Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Date Setting And Paranoia - What's A Christian To Do?

BIBLICAL PROPHECY! BLOOD MOONS! THE FALL FEASTS! THE RAPTURE! THE TRIBULATION! DESTRUCTION! DEVASTATION! THE END OF THE WORLD! ECONOMIC COLLAPSE!

Seeing the unsaved being influenced by their own fearful thoughts and gripped with fear about the possibility that mayhem and destruction is right around the corner is one thing, but when those who call themselves Christians let fear and uncertainty grip their heart and control their thoughts and actions, that's quite another. Yes, there are principalities and powers at work in this world, but Christians have One greater who lives within them... the Holy Spirit. We must not allow ourselves to get caught up in all of the hype of this season of change. For years, believers have predicted the date of the Rapture and unbelievers have predicted the destruction of the world, oft times to the determent of those who believed such stories. Neither the rapture nor the earth's destruction have occurred.

We can excuse the unbeliever for predicting the ultimate demise of the planet and everything on it, but can we excuse the believer of believing that the date of Jesus return can be predicted? Jesus said, "But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only." Matthew 24:36  He didn't say, "...knoweth no man, except those who were clever enough to figure it out." No, he said, "...knowth no man... but my Father only." The blood moons and everything else being thrown out there by those believers who have studied God's word, Jewish tradition and world history, doesn't really give us a clue as to when the Rapture will take place. These individuals have absolutely no idea when the Rapture will take place. It's all guesswork. There's not going to be that one believer in Heaven who will be able to say, "Yep, no one else figured it out except me."

Just recently, September 13, 2015 was thrown out there by some Christians who believed that this was the date of the Rapture. That date has since come and gone. Now I understand that some are claiming that the Rapture will occur on September 28th at the next blood moon. does anyone believe that the Lord will return on that date? Let's see a show of hands. Anyone? Let me state this as clearly as I know how. If you are absolutely positive, and believe in your heart, and you know that you know that you know that the Lord will return on a specific date, then you can be positive that you are wrong because Jesus said that no man would know the day nor the hour of His return.

Be honest... how many of us, in the past, have bought in to the idea that the year had finally come for the Lord's return? (I'm raising my hand) That year passed without the Rapture, then the next and the next until we now find ourselves here in the latter part of 2015. Some are positive that this is the year. Really? What happens if and when 2016 rolls around. Will you then be positive that the Rapture will take place in 2016? What if we reach 2017? How positive will you be then that 2017 will be the year of the Rapture?

Even though we don't know the day or the hour, we've been told that we will know the season. Many of us believe that we are in that season even now, but we have no idea how long this season will last. We know that Jesus' arrival is imminent and it could occur at any time, but that's not to say that this season won't last another year or two. I hope that's not the case. I hope that the Lord does return this year, but I'm not going to listen to those believers who lead people on and chose their words to carefully craft a prediction while still weakly claiming that it's just an educated guess. 

While we're here, we have a war to fight. We're here to take back ground from the enemy and to advance the kingdom of God here on earth. We're here to rescue as many saints as possible, while the enemy continues to make his preparations for the coming of his Antichrist. God has Satan hemmed in so that he can only accomplish so much, but when the point is reached where the world is ripe for the great deception that will fall upon them, and when that last brother or sister that God is waiting for has repented of their sin and believes in the One who gave His life for them, then we'll be ripped from this world in a blink of an eye while the full force of evil in this world is released!

There are people out there in the Christian community who will talk about the blood moons, the Jewish Feasts and the "last trump" and who will try to convince us that the blood moons signal catastrophe and that through their study they've concluded that the Jewish feasts and the scripture relating to the "last trump" show that the Rapture will occur on the last day of Rosh Hashanah. These individuals have received monetary gain from the books, videos, charts, posters, etc... that they've sold which make these claims, all the while telling us that they're not date setting. If it's not Rosh Hashanah 2015, then all through next year the date setters will be talking about Rosh Hashanah 2016.  

What they don't tell you is that the Jewish calendar has gone through some changes since Jesus prophetically fulfilled the first four major feast days. Without getting into specifics, the Jewish calendar that was around when Jesus walked this earth isn't the same calendar that they use now. The Jewish calendar used to be based on the lunar cycle, and eye witness accounts of when the new moon appeared, but as I understand it, that was changed in the fourth century when it was changed to a fixed calendar. As you can imagine, those in Jesus' time would be celebrating a holy day on a particular day while those in the fourth century and beyond would be celebrating it on another, since they would be operating under two different systems of marking days and months. The modern calendar allows for the adding and taking away of days so that certain holy days don't fall back to back or on the "wrong day."

The point I'm trying to make concerning these two methods of marking time, is that it makes no sense to try to connect the "last trump" Jesus spoke of with the last trumpet blast of the modern celebration of Rosh Hashanah because it's more than likely that this holy day won't line up with the old lunar calendar. That's why if Jesus was referring to Rosh Hashanah when He made mention of the "last trump," it would most likely be blown on the date that Rosh Hashanah would have ended on in regard to the old Jewish calendar and not the last day of Rosh Hashanah that is marked on the modern Jewish calendar that they use today.

Many of us feel that we are in the season where we are to look up and expect the arrival of the Bridegroom, but it's not a time to panic and believe that every news story is going to lead to the immediate destruction of this nation. Yes, the United States is most likely going to fall, because the greatest and most powerful nation that there has ever been on this planet is found nowhere in biblical prophecy.

Instead of fearing what is to come, we need to prayerfully prepare for what we may need to go through before the Bridegroom arrives. We don't know how bad things are going to get in this world or how bad it's going to be for born again believers before the Tribulation begins. We are already seeing the leading edge of Christian persecution in this country and it's only going to get worse as we get closer to Yeshua's return. 

What's a Christian to do? We need to live each day in it's own time. We need to continue to believe, pray, share, witness, evangelize, teach, etc... We need to continue to depend on God to increase our faith, give us strength, and lead us by His Holy Spirit. Jesus said that His return would be as the great flood occurred in Noah's time. Everyone would be eating and drinking, getting married, and going on with their daily lives. His return will happen suddenly, as a thief in the night. In the blink of an eye we'll be ushered into His presence and our thoughts will no longer be focused on what is happening in the world, but will instead be focused on the One who saved us through His blood on the cross.

You know who I want to meet in heaven? I want to meet that man, woman or child who shares Jesus with that last person who receives salvation before Jesus returns. I want to go up to that saint and say, "Well done," before giving him or her a big hug in appreciation for being so faithful and obedient to God.

Last words: Don't fall into the date setting trap. Live your days one at a time while looking up in anticipation of the arrival of the Bridegroom. One day, when you least expect it, you'll hear that shout and that trumpet blast, and in that moment we'll be home!