Category: Jesus Christ


The Rapture

Repent! Jesus is coming soon

Repent! Jesus is coming soon (Photo credit: Ben Sutherland)

The Rapture, that future moment when the body of believers that make up the Church here on earth is taken up to heaven for the Wedding Feast of the Lamb…for many people, it is unimaginable. It can’t really be described accurately because such has never happened in history. Others see it as a fantasy of ignorant, superstitious people.

This video has been posted and shared on Facebook and to me, it is a simple and very powerful depiction of what will happen in that moment. This video, however, is more for the unbeliever than those of us who do believe. This shows that you must be ready at all times; no one…I repeat NO ONE knows when Christ will return for the church. This is NOT the second coming; Christ will return first, to gather the Church from the earth before the tribulation. His ‘Second Coming‘ will be when He actually sets foot on the earth for the final confrontation. And when He returns then, the Church will be with Him among the Armies of Heaven! Glory to God!

The Empty Tomb

English: Jesus resurrected and Mary Magdalene

English: Jesus resurrected and Mary Magdalene (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

John 20: 1-9

1 Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance.

2 So she came running to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved, and said, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put him!”

3 So Peter and the other disciple started for the tomb.

4 Both were running, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first.

5 He bent over and looked in at the strips of linen lying there but did not go in.

6 Then Simon Peter, who was behind him, arrived and went into the tomb. He saw the strips of linen lying there,

7 as well as the burial cloth that had been around Jesus’ head. The cloth was folded up by itself, separate from the linen.

8 Finally the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went inside. He saw and believed.

9 (They still did not understand from Scripture that Jesus had to rise from the dead.)

HE IS RISEN!

God’s Gift

English: Tail-piece to Ephesians. Ephesians 3:...

English: Tail-piece to Ephesians. Ephesians 3:14-15. Vignette with rays of light emanating from a Hebrew inscription including the name of God; letterpress in two columns above. 1800. Inscriptions: Lettered below image with production detail: “P J de Loutherbourg del”, “J. Heath direx” and publication line: “Pubd by T. Macklin, Fleet Street”. Print made by James Heath. Dimensions: height: 485 millimetres; width: 395 millimetres. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Ephesians 2:8-9

8 For by grace are ye saved through faith;  and that not of yourselves:  it is the gift of God:

Not of works, lest any man should boast.

It is through God’s unlimited Grace that we are saved; even faith as small as a mustard seed gives us ability and power to carry out His Will for our lives. Even in the midst of the storm, His Grace is there; you just have to receive it.

 

On Faith

FAITH

FAITH (Photo credit: cacigar)

Galatians 3:22-26

22 But the Scripture declares that the whole world is a prisoner of sin, so that what was promised, being given through faith in Jesus Christ, might be given to those who believe.

23 Before this faith came, we were held prisoners by the law, locked up until faith should be revealed.

24 So the law was put in charge to lead us to Christ that we might be justified by faith.

25 Now that faith has come, we are no longer under the supervision of the law.

26 You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus,

A Bit of Clarification…

Stained glass at St John the Baptist's Anglica...

Stained glass at St John the Baptist’s Anglican Church http://www.stjohnsashfield.org.au, Ashfield, New South Wales. Illustrates Jesus’ description of himself “I am the Good Shepherd” (from the Gospel of John, chapter 10, verse 11). This version of the image shows the detail of his face. The memorial window is also captioned: “To the Glory of God and in Loving Memory of William Wright. Died 6th November, 1932. Aged 70 Yrs.” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In my post Time’s Fast Running Out, I had the scripture from 2 Peter 3:8. However, as I was composing the remainder, I totally forgot the reason for putting it there.

As we become more aware of what’s going on in the world, those who are attuned to Bible prophesy recognize the signs too many miss that herald the coming of Christ. This passage came to my mind one day, and although I knew it was in the Bible, I wasn’t sure where it was. Not long after, I came across the exact Scripture and knew what had been revealed to me:

2 Peter 3:8

But you must not forget this one thing, dear friends: A day is like a thousand years to the Lord, and a thousand years is like a day.

