Dear Brethren and Friends,
Have you been SHOCKED by what is happening?
Jesus Christ spoke of things that “must come to pass” (Matthew 24:6), and He continued by telling of devastating events that would signal “the beginning of sorrows” (Matthew 24:8).
When we witness the unprecedented scale of destruction that has been striking so many nations, it becomes unmistakably apparent that prophecy is coming to fruition! The very developments spoken of by Jesus Christ are signals we should carefully WATCH:
“‘Now learn this parable from the fig tree: When its branch has already become tender and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near. So you also, when you see all these things, know that it is near—at the doors! Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away’” (Matthew 24:32-35).
Yet, we must understand that this is only the THRESHOLD and that this world will face unparalleled terror in the coming years:
“‘And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved [alive]; but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened’” (Matthew 24: 22).
The “elect” are those who are the true and faithful Christians—the ones who do not compromise with the Truth; who overcome and endure in their calling from God; who are committed to preaching the gospel of the Kingdom of God; and who love one-another, just as Christ loves us.
There is also something else that the “elect” are instructed to do, and this applies very specifically to our generation. First, we are to WATCH: “‘Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming’” (Matthew 24:42). Next, we are to BE READY: “‘Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect’” (Matthew 24:44).
We have this additional warning from Jesus:
“‘But take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that Day come on you unexpectedly. For it will come as a snare on all those who dwell on the face of the whole earth. Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man’” (Luke 21:34-36).
In Proverbs, it is stated, “A prudent man foresees evil and hides himself…” (Proverbs 22:3; 27:12).
Are we PREPARED for the evil that we KNOW is coming—that even now has begun; and how do we “hide” ourselves?
The answer to both of these questions lies in the strength of our relationship with God! Like Jesus Christ did, so must we learn to rely on God. Our key is to fervently use the Holy Spirit of God!
On June 12, 2011, we will once again observe the Feast of Weeks—Pentecost. This is a time of particular meaning and significance for the elect of God who have been called to be among the firstfruits (Revelation 14:4)—those who will be in the first resurrection (Revelation 20:5) and who will live and reign with Jesus Christ for one thousand years (Revelation 20:4).
We have the record of many true followers of God who have lived before us—it is found in the Word of God, and it is for our instruction and inspiration. Hebrews, chapter eleven, rehearses the walk of faith and the outstanding example of men and women who will also be among the firstfruits of God.
Theirs is a story of success and the victory that comes through God’s help (1 Corinthians 15:57). God has also given to us His unbreakable promises for help in times of need (Hebrews 4:16), and we can faithfully commit ourselves to this assurance of hope (compare 1 John 5:4-5; Revelation 15:2).
While we continue to witness the terror that is arising from so many sources, we must be attentive to and magnify our personal relationship with God and Jesus Christ, “casting all [our] care upon Him, for He cares for [us]” (1 Peter 5:7).
In Christ’s Service,