Sunday, May 31, 2015

The First to Partake

On the same day Jesus went out of the house and sat by the sea. And great multitudes were gathered together to Him, so that He got into a boat and sat; and the whole multitude stood on the shore. Then He spoke many things to them in parables, saying: “Behold, a sower went out to sow. “And as he sowed, some seed fell by the wayside; and the birds came and devoured them. “Some fell on stony places, where they did not have much earth; and they immediately sprang up because they had no depth of earth. “But when the sun was up they were scorched, and because they had no root they withered away. “And some fell among thorns, and the thorns sprang up and choked them. “But others fell on good ground and yielded a crop: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. “He who has ears to hear, let him hear!”     Matthew 13:1-9  NKJV

In the valley where I live, Memorial Day weekend is traditionally the time when the locals plant their gardens.  Up until then, there is usually the possibility of a late frost which would kill the young plants or flowers.  Since I always have a garden, this past weekend was spent as it usually is, tilling the soil and planting the vegetables I hope to harvest.  Although not large by many standards, it still is a chore which entails a lot of work but in my mind is worth it when the time to harvest comes in late August.  That is, of course, if I can somehow beat off those critters who hope to take the fruit of my labor before I can.  Who knew raccoons like sweet corn anyway?  (This verse from Job seems appropriate even if it is taken out of context)

Because the hungry eat up his harvest, Taking it even from the thorns, And a snare snatches their substance.    Job 5:5  NKJV

I suppose it is because I enjoy gardening that I also enjoy and appreciate how the Bible uses farming terms and illustrations when referring to the work done on this earth in regards to the kingdom of Heaven.  Jesus continually used these during His ministry here on earth, and I am sure most of us can recall many of them from reading His Word.  The time came when Jesus began to teach only in parables, and most of them used analogies to sowing, cultivating, and harvesting.  The very first parable Jesus taught was the Sower and the Seed, which today’s blog begins with and one which I am sure most of us are familiar with.  This trend continued throughout His ministry and He even chose to use it at the very end while referring to His own death and resurrection.

But Jesus answered them, saying, “The hour has come that the Son of Man should be glorified. “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain.     John 12:23-24  NKJV

Those who choose to believe in the salvation given by Jesus’ death and resurrection become the “grain”, or fruit of His labor.  We in turn become the sowers who sow the seed to an unbelieving world, spreading the good news of salvation to anyone willing to hear.  The Church, the body of Christ, produces the laborers Jesus uses in the fields of this world.  Has it ever occurred to you that when you became a believer, no matter what your vocation, you also became a farmer?  It is our responsibility to sow the seeds of good news to an unbelieving world.

Then He said to them, “The harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few; therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.             Luke 10:2  NKJV

I was reading Paul’s letters to Timothy this past week when I noticed a verse I had read before, but somehow possibly not quite completely understood and it is what prompted this whole train of thought I am sharing with you today.  Paul is writing to Timothy in his second letter and giving him encouragement by giving examples of the character traits to be found in one who chooses to serve Christ.  One of these illustrations is that of a farmer, and I found it interesting especially as I was contemplating my garden, and the possibility of once again losing it to my nocturnal friends.

The hardworking farmer must be first to partake of the crops. Consider what I say, and may the Lord give you understanding in all things.                                                 2 Timothy 2:6-7  NKJV

As I read this, my first thought was how appropriate it was considering what I had been thinking about.  Then of course, I began to think about what Paul was trying to convey to Timothy, and as I did, a thought occurred to me which I had not ever previously considered.  The idea of being the first to partake as a reward for hard work seems appropriate, but then I began to think about where and when the Church might expect to be rewarded and an interesting thought appeared.  Since Paul taught and affirmed the position of a pretribulational rapture of the Church, is it possible this little verse to Timothy is saying the same thing?

