Greetings, friends. I’m writing this post to share some scriptures and a song through which God has been ministering to me recently, with the hope of encouraging someone who’s reading. As you will see, the scriptures that I’m sharing actually include an admonishment to use these words to encourage brothers and sisters in Christ, and I hope you will be encouraged as you read this post.
I’ve been studying the prophetic writings in the Bible and attempting to get my head around the order of events that are to take place in the end times. I have read a book on the subject by the American Bible teacher David Jeremiah, as well as reading and rereading the prophetic books of the Bible for myself. If you know of any particularly good books about Christian eschatology please leave a comment with your recommendations, I’d be grateful.
I cannot help but feel we are going through unusually dark and strange times which seem to line up with what’s taught in Scripture about the second coming of Christ and the end times. It would, of course, be foolish to make a statement indicating that I believe we are undoubtedly close to Christ’s return, as no one knows the day nor hour (Matthew 24:36). But I believe there are signs.
The first scripture I would like to share for your encouragement concerns the event known as the Rapture:
13 But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. 14 For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep. 15 For this we declare to you by a word from the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore encourage one another with these words.(1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 ESV)
I wait with longing for the event described in the above passage, and that portion of Scripture is like an anchor for me when I’m feeling depressed and despairing at the evil I see happening in the world. Come, Lord Jesus.
Now concerning the times and the seasons, brothers, you have no need to have anything written to you. 2 For you yourselves are fully aware that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. 3 While people are saying, “There is peace and security,” then sudden destruction will come upon them as labor pains come upon a pregnant woman, and they will not escape. 4 But you are not in darkness, brothers, for that day to surprise you like a thief. 5 For you are all children of light, children of the day. We are not of the night or of the darkness. 6 So then let us not sleep, as others do, but let us keep awake and be sober. 7 For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, are drunk at night. 8 But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and for a helmet the hope of salvation. 9 For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, 10 who died for us so that whether we are awake or asleep we might live with him. 11 Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.(1 Thessalonians 5:1-11 ESV)
Someone I know commented recently saying they felt God is using the lockdown to give people an opportunity to centre themselves on Christ, to study the Scriptures, and to prepare for Jesus’ return. Perhaps. The imposition of lockdown has certainly had that effect on me.
Finally, I wanted to share these simple yet powerful words from a song I fell in love with recently:
Hide me deep inside your heart, Lord
Cover me with Your wings, bring me into safety
Bring me into fellowship with who You are, Lord
Father, Son, and Spirit, this is all I long for
These words are from the chorus of a song entitled ‘In Your Midst’ by Allie Paige. If you’d like to listen to the song, this link will take you to the song on YouTube. God bless you and I hope you are encouraged, I’m praying for every person who reads this blog.