“For we walk by faith, not by sight” ( 2 Corinthians 5:7).
What is faith? One of Merriam-Webster’s definitions is: firm belief in something for which there is no proof.
The Bible’s definition is found in Hebrews 11:1, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”
It seems that regardless of which definition you’re reading, you notice that faith is not sight. It’s like if you have sight or proof, then it’s no longer of faith. Faith as opposed to sight.
We know that in the Church Age believers are saved by grace through faith alone. I believe this is the key difference between now and any other time period before or after the Church Age.
Looking back in Old Testament times, we see varying degrees of faith and sight. Sound crazy? Take Adam and Eve. They walked and talked with God. Lots of sight there. How much faith is needed? Belief and trust, absolutely. Obedience, a must. But faith?
Look at Noah, Abraham and Moses. Great men of faith. God spoke to all three of them and actually appeared in some form or fashion to the latter two. Varying degrees of faith and sight. Hmmm…
Looking ahead to the Millennium, Jesus Himself will be ruling and reigning right there in Jerusalem. How much faith will be needed then?
Before we talk about the coming Tribulation, let’s peek into the gospel accounts. Jesus incarnate. And there’s more. Not only is there sight, but look at what was going on at that time. The demonic activity was at its height. Jesus healed many of demon possession. (Which brings up the concept of miracles.) Very important.
Miracles prevailed in the Old Testament through the prophets, in the gospels through Jesus and the disciples, and they will also occur in Daniel’s 70th Week (commonly called the Tribulation). I think mainly of the Two Witnesses, the angel preaching the everlasting gospel in Revelation 14:6 and Joel 2:28-32.
How many honest-to-goodness miracles do you see today? Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not putting God in a box. He can and will and still does perform miracles—as He chooses. But overall, they are rare for us in our current “walk by faith” era. They were definitely more common when the Church Age was just beginning. I believe that was for the purpose of showing God’s approval for the “movement.”
We truly walk by faith with no evidence of what’s unseen today.
Folks, all who say they believe the Tribulation is just around the corner and we, the Church, have done a poor job of preparing our gospel-rejecting loved ones for what’s ahead, should understand that those who are left behind will NOT be part of the Church Age. They will NOT be sealed, sanctified, redeemed, eternally secure children of God as we are through faith ALONE.
Put aside your commentaries for a moment and read your Bible. These promises are unique to us. These guarantees are ours alone. Look for them anywhere else besides Acts through Philemon. Do you see any? Now check out Revelation. Some key verses are in 2:26; 3:5, 3:21; 12:11, 12:17; 14:9-12; 21:7.
Those who come to Christ after the Rapture will be saved by faith in the shed blood of Jesus just as we are. Once that originating belief/faith/trust happens, then the difference begins. They must maintain, prove or demonstrate that faith—persevere until the end. Did you read the above verses in Revelation?
And, yes, they’ll need faith, but think about it. I believe faith in the Tribulation will be super simple, but deceptive. There will be demonic activity like the world has never seen. God will allow the delusion of a new Christ-rejecting world and Satan’s all too eager to bring it on.
There will be lots of things people can have “faith” in. They’ll be physically looking at a facsimile of “Mary” or “Jesus” or “aliens” or whatever else is presented to delude them. “Miracles” will abound! It will be a very dark spiritual time.
Let’s prayerfully study God’s Word and get the news out that to live by faith and not by sight has God’s over-abounding blessing upon it.