11. Is there anything we can do prior to the end in order to be judged to be righteous?
Yes! Repent (change your disobedient, hurtful, and harmful behavior to others), ask for forgiveness, invite Jesus and His spirit to dwell within you (Romans 10:9-13, 17), come from your highest loving self, Love God first and most, treat your neighbor as you want to be treaty (Matthew 22:37). Know the truth, see the truth, live the truth.
12. Once the end is here is it too late to get right with God?
You can get right with God right up until you take your last breath. All you need do is explained in Romans 10:9-13, 17. As soon as you do this, you will begin experiencing more peace in your life.
13. What aspects of Eschatology do you find the most interesting and the most important?
Most interesting? The fact that by His unconditional love and mercy God would allow us to know of His plans to reconcile us to Him through Christ Jesus, as our redeemer and savior. Using events which we can see and recognize as signs of His truth about the End Times and Last Days.
The most important? The Rapture because it will validate for the entire world the truth of God’s Word. For believers in Christ the rapture will be the reward He promised. For nonbelievers it will provide proof that God is real and that His word is true. It will also give every nonbeliever the opportunity to become a believer before the world ends.
The Rapture will be the single most important event in the Last Days, which by its execution will guarantee for the world that Christ’s Second Coming is on the horizon. (The four most important events in all of human history are; (1) the birth of Jesus of Nazareth, (2) the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, (3) the Rapture of Jesus’ believers and followers, (4) and the Second Coming of Jesus Christ).
14. Define the Mark of the Beast, please.
The “Mark of the Beast” will be an identifying ‘mark’ visible on the hand or forehead, which will be taken and accepted by those who will worship and follow the Antichrist and Satan. Its significance is it will show separation between those who have chosen to worship Satan as god, and those who refuse. It will be the symbol that allows one to be active in commerce (to buy and sell) during the days of the second 3 ½ years of the seven-year tribulation period (Revelations 13:16-17, 14:9-11, 16:2, 19:20, 20:4).
15. Is there any thing humans have done to bring about the end more or less quickly?
No. God has His timetable and plans. Humans are merely instruments of His design. His plans include us as part of His creation so each of us can be with Him if we desire to accept His invitation of eternal life. (Old Yiddish adage; “Man plans, and God laughs”.)
16. Do you believe God knows who is going to Heaven and hell before we are even conceived?
One of the hardest questions to contemplate and attempt to find an answer. I believe God knows His ‘elect’ [those who have chosen to believe in Jesus as the Christ] (Matthew 24:31). God is ‘omniscient’, He knows all. (He is also ‘Omnipresent’ and ‘Omnipotent’; to wit: He is everywhere, all powerful and all knowing). Therefore, He knows what He knows. His desire is that all His created beings would be with Him in eternity.
To that end He sent His Spirit through [His son] Jesus of Nazareth, to show us who He is and what He is like. His required sacrifice to atone for human ‘sins’ (so that we can be with Him), was accomplished with the death and resurrection of Jesus as the Christ. Jesus redeemed us from death to reconcile us (to God the Father) through resurrection.
Jesus is our example to emulate in our responses, by our actions, and through our behaviors. God wants all His ‘children’ [those who choose to believe in Jesus Christ as His Son] (Matthew 3:17) to be in heaven and be with Him. He does however, leave that option open to each of us through ‘free will’ choice. He knows of those who will choose to believe, but I’m sure He hopes all will hear and choose wisely to be part of ‘the elect.’
17. How close do you think we are to the end of the world and what signs/actions make you feel that way?
I see increasing prophetic events signs every day, highlighted by every major news story and headline. Pick a headline and its part of one or more ‘end of the world’ prophecies.
Some of the more obvious ones:
18. Does God know who is going to Heaven and hell before we are even conceived?
I have no idea. However, I do know how to get to heaven instead of hell. Believe Jesus is who He claimed to be (John14:6), believe He is who His disciples and apostles testified He is (Mark 8:29), and believe He is who God the Father said He is (Matthew 3:17). Believe in and emulate Jesus Christ in thought and actions as much and as often as possible.
19. Will we, as Christians, see the tribulation or be gone before it happens?
Some christians may see/experience the tribulation years either in part or whole. Many will die during the tribulation years. Many more will be martyred during the ‘great tribulation’ years (second half of the seven years). Many will be ‘gone’ in the rapture. The key to your question is when will the rapture occur? Many Christians will be raptured, while other christians may not be included. The key will be if the rapture is a Pre-tribulation, Mid-tribulation, or Post tribulation event?
The tribulation is a seven-year long period of events. The seven years are separated into two defined 42 months/1260 day periods. Those who believe in a ‘Pre-Tribulation’ Rapture believe they will miss all seven years (both half’s) of the Tribulation years. Those who think the Rapture will happen at ‘Mid Tribulation’ will be alive in (unless they die during) the first 3 ½ years, but will be gone for the second 3 ½ years. Those who think the Rapture will be ‘Post-Tribulation’ will experience all seven years, unless they die at some point during the seven years.
My personal belief is that the Rapture will occur at ‘Mid-Tribulation.’ Why? There are untold numbers of ‘christians’ today who are failing to live as “Christ believing christians” even though they have heard, read, claim to know the gospel, and proclaim to know (and be followers of) Jesus Christ. I believe the love of God is so great He wants to redeem all, particularly these christians, but only after they have had an opportunity to repent and change their carnal christian (with self-righteous words and often hypocritical deeds) life behaviors (Luke 6:44a).
