At the Doors

Hello, Everyone!  Welcome to another broadcast of the Resounding Shophar Blast!  In case you haven’t been watching, there is a lot going on right now regarding the fulfillment of Biblical end-time events, so much so that some people are scrambling just to keep up with everything that is going on.

As I observe all that is going on right now, I am reminded of something that took place back in December of 1989.  The event was a meeting between then President George W. Bush, Sr. and the Soviet Premier Mikhail Gorbachev on the island of Malta.  I don’t remember much about that event, but what I do remember was something said by a well-known news anchor who was on a boat in the middle of the Mediterranean, and during a storm.  This news anchor, and I don’t remember which one it was, while he’s on the deck of the boat braving the storm, told the audience that things were happening so fast that they were having trouble keeping up and reporting all the news taking place.  When I heard him say that, immediately God quickened to me that when the time comes for Jesus to return for His Bride and for the start of the Tribulation period, things will be happening so fast that people’s heads will be spinning, and what the world was experiencing at the time this reporter made these statements was only a glimpse, a taste, of what will happen when God says it’s time.  People are now actually beginning to comment about how so much is happening right now in the area of Biblical end-time prophecy fulfillment, they are having trouble keeping up with it all.

In Matthew 24:32-35, as well as in Mark 13:28-31, Jesus gives us the parable of the fig tree.  In the Bible, the fig tree is symbolic of the Nation of Israel.  When Jesus gave this parable, Israel was not a nation, but He was looking at a future time when Israel would become one.  In this parable, Jesus makes it known that the generation that sees Israel become a nation will not pass away until all the things He previously mentioned takes place.  Well, Israel became a nation May 14, 1948, and ever since then the fulfillment of Biblical end-time prophecies has kicked into high gear along with the highly anticipated return of Jesus for His Church.  Some people want to say that it will be several years yet before Jesus returns, and some say even at least 100 or more years yet, but there is one very big problem with this rationale.  The generation that saw Israel become a nation is about to pass away, which means that there isn’t the 10’s or 100’s of years some would like to believe there is before Christ returns.  There has been much debate over the years as to how long a generation is Biblically speaking, ranging anywhere between 40 to 120 years, but the consensus seems to point to 70-80 years as mentioned in Psalms 90:10.  The current life expectancy statistics show just under 80 years, which seems to correlate very well with what we are currently seeing in the fulfillment of Biblical end-time prophecies.

In the parable of the fig tree, Jesus tells us that when we see all the signs He had mentioned taking place that we are to know that the end is near, at the doors!  Talking about end-time events and when Jesus will return for the Church, many people will comment about how the signs Jesus mentioned, as well as what has been mentioned in other passages, have been seen for years.  This only feeds into the fulfillment of one of the prophecies we’ve been given regarding the end-times, and that is found in 2 Peter 3:1-7 when the Apostle Peter tells us in the last days many will mock and question the promise of Christ’s return.  While it is true that many of the signs Jesus mentioned have been seen for years, the difference to the times we are now living in is that all the signs seem to be converging together at the same time.  This is different from the past in that not all the signs were present at the same time, but at different times and in different places.  As we watch the fulfillment of Biblical end-time prophecies all around us, as well as all the signs prophesied converging together at the same time, it is evident that the final fulfillment of the signs Jesus gave is near, even at the doors!

When we talk about the final fulfillment of the signs Jesus gave us being near, it is important for us to remember a couple things.  To begin with, some of the signs Jesus gave are directly connected to the Tribulation period we know will be coming, but we also know that if what He gave us relates to the Tribulation period, then that means the Rapture is that much closer.  Therefore, Christians who are watching for the return of Jesus for His followers in the Rapture are excited about what they are seeing, knowing that this only means that the Blessed Hope mentioned in Titus 2:13 is about to happen.  I’ve heard it said in the past, and I’ve since mentioned it myself at times, that when you begin to see the signs pointing to the fact that Christmas is near, that only means Thanksgiving is that much closer.  What we are seeing take place right now point to the reality that the Tribulation period is about to start very, very soon, and that only means that the pre-Tribulation Rapture is that much closer.

