When I was in my pre-teens, I used to look forward to going to a movie theatre on many Saturdays; and for 25 cents admission, I could spend a whole morning watching movies, and eating a whole box of 10 cent popcorn. They were definitely larger back then than now. One thing I always enjoyed was the previews of the shows that would be there in the future. It gave me something to look forward to. (any emphasis is mine)
Needless to say, in earth terms, this was a very long time ago. After leaving home and entering the Military, my movie attendance decreased dramatically. Even then, the previews were still one of my favorites. As the years have passed, it has only been on rare occasions that I go to a theatre, because I can wait for the movie to be shown on Cable TV. After all, that service is expensive enough without adding the high cost of going to a Theatre today.
My “church life” prior to leaving home consisted of attending Sunday mornings; Sunday nights; Wednesday evenings; and if there happened to be a week-long revival, we would be there. As I said, “attending,” because my mind would always be on other things.
By the time I entered my “middle-age” years, Church attendance, and any thoughts of worshiping the Lord were sporadic. Today, I am a firm believer in the “prayer warrior” concept, as this touched me personally. I knew there were several people praying for me, and at a point in my life when I was going through some negative issues, the Holy Spirit gave me some insight as to what my eternity would be like if there was no change in my lifestyle.
What I was exposed to, put a determination in me to read through the Bible for myself for the first time ever. That started a series of events that began about 33 years ago. Needless to say, my “preview of coming attractions” has gone from being completely negative to a totally wonderful relationship with My Lord and Savior, Jesus the Christ. Best part, it grows more and more every day. Now, my anticipation of “coming events” is in my heart, and on my mind continuously. I read something in the Bible daily, and if I miss getting to it, I feel as if something is incomplete.
Just going through the Bible for myself one time was, and is, not enough. There is so much information that we have been given by our Heavenly Father, that no one could ever learn it all in this lifetime. One of my regular prayers is for the Holy Spirit to enlighten me further, and open my mind to the message the Father wants me to have that day. Even today, and after having read through several translations, I discover things that didn’t grasp my attention before.
One example of this: I had always heard of the “straight and narrow” way. I used to believe that meant going to an organized evangelical church on a regular basis. But as the old saying goes, “standing in a garage doesn’t make me a car.” Likewise, just attending a church service isn’t what makes me a Christian. I would venture to say, I probably had read the 14th chapter of John several times. The part about Jesus going to prepare a place for us (V:1-3) was what caught my attention the most.
Then on one occasion as I was again reading that chapter, verse 6 jumped off the page at me. “Jesus said, I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life; no one comes to the Father, except through Me.” The study Bible I had at the time gave another scripture to read that this verse referenced. Matthew 7:13-14 told us about two ways that are available to us. One was “broad,” and many would be on it. The other was “the straight and narrow,” and few would find it.
The ultimate destinies, or as I stated previously, the “preview of coming attractions,” is made very clear in God’s word. All, that’s everyone world-wide, that call on the name of the Lord will be saved. Any time God repeats something, it’s important. The concept about all who call will be saved is in Joel 2:32, Acts 2:21 and Romans 10:13.
The part about Jesus being the only way, is referenced not only in John 14:6, but Acts 4:12, John 3:18, Romans 8:1, 2 Peter 3:9, 1 John 5:12, and many other verses. To summarize all these verses: “Know Jesus; Know the Father and have eternal life with them.” “No Jesus means No Father, and have eternity in the Lake of Fire.”
Hell was originally not made for humans, as given in Matthew 25:41. It was for Satan and his demons, which are fallen angels. Their destiny is absolute as there is no pathway for their forgiveness. Forgiveness is reserved for every human that ever has lived, or ever will live, on this earth. It’s completely an individual choice, and the path to forgiveness is found in 1 John 1:8-10. It says if we confess our sins, that we all commit (Romans 3:23), and ask forgiveness, the Father is faithful and just to forgive us. This is for those who have called out, repented of their lifestyle, and asked Jesus for forgiveness of their sins and to be their Savior, He will turn no one away. Likewise, He will force no one to come to Him either.
