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Why God Desires 24/7 Worship

We just recently finished 24 hours of non-stop worship this weekend at the missions base. It was incredible. Nine different worship teams from local churches and ministries ministered to the Lord Friday and Saturday as we offered Jesus a 24-hour offering of adoration.

I strongly believe that God desires 24/7 worship and prayer to be found all over the earth. In fact, His Word promises it:

“‘After this I will return and will rebuild the tabernacle of David, which has fallen down; I will rebuild its ruins, and I will set it up…" -Acts 15:16

In Rev. 4-5 we see a glimpse of what happens in Heaven. In the throne-room where God dwells, angels, creatures and elders sing incessantly, "holy, holy, holy is the Lord God almighty” forever.

Beyond the general affirmations of God’s desire to bring Heaven and earth together (Eph 1:10, Col 1:19, Matt 6:10, Luke 11:2-3), God makes it explicit that He desires earthly worship to mimic heavenly worship. In Exodus 24-25 God meets with Moses on Mount Sinai and commissions him to build a temple according to what he saw (Exodus 25:8-9). This as an earthly homage to a heavenly reality (I Chronicles 28:19).

Why 24/7 Worship?

24/7 worship and prayer simply cannot be understood apart from the purpose that stands as the ultimate end of everything in the Divine heart: the glory of God.  

The desire for Jesus’ indescribable glory to be seen must be the impetus upon which night and day prayer is founded and the main reason it continues each passing moment.  

  1. We seek to worship 24/7 because Jesus is worthy to be adored forever.
  2. We secondarily petition God to bring justice and make the wrong things right (Luke 18:7).

We, as believers, must focus our time, energy and finances (like king Cyrus) into building a place of 24/7 worship. This is not a new idea. For thousands of years God has found pockets of 24/7 worship.

Today, all across the earth, the Holy Spirit is impressing this reality onto thousands of individuals: Jesus’ unending glory warrants our unceasing praise. 

Read the history of 24/7 worship and prayer here »

Recommended Reading: 

The Worth of Jesus & Night and Day Prayer, Stephen Venable »

Living Life Without Regret (Going For the Gold)

At the end of every believer’s life, they will stand before Christ and their works will be judged. All of their actions will be laid out on the table and they will be rewarded according to them. This judgement seat is not the same as the Great White Throne judgement, where sinners are cast into the eternal lake of fire, but it is still equally devastating.

At this judgment seat, our salvation is not on the line, but our rewards are. In that day, some will feel deep sorrow and regret for the life they squandered and choices they made. Regret on that day will be a terrible, irreversible pain.

I know I have done things I regret. So has your mother and father, your best friend, your doctor – and I’m sure, you. Life is full of things we wish we could undo: a sarcastic remark that hurt a friend, a bad thought or action, even regrets of not doing enough good.

It would be nice if life had an undo button, but it doesn’t. The cold, stark reality is that our choices and actions affect us. There is, of course, forgiveness, but there are still repercussions to our actions.

Take King David for example: his sin with Bathsheba was forgiven, but his illegitimate child still died as a consequence.

“And Nathan said to David, ‘The Lord also has put away your sin; you shall not die. However, because by this deed you have given great occasion to the enemies of the Lord to blaspheme, the child also who is born to you shall surely die.’” 2 Sam. 12:13-14

How can a person live without regret?

This isn’t a comprehensive list, but I believe these to be fundamental cornerstones of living a life without regret:

  1. Write down your life vision/goals. We must view our lives as a whole, not just as a collection of here-and-now moments. When we write down our life vision and goals, our life becomes focused. The way we spend our time must fall in line with the vision.
  2. Plan your day-to-day, week-to-week schedule. Our life vision is meaningless if it doesn’t transcend from paper into our day-to-day life. iCal or Google Calendar are great tools to plan your day in 15-30 min segments. Get a weekly routine going and stick with it. You’ll find that you have so much time that you’ll have to intentionally think What do I want to do with all this extra time?
  3. Get it into your head: Your actions matter! We must live intentionally and not frivolously spend our time. If you think you can do whatever you want whenever you want and ‘figure life out’ later, then you’re in for a sad wake-up call!

Side note: while life is not a problem to be solved, but an adventure to be lived, we should still intentionally set up time-boundaries so we can maximize the adventure of life. We only have one life to live – why squander it? We must stop living life as if we have an undo button – we don’t! We only have reward or regret. Make the right choice.

