The word laughable can be defined as “so ludicrous as to be amusing.” Last week we looked at one cancer / false gospel that has infiltrated the church called dispensationalism. This devastation has touched many groups who call themselves the church, though many who have been touched by this may have no idea where their beliefs came from as they falsely assume it is from the bible. Many assume that because they heard it at church / online or read it somewhere other than the bible, therefore it must be biblical sound. In this time of the desolate church, we must return to God’s word and test the spirits as every spirit is not of God and many have been deceived even though we were clearly warned this would happen. 

        I used the example last week of the rapture. This is where the church would just disappear off the face of the earth, leaving chaos behind. Yes, this is laughable as it is not biblical especially when you hear it described. They say this event would leave behind piles of clothing, transportation of all types crashing due to their drivers being whisked away. “Cooking pots are left unattended because homes are void of inhabitants. The ensuing chaos rages out of control as many emergency personnel are no longer with us.” At this point I said, “If you are chuckling to yourself as you read this about the rapture, you get it.” If you are waiting for this imminent return called the rapture, that blessed hope; look at scripture again. If you are still unsure make sure you don’t get deceived by false teaching about the rapture. 

        This is the type of laughter I am talking about today, as it is so ludicrous, it is amusing. It is not just dispensationalism but there are many other deceptions and delusions that the church has adopted as truth that are also laughable as satan does love to use the absurd. Even though absurd, satan will always use scripture albeit distorted to deceive just as we saw when he tried to tempt Jesus. In some cases, satan does not use power at all but deceives many in the church to think that all power is evil. In other cases, satan uses power as in the charismatic movement which was deceived into thinking that babbling incoherently was the same as what happened at Pentecost. As the craziness of the charismatic movement progressed, you had people falling on the ground backwards thinking this was the power of God coming upon you or barking like a dog, laughing uncontrollably, staggering like a drunk or gold dust and angel feathers falling, and this was called a revival. This was not God, but this was laughable. This absurdity was not God because when the spirits were tested according to scripture, it failed. For example, people bowed on their faces before God not on their backs like a submissive animal does. Nehemiah 8:6 “Ezra praised the Lord, the great God; and all the people lifted their hands and responded, “Amen! Amen!” Then they bowed down and worshiped the Lord with their faces to the ground.” Babbling, rolling on the ground etc. did not follow demons being cast out. When Jesus cast out the legion of demons from the man into the pigs, we are told Mark 5:15 “When they came to Jesus, they saw the man who had been possessed by the legion of demons, sitting there, dressed and in his right mind; and they were afraid.”

        You also had the church growth movement that thought they could build the church with their own hands and still do. That is also laughable when you really think about it. If the church could just be like the business world or entertain like Hollywood, then God would bless them and yes for many this was successful but not in the eyes of God. This really took off in the church even though it was rarely reproducible, though many tried. Instead of following wholeheartedly after Jesus, the church laid down the bible to follow after man. Yes, I am dating myself, but everyone wanted to be like Rick Warren or Bill Hybels or whoever the next guru is. Even though this did look like it would work, in the end it was just men and women building what their hands could make yet completely void of the power to defeat our enemies. The number of churches that have tried to emulate just these two men is astounding. The church tried to be relevant to the world but in doing so they became irrelevant to God as the bible was set aside for the ways of man. There are many men and women around the world that have influenced others. Sadly, many who have followed their footsteps are also teaching the same false doctrines.

        The pandemic has produced some laughable moments as has this recent protest in Ottawa has shown. You see it when people describe why they are protesting or why they are opposed to the Covid mandates. All sense of cohesion of thought goes out the window. Suddenly, any government who tries to slow the spread of Covid is compared to Hitler’s Nazi Germany and the current leader is described as a dictator. The ironic part is Trump tried to be a dictator and many of his followers loved the idea and still do. This has even become laughable as just recently “Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene is cooking up controversy again in Washington with a familiar recipe: references to Nazi Germany. This time, though, the Georgia Republican mixed her metaphors and confused the Nazi police for cold soup. When Greene compared the situation to Nazi secret police, the Gestapo, she chose an entirely different word. “We have Nancy Pelosi’s gazpacho police spying on members of Congress, spying on the legislative work that we do, spying on our staff and spying on American citizens that want to come talk to their representatives,” Another article said, “Many protestors have taken to social media and public demonstrations to compare COVID-19 restrictions to those imposed onto Jews in Nazi Germany.” Even “Elon Musk compared Prime Minister Justin Trudeau with Adolf Hitler in a tweet that appeared to support truckers protesting vaccine mandates.” Even in Ottawa, these references were made as there were some making these comparisons.  One person said about the Canadian government “he believes there are shadow powers behind Trudeau and other world governments. He says pandemic restrictions are just the beginning of a creeping tyranny that will tighten its grip.” Sadly, many so called christians have fallen for this thinking.

