People have wondered this and pondered this for centuries and nobody really knows the answer. Some think they know, but if you have ever read some of the prophetic books from God’s Word and not taken them out of context then you know that we are very close. What do I mean by that? According to God’s Word, “a thousand years is as one day“, so we could be only a bit more than two days past Jesus’ resurrection and ascension to Heaven.
God’s time and His timing will happen in the way that His Word says it will because He is God and He cannot lie. There are many who do not want to believe this and many who don’t put their faith and trust in Jesus for their salvation. Many of them think that because they have been in a church service for their whole lives that they have Jesus. Others think that just because they do all of the things that Christians do and attend church and all of the other outward signs of being a Christian that they are a Christian. They may be but if they haven’t truly given their heart to Jesus and begun following Him on a daily basis and not just when they need Him or on Easter and during the Christmas service…then they are fooling themselves.
Outward appearances and working in a church, even being a pastor, doesn’t make you a Christian. The Holy Spirit comes into your life and makes you see that you need Jesus in your life and in your heart and when you acknowledge His calling on your life and turn your heart over to Him, repenting of your old life, then you begin your daily walk with Jesus. It can last as long as God needs it to last. A few hours or days, maybe a few years or even decades but usually He calls you to be His witness to a specific person or people because you are the only one who may be able to reach them and turn them toward Jesus.
Why do I write these words? Because this is the only way that I can be a witness to other nations around the world. God gives me these words to say because He gave me a gift to write in ways that others can understand. I don’t have fancy seminary degrees but I am a pastor and I’ve studied the Bible every day for the last ten years. It never gets old and it always has a different message in some small way or another when I re-read it. I’ll see something or understand something about a passage the second or third time around that His Spirit didn’t reveal last year or from two years or more in the past.
I am writing this now because the time is growing short, the church age is coming to a close. When will this happen? I don’t know. It could be tonight or tomorrow. It could be next year or five years from now…maybe even ten years away but it is coming to an end. When that happens there will be lots of confusion in the world and many disasters will happen because of those who were driving or flying a plane suddenly vanish. Make sure of your destination and your salvation because things will get worse once this does happen. I pray that you will be taken on that day to be with the Lord.
Our witness to the world is found in our testimony. Your testimony and mine does not have to include every deed that you have done but it is supposed to show that God has saved you from your mistakes. All of us have them. Some are worse than others but even those who aren’t old enough to have done as much as others, God can save you from all of them.
Some people tell preachers that they have been too bad or even too evil to be considered as a convert to Christianity. There are no such people! God has accepted those who have been murderers, thieves, drug dealers and drug users, harlots and prostitutes and He will accept you as a child of His through Jesus Christ because you can reach someone that no one else can.
Your testimony is powerful enough to bring someone into the family of God and it is possible that you are the only person that can reach that person. They may belong to another church or they may not go to church but if you can talk to them, God will give you the words that can bring them into the family. It may even be someone who has known you for a long time. They know your past and what you did in years past before God changed your heart to serve Him. That person doesn’t exist if you have put away your sinful life and turned to follow Jesus. You cannot make them see the change, although they may see it but they don’t want that change. Sometimes they will reject your testimony because of pride or anger at you because of some slight or emotional hurt that you caused many years ago.
Ask the Lord to melt their hearts so that they can receive His message for their salvation because it may be that only He and His Word can do what your testimony and your changed life cannot do. Even Jesus could do few miracles in His home town because they looked on Him as the Son of Joseph and they had watched Him grow up with His brothers and sisters. They said “he’s the carpenter’s son, where did he learn these things?”
God has used so many people in the past and He still uses circumstances and problems and people today to get people who have rejected Him to turn back to Him. He used many of Israel’s enemies to chastise them when they were disobeying His commandments. He raised up a ruler in Egypt to oppress the people as slaves so that He could judge Egypt and their gods. God can use your life and your testimony to change people’s lives today as well. It may be something you say or something that you do that could cause them to seek God for their life’s troubles and their salvation. It may be something that you write or a sermon or an inspiring post or link on Facebook that gets their attention and turns them toward God.
Only God knows how you will accomplish His will in your life and it may not happen until your death or afterward but God can accomplish His will through you in some way to bring others to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.
You know someone who is always late or always early everyone knows someone who fits at least those descriptions. Then there are some who fall in between those as well. But when it comes to finding a Savior or leaning on God for your provisions, whatever they may be, He is always on time. As long as you recognize that it is His time and not your idea of “on time”.
Why do I bring this up? Because we are living in a world that is unpredictable. We have no idea when things will turn around and get better or even if they will get better. Our life may be one doctor visit from a really bad day that leads to something that we don’t want to hear right now. There could be a wreck this afternoon while our loved ones are trying to get home from work. Hopefully it won’t be them involved in the wreck but it could be. We aren’t given or guaranteed a safe and happy life, with or without Jesus.
