In a football game where the score is close, the most intense time of the game is in the final two minutes of that game. This is the period of the game when the heart of a team is tested most, and the start of it is identified with what is called a “two-minute warning”. Will the team continue on in an “auto-pilot” mode, never really grasping the urgency of the moment, or will they step it up and give those final two minutes all 150% of themselves as though the game hinges on it?
In much the same way, the Church is in the final two minutes of time leading up to the blast of the Shofar and the return of Jesus for His bride in what we call the rapture. How are you approaching these last two minutes? Are you sitting back continuing as you have been, not grasping the urgency of the times we are living in? Or, are you aware of the times we are living in, knowing that this is not the time to be nonchalant with your relationship with Christ?
There are a number of different reasons why a Christian would approach these times in a nonchalant way. For some, they are more caught up with life and all that it entails for them, never really paying attention to the times we are living in and the Biblical end-times prophecies that are being fulfilled right before our eyes. For others, they have bought into the lie that says you are guaranteed a place when that rapture trumpet blasts just because they once said a salvation prayer, and because of it they are stuck on “auto-pilot” as if it doesn’t matter. I used to believe that myself until I began searching the scriptures and found that it didn’t match up with what Scripture tells us. Others are nonchalant about these times because they don’t really believe that Jesus’ return is so near, even though everything is screaming out that it is. Others are waiting for that great revival to come that we keep hearing about, thinking that Jesus isn’t going to return until after the revival. Oh, I believe that a great revival is coming, but based on scripture I believe it is a post-rapture revival, not one that will take place before the return of Jesus for His bride.
Those who are aware of the times we are living in, understanding the urgency for us to be ready and prepared for Jesus, are looking for His return. In doing so, they are setting out to be about the Masters business, and not their own. They realize that they need to deal with sin in their life, to live in a way that pleases and honors Christ in all their doings, and to live a life devoted and committed to God and His ways while dying to their own desires and agendas. They realize that Jesus is coming back for a bride without spot or wrinkle, one that is actively watching for His return. In Hebrews 12:1, the writer of Hebrews tells us to lay aside every weight, and the sin that so easily ensnares us, and to run with endurance the race that is set before us. We can’t run the race with perseverance and crossing the finish line, which is when we enter into eternity, if we are unwilling to lay aside every weight and sin that trips us up. Is there sin in your life? Is there sin in your life that you’re hanging onto, unwilling for one reason or another to turn away from? Is there sin in your life that you desire more than obedience and right relationship with Christ, or that the cost of making things right is greater than what you are willing to deal with in order to be right in His sight?
In Philippians 2:12-13, the Apostle Paul tells us to “work out our own salvation with fear and trembling.” If our salvation is complete when we become a Christian, then why are we told that we are to work out our own salvation with fear and trembling? In Revelation 19:7, the Apostle John writes that “the wife has made herself ready”, referring to the bride of Christ. Many think that we’re made ready once we say a prayer of surrender to Him, asking Him to forgive us of our sins, but the only thing we did was ask Him for forgiveness and to be our Lord. What we do with our life after we enter into this relationship with Christ, that is the key. Are we seeking to serve Him, and to honor Him with our life? Or are we just doing enough to get by, not taking seriously our responsibility in the relationship?
Some people think that God doesn’t require anything of us beyond saying a prayer of salvation, and they live that way. But scripture tells us we do have a responsibility in this relationship, especially if we are to persevere all the way to the finish line. Scripture tells us that we still have a free will to live and make decisions as we please after salvation, and those decisions and the way we live either make us more into the image of Christ, or it will eventually bring separation between us and God. The Apostle Paul tells us in 2 Timothy 4:7 that he fought the good fight, finished the race, and he kept the faith. If it was possible for the Apostle Paul to not fight the good fight, to not finish the race, or even to stray from the faith, then how is that we think we’re a shoe-in just because we said a prayer without any responsibility on our part? If we’re a shoe-in with no responsibility on our part, then why would the Apostle Paul even mention it?
We’re living in the final two minutes, figuratively speaking, leading up to the rapture of the bride of Christ. Are you taking this time nonchalantly, or are you stepping up to the plate giving all of yourself for these last two minutes? Are you fighting the good fight like the Apostle Paul? Are you going to finish the race like the Apostle Paul? Are you going to keep the faith like the Apostle Paul? Will Jesus be able to say to you, “Well done, though good and faithful servant”, indicating that there were things that we are responsible for in our relationship with Him? The two-minute warning has been sounding letting us know that the end is very near, and what you do in these final two minutes could very well make the difference in regards to your eternal destination. It’s not so much important how you start the race, but how you finish the race, and that is what the Apostle Paul alluded to many times in his writings.
It’s the final two minutes! Finish stronger than you’ve ever ran before!
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