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The LORD is Punctual



Punctuality. Here's a definition: arriving or doing something at the expected or planned time. For those of us who live in America, this character trait is a necessity. Busy, fast-paced lives with constant demands and pressures require serious time management skills, and failing to be on time is not only frowned upon, but it could also cost someone their job. Basically, in a world where the saying goes, "Time is money," it pays to be punctual. 

Do you ever get the feeling that you are falling behind schedule? Is there anyone else who feels that they could use an extra day of the week, preferably another day to rest? Well, without getting into any Sabbath controversies, I would like to rest in the truth that our God is a punctual God. The LORD is punctual, and He is never late. 

 But do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day. The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance (2 Peter 3:8-9 NASB)."

*Interesting side note to ponder: I realize that this passage is often used as evidence demonstrating God's patience toward unbelievers, but remember that the apostle is writing this message to believers, "...but [He] is patient toward you..." The "you" here refers back to the plural "beloved" in verse 8. If you want a verse with the same concept applied toward unbelievers, try 1 Timothy 2:3-4.

Ironically, I felt compelled to share this message about God's punctuality, because the hour is late. For those of us who have been keeping up with the signs, wonders, and major world events of our time, we are on an edge-of-your-seat thrill ride as we await the coming of our God and Savior, Jesus Christ (Php. 3:20-21; 1 Thess. 1:10; Titus 2:13).

Things may seem slow at times, and some may even be tempted to think the world is getting better (I'm looking at you with the Trump hat on). But then, unexpectedly, a torrent of prophetically significant headlines will overwhelm us in a day or two, waking us from slumber and re-engaging us in prayer and God's word. Now, I will admit there are days where the sun is shining, life is going reasonably well, and I'm thinking that I could make my home here. Complacency becomes my default lifestyle, and I am almost convinced that this could be Eden....

 Remember, then, what you received and heard. Keep it, and repent. If you will not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what hour I will come against you (Revelation 3:3 ESV)."

...and again the alarm goes off. But don't hit the snooze button this time. Let's stay awake and sharpen one another, and remember that the LORD is punctual. Everything is right on schedule and is fixed in the heavens (Ps. 19:1-6; Lk. 21:25; Rom. 10:18; Acts 2:16-23).

In fact, take a closer look at something Gary touched on in an earlier post from Peter's sermon in Acts 2. According to the apostle in verse 22, Christ's first coming was heralded by pinpoint "miracles," "wonders," and "signs." Isn't it interesting that Peter mentions the celestial phenomena? He doesn't stop with the Holy Spirit being poured out but goes on to proclaim wonders in heaven, especially those involving the sun and the moon. This is something that those present had witnessed for themselves—a partial fulfillment of the prophecy given to Joel (total/final fulfillment yet to come). The very next verse contains a profound truth:

This Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men (Acts 2:23 ESV)."

Let that sink in for a moment. The events of Jesus' first coming were according to "the definite plan and foreknowledge of God." A good cross-reference verse in the New Testament is Galatians 4:4, "But when the fullness of time came, God sent forth His Son..." For some of us this might seem like something covered in Vacation Bible School. However, we need to remind our sleeping brothers and sisters that not only did God send forth His Son at a fixed time in the past, so also He will do in the near future (c.f. Acts 17:31).

I won't get into the seven appointed times (feasts) of the LORD right now; many of you are already very familiar with how the first four have been fulfilled (if not, see the bottom of Gary's post). In all four our Lord was punctual. Prompt. Swift. Immediate. The prophetic events on earth were in-sync with the signs in the heavens. The sun, the moon, and the stars aligned like clockwork; a predetermined fixed order of astral objects coming together with divine accuracy.

Today, it may be that only a few zealous seekers are aware of the great sign from Revelation 12 occurring next Fall 2017, but this is only the beginning. We've got some months to go, and I believe that by word of mouth, the news will spread. Some will seek to discover the truth for themselves, others will dismiss it altogether. However, I don't think it will be quite like the uproar and backlash over the blood moons or Jonathan Cahn's books. This amazing and spectacular fulfillment of Revelation 12 is just...too precise! It's not vague in the least, nor does it require extensive knowledge of Hebrew or Jewish customs. It requires faith in the word of God, written both in the Bible and in the sky (before I get too carried away, astronomy software helps a lot too, lol). And that's something I plan on covering in future posts—issues of timing in the book of Revelation and what we can anticipate come late September 2017.

In closing my first post, a final point:  Don't be discouraged if it seems like God is delaying His plans for the return of Christ. I'm not the first one to say this after the outcome of the election here in the United States. And don't get me wrong, Donald Trump's victory was a mighty answer to prayer as well as the predetermined plan of God. Nevertheless, watch out for the deceitfulness of sin; more specifically, guard yourself from the sins of complacency and a denial of unseen realities (Heb. 3:12-14; 11:1-2). The stock market may be up, but the spiritual war is still going down (Eph. 6:10-17). The enemy knows his time is short and will seek to draw more of our brethren into error and apathy. The Lord Jesus is coming for us. It's an appointment that cannot be canceled or rescheduled. So, let's keep watch! He'll be right on time.
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19 comments :

  1. Fantastic article. Thank you Jeff. It's interesting that many Christians take the doctrine of imminency to such an extreme that they think even God Himself hasn't set a specific time for certain future events like the rapture.

