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Man has always desired to know what the future holds, even Christ’s own disciples asked him of the things which would take place in the future. . “And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world”? Matt 24:3. Jesus then outlined a number of things which would be taking place in the last days, which would signify those days to indeed be the last days.
Because God wants to give us every opportunity to come before his presence and obtain salvation, the signs Jesus spoke of are now taking place. 25 And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; 26 Men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken. 27 And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. 28 And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh. LK 21:25-28.
According to Christ the conduct of men will deteriorate to levels not seen since the days of Noah and Lot. Christ foretold, 'But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. Matt 24:37-37. 'Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; Lk 17:28-30. During the days of Noah and Lot the people were not only arrogant, wicked, violent, and perverted, but they were also perfectly comfortable with these conditions. Their motto being "this is my life, and I'll live it as I see fit." We see the fulfillment of this prophecy taking place all around us daily. As the Bible foretold today there is a dramatic increase in the over the top wickedness, violence and sexual promiscuity.
The calamitous events which were foretold to come to pass are being fulfilled before our very eyes: Over the last few years we have watched in disbelief as nations all around the world have suffered terrorist attacks. In the United States we have recently gone through one disaster after the other: We are seeing an alarming rise in senseless violence, being perpetrated against innocent victims. Some examples being .....
The shooting at the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, Texas, during a church service left 26 people dead and 20 others injured. A concert in Las Vegas, outside the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino where a gunman rained down a barrage of rapid gunfire, upon the concert goers. Sadly over fifty were killed and hundreds were wounded. The Sandy Hook Elementary School, in Newtown, Connecticut, where little children were gunned down in cold blood. In Charleston S.C. at the Mother Emmanuel AME church, eight were gunned down during a Bible study, ( My wife and I passed by the church, just before the shooter started shooting). Then there was The Pulse Night Club, (A gay night club in Orlando Fl), where fifty were gunned down. No one has the right to murder people in cold blood, IN GOD'S SIGHT ALL LIVES MATTER.
In His word God sounds a warning in regards to the times that we now live in. He even explains that there will be end time signs, that would serve as a warning that the day of judgment is near. Yet most people don't seem to take His warnings and the end time signs that the day of judgment is near seriously. Not only did God tells us way in advance (a few thousand years ago) about the perilous times we now live, He took it s step further: In His word He also tells us how to be a survivor in this world and the world to come. “54 And he said also to the people, When ye see a cloud rise out of the west, straightway ye say, There cometh a shower; and so it is. 55 And when ye see the south wind blow, ye say, There will be heat; and it cometh to pass. 56 Ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky and of the earth; but how is it that ye do not discern this time?” Lk 12:54-56.
There was once much debate in regards to whether or not we as believers will be on earth or raptured from the earth prior to these perilous times. It is now evident that these perilous times are now here and the believers are smack dab in the middle of it all. This is today's reality the perilous times spoken of in the scriptures have arrived, and we as believers have not been raptured away as so many theologians told us we would be. It is God’s will that we as believers, do more than merely endure, He wants us to spiritually thrive as His representatives during these end time calamities
A person does not have to be a expert in theological interpretation to grasp this reality, like it or not we are all scriptural. When we say that we are all scriptural I am saying that we are all acting just as God foretold in his word we would act. No one functions outside of the realm of God’s perfect knowledge of everything. Nor does one have to be a theological experts to grasp the fact that things are happening in the natural realm just as foretold.
In short, we have arrived at the future the scriptures warned us would come, as this age comes to a close. As this world comes to a close the Bible tells us that there will be a instability in nature and major global deteriorating, We are also told that there will be a great moral deterioration. Thus we are told in the natural realm, How things will be and in the spiritual realm How men will be. These things are taking place before our very eyes. 28 And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh. Lk 21:28.
Christ did not say “IF these things come to pass,” He said “WHEN THEY COME TO PASS” (compare).
As a direct result of the perilous times we now live, we are seeing an unprecedented level of interest, in having ones personal survival protocol in place. They are now selling survival food packets, there are several TV shows about the steps to survive, etc.
In the natural sense of having a survival process in place, a person seeks to have every thing they envision that they will need to survive. For believers who would criticize other believers who give such advice as this, those who give this advice on surviving, point to the tragic aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, and the recent floods in Texas. They say that those tragic happening is proof that we as believers need to be prepared for the worst even as we hope for the best.
