The Day of the Lord

 

angel-clouds-weather-vera-161199With all the things going on the world and this country, I think it is important we see what God’s word says about the last days.  But, in this series, I want to focus more on Jesus’ return and how we should be preparing for it.  There is so much out there on  the signs of the end times and how today’s events point to it.  There are a lot of theories and it takes a lot of time to weed through them and discern what may be true.  Most of it is someone’s opinions that may make sense, but, do we really know?  In this series I will go into a little of that (less on today’s daily events and more on what God’s word says), but you can read Revelation about the seals, trumpets and bowls, Matthew 24, Daniel (especially chapters 9 and 12), Joel, Zechariah, Ezekiel about the signs of things to come as we draw nearer to the end times and the Day of the Lord.  This is a time that can be both scary and exciting and I believe it is getting close.  I am not sure exactly what direction to go, but I pray the Lord will lead me in this and it will be clear to you and it will be a blessing.

What is the Day of the Lord?  What can we expect?  What should we be doing?  What should we look for?  As we study God’s word we can answer these questions and learn together.

1 Corinthians 15:50-57

Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does corruption inherit incorruption. Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed — in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.”

“O Death, where is your sting?

O Hades, where is your victory?”

The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

In the Day of the Lord, Jesus will return to take His people and proclaim His final victory.  The victory occurred on the cross, when Jesus paid for our sins and nailed them to the cross.  Through His blood, we can declare victory over sin and inherit eternal life in God’s kingdom.  Those who are in Christ will have no reason to fear in the last days.  No matter what we suffer, it will not compare to what awaits us.

2 Peter 3:10-13

But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up. Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.

Acts 1:9-11

Now when He had spoken these things, while they watched, He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel, who also said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven.”

Revelation 1:7-8

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.”

I pray that before this time comes, many will change their heart and accept the grace that God offers, to believe in Jesus Christ and be saved.  I pray that you know Him.  I pray that all my friends and family  would follow Christ so that one day we will all be together with Him.  Let us have the boldness to tell others about Jesus that they may not fear this day, but have joy in Christ.

 

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Blessed Assurance…Encouragement from God’s Word

inspiration-1136862.jpgAs a follower of Jesus Christ, I am grateful for God’s promises.  He always keeps His promises and I am especially thankful that He promised me eternal life.  He promised that He will never leave me or forsake me.  He promised me that the Holy Spirit indwells in me to guide me, convict me and pray for me.  He promised to work in me to grow.  He promised me understanding of God’s Word.  He promised me that He would answer my prayers and provide my needs.  As we read through the Bible, it is full of promises from God.  There are many words of encouragement for the believer.  We can learn of God’s character and who we are in Christ.  We can learn how to live.  I hope these scriptures give you encouragement this day and I hope you will be strengthened and inspired to follow Him wherever He leads you and to overcome any doubt or distraction, weakness or temptation that comes to you.

Philippians 1:3-7

I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine making request for you all with joy, for your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ; just as it is right for me to think this of you all, because I have you in my heart, inasmuch as both in my chains and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel, you all are partakers with me of grace.

 1 John 4:4-6

You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. They are of the world. Therefore they speak as of the world, and the world hears them. We are of God. He who knows God hears us; he who is not of God does not hear us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error.

We can have confidence, because God is working in us.  God is for us and wants us to succeed.  He paid the price for us so that we will have eternal life.  Until that time when we are in His presence, in we are home in heaven, the Sprit that is in us will guide us  and lead us to greater faith and draw us closer to Jesus Christ.  Remember, there is always someone praying for you.  Not only does the Spirit pray for you, but there are brothers and sisters in Christ who pray for you.

Philippians 3:20-21

For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself.

Ephesians 2:14-3:12

For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation, having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace, and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity. And He came and preached peace to you who were afar off and to those who were near. For through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father.

Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.

