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When the Storms Come, Don’t Be Afraid

By Steven J. Hogan

~ A Saturday Morning Post #35 ~

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In the past few posts I’ve talked about the birth pangs – the wars, earthquakes, famines and plagues we’re now going through, and that will only increase as we get closer to the coming of Christ. But let’s be honest, this is scary stuff, and God knows our natural tendency is to be alarmed and get worried by events like these. And so right in the middle of His instruction about these birth pangs, Jesus says, “See that you are not frightened, for these things must take place” (Matthew 24:6). Now some people, when thinking about the future, just want to put their head in the sand and hope these things won’t happen. But no, these birth pangs are going to take place, and the way to truly get through them is to have a close relationship with the Lord and trust Him, for He will then give you all the grace and peace you need. Isaiah 26:3-4

This past weekend, a Cat 1 hurricane came very close to Tampa, and to be honest, I was tempted to be afraid. Days ahead of time, I was listening to the weatherman, and he was warning us that it was going to be bad, with high winds, heavy rain and possible flooding. Then on Sunday afternoon the storm started and it continued through early Monday morning. My wife and I, tucked inside our home and with the power out, were listening to hurricane updates on our little radio. But once in a while we’d step outside our front door and we’d see the swaying trees, hear the howling wind, and feel the strong wind, this force of nature from the hand of God. And yes, it was frightening.

Through the years, I’ve seen that one of man’s most common problems is his fear, a troubled mind, a gnawing spirit, an anxious soul. But man’s real root problem is that he’s not trusting God. He’s looking at the storm, but he’s not looking to God. Do you remember the story when the disciples were in the boat with Jesus and there was a “fierce gale of wind, and the waves were breaking over the boat?” And the disciples frantically wake up Jesus and He says, “Why are you afraid? Do you have no faith?” (Mark 4:35-41). Now has Jesus ever said this to you, “Why are you afraid?” Of course He has.

Yes, we can be afraid, but we are not to stay afraid. We are to look to God and say, “Father, I’m scared, but I trust you.” And I promise you, that He’ll calm your heart and take away your fear. I think of what God told Joshua, “Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9). When attacked by enemies, David prayed, “When I am afraid, I will put my trust in You” (Psalm 56:3). In speaking to the Jews, God says, “Do not fear, for I am with you; do not look anxiously about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, I will help you” (Isaiah 41:10). O remember these truths, that you have a Father who greatly loves you, who truly cares for you, who is always with you, and as you pray to Him and trust Him, then He will give you His peace, He will help you, He will make you strong and courageous. As you go through the storm, don’t forget that Jesus is always with you in the boat, and He will take you to the other side. Psalm 107:23-32

Then there’s Psalm 46, that end times’ chapter about wars and earthquakes, similarly described in the birth pains of Matthew 24. Our response is verse 2, “Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change.” But why are we not to fear? Because verse 1 says God is our refuge and He will protect us and keep us safe, and He’s our strength and will help us make it through even the most difficult and troubling times of life.

Then verses 4-5 tell us about hope, and hope helps take away fear, for hope means that we believe that the Son will soon be seen in the clouds and right away we will be in heaven, in the city of God. Verse 7 then tells us the fear removing truth that the Lord is always with us, that He’s our constant companion. Then verses 8-9 speak about the “works of the Lord,” and it’s imperative that you get your mind off yourself by seeing what God is doing. It’s not about you, and the little things you are so concerned about and get so worried about. It’s about seeing God and His end times’ work, that He will cause all wars to cease, He will defeat our enemies, and He will bring peace, not just to our hearts, but to this entire planet.

Then there’s the conclusion. Verse 10 says you are to “cease striving”, to be still, to relax. O might you know your powerful, loving and sovereign God, and stop thinking about yourself and your own little problems and being so afraid. Make it your goal to work for the glory of God, and He will take care of the rest. “Seek His kingdom and these things will be added to you. Do not be afraid, for your Father has chosen gladly to give you the kingdom” (Luke 12:31-32). Remember God’s promise, for this is what will most certainly take place, “I will be exalted in the nations; I will be exalted in the earth.” Psalm 46:11

P.S.  I’ve just published a very important, must-read article on The Antichrist.

A Big Storm is Coming and I Don’t Mean Hurricane Irma

By Steven J. Hogan

~ A Saturday Morning Post #34 ~ 

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Meteorologists, the weather experts, have been telling us for 10 days now about this huge hurricane named Irma that’s coming to Florida. They know the seriousness of this storm and are greatly concerned, and therefore have been regularly updating us about the storm track, where it’s headed and when it may hit. But all this advance notice about hurricane Irma reminds me of all the advance notice God has given us about Christ’s return. “Take heed, I have told you everything in advance” (Mark 13:23). God really wants you to know what will be taking place in the time leading up to the return of His Son, and that’s because He wants to give you a general idea as to when He’s coming back. And the first things will be the “birth pangs”.

