Friday, July 24, 2015

Reading, Hearing, Keeping

Revelation 1:3 - Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it; for the time is near.

What time is near? This is Revelation...the last book of the Bible. There was a beginning of this book and there is an end. 

In the beginning God created. He showed His love and justice toward His people in the Old Testament. In the New Testament He again showed us love in His Son Jesus, born out of a desire that all mankind would not perish but have everlasting life. In the end His intended perfect creation is destroyed that He can bring forth a better one. 

He has shown us throughout the 66 books what He desires, requires and commands. He shows us how He will respond to our dedication, or lack of, to Him. Life or death. 

He wrote this book that we might have a record to go by, examples. It's clearly shown what is right and wrong. Blessed is he who reads or hears these words and keeps them, we are told.

Bear with me a second; I envisioned this. The Old Testament was the foundation of God's Word. I see this like the long part, the base, of the cross, the part sunken into the ground. The New Testament is the fulfillment of what the Old Testament prophesied, that a Savior would come. God brought this Savior because He so loved the world that His Son would die for us that we might have abundant life. He loved us so much He purposely stretched out His arms on the crossbar of that cross. 

When you love someone so much what do you do? You stretch out your arms to embrace them, hold them. You can't do that without stretching out your arms.

The time is near. It's too hard for me to go into detail about some of the things I've heard or read over the years about timing In the Bible. God was into numbers and He is totally in control. There have been ages for mankind. These ages might have represented thousand year times. Like God created the earth in six days and rested the seventh, we are nearing the end of six thousand years since creation and about to enter the seventh. The last 1,000 years will be what is called the milennial reign of Christ after He returns. He will do this with those who have followed Him...who have read, heard and kept the words of God. 

James 5:8 says: You also be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand. Yes, we've heard for years He was coming back. There have been actual dates set. We cannot do that. Only God knows. But there is a day when He really will return and as scripture shows us, the days we live in are lining up with the end of days. Revelation shows us even more. 

Establish your hearts. This can only be done by knowing God's Word. Knowing God's Word means being in relationship with the Word made flesh...Jesus. It's so simple. God would not have made it so difficult to come into relationship with His Son. He loves us too much. But we have to make a choice. It's up to us. We pretty much decide our own future. 

We have heard the phrase, all things must come to an end. Need I say more? Genesis to Revelation has shown us what God requires. Some believe it, some don't. It is a marvelous, miraculous compilation of books showing us God's sovereignty, grace, mercy and justice. I think about authority in this world. We've always had authority. We need authority. Not everyone likes authority. God created authority! He is the ultimate authority...and we should heed His words. He knows, He has all the answers. He can be trusted...and should be.

Maybe this sounds too out there. Maybe I seem a little out there too! I think had those words been used in Jesus' day He would have been considered out there. As Alpha and Omega, imagine those arms outstretched, from one side to the other, as if surrounding us in His love. He will return. Who is ready?

Revelation 1:8 - I am the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End, says the Lord, who is and was and who is to come, the Almighty.

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