We are at war. Like it or not. So, what shall we do? First, we must understand the CONTEXT!
As an example: I was talking with friends about the rapture. One of them said the rapture could happen at any moment because all scripture had been fulfilled. I suggested that 2nd Thessalonians chapter 2 says differently.
My friend became a bit animated and says, “That is talking about the Tribulation and not the raptures because it is about our gathering with Him after the rapture. We will never experience the tribulation.”
I then suggested they might try reading 2nd Thessalonians 2:1 for CONTEXT which says, “Now we request you, brethren, with regard to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him,
2 that you not be quickly shaken from your composure or be disturbed either by a spirit or a message or a letter as if from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come.
3 Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction,
4 who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being…
Furthermore, the CONTEXT for “The coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him” can be found in Matthew 24:29, which says, “Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:”
This event is also found in Revelation Chapter 6, verse 12 and says,
“I looked when He broke the sixth seal, and there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth made of hair, and the whole moon became like blood;
13 and the stars of the sky fell to the earth, as a fig tree casts its unripe figs when shaken by a great wind.
14 The sky was split apart like a scroll when it is rolled up, and every mountain and island were moved out of their places.
Which, IN CONTEXT of the whole Bible, shows that “the gathering to Him” which is found in 2nd Thessalonians 2:1 occurs after the 5th Seal of the Tribulation is opened, which means we will experience the first 5 Seals of Tribulation.
NEXT, 2nd Thessalonians 2:3 goes on to say, ” Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come unless the apostasy comes first.”
Which is a great falling away from God through faith in Jesus Christ, which is just now beginning. It is a world-wide phenomenon.
FINALLY, 2nd Thessalonians 2:3 also says, “3 ¶ Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction”
This man is also known as the anti-Christ and the son of perdition. He has not be revealed yet. My friend retorts “He (the anti-Christ) won’t be revealed until after the Rapture!”
I simply said, please re-read 2nd Thessalonians 2:3 “Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction”.
My friend blinked at me and said, “Well…..” Unconvinced and uninformed.
NOW TO MY MAIN POINT about CONTEXT
The End of Days are well under way. We now find ourselves in world-wide circumstances which strongly suggest that we are into the breaking of the 5th Seal of the Tribulation which marks the beginning of the Great Apostasy, the love of many growing cold, a period of great persecution, anarchy and the revealing of the anti-Christ.
And let me say, if you believe you will escape the first 5 Seals, just relax. You have already been through most of the first 5 Seals!
It is the 6th Seal you better hope you will miss because the Wrath of God begins with the 6th Seal and the 6th Seal marks the beginning of the 7 Years (Daniel’s Seventieth Week) of THE GREAT TRIBULATION which is the period of GOD’S WRATH, also known as the GREAT AND TERRIBLE DAY OF THE LORD, and the RAPTURE)
– TIME IS SHORT –
THE WAR HAS BEGUN – WE ARE UNDER ATTACK
HOW SHOULD WE RESPOND?
Most of what I read, outside the Bible, which is being written or said by Christian Leaders is a muddled mix of
“Be kind and gentle like Jesus”,
“We are sheep to the slaughter”,
“Win people to Christ while we have time” and
“Don’t Worry – God’s Got This”
There is truth scattered around in those types of statements, but it is OUT OF THE CONTEXT of the entire Bible.
But, most of what I read inside the Bible says another thing all together. But it must be read IN CONTEXT of the entire Bible!
In this article, I will only address what our response to the End of Days should be ACCORDING TO THE BIBLE, and not about our preparation FOR the End of Days.
THE OLD TESTAMENT
In the entire Old Testament, when the House or Nation of Israel (God’s People) was under assault for reasons other than God’s Discipline, they responded according to their circumstances – IN CONTEXT OF THE ASSAULT. (I.e., when their lives were threatened they defend their lives with a violent forceful response. When their food source was threatened by famine they responded with the agricultural technology they had. When their water source was threatened by drought, they didn’t go to war, they looked for alternate sources. CONTEXT!) The instances of how ISRAEL responded to EVIL and threats on their lives, are so numerous that I will only cite this one example but I will add a link to other great battles SO YOU CAN SEE THE CONTEXT AND THE PATTERN OF THE BIBLE:
DAVID’S CAMP WAS RAIDED AND DAVID RESPONDED
1 Samuel 30:1 “Then it happened when David and his men came to Ziklag on the third day, that the Amalekites had made a raid on the Negev and on Ziklag, and had overthrown Ziklag and burned it with fire; 2 and they took captive the women and all who were in it, both small and great, without killing anyone, and carried them off and went their way.”
1 Samuel 30:8 “David inquired of the LORD, saying, “Shall I pursue this band? Shall I overtake them?” And He said to him, “Pursue, for you will surely overtake them, and you will surely rescue all.”
1 Samuel 30:16 “When he had brought him down, behold, they (the Amalekites) were spread over all the land, eating and drinking and dancing because of all the great spoil that they had taken from the land of the Philistines and from the land of Judah.
17 David slaughtered them from the twilight until the evening of the next day; and not a man of them escaped, except four hundred young men who rode on camels and fled.
