“Whoever believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.” — John 7:38
End Times: Signs & Expectations
by Randall D. Kittle
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Every spring people across America get to experience daylight saving time — a time when everything “springs forward” chronologically speaking. While it may sound wonderful to have things “moving forward,” we actually lose an hour of sleep, and then have to go around the house setting all our clocks and watches forward one hour to make certain they are synchronized with the proper time so we won’t be late. This always reminds me of an old movie with Special Forces agents who are on a secret mission; just before they deploy, they stop and “synchronize” their watches.

This is what we need to do spiritually. The Lord is calling for the Church across the land to “synchronize our watches,” to set our spiritual clocks with the clock of Heaven that is ticking down toward the end of the age. We need the hourglasses of our lives to be
“on earth as it is in Heaven” (Matthew 6:10).

What time is it on the clock of Heaven? It is later than most of us think! Vance Havner used to tell the story of an old farmer whose clock ran amuck one morning and struck seventeen o’clock. The farmer got up all frantic and ran all over the house, saying, “Get up! It’s later than it ever has been before!” That is what we need to understand; it is later than it’s ever been before. In 2001, while I was praying about the tragic terrorist attack on 9–11, the Lord spoke to me clearly, saying, “This is the beginning of the beginning of the end” … and that was nearly a decade ago!

Signs of the End-Times
I want us to look at two important questions that we need to know and understand if we are to live successfully for the Lord in these days. The first question is: What are signs that we are in the end-times? We are not going to predict the hour or even the date of the Lord’s return (after all, He told us clearly in Matthew 24:36, “No one knows when that day or hour will come …”). But the Lord would have us possess a “sons of Issachar anointing.” According to the Bible, the sons of Issachar were men who understood the times in which they lived and knew what Israel ought to do (see 1 Chronicles 12:32). We need to be those who understand the times and seasons in which we live and understand what God would have us do to advance His kingdom.

Birth Pangs of the Earth
We are going to look at six signs that show we are at the end of the age. The first sign of the end-times are the birth pangs of the Earth. Romans 8:22 reveals this: “For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now.” Notice it says, “we know.” The Lord expects us to know this! This verse refers to “birth pangs,” but the word “pang” is not a word most of us use in our day-to-day conversations. The dictionary defines pangs as: “sudden, sharp pains.” Birth pangs are what most of us would call labor pains. They are not only sudden and sharp; they also come with an ever-increasing frequency and intensity. Birth pangs come closer together and with much more severity just before the birth — and so it will be for the birth pangs of creation as the end of the age approaches.

Jesus described the physical signs of these spiritual birth pangs to His disciples in Matthew 24 and Luke 21. In Matthew 24:3–8 the disciples ask Jesus to tell them about the end-times:
“Tell us, when will these things happen, and what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?” And Jesus answered and said to them, “See to it that no one misleads you. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will mislead many. You will be hearing of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not frightened, for those things must take place, but that is not yet the end. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and in various places there will be famines and earthquakes. But all these things are merely the beginning of birth pangs.” In the book of Luke, it goes on to say there will be “plagues … and roaring of the seas and waves” (Luke 21:11–25).

This is exactly what is going on in the physical realm in our days. Certainly we live in days filled with nations at war, famines, world-wide epidemics, great earthquakes, and the oceans roaring from hurricanes and tsunamis. The calamities and catastrophes we have been observing are the birth pangs of creation. Even the unbelieving world wonders what it means as the fear, tragedy, and disillusionment of things like Y2K, 9-11, hurricane Katrina, and the recent earthquake/tsunami disaster in Japan grabs their attention and grips their emotions. These are all birth pangs. They occur suddenly, and after painfully capturing our attention they fade. Then things seem fairly normal … until the next one unexpectedly hits. If you were to ask me “What’s up with all these natural disasters?” my response would be, “Get ready to meet Jesus.”

Increased Scoffing
A second sign that we are at the end of the age is that the world will scoff. It says in 2 Peter 3:3–4, “First of all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. They will say, ‘Where is this “coming” he promised? Ever since our fathers died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.’” Here again the Lord tells us the importance of this portion of Scripture by saying, “you must understand.” God wants us to study this and understand it so we will be prepared for the days ahead.

