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The Blessed Hope

by Dale Offutt

(Transcribed from the Words of Life Radio Program)

 

We live with a blessed hope. Hear these precious words from Jesus. “Let not your heart be troubled. Believe in God. Believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions. If it were not so, I would have told you. For I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I come again and will receive you unto myself that where I am there you may be also.”

What a wonderful promise that is for every child of God. Yes, God has promised to return for his bride the Church.  We believe that the coming of Jesus could be just any time.

I would like to share with you as to why I believe the coming of Jesus will be very soon. We will always be aware of the fact that God cannot lie and then we also must be aware that the Word of God gives us reason to believe that Jesus will come and there are signs of his appearance. They are signs of his coming.

God has a plan for his people. The rapture of the Church is a great plan that he has for us. Many of God’s people now believe that the next great event will be the rapture of the Church.  Why do we believe this? Well, according to the Word of God prophecy, even in the Old Testament, is being fulfilled. Prophecy from the New Testament is being fulfilled. We are going to look at just a few of these things today in our study. We cannot begin to cover all of the signs that we believe Jesus left for us that indicate that the coming of Jesus is soon.

May we call your attention to the gospel of Matthew chapter 25 verse 13?  Jesus said, “Watch therefore. For you know not the day nor the hour.” We do believe that the next event in God’s prophetic program is the rapture of the Church. Yes, the Christians will be raptured. And, my friends, we are looking forward to that time. There are some very interesting observations to be made. May we also call your attention to the Old Testament saints who were very much involved with the plan of God and the prophecy of the coming of Jesus.  Keep in mind this would be several centuries ago. We call your attention to the person Job. Note what Job had to say.

Remember how he had suffered so much.  “But as for me, I know that my Redeemer liveth and at last he will stand up on the earth and after my skin even this body is destroyed, then without my flesh shall I see God whom I, even I shall see on my side. And mine eyes shall behold and not as a stranger. My heart is consumed within me.” Job was confident that there would be a resurrection day through the appearance of a Redeemer who would come in the last days.

Consider also Isaiah centuries ago said these words. “The dead shall live. My dead body shall arise. Awake and sing ye that dwell in the dust.  For thy dew is as the dew of the earth and the earth shall cast forth the dead.” We believe that Isaiah had some insight with reference to even the dead being raised, the resurrection, the coming of Jesus.

Another event we believe is taking place in our world today and yet it is a very sad experience, the warfare.  Yes, we believe that even Zechariah the prophet centuries ago could look ahead because God gave him insight. “This is the plague with which the Lord will strike all the nations that fought against Jerusalem. Their flesh will  rot while they are still standing on their feet. Their eyes will rot in their sockets and their tongues will rot in their mouths. On that day men will be stricken by the Lord with great panic.  Each man will seize the hand of another and they will attack each other.  Judah, too, will fight at Jerusalem. The wealth of all surrounding nations will be collected. Great quantities of gold and silver and clothing.  A similar plague will strike the horses and mules, the camels and donkeys and all the animals in those camps.”

I believe very strongly that some of this writing through Zechariah has been fulfilled. But we also believe that there is something projected with reference to warfare and that one little block of Scripture that we shared that is taking place and will be taking place in a greater scale in the near future. Israel is very much involved. Zechariah had a vision. Yes, he saw such a gruesome experience with people trying to destroy Israel. People are doing that just today, my friends. He spoke of the plague. Well, the plague was sent to all who came to fight against Jerusalem in the last days. And we do believe that is yet to be fulfilled in part, some of which has already been fulfilled.

 

We believe that Zachariah’s plague was very definitely speaking of the atomic bomb that was invented and is still used, but there are many more sophisticated armaments used in the Middle East and other parts of the world today.  We have nuclear weapons. Yes, in the Middle East there is a lot of warfare at this time.

Something else that makes us believe that the coming of Jesus is soon, the earthquakes were predicted, the famines, the pestilences. And this is getting to be more and more in this world in which we live, not in just certain parts of the world, but almost all over the world you will find people experiencing starvation.

We call your attention to another reason why we believe that the coming of Jesus is soon, because of the godlessness in the last days that are given to us from the Word of God.  We are going to be reading from the gospel of Matthew chapter 24. We will be reading from verses 35 through 44.

Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.  No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.  As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.  For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left.  Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left.  Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come.  But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into.  So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.

Timothy received a letter from the apostle Paul that gave him also prophecy, we believe, of the return of Jesus.  Hear these precious words, 2 Timothy three verses one through nine.  “But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God—having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them. They are the kind who worm their way into homes and gain control over weak-willed women, who are loaded down with sins and are swayed by all kinds of evil desires, always learning but never able to acknowledge the truth.  Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so also these men oppose the truth—men of depraved minds, who, as far as the faith is concerned, are rejected.  But they will not get very far because, as in the case of those men, their folly will be clear to everyone.”

The apostle Paul warned that godlessness, evil schemes would increase as the end of history approaches.  People would follow false teachers who would tell them what they wanted to hear. The apostle Paul’s words warned people to be on the lookout for these things.

Surely you also must agree. We are seeing things like this happening today like they have never happened before.  We are warned. We are encouraged as we live in this kind of world not to yield to despair, but to look up, because our hope sustains us. The blessed hope encourages us to realize even though we live in such a wicked world, these godless days, Jesus is coming soon for us.

The observation of our day is, yes we have false teachers. We have sounding words that appear to have good logic.  We have those false teachers who appear to have some good logic, scholarship. They are intellectual people, clever but crafty people.

This is a clipping that your speaker borrowed from a magazine. And we quote. “Yet at this very time a very real Satan, the devil, has unleashed an entire series of attacks against credibility of the Bible starting with the exciting and extremely popular novel The Davinci Code an outpouring of books, television shows and films is beginning to surface which, in fact, seeks to confuse people and greatly undermine their belief in the inspiration of the Bible,” end of quote.

We may ask the question. Did your Creator inspire and preserve for us a genuine revelation of his will and of his plan, of his purpose? Or did he leave us to our own devices, to, in effect, be forced to use mere human reason and our own imagination to figure out what we were born for and for what purpose of life has for us?
You see, there are literally no other issues more important than these: faith and power. Where is it today?  May we advise all Christians to be very much aware of what is happening in our schools even our grade school, our high schools, our colleges. May we have our eyes open and we who are blessed with children or grandchildren, let us be aware the kind of study, the kind of teaching they have in their classrooms, wherever that may be. The spiritual insight is a must for the day.

The Spirit expressly says that in the last days some will depart from their faith. They will be giving heed to deceiving spirits. There will be the doctrines of demons.  There will be those who speak lies and are hypocrites. They will have their own conscience seared with a hot iron. Yes, people, Christians, so they say, professed Christians, will not endure doctrine. They have itching ears.  They heap up for themselves teachers. They will turn their ears away from the truth. They will then turn aside to fables.

That is the Bible. Doesn’t that sound familiar, however, to the age in which we live?  May God deliver us from being weak and yielding to those who are leading, those who are strong, those who are satanic.

We may be speaking to someone this very hour who needs to become a Christian. You are concerned about the evil that surrounds us and perhaps you feel at times that you are in the grip of Satan himself. You need not be that way. Of course, Satan is doing his very best as the god of the world to see more people yield to the deceitful teaching that comes from Satan.

Would you give your life to Jesus?  The Word of God teaches this. When people are concerned with reference to their salvation they need to obey the gospel. And the gospel is a wonderful experience, because it gives us good news about Jesus coming to die on the cross for our sins. And he did just this. Would you give your life to Jesus? He loved you enough to die for you.  God so loved the word that he gave his only begotten Son that whosoever believeth on him should not perish, but have eternal life.

Will you give your life to Jesus today and receive him as Savior and Lord?  Be baptized for the forgiveness of sins and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.  Why not ask someone who is a Christian to assist you in obeying the gospel?

And, remember.  As a Christian you, too, can live with that blessed hope.

 

 




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Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.

2 corinthians 1:3-4