How We Can Prepare for the Last Days Before Christ’s Return

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I was raised in a pastor’s home – so this means I have been surrounded by Christians my entire life.

And being surrounded by Christians means that the topic of the last days has been one that I’ve heard discussed and preached from every angle.

From hell, fire, and brimstone to “greasy grace” – ensuring that just about everyone gets to heaven somehow.

Family outside pointing to the sky

What concerns me now is the very dismissive way people talk about Jesus’ very imminent return when you point to rapid-fire natural disasters and overall unrest around the world.

As if to say, “Yeah, yeah. They’ve said he’s coming soon in every generation.”

This, itself, is a sign that Jesus’ return is literally just around the corner. Peter said that when people would laugh off those who follow the signs of the end times, saying that every generation is the same story. (2 Peter 3:4)

The truth is, we don’t know when Jesus will return; but God – throughout His Word – has left us signs for us to follow that will help us discern just how close or far away it is.

Jesus referred to this when He said, “When it is evening you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red’; and in the morning, ‘It will be foul weather today, for the sky is red and threatening.’ Hypocrites! You know how to discern the face of the sky, but you cannot discern the signs of the times.”

In my post Nothing On Earth Can Protect Us From What Is to Come, we wrapped out our study in Isaiah 1-23.

We saw how dangerous it is to trust in science and worldly wisdom for protection because as Christians we know that God has gone before us and won our battles.

And I am firmly convinced that in the months ahead, we will need to remind ourselves of this daily because the persecution of the church has already begun.

And it will only grow more and more severe.

As we move in our study, continuing on with Isaiah 24-43, we are immediately met with a graphic description of God’s judgment of the earth.

The earth mourns and fades away, the world languishes and fades away;
The haughty people of the earth languish. The earth is also defiled under its inhabitants, because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant. Therefore the curse has devoured the earth, and those who dwell in it are desolate. Therefore the inhabitants of the earth are burned, and few men are left. Isaiah 24:4-6

I don’t know about you, but this sounds so familiar!

People defiling the earth with sin, breaking laws, changing ordinances, breaking God’s covenant – this is a picture of every country on earth today.

And God promises to send judgment.

But how do we, as God’s people, prepare for these last days before Christ comes and raptures the church?

1. Keep your mind on Christ

You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You. Trust in the Lord forever, for in YAH, the Lord, is everlasting strength. Isaiah 26:3-4

It is very easy to allow fear and anxiety to fill our hearts as we read the news and follow the events going on around the world today.

From political corruption to the pandemic; from job losses and economic decline to rampant natural disasters and threats of war.

Jesus addressed this: “For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows. Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another.” Matthew 24:7-10

Again – this sounds so much like today!

One nation coming against another nation, famine, natural disasters, persecution….and everyone is so offended all the time.

And then Jesus said in verse 13, “But he who endures to the end will be saved.”

How do we endure?

We refuse to allow the unrest and drama of this world affect our peace. When our heart is stayed upon Christ, His peace fills our hearts with a peace that nothing in this world can take away.

And the foundation for that peace is complete trust in Him.

2. Stay sober

But they also have erred through wine, and through intoxicating drink are out of the way; the priest and the prophet have erred through intoxicating drink, they are swallowed up by wine, they are out of the way through intoxicating drink; they err in vision, they stumble in judgment. For all tables are full of vomit and filth; no place is clean. Isaiah 28:7-8

Dear sister, can I tell you something?

Our culture is probably one of the most addictive cultures in all of history. Addicted to technology, entertainment, food, sex, drugs, alcohol, pornography, perversion, money, thrills, and indulgence of every kind.

This addiction has utterly overtaken the church and the pulpits all over the world.

Every year, pastors and Christian leaders are exposed for having substance abuse addictions, illicit affairs, and underhanded business dealings.

This intoxication has led to the complete and utter defilement of the church — the very institution God raised up to be the beacon of righteousness in a dark world.

Dear sister – we must stay sober!

We must not allow the enticements of this world — the distraction of media and technology, the temptation of sexual sin, and the trap of hedonistic pleasures to intoxicate our hearts and warp the righteous judgment God has placed there!

We remain sober by daily filling our hearts with God’s Word and renewing our minds continually.

Your word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You. Psalm 119:11

3. Check your foundation

Because you have said, “We have made a covenant with death, and with Sheol we are in agreement. When the overflowing scourge passes through, it will not come to us, for we have made lies our refuge, and under falsehood we have hidden ourselves.” Therefore thus says the Lord God: Behold, I lay in Zion a stone for a foundation, a tried stone, a precious cornerstone, a sure foundation; whoever believes will not act hastily. Also I will make justice the measuring line, and righteousness the plummet; the hail will sweep away the refuge of lies, and the waters will overflow the hiding place. Your covenant with death will be annulled, and your agreement with Sheol will not stand; when the overflowing scourge passes through, then you will be trampled down by it. As often as it goes out it will take you; for morning by morning it will pass over, and by day and by night; it will be a terror just to understand the report. For the bed is too short to stretch out on, and the covering so narrow that one cannot wrap himself in it. Isaiah 28:15-20

The rulers in that day didn’t have faith in God to save and protect them from death, so they turned to death and Sheol and made alliances with them.

And sadly, we see this happening a lot in the church.

Many Christian leaders fear cancel culture more than they fear God, so they make “foreign alliances” with ecumenism, woke culture, and LGBTQ, hoping that being progressive will protect them.

They put their trust in the “bed coverings” of modern science and psychology rather than Biblical principles and the truth of God’s Word.

But God said, “Your covenant with death will be annulled, and your agreement with Sheol will not stand; when the overflowing scourge passes through, then you will be trampled down by it.” Isaiah 26:18

These alliances have feet of clay.

Only those who stand on the sure foundation and the precious cornerstone of Jesus Christ will stand!

We need no other alliance, no other protection but Him.

The storm of cancel culture may wage against us, and by every standard, it may seem like it will overcome us, but God, in His Word, promises that the flood will not drown us and the fire will not consume us because He is on our side!

4. Check your soil

Does the plowman keep plowing all day to sow? Does he keep turning his soil and breaking the clods? When he has leveled its surface, does he not sow the black cummin and scatter the cummin, plant the wheat in rows, the barley in the appointed place, and the spelt in its place? Isaiah 28:24-25

What is the soil of your heart made of? Matthew 13:18-23

Has it been trampled with the noise of media and technology tracking through it all day?

Is it filled with the rocks and stones of the counsel of the ungodly and the philosophies of this world?

Is it choked with worry and anxiety; distractions and busyness?

Or is it plowed and ready to receive the seed of God’s Word that will give out the fruit of the Spirit in your life?

Dear sister – it’s time to check the soil of our hearts.

Are we ready for these last days?

Are our lamps trimmed and are we watching and waiting, or have we allowed ourselves to become distracted with everything else going on around us?

It is time, dear sister. It is time to focus our mind on Christ, remain sober, established on the firm foundation of Christ, and with a heart freshly plowed and ready to bear good fruit.

Rosilind
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