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Watching for the Return of Christ

telescopeI’ve been posting about the return of Christ as He taught it to His disciples. I believe that there will be a “weeding process” that takes place as we get closer to His return.

God will use His angels to make a visible distinction between His Church and the kingdom of darkness. Both the world and the church will have come to full fruition.

But before we finish this series of posts, I want us to take a look at the account given by Luke. He recorded some more detail about what Christ said on this occasion.

“There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars. On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea. Men will faint from terror, apprehensive of what is coming on the world, for the heavenly bodies will be shaken. At that time they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.”
Luke 21:25-28

Jesus explains here that the nations are in perplexity because of all the events that can be seen taking place on the earth. Because of the weeding process just before the end, the entire world will know that something important is about to happen.

As believers, we’ll be prepared for the return of Christ. The unbelievers, however, will be apprehensive about what is ready to take place.

I believe that as we get closer to the end, it will become more and more obvious that the Lord’s coming is near. Then one day we’ll see the sign we’ve been waiting for.

If it’s daytime where we live, then we’ll see the sun going dark for no reason. If it’s night, then the moon will darken and the stars will look like they’re all falling from the sky.

Jesus prepares us with exactly what to do when we see the sign of Christ in the sky. Stand up and lift up your head because your redemption is here!

He’s obviously talking to the church in this section. It’s not some remnant of leftovers who “missed the rapture” seven years before. This is the sign for the body of Christ to recognize the Day of the Lord – the Resurrection Day.

“Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near. Even so, when you see all these things, you know that it is near, right at the door. I tell you the truth, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.”
Matthew 24:32-35

Before He finishes this section of His teaching, Jesus emphasizes the certainty of His words. It will take place just as He said. We’ll see it approaching just as we see the changes of the seasons. If we are believers who are prepared to meet Christ, then this day will not take us unawares.

There’s no reason for fear or anxiety over what we see taking place on the earth. There should only be the excitement of anticipation over the return of our King.

Question: How do you prepare yourself for the events of the Last Days?

© Nick Zaccardi 2014

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Posted by on September 1, 2014 in Return of Christ, The Church

 

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The Last Days – Weeding the Kingdom

WeedingI have been posting about Jesus’ parable found in Matthew 13:24-41.  Did you know that very soon a weeding is going to take place in the body of Christ?  Actually, I believe that it may already have begun.

In the parable, Jesus said that there were going to be elements of the enemy’s kingdom mixed in with His sons and daughters.  In the parable the angels inquire, “Sir, didn’t You sow good seed into Your field?  Where did all these evil ones come from?”

Jesus explains that it was the work of the Devil.

The angels then ask Him, “Do you want us to go pull them up?”

“No”, He answers, “because while you’re pulling up the evil ones you may root up, hurt, or destroy My sons and daughters.  Let both groups grow together until the end of the age.  At that time I’ll tell the angels, first collect the sons of the evil one, tie them up and burn them.  Then, gather My people and bring them into My dwelling place.”

Here you can see that Christ is not so much concerned with the weeds that are way out on the fringes.  It’s the weeds that are mixed up with His kingdom that He wants to do something about.  As we approach the end of the age, there’s going to be a time when God starts weeding.

I’ve seen some things happen in my lifetime that were unheard of in the past.  Ministries that we thought were incredible seem to have gotten plucked up because there were some things that were wrong going on below the surface.  God is exposing sin and saying, “I want that out of My kingdom.”

I believe that as we get closer to the end of the age, we’re going to see more and more of God’s weeding going on.  That’s what Jesus wanted to communicate to His disciples.  Don’t expect to have a kingdom that’s perfect right from the start.

Instead, He warned them that on earth there was going to be people with impure motives in His kingdom.  There are going to be people among us that are not really living for Christ.  They may claim to be Christians, but they’re poisonous.  In my last post I talked about the specifics of that poison.

As we approach the end of the age, we’re going to see a new move of the Spirit of God as He weeds His kingdom.  I believe that very soon, a separation is going to take place.  Just as Jesus said, the Son of Man is going to send out His angels to expose, uproot, and remove those things that are not a part of His plan for the church.  We, as believers, must be prepared for this to occur by realizing that the hand of God is in it.

Question: Do you see this weeding process as already starting?

© Nick Zaccardi 2013

 
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Posted by on January 14, 2013 in Return of Christ, The Church

 

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The Last Days – Are You a Weed?

WeedIn my last post I started talking about a parable found in Matthew 13:24-41.  I believe it’s talking about the times we live in right now.