For those who do not accept the free offer of Salvation, that our Savior paid for with His own blood, there is no other pathway to the Father. I know there are more and more evangelical people who are saying there are many ways to Heaven. Even the current pope says we all worship the same god. (note the small “g”)
False prophets are described by Jesus, Paul and Peter, but especially by John in 1 John 2-5. Antichrists and false prophets have been here since the time Jesus was on earth about 2,000 years ago. We are told they would increase significantly near the “end of this age.” This was an ancient “preview of coming attractions.” The ultimate evil antichrist will be here soon.
If you would do a study of human attitudes and actions prior to 2000, you would note there was always sin and evil people on this earth. Now, starting with the beginning of this millennium, and moving forward to today, the evil obviously has increased. Just over the past few years, it’s no longer changing annually or monthly, but daily. The pace is only gaining speed, and to the Saved, it’s a positive sign for us that we are near to the point of going Home. Satan knows the contents of the Bible better than all of us. His problem is he will not, and never did, accept Jesus as his creator and Savior. He still believes he is equal with God.
We were given many signs that would take place once Israel was back in their own land after 2,000 years. One major sign mentioned in Ezekiel 38 was a coalition that would form between Russia, Iran and Turkey as the main participants. This coalition never existed in the past; but just over the past few years, it has formed and is currently in place. By the way, when Israel declared itself a sovereign nation on May 14, 1948, they were the only nation ever to return to their own land after such a long period of time. That got the prophecy clock running toward the “Midnight Hour.”
God is truly Amazing! Ezekiel 38:4 says He will set a “hook” in that coalition, and today it is there. All three are nearly bankrupt, and are seeking ways to pull themselves up and avoid hostile attitudes from their own people. Then, lo and behold, there sits Israel. About the size of New Jersey, it is today the 8th richest nation in the world. Just recently, massive gas and oil deposits have been found that are in their territory.
Next, there’s unrest in America, who has been one of Israel’s greatest allies; that is, until the past decade. Our current president is a friend of Israel, but many of the rest of our government people are not. Also, there’s issues in Israel over political problems, and to the coalition, this makes Israel appear weak.
At the time of the end of this age, and just before the Wrath/Tribulation actually starts, nearly the whole world will not back Israel when they are attacked. It would seem as if they were marked for total annihilation, but God has some “Previews of Coming Attractions.” Israel will go through a rough 7-year period with at least 2/3 of their population being killed (Zechariah 13:8). However, God will put down the initial attack from the coalition in a way that there will be no doubt that He alone controlled Israel being saved (Ezekiel 38:18-23). At the end of the Tribulation, all surviving Israelites will accept Jesus as their Messiah.
As for all current believers, 1 Corinthians 15:51-53 and 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17 are our “previews.” We will be spared from Satan’s evil antichrist and false prophet. Our destiny is to be forever with Jesus, after receiving a new eternal body and sin-free mindset. All of us with the Holy Spirit within us, is what’s holding the evil one back until we are removed (2 Thessalonians 2:6).
There are those who are saying it isn’t so, and that even believers will go through the tribulation. This would mean that God’s word is not true, and the whole Bible would then be worthless. However, God does not lie (Titus 1:2 AND Hebrews 6:18). There are numerous passages that say we will be kept from the wrath. As Joshua said in 24:15, “As for me and my household, we will follow the Lord.”
Take a moment, and seriously consider your future. Are you a part of Jesus’ flock (John 10), or are you destined for the Great White Throne? (Revelation 20:11-15). These are the only two paths available. Join us on the “straight and narrow,” and all your “previews of coming attractions” will be totally awesome.
Call on Jesus today; it could very well be just in time to have a reservation in the Rapture.