Nobody likes a pop quiz; pop quiz shows where you are…how much knowledge you have on a topic. Teachers normally tell you at the beginning of the school year and throughout the year to be ready for a pop quiz. It was a way of getting you ready for the big tests/the final exams.
I believe this world-wide virus is a test for followers of Jesus. This is a test for our faith to see whether we’re ready for the Big Tests/Final Exams that are coming before He returns. Jesus made clear that before He comes a second time there would be many tests – hardships and trials that would come upon the earth. He said over & over again that we need to be ready & prepared for the mj.
I absolutely believe we’re in the ET. I believe there are many people alive today who will see the return of Jesus. Why do I believe this? Six reasons:
Jesus said that before His return the gospel will be preached to the whole world – Mt.24.14 – and that will happen by the end of this decade.
Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekial & Zechariah all prophesied of a future day when Isr would be gathered from around the world and be restored as a nation which happened in 1948.
Then, Romans 11 prophecies a future time when Jews will come to faith in Jesus & we’re seeing more Jews come into true faith in Jesus.
Rev.11 & the two witnesses – the world witnesses their actions, death & resurrection.
Rev.18 – the destruction of Babylon, the worldwide economic system and everyone is impacted.
Dan.12.4 – time of the end, when many will rush here and there and knowledge will increase – that’s happening with the internet & travel.
Jesus said that before He returns there is a build up of anxiety, fear, falsehood, natural catastrophe, rebellion, demonic assaults and falling away from the faith – we are there in increasing measure each year. There is also a build up of truth, power, love, salvation, strength, angelic activity, expansion of the Kingdom of God – we are there in increasing measure each year.
Dan.12.3 – During the ET, “Those who are wise will shine as bright as the sky and those who lead many to righteousness will shine like the stars forever.” This is our time to shine not to whine!
Matt.13 – there will be a clearer distinction between mature believers and immature ones. Ones who are pressing into their faith – God’s goodness and truth – and those who are falling away from it – giving into fear and offense – and whose hearts are hardening.
This thought has kept rotating through my mind – the sun softens the butter and hardens the clay. Events like COVID-19, Hurricane Harvey, stock market volatility, redefining of marriage, sexuality, truth, increase of wealth & information all plays a part of either hardening our hearts or softening them.
Jesus said that intensity of the hardships and wickedness to come upon the world will be like birth pains…they start out few and far between…then they get closer in proximity and more intense. I believe this is happening. I’m not trying to create fear, but awareness of what Jesus & Paul said – 1 Ths.5 & Rom.8.
There are some believers who are weathering this storm fine, but what happens if we’re hit with another storm – regionally/nationally – 5-6 months from now. What will happen to your faith?
Matt.25.1-13: 5 attendants are prepared for the night season & five are not; they think they are, but they are not. They think I can borrow from what others have and they cannot. What others have will not sustain what you need in the hour of darkness and you can’t just quickly go out and get what you need. Preparation needed to be done well ahead of time.
Matt.24 – be prepared.
Get that belief out of your thinking that says believers will be raptured away before all the bad stuff starts happening. Friends, you are going through the bad stuff now and it will only intensify and when the Lord decides to take us to himself is only known by the Father. I am concerned there are many believers whose faith will shrivel up to nothing b/c they keep thinking God is going to get them out of here. Know this, God will get you out of it just like Noah.. He got Noah out of that mess as He took Noah through that mess.
We are in a Matthew 7.24-27 moment.
Hurricane Harvey tested the flood control systems in Southeast Texas. It revealed the strengths and weaknesses of our drainage system. 50 inches of rain over a few days tested all the systems and people of a region. We saw our strengths as a people and weaknesses. B/c of it, some things are being done differently concerning drainage and responses and building. We learned/learning from the test.
What is this test revealing about your faith? How much of your life is built upon the Word and how much are you watching wash away with the fear & uncertainty?
This test is revealing the truth strength of your faith…the foundation is being tested.
For instance, you can say to me that you’re a great nurse or student, business person or engineer or salesman or person. I’ll take you at your word, but it’s truly revealed how great/strong you are when you are put in a long stressful situation. Then your true strength is shown – character, skill, adaptability, knowledge, etc.
This test is revealing the strength of your faith.
How are you responding to our governmental leaders?
Obeying – doing what they say – or submitting to them – gratefully doing what they say.
How are you using your time?
If you have more free time, what are you doing with it?
What are you filling it time up with? Binge watching
What words are coming out of your mouth?
Whatever you’re saying is what you’re praying. Whatever you believe in your heart is coming out of your mouth.
Are you calling it like you see it or calling it like he says it? Are you just stating the facts or confessing the truth?
How are you viewing God and the promises of Scripture?
When you read the promises of Scripture what does it set off in you?
Is there a growing confidence that God will provide…His presence is with you…
What is the state of your relationships?
Is your family getting closer…staying in contact with those closest to you…
Is it revealing that you have some reconciliation that needs to happen.
Do you have Christian brothers and sisters in the faith who are encouraging you and building you up…that you are reaching out to.
Is it revealing a need to build these relationships
Who are you reaching out to in this crisis? The story of the Good Samaritan
How are you responding to the loss of income and the loss in your retirement/investments?
Are you filled with anxiety or overwhelmed or angry
We have created an idol out of the idea of retirement in America and I think this is testing what/who you are depending upon for security.
Luke 12, 16 18 Jesus ask us over and over, where is your trust in what you have or who you follow?
What is it that you are dwelling upon/thinking about?
What is drawing energy?
What are you dreaming about? Many times our subconscious is exposed in our dreams and when we find ourselves in times of pressure our dreams express the underlying anxiety/fear or peace/confidence in our lives.
What are you learning about yourself and the condition of your faith?
Thank God for the test – James 1.2-4 – and what it is revealing about your faith – Heb.12.25-29. Our lives are being shaken and we are getting a clearer picture of what they are built upon – the Rock or sand (broken pieces of this world system).
God is giving you this opportunity to reorder your life and deal
There’s another one coming and another and…He’s giving you an opportunity to fill up your lamps with oil – Matt.25.