Recommended resources:

5 Reasons Why You Should Commit Your Goals to Writing, Michael Hyatt

Don’t Waste Your Life, John Piper

Living Life Without Regret, Mike Bickle

A Life God Rewards – 5 Myths About the Judgment Seat, Bret Mavrich

Choice by Choice

Question: What’s your greatest hindrance from writing down a life vision? Leave a comment »

Why You Should Focus on Enjoying God

The question what are we created for has stuck with man-kind since the beginning of time. Our obvious meaning for existence is to glorify God. The Westminster Shorter Catechism states it best: “What is the chief end of man?” And, in response, “Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever.” They understood that glorifying God and enjoying Him were one in the same. What if enjoying God was the greatest way to glorify Him? 

Why You Should Focus On Enjoying God

In my own experience, I had previously viewed enjoying God as an added bonus to the true duty of a believer: rigorous obedience to Christian duties (eg. praying, evangelizing, serving), even if those duties are emotionless, loveless. But what does Jesus say? “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word" (Jn. 14:23). Love (delight) and obedience are directly related. Delight is not just a spin-off of obedience to God, but it is part of it.  The strongest type of obedience is affection-based obedience.

The concept of seeking to find our delight in God as a primary goal of a believer is not a new idea.

It goes back to Moses who said, “Because you did not serve the Lord your God with joy and a glad heart…therefore you shall serve your enemies” (Deut. 28:47-48). And to king David, who prayed, “Satisfy us in the morning with Your lovingkindness, that we may…be glad all our days” (Ps. 90:14); and who promised that complete and lasting pleasure is found in God alone: “In Your presence is fullness of joy; In Your right hand there are pleasures forever” (Ps. 16:11).

Even Jesus understood that delight is an essential part of a believer’s duty. Jesus said, “I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full” (Jn. 15:11); Jesus even endured the cross “for the joy set before Him” (Heb. 12:2).

3 areas impacted by delighting in God:

    1. Worship – Worship without delighting in God is nothing more than a religious duty that causes coldness in our hearts. When worship is reduced to a duty, it ceases to exist. Suppose a husband asks his wife if he must kiss her good night. Her answer is, “You must, but not that kind of a must.” What she means is this: “Unless a spontaneous affection for my person motivates you, your overtures are stripped of all moral value.”

      When our aim is to find our pleasure in God, worship becomes a motivated response of love upon seeing the beauty of God. It is a feast to our spirits and a delight to our souls.
    1. Money – America spends a lot of money on our own pursuit of pleasure. 10.5 billion dollars was spent last year on movies alone. Apple Inc’s annual revenue in 2009 was 42.9 billion (a majority of that is mobile devices). It’s clear that we seek our own pleasure as a primary goal in life. But when our primary pleasure is found and satisfied in God, our seeking of other pleasures lessons. We spend our money on entertainment because we are attempting to fill a desire for God. When God is our source of delight, we don’t need to attempt to fill that desire with entertainment.
  1. Relationships – God designed our relationships to be a partnership of support and encouragement in life. Not the source of life. The problem with seeking pleasure outside of God – in regards to relationships – is that we think the other person can fulfill us, and they’re thinking the same thing. Broken hearts, shattered dreams and disillusioned hopes are sure to follow.

    Seeking our delight in God as a primary focus in life causes our relationships to take their proper place: as a mutual partnership of helpers. 

To be clear: I do not mean that our happiness is the highest good. I mean that pursuing the highest good will always result in our greatest happiness in the end. We should not make a god out of our seeking of delight. But in reality, we make a god out of what we take most pleasure in. That ‘god’ should be God.

C.S. Lewis puts it like this:

“If there lurks in most modern minds the notion that to desire our own good and earnestly to hope for the enjoyment of it is a bad thing, I submit that this notion has crept in from Kant and the Stoics and is no part of the Christian faith. Indeed, if we consider the unblushing promises of reward and the staggering nature of the rewards promised in the Gospels, it would seem that our Lord finds our desires, not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.”

What do you think: Is God most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him?

Recommended Reading:

Recommended Books:

Knowing the generation but not the hour

I’m not generally one to take advantage of current trending topics around the globe, but this seems like a good opportunity to get our minds thinking about the end times and the rapture. By now I’m sure you’ve heard: today is the end of the world. This group believes today is the day of the rapture and the beginning of a 5-month destruction of the earth. What does the Bible really say—can we know the day or the hour?