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    1. Thanks, Gary! You bring up an interesting point. It got me thinking, and since I've had to wrestle with the biblical text myself and come to accept what some others have written about concerning the phrase "no one knows the day or hour," I believe that resistance is a natural part of learning. I know that I don't like to have my worldview shaken, but it's necessary if I'm going to reject the bad and absorb the new. I'd like to believe that everything that I was taught in public school was true—all the doctrines in history, philosophy, the sciences, etc. But looking back now, I know that I've had to second guess and question many things, especially after becoming a believer. I think it's the same way with the doctrine of imminency. It's hammered home and assumed in evangelical circles and, in many cases, never questioned or reconsidered. You may have seen this article already, but I'll put the link here for anyone who is interested: http://www.watchfortheday.org/knowing.html. This is the most thought-provoking article that I've read on the subject, originally posted on Dan Matson's site watchfortheday.org.

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  2. I am getting discouraged. When I was 20 I told friends and relatives that the Rapture is near. 28 years later still no Rapture. I just keep my mouth shut nowadays. At times when I feel really discouraged, I think that the Rapture may still be 40-50 years away.

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    1. Hang in there, James. If I'm not mistaken, based on the numbers you have given, you were 20 years old when Ed Whisenant's book came out, correct? Since then, we've had Harold Camping make bold claims back in 2011, and I get it. Discouragement and indifference are serious side effects from these failed and flawed predictions. I was just talking with a friend tonight who would not even entertain the thought of a specific fulfillment of Revelation 12, and I just sensed a hesitancy to go deeper into the subject. He's still my brother in Christ, though. And I'm glad that you mentioned how you feel, because it's reminding me of how sensitive we need to be about this topic.

      It is my prayer and hope, however, that you will see how the timing of everything is just how God planned it. As we continue to watch and pray, I think you will see how this time is different than years passed. Discussing the timing of the Rapture comes with inherent risk. But it also comes with a joy that no one should be able to take from you.

      We've got to be in tune with the Holy Spirit on this. It's crucial. Ask the Lord about it. If you don't have a peace, then it would be wise to find other pursuits. But if what you are seeing and reading is true (Rev. 3:6, 13, 22), and the Lord is confirming it by two or more witnesses (Deut. 17:6; 2 Cor. 13:1), then hold on 'cause He is practically shouting at us that the Rapture is near. Remember that our hope is in a Person, not a date on the calendar; this homesickness for heaven, if I can call it that, is only natural for a serious believer and in keeping with Proverbs 13:12. Blessings, brother. Thank you for your reply!

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    2. James, I can totally understand your discouragement - I've been there many times. I would encourage you to read the article that Jeff mentioned a few comments above: http://www.watchfortheday.org/knowing.html

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    3. Hi James, I know the feeling--we all do. If you'd like, I invite you to read an article I wrote about a year ago entitled "Boiling Water" that deals with this very topic. I confess that I go back and re-read it once in while myself, because it never fails to give me a lift when I get a case of the wenzitgonnahappens.

      http://www.alittlestrength.com/articles/2015/1511-boiling.htm

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    4. Greg L., I loved reading your article "Boiling Water." I appreciate the humor and well-thought-out arguments, and especially the metaphor of boiling water on the stove, "...if we were occupied with some other useful or engaging activities, it will seem as if it took no time at all." Wise words. Reminds me of Luke 19:13, the words of Jesus himself about the focus of our time, "Engage in business until I come (ESV)," or, better yet, in the King James vernacular, "Occupy till I come."

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    5. Thank you, Jeff. Exactly...occupy until I come. In other words, wait *actively.*

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  3. Jeff, in agreement with your post, please see http://october-5-2017.com

    Blessings,

    Dan (aka Truth)

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Daniel. I'll check it out.

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  4. This article hits the nail on the head. Too many Christians are acting like Trump is God's answer to our country's current crisis. Though he might certainly be used by God, I just don't see this as being a delay in the Lord returning as things are too far gone. Great job on your first article and look forward to more.

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    1. Thank you, Stephen. I appreciate your encouragement and feedback.

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  5. Palm tree that grew from 2000-year old seed bears fruit in Israel

    https://www.oneforisrael.org/bible-based-teaching-from-israel/palm-sprouted-from-2000-year-old-seed-now-bears-fruit-in-israel/

    I cannot verify how true but the news is amusing given what we are discussing

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    Replies
    1. Wow, James! What an awesome find. I'll have to do a post on this. I read the article and it looks reputable. Their source was actually a National Geographic article.

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  6. Another bit of news that may indicate the timing of His return:

    Scientists reverse ageing in mice - human trials within 10 years

    http://news.nationalpost.com/health/scientists-reverse-ageing-in-mice-and-human-trials-could-be-on-the-horizon-within-10-years

    https://www.salk.edu/news-release/turning-back-time-salk-scientists-reverse-signs-aging/

    God will not allow mankind to discover immortality while still in a fallen state. If scientists can reverse human ageing in 10 years, Christ will most likely return before that happens. We may have here a time range of 10 years for the Rapture.

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  7. Definitely agree with you James. I write a bit about that in "10 Reasons Jesus Will Return In Our Lifetime" under the What's Happening page.

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