Foreword:

Ever wonder what God might have to say to YOU today? Here are things to ponder, and things to receive into your heart. If you have a question, put it in the comments. I respond as much as I can.

A note for all my readers: I've been experimenting with YouTube videos for Bible teaching for a while, and I'm working through Revelation here. My YouTube videos are currently short studies in Matthew, and at present I'm posting videos on Revelation as well. Both appear on the blog, which is turning into a Vlog. I encourage you to subscribe to my YouTube channel for better coverage.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Christmas Meditation 2

Revelation and you.

Jesus is coming again.  He says so, and so do all the writers of the Bible who address this issue. There is an "end of all things," and it's becoming more apparent than ever that it's upon us. It's imperative to understand what this means, not so that we can "have all the information," but so that we can live our lives in expectation of His return, and not in fear.
The book of Revelation says,
"Behold, He is coming with the clouds, and every eye shall see Him, and those also who pierced Him, and all the tribes of the earth shall wail because of Him."
That is, "all the tribes of the earth who reject Him" will wail and cry out.  So our experience of His return is one of two:
Either we rejoice and laugh and cry out with happiness,
Or
We hide ourselves in the rocks and caves and mountains, and wail, and cry out to the rocks and mountains, "Fall on us, and hide us from the wrath of Him who sits on the throne [God], and from the Lamb; for the great day of His wrath has come..."
It's really easy to sugar coat this, and say, "That won't happen, because God is a God of love." Yes. He is.  However, He is also a God of justice.  do you really think that someone who has participated in the murder of hundreds of thousands of people won't receive judgment?  Can you tell me that a man or woman who puts on a suicide vest so that multitudes of people will die goes free?
The Bible says,
"God made man in His image," and when we kill another human, we insult God to His face as well as take that person's life.
Same thing is true of the wealthy, who sit in their huge homes, acquired at the misery of thousands of slaves.
God loves people.  He loves you.  But He won't overlook your evil.  Revelation attests to that, with all its judgments and all its commands.
Over and over again, men and women are encouraged to change, to repent, to follow God.

For example, there's actually an angel who flies through midair, calling everyone who now rejects God and Christ to repent:

14: 6 Then I saw another angel flying in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach to those who dwell on the earth --- to every nation, tribe, tongue, and people ---7 saying with a loud voice, "Fear God and give glory to Him, for the hour of His judgment has come; and worship Him who made heaven and earth, the sea and springs of water."

Even in a day when there are no more preachers--when they are all dead or in hiding, God seeks men and women and calls them to turn to Him through His angel.  
So what about you?  Do you fear the return of Christ?  If you're evil, you fear His return with good reason. 
If you belong to Him, rejoice.  His return will mean everlasting blessedness to you.

Turn to Him today.  Don't wait.  How many more days and hours we have, we know not.  The days of "normal life" are winding down, and the day of judgment approaches.

NOW is the accepted time.  TODAY  is the day of salvation...

Whoever will call upon the name of the Lord will be saved.  From judgment.  From death. Into eternal life.  

Don't wait. Don't. Wait. 

Hard to believe...

Matthew 13:57 says, "he [Jesus] could not do many works of power there because of their unbelief. "
My thoughts go back to a contrasting statement, made many were ago, outside of church--"if she had faith, she  could be healed."
These words were said to me (pastor) by a new attendee, regarding a lovely quadriplegic lady who attended  our church. I've thought about this a great deal  over the past couple of decades. The lady referred to is gone now, with the Lord. She never recovered from her illness. Though we all prayed for her, and fasted and prayed for her multiple times. I DO believe in God's healing and I've seen Him heal people on numerous occasions, but when I think of the verse quoted above, it hurts, because it's clear to me that my prayers (and  those of our congregation) didn't have the effect we all hoped--but most of all, this member of our congregation died in a hospital bed, unhealed.
Why was this? Was it because I was not qualified to pray for her? Was it because none of us had sufficient faith? Was it something unknown? Why?
These are questions virtually every Christian asks at some time in his life. The longer any of us lives, the more likely they'll ask them, because all of us have lots of unanswered prayers. Some of these are the most important prayers we've ever offered to the Lord. It hurts terribly when they go unanswered. I could list my own unanswered prayers, but you all have your own, and they are probably in the forefront of your mind, so I'll refrain. 
Why doesn't God answer prayers? Why do things sometimes appear to go just the opposite of the way we pray?
First, let me say that I  can only speak generally. I'm not going to "cop out," either, and say "the age of miracles is over." That's a non-answer, and begs the question, since there is no evidence for that in Scripture. Moreover, I've seen my share of miracles, so....  Let me also say that you're not going to be completely satisfied with the answers I give, because what God does is always a mystery, and His ways are undiscoverable. However, I will be honest about what I know.