Thus Far the Lord Has Helped Us ~ 1 Samuel 7:12

By Steven J. Hogan

~ A Special Post ~

It’s been exactly one year since I started this blog site, and having the opportunity to share Biblical truth about prophecy has been most encouraging to me, and I trust for you as well. But I’m taking a two week break, and am planning on publishing posts again starting on February 3rd. There are a few things though that I want to mention:

* There is a new tab called “Archives.”  This is a consecutive listing of all the posts, starting with the first one written last January continuing on up to the last one. This format will make it easier for you to find a post you haven’t read yet, or want to go back and read again. I want to say too that I’ve written these posts in a particular order, and for maximum learning, I’d encourage you to start with number one, and go on from there. In fact, if you’ve not read all the posts, I’d encourage you to go back and start with the first one. Having the Archives set up this way will make that much easier to do.

* The “Espanol” tab is being reworked for easier access and readability. It should be up and ready to go in the next week or two. Please pass this on to your Hispanic friends.

* I want to remind you that all posts, articles and charts are for you to use as the Lord leads. Download, print and use for your own learning, and then pass them on to your family, church members and friends.

* Marv Rosenthal, one of the best prophecy teachers in the country, will be speaking at our church this Sunday morning (1/21/18 – 10:30am). If you are in the area, I encourage you to come. If not, pray for our time. It will be great teaching with encouraging singing, and an opportunity for fellowship and a light luncheon afterward. You can go to our website to hear Marv’s message – www.HopeBibleChurch.US – it should be online by Sunday evening.

* I have a lot more to share with you about the end times, the coming of Christ, and the millennial kingdom age to follow. I do appreciate your prayers for understanding, wisdom and protection. If you have any thoughts or questions, please write me using the email address listed. The next post will be up and ready to read in two weeks, February 3rd, Lord willing. “To those who have been called, who are loved in God the Father and kept for Jesus Christ: mercy, peace and love be yours in abundance.” Jude 1-2

What You Need to Know About Prophecy

By Steven J. Hogan

~ A Saturday Morning Post #52 ~

Prophecy is a critical and significant portion of Scripture, especially since we now live in the end times. Listed below are a number of general and instructive truths about prophecy that will give you more clarity and understanding as you study specific prophecy passages.

* The Bible is theological, historical, biographical, poetical and prophetical in nature. When we use the words prophetical or prophecy, we are speaking of that portion of the Bible that predicts what is taking place in the future. 1 Peter 1:10-12, Matthew 24:3-41

* Whatever God has prophesied will come true with 100% accuracy. In eternity past “God was declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times things which have not been done, saying, ‘My purpose will be established, and I will accomplish all my good pleasure’” (Isaiah 46:10). Because God is truthful, supreme, holy, omniscient, powerful, wise and sovereign, then He will most definitely fulfill all that He has prophesied concerning His purposes and plans. Psalm 33:11

* All prophecy was given in a “dark place”, that is, during this present evil age, the time from the sin of Adam until the end of this age. A major portion of prophecy points to that time when “the day dawns”, when Christ returns and sets up His wonderful and glorious kingdom on earth. “You will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place until the day dawns, and the morning star arises in your hearts.” 2 Peter 1:19

* God’s purpose in prophecy is not to tell you everything that’s going to take place in the future, but only those things He wants you to know. This should motivate you to study God’s prophetic word so you can find out exactly what He wants you to know. “But take heed; behold, I have told you everything in advance.” Mark 13:23

* There is fulfilled prophecy and unfulfilled prophecy. At this time in history many prophecies that were predicted in the past have already been fulfilled. Other prophecies are still unfulfilled, that is, were predicted in the past but will be fulfilled in the future. Some examples of unfulfilled prophecy are Isaiah 60, Zechariah 14:9 and Matthew 24:15-31.

* It is important when you read the Bible to specifically know what is prophecy and, in particular, what is still unfulfilled prophecy. Ask yourself if what you are reading has taken place yet? If not, then you know it is unfulfilled prophecy and will be fulfilled in the future. Psalm 47

* Old Testament prophets who predicted the coming of the Messiah and events related to His coming thought that they would all be fulfilled in the same time frame; but now we know that many prophesies were to take place in two stages, at His first coming and at His second coming. Isaiah 9:6-7, Isaiah 61:1-2, Micah 5:2-5, Zechariah 13

* The fact that we can study the Bible and see that God has fulfilled many prophesies in the past gives us a confidence that He will fulfill His remaining prophecies in the future. Seeing first coming prophecies about Jesus already fulfilled gives us assurance that second coming prophecies will also be fulfilled. Psalm 22, Isaiah 9:6-7, Micah 5:2-5, Luke 1:26-33, Revelation 12:5

* Prophecies about Christ’s second coming are now more relevant than at any time in history, and that’s because we live in the end times, in the last years of this church age. Like never before we need to pay attention to unfulfilled prophecy, for we will be seeing it coming true right up to the return of Christ and the rapture of the church. Luke 12:56, 21:5-36

* A large amount of prophecy found in the New Testament will be fulfilled in the near future. There is a great deal of relevant, essential and vital information God wants you to know about the end times and Christ’s 2nd coming. Matthew 24; Mark 13; Luke 21; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, 5:1-9; 2 Thessalonians 1:5-10, 2 Thessalonians 2 and Revelation are all prominent passages predicting what will be taking place in the end times.

