ARE YOU READY?
By Doug Hethcox
First I would like to thank both Terry and Todd for letting me submit this article. I feel the timing, considering where we are in history, couldn’t be better. But first, please pause for a brief moment and offer to our Lord a prayer of thanksgiving for whether you believe it or not you are part of a blessed generation, one that will see the return of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
My name is Doug Hethcox. Presently I live and work in a small town in Arkansas, but my permanent home is being prepared for me by Jesus whom I firmly expect to see coming to take us there soon in an event called the Rapture.
My father was a preacher so I’m one of those dreaded P.K.’s. I was raised up in church, and at the young age of ten in a church in Oceanside, California, the minister used me in his sermon by having me sit in a chair on stage. He then proceeded to tie me up with ropes to demonstrate how sin can bind us up and we by ourselves cannot break those bonds. He then produced a pocket knife that he called the sword of truth and cut the ropes to demonstrate how Jesus can set us free, and those who are set free are free indeed (John 8:36).
For years after that I continued in church and relied on the teachings of my Sunday School teachers and pastors to tell me what God’s word said about how to live the Christian life. Then in the early 70’s I happened across a book in paperback title ‘Raptured’. It scared me almost to death, I had never heard about this in church. So I began a quest and prayed that the Holy Spirit would guide me to learn what God’s Holy Word really says about this so called ‘Rapture of the Church’. What I would like to share with you is what I feel the Lord has laid upon my heart as the seven most important signs of our Lord’s return for His Church that is happening for the first time in the generation we live in now.
In the book of Matthew, Chapter 24, Jesus was asked by his disciples “Tell us when shall these things be. And what shall be the sign of Thy Coming? I believe this one question has been the most controversial question ever asked. Let’s look at seven prophecies I feel are key to the imminent return of our Lord.
In the following, each section is preceded by Scripture reference. Please read the Scripture first before reading section.
1) Matthew 24: 32-34
Israel has always been known as the fig tree of God. On May 15, 1948, His branch yet tender (Israel) put forth its leaves and was recognized as a nation for the first time in almost 2000 years. The generation that saw the return of Israel is quickly coming to an end. But note that Jesus said the generation that saw this happen will not pass away until all these things be fulfilled.
Are you ready?
2) Zechariah 12: 1-3
Turn on the news any day of the week and Israel will be there front and center. As a matter of fact the key to almost all end of days prophecies is centered on Israel. Why? Because the seven year tribulation is directed toward the restoration of the Jewish nation unto God through the recognition of His Son Jesus as their Messiah.
Are you ready?
3) Daniel Chapter 8
This chapter is the account of the ‘Abomination of Desolation’ where the antichrist will proclaim himself to be God. But in order for the antichrist to bring Daniel’s prophecy to pass, the temple in Jerusalem must be rebuilt, since it was destroyed in 70 A.D.
Look up ‘The Temple Institute’ on the internet. This is an amazing website. The third temple is already prefabricated and ready to go up at a moment’s notice including furnishings, priestly robes, and altar, priests are being trained all according to the Jewish Rabbinical law. And to add to this, Benjamin Netanyahu believes his destiny is to rebuild the Temple of Solomon.
Are you ready?
4) Matthew Chapter 24
Let’s go back to Chapter 24 of Matthew and look at the disaster prophecies. The one response I always get here is ‘those things have always happened since the beginning of time’. My answer – not so much! Geologists and scientist will tell you we are experiencing more natural disasters in this age than have ever been experienced in recorded history. They’re trying to explain it away on global warming, sun spots, whatever, anything except God’s warning us to prepare. Are you ready?
5) Revelations 16:12
This is the prophecy that when I learned that the great river Euphrates was in the process of going dry it sent a chill down my spine, a good chill because I yelled out ‘Maranantha’ as loud as I could. As I’m sure you know that means ‘Lord come quickly’. The Euphrates is one of the oldest rivers ever recorded in history. It is thought to be part of what is called the ‘cradle of civilization’. Geologists have no clue as to why the river is going dry, but we do. Are you ready?
6) Revelations Chapter 13
This prophecy is concerning the rise of the antichrist where he will establish a One World Government and a currency he will have total control over. The entire world’s economy is in shambles, nations are failing, riots, wholesale murder in the streets, dictators being overthrown, people out of work, and prices keep rising on everything even in the USA. Our government is doing its best to bring in the rise of socialism.
One of their mantras is never let a crisis go to waste, in fact it’s been said that one more major crisis that affects the entire world stage could collapse the governmental and economic structure of the planet. So I ask you, what could happen that would affect the entire globe so completely as to open the door for the rise of the antichrist? Are you ready?
7) Matthew 24: 37-39 and 1Thessalonians 4: 16-17
These verses typify what we see happening in our world today. For almost 100 years Noah preached one sermon, the coming judgement of the world because of not just its wickedness but also its total ridicule and denial of God. Sound familiar?
1Corinthians 6: 9-10
We now as Christians, instead of the majority in America, have become the minority. The Bible speaks of a great revival just before the Lord’s return. This is happening, millions are coming to Christ in China, Mexico, Russia, Africa, places where if caught it could mean death, and many are dying. But here in America, because of political correctness our rights as followers of Jesus Christ are swiftly diminishing. The words ‘God’ and ‘Jesus” are being kicked out of schools, courthouses and all government buildings. Don’t believe me? Just try to go up to any state or federal building and hold a group prayer vigil and see what happens.
There is so much more going on now than just these seven things. One that saddens my heart so much is how so many ministers here in America have forgotten their first love and calling. They have fallen into a feel good, prosperity type of message that doesn’t even resemble the Great Commission. The gospel we need and should be preaching has been watered down and diluted. Is it any wonder why churches are closing?
In summary please look at 1Thessalonians 4: 16-17. Are you ready? Are you ready to be caught up? Are you ready to meet the Lord in the air?
God’s desire is that no one should perish, but that all may obtain salvation through His son Jesus Christ. But He requires three things from you – Belief, Faith and Action. Belief that Jesus died on a cross for your sins, Faith that He rose from the grave and is preparing a place for you in Heaven, and Action, publically confessing you are a sinner and asking for forgiveness of your sins and accepting Him into your heart to become like unto Him. He had the strength to shed His blood for you, do you have the humbleness to stand up, step out and reach out to Him. Only you and Jesus know if you’re truly ‘Rapture Ready’.
Are you ready?