If you think about it, the fact that the Church fulfills the role of the farmer sowing the seed, and the fact that Paul says the farmer should be the first to partake of the harvest, does it not make sense that will occur at the time of the rapture of the Church?  It certainly seems possible that Paul was trying to convey that message to Timothy here, and to us as well.  As we labor here on earth, and especially in these times as it gets more and more difficult to do so with the opposition and hostility we sometimes face, a little encouragement along these lines seems refreshing and invigorating.  The Church will soon be raptured to spend eternity with the Father, and our reward for our labor is the knowledge that as hard working farmers, we will go first!

Keep watching.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

The Vanishing

The faithful man has perished from the earth, And there is no one upright among men. They all lie in wait for blood; Every man hunts his brother with a net.         Micah 7:2  NKJV

There is a saying popular with many teachers of the Bible today which I find not only very true, but also extremely helpful in understanding both the Old and New Testaments.  You are probably familiar with it but even so I will repeat it here; “the Old Testament is the New Testament concealed, and the New Testament is the Old Testament revealed”.  I am continually amazed as I study the scriptures to find how much of the New Testament is actually hidden in plain sight in the Old Testament, and this passage from Micah is a perfect example. 

The Hebrew word translated “perished” in the NKJV means “to vanish”.  From the teachings of the Apostle Paul in the New Testament, it becomes obvious that what Micah is describing is the rapture of the Church, and the state of the earth after all believers have been taken.  What this world will be like during this time of tribulation should literally scare any rational person to the point of salvation, yet we know this is not the case.  The passage from Micah does, however, help us to understand the anxiety which the church at Thessalonica experienced when they thought they had been “left behind”.

Now, brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, we ask you, not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as if from us, as though the day of Christ had come.                                                2 Thessalonians 2:1-2  NKJV

Paul tells us immediately in verse 1 that the subject of the letter is about the rapture, or parousia of the Church which occurs when Jesus comes to take us home to be with Him. According to verse 2, Paul says they were "shaken" and "disturbed". This is one of those times where I think it's really important to look closely at the meaning of the words Paul uses. The word shaken is saleuō in the Greek and means "agitate" or become "insecure" in mind, while disturbed is throeō and means "clamor" or "tumult". So the picture Paul gives us is that the believers in the church were in an uproar and very agitated because they had become insecure in something they believed but now have doubts about, and obviously it has to do with the rapture. Paul then identifies the reason at the end of verse 2 when he refers to someone claiming  by spirit or by word or by letter”  that the day of the Lord had already come.

This brings us to the question, why were they so shaken? The reason for their distress is the part I believe gets missed most often when studying this passage of scripture. The problem was that they had been told by someone that the tribulation had already begun, and they had obviously been left behind, yet according to what they had been taught this could not be. This passage is one of the many reasons I believe so strongly in the pre-tribulation rapture of the church because if Paul hadn't taught the pre-tribulation rapture, the church at Thessalonica would not have been upset.  Obviously they were now either under the impression Paul had taught them wrong, or they had done something wrong to get left behind.

At the time of this letter, the Church was undergoing persecution from Rome and it was easy for people to believe that all of what they saw happening around them fit the picture of events which take place during the Tribulation. Unfortunately, all it took to shake them up was someone to suggest that their belief in the pre-tribulation rapture was wrong. So it becomes Paul’s purpose here to review the main points he taught about Jesus' return and its aftermath when he first started the church, and then taught again in his first letter to them.  

Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God. Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you these things? And now you know what is restraining, that he may be revealed in his own time. For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way.          2 Thessalonians 2:3-7  NKJV

What Paul chooses to clarify is that while the present circumstances were troubling, they should not be confused with what will happen in the future when the tribulation period begins. He explains that the mystery of lawlessness is the evil in this world produced by Satan and his angels, and the man of sin is the coming world leader or anti-christ, who will be revealed at the beginning of the tribulation. Paul makes the point that although evil forces were at work already, they are being held in check by "he who now restrains", and are not the same as what will occur after the Church, indwelt by the Holy Spirit, is removed at the rapture.  Paul gently reminds these believers that they too "know" these things because he had taught them before.

