While we await the rapture with much joyous anticipation, and see God's word unfold before our very eyes, we sometimes sit back in amazement that we are the generation watching end-time Bible prophecy align. Yet at the same time, there is also a seemingly paradoxical condition many believers are also perceiving - the grieving in our souls due to the wicked conditions in the world.
I hear it from many brothers and sisters in Christ of late. In countless conversations during fellowship, we converse of the following: We are eagerly awaiting the rapture, very much desiring to see Christ, be with Him, and be like Him (1 John 3:2, Phil. 3:20-21); yet at the same time, we are truly grieved and vexed in our souls while witnessing the unsaved world degrade into a state of wickedness we've never before witnessed. If you are feeling that same grievous vexing in your soul, you are not alone.
It isn't often that a particular section of scripture gets stuck on continuous replay in my mind-so much so that it pops into my mind several times a day for weeks. But this is true of 2 Pet. 2:5-9 for me lately. For the past month (or more) this scripture keeps popping into my head numerous times a day.
May I be so bold as to ask you to take a few moments and study 2 Peter chapter 2? Here's just a small part (only 2 verses) of it:
"And delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked: (For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds)" (2 Pet. 2:7-8).
This scripture deals with how God delivered Noah and Lot prior to His righteous wrath being meted out on the wicked in the world. But the part that keeps continuously replaying over and over (to me) is the part of how Lot was "vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked" (v.7), and that what vexed and grieved him was the "seeing and hearing" of the unlawful deeds of the wicked "day to day."
Isn't this exactly what many of us are going through? It hits the nail on the head for many of us. We are so grieved daily by the wickedness we witness in the world. The exponential explosion of evil we witness each day in this world is reaching a fever pitch. The saturation of evil in society is being flaunted in our faces so often that we often have to wonder: "How long, O Lord?"
But then there are others who seem not to mind these things at all. I used to think: 'how faithful those people must be' for these wicked events not to even bother them. I wondered how could they not be affected by witnessing the news that millions of babies are being aborted? That the amount of pedophilia and human trafficking is (here in the US) at an all-time high? How could these things (at least) not grieve them and vex their souls? Was it because they just trusted it was all part of God's plan? I wondered....
As these things become more predominant in society, it's impossible not to be touched, grieved, and vexed in our souls by witnessing them. Yes, we do know that these things "must needs be" (as Matt. 18:7 and others tell us), even if we don't understand why. And yes, we understand "WOE to that man by whom the offense cometh" (same verse) means that God will deal with those evildoers who harm innocent children in such horrific ways; God will have vengeance upon them in His righteous wrath! Yet how could someone not be moved by the slaughter and torture of children?
I no longer think that those people are just so "strong in faith" that it doesn't bother them. In fact, just the opposite. I think (my own opinion here) that they really don't care about the plight of those innocent babes ripped apart in and from their mother's womb; that they are unmoved by the fact that demonically led adults are harming innocent children in the most horrendous, perverted, and insidious ways. Why? Simple reason: It isn't happening to THEM!
Yes, that's a strong statement to make. But it aligns with scripture given for the characteristics of the perilous last days found in 2 Tim. 3:1-5 and Rom. 1:18-32 - the self-absorbed, callous, uncaring egotistical folks who have no natural affection, sympathy, empathy, or even compassion for others-not even innocent babies and children.
In the meantime, we believers are truly grieved and vexed in our souls as we witness these atrocities. Those crimes against innocent children are the worst and most grievous crimes we witness, but there are many others as well:
How public schools have become cesspools of far-leftist indoctrination - anti-God, anti-Christ, anti-truth, and pro-sin, pro-evil propaganda machines. Even those dear children who are grounded in faith can succumb to the extreme pressure, not just peer pressure, but from 90%+ of the adult teachers in many public schools who are sold out to leftism, Marxism, Darwinism; they are foisting the devil's propaganda upon these children all day long-seven or more hours per day, five days a week.
The fact that the truth of creationism isn't even 'allowed' to be taught in public schools has caused many a child to doubt God's word after having sat under this force-fed anti-God propaganda shoveled down their throats day after day for 12-13 years (more if they go to most colleges today). That grieves us also. Many of us are homeschooling now or sending our children to good Christian schools (if one can be found).
There are many other things that grieve us. Censorship is one. Remember when social media used to be a place where friends and family connected? A place to share not just recipes and family photos, but also scripture? A place to fellowship with other believers? If someone was offended by what another person had to say, they had (and still have) the 'unfollow' or 'unfriend' option. Yet today, social media has become open season on conservatives, Christians, and Jews. It's often overwhelming.
