Aug 13, 2015

Are You Prepared For The Future

In 1988, Edgar Whisenant, a former NASA rocket engineer turned prophecy teacher, became famous through a booklet; 88 Reasons Why the Rapture Could be in 1988”. In his book Edgar predicted that Jesus would return to rapture His church sometime during the Jewish holiday of Rosh-Hashanah in 1988, which was from September 11 thru 13. And, need I even have to tell you, Edgar was wrong.

But Mr. Whisenant is not alone in attempting to predict the dates of the end-time. Others have attempted it in the past, and more, no doubt, will attempt it in the future. In fact, this week all across social media there are modern “prophets” who are predicting what will happen in the month of September. And, they end up doing nothing more than getting people in a frenzy and crawling under a rock when time proves that their predictions are wrong.

I was thinking about this today and I realized that even if all of these people are wrong, I still know that someday Jesus will return; the Bible is pretty clear about this. So I pondered the question; “what can I do to prepare for the future?” and four areas came to mind.

I want to give you four areas to consider as you think about what you need to do to prepare for the future; four areas for us to firm up as we prepare for what lies ahead. Four areas where potentially we need to be challenged as we think about what can we do to prepare for our future.

First Area: “Be Ready”
“Let your waist be girded and your lamps burning; and you yourselves be like men who wait for their master, when he will return from the wedding, that when he comes and knocks they may open to him immediately. Blessed are those servants whom the master, when he comes, will find watching. Assuredly, I say to you that he will gird himself and have them sit down to eat, and will come and serve them. And if he should come in the second watch, or come in the third watch, and find them so, blessed are those servants. But know this that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into. Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.” (Luke 12:35-40)

Now, I’m not a Greek scholar, but from what I understand: “READY” in the Greek has to do with fitness; with making adjustments, with getting ready, and with being prepared. In other words, make adjustments so that you are ready for whatever and whenever God shows up and gives the next direction.

second Area: “Be Holy”

 “Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; as obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance; but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy. And if you call on the Father, who without partiality judges according to each one’s work, conduct yourselves throughout the time of your stay here in fear; knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.” (1 Peter 1:13-19)

“holy” in the Greek Has to do with being sacred, physically pure, morally blameless or religious, ceremonially consecrated, clean, that is, (figuratively) innocent, modest, perfect, chaste, and pure.

In other words, we were purchased and set apart for something. We are not to live like those around us. We are called as followers of Christ to be different. We are called to be holy because we are followers of Him who is holy; in ALL of our conduct: 24/7/365. Wow! Thank God for His mercy and grace in our lives!

third Area: “Be Watchful”
“And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints.” (Ephesians 6:17-18)

I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom: 2 Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. 3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; 4 and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. 5 But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.” (2 Timothy 4:1-5)

 “Watchful” in the Greek has to do with to being sleepless, keeping awake, watching, abstain from wine, keeping sober, and being discreet

fourth Area:  “Be Faithful"
“If you will not believe, Surely you shall not be established.” (Isaiah 7:9b)

I’m not a Hebrew scholar either, but what I understand is that “believe’ and ‘established’ are the same word” in the Hebrew. In other words, this passage is saying that if you don’t believe, you won’t believe or If you are not established, you will not be established.

The Hebrew word ‘aw-man’ has to do with being properly built up or supported, being firm and established, permanent, true, being faithful, trusting, assurance, and believing, continuance and steadfastness.

Other Bible translators translate Isaiah 7:9b as:

 “If you will not believe, you surely shall not last.”(Or be established) (NASB)
“Unless your faith is firm, I cannot make you stand firm.” (NLT)
 “If you do not stand firm in your faith, you will not stand at all.” (NIV)
“If your faith is not enduring, you will not endure.” (GNT)
 “If you don't take your stand in faith, you won't have a leg to stand on.” (MSG)
 “If you will not believe and trust and rely [on God and on the words of God's prophet instead of Assyria], surely you will not be established nor will you remain.” (AMP)

I believe that God wants to prepare us for a greater use than we’ve experienced. I believe that He is looking for someone who will say “yes” to Him

I believe that God wants to bring true revival to our hearts. A reestablishment of areas of our lives that have shifted so that we may be established for His purposes
Daniel 11:32b “but the people who know their God shall be strong, and carry out great exploits.”

2 Chronicles 16:9a “For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him”

There is a sense of expectancy regarding something coming, but we don't need to panic because the One who made this world still has things in control.

"Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved."

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