Wednesday, February 24, 2016

The Final Battle is Coming. Are You Ready?

If you talk to anyone about end times or Bible prophecy you are going to get quite a few different versions of what people believe, but it is vitally important to separate opinions from what the Bible actually says will happen one day in the future. When that will happen is still not clear, but Jesus did warn us that we would know when it was coming closer by events will can see and know based on the events He told us to watch for.

As we finish up Chapter 14 today, we have to remember that Chapter 14 is what is referred to as a parenthetical pause, and the events that happen here are not in chronological order. This is an insert into the timeline of Tribulation events to give us a brief oversight in what has happened, and what is going to happen.

We know that from verses 14-20 in Chapter 14, we are seeing these events played out as Jesus Christ returns in what is known as the Second Coming. This is the Jesus Christ, that the Jews were expecting to come when Jesus came the first time to Jerusalem but that time was Jesus as Redeemer and Savior. Now we see Jesus Christ coming as the Holy and Righteous Judge to the inhabitants of the earth.

We know that the events after the Tribulation Period will be a division of what is true and what is false and we learned a bit about that yesterday. Moving forward in our study we also see what the devastation of Armageddon will bring to the earth.

Revelation 14:17-20 ~ "Then another angel came out of the temple in heaven, and he too had a sharp sickle. And another angel same out from the altar, the angel who has authority over the fire, and he called with a loud voice to the one who had the sharp sickle, "Put in your sickle, and gather the clusters from the vine of the earth, for its grapes are ripe." So the angel swung his sickle across the earth and threw it into the great winepress of the wrath of God. And the winepress was trodden outside the city, and the blood flowed from the winepress as high as a horse's bridle, from 1,600 stadia." 

There are the terrible events of the Second Coming.

Joel 3:11-16 ~ "Hasten and come, all you surrounding nations, and gather yourselves there. Bring down your warriors, O' LORD. Let the nations stir themselves up and come up to the Vally of Jehoshaphat; for there I will sit to judge all the surrounding nations. Put in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe. Go in, tread, for the winepress is full. The vats overflow, for their evil is great. Multitudes, multitudes, in the valley of decision! For the day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision. The sun and the moon are darkened, and the stars withdraw their shining. The LORD roars from Zion, and utters his voice from Jerusalem, and the heavens and the earth quake. But the LORD is a refuge to his people, a stronghold to the people of Israel."

Isaiah 11:4 ~ "But with righteousness he shall judge the poor; and decide with equity for the meek of the earth; and he shall strike the earth with the rod of his mouth and with the breath of his lips he shall kill the wicked."

Revelation 14:20 ~ "And the winepress was trodden outside the city, and the blood flowed from the winepress as high as a horse's bridle, from 1,600 stadia."

Meaning that the height of a horse's bride is about 4 feet, and 1,600 stadia is about 180-200 miles in diameter. This means that blood will flow nearly 200 miles at a depth of nearly 4 feet.

The topography of the valley of Megiddo is beautiful and is carved perfectly like a channel. Hundreds of millions of soldiers will converge in Israel. More specifically in the Megiddo Valley, otherwise known as Armageddon or the Valley of Armageddon. Never confuse the Second Coming with the rapture. These are two very distinct and different events. Let us look at specific Scriptures concerning only the Second Coming of Jesus, not the Rapture.

Matthew 24:29-31 ~ "Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then will appear in heaven the sign of the Son of Man, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with the power and great glory. And he will send out his angels with a loud trumpet call and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other."

Zechariah 12:9-10 ~ "And on that day I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem. And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and pleas for mercy, so that when they look on me, on him who they have pierced, they shall mourn for him, as one mourns for an only child, and weep bitterly over him as one weeps over a firstborn."

Matthew 25:31-33 ~ "When the Son of Man comes in his glory and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left."

Luke 17:34-37 ~ "I tell you, in that night there will be two in one bed. One will be taken and the other left. There will be two women grinding together. One will be taken and the other left." And they said to him, "Where, Lord?" He said to them, "Where the corpse is, there the vultures will gather."

Now before you upset yourself over these things, remember this:

Genesis 18:25 ~ "Far be it from you to do such a thing, to put the righteous to death with the wicked, so that the righteous fare as the wicked! Far be that from you! Shall not the Judge of all the earth do what is just?"

Those who are destroyed are only those who (1) have refused to examine the evidence of God's existence, (2) will not face the fact that they were sinful, (3) mocked God, the salvation of Jesus Christ and the Bible, (4) lived only for themselves, and (5) a time will have expired for them.

Looking back on the last statement of Genesis 18:25, "Shall not the Judge of all the earth do what is just?" Of course He will! We notice the language used here in Revelation 14 referring to this time as a "harvest" Farming and growing is somewhat removed from some of us that don't live in that kind of environment, yet the benefits of those that farm and grow, bless each of us every single day. When a farmer heads to his field, he does so knowing that before a harvest can ever take place, he must first till the ground, prepare the soil, sow the seed, water the earth, and wait in hope.

A harvest requires investing. Investing effort, resources, planning, patience, ownership and hope. It's true in the natural world and equally truly in the spiritual world.

James 5:7 ~ "Be patient, then, brothers, until the Lord's coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop and how patient he is for the autumn and spring rains."

Why are the following six things so important? Because they have, they are, and they will directly affect your life and mine in both time and eternity in this world and in the one to come.

The Lord has invested efforts. By reaching out to us through His prophets, by appearing to us by, His Son, and by speaking to us by His Holy Spirit.

The Lord has invested His resources, by the events that get our attention, by the people who influence us and the things that we possess.

The Lord has invested order, by who you are in this life, by where you are in this life, and by what you are in this life.

The Lord has invested patience, by watching over us, by tolerating all of us and by waiting for us.

The Lord has invested ownership. He owns time itself. He owns all creation and He owns each of us.

The Lord has invested hope by granting us mercy, by allowing us grace and by giving us hope.

Our future doesn't have to be something to fear as we have read about that is coming to those who reject Him their whole life. We can have the hope of an eternal life, free from the wrath and judgment coming for those that reject Jesus Christ. Despite the confusion in the world, there are different ways to get to God but only ONE Way to Heaven and eternal life and that is only through Jesus Christ and putting our belief, faith and trust in Him alone!

One day every single knee shall bow before God, Muslim, Atheist, Buddhist, Catholic, Christian, Believer and Non Believer alike and just like Jesus separates the goats from the sheep, He will separate those whose names have been written in the Lamb's Book of Life, His book, from those who don't. Those whose names are not found in the Lamb's Book of Life will face eternal judgment separated from Him in Hell for all eternity. Those whose names that are found in the Lamb's Book of Life will enter into eternal rest in heaven and live forever with Him. Don't you want to chose eternal life today?

Know Jesus, Know Heaven! No Jesus, No Heaven.

It is that simple!!!

Choose Jesus today and live forever!!!

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