If you try to talk to people about the end of the age, they are likely to smile sympathetically at you and tell you that, ‘It’s nice you believe such a thing, but, you know, people have been saying that for years and yet here we are!” With that they will pat you on the head and send you off as if they had just been kind to someone with limited mental abilities. The idea of a returning and reigning Lord is looked down upon as little more than a familiar fairy tale … even among many so-called believers!

In these last days, scoffers are increasing in both numbers and the level of their disdain. Years ago, the Church and Christian values in general were highly esteemed and appreciated by most of our society. Over the years, the world has gradually grown more cold and negative to Christianity. Nowadays, the world has come to the point of
open and vocal disdain. You can hear it on the evening news, and read it in most of our books, magazines, and newspapers. We must be prepared and strengthened to persevere under increased scoffing, as the level of ridicule, belittling, and mocking reaches unprecedented proportions.

Wickedness Will Abound
A third sign that we are in the end-times is that wickedness will abound. This was foretold in 2 Timothy 3:1–5, “But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!” Once again, notice that this verse begins with “But know this …” These are things the Holy Spirit expects us to know.

This prophetic picture of some future society is a perfect description of the culture we live in today. America is a self-loving, self-focused culture that is arrogant, proud, and boastful with nothing but contempt for that which is good and holy. Disregard of parental advise and authority is rampant, and the virtues of thankfulness and patience are nearly extinct. On top of this, the only religion that is tolerated is a watered down any-way-and-every-way-to-God-is-okay that is little more than a
“form of godliness.”

The “form of godliness” talked about in this Scripture is not some strange cult; it is the apostate church, the false church. As the world becomes increasingly wicked, many church-leaders realize that what we are “selling” — holiness, righteousness, goodness — doesn’t have the same appeal it used to have. In response, some have begun to package things in a much more “user-friendly” manner. Out of this a new “pseudo church” is forming. This watered down church is a “nice church” served by a “nice god” and has a “nice Jesus.” But it fails to realize that nowhere in the Bible does it say, “God is nice.” God is good. He is just. God is faithful and loving … but He never described Himself as “nice.” Anyone who has read the New Testament knows that a “nice Jesus” is a figment of our imagination. It is true that Jesus was beaten, bruised, and pierced to rescue those who are lost in their sin. But He also made a whip and drove out the moneychangers, called His friend Peter “Satan,” and told the Pharisees they were a brood of snakes and white-washed tombs … to give you just a few examples. Anyone selling this “nice Jesus gospel” is part of the apostate church designed to appeal to a wicked generation — helping them find peace while remaining in their wickedness.

Not Enduring Doctrine
A fourth sign of the end-times is that much of the “so-called church” will not endure sound doctrine. Second Timothy 4:1–4 tells us this: “I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom: Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.”

For much of the Church, doctrine is thought of as little more than oppressive, dogmatic thinking. This line of thought is even common among many true believers. If you want to experience this, just invite one of your friends to a class, small group, or Bible study your church is having, and tell them you are learning doctrine. I think you will find them anxious … anxious to find an excuse not to come.

But doctrine, as we can see from this verse, is very important. Doctrine is really just knowing what you believe and why you believe it. Because of the wide-spread avoidance of doctrine, many professing believers no longer have any beliefs set in stone. The relativism that pervades our society has increasingly been seeping into the Church. We are told, “My truth and your truth may be different, but that’s okay.” But we must always remember that the Church is not about
your truth or my truth. It is about Jesus Christ — the Truth!

When a church doesn’t believe in doctrine and relativism gets a foothold, it becomes easy to redefine what the Word of God says. God didn’t do this ... He did something like that … God didn’t mean this ... He meant something else, and when we are done we have changed the absolute standard of the Bible. We need the anchor of doctrine … of understanding the basics. Do we believe God and His Word or don’t we?

As the end of the age unfolds, doctrine has never been more important. That is why discipleship is so important in these days. Discipleship is where you learn doctrine in a relational setting. So much teaching in the Church in this hour has become whatever pleases the masses … “Give them what they want to hear.” With the alarming increase of those who want their itching ears tickled by pleasant messages in our days, doctrine is more important than ever.

