Joel 1:13, 15 Weep And Mourn

Put on sackcloth, you priests and mourn; wail, you who minister in before the altar. Come, spend the night in sackcloth, you who minister before my God; for the grain offerings and the drink offerings are withheld from the house of God. Alas for that day! For the day of the LORD is near; it will come like destruction from the Almighty. Joel 1:13, 15

Destruction of Judah was imminent. The enemy was already closing in on the nation and God was ready to destroy the nation. All of the people had chosen to walk away from God and follow other gods, no longer did the nation follow God. After many warnings, God chose to destroy the nation. Now, Joel is calling all the people to weep, mourn and fast. The destruction would be great, because it would be brought on by God.

Although Judah had been destroyed, and Israel has been restored, there is still a great destruction coming soon. There is a time coming when Jesus will return to end all life on this planet. The planet earth will be destroyed.

When that time comes every person will be divided into one of two groups. One group, who has chosen to follow Jesus, will be changed and brought to heaven for eternal life. The other group, who chose to reject Jesus will be condemned in hell for eternity.

No one knows the day or hour when that will happen, but everyone can be sure it will happen. All the prophecies of Jesus have been fulfilled so far, so that there is  no reason to doubt this will not occur also.

As a believer, this news is a bittersweet message. On one side it tells you that you will be going to heaven to live for eternity with God. On the other side it also tells you that billions of people will be destroyed and condemned for eternity.

Take a look around you and notice how many people do not know Jesus as their own personal Lord and Savior. Most likely, it is the majority of people. Even if it is a few, you should be weeping and mourning for those who are lost. Weep and mourn at the destruction that is coming.

Now, because it has not happened yet, go out and tell someone about Jesus. Spread the gospel message to all, so that all may be saved from the coming destruction.

I pray today that God will reveal to you the times you are in; that you will see those who need Jesus; that you will weep for those who need Jesus; and that you will be a witness for Jesus in this world.

Daniel 12:1-2 What Will You Arise To?

“At that time Michael, the great prince who protects your people, will arise. There will be a time of distress such as has not happened from the beginning of nations until then. But at that time your people–everyone whose name is found written in the book–will be delivered. Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake: some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt.” Daniel 12:1-2

Daniel is given one last final vision of the end of everything. There is a period of extreme distress and turmoil, such as never been seen before. Once that is done it is the time when Jesus returns and everyone is raised up for the final judgment. Those whose names are in the Book are raised to eternal life, while the rest are condemned to eternal contempt.

Most human being lives as though he is finite, that this world is all that they can or will ever know. They live for today and today only, rarely thinking about tomorrow or extremely far into the future. Those that do think about tomorrow are usually thinking about investments, retirement or vacations, not eternal life.

It is easy to understand why most people don’t think about eternity much, all people die, appearing to be at the end. The human body is finite, but the spirit never completely dies once made.

When Jesus returns, someday in the future, every person that has died will be raised from the dead and then will be judged. Those who have their name in the Lamb’s Book of Life, the book Jesus carries, those who have repented of their sins and follow Jesus, will be raised to eternal life. It will be an enjoyable life for eternity.

Those who do not have their names in that book will also be raised for judgment. They will also have life for eternity, but it will be one of condemnation and contempt. God will be set against them and cast them into the lake of fire for eternity for punishment. The punishment is for refusing to accept God’s offer for life, and to refuse follow and serve God with their whole lives.

What does your future hold? Is it one of eternal life with God?

Or is it one with eternal contempt, away from God?

You can choose to follow Jesus today and have eternal life in your future.

I pray today that you will serve Jesus with all of your life; that you will turn from all sin to follow God and His ways; that your name will be written in the Lamb’s Book of Life; and that you will be a witness to others to lead them to Jesus. 

Revelation 6:16 The Wrath Of God

“They called to the mountains and the rocks, ‘Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb!'” Revelation 6:16

In John’s vision he saw a time in the future where the scroll was opened up by Jesus, the only One who could open it. As the scroll was opened up there was great disaster and destruction done to the earth and everyone on it. The scroll was the wrath of Jesus being poured out upon the earth.

