A Modern Woman's Perspective On The Kingdom of God on Earth

Showing posts with label Jesus and the End Times. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Jesus and the End Times. Show all posts

April 25, 2024

Are You Prepared to be Part of God's Remnant in the Last Days?

I do not ask this question lightly, because it is a very serious one. First of all, does the Body of Christ even understand what and who the Bible calls "the Remnant"? If I had to guess, I imagine most of the Church would say it's a small group of Believers who are left to serve God; either when the rest of the world has fallen away or has suffered His judgment. That would be correct, from a rudimentary point of view. But the true Remnant plays a very critical and crucial part in God's End Times plan. 

Make no mistake, the Bible tells us that God has always had an authentic Remnant throughout history; a small minority of people who remain faithful to Him in times of trouble and tribulation. He knows who they are and they have a distinct purpose and calling. They are very valuable in that their faith remains strong, holy, and steadfast; usually in the midst of God's divine judgment due to apostasy, rebellion and disobedience among those who claim they belong to Him.

We are all familiar with those whom God called "His remnant" in the Old Testament. In the days of Isaiah, the prophet, God revealed the wickedness and betrayal of the Kingdom of Judah and its capital, Jerusalem, as they strayed from Him. In fact, God declared in Isaiah 1:3, But Israel does not know [Me as Lord]; My people do not understand. Ah, sinful nation, a people loaded down with wickedness [with sin, with injustice, with wrongdoing], offspring of evildoers, sons who behave corruptly! They have abandoned (rejected) the Lord; they have despised the Holy One of Israel [provoking Him to anger]; They have turned away from Him.  

God goes on to reveal to Isaiah that it does no good to strike Israel [which includes both the kingdom of Israel and the kingdom of Judah] or punish them again because they only continue to rebel. There is nothing healthy in the nation's body and He has had enough. But even in the midst of all their idolatry, depravity, degradation, despicable sins, and ultimately, their destruction, God has called a remnant to seek justice, rebuke the ruthless, defend the fatherless, and plead for the rights of the widow in court. A small contingent of survivors will still serve Him in righteousness and goodness, paving a path of redemption for those who will truly seek it. 

Again, in the Old Testament, we see Noah and His family as the remnant who is left after God sent the Flood to destroy evil from the earth. Both Abraham and Moses served as God's remnant, displaying their faith and trust in God that He would choose them to lead a people set apart unto Him alone. Then there is the story of Gideon, whom God gave a remnant of 300 men [out of 30,000] through which He would rescue the Israelites; and give them victory over their enemies, the Midianites. We also read the witness of Elijah, who in the midst of hopelessness, declares that he is the only one left in all of Israel who has not bowed down to Baal. But what is God's answer to him? He has reserved a remnant of 7,000 who "have not bowed their knee to Baal and whose mouths have not kissed him". Through these examples [and many more], we can be assured that God will always keep to Himself a remnant to uphold His holy ways and assure the faithful that He is still at work in the world.

But as the world advances in these Last Days, do you still trust God to provide a righteous remnant that will survive the tribulation and persecution that the Enemy will heap upon it? And are you prepared to be a part of that chosen assembly? Because if your answer is "yes", I believe there are some things you need to understand. In these Last Days, the remnant will be sorely tried and tested -- not only by the world, but by God, Himself. You see, the tribulations, [the pressures, the distress, and the oppression] we will be facing, as Jesus says, "are such as has not occurred since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever will [be again]". So I believe God will be testing those who have hearts [like none other] to be close to Him and be free of the burdens of this world. They will be people who have no fear of witnessing [to those who hate them] of the glory of God!  

I can certainly identify with my fellow Believers who want nothing more than to abide in the Lord, and to be continually in His Presence. I am so tired of this world and long to be in holy communion with the Lord, and away from all the false Believers and pretenders of faith. I find myself wanting to be separate from society, yet possessing a heart that burns to witness and testify of God's purpose for the Kingdom in every member of society that I come in contact with. As you can imagine, that creates a tension in my soul. And one can find themselves quite lonely in the midst of both the secular community and the "Christian" brethren, because no one understands your battle with the world and "the Church", and they do not see what you see. They don't experience the grief and sorrow over wasted lives who have no fruit to show in their lives or for their love of Christ. And they don't contend with your worry about how these people will endure the suffering of their souls [and the testing of their faith] when the hard times come.

