Hastening To and Ready for the Day of the Lord

2 Peter 3:12-13 – Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwells righteousness.

Since Jesus resurrection, it has always been Jesus desire to go and prepare a place for His spotless and glorious bride. And while His body and bride remained on the earth until her bridegroom came for her, she is to pre-occupied with living for Jesus, preaching His gospel of the kingdom to all nations for a witness, saving as many souls as possible and exhorting all men to escape the wrath of God to come. And not only this, but to bring the kingdom of God to every city and nation, manifesting God’s power, presence, signs, wonders, and miracles. 


Jesus Goes to Prepare a Place for His Spotless Bride

John 14:1-4 (JESUS IS PREPARING A PLACE IN HEAVEN)

1 “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. 2My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you?3And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.4You know the way to the place where I am going.”

JESUS HAS ALWAYS SAID THAT HE IS GOING TO PREPARE A PLACE FOR HIS PEOPLE.  THEIR “MANSION” WAS NEVER INTENDED TO BE HERE ON EARTH.  HE’S COMING BACK TO GET HIS PREPARED BRIDE AND BRING HER TO THE HEAVENLY BANQUET OF HEAVEN.

Hebrews 11:9-16 (WHAT THE MINDSET OF A BELIEVER SHOULD BE LIKE)

9By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. 10For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God. 11And by faith even Sarah, who was past childbearing age, was enabled to bear children because she considered him faithful who had made the promise. 12And so from this one man, and he as good as dead, came descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as countless as the sand on the seashore.

13All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance, admitting that they were foreigners and strangers on earth. 

14People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own. 15If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. 16Instead, they were longing for a better country—a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.


Our Earthly Pre-Occupation with Jesus, His Gospel, and His Kingdom

JESUS ALWAYS INTENDED FOR HIS PEOPLE TO BE CONSUMED WITH HIM, HIS GOSPEL, THE THINGS OF HIS KINGDOM, AND OF HIS HOLY SPIRIT, AND NOT THE THINGS OF THIS WORLD.  EVEN THE MONEY AND RESOURCES WE HAVE IN THIS WORLD BELONGS TO THE LORD FOR HIS PURPOSES.

Acts 1:3-11 (LEARNING THINGS PERTAINING TO THE KINGDOM)

1In my former book, Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus began to do and to teach 2until the day he was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles he had chosen. 3After his suffering, he presented himself to them and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God. 3After his suffering, he presented himself to them and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God. 

4On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about.5For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.

6Then they gathered around him and asked him, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?”  7He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority.8But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

9After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight. 10They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them. 11“Men of Galilee,” they said, “why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.”

Colossians 3:1-17 (SET OUR MINDS ON THINGS ABOVE)

1Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. 3For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. 4When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

5Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. 6Because of these, the wrath of God is coming. 7You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. 8But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. 9Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices 10and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. 11Here there is no Gentile or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.

12Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

15Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. 16Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. 17And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Revelation 2:1-7 (REPENT AND DO THE FIRST WORKS)

1 “To the angel of the church in Ephesus write: These are the words of him who holds the seven stars in his right hand and walks among the seven golden lampstands.2I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance. I know that you cannot tolerate wicked people, that you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them false.3You have persevered and have endured hardships for my name, and have not grown weary.

4 Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken the love you had at first. 5Consider how far you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place.6But you have this in your favor: You hate the practices of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.

7 Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who is victorious, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.

Luke 19:11-27 (BE FAITHFUL WITH WHAT THE LORD ENTRUSTS YOU WITH)

11While they were listening to this, he went on to tell them a parable, because he was near Jerusalem and the people thought that the kingdom of God was going to appear at once. 12He said: “A man of noble birth went to a distant country to have himself appointed king and then to return.13So he called ten of his servants and gave them ten minas. ‘Put this money to work,’ he said, ‘until I come back.’

14 “But his subjects hated him and sent a delegation after him to say, ‘We don’t want this man to be our king.’ 15 “He was made king, however, and returned home. Then he sent for the servants to whom he had given the money, in order to find out what they had gained with it. 16 “The first one came and said, ‘Sir, your mina has earned ten more.’

