Jesus said to His disciples at that time, 2000 years ago, “of that day and hour knoweth no man” (Mat.24:36). Why should people living almost 2000 years ago be concerned about the times of specific events of a far distant future in which they themselves would not be living? It wasn’t necessary for them to know!
But now that the End is almost upon us, the Lord has unsealed and opened His Word to us and given us specific, detailed, actual times–years, months and even days; accurate, exact mathematical statistics–so that we can know exactly where we are at on the timetable God has set for the return of His Son!
Just watch the news for the proclamation of a great Pact, a great religious Treaty between the world’s three great religions made by the Antichrist. From the day he makes the Pact, God’s Word tells us clearly it’s going to be exactly seven years till Jesus comes!
Why has the Lord revealed this so specifically and so exactly in His Word?–Because it’s going to be such a difficult time that we’re going to be counting the days!–And every passing day will bring us closer to the glorious end!
Did you know you can even be tempted sometimes to do good things? Not all doors of opportunity are of the Lord! Some of them can be tricks of the Devil, decoys, blind alleys, red herrings, side tracks and downright disasters put there by the Enemy to try to distract you because you are a potential threat to his kingdom! If he can’t stop you, he tries to keep you from doing the best thing, he tries to sidetrack you into wasting your time on something that he makes you think is good! The Enemy tries to distract your attention from the things you should be concerned about, so that you become busy with a little here and a little there until the most important thing is gone!
How are you going to know the difference between the voice of God and the voice of the Devil? Well, if the voice tells you to do something bad you now it’s the Devil! If it tells you to do something good, you know it is God! This is true also if the Devil tells you to do something good but God has told you to do something better!
So don’t let the Enemy persuade you from doing the best thing!–God’s best!
Love is the most important thing! That’s really the whole purpose for living, to love God and others.–And that means not just to win the lost ‘way out there, but to win brothers and sisters right here! The whole purpose for everything is love!
Some of our relationships are direct between us and the Lord, like praise and prayer and obedience, but most of them are relationships on a personal level with each other. And the main lessons we’re supposed to learn is to love one another. If we haven’t learned to work with others and how to love them and how to treat them, then we’re missing the major lesson of why we are here in the first place!
We’re not going to grow too much or learn too much unless we learn to have loving interaction with other people, and that’s not easy, it takes patience, love and humility. The Lord gave the simple key when He said, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” (Mat.7:12). It takes a lot of learning to learn how to carry that out–and a lot of love! But that’s what we’re here to learn!
Don’t you want to grow?–Then LOVE!
Bearing “fruit that shall remain” was a part of the Lord’s call! He intended for us to win souls and make disciples of all nations who will be able to carry on without us when the time comes!–To do that we must not only get them saved, but get them organized, get them together and teach them how to sustain and support and protect themselves after we’re gone!
The most lasting missionary works in the world have continued on in countries even now closed to the Gospel, where the natives were taught to carry on by themselves after the missionaries were gone!–While other Christian strongholds soon died out after the missionaries were gone for lack of strong native leadership!
If your present service for the Lord ended right now, what would be left that would last? How much would you have to show for all your years of labor? Have you taught your sheep to mature and become not only lambs, but ewes and rams who could bear fruit and carry on?–Or have you suffered so many things in vain? (Gal.3:4).
God sometimes has to destroy us or what we think we are or what we think we’re supposed to be in order to make us what He wants us to be. God only uses those who have been humbled, broken, melted, remolded and remade–vessels which were marred in the hands of the Potter and broken, that He may make of them better vessels. That’s the story of everyone who is any good at all for God’s Work!
But some of us want to be used just like we are. We don’t want to be broken. That’s one of the most tragic pictures in all human life: The picture of the man who says with “Invictus”–“I am Captain of my fate, I am the Master of my soul! My head is bloody but unbowed!” If the clay is soft and malleable it can be molded into a beautiful vessel. But if it hardens and becomes brittle, it can only break and become crushed in the hands of the Potter.
God only uses humble and broken people. “Humble thyself therefore in the mighty hand of God and in due time He shall highly exalt thee” (1Pe.5:6).
Sometimes we say, “Why hast thou made us thus?” But you see, the point is, if you give Him a chance, He will remake you!
So many people today say, “I’ll believe it when I see it!–Seeing is believing!” But that’s not the way faith works! To the Christian, believing is seeing! God wants us to trust Him and believe first of all and then we’ll see the answer. He puts us through that period of faith and believing and trusting to see if we really love Him and are willing to trust Him. He wants to see if we really have faith! He appreciates our faith to believe what we cannot see.
We can’t expect faith from God for our situation when we’re looking at the waves, looking at ourselves, looking at conditions instead of looking at God! Man says, “Tie up in port. Don’t attempt the impossible; you’ll sink!” God says, “Launch out into the deep! Cast forth your nets and I’ll give you such a draft there will not be room enough to hold it!” Man says, “Look at the condition of your vessel! You can’t do it!” God says, “Look at Me!” “With man it is impossible; with God, nothing shall be impossible, and all things are possible to him that believeth!”
“Keep your eyes on Jesus!
His promises avail!
Keep your eyes on Jesus!
His Word can never fail!”
What is God like? Some people picture Him as an angry God–an all-seeing eye carrying around a big stick ready to clobber them!–Or a cruel tyrant, some kind of a monster, who is trying to frighten everyone into Hell! But actually, He’s love! He’s a loving God who is trying to love everyone into Heaven! He’s so close, so intimate, so personal, so loving, so kind, so tender, so gentle, so concerned, and He’s waiting with open arms. The only reason He follows us around is that He’s hoping we’ll turn around and meet Him with open arms!
He never stops loving us no matter what we do. He never rejects us or withdraws His love. He always has hope for us no matter how far we’ve strayed. So if you feel far from God, maybe it’s because you haven’t opened your heart to receive His love and forgiveness! You need not continue to feel condemned for your mistakes and sins, only be sorry, ask for God’s forgiveness, and be forgiven! (Isa.1:18; 1John 1:9).
If you’ll even START God’s way, if you’ll just turn toward Him and start trying to find your way Home, the Father will come running toward you and receive you with open arms of love! (Luk.15:18-24).