Recently I have been reading a book by Dr. David Jeremiah entitled, Agents Of the Apocalypse.
It’s not new information to me, but it is written around the characters of the Apocalypse rather than around the events of those days; So the presentation is fresh.
One of the events that Jeremiah mentions a few times in the course of his writing is the “Great falling away” that takes place before the rapture of the church. The good Dr. goes out of his way to dispel the thought that we might be in for a mighty end-time revival before the “catching away of the saints” which the New Testament mentions so many times within its pages. He states clearly that his belief is that no revival comes before the rapture. In fact he indicates that just the opposite seems to be laid out by the New Testament writers.
Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, 13but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. Ma 24:12,13
Now, brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, we ask you, 2 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[a] had come. 3 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[b] is revealed, the son of perdition 2 Thess. 2:3,4
Now I have to admit that I am a little hazy as to whether these Scriptures refer to the time just before the rapture of the church or if they refer to the time the Bible calls the Tribulation.
BUT WHAT IF DR. JEREMIAH IS RIGHT? WHAT IF IN THE DAYS TO COME THERE IS NO GREAT REVIVAL? WHAT DOES THAT MEAN FOR MINISTRY?
One of the things I know about myself as an American is that I am truly results driven. I am culturally predisposed to gauge the success of my life in terms of measurable outcomes. My definition of a job well done is one that increases some item in my bottom line. But I am coming to realize that while that is how success is defined in America, it is not necessarily how it is defined in God’s economy.
God spoke to the prophet Jeremiah (not to be confused with Dr. David Jeremiah) and said,
“When you tell them all this, they will not listen to you; when you call to them, they will not answer. 28Therefore say to them, ‘This is the nation that has not obeyed the Lord its God or responded to correction. Truth has perished; it has vanished from their lips. Jeremiah 7:27,28
Jeremiah was called to prophesy, to minister, to give up his freedom and eventually his life for the nation of Judah. But he was told in advance that his ministry was not going to bring about any positive results such as national conversion, repentance or revival. To him was given the task of being a witness against a nation even though it would not change the course of that nation.
My Pastor likes to say, “God always has a witness. Sometimes that witness produces repentance and sometimes it’s just a witness against a person or group of people so that when they are judged by God they can never say, ‘I never knew… no one ever told me…'”
It’s great that God always has a witness. It’s kind of fun to be a witness when your witness is well received. But I have to admit to be a witness when it yields no positive results can feel a bit like beating your head against a concrete wall.
All this leaves me wondering, am I willing to leave behind my understanding of success and my desire for personal triumph for the kingdom of God? What if serving God faithfully in this generation does not produce a great end times revival? Am I willing to serve as a witness faithfully EVEN IF it does not produce the fruit of repentance and revival I desire? Am I willing to be faithful to the end and spend all my strength for Jesus EVEN IF the only result is a great falling away?
How about you?