How often do we too need to be "reminded" of what we have already been taught, yet somehow begin to forget or doubt? I know I'm guilty of that, so I can sympathize with the situation the believers at Thessalonica found themselves in. I'm also sure there are many believers today who find themselves to be in a similar position as those in the church at Thessalonica. We see horrific images of things going on in the world around us, events we know are the signs Jesus said would occur at the end of the age, and there are those saying we have already entered the tribulation period.

But just as we find in this passage, we can't have entered the tribulation period because as Paul so simply said, the Church is still here! Evil is present, but so are we; the Church, the body of Christ. There is no doubt in my mind that we are as close to leaving this world as we can possibly be. One day very soon, the Church will vanish from this world in the blink of an eye. If you find yourself in the same position as those believers back then, the best advice I can give you today is the same advice Paul gave the church in Thessalonica:

Therefore, brethren, stand fast and hold the traditions which you were taught, whether by word or our epistle. Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and our God and Father, who has loved us and given us everlasting consolation and good hope by grace, comfort your hearts and establish you in every good word and work.  2 Thessalonians 2:15-17  NKJV

Keep watching.

I also want to share a couple of articles which I ran across today from two individuals who I greatly respect.  Both deal with the subject of Pentecost which occurs today.  Enjoy.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Living Sober

For there are many insubordinate, both idle talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision, whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole households, teaching things which they ought not, for the sake of dishonest gain. One of them, a prophet of their own, said, “Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons.” This testimony is true. Therefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith, not giving heed to Jewish fables and commandments of men who turn from the truth.    Titus 1:10-14  NKJV

Ask anyone who knows me and they will tell you I am a “fixer”.  As long as I can remember, I have always been fascinated by how things are put together and how to fix them when they break.  One of my earliest memories is an encounter with my father while fixing our lawn mower.  Unfortunately though, it wasn’t broken but I had done a masterful job of taking it all apart and had pieces and parts scattered all over our lawn.  My memory gets hazy about what the outcome was, but I still enjoy picking up the pieces of something that is broken and putting it all back together.

I confess, however, that if I was in Titus’ shoes when Paul told him he was going to Crete, I sincerely wonder what my reaction would have been?  I believe Paul had a very high opinion of Titus’ abilities in order to appoint him the task of straightening out the Cretan church. I’m not sure the word broken quite captures the extent of the mess this church was in, but it was easily dysfunctional, probably ineffective, and certainly incapable of spreading the Gospel in such a way as to be attractive to non-believers.  I confess I was a little surprised to read Paul’s description of these people, even when considering his penchant for bluntness.  Yet my next thought was if this is how Paul chose to describe them, if he were alive today how might he describe the Church as it exists right now?

Paul expounds on the three attributes, “liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons” as the book of Titus unfolds and in today’s vernacular I believe what he is describing can accurately be summed up as “hypocritical, argumentative, and non-productive.”  Using those terms, it would certainly appear to me that what Paul has to say about the Cretan church, and how to fix its problems should be examined closely by believers today with an eye to our own circumstances.  As I read this book it struck me that the solution is contained in one word Paul chose to repeat several times as he instructed Titus, and it is the word “sober”.

For a bishop must be blameless, as a steward of God, not self-willed, not quick-tempered, not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money, but hospitable, a lover of what is good, sober-minded, just, holy, self-controlled, holding fast the faithful word as he has been taught, that he may be able, by sound doctrine, both to exhort and convict those who contradict.                  Titus 1:7-9  NKJV

Now like most of us, when I see the word sober my first thoughts are about drinking, and not being intoxicated, but if you look at the Greek you come up with something a little more complex than that.  The word translated sober comes from the Greek word “sōphrōn” which means “of a sound mind, sane, in one's senses, curbing one's desires and impulses, self-controlled, temperate”.  As you read Titus, it seems clear that the issue of self-control applies to just about every facet of a believer’s life, especially as it affects and influences what others see by observing our words and deeds.    

