Month: February 2017

The Rapture, A Love Story

By Steven J. Hogan

~ A Saturday Morning Post #6 ~

Jesus Christ is now in heaven, sitting at the right hand of the Father. And do you know what He’s thinking about? He’s thinking about you and me, His bride on earth, and no doubt longing for that time when He will return to rapture and redeem the believers who are still on earth. But He is not just “thinking” about coming back, He’s “excited” about it, He’s “looking forward” to it. He “can’t wait” to come back and take you home to heaven. Jesus’ heart is aflame with love for you – He loves you so much more than you know – “for as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is His love towards those who fear Him.” Psalm 103:11

But here’s a question? Do you love Jesus? I mean do you intensely and passionately love Jesus? Is your heart aflame with love for Him? Are you loving Jesus by living for Him while you are on this earth? And are you excited that He’s coming back to take you home to heaven? Is this your desire and prayer, and what you spend time thinking about? My concern and fear in this day and age is that many Christians are sleeping, are apathetic, and aren’t interested in Christ’s return and the rapture. But why? Are they lovers of self? Are they worldly? Are they “choked with worries, riches and pleasures of life?” Luke 8:14. Or are they ignorant, and just don’t know about Christ’s return?

In over 100 verses, God specifically tells you that Jesus is coming back; and 100’s of more verses give all kinds of details about His return. Why does God say so much? Why does He keep repeating Himself? Because He loves you, and because Jesus loves you. These verses are Jesus’ love letter to you, letting you know, convincing you and reminding you about His coming for you. More than you realize, Jesus longs to see you and be with you, and He wants you to long to see Him and be with Him – and to be ready and waiting for Him.

Think of a serviceman overseas, writing emails and texts to his wife, and he keeps telling her, “I miss you so much. I can’t wait to see you. I’ll be home soon. All my love.” Then the day comes and he returns home, and he is in the airport, and he sees his wife, and they are jumping up and down, shouting, crying, hugging and kissing. And their love for one another is quite obvious. For a long time they’ve been thinking about this, and looking forward to this one moment. And now it’s true!

But we are talking about seeing Jesus Christ, the Son of God, and being in love with Him. Now there are many ways to get stirred in your love for Jesus. One way is by taking communion, for this is to remind you of Jesus’ love for you so that you then love Him. 1 Corinthians 11:26 says, “As often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes.” This church age verse instructs you to stay in love with Jesus “until He comes.” Jesus’ heart is fired up for you, and He wants your heart to be fired up for Him, to be charged up by His love for you. It’s that simple. Jesus loves you and He wants you to love Him, and to be longing for that time when you will see Him. Jesus is your Savior, Friend and Husband, and three times at the end of His Revelation love letter, He says to you, “Behold, I am coming soon!” Revelation 22:7,12, 20

Your relationship with Jesus is a love story, and undoubtedly the best of all love stories. Jesus has loved you for a long, long time. God chose to save you, and since eternity past Jesus has had you on His heart, has had His eye on you, and then He died for you (Romans 5:8), and then you were physically born, and then He called you, and then you were saved, at which time you first began to love Him. And now you continue to love Him. But sad to say, your heart can get cold. Revelation 2:4 says, “you have left your first love.” Revelation 3:16 says, “you are lukewarm.” Today, if your heart is not fervent in your love towards Jesus, then repent, tell Him you are sorry, and “dine with Him” and “do the deeds you did at first”. And keep loving Him “until He comes”. I still remember and love Pat Terry’s song from the 1970’s – I can’t wait to see Jesus in His glory as He bursts from the sky…”

P.S. I just finished an article, “An Introduction to the Book of Revelation.” I believe you will find it very helpful, very instructive, and very encouraging.

The Rapture of the Christians at the Second Coming of Jesus Christ

By Steven J. Hogan

~ A Saturday Morning Post #5 ~


At the end of this age, Jesus Christ will come down from heaven. With all authority, He will lovingly, powerfully, suddenly, quickly, and safely take up all the believers who are remaining on this earth. “In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet,” we will be taken out of this evil age, taken off this wicked world, and taken up from this earth. Immediately we will see Jesus, and then be with Him forever. This is the rapture of the Christians! 1 Corinthians 15:51-52

At this time, we will be caught up together with all the believers from all time. “We who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds…” 1 Thessalonians 4:17. Those in heaven and those on earth will be gathered together to be with Jesus Christ. Then we will see all the believers, which includes loved ones, family members and friends who went to heaven before us. What a great reunion, what a glorious celebration this will be! This is our hope, our future – this is the truth, what surely will take place, and what we should all be looking forward to. Matthew 24:31

“…to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord.” 1 Thessalonians 4:17. We will not just see one another, but we will see Jesus. Then we will hear His loving voice and His truth filled words. Finally, it hits us, we are actually with Jesus, our Lord, Savior, Friend and Husband. Filled with awe and overflowing with joy, with great emotion we will praise and thank our Lord, and tell Him, as Revelation 7:9 says, “Salvation to our God who sits on the throne and to the Lamb.”

