Three times the Bible says, “The just shall live by faith” (Romans 1:17; Galatians 3:11; Hebrews 10:38). It is also in there a fourth time, but with one added word of explanation – Habakkuk 2:4, “the just shall live by his faith.”
The “just” are the justified, the saved, those washed through faith in the blood of the Lamb (Romans 5:1; 1 Peter 1:19 ).
Saving faith and living faith have the same origin – The Bible. Romans 10:17, “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”
For God to repeat this so many times He must be adamant about it, His desire is for His people to live a life of faith in Him and that life of faith rests in believing and acting upon the words of scripture.
With what I’ve written so far you may think this week’s topic is about living by faith, however, that is not this week’s topic. I’ll be addressing a train of thought that may be unthinkable to most Christians.
Dear to the heart of many a Christian is the return of Jesus Christ. It is something the Bible talks a lot about and since we have faith in what the Bible says we believe His return is coming. Christ also gave signs of His coming. The largest of these signs has already happened, the restoration of the nation of Israel (Ezekiel 37; Matthew 24:32-35).
There are dozens of signs of Christ’s return throughout the Bible, and the Scripture says the events will occur “as travail upon a woman with child” (1 Thessalonians 5:3). The events leading to the return of Jesus Christ, according to the Bible, will increase in frequency and intensity (just like labor pains), until the moment when suddenly, Christ returns.
The actual physical return of Jesus – when He descends from heaven destroying the armies of earth and sets foot on Mt. Olivet (Revelation 19:11-21; Zechariah 14:4) will take place at the end of a seven-year period of tribulation. This seven-year tribulation will be the worst the world shall ever see (Matthew 24:21).
During this time of trouble, a man will arise that will rule the earth. Nations will still have borders, there will still be Presidents and Kings, but this man will be making all the decisions. People know him today as the Antichrist. The book of Revelation repeatedly calls him “the beast.”
Nearly everyone on the planet will worship him – (Revelation 13:8). The Antichrist will convince all the nations of the earth to gather in the valley of Armageddon to fight Jesus Christ when He returns (Revelation 16:12-16, 19:19).
Since we as Christians believe the Bible is true, we must conclude that sometime in the future the United States, along with the rest of the world, will be under the control of the Antichrist.
How soon will these events take place? When will the United States fall pray to the son of perdition? No one knows for sure.
How soon is the return of Christ? Ten years? Fifty years? One-hundred years or more? Christians have been touting the approaching second coming of Christ for quite some time now.
With that in mind, many Christians are upset with the way things are going in America, unconstitutional laws and policies, the continuing rise of immorality, a generation grasping the entitlement attitude, the list goes on.
Here is the thing that is unthinkable to most Christians. All these things we see going on around us is the world being prepared to receive the Antichrist with open arms. God has prophesied it; it is in the Bible, and if the return of Christ is sooner rather than later, we may have passed the point of no return.
Christ can and will continue to change individual lives, but the overall all direction of the world is set on the course God has pre-ordained.
What should Christians do?
Jeremiah the prophet found himself in a similar situation. God told him the wheels were already in motion; Israel would be taken captive. God told Jeremiah to go tell Israel to repent. Let them know what was happening soon and their need to return to God (Jeremiah 1). Christians should do the same.