Are you prepared to carry your Cross? Because, you know, Jesus said [in Luke 9:23] that if we want to truly be His disciple, we must deny ourselves and take up our cross and follow Him. And that means sharing in His persecution, His abandonment by those who professed to believe in Him, His loneliness, and His death. You may even question if you're worthy to be considered or chosen for the Remnant because you know its your heart's desire to be like Jesus; but you also know you fall short. And yet, you still seek to pay the price to abide in Him. You don't want the accolades of men. You seek only to be tested and refined by the Lord to walk in righteousness with Him. 

The question for each of us is this ... Are we satisfied to be a part of what feels comfortable to our souls? Do we long to belong to the masses who proclaim their love and faith in Jesus? Are we content to believe in a Rapture theory that promises we will escape all that Jesus said we would have to endure to follow Him? Or ... are you ready to lay down everything you are, and everything you own, in order to  remain uncompromised in your faith? Do you believe it when the Bible tells us that we will be hated by the world and despised by those who call themselves "the Church"? Are you ready and willing to stand apart from the crowd and be your authentic self? 

The truth is that those of the Body of Christ who will be qualified to be part of God's Remnant are those who follow His every commandment; those who remain true to their calling and don't look for fortune or fame as they walk out their purpose for God's kingdom on earth. They will be like the five wise Virgins who stayed focused on being prepared for the moment of Christ's return. Only those who know the cost and the eternal rewards of following Him will be called to the Remnant. 

And that reminds me of two instances in Scripture when Jesus reveals the characteristics of those who might be considered for the Remnant. In Matthew 7:21-23, Jesus makes it clear that not everyone who calls Him, "Lord, Lord", will enter the kingdom of Heaven. In fact, He says that prophesying in His Name, driving out demons in His Name, and performing miracles in His Name, is not enough. He says, "I will declare to them publicly, 'I never knew you; depart from Me [you are banished from My presence], you who act wickedly [disregarding My commands]". 

Then in Luke 6:46, Jesus says, "Why do you call Me, 'Lord, Lord', and do not practice what I tell you?" Again, it is apparent that Jesus demands and expects His commandments [which are the commandments of the Father] to be acted upon, not just read or recited or heard. The Remnant will be comprised of those loyal followers who are awake, aware, and ready to be all they were designed to be, even in the midst of the most evil times mankind has ever seen or endured. 

And Jesus has given us those commandments to show us the way to persevere in these Last Days. We must not surrender them to the ways of the world. We must desire to be His Remnant and testify of His righteousness; looking different from the world, and standing with our wicks trimmed, ready to light the way for His Second Coming! And then we will experience the joy of our glorious Homecoming and the rewards of our eternal inheritance. Hallelujah! God bless the Remnant!

Revelation 12:17     And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.


April 1, 2024

After the Resurrection: Are We Living in the Power of Jesus?

The Resurrection of Jesus Christ from the Dead into Life Everlasting is the cornerstone of the Christian faith. No other religion on the earth has an empty tomb. Christians are the only believers who follow a leader that died and then came back to life, with the promise that we, too, can have Eternal Life. Admittedly, the Bible doesn't reveal everything about that miraculous event or what followed. But there are enough hints to give us hope to seek Him and His way of life. The Bible, itself, tells us, "There are also many other things which Jesus did, which if they were recorded one by one [and in detail], I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that would be written". That's a lot of details we don't have. But it doesn't mean those details are not many, mighty, miraculous, and real. 

Have you ever stopped to think about what happened immediately after Jesus rose; what occurred in addition to the details the Bible does give us? I can only imagine the shock and disbelief, and even fear, when Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome arrived at the tomb to anoint him with precious oils, only to find the tomb empty! Granted, Scripture says [both in Mark and Matthew] that Jesus had told them He would be betrayed into the hands of His enemies, and they would kill Him. After three days He would be raised from death to life. The Bible recounts that on one hand, they did not understand Him, nor did they ask Him; and secondly, they were deeply grieved and distressed. 

