Luke 21: 25-28 - "And there will be signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars; and on the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring; men's hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near."
This has been quite the summer. As the fall season begins and we have one last patriotic celebration ahead of us, what will the rest of the year hold in store? We pray that God's hand is on this country, but what if all we are seeing and hearing are the beginning of birth pains the Bible tells us to expect before things go from bad to worse? Could this be part of God's plan?
I watched in wonder last weekend the 8/28 Restoring Honor rally held by Glenn Beck. Amazing. How the media loves to distort the truth, even when pictures don't lie about the size of this rally. How I wish I could have been there. I'll bet there were hundreds of thousands more who wished they could have been there. What does this tell us about what so great a number feel about our country? We've had it so good...we should never have grown lax and comfortable.
I recall something Beck said that really stood out. I'm paraphrasing: People think I'm just a fear mongerer. Do you think when the captain of the Titanic said, "It's an iceberg" that he was a fear mongerer? No, he was warning them. He was telling the truth. That's all he's trying to do. He's digging for truth and he's passing it on to us...with the admonition to check it out for ourselves so we will see for ourselves it's the truth. Hey, Jesus only told the truth and has asked us to seek it as well. Beck believes, as I'm sure most Christians do, that God needs to be restored to this country. Without God as our leader we are nothing. Just as without Jesus as center of our individual lives, we are nothing.
Beck told us we must know what we believe in order to have a firm reliance on it. He suggested that goes for God (Jesus) as well. We must seek the truth...in life and spiritually. Do you rely on man or God when the storms of life hit? God is the ultimate protection, through a relationship with Jesus Christ. Without that there is no hope. Glenn also said this: If you find out who God truly is, I warn you, it will be the greatest blessing of your life, but it will also be the biggest curse because on some things you will no longer have a choice because you know what is true, you know who you serve and you must stand there because you have no other choice. Know who He is and know who you are. This is true! Christ changes your views, your thoughts, your life. Change...something some people don't want to do.
We have long been a Christian nation. But we see churches crumbling and falling for the enemy's lies and slowly taking on worldview in order to not offend. Our nation does not help this situation with it's call for diversity and tolerance. It's the old double standard when it comes to Christianity. Christians need not be tolerated; God need not be tolerated. But other religious beliefs are. Perhaps it's not just the government's fault. The Church may have lost its foothold, it has distorted the truth and people have fallen for it. Morality has taken a nose dive. Another thing Beck said stands out for me: He does not see a political candidate yet that has the right morals to be a leader of this nation. I think there are hints of candidates, but how would they fare? Truth, morals and honesty don't seem to be something people want.
There's an underlying feeling by some that something is going on that we can't quite put our fingers on. It's an unsettled feeling. I've said it before in regard to myself, it's like waiting for the other shoe to drop. It almost goes unspoken because we don't know exactly what it is. It's time for Christians to rise up and begin warning others. It's time for the Church to stand up as well and stand for the truth.
There is a spiritual realm we do not see, but can sense, if we are aware of it. I know there are many who think all this "spiritual" stuff is nonsense. The idea that God is up to something behind the scenes may seem preposterous. But like the scripture above, there will be a day like this...when the powers of heaven will be shaken. This is not a doom and gloom scenario but the truth. Peter told us, as well, that there would be a day such as this: "...scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, and saying, 'Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation.'" (2Peter 2:3-4)
Of course a person first needs to believe that the Bible is the inerrant, truthful, God-breathed Word. It all starts there. I shudder to think of the day when things begin to happen in this world that absolutely cannot be explained away, except that God's hand is in it. Some scoffers will change their minds. Some's hearts will fail them.
Those who understand what could very well be happening will still undergo tribulation. It will not be an easy time; however, there is a hope that we (yes, I'm included here) cling to. That hope is Jesus Christ. It is part of His plan to draw all men unto Him. Things have to get to a point where we have no place else to look but up. That's why He first tries on a more personal level to get a person's heart to change before it gets worse (for me April 18, 1999). When God chooses to move, no man will be able to stop Him. No man in even the greatest authority in the world will be able to overthrow God. Don't forget, He humbles the proud...any way He has to.
A friend and I were talking one day and we both agreed we would much rather be on the side we are on than to be counted among the scoffers. Yes we are looked at a bit oddly for our beliefs. But, again, as the Bible says, "we are a peculiar people" (1Peter 2:9) because of those beliefs. I'll tell you, I would really like to be wrong.
I'm not trying to paint a gloomy picture, either, just a realistic one. Something is happening in the atmosphere around us. There is an enemy who wishes to turn people's hearts away from God. He wants to drag those who are willing to be sucked into his beliefs down with him because he knows the beginning from the end as God does...and he knows he doesn't win. He just doesn't want to go down alone. He's being quite successful...
Anyone can have peace if they choose to look to Christ. What more can I say? It's my story, and I'm sticking to it. Just like history cannot be changed, HisStory will not change either. His story makes a lot of sense if you take the time to search it out. All throughout the Bible Jesus and peace go together: Jesus is called the Prince of Peace. It is in Christ that we can have the peace that passes all understanding. He Himself is our peace... He will also be the only peace in this world when all will begin to feel the unsettling changes take place. In Christ we can overcome the difficulties of this world.
Romans 5:1 - Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance...