VIDEO Raptured Up

Raptured Up

Suddenly a chariot of fire appeared with horses of fire… and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven. 2 Kings 2:11

With every passing day, some of God’s servants travel, through death, into His presence. But some have been—and will be—caught up to heaven without seeing death. That happened to Enoch in Genesis 5 and Elijah in 2 Kings 2. Jesus ascended to heaven in Acts 1, though He first died to redeem us. In Revelation 11:11, we’re told of two Tribulation witnesses who will be slain, resurrected, and caught up to heaven.

The next event on God’s prophetic calendar is the Rapture of His Church: “The Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout…and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds” (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17).

Which would we rather? If we fall asleep in Jesus, we’ll see Christ first. But if we’re alive when He comes in the clouds, we’ll see Him without enduring death.

Either way, we have something to shout about. We have a bright tomorrow in Him!

If Jesus were to come back this afternoon, all of us who know Christ would be caught up out of here and taken to heaven. We’re going to be raptured up! David Jeremiah


The Prophet Elijah

Watchful Care

“Do not I fill heaven and earth?” declares the Lord. Jeremiah 23:24

Before he raced out the door to school, I asked my son if he had brushed his teeth. Asking again, I reminded him of the importance of telling the truth. Unmoved by my gentle admonishment, he half-jokingly informed me that what I really needed was a security camera in the bathroom. Then I could check for myself if he had brushed his teeth and he wouldn’t be tempted to lie.

While the presence of a security camera may help remind us to follow the rules, there are still places we can go unnoticed or ways we can avoid being seen. Although we may evade or trick a security camera, we fool ourselves if we think we are ever outside the gaze of God.

God asks, “Who can hide in secret places so that I cannot see them?” (Jeremiah 23:24). There is both an encouragement and a warning in His question.

The warning is that we cannot hide from God. We can’t outrun or fool Him. Everything we do is visible to Him.

The encouragement is that there is no place on earth or in the heavens where we are outside the watchful care of our heavenly Father. Even when we feel alone, God is with us. No matter where we go today, may the awareness of that truth encourage us to choose obedience to His Word and receive comfort—He watches over us.

Lord Jesus, thank You that there is nowhere I can go that is outside of Your loving gaze. Knowing You see me, help me to honor You with my words and actions.

We are never outside the watchful care of our heavenly Father.

By Lisa Samra 

INSIGHT

The rich theme of God’s constant care for us we see in today’s text is also seen in the psalms. David, threatened by powerful enemies, found great comfort and strength in knowing that God knew everything about him (Psalm 139:1–6). He marveled that the omniscient, omnipotent God was always present with him. Acknowledging there was no place where he was outside of God’s provision and protection, David affirmed: “I can never get away from your presence!” (v. 7 nlt). When we realize the all-powerful God—who knows all about us—is constantly with us, it will impact how we live (vv. 23–24). The writer of Hebrews says, “Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account” (4:13). Therefore, let’s be quick to run to Him for refuge for “the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him” (2 Chronicles 16:9).

Are you hemmed in by life’s trials and troubles? Refresh yourself with knowing that God knows and He cares.

 

K. T. Sim

Wisdom for Life

Proverbs 4:10-27

Sometimes life seems like a confusing maze of options, and we don’t know which path to choose. What we need is God’s wisdom to guide us. Our first source for insight is His Word, but that is not the end. With scriptural principles as our foundation, God provides other opportunities that can help us grow in wisdom.

Discernment. Instead of blindly accepting cultural ideas, we should compare what we hear and see around us with what God has said in His Word. Then we’ll recognize evil and deception and have the wisdom to avoid that path.

Observation. By noticing actions of godly and ungodly people, we gain wisdom. As we observe their mistakes and successes, as well as our own past, we learn the blessings of obedience and the consequences of wrongdoing.

Godly counsel. The Lord will sometimes use other people to give direction for our life (Prov. 12:15). Whether they speak encouragement or correction, we can trust their advice when it lines up with Scripture and is confirmed by the leading of the Holy Spirit.

Wise Associates. There’s great benefit in spending time with those who know the Lord and routinely respond in a godly manner (Prov. 13:20). Before developing close relationships, we should learn what people value. As we recognize which individuals reflect wisdom in thought and deed, we can cultivate a relationship with them and emulate their discerning ways.

God wants us to pay attention to what we see and hear—and to be deliberate in our choice of companions. Wisdom isn’t just having the right information; it’s an ability to perceive between right and wrong, good and best.

Christ Suffering and Triumph

“I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.” (Revelation 1:8)

In the final book of the Bible occur seven great “I am” assertions by the glorified Christ, all speaking of His ultimate victory. However, in the book of Psalms occur seven vastly different “I am” statements by Christ, all speaking prophetically of His sufferings. These are in four of the wonderfully fulfilled Messianic psalms, all written 1,000 years before Christ, yet each psalm cited in the New Testament is fulfilled by Christ.

“But I am a worm, and no man” (Psalm 22:6, comparing Christ to a mother “scarlet worm” who dies so that her young may live, and in so doing gives off a scarlet fluid that protects and nourishes her young).

“I am poor and needy” (Psalm 40:17).
“I am . . . a stranger unto my brethren” (Psalm 69:8).
“I am full of heaviness” (Psalm 69:20).
“I am poor and sorrowful” (Psalm 69:29).
“I . . . am as a sparrow alone upon the house top” (Psalm 102:7).
“I am withered like grass” (Psalm 102:11).

