Daily Devotional for Sunday February 10, 2013
End of the World
(2 Timothy 3:1-9; 2 Peter 3:3-10)
***ASK BILL: Pastor Bill, I'm a little confused about forgiveness and judgment. If our sins are forgiven by the blood of Christ, how can we be judged for them? Isn't it written something about "blotted out, I will remember them [our sins] no more?"
ANSWER: When we accept the Lord, our sins are forgiven. For the Believer, our judgment will be for what we did, or didn't do, AFTER we became saved. This won't affect our salvation, but will affect whatever rewards/crowns there may be for our faithfulness and service.
On the cover of Time magazine a few years ago was the story titled, "End of the World". I have to admit I was laughing as I opened to read how even those in the "world" without Christ understand that one day this world as we know it will end. The sad fact is, it doesn't have enough reality to the average individual to make them realize that the days of this world are numbered; more important, the days of each one of us are numbered, and have them search for the TRUTH God has provided to us.
One topic I rarely discuss in these Devotionals is eschatology, or the study of the end times. Bible prophesy is a fascinating subject. One of my dearest friends in the ministry is Perry Stone Jr. from Cleveland TN. If you enjoy Bible prophecy, please visit Perry's website at www.perrystone.org. Perry is one of the world's finest Bible prophecy teachers. My ministry was responsible for producing television specials with Perry over the years, that were viewed by millions of people on Christian and secular television. I also helped Perry launch his new weekly television program that is now on many fine Christian stations nationwide.
As much as I love Perry, prophecy is still highly subjective. There is much mystery in the Word, and many, many differing views on this subject. It is the one subject that you really cannot say someone is wrong, since it is yet to happen. While I have personal views on the end times, and while I enjoy Bible prophesy, my emphasis has always been on NOW, those things that we absolutely know for sure from God's Word and our personal daily walk and responsibilities as His children.
In light the escalating problems in the Middle East, many people are seeing history, even Bible prophesy, unfold before their eyes. If these events mean anything to you personally, this is the message they are screaming out. There is no more time to play. There is no more time to be apathetic about our faith. There is no more time to allow ourselves to be distracted by the enemy who uses division in the body and our own personal weaknesses to keep us from serving God.
My friend, the battle cry has clearly sounded. The trumpet of warning is clearly being blown for all to hear. The events that are unfolding in our nation, around the world, right before our very eyes, is God's way of saying . . . "NOW my children, prepare yourselves and this world for the return of Christ!!!". We can never lose sight of the big picture. Jesus Christ is coming soon. In the twinkling of an eye. Are we really ready for that? Is this world really ready for that?
One of my number one goals, as I have shared before, is to help you translate your faith in Christ into your daily, real world life. You see, the enemy's number one weapon is to get us so caught up in our weaknesses, problems, and cares of this life, that we become virtually ineffective for service in God's army. When he can get your focus on yourself instead of your service, he has won. He has taken you out of the game. That is why we must get a handle on our own lives, so that we can effectively minister to others. We must rise above our problems, so that we can effectively help others rise above their problems.
I have many friends that are involved in multi-level marketing organizations. I think it is a creative and very legitimate way to make money if the company and their products and/or services are legit. The key to success in the MLM world is mobilizing people and helping them overcome their issues, so that they an effectively help others in their down-lines be productive. That is the crux of success in that world. For me personally, that is exactly what God has called me to do with my life, but not for an organization and for money, but for the Kingdom of God and to fulfill His plan for my life. It is time for the people of God to stand up, become bold, and share with this dying and lost world the message that there is hope and everlasting life through God's son Jesus Christ!
I love you and care about you very much. I have received so much mail over the last months from people concerned about the events unfolding around the world. Let me simply say this. Only God knows the hour, minute, or second of Christ's return. Until then, He has given us very clear instructions that we are to be about His business until that glorious moment. You do not have to be a Biblical scholar to read passages (Matthew 24; 2 Timothy 3; 2 Peter 3) that tell us clearly we are in the last days. His coming is very soon.
Now more than ever, we need to get past our own problems, because God needs His children, all of His children on the front lines. Just like our brave men and women of the Armed Services put their lives on the line daily in defense of our great nation, our Commander in Chief is asking each one in His army to do likewise. This is not a video game. The stakes are eternal life versus eternal damnation. Too many of God's children are AWOL at this critical moment. I pray today that you will hear His call to battle and understand that answering that call is not an option. It is something each and every one of His children, His army is required to do each day. Answer the call, fight the good fight of faith. These my friend, are the last days. Now is the time!!!
In His love and service, Your friend and brother in Christ,