This past week was an interesting week for weather in Ohio. On Monday morning, we had about three inches of snow. Then, on Tuesday afternoon and evening, there were numerous tornadoes and once again on Wednesday morning, we had snow. They say that if you don’t like the weather in Ohio, just wait 30 minutes and it will change. That was certainly the truth for the week we just experienced.
Which got me to thinking. I know the weather service is wrong on numerous occasions but when they do get it right, they can forecast almost to the minute when and where the weather is going to be. They can tell us that north of the Interstate 70 corridor, there will be six to eight inches of snow and south of this area, will receive four to five inches of snow. Or, like on Tuesday night, they can look at the weather maps, notice the hook echoes and let us know that a certain place is right for tornadic conditions. Once the tornado is seen, then they can tell us the path it will probably take and what time to expect it in any given area. They can be precise when they get it right.
I also thought about an event that has been predicted for over 2,000 years now. It is called the Rapture of the Church. Paul, the New Testament Apostle teaches in various places that Jesus Christ is going to come back and gather His church up in the clouds and that we shall go with Him into Heaven for all eternity. Also, in 1 Thessalonians 5:2, Paul tells us that no one knows the time or the day and that when Jesus comes, He will come as a thief in the night.
Unlike those predicting the weather, there is no Doppler radar to let us know when Jesus is coming again. We know that He is coming. We know that He is coming for His church. But we don’t know when. And, when Paul talks about Jesus coming back for His church, he is not referring to those who are the CEO’s of the church. (Those who only attend on Christmas and Easter Only — CEO.) Nor is he talking about those who go to church on a regular basis. “Church” in the Bible means those who have accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior and are trusting in Him and Him alone for their salvation. Understand this. Not everyone is going to spend their eternity in Heaven. Not even those who go to church on a regular basis. Please understand this because I would bet there are people who read this article every week who will not go to Heaven when they die. Why do I say this? Because Jesus did. Jesus said to those who went to church in His day and who did many wonderful things in His name and who worked very hard for the church, He said, “Depart from Me, I never knew you.” Which leads me to believe that you can go to church your whole life and miss Heaven when you die. Why?
Because you wanted to go to Heaven “your way” and not “God’s way.” God clearly tells us that we must be born again (saved) in order to go to Heaven. (Please read John 3; Romans 3:23, Romans 5:8, Romans 6:23, Romans 10:9-10, Romans 10:13, and I. John 5:13.) If you will read these verses with an open mind, and accept the Way that Jesus offers, you will spend your eternity in Heaven. I know that is where I want to spend my eternity.
And I would bet that you do too. You see, given the choice (and we do have a choice here) I seriously doubt that anyone would choose to spend their eternity in Hell. Why would you? It’s not going to be a very nice place to be. On the other hand, Heaven is going to be more than we ever imagined.
So, just like there are people who can tell us when and where the storm is going to strike, the writers in the Bible have also told us of an event that is soon to take place. Jesus is coming again, and I believe His return is going to be soon. Are you ready?
And that is Something to Think About for this week.
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Pastor Thad Gifford is the founding and lead pastor of the Crossroads Community Church, 2343 U.S. Route 42, London, one mile west of Kirkwood Cemetery. He can be reached at 740-852-7800, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the church’s Facebook page at Crossroadslondon.