Over the decades, the subject of the Rapture, Daniel’s 70th week, and the Millennium have been studied, examined, debated, discussed, analyzed, and dissected in great detail.
Many different conclusions have been drawn by sincere and honest people, as well as some who have displayed a remarkable degree of (intentional?) Biblical ignorance.
There have also been numerous attempts by authors, who are obviously unsaved and hostile to the Word of God, to discredit any view or deny the Scriptures altogether.
But God, as ever, already had a response prepared within His Word.
“For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12).
For the sake of this commentary and as far as answering the title question, we will deal with those who are Christ-following and worshipping believers: genuine Christians.
None of the various conclusions drawn relative to eschatological views have any direct effect on soteriological requirements for salvation, regardless of the view that may be held by any saved individual. They are either saved, or they are not, under the conditions required and recorded in the Word of God.
(At the end of this commentary, there is a special message that outlines these conditions.)
Having attempted to clarify this important (even critical) distinction, we move on to the main point.
The canonization of the New Testament has led to the present-day version we have come to know and love. The timing and determination of this canonization is a study in and of itself, and it has been argued and debated. There are many opinions.
What I do know is this? God made sure it was assembled according to His Authority and to achieve the purpose for which He sent it.
“For as the heavens are higher than the earth So are My ways higher than your ways And My thoughts than your thoughts. For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, And do not return there without watering the earth And making it bear and sprout, And furnishing seed to the sower and bread to the eater, So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth; It will not return to Me empty, Without accomplishing what I desire, And without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it” (Isaiah 55:9-11).
And that is sufficient for me.
So, what do I mean by “this time”?
I have not been shy about my Pre-Tribulation, Pre-Millennial viewpoint, and it is the necessary view in order to understand the balance of this commentary.
(Note: The Tribulation, Daniel’s 70th Week, and The Time of Jacob’s Trouble all describe the same event/timeframe.)
The imminence of the Rapture of the Church (the true Church) has undergone many undulations over the years. By imminence, I do not mean the scriptural indications – they remain changed.
I mean the anticipatory indications. Jesus Himself provided the information necessary for sober anticipation of the future when asked by His disciples on the Mount of Olives.
“There will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and on the earth dismay among nations, in perplexity at the roaring of the sea and the waves, men fainting from fear and the expectation of the things which are coming upon the world; for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then they will see THE SON OF MAN COMING IN A CLOUD with power and great glory. But when these things begin to take place, straighten up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near” (Luke 21:25-28).
While this was spoken to His Jewish brethren and the church was yet to be – and the conditions described were related to his second advent to rescue His remnant when they cry out to Him and finally acknowledge Him as Messiah – these described conditions are manifest, in living color, today.
How much closer would we anticipate the Rapture prior to the beginning of Daniel’s 70th Week to be, since these conditions exist at levels never before seen in human history?
“For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be earthquakes in various places, and there will be famines and troubles. These are the beginnings of sorrows” (Mark 13:8).
- Nations indicate different ethnic groups, races, and ideologies.
- Kingdoms also indicate countries and other political entities.
- Earthquakes are everyday occurrences, but the intensity is rising.
- Famines have never before been so widespread and are even being engineered to achieve a scale that will dwarf Stalin’s engineered starvation of 1930-1933 and Mao’s state-sponsored starvation of 1958-1962.
- Different countries/kingdoms, etc., proudly proclaim “close partnerships,” “close ties of fellowship,” and other fluffy-sounding drivel, yet the back-stabbing and treachery continue.
- And Troubles? Troubles are growing overnight like dandelions.
Well, you might say, “these things are nothing new,” and you would be right, but you left off “but.”
BUT, the levels of these conditions are on an exponential curve that is rising at hypervelocity.
So, what is different this time?
- In the past, open rebellion against God and His Son and rejection of the Holy Spirit were masked and disguised under a veneer of respectability or a semi-pseudo morality. A good analogy of that might be “putting lipstick on a pig.”
- In the past, the normal state of families was that children were objects of affection and revered by BOTH parents.
- In the past, youngsters were not butchered, irrevocably altered and convinced that they could achieve peace and happiness via a biological impossibility as a cottage industry! (1 Tim 6:10a).
- In the past, there was not a plan being actively implemented to starve an entire planet full of people (except the ungodly privileged). People, human beings, who are openly being defined as “useless eaters.”
- In the past, variations of God’s created order, based on the family and biological norms He created, were not being openly celebrated as credible (Romans 1:32).
- In the past, there was no viable(?), wanton effort to meld humans with machines and/or biotechnology. A clear message to God that He is not necessary.
- The “Climate change” narrative, unbelieving politicians, etc., quoting (misquoting) Bible verses in order to have the appearance of Godliness but denying its power.
“Having a form of godliness but denying its power” (2 Timothy 3:5).
I could continue for quite some time to list the ongoing depravity and lawlessness of human activity at this late stage of history, but we are all witness to it every single day.
