Be Wise & Ready, & Escape The Trap

November 28, 2012

A couple of days ago a friend sent me this link:

Many of us have been warned since we were kids about the mark of the beast, and certainly time marches on toward the fulfillment of what the Bible has predicted: “And it makes all mankind, the small and the great, both the rich and the poor, both the free men and the slaves, be given a mark on their right hand or on their forehead, so that no one can buy or sell except those having the mark, that is, the name of the beast or the number of its name.” (Rev. 13:16,17)

Palm and retina scanners are likely not images of the beast in and of themselves, but it sure makes the prophecy of the beast’s mandatory mark much more believable and inevitable and near.

For God’s people, though, –those who truly know Him and obey Him– there is no cause for alarm, except, of course, in regards to those we pray for who are not right with the Lord. For did Jesus not remind us in Rev. 1:17,18 to not be afraid, and to know that He holds the keys of death and Hades? Did He not assure us that He who “holds the key of David” (3:7) has taken note of those who have kept His Word and not denied His name? (v. 8 ) For those who endure patiently, He promises to keep them “from the hour of trial that is going to come upon the whole world to test those who live on the earth.” (v. 10) If we pass the tests now, we will be kept from that huge and final global test.

Therefore, as Jesus warns us in Luke 21:34, let our hearts not be loaded down with self-indulgence, with drunkenness, or with the stresses of life, otherwise we will not be spiritually equipped, and the hour of trial will close on us “like a trap.” (same verse) For “That Day” (same verse) will come upon all who are living on the earth (v. 35), except those who are watching, are completely ready, and who are praying that they may escape it. (v. 36)

So, may we stand firm till the end (Matt. 24:13), and not allowing our love to grow cold (v. 12), continually refuse all wickedness and deception (v. 10-12) –even the most cunning. (v. 24 // 2 Thes. 2:9-12) May we not be asleep and unprepared (Matt. 25:1-13), but “be alert and self-controlled” (1 Thes. 5:6) and girded with faith, love, and salvation. (v. 8 )

For as in the days of Noah, so will it be at the return of Christ Jesus. (Matt. 24:37) He will come when most people least expect it (v. 38,39), and one will be taken, the other left behind (v. 40,41) –left behind to face not the Great Flood (see v. 39), but to face the Great Tribulation of God’s wrath (Rev. 14:19,20), the one last warning and test before eternal destruction. (v. 6-13)

But, we who are sons of the light (1 Thes. 5:5) will be ready, and though He comes suddenly and unexpectedly (Mark 13:32-37), He will not find us sleeping (v. 36) or unclothed (Rev. 16:15), though He comes as a thief. (same verse) “For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation…” (1 Thes. 5:9) through Christ Jesus who snatches us up to meet Him in the clouds. (4:17) Yes, He will “gather His elect from… the ends of the earth” (Mark 13:27) –those who have kept extra oil next to their lighted lamps (Matt. 25:4)… those who have remained ready to meet the bridegroom at a moment’s notice. (v. 10)

What is the very best way to prepare for Christ’s return? It is to be abiding in Him, to be living in purity, to be walking in obedience, to be communing with His Spirit in His Word, and to know the Word very, very well.

“Therefore keep watch [and be ready –v. 44, not unfaithful, unwise, or wicked –v. 45,48,49], because you do not know on what day your Lord will come.” (Matt. 24:42)

with love,

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