There is no doubt much debate when it comes to where we as believers stand on the issue of having survival gear, safe rooms, stored canned food and water, etc. But when it comes to our spiritual survival, there is no other option, other than being prepared if we want to survive. The most important aspect of any survival plan, is a well thought out in advance plan of survival. This includes things such as evacuation routes, stored supplies, and protection from those who would jeopardize our survival. In the spiritual realm Christ tells us we should always be in survival mode. As Christ tells us, “Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.” Matt 24:44.
We are familiar with the benefits of having a survival manual, in these dangerous and uncertain times. Survival is the natural is on the minds of many in these uncertain times. In the spiritual realm, the Bible is God’s survival manual, it tells us what it takes to survive. Like any good survival manual, it is written in a way to instruct us in regards to the things which can best help us survive. Like any good survival manual, it is written in a way to instruct us in regards to the things which can best help us survive.
It is not written in such a way as to spare our feelings, or to make us comfortable in or with the things that threaten our survival. While many in our society and in church pulpits, are flattering, and celebrating others to their own hurt and eternal destruction: The Bible does no such thing. It simply tells us the truth about, 1. Our conduct, 2. Our character, and 3. Our true state of being, as seen through the eyes of God. The Bible tells us a great deal about God, His will for us, and about ourselves. It tells us how things were in the beginning, it tells about the fall of man in Eden, and it tells us about God’s redemptive work at Calvary.
The Bible tells us about the character of God, it tells of both the love of God and the wrath of God. It tells us about the fallen nature of man, and list the three carnal things we are most prone to do, which also are the three things that threaten our eternal survival. 1. The lust of the flesh, 2. The lust of the eyes, and 3. The pride of life. It tells us how God would have us to be., and the consequences if we refuse .
Paul tells us, “16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 17 That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” 2nd Tim 3:16-17. As conformation that the Bible is God’s inspired survival manual, God even tells us in advance about the end times and the ever increasing threats to our survival that these times will bring.
It is critical that we strive to survive, the reason being, the scriptures tells us that many believers will lose their survival mode status. We are also told that in the midst of these perilous times, many believers will give up and go back to the world. There are a number of reasons why many will fall away from the things of God: These are fearful times, these are perplexing times. Sinfulness is more and more being celebrated. there is a major increase in, spiritual darkness, moral decay, and narcissism.
Even many believers have joined in with the hedonistic pursuit of carnal pleasures and decadence. According to Paul, This great stumbling will in turn open the way up for Satan to manifest himself among humanity in an unprecedented manner. Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; 2nd Thess 2:3. According to Paul, Many will actually discard the word of God, 3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; 1st Tim 4:3.
Rather than believers giving heed to the admonition of Christ, to spring into survival mode, when they see these things coming to pass, many have been lulled to sleep. As Howard Green explains, “I can understand how people in the world are not discerning about the prophetical end times we live in, but what I cannot fathom, is the depth of apathy in regards to Bible prophecy and the nearness of the Lord’s return I see as widespread in the church today. (of course the Bible warned of a great falling away).
No one knows the day or the hour of the Lord’s return. Time after time, people who have tried to pin point the day, month, or year…..are proven wrong. The Bible does instruct us to be ready for that day over and over again. Some of the words or phrases it uses to warn us are: to be sober, be alert, must also be ready, let us not sleep as others do, but let us watch. 36 Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape (SURVIVE), all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man. Luke 21:36.
According to Christ there are several categories of threats, which threaten our survival in the natural and supernatural realm. #1. WE NEED GOD’S HELP, IF WE ARE TO SURVIVE IN THE NATURAL. We need God’s help to obtain our daily needs, thus we pray, Give us this day our daily bread, Matt 6:11. The Bible tells us that as this age comes to a close that we will be faced with some of the most dangerous and traumatic times in human history. This know also, that in the last days perilous (dangerous) times shall come. 2nd Tim 3:1.
There is now a major deterioration in the morals of our society, There’s are major climatic changes taking place. And the threat of total annihilation via a nuclear war looms. Thus many are concerned with surviving in the natural realm. These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: Jn 16:33.
