Monday, December 28, 2015

Doom and Gloom

It is easy to think 2016 may be the year the Bridegroom comes for His Bride based on the growing birth pangs we have seen in just the past year alone. It is becoming more obvious that the pace of prophetically significant developments are picking up. There is not a week that goes by that something happens which further sets the stage for the Tribulation which has to be preceded by the Rapture of the Church.

It is however easy to miss some of the most significant prophetic developments because few are reported by the mainstream medial in America. People of this country who do not rely on a broader scope of news sources that the Internet makes possible have bought into the pabulum that all is well and the future is bright. But the future is only bright for those who know Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord. All others are allowing themselves to be deceived by the spiritual powers and principalities that rule this world behind the scenes.

Humanists seeing their deliverance in collective human effort have to convince themselves that the path this world is on is headed in the right direction because it is too uncomfortable for them to believe otherwise. Indeed, those who are honest with themselves looking at the trajectory of this world are the most likely to turn to Jesus Christ for salvation. Only the Bible offers the true hope of personal deliverance this world seeks after along with the truth about where this world is headed. Biblical truth resonates with all who respond to the Holy Spirit's call to allow Jesus Christ into their lives.

Lovers of the world condemn Bible-believing followers of Jesus eagerly anticipating our Lord's return as having a pessimistic view of the future. They reveal their worldliness in such a perspective. Yes, we see this world headed for a terrible time that the Bible tells us about. Yes, many will die during this pouring out of God's wrath. But the good news is that all those who follow Jesus during this Age will not be going through the Tribulation. Our Blessed Hope is in Jesus Christ who will resurrect us and take us out of this world to be with Him (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17, 1 Corinthians 15:51-53). Resurrected believers spending eternity with Christ will not miss out on a thing this world has to offer. There is nothing more optimistic than that.

Those accusing Bible prophecy watchers of being pessimistic don't have the eternal perspective and biblical worldview that comes from having a personal relationship with the Savior. It is a worldly perspective to believe that physical death is the worst thing that can happen to a person. The worst thing that can happen to a person is spiritual death which comes from not knowing Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord during one's mortal life. Despite the Tribulation being a terrible time that is characterized by death per Revelation 6:8 and 9:18, there will be a great multitude who will recognize prophetic fulfillment and turn to Jesus Christ for salvation (Revelation 7:9-17).

Those souls who come to faith in Christ during the Tribulation will thank God for that terrible time because our Lord will use it to help them see their need for Jesus. The only pessimism in the Tribulation is the dramatic end of the humanist doctrine that we can save ourselves apart from God. The Bible says that mankind's efforts in pursuit of man's false salvation-by-works ideology will fail miserably. Anyone who sees that as pessimism does not understand the wonderful provision God made for mankind when Jesus Christ paid the penalty for our sin on the cross. And Jesus rose from the dead as the firstfruits of the resurrection which we now eagerly anticipate.

The optimism followers of Jesus have during this Age of Grace is that we will escape the pouring out of God's wrath on the earth that will occur during the Tribulation. So as we see developments taking us ever closer to the Tribulation period, we know that our resurrection is even nearer... "Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near" (Luke 21:28, NKJV).

Our optimism is in anticipating not just our own redemption but that of the world. This world can only be fixed by the Prince of Peace and He has promised to do just that as part of His ruling physically on earth during the Millennial Kingdom. We do not have to wait for the Eternal State for peace to flood the earth, Jesus will accomplish that during His Millennial Reign.

The deception of the world is great and growing. This is not a time to allow oneself to be swept away in the Spirit of Antichrist that is waxing stronger every day. There is no better time in history to devote ourselves to growing closer to Jesus, be watching for Him, and obey His admonition to, "do business till I come" (Luke 19:13).

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