The Bible that tells us to occupy till He comes also tells us to look on for the coming of the Lord. Doing one without the other makes you an unbalanced believer and it is exactly the scenario that we have in the body of Christ today. For those of us who are wont to quickly lookout for the end time dimension of every major event in the world, COVID-19 is our perfect opportunity to see which of the biblical prophecies is been fulfilled or is about to be fulfilled at this time in human history! And there are those who think we are paranoid and who are quick to dismiss times in history like this and people like us who preach it loud: "the end of times are here, the world is ending, Jesus is coming soon".

This other camp are the ones who are preoccupied with 'occupying till the Lord comes' that they have become so occupied with occupying that they forget the last part of that statement: " till the Lord comes". In their thoughts they are not mindful of the Lord:s coming, and are quick to rebuke the others who seem to see the end of the world in every major world event.  And there are those who are even quick to point out that the antichrist is here and that corona is actually 666! Funny and extreme as it may sound but yet there are merits even in their bogus claim. I have been a student of Bible prophecies and end time world events to say that even though the antichrist is yet to reveal his personality and will not until the church is raptured, but yet even today the antics of the antichrist are already everywhere!

The Bible says in 2 Thessalonians 2:7

For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let until he is taken out of the way

The antichrist is the man of iniquity and His spirit is already at work even today. The personality of the antichrist will not be revealed until the church is raptured! This is for sure, but the system, structure, and mechanism that will guarantee his manifestation and his government when he eventually reveals himself are already been put in place today. I can write a whole book on this drawing from the Bible and world events, but that is not the point of this blog post. What I just did here was to quickly point out that even with the extreme views of people who says the antichrist is here, there is some certain truth to their claim and even in their supposed foolishness and extremity are better than those who are quick to dismiss their 'conspiracy theories'!

Conspiracy theories? I won't be surprised if people say that as they are not steep and deep in Bible prophecies. We know the motivational part of the scriptures that promises us prosperity and breakthrough, but when it comes to the book of Revelations that deals with the end of humanity and end time events we are lost! Modern-day believers don't even know the difference between the rapture and the second coming of Christ! Not their fault; they were never taught! Let me get back to my original train of thought.

There were so many angles to the second world war depending on how you want to look at it. The war started without America but ended with America dropping those atomic cakes at Nagasaki and Hiroshima. And there was Britain and France slugging it out with Germany in that Battle of Britain and which culminated in the Normandy invasion of the allied forces called the D-day! On the eastern side of Germany, Russia who at the beginning of the war had been pegged back by the Germans were slowly but surely regaining their grounds against the Nazis. And not to forget that American soldiers were also locked in the battle of the Pacifics with the Japanese, the end of which was that historical bomb drop! For the second world war, shots and guns and bombs were been fired on every side. But even then, the whole world was not shut down! The farthest the war went in Africa must be in Egypt and Algeria and I remember the great battle of El Alamein led by General Montgomery!

It was world war two, guns were been fired on many fronts and yet the world did not totally shut down as we have it today. About 65 years after no single shot has been fired and yet the whole world is shut down, our streets are empty, everyone is staying at home. And according to someone, this is the "weirdest time of his life". It is not just weird, to some it is scary! It could be the end of the world! Right?

But whatever the devil planned is been used for God's glory! I am not sure he anticipated that stopping people from going to church will never stop people from going to God! Today people are not going to church but they are going to God! They are crying out to him more than ever! There was a supposed video clip of people in Spain out on the streets calling and crying to God! The devil never thought that this period of shutting down will become times of prayer and fasting for many of us! Also, this time has made people start examining the times that we are in: is the end of the world upon us? Are these the end times? Is the antichrist truly ready to manifest? And a lot more questions that are burning on people's mind is what I will try to answer in this blog post!

From what I have analyzed so far there are those who think the end of times is not near yet. These are the ones who are more concerned about how the world economy or business will look after the post COVID era, they are more concerned about the opportunities that will arise, the new models of operation, how the internet will likely take over everywhere, how will may all likely work from home and never need a real office, and there are those who talk of the virtual church, that is talk for another day. There is nothing wrong with this perspective, we should all have it, on the lookout for the new ways our lives will be altered in the future and how we are to adapt to the coming changes that the new world order will bring!

Yet there are those who apart from having the first thought above are also thinking what if this is the end of the age, what if this is the end of times, what if in the next two years the church will be raptured, what if the new world order coming disrupt business more than we actually project it would? These ones are paying attention to the news behind the news! They don't just see the number of COVID deaths that are rising they are also paying attention to the call by the UN for a global one-world economy. They are paying attention to the fact that the POPE in the last one year has been making moves for a one-world religion! They are paying attention to the emerging digital currency which may be preferred by everyone in the world after this time. Haven't we been told that COVID -19 can stay on money, on our ATM card, so who wants to use such after these times? They are looking at all of these events in the light of Bible prophecies, Bible prophecies that say all of the world economies, currency and religion will first be unified before the antichrist comes!

These are the two mentalities out there today! The balanced believer is the one who approaches the times we are in with the two, occupying till the Lord comes by watching out for emerging trends in the marketplace, but also at the same time not losing sight of the truth that the rapture and the second coming of Christ may be imminent. Or have we not been told to live our lives as strangers here on earth!

