Are you ready?


For years people have been wondering when the end of the age will be and when will Jesus return? His return to the Earth to rule as King will be after the Tribulation has run its course and that is very likely the end of the age if you are talking about the church age. We have been living in the church age since He went back to the right hand of the Father almost two thousand years ago and people have been looking for His return for most of that time.

heaven-or-hell-eternal-destinyGod has the plan in the works but there is no timetable that we can look at to know when because Jesus said that it would happen in a moment. He told His disciples that only the Father knows the day and the hour, so we don’t have access to that information. So…are you ready? Remember, the first indication of the Tribulation will be the church being taken into Heaven. All of those who have put their faith in Jesus, whether alive or dead, will be raised to immortality to meet Him in the clouds.

Some of the books and movies which have spoken about this have tried to show those souls as lights going up. The way that Jesus described it would show otherwise. He said that two will be sleeping and one will be taken and the other left. Two would be grinding meal, one will be taken the other left. In a moment, in the twinkle of your eye, like blinking and someone you were just talking to will be gone. Their clothes and shoes and all man-made material will be left in front of you, but they will be with Jesus.

This is not a joke and it isn’t a cop-out in life because when this happens there will be lots of pain and heartache in the world. Many people may be killed because of drivers or pilots who have been taken and their cars or planes don’t have anyone to control them anymore. So many will be trying to figure out what has happened and only those who have been to church or a Bible study and learned about the “end of the age” and Jesus will know. If they are still here they didn’t make the decision to give their heart to Jesus and they will know that also.

This time will be difficult and dangerous for those who know what happened but didn’t follow Jesus because they can’t tell anyone. They will not know who to trust at this point, even if they are friends or family. Those in charge will be offering rewards for Bibles and believers too. This is the real beginning of the Tribulation and it will only get worse for the next seven years from this point.

Please, don’t wait until these things are taking place to search for your Savior. You could find Him and get to know Him at this time but it will be harder and more dangerous. The world around you will not know Him nor will it accept your belief in Him. God loves you and has made a way for you to be saved now and it is through belief in Jesus and His atoning work on the cross! Make sure that you get to know Him soon because it is to your eternal advantage and for your home in Heaven!

Are you empty?


themissingpieceEmptiness is something which we all feel at times. Sometimes it is during times of stress or severe testing in our lives. Sometimes it is because of how we feel about ourselves. I feel it at times when depression comes on my day. I never know when it will come, but I know it when it does. Emptiness is a feeling that makes you feel like you don’t have enough..of something. At times you can’t put your finger on what is missing exactly, but you know inside that something just isn’t right.

Some people try to fill that place with stuff or sex or money or ???? You know what you put there and many times it still doesn’t feel full or maybe it doesn’t feel like what you have in that spot isn’t quite enough. So what do you do then? Most people go out and try to find something else to add to the pile. Like traveling, spending money on trips for no apparent reason because every trip can’t be for business and most of us don’t have family scattered all over the place.

Why am I writing about this today? Because, it is usually during the holidays when people feel empty most often which is why most suicides happen during this time. Make sure that you are close to your family and friends, especially if they are empty-nesters and their house feels that way. Holidays are bad for those of us who have lost a loved one, especially if it happened on a holiday. My mother passed on Christmas in 1995 and a few months earlier around Easter of that same year, my grandfather passed, so I do know a bit about how this feels.

There is an empty place at the table when someone isn’t there, an empty room or closet but most of the time the emptiness is felt inside yourself, as if something is missing from your life and you just don’t know what it is. That is where knowing Jesus comes into your life because that spot which has felt empty for a while is shaped specifically for and filled only by your Savior. It is a part of each person on Earth which each one of us has, it isn’t there because of something we did or didn’t do. That longing for feeling is part of your life and mine until we find the Person Who actually fills that space.