        The pandemic has really brought out those who seem to be opposed to truth. For the last two years especially in the States, many churches seem to have lost their minds. I mentioned before that one of the most laughable moments I have seen was Kenneth Copeland shouting at Covid way back at the beginning of this pandemic and saying it was finished. He said “As people of God, we have dominion and authority over COVID-19, because Jesus has redeemed us from every curse, which includes sickness, disease and every plague. 'It is finished! It is over! And the United States of America is healed and well again,' saith the mighty Spirit called Peace, who is also the Prince of War, the Lord Jesus Christ.” The United States is approaching 1 million deaths since Copeland declared it over. You can see why I thought that was laughable. You also have ministers rebelling against the government and refusing to obey health orders. The church was only told not to gather; they were not told to stop professing the name of Jesus. The church could have preached all day long and every day of the week; they just had to follow some rules like the building code and other rules liking charitable tax receipts they already follow yet they said you can’t tell us what to do but I would still like my tax refund please. The pandemic became very political and very partisan even more than before. In the States, churches made it sound like the Republicans were of God and the democrats were of satan. Churches even support a man like Trump. Listening to politicians argue and yell at each other in the States and now here in Canada is unfortunately laughable. The comedians are having a heyday.

        The pandemic has been going on a long time and people are tired of it, but it is not over even if you want it to be. Health experts have tried to direct governments to do the right thing but at this point people are fed up and want everything to be over and many politicians want to keep people happy. That is understandable but the government can’t stop Covid, nor is it controlling Covid, but many think otherwise. Even health experts really have no idea what is coming next. It is hard to believe but there are still those who do not believe Covid is real. There has always been the lunatic fringe that believe every conspiracy theory out there and there are many more than there were just a few years ago. You also have others who believe some of these conspiracy theories and surprisingly this includes some of whom you would classify as having some common sense, yet they have succumbed to these theories. You have those saying they will not get vaccinated or basically follow any orders and that has caused division. Surprisingly I even heard an anti-vaxxer say yesterday that our Canadian election was basically rigged just like they are saying in the States. You don’t have to listen long to see that most of these people believe some form of conspiracy or another and common sense along with truth is thrown out the window. When some are interviewed it must be hard to keep a straight face when they tell them why they are protesting. 

        When speaking about laughable, Christianity has been dragged into this protest although this isn’t Christianity, it just appears that way. One of the main opponents of the government’s actions is a Church of God (not a church) minister from Aylmer named Henry Hildebrandt and he makes the news regularly. He is a vehement supporter of this occupation and he even preached there. He said recently, “Please pray for the situation in Ottawa. Pray for the police, pray for peace, and pray for this evil system to collapse.” I am not sure if he realizes that the government isn’t the church. You will see religious signs, people praying and handing out pamphlets and talking about God and the evilness of the government. One article talked about faith that fuels resistance. One trucker said, “Faith led him to Ottawa, and faith is what keeps him there.” He also said, “God keeps telling me to, 'Stay where you are. Don't go anywhere. You are doing the right thing,'" Dyck said.” Another held up a sign that says Ephesians 6:12 “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” This article also said, “It's unclear how many of the roughly 4,000 people who gathered in the Parliament precinct this past weekend call themselves Christians, but the biblical references were everywhere.” One woman even started a Jericho March and waiting for the walls of evil to come down. 

