In follow up to my recent post Are You Ready?, I wanted to back up from the topic of the upcoming Islamic Antichrist and focus on the bigger picture of the soon imminent return of Jesus. Jesus told His followers to watch for the signs of His coming and that in the days preceding it there would be “great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now—and never to be equaled again.” (Matthew 24:21) Despite this sobering statement, the church in the West remains largely ignorant of the signs taking place all around them. Either because of poor theology or choosing to remain distracted, the majority of the church has, in effect, stuck its fingers in its ears and said, “Lalala – we don’t want to hear about that.” The sad results will be people remaining woefully unprepared for the events that are rapidly approaching (very conceivably in just a few years, not decades). All this despite Jesus’ admonition that we “keep watch” and not let those days catch us “unprepared” as is warned in the parable of the wise and foolish virgins (Matthew 25:1-13). But many in the Western church seem more focused on building their little kingdoms here on earth, rather than building their faith to survive what is coming, in order to “overcome,” (as Jesus said in the book of Revelation) which is what will be required of us to make it through to the Kingdom of Heaven. (I’m sure that statement rattles a lot of people’s theology, but I challenge you to thoroughly read the New Testament epistles of James, Hebrews, 1 Peter and the letters to the churches in Revelation and see what they have to say on this topic).
For years (long before God began giving me the “Mystery, Babylon” revelation in 2009) I was praying for God to “awaken His sleeping bride” – the church in the U.S. Sadly, the destruction of the U.S. as a nation will be a rude awakening for many. And it is important to realize that this will happen BEFORE the final end time events, that many DO know to expect, take place (like the revealing of the Antichrist). Most people think they know some of what has to happen (i.e. rebuilding of the temple) and that it still looks a long ways off, so they think they still have time to hit the snooze button and sleep a little longer. But I would caution you of several things:
- As I said before, prophecy can often be misunderstood and fulfilled differently than what we might be expecting, and if we aren’t paying attention, it can sneak up on us or we don’t even recognize it (as the religious Jews did not recognize Jesus’ fulfillment of all their prophecies). There may very well be a literal rebuilding of the temple, or God may show us that we misunderstood this interpretation and find that those prophecies have a different way of being fulfilled;
- In God’s timetable, even what we know has to happen can come to pass much more quickly than we could conceive happening in the natural course of events. Take, for example, the re-birth of the nation of Israel. Despite all the Bible prophecy saying this would happen, even most scholars scoffed at and explained away the idea of something that had never taken place before, coming to pass – a conquered nation and a people group scattered and dispersed being gathered together again back in their own land. Yet, after nearly 1900 years (in some of your lifetimes) the “impossible” happened seemingly overnight. In 1948 Israel was once again declared a nation and its people were gathered back to their land – and Isaiah 66:8 was suddenly fulfilled: “Who has ever heard of such things? Who has ever seen things like this? Can a country be born in a day or a nation be brought forth in a moment? Yet no sooner is Zion in labor than she gives birth to her children.“
- We are warned over and over in scripture to “keep watch” and “be vigilant” or the time of Jesus’ return will come upon us like a thief:
“Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.” (Matthew 24:42-44)
“For you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. While people are saying, “Peace and safety,” destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape. But you, brothers and sisters, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief.” (1 Thessalonians 5:2-4)
“But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare. Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives as you wait eagerly for the day of God to come.” (2 Peter 3:10-12)
“Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; hold it fast, and repent. But if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what time I will come to you.” (Revelation 3:3)
“Look, I come like a thief! Blessed is the one who stays awake and remains clothed, so as not to go naked and be shamefully exposed.” (Revelation 16:15)
I could go on and on about the signs happening all around that clearly show this is truly it and we are the generation that will see the return of Jesus. So again church, I plead with you to wake up, sober up and ask the Lord to hasten the learning curve for you, so that you will not be caught off guard. In Matthew 24:10 Jesus warns that under the stress of that time “many will turn away from the faith” and 2 Thessalonians 2:3 tells us His coming will not happen until (as the Amplified Bible translation puts it) “the apostasy (Greek “departure”) comes first [unless the predicted great falling away of those who have professed to be Christians has come].” No one seems to think they will be part of the “many” or “great falling away,” but most people have become so accustomed to their comforts that even the slightest disruption to them brings great frustration. What will happen when they are thrust into struggling for their very survival, as many of our Christian brothers and sisters all around the world now are? Will they find they’ve built their house of faith on rock or sand? (Matthew 7:24-27)
In closing, I would like to recommend viewing the following movie (broken into 8 parts on YouTube) produced by Joel Richardson and entitled “End Times Eyewitness.” My good friend, Missy, sent this to me after I recommended the reading of Joel’s book. If you have not been paying attention to the signs all around you, this movie will help open your eyes to the fact that we are rapidly nearing that “7th day of rest” spoken of in Hebrews 4 (coinciding with achieving 6000 years of recorded Biblical history and God creating the world in 6 days and resting on the 7th – 2 Peter 3:8 “Nevertheless, do not let this one fact escape you, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years and a thousand years as one day.“)
(If any of you are struggling with this as new information, I invite you to contact and dialogue with me personally and let me help you work through anything you don’t understand and join me in crying out “Maranatha” – Come Lord Jesus!)
NOTE: There are 8 videos in the playlist totaling just under 69 minutes. There will be a brief pause after one ends, but the next one will start to play for you automatically.