Saturday, July 18, 2015

Beginning of Sorrows

Matthew 24:6-8 - And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.

Hah! A friend of mine was talking about a study on the Book of Revelation she will be taking. When she emailed me she said her iPad changed Revelation to rebellion. Makes sense to me! I have decided to join her in this study.

I'm certain while little is said just yet, there have got to be a lot of people noticing a shift in this world. Revelation will show what will occur. We have been warned. Are we prepared? We can be if we believe what the Bible says about all things. We can be if we trust in the Lord for our lives, which I mentioned yesterday.

What will it take before everyone takes a long, hard look at their own lives and realize how we need a Savior for remission of sins, everlasting life and strength for the days we will all face in one way or another? He came to save us! I was just as stubborn once in thinking I didn't need anyone to help me with my life. I was doing fine, got through the glitches on my own or with the help of friends. I was achieving my goals, whether in the right way or wrong. Living the way I wanted, whether right or wrong. What was wrong, I thought, anyway? Wasn't it the way we perceived it...or didn't? But one day that all changed and I "saw the light."

So, some don't believe we are nearing the end of all things. Some believe life will just go on. Some think the Church, or at least certain ones, are just trying to instill fear to fill the pews for profit. What will it take for them to even consider the times we live in?

We must be able to face bad things we will go through, or have gone through. We cannot push them in a corner or sweep them under a rug and pretend they don't, or haven't existed. Bad things happen and will continue to. Since that bite out of the fruit in the Garden of Eden we have had our share of trouble. It happens. It won't go away till Jesus returns. 

But God...brought a solution. We are all born into sin but we can all be reborn into that "arrogant" righteousness if we submit our lives to Jesus Christ. The Word of God has explained it all. He laid the foundation in the first five books of the Old Testament. He continued in the Old Testament to show the ongoing sin, the rebellion of Israel to God's commands and their ability to "forget" all He had done for them. He has shown what He does when His people returned to Him, then turned away, then returned and turned away again. The ongoing struggle of rebellion and disobedience and righteousness and obedience. And we still struggle with it today.

But then the solution became reality in the New Testament in the form of His Son, Jesus. Redemption was a possibility for any and all who would recognize and receive it. We can still turn to or back to God, as a people or a nation. Jesus may not be physically walking the earth today but spiritually He is still available to receive anyone who struggles with the things of this world brought on by sinful natures.

The other night I had dinner with a friend and this subject came up. We see the beginning of sorrows referred to in the Bible. The only thing I can do is take the subject of the changes in this world all the way back to that garden! That's where it all began. How they have escalated. Oh, some say, that was so long ago. Does it really matter anymore? Yes! Your life today, 6,000 years later, still depends on Him. 

How I love the Bible and the accounts of people long gone. How they knew God, listened to Him speak, watched Him do miracles; how He supplied their needs, loved them even in their sinfulness, but disciplined for their rebellion. Nothing has changed. God never changes. When they returned to Him, like the prodigal son's father, God received them back with open arms and joy. He wants the same today. 

He will return someday for all those who have called on Him. For those who have stopped being rebellious and now wait for His return. Revelation outlines things we need to know, even if it's to teach the youth. It talks about the churches in these last days and the rebelliousness of many of them. It gives them warnings and how to turn back. It brings up satan and his last days, the dreaded mark of the beast. It speaks of false prophets present even now and describes the last days war, the revealing of the anti-Christ. God's wrath is explained. From Revelation we can better understand the rebellion that is taking place in our lifetime and what it will turn in to. And best of all it reveals Jesus and all that believers have to look forward to...the Lamb's book of life.

Yes, it's about our rebellion. Our rebellion against God. This is individually and corporately as churches, governments and societies. We walk away from God, He's not happy. He will judge. And He will return to do one final judgment of all. Will we be ready?

Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds
of heaven with power and great glory. 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. “I am the Alpha and the
Omega, the Beginning and the End,” says the Lord, “who is and who was and
who is to come, the Almighty.” (Matthew 24:30, Revelation‬ ‭1‬:‭7-8)

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