From the descendants of Shem, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, we meet the Jews, who were God’s chosen people (Deuteronomy 7:6). Zechariah prophesied of the Jews as being “the apple of God’s eye” (Zechariah 2:7-9). The purpose of God’s choosing the Jews was to bring the Messiah into the world (John 4:22). Yet, even with all that God had done for the Jews, they sinned against Him. Sin is taken very lightly in today’s world, but its seriousness is that it got Adam and Eve kicked out of the Garden of Eden, and got Jesus nailed to the cross. Yes. God forgives sin, but its consequences, which can be described as being “collateral damage,” can have its own equally damaging effects. Because of Israel’s continued sin against God, the Jews were expelled from the land that had been promised to them by God. The dispersion of the Jews from “their God-given land,” which we know as Israel, began in 722 B.C. and continued through 586 B.C. God’s chosen people have not yet totally returned to their promised land, even though in 1948 the United Nations granted a statehood status to Israel. Since that time, Jews have been returning incrementally, and will continue to do so until the time that the Kingdom is reestablished during the reign of Christ in the Millennium (Matthew 24:31). As we consider the relationship that Israel had with God prior to their dispersion from their promised land, we should also consider the stern warning that God gave the Jews, as we read in Deuteronomy 28:15-68. It is important for you to read all of those verses, and as you do, consider our nation, the USA. Our nation was formed so that we can have freedom of religion. For many years we held close to the Judeo-Christian principles that we find in God’s Word, The Holy Bible. But, the protective hand of God that has covered our nation is gradually being removed. As a nation, we have said that it is okay to kill unborn babies in the womb. We have also said that it is okay for a child to be born, but left to die if it survives an abortion. As a nation, we have said that it is okay for men to marry men, and for women to marry women. That is a good starting point that tells how we are sinning against God. I’m sure that you can think of other offenses. Our nation is walking on thin ice. Just as God removed His chosen people from the land that He chose for them, He can just as easily, and even more quickly, turn our land into one that looks nothing like “the land of the free and the home of the brave.” Because this post will go directly to believers in Christ, I have not added a lot of supporting verses of scripture. But, if anyone desires such data, please let me know and I will provide it. Consider the song that is provided. Consider our need to ask for mercy from God. Folks, this is real stuff. We can’t pretend that our continued sinning against God will not bring about His judgment upon us. May God have mercy on us.
Deuteronomy 7:6 New King James Version (NKJV)
6 “For you are a holy people to the Lord your God; the Lord your God has chosen you to be a people for Himself, a special treasure above all the peoples on the face of the earth.
Zechariah 2:7-9 New King James Version (NKJV)
7 “Up, Zion! Escape, you who dwell with the daughter of Babylon.”
8 For thus says the Lord of hosts: “He sent Me after glory, to the nations which plunder you; for he who touches you touches the apple of His eye. 9 For surely I will shake My hand against them, and they shall become spoil for their servants. Then you will know that the Lord of hosts has sent Me.
John 4:22 New King James Version (NKJV)
22 You worship what you do not know; we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews.
Matthew 24:31 New King James Version (NKJV)
31 And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
Lord, Have Mercy
Deuteronomy 28:15-68 New King James Version (NKJV)
Curses on Disobedience
15 “But it shall come to pass, if you do not obey the voice of the Lord your God, to observe carefully all His commandments and His statutes which I command you today, that all these curses will come upon you and overtake you:
16 “Cursed shall you be in the city, and cursed shall you be in the country.
17 “Cursed shall be your basket and your kneading bowl.
18 “Cursed shall be the fruit of your body and the produce of your land, the increase of your cattle and the offspring of your flocks.
19 “Cursed shall you be when you come in, and cursed shall you be when you go out.
20 “The Lord will send on you cursing, confusion, and rebuke in all that you set your hand to do, until you are destroyed and until you perish quickly, because of the wickedness of your doings in which you have forsaken Me. 21 The Lord will make the plague cling to you until He has consumed you from the land which you are going to possess. 22 The Lord will strike you with consumption, with fever, with inflammation, with severe burning fever, with the sword, with scorching, and with mildew; they shall pursue you until you perish.23 And your heavens which are over your head shall be bronze, and the earth which is under you shall be iron. 24 The Lord will change the rain of your land to powder and dust; from the heaven it shall come down on you until you are destroyed.
25 “The Lord will cause you to be defeated before your enemies; you shall go out one way against them and flee seven ways before them; and you shall become troublesome to all the kingdoms of the earth. 26 Your carcasses shall be food for all the birds of the air and the beasts of the earth, and no one shall frighten them away. 27 The Lord will strike you with the boils of Egypt, with tumors, with the scab, and with the itch, from which you cannot be healed. 28 The Lord will strike you with madness and blindness and confusion of heart. 29 And you shall grope at noonday, as a blind man gropes in darkness; you shall not prosper in your ways; you shall be only oppressed and plundered continually, and no one shall save you.
30 “You shall betroth a wife, but another man shall lie with her; you shall build a house, but you shall not dwell in it; you shall plant a vineyard, but shall not gather its grapes.31 Your ox shall be slaughtered before your eyes, but you shall not eat of it; your donkey shall be violently taken away from before you, and shall not be restored to you; your sheep shall be given to your enemies, and you shall have no one to rescue them. 32 Your sons and your daughters shall be given to another people, and your eyes shall look and fail with longing for them all day long; and there shall be no strength in your hand. 33 A nation whom you have not known shall eat the fruit of your land and the produce of your labor, and you shall be only oppressed and crushed continually. 34 So you shall be driven mad because of the sight which your eyes see. 35 The Lord will strike you in the knees and on the legs with severe boils which cannot be healed, and from the sole of your foot to the top of your head.
36 “The Lord will bring you and the king whom you set over you to a nation which neither you nor your fathers have known, and there you shall serve other gods—wood and stone.37 And you shall become an astonishment, a proverb, and a byword among all nations where the Lord will drive you.
38 “You shall carry much seed out to the field but gather little in, for the locust shall consume it. 39 You shall plant vineyards and tend them, but you shall neither drink of the wine nor gather the grapes; for the worms shall eat them. 40 You shall have olive trees throughout all your territory, but you shall not anoint yourself with the oil; for your olives shall drop off. 41 You shall beget sons and daughters, but they shall not be yours; for they shall go into captivity. 42 Locusts shall consume all your trees and the produce of your land.
43 “The alien who is among you shall rise higher and higher above you, and you shall come down lower and lower. 44 He shall lend to you, but you shall not lend to him; he shall be the head, and you shall be the tail.
45 “Moreover all these curses shall come upon you and pursue and overtake you, until you are destroyed, because you did not obey the voice of the Lord your God, to keep His commandments and His statutes which He commanded you. 46 And they shall be upon you for a sign and a wonder, and on your descendants forever.
47 “Because you did not serve the Lord your God with joy and gladness of heart, for the abundance of everything, 48 therefore you shall serve your enemies, whom the Lord will send against you, in hunger, in thirst, in nakedness, and in need of everything; and He will put a yoke of iron on your neck until He has destroyed you. 49 The Lord will bring a nation against you from afar, from the end of the earth, as swift as the eagle flies, a nation whose language you will not understand, 50 a nation of fierce countenance, which does not respect the elderly nor show favor to the young. 51 And they shall eat the increase of your livestock and the produce of your land, until you are destroyed; they shall not leave you grain or new wine or oil, or the increase of your cattle or the offspring of your flocks, until they have destroyed you.
52 “They shall besiege you at all your gates until your high and fortified walls, in which you trust, come down throughout all your land; and they shall besiege you at all your gates throughout all your land which the Lord your God has given you. 53 You shall eat the fruit of your own body, the flesh of your sons and your daughters whom the Lord your God has given you, in the siege and desperate straits in which your enemy shall distress you.54 The sensitive and very refined man among you will be hostile toward his brother, toward the wife of his bosom, and toward the rest of his children whom he leaves behind,55 so that he will not give any of them the flesh of his children whom he will eat, because he has nothing left in the siege and desperate straits in which your enemy shall distress you at all your gates. 56 The tender and delicate woman among you, who would not venture to set the sole of her foot on the ground because of her delicateness and sensitivity, will refuse to the husband of her bosom, and to her son and her daughter,57 her placenta which comes out from between her feet and her children whom she bears; for she will eat them secretly for lack of everything in the siege and desperate straits in which your enemy shall distress you at all your gates.
