Treasure In Earthen Vessels

Discovering the Indwelling Holy Spirit

What Has Happened to the Rapture of the Church? April 1, 2019

Have you ever wondered what has happened to the Rapture of the Church? I certainly have, and I have also questioned whether Christians today even believe that Jesus is coming back at all.

For most of my life, the message of Jesus Christ coming for His church was alive and well. I remember on Easter Sunday morning in 1973 when our church choir sang the popular Gaither song, The King Is Coming. Only the choir knew that a skilled trumpeter was strategically perched in the balcony, and at just the right moment he would blow the trumpet. It was a stirring event to say the least!

 

Then there was that perfect red heifer born in the mid-80’s that confirmed the Jews would soon be offering sacrifices in the Temple. And who didn’t read the best-selling Left Behind series by Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins? First published in 1995, the intensity of the message was clear: Jesus is coming soon, and if you’re not ready, you will be left behind!

For decades stories circulated through the church attempting to tie current events to the coming of Christ. Things like a government assigned number could eventually become the mark of the beast. This caused many to be leery of social security numbers, direct deposits and credit cards—basically anything that had a number. Another story was the increasing population of vultures in the Middle East that was surely a sign of the approaching Battle of Armageddon. On and on they went—one unnerving story after another.

For years I struggled with too little faith to believe that Jesus would save me, so preaching on the rapture was a frightening thing. However, when I was born again at age twenty-three, my fear of the rapture subsided. My faith had grown and I was able to believe that Jesus would do what He said: For whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord, shall be saved.”1 It’s been a love affair with my Savior ever since, and I began looking forward to His coming.

Over forty years later, we are still bombarded with stories about four blood moons, ginormous earthquakes and tsunamis. I don’t keep up with which Biblical prophecies have being fulfilled and whether the signs match what Jesus said would signal His return in Matthew Chapter 24, but it does seem like it could be just around the corner. After all, the fig tree is in full bloom. There’s a whole lot of shaking going on, since everything that can be shaken is now shaking. The world is clearly in a quagmire of muck as some kind of crazy has replaced common sense. There are plenty of wars and rumors of more, while mankind has sunk to a new low on God’s moral scale. Today, you don’t have to look very far to see that evil is called good; and good is called evil. Surely it can’t be long until the Father says, “Son, go bring my children home!”

Has non-stop media coverage of world events numbed us from the realness of what we once believed? Have too many books been written suggesting the rapture isn’t Biblical after all? Could it be that modern-day preachers no longer expect Jesus to return and thus do not preach it? Has the long delay nullified Jesus’ words, or maybe the Lord has forgotten His promise? Not. Even. Remotely!

The Bible is clear: The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent.”2

Jesus gave us a clue about the timing of His coming: Now learn this parable from the fig tree: When its branch has already become tender and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near. So you also, when you see all these things, know that it is near—at the doors!”3 Did you see what I saw—at the doors?

A few nights ago I had a dream that lasted perhaps only a few seconds, yet it was very real nonetheless. In the dream, I was asleep in my bed when awakened by a strange sense of being pulled upward. A suction-type force was swirling all around me, as if I were wrapped in it. I wasn’t afraid at all, but remember having a smile on my face and a sense of joy deep inside. I calmly thought to myself—this is it…this is the rapture! Then the sensation ended and I attempted to tell someone what had happened to me. I explained like this: “I just experienced the rapture!”

The next morning I wondered what might be the purpose of my strange dream. Had I been given a brief preview of that amazing moment when the power of Holy Spirit will draw the Redeemed upward towards heaven? Could Jesus be giving us a heads-up of His soon return? Could it be that Jesus actually is—at the doors?

The best advice I know is the words of Jesus Himself: Now when all these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near!”4

Personally, I believe Jesus IS coming back soon! Are you ready for that amazing moment? ~ Janie Kellogg

Jesus is coming soon

1Romans 10:13 (NKJV); 22 Peter 3:9 (NLT); 3Matthew 24:32-33 (NKJV) 4Luke 21:28 (NKJV)

 

 

What Revival Looks Like ~ May 4, 2018

Filed under: Christian Growth — Janie Kellogg @ 3:10 pm
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The man of God plows deep this week. Things buried beneath the surface far too long are turned upward, exposing them to the Light of the World. The Sun of Righteousness has work to do in His field.