Recently, the Lord told me this,
“My Church is diluted because it is deluded. Unless they are willing to endure sound doctrine they will not endure in the days of persecution.” Much of the Church has grown weak because without the anchor of doctrine they can be easily swayed. When persecution occurs, if we do not have a solid biblical foundation, it becomes easy to step a little farther away from the truth with each confrontation until eventually we find ourselves a long way from the actual truth of God.

Increased Persecution
A fifth sign that we are in the end-times is that there will be increased persecution. In Matthew 24:9–14 Jesus promises us this. “Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. But he who endures to the end shall be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.”

Persecution is a promise from God as certain as any other promise in the Bible. It is just not likely to be found in your
Precious Bible Promise book or on a bumper sticker. “In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, while evil men and impostors will go from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived” (2 Timothy 3:12–13). Persecution is an unavoidable way of life for any and every true believer. Persecution is now increasing around the globe, and it is beginning to be felt even in America. Why? Many Americans now believe that anyone who has absolute values is both dogmatic and dangerous. If, as a Christian, you have strong, unchangeable values, many people in our society will see you as dangerous … and you are — to the devil’s kingdom.

A Slumbering Church
A sixth sign that we are at the end of time is a slumbering, unprepared Church. We learn this from the parable of the ten bridesmaids (or ten virgins) found in the first thirteen verses of Matthew 25. This parable begins with the word “then,” which here does not mean, “going on” or “also.” It is a chronological term meaning “at that time.” In the preceding chapter, Jesus had been teaching all about the signs of the end-times, and so this parable is particularly applicable and will find its fulfillment in the end-times.

What does this parable tell us about the bridesmaids? All of those awaiting the Bridegroom and the wedding feast of the bride fell asleep, and only half of them were prepared for His return. What a picture this is of most of the Church — the Bride of Christ — today … asleep in regards to eternity and apathetic to the things of God as they unfold on the earth. The Church is called to be ready and watching, and we fail on both accounts! We have a slumbering Church across America. Where is the zeal for the things of God? How many have Him as their first and foremost desire? Too many are asleep in regards to the kingdom of God, lulled to sleep by the urgencies of a society that wants to extract all their energy and leave them lethargic to the coming King.

End-Times Expectations
The second question we need to know and understand if we are to live successfully for the Lord in these days is: What are God’s expectations for us in the end-times? In other words, what must the Church do? We must answer the question from 2 Peter 3:10–11, “But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar … Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be?” Since the end of the age is unfolding, what kind of people should we be? How should we live? What should we be doing?

First of all, allow me to warn you of the importance of
avoiding the “3 S’s.” The first of these is being scared. Nearly every time I talk to someone about the end-times, they become frightened, fearful, or concerned. They want to know what it will be like … and none of us fully knows. But we do know that the final day of this age is called “the great and terrible day of the Lord” (Malachi 4:5). If you are a true believer in Jesus Christ, it is a great day because you are finally going to see Jesus face to face and be united with the love of your life! But it is also a terrible day for those who are not the Lord’s, for it is also called “the day of the Lord’s wrath” (Zephaniah 1:18). On this one day there will be fulfillment and completion for the beloved of God, and judgment on those who have not chosen the Lord. No wonder the prophet Joel told us “the day of the Lord is great; it is dreadful” (Joel 2:11). This should cause us to be ever more diligent in being certain we are fully His. If we are, being in the end-times means we are closer to the Lord’s return, and the heart of the bride of Christ should be an excited, “Come, Lord!”

The second “S” we want to avoid is
going into the survival mode. So easily we can begin to devise ways to save our flesh. “How do we stay alive?” While having provisions stored for an emergency or getting a backup generator could be part of being prepared for the days ahead, this can easily get out of balance and cause us to forget about what is the most important. Planning for the survival of our flesh certainly should not be the main focus of our preparedness. It should be our preparation for eternity, and helping rescue those about us who are currently perishing. As believers, we are not called to be survivalist but rescue workers! As the end of the age unfolds, some of those in the world will be looking for answers, and you and I have the answer — Jesus! The peace we can have even in the midst of all that will unfold can give us great opportunities to rescue the lost. Let us heed the advice of 1 Peter 3:14–15: “Do not fear what they fear; do not be frightened. But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.”