58 “If you do not carefully observe all the words of this law that are written in this book, that you may fear this glorious and awesome name, THE LORD YOUR GOD, 59 then the Lord will bring upon you and your descendants extraordinary plagues—great and prolonged plagues—and serious and prolonged sicknesses. 60 Moreover He will bring back on you all the diseases of Egypt, of which you were afraid, and they shall cling to you.61 Also every sickness and every plague, which is not written in this Book of the Law, will the Lord bring upon you until you are destroyed. 62 You shall be left few in number, whereas you were as the stars of heaven in multitude, because you would not obey the voice of the Lord your God. 63 And it shall be, that just as the Lord rejoiced over you to do you good and multiply you, so the Lord will rejoice over you to destroy you and bring you to nothing; and you shall be plucked from off the land which you go to possess.
64 “Then the Lord will scatter you among all peoples, from one end of the earth to the other, and there you shall serve other gods, which neither you nor your fathers have known—wood and stone. 65 And among those nations you shall find no rest, nor shall the sole of your foot have a resting place; but there the Lord will give you a trembling heart, failing eyes, and anguish of soul. 66 Your life shall hang in doubt before you; you shall fear day and night, and have no assurance of life. 67 In the morning you shall say, ‘Oh, that it were evening!’ And at evening you shall say, ‘Oh, that it were morning!’ because of the fear which terrifies your heart, and because of the sight which your eyes see.
68 “And the Lord will take you back to Egypt in ships, by the way of which I said to you, ‘You shall never see it again.’ And there you shall be offered for sale to your enemies as male and female slaves, but no one will buy you.”
As believers in Christ, we have been given a tremendous honor and responsibility to tell others about the love of God, and the message of salvation which is available to all of the world through an intimate relationship with Jesus (John 1:9; John 17:3). We are also directed by God to “teach, rebuke, correct, and train” in accordance with His Holy Word (2 Timothy 3:16). Consider the following verses of Scripture.
Ephesians 4:11-12 New King James Version (NKJV)
11 And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ,
Eph 4:11-12 is the marching order of our ministry. Its teaching is that Jesus gives spiritual gifts of leadership to key people in the true church, the body of Christ. The context is not that of a brick and mortar church, but is that of those who have been born again and are spiritually indwelled by Christ. The spirits of such believers also indwell the Spirits of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, as well as the spirits of all other people who have ever been born again and who know Jesus as their Lord and Savior. The visual and physical leadership of brick and mortar churches is described in 1 Timothy Chapter 3 and Titus Chapter 1. It is important to notice that in Eph 4:11, “He gave” the gifts. He, “Jesus,” gave those spiritual gifts to key people without any church vote being a part of the process. The terms “pastors and teachers” are used here to describe two separate and distinct people of spiritual leadership. In the context of this scripture, those pastors and teachers who have been spiritually gifted for leadership by Jesus. Other spiritual gifts are described in 1 Corinthians 13 and Romans 12, but they are not necessarily gifts of spiritual leadership as are identified in Ephesians 4. Also, please note that the spiritual gifts of leadership, that Jesus gave in Ephesians 4, are given without specification to education or congregational vote; they are spiritual gifts. Neither is there an expiration date on any of those gifts.
Deuteronomy 6:1-12 New King James Version (NKJV)
The Greatest Commandment
1 Now this is the commandment, and these are the statutes and judgments which the Lord your God has commanded to teach you, that you may observe them in the land which you are crossing over to possess, 2 that you may fear the Lord your God, to keep all His statutes and His commandments which I command you, you and your son and your grandson, all the days of your life, and that your days may be prolonged. 3 Therefore hear, O Israel, and be careful to observe it, that it may be well with you, and that you may multiply greatly as the Lord God of your fathers has promised you—‘a land flowing with milk and honey.’
4 “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one! 5 You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.
6 “And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. 7 You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. 8 You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. 9 You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.
Caution Against Disobedience
10 “So it shall be, when the Lord your God brings you into the land of which He swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give you large and beautiful cities which you did not build, 11 houses full of all good things, which you did not fill, hewn-out wells which you did not dig, vineyards and olive trees which you did not plant—when you have eaten and are full— 12 then beware, lest you forget the Lord who brought you out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage.
Deuteronomy 6:1-12 tells parents that they are responsible to teach their children the Word of God. In this time in our nation’s history, we have many children, who are children of children. Out of wedlock babies, and homes without fathers, create a major problem for a nation, and for the church of Christ. We, who are aware of such dysfunctional home situations, should become involved in helping those families to know the Word of God. Grandparents may be the instruments of God to teach their grandchildren about the Word of God. There may be believers in Christ who are recognized in communities as being trusted agents of righteousness. There may be other situations where the true born-again church of believers may be able to make a difference in our world. Please pray about this situation. Consider what you may be able to do to teach God’s Word to those who have a great need for it, but know little or nothing of it.
Ezekiel 3:1-19 New King James Version (NKJV)
1 Moreover He said to me, “Son of man, eat what you find; eat this scroll, and go, speak to the house of Israel.” 2 So I opened my mouth, and He caused me to eat that scroll.
3 And He said to me, “Son of man, feed your belly, and fill your stomach with this scroll that I give you.” So I ate, and it was in my mouth like honey in sweetness.
4 Then He said to me: “Son of man, go to the house of Israel and speak with My words to them. 5 For you are not sent to a people of unfamiliar speech and of hard language, but to the house of Israel, 6 not to many people of unfamiliar speech and of hard language, whose words you cannot understand. Surely, had I sent you to them, they would have listened to you. 7 But the house of Israel will not listen to you, because they will not listen to Me; for all the house of Israel are impudent and hard-hearted. 8 Behold, I have made your face strong against their faces, and your forehead strong against their foreheads.9 Like adamant stone, harder than flint, I have made your forehead; do not be afraid of them, nor be dismayed at their looks, though they are a rebellious house.”
10 Moreover He said to me: “Son of man, receive into your heart all My words that I speak to you, and hear with your ears. 11 And go, get to the captives, to the children of your people, and speak to them and tell them, ‘Thus says the Lord God,’ whether they hear, or whether they refuse.”
12 Then the Spirit lifted me up, and I heard behind me a great thunderous voice: “Blessed is the glory of the Lord from His place!” 13 I also heard the noise of the wings of the living creatures that touched one another, and the noise of the wheels beside them, and a great thunderous noise. 14 So the Spirit lifted me up and took me away, and I went in bitterness, in the heat of my spirit; but the hand of the Lord was strong upon me. 15 Then I came to the captives at Tel Abib, who dwelt by the River Chebar; and I sat where they sat, and remained there astonished among them seven days.
Ezekiel Is a Watchman
16 Now it came to pass at the end of seven days that the word of the Lord came to me, saying, 17 “Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; therefore hear a word from My mouth, and give them warning from Me: 18 When I say to the wicked, ‘You shall surely die,’ and you give him no warning, nor speak to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life, that same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at your hand. 19 Yet, if you warn the wicked, and he does not turn from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but you have delivered your soul.
Ezekiel 3:1-19 explains a specific situation whereby God directs Ezekiel to warn the people of Israel to repent of their wicked ways. God told Ezekiel that the mission would be very difficult, but the Word of God still needed to be spoken to the people of Israel. Consider the fact that Ezekiel would be talking to his own people. Consider our friends and family, and their need to know the Word of God. By making Ezekiel a watchman over the people of Israel, God also gave Ezekiel a grave requirement. If Ezekiel failed to warn the people of their sins, Ezekiel would be held accountable for those people dying in their sins. God may not hold such a strong arm of judgment over us today, but we should consider the great need to share the Word of God with those who need it the most; those who are lost in their sin of unbelief in Jesus as their Lord and Savior (John 3:18).