“We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, for we shall see Him just as He is.” 1 John 3:2. Not only will we see Jesus, but we will also be like Him. That is, we will be glorified, we will receive our brand new body. Do you realize that no believer in heaven or on earth is at this time glorified, is fully saved? This takes place at the rapture. And for believers now on earth, we were justified, we are being sanctified, and we will be glorified at the rapture, when all believers from all time will receive their perfect, powerful, immortal and spiritual bodies. Our salvation will finally be complete! How wonderful this will be! Glory be to God! Romans 8:28-30, 1 Corinthians 15:42-44

When will this take place? No one but God knows the exact time. But God does want us to know the general time of Christ’s coming and the rapture; and it won’t be long because we are now living in the end times. It is Matthew 24 that helps us see the general time of His coming, and gives us the best chronology of end time events. It tells us that the rapture (vs 31) will be after the birth pains (vss 4-8), after the Antichrist is revealed (vs 15), after great tribulation (vss 9, 21, 29), after the gospel has been preached to the world (vs 14), and after the end of the age, the signs in the heavens (vs 29). The rapture will take place sometime during the last half of Daniel’s 70th week, but we do not know the day or the hour.

The rapture of the church, the first event at Christ’s coming, is a most pivotal, critical and climactic point in human history. Why? 1) All believers are happily with Christ, our salvation is complete and we are glorified. 2) This present evil age is over, and the day of the Lord, God’s righteous wrath, will then take place on earth. 3) Then the good age will begin, when Christ will reign on this earth, and we will reign with Him. The rapture – what a glorious moment this will be, and O what it means for all eternity! Think about it. Believe it. Be excited about it! Look forward to it! “Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!” Revelation 22:20

JESUS LOVES ME – Anna B. Warner / William Bradbury

“Jesus loves me! He who died Heaven’s gate to open wide; He will wash away my sin, Let His little child come in. Yes, Jesus loves me! Yes, Jesus loves me! Yes, Jesus loves me! The Bible tells me so.”

“Jesus loves me! He will stay close beside me all the way; He’s prepared a home for me, and some day His face I’ll see. Yes, Jesus loves me! Yes, Jesus loves me. Yes, Jesus loves me! The Bible tells me so.”

P.S. – Our church will be hosting a Bible Prophecy Conference on April 1-2. The speakers will be Marv Rosenthal, Alan Kurschner and myself. Check it out on the front page of www.HopeBibleChurch.US – it’s going to be a great conference, and I want to invite you to attend.

Jesus Christ, the Savior, Judge, Redeemer, and King

By Steven J. Hogan

~ A Saturday Morning Post #4 ~

Imagine a good friend or a close relative or your dear child coming to visit you. Wouldn’t you be happy and excited and looking forward to seeing him? Wouldn’t you be getting ready – cleaning the house, fixing up their bedroom, and figuring out what meals to have? And wouldn’t there be this joyful anticipation, where every single day you’d be thinking about his coming, until finally he arrives?

Now imagine God coming to visit you. Wouldn’t you be happy and excited and looking forward to seeing Him?? And wouldn’t you be getting ready for His arrival? I hope you’d say yes. And the truth is, God is coming!!!

Jesus Christ is coming back to earth! Jesus Christ is God and man, and He’s coming back, and He’s not just paying a visit, He’s coming to stay. Over 20 times in the New Testament we read about the coming of Christ; and this word “coming” means “arrival and continued presence.” You see, Jesus Christ came the first time about 2000 years ago and He only stayed for 33 years, and then He went back home to heaven. But this time He will arrive and stay for good. Let me explain why this is so, so important.

Jesus Christ is the Savior! Christ died for our sins and rose again, enabling us to be forgiven and to receive eternal life. If you have repented of your sins, and trusted in Christ to save you, to forgive you, then He’s your Savior. And then you learn how much He loves you, and so much more than anyone else. Then you learn that He’s coming back to rapture you and take you to heaven. I can’t tell you how important it is that you realize how greatly and passionately Christ loves you, and that He can’t wait to see you. Might your soul be charged up by His amazing love for you, so that you love Him, and are looking forward to His return, His coming for you.

Jesus Christ is the Judge! Yes, here comes the Judge, but this is no laughin’ matter. There is nothing more serious than this, for after Christ raptures the Christians, then He will judge the unbelievers who remain on earth, and it will be one holy devastation. This is the wrath of God, the Day of the Lord, a judgment of fire, a time when Christ will perfectly judge this earth and the people on it. Check it out yourself by reading about the Trumpet and Bowl judgments spoken of in Revelation 8-9, 16.

