Waiting and Watching
By Jonathan C. Brentner
Waiting is difficult! Whether we’re waiting for cold symptoms to subside, a job offer, or a storm in our life to end, it’s never fun waiting (to say the least).
It’s also not easy waiting for Jesus to take us home to heaven as He promised in John 14:2-3. Yet I know so many of you, like me, have been waiting decades for His appearing.
Recently, I have been thinking about Simeon and Anna who greeted the Savior in temple when His parents came to present Him to the Lord (Luke 2:22-38). The Holy Spirit had previously revealed to Simeon that he would not die until he had seen the Messiah. While the text does not tell us that Anna had the same revelation, she evidently remained watchful for Christ at age 84.
Just as God rewarded Simeon and Ana for their faith, I believe He will reward those of us who remain watchful for the Lord’s return for us.
For those of you who are eagerly waiting for the rapture, I see several reasons to remain hopeful that Jesus is coming for us in the very near future.
1. The Stage is Set
Perhaps the strongest indicator of the season is this: many events the Bible describes as happening in the last days seems to be right on the brink of coming to full fruition. It’s as if the stage is all set and we are just waiting for the curtain to rise and the actors to appear. If it were a musical production, we would already hear the orchestra playing the overture.
The Bible tells us that destructive earthquakes will take place during the tribulation. Secular geologists today warn that in many areas of our world we are right on the brink of devastating earthquakes. Much of the west coast of the United States is a prime example of this. But just as God led Lot out of Sodom before He destroyed the city, I believe the Lord will remove the great number of believers on the west coast via the rapture before His judgment strikes.
The players in the Gog-Magog invasion of Israel are all in place, yet God has not yet put the hook in the jaw in Gog. The foundations for a one world government and religion are all in place and ready to go once the Lord takes His church away (2 Thess. 2:3-10). The technology the antichrist needs for worldwide dominance is already in use in China. And is not the placing of chips in people today a forerunner of the mark of the beast?
We see so many signs of the coming tribulation that tell us it will soon be here. And if this time of wrath is so near, how much closer must be Jesus’ appearing to take us home?
So many end-time Bible prophecies seem ready to happen; they are waiting for just the right catalyst to leap into full fruition. As JD Farag often says, it’s like watching someone stretch a rubber band to its limit; we know it will snap at some point. I believe the rapture represents the breaking point that will cause so many biblical prophecies to quickly come to full fruition in the world.
2. The Increasing Freefall of Morals
Speaking for what I see in the United States, the casting off of God’s authority has led to a freefall in morals such as I never thought I would see before the rapture. Woman celebrate their abortions, a man married to another man is running for president, and the LBGTQ people continue to get their way through bullying and castigating anyone who disagrees with them.
I know many of you see the same things in the nations where you live. This devaluing of human life along with the rampant anti-Semitism and hatred of Bible-believing Christians will enable the antichrist to gain worldwide acceptance and even worship while at the same killing multitudes of tribulation saints and Jews.
3. The State of the Church
The Apostle Paul warned of time when church goers would “not endure sound teaching” and thus turn away from biblical faith (2 Tim. 4:3-4). This time has surely arrived.
Aside from the obvious where churches welcome and applaud behavior that Scripture says is sin or proclaim a false Gospel, we see many other cracks that spell trouble as well. The majority of evangelical churches today deny what the Bible teaches about the future of Israel. Although many of these still proclaim the Gospel with clarity, the refusal to believe what God’s Word says about Israel and the future portends an uncertain future for them if the Lord tarries longer than we expect.
It’s like a small hole in a dam that grows with time; soon people discard other parts of God’s revelation.
4. Demonic Deception
I know of no other to explain it other than to assign it to widespread demonic deception. Why else would a political party in the United States mourn the death of a murderous terrorist with the blood of so many of our soldiers on his hands and apologize to Iran for his death? Why else would this party side with our enemy rather than with our President who has shown remarkable restraint in the face of much aggression? Why else would this party celebrate the murder of children, demand the end of an agency that’s at the forefront of stopping sex trafficking in our nation, and insist on totally open borders when illegal immigrants murder thousands of Americans each and every year?
Paul tells us that during the tribulation God will send a “strong delusion” among those who reject the Gospel (2 Thess. 2:11-12). I believe this delusion already operates among many in the United States and I suspect it is true where you live as well.
My purpose in saying all these things is not to depress you, but to affirm our conviction that we live in the last days and that someday very soon the Lord will reward our watching and waiting just as He did with Simeon and Anna.
Yes, it has been a long time and it seems like we have waited a very long time for Jesus’ appearing. And yes, great evil and wickedness have always existed in our world with varying intensities over time.
So what makes this time so different than that of previous generations?
Never before have people in such large numbers been so eager to throw off all moral restraints while at the same time so many signs appear throughout our world indicate the nearness of the seven-year tribulation.
If it was just the wholesale rejection of God and His Word that we see in and out of the church, I would not be as hopeful of the Lord’s soon return. But it’s this defiant rejection of the Lord’s authority coupled with more signs than I could possibly list in this article that makes me confident the rapture can occur at any moment and will happen soon.
It’s many things combined that designate the time in which we live as the last days in human history as we know it.
So take heart fellow waiters and watchers. I cannot predict the timing of the Lord’s return or promise you will see it in your lifetime, but all the signs point to Jesus’ soon arrival.
Based on the many e-mails I receive, I know many of you sense the nearness of the rapture as well. Perhaps the Lord will reward many of us with witnessing the rapture in our lifetime just as He honored the faith of Anna and Simeon with His first coming. And if not, He will surely reward our faith in watching for His soon return.
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