When Jesus Is Returning

Robert Curry

Robert Curry

When the disciples asked Jesus when He would come back and set up His Kingdom,
He told them only the Father knows (Acts 1:6-7).
Some think maybe Jesus knows by now after hanging out about 2,000 years
at the right hand of the Father.
The Bible says God changes not,
and says that though the two Beings are in perfect unity,
they have some specific responsibilities. I’ll go with only the Father knows.

The Bible flatly promises that no human or angel knows the day or hour (Matthew 24:36). But that doesn’t keep people from trying to figure out when it will be. Maybe you think you know.

The Bible teaches a 7,000 year plan based on 6 days of the week for man to “work” and then the 7th day being the Sabbath rest where Jesus Christ brings spiritual rest and restoration for the millennium after 6,000 years of man’s misrule.

God’s Holydays picture His plan of salvation and since Jesus fulfilled the Passover on that very night and since the Law and Holy Spirit were given on a Pentecost, it seems “consistent” that Jesus Christ will return on a Feast of Trumpets.

It also seems obvious that Jesus will return at the start of a Jubilee year.

Matthew 24:22 says unless those days are shortened, there would be no flesh saved alive!

But Peter says it will appear that His coming is delayed so that people will scoff “Where is the promise of His coming!” (2 Peter 3:3-4).

Daniel prophesies that when one sees the end-time sacrifices in Jerusalem taken away, it will be 1,290 days until Daniel is resurrected (Daniel 12:11, 13) which would be in the first resurrection at Christ’s return.

So When’s Jesus Coming?

I believe the Father knows exactly when Jesus is coming back.   I don’t believe He is sitting on the edge of His throne, trying to figure out when to pull the trigger. He is the Master Timer.

It will be right at the end of the 6,000 years, ready to start the Millennium right on time. It will be on a Feast of Trumpets, 1,290 days after the sacrifices will have been stopped, at the start of a Jubilee year.

The date which the Father has chosen—I believe already has chosen—when His Son will return will be cutting time short to prevent the destruction of all life, yet it will seem like it would never come to the scoffers.

God is the Master Timer Who can pull off this pivotal event of all time right on time.

“I am God, and there is no other; I am God and there is none like me, Declaring the end from the beginning, And from ancient times things that are not yet done, Saying ‘My counsel shall stand, And I will do all My pleasure.’” (Isaiah 46:9-10).

The big headlines are written in heaven. God directs the rise and fall of nations and their locations (Acts 17:26) and world leaders and Presidents (Daniel 2:21).

No one will have figured out the day or the hour. Maybe we’ll all lose track of days after the sacrifices are stopped. Most will have been caught off guard like a thief in the night.

When will Jesus return?

The real question is “What manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness?” (2 Peter 3:11).

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“Would You Mind If We Pray for You?”

Robert Curry

Robert Curry

A couple asked me that as we were sitting
at the end of the busy Llandudno pier in Wales.

A lot of thoughts raced through my mind as I debated whether to let them.

One of our goals during our stay in Llandudno, Wales (pronounced Clan-did’ no) was to walk out to the end of the pier. It’s something you feel like you must do, like the one in Santa Monica, California. Because it’s there.

The weather was inviting for the walk, another non-English one with clear sky so get out and do something! A bus tour guide said we were being treated to two weeks of the best weather Wales and Ireland ever see! The promenade and pier were bustling with tourists and their dogs coming and going. It was such a hoot to observe how the masters resembled their dogs!

With my bad left hip, I had to push myself to keep going to the end and along the way rested a few times.

The Grand Hotel in Llandudno, Wales

The Grand Hotel in Llandudno, Wales

One stop was at the Grand Hotel, about in the middle of the pier, which was the site of renowned Prime Minister Maggie Thatcher’s first speech. From afar the hotel looked like its name, but up close it was pretty rundown and worn out. Our hyped plan to enjoy a hot chocolate in a grand setting turned out to be a rather plain room with cafeteria and tables.

ViviLnk

While resting up for the long walk back on a bench at the end of the pier, I looked for somebody to take a picture of Mary and me to prove we made it.   I asked a friendly couple who approached. We chatted for a while. I mentioned that I’d better get going because of my bad hip.