My first thought is that they had seen Lazarus raised from the dead by Jesus, Himself, and perhaps they were confused... who is going to raise Jesus? As far as I am aware, Scripture doesn't give us any clues that He explained it was by the power of the Holy Spirit. But they were about to be exposed to all the indescribable and supernatural ways in which we can, not only be connected to the Father, Jesus, and Holy Spirit, but live our lives in the same power and miracles. For me, the mystery, the power, the force, the strength, and the authority exhibited in the Resurrection event should overwhelm the mind and senses of every Believer! After all, He told Martha, the sister of Lazarus that not only will Believers live even if we die, but we will never die (John 11:25)! 

So, while they had clues of what was coming, they did not understand. But after the Resurrection! -- Oh, how their world must have been turned upside down. They went from profound grief, disappointment, and depression to being astonished, astounded and awe-struck at the power of the Living Christ in the world! John reports that Mary Magdalene saw the Lord in His pre-Ascension form, and later that evening, the rest of the Disciples saw Him as they met behind barred doors, fearful for their lives.He stood among them, speaking Peace over them, and breathed on them, giving them The Holy Spirit. He also told them He would send them as His Representatives -- not as emissaries of the itinerant Jewish Rabbi, but as ambassadors of the Messiah and Son of God! Then they witnessed the one Disciple [Thomas, who had been absent when He came the first time] stick his finger in the wounds Jesus had received on the Cross and Thomas's profession of faith that Jesus was real and who He said He was. But the part of this passage in John that gets forgotten is verse 30 ... There are also many other signs [attesting miracles] that Jesus performed in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book ... as if this is not enough to believe that by trusting what He has revealed, we may have Life in His Name!

The account of Luke offers us a little more information about what happened after the Resurrection. It seems that there were more women who had gone to the tomb to prepare the Lord's body, and two angels appeared to them, reminding them that Jesus had told them that He would be crucified and rise on the third day. They reported all these things to the Disciples, but being typical men of that era, they did not give credence to the women's story. So, Peter, Himself, got up and ran to the tomb. Finding it empty, he went away wondering about what had happened. The Bible then tells us that this same day, a Disciple of Jesus, named Cleopas (Luke 24:18), and a companion were traveling to a village called Emmaus. They were discussing all the strange things that had occurred since the crucifixion, and Jesus, Himself, began walking with them, asking them what they were talking about.

They couldn't believe this stranger hadn't heard about Jesus of Nazareth, "a prophet powerful in deed and word in the sight of God and all the people". They relayed that they were downhearted because they had hoped He would redeem Israel and set them free from the rule of the Romans. They also shared that the women went to the tomb that morning and had seen a vision of angels who said that He was alive! Those who followed up on the women's report also went to the tomb, but found nothing. Jesus reprimanded the men, calling them "foolish" and "slow of heart" because they had not believed in everything the prophets had spoken down through the centuries. He then explained and interpreted everything that Moses and all the prophets had written about Him in the Scriptures. Yet, the two men still did not recognize Him. 

The three then approached the village of Emmaus and the men urged Him to stay with them. As they enjoyed the evening meal, He took the bread and blessed it, and breaking it, He began giving it to them. Suddenly, God opened their eyes and they recognized Him, before He vanished from their sight. They got up that moment and went back to Jerusalem to report that the Lord had really risen and appeared to Simon Peter, leading us to believe that the second man walking to Emmaus was indeed, Peter.  

The texts of both Matthew and Mark do not vary greatly from the others, except that Matthew reports there was a great earthquake after the crucifixion, and suggesting that it contributed to the stone being rolled away from Jesus's tomb. Matthew also suggests that there were some Roman guards who witnessed "everything that had happened", resulting in the chief priests bribing the guards to keep quiet about the supernatural events. They feared for their own safety and position if the Jewish masses learned [let alone believed] that Jesus could be the long-awaited Messiah. Scripture then makes the startling statement: "this [fabricated] story was widely spread among the Jews, and is to the present day".  

But both Matthew and Mark offer something that the other gospels do not ... what is known as The Great Commission. After chastising them [in Mark] for not believing the women who had testified of His resurrection, He commanded them to "Go" and make disciples of all the nations. They were to "help the people learn of Him, believe in Him, and obey His words, baptizing them in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything that I have commanded you". He then promises them that He will be with us always, no matter what the circumstances, even to the end of the age. And then they witnessed His ascension into Heaven and sit down at the right hand of God.

