Your End-Time Theology Does Matter
The life of the church must be driven by the truth that Jesus is returning, and we must be prepared for our role during that key season. Jesus makes it clear in the Olivet Discourse, that Christians will face the ANTICHRIST during the Tribulation and even Great Tribulation, occurring during the 70th week spoken of by Daniel.
“Therefore when you see the ‘abomination of desolation,’ spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place” (whoever reads, let him understand), “then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains… For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be. And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened. Matthew 24:15-21
The Bible warns that there will be a great falling away in the church in the “last days”, even the elect being deceived. The charismatic, miracle working Antichrist will appeal to many in the apostate church which has already compromised with the world on homosexuality and gay marriage.
The following warning in Revelation should be awake up call: “A third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, “If anyone worships the beast and his image and receives his mark on his forehead or on his hand, he also shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out in full strength into the cup of His anger. He shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. The smoke of their torment will ascend forever and ever. They have no rest day or night, who worship the beast and his image and whoever receives the mark of his name (Revelation 14:9-11).
The truth is that we are only safe if we conquer, overcome and endure to the end: “He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments. I will not blot his name out of the Book of Life, but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels” (Revelation 3:5).
If all of our sins are forgiven, past, present and future, then taking the mark of the beast is a non-issue. In fact, blasphemy of the Holy Spirit, sexual immorality, unforgiveness and any number of other sins won’t impact our eternity if we believe in a false grace teaching.
“For if we wilfully continue to sin after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a fearful expectation of judgement and fiery indignation, which will devour the adversaries” (Hebrews 10:26-27).
A raging, burning passion for Jesus is non-negotiable. We are either on fire for Jesus or we are lukewarm, or possible cold and dead. Those who refuse to take the mark of the beast will be radically in love and on fire for Jesus.
“I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spit you out of My mouth” (Revelation 3:15-16).
We must be living, walking and praying in the Spirit, night and day if we hope to survive the coming pressure. You’ll remember Jesus warning his disciples to stay awake and pray so they wouldn’t fall into temptation. Do you know what temptation Jesus was referring to? Rejecting Jesus, as they did when the pressure increased and Jesus was taken away for crucifixion: “Watch and pray that you enter not into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak” (Matthew 26:41).
“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding” (Proverbs. 9:10).
We will need each other more than ever as the pressure intensifies. The church will certainly look much different during the Tribulation than it does now, but one truth will remain—we will be together. We must learn how to lock arms and contend together if we hope to survive in the end. The Bible gives us this instruction, especially as the Day of the Lord draws near.
“And let us consider how to spur one another to love and to good works. Let us not forsake the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but let us exhort one another, especially as you see the Day approaching” (Hebrews 10:24-25).
We must be ready. Jesus is coming again soon. That is one point we must simply have to agree on.