“We were all ‘was’ at one time, but Once you meet the Messiah, ‘am’ is all that matters”
The Apostle Philip in ‘the Chosen”
Time is an illusory but useful construct.
In the 1980’s, I lived on the Caribbean island of St Lucia serving as a Peace Corps Volunteer. During our orientation to the cultures of the various islands, we were given a handout of various ‘slang’ expressions or idioms that were customarily heard. Among them was the expression, “just now”. It is roughly equivalent to my use of the phrase “just a moment” or “soon”. It could mean now, a minute from now, an hour from now or whenever you remind me again.
So, my choice of this idiom is to help the reader to realize that the global apocalypse or the end of the world and the Bible describes it could be very soon or it could be more distant. In fact I believe that the scriptures teach the global apocalypse spoken of as ‘the great tribulation’ cannot happen until the church is removed from the earth.
That being said, in each of our lifetimes there are likely to be localized apocalyptic events that profoundly impact and change our view of what is normal. On the other hand, many of these will be international events that are setting the stage for end times events prophesied hundreds and even thousands of years ago.
The word Apocalypse is a well known term in my generation, although I have learned that what it means Biblically is poorly understood. The movie ‘Apocalypse Now‘ is well known by my generation as a spectacle of the evils of the Vietnam War. That was a war that divided the nation because it was seen by many as a “necessary evil” in order to defend freedom, but for those whose lives were ruined by the horrors of that war, it was just pure evil.
In many ways it was an apocalypse for the United States because it revealed the political weakness of the generation that followed the greatest generation who fought and won World War 2.
The Biblical meaning of Apocalypse refers to a Greek word that was used to describe events that were previously unknown. These revelations ultimately involve the end of the present world where a global government will produce horrible carnage that will be stopped only by the prophesied appearance of the Jewish Messiah as King of kings.
An understanding of the biblical timeline minimizes the fear of the coming global apocalypse. Notice that I didn’t say that a global apocalypse isn’t coming. I am saying that is possible to expect it without fear…because God has a better future for each one that has entrusted the Lord Jesus Christ with their soul.
So, we are creatures of time who are everlasting (not eternal) souls. This means that we will continue to exist even after time shall be no more. As the prophet Daniel stated,
“And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame [and] everlasting contempt.”
Daniel 12:2 KJV
This Is Our Conundrum…
We, as men and women are created in time as souls that bear the image of God and will therefore exist forevermore. Yet we are not eternal for we each had a beginning, nor are we necessarily immortal for not all will experience everlasting life, some will experience everlasting death. The question for each of us is, which everlasting experience will be mine?
God has not left us without an answer…
“He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.“
John 3:36 NKJV
The time of this writing is the year of our Lord, 2022. There is a deep and growing foreboding in the hearts of many throughout the world because of the revelations of a global tyranny that is actively seeking to enslave the world into its view of a new world order. For many others, such a revelation is simply beyond comprehension.
In an earlier article, I wrote about the normalcy bias that often prevents us from discovering what is happening right in front of us. On another level there is something called ‘cognitive dissonance’ that prevents us from accepting reality that is so disorienting that it simply cannot be believed. It is like waking up from a vivid dream filled sleep and having no idea where we are at.
There is an awakening taking place that reveals a deep evil that has controlled us, enslaved us and surrounds us in every facet of our lives, even among those that we have trusted. This awakening is so disorienting that it breeds unbelief, fear, distrust and division among family and friends. It is easier to believe the dream than to confront reality.
However, the great awakening that we really need to focus on is not only the evil portent of ‘the great reset’ but the personal apocalypse that awaits each one who has not received Christ as their Savior.
But, Why ‘Apocalypse,…Just Now”?
While the specter of global tyranny creates a cognitive dissonance on a natural level, it also exists on a spiritual level. The salvation of an individual soul requires that soul to be awakened by God to the awful reality of our soul’s destiny apart from Him. What a joy it is to discover the reality that the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ has provided the means to change that destiny. Trusting in what God has provided, gives a calm reassurance that God is in complete control.
Many Bible students recognize that God has chosen to reveal His Plan in stages or what is commonly known as dispensations (or economies/administrations). They also recognize that the coming apocalypse has the purpose of completing God’s reversal of our cursed existence.
The frustrating reality of this is that we know things must get much worse before they get better. We know what must happen but we don’t know when it will happen. Nevertheless, there are clues that God has left us that we may know that the time of our redemption is drawing near. So what are the clues?
