(Proverbs 21-22; 2 Corinthians 4)
What we see happening around us in the world can be overwhelming. There are times it takes our breath away. We ask, “How could this possibly happen?” “Is anyone in charge?” “What next?” It seems that from one week to the next, things get worse. “Is there no end to this?” “Can’t we get back to normal?” The short answer is no.
There are many who are hopeful that an incredible turnaround will take place. In this camp are those who believe in God and those who don’t. Despite the two opposing views, they have great hope and confidence in a Great Awakening.
From their perspective, everything that has occurred since the 2020 election was strategic: Donald Trump was aware of the fraud that would happen but had to let it go forward. He did this so that a large majority of people would truly see the corruption of the Left. They would experience it firsthand. There was the necessity of going through the legal process of demonstrating the vast conspiracy to win the White House illegally. Then, when all this and more had been accomplished, the people would rise up and, in unity, demand the reinstatement of the rightful president. Once that happens, it changes the trajectory of evil for good, and we’re able to move forward into a future that finally destroys the wicked.
That’s a lovely scenario. It’s hopeful, optimistic, and completely non-Biblical. Within the camp, who believe and are trusting for this outcome, there are many Christians. I don’t doubt the sincerity of their faith whatsoever. However, in their believing this storyline, I wonder what Bible they’re reading.
Scripture has a combination of literal and allegorical writings. Typically, when something is symbolic, it is pointed out as such. Sometimes there is hyperbole, which could be taken literally – as many have over the years – but common sense indicates the figure of speech must be considered. However, when the plain sense of God’s Word and its context indicate for us to take the text literally, why should anyone attempt to spiritualize it or make it figurative?
One of the major aspects of this deals with end-times issues. People go to great extremes to twist the Word in order to convince themselves and others that there is no pre-Tribulation Rapture. For whatever reason, they have determined that Christ’s 2nd Coming contains all the elements of the vanishing of true believers in the twinkling of an eye, along with Jesus returning to earth victoriously with His Bride following immediately behind. They conflate Scriptures and argue that what many of us see as our blessed hope, through the promise of God to keep us from the wrath to come, is all an effort in escapism. They say we have to gird ourselves, prepare for the Tribulation to come, and endure the hardships.
The conditions around the world currently being experienced are the harbingers they use to assert that we’re most assuredly going through these most awful seven years. Find a bolthole, stock up on supplies, get your guns ready!
How about if we look at the world through a Biblical, prophetic lens? Consider what Paul said in 2 Corinthians 4:17-18:
“For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.”
Perhaps what we’re going through right now is the end game. Maybe the craziness around us is what God is allowing us to undergo as light momentary affliction so that we get our minds and hearts right for the eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison that is coming. How about, rather than God wanting us to set our eyes on the things of the world, maybe He desires to correct our vision? Perhaps we are to look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen?
We have an eternal hope that God’s promises are true. From His Word, we see that our hope in Him isn’t something like what the world hopes for. When the world hopes, it is speculative. There is no assurance that what is hoped for will actually come to pass. For believers, hope in God’s promises takes on a whole other dimension. The world says that seeing is believing. Those of us who are true and faithful in Christ Jesus agree with the Bible, which says that believing is seeing. We can’t look only at the things around us and think that’s all there is. What emptiness that brings!
No, we must take the perspective that Paul does: “For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.” This is one reason we don’t go along with the crowd that says, “Get ready for the Tribulation.” God has made certain promises in His Word, i.e., Revelation 3:10:
“Because you have kept my word about patient endurance, I will keep you from the hour of trial that is coming on the whole world, to try those who dwell on the earth.”
Pre-Trib believers cling to this as a sure Word that God will keep. There are many others. The hope that we have is more than how the world hopes. Ours is a confidence that is unshakable. Why? Because God said it. We believe it. That settles it.
Yes, the world is deteriorating before our very eyes. Scripture clearly says this will happen. It will get worse before it gets better. On this earth, prior to the worst of the worst, the Lord will snatch us away. Only after the time of God’s judgment upon this unbelieving world will we return with Jesus. Then, and only then, will the wonder and glory follow as we enter the Millennial Reign of Christ.
We have much to look forward to; in the meantime, much to be thankful for. When we place our faith and hope in the Lord, He will see us through whatever is coming our way. We can also rest assured that He will keep us safe in the hiding place with Him.
[Author Note: Briefly, I want to set the stage for you as to the nature of most of my articles in this season. Each year I read the Bible through completely at least once – that has been my practice since I came to the Lord in 2005. I remain astounded at what God has done in my life because of that discipline! Each day I read from both the Old and New Testaments. I choose a verse from one of those passages and write my commentary and reflection based on that. In the title of my article, you’ll see the verse I chose. In addition, you’ll see the reading for that day if you’d like to follow along with greater context.]
Gary W. Ritter is a lay pastor, Bible teacher, and prolific author. His Whirlwind Series comprises three books: Sow the Wind, Reap the Whirlwind, and There Is A Time. These books are contained in the collected volume of the Whirlwind Omnibus. Gary has been given the Christian Redemptive Fiction award for three novels: The Tattooed Cat, Alien Revelation, and for his collaboration with Terry James in writing The Minion Protocols, the third book in James’ Second Coming Chronicles.
Earlier this year, Gary released a four-volume set of Awaken Bible Study Notes that comment verse-by-verse through Scripture from a Biblical prophetic lens. He is currently editing a sequel to Alien Revelation called Alien Zombie Plague, which he plans to release later in the fall of 2021. Recently, Gary wrote a novella for the new Kindle Vella platform. That story is called Tribulation Rising: Seal Judgments – The Coming Apocalypse.
This seven-part short work can be found at https://www.amazon.com/dp/B099Z462WD. Each day this year, Gary has been writing commentary and reflections based on his reading through the Bible in a year. The intent in all his writings is to bring a strong Christian witness to what people read. You can see all his books and blog articles and reach him at his website:www.GaryRitter.com or his Facebook Author page: https://www.facebook.com/gritter3390. You can also see his older video Bible teachings on his Gary Ritter YouTube channel – look for the fish symbol, and more recently on Rumble on his Awaken Bible Prophecy channel: https://rumble.com/c/c-783217.