Matthew 28:18-20 New King James Version (NKJV)
18 And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.
Matthew 28:18-20 is known as “The Great Commission.” In the passage Jesus commissions His disciples, who will be soon known as Apostles, to “go, teach, baptize, and teach,” the things that they had been taught by Jesus. As unbelievers became believers in Christ, they also assumed the command of Jesus to “go, teach, baptize, and teach” the things that they had learned from the disciples/apostles. That daisy chain process of evangelism has led the teachings of Jesus to you and me.
Acts 1:8 New King James Version (NKJV)
8 But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
Acts 1:8 is also known as the Great Commission. The apostles were commanded by Jesus to begin their ministry of evangelism in Jerusalem and go outward in all directions to teach unbelievers the teachings of Jesus.
Acts 17:10-12 New King James Version (NKJV)
Ministering at Berea
10 Then the brethren immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea. When they arrived, they went into the synagogue of the Jews. 11 These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so. 12 Therefore many of them believed, and also not a few of the Greeks, prominent women as well as men.
Acts 17:10-12 occurred twenty years after the events of Acts 1:8. The passage shows the gospel being spread to Jews in Berea and Thessalonica, as well as to Gentiles. A unique factor in this story of the spreading of the gospel of Christ, is that as Paul and Silas preached the Word of Christ, those who heard that message in Berea were “fact checking” the words of the apostles against the words of scripture. Because the New Testament had not been put together yet, the scriptures that were checked were those of the Old Testament as they related to the coming Messiah.
2 Timothy 2:15 21st Century King James Version (KJ21)
15 Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman who needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
2 Timothy 2:15 tells believers in Christ to study God’s Word, but not only should they study; they should be intentional in deeply studying God’s Word. Consider the word of the following translation.
2 Timothy 2:15 American Standard Version (ASV)
15 Give diligence to present thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, handling aright the word of truth.
Consider “giving diligence,” as we read the words of the Complete Jewish Bible, as follows.
2 Timothy 2:15 Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)
15 Do all you can to present yourself to God as someone worthy of his approval, as a worker with no need to be ashamed, because he deals straightforwardly with the Word of the Truth.
We are told to study, to be diligent, to do all that we can, as we strive to understand more deeply the Word of God.
James 3:1 New King James Version (NKJV)
1 My brethren, let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment.
In James 3:1, we are told that we are held to Godly standards to teach God’s Word. We can’t escape the calling that God has put on our lives. God has called us to teach His Word. We must be serious about that calling.
2 Timothy 3:16-17 New International Version (NIV)
16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
In 2 Timothy 3:16-17, we read that God’s word is literally “God-breathed.” This passage relates to the Old Testament scriptures, but just as the Old Testament was “God-breathed,” the same thing can be said about the words of the New Testament. Consider the wording of verse 16 in the following translation.
2 Timothy 3:16 English Standard Version (ESV)
16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,
The Word of God is “breathed out” by God, which shows that it is originated in God, and by God, and is “of God.”
Consider “Tellin’ ‘Em?”
It is without a doubt that in today’s world there is a major populace that has not been told the Word of God. If they have had the gospel spoken to them, they don’t understand it. If all of the people who are rioting, looting, burning and destroying public and private property, and doing other acts of violence actually knew the word of God intimately, we would not be seeing scenes of such anarchy through television outlets almost every hour of the day. So, what should be the responsibility of those of us who know Jesus, and His Word, intimately? We should be intentional in performing the commission of the Great Commission. Yes. We should “go, teach, baptize, and teach” the Word of God to people who may not be in our normal circle of friends and acquaintances. We need to teach our family members to protect them from the Satanic influences that they will encounter in life. We also need to share God’s Word with those people in our world who have no idea of the teachings of Jesus. Otherwise, those people are likely candidates to be indoctrinated into cult and Islamic groups. So, let’s agree, that our God-given responsibility is to “Tell ‘Em,” the Word of God.
There are times when we find ourselves in times of uncertainty, as it relates to our direction of ministry. Some of those times may be very difficult for us. During those times, let’s remember the Words of Jesus, as follows.
Matthew 11:28 New King James Version (NKJV)
28 Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
The following song, that is sung by Charles Billingsley, closely reflects the teaching of the Words of Jesus.
When I Don’t Know What To Do
Thomas Road Baptist Church
Southern Baptist Convention
Lynchburgh, Virginia, USA
That song was so good, that we should listen to another one that tells us of “our Source, who is Immanuel,” which is also sung by Charles Billingsley. Jesus is the source of our “love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.” (The fruit of the Spirit is singular. If we have one of the fruit, we have all of the fruit. Galatians 5:22-23). As scripture tells us, Jesus is Immanuel, who is “God with us.”
Isaiah 7:14 New King James Version (NKJV)
14 Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel.
Matthew 1:23 New King James Version (NKJV)
23 “Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.”
I can’t let this go. Charles Billingsley will now sing a song that should be the cry of our nation to God. We should individually, and collectively as a nation, cry out to God for His mercy to be shed upon us. Consider the words that God spoke to the nation of Israel after It had drifted away God.
2 Chronicles 7:14 New King James Version (NKJV)
14 if My people who are called by My name will 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.
Our nation is experiencing an assault of lawlessness on it. Today, at twelve o’clock noon eastern time, I will be praying for an ending of all of the criminal acts of rioting, looting, burning, and all other sorts of violence that are affecting our nation. As believers in Jesus as our Lord and Savior, let us consider the last verse of the scripture on The Whole Armor Of God. The first word of verse eighteen says, “praying.” Let all of God’s people go into a time of prayer today with me. Let us be voices of reason. Let us consider the words of Philippians 4:8. My time of prayer will be a time of corporate prayer. Please stay in prayer with me until one pm, eastern time. Continue praying individually, and in your own collective groups, “without ceasing.” Let us worship Jesus, our Lord and Savior.
Philippians 4:8 New King James Version (NKJV)
Meditate on These Things
8 Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.
Ephesians 6:10-18 New King James Version (NKJV)
The Whole Armor of God
10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
14 Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; 18 praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints—
Let us enter into a time of worship, praise, and prayer.
Consider the Words of Jesus, as he spoke to the Jews, with whom He came to share the Truth of His being “God with them.” (Isaiah 7:14, Matthew 1:23-25). In John 3:16-18, He explained that by a belief in Him, a believer would have eternal life with Him. On the contrary, a person who does not have that belief will have an eternity of condemnation, which is one of separation from God and of eternal torment in Hell. In John 8:30-32, Jesus explained to the Jews that by having a belief in Him, they would “know the truth, and be free.” Knowing Jesus is a result of being intimate with Him. The Truth that comes from that relationship results in a believer being freed from the domination of sin over that person’s life. In John 14:16-17, Jesus told the Jews that the result of someone believing in Him would be that His Spirit would indwell them, which is a literal indwelling of His Spirit in their spirit. Such an indwelling will result in our words, thoughts, and actions being influenced by God’s Holy Spirit. In John 17:3, Jesus told the Jews that having an eternal relationship with Him would be the result of having a belief in Him as their Messiah. The truth of the teachings of Jesus were made known to the non-Jewish world through those Jews who became His disciples, who were also believers in Him (Matthew 28:18-20).