God’s Word gives us a lot of information about these “birth pangs”, for there are four similar passages describing these conditions that need to be met before Christ’s return. Matthew 24:4-8 talks about false Christs, famines, wars, rumors of wars and earthquakes. Mark 13:6-8 tells us the exact same thing. Similarly, Luke 21:7-11 says there will be false Christs, wars, disturbances, great earthquakes, famines and also plagues. Finally, Revelation 6:1-6 focuses on false Christs, wars and famines. Now it’s true these kind of events have occurred throughout history, but the fact that four prophecy passages all talk about them confirms the certainty of them, and that they’re happening in that time leading up to the coming of Christ. They are also different than similar past events in that they are unique in size, extent and effect.

Now the words “birth pangs” portray a vivid picture, illustrating to us an important truth. Just as the labor pains of a pregnant woman indicate that the birth of her child is near, so too these end times’ “birth pangs” are letting us know that Christ’s coming is near. But there’s something else we need to learn from this illustration. Having been with my wife before and during the birth of our four children I know that labor pains start slow, but then increase in both frequency and intensity. They get closer and closer together, but also stronger and stronger. At the outset of these pains my wife would be up and about, doing things around the house, but there came a time when we had to head to the hospital, for my wife knew that the hard labor was coming, and that our child would be born very soon.

I personally believe the “birth pangs” are already taking place. Now some say they haven’t yet begun, that they start at the beginning of Daniel’s 70th week, and then continue for about 4-5 years until the coming of Christ. But I don’t believe you can cram all those events, wars, famines, plagues, earthquakes, etc., in those few years, particularly since we know that it takes some time for events like these to increase in intensity and frequency. Not only that, but God’s work with the Jews is in conjunction with His work with the church, and I would add, with these “birth pangs”. I believe these labor pains have been taking place in this elongated time frame going back to the late 1800’s when the Jews began returning to Israel. Then in Matthew 24:8, Jesus gives us some insight as to the general timing of these wars, famines, plagues, etc., and therefore the general timing of Christ’s return. He says, “All these are the beginning of birth pangs”, which means a whole lot more things need to take place after these beginning “birth pangs.”

Where are we at then with respect to Christ’s coming? It’s 2017, and we’re in the “beginning of birth pangs” stage. Right now they may not be so obvious, but as time goes on, they will be. The closer we get to the end of this age, the more you’re going to see and / or feel these labor pains – more earthquakes, famines, plagues, wars, etc. But I need to remind you that the hard labor is still to come. I hate to say this but I have to say this – the conditions in this world are going to get worse and worse before Christ’s return.

Many other prophesied signs will be fulfilled making it very clear that Christ’s coming is getting closer. There’ll be the building of the Jewish temple, realigning nations, increasing lawlessness, the Jews’ peace treaty with the Antichrist, increasing desire for globalism, more persecution of Jews and Christians, world evangelization, etc. It’s all part of God’s eternal plan, and all under His control. We should be thankful that God knows what He’s doing, that He told us ahead of time what’s going to happen, and that we can serve Him at this very important time in history. I urge you to be spiritually alert as to what’s taking place in the world, and don’t be afraid as you see these signs, but be encouraged, for you know you’ll soon be seeing your Savior and King.

PS – In my post title last week I wrote that “A Storm is Coming”. Honestly, I wasn’t thinking of Hurricane Irma – I was thinking of the coming “birth pangs”. But now at this time, realizing the certainty and devastation of this storm, I ask you to pray for God’s mercy with respect to all our lives here in Florida, physically and spiritually, and particularly for those who aren’t saved.  Pray too that God would be greatly glorified through this catastrophic event. Again, I encourage you to read Job 37, and look at my article on trials.

The Alarm is Ringing! Wake Up America! The Storm is Coming!

By Steven J. Hogan

~ A Saturday Morning Post #33 ~

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My son lives in Houston, and so for the past week, I was closely following Harvey, this slow motion tragedy, this epic catastrophe, this 1000 year flood event. Watching what’s been taking place has been surreal, unbelievable, the continued rain resulting in massive flooding, untold heartache, uprooted lives, unspeakable and unimaginable devastation, and also death. What are we to think? What are we to do? This is a time to be like the good Samaritan and love your neighbor. This is a time for compassion and kindness, a time to serve if you are able, a time to give financially to reputable charity organizations. But most importantly, this is a time to pray and ask God to pour out His grace and mercy upon the millions who are so needy.

This is also a time to consider what God has been doing. Do you see that every drop of water from the heavens above is from the hand of God? “God says to the rain shower, ‘Be a mighty downpour.’ So that everyone He has made may know His work, He stops all people from their work” (Job 37:6-7). Do you realize this storm is to get your attention, to get you to stop what you’re doing so you look to Him, to put the fear of God in you? Do you see that God is sounding the alarm, trying to wake you up from your sleep, to jolt you out of your slumber? God is calling on all Americans to wake up!

