Month: December 2013

Moments after

Have you considered the day after the rapture? Have you given it much thought? Have you truly considered, contemplated, or meditated on what the world, your country, or your town may look like?

I know there is much controversy surrounding the rapture teaching. I also know there are several views as to when it will happen. Those things aside, for the sake of time, let us consider it happens tomorrow. The morning comes when Jesus calls home His saints, those found worthy by His blood. First and foremost, where do you see yourself?
If you find yourself there in His presence, why would anything else matter? It matters because you probably know someone who will not be among the redeemed. You may be related to someone who has not considered the things that will take place or the truth He set forth in His Word.

Matthew:7:14: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

Moments after the rapture, world economies will crumble. Money will have no value. Looting and riots will ensue. Supplies around the world will be cut off. Traffic routes will be impassable, cars left running, idling, and crashed will be the barricades. Services such as water, electric, sewage, and garbage will falter with no one to maintain them. That would indeed mean no electric, no water, no modern accommodations.

Looting will turn friendly neighborhoods into battle zones. There will be no immediate supplies of gasoline, food, groceries, or medicine. Hospitals will be running over, unable to keep up with the injured, sick, elderly, and dying. Wait times for care will exceed people’s patience. Panic and fear will have a majority of people in their grip.

Communication locally, nationally, and internationally will be sporadic at best. People will begin to hoard, pilfer, kill and steal as the survival instinct takes charge. Missing loved ones will be afterthoughts with so much to deal with. Who do you trust? Who can sort this kind of world-wide tragedy out? Who will people look to, upon whom will they cast their care? Their faith? A worldly savior will rise, and gladly offer all the help and assistance that will be needed. All that will be asked is that they will knowingly take his mark, his number upon their hand or forehead.

Is it too hard to imagine that this could happen? This is just a few thoughts, a few imaginings of a world that may be and in a not too distant future. There are terror cells across the world, funded by countries with nothing less than world domination as the agenda on which this could be blamed. This is what many may have to look forward to. If not this, something like it, maybe something far worse.

There is good news: There is still time. Jesus is still seeking and saving those who are lost. Lives and futures can be changed, if you will accept Him. Go to Him in prayer, confess your sin to Jesus and be not afraid, for His grace is greater than your sin. Ask His forgiveness, accept Jesus as Lord and Savior of your life, and please reach out to those you love. The day is coming, and no one knows that day nor that hour. It could be tomorrow. Even so, I pray, come quickly Lord Jesus. It is with hope and prayers this could be your prayer too, for that day is coming.

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A Christmas Devotional

A few days ago I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to give a Christmas devotional during our young adult Christmas dinner. I would also like to take this time to share it with you as well. It is a bit longer than my usual articles, but worth the time. I hope you enjoy it:

This time of year, this season, we set aside as a very special occasion. Families and friends gather together and celebrate. It is a time of joy, celebration, and charity. This is the time we celebrate the birth of our Savior:

Luke:2:4: And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)
Luke:2:6: And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.
Luke:2:7: And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

Here we find that Jesus was born in Bethlehem. This, as with all other things, was by design, and not accident. Bethlehem literally means “house of bread”. Jesus became that manna, that bread which came down from Heaven to be born in Bethlehem.

Lu:2:10: And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
Lu:2:11: For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

Good tidings of great joy; What greater joy do we know than salvation? Not only for those who were able to see the baby wrapped in swaddling clothes, laying in a manger, but to all people. We have that joy, and it is still available to all that will hear and accept Him.

Matthew:1:22: Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying,
Matthew:1:23: Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.

Not only did the King of Glory come down from His throne, that He would dwell among us, He remains with us today, in His Word and in the Spirit. He is still Emmanuel, God with us. He is the Reason for the season and our gathering together tonight.

For just a few more minutes, let us look at the Gift received then, and the Gift that yet awaits.

Luke:2:25: And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel: and the Holy Ghost was upon him.
Luke:2:26: And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord’s Christ.
Luke:2:27: And he came by the Spirit into the temple: and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him after the custom of the law,
Luke:2:28: Then took he him up in his arms, and blessed God, and said,
Luke:2:29: Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word:
Luke:2:30: For mine eyes have seen thy salvation,
Luke:2:31: Which thou hast prepared before the face of all people;
Luke:2:32: A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel.

Here we read about a man named Simeon. We see first that he was led by the Spirit to the Lord, Jesus Christ. Just as it was then, it remains so today. How precious is that moment when his eyes beheld Salvation, and our Spiritual eyes also found the beauty of the cross? This was done openly and not only for the Jews, but for us, the gentiles as well. In Matthew we read another account of finding the Savior:

Matthew:2:7: Then Herod, when he had privily called the wise men, enquired of them diligently what time the star appeared.
Matthew:2:8: And he sent them to Bethlehem, and said, Go and search diligently for the young child; and when ye have found him, bring me word again, that I may come and worship him also.
Matthew:2:9: When they had heard the king, they departed; and, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was.
Matthew:2:10: When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy.
Matthew:2:11: And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh.

