heart Encouragement for Weary Saints by Onathan C Brentner

2 months 1 day ago - 2 months 1 day ago #245 by Born Again Christians
Encouragement for Weary Saints

    The phrase, "No one said it would be easy," comes to mind as I think about the journey of those of us eagerly watching for Jesus' appearing. As we see the signs of the Tribulation period multiply before our eyes, we think, "Surely Jesus must be coming for us soon." We never thought that we would remain earthbound given all that we see happening in our world, but here we are enduring the scoffing of our hope and the pain that comes from living in a fallen world.
  For such a time as this, I remain convinced that the most comforting news comes from what the Bible reveals about our joyous hope. In both his books to the brand new believers in Thessalonica, Paul wrote extensively about Jesus' appearing.
    After assuring the troubled saints in the city that the Rapture would happen before the Day of the Lord, or what we refer to today as the seven-year Tribulation, he prayed for the Lord to comfort them:

    Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God our Father, who loved us and gave us eternal comfort and good hope through grace comfort your hearts and establish them in every good work and word. (2 Thessalonians 2:16-17, emphasis added)

    I was just ten years old when the words of 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17 comforted me after the death of my dad and they have been dear to me ever since. Hal Lindsey's book, The Late Great Planet Earth, later sparked renewed interest in prophecy during my college days. This passion received much help from my wonderful professors at Talbot Theological Seminary, continued through my days as a young pastor, and remains a key motivation behind my writing ministry now sixty years after I lost my dad.
    I can't fully explain why my hope of meeting Jesus in the air comforted me so long ago, but I know this same encouragement is available to all of us during these dark times as we await the Lord’s appearing.

The Certainty of the Rapture

    It’s greatly reassuring to know that our hope isn't based on human wisdom or wishful thinking, but rather upon the words of Scripture. Ed Hindson, author and theologian, wrote the following in his book, Future Glory:

    "If you disagree on the timing of the rapture, please don’t tell people, There’s never going to be a rapture.’ No, there must be a rapture or the Bible is not true. There must be a time when the archangel shouts, when the trumpet sounds, and the dead in Christ are raised and the living are caught up (1 Thessalonians 4:13–18). We may differ on the timing of the rapture but not the fact of the rapture"

    If God's Word is true, the event that the Apostle Paul describes in passages such as 1 Corinthians 15:47-55, Philippians 3:20-21, Titus 2:11-14, and 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17 must happen, and it will. Scoffers will continue to discredit our expectation of Jesus' imminent appearing and seek to silence us, but we know that our hope rests on the firm foundation of God’s Word.
    Waiting is never easy, but our hope in Jesus' return to take us to glory (Colossians 3:4) is not some pie in the sky fantasy, it's based on the reliability of God's Word. Does that not make the waiting a bit easier? Knowing it will happen helps me. And when it does, it will be well worth enduring until then.

Sola Scriptura

    I have read a great many books over the years, including numerous ones on study of end times. Many of them have helped my understanding of the biblical text in many ways and provided insights for the writing of my books.
    When I look for comfort amid the horrors I see happening throughout our world, however, I don't care about who wrote what or who said this or that. No! It's the words I read on the pages of God's Word that the Holy Spirit uses to revive my soul. They remind me of my unshakable hope as well as the Lord's certain judgment of the wicked, both during the Tribulation and in eternity.
    Sometimes I turn to Psalm 37:1-20 and at other times I read through 1 Corinthians 15 or Romans 8:18-39. It's the words on the pages of my Bible that restore peace and bring joy to my heart even though in some cases I have read them at least a hundred times.
    The Reformers referred to the sufficiency of God's Word as sola scriptura. In other words, everything regarding our beliefs and practice must come solely from God's Word and no where else. The words of the Bible are sufficient for all things (2 Timothy 3:16-17). Never allow the short quotes or memes you see on social media to shape your thinking about God or our salvation; mixed messages abound on these platforms and can easily lead you astray. Always compare what you read with the words of Scripture.
    Likewise, statements of beliefs can help us understand what a church or organization believes, but we must never allow them to replace what we read in our Bibles. The faith we "contend for" (Jude 3) is found solely on the pages of our New Testament as particularly revealed through the apostles in Romans through Revelation. These are the words that tell of our wonderful salvation by grace through faith and provide further details of Jesus' amazing promise to take us to His Father's house (John 14:2-3).

A Glorious Day Is Coming for Us

    A glorious day lies ahead for all who trust Jesus alone for their salvation. Jesus will surely take us to the place He's preparing for us. I believe we live in the season of His return for us, but I don't know what further affliction we might experience beforehand. Some who receive my newsletter already face violent persecution because of their faith.
    My home country, the U.S., teeters on the brink of financial ruin and we hear almost daily warnings of war from the leaders of Russia. The leaders of both our political parties seem intent on provoking Vladimir Putin to attack us. I believe it's only the Lord's restraining hand that's holding back the coming devastation for the nation I love.
    In times like these, our hope must remain fixed firmly on Jesus and no one or nothing else. I believe He will appear soon to take us home to glory. I am confident this will happen before God's wrath descends on America and the world at the start of the Day of the Lord (2 Thessalonians 5:1-10).
    Yes, things look bleak around us, but God's Word enables us to look beyond the chaos and evil to the glories that lie ahead for us. I couldn't cope with all that I come across without my anticipation of meeting Jesus in the air someday soon.
    Maranatha! Perhaps soon, our glorious hope of Jesus' appearing will become a reality and all the afflictions of this life will cease.
My Ministry

    The book Hereafter, which I wrote along with my friend and mentor Terry James, focuses on the over-the-top joy that will be ours starting with the Rapture of the Church. It will be available for purchase sometime early next year provided we are not already enjoying the eternal bliss and glory we describe in Hereafter.
    Revelation 19:10 ends with these words, "For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy." Did you know that Jesus Himself testified to the veracity of the words of the book of Revelation (22:7, 16, 20)? The reason that Bible prophecy provides so much reassurance is that Jesus is there. This is why I wrote, Does Jesus Lament Today's Silence Regarding His Imminent Appearing?   He is the essence of our hope (Colossians 3:3-4).
    I have links to some of my more recent blog articles below. Please go to my website to see other recent articles not included below.
Last edit: 2 months 1 day ago by Born Again Christians.

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