The third “S” we want to avoid is to
become stunned. When we observe the birth pangs of the last days and hear message after message on the end of the age, we can become overwhelmed and slip into denial — “I just don’t want to deal with it,” or become apathetic— “Que sera, sera whatever will be, will be.” That is exactly what they did in Noah’s day, and it’s the same way they responded in Sodom when Lot told them the city was going to be destroyed. How did that work out for them? Not very well! Jesus said it would also be so for many at the end of the age. “Just as it was in the days of Noah, so also will it be in the days of the Son of Man. People were eating, drinking, marrying and being given in marriage up to the day Noah entered the ark. Then the flood came and destroyed them all. It was the same in the days of Lot. People were eating and drinking, buying and selling, planting and building. But the day Lot left Sodom, fire and sulfur rained down from heaven and destroyed them all. It will be just like this on the day the Son of Man is revealed” (Luke 17:26–30).

The 3 R’s of End-Times Expectation
The answer for how the Lord expects us to live in these last days we can find in three “Rs.” The first of these is being roused. Christianity is truly a Cinderella story in which the one who has lost her rightful place is rescued by a Prince from a far away land who marries her and calls her His own. While Christianity is a Cinderella story, it is not supposed to be the story of Sleeping Beauty. We are not supposed to prick our finger on the spindle of the world and fall asleep. Unfortunately, that is what much of the Church has done. This should not surprise us, for in the parable of the ten bridesmaids all of them — those who were prepared and those who were not ready — fell asleep. But Jesus Christ, our Bridegroom, is coming, and it is time for the Bride of Christ to awaken. Look at how Romans 13:11–12 declares our desperate need to be roused. “And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light.” The Day of the Lord is nearly at hand; it is high time for the Church to wake up!

In a vision, I saw a church building with padded oak pews. Upon one of these pews I saw a bride lying there with her head on a pillow fast asleep. Then I heard an alarm clock buzzing noisily. The sleeping bride didn’t move a muscle. That is how it is for much of the Church. There have been messages calling us to awaken and signs all around us, and yet the bride remains asleep.

Then I saw what must have been an earthquake, for the building and the pews began to shake violently. With that, the bride startled and awoke. That is one of God’s purposes for the birth pangs of creation we are now observing! They are a wake-up call for the Church. Many of these catastrophes are quite alarming and startling. That is the good fruit the Lord brings out of these tragedies,
“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28).

Unfortunately, it is sometimes necessary to be shaken for us to be awakened. When I was a teenager, I would occasionally sleep late into the morning on Saturdays. Many a time my mother would call out to me repeatedly, “Randy, time to wake up. Randy, come on you need to get up!” Whenever that repeatedly failed she would begin to shake me in my bed until I awoke. Much of the Church is sleeping just as soundly as I used to, but, like my mother, the Lord will shake us until we are aroused.

Being Ready
The second thing the Lord expects from us in these last days is to be ready. In the book of Revelation, it says that before the Lord’s return “… the bride has made herself ready” (Revelation 19:7). It is time we begin to be a people prepared for His return. Being ready involves being untangled from this world, being prepared, and then watching.

In the vision of the slumbering bride, once she startled and woke up, I noticed she was entangled by all these small vines that had grown over her as she slept. They kept her from being able to get up. After she had awoken, she began pulling these vines off, and only then could she arise. When the bride finally stood up, I could see that she was dressed in a beautiful, glistening wedding dress.

God is calling His Church to freedom — the freedom of no longer being entangled with the world, but of being a prepared bride! In the parable of the sower, it was
“the cares of the world” that sprang up like little vines and choked out the new life of God as it grew. If we are not careful, the cares and concerns of this world will entangle our lives and choke out our efforts to be prepared for the Lord’s return.

Hebrews 12:1–2 says,
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith ...” When we find worldly things that are entangling us — familiar sins, fleshly desires, time-wasting distractions, etc. — we need to “throw them off” so we can finish the course the Lord has set before us.

