121514 – Preparing For The End Times – Don’t Be Left Behind

The nation of Israel has been scattered all over the world since its dispersion that lasted from 722 BC through 586 BC (See 2 Kings 17:1-6 and 2 Kings 25:11, and the connecting chapters). Jews have been being drawn back to Israel by God as a nation since the United Nations granted it statehood in 1948. God’s plan for Israel is not dependent upon the United Nations, the United States, or any other governing body in the world. God’s plan to return Israel to its promised land is based on His Sovereignty and His Holy Word. God’s chosen people, the Jews (Deu 7:6), will be under fierce assault by their enemies after the church has been raptured (1 Thes 4:16-17). Their enemies are also the enemies of God and of the church of Christ. Those times will be terrible.Consider the following scriptures and comments. Please notice that I use repetition to reenforce pertinent information.

Psalm 103:19 Holman Christian Standard Bible
The LORD has established His throne in heaven, and His kingdom rules over all.

Ezekiel 36:24 Holman Christian Standard Bible
For I will take you from the nations and gather you from all the countries, and will bring you into your own land

God’s chosen people, the Jews (Deu 7:6), will come under a major armed assault by their enemies in their promised land of Israel. Their attackers are also enemies of God, and of the Church of our Lord Jesus Christ, which is not a denomination but is the body of born-again believers in Christ. In coming posts, we will discuss Ezekiel 38:1 through Ezekiel 39:29. We will read about the removal of the enemies of the Jews from their promised land. We will see the invasion of Israel and the intervention of God to protect the Jews, who are the nation of Israel. As Jesus told His disciples in Matthew 24:21, Holman Christian Standard Bible, “For at that time there will be great tribulation, the kind that hasn’t taken place from the beginning of the world until now and never will again!” Those future times will be terrible for those who will be present during them, which includes anyone in the world who has not been born again. Jews and Gentiles, who have no personal relationship with Jesus as their Lord and Savior, will be personal witnesses of the events that will take place during the times of Ezekiel 38 and 39. We, who have been born again, are able to read about the tribulation that Jesus discusses with His disciples. For those who have not been born again, they will be eye witnesses, both of the attacks on Israel and of the worldwide assault on anything and anybody resembling God. So, here is my plea to those who have not accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior; “please do so!”

The term that God’s Holy Word uses to describe those who have a place in Him, for now and eternity, is “born again” (John 3:3-8). A person who has been born again, or born from above, has a spirit that is as pure as the Spirit of Christ, and is indwelled and prompted for righteousness by the Spirit of “Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.” The scriptures that follow tell us a lot about the indwelling of the Spirit of God, and the teaching and conviction of righteousness that come from having the Spirit of God indwelling us. The way for unbelievers to achieve eternal life with God is also very clearly shown as being grace through faith.

John 7:38 Holman Christian Standard Bible
The one who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, will have streams of living water flow from deep within him.”

John 7:39 Holman Christian Standard Bible
He said this about the Spirit. Those who believed in Jesus were going to receive the Spirit, for the Spirit had not yet been received because Jesus had not yet been glorified.

John 14:16 Holman Christian Standard Bible
And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Counselor to be with you forever.

John 14:17 Holman Christian Standard Bible
He is the Spirit of truth. The world is unable to receive Him because it doesn’t see Him or know Him. But you do know Him, because He remains with you and will be in you.

John 14:20 Holman Christian Standard Bible
In that day you will know that I am in My Father, you are in Me, and I am in you.

John 14:26 Holman Christian Standard Bible
But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit–the Father will send Him in My name–will teach you all things and remind you of everything I have told you.

John 15:26 Holman Christian Standard Bible
“When the Counselor comes, the One I will send to you from the Father–the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father–He will testify about Me.

John 16:8 Holman Christian Standard Bible
When He comes, He will convict the world about sin, righteousness, and judgment:

John 16:9 Holman Christian Standard Bible
About sin, because they do not believe in Me;

John 16:10 Holman Christian Standard Bible
about righteousness, because I am going to the Father and you will no longer see Me;

John 16:11 Holman Christian Standard Bible
and about judgment, because the ruler of this world has been judged

John 16:13 Holman Christian Standard Bible
When the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all the truth. For He will not speak on His own, but He will speak whatever He hears. He will also declare to you what is to come.

John 17:21 Holman Christian Standard Bible
May they all be one, as You, Father, are in Me and I am in You. May they also be one in Us, so the world may believe You sent Me.

1 Corinthians 2:14 Holman Christian Standard Bible
But the unbeliever does not welcome what comes from God’s Spirit, because it is foolishness to him; he is not able to understand it since it is evaluated spiritually.

Colossians 1:27 Holman Christian Standard Bible
God wanted to make known among the Gentiles the glorious wealth of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory

Ephesians 2:8 Holman Christian Standard Bible
For you are saved by grace through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is God’s gift–

Romans 10:17 New American Standard Bible
So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.

