Many signs of the return of Jesus are in place. The table is set and ready. There is one important thing that must take place first. Jesus said the “Gospel must go to all nations and then the end will come”. The message about Jesus needs to go to all people groups first. This means we have work to do. We should do this work because Jesus commanded us to do it and even more so out of gratitude to Him and love for others. Jesus said after His resurrection, “All power has been given to me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations….”
The message about the love of God and the love Jesus showed when He died on the cross for all of our sins must go to all people groups first. Jesus wants the message be communicated. Our energy, resources, prayers, devotion and service should be given to spreading His kingdom whether at home or abroad. This is a short but important message. GO TELL them about Jesus!!
The world is rapidly moving closer to becoming a true Global economy. Changes happen so quickly it can be hard to keep track. One thing that is evident, especially in view of the recent Global Economic Crisis that had a coordinated response by many countries, is that the world has gone to a place of no return economically. We are now intertwined so much it cannot be undone. The bible talks about a one world economy in the end times. It talks about the Mark of the Beast 666. My purpose here is not to discuss exactly what that mark is since no one really knows for sure. It could be a microchip implanted, or it could be something else. The issue to look at is that no one will be able to buy, sell, or trade without it, which would indicate a one world economy and currency. Last summer U.S. Treasury Secretary Geitner said in response to China’s suggestion that we need a one world currency that the U.S. would be open to it. No U.S. Government official that I am aware of had ever said anything like that before. It is now more possible than ever for there to be a one world economic system.
Another sign of the return of Jesus is a dramatic increase in Natural Disasters. I have heard different statistics but one thing is clear, there has been a big increase in the number of Natural Disasters in the past few decades. Tsunamis, hurricanes, earthquakes etc are all happening more frequently than ever. Jesus said we would see signs in the waters and in the sky to indicate the increase in Natural Disasters that would occur. The issue Jesus spoke of is not what would cause them, ie Global Warming or Sun activity, rather that the increase would happen. The increase is happening.
Interesting that these things, One World Economy and dramatic increase of Natural Disasters were spoken of 2,000 years ago when such things were not possible or conceivable. They were written about in the bible. The question is not when or if Jesus will return, but are we ready? We can become ready by trusting in Jesus as our Savior. Simply believe that He is the one true Son of God that died for all of our sins and ask Him to forgive us. Bow to Him now and receive Him.
It is fascinating to me how the bible spoke about two current realities in China a long time ago, one of them with a detail of the size of an army. One sign is wonderful to think about. The other causes awe. Both deal with China a country many would not think as having much of a role in Christianity.
The first current reality that fascinates me was written about about 2,700 years ago by a man named Isaiah. He wrote in Isaiah 49:9-12 about a work of God to bring the light of Jesus to China. He wrote- “He will guide them Surely these shall come from afar and from the land of Sinam” Sinam is in reference to China. You may have heard of Sino-China. Isaiah wrote about how the message of Jesus would come to China in a large way. Currently in China the church is growing very fast and wonderful things are happening.
The other which should cause some awe and fear. John in in the last book of the bible Revelation writes about a massive army that will come to do battle with the anti-Christ in the last war in Armageddon. John wrote the size of the army which is called the Armies of the East. The number he wrote was two hundred thousand thousand. That comes to an army of 200 million. China’s current army is estimated at 2 million which would seem far less than the 200,000,000 John wrote about. However the population of China being over 1,000,000,000 it seems possible for a 200,000,000 person army. Then when I think about the fact that the John wrote the armies of the East. that would mean China and possibly other countries from the East in an alliance. Interesting thing caught my attention this week. China and India are talking about how they could work together concerning Afghanistan. Add China and India together in an alliance and it is easy to conceive of a 200,000,000 person army. Those two countries combined have over 2,000,000,000 people.
What should get our attention is the fact that the population of the earth was no where big enough 2,000 years ago to conceive of an army this size. Whether the 200,000,000 is literal or figurative to express a huge army, either way, it was written about 2,000 years ago when it would have been inconceivable. It is no longer inconceivable.
This is another sign that should get our attention. It is exciting to me. The question is not if or when Jesus will return. The question is are we ready?
