In All Things – Praise Him
By Dennis Huebshman
Taking a look at all that’s happening around the world today, we see that this current age is rapidly coming to a close. Luke 21 tells about the end times from verse 10 through 28. Starting with verse 25; “And there will be signs in the sun, and moon, and stars, and on the earth distress of nations in perplexity because of the roaring of the sea and the waves; (26) people fainting with fear and foreboding of what is coming on the world. For the powers of the Heavens will be shaken. (27) And then, they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud, with power and great glory. (28) Now then, when these things begin to take place, (verses 10 through 24), straighten up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near” (ESV, emphasis mine)
This part of Luke is obviously speaking of the Tribulation period, because at the end of that 7 years, everyone will see Jesus returning to the earth. He will put down the “rebellion”; the antichrist and false prophet will be cast into the Lake of Fire (Revelation 19:20); and satan will be bound with a great chain and cast into a bottomless pit for one thousand years. (Revelation 20:1-3) At this point, Jesus will sit on the throne in Jerusalem, and will reign for what is known as the Millennial period.
For all believers today, the tribulation is something we will not have to worry about. We won’t be here. Our promise from the Father in several places (1 Thessalonians 1:10 and 1 Thessalonians 5:9 just to name two of them) is that we will not go through the Wrath – another name for the Tribulation. Paul tells us about the Rapture in 1 Corinthians 15:51-53 and 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17. Though it’s not specifically called the “Rapture”, it is described as the “taking up” or “harpazo” which appears in Greek translations.
The event of the Rapture takes place “in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet” (1 Corinthians 15:52). As I mentioned in a previous message, “twinkling of an eye” is significantly less than one second. We will be taken up to meet Jesus in the air in the clouds. (1 Thessalonians 4:17) The secular world will only see the aftermath of our sudden disappearance.
While we see definite anxiety all over the world because of all the evil activity that’s taking place, Christians need to be praising the Father because His word is coming true every day. All completed prophesies in the Bible were 100% accurate. Therefore, we can believe that the most awful time that this earth will ever experience will happen without us being here.
The crescendo of events listed for this age in the Bible, is increasing rapidly. The coalition of Ezekiel 38 formed in the past few years, and this was never present before. Israel was reborn on May 14, 1948 after more than 2000 years of not being a nation. It’s obvious that God has protected Israel, or by now it would have been totally annihilated by the larger nations all around it. We can be confident that when (not if) the coalition attacks, the word of the Lord will be fulfilled completely. Israel will be spared, but most of the population will enter the tribulation. By the end, 2/3 of them will perish. (Zechariah 13:8)
Meanwhile, Israel is prospering in a very large way. They’ve turned barren land into plush vineyards; have discovered massive oil and natural gas deposits, and the coalition nations are all but bankrupt. Israel has a military that is to be respected worldwide, and it is not afraid to take out threatening targets all around their borders.
Some are asking why we should praise God for all the misery in the world. It’s not that we are thankful for the misery, but the prospect it will soon be over for all true believers. Christians have been persecuted ever since our Savior’s sacrifice at Calvary. Some have perished in very awful ways. During the 7-year tribulation, anyone seeking Jesus and not taking the mark of the beast, will be fair game for anyone to kill. As Jesus said in John 16:2, “They will put you out of the synagogues. Indeed, the hour is coming when whoever kills you will think he is offering service to God.” Problem here is, people will be worshiping the antichrist as their “god”, not the Lord God Jehovah.
Paul said in Philippians 1:21-23, “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. (22) If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me. Yet which I shall choose, I cannot tell. (23) I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to depart (die) and be with Christ; for that is far better.” His implication is that our soul will be with Jesus at the instant we die. There will be some who won’t die before going to Jesus, and will be the ones still alive when the trumpet sounds, and are called up to meet Jesus at the Rapture.
Another example of the soul being with Jesus is the parable of the rich man and Lazarus in Luke 16. After his death, the rich man is already in torment. He is not in the Lake of Fire, as it won’t be populated until the Tribulation is over. Lazarus is already at “Abraham’s side (or bosom), which is the same as being in the presence of the Lord.
Overall, what true believers have to look forward to is all eternity in Heaven with Jesus. Our existence on this earth is but a blink of the eye compared to eternity. Everyone has an eternal destiny, and there are no exceptions. We will either be in paradise with all that the Father, Son and Holy Spirit have to offer; or we will be in eternal torment for refusing to accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior. Again, that’s forever.
Christians are told to praise God always. In 1 Corinthians 10:31, “So, whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”
Psalm 107:1, “Oh give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; for His steadfast love endures forever.”
Next 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, “Rejoice always, (17) pray without ceasing, (18) give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
Colossians 4:2, “Continue steadfast in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving.”
And then we have 1 Peter 4:10-11, “As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace; (11) whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God (ministers of the True Word); whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies – in order that in everything, God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To Him belong glory and dominion forever. Amen.”
These are no where near all the verses in the 66 Books of the Bible that tells us to praise and glorify our Heavenly Father, Jesus our Savior, and the Holy Spirit. The entire love letter from the Father, from Genesis through Revelation, gives us a clear picture that He loves us totally (John 3:16-18; Romans 5:8 and many others), and wants us to Love Him. After all, every breath we take is a gift from Him. Everything we possess belongs to him, and when we leave this earth, all our “things” will remain here. We need to worship and glorify the One who supplied our possessions, not the possessions themselves.
Yes, it may be difficult at times, but we need to talk to the Father daily; thank Him for what He has given; and then let Him know all of our concerns and worries. He knows what we need, but as any good “parent”, would like us to ask for our needs. When we form a real relationship with the Trinity, many times the Father will give us beyond what we asked. He’s not a santa claus, but He does enjoy seeing us happy
All who will have called on the name of the Lord will be saved. (Acts 2:21; Romans 10:9-13). The only “hard” part is believing this is true, and accepting the gift our Lord and Savior provided through His shed blood. There is no other way to the Father (John 14:6), and no other name by which we can be saved. (Acts 4:12)
Read the word of the Lord; and for those just starting; the book of John followed by Romans would be a good beginning. Talk (pray) to the Father daily. It doesn’t even have to be out loud as He “hears” our thoughts. When the Rapture call comes, not if, you will be thankful for all eternity that you chose to make the right decision.
B’Shem Yeshua (In the name of Jesus) Amen!