The Chance of a Lifetime
When people hear the gospel, respond to the conviction of the Holy Spirit, and trust in Christ's finished work of atonement for the forgiveness of their sin, they are born again spiritually. They become a new creature in Christ, and have passed from death to life from an eternal, spiritual standpoint.
I'll bet you knew that.
I'll bet you also knew that to have the chance to avail yourself of the grace and mercy of a holy, just, loving God during the current Church Age (i.e., prior to the Rapture) is in reality a wonderful opportunity. If you are born of the Spirit, then you are sealed with the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit, who will never leave you and who is the down payment on the finished product—a glorified saint who will stand righteous before God thanks to Christ's perfect righteousness being imputed to you. You have become a member of the body of Christ, and your eternal destiny is secure in Him.
Let's be honest—if you're born again today, in a sense you've won the spiritual lottery. You are the beneficiary of the fact that your salvation is eternally secure from the moment you believed the gospel in faith, unlike all other groups of redeemed people who will ultimately populate heaven, such as Old Testament saints, Tribulation saints, the Jewish remnant who will be ushered alive into the kingdom, etc. As Church Age saints, we get the sweetheart deal of the ages, because we are that group of people Jesus was referring to when He said to Thomas:
29...because you have seen me, you have believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.
(John 20:29b AKJV / emphasis added)
That's how we are blessed—by being sealed with the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit the moment we believe in faith and so being eternally secure in Christ. So, as far as salvation during the current Church Age is concerned...
I'd call that the chance of a lifetime.
But since God has revealed the upcoming fulfillment of the first of two great signs in the heavens that depict the catching away of the body of Christ in Revelation 12:1–5, we (some of us, at least) know God is telling us loud and clear that the season of the Rapture is upon us (as if we needed another sign). This is yet another phenomenal chance of a lifetime, and in this article I want to share with you the very personal (if roundabout) way in which the Lord helped me come to grips with this fact.
Although this phenomenon has existed within the Church to varying degrees since the very beginning, over the past few years I have witnessed a steady increase in its prevalence and intensity, especially since the news of the coming fulfillment of the great sign of Revelation 12:1–2 on September 23, 2017 began making its way into the collective consciousness of the prophecy community about six years ago.
The phenomenon I am speaking of is characterized by the angry, prideful rejection of the differing doctrinal opinions of others and bitter, mean-spirited attacks on those holding to interpretations of both prophecy-related teaching and prophetically significant events that differ from one's own sacrosanct views. And although the timing of the Rapture (pre-trib, post-trib, pre-wrath, etc.) has long been one of the primary breeding grounds for this particular virus, in my humble estimation the REV12 sign has taken over the top spot in just the last year or so.
I have seen many individuals, although sincere born-again believers, deliver disdainful, condescending attacks on both the REV12 sign and those who study and promote it, and heap specious, ill-informed rebuttals and prideful scorn on other believers they mock as scripturally semiliterate airheads.
I personally have witnessed numerous such incidents in the course of my interactions with people who have an interest in Bible prophecy over the past few years, and it is an ugly, hurtful trend that is a blight on the body of Christ—and it is growing. But I felt led to address this trend for one simple reason:
I suddenly realized I was in danger of becoming part of it.
I have been aware of the REV12 sign for a couple of years now, and through my own study of the both Scripture and the astronomical details of the event itself, I am 100 percent convinced that it is the bona fide, no-kidding-around eschatological fulfillment of the mega sign described by the apostle John in Revelation 12:1–2. I have written several articles in support and defense of it, and as a result I have become progressively more involved with the group of students of Bible prophecy who are at the core of the REV12 community.
And at the risk of sounding like a broken record, I feel compelled to keep emphasizing this for the benefit of many in the mainstream Church: Please know that these people are not lunatics; they're not date-setters; they're not former followers of the late Harold Camping who decided to take up astrology, palmistry, numerology, and other forms of divination as fun ways to kill time after the "Apocalapse" of May 21, 2011.
