The Great Escape
There are many reasons I admire people but there are two that qualify someone to make my top ten list: Character and bravery. My husband and daughters come to mind when I think of these attributes. Wayne has had his share of amazingly dangerous adventures during his military career. One in particular involved a rescue mission that only the wisdom and courage of the Lord could have put together. Alexandra, my daughter, has always been fearless and when she was six years old, performed a flawless swimming pool rescue of her three-year-old sister, Brook. Right in front of me, my youngest jumped with all her might into the deep end of a pool and while she technically could swim (and well), it is shocking to watch your child disappear into the deep blue. Well, Alex just ran from behind me and dove in after her and the two peacefully swam together back to the side. There is nothing like being in a dangerous situation and then comes someone to the rescue.
But nothing in biblical history can top the hair's breath rescues God performed and will perform to save His children: Noah, Abraham, Lot and part of his family, Moses and the Israelites, Rahab and her family, King David, Jeremiah, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, Daniel from the lion's den, Paul, the Apostle John (the boiling pot of oil), the Bride of Christ and one day the two witnesses in Jerusalem (Revelation 11:1-6). Whatever God does, He establishes a pattern (not a formula) that qualifies how He does things. The bible says in Ecclesiastes 1:9 "What has been will be again, and what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun." When we understand and know His heart and pair this with biblical study and revelation we understand how God operates. Why is this important? So we will not be deceived. The great rescue according to the bible that we will experience very soon is a rescue from deception.
In Mathew 24:4, the disciples asked Jesus what will be the signs of the end of the age and of His coming and His first answer was; "Take heed, that no one deceives you..." Then He proceeds to tell them an order of events - some to occur for them in their lifetime and some prophetic. In 2 Thessalonians 2:3, Paul admonishes the Thessalonians to not be deceived because some had been telling them that Jesus had already come and they were left behind. Poor Thessalonians! I get frustrated for them. He also encourages Timothy in his letter (2 Timothy 2:16-18) that some men (and he names them) have crept in and are telling people that the resurrection has already passed. Paul calls this talk "a cancer" and that they "have strayed from the truth". This is what is happening today - there are entire schools that are teaching precious and sincere people to prepare for the tribulation. And so there is a whole generation of young people who are growing up not knowing there is even a rapture or believing it happens after they survive the tribulation. In Ezekiel 14:19-20, God is telling the people that even if Noah, Daniel and Job were in the city, they would save only themselves because of their righteousness. We are not saved by our righteousness, but the context is that God would spare them and destroy the city (including their families) because they were righteous before Him. Isaiah 26:20-21 says; "Come, my people, enter your chambers, And shut your doors behind you; Hide yourself, as it were, for a little moment, Until the indignation is past. For behold, the Lord comes out of His place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity..." God is our high tower, our resting place and shelter. The bible shows us the intent of His heart and His desire to protect us.
I love Psalm 18. The entire Psalm is about David crying out to the Lord in distress and his Father God just gets so mad about what is happening to him and comes to the rescue (vs 6-19):
In my distress I called to the Lord; I cried to my God for help. From his temple he heard my voice; my cry came before him, into his ears. 7 The earth trembled and quaked, and the foundations of the mountains shook; they trembled because he was angry. 8 Smoke rose from his nostrils; consuming fire came from his mouth, burning coals blazed out of it. 9 He parted the heavens and came down; dark clouds were under his feet. 10 He mounted the cherubim and flew; he soared on the wings of the wind. 11 He made darkness his covering, his canopy around him— the dark rain clouds of the sky. 12 Out of the brightness of his presence clouds advanced, with hailstones and bolts of lightning. 13 The Lord thundered from heaven; the voice of the Most High resounded.[d] 14 He shot his arrows and scattered the enemy, with great bolts of lightning he routed them. 15 The valleys of the sea were exposed and the foundations of the earth laid bare at your rebuke, Lord, at the blast of breath from your nostrils.
16 He reached down from on high and took hold of me; he drew me out of deep waters. 17 He rescued me from my powerful enemy, from my foes, who were too strong for me. 18 They confronted me in the day of my disaster, but the Lord was my support. 19 He brought me out into a spacious place; he rescued me because he delighted in me.
Whoa. I have read that many times and encouraged others when they feel God is not going to come through for them. And this was BEFORE Jesus! How much more will God rescue us, children bought with the blood of Jesus, and save us from the wrath that is about to be poured out? We actually not only escape deception, really horrible natural disasters, and crazy religious and world leaders, but we can escape death. In 1 Corinthians 15:50-55, Paul describes the catching away of true believers and the physical transaction that happens and then he quotes Hosea 13:14 "O death where is your sting, O Hades where is your victory?" This was not only a prophetic statement of what Jesus would do after He died on the cross, but in context it describes what the power of the Holy Spirit is going to do in our mortal bodies during our translation in the rapture. We will not all have to die, if we are alive at the coming of Jesus in the clouds; we get to escape death (John 14:3, Philippians 3: 20-21, 1 Corinth. 15:51-53, 1 Thess. 4:16-18, Luke 17:34-37, Rev. 3:10).
Our cries in faith are not falling on deaf ears, God is listening! He hears us when we are crying out wondering where is truth? When will our healing manifest? What about this or that injustice? Where is righteousness and does our faith really matter? If God is your Father then you can absolutely know without a shadow of doubt that He hears and will answer. His word will not return to Him unaccomplished. He WILL rescue us from the wrath which is coming. Yes, a wrath is coming just like the bible says and it will be horrible. The deception will be worldwide and will cause people to believe they can participate in the antichrist's system and still be in covenant with God and go to heaven. (Rev. 14:9-11) The deception will cause people to make God in their own image and not who the bible says He is. People will splice the bible accepting certain parts but denying others. The issue with deception is that you don't know you are being deceived. Now is the time to have your belt of truth firmly established. Study Hebrews 6:1 and know the elementary principles of our faith. Can you recount what the bible says are the basic doctrines of the faith? Ask to receive the Holy Spirit and begin to praise God (He will give you a new language just like the disciples in the book of Acts), go to a solid church with sound doctrine where you can make friends and encourage one another in the faith. You do not want to be here during the tribulation and you don't have to be. God has made a way of escape.
During a mission in Afghanistan several years ago, my husband flew his Blackhawk helicopter directly into enemy fire to rescue 30 soldiers from certain death. Their base had been over taken by enemy soldiers and artillery fire was everywhere. All of the soldiers were rescued and all but one survived. I don't think any of those soldiers would have turned down that helicopter rescue, hoping that they could defend the base and emerge a victorious remnant. Jesus said that the tribulation will be the worst time that has ever been or ever will be (Mathew 24:21). He doesn't exaggerate. But God has a wedding planned for Jesus and the Bridegroom is coming to get His Bride. It is the greatest escape that has ever been and you do not want to miss it for the world.
Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man.