Getting Ready:


Jesus is Coming Again-A Christmas Message

No matter how we celebrate Christmas, it is still a time when we remember how God fulfilled His promise and sent a savior. Here in the U.S. it is easy to get caught up in all the commercialization, but the wonder of it all still comes through.

When Jesus came as a baby in Bethlehem thousands of devout Jews were filled with expectancy, looking for God to fulfill His promise of a Messiah. Many knew the prophecy in Daniel (9:24-27), and they knew that it was time, yet they still missed Him.

Today, there are millions of Christians (and Jews) who are expecting Jesus to fulfill His promise to return. In Israel many are expectant of the coming of the Messiah and are making preparations. When He comes this time, it will be as a conquering king, and no one will miss it. The question is, will we be ready?

I have a strong sense in which God is bringing those events to pass. The events that are happening today, both in Israel and in the Muslim world, could very well bring about a world crisis that will bring to pass the prophecies found in Daniel (chap. 9-12), and the teachings of Jesus (Matt 24 and 25), Paul (II Thes 2:1-17) and John (Rev.). It is good that we can walk in faith and not get discouraged or depressed. "Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you." (Deut 31:6)

There also seems to be a renewed interest among Christians and non-Christians about end-time prophecies. At the same time, there is a lot of confusion. Most people you talk to, even those who are faithful readers of the Bible, have no clear idea about end-time events. Yet the Bible says, “Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of the prophecy, and heed the things which are written in it; for the time is near.” (Rev 1:3)

Over the years I have studied some of the writers concerning end-times prophecies, but in recent months, perhaps spurred by the events of September 11, I have had a renewed sense of urgency. In this time of study I have come to a fresh understanding of end-time events, and it is exciting to see the clarity of the Biblical timetable.

As times get tough, ignorance will be no excuse. God has given us abundant information concerning the time of great tribulation that is coming, and proper knowledge of these times could be a matter of life and death. We will be blessed if we “heed the things which are written”.

As I have prayed about this the Spirit seems to be leading me to put together a fully illustrated series of teachings on end-time prophecies. I am starting by doing these locally in the Harrisonburg-Rockingham County area. (See the announcement on the News page.)

The message of Christmas does not end with the celebration of the birth of a baby. It extends to include the hope and expectation we have that Jesus is preparing to come again for us. Although the times may be difficult, we wait with anticipation. "Even so, come, Lord Jesus!"

(From a newsletter dated January 2002)


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