“And He also spoke a parable to them to teach it is always right to pray, and not to faint, saying, A certain judge was in a certain city, not fearing God, nor respecting man. And a widow was in that city. And she came to Him, saying, Avenge me of my adversary. And he would not do so for a time. But afterward he said within himself, Though I do not fear God nor regard man, yet because this widow troubles me, I will avenge her, that she not wear me down in the end. And the Lord said, Hear what the unjust judge says. And shall not God avenge His own elect who cry day and night to Him, though He has been long-suffering over them? I say to you that He will avenge them speedily. Yet when the Son of man comes, shall He find faith on the earth (Luke 18: 1-8)?
Will you have faith in the coming days? I believe Christians are in for hard times in the near future. Why?-Because of the hour. I believe that the world is at a point in time where the stage is being set for end time events to begin to unfold. The disciples in Matthew 24 come to Jesus and ask,
“when will all this happen (the destruction of the temple). What will signal your return and the end of the world (age)?”(Matt 24:3 NLT)
The first thing Jesus tells them is, “Don’t let anyone mislead you..” Then He gives a list of things that will happen saying,…
“..for many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah.’ They will deceive many. And you will hear of wars and threats of wars, but don’t panic. Yes, these things must take place, but the end won’t follow immediately. Nation will go to war against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines (hunger) and earthquakes in many parts of the world. But all this is only the first of the birth pains, with more to come.
Most Christians believe we will have been raptured by this time. Keep in mind Jesus in talking to His believing disciples, the same ones who are the first to receive the Holy Spirit on Shavuot (Pentecost). They are the first believers. If Jesus is talking to them, He is talking to us.
The next thing Jesus says is shocking. “Then you will be arrested, persecuted, and killed.” (Matt 24:9) These disciples did face these things in 70 AD when Jerusalem and the temple were destroyed by the Romans. Keep in mind though Jesus is answering the question, “What sign will signal your return and the end of the world?” Obviously, the world did not end in the year 70. Jesus is still talking to believers. The Question is, what believers? He is talking to the believers who will be alive at the time these things happen.
Again, “Then you will be arrested, persecuted, and killed. You will be hated all over the world because you are my followers. And many will turn from me and betray and hate each other (Matt 24:9-10).
Jesus is talking about persecution of believers who are alive at the time of the end. Are you ready for that professing Christian? Will you hold to your faith and proclaim Jesus as your Lord in the face of open persecution? Will you hold to your faith in the face of impending and certain death? Or do you just think it can’t happen to you because you are God’s child? Are you above the Master then?
The disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his lord. It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master and the servant as his lord. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more shall they call them of his household (Matt 10: 24-25)?
I am not trying to scare anyone, but, what a terrible thing it would be, to not be prepared for one of the worst times Christians have ever faced? Are you sure you are going to be raptured before anything bad happens? Do the scriptures say this to you without being twisted and taken out of context to make it so?
Have look at this parable that Jesus told in chapter 13 of Matthew:
“The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared. “The owner’s servants came to him and said, ‘Sir, didn’t you sow good seed in your field? Where then did the weeds come from?’ ” ‘An enemy did this,’ he replied. “The servants asked him, ‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?’ ” ‘No,’ he answered, ‘because while you are pulling the weeds, you may root up the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First, collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn’ “(Matt 13:24-30).
Notice the order in which things are done. First, the weeds are collected and tied into bundles to be burned and THEN, the wheat is gathered and put in the barn. During the days of Noah he and his family were not taken out of the world during the flood; they were protected and delivered through the flood. When God judged Sodom and Gomorrah Lot and his family, with the exception of his wife who did not obey the angel, escaped before the destruction. They were not taken out of the world. And I believe if you forget about all the books you have read to the contrary you will find that the church is not raptured out of the earth before the great tribulation but will be delivered in the tribulation. There are other parables in Luke 17 that indicate that there is an escape; not a rapture.
In that day he who shall be on the housetop, and his goods in the house, let him not come down to take them away. And likewise, he who is in the field, let him not return to the things behind. Remember Lot’s wife. Whoever shall seek to save his life shall lose it, and whoever shall lose his life shall preserve it (Luke 17: 31-33).
You should read the entire chapter without prejudice to what you may have heard before about these verses being about the rapture.
Because of this misunderstanding about where the church will be during the great tribulation many will be caught off guard when it begins.
Will you turn from your faith in such times?
Many professing Christians will do exactly that. The churches are full of people who may or may not be true believers. We don’t know who they are; the true believers, the pretenders. It is possible to sit in church week after week; say the right things at the right times, and never actually have a true conversion. You know the language. You know the lingo and are able to blend in with believers. Who are the true Christians though? Are you one? One of the true believers? You really can’t tell them apart.
God knows who they are; the ones who have been truly converted, and, the ones who have not. When the great persecution begins and the pressure is put on those who claim to believe in Jesus Christ as the Messiah many will fall away from the faith as Jesus says in Matt 24.
“Then you will be arrested, persecuted, and killed. You will be hated all over the world because you are my followers. And many will turn from me and betray and hate each other (Matt 24:9-10).
Separating The Wheat From The Tares
As we approach the harvest of God the tares and weeds become more apparent. The world is plagued with all manner of sin such as, sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, just to name a few.
Those who believe in God and obey his Word, the “true converts,” will begin to stand out as strange and will be labeled as intolerant or bigots. Like weeds in a garden overtake the true plants of the garden, so will those who do not believe in the Lord, and who do not obey God’s word, will begin to attack the believer. In fact, it is already happening. Those who are the true believers will stand firm in their faith and not deny Christ who is their Lord. Those who have been professing Christ for years without a true conversion will most likely back away from the faith for fear of persecution and even begin to persecute those they once called brothers or sisters. Some, hopefully, will realize that they need the Lord at this time and will be truly converted, and stand their ground in the faith.
The time is at hand. Our faith is about to be tested in ways that we in the West have never experience. It will be a time of purification. It will be a time of judgment. It will be a time when the true believers stand out as peculiar and shine as lights in a dark world. It will be a time when those who have professed to be believers without a true conversion will fall away from the faith because of persecution.
What about you? Will your faith sustain you in the time of trouble?
Nevertheless, when the Son Of Man cometh, shall He find faith on the earth ( Luke 18:8)?