Storm Clouds on the Horizon
The Feast of Trumpets is only nine days away on September 14th. It pictures the Day of the Lord and the return of Jesus Christ in total power to establish the Father’s Kingdom over all the earth. God has foretold the events leading up to that time. We know what we are to look forward to. We are not in darkness that that day should overtake us unexpectedly (1 Thesalonians 5:4). Dark storm clouds are gathering and the trumpet sounds will soon be heard. It is prudent that we look at the prophesied events leading up to the time of the trumpets. We keep the Feasts of the Lord each year and we preach meat in due season so that, especially in these last days, we can all be conversant in the sequence of end time events as they begin to unfold all around us.
In these perilous last days we are witnessing a world of turmoil. We see lawless governments, violence and murder rates shooting up, a refugee crisis unfolding in Europe, an escalating immigration predicament in America, radical Muslim encroachment everywhere with the beheading of those who profess another faith, nuclear proliferation deals with rogue nations, wild stock market and currency instability, poverty and homelessness, widespread cohabitation, blatant perversion, war, extreme weather fluctuations, abortions, and the list could go on and on. God and His way are being systematically eradicated from every vestige of our lives. As a result, God has begun to remove His hand of protection and guidance that has brought us bountiful prosperity and might.
God is beginning to take away the wonderful blessings of power, wealth, protection and greatness that He bestowed upon Israel as a result of His promise to Abraham. It is not our military that is ineffective – it is the pride of our power that has become broken and pathetic. We are losing the will to use our might to defend our country’s citizens. We allow our citizens to be held hostage in foreign prisons. God tells us that we have built up our military and defenses in vain – for they will no longer protect us.
“If ye will not yet for all this hearken unto me, then I will punish you seven times more for your sins. And I will break the pride of your power; and I will make your heaven as iron, and your earth as brass: And your strength shall be spent in vain: for your land shall not yield her increase, neither shall the trees of the land yield their fruits.” (Leviticus 26:18-20)
Brethren, this nation cannot stand without God. As we witness the prophesied fall of our nation, what should we be doing? Should we shrink back and hide in the shadows. No! We do not find that example portrayed in the Scriptures. And God is not yet asking us to seek the spotlight of center stage. That time will come soon enough. We should realize that these end-time events portend and pave the way for the soon coming salvation of the Lord. God tells us to take a stand for our faith and the principles of our faith and God’s way of life. When we stand for what is right, God will fight our battles for us, but soon some of us will be openly persecuted for obeying God and not man.
“… We ought to obey God rather than men.” (Acts 5:29)
Some are being persecuted, fined and jailed for standing on their principles. Could we take a stand for God’s way if we were singled out as they have been? And that is exactly what is happening more frequently on a larger and larger scale – some have even given their lives. There will be no place to avoid being singled out as time grows short. What kind of people should we be when there is nothing sacred anymore?
“Since all these things shall be destroyed, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and Godliness, Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?” (2Peter 3:11-12)
Soon, nothing of God’s way will be tolerated anywhere on earth. It will be a challenging and seriously dangerous time for professing Christians. God will choose some to be witnesses for Him. Two and a half years of Satan’s wrath will be followed by the Day of the Lord when God will release terrible scourges on this earth to bring mankind to repentance.
“When he had opened the fifth seal [Satan’s wrath during the tribulation], I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held: And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?” (Revelation 6:9-10)
In today’s sermon we will be looking at the prophesied events leading up to the day of Trumpets when Christ shall appear. Basically, the Day of the Lord is that last year of the three and one half years of tribulation when God’s wrath comes against all evil, and God begins to establish His righteousness on the earth. There are rough and tough days ahead, but the one who endures to the end shall be saved.
“But beware of men: for they will deliver you up to the councils, and they will scourge you in their synagogues; You shall be brought before governors and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them and the Gentiles. But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak. For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaks in you. And the brother shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the child: and the children shall rise up against their parents, and cause them to be put to death. And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that endures to the end shall be saved.” (Matthew 10:17-22)
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