Thursday, August 13, 2009

He Is Coming!

“Let the heavens rejoice,
and let the earth be glad!
Let the sea roar, and its fullness!
Let the field be joyful,
and all that is in it!
Then shall all the trees of the wood
rejoice before the Lord, for he is coming!
He is coming to judge the earth;
He will judge the world with righteousness,
and the people with His truth.”
Psalm 96:11-13

Jesus is coming again! He will return to reign on earth with perfect justice for a thousand years. Humans have never experienced such a reign, though Israel experienced brief times of perfect justices whenever one of their kings loved God’s law and carried out its righteous judgments. But that did not happen often, and it never lasted long. But even at that, no king of Israel was as pure in heart as the Son of God, and none of those kings, even Solomon, was nearly as wise. The reign of Christ Jesus will be perfect in every part, and what a relief he will bring to the meek and to the upright in heart! Throughout his thousand-year reign, good people will never be oppressed, and wicked people will never escape their just punishment.

The return of Jesus is the greatest hope of all who truly love God. Every person whose heart and life is pleasing to God feels the yearning for the Lord’s return. If the Spirit of God is alive and well in your soul, then you already feel what I am talking about. In one of the last verses of the Bible, the apostle John wrote, “The Spirit and the bride say, ‘Come!’” (Rev. 22:17). Amen! The holy Ghost in us calls out for Jesus to come, and so do those who are ready for their Bridegroom to come and take them to his wedding feast in the Father’s presence.

The truth of the return of Jesus to rescue us from the governments and cultures of sinful man provides us with great comfort. Listen to what Paul said had been revealed to him by the Lord. He sent this message to the saints in Thessalonica, who were among his most faithful, and most persecuted Gentile converts (1Thess. 4:15-18):

"Now I say this to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are left here alive until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who sleep; for when the command is given, the Lord himself will descend from heaven with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God; and the dead in Christ will rise first. Next, we who are alive and left here will be caught away together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus will we ever be with the Lord. So, ENCOURAGE ONE ANOTHER WITH THESE WORDS."


The Testimony of the Lord

“The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple.”
Psalm 19:7

“Thy testimonies are very sure.”
Psalm 93:5

During his great revelation of the end times, John was told that the saints overcome the devil by the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony (Rev. 12:11). We know what “the blood of the Lamb” is; it is the holy Spirit that cleanses the soul from sin. But what is the word of our testimony?

First of all, a real testimony is not just talk. I have been in many a prayer meeting in which someone just stood up and talked, thinking they were giving a testimony. It is burdensome to listen to such powerless talk. A testimony in the kingdom of God is a living thing; it is a confession of something God has really done, and it brings the spirit of faith and victory into a room. Solomon said that whatever God does lasts forever (Eccl. 3:14), and this is true about a testimony as much as anything else. I know saints who have testified for decades to a miraculous work that God wrought in their lives, and it still lives and convicts and thrills souls. If God really did what you are talking about, it is still alive. It still teaches, warns, convicts, and edifies. It is not just talk.

That is why, along with the blood of Christ, God’s children overcome the devil with their testimonies. The devil has no testimony because he refuses to tell the truth about himself. He would have to testify that he was a deceitful creature when he was in heaven, that he was cast out of heaven when the Son of God ascended into heaven, and that he is still a liar and cannot stop lying because God will not grant him repentance. If he were in a meeting of the saints, and if he were to testify honestly to the work of God in his life, he would have to cry out, “I am damned! I am damned! And there is nothing I can do to change!” That would be a real testimony on his part. That would be a “testimony of the Lord” because it would be a testimony of what the Lord has done. But Satan would not give such a testimony, for he is “a liar and the father of it.”

Now, what is the Lord’s testimony in your life? If you have such a testimony, please use it! It is a powerful weapon against the forces that are now being marshaled against you and against all others around the world who walk in the light of God in Jesus Christ. Your testimony of God’s work in your life is a rock upon which you, and we, can stand forever, for “the testimony of the Lord is sure.”

"You Are Evil"

“If you, being evil, know how
to give good gifts to your children . . .”
Mt. 7:11

“O generation of vipers, how can you,
being evil, speak good things?”
Mt. 12:34

What kind of relationship would you be able to have with someone who told you to your face that you are evil? What would your attitude be toward that person? Jesus told his disciples they were evil, and yet they kept following him. In fact, one day when they asked him who would be saved in the Final Judgment, he told them that they and all other people were so hopelessly evil that there was nothing they could do to escape the coming wrath of God (Mk. 10:26-27). And they still followed him.

Every man sent by God from the foundation of the world has told fallen man that he is evil, and the only people who have ever escaped from their fallen human nature are those who have believed those servants of God and cried out to God for help. If you are too proud to confess your sinfulness, you will never escape it.

Jesus gave Brother Earl a dream a couple of years ago in which he heard his former pastor, now with the Lord, calmly and gently talking to a brother who had done wrong. I will change the name he used, but here is what that man of God spoke to the backslidden brother: “Do you know how to get out of it, Sam?” Then after a short pause, he said very gently, but with authority, “You own up to it.”

We all “have sinned and come short of the glory of God”, and Jesus has made for us a way out of our sin. All we have to do is humbly bow before him and “own up to it.”