That’s when the man startled me by asking if he and the lady with him could pray for me. They said that they had asked God who they might serve and figured it was me since I had initiated conversation with them.

My first reaction, worried that they might cause some kind of public scene, with my wife and me right in the middle of it, was no way! I didn’t want any wails in Wales with us involved!

Then my theological mind kicked in that the Bible says if anyone is sick, call for the elders of the Church to be anointed with oil (James 5:14).   That’s what the Bible clearly instructs a Christian to do in order to be healed.

The couple said they were Christians for three years. I did not believe the man was an elder, certainly not in age but also not in spiritual office.   He was at most in the late 20’s or early 30’s, and would not typically be ordained as “a novice” to such a spiritual office lest vain glory kick in (1 Timothy 3:6).

But James also says in that section about being healed that we should pray for one another.   Paul mentions in Romans 12 about some having a special gift of healing.   A “thought” said what if this couple has it and God is ready to heal you in spite of your unbelief, though you profess to believe in healing!

So, over all my objections I quietly said “OK.”   How can somebody wash feet unless somebody sticks their feet out?   What if the crippled man had refused Peter when he said “Silver and gold have I none but what I’ve got I give you” (Acts 3:6).

A prayer I’ll Never Forget

Oh the prayer of quiet, believing faith that he prayed for me so unobtrusively that it didn’t seem like other tourists noticed.

He prayed in great detail, like the Bible says to break up prayers like beating incense fine.

He prayed expecting God to answer and to answer completely. There was no doubt he prayed in faith! The problem was whether I could match him.

As he prayed, my mind kept arguing that this wasn’t the Bible way to expect healing, but I couldn’t help being inspired by his prayer on my belief and hoping against hope that God would grant all that he asked.

When he finished praying, the couple thanked us for letting them serve us and then quickly and quietly walked away and vanished.

I sat there wondering if I was better but not feeling any different. But on the way back, I was in way less pain and went the distance without needing any breaks. But back at the hotel after the long hike out and back, I began reaping what I sowed and it was obvious I was still the same hip guy.

But the prayer changed me. It convicted me that I should have long ago asked for healing according to God’s instructions in James 5:14.  I believe in healing! A hip replacement is major overhaul rather than merely repairing a broken bone with a splint. I plan to be anointed soon.

And though I know that a mature Christian must always leave it up to God our Healer to choose when and how best to heal, because we need to grow in patience and other character traits and maybe we need to learn some empathy for others who suffer, and none of us are going to live forever in the flesh, God says “according to your faith be it unto you” and He wants to find faith on the earth when Jesus returns.

The God Who forgives all our sins says He heals all our diseases (Psalm 103:3).  Why not believe Him on both fronts!

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“Well Done, Good & Faithful Servant! I Will Make You Ruler Over …”

You have been reading that scripture in Matt. 25:21 for years
and now Jesus Christ has returned to set up His Kingdom on earth
and is about to name your assignment …

Robert Curry

Robert Curry

You listen intently for Jesus to give you a prestigious assignment, the envy of any diplomat:  Sweden, France, Canada, Russia …  But what’d He say:  “I will make you ruler over … Africa!”

thXBOLU7N0What in the world would you do to restore Africa?  With one-eighth of the world’s population, it is the world’s poorest inhabited continent.

Yes, but “Africa is well-endowed with natural resources including gold, diamonds, and oil reserves.”

South Africa is #2 in gold with almost 50% of world gold reserves. It’s the world’s largest producer of chrome, manganese, platinum, vanadium and vermiculite, the second largest producer of ilmenite, palladium, rutile and zirconium and the third largest coal producer.

Such wealth goes for naught because of “poor governance” explains Wangeri Maathai in her book The Challenge of Africa. Winner of a Nobel Peace Prize, founder of Green Belt Movement, as of 2009 she had worked for 30 years in Africa.

Wrong Bus Syndrome

“Like travelers who have boarded the wrong bus, many people and communities are heading in the wrong direction or traveling on the wrong path, while allowing others (often their leaders) to lead them further from their desired destination.  It is my analysis that much of Africa today is on the wrong bus.”

Matthai astutely argues “Perhaps the most important quality that the African leadership needs to embrace, and which is desperately lacking across the continent, is a sense of service to their people.

