These are days in which many among God’s people are awakening to a growing sense of sobriety concerning the end of the age. While it is not popular to intentionally speak of the prophetic description of the events that comprise the end-times, it is perhaps the most necessary message with which the Church must get reacquainted. The Book of Revelation is still in the bible, and it still includes very specific descriptions of the future for planet earth and her inhabitants. Frankly, what is written in many prophetic passages in our bibles reveals an extreme, radical shattering of illusions headed our way. The future of this planet is promised by God to be cataclysmic. We who believe the Bible know this to be true, but are we actually remaining consciously aware of it? Or, have we fallen into slumber? While it is not my purpose in this post to detail any timelines or even to specifically unpack the radical nature of the occurrences that will find us, I do want to write just enough to intentionally wake us up. Consider this my mini-alarm. I hope we do not continue to hit the snooze button.
“You are all children of light, children of the day. We are not of the night or of the darkness. So then let us not sleep, as others do, but let us keep awake and be sober. For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, are drunk at night. But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and for a helmet the hope of salvation.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:5-8
The Apostle Paul wrote the words above to Christians. He was not warning unbelievers, but true followers of Jesus who had committed their lives to Him. First Thessalonians chapter five is one of many passages that address the end of the age, the Second Coming of Jesus Christ to planet earth – that coming event that is ominously referred to as the Day of the Lord. Paul reminds them that the end of the age will be characterized by people who presumptuously and dogmatically declare that things are good and only going to get better. They tout peace and security…and then the world gets shockingly, unexpectedly hammered by the Lord Jesus coming as a thief who arrives unannounced in the dark of night. That is how Scripture refers to the end of the age. People will be living for ease and presuming it will continue and then – bam! – a series of events begin to unfold that completely exchange our views about life on earth. So, what does Paul tell the Christian to do? Well, go back and read the verses above. He reminds them that they are those who have been given spiritual light in which they are to daily live. It is their responsibility to keep their hearts and minds vigilant and sober. They are not to live in spiritual slumber as those who are citizens of perpetual darkness. Christians, Paul writes, belong to the day. Because of this, they are to live sobered-up lives, retaining an undiminished awareness of the greater reality to come. Faith, love and hope are to govern their present lives as they intentionally live with guiding awareness of the coming Day of the Lord.
If it was true for them 2,000 years ago, we should much more feel the intensity of what Paul was communicating.
Christians, we need a baptism of sobriety because we, with seemingly little distinction from those who do not profess faith in Jesus, have become intoxicated with:
- Self – whatever validates our natural instinct to place ourselves in the center of our own orbit
- Success – whatever makes us feel valid according to the present spirit of the age
- Sex – what brings us pleasure and/or power
- Status – what assures us that we are keeping up with or outpacing others
- Security – what convinces us that we are safely insulated for another day
These intoxicating elements of our culture are trying to seep into your life today. It’s in the atmosphere you breathe. It is the ammunition of Satan which he and his demonic army fire at all of us. Our own flesh, should we allow ourselves to live independently of the Spirit, will actually want these five things I have listed. These things (and likely a whole host of other influences) are being served to us like an open-bar invitation for us to come and drink our fill. The call of God is for the Church to immediately sober up. We are to exit the patterns that proceed from the dark, and we are to intentionally, soberly walk out the remainder of our days in the Light. Before the return of Jesus, God will allow an incomprehensible, irresistible spirit of delusion (2 Thessalonians 2:11) to be facilitated by Satan against the inhabitants of earth. So strong will this deception be that only “the elect” of God will triumph over it (Matthew 24:24). The saved, sobered and submitted will never fall prey to the deception released at the end of the age. According to Jesus, everyone else most definitely will succumb to its effects. I will boldly say that the initial stages of this deception are already seasoning this generation. This spiritual carbon monoxide is already initiating a deceptive slumber in the earth.
And the Church seems scarcely aware of it.
Wake up, Christian friend. Examine your own life. Are you thinking about the end of the age? Are you informed and responding to what Scripture reveals? Comparatively speaking, we are living in the easiest of days between now and what is to come. We cannot afford to allow that ease to turn into a nap.
We need to wake up. We must sober-up.
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