I write this post with a heavy heart. As I write, it is the wee hours of Sunday morning, May 22, 2011. Last night, many supposed that they were going to see Jesus. They were falsely led to believe that He was going to rapture His people off of this earth and those who were unfortunate enough to be left behind would be facing judgment and, soon, the end of the world. Many laughed. Many warned that the Bible teaches a different ending to all this. Many wondered. Others’ hearts were near failing them for fear.
This all became highly relevant here when I was told of a mother who was so afraid that she thought it best to end the life of her small child and herself. I cannot help but cry. It is not the purpose of the Lord of this earth that man should be afraid of Him. Over and over, the Bible says, “Fear not”: “Fear thou not for I am with thee…”; “Fear not, for I have redeemed thee”; “Fear not…I am thy shield…”; “Fear not, neither be discouraged”; “Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD…”.
The promises are not meant only for the sinless. I Samuel 12:20 and onward says: “Fear not: ye have done all this wickedness: yet turn not aside from following the Lord, but serve the Lord with all your heart; and turn ye not aside: for then should ye go after vain things, which cannot profit nor deliver; for they are vain. For the Lord will not forsake his people for his great name’s sake: because it hath pleased the Lord to make you his people.” Our God stands ready to forgive.
Yes, there is a warning involved: “But if ye shall still do wickedly, ye shall be consumed…” (I Samuel 12:25) However, it was never God’s purpose that we should choose to turn from His gracious protection. “Choose life”, He bids us, and in another place: “Casting all your care upon Him, for He careth for you.”
Our God is a consuming fire. He is love. He is holiness. Sin cannot dwell in His presence; therefore, if we cling to sin, we choose to reap its consequences: “The wages of sin is death”.
However, there is another side: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16) Yes, “the wages of sin is death, BUT the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
God does not mean us to fear. We know from the Bible that when Jesus does return, many will, though. Revelation 6:15-17 prophesies of that day, many “hid themselves…and said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb”—the Lamb, the gentle, meek, loving Lamb—“for the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?”
Surely, those who were laughing are laughing even more right now, for “there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, and saying, Where is the promise of His coming?” (2 Peter 3:3) But the promise is sure: “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to usward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” (verse 9) He wants the wondering ones to see the truth—to see Him as He truly is. “Wherefore, beloved…account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation…” “Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.” What better time than now to give your heart to Him?
I long to share Jesus with the children; and it is my prayer that in giving their hearts to Him, they will be bringing His light and love into their individual families and neighborhoods, as well. As the song says, “It only takes a spark to get a fire going…”
“The Lord is not slack concerning his promise…but the day of the Lord will come…”
“Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God…”? “Fear not.” Remember, “It is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.” (Philippians 2:13)
“Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherin dwelleth righteousness.” “Grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever.” Hasten Home! Amen.
image: “Skeptics at Rapture 8” by Sgerbic 2011 (CC BY-SA 3.0) – via Wikimedia Commons