Y2K - ARE YOU REALLY READY?

II Th 2:1

1 Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him...

“Coming” is translated as: 3952 parousia (par-oo-see'-ah); from the present participle of 3918; a being near, i.e. advent (often, return; specifically, of Christ to punish Jerusalem, or finally the wicked); (by implication) physically, aspect: KJV-- coming, presence.

The coming of the Lord has been a topic of interest since before Christ died and rose again.

Matt 24:3-8 3 And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world? 4 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. 5 For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. 6 And 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. 7 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. 8 All these are the beginning of sorrows. (KJV)

Paul, in his letter to the Thessalonians, cautions the Christians against being too hasty in their assessment as to when this coming of the Lord would be. Jesus told the disciples not to be too hasty in their assessment, also. He said “take heed that no man decieve you...” In regards to the references concerning His coming, we are consistently told two things... “Not to be decieved,” and “To be ready”.

In verse 5 of Matt. 24, Jesus cautions his disciples, telling them there would be many coming in His Name, professing that He is Christ. I have heard a lot of people express the thought that Jesus was speaking of people who would themselves profess that they are Christ, but I believe Jesus is just saying here that there would be those who call themselves Christians (they come in His Name), who acknowledge that Jesus is the Christ, and that they would decieve many through their teachings.

As the year 2000 approaches, there are many teachers and prophets arising saying that Christ is coming in 2000, or that the y2k computer bug will be the beginning of the advent of the anti-christ.

Many are prophesying that our country is about to undergo a foreign invasion, which will result in the persecution of Christians, and the instituting of the Mark. There may be or may not be truth to these claims. Truly, I myself think that the coming of the Lord is near. I myself have ideas and opinions as to the things that may occur shortly. And I will not join myself with the number who are crying “peace and safety”.

There are a few observations I would like to share in regard to all this speculation which is going on.

There are many who profess Christ and who are decieving many in this last day.

Matt 24:6 And 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. 7 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. 8 All these are the beginning of sorrows.(KJV)

Truly, there are wars and rumors of wars, and nations are rising against nations, and we are seeing more and more famines and pestilences and earthquakes in various places than we have ever seen before. It truly looks like what our Lord had spoken is coming to pass. But He said that we are not to be troubled over these things. They are just the BEGINNING OF SORROWS.

The word “sorrows” means birthpangs. As a father of five children, I know that when my wife went in labor, there was a period between the beginning of the contractions and the actual birth. Depending on the person, those contractions can go on for days. In the light of an eternal God, and His Time, these contractions of the end-times could last several years. He says that a day with the Lord is as a thousand years, and a thousand years is as a day. Note that our LORD said that these things were the BEGINNING of sorrows. The word “beginning” here is arche, which means

746 arche- 1) beginning, origin 2) the person or thing that commences, the first person or thing in a series, the leader 3) that by which anything begins to be, the origin, the active cause 4) the extremity of a thing; used of the corners of a sail 5) the first place, principality, rule, magistracy; used of angels and demons

These wars, and rumors of wars, and earthquakes and famines and pestilences are just the beginning of the birth contractions which are going to produce the coming of our LORD. In the birth process, one rarely goes from one contraction to immediate birth. We are merely in the beginning of what the LORD is doing. In all fairness, I would have to say that since World-War 1, we have been seeing the beginning of the birthpangs. And the contractions do appear to be coming more and more steady.

BUT THE BIRTH (THE END OF THE AGE) HAS NOT YET COME, NOR DO I PERSONALLY BELIEVE IT IS YET IMMINENT (2,000).

