Welcoming Committee...

Hey guys.... Quick update here. I been dealing with some technical issues on my end the past few days....  Praise Jesus, most are fully resolved now.  I am so happy to see the constant interaction in the comments... please keep it up!   The energy and exchange of ideas is contagious... but please remember that this site is set apart for God... so please try your best to phrase things in a way that are unmistakably marked with Fruits of the Spirit.  Our words have power... so yield that sword with caution and give your siblings grace and treat them with gentleness and encouragement.  With that in mind please know a certain someone has been restricted with the help of Gary at Unsealed.    The amount of disruptive comments should now be drastically reduced moving forward.... Thanks Gary. Sadly this also means I had to remove the "Anonymous" option for commenting....  one bad apple ruined that convenience for everybody.  Perhaps that was his intention, if so do not let him win and continue to make the effort to comment anyway.  So sorry for the inconvenience. 

With that out the way, I wanted to hear your guy's thoughts on something my pastor said this weekend....  After giving a brief statement about the Las Vegas attack he moved into a question apparently many people have been asking him recently...
"Is this a sign that Jesus is coming back soon?"
He mentioned many of the events that have gotten our attention lately (Hurricanes, etc.) which have been pounding our country basically since the Eclipse. An undeniable increase in frequency and intensity of events that has even caught the attention of secular people who are essentially asking the same question stated above.

He continued on with a few sentences about how we always need to be ready and how we will not know when the return will be (You know, the typical mainstream, non controversial position that says be ready but don't bother watching too closely because we just can't know anything about the timing).  But then he shared a comment that I cannot get out of my head... a comment I would like you to share here and get all your feelings on.  This is essentially what He said...
"When it comes to The Lords return, I am not on the planning committee, I'm on the welcoming committee!"

What are your thoughts on this?

I think I understand his point, but here is the first thing that popped into my head when I heard that....

How do you plan a welcoming party if you have no idea when the person will arrive??

Seriously... If I was on a welcoming committee and asked to plan a welcome party for a very special person the very first question asked would be this:
"So when is he coming??"
Let's say we needed to book a banquet hall, buy food, inflate balloons, create invites, etc, etc..... these are all time sensitive items.   I can almost hear myself saying in response to the typical statement repeated by my pastor about timing...  Could you at least give me a general time frame?  We must have some idea?

Think about it.  Without some idea of when the welcoming will actually happen how effective can the welcome committee and welcome party actually be?

My point is this.... to be on a welcoming committee and plan a welcome party requires some idea of timing.  To do a good job we must have some idea of when the return will be.  We must be able to see the day approaching (Heb 10:25).  We must not be caught unaware or it will come upon us like a trap.


I think of the "Welcome Home" banners I have seen displayed on homes for soon to be arriving servicemen and women.  These banners were hung prior to their arrival.  They had some idea of when their loved one was coming back.  The intention by the waiting family was clear...  we love you, we missed you, we wanted you to feel special when you arrived!  To do they planned out their welcome beforehand.  They were able to do this because presumably the returning serviceman had some idea of when he would be returning and shared that info with his family. (It makes sense to me that Jesus would do the same / has done the same).

Of course, if someone arrived totally unannounced there is no way they would expect a banner hanging on the garage door or fresh cupcakes in the kitchen.  But if they sent an email, or a letter, or gave some type of sign  that they would be coming home soon (hint hint), then the family would be without excuse if they didn't have something prepared beforehand to greet their loved one.  If they didn't do something to great him it would be justified to at least wonder if they really missed the guy, if they really loved him and if they were really that excited for him to return.  If they waited until they actually saw him on the doorstep it would be too late.

So my point is this.  We can consider ourselves part of the welcoming committee if we want... but I don't think its right to use that as an excuse to not watch for signs of His return.   If we do not watch that day will come upon us unexpectedly and the impression given at the welcome event may be far less than what Christ deserves. 

The great sign has a great message and I think that message for us is clear...
"Jesus is coming soon."

