Putting Your House in Order

Day Nineteen

I am very excited because I am close to the end of my 21 day fast, and I know that my answer is coming soon!  My question, as regular followers of my blog know, is this being the End Times (everyone agrees): what comes next, and how do we prepare for it?  And I’ve been asking not only for an answer for myself, but for a spirit of revelation so that the whole Body of Christ can know.  What good would it do, if only I know and it’s not confirmed by others?

So, with my answer pending in just 2 more days, one thing has been on my mind lately: the Rapture of the Church.  Oh, the unspeakable joy of being carried away (that’s what “rapture” means) to the wedding chamber with Jesus!

But something has been dampening my joyful anticipation: my sons are not walking with the Lord.  Both of them made decisions for Jesus, but have been seduced away by the world’s pleasures.  I know from my own experience that Jesus really does leave the 99 and go looking for the lost sheep because I was that lost sheep.  He came looking for me when I was not looking for Him.  He knew that I was ready to come back before I ever imagined that I was.  (If you didn’t read that story, here’s the links: Gotcha! And Gotcha! Part 2.)  So I have real reason to hope that they will have a similar experience.

But will they have it in time for the Rapture?  I certainly hope so.  If not, then they will have to go through some really terrible stuff, with no guarantee that they will survive.  So I have done what I can to help them through those days, if they remain here.  I have written them a letter, which I will print out and put with my important papers.  They will know where to look for it.  In the letter, I have explained what has happened with all the disappearances.  But I feel certain that they will already know what’s up.  I made them beneficiaries on my bank and investment accounts.  That will save them from having to go through the long waiting process of Probate Court.  I wrote a list of those accounts so that they will know where to go.  I also included instructions for getting through the next seven years, which are going to be really tough.

Some people think that we have already entered the Tribulation, but we have not.  The Tribulation starts with a peace agreement with Israel in which they will be allowed to rebuild the Temple.  As of this writing, that hasn’t happened yet.  That peace agreement will be put forth by the Antichrist, a world political leader.  There is no single world political leader yet.

Some people think that the Rapture won’t happen until the last trumpet of Revelation.  But that’s just not right.  I’ve been studying this, well, OK, studied on You Tube, but with some discernment, it’s easy to tell what’s right and what’s unsupported conjecture and pure nonsense.  Here is a link to the best Rapture explanation I’ve heard: Rapture Video.  And here is a link to another really great Rapture explanation: Rapture and the Church.

The world after the Rapture is not going to be nice at all because up to now, the Holy Spirit has been restraining the evil.  Look at the news!  If this is what restrained evil looks like, just imagine when we are taken out of the world.  With us goes the Holy Spirit, too.  But not forever.  I believe that Joel’s prophecy is for the Tribulation saints:

I will pour out My Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions. Even on My servants, both men and women, I will pour out My Spirit in those days. I will show wonders in the heavens and on the earth, blood and fire and billows of smoke. The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord. And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved; for on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there will be deliverance, as the Lord has said, even among the survivors whom the Lord calls, (Joel 2:28-32).

Peter used this verse on the day of Pentecost to describe what was happening, but the “wonders in the heavens” didn’t happen at that time.  This has got to be a dispensation for the Tribulation saints, as well as a last chance for the rest of humanity.

If they have to go through the Tribulation, then I know that God will help them.  One way or the other, I’ll see them when it’s all over.  But as for me, my bags are packed, I’ve got extra oil for my lamp, and when that trumpet sounds, I’m gone!  God is good!

Indy Go!

Greetings from Indianapolis!  I am here at the International Conference on Missions (ICOM http://www.theicom.org/conference) with Sally, the brains behind GoMissions, European Faith Missions’ new partner in ministry.  Sally and I are here exhibiting for GoMissions (http://www.gomissions.eu/), an online bulletin board for matching missionaries with mission opportunities in Europe.

Indianapolis is the cleanest, most graffiti-free city I think I’ve ever seen.  And when I commented on that to local people, the answer has come back:  police presence.  I believe it because every time I’ve gone out the door of the hotel, there has been a police car, either parked nearby or passing by on the street.  Every morning at breakfast, there is a group of 5 or 6 police officers who take a break here.

One officer told me that the campaign against graffiti started about 5 years ago, and that it has been an important weapon in the suppression of inner city gangs.  I guess I had never thought of it before.  My only experience of gangs is limited to the musical “West Side Story.”  And I remember that in the first scenes, in fact it’s in the opening credits, the Sharks and Jets dance around marking their turf with graffiti.  Anyway, the result is that Indianapolis is both very clean and feels safe.

Meanwhile, back at the conference, the need for missionaries in Europe is still obviously very much misunderstood here in the US.  When I point out that even people with running water and modern conveniences need a Savior, almost invariably the person responds that America is also a mission field.  I don’t deny the truth of that, but the people who say it tend to be people who are not actively sharing the Gospel here, either.  Interestingly, the people who best understand the need for missionaries in Europe are missionaries serving in other parts of the world.  They know that Europe is the least Christian continent on Earth.

I wouldn’t say that we should stop sending missionaries to Africa because there is still a need there, but Africa is way more Christian than Europe.  In fact, now there is an organization of African missionaries to Europe:  GATE, Gift from Africa to Europe (http://gate-mission.org/GATE%20Flyer.pdf).

And many people who say that they feel called to missions say in the very next breath: “But I could never live without running water.”  Well, Europe is more likely where they are called because those called to live in deserts love the deserts and desert people; those called to live in the jungle love the jungle and the jungle people; and those of us called to live in Europe love Europe and the European people.

Mission does not automatically equal suffering.  The suffering and troubles that Jesus warned about was persecutions.  Anywhere you meet the enemy and people influenced by the enemy, you’ll encounter resistance, trouble, and sometimes persecution.  Missionaries suffer hardship wherever they are.  I have had to learn to sleep sitting straight up on buses, trains, and planes, often missing meals—that’s hardship.  Giving up my house, and leaving my family—especially my grandson—is hardship.  But I know that I will be compensated:

Then Peter spoke up, “We have left everything to follow you!”

“Truly I tell you,” Jesus replied, “no one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age: homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields [and grandchildren]—along with persecutions—and in the age to come eternal life,” (Mark 10:28-30, emphasis mine).

Please, friends, help me get the word out:  Europe is a mission field full of people who need Jesus.