        If you listen carefully, you will start hearing about the one world order and the power of governments which leads to the anti-christ. One writer said, “For years, the term New World Order has been used to define a hypothesis arguing that the world will one day be ruled by totalitarian order, in which a power elite will abolish sovereign nation states and rule the world as one.” There are many conspiracies associates with this. Dyck also was quoted in the article above saying, “he believes there are shadow powers behind Trudeau and other world governments.” He says “pandemic restrictions are just the beginning of a creeping tyranny that will tighten its grip. We live in the Book of Revelation, 100 per cent," said Dyck, referring to the last book of the Bible, which is widely interpreted in evangelical circles as prophesying the end times. "If you look at what's happening, how the government is working. It is step-by-step all in the Book of Revelation. It's clear as day. “With pressure mounting on Ottawa police to end the protest and politicians of all stripes condemning the disruptions, Dyck says he knows he's put all his material possessions on the line for this cause — his career, his rig, his mortgage.” If he held on, he is about to lose it all, but for what? When you listen to these people who say they are Christians, it does come across as laughable, but this is not a laughing matter. These people believe this with all their heart, but they have been deceived and they do not even know it. It really isn’t the book of revelation Dyck was referring to but all the books and ideology around Revelation. These are other gospels that they have fallen to.

        When you listen carefully, you will hear lots about the government and the end-times. When Trump ran for President, there were lots of conspiracy theories floating around. It was even thought that “President Trump is facing down a shadowy cabal of Democrats.” Oddly Trump was supposed to be the savior but couldn’t get re-elected to a second term. You get into QAnon craziness here, but I will leave it at that. In my lifetime I always heard talk of the one world order just like the movie Thief in the Night. You would not be able to buy or sell unless you were marked. You always had people guessing what leader would be the antichrist but that kept changing. There were people like Jack Van Impe who were constantly predicting. “Van Impe read the latest headlines and explained how they connected to prophecy about the Antichrist, one-world government, and the rapture of true believers that might happen at any moment.” Sadly, he will find out now that it is too late that he should have listened to the bible he memorized. This is a case where he knew scripture but didn’t know it. He set the bible aside to follow dispensational teachings. During my life while there were lots who believed in the rapture, tribulation and millennial kingdom, there was little talk about what the bible really said about the end times and nothing about why all this craziness, which is laughable, was wrong and why they were doctrines of demons so prevalent in the church. We are also missing the teaching of the Holy Spirit. John 16:13 “But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.” The talk about government and end times is why so many Christians get sucked into protests like Ottawa and react to pandemic measures. These false teachings about the end times is also why so many so-called christians are so concerned about the government. 

        Yes the government is not always for the church but truthfully the church has done more damage to itself than the government has done. Because the church has been deceived by so many deceptions and the delusion brought on by God for disobedience, the church is in desolation and has been for generations. Since the reformation, false teaching has flourished. Even though I only mentioned a few things that were laughable, it is more important to understand why this is no laughing matter. satan has so deceived the church into believing all these other gospels are true. He also has been able to get people to look to the future, and ignore the past. The tribulation is already happening because the spirits were not tested and if you do not stand firm, you will not see eternal life. Matthew 24:12 “Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, 13 but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come. 15 “So when you see standing in the holy place ‘the abomination that causes desolation,’ spoken of through the prophet Daniel—let the reader understand— 16 then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. Revelation 7:14 “These are they who have come out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.” The church is already desolate, just look at it. satan has deceived the church already and continues to do so. 2 Corinthians 11:13 “For such people are false apostles, deceitful workers, masquerading as apostles of Christ. 14 And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. 15 It is not surprising, then, if his servants also masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve.”

             This is why it is so important to test the spirits. 1 John 4:1 “Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.” Many in the church are so concerned about the future they miss the present desolation the church is in and do not repent. By following all these false gospels, they have already received the mark of the beast instead of being marked by the Holy Spirit. Many falsely believe vaccine mandates are part of this marking. Revelation 13:16 “It also forced all people, great and small, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hands or on their foreheads, 17 so that they could not buy or sell unless they had the mark, which is the name of the beast or the number of its name.” The tribulation is already happening as God has allowed satan to set up his throne in the temple. 2 Thessalonians 2:4 “He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God. At this point our only hope is the promise that these days would be cut short. Matthew 24:22 “If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened. 23 At that time if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Messiah!’ or, ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. 24 For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. 25 See, I have told you ahead of time.” Yes, you can fall from your secure position even though you may have been told you couldn’t. 2 Peter 3:17 “Therefore, dear friends, since you have been forewarned, be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of the lawless and fall from your secure position.”