Being ready also means changing our choices. Perhaps some of us need to make some simplifications to our life-style. Getting our lives simplified (disentangled from the world), so we have the time, energy, and freedom to impact those who are hurting with the kingdom of God when there is an emergency.

Maybe we need to work on reducing our debt so that when an emergency arises we are not a slave to the debtor and have the freedom to reach out to others. Perhaps we need to focus on developing an emergency fund. An emergency fund could be used for your provision in an emergency, but it could also be used by you to fund ministering the light and life and love of Jesus to others in an emergency.

Be Prepared
In the parable of the ten bridesmaids, only those who were prepared could enter the feast. Once we become disentangled from the world, we then need to be prepared.

What is involved in preparing for the tumultuous times that lie ahead? How do we prepare? What do we need to prepare for?
We need to prepare ourselves to be ready to meet the Lord and ready to reach out to this world.

The key to being prepared is to live life in such a way that we are ready to meet the Lord at any time. Those who are truly ready to meet the Lord will not look toward His coming with fear. How do we live a life that is ready to meet the Lord? First, we need to live a life that is repentant of sin. If there is a sin in your life that you know about, it is not your flesh pointing it out. It is the Holy Spirit who reveals our sin to us because, in His kindness, He is leading us to repentance. We also need to live a life that is reconciled with others. “…as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone” (Romans 12:18). We need to make every effort to settle our differences with others so that there are no needless separations in our relationships with others. But the most important aspect of living a life that is ready to meet the Lord is being in relationship with Him. If we are spending time with the Lord, the thought of the end-times is primarily the delight of fulfillment of that relationship. We build our relationship with Jesus by spending time with the Lord in prayer, meeting with Him in His Word, and communing with Him throughout the day.

Prepared to Reach Out
Being prepared for the end of the age also means living a life prepared to reach out to this world. A short time ago, I had an interesting conversation with someone whose nephew was a missionary to Japan. He had recently shared with them how frustrating and unfruitful he felt things were going in his first eight months. It seemed that nothing very positive had happened, and he had begun to question what he was doing there and whether or not he should come home. The day the Japanese tsunami came, he was at a pastors’ conference in a different city. This was a good thing, because after the earthquake and tsunami most of his city was destroyed. He lost nearly all of his possessions including his main computer and all of his books (except his Bible which he had brought with him). I trust while he was sitting around frustrated about things not going very well that he was preparing himself. I hope he is full and overflowing with the Word of God, and had developed his skills with the Japanese language so it was more than adequate. He didn’t know the day or hour, but suddenly the opportunity that the Lord had brought him over there for was thrust upon him. Was he prepared to reach out to those in need and minister the love and peace of the Lord to them? I hope he was prepared.

That is what the Lord wants for all of us. He wants us to have the resources to minister to those in need so we will be prepared to reach out to this world. To do this, we will need to know the Bible — both understanding what the Word of God says and having portions of it memorized. After all, when an emergency happens you may not have a Bible with you. We also need to learn to live a life focused on others and not just ourselves, which is very hard to do in America. I used to really dislike short-term mission trips. They seemed to be just an excuse to keep people busy and make them feel better about themselves. But I have come to realize that the Lord uses them to train up people to serve others. People are learning to inconvenience themselves and their normal life for the sake of others.

Going Beyond Ourselves
We need to develop a willingness to reach out when it is not convenient … when it costs us. When your church does a neighborhood outreach, are you ever tempted to just skip it and play golf, work in the yard, etc.? I must admit I often felt that way … and I was pastoring the church! We all have lots of things we could do that might seem much more fruitful. But if we avoid these opportunities we would be missing the chance to prepare our hearts to serve others and not just focus on ourselves. They are important for developing hearts that want to reach out in love to this lost and dying world.

I remember a church I was part of years ago in which few of us lived close to the location of our church building. For years we struggled to have a heart for outreach to the neighborhood. The conviction of the Holy Spirit led us to begin trying to reach out … even if we were lousy at it and it seemed unfruitful. Sure enough, our first few attempts were not very productive. But what we failed to notice was the fruit that was growing in
our hearts. We were beginning to want to reach others. We started enjoying helping them and sharing about the Lord with them. I believe that was a very necessary preparation of our hearts for what lay ahead.

