We Know How it Ends!

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Well, here we are, study mates!  It’s the last lesson of our study, Why Israel Matters.  We’re closing out 11 weeks of in-depth study of Israel, end times and the return of King Jesus.  Let’s finish on a high note!

The good news is that we have read the Book (God’s Word) and we know how it all ends!  We have cause to celebrate, and reason to rest in God’s sovereignty and love.  He guides us every step of the way if we will only heed His voice!  Yesterday we reviewed signs of the times and dove into Scripture that tells us how to live in these last days.  Today, we’ll return to God’s Word for words of encouragement.

But when these things begin to take place, straighten up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.
~Luke 21:28

Friends, we are long past seeing signs “begin to take place.”  A huge sign occurred May 14, 1948 when Israel was re-born, and argument can be made that there were signs before that.  Nonetheless, the signs did not suddenly begin a short time ago…they have been present for a while.  Therefore, the urgency is great.  We can confidently straighten up and lift our heads, knowing our redemption could occur at any moment!

Do this, knowing the time, that it is already the hour for you to awaken from sleep; for now salvation is nearer to us than when we believed. The night is almost gone, and the day is near. Therefore let us lay aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light.
~Romans 13:11-12

Our salvation (redemption of these bodies from this earth) is near!  The night is almost gone and the day is upon us, thus we must be awake!  Our Lord is coming for us, and He will take us to a home He has spent almost 2,000 years preparing!  Hold fast, dear friends.  Our time is coming!

Now, the very theme verses of the ministry, Looking for the Blessed Hope:

For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men,instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus.
~Titus 2:11-13

Indeed, the grace of God appeared, and it brought salvation and taught us to live.  Now, we look expectantly for the Blessed Hope…the rapture that puts us face-to-face with Jesus!  It’s coming!

Just as the Jewish people must invite the King home (Matthew 23:39), we (the Bride of Christ) join with the Spirit to say, “Come!”  (Revelation 22:17)  Jesus’ response in Revelation 22:20: “Yes, I am coming quickly!”

 

PS: To those with whom I have shared the study table, thanks for following.  I pray you are blessed and will share what you know with others.  Though our official study together is done, I invite you to continue to follow as I teach, relate current events to God’s Word, and provide interesting information from Israel each day.  Many blessings!

The King Awaits His Invitation

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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!)

Israeli Air Force: Taking Care of Business in Syria

Western intelligence sources said there was an attack on an Iranian military compound, located about 10 miles south of Damascus.

Reported Israeli attack on Iranian base in Syria (SANA via AP)

Following detection of “irregular activity of Iranian forces in Syria,” the Israeli Air Force wasted little time taking care of business.  About one hour after President Trump’s announcement that America will pull out of the Iran nuclear deal, the IAF attacked a Syrian military facility occupied by Iran.

The military compound is believed to have housed a stockpile of Iranian missiles.  Additionally, at least nine military personnel, including perhaps a high-ranking Iranian general, were killed in the attack.

So, what are we to think of these developments?  Here are some thoughts:

  • First and foremost, God is in control!  Things are not falling apart, they are falling into place.  As Christians, we have read the book…we know how it ends!  The prophets of old told us what to expect in the last days and we are seeing the pieces fall exactly into place.  No need to fear…our God is on the throne, and we can trust Him.
  • Secondly, Iran has been dealt severe blow after severe blow and is not likely capable of launching a full-on offensive against Israel on its own.  Though we don’t hear much of it in the news, the Iranian economy is crumbling and the people of Iran have been protesting in the streets of most Iranian cities for weeks.  Furthermore, since the Iranian drone incident (an armed Iranian drone shot down in Israeli territory), Iran has suffered major attacks in Syria, including destruction of the significant T4 base, as well as others.  To add insult to injury, the Mossad sent a “we know your every move” message when they waltzed out of Tehran with Iran’s “secret” (though not really secret!) nuclear plans.  Iran is currently beat down and in need of assistance to mount any kind of game-changing challenge to Israel.
  • Yes, the action in Syria may heat up once again, but Israel is serious about its “red lines,” and has vowed not to allow Iran to establish military presence in Syria in an effort to destroy Israel.

Believers, we must continue to put current events into the context of Scripture.  We must not live in fear, but in expectation of our redemption drawing near.  (Luke 21:28) As we look for the Blessed Hope (Titus 2:13), we can be certain of the crown of righteousness that awaits those of us who love His appearing! (2 Timothy 4:8)

Meanwhile, we have work to do!  It is time to:

Rather than get caught up in the hype, let’s fix our eyes on Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of our faith!  (Hebrews 12:2)

Franklin Graham Addresses another School Shooting…Indeed, the Devil Smiles

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Another school shooting.  According to one source, there have been 17 incidents so far in 2018 where guns have been fired in schools or colleges…and we’re not even 7 weeks into the new year.  At least 6 have resulted in victims being wounded or killed.  I don’t know if the statistics are exact, but that’s not the point.  The point is that ONE is too many.

It happened again in Florida on Wednesday.  Blatant evil is rampant…and the devil smiles.  Take a look at this post by Franklin Graham:

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Indeed, the devil smiles when evil seems to triumph.  These are signs of the time and the season in which we live.  In 2 Timothy 3, the apostle Paul told us that in the end, difficult times will come:

But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good,treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power.

I’m saddened and heartbroken each time I hear of such incidents, and as I consider the familie who suffer because of them.  But dear friends, God’s Word has warned us of these very things.  These are birth pangs, and signals to us to be ready for the soon return of our King.

If evil such as this does not motivate us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus (Titus 2:12-13), then I don’t know what will.  Are you ready for His return?