Thursday, July 03, 2008



On this day of celebration of our freedom in this great country, there is a greater freedom to celebrate! In fact, the freedom I am speaking of has to do with personal freedom. It's the freedom that if you have it, then you could live under political domination and still be free. Or, if you don't have it, you could live in the freest of countries and still be enslaved. There is only one kingdom on planet earth where you can celebrate true freedom inside out and that is in the kingdom of God, where Jesus is King. Where the King is, there is the kingdom. And where Jesus is, there is FREEDOM.

I grew up enslaved as a kid by people who didn't understand this freedom. You see, you can know lots about Jesus and still not experience His freedom. The letter to the fellowship of believers in Galatia deals with this issue as its primary theme. In Galatians 5 the writer says, "It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery. Behold I, Paul, say to you that if you receive circumcision, Christ will be of no benefit to you. For we through the Spirit, by faith, are waiting for the hope of righteousness. 6For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything, but faith working through love."

The letter to the fellowship of believers in Rome is the basic source for the Galatian letter and in chapter 8 Paul says, "Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death." You can't get much clearer than NO CONDEMNATION FOR THOSE IN JESUS.

Jesus said to those who believed Him, "If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free."

Now the way I figure it, those of us who are doing the best we can to walk with Jesus, walk with others and wait on Jesus to lead out are walking as disciples of Jesus and continuing in His word, therefore we ought to know His freedom in our lives and celebrate it!

In the Acts of Jesus (13:38-39) this freedom is summed with, "Therefore let it be known to you, brethren, that through Him forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you, and through Him everyone who believes is freed from all things, from which you could not be freed through the Law of Moses."

The best invitation to freedom is from Jesus Himself when He says, "Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest." All who are weary and burdened down with all of the religious systems of performance out there that produce every level of guilt imaginable. You are the ones Jesus is calling to COME TO HIM. Then note He is calling you and me into REST. That rest is the freedom of not having to pay attention to the religiosities of our world and world systems and of our church and cultural systems that weigh us down. JESUS IS CALLING US TO BE HIS DISCIPLES AND THAT CALL IS AN INVITATION TO REST. AND THAT REST IS AN INVITATION TO FREEDOM.


Matthew 24:15-31


Question #3-What is the sign of your coming? 15 ``Therefore when you see the ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION which was spoken of through Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand), 16 then those who are in Judea must flee to the mountains. 17 ``Whoever is on the housetop must not go down to get the things out that are in his house. 18 ``Whoever is in the field must not turn back, to get his cloak. 19 ``But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! 20 ``But pray that your flight will not be in the winter, or on a Sabbath.

21 ``For then there will be a great tribulation, such as has not occurred since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever, will. 22 ``Unless those days had been cut short, no, life would have been saved; but for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short. 23 ``Then if anyone says to you, `Behold, here is the Christ,' or `There He is,' do not believe him. 24 ``For false Christs and false prophets will arise and will show great signs and wonders, so as to mislead, if possible, even the elect.[The deception by these false messiahs will be so believable that the true believers may be misled.]

25 ``Behold, I have told you in advance. 26 ``So if they say to you, `Behold, He is in the wilderness,' do not go out, or, `Behold, He is in the inner rooms,' do not believe them.

27 ``For just as the lightning comes from the east and flashes even to the west, so will the coming of the Son of Man be. [The sign will be like a lightning flash from the east to the west.] 28 ``Wherever the corpse is, there the vultures will gather.

29 ``But immediately after the tribulation of those days THE SUN WILL BE DARKENED, AND THE MOON WILL NOT GIVE ITS LIGHT, AND THE STARS WILL FALL from the sky, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken.

THEN, 30 ``And then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the SON OF MAN COMING ON THE CLOUDS OF THE SKY with power and great glory. 31 ``And He will send forth His angels with A GREAT TRUMPET and THEY WILL GATHER TOGETHER His elect from the four winds, from one end of the sky to the other.

The point here is that Jesus will not come in a secretive, humble manner as when He first came, so that His coming might occur unnoticed. But He will come in a dramatic way following a great world-wide tribulation, claims of false messiahs and major changes in the heavens (sun, moon and stars). When Jesus comes back, no one will be able to miss it! The question again is: "Are you ready?"