People have been preaching: ‘Jesus is coming back’ forever!”
But that mindset is what Peter warned to watch out for when writing about now! And let me remind you─Noah preached for a hundred years about the coming wrath of God and was mocked over and over UNTIL it started to rain. And let’s be honest and look back and do so in light of Daniel’s “last days” warnings of how mankind would know that time was running out:
Daniel 12:4: “But you, Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book until the time of the end; many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase.”
In the last 40 years, has knowledge increased, has travel increased and on what type of scale in light of the last two thousand years? Seriously, stop and think! Just in light of this one passage of prophecy, if you will be honest─it should shake you awake to stop and think and then believe!
I liken it to last year’s family vacation. My wife and I took our three kids to the ocean for the first time. In the prior weeks to our “taking off” from Missouri to Destin, Florida there was a lot of talk about what to expect, what to look for and what to hope for. The day finally arrived to head out on our journey and there was great anticipation but of course in a 13 plus hour car ride with three kids with some agonizing: “Are we getting close?” “How much further?” and “We are never gonna get there!” But as soon as we hit Interstate 10 and they saw ocean water (a sign post)─that Destin was getting closer, a growing sense of urgency and excitement began to hit all of us. We were right to know that we were close to our destination, not because of our feelings or desires but just because we were really getting closer and the signs all around were us telling us that very thing!
EARS to HEAR
IF there was ever a time to be listening to what God is sharing, it’s now. Today IS the day of salvation and it’s time to work the harvest fields for there is coming an hour when no man can work. The beating of the clock is winding down while many biblical indicators are screaming out to those who would study to show themselves approved. The prophetic compass of God’s Word says to keep an eye on Damascus and it’s soon destruction prophesied by Isaiah, to pay attention to the wars and rumors of wars, to notice the shaking of the earth intensifying, the groaning of earth and sea, the violence of man’s hearts growing darker and love waxing cold...are we listening?
Or it just a “cry wolf” in our hearing? Does the almost sixteen trillion of national debt here in America seem normal or do we realize that “the debtor is enslaved to the lender?” Are we shaken awake that the nations of this world like Greece and Spain are going bankrupt? That an evil plan is even now being put into place to microchip each human being for “medical purposes?” People are being arrested for having a Bible study in America? In our paying attention to all these things we are told to look up and to watch and pray. Are WE? Or are we tuning it all out?
What does turning a deaf ear to the message of Jesus’ soon return look like? The answer: Complacency, lethary, lukewarm living for your best life now, self-kingdom building, turning a blind eye to those who are perishing without any “sense of urgency” lifestyles.
What do you think is on the heart of our God for His people right now, at such a time as this? The answer: That we, His children would fall madly and passionately in love with Him, returning to Him, our first love! Jesus, Himself gave us that message in Mathew 22:37-40:
“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”
This is not some legalistic appeal to try and guilt a response, to put a heavy yoke of doing to earn!!
This is all about “where are our hearts?”
The first thing I want us to remember we are told, “without faith it is impossible to please God.” Noah by faith believed God and built an ark...and that is exactly what I'm about to ask you to do. It’s time to build an end time structure of escape...what is that?
It’s a united remnant of called-out believers working in one accord to simply love the Lord by loving His sheep, by lifting up the only Name given unto man by which he can be saved...Jesus Christ and Him crucified!
When Peter had failed the Lord by denying Him, Jesus came to Peter and restored him by asking:
“Peter, do you love Me?” “Yes Lord, I love you.” “Peter, feed my sheep.” Jesus asked him again, “Peter do you love me?” “Yes Lord, you know I do.” “Feed my sheep.”
And that is exactly what Jesus is asking us during this time of when it seeming that the church has failed Him by denying Him on so many levels in our lives. Yet our high calling…is to hear:
“Well done thou faithful servant, I was naked and you clothed me, I was hungry and you fed me, I was thirty and you gave me a drink.”
Jesus is once again asking, “Do you love me?"
Time is running out to do what Jesus has commissioned us to do!
LOOK at the Clock!
Israel, May 14, 1948...tick tock, missiles fired upon them almost daily, suicide bombers, nations aligning with the sole purpose to eradicate Israel and the great Satan the U.S.A. The Great Tribulation is also known as Jacob's Trouble, a time Israel will be surrounded and vexed on every side. Can’t we see that is even now taking shape? If we know the end of the story...it brings great and reassuring news, but for those who are even now lost and headed toward all of eternity separated from the love of God and doomed to an eternal hell─ it’s URGENT that we be about our “Father’s business”.... spending time getting to know Him and making Him known to others.
The little boy cried wolf when there was no wolf, but many in the kingdom are now crying “Make straight the way of the Lord” because Jesus is about to shout, “Come up here” and that is the gospel truth!
In hearing that does your heart scoff, “Where is the promise of His coming?” Does it say as the evil servant in Luke 12? “My master is delaying His coming.” Or does it align with the Spirit of God in crying? “Even so Lord, come quickly.”
Back to this thing called “crying wolf.” As believers we have no business looking for the Antichrist but we should be very aware of the stage he is about to step out onto. What is his stage? What are the problems he will seemingly solve? A global “financial crisis.” And he will be a peace broker between Israel and her enemies at a time of great volatility...If that stage is even now being set, we who have ears to hear and eyes to see can take great heart that our “blessed hope” is even at the door!