CHURCH AGE – As soon as Christ ascended to Heaven and sat at the right hand of God, His disciples began to testify of their knowledge of Jesus and their convictions that He was, indeed, the promised Messiah. Many people on earth have since become followers of Jesus as well. This period of time is known as the Church Age. This is the current time in which we all live today.
Many more events relating to the promised return of Christ to earth, and an event called The Rapture, occur next on the timeline. Man will be given ample opportunity by God to repent of sin and accept His gift of redemption through confession of sin, repentance, and following Jesus. That is the primary goal of God’s Plan from the beginning. But sometime in the future after that, time runs out. God allows no more time for man’s rebellion against Him. The open doorway to God closes forever. For a downloadable timeline image of God’s plan for mankind on earth, here is the link.
There will be times of Great Tribulation, Millenium Reign of Christ, and White Throne Judgement. God will demolish (burn up) His creation of everything as it is now in order to start over. Everything will NOT be rewound and played over with a different outcome, as possibly Satan would like to see happen (as he has no creative abilities such as our LORD does); and in his delusional thinking would result in a successful takeover of God’s creation, being a counterfeit god. No. God will speak out and by His Word there will be a tremendous reset. Satan and his followers will be judged and sent to a fiery eternal damnation while those who love Jesus and have become followers of Him will reside with God; whether it be here on a transformed earth, or in a new Heaven; or both:
Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also, there was no more sea. Then I, John, saw the holy city, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.” Then He who sat on the throne said, ”Behold, I make all things new.” And He said to me, “Write, for these words are true and faithful.” ~Revelation 21:1-5.
Big BIG promises! But notice that time is fixed by God Himself and it does end when God’s Plan is finished. Jesus finished His part of our redemption at the cross. But questions linger in the minds of men still.
“Why am I here?”
“How can I ever know God?”
“Is God real?”
“Is this all there is?”
“Is God dead?” and
“Does He even know I exist?”
There are books and movies made about these sorts of questions; so, if you are still reading or listening by now, know that all humans want to know the answers – not just me, or you. These are the types of unanswered questions that often generate suicidal thoughts, so we should give them the importance they deserve. It is a matter of life and death.
It’s about time that people open God’s Word for the TRUTH.
Jesus said to him, “I AM the WAY, the TRUTH, and the LIFE. No man comes to the Father except through Me” ~John 14:6 (emphasis added).
And Jesus promised to send us another Helper after His resurrection, His Holy Spirit!
“However, when He, the Spirit of Truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth.” ~John 16:13a
So knowing that we are living in the last age of time before God’s terrible judgement comes upon earth, may I encourage anyone who has not before taken that step of faith to believe on Jesus as LORD to please do so now. Time is of the essence! Eventually the opportunity will be taken away by God, or each of us will pass away into the spirit world where there are no more chances to make this decision for Christ.
“I will not always strive with men”.
Know therefore that the LORD your God is God; He is the faithful God, keeping His covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love Him and keep His commandments. ~Deuteronomy 7:9
Praying that all have the opportunity to hear the Gospel and will make that decision to come to Jesus while the time is ripe!
Thank you for following Importantstuff.Live and God bless your heart today!
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Good morning! What a night … I was awakened at 6am by a call from my dear one in the hospital who is doing much better. Thank and praise You, RAPHA, THE LORD – MY HEALER … Prayer works!
So, what about time? The way I understand the subject of time in God’s Word goes thus-way:
God created our universe, with sun, moon, planets and other stars; and made order out of chaos. Then he set things into motion with laws of physics to rule the physical realm with all sorts of mysteries like gravity and time that would keep things moving along. Heavenly bodies revolve around stars (i.e., our sun), and environments favorable to life were established and still function according to His Word today. In other words, God SPOKE everything we know of into existence at creation. Then God said, “Let there be light,”; and there was light. ~Genesis 1:3.
God also maintains His creation according to His plan, simply by His command. Beginning at Genesis this theme is evidenced throughout the Bible, but we will not explore those scriptures here today.
But what about time? God created time for His creations on our physical plane, but at the spiritual level, there is no time. That is called eternity, and God resides and operates there from a realm called Heaven. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth. ~John 4:24.
God is not the author of confusion (I Cor. 14:33). He created worlds within a universe because He has a BIG master plan – which has to do with mankind as the central focus. In order to execute any plan in the physical, I believe that time is necessary. A timeline is necessary also. A plan unfolds step by step. Events take place at a certain time and result in a timeline, or chain of events. This is the primary way that God creates and maintains order for us; so that we can understand and follow along with what God is doing as it relates to us. Let’s pause right here and acknowledge that a whole lot more is likely going on in God’s realm that we are not privileged to know, i.e., angelic things, and activities or worlds of other spiritual beings that God has yet to reveal to most of us.
