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Hello, Everyone! My name is John Johansson, and welcome again to another broadcast of the Resounding Shophar Blast! It’s been a while since our last broadcast due to some pretty significant things taking place on the Johansson front, and in time we may share some of those with you in future broadcasts. In the meantime, we are back and looking forward to sharing more Resounding Shophar Blasts with you as we see the day of our Lord’s return speedily approaching as never before.
To begin with, the Apostle Paul asks a rhetorical question that is the theme for today’s broadcast, and that question is found in Romans 10:14 which says;
14 How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher?
As Christians, believers and followers of Christ, we know and have a message that the world is looking for, and it is our responsibility to share that with others. What is our message? It’s the message of salvation through Jesus, and Him alone. It’s a message that through Jesus one can be set free of the bondage and penalties of sin. It’s a message that gives hope to the hopeless of a glorious, pain, sickness and death free eternity in heaven. It’s a message of the Blessed Hope found in Jesus alone where He returns to receive His people to Himself, an event that takes place before God’s judgement is released upon the whole world in a seven-year period identified in Scripture as the Tribulation Period. The problem is that it seems most churches in America are not sharing this message with others.
A lot of churches are embracing various false and deceptive teachings, and in the process, they are not presenting the message of salvation accurately or completely to those that are within their sphere of influence. Some churches are not embracing false and deceptive teachings, but still they are not presenting the message of salvation and what it is, what it means, and why it’s so important for each of us to embrace. We recently left a church we had been members of for nearly five years, and at that time someone made the comment to me that as long as it wasn’t over a salvation issue then that was okay, but something inside me rose up and I had to tell them it was over a salvation issue. There were different reasons for our departure, but the main one was that in the nearly five years we were attending it was extremely rare, if at all, that the message of salvation was actually preached or taught from the pulpit or at any “outreach” events, and that is a salvation issue. Let me explain.
If I know someone is very sick, perhaps with something like cancer, and I know what the cause of it is and have the cure for it, what could be a great life-giving event turns into a life and death situation if I withhold that from them. In like manner, if I know the spiritual condition of a person, the root cause and that salvation is the cure, if I don’t let them know and give them the cure which is Jesus, then that is a salvation issue. It doesn’t matter how knowledgeable I am of the situation, it doesn’t matter if I learned from honest and accurate teachers about it, if I don’t share the cause and the cure with them then that is a salvation issue. In other words, even if a church is doctrinally sound, if they do not preach and teach on the subject of salvation, then that is a salvation issue as those under their influence have no idea what it is and why they need it, and as a subsequent result could still be eternally lost in hell unless they are told the truth about salvation. How can people know about the salvation made available to them through Jesus if no one tells them about it?
On the same note, a lot of churches lead people to Jesus, but it stops there. I liken it to me taking someone I know to be sick to the doctor. If I take them to be introduced to the doctor, but I never tell them why they need to see the doctor or how the doctor can help them, after the introduction we can turn around and leave and all the person knows is that they just met a nice doctor. We can take people to Jesus, figuratively speaking, but if we never tell them why they need to meet Jesus and what He can do for them, then all they’ve done is met an important person in world history. Again, how can people know about the salvation made available to them through Jesus if no one tells them about it?
Something else we need to be sharing with others is about Jesus’ soon return for His bride. This is another message that seems to be overlooked or ignored in many churches here in America. There are many reasons for this; pastors and other Christians don’t know much about it, some are intimidated by the subject, some are afraid that others will respond with fear or contempt, possibly taking their money with them, and others just don’t believe in it. In either case, it isn’t getting preached or taught in most churches. I remember a time when I was a kid in which this subject seemed to be talked about nearly all the time, both behind the pulpits and outside the four walls of a church, but now it seems like it’s almost taboo to even discuss it. People that once strongly believed in the pre-tribulation rapture, now it seems many of them no longer believe even in the rapture itself. Sadly, this is another fulfillment of Bible end-time prophecy pointing to the ever-imminent return of Jesus for His followers. Getting back to the issue, it’s scary to me that more and more churches are not preaching or teaching on Biblical end-time prophesies and the return of Jesus for His followers in the event we know as the Rapture. When I think about this, I can’t help but remember some of the things Jesus said on the subject, things that should be a red flag for us to pay attention to.
