“And there will be signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars; and on the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring; 26 men’s hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 27 Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. 28 Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near.” – Luke 21:25-28
Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, begins at sundown today! It is also known as the Feast of Trumpets, and for many years I have encouraged our readers to observe it as a reminder that every so often we should have a “Rapture Drill.”
During World War II, and even later—the Cold War era—children in schools would practice a sudden “bomb drill.” An alarm would sound and everyone would quickly get under his or her desk. We also had “earthquake drills,” where we would follow a set plan of evacuating the building and going to a safe place outside for a few minutes.
The purpose of these drills was not to terrify the kids, but to help them be prepared in case the dreaded event would occur.
Any time now we can expect the Rapture (John 14:1-3; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; I Corinthians 15:50-55; Revelation 4:1, etc.) when Jesus returns for born-again believers of the Church Age, and after that there will be seven years of tribulation.
Jesus said we can’t know the date of the Rapture (Matthew 24:42-44, Matthew 25:13). Therefore, we should always be ready for that great day: living a faithful, godly life, sharing the Gospel with our family and friends, and doing whatever we would like to be doing if we knew He was returning today.
Recently I had a conversation with someone who goes to a very exciting revival-oriented church. I asked her, “What does your church teach about the End Times?” Inwardly I cringed when she said, “I don’t think they deal with it.” She added, “I don’t like to think about prophecy because it is scary.”
At that point, her friend, who is more involved in the inner-workings of the church, said, “Our leadership does believe in prophecy.” I was relieved, because so many churches are deliberately ignoring more than one-fourth of the Bible that is dedicated to prophecy.
This was an aha moment for me. I am starting work on our annual “Year in Review” report. It is a summary of events from the past year that relate to Bible prophecy, and it has grown in size over the years. For the past 3 years it has been book-length, and we have released it in printed and digital book formats. Last year’s book was called “Red Skies,” and I have been thinking of calling this year’s book “Superstorm” because of the amazing build-up of destructive world conditions that Jesus, the Prophets and the Apostles predicted for the End Times. I am more inclined now to call it “Glorious Day,” emphasizing the return of Christ for His Church, and His later return as King of Kings, and Lord of Lords (Revelation 19:11-16). This week I took a beautiful picture of a “Golden Sky” after a day of flash floods.
The primary message of the Church should be the Gospel—the Good News of salvation and hope. But the leadership of the church—the pastors, teachers, worship leaders and core members should realize that world conditions line up with End Times prophecy as never before. Perhaps this sense of urgency will lead to greater prayer and stronger evangelism.
Will there be a revival before the Rapture? We know that there will be a great revival during the Tribulation, when people from every tribe and nation will turn to Christ (Revelation 7). It just seems that God would send one more spiritual harvest before Christ returns for His Church. God is not willing that any should perish (2 Peter 3:9), and too many of our young people have never really heard the Gospel. During this past year there have been many encouragements that could lead to a God-given awakening once again. There have been great Christian movies like “God’s Not Dead” and “War Room”- with its emphasis on prayer. We have born-again candidates running for the presidency, and an unprecedented turning of Muslims to Christ in many places.
As part of this year’s “Rapture Drill,” let’s establish our own prayer “War Room,” and increase our commitment to evangelism!