        If you are focused on the wrong thing or the wrong event in the future, you will be deceived. Since many in the church have turned away from the truth to follow other gospels, they have already been marked but not by the Holy Spirit as they think they have. While people continue to wait to be raptured away from the tribulation so that the millennial kingdom will begin, millions of Christians have been deceived and will not see eternal life. 1 John 2:18 “Dear children, this is the last hour; and as you have heard that the antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come. This is how we know it is the last hour. 19 They went out from us, but they did not really belong to us. For if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us; but their going showed that none of them belonged to us. 20 But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and all of you know the truth. 21 I do not write to you because you do not know the truth, but because you do know it and because no lie comes from the truth. 22 Who is the liar? It is whoever denies that Jesus is the Christ. Such a person is the antichrist—denying the Father and the Son. 23 No one who denies the Son has the Father; whoever acknowledges the Son has the Father also. 24 As for you, see that what you have heard from the beginning remains in you. If it does, you also will remain in the Son and in the Father. 25 And this is what he promised us—eternal life.” If you deny God’s word, you are denying Christ. You deny God’s word by distorting it, adding to it and subtracting from it which are other gospels. Every church does this in one way or another. 

        The church has been blinded to the fact that the kingdom of God is available to all who believe, but it must be the true gospel. The Ephesians 1:11 “In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, 12 in order that we, who were the first to put our hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory. 13 And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.” The church should be more concerned about being marked by the Holy Spirit than satan. On a side note, Jesus came to save the whole world and as John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.” I am always curious about the ones teaching predestination. They just assume they have been chosen and others have not? That is also laughable.

        The problem is the church stopped listening to God’s word and sinned against Him by doing so. Jeremiah warned the people to listen to God’s word and the people said we will listen. Then they didn’t. Jeremiah 42:5 “Then they said to Jeremiah, “May the Lord be a true and faithful witness against us if we do not act in accordance with everything the Lord your God sends you to tell us. 6 Whether it is favorable or unfavorable, we will obey the Lord our God, to whom we are sending you, so that it will go well with us, for we will obey the Lord our God. “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, to whom you sent me to present your petition, says: 10 ‘If you stay in this land, I will build you up and not tear you down; I will plant you and not uproot you, for I have relented concerning the disaster I have inflicted on you. 11 Do not be afraid of the king of Babylon, whom you now fear. Do not be afraid of him, declares the Lord, for I am with you and will save you and deliver you from his hands. 12 I will show you compassion so that he will have compassion on you and restore you to your land.’ 13 “However, if you say, ‘We will not stay in this land,’ and so disobey the Lord your God, 14 and if you say, ‘No, we will go and live in Egypt, where we will not see war or hear the trumpet or be hungry for bread,’ 15 then hear the word of the Lord, you remnant of Judah. This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: ‘If you are determined to go to Egypt and you do go to settle there, 16 then the sword you fear will overtake you there, and the famine you dread will follow you into Egypt, and there you will die. 19 “Remnant of Judah, the Lord has told you, ‘Do not go to Egypt.’ Be sure of this: I warn you today 20 that you made a fatal mistake when you sent me to the Lord your God and said, ‘Pray to the Lord our God for us; tell us everything he says and we will do it.’ 21 I have told you today, but you still have not obeyed the Lord your God in all he sent me to tell you. 22 So now, be sure of this: You will die by the sword, famine and plague in the place where you want to go to settle.” Jeremiah then told them God’s answer and they said “You are lying! The Lord our God has not sent you to say, ‘You must not go to Egypt to settle there.’ 3 But Baruch son of Neriah is inciting you against us to hand us over to the Babylonians, so they may kill us or carry us into exile to Babylon.” They were destroyed in Egypt. Jeremiah 42:7 “So they entered Egypt in disobedience to the Lord and went as far as Tahpanhes.” Jeremiah 44:14 “None of the remnant of Judah who have gone to live in Egypt will escape or survive to return to the land of Judah, to which they long to return and live; none will return except a few fugitives.” 23 Because you have burned incense and have sinned against the Lord and have not obeyed him or followed his law or his decrees or his stipulations, this disaster has come upon you, as you now see.” Jeremiah told king Zedekiah Jeremiah 38:17 “Then Jeremiah said to Zedekiah, “This is what the Lord God Almighty, the God of Israel, says: ‘If you surrender to the officers of the king of Babylon, your life will be spared and this city will not be burned down; you and your family will live. 18 But if you will not surrender to the officers of the king of Babylon, this city will be given into the hands of the Babylonians and they will burn it down; you yourself will not escape from them.’” “Obey the Lord by doing what I tell you. Then it will go well with you, and your life will be spared. 21 But if you refuse to surrender, this is what the Lord has revealed to me: 23 “All your wives and children will be brought out to the Babylonians. You yourself will not escape from their hands but will be captured by the king of Babylon; and this city will be burned down.” Zedekiah then refused to listen and instead of surrendering tried to escape and was caught. His sons were killed and he was blinded and led off to Babylon 39:8 The Babylonians set fire to the royal palace and the houses of the people and broke down the walls of Jerusalem.” Even Jeremiah was on his way to Babylon but was freed. Jeremiah 40:2 “When the commander of the guard found Jeremiah, he said to him, “The Lord your God decreed this disaster for this place. 3 And now the Lord has brought it about; he has done just as he said he would. All this happened because you people sinned against the Lord and did not obey him.” This is why the Old Testament is so important to understand and learn from yet the church has not listened and has followed in their steps.

