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A Pale Horse Rides Many people have an uneasy feeling that something is wrong with organized religion, and feel betrayed by the news they hear about religion throughout the world. Are their fears justified? Did something go wrong at the dawn of Christianity? Yes, and the Bible predicted that it would happen. This great outreach opportunity begins in just two weeks: Friday, October 27 at 7:00 p.m. Learn more at ApaleHorseRides.com/KlamathFalls
When reading the newspaper or watching news clips, one could think they are reading straight from Matthew 24. Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Jose, Maria, back-to-back earthquakes in Mexico, rumors of war with North Korea, false prophets setting dates for significant events to be fulfilled on 9/23/2017 (namely Christ’s return), and many other things…
I’ve visited with people before at their doors asking them if events like this tell of the world’s end. You’d be surprised by some of the answers I’ve received. “No, this is how it’s always been. We just have more media outlets now that are able to alert the whole world at one time of events happening,” is one response I’ve heard. As Seventh-day Adventists we’ve been told, or have studied, Jesus’ words in Matthew 24:8 that these are the “beginning of sorrows (or birth pains)," likening these events to a woman in labor. They will increase with frequency and intensity. In Luke 21:29-33, Jesus tells of a parable of the fig tree and that you know what season you are in based on what the tree is doing. He then likens the events he has just shared previously to know that God’s kingdom is near. If I were to ask any Seventh-day Adventist if Jesus was coming soon, I’d go out on a limb to say that 99.999% would resound with an emphatic YES!!!! We know He’s coming soon… but... are we living as though He is coming soon?
There’s another passage in Luke 12:54-56 where Jesus rebukes the religious leaders for discerning the signs of the weather and what will follow, and yet missing the signs of prophetic time in which they were living (that of the Messiah’s first arrival) and what was to follow. Yet, many of them (as is also the case today) believed they were the favorites of heaven because no calamities had fallen upon them. Right after this dialogue we enter into Luke 13 where Jesus teaches the truth about calamities. They are allowed, not because one is a worse sinner than the other, but because they remind us that an eternal calamity is to fall upon those who have rejected Jesus Christ as LORD and Savior. Interestingly enough, Jesus wasn’t talking about the Gentiles, but about the church (see Luke 13:5 and Luke 13:6-9 about another fig tree).
Folks, I’m concerned about God’s Last Day church in that we are behind (just as Israel of old) when it comes to “proclaiming the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light” 1 Peter 2:9. If anything, these natural disasters and similar events should lead us to humbly bow before God and ask Him where in our lives are we still holding on to this world. A world that will soon fade away as indicated recently through the earthquakes, hurricanes, etc.
… Jesus IS coming soon, and He desires for his vineyard/fig tree to bear the fruit of heaven. We aren’t waiting on Jesus, so much as He is awaiting on us… waiting for us to let go of this world and completely grab hold of His kingdom and righteousness. What is keeping you from firmly grabbing hold of Jesus today? Jesus desires to bring the fruit of heaven into your life and into His church. Won’t you let Him in?
Pastor Jon Holland