Whatever one might think of Israel whether pro-Israel or against Israel there is no denying that the tiny little nation of Israel gets a lot of attention in the world, by governments, the UN, media etc. It seems strange that such a tiny country would get so much attention. Consider that it has only been there since 1948 and it seems even stranger. That is until you see what the bible says about Israel.
Over 2,500 years ago it was prophesied(predicted) that Israel would be forced out of its land and in ONE day would become a nation again and that God would bring them back from the North, South, East and West. Jesus said that Jerusalem would be destroyed which it was in 70 AD. Jesus also said that Israel would be back in the land and it would be a sign of His return.
In May 1948 the UN passed a resolution recognizing Israel’s right to exist thus making it a country in ONE DAY just as the bible stated over 2,500 years ago. They started to come back from every corner of the world, North, South, East and West. 1948 was a big year for things coming into place that Jesus said would be a sign of His coming. 1948 was a significant year for TV, Computers and Israel back in the land.
Israel being back in the land is like having a huge neon sign that says New York next exit. You see the sign and pay attention if you want to go to New York. The Neon sign alone would get your attention. Israel being a country again after 1,870 years of non-existence should get our attention. Especially when we consider that it happened in ONE DAY.
The question is not whether Jesus will come again or even when. The question is are we ready?
Every year in March when we see the first Robins appear we think Spring is coming. Those little birds who I ignore most of the year get my attention in March. There are other signs I pay attention to such as dark clouds forming quickly in Nebraska in April to June mean a bad thunderstorm is coming. Jesus spoke of signs of His coming. What if I told you that things like Blogs, Twitter, facebook and Google were a sign that Jesus will come again? There are two issues that the internet relates to that Jesus spoke about.
1- Jesus said that when He returns all the world will be able to see. We live in a global economy and a global village. We can easily see things happening all over the world because of the internet and TV. In fact when the news media was kicked out of Iran during the elections there we still received news about it through You Tube, Twitter and facebook. One comforting thing is that when Jesus actually does return there will be no doubt about it. It will be obvious for all to see.
2- Jesus said that knowledge will increase. The word He used for increase refers to an explosion in growth. Thanks to the internet we now have access to more information than ever. It is increasing faster than ever.
The next time you log into Twitter, Word Press, facebook, You Tube, Google or anything else on the internet or read a blog try to remember this- you are logging into what is a sign that Jesus will return. Maybe in our lifetime. The real question is not when. The real question is ARE WE READY?
Where is Jesus? It has been 2,000 years since He said “I will come back for you”. What is taking so long? These would be normal questions to ask. Sometimes I ask questions like these myself when I look at the world today with all the problems we have such as Economic crisis, War, and Disease. I meet refugees and hear their stories all the time, so I know how much suffering there is in the world.
In the bible it says that the Lord is patient and does not want any to perish. He wants to give people a chance to come to know Jesus first. The bible also says that for the Lord one day is as a thousand years and a thousand years like one day. In other words for Jesus there are no boundaries of time. If we stop to think about that there is a comforting thought which is- Jesus is in the future and present at the same time. He already knows when He will return and what will happen between now and then. When it seems like everything is chaotic around us we can take comfort in the fact that Jesus knows not only what we are going through now, but also how it will end up.
He did give us some things to look for as signs of His coming. I will write about more of those the next few writings. He will keep His word and come back for us. He will also return to earth to reign as King of all. He will return and put an end to all the chaos we see around us. In the meantime we have work to do to spread His message and can trust in His plan. We need not worry or get scared by what we see happening in the world. He has a plan and He already knows how it will work out.
In February 2005 I had surgery to have my Gall Bladder taken out. I went into the emergency room in pain on a Friday night. I drove there much to the surprise of the ER personnel. They told me I needed to have my Gall Bladder out. I was on Morphine and IV antibiotics all day that Saturday. On Sunday morning I had the surgery and they removed me Gall Bladder atheroscopically.
One of my Pastor friends came to see me on Saturday. I was scheduled to go to Romania in April 2005 for their Easter celebration. I looked at Pastor Scott and said “I am still going to Romania”. I do not know what he thought at that moment. The surgeon had just come up before Pastor Scott did and informed me that they might have to do the surgery the old way which would mean an 8 week recovery time. I told him I had to go to Romania so do his best. He kind of looked at me funny. He probably thought it was the Morphine.
