“But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.” (Mt. 24:13)
From my book The Christian Church in the Last Days
I believe there is a storm coming, a massive spiritual hurricane that will engulf the entire planet (Matthew 24:21). But you would never know a storm was coming by the outward attitude in contemporary Christendom. Some churches in America today seem to have an almost pre-storm party atmosphere. Light-heartedness in our worship can be taken too far. The word “good” can have too many O’s in it, if we are not careful and not biblically watchful.
The Old Testament prophets were rejected and sometimes killed because they brought a sobering message that people did not want to hear. Jesus told us to always be alert and to watch. This is certainly a timely message for today. But a portion of the organized church seems to be looking the other way, towards things that do not lead to spiritual alertness and readiness for the end-times.
Finally, every Christian should examine where their investment lies. Unsaved, nominal churchgoers, who have their investment in careers, material possessions, family, friends, the future well-being of children and grandchildren, and next summer’s European vacation, will be extremely disappointed in God when and if conditions deteriorate on earth as prophesied in the Bible during the upcoming end-times. If our investment is in earthly things exclusively, then we are setting ourselves up for the great falling away. When our expectancy for world normalcy begins to become jeopardized, this will be one of the factors initiating the falling away. World events will begin to expose people’s expectations and motivations, and will sift-out and separate true Christian disciples willing to stand with Jesus at the cost of their lives from nominal churchgoers perfunctorily going through the motions of church attendance for reasons similar to those of Judas Iscariot.
All of the good things in the natural realm…careers, family, friends, material possessions, are virtuous only when they are recognized as God’s gift to us and are therefore completely surrendered to Him. True spiritual balance comes when we can understand that everything good that we have and enjoy comes from God alone, that we ourselves belong to Him, and that we can let go of our treasures and confidently place them in His hands for safekeeping. The concept of “Occupy till I come” (Luke 19:13), including all of the normal cares and responsibilities of this life…when in proper balance…compliments and harmonizes with a journey of faith following Jesus Christ.
But the catastrophic end-times events, assuming the Christian church is on the earth for some or all of its tribulation and persecution, can and will cause a shaking loose of our attachment to everything that is near and dear to us, so that we will correctly focus our eternal investment upon God alone. We can begin doing that now in anticipation of these end-times events, through a surrendered, crucified life in service to Christ.
If we are coming up upon the start of Daniel’s seven-year tribulation period, which begins the final countdown to the end of this present world, then beginning to let go in service to Christ, while still occupying till He comes, is the most rational approach.
When the storm of persecution and tribulation finally comes, each person on earth will respond according to their character. Some will be brought down by the terror of the situation. Others will flee in fear and attempt to hide. Christians who have been prepared by God for these events will spread their wings like eagles and soar with the wind. That is God’s promise to us, and the consistent history of God’s performance in the lives of the people of faith in the Bible.
“But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” Isaiah 40:31