They're just ordinary, scripturally literate, born-again believers from all walks of life who are simply marveling at God's revelation of the stunning fulfillment of His inspired, inerrant Word, and they include a few who have the wherewithal to use various media to inform and edify the body of Christ with what God is revealing to the Church in these last days.
And the last time I checked, that was a good thing.
Many, in obedience to the leading of the Holy Spirit, have sacrificed a great deal of time and energy delving into both the technical and scriptural aspects of this fulfillment, and many have suffered personally from acrimonious attacks coming from professing believers who have been so conditioned by the world that they jump to the conclusion that anything connected with the stars and planets that God created must be astrology.
One such recent attack came at the hands of Mr. J.L. Robb in an article he posted at the Omega Letter, long one of my favorite websites (see Links). In his article, Mr. Robb was extremely condescending and dismissive toward the REV12 sign and those who study it, all while amply demonstrating less than a full understanding of what the sign actually entails (which seems to be de rigueur for REV12 sign critics). In my view, however, it was yet another ignorant, ill-informed hit piece and after reading it, I did something I had no business doing.
I got angry.
(The technical term is "blew a gasket.") Even though I have read stuff like this on many occasions, this—coming from the Omega Letter, no less—was just too much. I was locked and loaded and ready to engage the, uh...enemy.
I wasted no time in putting all 10 of my trigger fingers to work and fired back with a couple of sharply worded comments; and since I was allowing my flesh to call the shots, my remarks exuded the distinct odor of the very same mean-spirited, attack-mode mentality I self-righteously presumed I was coming against. That's right, sports fans. My flesh got the better of me.
Honk if you can relate.
Other Omega Letter readers chimed in, with one or two agreeing with the actual content of what I said, but with others admonishing me on the tone of my remarks...and rightly so.
After a trip to the woodshed, the Holy Spirit was firmly back in the driver's seat and I knew what had to be done. I went back and apologized personally to Mr. Robb, and yes, I used the f-word:
Mr. Robb responded with grace and humility (which should surprise no one), and that was pretty much that. A few days later, Pete Garcia, another regular Omega Letter contributor, posted a refreshingly well-balanced article about the REV12 sign and in it he summed up the situation about as eloquently as it can be summed up:
"Let's not do the circular firing squad routine again."
— Pete Garcia, "Move Out, Draw Fire"
The Omega Letter
Amen. I'm putting...my weapon...down.
This tendency to occasionally come against and contend strongly and possibly a little too harshly with those who hold to doctrinal positions that I see as being contrary to Scripture (or my interpretation thereof) has been a bit of a personal issue for me in the past, and I believe the Holy Spirit just wanted to use this as a tool to teach me a lesson. Again.
Before writing this article, I had been working on a piece for a couple of weeks in which I was going to show that every time Jesus made a statement about how "no man knows the day/the hour/the day or the hour" of His return, He was referring specifically to the Second Coming, not the Rapture. The ultimate purpose of this was to bolster my contention that there is nothing scripturally suspect about understanding that the season of the Rapture is upon us. For example:
40Therefore be ready also, for the Son of Man is coming in an hour that you don't expect him.
(Luke 12:40 /emphasis added)
I was going to explain how the Greek word translated "expect" in Matthew 12:40 (a form of dokeo) indicates that we will never know the time of the Lord's return by our own subjective judgments, suppositions, estimations, or opinions. In other words, the time of His return (of which the Rapture could be considered the first stage) is not for us to guess—it's for God to reveal. And since God has sovereignly chosen to begin revealing some of these things to us now, there's no conflict with Scripture in saying with confidence the season of the Rapture is upon us. But after this incident with Mr. Robb, I just couldn't finish the article.
I had to shelve it.
Then I shifted gears and started working on an article in which I was going to show that people who use 1 Corinthians 15:52 ("...at the last trump...") to link the timing of the Rapture to the literal Feast of Trumpets in real time are not as scripturally justified in doing so as they believe. Yes, the Rapture certainly could happen on the Feast of Trumpets. But to claim you have decoded a verse of Scripture that makes this link an ironclad Bible lock is not only a blatant violation of imminence, but it rests on scriptural (and historical) ground that is far shakier than most proponents of this idea realize. But I couldn't finish that one, either.