Consider the great probability that the readers of this post are believers in Christ, and are also His disciples. We, who say that we are believers in Jesus, have been given a great responsibility. We say that we “know the Truth,” and that “the Truth has set us free” from sin’s domination over our lives. We also say that the Spirit of Christ indwells us. The significance of that belief is that if we have saving faith in Jesus, we have the Presence of God with us regardless of what we do, where we go, what we observe, and what we say. If the Truth of Jesus has actually set us free from sin’s dominion over our lives, we need to put that belief into action in our lives. If we believe that the Truth of Jesus has set us free (John 8:32), we need to have a John 8:32 life. Our house needs to have a spiritual address of “832.” The words that we speak need to be enclosed in an “832 tube.” The places that we frequent need to be “832” places, by virtue of our actions while we are there. We can not remove ourselves from a “non 832 world,” but our closest friends should be “832 friends.” Our places of worship should be “832 places of worship,” and not allow “non 832 causes” to be birthed or encouraged there. We need to pray for the Truth of Jesus to be made known to the “non 832 people” who are looting, rioting , and burning cars and businesses in our nation. The majority of the problems that we are facing in our lives today are of a “non 832” source. In John 10:10, it is easy for us to see that Satan is everything that Jesus is not, and that Jesus is everything that Satan is not. We need to be sure that anyone who observes us, is not confused as to whose we really are, whether we are of Satan or of Jesus. Please read the scriptures and prayerfully listen to the song of worship and praise that follows them.
John 3:16-18 New King James Version (NKJV)
16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. 18 “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
John 8:30-32 New King James Version (NKJV)
30 “As He spoke these words, many believed in Him. 31 Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. 32 And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”
John 10:10 New King James Version (NKJV)
10 The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly
John 14:16-17 New King James Version (NKJV)
16 And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.
John 17:3 New King James Version (NKJV)
3 And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.
A Song About An Intimate Relationship With Jesus
First Baptist Church, Jacksonville, Florida, USA
Southern Baptist Convention
Jessica Stewart, Soloist
25 In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes.
Our country is witnessing the proof that it is a nation whose king is not the Lord, the Lord Jesus. Please pray for our nation, that it will submit to King Jesus as its Lord and Savior. We, who are believers in Christ, who know Him as our Lord and Savior, need to be voices of reason.
Prestonwood Baptist Church
Fort Worth, Texas, USA
Medley Of Songs
Lord I’m Coming Home
Take Me Back
Bishop G.E. Patterson (deceased; a mighty man of God)
Church Of God In Christ
Revelation 22:20 New King James Version (NKJV)
I Am Coming Quickly
20 He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming quickly.”
Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus!
Revelation 5:11-14 21st Century King James Version (KJ21)
11 And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the living beings and the elders; and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands,
12 saying with a loud voice, “Worthy is the Lamb that was slain, to receive power and riches and wisdom and strength, and honor and glory and blessing!”
13 And I heard every creature which is in heaven and on the earth, and under the earth and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, saying, “Blessing and honor and glory and power be unto Him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever!”
14 And the four living beings said, “Amen.” And the four and twenty elders fell down and worshiped Him that liveth for ever and ever.
Prestonwood Baptist Church
Southern Baptist Convention
Fort Worth, Texas USA
Unto The Lamb
There are many interesting points of interest as we consider the road that lies before us, and ends at the place in time where the redeemed of all times will spend an eternity of peace with God. There is another road for those who have not been redeemed. The travelers of that road will spend their eternity separated from God, and in a constant state of torment. The points of interest that follow may stand alone, or may intertwine. The starting point in the time of the events is that of the prophet Daniel in 537 B. C. Documents that have been used for this sermon draft are the Mac Arthur, Ryrie and Scofield study bibles. Commentaries by Dr. John F. Walvoord on the books of Daniel and Revelation have also been consulted.
The Key Point of this travel begins with the rapture of the church, which is also known as the catching up of the believers in Christ in the air where they will be carried away by Christ to be with Him in Heaven. Concurrently with the rapture is the revealing of the Anti-Christ and the tribulation that will affect all people who are left behind on earth. Those people who miss the rapture will be those who were not born again; their sinful spirit which remains within them, will cause them to remain on the earth. The Anti-Christ will be an instrument that God will use to judge sin.
It is important to relate the judgment of God on sin to the presence of sin on the Earth. In scripture the word “darkness” relates to sin. In 1 John 1:5, we read that “God is Light and in Him is no darkness.” The coming of Jesus into the world was to “take away the sin of the world” (1 John 1:29). “In Him (Jesus) was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it” (John 1:4-5). “The true Light (Jesus) gives light to every man coming into the world” (John 1:9). Darkness has no relationship with light. The purpose of Jesus was to dispel the darkness of the world, which occurs through the born again experience. In John 3:3, Jesus said “unless one is born again, he can not see the Kingdom of God.” In John 14:20, Jesus explains to the disciples the indwelling of spirits:” I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you.” The born again experience is explained in 2 Corinthians 5:17: “if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; all things have become new.” The old and new things are the spirit of the person who has been born again. When the rapture of the church occurs, all born again/redeemed people of the world will be taken out of the world. The only people who will remain on the earth will be those who have not been born again. That statement is important to show that sin will remain on the earth in the spirits of those who remain. God will judge sin, so only those who have retained sinful spirits will be present when the judgment of sin comes upon the earth. God does not have a problem with those who have been born again, redeemed, and found to be, in their spirit, as righteous as the Spirit of Christ, per 2 Corinthians 5:21: “He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” Going back to 1 John 1:5, we recall that no darkness is in God. Those who have not been born again are, present tense, sin. That is their state of spiritual life. God’s judgment will come upon the sinful world. Human beings who have not been born again can not be raptured out of the world; so, they will be present when the judgment of God begins. Remember this truth: God does not have a problem with His redeemed saints, who are those who have been born again. They have been found to be faithful and will not come under the testing requirement of Revelation 3:10: “I will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth.” The word “from” is from the Greek “ek,” which means “out of.” Again, those of us who have been born again, have been found to be faithful. There is no need for those of us, who have been born again, to be present with the unredeemed when:”there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be (Matthew 24:21).” “Dwell” implies that their home is earth, not heaven, which relates to all mankind, except the redeemed. As believers, our citizenship is in heaven (Philippians 3:20). The outpouring of God’s wrath is not the future that the Bible promises to the church, for Paul says that believers are not destined for wrath (1 Thessalonians 5:9).
At the beginning of the seven-year tribulation, the Anti-Christ will enter into a peace treaty with the Jews. During the middle of that time, he will break the treaty. Times will become greater in affliction on mankind than what has ever happened seen since the creation of the world. During that time, there will be a tremendous time of salvation of Jews and Gentiles, but with the result of many martyr deaths taking place at the hands of the forces of the Anti-Christ. Those martyrs will be resurrected at the end of the tribulation, and will join the raptured saints who will have returned from Heaven with Jesus. The bodies of the unredeemed saints of all times will be resurrected at the end of the Millennium, where they will go before the Great White Throne Judgment.
The object of the hatred of the Anti-Christ is Israel. He, and his forces of other people who also hate Israel, will mount an assault on Israel, which will be known as the Battle Of Armageddon. When Jerusalem is surrounded by those Satanic forces, Christ will return from heaven, with all of us who had been raptured to engage those enemies of God. The battle will be a spiritual one, and will end quickly. The Anti-Christ and False Prophet (a religious enabler of the Anti-Christ) will be cast into the lake of fire that burns with brimstone. All of their accomplices will have been killed in the battle.
A thousand-year period of Godly peace will begin. Satan will be bound for that time, which is known as the Millennium. The believers of the true God of all ages, will rule and reign with Christ during that time, which Jesus also spoke of as being the Kingdom of Heaven, as opposed to the Kingdom of God, which is the spiritual body of Christ. There will be people, who will be alive during the Millennium, who are not believers in Christ. They may not have been involved in the Battle of Armageddon. Those people will have been left behind from the rapture, and will have lived during the thousand-year reign of Christ. Children will be born during the Millennium; not all of them will become believers in Christ (See Zechariah 14:16-19, Mac Arthur’s note).
At the end of the Millennium, Satan will be loosed by God for a short season to deceive the nations. Another attack on Jerusalem will be mounted by the enemies of God in The Battle of Gog and Magog. Satan and his forces will be crushed by God in a quick assault of fire from Heaven. I’ll let you read, as Paul Harvey used to say, “The Rest Of The Story.” From this point forward, please check out the points that I have indicated as being on the road to eternity. Please remember the words of Revelation 1:3, “Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy.”