So, what is the age He is talking about? The "Church Age", which the first chapter of Acts introduces. And it is the Book of Acts that shows us the effects of Jesus's ministry on earth AFTER the Resurrection. I love the language of this first chapter in Acts; the words that describe the supernatural manifestations of Jesus's Deity and His divine power and authority. Luke, the author of Acts, describes the appearance of Jesus after His Resurrection "by a series of many infallible proofs and unquestionable demonstrations, appearing to them over a period of forty days and talking to them about the things concerning the kingdom of God". Now, I don't know about you, but I want to know all the details of those forty days! What did Jesus demonstrate and what were the things He told them about the kingdom of God? But it is the encouragement He gives them that "you will be baptized and empowered and united with the Holy Spirit, not long from now". And so it was, on the day of Pentecost, that a rushing, violent wind came from heaven, bestowing tongues of fire on each of the Disciples as they received the Holy Spirit and were filled with the power of Jesus.

There are other displays of supernatural events after the Crucifixion and Resurrection ... the veil of the Holy of Holies in the Temple was torn in two from top to bottom; the earth shook (the aforementioned earthquake) and the rocks split; tombs were opened, and many bodies of believers were raised to life; and coming out of the tombs after His Resurrection, they entered Jerusalem and appeared to many people; He appeared to more than five hundred brothers and sisters at one time, the majority of whom were still alive, but some were dead; many wonders and attesting miracles were taking place through the apostles [as noted in Acts 2]. The Lord moved in the lives of these faithful people who, day after day, met in the temple, continuing with one mind and breaking bread in various private homes. They met together with joy and generous hearts, praising God continually, and receiving favor with all people. And the Lord kept adding to their number daily those who were being saved. 

THIS ... this is what it looks like to be living in the power of Jesus! Yet, we as modern-day Believers in Him celebrate one day a year in honor of His Resurrection. Our lives change -- maybe for a couple of hours -- IF we happen to hear an inspiring sermon. But come Monday morning, any supernatural considerations we might have entertained have evaporated and we're back in our natural lives. Sadly, many of our modern churches have little resemblance to the beginning of the Church in the Book of Acts. 

On Sunday, I decided to tune into the live broadcast of a mega-church we attended 15 years ago. The pastor we had liked had retired, and I will tell you that I have never heard a more lukewarm sermon on the spiritual repercussions and power that the Resurrection symbolizes! They touted the 200+ baptisms they would be doing during the service -- and believe me, I do not belittle that accomplishment! But if these baptized people are not stewarded, trained, and equipped to go out and do what Jesus did Himself, and commands us to do -- heal the sick, cast out demons, cleanse the lepers (the physically, spiritually, and emotionally shunned), raise the dead, and spread the Good News of the availability of Salvation and the Kingdom through faith in our Lord -- then the end of the Church Age is definitely in view. 

So, ask yourselves this ... are you moved in your heart and spirit, as you think upon the Resurrection of Jesus and all it portends for you? Are you committed to sharing all you have learned of Him, and the ways [including the supernatural] that He has touched your life? Do you truly want the life that the Disciples experienced with Him -- or are you comfortable to live a "safer" life in the world? Are you willing to lose this life to gain all that the Lord wants to give you in the next one?  I fear if the lukewarm sermon I saw streamed on Sunday is any measurement of the power of Jesus's Resurrection in the American Church, Jesus is going to have to come soon to save "even the elect" from weak and powerless faith. Pray that His remnant will continue to walk in Spirit and Truth; not cowering or hiding from the power and authority that is ours to change the world. We have a purpose and a destiny until the day He returns. Come, Lord Jesus! Strengthen us and Empower us!

Romans 1:4-5    [He] was declared to be the Son of God in power, according to the Spirit of holiness by His resurrection from the dead; Jesus Christ our Lord, through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith for the sake of His Name among all the nations ...                    

March 29, 2024

Don't Get Discouraged! The Authority of the Lord Has Not Changed!

In reference to this blog title, I have to admit that there are signs within the mainstream Christian Church that are discouraging! And because of this, you will find me covering a wide range of topics today; things that my spirit just wants to get out in the open as we approach this Holy weekend.