PUSH PLAY – So oversimplified, but my drilled-down introductory version of things I really want to talk about today – which is the subject of time, as it relates to this enormous plan of Almighty God. What is God’s Plan, and where are we on His plan’s timeline? How can we find out?
Of course, God has told us about His Plan in His Word:
“He has saved us and called us to a holy life – not because of anything we have done (works) but because of His own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time.” ~2Timothy 1:9
In the beginning was the Word (Jesus), and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it. ~John 1:1
So, before the beginning of time, THE PLAN is God’s GOSPEL PLAN – The way of our salvation. It is how we have been created for the glory of God to have a relationship in eternity with Him forever. The Word is Jesus, Who, by the statement of the Apostle John above, was present at creation; Who was there with God the Father, and Who in fact was God. In fact, it says that all things were created through Jesus; and also that Jesus is the Light of the World, which fact was rejected by most people at the time.
Whew! So everything prior to the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus is now behind us on the timeline of God’s Plan. God’s promises of sending a Messiah Savior to the world of men, Jesus, has been fulfilled and the Church Age began.
But is it really true that Jesus is the one and only Son of God, Who came to earth in a physical body, lived as we do, and was then sacrificed on a cross in place of us? He who knew no sin became our sin? He, Who defeated death on that cross by resurrecting on the third day after? Let’s shine some light on this with some scripture:
Then He said to them, “These are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me.” And He opened their understanding, that they might comprehend the Scriptures. Then He said to them, “Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day, and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. And you are witnesses of these things. Behold, I send the Promise of My Father upon you; but tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high.” ~Luke 24:44-49
Law of Moses fulfilled in Jesus:
What purpose then does the law serve? It was added because of transgressions, till the Seed should come to whom the promise was made; ~Galatians 3:19
What Seed is that?
And the LORD God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.” So the LORD God said to the serpent: “Because you have done this, you are cursed more than all cattle, and more than every beast of the field; on your belly you shall go, and you shall eat dust all the days of your life, And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed (the Messiah); He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel.” ~Genesis 3:13-15
Is the law then against the promises of God? Certainly not! ~Galatians 3:21a
Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor. ~Galatians 3:24-25
“Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill.” ~Jesus, in Matthew 5:17
Fulfillment by Jesus of what is written by the Prophets:
The people who walked in darkness have seen a great Light; Those who dwelt in the land of the shadow of death. Upon them a Light has shined. ~Isaiah 9:2
For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end. ~Isaiah 9:6-7
Of this salvation the prophets have inquired and searched carefully, who prophesied of the grace that would come to you, searching what, or what manner of time, the Spirit of Christ who was in them was indicating when He testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow. ~1Peter 1:10-11.
Jesus read in the synagogue on the Sabbath day at Nazareth, where He was raised as a child:
And He was handed the book of the prophet Isaiah. And when He had opened the book, He found the place where it was written: “The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed; to proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD.” Then He closed the book, and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all who were in the synagogue were fixed on Him. And He began to say to them, “Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.” So all bore witness to Him, and marveled at the gracious words which proceeded out of His mouth. And they said, “Is this not Joseph’s son?”~Luke 4:17-22
All this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying: Tell the daughter of Zion, ‘Behold, your King is coming to you, lowly, and sitting on a donkey, a colt, the foal of a donkey.'” ~Matthew 21:4-5
And further fulfillment of the promises of a Messiah in Psalms:
1Why do the nations rage, and the people plot a vain thing? 2The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD and against His Anointed, saying, 3“Let us break Their bonds in pieces and cast away Their cords from us.” 4He who sits in the heavens shall laugh; The LORD shall hold them in derision. 5Then He shall speak to them in His wrath, and distress them in His deep displeasure: 6“Yet I have set My King on My holy hill of Zion.” 7“I will declare the decree: The LORD has said to Me, ‘You are My Son, Today I have begotten You. 8Ask of Me, and I will give You the nations for Your inheritance, and the ends of the earth for Your possession. 9You shall break them with a rod of iron; You shall dash them to pieces like a potter’s vessel.'” 10Now therefore, be wise, O kings; Be instructed, you judges of the earth. 11Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling. 12Kiss the Son, lest He be angry, and you perish in the way, when His wrath is kindled but a little, Blessed are all those who put their trust in Him. ~Psalm 2
Yes, Jesus became a bit angry at the temple in Jerusalem in Matthew 21:12:
Then Jesus went into the temple of God and drove out all those who bought and sold in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who sold doves, and He said to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer,’ but you have made it a ‘den of thieves.’“
In You, O LORD, I put my trust; let me never be put to shame. Deliver me in Your righteousness, and cause me to escape; Incline your ear to me and save me. Be my strong refuge, to which I may resort continually; You have given the commandment to save me, for You are my rock and my fortress. ~Psalm 71:1-3
It’s about time that people open God’s Word for the TRUTH!
