Tag Archives: Rapture

The Rules for Playing Church

It’s hard to imagine that in the twinkling of an eye; that split millisecond of time we will be gone from this earth and in the presence of the Lord Jesus Himself. It is for certain a “whoa” thought. There is a part of me that says, “Yes Lord, yes! Let it be today.” And then there is the realization that although I am ready and excited for that moment, I have friends and family who are clueless to what those words mean.

Evangelism is all but a lost art form in most churches. Everyone’s preaching love one another, but few are loving others enough to keep them out of Hell and tell them that that trump is going to sound and when it does the opportunity is over for those who have had an opportunity to be saved and rejected it. There will be no more “playing church.”

So how does one know if they’re playing church? Ask yourself and answer honestly these questions:

Rule Number 1 of playing church: Say you know Jesus.

Was there a time in your life when you realized that you were a sinner? Everyone has, but do you recognize that as a sinner, you need saving? And you can’t do it yourself.

“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3: 23)

The realization of being a sinner also brings with it the realization of how Holy God is. As a child, who did not know Jesus Christ as Lord, I knew there was a God. And I knew in my heart when I examined it honestly, that I knew of Jesus, but I didn’t know Jesus.  There’s a difference. When I realized that to know Jesus and to be able to come into His presence was to be sin free, I didn’t “know” Jesus.

Rule Number 2 of Playing Church: Say nobody’s perfect.

True story in regards to people, but not God! Jesus Christ was perfect in every way. Sinless and blameless and yet willing to take on our imperfections so that we could have an opportunity to be with a Holy God. Perhaps that’s too “churchy” of a conversation for you to understand. The bible says this:

“For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 6:23)

We understand as children that doing wrong means punishment. It’s engrained in our hearts at birth that we know right from wrong. Now, human nature takes over and wants what’s wrong much of the time, but we know it’s wrong. How do we know? Did an explosion at the onset of time put that notion in your heart… that theory is crazy. A intelligent Creator built you with that ability to draw you in to a relationship with Him.

The bible says we deserve to die for our sins and go to Hell. But a loving God didn’t want that to happen so He made a way to escape Hell, which was created for Satan and his demons. You have no doubt felt the presence of evil in the world too. God was willing to be born as a man, and die the painful death of a man, as a gift for you to have eternal life. One final sacrifice.

“But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”  (Romans 5:8)

Rule Number 3 of Playing Church: Make a profession without a personal relationship

“For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”  (Romans 10:13)

Being saved is that easy. Ask Jesus to save you and He will. There’s no trickery. But often times people say that prayer, or that statement without truly acknowledging that the end result is giving yourself to Him. If you’re saved you won’t say that prayer and walk away without being changed because a Holy God is now living in you, and He wants no part of un-holiness. I know. Because I test Him continually. Getting saved doesn’t make you perfect, it places a perfect God within you that guides you and instructs you and when you sin God makes His presence known. So if you can sin, and not feel Him within you, I would have to think you’re playing church.

So are you? Please don’t. Any second that trumpet could sound and God will call His church home. People who are saved will disappear in a millisecond from this earth and if you’re not saved, you will not see them again and Hell is about to be unleashed on earth. So how do you remedy that end?

Ask Jesus to save you and mean it. Find a bible believing church and stick with it. Don’t buy the lie of the world that you can make it on your own. You won’t last a day.

A prayer to be saved might sound like this:

“Dear Lord Jesus, I know that I am a sinner.  I know that I need you.  I believe that you died on the cross for me. Forgive me of my sins. Right now, I turn from my sins and open the door of my heart and life to you.  I receive you as my Saviour, come into my life and save me.  Thank you for what you did for me.  Amen.”

Or you may want to open that conversation with God on your own. If you ask Him to save you, He will, and then.. let the conversation begin!

Don’t be Caught off Guard… be caught up!!!

rapture readyCaught up in this thing called Faith

There will come a day that I will be caught up in the Rapture, but for today I am caught up in the faith that will carry me through until Jesus takes me home, be that by rapture or another design of His choosing. Let it be known, I am ready! Now, I’m not desiring a quickening away from my friends and family; oh contraire! But rather I long for the day when I shall see my Savior and I shall not see sin, death and the heartache of this side of glory.

