Monday, February 23, 2009

I have been thinking....

Here is part of a post I wrote a long time ago....back when I only had about 50 or 60 blog hits per day and most of those were accidental. I am re-posting this because it has been on my mind for the past week or so.

Have you noticed that sometimes people are not what they seem? Sometimes we judge before we know the whole truth. Take me, for example....on a normal day, I can be found wearing nasty clothes emptying trash at our car wash or cleaning empty apartments for my father-in-law. I have found that people treat me differently when I am in my "work clothes". They treat me as if I am "less" than they are. Last fall, I was working at our new house tying the the steel rebar together so we could get the concrete poured....a new family moved in who did not know we actually owned the house and every time I waved at them, they looked away. I'm sure it is because they thought I was a worker instead of their neighbor.

Treating people differently because of their station in life is one of the BIGGEST character flaws I can think of, but that's not exactly what I'm talking about here.....

Ya'll, I believe with all my heart we are living in the last days. I truly believe that the Jesus has gotten up from His seat on the throne and is literally looking to His Father saying "Can I call for them?". We are privileged to be living in such an exciting time.

My concern is that there are many people who go to church every Sunday, who even work in the church, but do not truly have a relationship with Jesus. Matthew 7:21 says "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven." We all know that Satan is prowling the earth seeking those he can destroy. Satan's goal is to cause the true Christian to fall so that their witness is left in ruins and to keep those who are not yet believers from truly trusting Christ.

In his quest to keep people from trusting God, satan sometimes causes Christians to have a dull conscience when it comes to sin. He also causes those who "think" they are saved (by works) to continue in their religion and never see that we are saved by grace and not by works. My fear is that there are people who may be close to us all that put on a good act. People who we see at church every week who are active in the house of God, but not part of the Kingdom of God. I fear that we are evangelizing the lost in the world and forgetting the lost who sit in the pews every week.

The tribulation will be terrible (if you want to read about the events after the rapture see the article link below). The horror will be unimagineable. Think about the elderly who have been taught that you just have to "be good and do right" to go to heaven --they will be left behind without food or medical care. Unless they take the mark of the beast, they will starve to death. Think about the young who were old enough to accept Jesus, but just put it off (it could have been any one of us). They will be left to fend for themselves in an evil world without hope. Then think about the average capri pant wearing, Vera Bradley bag toting, ballet flat wearing young mommy. Maybe she thought her church membership saved her. Maybe she thought since her parents were saved she would be too OR maybe she thought that her confirmation or baptism as an infant would save her. Picture her standing over the crib of her precious little baby only to find the baby gone.

This is why we so need to be asking even those who we know fairly well if they truly know the Lord. We need to be dilligent and consistent in our witness and witnessing. I love to think about the Rapture and heaven. I can't wait to see Jesus up close and in person - I dream about it all the time (I just realized I am a Jesus groupie!). Our time here is so short. We are told to watch for His return, but also to work until He comes. There is lots left to do and we may just need to start in our own Judea, no, in our own house of worship.

The Sign of Our Generation by Britt Gillette (I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, THIS!!!)

"In the Olivet Discourse (Matthew 24), Jesus revealed to His disciples that the primary sign of the end of the age and His soon return would be the restoration of Israel as a nation. However, He didn’t plainly say so. Instead, He once again used the fig tree as a metaphor for the nation of Israel:
“Now learn a lesson from the fig tree. When its buds become tender and its leaves begin to sprout, you know without being told that summer is near. Just so, when you see the events I’ve described beginning to happen, you can know his return is very near, right at the door. I assure you, this generation will not pass from the scene before all these things take place. Heaven and earth will disappear, but my words will remain forever.” Matthew 24:32-35 (NLT)

The fig tree is Israel. It’s been six decades since Israel was once again declared a nation against all worldly odds. In Matthew 24, Jesus promises that the generation which witnesses the reestablishment of Israel will not die off until the end of the age comes to pass. Given the Bible’s impeccable track record, we have every reason to expect His imminent return. Jesus will return soon, within our generation, and a wise person will prepare accordingly.
Just as the time of His first coming was clearly revealed to the previous generation, the season of His Return has been clearly revealed to ours. The previous generation was unprepared for His arrival. Ours should be watching with a patient and enduring faith, fully confident in the glory we are about to witness. Christ is coming. The fig tree is in bloom, and ours is the generation. "

Now, that, my friends, ought to make you jump up and have a Holy Ghost spell!!!


