Tag: rapture

Will Leave You Speechless 

  
Don’t you just love Facebook? 

I’m sure by now you’ve all seen posts that go something like this: “This man was captured on video, singing in a grocery store. His voice kept getting louder and louder, but what he did next will leave you speechless!”

Look familiar? There are hundreds of posts like that one, from someone filling their car with gas, to a couple of young folks talking with a homeless man down by the river. Each little opening paragraph ends with “what they did next will leave you speechless.

So far, I haven’t lost my ability, or desire, to speak. I admit there are some pretty cool things to behold, but speechless? 

If everything is awesome, or will leave you and I speechless, won’t everything be just so-so? If everything is great, nothing is great. Am I making any sense?

If all things are equal, how can anything be outstanding?

Sorry, but I guess I just can’t buy the “speechless” hype. 

However, there’s coming a day, soon I believe, when a certain, long awaited event will happen. I guarantee what happens next will leave everyone speechless!

What “long awaited event” am I talking about? 

“For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a commanding shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet call of God. First, the Christians who have died will rise from their graves. Then, together with them, we who are still alive and remain on the earth will be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. Then we will be with the Lord forever. So encourage each other with these words.” (1 Thessalonians 4:16-18 NLT)

The great catching away of the true believers in Jesus! One moment on earth, the next… well, there’s a reason why it’s referred to as The Blessed Hope.

“…waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ…” (Titus 2:13 ESV)

Just image what the Facebook post would say. “This man was walking down the potato chip aisle, humming to himself. What happened next will leave you speechless.”

Now you see him, now you don’t. Both the man who was caught away, and the person recording the scene, will undoubtedly be speechless. 

I’m hoping for two things when that time comes.

One, someone will have a camera on me, getting it all on video. 

Two, you aren’t the one posting it on Facebook. 

The Coming Exodus

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Like it or not, the world is quickly changing. Believe it or not, there’s coming a day when, like the Exodus of days gone by, yes, the very same one Cecil B. DeMille turned into a movie starring Charlton Heston, the people of God will be delivered from this sensual, evil world.

Those who are sick and tired of the Jesus nuts will finally get their wish. They won’t have to hear any more fire and brimstone preaching, nor be insulted by being subjected to the “J” word. They’ll be able to gather every religion and pseudo-religion together under one gigantic banner, and love everyone like God wants them to. Tolerance and diversity, without those narrow-minded Jesus goofballs messing everything up.

Are you familiar with the Exodus story? 

Briefly, it’s a story of the nation of Israel, who originally had moved to Egypt during a time of great famine. After 430 years, the Israelites were forced into slavery by Pharaoh, the ruler of Egypt.
The people of God cried out to God, Who, in answer to their cries, sent Moses and Aaron to deliver them from their shackles.
Here’s where it really gets interesting.

Moses and Aaron didn’t have to face Pharaoh by themselves. God not only sent them, but He went before them and fought FOR them.

Egypt was forced to endure ten plagues, each of them a demonstration of the power of God over the “god” of the Egyptians. Finally, after the last plague, Pharaoh reluctantly agreed to let the people go.

Yet that decision was short lived; because not long after giving Moses the nod to leave, Pharaoh gathered his troops and, like a large posse from an old western, tore off after the Israelites.

But God continued to fight for His own.

He instructed Moses to lift the “rod of God” and stretch it out toward the Red Sea. As he obeyed, God rolled back the water and the whole nation crossed over on dry ground. Hebrews 11 says Pharaoh’s army followed their former slaves into the water, but failed to realize what looked like a victory in their eyes, was really a trap set by God.

As the waters covered the Egyptian army, the Exodus was complete. God had delivered His people, and kept His promise.

There are a number of examples in God’s word of God fighting for man. See Joshua 10:14; 23:3; and 2 Chronicles 20:29.

Something I’ve been thinking about lately is the parallel between the physical deliverance from Egypt, and the spiritual/physical deliverance of the children of God from this world.
There are a number of opinions regarding what some refer to as “the Rapture” or catching away, and I’m not about to try to explain everything about a pre, mid, or post tribulation rapture.

I WILL go so far as to say I’m convinced when the time comes, whenever that is, it will be a time when, once again, God fights for His people. A time just like before, when God displayed the greatness of His power against each and every one of mankind’s “gods”.

I believe there will be a witness of God’s glory and THEN we (those who are actively walking with and listening to the Lord God) will be translated to be with the Lord forever.

I don’t believe we’ll just sneak off into the sunset. Those left behind are going to know what they’ve done, Who they’ve fought, and what they’ve missed.

In closing, I’ll leave you with this passage from Revelation. In it you’ll notice that the entire earth’s population: kings, princes, rich, important, everyone right down to and including the poorest of the poor, will try and hide from the wrath of the Lamb.

