Preparations for the upcoming tribulations.
How can we prepare in the best possible way for the last major events, and what can and should be prepared? This is a question that concerns many Christians when they think about what will happen to God’s people in the end times. Many worry about how we are to preach the end-time message is one thing. They also worry about how they will face tribulation and persecution when this one day begins to gather around them, and they believe they will be lost if they have not prepared how to respond to accusations.
However, it is wrong to think that we can prepare our preaching or ‘defence speech’. The way we can, should and must prepare ourselves is to study the Bible, and especially what is about God’s last warning to humanity. We must go into this in depth so that we know and understand the content of the eternal gospel so well that we can preach it whenever and wherever God leads us to preach it. Therefore, it is not by our own strength that we must preach, but God will give us what we must preach. We must be so familiar with the Scriptures that God can use us when the time is right.
Nor can we prepare for what to say if we are arrested for not complying with the authorities’ demands to keep Sunday holy. If we find ourselves in such a situation, God will give us the answers. If we try to plan this in advance, we will fail. In Zechariah 4:6, we find a divine principle we should live by: … Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts. The apostles followed this, and Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 2:4 how he preached the word: And my speech and my preaching [was] not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power.
This is also how we must think and live. We must not rely on our own knowledge, power or strength, but surrender ourselves completely to the God of heaven, He who gives us everything we need in our struggle, both now and in the future. The correct and important preparations therefore lie in our studying the scriptures and preserving God’s word in our hearts. We must daily converse with our God through persistent and persevering prayers.
It is precisely because many of our preachers are not as grounded in the Bible as they should be, and that they have formed opinions about the scriptures that do not come from God, but that they have from themselves or other people, that Ellen G. White makes this statement. When the time of trial shall come, there are men now preaching to others who will find, upon examining the positions they hold, that there are many things for which they can give no satisfactory reason. Until thus tested they knew not their great ignorance. And there are many in the church who take it for granted that they understand what they believe; but, until controversy arises, they do not know their own weakness. When separated from those of like faith and compelled to stand singly and alone to explain their belief, they will be surprised to see how confused are their ideas of what they had accepted as truth, (Last Days Event 70.1).
Soon, and very soon, the storm will be unleashed in earnest, and then we will all ask ourselves as John rhetorically asks himself in Revelation 6:17: who shall be able to stand? Satan’s evil angels roam about and stir up even greater hatred against God’s faithful little remnant. It is now that we must be prepared. Those who have not renounced the delusions that rule the world will be lost. Those who do not live 100% for God, but flirt with the world – if only minimally, will not be left standing when the storm comes. Only those who wholeheartedly love the Lord will win, because they build their faith on the Rock, and then nothing can shake them.
The biggest issue of contention will be the Sabbath. God instituted the Sabbath on the seventh day of the creation week, when He blessed and sanctified the seventh day of the week – our Saturday. God has not changed this, neither in Old Testament times nor in New Testament times. On the other hand, there is a church that has tried to change God’s Sabbath, and it is the Catholic Church, which even claims they have the authority to change God’s commandments and laws.
The following quotes from the church’s history are thought provoking in this context.
Lucius Ferraris, papa Petrus de Ancharano says: The pope can change divine laws, because he does not have his power in from man, but from God, and he acts in God’s place on earth and has unrestricted power to bind and loose his sheep.
The Manual of the Catholic Religion states: That the church has instituted Sunday as the day of the Lord instead of the Sabbath and set it as a day especially for worship is a clear proof of its great power which it solemnly received from Christ.
Cardinal Gibbons’ answer to I. S. Snyder, whether the change of holiday was a sign or mark of the authority of the church. Of course, the Catholic Church claims that change is its own act. It could not be otherwise, as no one in those days would have dreamed of doing anything in spiritual and religious matters without it. And this act is a mark of the clerical power and of its authority in religious matters, (letter dated October 28, 1895).
From Doctrinal Catechism we can include this:
Question: Can you in any other way prove that the church has the power to institute feast days by law?
