estiny Bulletin   

This Day in Which We Live

What characterizes our time, and what shall we keep in mind for these days? Well, first of all, as opposed to the Old Testament, this is not the day of the keeping of the Law. The Bible says:

“Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree” (Galatians 3:13).

This is not the Day of the Law, but this is the Day of Grace. Maybe the most important thing to remember about the teaching of the Bible, and how our personal lives should produce a result from that teaching, is to remember that this Day of Grace is a very special time.

You see, back in the Old Testament, God invited the Jews to follow Him and be a part of His kingdom many times. This they refused to do, and as we have learned, Jesus finally pronounced a curse upon the nation, saying:

“Behold, your house is left unto you desolate” (Matthew 23:38).

So, God temporarily has set aside His program with the nation of Israel. He will pick it up again, but meanwhile, He has instituted this period of time that we call the Day of Grace, the day in which:

“God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through him might be saved” (John 3:17).

So one of the most important truths of Scripture, that we should not forget for this time, is the statement:

“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9).

“For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all” (Romans 11:32).

It is divine mercy that saves us, not our own good works and our attempts to please God. I implore you to remember that, because if you don’t, you cannot understand Christianity. You cannot be saved and live a victorious life, if you think that your own works are, in whole or in part, the basis of your salvation. This is the Day of Grace. Please bear that in mind.

The Church Which Is His Body

It’s also the Day of the Church, which is His body. In Ephesians Chapter 1, the Apostle Paul prays for Christians:

“that you may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, And what is the exceeding greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, Which is his body, the fullness of him that filleth all in all” (Ephesians 1:18-23).

Think of it: the body of Jesus Christ, in a mystical but real sense, is the Church. So the big relationship that you have when you become a Christian is, not that you become a member of a given denomination or a given building that has a given name on the front, but a member of “the church, Which is his body, the fullness of him that filleth all in all.”

We will find, as we think of the future, some great things that God has promised the Church. But for now, remember that this is the Day of the Church, the Body of Christ. Get used to thinking about that: being a member of the Body of Christ is a great relationship. You’ll never be lonely, and you’ll never feel desolate again, because you’re “accepted in the beloved” (Ephesians 1:6), or “in the beloved one.” It’s really tremendous. Having been saved by grace, you become a saint of God, a member of the Body of Christ. It is a beautiful result of believing the Gospel.

The Provision of the Holy Spirit

So in this dispensation, we have the marvelous reality of the Day of Grace, we are a part of the Church which is His body. As such, we are the object of the great provision for life and reality, which is the filling of the Holy Spirit of God. The Apostle Paul said an interesting thing in Galatians Chapter 3:

“O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you? This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?” (Galatians 3:1-3).

Receiving the Holy Spirit is the instant result of salvation. Salvation is called “receiving the Holy Spirit,” and Paul uses this as an argument for grace. Did it cost you to receive the Spirit? Did you get this marvelous relationship, the indwelling Holy Spirit, from God because of something you did? Or is it salvation? It is salvation, the Apostle Paul says, and having begun in the Spirit, which you received by grace, are you now made perfect by works, by which you can do? No.

“Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh” (Galatians 5:16).

Again and again we are told, that the presence and power of the Holy Spirit in the life of the believer is a wonderful gift for every Christian. And as we walk in fellowship with God, we are led of the Spirit. That is one of the definitions of being a son of God.

So we can call this the Age of the Holy Spirit, working severally as He will in the lives of believers. And remember something: the Holy Spirit manifests Himself in diversity, never in uniformity.

“Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit” (1 Corinthians 12:4).

Rich capability lives in the life of every Christian, because he is given a gift, a talent, a capability, from God. It’s part of the signs of the times, the Age of the Church, in today’s world.

Let’s think of other specific things that the word of prophecy has promised us will be the case at this particular time in history. “The signs of the times” is a very appropriate way to describe it, therefore. Jesus spoke to the Pharisees and said:

“O ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky; but can ye not discern the signs of the times?” (Matthew 16:3).

Let us not fall into that same category, but let us rather ask the question, “Are there events going in today’s world, that indicate this prophetic age in which we live, and should they cause us to sit up and take notice about the future?”

From the writings of Dave Breese

by Ed Hindson

While the Bible doesn’t list specific events that will take place on specific dates in 2011, it does reveal trends that are happening to society and shows where those trends will ultimately lead.

Based on the prophecies of the Bible, here are ten developments I believe we can anticipate during the coming year.

1. The globalization of the world will continue.
In the End-Times, there will be a worldwide economic system headed by the Antichrist (Revelation 13:16-18). In order for that to happen, there has to be a global system.

2. Look for the European Union to continue to strengthen.
The European Union will become the major player in world politics. It is, in essence, a revival of the old Roman Empire (Daniel 2:40-43; 9:26-27).

3. Look for Russia to continue to court Iran and to dabble in the Middle East.
Russia borders Iran. They’re very concerned about what’s going to happen to Iran in the future (Ezekiel 38:1-6).

4. Look at Korea as the hotspot in the Far East.
As the North continues to threaten the South, eventually we are going to see trouble there. The Bible indicates there will be instability in the East that will affect the Middle East in the End-Times (Revelation16:12).

5. The Iranian threat will continue to grow.
Ezekiel’s prediction about the Battle of Gog and Magog implies that Persia (ancient Iran) and their Arab and Islamic neighbors will ultimately invade Israel in the End-Times (Ezekiel 38:1-6).

6. The policies of America in Iraq and Afghanistan will probably fail.
As a result, the threat of international terrorism is not going to go away (Matthew 24:6-8).

7. There will be more peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians.
Unfortunately, they will probably fail, as hostility on the part of Israel’s Islamic neighbors is so deepseated. Again, we are reminded of the invasion predicted in Ezekiel 38-39 in the latter days.

8. Mainline religion will continue to decline.
The Bible makes it clear that at the time of the end, people will walk away from legitimate biblical doctrine (1 Timothy 4:1).

9. Religious mysticism will grow.
As people become dissatisfied with traditional religion, they look for new spiritualities. The Bible tells us in Timothy’s letters that we can ultimately expect people to be deceived in the time of the end.

10. Look for society to become more and more polarized and more lonely than ever before.
People without God do not know what to do in the face of an overwhelming world situation (Luke 21:26).

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