Sunday, February 23, 2014

The end is near

Are we still in the Dispensation of Grace?  If so, how close are we to the end, especially in light of the world-wide tragedies of the last couple of years?

Yes, we are still in the dispensation of Grace, and will be as long as the body of Christ is here on the earth.  You’ll know this dispensation has ended when we all meet the Lord in the air.  Paul makes it clear that the dispensation of grace will end when the fullness of the gentiles be come in.

Romans 11:25
For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.

When God has filled up the body of Christ, the dispensation of grace will end with the resurrection, or the rapture.

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.  For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.  For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.  For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:  then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.  Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

1 Corinthians 15:51-53
Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound [not the trumpets of Revelation; it is the sound of the blowing of the trump of God in 1 Thess.], and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.  For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.

This is the resurrection; the gathering; the catching away; the rapture.  When a believer dies today, we are absent from the body and present with the Lord.

2 Corinthians 5:8
We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.

Philippians 1:23
For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better:

So you’ll know the dispensation of grace is over when we all [them which sleep in Jesus and we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord] meet the Lord in the, followed by the judgment seat of Christ.

2 Corinthians 5:10
For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.

Then there will be a reunion of the body of Christ; we will all be together.  We are very close to the end of this age.  They were in the last days in Paul’s day.

2 Timothy 3:1
This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.

Men had already departed from the faith in Paul’s day.

1 Timothy 4:1-3
Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth.

The rapture is at hand:

Romans 13:12
The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.

So we are in the last days of the dispensation of grace, but not because of the things we see happening in the world:

Romans 8:22
For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.

That is happening because of the Fall; it’s the curse that Adam brought (Gen. 3).  As we get closer and closer to the return of the Lord to take us out of the world and to set up his kingdom, the world is travailing like a woman with child.  It is going through birth pangs.

Romans 8:19
For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.

The travailing earth is going to birth us, so to speak:  the sons of God in the heavens (the body of Christ), and the sons of God in the earth (the nation of Israel). 

Just like the labor pains of a woman, as the time approaches they get more intense and more frequent.  That has been happening and will continue to happen in this lost, dying, sin-cursed, Christ-rejecting world.  But don’t look at the world-wide tragedies or even what is happening in the Middle East [to ascertain how near we are to the end of the dispensation].

We are getting closer and closer to the wrath of Almighty God.  One of the reasons the dispensation of grace ends is because he is delivering us from the wrath to come.

1 Thessalonians 1:10
And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.

God has been holding back his wrath for 2,000 years, but when he’s ready to pour it out he will first take the body of Christ home [and the prophetic program for Israel will resume].  Even though there are tragedies around the world and they have intensified the last couple of years, that’s just par for the course.  The world is on a collision course with the wrath of God. 

Revelation 14:10
The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb:

But Paul tells us what is happening in the last days of the body of Christ in 1 Thessalonians and 2 Timothy.  Read what Paul says about the future days of tribulation for Israel in 2 Thessalonians.

2 Timothy 3:1-7
This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.  For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.

Hopefully this helps...Maranatha!

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