* The most important and most extensive prophecy themes in the Bible are the first and second comings of Christ, that is, “the sufferings of Christ and the glories to follow.” Psalm 22, Isaiah 53-54, 1 Peter 1:10-12

* God did not have to give us Bible prophecy. He could have let everything that’s going to take place in the future be a big surprise to us. But He told us the future so we could have confidence in His character and in His word, and so we could have hope. At this stage of the church age, God wants His children to know what to expect, to be looking forward to the future, to be prepared for what will be taking place, and to be serving Him right up until the coming of Christ. 1 Corinthians 15:50-58

* What a privilege to be alive at this time in history, in the closing years of the church age when many prophecies will be fulfilled. God’s prophetic words about the end times are no longer sealed (Daniel 12:4, 9). Might we be like the prophets who “made careful searches and inquiries, seeking to know what person or time the Spirit of Christ within them was indicating as He predicted the sufferings of Christ and the glories to follow. It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves but you.” 1 Peter 1:10-11

* Prophecy about the future focuses on events taking place during three time periods. There will be events leading up to Christ’s return, events taking place at Christ’s return, and events taking place after Christ’s return. Prophecy about the end times focuses on the Jews, the Christians, the Antichrist and Jesus Christ. Matthew 24:15-21, Revelation 12-13

* There are some reasons why people don’t think much about prophecy, and why it doesn’t affect their lives. They do not read it. They do not believe it. They love the world and don’t love Christ, and therefore aren’t thinking about the fact that He’s coming back soon. They are more interested in what man says about the future than what God says about the future. They are more interested in fiction than in the truth. Or they may think that prophecy is not to be understood, or cannot be understood. May this kind of thinking not be true of you.

* “Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of the prophecy, and heed the things which are written in it; for the time is near.” Revelation 1:3

P.S. An article that goes well with today’s post is: Why Study the Subject of Prophecy?

Prophecy is Predicting the Future

By Steven J. Hogan

~ A Saturday Morning Post #51 ~

All kinds of people try to predict the future, and they may guess right some of the time, but most of the time they are wrong. But God predicts the future and He is right all the time. Our primary subject on this blog site is Bible prophecy. But what is prophecy? In a general way it is defined as the speaking forth of God’s truth. It is also used to speak of the entire inspired word of God. More specifically, it is defined as God predicting the future, which is the way I’ve been using it in this blog site and will use it today.

As Christians we understand fulfilled prophecy as that which was predicted in God’s word and has already come true. For example, Micah prophesied that the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem, and about 700 years later He was (Micah 5:2). Jesus Himself predicted He’d be killed and raised up, and that came true a short time later (Luke 9:22). Then there’s unfulfilled prophecy, predictions which will be fulfilled in the future. My main objective is to explain to you and get you excited about unfulfilled prophecy. Today I want to share some verses to give you a better understanding of prophecy.

2 Peter 1:21 – “No prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.” Prophecy is from God – it is definitely not from man. It was God speaking to men through the Holy Spirit who then proclaimed it to the people. Many prophets began by saying, “The word of the Lord,” for they wanted their listeners to know it wasn’t what they were saying, but it was God Himself who was speaking to them and through them (Jeremiah 1:11, Ezekiel 28:1, Jonah 1:1, Micah 1:1).

2 Peter 1:19 – “Until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your heart.” Prophecy predicts events that will take place in the future. This word “until” is a timing word telling us that “the day dawns” in the future. This prophecy was given at a particular time, and at a later time it will come true. Specifically, it is predicting that Christ will return in glory to rapture the believers, and then set up His kingdom on earth.

2 Peter 1:19 – “We have the prophetic word made more sure, to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place.” Prophecy is given by God to man, and we need to listen to what He’s telling us, and be looking forward to its fulfillment. It’s 2018, about 2000 years after Christ’s 1st coming, and many prophecies have already been fulfilled, but since we’re living in the end times then we know it won’t be long before His 2nd coming. It is those who pay attention to God’s prophetic word who will literally see His word being fulfilled in the world around us. Might we be like the “men who understood the times.” 1 Chronicles 12:32

Luke 24:44 – “All things which are written about Me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.” As we now know, some prophecies about Jesus came true at His 1st coming which means the rest will be fulfilled at His 2nd coming. And there’s not one single prophecy about Jesus which will remain unfulfilled. “All things… must be fulfilled.” It’s imperative and important to take heed and pay attention to God’s prophetic word, and especially what it says about the return of Christ.

