Picking up where we left off in part 1 (long, long ago) of “Are You Ready? part 1”…
There is one passage, and probably many others, that I am always drawn to when it comes to “the important matters”. You know, key verses that keep us focused on the main thing. So that the “main thing” remains the “main thing”, which keeps our focus where it needs to be.
What is the most necessary thing?
This is just one of those passages…
Luke 10: 41 But the Lord said to her, “My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details! 42 There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her.”
Jesus is referring to her sitting at His feet and listening to Him.
Here Jesus emphasizes this attitude again:
Luke 13: 22 Jesus went through the towns and villages, teaching as he went, always pressing on toward Jerusalem. 23 Someone asked him, “Lord, will only a few be saved?”
He replied, 24 “Work hard to enter the narrow door to God’s Kingdom, for many will try to enter but will fail. 25 When the master of the house has locked the door, it will be too late. You will stand outside knocking and pleading, ‘Lord, open the door for us!’ But he will reply, ‘I don’t know you or where you come from.’ 26 Then you will say, ‘But we ate and drank with you, and you taught in our streets.’ 27 And he will reply, ‘I tell you, I don’t know you or where you come from. Get away from me, all you who do evil.’
The keywords here are “I don’t know you or where you come from.” which I believe indicates that our relationship with Him is much more important to Him than any work or service we perform.
Can we really be sure there will be the second coming of Jesus?
I know very well that some people may be reading this and say: “Can we really be sure there will be a second-coming of Jesus; it’s been over 2000 years since that old book has been written. How reliable can it be? Surely He would’ve come back by now.”
Peter has a good answer to this:
2 Peter 3: 8 But you must not forget this one thing, dear friends: A day is like a thousand years to the Lord, and a thousand years is like a day. 9 The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent. 10 But the day of the Lord will come as unexpectedly as a thief. Then the heavens will pass away with a terrible noise, and the very elements themselves will disappear in fire, and the earth and everything on it will be found to deserve judgment.
If that’s not enough, allow me to remind some of you of some things that will give you even greater confidence about our Lord’s return. I want us to study the history of God which is always a good thing to do and will boost anyone’s confidence in the Lord’s return.
God foretells the 400-year era of slavery.
Consider these words God speaks to Abram (Abraham):
Genesis 15: 13 Then the Lord said to Abram, “You can be sure that your descendants will be strangers in a foreign land, where they will be oppressed as slaves for 400 years. 14 But I will punish the nation that enslaves them, and in the end they will come away with great wealth.
Note that God says “You can be sure…”. Abraham goes on to father Isaac, then comes Jacob, then Joseph, who we know gets sold as a slave and then goes on to become in charge of the entire land of Egypt, 2nd in rank only to Pharaoh. Then comes the famine that forces Jacob’s sons to seek grain in Egypt which ends with the whole family moving there. Sometime after this, we read that things change…
Exodus 1: 8 Eventually, a new king came to power in Egypt who knew nothing about Joseph or what he had done. 9 He said to his people, “Look, the people of Israel now outnumber us and are stronger than we are. 10 We must make a plan to keep them from growing even more. If we don’t, and if war breaks out, they will join our enemies and fight against us. Then they will escape from the country.”
11 So the Egyptians made the Israelites their slaves.
This begins their 400 years of slavery which God said “You can be sure” over 200 years prior. How’s that for telling the future? Not only that, but it all comes true, God punishes Egypt with 10 horrible plagues and then He compels the Egyptians to give the Israelites gold and silver as parting gifts!
God foretells the coming of Cyrus to bring His people home.
It is believed that Isaiah the prophet lived from 778 BC to 732 BC. We know that he served Kings Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah. Isaiah writes this in his 45th chapter, I highly recommend reading the entire chapter, it is a great read:
13 I will raise up Cyrus to fulfill my righteous purpose,
and I will guide his actions.
He will restore my city and free my captive people—
without seeking a reward!
I, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, have spoken!”
Who is Cyrus? You might be asking. (no relation to Miley, by the way).
2 Chronicles 36: 22 In the first year of King Cyrus of Persia, the Lord fulfilled the prophecy he had given through Jeremiah. He stirred the heart of Cyrus to put this proclamation in writing and to send it throughout his kingdom:
23 “This is what King Cyrus of Persia says:
“The Lord, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth. He has appointed me to build him a Temple at Jerusalem, which is in Judah. Any of you who are the Lord’s people may go there for this task. And may the Lord your God be with you!”
King Cyrus became king of Persia around 538. This is roughly 200 years or more after Isaiah wrote the prophecy! It was all God’s plan and that’s what happened.
This is why we need to read the Bible consistently.
The more we read, the more we’re reminded of what God said and that what He said will happen. This activity that we engage in, sitting at His feet and reading what He wrote, is always where our focus should be.
There’s more incredible information coming in the third and final part 3, so stay tuned!