When it comes to His return for us, on multiple occasions Jesus tells us to watch and pray, and He said it with emphasis. Each time He said it, it was not a suggestion or a recommendation, but it was a strongly stressed command. What does it mean to watch and pray? To watch for His return, it means that we need to expect Him to return at any moment, and with that to be watching the signs of His coming. Granted, there are no specific signs pointing to His return at the Rapture, but there are many signs pointing to the Tribulation Period, and when we begin to see those signs being fulfilled pointing to the Tribulation Period, that should tell us that the Rapture is that much sooner. There are some who say we don’t need to be watching for Jesus to return at any moment, or even to be watching the signs of His return, but that is simply in contradiction to what Jesus tells us to do. I don’t know about you, but I believe Jesus means what He says, He says what He means, and since He knows more than we do I think it best to take Him at His words and be obedient to them. To not be watching as He has commanded us is disobedience wrapped up in pride that says we know better than Jesus what we need or don’t need to do. In Luke 21:34-36, Jesus tells us not only to watch, but He also tells us to pray that we are counted worthy to escape that which is coming on the earth. Counted worthy? Yes, that is what Jesus said. Some will argue that we are already worthy at the point of salvation, and that we will remain worthy from that time forward no matter what, but there are many passages in Scripture that would seem to contradict that way of thinking.
In Titus 2:11-13 and 1 John 3:2-3, we are told that as we look forward to Jesus’ return for us in the Rapture, the Blessed Hope, we are to purify ourselves from sin and all ungodliness. For those who believe their admittance into Heaven was sealed at the point of salvation, and that there is nothing more they need to do until then, it is a dangerous place to be in because it becomes very easy to not take the presence of sin in their lives seriously. According to the Apostle Paul and the Apostle John, the more we look forward to Jesus’ return for us, the more we should be motivated even more to repent of sin in our lives and turn from it.
So, how serious is it that we be watching for Jesus’ return for us? Well, apparently Jesus takes it pretty seriously. In Revelation 3:1-6, speaking to the church in Sardis, He pretty much tells them to repent and start watching for Him, and that if they don’t watch for Him to return, they will miss it when He does. I don’t think you can get much clearer than that. If we don’t watch for Him to return, then we will be caught off guard and miss it when it does happen. Is there another passage that lends some weight to this? Yes, there is. In Revelation 16:15, Jesus makes it clear that those who are watching for His return, and who keep their garments clean of sin, they are blessed. But He goes on to say that those who did not watch and keep their garments, people will see them naked (without their robes of righteousness) and see their shame as ones who knew the truth but didn’t take it seriously enough to apply it to their lives. Wow! I guess that means we should be watching for Jesus’ return for us, and to make sure we’re ready when He does. Going back to the main theme for today, how will people know about Jesus’ soon return, the need to be watching for Him, and the need to keep our garments clean of sin, if no one is preaching and teaching them about it?
How shall they know ….
In Ezekiel 33:1-11, God makes it very clear that if we don’t warn others of what is coming, then their blood will be upon us. However, if we do warn people of what is coming, and how to prepare and avoid it, then if they choose to disregard the warning then their blood will be upon themselves. This should be a stark warning for all followers of Christ given that we have been given a message we are commanded to share with the lost, and if we neglect to do so their blood will be upon us.
Do you realize that Jesus’ return for His followers is very close and could happen at any moment? Do you even care? Jesus isn’t going to rescue you from the judgment that is coming to the world if you really aren’t concerned about it. He’s looking for people who are eagerly waiting for Him to return for them, the Blessed Hope we read about in Titus 2:13.
Perhaps you are a Christian, but you haven’t been living as you know you ought to, allowing sin and idolatry to reign in your life. If that is you, then I strongly encourage you to repent of such, to make things right with Jesus, asking Him for forgiveness and turning away from the sin. Don’t play what I call Russian Roulette with your eternity because you want to hang onto that which is sin and dishonoring to God. Do it today! Don’t delay!
Maybe you have never given your life over to Jesus. Maybe you have been living life as you wanted, and on your terms, but in listening to me today you realize there needs to be a change in your life. You are seeing the signs I mentioned earlier only increasing, and you can tell things are not going to get any better but instead much worse, and you want to avoid as much of it as possible and realize the only real way of doing so is by surrendering your life to Jesus. Well, you can make that change right now wherever you are. It’s simple, as simple as “A, B, C”. Let me tell you how.
