“The whole world will wonder after him.” (Rev. 13:3) Why? Why would nearly every single person on the planet follow one man, why would they feel confident enough in the abilities of this individual to basically give up all they thought to be right in favor of this man’s plans for the future of humanity.
There has been a lot of conjecture associated with this and other verses related to the almost supreme control over the lives of men during the tribulation period by the anti-christ. Some believe that because so many Christians will be taken up in the rapture (1 Thess. 4:17) that the world will fall immediately into disarray, and although there will be much turmoil in the days and weeks after this event, I personally tend to lean towards two other verses in the Scriptures concerning that particular moment of time. “When the Son of man cometh, shall He find faith on earth?” (Luke 18:8) and “Narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” (Matt.7:14) There are a lot of individuals who believe they are followers of Christ who are not, and for them a strong delusion will be sent (2 Thess. 2:11), and that delusion will be, in part, to follow the antichrist as savior of the world. Saving from exactly what is not the immediate concern for us in this letter to you, for the true born-again believers, the servants of Christ will not be present to witness the events, we shall be with the Lord. The question today is not just who you are following, but who are you serving, and for what reason do you provide this service.
In areas where they have snow, the sidewalks in the community are expected to be cleared by a certain time so that the public can walk as safely as possible to their destinations. If these pathways are not cleared of the snow by a specific time of day, there is the possibility of a fine being levied, and perhaps additional cost if the city needs to come to the residence to do the job that the landowner is expected to do. Herein the discussion begins then, is the owner of the property removing the snow because of his concern for his fellow man, because of the possibility of a fine being levied upon him, or is there another reason that compels him? Do those who donate to food banks do so because of the needs of others, or to feel better about themselves, or perhaps they just think it is just the right thing to do. Everyone everywhere follows someone, the end result of course is the Lord God, he leads, He never follows. Whether it is a man or our own conscience, we all follow someone, even the most mature Christian on this earth will tell you in truth that he himself is the only one getting in the way of following Christ, of listening to and obeying the prompting of the Holy Spirit within him.
For those of you who believe that in Heaven you will be more than willing to go somewhere when you are asked to go, ask yourself this question, why aren’t you doing that now? Who are you following that hinders you from being a completely devoted obedient servant of the Lord Jesus Christ right now, today? We follow the world, we must go to work to get money to purchase the things we need and want, obligations for the betterment of our family and those that we love must be met, we must do our part for the benefit of mankind, we must tend the garden, the snow must be shoveled, the grass mowed, the immediate must be responded to, or what would others think of us, much less the conscience within us prodding us to attend to those daily chores of life. That is who many are following, they are following themselves and their perception of what is good, right and correct according to the will of man, and only rarely to that of God. It seemed right to David to put the ark on a cart (2 Sam. 6:3), it seemed the best thing for Elijah to do to run from Jezebel (1 Kings 19:3), it seemed right to Peter to draw his sword on Machus (John 18:10), and it seemed right to Adam to eat the fruit.
When we follow the set forth prescribed notions about what man and the world consider right, we are wrong. When we are unsure of what should be done, we will find someone to lead us, someone that we can follow in trust, but few will wait patiently on the Lord for His guidance (Psalms 37:34). “Be still, and know that I am God” (Psalms 46:10) means just that, sit still, learn patience, and wait, just because you can’t see the path clearly at the moment doesn’t mean that He can’t. We only follow when we don’t know the way to go, when the circumstances that surround us are not clearly understood, and far too many times we follow the worst person in the world to follow, ourselves. Proverbs 3:5 says, “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart,” not trust in yourself. Where the Lord wants you is where you are right now, and if not, what are you doing there?
Not the longer you are saved, but the more you grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ determines your ability to properly discern the words and promptings of the Holy Spirit within you, the Lord speaks quite clearly to His children who are listening. It is much easier to follow when you are blessed with the ability to hear, see and discern, the path is clear to those who are willing to obey. Servants who are not fastidious students are not sent, those who desire to follow are led, and they are led in paths of righteousness (Psalms 23:3). Many deceive themselves daily, they follow a works program of their own design, or one set upon them by the religious organization that they attend. Satan’s latest and most prominent trick is that of love, many are being deceived into believing that love is all you need, never hate, hate is intolerant, but my friends we are told many times in the Scriptures to hate. Hate evil (Prov.8:13), and “If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.” (Luke 14:26). Why? Because we will not follow something we hate, our loyalties will not be bound up with anything or anyone that we find detestable in the eyes of the Lord, or within ourselves.
For anyone or anything that you are following, the question remains, do you know where that one is leading you. The determining factor of the recognition of a child of God is their works (Matt. 5:16) and their love, (1st John 4:7) if neither of these are visible, then their faith is dead, they are following death, the born-again believer follows life, they follow Jesus. Every thought is held captive, (2 Cor. 10:5) they obey His words, (John 14:15) they seek only those things that are above, (Col.3:1) and they are easy to spot, for the world hates them. (John 15:18) There are only two classifications of people that will be left behind at the rapture, those who did not know Christ, and those who thought they did. Those who professed but did not follow will be deceived, there is no second chance for them, their end is the lake of fire. For those who did not know, there is hope, multitudes will not love their lives to the end and will be with Christ in glory forever.
You really want to be sure who you are following here in this life my friends, you want to know for a fact that it is Jesus, or the decision of who you follow if you are left behind will be made for you. “But be ye doers of the Word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.” (James 1:22)