I was surfing the news websites today, like I do everyday, and found an interesting article. It's about a pastor and his wife in San Diego that are being told that they cannot have a Bible study in their own home. My first reaction, "WHAT?!"; my next reaction being, "Wow, we really are in The Time."
These pastors, they had someone come to their house on Good Friday telling them that they are having a religious gathering and they didn't have the proper permits. The permit(s) would cost them thousands of dollars. It's a Bible Study! I go to a Bible study on Sunday nights with just a few other people. It's refreshing. But in San Diego County, it's 'not allowed' without a permit. This is AMERICA, people!
I've been to the underground church in a communist country. They meet in secret every Sunday, and every meeting they have. If they are caught, they can suffer dire consequences. Several years ago, it was unthinkable that the same thing would happen in America, the good ole US of A. Now we are faced with the possibility.
Will this happen soon? No. But it will happen, little by little. We are living in The Time. You know what time I'm talking about. Those times that Believers has looked for since the ascension of Jesus. The End Times. (dun, dun, dun)
We need to vigilant. Have I been? Not like I should be. 1 Thessalonians 5:1-2 says "But as to the suitable times and the precise seasons and dates, brethren, you have no necessity for anything being written to you. For you yourselves know perfectly well that the day of the [return of the] Lord will come [as unexpectedly and suddenly] as a thief in the night." (Amplified Bible) Okay, so big help, huh? No times and dates?
However, Paul goes on to say in vs 4-5 "But you are not in [given up to the power of] darkness, brethren, for that day to overtake you by surprise like a thief. For you are all sons of light and sons of the day; we do not belong either to the night or to darkness." When we are born again, we have this hope of promise!
How do we not get surprised? "Accordingly then, let us not sleep, as the rest do, but let us keep wide awake (alert, watchful, cautious, and on our guard) and let us be sober (calm, collected, and circumspect). For those who sleep, sleep at night and those who are drunk, get drunk at night. But we belong to the day; therefore, let us be sober and put on the breastplate (corslet) of faith and love and for a helmet the hope of salvation. For God has not appointed us to [incur His] wrath [He did not select us to condemn us]. But [that we might] obtain [His] salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah) who died for us so that whether we are still alive or are dead [at Christ's appearing], we might live together with Him and share His life." (vs 6-10)
That's an awesome promise! As we look at the sign of the times (cliche, I know), we need not fear. "...He Who lives in you is greater (mightier) than he who is in the world." 1 John 4:4b
We also need to pray. (This is a reminder to me also as I'm horrible at this. Remembering to pray, that is.) Pray for the people of this world, especially this country we live in. Pray for the government, for our leaders above us, our families, friends, neighbors, co-workers. Pray in tongues if you have a prayer language. That way, your emotions and 'humanness' doesn't get in the way. We have a TON of junk going on today; same sex marriages, abortion, and the ever present 'crime'. We shouldn't be thinking of anything else but prayer. (Again, a reminder to me.)
But I say to you. Look up! There is a battle raging, and it may look hopeless now, but remember Who has won the war.
The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is upon me, for the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to comfort the brokenhearted and to proclaim that captives will be released and prisoners will be freed. He has sent me to tell those who mourn that the time of the Lord’s favor has come, and with it, the day of God’s anger against their enemies. To all who mourn in Israel, he will give a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of despair. In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks that the Lord has planted for his own glory.