The Lord Jesus sitting at the right hand of the Father looks upon His beloved bride on earth. He sees her persecutions, trials, and fears. He sees that many claim His name falsely; and He sees the many wolves in sheep’s clothing who lord it over the flock. Jesus, who is God, also sees the end from the beginning. He sees the marriage supper of the Lamb wherein He will present to Himself a “glorious church” at the end of days. When we think about the last days, we are often quick to associate them with the mark of the beast, the rise of the Antichrist, apostasy, persecutions, and great wars; and I think that we are right in doing so. Yet, it seems to me that the full counsel of God throughout the Scriptures paints a more nuanced and rich picture that is full of glory and hope as well.
At the present time, the wheat is growing up with the tares. The latter (spring) rain is what brings the wheat and tares to maturity; and in their fully grown state they will be distinguished from each other in appearance. If we have no other hope in the last days, we certainly have “our blessed hope” of meeting the Lord in the air and being with Him forever! However, I believe that the testimony of Scripture also allows for a great evangelistic hope of multitudes beyond number coming to faith in Jesus Christ. Before the “great and terrible day of the Lord,” we know that God has promised to “pour out His Spirit upon all flesh.” While Pentecost was a partial fulfillment of Joel’s prophecy, it was the early rain; the latter rain is yet to come. “Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, waiting patiently for it until it receives the early and latter rain.”
We know that “wicked men and imposters will grow worse and worse deceiving and being deceived”; and we also know that “the way of the righteous is like the light of dawn, shining ever brighter and brighter until the full day.” We know that “the man of sin will be revealed, the son of perdition”; and we know with just as much certainty that “this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.” Even in the midst of Antichrist’s influence in the book of Daniel, “those who know their God shall be strong and do great exploits, and those of the people who understand shall instruct many.”
Only seven verses after we read of the mark of the beast in the Book of Revelation, we read the following, “Then I saw another angel flying in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach to those who dwell on the earth—to every nation, tribe, tongue, and people.” When we think about the Book of Revelation, why do we immediately think of the mark of the beast instead of the gospel being preached to every nation, tribe, and tongue? Are we addicted to fear? Is our flesh drawn to fear like a magnet? Have we forgotten that God does not give a spirit of fear, but one of love, power, and a sound mind? Please don’t ignore the reality of darkness; but also, do not ignore the reality of the power of God. You are the light of the world and all things are possible for those who believe. “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” Are you of good cheer? Are you rejoicing in and looking for “the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ”? Are you longing for the appearing of the Son of God? Will Jesus find your lamp full of oil when He returns? Will the Master find you working in His harvest field when He arrives? Fear not the face of man! Whether or not God catches away His church before His coming in judgment, He is certainly able to keep us, provide for us, and empower us by His Holy Spirit to herald His gospel, “proclaiming the death of Christ until He comes.” “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, Who bring glad tidings of good things!”
“The eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him.” Offer your life as a living sacrifice to the Lord and His purposes in these terrible and glorious days. Behold Him, surrender to Him; and when you hear “whom shall I send,” reply, “Here I am, Lord, send me!” Surely He is coming and His reward is with Him. Yet a little while and the Coming One will come. Turn your eyes upon Jesus; look up, for your redemption draws nigh! Be not conformed to this world, but tune into the voice of the Good Shepherd. With love in His eyes He looks upon you and invites you to leave the boat of fear and walk upon the waters with Him in faith. Leave the heavy yoke of fear and let Him carry you in His arms.
May the Spirit of God rest upon us to, even in the spirit and power of Elijah, prepare the way of the Lord’s second coming. May we “look for and hasten the day of God,” knowing that the “fullness of the Gentiles shall come in”, “All Israel shall be saved”, and the Deliverer shall come forth from Heavenly Zion. Marantha! The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!”