Troublesome Times Are Here

There was a gospel song composed in 1942, right in the middle of World War II, by Mr. R.E. Winsett that has been recorded by gospel singers, southern gospel quartets and many other singing groups over the last 50-60 years. It was originally recorded by the Sheltons in the 1960’s and was almost immediately followed suit by just about every gospel group during that time. The words to the song, especially the first verse, were applicable then and are still true in todays’ time. Maybe even more. You will certainly recognize the song as you read the following words of that first verse:

Troublesome times are here, filling men’s hearts with fear
Freedom we all hold dear now is at stake
Humbling your hearts to God saves from the chastening rod
Seek the way pilgrims trod, Christians awake

The song of course is titled “Jesus Is Coming Soon” and I’m sure most of you have heard it many times. But what I want to consider this evening is that first verse and especially the first four words.

I think we can all surely agree that, indeed, troublesome times are here. I realize past generations have also believed the same thing. However, if we take a close look at  history it will show that the troubled times during those days do not really compare to what we see today. There has always been the same type of sin and perversion that goes on today but not to the degree and certainly not with the complacency and hardness of heart that is prevalent today. These things have become so accepted in our society that even the church has a tendency to overlook them and to convince themselves that it is not all that bad. So let’s just take a look at a few examples of what I am talking about.

The first institution that God created was marriage between one man and one woman for life. As stated, this implies there are numerous violations of this arrangement today. One is that is has become acceptable to engage in divorce for any reason or no reason at all. It is acceptable to just live together and engage in sex without marriage or even outside of marriage. Some people even believe that God ordains polygamy marriage. this is just the beginning of the list of perversions of the institute of Marriage.

The world wants us to accept that sex between two people of the same gender is normal if they say it is. They want us to believe that same-sex marriage is a right and that it should be a protected by our laws. The fact is, God says that homosexuality is an abomination in His eyes and man will reap what he sows in his own body besides spending eternity in the bottomless pit and the flames of hell’s fire designed for the Devil and his angels. For me this is the ultimate perversion of sex and marriage.

What about the sanctity of human life? Mass murder of innocent unborn babies is committed every day at government-funded clinics. The majority of the abortions performed are for reasons of convenience not for medical reasons. What a horrible atrocity this is! Precious innocent children that God Himself carefully formed in their mother’s womb but were never allowed to see the light of day. Anger should swell up inside of each one of us and our voices should be heard much louder that they are. God help us!

I have mentioned only a few of those things that prove we are certainly in those very troublesome times. It seems that the world is spinning out of control like of have stated in some of my previous posts. But what do we expect? Satan is the temporary ruler of this earth and he is certainly bent on doing what he can to destroy and at the very least render God’s people helpless to do anything about the situation. And, in fact, we don’t have the power in ourselves to withstand the wiles of the Devil but the Holy Spirit does. What we have to do is let Him take control of our lives instead of letting our flesh be in control. I don’t know about you but I get very angry when I see what is going on and I want to be able to do something about it but in my own way. And what a mistake that is.

But let’s finish this on a positive note. The second verse of the song along with the chorus tells us what is eventually going to happen and who is ultimately in control. And that is what made the song so popular and what led it to be named the gospel song of the year in 1969. I might mention that the Oak Ridge Boys recorded it in 2005 on their album Common Thread and it immediately was a hit again. It has also been recorded as recently as 2010. As you read the following words to the second verse and the chorus I hope  you, like me, are reminded of what we have to look forward to.

Troubles will soon be o’er, happy forevermore
When we meet on that shore, free from all care
Rising up in the sky, telling this world goodbye
Homeward we then shall fly, glory to share.

Jesus is coming soon, morning or night or noon
Many will meet their doom, trumpets will sound
All of the dead shall rise, righteous meet in the skies
Going where no one dies, heavenward bound.

