End Times


Philippians 3:18-19 “18 For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: 19 whose end is destruction, whose god is their belly, and whose glory is their shame – who set their mind on earthly things.”

These statements are referring to people who are “walking”, those who know The Lord, and are supposedly following the Way of the Cross; but through their misdirected focus actually war against it.  Let us not be “enemies of the  cross of Christ” but fix our mind on Jesus and eternal matters of the Spirit – not the things of this world.

1 John 2:15 & 17 “15 Do not love the world or the things in the world.  If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 17 And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.”

Advertisements

Matthew 6:24-25 “24 No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon (riches). 25 Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?”

There are things we are told by Jesus, not to concern ourselves with, yet often these very things become the main focus of our thoughts and actions. I have been struggling with this myself and as I laid it all before the Lord this morning looking for answers, He showed me great and wonderful things in His Word. Hallelujah! These very same things were what Satan put before Jesus in the wilderness.

I have been reading Love not the World by Watchman Nee, and together with my bible study which has been working through Isaiah, God lead me to a passage from Luke this morning which complimented the thoughts presented in both, and gave me the answers I needed. Luke 14:1-13 takes us through Jesus’ experience in the wilderness being tested by the devil.

From Watchman Nee’s book, a point was made that in the last days, the World will be as it was in the Days of Noah and as Lot went out from Sodom. “They ate, they drank, they married, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded.” see Luke 17:26-30. Scripture tells us not to concern ourselves with eating, with drinking, nor what we shall wear. Romans 14:17 tells us that “the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.” Scripture bids us “first seek God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to us” Matthew 6:31-33. This point also resonates throughout the book of Isaiah.

I have been engrossed lately with “What we shall eat”. Being 28 weeks pregnant with baby #5 and a bridesmaid at my sister’s wedding in 3 weeks, I have been concerning myself with trying to eat for the health of my baby but not the size of my backside. Add to this, struggling with cravings and a lack of willpower against all tasty treats that are bad for both! I have been utterly defeated despite my most ardent desire to succeed.

We are also looking to sell the house in which we live and the to-do list which must be completed prior to this becoming a reality is consuming beyond distraction!

Watchman Nee points out regarding Christians, “The undue attention to eating and drinking is far from normal; it is supernatural. For it is not just a question of food and drink that we are meeting here; we are meeting demons.” Heavy stuff! I had never considered this at all, but it makes perfect sense. It was clearly confirmed when I opened my bible this morning, but more on that in a minute.

Watchman Nee also states “the question today is not so much one of sinfulness as one of worldliness. Eating and drinking? Marrying and giving in marriage? Buying and selling? These things are so common and so simple, they are yet being used by Satan to ensnare God’s children into the great net of his world order.” He reminds us that, “There was a time when the Church rejected the world’s ways. Now she not only uses them, she abuses them. Of course we must use the world, but let us not want it, let us not desire it.”

When I read the passage in Luke 4:1-13 I saw the truth of Nee’s statements. Here we see Satan’s plan in action – he tried it out on Jesus first, yet Jesus “overcame”, let us take note!

The first temptation Satan presented was food! He suggests that Jesus should break from Truth and rely on Himself or His power to provide bread to eat. Rarely do I take the concern regarding “What I shall eat, drink or wear” to God but rather I plan and allocate finances (ultimately funds that are not guaranteed) sometimes weeks ahead. Jesus’ mind regarding this is evident in His response, a response taken from the passages of Deuteronomy 8:3. “Man shall not live by bread alone”. We live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of The Lord. Jesus lived His life this way and shows us this in action in John 4:32-34.

Satan then presents Jesus with an offer of worldly power, authority and the glory of man. This is ultimately what the world seeks after. Power, prestige, the never-ending striving for more. I see this within my own family – members who are not saved, strive and strive for what is never enough. It’s futile and easy even for Christians to slip into if we take our eyes off Jesus.

Jesus combats the offer with “You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve.” Striving after the world’s goods and glory is worshipping Satan, pure and simple – keeping your eyes fixed on The One True God in worship to Him only is the key to overcoming this trap.