I had to shelve that one, too.
Now, don't get me wrong—I am still convinced of those points; I didn't change my mind about anything. But I couldn't write the articles. Not right now—maybe some other time. Finally, I just did what I always do—especially when I'm stuck and unsure what the Lord wants me to write.
"Father, what do you want me to write? Lay it on me..."
(Sound of crickets chirping...)
Finally, out of the clear, blue sky, one verse of Scripture burrowed its way into my spirit like a Wyoming ground squirrel:
16There are six things which Yahweh hates; yes, seven which are an abomination to him:
17haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood;
18a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are swift in running to mischief,
19a false witness who utters lies, and he who sows discord among brothers.
(Proverbs 6:16–19 / emphasis added)
"Sows discord?! No no no, I just gotta set some folks straight on a few things, that's all. What's wrong with that? You know how clueless some people can be, right? I'm not 'sowing discord'...am I? Naah, not me!"
And the Holy Spirit proceeded to lay it on me.
At that point, I knew it was time to reboot. The Lord has ways of letting me know when He's trying to get something through my thick skull.
I resemble that remark
Forgive me for plowing a little personal ground, but bear with me—I'm going somewhere with it.
It's true that if I am angry (actually, even if I'm not), I can speak to someone, even a brother or sister in Christ, in a way that comes across as cold or unfeeling—and Mr. Robb is a perfect example. Of course, that's not putting on Christ—that's more like taking Him off. Naturally, I can make excuses with the best of 'em.
For example, I can always blame it on the fact that I'm a borderline Aspy, or a BA (my term). Now, that certainly doesn't make me special because in reality BAs are all over the place—it's just that we tend to fly under the radar by virtue of the Three Cs: Conceal, Compensate, and Carry On. Socially and emotionally, we tend to be a bit of a one-man band, struggling to work and play well with others, with empathy not exactly being our strong suit. It's typically hard for us to understand or connect with the emotions of others in ways that most people do instinctively, so we can frequently come across as cold and emotionless. Almost robotic. Think Spock—every BA's alter ego. Growing up, we acquire a lot of our emotional responses by observation and imitation:
Note to self: In the future, don't tell Suzy her drawings look like they were done by a drunken chimpanzee, even though that's exactly what they look like. Do what the teacher does and just say they're "beautiful" or "creative." That seems to have the optimal effect.
Being a BA is not without advantages, though. It does make it easier for me to view Scripture through the steely gaze of a technician, undistracted by emotionally based, human arguments that tend lead many astray.
Like most BAs, I thrive in my own little world, shielded from the unpredictable and often confusing "static" from other people, and in my case that translates to not being accustomed to having other human beings actually read what I write. For five and a half years I have been slaving away in sweet, blissful obscurity, writing my little articles and posting them on my little website for the sheer joy of using the gift God gave me to honor Him and honor His Word—and because I know this is the one teensy little thing He has given me to do.
And so I just do it.
I've never lifted a finger to seek a "following." What for? For more hits on my little website, which contains nary an ad and never will? It's never been a source of concern to me whether or not a lot of people read my articles—in my mind, they're my gift to my Heavenly Father. God gave me the love of writing, and I write for the sublime pleasure of expressing in words whatever the Spirit lays on my heart. I write to teach myself—to work my way through doctrinal mazes in ways that make sense to me from His Word.
I am genetically incapable of self-promotion. I figure if there's something I wrote that God wants someone out there to read, He's perfectly capable of leading them to it one way or another. After all, He spoke the universe into existence—I think He can lead somebody to some obscure little website.
The problem is that my nature is such that I don't always pay enough attention to not offending people when I write, possibly because it's difficult to offend me (it's a BA thing, although it varies from person to person). I have a style that bounces back and forth between hyperbolic and bombastic with a pinch of tongue-in-cheek added for taste, and as a BA it comes natural to me to not give as much thought as I should to the feelings of people who might read what I write.
