The last words of Jesus concerning His return overflow with such revelation that we need to understand His message, from Genesis to Revelation, in regard to the nations. Interesting that Jesus moves from the personal relationship to one with nations. His desire for us as individuals now applies to the nations of the earth.
There will be a time of judgment for the nations. From the beginning, God planned to use nations to govern His people and to spread the gospel through nations. Genesis 10-12 unfolds this strategy, which humanity resists and disobeys, but God's will cannot be denied.
Noah's descendants are told to go across the globe to develop 70 nations in chapter 10, but in chapter 11 they refuse. They will remain in Babel to make their own visions and plans. They will build their own gateway to God and thus repeat the sin of Adam in Genesis 3. They will become like gods.
God brings judgment upon them. He sends confusion and chaos, which produces division and different languages. Humanity becomes divided with a multitude of different worldviews, as they are forced to go into the world to build nations.
In Genesis 12, God calls Abram to follow Him. He promises to bless Abram and to use Abram and his descendants to bless the families and nations of the earth. Those who refuse to bless Israel and her people will be cursed.
To bless Israel means to treat them with love, to value them as God's people, to honor them and to hold them in high esteem. History shows that most of the nations did just the opposite to them in persecuting and killing them, viewing them as less than human.
The standard that God blessed Israel with in Genesis 12 will become one of the measures by which Jesus will judge the nations, separating the sheep from the goats. The nations that have blessed Israel will be the sheep nations honored and blessed to reign with Him in His 1,000-year kingdom.
The goat nations that have cursed Israel will be cursed and their existence as nations will end. They failed to do for Israel what God expected them to do for "the least of these."
How we have seen this scenario play out in the last hundred years on a global scale. The persecution of the Jews by the Nazis becomes the Holocaust of terror and degradation in the slaughter of 6 million Jews and the displacement of millions more.
Yet God in His sovereignty does what no one could imagine: Rebirth Israel as a nation and end the trampling of Jerusalem by the Gentiles. In our day, the world is divided by who blesses Israel and who condemns her. Israel is now center stage in this season of preparing for the coming Messiah.
This connects with the nations of the earth in the last hundred years who have embraced facism, communism and terrorism. They all hated Israel, but they also used their resources to try to build empires, and in so doing abused and killed the least of these. Tens of millions were starved, imprisoned and slaughtered in the name of secular humanism and, in terrorism's case, in the name of Allah.
Jesus' call in this season of return is to use our time, energy and resources to minister to the least valued in our cultures; for all are created in the image of God. All have the same value and worth in God's eyes, so they should be in our eyes.
Yet we have legalized abortion to kill the least of these by the hundreds of millions, if not billions, worldwide. Global actions tie in with Jesus and His global prophecies.
Hundreds of millions have been oppressed and brutalized by the communist, terrorist and fascist regimes in the last hundred years, beginning with the rise of communism in WWI in Russia, then China and spreading to much of the world, all in the name of saving humanity from our own evil, replacing God and the only One who can deliver us from our sins, Jesus Christ.
Jesus calls us to love and be compassionate for the most vulnerable in our society. We should not look upon the sick, the poor, the imprisoned as burdens, but as gifts from God to teach us His own love for us, who are the least of these in our sins.
God still loved us and sent His own Son to lay down His life for us. Can we not do the same for our fellow human beings in the love of God?
Jesus will judge the nations of the earth by how the nations fulfilled His plan to spread the gospel to all the nations of the earth. The two standards are how we treated Israel and her people and how we cared for the least of these in our borders.
Isn't it interesting that in the last twenty years, a movement has arisen to do away with borders, which in reality ends the concept of nations? Humanity is trying to return to Babel to become our own gateway to God in our own visions and plans. Jesus predicted all of these global movements to awaken us to His return.
Jesus is coming and this is the season of preparing the way. Let us examine our lives, our church ministries and our nation in light of His truth and revelation knowledge. Do we believe and know this is the time of His arrival? Are we awake and ready, looking for His coming with our households in order? Are we living lives of faithful service and obedience to Jesus? Are we living in love and intimacy with Jesus? Are we using our resources in the freedom of giving and building His kingdom? Is our nation a reflection of blessing Israel and ministering to the least of these in our culture?
As for me and my house, we will love and serve Jesus to prepare the way for His Second Coming. It is time to ring the bell and awaken a sleepy church and world to the reality that God's love and judgment are coming.
Those who remain asleep will cry out for the rocks to fall on them so they will not see the face of the Lamb and His wrath. Those who are alert and ready will rejoice at His arrival to love, praise and worship Him in His glory.
Author's Note: The Presence of God lives in us. The Word tells us the Holy Spirit comes into our lives the moment we are born again. We also know that the Father and Son abide in us as they have made Their home in us. This life we have in Jesus is a glorious one. We are being changed from one degree of glory to another to be like Jesus. We hunger for less of us and more of God to fill us completely. There are also moments when God's presence fills the atmosphere where we worship as our Lord did when Solomon dedicated the temple or when Isaiah saw Jesus, the Lord of Hosts, in the temple; or when the Holy Spirit was poured out in Cornelius' house in the book of Acts. When God acts in His glory, lives are transformed to live for His purposes and plans to redeem the world.
We have set our hearts on God to come in His glory at our "Hosting His Presence" event on Sept. 9-12. We do not want only an encounter with God but for Him to remain, so it is not just a visitation but a habitation that draws us daily to Himself. This glory moment will inspire us with dreams and visions to go into the world as Jesus sent His apostles and disciples to the nations of the earth. Begin praying now for this Holy Spirit gathering, that Jesus will be exalted and we will see a nation transformed for Jesus.
Our gathering is free. You can register at eventbrite.com.
Once a professional baseball player with the Chicago Cubs Organization, Blake Lorenz was called to Asbury Seminary after a radical encounter with Jesus, where he received his master's degree. He has pastored in the Orlando area for 33 years and has been blessed with the opportunity to evangelize globally, visiting five continents and preaching the gospel to tens of thousands. Blake has also helped plant 500 churches. He has been working in Israel for the past 20 years, includes serving on the board of the Jerusalem Prayer Breakfast in connection with the Knesset. In 2020, blakelorenzministries.com and the Awaken podcast launched to teach and challenge others to join him on a journey of anticipating the return of Jesus. He has used the three books he's written in his seminars and conferences. He and his wife, Beverly, share three children and six grandchildren.
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