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BIBLE PROPHECY
A Beginning of Global Governance - #1 in a series
Prophetic Signs that we are in the End Times
The Earth Charter's Spiritual Agenda - #2 in a Series
The New Age Influence at the United Nations - #3 in a Series
Jesus is the Messiah Prophesied in the Old Testament
Like a Thief in the Night - The Rapture of the Church
The Coming War of Gog and Magog, an Islamic Invasion?
Muslim, Jewish, and Christian Prophecy Comparison
The Millennial Kingdom
There will be False Christs
Is the E.U. the Revived Roman Empire?
Should We Study End-Time Prophecy?
Apostasy and the Laodicean Dilemma
Christian Tracts
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Contender Ministries highly recommends Dr. Gary Frazier's new book "It Could Happen Tomorrow - Future Events That will Shake the World".  This is a must read for every Christian, and will be an invaluable guide to the end-times for anyone interested in Bible prophecy.

 

This book will not only inform you, it will inspire you and challenge you to increased evangelistic consciousness, greater missionary concern, and a desire to live a holy life in an unholy age.
    - Tim Lahaye, co-author of the New York Times Bestselling Series Left Behind

How Will You Be Found?


 

Contender Ministries


 

Every day we hear of someone whose life was suddenly and unexpectedly cut short.  They may have been fishing, teaching a class, driving to the grocery store for some milk, riding a bicycle, digging a trench, or “keeping the peace” in some distant land.  Without warning, their life on earth has come to an end.  For Christians, we can be assured that such an event will bring us into the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.  For the lost, such an event seals their fate, wrought by their refusal to recognize the Lordship of Jesus Christ.  We also look towards an event that will take believers from earth in an equally sudden and unexpected way.

ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW

The Bible teaches us that Jesus will return without warning – like a thief in the night (1 Thessalonians 5:2) – to take His children to be with Him.  In Matthew 24:36-41, Jesus said, “No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left. Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left.”  Unlike the tribulation period and Christ’s return to set up His millennial Kingdom, the rapture is a sign-less event – nothing in prophecy will warn us of its impending occurrence.  In fact, as I write this, I am aware that I may not be around to finish this article.  As Christians, we know that unbelievers should be aware that their time remaining to decide whether to follow Jesus is unpredictably brief.  But as Christians, we should also pause to examine our lives and our churches in this light.


Every now and then I consider that I could die suddenly, or we could be raptured just as suddenly.  I then consider how ready I am to stand before my Savior.  Will He find me doing His will, or will He find me living selfishly, ignoring my duties as a servant of Christ.  When I face Him, I want to be unashamed of how I am living.  I want to be busy doing His will.  From the passage above, Jesus went on to say, “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him” (Matthew 24:42-44). 

What should every Christian, regardless of age, gender, nationality, and vocation be doing?  Living righteously, and daily imitating the example of Christ is certainly commanded of us.  Yet we have other commandments that too many of us are prone to ignore.  In Matthew 28:19-20, Jesus left us with the Great Commission: “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.”  There’s much more.  In Matthew 9:37-38, Jesus said, “Then he said to his disciples, ‘The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.’”  As Jesus called His disciples, He told them He would make them “fishers of men” (Matthew 4:18-20).  What great imagery!  Jesus shows the unbelieving world as a crop to be harvested, and fish to be caught.  Remember the context of Jesus’ words when He called Simon Peter and his brother Andrew.  They were casting their nets into the sea – they were professional fishermen.  We’re not talking about when I tie a lure or a #18 Pink Squirmer (a nightcrawler) to my fishing line in order to catch a few trout or salmon.  These brothers were not pleasure fishing, nor after a couple of panfish.  They cast nets to catch a large number of fish.  Taking this in context then, we’re called not to be amateur gardeners or pleasure fishermen; we are to seek to harvest a large number of souls for Jesus.  In his book Laymen No Longer, author Jeff Rast writes, “All believers are called to ministry, therefore all are ministers.”1 He goes on to say, “We are all to minister for Christ full-time, 24 hours a day, every day of our lives whether we get paid to do it or not.”2 Regarding the Great Commission, Rast says, “This ministry of making disciples is the one ministry that we cannot do in heaven.  This great command given to all of us by Jesus is not to be some sideline we pursue as time allows.  It is to permeate and underlie all our relationships with the people in our lives.”3 

In spite of the biblical directives for all of us to evangelize, too many of us relegate that responsibility to our churches.  As a child, I remember the annual visits by the missionaries our church supported financially.  They would give a presentation on how they were spending the money we gave them, and would ask for our continued support.  In return, we got to sit comfortably in our pews, feeling good about ourselves for being such good Christians.  This evangelism by proxy suited us well.  After all, it was easier to write a small check than to be expected to actually share the gospel personally with those we encounter.  Our church had no community outreaches to speak of.  Church was viewed as a venue strictly for uplifting feel-good sermons – a chance to be reassured that we were good and right.  Since then, I’ve had the pleasure of attending churches with active outreach programs.  They see the church as a vehicle for equipping, training, and encouraging the believers to fulfill the Great Commission during the remaining 166 hours of the week.

Yes, Christ will likely come for His church sooner than we think.  We won’t know when, but it will certainly be sudden.  As you ponder your upcoming meeting with our Savior, think about how you want Him to find you.  Do you want to skate through life, ruffling no feathers, making no waves, and presenting Christ with no fruits of the harvest?  Or do you want Him to find a servant, busy at work in the Lord’s harvest of souls?

NOTES:

1.      Jeff Rast, Laymen No Longer: A Call to a More Biblical View of the People of God (1st Books, 2003), p. 20.

2.      Ibid., p. 40.

3.      Ibid., p. 75.