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October Blues? - By Matt Ward - http://www.raptureready.com/soap2/ward32.html
September has come and gone and we are still here.
Despite rampant speculation, the Rapture has yet to occur; the worldwide financial system has not come crashing down, Gog has not made his move against Israel and no giant asteroid has plummeted to earth. In fact, all seems to be absolutely, crushingly normal.
I am not mocking. The hype and expectation that the September prognostications engendered has inevitably left many feeling a deep sense of disappointment, even disillusionment.
September did look on paper to be a portentous month. The correlation of significant world and celestial events with significant Jewish feasts, mainly Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur ten days later, left many feeling that a significant prophetic event was almost a certainty. Yet nothing of obvious world changing importance seems to have occurred.
I found much of the speculation to be engrossing but this one simple statement from Jesus kept playing through my mind:
“But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father” (Matthew 24:26).
Jesus was clear during his first earthly ministry. He did say as straightforwardly as He could, that there were some secrets that even his own Heavenly Father had kept from Him. The information concerning the exact “day and hour” would be for the Father only and for no one else.
One has to therefore ask how anybody today could assume knowledge of events that Jesus Himself admitted during His First Coming, that even He wasn’t privy to?
YouTube is full of many such prognosticators and their video views often times number a quarter of a million or more.
Some of the speculation surrounding September were entirely sound, some unfortunately—extremely wild and damaging.
Nobody, anywhere knows the day or hour of the Rapture of the Church. Nobody on this earth ever will.
September’s passing has brought great disappointment and disillusionment for quite a number of people. With regard to their faith, some have even said they feel as if the ground beneath their feet has become a little more unsteady. This is the huge problem associated with date-setting; it can damage a person’s walk with the Lord and also ultimately undermines our own credibility when these dates are proven wrong.
The next time we share Bible-related prophecy with these same people they will legitimately turn and say, “But last time you were completely wrong! Why should we listen to you now?” Good question. Why should anyone listen?
Date-setting undermines us as Bible believing Christians and damages our credibility with others, especially non-believers. The great irony in all of this is that we live at a time in history when events really are occurring which genuinely do fulfill Bible prophecy each and every single day. We don’t need wild speculation; all we need to do is turn on the news with Bible in hand.
In no way am I disillusioned or disappointed by September having come and gone. In fact, I feel very excited and blessed to be living—genuinely blessed. I know God’s prophetic clock is very close to the midnight hour. I do not have access to secret information no one else has, but I can read.
I can recognize the time and the season we are in through the unparalleled, inscrutable lens of prophecy found in Scripture. It is this alone that informs my worldview and my sure belief that the coming of the Lord Jesus is indeed close at hand; not the babblings of the multitude of current YouTube prognosticators. Why the Lord has not come at this point is simply because of His great love for humanity.
“Do I take any pleasure in the death of the wicked? declares the Sovereign LORD. Rather, am I not pleased when they turn from their ways and live?” (Ezekiel 18:23).
He tarries because He is desperate for those who are still unsaved to yet find salvation. This is why the Great Commission is even more important today than it ever has been, because the finishing line is clearly in sight now.
God is now applying the very same patience to the unsaved as He did to each of us individually, before we were saved; giving opportunity after opportunity, time after time to know and come to His Son. He is extending His mercy to a multitude of undecided individuals in this world today.
So long suffering is the Lord in His love for mankind—that it will probably not be until the very last possiblemoment that the Father will send His Son to take His Bride home. There are many who will become our brothers and sisters in Christ who are still enemies of the cross and the Lord anxiously waits for them to come home.
Make no mistake, though. Jesus is standing at the gates of heaven waiting. The King of kings is waiting for the nod from His Father; then He will come, and not a moment before. When that day comes, and it surely will, there is no force in this entire universe that will be able to stop Him.
We are told by Jesus to watch, to ever watch. Jesus is coming as a thief in the night and sadly few will be ready when He actually does come. This is why John in his Apocalypse, talks of the Christian life as being one of “patience and endurance.”
The Lord clearly keeps His own timetable and is His own Counselor. Life today, very much appears to be going on as it always has and paradoxically that it is exactly what makes me lift up my head to the sky, looking for our Lord’s return.
While most today are going about their daily lives, the world around us is imploding.
“Where is the promise of his coming? people say in open derision (2 Peter 3:4). Yet prophecy is ripe for fulfillment in a swathe of different fields in a way never before seen in history.
We stand on the edge of an abyss. Birth pains have increased in frequency and intensity. The shadows cast by the Tribulation itself aren’t just visible on our horizons, we are actually becoming engulfed by them.
In just seven short years Barack Hussein Obama has utterly destroyed American power and standing in the world. He has brought America to complete economic ruin. This once great nation’s final reduction as a superpower is certainly close at hand, which therefore explains America’s seeming absence from all end-time prophecy.
The Pope, a newly arrived world leader who has come from out of nowhere cares more for climate change than he does for Jesus Christ. He is leading calls for the unification of all religions under a common banner which would sit under a global political body of power and authority. Does this not sound exactly like the role that the biblical False Prophet will fulfill?
Gog is building and amassing his forces as we speak. Like a wild, stalking animal he has scented weakness in the international community, and seems to be readying himself for what he sees as an easy Israeli kill. The “evil thought” prophesied by Ezekiel all those eons ago has or is happening right now, in our time.
We live in the days when the man prophesied about from ancient times, Gog himself, actually appears to be walking this earth, right now. We have all been able to look him square in the eyes through our television screens. Our generation is indeed a unique one.
There are false prophets everywhere; famines and diseases ravaging entire populations, earthquakes and tribulations. There is mass slaughter caused by, “Kingdom rising against Kingdom,” provoking a mass migration unprecedented in modern history.
Within the Church there is godlessness and apostasy, an increasing falling away. Hebrew has returned as the spoken language of Israel and preparations for the rebuilding of the temple is common talk, as is the news of Red Heifer births. Knowledge has increased and we all travel to and fro. Ethiopian Jews have returned to Israel, Russia has risen and its Jews have returned “from the north country.”
The technology for the mark of the beast is upon us already and the New World Order is commonly referenced. Even today’s children are being taught of the coming “global order.”
Israel has now become the pariah state of the entire world and every nation is obsessed with dividing Jerusalem.
“When it is evening, you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red.’ And in the morning, ‘There will be a storm today, for the sky is red and threatening.’ Do you know how to discern the appearance of the sky, but cannot discern the signs of the times?” (Matthew 16:2-3).
September has come and gone without incident is irrelevant; it’s what the Bible says about where we stand on God’s prophetic clock that really matters.
The signs are telling us His return is close at hand, so let’s be about our Lord’s business and be found ready when He comes.