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!

Living on borrowed time


Life is given to each of us to live in a way that seems right in our own lives, at least that is what we think anyway. God places each of us here so that we can fulfill part of His plan for our lives. The problem being that we have to find out which part and how to do it. Sometimes we don’t come to know Him early enough in our lives, but I imagine that is part of His plan too. Then there are times when we push Him away or we don’t agree with Him on our part and how it is to be done.

We seem to act as if we are the ones being inconvenienced by God’s plan when it is His plan which is being placed on a back burner so to speak. Although, God can work around our stubbornness too, it just may take a bit longer but His purpose will be done by and by. Why did I pick this topic or subject to write about today? Because a wonderful songwriter died today. Don Williams.

I am not going to get off topic and spout how wonderful his songs were or what a melodious voice he had, because if you have ever heard him sing you already know it. It’s just that our world is near the end of the age and many of those who influenced my life are already gone on before me. I makes me kinda nostalgic a bit for the days of youth when we all thought we had as much time as we would ever need.

The problem with that thinking is that each of us soon finds out that our time is getting shorter almost on a daily basis. The older we get, instead of slowing down so we can enjoy it, time seems to speed up and get faster as we age. It also seems to be happening to our world too. Most of the prophecies concerning the time prior to the Tribulation have already come to pass. All of the “little details” like the weather going crazy and other nonsense which is supposed to be happening around us, you see and hear that on the news every day.

I don’t mean that we should jump up and down in the street shouting “The end is near!!”, “Repent while you can!”, but honestly the world will soon find out that every word and every punctuation mark in God’s Word will be fulfilled whether you or many millions of others believe in it or in Him! The problem today is that the world and those in it don’t want to hear how God’s Word is coming true before their eyes if they would just recognize it, but even when Jesus was standing in front of them the religious leaders didn’t recognize their Messiah.

If you feel that you need Jesus, please seek Him out soon and learn as much as you can about Him. Give your life to Him so you won’t be left to endure the horror which is coming.john317

Anguish and sorrowful times


There are many people in our world today who feel desperately sorrowful and depressed. Some for unknown reasons and some because of things which they have been unable to control in their lives. Sometimes these problems are because of the job which they have to do, like a policeman or woman. Some of them may feel this way because of being in a branch of the military and they are also doing things which bother them. I know that it doesn’t bother them during their fighting and battles so much, but whenever they get back home it is labeled PTSD.

Either way that you look at this, it is something which most of us have to deal with at some point in our lives. Whether it is from battle in a war zone or from an abusive spouse, PTSD is real and it doesn’t go away easily. Sometimes it takes long sessions with a therapist  or drugs to tone it down manageably and sometimes it takes faith and prayer. Whichever way you get treated for it, I pray that it doesn’t cause more problems in your life.

So many are having to live with anguish and sorrow in countries where Christian persecution is happening and where children are being taught to be “warriors” or suicide bombers who are told that this is the only way to bring about the coming messiah. It is NOT the way at all! The Mahdi is NOT the messiah, it is Jesus the Christ! In the Bible the end times are a time of turmoil and war and suffering like the world has not seen in thousands of years.

john317The three years at the beginning of the Tribulation is what is referred to as Satan’s wrath, the last three years are where the wrath of God is poured out on the Earth and those who follow the antiChrist. Those alive during those first years of the Tribulation, it will seem to be a time of plenty and peace at least for those who decide to follow the one who is in charge. Any Christians who were not taken in the rapture of the church will know who he is really but few others will believe it.

Their lives, your life will be in danger because soon everyone will have to take the mark of allegiance to him, likely a chip or some other mark in the hand or on the forehead. Christians will be in danger of being killed if they do not take the mark because if they don’t they can’t buy food or gas. If they do take it, then they are forfeiting their soul because they are aligning themselves with Satan’s pawn, his false Christ and if they do this then they “love their life more than Christ”.