17 “ ‘Well done, my good servant!’ his master replied. ‘Because you have been trustworthy in a very small matter, take charge of ten cities.’

18 “The second came and said, ‘Sir, your mina has earned five more.’ 19 “His master answered, ‘You take charge of five cities.’

20 “Then another servant came and said, ‘Sir, here is your mina; I have kept it laid away in a piece of cloth.21I was afraid of you, because you are a hard man. You take out what you did not put in and reap what you did not sow.’

22 “His master replied, ‘I will judge you by your own words, you wicked servant! You knew, did you, that I am a hard man, taking out what I did not put in, and reaping what I did not sow?23Why then didn’t you put my money on deposit, so that when I came back, I could have collected it with interest?’

24 “Then he said to those standing by, ‘Take his mina away from him and give it to the one who has ten minas.’ 25 “ ‘Sir,’ they said, ‘he already has ten!’ 26 “He replied, ‘I tell you that to everyone who has, more will be given, but as for the one who has nothing, even what they have will be taken away.

27But those enemies of mine who did not want me to be king over them—bring them here and kill them in front of me.’ ”


THE BRIDEGROOM TARRIES

ALTHOUGH GOD KNOWS THE BEGINNING FROM THE END, AND HAS APPOINTED A DAY FOR HIS SON TO APPEAR ON EARTH AND TAKE HIS BRIDE, THE BRIDEGROOM HAS TARRIED LONGER THAN EXPECTED, AND EVEN DESIRED BY JESUS.

2 Peter 3:1-5 (IT WILL BE LONGER THAN MANY EXPECTED)

1Dear friends, this is now my second letter to you. I have written both of them as reminders to stimulate you to wholesome thinking. 2I want you to recall the words spoken in the past by the holy prophets and the command given by our Lord and Savior through your apostles.  3Above all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. 4They will say, “Where is this ‘coming’ he promised? Ever since our ancestors died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.” 

Matthew 25:1-6 (HE TARRIED, BUT HE WILL COME)

1 “At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom.2Five of them were foolish and five were wise.3The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any oil with them.4The wise ones, however, took oil in jars along with their lamps.5The bridegroom was a long time in coming (tarried), and they all became drowsy and fell asleep.  6 “At midnight the cry rang out: ‘Here’s the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!’


BUT WHY HAS JESUS TARRIED?  BIBLICALLY, THERE ARE FEW REASONS FOR THIS.


 #1: GOD DESIRES ALL MEN TO BE SAVED, BUT NOT EVEN THE CHURCH IS READY

JESUS IS LOOKING DOWN FROM HEAVEN.  HE IS EXPECTING TO SEE THIS WORLD AND EVERY NATION FILLED WITH HIS DISCIPLES, WHO ARE HIS BODY AND BRIDE, WHO ARE DEEPLY IN LOVE WITH HIM AND PRAYING FOR HIM TO RETURN QUICKLY.  

HE’S EXPECTING TO SEE PEOPLE DILIGENT ABOUT THEIR FATHER’S BUSINESS, PRAYING FOR THE SALVATION OF BILLIONS SO THAT NOT ONE SHOULD PERISH, BUT ALL COME TO REPENTANCE AND HAVE EVERLASTING LIFE.  

IF THIS WOULD HAVE BEEN THE MIND AND PASSION OF THE CHURCH, AS MUCH AS WAS THE PASSION FOR JESUS TO GO TO THE CROSS FOR THE SALVATION OF THE WORLD, JESUS WOULD HAVE LIKELY COME BACK LONG AGO FOR A MATURE, SPOTLESS BRIDE OF SONS AND DAUGHTERS OF GOD, AS COUNTLESS AS THE STARS.  AND TO A VERY LARGE DEGREE, HIS PASSION AND VISION HAS NOT CHANGED.  

