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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With all that is changing in our nation it’s important to realize that God’s plan has always been for humans to have freedom of choice whether to follow Him or not. No matter what happens in the world, we may choose whether to stand on our faith in Jesus to get through.
I’m okay with that. His way is the only way that works in every circumstance. He does not extend freedom to choose and then take that freedom away. His will is the one constant in the universe. Just as Jesus freely chose to suffer and die on a cross in order to pay our sin debt, we may accept His gift of eternal life or not. PRAISE GOD! WHAT A SAVIOR!! He never asks us to live by a different set of rules than He does.
“Therefore My Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it up again. No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This command I have received from My Father.”~ John 10:17-18
So Jesus redeems us by choice – not because He has to. It is an act of love. I encourage you to exercise your God-given freedom of choice and believe in Jesus today. Step into the Light of the World and be changed forever.
“Therefore, if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.”
Almighty God speaks out against idol worship in Isaiah chapter 45. He states over and over that “I am the Lord, and there is no other”.
By Myself, I have sworn, My mouth has uttered in all integrity a word that will not be revoked: Before Me every knee will bow; by Me every tongue will swear. They will say of Me, “In the Lord alone are deliverance and strength.” All who have raged against Him will come to Him and be put to shame. ~ Isaiah 45:23-24 NIV
When that day comes, it will be an unprecedented event like no other on this earth. I don’t know about you, but I pray that it will be a joyous day for as many people as possible instead of a shameful one.
God next turns His attention to the gods of Babylon in chapter 46:
Remember this, keep in mind, take it to heart, you rebels. Remember the former things, those of long ago; I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me.I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say, “My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please.” ~ Isaiah 46:8-10 NIV
Friend, if you have not already done so, now would be the perfect time to turn your life toward the cross and accept God’s Son, Jesus, as your personal Savior. It is so simple and it is totally FREE.
17And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: 18And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy: 19And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath: blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke: 20The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come: 21And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved. ~The Acts 2:17-21 (KJV)
When God Almighty makes a statement, it is unequivocally and irreversibly true. You can forget about debate on the subject, because the words “And it shall come to pass” means just exactly that; something WILL surely happen “in the last days”. Forget about mystical predictions of people such as Nostradamus, gurus, shamans or other fortune tellers. If you want to know the truth about past, present, or future, seek for it in God’s Word.
The Book of Acts was written by the beloved physician, Luke. In chapter 2, Luke is recording a sermon given by the Apostle Peter to a large crowd after the first Pentecost. The crowd had assembled after hearing that the apostles could suddenly speak in foreign tongues. There were thousands making fun of the apostles, and accused them of being drunk on wine. Peter denied that any apostles were drunk, and claimed that Old Testament prophesy by the prophet Joel had just been fulfilled:
28 And afterward, I will pour out my Spiriton all people.Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions. 29 Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days. 30 I will show wonders in the heavens and on the earth, blood and fire and billows of smoke. 31 The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord. 32 And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved; for on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there will be deliverance, as the Lord has said, even among the survivors whom the Lord calls. ~Joel 2:28-32 NIV
So we have a prophecy in the Old Testament Book of Joel that is fulfilled in the New Testament Book of Acts at Pentecost. Thank you Lord! You never change and your Word is true. But what are the “last days”? Scripture explains scripture, so let’s look at 2Timothy chapter 3, where the Apostle Timothy describes the last days not as a period of time, such as “beginning on this or that date and ending on another specific date”, but as an artist wielding a broad brush. He paints us a picture of what the last days will be like:
1But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days.2 People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money,boastful, proud,abusive,disobedient to their parents,ungrateful, unholy,3 without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good,4 treacherous,rash, conceited,lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God—5 having a form of godlinessbut denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people. ~2Timothy 3:1-5 NIV
Sound familiar? We see the evidence of this scripture play out every day in the news, in our schools, neighborhoods, churches, media, government, courts; sadly, our own homes, and virtually everywhere in our world today.
6They are the kind who worm their way into homes and gain control over gullible women, who are loaded down with sins and are swayed by all kinds of evil desires, 7always learning but never able to come to a knowledge of the truth. 8Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so also these teachers oppose the truth. They are men of depraved minds, who, as far as the faith is concerned, are rejected. 9But they will not get very far because, as in the case of those men, their folly will be clear to everyone. ~2Timothy 3:6-9 NIV
Verse 6 reminds me of the large percentage of women who are abused by an even larger percentage of predators that take cruel advantage of the broken hearted, the vulnerable divorcee; women who are deceived by such men to the point that they allow even their own children to be abused.
Verse 7 talks about education for its own sake. Our technology is so advanced beyond 30 years ago that many humans feel disconnected or out of sync with the reality of the present age. Perhaps that is part of the reason so many of us carry cell phones as a desperate attempt to “fit in”. We may not understand what makes it work, but at least we can reclaim some personal power by owning and using one. But does education or advanced learning in and of itself lead to a better understanding of truth?
Evidently not; verse 8 predicts teachers will oppose truth, have depraved minds, and reject faith in God. Please believe me when I state that I am not against teachers in general and have respect for most teachers. Yet I believe God’s Word as truth and make no apologies for it.
I believe the last days are here and now.
Peter’s sermon continues in Acts chapter 2 giving testimony to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ to earth, His crucifixion, resurrection, and therefore fulfillment of Bible prophesy relating to God’s Plan of Salvation for mankind. He makes the case, I believe, that the last days are indeed the time from Pentecost until Jesus returns for His church at the end of days. The last days are the time period for the spreading of the Good News Gospel to all humans until Jesus returns to set up His everlasting kingdom on earth.
Peter exhorts the crowd in verse 38 to, “Repent and be baptized,every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins.And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”
About 3,000 souls who heard Peter’s sermon “gladly” received the gospel and were baptized, according to Luke. Since the day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit has been poured out into the earth; the Gospel has been shared; prophecy has been received and proclaimed by believers; there are many books and documentaries about real cases of near death experiences that testify to a real heaven and a real hell; we have seen signs and wonders; war with blood, fire, smoke; heavenly signs of eclipses, blood moons, and yet the end is not yet. Every living person still has time to accept Jesus as Lord and spend eternity in Heaven with Him.
4Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. 5For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. 6And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. 7For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. 8All these are the beginnings of sorrows. ~Matthew 24:4-8 KJV
Do not fear or lose hope just because we are living in the last days. People have been living in the last days since Jesus rose from the grave two millennia ago! Yes, there will be a time of tribulation more terrible than the world has ever seen. Yes, there will be a great battle of Armageddon. Yes, this world as we know it will end someday; but this is still the best time to ever have lived on planet earth and the best opportunity to live a victorious life as a believer in Jesus. He IS the one true promised Messiah. He has admonished us to “Fear Not.” He will never leave or forsake His followers. He has a plan for each and every true believer that is tailor-made for success. HE LOVES AND ACCEPTS YOU JUST THE WAY YOU ARE! You do not have to “clean up your act” before you ask forgiveness. He will help you do that later. Just admit to Him that you need His gift of grace and redemption and trust Him now. This is called “God’s Plan of Salvation”. It is so simple, yet so crucial to your eternal destiny – and it’s TOTALLY FREE!
If you need prayer, just reach out in the comments and I will be honored to pray with you; or ask God to help you find your way to Him. Read the Bible! It contains all the answers. God has promised that all who seek Him shall find Him. God bless.
Featured image photo credit: @Can Stock Photo Inc/LeoBlanchette