Sunday, December 30, 2012

THE FINALE IS NIGH



Since 1948 when Israel once again became the Jewish National Homeland the clock of Biblical Prophecy has been winding down toward the time when Jesus Christ calls His saints up to Him from the Earth and wrath and judgment are poured out on a wicked and fallen world.

Prophecy is one area that sets the Bible apart from all other religious texts. The Bible has hundreds of accurately fulfilled prophecies. Not a single prophecy has ever been wrong. For more on the subject see my article here.

With this in mind, why does the world go on ignoring what the Bible has to say about the future? Only God knows the answer to that question. But, if the Bible has been 100% accurate regarding prophecies which have been fulfilled, then isn’t it only logical to trust it to be just as accurate concerning prophecies yet to be fulfilled; those regarding the future?  And, my friends, the future is upon us!

The Bible says that we must always be ready for the soon return of Jesus Christ. This is an event that is coming very soon according to Biblical Prophecy - Prophecy which is, remember, inerrant.

For years people have said “Repent! The End Is Near” or something like that, and yet the world has gone on much as it has for all these thousands of years. What makes our time any different? What is it that makes me so sure that these times truly are the end times?

One word: Israel!

Future Bible prophecy hangs upon the Jewish people once again occupying Israel as a Nation. This was something that, until it actually happened, was considered impossible. It would take a miracle, they all said.  That miracle happened in 1948, when Israel once again became the Nation of the Jewish people. This happens to be among those fulfilled prophecies I was talking about, by the way.

With the Jews in the Holy Land, that meant that at any moment Jesus could come and call believers to join Him in heaven - The Rapture (or 'catching up and/or away'). We know that this will happen just before the period of time called the Tribulation - the time when God pours out His wrath on those who reject Jesus Christ, a time of death, destruction and devastation unlike any the world has ever seen or ever will see again – a time during which the Jewish people will be dwelling as a Nation in Israel!

Yes indeed, the END IS NEAR for many. If you are one of those who has rejected Jesus then the Doom-Mongers who are constantly speaking of the end of the world in terrifying terms are right – you should be very, very afraid!

But for those who know Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior it will be a wonderful BEGINNING! Once we have joined Jesus in Heaven we will be free from death, pain, illness and sorrow. We will exist in an incredible new bodily form and dwell in a place so wonderful and so different from all we know that the few mortals privileged enough to have glimpsed it and record their experiences in the Bible were unable to adequately describe it. The Apostle Paul makes reference to hearing things which “…cannot be expressed in words, things that no human being has a right even to mention.” 2 Corinthians 12:4

We do know from what was recorded by others and from the words of Jesus Himself that we will experience love beyond anything we can imagine here on Earth. We know that we will retain our individuality and we shall all still know one another and that our days and nights will be lit by the light of God’s glory and be filled with pure joy and peace as we share in loving worship of the Architect of all Creation and in intimate fellowship with our Lord, Jesus Christ. For more on Heaven check this out  V .

If you are not sure of where you stand with Jesus then consider what the Bible says about Jesus and salvation:

The Bible says Jesus was sent to us because:

God so loved the world that He gave His only-begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but so that the world might be saved through Him. John 3:16,17 (underlining is mine here and in other scripture references)

Jesus took on the form of mortal man, lived a life sinless and perfect. Then, when the ordained time came He began His ministry of preaching the Kingdom of God. Hope for a hopeless world. For this He was unjustly tried, tortured, and crucified. At the very moment of His death all of the sins of mankind were laid on Him. At that moment He paid the price for the sins of each and every one of us. He died for YOU. He paid for YOUR SINS with HIS LIFE.

The Bible also tells us:

"… that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures." 1 Cor 15:3-4,

"Jesus said to him, 'I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me.' John 14:6

"And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men, by which we must be saved." Acts 4:12,

If you believe what the Bible says about Jesus then all you must do to be saved is this:

If you declare with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. Rom 10:9 

That is it! There are many people that won't believe because they think that is just too easy. They think there must be more to it than that, some ritual or act or intercession of a priest or ceremony… Something. It just can’t be that easy!

