Biblical Audio Commentary – Preparation Through Saying No
A time is coming when draconian rules will be imposed by our US government – acting as the police state it aspires to be – in the name of saving humanity. Are we prepared for that time? Have we practiced for it? Will true Christians experience this dystopian nightmare?
This last question is a thorny one. There are many of us who believe in the pre-Tribulation Rapture who are convinced Jesus will return at any moment and we’re out of here. That’s the doctrine of imminency and it’s completely Biblical. I adhere to that. But . . . (don’t you love it when someone “buts” in?) . . . but, as much as I hope and pray that my brothers and sisters in Christ are right about this, my sense keeps telling me we’re a little ways off from this glorious event. True, the sense – or the spirit of others – is saying just the opposite, i.e. the Rapture is this year, so what do we do with this?
I’ll just say that this same dynamic has been in play for well over a year or more. Some folks said . . . boom! . . . the Rapture was right around the corner. I’ve been warning it may not be quite the time yet. I hate to say it, but I’ve been correct so far – not that it gives me any satisfaction.
I simply believe that – among other factors – there are too many born-again, real Christians, who are too invested in this world. Their fingernails are dug into the earth like a lion’s claws into an antelope. Go ahead, try to pry that sucker loose!
That’s the problem with our brethren. Here’s the lament, or declaration, whichever is appropriate:
“I don’t want Jesus to come back yet. I want to see my kids grown and married and to enjoy my grandkids.”
“I want to live to 120 to see what’s going to happen in this world.”
“I want to be like the two witnesses of Revelation and call down plagues upon the unbelieving world.”
“I want to see God’s kingdom proclaimed throughout the earth.”
And so on.
Of those several, at least the desire to see the Gospel spread around the world has some legitimacy. The others . . . not so much.
This whole concept of wanting to stick around is frankly pretty self-centered. Notice the “I want” statements, rather than God wants . . .
If Jesus told us to be alert and awake for the thief coming in the night – which He did – then we should take that analogy of His appearing in the clouds for His church seriously by listening to His commands, not our desires.
Back to my first two questions earlier:
Are we prepared for that time of draconian rules? Have we practiced for it?
Not that I have this problem licked by any means, but I’ll go first.
Several years ago I was in the beginning stages of the second year of teaching a church class on reading through the entire Bible in a year. As part of that I started out each session with a Prophecy Update. A new pastor came into our church several months before this point and began sitting into my classes to see what I was all about.
Long story short, he didn’t like my commenting on the growing darkness of the world in this COVID era in these Prophecy Updates. He didn’t agree with my conclusions and the things I both said and implied. The pastor demanded that I share with him what I was going to say prior to saying it so that he could give it a thumbs up or down. I profoundly disagreed with this, since I was doing what I believed God wanted me to do. I refused his order.
Some other things happened and it became clear to my wife and me that we could not stay at the church where we’d been since we’d moved to the area about eight years prior, and at which I’d been the Missions Director and taught a number of classes. It wasn’t easy, but it was the right thing to do because we decided to follow God and not man.
In that same COVID timeframe, masks were mandated and ultimately the mRNA so-called vaccine. Again, I wasn’t having any of it. I never wore a mask and of course my wife and I did not get the jab. There was some social pressure but this protocol was a non-starter – period.
Having gone through these things, I’ve gotten a little bit of the ability under my belt to say no to certain types of demands. I think practice like this is probably useful.
I’ve said for years that many of those in persecution zones throughout the world are given the caveat when coming to the Lord Jesus that it won’t be easy for them. In Muslim and Hindu nations, the examples are plentiful that if one becomes a follower of Jesus, he and likely his family, will suffer severe trials and tribulations – perhaps imprisonment, torture, or death. Choosing the Way, the Truth, and the Life means exactly what Jesus said: “You will be persecuted for My sake.”
In the Christian West, nobody warns us about this kind of issue because we never face it. Being a Christian has been easy. Say a little prayer and go on your way. Persecution . . . what’s that?
This is one reason I think God has delayed the Rapture. Yes, faith is by grace and not by works. However, James reminds us that our works prove our faith.
Is resisting a draconian ruler and his punishments part of this proof of works? Although I don’t believe we’ll have it as bad here in America as many do throughout the world, I do think we’re still in for some hard times.
Frankly, we are not a church that has been refined and purified like the Persecuted church in the 10-40 Window. And that’s really what the Lord wants, isn’t it . . . a Bride purified by fire so that she yearns to be with her Bridegroom? How many Christians do you know who yearn to be with Jesus while at the same time leave this world behind?
I don’t know many, other than those of you I interact with in this forum.
Are you ready for the next big thing the demonic realm and its minions on the earth will throw at you? Am I ready? I hope so, but one never knows.
The one thing I do know is that the only way I can prepare for what might come is to stay in God’s Word and to keep the dialogue going with Him.
I want to desire Him more than anything in this world, and I want Him to know it.