We gaze around at the world today and see many horrible things happening that make many say we surely must be in the last days, or end times. According to the Bible the “last days” started when Jesus was born. So, we definitely are in the last days. Do you know the next prophetic event on God’s calendar is the rapture of the church? It is, and no one knows the date or time. But, as we see events waxing worse and worse we can be certain that we are headed in that direction, and it seems to be at a very fast pace.
WHAT IN THE WORLD IS GOING ON?
Wars wage every where in the world. Abject poverty plagues millions of people. The weather seems to give us a new twist daily. It wasn’t that long ago that super storm Hurricane Sandy plowed into the New York, New Jersey area and left hundreds homeless, and terrible destruction that will take months if not years to repair. We’ve seen several winter tornadoes in our country lately also. Blizzard conditions buried the East Coast last weekend, cancelling hundreds of air flights and stranding many people on roads that were impassable. The Sandy Hook shooting took the lives of so many innocent children. Several earthquakes have shaken different parts of the world. The economy is terrible and millions of people are not able to find jobs in this country. Some have even given up looking.
When we look at the world stage we see North Korea testing nuclear bombs. They are actually thumbing their noses at the USA. They are working toward a small nuclear bomb that they can attach to an ICBM and send it to the USA. Wouldn’t that be a horrific thing? Iran wants to develop a nuclear bomb also, and they have stated that they want to wipe Israel off the face of the earth. They hate Israel, God’s, chosen people. Iran tests long range missles also, and if they get a bomb, it could be launched by a ship toward the USA. It seems there is danger every where we look. The terrorists still try to disrupt things in many areas of the world. Assad of Syria is killing his own people. Egypt overthrew Mubarak in the Arab Spring and now are presently ruled by the Muslim Brotherhood. Israel has enemies on all sides. Are we near the end of the end times? It certainly looks and feels like it. All this makes us stop and think, “What in the world is going on?”
It seems to me that things are working up to a crescendo where something major is going to happen that will shake the world. Does it seem that way to you?
POPE BENEDICT XVI SHOCKS THE WORLD AND RESIGNS
Just this week Pope Benedict XVI resigned effective February 28, 2013. Have you heard of that so-called prophesy by the Irish bishop St. Malachy who lived in the 12th century? He has supposedly predicted the line of popes to come and the next one according to him will be the last pope and will be called Petrus Romanus, (Peter the Roman.) He will supposedly lead the Church through many tribulations, concluding with the last judgment.
“Is “Malachy’s” prophecy legitimate? Probably not. The consensus among modern scholars is that it is a 16th-century forgery created for partisan political reasons.” (quote from Catholic Answers)
Do I think this is something we should take seriously. No, not at all. This was a mystic who made these predictions and they have not all come to pass as he said. This is not anything Biblical. So, don’t be concerned about this, but it is interesting. In reality God is in control and is sovereign over everything, even the popes. It is possible that the next pope could be the last one, but that is entirely up to God, not this mystic who wrote the prophesy. In fact, even some Catholics don’t take this seriously. Click on this link to read more. Catholic Answers
NOW FOR THE GOOD NEWS!
Well, the bad news is really, really bad, but do you know what? The good news is really, really good! Now, I want to ask you a question. Are you ready? I mean, are you ready if these are the last of the last days? Have you made your peace with God? Are you rapture ready? Do you know what the rapture is? Well, according to the Bible it is a time when Jesus Christ will snatch the true church away to meet Him in the air.
1 Thess. 4:17 Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord.
Only true born-again believers will go on this journey. Our bodies will be changed and we will receive glorified bodies. After the rapture great tribulation will prevail on earth such as never been before. After a time (7 years) Jesus Christ will return to earth again to set up His Kingdom. And we will come with Him.
You see if you are a true believer in Jesus Christ, then you don’t have to worry. No matter what happens God will take care of you, and you will still have your home reserved for you in heaven. But, on the other hand, if you are NOT a true believer, then you should be shaking in your boots. We never know when our life on earth will come to an end. When that does happen there are only two possibilities: you will go to heaven and be with Jesus Christ, or you will go to hell where you will be in agony forever. There is not any other option. Some people say when they die they will just die and be put in the ground and that’s the end of it. Not true! Don’t believe that lie.
Another thing I want to point out. “Getting saved,” or being “born-again” is not like a lot of people think. I’ve been in churches where the pastor gives an alter call and says something like this, “If there is anyone here who does not know Jesus Christ as their personal savior, then come forward and receive Him now.” He wants you to get up out of your seat and walk down the aisle then they might have someone pray over you for your salvation. That’s not it folks. Other times, they ask if you have some physical or emotional need, if so, then come forward and receive Christ. Sometimes they will ask the audience to raise their hands if they want to accept Jesus into their hearts. Then they lead them in the “sinner’s prayer.” Do you know that the “sinner’s prayer,” is not to be found in the Bible? It’s just not there! Don’t let someone, pastor or otherwise, manipulate you into “receiving Christ as Savior.” That’s not how it works!
So, you may ask, “How does it work?” “What do I have to do to be saved and be rapture ready?” I believe the very first thing you must do is realize that you truly are a horrible sinner. Does that shock you?
The Bible says, in Romans 2:23, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”
Every single person on this planet has sinned. No matter how good you think you are, and no matter how many good things you have done in your life for others, you are still a sinner in need of a Savior. In fact, because of Adam’s sin we are all born into sin. We inherited a nature that sins. So, the first thing would be to take a good look at yourself.
2 Corinthians 13:5, “Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith: examine yourselves!…
If we seriously and honestly examine ourselves we will see just how unholy and wicked we really are.
God is holy, holy, holy, and he cannot look upon sin. So, in order to approach God you must be washed clean. If it weren’t for the cross none of us would ever make it to heaven. What Jesus did was all important.
Rom 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
You see because we all have sinned we all deserve death and hell. Because God is just we would have to be punished for our sin. But, God was gracious and merciful to us and found a way that we could approach Him. He sent His only begotton Son to die on the cross, and take the wrath of God on Himself that we deserved. This last sentence isn’t heard much today. Yes, He took on the wrath of God that we deserved. It was horrible! He suffered terribly, and then He died. He did that out of love for us. Would you do that for someone else? After that He actually rose from the grave and received a glorified body. That is what we also have to look forward to. What He did for us is beyond words. He took on what we deserved and gave us the peace and eternal life that we didn’t deserve. What a Savior!
We are to examine ourselves to make sure we are in the faith. Are you? You need to take time right now and examine yourself. Do you know for sure that you will go to heaven when you die? Are you rapture ready? You’ve got to be sure. If you have believed some “easy believeism,” that’s popular today, then you need to confess that you made a mistake. You want to be sure! The Bible says, that God doesn’t wish for anyone to perish and go to hell, but for all to come to the place of repentance.
2Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.
Here is Jesus’s own words:
Luke 5:32 “I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.”
Repentance means to turn from something and go another way. Turn from your sin! Go God’s way! Examine yourself. Repent of your sins. Confess to God that you are a hell-bound sinner and need to be saved. Fall on your face before a holy God and cry out, “Have mercy on me a sinner!” Plead with God to accept you into His family. Then turn the reigns of your life over to God. Let Him be the Lord of your life.