The only One Who does that is Jesus, the Son of God. It cannot be filled by a person that you have a relationship with except the Person of Jesus. It can’t be filled by anything other than Him either, so if you are reading this and you know what I am speaking of, don’t go looking for something or some other person to fill that place because it can’t be done. Only Jesus fills that space, so give Him the chance to make you whole and you will never feel empty again. I promise.

Too many distractions


.In the past, almost two decades (just shy by ~2 years), we have seen and are still seeing that distractions like texting, game play (virtual and connected through cell towers), console games and computer games are taking our millennial generation. They are not paying much attention to real life! It is true that some of them are paying attention, but it seems that the majority that get our attention on the news as spoiled brats are exactly that!

They are distracted from real life and don’t care to study real history and actual English as a language. Too much emphasis on abbreviations and shortcuts from texting is to blame as well as our education system which allows this. What has happened to discipline and character in education and in our children? In my opinion, it began to erode away when prayer and study of the Bible was taken out of the classroom. When prayer was taken out in 1963, the morals and the character of our teachers and their students began a very long slide downhill and it hasn’t stopped yet.

God has not stopped caring for us even though we have pushed Him as far away as we can. Truly, it is time that we got back to learning why the Pilgrims came to America in the first place. It is also time that we studied the Bible, not just as a historical document but as a standard by which our lives should be patterned. Before anyone shouts out that women were not allowed a voice and slavery was deemed as acceptable, I am not saying that any of that should be brought into view. I am speaking of the moral teachings from God’s Word and the lessons learned from the New Testament and Jesus’ disciples. Those are the more important and useful areas that our education system needs today!

For many years, the Bible was the main textbook used in schools until it was pushed aside in the late 1800’s. Although, it did survive as a classroom text into the mid twentieth century, it was finally taken out of the classroom and largely out of family life except for those who attend church occasionally. We need to get back to learning about and knowing God as our Savior and as our Teacher as well!

If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14

Our God is forgiving and loving and willing to come to our aid if we will acknowledge that we have sinned by pushing Him away and repent of that terrible sin, then seek Him out as our God and our Savior, learning to follow Him in all that we do. But, today our world on the Internet and social media and in the news despises Him and His Son, Jesus. Any mention of Jesus will almost get you arrested today and I never thought I would live to see that day come.

Our world, not just everywhere else, but here in America is becoming a dangerous place for people who believe in Jesus. Have you noticed that? You can claim to worship a tree or a fish or a little fat man or even just claim that you are your own god, and everyone seems to be fine with that! But…if you claim to pray to the God of the Bible or believe in Jesus the Christ, our Messiah, then you have crossed the line into dangerous territory. Nobody wants to hear that nonsense! How dare you bring up the name of God or Jesus in public!

It is a shame that it hasn’t been brought up many, many times before! For over fifty years we have been pushing God away and out of our schools and out of public life and display and quite frankly if it doesn’t come to an end then the world itself will. God is a patient Creator, this much is very true. He has allowed us to go farther than the world did in Adam’s day and by Noah’s time, which wasn’t very far apart, God had enough. We have been fortunate that He hasn’t had enough far sooner than now. The only real reason which has kept Him from acting on our stupidity and arrogance was His promise to the Jewish people.

He had promised to bring them back into their land and after nearly two millennia He did exactly that! Then they regained control over Jerusalem in 1967, fifty years ago this year. His promises to them are the reason His patience has lasted so long, so yes we are fortunate indeed.

I pray that anyone reading this will seek Him out, not as a learning experience, but humbly and with a contrite heart. Leave your distractions behind, whatever they may be, and follow Jesus because He is the only Savior of mankind. Anything or anyone else is a fake and a liar.

Will the world end this week?


theworldendsI heard that someone has predicted that it will. I would like to know where these people get their information from. The Bible foretells of the end of the world and yes, there are many things happening right now that seem to point in that direction. BUT…until you see the church taken out of the world or see Jesus coming in the clouds with the host of Heaven, I don’t think that our world will end. Especially not when someone says that it will on a certain day. Humanity is not given that information in the Bible or anywhere else.

