Have you noticed that sometimes people are not what they seem? Sometimes we judge before we know the whole truth. Take me, for example....on a normal day, I can be found wearing nasty clothes emptying trash at our car wash or cleaning empty apartments for my father-in-law. I have found that people treat me differently when I am in my "work clothes". They treat me as if I am "less" than they are. Last fall, I was working at our new house tying the the steel rebar together so we could get the concrete poured....a new family moved in who did not know we actually owned the house and every time I waved at them, they looked away. I'm sure it is because they thought I was a worker instead of their neighbor.
Treating people differently because of their station in life is one of the BIGGEST character flaws I can think of, but that's not exactly what I'm talking about here.....
Ya'll, I believe with all my heart we are living in the last days. I truly believe that the Jesus has gotten up from His seat on the throne and is literally looking to His Father saying "Can I call for them?". We are privileged to be living in such an exciting time.
My concern is that there are many people who go to church every Sunday, who even work in the church, but do not truly have a relationship with Jesus. Matthew 7:21 says "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven." We all know that Satan is prowling the earth seeking those he can destroy. Satan's goal is to cause the true Christian to fall so that their witness is left in ruins and to keep those who are not yet believers from truly trusting Christ.
In his quest to keep people from trusting God, satan sometimes causes Christians to have a dull conscience when it comes to sin. He also causes those who "think" they are saved (by works) to continue in their religion and never see that we are saved by grace and not by works. My fear is that there are people who may be close to us all that put on a good act. People who we see at church every week who are active in the house of God, but not part of the Kingdom of God. I fear that we are evangelizing the lost in the world and forgetting the lost who sit in the pews every week.
The tribulation will be terrible (if you want to read about the events after the rapture see the article link below). The horror will be unimagineable. Think about the elderly who have been taught that you just have to "be good and do right" to go to heaven --they will be left behind without food or medical care. Unless they take the mark of the beast, they will starve to death. Think about the young who were old enough to accept Jesus, but just put it off (it could have been any one of us). They will be left to fend for themselves in an evil world without hope. Then think about the average capri pant wearing, Vera Bradley bag toting, ballet flat wearing young mommy. Maybe she thought her church membership saved her. Maybe she thought since her parents were saved she would be too OR maybe she thought that her confirmation or baptism as an infant would save her. Picture her standing over the crib of her precious little baby only to find the baby gone.
This is why we so need to be asking even those who we know fairly well if they truly know the Lord. We need to be dilligent and consistent in our witness and witnessing. I love to think about the Rapture and heaven. I can't wait to see Jesus up close and in person - I dream about it all the time (I just realized I am a Jesus groupie!). Our time here is so short. We are told to watch for His return, but also to work until He comes. There is lots left to do and we may just need to start in our own Judea, no, in our own house of worship.
"In the Olivet Discourse (Matthew 24), Jesus revealed to His disciples that the primary sign of the end of the age and His soon return would be the restoration of Israel as a nation. However, He didn’t plainly say so. Instead, He once again used the fig tree as a metaphor for the nation of Israel:
“Now learn a lesson from the fig tree. When its buds become tender and its leaves begin to sprout, you know without being told that summer is near. Just so, when you see the events I’ve described beginning to happen, you can know his return is very near, right at the door. I assure you, this generation will not pass from the scene before all these things take place. Heaven and earth will disappear, but my words will remain forever.” Matthew 24:32-35 (NLT)
The fig tree is Israel. It’s been six decades since Israel was once again declared a nation against all worldly odds. In Matthew 24, Jesus promises that the generation which witnesses the reestablishment of Israel will not die off until the end of the age comes to pass. Given the Bible’s impeccable track record, we have every reason to expect His imminent return. Jesus will return soon, within our generation, and a wise person will prepare accordingly.
Just as the time of His first coming was clearly revealed to the previous generation, the season of His Return has been clearly revealed to ours. The previous generation was unprepared for His arrival. Ours should be watching with a patient and enduring faith, fully confident in the glory we are about to witness. Christ is coming. The fig tree is in bloom, and ours is the generation. "
Now, that, my friends, ought to make you jump up and have a Holy Ghost spell!!!