For the past several months on the television program “Answers” I have been covering the reply that Jesus gave to the disciples’ inquiry…
“When will these things occur…
“What will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?”
In Matthew 24 Jesus gave a detailed answer.
First, He gave a panoramic view of what would occur.
Then, He gave detail.
Afterwards, He gave examples to help explain…
- parable of the Fig Tree
- historical example of the people in the days of Noah
- two men in the field
- two women grinding at the mill
Then Jesus said…
42 Therefore be on the alert, for you do not know which day your Lord is coming.
Jesus then speaks of…
- the head of the house and the thief in the middle of the night
- the faithful/sensible slave vs. the evil slave
- parable of the virgins
Then the Lord said…
13 Be on the alert then, for you do not know the day nor the hour.
In answering their questions, Jesus was guiding the disciples to the most important point - prepared alertness.
Are you prepared?
- have you confessed and repented of sin?
- have you been born-again?
Are you alert?
- as a true believer (in contrast to a religionist) are you alert?
We are to be alert for the coming of the Lord - not in the sense of the “Doctrine of Imminentcy” (an incorrect interpretation of the Word) - but we are to be doing that which the Lord has directed.
We are to be faithful bondservants.
I suspect we need to be especially alert this fall.
Some things are likely to occur.
I would not be surprised by war in Iran… watch the united States, Israel, Iran.
War is a useful distraction…
War often has “beneficial” economic impact...stimulates production (war destroys stuff)...lowers unemployment (dead soldiers need no job, etc.)
War often is used as a rallying cry by leadership.
War is politically expedient, especially among those who profess to be anti-war.
Ever increasing days of darkness are before us.
But, we are not children of darkness.
We are children of Light.
May we shine more and more.
Couple of quick announcements…
- We are about to resume our Bible study gatherings...will be doing a 7-week course called “The Good, the Bad, the Ugly”. Come and study with us. Let me know ASAP if you desire to participate...will order workbooks this weekend. We meet on Mondays, 5:30 pm and Tuesdays, 9 am. Same lesson both times. We will begin the week of August 8. Contact me for more information.
- Beginning the week of August 8 I will begin teaching piano a totally different way. SimplyMusic. If you have wanted to play piano, then you need to examine this. Contact me for more than you will want to know.
From time to time I find myself drawn toward a particular thought.
I believe that it is a word of warning from the Lord.
The Body of Christ continues to follow the path of deception.
That path has multiple lanes and is diverse.
One particular path lies in the arena of “amusement”.
Think with me for a moment.
“Muse” - “to learn, to think”
“Amuse” - the opposite of “muse”.
“Amusement” - “the state of experiencing humorous and usually entertaining events or situations, and is associated with enjoyment,happiness, laughter and pleasure.” By definition the suspending of learning and thinking...
“Entertainment” - “consists of any activity which provides a diversion or permits people to amuse themselves in their leisure time.”
I continue to be amazed at the methods that Believers seek to amuse and entertain themselves.
The premise should be questioned.
Is a true believer to ever seek to be “amused”...to not think, to not learn.
Should a believer seek to be “diverted”? Diverted from what? The Kingdom? The Faith?
Now, I know what many will say. We are speaking of change of work pattern, a break from the regular routine of the moment.
We see these breaks in the Word.
Jesus would go to the mountains - to pray.
Israel would go to Jerusalem for the assigned Feasts of the Lord - to worship.
The Lord knows the need He placed within us for such.
Yet, for the most part, the Body of Christ seeks the same amusements and entertainments of the world.
This should not be.
It is shocking the number of professing believer that are absolutely ecstatic over the release of a Harry Potter movie.
“Church leadership” are among the worse.
Now, I know the arguments they give...I’ve heard many…
“...its a great story…”
“...its just a movie…”
“...it is good entertainment…”
“...I know the truth. It does me no harm…”
“...it is a picture of good vs. evil…”
“...it is a picture of the gospel…” (really now?)
This is a serious issue.
What are these believers doing?
Do they choose not to see?
Do they choose to ignore?
Do they choose to walk lives of compromise that opens them and their families for the strategies of the evil one?
The Lord has much to say about this…
10 There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, one who uses divination, one who practices witchcraft, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer,
11 or one who casts a spell, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead.
12 For whoever does these things is detestable to the LORD; and because of these detestable things the LORD your God will drive them out before you.
13 You shall be blameless before the LORD your God.
We are not to practice witchcraft...even the passive practice of observation in the form of “amusement” and “entertainment”.
We are to give no entry to the Kingdom of Darkness…
We are to not compromise with Darkness…
2 Corinthians 6
14 Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness?
15 Or what harmony has Christ with Belial, or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever?
11 Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them;
12 for it is disgraceful even to speak of the things which are done by them in secret.