#2. WE NEED GOD’S HELP, IF WE ARE TO SURVIVE THE END TIME SPIRITUAL ATTACKS. Added on to our outer struggle for survival is the inner struggle. There is a battle that rages against us in the form of spiritual wickedness in high places . “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places” Ephe 6:12. Paul discusses the nature of the enemy against whom Christians struggle and why they need the whole armor of God to be successful. As we see in the example of the temptation of Christ in the wilderness, He not only had to struggle with the elements, but He also had to battle with His inner carnal nature. As a result, of life’s trails, persecution, temptation and deception, many will fall in the wilderness. They will give up on God. The Bible tells us that as this age comes to a close that there will be a great falling away. This great stumbling will in turn open the way up for Satan to manifest himself among humanity in an unprecedented manner. Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; 2nd Thess 2:3.
#3. WE NEED GOD’S HELP, IF WE ARE TO SURVIVE THE DAY OF JUDGMENT. What will most determine whether are not we are a soul survivor, will be what happens on the other side of death, when the books are opened. According to Paul we all have two appointments that we cannot get out of. One is our appointment with death, and the other is our appointment with divine judgment. 10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. 2nd Cor 5:10.
WHO WILL SURVIVE??--In the book of Revelation God showed the apostle John a vision of what happens at the end of this age. John tells us he saw the sky role up like a curtain, and those who were beholding this awesome sight quaking in fear. It’s at this very moment John tells us there was but one question on the lips of those who were behold this end time display of God’s might and majesty. The most pressing question at the end of the age will be, “Who will be able to survive ?”
In the book of Revelation God showed the apostle John a vision of what happens at the end of this age. John tells us he saw the sky role up like a curtain, and those who were beholding this awesome sight quaking in fear. It’s at this very moment John tells us there was but one question on the lips of those who were behold this end time display of God’s might and majesty. The most pressing question at the end of the age will be, “Who will be able to survive ?”
14 And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places. 15 And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; 16 And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of theLamb: 17 For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand? (WHO WILL SURVIVE??) Rev 6:14-17.
For some this will be the most blessed day of their lives, they will at this time enter in the kingdom of heaven. John saw those who were accepted by God entering into a place of indescribable beauty, a perfect place where there was no pain or sorrow. And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. Rev 21:1-4. For others the day of judgment will be the worst day of their lives, and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire. Rev 20:11-15. God showed John the actual day of judgment where the final and eternal destination of the souls of men would be determined. Some will enter the kingdom, but according to Christ many won’t make it
THE MESSAGE NOBODY HARDLY WANTS TO HEAR-- God’s greatest concern is that on the day of judgment we be soul survivors. Yet according to Christ there will only be a few survivors. strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. Matt 7:14. Properly grasping the significance of these books, is critical to our soul’s ability to survive. Yet in spite of the fact that the Bible constantly refers to this coming day of judgment most people don’t want to hear about it. Many today have varying views, in regards to the events which will take place once the books are opened.
Some view the description of what will befall those who don’t survive as offensive and depressing. Others hold the view that only the portions of these events which speak of heavenly rewards should be mentioned, while the fate of the lost shouldn’t be mentioned, or glossed over. Still others hold the view that these events are merely fictitious. There is perhaps no doctrine of Scripture more offensive to modern man than the fate of those who won’t survive the coming day judgment.
A SURVIVAL PLAN THAT FAILED MISERABLY ---One of the great lessons we learn from the distant past is how obsessed men can become with surviving, and how fruitless even the most well laid plans can be. There is no greater example of this truth, that the case of the Egyptian pharaohs. Brian Handwerk explains, “The tombs they had built evidence elaborate preparations to insure their survival in the next world. Mummification was used to preserve the body so that the deceased's eternal soul would be able to reanimate it in the afterlife.
The great pyramids they erected were their grave markers, which contain elaborate tombs were also well stocked with all the material goods a ruler might need in the next world. Treasures—like the golden masks found with King Tut—are dazzling, but the tombs also contained the more mundane. They included furniture, clothes (even underwear), and jewelry. Tombs were also well provisioned with enough food and drink, including wine and beer, for royal feasting in the next world, as well as sacred objects meant to help the deceased achieve eternal life, even favored companions. "[We find] pets buried nearby," Ikram says. "Hunting dogs, pet baboons, and gazelles.“
Yet it is evident that all of their elaborate preparations to insure their survival, and all the provisions they made, and the wealth they laid us, was to no avail. Much of what these Pharaohs of old hoarded up to insure their survival, is now on display in museums around the world. Including the dead dry bones of these pharos. We no doubt view these items with a modern day intellectual smirk, thinking, “how foolish, what a waste of time and energy.”