Knowing the trends and events related to the generation that the Lord returns

In Matt. 24 Jesus lays out an overview of the global scene in the generation proceeding His return. Jesus rebuked those who did not heed the prophetic signs that pointed to His coming (Mt. 16:1-4; Lk. 19:41-44). Prophetic signs serve the Church in the same way a weather station signals coming trouble so that people can prepare and save lives.

1 "The Pharisees…came, and testing Him asked that He would show them a sign from heaven…2 Hypocrites! You know how to discern the face of the sky, but you cannot discern the signs of the times. 4 A wicked and adulterous generation seeks after a sign…"  (Mt. 16:1-4)

1 “Concerning the times and the seasons, brethren, you have no need that I should write to you…4 But you, brethren, are not in darkness [ignorance] so that this Day should overtake [come on you unexpectantly] you as a thief…6 Therefore…let us watch.” (1 Thes. 5:1-6)

How can we know when Jesus is coming if He says in Matthew 24:36 that “no one knows the day or the hour”?

Jesus did not say we could not know the season or the conditions surrounding His coming. Neither did Jesus say that the Church would not know the day and hour in the generation the Lord returns. We have to humbly seek the Father’s word as to when this begins because only the Father knows. God did not want to make the day and hour known in the early Church, but Daniel and the Apostle John made it clear the Messiah would come exactly 1,260 days after the abomination of desolation (Dan. 7:25; 12:7; Rev. 11:2-3; 12:6, 14; 13:5). 

When does the rapture occur in relation to the tribulation? Getting a biblical mindset

A brief overview of the origins of the pre-tribulation rapture theory. 

In the early 1800’s the pre-tribulation theory was popularized by theologian John Darby. The basic theory states that Christ ‘secretly’ returns to rapture up believers before the 7-year tribulation, after which He openly comes with His saints to judge the earth (this is essentially 2 comings).

I believe the main reason for the error found in the pre-tribulation rapture theory is due to incorrect interpretation of passages. It’s important to read the Bible with a mindset that the Word says what it means and means what it says. When we view the Bible as primarily symbolic we get a confused and jumbled mess. For example, in Revelation, when it says ‘Behold, a sign,’ then what follows is symbolic; everything else is to be read as literal. Keeping that in mind, the scriptures that supported pre-tribulation rapture no longer support it.

“Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed—in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.” (1 Cor. 15:51)

Then the seventh angel [with the last trumpet] sounded: And there were loud voices in heaven, saying, “The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!”" (Rev. 11:15) (This last trumpet occurs at the end of 7-year tribulation).

Some common lies against knowing the generation

Lie #1: We can’t know the day or hour so we shouldn’t try to know the generation the Lord returns. Jesus and Paul emphasized the know-ability of the signs of the end times (Mt. 24:32-34; Lk. 21:25-29; 1 Thes. 5:1-6; 2 Thes. 2:1-11). 

Lie #2:  Understanding the end times causes us to minimize our work in the kingdom. This is a criticism toward the escapist and defeatist mentality of some who believe in the pre-tribulation rapture. They conclude that they should not work hard to transform the culture since the Antichrist will take over everything anyway and since they may be raptured at any moment.

Lie #3: It will all pan out in the end. The question is, will it pan out well with you and your loved ones? It will only go well for those who are prepared. 

It’s important to never accept anything anyone says as doctrine. You have to search the scriptures yourself with a prayerful mind, seeking for the spirit of wisdom and revelation. People and traditions can lead astray so we must be rooted in the Word.

Recommended Reading: 100 FAQs about the end times

Living a Life Fueled By Desire

One of the most misunderstood verses in the Bible for me has always been Psalm 37:4 “Delight yourself also in the Lord, And He shall give you the desires of your heart." It just means God will give you what you want at the right time, DUH. While some of that may have some truth – God definitely does give good gifts to us – it is missing the mark. I think the main problem is in the phrase what you want. What do I want? Currently, I want to move out, start a Bible-study and get married, etc in the next 5 years. But if I think that Ps. 37:4 is only talking about what I want, then I’ve missed the mark again.