The message has been sent, His arrival must be soon.... it's time to hang your welcome banner and be ready! : )

Comments

  1. Brad, another great analogy - you make a very significant and valid point. Would we want the Lord Jesus to arrive with no one demonstrating their love and expectation for His arrival? Certainly our hearts longing for his return, our faithful watching and encouraging believers to remain steadfast and faithful (especially through the difficult days of disappointment and delay) and prayer all could be our "welcome home banners".

    Have missed you the past 2 days...glad you're back! Maranatha brother!

    Keith

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    1. Thanks Keith... What I don't like is this idea that I will get excited about His return when I see him.
      It's kind of that "I will believe it when I see it" type of attitude which is so contrary to a Biblical faith. We have more than enough info to believe it.... we must trust and believe and be prepared because it sure seems that he has sent us the message of his soon return!

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    2. Not a lot of faith in that - not sure how pleased the Lord will be with those who for whatever reason don't allow themselves to "get their hopes up". I know Jesus is pleased when we get our hopes up and He will not disappoint!!

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    3. Several years ago, I was teaching a December Advent series in my Adult Sunday School - I called it "Eager Anticipation". The week prior as I had been preparing for my lesson, I took a walk at lunch and I came across a man tying his faithful pooch to a light pole as he went into an adjacent store. I was struck by how that dog sat silently, watching for his master to return. Nothing could distract him - not the sights, smells, or sounds of that crazy busy city street could lure him from watching that door. He made no fuss, did not bark, showed no anxiety, he just waited, knowing his master was coming back for him - just eyes locked on that door. Soon enough, his master came back out and the greeting he received was heartwarming (I'm a dog lover). I thought, dear Lord, make me like that faithful creature, content to wait, distracted by nothing, confident You'll come for me. And when You come, let me joyously receive You, acknowledge You and welcome You. I used that illustration in my Sunday school lesson...I never forgot it.

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    4. Ted, before WW2 there was a Japanese Akita dog named 'Hachiko' whose story even was filmed with Richard Gere... Do you know about this? They gave a memorial to this dog for its fidelity. :)

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    5. Yes, Annabel, I have heard of that story. I haven’t seen it but I love the story.

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    6. Ted - beautiful analogy... thank you

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    1. ha, well put. I am 'planning' on being on the 'welcoming' committee too.

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    2. Even better put! See you there!

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  3. Brad,

    Just a reminder that some of us produce citrus fruit. While not enjoyed in the traditional style, citrus provides a "zing" for multiple dishes to allow for some liveliness... = )

    I understand the welcoming committee analogy, and it definitely applies. Since this isn't our home, I think of when I was younger (a long long time ago), and I would get picked up from school (or the last day of school)....in which case I knew EXACTLY how long I had to wait and any delay in said pick-up time was insufferable. I knew (generally) from which direction my ride was coming & what vehicle to look for. I think we're all standing outside waiting on that ride...

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    1. Also...good job on removing "the one whose name must never be mentioned again"!

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    2. Hey, zing is good!! I have zero problem with 95% of what most people post, I just think we should be cognizant of the fact we are set apart by the King of Kings and thus should communicate in a way that is evident of that fact.... If you can do that be witty or zingy or zesty at the same time, more power to ya! ; )

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    4. It feels like a State Farm commercial in here. Oooh, you almost had it?!?! You gotta be quicker than that!
      = )

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  4. Jesus be like:
    Welcome to the Clouds, let me show you to the Throneroom of the Father.

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  5. If I was a soldier coming home from a war, I think I'd rather come home to well-behaved kids, paid bills and a clean bathroom than a big banner and a messy party. But that's just me. And maybe Jesus: Luke 19:13.

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    1. I get your point DJ. There is a balance to be sure. I bet most wives of returning soldiers have the house clean, kids bathed, their hair done, AND they make a banner.... simply because they are THAT excited and miss him SO MUCH!

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    2. Exactly, Brad. Balance is the key. But balance is hard for humans; we too easily focus on the easy and fun stuff while letting our duties slip (as Paul Simon put it, "We believe we're gliding down the highway when in fact we're slip-sliding away"). Weddings, for example, are exciting and fun; marriage and raising children, on the other hand, is frequently challenging, frustrating, and often just plain boring (as Peter Gabriel once sang, "The Book of Love is long and boring; no one can lift the damn thing). I suspect that's why Jesus's admonitions tend to focus on the hard part: John 14:15, Luke 17:7-10, Matthew 25:26-30, etc.