Now, that alone isn't all that bad. After all, if I come across as a little too sarcastic for someone's taste, they'll just have to get over it, ya know? But if someone has written something that strikes me as obtuse, divorced from the truth of Scripture, ignorant of established facts, or that clumsily attacks something I believe is true and care about deeply, it can slip through my defense perimeter and provoke a retaliatory response. That's when I discover these gloves aren't tied on quite as tightly as I thought.
And the last time I checked, that was not a good thing.
Of course, besides the borderline Aspy thing, there are other hypotheses that fit the facts nearly as well.
I could just be a jerk.
But things started to change about six months ago. I would write stuff in the comment sections of other people's YouTube videos, websites, Quora questions, etc., and would occasionally include a link to something I had previously written on that particular topic just for the sake of convenience.
That led to a few people actually reading things I wrote for the first time. (Hey, up until last fall, my mother had never read any of my articles because she didn't even know I had a website.) I started getting comments and questions in my email (of course, my website is devoid of any comment sections—it mystifies me how anyone could cope with that and maintain their sanity). Then in an astonishing and humbling turn of events, the guys at Unsealed.org (!!) linked to one of my articles. And then another! And what was even more astonishing to me was the fact that there were people who actually liked what I wrote, and had encouraging, supportive things to say about it. (Cue the violins...)
I pride myself on never being at a loss for words, but I have no words to describe how much that blows me away. That is something I don't think I will ever get used to—and I mean that in the best possible way.
That old sin man
is just waiting for a
moment when you're
letting your flesh
call the shots.
As much as that blows me away, however, it pales in comparison to how much what God did in my life blows me away. That takes it, hands down. It floors me that God took someone like me—a detached, self-absorbed schmuck with an emotionally malfunctioning train wreck of a personality and cut through all the crusty layers of pride and self-righteousness and replaced a heart of dry ice with a heart of flesh. He performed the same amazing miracle with me at the foot of the cross that He has performed with untold millions of others, and washed away a mountain of sin and sealed me with the Holy Spirit and made me one of His own.
That's what truly blows me away—the grace and mercy of a holy God, and His Son's unfathomable love for me. It amazes me beyond words that Jesus would willingly go to the cross to save millions of sinful wretches, let alone this one particular sinful wretch. I can scarcely comprehend that He would die in my place so I could dwell in His presence forever through repentance and simple, childlike faith in what He did for me, and nothing else.
And if He'll do it for the likes of me, I know He'll do it for anybody.
But as we all know, those crusty layers of pride and self-righteousness didn't vanish into thin air. That old sin man is still hanging around, even though his ultimate power has been broken—even though he's been nailed to the same cross that Jesus was two thousand years ago. I'm sorry, he's not just hanging around—he's lying in the grass like the snake that he is, waiting for a moment of weakness, complacency, or inattention. That old sin man is just waiting for a moment when you're letting your flesh call the shots.
And those moments come, and on a surprisingly regular basis.
After reading Mr. Robb's article, I got good and angry. I mean I had steam emanating from my keyboard. Astrology...the nerve of that guy!
22An angry man stirs up strife.
Ouch. And strife is what I stirred up. I had no business using the tone I did with Mr. Robb, and the Holy Spirit wanted me to see that it was born of pride:
2When pride comes, then comes shame, but with humility comes wisdom.
13The fear of the LORD is to hate evil: pride, and arrogance, and the evil way, and the fraudulent mouth, do I hate.
(Proverbs 8:13 AKJV)
Ouch. OK, pride in what?
"I'll tell you pride in what...pride in the fact that I know w-a-y more about the REV12 sign than this Robb guy does—not to mention the fact that I actually know the definition of the word 'astrology'!"
7Be not wise in your own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil.
(Proverbs 3:7 AKJV)
Ouch. Depart from evil—which presumably includes not writing under its influence. Because that's what I did, and the result was I treated a brother in Christ in a way that I shouldn't have:
11And through your knowledge shall the weak brother perish, for whom Christ died?
