In the Bible, it is recorded in Luke Chapter 9, Verse 51, the moment that the Lord Jesus began His final trip to Jerusalem. Various terms are used to describe the moment, depending on which Bible translation you may prefer. Some examples are:
- He steadfastly* set his face (ASV; ERV; KJV; NKJV)
- Jesus resolutely set out (NLT; BSB)
*Some versions use stedfastly.
The Lord knew what awaited Him in Jerusalem, and yet He was determined to go. These descriptions imply that this was a reality that He had to face up to, and it could not be delayed or avoided. The time that our Lord knew was coming had arrived. He then fulfilled His mission.
As followers of Christ, we have been blessed with the entirety of God’s Word for several centuries, certainly in all our natural lifetimes. While we can argue/debate over the efficacy of various versions, it is now, in this writer’s opinion, a distraction. We all know what distractions can be used to accomplish, and we are all intimately familiar with them in everyday activities. We should also be cognizant of how much the evil one likes to employ them.
There appear to be two (in very general terms and as it relates to this discussion) types of Christians. There are those who read and take to heart the book of Revelation and those who avoid it. This book makes a startling statement as to how important it is to both read it and also to take it to heart (hear it and believe it).
Since this final book of God’s Word deals with the fullness of the revelation of Jesus Christ in all His Glory, as the Lion of Judah, and the termination of God’s plan for human history, we should pay due attention. Peter made this clear in 2 Peter 1:19-21 as well as the very opening chapter in Revelation.
King James Bible (Rev 1:3)
“Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.”
By no means should the reader conclude in any way that I am implying that those who avoid this book are not saved. I know several brothers and sisters who are quite solid and devoted believers, but they avoid prophecy and any mention of eschatology and are quite unwilling to discuss it. I find that sad as fulfilled prophesy is the signature of God, and the myriad prophesies that have already been fulfilled offer proof that God is the trustworthy, sovereign God He claims to be.
It is also a large part of the cornerstone of Christianity; “For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy” (Revelation 19:10).
I believe that it is no longer possible to ignore or avoid the realities of the prophesies that God’s Word has provided to us over the centuries and throughout the entire span of Biblically recorded history.
Although there is a large amount of prophetic revelation all throughout God’s Word, for the sake of brevity I will mention only four examples. I believe these are more than sufficient to make my point.
The first two are current and ongoing. They are part of our everyday existence and rapidly gaining momentum. It could be argued that these conditions outlined by the Lord Jesus and the apostle Paul have “always” been around, and indeed that is true. What cannot be argued is they have now become institutionalized, constant. As we who served in the military would word it, they are now “ops normal.”
- Matthew 24:3-14
- 2 Timothy 3:1-13
We now come to the other two of the four examples, which have not yet begun. They have not yet begun because each has a specific starting point that is easily definable but has not yet occurred.
- Daniel 9:20-27(the Seventy Weeks)
- The book of Revelation (beginning with chapter 4: v1) to the end.
Before continuing, let me point out that (outside of the supernatural enabling of God) until the recent technological advances had been attained, many of the descriptions of events in the Book of Revelation would not be possible. These include (but are not restricted to) the ability of antichrist to control all buying and selling as well as the entire world to see the return of the Lord Jesus as the Lion of Judah at the climax of the seventieth week of Daniel (or Armageddon).
Now I will come to the crux of this article.
We do not know how difficult it is going to get for the true Christ-worshiping, Bible-believing church, the Bride of Christ, between the present time and the moment we realize the reality of 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18 prior to the commencement of the seventieth week of Daniel and the command at the beginning of the fourth chapter of Revelation to “come up here”:
“For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words.”
But this we know of a certainty: these things will happen, and every indication, from the technological advances enabling the prophesies to be reality, shows this world has become “as in the days of Noah” (Luke 17:26-30) where sin is rampant and lawlessness is the rule of every day.
Given these proofs that are before our eyes, it now has become necessary for the body of Christ to “steadfastly set our faces” and truly follow the example set by our Lord. It will not be easy.
Those of our beloved brothers and sisters who have avoided the more difficult verses and books should now set their faces to understanding them in order to have the strength and conviction to stand. I suspect things are going to get much more difficult, and we will all need to be cognizant of what we may need to endure prior to the Rapture and the solid proof of God’s promises to give us that strength.
Most important is our charge to be a witness to unbelieving people and an example for other believers and to convey the message of the salvation of God on His terms and what He requires of every person.
And what are His terms according to His Word?
- Genuine repentance
- Confession of sins
- Belief that Jesus Christ paid your death sentence for you on the cross
- To acknowledge that you are unable to pay that debt
- To believe that Jesus is the Way, the only Way, that God has established by which humans may be saved from the consequences of their sin and rebellion.
I pray that we will concentrate on setting our faces to deliver the Gospel with patience, kindness, and most importantly, love, and leave the final results to our Beloved Holy Spirit.
I also pray that, in spite of the difficulties of everyday events and the seemingly unrestricted blitzkrieg of evil, we will all praise God and sing Hallelujah as we witness Him bring about and fulfill His promises!
Pro Salvator Vigilans
To contact me: firstname.lastname@example.org