But as for you, speak the things which are proper for sound doctrine: that the older men be sober, reverent, temperate, sound in faith, in love, in patience;          Titus 2:1-2  NKJV

“The Church is full of hypocrites!”  Have you ever heard those words?  Isn’t it amazing that believers are so carefully observed and held to such a high standard?  Of course not, yet somehow there are many who ignore the fact that the world will watch us closely to see if what we are trying to sell is really as life changing as we claim.  If we don’t live up to the standard set forth in the Word of God, we become liars and the world rightly considers us to be hypocrites.  In the believers life, being “sober” includes being of a “sound mind” which would certainly include being honest about how we choose to live out our faith

Likewise, exhort the young men to be sober-minded, in all things showing yourself to be a pattern of good works; in doctrine showing integrity, reverence, incorruptibility, sound speech that cannot be condemned, that one who is an opponent may be ashamed, having nothing evil to say of you               Titus 2:6-8  NKJV

How often do you argue?  Think back on this past week and see if you can remember having a disagreement and verbally trying to make a point.  Could your words be described as “showing integrity, reverence, incorruptibility, sound speech that cannot be condemned”?  Anyone who knows me would probably tell you I hate an argument.  I mean I really would rather walk away if there is even the remotest chance of a raised voice.  Have you ever had the opportunity to see another person’s reaction to someone who won’t raise their voice and argue?  They always seem to get frustrated and angry as if getting you to come down to their level is important to them.  Again, part of being sober is self-control, and that includes how we talk to others and the words we choose to use.  Can you imagine living in such a way as that those who disagree with you end up “ashamed, having nothing evil to say of you”? 

For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age,    Titus 2:11-12  NKJV

Is it just me, or is it possible that the world is making our job of living differently easier?  Truthfully, it appears to me that this world is descending into moral and social decay so quickly that true believers who choose to live according to God’s Word stand out like the proverbial “sore thumb”.  Do you think Titus stood out in Crete?  If things were as bad as Paul described them, anyone willing to “live soberly, righteously, and godly” would be as different from those around them as light and dark.  Do you stand out like this today?  Have you made the choice to live soberly in a world that seems to be falling apart all around us?  Paul appointed Titus to teach the church in Crete how to live soberly, and the message he gave to him is more than applicable to us, especially in this present age.  All of us need to look in the mirror and ask the question of ourselves, am I living sober?

Keep watching.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Who Directs Your Path?

Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.                      Proverbs 3:6  NKJV

One of the memories I have from my childhood was memorizing scripture in Sunday School.  Of course, in hindsight, I understand I was diligent to do so entirely because by doing so we would win a prize.  Looking back now I wonder if this was bribery or just simple encouragement to get a child to do something they might not have wanted to do at the time, but whatever it was it worked.  The reason I mention this is that one of the prizes I received was a plaque which I got to paint by myself which had this passage from Proverbs on it.  It hung in my bedroom for as long as I could remember, and this is a passage that I have never forgotten.

The reason for writing the book of Proverbs is revealed to us in the first five verses of the first chapter where Solomon tells us this;

The proverbs of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel: To know wisdom and instruction, To perceive the words of understanding, To receive the instruction of wisdom, Justice, judgment, and equity; To give prudence to the simple, To the young man knowledge and discretion-- A wise [man] will hear and increase learning, And a man of understanding will attain wise counsel,                                                                              Proverbs 1:1-5  NKJV

Even as a young boy, I understood the stories about how Solomon was the wisest man who ever lived and as a result came to the conclusion at an early age that this was one book I should pay a attention to if I wanted to be smart. Since this passage meant so much to me, I thought today I would take a little time to just share with you what it says to me, and hope that you will in turn take some time to study it and reflect upon it with the hope that it will be as much help to you as it has been to me.

Trust in the LORD with all your heart…The first thing I see here is that rather than just instructing us to trust in the Lord, Solomon tells us to trust Him with all of our “heart”.  The Hebrew word for heart used here is “leb” which means much more than you might think.  It can be used to refer to “the inner man, mind, will, heart, understanding, inner part, midst, midst (of things), heart (of man), soul, heart (of man), mind, knowledge, thinking, reflection, memory, inclination, resolution, determination (of will), conscience, heart (of moral character), as seat of appetites, as seat of emotions and passions, as seat of courage”. When you look at it this way, trusting the Lord with all your heart is a commitment to place your entire life, thoughts as well as actions, into the hands of God.

