I pray you are keeping your joy as we move through this season of the christmas spirit! I had the privilege of spending about 9 hours or so in a local Christian store on Saturday and see first hand how even Christians can get caught up in the rush! As I left the store a few times throughout the day though, I have to admit, the atmosphere was still better there in the store with the few grumbling Christians than outside the store where it almost appeared to be a free for all with still 3 days to go to the day! Although I was not able to sell many books in the store that day, I praise God for the opportunity to have been able to speak with so many Christians throughout the day from many denominations and share my biblical understanding and at the same time get to listen to their biblical views.
In fact, I thought that one conversation with a pastor that came in was going to turn into a church service right there in the store! I could not help but laugh as I could see him wondering if the long line was worth the wait for what he was buying after he had just told me "Ken, being a pastor is all about patience!" Praise God he had patience because I was praying for him to endure the wait as he was checking out with one of my books in his hand! We did manage to laugh together for a moment as he was leaving the store, when I reminded him what he had just told me about patience!
Anyway, Does God love everybody?
That's actually an easy question to answer and would simply be "YES" and there are really no ifs, ands or buts about that, BUT, the real question would be "Does everybody love God?" God has to love everybody or He would not have died on that cross almost 2000 years ago so that everyone could at least have the chance to be with Him in eternity and survive it one day!
In one conversation with a lady in the store on Saturday, that was a teacher at her church, she mentioned the fact that she found it so hard to witness to people anymore because they just seemed so cold towards God. I really had no idea what I would say to her but I was actually witnessing to myself also as the words came out. I reminded her that the Word of God tells us that there is a day coming on this earth when not one more person will repent and receive the good news, so, do not be discouraged as we continue to see God's Word coming to pass, but ,at the same time we must continue to do the best we can! She replied with a big sigh "Yes, we must".
Revelation 9:20-21 King James Version
And the rest of the men which were not killed by these plagues yet repented not of the works of their hands, that they should not worship devils, and idols of gold, and silver, and brass, and stone, and of wood: which neither can see, nor hear, nor walk:
Neither repented they of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts.
If you thought 777 was just something they made up in sin city otherwise known as Las Vegas, God had His own 777 in the makings about 2000 years ago with the 7 seals beginning in Revelation Chapter 6, the 7 trumpets beginning in Revelation Chapter 8:6, and the final 7 vials beginning in Revelation 16.
When we consider these two verses from Revelation Chapter 9 and understand the context, we see that the sixth trumpet judgement has just been unleashed upon the earth and two witnesses appear on the scene to prove for one last time that God DOES love EVERYBODY, BUT, NOT EVERYBODY loves God! Although we actually read about the two witnesses in Revelation Chapter 11, their ministry will take place sometime during the sixth trumpet just before the unleashing of the seventh trumpet. The judgement of the sixth trumpet is read in Revelation 9:13-21. If you are not familiar with the trumpet judgements, there are actually seven of them in total. After the first four are unleashed, the last three of them are also known as the THREE WOES which we read in Revelation 8:13.
Revelation 8:13 King James Version
And I beheld, and heard an angel flying through the midst of heaven, saying with a loud voice, Woe, woe, woe, to the inhabiters of the earth by reason of the other voices of the trumpet of the three angels, which are yet to sound!
So if we continue to read about these last two end time evangelists, that are bringing God's love to a world that is about to totally reject God, we see that their ministry will last about as long as Jesus' ministry lasted after He was baptized.
Revelation 11:3 King James Version
And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days (1260 days or 3 1/2 prophetic years), clothed in sackcloth.
At the end of their ministry they will actually experience something quite similar to what Jesus Himself experienced at the end of His earthly ministry. We will see that they are eventually killed by those who probably claimed to love God but obviously loved a god other than the Only True God!
John 16:2 King James Version
They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service.
Revelation 11:8-9 King James Version
And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified.
And they of the people and kindreds and tongues and nations shall see their dead bodies three days and an half, and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves.
Now before there was a TV in every bedroom, at every gas station pump , and probably at least millions more after today, you may have wondered how the whole world could have ever seen such an event everywhere at the same time, but, as we approach this time that was prophesied nearly 2000 years ago we see that it is very possible to happen today! We also see that the people that kill them will rejoice for a short time just as those that crucified the LORD had their short time of rejoicing.
Revelation 11:10 King James Version
And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another; because these two prophets tormented them that dwelt on the earth.
Well at first glance it may seem that these two were out of line by bringing God's Word to places it was now against the law to speak it, but, apparently God didn't have any problem with them delivering His Word where ever they desired!
Revelation 11:11-12 King James Version
And after three days and an half the spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet; and great fear fell upon them which saw them. And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, Come up hither. And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them.
I think it's very exciting to see at the end of their ministry that just as God loves everybody, He is also faithful to those who love Him! I have heard that this exchanging of gifts is an ordinary custom in the muslim religion but I have also personally seen christians that sometimes look as if they would kill you if you mess with their christmas! I'm no bible scholar or scholar on Islam, so really at this time I'm not sure which it is but I can promise you this! When you see two men on TV that are laying in the streets of Jerusalem dead for 3 1/2 days and everybody is getting ready for a holiday feast with gifts in their hands ,you will know for sure you would have been better off to keep the Feasts in Leviticus 23!
Have a blessed CHRISTmas and be praying against CLIFFmas!
Be SURE to tell SOMEONE about JESUS!