The final temptation is one that was discussed in my bible study group this week. We did not see it as an influence of Satan but definitely as something facing Christians today. As I read the Luke passage, it became clear that the force behind this certainly comes from the pit of hell. In bible study we looked at Isaiah 32:9-11. The passage begins as follows: “9 Rise up, you women who are at ease, hear my voice; You complacent daughters, give ear to my speech.” The NIV translates this passage as: “9 You women who are so complacent, rise up and listen to me; You daughters who feel secure, hear what I have to say.”

In Luke 4:9-11 Satan then takes Jesus to the pinnacle of the temple in Jerusalem and tells Him to “throw yourself down from here” and have God save Him. As I read, again scales fell from my eyes and I saw the reality of what we had discussed in our group. It’s easy for today’s Christian to become complacent. We have no real “need” for God, being secure in our worldly endeavours fully able to provide for ourselves.  We also harbour an attitude of taking even our salvation for granted. We stand on the pinnacle of the temple, secure in our salvation but we often “tempt the Lord our God” Luke 4:12. When we live lifestyles in contradiction to God’s word, in hypocrisy to the grace offered to us, we “throw ourselves down” in opposition to the Truth of God’s Word.

In complacency we live each day with eyes set on the things of this world, showing little regard to redeeming the time as this age comes to a close. The salvation of unsaved loved ones does not weigh as heavy a burden upon us as it should and these passages have certainly been a wake-up call to me.

As Jesus stood firm against the wiles of the devil, He overcame him and the lures of “the World”.   Seeing who is behind these concerns certainly puts them in their proper perspective! 

As we take on the Mind of Christ and listen to the voice of God in all things, being willing to walk in His Way in obedience to His guidance, we too will overcome Satan’s schemes in the World and detach ourselves from it’s seduction.  We will discover the peace, rest and strength that comes from living by every word which proceeds from the mouth of The Lord.

This morning I read from Matthew 24:3-51. It is such an interesting passage, spoken by Jesus, regarding the end times and His return. There is so much we can glean from this passage and many applications for our lives today.

The particular verses that spoke to me this morning were Matthew 24:42-51. After describing the signs of the times and the events leading up to His return Jesus speaks these words:

(42) “Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming.

(43) But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into.

(44) Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.

(45) Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his master made ruler over his household, to give them food in due season?

(46) Blessed is that servant whom his master, when he comes, will find so doing.

(47) Assuredly, I say to you that he will make him ruler over all his goods.

(48) But if that evil servant says in his heart, ‘My master is delaying his coming,’

(49) and begins to beat his fellow servants, and to eat and drink with the drunkards,

(50) the master of that servant will come on a day when he is not looking for him and at an hour that he is not aware of,

(51) and will cut him in two and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

The faithful servant has been called to give his master’s household food “at the right time”. We are all called to feed the sheep as it were. Jesus is talking about the entire household of faith. This is a picture of what our lives are to look like now in these last days; feeding the Word to our fellow brothers and sisters – the members of the household of Christ. Dwelling in and feeding on His Word in communion with each other.

The evil servant (notice this person is also a “servant”) begins to beat, or attack, fellow servants, that is, brothers and sisters in Christ who are faithful, and to eat and drink with the drunkards. This servant discredits what the good servants are doing and partakes of the world’s offerings. Jesus says this servant will have his apportionment with the hypocrites and then makes reference to hell! This is a serious warning!

It is interesting that this portion of scripture leads into the parable of the ten virgins. Now is the time – the last time – to fill our lamps with oil and have them trimmed and ready as we watch. Let us not take our eyes off the road as our bridegroom approaches. Let us be about the Father’s business – feeding each other with the Word, building each other up while it is yet day in these last hours!

Paul writes in his first letter to the Thessalonians regarding the coming of and the day of the Lord. (1Thess 4:13-5:11) He exhorts us to “watch and be sober” and twice in the passage he speaks the following verses:

1 Thessalonians 4:18

“Therefore comfort one another with these words.”

And again in 5:11

“Therefore comfort each other and edify one another, just as you also are doing.”

In these last days, it is important to encourage one another with the Word of the Lord. We know these things are coming to pass before our very eyes and we are to be a comfort to each other and most importantly, to speak truth to the members of the Lord’s household. Some may not wish to hear it as the world lures their attention away from watching for Him. Many grow weary as we know, but as good and faithful servants, we are to be found feeding, feeding, feeding. Speaking, exhorting, and lifting up the Name of Jesus as we keep our eyes lifted and fixed on Him. The time is short!

“Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place.” Matthew 24:34

Australia is wet! And the parts that are not wet are…on fire!

You may have heard of the terrible disaster that happened at Toowoomba, Australia which then spread to The Lockyer Valley. This floodwater then progressed onto Ipswich and hit Brisbane earlier this morning. I live in the Lockyer Valley. Gratefully, my house is not in a low-lying area, however the end of my street and beyond is now a water wasteland as Lockyer Creek became a massive river. I am sharing a few photos as this is something that I hope I may never see again.

The End of Our Road and Beyond

Houses at the lower end of our street suffered as the flood water rose.

 

The Torrent Rushing through a house down the road.

 

Neighbour directly across the road has this torrent rushing through her yard

I don’t think I would want to move into this house…

 

New houses were not spared

 

This is what Lockyer Creek became.  The first photo is from the end of our road  and the second is from the other side with our road in the distance.

 

Lockyer Creek now touching our street

Lockyer Creek - our street is somewhere in the distance

 

My littlies looking at the "creek"

No-one will be following this sign to the shops…

Neighbourhood Shops Inaccessible

After looking at our local flooding, we headed into Town (Ipswich 30 minutes away) via other local country towns.

Roads lifted resemble waves

This part of the road is now on the shoulder!

Aftermath, local destruction

This is understating it!

Speaks for itself

Someone's back yard

Alternative Transport

Alternative mooring - There is a road through that debris

Shed roof with house roof just visible behind

Through these trees, the cows have nowhere to go

Our local Woolworths Grocery Store car park became a fueling depot for rescue helicopters.

Rescue Helicopter in Woolies Car Park

Black Hawk in vacant lot next to Woolworths

We headed on into Ipswich to watch the floodwaters rise there…

Ipswich main crossroads

Ipswich icons (Ipswich Heritage Lodge) under water

Ipswich houses, there is a car totally submerged in front of this house

New school building now under water

No public transport available now.

No busess going in or out of the transit centre today!

Train tracks in ipswich

We walked the main bridge into Ipswich as the water lapped at the bottom.

And then...a rainbow over the David Trumpy Bridge

A full, double rainbow...God remembers.

Our premier has been quoted as saying “While these events may break our hearts, they will not break our will.”  I pray that as hearts are broken, wills would instead be broken and submit to God;  that His children would turn from living for themselves in a nation clearly forgetting God, and lift up their voices as they cry out to Him.

At the end of last year, I read a book called Radical, by David Pratt. One point the reader was challenged to do was to pray for the entire world in a year. He listed a website, http://www.operationworld.org offering information on all individual countries and readers could print out a list of countries in alphabetical order. This is what I had done, and as of New Year’s Day, I began praying for each country systematically, a different one each day. It was interesting to note, as two major cities of Queensland braced themselves for water inundation, and 75% of Australia was declared a disaster zone, that this day was the day to pray for Australia. Incredible!

Please remember this nation in your prayers, particularly that souls would be saved as God’s power is displayed here in a mighty way.

I was shopping at a local bookstore today when my friend spotted a strange screen attached to the counter.  She queried the shop assistant about it and we were told a little about what is ahead.  This screen was a “pay pass” device.  Have you heard of this?  You just swipe and go…no signature, no pin.  Apparently “they” are looking to completely phase-out eftpos and everyone will be using “pay pass” within the next three years!  My friend asked the clerk, “What if someone else has your card?” The clerk nodded in understanding of the safety concerns associated with what she had just described.  We know, however, that the answer will be to simply keep it under your skin!!

Have you seen this?

www.paypass.com

But wait…check out the snapper!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qW3Qk8FHcfs  (I can’t believe their icon!)

We know how this story ends folks, but if you somehow hadn’t noticed…we are well into the final act! Now is the time to LOOK UP!

We have all heard the saying “You only live once.” It is the justification of the actions of many who know not the Lord Jesus. God’s word declares that for them, this is indeed the case; but for those who trust in Him, this life on earth pales in comparison to life eternal.

Psalm 17:14-15 “14…men of the world who have their portion in this life, and whose belly You fill with Your hidden treasure. They are satisfied with children, and leave the rest of their possession for their babes. 15 As for me, I will see Your face in righteousness; I shall be satisfied when I awake in Your likeness.”

