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.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

How to get eternal life part 1

Book of Revelation, The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse

I watched Mad Max: Fury Road last night, and I can't recommend it.  However, it got me to thinking about the way we see our future:
Divergent
Mockingjay
Mad Max:
Gotham (which is really the past, but...)
Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Avatar
Lord of the Rings
The Hobbit. 
And so on (I could name a lot more).  Each of these stories focuses on what critics have called a "dystopian future," meaning that it's BAD, folks.
Dictators.  Death. Enslavement.
And that's just for starters.  In a very real way, this kind of future is predicted by the book of Revelation, but it's temporary.  In Revelation, the battle of good versus evil isn't conducted as much by warfare (except at the end) as by judgments.
The Four Horsemen are the beginning of God's process of retaking the earth from evil men and women.
Revelation 6: 
1 And I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals, and I heard, as it were the noise of thunder, one of the four beasts saying, Come and see.
2 And I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer.
3 And when he had opened the second seal, I heard the second beast say, Come and see.
4 And there went out another horse that was red: and power was given to him that sat thereon to take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another: and there was given unto him a great sword.
5 And when he had opened the third seal, I heard the third beast say, Come and see. And I beheld, and lo a black horse; and he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand.
6 And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts say, A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny; and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine.
7 And when he had opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth beast say, Come and see.
8 And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth.
Conquest. War. Famine. Death.
These, as Jesus said in one of His sermons, are "Just the beginning of sorrows."
If we look at just  the four horsemen, and the events that follow, we see the terrible evil that men unleash on one another.  God cuts the strings holding these evil forces (and people) at bay, and allows them to rampage through the earth.  
His purpose, however, is not to create a society like the 3rd Reich, or North Korea, but to liberate society forever from these evils.  
Men and women of faith are sick of the evil in the world.  We see evil men and women literally going mad with blood lust, killing, destroying, raping, pillaging, and we wonder, "Where will this end?" 
It ends in a "New Heaven and a New Earth." 
This is as certain as the sunrise, and although it doesn't seem like it, the evil in the world is like a man-eating lion about to be killed by a mighty hunter.  It rages, destroys, kills, tears, but its going to die. One bullet, driving through its brain, ending its destruction forever.  
What we are witnessing today is the death throes of the old world. The Four Horsemen are part of this.  They must precede the new world, the New Heaven and New Earth.
Which is NOT dystopian, thank the Lord. 

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Jesus Christ and The Deed to The Kingdoms of The World

Once, when Jesus was at the absolute end of Himself, starving, thirsty, in terrible agony, the devil appeared to Him, and showed Him the kingdoms of the world, and said "If you fall down and worship me, all these I will give you, for they are delivered to me..."
Jesus responded, "Begone, Satan, for it is written, you shall worship God, and Him ONLY."
As Matthew and Luke tell us, Satan left Him, because he had tempted Jesus in every way he could think of, and Jesus refused him and whatever he had to offer.
But Satan lied. The kingdoms of the world were only his temporarily, and only partially. When the Lord Jesus opens the scroll, one seal at a time, He is asserting His permanent ownership of the kingdoms of the world.

Here's what Revelation tells us as the 7th seal is opened:

11:15 And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.

So the opening of these seals is the reclamation of the world (and, indeed, of this whole creation) for God and His Son, The Lord Jesus Christ.

The world is reclaimed with violence.  As much as we deplore violence, when evil holds power over something, it takes judgments of violence to overwhelm it and overcome it.  This has been true since the beginning of the world.  The first example of this is the Flood of Noah, but there are many others. This is the greatest of all, because as each seal is opened, unprecedented and miraculous events begin to occur.  
Of course, the question is, where are you spiritually?  When the seals are opened, there are judgments on those who reject God and the Lord Jesus. Very early in this process, as the 6th seal is opened, the following occurs:
(Revelation 6)
12 And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood;
13 And the stars of heaven fell to the earth, just as a fig tree casts away  her unripe figs, when it is shaken by a mighty wind.
14 And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places.

15 And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains;
16 And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him who sits on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb:

17 For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?

The point, of course, is that the people above recognize what's happening and who the source is. 

I doubt that you want to wait until those future days to make sure of your own relationship with the Almighty.  Those who are not "friends of God" in those days will be very much at risk.  They will fear what's coming, be unable to stop it, and finally vainly attempt to fight back, only to be completely destroyed.

so the main question that the book of Revelation asks is, "What about you? Where are you in your own spiritual life?"

The answer that God wants you to receive is the invitation at the end of Revelation:

22:17 The Spirit and the bride say, "Come." And let the one who hears say, "Come." And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who wishes take the water of life without cost.

As Jesus said, so many years ago: "If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink; out of his inmost being, as the Scripture has said, shall flow rivers of living water."

You can move from being a thirsty, dying man or woman to being a source of life for all around you, by the simple expedient of coming to Jesus Christ and drinking of the fountain of life, for the water that He gives becomes in you a well of water, springing up into everlasting life."