You may ask why I believe such stuff. God seems to always work in types and shadows. That’s one reason. The second is, God will eventually settle the score for His children.He can only tolerate the murdering of His kids for so long. 

 

He is patient, but eventually His patience must give way to justice.

 

I’d love to read your thoughts, so I hope you comment. One thing is for sure, none of us have ever experienced what’s up ahead. So that means the number of end time experts is fairly small. Like zero.

Here’s the passage, and thanks for commenting.

“When he opened the sixth seal, I looked, and behold, there was a great earthquake, and the sun became black as sackcloth, the full moon became like blood, and the stars of the sky fell to the earth as the fig tree sheds its winter fruit when shaken by a gale. The sky vanished like a scroll that is being rolled up, and every mountain and island was removed from its place. Then the kings of the earth and the great ones and the generals and the rich and the powerful, and everyone, slave and free, hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains, calling to the mountains and rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who is seated on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb, for the great day of their wrath has come, and who can stand?”(Revelation 6:12-17 ESV)

Some “Last Days” Thoughts

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“Egypt was glad when they departed, for dread of them had fallen upon it.” (Psalm 105:38 ESV)

There’s coming a day, and what a glorious day it will be, when the Church, the Body of Christ, followers of Jesus, the remnant of believers, will be called into the very presence of God. Some call it “the Rapture”. I prefer to call it “the Great Catching Away”.

Israel is a type of the Church, the “called out ones”. As Israel was called out of Egypt supernaturally, so it shall be with the Church.

Israel was called out, then joined together in the wilderness. In the wilderness they had to learn about their God. They learned faith, obedience, following leadership, how to fight together against a common enemy. When the time for them to cross the Jordan, they were ready.

Israel became a unique nation among nations and so did the Church.

“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.” (1 Peter 2:9 ESV)

The Church began in power, but through the years, and succumbing to man’s traditions and doctrines of demons, has all but lost its identity and unique message.

But God has always had a remnant. And he has one today.

Over the last couple hundred years, God has been rebuilding his Church, and restoring its power and ministry gifts. God is bringing the Church to the culmination of his plans and purposes. A time when the Church, the Body and the Head, function as one. A time when the dread and fear of God cover the earth like never before. A period that allows the world (Egypt) to witness the God of Creation, and experience his great power – through the Church.

“Egypt was glad…” That will happen again. The world will be glad when the Church finally leaves. Presently, the Church has very little influence in the world. Most people can either “take it or leave it” where the Church is concerned. But that will change, and change quickly.

And as it was when Israel departed from Egypt, and a number of Egyptians left with them, so it shall be once more. For the final demonstration of God’s power is not only a declaration of God’s greatness and his ultimate triumph over every enemy, it will also be the greatest gathering of souls into his kingdom. Harvest Time!

So what should we look for?

–House cleaning – the people of God judging and purifying themselves – 1 Peter 4:17
–Ministry gifts operated in humility and purity – 1 Corinthians 12-14
–A definite division between light and darkness – Acts 5; 1 Thessalonians 5
–God working through the Church in power and holiness – Mark 16:15-20; Ephesians 3:10
–“Come up here” – the Great Catching Away – Revelation 4:1; 1 Thessalonians 4

I realize not everyone will see things like I do. How do you think things will be, as the end of this present age draws near? Are you ready for the end of this period, and the beginning of the next?

One thing is certain. When all is said and done God will still be the one in charge.

Forever and ever, amen.

The Idiom Is True

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There’s an old idiom which goes like this: “it takes all kinds to make the world go around”.

I guess it’s referring to diversity.

So the world goes around because it’s home for people of all colors, shapes, and sizes.

But are there more categories? How many kinds of people are there; you know, the ones that make the world go around?

Do rich people have any connection to the world’s movement? Do those with less money cause the world to speed up or slow down?

How important is it to have both liberals and conservatives on the same planet? One would think the two opposing ideologies would cancel each other out, leaving the world with no propellant, no way to get itself in gear.

And really, must the world keep turning? As a kid I heard the earth’s gravity depends largely on its rotation. Of course, I could’ve missed something along the way.

What about people we don’t like? How vital is their role?

I wonder if it’s possible to somehow dump the people we don’t care for over the side of the world. But if they are important to the world’s rotation I’d really hate to mess with it.

Now for the big question. Scripture teaches that one of these days the Christians, those who are followers of Christ, will no longer be residents of this world. So how will our leaving affect those who remain?

Though I’m not sure of the specifics, that is the one group whose departure will make a gigantic impact on how the world continues to go around. Because after the group as been shuttled off to another world it will take less than seven years for this world to fall completely into ruins.

I believe it will simply grind to a complete stop.

Even if the world lost all of its white or black, skinny or fat, rich or poor, tall or short population, it would continue to spin. But pull the Christ followers out…

I guess the idiom is true.

