Over 25 years ago the Lord gave me the message of the Blessed Hope to help the Church prepare for when the Lord returns, and during the last several years the Lord has been amplifying that message. He helped carry the first message across our great land as the Holy Spirit opened up doors at numerous radio and television stations throughout the country. Ray Brubaker helped me herald this vital word for the Church with the words to the foreword to my first major book:
“Surely revival must come to the heart of the person living in known disobedience to the will of God upon realizing their carelessness and indifference. This condition, which constitutes “lukewarmness,” could result in their lack of being ready when our Lord returns. If looking for our Lord’s Return, will we not want to be ready for that glorious event? As we read in I John 3:2-3: “… when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is. And every man that hath this hope in Him, purify himself, even as He is pure.”
The latest trilogy of free books the Lord has given me are aimed at helping believers focus on what’s really important as His coming draws ever nearer (please see www.ProphecyCountdown.com). The “lukewarmness” that exists in the hearts of many believers today is the result of the fact that many Christians believe that our salvation only entails being born again. While I agree wholeheartedly that we are completely saved by the blood of our Saviour, this message is only the beginning of our redemption. (1Thessalonians 5:23)
The modern teaching on salvation has been severely tainted by today’s “ultra-grace” phenomenon that allows believers to use God’s marvelous grace to act as a bandage to cover an unclean life. This reality was recently driven home to this author when he witnessed a dear brother become entangled by sin because he had not learned how to overcome it. While this brother in the Lord had been saved years ago, he had not properly understood what many in our Churches also fail to understand: the whole goal of our faith should be the salvation of our soul: “Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.” (1 Peter 1:9)
Most believers are satisfied that their spirits have been saved, but have not been properly instructed about saving their soul. Satan is very pleased with the malaise that has permeated our modern Church culture because he realizes that many believers are in great danger of being led astray by him if they remain in their lethargic state.
The message that the Lord has given me at this final hour is vital for every Christian to consider. While your spirit may be redeemed, have you gone on in your faith and allowed the Holy Word of God to teach you how to save your soul? Do you allow His mighty power and strength to direct and control your daily life?
The Bridegroom is getting ready to return any day now. You may be actively involved in many great activities and works for the Lord. You may be able to quote Scriptures or never miss a time when the Church doors are open. But have you allowed the Holy Spirit to fill you with His life in order for you to overcome the many tests God has allowed in your life? The Lord has recently been showing me how much I need Him to help me every single day. As the great Apostle Paul wrote:
“Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize…” Because even Paul was concerned: “that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.” (1 Corinthians 9:24-27 – NIV)
If this great Apostle was concerned for his own spiritual well being, shouldn’t we take notice to make sure of our own lives? Jesus is returning for a Holy, spotless bride who is longing to be with Him. Are you positive you are part of the bride He is coming for?
A Wedding Invitation
“Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb has come and His bride has made herself ready.” (Rev 19:7 – NAS)
The Great God of Heaven has announced in His Holy Word that a grand wedding is about to take place. Mankind’s time on this earth is about up, and the Bridegroom is getting ready to return for His bride. Will you be ready when Jesus returns? Please notice that the above verse says, “The bride has made herself ready…” How did she make herself ready?
“And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.” (Rev 19:8 – NKJV)
The bride made herself ready for the wedding by obtaining her fine linen. This was her reward for her righteous life that she lives. The original Greek confirms that this fine linen is not the righteousness that is imputed to every believer in Christ, but represents the righteous acts or the righteous living of the believer (conduct, acts, and deeds) following their salvation. This same teaching was confirmed for us by Jesus when He taught about the ten virgins:
“At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. (v.2) Five of them were foolish and five were wise. (v.3) The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any oil with them. (v.4) The wise, however, took oil in jars along with their lamps. (v.5) The bridegroom was a long time in coming, and they all became drowsy and fell asleep. (v.6) At midnight the cry rang out: ‘Here’s the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!’ (v.7) Then all the virgins woke up and trimmed their lamps. (v.8)The foolish ones said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil; our lamps are going out.’ (v.9) ‘No,’ they replied, ‘there may not be enough for both us and you. Instead, go to those who sell oil and buy some for yourselves’ (v.10) But while they were on their way to buy the oil, the bridegroom arrived. The virgins who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet. And the door was shut.” (Matthew 25:1-10)
Here we see that only the five wise virgins who were ready went to be with their Bridegroom. All 10 virgins were Christians because all did possess their oil which represents the Holy Spirit who was given to each of them upon their conversion. The 5 foolish virgins, however, did not carry along the extra measure of oil that the 5 wise virgins carried in their jars. The 5 wise virgins were ready because they were obedient to the Word of God which commands us to be “filled with the Spirit” (Eph. 5:18). Because the 5 wise virgins were filled with the Spirit, they allowed Him to direct and empower their life. As a result, they were ready when the Bridegroom came. An accurate, literal word-for-word paraphrase of Matthew 25:5 might be: “While the bridegroom tarried, they all beckoned or slept.” The wise virgins were “beckoning” for the Lord to return, while the foolish virgins were sleeping.
