Wednesday, April 11, 2012

The King's Business

And through his policy also he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by peace shall destroy many: he shall also stand up against the Prince of princes; but he shall be broken without hand. And the vision of the evening and the morning which was told is true: wherefore shut thou up the vision; for it shall be for many days. And I Daniel fainted, and was sick certain days; afterward I rose up, and did the king's business; and I was astonished at the vision, but none understood it.

The first familiar howl came from my right.  Having been in this situation before, it did not bother me.  However, when a coyote howled to my left and then another answered behind me things got a little scary.  I could tell they were close, and I had no flashlight.  Within just a few minutes it became apparent that there were four coyotes following me out of the woods in the dark. The truck was still a three-quarters of a mile walk ahead.  I had stayed out deer hunting just a bit later than normal and it was very dark when I started out of the woods.  Also, I was used to walking in the dark without a flashlight and had encountered single coyotes before, but having so many so near was unnerving.  Because I was focused on the coyotes and not the trail, I soon got lost in the dark and could not tell which direction I was heading in the small pines which were obscuring the sky.  Fear soon overwhelmed me.  

Stopping in the woods with the pitter-patter of their paws around me crunching the leaves and needles on the forest floor, I prayed!  I had been so focused on their noises and calls that I had not heard anything else.  Shortly after praying, I heard a car on the road behind me.  I had turned around 180 degrees and was heading deeper into the woods.  Turning around, I began to walk towards the car's noise until I could not hear it no longer.  I would then stop and wait for another.  Focusing on the cars going about their business, I was able to drown out the noise of the coyotes.  After listening to 4 different cars, I finally could see the road in the moonlight.  What a sight!

Daniel also had an experience which greatly unnerved him as well.  He was given a glimpse of the Tribulation period and the terror of the Antichrist's reign.  The vision of the agony those who will endure this time period so troubled Daniel that he became physically ill.  However, he did not let the fear cripple him.  Maybe he was like someone caught in a situation where coyotes are howling and the dark is blinding for a short while, but the prophet knew that GOD had the entire situation under control.  Rather than being immobilized and forever living in dread of the future, Daniel got back up and began doing the King's business again.  Surely, this was a part of the LORD's direction for one He trusted with such great revelation and insight. 

The Tribulation truly will be a time of outright horrors.  Even now we can see the events that show that it is near each day. Just today, many have been sharing the news of large earthquakes and fears of economic chaos in the future.  Others are so worried about the collapse of national governments into a unified world government that will destroy personal rights and liberties that they are living daily in great fear.  Truly the coyotes of despair are surrounding us and howling.  Stop!  Take a deep breath!  PRAY!  God is in control.  Listen for the sound of His voice give you direction.  Get back on task and be about the King's business.  There are many who need to hear your testimony of Christ and His great salvation.  Things are pointing to dangers ahead, but hold on.  Get your bearings and get back on the Lord's path of service for you.  Hold on!  Jesus Christ is Soon2Come!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Risking Salvation Until After the Rapture

For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth [will let], until he be taken out of the way. And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
2 Thessalonians 2:7-12

"If I miss the rapture, can I be saved in the Tribulation?" Anyone who has ever spent any time teaching on Bible prophecy has been asked this one question several times.  It is one of those questions that always bothers me.  What in this world are you putting off Christ for?  Why do you wish to gamble with eternity?  Why take the chance? Judas sold out Jesus for a months wages and earned his own special place of eternal destruction.  The temple officials of Jesus day chose vain religion over Messiah and lost their position and place of worship.  Pilate chose position over providence and lost it all.  So why would anyone risk the blessings and benefits of a relationship with God for the trinkets of this world?

People will be saved during the Tribulation, and  this is clear in scripture.  The LORD will anoint 144,000 super witnesses from the 12 tribes of Israel to share the gospel worldwide.  Furthermore, there will be two super prophets (one of whom I personally see as the Prophet Elijah returned) ministering in Jerusalem who will have a glorious anointing for ministry.  Then there will be those who are not Jewish who will daily risk their lives sharing the hope of Christ.  Finally, God even sends an angel to preach the everlasting gospel!  Yes, people will definitely get saved during the Tribulation.  God truly is not willing that any should be judged and destroyed for eternity.

And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters. 
Revelation 14:6-7

Having said that, there could be a problem!  The question is most often asked by people who have heard the gospel and have rejected it.  Their question basically is, "If I reject the mercy and grace of God, and then find that it is truth after the disappearance of the saints, can I then be saved?"  Again, it is important to see that this is a scenario where one has risked salvation to remain satisfied with this world.  They chose sin over the Savior.  There are many who have deeply studied prophecy that believe those who heard and rejected will not be able to turn to Christ in the Tribulation.  The verses above are the text often used.  

Notice verse 10, "And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved."  It clearly points to one that has heard the truth before the revealing of the Antichrist.  They did not love the truth; therefore, they decided to put off salvation. Jesus, by the way, is the truth as He revealed in John 14:6, "...I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me."  Rejecting truth is rejecting Jesus.  Verse 12 even adds more insight.  "That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness."  They willingly chose to reject the LORD Jesus Christ because they were caught up with the pleasures of this world.  As a result, "God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie (v.11)." 

The ramifications of these verses are staggering and serious.  One must remember that the Antichrist too will seem to have supernatural powers of persuasion as well.  His ability to make a lie appear as truth will be unmatched and unparalleled.  However, it is Satanic power and not holy anointing.  Did not Satan in the guise of a serpent deceive Eve in a garden of absolute perfection?  Why risk your own personal confrontation with such an evil deceiver in a time when his power is given free reign? 

At this point, I return to my original question; why take the risk and find out? Today is the day of salvation!  Now is the time to accept Christ.  What guarantee do you have of even tomorrow, let alone living after the church has been taken?  Don't put Jesus off another day.  Ask Him to wash your sin away and take control of your life now.  Remember, He is Soon2Come!

Seeing therefore it remaineth that some must enter therein, and they to whom it was first preached entered not in because of unbelief: Again, he limiteth a certain day, saying in David, To day, after so long a time; as it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts. For if Jesus had given them rest, then would he not afterward have spoken of another day.
Hebrews 4:6-8