As I write this I find myself deeply humbled and amazed by the overwhelming glory and goodness of a great God. His presence is more valuable to me than anything in this world. I have sat down to write this many times over the last few years, over the last eleven years actually. Each time I have found myself laying down the task and picking up yet another excuse.
Fear. Fear of being labeled, fear of not being believed, fear of what one may think or say as I speak forth – well, I would rather face the fear of man than ever disappoint my Heavenly Father, and grieve the Holy Spirit. So I will speak today about the truth we are all staring directly into, a truth many of us would rather ignore and lay aside until another day. Yet the truth is before us and it is both a hope and a warning – life and death – salvation and damnation.
I grew up in a traditional Southern Pentecostal church – a church that spoke in hopes of a future Heaven paved with streets of Gold, and they also spoke of a Hell that would torment and punish those who rejected Christ. The rapture could take place tomorrow – the return of Jesus Christ could be today I was warned. Since then I have met so many people – many that still proclaim an eternal Hell that will punish those who reject Christ, some who say that Hell is not eternal but only for annihilation (wouldn’t want to chance it either way). I have met others who cry out the word “rapture” is not in the Bible. Many claim he will come back with the church as it is, some who claim the body must come to fullness of Christ within us before he comes, some claim “any day since” Israel is now a nation qnd some who say the return of Christ is not going to happen – that it’s just a lie.
I have never doubted his return. I have questioned the specifics, when and how – but never the return.
I was asleep one evening, at the time of this writing about eleven years ago, when I was literally bombarded with a projector-style blasts of still images surging through my mind. Still today I can remember several of the still-images, as if they have remained burned into my memory. Hundreds, maybe even thousands of grotesque, sinful, and truly sad pictures flashed before my eyes as I lay asleep.
Suddenly, I was wide awake. Awake enough to sit up in disgust of the dream. Looking over at the red LED from the alarm clock I grab my pillow and fluff it. Hoping to lay back down and find rest – free from the nightmare I had just awakened from.
Then I did something we have probably all done. I asked God a question. “Why are you letting me have dreams like that God? I am trying to live for you!” I recalled drug-users shooting up in the alleys. I saw and felt disgust and heartache as the prostitutes sold out for money, and the murderers killed whom they chose. It was a dream I will never forget – always remembering what I saw and how it made me feel.
“Why are you letting me have dreams like that God? I am trying to live for you!”, was my question. I didn’t expect an answer. I asked without expecting an answer – I was wrong.
The sound that followed was not a small still voice, it was not a passing thought, and it was not a dream. I was wide awake, just finished fluffing a flat pillow, asking the Almighty God a question.
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The voice I heard was audible, not only audible, but thundering LOUD! It was also right over my bed – over me. The voice was loud, direct, and brought me to literally shaking in fear.
“Because I Am Coming Soon!”
This was the decisive reply that Jesus replied to me.
“Because I Am Coming Soon!” – no disputes – no what if’s – He is returning, and He says it is soon!
I WRITE THIS AS A PLEA! Come to Jesus Christ and his grace will save you! Come to Jesus Christ and seek His Kingdom like he told us to do! Come to Jesus Christ and be saved. The rest of what I saw with my eyes wide open we will save for another time. But what he spoke was definite and demanding to my heart. He was showing me the sin that was running rampant over the earth, and he let me feel the pain.
I am all for the gifts flowing, the open heavens, the miracles, the signs, the wonders, but most importantly is taking the goodness of God and his mercy to a world full of rebellion and sin. To a world dying quickly. Soon. I can’t tell you how soon. but Jesus told me soon – and that is enough for me.
Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand!
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