Are you a wise or foolish virgin today? If the Bridegroom came today, would you really be ready to go into the wedding? Has Christ conquered your heart…have you truly allowed Him to rule and reign in your life…is His power and strength living inside of you on a daily basis? If you are not sure, please consider making the following prayer the prayer of your heart right now:
“Dear God in Heaven, I realize that I have not been living my life for you. I humbly turn to you right now and ask you to forgive me. Dear Jesus, please rule and reign in my heart and life. Please help me to live for you for whatever time remains. I pray that I may be able to escape all that is about to happen, and that I may be able to stand before you when you return for me. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen”
One of the main objectives of Prophecy Countdown is to help believers prepare to be ready for when the Lord returns. As the five wise virgins, we should be preparing for our marriage every day by “trimming our wicks” and making sure we have that “extra measure” of oil by repenting of our sins and asking the Holy Spirit to direct our daily lives. If we desire to rule and reign in the coming Kingdom, we should allow Him to rule our hearts now. The power of His life allows us to be triumphant when faced with any obstacle, trial or test that may come our way.
During the Philadelphian church age, great light was given to men of God who properly expounded the necessity for believers to sanctify their lives in order to be properly prepared when Jesus returns. Their teachings fostered the call to holiness for believers to be ready. Since that time, the Laodicean church age has emerged and almost all of the proponents of the coming separation (Mat 25:1-13) have gone to be with the Lord. This time of lukewarm Christianity was predicted by the Apostle Paul:
“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.” (2 Ti 4:3-4)
The lethargy in our modern church culture has blinded many from hearing the Word of God. As noted by D.M. Panton: “Thus the cry of urgency should now ring through the whole Church of God. Why? Because (1) To withhold the warning is to rob the Church of the very truth which is to deliver from the peril . . . (2) the coming judgement of believers is a revelation leveled specifically at the flesh in the believer and therefore can never be popular. (3) The peril, however imminent, has not yet fallen. Lukewarm Laodiceans can be roused before it is too late.” (D.M. Panton)
Do you long to be with Jesus, or does the world captivate your heart? Let’s make sure we are really prepared and ready when He comes. Our true citizenship is not of this world and Jesus has gone on to prepare a place for those who love Him and keep His words (John 14:2-3, 23). Faithful Christians have a tremendous inheritance that is about to be revealed. Let’s not be distracted from what God has in store for us. While many trials may come to test our faith, we always must remember that the magnificent Holy City is being prepared for us. The bride’s heart is longing for this glorious day and she longs to please her Bridegroom as she gets ready for their great wedding day. The beautiful words of Kristian Stanfil’s new song entitled Even So Come, perfectly captures the heart and mission here at Prophecy Countdown:
All of creation
All of the earth
Make straight a highway
A path for the Lord
Jesus is coming soon
Call back the sinner
Wake up the saint
Let every nation
Shout of Your fame
Jesus is coming soon
Like a bride
Waiting for her groom
We’ll be a church
Ready for You
Every heart longing for our King
Even so come
Lord Jesus come
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May every person who claims Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour be found sincerely espousing these words in their hearts and lives as we await the Bridegroom’s call. Even so come, Lord Jesus come!
“Teaching us that denying ungodliness and worldly lusts we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world. Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ.” (Titus 2:12-13)