        We have God’s word but the church like the remnant of Judah who went to Egypt has not listened to the word of God. Instead, the church has listened to satan and has been deceived into believing other gospels. This is no laughing matter. Due to unbelief, God has brought delusion upon the church and so today we end up with the chaos we call the church. No, there isn’t going to be a rapture as described by the dispensationalists and no the charismatics have not tapped into the power of God and no the Catholics are not the one true church and no you are not eternally secure by following the teaching of man. That security only comes from the truth not following after man’s version of the truth. 2 Peter 3:17 “Therefore, dear friends, since you have been forewarned, be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of the lawless and fall from your secure position.” When you come to understand that the church has done just as Israel did when they sinned against God (2 Kings 17:7-20) and just like the remnant of Judah did when they disobeyed and went down to Egypt, you will realize the desolation of the church which is no laughing matter. So even though many believe in the isms (Catholicism, Pentecostalism, Calvinism, Armenianism etc.) of the church and the rapture and various views on the tribulation and Jesus coming back to reign on the earth or even the one world order, all of this is laughable but no laughing matter because it means most Christians think they are going to heaven but are not. They think they will hear well done good and faithful servant - Matthew 25:21 “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’ but will only hear Luke 13:27 “I don’t know you or where you come from. Away from me, all you evildoers!” It doesn’t matter how great you feel after worshipping or listening to someone preach; if you have been deceived you will not see eternal life. 

        Jeremiah lamented when he said Lamentations 2:11 “My eyes fail from weeping, I am in torment within; my heart is poured out on the ground because my people are destroyed, because children and infants faint in the streets of the city. 14 The visions of your prophets were false and worthless; they did not expose your sin to ward off your captivity. The prophecies they gave you were false and misleading.” It’s not the government you should be worrying about but the church itself and the control satan has over it. Daniel 8:11 “It set itself up to be as great as the commander of the army of the Lord; it took away the daily sacrifice from the Lord, and his sanctuary was thrown down. 12 Because of rebellion, the Lord’s people and the daily sacrifice were given over to it. It prospered in everything it did, and truth was thrown to the ground.” Jeremiah 5:30 “A horrible and shocking thing has happened in the land: 31 The prophets prophesy lies, the priests rule by their own authority, and my people love it this way. But what will you do in the end?”  Jeremiah continued to lament and said Lamentations 5:15 “Joy is gone from our hearts; our dancing has turned to mourning. 16 The crown has fallen from our head. Woe to us, for we have sinned! 17 Because of this our hearts are faint, because of these things our eyes grow dim 18 for Mount Zion, which lies desolate, with jackals prowling over it.” Not only was Israel and Judah desolate, the church has followed in their footsteps with the same results. 

