“And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.” (Hebrews 9:27) What is it that you believe our Lord is waiting for, as it were, before He returns to take His church home, (1 Thess. 4:16) what final event is needed to occur before we are removed and the wrath and fury of God begins to be poured out on this earth, the tribulation period. (Matt. 24:33)
Do you think it is an “x” number of abortions, His anger is finally kindled because of our continual killing of the innocent unborn, He will take no more of this murder of millions of children around the planet. Perhaps it is enough that the majority of the nation’s now see nothing wrong with homosexuality, His vengeance and wrath are kindled toward the planet of Sodom and Gomorrah, (Gen. 19:24) not just on a few cities in the valley that went against His will. “And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.” (Matt. 24:12) There is no doubt that this saying has become true, there is enmity between man and man, both on the lost and the saved, each of us seeks only the pleasure of self, our security, our plans, our hopes and dreams, our neighbor whom we are to love has become secondary, thought upon only when our immediate needs are met first. When will the age of the gentiles (Luke 21:24) be fulfilled, when will all of these sins be overflowing in the eyes of Almighty God, and He says “Enough, bring my children home, it is the appointed time of wrath.”
It is all of these and many more my friends, our Lord is not just sitting around waiting for the last member of the bride of Christ to be born, He is not sitting around waiting for anything, the time has been appointed, and no man knows the day. (Matt. 24:36) There is no great and final sin that needs to be accomplished, He is not waiting for Satan to do some evil dastardly deed, our adversary’s work is done by the willful prompting of his desires against God in the lives of men, the wicked are his tools. There is one reason that encapsulates all of these postulations, we as a whole, almost all eight billion of us, have forgotten God, we have forgotten that all that is He created, all belongs to Him, we have forgotten that He is righteous and Holy. It matters little what we want, what we think, what we plan, God’s plan is in place, it will begin to unfold when He sees fit, and it will not matter one bit what you are doing that day.
There are not hundreds of millions that serve a false god or gods, there are billions, and I sincerely hope that I am wrong, but I believe that the number of those who will be caught up in the rapture is infinitesimal in relation to the number of human souls that are on this planet today. How many people are in your church that can find no joy outside of the Lord, and how many more are concerned with the weather, their plans for the weekend, their own self-centered lives. How many are you meeting on the street that truly serve Him, that long for opportunities to be used by Him, that see the world and all that is in it as shallow, temporary and evil. How many are deceiving themselves and seeking the face of God only when they have a need, only as a last resort, believing themselves to be saved because they got baptized and show up to church on a regular basis. How many know Jesus Christ as Lord, and show up each day and in almost every way in their life wanting nothing more than to be pleasing in His sight. The number is so small compared to the number of men today. There are a lot of emotion, circumstanced based “Christians” out there, but few that can truly call Him Lord from the depths of their soul.
“All we like sheep have gone astray.” (Isaiah 53:6) And many of us are like our old doggy, if we do not keep an eye on him, he will lower his nose and go wherever it takes him, not looking up to see where we are. That is when it will be time my friends, when we as a people stop looking up to our Master, when we have forgotten Him, and placed our own desires above His will. There are very, very few of us, we have become a remnant, as in the days of Elijah when there was only 7,000 left that served God with their entire heart, we are few in comparison to the population of the world indeed. How do I know this for a fact? Because “by their fruits ye shall know them.” (Matt.7:20) How many are attending church, but not attending to the lost, how many are there at the potluck, but not over-flowing in their faith, how many sing songs with vigor each Sunday morning, but will not open their mouths for Him the rest of the week. Far too many own a Bible, but have difficulty finding it each weekend, they open it only at the request of the pastor, and many times that is not even necessary, for the verses are right up there on the big screen, showing up after the short entertaining videos and the jokes given by the one behind the pulpit.
“Keep them entertained” is the mantra today, the convictions of the Word of God will only make them feel bad, and will eventually drive them away, seeking a place that will scratch their itchy ears. They show up on Sunday, but they are thinking about Monday, they double check their vacation fund as they listen about the needs of others, they hear the plight of those who are suffering, and hope that it does not happen to them. Our Lord will return for His bride, the door will be shut, (Hebrews 9:27) and all those who thought they knew Him will be left behind, sent a strong delusion, (2 Thess. 2:11) never to see even the gates of our eternal home.
Do you know why most who study the Scriptures intently believe that there will be more people saved during the tribulation period than all those combined since the cross? Because people listen when their lives are at stake, and they do not listen very well when the only offer is grace. You put people in a position of extreme suffering, and they pay attention, when they see the events that could only occur by the Majestic and Almighty power of God, when their life is in the line, they listen. When all you are offering is grace and love, not so much. You know this for a fact, if you have ever witnessed to someone who is healthy, financially stable, has a great job they enjoy, all the things of the world that they could desire are at their disposal, you know this. “For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called.” (1 Cor. 1:26) Witness though to the one who has nowhere left to turn, and you have someone who will listen.
Those who love the Lord Jesus Christ just because He is and not for what He can do for them are few and far apart today, but these are the only ones who will find that very narrow gate. (Matt. 7:14) Churchianity, the game of Christianity, they will lose, and in so doing they will lose their soul to hell. The lost will still have hope during the tribulation, but those who have played the game will receive no second chance, the delusion our Lord will send upon them will be so strong that if it were possible, even the elect would be deceived. The elect in that context are those that will call upon the name of the Lord for their salvation during the tribulation, and they will not love their lives to the end. Those who have been saved by grace thru faith (Eph. 2:8) are the elect today, and His grace is sufficient for them. They do not need to see miracles, they do not shy away from suffering, they rest completely in His promises, and how can we know them?
By their works, (Matt. 7:20) and these works go far beyond the church doors, they are not counted in terms of church attendance and Bible study night, they are seen by the world, and the world sees them as the children of Almighty God.