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  6. About three weeks ago I put out a call to any who have been struggling with sin issues to reach out and ask for help. I gave my phone number and have been blessed to of had some real endearing interaction with others as we share and pray together. I would like to once again extend the invitation to others who for what ever reason need help in moving forward in their faith to call me at 925-848-7188. You will be kept confidential and me and my wife will pray with you and even continue to stay in contact.

    God Bless.

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  7. Excellent point on the lemons and the zing! And regarding the welcoming committee, I just know how much I hate going to airports anymore and not being able to meet my husband or my kids or other family at the gate when they first step off of that plane. Very depressing and the homecoming definitely loses a little zing! there. I want to be ready and thanks to all of you watching on the walls I know a lot more about timing than I otherwise would have. I am thrilled to have had the heads up on the Rev 12 Sign and all that it encompasses! And like I said earlier, I just had to have me a bowl of big lemons sitting on my kitchen counter just to be looking at right now. I'm calling them my Even So, Come lemons cause that's what I pray every time I look at them. Bless you all.

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  8. The reason why I like the analogy, is that I have been a little 'numb' on Christ' return. I am enjoying this life that God has blessed me with, but I still anticipate Christ soon return (he warned me about my death a number of years ago and 'kept me alive' (or brought me back from the dead??) as promised). The analogy appeals to me due to the fact that when I am away from home for decent periods of time, you get 'used' to not seeing a person (my wife and three beautiful children), but catching glimpses of their faces on Skype keeps the 'heart-sick' feeling going. However it is the moment I see my family when I walk in the door that I am overwhelmed with joy at seeing them, and the joy on their faces when they see me. I feel like that with Jesus. I have never seen him, so while longing to see him, I am not overwhelmed with feelings of desperately wanting to see him, if people know what I mean. I don't know what I don't know. However - I believe with all my heart that the moment we welcome him (and/or He welcomes us), I will be overwhelmed with seeing him. I don't know that feeling yet, and I believe Jesus is ok with that.

    Ryan

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  9. Very good analogy, It's seems quite common in the pulpit these days, to try to avoid saying anything definite, all are too scared of being scoffed. I can't help but think of Yashua as he was bringing the Word and all the scoffers he had to deal with, but the key is, it didn't STOP him, he kept on keeping on, just as we all will do, because even if we don't know the exact moment, we sure are awake enough to see all the signs our Messiah pointed us to, so we can't fear the scoffers! Awaiting THE return of YASHUA my Messiah!

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  10. In my "old life" before salvation I have worked as a trade fair and conference event organizer for over a decade. Usually, people who don't know this kind of job used to asked me 'Now what do you work the rest of the year then when the XY event is over?' which made me chuckle... This is an interesting but quite stressful FULL TIME job with lots of overtime hours (especially the last weeks before the event takes place). A royal wedding planner is a similar work as every event organizer, security or protocol job. Planning and welcoming aren't the same in quality for sure but you can't have the one without the other. You definitely need a date to set the full arsenal of activities in action. Even if the welcoming party is a bunch of hired claqueurs: they need to have a date WHEN to wave the flags.

    OK I see that what we are anticipating is not a human and earthly event. We also understand that the bride doesn't necessarily have to know the exact time of being fetched because her wedding still takes place even without a date because it is the almighty, omniscient, omnipotent and sovereign GOD who fetches her when HIS time has come. When being snatched up into eternity and "changed" physically it must be like if NOT knowing the exact moment of death. I have pondered if we as the living saints should have any advantage to the brethren on the graveyard who did not know their individual time of going home. But yet even people like Moses, Aaron, Hezekiah or Elisha and even Peter and Paul were often enough told how and WHEN their earthly "tent" (sukkah??) was struck 2 Corinthians 5:4 ! At least they were to know the SEASON.

    Since 9/23 has now passed without further action, many have returned to the "no man knows" passage or even completely turned over Matthew 24 into scriptures that either don't belong to the church or if so then don't refer to rapture season but millennium and seemingly forgotten about Amos 3:7 and all the other scriptures that tell us that Jesus will let us know when He will come and get us.