Answer: If it did not have such power, it could not have done what all the professors of modern religion agree with it: it could not have introduced Sunday, the first day of the week, instead of the observance of Saturday, the seventh day, a change for which there is no authority in scripture.
In The Convert’s Catechism of Catholic Doctrine (1977 edition) we find this:
Question: What day is the Sabbath?
Answer: Saturday is the Sabbath.
Question: Why do we keep Sunday holy instead of Saturday?
Answer: We keep Sunday holy instead of Saturday because the Catholic Church has transferred the holy day of Saturday to Sunday.
The Roman Catholic theologian John A. O’Brian says in The Faith of Millions the following: Since it is Saturday and not Sunday, which is mentioned in the Bible, it is not strange that people who are not Catholics, and who say they have not received their religion from the church, but directly from the Bible, keep Sunday instead of Saturday? Of course, it is inconsistent. Sunday observance is a reminder of the mother church, from which the non-Catholic sects have distinguished themselves.
We keep Sunday instead of Saturday because the Catholic Church has transferred Saturday’s holiness to Sunday. Pieter Geiermann, CSSR: A Doctrinal Catechism, 1957 edition, p. 50.
Sunday is a Catholic institution, and its demand for observance can only be defended on Catholic terms. The Catholic Press, Sydney, Australia, August 1900.
This is just a small extract of what the Catholic Church itself says about the power they have to change God’s commandments and laws, (see more here: The Sabbath; This is the Sabbath, part 4).
Pope Francis’ two encyclicals Laudato Sì and Fratelli Tutti essentially describe the way to a common day off for the whole world. Using the consideration for the environment to shut down large parts of society one day a week, to limit the emission of CO2 into the atmosphere (Laudato Sì), and the consideration that people need a day for rest and social friendship, (Fratelli Tutti).
Let us take a look at what the Pope is saying here.
Laudato Sì (Praise be to you) is the second encyclical of Pope Francis, dated May 24, 2015. It was published on June 18, 2015, with the subtitle ‘On the care of our common home and deals mainly with environmental and climate protection’.
The title of the social encyclical is a central Italian phrase from Francis of Assisi’s 13th-century ‘Canticle of the Sun’, a poem and prayer in which God is praised for the creation of the various creatures and aspects of the earth. The way in which the Pope expresses himself has been described as cautious and undogmatic, and he specifically encourages discussion and dialogue. He says, among other things this: There are certain environmental issues where it is not easy to reach a broad consensus. Here I would once again state that the Church does not presume to decide scientific questions or replace politics. But I am keen to encourage an honest and open debate so that special interests or ideologies do not affect the community.
Fratelli Tutti (All Brethren) is the third encyclical of Pope Francis, dated October 3, 2020, and deals with brotherhood and social friendship.
The encyclical’s title is taken from Francis of Assisi’s exhortations. Pope Francis had alluded to the same quote on May 14, 2020, when he celebrated Mass at the Domus Sanctae Marthae in Vatican City. Saint Francis of Assisi used to say. All brothers and sisters. And so men and women of every religious denomination unite today in prayer and penance to ask for the grace of healing from this pandemic. On February 4, 2019, Pope Francis signed the document on human brotherhood for world peace and living together while on an apostolic journey to the United Arab Emirates. Together with the Pope, the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, Ahmad Al-Tayyeb, signed the document.
What is most interesting, however, is what two of the leading Masonic orders in Europe say about the Fratelli Tutti: 1) Through its official organ El Oriente, the Grand Lodge of Spain praises the encyclical, saying it shows how far the current Catholic Church is from its former position . In Fratelli Tutti, the Pope embraces universal brotherhood, the great principle of modern Freemasonry. The lodge also commends the fact that Francis addresses the disintegrating role of the digital world, the operation of which favours closed circuits of like-minded people and facilitates the spread of fake news that encourages prejudice and hatred. 2) The Grand Orient of Italy praises the encyclical in its official magazine Erasmo. Saying the idea of universal brotherhood as a bond that unites all people, regardless of their faith, ideology, colour, skin, social background, language, culture and nation expressed in Fratelli Tutti is close to the ideals that have been the very foundation of Freemasonry from the very beginning.