But it is just that easy. When Jesus was crucified there were two criminals crucified with Him, one on either side. One of them scoffed and derided Jesus. The other, however, recognized in Jesus the nature of His divinity and he said to Jesus, “Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom,” to which Jesus replied, “Truly I say to you, Today you shall be with Me in Paradise.”

That was it. All the man had to do was believe and ask - and Jesus welcomed him into His kingdom. The key is that you do have to believe and you have to accept Jesus’s Lordship over your life.

This invitation is still open to anyone! But, the time is coming soon when things will be very different. A time is coming very soon when those who have not received Jesus as Savior will suddenly realize that all of the things they have been hearing preached on those “crazy” Christian radio shows and Billy Graham Television Crusades and from Christian friends and loved ones and even “wacko” blogs like this one – are all true - as millions of Christians vanish from the Earth in the ‘twinkling of an eye’.

If you find yourself in this circumstance then know this: Even if the disappearance of millions of Christians causes you to get on your knees at that very moment and receive Jesus as your Savior you will still face seven years of the most horrific times the Earth has ever seen. There will be disasters, diseases, famines and pestilences of proportions even Hollywood has not dreamed of. Those who become Christians in those days will be hunted down like dogs and tortured to death. Martyred for their faith! But, believe me when I tell you this: The alternative will be worse, so very, very much worse – more on that momentarily.

During this perilous time all the world’s governments will come under the control of a single global authority headed by a man who derives his power directly from satan. This man, the anti-Christ, will control all commodities and all monetary systems. No one will be able to buy or sell anything outside of the global system he will set up. Think of it; to buy food, water, medicine, gas, to pay your bills - anything and everything - will have to be done using this new global system.

How could this possibly be done? Simple! Eliminate cash. Everyone will be forced to choose between taking a mark upon their body and death. Only those with the mark will be allowed to buy and sell. There will be no other option. None! 

If you think this can't happen, take a moment and look how close we are to a cashless society right now. If you are fifty or younger the chances are high that most of your store purchases are made electronically - either by ATM, Credit Card or you shop online. Most of your banking is likely done online as well. Is it really so hard to imagine the government one day simply declaring all cash of no value, exchanging dollars for electronic credits which would, from that day forward, be the currency of the day? A single electronic cyber currency is, in fact, one of the many solutions being proposed even now to resolve the Euro crisis in the European Union.

Let me paint a word picture for you:

One day, not far from now, suddenly millions of people disappear from the Earth all in an instant, in the twinkling of an eye. Driverless cars careen out of control, pilotless planes plunge from the sky, people in positions key to the day to day functioning of our interconnected world are no longer there. Nuclear engineers, utilities managers and technicians, communications specialists, emergency workers. Strangely the vanishings are apparently limited only to “Christians” and children. Nevertheless, so many are gone that it has a serious impact on our way of life. Almost instantly systems worldwide begin to falter.

With so many gone, some in positions of authority, there is a power vacuum. People begin to vie for positions of power which have become suddenly vacant. Property and wealth, their former owners now gone, are up for grabs. The result is worldwide chaos, wars, civil unrest and panic. On day one, store shelves are emptied, our power and water systems shut down as people are unable to report to work. In a matter of just one or two days the entire world is spiraling out of control. People would be desperate for anyone who could deliver them from what would by all the appearances be the end of the world.

In the midst of the chaos a man steps forward with a bold plan. He is charismatic, a dynamic public speaker and he has the backing of a number of powerful and influential world leaders. His plan is bold indeed and it requires that everyone, worldwide, unite with a common purpose to stem the tide of chaos, stop the violence and lawlessness, bring public services back online, make food and supplies available once more and restore order.

He forms an alliance with several nations and a global monetary and exchange system is adopted. People everywhere are required to sacrifice certain rights and “privileges” but in exchange they are given hope. Hope for a new tomorrow wherein not only will life be returned to ‘normal’ but things will be even better than before! In the face of a world gone mad, acquiescing to a new monetary system and suspending the constitution seem a small price to pay for the hope this man brings. Besides, there is something special about this new leader. His manner is so reassuring, so confident. You just can’t help but believe in him.