God watches over every part of your life, especially when your heart belongs to Jesus but He also watches over those who haven’t made that decision yet as well. Some might tell you that God doesn’t care about you until you ask Jesus into your life but it is God’s grace and mercy and His Holy Spirit which touches your heart and makes you realize that you actually need Jesus in the first place. It isn’t the preacher or even the sermon being preached that gets your attention. It is God’s touch on your heart and soul which lets you know that you are a sinner and if you died on the way home without Jesus, you will go to hell.
It is a very thin line that separates us from eternity or if you want to think of it in wintertime terms then it is very thin ice that you are standing on in this life. If God has a plan for you and a job for you to do for Him then you will be called one day soon. Because there isn’t much time left for us to be in this world. Too many of the things which are supposed to happen (prophecies) have already happened or are happening now and are bringing us closer to the day and the hour of the Trumpet of God calling the dead in Christ to life eternal and those who are alive who belong to Him will be caught up to the clouds with them (the Rapture of the Church).
Believe it and live or choose not to believe and live through the Tribulation, if you can. I have been accused of trying to scare people away from hell, and I plead guilty as charged. Hell is a hot and fiery place of torment where you go for eternity if you have rejected Jesus as your Savior during this life. It is not a quick “poof and that’s it”, the Bible says that the “smoke of their torment rises forever” because God did not create hell for humanity to live out eternity in. It was meant to be a place where Satan and his followers would be punished for their choices but since even the refusal of Jesus and the salvation that belief in Him brings is a choice for Satan then you will live out your eternity with him in hell.
Choose life everlasting in heaven with God now while there is time because when you draw your last breath in this life, you will open your eyes in eternity and in front of God as your Judge depending upon your choice now, today. Believe in Jesus for your Salvation because there will not be a chance to make that choice if you die before you make it.
We hear a bit of wisdom from Jesus’ own words many times and we don’t even realize where it came from or who said it. It is mentioned in movies and in books. It is used for many purposes, good and bad. Yet it was meant as a way that Jesus was making a point to His enemies when they were trying to catch Him with a politically charged question. They asked Him, “Teacher, should we pay taxes to Caesar?” He then asked a question or two of His own. “Show me the coin. Whose likeness is this?” Of course it was Caesars likeness and Jesus knew this. Then He told them flatly: “Therefore render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s” (Matthew 22:21).
Each of us owes a debt to Jesus and to God Himself that we could never pay and it concerns our salvation and the price that was paid for it. Even if you have never given your heart to Jesus or asked Him to cleanse you and make you a disciple of His, He paid the price for your sins. When you feel the touch of the Holy Spirit in your life and on your heart, it is Jesus Who is knocking on the door to your heart. You might tell me or someone else that God wouldn’t accept me because I’ve fought with that Spirit for a long time, so long in fact that I barely feel or hear it anymore. If you feel a nudge or a very slight touch from Him I pray that you will answer that call, that feeling, His touch the next time that you feel it.
God can use your talents for His Kingdom. Even if you feel that they don’t amount to much, God can change your direction and give you the ability to be His watchman or His prophet. He used many men in the past and He is still giving out abilities to those who will answer His call. We may not see miracles happen when we want them to but they will happen when the time is right and it fits His time. Jesus said that “faith the size of a mustard seed” can move mountains. God can give you more than that but your faith still has to be turned on by your belief in the Creator of the universe. Faith to move a mountain won’t lift a grain of sand if you don’t believe.
God has been in our past and He is here today. Watching and seeking anyone who will hear His Word and take it to heart and believe what is there in the Word, the Bible. Many people in government and in some other organizations work very hard trying to take any reference to the Bible out of public view. If they would realize that God loves them and seek to do what it says in the Bible…taking the good news to everyone who will believe, with the same passion that they use trying to get rid of it the whole world would have a revival of faith in the One True God of the Bible.
But…because of the time that we are living in at the end of the church age, there are so many false teachers who are preaching and teaching doctrine that sounds good and it may even have some references to the Bible in their doctrine, but it has been twisted out of context. Scripture has been used by thousands in this manner over the centuries. Taken as one verse and used as a doctrine or a rallying cry but when a verse is used like this its power is twisted and can be used to enslave people or to turn their beliefs toward something or someone who is not who they say they are.
I pray that everyone who is seeking to know Jesus will seek Him in His Word, Old and New Testament, because He is there and we carry His image within us even when we were sinners. We should all consider that fact and seek to be worthy of His image until the day that He comes to take the church home with Him.
Working for God and by extension Jesus as well is the most important job and, besides being a parent, is the most rewarding job that you can have. Does it pay well? Not in this life but when you repent of your sins and you’ve given your heart to Jesus, tell others about your Savior! God reward for His apostles and children is eternal life in heaven and being able to walk into a city where the streets are paved with pure gold.