Christ draws this same analogy when it comes to us, and our attempts to insure our survival. Christ stated if we gained all that this world has to offer, and are not in a saving, meaningful relationship with Him, we have missed out on the main item needed to insure our eternal survival. “For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” Matt 16:26.
To this end Christ told the story of the rich fool. The story of the rich fool is the story of many in our society today. “And he told them this parable: ‘The ground of a certain rich man produced a good crop. He thought to himself, “What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.” Then he said, “This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I’ll say to myself, ‘You have plenty of good things laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry Luke 12:16-21.
It seems that many today assume that an abundance possessions and high positions is life, is an assurance that that a long and secure future lies ahead. Thus many today say to themselves, "what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I’ll say to myself, ‘You have plenty of good things laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry." Luke 12:16-21. This man’s survival plans, did not figure in the unexpected, namely, he was going to be dead in less than 24 hours. The apostle James would beg to differ, he tells us, For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. James 4:14.
This rich man was materially blessed by God; his land “produced plentifully.” As God continued to bless the man, instead of using his increase to further the will of God, all he was interested in was managing his increase and accumulating his growing wealth.
His plans was to build bigger barns to hold all this surplus. Unbeknownst to him, this was his last night on planet earth. The man was a fool because he had a false sense of security. He thought his possessions guaranteed security, leisure and pleasure for many years to come. "You have plenty of good things laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry." The rich man left God and God’s survival process out of his calculations - but, God said: "This night your life will be demanded from you." Jesus then closes the story by saying, “So is the one who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God.”
In regards to this rich man and his failed survival plans, William Bacon Stevens explains “ But in this state of peace, plenty, and pleasure--his thoughts stretching out into the future, and his plans maturing to perfection, he is suddenly aroused by the voice of God, saying unto him, "You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?" What a startling annunciation this! The curfew bell of the soul--extinguishing every light of hope and of joy, leaving it in the blackness of darkness forever! He was a "fool" to imagine that the soul needed no preparation for an exchange of worlds--for none he made or even thought of. He was a "fool" for supposing that his soul would be satisfied with wealth or pleasures of this world. He was a "fool" for believing that life had no other purpose than self-gratification, no other ends than sensual delights.
At his death he had nothing laid up for eternity!” Will the same be said of you?? One day our life will come to an end, at that time we will give an account to God, concerning what we did with our allotted time. . For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. 2nd Cor 5:10. The time to get saved and live for Christ is now. God knows the future, (including yours), he also knows what it will take to survive on the day of judgment. This information is clearly spelled out in His survival manual, The Holy Bible.
THERE WILL BE ONLY A FEW SURVIVORS. One day when Christ was teaching one of those who was listening at his teachings, approached him with this question concerning salvation. "Then said one unto him, Lord, are there few that be saved? (will survive). Lk 13:23. It's interesting that the person didn't ask if "many" people were saved. Evidently the person had been listening to Jesus' preaching and became convinced that Christ seemed to indicate that few people would be saved. In an attempt to seek greater clarification he felt compelled to ask this question. This person wanted to know if "few" people were saved.
In response to this question Christ noted that in spite of all the various religious organizations and religious activity, very few people will actually be saved, *(in comparison to those who are lost). And he said unto them, Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able." —Luke 13:24. 13 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: 14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. (only a few will survive). Matt 7:14-14.
CHRIST TELLS US THAT MANY WILL NOT SURVIVE BECAUSE THEY WILL BE TAKEN BY SURPRISE, WHEN THE DAY OF JUDGMENT COMES. Christ tells us that the last day of this age will seem like business as usual. 26 And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. 27 They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all. Lk 17::26-28.
JUST BUSINESS AS USUAL — God in his perfect wisdom knew that they were past the point of giving any serious heed to His warnings of their need to strive to survive his coming jugement. Even when Lot sought to warn his family, most of them took it as a joke. In the case of Noah they paid no attention to “crazy Noah” and the big boat he was building in his backyard. Maybe he was regarded as a local whacko whose oddities were tolerated and made the butt of cocktail-hour humor. We are told that God instructed Noah that judgement was coming. He also told Noah that if he wanted to SURVIVE, he would need to follow his instructions and guidelines to the letter. The Apostle Paul tells us that Noah immediately got in survival mode, and obeyed God.