Why do I bring this up in this writing? Because we are the generation which will be here when all of this comes to pass. What year or day this will take place I don’t know. God knows which day and hour it will happen but all of the prophecies which were to take place beforehand have already taken place or they are taking place now. Read the book of Revelation carefully and pray about what you are reading, then look at the news and all of the things that are happening in the world. Much of what you have read is happening in some way and in some place in the world. Make sure of your salvation before that day comes.

 

 

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.

How was your day?


Each of us has at least one day which doesn’t go quite like we hoped it would. Some of us wake up to joint pain and fever, some of us have to live with cancer or arthritis on a daily basis. Some of us in this world wake up hungry with no food and sometimes no water. So…how was your day today?

Does it compare to a day in which you have a breathing tube in your throat to help you breathe? Maybe you are paralyzed in some way and have to have help with nearly every part of your life. Life does go on after disease and problems like paralysis have caused you to “rethink your life”, and its goals. Many of us don’t want to keep going in these instances, but it is best if we do. Why?

Because, you are made in God’s image and God doesn’t make junk! Your life and everything that seems to be wrong is just a part of your life. God can use that “wrong” part to bring glory and honor to Him if you will follow Him! He knows how you got the disease or problem in the first place and He has a plan. It may not be the plan that you had in the beginning, but He can and will work all things, good or bad, out for your good and His Glory!

God doesn’t leave you alone, especially when He has plans which He wants you to complete. They may not get started today or tomorrow, but when He feels the time is right, those plans will become crystal clear. You will know Who placed them there and that you are the only one who can do this, so…do it!

If you are wondering why I bring this up, it is because of the unique position which all of the followers of Christ are in. We have the Truth which everyone else is looking for, although in today’s world it is best if we live it out so that people can see it in us from day-to-day. I am not saying that we shouldn’t tell people about Jesus, particularly if they ask us about our faith. What I am saying is that in today’s world people tend to get offended if you say that you know the way and others don’t.

It doesn’t take much to upset someone’s “safe place” these days, even if you didn’t intend to do so.

Safe places are what we are supposed to have at church and at home, although many people, children and grown-ups too, don’t have a safe place in many areas of the world..even in America. We all need to concentrate on prayer today because of the world and our place in it and in history too. Regardless of your belief in God or lack of belief, we are on the verge of a time of change. One that has been foretold for a couple of thousand years, yet many people are ignoring the signs or they just aren’t looking for them.

Don’t ignore the signs or the part of the Bible which almost reads like a newscast today, the book of Revelation is important to all people. Read it, pray about it and seek Him while there is time.

 

Jesus in the Old and the New Testaments


God saysTo show how much God wanted us to see His Son in Scripture, just look to the Psalms:


1. The Messiah will be rejected by Gentiles (Psalm 2:1; Acts 4:25–28).
2. Political/religious leaders will conspire against the Messiah (Psalm 2:2 Matthew 26:3–4; Mark 3:6).
3. The Messiah will be King of the Jews (Psalm 2:6; John 12:12–13; 18:32).
4. The Messiah will be the Son of God (Psalm 2:7a; Luke 1:31–35; Matthew 3:16–17; Hebrews 1:5–6).
5. The Messiah will reveal that He is the Son of God (Psalm 2:7b; John 9:35–37).
6. The Messiah will be raised from the dead and be crowned King (Psalm 2:7c; Acts 13:30–33; Romans 1:3–4).
7. The Messiah will ask God for His inheritance (Psalm 2:8a; John 17:4–24).
8. The Messiah will have complete authority over all things (Psalm 2:8b; Matthew 28:18; Hebrews 1:1–2).
9. The Messiah will not acknowledge those who do not believe in Him (Psalm 2:12; John 3:36).
10. Infants will give praise to the Messiah (Psalm 8:2; Matthew 21:15–16).
11. The Messiah will have complete authority over all things (Psalm 8:6; Matthew 28:18).
12. The Messiah will be resurrected (Psalm 16:8–10a; Matthew 28:6; Acts 2:25–32).
13. The Messiah’s body will not see corruption (natural decay) (Psalm 16:8–10b; Acts 13:35–37).
14. The Messiah will be glorified into the presence of God (Psalm 16:11; Acts 2:25–33).
15. The Messiah will come for all people (Psalm 18:49; Ephesians 3:4–6).
16. The Messiah will cry out to God (Psalm 22:1a; Matthew 27:46).
17. The Messiah will be forsaken by God at His crucifixion (Psalm 22:1b; Mark 15:34).
18. The Messiah will pray without ceasing before His death (Psalm 22:2; Matthew 26:38–39).
19. The Messiah will be despised and rejected by His own (Psalm 22:6; Luke 23:21–23).
20. The Messiah will be made a mockery (Psalm 22:7; Matthew 27:39).
21. Unbelievers will say to the Messiah, “He trusted in God, let Him now deliver Him” (Psalm 22:8; Matthew 27:41–43).
22. The Messiah will know His Father from childhood (Psalm 22:9; Luke 2:40).
23. The Messiah will be called by God while in the womb (Psalm 22:10; Luke 1:30–33).
24. The Messiah will be abandoned by His disciples (Psalm 22:11; Mark 14:50).
25. The Messiah will be encompassed by evil spirits (Psalm 22:12–13; Colossians 2:15).

The last ten references to Psalm 22 refer to His arrest and crucifixion, this Psalm was written many centuries before crucifixion was ever used as a form of torture and death, but it describes it very literally. The Holy Spirit gave this Psalm to David and I am sure he wondered what did all of this mean. What it means to us is that God had already planned for this before the birth of Jesus or Mary or Joseph.

Nothing in our world happens without His hand in it or knowledge of it. Does God cause all of these bad things which happen to people, good or bad? No, but HE allows them to happen to bring His Glory into people’s lives as they turn to Him for answers! Satan’s time is running out and he knows it, so all of the evil and vile things that people are doing to each other and the torture which is going on in areas of the Middle East is all caused by or prompted by him and his demons and spirits.

God allows it to happen because it is part of the prophetic time-line which He saw thousands of years ago and He has known about it from even before the world was created. These things will happen without our involvement, including the melting of ice in the Arctic or the Antarctic as well as the storms and earthquakes which seem to be getting out of control…like things are coming apart.

Seek out your Creator and He can save your soul because He has already paid the price for you, all you need to do is believe in Him, in Jesus, and your eternity will be much better than the alternative.

Problems in our lives


How many problems do we all have today? That question alone could fill up many pages of text. Suffice to say, all of us have problems of one kind or another. Some of them are of our own making, some are caused by the economic conditions in the world today.

So, what can we do about our problems? Not much really. Individually, we have to notice what is going on before it becomes a problem. The same is true for states and nations, but that doesn’t always work. In our lives, as short as they are, problems are going to be a part of them and there is no reason to think otherwise.

Sounds pessimistic doesn’t it? Jesus told His disciples that we would always have trouble (tribulation) in this world but to be of good cheer because He had overcome the world. Will that help in today’s climate with wars happening all over, earthquakes and hurricanes happening in places where they haven’t in a while if ever? For some people, no it won’t because they don’t want to give their hearts to Jesus. They don’t want the peace which comes with knowing Him.

Why don’t they want this? I haven’t got the slightest idea. Jesus and the Holy Spirit give me the strength to get by and get through the problems which come up in my life and they can do this for you too. I don’t have the problems that many people have with their health, but I can’t work because of my disability (at least not at an 8 hour a day job). I preach on Sunday and I give these sermons here when the words come to me, but that is about all that I can accomplish.

It saddens me that I am like this, but I like to think it was because I was making a difference in some people’s lives and Satan tried to stop it. It didn’t work. I am not letting this get me down and you shouldn’t either! I have days where I am depressed, but I do my best to read in the Psalms and give it to God and let Him take care of it. I can’t get rid of the depression on my own, but He can.