He is the Creator and He knew you and me before we were born. Did He know that we would give our hearts to Him? Yes and He knows what you are capable of doing for Him and with Him in your life. When God knew you in the womb, He knew your capabilities. He knew then and now what you are capable of accomplishing for yourself and for His Kingdom. Just as He knew each and every person in the Old Testament and what they could do and would do if they would willingly follow His directions and do the things that He tells them to do.
God want us to obey His commands and directions and when we become His children by giving our lives to Him we should do this out of gratitude for His love. It was because of His love for us that Jesus came and paid the price for us on the cross. Jesus did this because of His love for each one of us and because He knew that we would be useful to Him and His Kingdom. Why? Because each of us has at least one person that we can reach for Jesus that nobody else can reach. Some of us may be able to tell many people about His love for us and what He did for our salvation.
The point is that in the past God has used a murderer and a pagan idol worshiper for His purposes. He used a prostitute and a gentile woman for his purposes. He used a donkey that spoke to his master for His purposes and He used a fish to carry Jonah to a city called Nineveh so that the people might be spared from the wrath of God. He is the Creator and He can use your talents even if you don’t think you have any.
Give your heart to Jesus and give your life and your talent to God’s Kingdom. He will show you what to do and where to go and it may just be down the street or across the hallway but He knows that you can reach that person and show them that He loves them too.
I need to tell you a story. It’s kinda sad but it turns out good in the end.
I heard this story from a good preacher friend of mine. No names but it could make a real difference.
This couple was really strong in their faith and they dated for a number of years before finally tying the knot. When they finally did, they were riding to their honeymoon on a motorcycle. Just outside of town they passed an 18 wheeler and for some reason the driver decided to move into their lane, I suppose in the process of passing someone else. The driver didn’t see them and rolled right over them.
Somehow the girl lost both of her legs and bled out at the scene before help could arrive. The husband lost a leg and an arm. He died on the scene as well but there was a good Samaritan following behind them that had stopped to see if he could help. Since the girl was already dead, he went to the guy and asked if there was anything that he could do for him.
The guy told him that “I’m going to die soon but I need to ask you something. Do you know Jesus as your Savior?” Then…he passed.
A few months later the good Samaritan came to their church on a Sunday morning and came down front to join the church. The preacher asked him to give his testamony and the story that I just relayed above is the story that he told. But…he didn’t know Jesus as his Savior prior to those seven words. He came to their church to find out about this Savior that they had because he wanted to know Him too.
There were and are many stories like this in the Book of Martyrs that I’ve read most of. This one isn’t in there but the sentiment is the same. The last words of a believer made a difference in someone’s life…an eternal difference.
Every chapter in the Bible points toward Jesus and salvation through Him. I’m not going to place the scripture references here except to give you a general idea of those crumbs of wisdom found in nearly every chapter of God’s Word. I know I changed from every chapter to “nearly every chapter” and that was intentional too.
While it is true that the Bible points toward our Savior from the beginning to the end, every chapter doesn’t explicitly say it that way. Some are just allusions to Him. Some of the crumbs are very subtle and easy to overlook but they are there. As God told Abraham that he would be the father of many nations, He also told him that his people would be in slavery in another land for over four hundred years, but there would be a savior. That savior was Moses, who was a type of Christ, who came along at the right time to deliver Israel from bondage.
In many other books of the Bible other saviors have shown up. Some have come as kings, some came as judges, some came as prophets but God used each of them to teach and to deliver Israel from their enemies. But even after being delivered they would soon go back to disobeying God’s commands and his laws. Their prophets repeatedly told the people what was needed to get out of and stay out of being captured by their enemies. Sometimes they listened and sometimes they didn’t. Occasionally they would obey for a while and then fall right back into the same rebellious behavior that got them in trouble before.
Kinda sounds like the way most of the world, especially America, is today doesn’t it?
Is it any wonder that this virus came so suddenly on the world last year? Is it God punishing us? Could be, but I’m not going to be the one to say so. God can use China or Russia or Iran or even a tiny virus to get the world’s attention but if they don’t look to Him for help or guidance then they will die in their sins and without Jesus. I know, nobody wants to hear that there is only one way to be saved or gain entrance into heaven but it is God’s law and He is the only One Whose opinion that I count as being true. Like it or not, God’s Word and His promises have all come true except for those prophecies that are in the book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ.
I believe that His Word is true from the beginning to the end and one day soon the whole world will notice it. They may not want to believe it, but when all of the Christians who believe in Jesus for their salvation are taken up in the clouds to meet Him in the air…those who see it will believe and they will be sorrowful like losing their first-born son or daughter.
Read the book of the Revelation for yourself. It is the only book of the Bible that has a blessing for those who read it and believe.