Soon he begins to implement his plan. Population Monitoring and Control technology already in limited use today is quickly adapted to the need at hand and entire populations are identified, tagged and in a surprisingly short amount of time things begin to return to normal just like the new leader promised.  

People quickly adapt to the new cashless system and find it is really quite convenient, even superior to the old way. The coded marks on their hands and foreheads are so small they are barely noticeable and some people have even begun making a fashion statement out of theirs. The marks were greeted with some skepticism at first but when people found they were painless and especially when a number of popular celebrities began showing theirs off it wasn’t long before any remaining uncertainty disappeared. 

In fact, once order and normalcy were restored the only real problems remaining since the so-called ‘vanishings’ are a few pesky groups of malcontents. They absolutely refuse to take the identification mark and conform to the new policies on public behavior. Strangely enough, many of them claim to be Christians of all things. Imagine that!

But the new Global Government Peace Keeping Forces are hunting them down and by all accounts they won’t pose any more problems. For a while they had people pretty worried, claiming the Bible had predicted everything that had been happening right down to this new one world government and ID based economic system. They even pointed out verses in the Bible that they claimed backed up what they said and they warned people that taking the ID mark would mean going to hell.

People stopped listening soon enough once the leader explained to everybody how it was actually the Christians themselves who caused all of the problems that led to the chaos and global collapse the world had just been through. He explained that it was obvious the universe had removed them from the Earth to make way for the new global government and the peace and prosperity that was just on the horizon.

It was obvious to everyone that the world was going to be better off without their constant intolerance and hate. The leader even showed why the children had to be taken so that a new population could be brought up free from the horrid influences of that dreadful, violent and hate filled religion. Soon, any reference to anything Christian or the Bible was made illegal. Bibles were soon rounded up and burned.

Besides, in the time since the “vanishings” a new belief system had risen replacing the old worn out belief systems of Christianity, Islam, Buddhism and so on. This was a true universal ‘religion’ that recognized all of the wisdom and learning of the world, incorporating all that was good in each of the world’s religions while rejecting anything negative, judgmental or intolerant. It was a system of joy, peace and acceptance. Planet Earth assumed her place as the new deity and who better than the true life giver? The leader himself even adopted the new religion and Earth-Pastor Warren himself ordained him as the new Head Earth-Bishop.

With the support of the Global Governing Body the leader declared the malcontent’s strident babbling “Hate Speech.” In short order the Peace Keeping Forces were rounding them up and executing them. Good riddance to them!

It was really too bad. Now that order was restored and with Earth worship bringing people together, things were going quite well. Those who could adapt to the new ways were finding that life under the new system could be very, very lucrative.

The only difficulty some had with the new regime had been the new ‘Acceptable Conduct’ policies. These had been a little tough to swallow at first. For example, the Hate Speech policy the “Christians” were charged with - At first, execution had seemed rather harsh for this type of conduct even for those loathsome Christians - But when the leader had shown how hurtful, disruptive and detrimental to the greater good such speech and beliefs could be, people quickly supported the new policies. Even the newest policy requiring sworn allegiance to the leader and Earth Worship met with almost no protest – after all, he was the one who brought the world back from the brink and no one could deny the new renaissance of peace the Earth was experiencing.

Things are so much better now under the new system. There is even peace in the Middle East! The leader was able to broker a deal between the Jews, and the Arabs which allows the Jews to build a new temple on the Mount in Jerusalem! He is truly a great man. Everything would be perfect except in the past days people have begun to notice that the sky has taken on a strange appearance and there seems to be something wrong with the ocean too but no one seems to have any answers. People are beginning to ask questions but so far the Global Government has not come forward with any answers. That’s ok. Everyone is certain the leader will address them soon…



Seems like science fiction doesn’t it? Nevertheless, the Bible predicts future circumstances very much like those I just described. If you still don’t think it can happen then please consider recent history. Look at Nazi Germany, Italy under Mussolini or Spain under Franco, Stalin’s Soviet Empire. When faced with a crisis that will gravely alter their lives there is no telling what people will accept in the hope of escaping their fate!