It used to be strangers (or even bots) that would attack Christians on social media. Now? It's many unsaved people who now attempt to claim that ANY scripture is 'hate speech'. In some nations already it's illegal to quote certain scriptures! Leftist-run states in the US are now attempting to pass the same kinds of 'laws' against Christian speech today as well.
Some of these people on social media we may have known most of our lives, and they are just now coming against Christians and conservative values with a fervor that can be nothing other than demonically inspired. Seems that it didn't bother them for many decades until now (for some strange reason)? I don't think it's out of the blue; instead it's clear that the devil is stirring up hatred in the hearts of the unsaved world, readying them for the tribulation when (after the rapture) those who come to Christ during that time will not only be persecuted, but killed for their faith (Rev. 6:9-11, 20:4, et al).
Both Daniel 7:21 and Revelation 13:7 foretell a time in the tribulation when the antichrist will "make war with the saints" and overcome them and prevail against them. There are many scriptural reasons why the rapture is a pre-tribulational event. This is one of them. In Matt. 16:18 we are told that not even the gates of hell will prevail against the church. The church cannot be here during the tribulation, as clearly the antichrist beast government will be prevailing against the tribulation saints.
I've noticed another trend as well in secular society. It used to be that parents taught their children moral values as well as political ideology. Today? The opposite seems to be occurring. I've witnessed unsaved parents bowing to their teenage children's political ideology and lack of moral values. Secular modern parents are more concerned with whether their children like them, rather than raising them.
Some parents work two or more jobs just to buy their children whatever their hearts desire, and/or enroll them in every activity possible as status symbols of sorts. The more money that is spent on these children and the more praise lavished on them for little to no reason, the more these children feel entitled to what someone else has worked for. Yet, isn't this exactly what we should expect today according to 2 Timothy 3:1-5?
The concept of children ruling over parents isn't a new one. Secular adults have no moral compass without Christ (Rom. 1:18-32). We read in Isaiah 3:4-5 the following scripture (and it is strikingly similar to today's secular society):
"And I will give children to be their princes, and babes shall rule over them. And the people shall be oppressed, every one by another, and every one by his neighbour: the child shall behave himself proudly against the ancient, and the base against the honourable" (Isaiah 3:4-5).
I started writing this article almost a month ago. I'd listed many more examples of the things that grieve us. Yet I had to revise it numerous times because there are just too many examples. The above example of the trends is just a few of the thousands (or more) of examples. The article would be book-length if we even briefly touched on just half of the topics relevant to the wickedness that grieves us daily. That's how bad it is.
Rather than to list the myriad wickedness that is grievous to us, let's instead focus on what God's word has to say about it all. There's a reason why God's word told us these days would be "as in the days of Noah" and "as in the days of Lot" in Luke 17. When we look back to Genesis chapters 6 and 18-19 (as well as the numerous times both accounts are reiterated in short, sprinkled throughout scripture), we can readily see that today we are grieved by many of the same wicked and evil goings-on in the unsaved world.
"And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually" (Genesis 6:5).
In Genesis 18 we read the account of how God was ready to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah also "because their sin is very grievous" (v.20). Abraham pleaded with God to spare the place if there could be any righteous found in Sodom and Gomorrah. Yet there weren't even 10 righteous people in those cities (v.32). So we see not only was it grievous to Abraham, Lot, and Noah, but it grieved God as well.
What can we glean from both accounts? That the wicked, sinful condition of the world that occurred then (prior to God's wrath being meted out) is occurring now, just as Luke 17 foretold would be the case. And again, it is prior to God's wrath being meted out. This time His wrath will be poured out on a God-hating and Christ-rejecting world.
We can also deduce from scripture that we believers should be looking forward to the rapture (Titus 2:13, Phil. 3:20-21, 2 Cor. 5:2-4, and many others). We shouldn't be looking back on the world with nostalgia and love for the world that is soon to pass away (1 John 2:15, 2 Pet. 3:13, et al) as Lot's wife looked back (and turned into a pillar of salt; as per Gen. 19:26).
It's no mere coincidence that Luke 17:32 warns us again: "Remember Lot's wife." That one statement of warning should speak volumes to us to not look back with desire on this wicked world that is soon to be dealt with in God's righteous wrath! There is nothing here we should desire above being with the Lord, and being out of this evil, sin-filled cesspool.
While we recognize that the "sheep and goat" judgment (Matt. 25) is a judgment upon the nations not to occur during the age of grace; we could also look at it (what's occurring today) as a micro-taste of what's to come. We see the division of evil vs. good and the God-hating and Christ-rejecting world against Christians. The division has never been more apparent in our lifetimes.
