Scripture is very clear that one day, there will be two camps of people: those who love God and follow Jesus, and those who don’t.
I call this the great divide.
Once this division occurs – that is, once all the followers of Jesus have been sealed – there will be no more conversions. The times of the gentiles will have been fulfilled, and all that will be left for believers still on Earth will be to endure extreme tribulation without losing God’s grace.
Because even though there won’t be any more conversions, there will still be a ‘falling away’ of some of God’s elect (his sealed children). Temptation will abound more than ever, so it ain’t over ‘til it’s over.
At that time, preaching will redirect to reflect the circumstances of the End Times: God’s children will teach and guide one another only as a form of encouragement and reminder not to give up, and God’s two witnesses will explain to an unbelieving world in minute detail how and why God’s judgement has been earned. There will be no more preaching to unbelievers to convert them but only to believers to strengthen them. This will be the age when the Beast system is inaugurated and the “mark” instituted. None of God’s children will receive the mark, but everyone else will.
That’s a lot of people.
No-one will be tricked or forced into taking the mark; all who are not in God’s camp will eagerly take it.
Would you believe me if I told you that the time of the great divide is nearly upon us, and that even as you read this blog entry, God’s elect are being sealed and the final conversions accomplished?
It is always later than we think because God is patient and long-suffering. We mistake his patience for a lull in proceedings when in fact God’s patience will end abruptly when everyone has had a chance to repent and to say either “yes” or “no” to God’s way of truth and life. Just like in Noah’s day, when people ignored Noah’s repeated warnings, the flood waters came suddenly and drowned them all. So, too, according to Jesus, will the final stage of the End Times begin abruptly and seemingly without warning.
When that happens, will you, like Noah, heed God’s advice to the letter and be ready to deal with whatever comes your way, or will you be like those who are unprepared and who will subsequently die in the deluge of tribulation horrors? Because believers will also suffer the same fate as unbelievers if they don’t prepare properly.
I’m not talking about building an ark and gathering all the animals two-by-two. Jesus tells us that we’ll have next to no warning when the time comes to “head for the hills”. We’ll also have to flee with just the clothes on our backs (no going back for even a bug-out bag), and it will be the worst time in human history. The preps we need to make now are spiritual, not physical.
We’ll have to know God as our Dad (not just a distant “Father”) and Jesus as our Lord, Saviour and big brother, and scripture as intimately as we know our own life stories. Our survival tools will be spiritual, including our weapons. We will not need guns and we will not need swords, but we will need God’s spirit as powerfully as Jesus needed God’s spirit, because our battle will be just as hard as his: Each of us will be pushed to our ultimate limit, just as Jesus was.