The wise men were sent to search diligently. That is to search with purpose. They went seeking and they did find. When they found, they rejoiced with exceeding joy. Do you still remember that joy the moment you too found the Savior? Not only did they rejoice, but they took from their own treasures and gave from them gifts. Today we too rejoice in fellowship with the Savior, we are rewarded in diligently seeking our Savior, and we too offer gifts of ourselves unto Him. Just as they followed a star to find the child Christ, we too follow that bright and morning star, which is Christ. This is the gift which was received then and now.

And finally, the Gift which awaits. Our King ,which came from glory and perfection, which went from riches to rags and took upon Himself our shame. He paid our debt and washed us clean by His precious blood. He did all this by the work He accomplished here in the flesh, that we could have the promise of eternal life. Romans and Ephesians say it like this:

Romans:6:23: For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Ephesians:2:7: That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.
Ephesians:2:8: For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
Ephesians:2:9: Not of works, lest any man should boast.

We await eternal life. We await that mansion prepared in glory. As much as we wait to inherit these things, our Gift, Jesus Christ, also waits.

John:14:2: In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.
John:14:3: And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.

Our Lord awaits at the right hand of the Father for that moment He will be able to receive us unto Himself. Jesus, our Gift from God, awaits. As Christmas approaches, keep in mind that we have the ability by the Spirit of God and the witness of our testimony to reach out to the lost and lead them to the same Gift from God we have already accepted. Let us continue to praise and give Jesus thanks for this season and every day for those gifts received and those yet to come.

A prophetic glance and the new buzzword

There is a new word which is and will be associated with Bible prophecy. The word is not really new, but its use within the confines of prophecy is. What is that word? The word is convergence. The definition of convergence is “moving toward union or uniformity”. Another fitting definition is “independent development of similar characters”.

We live in a rapidly changing world that is becoming increasingly dangerous. As things progress and appear to get worse, it is natural to look to the Word of God for understanding. When you begin to read, study, and understand prophecy, becoming overwhelmed by all the information is to be expected. God had much to say on the things which would be. The world, in turn, seems to be in a sprint to fulfill all those things at once.

I began teaching prophecy about 10 years ago. It seemed easier then. Now everything seems so much more connected and there is so much more current information, and breaking news connected to prophecy is an almost daily event.

I will list a few verses, a very minor description, and then you can watch the news and see all these things are beginning to converge.

Matthew:24:4: And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you.
Matthew:24:5: For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.
Matthew:24:6: And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.
Matthew:24:7: For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.
Matthew:24:8: All these are the beginning of sorrows.

Deception is a prevailing attribute in our world today. Wars and rumors of wars, this sounds like the nightly news. Famine is not uncommon, diseases are mutating and becoming “superbugs”, earthquakes in various places, yes all too present. These are the beginning of sorrows, or birth pains. How slowly these things started and have increased yet, at a pace that has been steady and without alarm.

Ezekiel:38:2: Son of man, set thy face against Gog, the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him,
Ezekiel:38:3: And say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold I am against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal:
Ezekiel:38:4: And I will turn thee back, and put hooks into thy jaws, and I will bring thee forth, and all thine army, horses and horsemen, all of them clothed with all sorts of armour, even a great company with bucklers and shields, all of them handling swords:
Ezekiel:38:5: Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya with them; all of them with shield and helmet:
Ezekiel:38:6: Gomer, and all his bands; the house of Togarmah of the north quarters, and all his bands: and many people with thee.

Here we have the prophecy of the battle of Gog/Magog. Gog being the man/leader and Magog being the land/coalition. Specifically this is speaking Persia, Russia, Asia minor, and Turkey. The most concerning thing about this prophecy, which is greatly outlined in chapters 38 and 39, is that we are watching this come to fulfillment. Today we know two of those major countries as Russia and Iran, an unlikely pair, coming together just as God said it would be.

Isaiah:17:1: The burden of Damascus. Behold, Damascus is taken away from being a city, and it shall be a ruinous heap.

In this verse, God says Damascus will be a ruinous heap, no longer a city. With the war raging in Syria, this should be a very real concern for any who inhabit that city.

2Peter:3:3: Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts,
2Peter:3:4: And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.

This seems to be the war cry for this present unbelieving world.

2Timothy:3:1: This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.
2Timothy:3:2: For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,
2Timothy:3:3: Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,
2Timothy:3:4: Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;
2Timothy:3:5: Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.

Perilous times shall come. Today, that seems to be an understatement. Perilous times are here and getting worse. The description given here could not have been more accurate and is an indictment on the world in which we live today.

The list goes on, and on. I will, however, stop here. These are given as an example to show not just where we are, but where we are headed. Although these are separate prophecies given by different prophets, we can now begin to see why convergence is and will be the buzzword associated with biblical prophecy.

There is, however, an uplifting side to these things. There are duties we must be attending.

Mark:13:35: Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning:
Mark:13:36: Lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping.
Mark:13:37: And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch.

Luke:21:28: And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.

Watch, for the time could be now. Pray, that you be accounted worthy. Look, for His appearing. Lift your head, your Redeemer is drawing nigh!