Even those whom some might call 'nominal Christians' are being weeded out (likely having never believed in the first place). Those aren't looking forward to the rapture, but are rather more desirous to stay here where their heart is, on earth; their heart is tied up in earthy possessions and aspirations rather than desiring to be with the Lord (Matt. 6:19-21).
Then there are the teachers of false doctrine that grieve us as well. Much like the pernicious lava flow of the volcano erupting in recent days, smothering everything in its path, so too are these wicked false teachers proclaiming false doctrine and downright lies which spread as perniciously as the lava flow has done... destroying those who've bought into it, covering the hearts, minds, and eyes of the deceived like a creeping flow of lava. Pretending God's word doesn't really mean what it says; twisting it to claim God didn't say what He meant!
That's the same lie the serpent tempted Eve with in the garden: "Yea, hath God said?" Attempting to cast doubt on God's word. We believers know better! God's word is truth!
We arrive full circle back at 2 Peter chapter 2 again:
"But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not" (2 Pet.2:1-3).
Let's take care not to be as Lot's wife, turned into a pillar of salt when she looked back at Sodom and Gomorrah, burnt to a crisp, ruined and destroyed because of sin. Let's not long for the world we once knew.
It's easy to get caught up with the latest trend of "Make America Great Again;" but I wonder if we consider the abortions, the fact that God and His word have been kicked out of schools and public forums, how every wicked perversion is being touted as 'good', and every good thing is erroneously called 'evil' today?
Do we recognize that truth is called 'hate speech', and lies are erroneously promoted (from those who aren't Christians) as 'Christ-like'? How the rebellion against God and the rejection of Christ has never been more overt in US society? How the unsaved world is raising a fist to God in rebellion and screaming to shut us (true believers) up?
Do we really think God is going to bless this mess? Do we really think that now that Bible prophecy is aligned and beginning fulfillment (much like birth pains, one right after the other, closer and closer together) that God is just going to say: 'Okay, let's pause for a few decades and just put this on hold?' I don't think so!
Do we not realize why Jesus Himself (in Matt.24) used the example of birth pains (like a woman in travail or labor, whose contractions get closer together and more severe)? Do we really believe that somehow the world will do an about-face and forget about rebelling against God? Sorry... I don't see it in scripture. In fact I see the exact opposite.
What does scripture say? Besides the birth pains example, we also have 2 Timothy chapter 3-the numerous characteristics of those living in the perilous last days. We can put a check mark beside each one. What does that chapter say about what happens after those conditions (the perilous last-day characteristics) are prevalent? Does it say there will be a huge revival and everything will go back to the way it was in bygone eras? No, here's what God's word says:
"But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived" (2 Tim. 3:13).
And what of Romans chapter 1, verses 18-32? When the Christ-rejecting and God-hating world becomes so depraved in wickedness and sinfulness that they want to pretend they don't recognize God created them and that they are accountable to a Holy and Righteous God? God then turns them over to a reprobate mind. God Himself gives them over and gives them up! They then become so morally bankrupt that they truly cannot delineate between good and evil, right and wrong; they have no moral compass without Christ.
There are myriad sins noted there, but once a society becomes so full of reprobate minds, there is no sin they will prohibit themselves from committing. The end result is sexual depravity, homosexuality, pedophilia, bestiality... again nothing is prohibited in a reprobate mind. Not only do they not feel remorse or guilt over it, but they pat each other on the back for doing so wickedly! (Rom. 1:18-32).
So here we are again, full circle back to the accounts of the wickedness in the earth during the days of Noah and Lot. Instead of longing for the past life we enjoyed on this planet, we should be looking ahead to the righteousness of heaven where Christ dwells, and where we will soon be taken up to be with Him! While the past we knew (in our lifetimes) is much preferable to the present state of the world, it is nothing in comparison to the glorious things that Christ Jesus has prepared for us! (John 14:2-3, Rom. 8:14-23, Phil. 3:20-21, et al).
And as we are grieved and vexed in our souls by witnessing how horribly evil the world has become, let's also remember that this is all temporal! We have so much better to look forward to. This suffering (although at times it is tremendous suffering for some of us) is nothing in comparison to what awaits us! We cannot lose sight of this precious truth.
"For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us" (Rom.8:18).
Let's not look back on this world with nostalgia. Let's not forget where this sin-sick world is headed!
"But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all. Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed" (Luke 17:29).
