Matthew 24:3; 13; 42-46
When He was sitting on the Mount of Olives, His talmidim (disciples) came to Him privately. “Tell us,” they said, “when will these things happen? And what will be the sign that You are coming, and that the ‘olam hazeh (this age) is ending?”
But whoever holds out till the end will be delivered.
So stay alert, because you don’t know the hour your Lord will come. But you do know this: had the owner of the house known a thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and not allowed his house to be broken into. Therefore, you too must always be ready, for the Son of Man will come when you’re not expecting Him. Who is the faithful and sensible servant whose master puts him in charge of the household staff, to give them their food at the proper time? It will go well with that servant if he is found doing his job when his master comes.
It seems that people fixate on the day of the rapture today like they fixated on signs in the days of Yeshua.
I’m sure there are and were then those who truly desired to serve and know the Lord within these fixations. But for most, it’s a form of escapism.
How can we avoid…we don’t want to suffer…show us how to become immune…what can we look for to know our time is up…I’m tired of being here…
The Scripture above shows a rather stark picture for escape artist. To escape from something indicates that one must be imprisoned or trapped. Hence the need at this point to ask oneself, “Have I been freed?” If we read Psalms 34 in its entirety we see a totally different picture of one who is called by God and waiting for His return. All the signs depended on, are already given, our relational progression and walk with Him, right where we’re at, at the present time. The hope held onto for a time we don’t know (exactly, though the timing we do) but have been promised.
In fact the only form of escape that comes close to being freed from a trap in scripture; is from the enemy. (Save one, though it’s misinterpreted, I’ll get to that one later)
1 Corinthians 10:13; 2 Peter 1:4; 2 Timothy 2:26; Ezekiel 7:16; 2 Peter 2:20;
And do not lead us into hard testing, but keep us safe from the evil one. For Kingship, power, and glory are Yours forever. Amen.
The above scripture is the closest Yeshua (Jesus) ever comes to such a line of thought. Not exactly escape as some have in mind but it runs more parallel with the idea. He doesn’t say, “let us never have testing, and never face the evil one.” So here, is not find such an endorsement to escapism.
The testing of our trust is how it grows, we’ll all deal with this or we won’t grow. As for the evil one, no one, including Yeshua Himself, escapes encounters with him. To be protected is far different than to be written a pass to get out of it. How do we discern evil from good if we never encounter evil? How does one know what they are saved from if they don’t feel the effects of evil? Escape is not an alternative.
Going back up to the first scriptures, fellow-sheep, notice the last sentence? We have work to do, work that we are to have as a natural response to our unity with the Lord, to be passionate and full of zeal to accomplish. Not this tapping of fingers type illusion of waiting. Looking around at all that evil out there and wondering when God’s going to smash the smithereens outta those evil people. No, instead we are quick to thank the Lord for His patience as we are still in no clean condition to meet Him for the Bridal supper He has prepared for those who endure to the end. Our else we’d be there, right now!
Let’s look at some more scripture.
2 Peter 3:11-15
Since everything is going to be destroyed like this, what kind of people should you be? You should live holy and godly lives, as you wait for the Day of God and WORK TO HASTEN IT’S COMING. That Day will bring on the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt from the heat; but we, following along with His Promise, WAIT for new heavens and a new Earth, in which righteousness will be at home. Therefore, dear friends, as you look for these things, do everything you can to be found by Him without spot or defect and AT PEACE. And think of our Lord’s patience as deliverance, just as our dear brother Sha’ul (Paul) wrote you, following the wisdom God gave him.
So, we see here, that instead of being the kind that keep looking at the clock in order to “clock out”. We are instead to be looking at the clock as if those minutes are going too fast for there are more souls that need to be served in honor of Him, whose mission at His heart was to save the lost! And all of us have not exhausted the clock in search of Him to know Him more!
Besides all this, you know at what point of history we stand, so it is high time for you to rouse yourselves from sleep: for the final deliverance is nearer than when we first came to trust. The night is almost over, the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and arm ourselves with the weapons of light.
This scripture says get ready, war is upon us! Not pack your bags, it’s about to get tuff, we’re outta here! If this indeed be our heart, then we can have no part in the One who knelt down to wash the feet of those He sends, as an example of how we are to see our time here.
2 Timothy 2:3
Accept your share in suffering disgrace as a good soldier of the Messiah Yeshua.
