And although no one knows the hour or the day of Christ’s return (Matt. 24:36-41; I Thes. 5:1-3; 2 Peters 3:10; Rev. 3:3), we always have to remember that each passing day brings his return closer. Yes, I realize I am being Captain Obvious here, but a few things have happened and are happening to ever remind us that that day is getting closer and closer.
“For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever” (I Thes. 4:16-18).
First of all, I am a believer of a pre-tribulation rapture, that God will remove his church before the tribulation begins, saving his followers from the wrath to come. So the question that is always on one’s mind is—how will the world explain away the disappearance of so many people from the earth? (Hopefully, it will be a lot of people.) Good question.
One theory has always been an alien abduction. Yeah right. Like who would believe that? However, UFOs are suddenly back in the news and now with the government’s willingness to share information that they had previously held close to the vest. (See article from the NY Times below if you are interested.) So could alien abduction be plausible to many in the future? Perhaps.
Once the church is raptured, so much more is to happen, too much to discuss here, but these past years have marched us ever closer to social acceptance of the mark of the beast.
“And he causes all, the small and the great, and the rich and the poor, and the free men and the slaves, to be given a mark on their right hand or on their forehead, and he provides that no one will be able to buy or to sell, except the one who has the mark, either the name of the beast or the number of his name” (Revelation 13:16-17).
The technology is already in place; some businesses have already experimented with allowing their coworkers to opt for a chip (in one of those two locations) to purchase in-company; and just this past year, when the mask mandates were being lifted for those vaccinated, one official, when asked how one would know if the person walking through the door was vaccinated, innocently replied something like, “You wouldn’t unless it was marked on their forehead.”
There are many other events, attitudes, and changes in social norms that prove we are hurtling toward those final events which are primarily mentioned in Daniel and Revelation.
For the Christian this can be disheartening, exciting, and mobilizing. Disheartening to see the world moving away from God at an alarming speed; exciting in that the rapture of the church is imminent; but mobilizing in that non-believers will have to live through the tribulation. It is, therefore, important that we share the good news of God’s salvation and rescue now more than ever.