So what are we supposed to do? First, don’t worry about it. If the world ends, there isn’t anything that we can do to stop it. If the church is taken up to Heaven, that is God’s decision and there is still nothing which will change that.

The most useful outcome of this would be if people really began to read and study their Bibles to find out if there is an end coming because it is, just not this weekend. God has given us, humanity, nearly two thousand years to learn that we need Him and to give our lives to Him. In may opinion He has been very patient with us when we have been doing some things which would provoke any human to just kill everyone!

Thankfully, God is not like us. He loves each of us with our faults and our fears and our tears. He doesn’t care how much money we have or how big our house is, but He does want us to give our lives to Him and to tell others about Jesus! If you are looking for your calling or your purpose in life, that is it as far as God is concerned. Study His Word, learn as much as you can about Him and His Son, pray about your problems, your fears and your joys in this life because He is the One Who supplies all of our needs and our ability to live in this world!

In the news it seems that more people want to cause chaos and destruction in the world. For what reason, I don’t know. Maybe their idea is if the world is on fire, a Savior will come to fix things. Maybe the rest of the population will decide to follow their god or their ideology so that there will be “peace”. Honestly, a peaceful world doesn’t get that way by killing and burning everything in sight! At least, that doesn’t sound like a way to bring about peace  to me!

Seek peace in the Word of God and learn from its wisdom because mankind’s wisdom is foolish to the rest of the world and peace does come through God alone.

The Exodus, the Bread and the Wine


This idea just came to me while I was reading a story about Christianity. The only explanation that I can give you for the title is that the Spirit placed the idea in my mind. I am not Jewish, although I have read a Jewish Bible complete with the New Testament. The three ideas in the title: the Exodus, the Bread and the Wine are intimately tied to the nation and people of Israel.

Bread&WineThe Exodus is their liberation from bondage as slaves in Egypt for over four hundred years. It is not unlike our own lives in that we were slaves to our life of sin and rebellion toward God. Now, for some of us this rebellion wasn’t an active rebellion and we may not have known that what we were doing was sinful in the sight of God. Why do I say it that way? Because many of us asked Jesus to become our Savior at an early age, say 8 or 12 years. I barely knew what the word “sin” meant and honestly I didn’t think that my life could’ve been classified as sinful, at that time.

During the exodus from Egypt, the Israelites were glad to be out of bondage but they didn’t know this God Who had called them out of bondage. Which is why it took forty years for them to get to the point of going into the land which had been promised to them. Even after all of the miracles and provision that God provided for them during this time, they still rebelled against Him in their Promised Land.

Sounds a bit like us actually. When we learn about God and what He asks of us, don’t we rebel a bit? I mean, we like the idea of forgiveness and eternal life but “being in a state of prayerful thought” on a daily basis is a bit much don’t you think? Not really, if you consider what this really means. The analogy that I like goes something like this: When you go to the doctor and you tell him you have had a cold and a cough for about a week, you don’t mean that you have been coughing for a whole week. Just that you have had a persistent cough which has hung around for that length of time. It is the same with praying without ceasing. It doesn’t mean that you pray 24 hours a day, but you wake with a prayerful attitude of thankfulness that you are alive today. You thank God for your health and your breakfast. You thank Him for being able to go to work or school or whatever you are doing today.

That is an attitude of prayer without ceasing.

It gets you through your exodus in this life, every day and night, all through your life! This is your “daily cross”.

The Bread is reading and prayerfully studying the Bible. Learning more about God and what He requires of His people, Israelite and Gentile. If you don’t know what is required or asked of you, how will you know what to do with your life on a daily basis? The only way to know is to read and study His Word with prayer for understanding at least a few days during the week. I don’t mean that you should read the Bible for a whole day, but a chapter or two a day for a few days at a time will get your mind washed in His Word and keep it on His ideas and wisdom.