Isaiah 46:9-11 – “I am God, and there is no one like Me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times things which have not been done, saying ‘My purpose will be established, and I will accomplish all My good pleasure… Truly I have spoken; truly I will bring it to pass. I have planned it, surely I will do it.’” God purposed what He was going to do, God planned what He was going to do, and He predicted many of the things He was going to do. Our loving, holy, powerful, omniscient, wise and sovereign God knew exactly what He was going to do. Long before God made this world, He had determined His eternal purposes and made plans to fulfill them. And all that God planned to do, He has either already done, or will be doing in the future. I encourage you to seek the Lord and study His word, and find out what He wants you to know about the future. Revelation 22:7, 10, 12

Mark 13:23 – “But take heed; behold, I have told you everything in advance.” Prophecy contains critically needed information about the end times. In a great number of prophetic passages, Jesus tells us every future end time event and detail that He wants us to know, as well as specific instructions as to how we are to live. Matthew 24, Mark 13, Luke 21, 1 Thessalonians 4:13-5:11, 2 Thessalonians 1-2 and Revelation.

Revelation 1:3 – “Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of the prophecy, and heed the things which are written in it, for the time is near.” Do you see that you will be blessed as you read and believe the words of prophecy, and then live by what is written in it? What a great privilege and opportunity it is to be alive at this time in history. “Amen. Come Lord Jesus.” Revelation 22:20

P.S. Here is an informative and encouraging article that goes along with this post: A Summary of the Work of God, from the Time of Abraham to Christ’s Millennial Kingdom.

God’s Work in Bringing About Christ’s Return

By Steven J. Hogan

~ A Saturday Morning Post #50 ~

Image result for John 5:17 

It is good to think about the work of God. He is always committed to His cause and is right on course to accomplish all that He has set out to do. In every person’s life and in every part of this world God is carrying out His plans. Here at the end of 2017 and the beginning of 2018, I want you to think about God’s work in your life and in this world. “Great are the works of the Lord; they are studied by all who delight in them.”  Psalm 111:2-3

First, think about God’s work in the world. Ephesians 1:9 speaks of the “mystery of His will… to be put into effect when the times will have reached their fulfillment, to bring all things in heaven and on earth together under one head, even Christ.” This is a prophetic verse, for everything and everyone is moving towards that time when Christ will return and be ruler of this world. But to see the big picture, you need to go back to Genesis 1-2, and remember that this world used to be a perfect place with perfect people. Then Adam and Eve sinned resulting in this evil age, Satan’s rule over the earth, and sin and death spreading to all men. But in His mercy, God promised a Savior who would deliver people from their sin (Isaiah 53), and create a new heavens and earth. Isaiah 65:17

God made perfect plans to fulfill these eternal purposes, and over the millennia He has been faithfully fulfilling them. He worked with and through the Jews for about 2000 years, and then “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners” (1 Timothy 1:15). Christ lived a perfect life, died to pay for man’s sins, was raised again and ascended into heaven. He then continued His work on earth through the church, saving millions and millions of people from sin, death and hell. And now that the Jews are back in their land, then it won’t be long before Christ returns, the church is raptured and believers are glorified. Matthew 24:27-31

Second, think about God’s work in your life. It is important for you to know that in eternity past God chose to save you, and then to be glorified like His Son, Jesus Christ. Then came that wonderful day when God actually saved you and forgave you of all your sins. Since then He’s been working in your life, making you holy and using you to fulfill His purposes (Ephesians 2:1-10). Romans 8:28-29 says it well, “God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God,” with His primary purpose being that all believers be “conformed to the image of His Son.”

Now think about this past year. In every situation, job, relationship and trial, God was working in you and through you, for your good and the good of the church, and ultimately for His glory. God was always kind to you, always teaching you, always patient with you, and always carrying out His will in your life. And there’s no doubt He’ll continue with you in this way in 2018, 2019, etc. Then will come the day, whether you’ve already gone to heaven or whether you’re still on earth, when Christ will come back, and you will be glorified, and your salvation will be 100% complete. It’s essential to have this perspective and to be encouraged by God’s perfect work in your life. 1 Thessalonians 5:24

The fulfillment of God’s plans for the Jews, His promises to the church, and His plans for you are all converging together in these last days of this church age. God is directing every detail in this world, moving all things full speed ahead, bringing us closer and closer to that time when He will send His Son back to earth. And then this age will end, believers will be glorified, this wicked world will be judged, a remnant of Jews will be saved, and Christ will begin His rule over this world. Revelation 6-11