  For this reason I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for you Gentiles — if indeed you have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which was given to me for you, how that by revelation He made known to me the mystery (as I have briefly written already, by which, when you read, you may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ), which in other ages was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to His holy apostles and prophets: that the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, of the same body, and partakers of His promise in Christ through the gospel, of which I became a minister according to the gift of the grace of God given to me by the effective working of His power.

To me, who am less than the least of all the saints, this grace was given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, and to make all see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the ages has been hidden in God who created all things through Jesus Christ; to the intent that now the manifold wisdom of God might be made known by the church to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places, according to the eternal purpose which He accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord, in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through faith in Him.

Did you catch that?  We ARE citizens of heaven.  Not might be, not will be, but ARE.  When you give your life to Jesus, you become a citizen of heaven.  You are promised eternal life.  You are His.  We are saved not by following the law or by our good works, but by God’s grace Christ took our sins and nailed them to the cross.  He paid the penalty for our sins so that we can be saved by grace and become children of God.

Colossians 2:11-15

In Him you were also circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the sins of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, buried with Him in baptism, in which you also were raised with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead. And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses, having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it.

John 14:1-4

“Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. And where I go you know, and the way you know.”

Encouragement from Hebrews

I am going through a great study in Hebrews right now and I realize there are so many words of encouragement to believers that we can have confidence and hope.  God always keeps His promises.  Jesus is our Savior, but He is much more.  Jesus, the Son of God, perfect in every way because He IS God, gave His life for us.  With His blood sacrifice, we now have access to the Father.  He is the Priest-King, who is our Intercessor and Redeemer, who offered Himself as a sacrifice, the prefect blood offering once for all.  It is the perfect sacrifice because He is perfect, no flaw, no sin, and He lives forever, giving eternal salvation to those who believe.

The book of Hebrews is written to the Jews of the early Christian church.  Many were true believers and some were seeking.  But the Jews from outside the church (and perhaps some from within) were trying to turn them from faith in Jesus Christ or draw them back to the Law.  The writer explains how the Law had been fulfilled by Christ and that there is a new, much better covenant that God had given all of us through His Son.  This covenant was promised through Abraham and all things throughout the Old Testament point to Jesus Christ.  The Law showed us our sin and the need for blood sacrifice, and the New covenant shows us God’s mercy and grace, that through Jesus, our sins are forgiven once and for all.  We are saved by faith in Him and our salvation is based on what Christ did for us, not on ourselves.  Thanks God for that, because all of us fall short!  I encourage you to read through the entire book of Hebrews to fully understand the reason for the law, the blood, the sacrifice and how Jesus fulfilled all of it and became our High Priest to be our sin offering. It also reminds us of His promise of eternal salvation and to encourage us to not lose hope, but to have boldness and confidence, trusting in Jesus Christ our Lord, living for Him, serving Him and others. Continue reading “Encouragement from Hebrews”

Love and Forgiveness

God is a loving and forgiving God.  He is also just and sin is detrimental to any relationship with him.  Sin cannot be in His presence.  But, He wants to have a relationship with us and He loves us so much that He provided a way to atone for our sins.  As the Israelites, His chosen people, were delivered from the bondage of the Egyptians, a system was created to appease God of sin.  That is a long story for another time, but basically, a blood offering was needed,  a sacrifice for the sins of the people.  But, because of the sins of the people, including the priests, this was needed over and over, every year.  Read through Hebrews to learn more about this.  So, God the Father, sent His only Son, Jesus, who had no sin, to be that blood sacrifice to redeem all who believe.  Jesus Christ came to this earth, becoming fully man and fully God, giving freely His life, taking the sins of the world on His shoulders, being nailed to a cross and being raised from the dead on the third day.  He showed true love, unconditional love.  Because of what Christ did, we can be forgiven.
Continue reading “Love and Forgiveness”

Marriage and Relationships

What does the Bible say about marriage and relationships?  I am no expert (if you want good, expert advice, try Focus on the Family or Family Life Today) and I have many flaws as a husband, but I try to follow what God says how to treat my wife and others.  I often fail, but I try.  I hope this post will encourage you, whether married or single.  God’s Word has much to say about relationships and I would like to share with you a few scriptures to help you be a better husband/wife, boyfriend/girlfriend or what to look for in one.  Marriage is a wonderful thing, created by God, so use wisdom, show love, be kind and honest, take your time, enjoy it, and always put God first and in the center of your life and your relationship.