"By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith." Heb 11:7.
AS IT WAS IN THE DAYS OF NOAH, SO SHALL IT BE IN OUR TIME. MANY WILL NOT SURVIVE BECAUSE THEY WILL BE TAKEN BY SURPRISE. Christ tells the day that this world ends will seem to be just another day, it will seem to be business as usual. 26 And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. 27 They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all. 28 Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; 29 But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all. Lk 17::26-28.
Christ describes what the days will be like leading up to the end of this age. #1. He compares these conditions to those of the condition which existed just before the flood in Noah's day (v. 27) and #2. He compares these conditions to those which were prevalent just prior to the destruction of Sodom by fire and brimstone (v. 29). Christ tells us that the days before His coming will be like the days before those two catastrophes, namely, full of busy, ordinary life. Verse 27: "They ate, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they built." Dr. Ray Pritchard tells us in both the case of Noah and Lot, it was business as usual up until the last moment before their destruction.
They were eating and drinking (nothing wrong with that), marrying and giving in marriage (nothing wrong with that). They were buying and selling and continuing in all the usual activities of human life. Children went to school each day, businessmen made deals, teachers taught, doctors dispensed healing, farmers tended their crops. One translation of verse 39 says “they did not know.” What a damning indictment.
Theirs was an age of enlightenment. But they did not know. It was an age of great progress. But they did not know. It was an age of music, fine arts and literature. But they did not know.
It was an age of military might. But they did not know. It was an age when mighty men roamed the earth. But they did not know. They knew so much but understood so little. They knew more and more about less and less until they knew everything about nothing and nothing about what really mattered. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools. They had no time for God until it was too late.” If we are to be survivors in these last times we must take God’s warnings seriously.
The Bible clearly teaches that the end times would be very dangerous times. We are told that our society will degenerate into more and more lower levels of wickedness. The likes of which has not been seen since the days of Noah and Lot. The Apostle Paul, speaking as a prophet, sounds a solemn end time warning. Paul tells us that our society as a whole will descend into a black pit of immorality, violence, and paganism.
This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. 2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, 4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; 2nd Tim 3:1-4.
THE FUTURE WE WERE TOLD ABOUT IN THE SCRIPTURES IS NOW HERE--- The Holy Bible which was inspired by God is more up to date than this morning’s news. Every major world event we now see happening as reported by CNN, Fox and others, was foretold to take place thousands of years ago. God said that it is his ability to perfectly foretell futuristic events, which sets him apart from all pretenders to his throne. I am God, and there is none like me, Declaring the end from the beginning, Isaiah 46:5-10.
In his perfect knowledge of everything, God is able to reveal to us the totality of human history, past. present, and future. No human can consistently predict the future, in this manner. We cannot even tell what is going to happen to us in the next few days or weeks. Only God could be the source of these accurate prophecies in the Bible. Regardless of the skepticism displayed by many, God is still relevant. He always was, He always is, and always will be. God knows everything, God knows the past because he was there,
He knows the present because he is here, and God know the future, because he is already in all of our tomorrows waiting for us to show up. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, says the Lord, who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty. Rev 1:8. This same God who many now deem to be antiquated and irrelevant, gives us this relevant advice. So likewise ye, when ye see these things come to pass, know ye that the kingdom of God is nigh at hand. Lk 21:31. In his Survival manual, God who knows everything, and is able to factor in the known and te unknown, tells us that there wll be signs that his day of judgement is near.
We are told that as the powers of darkness are unleashed upon mankind, on an unprecedented scale, that all who refuse to go along with the program will be subject to punishment. 15 And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed. 16 And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: 17 And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. Rev 13:15-17. These verses have motivated many in and outside the church to in varying degrees, have a survival mode mindset. There have even been several movies made, in regards to this verse.
The survival process begins with the truth, (about ourselves. God’s survival process begins with a willingness on our part to accept the truth. As Christ tells us, “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” Jn 8:32. The truth that Christ spoke of, was not just any truth. Christ was referring to the specific truths outlined in God’s word, which describe and define us, as seen through the eyes of God. These truths are, 1. The true nature of our conduct, 2. The true nature of our character, 3. The true nature of our state of being. Condition. Without accepting God’s truths concerning us in these areas, God survival process will never become a reality in our lives. These truths are clearly outlined in God’s survival manual, the holy Bible.
