Jesus Is Coming

Jesus Is Coming<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />

We have been given the privilege of living at the particular time in the history of the world when there is much trouble.  Greece, Turkey, Spain, Italy, and Portugal, as well as other nations, have economic systems which are failing and in danger of going bankrupt.  There are riots in England.  The U. S. has a government that has recklessly and radically increased its debt to such an extent that it is borrowing nearly half of ALL of the money it spends.  There are those in high places in government who believe that "European Style Socialism" and Keynesian economic theories are the exact right policies to follow.  Seemingly ignorant of what policies in Europe have resulted in, the government of the U.S. continues on the path of borrowing trillions of dollars to spend more money to pay for programs that are not working - trillions of dollars!  The very word "trillion" is almost incomprehensible to most people.  If one had started spending one million dollars a day when Abram left Ur of the Caldees and lived long enough, and continued to spend one million dollars every day through the day you are reading this, that one would not yet have spent one trillion dollars.    Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary says that it is "a very large number."  Actually, a billion is one thousand million. A trillion is one thousand billion – one thousand followed by nine zeroes (1,000,000,000).  Another way to put it would be 10 to the 13th power!
There are nearly 10% of the people of the U.S. unemployed.  When one considers those who have given up looking for work, the percentage of people unemployed rises to an estimated 18%.   Nearly 1 in every 5 people are without full time permanent employment.  The policies of our government have resulted in large numbers of businesses leaving the U.S.  Indeed, the President's "Jobs Czar" has recently announced that he is having G.E. move a multitude of jobs to China!  Politicians are debating every single day about policies and plans that can be implemented to correct the situation, to "right the ship of state" so to speak.  The policies of the present U. S. administration have prohibited drilling in known oil reserves in Alaska, the Gulf of Mexico, as well as other off-shore drilling, conversion of oil shale into usable oil, and discouraged the exploration and development of other energy sources at the very time when we need to be developing the means to become free from the dependence on foreign energy sources.  Many have approved homosexuality and so-called "gay marriages", the continued murder by abortion of an estimated 1.5 million little people per year, and the rapid rise of a drug culture that seems to have taken over Mexico and threatens this country also.  There has been a total failure to prevent illegal aliens from entering our country (the operable word is illegal) or to do anything about the millions who are already here. There is a seeming obsession with the allowance and promotion of ungodliness and strong opposition to the preaching of the Gospel of Christ and the call to repent and return to God.
Unless God's people repent and pray and seek the Lord's face, there will be no change.  We are told in Proverbs that "righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people."   It is the Lord God that changes a nation, not the politics of political groups and/or governments that change a nation.  Isaiah says:  "Look to Jesus, and be saved."  Commit your way to him.  Surrender your will to Christ in every matter.  Ask Him to help you and all of His people.  Call on Him who came to seek and to save those who are lost and to give His life a ransom for many.  Jesus came to save His people from their sins.  He did that by the voluntary surrender of His own life - actually becoming sin for us and dying on Calvary's cross, an agonizing and excruciating death to pay for our sin.  The Bible says that He actually became the propitiation for our sin and for the sin of the whole world.  His shed blood is the most powerful cleansing agent in the history of the world.  It cleanses us from all sin.  He was crucified for our sin and was raised for our justification and has told us that He is coming again.  There are many who do not believe this.  It doesn't matter whether they believe that it is true.  For it is truth, whether they believe it or not.  God cannot lie!  Jesus is truth itself!

        Jesus told His followers that in the last days there would be great deceit, for "false Christs and false prophets" will arise and "deceive many" to such an extent that even the elect will be deceived, if it were possible. Jesus told them (and us) to take heed that no one deceive you.  Why?  Deceit always looks like the truth.  Therefore you must know the truth to be set free of sin and deceit.  Jesus is Truth!
        Jesus told His disciples "Let not your heart be troubled.  You believe in God believe also in Me" John 14:1.  In other words, do not allow yourself to be troubled!  Do not allow yourself to be deceived!  Jesus also said "I go to prepare a pace for you, and if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to myself that where I am you may be also"  John 14:1-3.  it is reported that in the first century in Israel when a man became engaged or "espoused," he went to his father's house to build on to his father's house one (or more) rooms for him and his bride.  After the rooms were completed, the bridegroom went again to get his bride, marry her, and bring her to himself and his father's house and the place he had prepared for her.  The Church is the Bride of Christ. (Rev. 21)  Jesus has gone to His father's house to prepare a place for us (for you) to be His Bride, and to be with Him where He is.  He has promised that "I will come again and receive you to myself.…" 
        When Jesus departed the earth after His resurrection He told Hs disciples again that it was not for them (or us) to know the times or seasons I.E. the specific years or dates of His second coming for them (us).  That is a matter that the Father has put in His own authority.  While His disciples watched, Jesus was taken up and a cloud received Him out of their sight, but two men appeared to them in white apparel (apparently the angels which spoke to Mary in John 2) and told them that "This same Jesus…will come again in like manner".  The writer of the letter to the Hebrews states that "we must give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard lest we should let them slip, for if the word spoken by angels was steadfast and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompense of reward, how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation as was spoken unto us by the Lord?" 
