I’m hearing these questions online, at dinner, at small groups, out shopping, and even at coffee.
First, we do not know exactly when Jesus will return for the church. Scripture talks about a “marriage” feast or a feast celebrating the eternal union of Christ and the church. While there are many beliefs about when this occurs, Scripture tells us that a time period of the “70th 7” begins for Israel when the Antichrist will rule over the entire earth in the 7th World Empire.
This time will begin as a time offering peace and unity around the world. It will even reinstitute worship for the Jews in their own temple in Israel. It will have a financial system that requires all to participate or not be able to buy or sell. Those that do participate will be required to take a “Mark” or some kind that enables buying and selling. Halfway through this 7 year period, the leader will defile the temple and everything will turn as he pours out his wrath. It will be a time that those who become Christians will hide for their lives. It will end with a Great War where Jesus, His hosts, and His saints come in to establish Jesus’ rule and reign for all eternity. Daniel calls this a time of tribulation for “Jacob” or Israel.
I believe that since there was a pause on the “70 7’s” as the church age took place, I believe the church age will end as the “Great Tribulation” begins.
God is complete in everything He does. In addition, He is specific that the time of tribulation is a time for “Jacob” or the Jews. Even in the Parable of the Wise and Foolish Virgins (Matthew 25), we see that only half were ready and prepared for the “wedding feast.” While there will be many who are saved during the tribulation, they will be most likely martyred.
Will it get bad before the rapture of the church? Will we have to take the mark or die?
It is hard to know. We do know that the church will see and feel some of the “birth pains” or “Braxton Hicks” because those are signs that alert us to declare the word of preparation. Just gonna throw out that this year/decade in the Hebraic calendar means “to declare the vision, speak up, speak the vision, give voice.” God has given the prophetic in the Bible and in the church to give us a clear vision in times of uncertainty. He’s not caught off guard and neither are His “wise, pure, set apart” people.
From what I have studied in Scripture and seen in history, we have to be prepared to give our life if need be. We must be willing to give our life rather than conform to the culture or the enemy.
I do believe that while many (way more than I expected) are just doing what they are told and complying with any requirement, however preposterous, I do know many who will not play around with a requirement for a “Mark,” They will rise up and resist, even to the point of death. This is even shown in Scripture.
The problem I see is that many think it “will be obvious” that they are “worshiping” a “beast” and that they will not choose to do that…or that they are “saved” because their church says they are saved so it really doesn’t matter if they take a chip or a mark because they think they can go to heaven anyway. Those ideas are all entirely false and misdirected.
First, the whole idea of worship is skewed in the church today. Worshiping is not singing three songs and taking up an offering. Worshiping is not at a church with a steeple. Worshiping is how we live our life. Worship is who we live for. Worshiping is who we serve. Worshiping is deferring to, honoring, serving, and revering one. Our world right now is literally bowing down to the government seeking for them to solve their “health” problems that are at a 99.8% rate if recovery yet people are falling apart and demanding quarantine and masking because GOVERNMENTS say it might work. Government has become god to the majority of the world. They look to it to provide everything Jehovah actually provides. This is worship.
Second, it IS obvious to those who are not blinded. Only God can take the scales off of eyes and enable the blind to see. If we don’t see these signs, we either do not know what the Bible says or we do not believe what the Bible says. Either way, it IS obvious. The time is nigh.
Third, when we talk about “the beast” we are not looking for a wild animal. That terminology is used when God refers to manmade or worldly kingdoms or empires. We have seen six. The final one is the one being built and established now—prophesied before Jesus comes to establish His kingdom and the final kingdom on earth. By the way, those who are building this one-world government are not making any of this private or a secret. It is alive and well. It is moving forward. It is moving into position around the globe, even in our country.
Finally, the faith we have is not faith if it does not stand. Jesus said that if you deny Him in front of others He will deny you in front of God. We must confess Him as our Lord and Savior. We cannot be quiet and expect that this is a personal and private choice. We are called to be ambassadors representing Him in this world. We are to “be light” burning brightly and causing the world to see in the darkness.
