OPEN HEAVENS DAILY DEVOTIONAL
DATE: MONDAY 26TH MARCH 2018
THEME: SIGNS OF THE END TIMES II
But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. 1 Thessalonians 5:4
READ: 2 Peter 3:10-14
10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.
11 Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness,
12 Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?
13 Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.
14 Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.
Although the events that will herald the second coming of Christ are disturbing and could even be frightening, our Lord did not forewarn of these events in order to frighten or terrify us. His purpose was to prepare and empower us with the right attitude and mindset. Based on yesterday’s study, since it is obvious that we are now in the end times, we will be considering the instructions that the Lord gave to us on how to live in these last days. The Lord instructed us to watch out so that we are not deceived by anyone (Matthew 24:4). This warning should be taken seriously as it is increasingly becoming difficult to focus on the message of the gospel. Some false prophets, hiding under the cloak of possessing special revelations, are peddling new doctrines that have no foundation in the Bible. Many issues that are clearly stated in the Bible, such as those relating to salvation, sexual orientation, abortion, divorce and remarriage, termination of life on request, tithing and the giving of first fruits are now being presented in ways that are contrary to the word of God. Do not be deceived, but rather hold on to the true word of God in all situations.
As we read about the signs and observe their fulfilment, we should not be alarmed, because they must happen. Having foreknowledge of their occurrence should remove the element of surprise that may affect those who are uninformed. We are to use our knowledge to our advantage by standing firm to the very end. Our knowledge should also motivate us to continue preaching the gospel throughout the world, warning all men about the reality of the second coming of the Lord and the impending danger of ignoring this warning. We must be well prepared for the persecution that may come in form of government laws and regulations, or as conditions to be met in order to have access to certain benefits. Our duty is to watch continually for our Lord’s second coming. He repeatedly stressed that His coming, though certain, would happen when people least expect it to. As His bride, we are to continually stir ourselves up to be ready for His coming at any time. Frequent reflection on Christ’s beauty, love, mercy, glory and honour, in addition to a lifestyle of praise and worship will help to cultivate a readiness to meet Jesus in the air. Aggressive evangelism in our families and communities will also help to increase our readiness for Christ’s coming. We must actively strive against worldliness because a worldly mindset is contrary to a watchful spirit. Finally, we must pray for the coming of the Lord according to Revelation 22:17:
“And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.”
Assess your readiness for the coming persecution of believers, and for the return of the Lord.
BIBLE IN ONE YEAR: Deuteronomy 16-17, Ephesians 3.
AUTHOR: PASTOR E. A. ADEBOYE
HYMN 9: THE OLD RUGGED CROSS
1. On a hill far away stood an old rugged cross,
The emblem of suff’ring and shame;
And I love that old cross where the Dearest and Best
For a world of lost sinners was slain.
So I’ll cherish the old rugged cross,
Till my trophies at last I lay down;
I will cling to the old rugged cross,
And exchange it someday for a crown.
2. Oh, that old rugged cross, so despised by the world,
Has a wondrous attraction for me;
For the dear Lamb of God left His glory above
To bear it to dark Calvary.
3. In that old rugged cross, stained with blood so divine,
A wondrous beauty I see,
For ’twas on that old cross Jesus suffered and died,
To pardon and sanctify me.
4.To the old rugged cross I will ever be true;
Its shame and reproach gladly bear;
Then He’ll call me someday to my home far away,
Where His glory forever I’ll share.