THEREFORE, IT’S THE CHURCH THAT MUST CHANGE.  IF WE BECOME CONSUMED WITH JESUS COMING FOR HIS BRIDE AND TURN OUR ATTENTION AND FOCUS TO BEING MATURE JUST AS HE IS, FREE OF ALL THE FILTH OF THIS WORLD AND SEEK THE LOST, WE CAN HASTEN HIS COMING.

2 Peter 3:8-18 (CHRIST WANTS ALL TO COME TO REPENTANCE, EVEN THE CHURCH) 

8But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and thousand years are like a day. 9The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. 10But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare.

11Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives 12as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat. 13But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells.

14So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him

15Bear in mind that our Lord’s patience means salvation, just as our dear brother Paul also wrote you with the wisdom that God gave him. 16He writes the same way in all his letters, speaking in them of these matters. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction.

17Therefore, dear friends, since you have been forewarned, be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of the lawless and fall from your secure position. 18But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen.

Revelation 3:1-6 (STRENGTHEN THINGS WHICH ARE READY TO DIE)

1 “To the angel of the church in Sardis write: These are the words of him who holds the seven spirits of God and the seven stars. I know your deeds; you have a reputation of being alive, but you are dead.

2Wake up! Strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have found your deeds unfinished in the sight of my God. 3Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; hold it fast, and repent. But if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what time I will come to you.

4 Yet you have a few people in Sardis who have not soiled their clothes. They will walk with me, dressed in white, for they are worthy.

5The one who is victorious will, like them, be dressed in white. I will never blot out the name of that person from the book of life, but will acknowledge that name before my Father and his angels.6Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches.

Revelation 3:14-21 (TURN AWAY FROM WORLDLY POSSESSIONS AND LIVE FOR CHRIST ALONE)

14 “To the angel of the church in Laodicea write: These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God’s creation.  15I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other!16So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.

17You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked.

18I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see. 19 Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent.

20Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.

21 To the one who is victorious, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I was victorious and sat down with my Father on his throne.  22Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”

Luke 14:16-35 (THE CONDITION OF THE CHURCH BEFORE CHRIST COMES) 

16Then He said to him, “A certain man gave a great supper and invited many, 17and sent his servant at supper time to say to those who were invited, ‘Come, for all things are now ready.’ 

18But they all with one accord began to make excuses. The first said to him, ‘I have bought a piece of ground, and I must go and see it. I ask you to have me excused.’ 

19And another said, ‘I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I am going to test them. I ask you to have me excused.’ 

20Still another said, ‘I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.’ 

21So that servant came and reported these things to his master. Then the master of the house, being angry, said to his servant, ‘Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in here the poor and the maimed and the lame and the blind.’ 

22And the servant said, ‘Master, it is done as you commanded, and still there is room.’  23Then the master said to the servant, ‘Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.  24For I say to you that none of those men who were invited shall taste my supper.’ ”

25Now great multitudes went with Him. And He turned and said to them,  26“If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple. 27And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple. 

28For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it 29lest, after he has laid the foundation, and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him,  30saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish’? 

31Or what king, going to make war against another king, does not sit down first and consider whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand?  32Or else, while the other is still a great way off, he sends a delegation and asks conditions of peace. 

33So likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple. 34“Salt is good; but if the salt has lost its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? 35It is neither fit for the land nor for the dunghill, but men throw it out. He who has ears to hear, let him hear!”

Matthew 22:1-14 (Similar Account)

1Jesus spoke to them again in parables, saying: 2“The kingdom of heaven is like a king who prepared a wedding banquet for his son. 3He sent his servants to those who had been invited to the banquet to tell them to come, but they refused to come.

4 “Then he sent some more servants and said, ‘Tell those who have been invited that I have prepared my dinner: My oxen and fattened cattle have been butchered, and everything is ready. Come to the wedding banquet.’

5 “But they paid no attention and went off—one to his field, another to his business.  6The rest seized his servants, mistreated them and killed them. 7The king was enraged. He sent his army and destroyed those murderers and burned their city. 8 “Then he said to his servants, ‘The wedding banquet is ready, but those I invited did not deserve to come.