“The clouds change direction, turning around by His guidance, that they may do whatever He commands them on the face of the earth. Whether for correction, or for His world, or for lovingkindness, He causes it to happen… stop and consider God’s wonders” (Job 37:12-14). “The voice of the Lord is over the waters… The Lord sits enthroned over the flood. The Lord is King forever” (Psalm 29:3, 10). We get so occupied and distracted by school, work, sports, games, TV, texts and tweets, but might we hear the voice of the Lord. Listen up! God is telling us that He is God and we are but men, and that He is holy, supreme and powerful, and that He can do whatever He wants. Daniel 4:35

But what is God saying to those who don’t know Him? He wants them to know about His mercy, but it’s not just a temporal mercy by helping them through a physical problem, like a flood, but an eternal mercy by offering salvation from their sins, from their greatest spiritual problem. Yes, God wants to physically save people out of the rain and the flood and all the destruction that goes with it, but He’s more concerned about showing mercy to people by saving them from an eternal hell. 1 Timothy 2:3-6

How can a person be saved from his sins and from hell? He needs to know he’s a sinner in need of a Savior. He needs to know he has not loved God, but has loved himself and pleasure and money, or that he’s been proud, or that he has ignored and disobeyed God, or that he’s been angry, covetous or immoral. A person then needs to genuinely repent of his sins, and truly believe that Christ actually died for him, and was punished by God for all his sins. And those who repent and believe, who call out to God for mercy, will be forgiven, and be given eternal life, and become children of God. That Christ can save you from your sins, from the spiritual cancer that’s killing you, is the best and most important news in the world. “For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, to bring you to God” (1 Peter 3:18). “The wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 6:23). Ephesians 2:8-9, John 5:24

What is God saying to the person who’s already a true Christian? That if he is spiritually sleeping, then by God’s grace, he needs to wake up. If he is sinning, then he needs to repent and be holy. If he is loving the world, then he needs to love God. If he is proud, then he needs to be humble. If he is worried, then he needs to see that God is sovereign. If he is disobedient, then he needs to obey God. If he is churchless, then he needs to get in a good Bible church, faithfully loving and serving the saints. Finally, he is to tell others the good news about how Christ can save them from sin, death and hell. I must say that there’s no greater joy than knowing the Lord, worshiping Him, working for Him, and waiting for His glorious return and the rapture of the church.

Let me ask again, do you see what God is doing? He ordains little trials as well as these massive storms, these (super)natural disasters. And He wants you to know Him as the One who meets both your physical and spiritual needs “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me besides quiet waters.” Psalm 23:1-2

P.S. – All kinds of calamities will continue on up to the return of Christ. Next week, I am planning on looking at the birth pains – the wars, famines, plagues and earthquakes that are and will be taking place in the end times.

P.P.S. – I have just posted a very informative and important article about the coming of Jesus Christ. (By the way, my son is safe and encouraged).

A Hurricane is Coming – Be Ready, Watching and Working!

By Steven J. Hogan

~ A Saturday Morning Post #32 ~

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Wars – earthquakes – plagues – famines – economic crisis – lawlessness – global unrest – nations realigning – false Christs – false prophets – apostasy – betrayal – Jewish temple desolated – Antichrist ruling the world – mark of the beast – great tribulation – persecution – martyrdom – pseudo peace – world evangelization – signs in the heavens.

In the years ahead all these things will be taking place in our world, leading up to the end of this age and the return of Christ. In His Word, God has specifically talked about these things because He doesn’t want you to speculate, be in the dark, or be in error by listening to someone who doesn’t know what they’re talking about. In view of this, I encourage you to read Daniel 7:15-28, Matthew 24:3-41, Mark 13:3-32, Luke 21:7-36, 1-2 Thessalonians, and Revelation 6 and 13, for they clearly spell out God’s plans for the future.

In Mark 13:23 Jesus says, “Be on your guard; I have told you everything ahead of time.” The Lord didn’t have to tell you about these end time events – He could have let it all be a complete surprise. But He told you in advance because He wants you to know what will be taking place. And should you not then want to know what He wants you to know? But not only does He want you to know what will be happening, but He wants you to be watching and working, and looking forward to seeing His Son, and your Savior.

Of course, God didn’t tell us every single thing that’s going to occur, but He told us every single thing we need to know about the climactic last years of this evil age. The God of this universe, and hopefully your heavenly Father, doesn’t want you wondering what will be happening, or caught off guard and fearful when calamitous and earthshaking events do occur. He wants you wide awake, clearly understanding His prophetic word, and fully aware of predicted events as they come to pass in the world. “The men of Issachar understood the times, and knew what they should do.” 1 Chronicles 11:32

Now some believe that the people, events and things on this earth are just random and evolving, but that is so not true. Since eternity past, the Creator of this universe has planned out your life and the course of this world. And yes, you’re responsible for your actions, but yet in a way you can’t completely understand, God is sovereign over your life, and over this entire world. God knows exactly what He’s doing and exactly what He’s going to do, and there’s nothing that will stop Him from carrying out all His plans for this planet earth. Everything has been made by God for His purposes and glory, and He is wisely orchestrating all the people and events on this world, leading up to that one point in time when He sends His Son back to this earth. Daniel 4:34-35, Ephesians 1:9-12

But where are we at now, and where are we going? Think about taking a trip – you have a map, smart phone or GPS, and you know your location, you know your destination, and you know the roads you need to take and the turns you need to make to get to where you want to go. And as Christians, it’s God’s prophetic word that’s our map, and a perfect map it is for our time, for these years leading up to the return of Christ to this earth. And in my opinion, Matthew 24 is the single most important part of this map, for it’s a simple summation of the sequence, the chronology of end time events.