Notice that in Matthew 24:32-35, Jesus is talking about Israel.  He’s not talking about America, which didn’t come into existence until over 1700 years later, or any other country or people group.  He’s talking about Israel and the Jewish people.  What should that tell us?  That should tell us that Israel is God’s prophetic timepiece, not America, or any other country or people group.  In fact, when we look at Bible end-time prophecies, both in the Old and New Testaments, it’s all pretty much centered around Israel and the Jewish people.  Those who want to say that God is done with Israel, and that He replaced them with the Church, a teaching that is spreading more and more within Church circles, they haven’t really read their Bible as that is most definitely not the truth.  In fact, the Tribulation period the Bible talks about was prophesied for the Jewish people way back in Daniel 9, the purpose of which is to judge and discipline Israel and bring them to a place where they will acknowledge Jesus as the messiah they have been promised from the beginning, the same Jesus they rejected almost 2000 years ago.  So, not only does this mean that God is not done with the Nation of Israel and the Jewish people, but it also means that Israel is the prophetic timepiece God is using.

In Matthew 24:3-4, Jesus is asked by the disciples as to when He would be coming and when would the end of the age be, and Jesus’ initial response to them was to not be deceived.  As we see more and more of the signs of the end-times being fulfilled, it becomes even more necessary for us to be guarded against being deceived.  In 1 Timothy 4:1-3 and 2 Timothy 4:1-5, we are told by the Apostle Paul that deception will be strong in the last days as Christians will fall away from the faith to embrace false doctrines inspired and promoted by demons, false doctrines that tickle peoples ears who reject the truth to embrace that which feels and sounds good.

Deception is not limited to just false doctrines and teachings, but also to that which distracts us away from the truth and what we are called to be as ambassadors of Christ.  One form of deception that is often overlooked is that of misdirection, the practice of getting peoples attention away from where it needs to be and onto something else.  This is something that is often seen in the area of magic tricks and those who practice the art of illusions, making something appear to be something other than what it really is, but it is employed in a variety of ways that include directing the focus of Christians away from Biblical truth and onto something else that feels and sounds good.  We see this happening in various forms within the Church. 

Jesus mentioned that when we see all the signs He told us about being fulfilled, then we are to know that they are indicating to us that the Tribulation period and His subsequent return to establish His kingdom here on earth is very near, even at the door.  So, what are those signs that Jesus mentioned?  One of the signs He gave us, going along with that of deception, was of false prophets in verses 4-5.  While we are seeing some who claim to be Jesus, this will only increase especially leading up to the Tribulation period.  These will join the crowd of false teachers who teach and promote false doctrine that does not line up with Scripture, something that is becoming more and more prevalent in the days we are currently living in.

Another of the signs He mentioned is found in verses 6-7, and that is of wars and rumors of wars.  There is currently no shortage of wars going on, and rumors of wars about to break out around the world is great, and it seems to only be increasing.  These include the Biblically prophesied wars found in Psalms 83, Isaiah 17, and Ezekiel 38-39, wars that appear to be right around the corner, some of which could happen any day now.

Another sign that Jesus gave in verse 7 was that of famines, pestilence, and earthquakes.  Famines are only increasing as regions are either experiencing severe drought, severe flooding or other natural catastrophes that devastate crop productions and other food sources, and which greatly impact availability and access to food and pure water.  Pestilence is also increasing around the world with disease epidemics growing and expanding all over the place, as well as the re-emergence of some diseases long thought to be no longer in existence.  As for earthquakes, they are increasing both in number and intensity as never before, and even in places once thought to be free of earthquakes.  Might I also add the increase in volcanic activity all around the world, activity that can in themselves sometimes create earthquakes?

In verse 9 we see that the Jewish people will be hated by all nations, also known as anti-Semitism, something that is present even now and speedily growing all over the world.  Even in America this is becoming more of a reality as never before in this country.  And in verse 12 we read that lawlessness will abound, and that the love of many will grow cold.  We are seeing both as never before, and as fast and powerfully that it’s growing there are no signs of it diminishing one bit anytime in the foreseeable future.  Lawlessness is becoming a global problem infecting all walks of life and positions of leadership.

Again, while each of these signs have been present at different times and in different places in world history, the main difference from the past and the present is that they are all happening simultaneously as if they are all converging to a point of time in the near future.  In other words, the end of life as we know it is at the doors.  Are you ready for it?