Hebrews 10:35-39; 12:25
So don’t throw away that courage of yours, which carries with it such a great reward. For you need to hold out; so that, by having done what God wills, you may receive what He has promised. For,
There is so little time! The One coming will indeed come, He will not delay. But the person who is righteous will live his life by trusting, and if he shrinks back, I will not be pleased with him. (Habakkuk 2:3-4)
However, we are not the kind who shrink back and are destroyed; on the contrary we keep trusting, and thus preserve our lives!
See that you don’t reject the One speaking! For if those did not escape who rejected Him when He gave divine warning on earth, think how much less we will escape if we turn away from Him when He warns from Heaven.
Rejoice in union with the Lord always! I will say it again: rejoice! Let everyone see how reasonable and gentle you are. The Lord is near! Don’t worry about anything; on the contrary, make your request known to God by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving. Then God’s shalom (peace) passing all understanding, will keep your hearts and mind safe in union with Messiah Yeshua. In conclusion, brothers, focus your thoughts on what is true, noble, righteous, pure, loveable or admirable, on some virtue or on something praise worthy. Keep doing what you have learned and received from me, what you have heard and seen me doing; then the God who gives shalom will be with you.
1 Corinthians 1:8
He will enable you to hold out until the end and thus be blameless on the Day of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah.
Revelation 2:10; 12:11
Don’t be afraid of what you are about to suffer. Look, the adversary is going to have some of you thrown in prison, in order to put you to the test; and you will face an ordeal for ten days. Remain faithful, even to the point of death; and I will give you life as your crown.
They defeated him because of the Lambs blood and because of the measure of their witness. Even when facing death they did not cling to life.
Now I’ll bring up that scripture I spoke of earlier.
But keep watch on yourselves, or your hearts will become dulled by carousing, drunkenness and the worries of everyday living, and the Day will be sprung upon you suddenly like trap! For it will close in on everyone, no matter where they live, throughout the whole world. Stay alert, always praying that you will have the strength to escape all the things that will happen and to stand in the presence of the Son of Man.
This scripture is endlessly used as a defense for the whole trapped/ escape mentality. But let’s look closely at what it really says. Those who say they are saved but are still practicing the unsaved life will be trapped, not those who are working with God to hasten the Day of the Lord! And the word escape in verse 36 is not used in the context of “stop the world Lord I want off!” Look closely, it starts by saying…STAY ALERT, this same feeling is behind Yeshua when in the garden before His arrest, He kept going back to His disciples, asking them to wake and pray. The escape being taught here is the deception that we are and will be subjected to in the last days. Also the apathy and lethargy that will come from running out of patience, thinking it is time for God to do His thing! Why would we need to pray for strength if the escape here meant the rapture? God in His strength will do that, no strength on our part will hasten or help Him gather His people at the appointed time of His coming. Every time we are told to stay alert/pray for strength it’s to endure, persevere, hold out, keep going.
We do know that there are things Adonai intends to keep His Bride from experiencing, but the severity of all of this time period is not in keeping with His history from Genesis to Revelation. Our testing, refining by fire, come through great oppression. Never has God kept us from learning the lessons of depravity. Then applying those lessons to perseverance then to character that leads to letting go of selfish wants to escape and instead changing our hearts to reach out and enter into the service of snatching those that are lost and witnessing and tending the wounds as we wait, trust and believe…in the darkest hour…He will come! Just ask any survivor of the Holocaust. Ask those who stood as Titus wrecked the 2nd temple, trapping and starving those in the city to the point that they ate their own children! (70 AD, after Yeshua had died and ascended).
The hour, dear brothers and sisters will be very dark this time as well, we will rend our garments and our knees will be bloody from the posture of prayer and kneeling of service to His sheep. But we will know to be looking “up”, we will know that His coming is nigh, and with our hearts fully turned upon Him we will wait patiently that all may know Him! The signs are already neon and blinking all around us, we don’t need more, nor do we need to fixate on the day He will come. This day won’t take us by surprise, only those who don’t know what it means to tend His estate, feed His sheep, keep our lamps full of His oil…(these will not be trapped and looking for a way of escape.) Those who do not will. Until then we are to teach and encourage these things He’s so graciously given us as directions to guide us through some very hard times. Sticking to His plan not trying to get Him to see the wisdom of ours!
Don’t be an escape artist! Be the artist of His shalom! HIS LIGHT! Encourage! Lift up and help each other prepare for the times ahead, praying unceasingly and holding out the hope that is real – He’s coming! Coming soon! May we be found working, and holding tight to the fringes of His tallith until then!
Go with God!
🕎 Grace and peace be yours in abundance in union with our Messiah Yeshua 🔯 King of Kings and Lord of Lords! Amen 🕯