By Nathan Jones
Why are people apathetic concerning the return of Christ?
Jesus Christ could be coming back this very year! To ring in this new year, Dr. David Reagan, Dennis Pollock of Spirit of Grace Ministries and I discussed on television's Christ in Prophecy why you should be yearning for the return of Jesus Christ.
Explaining Away the Rapture
Dr. Reagan: Have you ever given any thought as to what kind of explanation will be given by the world after the Rapture happens? When all these people disappear the world surely is going to have some wild explanations as to what happened so as to be able to deceive people.
Dennis Pollock: I'm not sure, but I have a feeling they'll at least be smart enough to figure out it was those religious fanatics who have all disappeared, you know, the ones who talked about Jesus and carried their Bibles around and went to Bible studies. They'll be saying, "I always thought something no good was going to come of those faithful folks. Who knows where they are."
Nathan Jones: You do know that the New Agers would actually be rejoicing when we're gone, for they're expecting the Rapture as much as we are, but they think that Christians are holding back human evolution and have got to go. Once we're gone they'll think that'll be a good thing that's happened. Maybe they'll explain the Rapture away with UFO's or global warming.
Dr. Reagan: True, as a matter of fact in the early 70's books were written by the New Age Movement that said the masters of the universe which are their channeled spirits have revealed to them that a time is coming when they are going to remove from the world all those who live by faith so that those who live by reason can continue in their evolutionary development. I'm sure the New Agers will rush to the microphones and declare, "See, we told you back in 1970's that this would happen."
Apathy Over the Lord's Return
Dr. Reagan: An attitude that seems to dominate the Church today regarding the Lord's return is namely apathy. Why is there so much apathy about the Lord's return when the signs of the times are literally screaming from the heavens that Jesus is about to return?
Dennis Pollock: The Bible says, "faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God." So, if you don't have faith, you may wish you had some faith, but you've got to do more than just wish for some faith. You've got to get into the Word and that faith will grow. That faith will come.
Attraction to anything comes by exposure. The more you are exposed to something the more you become attracted. For example, we've all had songs we first heard and didn't think too much of them, but when we kept on hearing them the more we began to enjoy them, and they may even have become our favorite songs, and all because we'd been exposed to them.
Another example, when I was 19 I decided I was going to enter the world of adults and become a coffee drinker. It just seemed so cool to drink coffee. But, I hated the taste of coffee. I remember being at a friend's house and his dad asked me if I wanted coffee and so all cool I answered, "Yeah, I'd like some coffee." I was thinking I was a big old adult guy now. And so, he gave me this coffee and I took a sip, and instead of being cool my entire goal for that cup of coffee was to drink it without grimacing and making a terrible face! Over time, the more I became exposed to coffee the more I began to like it. And, guess what? Now I can drink a cup of coffee and smile and enjoy it. It goes great with a lot of foods that I enjoy.
We can pretty well agree then that as you become more exposed to anything you become more attracted to it, or at least desensitized to it, if it doesn't have any attractiveness to it at all.
The same continued exposure to the truth of the news that Jesus Christ will return will attract us more to that fact. If you've never thought about it much, and if it's never preached on, if you never read about it, and if you never watch TV programs that are dedicated to that concept, then of course you have no excitement about the return of Christ. You just never will.
It's not enough just to say, "I just don't think much about Jesus' return. I just never have felt much excitement. I guess if the Lord really wants me to get excited He'll just explode it into my heart." No! Get into the Word. Get a red pen and start marking the Scriptures that deal with the return of Christ. Watch programs like Christ in Prophecy. Get a good Bible or Christian books about the return of Christ and read them. Faith and excitement and attraction will then come to you as well. So, that's the primary way to get over the apathy, and that being just to start exposing yourself to this incredible doctrine that saturates the Scriptures — the return of Christ.
Nathan Jones: I believe there are two groups of people. The first group of people are the ones who have been waiting for so long that they've lost their excitement and have given up. They are like a friend of mine who a few years back said she was really excited about Bible prophecy when Hal Lindsey came out with Late Great Planet Earth, but then thirty-some or forty years later, the Lord still hasn't come back. All that excitement, where did it go? After all, Paul was talking about the Rapture 2,000 years ago and it still hasn't happened. We know that these past years in God's perspective is a short time, but for us it's been an eternity, and so we can finally just give up.
The second group can be found in 2 Peter 3, and they are the one's who think the idea of the Rapture is just absurd. We can find them where it says, "First of all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. They will say, 'Where is this coming He promised? Ever since our fathers died everything goes on as since the beginning of creation.'"
The 2 Peter 3:9 text gives us the response to both of these groups when it says, "The Lord is not slow in keeping His promises as some understand slowness. He is patient with you not wanting anyone to perish but everyone to come into repentance." Jesus is waiting so you and me and all the people who will become saved can be part of the Bride of Christ, which is the Universal Church. Just think that if the Lord came 100 years ago you and me wouldn't even exist, so praise the Lord He is patient and waiting!
What We Do While Waiting
Dr. Reagan: Speaking of waiting, what should we do as we wait for the return of the Lord at the Rapture?
Nathan Jones: One of the great things about people who love the Rapture, who understand the Rapture and really get into it, is that they're excited. They're just an excited group of people, and the reason is because it gives them purpose. They understand that they need to be holy. They need to be dedicated to the Lord.
For example, when I come into the house sometimes my kids are watching an extra half hour beyond their time limit. They give you this look that kids give you, that guilty kind of look. Similarly, knowing that God could come at any moment, what's He going to find us doing? Knowing that the Lord will come back at any time gives us a sense to live holy lives.
Dennis Pollock: If you're an unbeliever, obviously there's only one thing for you to do, and that's to be born again. Receive Christ as your Savior so that you will be prepared, because when Christ comes He's coming for people who are exclusively His.
In God's eyes there are only two kinds of people in this world: 1) those who belong to Christ, and 2) those who don't. There is no Partial Rapture which says that if you reach a certain level of holiness then you can be part of the Rapture. Christ is coming for all of His people, and leaving behind all those who are not and subjecting them to His judgment.
If you are a parent and you have children, those children are your children. They are different from every other child on the face of the earth. Those happen to be yours, and your blood is in them. Christ looks on a certain people all across this world — black, white, oriental, hispanic — that are His people because the Holy Spirit lives in them.
If you are not one of His you need to run to the cross of Jesus and believe in Him and be born again. That's your ultimate preparation.
And, if you are a Christian, what you need to do is to abide in Him. John says, "So that when He appears we won't be ashamed before Him at His coming."