I believe that those who have a view of eschatology that holds to the pre-millennial, pre-tribulation rapture is the proper way to view end times prophetic scripture. It is not escapism, wishing to get away before any of the bad end times stuff begins to happen. I think the pre-millennial, pre-tribulation view gives you the firmest, most realistic grasp on what is happening in the world, what is likely to happen next (no date setting, please), and why we should not be all that surprised by events in the world. From earlier posts, you know we believe Christians in general will face increasing persecution as the world drifts further away from God, severe persecution even in America, before the Rapture occurs. You know we believe there is a convergence of events in the world today which show growing evidence of the fulfillment of End Times biblical prophecy.
Our eschatology and the belief it is being fulfilled as we speak makes us aware, it makes us alert. But all too often, I read posts, tweets and/or articles from like-minded believers that seems to show a great level of anxiety as well. We should be anxious (eager for and joyous about the imminent return of our Lord Jesus Christ) but not anxiety filled (worried about the current state of affairs, and most usually with its’ impact on our personal lives).
Let’s be honest with ourselves, a life of worry is a life of sin. We were commanded by our Savior not to worry, but to trust in Him, to trust in God. It is how we are to live our lives, trusting in the provision of the Lord. He made it clear He will meet our needs, how could we doubt it as He provides even for birds (Matthew 6:26). He will for us, for He told us we are more valuable than many sparrows (Matthew 10:31); we cannot doubt the sufficiency of God’s provision in our lives. Yet we worry, often beside ourselves with worry, often beset and nearly overcome with worries.
We are sinners and we know all have sinned and fall short in God’s eyes (Romans 3:23). We are often not the good soil that yields a hundredfold (Matthew 13:23), more often we are choked by the worry of the world (Matthew 13:22), producing nothing but our own anxiety.
It has been said ignorance is bliss, but we cannot have a blissful, unaware mindset and lead of life dedicated to serving Christ. We need to hear the words of Jesus in John 14:27 and not let our heart be troubled, nor let it be afraid. Worry in the life of a Christian is an indication of a troubled, fearful heart, one that is not relying on the peace we have in Christ as much as He would have us.
However, we need be aware. We need to know what is going on in the world if for no other reason than to use it as an opportunity to share Jesus with others and explain why the happenings in the world are not as surprising as one might think. We need to be aware of the opportunity to witness and evangelize, we need be aware of the need to prepare for His Imminent Return, like the ten virgins of Matthew 25:1-13. We need to have our lamps trimmed and our oil flasks filled and close at hand. Jesus is coming soon! Even so, Come Lord Jesus.
In addition, we need be alert. The time of His Coming is unknown to us, He will call us with a shout to be with Him (1 Thessalonians 4:17). But alertness is also vitally important because of the enemy, who is seeking to devour us like a roaring lion (1 Peter 5:8) and will continue to seek and devour the unwary until the day our Lord stops him. We need to be alert for our Lord’s return, but equally alert to the enemy’s tricks, lies and wiles as he seeks to take us out of the battle. And as you think of how many are around you who so desperately need the good news of the Gospel, who wants to be taken out of the battle by the enemy? Fight the good fight, finish the race as the Apostle Paul did (2 Timothy 4:7). We need the same level of calm, thanksgiving and acceptance at the end of the battle in this life that the Lord has purposed for us.
All in all, I think those of us who believe the End Times view mentioned here, those of us who believe in the literal truth of the prophetic Scriptures passages, do a good job of being aware and alert, of speaking the truth and sounding the call to others.
We should stand with Israel, encourage others, including our government to do likewise. We should grieve over those of the nation of Israel who are losing their lives in the daily battle. We should grieve over the fact that it seems the world hates Israel, and grieve that it is increasingly clear that the world is hating Christianity more and more daily.
But we should not worry as if God is going to allow Israel to get wiped off the map, or that the Lord is going to abandon His church. That is just not going to happen and we know it.
I know that I wish I could view current world events with a little less anxiety and a lot more trust in the sure promises of God. I am pretty sure others wish that as well. For we know in our hearts that the Lord is not slack about His promise (2 Peter 3:9). We know that Jesus is coming soon! We know it deep in our hearts, our minds, our souls. But maybe we do so with anxiety of how it affects our daily lives.
Awareness, alertness, anxiety. Most of us described in this post have all three.
In the world of Christian faith and obedience to the Lord, 2 out of 3 ain’t bad.