For the last 2,000 years, at least at this point in time, Jesus has been patient with mankind. He has reached out in love and mercy to draw all people to Him. Yet, many have rejected Him. Others have claimed to follow Him, but did not. Others have cursed His name.

Jesus had died an extremely painful death on the cross for every person and yet many do not want to follow Him. His anger against people who are like that will be great.

Think about the times when someone has done wrong to you. How angry do you get? If you are like most people, it is very angry. You want vengeance for the wrong done. you want the person punished.

God is no different. There will come a time when God will punish every person for the wrongs done to Him. In all the wrongs done to you, none is so great as what has been done wrong to Jesus. He gave His life for you and every person. What more could He have given.

In the future when God’s wrath will be poured out, all mankind would rather die than be in the way of that wrath. It will be a time that is unparalleled in history. Nothing will ever have been like it.

To avoid the great wrath of Jesus, you must be willing to follow Him with all of your life. Accept what Jesus has done for you and given you.

Along with that, pass that information on to every person you meet. Do you really want to see others go through His wrath? That is the whole of the gospel message. Jesus does not want to punish but to save, but if He has to, He will punish.

You do not want to go through His wrath.

I pray today that you will serve Jesus with all of your life; that you will accept what Jesus has done for you; that you will tell others of what Jesus has done for them; and that God will show His love and mercy on you.

1 Peter 4:7 Alert And Sober

“The end of all things is near. Therefore be alert and of sober mind so that you may pray.” 1 Peter 4:7

After Peter talks about how the world will live in sin and the believer is not to live that way, he brings up the end being near. He was there when Jesus had left the earth and had stated that He would return soon. Peter is most likely thinking that Jesus will be showing up any day now. Now that it is nearly 2,000 years later, how much closer is that end?

Keeping in mind that the end is near, he tells believers to be alert and of a sober mind.

Being alert is knowing what is going on around you. It is easy to be awake and see stuff, but it is different to know what is actually going on. Turn on the news and you can see what is happening around the world. However, that is just the surface of what is happening.

A good example is watch a movie with a good sounding story line on the surface. Underlining that story is the desire to promote some particular sinful habit as acceptable. One who is alert will see that subliminal message being promoted.

Along with being alert, one must also be sober. This is thinking with a clear mind. It is easy to let the moment cloud the real truth. Peter had also talked about going through suffering as a good thing. One who is not sober will only see the challenges and suffering as bad. The one who is sober will see that God is in control and has a reason for the suffering to be allowed.

Living this way will allow you to pray correctly. You will be able to pray God’s will in every situation. When you see the news, you will know what really needs to be prayed for.

Stay focused in God’s Word and in prayer. Keep your eyes on Jesus. Be filled with His Holy Spirit. These are ways to keep you alert and sober. It will change how you see things and how you pray.

I pray today that God will open your eyes to what He is doing; that you will see the deception of the world; that you will be filled with God’s Spirit; that God will help you to pray His will and desire; and that you will live according to God’s ways and be His witness.

Matthew 24:4 Don’t Be Deceived

“Jesus answered: Watch out that no one deceives you.” Matthew 24:4

The disciples asked Jesus what sign there will be of the end and His return. Jesus starts out with telling them to not be deceived, then He proceeds to tell about some of the signs of the end.

As you study the end times prophecies, you must always keep Jesus and His Words at the forefront of everything. It is very easy to be deceived.

How many times have you purchased a product online that looked and sounded great, only to see when you get it that it was really just junk?

There are catalogs out there that promote some décor object that looks really great in the pictures. You forget to read the fine print. When it arrives, this great looking décor is so small you almost need a microscope to see it. You put it on a shelf and cannot see it again. You were deceived.

As the end times get closer there have been wars and rumors of wars, earthquakes, famines and other signs. Along with these signs, there have been people who have claimed to be Jesus Himself. Others try to change the meaning of His return and claim He really is not coming. While others completely deny Jesus altogether.

Over the years you may remember various times when someone made headline news about the day the world will end and God will reign. Each of those days have come and gone.

When Jesus returns, everyone will know. No person will have to be told that He has come.

