The King Awaits His Invitation

Image result for why israel matters

Hold on to your hats, study friends, as we’re taking a whirlwind ride today!

Recall that after Jesus lamented over Jerusalem, He proclaimed they will not see Him again until He hears “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord.”  (Matthew 23:39)  Jesus, a gentleman, is not going to barge on to the scene, but rather will wait for that special invitation, signaling His people are ready to receive Him.

But, before we get there, let’s talk briefly about the immanency of His return.  This week’s study is focused on the return of Jesus to His people.  That occurs after the tribulation, which means at least 7 years after believers in Jesus are taken out by rapture.  Thus, while we see signs pointing to that, we must be reminded that our departure via the rapture is indeed very imminent.

Here are some signs of the times, some of which will happen before the rapture, some of which will happen later.  All of which we see lining up right now!

  • Prophetic signs of Jesus.  Example: Matthew 24 warns of false messiahs, wars and rumors of wars and natural disasters, all of which have greater prevalence now than ever before.
  • Prophetic signs of Paul.  Try reading 2 Timothy 3:1-5 where Paul leaves a laundry list of moral failures that characterize the last days.  We’re living in that time!
  • Prophetic signs of Isaiah.  There are many, but perhaps none making today’s headlines more than Isaiah 17:1, indicating the destruction of Damascus.  How much longer can Damascus stand?  Almost the entire city is destroyed right now.
  • Prophetic signs of Ezekiel.  It is likely no one needs to remind you that the Ezekiel 38 coalition of forces that will attack Israel is now firmly in place on Israel’s northern border.  The stage is set.

Luke 21:28 says:

But when these things begin to take place, straighten up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.

The King is coming, and He is awaiting the Matthew 23:39 invitation.  However, I believe there is another invitation that pleases Him also.  It is found in Revelation 22:17:

The Spirit and the bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who wishes take the water of life without cost.

This is a wedding scene where the Spirit of God and His bride (believers!) join together in a chorus of “Come!”  Can you even imagine what heaven will sound like when God brings His family together as one to wed His Son!

It doesn’t hold a candle to it, but perhaps the imagery in your mind is kindled with this:

 

Indeed, the grandest wedding celebration of all time will occur when God establishes His family and brings us all together in fulfillment of the Davidic Covenant…the Millennial Kingdom!

Meanwhile, we keep looking for the Blessed Hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ (Titus 2:13)!  (That is the topic of our last week of study together, so be sure to stick with us!)

Inviting the King Back

Image result for why israel matters

So, what is it?  What must happen in order for Jesus to return?  If you have missed the past few days of our study together, scroll back to Monday and start there!

One fateful day, on His way to the cross, Jesus lamented:

Image result for mt 23 37-39“Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were unwilling. Behold, your house is being left to you desolate! For I say to you, from now on you will not see Me until you say, ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’”
~Mathew 23:37-39

His lament was not because of what He would face, but because His people missed the time of their visitation (Luke 19:41-44).  Jesus came as Messiah, and His people missed it.

Now, He must be invited back!  He must hear the words: “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!”  (In Hebrew: “Baruch haba b’shem Adonai!”)

But, press the pause button for a moment.  We’ll circle back to that idea tomorrow, but let’s end with these thoughts today…

Each covenant has something associated with it.  Circumcision is associated with the Abrahamic Covenant, the law (10 Commandments) is associated with the Mosaic Covenant and the cross is associated with the New Covenant.  But what is associated with the Davidic Covenant?

Turn to Revelation 22:16 and Revelation 2:26-28 for clues.  Jesus makes it clear in Revelation 22:16 that He is the Root and Offspring of David, the Bright and Morning Star.  Obviously, we’re associating the morning star with the Davidic Covenant, but that’s not all I want you to see.  If we back up to Revelation 2:26-28, we get quite the surprise.  There, we are told those who are obedient to the end will be given the morning star!

Need another clue?  Let’s go to 2 Peter 1:19.  Where will the morning star arise?  Yes…in our hearts!  (Those of us who believe and trust in Christ.)  Jesus, the Morning Star, is once again including all believers (Jew and Gentile) in His special promises!  The Davidic Covenant is not just for Jews!  In fact, when Jesus returns to rule and reign from Jerusalem, Revelation 3:21 tells us we (Jewish and Gentile believers in Christ who were raptured prior to the tribulation) will return with Him and will sit on the throne with Him!