When Noah built the ark, he had 120 years to preach about the judgment coming to all the world, but only eight entered the ark.  The people mocked him until the judgment came, and by then it was too late for them.  When Lot was saved, he was warned by angels that God was going to pour out judgment upon Sodom and Gomorrah, but only he and his wife with two of their daughters left.  Sadly, however, Lot’s wife didn’t get very far before she looked back at Sodom and was turned into a pillar of salt instead of getting to safety.

In like manner, God has warned us for thousands of years of the judgment coming to the world both in the Bible and in the fulfillment of Bible end-time prophesies.  Yet, people are not believing it even though the signs are screaming the truth and reality of this.  People are caught up with life in general, enjoying all that they can oblivious to what is going on in the world, and for some of them believing that we still have time because of one thing or another.  Some are even embracing prophesies of good things from people who believe false doctrine, discounting the fulfillment of the signs all around them which validate what God tells us in the Bible.  We can even see this as a fulfillment of the prophecy mentioned in 2 Timothy 4:3-4, where it talks of those who will not endure sound doctrine and truth but will instead embrace those who tickle their itchy ears with good fables.

Again, the Tribulation period and the subsequent return of Christ back to earth to establish His kingdom here is at the doors, and you don’t have to be here for that.  You can miss all of that, but it’s entirely up to you.  Those who have surrendered their lives to Jesus, those who have shown themselves faithful in living for Him in every area of their life, they will escape all that is coming in what I call the great evacuation, the Rapture.  This is one appointment you don’t want to miss!

Do you realize that Jesus’ return for His followers is very close and could happen at any moment?  Do you even care?  Jesus isn’t going to rescue you from the judgment that is coming to the world if you really aren’t concerned about it.  He’s looking for people who are eagerly waiting for Him to return for them, the Blessed Hope we read about in Titus 2:13.

Perhaps you are a Christian, but you haven’t been living as you know you ought to, allowing sin and idolatry to reign in your life.  If that is you, then I strongly encourage you to repent of such, to make things right with Jesus, asking Him for forgiveness and turning away from the sin.  Don’t play what I call Russian Roulette with your eternity because you want to hang onto that which is sin and dishonoring to God.  Do it today!  Don’t delay!

Maybe you have never given your life over to Jesus.  Maybe you have been living life as you wanted, and on your terms, but in listening to me today you realize there needs to be a change in your life.  You are seeing the signs I mentioned earlier only increasing, and you can tell things are not going to get any better but instead much worse, and you want to avoid as much of it as possible and realize the only real way of doing so is by surrendering your life to Jesus.  Well, you can make that change right now wherever you are.  It’s simple, as simple as “A, B, C”.  Let me tell you how.

For you to be considering making such a change in your life, this only shows that God is speaking to you.  He wants to have that saving relationship with you far more than you could ever want it yourself.  To enter that relationship with Him, the first thing you need to do is acknowledge that you are a sinner.  To acknowledge, or to admit, that you are a sinner is the “A” in the “A, B, C’s”.  This may be difficult for some to do, but it’s vitally important.  We are told in Romans 3:10 that no one is righteous or good, no, not one.  The reason for that is found in Romans 3:23 where we’re told that all, everyone, has sinned and fall short of the glory of God.  This means that nobody is good enough, no matter how good we may be, because we all have sin in our lives.  Continuing in Romans, we are told in Romans 6:23 that the wages of our sin is death, or in other words the penalty of the sin in our life is eternal death.  So, where does that leave us?  We are told in Ephesians 2:8-9 that the salvation God offers us is a gift of God, something we receive by grace and through faith.  No one deserves salvation, and no one certainly can earn it through works of any kind, but rather it is a gift from God.  To receive this gift from God, the first thing a person must do is “A”, acknowledge or admit that they are a sinner.

The second thing a person must do, and this is “B” in the “ABC’s”, is to “BELIEVE” in their heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and that God raised Him from the dead.  Romans 10:9-10 tells us that if we confess with our mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in our heart that God raised Him from the dead, we will be saved.  It’s not just a mental believing as some would like it to be, but rather a believing that dictates the way one lives their life.  It’s a way of life that reflects and supports what they say they believe.  In James 2:19 were told that even the demons believe, and they tremble, but salvation is not available to them.  Just having a head knowledge is not enough.

