The Bible calls us to “Come now, and let us reason together …” (Isaiah 1:8). Specifically, the topic in Isaiah is our righteousness, but today I would like Christians to sit and think, to reason about the Christian message and the future.
The Christian message should always be the death, burial and resurrection of Christ, the message of salvation. However, along with the message of salvation there are other messages as well. The Bible covers all topics of life; raising children, our relationship with our boss, money, anxiety, the list is nearly endless.
People tend to make preparations for things they know are coming. It may be as simple as someone planning what they will wear the next day, to something long range, like putting money aside for retirement when the day of the gold watch is forty years away.
The prophet Jeremiah prophesied of the Jews seventy-year captivity by the Babylonians (Jeremiah 25:8-11). The Jews did get taken into captivity and shortly before the seventy years are expired preparations for their return to Israel take place (Ezra 1:1-11).
God, knowing the future, also plans ahead. He has work for all of us to do which He had planned before the world began (Ephesians 2:10). But, do Christians, God’s children, plan ahead? And I am not talking about your 401K plan.
Ever since Hal Lindsey’s, “Late Great Planet Earth” was published in 1970 Christians have been proclaiming the rapture, the Antichrist, the tribulation period and the Second Coming are upon us. Many Bible scholars believe the rise of Israel in 1948 and Israel’s retaking of Jerusalem in 1967 are sure signs Biblical prophecies may only be a heartbeat away.
When a person on the Florida coast hears of the pending hurricane coming his way, the plywood is placed over the windows, and other provisions done. He is as ready as he can be when the storm arrives.
Christians claim to believe the rapture can happen at any moment, followed shortly by the rise of the Antichrist, the seven year tribulation and then the return of Christ. But do God’s people prepare for it?
Christ told us that before His return Christians would be the victims of persecution, “Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake” (Matthew 24:9). These sentiments will take a time to develop, the world won’t wake up one morning and suddenly decide to slaughter Christians.
If Christians indeed believe the rapture is within their lifetime shouldn’t we be prepared for persecution since Christ said we would be shortly before the rapture arrives?
If we believe the rise of the Antichrist is shortly after the rapture, then when society takes on the “spirit of antichrist” (1 John 4:3) should it be a surprise?
Second Timothy chapter three begins with, “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.” followed by a long list of the conditions of heart that prevails in the world as time nears toward prophetic events. Should Christians be appalled by or prepared for these things?
The point I’m trying to make is simply this: if we as Christians, truly believe events of Biblical prophecy is soon to come to pass, shouldn’t we be getting the Word of Christ and His salvation out to as many people as possible? And, why are we surprised when events take place that are building up to the same prophetic events we claim could happen at any moment?
Our message of salvation; the facts we are all sinners, Christ loves us enough to die as the Lamb of God, the payment for our sins and that only through faith in the death of Christ can salvation be obtained, should always ring loud and clear. The message of salvation should always be our number one message.
But what about the countless other messages of the Bible? Is it time to talk a little less about Biblical finances and more about the approaching gathering of the church and the judgment to follow? If there is an impending storm shouldn’t we be nailing up the plywood?
Are Christians telling enough of the story of salvation? Are we shouting loud and clear the message of the days in which we live?