THESE PROPHESIED DAYS ARE COMING

For we know Him who said, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay.” And again, “The Lord will judge His people.” It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

But remember the former days, when, after being enlightened, you endured a great conflict of sufferings, partly by being made a public spectacle through insults and distress, and partly by becoming companions with those who were so treated. For you showed sympathy to the prisoners and accepted joyfully the seizure of your property, knowing that you have for yourselves a better and lasting possession. Therefore, do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God, you may receive what was promised.

For yet in a very little while, He who is coming will come, and will not delay. But My righteous one will live by faith; and if he shrinks back, My soul has no pleasure in him. But we are not among those who shrink back to destruction, but of those who have faith for the safekeeping of the soul.” Hebrews 10:30-39

In the present lukewarm, humanistic culture there could not be a stronger SHOUT from the Living God: REPENT or PERISH.

Once we have truly repented, we are then to preach this Eternal Truth – Repent or Perish to all those we come in contact with:

Then He said to them, ‘ Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day, and that REPENTANCE and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.'” Luke 24: 46-47

How often do you hear this message preached in our pulpits? Sadly, not often if at all in many of the denominational churches.

REPENTANCE ESSENTIAL FOR JESUS COMING KINGDOM

In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. Matthew 3:1-2

From that time Jesus began to preach, saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.Matthew 4:17

The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.Mark 1:15

No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.Luke 13:3,5

Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.Acts 2:38

Repent, therefore, and turn back, that your sins may be blotted out, Acts 3:19

“The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now He commands all people everywhere to repent because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed, and of this, he has given assurance to all by raising Him from the dead.” Acts 17:30-31

We are called to live holy lives that honor God. Our decisions either fuel the fires of revival or quench the Spirit— we either rejoice in God and walk in His Word or grieve the Spirit by disobeying. The choice is ours.

TIME FOR REPENTANCE SONGS

Keith Green’s voice was silenced in 1982 when he and two of his children perished in an aviation accident.

Green employed a lyrical technique that used to be common in Christian music but is virtually absent today: the Call To Repentance.

Call To Repentance (CTR) songs are designed to convict the listener of his own sin. Here is an example of CTR lyrics, from Keith Green’s Asleep in the Light (1978):

“Oh, bless me, Lord! Bless me, Lord!” You know, it’s all I ever hear! No one aches. No one hurts. No one even sheds one tear. But, He cries, He weeps, He bleeds, and He cares for your needs, and you just lay back, and keep soaking it in. Oh, can’t you see such sin?! ‘Cause He brings people to your door and you turn them away, as you smile and say: “God bless you! Be at peace!” And all Heaven just weeps ’cause Jesus came to your door, You left Him out on the streets.

 Here are two reasons CTR songs sound so out of place today:

  1. While most contemporary worship songs focus on comfort and assurance, CTR songs point out our shortcomings.
  2. While most of today’s praise songs are sung from the perspective of the disciple, CTR songs are sung from the perspective of God. In praise and worship, we are the speaker, telling God how we feel about him. With CTR, God is the speaker, telling us how he feels about us.

CTR songs are sometimes hard to listen to but there is no question as to their effectiveness. Keith Green’s songs are the slap in the face we all need from time to time. We need to be spurred on toward greater obedience and his songs certainly achieve that purpose,

I repent of ever having recorded one single song and ever having performed one concert if my music, and more importantly —  my life — has not provoked you into godly jealousy, or to sell out more completely to Jesus!” Keith Green

He made audiences squirm by saying, “If you praise and worship Jesus with your mouth, and your life does not praise and worship him, there’s something wrong!”

 CTR songs focus on our actions, not our emotions. They demand change. And they challenge rather than comfort.

A decade ago, researcher Christian Smith at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill examined the religious beliefs of teenagers and coined a new phrase to describe the faith held by many: Moralistic Therapeutic Deism, or MTD. Albert Mohler writes:

As described by Smith and his team, Moralistic Therapeutic Deism consists of beliefs like these:

  1. “A god exists who created and ordered the world and watches over human life on earth.”
  2. “God wants people to be good, nice, and fair to each other, as taught in the Bible and by most world religions.”
  3. “The central goal of life is to be happy and to feel good about oneself.”
  4. “God does not need to be particularly involved in one’s life except when God is needed to resolve a problem.”
  5. “Good people go to heaven when they die.”

