All kinds of disasters are becoming serious. Have you realized that the end-time signs in biblical prophecies have appeared and that the great disasters are upon us?
Let us first read several verses and passages of God’s words!
“For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened” (Matthew 24:21–22).
In Matthew 16:18-19 the Lord Jesus said: “And I say also to you, That you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give to you the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatever you shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatever you shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” Whenever I read these two verses, I would think: Why did the Lord Jesus give Peter the keys of the kingdom of heaven? Since the Lord Jesus bestowed upon Peter such great authority, it means that the Lord Jesus approved of Peter’s faith and that Peter was a person after God’s heart. But I couldn’t understand why the Lord commended Peter since he had denied knowing the Lord three times before His crucifixion. I was very perplexed. One day, I opened the Bible, and turned to Matthew 16, trying to find from the context the prerequisite and background for the Lord Jesus’ giving Peter the keys of the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 16:13-19 records: “When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am? And they said, Some say that you are John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets. He said to them, But whom say you that I am? And Simon Peter answered and said, You are the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said to him, Blessed are you, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood has not revealed it to you, but my Father which is in heaven. And I say also to you, That you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give to you the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatever you shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatever you shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” I read these verses repeatedly and pondered them carefully: Did the Lord Jesus approve of Peter because, of His disciples, only Peter recognized He was the Christ? Why did the Lord Jesus say that Peter was blessed and give him the keys of the kingdom of heaven after he answered Him by saying, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God”? But I still could not figure out why the Lord approved of Peter’s faith, and didn’t know how I should pursue to receive the Lord’s approval of my faith. I asked all the preachers I knew these questions, but no one could give me a satisfying answer. I was very disappointed: Why do none of them know the answer? How then can they lead the believers onto the path of being approved by God? I felt that the prospects of my faith in God were bleak, thinking: If only I could see the Lord Jesus and ask Him about that. …
Reading this verse, I thought of a sister’s experience I’d ever heard of. On one occasion, God’s gospel came to her. But she didn’t cherish this opportunity, and still spent her time and energy on making money. On a rainy evening in the winter, her husband urged her to fish. And they had a good catch that day. On the way home, to lighten the boat, her husband intended to swim ashore. Seeing her husband swam away, she hoped she could return home luckily. However, the boat sank, she fell into the water and she couldn’t swim. With strong fear and choking feeling, she cried to God desperately in the struggle, “Almighty God, help me!” After that, a miracle happened—the paddle split from the boat. She surfaced by the buoyancy of paddle … After she was out of danger, she truly experienced that no matter how much money one earns, it is powerless before death. Money cannot save our lives. If one only blindly seeks material enjoyments but doesn’t come before God to worship Him, he may face danger and death at any moment without God’s care and protection.
It is recorded in the Bible that the Ninevites were evil and depraved to such an extent that God hated them and decided to destroy them with the disaster. However, the Ninevites were not destroyed in the end but rather they gained God’s mercy. What exactly did they do so that God turned His profound wrath to abundant mercy? Read the following God’s words to find out.
Every brother and sister who genuinely believes in the Lord thinks they have been saved through their belief in the Lord Jesus, because the Bible records, “For with the heart man believes to righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made to salvation” (Romans 10:10). So, many brothers and sisters in the Lord believe that “saved by faith” means they are saved forever. Then, does this view agree with God’s words and with the truth? Next, let’s fellowship about what exactly the real meaning of being saved is.
We all know, in the Age of Law, before God asked Moses to lead the Israelites out of Egypt, all Israelites were slaves to the Pharaoh of Egypt and suffered great torture, living a life without freedom, to the extent that their painful cries reached Jehovah God’s ears. Jehovah God didn’t have the heart to let them be mistreated by the Pharaoh. Thereupon He called Moses to lead them out of Egypt and to enter Canaan. As for the Israelites, when they were saved by God from the Pharaoh and broke free from the tyranny of the Pharaoh, they were saved. But it cannot be said that they no longer need the salvation of Jehovah God. Hence before they entered Canaan, Jehovah God issued the law through Moses, making them know how to fear Him, how to serve Him and know how to practice righteousness, how to gain His blessings, what the evil deeds were, and what behavior would be cursed by Him, as well as how to get along with others and how to live and so on. God’s work in the Age of Law put the life of the Israelites onto the right path gradually. Their life was not chaotic anymore. Especially with the law, the Israelites knew what sins were and how to offer sacrifices to God to be free of their own sins. As for the Israelites, they were saved again.