The Wine is what you partake of through giving your heart and your life to Jesus, asking Him to come in and change you into a child of God. This is part of your walk, your life with Him and it begins your exodus from your old life, your old ways, into a life that is lived in and through Jesus! It is a daily process. Salvation, if you truly are sincere about it, comes immediately when you ask for it. Your sanctification and becoming more like Jesus is the walk, prayerfully with Him every day. Your exodus or your walking away from your old life comes when you have asked Him to come in and change you into a new creation!

Just as the trek through the desert wasn’t easy for the children of Israel, the process of becoming a Christian and becoming more like Christ won’t be easy either. There will be days or times where you will stumble and fall, but Jesus is there to help you get up. If you have studied the Bible, then you can fall onto the wisdom that you have gained through it when the times get tough.

The life of a Christian isn’t always easy or sure. There will be bumps and bruises during your walk with Jesus, but He is still there with you through it all. The wisdom that you gain from His Word, His Bread and His Wine will last you through eternity and you won’t regret any of it when you see Him in His Glory one day!

See the Lord do this thing….


Featured Image -- 57701 Samuel 12: 14-16:

14 If ye will fear the Lord, and serve him, and obey his voice, and not rebel against the commandment of the Lord, then shall both ye and also the king that reigneth over you continue following the Lord your God;
15 But if ye will not obey the voice of the Lord, but rebel against the commandment of the Lord, then shall the hand of the Lord be against you, as it was against your fathers.
16 Now therefore stand and see this great thing, which the Lord will do before your eyes.
Samuel said these words in front of the people of Israel when they crowned Saul their king, because they wanted a king like everyone else had. They didn’t want God as their King! God is very patient with us, even when we reject His rule in our life. He doesn’t smite a person dead when they foolishly shake their fist at Him and ask for Him to strike them dead. That doesn’t stop them from being foolish enough to do it though.
God is not a man. He is not made in our image as many seem to try to mold Him that way, we are made in His Image! Thankfully, God has enough patience with humanity to allow us to keep living and hopefully we will learn about Him enough to feel the need for Him to rule in our hearts the way that He should!
As in Proverbs it says: “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom“. Fear in this context is respect or reverence not fear as in scared of or afraid! Being a child of God brings joy into your life, knowing that He is always at your side. He, our Creator, is on your side and always near you, no matter what the circumstances may be! We are beloved by God Himself, whether you have given your heart to Him or not! He doesn’t wish that anyone should go into Hell forever, but by your choice of not giving your heart to Jesus and asking Him to come into your life it is you who chooses that path for eternity!
God created mankind to be in fellowship with Him all of the days of our lives. But..it was our choice to remain in that relationship with Him and everyone knows how that turned out! Through Jesus our Savior, each of us can change that situation and get back into fellowship with God. All that is required is that you believe in Jesus’ sacrifice for your sins and ask Him to save you from your old, sinful life.
That is it! That is all that is required and its all that you or I can do to become a child of God! No amount of money or works in this life can get you righteous enough to be allowed into Heaven. Only the blood of Jesus can cover your sins and mine so that God sees His righteousness instead of our rags! You only have this life, however long it may be, to get this done so please don’t wait. None of us is guaranteed tomorrow, so please seek out your Savior today and ask Him to come into your heart to change you into the person that God knows you can be.

Does God care about us?


With all of the things that occur on a daily or weekly basis, some of them being horrific and some not so bad, things could be better. I am sure that I am not the only person, Christian or not, who has wondered if God really cares about us! Jesus said that “not even a sparrow falls without God’s knowledge“, so we shouldn’t look at the bad things which seem to happen, in light of His love for us, so many times these things do happen for a reason. But what sort of reason is it?

Sometimes it is to bring God into the situation, many times it is to focus our thoughts on Him but often it is to bring Him glory and praise for His mercy. You might say that the death of so many couldn’t possibly bring God glory and honor and praise! What about the people who we don’t hear about who might have pushed someone else out of harm’s way? Some caregiver who didn’t think of their safety in order to save someone else.

