Tag Archives: Jesus’ return

Ready to Die?  Really?

ID-100180787Several years ago, there was a pastor who was having difficulties in his ministry—so much so, that he was moving to another ministry.  At that particular time, we were at a highpoint in our ministry.  I remember one of our children saying, “How can they be so excited about leaving?  I’d die if we had to leave our ministry.”  About three years later, we found ourselves in a similar situation, and that child’s words came back to me.

At the time of the opening scenario, we were fulfilled, prospering, moving forward.  Yes, there were difficulties—there are always difficult moments in any occupation.  (My personal opinion is that they are multiplied in any ministry situation because our enemy more aggressively attacks any progress for our Lord.) But we knew that we were right in the center of God’s will, and we were content to be there.

Three years later, God allowed circumstances which made it nearly impossible for us to stay.  There are several lessons to be learned:

  1. Could I understand the feelings of the other pastor and his family before going through the same circumstance? No, I could sympathize with them, but until I went through that struggle, I didn’t fully understand it.  Now, for any of you who are ministry people: Do know that, Lord willing, you will never go through every trial which your people have to face.  That doesn’t mean that you can’t minister.  We are only the messengers for the Great Comforter!  He has the answers!  Praise the Lord.  But it is true that we can empathize better having gone through trials ourselves.

Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God. 2 Corinthians 1:4

TRIALS STRENGTHEN US AND MAKE US BETTER MESSENGERS FOR JESUS CHRIST.

  1. When the trial comes, God WILL give you the grace to go through it. Before we went through the trial, we couldn’t really understand God’s grace upon that pastor and his family, but their testimony prepared us for “our turn!”

And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 2 Corinthians 12:9

IT’S GOD! IT’S GOD! IT’S GOD!

If you think you can do it apart from the grace of God… well, all I can say is, “Wow!”

  1. Are you ready to die? This is not a salvation post, but as two different suffering women have been recently placed on our prayer list: a pastor’s wife and a missionary’s wife—BOTH AROUND MY AGE—I was very rebuked for thinking that I was ready to die.  I often told the Lord that I was ready for the battles to be over.  I would glibly say, “Yep!  I’m ready to go!”  Yes, I love my husband, and children, and grandchildren, and mom, and all our family and friends, but I truly felt that if the Lord wanted to take me, I was ready.  But as I’ve prayed for these women and their families, and it has become intercessory prayer—putting myself into their place—I’ve realized that I don’t know what I’m talking about!!!

Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge,shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing2 Timothy 4:8

EVEN SO, COME LORD JESUS!

THAT is what I’m ready for—I want Him to return.  I want the battles to be over.  I want all my loved ones to enjoy heaven and the millennium together.  I’m NOT ready to go it alone, BUT if I listen to my own words, I can rest in the fact that if that is His will for my life: that I meet Him in 2016—He will give me the grace to bear it!

I hope that is half the encouragement to you that it had been for me!  Life—it’s worth the living!  Live it for Jesus!

For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. 1 Corinthians 13:12

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Why I Wrote “A Moment in Time”

BookCoverImage A MomentA Moment in Time is really the prequel to Angel of Light the second book it the Strong Delusion Trilogy. If you are familiar with what the Bible has to say about Jesus’ Second Coming, you will know that the phrase “strong delusion” is taken from 2 Thessalonians 2:11:

And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion,

that they should believe a lie:

2 Thessalonians 2 deals with the details of Christ’s return and the appearance of Antichrist.  Many of the Thessalonians feared that Christ had already returned, and Paul writes to assure them that He had not returned, giving some insight into the scenario of our Lord’s return which still calms our hearts today and keeps us looking up!  So what does Paul tell them?

  1. He warns them to be careful of deception (v. 3)
  2. There will be a falling away before Jesus returns. (v.3)
  3. The Holy Spirit will be “taken out of the way.” (v.7)
  4. Antichrist will be revealed. (8.)
    1. He will be powered by Satan (9)
    2. He will perform signs and wonders. (9)
    3. The unsaved will be completely deceived (10)

Paul then mentions that God will send them, the unsaved, strong delusion, “that they should believe a lie.”  So all this takes place after Antichrist is revealed.  The final result concerning those “who believed not the truth” is stated in verse 12:

That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

Who is Paul talking about?  He tells us: The people that didn’t believe the truth. In order to not believe, they had to have heard the truth of the Gospel and rejected it.  Paul even gives us the reasons that they rejected the truth: unrighteous or sinful pleasures.

Ever since I read the Left Behind series by Time LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins, I have been burdened about the authors’ interpretation of these verses.  In their books, they clearly put forth the idea that people who heard the Gospel before the Rapture, but did not truly receive Christ, would have an opportunity to do so after the Rapture.  Many believe this doctrine.  But what if these verses say what it sounds like they say?  What if someone who is playing games, sitting in a church hanging onto a “profession” that he or she knows was not genuine, is living at the time of the Rapture?  What if a prayer was said that never changed the heart?  What if the decision was made for a logical reason: I don’t want to go to hell, but the truth never reached the heart to change the life?  I’m afraid they will suddenly find themselves caught in Satan’s web of deception and will not be able to get out!