9So go to the street corners and invite to the banquet anyone you find.’10So the servants went out into the streets and gathered all the people they could find, the bad as well as the good, and the wedding hall was filled with guests.

11 “But when the king came in to see the guests, he noticed a man there who was not wearing wedding clothes.12He asked, ‘How did you get in here without wedding clothes, friend?’ The man was speechless. 13 “Then the king told the attendants, ‘Tie him hand and foot, and throw him outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ 14 “For many are invited, but few are chosen.” 


#2: This Gospel of the KIngdom Is Not Yet Preached to All Nations as A Witness 

​​THE GOSPEL IS NOT ABOUT LEARNING MANY THINGS BUT NEVER DOING THE TRUTH.  NOR IS THE GOSPEL ABOUT TEACHING PEOPLE TO RECEIVE NATURAL THINGS IN THIS LIFE OR TO DESIRE A BETTER OR MORE”BLESSED” LIFE HERE.  

RATHER, THE GOSPEL IS ABOUT COMMANDING ALL MEN TO REPENT, TO LIVE LIVES WORTHY OF THIS GOSPEL THAT GRANTS ETERNAL LIFE TO THOSE WHO BEAR FRUIT WORTHY OF REPENTANCE.

THE GOSPEL ABOUT FOLLOWING JESUS CHRIST, LEARNING OBEDIENCE AND SUBMISSION TO GOD’S WORD AND AUTHORITY IN OUR LIVES AND FORSAKING ALL ELSE.

IN THE END, WE UNDERSTAND GOD IS IMPARTIAL AND WILL GIVE TO EVERY MAN ACCORDING TO HIS WORKS.

Matthew 24:4-14 (THIS GOSPEL IS ABOUT REPENTANCE, SUBMISSION TO GOD’S WORD AND COMMANDS, LAYING DOWN OUR LIVES FOR JESUS, BEING LED BY GOD’S SPIRIT, AND PREPARING FOR JESUS)

4Jesus answered: “Watch out that no one deceives you.5For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and will deceive many.6You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come.7Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. 8All these are the beginning of birth pains.

9 “Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me.10At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other,11and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people.12Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold,13but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved.

14And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.

Revelations 12:9-17 (THIS GOSPEL IS ABOUT COMPLETE OBEDIENCE TO GOD)

9The great dragon was hurled down—that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him. 10Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say:

“Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Messiah. For the accuser of our brothers and sisters, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down.

11They triumphed over him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death.

12Therefore rejoice, you heavens and you who dwell in them! But woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has gone down to you! He is filled with fury, because he knows that his time is short.”

13When the dragon saw that he had been hurled to the earth, he pursued the woman who had given birth to the male child. 14The woman was given the two wings of a great eagle, so that she might fly to the place prepared for her in the wilderness, where she would be taken care of for a time, times and half a time, out of the serpent’s reach. 

15Then from his mouth the serpent spewed water like a river, to overtake the woman and sweep her away with the torrent. 16But the earth helped the woman by opening its mouth and swallowing the river that the dragon had spewed out of his mouth. 

17Then the dragon was enraged at the woman and went off to wage war against the rest of her offspring—those who keep God’s commands and hold fast their testimony about Jesus.

Romans 10:14-21 (WE MUST PREACH THIS GOSPEL WHETHER PEOPLE WANT TO HEAR IT OR NOT)

14How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? 15And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, Who bring glad tidings of good things!”

16But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed our report?” 17So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. 18But I say, have they not heard? Yes indeed: “Their sound has gone out to all the earth, And their words to the ends of the world.” 19But I say, did Israel not know? First Moses says: “I will provoke you to jealousy by those who are not a nation, I will move you to anger by a foolish nation.”

20But Isaiah is very bold and says: “I was found by those who did not seek Me; I was made manifest to those who did not ask for Me.” 21But to Israel he says: “All day long I have stretched out My hands To a disobedient and contrary people.”

I Corinthians 15:1-34 (WE STAND BY FAITH IN THIS GOSPEL WHICH PROMISES US ETERNAL LIFE, IF WE WILL NOT BE TURNED AWAY FROM IT)

1Now, brothers and sisters, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. 2By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain.