The Old Testament is peppered with stories of how the Israelites claimed to love God and made proclamations about wanting to serve Him obediently and yet, turned away to embrace their world’s ways. God’s response was to allow them their ‘free will’ choices and they suffered the consequences of the world’s ways. There is no reason to doubt God’s intentions may be to allow today’s ‘church age christians’ to experience the consequences of their unrepentant carnal and worldly ways, as He did before.
The first 3 ½ years of the tribulation period will be dangerous and deadly for many, with explicit warnings to all. However, as acutely destructive the events of the first half of the seven-year tribulation will be, the second 3 ½ year period will be a time as never before experienced in human history, with death and destruction never known by humans (Mathew 24:21). Prophetic scripture explains that Christ believers and followers will not be part of, or experience this second half time frame. Christians will be raptured prior to the start of the second 3 ½ years of the tribulation (at ‘mid trib’).
It's important that ‘fallen away’ christians have an opportunity to come back to Christ in heart, spirit, and soul before they are ‘caught up’ in the air and go with Christ in the rapture. The first 3 ½ year period will be proof positive, especially to christians who know, study, and share that God’s prophetic word is true and a great revival is in preparation, with anticipation of the rapture underway.
Christians who are part of the Rapture will not experience the (great) tribulation (Day of the Lord); the second 3 ½ years (1 Thessalonians 5:9-10).
20. One question I often receive is, ‘If I start a relationship with God, will I have to change my whole life’?
Many people tend to think that having a spiritual relationship is somehow outside the norm of daily life and activity. It’s as if religion have established a dividing line between itself and life. When God in His commandment says, “Keep Holy the Sabbath,” (Exodus 20:8) His request is that we set aside one day per week to reflect on and communicate directly with Him. All well and good however a growing, loving spiritual relationship with God can easily be an everyday activity. In the same way we focus time and energy on that someone special in our life with thoughts, words, and deeds the same can be said and invested with communion and communication with the Lord God, Father and Son.
It seems that man’s interpretive Sabbath or Worship “day” (be it Friday, Saturday, Sunday, or a particular day of the week) has instituted a singular time frame in the minds of many. As life has become more complex and involved, and as activities have morphed from survival to leisure, the squeezing of regulated specific time for spiritual focus or meditation has become ‘set in place’ or finite. ‘Worship services’ often become quasi social gatherings or meet ups under a guise of ‘God time’. Led by a parochial group representative with agendas and designs to influence and intervene in people’s lives. But more importantly to benefit their goals and aspirations as much as a time and place for spiritual connection, reflection, and revelation.
Time with God has been pigeonholed for and by people as if spiritual grounding and growth were adjunct to one’s real-life important issues. This mentality often produces a ‘square peg, round hole’ scenario which becomes increasingly difficult to understand and justify, even in our own minds. God’s desire is that He would be top of mind every time we need Him or choose to turn our thoughts to Him. His wish is to be an active part of our life, not a mingled thought with our worries and wishes one hour each week with a few hymns and a sermon thrown in.
God’s intent is to be with us in every instance we need or desire. This becomes increasingly difficult when we are so separated from Him by every aspect of post-modern life. Our self-centeredness, corruption and evil in the world, religions and hypocritical justifications have fomented a division between God and (wo)men as never before. All this, as we are entering a time when we need His presence and assistance more than ever before.
So what’s this leading up to? My point is this, your spiritual life and relationship with God, through Christ by His spirit dwelling in you is available now and forever. You can start, or restart this connection at any moment. Having this personal relationship with God only requires you, and Him. And here’s the ‘good news’ you don’t have to become a different person. You can still be you. Nothing is required of you to change in your life. Nothing. The sole requirement, the only thing new will be a single addition to your life. Activation of your spirt with and by His.
We each have the spirit of the Lord God within us. Each and everyone of us. It came as part of our nature and being. For most, their spirit is inactive. It’s there but it’s not communicating with us other than through a core and innate understanding of morality and ethics. God’s activity in our lives must be initiated by us. Some do this through religions, some through worship, some through spiritual acknowledgement. For the rest of us, it’s a non-issue because it’s of no issue. Most are content to live lives of spiritual non-engagement. Thinking that if they pursue active spirituality, it will somehow require they become a different person and completely change their entire life and existence.
The truth is, it will change your life, but not in the ways you may be imagining. Spiritual grounding will enable and help you grow, while not asking that you give up you, and your concept of you, that you currently have of yourself. Religions want you to change, God doesn’t. He already knows and loves you just as you are, and for just who you are. All He asks is that you invite him in, to discover who you can be with His Spirit abiding within yours.
Thank you for the questions. Hopefully these answers may hold a direction for you of spiritual growth. One thing to remember is each one of our deaths and demise can come at any moment. This is not stated as a warning, scare tactic, or morbidly frightening omen. It’s simply factual reality. Every time I see or hear of a tragedy that has claimed a life, or lives, the thought that always comes to my mind is, hopefully they were a believer in Christ. As I’m writing this, we are witnessing the evacuation efforts in Afghanistan, the onslaught of hurricane Ida, and the recent failure and collapse of the Champlain Tower condominium complex in Florida. Each of the events, like the ‘911’ World Trade Towers attacks, Covid-19 deaths and other publicized loss of life event carried and reported by news media outlets reminds us daily that anyone can become victim of unforeseen deadly consequences.
With these events and a myriad of others like them the imperative of considering a spiritual relationship with Christ is brought to bear as one of life’s choices. The moment to confront this consideration for each one of us is in the present. Can we afford to put off until some future date whether or not our spiritual grounding and growth is important?
Whether we live to see and/or experience the End Times and Last Days or not, we owe it to ourselves and to our families to decide. Is today the right time to spiritually prepare for the future?
All the best,
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