At the end of that summer, there was a devastating flash flood that covered a broad area of our city. The area affected the most was only a few blocks from our church building. The fire marshal, who had been out rescuing people from cars that were filling with water, called and asked if we would be willing to house some people they had just rescued. It was Labor Day evening, but my son, Ben, and I “just happened” to stop by the church building to drop something off. Our building ended up being the Red Cross shelter with people sleeping in cots in our worship center. We had representatives from the Salvation Army, the county health department, the police department, and others utilizing different classrooms to help those in our neighborhood (and beyond) who had lost so much. I am certain that as the end of the age unfolds there will be great opportunities to reach out, but we don’t know when they will occur. If we want to be ready and willing to respond, we must take the steps now to develop a heart for others.

To be fully ready for the Lord’s return, we also need to keep watch as we have been commanded in Matthew 24:42,
“Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come.” We need to have an apocalyptic expectation — longing for Jesus and looking for His return.

Be Revealed
The last answer to what God is expecting of us in these end-times is for us to be revealed as His children. Romans 8:19 tells us, “The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed.” Another translation puts it this way: “Creation is standing on its tiptoes, eagerly looking for the sons and daughters of God to come forth.” There is expectancy that in these closing days the children of God will come forth and display the kingdom of God. How will the sons of God be revealed on the earth at the end of the age? Part of this is having a willingness to declare whose we are — that we belong to the Lord, and He is our Savior! Another part of this is having a willingness to declare who Jesus is: that He is the Way, the Truth, and Life, and that salvation is found in no other name. Proclaiming that Jesus in the only Savior and Lord will not be popular in our pluralistic society, but it is an important part of revealing God’s kingdom.

There is more to the sons and daughters of God being revealed, however, than just declaring whose we are and who He is. When I asked the Lord about this, He spoke to me Habakkuk 2:14,
“The earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord just as the waters cover the sea.” As He spoke, I saw the flooded areas in Rockford in the Labor Day flood, I saw the water-covered areas of New Orleans after Katrina, and I saw the flooded areas of Japan after the tsunami. Suddenly, the waters that covered those areas glowed like molten gold and began to shine forth with God’s glory.

When Jesus returns at the end of the age, the glory of God will cover the entire earth. But the Lord wants His glory to be seen by mankind today, and it will be as the sons of God shine forth with His glory by their good works.
“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:16).

In these last days, the Lord is preparing a Bride who will not only declare His name, but also demonstrate His glory by doing the good works … works He prepared for us to do before the world began. Ephesians 2:10 says,
“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” God has not created us for good works; He has created good works for us to do. When we walk out these good works, we release His glory across the face of the earth and reveal to all creation that we are the sons and daughters of God. The Lord wants us awakened and ready so when the opportunity comes to do the good works He has prepared for us to do, we are able to do them and reveal His glory upon the earth. When we fulfill these preordained works, these works God prepared for us in advance, we fulfill the destiny God has for us, reveal ourselves to be His children, and cause this world to be flooded with His glory.

Please join me in this prayer:
Thank you, Lord, that You want us to have the hourglasses of our lives synchronized with the clock of Heaven. You desire us to not only have an understanding about the end of the age, but also to be excited about your return. If in any way we have joined others in scoffing about the end of the age, we repent right now and ask that You would forgive us. Increase our longing for the conclusion of all things, and help our hearts to look for You expectantly.

Please forgive us for any complacency or lack of zeal toward You and Your kingdom, and awaken our slumbering hearts. We give You permission to do whatever it takes to fully awaken us to the preciousness of our glorious King and the urgency of the days in which we live. In any way that we are entangled with this world, we ask that You would forgive us of our sins and worldly desires, and remove them.


Protect us from allowing the cares and passions of this world to choke out our zeal for You. Help each of us to know what we need to do to be prepared for the days that lie ahead. We want to be those who are in close relationship with You and yet reach out to those in need. We want to be a prepared people who advance your kingdom and bring You glory on the earth! Amen!

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