A Word of Encouragement

I know there is a lot of fear, when you see what’s happening in the world today, and I just want to encourage you if you’re here today and you become fearful.

However, not being in fear presuppposes that you’re born again of the Spirit of God, and as such, He’s not given you a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. Now that said, if you haven’t come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ, then I do have to warn you that maybe the fear that you have could be for good reason. Now let me explain.

Everything that’s now happening in the world today is just the beginning of birth pains. And if the truth be known, the world hasn’t seen anything yet. In other words, it’s going to get worse: even worse than it already is. I realize this isn’t very perky — but the things that are now beginning to come to pass are happening exactly as God’s Word said they would.

And I hope that you don’t think that there are better days ahead. Because my Bible tells me that in the Last Days it’s going to wax more evil seemingly by the day, up to the day — that Day when no man knows — when that Trumpet sounds: it’s going to get worse.

Now for the believer, this is exciting, right? Does that not jam your friend’s gears when you say — **with enthusiasm** — “Hey, did you hear what North Korea is doing? How cool is that?”

And they’re looking at you like — **angrily** — “What is wrong with you? Are you kidding me? They’re going to microwave us, man! They’re going to barbecue us, and — and you’re excited about it?”

“Yes! I’m excited about it because God’s Word said that this is what they would do right before He returned to take us out of this world! And that’s why I’m excited.”

For the non-believer, it’s terrifying. And again, for good reason.

The good news is, if you’re terrified of all of this — and by the way, isn’t it interesting that even it seems that professing Christians are scared and don’t want to talk about Bible prophecy? I mean, just bring up the Rapture and watch the horns come out.

Is it just me, or — I mean, why is that? Because they’re afraid. Well, why are they afraid? I wonder if they are really ready for the Lord’s return.

The only thing that I can come up with to reconcile why it is that Christians — professing Christians — are terrified when it comes to Bible prophecy is that they have a tight grip on this world and the things of this world. And for us as believers, who love not the things of this world, we’re — we have no attachment here because this is not our home here.

So — and I think I speak for you when I say this — I want to go home! There’s nothing here in this world for me. My home is with Him, and He’s coming soon to take me home, and to take you home if you know Him and have come to a saving knowledge of Him.

But that’s the good news. It’s not too late for you to decide your fate. Let me take it a step further.

I would suggest that one of the main reasons we even have Bible prophecy is so that non-believers would believe. It’s so that skeptics would believe. In John’s gospel, chapter 13, verse 19, Jesus said, “I am telling you now before it happens, so that when it does happen you will believe that I am He.”

He says the same thing in a different way in the next chapter, chapter 14, verse 29. He says, “I have told you now before it happens, so that when it does happen you will believe.”

If you will but believe in the Lord and call upon the name of the Lord, you too can be saved from the Tribulation that is coming upon the entire Earth. And believe you me, during the Tribulation God is going to pour out His wrath on a Christ-rejecting world. And the Church of Christ, the Bride of Christ, will be taken out before the seven-year Tribulation.

And it’s not too late: there’s still time. I don’t think there’s much time. But instead of prophecy being terrifying, it’ll become exciting. And this because all that’s happening now in real time points to our redemption drawing near. Luke’s gospel — I know you’re familiar with this — chapter 21, verse 28: Jesus said, “Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near.”

So for the non-believer, God says, “I’m going to tell you what’s going to happen before it happens so when it happens, you’ll believe.”

For the believer: “I’m going to tell you what’s going to happen so when you see it begin to happen, you’ll look up, knowing your redemption draws nigh.”

Now: all of this begs the question of, “What things was Jesus talking about that would begin to happen, for us to look up and lift up our heads, knowing that our redemption draweth nigh?”

I’m of the belief that the very things Jesus was talking about beginning to happen, are now happening in real time, right before our very eyes.

Turn with me to Matthew’s gospel, 24th chapter; follow along with me as I read verses 3 through 8.

As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately. “Tell us,” they said, “when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?”

Jesus answered: “Watch out that no one deceives you. Many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many.”

Interesting — just let me stop there and parenthetically say that: Isn’t it interesting that we’ve never heard of anyone claiming to be Buddha? No, I’m not trying to be silly here.

Has there ever been a false Mohammed, a false Buddha, a false Confucius?

Here’s what I’m thinking: The counterfeit authenticates and validates the genuine. In other words, you’ll never see a counterfeit four-dollar bill. Why? There’s no such thing as a genuine four-dollar bill. Why would you want to counterfeit something that’s not genuine?

That’s why you won’t find a counterfeit Buddha, a counterfeit Confucius, a counterfeit Mohammed. You’ll only find a counterfeit Christ. Why? Only Christ is true. He’s the only one that is the genuine and true, and that’s why they’ll come claiming to be Him.

portion of transcript from JD Farag’s Mid-East Prophecy Update dated Sunday, April 7, 2013
Calvary Chapel Kaneohe, Hawaii.
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