God’s salvation is different from man saving each other; it’s not the financial relief given to the poor by the rich, it’s not the saving of the dying and the treating of the wounded performed on patients by doctors, and it’s not the deeds of charitable organizations or philanthropists. God’s salvation is prepared for the sake of saving man’s degenerate souls, and the entirety of His salvation contains the truth, the way and the life. After we attain salvation, there is no longer any more pain, tears or sorrow, nor any more feelings of helplessness in our families, our studies, our work and our lives, and our lives become filled with light and happiness; we live with more purpose and meaning, and we live within the promises and blessings of God.
In one lifetime, God will give us many opportunities to be saved, but if we want to attain God’s salvation, we must first know God’s salvation, or else we will miss our chance to attain it. Some people say, “So what if we miss it? It’s no big deal.” But we should understand that missing our chance to attain God’s salvation is not like missing a good meal, or missing your subway train, and it’s not like missing an opportunity for study or employment. Missing our chance to attain God’s salvation is like being trapped in a burning building and missing your chance to be rescued in time by the fire brigade. Therefore, missing one’s chance to attain God’s salvation is something incredibly regretful and lamentable. Knowing God’s salvation and attaining God’s salvation are so important. And since they are important, from God’s work we will now gradually learn what God’s salvation is.
I If you believe in God’s rule, you must know that all things don’t happen just by chance. God arranges everything. What does God do it for? What is His final aim? It is not to lay you bare, but to perfect and save. How does God perfect and save you? By showing you your corruption, your nature, your essence, your faults. Know these things, and you will cast them off.
Li Mei is a preacher of a household church. In the past over ten years, regardless of whether it was bitterly cold or extremely hot, rain or shine, she consistently worked hard and expended for the Lord without regret. She often studied the Bible and consulted all
sorts of spiritual books deep into the night in order to write a good sermon. But she was puzzled that in recent years, no matter how she had sacrificed and expended, the work of the Holy Spirit was not present, and the brothers and sisters became pessimistic in faith, living in negativity and weakness…. “Why is that?” She wondered.
This evening she planned to write a sermon. Yet when it was late at night, she still didn’t write anything on the paper. Having no choice, she had to kneel and pray to God, “O Lord! Where are You? Now I can’t sense Your presence. I have no idea where I have gone against Your intentions. May You not renounce me. Please don’t hide Your face from me. I’m willing to repent to You….”
The rapid spread of the pandemic and the occurrences of disasters such as earthquakes and floods, have caused many people to lose their families. In the face of the great disasters, we are in pain and helpless and do not know what to do. We can only pray to God more intensely, hoping to get God’s protection. But did you know? If we want to be protected from disasters, apart from praying, we should welcome the Lord as soon as possible, so that we can have the opportunity to be protected by God.
Then, how should we find the footsteps of God to welcome the Lord? In Revelation, it is prophesied, “He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches” (Revelation 2:7).
Almighty God says, “Since we are searching for the footprints of God, it behooves us to search for God’s will, for the words of God, for His utterances—because wherever there are new words spoken by God, the voice of God is there, and wherever there are the footsteps of God, God’s deeds are there. Wherever there is the expression of God, there God appears, and wherever God appears, there the truth, the way, and the life exist. In seeking God’s footprints, you have ignored the words ‘God is the truth, the way, and the life.’ And so, many people, even when they receive the truth, do not believe that they have found God’s footprints, and still less do they acknowledge the appearance of God. What a grave mistake!”