And so where are we at? Since the Jews have gathered back to Israel, then we know we live in the end times, which is that period of time leading up to the return of Christ. And now we’re experiencing “birth pains”, which means we’re in the beginning stage of the end times. We have a little ways to go then before the appearing of Christ. There need to be more wars and earthquakes, a peace treaty needs to be signed, the temple needs to be built, the Antichrist needs to come, and yes, Christians will go through great tribulation in that time right before Christ comes to take them home. Matthew 24:4-8

But how are you to live? Christ says you are to “do business until I come back”, “to make disciples of all the nations”, and to be “encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the day drawing near.” Be excited and tell others what will be taking place, and look forward to the “day of Christ”, for it won’t be long before He’ll return to take up the saints, take out the enemy and take over the world. “Behold, I am coming soon.”

P.S. Next week we will begin to specifically and carefully look at the above mentioned prophesied events that need to take place before the return of Christ and the rapture of the church.

P.P.S. In view of Hurricane Harvey, I encourage you to read Job 37, the best weather chapter in the Bible. The last verse is most instructive – “Therefore men fear Him.”

North Korea, Microchips and the Solar Eclipse

By Steven J. Hogan

~ A Saturday Morning Post #31 ~

In recent weeks you may have heard about North Korea, microchips, and a solar eclipse. But what amazes and saddens me is when I hear people getting so worried about these things, wondering if the end of the world is right around the corner. It’s reminds me of fearful “Chicken Little” crying out, “The sky is falling!” As Christians, we shouldn’t be afraid or confused, for God has already told us what’s going to happen, and has even given us a 7 year time frame so we can see where these things fit in with His end time plans.

First, let’s talk about North Korea. Matthew 24:6-7 tells us, “You will be hearing of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not frightened, for those things must take place, but that is not yet the end.” Jesus goes on to say, “these things are merely the beginning of birth pains.” Let me explain: these birth pains are wars, earthquakes, famines and plagues taking place before the end of this age and Christ’s coming, and this includes this North Korean conflict. But it’s just the “beginning of birth pains”, meaning a lot more things, and yes more wars, need to take place before the rapture of the church.

Second, we read about small rice-sized microchips that for years have been implanted in animals as identification and tracking devices. And now they’re putting them in people – but why is this potentially such a big deal? Because Revelation 13:16-17 tells us that “he (another beast) causes all… to be given a mark on their right hand or forehead.” Now we don’t know exactly what this “mark” is, but I believe it relates to these microchips that are presently being developed and increasingly being perfected. This beast, together with the devilish Antichrist, will be using this kind of technology, and “no one will be able to buy or to sell, except the one who has the mark…” This “mark” will be one of the main ways the Antichrist will control people, run the economy, and rule the world during his short dictatorship.

When will this take place? I’ve previously taught about a 7 year time period called Daniel’s 70th week, and right after the midpoint of this week this mark will be implemented by the Antichrist and this other beast. Now Daniel’s 70th week hasn’t even started yet, for we’re still at the beginning of birth pains. But this mark, this chip will be ready to use on a global scale, and accepted by society at large when the Antichrist steps out on the world stage. Now Christians will still be on earth at this time, what Matthew 24:21 calls the great tribulation. But be assured, that if you’re a true, born again Christian, then you will not and cannot take this mark of the beast. Only unbelievers can take the mark.

Third, there’s this coming solar eclipse. Some well-known Christians have actually said this is a sign that judgment is coming on America. And yes, the Bible tells us about “wonders in the sky” (Joel 2:31), and that the “the sun will be darkened… ” (Matthew 24:29) before the Day of the Lord, but this particular solar eclipse is not part of these end of the age cosmic disturbances. Why do we know that? Because the Bible tells us that these heavenly signs will not take place until after the Antichrist has been revealed, after the mark of the beast is implemented, immediately after the great tribulation, and right before the rapture of the church. Matthew 24:29-31, Revelation 6:12-7:14

Let me sum it up: As a world, we’re now experiencing beginning birth pains, and part of that are these wars and rumors of wars. Then in the near future there’ll be a peace treaty between the coming Antichrist and Israel, and this begins Daniel’s 70th week. At the 3½ year point of that week, the Antichrist will be revealed, and he’ll make non-Christians take the mark of the beast, and also begin great tribulation against both Jews and Christians. Immediately after this great tribulation is cut short, there’ll be these warning signs in the heavens, marking the end of this age, the return of Christ, and the rapture of the church. And then God’s wrath will be poured out on all the unbelievers living on this earth.

God has told us ahead of time what’s going to take place before the return of His Son. And why? Because He wants us to know He’s in control, that He’s doing exactly what He has planned to do; and He doesn’t want us to worry – He wants us to have peace in our hearts. We need to know that Jesus Christ is coming soon, but I say “soon” in terms of all of human history. The truth is, the Bible tells us a number of things that need to take place before Christ’s coming. In the weeks ahead we will be looking closely at many of these things. Hebrews 10:23-25

P.S.  Please feel free to check out the many articles and charts here on this blog.  They are here to help ones understand more fully what the Bible teaches about the return of Christ the King.  Also, here is a post about the Good News ~ how a person can know Jesus Christ now and forever!