“The revolution in leadership and the need to instill a sense of service cannot be confined only to those at the top of African societies, however.  Even the poorest and least empowered of Africa’s citizens need to rid themselves of a culture that tolerates systemic corruption and inefficiency, as well as self-destructive tendencies and selfishness.  They must grasp the available opportunities.”

Matthew 20:25-28 will be posted and repeated everywhere like labor signs today!  You must lead the people by example.

Matthai says Africans have grown up already defeated by a feeling of inferiority.  You will show them that God regards them as treasured sons and daughters.  Isaiah 61:6 proclaims that the Gentiles will bring riches to Israel.

thLZUDGXGUYou will employ positive advertising that displays not babies with distended bellies or emaciated by AIDS but happy kids hugging a lion or riding a hippo because wild animals have become like Isaiah 2 describes!  Start a busline “Go Cheetah!”

Government, a Big Secret

An African word “sirikali” means “government, a big secret.”  Good government has been a big secret to the Africans!  Whoever Christ appoints to rule over Africa is going to have a wonderful opportunity to serve a lovely, humble teachable people.

Africans can best solve their problems.  You will not likely be put in charge of Africa.  God is calling Africans.

What Africa needs is what the whole world needs:  godly government with humble Christ-like service.  You can train and prepare now for where God has plans to use you.

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Irish Hospitality Made Our Day

Robert Curry

Robert Curry

We landed in Dublin right on time, about 7:30 a.m., to a lovely day, FrIday, Sept. 25. Who would know that we would end up experiencing only one day of real Irish/English weather the whole 2-week trip!   The closest I ever came to layering was a t-shirt and windbreaker and usually only wore the latter for in case.

The first task was to find the bus to Busaris, the an Dar (City Centre) station. We really wanted to do every step smoothly because we would only have until about 3 p.m. to see sights of Dublin before we would have to catch a bus to Carlow and then travel on to Wales.

And we didn’t want to waste a step because of my bad left hip. A second way for time to be up!

“To the left, you can’t miss the bus …” Haven’t we all learned that something “you can’t miss” is a sure miss!  Soon it was obvious somebody had laid out 3 shovels and told us to take our pick.

We ended up being directed back the way we came and then back again the way we had gone but not far enough. When we finally found the right stop, it turned out there were two different destinations for a #16 bus, and the wrong one kept pulling up!

Irish blessingBusaris took about an hour longer than we hoped for, but I couldn’t help appreciating that everybody was willing to stop what they were doing and try their best to direct us to the right place.

Next we were off to find Trinity College and its famous Book of Kells. Claire Mooney, our wonderful host who so kindly offered to let us stay in her 2-bedroom apartment in place of 2 nights at a Dublin B&B, had told us by email to be careful to take the correct street downward to the River Liffey.

“Out that door and turn right at the first big street” pointed the information booth clerk. About 10 minutes later, my hip now starting to complain, there was no sign of the river. A smiling fellow was approaching, so I asked for help, and sure enough, the nearest bridge of 11 over the River Liffey was in the opposite direction! He walked with us until he had to part and said to keep following the trolley tracks which were no longer used by any trolley but apparently kept because they were indispensible for directions!

When we reached the long line for seeing the Book of Kells, Mary said she would line up for tickets, I could go rest on a bench. Striking up a conversation with the young man sitting by me, what a surprise that he ended up telling me that he would be happy to take Mary and me into the viewing place for free as his student guest! No line and no euros!

We finished our touring goals for the day and were ready to board the bus to Carlow over an hour early. Little did we know that about three times more passengers than the bus would hold would be vying to climb aboard. We threw our luggage into the underside storage, and that meant we had to get on. We also needed on because Claire and Christy Murphy would be waiting there to collect us, and we had no easy way to contact them about any change.

We wedged toward the door like leaning, smiling elephants.   That’s when a couple of the Dublin college students, the crowd going home for the weekend, took pity on us old tourists and blocked a hole open for us to squirt through the line!

In the Bible, Paul said Christians must be “given to hospitality” (Romans 12:13), and hospitality must be the hallmark of an elder (1 Timothy 3:2).   We should be careful to help strangers because they could turn out to be angels (Hebrews 13:2).

The Irish we met that day needn’t be concerned about that, but Mary and I are grateful for the many times the Irish showed us lovely hospitality.