He shall give you the desires of your heart

A want is much different than a desire. A want is the 10% of the iceberg that is visible, while a desire is the 90% hidden beneath the murky ocean of my heart, mind, soul. Every single want could have up to five desires hidden behind them. Why do I want to move out? Because I desire independence, greater accountability, growth, maturity, first step to other desires. Want isn’t possible without desire.

Every day our desires affect our wants which affects how we act, what choices we make, and who we decide to be. The friends we choose to be close with, the job we take, the way we spend our free time – all of these reflect our desires; yet it’s common to feel unattached to our desires and have almost no idea what it is we really want. Our struggles with sin and addictions are rooted in desire. Most of the time we sin cause we feel the need to fill a lack. A kid who spends 5 hours a day playing video games desires adventure; a person with an eating disorder feels the desire for love quenched by rejection, the desire to be beautiful and accepted; a girl who spends her time in abusive relationships desires to quell the rejection of her neglecting father or other relationship. These carnal fleshly sins are manifestions of deep, legitimate desires. Of course, there are some sins that are from rebellious, hard hearts, but I believe a lot of sins are from misplaced desire.

Does that mean that desire is bad? I think the church in the West would jump to the conclusion yes! Desire gets me into trouble, I need to avoid it at all costs. Yet I would argue that unowned desire is what gets us in trouble. When we don’t understand what our desires our and when we don’t ‘own them’ we are controlled by them. 

Take time to look into your sins as well as your wants to find your desires. We cannot repent of our desires, they are God-given and legitimate, but we can repent of seeking to fulfill them in the wrong way. Let God show you what desires He’s placed in you and own them. Don’t be controlled by them. Live your life fueled by desire under control and guided by God’s Word.

Recommended Reading: 

Desire: The Journey We Must Take to Find the Life God Offers

Why Our Tax Dollars Should Not Fund Planned Parenthood

Planned Parenthood’s Founding & Ethos

I’ll cut to the chase: The founder of Planned Parenthood, Margaret Sanger, was a racist eugenicist. Here’s a couple of quotes from her: “The most merciful thing that a large family does to one of its infant members is to kill it.” [1] Elimination of certain people she considered “human weeds” was central to her Eugenics philosophy: “In this matter, the example of the inferior classes, the fertility of the feeble-minded, the mentally defective, the poverty-stricken classes, should not be held up for emulation…“ [2]

Don’t think Sanger’s vision lives on? Think again. Two out of every three of their abortion facilities are located in Black American neighborhoods. [3] Factor in that they are now targeting growing Hispanic families, and that number shoots up to 76%. Planned Parenthood’s Mission Statement from their Official IRS Tax Return states,

The purpose of the federation is: in making effective means of voluntary fertility regulation, including contraception, abortion, sterilization, and infertility services, available and fully accessible to all as a central element to reproductive healthcare in achieving, through informed individual choice, a U.S. population of stable size in an optimum environment

Planned Parenthood’s modus operandi for achieving a ‘stable sized’ population? Contraceptives and abortions. Some may try and say "Abortions only account for 3% of P.P.’s operations.” Here’s what that 3% really means:

  • Planned Parenthood performed 332,278 abortions in the year ending June, 2009, or 27% of all abortions in the U.S. – 1 out of every 10 clients receives an abortion.
  • That’s 1 abortion every 95 seconds.
  • 98 percent of Planned Parenthood’s services to pregnant women were abortions. Planned Parenthood gave just 977 adoption referrals.
  • Abortions yield 37% of all Planned Parenthood revenues, by the most conservative estimates. [4]

So pro-aborts say 3% of abortions as if to ‘lessen’ the true number: 332,278.

Planned Parenthood’s business model is centered on abortion. Former Planned Parenthood clinic director Abby Johnson has written that she was given an “abortion quota” and was even told by her superiors to double the number of abortions in order to bring in more revenue. [5] Abortion patients constitute 12 percent of Planned Parenthood clients — 332,000 of 3 million unduplicated clients in its most current report. 37 percent of all Planned Parenthood clinic income revenue is from abortion procedures, according to conservative estimates. Planned Parenthood has issued a directive instructing that all affiliates must have at least one clinic that performs abortion by 2013. [6]

Planned Parenthood aides and abets criminal activity

I’m sure you’ve heard of LiveAction.org’s exposé videos of Planned Parenthood workers giving advice to a fake pimp on child sex-trafficking, underaged abortions, sex crimes against women, as well as lying about services they offer. These workers exude Planned Parenthood’s morals and true ethos.

