Updated: Dec 14, 2020
With the downward spiral of everything in the world right now I'm feeling a sense of urgency. Not a panic, but a compelling nudge to take immediate, consistent, and intentional action. I want to make sure I am sharing with others what I know to be true.
Did you know that tonight at sunset [Friday, September 18, 2020] the Feast of Trumpets begins? The Feast of Trumpets marks the beginning of the Jewish New Year and is one of God's "moveable feasts" based on solar and lunar movements. The apostle Paul tells us in Colossians 2:16-17 that God's festivals and celebrations are a shadow of things to come through Jesus Christ. The fulfillment of feasts is a fascinating study by itself, but to sum it up, the first four of the seven feasts occur during the springtime (Passover, Unleavened Bread, First Fruits, and Weeks.) They all have already been fulfilled by Christ when he was here the first time. The final three holidays (Trumpets, the Day of Atonement, and Tabernacles) occur during the fall, all within a short fifteen-day period. To my knowledge they have not yet been fulfilled.
"And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other." Matthew 24:31
Jesus told us He will send His angels with a loud trumpet call, gathering His people from all the corners of the earth. Might that happen one of these years during the feast of Trumpets? Probably not. But it's certainly been sobering to think about! There are two groups that God loves - His people Israel, and His Ekklesia- the Church. Jesus was clear that it is not for the church to know the day or time He will come for us. Just the season. And the feasts of Israel will all be fulfilled by Him—FOR ISRAEL. There are many times "trumpets" are sounded in God's Word. When the feast of Trumpets is fulfilled it will be fulfilled for Israel.
So here's what I do know:
Yes! Jesus truly did come down to live on the earth and die in our place. And yes! As crazy as it may seem to you, He IS coming back again. And before He sets foot on the earth again He will gather His people to Himself. Over 2,000 prophecies were fulfilled in His first appearance on earth, and there are even more prophecies about Jesus' second coming and the end of days.
If you are new to God's Word, let me explain a little bit about "Jesus gathering His people to Himself." Jesus promised that before He comes back to actually stand on the earth again, there will be a time when He "gathers up" His church from the ends of the earth to meet Him in the air. [It is often called "The Rapture" which was derived from the Latin verb 'Rapere,' the latin Bible translation of the words 'to carry off,' or 'to catch up.']
Think of it— The dead in Christ rising first. Then Christ-followers who are alive—talking or laughing one second, and suddenly snatched away to meet Jesus the next! The first time I heard about this, it seemed so unreal! I thought of friends out for lunch and two of them suddenly disappearing. Or a husband waking to find his wife is no where to be found. Or cars stranded on the highways—and airplanes falling from the sky as Christian pilots disappear. What a crazy time that will be! People disappearing all over the world at the same time. I wonder what the media will say about it! And I can tell you with certainty that you don't want to be here to find out! Once Christians are gone, the world will experience God's wrath in ways we can't even imagine.
The point is, Jesus IS coming back to gather His church! For real. In an instant. Gone! So when will this happen?
From Matthew 24:
“But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left. Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left.
There are so many wild ideas about all this flying around through the airways right now! Some people even set dates—but Jesus clearly tells us in Matthew 24 that we will not know the exact date or hour He is coming to gather us. We are simply told to recognize the season and be ready—to watch for "birth pangs."
Matthew 24 says,
"While Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately. “Tell us,” they said, “when will these things happen, and what will be the sign of Your coming and of the end of the age?” Jesus answered, “See to it that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name, claiming, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many. You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. These things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pains."
It seems the "birth pangs" are getting closer together and intensifying right now, doesn't it?
Paul tells Timothy:
"This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, truce-breakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, high-minded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away." (2 Timothy 3)
I'm also recognizing these things happening in this season.
“Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near. Even so, when you see all these things, you know that it is near, right at the door. Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.
A prophecy that Israel would once again becoming a sovereign nation was fulfilled in 1947. Many Bible scholars believe that marked the beginning of the "generation that will not pass away until all there things have happened." So if those scholars are correct, we are truly approaching the end of the age. If not, we keep living our lives in a way pleasing to the Lord.
“Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him." From Matthew 24
In 1 Thessalonians Chapter 5 Paul assures us that His coming will seem like "a thief in the night" to those who do not know Him, but to God's church it will not be a surprise if we are awake and sober.
"Now, brothers and sisters, about times and dates we do not need to write to you, for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. While people are saying, “Peace and safety,”destruction will come on them suddenly,as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape.
"But you, brothers and sisters, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief. You are all children of the light and children of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness. So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be awake and sober."
Was this written to scare us? Absolutely not! It was written so that it will not be a surprise to us when He comes back.
So let's read His Word, stay alert to the signs of the times,
and stay focused and do what He told us to do—
Love well! Be grateful, and enjoy the life He has blessed us with!
I Thessalonians continues:
"For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, get drunk at night. But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet. For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. He died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with him. Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing."
Are you encouraging people?
Are you sharing what you know about God with others?
Maybe each of us be found faithful!
*** Do you know Jesus? Do you really know Him or do you just know about Him? If you are not sure, please know that He died for you! And you can KNOW FOR SURE that you will be with Him throughout eternity.
Not "hope you can," not "question if you could" He tells us these things so that you may KNOW! FOR SURE!
"And this is that testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life. I have written these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life. And this is the confidence that we have before Him: If we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we already possess what we have asked of Him."
Are you willing to admit to Him that you cannot live a perfect life on your own? Will you release all your angst to Him—the good, the bad, and the ugly? Our Father God loves you so much just the way you are! He runs to you! Through His very own Son's death He offers you His grace—His undeserved favor—His free gift of Life forever with Him. And with that gift comes His forgiveness, His joy, and His peace inside your heart no matter what the circumstance.
Your precious life is your unique story. Be sure to acknowledge God in your story so you live with Him forever! And if you do this, be sure to tell someone!
Please contact me if you have questions or if you'd like me to pray with you.