[The following is actually a email update from Hal Lindsey that I get periodically. I couldn't find it on his website, but it is linked above anyway. This is a good and timely read]
The "big news" is that Jesus Christ is coming back and He's coming back soon. I believe that the Bible indicates that many of those of the generation that saw Israel become a nation in 1948 will still be alive at the coming of the Lord. That's the Good News.
But I've reached the conclusion that we're in the final days of the Church Age by watching the onrush of the "signs of the times" as detailed by Jesus Himself -- all of which are "bad news" events. Of course, these include things like earthquakes, famines, plagues, global weather pattern changes, ethnic strife, hot wars, cold wars, and the global rejection of Biblical truth.
But unfolding Bible prophecy is not all "doom and gloom." It's a little like having major surgery. You know it's necessary and when it's over you'll be much better off, but still, you know it's going to hurt. We know that what awaits the child of God on the other side of this life will be worth all of the sacrifice and discomfort that is hurtling toward us.
Because time is short and there is so much to lose, God called "watchmen" to stand on the wall, as it were. We are to watch for approaching danger and sound the alarm to warn the oblivious townsmen, the blissfully ignorant.
There is a special crown -- or reward -- promised to those who answer the calling and faithfully warn those around them that, according to the "signs of the times," Jesus Christ's return is fast approaching.
I know that many of you are called of God to be "watchmen" in these last days. Don't make light of that burden you carry. It's important that the blissfully ignorant hear and are stirred from their apathy. It may not be pleasant to sometimes be considered the bearer of bad tidings. It may be frustrating, even frightening, but God knew you could handle it. That's why He called you.
Be like Moses, whom God said chose to "endure ill-treatment" because he considered the "reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt; for he was looking to the reward." (Hebrews 11:24-26)
And what is it that the Church -- or all true believers -- is watching and preparing for? The "Blessed Hope" that the Apostle Paul describes in 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17. Someday soon, Jesus Christ is going to leave heaven and call for those who are watching for His return to leave this earth and meet Him in the air. This even includes those who have died during this Church Age.
According to Paul, when Christ calls us, those believers who have died will be resurrected and those of us still alive will be instantly transformed from mortal to immortal. We'll all join Him in the air between heaven and earth and be swept into heaven with our Savior.
Those who are left behind will be the ones who experience the "Day of the Lord," which begins with the great Tribulation. You don't want anyone you know or love to be in that number. And God doesn't, either. That's why He needs you to sound the alarm as a "watchman."
And how do you make certain you're ready to experience the "Blessed Hope" and miss the "Day of the Lord?" Simple.
Recognize that you're a sinner who has fallen short of the standard that God has set. (Every human being has!) Confess your sinfulness and ask God to forgive you. Accept the free gift of pardon that Jesus Christ purchased for you with His atoning death on the Cross. Believe God's promise ("...whosoever believes in Him shall not die but have everlasting life." - John 3:16) and receive His pardon in your heart. Then ask God to make of you what He wants you to be. Thank Him for giving you eternal life with Him.
You are now a part of God's forever family and have just changed your eternal destiny. Now, you are one of those watching for the "Blessed Hope."
Don't miss this week's Report on TBN, Daystar, CPM Network, various local stations, www.hallindsey.com or www.hischannel.com. Please check your local listings.
mail: HLMM, P.O. Box 470470, Tulsa, OK 74147