With all the talk of last days and Jesus coming to retrieve His Bride, and all the saber rattling bombarding us daily, those who believe in Bible prophecy realize we as a church are actually coming down to the wire.
In fact we are getting so close to what many of us have been patiently, and in some cases impatiently—waiting for that the excitement is almost to a fever pitch. There are no limits it seems to written commentaries on the subject of end time’s prophecy. Some people get so keyed up they find it difficult to concentrate and they get consumed with the inevitability of the rapture of the Church to the exclusion of all else. Yet others belonging to the same fold of Christianity and pay little attention to all this prophecy stuff.
For those of us who actually believe in Bible prophecy, we see the universal church being prepared for a great event. Believers who’ve fixed their sights on their home in heaven are seriously anticipating that snatching away of the saints. We are going home! Praise God.
On the other hand the question begs to be asked. Christian, where’s your home? I’m sure we’ve all heard the quip, “Home is where the heart is” but how many of us can actually say heaven is where my heart is? Are Christians truly excited about going home? If so, why is it so many of God’s children are seemingly clinging to planet Earth like a tree that has grown roots a mile deep?
Believers and non-believers alike have lived on planet earth for the last six thousand or so years and this has been the only home we’ve known. Good or bad, happy or sad, angry or glad this is where we have grown and flourished and this is where many have died and more will die.
We’ve become familiar with, even dependent on, our surroundings. For the most part, we’re patriots of our particular country of origin. But sometimes patriotism to country gets in the way of believers devotion to their God and Savoir Jesus Christ.
I must say I am somewhat dismayed by what I see happening around this nation. Not because of all the repulsive things I see coming about through our government’s leaders, we are to expect persecutions and trials coming from the world. What really concerns me is what I see taking place in the lives of many of my brethren.
For some time now, the United States of America has been a nation bent on giving God the boot, no new revelation there. It’s also being said that America is no longer a Christian nation, others say it never was. There was a point in America’s history when many of the government leaders were indeed Christian. Sadly that is no longer the case.
Whether America is considered a Christian nation or not is irrelevant. Believers shouldn’t be looking at America or any other country as their home. We know through studying God’s word where our long term residential care home is and it isn’t on planet earth.
That’s something else that has bothered me for quite some time now; I’m speaking of Bible illiteracy. Along with biblical illiteracy goes a lack of discernment. Just because Christians are seemingly in the majority in this nation doesn’t mean the majority of those Christians have any biblical discernment, or if they do from what I’ve seen, it’s precious little.
After all, as a nation made up of a supposedly Christian majority we’ve now allowed ourselves to be placed under the control of a fully secular humanistic government that gives no more consideration to the God of the Bible than does a worm. How is that possible with a 70 percent majority of Christians? Failure to know and understand God’s word for one thing, and apathy and greed for another.
Believers should not be holding onto this country, or this world for that matter, as though it were their final destination. If we read, study, and believe the scriptures we are fully aware of something greater existing on our horizon.
I’m sure many will agree with me when I say planet earth is, at times, a very beautiful place. There are numerous reasons why we enjoy our earthly existence. After all God wants us to enjoy this life and each other for that matter. But even before the fall of man God has had another plan for humanity and it isn’t going to involve what we currently see in our surroundings.
We only know what we’ve seen and we have all seen a beautiful flower or a fiery sunset. Unless we have been walking around with blinders on we have also seen much of what we would certainly consider the opposite of beauty. The Bible doesn’t give us a clear picture of everything we will see in heaven. Even Paul was given a look into Heaven yet he would not describe it. On the other hand the Bible does tell us about what won’t be there.
Most people on this planet would love to see the end to war, famine, hatred, all forms of evil, and have everything opposed to our well being eliminated from our environment. The Bible tells us none of that will be in heaven.
All evil, malice, strife, hated, envy, sickness, sadness, wealth and poverty will be completely forgotten the moment we enter that realm. So why do so many of my brethren hold onto this earthly existence as though Heaven doesn’t even exist? Could it be that the riches of this life are so controlling that even believers can’t resist their attraction?
“But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition.” (1 Timothy 6:9).
Christians love it when they can recite the following quote to another believer or even to non-believers for that matter, “I’m living in this world but I’m not of the world. I’m only a sojourner here. I’m one of God’s ambassadors and soon He’ll call me home.”
Sadly, more and more we see that many Christians today have the same mindset as their worldly counterparts. Greed, lust, and fear are evident in the lifestyles of many of my brethren and it’s becoming clear many of America’s seventy or so percent Christians are not just in the world but of the world.
“Ye have lived in pleasure on the earth, and been wanton; ye have nourished your hearts, as in a day of slaughter.” (James 5:5)
Among Jesus’ earliest followers there were some who were wealthy, Zaccheus, Joseph of Arimathea, Barnabas, but they we not ruled by wealth. Today there are many Christians that have obtained great wealth, yet we’re presented with sufficient evidence of just where the pursuit of wealth can lead, especially when we allow that pursuit to motivate our lives.
