(Part 2 of 2)

(By: Norm Rasmussen)

When will our Lord Jesus Christ (the real Messiah) come back to earth a second time, and when will His watchful, demonically discerning Church be gathered together to Him (commonly referred to by many as the Rapture of the Church)?

God has answered these two questions very clearly as far as I am able to hear from the Lord on this matter. The answer is found in 2 Thessalonians Chapter 2, starting with verse 1 and ending with verse 4 (NKJV):

Now, brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, we ask you, not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as if from us, as though the day of Christ had come.

Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.  

Two vitally important things must happen before our Lord Jesus Christ returns for His watchful, demonically discerning Church:

1)  "The falling away".  Or ... "The great falling away," as some translations read. Another translations refers to it as "the rebellion", or the "the final rebellion". Another translation refers to it as the "apostasy".  

The bottom line in these various translations is that Christianity, the Holy Bible, and Christians alive at that time will be under full-blown assault for proclaiming that Jesus Christ was and is the true Messiah, and his death, burial and resurrection was and is the ONLY way to true salvation ... and the Holy Bible is the ONLY infallible, trustworthy, Word of God for humanity.

2) "The man of sin is revealed" (commonly referred to as the anti-christ).

I don't feel to get bogged down in what God is referring to regarding 'The falling away,' in this short writing, other than to simply state that there will be a great falling away from discerning demonic deception, and an ever-increasing amount of 'Christians' will become increasingly cold in their personal relationship with Jesus Christ because they will believe the lies of the devil when he whispers to their minds' without their realizing: 'God is not such a good God after all, is He?' (This will happen primarily because God will allow them to be 'tested with fire', tested to expose their motives for following Jesus Christ, and at what price, at what loyalty, at what sacrifice - are they willing to give to remain followers of Him).  

The watching, demonically discerning Church will know who the anti-christ is, God assures us in scripture. After he has been revealed to His watching, demonically discerning Church ' this same Church can expect to be gathered together to our Lord Jesus Christ at some point in time, not before the anti-christ (which I'm to assume also includes the "false prophet") has clearly been revealed to them, from what I read from 2 Thessalonians 2:1-4.

Why do I believe God wants us to understand this? A number of reasons, really, but the number one reason is to hone, or super-sensitize, one's demonic deception discerning abilities, starting immediately.   

A second important reason is so that we don't stop seeking to win lost souls, and staying firmly engaged in helping disciple Christian converts.

An hour of trial is coming upon the whole world unlike anything the world has ever known to test those who are on earth at that time. How far are we away from this 'hour of trial?' Are you personally ready to face possible pain and hardship unlike anything you may possibly be able to imagine right now? Are you spiritually ready to endure persecution in ways you may have never dreamed of? If not, I can't encourage you enough to write this portion of scripture on 3 x 5 index cards and put them everywhere in your house to remind you to continuously seek God for revelation of what it means for YOU:

'Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth.' (Revelation 3:10)

Perhaps the most painful trial a believer can go through is when he or she feels like God has let them down, or in other words, somehow forsaken them. 

Here are a couple of writings that can bring comfort and insight to those who are going through such a trial right now and need some hope and insight into what is going on!

Feeling” Forsaken By God? 

“Feel” Like God Has Let You Down? 

There is another aspect of "persevering" that I believe the Holy Spirit wants addressed: For those who are not sold out to soul winning and helping young babes in Christ grow in the understanding of Truth (understanding basic Biblical truths - in other words, discipleship), I sense in my spirit that God most likely will allow them to go through this 'hour of trial,' and surely as each day passes, we are closer to this 'hour of trial' than we were the day before. (Please don't be so foolish and listen to the voices that try to persuade you to believe that 'hour of trial' has already come and gone either). Being firmly focused in one's soul winning efforts, being firmly focused in helping others grow in their relationship with Jesus Christ, one cannot possibly stay firmly focused on these two top priorities of God without walking very closely with the Holy Spirit.  

If you have been solely focused on "escapist" Pre-Tribulation rapture issues and have not been challenged to find out from God what He is personally telling YOU about 'the hour of trial that will come upon the whole earth', may I exhort you to begin doing so immediately?  

Are you so focused on your career and the pursuit of recreation that you can't be concerned about soul winning and helping disciple others (advancing the Kingdom of God, in other words)? Take heed, friend. You may be fast asleep spiritually. The "hour of trial" may be closer than what you care to realize.  

Have you been wounded by others in the Body of Christ and refuse to let God heal you ... allowing Him to get you back out on the front lines for Jesus ... engaging yourself in soul winning efforts?  If so, don't live in the past. Be "persevering" in your soul-winning pursuits ... or you may get to go through a lot more needless pain than what you care to imagine.  

Are you living on perpetual forgiveness for on-going sin in your life and refusing to let God put to death that sin you keep repeating? You may be walking on thinner ice with God than what you realize.

God offers incredible hope, makes a precious promise - for obeying His command to 'persevere' to those who are alive on earth at that time. He pointedly states that He will somehow protect ("keep from") those who have been persistently obedient in "helping advance the Kingdom of God here on earth and His righteousness [admitting sin, and getting sin out of one's life] - (See: Matthew 6:33). How He does that matters very little. It may be an 'Enoch encounter' (See: Hebrews 11:5) for some, and it might be divine protection for others.  

Do you know that you know that you know what the Holy Spirit wants you personally to know about 'persevering' in regards to Revelation 3:10? Precious one, find out, if you don't!  Don't put it off until tomorrow. Begin now. Get alone with God and bang loudly on His door. Don't quit banging until He imparts to you full revelation of what He wants you to know about one little word: 'Perseverance.' I can almost assure you that it will center around walking in righteousness with Jesus Christ (diligently getting sin out - and keeping it out - of your life), purposeful, diligent efforts to keep sharing the message of the cross with the unsaved, and to help other Christians in their times of discouragement ... because discouragement is going to descend on Christians like ugly on an ape (pardon my bluntness) as we move ever closer to the return of our Lord and Savior. 

'Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth.' (Revelation 3:10)

Dear Reader - are you at peace with God? If not, you can be. Do you know what awaits you when you die? You can have the assurance from God that heaven will be your home, if you would like to be certain. You can even have that assurance RIGHT NOW! Either Jesus Christ died for your sins, or He didn't (He did!). Are you prepared to stand before God on the Judgment Day and tell Him that you didn't need the shed blood of Jesus Christ on the Cross to have your sins forgiven and get in right-standing with God? We plead with you...please don't make such a tragic mistake. 

To get to know God, to be at peace with God, to have your sins forgiven, to make certain heaven will be your home for eternity, to make certain that you are in right-standing with God right now ... please click here to help you understand the importance of being reconciled to God. What you do about being reconciled to God will determine where you will spend eternity, precious one. Your decision to be reconciled to God is the most important decision you'll ever make in this life, because in Christ, it is impossible to put a value on the worth of your soul in light of eternity.


JESUS DID IT! and...


Remember:  All that we do in this life comes back to our God-given purpose which is to serve and glorify God. The money and assets we accumulate, the fame and power we've attained or seek to attain - all of the things of this nature will one day pass away, but those lives of others we impact for Jesus Christ will last for eternity, and we will be rewarded for the part we helped play by impacting those lives ... for eternity. (Matthew 6:19-20 is our assurance)