Saturday, March 19, 2011

Is Matthew Knocking At the Door?

by Dr. Michael D. Evans

As I write you from my prayer room, I am deeply burdened. Events in Asia and in the Middle East are Matthew 24 knocking at the door.

I am referring to the prophecies of Jesus in that chapter. He prophesied almost 40 years before it happened that the Temple would be taken apart stone by stone and mass deception would overtake the world just before His return. Great leaders would deceive the people claiming to be followers of Christ. He prophesied that kingdoms would rise up against kingdoms. The only kingdoms left worldwide are the kingdoms in the Middle East.

Jesus also predicted famines, pestilence, and earthquakes in various places. When His disciples asked when He would return, He admonished them not to be troubled. In John 14:27, Jesus said, "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world gives, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid."

Our assignment is to live our lives in the light of eternity and touch things beyond the grave. What we do can then have eternal significance and echo throughout eternity. The good news is that these are signs Jesus is coming soon. These are signs of His return.

II Thessalonians 2:1 says it precisely: "Now we beseech you brethren by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and by our gathering together unto him."

The word "coming" in the Greek is parousia or presence. It means "presence of the Lord." Yes, it is the strong presence you felt when you were gloriously saved. It is the presence you feel when you pray and worship Him. But, the presence you will feel when He appears will be thousands of times greater. The Greek word for "gathering" is episynagogue. It means to "collect or quickly collect."

Here is the glorious revelation that God spoke into my heart this morning in prayer:

It's from Ephesians 1:13: "In whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise." Have you ever ordered a package through the mail and were disappointed because when it arrived, it was damaged? To make matters worse, it didn't arrive on the specified delivery date.

God is waiting for a special delivery package. When the Lamb of God was sacrificed on the cross, God didn't examine the man; He examined the Lamb and the blood that was shed for you and for me. When He did so, God put his seal of approval upon it and upon everyone who has been washed in the precious blood of the Lamb.

The word "seal" comes from the Greek sphragizo. Seals were used to guarantee that packages had not been opened by an unauthorized person. A seal would be placed upon a package to indicate it was complete. If there was a defect, a seal was not adhered to the package. The seal was proof that the product was impeccable. The seal bore the insignia of the person guaranteeing the package. It meant that the weight of that person's office was behind the package and was to be treated with the utmost care.

Hot wax was poured onto the string that bound the package, and then the sender's insignia was stamped into the wax leaving a visible and distinctive mark. The seal guaranteed the package had arrived unopened.

When the Bible says you have been sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, it means there is nothing incomplete or defective about you … because of the blood of the Lamb. He has placed His seal upon your heart. To be sealed with God's presence means you are "God approved." Your contents are intact and in order. You are not damaged goods. You've been inspected, approved, endorsed, and notarized by the Holy Spirit. You are the property of the Lord Jesus Christ.

The revelation in this is that the presence of the Lord will be manifested at His soon return. He will collect the Presence of the Lord within you. You are part of a glorious church, without spot or wrinkle, washed in the blood of the Lamb—not because of who you are, but because of who HE is. This is why He says, "When you see these things, lift up your head."

Rejoice, for your redemption draws nigh!

Beloved, when you see these things LOOK UP! "Lift up your head for your redemption draws nigh." (Luke 21:28) The prophecies of the Bible declare that "in the twinkling of an eye, we shall not all sleep, but we shall be changed."

Soon, and very soon, you will look into the eastern sky and witness the greatest event in the history of mankind. You will hear the shout of an archangel and a heavenly choir will offer praise to the returning King. The trumpet will sound, and the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, the Eternal Prince of Peace, will suddenly appear. Marble mausoleums will rip like tissue paper, and every grave on earth that holds the remains of the righteous will split open. Decaying bodies will be changed in the twinkling of an eye, and gravity will lose its hold as the resurrection saints will soar into the heavens to meet the Savior in the air. You, in your glorified body, will enter the Pearly Gates of Heaven to be welcomed by the cheers of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

You will see Moses who stretched forth his hand to divide the sea. You'll see John the Revelator who declared on Patmos that he saw the Lord in the midst of seven golden candlesticks. You will see your departed loved ones and friends who knew the Lord. Most importantly, you will see Jesus.

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