Resurrection Day: Hope in the Year of the Plagues

I am the bread of life

“Teacher,” they asked Him, “so when will these things be? And what will be the sign when these things are about to take place?”

Then He said, “Watch out that you are not deceived. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am He,’ and, ‘The time is near.’ Don’t follow them. When you hear of wars and rebellions, don’t be alarmed. Indeed, these things must take place first, but the end won’t come right away.”

Then He told them: “Nation will be raised up against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.

world war 1
World War I – a global war (1914 to 1918)
world_war_2
World War II – a global war (1939 to 1945)
world war 3, newspaper article text
World War III – a global war (2020 to 2027?)

There will be violent earthquakes, and famines and plagues in various places, and there will be terrifying sights and great signs from heaven. (Luke 21:7-11)

We have already gone through two world wars, and are on the verge of a third one, this time with Iran and Russia.

Increasing earthquakes, famines and plagues are also listed by Jesus as the signs that the end of the age is about to take place. Are they increasing now?

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Earthquakes:

earthquakes stats

Famine:

famine stats

Plague:

coronavirus-graph-ani

In fact, all natural disasters have been dramatically increasing since the 1950’s:

natural disaster events 1900 - 2019

 

NOAA - global warming

This year began with two plagues. Beginning in January, 2020, the worst locust outbreak in decades is threatening the world – at an unprecedented scope.

So There’s a Locust Plague Too? / Intelligencer, March 14, 2020

locust ani 2

It’d be easy to quip biblically about the simultaneous breakout of pandemic and plague if not for the vast human toll that the intercontinental crises are exacting. As the coronavirus continues to spread on six continents, a desert locust outbreak has inundated East Africa with hundreds of billions of bugs, causing food shortages in Kenya, Somalia, and Ethiopia. “It was like an umbrella had covered the sky,” Joseph Katone Leparole, a 68-year-old living in central Kenya, told the New York Times.

In our age of overlapping crises, it shouldn’t be a surprise that climate change can be identified as a factor in the upsurge, the technical term used for such a natural disaster that is just below plague. It began in 2018, when a pair of cyclones came in from the Indian Ocean and hit the “empty quarter” of the Arabian peninsula — the vast desert region near the borders of Saudi Arabia, Yemen, and Oman. In a speech before the African Union in February, U.N. general secretary António Guterres explained the unfortunate cycle: “Warmer seas mean more cyclones, generating the perfect breeding ground for locusts.”

Now, the consensus is that the Coronavirus plague is going to change our way of life for at least a year.

Scientists warn we may need to live with social distancing for a year or more / Vox, March 17, 2020

lockdown ani

Life in America — and in many countries around the world — is changing drastically. We’re physically distanced from our favorite people, we’re avoiding our favorite public places, and many are financially strained or out of work. The response to the Covid-19 pandemic is infiltrating every aspect of life, and we’re already longing for it to end. But this fight may not end for months or a year or even more.

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During this time of the plagues and the Great Pause, where is our hope?

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empty-tomb

Resurrection Day, also known as Easter, is a holiday commemorating the resurrection of Jesus from the dead, described in the New Testament as having occurred on the third day after his burial following his crucifixion by the Romans at Calvary around 30 AD.

This is the Good News, and it is a historical event. Billions of souls doubt it, and think that it is all a myth.

What is the TRUTH?  What will STAND when all else falls?

KNOW what really COUNTS!  IT will matter for an eternity!

Included below is the Lord’s Plan for saving you, known as the Good News. He gave the first people a garden paradise to live in, but because of their rebellion they died spiritually and the Lord expelled them. This is known as the fall of Man. Later, he gave them the law as a guide to right living, but his ultimate solution was to send his son Jesus Christ to serve as the sacrifice and payment for all rebellion and sin. He asks that people believe in Jesus Christ as his son, and accept him as their salvation.  Then, they will reclaim paradise, also known as the Kingdom of heaven. Those who reject Jesus Christ will remain spiritually dead for all eternity.

Fingers

Paradise – God, with his son Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit, created the universe and everything in it and he said it was good. He then said, “Let us make man in our image.”  About 6,000 years ago, he breathed into man and Adam came alive and was a being that had a will of his own.  He could make his own decisions.  God choose that for man.  He gave Adam dominion over the earth and all its inhabitants. Adam was alone so he then created Eve for him to have a help mate.  It was a perfect life in paradise.

garden of eden

Rebellion – There were two trees in the garden. The first was the Tree of Life (a symbol of the Holy Spirit).  The second was the Tree of the Knowledge of good and evil (a symbol of the law).  This was the only tree in the garden that God told them they were not to eat the fruit of. There was no sin until Eve was tempted by Satan (an evil angel) to eat the forbidden fruit of that tree.  Adam followed her in the sin of disobedience to God.  They knew they had rebelled.

They lost their innocence and realized that they were naked. They covered their nakedness with fig leaves. That is when man first sinned (disobeyed the known will of God).  God had to sacrifice an animal to cover their sin and nakedness.  This was the first sacrifice to cover sin, and a lesson from God that the payment for sin will always be death.  They died spiritually and morally and where alienated from God. They transmitted their sin nature to all of their offspring. Since then, sin has remained in the world, all people are sinners, and death remains the punishment for sin.

noah-ark

The Fall – Adam and Eve were forced from the paradise garden into a life of hard work, and from then on women would have pain in the delivery of children.

