building on the foundation of Jesus Christ

Archive for the tag “Proclaiming the Gospel”

New Year, Old Message

Since the New Year began ten days ago, I have been listening to many speakers talk about the future. Most spoke about how to stay focused on the goals and plans to have a better year. A few have talked about the prophetic times we are in right now. They are not foretelling when Jesus will return, but they are saying He is coming soon. The term “soon” is a relative term. It could mean today. It could mean ten years from now or one hundred.

For the last two thousand years, Jesus’ people have been waiting on His return for the church – His bride. But the signs of the times are showing His return is very soon. Yes, we have always had certain signs – turmoil in the world. Wars and rumors of wars. Earthquakes in various places. Famines and pestilence. The signs have always been there.

However, this time is different. The intensity is greater on the various attributes of the “labor pains” we are experiencing today. We see more damaging hurricanes than ever before. Earthquakes are in the 7.0 range more frequently than ever before. But the telling sign is Israel. The fig tree – Israel – is blooming. They are prospering in their land. They are relatively peaceful and safe in their land. Yes, they have enemies trying to destroy them. But most citizens of that country live in peace.

The Bible speaks of a time when Jerusalem will be a sore subject to most countries. In Zechariah 12:3, God said He will make Jerusalem an immovable rock for all nations. Don’t we see that today? Has there been a time when more strife over Jerusalem than now when nations are moving their embassies to Israel’s capital? I think not. Israel has never had the prosperity as they do today. They have found natural gas and oil in their land in the last ten years. They are leaders in innovation. There has never been a time when other nations want what they have. And nations are foaming at the mouth to get Israel’s resources.

God said He would put a hook in the jaw to bring those northern nations to Israel’s door. Never has there been a time when Russia, Iran and Turkey have been in agreement as they are today. And they are poised on Israel’s northern border. They are just waiting for the time to invade. Russia needs the resources Israel has – gas and oil. Turkey wants the territory for their caliphate. Iran just wants Israel gone. Period. The Palestinians are just a thorn in Israel’s flesh – a distraction from Iran.

God is setting the stage. And there are a few players out-of-place. The US in the Middle East? Maybe we need to be out of the area in order for the play to begin. There might be more things to set in motion in the Middle East before Jesus’ return, but we are closer today than ever before. Everything is coming together just as the prophets from the Old Testament said it would.

Another sign of the times is the church today. False teachers are more common today. The church seeker movement has taken a step away from sound doctrine. Feel good messages are a sign of the times. Itching ears want to hear the good and not the wrath of God. The culture has moved into the church.

“Selfies” are still another example of the times we live in. Delusion is running rampant. Choosing a baby’s gender instead of biology dictating gender? Crazy. Gender is fluid? What? I am sure it has been like this at other points in history. Sodom and Gomorrah come to mind. The time before the flood has been mentioned in the Bible as well. “As it was in the days of Noah so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man” (Matthew 24:37 and Luke 17:26). The door closed on all those outside – only eight were saved.

2019 could be the year when we see Jesus’ return. But I’m not writing about that. This is a time when we should be filled with urgency. If 2019 is the time – and I’m not saying it is – then we should be preaching the Gospel message to all who need to hear. John the Baptist was the voice in the desert to clear the way for the Lord. His message was “repent, for the Kingdom of heaven is near.” The religious folks in his day missed the signs of the times. I don’t know what type of signs was for the first coming of Jesus; but whatever they did have, they missed it.

One sign given was the star over Bethlehem. The wise men came from afar to worship the newborn king, but they didn’t know which direction to turn. They went to the leader of the area, Herod, to inquire about the location of the birth. The priests were summoned to give the answer. The wise men took off for Bethlehem without a single priest following them. The religious elite missed the sign. Shepherds heard the angels proclaiming the news and they went to see. But the religious ones were not present.

For followers of Jesus, we need to keep watch and be ready. The priests had thirty years to get ready for Jesus’ ministry and they didn’t. I don’t know how much longer we have, but the bridegroom is on His way – do we have enough “oil” in our lamps? The foolish ones didn’t have enough oil and were left outside the party (parable found in Matthew 25).

The message of John the Baptist needs to be preached again. The way needs to be made clear for the Kingdom of God is near. It begins with me repenting of my sins and being made clean. You too. Now is the time to get ready. Those who have ears let them hear.

“It will be good for those servants whose master finds them ready, even if he comes in the middle of the night or toward daybreak. But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have let his house be broken into. You also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.” Luke 12:38-40


Silence Isn’t Golden

Over the last couple of months, I have been very distracted. You might have noticed my blog postings haven’t been very inspired – mainly because I haven’t been very inspired. I have been too distracted by my circumstances. I decided I needed to find employment. Writing doesn’t pay much! So my focus has been looking for that elusive job. I found an opportunity as I mentioned in a previous post. I am trying to get into a new routine, and it’s left me feeling a bit overwhelmed with trying to get it all done now in a short amount of time. My morning time with Jesus has been shortened due to time restraints before work. (I miss my routines that I had established over the last four years.) My thoughts have been scrambled these last few weeks. But this last week, I felt like I am in a better space. I started listening again. I am more focused.

There are two things that have been put before me this week. The first thing was the need to speak. Satan would love to keep us silent. Believers in Jesus are not persecuted for staying silent. Persecution happens when we speak the name of Jesus. Satan’s goal is to keep us silent. We in America do a good job for Satan. We don’t like to offend anyone so we don’t tell them the message of Jesus. We have a powerful message that needs to be shared. The Holy Spirit lives in us to provide the words and opens our eyes to the opportunity. He gives us boldness to proclaim the Good News – Jesus is Lord – He died and rose again so that we might have LIFE! Praise the LORD! But I am the worst for sharing this news. Beth Moore said that if Satan could speak two words to us, these two words would be SHUT UP!

I believe one of my purposes in this life is to write. In 2009, I went to an integrative nutrition school to learn more about health and wellness. In that school, the instructor told us to “find our voice because there are people who need to hear what we have to say.” That message was life-changing for me. I thought I went to this school to learn how to become a health coach and help others get healthy. I know God has used what I have learned to help others, but I think there was a greater purpose than what I understood at the time. It began my writing passion. We were instructed to start writing a newsletter for our “tribe” (the ones we influence). I was reminded during this past week that I had stopped writing. on nutritional health topics. My newsletter has become more focused on the spiritual and mental health rather than on nutritional health. If my passion is about helping others, I gave up the “outlet” to help others! There were a few personal reasons that I stopped, but fear was the main cause.

The other thing I heard this week was that we are “born for such a time as this.” The message was on Queen Esther. We live in interesting times. There is a call for each of us to fulfill in this place and in this time. God placed us here; where we are, made us who we are to do the things we need to do – for His purpose. His will is to make Jesus known all over the world. If Jesus is Lord of our lives, then we have been called to proclaim Jesus to those in our community where we are right now. We can no longer stay silent. When we are silent, we let Satan have his way. With the Holy Spirit’s help, we are compelled to tell. This is our time to share the Good News. This is what we are reborn to do!

One night the Lord spoke to Paul in a vision and told him, “Don’t be afraid! Speak out! Don’t be silent! For I am with you, and no one will attack and harm you, for many people in this city belong to me.” So Paul stayed there for the next year and a half, teaching the word of God. Acts 18:9-11 (NLT)

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