Sunday, September 27, 2015

Your Story: Telling Others How Christ Changed Your Life

Mentoring other women can involve many different types of mentoring. You may find that you are asked to coach another woman through a sport like marathon running. Or, perhaps you can teach a skill either on the job or just for someone who would like to learn your particular skill. Whether you teach another woman how to quilt or paint a picture, though, the process of mentoring her means that you will spend time with that woman. Other types of mentoring such as sponsorship at work or in your church and informal counseling can also provide hours of relational connectivity with another woman. It is during these times that God will give you the opportunity to share with another woman your faith and belief in Christ and to tell her how Christ has changed your life.

Although a great deal of Active Relational Christian Mentoring (ARCM) involves the mentoring of another Christian, there are many times when we find ourselves developing mentoring relationships with unbelievers. Sometimes we are not even aware that the connectivity or relational development, which is occurring with a non-Christian, can also lead to a mentoring relationship.

Relationships, in general, can either develop slowly or quite quickly depending on the comfort level of both women in discussing things together. But, whether the relationship develops slowly or quickly, we must always be authentic about who we are. We should always let the light of Christ shine out from us through our words and our actions. Allowing Christ’s light to shine is important. For, even if you are just having lunches with a co-worker, over time and as you get to know each other, that woman will begin to see that there is something different about the way you act and the way you speak. Eventually, your acquaintance friend will give you opportunities to share your belief in Christ. You just have to be ready and willing when that time occurs. It is often at that point in time that you can start a Salvation mentoring conversation by telling the other woman your story about what Christ as done for you.


One of the worst things that Christians can do is try to push the Gospel upon another person. However, when you talk about yourself and what Christ has done for you, you are not being pushy. You are simply telling another about what has happened to you or how you have been affected by the Gospel message.

We all love to hear true stories. Moreover, depending on the type of story being told, they can entertain, inform or enlighten us. So, whether the person is telling you about climbing a mountain in Colorado on her summer vacation, or she is telling you a story about her latest trip to the mall where she found a great deal, you have, at the very least, learned something about her and her interests. You may also be taught and informed about a subject for which you previously knew little.

Another reason that people love to hear personal stories is that when you are telling a story about yourself, you are not trying to convince someone to do something. Rather, you are saying that this is what occurred to me, and here is how I am now living, or here is why I act the way that I do. Some of the stories that we tell about ourselves may be very exciting, or they may be boring to the listener, but there is one thing that the listener understands; the story that you are telling is your story, and it has affected you in some manner or another.

Some stories can touch an inner part of that person in such a way that her thinking or her life is changed forever. For example, when you tell a story about climbing a mountain, depending on what occurred during your climb, the one listening is probably either thinking one of two things: she is either thinking to herself that she would like to someday have the courage and stamina to climb a mountain, so maybe she should try to train herself to someday attempt such a climb; or she is thinking that she would never try to attempt such a feat. If she decides that she has no interest in climbing, she has made a decision not to change her life and will continue on the path that she feels most comfortable living. On the other hand, if she decides that she, too, would like to start climbing, she has decided to change the direction of her life and pursue a sport or hobby that she previously may not have even thought about.

If you tell a simple story about shopping at the mall and then finding and buying something that you have always wanted for a great low price, the listener again probably has either one of two main thoughts. First, the listener might be excited for you that you have found such a good deal. She, too, may then decide to go to the mall and see if she can find a similar good deal for something that she has been hoping to purchase. The store sales that you have described in your story are enticing to her. Or, the listener might not be interested in your story of finding the perfect deal, because she doesn’t have anything that she wants to buy at the moment. She may be happy for your shopping success and even congratulate you, but she does not plan to give up her Saturday to go to the mall to shop.

Both of these two different stories told over lunch have affected the story teller’s life in some way, and they may in the future affect the listener’s life in a positive way. For, the listener has either chosen to pursue something similar to what you have described, or she has chosen to do nothing at that time about the information she has been given. However, she will keep the new information in her mind for awhile, and she may even at a later time decide to do something with the information she has been given. But, even if the story did not affect the listener’s life in any specific way, at the very least the listener has learned more about you. She now knows something about what makes you happy, and she knows how you spend your spare time.