As we get ready to celebrate our Lord and Savior's Resurrection from Death into Eternal Life, I was flabbergasted to read on the End Times Headlines website, that Elevation Church (a megachurch in North Carolina, led by popular evangelical pastor Steven Furtick) has decided to avoid mentioning the words Calvary, Resurrection, and "Blood of Jesus" to promote their Easter Sunday services. WHAT?!?!? 

According to the digital content creator for Elevation Church, she is not "going to say any of these words that makes someone feel like an outsider" ... instead wanting them to feel "super chill" about attending. And I have no proof, but I would be willing to bet they have no problem promoting Easter egg hunts, the Easter bunny, or the festive meals that accompany the traditions of Easter. In fact, their invitation to attend reads like this: "Hey, do you have plans for Easter Sunday? I'm heading to Easter at Elevation. Would you like to join? The music and the message are always incredible. It's honestly one of my favorite ways to celebrate the holiday. I'd love to have you as my guest this year"!

With no mention of the crucifixion of Jesus; or His Blood shed for us [that we might escape the wrath of God that is due us for our sins]; or His glorious Resurrection that is our hope, it just becomes another holiday to soothe our senses, right? And that is what so many who declare themselves a Christian desire. Not only is that offensive to God, but there's nothing that will make you more of a true outsider in Heaven, than to ignore what God's Son has done for us. 

Don't get me wrong, on Easter Sunday there will be millions of Believers who acknowledge the price it cost Jesus to deliver us from God's wrath and the fire of Hell; and who will praise Him and the Father for their plan to redeem us. But there will be millions more who don't see that the Church is teetering on the precipice of Heresy, Apostasy and Idolatry, and who willingly participate in them. Just so we're clear, I want to make sure you understand my definitions ... Biblical heresy is the rejection of one or more Christian doctrines by someone who [otherwise] maintains an overall adherence to Jesus. Apostasy comes into play when a professed Christian publicly rejects the foundational beliefs of Christianity. Idolatry is their heart's affection above their loyalty to God.  

But I promise you that churches like Elevation think they are doing God's work ... making Him more palatable and acceptable to mainstream Americans. After all, they have to fill those seats in their megachurch and afford all the stage lighting to provide an entertaining show to keep people in those seats. Instead of worshiping God, many fall prey to the temptation to worship what a particular church offers them, instead of worshiping the One who died to save them. That is called idolatry, because it robs God of the glory that He deserves. The Bible tells us that God alone is worthy of worship.   

The prophet Isaiah continually called Israel to account for their idolatry. In his time, idolatry looked like bowing down to a stone or wood statue or carving, as if it were God. Today, it looks like putting more value on something [or someone] than we put on God. Today's secular world is full of idols that men worship above God: their own identity; money; entertainment; sex; comfortable lifestyles; and, of course, our phones. And, sadly, social media, which encompasses all these, has become the biggest idol of all. And in the world of religion, a big idol today is Revival. Believers put more faith [and time and effort] into praying for Revival than they do in praying for the Body of Christ to come to repentance. The truth is they don't really understand what they're asking for when they pray for Revival. let me explain ...

In the American Church we tend to think of Revival as prosperity; as a time of great numbers coming to the Lord because of our evangelical efforts; and as a time of returning to our first love of Christ. We build an image of comfort and joy in worshiping the Lord as the rest of the world spirals towards The End. But what does Jesus say? In Matthew 24:14, He shares the good news that the gospel of the Kingdom will be preached throughout the world as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end of the [Church] age will come. I'll agree that that sounds a lot like Revival ... the gospel will be preached to all the nations. But what does He say right before that?

This is the place in the Bible where He talks about wars and rumors of wars; nation against nation, famines, earthquakes, persecution; tribulation; and false prophets. He says that because of the lawlessness and wickedness, the love of most people will grow cold. The only words of hope come when He says, "But the one who endures and bears up [under suffering] to the end will be saved". So, it appears to me that the Western Church is a little confused as to the timeline of any possible worldwide Revival! Read Matthew 24:4-14 yourself! Before there is any chance of the whole world coming to Jesus by the spread of the Gospel, there will be tremendous pain, suffering and persecution!! IS THE CHURCH READY FOR THAT?!? 

