Research shows that changes in weather patterns are tied to changes in barometric pressure and temperature, and in turn, this can be associated with the onset of mild to severe headaches. That is why some people react with irritating symptoms before a thunderstorm or with the advance of a low-pressure system. That is the physical world. There is a build-up before the onset of the storm or low pressure.
In the emotional and spiritual world, a similar thing can happen. Certain events affect people emotionally, and we know there are so many heartaches in this fallen world. It is just incredible how much horror and pain many people have to endure. It is tragic that this is so. Sin is of Satan and is enhanced by the old sinful nature every single person possesses. Emotional disturbances are manifest everywhere, caused by events such as a bad marriage, crime, loss of employment, family and friendship problems, loss of financial support, sickness and death, and more recently, being locked away and freedoms curtailed by the Chinese virus.
Bad as that is, my purpose here is not to dwell on the emotional aspect of things but to look at the spiritual. There is no doubt we have entered the last days of the Church age, but how long that might continue, we cannot be sure. I had someone say to me, “It could be 200 years before the Lord comes.” Well, I can say also without a doubt that is very wrong. What is the key? It is Israel. The nation is in place, and those who examine world events know that there is nothing now that must happen before the Rapture. Everything is set.
Because we are in the last days, there is an increase of wickedness, or if you like, lawlessness. The wicked one, the lawless one, the son of perdition, will shortly be revealed, I believe. However, let us be very clear here, he will not be revealed before the Rapture. Paul says that very precisely – 2Thessalonians 2:1-3: “1 Now we request you, brethren, with regard to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and our gathering together to Him, 2 that you may not be quickly shaken from your composure or be disturbed either by a spirit or a message or a letter as if from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come. 3 Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction.”
Let us examine that passage. In verse 1, Paul sets the timing for us, and it is the Rapture indicated by “the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ” and by “our gathering together to Him.”
In verse 2, some people were disturbing the Thessalonians that they had missed out on the Rapture because they were already in the day of the Lord. Bad persecution caused some to think they were in the day of the Lord.
Verse 3 is very important. The day of the Lord cannot come unless/before the apostasy. I want to say most clearly that this word translated as apostasy here by most versions means the Rapture (not apostatizing the faith as is generally taught). I have written on that in a posting last year. The word means departure and is nearly always associated with movement as in “away.” It is ONLY after the Rapture that the man of lawlessness can be revealed, and NOT before. In fact, he is probably alive today.
The reason for examining that passage is to focus on the expression “man of lawlessness, son of destruction.” In our times as we near the Rapture, there is increased satanic activity, lawlessness, and evil in the world. This is not going to ease, but it increases in intensity. All that is confirming what Paul wrote in 2Timothy about “difficult times will come” (KJV – perilous). The word means times of hardship, hard to endure.
Anyone over the age of 30 reading this will be able to say that in the last 10 years, the world has gone downhill very quickly. We know that. It is far more than the Chinese virus, which will probably never be overcome. I don’t need to spell out the reasons. You all know how it has gone downhill.
What am I leading up to?
Think back to the opening of this article. We spoke about the uncomfortable effects on the body of an approaching storm or low-pressure system. The approaching manifestation of evil with the revelation of the evil one/world leader/Antichrist will increase the advance of sin in the world and demonic activity as Satan gains more and more of governments and corporations and people through drugs, social media, and their increasing wickedness in accord with 2Timothy 1-5.
How does this influence Christians?
A dear friend of mine wrote to me very recently and said this – “I’m hanging in there as usual while longing for our Saviour to come get us. I trust you’re hanging in there as best you can also. I feel awful about what’s going on everywhere… literally.” That was a very honest comment. The more sensitive a Christian is to the Bible and to sin and injustice, the more that person will feel the sin and injustice in the world. His/her heart goes out to the increasing evil done against Christians in the world.