Planned Parenthood is not safe for women and young girls. These undercover videos show Planned Parenthood employees in several states willing to aid and abet in acknowledged human sex trafficking of girls as young as 14. [7] The undercover footage resulted in the firing of Amy Woodruff, manager of the Central New Jersey Planned Parenthood clinic. [8] It also caused Planned Parenthood to call for mandatory training sessions of thousands of its employees across the country on reporting requirements. [9]

Planned Parenthood does not provide mammograms and is not a significant primary care provider to women. Despite claims made by Planned Parenthood CEO Cecile Richards and members of the media, Planned Parenthood does not provide mammograms. They are also not a significant primary care provider in general. In recent reports, Planned Parenthood acknowledges that it provided primary care only to about 19,700 of its 3 million unduplicated clients. These services have been trending downward for years, from 21,247 in 2007 to 20,235 in 2008, to today’s 19,796. [10]

If you don’t want your tax dollars going to fund Planned Parenthood, contact congress now.

Recommended Reading:

Top 12 Reasons to Defund Planned Parenthood Now

Government Willing to Fund Abortion but Not US Soldiers

Note to Congress: Planned Parenthood is Not a ‘Women’s Health’ Organization

[1] Margaret Sanger in her 1920 book Women and the New Race

[2] "The Eugenic Value of Birth Control Propaganda.“ Birth Control Review, October 1921, page 5.

[3] http://bound4life.com/houston

[4] Susan B. Anthony List "Should Planned Parenthood really force taxpayers to fund the convictions of Margaret Sanger?”

[5] Abby Johnson Op-Ed in The Hill, “Exposing the Planned Parenthood business model,” April 4, 2011

[6] Chiaroscuro Foundation Report, “Does Planned Parenthood Need or Deserve Federal Funds?,” March, 2011

[7] Live Action Press Release, “Caught on Tape: Planned Parenthood Aids Pimp’s Underage Sex Ring,” February 1, 2011

[8] New Jersey Star Ledger, “Central Jersey Planned Parenthood fires worker after release of undercover video,” February 2, 2011.

[9] New York Times, “Planned Parenthood to Retrain Public Staff,” February 7, 2011

[10] Chiaroscuro Foundation Report, “Does Planned Parenthood Need or Deserve Federal Funds?,” March, 2011

Moralistic Therapeutic Deism – A must read article on the faith of American teenagers »

Moralistic Therapeutic Deism – A must read article on the faith of American teenagers »

A Life God Rewards – 5 Myths About the Judgment Seat

(via Bret Mavrich)

Life can be a mystery. But that doesn’t mean there are a shortage of opinions about what to make most important. The Bible teaches that every single person will be evaluated on what they did with their lives, but beyond that there are still many questions: Who will evaluate me? What will the evaluation consist of? What if I’m a Christian—do I get judged too?

Understanding the Judgment Seat of Christ brings a ton of clarity. This weekend, Mike Bickle taught on the judgment seat. He uncovered a number of myths and replaced them with really helpful truths from scripture. Here’s the MikeLite version.

Myth #1 Only unbelievers will be judged. 
False. There are several scenes of Judgment in the New Testament, one for believers and another for unbelievers. Only believers stand before the Judgment Seat (JS), Unbelievers do not stand at the judgment seat. They will be evaluated at the Great White Throne (GWT). While both the JS and the GWT are places where people are evaluated, they are very different, and it is important to understand how they are different.

For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ…then each of us shall give account of himself to God. —Romans 14:10-12

Myth #2 The Judgment seat is where people get Sentenced for Punishment
Truth: In the ancient world, the judgment seat was a place for athletes to receive a wreath as a reward for their achievement, something like a gold medal at the Olympics. God has designed the Judgment seat as a place to reward his people. That means the JS is a massive indicator of God’s intent to honor His people for their dedication and faithfulness to Him and His kingdom during their lives. The only punishment would be if a believer arrives at the Judgment Seat and, after being evaluated, receives no rewards. Our goal as believers should be to stand at the JS and have no regret about how we lived our lives before God.