And lean not on your own understanding…What seems obvious to me now, but   took me a very long time to figure out, is that Solomon is saying that a wise man trusts God with his heart, and not just his head.  What I see here is simply that we have a choice to either totally commit to trusting every facet of our lives to God, or holding back at times and using our own “wisdom” to figure something out.  Now given a choice to trust the God of the universe who knows the past, present, and future, or trusting in my own often demonstrated ignorance, it becomes apparent just how wise Solomon was in writing this passage.  Yet how often do we all decide that we know enough to try and solve our own problems without so much as a prayer for guidance directed to the God who knows all?

In all your ways acknowledge Him…The Hebrew word for “all your ways” is “derek”, which means; way, road, distance, journey, manner.  Obviously Solomon is talking about our journey through life and absolutely everything we might encounter along the way.  It took me a very long time to figure out that there was nothing in my life so small that I had no need to talk to God about it.  Why is it that we always are looking to make our own decisions and “direct” our own path through life without even considering whether or not it might not be what God had in mind for us. There is a popular country song titled “Jesus Take the Wheel” which illustrates this point very well. The cry for help only comes when we realize we can’t do anything to help ourselves and life is spinning out of control because we insisted on “driving” and ended up in trouble.

And He shall direct your paths…Have you ever considered letting Jesus take the wheel all the time and never worrying about where He is taking you? This is exactly what Solomon is trying to tell us in this passage, and in reality, in the whole book of Proverbs.  If I were to try to explain what Proverbs is all about I would have to say that the most repeated idea in the entire book is that God has all the answers!   What Solomon takes the time to tell us is that there are really only two types of people in this world; wise men or fools.  The wise listen to God, seek His face, and allow Him to direct the path we are to walk.  The fool?  Obviously he is the one who chooses not to listen to the wisdom of God and seeks to direct his own path through life.

Although this passage is written to mankind on an individual basis, does it not seem applicable to the situation we find our world in right now?  Many would argue this world is standing on the brink of divine judgment, and deservedly so considering some of the decisions that have been made in the recent past.  Does it not seem prophetic from these words from Solomon that the reason this world is where it is today is simply a result of not allowing the God of this universe to direct our paths?  Yet rather than recognizing guilt, and appealing to God for forgiveness and direction, this world stubbornly insists it knows what it is doing.

While the world seems bent on its own destruction, individually we can make the decision to do our part to follow the advice we find in this passage from Proverbs. A question which is heard quite often, especially in light of recent events, is “what can I do to make a difference”?  I believe the answer to that question lies in the advice we are given in this passage from Solomon. “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.”      

Keep watching.      

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Counting the Days

'And you shall count for yourselves from the day after the Sabbath, from the day that you brought the sheaf of the wave offering: seven Sabbaths shall be completed. Count fifty days to the day after the seventh Sabbath; then you shall offer a new grain offering to the LORD. You shall bring from your dwellings two wave [loaves] of two-tenths [of an ephah]. They shall be of fine flour; they shall be baked with leaven. [They are] the firstfruits to the LORD.    Leviticus 23:15-17 NKJV

Fifty days after the Feast of Firstfruits comes Shavuot, or the Feast of Weeks.  We know it as Pentecost, derived from the Greek word “penta” meaning fifty.  It also has other names such as the Festival of Weeks, the Festival of Reaping or Ingathering, and the Day of Firstfruits.  It occurs at the end of the wheat harvest in Israel, which is why it is associated with the theme of harvesting and the bringing of a sacrifice of grain to the Lord.  Yet it is also a time of celebrating the harvest of the land, which includes all seven of the fruits of the land listed by God in the book of Deuteronomy.