3For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, 5and that he appeared to Cephas, and then to the Twelve. 6After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. 7Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, 8and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born.

9For I am the least of the apostles and do not even deserve to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. 10But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them—yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me. 11Whether, then, it is I or they, this is what we preach, and this is what you believed.

12But if it is preached that Christ has been raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. 14And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. 15More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead. But he did not raise him if in fact the dead are not raised. 16For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. 17And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. 18Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. 19If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied.

20But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. 22For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. 23But each in turn: Christ, the firstfruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him. 

24Then the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power. 25For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. 26The last enemy to be destroyed is death. 27For he “has put everything under his feet.” Now when it says that “everything” has been put under him, it is clear that this does not include God himself, who put everything under Christ. 28When he has done this, then the Son himself will be made subject to him who put everything under him, so that God may be all in all.

29Now if there is no resurrection, what will those do who are baptized for the dead? If the dead are not raised at all, why are people baptized for them? 

30And as for us, why do we endanger ourselves every hour? 31I face death every day—yes, just as surely as I boast about you in Christ Jesus our Lord. 32If I fought wild beasts in Ephesus with no more than human hopes, what have I gained? If the dead are not raised, “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.” 33Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.” 34Come back to your senses as you ought, and stop sinning; for there are some who are ignorant of God—I say this to your shame.

2 Corinthians 2:1-17 (THIS GOSPEL IS ABOUT OBEDIENCE TO THE FAITH AND COMMANDS OF GOD IN ALL THINGS)

1So I made up my mind that I would not make another painful visit to you. 2For if I grieve you, who is left to make me glad but you whom I have grieved? 3I wrote as I did, so that when I came I would not be distressed by those who should have made me rejoice. I had confidence in all of you, that you would all share my joy. 4For I wrote you out of great distress and anguish of heart and with many tears, not to grieve you but to let you know the depth of my love for you.

5If anyone has caused grief, he has not so much grieved me as he has grieved all of you to some extent—not to put it too severely. 6The punishment inflicted on him by the majority is sufficient. 7Now instead, you ought to forgive and comfort him, so that he will not be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow. 8I urge you, therefore, to reaffirm your love for him. 

9Another reason I wrote you was to see if you would stand the test and be obedient in everything. 10Anyone you forgive, I also forgive. And what I have forgiven—if there was anything to forgive—I have forgiven in the sight of Christ for your sake, 11in order that Satan might not outwit us. For we are not unaware of his schemes.

12Now when I went to Troas to preach the gospel of Christ and found that the Lord had opened a door for me, 13I still had no peace of mind, because I did not find my brother Titus there. So I said goodbye to them and went on to Macedonia.

14But thanks be to God, who always leads us as captives in Christ’s triumphal procession and uses us to spread the aroma of the knowledge of him everywhere. 15For we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. 16To the one we are an aroma that brings death; to the other, an aroma that brings life. And who is equal to such a task? 17Unlike so many, we do not peddle the word of God for profit. On the contrary, in Christ we speak before God with sincerity, as those sent from God.

2 Thessalonians 1:1-12 (GOD WILL REWARD THOSE COUNTED WORTHY OF THIS GOSPEL TO BE SAVED, WHILE THOSE WHO DO NOT KNOW GOD AND DO NOT OBEY THIS GOSPEL WILL BE PUNISHED)

1Paul, Silas and Timothy, To the church of the Thessalonians in God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ:

2Grace and peace to you from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 3We ought always to thank God for you, brothers and sisters, and rightly so, because your faith is growing more and more, and the love all of you have for one another is increasing. 4Therefore, among God’s churches we boast about your perseverance and faith in all the persecutions and trials you are enduring.

5All this is evidence that God’s judgment is right, and as a result you will be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are suffering.  6God is just: He will pay back trouble to those who trouble you 7and give relief to you who are troubled, and to us as well. This will happen when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven in blazing fire with his powerful angels. 

8He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. 9They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might 10on the day he comes to be glorified in his holy people and to be marveled at among all those who have believed. This includes you, because you believed our testimony to you.

