Warning: The following post may dispel some previously held views and beliefs. It may in fact awaken some from the endless slumber wrought upon the house of God by the theory of escapism. If you are fond of ignorance, or are otherwise averse to facing reality, please read no further!
We live in an age where there is no shortage of theories, or for that matter theorists. Everyone nowadays seems to be an authority on one form of end time teaching or another. Some seem harmless enough, so grand in their absurdity that one just shakes it off laughing, while others are more subtle in their purpose disguising themselves in Scripture, attempting to justify the unjustifiable.
In recent years there has been great controversy among the theorists concerning one subject in particular, that of the timeline of Christ's imminent return, wherein we will be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. This is a real event, it is Biblical, and although the word 'rapture' is never once mentioned in the Word, there will one day be a 'catching up, or catching away' wherein we will meet the Lord in the air. This post however, is not about splitting hairs, so whether you call it 'rapture', or 'catching up', let us agree that it is a real and imminent event.
There are those who hold vehemently to the belief that this event will take place pre-tribulation, others affirm that it will be sometime mid-tribulation, others post-tribulation, then there are those too cowardly to take a stand for fear of offending the sensibilities of others, calling themselves pan-theorists.
Now I know many of you are skipping down this post, wanting to see where I stand on the issue, but as is alluded to by the title this is not the reason for this article. Suffice it to say, I believe that allot of Christians have already packed their bags, sleeping with one eye open, not wanting to miss something that is quite a ways off, from a scriptural standpoint at least. My advice, unpack, put your clothes back in your closets, because we'll be here for awhile.
In order to prove in a Biblical manner, the 'when' of our departure from this earth, a long and scripture heavy article is required, and if I ever feel compelled to write it, it will most likely be on the hand of help website. Keep in mind however, that the Bible was written for the children of God, and to those of the world, and still in the world it is foolishness. If this is the case, then every word in the Book pertains to believers, and the book does speak of tribulation, of great upheaval, and many other issues which many Christians believe they will not be here for.
With that having been said, we return our focus back to the pan theorists. In layman's terms a pan theorist is one who believes that it will all pan out in the end. It doesn't really matter, the 'when' of it is none of our concern. 'It will happen when it happens', they whisper suppressing a yawn.
As noble as the pan theory might seem on the surface, there are hidden dangers that the wise must address lest he become a fool.
On this issue, I fear that neither ignorance or indifference is the best course of action. If the enemy can't get God's children to fall into the temptations and snares he puts out, his next best hope is that he find said children unprepared for battle when they are confronted with it. The enemy's hope, is that the children never mature into soldiers, but remain in a permanent state of spiritual infancy, wherein they are dependent on others for their nourishment, their wardrobe, and their very lives.
The pan theory encourages indifference, it promotes slumber, and does not compel the church to grow from grace to grace, from glory to glory, and from strength to strength. It allows for a static existence, wherein it was enough that one just raised their hand in a service. From that point forward, smooth sailing, blue skies, and the eventual blessing from on high.
A soldier is only deemed a soldier after he has successfully completed basic training, after he has been entrusted with the weapons of his warfare, and taught to use the weapons in his arsenal. Just because someone buys army fatigues at a surplus store, it does not make them a soldier, just as showing up in church twice a year does not make one a warrior for Christ.
Living without the expectation of confrontation, not being aware that some day, perhaps some day soon you will have to do battle against the darkness, gives many a false sense of security, and as the heart is want to do, allows them to justify their absence of maturity and growth in Christ.
I've said this in my sermons, but it is worth repeating here, God is not looking to run a day care center, He is looking to lead an army.
Lack of spiritual preparation, and spiritual maturity will be the downfall of many nominal Christians once the dark days, the evil days are upon us, and some will even turn their backs on God, shaking their fists at the heavens because in their hearts they did not believe they would see those days with their own eyes.
One cannot justify indifference by calling it trust, just as one cannot justify spiritual atrophy by saying they never saw the need for maturity, since they believed they would never have to stand, to fight, and to overcome.
I could go on, much can be said, in fact volumes can be written as to why we need to be aware of the times we are living in, why we need to prepare spiritually, why we need to put on our armor, and purpose in our hearts that we will not defile ourselves, that we will stand, and fight, but attention spans being what they are nowadays, I will leave you with a few notable and timely scriptures.
2 Timothy 3:12, "Yes and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution."
Ephesians 6:10-14, "Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all to stand."
With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.