Good morning. It is Wednesday, February 23, 2022. Jeanette Stark here.
It is a gorgeous, biting-cold morning. The sun is shining brightly, and the lawns are frozen white.
My alarm goes off at 4:45am. And typically, I get up 😊 but last night I awoke at 11 and could not get back to sleep. The last time I looked at the clock it was after 2am. Needless to say, when the alarm chimed less than 3 hours later, I was not ready.
All that to say, I slept in a bit and when I got up, instead of my usual morning routine of getting ready and getting out the door, I turned on the TV. The first program I found was Discover Prophecy with David Asscherick. His message this morning drove home something that is constantly on my mind: Jesus is coming soon! And He wants you to be ready.
I would like to look at some of the verses David mentioned this morning. All verses are from the New King James Bible.
The first four have a word in common.
“Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him. Even so, Amen.” Revelation 1:7
“Behold, I am coming quickly! Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your crown.” Revelation 3:11
“And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work.” Revelation 22:12
“Behold, I am coming as a thief. Blessed is he who watches, and keeps his garments, lest he walk naked and they see his shame.” Revelation 16:15
David asked the question, what does it mean to behold? He then went on to say there is an expression, “beauty is in the eye of the beholder” To behold is to see or look. But what are we to be looking at or looking for?
John wrote in Revelation 22:20, “He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming quickly.” Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus!”
Jesus said in Matthew 24:42 “Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour (day) your Lord is coming.”
Paul wrote in 1 Thessalonians 5:4, 6 “But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief…Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober (self-controlled.”
“How quick is quick? How soon is soon? How close is close?”
People have been saying for years that Jesus would return. 2 Peter 3:3-4 “knowing this first: that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation.” NKJV
How do we know it will really happen?
Paul in 1 Thessalonians says watch.
Jesus in Matthew says watch.
John in Revelation says watch.
Even Peter tells us to watch. “But the end of all things is at hand; therefore be serious and watchful in your prayers.” 1 Peter 4:7
The Bible is telling us to watch for something, but what? All these verses are referring to the end of time. We are told to watch for the signs that Jesus’ second coming is near.
In Matthew chapter 24, the disciples asked Jesus what the signs of the end of time will be:
“Jesus then left the Temple. As he walked away, his disciples pointed out how very impressive the Temple architecture was. Jesus said, “You’re not impressed by all this sheer size, are you? The truth of the matter is that there’s not a stone in that building that is not going to end up in a pile of rubble.”
Later as he was sitting on Mount Olives, his disciples approached and asked him, “Tell us, when are these things going to happen? What will be the sign of your coming, that the time’s up?”
Jesus said, “Watch out for doomsday deceivers. Many leaders are going to show up with forged identities, claiming, ‘I am Christ, the Messiah.’ They will deceive a lot of people. When reports come in of wars and rumored wars, keep your head and don’t panic. This is routine history; this is no sign of the end. Nation will fight nation and ruler fight ruler, over and over. Famines and earthquakes will occur in various places. This is nothing compared to what is coming.
“They are going to throw you to the wolves and kill you, everyone hating you because you carry my name. And then, going from bad to worse, it will be dog-eat-dog, everyone at each other’s throat, everyone hating each other.
“In the confusion, lying preachers will come forward and deceive a lot of people. For many others, the overwhelming spread of evil will do them in—nothing left of their love but a mound of ashes.
“Staying with it—that’s what God requires. Stay with it to the end. You won’t be sorry, and you’ll be saved. All during this time, the good news—the Message of the kingdom—will be preached all over the world, a witness staked out in every country. And then the end will come.
“But be ready to run for it when you see the monster of desecration set up in the Temple sanctuary. The prophet Daniel described this. If you’ve read Daniel, you’ll know what I’m talking about. If you’re living in Judea at the time, run for the hills; if you’re working in the yard, don’t return to the house to get anything; if you’re out in the field, don’t go back and get your coat. Pregnant and nursing mothers will have it especially hard. Hope and pray this won’t happen during the winter or on a Sabbath.
