Thursday, November 20, 2014

The Olivet Discourse, Applied

Life of Christ 161

          It is Tuesday afternoon. Jesus will die tomorrow afternoon. He and His Apostles are sitting on the Mount of Olives discussing the end of the world. Literally. From this story (Matthew 24 and 25) known as the Olivet Discourse I offer you three brief observations.
          First, the best thing to do with the Tribulation period is to skip it.

Mat 24. 21  For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.
22  And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.

          Several years ago I studied the book of Revelation extensively. The majority of it covers the events of that awful seven year period. A quick survey reveals John discussing the following list of events during this time: -the four horseman of the apocalypse (the antichrist, war, famine, death), together they kill ¼ of humanity; -millions will get saved after the Rapture and millions will then be martyred; -God will show His face to earth (earthquakes, a blackened sun, a reddened moon, and falling stars will follow); -one third of everything green will be burned up; -one third of the sea will turn to blood; -one third of fish will die; -one third of ships will be destroyed; -one third of fresh water will be poisoned; -a demonic scorpion swarm will be released from hell, it will target a different city for 150 nights; -an army of 200 million demons will slaughter humanity by the billions for exactly 391 days and one hour; -open war breaks out on Earth between Satan and God; -all must worship the antichrist and receive the mark of the beast; -this mark must be accepted in order to buy or sell anything; -sores fall on those who receive the mark; -the rest of the oceans turn to blood; -the rest of the flowing fresh water becomes undrinkable; -the sun becomes exponentially hotter; -an unnatural darkness covers the beast's capitol city; -the biggest earthquake in world history occurs; -the great city Babylon is smashed to bits; -…and then comes the enormous slaughter known as Armageddon.
          I say again, the best thing to do with the Tribulation period is to skip it. You do not want to be on Earth. How do you skip it? By casting yourself in faith at the feet of Jesus and pleading for mercy now. Do not wait. Make sure you are saved now.
          Second, we ought to always be looking for the Second Coming.

Matthew 24.42  Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.
43  But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up.
44  Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.
Matthew 25. 13  Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh. 

          For us, as the Church, this all begins with the Rapture prior to the Tribulation period. And there is no warning. It is imminent. We are to think of it and look for it constantly. God designed it this way specifically so that in so doing we will adjust our lives accordingly in holiness.
          Third, let us make good use while we can of the talents God has given us. Scripture shows us that rewards come for those using their talents in His service (Matthew 25.19-21) and judgment comes on those who do not. Every person reading this has God-given talents. You also have a God-given choice – serve yourself and your own agenda or serve Him. By all means, do not put off this decision. He could literally come at any moment.
He is coming back. This is just as sure of a fact as that He came the first time. It will be much better to be coming back with Him than to be on Earth. And it will be much better to have served Him than to have served yourself.

          Beloved, let us live in the light of the Second Coming. Let us serve God while time remains. Let us trust that He is coming no matter how badly things may look at the moment.

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