Are We Approaching The End Times? :: By Grant Phillips

From 1956 to 2010, a popular soap opera was viewed on television (not by me, though) called As The World Turns. Personally, I could never understand why people would watch that stuff unfold day after day on TV. Yet, this show thrived for 54 years, and that was just one out of several others.

Today, as I and many other Christians behold current events, I’m made dizzy as our world turns around us in the 21st century. Many Christians wonder, “Are we living on borrowed time?” Several prophecy teachers have actually stated that very question, and I would have to agree with them. We are living on borrowed time.

Before God destroyed the world with a flood in Noah’s day, He warned everyone that His judgment was coming. Noah preached God’s message of warning for 120 years, and no one listened except those in his family. When the time was up, it started to rain, but not before He removed Enoch from the earth and secured Noah and his family safely in the ark.

Before God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, they were warned. Then fire came down from heaven, but not before God removed Lot and his family.

Before God destroyed Nineveh, the capital of Assyria, they were warned by Jonah in about the 9th century B.C. They repented at that time and were saved, but eventually were destroyed three centuries later because they went back to their old ways of corruption.

God warned Israel, the northern kingdom, until they were finally taken into captivity by Assyria around 721 B.C.

God warned Judah also until they too were taken into captivity by the Babylonians around 586 B.C.

God has always provided warnings before He administered His judgment, and He is warning our world today, not just by prophets but also through many signs that His judgment is coming. This coming judgment is called several names, some of which are:

The time of Jacob’s trouble (Daniel 9:24-27)
Daniel’s 70th week (Daniel 9:24-27)
A time of trouble or distress (Daniel 12:1)
The great day of His wrath (Revelation 6:17)
The hour of trial which shall try the whole earth (Revelation 3:10)
The indignation (Isaiah 26:20)
Tribulation and the Great Tribulation (Matthew 24:21, 29; Mark 13:19, 24; Revelation 7:14)
The Day of the Lord (Joel 1:15; 2:1; 1 Thessalonians 5:2)

This coming judgment upon the world is commonly known to us today as the Tribulation. Jesus told us the Church will suffer many tribulations while in the world, but these tribulations brought on by mankind are not “the” Tribulation. When “the” Tribulation comes upon the world, it will be God’s direct judgment upon mankind. This day is coming just as surely as judgment fell upon the whole world in Noah’s day, and on Sodom and Gomorrah in Lot’s day, and upon Nineveh, Israel, Judah and other peoples.

The purpose of the Tribulation concerning the Jewish people is found in Daniel 9:24.

“Seventy weeks are determined
For your people and for your holy city,
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.”

The purpose of the Tribulation concerning all Gentiles is to judge the world’s rebellion against God, but even through His judgment, many will come to Him and be saved. It is always His desire, even in judgment, that many be saved.

“Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent, “because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead” (Acts 17:30-31).

“For when Your judgments are in the earth, The inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness” (Isaiah 26:9).

“The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9).

The Day of the Lord begins with the Tribulation and continues through the Millennium. Many signs or warnings are provided by God to announce the coming Tribulation, but before it begins, Jesus will remove His bride, the Church, from the earth just as He removed Enoch from the coming worldwide flood of Noah’s day and took him to Heaven.

The fact that we are seeing so many signs today of the coming Tribulation is an urgent warning that we are living on borrowed time; the Church age is quickly coming to an end. There are no signs for the removal of the Church (Rapture). It will be without warning, and then the Tribulation will commence thereafter.

The signs we are seeing today are like signs we receive when a storm is about to arrive. As you know, even before the storm arrives, the clouds start moving in, the temperature drops, there is a different smell in the air, the wind starts blowing, and it starts getting darker. That is where we are today concerning the Tribulation. The Tribulation hasn’t yet arrived, but the clouds are moving in, the world is getting colder, there is a different smell in the air, the winds of rebellion are picking up, and the world is getting darker. How far away is the storm? God is telling us that is His business, but time is running out.

When I was young, there weren’t even close to the number of signs we are witnessing today, although when I was a one-year-old, perhaps the greatest sign occurred, and that was Israel becoming a nation. Israel becoming a nation on May 14, 1948, is the foundation for everything else. Then on June 7, 1967, Jerusalem came under Israeli control in the Six-Day War. Since then, the signs have gotten exponentially more numerous and severe, until today, they are actually hard to keep up with.

David Reagan, a prophecy teacher and founder of Christ In Prophecy, put the signs in categories to make them easier to follow. He listed his categories as follows:

The Signs of Nature
The Signs of Society
The Spiritual Signs
The Signs of Technology
The Signs of World Politics
The Signs of Israel

In the book of Daniel, we find that he, Daniel, was confused by the information that God had provided him concerning the time of the end. God told him:

“But you, Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book until the time of the end; many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase” (Daniel 12:4).

It wasn’t meant for Daniel to understand, so God told him to seal the book, and when the time was right, those living at the time of the end would understand. That time is now. God has unsealed the book, and today has opened the minds of His own to understand.