Will You Rise When He Comes?

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Instead of beating around the proverbial bush, I’m going to come right out and say what I believe.

Not every “believer” in Jesus will go in the catching away of the church.

Unfortunately.

Do I have your attention?

Why do I believe such a thing? Not every believer is “listening” for the voice of the Lord.

Allow me…

Now concerning the times and the seasons, brothers, you have no need to have anything written to you. For you yourselves are fully aware that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. While people are saying, “There is peace and security,” then sudden destruction will come upon them as labor pains come upon a pregnant woman, and they will not escape. But you are not in darkness, brothers, for that day to surprise you like a thief. For you are all children of light, children of the day. We are not of the night or of the darkness. So then let us not sleep, as others do, but let us keep awake and be sober. For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, are drunk at night. But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and for a helmet the hope of salvation. For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us so that whether we are awake or asleep we might live with him. Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing. (1 Thessalonians 5:1 – 5:11 ESV)

Paul writes to people who don’t need anything written to them. Odd? But don’t forget, he also wrote to you and I. He said the day will come like a thief in the night. Sneaky, hidden, quiet, unannounced. Under cover of darkness.

Paul also wrote that the believers aren’t of the darkness, or of the night. He said the day shouldn’t take us by surprise. We’re of the day, so let’s walk like it. Let’s not allow ourselves to be drunk with the cares of the world. In essence, that’s the word to us…

Act like you’ve been brought up” – in Christ.

So, if Paul felt the prompting of the Spirit to write the word of admonition, doesn’t it make sense that people of the day CAN act like people of the night? People of God just might possibly become drunk with the cares and affairs of this temporal life? It’s not advised, but it IS possible, right?

And IF they CAN become insensitive to God’s voice because they’re enamored with the world, HOW will they hear Him say, with the Voice of a trumpet, “Come up here” (Revelation 4:1)?

This word isn’t a word to scare you. But we all need to consider this question:

“If I’m living in such a haphazard communion with my Lord that I can’t discern His leading or His voice, how will I discern the trumpet of the Lord?”

Jesus said, “Not everyone who says, Lord, Lord, shall enter the Kingdom of Heaven.”

Hey, we could be like those who heard God speak but thought it was only thunder.

No, there are too many verses warning the believers to wake up, live soberly and righteously, be led by His Spirit, and love the Lord with ALL our heart, mind, soul, and strength.

Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will DEPART from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons, through the insincerity of liars whose consciences are seared. (1 Timothy 4:1-2 ESV)

But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. (2 Timothy 3:1-5 ESV)

And remember, each of the churches Jesus addressed in the second and third chapters of Revelation were admonished to “hear what the Spirit was saying”. That is, if they were capable of hearing.

Are YOU able to hear the voice of the Lord? Can He lead you in the everyday affairs of life? Or are you thinking you can live your life as YOU please and when it’s time for the trumpet you’re all ears?

Remember the 10 virgins? Remember Lot’s wife? She was on her way out BUT turned around; her heart still entangled with the voices of her world instead of the words of the angels.

People are all over the spiritual map in regards to when they think He’s coming back. I personally believe it is soon; that I’ll live to see it happen. But many disagree.

Whatever happens and whenever what happens, happens…

Lord, help me keep my ears open and my heart captivated by only YOU. And help me continually sound the alarm – it’s time to wake up!

So…how good is YOUR hearing? Are you listening?

Thank you for reading this post. Please comment, I’d love to hear what you think. For more posts and a weekly newsletter delivered to your email address, please go to http://eepurl.com/PaJK5 and sign up. Thanks.

This Same Jesus

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It was the Lord’s Day, and I was worshiping in the Spirit. Suddenly, I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet blast. It said, “Write in a book everything you see, and send it to the seven churches in the cities of Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea.”

When I turned to see who was speaking to me, I saw seven gold lampstands. And standing in the middle of the lampstands was someone like the Son of Man. He was wearing a long robe with a gold sash across his chest. His head and his hair were white like wool, as white as snow. And his eyes were like flames of fire. His feet were like polished bronze refined in a furnace, and his voice thundered like mighty ocean waves. He held seven stars in his right hand, and a sharp two-edged sword came from his mouth. And his face was like the sun in all its brilliance.

When I saw him, I fell at his feet as if I were dead. (Revelation 1:10-17 NLT)

John saw Jesus, and he immediately dropped to the ground, as though he had died. This is the same Jesus the world celebrated a few weeks ago.

Isn’t it kind of odd? Most people don’t have any problem thinking about a cute little baby lying in a horse trough, surrounded by lowing cattle, bleating sheep, a drummer boy, an assortment of angels, shepherds, and wise men; and of course Mary and Joseph.

Problems begin as the cute little kid starts to grow up! Know what I mean?

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