“For the LORD your God is bringing you into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and springs, that flow out of valleys and hills; “a land of wheat and barley, of vines and fig trees and pomegranates, a land of olive oil and honey;     Deuteronomy 8:7-8  NKJV

Something I personally found interesting when I first began to study this feast was the tradition in Israel of reading the book of Ruth during this time.  One of the greatest love stories to be found in the Bible is the Book of Ruth. It is a story of how a Gentile, (non-Jew), was "redeemed", or bought with a price, by a "kinsman" or relative (who was a Jew) according to Jewish law, and then becomes the bride of her redeemer. This story is situated in Bethlehem with the events transpiring during the fifty days between the barley and wheat harvest.  The redeemer (Boaz) takes his bride at the end of that time or at the Feast of Pentecost. 

As this story demonstrates how a Gentile could become a Jew, we can also see a perfect example of how Jesus Christ chose to redeem all who choose to accept His sacrifice allowing us to become His bride, the body of Christ.  This was illustrated by the events which occurred on the Feast of Pentecost that followed fifty days after the resurrection of Jesus.

When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. And there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men, from every nation under heaven. And when this sound occurred, the multitude came together, and were confused, because everyone heard them speak in his own language. Then they were all amazed and marveled, saying to one another, “Look, are not all these who speak Galileans? “And how is it that we hear, each in our own language in which we were born? “Parthians and Medes and Elamites, those dwelling in Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, “Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya adjoining Cyrene, visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, “Cretans and Arabs—we hear them speaking in our own tongues the wonderful works of God.”       Acts 2:1-11  NKJV

Because the Feast of Pentecost was one of the three feasts in Israel that were compulsory to attend, Jerusalem was full of Jews from different lands.  It was for this reason that the Holy Spirit gave the apostles the ability to speak in different languages, allowing the Gospel to be shared with everyone who was there.  This is the day that many consider to be the birthday of the Church as not only did God send the Holy Spirit to indwell all who believe, but also arranged for the good news to be spread to other countries by virtue of these Jewish pilgrims to return home with the message of Jesus Christ.

The sixth of Sivan is a day which certainly has many different events associated with it, yet curiously only one central theme and that is redemption.  Enoch was raptured, Ruth who was a Gentile was redeemed, and the Church was born and given the gift of the Holy Spirit to indwell.  As the firstfruits of the Holy Spirit, is this a day that the Church might look to as a possible day of redemption, and possibly a wedding?

For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now. Not only that, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body.                       Romans 8:22-23  NKJV

As we have seen, there are more than a few references to a "rapture" type event associated with the Feast of Pentecost. Will the Church be raptured on its birthday? Of course, no one knows for certain and I certainly can't say for sure but I hope I'm not the only one who finds it more than curious that there seem to be so many events common to this particular day of the year. Jesus commanded us to watch for His return, and I for one think it very important to take Him at His word. I'm watching every day, and I hope the words I share with you in these pages encourage you to watch as well.

There is one more thing, however.  I can never talk about this day without sharing something we are told by the Jewish historian Josephus in his work “Wars of the Jews”.  This is of course, non-biblical, but it is also something I have found fascinating and consider believable in light of the proven accuracy of the other works of Josephus.

"Besides these, a few days after that feast, on the one and twentieth day of the month Artemisius, [Jyar,] a certain prodigious and incredible phenomenon appeared: I suppose the account of it would seem to be a fable, were it not related by those that saw it, and were not the events that followed it of so considerable a nature as to deserve such signals; for, before sun-setting, chariots and troops of soldiers in their armor were seen running about among the clouds, and surrounding of cities. Moreover, at that feast which we call PENTECOST, as the priests were going by night into the inner [court of the temple,] as their custom was, to perform their sacred ministrations, they said that, in the first place, THEY FELT A QUAKING, AND HEARD A GREAT NOISE, AND AFTER THAT THEY HEARD A SOUND AS OF A GREAT MULTITUDE, SAYING, "LET US REMOVE HENCE." (end quote)    Josephus, "Wars of the Jews" VI. V. 3

Wouldn’t we all love to hear the trumpet sound and the call to come home in light of what we see the world becoming all around us right now?  Will it be on this day?  I have no idea, but I do know we are called to share the same Gospel that the disciples did on that Pentecost so many years ago.  Make it a point to tell others of the gift of redemption which is available to all who choose to believe in the sacrifice of Jesus Christ for our sins.  As always,

Keep watching.