Biblical Audio Commentary – Preparation Through Saying No

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.

8 Responses to “Biblical Audio Commentary – Preparation Through Saying No”

  1. Reply Suzanne Swift

    Interesting… thanks for sharing your story… I never knew it. I have learned there are different ways of saying no. Directly, and indirectly. And yes I do say NO!

  2. Reply Gwen

    Okay, this is what I’ve thought over and over..I think the Christians that wish to stay instead of being raptured up will stay! The Christians who try 24/7 to please God and obey will go. How many of those are there? I would love to know wouldn’t you?

    Years ago I had a “vision” I guess you would call it, and the Lord showed me a golden pathway that curved up on both sides. I heard the Holy Spirit tell me that only 8 people went on the Ark. He was trying to show me this during a time of extreme loneliness (spiritually speaking); I had no fellowship except for Him.

    The world can’t go on much longer; I always think of Sodom & Gomorrah when I see the homosexual parents of children forcing them or allowing them to believe that they are transgender. On the other hand, God watched parents for decades? hundreds of years? offer their children to Moloch.

    A lot of yt channels I’ve followed the past 7 months I quit watching, all rapture channels, mainly attempting to get “likes”. I do listen to Rock Island Books. Very good channel.. and Randy Kay.

    Thanks Gary for pouring your heart out, it means so much!

  3. Reply Robin McCann

    Did I misunderstand something about the verse that says the rapture will not occur till the full number of Gentiles be come in? I do understand that God has His remnant everywhere. His church remnant, Tribulation martyr remnant and Israeli remnant that will be saved.

    I don’t understand a rapture delay because of ‘in like ticks’ believers who want to hang around here awhile longer. Even that is strange to me, too. We’re supposed to be waiting and praying for that last person in the remnant count to come to Christ.

    If believers are saved by grace thru faith, why does God need to loosen their grip on the world? If they truly love the Lord, He’s taking them, ready or not. I just really don’t understand this.

    • Reply Gary Ritter

      I look to the Old Testament as a guide to much of this thinking. God inevitably places conditions on His people. IF you do this, then I will bring blessings. IF you do not do this, I will bring consequences. Deuteronomy 28 is a great example of this. What does God want from us? Our heart, our obedience, and our loyalty to Him alone as the One true God. When His people stray from these commands, problems ensue. The ultimate disloyalty from Israel resulted in her being cast from the land, but there were plenty of lesser consequences along the way.

      If the New Testament is the fulfillment of the Old and God doesn’t change, why should we expect Him to treat His people now any differently? God has always been merciful and gracious. These traits just became more evident with Jesus. If we read the NT closely, we see a continuation of the if-then language in places like Hebrews and many others. I think a lot of teachers try to soften what the text says, and that’s the problem. It says the same thing: God wants our believing loyalty. This is a heart issue, not a works issue, although as James says, works prove our faith. If someone consistently and deliberately sins despite warnings, correction, and rebuke from God, I think such a person brings much trouble upon himself. God has no other option other than to give him over to Satan (as was done in Corinth) in the hopes he’ll repent and get right with God. What does this mean in this day and age? I think it could mean no Rapture.

      We have to ask ourselves, what is more compassionate? Ignoring the persistent sin as many do so they don’t warn the sinner, or indeed warning with the potential that this kind of behavior may lead to very unpleasant circumstances? I think there is a LOT of textual evidence that this could be the case for many today given the incredible falling away. What are they falling away from? What is apostasy? Doesn’t one have to have faith in the first place to fall away or apostasize from it?

      Hyper-grace and similar thinking, plus this whole issue of people wanting this world more than they want to see and be with God, these things may cause a lot of hardship. if I’m wrong, praise the Lord! My spirit tells me there’s something to this thinking, however. One way or the other, it probably won’t be long until we know the answer.

        • Reply Gary Ritter

          I know it’s one of these subjects that’s really touchy because there’s so much teaching pressure that says everybody goes up. Based on Scripture and the “doctrine” of consequences, I think we have to at least discuss the issue.

          • Robin McCann

            Then it is quite possibly true what Pastor John Hagee once said… “If you’re not looking for Him, He’s not coming for you.” That’s a frightening notion as many in my family are not. But, then again, to not look for Him with extreme anticipation at this point in terrible life, there’s something wrong with you.

            Then there’s me. I am obsessed with going HOME. I am obsessed with the coming of my Lord, and just my luck, that’s not a healthy state to be either. Oh well, cheers to unhealthiness!

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