Each day you see the signs of the end of time coming, you must remember that God is still in control. Jesus is waiting for the right time to return. No matter how bad it gets, God is patiently in control, waiting to send Jesus back.

Do not worry about what is going on. Stay focused on Jesus. Stay immersed in the Bible. Be filled with His Holy Spirit. Do not let the fears of this world consume you and deceive you.

I pray today that God will fill you with His peace; that you will know that God is in control; that you will know in your heart that Jesus is coming again; that you will spend time spreading the news of Jesus to everyone you meet; and that God will use you to build His kingdom.

Revelation 22:20 Come Soon

“He who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming soon.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.” Revelation 22:20

John finishes the vision he has of heaven and the future with Jesus stating that He is coming soon. This will mean different things to different people.

The world will look at that statement and ask when will Jesus come. It has been nearly 2,000 years since this statement was made and He has not come back yet. According to the world, if He has not come back yet, He will not be returning.

Why would anyone wait over 2,000 years to return when he said it would be soon? God is patient. He loves every person in the world and wants every person to be saved. God does not want to punish anyone. For God, time does not mean much. He is outside of time. This makes it possible for Him to say soon, while waiting for more to be saved.

God is also merciful. He knows that when Jesus returns there is no more hope for salvation…either you are saved or you are lost forever. Jesus wants to give everyone a chance to come to Him.

Others in the world will also look at this statement and have fear. In their heart they may know the truth and reality of who Jesus is, but they do not want to accept it. The devil is trying to fight the idea that Jesus will return. It will mean destruction and loss of the battle forever.

As the Apostle Paul was torn with the thought of going to heaven to be with Jesus and stay on the earth to reach out to more people, every believer should feel this way. Every believer must be torn with wanting to be with Jesus and wanting to reach out to more people.

Look around you and see all the lost and hurting people who do not know Jesus. You are the one to be the witness to them. Yes, Jesus is coming soon. Keep that in the front of your mind. Now go out and let those in the world know about Jesus and the salvation He provides.

Do not allow, to the best of your ability, for another person to pass you by who has not heard about the salvation Jesus provides. Bring as many people with you into heaven as you can. Do not hog all of heaven and its blessings to yourself…share it. Salvation is for every person. Then, look forward to the return of Jesus.

I pray that today God will give you peace of mind that He is in control; that God will open your eyes to the lost around you; that God will give you the words to speak as a testimony to the lost; that as you look forward to the return of Jesus you will continue to work at building His kingdom; and that you will keep your eyes open for the return of Jesus.

2 Peter 3:10 Destruction

“But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare.” 2 Peter 3:10

Here, Peter talks about the return of Jesus. He describes a little of what it will be like. The first thing is that His return will be like a thief in the night. If you knew when a thief would strike, all you would have to do is be ready at the time he will show up and catch him in the act. Up to that time you would not even have to be ready.

The problem is that no one knows when the thief will come. Since you do not know the time of the strike, you must watch and be ready at all times. Many people have alarm systems on their homes to alert them of a thief or unwanted person. These alarm systems work 24 hours a day, 7 days a week never stopping.

In this same way of being alert and ready for the thief you must be ready for the return of Jesus. There will be no advertisement stating the date and time of His return in advance. There is no alarm system that will work. It will be very quick and if you are not watching, you will be caught not ready.

Along with the return of Jesus will be the destruction of the world. Everything you see and have purchased over time will be destroyed. All the physical things you have worked hard to obtain will be destroyed. With this destruction everything that has been done will be laid out open to be seen.

The pride of obtaining large homes will be seen; the failure of value in accumulating great wealth will be seen; fame and fortune will be seen as of no value; and the hearts of sin behind all actions will be exposed. The only things left will be the souls of men and women. These are left for God to judge.

Where are you setting up your treasure? Where is your wealth? Is it in the things of this world that will be destroyed or in God? What are you waiting for: better economic times or for the return of Jesus? Are you waiting for your ship to come in or are you waiting for your Saviour to return?

I pray that today God will help you to be ready for His return; that God will guide you in how to live for Him today; that you will store up your treasures in heaven; that you will daily watch for the return of Jesus; and that God will give you His peace about His return.