The sand in the hourglass of time is nearly depleted. The time is now for all who will to recognize that we can almost see the finish line. Jesus is coming soon, which is a joyous thought for all who know Him as Savior and Lord. It can be a joyous time for anyone who will come to Jesus and be saved. Sure, judgment is coming, and it is going to be beyond terrible, but all who belong to Jesus will not experience His judgment, only His salvation.

Jesus’ words to Jerusalem can apply to anyone today who will come to Him and be saved.

“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing!” (Matthew 23:37).

Grant Phillips

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By Their Fruits :: By Grant Phillips

Around Thanksgiving and Christmas, my mother used to make an apple salad that I love to this day. I usually make it myself around those two holidays.

You can put what you want in it, but I usually include the following: peeled apple (Red Delicious) cut in small cubes, celery (cut up small), raisins, miniature marshmallows, mayonnaise, nuts (Pecans or Walnuts) cut up small. All of this is mixed to taste, but there is one other ingredient that must be used after cutting up the apples. It is called Fruit Fresh. On the container, it states that it is a “produce protector that prevents browning and protects flavor of fresh-cut produce.” If this isn’t used, the apples are going to get real nasty over a short time.

Our Lord has told us He wants those who are His to produce fruit because, in His divine wisdom, He has a recipe to make our lives more enjoyable and more productive for His glory.

“By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples” (John 15:8).

Assuming we are following His command of producing fruit, our fruit can be fresh and tasty or it can result in brown, unsavory rottenness if the Fruit Fresh isn’t applied in our life. Our Fruit Fresh is the application of the Holy Spirit in whatever we do.

“that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God” (Colossians 1:10).

If the Spirit of God is sprinkled in whatever we do, say and think, then our fruit is pleasing to Him.

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law” (Galatians 5:22-23).

However, if we are not sprinkling our fruit with the Holy Spirit, it will become rancid and take on the appearance of the world. The world, those without Christ, can only produce fruit of the flesh because there is no preserving power of the Holy Spirit.

“Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God” (Galatians 5:19-21).

Today, our world is topsy-turvy. Everything is upside down and backwards. Instead of the church going out into the world, the world has come in and is taking over the church. Isaiah said it well:

“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!” (Isaiah 5:20)

When I think back to the days of my youth and then consider our society today, I feel like I must be on another planet. Our world today is going to hell in a handbasket. How did we get here? When it becomes difficult for the world to tell any difference between themselves and a true Christian, the answer is obvious. We got here because we compromised.

It is surprising today when those who claim to be Christians can’t even tell right from wrong. Sin parks on their doorstep, and they invite it in. False gospels flow from the pulpits of America, and untold numbers of professing Christians don’t recognize it for what it is. Why is that? In one word … ignorance.

Until the printing press was invented by Johannes Gutenberg in 1450, almost no one had a Bible. Even afterwards, men gave their lives for the Bible to be printed in the language of the people. Most people didn’t even know how to read and write. Therefore, many were ignorant of God’s Word, but today there is no excuse. Today, ignorance is by choice. Most still allow the opinions of others to rule their thinking instead of going to the Bible and getting the Truth.

The Gospel of Jesus Christ has been so watered down by liberal pulpits, entire churches have been conned by Satan’s lies. Why? It is because so few Christians really and truly study God’s holy Word; i.e., the Bible, and allow the Holy Spirit to guide their study and to guide the life they live.

Our fruit has become very offensive because we refuse to use the only thing that will keep it fresh. As already stated, the Holy Spirit working in the life of a Christian works like Fruit Fresh to keep produce from spoiling, but the Spirit of God must work through His own Word to produce the right kind of fruit in our lives and to keep it fresh.

We need to ask ourselves (notice, I say “We,” not “You”):

Can others look at us and see Love for them?
Can they see Joy and Peace in our lives?
Are we Longsuffering (patient) with others?
Are we Kind?
Can they see Goodness coming from us?
Can they see that we are Faithful to Jesus?
Are we Gentle with others?
Do we practice Self-control?

I think the most important is that our fruit shows a legitimate love for others. The apostle Paul said in 1 Corinthians 13:

“Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.

Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away.

When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.

And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.”

Jesus Himself told us:

“…Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself” (Matthew 22:37-39).

You think maybe God is saying that if we take care of the “love” part of our Christian lives, the rest will take care of itself, including the fruits we produce?

Any true Christian wants to produce good fruit for our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. We all want to hear Him say, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” If we would seriously study His Word and ask Him to keep us fresh in His Spirit, there is no reason we can’t honor our Lord with good fruit. And Jesus said, “By their fruits you shall know them” (Matthew 7:20).

Jesus is returning soon, and many Christians will be surprised. When is He returning? I don’t know, but we are definitely in the season of the Lord’s return. He could come at any time. Are we producing fruits for Him? He left us this word by the apostle Paul.

“The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light.

Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy.

But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts” (Romans 13:12-14).

Grant Phillips
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