A Loving Exhortation :: by Alice Childs

Folks, we are in the very last seconds of the last moments of the last hours of the last days. The prophetic events of the last minutes before the rapture of the Church and, subsequent to our removal, the onset of the Tribulation, are right at the door prophetically speaking.

Events that will bring about the fulfillment of Isaiah 17:1 and Ezekiel 38-39 are already well in play. It’s only a matter of time before both of these post-rapture, pre-tribulation events commence. Then after these two conflicts, the final 7-year Tribulation will commence with the confirmation of THE covenant made between the Man of Sin and Israel. The confirmation or “strengthening” of this covenant will be the event that will begin the last 7-year countdown of the “Time of Jacob’s Trouble” – aka the Tribulation (Daniel 9; Jeremiah 30:7).

Now more than ever, we need to keep ourselves immersed in the Word of God. Now more than ever, we need to be sharing the gospel of salvation by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone to any and all with whom we have access and to all whom we can reach. Now more than ever, we need to be warning the lost ones of our families, friends, and anyone else we meet, of the holy wrath and judgment of God that lies just outside the door for them on the other side of the soon-coming rapture, should they continue to refuse God’s merciful offer of salvation.

These things need to be our main focus from now until Jesus calls us Home. It’s time to remove the blinders from our eyes. It’s time to pry our fingers off of the doorframe of this wicked, crumbling world and realize that NOTHING is going to remain the same from here on out, because we are in the final seconds of the “end game” in God’s great plan for the ages. It’s time to wake up, pray up, stand up, and look up, because the redemption (of our bodies) draweth nigh.

As scripture reminds us, we must redeem well whatever time we have left to us. We need to look around and pray – to intercede on behalf of our persecuted brethren. We must teach and strengthen the Biblical foundations of our children and pray for their spiritual protection from the onslaught of evil; their little bodies, minds, and spirits are Satan’s most sought-after targets. We must share the gospel of salvation and “earnestly contend for the faith once delivered unto the saints” with renewed fervor and passion, realizing that our time to do so grows shorter every second that passes. We must seek God’s counsel on where and how He wants us to do these things in the time we have left (Jude 3).

As we approach the finish line, may we all strive to do as the Apostle Paul did; may we faithfully “run the race and finish the course.” Wherever God calls us to go, wherever He places us to serve, in whatever capacity He endows us to be His witnesses, let us run the race faithfully to the end. Let us be found “occupying” until He calls for us in the air.

Whether our calling is to “contend for the faith” in an open forum, or whether the remainder of our race is to be run quietly out of the public eye in other places and in other ways; regardless, let us never falter or fall in our calling to be “ambassadors for Christ.” Let us keep on keeping on. “Forgetting those things which are past, let us press on towards the mark of the prize of the high calling of God” whenever and wherever our King calls us and wherever He places us to serve Him.

I guess what I’m trying to say is this: no matter how hard the going gets, don’t give up. Don’t stop now that we are so close to the finish line. Take up the slack and do what we know needs to be done in these last few moments before we leave this vile earth behind and head home to Glory.

Our deliverance is almost here. Don’t flag now. Don’t falter now. Don’t lose heart now. Keep running the race. Keep holding on to our blessed hope. Keep praying and keep looking up.

In closing, I want to finish with this: there is an old, old song that I used to sing. In fact, it was the first song I sang as a solo when I was about 13 years old. I’ve not heard it in ages, but the Lord seems to be bringing it to my mind more and more often these days. The lyrics go like this:

Oft times the way seems long,
our trials hard to bear.
We’re tempted to complain,
to murmur and despair.

But Christ will soon appear
to catch His bride away!
All tears forever vanquished
in God’s eternal day!

It will be worth it all
when we see Jesus!
Life’s trials will seem so small
when we see Him.

One look at His dear face,
all sorrows will erase.
So bravely run the race
till we see Christ.

(Excerpt from “It Will Be Worth It All When We See Jesus” by Esther Kerr Rusthoi)

I pray that, by the strength of God’s great grace, we all will continue to “bravely run the race” in whatever capacity and in whatever location God places us until our “blessed hope” is at last realized. Until we hear that trumpet blast; until we see Christ in the air – our changed bodies rising faster than the speed of light through the atmosphere to meet Him in the air, as He shouts for His bride to “COME UP Hither” – I pray that we all will finish this race faithfully and with honor to bring Him glory.

Soon, VERY SOON, the trump of God WILL blast and the voice of the archangel will sound. So until then, keep looking up, my dear family of God. Our Deliverer is coming. Our Deliverer is standing by.

MARANATHA!

 

New Year’s Releases :: By Alice Childs

I don’t do New Year’s resolutions. They are like pie crusts – easily made, easily broken. I’ve never been one to mess with “good intentions” that I know deep inside I won’t keep.

However, there are a couple of attitude changes that I do hope to try to implement from here on out. I don’t see them as “resolutions” so much as I look upon them as New Year’s “releases.” It may seem to you that I’m just playing a game of semantics, but to me, I see the difference.