Sin can and will avail itself when Christians become consumed with attaining wealth. The key word here is consumed.
“For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.” (1 Timothy 6:10)
And wealth can create a significant obstacle to the Kingdom of God
“Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven. And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.” (Matthew 19:23-24).
Ask yourself this question: If when tomorrow comes I‘ve lost everything I have will I trust God to supply my needs? Or, will I worry and fret and scheme and connive to get back what I’ve lost? It’s easy to say I’ll trust God when we haven’t really lost anything yet, but what if it really happens.
What if you really did lose your home, your car, your bank account, all your earthly possessions, and lastly, your spouse walks out on you? That scenario sounds like Job’s situation, doesn’t it? What did Job do? And how did God reward Job later on? If you haven’t done so already, read the book of Job, the answers to those two questions are in plain view.
We hold onto worldly materialism way too tightly. I know we need things and I know most, in this country at least, are prosperous and many are thriving. Knowing all this, sometimes I wonder how many Christians are really looking forward to the Rapture of the Church
How many of my brethren will need to be dragged, kicking and screaming all the way to heaven when the Rapture happens? Remember Jesus’ admonition to the young wealthy man who wanted to gain eternal life?
“Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.” (Matthew 19:21)
Where did that young man’s treasure get him?
“But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions.” (Matthew 19:22)
His riches had too strong of a hold on him and he was unable to see any benefit in knowing and following Jesus Christ.
“I just bought a new and very expensive BMW, awesome car.” “Have you seen my new Harley? Wow what a ride.” “We we’re finally able to buy our new “dream home.” The bank account is fat, the garage has two new cars sitting all waxed and ready for cruising; the lawn is manicured, the new giant flat screen TV is installed on the wall and you’ve just invested in a surround sound system for your home (you’ll never need to go to the theater again.)
“Yes sir, now this is heaven.” And all is well in suburbia. Heaven? Dream home? Earthly materialism? Ask yourself Christian, where is your home, really.
“Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal.” (Matthew 6:19-20)
It seems in many cases Jesus’ words go unheeded.
“For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also” (Matthew 6:21)
How many believers are storing up treasure here on earth just like the heathen? Sadly, it seems many see no benefit in moving on to heaven, they seek after earthly rewards and have stored nothing up for their eternal home.
It seems as if many of my brethren are looking for some specific sign or Jesus’ glorious appearing before they’ll begin to get ready for the great escape. We are witnessing many events falling into place that lead us to believe we are very near the end, and it’s exciting to watch.
These events fuel our anticipation of what’s coming. But for the most part the signs Jesus’ disciples asked Him to reveal to them are concerning the end of days just before His Second Advent. They aren’t really signs for determining a time for the rapture of the church.
We are admonished to be ready for the Rapture. As I visit various prophecy websites this question inevitably pops up. “Are you ready?” I honestly don’t believe many of my brethren are ready and we know the lost aren’t.
Central to the Christian faith is the knowledge that we, as born-again believers, are set apart from the world. We belong to Jesus Christ. That really does place a huge responsibility upon us. We aren’t to conform to the world so why do we? Jesus tells us over and over again what happens to those who become consumed with the cares of this world. Pride, greed, fear, covetousness, lust are ever recurring themes throughout the entire Bible, all of which stem from losing our focus on Jesus and replacing that focus with a materialistic world view.
The more we have the more we want. Instead of seeing Heaven as our real home where we will spend eternity with Jesus Christ we become enamored with all we can accumulate. This accumulation of materialism becomes the love of our lives and our god.
A direct correlation exists between where your treasure is and where your heart is. If you regard your material possessions as your treasure then your heart is set here on this earth, and that my friend is a far shot from heaven.
We should look at heaven as the believer’s “Dream home.” Jesus tells us there are many mansions in heaven and He has prepared a place for each of us. “
In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.” (John 14:2)
Heaven will be far superior than even the most luxurious of mansions here on earth. But that’s not why we look to heaven. We look to Heaven because Jesus is there. There’s an old adage that says “To be too heavenly minded is to be no earthly good” this is nonsense.
Being too worldly minded is exactly the problem today with many a Christian; they have no sense of heaven whatsoever. This little adage may well be part of the problem. Jesus, in the Gospel of Matthew, speaks of heaven 69 times He wants us to be heavenly minded, there is no possible way to be too heavenly minded.
I was born here and if the Lord tarries I’ll die here, but I am certainly not remaining here. The dwelling I call a house and this country that has me registered as a citizen and even this planet that gravitationally holds my body here—is not my home.
Where is your home, Christian?
God bless you all,