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Time is at Hand – 3

That we are at the very doorstep of the Return of Christ is a fact that no serious Bible student would deny. "Can ye not discern the signs of the times?" is the mild rebuke that Christ gave to His disciples in Matt. 16:3. The regathering of Israel in giving them the status of an independent nation in the world map on May 14, 1948 has set the ball rolling. Earthquakes and famines, floods and droughts, escalation of crime the world over, point to the immediacy and imminence of His coming.

The next event in God's calendar is the Return of Christ. To be prepared for anything else than this is the height of blindness and suicidal madness. There are around 1500 predictions about the Second Coming of Christ than the first advent of which the Old Testament prophets prophesied in about 500 places. Needless to state, the Holy Writ places a threefold emphasis on His second Coming than on the first. The events linked to His glorious return before and after are recorded for us in stunning detail in the last book of the Bible, The Revelation.

Surprisingly the most neglected book in the New Testament happens to be the book of Revelation. Somebody defined the word 'classic' thus: A classic is a book which everyone wishes to have read but no one wants to read. The book of Revelation shares just that destiny. It is understandable for an unregenerate spiritually unenlightened Christian to neglect this book. For him this is a book filled with frightening happenings, fairy-tale like stories too strange to believe. Unfortunately the confessed believer shares no different conviction. He admires the book from a distance but dreads to assimilate its contents. Why so?

While Satan, the arch-enemy of our souls hates and opposes all books in the Bible his fury seems to be hotter against two books –Genesis and Revelation. The first question raised by Satan in the Bible is "hath God said... ?" (Gen.3:1 ). He successfully sowed suspicion into the mind of Eve and brought her into believing his lie. He has ever since then been attacking God's Word. In Genesis we read his entry, his strategy and immediate success. Satan is no make believe fairy –tale figure but a real potentate whom we have to confront. To underestimate his power and success is to sell ourselves into his grip. He is real and powerful. Going by statistics he has been highly successful.

God created Adam and Eve to bring glory to Himself. Through subtlety and deception Satan corrupted them. God promised that He would crush the head of Satan through the 'seed' of the woman. "I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel" (Gen. 3:15). The warfare began with God. Notice carefully in Biblical history the hand of the enemy in preventing that seed from coming and eventually challenging His supremacy.

After corrupting Adam and Eve he went on to create enmity between Cain and Abel. Abel was murdered. What meets the eye is the jealousy of Cain but there is more to it. Instead of Abel God gave Seth. As early as chapter six of Genesis we find moral impurity everywhere. "God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually" (Gen.6:5). God had to destroy that generation through a deluge but preserved a Noah to bring forth "the woman's seed". God made anew beginning with Noah. Enemy found an entry through Ham. God superseded the evil one by electing Abraham. He promised to give a seed (Gen.13:15). Abraham and Sarah hatched out another plan to help God. Through Hagar the Egyptian slave, Abraham fathered an Ishmael and Abraham was content to adopt this boy as the promised seed. How the enemy should have rejoiced! God intervened and at the right time brought an Isaac. Esau and Jacob were born to Isaac and Rebecca. The rivalry between the brothers aided by the favoritism of parents reached the climax when Esau vowed to slay his brother Jacob (Gen.27:41). God allowed Jacob to flee to, Haran, preserved him through the waste howling wilderness and reached him safe to Haran, Both God and Satan were interested in Jacob; the Almighty One to produce "the woman's seed" and the other to prevent that seed. God preserved Jacob from Laban and later from Esau and gave him twelve sons. The enemy brought a famine to destroy the whole family with 1 of 4 9/10/2004 2:42 PM Hebron Messenger hunger but God had already sent Joseph to Egypt to become the bread- iver. God preserved the race. After the death of Joseph, Pharaoh afflicted them. He sent a royal decree to slay all male Hebrew children. God prepared a leader in Moses and brought the Hebrew nation out of Egypt. He preserved them through the wilderness and gave them the promised land. Apostasy, idolatry led the people of God into bondage and dispersion. God gave them a David but when his descendants failed He made them forfeit the land. BUT God never forgot His promise. "The woman's seed", "the virgin's seed" (lsa.7:14) came at last when the New Testament opens before us. Herod ordered all children killed, two years old and under (Matt.2:16). God preserved His Son. Later at Nazareth they sought to "cast him down headlong" (Luke 4:29) but "The seed" was preserved again. The enemy thought to have finished Him when he nailed Jesus to a Roman cross but God allowed the cross to "spoil principalities and powers" (Col.2:15). After the Lord's ascension, the Church, "the promised seed", (Psa.22:30) came into existence. With all its shortcomings, the Church is destined for the throne. The climax of the conflict is explained in Revelation when God will finally overthrow the rule of Satan. Satan, the false prophet and the beast would be cast into the lake of fire (Rev.20:10). What a revelation! Hence the enemy would not allow anyone to read his and. In Genesis we see his entry and in Revelation his exit.

My friend, on whose side are you? Hell was never prepared by a loving God for any human being. It was designed for Devil and his angels (Matt.25:41 ). A man by refusing to repent, trust Christ and follow Him chooses to follow the Devil. Christ is coming for His own. Are you His? Are you in the fold of Christ? What, if Christ comes today?


Again in Heb.13:20,21 it says, "Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is well -pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen." It is only by inward peace that we can be sure and clear about God's perfect will. Without that peace, we cannot find God's will. There is one question which is put to us again and again everywhere, not only by young believers, but also by mature believers, and even God's servants, "How to make sure of God's will?". When people do not know how to find God's will, they make many mistakes in their business, marriages and plans in their lives, and they pay a heavy price afterwards for many years. Thus we have seen how necessary it is. to make sure that our peace is genuine and real, and not false.

Now let us see what kind of peace our Lord Jesus Christ gives us. First of all, it is the peace of the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid" (John 14:27). It is not by any good deeds that we can receive this peace. It is as He says, His own peace, He Himself, the living Person becomes our peace:. That is why He died and rose again. He died that we may die to our old nature. Then only, our Lord Himself can come and live in us by the power of His resurrection. Till then, you cannot find that peace. That peace does not depend upon Bible knowledge, or any human qualifications. He cannot live in us unless we are inwardly purified, cleansed and washed. No one can purify himself by his own efforts. The Lord Jesus Christ undertakes to cleanse us from every inward defilement with His own blood. Then He says, "Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid". He began the message with the same words as we read in John 14: 1. That true peace will deliver you from all your fears; fear of the past, fear of the future, fear of the enemy, fear of sickness, fear of death, fear of war and other calamities, fear of men and fear of loneliness. All these fears are driven away when the Lord Jesus Christ comes into us. No human activity can make you free from these fears. The Scripture says, "There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment" (1 John 4:18).

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