It’s been close to 2 thousand years since Christ was crucified. Remember…He rose at dawn on the third day.

We have entered into the dawn of that third day!

Dear people! Open your hearts to Christ! Do not lean onto your own understanding! No one knows the exact date, but if you pay attention to what’s going on in the world and listen to those who study Bible prophesy, you will see. Many ministries who evangelize and reach out to the ends of the earth have covered the globe with the Gospel, preaching it, planting churches, giving out Bibles and study materials, and others through media such as the internet and satellite dishes.  Because of this, the Church is reaching more and more people every day who have not heard the Good News, but the numbers are getting smaller all the time!

Wake up! Stand up! Look up! We are going up! (quote from Pastor John Hagee).

God wants everyone..EVERYONE…to accept Christ. But He gave us free will, so it’s OUR decision.

CHOOSE LIFE!

Time’s Fast Running Out

2 Peter 3:8

But you must not forget this one thing, dear friends: A day is like a thousand years to the Lord, and a thousand years is like a day

Recent world events has every one on edge; not just political, but natural, and even cosmic. Many people who study Bible prophecy have reported that there is nothing left to be fulfilled for Christ’s return. Let me be clear, though, for the sake of those who may not fully understand.

Christ is returning; this is known in Christendom as ‘The Second Coming’. This return will be when He comes to rid the world of satan and his followers and establish His Kingdom here on earth.  He will actually ‘set His foot’ on the earth. However, this event will be the second ‘second’ coming…bear with me!

His first ‘Second Coming’ will be for His Church, most commonly known as ‘The Rapture‘.  According to Bible prophecy, He will come back to gather the Church and remove them from the earth before ‘The Great Tribulation‘, that seven-year period described as the worst time in world history, when the antichrist will rule the earth under the ‘New World Order’.  After this will come the battle between good and evil many call Armageddon.  Just before that time, when the nations are gathering to come against Israel, Christ will return, with Heaven’s Armies, (including the Church He recently gathered), engage the devil in a final showdown where He will come out victorious, satan and his minions will be thrown into the pit, and His Kingdom will be established on Earth.

I believe many think of the Rapture as His ‘Second Coming.’ He will not actually set foot on Earth; He will gather the Church up from the Earth in the air and escort them (those that are alive in Christ [believers] and those that are dead). Those that are dead will be resurrected first and those that are alive will meet them in the air as we are all brought to Him at the same moment, “in the twinkling of an eye“.

Now that I have established this short explanation, I’ll get to the real point of this post.

TIME’S A’WASTING, PEOPLE!

Sorry for the caps, but I really want to get your attention. In the last few months, I’ve heard several pastors and people of God declare that there is nothing to be fulfilled for His return. This means…His return for the Church, not the battle against satan. There are still some things that need to happen before that seven year period; however, there are things already set in motion for these events to take place.  [Check out The Hal Lindsey Report and view the archives]

The first person I heard declare this was Pastor John Hagee of Cornerstone Church in San Antonio, Texas. He has studied Bible prophecy for many years and doesn’t mince words in his sermons. At the time I heard this, I had a sudden vision of Christ standing at the gates of Heaven, clothed in His Glory.

The only thing left is for God to say “Go, My Son, bring Your Bride home to Me!”.

That is  the reason for the title of this post. Too many people think they have plenty of time; unfortunately, it’s very fast running out. I’m not in any way trying to imply that I know when this will happen, because no one knows, only God.

As some people say “I’d rather be saved and die to find out there is no God, than not be saved, then die to find out there IS!”

Don’t put it off any longer. The time is NOW!

Most of the world knows by now about the massive earthquake in Chile, just a little over a month after the devastating quake in Haiti. In sharp contrast with Haiti, Chile, a mountainous country, and situated on a fault line, earthquakes aren’t new, and building codes, at least in the larger cities are stringent. Haiti, as we all know now, is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, racked with political unrest, corruption, and a culture that for the most part believes in pagan rituals, like voodoo.