THE COMING OF CHRIST IN THE AIR FOR THE RAPTURE OF THE CHURCH – THE CATCHING UP OF THE SAINTS (Notice the wording of each passage. None of them show Jesus coming to Earth to pour His wrath on a sinful world. Instead, He is shown as coming to receive His people to Himself and take them out of this world. Notice that the Rapture will catch up people who have been born again. )
John 14:1-3 (New King James Version)
1“Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. 2 In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.”
1 Corinthians 15:50-53 (New King James Version)
50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does corruption inherit incorruption. 51 Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality
1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 (New Century Version)
13 Brothers and sisters, we want you to know about those Christians who have died so you will not be sad, as others who have no hope. 14 We believe that Jesus died and that he rose again. So, because of him, God will raise with Jesus those who have died. 15 What we tell you now is the Lord’s own message. We who are living when the Lord comes again will not go before those who have already died. 16 The Lord himself will come down from heaven with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet call of God. And those who have died believing in Christ will rise first. 17 After that, we who are still alive will be gathered up with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And we will be with the Lord forever. 18 So encourage each other with these words.
THE TRIBULATION AS DESCRIBED BY JESUS (It is important to notice that Jesus is speaking to Jews.)
Matthew 24:3-28 (New King James Version)
The Signs of the Times and the End of the Age
3 Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?” 4 And Jesus answered and said to them: “Take heed that no one deceives you. 5 For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many. 6 And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. 7 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. 8 All these are the beginning of sorrows. 9 “Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. 10 And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. 11 Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. 12 And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. 13 But he who endures to the end shall be saved. 14 And 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.
The Great Tribulation
15 “Therefore when you see the ‘abomination of desolation,’spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place” (whoever reads, let him understand), 16 “then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. 17 Let him who is on the housetop not go down to take anything out of his house. 18 And let him who is in the field not go back to get his clothes. 19 But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! 20 And pray that your flight may not be in winter or on the Sabbath. 21 For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be. 22 And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened. 23 “Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There!’ do not believe it. 24 For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. 25 See, I have told you beforehand. 26 “Therefore if they say to you, ‘Look, He is in the desert!’ do not go out; or ‘Look, He is in the inner rooms!’ do not believe it. 27 For as the lightning comes from the east and flashes to the west, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. 28 For wherever the carcass is, there the eagles will be gathered together.
THE RAPTURED SAINTS IN HEAVEN DURING THE TRIBULATION
The Marriage And Marriage Supper Of The Lamb (The marriage is that of the raptured church and Jesus, the Lamb.)
Revelation 19:7-9 (New King James Version)
7 Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready.” 8 And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints. 9 Then he said to me, “Write: ‘Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb!’” And he said to me, “These are the true sayings of God.”
The Judgment Seat Of Christ – Rewards For The Raptured Saints
1 Corinthians 3:10-15 (New King James Version)
10 According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I have laid the foundation, and another builds on it. But let each one take heed how he builds on it. 11 For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, 13 each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is. 14 If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. 15 If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.
2 Corinthians 5:10 (New King James Version) (It is important to read the verse carefully. Don’t put more into the scripture than what is actually contained within it.)
10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.
THE TRIBULATION – THE REDEEMED IN HEAVEN – THE UNREDEEMED ON EARTH
The Tribulation As Prophesied By Daniel (The church has been raptured up, and is with God in Heaven.)
The 70th Week Of Daniel – 7 Years – Daniel 9:24-27
Daniel 9:24-27 (New King James Version) (Notice the confirming and breaking of the covenant.)
24 “Seventy weeks are determined For your people and for your holy city, To finish the transgression, To make an end of sins, To make reconciliation for iniquity, To bring in everlasting righteousness, To seal up vision and prophecy, And to anoint the Most Holy. 25 “Know therefore and understand, That from the going forth of the command To restore and build Jerusalem Until Messiah the Prince, There shall be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks; The street shall be built again, and the wall, Even in troublesome times. 26 “And after the sixty-two weeks Messiah shall be cut off, but not for Himself; And the people of the prince who is to come Shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end of it shall be with a flood, And till the end of the war desolations are determined. 27 Then he shall confirm a covenant with many for one week; But in the middle of the week He shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall be one who makes desolate, Even until the consummation, which is determined, Is poured out on the desolate.”
The Anti-Christ Makes A Covenant With Israel And Breaks it after 3 1/2 years, midway during the 70th week (See Daniel 9:27, above).
The Last 3 1/2 Years Of The 70th Week Of Daniel – The Great Tribulation – Daniel 7:25 (New King James Version)
25 He shall speak pompous words against the Most High, Shall persecute the saints of the Most High, And shall intend to change times and law. Then the saints shall be given into his hand For a time and times and half a time.
(A time and times and half a time equal three and a half years.)
THE TRIBULATION AS REVEALED BY CHRIST TO JOHN – THE UNREDEEMED AFFECTED
Seal, Trumpet And Bowl Judgments; Battle Of Armageddon (Please read)
THE SECOND COMING OF CHRIST TO THE EARTH
As Described By Jesus – Matthew 24:29-31 (New King James Version)
The Coming of the Son of Man
29 “Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 30 Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 31 And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
As Prophesied by Zechariah – Zechariah 14:1-4 (New King James Version)
The Day of the Lord (This passage relates to Jesus returning to Earth at the end of the tribulation.)
1 Behold, the day of the Lord is coming, And your spoil will be divided in your midst. 2 For I will gather all the nations to battle against Jerusalem; The city shall be taken, The houses rifled, And the women ravished. Half of the city shall go into captivity, But the remnant of the people shall not be cut off from the city. 3 Then the Lord will go forth And fight against those nations, As He fights in the day of battle. 4 And in that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, Which faces Jerusalem on the east. And the Mount of Olives shall be split in two, From east to west, Making a very large valley; Half of the mountain shall move toward the north And half of it toward the south.
As Revealed By Christ To John – Revelation 19:11-16 (New King James Version)
Christ on a White Horse (Raptured saints accompany Jesus.)
11 Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war. 12 His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. He had a name written that no one knew except Himself. 13 He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. 14 And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses. 15 Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. 16 And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written:KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.
THE BATTLE OF ARMAGEDDON/THE BEAST AND HIS ARMIES DEFEATED
Revelation 16:14-16 (New King James Version)
Battle Of Armageddon (The forces of Satan gather for battle against God and His forces.)
14 For they are spirits of demons, performing signs, which go out to the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty. 15 “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.” 16 And they gathered them together to the place called in Hebrew, Armageddon.
Revelation 19:17-21 (New King James Version)
The Beast and His Armies Defeated (This is a quick spiritual battle.)
17 Then I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the birds that fly in the midst of heaven, “Come and gather together for the supper of the great God, 18 that you may eat the flesh of kings, the flesh of captains, the flesh of mighty men, the flesh of horses and of those who sit on them, and the flesh of all people, free and slave, both small and great.”
19 And I saw the beast, the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against Him who sat on the horse and against His army. 20 Then the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who worked signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image. These two were cast alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone. 21 And the rest were killed with the sword which proceeded from the mouth of Him who sat on the horse. And all the birds were filled with their flesh.
Satan Bound 1000 Years – Revelation 20:1-3 (New King James Version)
1 Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. 2 He laid hold of the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years; 3 and he cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal on him, so that he should deceive the nations no more till the thousand years were finished. But after these things he must be released for a little while.
The Saints Reign With Christ 1000 Years – The Millennium – Revelation 20:4-6 (New King James Version)
4 And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was committed to them. Then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. 5 But the rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. 6 Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years.
Satan Released/The Battle Of God And Magog – Revelation 20:7-10 (New King James Version)
Satanic Rebellion Crushed (The battle is quick and spiritual.)