Your problems may have to do with money or lack of a job or an illness, but God can take care of them all if you will let Him. God doesn’t move at our pace, He works in His time which is why we sometimes try to help Him get things done. That is the wrong thing to do because it just postpones His answer! He will let you give it a try, and He will give the problem back to you if you think you can do better, then He will sit back and watch. When you figure it out, then He will ask you in a small voice (if you are listening), “Are you ready for my solution yet?”.

God loves each of us more than we can imagine and since He lives outside of time, He can see down the road, so to speak, what is coming and what is best for us. He wants us to wait for His best! We just get impatient. It is important to add here something that I learned a LONG time ago: DON’T ASK GOD TO TEACH YOU PATIENCE! You won’t like His class on that at all!! Learn it at your own pace, teach yourself patience through the reading of His Word and then listen to Him and wait.

I promise, it will be worth it.

What is your view of the World?


Is it evil or good or somewhere in between those extremes? Do you see much of either during your daily commute or at work? In many ways, our world is exactly the way that we have made it. Cruel, uncaring, apathetic toward anyone with a different opinion or belief than you, because yours is right of course! So, what can we do to make our world and the people in it more caring toward one another? Honestly, I really don’t know the answer to that at all. Because we are flawed human beings, we do the best that we can with what we have. If we were taught a set of beliefs and morals then we will act accordingly. If we came up in the slums of Rio or Delhi, orphaned and alone, then we will possibly be like animals, take care of yourself first and foremost and don’t worry about anyone else because they certainly won’t care about you.

There are other places and cultures where we could grow up in a much different set of circumstances and depending upon the beliefs and the comfort that we lived in while we were growing, our values and outlook would be different still. As some researchers have proven in the past, it really is more nurture than nature when it comes to our culture and values and our beliefs or lack of them.

So, can this horrible situation in which the world stands on the brink of our next war, world-wide though it may be, be solved and fixed satisfactorily by an ordinary man? I very much doubt it! Humans will do things and agree on things only if it serves their purpose. Our world is under the control of Satan and his forces and they are causing all kinds of evil in our world, yet God will not allow them to go any further than He allows. We see prophecy being played out in the world and on the news every day, whether you believe it or not this is happening today. Griping about it won’t solve anything, electing an official who shares the same agenda as the last President won’t solve our problems either. Getting back to worshipping God and learning about His ways from the Bible will help get us on the right path. But, there is no quick fix for any of the problems in our world today. 

God does have the answer, but many in the world today will not like it and they won’t enjoy it at all. When the church is taken up into Heaven and the world descends into the chaos which will follow, those who come to power at that time will bring their answer and many will accept it. But…it is a lie, a ruse, one that will plunge the whole world into a war that many millions will die in and that time is also foretold in the Bible, it is called the Tribulation. It isn’t a made up fantasy, it is a time that will purge the world in some ways and burn the world in others. Please, turn to God and give your heart to Jesus before the trumpet sounds and many Christians are taken up.

For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord.…” 1 Thessalonians 4:16

 

Promises and Blessings


And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19
Worship the Lord your God, and his blessing will be on your food and water. I will take away sickness from among you, Exodus 23:25

Life sometimes throws us a curve, usually one that we don’t see coming until it hits us square in the eyes. I know, some of you may have thought I would say something else, but it’s the truth. God’s promises are new every morning and they are meant to be for us as well as the Jewish people. Some of us can claim them and some of us never will claim them. It also seems to happen at the worst possible times, but I suppose that is when God wants us to depend upon Him and lean on Him more than we depend upon money or people.

Your life and mine are part of God’s creation and His Kingdom, particularly if we are Christians because we have given our hearts to Christ. We are supposed to be following in His footsteps on a daily basis, not a weekly or every few months or just when we feel like it. Studying the Bible and learning from God’s wisdom about circumstances in our lives, whether we have faced them yet or not, is the best way to learn about Him. Reading through God’s Word at least once every year is not as hard as it sounds and yet many Christians only read what is called out in church on Sunday and maybe on Wednesday night services.