Eddie said...

OKAY! I'm having a spell ! Very good blog, Biblical Truth very well taught. Liked the link also. Unfortunately, Truth trumps thinking and those who believe all is well using their works as the stimulas that gets them to heaven, will most likely die in their beliefs and go to a devil's hell. That's why we need to start in our Jerusalem (Where we live) our Judea (perhaps our state we live in) our Samaria,(perhaps the country we live in) and to the end of the earth (perhaps to all the rest of the world). If we cannot share our faith with our neighbor across the street, with our family and friends whom we love, then we have no business going to Judea, Samaria and to the end of the world expecting God to bless.
We also can not go to any of these places and forget the "speck and the plank" gospel
Thank you for great Words of Wisdom and Biblical Truth. Love you Dad

Kelly S. said...

Good post! I just finished reading Epicenter by Joel Rosenberg. We do live in a very interesting and exciting time on the Kingdom Calendar. May we make the most of every day we have been given.

Tony C said...

Great blog! I think we get in God's way a lot in our worship services. Just this past Sunday, we started with awesome praise music. Songs we've done many times... yet different, somehow, this time. The last song was 'How Deep the Father's Love' old hymn with a powerful message.

Our pastor steps up to the pulpit and announces 'I'm not doing my sermon this morning, I don't think it's what God wants.' So we prayed as a congregation. We cried and we prayed for God's will.

Two people came forward and gave their lives to Christ. Praise God! It was so amazing. I've been to hundreds of services in my life, but only one like that comes in a great while. The ones where we get out of God's way and let Him move in our presence.

Again, a wonderful post. Thanks for sharing.

Mari said...

Great post! i have nothing to add except Amen!

Greg P. said...

Good job Beth. I feel like an old friend because I remember a long ago post where you talked about how you were treated differently when taking out the trash at the car wash.

You are so right. We all make assumptions about people and we treat them according to the unimportant rather than the important. The important being what is in their heart. It's those times that we could question what is in our heart also.

You said you were "only" getting
"50 or 60" hits a day when you first blogged about this. I don't get 50 or 60 hits in a week!

Hmmmm, maybe it really IS me.

Holly said...

I agree with this, and have noticed it myself too! Especially when I go to the supermarket looking like an ordinary uni student rather than...myself. Lol.

Anonymous said...

Such a Great Post!
I can relate ... My husbands Daddy was a Preacher...he had a construction buisness in JC when he was alive..he wore "Work Clothes" most of the day..people would have "thought" he was a Bum...When we died, he had lots of money and more than 10 houses in JC free and clear... You Can't judge a book by it's cover....

My Papaw is one of the elder's you speak of...Sad, Yes I know..No matter how much he's in church, and how much you witness...He grew up believing You get to Heaven by your works...Unfotantly he's not Saved...
Just remember to pray for him...He's getting older now..I pray he does get saved.

I as well am I Jesus Groupy!!!!

Fran said...

Good golly. Bring it sista!!! I'm all over this one too. Time is tickin and time is short. We have eternity at stake and we need to be all about our Father's business!

I can't wait to see you. Thank you for inspiring and challenging and teaching me.

Big hugs,

ocean mommy said...

Hey girl: AMEN!

(and the man just looked at me like I lost my mind because I said that out loud)

Seriously, we've got little time and a lot of work to be doing....
Thank you for sharing this one again. :)


jcdisciple said...

I remember this post, too. I think one of the most obvious things that the end is drawing near is that God seems to be putting the same message in the mouths of His people. If you hop around for very long on blogs you will keep hearing this same message over and over. I am DEEPLY burdened about false conversion and I believe especially in the south that MANY are deceived. I base this upon the fact that so many so willingly give up what is right for what will benefit their pocket books in the voting polls, they rob God of tithes and offerings, they get "put out" if they are asked to sacrifice their time and/or entertainment to tell someone about Christ. It just makes NO SENSE TO ME that a TRUE BELIEVER wouldn't desire to tell at least someone EVERY DAY about their salvation!! If you don't get it no more than just makes me wonder? Well, I'm just sayin! As I have watched my aunt struggle and finally be released from cancer these last six months I have marveled at how little she cared about who she told about Christ. She was a woman with a mission and a short time to fulfill it!! SO ARE WE!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thanks for this post Beth...keep Waiting for the Shout...and Shouting about the Wait!

Love you,

Amanda Bowers

Alana said...

Yes, I remember this post! Good stuff.