07 August, 2014

Anyone Paying Attention

"Jesus is coming soon!" We've heard it said so often and for so long that I really wonder how many believe it. I'm not talking about in the world, but within the church. I think many have been lulled into a sense of complacency to where they are asleep at the wheel and don't even realize what is unfolding right before their eyes on the world's stage that fulfills the prophecies of scripture. If you are awake, you get it. Jesus is coming soon... REAL SOON!

Open your newspaper, magazine or log into the news online and it is like the headlines are ripped from the pages of the Bible. The events unfolding in the middle east are hurling us full speed toward that great event. The headlines just a few months ago (hardly seen here in America) spoke of a pact between China and Russia to change the world's currency away from the US dollar which would all but destroy the American economy. The events in the Ukraine are crucial, especially being that China has publicly come along side Russia in full support. These two countries hold crucial parts of end time events. Another huge event that has hardly seen in the news but is crucial to end time events is that the Euphrates River has been drying up. This river must be dry for the great army of the north to march into the Valley of Armegeddon. I could go on and on, but we are seeing an amazing number of scriptural prophecies lining up before our eyes.  Another key one that is often missed is happening right now and is all the world headlines. It revolves around the Ebola disease. I'll come back to that in a moment. First, let's look at a key passage of scripture.

Jesus' disciples were wanting to know about his return and what would the the sign of his coming. Jesus responded to them in Matthew 24:3-13:

3 And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?
4 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you.
5 For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.
6 And ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.
7 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.
8 All these are the beginning of sorrows.
9 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.
10 And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another.
11 And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.
12 And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.
13 But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.

There are many things in this passage that jump out at me. False Christs are appearing all the time and false teachers are deceiving millions. Wars and rumors of wars... don't even need to go there. Famine? We hardly hear of it but tens of thousands are dying of hunger. Why do you think we have all these commercials on TV asking you to support a child? Earthquakes on on the rise. Islam is playing a vital role around the world as they are killing Christians if they do not renounce their faith. (vs9)  Also in verse 9, "and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name's sake."  Have you ever known or heard of a time where Christians are hated as they are today? Do a simple Google search on the net with the words "kill the Christians." You'll be surprised.  Fox news reported that the number of Christians killed for their faith nearly doubled in the year 2013. ( http://www.foxnews.com/world/2014/01/12/christians-killed-for-faith-nearly-doubled-in-2013-group-finds/)  Take a look at verse 10. Have you ever seen a time in our history where everyone was as offended as they are today and turning on one another? 

But let me draw my focus on one word. One simple word that is often overlooked. In verse 7 Jesus says, "and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places." Zero in on the word "pestilences."  A number of years ago when I was working as a substance abuse counselor we were in the early days of our awareness of AIDS and I was at a conference to learn about the disease. The speaker was a doctor who was one of the leading doctors in AIDS research, named Anthony Fauci. As he was teaching us about this newly found disease he said something about the rise in pestilence around the world. That struck a chord in my mind and I began to do some study surrounding "pestilence."  Be honest... we don't use that word very much, and to be honest, I did not realize just what it meant. I looked up the meaning of the word and when I read the definition, chills ran down my back. The definition said, "Pestilence: An infectious, fatal, virulent disease that is widespread and devastating."
Now, immediately my thinking was that AIDS was the sign of the end times. But over the years, what I've noticed is that since then (1988) there has been an unbelievable increase of bloodborn diseases around the world and each of them becomes more and more immune to our antibiotics. The latest is Ebola. Within the last 24 hours the CDC has blown the trumpet to tell the world that the outbreak and spread of Ebola around the world is something we need to become gravely concerned about as it is a particularly gruesome disease that is not responding to treatment and hundreds are dying and the disease is spreading. Read your Bible and you will discover that in the end time prophecy found in Revalation 6:7 where one forth of the worlds population dies by a plague or disease! Am I saying Ebola is it? No... but it could be. My point is that we are seeing two things happening. Diseases are becoming resistant to our antibiotics and at the same time there is a rapid increase in pestilence. 

My point?  Jesus is coming soon!

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