18 So David recovered all that the Amalekites had taken, and rescued his two wives. 19 But nothing of theirs was missing, whether small or great, sons or daughters, spoil or anything that they had taken for themselves; David brought it all back.
20 So David had captured all the sheep and the cattle which the people drove ahead of the other livestock, and they said, “This is David’s spoil.”
What is the CONTEXT of David’s response?
David and his camp were attacked by evil men
David inquired of the Lord
God told David that he would prevail
David hunted the evil men down
David and his men attacked and slaughtered the evil men
David and his men took their property back
David also took the Amalikite’s property as spoils of war
David divided the spoil among the faithful men in his camp
That is the pattern and THE CONTEXT of the correct response. Here Other Great Battles In Ancient Israeli And Biblical History to help with CONTEXT:
THE NEW TESTAMENT
The New Testament does not diminish our right and our capacity to fight battles, resist and overcome the enemy – it enhances it. But it must be kept in CONTEXT.
The CONTEXT begins with Jesus teaching about 2 Kingdoms:
1. The Kingdom of Heaven a.k.a., The Kingdom of God
2. The kingdoms of this world.
Jesus always separates the two kingdoms in His Teaching, and instructs us that the kingdoms of this world are subject to the Kingdom of God!
In other words, you cannot successfully respond to an earthly threat (attacks, assaults, etc.) from an earthly perspective. You see the CONTEXT from a heavenly perspective!
Jesus’ Teaching and Response about confronting evil and the End of Days
Let’s see what the Bible really says about how we are to prepare and how we should respond, using Jesus as our model.
Many times we see a circumstance from our own personal earthly mindset or worldview. This can cause us to misread or misinterpret what is really going on and how we can understand what we are actually seeing and how we should respond.
We, as Christians,
must know what the Bible really says
in the context of how it was said,
why it was said and
we must know how to apply it.
And, Jesus is the only place we can find The Truth of these matters.
A pastor and friend of mine liked to say, “Remember to be kind and gentle like Jesus”. And, yes, that is right. But keeping Jesus’ behavior and words in context of the situations He found Himself, you will find that there were times when Jesus would respond to evil and say things you may not have expected. For example,
(Click on the above links for details)
Jesus’ response was always IN CONTEXT. Jesus’ response was always RIGHTEOUS and sometimes indignant! But, make no mistake, when called for, He was not always gentle, but He was always Right!
EPHESIANS 6 gives us the Perfect outline for CONTEXT: (The red lettering tells you what it says and what to, the black lettering tells you what it means)
6:10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might.
6:11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil.
6:12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly
6:13 Therefore, take up the full armor of God,
so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm.
6:14 Stand firm therefore,
HAVING GIRDED YOUR LOINS WITH TRUTH,
and HAVING PUT ON THE BREASTPLATE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS,
6:15 and having shod YOUR FEET WITH THE PREPARATION OF THE GOSPEL OF PEACE;
6:16 in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil
6:17 And take THE HELMET OF SALVATION, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
6:18 With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and
with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints,
6:19 and pray on my behalf, that utterance may be given to me in the opening of my mouth, to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in proclaiming it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.
6:21 But that you also may know about my circumstances,
Be Strong in the Lord
Put on His Full Armor
Stand firm against evil
Pray at all times
Know your circumstances (CONTEXT)
What about the END OF DAYS?
Jesus tells us in Mathew 24:31-50 “And He will send forth His angels with A GREAT TRUMPET and THEY WILL GATHER TOGETHER His elect from the four winds, from one end of the sky to the other.
“Now learn the parable from the fig tree: when its branch has already become tender and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near;
So, you too, when you see all these things, recognize that He is near, right at the door.
v 50 “For, the Master will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour which he does not know, and will cut him in pieces and assign him a place with the hypocrites; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
CONTEXT: These are serious and terminal matters. And, God is calling. CONTEXT: You are called and you must respond. You have a role to fill. CONTEXT: You will engage and be engaged by the enemy which is evil. CONTEXT: Prepare. Engage. Endure. Overcome!
Some of you will be called on as Pastors by way of a “field promotion”
Some of you will be called on as Evangelists by way of a “field promotion”
Some of you will be called on to resist the devil and his armies by way of a “field promotion”
Some of you will be called on as martyrs and will die for your testimony and because of His Word
We all will be called to engage the enemy and to preach the Gospel
Finally, a word of encouragement. Hebrew 10:35-38 tells us “Therefore, do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God, you may receive what was promised.
“FOR YET IN A VERY LITTLE WHILE, HE WHO IS COMING WILL COME, AND WILL NOT DELAY. BUT MY RIGHTEOUS ONE SHALL LIVE BY FAITH; AND IF HE SHRINKS BACK, MY SOUL HAS NO PLEASURE IN HIM.
“But we are not of those who shrink back to destruction, but of those who have faith to the preserving of the soul.“
Consider what Jesus has taught us, shown us and commanded of us – and let’s not shrink back for He goes before us.
CONTEXT: The battle is ours! Let’s get on with it!
Your Brother and Friend, Mike Young