Friday, October 30, 2015

Standing Firm In the End Times

Matthew 24:24 says "For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; in so much that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect."

Jesus is coming soon. If we look around we can see so many signs of His second coming: wars, famines, natural disasters, economy, political signs, and we can also see that so many of His people and other people in the world have fallen asleep- we must surely realize the truth.

Does this thought scare you? Or does it make you leap for joy? If it brings about any thought or question of fear.. surely we must reconsider and study why, when we love Jesus so much, we feel unprepared.

How then can we be ready for the Second Coming and to stand for Jesus no matter what the cost? For many will fall and be deceived in the end. And many are sleeping already. How can we prepare for the Great tribulation and the fiery trials that we will face?

I want to share with you some things I have learned from Ellen White and Bible study about being prepared for the End. In addition, toward the end of this writing there are some of my favorite EGW quotes that are very powerful.

Here are some questions to ask our self if we are ready to stand firm in the End.

1. Who is our Master? 
For the Lord says we can have only one.(Luke 6:13). If we love our boyfriends, families, money, college degrees, popularity.. or any other thing as much as we love God, we do not know God. For God is a jealous God who destroys all other idols including one of the biggest- the idol of self. Are you ready to surrender all of your hopes, your dreams, your desires, your beauty, your reputations in order to carry the cross of Christ? This is no small commitment and the biggest decision you will make in all your life. This changes everything. There is no "have my cake (the world) and eat it too (Jesus). You choose today who you will serve and if you will be in Paradise.

2. Do we know Jesus?
Is He our best friend? Do we love to spend time with Him? Do we spend time with Him? Has He changed our lives? If we say no, then something has gone wrong. We are not understanding who He is. This is different than going to church and listening to sermons or Bible studies, we must know Jesus' presence in our lives. Would your life be different if you didn't know Jesus? Are you finding peace and love in His promises?

3. Are we focused?
This is an area that Christ has really impressed upon my heart lately. I just am finishing reading a devotional book and the question is given how much time I am spending in prayer and how much in Bible reading per day? And to be honest this caught me off guard... Aren't I doing good to spend 20-30 minutes every morning Lord talking to you and then pray through the day and at night? And I heard Him respond How much time do you spend in class studying nursing? Studying how to be a better personal trainer? How much time do you spend talking to your mother long distance? If you are to give my life to me, and to serve me, and to love me above anything else, truly this time is NOT SUFFICIENT. I'm sorry to put this so bluntly but reading five minute devotionals a day, Christian books, and listening to Christian music will not be enough. What about when Satan attacks you? How can you be prepared to stand...

4. Are we well-equipped for battle?
We must know that the Devil will attack us for He hates the work we are doing for Christ. But we must not be afraid; we need not quiver because we serve the Lord Almighty- the one who reigns forever and who is victorious. Every day we must wake up and put on the armor of God. Otherwise how can we stand against temptations? For Satan knows our weaknesses, our insecurities, and He will attack us at our weakest moments.. So how do we overcome Satan's attacks? First, we prepare our-self every morning by spending time with God. We ask God to give us His shoes of peace, His breastplate of righteousness, His sword of faith, the belt of truth, the helmet of the Spirit, and the Word of God in our hearts.

I believe that so much of being prepared for battle is being selective with what we put in our mind. The music we listen too, friends we hang out with, media we watch, thoughts we let linger.. play such a role in this. We must train our mind to think pure and we must implant the word of God into our memory and hymns that sing praises. For when comes a hard day, when our mind is empty, the Holy Spirit can remind us of things which we have learned deep in our heart that tell of God's love.

So are we ready for the End Times? Only by the Lord's grace...
We need not fear. God will carry us through if daily we surrender to Him and choose Him above all other idols in our life. If we make prayer and scripture a habit and lifeline, truly then we will walk in the Lord's footsteps and experience true joy and peace =) 

May we be conquerors in the Lord God almighty. For He never gives us more than we can handle, but promises to be faithful to us and to never leave us nor forsake us. 

May we prepare to stand firm in the end, even if we are all alone- may we stand firm.

Amazing EGW quotes:

In order to give such a message as John gave, we must have a spiritual experience like his. The same work must be wrought in us. We must behold God, and in beholding Him lose sight of self.

We must live a twofold life--a life of thought and action, of silent prayer and earnest work.

Prayer and effort, effort and prayer, will be the business of your life. You must pray as though the efficiency and praise were all due to God, and labor as though duty were all your own.-

No man is safe for a day or an hour without prayer

The only defense against evil is the indwelling of Christ in the heart through faith in His righteousness. Unless we become vitally connected with God, we can never resist the unhallowed effects of self-love, self-indulgence, and temptation to sin. We may leave off many bad habits, for the time we may part company with Satan; but without a vital connection with God, through the surrender of ourselves to Him moment by moment, we shall be overcome. Without a personal acquaintance with Christ, and a continual communion, we are at the mercy of the enemy, and shall do his bidding in the end.

Christ and Him crucified should be the theme of contemplation, of conversation, and of our most joyful emotion.

But the mind must be constantly going out after God. If worldliness is allowed to come in, if we have no desire to pray, no desire to commune with Him who is the source of strength and wisdom, the Spirit will not abide with us.

Christians should be preparing for what is soon to break upon the world as an overwhelming surprise, and this preparation they should make by diligently studying the Word of God and striving to conform their lives to its precepts.--

None but those who have fortified the mind with the truths of the Bible will stand through the last great conflict.--The Great Controversy

Build a wall of scriptures around you, and you will see that the world cannot break it down. Commit the Scriptures to memory, and then throw right back upon Satan when he comes with his temptations, "It is written." This is the way that our Lord met the temptations of Satan, and resisted them.

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