Preparing For The Sound of the Trumpet
Nancy Arant Williams
We are living in an age like no other in history, the one for which God has been preparing His saints since the beginning of time.
The battle of the ages is imminent, and if we're looking with the eyes of the spirit, we have been seeing its approach for some time now.
We, as Christians, could be frightened as never before, looking at the specter up ahead, but that is not the answer.
In fact, looking around me, I see, as src
iptures say, threats of war and rumors of wars, weather related upheaval gripping the globe, causing floods, droughts, tornados, hurricanes, mudslides, forest fires and even tragic earthquakes. The discerning child of God has watched as these events have multiplied in number and power over the past few years, knowing in his heart that the end was not far away.
But a new heartache is on the horizon for mankind. The coming economic devastation will not fail to capture the attention of even those who have hardened their hearts and thumbed their noses against the prophecies of scripture.
God said He will bring a disaster so earth-shattering that even those 'at the top of the heap', will come to attention. Rich men, according to scripture, will be reduced to nothing and will run for the hills to hide themselves.
In case you haven't noticed, (or have tried not to see), we are past the point of no return in our nation's penchant toward sin. We have slain innocent children in abortion without guilt, and now are at the edge of a precipice I hoped we'd never come to--legislating government-sanctioned legal marriage of same sex couples.
But God is not mocked. He promises that whatever we sow, we shall reap, and we are going to see terrible judgment in the form of economic disaster never before dreamed.
So where, you may ask, does that leave the Child of God?
I'm glad you asked that question. It leaves us, the true worshippers of God, exactly where we've always been, resting in the Everlasting Arms.
The thing is, most of us have never really given 100% of ourselves, that is, body, soul and spirit to the Lord. Most of us have given up to 90%, holding back at least 10% for ourselves. The truth is, we want to control our own lives.
We, who were once on fire for God, bought with a price, the precious blood of Jesus, have lost our first love.
He says in Revelation 3: 14: "To the angel of the church in Laodicea write: The Amen, the faithful and true Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God says this: I know your deed that you are neither cold nor hot; I would that you were either hot or cold. So because you are lukewarm, I will spit you out of My mouth. Because you say, "I am rich, and have become wealthy and have need of nothing, and you do not know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked, I advise you to buy from Me gold refined by fire, that you may become rich, and white garments that you may clothe yourself, and that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed, and eye salve to anoint your eyes, that you may see. Those whom I love I reprove and discipline; be zealous therefore, and repent. Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if any one hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him, and I will dine with him. He who overcomes, I will grant to him to sit down with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches."
Most of us have given lip service to Jesus, perhaps even understood His heart's desires for us, and yet we reserved the right to do our own thing. Well, not anymore. Now is the time we need to fish or cut bait, gang.
Now is the time to choose sides, and if we aren't 100% sold out to the Lord Jesus Christ, He has absolutely
no obligation to bring us through victorious.
Here's what He said on the subject. "That He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she should be holy and blameless."
So what does that mean to us, the Body of Christ?
Well, this, as I see it, is our very last warning. He's coming soon, and we must prepare our hearts, as never before, to serve Him.
In an intriguing story, Author Frank Peretti wrote in his book, "The Prophet", about a godly man who sat in a shopping mall, watching the vision of the mall tilting toward hell, while mad shoppers rushed headlong to shop, oblivious of their imminent slide toward the abyss. The prophet began to preach on street corners, trying to warn people, but was killed in the process.
I nodded my head in agreement with that vision, because I've seen the same thing for years, a denial of the things of God, even by Christians, who have fashioned our own gospel. The gospel of "I".
We have taken from scripture what we liked and ignored the rest, so that we can live with ourselves and not feel guilty. This way, we can tell ourselves we are Christians, simply because we have told Jesus we accept His sacrifice for sin. But be assured of one thing, my beloved friends. If you and I are alive when this all breaks loose, having simply said those words will not be enough to help us overcome until the end.
To be overcomers, those who persevere to the end, you and I are going to have to press in, sacrificing that last ten percent, and I mean, absolutely everything we are and have, to Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God, or we will not make it.
In our day of post-modern easy-believism, we have thought we could have our cake and eat it, too. But this is what the Word of God says. "Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart."
Most of us, as Christians, in this day of flagrantly erroneous prosperity teaching, have failed to delight ourselves in the Lord. We have failed to make Him the end all and be all of our existence. Most of the time, if we're honest, we'd have to admit, we don't pray without ceasing. We pray when it suits us. And we pray for what we want, never according to His will.
Oh, there are some who have a deep and abiding understanding of what it means to be a Christian, trading our own personal agendas for His, but most of us have never had to deny ourselves anything or suffer a single day for the name of Christ.
We've never been persecuted like those in Muslim countries, who are killed if they refuse to deny the name of Jesus.
But our time is coming. We will have to decide now, which side we're on. No longer will it be possible to straddle the fence and say we're Christians without the threat of persecution.
So what will it be, Saints? Will we be sold out for Christ? Or will we be like the foolish virgins, who were messing around when the Bridegroom came?
There is no time to waste. We are on standing on the precipice, and Jesus is literally the only safety net left to us. If we aren't ready to give our all to the King of Kings, we won't make it till the end.
You may ask, 'How can I survive until the end?'
I've been asking myself the same question for years, and here is the answer. If we draw near to God with our
whole hearts, He will make a way.
If we know anything about Him, we know that He is faithful, that He listens to our prayers, ministers to our needs, draws near to the brokenhearted, offers deliverance to the captive heart caught in sin, and will sustain us no matter what is happening in the world.
He will be our only hiding place during the awful time that is coming. Not only will He keep us from fear, but He will fill us with confidence, as we offer Him the last ten percent of ourselves, holding back nothing. As we choose to stand in faith.
God has given us His Word, the Bible, the complete and infallible, inerrant Word of God, where He has promised to equip us, if we simply eat it, take it in, and let it work its way in our innermost being.
Most of us, however, spend little time in God's Word. And if that's the case, let us not say that God hasn't been there for us. He was there all the time, but we failed to equip and arm ourselves with the edification and training in righteousness that can only be found in the Bible.
The time is now, folks. You and I stand on the brink of eternity, and it can go either way. We can either let loose of our own agendas and submit ourselves to God, or we can be left behind to fritter away what time remains.
It's up to us to step out and offer ourselves to the King of Kings and say, "I'm ready to stand up for Jesus Christ, no matter what the cost."
Only then will He be obligated to do what He has promised, sustaining us, providing for us, making us key players in winning souls that are ready to hear, and finally, giving us spiritual victory over principalities and powers, until the end.
You and I have been chosen to be light and salt in what is quickly becoming a dark, dark world. It's up to us to stop playing church at the foot of the cross. To stop demanding prosperity and glory and fame. To stop playing by our rules and start playing by God's rules.
In fact, God says that the greatest of us, in heaven's eyes, will be the
servant of all. Now how many sermons have you heard lately on that subject?
I can only grieve, seeing how far we have strayed from the true Word of God. We have added to it, subtracted to it and reworded it so it's more palatable, simply for the sake of numbers and of course, the bottom line, money.
No more. There will be no more money, no fame and no glory, except as we glory in the name of Jesus, our King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
So which way will we go? God is standing, waiting for those who are tired of mere Christianity, who want to go all the way with Him. I challenge us all to the task at hand. Without Him, we will surely fail, but with Him, we will be overcomers until the end.
God knows the end of the story. In fact, He wrote it, produced it and offered us, His Children, key parts in the greatest story ever told. The choice is ours.
Copyright ©2012, Nancy Arant Williams. Used by permission