Somehow, the Western Church skips over those verses and pretends they don't apply to us, and just wants to embrace the message of a Revival because it makes the End Times more appealing. And if you need further convincing that an End Times Revival for the whole world is not in the Bible, the Apostle Paul seems to agree with Jesus. In the Timothy epistles, he writes, "The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron". He also wrote, "But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days". Rather than repenting in a worldwide revival, "people will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money... without self-control, brutal, treacherous...". You know the rest. 

Unlike the Church in other parts of the world, who understand that Revival is preceded by persecution, the American Church doesn't know what it's asking for. Revival can happen... but it's going to come with a great price, and if you aren't ready or prepared to pay that price, you might want to reconsider praying for Revival. Remember, Jesus also asked, "When the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth"? So, that sure doesn't seem like He's coming into the midst of a worldwide Revival, does it? To me, it seems like He comes when the world is torn apart by evil and a crisis of faith. 

So, I've spent a lot of time in this post talking about the things to be discouraged about. So, I want to end this discourse with the truth that the Authority of the Lord over all the wickedness, chaos, and confusion is still established. He has not changed! I would love nothing more than to see a great worldwide revival of all people and nations, but I just don't see it in the Bible, or hear it in Jesus's words. That won't stop me for praying for it, but I'm a realist.  The Bible tells me the End Times will be a distressing and troubled time in the world. But I cling to the promise of the Lord that He has overcome this world. I will keep my eyes and heart focused on Him, and share of His Glory, Mercy, Justice and Love to all who will receive. There is a Millennial Kingdom in our future; one in which "the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the Sea". Now that's a Revival I can believe in! Until then, I will pray for the strength and endurance to proclaim His Name until I enter that glorious Kingdom. Come, Lord Jesus!

Jeremiah 31:34.    And no longer shall each one teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, "Know the LORD", for they shall all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the LORD. For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.           

March 13, 2024

Jesus Said: "I Have Told You These Things" ... All the Reasons to Be Aware

Once again, it is time for me to ask, How aware are you of what is going on in the world? Do you have a Biblical worldview? How do you identify as a Christian? It's important to know the answers to each of those questions, because I believe they will determine your chances of survival in our near future. Now, before you decide I'm a fear-monger and a conspiracy theorist, I assure you that I am a devout Christian with a dynamic relationship with Jesus and the Holy Spirit. Give me a chance to explain my reasons for presenting this discussion to you.

Consider this... Only those who choose to be blinded can ignore what is coming upon the earth. And it is hard for me to pretend that anything else is on my radar. Not only is Covid rearing its ugly head again in my community, but there is now a report that a man in New Mexico has died of Bubonic plague. The growing threat of Isis is back in Afghanistan. We see the explosion of crime and hatred across our country every night on TV. Nations are rising against nation; and the earth is being robbed of peace and stability. And that isn't even considering all the things that are happening in the earth, including floods, unprecedented and unusual weather events; plus volcanoes, earthquakes, and strange objects in the skies.

NOTE: The above paragraph is reminiscent of a blog post I wrote in 2014! Here we are ten years later, and I have to ask ... are you more or less aware than you were then? And I'm primarily talking to Christians because it is our responsibility as representatives of Heaven [here on earth] to not only defend the faith in Jesus Christ, but to expand it and spread the Good News. And what is that News? It is this: Salvation [and eternal life] is available through faith in Jesus, but also the Good News that entrance into His Kingdom [which He brought with Him] brings power and authority to defeat the wickedness and evil that is in the kingdom of darkness that Satan controls here on earth. We need to understand that Salvation is the first step, and there's more for us to do! 

That "doing" requires that we be aware of what we are facing! So, let me ask you another question or two ... are you the kind of Christian that just reads the Psalms that proclaim the love, mercy, grace, and victory that are part of our relationship with the Lord? Nothing wrong with that! We should be aware of His heart towards us, so that we can model that to others. That, too, is part of our purpose as His representatives; to help others come to their faith and salvation. But once they're saved, we need to encourage them that there is more.  

I would submit to you that Matthew 23 and 24 are well-known to faithful Christians. In these important chapters at the end of the Book of Matthew, Jesus begins warning His followers of what is to come. He warns against the distortion [of His Father's will] that Religion can bring, and the judgment that will come to the "self-righteous religious leaders and hypocrites, because they shut off the kingdom of heaven in front of people; for they do not enter themselves, nor do they allow those who are [in the process of] entering to do so" (Matthew 23:13). 