It’s necessary for you to think about your life and your connection to and purpose in the world. Otherwise you’ll be rudderless and directionless, like a ship adrift out in the open sea. You must see that your life is intricately and intimately intertwined with God’s work in the world. You are like a puzzle piece, and God is fitting you and all the other pieces together. God has His plans for the world, and His plans for you in this world, and you are a vital part of all that He is doing. Everything happening in your life and in every other life in this world is part of God’s plan to bring His Son back to this earth. And God will not be stopped, thwarted or delayed, and will not give up until His Son returns and is reigning over this world. Be excited that you can serve God in the way He has planned for you, in the church He has placed you, and with the people He puts in your life. “The whole building, being fitted together, is growing into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit.” Ephesians 2:21-22

P.S.  As we think about the New Year, here’s an article that specifically instructs us about the time that God gives to each of us: The Time of My Life.

First Coming to Church Age to Second Coming

By Steven J. Hogan

~ A Saturday Morning Post #49 ~

“For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; and the government will rest on His shoulders…” (Isaiah 9:6-7). “As for you Bethlehem Ephratha, too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you One will go forth for Me to be ruler in Israel…” (Micah 5:2-5a). These are “1st coming – 2nd coming” prophecies. To the person who wrote them and the people who initially read them, it would have seemed like these events would occur in the same time period. But that didn’t happen. Now over 2500 years later, we can look back and see that these prophecies were to take place at two different times, at Christ’s 1st coming and at His 2nd coming, with the church age in between.

Let’s first look at Christ’s 1st coming, and by reading Luke 1-2, we see that Mary, Joseph, Simeon and Anna, were all looking forward to the fulfillment of these prophesies about the Messiah. And lo and behold, these four godly Jews literally see the baby Jesus, and see these predictions come true, at least part one. Then Jesus, this perfect God-man grows up, and 30 years later His ministry begins, and many more prophecies about Him are fulfilled. In particular, there’s Psalm 16, Psalm 22 and Isaiah 53 accurately predicting that Jesus would suffer and die for the sins of man, and then be raised from the dead. Then fifty days after His resurrection, this victorious Savior ascended into heaven to be with His Father. But most Jews weren’t happy with Jesus, for they had wanted Him to be their King, but they didn’t understand that He first needed to be their Savior. They also didn’t understand that Christ’s 1st coming work had been completed, that His mission was accomplished. Luke 2:11, John 1:29, John 17:4

It was during Jesus’ ministry years that He had promised to build the church, instructing His disciples to preach the gospel and to go and make disciples, which has been taking place now for nearly 2000 years (Matthew 28:20). He also made it super clear to them that He’d be returning at the end of this church age – He wanted to make sure His disciples knew He was going to fulfill all His promises, particularly that He’d be coming back as the King. Zechariah 14:9, Matthew 24:3-41, Luke 19:11-15

And you see that Jesus’ disciples were thinking about these prophesies regarding Jesus’ future Kingdom, for right before His ascension into heaven they ask Him, “Lord, is it at this time that You are restoring the kingdom to Israel“ (Act 1:6)? Then a little later in Acts 3:18-21 we read that Peter was preaching “that His (God’s) Christ would suffer (1)… repent and return, so your sins might be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the Lord (2); and that He may send Jesus… whom heaven must receive until the period of restoration” (3). Peter and some of the other Jews were finally seeing the big picture, for in this passage the 1st phrase represents Christ’s first coming, the 2nd phrase the church age, and the 3rd phrase Christ’s second coming. The disciples knew that the Christ had come, and that they were to be His witnesses to the world, but they longed for their Lord and Savior to return to reign as King over the earth.

Then there’s 1 Corinthians 11:26, and it’s a verse commemorating the Lord’s death, the verse many Christians read during their communion time, but it also gives this broader perspective. “For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup (church age), you proclaim the Lord’s death (1st coming), until He comes (2nd coming)”. Can you see that our Lord wants to continually remind Christians of the past (Jesus dying for our sins), the present (Jesus building the church) and the future (Jesus reigning as King)?

Now it’s Christmastime’ 2017. To sum up, Jesus came as a baby, lived a perfect life, died a most purposeful death, was raised again, ascended into heaven, and since that time has been building His church. But since the Jews are back in their land then we know we’re living in the end times which means it won’t be long before Christ comes back. I am so excited to be alive at this particular time in history, at the end of this church age, knowing that our Lord may soon appear in the clouds to rapture us, suddenly and safely snatching us from earth so we can be at home with Him in heaven.