7 Now when the thousand years have expired, Satan will be released from his prison 8 and will go out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle, whose number is as the sand of the sea. 9 They went up on the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city. And fire came down from God out of heaven and devoured them. 10 The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.
The Great White Throne Judgment – For The Unredeemed Of All Times – Revelation 20:11-15 (New King James Version)
11 Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them. 12 And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books. 13 The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works. 14 Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire.
All Things Made New – Revelation 21:1-8 (New King James Version)
1 Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea. 2 Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. 4 And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.” 5 Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” And He said to me, “Write, for these words are true and faithful.” 6 And He said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts. 7 He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son. 8 But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.”
The New Jerusalem – Revelation 21:9-13 (New King James Version)
9 Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls filled with the seven last plagues came to me and talked with me, saying, “Come, I will show you the bride, the Lamb’s wife.” 10 And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, 11 having the glory of God. Her light was like a most precious stone, like a jasper stone, clear as crystal. 12 Also she had a great and high wall with twelve gates, and twelve angels at the gates, and names written on them, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel: 13 three gates on the east, three gates on the north, three gates on the south, and three gates on the west.
The Glory Of The New Jerusalem – Revelation 21:22-27 (New King James Version)
22 But I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. 23 The city had no need of the sun or of the moon to shine in it, for the glory of God illuminated it. The Lamb is its light. 24 And the nations of those who are saved shall walk in its light, and the kings of the earth bring their glory and honor into it. 25 Its gates shall not be shut at all by day (there shall be no night there). 26 And they shall bring the glory and the honor of the nations into it. 27 But there shall by no means enter it anything that defiles, or causes an abomination or a lie, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.
The River Of Life – Revelation 22:1-4 (New King James Version)
22 And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb. 2 In the middle of its street, and on either side of the river, was the tree of life, which bore twelve fruits, each tree yielding its fruit every month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. 3 And there shall be no more curse, but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it, and His servants shall serve Him. 4 They shall see His face, and His name shall be on their foreheads.
The Time Is Near – Revelation 22:6-11 (New King James Version)
6 Then he said to me, “These words are faithful and true.” And the Lord God of the holy prophets sent His angel to show His servants the things which must shortly take place. 7 “Behold, I am coming quickly! Blessed is he who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book.” 8 Now I, John, saw and heard these things. And when I heard and saw, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel who showed me these things. 9 Then he said to me, “See that you do not do that. For I am your fellow servant, and of your brethren the prophets, and of those who keep the words of this book. Worship God.” 10 And he said to me, “Do not seal the words of the prophecy of this book, for the time is at hand. 11 He who is unjust, let him be unjust still; he who is filthy, let him be filthy still; he who is righteous, let him be righteous still; he who is holy, let him be holy still.”
Jesus Testifies To The Churches – Revelation 22:12-17 (New King James Version)
12 “And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work. 13 I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last.” 14 Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city. 15 But outside are dogs and sorcerers and sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and whoever loves and practices a lie. 16 “I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things in the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, the Bright and Morning Star.” 17 And the Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let him who hears say, “Come!” And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely.”
A Warning – Revelation 22:18-19 (New King James Version)
18 For I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book; 19 and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the Book of Life, from the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.
I Am Coming Quickly – Revelation 22:20-21 (New King James Version)
20 He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming quickly.” Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus! 21 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.
Now, let’s enter into a time of worship and praise of our Lord and Savior, Jesus.
Ephesians 5:25 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)
“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself for her”
Men, do you remember what it was that drew yourself to your wife? Do you remember all of the things that you did to gain her favor? Do you remember the special feelings that raced through you mind and body about that special woman who would someday become your wife? Do you remember those special words of love that you used to say to her? Need I say more? Well, I’ll just say this: “husbands, love your wives!”
The latest mid-term elections in the United States are history. There are governors, senators, members of the houses of representatives, as well as other officials who are newly elected, and some who have retained their seats. Additionally, there are some governors and senators who will not face reelection until 2016. All members of the houses of representatives will also have to compete for their jobs against people who would like their jobs. With this opening statement having been made, I will made a disclaimer, as follows. Repetition is used.
THIS POST IS INTENDED FOR PEOPLE WHO KNOW JESUS AS THEIR LORD AND SAVIOR. ALL OTHERS ARE INVITED TO CONSIDER MY THOUGHTS, BUT ARE NOT EXPECT TO UNDERSTAND THEM.
1 Timothy 2:1-3 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)
1 First of all, then, I urge that petitions, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for everyone, 2 for kings and all those who are in authority, 3 This is good, and it pleases God our Savior,
Christians are told to pray for those who are in places of governmental authority. But our prayers are not to encourage their acts, decisions, or votes of bad behavior. Two such acts of bad behavior are abortion on demand and same-sex marriage. As Christians, we know that God’s Word speaks very strongly against each of those acts. As Christians, we know that we can not debate, defy, and defend such acts of ungodly misbehavior.
1 Corinthians 2:14 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)
14 But the unbeliever does not welcome what comes from God’s Spirit, because it is foolishness to him; he is not able to understand it since it is evaluated spiritually.
There is a scriptural reason that some people who lead our government find nothing wrong with: (1) killing unborn babies, (2) letting abortion-surviving babies die in a hospital, or (3) authorizing marriage between people of the same sex. The verse of scripture above (1 Cor 2:14), explains that people who have no belief in Jesus as their Lord and Savior, do not understand words of scripture, because such words are provided by God’s Holy Spirit, and that unbelievers do not have the Spirit of God indwelling them. I can add additional scriptures that support my thoughts, but because this post is designed for Christians, I will defer such information, and provide it for those who may ask for it. So, what should we as believers in Christ do, as it relates to our elected officials, and for those who may seek elected office?
First of all, we should pray for our elected officials to pray for God’s guidance in their votes, and that their votes will be according to God’s Holy Word. Secondly, we should pray for our leaders who have shown that they have no relationship with Jesus as their Lord and Savior. We should pray that they will come to Jesus, with humble hearts, and ask Him to be the Lord of their lives. We should also pray that all of our leaders will vote and make decisions in ways that will show that Jesus is their Lord and Savior, and there is no doubt about such a relationship. If we don’t know how a potential candidate will vote for abortion on demand, or for same-sex marriage legislation, we should ask them about those issues. If they “hem haw around” and don’t provide a straight answer, we should assume that they will not vote in accordance with God’s Word.
Let’s consider the two ungodly acts that I have stated, which are abortion on demand and same-sex marriage, and how they may be treated in votes by congress and by judicial decisions. If we were to elect a president who does not support abortion on demand and same-sex marriage, we would no longer have potential federal judges being referred to the Senate for approval. Liberal, ungodly, judges have made judicial decisions to overturn local elections that voted against abortion on demand and same sex marriage. If Senators were to know Jesus as their Lord and Savior, they would not approve presidential appointments of federal judges, where they/judges might overturn local elections that vote against abortion on demand and same-sex marriage. If the majority of the Senate would be made up of senators who know Jesus as their Lord and Savior, the senate would not choose a Senate majority leader who does know Jesus as his, or her, Lord and Savior. Neither would the senate disapprove bills of Godly content that had been approved by the House of Representatives and passed to them for consideration. If members of the House of Representatives were to know Jesus as their Lord and Savior, they would not pass bills of ungodly content, neither would they provide funding for such ungodly organizations as Planned Parenthood. Consider the math of the United States federal congressional situation. There are 100 senators and 435 members of the house of representatives. If the majority of the members of the house of representatives would know Jesus as their Lord and Savior, there would not be any bills to be passed to the senate for approval that would support abortion on demand or same-sex marriage. If the majority of the senate were to know Jesus as Lord and Savior there would not be any bills passed that support abortion on demand or same-sex marriage. If the majority of the members of the house of representatives were to know Jesus as their Lord and Savior, the Speaker of the House of Representatives that would be selected would also be someone who knows Jesus as their Lord and Savior. I have identified the ungodly acts of abortion on demand and same-sex marriage in this post. It is my belief that if someone has a proper understanding of the sanctity of life and marriage, that the other matters of concern in government will also be properly considered.
