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An Exhortation October 5, 2016

Posted by stevekerp in Uncategorized.
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The end of the present evil age, the restoration of the created order from the ravages of sin, the establishment of the kingdom of Christ on earth, and the time of judgment were all major topics in the early years of the church.  Accordingly, significant portions of scripture are devoted to explaining the end times.  One of the truly precious promises that Jesus made to His disciples (which includes us) is that He will return (John 14:3).  In Matthew 24:30, He said that something He called “the sign of the Son of Man” will immediately precede that event.

Have you ever wondered what that sign might be?  Have you ever anticipated what it will be like for those believers on the earth when this promise is fulfilled?  And perhaps as important:  what it will be like for unbelievers on the earth when Jesus returns?

It may surprise you to know that many people who consider themselves Christians really don’t seem to care.  “He might return tomorrow, or He may not return for another hundred years,” seems to express their view.  A statement such as, “He said we could not know the day or the hour,” is, for them, the end of the discussion.  Perhaps your pastor or your friends don’t like to talk about this stuff, so you assume it’s not important.

If that describes you, Jesus has a question for you:  “Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?” (Luke 6:46), because intentional ignorance of the end times is actually disobedience.  He gave us specific signs to watch for, and He COMMANDED us to watch! (Mark 13:37)  If He said, “I will be back next week” you would not know the day or the hour… but you would still be expected to watch.  Just as you don’t want to be found loafing when your earthly boss shows up unexpectedly in your work space, you don’t want to be found disobedient when Jesus returns.  Please take this warning seriously.

The sign of the Son of Man will appear over Jerusalem on Saturday, September 23, 2017. Stay tuned and get ready.

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Comments»

1. Sabine Vlaming - October 5, 2016

Dear Steve,

For your consideration: How the Revelation 12 sign is a sign signaling the return of our Lord, but not a rapture sign.

The Sign of Shiloh foretelling our Lord’s soon coming for us

Many blessings,
Sabine

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stevekerp - October 5, 2016

He returns for His saints, and then He returns with his saints. Please read the linked article and let me know what you think. I understand there are those who think the rapture must happen well BEFORE this sign, and I used to believe that myself.

I am not persuaded by Daniel Valles’ work. I find his conjectures to be imaginative and not supported by scripture. I think we agree that the sign of Revelation 12 will occur next September, and I think we agree that it’s significant.

Hope to see you soon.

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2. pattyv4932 - March 21, 2017

Thank you for this detailed information and for having Scripture to back everything up.
Would this indicate that the Rapture would happen before this?

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stevekerp - March 21, 2017

I am inclined to think the sign comes just before the rapture, based on Jesus’ words in Matthew 24:29-31. The sequence seems to be:

1) the end of the “tribulation of those days”, then
2) the sun is darkened and the moon will not give its light, etc., then
3) the sign of the Son of Man appears, then
4) the rapture (verse 31)

Which “tribulation” is still unclear to me, since the text seems ambiguous, but it probably doesn’t matter since both tribulations seem to end at the same time. There is a particular tribulation aimed at believers that begins at Matthew 24:9 which I believe maps to the opening of the Fifth Seal. There is also a period of “great tribulation” which I have come to believe is NOT the wrath of God, but is instead a local tribulation in Israel that maps to Zechariah 13:8-9. It is “great” tribulation in its intensity, but not in its scope.

At that time, in Israel, “they will look on Me whom they have pierced; they will mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son…” (Zech. 12:10). This, I believe, will be the fulfillment of both Hosea 5:15 and Matthew 23:39, as well as the resurrection event prophesied in Ezekiel 37:37:12-14.

The “State of Israel” will be dissolved, and the Kingdom of Israel will be re-established.

These are my conclusions to date. I think they are well-supported by scripture, but may not be the only solution, or the correct one. I hope this helps.

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pattyv4932 - March 21, 2017

Thank you for your reply. Is there also the possibility the Lord has a predetermined number of believers before we can be Raptured?

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stevekerp - March 22, 2017

The late Jack Kelley wrote on “the fullness of the Gentiles” and suggested that “fullness” was a nautical term which meant the number of crew members necessary before a ship could safely embark. I haven’t read the article in a while, but it might have gone along the lines that a predetermined number or quota had to be reached before the rapture could happen.

I guess it hinges on “predetermined.” Certainly no saved people will be abandoned, nor will saints be left here because there “isn’t room for them” or some such. The body of Christ will be complete.

Some have suggested that God, who knows how many will be saved, will wait until the last person “makes a decision for Christ” or something, so that the timing of the rapture depends on the free will decision of the last person who God knows will eventually be saved.

I could write a fair amount on the topic and never really answer the question. When you ask “is there also the possibility…?” then I’d have to concede that anything not explicitly precluded by scripture remains “a possibility.”

I believe Jesus came to seek and to save those who are lost, and He will be 100% successful. This is not “universalism” – rather, it’s the idea that there are sons of the kingdom (“wheat”) and there are sons of the evil one (“tares”) and we can’t tell the difference, but Jesus can. Tares look like us, sound like us, and act like us. But they are not “lost” because they are in the world and of the world. They are of their father the devil. When all the wheat has been “saved” the Lord will rapture His children. Tares will be left behind. We get mercy, which we have asked for. They get justice, which they have asked for. NOBODY gets injustice – the Lord of all the earth will do right.

His “predetermined number” is ALL of “whosoever will.” It will be a complete set; no one missing. Don’t know the headcount but God does.

Does this answer your question? If not, does it clarify anything for you?

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