The prophecy of Peter regarding these last days is being fulfilled right before our very eyes. We who believe in the pre-Tribulation Rapture hold fast to this eschatalogical promise, i.e. that Jesus will come in the clouds to snatch His beloved from the earth – literally to rescue us – prior to the great and terrible day of the Lord: the 7-year Tribulation. The time is coming – very soon – when God, in His justice and mercy, will have had enough of the transgressions of sinful, depraved humanity. The Lord is longsuffering, but He knows that regardless how much time is extended to mankind, the vast majority of the people of the earth will choose not to accept the free gift of salvation bought by the blood of Christ at Calvary. This point of no return is essentially no different from that which Jesus spoke of to His apostles when He sent the Twelve to the lost sheep of Israel. Look at what He said in Matthew 10:14-15 regarding the hard hearted:
And if anyone will not receive you or listen to your words, shake off the dust from your feet when you leave that house or town. Truly, I say to you, it will be more bearable on the day of Judgment for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah than for that town.
At some juncture, a decision must be made, whether by one who is bringing the Gospel, or the Lord Himself: it’s time to move on because the people will not listen and turn from their wicked ways.
Since the time of the Apostles, believers have anticipated the return of Jesus. The Thessalonian church looked for it and questioned Paul about certain of its aspects; and so it’s been ever since. However, corrupt men over the years misinterpreted Scripture for their own purposes. They decided the pre-Tribulation Rapture didn’t suit their earthly plans. As a result, they propagated the notion that there was no such event; that there was only a 2nd Coming at the end of the Tribulation. Similarly, there have been others who declared there was no Rapture, no 2nd Coming, nor even an actual 7-year Tribulation. As a result, they’ve messed with the entire understanding of the larger narrative of God, to the detriment of many.
It was this future that the apostle described in 2 Peter 3:3-4:
… knowing this first of all, that scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own sinful desires. They will say, “Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things are continuing as they were from the beginning of creation.”
In the 1970s and 1980s following the release of the book The Late Great Planet Earth by Hal Lindsey, many believers eagerly watched and waited for Jesus to come back. But God’s timing wasn’t yet right. Because of that, people grew weary of doing good, in the sense of obeying the Lord’s command to be alert, watchful, and ready. Through their impatience they were disobedient to Christ!
Fast forward to today. The times are markedly different. I know that believers 30-40 years ago wholeheartedly maintained that the time was near, but the difference between then and now is the absolute convergence of ALL prophetic signs. Not only that, Jesus said we are to know the season because of these prophetic markers. For those of us who faithfully adhere to the pre-Trib doctrine, that season is definitely now. This is not just wishful thinking on our part. All one needs to do is read what the Bible says about the final days and look at the world through this Biblical, prophetic lens.
Yet what do so many do, even a large swath of believers? Just as Peter stated, they mock the idea that the Rapture is truly imminent. By their words, they fulfill Scripture. Amazing.
The time is near. God is shaking the world, and more importantly, the church. He is making people get off the fence. Do you have one foot in the world, and one foot in heaven? Decide. If you wish to make the world your home, do so. If you wish to be with the Lord, now is the time to step into the place where eternity with Him is possible. Those who choose otherwise, are stepping into the coming wrath of God – to their detriment.
Should we not do what 2 Peter 3:14 instructs?
Therefore, beloved, since you are waiting for these, be diligent to be found by him without spot or blemish, and at peace.
We who anticipate Jesus to come at any moment will know this peace, even in the midst of the chaos and increasing lawlessness around us. This itself is a sign. Understand and be ready!