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Warnings Pt 2

I finished reading the book “The Harbinger” and wanted to follow-up with last week’s post. The first part of the book – the harbingers – were concentrating on the 9/11 attacks and the aftermath. The second part of the book was on the second warning issued through the financial meltdown in 2008 and beyond. I learned some history of America’s foundation through this book. I was deeply moved as I read through it feeling a bit overwhelmed at how much of the events could not have happened by chance. I could see God’s hand moving through the circumstances as only He could do it. There were too many coincidences that could just be explained away by mere human actions.

So if we are under the warnings before the judgment, what are we to do about it? If this were all true, is judgment inevitable? Many times we see in Scripture that warnings through the prophets were either heeded or ignored. When the warnings were heeded like in Nineveh, the king and the people repented of their sins (for a short period of time). For Sodom, for other nations, even Israel at times the warnings were ignored and destruction was complete. For Sodom, God looked for the righteous people to save the nation but none were found.

At the end of “The Harbinger,” I felt a great conviction come over me. The author (Jonathon Cahn) pointed to the Scripture 2 Chronicles 7:14 (NLT): Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land. The author pointed to the statement, “if my people.” That’s me, I am His people. The ones who don’t call upon God or Jesus, they are not under the same authority that we as followers of Jesus are. We are to be imitators of Christ. We are called to be lights in our communities. We are to draw others to Jesus. If we lived like we should, would we be in the same boat we’re in today? Would we be living under a warning to repent or reap the judgment? Food for thought for sure!

In the early church, the followers of Jesus made such a difference in their communities people noticed. They were called “little Christs” (Christians). They were set apart from the normal crowd because they were different in their ways (it was actually called “The Way”). The Way drew people to Jesus. When people were confronted with the truth, they repented and turned back to God (by the thousands). Oh, but that was in the ancient days. That can’t possibly happen today, right? Who knows? For the most part, we don’t live any differently than our neighbors. We want to fit in with the rest of society. We’ll do our good works through our own efforts. What we lack is the power of the Holy Spirit living in us to draw others to Jesus. I don’t know if the events of 9/11 were a warning to us. I do know this, if I am living as I am called to do, then change would be happening around me.

Warnings – the Bible is full of warnings. John the Baptist was sent before Jesus to prepare the way for Him. John warned those who would listen, it’s time to repent. Jesus warned the church of Laodicea to be hot or cold. Jesus said (in Rev 3:16): “So, because you are lukewarm I am about to spit you out of my mouth.” He goes on to say (in Rev 3:19), “Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent.” I believe we’re getting closer to seeing Jesus come back. If God is sending us a warning, we need to heed it. If we are sent warnings, it’s because of His love for us. Warnings are always sent to His people before action is taken against them. We are given an opportunity to repent for our land to be healed. I am convicted, are you?

“I baptize you with water for repentance, but he who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor and gather his wheat into the barn, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.” Matthew 3:11-12 (ESV)


The Warnings

A couple of weeks ago, I started reading a book called The Harbinger by Jonathan Cahn. I started one afternoon and couldn’t put the book down (or close the laptop as the case may be). I read it until I got through all the nine harbingers. The book concerns the 9/11 devastation and the aftermath. The story is written as fiction but reveals the facts of the 9/11 attacks. The book basically states America is under God’s judgment. God used the attacks on 9/11 as His warning to us before judgment comes.

Soon after the attacks, I remember thinking – whether this was revelation from the Holy Spirit, I don’t know  – I believed God’s hand was taken off of America temporarily; the hedge of protection was dropped briefly. I also remember hearing the news then Senator John Edwards gave a speech on the anniversary of 9/11 in 2004; he wanted to offer the country “hope” through the Scripture found in Isaiah 9:10. The Scripture is actually foretelling the destruction of Israel. He was not the only one though that used this same Scripture. The Speaker of the House used it as well the day after 9/11. According to the book, all the prophecies mentioned in the Scripture have come true for America. The Scripture was spoken over Israel in Isaiah’s time. According to the author, with the ones who spoke the Scripture connected America to the same judgment.

Was this God’s warning of coming judgment for America? I don’t know; time will tell. But this I do know, we have not heeded any warnings to correct our course. I stopped reading to go to bed after the nine harbingers. The next morning I began on the “second” warning. As I was reading I began to get a little anxious. The night before, I hadn’t been anxious because everything had already taken place. The more I was reading about the next warning, the more I realized there could be another major “shake” in our future. I stopped reading for lunch. I put aside any anxious thoughts. I sat down with my lunch and tuned into a sermon. The sermon was on fear. The sermon was on focus, faith and fear. Where we put our focus will either cause our faith to grow or our fear to grow. Fear says “what if” but faith says “even if.” Even if something bad happens, God has already said “He will never leave me or forsake me.” Where is my focus?

One thing I know for sure, my financial picture does not make me secure. God has been working on this concept for the last three years with me. When I was anxious about the future possibilities, I realized I was looking again at the concept of my financial security being shaken again. Do I sell everything and hide in a cave? Or do I face these uncertain times with faith that God will get me through it once again? Even if I lose everything, God is my security. He is my Deliverer. We might be in for another shake that will expose our true foundations; only God knows the future. But if judgment comes, I am secure in Him. I know where my security lies. My foundation is built on the Rock.

As for everyone who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice, I will show you what they are like. They are like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well-built. But the one who hears my words and does not put them into practice is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. The moment the torrent struck that house, it collapsed and its destruction was complete.” Luke 6:47-49

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