Do you realize that you are living between Christ’s 1st and 2nd coming, during the church age, but more importantly at the very end of it? And do you see that this is your time to live for God, your one time on this earth to serve Him, and that Jesus has instructed you, “Do business until I come back” (Luke 19:13)? It won’t be long before Christ returns, and part two of these “1st coming – 2nd coming” prophecies will come true, when Jesus will be King over the entire earth, bringing peace to this planet – and we will reign with Him for a 1000 years!

“Joy to the world, the Lord is come; let earth receive her King. Let every heart prepare Him room, and heaven and nature sing, and heaven and nature sing… Joy to the earth, the Savior reigns; let men their songs employ; while fields and floods, rocks, hills and plains repeat the sounding joy, repeat the sound joy… No more let sins and sorrows grow; nor thorns infest the ground; He comes to make His blessings flow far as the curse is found, far as the curse is found… He rules the world with truth and grace; and makes the nations prove the glories of His righteousness, and wonders of His love, and wonders of His love…”  – A Christmas Carol about the 2nd Coming of Christ

P.S. I just finished a very instructive and encouraging article: The Rapture of the Church.  

The Persecution of the Church Before the Coming of Christ

By Steven J. Hogan

~ A Saturday Morning Post #48 ~

Image result for Antichrist and persecution of Christians

As you probably know, I don’t preach a prosperity gospel, where health and wealth are some of the primary objectives. There’s no doubt God physically blesses Christians, but more importantly, He spiritually blesses us, giving us eternal life, and love, joy, peace, purpose and hope. And during our time on earth, God has called us to serve Him, and to sacrifice and suffer for Him. Now this is not a popular message, especially in this country, but it’s the truth, and I will not ignore it or skim over it. When you read the Bible, it’s obvious that suffering and persecution are very big subjects.

Remember what Jesus said, “A slave is not greater than his master. If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you” (John 15:20). Think of what Peter said, “For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example to follow in His steps… Since Christ has suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same purpose” (1 Peter 2:21, 4:1). Then Paul told us, “Through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God.” Acts 14:22

As Christians we shouldn’t then be surprised when we are persecuted and suffer. Loving the Lord by living a holy life and speaking the truth will result in suffering. “Indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted” (2 Timothy 3:12). Isn’t it true that God has blessed the United States with the freedom of assembly, speech and religion, and therefore Christians living in this country haven’t been persecuted as much? When I read mission magazines or go online, it is obvious that it’s a lot worse in Asia, Africa and the Middle East, where Christians are commonly mistreated, beaten, jailed and at times even killed. But you can see that persecution is getting worse in this country, and there will soon come a day when it will be just as bad here as these other places.

I say that because we now live in the end times, and the Bible clearly tells us that persecution will continue and then become great persecution the closer we get to the coming of Christ. In fact, this subject of persecution and suffering is part of every major Bible passage that speaks about events leading up to Christ’s return. Jesus repeatedly tells us about it because He wants us to know what will be taking place, and to be ready and alert, and able then to be joyfully and fearlessly serving Him.

Jesus says, “Then they will deliver you to tribulation, and will kill you, and you will be hated by all nations because of Me” (Matthew 24:9). Jesus says, “Those days will be a time of tribulation such as has not occurred since the beginning of creation” (Mark 13:19. Jesus says, “You will be betrayed even by parents and brothers and relatives and friends, and they will put some of you to death” (Luke 21:16). We all know Christians have been persecuted since the beginning days of the church, but these passages, along with Revelation 6:9-11, make it clear that it will escalate, will become severe, will climax, and go global, and particularly in the years right before the return of Christ.

But how will this happen? At the midpoint of Daniel’s 70th week, the Antichrist is revealed and, having taken control of the world, he will then unleash great persecution, first against the Jews and then against the Christians (Matthew 24:9-10, 15-26; Revelation 12:13-17). But it won’t just be government officials persecuting Christians, but former fellow church goers coming after them as well – “Many will fall away and will betray one another and hate one another” (Matthew 24:10). But in my opinion, the worst will be when “brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child, and children will rise up against parents and have them put to death.” Mark 13:12

The devil will be stirring up this great hate for God’s people, and therefore deceived unbelievers will be going after innocent Christians, opposing them and trying to kill them. This will definitely be the most difficult time ever for Christians on this earth. Revelation 13:7 warns us, “It was also given to him (Antichrist) to make war with the saints and to overcome them.” I know this is not a feel good message, but I have to tell you the truth – the church will be greatly persecuted before the coming of Christ. And we shall overcome!