Herein lies the problem, many today are rejecting the truths which are outlined in God survival manual. As Christ explains, as Christ explains, “And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. 20 For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.” Jn 3:19-21. God truly does love us all, he lovingly calls out to us, in an effort to help us to be a survivor in the day of judgment. But because he did not create us as robots, we must ultimately decide if we will give heed to his call. Sadly, Christ tells us that though God calls out to many, very few will give heed to his call, For many are called, but few are chosen. Matt 22:14
When it comes to the survival advice given by man, no matter how well intentioned, it has flaws, one of the main ones is that it is limited to the degree to what can be known. It is often the unknown factors, that can cause the best of survival plans to become useless. God's has a survival plan for us, and His survival plans for us has no such flaws. In that God already knows everything that will happen long before it comes to pass. This is what makes God’s survival manual, The Holy Bible so unique.
The survival information we find in it, is given by the only one who has perfect knowledge of everything, (past, present, and future). What makes God so unique, is how He interacts with time. No one else can rightly claim, 1. ownership of time, 2. perfect knowledge of the happenings in every sphere of time, and 3. perfect habitation of time. O Lord God Almighty, which art, and wast, and art to come; because thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and hast reigned. Rev 11:17.
God is everywhere at once, past, present, and future. God own times to the point that he alone decrees how long it will continue and when it will end. The Holy Bible which was inspired by God is more up to date than this morning’s news. Every major world event we now see happening as reported by CNN, Fox and others, was foretold to take place thousands of years ago. God said that it is his ability to perfectly foretell futuristic events, which sets him apart from all pretenders to his throne. I am God, and there is none like me, Declaring the end from the beginning, Isaiah 46:5-10.
God clearly tells us of the survival plans he has envisioned for us, "11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. 12 Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you. 13 And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. Jer 29:11-13.
God has the perfect survival plan for us today. This survival plan comes in two parts. The first aspect of God's survival plan for you is to get you saved. The second aspect of God survival plan, is to make sure you stay saved. God has clearly outlined, all the pertinent info we need in His survival manual, The Holy Bible. God truly does love you, he wants you to make it, but in order to be a true survivor you must follow God's guidelines, for survival.
Ron Matsen tells us we should do the following, “ Stay Connected: The writer to the Hebrews states, “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.”
The Church is not called to build bunkers but to gather with the brethren so that the Body of Christ may be built up and the Gospel might be preached. Fellowship with Christians you trust is essential. Secure alliances with fellow Believers provides bridges rather than fences. Remember the wisdom from Solomon, “A man who isolates himself seeks his own desire; he rages against all wise judgment.”
Stay Sharp: Peter identified the objective of Satan by stating, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.” Paul warned Timothy, “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” Soberness is a state of mind. This mind is not controlled by the influences of the World. Although there is so much out there that is competing for our attention and affections, we need to be very careful concerning those influences that dull our senses and captivate our heart. A misused personal freedom is a double bondage. Paul put it this was, “All things are lawful for me, but all things are not helpful. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.” In contrast, a sharp mind will see danger and avoid it.”
“Stay on Target: There are many voices that are crying out for attention or offering advice in theses troubling times. Therefore, many people seek the safety of their own personal storehouses. They tend to major on the minor issues which causes them to miss the major issues of life itself; the temporal eclipses the eternal. Jesus taught, “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.
For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Again, in review of Paul’s instructions to Timothy we see him saying, “Till I come, give attention to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine. Do not neglect the gift that is in you, which was given to you by prophecy with the laying on of the hands of the eldership. Meditate on these things; give yourself entirely to them, that your progress may be evident to all. Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine. Continue in them, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you.” We should never under estimate the power and provision of God toward those who trust in Him.
Stay in God’s Word: Today there are many churches and religious organizations, which assure those who join their organization, that will survive. Christian book store shelves are lined with books on how to be both a over comer and a survivor. Our best source of direction for the course of our life is the resource of God’s eternal Word. Most of us are familiar with 2 Timothy 3:16, “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.” Do we actually use the Word of God as our primary source for guidance and protection? Do we weigh our decisions on the scales of the Holy Scripture, do we drive our opinions through the gates of Biblical scrutiny, or do test our passions in the fire of God’s judgment?
