Years ago, the church I was affiliated with adopted the slogan, “Bring Back the King.” Amos tells us why that just might be dangerous thinking.
We Christians know without a doubt that we will live in heaven for eternity. For some, that assurance spurs them on to tell others so that they can have the same assurance through the blood of Jesus. For others, that sense of security creates a complacency. And that is what God addresses through Amos.
I don’t want to debate end-times events here, because there are differing opinions based on the same Scripture, and that’s not what God has laid on my heart today. But I think God is addressing one such opinion through Amos. I know many believe that God will rapture the Church before things get really bad here on planet Earth. Others believe the Church will go through the great suffering before the rapture. But often, when people talk about the pre-tribulation rapture, it is usually said with thanksgiving, and a sigh of relief. “Whew! We’re gonna dodge that bullet. Praise the Lord.”
Woe to you who long for the day of the Lord! Why do you long for the day of the Lord? That day will be darkness, not light. It will be as though a man fled from a lion only to meet a bear, as though he entered his house and rested his hand on the wall only to have a snake bite him. Will not the day of the Lord be darkness, not light – pitch-dark, without a ray of brightness? (6:18-20)
If the Church is raptured before a time of great suffering, and you’re ok with that – shame on you. Have you no compassion for the multitudes of people for whom Jesus died, but still don’t know Him, who will die in their sins and suffer eternity in hell?
“Oh,” some will say, “people will still get saved after we’re gone.” Does believing that give you an excuse to throw up your hands, and pray for the Day of the Lord while staring at your phone, trying to get to the next level on that all-important game you are playing?
God has a lot more to say through the shepherd/prophet Amos about judgment and sin, about restoration and grace. But God is speaking to me today about my own level of concern for lost people. Because judgment is coming, and we deserve it.
I don’t know when Jesus will return. I don’t know if the world will experience that great suffering the Bible talks about with or without the Church in its midst. But personally, I’m not going to pray for “The Day of the Lord,” or to “Bring Back the King” and not do everything I can while I am still able, to go, make disciples, share the good news of Jesus Christ before it’s too late.
Because Jesus is not willing that anyone die without Him. I shouldn’t be, either.