The world is entering into a time unlike any we have ever seen. No, we are not just entering it, we are neck-deep in it. I know, I have been watching, waiting, analyzing and digging into prophetic studies for decades. My very first Bible study ever was on the book of Revelation, and if “you are what you eat” applies to spiritual things, well it’s no wonder the Lord got a hold of my heart to embrace the things to come with joy and anticipation.
But not everyone embraces this often weighty topic with joy; in fact, more and more I get a reaction resembling fear and even panic. The Fear Factor as it relates to prophecy is a very real condition, and I don’t want to make light of it because I don’t take it lightly. But I do want to offer some gentle suggestions to those who struggle with a very real sense of foreboding at the thought that ‘the end is near’, with it’s accompanying birth pangs and global tragedies as outlined in the Scriptures.
Having been involved in a ministry for many years that stays on the cutting edge of Bible prophecy, I have learned that there are only 2 responses that stir in the heart of a believer when they hear that time is short, and that the human race is headed for certain “unpleasant” events on our way to redemption and the consummation of all things. As I said, some respond with excitement, joy, and a rush of adrenaline that usually leads to a voracious appetite for “more of that”. If a believer grew up in a denominational tradition that never acknowledged the Bible’s tendency to predict the future with 100% accuracy, these Christians tend to react with the most incredulity that they were kept out of the Revelation loop for so long. I was one of those who was religious but spoon-fed only those things my denomination deemed palatable or necessary for my possible redemption at my last breath. Note, I said, ‘possible’ redemption. They never really knew the way to San Jose after all, it turns out.
But here I wish to address those who feel great discomfort at the mention of certain events on the prophetic horizon. Things like global government and the accompanying dictatorship, famine, pestilences, wars, and financial insecurities or all-out ruin. The natural response to threats such as these would be fear, as we are all hard-wired to survive and give all we have for our lives. The Bible says that those who are on the earth at that season will literally experience their hearts failing out of fear of what is coming on the planet.
But the key word here is: natural response. As in, the “natural man”, or unregenerate, or fleshly. To all those Christians who struggle with a fear response to any solid case presented for prophetic fulfillment, you need to know that while your response is natural and understandable, it is not biblical. There are many things in life that scare us out of our wits, and we will feel fear, sometimes daily. But feeling it, and acting on that fear or living by it is not the proper choice for the believer in Jesus Christ, those to whom have been given the keys to the Kingdom – to come. Not an earthly kingdom. This world is passing away, rapidly, and we look forward to the one in which righteousness dwells. This should be good news to all those who are vexed by the lack of righteousness and justice in this life.
But in order for that to happen, God has deemed it necessary that planet earth endure some serious birth pangs as the sin of mankind reaches its fullness, making His judgments righteous and pure, to His praise and glory. Wow, I can get pretty wound up at the thought. I am so looking forward to the day Christ returns in His glory. But I digress – sort of.
Let me propose a perspective that might help anyone struggling with this ‘fear factor’.
Let’s say for the sake of my case here that there are people that God has actually given the task of sounding the trumpet and letting folks know just how late the hour is, and in exercising these gifts, also exhorts them to live their lives in such a way that they really believe that time is short.
2Peter 3:11 suggests that this is exactly what a right perspective should be when we see the handwriting on the wall. “Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness.” In other words, when we realize that things could be winding down, we should live like we believe it and thus accomplish even more for the kingdom than if we believe we have all the time in the world.
With me so far?
Now let’s say you have a chance to hear a well thought-out prophecy presentation, one that brings forth ample evidence, based on Scripture and solid research, that we are edging closer and closer to that time of which the Bible speaks. But perhaps you are one of those who tends to keep your distance from prophetic topics because it is distressing. But maybe on that day there is someone – perhaps a friend or relative of yours – listening in who sees their lost state, understands that they don’t have all the time in the world after all, and receives Christ before it’s too late. Would you say then that the presentation was meant to terrify, or that the Holy Spirit was truly convicting and working? I have no doubt that countless people have gotten saved thanks to a well-timed and well done prophetic Bible study.
I know many myself, as a matter of fact.
I had the “hell” scared out of me reading the Book of Revelation. Chapter 3 to be exact.
Thank you faithful pastor for teaching that book.
But if you still think prophecy is merely frightening and has no other value that you can see, think about this: what if no one was watching these things, what if no one was warning? What would the Church be like? Even as fewer and fewer give heed to the times, we can see a great lukewarmness, and social gospel of ‘purpose’ infiltrating and taking over the body of Christ, to her great peril. But what if no one bothered to address the times in any way? Would you feel more comfortable, or would you at some point be indignant that no one told you in love which end was up? If you want to send a loved one to hear a church service in the hopes they will give their lives to Christ, where do you send them? If all they got was a feel-good seeker doughnut instead of a full breakfast of the gospel, would you be angry that your loved one was not challenged spiritually and simply allowed to simmer in their own sin? It seems more and more that even believers fail to understand what the Church of Jesus Christ even exists for.