The third thing a person must do, and this is “C” in the “ABC’s”, is to “CALL UPON THE NAME OF THE LORD.”  You need to call Jesus Lord, and to do so means one must surrender their life to Him.  There is coming a time when every knee will bow before Him, and every tongue will confess to God that He is Lord.  Now is the time for salvation, and now is the time to voluntarily surrender your life to Him.  The eternal rewards for surrendering your life to Jesus is far greater than anything this world could ever hope to give you.

Is a relationship with Jesus like I’ve described important and worth it?  It is most definitely worth it, and then some.  I won’t say that life will be easier or with less problems, but it will be more fulfilling, and with that there is a Blessed Hope for all Christians to embrace and pursue.  More and more people are beginning to feel hopeless with life, especially when they see everything that is happening around them and around the world, but as Christians we have a hope that is solid and independent of anything this world could ever hope to offer us.  The signs we are seeing across the news headlines now days only energizes the hope we have of Jesus’ ever imminent return for us.  It is that same hope, that Blessed Hope, that encourages Christians to keep the faith and to continue living for Him and Him alone.  Are you one of those who place their trust and hope in Jesus?

If you do not have a saving relationship with Jesus, and you would like to, I encourage you to talk to God right now.  It doesn’t have to be anything fancy or eloquent, just a sharing of your heart to Him.  If that is you, and you’re ready to give your life to Jesus, then say this prayer from your heart and to Him.  Again, it’s not a formula, just a sharing of your heart to Him.

“O God, I am a sinner.  I’m sorry for my sin.  I want to turn from my sin.  I believe Jesus Christ is Your Son; I believe that He died on the cross for my sin, that He was buried, that You raised Him to life, and that He’s coming to take me back to His house in heaven very soon.  I have decided to place my faith in Jesus Christ as my Savior and Lord, trusting only in His shed blood as more than sufficient to save my soul and to take me to heaven.  Thank You, Lord Jesus, for saving me.  Amen.”

Now that you have entered into this relationship with Jesus, I strongly encourage you to find a Bible and start reading it, and to find and get plugged into a solid Bible-believing church that teaches and preaches the full Gospel of Jesus, which includes Bible prophecy and the need to be living righteously and holy before the Lord in all your ways. 

In closing, know that Jesus is coming soon, very soon, for His followers, and it is vitally important for each of us to be found both watching and ready for Him when He does.  Don’t get lulled into the deceptive thinking that His return is not near for one reason or another, especially when the fulfillment of the signs given in the Bible tell us that it’s at the door.  It’s our responsibility to be watching the signs for Him, and to be ready, free of any spots, blemishes, or wrinkles brought on through sin in our lives.

Remember these two things:

  1. The King is Coming!
  2. Be ready for Him when He does!

John Johansson

The Time Is Near

It has been preached for nearly 2000 years that Jesus would be returning soon.  The nature of that teaching, and what that exactly entails, has been intensely debated in church history.  As a kid growing up in church, I remember there being a lot of talk about Jesus’ return and end-time Bible prophecy.  Sadly, that is no longer the case as the focus of most churches, at least here in America, has been around building God’s kingdom here on earth, or trying to reach people with a “gospel” built on love and acceptance without offending anyone in the areas of sin, holiness, and judgment.  With such a watered-down and sugar-coated “gospel” that is promoted and taught in most churches, it is no wonder that there is little to no talk of Jesus’ return or end-time events.


I recently read that the Barna Group found that 51% of church goers have no clue as to the what the Great Commission is, and of the remaining 49% only about 17% know what it is and where in Scripture it comes from (Matthew 28:9-20 and Mark 16:15-18).  This could explain why most churches are not even actively engaging in and being obedient to it, but instead are looking to either build God’s kingdom here on earth or to see how many people they can gain in their congregations without offending people through a watered-down sugar-coated “gospel”.  Could this also explain why there is so little preached or taught in churches about Jesus’ return and Biblically prophesied end-time events.  A gospel preached absent of the future return of Jesus and prophesied end-time events, as well as the necessity to be living right and free of sin in the sight of God, is not the complete or balanced gospel found within Scripture.


