open-book

I saw a Great White Throne and the One Enthroned. Nothing could stand before or against the Presence, nothing in Heaven, nothing on earth. And then I saw all the dead, great and small, standing there-before the Throne! And books were opened. Then another book was opened: the Book of Life. The dead were judged by what was written in the books, by the way they had lived. Sea released its dead, Death and Hell turned in their dead. Each man and woman was judged by the way he or she had lived. Then Death and Hell were hurled into Lake Fire. This is the second death-Lake Fire. Anyone whose name was not found inscribed in the Book of Life was hurled into Lake Fire.  Revelation 20:11-15

Charles Spurgeon says: “We foresee from The Word, despite its obscurity, that strange and wonderful events will happen, such as are depicted by seals and scrolls, and warriors with avenging swords, and falling stars, and shrivelled sky, and a reeling earth, and I know not what beside; but when we have put all together and have been amazed at the visions that flit before us like visions in the night, we rejoice to learn at the end of them all, “All these things are ours, whatever they may be.”

Aka the bible says the end times will be weird and wonderful, supernatural and spiritual, earth shaking and great and terrible.

There are things I don’t understand about the end times and I confess I don’t really try to, I am quite happy for God to work it all out and I’ll just watch and see and be ready.

Things like the:

Times and weeks in Daniel

The horses and the trumpets

Pre, mid or post trib – everyone has an answer… but God knows for sure!

The seals and scrolls

The things with eyes and wheels and eyes on the wheels…

But what I DO know and DO stand upon is that:

God is God -my Lord, my King, my protector, my provider, my security, my Father, my saviour, my deliver.

1 Peter 1:5 says You have faith in God whose power will protect you until the last day.

In all seasons and all times we can trust him to be all we need and more.

 

In fact whatever happens and in whatever timeframe – i think these two Revelation verses are key to the end times – that we should make real in our lives right now and for every day we have left.

God’s people must learn to endure. They must also obey his commands and have faith in Jesus.  Revelation 14:12

This means that God’s people must learn to endure and be faithful!  Revelation 3:10

Whatever happens and in whatever timeframe – the tribulation, the mark of the beast, the rapture, the signs and wonders in the heavens, the antichrist declaring himself, the two witnesses etc – we must learn to endure and be faithful to our Lord Jesus Christ.  That is our role.  Our job.  To be obedient Christians.  To have faith in God.  To trust Him.

We need to be prepared to live like Jesus is coming back on Tuesday or sometime after then.  We need to live for the short term and the long term.

In the 1970’s when people thought Jesus was coming back asap they stopped planning for the future and built bunkers and stored food and learned how to survive in the bush…  they didn’t go to uni, get jobs, build a future.  That’s not kosher.

At the same time we need to not live thinking that Jesus will come back in my great great great grandkids time and that living for him full on isn’t something we need to worry about or put into practice.

 

I don’t need to tell you about the time or date when all this will happen. You surely know that the Lord’s return will be as a thief coming at night. People will think they are safe and secure. But destruction will suddenly strike them like the pains of a woman about to give birth. And they won’t escape. My dear friends, you don’t live in darkness, and so that day won’t surprise you like a thief. You belong to the light and live in the day. We don’t live in the night or belong to the dark. Others may sleep, but we should stay awake and be alert. People sleep during the night, and some even get drunk. But we belong to the day. So we must stay sober and let our faith and love be like a suit of armor. Our firm hope that we will be saved is our helmet.  1 Thessalonians 5:1-7

No one knows the day or hour. The angels in heaven don’t know, and the Son himself doesn’t know. Only the Father knows.  Matthew 26:36

 

There is a day coming.  It’s guaranteed.  We can be wise and look at the signs and read the news and read the bible and see patterns and themes that God has placed in His Word being outworked.  But there is a day coming that will come as a glorious surprise.  It will be expected but unexpected.

