Show God You're Thankful By Nathele Graham God gave us everything. Because of Him we…
Don’t Go Back to Sleep
By Nathele Graham
Recently an emergency alert was sent to people in Hawaii. The threats of a crazy man in North Korea had seemingly become reality. “EMERGENCY ALERT: BALLISTIC MISSILE THREAT INBOUND TO HAWAII. SEEK IMMEDIATE SHELTER. THIS IS NOT A DRILL. (1/13/18). Where could they take shelter? Many of the people affected were tourists who had no idea where to hide. As a matter of fact, where could anybody hide? People reacted in various ways. Some broke out the liquor bottles, some sent messages to loved ones, and most were in a panic. It took over a half hour for the second message to be sent which stated that the first one had been sent in error. By that time many people had come face to face with their own mortality. During the time between messages, some of the people had decided to “get right with God”. When the threat had passed I wonder how many forgot their “soul searching” and picked up life as it was before the emergency alert. Then the finger-pointing and questions began. Why had it taken so long to send the second message? Had there really been a missile that fell short of its target? Why was the man who made the mistake “reassigned” instead of being fired? There will never be suitable answers, but the real question is, if the threat had not been a mistake, where would you spend eternity? Most people felt fear, but was that fear misplaced? “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.” Proverbs 9:10. We can be afraid of all the manmade threats that come our way, but are we any wiser because of that fear? Only the fear of the Lord can bring wisdom because only respect for Him will lead us to live a God-fearing life. Quite often we fear for our mortal life, but in reality we need to fear for our immortal soul.
Many warnings are sent regarding natural disasters. For many years I lived on the West Coast of the United States and there was always the chance of an earthquake or a tsunami. Geologists warn that the “big one” will strike any day, but they say it so often and are wrong that most people ignore them. Earthquakes do happen, but they happen without warning (as I’m finishing this commentary a surprise 8.2 earthquake just happened in Alaska). Some warnings are urgent regarding a tsunami following an earthquake across the ocean. I can’t help but compare these risks to our life in these mortal bodies and spiritual warnings we should be aware of and heed. Earthquakes are sudden and without warning, just as death can happen suddenly and without warning. We can’t pack a bag or store food to prepare for death. Faith in Jesus Christ is the only way to be assured of eternal life. On the other hand, there is the possibility of a tsunami. If an earthquake occurs in Japan it can trigger a tsunami in the United States but there is a time interval and usually there’s time to prepare When we are born it’s inevitable that we will one day die. A wise person will make plans now for life after death. A sudden heart attack in an elderly person will take their life as quickly as an automobile accident will take the life of a teenager. “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: so Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.” Hebrews 9:27-28. Most of us expect to live a long life but you’re never too young or too old to prepare for eternity. We cannot know when our time on earth will be done. Accept Christ for salvation now because tomorrow may be too late.
God has been giving us warnings for many, many years. We can count on these warnings from Him to come to pass. Do we listen to the alarm or do we hit the snooze button? A large percentage of Scripture is prophecy. If God didn’t think it’s important for us to be warned then Scripture would have only been filled with “warm fuzzies” so nobody would be upset. If we heed His warnings we’ll be prepared for whatever our future holds. When you die you won’t be reincarnated as a person, a cow, or some other creature in order to try to get things right the second time around. If you think that you can make it to Heaven by being “good enough” or that you’ll go to a “better place” when you die, you need to do some serious Bible study. Reincarnation is a fallacy, as are notions that “all roads lead to Heaven”. “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” John 14:6. Don’t second guess God. He has done all He can to provide the only way for you to be with Him for eternity. Unless you’ve truly accepted Christ for salvation you won’t go to Heaven.