These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth  Hebrews 11: 13.

This was the attitude of our fathers in the faith and so should be ours, they live as strangers and pilgrims on the earth! Paul told us expressly that are our conversations should be of the heaven

For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ. (Phillipians 3:20)

Why is this so? It is because our hope is laid up for us is in heaven. Colossians 1:5 tells us,

For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel

And that is why if our hope is only in this world we are most of all men miserable!

As we look to establish our dominion on earth our thought must also and always be towards our permanent place of citizenship and residence in heaven. Living in the consciousness of this, will not allow us to get lost in the world and with the world!

The believers who are quick to dismiss end times tales and talk like this are always quick to point out to this scripture in Matthew 24. Let us read some passages from there.

Matthew 24:4. And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. And ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places

This is the scripture that the "occupy the only mentality" believers are quick to point out. Wars, diseases like COVID 19, earthquakes do not portend the end of the world. And they are right! All of these calamities do not suggest that the end is here! But this passage of scriptures did not end here, Jesus went on in the next few verses to show us what the clearest indication of the end time is, but before I go to that let me mention two other factors that point to the beginning of the end times.

Firstly in Joel 2, we all know of that prophecy that says in the last day's God will pour out his Spirit upon all flesh. Well, that is happening today, more and more people are turning to the Lord. How many Pentecostals, protestant believers do we have on the Africa continent in 1975? Even for all the world how many believers do we have in 1975? And how many are we today? The numbers are rising the gospel is taking over everywhere, whether underground or on top of ground there is a church in every nation of the earth today. It's the Spirit of God at work.

Secondly, the Bible also says that in the last day's men shall become lovers of themselves! Now, this is very much clear. Thirty years there was nothing like the LGBT community, and even if they are they were underground then. But today even the POPE says there is nothing wrong with been gay! Everyone loves themselves and do what they want! Man has become addicted to personal pleasures more than ever before! This is another sign.

However, the clearest indication of where we are in history is found in Matthew 24:14, just about 6 verses after the other verses that people use to dismiss end time talk. These were the words of Jesus,

Matthew 24:14,  And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come

Does it need an explanation? "This gospel shall be preached to all nations for a witness so that no nation will say we didn't hear of Jesus Christ, and then shall the end come"

Now I am smiling as I write this. Is there anywhere on the surface of the earth where this gospel has not been preached? Only God knows. But stats available to me shows that there are none, but even if they are they are not as much as those of places where the gospel has been preached! And so it therefore, stands to reason that we are nearer to the end than we began. The age of the church is about coming to an end, rapture and the second coming of Christ is imminent!

It is because of Matthew 24:14 that some of us are trying to interpret world events in the light of Bible prophecies. It is not because of COVID 19! COVID 19 has only allowed us to slow pace, assess the world we live in in the light of the word and come to the conclusion that our salvation may be nigh than we first earlier thought. So while we are planning for a post COVID world that will be so radically different in its outlook and it's the approach we are also preparing for when the rapture may occur and our pilgrimage here on earth may end.

The parable of the ten virgins comes to mind. Matthew 25:1-13 is the passage where you will find this parable. Read and you will discover that one key event that shaped the outcome was that the BRIDEGROOM TARRIED and then the virgins SLUMBERED AND SLEPT. And that is what we must not do, we must be alert! The wise virgins were prepared though, they had extra oil because they believe the bridegroom will still come. They might have behaved paranoid buying more oil that is needed, but to them, it is better to always watch out than to be caught napping!

Our present church may be caught in that danger, we are not teaching the basic knowledge of rapture, second coming and everything else theologians call eschatological studies! Forget the term, what is in there is what we should all know. I can't teach all of that here  If you are looking for that knowledge you can start with the LEFT BEHIND SERIES written by Tim Lahaye and if you don't have I have the ebook compilation to give free, just send me a message. Whatever it will take to ready your oil for the rapture and the coming of the Lord get it done!

So is it safe to.say then that this is the end of the time? Will the rapture occur tomorrow? One reason this is difficult is that God lives in eternity, he lives out of man's timing, a 1000 year is like a day, a day like a 1000 years. So you can't put a date to his plans and purpose but what you can know is to know the season of what God wants to do. We are in that season where we are closer to the end than we begin! The church age is in extra time, the day of the Lord is fast approaching! What is my advice to you? From this day henceforth always live with the consciousness, no matter how busy you are with the activities in this world, that we are on borrowed time and if not ultimately we are all pilgrims on the earth, and as it is for every journey, this journey must someday come to an end!

In this life I would stand
through my joy and my pain

Knowing there is a better place

There is a hope that never fades

Where Your name is lifted high
and forever praises rise
For the glory of Your name
I'm believing for the day

Where the wars and violence cease
All creation lives in peace
Let the songs of heaven rise to You alone

No weeping
No hurt or pain
No suffering
You hold me now, You hold me now
No darkness
No sick or lame
No hiding
You hold me now, You hold me now

CALL TO INTERCESSION: Lord help me to always live in the consciousness of the rapture of the church and your second coming. Help me to live ready always in my journey with you. Amen

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