In it, Jesus explains that through the centuries, the kingdom of God and the world will mature alongside of one another until the end approaches.  Then, as we get close to the return of the Lord, a weeding will take place.  What is the nature of these weeds?  That’s what I want to talk about in today’s post.

According to the parable, both kingdoms begin to sprout.  You could also say they begin coming into fruition.  The church is starting to become what God wants it to become.  The closer we get to the ministry of Christ, the closer we are to harvest time.

The parable also tells us that the weeds are the enemy’s kingdom sown right alongside of us.  The word Jesus uses for weed is a plant called darnel.  It’s a special plant that looks exactly like wheat.

The downside of having it in your field is the fact that it contains a deadly poison.  Not only that, but if it’s planted next to wheat you can’t tell them apart.  As a matter of fact, everything about them looks the same until the harvest.  At harvest time wheat starts turning that beautiful, golden color.  Darnel, however, turns black.

If you were to eat darnel, it would cause sleep, convulsions, nausea, and even death.  It’s a poison.  It’s not good for human consumption.

So what Jesus is saying is that there’s going to be a battle going on until the end of the age.  This is because two different families are going to be on the earth at the same time with two vastly different agendas.  There will be two groups of people that are becoming two different kingdoms.  One of those kingdoms is poison and one is life giving.

“The 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.”
Matthew 13:41

First, He says that the angels will weed out of His kingdom everything that causes sin or literally, causes offense and stumbling.  Wow!  That’s probably half the battle right there.  If we can get rid of the things that cause stumbling and that cause offense, living for Christ would get a whole lot easier.

The second type of weed mentioned by the Lord is all who do evil.   Literally it says all without law.  He is speaking here of those who are not submitted to Christ – they are without law.  These people don’t care what the Lord wants them to do – they have their own agenda.  Too many people in this generation are “serving” God on their own terms.  That is unacceptable to Him.

If you find yourself in one of these two categories, take the time right now to repent and become a life-giving member of the body of Christ.

Question: Have you ever experienced the poison of these “weeds” in a church setting?

© Nick Zaccardi 2013

 
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Posted by on January 11, 2013 in Return of Christ, The Church

 

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The Last Days – Two Kingdoms Side by Side

agricultureI believe that we’re in the Last Days before the return of Christ.  Did you know about the weeding that is going to take place in the Last Days?  Christ taught about it during His earthly ministry.  Very few people talk about it because it doesn’t fit into their view of the end times.

I want to take a few posts to examine this important concept.  I think that it’s important for every believer to know what to expect on the road ahead.

The following is based upon the events and teachings found in the Gospel of Matthew chapter 13 and verses 24-41.  I encourage you to read that passage first, before continuing this post.  You will have a greater understanding of what I’m saying.

This is actually the second teaching given by Jesus concerning the last days.  He gave it to the disciples in parable form.

At this point the disciples already knew that there would be a day of resurrection sometime in the future.  They knew that on that day the graves would be opened.  Someday all believers will rise with a new resurrected body.  In this teaching, Jesus builds upon that knowledge.

In the parable, the Lord teaches about a farmer who sowed good seed in the ground.  Secretly, an enemy sowed bad seed during the night.  When asked what he would do about it, the farmer said that he would let both plants grow together until the harvest.  That way he could tell the difference between the weeds and the wheat.

The disciples had no idea what Jesus was talking about.  Later on in the day, the disciples found themselves alone with the Lord.  They took that opportunity to ask Him about it.  It’s Jesus’ explanation that I want to talk about.

According to the Lord, sons of the kingdom (that’s us), were sown into the world.  But the devil also sowed his sons into the world.  According to the parable there are two kingdoms, on earth, growing side by side.  I believe that’s where all the spiritual tension comes from that we are presently experiencing.

The kingdom of God and the world are both headed in opposite directions.  They have two different kings and vastly different goals.  As we approach the end, both kingdoms are going to start developing to the point where they’re bearing fruit.  The closer we get to the return of the Lord, the clearer we will see both the church of Jesus Christ and the world for what they truly are.

It is the overlap of the world and the church that causes the problems.  This parable addresses what God intends to do about it in the Last Days.  This is a very important subject.  If you haven’t already done so, subscribe to this blog for email delivery, so you won’t miss any of the posts.

Question: How have you experienced the tension between the kingdom of God and the world?

© Nick Zaccardi 2013

 
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Posted by on January 9, 2013 in Return of Christ

 

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