Many people have often said that we should not mix religion and politics. Well, consider this thought. We can either be led by people who know Jesus as their Lord and Savior, or we can be led by people who do not know Jesus as their Lord and Savior. We can be led by people who vote based on spiritual discernment, or we can be led by people who have no such spiritual discernment when they vote. There are many people in our government leadership who belong to churches, with many of those churches being “watered down,” when it comes to teaching the Word of God. There are also people in our government leadership who have no affiliation with a church, or who have no relationship with Jesus as their Lord and Savior. Let’s consider the number of members of our congress who belong to the Southern Baptist Convention, who strongly opposes abortion on demand and same-sex marriage, as is shown below. It is amazing! Other conservative Godly church groups also have members who have been elected to congress. We should encourage Godly men and women to seek political office. Consider what would happen if we were to have no Christians in elected or appointed offices. So, let’s begin looking forward to the 2016 presidential, gubernatorial, and congressional elections. We need a president who supports the protection of the lives of unborn babies, and who opposes same-sex marriage. Our current president has been very vocal in his support for abortion on demand and same-sex marriage. We should pray that he will come to know Jesus as his Lord and Savior, and that he will make decisions that are based on the Word of God. Let’s view a video of a Southern Baptist Church that tells of God’s Holiness. The choir and orchestra of Prestonwood Baptist Church, in Fort Worth, Texas sings “Lord You’re Holy.”
Lord You’re Holy
Southern Baptists in Congress now 36
by Staff, posted Tuesday, November 11, 2014
Tags: CongressSouthern BaptistsJames Lankford
WASHINGTON (BP) — Southern Baptist representation in Congress dropped as a result of the Nov. 4 election.
The House of Representatives will include 30 Southern Baptists when the next Congress convenes in January. That will be four fewer than in the current House. The Senate will remain the same at six Southern Baptists, with one Southern Baptist replacing another.
Rep. James Lankford, who has served four years in the House, easily gained election to the Senate seat from Oklahoma vacated by a fellow Southern Baptist, Sen. Tom Coburn. Coburn announced in January he would step down at the end of the year, leaving two years remaining in his term.
Lankford, a Republican, outpolled Democrat Connie Johnson in the special election with 556,382 to 237,531 votes or 68 to 29 percent. Lankford, the GOP Policy Committee chairman in the House, was the director of the Falls Creek Youth Camp for the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma for 13 years before his 2010 election to Congress. He is a member of Quail Springs Baptist Church in Oklahoma City.
In the House, Southern Baptist Rep. Steve Southerland of Florida lost in his re-election bid Nov. 4. Two others — Reps. Paul Broun of Georgia and Steve Stockman of Texas — failed in GOP primaries for the Senate earlier this year. Rep. Tim Griffin of Arkansas left his seat to run for lieutenant governor, a race he won. Rep. Spencer Bachus of Alabama retired, effective the end of this term. Rep. Marlin Stutzman of Indiana left his membership in Community Baptist Church in South Bend, Ind., earlier this year.
Southern Baptists held 40 seats in Congress after the 2012 election, reaching what appears to have been the largest Southern Baptist contingent ever on Capitol Hill.
Baptist Press has learned of the following Southern Baptists, all Republicans, who won first-time election to the House:
— Mark Walker won in North Carolina’s 6th District, defeating Laura Fjeld, a Democrat, with 146,329 to 103,085 votes or 59 to 41 percent. Walker served for about 15 years in a variety of pastoral roles. Most recently, he was associate pastor of music and worship at Greensboro’s Lawndale Baptist Church, where he is still a member.
— Jody Hice took Georgia’s 10th District seat, winning against Democrat Ken Dious with 130,572 to 65,676 votes or 67 to 33 percent. Hice served churches in Georgia for nearly 25 years, most recently as pastor of The Summit Church in Loganville. Hice remains a member of the church.
— Steve Russell replaced Lankford in Oklahoma’s 5th District by defeating Al McAffrey, a Democrat, with 95,557 to 57,721 votes or 60 to 36 percent. Russell is a member of First Southern Baptist Church in Del City.
Following is a list, as compiled by BP, of the ballot results for members of Southern Baptist churches who sought re-election to Congress. (The vote totals are from CNN’s website. Some races had more than two candidates on the ballot, but only the top two finishers are included.)
South Carolina: Lindsey Graham, Republican, seeking third term, Corinth Baptist Church, Seneca, defeated Brad Hutto, Democrat, 665,605-475,532, 54-39 percent.
House of Representatives
Arizona: Rep. Trent Franks, R., 2nd District, seeking seventh term, North Phoenix BC, Phoenix, defeated Stephen Dolgos, Americans Elect., 123,141-39,180, 76-24 percent.
Arkansas: Rep. Rick Crawford, R., 1st District, seeking third term, Nettleton BC, Jonesboro, defeated Jackie McPherson, D., 122,722-62,902, 63-32 percent. Rep. Steve Womack, R., 3rd District, seeking third term, Cross Church, Pinnacle Hills, defeated Grant Brand, Libertarian, 151,093-39,143, 79-21 percent.
Florida: Steve Southerland, R., 2nd District, seeking third term, Northstar Church, Panama City, lost to Gwen Graham, D., 122,939-125,132, 50-50 percent. Rep. Daniel Webster, R., 10th District, seeking third term, First BC of Central Florida, defeated Michael McKenna, D., 142,967-89,267, 62-38 percent. Rep. Vern Buchanan, R., 16th District, seeking sixth term, First BC, Sarasota, defeated Henry Lawrence, D., 168,990-105,357, 62-38 percent.
Georgia: Rep. Lynn Westmoreland, R., 3rd District, seeking sixth term, Orchard Hills Baptist Church, Newnan, won without any major party opposition, according to CNN. Rep. Austin Scott, R., 8th District, seeking third term, First BC, Tifton, won without any major party opposition, according to CNN. Rep. Doug Collins, R., 9th District, seeking second term, Lakewood BC, Lakewood, defeated David Vogel, D., 145,856-34,866, 81-19 percent. Rep. Tom Graves, R., 14th District, seeking second term, Belmont BC, Calhoun, won without any major party opposition, according to CNN.
Kentucky: Rep. Harold Rogers, R., 5th District, seeking 18th term, First BC, Somerset, defeated Kenneth Stepp, D., 171,080-47,617, 78-22 percent.
Louisiana: Rep. John Fleming, R., 4th District, seeking fourth term, First BC, Minden, defeated Randall Lord, L., 152,670-55,224, 73-27 percent.
Mississippi: Rep. Alan Nunnelee, R., 1st District, seeking third term, Calvary BC, Tupelo, defeated Ron Dickey, D., 101,451-43,039, 68-29 percent. Rep. Gregg Harper, R., 3rd District, seeking fourth term, Crossgates BC, Brandon, defeated Douglas Magee, D., 115,396-46,506, 69-28 percent.
Missouri: Rep. Sam Graves, R., 6th District, seeking eighth term, First BC, Tarkio, defeated Bill Hedge, D., 124,547-55,132, 67-29 percent.
New Mexico: Rep. Steve Pearce, R., 2nd District, seeking sixth term, Taylor Memorial BC, Hobbs, defeated Rocky Lara, D., 94,607-51,976, 65-35 percent.
North Carolina: Rep. George Holding, R., 13th District, seeking second term, Christ BC, Raleigh, defeated Brenda Cleary, D., 152,430-113,481, 57-43 percent.
Oklahoma: Rep. Jim Bridenstine, R., 1st District, seeking second term, South Tulsa BC, Tulsa, won without any major party opposition, according to CNN. Rep. Frank Lucas, R., 3rd District, seeking 12th term, First BC, Cheyenne, defeated Frankie Robbins, D., 133,070-36,112, 79-21 percent.