Believing that I am here with divine purpose, I awoke this morning with the desire to follow His will where ever that may lead, and so it lead to me sitting in restaurant in Clarksburg, WV waiting on my car to be detailed. As I traveled the long stretch of highway this morning at 6 a.m. to get here, I had plenty of time to pray and listen to the Word of God. I prayed for my peeps, those related by blood and those that I serve with who are saved by the blood. I prayed that if the trumpet would sound today, those that I love would be ready!

Trumpet? Perhaps you haven’t heard. While it’s true that the word “rapture” isn’t in the bible, the word “rapture” simply means “caught up!” And those words you will find in the scripture in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18:

13 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.

14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.

15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.

16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:

17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

That’s a pretty definitive scripture that requires little explanation as far as what will happen… now the when… that’s a whole other issue. But for now let’s talk about the preparedness for that day.

Any Minute!

Mark 13:32 says – But of that day and [that] hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.

There will come a day that God will say, “Son, get your church. Gabriel, go blow your horn!” and when that trump sounds there will not be a time to get online and order tickets. It’s a done deal! That’s why I pray for my family and friends. That’s why I pray for God to send a soul across my path that I might help them pack their bags for glory! Perhaps you are at soul.

Do you have yours packed? Before we depart for Christian teen camp each year I give the kids a list of mandatory and recommended necessities to make their camp experience the best! So today I’ll give you a list to see if you’re prepared if the trump sounds and that quick ticket is called for.

Mandatory:

Your Ticket to Heaven

Just like our teen camp, it’s free to all who attend, but it for certain cost something. And Heaven, although it is as free as free can be, it still came with a mighty cost, which was the Son of God. He paid for your entrance into Heaven and eternal life by His death on the cross. He proved His power over death, Hell and the grave by His resurrection and ascension back into Heaven. He was, is and always will be the virgin born Son of God. You’re faith in that truth and belief that He died exclusively for you is your ticket.

Optional:

 5 Crowns

  • The Incorruptable Crown – (1 Corinthians 9:24-25) Anything from earth would certainly burn up on entry to Heaven. But an incorruptible crown is what we’ll receive for our faithful endurance and continuance in service as we go through the many trials and temptations of earth. It won’t be for the faint of heart. Tipping a waitress a little extra won’t do it, giving up the internet for lent won’t do it… running the race in a sacrificial way will push a Christian way outside of the average commitment zone, and that will obtain a special recognition from God.
  • The Crown of Rejoicing – (1 Thessalonians 2:19) The crown of rejoicing will be our reward for those who joy in the salvation of Christ and in so doing lead others to that same knowledge. There’s a party in Heaven each time a soul makes a confession of faith and there for certain will be joy when a soul winner makes it home. There used to be a day when we honored our veterans returning from the battled field with a parade and celebration. And although we neglect that responsibility now… God won’t neglect our return to glory when we’re home from the battlefield.
  • The Crown of Righteousness – (2 Timothy 4:8) Nothing that we have done on this earth would entitle us to any piece of Heaven; but Christ will reward those who not only talked the talk but walked the walk. There will be many in Heaven who will assume their saying of the sinner’s prayer was enough. And while it is enough for entrance, God had so much more in store for you if only you had continued growing and walking in Christ.
  • The Crown of Glory – (1 Peter 5:4) For all those who have been ask again and again and again to teach, and felt in their heart they should have, you’ll be missing a blessing in Heaven! The crown of glory is for all those who teach, preach and minister the gospel. What an honor it is to serve God in such a manner.
  • The Crown of Life – (James 1:5) This crown is also referred to as the Martyr’s crown. Those who receive it have paid the ultimate price for serving Christ

Those optional adornments won’t come easy. But they’ll be more than worth it when we stand face to beautiful face of Jesus our Lord and Savior.

A little longer blog than usual… but I need to know if you’re packed?

Nothing this side of glory with the exception of our soul will make it into Heaven. The crowns (if they are won) are waiting. Don’t be caught off guard. Be caught up!!!

3 Points to Ponder on Christ’s Return

chick soul

The eminent return of Christ can cause a gamut of emotions in me depending upon the day. I look at the sorrow in the world: “Okay, Jesus…come now.” I watch my grandchildren playing: “Umm, Okay, Jesus… wait.” I watch the news: “Okay, Jesus…come now.” I think about lost family and friends: “Okay, Jesus…please wait.” But the reality of it is, He’s gonna return!!! Ready or not. Excited or not. Whether people believe it or not. So I ponder three thoughts today…

ABSOLUTE

1 Thessalonians 4:16-17

For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

Every single word of the bible is truth: either proven truth, or truth to come. Every prophetic event on the Lord’s time line has happened just as He said it would, the rapture will be no different. Watch the news and it mightily reveals the end times. The arrogance of our leadership who believe themselves to be in control and are slowly siding against Israel will be our end should someone not step up and prevent it. I do not know how America’s story will end “pre-rapture.” Post rapture, when the tribulation is playing out, the only nation under the protective hand of God is the one we tread closely of offending, Israel.

