The warning has gone out to the church. God has said, "Get ready! Prepare for the worst." We are right on the threshold of the greatest period of testing and trial ever to come on mankind, and we must have something to sustain us if we are to endure it.
Jesus said to His disciples that love will wax cold (Matthew 24:12). But "he that endures to the end, the same shall be saved" (verse 13). He hints that some of His brethren will go through that terrible time. If God permits us to escape it, then great. This is why Joel 2:14 says, "Who knows? Maybe He will leave a blessing behind." We do not know for sure if that will be the case with us.
In the past, many in the church of God played an incredible game of being prudent agnostics, of believing but not being truly committed, as shown by their conduct. They were acquainted with God, but not really seeking to know Him. They were just hanging loose, hedging their bets, floating around, ready to go in any direction that offered the most comfortable, non-sacrificial solution. In that circumstance, the church often merely became nothing more than a fraternal organization.
But this is reality: Jesus Christ is our Lord and Master. He owns us. He redeemed us, bought us with a price, and He can do whatever He wants to do with us—and we committed ourselves to Him. Wholehearted commitment is part of the deal. We do not want to be like the Israelites who prostituted themselves in faithlessness, forsaking their covenant with the government of Almighty God.
We in the church are not without warning. God expects us to use the warning to be both comforted and prepared.
John W. Ritenbaugh
Trumpets Is a Day of Hope
God uses graphic language here. What is coming should not be anticipated lightly. It will be painful like no time in history has ever been painful. There will be so much fear and anxiety that it is beyond our comprehension to understand— especially when we think of this in light of the peoples of the United States, Canada, Australia, and South Africa, countries whose entire populations have never really had to face the horrors of war. Some of our men have been involved in war, but we have never had our own shores touched by a war anything like this. It will pale the Civil War and the World Wars into insignificance when it finally occurs.
John W. Ritenbaugh
Don't Be a Prudent Agnostic
Other Forerunner Commentary entries containing Joel 2:12: