Sunday, July 28, 2019

The Marriage of the Lamb

Bobservations Column
By Pastor Bob Lawrenz

No study on the End-Times would be complete if we did not also look at the return of Christ in Glory. All of history and End-Times prophecies in particular culminate in Jesus’ return to Earth as He begins His millennial reign from David’s Eternal Throne. For that we turn to Revelation 19, the fulfillment of Isaiah 63:1-6 and Zechariah 14:4, 5, but the Invitations were all sent out. 

There are a limited number of verses concerning the marriage and its resulting Wedding Feast, so we’ll look elsewhere in the Word to find out about a Wedding Feast appropriate for the Lord God, Jesus Christ.
The Jewish Tradition for weddings is an interesting mix for such a grand celebration with family and friends. But the Bride of Christ will include Faithful from hundreds of ethnicities and just as many marriage traditions including those of God’s Chosen People who received Christ. The Church, Christ’s Bride, will have prepared herself for the marriage, in every detail. The Bride will have “made herself ready.” 

What that means precisely must be taken from scriptures. 1 John 3:3 says, “and every man that hath this hope, purifieth himself, even as (Christ) is pure.” Ephesians 5:24-27 describes a husband that loves His Bride enough to purify her for Himself. 

The marriage of the Lamb will be holy, and the Bride will have been taken out of the world in the Rapture, she will serve the Lord completely, and unreservedly. Her dedication to Him will mean she is at perfect peace, and willingly allows and expects the purification process. This is sanctification on Earth with the expectation of holiness as Jesus’ Bride in heaven. The will love His wife; and the wife will revere her Husband (Ephesians 5:33). 

“Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth
not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when He
shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is.”
  1 John 3:2

Sunday, July 21, 2019

Post-Rapture Events

Bobservations Column
By Pastor Bob Lawrenz

As we look again today at end-times prophecy, we may want to ask what the purpose of prophecy is in the first place. As Paul outlines the order of those who rise to meet the Lord in the air, he writes in 1 Thessalonians 4:13, “But I would not have you ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep...” This phrase gives us the purpose of prophecy: to share information. Prophecy in the Bible is God’s means of sharing information with us, usually the foretelling of future events that may otherwise baffle us, or catch us off-guard. Paul writes under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, that God does not want us to be ignorant, or un-learned. God wants us to be prepared!

So to prepare us for His perfect will, He tells us in advance through the prophets of the Old Testament and the evangelists of the New Testament. As Christians we live and believe because we have seen how Jesus fulfilled the prophecies of the Old, and now we live in the New Testament times. 

In the Old Testament, Jewish believers had to go to their priests to get the teachings of the prophets. Today, Jesus has called Believers a royal priesthood because He lives in us; a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek – Psalm 110:4. (Melchizedek was met by Abram and called him a Priest of the most High God – Genesis 14:18.) 

So while the prophets foretold of events, the priests told the people. Now, WE are the priests, but who are we telling about events which shall soon come to pass? This is the evangelical nature of the Church, and spreading the Good News is our responsibility. As I read recently, there is the foretelling of events, and then there is the forth-telling of them; sharing them with others. 

End-times prophesies can strike fear in the hearts of unbelievers, but they should bring comfort to the believer because, if being told correctly, believers will not be here on Earth during difficult times of the Great Tribulation. It will be a time of God’s wrath against an unbelieving world, such as never has been seen before. 

“Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob's trouble; but he shall be saved out of it.”  -Jeremiah 30:7

If Jacob is Israel, and Christ’s Church has been grafted into Israel, then we too shall be saved from that day (See Romans 11:17-23).

Sunday, July 14, 2019

The Rapture

Bobservations Column
By Pastor Bob Lawrenz

In recent months, events on Planet Earth, and in the heavens have taken an up-swing in frequency. The frequency of severe storms, the many Blood Moons recently, the wars and battles that go on around us and in foreign lands have become so obvious, that even secular people have taken notice and wonder what’s going on. Sometime during their lives, someone mentioned something about it, but all they remember is that the warnings came from the Bible.
Well, all these issues have given rise to questions, and a wide variety of writers have undertaken the task of trying to explain. All that we see around us socially, financially, religiously are spoken of in the Bible. Matthew 24, Mark 13, and Luke 21 and other places in scripture reference all that we see and lump them under the heading “End Times Prophecy.” Perhaps most unnerving is that people are identifying current events and realizing the parallels to what these three Gospel writers have recorded in the Gospels that bear their names.
But lest we think that they wrote of their own accord, we need to realize something that other writers of scripture clearly state: their words are not their own! Paul writes in 2 Timothy 3:16 that “all scripture is given by inspiration of God...” it is literally “God-breathed” not humanly sourced. Peter writes in 2 Peter 1:21 that “holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” Again, the words of the prophets have been inspired by God, not sourced from any human mind. We’ll look today at God’s words and learn from Him.
This should lead us to thinking about prophecy as Divine Information that the God of this world wants to share with us. In several places the scribes of the New Testament wrote that God would not want us to be ignorant about certain things. Much of this is the Divine Information God wants to give to us so that we are neither caught off guard, nor unprepared for the troublesome times that lay ahead for mankind, but our faith and hope in Jesus Christ can carry us through. For today though, we’ll look at what it means to be saved: the rough times, the storms of our lives can be smoothed, and fear removed for future trails and hardships. 

“Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast,
and which entereth into that within the veil;"

~ Hebrews 6:19

Sunday, July 7, 2019

Real Hope And Change

Bobservations Column
By Pastor Bob Lawrenz

The harsh and destructive events that Nahum speaks of regarding Ninevah, can be applied to every nation, country, ethnic group, or army of invaders that has ever come against the nation of Israel, and God's Chosen People.  As we've seen just in modern times, Israel's attackers find themselves under judgment from God, and those that seek harm to the Jewish people find themselves under the same judgments.

The city of Jerusalem has been besieged twenty-eight times in the course of history, yet it still stands.  The era of Hitler's Third Reich is well known, and it came to an abrupt end.  Nazi Germany was dispensed with, and the country was divided east and west among her enemies.  Since the 1948 birth of Israel, God's Holy Land has been involved in fourteen modern era wars, and two major defensive operations.  God has kept His people, and His land against attacks by Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Russia, and the Palestinians from within Israel's borders.

This is God's faithfulness to His Covenant with Abraham:  Israel still stands in spite of the horrendous cost in human lives.  Modern history is no different from ancient history.  The Egyptian Empire came to a halt after the Jewish Exodus; it has been a Third World nation ever since.  The Philistines, Canannites, Hivites, Jebusites, Edomites all went by the wayside, not because of anything that the Israelites did, but rather because God promised to keep Israel.  Ninevah was swallowed up by the City of war torn Mosul.  Babylon remains to be in ruins, and once again little Israel is surrounded on all sides by her enemies.  It is the story of David and Goliath all over again, but on an international scale, and God's Covenant is still in-place.

God said to Abraham: "I will bless those that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee; and in thee shall all nations of the Earth be blessed." - Genesis 12:3

God's promises stand for every believer as well!

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