As we do get closer, more and more signs will be in place and more and more evidence will present itself that the Bible is the pure word of truth. This is a guarantee. It is not meant to make us feel good, however. So what should our response be as children of the One who has all things in His grasp?
The Bible warns us of these things so we can know what to expect. We are told that when we see these things BEGIN to take place, (implying we will be watching all along if we are believers) we are to look up, lift up our heads (not bow them down in fear) and rejoice because our redemption is nigh. We are told to comfort one another with the blessed hope of the rapture. Fear indicates we do not trust our Lord with the events coming upon the earth, that He should come up with a different method or plan as this one does not suit us or keep our comfort zone in tact. It could also indicate a closer connection to this life than we ought to have, a love for our lives that could indicate that the things of heaven are farther from our thinking than they should be. Lukewarmness? Maybe. Only the fearful know that in their hearts, I am not their Holy Spirit. But if you are one of those who reacts with fear instead of excitement or joy, I would encourage you to set your affections above, and count all things loss for the sake of Christ. This life is but a vapor, eternity is, well, forever. And only by keeping our eyes on Jesus hour by hour can we avoid the carnality of reacting with fear at the thought of His soon return.
Rev 19:10b – “Worship God! For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.”
2Timothy 1:7 – “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”
– Mary Danielsen
THE SOURCE (Alternative to the force)
As I sit here and think
At times I wonder
From where do they come
These thoughts in my head
Thoughts and Spirits
Have much in common
You can see neither
But both control your life
So if thoughts come from Spirits
Of which the are two kinds
What is the source
That controls YOUR mind
Mary: just discovered your site thru Olive Tree Views, my testimony parallels yours, became a believer in 1983 and the Lord placed me at feet of one of the greatest teaching pastors of our generation and like you I ran straight to the book of Revelation/bible prophecy. my radar began to percolate in 1991 and the rest is history. I live in San Francisco since 1991 and ask me if there’s a church fit to go to here – no, and I work p/t for a Christian ministry org., and not a word ever about what’s happening or anything at all that “would be” akin to gloom and doom – plus I find that most are beyond biblically illiterate (catholics are Christians too for example – much of that in all the churches), so thanks for your fab. site/writings.
Well bless your heart. It’s always great to hear of people who are staying the course in these tough times in both the church and the world. It’s perilous times on steroids! I read a Dave Hunt book in 1985 and found out there are things to beware of in the church. Ever since I keep my radar up too : )
A great site and radio program out of Green Bay, near me, is Stand Up for the Truth at 9AM central Mon – Fri. Kinda early for you but podcasts are available. Very encouraging they are. http://www.standupforthetruth.com for podcasts or to listen live if you are up and going by that hour.
“Blessed is the man who reads aloud the word of this prophecy; and blessed are those who hear it and who keep themselves true to the things which are written in it for the time is near.” ~Revelation 1:3
A fit word for the times. Thanks!!
I’ve had my bags packed since the age of nine. I am 67 now and am still watching and waiting for the moment to be rescued from this dirt ball. One way or the other my soul belongs to Jesus. He IS our only salvation.
Wow – a woman after my own heart. I love prophesy and have a difficult time finding others (including my Pastor) who understands my passion. I also love the Book of Revelation and all that relates to it. So thankful for your participation in Olive Tree Ministries – which I just discovered about a year ago and really enjoy.
I too feel discouraged about not finding a church that tells
Us to be ready. Thanks for sharing this and hope many seek the truth. Praise God I know the way of the cross.
Thank you Mary … A message of love and truth amidst the fear and lies of the world … is it possible to subscribe to your posts via email not rss ?
Thank you Mary … A message of love and truth amidst the fear and lies of the world … is it possible to subscribe to your posts via email not rss ? Sorry my link wasn’t working in first reply.
this is a good question…stand by.
Good for you : ) Staying the course and watching the skies. I wish every Christian did that. ::sigh::
Keep looking up, even if you get a stiff neck : ) He is surely at the door.
Awesome sight from 23rd Dec 2012 By Gods grace i rededicated and gave my heart back to my Lord & Saviour Jesus (It was always His to begin with i thort i knew better wrong!) The Lord thru His beautiful Holy Spirit has revealed so much and re-instilled a hunger for Escatology, Biblical Prophesy and its been a joy and honor to come across many dedicated Christians that have given much time to keep many of us up to date with whats happening in this world & yes we continue to lift up our heads looking up knowing our redemption draws nigh. Sadly many churches aren’t teaching their flocks about the times fast approaching but seek the Lord and He will always show you the way. I listen to pastor JD farag on Utube every week. It won’t be long bride of Christ we’ll be going home. “Glory to God”.