What a powerful song. Yes, troublesome times are here but, praise God, troubles will soon be o’er and Jesus is coming soon!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Music In The Mountains

Good evening everyone. Obviously I missed getting the post out on Saturday (yesterday) so I am trying to catch up with a post tonight. This one will be quite short because I plan to update you on why the post is late. I haven’t missed one in a very long time but to be honest with you I simply forgot to do it last night because I was preoccupied with something else.

Reassurance was in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee this weekend to sing in the morning service at Zion Grove Baptist Church. This is a small church up in the mountains and many of you know their pastor, Royce Bailey. Royce had asked us to come some time ago and we were finally able to make arrangements to do so. Saturday evening we met Royce at the church to check out the sound equipment and adjust volume levels for the service this morning. It took longer than expected and in addition to that we almost had church Saturday evening. We all were so excited about what God may do. By the time I got back to the hotel my mind was on what was coming up and I totally forgot the post.

This morning’s service was wonderful. It started with a baby dedication for one of the young couples there and it was a very sweet time. Immediately afterwards Reassurance began to sing and the folks were very receptive. They were truly worshipping and many hands were being raised in honor to the King of kings and Lord of lords. It was evident that the Holy Spirit was present and what a blessing we received as we worshipped with these people. Royce felt led to give an invitation as soon as we finished instead of presenting the sermon he had prepared. I believe God did a work in many hearts including mine. I was reminded again of how much He loves us and the sacrifice He made so that we could be reconciled with the Father. Praise His holy name!

I realized later in the afternoon as we made our way back to Alabama that I did not write the post. But I think you can now understand why.

I hope each of you also had a great day in the Lord today and that you were blessed in ways beyond measure. I know I was.

 

The Easter Promise

Good evening everyone. It has been a long day of travel for our family as we have finally made our way back home from spending a week in Orlando with Mickey and all of his friends. The traffic on the way down last week and coming back today was horrible. It’s as if someone left the gate open at the farm and all of the cows have gotten out. But I am very thankful that we all made it back home safe and have once again made many memories that will last for a lifetime. I am so very blessed. God has been so good to me.

I hope this post finds you well and excited about celebrating the resurrection of our Lord tomorrow. I know many folks will be attending sunrise services while others will be going to church dressed to kill. Many that show up tomorrow will not be back in church until Christmas, maybe. Sad but true. But as I have contemplated this week the fact that Jesus really did arise after three days, I have been nagged by a thought that I just can’t seem to shake.

Most of us are familiar with several passages of scripture where Jesus mentions His coming death, burial and resurrection. In Mark chapter 10 and Luke chapter 18 Jesus is talking with His disciples about these upcoming events but He refers to Himself as a temple that will be destroyed then raised back up three days later. The Bible tells us that the disciples did not fully understand what He was talking about. In John chapter 2 He speaks to the jews immediately after turning over the moneychanger’s table’s and running them out of the temple.  He also uses the example of the temple being destroyed and then raised again to refer to Himself but they also have no idea what He is talking about. However, we understand that He was talking about His death, burial and His bodily resurrection because we have the scriptures that covers in detail those very events. But as we look at some of the scriptures surrounding these events I would like to focus on something a little different.

When the women went to the tomb to anoint the body of Jesus they found that the stone had been rolled away and He was gone. God had sent an angel from heaven to roll the stone away and the angel was sitting on it. The guards were so scared that they apparently fainted and were apparently unconscious. The angel then spoke to the women with the following words found in Matthew 28:5-6. “Do not be afraid; for I know that you are looking for Jesus who has been crucified. He is not here, for He has risen.” This is usually what we hear read or spoken but there is more to what the angel said. The next four words are what have really been working on my heart and mind because they are so true and powerful. “Just as He said.”  When I read this passage this time those four words just flew off the pages into my mind and with a booming voice shouting “When Jesus says it, it will happen.” In other words, the promises of God found in the Bible will always be kept. God never makes a promise that He doesn’t keep and what a promise it was when Jesus said that He would rise again. If that promise had not been kept our faith would be of little value because Christianity would be no different that any other world religion. But praise God, He did arise just like He said He would. And that my friends is the Easter Promise I’m talking about. Can I get a witness?