More on the Glory of God, The Most Important Thing of All!

By Steven J. Hogan

~ A Saturday Morning Post #30 ~

The glory of God! What a great and glorious subject! Might we desire to glorify God, to give Him all the glory! Before we were saved, we were sinners, and we weren’t giving glory to God. We “exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man…” (Romans 1:23). But thanks be to God that He saved us so we’d give Him glory. And then we are told that we are to “exult in hope of the glory of God” (Romans 5:2). One of the main reasons we are saved is so that at Christ’s coming we’ll be glorified, and then we’ll glorify God all the time, and with all our heart and soul. This is what we should truly be excited about and looking forward to!

But now we’re on earth, and the flesh oftentimes wants to be seen, recognized, applauded, famous, popular and promoted. And it’s Psalm 115:1 that again tells us our primary reason for being here: “Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to Your name give glory, because of your love and because of your truth.” We’re to give God glory, and why? Because His love and His truth have wonderfully and eternally transformed us. What was David’s desire? “I will give thanks to You, O Lord my God, with all my heart, and will glorify Your name forever. For your love toward me is great” (Psalm 86:12-13).

How do we give glory to God? Psalm 63:1-5 tells us that we are to seek God, and then we will see God, and specifically His power and His glory. And then we will be satisfied by His love, and then we will glorify Him. Again, as we seek God, we will see Him, we will know Him, we will be in love with Him – and then we will glorify Him by blessing Him, by praising Him, by singing to Him. And by the way, it’s better than a million sunsets, or anything else on this earth.

How else do we give glory to God? 1 Corinthians 10:31 says that our entire life is to give God glory. “Whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” We glorify God by eating, by our jobs, by using our gifts, by serving in church, by our relationships, our family time, our work outs, our vacations, by “whatever you do.” We also glorify God by being strong in faith (Romans 4:20), by doing the work God gives us to do (John 17:4), by being thankful (Psalm 69:30), and by being holy (Isaiah 6:3).

Then there are the “glory” verses. 1 Timothy 1:15-17 says God is glorified because He saves us. Philippians 4:19-20 says God is glorified when our needs are met. 2 Peter 3:18 says God is glorified as we grow in knowing Christ. 2 Timothy 4:18 says God is glorified because He rescues us from evil attacks. Jude 24-25 says God is glorified by taking us from earth to heaven. Hebrews 13:20-21 says God is glorified because He equips us to do His will. Romans 11:36 says God is glorified because He saves a remnant of Jews. “For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen.” Do you see this? By far, our supreme goal, our greatest joy, our most satisfying endeavor, is giving glory to God, now and forever!

But back to the coming of Christ: I have to tell you, I get real excited when I think about Christ coming in His awesome glory, splendor, power and majesty (Luke 21:27). For then I’ll be glorified, I’ll be fully saved, and I’ll finally be able to do what God chose me for, created me for, and saved me for – to fully and always glorify God and Jesus Christ. And it’s not just me glorifying God, but all the saints together glorifying God.Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God” (Revelation 19:1).

But one of my favorite glory verses is contained in Jesus’ prayer for us: “Father, I desire that they also, whom You have given Me, be with Me where I am, so that they may see My glory…” (John 17:24). Can you imagine actually being with Jesus, seeing Him and seeing His amazing, magnificent and spectacular glory, and then giving Him glory? There is nothing better than this, and this is what we will be doing forever and ever and ever!

I pray that you’ll give glory to God as you live on this earth. But I also pray that you’re excited about seeing Christ return in glory, for then you’ll be glorified, and then you’ll appear with Christ in glory, and then you’ll give Him glory like never before – and you will be most encouraged, most satisfied, and filled with joy. “All the earth will be filled with the glory of the Lord” (Numbers 14:21). “From the ends of the earth we hear singing: ‘Glory to the Righteous One’” (Isaiah 24:16). “For Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen” (Matthew 6:13).

P.S. My latest article was just published a few days ago: Replacement Theology: It’s Not True – Part 5 (Why People Have Believed This Error.) This will help you to more clearly understand the history of this error. Next week we’ll be looking at North Korea, microchips, and the solar eclipse, and how all this relates to the end times.

The Glory of God – The Most Important Thing of All!!!

By Steven J. Hogan

~ A Saturday Morning Post #29 ~ 

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God is all glorious! That’s because of who He is – God is God, and He is the Creator of the world, the Lord of lords, the King of kings, and the Savior of sinners. “O Lord God of hosts, who is like You, O mighty God?” Psalm 89:8. God is glorious because of what He’s like – He’s supreme, holy, just, wise, loving, powerful, truthful, sovereign, forgiving, good, faithful, patient, omniscient, omnipresent, immutable and eternal. “His name alone is exalted; His glory is above heaven and earth.” Psalm 148:13. And God is glorious because of what He does, because of His awesome works. “On the glorious splendor of Your majesty and on Your wonderful works, I will meditate.” Psalm 145:5

God is always glorified! There’s never a time when He is not glorified. Every single thing that God has ever done or ever will do gives Him glory. Not only that, but as Revelation 4 tells us, the four living creatures are continually and eternally giving glory to God. “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God, the Almighty… Worthy are You, our Lord and our God, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things…” But there’s been a big problem.

