As we observe the world around us, we can easily see the increase of lawlessness. Riots are breaking out almost weekly as economies fail and accustomed lifestyles are threatened.
The nightly news alerts us to the increase of earthquakes, volcanoes, tsunamis, all around the world. Ethnic and religious violence are intensifying and rumors of war are again reverberating throughout Africa and the Mideast. “The love of many” is growing cold just as Jesus warned (Matthew 24:12). This lawlessness has also invaded the Church and Jesus also reveals that many will betray one another and hate one another in the Church. Nothing hurts quite as much as when friends and family turn against you and betray you. The great falling away that Paul warned about (2 Thessalonians 2:3) is upon us.
“Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;”
We are living in this day. Already false prophets are arising saying “Peace, Peace” but there will be no peace. They are predicting great revivals when Jesus says “unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved, but for the elects sake those days will be shortened.” (Matthew 24:22). Doctrines like the “prosperity teaching” and the “pre-tribulation rapture” will be shown to be false hopes of escapism from Scriptural realism. But, there is a message of hope that the Holy Spirit is revealing. It is the same message that John the Baptist preached and that Jesus preached when He began His earthly ministry –
“Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!” – Matthew 3:2
There is no entering the kingdom of heaven without repentance. When Jesus dictated His letter to the seven churches of Revelation, His first commandment to five of them was to repent. If Jesus could get into today’s churches, (There was one church in Revelation where He had to stand outside the door and knock!), He would say repent! Repent for the broken covenants and promises you made in your marriages, for the lies you have told in your businesses, for the promises you made to God and have not kept, for the lack of prayer and fellowship with Me, for your lack of submission to one another, for not preferring others above yourself, for preferring the wicked above the righteous in your voting. Just as when Jesus stooped down and wrote in the sand as self-righteous Jews were condemning the harlot, I’m sure His list of sins would convict us all!
Jesus said when the abomination that causes desolation appears, prepare for the end.
“When ye therefore shall see the
abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:)” – Matthew 24:15
As Rabbi Jonathan Cahn recently shared in The Third Abomination, it has appeared in America as the largest image of a foreign god ever seen was displayed on the Empire State building in New York city.
How far the United States has fallen away from the godly heritage it once held so dear. In the 1950’s the tallest buildings in New York city were lit up with crosses on Easter, but now with Cali, the goddess of destruction. Rabbi Cahn shared that before ancient Israel was judged by God they had committed three abominations and the United States has now committed the same three abominations to God.
Revelation 4 reveals to us the road map to navigate the days ahead. In this short chapter of only 11 verses the word throne appears 14 times. The message is that everything is under the control of the One who sits on the throne. This chapter reveals four aspects of God’s nature.
- He is holy – the single most important revelation of God given in Scripture. If we do not submit to this aspect of God’s nature, we will never find the ‘narrow way’ to salvation.
- God is almighty – His wisdom is greater than man’s or the devil’s and His plans are right on schedule. He alone is controlling destiny. Only Jesus could open the scroll that is God’s plan to close the age (Revelation 5).
- He is eternal – He was, He is, and He is to come and He is the same today as He ever was!
- He is the Creator of all things – and He did it just the way He said He did it in Genesis!
The truths taught in Jesus’ letters to the churches in Revelation chapters 2 and 3 are vital to us who are living in the end days. They can equip us to overcome in these trying times, if we but listen to and obey them. May each of us fully prosper from their teaching.
Pastor Charles Cooley