God loves each of us, and it's his will that you and I survive these end times. If we are going to survive we must take full advantage of the time God has given us to draw close to Him. As Peter explains, "9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. 10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. 11 Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness,' 2ND Pet 3:9-11.
This book is written in such a way as help equip you with the information you need in order to be a survivor. It is in the Bible that we discover God's unchangeable pattern for our survival. This pattern clearly outlines what our loving heavenly Father has done to insure our survival. But the scripture also reveals a pattern of the things we must do in order to be a survivor. We can learn much in regards to what it takes to be a survivor, from the example of the Hebrews whom God delivered out of Egypt. As we look at their example we learn that it's not enough to be delivered from the cruelty of Pharaoh (symbolic of Satan) and Egypt, (symbolic of a sinful lifestyle). Once we are by God's grace delivered we then must survive the wilderness trek. We are told than many of God’s people whom He delivered from Egypt and led into the wilderness did not survive the wilderness trek. “ But with many of them God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness. Now these things were our examples, 1st Cor 10:1-6.
Today it is being widely taught that Paul was not referring to believers being denied entrance into the kingdom, after salvation. It is now taught that what Paul was merely sounding a warning to believers to be careful not to miss out on God’s special blessings while on earth. Many today now teach that the moment a person is saved they need not worry about entering into the promised land, in regards to God’s eternal kingdom. Many are being assured that once God delivers them out of Egypt, they have an unbreakable guarantee of entering the kingdom of heaven.
They are told that if they fall away and refuse to repent and obey God, and live a unfruitful sinful lifestyle, they will still survive. It is explained that believers who backslide, fall away, and refuse to return to God during their wilderness sojourn, will still survive. It is now being taught that they will only miss out in walking in the blessed promises God affords to believers while on earth.
The words of Paul are the most commonly quoted, as proof that this doctrine is correct. Therefore we must ask is this what Paul really taught, or is this a misrepresentation of what he taught? A close examination of Paul’s writings reveals that when is comes to being a survivor, Paul taught just the opposite of what many now claim he taught. In his writings Paul did not assure the believers that once God saves and deliverers them that they are home free. Paul made reference to how the people of God interacted with Him AFTER their deliverance. Paul tells us, 14 For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end; 15 While it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation. 16 For some, when they had heard, did provoke: howbeit not all that came out of Egypt by Moses. 17 But with whom was he grieved forty years? was it not with them that had sinned, whose carcases fell in the wilderness? 18 And to whom sware he that they should not enter into his rest, but to them that believed not? 19 So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief. Heb 3:14-19. Paul was not indicating that the ones whose carcasses fell in the wilderness merely missed out on certain heavenly benefits, but they missed heaven itself. The apostle Paul further stated that he had a personal concern that though now saved, and on his wilderness trek, that he like the Hebrews of old, would not survive. He further stated that in order to be a survivor, he had to bring certain earthly passions in check. Paul stated that he had to monitor his conduct, character, and state of being to be sure that after he had preached to others, he himself did not make it out of the wilderness alive. 27 But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway. 1st Cor 9;27.
MANY BELIEVERS WILL NOT SURVIVE BECAUSE THEY WILL GIVE UP ON HEARING, ACCEPTING, AND APPLYING SOUND BIBLICAL TEACHING. Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; 2nd Thess 2:3. Sad to say many believers are blind to the signs of the times. Many of us as believers in these perilous times don’t even realize that the word famine and the great falling away is now upon us. Sadly many today are, “Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. 2nd Tim 3:1-7. This famine and falling away will be facilitated by the refusal on the part of many believers any longer accept and embrace, sound biblical teaching. These believers will opt to find and follow, preachers and teachers, who will tell them what they want to hear, rather than what they need to hear. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; 2nd Tim 4:3.
Many in the midst of this famine faithfully trip off merrily to their churches, listen to or look at the latest spiritual fad on dvd by the latest hot shot preacher. They attend yet another in a long line of conferences, which tells them that this is their season. All this they do as the word famine intensifies and the great falling away continues. This is not a famine caused by not hearing the word: rather this famine is caused by a refusal to do the word. It is in the midst of these calamitous circumstances that Christ sounds a stern warning, 13 But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. Matt 24:13.