Myth #3 Works don’t matter
Truth: Some Christians confuse the role of good works in the life of faith by pitting works against grace. Though we’re not saved on the basis of our works (it’s a free gift of grace), our position and reward in the age to come is based on our works, which is our response to the free gift of grace. Scripture says we must be judged for what we’ve done, whether good or bad. This is not the same of impact in our personal ministry; we have no control over how big our impact is in ministry. We will be judged according to our capacities—the gifts, talents, and opportunities given to us by God. Jesus will evaluate believers at the JS based on the measure we loved him and followed through in dedication and obedience in our capacities and assignments. We may be willing in our hearts to serve God, but the reward system set up by Jesus is based on works. What matters is not our plans to be diligent or whole heartedness (a good place to start), what matters is the actually doing it.

For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad. — 2 Cor 5:10

Myth #4 There are no rewards besides salvation
Truth: Jesus taught more about rewards than any other person in the Bible. Sometimes people protest saying, “we should serve God out of love without any thought of rewards.” But this protest overlooks the fact that Jesus clearly used rewards to motivate his people. Jesus understands rewards more than anyone else. Rewards in the Kingdom’s economy are not about dominating other people and strutting around in the age to come. They are about proximity to Jesus: greater rewards leads to having more of the glory of God expressed through our life in the age to come. That may be new information, but if we neglect this important truth, we will severely regret how we’ve spent our lives when we stand before the JS. We cannot lose our salvation at the JS, but we can lose out significantly in our destiny.

Myth #5 Every believer will have the same reward
Truth: The New Testament uses stars to illustrate the exact opposite point: just as stars are diverse in their size and brightness, so believers will be rewarded with differing degrees of reward reflected in our bodies, clothing, dwelling places, and authority in the age to come. Some people imagine that it’s humble just to be content with “a little cabin on the edge of glory.” But if on the day we see Jesus at the JS we find out that he actually cares about our response and our eternal destiny in a different way, we probably won’t agree with that idea . If Jesus desires to honor a greater response to his grace with a greater reward of His glory, then we should desire that as well.

There is one glory of the sun…and another glory of the stars; for one star differs from another star in glory. So also is the resurrection of the dead. 1 Cor 15:41-42

The Judgment Seat is supposed to inspire believers to go hard after God in their life with bold confidence that God rewards those who abandon themselves to His Kingdom and His ways. Understanding the Judgment Seat causes a profound shift in the way we think about our lives—time, money, and relationships. Instead of asking, how much can I get away with and still be saved, we begin to ask, how far will you let me go, how abandoned will you let me be?

Atheism, Science, and Morality

I was reading an article in WIRED magazine today from an atheist about how science can point us to better morals than religion or any other ideological thought process. He mainly stayed on the broader spectrum of morals and somewhat ignored ‘personal’ morals. I agree with some points he made, because his ideas morals were just plain common sense: people dying from hunger is obviously wrong, just as terrorist groups are wrong.

What really annoyed me was what he said about Christianity. He is either ignorant as to what Christianity is or he has had it portrayed to him poorly. He said this: 

“The problem is that religion tends to give people bad reasons to be good. Is it better to alleviate famine in Africa because you think Jesus Christ is watching and deciding whether to reward you with an eternity of happiness after death? Or is it better to do that because you actually care about the suffering of your fellow human beings?”

Is that really what he thinks it’s all about? Have Christians done a horrible job at portraying our relationship with Jesus? 

We shouldn’t feed people to ‘gain a reward’, or just because we love human beings (that’s called humanism), but we feed those who are hungry because we love Jesus and we want to love what He loves – and He loves people. We feed the hungry, help the orphan and widows because we love what Jesus loves. But it’s not just enough to feed them food, we must also feed them with the Word of God and the good news of salvation. What good is it to feed someone for a week only to let them spend eternity in hell?

So to respond to his question: Yes, it is better to alleviate famine in Africa because you actually care about the suffering of your fellow human beings. So much so that they be eternally secure in the love of Christ.

Why Study The End Times?

The study of the end-times can be daunting, misunderstood and completely overlooked. There is so much confusion as to whether or not it’s meant to be understood as symbolic or literal. Really, what’s with all the beasts with many wings, heads and horns? That’s kinda weird. Is it symbolic? Are there literally dragons? How do I know what’s literal and what’s symbolic? There are so many questions and the answers are usually hidden behind droves of technical names of beliefs that really only confuse. Premillennial Dispensationalism? Amillennialism? Futurism? How can I figure this stuff out without a PhD?

Fear not, reader! The books of the bible that deal with the end times were written to be understood by all. The majority of society in human history have been uneducated farmers, and these books are meant to be understood by them, not just scholars and theologians. 