We cannot see into someone’s heart.  My husband often says that there are only two people that truly know if a person is saved: that person and God.  It reminds me of Mary and the cloud of doubt that surrounded Jesus’ birth.  How many people truly believed that her conception was by the Holy Ghost? Surely even Joseph may have doubted, but Mary KNEW and so did God!

A Moment in Time is based upon the conclusion that someone who heard the Gospel but did not truly receive Christ will be impossibly deceived when the Holy Spirit is taken from the earth at the time of the Rapture, and in His place, the spirit of Antichrist will pervade the earth. So much so, that they will not be saved.

Are you concerned about someone whose profession does not seem genuine?  Perhaps A Moment in Time could be a help to bring the truth to light.  Throughout the book, Carrie Spangler, the pastor’s daughter, convinces herself that she truly is saved.  At first, she KNOWS that she didn’t mean what she prayed.  The circumstances surrounding her conversion were completely man-led not Spirit-led. But as time passes, the lie solidifies in her mind.  Her life is a lie because of the “pleasures of unrighteousness” that have taken hold of her life.

Is Carrie a bad girl?  Not really.  She reminds me of so many of our young people in our churches today! She is playing a deadly game.

My prayer is that God will use A Moment in Time to open the eyes of anyone who is deceived, before it is too late! Take a look at the book and tell me what you think!

 

 

How many are left? About 500…

inside stradivarius bestThat’s how many Stradivarius violins still exist today. Born in 1644, Antonio Stradivari is now known as the best luthier (someone who makes or repairs stringed instruments) of all times; and if you plan on buying one, you’d better have several million dollars in your pocket!

What makes the Stradivarius violin so valuable?  First, it is the quality of the instrument. “His interpretation of geometry and design for the violin has served as a conceptual model for violin makers for more than 250 years.” (Smithsonian, Seriously Amazing) Many luthiers have copied his design, but there is still only one crafter by that name, and that signature is invaluable!

Secondly, there are so few that have been preserved throughout history.  Stradivari himself made around 1,100 instruments, including harps, guitars, viola, cellos, as well as violins.  Whenever there is a lesser amount of anything, the value increases.

So what’s the point?  In Luke 18:8, Jesus asks the question,

“…  Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?”

It seems like an odd question to us, especially when so many people believing that His return is imminent, including me!  We look around and see “Christianity” all around us.  We hear broadcasts on the radio, read blogs 🙂 , see many churches, and it seems as though faith is plentiful.  Is Jesus returning soon, and will there be a lack of faith when He comes?

Matthew Henry gives us this insight into the verse: “Now, when he comes, will he find faith on the earth? The question implies a strong negation: No, he will not; he himself foresees it.” Those of the faith will be rare when Jesus comes, and I wonder if all that we see labeled “Christian” really has anything to do with Jesus Christ at all? Truly, pure, unadulterated Christ-likeness has already become rare!  In fact, it might be a good idea to describe it:

A man or woman of faith – faith in Jesus Christ:

  1. Places his faith in Christ alone; ie. The church and any actions performed by the church have NOTHING to do with salvation: Christ alone saves.
  2. The fruits of the Spirit are clearly evident:
    1. Love not hatred, prejudice, bigotry, or any other form of the word
    2. Joy not sorrow or sadness, depression, constant moodiness or discouragement
    3. Peace not anxiety, unrest, angst
    4. Longsuffering not vengeance or impatience
    5. Gentleness not boldness, or obnoxious behavior
    6. Goodness not evil, or wicked acts of any kind
    7. Faith not doubt or fear
    8. Meekness not pride, arrogance or assertiveness
    9. Temperance not impatience, indulgence or excess
  3. Even though good character is a quality of a man or woman of faith, good character is not faith.
  4. Every sin is “under the blood,” but constant habitual sin does not characterize a true believer.
  5. Believers love to be with other believers.  When someone tells me that he is a Christian, but he doesn’t like to be with other believers or go to church, I have to wonder.

So much of what is happening in the realm of fundamental Christianity is just the opposite of what it should be.  Many are “jumping ship” and throwing in the towel, tired of the fight that Jesus Himself promised would be ours:

For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

Ephesians 6: 1215418r2Nce819a12e2458523048b8c715c068797

Now to you, dear soldier of Christ, I want to offer this note of encouragement. Stand fast, and you are rare and of great value!  Be strong in the Lord, and your worth is limitless!  Stradivari made great violins, but YOU are made in the image of God! Fight the good fight of faith, and rejoice in the fact that our Lord and Captain will issue the final blow; and when you stand before Him, He will say those coveted words: “Well done, thou good and faithful servant…”Matthew 25:21