Wednesday, August 5, 2020

He's Coming!

"And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh."
Luke 21:28

Photo by Inderpreet Sekhon
Graphic Design by Zach Smith

Can anyone else sense it?  Do you see the signs?  I've been hearing it literally all my life.  Jesus is coming soon.  It could happen at any moment.  When I was a little girl, I confess that it used to scare me to pieces.  I would cry and beg Him not to come until ~ well, several things.  I would ask Him to please not come back until I grew up, got married, had a child, etc., etc., etc.  As if any of those events in my life would hold back the second coming of Jesus Christ.  But, my little, tender-hearted self wholeheartedly followed Philippians 4:6, well, at least the 2nd part of that verse "in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God."  The first part, "Be anxious for nothing" was always a challenge for me because even my dear Daddy nicknamed me "Worry Wart," and that label followed me until the day he died.

The thought of Jesus coming back just filled me with a terror inside, and I did not like to think of "life as I knew it" coming to an end.  To say I have always loved life is a huge understatement.  Somehow, even as a little girl, I always knew how precious every second of life really is.  I cherished time with my parents, siblings, nieces and nephews (many of whom are close to my age), cousins, and friends.  I would cry when visits with family and friends would come to an end and was very lonely since I was the only child at home after my youngest sister married and left home when I was nine years old.  I can honestly say that I have treasured every, single second I have been blessed to live and breathe on this earth, and I miss loved ones who have gone on before me more than I can even put into words.  I still cry as they leave here, not just to go to their earthly homes, but to go to their eternal home, knowing we will never laugh, enjoy meals, talk, or spend time together again.

That little girl tender heart is still very much alive and well inside of me, and yes, I still cling to life with everything in me.  But, there has been a shift in the direction of my daily prayers.  I no longer plead with Jesus to please not come back until this or that happens.  Now that my dear husband and I are middle aged, my prayers now are more a plea for as much time together with our dear son as is possible, for healing for our bodies, that the three of us can all live to a ripe, old age, etc., and I now echo the second to the last verse ever recorded on the last page of our Bible in Revelation 22:20, "Even so, come, Lord Jesus."

All through the years, Mom would tell me, "Cheryl, there will come a time when things will be so bad, God's people will be begging Him to come back," and I would think, "Well, one of them will never be me because I love living life down here too much."  I truly never believed that one of those people would be me.  I just could not imagine praying that way!

Well, guess what?  Mom's words were very prophetic, and her prophecy has come true.  For just a moment, I wish with all my soul that she and Dad were still here so I could tell them about it.  Then, I quickly reconsider that wish because I would not wish Mom and Dad back to have to watch them agonize and be in torment over what is going in our world.  How things have changed just in the past 20 years since Jesus took my Daddy home to Heaven and the eight years since Mom won her crown! My goodness, just in that length of time, how things have changed!  The moral decline and downward spiral has accelerated at breakneck speed until Mom and Dad would hardly recognize this world anymore.

And, what if my Papaw - the one we refer to as "The Walking King James" - were to rise from the grave his earthly body has been decaying in since 1979?

Has anyone seen the movie, "Time Changer?"  Here is a trailer, in case you'd like to see it.

We own this movie, and I have been brought to tears each time we have sat down to watch it.  It is such a blatant portrayal of how far we have declined and drifted from God and His holy Word.  The contrasts are just startling, and it occurs to me - shouldn't we still be as appalled by sin as the gentleman who time-traveled from the 1800's to the 2000's?  

Have we lost our sensitivity to the exceeding sinfulness of sin?  I shudder to acknowledge the answer to that question.  Yes, of course we have.  Over time, satan has worn us down by flashing nudity, sexual perversion, profanity, violence, and abominable words and actions in front of our faces to the point that we now just look at them as not only commonplace, but we have even come to see them as "normal."  Even in church circles.  

NOT okay.  Not in God's eyes.  Evil is still evil.  Profane is still profane.

"Her priests have violated My law, and have profaned Mine holy things: they have put no difference between the holy and profane, neither have they shewed difference between the unclean and the clean, and have hid their eyes from My sabbaths, and I am profaned among them."
Ezekiel 22:26

I'll tell you the truth.  As one of the last people to ever lose hope, I am not sure revival is ever going to happen.  Do you know why?  The prerequisite for true revival is true Godly sorrow.

"For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation."
2 Corinthians 7:10

"If My people, which are called by My name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land."
2 Chronicles 7:14

I hate to say it, but even in the midst of such unprecedented calamities, I am not seeing evidence of a deep, collective humbling among God's people.  Are you?  Are you seeing widespread sorrow for sin?  Are you seeing God's people examining their hearts and lives with a newfound fervency?  Are you seeing them confess and turn from the sins they have fallen into and begun to call "holy?"  Are you seeing pastors call for old-time repentance and fasting for God to forgive our wicked ways?  If you are, I would love to hear about it so new life could be breathed into my flickering hope.  

It looks to me like we are only becoming more hardened and mean-spirited and even angry that our daily lives are being so interrupted.  It is almost like we are shaking our fists toward the heavens and screaming, "How dare our lives be so disrupted?  Let us go back to "normal" and just let us live like we want, only let us be called by Thy name!"  (Isaiah 4:1)

We long to get back to the days of worshipping new entertainment and attending large sports events and crowded parties.  Our idols are under attack, and we miss being able to feed and bow down to them, unhindered by "social distancing" and face masks.  Our mega-church pastors mourn the emptiness of their multi-thousand seat capacity auditoriums and scold the flock about the lack of funds flowing in, instead of crying out against the sins that just might possibly have brought about this current-day wake-up call and landed us in such a plight.  

