Thursday, August 27, 2015

Watch and Pray in 2015 (Part 4 of 4)

Nathan JonesMP3By Nathan Jones

How can the Christian find their excitement even in troubling times?

In this "The Truth Will Set You Free" TWave Radio episode, Pastor Vic Batista of Miami's Calvary Chapel Aventura and I will evaluate 2015 so far and discuss what the Bible says we must do to make it right.

Vic & Nathan 2015

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Getting Excited

Nathan Jones: Pastor Vic, you have the amazing ability to get me excited! Sure, it's true — life's rough. The world's tough, but we can get excited when Jesus Christ is in our life, can't we?

Vic Batista: Absolutely! It's all in the Scriptures, if we let the Scriptures come alive in our lives. We as Christians have to be in the Word. We need to be diligent in our reading, because life becomes just so exciting when we read about God's promises.

Nathan Jones: Exactly, the Bible is filled with prophecy. For example, did you know that when Jesus came at His First Coming that He fulfilled some 300 general prophecies and 109 distinct prophecies? There are 500 verses in the Old Testament and one in every 25 verses in the New Testament that talk about Jesus' Second Coming. So, basically a third of the Bible is Bible prophecy.

God is telling us what we can expect, and pretty much when we should expect it, and what He requires of us to have eternal life. So, praise the Lord, it is so important that we study our Bibles and know the wonders that God has in store for us.

Vic Batista: Absolutely! And, of course, it all is a work of the Holy Spirit. As we look at this passage in Luke 21, we are encouraged to watch therefore and pray. And what a wonderful opportunity we have to pray about the challenging situations happening in our country and around the world. We certainly are not in agreement with the derailed direction our country is moving along, but we are called by God to submit to authority and to pray for those who are in leadership. We should pray for those who are making the laws and pray that the Holy Spirit will change their hearts.

Nathan Jones: Exactly, prayer makes a difference. For example, one of the wonderful things that has happened recently I was reading is about the new Congress that just got in earlier this year. Of the new Congress members, some 82% who were elected claim to be born-again, believing Christians. Whether they are or not, we'll see by their actions. But it seems like that a Christian wave has swept into the government. Whether the new Congress makes a big difference or not, I don't know, we'll have to continue to watch. Only the Lord could be behind such a swing, because God says that He is behind all things involved in world politics.

While I hope that we'll see a restraint put on government, mostly one is needed on society, because the government is made up of just people whom we elect. If we are evil, then our government will be evil. We really need to see the love of Jesus Christ sweep through the country providing a new morality. We must turn from our sin and so see our country turn their lives back to Jesus Christ. It is our only hope for our country to survive, at least up until the Tribulation.

Vic Batista: Nathan, I agree with you. I believe that is why Christians need to stand in the gap. I believe that 2015 can be an amazing year. But, it's really up to us to pray for our leaders and our government. If there is any hope for America, it is we Christians standing in the gap and praying.

Nathan Jones: Exactly! That reminds me of 2 Thessalonians 2:7 about the Restrainer. When Jesus comes to Rapture the Church, He is going to remove a restraining influence that has been holding back all the evil and craziness of mankind. You think it is crazy now, well it is going to get really crazy during the Tribulation! But, right now, there is the restraining influence of God on this earth. I believe that is the work of the Holy Spirit through the Church. When Jesus takes the Church off this earth at the Rapture, that is when the restraining influence will also be gone.

For now then, we Christians are to be the restraining salt and the light of this earth. We are the avenue that Jesus Christ uses to reach people. It's very important then that we don't as Luke 11:33 says, "hide our light under a bowl." We don't speak worthless, unsalty talk. No, instead we need to be making a difference in this world.

Vic Batista: God is achieving some amazing things through His Body — Christians. He is pouring out His Holy Spirit, and we need to be able to be those individuals who are ready for the Lord's return at any moment.

Nathan Jones: And so, live holy lives in anticipation of the Lord's return. Let us be the overcomers of this world.


Anonymous said...

Should Christians be "prepping"? I have heard conflicting stories. Should we prep for economic, disease, or other major catastrophe? If so, where does the Bible speak on this and how do we go about it?

Billy said...

Anon, I know you're asking Nathan, but this message board is for open discussion so please pardon me for throwing in my two cents on that question.

I would say the Bible talks more about "prepping" (in regards the end times) for the afterlife, not this life. The Bible tells us to be alert and ready for the Lord's return which is near. It tells us to live holy lives, know the Word of the Lord, have hope and faith. Be encouraged that we will escape the Tribulation via the Rapture. Etc.

As far as "prepping" in general. It is always good to be prepared not matter what the circumstances. Being in California, I know an earthquake can hit anytime. So I am prepped with food, water, money, etc. I also know anything else could happen like an economic issue, a pandemic, and with Obama's lust for absolute power, even martial law and a dictatorship.

So be prepped for both the eternal life (more important than anything else) and also for whatever time you have left in the mortal life.

Nathan Jones said...

Excellent answer, Billy! I'd add it's always good stewardship to prepare for difficult times, whether they be related to the end times or not. Joseph was a good example. We could be in some difficult times ahead, but I do not believe from my study of the Bible that Christians today will be here to endure the worst of it when the Gog-Magog Battle of Ezekiel 38-39 and the Tribulation come.

alf said...

Amen, Billy and Nathan.

Billy said...

Just to clarify one part of my comment "I also know anything else could happen like... martial law and a dictatorship."

Note I did not saying anything about being prepped to fight or being in a bunker or armed to the teeth. I'm not one of those. I would have no desire to fight especially since it would be for a lost cause (that is, to save the America I once knew that just doesn't exist anymore). The whole world is doomed at this point. There is nothing that will stop it. Everything is falling quickly into place to usher in the Tribulation.

Instead of fighting, my mentality would be one to endure the (pre-Rapture and pre-Tribulation) hard times by relying on the Lord to give me strength and hope. It's already difficult to be a Christian in America. We are hated because of our belief in the Lord and everything that stands for. But our lives here are still immeasurably better than our Christian brothers and sisters in other countries suffering homelessness, torture and murder at the hands of evil.

Could these things happen here? Once I would have said "never". But now I say "absolutely" (though I do NOT give up hope that the Rapture could happen at any time we could escape what I am about to speculate). The first step I see is imprisonment when we start being persecuted under "hate" laws. Pastors standing up against homosexuality will likely be the first to be jailed. This will empower the forces of evil to make even more laws under which to jail us. The hatred and anger against us will grow and we may yet experience homelessness, torture and murder before the Tribulation. But these sufferings will not be punishments via the wrath of God. They will be trials at the hands of the real haters of the world today...those who proclaim to be the most tolerant.

What should we do if we do indeed go through such times? I think we will do as the Jews did in Germany circa WWII. We will be as lambs at the mercy of wolves. We will lose our will to fight and our desire to hold onto our mortal lives. Our live will be solely focused on Jesus. Period. We will be in constant reliance upon Him to endure and overcome. We will pray for His return as never before. We will hope for the fulfillment of His promise to take us from this world and into His loving eternal Kingdom on that glorious day in which we are reunited with the resurrected Christians who passed before us. Then we shall rejoice and celebrate with the Lord awaiting the day we all mount white horses and ride with Him to final victory over the enemies of God.

It is these two things that most help me to endure and keep my hope alive. One, the Rapture to escape the Tribulation. Two, knowing we will be victorious and get to be part of the glorious return of Jesus to Earth.