There are seasons and life to walk through up to that point and the goal of all life – whether we live and die or live and are raptured is that we are found to belong to God.

Learn every lesson now.  Be prepared now.  Learn to overcome now.  Learn to discern now.   Don’t be on cruise control thinking you’ll get to that tomorrow or next week or when you’re 34.

Who knows how long we have the freedom to meet like this?  Who knows how long we will be able to own 6 copies of the bible?  Who knows how long it is before we see the things foretold in revelation as headline news?   Some of it I reckon already is…

Learn now the lessons God is teaching you so that when and if we can stand and be victorious.

You see the point of talking about end times and thinking about end times and being prepared for end times – both that it will happen on Tuesday or sometime after then – is this:

 

Revelation 21 says:

I saw a new heaven and a new earth. The first heaven and the first earth had disappeared, and so had the sea. Then I saw New Jerusalem, that holy city, coming down from God in heaven. It was like a bride dressed in her wedding gown and ready to meet her husband.  I heard a loud voice shout from the throne:

God’s home is now with his people. He will live with them, and they will be his own. Yes, God will make his home among his people.  He will wipe all tears from their eyes, and there will be no more death, suffering, crying, or pain. These things of the past are gone forever.

Then the one sitting on the throne said:

I am making everything new. Write down what I have said. My words are true and can be trusted. Everything is finished! I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will freely give water from the life-giving fountain to everyone who is thirsty. All who win the victory will be given these blessings. I will be their God, and they will be my people.  Revelation 21:1-7

 

God and the Lamb will be seated there on their thrones, and its people will worship God and will see him face to face.  Revelation 22:3-4

Only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life will be in the city. Revelation 21:27

 

Only those who belong to God.  Only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.  Only those who are children of God.

We are eternal beings.  Life isn’t about what we experience in our bodies on this patch of dirt right here.  Our life right now is just a blink the scale of eternity time.

John 14:6 says “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.

You need to make sure that you’re ready – we know Jesus is coming back.  We can see things lining up around us that line up with what the Word of God says in preparation for his great event.  It is expected, yet it will be unexpected.

It is only through faith in Jesus that we are made acceptable to God.  It is only through believing in Jesus and believing that he died on the cross to pay the penalty for our sins that we can draw close to God and have access in this life through prayer and in the next life living it face to face.    It is only through faith in Jesus that we are rescued.  In the book.

Without faith in Jesus, without Jesus, without accepting what he did and becoming a Christian supernaturally we are dead and sinful and guilty.  Not in the book.

You don’t want to be not in the book.

You want the book to opened and find your name in there and hear God say “welcome, you belong here with me.”

This is the point of talking about end times.  There is a generation of people out there who may not even know why Jesus came the first time, let alone that he is coming back in glory and power.

The challenge is for us to live knowing God and making Him known.  It is always that.  The challenge is to always live real Christian lives – having faith in God, trusting Him, being obedient to his call and his ways.  To be faithful and endure.  The challenge is to share the message of good news so that people are ready for death and ready for eternity – however they get there.

Let me tell you about a dream my son had.  When Caleb was younger he was very very “change reluctant” aka shy.  He didn’t do news at kindy or talk up the front anywhere.    When Caleb was little we were blessed to have Helen, emma and keryn run “courageous cubs” which was a kids programme run at church here on a Wednesday morning, and us mums would go and drink coffee, talk and pray and eat yummy morning tea.  Anyway this is such a vivid recollection for me.  I can remember we were driving down Ridge road, past St Andrews church and Caleb said, “I had a dream last night mummy.  Last night I dreamed that I saw Jesus flying in the sky without an aeroplane and we all flew up to meet him.”    Even now saying it my heart slows.   And the hair on my neck stands up a bit…  Caleb at that age had never heard about the rapture or even really that jesus was coming back again.   What also did it for me was the way he said it, his voice, his presence.  He went to courageous cubs and for the first and probably only time did news.  He told the girls about the dream.  They could spot the difference in his voice and presence.