When the Freemasons are so in tune with the papacy, we can see the contours of what John prophesied in Revelation 13:3: … and all the world wondered after the beast.
We see that the battle is intensifying in this area. Secular organizations such as trade unions, which do not deal with religion in the first place, are lying flat to please the Pope because the Pope claims he will introduce a weekly day off for the good of the people, and this day of the week is first day, our Sunday, which is also called family day. It is possible that the various popes do not know their Bibles.
It actually says in the Bible that God gave man a day of rest already at creation, and this is the seventh and last day of the week – our Saturday.
What we should not prepare.
Many people think they need to prepare for the time of trouble by storing dry goods and water so they have food and drink when the day comes. There are also some denominations that encourage their members to store such foodstuffs at home. However, what exactly is God’s will? Do we have any examples in the Bible that tell us how God has helped his people with food in difficult situations?
Israel was given food and water every day for 40 years as they wandered in the desert. Not a day did they lack anything. For six days, from the first day of the week, Sunday, to the sixth day of the week, the day of preparation – Friday, manna fell from heaven (see Exodus 16), and they always had fresh water to drink (see Exodus 17). The prophet Elijah had to flee from the king, and took refuge in a cave. There he was fed by the ravens every day as long as he stayed there, (1 Kings 17).
God will also in the end times ensure that His people will get what they need daily in terms of food and water. In what way He does it, no one knows, but we know that God will provide for His people. It is therefore unnecessary to store food and water. Those who do so show that they do not trust God. In Early Writings, 56.2, Ellen G. White says. The Lord has shown me repeatedly that it is contrary to the Bible to make any provision for our temporal wants in the time of trouble. I saw that if the saints had food laid up by them or in the field in the time of trouble, when sword, famine, and pestilence are in the land, it would be taken from them by violent hands and strangers would reap their fields. Then will be the time for us to trust wholly in God, and He will sustain us. I saw that our bread and water will be sure at that time, and that we shall not lack or suffer hunger; for God is able to spread a table for us in the wilderness. If necessary He would send ravens to feed us, as He did to feed Elijah, or rain manna from heaven, as He did for the Israelites.
Living with references to doomsday.
We have many references to the judgment day that is coming soon. How can we live with this? Judgment day, or the Lord’s Day as it is also called in the Bible, is mentioned in many different places in the Bible, but everyone agrees on what the Lord’s Day, or judgment day, will be like. The phrase Lord’s Day used as judgment day occurs 22 times in the Bible, the day of judgment is used 7 times and the day of wrath 5 times.
In Zephaniah 1:14-15 it says: The great day of the LORD [is] near, [it is] near, and hasteth greatly, [even] the voice of the day of the LORD: the mighty man shall cry there bitterly. That day [is] a day of wrath, a day of trouble and distress, a day of wasteness and desolation, a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness.
When we read the Bible and see all the prophecies that were uttered centuries before they came true were fulfilled exactly as the prophets uttered them, it should give us cause for thought. Prophecies that are so accurate that we can set dates for this afterwards, such as Jesus’ baptism, crucifixion and death, about the rise and fall of the various world empires. All this prophecies are fulfilled to the letter, yet people choose to completely ignore the coming judgment.
The God who inspired the prophets to write about Jesus, about Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece and the Roman Empire, is the same God who has given us the end-time prophecies with the second coming of Christ and the investigative judgment. Everything that was written about Jesus was fulfilled as it was written. There are 30 prophecies about Jesus’ last hours, and all were fulfilled as given. The order of the four world kingdoms was predicted before the first kingdom, Babylon, reached the power it gained under Nebuchadnezzar. When this kingdom was at its strongest, the prophecy came that it would be conquered by another kingdom, even the name of the king who was to conquer Babylon was given more than 100 years before it happened, (see Isaiah 44,28-45.1) . Babylon was considered impregnable, and those who lived within the city walls had food for many years of siege. The river Euphrates passed through the city, and there were huge gates that were locked at night in case someone with evil intentions should enter the city. Nevertheless, the Bible tells us in advance that Cyrus was going to conquer the city, and even in what way he was going to do it.