The final scripture tells us something that is very important about environment. The preaching of the Word is key to a person’s coming to saving faith in Christ. It is important for children to be brought up in a church that clearly teaches God’s Word. If our children are not in church, they should be! Consider the man who recently murdered the two police officers in New York. From what I have read about the murderer’s background, he came from a muslim family, and his mother was afraid of him. There was no mention of a father in the home. Muslims have no assurance of eternal life. They are trying to prove themselves worthy of eternal life in paradise. Consider the view of muslims, as many present their lifestyles to the world. There are too many young males and females who are brought up in homes where no father is present. It is incumbent upon the church of Christ to reach out to single parents and encourage them to have their children in church. The vast numbers of young people who are shown in news films committing continued acts of lawlessness, violence, vandalism, arson, and crimes against persons and property are proof of the many people who have no relationship with Jesus as their Lord and Savior. As the church of Christ, we have a commission to “go and teach” those people the words of love of Jesus. We need to be proactive in sharing the gospel with those who may appear to be unreachable, and find a way of getting them into a church setting. We need to realize the severity of the great multitude of those people whose eternity is set for Hell. But, we should also consider the church environment. We need to know if the Word of God will be preached, and not things that are not of God’s Word. Consider the words of the Book of Hebrews as they relate to organized church gatherings.

Hebrews 10:24-25 New International Version
And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another–and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

We are told to meet in a spirit of love, and to continue meeting and encouraging one another. But, there can be major road blocks in churches that prevent an environment of love. There are churches that get involved in things that are not of God, and have messages from the pulpit that have nothing to do with God’s love. Such churches are operating in direct opposition to God’s love. God’s Word warns such churches of the consequences of such ungodly behavior, as follows:

To the church of Ephesus, God’s Word states a complaint.

Revelation 2:4 New American Standard Bible
But I have this against you, that you have left your first love

The church at Ephesus had moved so far from its ministry that it was told:

Revelation 2:5 New American Standard Bible
‘Therefore remember from where you have fallen, and repent and do the deeds you did at first; or else I am coming to you and will remove your lampstand out of its place– unless you repent.

Because the church at Ephesus had strayed from its ministry of serving Christ, the consequence was that God’s judgment would bring an end to that church.

The purpose of the church of Christ is stated in Matthew 28:19-20, as follows:

New American Standard Bible
“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

The purpose of the church of Christ is to teach the words of Jesus and bring unbelievers to belief in Christ as their Lord and Savior; baptizing them, and teaching them to lead other unbelievers to saving faith in Jesus. A Godly environment of each church is key to the good health and continued success of the congregation.

Let’s go back to the man who murdered the two New York police officers. His spiritual situation is the result of bad parenting and not learning about the love that comes through a personal relationship with Jesus, as Lord and Savior. There are many other people who have the same potential of hatred growing within their mind; that is driven by a spirit that has not been born again; but is in close spiritual relationship with Satan. The many people of the world, who do not have a relationship with Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior, do not have the influence of righteousness within them that comes from having the Holy Spirit indwelling them.

There is a congregation that is currently in the same danger as we saw present with the Church at Ephesus. This present day church recently violated its trust as being a place where young children, and unbelieving adults, can go to hear the Word of God spoken from the pulpit in a way that builds up the name of Jesus and desires to lead lost souls to Christ. There is a video of part of the church service. Women are shown wearing red choir robes. Venomous hateful speech is clearly being spoken from the pulpit. The church’s pastor should be ashamed for allowing such ungodly conduct from taking place in the congregation where he has been given the charge of being that congregation’s shepherd, overseer, elder, bishop, minister, and any other name that can be attributed to his calling. The congregation should also be ashamed by allowing their sanctuary to be used in such an ungodly manner. Usually, I will show a video of examples. This time, I will not do that. I will not let such hatefulness be shown in this post. My responsibility as a pastor is to “equip the saints for the work of ministry for the building up of the body of Christ.” (Eph 4:11-12). I encourage you to search You Tube for the video that can found by typing,”rev al at ferg ch.” May your church never be used in such an unholy way. May your children never be placed in such a den of Satan. May you prepare your children to not be of those who will be “left behind.” May you not be left behind. May you and your children go into the presence of God together, in the rapture of the church.

As I normally do, I will put a nice video at the foot of this post. I trust that it will lighten your soul from the worldly situations that face all of us… It was at a wedding that Jesus performed His first miracle (John 2:1-11)… The song that follows was sung at a Catholic wedding. The name of the priest is Ray Kelly. The location is Ireland. I have posted the video previously. I pray that you will receive a blessing from it.

Wedding Song – Hallelujah
Chris And Leah O’Kane

Selected video of the wedding follows. It shows some very tender moments. The bride is beautiful. I will add that all brides are beautiful.

Wedding Highlights
Chris And Leah O’Kane

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