For the first time in Israel’s existence since it was formed 70 years ago, an Arab leader has acknowledged Israel and their right to their own land.  That same leader has also been in private conversations with Jewish leaders, working with President Trump to push a peace treaty between Israel and their neighbors.  I will add that it was reported several years ago that Saudi Arabia had plans for a 7-year peace treaty with Israel, one that had been on the “back-burner” waiting for the right time to promote.  Could this be the 7-year peace treaty the Bible talks about, the one that starts the Great Tribulation period found in Daniel 9:27?  Only time will tell, but I wonder how many people in churches across this nation know of the Bible prophesies regarding a 7-year peace treaty, or are even watching the signs pointing to its fulfillment?  There are several things that have transpired within this past week or so, things that are pointing to the fulfillment of Bible prophecy as it relates to the last days and the Great Tribulation period.  Things like the forming of alliances between specific countries in the Middle East, the growing intensity in and around the city of Damascus, just to name a couple.  Oh, and let us not forget that Israel turns 70 next month, a very significant event to be mindful of as we continue into the days ahead of us.


So, how many Christians are paying attention to the signs, knowing that their fulfillment point even stronger to the return of Jesus for His Bride in an event known as the Rapture?  Again, sadly, not too many.  In the midst of watching Bible end-time prophesies being fulfilled before our eyes, and the apparent ignorance of church goers of what is going on and what it means to them as Christians, there is a growing concern among some who study Bible prophecy regarding pastors being held accountable for not teaching and preparing their congregations about these things and the times we’re in.  I believe their concern is a valid one, knowing that if people in their congregations are not aware of the signs or ready when Jesus returns, they can find themselves left behind and having to face a period that will be the worst ever experienced in world history.  I pray that these pastors, these shepherds, will wake up and start making their congregations, their flocks, aware of the times we’re living in, as well as the need to be ready when He returns and what that means.


I was listening to someone the other day, someone that doesn’t understand what the Bible calls the “good news”, and some of what he was prophesying regarding future events for America.  Among the many things that concerned me with what he was saying, he made it clear that any Christian that doesn’t embrace what he’s prophesying is a weak and immature Christian who doesn’t know the voice of God.  He further indicated that Christians who speak of things in the world getting worse, along with a hope of escaping them (probably referring to the Rapture), that they are defeatist, gloom and doom Christians who are not hearing the voice of God.  When he mentioned that, I immediately thought that those who don’t subscribe to his vision of what is ahead probably know the Bible and Bible prophesy better than he does.  A lot of people are really embracing the things he’s saying, excited to hear from him more of what God is telling him.  In 2 Timothy 4:2-4, the Apostle Paul tells us that in the last days Christians will turn away from sound doctrine because they have itching ears for teaching that supports their desires.  Paul also tells us in 1 Timothy 4:1-2 that many will depart from the Christian faith to follow deceiving spirits and doctrines inspired and promoted by demons.  Is this just one example of what the Bible warns us will be taking place in these last days?


As I thought about this person and the confidence he has in hearing the voice of God, and how that what he’s telling people is contradictory to what Scripture has to say, ignoring or discounting the fact that Bible prophecy is being fulfilled right before our eyes, I was reminded of an account recorded in 2 Chronicles 18:1-34; 19:1-2.  In a summary of what transpires in this portion of Scripture, two kings are looking to enter a war with another king and are inquiring if the Lord will go before them into battle.  Four hundred prophets’ prophecy that they are to go to war, and that they will be victorious because God will give them the victory, but one of the kings wants to hear from a prophet of the Lord.  A prophet of God is summoned, one that the king of Israel doesn’t like because he never tells him anything of prosperity or good things.  The prophet of God arrives on the scene, and when asked by the kings what God would say to them regarding this battle, the prophet says something very interesting.  This prophet, Micaiah, tells them that God wanted them to go into battle where the king of Israel would be killed, and God inquired of those surrounding His throne as to who could persuade the king to go into battle.  Micaiah recounts that one of those around the throne said he would persuade the king to go forward in this battle, and when God asked him how he would do it the answer was that he would cause the prophets to believe a lie and tell the king to do so.  God approved of this, and that is why all four hundred prophets were prophesying that he should go to war.  The king didn’t like what he said and chose to follow with the answer he got from the four hundred prophets, and despite his attempt to disguise himself got shot by an errant arrow that caused him to die later that day.