Week after week, I watch online, and I wonder, "Will this be the week I will finally hear the sound of humbling and repentance?  Is it finally going to sink in that there is a cause for what is happening?"  And, week after week, I am disappointed because all I hear is the same, haughty pride, the same "don't forget to send in your tithe," the same "we'll be back to filling these thousands of seats real soon," and the same "keep looking up - things will be back to normal - we'll get through this together."

Can I tell you how sick I am of hearing all that???  I can't even put into words how much I long for someone to see the value and truth of Ecclesiastes 7:14, "In the day of adversity consider."

When will people get it?  What will it take to make God's people consider their ways?

"Now therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts; Consider your ways.  Ye have sown much, and bring in little; ye eat, but ye have not enough; ye drink, but ye are not filled with drink; ye clothe you, but there is none warm; and he that earneth wages earneth wages to put it into a bag with holes.  Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Consider your ways.  Go up to the mountain, and bring wood, and build the house; and I will take pleasure in it, and I will be glorified, saith the LORD.  Ye looked for much, and, lo, it came to little; and when ye brought it home, I did blow upon it. Why? saith the LORD of hosts. Because of Mine house that is waste, and ye run every man unto his own house.  Therefore the heaven over you is stayed from dew, and the earth is stayed from her fruit.  And I called for a drought upon the land, and upon the mountains, and upon the corn, and upon the new wine, and upon the oil, and upon that which the ground bringeth forth, and upon men, and upon cattle, and upon all the labour of the hands."
Haggai 1:5-11

As I spoke about in our new book, God's house and cause is going to ruins while we focus our full attention on selfish pursuits, wealth, physical possessions, and idols.  We are so enamored with the things of this world, celebrities, entertainment, sports, and self-indulgence that we have little to give to the welfare of our eternity-bound souls.  Are we listening to the "god of this world," as if we weren't even believers?

"In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them."
2 Corinthians 4:4

With all this being said, I have reached the point I spoke about in the beginning of this post.  My prayer is for Jesus to hasten the day He comes back for all of us.  I am SO sick of sin.  I am tired of crying over the inhumane murder of millions upon millions of unborn, innocent babies who are never being given the precious gift of their first breath of life.  I am disgusted and repulsed by sexual perversion being forced in my face and shoved down my throat.  I am sick of being ostracized because I refuse to ever call anything normal that God and His holy Word do not call normal.  I am beyond sad over watching the history of my beloved country be rewritten and "cancelled."  (Can I tell you how much I hate that absurd term?  History cannot, nor will it ever be able to be rewritten or "cancelled!"  What happened, happened, and nothing will ever change that.  And, yes, America IS a Christian nation and nothing can ever "cancel" the fact that we were founded on the Word of God by men who believed in Him and upheld His truth.)  I am appalled that the precious Word of God is being burned on city streets in the USA, right beside our precious flag that has only been preserved by the sacrifice and blood of countless warriors.  I am sickened by the beautiful rainbow GOD sent to confirm His eternal oath to never destroy our world by water again being profanely hi-jacked and misused for the "celebration" of the spitting in God's face.  

I am just completely READY for Jesus to split through those clouds and take us all home with Him for eternity.  I want my Redeemer to catch away His waiting bride and put an end to all the vileness I have anguished over for so long.  

No, I'm not suicidal, and yes, I want to live just as long as possible with my sweet, little family here on this earth.  During that time, I want to do ALL I can for JESUS, the One Who bled and died for me.  And, just as soon as He sees possible, I want Him to collectively call His children home to Heaven.  I look up at the clouds sometimes and just long to see His precious face bursting through and to hear Him calling to me, "Welcome home, My precious daughter.  You have been faithful!  Enter into the joy of the Lord!"  Oh, to hear those words!!

Recently, I was standing in our kitchen doing dishes, not thinking of anything in particular, and I distinctly heard His still, small voice say to me, "Child, you will be SO glad you have been faithful to Me!"  It literally stopped me in my tracks.  It brought over me a feeling I can hardly put into words.  It hit me, with a new force and clarity, that eternity IS real.  We are all going to stand before the Judgment seat of Christ, and Jesus said if we are ashamed of Him, He will be ashamed of us before His Father.  Can you imagine?  Standing before that great, white throne in the presence of Almighty God - the One Who holds our eternal fate in His faithful and just hands, and seeing Jesus hang His head in shame over the fact we were ashamed of Him while living on this very temporary earth?

Dear Lord, help me.  I do NOT want Him to be ashamed of me and say, "Depart from Me, I never knew you," the saddest words any mortal could ever hear.

The worst part of hell will be the absence of God.  I don't want to fail Him.  I want to be faithful in all areas of my life.  I realize with a newfound certainty that this is real, and Jesus truly is coming soon.  Signs of the times are everywhere.  It is high time to wake up - yes, even the "woke" crowd - another absurd term that just vexes me.  How wonderful it would be if they would get "woke" to the fact that Jesus is coming soon, they have an eternity-bound soul, and they, too, will stand before God and give an account of all they have done in this life. 

"And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed."
Romans 13:11

Dear Lord, please help me stay spiritually awake, please let me be found faithful, and yes, dear Lord Jesus, even so come!