Man is made to glorify God. But as Romans 1:18-32 says, man is worshiping the creation instead of God, His Creator, and this is his main sin, his root problem, resulting in all kinds of other sins. Yet, in His kindness, God sent His own Son, Jesus Christ, to save man from his sin, to redeem those who believe He died and paid for their sins and then rose again. And why did God do this? For man’s eternal good, and so he would glorify God. The Westminster Confession sums it up, “The chief end of man is to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever.” 

As a Christian you are to glorify God – to worship, to extol, to exalt, to praise, to bless, to honor, to thank, to fear, to love Him. This is your main purpose, your primary duty during your life on this earth, and forever and ever. “Whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” 1 Corinthians 10:31. “To Him who loves us… to Him be the glory and dominion forever and ever.” Revelation 1:5-6. O might you see this! O might your heart, soul and life be filled with praise to God, for He is worthy!!!

God made the heavens and the earth, the angels, plants and animals, mountains and hills, and men and women, to praise and glorify God. But as was said, man sinned and didn’t give Him glory. But God has reconciled people to Himself, and the Bible and all of history tells us stories of selected men and women giving glory to God. The Jews, for example, were a chosen people, and many of them worshiped God. As David said, “I will give thanks to You, O Lord my God… and will glorify Your name forever.” Psalm 86:11. But overall, the Jews did not honor God, and so He punished them, for “they worshiped a molten image. They exchanged their glory for an image of an ox.” Psalm 106:19-20. Yet God never gave up on the Jews, for though He exiled them and later scattered them all over the world, He promised to gather them back to their land (and now they are there), so they would give Him glory. “I will be glorified in the midst of Thee.” Ezekiel 28:22. “The earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord.” Habakkuk 2:14

But now we’re in the church age, and the time for the revival of a remnant of Jews, and for these promises to be fulfilled, is still to come. This then is our opportunity and time to serve the Lord and give Him glory. Many verses tell us this – Romans 16:25-27, Galatians 1:4-5, Philippians 4:19-20, 2 Peter 3:18, Jude 24-25, Revelation 1:5-6, Ephesians 3:21 – “To Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.”

Since we live in the end times, then we know it won’t be long before Christians on earth “will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory” (Luke 21:27), and before we will be “raised in glory” (1 Corinthians 15:42), and before all believers “will be revealed with Christ in glory” (Colossians 2:3). Do you realize what’s going to happen? And do you see that our primary message is God’s glory, and that our main purpose is to glorify Him, and to “tell of His glory among the nations, His wonderful deeds among the peoples… to ascribe to the Lord the glory of His name?” Psalm 96:3, 7

It’s so joyful, exhilarating and fulfilling to glorify God with the saints during this church age, but I’m looking forward to glorifying Him in the next age with all the believers from the Old Testament and church ages, and from the millennial kingdom age. It won’t be long before “every knee will bow… and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father,” and before we’re saying, and I believe singing, “Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts, the whole earth is full of His glory.” Philippians 2:10-11, Isaiah 6:3

P.S.  I plan to have my new article posted early next week: “Replacement Theology :  It’s Not True – Part 5.”  Look for it then!

The Most Important Thing for You!

By Steven J. Hogan

~ A Saturday Morning Post #28 ~

Our primary subject in this blog is the 2nd coming of Jesus Christ. But you need to know the importance of His 1st coming before you can see the significance of His 2nd coming. You’re not going to be excited about Christ coming again if you don’t know why He came the first time, and if you don’t know Him as your personal Lord and Savior.

In this world there are a multitude of problems, but by far, the biggest problem is sin, and it’s in the heart and life of every single person. And what is this sin? Sin is not loving God – it’s worshiping the creation instead of the Creator, glorifying man instead of glorifying God. Sin is rebelling against God, breaking God’s laws, and disobeying His commands. It’s ignoring Him and just doing your own thing. Jesus gave a list of specific sins“evil thoughts, fornication, thefts, murders, adulteries, deeds of coveting and wickedness, as well as deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride and foolishness.” Mark 7:21-22. And your evil thoughts, words and deeds are a lot more than you realize – it’s not just a couple of crimes you’ve committed against God, but millions of them.

And this sin is really bad. It’s a spiritual cancer that kills, that will totally ruin your life. It results in sorrow, fear, worry, loneliness, conflict, emptiness, depression, hopelessness, physical sickness and death, and much more than that, in spiritual death and eternal death. It means you’re completely cut off from God. “The wages of sin is death.” Romans 6:23. “Your sins have made a separation between you and your God.” Isaiah 59:2

Because you’ve sinned, then you’re guilty before God. And because you’re guilty, then you must be punished by God. And this punishment is altogether just. “These will pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power.” 2 Thessalonians 1:9-10. “Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire.” Matthew 25:41. You’re spiritually dead, spiritually lost, and spiritually helpless. This sin and death is your worst problem, a most desperate situation, but what can you do about it?