The Way of Escape:  Jesus
        Thus, we see that even though we are in troubling times, we are not to "let" our hearts be troubled. Jesus has gone to prepare a place for us and He is coming again to receive us to Himself.  However, for all that the Father has given the Son, that is all who have surrendered their will to Him in repentance and placed their trust, or faith, in Jesus alone, they have passed from death into life and do not come into condemnation and Jesus said that all who have His commandments and keep them, love Him and He abides with them still and He is coming again!  Is His return near?
The Last Days
        There are many today who do not know their Bibles and even more who do not believe that the bible is God's word.  Dr. D. Martin Lloyd-Jones said on one occasion in 1963, "This Book (the Bible) is the profoundest book in the history of the universe!"  It is true in all respects.  It is trustworthy, and is sufficient for life's most profound questions.  It alone tells us all that we can know of the Lord God.  God has written this book through many writers, over thousands of years and preserved it for all time.  It provides the answer to man's greatest need.  Dr. Lloyd-Jones once said that "Man's greatest need in the world is to know God!"
Sin Effects Everyone
        That need has been the same from the time that Adam and Eve disobeyed the Lord God up to and including now.  From that time, all men have been afflicted with the grim disease of Sin.  It is fatal and there is only one cure.  Jesus is God's loving cure for Sin.  The effect of sin on every person is that each and every person is by nature a child of wrath.  Each and every person is by nature dead in their trespasses and sins.  They are dead spiritually and unless Jesus makes them alive, they will perish and suffer the wrath of Almighty God forever.  Paul said in Romans, "All have sinned and come short of the glory of God." 
Flee God's Wrath
        Each person must be told to "flee the wrath of God" and the only way to flee is in Christ Jesus.  Malachi, writing about 450 years before Christ, prophesied by God's direction, that God's "messenger of the Covenant" (Jesus) "is coming."  Jesus did come and is coming again, to which Malachi refers when he says "But who can endure the Day of His coming?"  The Apostle John describes this great day in Revelation Chapter 6 and the reaction of all men great and small who do not know God will be to say to the mountains and rocks, "Fall on us and hide us from the face of Him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb!  For the great day of His wrath has come, and who is able to stand?"  This great day of God's wrath will occur in the last days at the time of "The Day of His Coming."
Hebrews and Peter
        Are we in "The Last Days?"  The answer to that question is, without equivocation, revealed in God's word to be "Yes!"  God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in times past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son…" (Hebrews 1:102a)  The Apostle Peter wrote in his first letter to the church, "…knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.  He indeed was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you who through Him believe in God who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory so that your faith and hope are in God." (1 Peter 1:18021)
        This, of course, was not the first time that Peter had said that we are in the "last days."  At the day of Pentecost, after the Holy Spirit had "filled the house."  And some of those present "mocked" those speaking "with other tongues" and said, "They are full of new wine", Peter "raised his voice and said to them":
                Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to
`````````````you, and heed my words.  For these are not drunk, as you suppose,
`````````````since it is only the third hour of the day.  But this is what was spoken
by the prophet Joel:
        And it shall come to pass in the last days says God,
        That I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh;
        Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
        Your young men shall see visions,
        Your old men shall dream dreams.
        And on My menservants and on My Maidservants
        I will pour out My Spirit in those days;
        And they shall prophesy.
        I will show wonders in heaven above
        And signs in the earth beneath;
        Blood and fire and vapor of smoke.
        The sun shall be turned into darkness,
        And the moon into blood,
        Before the coming of the great and awesome day of the Lord.
        That whoever calls on the name of Lord
        Shall be saved ( Acts 2:14ff)
        Peter continues to make God's children aware of the fact that it is the "last days" in the fourth chapter of his first letter where he admonishes the church not to be superficial, but to be serious:
                But the end of all things is at hand; therefore be serious and watchful
                in your prayers.  And above all things have fervent love for one another,
                for "love will cover a multitude of sins."  Be hospitable to one another
without grumbling.  As each one has received a gift, minister it to one
another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.  If anyone
speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God.  If anyone ministers,
let him do it as with the ability which God supplies, that in all things
God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory
and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.
        Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones described "the greatest problem in the Church" in the late 1950's as being its "superficiality."  That being true sixty (60) years ago, it is worse than ever now! 