11With this in mind, we constantly pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling, and that by his power he may bring to fruition your every desire for goodness and your every deed prompted by faith. 12We pray this so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.

I Peter 4:1-19 (JUDGMENT BEGINS IN THE HOUSE OF GOD, BUT WILL BE WORSE FOR THOSE WHO OBEY NOT THE GOSPEL)

1Therefore, since Christ suffered in his body, arm yourselves also with the same attitude, because whoever suffers in the body is done with sin. 2As a result, they do not live the rest of their earthly lives for evil human desires, but rather for the will of God. 3For you have spent enough time in the past doing what pagans choose to do—living in debauchery, lust, drunkenness, orgies, carousing and detestable idolatry. 4They are surprised that you do not join them in their reckless, wild living, and they heap abuse on you. 

5But they will have to give account to him who is ready to judge the living and the dead. 6For this is the reason the gospel was preached even to those who are now dead, so that they might be judged according to human standards in regard to the body, but live according to God in regard to the spirit.

7The end of all things is near. Therefore be alert and of sober mind so that you may pray. 8Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. 9Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. 10Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. 11If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.

12Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. 13But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed. 

14If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. 15If you suffer, it should not be as a murderer or thief or any other kind of criminal, or even as a meddler.  16However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name. 

17For it is time for judgment to begin with God’s household; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God? 18And,“If it is hard for the righteous to be saved, what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?” 19So then, those who suffer according to God’s will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good. 


#3: THE REBELLION (FALLING AWAY) HAS NOT YET OCCURRED

AS THE TRUE GOSPEL OF SALVATION APPEARS TO ALL MEN, WHICH COMMANDS ALL MEN TO DENY UNGODLINESS AND LIVE LIVES FREE OF THE LUST OF THE EYES, LUST OF THE FLESH AND PRIDE OF LIFE AND FOLLOW JESUS – DEEP CONVICTION OF GOD’S SPIRIT WILL BRING A DIVIDING LINE IN THE SPIRIT.

2 Thessalonians 2:1-8 (WHEN ALL PEOPLE UNDERSTAND THAT GOD COMMANDS ALL MEN TO REPENT AND OBEY HIS COMMANDS IN ORDER TO PREPARE FOR JESUS, MANY WILL REBEL. THERE WILL BE OTHER FACTORS.)

1Concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered to him, we ask you, brothers and sisters, 2not to become easily unsettled or alarmed by the teaching allegedly from us—whether by a prophecy or by word of mouth or by letter—asserting that the day of the Lord has already come. 

3Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction. 4He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God.

5Don’t you remember that when I was with you I used to tell you these things?  6And now you know what is holding him back, so that he may be revealed at the proper time. 

7For the secret power of lawlessness is already at work; but the one who now holds it back will continue to do so till he is taken out of the way.  8And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will overthrow with the breath of his mouth and destroy by the splendor of his coming.

2 Timothy 3:1-17 (THE DECLINE OF GODLINESS IN THE CHURCH HAS LED TO THIS DIVIDING LINE)

1But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. 2People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, 4treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— 5having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.

6They are the kind who worm their way into homes and gain control over gullible women, who are loaded down with sins and are swayed by all kinds of evil desires, 7always learning but never able to come to a knowledge of the truth. 8Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so also these teachers oppose the truth. They are men of depraved minds, who, as far as the faith is concerned, are rejected. 9But they will not get very far because, as in the case of those men, their folly will be clear to everyone.

10You, however, know all about my teaching, my way of life, my purpose, faith, patience, love, endurance, 11persecutions, sufferings—what kinds of things happened to me in Antioch, Iconium and Lystra, the persecutions I endured. Yet the Lord rescued me from all of them. 

12In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, 13while evildoers and impostors will go from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. 

14But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, 15and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

Matthew 13:36-43 (THE DIVISION OF WHEAT FROM THE TARES IS HAPPENING)

36Then he left the crowd and went into the house. His disciples came to him and said, “Explain to us the parable of the weeds in the field.” 37He answered, “The one who sowed the good seed is the Son of Man.38The field is the world, and the good seed stands for the people of the kingdom. The weeds are the people of the evil one,39and the enemy who sows them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels.