With beliefs like these, it’s easy to see why CRT songs seem so out of place in churches today. It’s easy to tell God how wonderful he is. It’s hard to hear how depraved we are.

GOD IS WITH YOU WHEREVER YOU GO

Think about how Joshua felt when God told him to lead the Israelites into Canaan, drive out the pagan inhabitants, and secure the land as a homeland for His people.

In the natural, this would seem to be an impossible task but the key of course is revealed in the following Scripture:

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. Joshua 1:9 

God does not commission us without the promise of His presence and provision. We only have to be “strong and of good courage.”

How would you like to be Noah, being told to build an enormous boat as God was going to destroy every living creature on the earth save those on this boat Noah was to build. We are simply told that “Noah did this; he did all that God had commanded him” Genesis 6:22

How Long Was the Ark?

At approximately 510 feet long, it would take nearly one and a half football fields to equal the Ark’s length. That’s big enough that NASA could lay three space shuttles—nose to tail—on the Ark’s roof! 

How Long Was the Ark?

How Tall Was the Ark?

The roof of Noah’s Ark was more than 50 feet from the ground—higher than a modern four-story house. That’s plenty of space for three extra-tall inner decks as the Bible describes.

How Tall Was the Ark?
Truckloads of Cargo Space

The Ark had the same storage capacity as about 450 standard semi-trailers. A standard livestock trailer holds about 250 sheep, so the Ark had the capacity to hold at least 120,000 sheep.

And God said to Noah, “I have determined to make an end of all flesh, for the earth is filled with violence through them. Behold, I will destroy them with the earth. Make yourself an ark of gopher wood. Make rooms in the ark, and cover it inside and out with pitch. This is how you are to make it: the length of the ark 300 cubits, its breadth 50 cubits, and its height 30 cubits. Make a roof for the ark, and finish it to a cubit above, and set the door of the ark in its side. Make it with lower, second, and third decks. For behold, I will bring a flood of waters upon the earth to destroy all flesh in which is the breath of life under heaven. Everything that is on the earth shall die. But I will establish my covenant with you, and you shall come into the ark, you, your sons, your wife, and your sons’ wives with you. And of every living thing of all flesh, you shall bring two of every sort into the ark to keep them alive with you. They shall be male and female. Of the birds according to their kinds, and of the animals according to their kinds, of every creeping thing of the ground, according to its kind, two of every sort shall come in to you to keep them alive. Also take with you every sort of food that is eaten, and store it up. It shall serve as food for you and for them.” Noah did this; he did all that God commanded him.” Genesis 6:13-22

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 27bea-4.png

Are you confident that God is with you wherever you go? He will be if you are obedient to His commands. Moreover, you will know if you are not being obedient because you will experince His discipline. What form that takes varies widely but repentance is required to get you back on track. This is a word usually not spoken of in apostate churches.

Do you want times of refreshing from the Lord? If you do then repent.

REPENT – AN OFFENSIVE WORD TO MOST

Humanity’s primary problem is sin, and without repentance, forgiveness, and faith in Christ, sin will be punished. When is the last time we have taught these things in our churches and to our youths? When is the last time, Christian parent, that you have taught such things to your kids? We no longer teach that people need to repent of their sins. Remember that word? Let me say that again, repent, since it seems offensive to most these days, even though it was the KEY message of Jesus and the apostles.

Anarchy on the streets of Seattle

From that time Jesus began to preach, saying, Repent for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand! Matthew 4:17

When is the last time we taught them that we will all stand before the Lord on judgment day to give an account for the things we have done in the body, whether good or bad?.

For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.2 Corinthians 5:10

Is it any wonder, then, that a generation of young people apparently feels no remorse, no conviction, no guilt for stealing, destroying small businesses, and injuring other human beings? There is no fear of God before their eyes because we made no effort to tell them the truth about God.