The church has been unfaithful. It has compromised. It has adopted the ways of the world.
The foolish church is the first to argue that it can’t be time yet!
The foolish church is the first to put on the masks and “love one another”.
The foolish church is activist instead of active.
The foolish church is arguing, mocking, and dividing instead of joining together to make disciples and carry the gospel into every area of the world.
The foolish church is the first to say that we aren’t seeing all of the signs yet.
The foolish church is asleep and pushes snooze every time the alarm goes off!
Those ideas will lead many into eternal death. That’s false prophecy and many who are called to be part of the church will miss it and have to go through the tribulation because they failed to believe and prepare. They will get caught unprepared.
We are either a true believer of Jesus and ALL He says or we are not.
That may mean giving our life.
We have to be prepared.
Christians around the globe have always been martyred for their faith since the beginning of the church. Many are dying even now for these same things that Christians here are allowing and even persecuting others for standing against—we are very protected right now and it is a delusion that keeps us from seeing the fullness of what’s going on at a global scale.
Scripture tells us there will be a great deception. That is one of the biggest signs of the end times.
It also tells us there will be “beasts” and “little Antichrists” throughout time that only have a portion of the power as the 7th “beast” or kingdom or THE Antichrist or Satan incarnate. We have had those through time. We have already had 6 world empires/beasts. They have always taken God’s people captive, brought in a spirit of lasciviousness, and ruled with totalitarian dominion.
This last empire will be the same. It will come in with unprecedented deception so that many “sleep” through the changes and shifts that take place. It is already here and moving into position at an alarming rate. However it is right on time according to prophecy.
We are here!
Satan has certain modes of operation. They indicate he is at work. His fingerprints are all over everything that is going on.
The acceleration of things going on is also unprecedented. Scripture tells us that in the end, this will happen because Satan knows his days are numbered and his time is close at hand.
Afraid? Your fear is probably rooted in the uncertainty. My sweet friend, press in to your certainty! You know the end of the story. The Word gives us a heads up and it also gives us a certainty that is unstoppable, nonnegotiable, undeterred, and absolute.
Satan is defeated.
YOU are more than an overcomer.
Jesus is King of kings and Lord of lords. He is seated (not worried or alarmed!) on His throne and His kingdom is being brought to earth as it is in heaven.
We are to enforce the defeat of Satan. We are to walk in full assurance of the eternal salvation of Jesus that is here and now and for all eternity.
We are deathless.
When we gave our lives to Jesus, we died to our flesh, our freshly desires, our sin, our death. We arose in newness and life. We cannot die eternally again. We are deathless.
Paul said it this way in Philippians 1 (TPT):
No matter what, I will continue to hope and passionately cling to Christ, so that he will be openly revealed through me before everyone’s eyes.So I will not be ashamed! In my life or in my death, Christ will be magnified in me. My true life is the Anointed One, and dying means gaining more of him.
So here’s my dilemma: Each day I live means bearing more fruit in my ministry; yet I fervently long to be liberated from this body and joined fully to Christ. That would suit me fine, but the greatest advantage to you would be that I remain alive. So you can see why I’m torn between the two—I don’t know which I prefer.
Yet deep in my heart I’m confident that I will be spared so I can add to your joy and further strengthen and mature your faith. When I am freed to come to you, my deliverance will give you a reason to boast even more in Jesus Christ.
Whatever happens, keep living your lives based on the reality of the gospel of Christ, which reveals him to others. Then when I come to see you, or hear good reports of you, I’ll know that you stand united in one Spirit and one passion—celebrating together as conquerors in the faith of the gospel. And then you will never be shaken or intimidated by the opposition that rises up against us, for your courage will only prove as a sure sign from God of their coming destruction and that you have found a new life. For God has graciously given you the privilege not only to believe in Christ, but also to suffer for him. For you have been called by him to endure the conflict in the same way I have endured it—for you know I’m not giving up.