Here’s the answer: about 2000 years ago God sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to this earth; and when He was on earth, He did everything right and nothing wrong. Then, as a perfect sacrifice, He died on the cross for sinners, taking their sins upon Himself. Christ became a substitute, being punished by His Father for people’s sins, thereby paying the penalty they deserved. “God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8. “God made Christ who knew no sin to be sin that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” 2 Corinthians 5:21

What must you do to be saved? You must see that only Jesus Christ can save you. You must see that you’re a sinner, and deserve to be punished for your sins. You must repent of your sins, being sorry that you’ve sinned against God, and you must believe that Christ died for you, and then rose again, and that God was fully satisfied by what Christ did for you. Turn from your sin and trust in Christ, and then you’ll be born again, and become a child of God. You’ll be forgiven of all your sins, and be given everlasting life, an eternal and personal relationship with God Himself. “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” John 3:16. “By grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no man may boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9

Do you know what will happen if you don’t turn to Christ? One of two things – either you’ll physically die and go to hell, or you’ll be here when Christ comes back to earth. And if you are here and aren’t right with God, then Christ will be your Judge, and it will be “hell” on earth – and then you’ll be in hell forever. You do not want that. I strongly exhort you – tell God you’re sorry that you’ve sinned against Him, and believe that “Christ died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God.” 1 Peter 3:18. “Whoever will call upon the name of the Lord will be saved.” Romans 10:13

Now I’ve talked about the bad news, the sin and death and hell. But I want you to remember the good news of Jesus Christ, the greatest demonstration of love this world has ever seen, that God is offering you a complete pardon of all your sins. More than you know, God wants you to get saved, and wants you to know Him and His love. He wants you to live a life that has meaning, and is pleasing and glorifying to Him. God wants to be your Father, and wants you to be with Him forever. “I came that you might have life, and have it abundantly.” John 10:10. “If anyone is thirsty, let Him come to Me and drink.” John 7:37.

If you believe the truth about Jesus Christ at His 1st coming, then you will be looking forward to seeing Him come back as your King at His 2nd coming!

P.S. Please check out my newest article about the character of God, which I just published today: I Still Say My ABC’s, The ABC’s of God’s Character.

How Do We Know We are Living in the End Times?

By Steven J. Hogan

~ A Saturday Morning Post #27 ~

Image result for Israel people

Everything I’ve talked about so far isn’t that relevant if we can’t clearly and convincingly answer this one question: “How do we know we’re living in the end times?” God’s Word tells us that the Jews would return to Israel, and that’s exactly what has taken place in the past 130 years. The fact that the Jews are back in their own land is the main reason we know we’re in the end times, that time period leading up to the 2nd coming of Christ, the rapture of the church and the redemption of the Jews. Let me explain more fully:

From 750BC-490 BC, many Old Testament prophets predicted that the Jews would be gathered back to their land. Isaiah 11:11 – “In that day the Lord will reach out His hand a second time to reclaim the surviving remnant of His people…” (Note this is the second time – the first gathering took place between 530BC-440BC). Jeremiah 32:37-38 – “I will surely gather them from all the lands where I banish them in My furious anger and great wrath. I will bring them back to this place and let them live in safety. They will be My people and I will be their God.” Zechariah 8:7-8 – “I will save My people from the countries of the east and the west and bring them back to Jerusalem, and I will be faithful and righteous to them as their God.” Ezekiel 36:26 – “I will gather you from all the countries, and bring you into your own land… I will give you a new heart and spirit.” Hosea 1:11, Amos 9:14-15, Micah 4:6-7 and Zephaniah 3:14-20 also speak of this great gathering.

It was around 1880 that all these predictions started coming true, for that was the beginning of this gathering of Jews back to Israel. First there were thousands, then tens of thousands, then hundreds of thousands, then millions, and finally 6.5 million strong in May 2017 (Jewish Virtual Library). This is an amazing miracle of God! For a people group to be gone from their land for so long, and then to return with their same identity, same language, same culture, and same religion is absolutely phenomenal. Nothing like this has ever happened before! God’s promise about the Jews has been coming true, just like He said, and no one can deny it. Indeed, we are seeing a miraculous and glorious work of God!

But you say, “This is about the Jews, but what about the church?” Let me make the connection. Matthew 24:9-26, Mark 13:9-23, Luke 21:12-24, 2 Thessalonians 2:1-10 and Revelation 7:1-17 are all prophecy passages, and in each of them there’s a section about the Jews adjacent to a section about the church. By examining these passages, it’s obvious that God’s work with the Jews in the end times is coinciding with and in conjunction with His work with the church. Therefore, we know that God will not do His prophetic work with the Jews apart from His prophetic work with the church. And since the Jews are back in their land, then we know this age is coming to an end – it won’t be long before Christ returns to carry out this work, fulfilling God’s promises for the church and the Jews.

Do you see this? Over 2500 years ago, God predicted that the Jews would come back to their land. The fact that God has gathered them back to Israel is a clear and obvious sign that we are now living in the end times. (Daniel 12:4 – “Seal up the book until the end time.” The book has now been unsealed, for the Jews are back in their land). “Behold, I will take the sons of Israel from among the nations where they have gone, and I will gather them from every side and bring them into their own land; and I will make them one nation in the land… and one King will be king for all them… and they will be my people and I will be their God.” Ezekiel 37:21-22 (Emphasis mine). The first part of this verse has come true for the Jews, and now the last part about God’s three promises for them, will also come true. They will be saved from their sins, will have Jesus as their King, and will then be blessed in their land.

