Month: August 2014

Not Be At Once

End of the Age Progression: Will it awaken you or lull you?      August 20, 2914

It seems like the world keeps on going as it continues to unravel. Most of the flash points of Christ’s return and the end of this age seem to be popping up, then going away, then another pops up, then goes away.

In Luke 21:5-26, Jesus describes the progression of the end of this age and states, “And when you hear of wars and tumults, do not be terrified, for these things must first take place, but the end will not be at once” (Luke 21:9).

The point that I would like to expound upon is, but the end will not be at once. Jesus is explaining to his disciples and to us the progression of end-time indicators that include the destruction of the temple, the fall of Jerusalem, then the coming of false prophets misleading many saying, “The time is at hand,” and then Christ adds that all nations will become distressed and perplexed with all the trouble coming upon the world. The progression will hit a pitch or crescendo that will cause great fear, as the age of the gentiles ends.

Need for Endurance

In verse 19, Jesus says, “By your endurance you will gain your lives.” This warning is not just for the original disciples, but also for every disciple down through history, especially for us in the last moments of this age.

I am afraid that most believers are ignorant of the trial of endurance set before us concerning staying alert while enduring the last “years” of this age.

Satan’s Trap

As the signs keep popping up and then going away, many who have awakened to the fact that we are living in the last times, go back to sleep. Jesus warned, “But watch yourselves lest your hearts be weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and cares of this life, and that day come upon you suddenly like a trap” (verse 34). (Are we learning what it means to watch ourselves?)

Now is the time to peel away from the love of this age and the cares of this life, and learn to discern and resist the powers of a very perverted culture; a culture that vexes the soul and deadens the spirit.

As a believer, if we hear the word but do not act, then we will become “at risk” of being caught in Satan’s trap and locked out of the marriage feast even as believers. That day is swiftly approaching, leaving us less and less time to prepare. Many are listening but are now being lulled back to sleep. Just hearing the truth and believing will not protect and strengthen us for what is coming, for the worst is yet to come. James writes, “But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves” (James 1:22).

Many say to themselves, “everything is delayed” or “we have been hearing these warnings for years, and it has not yet come.” This may not be the exact thoughts, but these type of thoughts represent a widespread nonchalant attitude for many believers and reflects a hardened condition of the heart and a passive mindset.

No, the end has not come yet, because Jesus said the end would not be at once. These pauses and seeming delays are God’s grace and mercy, giving his people time to wake up and get ready through long-suffering and by enduring trials. The biggest trial to overcome is staying vigilant year after year during these cycles.

Cycles will End in a Crescendo

Notice the cycles of signs, troubles, and worldwide disorder are increasing in frequency and intensity. Jesus called these cycles birth pangs of the coming kingdom. We should all be familiar with the progression of childbirth and how giving birth often becomes drawn out with delays and false labor pains. When the day arrives, mother and father should be ready, for on that day everything changes and the sure pain of childbirth demands full attention and preparedness.

Mothers who learn to pay attention to the cycles of pain in frequency and intensity become ready when that moment arrives.

We should always be alert and be ready as Christ stated, “Now when these things begin to take place, straighten up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near” (verse 28).

Use this time to straighten up and get ready, starting now, do not let the end of this age progression lull you back to sleep. 

Copyright © 2014 Charles Pretlow All rights reserved

 

 

Can Act It, Can’t Live It

The suicide death of Robin Williams   August 13, 2014

The passing of famous people often make the news headlines, however when popular actors kill themselves, the news is shocking and often becomes over dramatized.
With the recent suicide of Robin Williams, many are expressing dismay and sadness, leaving many to wonder. Most wonder why and how this could happen to such a popular and apparently successful person.

In Robin’s case, depression, drugs, alcohol, loss of popularity, and failed marriages are the supposed reasons, which are the most common for many who end their own life. However, these are symptoms of a much deeper problem and Christians who truly believe in Christ and embrace his teachings should know the real issues.

Robin Williams’ death is not an anomaly, but rather a prime example of a nation of people who have learned to act a normal happy life, yet fail miserably at living life with all its ups and downs. Robin did a great job of believing what he pretended, yet the reality of living apart from truth eventually took its toll.

Williams portrayed many believable roles of true life psychiatrists, physicians, and anti-establishment role models that helped the handicapped and the mentally ill, or portrayed the misunderstood outsider who made life better for others. He acted it, but couldn’t live it.

When we live apart from Christ, who is THE TRUTH, we live a lie. Living a lie gives false hope, and life eventually falls apart because hope to live happily in this world is one of the biggest lies this world offers.

Robin made a career out of making people laugh and be happy. He acted happy, yet he was miserable on the inside. In 1988, Robin made a music video with Bobby McFerrin entitled “Don’t worry be happy” that became popular, and how apropos to Christ warnings concerning acting life out happily while living apart from the author and giver of life. “Thus it is written,  ‘The first man Adam became a living being’; the last Adam [meaning Christ] became a life-giving spirit” (1 Corinthians 15:45).

Many Christians are taught to pretend to be happy, not to worry, and to make the world and its culture a friend. (See James 4:4.) They do not know that this approach estranges them from having personal relationship with the living God. Christians who try to reconcile happiness as the world offers with Christ’s promises of life forces one to act as if they have life. Most false doctrines teach how to be happy apart from obeying and abiding in Christ, which boils down to pretending and believing the pretense. Those who live this way find they did not garner substance and quality of character to live in peace and security when “life on earth” troubles and deception fall upon them.

Like Robin, many Christians have no peace when the truth of the world catches up with them.

“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).

Expect to hear of more suicides, not just of the rich and famous, but of the common person in your neighborhood. The world’s lies about life, hope and change is starting to be seen for what it is — a pack of lies. 

Copyright © 2014 Charles Pretlow All rights reserved