Thursday, July 16, 2020

What about the end times?

‘And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, That I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, Your young men shall see visions, Your old men shall dream dreams. 
Acts 2:17 NKJV

 In our last study, we began looking at the Holy Spirit and His empowerment. It seemed good to let that word soak in your thinking and understanding another week. So today, I'd like to address some areas concerning Bible prophecy. Needless to say, any end-times study is wrought with much controversy. 

 What is the point of Bible prophecy? The answer is simple and clear. Hope. We who received Jesus have hope. We can have hope in this life no matter how the world and the ways of the world turns. 

 Bible prophecy is not given to create strife and division. I've witnessed how ministers will preach a message on prophecy and whether it was intended or not, give the impression that all they're saying is all these other teachers are wrong and I am right and here is why. That can lead to strife and division in the midst of people.

 Another area I've witnessed how ministers help create atmospheres of division and isolation is when they bring accusations into their teaching. What I mean is this, when you hear a minister proclaim if you don't accept my end-time view then you are promoting fear. You don't believe in a victorious end-time like I do. This isn't ministering life or hope or joy to anyone. All this type of ministry does is force people to choose sides and divide one believer from another. It's yet another subtle form of condemnation.

 We know condemnation is the ministry of death. We know condemnation does nothing but promote a sense of separation. It promotes a mindset that others don't measure up. Thank God for the Finished Work, which shows us who have believed are accepted, approved, and forever forgiven. This Righteousness in Him isn't rooted by what end-time view we take. 

 So which is the right view? That is a question that no one can answer because no matter how much I study, how much of the Word I rightly divide, no matter the context, someone will still disagree. Let's ask another question, would it matter what view I hold, if you still receive the truth of His all the time Goodness, Love, Grace, and Faith, and power from on High, through this ministry?

 I desire above all your growth in Grace. Your growth in Faith. I desire that your Faith grows exceedingly. I desire that you grow deeper in the Love of God, and love for others. I desire you to grow strong in joy, and in the things of the Holy Spirit. Learning how to flow more and more effectively in the Gifts and power of God. Regardless of what end-times view I hold to these are points we all can agree with strongly. 

 That stated I want to clarify, there is no Radical Grace view on end times. We have futurists and those who believe its all fulfilled preaching and teaching the Radical Grace and Goodness of God. So let's throw away the stones brethren. 

 Let's not try to divide ourselves, brethren. I will readily admit I have some concerns and reservations about the idea that all or most Bible prophecy has been fulfilled. Others have concerns about futurists who give the perception that we "check out" and don't engage our culture. So where do we go from here?

For God has not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,  1 Thessalonians 5:9 MEV

 No matter what the future holds, this is a promise all believers can cling to and remain steadfast in. We know we are appointed to salvation, preservation, and deliverance, no matter what is happening in this world. This is hope. This is victory in Christ.

 So if we are preaching Bible prophecy, what do we minister? We above all minister hope. We minister His hope in a fallen, fractured creation. We don't promote or advance a sense of fear about the future. We must never proclaim a doom and gloom future. We preach Christ and His victorious work at the Cross, and His soon triumphant return. 
Prophecy is given to comfort not bring anxiety, distress, or disturbance. So proclaim His hope above all. When the world is upside down, or all seems to be going well, know our full redemption draws near as Jesus is coming again. We aren't abandoned or alone in this world.

 In summation, never proclaim fear, or dread, or doom and gloom. Don't promote hopelessness. Proclaim His triumphant victory. Don't give in to the temptation to be a tool of division, strife, and isolation. We are one in Christ.

image by miaikransen @Pixabay


Stephanie Finn said...

I love you, my brother. What a pleasant surprise.

John W Reed said...

I love you to sis. Blessings.