Most news stories don’t focus on anyone who may have done any of these things. They may only be known to the person that didn’t die and they could be in the hospital but still live because of something that someone else did. By the time they remember it, the story is cold and nobody wants to hear about it or they may not even remember much about what happened. God is present in all things, good and bad, and He causes them to work for the good of His Kingdom and those of us who serve Him. We may never find out what has been done behind the scenes until we get to Heaven, but God knows.

It’s possible that something that we say or do, that is seen by someone else, may have a positive effect in someone’s life, yet we may not find out about it until we meet them in Heaven. Yes, God does care about each of us. Not just those of us who are Christians, but every person in the world. Even those who choose not to give their lives to Jesus. That doesn’t change how God feels about them though. He love for us is not dependent upon our response to Him.

Remember, John 3:16, 17: 16 “For God so loved the world, that He gave His [a]only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.”

God’s grace is given to us as a gift, just as our salvation is, but we have to accept it. If we feel His Spirit touching our hearts to do so and we refuse, then it is our own fault if we don’t get into Heaven. God doesn’t send you to hell or condemn you for your sins on any other basis EXCEPT our acceptance of His gift to us through Jesus and His atonement for us! It is all up to you! “Choose this day whom you will serve“, just as Joshua did!

Living the life of a believer and a servant of Jesus is not always easy and it doesn’t pay much but remember this, the benefits of eternity outweigh any hardship that you might have now!

Why don’t relationships work?


Truly the reason that this happens is because of the foundation. Many marriages begin on the wrong foot and certainly on sand or loose gravel for a foundation. Why do we pursue a relationship that ultimately will fail?

IAM-JesusWe do this because we haven’t found the Relationship which can’t fail. We are born searching for something or Someone but for years we search and look for things and people to fill that void, that empty place which always feels as if it needs…to be filled. It is a scientific principle which states quite accurately that “nature abhors a vacuum”. At some point, something will fill that space whether it is good or bad, God or Satan, it doesn’t matter which, but it will be filled.

If we try to fill it with a career or a family, that can work for a while but it isn’t permanent. If we try to fill it with drugs or alcohol, our life and our relationships are doomed to fail because those things are designed to destroy whatever they come in contact with! But…if we will seek out our Savior, Jesus the Christ, and repent of the attempts which we have tried before, and ask Him to come in and clean our heart up, then our life will be placed on the right path.

Following Him, learning about Him by reading and studying the Bible, praying about your family and your problems, all of these will begin to fix your pathway and your life in such a way that your foundation will become complete and solid. When this happens, your relationship with your spouse and your family will begin to level out and become less bumpy and more smooth. This is the foundation which should guide our lives today but we tend to follow along with the rest of the crowd at school or church, if we go at all.

If everyone at school or at church is just going along to get along for the sake of being thought of as a “pillar of the community”, that is the wrong reason. Trying to earn a place in the eyes of people and “fair weather friends”, no matter how you earn it, doesn’t help you in the long run. Why? Because it isn’t built on God’s foundation which is Jesus.

You can decide to ignore this advice if you wish or just don’t read this at all, it doesn’t hurt my feelings one way or the other. But…what if I am right. When your life is going to hell on a slippery slope, which of your friends could possibly pull you out of it? A rich kid that you went to school with? No, they are likely off enjoying life just as they think they should. What about your dear friend from work? Not likely, they come home feeling even more tired than they did last year.

The only One Who can get your life back on the right path and give you strength enough to make it through all of your trouble is Jesus. No other religion or “holy man” or prophet can do that because all of them are dead! He is alive at the Father’s right hand and He is able to help you in your time of need. Seek Him out and make sure that He is your foundation and your Solid Rock, your Savior. Because without Him, we can do nothing.

Get your relationship with God and His Son, Jesus, right and the rest of your life will be so much better than it has ever been before.

Are you angry with God?


Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one. But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. (James 1:13–14)

angerMany of us get angry when God doesn’t answer a prayer the way that we want Him to, but consider that He doesn’t have to answer your prayer the way that you want! God is Who He is and it is His prerogative and His desire to do great and mighty things with you and for you, but He doesn’t answer to you! We should not be angry with our Creator at all because it is His grace and mercy which keeps us and the rest of the universe in balance and alive.

“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness” (James 1:2–3)

Life is full of disappointments but most of the time, those things which didn’t go our way are not God’s denial of something for you. Usually it is because of OUR attitude or our prayer life or lack of one. It seems that many so-called “preachers” teach that God can be bargained with or forced to give you what YOU want in life. Seriously? You or I can’t force the Creator of the universe to DO anything! He will bless you in the way that HE sees as best for your life and your situation, NOT the way that you want it.

God is not your grandfather, nor is He like Santa either! He blesses us with life every day that we wake up and gives us the energy and ability to do our job regardless of what that job may be. If you are a pastor like I am, then He gives you the words which are needed to encourage others to come to know Jesus and to learn more about Him. Which is where all of these posts have come from. I certainly couldn’t come up with this stuff on my own!

Being angry with God does you no good at all. In fact it will quench the Holy Spirit’s actions in your life. Why would you be angry with God after all? It may be that your child has died or your doctor has given you a diagnosis which is not good. Being angry with God for any reason is like being angry with a tree because it sits in a certain place, you could cut the tree down but other than that what good does your anger do? Anger toward God is like being angry with a wall of concrete. You can’t get rid of it, you can’t push it down and beating against it won’t do anything except hurt yourself. God loves you, regardless of your anger or your hate toward Him. Seek Him out and learn about His patience and love for mankind.

God can do all things which we cannot, but don’t expect Him to give you the desires of your heart if it doesn’t bring glory and honor to Him. When your will aligns with His, then your prayers in Jesus’ name will be fulfilled!

Short days and short times


It has been almost two millennia since the time of Jesus and His disciples and His prophecy concerning the end of the age , yet people don’t seem to be concerned. Even with many of the signs already shown and seen in years past, as well as the signs which are in front of us every day. When I say that the days are short I am not speaking of days like in the winter when the Sun seems to go down not long after it comes up. I am speaking prophetically of the time in which we are living.

It is true that many don’t believe that we live in these particular times, but in fact we do. There are many signs in the heavens which God has used recently which point toward this time, as our generation is called the “terminal generation”. Yet, most of the people in the world today don’t want to acknowledge the truth of what is going on around them. Even if they recognize that these signs are true and occurring almost on a daily basis!

I don’t bring this up to attempt to scare people into church or make you fearful enough to seek out the truth in the Bible, although you should be doing this anyway. What I am saying about this period of time is that we don’t know how long we have. It could be a couple of months or a few years yet, but just as the virgins in the parable, we need to be ready when the Bridegroom comes. Not sitting around twiddling our thumbs but watching for Him in Scripture and in our everyday lives.

Praying every day, seeking His wisdom concerning these times and those around us who are in need of His love and compassion. Telling those who are in need of salvation about Jesus is the mission which we have in these times. If they don’t want to receive Jesus, then tell someone else and move on. It is imperative that we keep telling as many as will listen because very soon, they will be on their own in a world which will not tell them of Jesus and will kill anyone who does profess faith in Him!

God loves humanity, but His patience is drawing to a close. The Spirit will strive with man for a while longer and yes there will be a few who accept Jesus during the Tribulation, but they will be in the minority when they do. I pray that most of you who read this will accept Him before this time has come. If you have not, then I will be praying for you from the balcony of Heaven. I hope that God might allow me to come to Earth during this time and help guide those who have given their lives to Jesus, because they will need the help.

I am not special. I am a sinner just as you were or maybe still are, but I am forgiven and that makes the difference. Please, if you are seeking your Savior, read the Bible and pray about giving your life to Him, asking Him to come in and change your life from the inside out.