JESUS told the disciples not to be “troubled” when they see these things come to pass. The word Jesus used here is an interesting word:

STRONG’S #2360 throeo (thro-eh'-o); from threomai (to wail); to clamor, i.e. (by implication) to frighten: KJV-- trouble. THAYERS=2360 throeo- to cry aloud, to make a noise by outcry a) in the New Testament, to trouble, to frighten b) to be troubled in mind, to be frightened, to be alarmed

I believe what the Lord is saying is this: when these things begin to happen, don’t run around, Crying aloud, shouting out to the people, saying “the end is near, the end is near”, and causing fear and alarm to rise up in people’s hearts. This word is also used in 2 Thes 2:2, concerning the coming of the Lord.

SO MANY PEOPLE ARE DOING WHAT THE LORD HAS TOLD THEM NOT TO DO.

II Th 2:2 2 That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. (KJV)

2nd Thessalonians warns us not to be crying aloud that the day of the Lord is at hand, whether it is in word (from the pulpit), nor by letter, as reading the epistles and looking into them as to when it will happen, nor by spirit, as so many today “prophesy” by the Spirit of God.

The key to His coming is to be READY FOR HIS COMING. This is not talking about y2k preparedness, or building bomb shelters, or speculating as to the identity of the beast.

“Though I have the gift of prophecy and have not Love, it profits me nothing...”

THERE'S MORE...(READ ON!)

 

THE KEY TO Y2K PREPAREDNESS

I Jn 2:28-29 28 And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming. 29 If ye know that he is righteous, ye know that every one that doeth righteousness is born of him. (KJV)

So many have cried aloud through the years as to the fact that the day of Christ is at hand. One man wrote a book, “88 reasons why Christ is coming in 88.” The Jehovah’s witnesses have cried aloud as to several dates when Christ would return. David Koresh and Jim Jones cried aloud as to the day of Christ being at hand.

Being ready for His coming is to be found pure and holy before Him when He comes, and being about His business when He comes.

2 Pet 3:10-18 10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. 11 Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, 12 Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? 13 Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness. 14 Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless. 15 And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you; 16 As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction. 17 Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness. 18 But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen. (KJV)

Peter stated a fact that there were going to be cataclysmic occurances when the day of the Lord comes. But he didn’t dwell on those occurances. Rather, he exhorts the people to be diligent in pursuing after holiness, and the things of the LORD.

Many of those who are speaking of a coming invasion on our country by foreign troops are also of the persuasion that hold a “us four and no more” attitude toward the rest of the body of Christ. They oppose the growing move of the Body of Christ coming together across denominational lines. They point at what is happening in Pensacola and Toronto, and call it evil. They gather together in their cliques, and speak of the “organized” church as being evil. Joseph Smith, the founder of the cult of the Mormons, asked an angel as to who was the right denomination. The angel said that none of them were, that they were all apostate.

These modern day prognosticators also say that the church of today is apostate. They are not afraid to speak evil of the rulers of our land. Most of their rhetoric is aimed at the president and his moral failure, or at denominations that don’t adhere to their doctrines.

True, the Bible says that in the last days there would be a great falling away. But what is that great falling away? Jesus said that because iniquity will abound, the Love of many shall wax cold. The word Iniquity means lawlessness. We also know that the Word of God says that LOVE is the fulfilling of the Law.

I believe that the true agents of apostasy are those who speak words of divisiveness, and fall into the same category as the accuser of the brethren. The problem is that there are many sincere Christians who are being carried away with these false prophets’ divisiveness, because of the persuasive arguments they give.

Gal 6:1-10

1 Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. 2 Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ. 3 For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself. 4 But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another. 5 For every man shall bear his own burden. 6 Let him that is taught in the word communicate unto him that teacheth in all good things. 7 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. 8 For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. 9 And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. 10 As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith. (KJV)

Eph 4:1-7

1 I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, 2 With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; 3 Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 4 There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; 5 One Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all. 7 But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ. (KJV)

Rom 12:1-21

1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. 3 For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith. 4 For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office: 5 So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another. 6 Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith; 7 Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching; 8 Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness. 9 Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good. 10 Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another; 11 Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord; 12 Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer; 13 Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality. 14 Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not. 15 Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep. 16 Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits. 17 Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men. 18 If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men. 19 Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. 20 Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. 21 Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.(KJV)

