Monday, August 24, 2020

No Waiting for Believers!

Every day we have trouble on this earth. Someday all that we are doing and living for will no longer be important at all. Our time here on the earth will have been completed. Man's attempt has always been to create some type of Utopian culture and society, from Marxism, Mao, Saddam Hussein to even Hitler had dreams of creating a perfect place yet they have all attempted it without the help of our Creator. There is no heaven, no Utopia without the very Creator of the Universe being involved in it. No matter how valiant man's efforts are, there will never be that Utopia until Jesus Christ returns at the end of the Tribulation called His Second Coming.

The one thing we can never know with absolute certainty is who will be in heaven of those who have gone before us. We can never know what their heart condition was like and if they called out to Jesus in their final moments, like the thief on the cross did. Only God does. There will also be those who inherit Hell. Jesus said that there are a lot more going to hell than going to heaven. The bizarre thing is that is not by His design. Everyone who winds up in Hell goes there by their own choice. There are people going to Hell because they don't want anything to do with God or heaven. Everyone gets a least one prayer answered in life, either choosing to accept Jesus and have Him as part of your life, however brief that is, or to have nothing to do with Jesus. We are now in the concluding verses of our study into Revelation 7, known as a parenthetical pause.

Revelation 7:13-17 ~ "Then one of the elders asked me, "These in white robes - who are they, and where did they come from?" I answered, "Sir, you know." And he said, "These are they who have come out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore, "they are before the throne of God and serve him day and night in his temple; and he who sits on the throne will spread his tent over them. Never again will they hunger; never again will they thirst. The sun will not beat upon them, not any scorching heat. For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd; he will lead them to springs of living water. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes."

It seems hard to fathom that the world one day might all come together to create a unified government, a unified church and a unified economy, yet that is just what the Bible says will happen during the Great Tribulation Period that will last for 7 years. That the nations of the world would destroy their borders and usher in peace and prosperity so we could all become one family. The concept is beautiful but the means to obtain that is different than what God has decreed. Once Eden was lost, man attempted to recreate that kind of Utopia here on earth. That was the whole inspiration behind the driving force of Nimrod and the creation of Babylon. That God could be brought down and man could create a Utopia on earth. It is the very doctrine behind the New Age movement. That somehow Utopia could be created by man. But as long as man attempts to govern himself, there will be a separation of nations, and of races, and of powers. There will be those that have, and those that have not. It will be that way until Christ comes and establishes His kingdom. That is the answer.

If you ever take the time to read the Communist Manifesto, what Stalin, Marx and Lennon preached in concept, was great! If you look at it very carefully, it sounds almost biblical. That you would be loving with one another, sharing with one another, yet in the deviousness of man's heart is someone who creates such a thing that is skimming off the top. We know that a man will come, we know him as the Son of Perdition or the Antichrist, who will have an idea to create a one-world government, a cashless society where man does business with numbers globally, and that this man will establish this Utopia under his rule and his reign. All things will be going along well, except for the preaching and presentation of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

We have been learning how 144,000 Jewish men that will come to know Jesus as Messiah, and these guys will be spiritual tornadoes throughout all the earth. There will be a vast amount of people brought to the knowledge of Christ through their efforts, and salvation will be happening on such a grand scale during this time than during any other crusade in the history of the world. Whenever the gospel is preached, decisions are made. Some people will say yes to Jesus and others unfortunately will say no. When this happens during the Tribulation Period, it will make every crusade up to this point look like an attempt compared to what God is going to do during that time.

Revelation 7:3 speaks of the assignment and sealing of the 144,000, 12,000 from each of the 12 tribes of Israel. Revelation 7:9 speaks of their successes as a multitude were saved that went beyond anyone's ability to number them. We will get a sneak peek at the efforts of those 144,000 that those that are saved during the Tribulation period who die during that time will go into the everlasting arms of God, the Father in heaven.