Is it possible that the same thing is happening now, where people are claiming to hear one thing from God as to what is ahead for America, bringing America into judgment and exposing where the hearts of many Christians really is?  The Holy Spirit will never contradict Scripture, but so many Christians choose to embrace what people say they are hearing from God instead of searching the Scriptures, and not just the ones they are using, to verify if what is being said truly is from God.  Is our focus more on the future of America, or on eternity in Heaven with Jesus and reaching the lost with the good news of the gospel?  I fear for the pastors that choose to not preach and teach about Jesus’ return and the future of the world through the eyes of Bible prophecy, knowing that they will be held accountable for those under their leadership that find themselves eternally lost because they were not told the complete and balanced Word of God which includes Jesus’ return and end-time events.  Many pastors try to avoid preaching about anything that might offend someone and keep them away, things like sin, holiness, and a coming judgment, and God will hold them accountable for that.  Sometimes what is edifying to the body of Christ is not always pleasant or good to hear, or feel, but the edification comes when the person accepts it and makes the necessary changes to grow in their faith and live as God would have them to.  On the flip side, not everything that is good is from or of God, and anything that is good from God can become something that is not good if it gets in the way of what God has for that person in their relationship with Him.


The time is near, near for the return of Jesus for His bride, and near for the start of Jacob’s trouble when God pours out His wrath and judgments upon the earth.  Pay attention to the signs and take the necessary steps to be ready when Jesus does return, which is very soon.  The time is near.


John Johansson


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Edge of Eternity

“People have been saying that for more than 2000 years.”  How many times have you heard someone say that about the rapture?  Or, perhaps you’ve said that yourself.  There is a mindset among many that since people have been saying that for so long then surely He’s not coming, or at least not any time in the immediate future.  This mindset is based simply because Jesus hasn’t already come, but is that one argument, in and of itself, enough to discount His coming back?  I don’t think so.

When Israel became a nation in May 1948 the dynamics changed.  In Matthew 24:32-34, Jesus tells a parable of a fig tree, a parable that many believe points to the rebirth of the Jewish nation.  In this passage of scripture Jesus indicates that the generation of people that see Israel become a nation will not pass away until the rapture and the tribulation comes to an end.  There are many differing views as to what Jesus is alluding to in regards to a generation, whether it is 40 years, 70 years, or even 80 years.  There are even differing views as to whether this period of time started with Israel becoming a nation, with the six-day war in 1967, or even with the Yom Kippur war of 1973.  The point is that we are now living in the time of that generation of people, and that means unlike 2000 years ago, or even 100 years ago, we are on the ‘edge of eternity’.  Yes, we are on the edge of eternity because at the moment of our last breath we go from life here on earth and into eternity, whether that is in heaven or in hell, but I’m not talking about that edge of eternity.  The edge of eternity I’m speaking about is for all humanity.

What does this tell us?  It tells us that the rapture of the Church, the Bride of Christ is imminent.  Is it safe for us to say that?  We have entered a period of time where the final positioning of Biblical end-time events surrounding the tribulation period and the anti-Christ are climaxing before our very eyes, literally setting the stage for this to take place at any moment.  We see this in the ever increasing descent of America both domestically and abroad, in world economies and in the many changes taking place in the Middle East.  Keep your eyes on Jerusalem.  With all that is going on we see America turning its back on God and falling into a moral collapse.  America today is not the America many remember it being from even 50 years ago.  The world is waiting and looking for a one-world government, a one-world economy and one person to lead it, but the only thing currently standing in the way of that is America.  That is until America becomes meaningless in the eyes of the world for one reason or another, but nonetheless it has to decline very significantly, something that is happening rather quickly before our very eyes.

So, what am I trying to say?  I’m trying to say that we are on the edge of eternity, and that we need to make sure we are ready and in right relationship with Jesus before that trumpet sound calling His bride to meet Him in the clouds on our way to heaven.  Are you ready?  I hope so.  If not, I strongly encourage you to make yourself ready with no delay.  It will require more than just saying a prayer or walking down an aisle, it will require surrender to Him of our lives for His purposes.  Are you ready to do that?  Think about it!

Wedding Guest Gets The Boot.

For the longest time I have wondered about the meaning or significance of the parable of the wedding feast found in Matthew 22:1-14.  More specifically, what is Jesus trying to tell us with the wedding guest that was given the boot?  At face value we can merely see the significance of having the proper wedding garment on at the wedding, but there seems to be something more to this than just that.  Think about it, why would Jesus be telling us about the wedding guest who didn’t have the wedding garment when we’re the bride, and more importantly how did the wedding guest even make it to the wedding to begin with?  Well, I have some thoughts on this.  I realize that this may be controversial to say the least, but I ask that you will take it to prayer and ask God about this before making any quick judgments on it.