The coming of the Lord is Absolute!

IN HIS TIME

1 Thessalonians 5:1-5

But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you.  For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.

Christian’s, who have accepted Jesus Christ as Savior and have the Holy Spirit living within them, don’t know the day but they should know to be ready. John 14:17 says Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.

And yet we live (myself included) like that day will never come. The return of Christ is in His time. But His time can be before I close this blog today. We are children of the light! Praise God He has shown His light within me and gives me great peace in these tumultuous times, but He did not give us peace so that we could rest. He gave us peace so that others would see the testimony of it and desire Christ. However, you have to speak about the peace, else no one will know and they will be caught unware.

READY?

It’s a one word question that packs a multitude of answers when asking people of their readiness should Christ return.

  • Many don’t have clue that Christ’s return is even on the radar. (just like in the days of Noah)
  • Many don’t believe it.
  • Many fear it, kind of believe it, but doubt it enough not to take action.
  • Many deny it.
  • Many assume because they’re “good” people they’ll be taken to Heaven with all the other good people.

Good people don’t make it to Heaven. For there is none but Jesus Who is good.

Luke 18:19

And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? none is good, save one, that is, God.

Those who have called upon the name of Jesus, believing that He is the virgin born Son of God, crucified on the cross, rose again the third day and now sits at the right hand of God interceding on our behalf will go to Heaven.

John 14:6 reads Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”

My three points are the acronym A.i.R. – Look up!

Luke 21:28

And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.

chick encourage 2

 

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Weep Not for Me!

chick willow

One of my favorite trees of all times is the willow.  Those billowing, flowing branches that drape the ground are just beautiful! I should have known that those trees would have a purpose and spiritual significance in the Kingdom of God… I didn’t…. but I should have.

Psalm 137, believed to have been written by the weeping prophet himself (Jeremiah, he foretells of the coming destruction of the enemies of God. My mind likes to ponder that thought as I see the modern day enemies of God proclaim their victories in arrogance. After reading and studying this Psalm this morning I pray I’ll never view that tree the same again. What hope we have in that tree!

Psalm 137

1-4 ~ By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down, yea, we wept, when we remembered Zion. We hanged our harps upon the willows in the midst thereof. For there they that carried us away captive required of us a song; and they that wasted us required of us mirth, saying, Sing us one of the songs of Zion. How shall we sing the Lord’s song in a strange land?

Thus… the weeping willow!  I get his emotional outcry. It is hard to rejoice and sing psalms when we see the nonsense going on around us that has our country in an uproar, and seemingly captive to doing anything about it. The children of Israel were physically captive and being carried away into Babylon and their oppressors were wanting them to entertain them with their songs of Zion. “How can I rejoice?” Jeremiah asked. But then he encouraged himself to do just that in verses 5-6

If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning. If I do not remember thee, let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth; if I prefer not Jerusalem above my chief joy.

 And this is where my soul begin to think itself happy. Just as the children of Israel were looking to Zion as that day when their captive souls would be free from bondage and in the arms of God, so should we. Our Lord will not always be mocked and the mockers will have their day of destruction.  Read on weary child of God.

Vs. 7-9

Remember, O Lord, the children of Edom in the day of Jerusalem; who said, Rase it, rase it, even to the foundation thereof. O daughter of Babylon, who art to be destroyed; happy shall he be, that rewardeth thee as thou hast served us. Happy shall he be, that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the stones.

The word “rase” means to destroy! And our enemies, just like the daughter of Babylon who rejoiced in the misery that they inflicted upon God’s children, they’ll be rewarded by God, but not as they believe. They’ll be rewarded with the same treatment that they’re dishing out today. Their arrogance will be short lived on that day.

So as I pass by the weeping willow tree I’ll recall the words of Jeremiah in Psalm 137 and I will rejoice. For we are on our way to a city whose builder and maker is God and death and destruction will be no more. I’ll not hang my harp upon the willows, but I’ll fiddle the tune of Amazing Grace and thank God that I am heading there someday to be with Him.