Jesus is coming back.  It is real.  We are going to fly in the sky to meet Him.  It will be the end of life as we know it and the beginning of glory and heaven.  Be ready.

I believe that in the heart of every believer, since the very first disciples, God has placed within us all a longing for the return of Jesus as mighty King.  In every generation since the first church they have declared that Jesus is coming soon.  They were not mistaken.  They were not deceived.  They were drawing near to God and hearing his heartbeat for the redemption of the world.  Our soon is closer than their soon.  The signs are there.  Open your eyes and look and believe and trust God and live in the light and be ready.  Be ready.  Have your name in the book and take as many other people as possible.

Matthew 25:31-32 When the Son of Man comes in his glory with all of his angels, he will sit on his royal throne. The people of all nations will be brought before him, and he will separate them, as shepherds separate their sheep from their goats.

Matthew 25:13 So, my disciples, always be ready! You don’t know the day or the time when all this will happen.

No one knows the day or hour. The angels in heaven don’t know, and the Son himself doesn’t know. Only the Father knows. When the Son of Man appears, things will be just as they were when Noah lived. People were eating, drinking, and getting married right up to the day that the flood came and Noah went into the big boat. They didn’t know anything was happening until the flood came and swept them all away. That is how it will be when the Son of Man appears. Two men will be in the same field, but only one will be taken. The other will be left. Two women will be together grinding grain, but only one will be taken. The other will be left. So be on your guard! You don’t know when your Lord will come. Homeowners never know when a thief is coming, and they are always on guard to keep one from breaking in. Always be ready! You don’t know when the Son of Man will come.  Matthew 24:36-44

Matthew 24:27 The coming of the Son of Man will be like lightning that can be seen from east to west.

Right after those days of suffering,

“The sun will become dark,

and the moon

will no longer shine.

The stars will fall,

and the powers in the sky will be shaken.”

Then a sign will appear in the sky. And there will be the Son of Man. All nations on earth will weep when they see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. At the sound of a loud trumpet, he will send his angels to bring his chosen ones together from all over the earth.

We believe that Jesus died and was raised to life. We also believe that when God brings Jesus back again, he will bring with him all who had faith in Jesus before they died.Our Lord Jesus told us that when he comes, we won’t go up to meet him ahead of his followers who have already died. Matthew 24:29-31

With a loud command and with the shout of the chief angel and a blast of God’s trumpet, the Lord will return from heaven. Then those who had faith in Christ before they died will be raised to life. Next, all of us who are still alive will be taken up into the clouds together with them to meet the Lord in the sky. From that time on we will all be with the Lord forever. Encourage each other with these words.  1 Thessalonians 4:14-18

When our Lord Jesus returns, we will be gathered up to meet him. So I ask you, my friends, not to be easily upset or disturbed by people who claim that the Lord has already come. They may say that they heard this directly from the Holy Spirit, or from someone else, or even that they read it in one of our letters. But don’t be fooled! People will rebel against God. Then before the Lord returns, the wicked one who is doomed to be destroyed will appear.He will brag and oppose everything that is holy or sacred. He will even sit in God’s temple and claim to be God. Don’t you remember that I told you this while I was still with you? You already know what is holding this wicked one back until it is time for him to come. His mysterious power is already at work, but someone is holding him back. And the wicked one won’t appear until that someone is out of the way.Then he will appear, but the Lord Jesus will kill him simply by breathing on him. He will be completely destroyed by the Lord’s glorious return. When the wicked one appears, Satan will pretend to work all kinds of miracles, wonders, and signs. Lost people will be fooled by his evil deeds. They could be saved, but they will refuse to love the truth and accept it. So God will make sure that they are fooled into believing a lie. All of them will be punished, because they would rather do evil than believe the truth. 2 Thessalonians 2:1-12

Advertisements