If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned (John 15:6).
There is a message that makes us feel good; a message that speaks to our inmost desires and points to a future of prosperity, joy, peace, and love. There is another message that causes many to tremble; to feel judged, to feel as if they are being attacked. Ironically, the latter message is the one that, if heeded, leads to true prosperity, joy, peace, and love. One message appeals to self and treats God as though he is Santa Clause and the other appeals to God by acknowledging His awe.
This is nothing new! The prophets of God who brought messages of judgement on apostate nations were often maligned, abused, and killed. Yet, the message continues to flow and it remains consistent. God is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow and He calls us to deny ourselves and follow Him. He tells us of the things that will happen if we walk away from Him and turn to idols, of any kind. But most importantly, He tells us that He will forgive us if we repent, and gives us much warning before judgement is poured out.
The prosperity message paints a singular picture; it is a one size fits all message. There is just one problem, it doesn’t fit all, in fact, very few are beneficiaries of such a message and the messenger is often the main beneficiary.
The message of love – so called messages of doom – offers reality in the midst of tragedy. From my perspective, we don’t often like reality; I’m guilty of that. It is a message with choices depending on where we are spiritually. Yes, it is often a hard message to hear but if we do just what Christ call us to do and step aside from ourselves we will see it from a different perspective. It is a message that says that life or death truly begins at the end of our present reality; spent either in heaven or hell.
Time is late; time is running out; the clock is counting down quickly and we need to prepare for what is coming. Yes, I keep saying the same thing over and over but I only say what I keep hearing. If you are reading this and you are not in the will of God, get there! It is the only sure place of safety in these last days. Preparation begins in our hearts and on our knees; taking our sins and laying them at the foot of the cross.
Many have heard the message but continue to ask for signs; they continue to have a desire to believe but will only do so when they can see it. The “seeing is believing” notion has us in a death grip all the while laughing that the sight of it may be our demise. How then can we repent? Why do we wait for the shaking to begin before we prepare a place to take cover? How can one build a shelter in the middle of a raging battle?
The only guaranteed time left on the clock is “now”! Don’t wait for it to strike midnight, for at midnight the groom will appear and only those whose lamps remained trimmed and lit will enter into the banquet. If you are hungry, feast on the Bread of life; if you are thirsty, drink from the Cup of salvation. Abide in Christ and prosper unto eternal life. The world is dying and so are we but both we and the world are promised an eternal make-over. Take hold of Jesus; open the door while He knocks and walk in His ways always.
There is a judgment coming; so too is prosperity for those who abide in Him. Where will you and I stand on that day; to His right or to His left?
Also, I set watchmen over you, saying, “Listen to the sound of the trumpet!” But they said, “We will not listen” (Jer 6:17).
Accompanying our ability to hear, is our choice to listen or ignore the messages we receive; the choice to believe or beguile what is being said. Listen carefully and you will hear the voice of the watchmen echoing through the halls and in the open fields. Look carefully and you will see his banner signaling the approaching danger. These are the days of Noah, when many mock the warnings or the man who hears and is obedient to sound the shofar. These are the days of Lot, when our eyes are lifted so high and turned so inward that we fail to see the approaching judgements. These are the days of Jonah, when the people of God are afraid to speak against the culture. These are the days of the prophets when those who preach the word of God are locked up, killed, and ignored to their own destruction. These are the days of the Apostles and the fulfillment of prophecy.
“The best of them is like a brier, the most upright sharper than the thorn hedge. The day of your watchman, your punishment, has comes. Now their confusion is at hand” (Micah 7:4).
The sound of the shofar pierces through thick cedars and rattles the hearts of all who hear. The sound of battle is faint; reaching only those who remain alert. To some it is merely a rumor, to others a delusion. They turn against those assigned to keep watch; “liars….. alarmists….. fools” they say, as they continue to look inward for the source of their existence and wealth. Joining together with those of like mind, they count their treasures and worship the work of their hands. Their confusion rests on their ignorance and the hardening of their hearts and minds to the word of God. They deny the Almighty and His Christ and see only what they want to believe. Their evolving perceptions and beliefs are as much a deception as the notion of evolution itself. Their counsel is meaningless; their gathering is to no end. “He who sits in the heavens laughs” at their folly yet in His grace says “Return to Me and I will return to you”. The Lord is speaking to us; His voice is being uttered in the winds, the fires, and the waters. The elements are groaning as they carry out the commands of His voice. The birth pangs have increased and the time has come for deliverance. The Lord is revealing many things to us and continues to write His messages in the heavens.
The message of the prophets is coming alive and mysteries are being revealed. The signs of Christ’s return are everywhere. Society continues to sink into spiritual decay and even those charged with the word have perverted it. The days of Elijah are back and he is again screaming to the masses “How long will you go limping between two different opinions?” “If the Lord is God, follow him; but if Baal, then follow him”. Still there is much silence as people continue to ignore the warnings. The sweet message of prosperity, salvation, healing, and other empty messages have captivated us. So much so that we are blind to our ailing spiritual condition and refuse to hear the warnings. “Speak softly” they say; “God is love”, “He will never do those things”. ….No, God is Holy and sin cannot and will not ever enter His presence. Open your ears and eyes and heed the warning of the shofar. There is an army marching our way and we only have one safe place to take refuge. Only in Jesus Christ is there safety. Are we there?