Close Is For Horseshoes and Hand Grenades
By Dennis Huebshman
For anyone who can say there’s been no major changes on this earth over the past decade or so, they’re like an ostrich with its head buried in the sand. In fact, one prophecy expert recently said things aren’t changing daily anymore – it’s hour by hour. If not, it definitely seems that way, and it’s very obvious not for the better.
Jesus told about events that would be taking place at the end of this age, and right before His physical return to earth. His first statement was “…and see that no one leads you astray.” (Matthew 24:4) That was a prelude to all that He said would be happening. Continuing on in verses 5-8, He said that false prophets would increase (Many will come in My name); wars and rumors of wars; nation will rise up against nation (everyone is against Israel); famines and earthquakes in various places; and these would only be the beginning of birthing pains. He went on to say in verses 9-12 that “they” (Christians) would be hated by all nations, and believers would see tribulations. Lawlessness would increase, and many that were righteous would fall away. Every one of the above have increased significantly. (emphasis mine)
Luke gives much of the same scenarios in 21:8-19. Some points he offers are even in more depth. For example, in verse 15 he said Christians would be delivered to ruling authorities, but were not to be concerned as to how they would testify. Jesus said He would give them a testimony that cannot be refuted. He even said parents and close relatives would turn against believers. In Mark 13:11, Jesus said the words that will be given will be from the Holy Spirit.
The things Jesus speaks of in the passages will be completely evident in the final 7-year tribulation, just before His return to shut it down. This period will be known as the Tribulation or Wrath. Some of these things are present now – increased earthquakes; people being hated just for believing in Jesus; increase in false prophets – but nowhere to the degree it will be as in those last 7 years; especially for the last half of that time. The events today are troubling, but the last 3 ½ years will be known as the “Great Wrath” when satan throws everything he can to defeat God. It will be a time like there has never been on this earth, and at least 2/3 of the population will be killed in one manner or another. At the end, satan will be defeated as he is no match for the Creator.
In 2 Timothy 3, Paul lists numerous traits that will be present in the majority of people that will show satan and his demons are exercising a major influence on this earth. Most people will be on the “wide” path that leads to destruction (Matthew 7:13). In 2 Timothy 3:12, he says, “Indeed, all who desire to live a “Godly” life will be persecuted…” In verse 13, he continues with “…while evil people will go on from bad to worse; deceiving and being deceived.”
This just about covers all of our news today. While we are not actually in the final 7-years, the persecutions have begun. Now is the time for all true believers to determine if they’re going to follow Jesus or not. Jesus Himself knew there would be few that would be on the “straight and narrow” path (Matthew 7:14).
Going all the way back to Joshua 24:14-15, “Now therefore, fear (deeply respect) the Lord, and serve Him in sincerity and faithfulness. Put away the gods that your fathers served beyond the River (in Egypt), and serve the Lord. (15) And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve; whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River; or the gods of the Amorites in the land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” We have been given true instructions how to be saved (Bible); it’s up to each person to accept or reject God’s word.
Some people live their lives as if they will be able to make a last “minute” decision to accept Jesus when He calls His “Church” home. (Rapture). Problem with this thinking is, when the trumpet/shofar sounds, and the call comes from the Arch Angel, and the dead in Christ rise up first followed by those of us who are alive; it will all happen in the “twinkling/blinking of an eye”. The so-called “last minute” will take place in less than one second by today’s calculations. (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; 1 Corinthians 15:51-53) No one on earth is that fast; only God is able to accomplish this.
Being close will not count. The odds are better in horseshoes and hand grenades, than to test God. Luke 4:12, “And Jesus answered him (satan), it is said, you shall not put the Lord your God to the test.” Of course, satan will continue in his deceitful ways for anyone whom he can influence. Though he is full of self-pride, and believes he can overcome the Father, deep down he knows his final destiny is the Lake of Fire that was made specifically for him and his demons. (Matthew 25:41)
Sad part is, all who do not accept Jesus, or who did not follow God’s will prior to the Cross, will join satan in eternal punishment. The final antichrist of the tribulation years, and the false prophet will be the first occupants of the Lake of Fire (Revelation 19:20); followed by satan 1000 years later (Revelation 20:10). After this will be the final judgment at the Great White Throne of all those who rejected God before the covenant of the cross, and all from the cross through the Millennial Reign of Jesus that would not accept Him. No one in that judgment line will be pardoned; all will join satan and his demons forever.
Yes, false prophets today are saying that God would not “send” anyone to the Lake of Fire; and they’re partly right. God doesn’t send anyone; everyone there will have chosen it for themselves. He would rather everyone turn away from their sin and repent and accept His Son (2 Peter 3:9), but is righteous and just to keep His word about those who won’t. God never makes a covenant that He will not keep.
All who call on the name of the Lord before they pass from this earth, will be saved. (Acts 2:21 and Romans 10:13) Accepting Jesus as your Savior will assure you of a Home in Heaven prepared by the Savior Himself – John 14:1-3. As I have said on numerous occasions, it’s Jesus or satan, there are no third options. (John 14:6)
All sin can be forgiven, except not accepting Jesus before taking your last breath on this earth. (1 John 1:8-10) If you have Jesus, you have the Father and eternal life in heaven (John 3:18 and 1 John 5:10-12). If you don’t have Jesus, you don’t have the Father, and will be separated from Him forever. Take the Joshua challenge – choose this day whom you will serve.