The Bible says" to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord" in 2 Corinthians 5:8! No where in Scripture is there a waiting period or a place of holding. No where is Scripture is that a biblical truth. There is no doctrine of purgatory, it doesn't exist. It was created after the year 600, it doesn't exist. To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord, is a wonderful promise to anyone who believes in Jesus, especially if you are called to be a martyr for Jesus Christ. That is our assured hope and our guarantee!

When those that suffer and die for their testimony during the Tribulation, they go immediately into the presence of God. There is no waiting zone, place of purgatory, no, they go immediately into the presence of God and that is exciting.

Jesus says that heaven rejoices when people come to their faith in Him.

Luke 15:4-7, 10 ~ "Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Does he not leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, 'Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.' I tell you in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous people who do not need to repent."

Repent simply means to change your mind. When it says that the shepherd places the sheep upon his shoulders, shows that this sheep was wayward. It's prone to wander. When a lamb goes astray he will be paying for a little disobedience. In the days, shepherds would break the leg of a lamb that continued to go astray. It teaches the little lamb that it must be dependent upon the shepherd if it's going to survive in this evil world. Jesus reminds us how much He loves us despite how much we have wandered away from Him. Maybe God is trying to get your attention today to bring you back to Him. What circumstance are you going through right now, that has you here today? It is the work of the Lord. It is God's desire that our minds need to be changed. That we need to look to Jesus Christ for adoration and worship! We want to look toward Him as our shepherd.

We are taking a sneak peek at what believers of the future shall see. The church remember has already been long removed from the earth during the rapture. Heaven will be well attended.

Revelation 7:13-14 ~  "Then one of the elders asked me, "These in white robes - who are they, and where did they come from?" I answered, "Sir, you know." And he said,"

Where is John right now? He is in the Spirit in heaven seeing these heavenly revelations. John is a member of the church. Remember in Chapter 4 in Revelation, the church has already been caught up into heaven. John is watching this future event and one of the 24 elders, that represent the church, asks John a question. John doesn't know who these people are and where they came from because they are not part of the church.

We as Christians, live in a doctrine of immanency that Jesus could return at any time, the Bible says, without any warning. This is something that we, as a church, await! We live every day of our lives in anticipation of that. Heaven will be well attended by those who have suffered for Jesus Christ. I'm not talking about those who are suffering right now. It is alarming to see how many people are suffering right now in the world for Jesus Christ. There are statistics all over the world that there are people that today will die for their faith in Jesus from North Africa, to China to areas in the deep South Pacific, that if you are a Christian, you will die for Christ! I am not talking about those that are dying for Jesus today .

There will come a time, where the bulk of those who are Christians at that time, must die for Christ. You and I are called to live for Christ in this age. There will come a time during the reign of the Antichrist, where all those who pledge allegiance to Jesus Christ will suffer persecution and the bulk of them will die for their faith in Christ. They will suffer for their identification with Jesus Christ. This group is not the church though the church suffers at this hour. There will be a time when the rapture will take place, the gospel will be preached,  by 144,000, skipping ahead to Chapter 14, Jewish men who are virgins, we speak Hebrew and all kinds of languages, 12,000 from each tribe of Israel.

The people dying for Christ today are different from those that will die for their faith during the Tribulation period. Don't confuse the two groups. Voices of the Martyrs,, there are a number of Christians today being persecuted for their faith to death more than any other time in recorded history. Globally, 100's of thousands are dying for their faith annually now. In the past 21 generations, there has always been a percentage of people who have died for their faith, they're martyred and we are seeing an increase in that today globally.

Those we are studying about in the Book of Revelation in Chapter 7 are not church age saints. These are not Old Testament saints. These are Tribulation saints, these are those that come to faith that are not part of the church , the church is in heaven. These are Tribulation saints, the ones who in future studies, Revelation 13 for example, they will not bow to the demands of the global leader, that we refer to as the Antichrist, they would not receive the mark of the beast. They would not pledge allegiance to his regime. They chose to give their faith to Jesus and honor the Lord. These are the Tribulation saints that will die for their faith, in that period of time. You don't have to be a Tribulation saint. You need Jesus right now and skip all of that. No one is guaranteed tomorrow. You don't know when your day is. Accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior and the only way you are getting out of here alive.

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