How can you claim God’s blessings and His promises to you and for your life if you don’t know about them in the first place? You won’t know about them if you have never read the Bible, yet that action is severely lacking in churches today. Why is that? Very likely, it is because the Truth of the Bible cannot be ignored and you can’t disprove it. Many people say that it is just a book of stories written down by old men long ago and it doesn’t mean anything. Without faith in God and His Son, Jesus, that may be true, but if you look at the prophecies that have come true from the Bible how can you claim this?

The land of Israel was given back to the Jews in 1948, many Jews have returned to their homeland after nearly two thousand years in exile and their language has been revived as well. All of these are foretold in Scripture and very little is left to happen according to the prophecies in God’s Word before the time of Tribulation will be upon the world. Nobody knows the day or the hour of this time which is coming except God, but I don’t believe that this generation that is alive today will die before it begins to happen.

That could be within the next few years or it may be a decade or more away, but we are living on the edge, the cusp of it right now. The players are moving into position and the time is coming soon. Be prepared. Be watching and be ready!

Cracks and pieces missing


Have you ever noticed, maybe in a museum or in a cupboard, that with time some pottery or china will have little cracks or pieces missing? Is your life today feeling a little cracked with pieces missing or gone? Did you know that God can fix that? Yes, He may have allowed the cracks to happen, but it is because He is trying to get your Spirit and your faith to expand so you can do more and endure more. Life is in itself a work in progress, just as pottery and other artistic endeavors are also. We as humans live and breathe as a work in progress from the day that we are born until we die. Life is never the exact same from day-to-day, yet we look at it as if it is.

We see our lives as a continual struggle of sleep, waking hours, eating and then sleep again. Simplistic though it is, it is true isn’t it? It doesn’t matter what type of job you have or where you work, which falls under the waking hours, the rest of the day usually falls in the time of eating food or sleeping with a little TV thrown in to dull the day down before going to sleep.

My representation of life in those four areas is simple, but if you think about it then it is the truth. Getting back to our title about cracks and missing pieces, where do they come from? Some come from our own existence, some of the cracks are there because God put them there so you would depend upon Him more, the missing pieces are those parts of yourself that seem to get lost. Some of them are lost when a loved one dies or when some tragedy occurs in your life or in a close friend’s life. They are not totally lost, it just feels that way. That part of you may have fractured into many thousands of pieces and it feels like it is gone, but God can put the pieces back together again.

Sometimes we can feel the cracks and fractures in our life, but think of it in this way: God may be using this trouble and the problems which we feel through it to cause a change in us. The judgement that came against Israel in times past was specifically for the cause of bringing them back to God…to relying on God every day! Captivity in Babylon, slavery in Egypt, slavery through other people in the Old Testament like the Assyrians, each of these was designed and used by God to get God’s people to turn BACK to God! Trouble in this life is there for a reason, specifically to refine us into better and more dedicated people in God’s service.

God loves us deeply, far more deeply than we can understand with our limited minds. In reference to the cracks and chastisement that we may go through, think of it like a weight lifter beginning to lift weights. At first you are very sore, so sore in fact that you can barely lift the bar without weight on it. Then, as those muscle fibers grow and repair the damage of lifting weights, they become stronger and you have to add more weight. You tear and work the muscle tissue so that it will grow and become stronger, that is what these trying times in your life are and God uses them to make you and your faith stronger!

Life everywhere is hard and trying to an extent, depending upon where you live. Seek God and His Wisdom from the Bible, not just one or two verses from it but the whole Bible. He can guide you and give you wisdom and strength to make it through the most tough and trying times in your life. He helped to get Job through his trying times, He helped the Jews get through their slavery and back into their homeland, He helped those who were scattered all over the world to come back to their homeland after WWII. God will help you too IF you will seek Him out and follow Him daily! Time grows short, don’t wait.