Friday, April 19, 2013

For the Time Is Near


For the Time Is Near
A Quick look at Revelation

Revelation 1:1-3
The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John: Who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw.  Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.

The book of Revelation begins and ends with a blessing to those who read and hear the words of this book and who keep what it says–––for the time is near. Sometimes I think people are confused by this wonderful book thinking it is bizarre and mystical but may I encourage your heart, it is neither. The book of Revelation has as it’s central theme, Jesus Christ. It is all about Him, His majesty and His glory and as the curtain is pulled back, John describes for us; the vision of the revelation of Christ, the unveiling of who He is, using song, poetry, symbolism and prophecy.

The book of Revelation is said to be a gift from the Father to His Son as a reward for His perfect and humble service while on earth. The purpose of Revelation is to exalt Christ and bestow upon Him a name above every name so that at the name of Jesus every knee shall bow and every tongue will confess that He is Lord, to the glory of God the Father (Philippians 2:5,8-11). Revelation communicates the events of Christ’s second coming and warns the church of the danger of sin. It depicts the reverent worship around the throne of God with all it’s splendor saying, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honor, and glory, and blessing, to open the scroll and then the appearance of the four horsemen of the Apocalypse–––the beginning of the judgments. 

There’s a war waged in Heaven with Michael and his angels against the dragon and his angels. They’re not strong enough to prevent Christ from coming again and establishing His millennial kingdom and are permanently cast down from heaven to the earth. (Woe, to the inhabitants of  earth).  The saints begin to rejoice saying; Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night (Revelation 12:10). 

The ringleaders of world wide rebellion will exercise their authority and perform great signs of their own to imitate Christ’s. The world system will become fascinated with worshiping the Antichrist and he will encourage and demand worship of himself above every so-called god or object. He will be aided by his cohort, the false prophet, Satan’s last and most powerful lying deceiver. Satan, the counterfeit of the Father, Antichrist, the counterfeit of Jesus Christ and the false prophet, the counterfeit of the Holy Spirit will form the satanic false trinity in Satan’s final deception of the world. 

One hundred and forty-four thousand, that belong to God, will survive both Satan’s wrath and God’s judgments on the sinful world. They will emerge from the worst known holocaust in history, the tribulation. The bowl judgments, which depict the most unimaginable devastation and death, will affect only those who worship the Antichrist. The final world religion will be exposed as “BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS,” and the impending King will be seen in graphic, powerful imagery as THE KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS. 

The church, the Bride of Christ, and all who are redeemed, will be presented to the Bridegroom, Jesus Christ and the marriage of the Lamb ceremony will be complete. The return of the Conqueror, seated upon a white horse, who is called Faithful and True, wearing a robe dipped in blood with many crowns upon His head, wages war. The pinnacle of the Day of the Lord, a frightening catastrophic holocaust, called the Battle of Armageddon takes place. In an instant, the beast will be seized, along with the dragon, the serpent of old, who is the devil, and the false prophet will be banished or thrown alive directly into the lake of fire the place of eternal punishment. Satan will be bound there for 1,000 years and Christ will return and reign in a real kingdom on earth for 1,000 years. Then, Satan will be released for a short time and the Great White Throne Judgment will take place where continuous, unrelieved torment will be the final state of Satan, fallen angels, and unredeemed men.

The final vision portrays the eternal joy of the new heaven and the new earth, God’s glorious promise to the Saints. The New Jerusalem takes as it’s inhabitants, the redeemed, those who have put their faith and trust in Jesus Christ. The splendor of heaven with eternal blessing, has in it’s midst, the Bright and Morning Star who will shatter the darkness of man’s night and bring to light the dawning of God’s glorious day, eternal life with Christ.

Thought: This is only a short account of the things to come following the Rapture of the church; but be assured, they will come to pass. 

But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.  For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.   For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.  For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:  Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.  Wherefore comfort one another with these words. (I Thessalonians 4:13-18). 

In the ending statement of Revelation, Jesus Christ says, Surely I come quickly, speaking of His second coming to take back what is rightfully His. 

2 Peter 3:10-14
But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.  Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness,   Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?  Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.  Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.

Are you ready for His return? He is coming and His return is imminent. The Lord of glory offers heaven to those who accept His gracious invitation. Repent and put your faith and trust in the only One who can forgive you of your sins, the Lord Jesus Christ.

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