Jesus Christ is the Redeemer! God repeatedly promised that He would redeem a remnant of Jews, and finally, at the very end of Daniel’s 70th week, this will be fulfilled. Then the Jews, along with all the other believers, will begin to reign with Christ over this world. And by the way, we know we are in the end times because the Jews have been regathering to their land for over 100 years now, and for good reason, for this redemption of this remnant of Jews. Romans 11:25-27

Jesus Christ is the King! As you well know, we do not have peace in this world. Throughout the years many rulers have tried to bring peace, but they’ve all failed. Only Christ can do this and only Christ will do this. After the rapture and the wrath, then there’s the reign of Christ for 1000 years; and as glorified believers, we will reign with Him. I must say, I am really looking forward to this millennial kingdom, and finally seeing justice, peace and real joy over the entire earth. Psalm 67

Jesus Christ, the Savior, Judge, Redeemer and King, is literally coming back to this earth! This is the truth. This is not folly, fiction or fake news – this is what God has told us again and again in His Word. And this is God’s Word, not man’s word, and you need to believe it and be convinced of it. This coming of Christ may take place in your lifetime, and if not in your lifetime, then I personally believe sometime in your children’s or grandchildren’s lifetime. Do you understand how amazing, how wonderful, how dramatic, how climactic, how revolutionary, how exciting, how earth shaking, how earth changing, how life changing, how age changing, how devil defeating, and how God glorifying this will be??

One more thing. In the last chapter of the last book of the Bible, Jesus says, “Behold, I am coming soon.” Revelation 22:7, 12, 20. And He repeats Himself three times. Why? Because He’s trying to wake you up, and alert you to the fact that He is soon returning to earth. He wants you to know that He is super excited about coming back to be with you, and He wants you to be super excited about being with Him, and with great joy and great depth of emotion say, “COME, LORD JESUS!”

 

Looking Back and Looking Forward, but Now is Our Time to Live!

By Steven J. Hogan

~ A Saturday Morning Post #3 ~ 

Throughout the years I have loved to get up on top of hills, and on top floors of big buildings and parking ramps. I have loved to look out over the land and get some perspective, for too easily I know that I can focus on my own life and my own little world. Now as Christians, we need Biblical perspective, spiritual perspective – we need to see things from God’s point of view. But I am not talking about what is presently going on in the world – I am talking about an historical and prophetic perspective. And it’s what the Bible says about our past and our future that gives us this big picture, and should then motivate us in these days to live for Him.

Let’s break down the past, the present, and our future into four parts:

– First, there was the time of Adam and Eve, and they were perfect, and they were perfectly ruling over a perfect world. This is Genesis 1-2.

– Second, there is the present evil age. During this age, Satan, the most wicked and imperfect being ever, has been ruling over a corrupted world. This is our time! This is Genesis 3 – Revelation 19.

– Third, there is the next age, the 1000 year kingdom age, when Jesus Christ, our Lord, Savior and King, will perfectly rule over a far better, though still not perfect world. This is Revelation 20.

– Fourth, there will be the eternal kingdom, when God the Father, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit will perfectly, wonderfully and forever be ruling over a perfect heaven and a perfect earth. This is Revelation 21-22.

Do you see this? Do you see where this world has come from, and where this world is going? Do you get the big picture? And do you see where you and I are at right now? This present evil age (Galatians 1:4), that started with the sin of Adam and Eve, is now in its “last days” (Acts 2:17), the church age. Not only that, but with the Jews back in their land, we know that we are at the very end of this evil age, this church age. This means that Jesus Christ will soon return to take the Christians who are on earth up to heaven. At that time all believers saved out of this age, both Old and New Testament saints, will join together to worship and serve the Lord, and to reign with Him over this earth. Hallelujah!!!

This future is our hope and we should be extremely excited, working towards it and looking forward to it. We are so close to this monumental juncture in the history of our world when this evil age will end – and then we will see the return of the King, and the next age will begin. Our salvation will be complete, we will be glorified, and the good age, Christ’s kingdom age, will begin. 1 Corinthians 15:20-28 summarizes this by saying, “But each in his own order: Christ, the first fruits, after that those who are Christ’s at His coming, then comes the end, when He delivers up the Kingdom to God the Father.” Ephesians 1:21 says it simply, “in this age, but also in the age to come.”

But now this is 2017, and this is our time, our time to live for the Lord! To think that God purposed and planned for you and I to be alive, not back in the days of Moses or David or even at the time of Christ’s first coming, not in the Dark Ages or at the time of Luther or out in the wild west, but now in the end times, and O so very close to Christ’s second coming. In all of human history, this is the time that God wants us to be alive on this earth, and this should greatly motivate us to want to live for Him, and be a part of what He is doing in this world. The parable of the minas (Luke 19:11-27) instructs us, “Do business until I come back.” Might we  be living all out for the Lord, using our time, talents and treasure for Him, building up the church, encouraging the believers, and reaching out to the lost. (Hebrews 10:24-25)

PS – Always notice the little man in the charts. That’s you, and me. Do you see where we are at? And do you see where we are going? It won’t be long. “Therefore, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.” 1 Corinthians 15:58

 

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