How then are we to think about persecution and suffering? 1st, know that God is sovereign and will protect you (Romans 8:28-39). 2nd, remember Peter’s instruction, “Those who suffer according to the will of God shall entrust their souls to a faithful Creator in doing what is right” (1 Peter 4:19). 3rd, share the gospel. As Jesus said, “They will lay their hands on you and will persecute you… It will lead to an opportunity for your testimony” (Luke 21:13). 4th, “Consider Him who endured such suffering by sinners against Himself so that you will not grow weary and lose heart” (Hebrews 12:3). 5th, Jesus told us, “Do not fear what you are about to suffer” (Revelation 2:10). 6th, Paul wrote, “God will keep you strong to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.” 7th,  as Paul said, “Know what is the hope of His calling (Ephesians 1:18). 8th, remember Jesus’ promise, “Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness… rejoice and be glad for your reward in heaven is great!” Matthew 5:10-12

P.S.  I want to let you know that Marv Rosenthal will be teaching at our church, Hope Bible Church of Tampa, on January 21, 2018.  If you are in our area I would encourage you to come!

P.P.S.  Our church music team has recorded a number scripture songs on a double cd set: Scripture Songs ~ Our Legacy, Volumes 1 & 2.  I’d love to make these available to you!  Please email me if you are interested.

God Will Keep You Strong to the End

By Steven J. Hogan

~ A Saturday Morning Post #47 ~

Have you ever wondered if you are going to make it to the end? And when I say “make it”, I mean continuing on, staying the course, persevering, serving the Lord to the very end, whether that means to the end of your life, or to the end of this age. I will admit that sometimes I wonder. As you know, the Christian life can be extremely difficult, for there are spiritual battles and Satanic attacks, and times when you are discouraged or overwhelmed or physically exhausted, or just weary of the fight.

In the past two months we have been looking at what will be taking place before the coming of Christ – the birth pains, increasing lawlessness, the downfall of the United States, apostasy and betrayal, that evil Antichrist, etc. Then you add this to the above mentioned everyday struggles, and you realize it’s a rough road leading up to the rapture of the church. But isn’t this what God has planned for the church, and for you too? And if this is what God wants, then surely He will give you all the grace you need. Never forget that God is your heavenly Father, and you are His cherished child, and He loves you much, much more than you can ever imagine. Surely He will keep you, strengthening and sustaining you, helping and holding you, and if need be, carrying you across the finish line. Your heavenly Father will never leave you, but will be with you always, and make sure you are safe and sound all the way from earth to heaven.

Let me share some promises to assure you of your great and glorious victory:
– Philippians 1:6 – “I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you, will perfect it until the day of Christ.” Do you see this, and do you believe this, that God began His good work in you, and will make sure He completes it on the day of Christ, at the return of Christ and the rapture of the church?
– 1 Corinthians 1:8 – “He will keep you strong to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Never forget that God will keep you strong, keeping you going to the end of your life or to the end of this age, whatever He has planned for you.
– 2 Timothy 4:18 – “The Lord will rescue me from every evil deed, and will bring me safely to His heavenly Kingdom.” Here’s this great promise of protection, that God will rescue you from all the human and devilish evils of life, and then bring you safely to heaven.
– Jude 24-25 – “Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy, to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion and authority…” Here is a heart assuring promise, that God will keep you from stumbling, and will literally and supernaturally bring you from earth to heaven and into the very presence of God.
– Romans 8:30 – “And those whom He predestined, He also called; and those whom He called, He also justified; and those whom He justified, He also glorified.” This “Golden Chain”, as some call it, from predestined to called to justified to glorified, cannot be broken. What God planned for your life in eternity past, that you be glorified, will finally be fulfilled at the coming of Jesus Christ. 1 Thessalonians 5:24

How does this happen, what are the means by which God will make sure you keep persevering as a Christian, and then are taken off this evil earth, and into the wonderful presence of Jesus? Yes, it is by these promises. But it is also by God’s grace, by the teaching of God’s Word, by Christ interceding for you, by the Spirit working in you, by the church helping you, by Christians encouraging you, and by angels ministering to you. Matthew 24:13

But you also need to look to Jesus. “Consider Him who endured such hostility by sinners against Himself so you will not grow weary and lose heart” (Hebrews 12:3). Remember Jesus and all that He went through just for you, which shows you how much He loves you. Remember that He died for you, was raised again for you, now lives for you, and prays for you – He loves you so, so much. I think of Moses and how “He endured as seeing Him who is unseen” (Hebrews 11:27). There’s no doubt that God will enable you to endure all the way to the end, and then, “We shall always be with the Lord.” 1 Thessalonians 4:17

As you can tell, I am not going to sugarcoat your future on earth. Yes, it is going to get real hard. As Paul said, “Through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of heaven” (Acts 14:22).  At this time there is tribulation, and in the coming years there will be great tribulation (Matthew 24:21-22). But isn’t this our time to live for the Lord, and do the work He has called us to do? What an honor and privilege to be picked by Him to be part of the end times’ team that’s ushering in the return of Christ. But remember these promises, and fix your eyes on Jesus, being convinced of His love for you and that He is with you all the way to heaven. “Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation or distress, or persecution, or nakedness, or peril, or sword… But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us.” Romans 8:35-37

P.S.  An encouraging article that you will want to read, which is related to today’s post, is You Have to Have Hope!