“And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold” (Matthew 24:12).
Indeed, the “new normal” has become willful ignorance of or outright hatred of all things in God’s established order and, as a result, hatred of God Himself.
And this by a very large majority of the world’s population.
On and on it goes: the continuing race of humankind towards destruction but for the mercy of God.
“And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened” (Matthew 24:22).
This race has a terminus, and those who study Bible prophecy are very aware of it.
Now to the crux of this commentary.
There have been times of heightened anticipation of the Rapture of the church over the decades by believers who have paid attention to or lived in the reality of world events but who have not necessarily studied the conditions that must be in place before that event could actually occur.
A couple of more noteworthy examples might be during WWII when the world was indeed in great turmoil. A poorer example (but still an example) would be the angst over the year 2000 and its associated anticipation.
More recently, the 2012 furor which was clearly not applicable as it was largely based on a Mayan “prophecy,” yet it sprouted movies and conjecture in abundance.
But (there’s that word again), there is one more “condition” that I think needed to exist.
The rampant, open, debilitating evil that now permeates every aspect of human existence. The “New Normal.”
It has arrived, and the “New Normal” is truly now the new normal.
God indicated in His Word that this expansion of evil that He has allowed has a reason (as does everything He does). The following two verses lend credence to this understanding. There are others, but these should be sufficient to make the point:
“The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9).
“So just as the tares are gathered up and burned with fire, so shall it be at the end of the age. The Son of Man will send forth His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all stumbling blocks, and those who commit lawlessness, and will throw them into the furnace of fire; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then THE RIGHTEOUS WILL SHINE FORTH AS THE SUN in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear” (Matthew 13:40-43).
“For although they knew God, they neither glorified Him as God nor gave thanks to Him, but they became futile in their thinking and darkened in their foolish hearts. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images of mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles” (Romans 1:21-23).
It is important to note that there are many, many, moral and upright people in every ethnic group (race) and country, who have every belief system imaginable and that they have placed their trust in, who do not have Jesus Christ as their Savior. They want nothing to do with this “new normal” and refuse to participate in it, and there are even many who actively resist it at great personal cost to them.
BUT, the One and Only God of creation: The Only God who has proven Himself to all humankind by foretelling the future from the beginning and carrying it to completion, has made it clear that He will bring the entire world into judgment for rejecting his Son who paid the price for sin for anyone who would believe. He has also made two things abundantly clear:
“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). Emphasis added by me.
“Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me” (Revelation 3:20). Emphasis added by me.
The following two verses, I believe, encapsulate this Truth.
“Remember the former things of old, For I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like Me, Declaring the end from the beginning, And from ancient times things that are not yet done, Saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, And I will do all My pleasure’” (Isaiah 46:9-10).
“I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6).
There is every possibility that God may pause the Rapture once again by His own Power and Authority. That should not be overlooked.
But the evidence is mounting up, and the conditions are clear that the level of sin has reached new and unprecedented heights.
Is the cup of the God Almighty’s indignation nearly full?
“Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear and obey what is written in it, because the time is near” (Rev 1:3).
“And what I say to you, I say to all: Watch!” (Mark 13:37).
The special message I promised you:
For anyone who may read this article and has not trusted in Jesus Christ and therefore has no hope or peace in your life:
You can have hope. You can have the peace that Jesus has promised to all who have made Him their Lord and Savior. The peace that passes understanding.
It requires that you come before God on His terms.
And what are His terms according to His Word?
- Genuine repentance (turning to God instead of continuing to reject or ignore Him).
- Confession of sins (that you are a sinner and acknowledge that to God).
- That you understand that the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23).
- To acknowledge to God that you are unable to pay that debt.
- Belief that Jesus Christ paid your death sentence for you on the cross.
- To believe that Jesus is the Way, the only Way, that God has established by which humans may be saved from the consequences of their sin and rebellion.
God has made it absolutely clear that there is no one who comes before Him, under His terms, that will be refused.
- No one: no race, no color, no country of origin, regardless of any previous belief system: no one.
- No matter what your past sins have been, God can and WILL forgive you because He says He will.
- Salvation is available to everyone without any exceptions.
If you put all your trust for salvation in Jesus, and Him only, you can follow that prayer up by simply saying, “Thank you, Father God, for hearing my prayer and saving me,” because we can trust Him to keep His Word. He always has. He always will.
John 5:24: “Truly, Truly, I say to you that he who hears My words and believes the One who sent Me has eternal life and will not be condemned. He has crossed from death to life.”
There are no answers and there is no hope in the world by governments, organizations, politics or politicians. There are only lies and deception. But you can have the Truth and the peace you seek.
The answers are in the Word of God—The Bible. If you ask God with all your heart, He will hear you. “And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart” (Jeremiah 29:13).
Pro Salvator Vigilans
To contact me: email@example.com
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