Christians, if they haven’t hidden themselves under a rock, are aware of the “signs of the times” and the “end of the age.” More than likely you’ve read about it in the Bible or heard about it from your pastor as almost everyone these days is working it into a weekly message. Or perhaps it’s the multitude of unique astronomical and climatological occurrences (e.g.: blood moons, increased and stronger tornadoes and earthquakes), or what about all the books and movies regarding the coming apocalypse and Jesus’ imminent return that have popped up on the shelves of your favorite retailer.
Certainly society is sliding down a slippery slope as social mores change and what’s good or bad or what’s true or false or what is moral or amoral has become subjective. It looks a lot like Babylon playing out in our backyards. The statistics of some of the more frightening aspects (genocide at the hands of religious extremists [ISIS, Boko Haram, Al-Qaeda, Taliban] runs well over 15,0001 and counting, children gone missing equal an average of 1,260 a day just in the USA2, exploited children equal over 4.4 million reported in 2015 in the USA3, abortion figures – from 1973 thru 2011 – stand at nearly 53 million in the USA4 (that’s approximately 1.4 million a year), not to mention the increasing number of senseless mass shootings. It can be overwhelming. One wonders just how bad it’s going to get before Jesus does return to bring His faithful home and begin the tribulation countdown – you can tell I’m a pre-trib girl!
I think one of the traps we may fall into is that we’re waiting for the big stuff to happen … the REALLY BIG stuff like what is mentioned above. But something occurred the other day that gave me pause. If you’ve read Revelation you know that Satan is going to attempt to sway people (believers as well as unbelievers) to join him and go against God until the moment he’s thrown into the Lake of Sulphur. It’s probably not going to be the BIG, obvious stuff that causes Christ Followers to backslide, it’s more likely going to be small stuff, stuff that doesn’t seem so bad … stuff that doesn’t seem like too much of a sin.
Throughout the book of Revelation God is judging those who are evil and those who have chosen not to come and reside with Him. He brings judgment after judgment and still people don’t repent. The reader of Revelation wonders, “what is up with these folks?” There is also a caution in the book to believers to not turn away from God and become like the world. It’s chilling to read that it seems some will take their eyes off Jesus and be swayed to follow the enemy. To this the Christ Follower wonders, “How could this happen?” I think I might know … let me explain …
Recently a friend called me up and told me that she was in a prayer meeting at her church and happened to mention that she and her husband were praying for another friend to receive Jesus. A “pillar of the church” (her words) told her and several others in attendance that she needed to repent for her friend before she prayed for him to come to Christ. This friend of mine and I always bounce things off each other so it was no surprise when she called to inquire if I’d ever heard of something like that. Repenting for another person? Even with my leaky cancer memory brain, I’m pretty sure I would remember that. I wondered aloud how we could repent for someone else. What good would it do? Isn’t the whole point of repentance to recognize and turn away from your own sins?
This post got too long for my comfort, so please join me on Friday for the rest of the story!
Be blessed, my friends.