Monday, May 12, 2008

Is this the Bible or the Newspaper?

Mat 24:3
And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what [shall be] the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?

Mat 24:4
And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you.

Mat 24:5
For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.

Mat 24:6
And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all [these things] must come to pass, but the end is not yet.

Mat 24:7
For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and
earthquakes, in divers places.

Mat 24:8
All these [are] the beginning of sorrows.

As I read this chapter of the Bible, where the disciples were inquiring about the time when Christ would return and restore the kingdom to Israel and the end of the world, it is as if I am reading today's newspaper! Jesus said that there would be wars and rumors of war. In the 20th Century, we were involved in some war or conflict almost every year of that Century. We were involved in WWI & WWII, Korea, the Cambodian Conflict and Vietnam. How about the Desert Shield and Desert Storm to name a few. Now, we are engaged in an international war on terror with no real nation state as our enemy. But even that is fulfillment of prophecy!

Notice what Jesus said in verse 7a: "Nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom." The word for nation is an interesting word in the Greek, in which the NT was originally written. It is the word, "ethnos." Where we get our word, "ethnic" or people group. Strong's Concordance gives the following as possible meanings.

1) a multitude (whether of men or of beasts) associated or living together
a) a company, troop, swarm
2) a multitude of individuals of the same nature or genus
a) the human family
3) a tribe, nation, people group

Isn't that exactly what we are fighting against in the terrorist organization Al Qaeda? We aren't fighting a nation state per se, but we are fighting a multitude of individuals with the same nature, to destroy innocent human life. The word for kingdom is also interesting. It is the word, "basileia." It is describing two spiritual kingdoms at war with one another, more so than two physical kingdoms. Notice how Strong's interprets this one.

1) royal power, kingship, dominion, rule
a) not to be confused with an actual kingdom but rather the right or authority to rule over a kingdom

b) of the royal power of Jesus as the triumphant Messiah
c) of the royal power and dignity conferred on Christians in the Messiah's kingdom
2) a kingdom, the territory subject to the rule of a king
3) used in the N.T. to refer to the reign of the Messiah

Friends, we are engaged in an intense battle against the forces of darkness! And Jesus taught that this battle would increase in intensity up until the time He returns for His bride. Why? Because, "The kingdom of God suffers violence, and the violent take it by force!" No wonder, Revelation 9:21 says, "They repented not of their sorcery!" When we see Wiccan and other occultic sects growing in popularity, especially amongst our teens, we must only believe that Christ is coming! When we see school shootings and terrorist bombings, we must conclude that Christ is coming! When we see the violent nature of crime increasing, we must conclude that Jesus is coming! Even so come quickly Lord Jesus!

He went on to say that there would be earthquakes in divers/different places. We had one in our own nation's heartland measuring 5+ on the Richter Scale. There was one in China killing 10,000 people just this week, which measure 7+. We see the violent upheaval in nature with cyclones, hurricanes and tornadoes, and we must conclude that Christ is coming! How, I long for His return, even tonight as I write! He is my Lord! I ask, "Is Jesus Christ the Lord of YOUR life?" If He were to return, would you be taken or left behind?

Larry Norman wrote a song years ago, entitled, "I wish we'd all been ready." That song had a line in it which said...

"I wish we'd all been ready. There's no time to change your mind. How could you have been so blind? The Father spoke. The Demons dined. The Son has come, and you've been left behind."

Are you ready to meet Jesus? Have you surrendered yourself to Him? Have you repented of your sin and trusted Jesus to save you? If not, do that today!

Rom 10:9
That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

Rom 10:10
For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

Rom 10:13
For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

If you haven't, CALL ON THE NAME OF THE LORD, and be saved today!

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