As I began writing this post, I soon realized that it is going somewhere only God knows. It seems there will be a Part Two | The Church Age; so if you have made it to the end of this first part, thank you for hanging in there! I appreciate you so much. But hey, no need to wait until the next post to accept Christ Jesus as LORD:
Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation. ~2Cor 6:2b
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Tonight is not the sort of night that brings restful slumber or peace. The day’s activities went mostly as planned and nothing went sideways like things sometimes do. We got a tiny scrap of snowfall. No big deal for our northern climate. My neighbor shoveled the sidewalk, so I didn’t have to bother.
Only one meeting today and that went well, too. Yes, it was an easy, productive day… until I got that phone call at three pm from the hospital. I have been uneasy ever since. The news is not good concerning my beloved inpatient there. In this case, “there” is over 160 miles away, and it appears that things have deteriorated health-wise since yesterday.
Oh, Dear Father in heaven: prayers for mercy and healing for our loved one who is so, so sick. Help and guide the staff who cares for this one, that all treatments will be for betterment. May his relationship with you be on solid ground so that angels can attend his every need according to Your will. Bring him peaceful slumber tonight and may he breathe easily in comfort on room air. Bring him through this time of illness; ease the painful suffering and renew his bones and flesh to a physical strength of his former good health. Restore him to home and family, according to Your perfect will, in the Holy Name of our LORD JESUS! Thank you, Father. Amen
What about you and yours tonight? Do you have anyone who needs prayer for healing and comfort? Do you have a prayer partner to sit with you and intercede for those on your prayer list? I am honored to pray with you if you ask in a comment below, for James 5:14-18 teaches us to lift each other up in prayer.
14Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the LORD. 15And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the LORD will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. 16Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. 17Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain; and it did not rain on the land for three years and six months. 18And he prayed again, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its fruit.
I am one of the most blessed persons on earth as my stepsister is a real prayer warrior who jumps right into spiritual prayer battle if any of our family has a need. I am so proud of her faithful walk with our LORD. I will only know when I graduate to heaven how many of her intercessions have saved me from the fiery trials of life. You know, it is a special blessing to pray for someone, so please never refuse if anyone offers to pray for you. That would be like stealing their opportunity for great reward! We each have a calling for the LORD, and He brings opportunities for fulfillment.
Being on the independent side, I usually try to go it alone in most of my pursuits. Often, I think thoughts like, “I have Jesus with me – who else do I need?” Or, I stay up with thoughts in the night that somehow my tired crazy mind can solve problems instead of simply praying to my Father in heaven for the answers. One would think that spending a lifetime of night-owl-nonsense would have taught me the folly of my ways, but – not so much, until after 3 or 4am!
Then one day someone asked if she could help me with something; and before I could decline the sweet offer, she said, “Before you say ‘NO’, don’t rob me of my blessing!”
Wow, I had never thought of it that way before. What a concept! From that day on, I have tried to be on the lookout for God working on the blessings of others. If I detect such a situation, I try to shut my mouth and get outta God’s way quick! Yes, I love to see my brothers and sisters lining up their rewards in heaven for being perfectly faithfulin doing good works.
Pardon my ramblings tonight as I do my usual stinkin’ thinkin’ before I settle down to my prayers. Can anyone out there tell me why my motor mind doesn’t skip to the prayer first at night? Thank you for listening as I face my fears over loved ones who hurt, pray as I should, and waste a perfectly beautiful night created for our perfect rest …
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Lord, You are my God; I will exalt You and praise Your name, for in perfect faithfulness You have done wonderful things, things planned long ago. ~Isaiah 25:1
What are the attributes of faith, and just what are the wonderful things planned AND DONE so long ago?
1Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good testimony. 2By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the Word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible. ~ Hebrews 11:1-2
Therefore, when He came into the world, He said, “Sacrifice and offering You did not desire, But a body You have prepared for Me. In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin You had no pleasure. Then I said, ‘Behold, I have come – In the volume of the book it is written of Me – To do Your will, O God.’ “ ~Hebrews 10:5-7
Yes, from the very beginning God’s Word teaches that it was planned that God’s only Son, Jesus, would come to earth in a fleshly body to die in perfect faithfulness to God’s will. It has always been about God’s love for man and it always will be so.
