Woe to those desiring the day of the LORD! What is this for you? The day of the LORD is darkness, not light. Amos 5:18
So said the LORD, our G-d; the God of Israel when speaking of the impending judgment set for the people of Judah. That was then…this is now…and I am curious…
We have a day of impending judgment ahead of us. Why do so many long for that day?
I hear it in prayers, I hear it in songs and I hear it in conversations. I witness people with their arms stretched to the Heavens pleading with G-d to come and to come soon. Are they stretching out their arms because they think He will whisk them away before any ‘bad stuff’ happens? Or are they truly standing firm, basically saying to G-d “bring it on, I’m ready!”
Unfortunately, the popular opinion in the body of Messiah is that we will not be here for those days of affliction. And as much as I would like to believe, if those days start in my lifetime, that I’ll disappear before it gets too ugly… Scripture paints a different picture. And it’s a picture of woes.
Matthew, Chapter 24
And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation; and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences and earthquakes in various places. All these things are the beginning of sorrows. 6-8
Let’s take a moment. Who is Yeshua speaking to? Sinners? Those who have not been saved? NO! He’s talking to His disciples. He’s talking to all of us. He continues:
Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for MY NAME’S SAKE. 9
Again, who is He speaking to? His Followers! Believers! Who else would be acting and speaking for His Name? The body of Messiah will still be here when the world is judged! You know, we’ve talked over and over again about belief and what it really means- ‘to stand firm.’ Well, if any time is going to truly test whether we stand firm in Him, it’s going to be at the end of days. And we are warned that within the body of Messiah false prophets will rise and encourage us “to come see, Messiah has come.”
Now let’s look at verse 10: And many will be offended and they will deliver up one another, and will hate one another.
The English text does not do justice to this verse. The word translated as ‘offended’ in so many Bibles is skandalidzo. Think of it in terms of the English word derived from it…scandal. It’s a word that suggests falling into a trap that was set; being snared; falling or turning away. And who is it that is turning away? So-called believers who failed the test…who were deceived. And what are they falling away from? The truth.
Yeshua continues to tell His disciples: “But He who endures to the end shall be saved.”
The word ‘endures’, in the Greek, is hippomeno. And it is simply the Greek word for the Hebrew concept of belief and faith…which is standing firm; not retreating.
We are promised in Isaiah that nothing will happen that we are not first informed of. Yeshua is answering the question posed by His disciples ‘what will be the signs’….but we, like so many before us, don’t like the ending…don’t like what we are told… so we change the story.
Let’s look at another verse, so often used to defend the idea of a pre-tribulation ‘rapture’.
At that time, two will be out in the field; the one is taken away, and the one is left; two grinding at the mill; one is taken, and one is left. 40
Context, context, context! The picture given to us before this verse is Noah’s Flood. Yeshua paints the picture of people continuing to live, eating and drinking, completely oblivious to the impending doom that was approaching…and then being taken away.. “So too”, he states, “will be the coming of the Son of Man.”
He then gives the parable about a faithful, wise servant and a wicked servant. Their master left them to oversee his house. When the master returns, the faithful servant will be found doing his work (in the field, perhaps? Or at the mill, perhaps?). But the wicked servant says in his heart, ‘My lord delays to come’, and begins to beat his fellow servants and to eat and to drink with the drunkards. 48-49
Yeshua tells us that the servants’ master will come in an unknown hour. The faithful servant will be blessed and the wicked servant will be cut in two and there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. One servant is left….the other taken….
Every time I see pain…every time I see suffering…every time I watch the news and witness the stories of the absolutely evil and detestable things people are doing to each other…my heart feels like it’s crumbling inside my body. My only comfort is knowing that one day it will end. But I also know, because Yeshua tells me, that the end is going to be worse than anything from the beginning of the world till now.” 21
Think about these things before you so zealously urge Him to come. And if, after you have soberly judged yourself and the situation that fast approaches, you still find unchained joy in what’s to come, G-d Bless You. Because I know that I do not desire it. My Spirit craves the end…but it mourns the path that will get us there just as much.
I know that it has to happen this way. So I will continue to pray for His mercy, strength and comfort so that I can pass the test. Prepare yourself for those dark days. They will come soon enough… and will only be cut short for the sake of us, His elect. Stand firm in your walk…and watch…and wait.
Author: Jennifer Ross