I Have Told You All This Ahead of Time

Matthew 24:14-25

“This gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations. Then the end will come.” – Matthew 24:14

Preached as a testimony to all nations. . . a Kingdom Gospel of service, sacrifice, and suffering. A Kingdom Gospel at odds with the kingdom of man message of tyrannical power, senseless revolts, endless violence, and coercion through force.

“So when you see standing in the holy place ‘the abomination that causes desolation,’ spoken of through the prophet Daniel—let the reader understand.” Matthew 24:15

When Jesus spoke these words to his disciples none of his testimony had been recorded. Only later, through the writings of Mark, Matthew, John, Luke, Peter, James, Paul, and Jude, would Jesus’ brief life make it into print. And yet, Christ knew we would read his words. Now, 2000 years later, he commands us to not only read, but understand what is to come.

“Let those in Judea flee. For there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now—never to be equaled again.” – Matthew 24:16

In the book of Christ Revelation Jesus says, “Hail and fire mixed with blood was hurled down on the earth.
“A third of the earth was burned up.
“A third of the trees were burned up.
“All the green grass was burned up.”
Revelation 8:7

“Something like a huge mountain, all ablaze, was thrown into the sea.
A third of the sea turned into blood.
A third of the living creatures in the sea died.
A third of the ships were destroyed.
“And a great star, blazing like a torch, fell from the sky on a third of the rivers and on the springs of water.
A third of the waters turned bitter. Many people died from the waters that had become bitter.”
Revelation 8: 8-10

A third of the sun was struck.
A third of the moon and a third of the stars was struck, so that a third of them turned dark.
A third of the day was without light and a third of the night.”
Revelation 8:12

Every island fled away.” Revelation 16:20

“The mountains could not be found.” Revelation 16:20

Some contend the Revelation of Christ is metaphorical imagery that should not be taken literally. Ask yourself: Have any of the events described by Christ ever happened? If not, then was Jesus speaking in hyperbole? Are we merely waiting for him to come and say to us, “It was a joke. I was only kidding?” Is this what we mean by Advent?

“If those days had not been shortened, not one person would survive.”  – Matthew 24:22

Notice that Jesus speaks in past tense, as if these events, this time of unequaled distress, has already happened. In the same breathe he then speaks of the same event in future tense.

“But for the sake of the elect, those days will be shortened.” – Matthew 24:22

Only the One who is the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End, can speak of history in past, present, and future at the same time.

“False prophets will appear and perform great signs and miracles to deceive even the elect—if that were possible. But I have told you all this ahead of time.” – Matthew 24:24-25

Here is our warning. False prophets, false teachers, false preachers will twist the words of Christ and those of his Father. They will do so in order to deceive not just those in Christ, but all men and women. This is the first and favorite attack of Satan. “Did God really say. . . ?” And this will be the Father of Lies last line of offense. But take heart. There is an implied promise for those who are in Christ.

“It that were possible. . . .” When the Spirit of Christ resides within, his Spirit will confirm, illuminate, and cause to come alive his very words. This is as it should be. The author always knows the intent of his words better than the reader.

Praise be to God; Christ has warned us ahead of time to be alert to those who speak falsehoods. Look for the coming of Christ. His arrival is closer today than yesterday.

The Words of Jesus to the Faithful Church that Endures to the End

Revelation 3:7-13

The Words of Jesus to the Faithful Church that Endures to the EndThese are my holy and true words. My Father has placed on my shoulder the key of the house of David. What I open no one can shut, and what I shut no one can open. As in the days of my servant, Eliakim son of Hilkiah, my Father has clothed me with a robe, fastened a sash around me, and given me his authority. I will be a father to those who live in Jerusalem, to the people of Judah, and throughout the world. 

I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut.

Since you have kept my word and my commands and have not denied my name, but rather have endured patiently, I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is coming to test those who live on the earth. 

Hold on to what you have so that no one will take your crown.

He who overcomes I will make a pillar in the temple of my God. Never again will he leave. 

I will write on him the name of my God. I will write on him the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which is coming down out of heaven from my God. I will also write on him my new name.

Hear with your listening ears to what the Holy Spirit says to the faithful church that endures to the end.

The very character we exhibit in our present surroundings is an indication of what we will be like in other surroundings. Oswald Chambers

Isaiah 22:20-22

The Words of Jesus to the God-Fearing, Bible-Believing Church

Revelation 2:1-7

The Words of Jesus to the God-Fearing, Bible-Believing ChurchThese are the words of the one who holds the seven stars (keys) in his right hand and walks about in the rooms and halls and sanctuaries of the seven churches. 

I know your deeds. You work hard! You persevere. You reject wicked men and will not tolerate their wickedness. You test those who claim to be followers of me but are not, and when found to be false, you cast them out. You suffer hardship for my name and do not grow weary.

And yet you do not love me!

Not like you did at first. Not as you claim. Remember the passion, the joy, the all-giving love you had for me when we first met? Remember the way you would sit and listen for hours while I spoke with you, the way you hung on my every word. How you would long to be in my presence. At first you would do anything for me: not out of duty, but out of delight. 

Turn and go back to those moments when you fell in love with me.

If you do not, I will remove your lampstand and lock your doors. Love me with all your heart, all your mind, and all your soul. Only then will your works in my name draw others to me.