I get the impression the “Time of Trouble” does not rate highly on many of your thoughts.  In fact, I doubt many think about it all!  I think too many are lulled into thinking time will continue just as it has always done since you were born and this awful time we hear preached from the pulpit, foreseen in the news reports on CNN and MSNBC, et al, is something which is just beyond our time.  So, what do we do?

We continue seeking relationships and having babies.  These are the very things which will be used against us, to tear our hearts out because we will be weak and desperate and won’t know what to do when we see what others have experienced not in the so distant past, according if you have read “Foxes Book of Martyrs”.  If you have not read, I would recommend you do.  (If you do not have a copy or access, let me know.  I have each chapter in MS Word doc format.)

Let us be realistic.  We are entering into that period of time we used to hear while sitting in the pews.  This is very real and getting ready to happen to us.  Not them.  Not over there, but us, right now!  Sure, we would like to think and hope the lie about a “secret rapture” is true but the truth is, it is not going to happen.  God’s children, many of them, will not “fall asleep” (die) and be excused.  Many of us are going to find ourselves beginning to experience what this means.

I would like to share something with you:  During my days as a drug addict I used to go to various department stores and load my cart with items people in the ‘hood told me they wanted.  They would probably turn the items over themselves for money.  I would have a friend, with me, to give the appearance of a normal and well-to-do couple doing their weekly shopping.  I would pass a bogus check, walk quickly out the store to my car and head to the ‘hood where I would provide these items in exchange for crack cocaine.  One of my gimmicks which kept me in drugs long after my own money ran out.

On one shopping spree, after handing my check over, the cash register didn’t do what it had been doing previously.  In fact, the attendant indicated she would need to call the manager.  The manager came and took the check and went to the upraised booth where they handle complaints and other store business.  The manager spoke with someone, and they both looked at me while dialing the phone.  I looked at my friend and said, “We have to get out of here, and NOW!”  We didn’t run, but we didn’t walk casually out of the store.  The way I parked, never on the front row, but the second row, facing outward so not needing to be in reverse, and got away from the parking lot before the authorities arrive.  Were they?  I didn’t want to find out but I knew something was about to happen and I didn’t want to be the recipient.  So, I ran.

I know what it is to run from the authorities.  I have out-driven, out(right) lied and eluded capture, at times for years.  I know what it is to be “on the lookout” while they were on the lookout for me.  I know what it is to have my check refused.  My ATM card go into the slot and not returned, and the machine to shut down due to my felonious transaction.  I also know what it is to be placed in handcuffs.  To be in a change of clothes not my own.  I know what it is to be placed in a cell.  I know what it is to be brought to a room and four officers are putting on gloves and it was not to shake my hand.  I know what it is to experience this sort of “Time of Trouble”.  How about you?

Some of you are happily married, grandchildren here or on the way.  While it is easy to “spiritualize” and say, “The Lord will provide” but the Lord also warned when He said,

“And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days! But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the Sabbath day: For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.” Matt 24:19-21 (KJV)  (Note: this is a good point for those who don’t accept the Sabbath.  Christ gave this prophecy which is considered a “dual” prophecy, meaning having two fulfillments.  One which would take place 40 years later and the other at the end of time.  If the Sabbath was no longer going to be meaningful and observed by His people, after His death and resurrection, why would He have predicted it?)

Tribulation is defined as this: “a cause of great trouble or suffering.” Mind you, this will not be a time of “only” tribulation but “Great” tribulation.  I’m not a mathematician but I would think whatever I might think it could be means it will be greater—exponentially.  I could not begin to imagine having one of my pets tortured in front of me, never mind wife, parent regardless of the relationship, or brother/sister, even a friend.  It would seem easy to just recant, even if I don’t mean it if it is to spare them from direct pain and agony—physically while mine is being witnessed to it.  This is what was experienced not too long ago.

I often think about the fact as I’m nearing the middle of reading the Koran if ISIS or some other radical Islamic movement would capture me, having been exposed to “salat” in prison, I KNOW I can go through the motions and even quote part of the Koran.  I know what it is they’re wanting me to confess without them even asking me, and would I?  Would I?  How about if someone I loved life depends on it?  What if my own life depend upon it?  Or, would I justify it away and simply say, “The Lord knows my heart”.  (BUZZ) Wrong answer!

Friends, make no mistake.  What we have always heard is within our lifetime.  It is sooner than you think, and it is not time to be wondering who to invite over for dinner next Thursday.  Planning what you are going to be doing at the end of the year to bring in the next should not be your major time-consuming focus.  (Notice I didn’t bother to mention anything about the pagan holiday Christmas.  You should already have moved pass that mess.)

I think about it, the Time of Trouble, a lot.  Perhaps it is because I live in a foreign country and I’m exposed to more now than I would see if I were in the comforts and confines of the great United States.  I see suffering—daily.  I see the smaller scale “time of trouble” these people call “life”.  But for those of us who live, as they say, “large”, we are about to go through something we cannot have any idea, but we cannot and should not excuse it as if it won’t happen.  Open your eyes.  Begin to take note of what is happening.  Begin to take the cautions of what to do before it is too late.


November 19, 2016