This coming Sunday I will post the final lesson in our study of Revelation that we began in January. The book has been generally avoided by many churches and Christians as being either too difficult to understand or too controversial to discuss. I believe through our study both of those myths have been proven wrong. I pray the study has been a blessing to you and that it has brought a clear understanding of some of the messages we should take from this book:
1) God loves us.
2) God sent His only Son to die on the cross so we might have the opportunity to spend eternity in heaven with Him.
3) Satan is real. He uses every means at his disposal to lure mankind away from God.
4) Christ has already defeated Satan. The moment he arose from the grave the last possible hold Satan had on us, death, was taken away from him.
5) All men will come before God in the Day of Judgment to give account for the way they have lived their lives.
6) God requires obedience to His commands. Those who are found faithful, by being obedient to the teachings of the scripture, will find their names written in The Lamb’s Book of Life. Those whose names are not written in that book will be eternally
7) Pick a side: God or satan because…
8) Jesus is coming soon!
The Jews watched the sky for weather. When they saw a cloud forming in the west, they knew they were going to get rain from the Mediterranean Sea. When they felt a south wind blowing from the desert in the south, they knew it was going to be hot. In Luke 12:54, Christ warned the multitudes that as one can predict an approaching storm by certain weather indicators, so the Jews ought to be able to “interpret this time.” Jesus calls them hypocrites because they could read the weather, but they could not read the signs of the times. Everything Jesus did pointed to the fact that he was the Messiah, the Son of God, and that the kingdom of God was about to be established. Those with a good and honest heart who knew the scriptures could not help but recognize the signs of the times; however, they claimed they did not see it. They were being hypocritical. The Lord urges them to be reconciled to God while the opportunity is still available (57-59). They had all the evidence to make the right decision about Jesus. Why did they not do it?
In Matthew 25, Jesus tells us of ten virgins who go out with lamps to await the arrival of the bridegroom. Five of the virgins are foolish and take no oil with them, while the other five take extra oil with them. The bridegroom is delayed in coming, but when His arrival is announced, the virgins trim their lamps. The foolish virgins find their oil is running out and plead with the wise virgins to share their oil. The wise virgins refuse saying there is not enough to share. As the foolish virgins go to get some oil, the bridegroom comes and those prepared go in with him to the wedding, and the door is shut. They are not allowed in. They knew He was coming; why were they not prepared?
The meaning of the parable is obvious: No one knows the moment when the Lord will return so we need to be constantly watchful and prepared for His return. Not knowing the day or hour of His coming, we must be always be ready! This message is repeated multiple times throughout the New Testament...
>By Paul, writing to the Thessalonians - 1 Thes. 5:1-6
>By Peter, to the Christians in Asia Minor - 2 Pet. 3:10-12
>By Jesus, to the church at Sardis – Rev. 3:2-3
All of mankind falls into one of the two categories of virgins awaiting the Bridegroom, wise or foolish. Some are wise by preparing themselves for the Master’s coming, by obeying the Lord’s commands. Knowing that the day of His return will come, they strive to grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord (2 Peter 3:18; 1:5-8). As we have seen in Revelation, for them the Lord’s return will be a glorious blessing. Others are foolish. They know the Lord is coming, but they are not prepared. They may reject the Lord and refuse obedience thinking they can have their fun now and change “just in time.” There are others who will obey the Lord but decide they can rest upon their laurels thinking they have done “enough.” For these, the day of the Lord’s return will end with weeping and gnashing of teeth.
Each of us is responsible for our own preparedness. You either are willing to live for the Lord or you’re not. Once the Lord returns there is no second chance. We cannot let worldly things (lust, greed, ego, etc.) keep us from being prepared.
We have the Word of God. Those with a good and honest heart who know the scriptures understand what they must do to be saved and claim the beautiful reward awaiting us in heaven.
For all of us, the question is: If the Lord were to come today...