Just a few notes that may appear as a discouragement but are actually an encouragement, and will help folks endure till the end, whenever their end may be.
Yes, I also have literally ‘cried my eyes out,’ been so exhausted and out of water that all I could do was lay there and wait for God to move. I know that block well!
Now that verse about ‘keeping them from the hour of temptation coming upon the whole world,’ yes, there are those. But… the Lord was not talking to the whole church, it was to that particular church. There are 7 letters to the churches, if they were not His, He would not be addressing them. Some received much admonition. In this case, it was ‘because you,’ so ‘therefore you will be kept from.’ It is a sub category and it is conditional. Now on that note, there has been an exodus of such believers over the last five years. I have been in the discernment ministry for a long time now and many of these who have kept His Word and contended for the truth of His Word have been taken home early. There is a list. It also does not say ‘how’ they will be kept. A peaceful death is one way. An Ark is another way. Noah was on the planet while God’s wrath poured out over the entire world, he was ‘kept from God’s wrath,’ but was not removed from the planet in order to do that. In fact, every single verse that is used in defense of the pre trib rapture can be dismantled in a similar way. All the verses that point to a late in the tribulation rapture, commentaries try to explain away by falsely attributing them to ‘Israel’ and things like that which they don’t apply to.
I often hear about ‘the blessed hope’ as referring to the rapture. When we take the verse:
" looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, " (Titus 2; 13) it appears to be referring to the return of Christ. Now on my end I do feel these occur at the same time, but only once. Matthew 24 gets into that. But many have used this verse to refer to ‘the rapture,’ and specifically as if it’s an escape from all trouble. Again, I believe in the rapture. It’s in the Bible. But later rather than sooner.
The problem is that, and particularly in the Western church, people have come to rely on the ‘pre trib’ rapture as a justification (with the help of heresies like the health and wealth, no suffering false gospel), that they will suffer no harm, no persecution, no martyrdom. That… is just for the church in other parts of the world, in other times of church history. Somehow they have received their religious exemption letter and get an early exit, without any persecution, they are entitled after all to forfeit all suffering for Christ (despite what the Bible says, see Philippians to start) because they are US citizens or something along those lines. They have special Christian privileges that other churches in the middle east do not. So for them the rapture is more like ‘the great escape.’ Once the Lord allows the real persecution to hit, they won’t stand a chance. They have no wood in them, only mush.
In Philippians it says that it has been appointed unto us to suffer for Christ, to partake in the fellowship of His sufferings. Where, oh where, do you hear that preached on today? I am currently reading through a series of books. Earlier, many years back the Lord lead me to read about the rise of the holocaust. Well wow! I saw the same things happening in our society as back then! It’s like parallel worlds, and now more than ever before! On so many levels too. So now I’m reading the three volumes (600 pages each on average) of the Gulag Archipelago. What is that you ask? Oh! I’m so glad you asked! : D
It is about the secret prison system on a chain of islands that they had under communism in Russia back a few decades. And you know what? I see more similarities. I should list them below. But first, it talked about Christians who were put there for their beliefs, how they suffered and died there, and left behind a marvelous witness! I’m preparing myself. If I die tonight from a burst appendix, if I live till the rapture, whenever it may be, fine. But if I am to go out this way, then that is fine with me too. Are we more special than these precious Russian believers? They witnessed to others in prison and suffered gladly for their faith!
THAT is the perspective that we need!
I cry for the church night and day because I feel that they are not ready.
Now the list.
The author of that series listed what society was like back then, and here is his list:
- Constant fear. FEAR.
- Servitude. I will include this quote: “And the PASSPORT REGULATIONS also fastened everyone to particular places.” He goes on to explain that when you were locked down to the same location and job it was hard to protest because you could not just pick up and move on.
- Secrecy and mistrust. This was due to snitches who would sell you out.
- Universal Ignorance. Through propaganda.
- Squealing. Informants and snitches to turn you in.
- Betrayal. They survived by turning others in, turning on their own families, etc.
- Corruption. This form of society corrupted people, they sold others out in order to keep themselves safe or gain some benefit.
- The lie as a form of existence. Just as in nazi Germany, they deluded themselves and went along with the genocide.
- Cruelty. They became desensitized to the cries for help from the victims of this system.
It explains much more and this is just a quick outline.
See anything familiar?
The encouragement here is in knowing that God allows these things, for a reason, which we don’t usually know. We will not be the first to ‘enter the camps of persecution,’ and that gives me strength. We are following in the footsteps of great Christian company. I don’t know about you, but wherever He leads me, I WILL FOLLOW, and that all the way because I am following Him!
May the Lord give you all the backbone at the time it is needed most.
Hugs, love, smiley faces, and blessings to you!
Till next time…