    I am firmly convinced that the Rev12-sign fulfilled verse 1-2 of that chapter and that verse 5 is yet to be fulfilled before New Years eve in 2017. We're definitely in the season, we didn't get it all wrong and we ought not to let down the welcoming banners now putting them back into the garage!! If the church age started with the last of the spring feasts there is still a chance to find a place and pattern for the end of this dispensation in the last of the fall feasts. There MUST be harvest time some day. If 2017 is the right season, why should we have been woken up and alarmed one or more years in advance? This makes no sense at all: everybody knows that if your alarm rings and you won't get up immediately you will fall back to sleep again and not show up to work that day! The past months have been so fruitful and vivid ever among the awakened body of Christ, God knows that we would furl the welcoming posters until next year for sure and possibly not unfurl them again in deep sadness ever. Because His announcement and awakening blast was TOO REAL. This was IT for once in 7,000 years and now there must be MORE to it. Yet. Come LORD Jesus, I know it's time!

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    1. Another thought comes to my mind: WHAT IF... there's indeed ONLY Revelation 12 to watch now? I mean if it isn't about feast days but heavenly signs about there in verses 1-4 and 1-2 are fulfilled shouldn't we look for the Dragon sign especially now verses 3-4 before the rapture verse 5? Any ideas? Much love, have an awesome day! :)

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    2. I so appreciated your comment, Annabel. So much goes into planning, you have to have that end date to bring to fruition the plans. Only so much can be done without the final endpoint being known. I know that in all reality, God is the One planning this particular event, He knows the exact moment, and has everything orchestrated to a tee. I want as many people at this party as can be there. What continues to blow my mind is NOW may be the very moment for this party! I know there are very sleepy Christians who are very content to hit that snooze button and never really look to see jesus coming, but I know how many Christians like me that are out there. You see, before knowing anything at all about September 23rd, I’ve loved eschatology, I’ve wanted to see Jesus come back, and I’ve been an active, working, awake Christian. I’ve loved Him with all my heart, sought to please Him with my life and service and have trusted Him with my future. I knew nothing of September 23rd and all of its heralding implications, yet I knew, just KNEW that He must be coming soon. The world was too ripe, events too biblically coincidental to be ignored. Had I remained unaware, His imminent return would have been not unexpected, but a surprise party to beat all surprise parties! So for those who are like I was, His trumpet call will be the sound their hearts have been joyfully prepared for. What has struck me though, and why I loved your comment, is that knowing that September 23rd was an exit sign, like others have so very well described, has made me look anew at the world around me. I’ve prayed like I’ve never prayed before (and I’ve prayed a lot), I’ve witnessed more boldly, been less hesitant to use my words to share the gospel, not left it to just let my life say it. My prayers have been broadened outside my little corner of the world to encompass the broad way of destruction and those who are on it in a way that was more intense, more real, with more reality than what I had truly understood before. I wouldn’t say I was asleep before, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a marked difference in the way I approach each day now. Whom do You want me to warn today, with whom do I have a divine appointment today, with whom can I share the Bread of Life? In my younger years, I was afraid to really ask God for anything because I didn’t want to be disappointed when God didn’t show up. I know, a very arid place to be, but then that probably described my faith back then. Since then, God has allowed things in my life to sift me and make Him more real and substantial than anything I can see or hold. I can doubt myself, but never Him. The blessing I have in this life are numerous and the ones to come in the next are too many to count, but Genesis 10 has become my reality: He is my very great reward. No matter what Blessing God may ever bring to me, no greater reward can I EVER ask for than God Himself. The delights of Heaven will be more than I can imagine and enjoyed more than I can fathom, but nothing will come close to my Savior Himself. THAT is what September 23rd has driven me to want to share. Imperfectly, but sharing nonetheless. So His coming will leave some Christians sleeping and unprepared, some will be awake and serving, but experiencing a surprise to beat all surprises, and some will be holding that welcome banner. This is an event He doesn’t want us to miss. If He went to the lengths He did to provide us salvation, that loving God will want as many as will believe to know He is coming. Can’t you just feel it? Anyway, Annabel, thank you for your comment and to all who have not been afraid to share what they are learning...God is using you.