In Isaiah 44:27 God says. That saith to the deep, Be dry, and I will dry up thy rivers:. What happened was that King Cyrus ordered to dig a canal so that the water in the river was led away from the city so that the soldiers could enter via the dry river course. In Isaiah 45:2 God says. I will go before thee, and make the crooked places straight. I will break in pieces the gates of brass, and cut in sunder the bars of iron. When the Medo-Persian soldiers entered the city, all the gates were unlocked, and Babylon’s king, Belshazzar, held a great feast, and the Medo-Persia conquered the city quite easily.
This is how we see the prophecies have been fulfilled time after time and always exactly as God has said it would happen through his prophets. Yet today’s people dismiss the claim of a doomsday. Even many Christian churches deny that there will be such a day when God makes a final deal with sin.
I am convinced through the prophecies of the Bible that God has full control over the course of history. We only have to open the history books and we will find it all confirmed there. 4,000 years before Jesus died on the cross, the first prophecy of Christ was given on the day Adam and Eve sinned against God. In Genesis 3:15 we read: And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers, he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel, (NIV 1984).
Here it is necessary to explain some of the words. I in this verse is God, you are Satan, represented by the snake, which is later used as an image of Satan, the woman as always represents God’s people or the church/congregation. Your offspringis those who follow Satan, hers (offspring) is Christ. It has always, since the Fall, been a battle between good and evil, this is the enmity to which it is shown. As we see both parties will suffer during this battle, Jesus died on the cross, it is the same as you will strike his heel. When Jesus rose again from the dead, He defeated the evil one forever and ever, and is the same as he will crush your head.
Some will probably react to the fact that Jesus won a victory forever and ever when he rose from the dead 2,000 years ago, and say that He did not, because there is still so much evil out there in the world. It will always be like this in all kinds of wars, including the war going on between Jesus and Satan. Satan lost the war forever and ever when Jesus rose from the dead. In the same way as Japan and Germany, they lost the Second World War respectively on 4 December when Japan bombed the US Pacific Fleet, and on 7 December 1941 when Russia launched a counter-offensive against the Germans who were just outside Moscow. It was still a long time before the Axis powers capitulated. Germany did not capitulate until 8 May 1945 and Japan on 15 August 1945.
In Matthew 24:25, Jesus says to us who live in the last days, Behold, I have told you before. Jesus said judgment is coming, and He has given us many signs that must be fulfilled before He returns, and we have no excuse for not being prepared for the day Jesus returns. Through his prophets, God also gave us many signs that must be fulfilled before Jesus returns, and if we look at the world today we will see that all, absolutely all the signs that have been given are being fulfilled at the same time before our eyes today. We just have to interpret the signs correctly, and Jesus helps us with that too, because He has given us a set of keys to interpret the prophecies, and these keys are Bible studies and prayer. God will help the honest seeker with the answers he is looking for.
Here is an overview of the signs Jesus gave us so that we could understand when the end is near.
|Matthew 24||Mark 13||Lukas 21|
|False Christs||False Christs||False Christs|
|Rumours of wars||Rumours of wars|
|Nation against nation||Nation against nation||Nation against nation|
|Fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven|
|Brought before kings and rulers|
|Kingdom against kingdom||Kingdom against kingdom||Kingdom against kingdom|
|Troubles (American KJV)|
|Many will be offended|
|Betray one another||Betray one another||Betray one another|
|Hate one another|
|False prophets||False prophets|
|Iniquity shall abound|
|Love of many shall wax cold|
|Gospel to the whole world||Gospel to the whole world|
|Tribulation such as never was||Tribulation such as never was|
|The sun be darkened||The sun be darkened||The sun be darkened|
|The moon shall not give her light||The moon shall not give her light||The moon shall not give her light|
|Stars shall fall from heaven||Stars shall fall from heaven||Stars shall fall from heaven|
|Perplexity when the sea and the waves roaring|
|The powers of the heavens shall be shaken||The powers of the heavens shall be shaken||The powers of the heavens shall be shaken|
We must live with the impending doomsday in our thoughts. Not because we fear the that day, but because it is an event that God’s faithful look forward to. This is the day when our Lord Jesus Christ returns to deliver his faithful remnant, and there can be nothing to fear if we have our relationship with God in order. Those who do not have their relationship with God in order have every reason to fear.
