Don’t Ignore the Rabbits :: By Daniel Payne

Lost Sheep
God made rabbits and God made sheep. Both are supposed to be harmless to other animals. Most rabbits—that have not been genetically altered by humans—have naturally long ears that stick straight up—better equipping them to sense danger.

Pastors of the church are sometimes referred to as shepherds of the sheep. We should all thank God for the very few believing remnant of true pastors who are staying faithful to the entire Word of God. I can’t wait to witness them receive their rewards for faithful service to their King by enduring to the end—oh, what a day that will be!

However—as most of us already know—there’s a serious lack of concern from far too many pulpits regarding the prophetically obvious threats to our Christian freedom closing in on the church today. Many Spiritually attuned believers recognize these troubling signs. These believers crave comfort and wisdom from the pulpit about these matters.

Imagine if a lost sheep came in to visit your church—to whom the Holy Spirit has been convicting their conscience—through the disturbing last days events they are witnessing. What if they did not receive any answers relevant to those convictions? What if God had prepared their heart to be obedient to His gospel message (Romans 6:17) through their anxiety of noticing the world seemingly falling apart around them? What if they only heard a bland sermon about Christian finances or Christian dating, seasoned with no salt—and they left unconverted?

If the shepherd looks out among his flock and perceives a few sheep metaphorically looking toward the perimeter in worry because they sense danger—his job is not to ignore the concerns of those sheep—his job is to comfort those sheep. Those sheep cannot help the fact that they were made with rabbit ears. They cannot help the fact that they have a heightened sense of danger and awareness.

The shepherd should not ignore the things that are concerning to those rabbit-eared sheep—the disturbing things that are causing them to worry. The shepherd should use proper discernment to admonish and comfort those sheep according to their particular concerns.

If there are sheep who demonstrate continued trust in the Lord for the basic necessities in life such as food and clothing—yet they are concerned about the overall state of immorality and apostasy that surrounds us all—then comfort and admonishment should be in that context.

Think about sitting a long-eared rabbit down on your lap and attempting to comfort it by softly laying its ears back and gently petting its head. You may say, “Now don’t worry about all of those things which are happening on the earth. Remember that the Lord has already spoken of those things beforehand—along with giving us comfort in the hope of the Rapture.”

If someone is worried about or concerned about the possibility of severe persecution coming upon those whom they dearly love—then completely ignoring their concerns is not very comforting at all. In fact, God’s Word gives clear instructions that we are not to ignore the comfort of His coming:

“Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together 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 4:17-18).

Of course there are times when we all worry a little too much about the things that the Lord specifically told us not to worry about:

“Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature? So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?” (Matthew 6:27-30)

“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble” (Matthew 6:34).

Far too many churches today focus exclusively on comforting each other about the things that the Lord told us not to worry about in the first place—i.e. material things. Tragically, this routine leaves many spiritual things unanswered. Along with material things, the Lord also told us not to worry about physical harm.

“Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a cent? And yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. So do not fear; you are more valuable than many sparrows” (Matthew 10:28-29, 31).

However—the Lord knew that the sheep of the last generation would experience widespread concern over the condition of the world just before His return.

He did not ignore them—instead He provided them with much more comfort and understanding through His Word written through His apostles—about what they would experience. What a tragedy to all but ignore these comforting words provided by our Lord and Savior in His Word—especially now of all times.

Thousands of years ago, this exact spirit was prophesied to exist—as it does this very moment—during the last generation:

“That you may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us, the apostles of the Lord and Savior, 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’” (2 Peter 3:2-4).