At the turn of the year, I just finished reading the book of Revelation in one Bible and have started in Genesis in a new one. It’s been my habit for several years to do this. Reading the Scriptures in a different version each time forces me to get acquainted with God’s word all over again. New verses jump out at me. Familiar passages take on new meaning, when translated from a slightly different perspective. A brand new Bible doesn’t fall open to those old faithful verses I’m so accustomed to, but allows me to meet and make new friends.
It’s wild, in a way, to think about the end of time and then start back at the beginning. In Isaiah 46:10 YHWH says, “I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come” (NIV). Eternity is stretched out before the Lord like a tapestry. Some of it He has already determined; the rest He and we fill in together. He knows every possibility related to every choice you and I (and everyone else throughout history) could ever make, and He has a plan to deal with it.
Your choices are your own. They aren’t set in stone. God knows what He wants; He knows what you want, what others want and what’s best for everyone concerned. There is a dynamic interplay of these desires at all times.
There are certain things that God has declared that are absolutely going to happen. In Genesis 3:15, YHWH laid out the Gospel, just hours after the first man and woman were led into sin: The “seed” of a woman [virgin birth] was going to crush the head of the serpent [Satan] after He himself was bruised on the heel [the crucifixion]. Sin would be defeated and Christ would prevail. In Genesis 22:18, God told Abraham, “In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed.” The seed of the woman would be descended through Abraham. This same promise was made to Isaac in Genesis 26:4, informing us that salvation was coming through his family (not Ishmael’s or any of Abraham’s later offspring). God eventually unfolded His plan regarding Messiah coming through the tribe of Judah, the descendants of David, but not of Solomon’s direct lineage (See Genesis 49:10, 2 Samuel 7:12-13, Jeremiah 22:28-30).
Again and again Satan tried to derail God’s plans. Pharaoh attempted to destroy all the male children of Israel (Exodus 1:15-22). Haman hatched a scheme to have all the Jews in the Persian Empire killed (Esther 3). Even after Jesus’ birth to the virgin Mary in Judea, Herod ordered the murder of all infants under two years of age in the region of Bethlehem (Matthew 2:16). Yet no matter how hard he tried, the devil couldn’t stop the plans God set in motion.
God wants every human being to accept Christ as his/her Messiah and be saved (1 Timothy 2:4 & 2 Peter 3:9). Nevertheless, He leaves that choice up to us. He makes every effort to bring us to an awareness of our sin and our need for a Savior, yet He understands not everyone will accept Him. Luke 7:30 demonstrates this fact, when it says, “But the Pharisees and lawyers rejected the will of God for themselves,” when they refused to be baptized by John. [Download the PDF, “Three Views of God,” for further consideration of the tension between God’s sovereignty and man’s free will.]
From my study of Scripture and a comparison of contemporary and upcoming events, I am convinced that 2015 will bring about the fulfillment of many end-times prophecies:
- In March-April and then again in September-November, we are going to see solar and lunar eclipses that coincide with Jewish festivals. Meteor showers are expected soon after each of these signs in the heavens, which are predicted in Matthew 24:29 and Revelation 6:12-13. [See my blog, “Eyes on the Sky” at https://psalm8116.com/2014/04/ for more information.]
- Earthquakes are taking place in areas which do not normally experience seismic activity. As one tectonic plate affects another in greater degrees, I believe we will see geological activity of the magnitude described in apocalyptic passages (See Rev. 6:12 & 14, 8:5, 11:13 & 19, 16:18).
- People are more rebellious and addicted than ever to drugs and perverse activity (Rev. 9:20-21).
- The world population is becoming more polarized between good and evil, and less tolerant of those who live for Christ.
I believe that great things are going to take place in 2015. Christians are going to stand up and be heard. We are going to take prayer and Bible study more seriously and will begin to see more miracles and answered prayer take place.
There will be a noticeable shake-down in the political, economic, social and natural realms. Life is going to become increasingly difficult. People will want answers, and there will be greater opportunities for believers to share our hope in Christ Jesus. Our faith will be tested. Some will be offended and will fall away from Christ; others will stand firm and will encourage and inspire those around them. No one will be able to remain neutral or uncommitted any longer. You will either believe God’s word and put it into action, or you will deny it and follow after man-made gods and philosophies. What you choose now will determine how you respond to the events taking place all around you.
I am praying for God to make me more attentive to Him this year. Time is short. I do not want to waste a moment with inconsequential pursuits. I want to be engaged in Kingdom business. I am praying for a greater understanding of God’s word. I want to hear and comprehend “what the Spirit is saying to the churches” (Rev. 2-3). I want to rightly “interpret the signs of the times” (Mat. 16:3, NIV). And I want to respond appropriately to people and circumstances. I desire everything I do and say to be a testimony of God’s glory, presence and power in my life, so that those who are hungry and thirsty for more of Him will be drawn to Him through me.
I hope this is your prayer, as well. And I hope this website will help you to study and know God and His word better.
Pray for me, as I continue to post commentary on Honey from the Rock. I not only need the time to do so, but I need God’s direction to be a worker “who correctly handles the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15, NIV), so that others are properly instructed.
All God’s best to you and yours in the Year of Our Lord 2015. “Amen! Come, Lord Jesus!” (Rev. 22:20)