The prophet Isaiah tells about the event that we know is coming soon, the Day of the Lord. Now many will claim that what Isaiah is prophesying about is the fall of Judea when Babylon conquered the country in 605 BC. However, those who claim this ignore verse 10 of chapter 13, which refers to end time events. In Isaiah 13:9-11 we read the following: Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate: and he shall destroy the sinners thereof out of it. For the stars of heaven and the constellations thereof shall not give their light: the sun shall be darkened in his going forth, and the moon shall not cause her light to shine. And I will punish the world for [their] evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; and I will cause the arrogance of the proud to cease, and will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible. This verse points directly to Matthew 24:29 where Jesus talks about the end times, and to the Revelation where John writes about the same in chapters 6:12-14.17 and in 8:12.
Matthew 24:29. Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken.
Revelation 6:12-14. And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake, and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood. And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind. And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places. (Revelation 6:17) For the great day of his wrath, is come, and who shall be able to stand?
Revelation 8:12. And the fourth angel sounded, and the third part of the sun was smitten, and the third part of the moon, and the third part of the stars; so as the third part of them was darkened, and the day shone not for a third part of it, and the night likewise.
What can we learn from Enoch? There is not much to be found in the Bible about him. Besides what is told about him in Genesis, that he was the son of Jared and that he had Methuselah as his first son in addition to several sons and daughters, lived for 365 years and was taken up to heaven, there are only these verses that speak of Enoch in the Bible.
Hebrews 11:5. By faith, Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.
Jude 1:14-15. And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying. Behold the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints. To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard [speeches] which ungodly sinners have spoken against him.
Enoch must have been a remarkable man. He was taken alive into heaven by God. The reason for this is not stated, but since he had pleased God, we can probably count on him being an offense to those he lived with. Enoch is a type of the end-time church in two ways.
Firstly, he is a type of God’s little remnant in the end times who will be taken up to heaven without seeing death, (see 1 Thessalonians 4:17). Like Enoch, God’s remnant will receive the same testimony from God that they are pleasing Him, and they will be given the seal of the living God on their foreheads.
Secondly, Enoch preached repentance and remorse to his contemporaries, that they should turn to God and stop their wickedness. This is exactly the end-time message that we are called to preach: Fear God, and give glory to him … and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters. We read in Genesis 6:5 that 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. Even though Enoch was taken up to heaven 669 years before the flood, we can still assume that evil was great in his time. The fact that he was taken up to heaven is interpreted by some as meaning that his life was in danger because of his preaching. It is the same thing we experience in our time. Satan hates the SDA more than he hate anything else on this earth, and he will eventually incite his minions to persecute torture and kill those who will not submit to the image of the beast. Nevertheless, this little remnant of God will fearlessly continue to preach repentance to a foaming world until the Saviour Jesus Christ returns to claim them, as He did with Enoch.
What can we learn from the story of Enoch? It says that Enoch was pleasing to God, and from this, we can understand that he also had a strong faith in God, because without faith [it is] impossible to please [him]: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and [that] he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him, (Hebrews 11:6).