The biggest question amongst all these is Why study the End Times?

First, because the generation in which the Lord returns will experience vast extremes of darkness and light. Matt. 13:24 speaks of this generations two extremes when it says

“Let both grow together until the harvest, and at the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, “First gather together the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into my barn.”’”

The tares (wickedness) and the wheat (unprecedented revival) will grow up together and this generation will be pressured to choose a side. There will be no room for middle ground.

Second, we study the End Times because the generation in which the Lord returns is the most written about generation in scripture. Over 150 chapters in the Bible have the End Times as their main theme. Jesus spoke more about the last generation of natural history than the generation that He was born in. Why? To prepare the Bride (church) to be victorious in love and power during the most dramatic time in world history.

Over 150 chapters in the Bible have the End Times as their main theme…

Third, we must study the End Times because the generation in which the Lord returns most openly manifests Jesus’ heart and leadership to the nations. The four gospels (totaling 89 chapters) give us a record of Jesus’ heart and power at His first coming when He accomplished redemption. In a similar way, the end of the age (over 150 chapters) reveals Jesus’ heart and power as He takes over the leadership of the whole earth. The gospels and the end-time Scriptures reveal the same Jesus operating in the same power of the Holy Spirit. The book of Revelation is called the revelation of Jesus because it reveals His heart, power and leadership (Rev. 1:1)

Fourth, God has announced this generation as having the most prophetic signs. These prophetic signs include: supernatural disturbances in the heavens and on earth, natural signs in nature (earthquakes, etc), trends in society, and political, military, religious, scientific, technological, and economic developments. These signs increase in intensity as we get closer to Jesus’ returns. We must learn how to discern these signs. In fact, Scripture requires those in the generation in which the Lord returns to know the prophetic signs and to respond appropriately. (Mt. 24:32-34; Lk. 21:25-29; 1 Thes. 5:1-6; 2 Thes. 2:1-11)

God promised to give these prophetic signs in the generation which the Lord returns as an expression of His mercy, so people can make the necessary preparations far what is coming. These prophetic signs serve the Church like a weather station that signals trouble before it comes so people can prepare and save lives. An example is the Southeast Asia tsunami caused by the Sumatra earthquake in 2004. 230,000 people died. Most of those who died could have been saved simply by knowing and hour earlier that the tsunami was coming.

We don’t study the End Times out of fear. It’s very apparent that people are afraid of the End Times because it has been portrayed as the ‘end of the world,’ and the destruction of all things, for so long by so many. The End Times is never phrased as the end of the world in scripture, but the end of an Age – meaning the earth and humanity continues on after, with a perfect, righteous, loving King of humanity.

We must study the End Times because it clearly displays Jesus’ character, as revealed in the book of Revelation (the Revelation of Jesus Christ). It shows His heart, dominion, righteous judgments, and ultimately His undying love for humanity. The storyline of the End Times is that of a fiery lover willing to go all lengths to purify a Bride to spend eternity with. We study the End Times because of love.

Study Guides & Resources:

End Times Simplified: Preparing Your Heart for the Coming Storm by Dave Sliker

Most people don’t know how to approach the end times, but the Bible is clearer than you might think on this subject. If you want to understand end-time events and how you fit into them, the straightforward language and biblical truths in this book make it an excellent resource.

Book of Revelation Study Guide by Mike Bickle

A simple but inspiring, verse-by-verse guide to the book of Revelation, with a glossary of terms and symbols, and in-depth articles and charts. Mike Bickle’s straightforward approach brings the message to life and emphasizes its relevance for us today.

  • As an "end-time book of Acts,” it reveals God’s glorious plan to use a lovesick Bride at the end of the age in unprecedented power and authority. She will partner with Jesus as He cleanses our planet of evil and ushers in the kingdom of God.
  • It’s an “infallible prayer manual” that maps out the global, strategic prayers of the praying church. We’ll be equipped to pray in unity with Jesus’ heart as He unleashes His judgments upon the Antichrist’s evil empire.
  • While many saints are waiting to “go up” in the rapture to avoid the tribulation, God is waiting for the church to “grow up” to release the tribulation judgments by prayer on the Antichrist. This is truly the Church’s greatest hour.
Copyright © 2021 Evan and Sarah Olsen. Site by Evan Olsen.