        The Apostle Paul also admonishes his young disciple, Timothy, in what is generally recognized as the last letter written by Paul somewhere around 64 to 68 A.D. that it was
the last days saying:
                But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come.  For
men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving,
unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of
good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than
lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. 
And from such people turn away!  For of this sort are those who
Creep into households and make captives of gullible women loaded
Down with sins, led away by various lusts, always learning and never
able to come to the knowledge of the truth. Now as Jannes and Jambres
resisted Moses, so do these also resist the truth:  men of corrupt minds, disapproved concerning the faith; but they will progress no further, for
their folly will be manifest to all, as theirs also was. 
But you have carefully followed my doctrine, manner of life, purpose,
faith, longsuffering, love, perseverance, persecutions, afflictions, which happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra-what persecutions
I endured.  And out of them all the Lord delivered me.  Yes, and all who
desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.  But evil men
and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived.
But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been
assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them, and that from
childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make
you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
(2 Timothy 3:1-15)
        In his first letter to Timothy, Paul refers to the latter times as the time when some will be deceived and depart from the faith, "giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons…" (1 Timothy 4:1ff)
The Significance of the Last Days:  Jesus
        Jesus says that He is coming again in the last days.  The last days will be characterized by deceit, tribulation, false teachers, betrayal, hate, lawlessness abounding, and the love of many growing cold.  Sorrow will abound, as men and women realize, too late, that the Gospel of Christ is true.  Jesus really is the Savior of all those whom the Father has given to Him.  However, the destination of those who do not know Jesus is terrible.  "Hear" what Jesus says in Matthew, Chapter 24 in complete context:
  Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, say, "Tell us, when will these things be?  And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?" 
  And Jesus answered and said to them:  "Take heed that no one deceives you.  For many will come in My name, saying, 'I am the Christ,' and will deceive many.  And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars.  See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.  For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.  And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places.  All these are the beginning of sorrows.
  Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name's sake.  And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another.  Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many.  And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold.  But he who endures to the end shall be saved.  And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.
  "Therefore when you see the 'abomination of desolation,' spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place" (whoever reads, let him understand), "then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.  Let him who is on the housetop not go down to take anything out of his house.  And let him who is in the field not go back to get his clothes.  But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days!  And pray that your flight may not be in winter or on the Sabbath.  For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be.  And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect's sake those days will be shortened.
  Then if anyone says to you, 'Look, here is the Christ!' or 'There!' do not believe it.  For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.  See, I have told you beforehand.
   Therefore if they say to you, 'Look, He is in the desert!' do not go out; or 'Look, He is in the inner rooms!' do not believe it.  For as the lightning comes from the east and flashes to the west, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.  For wherever the carcass is, there the eagles will be gathered together.
  "Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken.  Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.  And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
  "Now learn this parable from the fig tree:  When its branch has already become tender and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near.  So you also, when you see all these things, know that it is near – at the doors!  Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place.  Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.
 "But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only.  But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.  For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.  Then two men will be in the field:  one will be taken and the other left.  Two women will be grinding at the mill:  one will be taken and the other left.  Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming.  But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into.  Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.
  "Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his master made ruler over his household, to give them food in due season?  Blessed is that servant whom his master, when he comes, will find so doing.  Assuredly, I say to you that he will make him ruler over all his goods.  But if that evil servant says in his heart, 'My master is delaying his coming,' and begins to beat his fellow servants, and to eat and drink with the drunkards, the master of that servant will come on a day when he is not looking for him and at an hour that he is not aware of, and will cut him in two and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites.  There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
The Wrath to Come
        Charles Hadden Spurgeon, sometimes called the Prince of Preachers, described in very graphic detail nearly 150 years ago what awaits those who do not know Jesus.  He described "Eternal Death", and this Eternal Death never ends.  The fire is never quenched.  The worm never dies.  There is eternal "weeping and gnashing of teeth."  In describing the stone dead, stubborn heart  that "will not come unto me (Jesus) that you might have life" (John 5:40), Spurgeon said:
  "Do not conceive, O moral man, that thou wilt be able to stand before God in thy morality, for thou art nothing but a carcass embalmed in legality, a corpse arrayed in some fine robes, but still corrupt in God's sight.  And think not, O thou possessor of natural religion! That thou mayest by thine own might and power make thyself acceptable to God.  Why, man! thou art dead! and thou mayest array the dead as gloriously as thou pleasest, but still it would be a solemn mockery.  There lieth queen Cleopatra – put the crown upon her head, deck her in royal robes, let her sit in state; but what a cold chill runs through you when you pass by her.  She is fair now, even in her death – but how horrible it is to stand by the side even of a dead queen, celebrated for her majestic beauty!  So you may be glorious in your beauty, fair, and amiable, and lovely; you put the crown of honesty upon your head, and wear about you all the garments of uprightness, but unless God has quickened thee, O man! unless the Spirit has had dealings with thy soul, thou art in God's sight as obnoxious as the chilly corpse is to thyself.  Thou wouldst not choose to live with a corpse sitting at they table:  nor doth God love that thou shouldst be in his sight.  He is angry with thee every day, for thou art in sin – thou art in death. Oh! believe this; take it to thy soul; appropriate it, for it is most true that thou art dead, spiritually as well as legally.
