Wednesday, March 23, 2016

It's Only Temporary

My heart is broken for Brussels this morning. All evidence in our world right now shows that evil is winning. What I'm reminded of this Easter week is that the same evidence showed on the night Jesus was crucified. BUT...It was temporary.

Three days later, Evil was defeated when the women went to Jesus' tomb and found that the stone had been rolled away and the tomb was empty! What they did not understand until later was that evil had not won, but indeed, Jesus was alive! JESUS WON. He is STILL winning. He is still on the throne, seated next to the Father, the very Creator of our world.

All evidence shows that evil is winning. Evil is in control. What I want to remind you of this Easter week is that it's only temporary. There is a day coming very soon when Jesus will return to this earth to claim his bride; those who have chosen to accept Him as their personal Lord and Savior. On that day, Evil will be defeated once and for all. Satan will pay for the havoc he's created as the prince of this world. Jesus will rule and reign on the earth as The King of Kings and The Lord of Lords. He will wipe away every tear from our eyes. He is ALIVE!

Evil may have its turn right now, and it's gut wrenching. However, Satan is only able to go so far. He is not in control, though it seems the opposite is true. Even though we see evil all around us, Jesus is still in our midst, cheering us on to be the light in this dark world, to be His hands and feet, to share the Good News that this is not the end! This is not all there is!

As I lay in bed this morning, praying, trying to distract my mind from the nightmares I had last night; thinking about the people in Brussels and all over the world who are being massacred and enslaved, these words from Jesus calmed my heart...

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” ~ John 16:33 (NIV)

I wanted to share with you what Jesus told the disciples when they asked him, "Tell us when these things will happen. How will we know what to do? What will happen to prepare us for your coming and the end of time?" So, I found the scriptures where Jesus tells us exactly what will happen as we near the time of His return. I say "us" because even though he was speaking to the disciples at the time, His Word is just as much for us today as it was for them. Even more so, as the Day draws near. I chose the Message Bible version. Please hang in there with me and read's important.

3 Later as he was sitting on the Mount of Olives, his disciples approached and asked him, “Tell us, when are these things going to happen? What will be the sign of your coming, that the time’s up?”

4-8 Jesus said, “Watch out for doomsday deceivers. Many leaders are going to show up with forged identities, claiming, ‘I am Christ, the Messiah.’ They will deceive a lot of people. When reports come in of wars and rumored wars, keep your head and don’t panic. This is routine history; this is no sign of the end. Nation will fight nation and ruler fight ruler, over and over. Famines and earthquakes will occur in various places. This is nothing compared to what is coming.

21-22 “This is going to be trouble on a scale beyond what the world has ever seen, or will see again. If these days of trouble were left to run their course, nobody would make it. But on account of God’s chosen people, the trouble will be cut short.

23-25 “If anyone tries to flag you down, calling out, ‘Here’s the Messiah!’ or points, ‘There he is!’ don’t fall for it. Fake Messiahs and lying preachers are going to pop up everywhere. Their impressive credentials and dazzling performances will pull the wool over the eyes of even those who ought to know better. But I’ve given you fair warning.

26-28 “So if they say, ‘Run to the country and see him arrive!’ or, ‘Quick, get downtown, see him come!’ don’t give them the time of day. The Arrival of the Son of Man isn’t something you go to see. He comes like swift lightning to you! Whenever you see crowds gathering, think of carrion vultures circling, moving in, hovering over a rotting carcass. You can be quite sure that it’s not the living Son of Man pulling in those crowds.

29 “Following those hard times,

Sun will fade out,
    moon cloud over,
Stars fall out of the sky,
    cosmic powers tremble.

30-31 “Then, the Arrival of the Son of Man! It will fill the skies—no one will miss it. Unready people all over the world, outsiders to the splendor and power, will raise a huge lament as they watch the Son of Man blazing out of heaven. At that same moment, he’ll dispatch his angels with a trumpet-blast summons, pulling in God’s chosen from the four winds, from pole to pole.

32-35 “Take a lesson from the fig tree. From the moment you notice its buds form, the merest hint of green, you know summer’s just around the corner. So it is with you: When you see all these things, you’ll know he’s at the door. Don’t take this lightly. I’m not just saying this for some future generation, but for all of you. This age continues until all these things take place. Sky and earth will wear out; my words won’t wear out.

36 “But the exact day and hour? No one knows that, not even heaven’s angels, not even the Son. Only the Father knows.

37-39 “The Arrival of the Son of Man will take place in times like Noah’s. Before the great flood everyone was carrying on as usual, having a good time right up to the day Noah boarded the ark. They knew nothing—until the flood hit and swept everything away.

39-44 “The Son of Man’s Arrival will be like that: Two men will be working in the field—one will be taken, one left behind; two women will be grinding at the mill—one will be taken, one left behind. So stay awake, alert. You have no idea what day your Master will show up. But you do know this: You know that if the homeowner had known what time of night the burglar would arrive, he would have been there with his dogs to prevent the break-in. Be vigilant just like that. You have no idea when the Son of Man is going to show up.
 ~ Matthew 24:3-8, 21-44 (MSG)

I know that was a lot to take in. But, we have a job to do. As Christians, we are the salt of the earth. We are the city on a hill. Our job is to bring as many people to Christ as we possibly can, and love them in the process. Not one of us is perfect. Not one of us deserves eternal life. But, because of what Jesus sacrificed for us; because he hung on the cross and bore the sins: past, present, and future, of every single person who would ever live on this earth, we have access to Heaven. Because He conquered death and rose from the grave, we have confidence in His return. He is coming, and he's coming soon.

What began as a nightmare last night has propelled me into a new call to action, not just for myself but for anyone who will listen. The temporary pain of what we are experiencing on this earth is just that...temporary. However, eternal life is not. Where you spend your eternal life is entirely up to you. We've been given free will to choose who we're going to serve. I don't want to see my family, my friends, the people I love, or any person for that matter, suffer an eternity in Hell. This is serious. This is urgent. Let's shift our focus back to the main thing, Jesus. He is the only One who can bring peace to our hearts as we walk out these days. And don't forget to look for the good in the midst of the chaos. The true gospel IS being preached all over the world, just as Jesus said it would be. But there are so many people who still haven't heard it. Who will answer the call with me? I hope every hand of the persons reading this will go up in agreement saying, "I will. I will answer the call." Jesus is the reason you're living today and he's called you for such a time as this.

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