Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing 2 Timothy 4:8
Well, I’m at it again—trying to take off those extra pounds that crept back on throughout the winter months; however, this time is different. There’s no wedding or graduation on the horizon to motivate me to do this. There’s no scheduled doctor’s appointment looming in the near future. It’s just time to do it, and to be quite honest, I’m not sure that I will be successful without those deadlines! I’m really a deadline person.
The Apocalypse—the word exudes doom and horror! It means disaster, catastrophe, destruction. To the world, it is Judgement Day or Armageddon. The Book of Revelation often takes that name as well, and rightly so—Revelation 1: 1 begins with these words: The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass… And if you’ve have read any of the last book of the Bible, then you know that there’s a lot of doom and destruction written in its twenty-two chapters.
Does the knowledge of those prophecies help us to live a better Christian life? I mean, as Christians, the doom and gloom is not for us but for those who are left behind at Jesus’ Coming. So, it’s not the doom that prods the born-again believer, but the thought of seeing our God and Savior face to face that prompts us to live a life that pleases Him. You remember that feeling: Dad and Mom have gone out and left specific instructions for you—the list! You look at the clock and figure how long it will take to get the jobs done, and then either choose to do the jobs first OR (most likely), you do what you want to do until the absolute least amount of time is left to finish the “to do” list!
The problem with Jesus’ return is that there’s no clock, not even a calendar. Paul and the other apostles looked for Him to return in their lifetime, and here we are, over two thousand years later, doing the same thing! Did God not disclose the time and date of His appearing because He wanted to keep us on our toes? I think not. He created us; He knows us; He is constantly doing what is best for us. We walk by faith, and if He gave us the due date, that would take a huge part of our faith out of the equation.
Reading about the Rapture and what it may be like sharpens my desire to live for God, hones my desperation to parent godly children, and polishes my vision to reach the lost.
In A Moment in Time, Carrie Spangler, a pastor’s daughter, had heard all her life that Jesus was coming; she just didn’t think He would come when He did. What was she doing? Was she looking for His return? Not in the least. She was busy living her life the way she wanted to live it. She disregarded the years of Bible teaching which she had received at church and at her Christian school. Notice, I didn’t say in her home. The following is an excerpt from Chapter Five which gives us a glimpse into the Spangler household:
Betty turned to face him, propping herself on one elbow. “Charles, how do you think [Carrie’s] doing spiritually?”
The question hung in the air for a moment before he found the answer, “I guess that’s your department.” He sighed deeply. “Betty, I don’t know what I’m supposed to do. I can successfully lead ten pastors in an area-wide revival, pastor a church of six hundred, and run a Christian school, but I can’t talk to my own daughter. I guess I just don’t understand girls.”
“Don’t say that, Charles. I’m afraid for her. I’m not even sure that she’s saved.”
“But she said she was, and every time it comes up, she’s defending her decision.”
“That’s just it, that’s why I wonder if she really is. And we never talk about spiritual things with her.”
“Yes we do,” he said defensively. “At dinner, we often talk about…”
“…about church activities.”
“Yes, but we talk about what God is doing.”
“We talk, Charles, but does she?” Betty could hear the hall clock ticking as Charles mulled the words over in his mind.
“Can’t you talk to her?” he asked.
“I’ve tried. I think I was getting somewhere tonight until you walked in.” It was a simple statement, but it charged the room with energy by all the messages it carried.
“You always make it sound like it’s my fault.” The defenses were up.
“Charles. You come floating into the room on your own pride and never even see…,” but she didn’t get to finish. Betty knew she had said too much.
“How dare you,” he shot back, getting off the bed and pacing the floor.
Carrie heard the conversation escalating and went to her door, cracking it just enough to catch their voices.
“Charles, I’m sorry; I’m just so worried. But I shouldn’t have said that.” She came around the bed to him, but he wasn’t ready to give in that easily.
Carrie could see the scene in her mind, and it sickened her. Dad is huffing and puffing while Mom grovels at his feet. I hate him!
“Charles. Let’s not fight,” Betty whispered realizing how loud their voices had become. She reached up and ran her fingers down his arm, squeezing his hand. She knew how to melt him. He was a good man, and she loved him so!
A Moment in Time is fiction but it is not a fairytale in which everyone lived happily ever after. This book was written with a heart and burden for Christian families. It was written for us to take a good hard look at what is really going on in our homes and in our children’s hearts and minds.
Jesus is coming—we know that. A Moment in Time just puts it into a realistic setting. What if He did come back right now, today? Where would our children and grandchildren be? Would we be glad to see Him? What will it be like? Writing these books has sharpened my focus and understanding about the End Times; it also gave me a greater burden for the lost. None of us are guaranteed tomorrow. My prayer is that the Strong Delusion trilogy will help my readers to see the End Times events just a bit clearer and perhaps encourage them to take a look inside themselves as well. It’s an exciting book with an exciting plot and dynamic characters, but that’s not the point. Reading even a Christian novel gains merit when we take the lessons sown into the fabric of its content and apply them to our hearts.