In light of the fact that so many books have been written on the topic of Bible prophecy and end-time events, I had to ask myself, “Why bother adding another book to the already extensive list?” The simple answer is that while naysayers will find the overall premise of this book absurd and difficult to accept, I feel compelled to offer what still others will undoubtedly receive as a different, fresh, and enlightening perspective on the subject. Ironically, what initially motivated me to begin this project was not some new revelation concerning end-time Bible prophecy or current events. Neither was it the anticipation of the return of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (Yeshua Ha’Mashiach) so much as it was the realization that for the larger part of my Christian journey thus far, I had been miserably spiritually unprepared for His appearing. Sure, I was interested in Bible prophecy and anticipated our Lord’s return, and always believing that He could return at any moment, I tried to live a godly life. Nevertheless, the majority of my years in the faith were marred by guilt and shame.
For the longest time I could not ignore the fact that although I called myself a Christian, I fell miserably short of what the Bible describes as a disciple. As it turns out, I never really had a clear understanding of what it means to follow Him. I was a born-again believer. I had confessed my faith in our Lord and Savior. Yet my life was a disaster, spiritually speaking. Time and again, I fell back into the same destructive lifestyle from which our Lord had once saved me. I found myself periodically committing the same old sins over and over again. I was caught in a cycle that always ended leaving me back where God first found me; and while I struggled with this, deep down, I knew that I was not ready to meet Him if our Lord did happen to return. For the longest time I was painfully aware of the fact that there was something missing in my life that continued to elude me no matter which church I attended or which denomination I belonged to. Frustrated with the lack of personal spiritual victory in my life and desiring revival, I remember sitting in my living room one morning crying out to the Lord for help.
“Lord, please help me! You know that I want to be obedient to your word. Show me what I’m missing. Show me why I don’t have victory in my life. Help me to stop the cycle!”
God’s answer to prayer may not always be what we expect, but it will always be what we need. Not too long after that, the Lord revealed to me how easily we can be deceived, even with regard to His word. All the while we may think we have the truth. I did not recognize it at first. It took me some time, but it eventually dawned on me that the Lord was answering my prayer. At that point, I began asking for wisdom.
“Heavenly Father, grant me wisdom and understanding. Give me eyes to see, ears to hear, and a heart to receive. Deliver me from the deceitfulness of my own heart. Help me to recognize your voice when I hear it and the truth when I see it. If I have to unlearn everything I think I know about you and your word and have to put aside all that I have been taught, show me the truth. Lord, if I have taken your grace for granted, forgive me.”
I am not sure that I had any idea what to expect when I prayed that prayer, but that was when I began to realize that maybe I did not understand things the way I should. I began to question some of my long-held spiritual beliefs and to wonder if I really understood the Bible as well as I thought I did. That was when I also discovered that far too many Christians today seem to be going through life simply surviving. An overwhelming number of God’s people are living spiritually defeated lives. Many have come to accept that fact as the norm. Sadly, others are not even aware of it, and the reality that their faith may not equate to much more than a mere exercise in religion is not of concern to them. However, those to whom such things matter may find it all very disquieting. Yet despite the fact that they may long for spiritual revival, they could still go a lifetime without ever genuinely experiencing it due to an apparent decline in the overall spiritual atmosphere in many of today’s churches. In light of what God’s word has revealed to me and confirmed several times since, I am now convinced that our Lord’s return is nearer than ever. Not only that, but at His appearing, many are going to be disappointed who did not expect to be. My prayer is that you will not be one of them.
It is my opinion that millions of people, both in and out of religious circles, are going through life oblivious to what is transpiring around them in regard to the fulfillment of end-time Bible prophecy and the lateness of the hour. They are asleep. They either do not know that we are living in the last days or they do not realize what this really means for them and their loved ones. As a result, they may not care; so they go on with their lives as usual. However, I think that if they really understood, they would care. I also believe that there is a multitude of Christians who have been left disillusioned and dissatisfied with the general spiritual condition of the Church today in all of its denominations. They have witnessed a broad spiritual decline in the vast assembly of believers and see that there is little difference between the world and many of today’s so-called Christian assemblies. They go from one program to another; they attend this function and that; yet very little, if anything, ever seems to change. They seek revival, but they cannot seem to shake the gnawing feeling that something is missing. To those of you in this category, I offer a word of encouragement: our Lord prophesied that such a time would come. So perhaps it is no accident that you are now reading this book.
In the end, regardless of where along the Christian journey you find yourself at the moment, we must all prepare for the day when we will stand before Him. It does not matter if you are among those who have strayed from the Lord, if you are one of the clueless, if you find yourself disillusioned with Christianity as a whole, or if you simply seek answers concerning the times in which we live and how to conduct yourself as we await our Lord’s return. We must all strive to be counted among His disciples. We should all understand what it means to follow Him. My hope is that this book will, in some way, help to point you in the right direction and motivate you to make yourself ready for His appearing.