“This is going to be trouble on a scale beyond what the world has ever seen, or will see again. If these days of trouble were left to run their course, nobody would make it. But on account of God’s chosen people, the trouble will be cut short.
“If anyone tries to flag you down, calling out, ‘Here’s the Messiah!’ or points, ‘There he is!’ don’t fall for it. Fake Messiahs and lying preachers are going to pop up everywhere. Their impressive credentials and bewitching performances will pull the wool over the eyes of even those who ought to know better. But I’ve given you fair warning.
“So if they say, ‘Run to the country and see him arrive!’ or, ‘Quick, get downtown, see him come!’ don’t give them the time of day. The Arrival of the Son of Man isn’t something you go to see. He comes like swift lightning to you! Whenever you see crowds gathering, think of carrion vultures circling, moving in, hovering over a rotting carcass. You can be quite sure that it’s not the living Son of Man pulling in those crowds.
“Following those hard times, Sun will fade out, moon cloud over, stars fall out of the sky, cosmic powers tremble.
“Then, the Arrival of the Son of Man! It will fill the skies—no one will miss it. Unready people all over the world, outsiders to the splendor and power, will raise a huge lament as they watch the Son of Man blazing out of heaven. At that same moment, he’ll dispatch his angels with a trumpet-blast summons, pulling in God’s chosen from the four winds, from pole to pole.
“Take a lesson from the fig tree. From the moment you notice its buds form, the merest hint of green, you know summer’s just around the corner. So it is with you: When you see all these things, you’ll know he’s at the door. Don’t take this lightly. I’m not just saying this for some future generation, but for all of you. This age continues until all these things take place. Sky and earth will wear out; my words won’t wear out.
“But the exact day and hour? No one knows that, not even heaven’s angels, not even the Son. Only the Father knows.
“The Arrival of the Son of Man will take place in times like Noah’s. Before the great flood everyone was carrying on as usual, having a good time right up to the day Noah boarded the ark. They knew nothing—until the flood hit and swept everything away.
“The Son of Man’s Arrival will be like that: Two men will be working in the field—one will be taken, one left behind; two women will be grinding at the mill—one will be taken, one left behind. So stay awake, alert. You have no idea what day your Master will show up. But you do know this: You know that if the homeowner had known what time of night the burglar would arrive, he would have been there with his dogs to prevent the break-in. Be vigilant just like that. You have no idea when the Son of Man is going to show up.
“Who here qualifies for the job of overseeing the kitchen? A person the Master can depend on to feed the workers on time each day. Someone the Master can drop in on unannounced and always find him doing his job. A God-blessed man or woman, I tell you. It won’t be long before the Master will put this person in charge of the whole operation.
“But if that person only looks out for himself, and the minute the Master is away does what he pleases—abusing the help and throwing drunken parties for his friends—the Master is going to show up when he least expects it, and it won’t be pretty. He’ll end up in the dump with the hypocrites, out in the cold shivering, teeth chattering.” – The Message Bible
People will have no clue what to look for, or even what the signs are, if they do not get into the Word of God. It would be like trying to pass an Algebra test or a chemistry test without having studied for it. It would be impossible. If you had never opened a textbook or sat and listened to an instructor, there is no possible way of knowing how to answer. It is the same with Jesus and the signs of His soon return.
2 Timothy 3:1-5 tells us that there will be many false gospels, there will be wars and threats of wars, family and friends betraying each other, people will become more greedy, selfish, abusive, ungrateful and unholy. Do you see that taking place around you? I do.
1 Timothy 4:1 ESV tells us that people will leave the church and give up their faith. “Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons,” Do you see this taking place? I do.
But Matthew also tells us that “…this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.” Matthew 24:14 NKJV With today’s technology, I see this happening at a very rapid pace.
Friends we have much to be joyful about and nothing to fear. Keep your eyes on Jesus.
I found this little saying on the internet. I do not know who wrote it, but I really liked it. “God said, "Don't look around because you'll be impressed, Don't look down you'll be depressed, Just look to me & you'll be blessed!"
Be blessed today. And remember, Jesus loves you, and He is coming soon!