Keeping this in mind; remember when we talked about the accuracy of Bible prophecy? Because the Bible is 100% accurate in its past predictions then it is logical to believe that what the Bible says is going to happen in the future will indeed happen.

When - not if - when these things come to pass, if you have not yet made up your mind about Jesus Christ then please, in the meantime, do NOT take the mark I spoke of. If you do there will be no going back, for taking the mark means condemning yourself to eternal damnation – any chance for redemption will be gone.

I believe that there are a great many people who have not given much thought to eternity or to the damnation they face outside of the redemption found in Faith in Jesus Christ. I know people who think that eternity will be a big party, drinking and having a big BBQ with all their pals in Eternity because, hey, they were pretty much good people and why should they go to some horrible doom just because they did what everyone else did?

What they don’t get is that is exactly why they will go to that horrible doom!

The bible says, “Go in through the narrow gate, for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and many there are who go in through it. Because narrow is the gate and constricted is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.” Matthew 7:13-14

Do you see that part above that says “…there are few who find it.” Well that does not include those folks expecting the big party! The “few who find it” are ONLY THOSE WHO ACCEPT JESUS CHRIST AS LORD AND SAVIOR!

I hear right now the people who say, “Well, I just refuse to believe in a God who would be so unfair and intolerant.”

Guess, what? First, God believes in YOU! Second, there is nothing unfair about it at all. Jesus put aside His deity and DIED so that YOU would have a chance to attain eternal salvation. Then He sent out his apostles, disciples and millions of evangelists over the centuries so that the Gospel would reach the ends of the Earth. The Bible also tells us that the Heavens testify to the Glory of God and the Expanse His handiwork and also, that since the creation of the world God's invisible attributes—his eternal power and divine nature—have been understood and observed by what he made, so that people are without excuse.. – Romans 1:20.

The Bible also teaches that those who reject the undeniable evidence and turn from salvation, preferring to take their chances with the universe, will suffer an eternity in torment, separated from the only eternal source of goodness and love, living every single moment with the knowledge that they had no one to blame but themselves – because if you are really honest with yourself, I mean really down deep where you almost never go, honest with yourself – you know Jesus is standing there knocking and all you have to do is open the door and He will enter and sup with you. YOU are the one refusing Jesus.

It is that deep down knowledge that is why some people fight so very, very hard to remove God from every vestige of everyday life. Really, if He doesn’t exist why all the effort to erase any reference to Him from life? If He isn’t real he isn’t really relevant is He? No, it is that deep down conviction that He is real and He is knocking and that it is all on YOU as to where you spend eternity and it is all on YOU whether or not you refuse to open the door!

Don’t let this happen to you! Please don’t reject Jesus because you equate Him with the phony image the world and the Media have created of Him. Jesus is all about love and truth and peace. He died to give you the chance to be free from the wages of sin, to be free from death. If you truly accept Jesus as your Lord he will guide you and help you grow and change from the inside out. If there is something in your life that needs to change, God, through his Holy Spirit will cause you to want to change it. And, He will help you to do so. I don’t want to mislead you. It won’t be easy. Satan will always be working against you. But, now, you will have the creator of Heaven and Earth on your side, His word, the Bible to inspire, restore and guide you and a sea of Brothers and Sisters in Christ willing to help you any way they can.

If you are already a believer then you need to be about our Lord’s work. Time is short. Ask Jesus what He would have you do and then when He lays it upon your heart, DO IT!

These are indeed the last days. Every prophetic condition preceeding the Rapture has been met. Jesus may call at any moment. Every technological advance described in end times prophecy has been reached. Knowledge has increased phenomenally, people travel to and fro across the globe with ease, the systems are in place for Global one world government, a cashless monetary system and personal identification and tracking system. All of these were not even a fantasy two thousand years ago or more when they were described in prophecy. They are all reality now.

C’mon people. You know the time is short.  THE END IS NEAR!

God Bless you in these last days and may the grace and peace of the Lord Jesus Christ be upon you and yours.

Mark

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