If we extend and apply the concept of the initiation of God’s callings…to the contemporary Christian church…what might this mean for Christians in the upcoming end-times?
If the Christian church is not raptured pretribulation…but instead is raptured at some point in time after the colossal end-times spiritual battle begins…Christians will find ourselves right in the middle of the Joel 2:28-29 prophecy that says God will pour out His Spirit upon the earth.
At Pentecost, Peter did not prepare in advance his speech to the crowd gathered in Jerusalem that day…that converted thousands of people (Acts 2:41). This speech was already inside Peter waiting to be energized by the anointing of the Holy Spirit.
Likewise, Peter and John did not foresee the miraculous circumstances that led to their standing before the august and intimidating governing body the Sanhedrin in Jerusalem…and therefore had no opportunity to politely excuse themselves or to otherwise wiggle their way out of what turned out to be an explosive and pivotal moment of Holy Spirit boldness that severed the new Christian church from the old leadership in Jerusalem (Acts 4:5-22).
Certainly Stephen did not premediate what he was going to say before this selfsame Sanhedrin council some short time later…as he is carried away into totally liberated and self-abandoned boldness of speech that is characteristic of this time period in the formulation of the early church…and that is described as the latter rain to be poured out upon the earth during the end-times (Joel 2:23; Zech. 10:1). Stephen had these words already within his mind and heart…waiting to be expressed at the right time and place (Acts 6:15).
When the end of time actually arrives…when human redemptive history comes to a close at a definite point in time…worldly conventional normalcy has no relevance. The commendable and admirable instruction to “occupy till I come” (Lk. 19:13) that has applied for past centuries universally for all Christians…no longer has meaning and purpose.
When the actual end of time is in view…the salvation of lost souls becomes the immediate imperative. Evangelism is the first priority for Christians in the end-times (Mt. 24:14). What color to paint the kitchen, who to elect city mayor, and where to go on vacation next summer all become superfluous…for Christians and non-Christians alike.
This end-times prophecy of God taking the initiative…like He does with all of His callings…to pour out His Spirit upon the earth according to Joel 2:28-29…may transform every Spirit-born Christian on the face of the earth into bold evangelists like we find in the early church…carried along by the energy of the Holy Spirit and unable to contain themselves like the prophet Jeremiah described (Jer. 20:9).
So the question is…are we ready? Have we done our part? Do we have a testimony to share of God’s grace and mercy in our lives? Do we know Jesus Christ as our Savior and Lord? Do we have a walk of faith with Jesus, and can we point to a transformed life as our evidence for the presence of God in our lives? Do we spend time reading the Bible…memorizing scripture…mastering the issues? Do we possess the basics that the Holy Spirit can move upon in an instant to craft powerful words of life to give to the final lost souls on earth as the clocks ticks towards the final end-point in time…and the surrounding cascade of momentous events of biblical-proportion escalate and intensify?
This concept of the divine origin of journeys of faith…containing the cross of Christ embedded at the core of every storyline…speaks volumes as to what we can look forward to from a biblical perspective of what God can do and what believers can accomplish…above and outside of the limited confines of skeptical unbelief found within worldly conventional normalcy and thinking.
This is one of the main themes in the Bible that argues for its divine origin…and should therefore be expected to continue at an even more accelerated and enhanced rate…anticipated by waiting and watching Christians (Lk. 21:28).