For you to be considering making such a change in your life, this only shows that God is speaking to you. He wants to have that saving relationship with you far more than you could ever want it yourself. To enter that relationship with Him, the first thing you need to do is acknowledge that you are a sinner. To acknowledge, or to admit, that you are a sinner is the “A” in the “A, B, C’s”. This may be difficult for some to do, but it’s vitally important. We are told in Romans 3:10 that no one is righteous or good, no, not one. The reason for that is found in Romans 3:23 where we’re told that all, everyone, has sinned and fall short of the glory of God. This means that nobody is good enough, no matter how good we may be, because we all have sin in our lives. Continuing in Romans, we are told in Romans 6:23 that the wages of our sin is death, or in other words the penalty of the sin in our life is eternal death. So, where does that leave us? We are told in Ephesians 2:8-9 that the salvation God offers us is a gift of God, something we receive by grace and through faith. No one deserves salvation, and no one certainly can earn it through works of any kind, but rather it is a gift from God. To receive this gift from God, the first thing a person must do is “A”, acknowledge or admit that they are a sinner.
The second thing a person must do, and this is “B” in the “ABC’s”, is to “BELIEVE” in their heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and that God raised Him from the dead. Romans 10:9-10 tells us that if we confess with our mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in our heart that God raised Him from the dead, we will be saved. It’s not just a mental believing as some would like it to be, but rather a believing that dictates the way one lives their life. It’s a way of life that reflects and supports what they say they believe. In James 2:19 were told that even the demons believe, and they tremble, but salvation is not available to them. Just having a head knowledge is not enough.
The third thing a person must do, and this is “C” in the “ABC’s”, is to “CALL UPON THE NAME OF THE LORD.” You need to call Jesus Lord, and to do so means one must surrender their life to Him. There is coming a time when every knee will bow before Him, and every tongue will confess to God that He is Lord. Now is the time for salvation, and now is the time to voluntarily surrender your life to Him. The eternal rewards for surrendering your life to Jesus is far greater than anything this world could ever hope to give you.
Is a relationship with Jesus like I’ve described important and worth it? It is most definitely worth it, and then some. I won’t say that life will be easier or with less problems, but it will be more fulfilling, and with that there is a Blessed Hope for all Christians to embrace and pursue. More and more people are beginning to feel hopeless with life, especially when they see everything that is happening around them and around the world, but as Christians we have a hope that is solid and independent of anything this world could ever hope to offer us. The signs we are seeing across the news headlines now days only energizes the hope we have of Jesus’ ever imminent return for us. It is that same hope, that Blessed Hope, that encourages Christians to keep the faith and to continue living for Him and Him alone. Are you one of those who place their trust and hope in Jesus?
If you do not have a saving relationship with Jesus, and you would like to, I encourage you to talk to God right now. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy or eloquent, just a sharing of your heart to Him. If that is you, and you’re ready to give your life to Jesus, then say this prayer from your heart and to Him. Again, it’s not a formula, just a sharing of your heart to Him.
“O God, I am a sinner. I’m sorry for my sin. I want to turn from my sin. I believe Jesus Christ is Your Son; I believe that He died on the cross for my sin, that He was buried, that You raised Him to life, and that He’s coming to take me back to His house in heaven very soon. I have decided to place my faith in Jesus Christ as my Savior and Lord, trusting only in His shed blood as more than sufficient to save my soul and to take me to heaven. Thank You, Lord Jesus, for saving me. Amen.”
Now that you have entered into this relationship with Jesus, I strongly encourage you to find a Bible and start reading it, and to find and get plugged into a solid Bible-believing church that teaches and preaches the full Gospel of Jesus, which includes Bible prophecy and the need to be living righteously and holy before the Lord in all your ways.
In closing, know that Jesus is coming soon, very soon, for His followers, and it is vitally important for each of us to be found both watching and ready for Him when He does. Don’t get lulled into the deceptive thinking that His return is not near for one reason or another, especially when the fulfillment of the signs given in the Bible tell us that it’s at the door. It’s our responsibility to be watching the signs for Him, and to be ready, free of any spots, blemishes, or wrinkles brought on through sin in our lives.
Remember these two things:
- The King is Coming!
- Be ready for Him when He does!
By John Johansson