I don’t want to talk about myself other than saying I feel a growing heaviness like before that thunderstorm about what is happening. Awful things are happening. Injustice is everywhere. These are gross, evil days. I find it is depressing without being clinically depressed. I feel a weight of oppression, and that is demonic, for evil is growing stronger. Our Lord is the Deliverer and the One who strengthens us through the Holy Spirit, so we have nothing to fear. Elijah, in truth, had nothing to fear, but he was cast down as he saw the demonic influence of Baal in the land and felt he was alone.
Just this evening, I read this – “Taliban fighters shot and killed a woman for not wearing a burqa in Afghanistan Tuesday – the same day the group pledged to usher in a new inclusive era in the country that honours “women’s rights.” That was from News.com.
From Open Doors Missionary Organization – “Honour killings are a common occurrence in Afghanistan of those who have brought shame into the family. Believers from a Muslim background can also be sent to a psychiatric hospital because leaving Islam is considered a sign of insanity. When we saw the Islamic State sweep through places like Iraq and Syria, believers were often given the choice of converting to Islam, paying an exorbitant tax, fleeing the country, or being executed.”
Lastly, this is from Voice of America News – “The Taliban has claimed responsibility for killing ten people, including foreigners, after the bodies were found in dense forest in northern Afghanistan. The International Assistance Mission, a Christian charity providing health services to the Afghan people, said on its website Saturday that the dead people are “likely” members of its eye camp team who were returning to Kabul after working in Nuristan.
U.S. officials in Afghanistan say at least two Americans were among the group of eight foreigners and two Afghans killed. Local officials said six Germans were among those killed in Badakhshan province. Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid told the French news agency a patrol confronted the “Christian missionaries, and we killed them all.”
What does it do to you when you read that?
It is depressing, and our fellow believers suffer. We in the western world are in the lap of luxury. So many who go to church are merely “fellow travelers.” Where are the committed Christians?
President Biden has a lot to answer for, not only over Afghanistan but on other matters. I am Australian, so I can speak my mind. I think he is wicked. China thinks the USA is weak (maybe correct) and has moved military exercises closer to Taiwan. China will make a full-scale invasion of Taiwan, I think, any time in the next few years.
Heaviness. Feelings of unease. Feeling oppression. Reacting in sympathy but feeling physically powerless. These are what genuine Christians are feeling because they belong to God’s family. And if one member hurts, all members feel it too.
We get upset about governments because more and more are corrupt and contain vile people. God warns us that wicked men will grow from bad to worse. What is bad today will be worse tomorrow.
Does all that cause Christians to be down in the dumps? It causes sorrow and concern, and we need to be comforted. How can we be comforted? By resorting to pleasure and self-pleasing, even by fully being occupied with legitimate concerns? No way! That makes it worse.
Let me give an illustration. The chook family is in a fowlyard. I don’t think Americans use “chook” –hens and roosters and chickens. The mother hen is sitting on the ground, and the little chickens are a few yards away doing their own thing. Then the shadow of a hawk passes over, and the chicks become agitated, lose their sense of perspective, and start running in circles. The hen cries out in hen language, “Come to me, you stressed-out chicks.” They all run to the mother and settle under her wings. Then they are at peace. They are close to the source of comfort and protection.
I have seen something similar to that happen with so many creatures. The Lord wants us to stay close. When heartache and terrible times come, and this world’s oppression presses on us, what is the solution? These verses help answer that:
Psalm 17:8 “Keep me as the apple of the eye. Hide me in the shadow of Thy wings.”
Psalm 57:1 “Be gracious to me, O God, be gracious to me, for my soul takes refuge in Thee; and in the shadow of Thy wings I will take refuge until destruction passes by.”
Psalm 91:4 “He will cover you with His pinions, and under His wings you may seek refuge. His faithfulness is a shield and bulwark.”
- We have our heavenly Father who cares for us.
- We have our Lord Jesus Christ, our Great High Priest, who will never leave us.
- We have the Holy Spirit, who is our Comforter.
AND we have the word of God, which is strength and bread from heaven.
WHAT MORE DO WE NEED?