A Thief in the Night – Part II

But concerning the times and the seasons, brethren, you have no need that I should write to you. For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. For when they say, “Peace and safety!” then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape. But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief. You are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober. For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk are drunk at night. But let us who are of the day be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope of salvation. For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him.

 Therefore comfort each other and edify one another, just as you also are doing….1 Thessalonians 5:1-11

What is meant by the phrase, “the second coming?’

And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel, who also said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven….Acts 1:10-11
For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord….1 Thessalonians 4:16-17

Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him. Even so, Amen….Rev 1:7

Some mistaken ideas for the meaning of Christ’s second coming include:

  • His coming at the death of a saint
  • The coming of the Holy Spirit
  • The destruction of Jerusalem.

There is a distinction of Christ’s coming FOR His saints (1 Thessalonians) and coming WITH His saints (2 Thessalonians).

These two books, if studied, will answer many questions.  He comes for His Church, the Bride of Christ, to remove us from this sinful world.  Following this event will be a time of great distress, in Scripture called the Great Tribulation after which He returns to bring judgment upon all the world.

Many efforts by saints and sinners alike have been put forth to set dates concerning His return. The best answer that I can give to you is simply, “Soon, be ready.”

Some of the signs we can readily see that point to His return are:

  • Great Apostasy and departure from the faith.

Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron, forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth. For every creature of God is good, and nothing is to be refused if it is received with thanksgiving….1 Timothy 4:1

But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!…2 Timothy 3:1-5

  • A time of great heaping up of wealth and possessions.

Come now, you rich, weep and howl for your miseries that are coming upon you! Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are moth-eaten. Your gold and silver are corroded, and their corrosion will be a witness against you and will eat your flesh like fire. You have heaped up treasure in the last days. Indeed the wages of the laborers who mowed your fields, which you kept back by fraud, cry out; and the cries of the reapers have reached the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth. You have lived on the earth in pleasure and luxury; you have fattened your hearts as in a day of slaughter. You have condemned, you have murdered the just; he does not resist you….James 5:1-9

Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. See howthe farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, waiting patiently for it until it receives the early and latter rain. You also be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand.

Do not grumble against one another, brethren, lest you be condemned.Behold, the Judge is standing at the door!

  • A time of great missionary activity.

And the gospel must first be preached to all the nations….Mark 13:10

  • The return of the Jews to Israel

Now it shall come to pass, when all these things come upon you, the blessing and the curse which I have set before you, and you call them to mind among all the nations where the Lord your God drives you, and you return to the Lord your God and obey His voice, according to all that I command you today, you and your children, with all your heart and with all your soul, that the Lord your God will bring you back from captivity, and have compassion on you, and gather you again from all the nations where the Lord your God has scattered you….Deuteronomy 30:1-3

Behold, the day of the Lord is coming,
And your spoil will be divided in your midst.
For I will gather all the nations to battle against Jerusalem;
The city shall be taken,
The houses rifled,
And the women ravished.
Half of the city shall go into captivity,
But the remnant of the people shall not be cut off from the city.

Then the Lord will go forth
And fight against those nations,
As He fights in the day of battle.
And in that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives,
Which faces Jerusalem on the east.
And the Mount of Olives shall be split in two,
From east to west,
Making a very large valley;
Half of the mountain shall move toward the north
And half of it toward the south….Zechariah 14:1-4

Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of drunkenness to all the surrounding peoples, when they lay siege against Judah and Jerusalem. And it shall happen in that day that I will make Jerusalem a very heavy stone for all peoples; all who would heave it away will surely be cut in pieces, though all nations of the earth are gathered against it….Zechariah 12:2-3

Be ready – He’s coming soon! Do not be caught unaware.

I Thessalonians speaks in detail of the coming of Christ for the saints:

  • Christ comes to claim His bride
  • He comes in the air
  • The Great Tribulation follows
  • Immediate departure of saints (caught up in the air)
  • Message of Comfort given
  • Our change is a mystery
  • Believers are judged
  • Israel’s covenants not yet fulfilled
  • Believers only will be involved
  • The Church received into the presence of the Lord

II Thessalonians speaks of the coming of Christ in judgment:

  • Christ returns with His bride
  • He comes to the earth
  • The millennial kingdom established
  • Multiple signs proceed
  • Message of judgment given
  • Change predicted throughout the bible
  • Gentiles and Israel are judged
  • Israel”s covenant is fulfilled
  • All people are involved
  • Israel brought into kingdom age.

