Jesus, John, Paul, Peter – all emphasize being ready for the ET.
The greatest outpouring of the Holy Spirit and the greatest pressure in history will occur in the generation that Jesus returns.
The Wise & Foolish Bridesmaids of Matt.25
What you did during the delay will be revealed in the night season
Luke 21 – Don’t let your heart get dull – sluggish, sleepy – due to dissipations, drunkenness, anxiety or you’ll be ensnared.
6 Things you can do to get prepared for the ET
These things cannot be crammed into a weekend study session.
I believe these have to be deeply held convictions…things that you will not budge on.
A Personal Revelation of the Goodness and Love of God – Rom.8.31-39; Ps.103; John 15.9; John 17.20-26
Why is this important in the ET?
To be confident in God’s love and presence despite the hardships & suffering. There is no fear or sense of judgment before Him – 1 John 4.19. We KNOW we are His dearly loved children – 1 John 3.1.
To remain in a place of deep fellowship with God w/o getting offended or living in bewilderment or uncertainty about His goodness and love when His discipline/justice falls on the earth.
Offense at God will fuel hatred towards believers and Scripture.
How do you get to that place?
I believe only time with revelation with experience can produce this in a deep way.
This is where age has its advantages. Faith-filled senior adults are the greatest examples of those who have a personal revelation of the goodness and love of God. Senior adults who have a vibrant, life giving faith are realities of this truth but you don’t have to wait until you’re a senior adult!
Revelation – the Scripture comes to life concerning the love and goodness of God. You begin to see the heart of God throughout all Scripture rather than just as information or principles for life or doctrine. The Word becomes flesh.
Experience – these are personal encounters with the love and goodness of God; your ongoing relationship with Jesus; the negative and harsh experiences of life seen through eyes of God.
Ellen Morlan’s comment: He’s really, really good…
You arrive at a place where you do not question His heart for you when junk happens.
Not from strict compliance – Sir, yes sir! Response.
Nor Blueprint mentality – everything that happens is God’s will.
You realize there is mystery in life, but there is no mystery in His love and goodness towards you.
An Absolute Conviction in the Authority of Scripture – Luke 21.33, 2 Tim.3.16
Why is this critical for the ET?
Massive deception is the hallmark activity of the ET. There will be great persecution and immorality, but the foundation of all of it is deception. He will undermine the Word of God and it will lead to these things – 2 Thes.2.10 – they refused to love and accept the truth that could save them.
Like Noah’s day, they will reject the truth that is spoken to them and their heart get hard.
Last week’s message – False prophets, false teachers, deceiving spirits. The devil hates all things Jesus and he is going after His Word.
Great numbers of believers will turn from the faith b/c they do not have a solid foundation in it.
Today, believers will listen to an expert in the field of whatever call into question the Word of God and the believer will just cave…like there is no response to the expert’s assertion. Quit letting the arrogance or ignorance of the smart guy jerk your faith around!
There are strong believers in every field of research who not only answer the critic, but provide a better approach to life through Scripture. We never argue from a place of weakness, but always from a place of strength.
How do we get to that place?
Apologetics – the study of the defense of the faith and the trustworthiness of Scripture. Apologetics is seldom used for evangelism, but is an absolute necessity for the believer in a growing secular and hostile environment.
This is something you can begin today. RightNowMedia
You trust Jesus’ judgment about Scripture – He believed the Scripture was true and authoritative. Jesus never questioned Scripture but He brought it to life. He illuminated through His life and teaching.
Experience – you come to know that the Scriptures lay out the best way for living. Again, you look at the lives of faith-filled senior adults and you see the fruit of their faith and know that is the best possible life.
How do you know you are there? You are not overcome by the “latest & greates” philosopy, discovery, theory, etc.
Strong Relationships with Other Believers – Acts 2.42-47; Heb.10.25
Why is this critical in the ET?
Jesus makes it clear that there will be massive persecution during the ET. You will need a family of faith who will stand with you. People of like minded beliefs and convictions. Your biological family may have faith, but if it’s not like yours – you believe in the goodness and love of God And the authority of Scripture – it will not be an encouragement to you.
Every culture has its pressure points against Christians, be it intentional or unintentional, which weakens your faith and faith relationships. In some countries, it’s hostile religions and in other’s it’s hostile gov’ts. In America, the pressure points are high independence and individualism and constant distractions which result in heart disconnection with fellow believers. The American way of life naturally pulls people apart..
How do you get to that place?
You have to prioritize it and make it a consistent habit of your life. You cannot let the busy-ness of the culture or the tolerance of the culture (allowing for Christian beliefs and therefore little persecution) influence your commitment to fellow believers and a local church.
Do not let this COVID-19 quarantine be a divider between you and other believers. In other words, you begin to do solo Christianity with occasional inputs from believers.
How do you know you are there? Your closest friends are like minded believers who you spend time with.