Thursday, January 8, 2009

Revelations

One of my greatest fears has been the end times. From a small child until now, I have a deep fear of the end times, to the point I have nightmarish dreams often. Being a wife and mother, my fear has grown from a fear of my own danger, persecution, torture and possibly death, to include my family's safety, mainly my children. It's inevitable, whether Christ comes in my lifetime or not, this world is getting closer each day.
I strongly believe the Bible when it says,
Matthew 24:3-51
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 of 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, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pains.
"Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved. 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.
"So when you see standing in the holy place 'the abomination that causes desolation,'spoken of through the prophet Daniel—let the reader understand— then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. Let no one on the roof of his house go down to take anything out of the house. Let no one in the field go back to get his cloak. How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers! Pray that your flight will not take place in winter or on the Sabbath. For then there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now—and never to be equaled again. If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened. At that time if anyone says to you, 'Look, here is the Christ!' or, 'There he is!' do not believe it. For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and miracles to deceive even the elect—if that were possible. See, I have told you ahead of time.
"So if anyone tells you, 'There he is, out in the desert,' do not go out; or, 'Here he is, in the inner rooms,' do not believe it. For as lightning that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. Wherever there is a carcass, there the vultures will gather.
"Immediately after the distress of those days" 'the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.'
"At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and all the nations of the earth will mourn. They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory. And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other.
"Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near. Even so, when you see all these things, you know that it is near, right at the door. I tell you the truth, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.

"No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left. Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left.
"Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him. "Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom the master has put in charge of the servants in his household to give them their food at the proper time? It will be good for that servant whose
master finds him doing so when he returns. I tell you the truth, he will put him in charge of all his possessions. But suppose that servant is wicked and says to himself, 'My master is staying away a long time,' and he then begins to beat his fellow servants and to eat and drink with drunkards. The master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he is not aware of. He will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the hypocrites, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

I heard this passage on Sunday at a church we visited.
It scares me to death.
I want to dig a tunnel, a sort of catacomb, just in case it is necessary. Seriously, you can't imagine how much time I have devoted to thinking and planning what it would involve. I have even taken into consideration, septic tanks, avoiding that area of land to make our little shelter as comfortable as possible. Laughable, I know! It's terrible.
I think most of my life I just didn't think about Jesus' return at all, so that I wouldn't have to face the facts about the end times. It's almost to the point I have trained myself to dread Christ return.
This creates a false reality for me, I begin to see this world as my home. This home, I hang onto with all my might. I cling to everything and everyone I love. Often, I convince myself that my life here is so good and sweet. I focus on the heritage I will leave and the earthly goods I have to pass on to my children and grandchildren. It is a dangerous mindset I have made for myself.
I opened my Bible today and read 1 Corinthians 15
1 Corinthians 15:42-58
So will it be with the resurrection of the dead. The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable; it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. So it is written: "The first man Adam became a living being"; the last Adam, a life-giving spirit. The spiritual did not come first, but the natural, and after that the spiritual. The first man was of the dust of the earth, the second man from heaven. As was the earthly man, so are those who are of the earth; and as is the man from heaven, so also are those who are of heaven. And just as we have borne the likeness of the earthly man, so shall we bear the likeness of the man from heaven.
I declare to you, brothers, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed— in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: "Death has been swallowed up in victory." "Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?" The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.


When I read the part in bold, I realized what a powerful statement that is. To have no fear of death, no pain of death...Wow I want a place like that.
I enjoy my happy things in this world but they are not meant to last forever. These moments of joy will pass away. I am wanting to stay in this world where there is more sadness than joy and evil than good?!? What is wrong with me! Nothing can always be joyful and good, hard times will come whether it is the end times or not.
1 John 2:15
Do not love the world or anything in the world. If you love the world, love for the Father is not in you.
Why this simplistic concept has taken me so long to grasp is my own fault really. In my head I knew heaven is a much happier and peaceful place than this world. I knew the "answers" to my questions. This isn't the first time I have heard or read these scriptures, but today it all clicked in my heart.
I have avoided thinking about these scriptures and there meaning, because I was afraid. When I read these verses instead of growing my fear, it gave me peace. Peace knowing that no matter what happens here, it will not change my future. My true home is peaceful and there are no worries or fears. I can't even imagine that, but I long for it.
My fleshly mind longs for my spiritual home, and that is the first time I have EVER said that.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'm banking on a rapture before all the bad stuff starts. Makes it a lot less stressful and worrysome to think about the end times when I believe we won't be here for the worst of it.

The De Witts said...

Great post Miranda. The one thing I hold through all of the fears I have is the LORD's return. It is often my prayer that HE would come back and take us to spare us any kind of sufferring. I will update you on my "fear" study as it unfolds. One thing I have learned so far is that I am empowered by the LORD's spirit. I gues I just need to learn how to use that power now, huh?
talk to you soon,
Micky

Angela Pike said...

Miranda, reading your blogs, especially ones like this one challenge me to want to draw closer to God more than ever before. Your spiritual maturity and knowledge is amazing. I admire all of the neat ways you show God to your kids on top of your everyday witness...the birthday cake for Jesus, the thankful jar for Thanksgiving. You are a wonderful mother, friend, and inspiring woman of God. Hope we can get together again soon.

Miranda said...

Thanks for the encoragement. Although, I feel humbled by your kind words!!!
I'd love to get together again soon!