If we are planning on being a part of the first return of Christ, His return for the Church, then we had better not ignore the admonition of I Thessalonians – Chapter 4.

Jesus is coming back.

How About Putting Jesus in Our Homes?

We see a lot of posts about putting Jesus back in the classroom.

Jesus in school

It amuses me a little when Christians complain that “Jesus is not in our schools anymore.”  Have they not read the Word of God that says

I can never escape from your Spirit! I can never get away from your presence!
If I go up to heaven, you are there; if I go down to the grave, you are there….

Psalm 139:7-8

or how about

The eyes of the LORD are in every place, Watching the evil and the good….

Proverbs 15:3

If our children are serving the Lord, then He is there in the classroom because His Word also says

I am with you always, even to the end of the age…Matthew 28:20

Bu while we complain about God not being in our schools, perhaps we should be more concerned that He is in our homes.

God’s people on their knees seeking God for

  • revival in their own lives
  • revival behind our pulpits and in our pews,
  • revival in Washington DC.

If we allow the Bible in the classroom, in this multi-religious society that we live in, we will also have to allow Allah, the Koran, Buddha, hundreds of Hindu deities and all their books, Satanist and the other many cults.

To be truthful, I and you neither one want that scenario.

We need to take responsibility to teach our children about God at home and know the truth they are receiving. Then we need to pray that God will instill in them the truth of His Word.  Finally, we need to trust in God to cause that truth to take root and grow in their lives.

The Biblical pattern has always been that the home, the family is to be the one responsible for teaching the children about God.

Listen, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord alone. And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength. And you must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands that I am giving you today. Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up.Tie them to your hands and wear them on your forehead as reminders.Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates….Deuteronomy 6:4-9

And it is not just in the Old Testament where we are told it is the parents’ role to teach their children about God.

Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother” (this is the first commandment with a promise), “that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land.” Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.

Do you really think having a teacher – who may or may not believe in Christ – lead your children in a prayer is going to make them good followers of Christ.

Let’s put Jesus in our homes – then He will be with us everywhere we go – school, work, the mall.  He does not live in a classroom, He lives in the hearts of those who commit their lives to Him.  And NO ONE can keep Jesus out of the schools for those children in whose hearts He resides.

family

 

 

 

Thoughts on Truth vs. Untruth

Yesterday I was on here at 3 am…well for an almost 78-year-old that makes for a long day. I did manage to get a two-hour nap in the afternoon and then went to bed at 8 pm as I could not hold my eyes open any longer. Well, needless to say I was awake at 10 pm…then back in bed at midnight…to the recliner in the living room and tried to read but fell asleep… back to bed at about 1 am.  You get the picture.

sleeping

As I was thinking, my thoughts turned to the very short book of Jude in the Bible. It has only 25 verses and is a quick read. In verses 5-19 (most of the chapter/book) it deals with  people sharing false teaching and refers to them in some very unflattering terms.

In modern language we would call them apostates, cults, strange, not understanding and I think I am being not too unkind. When you look at a pig, how do you describe it…it looks like a pig. When you look at a cow, how do you describe it…it looks like a cow.

Verse 12 describes them as

“clouds without water, carried about by the winds; late autumn trees without fruit, twice dead, pulled up by the roots.”

verse 13 says

“raging waves of the sea, foaming up their own shame; wandering stars for whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever.”

Verse 11 mentions three different individuals:

Cain – He was his own God
Balaam – He worshiped riches
Korah – He fomented rebellion

You do not need to be unkind to those who knock at your door…for the most part they are disillusioned but firmly believe what they believe. We need to show the love of Jesus to them. On a cold day we have invited them in our home and given them a hot cup of coffee and a friendly smile and let them warm up and they were ever so grateful.

But the best antidote to the false teaching is to know for yourself what the Bible says.  Paul wrote to Timothy

Work hard so you can present yourself to God and receive his approval. Be a good worker, one who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly explains the word of truth.

Truth

For interesting reading, go on Amazon and try finding a book called “Kingdom of the Cults” by Author Walter Martin, publisher Bethany House.

Martin says

” All cultic belief systems manifest a type of institutional dogmatism and a pronounced intolerance for any position but their own.”

This book is not an easy read but it sure is packed with the truth.