The surgeon was able to do the surgery by scope. I went home on Tuesday. I was back in church the following Sunday teaching my class. My simple prayer through the pain that the Morphine was barely helping went something like this- “Jesus if you want me in Romania this surgeon has to be able to do this with a scope and not the old way”.
I did go to Romania. It was a wonderful trip. I was able to share Jesus with a college group. I was able to preach their Easter Sunday service. I was able to see some dear friends. The gospel must go forth and as Jesus promised “the gates of hell shall not prevail against the kingdom of Jesus.
Count me in as one of the many who is skeptical of the “faith healers” on TV. Also count me in as one of the people who is concerned that in reaction to the “faith healers” the church in America does pray in faith often enough for the sick. My hope is that this story will encourage you as you pray for those who are sick around you.
Several years ago a teenage boy I knew was in the hospital. He had a infection and air bubbles in the fluid sac around his heart. It looked like he would need surgery. I was spending some time in prayer with Jesus and this boy came into my thoughts. I began to pray for the him and felt burdened to go see him. I walked into his hospital room and talked a little with him. I told him a joke but it hurt for him to laugh. I then told him I wanted to pray with him. I opened my bible, put my hand on his chest and read from Romans chapter 8 in the bible- “if the Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead lives in you, then the Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead will also give life to you mortal bodies”. The boy breathed out deeply and said “thank you Jesus”.
He had no more pain. The doctors did another chest X-ray and found the infection and the air bubbles were gone. He was dismissed that day with a prescription for antibiotics and a precaution. He went on to live a normal teenage boys life.
I want to say that their have many I have prayed for that nothing happened. I would also like to say that there is nothing special about me. All I did that day was follow the leading of Jesus. Jesus did the healing. I write this to encourage us to pray in faith and leave the results to God. Let us not shy away from praying for the sick because of the gross misconduct of others. Let us live as children of the light and show that light whether it is through visiting people in the hospital, praying with others, helping those in need, or serving in the church.
In this harsh world filled with trouble it can be difficult to find peace in our spirit. We have economic problems, war, diseases, H1N1, etc. It can be confusing at times to live in this world. It makes me think about what Jesus said “In this life you will have troubles, but cheer up I have overcome the world”. Jesus overcame death after He died on a Friday, He came back that Sunday. He has all power. He said of Himself that He is gentle of heart.
The bible also says of Jesus that a bruised reed he will not shatter and a smoldering wick He will not extinguish. What does that mean? A bruised reed would be a plant that is some what broken and will soon die out. He will not stomp on it but in gentleness bring healing so the plant lives. We are that plant that is some what broken. The smoldering wick is a small candle flame that will soon die out. It has no energy to keep going. We are that smoldering wick that is out of energy and barely hanging on. Jesus will give us the strength to go on.
When should we come to Jesus? Now!! Anytime!! He always has His arms opened wide for us and has already given the invitation when He said “come to me all who are weary and carrying heavy loads”. The only question is will we accept His invitation?
When we think about God, one question should be in our mind. I know it has been in the back of my mind from time to time. That question is How does God feel about us? Does He loves us? Is God impersonal and not care much? Is God angry with us? This is an important issue to consider. Jesus gives us an excellent example of How God feels about us and what God thinks about us.
In the bible it talks about one day when Jesus was helping people. He was healing them. He was teaching them. He was showing them God because Jesus is God who came the earth. There were hundreds of people there waiting for His help. The bible says that Jesus looked at all of the people and was filled with compassion for them because there were like sheep scattered and helpless without a shepherd. This shows me a few things about Jesus.
1st- He has compassion for us. A deep and strong compassion. He loves us and has great care and concern for us.
2nd- He sees that we need help. He wants to help us if we will let Him. He knows our struggles and wants to help.
That is someone I want to go to and trust in. If we know someone wants what is best for us, it is easier to trust them. Jesus said “come to me all who are weary and carrying heavy loads and I will give you rest….. for I am humble and gentle of heart”. The person who created all that we see. The person who has all power. This is the same person who is gentle hearted