I have written this post with my spirit rejoicing at the hope we have in Jesus and life eternal. How wonderful it will be to dwell in the glory of the Lord! As I read the following scripture, my heart leaps within me; it truly reflects the heart of all who love God.

Job 19:25-27 “25 For I know that my Redeemer lives, and He shall stand at last on the earth; 26 And after my skin is destroyed, this I know, that in my flesh I shall see God, 27 Whom I shall see for myself, and my eyes shall behold, and not another. How my heart yearns within me!”

We shall all stand face to face with the one who gave everything for us. Hallelujah! I am so grateful that my life is not limited to this world, and that I will NOT “only live once.” I sigh in relief at the thought!

1 John 3:2-3 “2 Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. 3 And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.”

For those of us with our hope in Jesus, the anticipation of the moment in which we will stand face to face with Him, will cause us to purify ourselves.

In these days, when sin abounds more and more, those who know the Lord cannot help but prepare and ready themselves as we look for His coming. We must rid our hearts of anything that would seek to distract us from the love of God, and in so doing, the trappings of this world fade into nonsense and loose all value.

When I read the above scriptures earlier today, my hope rose to new heights. The time is all but upon us, when we shall no longer see in part, but all will be revealed. This moment will bring joy unspeakable to all whose lives are consumed with love for Jesus.

I feel the coming of Christ drawing closer with every new day and know that each one of us, right now, must redeem the time. I know that the days will darken quickly, things will turn upside down in a moment, and this will take many by surprise. We need not be surprised if we dwell close to the Lord and prepare as he leads us. My heart yearns for those who continue to forsake the Lord Jesus, whose hope and joy are caught up in all that is about to be shaken. Seeing the blindness of many who “only live once” brings much sorrow.

In saying this, it is our love and joy in the Lord that will draw people to seek the hope within us for themselves, so I have posted these scriptures to encourage all who may stop by. I pray that the spirits of all who read these words of God would leap and rejoice within them as we look forward to the revealed glory of the Lord.

I don’t like getting into theological debates (truly I don’t 😯 ), however, I found myself discussing the topic of celibate homosexuals in ordained positions in the church over at Tim Farley’s Blog Theologically Speaking.

After putting in my two cent’s worth, I found myself unable to shake the yuck feeling you get (well, I get) when you have been discussing such a topic.

Ephesians 5:11-12  “And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them. For it is shameful even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret.”

The topic seemed to result in a search for scriptural basis to justify a homosexual’s desire for continuance in their sin. Is there a debate as to whether or not homosexuality is a sin, even the desire of it? (rhetorical question – done debating this topic!)

Romans 6:1-2  “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?”

*sigh* oh, I really didn’t want to be going over this again in my head, so I’ll try to move on quickly to the point, but I wanted to give some background…

In considering the sins of those in positions in the church, I realized that the ‘debate’ that I had entered was akin to profane and idle babblings. The focus was totally wrong.

Each man (or woman) must stand before Jesus alone, we must only look at our own relationship with Him. Our focus must be solely on Him – as a committed christian, he is my sole desire and I seek only to please Him daily. While our heart is turned to Christ, and our delight is in Him, we shall walk according to the Spirit and not according to the flesh.

Romans 8:5-6  “For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.”

If your mind is set on Spiritual things then you will have life and peace, not struggle with the flesh.  If you are debating things of the flesh, then you are not focused on Spiritual things.

Philippians 4:8  “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy – meditate on these things.” 

In these times when the world is screaming out to attempt to deceive those who are not fully committed in their relationship with Christ; planting seeds of doubt as to the truth and clarity of God’s word (twisting words and looking for loopholes in a sea of knowledge yet little wisdom,) we must seek the Holy Spirit ever the more to teach us and guide us into all truth.

We must take our eyes off the sins of others, focus only on Jesus and comfort each other with the assurance of His coming.

Revelation 22:11-17  “He who is unjust, let him be unjust still; he who is filthy, let him be filthy still; he who is righteous, let him be righteous still; he who is holy, let him be holy still. “And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last.” Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city.  But outside are dogs and sorcerers and sexually immoral and merderers and idolaters, and whoever loves and practices a lie.  “I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things in the churches.  I am the Root and the Offspring of David, the Bright and Morning Star.” And the Spirit and the bride say “Come!” And him who hears say, “Come!”  And let him who thirsts come.  Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely.”

Next Page »