Ellen G. White says about Enoch. He refused to take any course that would offend his God. He kept the Lord continually before him. He would pray, Teach me Thy way, that I may not err. What is Thy pleasure concerning me? What shall I do to honour Thee, my God? Thus he was constantly shaping his way and course in accordance with God’s commandments, and he had perfect confidence and trust in his heavenly Father, that He would help him. He had no thought or will of his own. It was all submerged in the will of his Father, (Last Days Event 71.2).
We find Enoch’s testimony in Genesis 5:24 and this is an incredibly beautiful description of how Enoch lived his life: He spent his life in fellowship with God, and then he disappeared, because God took him away, (Good News Translation). Enoch walked with God, not just occasionally, but all the time. He lived so close to God that his whole life was a daily walk with Him. He had God as his friend and interlocutor. God had come and visited Enoch daily, to walk with him and converse with him.
Enoch continued where Abel began before he was killed to death. Abel showed us by his sacrifice the Firstborn Lamb and the blood – that is, the atonement. Enoch shows us more – that what we humans need, in addition to reconciliation, is a daily walk with God.
Ellen G. White says this about the environment in which Enoch lived. Enoch had temptations as well as we. He was surrounded with society no more friendly to righteousness than is, that which surrounds us. The atmosphere he breathed was tainted with sin and corruption the same as ours, yet he lived a life of holiness. He was unsullied with the prevailing sins of the age in which he lived. So may we remain pure and uncorrupted, (Last Days Event 71.4).
We must allow Enoch’s example inspire our lives and our faith so that we too can live extraordinary lives here on earth as we preach the end-time message and prepare for Jesus’ return. As Abraham was called to leave what his family had to offer him, we too are called to leave what this world has to offer. We still have to live another time in this world, but let’s live in such a way that we leave such traces behind us that God will look at us in the same way that he looked at Enoch. Let the world around us see that we are children of the Living God, and show them the love Jesus would show them, even if they want us to hurt.
Let us follow the divine calling we have been given. God has called us out of the confusion that exists in the world, which originated in Babylon. A confusion that soon have infected all of humanity. We are called to live a different life than the people of the world. We are called out of the world. We are called to be extraordinary. Let us live like Enoch.
Prepared, or not prepared for Jesus’ return.
In 1889, Ellen G. White said this. If we find no pleasure now in the contemplation of heavenly things; if we have no interest in seeking the knowledge of God, no delight in beholding the character of Christ; if holiness has no attractions for us—then we may be sure that our hope of heaven is vain. Perfect conformity to the will of God is the high aim to be constantly before the Christian. He will love to talk of God, of Jesus, of the home of bliss and purity, which Christ has prepared for them that love Him. The contemplation of these themes, when the soul feasts upon the blessed assurances of God, the apostle represents as tasting the powers of the world to come, (Last Days Events 73.4).
As we have seen, there are two ways to approach God. It has been this way since the days of Cain and Abel. Unfortunately, the majority choose Cain’s way, where it is a matter of worshiping God according to their own will. This is finding another way to God than the one God himself has prescribed, and the first to do it was, as I said, Cain. After the great flood, Nimrod was the first to lead men in opposition to God, by doing as Cain did. Today almost the whole world follows Cain’s line. The minority still choose to worship God as He has prescribed, no matter the cost. They follow Abel’s, or Seth’s, line, because it was when Seth had his first son, Enosh, that people began to call upon the name of the Lord (see Genesis 4:26).
Those who do not find joy in heavenly things will perish when the day comes. It does not mean that everyone who today does not feel attracted to Christ and His character is lost, because God is constantly calling all people to repent. The plan of salvation was made ready before man was created, and was implemented on the same day that Adam and Eve fell into sin. And the LORD God called unto Adam it says in Genesis 3:9 and said unto him, where art thou? Since then God has called the fallen human race every single day to make us turn around, give up sin and turn to Him, God is still calling all people, and He will do so until the door of mercy is closed. Then everyone’s fate will be decided for all eternity. In the last book of the Bible, we find God’s last call and warning to fallen humanity. Through his servants, God calls people in this way. Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues, (Revelation 18:4).
