Many Christians are not Prepared!


By Dr. Ken Matto


So that we ourselves glory in you in the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that ye endure: (2 Thessalonians 1:4)


One of the biggest failures of the churches and seminaries today is that they have not prepared Christians to endure hardships.  The main reason for this is they adopt “Western Christian Privilege” which carries with it the idea that Christians in the west will not have to face any trials and tribulations.  The great emphasis is on the belief that there is such a thing as a pre-tribulational rapture and that Christians in the west will be removed and taken to Heaven before the mythical seven year tribulation period kicks in.


Teaching that Christians will be raptured before they face any persecution sets the Christian up with a bewildering mindset because persecution is coming for all Christians as it was in the past, it shall be in the future.  By teaching Christians not to expect persecution and telling them they will be raptured away from any affliction sets them up for disaster.  Many Christians are not prepared to face the everyday afflictions that Christians all over the world face.  If you look at social media, you have more Christians relying on the rapture than the reality that they must face and deal with hardships.


We saw this during the 2020 Covid scamdemic when Christians shut down their churches and ministries simply because none of them had any desire to do any research into what was being spewed from the networks, instead they listened to whatever was convenient and did what their local and state tyrants told them to do.


Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. (2 Timothy 2:3)


2 Timothy 2:3 teaches that we are to endure hardness as a good soldier of Christ and not to look for some escape mechanism to avoid it.  Let’s face it, 2020 was a year which proved that many Christians were not prepared to face reality and that the majority of churches are spiritually deficient.  The words “endure hardness” is one word in the Greek text and it carries with it the meaning of “suffer trouble, endure affliction, or suffer trouble.”  Why would the word of God counsel us to endure hardness or affliction if the Lord was going to remove his people from the earth?


Then he uses the term “good soldier.”  The term “good” carries with it the meaning of “noble or excellent.”  What kind of noble or excellent soldier is it that cowers in a fox hole waiting for the rapture?  A true soldier of Christ is to be ready for battle even if they aren’t engaged in one at the moment.  The Scriptures are the battle weapon which is used to fight false teachings such as a pre-trib rapture and the true study of scripture strengthens us to face whatever this world has thrown at us.  Instead of running to our couch and staring at our phone, we must face the realities of hard times head on.  Can you name me any Christian, from the time of the apostles to today, that made a difference for the kingdom of God by running and hiding and waiting for the rapture?


Martha saith unto him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day. (John 11:24)


John 11:24 is one of six verses which teach that the resurrection, which is the rapture, will occur on the last day.  This is why the Bible counsels us to endure the hardships and afflictions of this life because they are the testing programs which build the endurance capabilities of the believer.  The Bible is teaching us plainly that the Christians are going to be here until the last day of recorded history and we better learn to face hardships.  How can a Christian grow in the faith by running away and staring at the sky waiting to be taken away?  When the Lord Jesus Christ ascended into Heaven, the Disciples were all staring into Heaven watching the Lord disappear.  Then what did the angels say to them?  “Keep waiting on this mountain because that is what you are to do?”  Said no angel ever!


Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven. (Acts 1:11)


The angel asked them “why stand ye gazing up into Heaven?”  In other words, what are you still doing here as there is much to do to get the gospel out to the world.  The same question could be asked of the modern western Christian, “why are you gazing up into Heaven looking for the rapture?”  Laziness is reprehensible to the Lord and lazy Christians will never experience the full Christian life.  There are many to reach in this world with the true gospel and it will never be accomplished by living a lazy life.


It is time that Christians begin to start believing their Bibles instead of believing fake theological systems or pastors who are trained in deception.  Christians must become hardened soldiers in the kingdom of God or they will face continuous defeat. 


But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry. (2 Timothy 4:5)


The verse states plainly that we are to endure afflictions while doing the work of an evangelist.  In other words, while you are facing hardship, continue to witness the gospel to others.  Have you ever listened to the Voice of the Martyrs broadcast?  They feature people who have family members who were threatened with execution but refused to be intimidated and continued bringing the gospel to others and in many cases, they were executed for their faith.  In witnessing during afflictions, you are making full proof of your ministry which carries the meaning of “giving full evidence of your ministry.”


Paul gives four commands to Timothy in this verse but they apply to all Christians no matter whether they hold a position in the church or not. The first command is to watch and that means to be sober minded so you are able to spot a false teaching which is specifically designed by Satan to derail you from your walk with the Lord. It also carries with it the idea of self-control to keep oneself from any sins which could cause a fall in our Christian walk. The second command is that he is to endure affliction which means hardship or suffering. The true Christian is going to face hardships in this world because this is still Satan’s kingdom where we walk and his people are completely opposed to the truth and will cause affliction. One only needs to look at the martyrs in Ancient Rome and in the Middle Ages. One can also look at the afflictions of those involved in the Great Missionary Movement of the Nineteenth century.


Even in the presence of affliction comes the third command and that is to do the work of an evangelist. In the heat of opposition, he is to continue to proclaim the word of God, until the time comes when he is unable to but as long as he is free to do so, the door remains open for evangelism. Timothy’s duties included many things in reference to the church at Ephesus but one thing he was never to do and that was to neglect the preaching and proclaiming of God’s word. The fourth command is that Timothy make full proof of his ministry, that is, to do the ministry to the utmost. He is to engage in the duties of the ministry to the fullest extent no matter what task he was working on. If it was preaching, the whole counsel of God. If it was counseling, then rebuke and exhortation. If it was confronting the false teachers, then no holds barred as they had to be exposed in the widest manner possible so people would see their fraudulence. These four commands must also be adopted in the lives of every believer. Ministry that is done half way, is ministry undone! We are speaking of eternal things and that is why there must be fullest involvement without cutting corners.


So get off the couch and stop looking for the easy way out but make sure you are truly saved because a saved person has a propensity to send forth the gospel, the unsaved person does not and may exhibit that unsaved position by laziness.