South Carolina: Rep. Jeff Duncan, R., 3rd District, seeking third term, First BC, Clinton, defeated Barbara Mullis, D., 116,021-46,556, 71-29 percent. Rep. Trey Gowdy, 4th District, seeking second term, First BC, Spartanburg, defeated Curtis McLaughlin, L., 125,930-21,849, 85-15 percent.
Texas: Rep. Louie Gohmert, R., 1st District, seeking sixth term, Green Acres BC, Tyler, defeated Shirley McKellar, D., 114,925-33,409, 77-23 percent. Rep. Al Green, D., 9th District, seeking sixth term, Cullen Missionary BC, Houston, defeated Johnny Johnson, L., 77,979-7,886, 91-9 percent. Rep. Mike Conaway, R., 11th District, seeking sixth term, First BC, Midland, defeated Ryan Lange, L., 107,752-11,607, 90-10 percent. Rep. Randy Weber, R., 14th District, seeking second term, Sagemont BC, Houston, defeated Don Brown, D., 89,876-52,420, 62-36 percent. Rep. Bill Flores, R., 17th District, seeking third term, Central BC, Bryan, defeated Nick Haynes, D., 85,085-42,696, 65-32 percent. Rep. Randy Neugebauer, R., 19th District, seeking sixth term, First BC, Lubbock, defeated Neal Marchbanks, D., 89,701-21,350, 77-18 percent.
Virginia: Rep. Randy Forbes, R., 4th District, seeking seventh term, Great Bridge BC, Chesapeake, defeated Elliott Fausz, D., 121,134-75,214, 60-37 percent.
If you know of other incoming Senate or House members who are members of Southern Baptist churches, please e-mail email@example.com.
Compiled by Tom Strode, the Washington bureau chief for Baptist Press, the Southern Baptist Convention’s news service.
We live in very perilous times. Young people, “red and yellow, black and white,” are fleeing our country to go to Syria to join ISIS, and come back to our blessed land to kill our people and take away the religious and political freedoms that most of us have come to know and love as being our God-given rights. As in previous times of threats to our nation’s freedom, the men and women of the United States Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard, active duty, reserve, and national guard, have fought and protected our nation. On this Veterans’ Day, let us not forget to thank a military veteran, or someone who is serving our nation today, for all that they have done to protect our wonderful nation. The United States is a great country because it is a good country. If we ever stop being a good country, we will no longer be a great country. Take a few minutes to watch the videos that follow. They tell us some things about our country that many in our nation seem to have forgotten. The starting and finishing videos will be similar, but with a bit of a twist. And, yes, “I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible,with liberty and justice for all.” Amen.
“Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends”
Consider the following scriptures and thoughts. Consider your church. Is it marching to the scriptural beat of God’s drum?
Ephesians 4:11-12 New King James Version (NKJV)
11 And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ,
Our marching orders come from the words of Ephesians 4:12. Through the spiritual gifting of Ephesians 4:11, Christ has appointed certain of His people to be apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers. Please notice that, in this context, these are spiritual gifts of leadership. This is in opposition to the selection of church leaders by a congregational vote. The physical presence of brick and mortar church leaders can be found in the letters to Titus and Timothy. In that context, congregations will choose their church leaders. Such elected or selected leaders may, or may not, have the spiritual gifting that we find addressed in the text of Paul’s letter to the Ephesians.
There are key subjects of study that each congregation should consider.The subject of the end times is very timely, as we look at the social, political, and military conditions that can not be ignored in today’s world. Therefore, it is incumbent upon the whole Church, the body of Christ, to let our people know about the things that may soon be upon the world when God decides to judge sin during the time of the Tribulation. It is also important for believers in Christ to know that they will be free from such tribulation, and they will not miss the rapture of the church, which will take them out of this world before the Tribulation begins. For unbelievers, those people who do not have a saving relationship with Jesus as their Lord and Savior, we must realize a critical sense of urgency, to share the message of salvation with them, and let them know what must be done so they will not be “left behind” in this world when the rapture takes place. It will be horrible for those who find themselves in this world when God’s judgment comes on the world.
The book of Ephesians also addresses the need for us to engage in prayer, even as we read about “The Whole Armor Of God.” In Chapter 6, verse 18, we read the words, “praying always.” In James 5:16, we read the words, “effectual fervent prayer.” We should all be very serious about prayer, and enter into both individual and corporate prayer.
Our Lord Jesus has instructed His disciples to make disciples of others in all nations. We, who know Jesus as our Lord and Savior, fall into that chain of discipling others.
Matthew 28:19 New King James Version (NKJV)
19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
Let’s get back to the seriousness of sharing the good news of Jesus to the world. The coming of the Lord in the air to catch up His church is real. It will take place when it is least expected; the times are telling.
1 Corinthians 15:50-53 J.B. Phillips New Testament (PHILLIPS)
50 For I assure you, my brothers, it is utterly impossible for flesh and blood to possess the kingdom of God. The transitory could never possess the everlasting.
The dead and the living will be fitted for immortality
51-53 Listen, and I will tell you a secret. We shall not all die, but suddenly, in the twinkling of an eye, every one of us will be changed as the trumpet sounds! The trumpet will sound and the dead shall be raised beyond the reach of corruption, and we who are still alive shall suddenly be utterly changed. For this perishable nature of ours must be wrapped in imperishability, these bodies which are mortal must be wrapped in immortality.
A church or para-church ministry should consider following he patttern that is set for us in Ephesians 4:12, “equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the building up of the body of Christ.” We should be intentional in making our teachings and sermons relative to sharing the good news of Jesus. We should want to help others in sharing those teachings with people who need know that they can spend eternity with our Lord and Savior.
It is obvious that today’s world is one where there is a great need to lead lost souls to a saving relationship of belief in Jesus. We must understand a sense of urgency in making the words of John 3:18 known to the masses of people around the world.
John 3:18 New King James Version (NKJV)
18 “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”
The words of John 3:18 are not to be taken lightly, nor should they be dismissed. Please take those words very seriously, and act on them on behalf of those who have no belief in Jesus as their Lord and Savior. Consider the following passage, as it may relate to the times in which we live.
Matthew 24:6-12 Contemporary English Version (CEV)
6 You will soon hear about wars and threats of wars, but don’t be afraid. These things will have to happen first, but that isn’t the end. 7 Nations and kingdoms will go to war against each other. People will starve to death, and in some places there will be earthquakes. 8 But this is just the beginning of troubles.
9 You will be arrested, punished, and even killed. Because of me, you will be hated by people of all nations. 10 Many will give up and will betray and hate each other. 11 Many false prophets will come and fool a lot of people. 12 Evil will spread and cause many people to stop loving others.
Please, prepare yourselves to be believers in Jesus who will be able to follow the teachings of Lord and Savior.
Matthew 28:19 Contemporary English Version (CEV)
19 Go to the people of all nations and make them my disciples. Baptize them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,
Are you ready for the rapture of the church? Please don’t be left behind.
1 Thessalonians 4:16-18 The Message (MSG)
15-18 And then this: We can tell you with complete confidence—we have the Master’s word on it—that when the Master comes again to get us, those of us who are still alive will not get a jump on the dead and leave them behind. In actual fact, they’ll be ahead of us. The Master himself will give the command. Archangel thunder! God’s trumpet blast! He’ll come down from heaven and the dead in Christ will rise—they’ll go first. Then the rest of us who are still alive at the time will be caught up with them into the clouds to meet the Master. Oh, we’ll be walking on air! And then there will be one huge family reunion with the Master. So reassure one another with these words.
1 Corinthians 15:51-53 J.B. Phillips New Testament (PHILLIPS)
The dead and the living will be fitted for immortality
51-53 Listen, and I will tell you a secret. We shall not all die, but suddenly, in the twinkling of an eye, every one of us will be changed as the trumpet sounds! The trumpet will sound and the dead shall be raised beyond the reach of corruption, and we who are still alive shall suddenly be utterly changed. For this perishable nature of ours must be wrapped in imperishability, these bodies which are mortal must be wrapped in immortality.