When we study Revelation chapters 14 and 16-18, we can clearly see how the wrath of the Lamb will destroy the Christ-rejecting and God-hating world. When Jesus returns in Revelation 19, He will tread the "winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God." There are many vivid descriptions in those chapters of how thoroughly Jesus will destroy the wicked when He returns at the Second Coming (and we will return with Him).
As we study Noah and Lot, there are so many reasons why we can take heart as to what both of them were going through. The grieving and vexing of their souls as they witnessed the final hours before God's wrath was meted out on the wicked is just one aspect. But far more precious is the promise God made to both of them to deliver them prior to the soon-coming wrath of their days. So too do we have that precious promise in Christ Jesus! He has promised to deliver us (church/grace-age believers) from the wrath to come as well! (1 Thes. 1:10, Rom. 5:9, 1 Thes. 5:9).
Noah forewarned the world in his day of the soon-coming wrath of God. The world didn't listen. He kept on building the ark, believing God's word to him that wrath was soon coming, and giving mankind only one way to be spared. So too are we warning the unsaved world today of the soon-coming wrath and the seven years of tribulation that follow the rapture. So too do we believers trust God's word and promises that Jesus delivers us from the wrath to come.
It's very likely that Noah got much the same response from the God-hating world as we are receiving from the Christ-rejecting and God-hating world today: Mocking, ridicule, threats of violence, hatred, being cussed at, maybe even spat upon, contempt, and flat out rejection of truth. And we are even told to expect that! (2 Pet. 4:3-4, Jude 1:18, John 15:18-19, 1 John 3:13, et al).
How sad that so many will perish in God's wrath needlessly. If they would only heed His word and come to Christ NOW for salvation, they would be spared the wrath to come as we church/grace-age believers are promised.
It's not just secular society that comes against us when we present the truth in scripture of the pre-trib rapture; but sadly, it's also many professing Christians who do not BELIEVE scripture! In the hundreds of conversations I've had with those who hold to a post-trib position, they either quote Second Coming scripture (the very few who even know any scripture) or (most often) they simply cling to whatever they were taught.
How sad is it when professing Christians don't believe God's word? Where can you go with a conversation when the person claims to believe on Christ for salvation, claims to believe that part of scripture, yet doesn't believe scripture pertaining to the rapture?
In decades past it used to be a discussion between pre-trib and post-trib believers regarding the timing of the rapture, rather than IF there is to BE a rapture... yet now, many of them toss out 1 Cor. 15 and 1 Thes. 4 altogether. How is it they can pick and choose what scripture to believe and what to discard? They must have no fear of God whatsoever to disregard His word!
Just as there was no fear of God in the eyes of the wicked prior to the flood and prior to the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, so too today is the situation very similar. Here in the US there is so little fear of God in secular society.
How quickly this nation has fallen to unbelief; even Satanism and occultism is on the rise - this same nation which was founded on Christian belief; our founding documents giving reverence to our Creator, God; the last stanza of our national anthem (The Star Spangled Banner) giving reverence to trusting in God; even our money boldly proclaiming "in God we trust." Yet today, God is far from secular societies' minds.
Mankind foolishly has no fear of God. They've profaned His name, taking it in vain and using both the words "God" and "Jesus" along with cuss words. That's the only PC time for the unsaved world to mention the name of Jesus or God at all-when they are taking His precious name in vain! This grieves us as well.
And just as both Noah and Lot had to have been grieved because the foolish wicked didn't want to heed any warnings, so too are we experiencing the same thing today. It breaks our hearts that the unsaved world doesn't want to hear about their one and only means of salvation, Christ Jesus. They reject His free offer of salvation, and with that also reject His deliverance from the wrath to come.
Yet we believers know our final destination is not this world. This world is not our home (Heb. 13:14). We are just strangers and pilgrims passing through (1 Pet. 2:11, Heb. 11:13).
As we are grieved in our souls as were Noah and Lot, let's also take time to comfort one another as we are admonished to do (1 Thes. 4:18, 1 Thes. 5:11, 2 Cor. 1:3-7) with the truth of the rapture (1 Cor. 15:49-53, 1 Thes. 4:13-18, Titus 2:13) - knowing that now as we are grieved in our souls by witnessing the horrific sins of the world, this is just temporary! We will soon meet in the air and receive the promised redemption of these bodies!
Please, don't look back as Lot's wife did... there's nothing back there, nothing here on this earth worthy of our desire to stay. Let's instead look forward to being with Jesus! He is soon coming to deliver us from the wrath to come! He is soon going to change our bodies instantaneously from these sinful, corruptible bodies of flesh into eternal glorified bodies like His own! We've so much to look forward to in Christ Jesus!
"Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ" (Titus 2:13).