God calls all people because He loves every single person on this planet. It does not matter what you have done, who you are or where you live. The only thing that matters is that you respond positively to God’s call, because God’s highest desire is that YOU should be saved, because in the entire and infinitely large universe, YOU are the most important person for God.
One of the preparations for the end times is to keep all of God’s Ten Commandments, and especially the Sabbath of the Lord, which is enshrined in the fourth commandment. The Sabbath issue will be the greatest trial for God’s faithful remnant. This is where the last great battle will stand, and this is where our adversaries will use every means to make us falter and fall. Ellen G. White says in Early Writings, 69.3. I saw that those who oppose the Sabbath of the Lord could not take the Bible and show that our position is incorrect; therefore, they would slander those who believe and teach the truth and would attack their characters. Many who were once conscientious and loved God and His Word have become so hardened by rejecting the light of truth that they do not hesitate to wickedly misrepresent and falsely accuse those who love the holy Sabbath, if by so doing they can injure the influence of those who fearlessly declare the truth. But these things will not hinder the work of God. In fact, this course pursued by those who hate the truth will be the very means of opening the eyes of some. Every jewel will be brought out and gathered, for the hand of the Lord is set to recover the remnant of His people, and He will accomplish the work gloriously.
Other preparations we can make are to familiarize ourselves with the scriptures, to understand what God wants to tell us through his Word, and not least to live out what we learn and have learned, so that we show it in our daily lives. We cannot allow ourselves to be preoccupied with things that lead the mind to the worldly. Ellen G. White says this. There is too much seeking after amusements and things to take the attention in this world. The mind is left to run too much upon dress, and the tongue is engaged too often in light and trifling conversation, which gives the lie to our profession, for our conversation is not in heaven, whence we look for the Saviour, (Early Writings 111.1).
This is a harsh criticism of much of what we are doing in the church today. Far too many people are too concerned with the things mentioned above. Now, neither Ellen G. White nor I say that we cannot engage in recreational activities. It is only when we do it at the expense of the time we should have spent with God that it is wrong. She says there is too much seeking after amusements and things to take the attention in this world in her time. What would she have said today?
All too often, we can see our siblings looking up social media on their mobiles, or the holy gadget as a pastor once called the mobile phone. Some do not even hide it! How much more time do they spend on this when they are not in church? Is this the right preparation? Mobile phones and computers are here to stay, so we can say what we want about this. However, one thing is certain. Our enemy also uses the cell phone, the computer, the internet and social media to make us spend our time on totally useless things. It is called social media, but look at the term social media. How social are we when we lock ourselves in a room, sitting alone in the pitch dark and using Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or any of the other platforms? I cannot see us being social at all. There are even married couples who mostly communicate via social media. Many people boast of having hundreds and thousands of friends on Facebook, friends they have never met, and most likely will never meet at all. Then I prefer to have a handful or two of friends to whom I can hang out with and socialize.
What if we spent as much time on God, Bible study and prayer as the average person spends on social media. Then the world would have experienced an unparalleled revival, and then we would all have been prepared for Jesus’ return. Imagine if we talked to a neighbour or random passer-by about Jesus as often as we log on to Facebook, then our churches would be full of new converts.
We cannot do anything without God seeing it. Nothing can be hidden from God, neither thoughts, words nor deeds. We must take into account what Hagar said when she met the Lord in the desert after she had fled from Sarah. She said, Thou God seest me, (Genesis 16:13). We must always remember that. We must therefore behave decently whether we are alone, together with siblings or whether we are in social contexts. God sees us, so let our behaviour be part of our preparations for Jesus’ return.
If you are right with God today, you are ready if Christ should come today, (Last Days Events 74.1). If your position is not right with God, it is still not too late to start preparing for the coming events that will end world history, as we know it today. Dear reader, look no further. God walks around calling your name, asking, «Where art thou?» and «Come out of her, my dear friend«.
Seek the God of love today, and he will come running to meet you, put his arms around you and whisper in your ear «welcome home, I have longed to walk with you and to talk with you and finally we are together«.