Stories about ourselves can be sad, happy, inspiring, funny, encouraging, and even thought provoking, or they can just give the other person more insight into how we think and who we are. Moreover, a story about our self can be a powerful tool in developing a relationship. Even though some stories are more powerful than others, all of the stories that we tell about our self can be stories that can change a life or change the perception of the one who is hearing the story. Certainly, if we tell the story of how Christ “Saved” our life, we have a powerful tool in sharing the Gospel without being pushy. The story of how Christ changed your life is worth telling, and it can be a great ARCM tool that can lead a non-Christian to Christ. Your story can also give strength and encouragement to another Christian who is going through some type of adversity.

Words are powerful! In fact, Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived said:

The quiet words of the wise are more to be heeded than the shouts of a ruler of fools. Wisdom is better than weapons of war…
– (Ecclesiastes 9: 17. NIV).

A man has joy in making an apt answer, and a word spoken at the right moment – how good it is!” 
-- (Proverbs 15: 23. Amplified).

A word fitly spoken and in due season is like apples of gold in settings of silver.
– (Proverbs 25: 11. Amplified).

All “born-again” Christians have words to speak to other people. We just have to get the courage to speak the words that the Holy Spirit puts in our hearts and minds. Some of the words that we can speak to others come directly from God’s Word, so we don’t even have to worry about what to say, if we can go to the Scriptures and share them with others. In fact, all of us should know the Scriptural path to Salvation in case God gives us the opportunity to share with a non-Christian how to be “Saved.” There are many Scriptures that can lead someone to Christ. At other times our words can be simply our own words quietly spoken with conviction. These can be the words that you use to tell the story of how God “Saved” your life. Such words can be extremely powerful. Even if the story of your Salvation is not an adventurous or exciting story, it is your story, and your story changed your life. It is exciting to you. The listener to your story can see in your eyes and in the way that you tell your story that you were changed from the moment that you were “Saved”. The listener can tell that you truly believe what you are sharing, and she will see the light of Christ emanating from you.

Many of you have dramatic stories of how Christ “Saved” your life. Some of us, however, have a very simple story about our initial Salvation, but there is nothing wrong with that. Those who have a simple story of their Salvation may also have other stories about how Christ has intervened in their life; stories that explain more about who they are spiritually, and why they trust in Christ and want to live for Him.

Whether your story is about being saved from a drug ravaged life through Christ’s offered Salvation, or your story is about being “Saved” as a child in church one Sunday morning, you have a story to tell. Moreover, even though the initial story of your Salvation may be a simple one, you may also have a story of how Christ has been there for you throughout the years and during times of turmoil, sickness, grief, or disaster. These true stories give the listener something to think about, and they lend credence to Christ as the Savior of the world, because Christ has truly affected your life. He is real! Christ has “Saved” you, and the listener can see your happiness and the peace you have when telling your story!


I told most of my story over a year ago when I first started this blog, but I will give a brief recap here. I was “Saved” as a child during Bible school when I was only nine years old. From that point on, I wanted to live for Christ. But, a nine year old child does not really understand what living for Christ means. In fact, it was not until I was seventeen and after I was struck by a car while in a crosswalk that I began to truly understand what living for Christ was all about. Certainly, it was after the accident, when I finally realized that Christ would always be there to take care of me; even though the doctors did not give my parents and my fiancĂ© much hope for my life to have any value and worth. Boy, did God upstage the doctor’s prognosis!

Although I still live in constant pain, I have had and I still have a wonderful life. God has blessed me with a son, and He has also blessed me with a daughter-in-law and three grandchildren. I am happily married to my husband of 45 years. Because of the accident, both my husband and I have grown closer to God and Jesus Christ, our Savior. In fact, Christ has been the One to get us through forty-eight surgeries together with grace and faith. I have discovered that often the struggles that we go through in life motivate us to reach for greater heights and especially for greater spiritual heights. For adversity can bring strength and even greater faith in the Lord. In fact, James, the brother of Jesus said that we are to:

Consider it wholly joyful, my brethren, whenever you are enveloped in or encounter trials of any sort or fall into various temptations. Be assured and understand that the trial and proving of your faith brings out endurance and steadfastness and patience. But let endurance and steadfastness and patience have full play and do a thorough work, so that you may be [people] perfectly and fully developed [with no defects], lacking nothing.”  
-- (James 1: 2-4. Amplified).