40 “As the weeds are pulled up and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the age.41The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil.42They will throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.43Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Whoever has ears, let them hear. 


LIVE LIVES WORTHY OF THE GOSPEL

IN ORDER TO BE READY FOR AND HASTEN (SPEED UP) JESUS COMING,  GOD’S MINISTERS AND PEOPLE SHOULD BE CONSTANTLY EXHORTING ALL GOD’S PEOPLE DAILY.  THIS HAS BEEN SO PROMINENT THROUGHOUT THE SCRIPTURES BY NOT ONLY BY JESUS BUT BY ALL HIS APOSTLES. YET, RARELY, IF PERHAPS EVER IS THIS TAUGHT OR PREACHED FROM MOST PULPITS, PARTICULARLY ON MAINSTREAM CHRISTIAN TELEVISION.

Luke 3:3-9 (STRAIGHT PATHS ARE BEING PREPARED)

3He went into all the country around the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. 4As it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet: “A voice of one calling in the wilderness, Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him. 5Every valley shall be filled in, every mountain and hill made low. The crooked roads shall become straight, the rough ways smooth. 6And all people will see God’s salvation.’ ” 7John said to the crowds coming out to be baptized by him, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? 8Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. And do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham. 9The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.”

Mark 13:32-37 (ALWAYS BE READY FOR JESUS)

32 “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. 33Be on guard! Be alert! You do not know when that time will come.

34It’s like a man going away: He leaves his house and puts his servants in charge, each with their assigned task, and tells the one at the door to keep watch.

35 “Therefore keep watch because you do not know when the owner of the house will come back—whether in the evening, or at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or at dawn. 36If he comes suddenly, do not let him find you sleeping.37What I say to you, I say to everyone: ‘Watch!’ ”

Luke 21:34-36 (DON’T LET CARES OF THIS LIFE WEIGH YOU DOWN OR GET YOUR EYES OFF JESUS AND THE PRIZE)

34 “Be careful, or your hearts will be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness and the anxieties of life,  and that day will close on you suddenly like a trap.

35For it will come on all those who live on the face of the whole earth. 36Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be worthy to escape all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man.”

 

2 Thessalonians 1:3-12 (WE PRAY THAT GOD COUNTS YOU WORTHY OF THIS CALLING)

3We ought always to thank God for you, brothers and sisters, and rightly so, because your faith is growing more and more, and the love all of you have for one another is increasing. 4Therefore, among God’s churches we boast about your perseverance and faith in all the persecutions and trials you are enduring. 5All this is evidence that God’s judgment is right, and as a result you will be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are suffering. 

6God is just: He will pay back trouble to those who trouble you 7and give relief to you who are troubled, and to us as well. This will happen when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven in blazing fire with his powerful angels. 

8He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. 9They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might 10on the day he comes to be glorified in his holy people and to be marveled at among all those who have believed. This includes you, because you believed our testimony to you.

11With this in mind, we constantly pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling, and that by his power he may bring to fruition your every desire for goodness and your every deed prompted by faith. 12We pray this so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.

2 Peter 1:12-16 (BY GOD’S GRACE, YOU WILL ALWAYS REMINDED OF THESE THINGS TO ESTABLISH YOU IN THE TRUTH)

12So I will always remind you of these things, even though you know them and are firmly established in the truth you now have. 13I think it is right to refresh your memory as long as I live in the tent of this body, 14because I know that I will soon put it aside, as our Lord Jesus Christ has made clear to me. 15And I will make every effort to see that after my departure you will always be able to remember these things. 16For we did not follow cleverly devised stories when we told you about the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ in power, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty.

Titus 2:11-15 (DENY UNGODLINESS AND WORLDLY LUSTS, BUT LIVE RIGHTEOUSLY)

11For the grace of God that brings salvation hath appeared to all men, 12Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; 13Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; 14Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. 15These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise you.