(1 Corinthians 8:11)
And I certainly don't mean to imply Mr. Robb is a "weak brother." Far from it. The point is that Christ died for me, and He died for Mr. Robb as well—and that makes for a surprisingly level playing field.
The 1COR811 Challenge: Try this sometime, just as an experiment. Every time you mention someone, no matter what they've done or how you feel toward them, try adding the words "for whom Christ died" after their name or words that refer to them. It's a spirit-opening experience:
• "Hillary Clinton, for whom Christ died, likely would have continued the previous administration's anti-Israel policies."
• "That guy in the blue pickup, for whom Christ died, cut me off and stole my parking space."
• "Many mainstream ministers, for whom Christ died, are dismissing the REV12 sign and mocking those who study it because (a) they don't understand it, and (b) it threatens to jerk them out of their comfort zone."
Just doesn't have quite the same feel to it, does it?
Speaking of wisdom, I love the way James spells out what true wisdom looks like (and what it doesn't look like):
13Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show by his good conduct that his deeds are done in gentleness of wisdom. 14But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your heart, don't boast and don't lie against the truth. 15This wisdom is not that which comes down from above, but is earthly, sensual, and demonic. 16For where jealousy and selfish ambition are, there is confusion and every evil deed. 17But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceful, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.
• The wisdom that comes from God is pure, peaceful, gentle, reasonable, merciful, full of good fruit, impartial, and not hypocritical.
• The wisdom that comes from the world is earthly, sensual, demonic, full of jealousy and selfish ambition, which leads to confusion and evil.
And that second part reminds me that there have been just a few too many occasions when I could honestly say:
"I resemble that remark."
Unlike all you highly sanctified folks out there reading this who would never dream of speaking to a brother or sister in Christ with an angry tone or in a disrespectful manner, I am sometimes weak in this area and I know it. The Holy Spirit just wanted me to see that I am still capable of flipping out on someone if the right buttons are pushed, and the REV12 critics seem to know exactly where those buttons are located.
Unless, of course, I ride shotgun and let Him drive.
But the Holy Spirit wasn't finished with me. He wanted me to stop and think about something far bigger than my own little weaknesses. He wanted me to look beyond my own brokenness and see that He had given me and many others the chance of a lifetime; but unless I made a point of letting Him remain in the driver's seat on a daily basis, I would probably remain too preoccupied with all the argumentative clutter to fully grasp its significance.
He led me to contemplate the fact that we are entering into a unique time period in the history of the Church, and Satan wants nothing more than for believers to close their eyes tight, deny it, and remain oblivious to it. He will do anything in his power to distract and divide believers—to get us off point and keep us engaged in doctrinal fistfights.
He wants to keep us attacking each other over things like the REV12 sign.
We are entering into a period of time in which God has revealed to the Church a clear and compelling sign that the season of the Rapture is upon us. Don't even waste your time trying to convince me otherwise—you can't and you won't.
But stop and think for a moment about what that means. In x number of months (OK, possibly xx), we will be in heaven! Our earthly lives will be a memory, and we will be busy checking out our glorified bodies and moving into our new heavenly homes. We will be praising our Lord and Savior and rejoicing like we've never rejoiced before along with every believer we ever met and even more we never met. We will all be BAs, only it certainly won't stand for "borderline Aspy"—it will stand for "BORN AGAIN," in the fullest and most perfect way imaginable. We won't just have the down payment—we will have taken possession of our glorious inheritance.
We will look back on our earthly lives and see how God protected us, prepared us, used us for His glory, guided us, disciplined us for our own good, and never let us out of His sight for a second. We I will cringe at how little I did for Him during my life in relation to what I could have done. I will grimace at the number of times I let Him down and fell into sin and disobedience.
And I will weep at the number of times I spoke to a brother for whom Christ died in an angry, self-righteous tone.
Now, it seems likely to me that when we are perfected in heaven, we will possess the ability to recall our earthly lives without suffering the pain and regret we currently imagine we might feel. Otherwise, it wouldn't quite be heaven. At least it wouldn't be for me.