Oh, my Morning Star…can you believe it!?!  The Bright and Morning Star will arise out of Israel to destroy the enemies of God and usher in the Davidic Kingdom!

Can we give a shout of praise!!!

So, study friends, that’s the nugget for today.  But remember, we pressed a pause button!  Tomorrow we’ll release that button and tie this all together.  Be sure to join us!

Week 4: Beyond the Horizon

Image result for why israel matters

Welcome to week 4, friends!  We’re engaged in a study called Why Israel Matters, and this week we will focus “Beyond the Horizon.”  What happens here on earth once the rapture occurs and Christians are beyond the horizon?  God will turn His attention back to His plan for the Jewish people, but difficult times are in store.

To recap God’s plan of the end, we’ll turn to a diagram I’ve used before.  Take a look:

Plan of the End

A full explanation of the diagram is found here, but for today’s discussion, suffice it to say that we are living in the Church Age and the next event is the rapture!  What follows, however, is the tribulation…the final 7 years of God’s plan for the Jews.  Based on Scripture, what should we expect during that time?

In regard to the tribulation, Revelation 17-18 describe the rise of the false prophet and the Antichrist to lead what we call today One World Religion and One World Government (or One World Order).  In fact, while THE false prophet and Antichrist have not yet been revealed, the spirit of the two are at work (and have been at work) in our world.  But take heart!  God says:

I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, “My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose.”
~Isaiah 46:9-10

Though God will always occupy His throne, this world will be given over to evil for a season.  Revelation 17-18 (in the thick of the description of the tribulation) identify “Mystery Babylon” as the “mother of all harlotry,” and we know the domain of the false prophet (One World Religion) and the Antichrist (One World Government) will ultimately be destroyed.  But not before wrecking havoc!

One World Religion will be a catalyst to bring about One World Government.  So, how close are we, and what does it take to bring about One World Religion?

Great question…and we’ll dive into that tomorrow!  Meanwhile, never lose sight of the fact that there is no one like our God and He will, indeed, accomplish His purposes!

See you tomorrow!

“What will be the Sign of Your Coming?”

Image result for why israel matters

Pull up a chair, friends!  We’ve entered into “Signs of the Times: Storm Clouds Rising,” week 3 of a our study, Why Israel Matters.  Yesterday, we discovered Jesus’ rebuke of Pharisees, Sadducees and the crowds who followed Him because, while they were so adept at discerning the weather, they failed to discern the signs of the times in which they lived.

Jesus’ disciples had relevant questions regarding the signs of the end.

As He was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things happen, and what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?”
~Matthew 24:3

Jesus told them the specific signs!  No guess work here.

  • The Temple would be destroyed (which it was, in 70 AD)
  • False messiahs
  • Wars and rumors of wars
  • Nation will rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom
  • Famines and earthquakes

Wow!  Sounds like what we see today…right?  False messiahs have existed since that time, there has hardly been a day in world history void of war, saber-rattling between nations happens constantly, and the frequency and severity of natural disasters (including famine and earthquakes) are at all time highs.

Those are the signs Jesus said we would see!  We are living in the time and season Jesus described as the end times.

But…before we get too carried away, remember NO ONE knows the day and hour the rapture will occur.  (Matthew 24:36, 50, Matthew 25:13, Mark 13:32, Luke 12:46)  Yet, false prophets have incorrectly predicted the day for years:

 

Before we end the day, let me very briefly address the latest craze that turned out to be false prophecy: blood moons.

There are several big name “prophecy experts” who proliferated the false idea that the four blood moons (“tetrad”) of 2014-2015 were to result in the rapture.  Yet here we are in 2018…still on this earth!  The false theology was based on the mention of blood moons in Joel 2:31.  The problems are many-fold, not the least of which:

  • It is a single verse taken out of context, and
  • The verse also references the sun going dark (yet that part of the verse was conveniently disregarded)

Dear Christian friends, be diligent to discern the truth of God’s Word.  Be a Berean!  Study to discover what things are true.  (Acts 17:11)  Do not be deceived by false doctrine.

We’re back for more signs of the times tomorrow, so see you then!