Trouble is Coming — Are You Ready?

Apr 1, 2024 | Dennis Heppner

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How comfortable are you with your eternal destiny? How clear is it in your mind where you are going and why you are going there? Have you come to the place in your spiritual life where you know for certain that if you die tonight, you are going to heaven? If God were to say to you, “Why should I let you into my heaven?” what would you say?

These thoughts have been on my mind since the days of my childhood. I grew up in a time when the people of God were very aware that the world was coming to its end and we were heading to eternity. Only two destinations were available. I heard preachings about the coming of Jesus to take his church. I heard evangelists speak of heaven and hell. I remember being told to be ready, for no one knew when Jesus was coming.

The songs we sang back then all pointed to eternity with Christ. These songs shaped my faith, not in a fearful way, but rather in anticipation of being with the Lord. As a child, I recognized the presence of God in the church gatherings. I was encountering Jesus and the Holy Spirit often. People feared the Lord. People openly loved God. The worship gatherings often lasted for hours; no one wanted to leave. It affected me. I wonder if the children of our churches today are encountering the power of God. If not, how will they stand?

The attraction was God, His presence, His people, and His word. I don’t remember many references to guest speakers as a means to get people to church. No gimmicks, no prizes, and no special programs or events to get the faithful out. The faithful came because they were faithful.

So I’m reading Matthew 25 with 3 parables of Jesus. Two of them end with a warning that some people will be cast into outer darkness or punishment. The question is, who will they be?

Jesus was a straight preacher. He was in your face — and to your face, he would tell you the truth. He was so compassionate with sinners and the needy but absolutely intolerant of the organized religious leaders who thought they were godly but denied the power of the Gospel.

We must encourage each other to be the best Christians we can be and take this life and eternity seriously!

Jesus saw what was coming. He grieved over Jerusalem’s coming judgment. He was burdened for Chorazin and Bethsaida, towns that rejected him. The Son of Man, the Son of God, the Saviour of the world, the physical representation of an eternal, all-powerful God, was standing there in human form, and they missed it. They rejected him. And in rejecting him, they rejected eternal life.

So, it remains today. Anyone who rejects Jesus will face the judgment that’s coming to every human and every nation. Absolutely nothing can stop that. Yet the door to eternal life remains open.

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This God, this Jehovah Jireh, this creator Elohim, still appears to mankind. Many still don’t recognize him. God is working every day and in every nation, but many will not listen. Many have postponed that decision to believe him.

Jesus told the story of the young women waiting for the bridegroom at the wedding, putting off their need to have oil for their lamps, expecting to get oil from others, but running out of time. They missed it. I hope you have not been postponing a commitment to the Lordship of Jesus.

The great cry of the Holy Spirit in the world today is for the people of God to wake up and be real. No more show, no more pretense, no more tradition. People of God who open their hearts to him, bend their wills to him and love him first with all their heart, mind, soul, and strength. Complete surrender to Jesus is the only way to make heaven.
Hundreds of thousands of people are dying for Christ today. Persecution of Christians is higher today than at any time in history. Yet the modern church is plagued with lukewarmness. How can God justify blessing those whose hearts are not fully committed to Him?

I want to remind us today that there is only one way to have eternal life. We must place our faith in Jesus Christ and his work on the cross. He alone can forgive our sins. We must choose to give our lives to him, bow our wills to him, and joyfully proclaim him as LORD of our lives. That’s the Bible. That’s the truth.

If you have done that, you belong to him. This means his will is what you are all about. His purpose is all you seek. His voice is the most important voice in your life. All you are and all you have belongs to him. It is out of that dedication to Christ you live your life. That’s called living out your salvation.

Check yourself out. Apostle Paul said, “Test yourself.” Are you walking in faith, or are you a “bare minimum” Christian? Have you maxed out your heart for God? Check out your lamps; check your soul and see if the oil is there. Is the Holy Spirit that Jesus gives you a tangible presence in your life, or is he just your problem solver?

And what about our fellow believers? The writer of Hebrews wrote that we should “provoke” each other — stir each other up to follow Jesus. We should confront compromise in ourselves and others. We must encourage each other to be the best Christians we can be and take this life and eternity seriously!

There is trouble coming in these last days, but we can be on the safe side of trouble by living a committed life to Christ. Eternity with him is our hope. Be faithful! Be sold out for him! Get ready for trouble, but be assured of eternity with Him!

Dennis Heppner grew up in Canada and was called to ministry as a young boy. Dennis and his wife Denie, who was also called to missions as a child, pastored 4 churches in Canada, but in 1987 the door opened to come to the Philippines as missionaries. They brought their 4 eldest children with them and the kids grew up here. In 2006 they adopted Emma Rose, a special Filipino treasure and a gift from God to their family.

Dennis has been a missionary evangelist in Asia for 25 years. He was the director of LIFESCHOOLS of ministry and pastored 3 churches in the early years of his ministry based in the Philippines. He is currently the founder and President of Developing Effective Leaders (DEL), superintendent of Church of God West Asia, and the founding and lead Pastor of the vibrant, growing Church of God Makati.

Dennis and Denie and their whole family, including Josh and Melody who live in Canada, are committed to missions, leadership, and the call of Christ.

Read more of Ptr. Dennis’ articles HERE!

Featured Image by benzoix on Freepik | Additional Image by wavebreakmedia_micro on Freepik

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