Tag: Gospel preached

To live is Christ–to die is gain!

Scripture reading for September 2nd:  Philippians 1

“Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus, To all the saints in Christ Jesus at Philippi, together with the overseers and deacons:  Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.”  (Philippians 1:1-2)  In his introduction and greeting Paul refers to God the Father or Jesus Christ the Son four times!  He sets the tone for his letter by exalting Christ and continues to do so throughout the letter.  Christ Jesus is the Lord of Paul’s life and every believer and church leader must center on Jesus as well.

Paul was in jail for preaching the Gospel at the time of writing this letter.  He prayed for this church that he had pioneered with joy, knowing that God had begun a good work in them and that God would see that work through to completion as the church followed Christ!  (Philippians 1:6)  Joy or rejoicing is mentioned fourteen times by Paul in this letter!

Paul did not know whether his imprisonment would lead to freedom again or death by execution for the Gospel.  He conveyed his thoughts to the church for their prayers and encouragement.  These recorded thoughts have encouraged Christians of all generations!  “I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death.  For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.”  (Philippians 1:20-21)  Paul looked forward to being with Christ for all eternity.  He was assured that life did not end at death.  He lived for Christ and would die to be with Him!  Let these thoughts encourage you today!

 

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The End of the Age!

Scripture reading for February 4th: Matthew 24:1-28, Psalm 24, Proverbs 7:1-5

As Jesus was nearing the end of His time on earth, He took time to answer the disciple’s questions concerning events that would take place in the future.  One characteristic of our great God is that He knows the end from the beginning.  He has perfect knowledge of future events and has even written them down as proof for us that He alone is God.  That is the nature of prophesy and Jesus spoke prophetically to His close followers.

They had two questions following His statement that the temple in Jerusalem would be torn down, with not one stone left upon another.  They wanted to know when this would happen and what would be the signs leading up to this event and the end of the age.  “Jesus answered: “Watch out that no one deceives you.  For many will come in My name, claiming, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many.  You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed.  Such things  must happen, bu the end is still to come.  Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.  There will be famines and earthquakes in various places.  These are the beginnings of birth pains.” (Matthew 24:4-8)

Jesus answered these questions with a straight-forward warning against deception.  Deception would be a sign of the coming end of the age.  There would be religious deception coming from people who came in His name, but were really not His.   These people would be working to deceive many people.  This would require watchfulness and discernment.  The disciples must know what was real and be able to spot these deceivers.  They would need to exercise caution and stay close to the Lord Himself.

There would also be turmoil in the world among the nations and peoples.  Wars and rumors of wars would abound and earthquakes and famines would bring destruction and pain to many people.  These would be just the beginning of this time of the end.  It would be like labor pains in a woman ready to give birth.  The time would be near and those who had spiritual eyes could see and know what it would be like.  Do you see signs of the end of the age?  Are you ready for Jesus’ return?

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Then the End Will Come!

Scripture reading for October 13th: Matthew 24-25

“As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately.  “Tell us,” they said, “when will this happen and what will be the sign of your coming and the end of the age?” (Matthew 24:3)  Jesus’ disciples were responding to a statement that Jesus made as they had left the temple.  He had stated that every stone would be thrown down in the beautiful temple.  The disciples knew that Jesus was coming back again and the present age would end.  This question is important for us today, because we are still waiting for Jesus to return.  Let’s look again at Jesus’ insight!

The first sign of the end, according to Jesus, was the rise of false teachers and prophets.  (Matthew 24:4-5)  Deception of people by satanic religious lies would be wide-spread right before the end.  These false prophets would claim to be sent by God and to speak for God.  Some of them would even claim to be “Christ” and many people would fall for their lie!

There would also be an increase in wars and political unrest among the nations.  This would be coupled with natural disasters such as earthquakes and famines around the world.  These factors would cause much fear and distress among the inhabitants of the earth just before Jesus would come.  These things were likened to “birth pains” that preceded the coming of a baby.  When they began to happen, look out!  (Matthew 24:6-8)

The next sign was persecution of believers.  Followers of Jesus Christ would be hated by all nations and put to death for their faith.  Because of the persecution, many would fall away and others’ love for Christ would grow cold.  There would be those among the faithful who would betray others and false teaching would cause divisions in the body of Christ.  This would call for perseverance and patience on the part of true followers of Christ.

The final sign Jesus gave concerned the mission of His followers.  “And this Gospel of the Kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.” (Matthew 24:14)  As believers in the last day, the mission of reaching the nations must not be dropped!  Jesus is patiently waiting for His followers to preach His Gospel to all nations.  Are you doing your part?

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