At the outset, I want to make it clear I’m not an expert on any of these subjects; just putting forth some observations.

Many Christians, no matter how closely (or not) they walk with God, believe we are living in the End Times, and that we are coming ever closer to Christ’s return to the Earth.

In Matthew 24:4-8, Christ responds to the disciples’ queries about signs of His return and the end of the world:

4. Jesus answered: “Watch out that no one deceives you.
5. For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Christ, ‘ and will deceive many.
6. You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come.
7. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places.
8. All these are the beginning of birth pains.

Birth pains.

When a woman is about to go into labor, she begins having labor pains. They start out slowly, coming rather far apart, but as birth is imminent, they come closer and closer together. This is a perfect analogy for what Christ is talking about.

The world’s economy is still in bad shape. Many nations in the Middle East are preparing for war against Israel (actually this isn’t really new, they’ve been that way for a long time); the president of Iran has vowed they will ‘wipe Israel off the face of the map’.

Quite frankly, many of the prophecies concerning Christ’s return have come to pass. Not all, but quite a few. I recently watched a sermon by Greg Laurie, senior pastor at Harvest Christian Fellowship titled “Signs of the End Times”. If you wish to view this, click the Media button and it’s listed in the ‘Essentials of Our Faith’ sermons. He does a great job explaining this topic.

Just a couple of days ago, I found this at a Christian forum:

This is a perfect example of God turning a bad thing into something good. 3000 confirmed conversion, 101 of which were confirmed voodoo priests. Nothing like a little earthquake to put a healthy fear of God into an unbeliever! Sorry, I’m not making light of this country’s woes. I pray for these people and am glad to see the government itself calling for fasting and prayer from it’s people, turning from their sinful ways and accepting God’s leadership.

I say Hallelujah!!! What other country would have the guts to stand up in front of the entire world and admit the existence and sovereignty of the One True Living God? Haiti was brought to her knees with a devastating earthquake and rose from the rubble with praise on her lips and repentance in her heart. May God richly bless Haiti and those who have come to help her recover and rebuild.

Most everyone is familiar with the popular renderings of Jesus as a brownish, blonde, somewhat Caucasian looking…and quite handsome…fellow.  With blue eyes.

A rather odd depiction, don’t you think, of someone who was born Hebrew?

Not wishing to stereotype, but aren’t many Jews dark-skinned, with dark, even black hair and dark brown eyes?’ No, I’m serious here. While many of the world’s nationalities, and races today have intermingled and produced varied looks, I’m betting that at the time of Christ, bloodlines, especially amongst the Jews weren’t so…varied. After all, God had commanded the Israelites not to marry outside their race; of course, as we know, the Israelites weren’t all that obedient.

Be that as it may, and, of course, knowing that Christ’s imminent arrival on earth through the Virgin was designed, orchestrated and ordained by God, Our Creator, I believe it is safe to assume that the bloodline was pure; after all, it could be traced all the way back to Abraham….better yet, Adam!

There are no descriptions of Jesus in the New Testament. The closet we can get is in Isaiah 53:2b :

2 He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.

“..nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.”  Christ apparently was an average-looking Israelite. But many DID desire him! Many followed him and not just his disciples. Droves of people came to him day after day, seeking his wisdom and healing.  This isn’t to say he was ugly or unattractive…just an every-day man of his time in his appearance. And to top that off, he was poor. Though he had a family, he traveled about sleeping wherever he could, sometimes, probably in homes of friends, but most times outdoors. He carried no money or valuables with him, and instructed his disciples to do the same.

So…what was it about him that attracted people to him?

The answer is simple: God

Jesus was God the Father in the flesh. God’s love, compassion and mercy was plainly evident in his demeanor and teaching.  He denied no one of his healing, teaching and wisdom. He knew what He was here for and accomplished that at Calvary. He came to earth to do God’s Will to redeem mankind from sin.

I don’t think it really matters what Christ looked like when He lived. When He returns, everyone on this earth will know Who He Is!

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