History is valuable for us today especially as we get closer to Jesus second coming. All signs are around us with tsunamis, earthquakes, floods, wars and rumors of wars.
When a fire storm swept Rome in 64 AD, Roman Emperor Nero wanted to find a scapegoat. He accused Christians with starting the fire. Jesus told his followers this would happen.
And Jesus answered and said to them: “Take heed that no one deceives you. 5 For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many. 6 And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. 7 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. 8 All these are the beginning of sorrows. 9 “Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake.
Jesus is wanting and getting ready to come. Look around at the events that are happening right now.
Satan turned his furor on Christ’s followers. Keeping Sabbath was mocked. Christians were persecuted and viewed as enemies of humanity. Paganism saw that should Christianity succeed, paganism would cease. Matthew 24:9 tells us the time to stand for Jesus is now. Is it wonderful to be persecuted for Jesus?
What do we value in our life? Jesus says we will not be popular. Now is the time to stand for Jesus. Right now we live in a time of relative ease to live for Jesus. Jesus gives us the opportunity to shine the light of Jesus. Are we taking Jesus seriously? The door is closing quickly.
When Paul was killed in 63 AD, Christians were persecuted like the world had ever seen. Persecution that took place was the seed for the church. The seed grows. You put it in the ground and it germinates, pops up, produces more seed. In Paul’s time, Christians were persecuted and killed but Christianity grew rapidly.
Compromise crept into the church. The book Great Controversy says that compromise began between paganism and Christianity. The Bible Sabbath was compromised to Sunday worship by order of Constantine. We are living in Laodicea.
And to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write,
‘These things says the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God.
Because you are lukewarm, Jesus is looking for something in His Church. Jesus has something for us. The church does not sense the need of Jesus. Jesus says He will spew out of His mouth. Compromise is on a personal level. Jesus is pleading with His Church. He is passionate about Laodicea.
As Seventh-day Adventist, we know the latter rain is coming. We know it will be seen. Do you know what will come? Persecution-a time of trouble will begin. Pastor Korter says this is a message of doom and gloom-a message of fear. Will we have the strength to stand firm? God will give us grace when we are in that moment of persecution.
How faithful are we today? It is preparation for the time that is coming. Jesus is looking for a people that are on fire for Him. Are you not on fire for Jesus now? Do you have much going on in your life?
We have to want the latter rain and the power of the Holy Spirit in our lives. We under estimate the power of the Holy Spirit. We need power to withstand attacks from Satan. Jesus wants to refine us.
In the book of Daniel, Jesus didn’t rescue Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. Jesus walked through the fire with them and protected them. You may be wrestling with compromise, you may be down or depressed.
Inside or outside of the church, the devil tries to cause problems. The devil tried to kill the church. Jesus says: ” I stand at the door and knock.” Jesus doesn’t force anyone to accept Him. Jesus says in heaven we are going to dine with Him.
Is there anything on earth worth compromising or giving up? When are you going to get ready? Jesus said today is the day of salvation. Jesus is saying come and sit with me on my Throne. To him that overcomes, I will grant that he will come and sit with me. Latter rain is going to fall on God’s people. We should repent and turn from our compromise and be right with God. I am thirsty Lord, bring on the Latter Rain in my life.