Going through life in this world, sometimes we sail along, sometimes we simply walk, and sometimes we trudge barely able to do much because of being bogged down. Monday mornings come and I am usually bogged down by just trying to get back in the flow.
There have been serious times of being burdened down in life for me such as the experience of going to several doctors last year over several months last year to find out what was wrong. Family problems can get us down like in my life growing up with an alcoholic father and mentally ill mother.
Jesus has worked in my life in wonderful ways and any difficulties in my past I hope to be of benefit to others as I try to share the love of Jesus with others. It isn’t easy to live for Jesus. Don’t let the TV people fool you. There are struggles. There are trials in life. You can fill in the blanks with your own experiences.
What kept me going last year during a year of pain and doctors? What gave me hope to keep going through adversity? It wasn’t what. It was WHO- Jesus and the fact that one day I will be with him. One day he will come back for those who believe in him. There are different views on what that will be like and this post is not a treatise on those. My focus is on the fact that Jesus will return and we will be changed.
In the 1990s, a group of contemporary Christian music artists got together to do a version of one of my all time favorites- Handel’s Messiah. The artists made Handel’s Young Messiah. Phil Driscoll performed the song “The Trumpet Shall Sound” for the album. Driscoll is a great trumpet player and he also sang the song. So I want to share this video with you of Phil Driscoll performing The Trumpet Shall Sound as a Monday pick me up for you. Hopefully as you listen, whatever you are going through, the song will help you remember that this life is temporary and so are our problems. One day the trumpet will sound and Jesus will come. Until then, we can know him and serve him and know he is with us in every circumstance.
This past week we had two senseless shootings in America. There has been a dramatic increase in violence over the past few decades. It can leave us wondering what is going on. It can also leave us feeling confused, worried and a lack of peace in our spirit. It is interesting to me that the one who said things like “love your enemies”, “pray for those who persecute you”, and “turn the other cheek”, the one who is called the Prince of Peace, Jesus, also said of a sign of His return would be “an increase of violence”. The world certainly seems to be much more violent than 20 or 30 years ago.
There is encouragement for me in that Jesus promised that He will be with us always. He also said “I have overcome the world”. Recent events may be part of what Jesus was talking about when He said there would be an increase in violence or even more worrisome is that it could get worse. However we can rest in the fact that it is a sign of the return of Jesus and that He is in control even though it does not seem that way.
Christians talk a lot about Jesus did when He was here on earth. Deservedly so when we stop to consider all of His miracles, His death and Resurrection. That was 2,000 years ago. He is not back yet. What is He doing now?
He is always at work on our behalf. He has not stopped helping us. One of the things He is doing is preparing a place for us. Jesus said”if I go, I will prepare a place for you that where I am you may also be”. He is at work right now preparing places for all who believe in Him. What a wonderful place that will be. A place where there is no sorrow, no sickness, no pain, no wars, none of the problems that plague this life. Best of all we will be in His presence forever.
When we begin to feel tired and worn out with this life, we need to remember what Jesus is doing right now for us. He is preparing a place for us to marvelous for words. One day He will come for us to take us there. In the meantime we have work to do here to show His love to others.
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?