But Of The Times And Seasons

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December 8, 2001

Israeli helicopter gunships struck a Palestinian government compound in the southern Gaza Strip on Saturday, driving home Israel's demand that Palestinian President Yasser Arafat do more to rein in militants.

The missile attack in the early hours devastated the Rafah offices of the Palestinian intelligence services and Force 17, Arafat's bodyguard unit, hours after a new round of U.S.-brokered security talks which both sides described as ''difficult.''

There were no immediate reports of casualties. A Palestinian official said the compound had been evacuated in anticipation of the attack, the latest Israeli retaliation after Palestinian suicide bombers killed 25 people in Israel last weekend. (Reuters)

Israel has decided to step up its military action against the PLO in order to force Yassar Arafat to control the terrorism coming out of his state. If he is to harbor them he will be held responsible. This has been a position Israel has wanted to take for many years but has had little world support.

Don't look for the suicide bombings to end in Israel or for Arafat to stop the terror. As you well know, he's behind it and has no intention of detaining anyone in his terrorist organization. Israel will continue to apply more and more military pressure until either war breaks out or a genuine peace accord is reached.

Certainly, I don't advocate date setting, but I do believe that scripture supports that we as Christian should not be ignorant of the times. Every major Biblical occurrence was always preceded by a warning or direction from God as to what holy men of God should look for…from the flood to the birth of Christ. The last days are no different. Many point to Matthew 24:36, "But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only", as evidence that we can't determine when the Lord will come. I agree with that in part. Let me explain.

This passage of scripture speaks volumes addressing the knowledge that God has given the church regarding the endtimes.

"But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober. For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night. But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation. For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him." (I Thessalonians 5:1-10)

This passage starts right out by declaring that we Christian's should not be ignorant of the times and seasons. Paul writes, "For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night." It wasn't a mystery to them or should be to us today. It was common knowledge to the Thessalonian Christian's according to Paul. Then who was Paul talking about that would fall victim to this Thief In The Night? I think it is obvious that he is speaking of unbelievers. They will be the recipients of that Great Day Of the Lord. There are two reasons I believe this. One, Paul goes on to say, "But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief." This is also further proof of the knowledge that God has given us of endtime events. And two, he further states, " For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him."

What should we learn from what this passage has to tell us? We may not know the exact time when the Lord is coming but we can have a pretty good idea. I can't tell you that the Lord is coming tonight or tomorrow, but with an Israeli peace plan hanging in the balances, He very well could. For those who don't know, the Bible does predict that when the antichrist signs a peace agreement with Israel that would mark the beginning of the tribulation period. That could happen tomorrow.

We also can be assured as Christian's, we will not fall victim to whatever the Thief In The Night has planned. In the same context and breath that this passage speaks of the Lord's coming, He finishes by saying; don't worry, you're not appointed to my wrath.

As a mother knows that her baby is ready to be delivered, Christian's should know the day that they are living in based on the signs God has given us in His Word. We are living in the last days. Don't get left behind! Turn your life over to Christ today before it's too late.

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