  Oh! had I words that I might this morning attempt to depict to you what eternal death is.  The soul has come before its Maker; the book has been opened; the sentence has been uttered; 'Depart ye cursed' has shaken the universe, and made the very spheres dim with the frown of the Creator; the soul has departed to the depths where it is to dwell with others in eternal death.  Oh! how horrible is its position now.  Its bed is a bed of flame; the sights it sees are murdering ones that afright its spirit; the sounds it hears are shrieks, and wails, and moans, and groans; all that its body knows is the infliction of miserable pain! It has the possession of unutterable woe, of unmitigated misery.  The soul looks downward in dread and fear; remorse hath possessed its soul.  It looks on the right hand – and the adamantine walls of fate keep it within its limits of torture.  It looks on the left – and there the rampart of blazing fire forbids the scaling ladder of e'en a dreamy speculation of escape.  It looks within and seeks for consolation there, but a gnawing worm hath entered into the soul.  It looks about it – it has no friends to aid, no comforters, but tormentors in abundance.  It knoweth nought of hope of deliverance; it hath heard the everlasting key of destiny turning in its awful wards, and it hath seen God take that key and hurl it down into the depth of eternity never to be found again.  It hopeth not; it knoweth no escape, it guesseth not of deliverance; it pants for death, but death is too much its foe to be there; it longs that non-existence would swallow it up, but this eternal death is worse than annihilation.  It pants for extermination as the laborer for his Sabbath; it longs that it might be swallowed up in nothingness just as would the galley slave long for freedom, but it cometh not – it is eternally dead.  When eternity shall have rolled round multitudes of its everlasting cycles it shall still be dead.  Forever knoweth no end, eternity cannot be spelled except in eternity.  Still the soul seeth written o'er its head, 'Thou art damned forever.' It heareth howlings that are to be perpetual; it seeth flames which are unquenchable; it knoweth pains that are unmitigated; it hears a sentence that rolls not like the thunder of earth which soon is hushed – but onward, onward, onward, shaking the echoes of eternity – making thousands of years shake again with the horrid thunder of its dreadful sound – 'Depart! Depart! Depart ye cursed!; This is true eternal death.
Life in Jesus
        From John 5:40, set out above, we can see that in Christ Jesus there is life!  God, who is rich in mercy with His great love wherewith He loves us, has made us alive in Christ Jesus  (Ephesians 2:1ff).  We have life in Jesus, and we have it abundantly!  Eternal life!  Eternal life begins when the Lord God draws us to Himself.  He "quickens" us and makes us who were dead, who were by nature children of wrath, alive in Jesus.  The dread disease of sin is conquered, cured, and blotted out.  He covers all of our sin with the precious blood of Jesus and remembers our sin no more.  Nothing can ever separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.  This is not to be found anywhere else in any other religion in the world.
        Jesus Himself bore your sin in His own body on the cross that you may be dead unto sin and live unto righteousness.  To live as becomes the Gospel of Christ.  God the Son took your sorry record and gave you His perfect record, that you never see written over your head, "you are damned forever."  That you never hear the sentence that rolls on and on and on for eternity, "Depart!  Depart!  Depart ye cursed!" rather you will hear Jesus say, "Well done you good and faithful servant.  You have been faithful in little things.  I will make you ruler over much.  Enter thou into the joy of the Lord."
        What about you?  As the last days draw to a close, where are you headed?  What is your eternal destination?  If Jesus comes today, will you be ready?  Can you abide His coming?  If He were to ask you, "Will you come unto Me that you might have life," will you come?  Have you come?  You can come unto Jesus by repenting from your known sin, just surrender your will to His will.  Place your trust in Him by faith and enter into the joy of your Lord.  Take Jesus as your Master and Lord.  Begin now to earnestly contend for the one true faith, delivered once to the Saints.  There is no other name given under heaven among men by which we must be saved.
        Now, may the God of all peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus Christ, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant make you perfect in every good work to do His will, working in you that which is well-pleasing in His sight through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom be glory forever and ever.  Amen.
Your Friend and Brother in Christ,
William Gray

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