We are not to be “entertained” by darkness…rather, we are to know where the struggle lies… we are to be equipped with the armor of God.
11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil.
12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.
13 Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm.
The Lord tells us to…
- resist the enemy
- stand firm
- not compromise
8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
9 Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.
We are not to be “amused”.
We are to think on the things of the Lord.
The “amusement” of the world is not the same as the happiness and joy of the Lord.
Confuse not the two.
I know of some folk that have a difficult time sleeping…then they speak of the things they watch, read, etc. No wonder.
Hear the Promise of the Lord…
3 Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.
Let us keep our minds upon the Lord.
I have told this story before, but it bears repeating…
Several years back I was meeting with a group of young men and women. We were discussing the first Harry Potter movie. It had just been released. They had seen it...were excited about it. I ask them why they were excited about watching demonic activity on a movie screen, yet they would not pray/speak deliverance of the demonic from themselves or their friends.
“Which”, I asked, “is more exciting? Watching a movie, or watching your friend be set free?”
There was no answer.
Then something hit me.
I told them that this was a picture of their walk as Believers.
When they “worshipped”, they “watch someone else”...on a stage, a platform.
The same with the movie.
I encouraged them to step out into the life of the Kingdom.
Move away from “watching the movie of life” and be vessels of the Most High God.
Many Believers are deceived in that they had rather have demonic encounters via the 3D screen rather than their life.
The Lord has called us to set the captive free, not to be captivated by 3D demons.
You think the Harry Potter movies are cool?
Wait until you allow the Lord to speak deliverance through you to someone and the demons go flying out of them!
I know. Many will say that is “not for today.” You would be wrong.
Read the Word.
Live the Word.
Set the captive free.
Be sensitive to the leading of the Spirit.
I had something happen yesterday along this line…
Was holding Camp, our 5 month old grandson.
Decided to watch a Bugs Bunny cartoon that was on tv.
After about 2 minutes I turned it off.
I was watching how Camp was reacting to the “monster” and a couple of other things.
Thus far and no more.
They did not know.
One was simply folding clothes, turned to move and fell…
Another was working in the yard, felt tired…
Both are now in the Hands of God.
Both are now outside the corporeal existence of earthly bodies.
One, I know, will spend eternity in the Presence of the Most High God.
The other, I do not know…
Which brings this before us.
Are you ready?
Are you prepared to exit from this life into eternity?
If you “do not know”, then you are likely not prepared.
The Lord tells us that today is the day of salvation…
2 Corinthians 6
1 Working together with Him, we also appeal to you: "Don't receive God's grace in vain."
2 For He says:
In an acceptable time, I heard you,
and in the day of salvation, I helped you.
Look, now is the acceptable time; look, now is the day of salvation.
Those who are ready have hope.
Believers who remain have hope.
The world knows not this hope.
1 Thessalonians 4
13 We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, concerning those who are asleep, so that you will not grieve like the rest, who have no hope.
So, do what the Lord commands - examine yourself.
2 Corinthians 12
5 Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you—unless indeed you fail the test?
6 But I trust that you will realize that we ourselves do not fail the test.
Yesterday, at an early morning prayer gathering, Michael walked in.
I inquired as to the latest status of his mother, Jane.
He said that she was “much better off than we are.”
I responded “good”...then it occurred to me what was being said.
Jane had gone to glory a couple of hours earlier.
How could Michael respond this way?
Was he being “flippant”?
Was he unconcerned and unmoved?
Was he stressed, tired, grieving...simply unaware?
Michael...and his sister Susan... was/is a living manifestation of that which we see in the Word. They have Hope. They are not as the world is - without hope.
1 Thessalonians 4
13 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.
“Them which are asleep” refers to believers that have died physically.
We are told to “sorrow not” as those who have no hope.
We have hope.
What is the Hope?
What is the source of comfort?
1 Thessalonians 4
14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.
15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.
16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.
Our hope is the resurrected Jesus.
Our hope is that we will be with Him.
Our hope is that “them also which sleep in Jesus” are with God and will be brought with God - we will be with them and Him.
Our hope is the Lord’s return.
We are commanded to comfort one another with these words.
35 Jesus wept.
The encounter of Jesus with Lazarus is amazing...we will look at it some other time.
For now, note that Jesus wept, not necessarily because of Lazarus’ death. Jesus knew what Father was instructing Him to do.
33 When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews also weeping which came with her, he groaned in the spirit, and was troubled.
Jesus was moved by the weeping.
Of course, we grieve our temporary separation from Jane, yet we grieve not as those who have hope.
We grieve with joy - the joy that passes understanding.
We grieve, filled with the peace of God.
And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
We pray with/for the family.
We rejoice in a life well-lived before the Lord.
We rest in this truth…
15 Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints.
Michael knows this.
Susan knows this.