Summary: A series of events will most certainly come to planet Earth one day, maybe soon. Here are a group of sermonettes covering some of them.
Recipe for disaster:
Do you get frustrated, as do I, when you hear obvious perversions of Scripture? When a passage is mutilated beyond repair? When the words are so obvious, but folks read into them their own ideas?
I wouldn't want to let them in my kitchen, to prepare a recipe for me that they had not studied. I mean, the cook books are pretty straightforward. First get the oven ready. Then the cooking dish. Then gather the ingredients. Then mix them together. The flour. The eggs. The butter. Pour into dish. Put into oven. Wait 25 minutes. Pull dish out...
But some of these theologians, left to their strange ways, would be waiting 25 minutes at the beginning, then mixing the ingredients, then placing all in the oven, then pulling all out of the oven, then setting the oven to 425 degrees.
That's what they do to precious passages like Mark 13, that I was reading the other day. It's the companion passage of Matthew 24, you know. All about answering the disciples' questions concerning His coming, and the end of the world as we know it. The Scripture is so plain.
1. First, the sign they asked for is given: "the abomination of desolation spoken of by Daniel the prophet." That's the sign. Read Daniel. Study. Figure it out. Look for it. That is the signal for the beginning of the end.
2. There follows ("then", in recipe talk) unprecedented world trouble. Immediately. The A.D. 70 destruction of Jerusalem is a picture of what will happen, but is not the event itself. Unprecedented in world history. Ever. Even the Korean War bypasses A.D. 70. Look for MUCH worse than anything you have ever imagined.
3. THEN (do I make my meaning plain enough?) signs in the heavens! And the return of Jesus!
4. THEN, at that time actually, the rapture of the church. The Kingdom age begins.
Why is that so hard? If you really do not know, please do not make me any cupcakes any time soon.
Why do folks want to add another step between 1 and 2? That step about a "secret" coming just isn't there, folks! It will be the most un-secret event of all history: Every eye will see Him!
Believing Jesus will come and sweep you to glory before the trouble starts may fit western comfort-zone theology, but it aint in the recipe book, no matter which version you use.
I challenge every reader today to go to Mark 13 and read exactly what it says. Then to go lay down whatever it is that is keeping you from letting go of materialism and comfort, and look with hope but reality for the way Jesus will give us all grace to go through any fire that is coming.
The utter ruin of disobedient nations:
We who know Christ ought to speak only what His Spirit has breathed. The message on my heart today is not my own, but from that Spirit of Truth promised to the disciples.
That Spirit said through Isaiah (60:12) "The nation and kingdom which will not serve you shall perish, and those nations shall be utterly ruined."
There will be a measure of freedom in the millennial reign of Christ. Those that have for all or part of the 1000 years rebelled or complained or refused Christ's reign will be gathered together by the released Enemy of God, Satan, for one final -pitiful- confrontation. Those nations will then be "utterly ruined." Though Isaiah speaks much in his book of the Millennium, one cannot but see the heart of God for all nations, even today, that refuse even to allow the name of Jesus to be publicized.