From the moment I became a member of the Protestant church, I quickly learned of the Second Coming of the Lord. I was consumed with the idea of getting caught up in the sky, meeting Jesus. I worried about my unsaved loved ones. Would they go up in the Rapture? I have since returned to my Catholic roots.
The Rapture was introduced as a commentary footnote by John Nelson Darby in 1827. Cyrus Scofield added this theory to his reference Bible and other popular Bibles scholars followed suite (in the footnotes of the commentary) to their publications. Books like “The Late Great Planet Earth” by Hal Lindsey and the “Left Behind” series by Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins gave the theory more fuel, and the fire spread throughout the Protestant believers. According to this doctrine, believers will be taken up to Christ in Heaven, and non-believers will be left behind to endure the tribulation with the Anti-Christ.
Second Thessalonians was written because the Thessalonians believed that the Lord return was very near. The apostle Paul had to instruct the Thessalonians to occupy until He comes. (Luke 19:13)
2 Thessalonians 2:2 New King James Version (NKJV)
The Great Apostasy
2 Now, brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, we ask you, 2 not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as if from us, as though the day of Christ had come.
In California we just experienced a magnitude 7.1 earthquake; we felt it strongly in our home. So I ask you this? Are we living in the Last Days? If you had asked me this 30 years ago, the answer would have been an emphatic yes! Today my answer has not changed but I’m not so consumed or fearful of the inevitable.
As I experience more growth in The Lord, my spirit has shifted. I have developed a more monastic approach to the things in life. I witness the direction of many paving a clear path to Hell. I don’t turn my head away from their sin, I but have learned to operate in prayer. Believe me, I want to scream at the top of my lungs, “For the love of God, stop sinning!” But I would come across as judging or as holier than thou. So, instead, I turn to prayer, a lot of prayer.
When someone knowingly is involved in sin, you can’t talk to them about their transgressions because they cannot see through the clouded distortion of their sin. The sin has already made its comfortable place in their spirit, and they are sold out to their immorality. The only thing left to do is to pray for them, really pray for them, doing spiritual warfare. Use all the weapons God has given you, and you will see victory. Never ever give up! God will see you through this.
The earth cries out with birth pains and the Lord of us all grows tired of the same sin. God is in control of all earthquakes, tornados, hurricanes and all other natural disasters. Not even the most seasoned scientist can answer the deep causes of these phenomena. Only God can!
I recently watched two separate documentaries, one of John Lennon and the other of George Harrison. In my perception, these two gifted musicians (Beatles) were searching for “a god, a higher source.” John thought he found it in Yoko Ono. George, after taking acid (hallucinatory drug) said that he heard a whisper saying, “yogis of the Himalayas.” George Harrison said this subliminal message remained in his head. He continued his search until he found peace with Hinduism. George believed in the New Age god Hare Krishna, hence the song he composed, “My Sweet Lord.”
John Lennon went on to write his greatest and most popular song ”Imagine.” The lyrics of this song start with, “Imagine there’s no heaven.” The message is not by a man influenced by God, but rather a woman who neither knew God nor cared to know anything of God.
There is a heaven, and one day we will all meet our Maker.
Philippians 3:20-21 New King James Version (NKJV)
20 For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21 who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself.
I was on the phone with my sister Norma when I felt the earth shaking. I told Norma, “We’re having an earthquake! The Lord is coming soon!” In a panic I ran outside to check the pool and videotaped the water spilling out onto the patio. I ran upstairs to check on Mike. I asked him, “Why didn’t you check on me?” Mike looked at me with a questionable look and said, “I knew you were fine.” His calm, soothing voice comforted my nerves. I, on the other hand, turned into Chicken Little, believing “The sky is falling! The sky is falling!” I called my daughter Sonja, and my daughter-in-law Jenny called to check on us. Praise be to God, we were all fine.
We are told to be prepared for “the big one ” with an earthquake kit, water, food, flashlights etc. But are we prepared for the Coming of the Lord or the day of our deaths? There will be no ” save the date card” to prepare you for these events. So my advice to you is to rid yourselves of all the unnecessary baggage of sin. Leave it at the foot of the Cross, where God Himself will consume it with fire and finally set you free.
Matthew 24:42-43 New King James Version (NKJV)
42 Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming. 43 But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into.