Where is your focus?
There’s a lot to be serious about, even scared about, even terrorized about – in recent news. A lot. And we know that sometime in the near future we will be in the midst of the “worst time of trouble the world has ever seen”. So maybe the title of this blog seems silly to some of you. I hope not. It could be one of the most important reads you do all year.
“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. And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect's sake those days will be shortened.”
When we look at the horrors of the Spanish Inquisition, of modern day ISIS butchery and torture, of the slave camps of Nazi Germany against so many millions of Jews, Poles, gypsies, and so many others… what’s coming ahead is far, far worse. And we’re here in these end times.
We have terrorism on the rise – all around the world. I receive news updates that describe in horrifying detail what is happening to innocent people. Children and young girls are being sold into slavery. Others are buried alive in front of their parents. Unspeakable horror is going on in so much of the world. On top of all that, we see immorality, vice, demonism, interest in the occult, violence, falsehood, disrespect, murders and thefts – often all done in the name of what is good. Evil has been released in a way we’ve never seen before in our lifetime.
If that’s not enough, we see more and more wars plus rumors of even more wars about to begin. Our national leaders seem incapable of reversing the careening decline of everything good – and in fact they often seem to be leading the world into ever more debauchery, violence and evil. Even the weather seems to be upset. Floods over here and drought over there. Hurricanes, tornadoes, typhoons, droughts and famines, earthquakes of giant proportions – and the list is endless.
So what’s there to feel “bright” about?
Pastors and teachers of the Word – and of prophecy – can cause a result in God’s children that we don’t really want. We should not be leaving ourselves or others with a feeling of doom and gloom as we speak of the years ahead. If I left it with what I’ve just written, I myself would be guilty of that very thing. But we must not leave it with the doom and gloom whose crescendo is becoming ever louder for those with eyes to see and ears to hear. We must look beyond the horrors still ahead of us. Yes, there is a brighter tomorrow.
I myself will speak more and more about what is starting to happen and will continue to grow ever worse as prophecies are fulfilled in rapid succession in the next decade or two. But again, a good teacher also will keep us focused on the end game, on the how the story ends.
What I find so concerning is that so many of God’s children seem more interested in the latest Star Wars movie, or the latest hit song or new gadget or awesome app for their I-phone than they are in the things of God. I hope you’re not one of those. It’s like they’re in la-la land, unaware of how the stage is being set for the final scenes in this horror show called “the last days”.
But in all of the bad news out there, what is it that we must never ever forget? THAT is what will keep our faith, hope and love alive. It is the key to getting through the tough times coming very, very soon. And remember, for millions, the “tough times” are already here. We had relatively few people killed in San Bernardino and the whole nation – rightfully – fell into shock. More were blown away in Paris, and Beirut and other cities around the world.
But don’t forget, mass killings and bombings like that happen with shocking regularity in places like Iraq, Syria, Pakistan, Yemen and so many other countries. “Over there” it’s not uncommon to hear of a marketplace being bombed or attacked and dozens and dozens blown apart. Those are also real people with real families. And then it happens again a few days later in the same country, and then again and again and again.
So “the tough times” are already here for much of the world. We here in America and the western world will see more of these horrific scenes happening in our own neighborhood in the days and years to come. Partly because it’s prophesied to happen – and partly due to our own country’s crazy political decisions and inaction on things that really matter.
WHAT is the key that we must never forget in all of this? What will keep us upbeat and sane and hopeful? What and where are the “bright days ahead” that I speak of?
Click on “Continue reading” to get the answer.
I’ve heard ministers say for the past 40 years now that it looks like “things will wrap up in the next 5-10 years”. But then those years passed and another 10-20-30 more years passed. I don’t believe I’ve ever said before that I thought things would wrap up in 15-20 years. But for the first time in my ministry, I’m feeling it strongly now in my spirit. I know we’re seeing the beginning of the very end times of this age start to come to a head – then an unspeakably horrifying few years – and then SALVATION!
I am NOT one who thinks it’s all coming to a final conclusion in just 1-2-3 or even 5 years from now. I know some of you do think that. It would be wonderful if Christ would be here within the next five years. I’m not against that! I’m just saying I don’t see that time frame yet and I hope I’m proven wrong. Christ will come when the Father tells him to come! “No man knows the day or the hour except my Father in heaven” – Yeshua (Jesus) said. There are still a lot of specific prophecies that have to happen to set up the end of the end of this age. I’ll be speaking more on these things in the coming months.
The key to sanity, hope and even joy in the midst of all this horror that I believe is going to descend upon us probably well within a decade and a half – is to focus on our King, the Messiah, who really IS going to show up and take over the reins of power. And he’ll do it largely because of YOU – his very elect, his chosen holy ones.
In fact, we’re told the coming horrific end-time days “will be shortened”. Why? Because IF He didn’t intervene sooner, “NO ONE would survive” (Mark 13:20 – Holman Apologetics Bible)—“BUT for the ELECT’S SAKE, those days WILL be shortened” (Matthew 24:22).
It’s true: many believers in Christ will be beheaded. Many will go through a time of the worst distress the world has ever seen. I think most of us in the West, including me, have no idea how painful, how horrifying, how stressful, how faith-testing this time is going to be.
