Nothing can make me crabbier in an instant than one of my kids sneaking up behind me and hollering to make me jump.  Oh, I hate that!  They catch me off guard, and in that moment, I feel completely out of control.  To make matters worse, I am usually pretty aware of where each child is, and what they are doing.  It is rare that I don’t have at least a general knowledge of their where-abouts, so when they manage to make me jump sky high, it means they have caught me in a moment when my alert level was low to begin with.  For that moment when I am spooked, control of my situation, and of myself, has been forcibly yanked away from me.  I am out of control because I have been taken off guard.  Because I hate that feeling so much, I stay alert…always listening and watching…ever aware of where the boys are.  I protect myself this way, and I know when one of them is standing outside the bathroom door just waiting for me.  When they jump, I can just keep going…or use the opportunity to attack and tickle.

Right now the stage is being set for a ginormous “BOO!”  And the world is absolutely oblivious to it.  Even Christians, who should be alert and watching, are going on with life as usual.  But when it comes, the world will be turned on its ear and will never be the same again.  It will change everything.  It will cause far more than a yelp and a rapid heartbeat.  It will be a complete upheaval of the world as we know it.

I am talking about the moment when Christ returns to take His people out of this world to be with Him.  The Rapture.  In my July 15 post, The End Times, I shared with you that God as revealed to me that Jesus is coming soon.  The end is near.  I don’t have a date or a time.  I would never expect that because we are told in the Scriptures that no one but God knows that.  But I do know that it will be within the lifetimes of my children.  As time flies so quickly, and with the view of thousands of years in the history of the earth behind us, even if my boys lived to be 100, Jesus is coming soon!!!  We must be alert!!!  

As I sit in restaurants, walk through stores, or even see people on the television, I think, “Do they have any inkling of what is to come?  Do they realize that Jesus is coming soon and that the world will change forever after that?  Do they know that the day they will need to stand before God Almighty and answer for their lives is looming before them?”  Of course they don’t!  They don’t have a clue!  They expect the world to continue on for thousands of years to come, just as it has for thousands of years in the past.  1 Thessalonians 5:2-3 (NCV) – “You know very well that the day the Lord comes again will be a surprise, like a thief that comes in the night.  While people are saying, ‘We have peace and we are safe,’ they will be destroyed quickly.  It is like pains that come quickly to a woman having a baby.  Those people will not escape.”

1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 – “The Lord himself will come down from heaven with a loud command, with the , with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet call of God.  And those who have died believing in Christ will rise first.  After that, we who are still alive will be gathered up with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air.  And we will be with the Lord forever.”

Believe me, this is not the kind of event that anyone is going to be oblivious to.  The whole world will witness it!  And when every citizen of earth hears the trumpet call of God, and the voice of the archangel.  When every person sees millions of dead people rising to meet Christ in the sky, and millions more living Christians joining them, those who remain will not shrug it off and go about their business as usual.  There will be fear and panic.  Chaos will reign until someone is able to gain control and restore order.  All the Christians will be gone…as will all of the good they brought to the world through Jesus and the Holy Spirit.  What kind of life do you envision this being?  It will not be fun!  Picture all of the movies you have seen about the world after a cataclysmic event…a global warming disaster, a universal nuclear war, an attack by far more advanced alien race…they all paint a picture of complete devastation and survival that is only one by fighting tooth and nail for the basic necessities.  I won’t say that this picture is what is going to be.  It is just what I envision in a world without the presence of the Holy Spirit.

There are two points to be made in this.  First, we Christians need to wake up!  We need to be alert.  We need to watch and prepare ourselves.  We need to be ready for the call of Christ.  We can’t pack a bag of things to take with us.  Nothing that we have here on earth will matter.  We need to change our priorities, our perspective on our life here.

I used to love going to garage sales.  It was so much fun to look through other people’s junk and find a treasure that would look great in my house.  I have no interest in that now.  I find that I see possessions more and more as unnecessary.   Not to say that I don’t buy things.  I just bought a new pair of shoes for vacation so I wouldn’t kill my feet climbing in and out of a monster truck.  I am considering purchasing a small table I can set up in my living room to leave a jigsaw puzzle on for the family to do together.  But I can’t seem to bother myself with spending money of frivolous things that really have no purpose other than to allow me to spend money.  It just doesn’t seem to matter any more.  Why?  Because my perspective has changed.  I know that my life here is only a way-station, a rest-stop.  I’m not going to be here much longer, whether because I die, or Christ returns.  This is not my home, and I would much rather spend my time and money on serving God and preparing my heart to meet Him face to face.

1 Thessalonians 5:4, 6, 8 – “But you, brothers and sisters, are not living in darkness, and so that day will not surprise you like a thief….  So we should not be like other people who are sleeping, but we should be alert and have self-control….  But we belong to the day, so we should control ourselves.  We should wear faith and love to protect us, and the hope of salvation should be our helmet.”

The second point is that we need to be bold in sharing the good news of Christ.  Knowing what lies ahead for those who don’t believe in Christ should motivate us to move quickly and speak without fear.  They cannot have the opportunity to accept or reject Christ if they have not been introduced to Him.  Now is the time.  We are living in a life-or-death moment.  May the Spirit of the one true God fill us with the sense of urgency we need to send us out into the world.  The Christians of the early church boldly spread the Good News, and the church of Christ grew.  This is our last stand.  Today, the church of Christ must again go so boldly into all the world.  And that includes our neighbors, our co-workers, the people we meet on the street.  The time has come to leave the cares of this world behind, and grab a hold of the prize before us.  Onward Christian soldiers!!!!