This Scripture will tell you how to understand the fear of the Lord and to find knowledge from God then He will be your shield and watch over you.

My son (daughter), if you receive my words and treasure up my commandments with you, making your ear attentive to wisdom and inclining your heart to understand; yes, if you call out for insight and raise your voice for understanding if you seek it like silver and search for it as for hidden treasures, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God. For the Lord gives wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding; He stores up sound wisdom for the upright; He is a shield to those who walk in integrity, guarding the paths of justice and watching over the way of his saints.Proverbs 2:1-5

THE PROBLEM OF SIN

Most people are comfortable even happy with their life of SIN. If you are a Rock Star earning lots of money with lots of young girls wanting to be with you, regardless of the cost, then why would you want to repent? The Gospel is not good news to this Rock Star not unless the Holy Spirit convicts him of his SIN.

Nevertheless, as ambassadors of God, we are called to beg people on His behalf to turn from their SIN, to come back into relationship with Him but on His terms. They need to know their eternal destiny is at stake. However, we must also convey to them the extent of their Creator’s love for them (Jesus died that they might have life).. But, ultimately they must want to be in relation with God, to love Him as He loves them and as a result are prepared to repent i.e. turn from their sinful life and keep His commandments.

SIN IN THE MILLENNIAL KINGDOM

“Also I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for the testimony of Jesus and for the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended. This is the first resurrection.” Revelation 20:4-5

The most unexpected aspect of Jesus coming Millennial Kingdom on this earth is Satan’s part in the story. We are told an angel seizes him and bounds him with a great chain, throws him into “the bottomless pit”, shuts it and seals it over him. Note that only another angel was needed to do it. My guess is the angel Michael. Satan is bound for almost the entire 1000 years.

Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, holding in his hand the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain. And he seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years, and threw him into the pit, and shut it and sealed it over him, so that he might not deceive the nations any longer, until the thousand years were ended. After that he must be released for a little while.Revelation 20:1-3

Why must Satan be released?

And when the thousand years are ended, Satan will be released from his prison and will come out to deceive the nations that are at the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them for battle; their number is like the sand of the sea. And they marched up over the broad plain of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city, but fire came down from heaven and consumed themRevelation 20:7-9

Jesus and the resurrected Saints have been ruling and reigning for 1000 years. Mind you, we are told they rule with a rod of iron. Even with Jesus ruling and Satan bound, Sin is still a major problem. It is a heart problem, people still want to be God and not have anyone, even their Creator to rule over them. Remember, despite being in the presence of God, Satan and a third of the angels rebelled against God. It will still be a major problem with Jesus and the Saints ruling and reigning in the Millennium. The number that rebel is like the “sand of the sea”.

The one who conquers and who keeps my works until the end, to him I will give authority over the nations, and He will rule them with a rod of iron, as when earthen pots are broken in pieces, even as I myself have received authority from my Father.” Revelation 2:27

REPENTANCE IS FOUNDATIONAL TO LIVING THE CHRISTIAN LIFE

From the time Jesus began to preach He said, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Matthew 4:17

Repentance is foundational to living the Christian life. We are all simply a repentant prayer away from a restored and joyful relationship with God.

It is significant that the “end times” message to all seven churches in Revelation is one of repentance.

In Revelation, John gives a different message to each of seven churches. Nelson Walters in his book “Revelation Deciphered” has correctly connected these messages to the seven churches to the prophesied seven seals and the last seven years on this planet before Jesus returns to rescue Israel and establish His Millennial Kingdom.

32330481. sx318
Recommend Nelson Walters youtube channel

Nelson shows how the message to each church relates to the events unfolding in each of the seven years as outlined in the seven seals and the riders of the four horses. Check out my post on May 11th 2021 “Connection between the Seven Seals and the Seven Churches” Jesus also gave corresponding messages to the disciples in the Olivet Discourse Matthew 24:3.