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  11. On the 12th, an asteroid fly by will occur, 2012 TC4 magnitude 26.8.

    Deu 2:2-3, "And the LORD spoke to me, saying, You have circled this mountain long enough; turn northward.

    Your will be done LORD

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  12. Psalm 22: 30-31
    A seed shall serve him; it shall be accounted to the Lord for a generation.

    They shall come, and shall declare his righteousness unto a people that shall be born, that he hath done this.

    Be all blessed of YHWH. HaDerek

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  13. The more we watch, wait and dig for more nuggets about His return, the more certain I am the NOT WATCHING was a ploy of Satan. This really speaks to my heart because my wake-up call came when someone asked me about 4 years ago if I knew Yeshua was coming back soon. Instantly, "No Man Knows the Day or the Hour". I had no ax to grind, wasn't upset with this person at all - but that flew out of my mouth as if someone had pressed a magic button. When he queried me further and I learned what the phrase actually meant it began the most joyous 4 years of study and learning I have ever known.

    In hindsight, I had been programmed to believe without question I could not know and, more importantly, it was somehow a sin to try and discover it. I have encountered this over and over with Christian friends. It is programming. I find it serves two purposes - Number one it keeps believers out of the scriptures on that topic for sure and if there is no imminence, no party to plan for the return, many lose motivation to simple everyday life. There is no growing longing for and needing to see our Beloved Savior for we are instructed we cannot know when he is coming, thus we have to occupy our minds with something else. Number two - The Believer is given an excuse to be lazy and not make an effort to learn more about end times, the rapture, the tribulation and, God Forbid, do not start looking back in the Old Testament and get too "Jewish" on me.

    I think Satan has masterfully deceived the Body and the churches in this regard. Rapture teaching, when done properly, does not lift people up and make them fall from the faith if a High Watch time passes and nothing occurs. Once you get the bit in your teeth, you never let it go. I do not think we give Christians enough credit. They won't go sit on a mountain top unless your using witchcraft or something. They won't stop paying their bills or feeding their family. They won't quit their jobs and they won't quit tithing. They really can handle the truth!

    Blessings - Sherry

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    1. Awesome Sherry! I totally agree..."no man knows" has been used to keep us from even waiting expectantly for far too long. If you even mention that Jesus is coming back, you get hit over the head with that verse. The gospel DOES include the FACT that He is coming BACK for us. That is the hope we have!

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    2. Sherry, I can SOOOO relate to your comment about the "programming". You can bet that if a phrase is almost universally spouted of on a subject without an study, discernment, prayer, etc... you can guarantee that it is being taking out of context or at the very least misunderstood.

      Day nor hour fits this bill.... thou shall not judge fits this as well.

      Thank you for this comment... you have hit the nail on the head!

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    3. "Once you get the bit in your teeth, you never let it go." wow, Mike Drop. Ain't it the Truth? As the loved ones around us well attest, that it is, amen, that it is, Maranatha!

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  14. I've always been a classic pre-tribber...no prerequisite sign for the rapture. But I figured the pieces of the Tribulation must be in place for it to follow rather quickly. It seems the stage is set now. But I'm starting to get antsy. The other rapture models are downright scary. And I hate the idea of looking for the AC instead of our Savior. Come soon, Lord Jesus!

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  15. Love your whole comment, Sherry. Very well spoken.

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  16. @Ellen - dear sister thank you so much for commenting above. Your words so much touched my soul and I am deeply moved by your kind reply and your testimony for our sweet LORD and Saviour Jesus Christ whose "great sign" we have witnessed in Heaven and whose eternal loving presence we soon will join in person. May He bless you abundantly for the wonderful fruit He yielded from your heart. You have expressed what I feel too but cannot frame into words so nicely (as a non native). Praise God in eternity! HALLELUJAH :)) much love YSIC I look forward to meeting you with Him!

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Colossians 3:2-4

Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

1 Peter 2:9

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.

Philippians 3:20-21

But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.