In contrast to these lonely sufferings of Christ, there are the glories that shall follow. The first of the seven “I am’s” of Revelation is our text above, and four of the others proclaim the same great truth (Revelation 1:11, 17; 21:6; 22:13).

The self-existing One, the “I am,” Jehovah, the Lord Jesus Christ, who created all things (Alpha), will one day triumph and make all things new forever (Omega). Listen to the other two wonderful testimonies: “I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore” (Revelation 1:18). “I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star” (Revelation 22:16). HMM

They persecute Him whom You hast smitten

Luke 22:66-71

Sorrowfully let us now see our Lord accused before the Jewish council, standing alone before his cruel enemies. After the council had condemned Jesus in a preliminary examination, they seem to have separated, to meet again in a more formal manner in the morning.

Luke 22:66-69

And as soon as it was day which was then about five in the morning

Luke 22:66-69

They would neither hear his arguments nor reply fairly to any questions which he might put to them, by which his claims might be proved. He had, in former days, proved to them that he was the Christ, and that the Christ was the Son of God, and yet they had refused to believe. He, therefore, bore his testimony, and left the issue to the last great day, saying,

Luke 22:70

He had called himself “the Son of man,” but they saw at once that his claim to sit at God’s right hand involved his Deity, and, therefore, they pushed the question yet further, that they might accuse him.

Luke 22:70

Which means, “Ye say rightly that I am.”

Luke 22:71

From the boldness of our Lord let us take example, and never conceal the truth from fear of men.

Matthew 27:1-10

Matthew 24:1

The day was more advanced, but it was yet early, and a third time the Sanhedrim held a sitting, not to try the Lord Jesus, but to consider how to secure his destruction. The Romans had taken away from them the power of life and death, and, therefore, they were forced to carry their prisoner to the Roman governor.

Matthew 24:5

From the place whereon he hung him self he fell headlong and was dashed in pieces; thus every circumstance of horror attended his self-murder. Unhappy man! How shortlived was his profit! How eternal his loss! Will we give up Christ for gain or pleasure! O Lord, forbid it.

Matthew 24:6

Base hypocrites. They had a qualmish conscience about the harmless pieces of money, but none concerning thee murder they had perpetrated! They remind us of those who are zealous for their church, and yet continue in sin.

 

Lord! when I read the traitor’s doom,

To his own place consign’d,

What holy fear, and humble hope,

Alternate fill my mind!

 

Traitor to thee I too have been,

But saved by matchless grace,

Or else the lowest, hottest hell

Had surely been my place.

 

Blest Lamb of God! thy sovereign grace

To all around I’ll tell,

Which made a place in glory mine,

Whose just desert was hell.

 

Reality of Pride Is Real

The fear of the Lord is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way,… do I hate. (Proverbs 8:13)

Let me warn you of the danger and the bigotry of human pride. You will find it everywhere in the world and it will feast on almost anything that will make it fat!

I have come to the conclusion that many people I have met are not ever going to get right with God because they have determined that they simply will not humble themselves, ever!

Pride is an awesome quality in mankind, not only in Jesus’ day, but in ours as well.

I heard a newscast in which one of India’s highest officials was trying to deny a report that Christian missionaries were being hindered in their work in India. He said, “We are not hindering the propagation of the Christian doctrine in India. In fact, we understand that there have actually been a few people of low caste who have believed the Christian teaching.”

Oh, the rising pride in his voice as he made the statement. The helpless and the hopeless in the lowest caste—he was not going to get in their way if they wanted to believe in Christ.

Yes, the bigotry of human pride is everywhere!

 

Very Simple Method Of Studying Key Verses

How would you like a simple method of studying key verses in the Bible?

 

First, copy the verse from one or more versions of the Bible. Write it under the heading VERSE FOR STUDY

 

Second, under the heading MESSAGE, write out in your own words what the verse says – what it commands, teaches, warns of, or promises.

 

Third, look at the verses immediately preceding and following the verse. These are known as the context of the verse. Under the heading CONTEXT, record first the thoughts added by the verses preceding your study verse. Record the thoughts added by the verses following the study verse.

 

Fourth, record the questions that the verse raises in your mind, or the problems you think it might pose for yourself or someone else. These can be recorded under the heading QUESTIONS.

 

Finally, APPLICATION: Describe one specific way you can change your attitudes or actions because of the teaching of this verse.

 

Suggested verses to study:

 

Matthew 4:19 (18-20) – Follow Christ

 

Matthew 5:6 (5-7) – Hunger for Righteousness

 

Matthew 5:11 (10-12) – Persecution

 

Matthew 5:44 (43-45) – Love your enemies

 

Matthew 6:6 (5-7) – Prayer

 

Matthew 9:37 (36-38) – Laborers

 

Matthew 23:11 (10-12) – Spiritual coldness

 

Matthew 28:19 (18-20) – Make disciples

 

Romans 1:16 (15-17) – Not ashamed of the Gospel

 

Romans 1:22 (21-23) – Becoming fools

 

Romans 6:13 (12-14) – Offer your bodies to God

 

Romans 8:34 (33-35) – We are not under condemnation

 

Romans 12:15 (14-16) – Empathy

 

Romans 15:2 (1-3) – Build others up

 

Galatians 4:2 (1-3) – Humility

 

Galatians 4:30 (29-31) – Do not grieve the Holy Spirit

 

Galatians 6:2 (1-3) – Carry each others burdens

 

Galatians 6:8 (7-9) – What you sow, you reap

 

 

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