Are You Looking For Christ’s Return? :: By Grant Phillips

The Church is on the very cusp of our Lord’s return for His bride, but how many are actually aware or even care how close that day may be?

Every pulpit in this country should be proclaiming that Jesus is coming soon to remove His bride and then bring judgment upon a sin-depraved world. Instead, only a few eagerly await His return. Only a few have their nose pressed against the window, eagerly looking for the bridegroom. Most go about their own affairs with no thought and no concern for what will soon take place.

The Bible provides many prophecies of Jesus’ return to earth. It clearly tells us that before He arrives on Mount Olivet, there will be seven years of judgment upon the earth. These seven years are the remaining years God promised Israel, “to finish the transgression, to make an end of sins, to make reconciliation for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy, and to anoint the Most Holy” (Daniel 9:24).

This seven-year period, we call the Tribulation, will also bring God’s judgment upon a corrupt world that offers nothing for God except to blaspheme His holy name.

Who would have ever dreamed just five or ten years ago that the depravity of mankind would be so open and accepted by so many as it is today? Utter depravity beyond belief is openly accepted by a large populace, by our government officials, by moms and dads, and even by many churches.

Joyous hymns of praise to the Lord Jesus Christ have been replaced with the music of demons while Satan’s worshippers run through the crowd like decapitated chickens. Pulpits have been taken over by those of such perverseness, even the demons must blush.

Behind all this can be heard Lucifer’s cackling laughter as children are openly attacked by a perverseness their innocent minds should never have to take in. Jesus said, “But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were drowned in the depth of the sea” (Matthew 18:6). If these followers of Satan don’t repent and fall at Jesus’ feet seeking forgiveness, I shudder to imagine their fate.

I am so thankful that Jesus will remove His bride before the Tribulation, which is His coming wrath. This removal of the Church (bride) by Jesus (the bridegroom) is commonly called the Rapture, and it could be so much closer than any of us think. Revelation 3:10 says, “Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth.”

God, through His Word, does not provide any signs for the Rapture. Jesus actually said, “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father” (Mark 13:32). To the contrary, there are many signs for the Tribulation which follows, and all are in view for its arrival. Let me explain what I mean by “in view.”

The Tribulation is like a storm coming. It hasn’t arrived yet, but we can tell it is close because the temperature has changed, the wind is picking up, dark clouds are rolling in, and thunder can be heard in the distance. All the signs of the storm are present (in view) for its arrival, even though the storm hasn’t arrived yet. When it gets here, the rain (judgment) will follow.

How can any believer of Jesus be nonchalant about the days in which you and I live? All this chaos we see every day we open our eyes is telling us that this world is quickly running out of time. Can anyone deny the following Scripture being applicable today … right now?

“Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil;
Who put darkness for light, and light for darkness;
Who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!
Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes,
And prudent in their own sight!” (Isaiah 5:20-21).

God created a man and a woman to be husband and wife, but today, homosexual marriages are accepted in the courts and in many churches. Isaiah 5:20-21 is being fulfilled right before our very eyes.

One person is born a male, but says he is a female. Another is born a female but says she is a male. One female even says she is a cat. Some even identify as neither male nor female (non-binary). And this is only the beginning of this madness! Again, Isaiah 5:20-21 is all around us.

Opposite sex is now different sex. Mother is now gestational parent. This is just a sample of our lunacy. There are hundreds of other terms and phrases that have been changed, eliminated, or added. Isaiah 5:20-21 again.

Are you looking for Jesus’ return, or yawning in disbelief? The apostle Peter had this to say about our Lord’s return:

“Most importantly, I want to remind you that in the last days scoffers will come, mocking the truth and following their own desires. They will say, ‘What happened to the promise that Jesus is coming again? From before the times of our ancestors, everything has remained the same since the world was first created.’

They deliberately forget that God made the heavens by the word of his command, and he brought the earth out from the water and surrounded it with water. Then he used the water to destroy the ancient world with a mighty flood. And by the same word, the present heavens and earth have been stored up for fire. They are being kept for the day of judgment when ungodly people will be destroyed.

But you must not forget this one thing, dear friends: A day is like a thousand years to the Lord, and a thousand years is like a day. The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent. But the day of the Lord will come as unexpectedly as a thief. Then the heavens will pass away with a terrible noise, and the very elements themselves will disappear in fire, and the earth and everything on it will be found to deserve judgment” (2 Peter 3:3-10, NLT).

The bride of Christ (true Church) will be removed first (Rapture, 1 Thessalonians 5:9; 4:13-18), then the Tribulation will begin when the Antichrist confirms a covenant with Israel (Daniel 9:27). At the end of the seven-year Tribulation, the Church will return with Christ at His second coming (2 Peter 3:10).

If you know Jesus as your Savior and Lord, keep looking up because He is coming for His bride, the Church. It may not be today, but then again, it may be.

