Sunday, February 8, 2009

Revelation of Jesus

So I realized as I was fiddlin around on my computer that I haven't blogged a "real" post in a while. I sat here and stared at my computer screen for a while and pondered what I should write. Then the thought came to mind to just write something about what's on my heart lately. But what? There are a lot of things that I have been thinking about and even wrestling with, but I decided to write a brief post [not so much...sorry!] on a subject that is of utmost importance in this day and age...

I realize that I can't write about this subject and make it brief, but I will do my best to save your reading eyes...and your interest.

So what's the subject? Well, get ready and try not to get scared, but the End Times. Woah! Heavy stuff, huh? Yes. But, for every believer it is vital [VITAL!] to read, understand and act on the soon to be coming Revelation of Jesus [Revelation 1:3]. Brothers and sisters, He is coming soon! I believe [and this is my opinion...and I'm not predicting what year] that Jesus' second coming will be in this generation. Meaning that either I will see it with my own eyes or my kids or grandkids will see it.

Revelation 1:3 - "Blessed is the one who reads the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart [ie. act on it with how they live] what is written in it, because the time is near."

Like I mentioned earlier, it would take a forever long post to explain everything in the book of Revelation, but I will try and put out some very key points. Heck, who knows, maybe I'll start a little blog series on it [please note: I haven't been too successful in following through with claims I've made to write a series of blog posts on a particular subject].

As it states in Revelation 1:3, blessed are those who read, hear and take the Book of Revelation to heart and live their lives according to it. This CANNOT be just a book in the Bible that you read to check it off your list of books in the Bible that you have read. Study it and get it into your very being because the time is near my friends. Yes there is a lot of verbage in there that may be confusing, but if you take the time to study it, then the Lord will show you His heart and the urgency of the time we live in. He wants to which is the crazy good thing! In Amos 3 it says, "Surely the Lord God does nothing unless He reveals His secret to His servant prophets [us!]. As a result, you will alter how you live and pray and worship. There will be an unction to your words, prayers and actions. Your lamps will have oil and you will be ready and longing for His return! "Blessed are those slaves [or believers] whom the Master will find on the alert when He comes {or Jesus' return]" (Luke 12:37)

First of all, I must say that the book of Revelation is scary, but it is very exciting too. It is described as being the "great and terrible day" (Joel 2:11). Just read it and you will see how it will be terrible, but the great part is that the earth will experience the GREATEST revival in history! Isn't that exciting?!! The awesome part is that you may be an actual participant and you play key roles in ushering in His coming Kingdom here on earth. Amazing!

So what I will briefly touch on tonight is the timing indicators which will explain why I think He is coming soon. First Jesus describes these timing indicators as being the beginning of birth pangs [Matthew 24]. He describes them as birth pangs because just as a woman's contractions increase in intensity until the glorious birth of a child, in the same way the wrath that is poured out will increase in intensity and result in the glorious Kingdom of Heaven coming to earth.

Matthew 24:34 - "Truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all of these things take place."

A Biblical generation lasts about 70-100 years. What are "these things"? They are the challenges that Jesus identifies in verses 9-14 in that same chapter [massive falling away of believers, many false prophets, increase of wickedness, etc]. Jesus is referring to the Great Tribulation which will occur during the last 3.5 years of this age and will culminate with the Second Coming of Jesus. The 3.5 years is described in Daniel 7 where he writes of a "time, times and half a time" [time = 1 year].

I know this is getting long already but please hang with me. This is very important!

There are 3 prophetic time frames mentioned in the Scriptures related to the final days: 1) beginning of birth pangs with wars and rumors of wars (Matthew 24:4-8). This will precede the final 7 years of this age. 2) The increase in labor pangs in the first 3.5 years of the final 7 year period. This will be characterized by a counterfeit world peace (1 Thess 5:3, Daniel 9:27). 3) The hard labor pangs in the final 3.5 years which is called the Great Tribulation.

Ok, now that there is somewhat of a baseline, here are the global timing indicators:
1) Israel - Back in Genesis God makes a covenant with Israel through Abraham. In Matthew 24:37-39, Jesus makes it clear that His covenant people [Israel] will NOT see their Messiah again UNTIL they say, "Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord." Meaning that Jesus will not come back until they recognize Jesus as their Messiah and in order for them to do so, Israel must be restored as a nation and Jerusalem a city. Back in 70 AD the Romans took over Jerusalem. It was not a city and Israel was not a nation until 1948 when Israel was reinstated as a nation after World War II, and then Jerusalem was reestablished as a city in 1967. Now, since they are officially a city and a nation, they can say "blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord." This is a tremendous prophetic signpost of the hour in which we live. So if we take a Biblical generation and add it to 1948, then we could be looking at His coming in the next 20-40 years.

2) Gospel going forth to all Nations - Matthew 24:14 - "This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come." Folks, we are on the doorstep of this actually happening. Leaders of YWAM and Campus Crusade have said [even as recently as within the past month] that this could happen in our lifetime. They say that if missionaries do a really bad job at preaching the Gospel, then it will go forth to all nations in about 30 years. If they do an "ok" job it will take 10 years, and if they do a really good job, then around 2-3 years! Hello!!

3) Beginning of Birth Pangs - Matthew 24:4-8 talks about the beginning of birth pangs - wars, false christs, famines, earthquakes, travel and knowledge (I mean look at what all we can do at a click of a mouse!), pestilences (ie. incurable diseases - AIDS). We are seeing these birth pangs today and in our not so distant past. Look at all of the deaths related to wars, disease, famine, etc. Also, there are and have been some wackos who have claimed to be Christ (David Koresh - Branch Davidians, Jim Jones back in 1978). Heck, there is even a guy in Miami with a strong Latin American following who claims to be Christ (Jose Luis de Jesus Miranda) but He has yet to perform any sign or wonder! In fact he himself, and many of his followers, have gotten tattoos of "666". What the.....?!

I will end this for now with this, all of this information is not meant to create some completely fabricated story or something that isn't real. We must discern the times in which we live and these are mere facts to help us do so. This is for real people. A lot of folks have the fantasy misconception that we will one day turn into a chubby baby with wings and play harps for the rest of eternity. Not so. We are called to be alert of His coming and timing indicators and dig deep into His word and His heart, because we as believers are going to be partnering with God in ushering in His Second Coming. His heart is love and He does not want anyone to perish! The Revelation of Jesus is there to spark in our hearts to fall more and more in love with Him. So much so that we LONG for His return, so that we will see Him and eventually reign WITH HIM forever and ever.

Sorry so long, but we must be made ready. We have a reason to celebrate because we are going to see Him one day!

Grace and peace.


Anonymous said...

Good word!!

Ellen said...

Justin! What an awesome post! You have kept it short and to the point.

The Kondo Story said...

dude, great man. He is coming and it's going to be great! We should chat more about this subject.. keep bloggin on it man.. Blessings,
Ryan K