the sun and the moon and the stars go dark.” –Ecclesiastes 12:1-2
I wrote once about the importance of remembering who you are and where you come
from, but I think even the reminder itself bears remembrance. We all too often forget the
things we’re supposed to remember in life, despite writing notes to ourselves, leaving
reminders on our phones, and all the other myriad of ways with which we try to jog our
The prophecy contained in that passage above can easily be missed, but if you pay
close attention, you will see similar words in Matthew 24:29 (referencing Isaiah) and
Revelation 6:12, both of which prophesy that the return of Jesus Christ and the gathering
of his people will be directly preceded by the Sun, moon, and stars going dark. In
essence, the above scripture says. “Remember your creator before he comes back.”
While the exact time of the rapture can never be known, and the eschatological scholars
will be debating until kingdom come about the exact chain of events which lead to the
rapture, I propose to you that the message of this passage is far simpler: just Remember.
Remember the Lord your God, regardless of the circumstances which come your way.
I have previously stated my personal belief that Matthew 24 is a chapter of the bible
which needs to be understood literally, and not in some lofty metaphorical sense. Jesus
was explaining clearly to his disciples that the events which led up to his return would
be unmistakable, and that they would also involve untold hardship for his followers all
over the world. Looking also at Revelation 6, you can see that directly before the mention
of the sun, moon, and stars going dark, there is a lengthy and often-unremarked-upon
section of scripture which stipulates that God’s return won’t be manifested until “the full
number” of those who were to be killed for their testimony in Christ is completed.
While at present we still live in a free society which embraces people of all faiths, if the
prophecies of Jesus and John are to be correctly understood, we must assume that at some
point in the future, that will change. This change could happen gradually over time, or
perhaps could come all at once as a result of a catastrophic set of events. In either case, it
should not be assumed that America’s religiously tolerant attitude will persist forever.
Some pastors are very good at pointing out that, as it says in 2 Timothy 3:12, “anyone
who wants to live a Godly life in Christ Jesus WILL be persecuted.” However, most
of them tend to gloss over the messy bits like this because, frankly, it scares away
new converts. Nevertheless, this is a truth which should be not only understood by all
Christians, but embraced: If you hope to reach Heaven one day, you should be prepared
to get there at all costs...to include by means of a bullet.
Paul also warns his spiritual son Timothy to “keep your head in all situations,” because
he knows that “God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and sound mind.”
That is why we need not be afraid of what may come, because God our father watches
out for us even in the midst of seemingly terrible circumstances. Until the darkness
comes, we should all devote ourselves to praying fervently, developing our knowledge
of scripture, and praising the Lord. As long as America remains a place where God is
worshipped, I believe there will still be continued health for our nation, even if it only
limps along under the weight of its collective sin.
Finally, I leave you with the words of the prophet Jeremiah as he warned his servant
Baruch about the coming destruction of Israel for its unrepentant sin:
“I will tear down what I have built and uproot what I have planted all over the earth.
Shall you then seek great things for yourself? I tell you, do not seek them. For I will bring
disaster on all people, declares the Lord, but wherever you go I will let you escape with
your life.” –Jeremiah 45:4-5
God’s judgment on the earth may be swift and painful, and we may have to endure
hardship before we get to heaven, but his promise to watch over us will never waver or be
withdrawn. Hardship comes to us all, but God gives us the strength to endure all things
for the sake of his gospel. Be prepared to die well.