It seems like everyday I wake up to find our world deeper in the rabbit hole. While watching the Olympics last week, I heard a commentator struggling to remember - during a Women's Olympic event, mind you - to refer to the biological female who was performing by her "preferred pronouns" of "they/them." Listening to the commentator was quite confusing; it went something like this: "They is usually good at this move. They seems to be having difficulty. I'm not sure why them is performing poorly. When I asked they why, them said they were nervous, so when I asked them about they performance, them said it was nerves. But them is so brave for their pronoun choice." If my old Grammar teacher could have heard it, she would have been turning over in her grave. But grammar doesn't matter anymore if plural words are now singular words whenever "them" chooses. Because of the importance of language, this really isn't a small matter. It's shocking because it's the breakdown of the structure of something as basic as grammar and it just seemed to come out of nowhere.
Of course, the breakdown of grammar is the tip of the iceberg when it comes to our extremely steep slide into gender fluidity. Sexual identities we never could have dreamed of are popping up like weeds. A report from 2019 showed 46 varieties of sexual identity. 46! And the number only keeps growing. When this idea first hit the mainstream, I thought it would be a flash in the pan. But seemingly overnight, it was everywhere. I recently watched a clip from a documentary that celebrates "different types of families" that showed a biological male who identified as a woman who was married to a biological female who identified as a male. They were married as husband and wife with the man being the wife and the woman being the husband. The "husband" got pregnant and gave birth then handed the baby off to the "wife" who was desperately trying to breastfeed the newborn child. "She" was sobbing because, of course, "her" efforts were futile because "she" has no mammary glands! It literally is an impossibility and yet this seriously mentally ill person kept trying. It was heartbreaking watching the hungry baby crying and this hurting couple lost in such needless confusion. And all the time while watching, I thought, "How did this happen so quickly?"
Additionally, a week doesn't go by that I don't find myself reading some Draconian policy spewing forth from our nation's government and worldwide industries. Of course, it's all under the guise of "dismantling" some wicked enemy: racism, bigotry, hatred, inequity, and the list goes on and on. I have been watching the Bill of Rights get stripped away from Americans at an alarming rate. From people being silenced on social media for sharing their political views to business owners being fined for flying an American flag, the steel trap for silencing opposing views seems to have snapped shut quickly. Massive tech companies like Facebook are partnering with the government to expand the types of extremist content shared between firms in a new ‘database' that lists anyone deemed as extremist or anti-government as a part of a national strategy to combat domestic extremism. And payment companies are getting on board, too. Last night, I was lying in bed listening to a press release from the Anti-Defamation League indicating that, "PayPal [is] Partnering with Extremism to Protect Marginalized Communities" in an "effort by PayPal to combat racism, hate and extremism across its platforms and the industry." In other words, PayPal will be tracking payments that they have determined are made to or by "hateful" organizations. Since I am boldly pro-life, pro-Israel, pro-America, and pro-bible, will that mean any payments I make towards organizations that support these causes will be seen as hateful & extreme? And how much longer until Mastercard, Visa, and the rest follow suit? Sooner than later it seems.
So, last night, while I'm lying there listening to this madness, I say to myself for the millionth time, "How did this all happen so quickly?" Immediately, my heart answered back, "the end of it shall be like a flood" and my mouth fell open. There it was: Daniel 9:26. Although not a perfectly executed exegetical approach, this scripture slapped me upside the head in an "oh, yeah! Duh!" kind of moment. "Why in the world have you been so shocked at the suddenness of it all," the scripture seemed to ask. "Didn't I say it would come quickly?"
I needed this reminder. It caused me to open up my bible and read the many other scriptures that warned of the same swiftness of the day in which we live:
Daniel 9:26 - And the people of the prince who is to come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end of it shall be with a flood, And till the end of the war desolations are determined.
”Matthew 24:37 - But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. 38 For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, 39 and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be...44 Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.
Matthew 25:1 - Then the kingdom of heaven shall be likened to ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. 2 Now five of them were wise, and five were foolish. 3 Those who were foolish took their lamps and took no oil with them, 4 but the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. 5 But while the bridegroom was delayed, they all slumbered and slept.6 “And at midnight a cry was heard: ‘Behold, the bridegroom [a]is coming; go out to meet him!’ 7 Then all those virgins arose and trimmed their lamps. 8 And the foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ 9 But the wise answered, saying, ‘No, lest there should not be enough for us and you; but go rather to those who sell, and buy for yourselves.’ 10 And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding; and the door was shut.11 “Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, ‘Lord, Lord, open to us!’ 12 But he answered and said, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, I do not know you.’13 “Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour [b]in which the Son of Man is coming.
Mark 13:32 - But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. 33 Take heed, watch and pray; for you do not know when the time is. 34 It is like a man going to a far country, who left his house and gave authority to his servants, and to each his work, and commanded the doorkeeper to watch. 35 Watch therefore, for you do not know when the master of the house is coming—in the evening, at midnight, at the crowing of the rooster, or in the morning— 36 lest, coming suddenly, he find you sleeping. 37 And what I say to you, I say to all: Watch!
1 Thessalonians 5:1 - But concerning the times and the seasons, brethren, you have no need that I should write to you. 2 For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. 3 For when they say, “Peace and safety!” then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape.
Revelation 3:11 - I am coming quickly!
I had to shake myself, wake myself from the stuper of surprise in which I have found myself. It's all quite clear when I wipe the blurriness from my eyes by returning them to the pure light of scripture - the Day of the Lord (not just Christ's return) comes quickly. There is an increase and an acceleration in wickedness in the hours proceeding that "great and terrible day" (Joel 2:11). But I also believe that there is an acceleration of the gospel that is filling the far reaches of the earth and an acceleration of "returning to the law and to the testimony" in the true church (Isaiah 8:20). The Lord is allowing the Western church to go through the fire to "purify us" (Daniel 11:35) in order that we may be a spotless bride. He's using the acceleration of wickedness to shake us in this hour (Heb. 12:26-28) in order that we may stand holy and unashamed at his return. We shouldn't be surprised by the hour but we should be made sober by it, heeding 1 Thess. 5:8 which says, "But let us who are of the day be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope of salvation."
Now is the greatest hour to heed the doctrines and warnings of scripture that entreat us to apply such truths as Ephesians 4: 29 which says, "29 Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary [edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption-30." Now is the hour to cultivate holiness in our hearts and to encourage other believers to do the same. We can impart grace to each other by turning off the news now and then, remove it from our topics of all-consuming conversations, and return our fellowship to the Word that build us up and keep us alert. And being alert isn't about knowing alllll the bad stuff that's coming down the pike; being alert means watching for Jesus' return (read the scriptures above again!).
Now is the time to live out Titus 2 which says, "6 ... be sober-minded, 7 in all things showing yourself to be a pattern of good works; in doctrine showing integrity, reverence, incorruptibility, 8 sound speech that cannot be condemned." Yes, now is the hour to have solid doctrine, integritous lives, and sound speech that isn't corrupted by soulish opinions and the hopelessness that prevails in this moment. Now is the hour to live out Hebrews 10:23 which says, "Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, 25 not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching."
The Day is approaching swiftly, Beloveds, and by God's grace, I'm done being surprised by it because now is the time to live prepared for it.