Friday, August 8, 2008

Are You Ready?

Each day, as I sit here in my room where I do my Bible study, my sewing, and anything else that requires a computer, I have on in the background, Fox News.
I like to keep up with current events, and if I weren't a believer, I would be terrified by all the horror and tragedy that is reported day by day. With each passing day, we hear more about wars erupting, strange events in our world's weather patterns, horrific stories of the wickedness of people, and how some are involving so many children in their evil schemes.

The Bible addresses these things all throughout the books written by the Prophets in the Old Testament, as well as Jesus himself addressing these issues in the New Testament. After Jesus' return to Heaven, the apostle Paul and others also wrote about such events happening in the world to come, and we are seeing this all unfold before our very eyes.

As a believer, I see it happening, and am saddened at the condition our world is in, yet I have no fear - I know that I know that I know that these things are the forerunners of the return of Jesus.

In the NT, the book of Matthew 24, Jesus is telling us in detail, what to look out for before his return. I will touch on a few verses, but I encourage you to read the chapter in it's entireity. Beginning with verse 4: "Jesus answered, "Watch out that no one decieves you. For many will come in my namd, claiming 'I am the Christ', and will deceive many. You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of the birth pains".

How many false "Christs" have we seen pop up on the scene in our generation? How many wars has our generation seen? How often do we hear about the world's problem of hunger, the more frequent events such as earthquakes, storms and such? Note where the Lord called them "birth pains". Every woman who has ever gone through the birth of a child, and every man who has witnessed this event, knows that the closer the time for the birth - the more frequent, and the more intense the pains of labor occur.

Now going over to the book of I Thessalonians Chapter 4, the apostle Paul tells us again what to look for before the Lord Jesus returns. First, he will "come in the air" for his "church", meaning those who are believers in him. Then those who are not believers will be left behind in this world to face the tribulation.

4:15, " According to the Lord's own word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left til the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede thos who have fallen asleep( dead). For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel Michael, and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage each other with these words".
If you've ever heard the terminology "the Rapture", this is taken from Latin meaning, "caught up".

Skipping down to Chapter 5: 2, "For you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. While people are saying, "peace and safety", destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape. But you, brothers, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a a thief. You are all sons of the light and sons of the day. We do not belong to the night or the darkness. So then, let us not be like the others who are asleep, but let us be alert and self-controlled".

I think it's spelled out as plain as it can be. It's GOING to happen, and it IS happening before our very eyes, and I pray that if you are one of those who still lives in doubt of these words, who does not know the Lord, that you will search your heart and seek Him to reveal the truth of these words that His Holy Spirit has spoken through Jesus, as well as the others.

There is a series of books written from the late 90's by Tim LaHaye called "Left Behind". There are 13 books, which focus on this subject of the "Rapture" of the church, and a picture of how might possibly be on this earth, once the believers have gone. These books are written as fiction, not "gospel", so it's the author's interpretation of what it might be like - it does gives scriptures in there to reference things, so keep an open Bible along side you when reading them.
I have yet to read the 13th book in the series, as it hasn't been out but a year or so, and is always checked out at the local library - I guess those of us who read the other 12 books and waited so long for the last one to be written, are keeping the copies of it being continually passed around. I am thinking it might be worth just going out and purchasing, then passing it onto others, or donating it to the library, so they'll have additional copies.

Please heed these scriptures! Be alert and BE READY!

I'll close with a verse from the book of Revelation, the final book of the Bible - It is from the final chapter, 22: 20 - 21, "He who testifies to these things says, ' Yes, I am coming soon'. Amen. Come Lord Jesus. The grace of the Lord Jesus be with God's people. AMEN".



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