But if we do what scripture says – and look to the unseen, look to the world to come, look to the promises of God, look to the better life, look to the resurrection to glory and immortality, and most of all – KEEP OUR EYES GLUED ON TO YESHUA, OUR KING – we shall come through this terrible time that is about to come upon us within the next decade -- or very soon after that, if not before.
There could be months and years in the coming decade when it could seem things are getting brighter. People will be marrying and giving in marriage. Houses will be bought and sold. Maybe we’ll have a leader who appears to be getting things back on track again… but don’t be fooled: we’re in the very end times – and we’re told things will seem fine for a while, and “then SUDDEN destruction”.
Let’s allow the WORD to speak to us.
1 Thessalonians 5:1-10
“But concerning the times and the seasons, brethren, you have no need that I should write to you. For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. For when they say, "Peace and safety!" then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape. But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief. You are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober. For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk are drunk at night. But let us who are of the day be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope of salvation. For God did not appoint US to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him.”
And they will fall by the edge of the sword, and be led away captive into all nations. And Jerusalem will be trampled by Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.
"And there will be signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars; and on the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring; men's hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. Now when these things begin to happen, LOOK UP and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near."
Hallelujah, praise His name!
We’ll need the clarity of an apostle Paul – who kept his eyes on what’s eternal, on what’s unseen, in all the troubles God let him go through. It’s time to re-evaluate where our focus is. From what and from where do we experience the most joy? ON what are we spending more time –in God’s word, or on Facebook? Be honest: What would you rather do – rush off to see the opening show of the latest Star Wars, or spend time talking about God’s word with God’s children?
2 Corinthians 4:17-18
“For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, 18 while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.”
So where is our focus? On the things we see – or things we accept by faith, which by definition are the things not yet seen? Are we going to be like the heroes of Hebrews 11 who looked for a city whose builder and maker is God. The world was not worthy of them, but God found them worthy.
Yes, tough times are coming – financially, physically, spiritually – and in every aspect of our life – or how else could these times we’re about to be launched into, be the worst times of trouble ever seen? Are you ready for them? The way to GET ready is BE ready in Christ. Spend more time than ever on your knees – and less time fooling around on what is about to pass away anyway. Spend time looking up more than you do looking on Facebook. Spend more time with God’s children, than you do on other pursuits.
2 Chronicles 16:9
“For the eyes of YHVH run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself STRONG on BEHALF of those whose heart is loyal to Him…..”
Yes, we can read the end of the story ahead of time. That’s where we focus.
Daniel 7:23-27 Holman Apologetics Study Bible
23 “This is what he said: ‘The fourth beast will be a fourth kingdom on the earth, different from all the other kingdoms. It will devour the whole earth, trample it down, and crush it. 24 The 10 horns are 10 kings who will rise from this kingdom. Another, different from the previous ones, will rise after them and subdue three kings. 25 He will speak words against the Most High and oppress [Hebrew: WEAR OUT] the holy ones of the Most High. He will intend to change religious festivals and laws, and the holy ones will be handed over to him for a time, times, and half a time. 26 But the court will convene, and his dominion will be taken away, to be completely destroyed forever.
27 The kingdom, dominion, and greatness of the kingdoms under all of heaven will be given to the people, the holy ones of the Most High. His kingdom will be an everlasting kingdom, and all rulers will serve and obey Him.’
Daniel 8:23-26 says this coming Beast leader will have great power – but other verses tell us it’s Satan himself who will give him his power. He will reign at a time when sin has come to the full. “He will destroy the powerful along with the holy people” (v. 24). But then it says “But he will be SHATTERED, but not by human hands”. No – he’ll be shattered by our Great Messiah, Yeshua the Great, Yeshua the King of Kings, his majesty the Son of God – who will come with devastating overwhelming power to crush this Rebel. The assembled rebel armies gathered to resist the 2nd Coming of the TRUE KING will be literally dissolved, as described in Zechariah 14:12.
Just before that, Michael the archangel stands up for God’s holy people and delivers them. And you and I – whether dead or alive by then – will be resurrected and changed to glorious new bodies shining as bright as the sun in full strength (Daniel 12:1-3; please read 1 Corinthians 15:50-57). And when it’s all said and done, we won’t be thinking about the pain and suffering we all went through in this world, but the GLORIOUS NEW WORLD you and I are being trained to bring about with the power of God himself. Once it’s set, there will be no more pain, no more death, no more sorrow, no more dying, no more tears and woe – just indescribable JOY in the Lord! I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait!!
NOTHING will separate us from the love of God. As bad as it is going to get, we must remind each other of these things. Remind me TOO! I’m human too. So even as some of us may have to go through some horrifying ordeals, let’s keep our minds and hearts and eyes on the end of the story. See Yeshua coming in might and power to deliver you, me and the whole world for that matter and to bring in a whole new wonderful era.
YES, brighter days ARE coming for you and me and the whole world. I can’t wait. That’s where I want to focus my eyes – NOT on the terror around us, but on the good news of our King. Will you join me? Will you be my brother in Christ? Will you be my sister in Yeshua? I’d like to be yours. Together – let’s look to the bright days.