Being a true introvert – almost a recluse really – especially as my vision continues to deteriorate, this means that my life is almost always lived within the confines of my house. This is not as great a burden to me as it may seem, because not being able to get out and about really doesn’t bother me like it would many who are used to being able to be out and about at will. I’ve never had the freedom or ability to go and come as I please, so it’s not that big of a deal when I have always been dependent on someone else to get me around. I’m blessed – quite happy and content in that regard.

No, my letting go has nothing to do with coming to terms with my physical limitations. My New Year’s “release” if you will, is my coming to terms with things over which I have no control except for, by the grace of God, my own choosing to “accept the things I cannot change.”

There are some things we all need to let go in whatever time we have left here before Jesus calls for His Church: things that can stick like fishhooks in our minds and hearts and cripple us emotionally. I’ve finally come to terms with these issues that I personally have and feel myself ready to face them head-on. I’ve come to realize that it is indeed not just alright, but necessary to let some things go and move beyond them. Perhaps you have some of these issues as well that are burdening your mind and heart, and I pray that you can do the same.

Do you feel like it’s always you trying to make amends when the other party has repeatedly shown they have no desire to do the same? Then it’s time to let it go.

Let me explain. Since we are all sinners (although believers are sinners saved by God’s unfathomable grace), we all still fall short of God’s perfect righteousness, and therefore we can and do hurt other people by our words and actions. That’s not an excuse or justification for such things, but merely an acknowledgement that we do hurt other people. When we hurt someone, we SHOULD do our best to make amends – to apologize when we have been in the wrong, and to accept another’s apologies towards us if offered. This is what the Lord Jesus expects us to do.

However, once we have done our best to apologize and to attempt to make amends for our misdeeds, then WE are in the clear, both scripturally and emotionally. Once we have humbled ourselves, accepted and acknowledged our own responsibilities in any matter, then that is when we can and should “let go” and release the outcome into God’s hands. When we have “owned up to” any issues we have been responsible for, then as the saying goes, “the ball is in their court.” We are no longer responsible, nor do we need to keep bashing our hearts against an immovable stone.

Once we have done what is required of us by the duty of love, it is perfectly alright to get up, dust ourselves off so to speak, and release from ourselves any feeling of hurt, bitterness or any residual guilt we may feel. Once WE have done what we OUGHT to do, then we are free to move on and leave the past behind. We can always hope for reconciliation, and must be ready to grant full forgiveness with no strings attached should that day ever come and the other party offers it, but it is perfectly right to move on ahead. “Forgetting those things which are past, [we] press on towards the mark of the high calling of God.”

We MUST move on lest we become trapped in a morass of guilt, thereby becoming immobilized by always trying to continue to “make things right” with those who don’t care to do the same. It’s necessary that we all learn to “let go.”

And although we may grieve over the loss of friendship once held dear, or the love, support, and acceptance of a relative who has no more use for us than last month’s leftovers, then it’s not just okay to release our hearts from these poisonous, toxic relationships, but it becomes a necessary thing to do so that we do not become embittered or immobilized – held fast in a quagmire of “always trying to make things better” and sinking deeper into the quicksand of hopelessness by trying to mend a fracture that cannot be mended.

Sometimes, even when we try our hardest, some things cannot be mended – especially if WE are the only ones who WANT to mend them. In cases like this, it’s time to let go and move on.

What about those people who may be members of our own family – siblings perhaps? Or what if the ones who rebuff us are those who used to call themselves our “dearest friends” – those who now treat us as if we are their bitter enemies, or worse, treat us as if we matter not at all to them – as if years – decades even, of friendship never even happened? Or what do we do if we feel that we have been left “holding the bag” all alone as it were, in endeavors that used to be a group effort, but in which now we have been left with all the responsibility falling upon us and upon inadequate shoulders?

In all of these cases, if we have done all within our power to do, and if we have prayed and faithfully done all we CAN do, then these things too must be released in order that we can move on to whatever God may have in store for us to do as we “occupy” until He comes.

These are the things that must be released without bitterness or rancor. This attitude is a change that only God can work within our hearts to accomplish. The hurt, anger, and false guilt that makes us feel responsible – as if somehow all of the “unfixables” is OUR FAULT – needs to be released. Once that step is taken, then we can know that we are at least on the road towards leaving past failures (both ours and theirs) behind, and moving on into the next chapter of life.

As I grow older (and hopefully wiser), I am comprehending in a deeper way what the writer of Ecclesiastes meant when God inspired him to write, “To everything there is a season and a time to every purpose under Heaven.” And if I may be permitted the leeway to paraphrase, there is also a time to hold on, and a time to let go. I am finally at the place of letting go – the place of fully letting go of any expectations of anything changing, or of burdening myself anymore with guilt that is not mine to bear. I have done all that I can.

There is sadness in this place of release, but there is also a great unburdening and lifting of a load your heart can no longer carry. Be at peace with that.