The Book of Hebrews clears up a lot on the subject of faith. It was written at a time when the early Christian Jews were considering abandoning their faith in Jesus, in favor of returning to their traditional Jewish religion. This sort of rebellion is not new to the descendants of Abraham. Even though God’s faithfulness is perfect in His covenant with the patriarchs of Judaism, there are many recorded instances of the Israelites backsliding into things like idolatry, flat refusal to enter into the Promised Land, and other instances of disobedience to God’s Word.
Therefore, as only God has performed perfect faithfulness, we as His children, may only aspire to reach it in this lifetime. But instead of giving up when we fail, we can repent and pray for forgiveness. Instead of drifting away from being faithful, we must certainly strive to become overcomers through the urgings of Jesus in the Book of Revelation:
He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give some of the hidden manna to eat. And I will give him a white stone, and on the stone a new name written which no one knows except him who receives it. ~Revelation 2:17
BEING AN OVERCOMER MEANS TO BE FAITHFUL! Listen to the pleadings of the Holy Spirit that we keep faithful to God in our hearts:
7Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says: “Today, if you will hear His voice, 8Do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion, In the day of trial in the wilderness, 9Where your fathers tested Me, tried Me, And saw My works forty years. 10Therefore I was angry with that generation, And said, ‘They always go astray in their heart, And they have not known My ways.’ 11So I swore in My wrath, ‘They shall not enter My rest.’ “ ~Hebrews 3:7-11
SO WHAT IS THE BIG DEAL ABOUT FAITH?
On the one hand, because we want to preserve our salvation by walking out our faith according to God’s grace.
4For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit, 5and have tasted the good Word of God and the powers of the age to come, 6if they fall away, to renew them again to repentance, since they crucify again for themselves the Son of God, and put Him to an open shame. ~Hebrews 6:4-6
Remember the warning against backsliding in Ephesians 4:30?
And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.
31“Therefore I say unto you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven men. 32Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven him, either in this age or in the age to come.” ~Matthew 12:31-32
On the other hand, faith without works is dead, James 2:14-26. That sort of Christianity puts us right back under the Law and out of grace. Here we see that perfect faithfulness requires not only a plan, but action as well.
26For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, 27but a certain fearful expectation of judgement, and fiery indignation which will devour the adversaries. 28Anyone who has rejected Moses’ law dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. 29Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose will he be thought worth who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace? 30For we know Him who said, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the LORD. And again, “The LORD will judge His people.” 31It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
35Therefore, do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward. 36For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise:
37“For yet a little while, And He who is coming will come and will not tarry. 38Now the just shall live by faith; But if anyone draws back, My soul has no pleasure in him.” ~Hebrews 10:26-31, & 35-38
Remember, that by faith we overcome. God has given many examples in the Bible of the hardships that believers have endured while practicing their faith. This particular passage is both heartrending and encouraging those who are under trials:
30By faith the walls of Jericho fell down after they were encircled for seven days. 31By faith the harlot Rahab did not perish with those who did not believe, when she had received the spies with peace. 32And what more shall I say? For the time would fail me to tell of Gideon and Barak and Samson and Jephthah, also of David and Samuel and the prophets: 33who through faith subdued kingdoms, worked righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, 34quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, became valiant in battle, turned to flight the armies of the aliens. 35Women received their dead raised to life again. Others were tortured, not accepting deliverance, that they might obtain a better resurrection. 36Still others had trial of mockings and scourgings, yes, and of chains and imprisonment. 37They were stoned, they were sawn in two, were tempted, were slain with the sword. They wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, tormented – 38of whom the world was not worthy. They wandered in deserts and mountains, in dens and caves of the earth. 39And all these, having obtained a good testimony through faith, did not receive the promise, God having provided something better for us, that they should not be made perfect apart from us.
1Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. ~Hebrews 11:30-39 & Hebrews 12: 1-2
I hope that this message on perfect faithfulness strengthens your spiritual armor today. May God bless your comings and goings this week. May He guide and protect you from any harm; and above all, encourage you in your spiritual walk of faith.
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In peace I will both lay myself down and sleep, for You, the LORD alone, make me live in safety. ~ Psalm 4:8
This skinny moose calf found its way into our yard during a blizzard last week. After shooing it out a couple times we got more and more snowfall, so I let it stay. It appears to be starving and just needs a few meals of yard shrubs and trees to make it through a couple more weeks of winter. A couple of days ago it quit bedding down here for the night, but according to the footprints left in the morning snow, is making nightly visits for snacks on Mountain Ash berries and munches of Catone-Astor berries.
A time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace.
~ Ecclesiastes 3:8
Over the decades I have fenced out the moose from the yard, but occasionally they manage to break in. You win this round, Baby Moose. May you grow stronger and survive to make more mooselings next year …
God bless you all! May Springtime arrive on time, and