The Coming of Christ, and the Triumph of the Church

By Steven J. Hogan

~ A Saturday Morning Post #46 ~

Never forget what Jesus Christ declared, “I will build My church, and the gates of Hades will not overpower it” (Matthew 16:18). The truth is that Christ is now building His church, and this glorious work will be fully completed when He returns at the end of this age. But there are times when you look out at the spiritual landscape of the world, and it seems like a mess. You may even think to yourself, “Why isn’t the church growing more?” Let me answer this question: 1st, it’s because Christians still have a sinful flesh. 2nd, the devil with all his demons, is doing all he can to harm the church, to spread lies, error and deceit. 3rd, God is sovereign, and everything is going according to His perfect and eternal plans. “The plans of the Lord stand firm forever.” Psalm 33:11

But I need to explain two phrases used in theological circles to help you understand what Christ is doing with regards to the church. It is the concept of the visible church and the invisible church. The visible church refers to all people attending church services, those who profess to be Christians, those on church membership rolls, those you can visibly see. Some of these people are true Christians, but others are not. Now the invisible church refers to all people who are true Christians, the elect of God, those who are truly saved and born again, and God knows those who are His. But what believers see on earth is a mixed body, comprised of the saved and unsaved, or as Jesus said, those who are wheat and tares. But we shouldn’t be surprised for this is what Christ told us would happen. “So shall it be at the end of the age.” Matthew 13:36-43

Now when Christ said, “I will build My church,” He was referring to the invisible church. And there’s no doubt those the Father chose to be saved will be saved, adopted as His sons, redeemed by Christ’s blood, forgiven of their sins, and sealed by the Spirit for the day of redemption. We can confidently say, “the whole building, being fitted together, is growing into a holy temple in the Lord… a dwelling of God in the Spirit.” Ephesians 2:21

Do you not know and do you not believe that Jesus Christ is the head of the church, that He is in charge, that He is leading the way, and that He is directing Christians on earth to do His work? Do you not see that Christ will be victorious all the way to the end of this age, that He will finish what He started, and then return to rapture the church and take her to Himself, and then take her home to heaven? Amen!!! Ephesians 1:9-12, 4:11-16

Yes, it is true that Christians aren’t perfect and don’t always do what they ought to do, and sometimes are living for self instead of for God. It’s true that this hateful and evil devil is continually tempting us, attacking us and fighting against us – indeed, we are in a fierce spiritual battle. And it’s true that some pastors preach a simplistic gospel, and are not teaching all of God’s word, but instead are trying to be worldly and entertaining, with hopes that people will then join their church. 2 Timothy 4:1-5

But remember, God is sovereignly and powerfully working all things together for good, and will faithfully fulfill His promises, “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you shall be my witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth,” and “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved,” and “that He may send Jesus, the Christ appointed for you, whom heaven must receive until the period of restoration of all things.” Acts 1:8, Acts 2:21, Acts 3:20-21

God has ordained it so that Christians will pray, “Your kingdom come,” and “will seek first His kingdom”, and so that “this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world… and then the end will come”, and so that Christians willmake disciples of all the nations, baptizing them… teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you”, and so that Jesus will be with us “even to the end of the age.” Matthew 6:10, 6:33, 24:14, 28:19-20

I am very encouraged that God is in control and that everything, to the last detail, to the last word preached, to the last martyr, to the last person saved, to Christ’s coming in the clouds, and to His return in glory and His rapture of the church, is going exactly according to His eternally wise and wonderful plans, and will most assuredly soon be fulfilled. “He will keep you strong to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God, who has called you into fellowship with His Son Jesus Christ our Lord, is faithful.” 1 Corinthians 1:8-9

P.S. During this Christmas season when we can be so easily be distracted by all kinds of things, let’s remember to be Thinking of Jesus Christ.

From Many Religions to the Antichrist and One World Religion

By Steven J. Hogan

~ A Saturday Morning Post #45 ~

Image result for worship satan

In the Bible, God has told us many things that will be occurring before the coming of Christ. One significant thing He wants us to know is that the Antichrist will be ruling over this whole world, politically, militarily and economically, but also spiritually. It will be the Antichrist and a one world religion. “The whole earth was amazed and followed after the beast (Antichrist)… they worshiped the beast.” Revelation 13:3-4

But how do we get to the point where there are no more religions, no more Catholics, Lutherans, Muslims or Buddhists, etc., where everyone is worshiping the Antichrist? That seems impossible! People now go to churches, mosques, temples and synagogues; and many don’t attend any place of worship, but rather stay at home and watch football or soccer, or go out to eat, or go shopping, or go to the movies, or whatever. Every person is a worshiper, and always worships someone or something.