        Even though the church sits desolate because the rebellion of God’s people, the abomination of desolation is upon is and we have seen the devastating results of satan’s power over the church, there is hope. Daniel 7:21 “As I watched, this horn was waging war against the holy people and defeating them, 22 until the Ancient of Days came and pronounced judgment in favor of the holy people of the Most High, and the time came when they possessed the kingdom. 25 He will speak against the Most High and oppress his holy people and try to change the set times and the laws. The holy people will be delivered into his hands for a time, times and half a time.” All you have to do is look at what we call the church, and you will see it looks nothing like the church Jesus started. He showed us what to do and then empowered us to do as He did. Not only did he give power and authority to His disciples, He would also give it to those who followed. Matthew 10:1 “Jesus called his twelve disciples to him and gave them authority to drive out impure spirits and to heal every disease and sickness. 7 As you go, proclaim this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.’ 8 Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons,” He also empower the whole church to do the same. Luke 24:48 “You are witnesses of these things. 49 I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.” Acts 1:8 “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Acts 2:1 “When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. 2 Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. 4 All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues[a] as the Spirit enabled them.” Acts 8:4 “Those who had been scattered preached the word wherever they went. 5 Philip went down to a city in Samaria and proclaimed the Messiah there. 6 When the crowds heard Philip and saw the signs he performed, they all paid close attention to what he said. 7 For with shrieks, impure spirits came out of many, and many who were paralyzed or lame were healed. 8 So there was great joy in that city.” Men rebel against this because it does not line up with their own teaching, doctrines and theology. Instead of turning form their own ways, they reject the word of God.

        Instead, the church decided to rebel and go their own way which was empty and powerless. This rebellion led to satan setting up his thrown in the church but remember the church is not the building but the people. This rebellion led to destruction and captivity as the abomination was set up. We were warned but satan cleverly deceived most of the church into believing there is no power, the kingdom of God is coming in the future and most absurdly the church meaning God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit and all the disciples would be whisked away only to return again when Jesus would meet the criteria the Jews has given the Messiah to meet in the first place. If Jesus would have just listened and admitted He was not the Messiah, there wouldn’t be all this confusion. We were warned about the abomination that causes desolation and the church falling but the church decided not to listen at least to God. Instead, they listened to the wrong voice and became content to live in sin as the church continues to reject God. 

        The good news is these days are coming to an end as God will keep His promise to Abraham and David and there will always be a remnant but as we saw above when the remnant of Judah disobeyed, they were destroyed. We must follow God’s word wholeheartedly and reject the wicked ways that we have been taught. Daniel 7:26 “‘But the court will sit, and his power will be taken away and completely destroyed forever. 27 Then the sovereignty, power and greatness of all the kingdoms under heaven will be handed over to the holy people of the Most High. His kingdom will be an everlasting kingdom, and all rulers will worship and obey him.” There will be joy once again and mourning will be turned to dancing just as we saw with the remnant in captivity. There will be joy again just like we saw in Acts with Philip and the power of God that flowed. Esther 9:1 “On the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, the month of Adar, the edict commanded by the king was to be carried out. On this day the enemies of the Jews had hoped to overpower them, but now the tables were turned and the Jews got the upper hand over those who hated them. 20 Mordecai recorded these events, and he sent letters to all the Jews throughout the provinces of King Xerxes, near and far, 21 to have them celebrate annually the fourteenth and fifteenth days of the month of Adar 22 as the time when the Jews got relief from their enemies, and as the month when their sorrow was turned into joy and their mourning into a day of celebration.” There is hope as Jeremiah also said and pleaded Lamentations 5:19 “You, Lord, reign forever; your throne endures from generation to generation. 20 Why do you always forget us? Why do you forsake us so long? 21 Restore us to yourself, Lord, that we may return; renew our days as of old 22 unless you have utterly rejected us and are angry with us beyond measure.” Habakkuk said Habakkuk 3:2 “Lord, I have heard of your fame; I stand in awe of your deeds, Lord. Repeat them in our day, in our time make them known; in wrath remember mercy. I will wait patiently for the day of calamity to come on the nation invading us. 17 Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines,though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen    and no cattle in the stalls, 18 yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior.” Jeremiah had also prophesied Jeremiah 29:10 “This is what the Lord says: “When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill my good promise to bring you back to this place. 11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back from captivity I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile.” This is what Daniel prayed when he said Daniel 9:1 “In the first year of Darius son of Xerxes (a Mede by descent), who was made ruler over the Babylonian kingdom— 2 in the first year of his reign, I, Daniel, understood from the Scriptures, according to the word of the Lord given to Jeremiah the prophet, that the desolation of Jerusalem would last seventy years. 3 So I turned to the Lord God and pleaded with him in prayer and petition, in fasting, and in sackcloth and ashes.” So even though the church has been decimated there is hope and once again the church will rise up and make ready a people for the Lord.

