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Last week we played the recording of Duncan Campbell’s testimony of the Lewis Island revival. I want to thank you for your tremendous response to this. It has been overwhelmingly positive. My prayer is that it will move us to seek the same kind of revival.
Before revival comes there is usually the threat of God’s judgment. It seems that God must bring pain upon a nation for its sins before it will wake up and turn back to God. You may say that these sins are not our sins as Christians. That may be true but we were called, as Christians, to be salt and light in our communities. When we fail to stand up for God’s righteousness in our communities, when we fail to speak out and proclaim God’s truth in our communities, when we fail to tell our communities what is right and wrong, what is moral and immoral, what is righteous and unrighteous, God holds us accountable.
We have talked about a few of these sins in the past. The one that so overwhelms me, that grips my heart is the sin of killing our unborn children. How can God just wink His eye and do nothing in the light of such a terrible sin? I think God is going to hold us responsible for this sin and for others such as homosexuality.
I think we, as Christians, need to see what is coming. God is going to be bringing pain upon our nation. I believe that we are already seeing the pain of God’s judgment. We are seeing economic pain, the pain of natural disasters, and now the pain of terrorism through Islam. This is why we talk about Islam so much on our broadcasts. Jehovah God is allowing this ideology to grow around the world and to grow among us in our own nation to bring judgment if we don’t repent.
Islam’s stated purpose is to bring us under the domination of Islam. It is time we start believing them when they say this is their goal. Those of you who listen to our broadcasts and who read this blog know these things.
I believe we are approaching the end of this age. Every time I address this subject I get emails from some of you saying that my eschatology is messed up. My only reply to you is that when you take a literal view of the Scriptures you arrive and an eschatology (doctrine of future things) like what I am going to talk about now. A literal interpretation does not ignore or deny allegorical language. When Jesus says He is the door, we don’t look for a latch and hinges. We understand that it means we must come to God through Him.
When we take a literal interpretation of the Scriptures, the next major prophetical event is the Rapture. You may say that the word “rapture” is not in the Bible. That is true, but neither are a lot of other words we use to express a given doctrine. The word “trinity” is not in the Bible but we know it means that God is three in one. The definition of rapture is found in the Bible. The word “rapture” means to be caught up, either physically or figuratively. 1 Thessalonians 4:17 says that those who are in Christ will, one day, be caught up or raptured out of this world.
The Bible tells us that after the Rapture there will come a time of tribulation. We have even name this period of time “the Tribulation.” It will last 7 years and will be divided into two parts. The first 3 ½ years is called simply a time of tribulation and the second 3 ½ years is called the Great Tribulation. At the end of the Tribulation Christ will return with His saints to defeat the Antichrist and to set up the millennial kingdom. This is the second coming of Christ to the earth. At the end of the 1,000 years Satan will be released for a short period and will be defeated by Christ and cast into the Lake of Fire. Then comes the final judgment of the lost who will join Satan in the Lake of Fire for all eternity. After this will come the new Heaven and the new earth.
After a careful study of the Scriptures this is the eschatology I believe is correct. I know I will get emails from some of you who disagree with me on this, but this is what my study has led me to believe.
In Matthew Chapter 24, which is called the Olivet Discourse, we find some things that will happen before the end of this age. Most of those who follow a literal interpretation of the Scriptures believe that these things are going to happen just before the Rapture and the Tribulation.
Verse 7 says, “For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.”
We see these thing going on now.
Verse 8 continues “All these are the beginning of sorrows.”
All of Matthew 24 is answering the questions, “, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?”
I suggest that in verses nine and following we see what will happen just before the Rapture. If I am correct on this persecution is coming for Christians.
Verse 9 says, “Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake.” He is talking to Christians here. It doesn’t make sense that the Christians would be raptured and then return to earth to be afflicted and killed. This leads me to believe that we will still be here when these events happen. I know that there will be people saved in the Tribulation, but Jesus uses the word “you” and is speaking to church age saints.
If I am right, look at what is going to happen according to Matthew 24:9-13. Affliction will come, many Christians will be killed, we will be hated of all nations, many will be offended, many will betray others, there will be much hatred, there will be many false prophets who will deceive many, iniquity will abound, and the love of many will wax (become) cold. Finally, those who will endure to the end will be saved. Saved from what? They will not be saved from Hell because, if they are true Christians, they are already saved from Hell. Those who are still here at the end of this age will be saved from the Tribulation. If the things described in this passage occur before the Rapture we, as Christians, need to be prepared for persecution.
No matter what your eschatology may be you cannot deny the truth of 2 Timothy 3:12, which tells us that those who will live godly shall suffer persecution. Notice the word “shall.” The use of this word means that it is a certainty. If you are going to live a godly life and stand for the things of God, you will suffer persecution. This is something you can take to the bank. It will happen.
What do we see happening in North America today? For many years those of us in the U.S. and Canada have enjoyed freedom from persecution because our nations used to honor God and honor those who lived according to God’s Word.
This is not so today. Times have changed. God has warned us what will happen if we live a proper Christian life, a life of godliness and obedience to God’s Word. The normal Christian life will result in persecution, in hardness, and in affliction. We have already seen one of these warnings in 2 Timothy 3:12. Here are a few others:
2 Timothy 2:3
2 Timothy 4:5
In North America we, as Christians have been able to live pretty much without persecution. This is changing, is it not? Those of you in Canada know a little more about this because the laws in your nation are less tolerant that those in America. Americans be warned, it is coming here too.
My concern is that Christians will not stand up under persecution because there is too much preaching that says God does not want His children to suffer. Too few preachers warn us of coming persecution and too many preach only positive, uplifting messages.
I wonder how many who profess to be Christians really are. Look at how little they are willing to give to the service of God. Many don’t even go to church on a regular basis. They think it is asking too much to expect them to come to the Sunday evening service. After all, the ball game is on. Surly they shouldn’t be expected to be there on Wednesday evening. They complain if the message goes beyond 12 o’clock, after all they have to get to lunch.
Look at how pampered Christians are today, and how little they are willing to give for the cause of Christ. We are not even facing real persecution and yet coming to the house of God to worship Him is too much to ask of many modern day “Christians.”
How many would go to church if doing so would put them in danger? What if going to church meant that if you were caught you would be killed? Suppose you were in church and someone opened the door and threw in a bomb, and as you ran out to escape someone outside was waiting to shoot you? Would you take the risk of going to church? This is happening in Nigeria today.
Would we have the same courage to go to church as those in Nigeria and other countries with the threat of death hanging over our heads? With all of the “prosperity” preaching, the “name it and claim it” attitude, I doubt that we are prepared for what is to come. Sometimes the material blessings of God keep us from living the true Christian life which brings us the spiritual blessings of God.
I think it is time we wake up. It is time that we realize that being a Christian costs something. Salvation is free, but living for Christ will cost in this evil world.
If you were listening to the testimony of Duncan Campbell you saw what the people were willing to give up so they could experience revival. They gave up their time. They spent hours and hours in prayer and listening to the preaching of the Word of God. The services did not end “on time.” They would go way into the night, sometimes not ending until the wee hours of the morning. We complain if the preacher preaches over 45 minutes. For some even that is far to long.
Our Christianity is shallow to say the least. It is time we start preparing for the difficult times ahead because they are coming. What are you willing to sacrifice to see God bless us with Heaven sent revival?
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