musings of a simple man in a complicated world

Thursday, March 31, 2011

pieces to a puzzle...

Ever read Revelation?  Ever think about how it will all go down?  Watching one crisis after another unfold in every part of the world, I couldn't help but think about the future.  Jesus said this about the future: (quoted from NIV) Matthew chapter 24:1-51
1 Jesus left the temple and was walking away when his disciples came up to him to call his attention to its buildings. 2 “Do you see all these things?” he asked. Truly I tell you, not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down.
 3 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?”
 4 Jesus answered: Watch out that no one deceives you. 5 For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and will deceive many. 6 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. 7 Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. 8 All these are the beginning of birth pains.
   9 “Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. 10 At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, 11 and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. 12 Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, 13 but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. 14 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.
   15 “So when you see standing in the holy place ‘the abomination that causes desolation,’[a] spoken of through the prophet Daniel—let the reader understand— 16 then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. 17 Let no one on the housetop go down to take anything out of the house. 18 Let no one in the field go back to get their cloak. 19 How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers! 20 Pray that your flight will not take place in winter or on the Sabbath. 21 For then there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now—and never to be equaled again.
   22 “If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened. 23 At that time if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Messiah!’ or, ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. 24 For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. 25 See, I have told you ahead of time.
   26 “So if anyone tells you, ‘There he is, out in the wilderness,’ do not go out; or, ‘Here he is, in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it. 27 For as lightning that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. 28 Wherever there is a carcass, there the vultures will gather.
   29 “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.’[b]

   30 “Then will appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven. And then all the peoples of the earth[c] will mourn when they see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory.[d] 31 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.
   32 “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. 33 Even so, when you see all these things, you know that it[e] is near, right at the door. 34 Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened. 35 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.
The Day and Hour Unknown
    36But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son,[f] but only the Father. 37 As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. 38 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; 39 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. 40 Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left. 41 Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left.
   42 “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. 43 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. 44 So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.
   45 “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? 46 It will be good for that servant whose master finds him doing so when he returns. 47 Truly I tell you, he will put him in charge of all his possessions. 48 But suppose that servant is wicked and says to himself, ‘My master is staying away a long time,’ 49 and he then begins to beat his fellow servants and to eat and drink with drunkards. 50 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. 51 He will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the hypocrites, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

So again, I ask... have you ever thought about any of this?  Just like the fig tree's budding branches, these things seem to be unfolding right before our eyes.  I'm not trying to provoke fear or unrest, both are unwarranted because as Jesus said (above) all of this MUST happen before the end.  The only real question is are you ready if it were to happen right now?  I have been in the circles that most would call "conspiracy theorists" for many years now, and do believe that there are hidden powers at work behind the scenes, but I balance everything that I read against the bible.  I know that a rebellion is pointless even it was successful... in some form or another, it would only coincide with the plans already in place and the events already foretold.  There are good things that come from the same sources though.  Things like what is put in our tapwater, what goes into all the vaccines and their (super fine print) potential side-effects.  I believe that being educated is a good thing, but there is an overwhelming amount of fearmongering out there as well.  Balance is key. 
   I had a dream years ago that I can remember quite vividly to this very day.  The emotional impact of it was so terrifyingly real that it is tatooed on my soul forever.  In this dream, I was on a beach littered with broken concrete and reebar.  It looked like a warzone, with broken buildings and rubble strewn everywhere.  I was looking for someone or something, alone but not alone... there were people around, but none I knew.  All of a sudden, a great and terrible noise like nothing I had ever heard before broke the eerie silence.  It sounded like thunder, cymbals crashing, trumpets blasting, bass that took my breath away, and mountains moving all at once.  Instinctively, I looked up to the sky.  The clouds had parted and I saw something I don't quite know how to describe.. it was like a chariot being pulled by griffin-like creatures with wings on fire (not scriptural I'm sure, but I have quite the imagination I guess).  I knew exactly who it was and fell on the ground...crying uncontrollably, knowing, just KNOWING that I had waited too long to change and that I had failed in the one thing I was put on this earth for.  That feeling was so overwhelming... I should have been happy.  I should have been rejoicing.  But I wasn't.  I remember thinking that this was the VERY END, and that I had missed the boat.  I woke up from that dream in a cold sweat and with tears in my eyes.  At the time, I was very far from God.  A dream like that will surely make you reconsider your choices, actions, words.. a dream like that would even make a non-believer question wether they haven't just been wrong all along.  I really believe that God was showing me something in my dream, wether figurative or literal... I had to change, and I have to keep changing and growing.  I do not want to miss the boat. 
   I want to grow old.  I want to see my children grow up and be successful and happy.  I want to be a grandpa like the ones I have been blessed to have.  I plan on that happening, but in the back of my mind I am and will strive to always be ready if Jesus decides to come back in my lifetime.  There have always been those on streetcorners shouting about doomsday, it seems that they are a part of every generation.  I believe they are there to keep us thinking, to keep us looking up, and to keep the thought fresh in our minds that it could happen any day.  It's not something that I am afraid of but rather, something I should be prepared for.    
   In this age where there is so much unrest and so little faith in big government, chaos and anarchy are on the rise.  Protect yourself and your family physically, but be sure and protect yourself and your family spiritually as well.  To those that believe different than I do:  I sincerely hope that you reconsider and do not have to feel what I felt in that dream.  I don't say that to "force my 'religion' on you" as the world is so fond of saying to Christians.. I only offer a simple truth in the dark and tumultuous days that we live in, and will continue to try and share that truth until my dying OR last breath on this earth.   

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