That leads to another question. Will everyone die? The answer is no. “Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.” 1 Corinthians 15:51-52. A day is coming very soon when Christians will be called Home. God gave a “picture” of the Rapture in Enoch, who was taken (Raptured) prior to God’s judgment being poured out in the world wide flood of Noah’s time. This is a picture of Christians being Raptured prior to God’s judgment during Daniel’s 70th week. There will be no emergency warning bulletin sent to cell phones or blasted over the airwaves prior to the Rapture, it will happen in the “twinkling of an eye”. Then Daniel’s 70th week will begin, which will be seven years of misery like never before. The description of the events on earth after the Rapture are horrendous. When talking about that time, Jesus said “For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.” Matthew 24:21. Scripture warns of this time. It’s described in Revelation beginning in chapter 6, as well as in the Book of Daniel and other prophecies. God has given plenty of warning, but the problem is that most people don’t take His word seriously. The prophecies found in Ezekiel, Zachariah, Daniel, and more are all warnings by God to let us know what’s coming. Read these books and pay attention to news headlines. We can choose to ignore the warnings God has given us, but if then we won’t be prepared to explain today’s news headlines to others. Christians won’t be on earth for Daniel’s 70th week, but we can see by the signs that the time is very near. Scientists warn that the “big one” will occur in California and even set dates. They are always wrong and their date-setting just causes people to ignore them, but one day a devastating earthquake will happen. Even more inevitable is the Rapture. Because there has been so many wrong dates set by man, people scoff at it. Scripture is clear that it will happen and the signs point to it happening soon. It may happen before you finish reading this commentary, or it may happen ten years from now. Only God knows, but it should be our greatest desire to share the Gospel with others so that our friends and family won’t have to face God’s wrath.
Prophecy is given to us by God in order that we’ll be aware of our time in history. It’s an important study but most Christians don’t give it a second thought. Is it too confusing? Maybe you need to study it in a modern light. God doesn’t want us to be ignorant of the time in which we live. Peter saw great wonders as he walked and talked with Jesus, but he understood the importance of prophecy. “We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” 2 Peter 1:19-21. The prophets of old spoke what the Holy Spirit told them to say before the event happened. More than likely they had no idea what their words meant, but they knew they spoke for God. When Daniel wrote about future activity taking place in the Temple, do you think he understood? After all, the Jewish Temple had been destroyed many years prior. He wrote what he was told to write and knew it was from the Lord. The Temple was rebuilt, but was again destroyed. It will be rebuilt again very soon because prophecy says it will. Prophecy is sometimes hard to decipher, but if it isn’t time for us to understand then the meaning won’t be clear. We are nearing the end of days and many of the misinterpreted prophecies are becoming clear.
Many of our man-made churches have become so laid back that people turn to alcohol in times of trouble rather than to Jesus. We’re living in the times of Laodicean church described in Revelation chapter 3 where Jesus is on the outside and very little God’s truth is preached; the congregation is asleep. “So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.” Revelation 3:16. This letter was addressed to people living in the final era of Christian history. Study prophecy and be aware of news headlines and you will see that this letter was addressed to Christians living today. Many Christians are lukewarm about their faith and couldn’t care less about the warnings God has given. The next event will be the Rapture. “After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter.” Revelation 4:1. The Rapture has been foretold since the day Enoch was taken to Heaven prior to the Judgment of God being poured out upon those people who rejected God and embraced totally depraved wickedness. Heed the warnings. Jesus gave a warning regarding the times in which we live. “But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.” Matthew 24:37. In order to be able to sound the warnings to other people, be sure you understand what was happening in the days of Noah. Many people would have us believe that people were just really bad. They were wicked, but God had to destroy all of creation because of the genetic manipulation that the fallen angels who followed Satan were doing to corrupt all plants, animals, and people. Read what the Bible says instead of being duped by the lies perpetuated by men who misinterpret God’s word because the truth doesn’t feel good. Be informed about the genetic manipulation that scientists are inflicting on plants, animals, and people. Wake up and don’t hit the snooze button. There’s a world of lost souls who need to hear God’s truth before the warnings are turned into reality. There may have been a false warning in Hawaii, but it should have been a wakeup call to just how fragile and temporary life is.
“And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed.” Romans 13:11. Don’t ignore the warnings. Sound the alarm and don’t go back to sleep.
All original scripture is “theopneustos” God breathed.
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