By Dennis Huebshman
There have been numerous occasions where I made the comment I am ready for the Savior to call us Home. I look forward to hearing the trumpet/shofar and the “Shout of Command” (probably “Come Up Here” – Revelation 4:1 and Revelation 11:12) with the voice of the Archangel and being caught up into the air/clouds to meet the Lord on our way Home. (2 Thessalonians 4: 14-18; 1 Corinthians 15: 51-52 – all emphasis throughout is mine). For anyone who cannot say they are truly ready, this message is especially for them.
Some have asked if there’s anything I need to do or wait for before this happens. I have given it a lot of thought over the years, and the best answer I can give is, “Today would not be too early, My Lord, and in fact, right now would be perfect.” This does not mean I am sitting around doing nothing as I wait for the call. Jesus gave several parables where the theme is to work until He returns. One that comes to mind is about the 10 Virgins that are waiting for the Bridegroom (Matthew 25). Five were prepared and had plenty of oil for their lamps but five were not. When the Bridegroom came, the five that were prepared entered into the celebration and the other five had to go look for more oil. When they returned, the door was closed to them and they were not allowed to enter. Matthew 24:44 says it best, “Therefore you must be ready because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect Him.”
If Jesus had told us in advance exactly when He would return for His Church and then to physically come back and set foot on the earth at the second coming, I believe people would not worry about getting ready until the last minute. As is, the next minute from now could be the one. When the Rapture takes place, it will be “In a moment, in the blinking of an eye” (1 Corinthians 15:52). This leaves no preparation time for those who are not always ready. No one can confess Jesus is the Christ and ask Him to be their Savior in less than ½ second.
Those who are here after the Rapture and before the physical appearance of Jesus on earth will be able to almost figure to the day when He will return. Daniel 9 tells of a coming prince (anti-christ) that will make a one-week (7-year) treaty with Israel. At the mid-point or at 3 ½ years, the covenant will be broken and the last 3 ½ years will be the worst that this world has ever experienced. Daniel 12:11 says, “From the time the daily sacrifice is removed, and the abomination that causes desolation is set in place, there are 1290 days.” Therefore, from the time the anti-christ desecrates the temple until the return of Jesus to shut down the tribulation, one can pretty much determine when that day will be.
Only problem with this, most people will be doing all they can just to survive as almost 2/3 of the world population will die. (Zechariah 13:8) There will be new believers all through the tribulation, but at a very high cost. Besides the Jews who the anti-christ will especially persecute, anyone who accepts Jesus will be a target. Anyone who does not take the mark of the beast (Revelation 13:17-18) will be hunted down and those that are found will be martyred.
Anyone who had the opportunity to accept Jesus before the Rapture, but turned back to the world will not have another chance to accept Him. Hebrews 6:4-6 is very specific and the warning is frightening. “For it is IMPOSSIBLE in the case of those who have once been enlightened (given the word), tasted the heavenly gift and became partakers of the Holy Spirit (had the opportunity to accept but didn’t), tasted the word of God and the miracles of the coming age and then have committed APOSTASY, to renew them again to repentance, since they are crucifying the Son of God for themselves all over again and holding Him up to contempt.” These are the ones that turn back to the world never having accepted Jesus. They went through all the motions, but their hearts never were with Jesus. They heard the word but didn’t believe. One source says, “Intellectually persuaded, but spiritually uncommitted.” Understanding what is needed for salvation but not having exercised genuine saving faith. I know this sounds like someone can lose their salvation, however the case here is someone who, as I said, goes through all the motions and outwardly appears “religious”, yet never formed a true relationship with the Savior by fully accepting Him. Just knowing about the Savior saves no one as even satan and his demons believe He is real. It’s the ACCEPTANCE that makes it real.
How then do we know we have accepted Jesus? Matthew 10:37-39 gives some examples. “Whoever loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me and whoever loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. (38) Whoever does not take up his cross and follow Me is not worthy of Me. (39) Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life because of Me will find it.” John 12-43 says, “For they loved praise from men more than praise from God.”
At this point, I’m sure a lot of people would be where I was when I first read these passages before I called out to Jesus to save me. It seemed as if it would be impossible for me to live up to all this and to love the Lord with all my heart, all my soul and all my mind. (Matthew 22:37) Yet, a verse jumped out at me that gave me reassurance, “Jesus looked at them and replied, this is impossible for mere humans, but for God all things are possible. (Matthew 19:26)
I learned very quickly ALL have sinned and have fallen short. (Romans 3:23) However, anyone who accepts Jesus is no longer condemned. (Romans 8:1) When we do fall short and sin, we ask for and receive forgiveness from the Father (1 John 1:8-10). And if we ask anything in the right way (not selfish or with greed) it will be given. (James 4:3) Therefore, one of the first things I asked for was the capacity for me to Love the Father, Son and Holy Spirit more and more each day. Second, I asked for the Holy Spirit to open my mind to the Word of the Lord so that each time I get into it, I understand what it says more with each reading. I also have come to understand that ALL – everyone – who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. (Acts 2:21 and Romans 10:13). To call on Him is to “confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord land believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, and you will be saved.” (Romans 10:9) This is truly accepting Jesus, and no one can take that away from you.
The ones in Hebrews that are not saved are covered in 1 John 4:3, “…but every spirit that does not confess Jesus, is not from God and this is the spirit of the anti-christ which you heard was coming, and is already in the world.” There are pretenders and some that prefer this world over what Jesus has to offer.
John 19:27-28, “My sheep listen to My voice and I know them, and they follow Me. (28) I give them eternal life and they will never perish; no one will snatch them from My hand.” Once His – Always His!
And, as always, the choice is up to each person to make. Jesus and eternal life, or this world (satan) and Lake of Fire. There are no alternative options. Jesus laid His life down for us and therefore has the absolute right to require we accept Him and the gift He is offering. The only cost to us is to give Him our Love and devotion and He will prepare an eternal place for us (John 14:2). He is the ONLY Way, ONLY Truth and ONLY Life, and NO ONE comes to the Father except through Him. (John 14:6)
To delay calling on Him could be the costliest mistake you could ever make.
ABBA FATHER – today would be just fine!