Bible Top 1000

Before The Trumpet Sounds
[ Selected ]

We're living in days of violence, murder and bloodshed. There's a rapid acceleration in wars, famines and earthquakes. Some men's hearts are failing them for fear. The days grow darker and more evil.

Should the Christian be depressed and disturbed by these events? No! Concerned? Yes! But depressed? No!

Jesus instructed that when these things would occur during the "end-times", Christians were to life up their heads: "When these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh" (Luke 21:28).

This is the time to turn the heart and mind from the chaotic world situation and, while continuing to work to bring souls to redemption, to concentrate upon the glory soon to be revealed. We mustn't focus on the depressed state of affairs around us, but set our hearts and affections upon the coming Bridegroom from heaven.

We're instructed to "love His appearing". Paul testified, "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 appeareing" (2 Tim. 4:8).

Some people are well versed in the doctrines of the Second Coming, but are they loving His appearing? Jesus judged the church at Ephesus unfaithful in respect of losing their first love (Rev. 2:4). May our hearts be perpetually overflowing with that pure, unadulterated "first love" for Christ, our returning Bridegroom.

The beloved apostle John wrote: "But we know that when He shall appear, we shall be like Him: for we shall see Him as His is. And every man that hath this hope in Him purifieth himself, even as He is pure" (1 John 3:2-3).

Christians living in constant readiness for their returning Lord, examine their hearts regularly to make certain they're "purified, white and clean". We must constantly resort to the fountain of Christ's blood. Nothing must be permitted to stain our garments or spot our spiritual robes.

Jesus also indicated in His parable of the ten virgins (Matt. 25: 1-12), that we're to trim our lamps. The pathetic testimony of the foolish virgins was, "Our lamps are gone out." The foolish virgins had no oil in their vessels with their lamps, and when the bridegroom appeared, they were left outside the door---in the darkness.

This is "lamp trimming time"! This is the hour to examine our hearts and to pray and to be filled with the oil of the Holy Spirit. Have we been "born...of the Sspirit?" (John 3:5). Have we been sanctified by the Spirit? (1 Thess. 4:3). Have we been "filled with the Holy Spirit" (Eph. 5:18)?

The great need of the hour is for us all (Christians) to trim our lamps and diligently prepare for the certain and imminent return of Jesus. It's not too late to get right with God.

Grieve Not The Spirit

The Apostle Paul was addressing Christians when he said, "Grieve not the Holy Spirit of God" (Eph. 4:30). The context of this verse reveals ways in which we can grieve Him (verses 29-31). Let's consider some of these:

"Corrupt communication" covers a wide category of conversation. Exaggerating, gossiping, lying, dirty stories, slang expressions, "jesting," and "foolish talking' are corrupting influences in a person's life that will grieve the Holy Spirit.

"Bitterness" about anything or any person in the life of a saint is devastating. The Holy Spirit cannot function in His fullness in such a life.

"Wrath" is poison to the soul. Its fruits are animosity and resentment.

"Clamor" is usually the conduct of immature Christians. Bickering, quarrelling, contentious people, rule out the full function of the Holy Spirit in their lives

"Evil speaking" has a sharp, caustic note. It's not gentle in expression. The tongue of such a person is abusive and sometimes blasphemous in language.

"Malice" is a deadly foe of the Spirit-controlled life. To be spitefull and hold ill will is to notify the Holy Spirit that he is being substituted by an unholy spirit.

Let's take inventory. Honest hearts do not want to deter the work of the Holy Spirit...even to the slightest degree.

The Best Of Times?

By many reckonings, it appears to be the best of times in America: We enjoy a robust economy, reinforced by continually advancing technologies. At least one computer in every home, and a personal telephone on almost everyoneís belt. People are buying their 3rd and 4th cars. Our military is the most feared throughout the world. Indeed, in many ways, it seems like the best of times.

Judgment on the Horizon?

However, letís assess the State of the Union in the mirror of Godís Word. Homosexuality is accepted as simply ďan alternative lifestyle.Ē We murder babies that are socially inconvenient. We change marriage partners like a fashion statement. We have abandoned the sanctity of commitments in our families and in our businesses. Immorality and deceit have come to characterize the highest offices in our land; our politics have condoned and covered up more murders than we dare list. Our public enterprises have been prostituted to the convenience of the elite. Our mainline media takes pride in forming public opinion rather than informing it, which had been its sacred role in a representative republic. Our culture has disconnected character from destiny. Our entertainments celebrate adultery, fornication, violence, aberrant sexual practices and every imaginable form of evil. We have become the primary exporters of everything that God abhors. One of the major theological mysteries is why hasnít God judged America? The parallels in Bible (Cf. Hosea 4-14; Isaiah 5; et al) would suggest that it is long overdue. The only ostensible answer is our Father's "long suffering, not willing that any should perish," and the fact that there is still enough "salt" in America to withstand His angels of fierce judgment!

Godís Life Cycle of Nations

As we study the rise and fall of nations, there's a disturbing sequence throughout history. The sequence of nations, as observed by Alexander Tyler, 1750, follows a predictable pattern ďfrom bondage to spiritual faith; from spiritual faith to great courage; from courage to liberty; from liberty to abundance; from abundance to complacency; from complacency to apathy; from apathy to dependency; from dependence back again into bondage." It's hard to deny that we may well be at the zenith of that sequence. If you ask the average American what's the biggest problem facing our nation, Is it ignorance or apathy? He will likely answer, ďI donít know and I donít care!Ē

We're in desperate need of a genuine spiritual revival and we must begin with ourselves. God has declared an immutable principle:

"If my people, who are called by My name, will humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven, forgive their sin, and heal their land."
(2 Chronicles 7:14)

Notice that this isnít addressed to the Congress, or the Administration, or to the pagan left. It's addressed to His people, who are called by His name. It's the members of the Body of Christ that are standing in the way of what God would prefer to do in our land. A revival needs to begin with us.

Don't look to "Christ rejecting Israel."

God's Salt Shaker is not Christ Rejecting Israel
--- It is His Church!

For the signs of the times:
Look to the Church,

We must look at ourselves!