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I'm a bird. Not just any bird. I am an ostrich. And when it comes to End Times I take an ostrich's stance to the whole thing. I bury my head when the whole topic of conversation comes up. I'm scared. To. Pieces. So many people, when they do like to talk about it, like to debate it. They like to say that their interpretation is the way it's going to happen. All that ever did for me was scare me. So I didn't want to think about it. They would prophesy that many who claimed Jesus, would fall away. That would leave me thinking "am I one of those? What if I can't hold on? What if I fall away?" I had no answers and reading Revelations just made me all the more fearful.
The Lord speaks to me in many ways. Often it is through my husband. And often it is through him in the pulpit. I have always enjoyed hearing my husband preach, even before he was my husband, or boyfriend. That's a good thing, since I'll be hearing him preach for many years, I hope.
Andrew's Christmas series this year is on the second coming of Christ. When he told me that a while back, it evoked fear in me. I thought, oh boy, here we go. But I trust the Lord. The one thing that God has taught me through the demeanor of my husband is that if my husband is this gentle at teaching me, then so is the Lord. I can trust the Lord to be a gentleman. I should not have been afraid.
Andrew spoke of the Rapture, a popular concept among many, including myself, until a few years ago. I had heard the 'radical' idea that the Rapture wouldn't happen until the end of the tribulation, that the church would indeed endure such hardship. I didn't want to think about it. (This is not to debate that at all, there is a point here beyond that.) But through Andrew's sermon I learned that debating when the Rapture is to happen is missing the point. The point is, we need to be prepared for the event that it does not happen at the beginning. How horrible it would be if we are wrong and not prepared! I would rather believe that it would happen at the end of the tribulation and be wrong, than vice versa. Scripture clearly states that a symptom of an effect Christian is persecution. How can I believe that for some reason now we would be exempt from persecution when the church for centuries has not? What makes the church of today so special? Persecution is coming. I would be foolish to ignore it any longer. This scares me.
There is great fear and great comfort in this scripture. I learned two things that have caused me to breathe a great sigh of relief in this whole End Times thought process.9 “Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. 10 And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. 11 Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. 12 And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. 13 But he who endures to the end shall be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come. Matthew 24:9-14
- What to do about the persecution that is coming? Be prepared. Pretty simple. I can do that. How do I be prepared? See #2
- Hold on to Jesus. Also very simple.
Hold on to Jesus, that's all I need do. I can do that. With Christ's strength, I can do that.