Do you recall many years ago either seeing in person or perhaps in caricature form in the newspapers what they used to call the “sandwich board” men? These individuals would walk up and down the street in front of local businesses with the two large signs held together by cords hung over their shoulders with advertising for these businesses. With one side covering their front and one their back, these individuals would walk up and down the sidewalk while the signs they carried would proclaim the offers that these store front owners wanted to let the public know they were offering at that time. The words printed on them were usually in large print with a lot of exclamation marks. Everything from local restaurants, furniture stores and hardware outlets paid these men to wear their sandwich boards to draw people’s attention to their business, but the one individual I would like to focus on in this letter to you is the one that was not being paid by any establishment, at least not a local one.
This man usually looked disheveled and out of place, his clothes were not purchased at the finest stores, in fact they were usually ill-fitting and old, his hair was unkept and his beard scraggly, but his sign was perhaps the most important one on the block, for it had upon it the words “The end is near” on both sides. At times these individuals may have proclaimed loudly a Scripture verse or words to alert all who would listen to prepare to meet their God, but for the most part they went unnoticed by the general population. I am not inferring that all of these men were sent to do this task by the Lord, for many of them have just been misguided lost souls who wanted others to recognize and assist them in their current condition or perhaps just wanted the world to come to an end because of their own personal grief of having to live in the state that they found themselves in, but I believe that some of them may have been sent by the Lord, does He not use the foolish things of this world to confound the wise? (1Cor. 1:27)
As with all of the warning signs that God gives to man, these were and most still are, being mostly ignored, “But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eat thereof thou shalt surely die.”(Gen. 2:17) “The end of all flesh has come before me,” (Gen. 6:13) “What if there are only ten?” (Gen. 18:32) The end is near, well, when exactly is “near,” when is the moment that the end will begin? “But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of Heaven, but my Father only.” (Matt. 24:36) Yet are we not all commanded to tell all that will listen that indeed the end is near, Christ is coming back for His church soon (1 Thess. 4:16-17) and then the current age will come to an end, the age of the gentiles will be over. (Luke 21:24)
Our Lord is longsuffering beyond anything that we can possibly imagine, we have all held grudges against some who have wronged us for far too long sometimes, try holding your patience in check for around six thousand years or so. “I bless you, you do not give me the glory, I send trials and sorrows, yet you still do not seek my face.” You do not need to follow much of the newscasts anymore to see that we are a world that has turned its back upon Almighty God, that He is of no use to us, and that the promises of His coming are looked at as nothing but an old fable from long ago (2 Peter 3:4) “Things are getting worse in many areas, yes, storms are more violent than ever, as some of the acts of man are, but just give it some time, it will all turn around and everything will get back to normal soon.”
There is no more ‘normal’ my friends, the warning signs are quite clear to all those who are the servants of the Lord Jesus Christ, our Master is coming to collect His own soon. No man knows the hour, but every faithful believer should be able to see that the fig tree is turning green, that evil is creating evil, and the end is near. What we must be able to discern is what near means to God, what are we to be aware of that He is changing and allowing to occur. I will give no examples here, the mature Christian has been blessed with eyes that can see and ears that can hear, and these occurrences are quite clear to them. The point of this letter to you is this, what are you doing about it?
Unless you are wearing a sandwich sign around town, your examples will in no way warn the lost that time is short, they are not going to be able to see one meaning by your examples in this area. One of the greatest exemplifier in the Word of God when doom was predicted for mankind was Noah, 120 years in the making of the ark in a time when no one had heard of a thing called rain. Of course, he used words also, but his actions in building that big boat showed the amount of faith that he had in the Lord. What action could you possibly perform that is going to warn the lost that the rapture of the church is imminent, that soon God is going to pour His wrath and fury out on the entire planet. If you think them watching you go to church or attending an occasional Bible study will do it, you are sadly mistaken, what good is it going to do for anyone that is lost that you know if you just up and disappear right in front of their eyes if you have never opened your mouth and told them about this time that will occur one day. How will they know if you have never warned them?
Have you ever explained the Rapture to one of the lost? I have, and it is almost always met with the same response, “Where is the promise of His coming,” though it is never spoken like that. “You Christians have been talking about that forever, it hasn’t happened, and it isn’t going to, you just can’t stand it here and you’re looking for a magic trick to get you out of here.” It used to upset me, but now I just feel sorry for them, it is not hard or difficult for them to understand the truths of the Word of God, it is impossible. (1Cor. 2:14) And so, I pray for them and begin my waiting and searching for the next one, hoping they perhaps will listen. Are you warning them, is the church that you attend teaching its congregation how to warn them, or is it still just the same status quo, making you feel better about yourself with a little bit of sprinkling of the Word of God thrown in for good measure.
Many churches today focus only on the individuals walk with Christ and very rarely if ever teach them how to be effectual in the world for the lost, and even fewer Christians are searching the Scriptures on a daily basis so that they can witness effectually to the lost. There are not enough “reach them for Christ” moments, and far too many ”make sure you’re right with Christ” instances, and those in the world still, the lost, are going about their business as if there is going to be a tomorrow, and we are just watching them do it. Unless your church is having a seven-week study on the Books of Daniel and Revelation currently, then you are personally responsible to tell those that you meet about what is coming, you are to warn them. Too many who call themselves Christians are either afraid or embarrassed to open their mouths and tell the lost about the saving Grace that God has given us in His Son Jesus Christ, much less tell them about the wrath of God that is coming.
How do you explain to someone that does not know Christ about the Rapture? Easy, just look at them and say, “I’m going to disappear one day right into thin air.” I guarantee you that they will either look at you like you need serious psychological help, or they are going to start asking questions, and as a born-again believer who knows how to “Rightly divide the Word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15) and give an account for their faith you will have an audience. The consequences of their reply will be upon them, hopefully it will be in the positive, either way that is not your responsibility, it is theirs. You are a servant of the most High God, and you have done what you have been commanded to do. Christ is coming back for us my friends, and you know what horrors await those who will be left behind, you can continue to be afraid of speaking His truths to the lost, or you can be ashamed at His coming, (John 2:28) your choice.