I have certainly had several trials and tribulations. But, even when I thought that I could no longer take the constant pain, Christ came to me and assured me that He would always be there for me and that I would never have more pain than I could handle. That story, in and of itself, is a supernatural story of Christ saving my life for the third time.
The third time? How can that be? Well, the first time Christ saved my life was when He “Saved” my soul with the Salvation He freely offered, which I accepted and obtained when I was nine years old. I am now a child of God’s, and I have a home in Heaven when the time comes for me to leave this earth.

The second time Christ saved my life was when I was in a crosswalk and was struck by a car. I was going to college at the time and had only been there one month when the accident happened. I remember waking up much later and asking my daddy why I was still here on earth. I knew I was prepared to go home to be with God, but for some reason I was still here in this world and in a very broken body.

By all medical knowledge, I shouldn’t be here today, but God had plans for my life. He did not take me home to Heaven that day when the car hit me, nor even later on when I got an infection in the compound fracture of my hip. For, I was not able to take the antibiotic that could save my leg and life. However, God performed a miracle, in that the very next day the infection was totally gone. Throughout the ordeal, I was given an opportunity to deepen my relationship with God. Then, when I was finally better, I was given the opportunity to mentor other women who as of yet did not know Christ personally.

With the help of many doctors and my faith in God, I was able to walk again after nearly a year in the hospital. I finally got out of the hospital long enough to walk down the aisle and marry the love of my life here on earth. However, within one week, I was back in the hospital again for more surgery. Fortunately, with the fast progress that was being made in medical science and the constantly new medical techniques that would come along every year or so, as well as with God’s divine timing, I was able to receive the medical help that I needed throughout the years. Both Gary and I trusted in God for my strength to endure the trials and sufferings that I would have to go through in this life.

God blessed me with a wonderful loving husband. He is also very brilliant. So, along the way, my husband encouraged me to get my college degree, and I ended up with two undergraduate degrees and one Master’s degree. With God’s spiritual help and the emotional support that I received from my husband, I was able to work in the education field for seventeen years. Then, the pain became too much for me to deal with while trying to teach children. I had to medically retire from teaching.

Then when the pain became too much, and I finally thought that my life was truly over, Christ saved my life the third time on December 18, 1992. That morning, I couldn’t sleep because of the all consuming pain. I had gotten up and gone into the Great Room to try and read to take my mind off the pain. Then, quite suddenly I realized that I could no longer take the pain. I didn’t know how I was going to do it, but I knew my life was over. I had a moment's peace at having finally made a decision to end my life of pain. But within seconds, the room was filled with an iridescent foggy cloud. Suddenly, standing across from me was Christ my Savior. (I know many of you may not believe me, but this is indeed what happened). Immediately Christ started talking to me about my life and He asked me what I would like to do with my life if I could stand the pain. I told Him, that I truly wanted to be the best Christian that I could be, the best wife that I could be, and the best mother that I could be. But, I also told Christ that I could no longer take the pain. It was at that point that Christ assured me that just as God had promised all His children that He would never forsake them, He would not forsake me. (See Hebrews 13: 5b). Then Christ assured me that I would also be able to handle the pain.

Previously, I had been contemplating having an intra-thecal pain pump placed inside of my body. But, there were so many pro’s and con’s (many things were still unknown about putting this type of pump in a non-terminal patient) that I had been having a hard time making a decision about what to do. Christ knew all about the pain-pump and told me to go ahead and have the surgery for it. But, Christ also told me that even though it would take care of a great deal of the pain, that it would not take away all the pain. However, Christ assured me that He would strengthen me, i.e. if I relied on Him, I would be able to handle the rest of the pain. For:

I have the strength for all things in Christ Who empowers me [I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him Who infuses inner strength into me: I am self-sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency].
– (Philippians 4: 13. Amplified).

Believe it or not, this conversation with Christ took place without either one of us opening our mouths. But, the words were as clear as if we had both been speaking out loud. I don’t know how long this event took, but with heightened hearing, I heard my husband when he started to get out of bed in the far back master bed-room. Suddenly, I knew that Christ was going to leave. I kept hoping that my husband would not come down the hallway so that Christ would stay longer. However, as my husband grew ever closer to the Great Room where I was sitting, Christ disappeared, and by the time my husband got to the doorway, the foggy iridescent cloud was gone too.