To begin with, let’s establish who the Bride of Christ is.  In 1 Corinthians 12:12-26 Paul tells us about the body of Christ and how it is made up of many different types of members, and then in verse 27 he plainly tells us that we are the body of Christ and members individually.  Furthermore, Paul also tells us in Ephesians 5:22-33 that the relationship between Christ and the church is like that between a husband and a wife.  In 2 Corinthians 11:2, Paul also tells us that we are betrothed to one husband so he can present us as a pure virgin to Christ.  We, the children of God, saved by grace through faith in Jesus, are not only a part of the body of Christ, but we are also the Bride of Christ.

This is further established when we understand the marriage customs of ancient Jews during the time Jesus was here, and when we see how our relationship and future with Jesus parallels those very customs.  When we accept Christ as both savior and Lord of our life, we enter into a marriage contract with Jesus.  In our western culture, entering into marriage starts and is completed with the “I do’s” that both the bride and groom indicate during the marriage ceremony, leaving only the consummation later that day.  This is not the process in the marriage customs of ancient Jews.  When the bride and groom agree to enter marriage they enter into a marriage contract.  After they’ve entered into this marriage contract with each other, the groom then leaves to go prepare a place for him and his new bride without even consummating the marriage.  The bride does not know when her groom will return for her, but it is her responsibility as she waits to both prepare herself for him and to keep watching for his return.  If the groom returns to find that his bride had not prepared herself for him, or that she was not watching for him or if she had her attention or affections towards another, he could return to his father’s house without her even knowing he was there and will give her a letter of divorcement.  This would be final.  However, if he did return and found she had prepared herself for him, and that her affections and attention was still towards him and watching for his return, she would return to his father’s house with him where they would consummate the marriage and have a wedding party that would last on an average of seven days.  Can you see the parallels between these ancient marriage customs and our relationship and future with Jesus?  I hope you see them.

So, who are the wedding guests at the wedding party?  There are some who believe that we, the church, are the wedding guests Jesus refers to, but that doesn’t match up with scripture.  We’ve already established that the church is the bride of Christ, and so it wouldn’t make sense that we are the wedding guests.  Would it?  I don’t think so.  Based on the relationship we have with Christ, and the return we are waiting and watching for called the rapture, I think it is safe to say that the wedding guests are all who lived and died prior to Jesus that were Gods, as well as those who surrender and give their lives to Jesus after the rapture event takes place.  The church is the bride of Christ and did not exist prior to Jesus’ death and resurrection, and the church will be caught up to be with Christ at the rapture.

In Matthew 25:1-13, we have Jesus telling us the parable of the ten virgins.  Some people would like to say that the virgins represented in this parable are the wedding guests, but that doesn’t make sense.  For one thing, the bridegroom doesn’t come to get the wedding guests, and if the virgins represented the wedding guests how come they were not allowed to enter the wedding party after the bridegroom took the wise virgins back?  Based on the marriage customs of the ancient Jews, during the wedding party that would take place over several days, some of the guests would come to the party after the marriage was consummated, so it wouldn’t make sense that in this parable the guests would not be allowed to enter in.  There may be some who think these are the guests because there are more than one virgin represented in this parable, but we have to remember that Paul tells us in one of the scriptures I referred to earlier that we are all a part of one body, but many members.  Just as we all make up the body of Christ, even so we all make up the Bride of Christ.

So, referring back to the scripture in Matthew 22 that talks about the wedding feast and the wedding guest that gets the boot, is there any reasonable explanation as to who this guest is and how they made it to the wedding feast without the wedding garment?  I believe there is an explanation, but it will be a tough one for many to swallow as it cuts against the grain of what we may have been taught in the past.  Do you want to hear of one explanation of this?  Are you ready to hear it even though it is controversial?

Okay, here we go.  When we accept Christ as our savior and Lord, we exchange our rags of filthiness for His robes of righteousness.  That’s a pretty good deal if I may say so.  We briefly touched on how many who have started a relationship with Christ will not make it into heaven.  In Matthew 7:13-14 we are told that there are two gates to go through, one that is broad and leads to destruction, and one that is narrow and leads to life.  Jesus tells us that many will go the way of the broad gate while just a few will go the way of the narrow gate.  Later in that same chapter, in verses 21-23, Jesus makes it clear that there will be many who refer to Him as Lord, citing all that they did and accomplished in His name that will not be allowed to enter heaven.  There are other scriptures that seem to indicate not only that there will be many who think that they are saved that will not enter into heaven, but also that there will be some who once walked with Jesus that will not be numbered among those in Heaven.  Among these other scriptures there seems to be one that just doesn’t get much attention for some reason.

