Is it just me, or does the world seem to be overflowing with daily events heralding the return of Jesus Christ? Just as the scriptures have foretold, it is getting spiritually dark in this world prior to the coming of Jesus Christ. Sometimes doubt creeps in and I feel like I will be overcome with discouragement. The news is so depressing. Evil glorified – again. Satan is one-upping the Christians. The propaganda arm of Satan—the main stream media, is functioning just fine.
Someone asked me a few weeks ago if the tribulation period had already started. I said no, this is the end times prior to the tribulation; and, according to the scriptures, Christians are removed before the tribulation in an event called the rapture.
She went on to say, because of how horrible and violent the earth was becoming, that surely we were living during the apocalypse. I gave her one quick example from Revelation 6:7 as proof that this was not the case on the earth – just yet.
Revelation 6:7-8 “When he opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature say, ‘Come and see.’ So I looked, and behold, a pale horse. And the name of him who sat on it was Death, and Hades followed with him. And power was given to them over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword, with hunger, with death, and by the beasts of the field” (NKJV).
I really understood where my friend was coming from, but she was not seeing clearly where she was in time. We all are overwhelmed with the increase in violence and moral decline happening right now. However, during this prophetic time described in the future, 1/4 of the earth dies. As of 2017, the estimated population of the entire earth was 7.5 billion. If that seal was broken, and the fourth horse of the apocalypse was released today, approximately 1.875 billion would die. That’s mind boggling!
She agreed that this future prophecy was much, much worse than anything going on right now. I reassured her that we would be leaving to be with the Lord before his judgment is poured out on the earth. I reminded her, and myself, that we have dark days in this world right now, as we are living in the end times. But also, Jesus will rescue us from the judgment coming upon this earth and take us to where he is – a place prepared for us.
“…And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to myself; that where I am, there you may be also” (John 14:2-3).
It helps me to study scripture and see what to expect now and what great things, I believe, await all of us who have trusted in Jesus for our salvation. It is a huge encouragement to my faith.
I would like to pass on some encouragement to you today, as sometimes it may appear that evil is winning and we are losing. Like maybe it’s never gonna happen or it happened and we missed it. Nothing could be further from the truth! I did read the end of the book and we win – and win BIG!
Here is a great verse:
1 Peter 1:3-5 “Blessed be our God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded by faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.”
I love the part “ready to be revealed in the last time” as if it is waiting, ready to be unwrapped like a gift, and given to us at the exact moment in the last time. How awesome is that?
I am aware that I live in a special time in history, the last time or the end times. I may be raptured at any moment and behold Jesus Christ, never to be parted from him! Immediately, I will get a new, glorified body and new eyes (I really need those new eyes badly). To be with my God, Jesus, my family and all the saints is just about the grandest thing I could ever imagine. That thrills me to no end! On the other hand, the world grows more wicked, lost, and clueless to the fact of God’s love and redemption plan for them in Christ.
I’ve noticed a rise in God hatred, Christ hatred, Jew hatred—and really anyone that has a moral stance on any issue is hated. As a matter of fact, this hatred of good, or godliness, is esteemed in the mainstream media. This is the hard part about living during this time, as Christian persecution is on the rise. The lost world hates us, too.
Jesus said, “If the world hates you, you know that it hated me before it hated you” (John 15:18).
End-times hatred: “Then, they will deliver you to tribulation, and will kill you, and you will be hated by all nations because of my name” (Matthew 24:9).
What is coming forth in the days ahead has already been predicted long ago; and we have a guidebook, the Bible, as our source of help and strength. God shows us in there what it will look like prior to his return; and the entire end is there in graphic detail in the book of Revelation. (Daniel is an excellent book on the end times and the nation of Israel, specifically.)
The Bible also describes the people living during this time, comparing the end times to that of Noah and his family (the only righteous man of that day) and preparing his family of eight, along with all the animals, to escape the worldwide flood in the ark. And there was Lot and his family during a similar time of judgment. Lot was the only righteous man in two adjacent cities filled with homosexual sin.
If you remember the story in Genesis 19, Lot was Abraham’s nephew and was some sort of city official, since he sat at the city gate. It was dark, wicked and morally depraved in Sodom and Gomorrah just before God’s judgment fell. God sent two angels and removed Lot and his family before fire and brimstone fell upon the twin cities.
These two stories are pictures in scripture foreshadowing what things will look like in the end times, the spiritual landscape so to speak. It’s bad! It’s spiritually dark and void of anything good. And now, very soon, Christ is coming to remove the righteous dwelling on the earth before he executes judgment upon the earth.
“But, as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and given in marriage, until the day Noah entered the ark and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be” (Matthew 24:37-39).
We live in the days of grace, or the church age. We now have a way to be declared righteous! This is the good news of the gospel! This is our hope for now and to be rapture ready:
*”For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).
*We have received salvation and righteousness through our belief and confession of Jesus Christ as risen Savior and Lord (Romans 10:9-10).
*We are saved by grace through faith in Christ (Ephesians 2:8-9).
*We receive, in Christ, the gift of righteousness (Romans 5:17).
*We receive forgiveness, as Jesus paid fully for our sins; and we are justified freely by his grace (Romans 3:24-26).
*We are filled with the Holy Spirit of God and bear good fruit (Galatians 5:22-23).
*The Holy Spirit is the abiding presence of God in us (John 14:6).
*The Holy Spirit seals us for the day of redemption (Ephesians 4:30).
What’s ahead? The landscape will change completely the day of the rapture of the church! The earth will plunge into a very bad state of affairs. The restraining influence of the Holy Spirit will be taken away at that time, allowing for full-blown satanic rule (2 Thessalonians 2:6).
I believe at this point the antichrist and false prophet come to power very quickly, as they want to deceive, kill and take over the world. Satan is their boss. I don’t think this entire trio of evil will waste a second. They have only seven years to squeeze in their horrible agenda. I’m just saying…..
God’s judgment will begin also. This time is called “the day of the Lord” or “great tribulation.” It will be seven years divided into two three and a half year periods, with the second part being the most severe of God’s judgments, combined with the antichrist’s desecration of the Jewish temple where he claims himself to be God. From there, he goes after the Jewish people with a vengeance.
Jesus said there has never been a time like it, or ever will be.
“For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of this world until this time, no, nor ever shall be” (Matthew 24:21).
It’s so bad during this time that the days are shortened so that the elect of God will survive.
“And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened” (Matthew 24:22).
To believe in Jesus during this time means almost certain martyrdom. A large number do come out of this terrible time with great reward for their belief in Christ, both Jew and Gentile.
“And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshipped the beast or his image, and had not received the mark on their foreheads or their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years” (Revelation 20:4).
I am hopeful that you, dear reader, are rapture ready and awaiting the glorious rapture event, being light in a dark world. Stay strong and hold to your faith. Be watchful of the Lord’s return. We will be caught up (raptured) soon. Don’t let go of your blessed hope. Remember, we win big because Jesus is victorious! He will do all he has promised!
I leave you now with these amazing verses:
“For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with a voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ shall rise first. And we who are alive and remain will be caught up with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus, we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore, comfort one another with these words” (1 Thessalonians 4:15-18).
And… “For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him” (1 Thessalonians 5:9-10).
Keep looking up!