        We were supposed to make ready a people for the Lord’s return. Just as John went before the Lord and prepared the way, the church was supposed to prepare the way for His coming. Luke 1:16 “He will bring back many of the people of Israel to the Lord their God. 17 And he will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the parents to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous—to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.” I want to include what Peter said about this day. 2 Peter 3:1 “Dear friends, this is now my second letter to you. I have written both of them as reminders to stimulate you to wholesome thinking. 2 I want you to recall the words spoken in the past by the holy prophets and the command given by our Lord and Savior through your apostles. 3 Above all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. 4 They will say, “Where is this ‘coming’ he promised? Ever since our ancestors died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.” 5 But they deliberately forget that long ago by God’s word the heavens came into being and the earth was formed out of water and by water. 6 By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed. 7 By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly. 8 But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. 9 The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.  10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare. 11 Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives 12 as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat. 13 But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells. 14 So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him. 15 Bear in mind that our Lord’s patience means salvation, just as our dear brother Paul also wrote you with the wisdom that God gave him. 16 He writes the same way in all his letters, speaking in them of these matters. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction. 17 Therefore, dear friends, since you have been forewarned, be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of the lawless and fall from your secure position. 18 But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen.”

        There is only one return of Jesus and that will be the beginning of eternity and eternal life with God. We have been given a choice as to where we want to spend our eternity. Deuteronomy 30:19 “This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live 20 and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the Lord is your life, and he will give you many years in the land he swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.” There are only two place to end up in eternity. Matthew 25:46 “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.” To be righteous you must follow God’s word wholeheartedly. Eternal punishment happens when you do not. There is only one kingdom. Jesus said repent and the kingdom would come near. The kingdom still will come near if we turn from our wicked ways. When the kingdom comes near, the church will once again do as Jesus did in the power and authority He gives us.Matthew 28:19 “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Mark says it this way. Mark 16:5 “He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. 16 Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. 17 And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; 18 they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well. 19 After the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, he was taken up into heaven and he sat at the right hand of God. 20 Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it.”

        While people are waiting for all these man-made ideas and doctrines of demons to occur, they fail to repent and turn back to God. satan’s agenda is to get you to turn away from God and take you with him to hell. Even though many have fallen for the subtle lies and the absurdity of satan, if you are alive, it is not too late to repent and turn from your wicked ways. Ezekiel 18:30 “Therefore, you Israelites, I will judge each of you according to your own ways, declares the Sovereign Lord. Repent! Turn away from all your offenses; then sin will not be your downfall. 31 Rid yourselves of all the offenses you have committed, and get a new heart and a new spirit. Why will you die, people of Israel? 32 For I take no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Sovereign Lord. Repent and live!” We must take our return to God’s word seriously as this is no laughing matter. They laughed at Jesus even when He raised Jairus’s daughter from the dead, (Matthew 9:24 “The girl is not dead but asleep.” But they laughed at him. 25 After the crowd had been put outside, he went in and took the girl by the hand, and she got up. 26 News of this spread through all that region.”) They even mocked Him as many in the church still do today. You mock God’s word when you do not obey to follow your own way. Many will not repent but when that final day comes, every knee will bow. Can you imagine eternity spent in hell knowing you had refused to listen to God’s word? 1 John 4:1 “Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.” Don’t be afraid to test as your eternal life depends on it.