Sleuthing the Scriptures
The chart at the top of this page is from Dr. Andy Woods of Sugarland Bible Church. It gives us a succinct overview of what God has revealed about His plan to reverse the curse brought on by our sin. The Church Age began after the Lord Jesus was resurrected from among the dead (Acts 2:1-4), (and seen after His resurrection by over 500 people at one time – 1 Corinthians 15:6).
The beginning of the church was marked by the giving of the Holy Spirit to each believer. The end of the church age is marked by the removal of the Holy Spirit’s restraining influence with the removal of His church from the earth (2 Thessalonians 2:7). There is nothing that needs to happen before the church is removed.
Nevertheless, after the church is removed there are a series of events prophesied to take place. It is reasonable to expect that leading up to those events, there needs to be a bit of stage setting. Rather than go over them here, there is a link at the end of this article that will take you to an interview that does an excellent job of summarizing what the scriptures reveal about current events setting the stage for what is to come*.
Before going there though, we need to think about what heaven means for the believer. The idea of heaven is kind of vague in the minds of most of us. It generally revolves around meeting loved ones again and having bodies that are no longer weak and/or full of pain and disease.
Starting at the end of every summer season, people here in Ohio, USA look forward to the start of football season. It is becoming more customary, even for High School football games to gather together in the parking lots for a pre game tailgate party.
Each gathering is marked by flags, shirts and fan paraphernalia that displays the colors and logos of their favorite team. There is often food, drink and games for children, families are reunited and enjoy each others company in a time of socializing before the game begins. For college football fans who arrive early at the stadium, they often have an opportunity for a time to meet and greet the players and coaches as they arrive. In many places it is also an opportunity to watch the school marching band perform.
God has revealed that heaven is similarly a kind of a preliminary event before the big event, that nearly all of scripture points at, namely the establishment of the Kingdom of God on earth. Heaven will be marked by a time of joy, reunion, pageantry and socializing together in the presence of the Lord Himself (Matthew 26:29; 1 John 3:2).
Not only is it a reunion of loved ones that have died before us, but we will see Jesus in His resurrection body of glory! It will also be a kind of meet and greet session with all of the heroes of faith that we have read about in the Word of God (Matthew 8:11). There will be the marriage supper of the Lamb (Revelation 19:7-10); a time for rewards to be given for various acts done on earth in the Lord’s name (2 Corinthians 5:10; Matthew 10:40-42).
What is not customarily not taught in todays churches is that the experience of heaven is as much of a terrestrial event as it is a celestial event. We recognize that when believers die and leave this earth, they go to be with the Lord (Philippians 1:21-23; 1 Thessalonians 4:17). Since He is presently seated on the throne of grace with the Father (Revelation 3:21), this is where disembodied souls of believers reside.
However, when the Lord returns for His church, each soul will be clothed with a new body, much like the Lord’s resurrected body (1 Corinthians 15:40-49). In these new bodies, we will experience the preliminary event that was inadequately described earlier. As the great Apostle, Paul, confirmed:
“But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.”
1 Corinthians 2:9 KJV
After these preliminary events in heaven, during which the ‘great reset’ will have failed on earth, there will be the ‘great event’ that all of creation longs for…’The Great Redemption’. (Romans 8:19-23). The Lord Himself shall descend from heaven and His glorious feet will touch the Mount of Olives, splitting it in two (Zechariah 14:4).
The kings of the earth shall mourn and howl as the King of kings and Lord of lords dispatches His enemies (James 5:1; Revelation 6:15; 2 Thessalonians 2:8). The children of Israel shall mourn as they look upon the one they have pierced (Zechariah 12:10). They will have at last confessed Jesus is the Christ their Messiah saying “Blessed is He that comes in the name of the Lord” (Matthew 23:39)
Then as we have often sung, the kingdoms of this world become the Kingdom of our God (Revelation 11:15). Since we will be given celestial, spiritual bodies, we will at last be able ministers of God’s will on earth without the hindrances of sin and self that so obstruct our ministries today…
Indeed what a day!…What a glorious day that will be!!
If you want to be a part of that glorious day, ‘Just now’ will never do…
“For He says: “In an acceptable time I have heard you, And in the day of salvation I have helped you.” Behold, now [is] the accepted time; behold, now [is] the day of salvation.”
2 Corinthian 6:2 NKJV
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