—Malachi 4:1-4 (NASB)
We called them “short-timers” in the Army. We hated them unless, of course, we were one ourselves. It expresses the general rule that once a person received orders permanently reassigning them to a new location, that they increasingly became useless in their present duties. The closer their date of departure loomed, the more disinterested they became in continuing to do the best job possible. They let things slide because they knew they would soon be gone and someone else would be stuck cleaning up the mess. Unfortunately it does not work that way for the final generation before Christ’s Second Coming; there is no allowance for “short-timers” when it comes to obedience to God’s Word.
Yes, we will experience the rising of “the sun of righteousness” at His return. Yes, we will “go forth and skip about like calves” in jubilant celebration. We will celebrate our victory over the wicked. But God injects a reality check to not become a short-timer and begin celebrating too soon: “Remember the law of Moses My servant”. Until that time actually occurs, the overriding responsibility is obedience to His Word and ways. If there truly is a rapture, it could never be an escape, but a kind of judgment identifying those who obeyed His Word into the final hours. Those who are a type of rapture throughout Scripture have all been pure in heart and never wavering in their obedience.
—Matthew 24:40-41 (NASB)
I find Christ’s words on the subject to be both a challenge and yet a tremendous comfort to me. What will we be doing when we are taken? Going about the tasks of our ordinary, daily life. The challenge is therefore to live a consistent, obedient life to His Word and ways; the comfort is that this is all it takes to qualify me to “Remember the Law of Moses My servant”.†††