2 Peter 3:11-18 (MAKE EVERY EFFORT TO LIVE BLAMELESS BEFORE GOD)

11Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives 12as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat. 13But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells. 14So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him. 15Bear in mind that our Lord’s patience means salvation, just as our dear brother Paul also wrote you with the wisdom that God gave him. 16He writes the same way in all his letters, speaking in them of these matters. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction. 17Therefore, dear friends, since you have been forewarned, be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of the lawless and fall from your secure position. 18But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen.

Hebrews 10:23-39 (HOLD STEADFAST TO THE FAITH)

23Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. 24And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

26If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, 27but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God. 28Anyone who rejected the law of Moses died without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. 

29How much more severely do you think someone deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified them, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace? 30For we know him who said, “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” and again, “The Lord will judge his people.” 31It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

32Remember those earlier days after you had received the light, when you endured in a great conflict full of suffering. 33Sometimes you were publicly exposed to insult and persecution; at other times you stood side by side with those who were so treated. 34You suffered along with those in prison and joyfully accepted the confiscation of your property, because you knew that you yourselves had better and lasting possessions. 35So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded.

36You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. 37For, “In just a little while, he who is coming will come and will not delay.” 38And,“But my righteous one will live by faith. And I take no pleasure in the one who shrinks back.” 39But we do not belong to those who shrink back and are destroyed, but to those who have faith and are saved.

Mark 8:34-38 (DENY YOURSELF AND TAKE UP YOUR CROSS DAILY)

34And when he had called the people unto him with his disciples also, he (Jesus) said unto them, Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.

35 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it.

36 For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? 37 Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?

38 Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.


 A FINAL WORD OF EXHORTATION

LET’S FULFILL THIS WORD OF THE LORD AND HASTEN THE COMING OF THE LORD.  

FROM THIS DAY FORWARD, COMMIT OURSELVES TO BECOMING THE MATURE BRIDE OF JESUS CHRIST, WHO IS SPOTLESS AND READY, FREE OF ALL THE FILTH OF THIS WORLD AND PRAYING FOR JESUS TO COME BACK AND BRING US TO THE BANQUET AND PLACE HE HAS PREPARED FOR US.  

PRAY DAILY FOR THE SALVATION FOR ALL PEOPLE TO COME TO REPENTANCE.

AS CHRIST’S DISCIPLES, LET’S ASSEMBLE TOGETHER, EXHORT AND PRAY FOR ONE ANOTHER DAILY TO BRING FORTH FRUIT WORTHY OF GOD’S GRACE.

Colossians 1:3-29 (YOU ARE KEPT IN MY PRAYERS DAILY THAT YOU MAY BE PRESENTED BLAMELESS BEFORE CHRIST WHEN HE APPEARS)

3We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, 4because we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love you have for all God’s people— 5the faith and love that spring from the hope stored up for you in heaven and about which you have already heard in the true message of the gospel 6that has come to you. In the same way, the gospel is bearing fruit and growing throughout the whole world—just as it has been doing among you since the day you heard it and truly understood God’s grace. 7You learned it from Epaphras, our dear fellow servant, who is a faithful minister of Christ on our behalf, 8and who also told us of your love in the Spirit.

9For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, 10so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, 

11being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, 12and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light. 13For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, 14in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

15The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. 17He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. 19For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, 20and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.

21Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. 22But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation— 23if you continue in your faith, established and firm, and do not move from the hope held out in the gospel. This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, have become a servant.

 24Now I rejoice in what I am suffering for you, and I fill up in my flesh what is still lacking in regard to Christ’s afflictions, for the sake of his body, which is the church. 25I have become its servant by the commission God gave me to present to you the word of God in its fullness— 26the mystery that has been kept hidden for ages and generations, but is now disclosed to the Lord’s people. 27To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.

28He is the one we proclaim, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone fully mature in Christ. 29To this end I strenuously contend with all the energy Christ so powerfully works in me. 

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Sal, Servant of the Lord

Preparing God's elect for the time and coming of Jesus Christ.