Monday, September 3, 2012
Welcome to Day 246 of our Life Journal!
Before you comment or read what I have posted, please read the following passages for yourself and complete your own S.O.A.P. exercise… How does this work?
S.O.A.P = Scripture, Observation, Application, Prayer
Ezekiel 20, lamenting over Israel’s elders in captivity for their idolatry…
40 “For on my holy mountain, the high mountain of Israel, declares the Sovereign Lord, there in the land the entire house of Israel will serve me, and there I will accept them.” (Emphasis is mine.)
Makes me want to stand and shout and cheer every time the Lord proclaims restoration over Israel!
Ezekiel 21, the sword of God’s judgment… again?? I get it, I get it… Israel was unfaithful and worshiped idols and is being cut off for a time.
Psalm 111:9, “He provided redemption for his people; he ordained his covenant forever—holy and awesome is his name.”
Revelation 8, the seventh seal causes silence in heaven for about 30 minutes. That silence must have been deafening! Going from the scene in Revelation 4-7 with all the thousands of angels worshiping and crying out. Possibly it signifies the awe in heaven for what has already been revealed, or for what is about to be revealed?
(Wow, then this seventh seal being opened unleashes some serious judgment upon the earth when the angels sound their trumpets!) Verse 7, “The first angel sounded his trumpet, and there came hail and fire mixed with blood, and it was hurled down upon the earth. A third of the earth was burned up, a third of the trees were burned up, and all the green grass was burned up.”
13 As I watched, I heard an eagle that was flying in midair call out in a loud voice: “Woe! Woe! Woe to the inhabitants of the earth, because of the trumpet blasts about to be sounded by the other three angels!”
(Watch out when an eagle calls out in a loud voice!)
Some serious stuff is being unleashed on the earth…
I stumbled upon a Life Journal group meeting Sunday morning at our coffee bar in the Family Life Center at church… They asked me about the tribulation… if I’m “pre-trib, mid-trib, or post-trip.” I gave my standard “I’m a pan-tribulationist… I believe it will all pan out in the end.” : )
Then we talked for a few minutes about it, seriously…
But I am serious…
Jesus said two things that may sound like they contradict one another…
The first was about being able to know the weather, but not the signs of the times… Matthew 16:3, “‘“When evening comes, you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red, 3 and in the morning, ‘Today it will be stormy, for the sky is red and overcast.’ Today it will be stormy, for the sky is red and overcast.’ You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times.”
But he also said in Matthew 24:36 “No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. 37 As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.”
How can we reconcile both of those statements??
It’s true, we can be a little slow to interpret the time we are in… and no one knows exactly the day or the hour of his return…
In the end, it doesn’t really matter, if we’re always ready… (I wrote about this a day or two ago… about the parable of the ten virgins having their lamps ready for the wedding… Some didn’t and missed it.)
This is not meant to be a cop-out… It’s not that I don’t want to take a stand on the matter or offer up an opinion, it’s just that I don’t really know. And even those who think they know, could be wrong, not matter how convinced they may be that they are right.
At any rate, some not-fun stuff awaits the earth at some point, whether I/we will be here or not. It’s going to happen sometime, and it won’t be pretty.
I do believe, however, that Jesus took the punishment for our sins already, so we won’t have to pay! That’s pretty clear in scripture. That is where the “pre-trib” stance comes from… That we will escape all of this.
I’m not convinced, however, that just because we may be around for some of this that it is judgment upon the church, just that the church may need to be around to preach the good news through this whole mess! How else will people be saved??
Again, doesn’t matter. Just be ready!
I’m hoping to escape this whole mess, though… seriously… Hail and fire mixed with blood?? (Gulp…) Not a pretty picture for sure. Then, a third of the sea turns to blood?? Then a third of all the rivers turn bitter??
Again, just… be… ready. Pre, mid or post.
Lord, I’m so thankful that YOU make us ready. It’s because of all that YOU have done that we have any hope at all to escape this mess, or that we could ever endure it!