Rom 16:17-20 17 Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. 18 For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple. 19 For your obedience is come abroad unto all men. I am glad therefore on your behalf: but yet I would have you wise unto that which is good, and simple concerning evil. 20 And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen. (KJV)

All of this is written not to negate the fact that there may well be a time of serious political upheaval in this land of ours. Or that y2k may have some disastrous effects on our economy. Truly, it may well be a fact that foreign invasion will come to our land. But we must understand that we Americans are so self centered, that we somehow equate end time Bible prophecy as having to do with America. If America does fall, there may well be another 50 years or so before Jesus Christ returns. Or, Christ may come immediately after her fall. But if America does fall, and we lose our democracy, I guarantee you that denominational differences will not be important in the Body of Christ.

In Romania, when the communists took over, and Christians were imprisoned for their faith, Baptists, Pentacostals, Adventists, Lutherans and others learned how to abide together in love for one another. Minor differences that once seemed so major were not so important any more.

The fact is this: God promises that “If my people which are called by my NAME, will humble themselves and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”

Satan knows a house divided cannot stand, so he will do all he can to keep the Body of Christ divided. I believe that these birth pangs which we are experiencing will result in great worldwide persecution for Christians. It is already happening in many countries in the world.

Matt 24:9-14 9 Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name's sake. 10 And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. 11 And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. 12 And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. 13 But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come. (KJV)

There is an endtime revival which is spoken of by our Lord in Matt. 24:9-14. But there are many false prophets who would discredit it. The gospel will be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations. It’s beginning to happen even now as we speak. Please understand what I am saying. I am NOT endorsing that which is going on in Pensecola, or in Toronto. But I also am not saying or implying in anyway that it is not of God. I have not been “slain in the spirit”. But just because I have not, doesn’t automatically negate it’s reality in my mind.

I believe that in these days, the Lord is touching all flesh with His Spirit. Why? So we will not be able to stand inexcusable in His presence.

Call to remembrance the parable of the talents. Those who were faithful took what they had, and used them to further their Lord’s kingdom. But one who was wicked, hid it. The faithful ones are like those who have recieved a touch from God, have recieved the anointing of the Holy Spirit, and have gone out and operated in the gifts which were given to them. The wicked one was like those who keep going to the altar, recieving a fresh touch from the Lord, and doing nothing with it. Many who go to these revivals are like this last person. But there are many who go to these revivals, and end up like the first person described. On fire for God, seeking to serve Him, and to further His Kingdom.

And then there are those who stand outside and point fingers. God is doing a work.

I really believe that our nation is in for some real perilous times. I don’t believe Bill Clinton is the beast. I believe that soon, Christians everywhere will be sorely persecuted.

But I also know that the harvest right now is ripe. I don’t have time to join league with the enemy of our souls and fight with my brothers and sisters in Christ over doctrine that doesn’t profit. There is a real war going on, and it is being waged over men’s souls.

I had to write this today, because I see many people who profess Christ tearing each other apart, while Satan laughs. There is a lot of error in the church. I am not calling for tolerance toward those errors. I am suggesting that we follow the prescription found in scripture:

Gal 6:1-10
1 Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. 2 Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ. 3 For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself. 4 But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another. 5 For every man shall bear his own burden. 6 Let him that is taught in the word communicate unto him that teacheth in all good things. 7 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. 8 For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. 9 And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. 10 As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.(KJV)

Eph 4:1-7
1 I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, 2 With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; 3 Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 4 There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; 5 One Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all. 7 But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ. (KJV)

I realize that not all who receive this will agree with what I have said.

I LOVE YOU, ANYWAY!

WE NEED TO GET BUSY AND TELL PEOPLE OF THE LOVE OF JESUS.

 


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Lance Rowe

crosscountry4jesus@juno.com

6519 Ool-Georgetown Rd

Ooltewah , TN

37363