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Meditate: Like a Lion!

Robert Curry

Robert Curry

A Christian’s toolbox contains four powerful tools:
prayer, Bible study, fasting and meditation.
A Hebrew word for “meditates” creates a surprising word picture!

A “blessed” man or woman meditates in God’s law day and night (Psalm 1:2). The Hebrew word for “meditates” here is hagah.

thSF8JW51WVine’s says it appears 25 times in the Old Testament and one of its meanings is “expresses the growl of lions.” [Treat yourself and enhance this experience by googling “Videos of MGM Lion Roar” and play the 16 second 3-roar one!].

God is giving us a fitting word picture that amazingly describes meditation.  We are to meditate like a lion!

What does that mean? Ever see a lion posing in deep thought like Rodin’s “Thinker”? Me neither!   But here’s what can we learn from a lion about meditation:

  1. A lion kills an animal and intends to devour it.He sets a good example for us by always preying before eating!  He is passionate about his lunch!

    We want to be that way about God’s Word, and praying before Bible study and meditation will improve digestion.  We are what we eat, and we want God’s Word and Way to become part of our very being.

    The lion eats the flesh and innards.  When he gets down to just the bones, the lion snaps them with his powerful jaws and eats them and the marrow!  The lion completely devours his prey!

    We should rip a verse apart!  Get every morsel off the bone.  Completely devour it!  Labor in the Word!

  2. Each day the lion “chews on” the dead carcass a little more. He guards it night and day.

    “This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall mediate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it.  For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success” (Joshua 1:8).

    “Oh the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God!” (Romans 11:3).  God has written such richness and depth into the scriptures.  We may need to spend several days searching out just one verse, thought or question.

    God wants us to “magnify His law” (Isaiah 42:21).   Like looking at something through a magnifying lens, you look at something and see so many additional facets of it appear right before your eyes!

    We’ve all had the experience of going back over a scripture we have been over so many times before and suddenly seeing whole new meaning in it!

    “It is the glory of God to conceal a matter, But the glory of kings (us in Christ’s millennium—Revelation 1:6, 20:4) is to search out a matter” (Proverbs 25:2).  Meditation is a way to thoroughly dig into a scripture and find all the meaning possible.

  3. When other scavengers come to try to help themselves, the lion roars and warns them away!

    For Christians, the chief scavenger to resist through effective meditation is Satan the Devil who is a roaring lion himself (1 Peter 5:8).  Satan wants to devour—not a scripture but you! In the Lord’s model prayer, Jesus instructs us to pray for deliverance from evil (the evil one).

So hagah (“the roar of a lion”) is a beautiful word picture of meditation.

  • We should be passionate about God’s Word and completely devour it!
  • We should ponder it and chew on it day and night.
  • We should roar away Satan the roaring lion

Let’s meditate: like a lion!   Hagah!

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What’s Irish & Sits on the Porch?

Robert Curry

Robert Curry

Paddy O’Furniture

Been wondering what happened to ole Broose the Moose?  Maybe that joke makes you wish he never came back!

Well, my wife and I just returned from a lovely (oops, out pops that word again!) two-week trip to Ireland and Wales. For our 25th wedding anniversary back on Nov. 12, we were looking for a way to go to Ireland. When we saw that a special gathering was taking place in Wales that could be easily assessed from Dublin by taking an Irish ferry across the Irish Sea, well, who could resist!

Well, this bloke who fancies he’s Irish never once sat on a porch, and we didn’t see anybody else either. Everybody is on the go in hustling, bustling Dublin, and you’d have to be mad to try to drive there amidst nonstop bicyclists, buses, lories and workers, tourists and jaywalkers regardless of which side you drive on! Identifying streets whose signs are high up on a corner wall if at all was hard enough on foot and would seem to be out of sight for car drivers.   So we happily and no use denying it—cowardly—chose to stick to public transportation.   Worked lovely (stop that!).

What adventures and tidbits can I share with you that would be of interest? Let’s find out when the effects of leaving Dublin at 1 p.m. and arriving in Denver supposedly only six hours later wear off on this old body!

Hope you won’t mind waiting. As my best friend, Pat Murphy from Carlow (about an hour south of Dublin) put it so well, “Some people say manana. We Irish don’t have any such word which conveys quite the urgency.”

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