I never cease to marvel at the Bible's unvarnished accounts of human nature. God gives us glimpses of the future in His Book and He Is not afraid to paint using the darker colors. The following passages speak of a time to come. I can't say who will or won't be an eyewitness of these things. No one who believes now will be on Earth to see them because there is a great gathering before this time comes.
"And I saw a beast rising out of the sea, with ten horns and seven heads, with ten diadems on its horns and blasphemous names on its heads. And the beast that I saw was like a leopard; its feet were like a bear's, and its mouth was like a lion's mouth. And to it the dragon gave his power and his throne and great authority. One of its heads seemed to have a mortal wound, but its mortal wound was healed, and the whole earth marveled as they followed the beast. And they worshiped the dragon, for he had given his authority to the beast, and they worshiped the beast, saying, 'Who is like the beast, and who can fight against it?' - Revelation 13:1-4 ESV
People want to back the winner. Who would want to speak truth to this power? Power that is overwhelming, limited, but humanly speaking overwhelming. People say, 'Where is God?' now... imagine what it will be like then.
"And the beast was given a mouth uttering haughty and blasphemous words, and it was allowed to exercise authority for forty-two months." - Revelation 13:5 ESV
Overwhelming power but limited resources. Forty-two months worth to be exact. Not a penny more or less. When that reservoir is gone it will be long gone. A coup... but one that only has so much steam.
"It opened its mouth to utter blasphemies against God, blaspheming his name and his dwelling, that is, those who dwell in heaven. Also it was allowed to make war on the saints and to conquer them. And authority was given it over every tribe and people and language and nation, and all who dwell on earth will worship it, everyone whose name has not been written before the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who was slain. If anyone has an ear, let him hear:" - Revelation 13:6-9 ESV
Wow. You mean the Bible says the bad guys win? Yes, During this season they do. Jesus hung on a cross during such a season also.
We don't like to think of these times but they happen. The enemy comes in like a flood and that tsunami is unavoidable... those who are on the ground are swept away. Those on higher ground suffer loss.
"If anyone is to be taken captive, to captivity he goes; if anyone is to be slain with the sword, with the sword must he be slain. Here is a call for the endurance and faith of the saints." - Revelation 13:10 ESV
Ok. Here we go... endurance... grace gives endurance. Grace doesn't demand we win all the time. Our faith is not shaken by losses because we know we deserve to lose it all but we have been given so much. Grace put Isaac on the altar as it trusts in God. Grace endures. The Spirit of Grace is a lasting Spirit who does not flee when the resources are low. He is the provider of resources.
Cancer sucks. It has resources it seems. Those resources are limited.
Death stinks. Separation hurts. Limited. Limited. Limited.
Don't quit. Don't quit. Don't quit. Don't quit. Don't quit. Don't quit. Don't quit. Don't quit. Don't quit. Don't quit. Don't quit. Don't quit. Don't quit. Don't quit. Don't quit. Don't quit. Don't quit. Don't quit. The forces of decay are limited. Let God be your strength. Train your mind to let God be your strength. Fast and let your strength weaken so God can be your strength.
God isn't going anywhere. Not time limits on Him. His mercy endures forever. Faith pleases Him.
"He saw that there was no man, And wondered that there was no intercessor; Therefore His own arm brought salvation for Him; And His own righteousness, it sustained Him. For He put on righteousness as a breastplate, And a helmet of salvation on His head;
He put on the garments of vengeance for clothing, And was clad with zeal as a cloak. According to their deeds, accordingly He will repay, Fury to His adversaries, Recompense to His enemies; The coastlands He will fully repay. So shall they fear The name of the LORD from the west, And His glory from the rising of the sun; When the enemy comes in like a flood, The Spirit of the LORD will lift up a standard against him. 'The Redeemer will come to Zion, And to those who turn from transgression in Jacob,' Says the LORD." - Isaiah 59:16-20 NKJV
Messiah had only God to rescue Him. In those later days there will also be a great rescue and now in our dark times God is a rescuer. I think this morning of people who need to be rescued from peril.
Arise God and show yourself to be strong in people's lives. We know you have a perfect plan and we ask for mercy to be poured out in the midst of it. Raise the standard of everlasting and ever resourceful grace. Raise it high so we can see it and it can conquer us.