If you have never put your faith in Jesus and been born again (John 3:3), do so today, and you will not be left behind to face the wrath of God.

Grant Phillips

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The Samaritan Woman :: By Grant Phillips

In John 4:3-42 is John’s account of Jesus’ meeting with the Samaritan woman at the well and the result of that encounter.

Jesus had left Judaea and departed to Galilee, but instead of taking the usual route that the Jews took to avoid Samaria, He went directly toward Sychar, a city of Samaria. This route was actually shorter anyway, but Jesus didn’t go this way to shave off miles. He went there to speak to a nation through an outcast woman.

John says in verse six that Jesus sat down by Jacob’s well, which was on a plot of land near Sychar, at about the sixth hour. Since Jesus and His disciples traveled roughly 30 miles, and a day’s journey back then was 20-25 miles, He had to arrive at about 6:00 P.M.

Obviously, John used Roman time instead of Hebrew time, as did Matthew, Mark, and Luke. I don’t know John’s reason for this, but we do know that the Synoptic Gospels were written much earlier than John’s Gospel. Also, notice that in John 19:14, John says that Jesus was before Pilate at about the sixth hour, which would have to be about 6:00 A.M since Mark clearly says in Mark 15:25 that Jesus was crucified at 9:00 A.M. The important thing is that a disgraced Samaritan woman was about to meet Someone that would change her life.

Before going on, we need to consider why there was so much hatred for the Samaritans by the Jews. This will take us back to 2 Kings 17:24, 29-34. When the Assyrians conquered the northern kingdom, Israel, most all the Jews were taken off into captivity, but that’s not all. The king of Assyria brought Gentile captives from other nations into Israel. They came from Babylon, Cuthah, Avva, Hamath and Sepharvaim (vs. 24). In turn, these foreigners brought their own gods (vss. 29-31).

At this point, the Israelites and Gentile nations intermarried and became a nation of half-breeds. Even worse, they “feared the Lord” while at the same time worshipping their own man-made gods (vss. 32-34).

And then there is the reading of Ezra and Nehemiah when the inhabitants of the land interfered with the Jews in Judah from restoring the temple. Ezra 4:4-5 says, “Then the people of the land tried to discourage the people of Judah. They troubled them in building, and hired counselors against them to frustrate their purpose all the days of Cyrus king of Persia, even until the reign of Darius king of Persia.”

Three more reasons for the Jews’ animosity toward the Samaritans are:

One: The Samaritans built their own temple at Mount Gerizim and actually insisted that it was authorized by Moses.

Two: The Samaritans accepted only the Torah (Pentateuch), the first five books of the Bible written by Moses.

Three: Samaria became a refuge for every outlaw, criminal and refugee from justice.

So, here is Jesus in Samaria speaking to an unaccompanied woman (prohibited by the Jews), speaking to a Samaritan (strongly prohibited), and lastly, speaking to a woman with a ‘sketchy’ past (definitely prohibited).

The other women of the area would draw their water in the cool of the day, probably early morning, so why was this Samaritan woman drawing her water in the evening? According to Jesus and her own admission, she had had five husbands, and the man she was currently living with was not her husband.

Regardless of the reason for her five husbands and now living with a man who was not her husband, she was ostracized by others in the community, and probably especially the other women. Can you imagine her feelings of rejection and loneliness? Many folks today can identify with her, and not necessarily for the same reason. The good news is that Jesus is willing to meet with anyone who will come to Him.

Jesus asked her for a drink, and she replied, “… How is it that You, being a Jew, ask a drink from me, a Samaritan woman?’ For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans” (John 4:9).

Jesus said to her, as He says to us today, “… If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water” (John 4:10).

She then says, “Sir, You have nothing to draw with, and the well is deep. Where then do You get that living water? Are You greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well, and drank from it himself, as well as his sons and his livestock?” (John 4:11-12).

She didn’t know at this time, but yes, Jesus was greater than their father Jacob. It was probably Jesus that gave Jacob that limp he had when he walked.

Jesus never once condemned her but gave her the best news she could ever receive. He said to her, “… Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life” (John 4:13-14).

At this point, let’s read what John records in John 7:37-39.

“On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, ‘If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’ But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.”

This dear woman finally realized what Jesus was saying and was so overtaken with joy that she ran back to the village and told others about her encounter with Jesus. Because of her witness, Jesus and His disciples spent two days with the outcasts of Samaria, and many were saved. They were not outcasts in the eyes of God.

In Isaiah 55:1-2, the Lord proclaims to us all, “Ho! Everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat. Yes, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. Why do you spend money for what is not bread, and your wages for what does not satisfy? Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good, and let your soul delight itself in abundance.”

Grant Phillips
Pre-Rapture Commentary:
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