Prophecy Update: ‘Signs of the Times’. Have hope: Jesus is coming!
Exclusive: Greg Laurie explains how gratitude leads to godliness
By Greg Laurie Published July 24, 2020 at 7:09pm
Dorothy said in “The Wizard of Oz,” “There’s no place like home.” And isn’t it true? We look forward to getting home, because at home we’re comfortable. At home we can be ourselves. At home we can wear comfortable clothes that are probably not fit for wearing in public. Home is a comfortable place.
The Bible says that God has placed eternity in our hearts (see Ecclesiastes 3:11). Because of this, we’re longing to be home again. We have a homesickness for Heaven.
But what is Heaven, actually? It’s a place, not a mere state of mind. Heaven is the dwelling place of God Himself. Heaven is home. Jesus said, “I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also” (John 14:2–3 NKJV).
Maybe you’re thinking, “Well, I’m still pretty young, so I’m not really thinking too much about this.”
Regardless of your age, you never know when life will end. But here’s something else to consider: Death is one way to get to Heaven. The other is by way of a future event, an event the Bible calls the “blessed hope.”
I’m speaking of the rapture of the church when believers will be caught up to meet the Lord in the air. The Bible speaks of this in Titus 2:13: “Looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ” (NKJV).
The hope of Heaven isn’t wishful thinking or blind optimism. It’s a quiet confidence. It’s a supernatural certainty. As a Christian, I know deep in my heart that I’m indeed a child of God. The Bible tells us, “For his Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God’s children” (Romans 8:16 NLT).
What a great thing it is to have this certainty, this hope, that as a follower of Jesus Christ, I will meet the Lord one day. I love the following acronym for hope: holding on (with) patient expectation.
This applies to life in general. When you’re facing a crisis, when you have a marriage that’s unraveling, when you have a prodigal child, you need to hold on with patient expectation. This means recognizing that God is in control of your life and that he can work all things together for good. There’s a loving Father who has a watchful eye on you.
We can also hold on with patient expectation, looking forward to the day when Christ returns. And really, what is this an expectation of? It’s an expectation of Heaven.
If you’re a Christian, you could be going about your business one day and suddenly find yourself in Heaven, reunited with loved ones, face to face with Jesus. The Bible says the rapture of the church will happen in “the twinkling of an eye” (see 1 Corinthians 15:52 NKJV).
That word twinkling originates from the Greek word atomos, which is the same word that atom comes from. It speaks of something that really can’t be measured. The time is so quick that you can’t quantify it. So it will happen in a moment, in a nanosecond.
Death is the great separator, but Jesus Christ is the great reconciler. In Heaven we will be reunited with friends and loved ones. Husbands will be reunited with wives, and wives will be reunited with husbands. Children will be reunited with parents, and parents will be reunited with children. It will be like a big family reunion.
We all come from dysfunctional families, but in Heaven, all the dysfunction will be gone. All the weirdness will be gone. All the drama will be gone. It will be a perfect reunion as we’re joined together around the throne of God.
So if we have the hope of the Lord’s return, the blessed hope, it should cause us to want to live godly lives. In recognition of the fact that God loves us and has so much waiting for us in Heaven, it should affect the choices we make, what we spend our time doing and what we spend our money on. It should affect every aspect of our lives
In other words, gratitude leads to godliness. The hopeful Christian seeks to be a holy Christian and purifies himself or herself from all known sin.
This is an indication, in many ways, of where you are spiritually. If you long for the return of Christ and look forward to it, then it says to me that your life is right with God.
Are there any things you’re doing presently that you would be ashamed to be doing if Christ were to return? Is there a relationship you’re engaged in right now that’s dragging you down spiritually? This is where purifying yourself comes in.
John wrote, “Dear friends, we are already God’s children, but he has not yet shown us what we will be like when Christ appears. But we do know that we will be like him, for we will see him as he really is. And all who have this eager expectation will keep themselves pure, just as he is pure” (1 John 3:2–3 NLT).
In so many of the parables Jesus told, he said we should be watching, waiting and alert as we look for his return. He could come back at any moment. All around us, we see things happening in our world that tell us Jesus is coming again.
If you really believe that, then it should impact the way you live. And most of all, it should give you hope.
In His Service,
Night Watchman Ministries
Make Your Decision for Christ NOW!!!!!!! Time is Up!!!!!!!
Jesus Christ’s Offer of Salvation:
The ABCs of Salvation through Jesus Christ (the Lamb)
A. Admit/Acknowledge/Accept that you are sinner. Ask God’s forgiveness and repent of your sins.
. . . “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23).
. . . “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one.” (Romans 3:10).
. . . “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” (1 John 1:8).
B. Believe Jesus is Lord. Believe that Jesus Christ is who He claimed to be; that He was both fully God and fully man and that we are saved through His death, burial, and resurrection. Put your trust in Him as your only hope of salvation. Become a son or daughter of God by receiving Christ.
. . . “That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. (John 3:15-17). For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Romans 10:13).
C. Call upon His name, Confess with your heart and with your lips that Jesus is your Lord and Savior.
. . . “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” (Romans 10:9-10).
. . . “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.” (John 1:8-10).
. . . “And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world. (John 2:2).
. . . “In this was manifested the love of god toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world. Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God.” (1 John 4:9, 14-15).
. . . “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.” (Romans 5:8-10).
. . . “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 6:23).
. . . “Jesus saith unto them, I am the way, the truth, and the life, no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6).
. . . “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth.” (Romans 1:16).
. . . “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts: 4:12).
. . . “Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth for there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.” (1 Timothy 2:4-6).
. . . “For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Thessalonians 5:9).
. . . “But as many as received him, to them gave the power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.” (John 1:12).
True Church / Bride of Christ Spared from God’s Wrath:
Romans 5:8-10. “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.”
Romans 12:19. Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.
1 Thessalonians 1:10. And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.
1 Thessalonians 5:9. For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,
Romans 8:35. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
Jeremiah 30:7. 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.
Revelation 3:10 Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.