In Revelation 16:15, in the midst of the different judgments the Apostle John tells us about, Jesus makes an interesting comment.  Jesus says, “Behold, I am coming as a thief.  Blessed is he who watches, and keeps his garments, lest he walk naked and they see his shame.”  In both Luke 21:34-36 and in Matthew 24:42-44, Jesus tells us to watch for His return.  Many think that it isn’t important to be watching for His return, but that is in contradiction to what Jesus tells us to do.  There must be a reason why Jesus made a point to tell His followers to be watching.  Jesus doesn’t stop with blessing those who are watching for His return, but He continues on by narrowing things down to those who not only watch for Him but also keep their garments.  This is an indication that even though someone may have entered a saving relationship with Jesus, at which time they received His robe of righteousness that it is possible to be without it.  Furthermore, apparently those who were not watching or did not keep their garments will be found naked and others will see their shame.  I believe it is safe to say that those who took on the name of Jesus but were not ready and prepared for His return lost their robes of righteousness when His bride was caught up to be with Him.  Can you imagine the shame those who were not ready will experience when others recognize them as those who called themselves Christians yet did not go up in the rapture?  I imagine it will be very overwhelming and humbling.

I know that growing up I found myself thinking if a Christian was not ready to go up in the rapture, that there was still a chance for them during the tribulation period though the price to be paid would be much higher.  I also knew that there would be some during the tribulation period that would find their eternal destination in Heaven only if they were martyred for Christ.  This has changed for me over the past several years.  While I still believe that there will be many who will receive salvation during the tribulation period by way of giving their lives for Christ, I am no longer convinced that unprepared Christians, or ‘foolish virgins’, will have another opportunity if they miss the rapture.  I think as the unprepared bride who was not watching for the grooms return missed out and was then given in finality a letter of divorce, even so the ‘foolish virgins’ and unprepared Christians will find out that they squandered any opportunity of eternity in heaven when they missed the rapture.  I think this is where the wedding guest gets the boot.

You see, this particular wedding guest did not have a wedding garment on, and when questioned they were speechless, possibly thinking that they did have the proper attire on.  I can’t help but wonder if this is one of the ‘foolish virgins’ or unprepared Christians who attempted to enter heaven as a wedding guest by dying a martyrs death during the tribulation, but because they already had the robe of righteousness at one time but lost it, they did not have the proper attire when they arrived at the wedding.

Now at this time I must clarify something.  Not everyone who claimed to be a Christian actually entered into a saving relationship with Christ at any time, and so it is impossible for anyone to say that anyone who called themselves a Christian that missed the rapture has no hope for salvation.  This can only be decided by God, Himself, and if anyone is left behind I strongly encourage them to still give themselves and their lives over to Christ.

Time is very, very short for the imminent return of Jesus for His bride.  The pieces of Biblical prophecy regarding the return of Jesus for His bride and the tribulation period are rapidly coming into place.  I’ve already highlighted some of these in a previous article, but to add to that list is the fact that Syria is speedily entering into a position that almost guarantees their destruction as described in Isaiah 17, an event that most scholars and prophecy ‘experts’ believe will take place either just before or just after the rapture of the church.  This could possibly be the very event that brings the anti-Christ on the stage.  People, this is not the time to be gambling with your eternity, but instead take all the steps you can with determination to make sure you are right with Jesus, ready and prepared for His return.  This involves getting sin out of your life, which will probably require some pretty tough decisions and actions on your part.  This is also the time to let go of any hurts, wounds or offenses you’ve picked up over the years, as well as any unforgiveness, resentments or bitterness.  Time is short!  Don’t delay!  Your eternity hinges on it.

If this article ministered to you, I ask that you will consider sharing it with others to help them prepare for Christ’s soon return.  While I appreciate the Facebook ‘Like’ buttons, I believe sharing it will reach many more people and have an opportunity to help others.  If you’re also on Twitter, I ask that you will be sure to ‘re-tweet’ this to others as well.  The more people that see this the better.

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