But this is where the Holy Spirit had been leading me the whole time:
"Do you really want to look back on your last few months on earth—arguably the most exciting time to be alive in the history of the Church—and realize that all you did was jump all over other believers and sow discord over petty differences? Don't be one of those guys."
The bottom line is this, and I'm going first person with this because I'm assuming this doesn't apply to the godly, sanctified people who may be reading this article. I'm going first person because I want to remind myself that this is not directed at anyone else—there's only one finger being pointed here, and it's pointing straight in the mirror:
It's too late in the game to let myself snap at somebody when my buttons get pushed—it's time to put on Christ and keep Him on, and let that stuff go. I've got to walk in the Spirit on a daily...no, hourly basis. Knowing the time, I should be focused on being obedient to the Spirit like never before.
As one of a growing group of believers to whom God has sovereignly revealed the fulfillment of a sign that heralds the season of the Rapture, I should be focused like a laser beam on seeking His presence and obeying His Word, rather than allowing my flesh to slap other believers around over doctrinal or interpretive issues.
I should be seeking to take full advantage of these last remaining months on earth to edify and encourage and love other believers, regardless of their doctrinal viewpoints.
I should be striving like never before to glorify His holy name with every single thing I say and do—to share the message of the gospel with those the Spirit leads me to; to honor Him and lift His name high, the name that is above every name; to bring into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; to let the world know I serve the soon-coming King. Time is running out—the next few months may well be my last opportunity to do so before I appear at the bema and stand before the Savior who redeemed me with His precious blood. Wake up! This is the chance of a lifetime!
And oh how I want Him to be pleased with my efforts. How I long to hear those two little words, "Well done." That will make it all worthwhile...the time, the effort, the sacrifice of other activities that are good in and of themselves, the literally thousands of hours spent agonizing over how to best express what the Spirit has laid on my heart. It's what He called me to do, and I will do it until He calls me home.
Yes, love other believers, even ones with doctrinal or interpretive positions with which I strongly disagree and who capriciously attack and openly mock things I believe have been revealed by God.
Love it or leave it: There is nothing wrong with believers disagreeing over the interpretation of Scripture or other points. None of us has it all figured out, because God hasn't revealed everything to any one of us. Yes, we should do our utmost to rightly divide the Word, and we should be prepared to argue with passion and vigor to defend and uphold what we sincerely believe God's Word says (or doesn't say). But if we can't do it in love, we are nothing—and we have no business naming the name of Christ.
34A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, just like I have loved you; that you also love one another. 35By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.
(John 13:34–35 / emphasis added)
That's straight from the Lord Himself, and notice Jesus uses the c-word: commandment. Note also that this is the way others know you are one of Christ's disciples—you love others. So if I blow a gasket and write something to another believer that is not done in love, I am holding up a flashing neon sign for the world to see that says "I'm no disciple of Christ."
And I don't know what Bible version you're using, but in mine there is no qualification on that commandment. In other words, Jesus doesn't say:
"Love one another...unless, of course, you're right and the other guy's wrong. In that case, feel free to let him have it right between the eyes."
And then there's the Love Manifesto from the apostle Paul, which I am seriously considering taping to my bathroom mirror:
1If I speak with the languages of men and of angels, but don't have love, I have become sounding brass, or a clanging cymbal. 2If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but don't have love, I am nothing. 3If I dole out all my goods to feed the poor, and if I give my body to be burned, but don't have love, it profits me nothing.
4Love is patient and is kind; love doesn't envy. Love doesn't brag, is not proud, 5doesn't behave itself inappropriately, doesn't seek its own way, is not provoked, takes no account of evil; 6doesn't rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; 7bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
(1 Corinthians 13:1–7 / emphasis added)
So if I communicate with someone in a way that is not loving, I'm just making noise—and rather irritating noise at that.
Q. What's worse than being a one-man band?
A. Being a one-man brass band.
It may sound strange, but I actually regard being a borderline Aspy as a wonderful gift God gave me to use for His glory, and over the years I have witnessed how He has miraculously shaped and massaged it into something that would honor Him, and I thank Him and praise Him for it.