There is a stirring—a breaking up of what is not in clear sight. Yielding to the sharpened plow, hidden things are disturbed and dislodged from their dark, comfortable places. With each subsequent pass the heart-soil is tilled over and over—pulverized until useful once more—and made ready for good seeds to sprout, grow up, and produce a harvest.

Somewhere in the process an exchange is made: uprooted feelings, grudges, mindsets, opinions, and prejudices are replaced with repentance, compassion, mercy, love for more than one’s own, and a gut-level desire to serve rather than to be served.

Seeds of hope are planted within that freshly cultivated ground—hope of being alive again and fit for the Master’s use.

Thank God for plowing His field. ~ Janie Kellogg

 

 

 

Never Choose Option D January 9, 2014

It was obvious that we were just another number—a number on a medical file folder. When my husband’s name was called, we walked mechanically to the doctor’s office and were seated in chairs across the desk from a man we had known only a few days. Apparently he had been through this hundreds of times, and we were just the next couple to fall prey to the “C” word.

 

The phone call a few days before told us the results of the biopsy were not good. Today we heard the medical name for the death sentence that had been handed to my husband. I doubted that I could remember it. The lay terms were no better:  Prostate Cancer, high PSA score, aggressive type, advanced stage. Strange terminology like metastasized and systemic swirled in my head as the doctor recited our options: A) surgery; B) radiation; C) chemotherapy; and D) do nothing.

 

The decisions were mind-boggling. Pint-sized hope was as scarce as hen’s teeth. We could pick and choose as much or as little as my husband’s declining health could endure. One thing was certain—we simply would not choose Option D—do nothing.  Option D wasn’t who we were. It wasn’t what we were about. Regardless of any other factors involved, Option D would not be our choice.

 

We chose Options A, B, and C, but none of them stopped the growth of the cancer, including a last-ditch effort in an alternative treatment center in Tijuana, Mexico. The deadly enemy had gone undetected far too long—so long that nothing we did could prevent the inevitable death of its victim. Two years later my 55 year-old husband went to be with the Lord. Yet, when it was all said and done, there was one thing we were not guilty of—Option D.

 

I believe America is facing a similar diagnosis:  an aggressive, advanced stage disease called “sin.” Words such as metastasized and systemic apply here as well. Clearly, a deadly cancer has infected our entire culture and is taking a toll on the health of our government, communities, schools, churches, families, and individuals. And yes, it too has gone undetected.

 

As a nation, we have options. While there are sharp differences in what we believe to be the best way to remedy the ills of our nation, such as liberal ideas verses conservative ideas and social solutions verses spiritual solutions, the one thing we must not do is to choose Option D.

 

Edmund Burke wrote: “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” While the statement’s original wording is debatable, the concept is true nonetheless. It can also be applied in many areas of life; for example, our spiritual health:

 

The only thing necessary for me and you to go to hell is for us to do nothing.

The only thing necessary for me and you to remain in bondage to sin is for us to do nothing.

The only thing necessary for me and you to lose the battle with our flesh is for us to do nothing.

The only thing necessary for me and you to continue in a half-hearted relationship with Christ is for us to do nothing.

The only thing necessary for the Church to remain indifferent and un-revived is for Christians to do nothing.

The only thing necessary for the Church to be ineffective in our world is for Christians to do nothing.

The only thing necessary for Christianity to be silenced is for Christians to do nothing.

 

Complacency is a deadly problem. We hear its voice continuously in our ear:  Things are not as bad as they seem. Other generations faced these same problems. Just ignore the issues. Tolerate the differences. Live and let live. Don’t get excited. Don’t act. In other words: Do nothing!

 

I fear that we have been complacent far too long. Yet, there are actions that we can take before our toxic condition worsens and we succumb to the inevitable—the death of a nation.

 

Whatever we do, we must never choose Option D. ~ Janie Kellogg