Ephesians 4:25-5:5

Therefore, putting away lying, “Let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor,” for we are members of one another. “Be angry, and do not sin”: do not let the sun go down on your wrath, nor give place to the devil. Let him who stole steal no longer, but rather let him labor, working with his hands what is good, that he may have something to give him who has need. Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.

  Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.

But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints; neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks.

This scripture describes how to treat others and how to live.  I think these are good rules to live by not only in life but also in marriage (or other relationships).  If you are seeking a companion, does he or she have these characteristics?  My wife and I always try to live by these words, in particular to never let ourselves go to bed angry.  Whatever the argument or fight is, we talk it out and resolve it that day (even if we may still not agree), but “never let the sun go down in our anger.”  Never let anything fester.  Also, we must always show grace.  Remember how much our Lord forgives us.  We should apply that to others, especially those we love.

Let’s see what Paul and Peter have to say about our roles as husbands and wives and what responsibilities God has given us in our marriages.

Ephesians 5:22-33

Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything.

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church. For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones. “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church. Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.

Men and women have specific roles.  We are equal in a relationship, but we have different roles.  The man is the spiritual leader of the home.  Christ needs to always be the center of the home.  We must love our wife unconditionally and care for her, putting her needs above our own.  We need to protect and be an example for her.  We must be willing to make sacrifices, to give our life for her. The woman is to honor and respect her husband.  Follow his example and be sure that he follows in the ways of the Lord.  Submission does NOT mean a dictatorship.  Jesus is a servant leader.  That is how a husband ought to be.  The best way to be respected is to be respectful.  Remember, we need each other, we compliment each other.  We support each other.  We love each other.

1 Peter 3:1-9

Wives, likewise, be submissive to your own husbands, that even if some do not obey the word, they, without a word, may be won by the conduct of their wives, when they observe your chaste conduct accompanied by fear. Do not let your adornment be merely outward — arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel — rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God. For in this manner, in former times, the holy women who trusted in God also adorned themselves, being submissive to their own husbands, as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord, whose daughters you are if you do good and are not afraid with any terror.

Husbands, likewise, dwell with them with understanding, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers may not be hindered.

Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be courteous; not returning evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary blessing, knowing that you were called to this, that you may inherit a blessing.

Husbands and wives both need to remember that love goes deeper than just what is on the outside. We love the person, not just the beauty on the outside, but more importantly what is on the inside, WHO they are.  Again, the example of your character will help your spouse to be a better person and a better husband/wife.  If one goes astray, the other can help to bring them back.  If one is not a believer, your testimony may draw your spouse to Jesus Christ.  If you are single, you want the person you will spend the rest of your life with to believe as you believe.  If your spouse is not a follower of Jesus Christ, there will be tension in your relationship.  Find someone who trusts in the Lord and who seeks to have the character of Christ.

2 Corinthians 6:14-16

Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God.

One last thing.  My advice for any marriage is that you never use the “D” word, not even as a threat, no matter how angry you get no matter if you mean it or not.  God hates it.  My wife and I vowed to never even speak the word in our house.  Ever.  A marriage is not only a vow between two people who love each other, but also a vow with God.  It is binding, “till death do us part.”  A marriage is something both need to work at.  Both need to keep the vow.  Let no one or no thing ever come between you.

Matthew 5:27-32

“You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell.

“Furthermore it has been said, ‘Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.’ But I say to you that whoever divorces his wife for any reason except sexual immorality causes her to commit adultery; and whoever marries a woman who is divorced commits adultery.

Matthew 19:3-6

The Pharisees also came to Him, testing Him, and saying to Him, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for just any reason?”

And He answered and said to them, “Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.”