Awesome blog! How can I keep up to date with your blog? I clicked the subscribe button but it didn’t seem to work.
I’d really like to keep up with your postings!
Thanks Mary,due to personal circumstances and shift work ,I rarely get to go to church.People like you help keep me sane.Enjoy Olive Tree Ministry,s and Chuck Missler from K House as well.
Bless you and keep up the good work.
There is going to be some really cool people to talk to when we get home to be with our King!
Bless your heart. His coming must surely be soon. Such days we live in.
Still sorting this out…..
I did have some fear of this before studying Revelation. First prophecy conference was in July 2010 with Jimmy DeYoung. But I still do struggle with this for a few reasons, if I may share.
There is no fellowship of the Body of Christ in my area, so comforting each other with this knowledge is hard to do at best over the internet, where I do most of my fellow-shipping with brothers and sisters in Christ.
My husband and two sons are not saved
Fear of the process, but excited to see the Word of God come true.
Fearful that I will fail Him at the last moment. That my faith is but a false conversion
A thirst for righteousness and justice that may make me feel anger towards others when all I want to do is love them with the same love we get from Jesus
Disappointment with those who profess Christ, but do not follow Him.
My constant struggle with sin and being too vexed to be in prayer.
Fear to share the Gospel when I know I should, but also not sure with whom I can share it since I am a woman in the Church and cannot preach to men.
I have so many questions because coming out of an apostate church, I need to know the truth (correction) and I hunger for more, but do not know where to go in the Word of God to find the answers.
Like, where is the account of Jesus’ decent into “the bosom of Abraham?, when he died on the cross? There is so much misinformation that I am shy about believing anything.
I think I was given the Holy Spirit, but not sure. Hopeless huh?
your sister in Christ Jesus
Cherie….thanks for writing.
You struggle with the very same things everyone does at one point or another. We are in a race, but we walk one day at a time and as we grow in His grace, we grow in His peace and assurance. Some of these things, if you are worried about them, that can be a good thing – such as if you are worried about not being a true convert you probably are a true convert. People who are not really saved rarely worry about that. Now, the devil himself, if you let him, will continue to accuse, nag, and otherwise discourage you from believing God loves you and has saved you. Don’t let the enemy steal your joy or make you unproductive for the kingdom. He loves loves to do that. That said, all your peace is but a prayer away. We are to pray immediately when these things come in and give them to the Lord…pray about everything. Cherie, can you remember a day that you repented and received Christ? If not, do it right away. Ask Him for forgiveness of sin and eternal life. Then He will send the Holy Spirit and give you peace. Fight that battle in the spiritual realm, fight it with prayer and wait for His peace. Then walk in it. He doesn’t dangle salvation in front of us but offers it freely. There will be a battle in your mind till you die but you must bring every thought captive unto truth. Do not let the enemy accuse. This battle between your old nature and the new will rage every day. If you are not in a war, you should be concerned.
If you have a question about where a verse is, just google it. You can type it in a search and it comes right up. Or go to blueletterbible.com and search, read, explore to your heart’s content. Do not read commentaries at this time! Only the Word to get grounded and rooted deeply. Commentaries are what God showed someone else. Time for those much later. Cults twist Scripture, so you pray, then read. And read. And read. The bible that is : ) More importantly than that, read through the entire bible, and get the big picture. All your questions will be answered. You can start in Genesis and go from there, or do some Genesis and some N.T. each day. A systematic understanding of Scriptures is of the UTMOST.
Prophecy: it both scares and excites us all. God’s patience is unto salvation for our loved ones; He is not late but right on time. He wills that none would perish as do we all. But prophecy fulfillment might just get some people off the fence! : )
You can tune in online to a church that teaches the bible. We have services every Sun 8:30 and 10:30, and Wed 6:30; we are in Job currently. It’s live at ccappleton.org.
Or Calvary Chapel Broomfield with Richie Furay; or any number of great churches that offer live services online for those with no close church. Calvary Chapels tend to be the only ones that teach systematically through the bible. We must be fed or we will wither and die of discouragement. Press on my dear! the Lord is near. Write any time.
Mary I love your articles, so needful in this late hour, praise the Lord what He has given you,but I would love to be able to email them To friends but I see no share connection or are you not allowing this? Would love to do so.Much love,Teresa
I need to look into that. Thanks.