In the first year when the first seal is opened the Antichrist comes on the scene (rider on white horse). The Church at that time in the first year (Ephesus): The church is doing some good things but “you have abandoned the love you had at first. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. If not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent… He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who conquers I will grant to eat of the Tree of Life, which is in the paradise of God.” Revelation 2:7

In the second year when the second seal is opened, the Antichrist is permitted to take peace from the earth and people slay one another (rider on red horse). The church at that time (Smyrna): “Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be testedRevelation 2:10

In the third year when the third seal is opened, famine comes over the earth (rider on black horse). The church at that time (Pergamum): “you have some who hold the teaching of the Nicolaitans (eat food sacrificed to idols (take the Mark of the Beast in order to get food?) and practice sexual immorality). Therefore repent. If not, I will come to you soon and war against them with the sword of my mouth. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” Revelation 2:15-17

In the fourth year when the fourth seal is opened a fourth of the earth is destroyed with the sword, famine and pestilence (rider’s name Death on pale horse). The church at that time (Thyatira) “I know your works, your love and faith and service and patient endurance, and that your latter works exceed the first. But I have this against you, that you tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess and is teaching and seducing my servants to practice sexual immorality and to eat food sacrificed to idols… those who commit adultery with her I will throw into great tribulation, unless they repent of her works, and I will strike her children dead. And all the churches will know that I am he who searches mind and heart, and I will give to each of you according to your works.Revelation 2:19-20, 22-23

In the fifth year when the fifth seal is opened, John sees under the altar the souls of the martyrs (not yet resurrected) that have come out of the great tribulation and they are told to wait awhile longer until their numbers are complete – more Christians to be martyred on earth. The Rapture has not occurred at the fifth seal so a Pretribulation Rapture is not possible. The church at that time (Sardis). “You have the reputation of being alive, but you are dead. Wake up, and strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your works complete in the sight of my God. Remember, then, what you received and heard. Keep it, and repent. If you will not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what hour I will come against you. Yet you have still a few names in Sardis, people who have not soiled their garments, and they will walk with me in white, for they are worthy.Rev. 3:2-4

In the sixth year when the sixth seal is opened. John sees the signs in the sky which immediately precede Jesus coming to rapture the Saints and to pour out His wrath upon an unrepentant earth. “I looked, and behold, there was a great earthquake, and the sun became black as sackcloth, the full moon became like blood, and the stars of the sky fell to the earth as the fig tree sheds its winter fruit when shaken by a gale… Then the kings of the earth and the great ones and the generals and the rich and the powerful, and everyone, slave and free, hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains, calling to the mountains and rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who is seated on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb, for the great day of their wrath has come, and who can stand?Revelation 6:12-17. The church at that time (Philadelphia) “I know your works. Behold, I have set before you an open door, which no one is able to shut. I know that you have but little power, and yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name... Because you have kept my word about patient endurance, I will keep you from the hour of trial that is coming on the whole world, to try those who dwell on the earth. I am coming soon. Hold fast what you have, so that no one may seize your crown. The one who conquers, I will make him a pillar in the temple of my God.Revelation 6:8-12. The Philadelphian church obviously represents the church that is raptured.

At the start of the seventh year when the seventh seal is opened there is silence in heaven for about a half an hour. Just prior to the seventh seal being opened or at the same time there is a trumpet blast and the dead in Christ are raised first and then the Saints alive on earth are taken up to meet Jesus in the clouds.

The church at that time (Laodicea): We are given a picture of the church which is left behind: “I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth. For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked.Revelation 3:15-17 Whilst they are left behind and will be recipients of the wrath of God, Jesus still says to the church at Laodicea: “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.” Revelation 3:20. They are still able to repent and be saved but will experience the wrath of God.

The final words to all the “last days” churches is repent so let us make sure our relationship with the Lord is maintained by true repentance each day. May God grant you the wisdom and strength to stay focused on His call on your life in these last days before His return. Continue living eternal now.