Jesus then continues delivering the remainder of His eight Woes against that generation of religious leaders for being fools and spiritually blind guides; for being prideful in their positions and not revealing the full counsel of God -- both His Mercy and His Judgment. At that time in history, He is lamenting over Jerusalem, who will be ransacked and left desolate; abandoned by God and destitute of His protection because the leaders of the Jewish faith have not carried out their purpose of equipping the people to walk in the full knowledge of God and their purpose, according to His will (Matthew 23:37-39).   

So, just think how He must be lamenting over us! Our political leaders and our religious leaders have fallen down on their duties to us. And we have fallen in our responsibilities and duties as Christians to the Kingdom of God! Jesus very clearly tells His followers in that first century -- and us in the 21st! -- that He has a warning of "perilous times" times that will come upon the world; especially those who believe in Him. We are all familiar with the signs of the End Times in Matthew 24. And I know that there are many Christians who are suffering emotional overload with the ceaseless warnings of doomsday prophets; and many live in fear, so they just can't look at it.

But as Christians we can't ignore what Jesus wants us to know. And I would like to share this quote from an article I read in the Wisconsin Christian News, titled There's Bo Excuse For Being Clueless: "Christians, especially, should never be ignorant of the devil's devices, and should always be the most informed and well-equipped of all, in order to be able to explain to others all that is really going on, along with the real hope we have in Christ". And here's my thoughts on this subject ... those who ignore the signs of the End Times do so at their own peril ... remember "My people perish [are destroyed] for the lack of knowledge" (Hosea 4:6). Refusing to look at the signs or be aware of them is exactly what the devil wants you to do! And guess what? You'll never see the devil's destruction coming!

But don't take my word for how important it is to be aware and knowledgeable about what is going on in our world. Let Jesus tell you, Himself, from John, Chapter 16 ... I have told you these things so that you will not stumble or be caught off guard and fall away (John 16:1) ... I have told you these things [now], so that when their time comes, you will remember that I told you about them (John 16:4) ... I have told you these things in figurative language (veiled language, proverbs); the hour is now coming when I will no longer speak to you in figures of speech, but I will tell you plainly about the Father (John 16:25) ... I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have (perfect) peace. In the world you have tribulation and distress and suffering, but be courageous (be confident, be undaunted, be filled with joy); I have overcome the world. (My conquest is accomplished, My victory abiding). 

I think it goes without saying that we are living in times that many of us are not prepared for. But we can't say that we've had no warning. Jesus clearly told those "with ears to hear and eyes to see" that these times would one day come. If you are among those who have chosen to ignore the warnings or chosen not to see because of doubt and unbelief, or fear, then I want to encourage you to revisit your Bible and receive Jesus's instructions on how we should live out these days; what to do in the face of spiritual and physical warfare; how to lead others to Him; and how to overcome our Enemy for the sake of God's Kingdom. Rest and rely on the wisdom of Jesus and the Helper He has sent us to be victorious.

Jesus told His disciples in those days, I have many more things to say to you, but you cannot bear [to hear] them now. I believe that time has now come ... that we must learn to bear it, because I believe He is now beginning to reveal to His true Remnant what is coming. We are beginning to see clearly what He foretold 2000 years ago, and we are feeling the presence of the Holy Spirit, who is the Spirit of Truth. Jesus promised that the Holy Spirit will guide us into the full and complete truth of God, disclosing to us what is to come [in the future]. And I bear witness to the dreams and visions that His Remnant are experiencing and they mirror the warnings given by our Lord in Matthew 24 and John 16. 

So, it is time that we all come out of our slumbering ignorance, get past our fears, and prepare for what is coming. I can tell you that hiding out in Religion is not going to spare you from what Jesus told you is going to happen in the world. Jesus told His disciples that the time would come when they would all scatter and leave Him alone. He knew that He was going to suffer, but He declared, And yet, I am not alone, because the Father is with Me. Do you know -- really know -- that holds true for us, too? Are you prepared to believe Him and all His promises?

John 16:15    All things that the Father has are Mine. Because of this I said that He [the Holy Spirit] will take from what is Mine and reveal it to you.