Greetings and blessings! Recently, I read a post on Rapture Forums where one member suggested that since the redeeming blood of Jesus was so precious (it is!), the rapture wouldn’t likely come so soon, because God’s mercy is too great to let all those people perish.
Since I couldn’t respond there (for some reason, my membership application was rejected, and I don’t know why… maybe because of my country of origin?), I decided to write my thoughts as an article. Of course, I realize that I took a bite of a topic too large for me, and there are other writers here much wiser and godlier than me. But I found some hope in the land of hopelessness; and if there be at least one person to be encouraged by this, it was worth it!
So, yes, I agree that Father’s love is too great to want anyone to perish, and He wants all to come to the saving grace, but you can look at the same fact from the opposite angle.
If the current Age of Grace would continue for, let’s say, 1,000 years, how many billions of souls would be lost? From the observation of the current state of the world, I don’t see it in a positive light, even if I looked with the pinkest glasses. Many hope for a future revival, but there are no indicators of such an event. Yet, something amazing is happening among the people of Iran, and maybe some other countries; and praise the Lord! But here, in the West (America and Europe), the opposite is true. I will continue to speak from a European point of view, because that’s where I come from.
People boast about freedom, as long as you are not a Christian. You can worship anyone and anything, and it’s fine; but as soon as you mention Jesus, you’d better prepare for mocking and scoffing and being named a “stupid sheep.” It’s beginning to be against the law to just have a different opinion on gay marriages, for example. Here in Slovakia, we still are a pretty religious country (about 75% of people identify as Catholics), but you can see the number fading with each new generation, and I wonder how many of the religious people are actually true believers in Christ.
Oh, and if you want to hear another bit of “happy news” from this tiny little country, we’re having elections this month; and according to the polls, the top three positions would be taken by communists, neo-Nazis and liberals. And I realize that the political scene in Slovakia might not be interesting for you, but you see, it’s a little piece of the puzzle that shows you a bigger picture about the state of the world we live in.
With that in mind, how many millions… even billions of people are heading straight to hell, oblivious to what’s happening? Young generations live in a world where the belief in God is as ridiculous as believing in unicorns. If the world would go on for another 1,000+ years, how many billions of lost souls would be added to an already crowded hell? Do you think God is not grieved with each and every one of them? Is he not grieved for the kids, growing up in a godless world?
I, a sinful person, am sad and mourning for my lost loved ones so much, and I’m sure that if God indeed collects our tears in bottles, he would have full buckets of mine! A few days ago, I mentioned to my hardcore atheist granddad that Christians are being oppressed and mocked; and he started to yell at me (yet he was smiling and calm only a second ago) that it’s not true, that in fact WE are oppressing the world and want everyone else dead. Wow… I mean, even if I told him facts and cases all around Europe (like taking away the children from a Christian family in Norway, etc.), he just feels such an irrational hate towards Christianity, that he wouldn’t believe it.
I just cannot see a path to revival, at least not here.
Another thing is the convergence of signs. We’ve read a lot about them from various articles, so I won’t spend your time with that which was (and in a much better way!) already written.
My point is this: why would God surround us with all the signs that scream “Tribulation” if there was an unseen revival on its way, and everything would go back to normal for another 1,000+ years. All of the signs (II Peter 3:3-4; Mark 13:7-8; Timothy 3:1-5; Daniel 12:4…) are currently in the world, all around us.
It would make no sense! And honestly, it would be a bit… nasty.
I mean, imagine a long, cold winter. You expectantly turn your calendar and wait for March. And indeed, one day you wake up to a sun shining behind your window, and all around you, fresh green shoots are slowly rising from the earth. Young leaves are growing on trees, and colorful flowers begin to bloom. But suddenly, after a few days, you wake up and everything is covered under the snow, with freezing temperatures. It’s still winter. Nature got you fooled.
This actually happened a few years ago. Those that had fruit gardens were desperate, for much of the harvest was lost, since the young flower buds froze up and died.
I really can’t see God playing such games with us. Yes, He is sovereign and can do what He wants, and His ways are wise and good, but I have a problem to align this with His character.
Lastly, the imminence of the rapture. Its impact on our lives is too great to live differently. My hope that the trumpet may sound today is sometimes the only thing that keeps me going.
Although I cannot explain it, somehow… I grew tired. I’m not even in my 30s, yet there are few things that keep me attached to this world. If I thought that God wouldn’t surely come in 1,000+ years… well, I would maybe want to leave this Earth earlier. Don’t get me wrong; I’m not suicidal, and I love and enjoy so many things: the wonders of nature, the sweetness of forest berries, good jokes, cozy fire, family gatherings, and a warm cup of tea. All of that is God’s beautiful creation. At the same time, I just really, really long for my true home; and during these last two years, that feeling has been growing stronger.
It reminds me of the passage in the book The Last Battle (Narnia) by C.S. Lewis:
“It was the Unicorn who summed up what everyone was feeling. He stamped his right fore-hoof on the ground and neighed, and then cried:
“I have come home at last! This is my real country! I belong here.
This is the land I have been looking for all my life, though I never knew it till now.
The reason why we loved the old Narnia is that it sometimes looked a little like this.
Bree-hee-hee! Come further up, come further in!”
- D. Farag, in one of his sermons, said that many believers are becoming weary, experiencing tragedies and are hanging on by a thread. He said that maybe God is loosening our grip of this world, to be more concerned and look forward to the next one.
Another feeling that is so common among the Watchmen on the wall is the strange feeling of urgency, or even a tension. I often feel as if we were standing on the edge of a cliff. Something is about to happen very soon. Unbelievers feel that also; however, they explain it by the coming of climate collapse, or economic collapse, or political collapse (nuclear wars).
It’s like a bubble almost ready to burst.
Forgive me for this silly illustration, but it feels like this cartoon cliché where the main character loses control of his vehicle and is heading fast towards a cliff. His car then gets stuck half the way off the cliff, balancing in the middle. And after the character says a relieving ‘phew’! something weightless (like a tiny falling leaf) lands on the car, and the vehicle starts to fall down… Boom.
Again, these are just my thoughts, and I cannot say what God might and might not do. His ways are perfect, and if we knew what He knows, we would surely approve of His decisions.
But still, I choose to live by the faith in the imminent coming of our Bridegroom, and it’s so far the best way to live for me.
“So be prepared, for you don’t know what day your Lord is coming. Just as a man can prevent trouble from thieves by keeping watch for them, so you can avoid trouble by always being ready for My unannounced return” (Matthew 24:42-44).
At the end, I would humbly ask you for prayers for my dear grandmother. It looks like she is about to leave us, and her being the only person in my life openly believing in the Lord.
Please, pray for the will of God, either to breathe fresh life into her body, or to gently take her to the place we’re all waiting to go one day.
Even so, Maranatha!
“I have longed to know You and Your tender mercies
Like a river of forgiveness ever flowing without end.
I bow my heart before You in the goodness of Your presence,
Your grace forever shining
Like a beacon in the night.” (From “Lord Have Mercy” by Robin Mark)