HISTORY PROVES GOD RESPONDS WHEN NATIONS REPENT

In the year 1849 in the United States a major cholera epidemic broke out and quickly spread. Soon  more than 150,000 died.  The death rate was far higher than today’s covid19.  In response President Zachary Taylor called for a Day of Humiliation, Fasting and Prayer – a solution that had been called by Americans many times previously, beginning with the Pilgrims.   Within days the epidemic was stopped. God responded.

Abraham Lincoln called three times during the Civil War for such Days of Humiliation

The Lord has allowed today’s global pestilence. New more virulent virus strains of the Covid virus are emerging worldwide. God typically uses catastrophes whether it is pestilences, famines, floods, wars to cause nations to repent and turn to Him. Read the story again of Jonah and Nineveh (Jonah 3:6-10).  If sincere repentance happens, “God will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sins, and heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:12-14). Abraham Lincoln called three times during the Civil War for such Days of Humiliation, He said, “But we have forgotten God; we have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace, and multiplies and enriched and strengthened us; and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us! It behooves us, then, to humble ourselves before the offended Power, to confess our national sins, and to pray for clemency and forgiveness.”

Yet this simple but humbling solution is ignored by not only our nations leaders but most church leaders.  I would suggest we are living in the last days Jesus spoke of prior to His return to rule and reign on this earth. Jesus said, lawlessness will abound like the days of Noah and Sodom and Gomorrah. Apostasy in the church, a great falling away, “For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect.” (Matthew 24:24)
 
Personal and national repentance is typically not on the agenda of most political leaders and most churches. In that vacuum, you and I, are called to be examples, if necessary to start a prayer network, certainly to join other prayer networks, participating, for example, in Global Days of Repentance.  The next Global Day of Repentance focuses on Australia on February 7, 2017. If you want to join in then do so by going to: www.globalrepent.com

CALL TO REPENTANCE

Call To Repentance (CTR) songs are designed to convict the listener of his own sin. Here is an example of CTR lyrics, from Keith Green’s Asleep in the Light (1978). Where are the CTR songs today?

“Oh, bless me, Lord! Bless me, Lord!” You know, it’s all I ever hear!
No one aches, No one hurts, No one even sheds one tear
But, He cries, He weeps, He bleeds, And He cares for your needs
And you just lay back, And keep soaking it in
. Oh, can’t you see such sin?!
‘Cause He brings people to your door and you turn them away as you smile and say:
“God bless you! Be at peace!” And all Heaven just weeps ’cause Jesus came to your door
You left Him out on the streets

Most contemporary worship songs today focus on comfort and assurance whereas CTR songs point out our shortcomings. CTR songs are anything but positive and encouraging.

Most of today’s praise songs are sung from the perspective of the disciple, CTR songs are sung from the perspective of God. In praise and worship, we are the speaker, telling God how we feel about him. With CTR, God is the speaker, telling us how he feels about us.

 it’s easy to see why CRT songs seem so out of place in church today. It’s easy to tell God how wonderful he is. It’s hard to hear how depraved we are.

I believe Keith Green’s songs are the slap in the face we need today to spur us on to greater obedience. They focus on our actions, not our emotions. They demand change. And they challenge rather than comfort.

HUMBLE OURSELVES AND PRAY

REPENTANCE BRINGS  HIS JOY.  

There can be no better witness to others who are in fear. You and I were born for this very time, to be anointed by the Father with the Holy Spirit. This was only possible through Jesus’ sacrifice on our behalf. He alone made it possible for us to minister in the power of the Holy Spirit to those needing hope all around us. The Holy Spirit speaks to us today. He is our counsellor, teacher, and comforter He provides the gifts of the Spirit for ministry as we go He will lead and His power is evident.

“Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.”  2 Corinthians 7:1

That is a wonderful “assignment” each day from the Lord. As we submit our will to His will, we are perfecting holiness in Him and truly living eternal now.

The LORD is in charge.  He’s allowing the Covid 19 pestilence and the economic and political chaos to shake us like never before, certainly in my lifetime. Hopefully, it will awaken Christians in all nations, so that His people called by His Name will repent and pray.

 “if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14

Our prayers and daily repentance will support this process for His Will to prevail.