For example, I was an avionics technician in the U.S. Navy, and then used my Navy benefits to get a degree in mathematics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign—all grist for the BA mill. But God had other plans. Through an unlikely sequence of events, He led me to the suburbs of Taipei, of all places, to begin an even unlikelier career teaching English (mostly kids at first, later only adults). Teaching adult English amounts to (a) plumbing the depths of the English language and devising ways to elucidate its vagaries to the uninitiated, and (b) talking to nice people for hours a day.
What I didn't realize until many years later, however, was that this was the one job on the face of the planet that would not only sharpen the tools God gave me to use for His glory, but also heal my personality in ways I didn't even know it was broken. Guess what? God knows what He's doing.
The point is that we are all broken, with no two broken in exactly the same way. And we all have something within us that God can use for His glory. We can all glory in our weaknesses, because it is through our weaknesses that the power of Christ is most evident:
9He has said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Most gladly therefore I will rather glory in my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may rest on me. 10Therefore I take pleasure in weaknesses, in injuries, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ's sake. For when I am weak, then am I strong.
(2 Corinthians 12:9–10)
It is the very fact that we are broken that makes it essential for us to rely completely on His grace every single day; and as the Rapture looms on the horizon, we should be focusing maximum effort on doing just that.
As any of you guys out there who ever ran track know, when the lead runner in a race begins the final lap, a gun is sounded to let all the runners know it's the last lap (hence the term "gun lap"). Now that God has revealed the fulfillment of the REV12 sign, it's as if He has fired the shot that signals the gun lap for the Church Age. And a few of you guys are nodding your head right now, because you know exactly what it means when you hear the gun:
It's time to rip your lungs out and leave a pint of blood on the track.
And that's exactly the kind of attitude that should characterize our spiritual lives right now, because we know the race is almost over! We should be pulling out all the stops in our walk with the Lord:
1Therefore let us also, seeing we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, lay aside every weight and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, 2looking to Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising its shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
If you thought this passage of Scripture applied before, how much more do you think it applies now that God Himself has revealed that the season of the Rapture is rapidly approaching?
Now, please—don't think for a second that I'm promoting this nonsense about "staying Rapture ready" that has been making the rounds lately. This is nothing but salvation by works (or a partial Rapture, which is essentially the same thing) gussied up in its Sunday best. Having said that, however, several things should be noted:
• Crucifying the flesh does take conscious effort.
• Walking in the Spirit does take conscious effort.
• Being obedient to God and His Word does take conscious effort.
It's not salvation by works—it's salvation that works.
By humbly observing what God is revealing to mankind, we have been given the chance of a lifetime—we know without a doubt that the season of the catching away of the body of Christ is upon us. The gun has been fired to signal the final lap of our race, and the prize is so close we can taste it.
Many within the Church today are not listening (or are refusing to listen) and so have failed to hear the gun thus far. They may be doing the right things—they're staying with the pack, and keeping pace with those around them. But they don't feel the same sense of urgency we feel, because we've heard the gun go off and they haven't. We know this is it—it's the gun lap.
And although we've heard the gun loud and clear, it's crucial for us to bear in mind what that means:
It's a sprint to the finish, and it's time to give it all we've got.
This isn't the chance of a lifetime—it's the chance of all eternity.
Greg Lauer / June 2017
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1. Deriv. of "Sunset Over Grass Field" © AOosthuizen at Can Stock Photo
2. "Thank God the Lord on the Mountain" © beerphotographer at Fotolia.com
3. "Bulldog Sticking Her Tongue Out at a Kitten" © Willee Cole at Fotolia.com
4. Deriv. of "Frustrated Businessman's Head on Keyboard" © ra2 studio at Fotolia.com
5. "Fish in Solitude" © Romolo Tavani at Fotolia.com
6. "Man Watching Himself in a Mirror" © auremar at Fotolia.com
7. "Athletics Gun Firing in the Air" © bykofoto at Fotolia.com
All Scripture is taken from the World English Bible, unless annotated as KJV (King James Version) or AKJV (American King James Version).