I think we can all agree that we are on a journey of faith. Considering all that we have celebrated in Passion Week 2023; the journey begins at our faith in His resurrection.
The word beginning is important in the Bible, such as we find in Genesis 1:1; “In the beginning...”
We all know Solomon was called the wisest man in the Bible. He has this to say: “The end of a thing is better than its beginning; The patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit.” Ecclesiastes 7:8
David said of God’s words: “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; A good understanding have all those who do His commandments. His praise endures forever.” Psalm 111:10
“Your word is true from the beginning: and every one of Your righteous judgments endures forever.” Psalm 119:160
Isaiah adds this insight into the Omniscience of God: “I have declared the former things from the beginning; They went forth from My mouth, and I caused them to hear it. Suddenly I did them, and they came to pass.” Isaiah 48:3
“For since the beginning of the world men have not heard nor perceived by the ear, nor has the eye seen any God besides You, who acts for the one who waits for Him.” Isaiah 64:4
Mark begins his letter with this affirmation: “The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.” Mark 1:1
This all leads up to this passage I have on my heart today, found in the Book of Mark:
“For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be earthquakes in various places, and there will be famines and troubles. These are the beginnings of sorrows…
For in those days there will be tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the creation which God created until this time, nor ever shall be.” Mark 13:8,19
THE BEGINNING OF SORROWS
In Matthew 24 verse 5 is a stern warning concerning false Christs, followed by a list of cataclysmic devastating things that will come on mankind. These things are spoken of as birth pains. Could this be what we are seeing taking hold of people worldwide today?
THE GREAT RIFT
I read a report this week that the Great Rift in Africa is splitting open in Kenya. It is reported that a fifty-foot-wide crevice has opened in the Great Rift and is causing great concern; even suggesting that it could split off and make a separate continent. Vernel and I have been there with a team for a conference several years ago. When I read the article I thought, could this be a sign as well. Do you know where this rift is finished on the continent? It geographically finishes on the Mount of Olives, in Jerusalem.
Yesterday, we celebrated Christ’s resurrection. Today I call your attention to the fact that he will return just as He has prophesied. It is Zechariah who tells us how and where He is going to return. Just as Jesus rose from the dead and ultimately ascended into heaven, Zechariah reminds us that, on this day, Christ’s “feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, east of Jerusalem, and the mount will be split in two from east to west, forming a great valley” and that one day “the LORD will be king over all the earth.” Zechariah 14. The ultimate triumph will be when He returns, and God has made the earth His footstool.
The beginning of sorrows is like a two-edged sword for those who believe; It is a watchword for those who refuse Christ, and it will be unimaginable how great these sorrows will be, because the earth has never experienced such woe.
Keep looking up child of God, for He is looking down. He is coming for those who are looking for Him.
I appreciate your trust and support of all our team does from week to week to serve; especially this week as we rejoice in the response of those who came to Christ yesterday. Our Hispanic Congregation and our French Speaking Congregations join with us in pursuing His Passion and thank you for your investment in souls.
He Lives World Without End.
Pastor Cleddie Keith