But now that we’re in the end times, then all the other prophecies with regards to Christ’s 2nd coming will soon be taking place – there will be birth pains, a peace treaty, a new Jewish temple, the Antichrist, the mark of the beast, the great persecution, the rapture of the church, the Day of the Lord, the salvation of the Jews, and then Christ will begin His reign over the earth. Hallelujah!!!

It was only 150 years ago that the Jews weren’t in their land, but now they are. The prophetic alarm clock is now ringing, and God is telling us to wake up, for Christ’s coming is right around the corner. Be encouraged, be excited, learn what you need to learn, do what you need to do, and look forward to seeing your Lord, Savior and King!

P.S.  I have just published a new article: Replacement Theology: It’s Not True – Part 4.  This is a very helpful supplement to today’s post.  Please check it out and especially note point #3 which talks about the gathering of the Jews to Israel.



Clear New Testament Confirmation of God’s Plans for the Jews

By Steven J. Hogan

~ A Saturday Morning Post #26 ~

Does God say anything in the New Testament about the future of the Jews? Of course He does, and that’s because He wants us to know for certain that His promises to the Jews are still true. Here are some key verses:

Luke 24:45 – “All things which are written about Me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.” Jesus needed to remind His disciples, and us, that all the things written in the Old Testament about Him would come true, which would include reigning as King over the world, and carrying out His promises to the Jews.

Romans 11:25-26 – “A partial hardening has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in; and so all Israel will be saved.” These are the most crystal clear verses in the entire New Testament about the salvation of the Jews in the end times. It’s going to happen, and it’s after this church age is over, after the salvation of a great number of Gentiles.

Hebrews 11:10,13,16“He (Abraham) was looking for the city which has foundations… All these died in faith without receiving the promises.” These verses once again prove that God’s promise to the Jews about their land will be fulfilled, and this will take place after the end of this church age.

Luke 1:54-55“He (God) has given help to Israel His servant, in remembrance of His mercy, as He spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and His descendants forever.” All the Jews knew about God’s promise to Abraham, and now through Mary, God lets us know that He’s not going back on His word – He will most definitely keep His promise!

Acts 3:20-21“that He (God) may send Jesus, the Christ appointed for you, whom heaven must receive until the period of restoration of all things about which God spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets.” Here’s another verse validating the truth of God’s Old Testament promises to the Jews, that they would be blessed with land, and with a Kingdom that would be ruled by Christ Himself.

Revelation 11:15“The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ; and He will reign forever and ever.” God made this promise to David that one of His descendants would be King over Israel, and over the entire world, and it will finally be realized at the 7th trumpet, at the very end of Daniel’s 70th week.

Luke 1:31-33“You will conceive and bear a son, and you shall name Him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High… He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and His kingdom will have no end.” This is another confirmation of God’s promise about His Son being the eternal King over this earth. And it was Mary’s first born son Jesus who would be the Son of God, in fulfillment of His promise to His people.

These verses were placed in the New Testament because God wants Christians living during this church age to know and be convinced of His future plans for the Jews. All these verses are clear confirmation that God has not nullified His plans for the Jews, but will faithfully carry them out. And there is nothing in the New Testament that negates God’s promises to the Jews. Those who say there’s no future for national, ethnic Israel are in error, for God never says that the church replaces Israel when it comes to the Old Testament promises. And in fact, here are some other New Testament verses that specifically relate to this subject of the Jews and their future: Matthew 23:37-39. Matthew 24:15-27. Mark 13:14-23. Luke 21:20-24. Luke 22:29-30. Luke 24:25. Acts 1:6-11. 2 Thessalonians 2:1-9. Revelation 7:1-8. Revelation 11:1-13. Revelation 12:5-17. As we look at the world around us, and as we closely examine the above passages, it’s obvious that God’s end time work with the Jews will soon be moving full speed ahead.

At this time Christians should focus on the church. But we are to also have our eyes open to what God is doing around us, and to know that the future of the church relates directly to the future of the Jews. God will not do His prophetic work with the Jews apart from His prophetic work with the church. Old Testament believers had promises for their land, their King, and their salvation, but they wouldn’t see them realized apart from the New Testament saints. Hebrews 11:39-40 says it well, “All these (Old Testament believers), having gained approval through their faith, did not receive what was promised, because God had provided something better for us (New Testament believers), so that apart from us (New Testament believers) they (Old Testament believers) would not be made perfect.”

Let me conclude by giving you the big picture perspective: Christ’s 1st coming was transitioning God’s work from the Jews to the church, and Christ’s 2nd coming will be transitioning God’s work from the church to both Old Testament believers and New Testament saints. That takes us into the next age, the millennial kingdom age.

P.S.  I’ve just published a short article about the importance of the Word of God with a long list of some of my favorite verses:  The Instructive, Commanding, Comforting and Encouraging Word of God!!!

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