Men and women then reproduced and populated the earth.  The wickedness of man was great, the earth had become filled with violence, and God was grieved. However, one man named Noah found grace in the eyes of God. About 2,400 B. C. God destroyed the wicked by flooding the earth with water.  During the flood, he saved Noah and his family by protecting them in a large boat along with animals of every kind. After the flood waters had receded, God blessed Noah and his sons and told them, “Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth.”

About 2,000 B. C. God appeared to a man named Abram and told him to leave where he was and to go into another land that God would show him. Abram had faith in God, obeyed him, and this pleased God. God later changed Abram’s name to Abraham (which means father of many nations). God told Abraham that in his offspring all the nations of the earth would be blessed, because he obeyed God’s voice. Abraham gave birth to Isaac, Isaac gave birth to Jacob, and Jacob’s name was changed to Israel. Israel had twelve sons who were the fathers of the twelve tribes of the nation of Israel.

moses-tablet

The Law – Later the Israelites were enslaved by the Egyptians, and around 1,400 B. C. God used a man named Moses to deliver them from their slavery. After leaving Egypt, the Israelites wandered through the wilderness on their way to a good land, which God wanted them to live in. While they were in the wilderness, God gave Moses the law, which Moses taught the Israelites to obey. This law provided the infrastructure for their society, for generations to come, and still impacts us today.

The Israelites did not always obey the law which God had given them. Fortunately, God provided them with a way to be forgiven. If a person sinned, they could bring an animal to a priest and offer it to God. Its blood was then shed for the forgiveness of sin. God sent prophets to correct people who were acting wickedly.  The prophets would often instruct people to turn away from their wickedness and foretell of punishments for sin which would come upon the people. Unfortunately, the prophets were often persecuted.

nativity

The Sacrifice – About two thousand years ago, God the Father sent Jesus Christ (the Son of God) into the world so that the world might be saved through Jesus. Jesus is the Word, which was with God in the beginning, and was God. The Word was made flesh by God causing an Israelite virgin named Mary to become pregnant by the Holy Spirit. Mary was the mother of this child, but there was no earthly father who had caused her to become pregnant. This child was named Jesus. He was the Son of God, who had now become fully human as well. Many years before Jesus appeared on the earth, there had been prophecies which foretold of him. While on the earth, he fulfilled all the prophecies concerning him.

image of god

At that time John the Baptist was baptizing in the Jordan River for repentance of sins.  Jesus came to him and asked to be baptized. When John did this, a voice from heaven spoke and said, “This is My Son, in whom I am well pleased!” John declared, “Behold, the Lamb of God!”

By the power of God, Jesus performed many miracles. Some of these miracles included healing all kinds of diseases, bringing dead people back to life, casting out demons, controlling the weather, walking on water, and turning water into wine.

Jesus showed people that God loved them. He taught them to love God and to love one another. He is the King of the kingdom of heaven and his kingdom is not of this world. Jesus had many disciples who followed him, men and women. He chose twelve to be apostles (leaders).  He preached the gospel of the kingdom of heaven to people. Those who believe in Jesus and do the will of God will enter his kingdom. He taught people to lay up their treasures in heaven, not on earth where moth and rust corrupt and thieves break through and steal. He taught them how to pray and ask for what they or others needed. And he told them they could have victorious lives through faith in Him.

Passover lamb

Jesus lived a perfect life and did not sin. There were some people who did not like what Jesus was doing and plotted to have Him crucified. He was scourged, mocked, and hung on a cross until he died. Then, he was placed in a tomb. Just like the Passover lambs were offered and their blood was shed for the forgiveness of sin, Jesus was offered and his blood was shed. His perfect sacrifice was better than an animal sacrifice and by the shedding of his blood came the forgiveness of sins for all people once and forever.

jesus cross ani

Salvation – Jesus paid the price for all mankind when he suffered on the cross. He took on himself the rebellion and sin of all mankind from the past, present and future.  So, even we have caused him the pain he suffered. He was the final sacrifice, the perfect sacrifice for all time.  No longer did man have to sacrifice animals to cover their sin because his ultimate sacrifice PAID the price for all time.

jesus-in-heaven1

He arose from the dead three days later and appeared to his disciples and apostles and many witnesses. He returned to his Father in heaven, but before ascending he charged them to spread his teachings to all the nations of the world. He promised to come again to take his people who believe in him and look for his appearing to be with him in the clouds.

Kingdom of Heaven – Someday in the near future, Jesus will come in the clouds with great power and glory to gather his believers into his Kingdom. Those who have already died in Christ will rise first.  Then, the believers who are alive on the earth at the time of his coming will be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air.

praising-ani

For those who know the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom he sent, there will be no more death, no more sorrow, and no more crying or pain. God will be with his people and he will wipe away all tears from their eyes. The former things will pass away and all things will be made new. This will continue forever.

The-New-Jerusalem

Those who continue rebelling and reject this sacrifice for their sin will remain spiritually dead for all eternity, and will be sent to the bottomless pit along with Satan and his evil angels.

black-hole-b

Your decision – – Take this time to be guaranteed salvation and a place in heaven today. Turn from your sins and turn to God, because the Kingdom of heaven is coming. You can accept the Lord’s plan for saving you by praying like this:

Father God, I thank you that you sent your son Jesus Christ to come to earth and show us by his example how to live. I know that He was my Passover lamb – He suffered and took my rebellion and sin upon himself, and died and then rose again. I ask you Jesus to forgive my sins, help me to live for you and stop rebelling, and to be the Savior and Lord of my life. I invite you Holy Spirit to live in me and guide me away from sin and teach me the Word of God in the Bible. Amen!

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