The arrival of the global community introduces the season of Jesus' return. As Jesus gives us these signs of His Second Coming in Matthew 24, He then teaches us how we should live in this season. He begins with the parable of the fig tree in which He emphasizes that His followers should know when they have entered into the time of His return. It is obvious and clear He expects us to be aware the season has begun.
The next parable instructs us that we should be alert and watchful, looking for Him to come again and not be like those who were unaware as in the days of Noah. The third parable teaches us the difference between the wise and faithful servant as opposed to the evil servant in the Master's house.
The fourth parable contrasts the wise virgins and the foolish virgins in who will be welcomed into His wedding feast from those who will be shut out. The last parable inspires us as to how we are to use our God-given resources to prepare the way for our coming deliverer.
In the next articles we examine more closely what these parables mean for us.
Jesus then completes His prophetic teachings with His judgment of the nations. He divides them into the sheep and goat nations. Those who have obeyed His command to minister to the least of these contrast against the nations who have failed to help those in need. This judgment is also tied to whether the nation has blessed or cursed Israel.
All of these prophetic words we will glean in depth as to how we should live in this season of Jesus' return to prepare the way for our King to come. As the old hymn says,
O the King is coming
The King is coming
I just heard the trumpets sounding
And now His face I see
O the King is coming
The King is coming
Praise God, He's coming for me
When I was in Zambia several years ago, we were holding crusades across the northwest part of the nation as well as planting churches. We left Chief Kanyama and his kingdom full of fire and faith as we witnessed numerous miracles and prophecies come forth from heaven. We traveled to our last town called Kabompo, a beautiful village on the magnificent Kabompo River full of crocodiles and hippos.
I was exhausted from several weeks of preaching and ministering with our team. I lost my voice, but every time I went to preach it came back to life. God continued to do miracles and save souls and baptize many in the Holy Spirit.
Since there was no power in the newly constructed but half-finished church, we held our final service in the daylight of the late afternoon. Before the service I was extremely blessed to see one of the elderly ladies sweeping the church.
When we first arrived and were greeted by the people, I remembered that she had been hunched over and in great pain. Yet now she looked like a teenager full of joy and spry as a young woman.
I was amazed at her sparkling countenance, so I asked her what happened? With a broad smile as wide as the Kabompo River, she said Jesus healed me, and she began to dance. What joy filled our service that day!
Many came forward to repent of the double lives they were living to give their full surrender to live for Jesus. Many others were healed and even more baptized in the Holy Spirit.
When it ended, I was so tired I had no more to give. Then the leader stood up and said the presence and power of God had been so evident they needed to hold one more service that evening in the dark.
He looked at me for affirmation. My flesh said no, but the Spirit said yes. We would hold one more service before we would head home.
That night God continued to move to transform lives for Jesus. His light drove away the darkness. By the end of the ministry time we saw so many more miracles of life come forth from the hand of God I knew it was well worth holding another time of worship. Now I could go to our little room to rest for the night.
I was so spent all I wanted to do was sleep. As soon as my head hit the pillow within the mosquito netting I was out.
Before sunrise, I was still asleep, when suddenly someone started ringing the village bell that woke me up. It had not rung all week. Now someone was ringing it, and he would not stop, as though it was his job to awaken the entire village.
I pleaded with God to make him stop, but he kept on ringing and ringing. I cried out, "Please cease ringing the bell," but he went about his task as though his life depended on it.
I just wanted to go back to sleep. Then the Spirit spoke clearly to me that He wanted me to hear this bell and be awakened. For I was just like His church wanting to stay comfortably asleep while His Son prepared to return. He commanded me to ring the bell to awaken His people and to awaken the nations, sharing with them that Jesus was coming.
From that time forward I have shared that message across the globe to hungry men and women who stood on pews and shouted, "I will ring the bell! I will ring the bell! Wake up; Jesus is coming!"
Will you join us to ring the bell, announcing the King is coming?
Author's Note: The Presence of God lives in us. The Word tells us the Holy Spirit comes into our lives the moment we are born again. We also know that the Father and Son abide in us as they have made Their home in us. This life we have in Jesus is a glorious one. We are being changed from one degree of glory to another to be like Jesus. We hunger for less of us and more of God to fill us completely. There are also moments when God's presence fills the atmosphere where we worship as our Lord did when Solomon dedicated the temple or when Isaiah saw Jesus, the Lord of Hosts, in the temple, or when the Holy Spirit was poured out in Cornelius' house in the book of Acts. When God acts in His glory, lives are transformed to live for His purposes and plans to redeem the world.
We have set our hearts on God to come in His glory at our "Hosting His Presence" event on Sept. 9-12. We do not want only an encounter with God but for Him to remain, so it is not just a visitation but a habitation that draws us daily to Himself. This glory moment will inspire us with dreams and visions to go into the world as Jesus sent His apostles and disciples to the nations of the earth. Begin praying now for this Holy Spirit gathering, that Jesus will be exalted, and we will see a nation transformed for Jesus.
Our gathering is free. You can register at eventbrite.com.
Once a professional baseball player with the Chicago Cubs Organization, Blake Lorenz was called to Asbury Seminary after a radical encounter with Jesus, where he received his master's degree. He has pastored in the Orlando area for 33 years and has been blessed with the opportunity to evangelize globally, visiting five continents and preaching the gospel to tens of thousands. Blake has also helped plant 500 churches. He has been working in Israel for the past 20 years, includes serving on the board of the Jerusalem Prayer Breakfast in connection with the Knesset. In 2020, blakelorenzministries.com and the Awaken podcast launched to teach and challenge others to join him on a journey of anticipating the return of Jesus. He has used the three books he's written in his seminars and conferences. He and his wife, Beverly, share three children and six grandchildren.
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