Penny and I trust that you and yours have enjoyed a fun and refreshing Day of Thanksgiving. Too much turkey, too much desert, but in truth, we would do it all over again. America, second only to Israel, is truly the most blessed nation on earth. It is blessed because it was founded on Christian principles, and it continues to be blessed for the same reasons. Make no mistake about it, the foundation of Christian values and principles that our nation was founded upon are under severe attack, and as the foundation continues to be eroded, the blessings of protection and abundance are suffering erosion as well. It is not that God is sending judgment, but rather, the chaos that we see in America is the result of pushing God out and welcoming the enemy in. Even so, heaven is not shaken, nor is God wringing His hands over the events that are now taking place. Jesus and the prophets put us on notice that certain events would take place. Some of those prophecies have already occurred, some are currently taking place, and others are still future. One thing is for certain, the Day of the Lord is close at hand, and with it will come justice, and when justice has been rendered, judgment will follow. As for the Church, we can be thankful that our benevolent Father is still pouring out Grace. “For Grace has appeared, bringing salvation to all men” (Titus 2:11). We who are in Christ can still trust Him and live wonderfuly abundant lives.
I recently finished teaching a brief overview of the Rapture of the Church and the second coming of Christ, which are to the surprise of many, two separate events. When I ask, “Who wants to be here when Jesus returns to earth, hands always go up, but trust me, or better still, trust in the promises found in scriptures, you don’t want to miss the first flight out when the Church leaves, because everyone who is left will have to go through the 70th week of Daniel, or as most Christians know that period of time, “The Great Tribulation.” Jesus taught in Mathew 24:32, “Now learn the parable of the fig tree: when its branch has already become tender and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near.” The fig tree is not only a symbol of Israel throughout scripture, but it is a historical picture as well. Summer is now upon us, and we know that the harvest always follows summer. The wake up verse is this, “This generation will not pass away until all these things (prophecies) are completed.” The prophecy that Israel would once again become a nation became a reality on May 14, 1948. Another prophecy of note is found in the Book of Ezekiel, chapters 38-39. This prophecy reveals that nations to the north of Israel, Gog and Magog, will attack Israel in an attempt to annihilate the entire nation and all of its people. Most theologians believe that the main players will be Russia, Iran, and Iraq, and to that end, it is interesting that Russia and Iran have already stationed their air-force and ground troops in Syria, next door to Israel. This is not a scare call, but it most assuredly is a wakeup call.
Over the next four weeks, we will focus our attention on the first coming of Christ, the anointed One! It is no wonder that the scriptures teach that His ways are not our ways (Is. 55:8). Who would have ever dreamed up a plan of salvation that would be vested in God sending His Son Jesus to be born of a young virgin girl; that He would become a man of sinless flesh who would one day die for the sins of the entire world? Not me, I would have dreamed of the promise we see of His second coming to the earth found in the Book of Revelation 19:11-16. We see Him there in all of His glory riding a white steed followed by His bride the Church, and myriads of angels. He will then enter Jerusalem through the Eastern Gate, bind our adversary Satan, throw the anti-Christ and the false prophet into the lake of fire, and rule and reign here on earth for 1000 years. The good news gets even better, for we will rule and reign with Jesus when He sets up His kingdom here on earth. Until, next Friday, abide in the Word, speak the Word, and trust in the Word.
NOTE: I intend to begin a New Testament Bible study in January. I have not fully settled on a particular Book at this time, so let us hear from you if you have a preference.
Don & Penny Griffin