- Rick LoPresti
Be ready for 3 things
In 1Chronicles 12 the men of Israel were departing from king Saul, and joining themselves to David. They were aware that God was no longer with Saul, but was with David. They were aware of what God was doing, and what the prophet Samuel was saying about the future of Israel. Listed are the numbers of the men of war of each tribe, and their abilities and weapons. The men of the tribe of Issachar are not described per se as mighty fighters with great weapons. It says in verse 32, “of the children of Issachar, which were men that had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do”. What they brought to the table was their awareness of what direction God was going, and what was going on in the land.
We should not romanticize the past as some gilded age of Christianity, nor bemoan the present as a hopeless, irreversible slide into darkness. There is no new thing under the sun (Ecclesiastes 1:9). However, we must not be the proverbial ostrich with his head stuck in the sand. There is a growing animosity toward God, the Bible, and Christians. The more you believe the Bible says exactly what it means, the more this is true. Satan has never been afraid of compromisers. When the government of man makes it a hate crime to believe and preach that the Bible clearly declares an abomination an abomination, there is trouble in the land. Christians by and large are not intolerant haters, as it should be; but the haters of righteousness and truth are very intolerant, and are becoming bolder. The church needs to be ready for what the future may hold (Matthew 10:16-42). The American church is not used to dealing with the way things are in other places, but that may not be the case much longer. Are we ready (Acts 21:13)?
The Lord will not leave himself without witness (Acts 14:17). God will pour out His Spirit upon all flesh (Joel 2:28, Acts 2:15-21). People will turn to the truth. The church needs to be ready for a great harvest. The sickle of the harvest of souls comes before the sickle of the harvest of judgment (Rev 14:14-20). Are we ready to receive the harvest (Romans 1:15, 1Pet 3:15)?
The signs of the coming of the Lord are all around us every day (Matthew 24). The world could easily go into major international conflict. Strange diseases are spreading. Weather patterns are changing. Moral decay is widespread. The Lord will come instantaneously to take His people home (Isaiah 26:19-21, 1Corinthians 15:51-52, 1Thessalonians 4:13-17). Are we ready (Matthew 24:44, Matthew 25:10, Luke 1:17, 2Timothy 4:6, Rev 19:7)?