How Long, O Lord?
How Long, O Lord?
By Grant Phillips
Every day, God warns the earth of what is about to come. In one day of reading the newspapers, listening to radio and television news or searching legitimate web sites, we are told of political events that are shaping the world, earthquakes all over the globe, drastic change taking place in Europe and at home, wars in progress and preparation for war, the return of old diseases and the discovery of new ones, murders, beheadings, threats of attacks from major nations, economical bankruptcy looming, oil prices ready to explode, threats from the heavens, nature in turmoil, starvation, rising food prices, rising unemployment, housing failures, business failures, suicides, terroristic activity, and the list just keeps growing.
Can we not see that just a few short years ago there would be one or two major events in a week or a month to draw our attention? Now there are dozens upon dozens on a daily basis. As a woman's pain increases in frequency and strength just before the birth of her child, the signs around us all echo the same. Jesus has told us to watch for the signs. A person would have to be a blind deaf mute hermit living on a small deserted island in the pacific to not see that something unprecedented is about to happen upon this earth, and therein lies the problem with most in the church. Jesus said to each of the seven churches in Revelation chapters two and three, "He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches."
How many different ways does Jesus have to say it before we hear Him? How many fulfilled prophecies will we miss before we wake up? The curtain is ready to rise and most of us are still in the lobby buying popcorn, while others of us are in our seats, anticipating that moment.
Most all of us today live with a sense of helplessness, fear, disgust and anger at what we see around us. Others of us sense those same emotions, but rest our security in the Lord's hands. Even in the midst of turmoil we are at rest within the promise of His Words. We know the outcome, and it is good, no, better than that, it is great beyond words of human expression, but still we utter, "How long, O Lord?" These are the same words that will be spoken by the coming martyrs of the Tribulation era.
"9And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held: 10And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth? 11And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled." (Revelation 6:9-11)
If we think things are bad now, according to the Bible, they're just getting started. As bad as it may be now, it will never be anything like what is going to happen once the Lord Jesus removes His Church from this earth. The closest thing to hell will be the hell on earth during the seven years of Tribulation, and especially the last three and one half years of that period.
Some think that Jesus may come for us this year, and that could be true. On the other hand, it may not be this year. It may be the next year, or the next, or some other year. One thing is for certain, while we wait, it isn't going to get easier. It will continue to get worse and worse to live in this fallen world. We may suffer a little, or much, before that great event of the Rapture transpires. "How long, O Lord?" Only He knows.
Have you ever noticed that the darker a room is, the brighter the light when turned on? There really is no such thing as darkness when you think about it. Actually darkness is the absence of light. That is why the church of Smyrna grew so rapidly. As dark as that age of history was upon the Church, the Light shone even brighter from the throne of God upon her. As a contrast, the church of Laodicea has placed obstacles between her and the Light of Heaven, and the Light has dimmed in her presence.
"…Thus saith the LORD, Set thine house in order: for thou shalt die, and not live." (Isaiah 38:1)
Those who are of the house of Laodicea had better get their house in order, or they will certainly be crying, "How long, O Lord?"