Let me share how we will get to that time when the world is worshiping the Antichrist:
1. Globalism. Everything on this earth is moving towards globalism. You see it with an increasing desire for one world government. You see it with travel, and that you can go anyplace in the world. You see it with the economy, with foreign made goods being sold in every country. You see it with the English language being spoken all over the world. You see it with communication, with the internet and smart phones. You see it with globally shared music and movies. You see it with currency. You see it with open borders. And when you put it all together, you can see how we are getting closer to global unity and a global dictator, to one devilish man ruling the whole world.

2. Birth pains. Problems in the world, specifically the birth pains, earthquakes, famines and wars, will necessitate global solutions (Matthew 24:4-8). Eventually, a smart, sharp, and strong leader will take charge, solve our problems and bring “peace” to the world.

3. False prophets. False prophets and antichrists will increasingly be teaching that God’s word isn’t true, Christ isn’t God, man isn’t sinful, salvation isn’t through Christ alone, and that there’s no heaven and hell. (Matthew 24:11, 1 John 3:18). False teachers will be emphasizing “peace” and “love”, but diminishing truth and holiness. Popes will be pushing for unity, but it’s a fake unity. Churches and religion in general will be getting less popular, and attendance at places of worship will be decreasing.

4. Apostasy. There will be an apostasy, a falling away, a turning away, a huge defection from the church. “Many will fall away and will betray one another and hate one another. Many false prophets will arise and mislead many” (Matthew 24:10-11, 21). But these defectors were never true Christians in the first place. And they will turn from the Lord, turn against Christians, and turn them in to the authorities. It will be very evident that there are just Christians and non-Christians, believers and non-believers. “The apostasy comes first and the man of lawlessness is revealed.” 2 Thessalonians 2:3

5. Deception. “God will send upon them a deluding influence so that they will believe what is false” (2 Thessalonians 2:8-12). Unbelievers in the world won’t be believing the truth, and so God will permit these unrighteous people to be deceived even more by all these Satan inspired signs and wonders. From the context of these verses you can see easily how these sinners will be worshiping the Antichrist. Revelation 13:11-14

6. “Resurrection” of the beast. The Bible isn’t completely clear on the details, but some kind of seeming miracle takes place with regards to the beast, and people all over the world will be so amazed and in awe that they’ll worship this Antichrist. Revelation 13:3

7. Religions destroyed. Revelation 17:1-7 says that this harlot, this wicked woman symbolizing the false religions, will be destroyed, for the devil will have no more use for them. Revelation 17:16 says, “The ten horns you saw, and the beast (Antichrist), will hate the harlot and make her desolate and naked.” At this time, the midpoint of Daniel’s 70th week, the world will be so deceived that they will think this Antichrist is God, and will then worship him. “The man of lawlessness is revealed… who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God.” 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4

All this, the globalism, birth pains, false prophets, apostasy, deception, “resurrection”, and destruction of religions, will be the means and motivation by which unbelievers in the world will worship this beast, this Antichrist. Right before Christ’s return there will be either the false religion of the Antichrist or Christianity. People will be worshiping God or worshiping the devil. But don’t be afraid, for God is in charge. And don’t forget, Christ will build His church, and we’ll be working with Him, preaching the gospel and making disciples right up to the end of the age. By God’s grace we will overcome, and then Christ will return to rapture the church, pour out His wrath on the unbelievers, defeat the Antichrist, and then rule over the world. Revelation 1:4-8

P.S.  Please email me at: stevehogan@christskingdom.org if you would like a free copy of Marvin Rosenthal’s  instructive and encouraging pamphlet entitled: “As a Thief in the Night”.   If you haven’t read my Thanksgiving  article, which I recently posted, you can check it out here: Being Thankful – The Character of a Christian.

Happy Thanksgiving

By Steven J. Hogan

~ A Special Post ~

This is Thanksgiving Day, a wonderful day to enjoy family and friends, and to eat some very good food. (Ecclesiastes 2:24-25). It is also a time to remember the great blessings God has bestowed on our lives, and to then reflect on His great goodness toward us. What a kind and gracious Father we have, who has blessed us so, so much, and will continue to bless us in this life on earth, and forever and ever. “Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” Psalm 23:6

As you know this blog is about the end times and Christ’s Kingdom. Indeed, there is much that can be said, and needs to be said about what will be taking place in our future. But to live for the Lord in the way He wants we need to not just know what will be happening, but we need to possess the godly character He speaks about in His word. Over the course of the next year my desire is to write a number of articles about the character of a Christian. The first is given to you here – “Being Thankful – The Character of a Christian.”

Happy Thanksgiving!  “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.” 2 Corinthians 13:14

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