Christ also gave me extra confirmation that He had been there with me and that it had not been a dream. You see, my husband, who was always a very late sleeper on Saturday mornings, said that he dreamed that something was terribly wrong and that I might take my life. Suddenly, he had awakened with an urgency to find me and make sure that I had not done anything to hurt myself. So, at six in the morning, he came down the hallway to check on me. God gave my husband an urgent word that I needed help, so he had gotten up to find me and talk to me.

When my husband came into the Great Room, I had the biggest smile on my face and immediately began to tell him about my sudden decision to kill myself, but that in an instant Christ had come, and He saved my life. For, Christ had given me both hope and the assurance that He would never forsake me. For the next 24-36 hours, the pain level was extremely low. I was actually able to handle the pain until the surgery in early January of 1993 when the doctor put in the intra-thecal pain pump.

The pain pump has truly been a life-saver. But, I don’t think that I would have had the surgery had it not been for my encounter with Christ. There were just too many con’s against the surgery, all of which have never come true for me. Christ, however, is truly the One Who Saved my life, and He saved my life for the third time. For, after speaking to Christ that day, I no longer wanted to take my life. I wanted to live for Christ. Although, I have spent the last twenty-two years fighting the pain, I can still say that I have had a good quality of life with the pump that helps me handle the pain. But, on the days when the pump is not covering the pain, it is my trust and faith in Christ that gets me through.

And the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered for a little while, will Himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. To Him be the power forever and ever. Amen.” 
-- (I Peter 5: 10-11. NIV).

I have never forgotten what Christ did for me, and I never will. This is the first time I have told this story to such a large audience. Until today, I have not told this story to over ten people, and then only one at a time when I needed to explain how Christ cares and loves each of us so very much. I am sure that you have a story that you can share with other women. You do not have to have an encounter in person with Christ to have a story to share. Remember, your Salvation story and your life lived for Him is your story. Your Story can have an impact on a non-Christian toward Salvation. Your story can strengthen the faith of other Christians. Never be afraid to tell your story. Use your story to reach others for Christ. Share with them how Christ has changed you and made a difference in your life.


Each “born-again” Christian has a story. Your personal story is not an intellectual story of just reciting what you have learned about Christ. It is not a recitation of what you have been taught in church or Sunday school. It is the story of what brought you to the point that you recognized that you were a sinner and needed saving. It is the story about you finally believing in the risen Lord and then asking Him to forgive you and come into your heart. It is the story of being re-born into a new person. It is the story of how your life was changed as a result of Christ coming into your heart.

So many secular people believe that Christians have bought into a story without any proof that it is true. They think that we are just followers of the crowd. Nothing could be farther from the truth! For, something happens to each individual who truly believes and asks Christ into their heart. First, Salvation brings such a wonderful peace to our souls. It is not just a momentary peace that occurs in church or under peer pressure as scoffers would like to believe; rather it is a daily, yearly and forever peace that permeates our souls. Secondly, “born-again” Christians know Who our Lord is and we want to live for Him. He is within us each and every day, and He is the One who helps us through our trials and tribulations in living in this world. We know we are never alone. Thirdly, we have been re-born into new humans who have a totally different outlook on life and a desire to live for Christ.

Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things have passed away; behold, new things have come.
– (II Corinthians 5: 17. NASV).

If you are a “born-again” Christian, you have a story to tell to others. Your story is unique to you. Even if it is a simple story of accepting Christ when you were a child, you have the story of the rest of the years that you have lived for Christ, and the story of how Christ has been there for you every step of the way. You may even have a story about being saved from a fall or accident of some kind. You may also have a story about overcoming some adversity with Christ’s help. Or you may have a story of peace within a storm in life. Whatever your story, it is yours and yours alone. It is a true story that can help someone else see Christ in your life and perhaps lead her to want to know Him the way that you know Him.

So what is your story, for everyone has one? You just need to take a little time to sit down and write out your story on paper first. Think about those things that Christ has done in your life for you and your family. Write down those things that you think that someone else would like to know about you and write about your relationship with Christ. Make sure your story has a beginning, a middle and an end up to the point of your telling the story. If we try telling our story without first thinking it through, most of us have a tendency to wander here and there and just include things as they come to forefront of our minds while we are talking, but which can make your story too long or rambling.

You do not want your story to be over twenty minutes, because the other person may not have the time to hear your entire life story. Between ten and fifteen minutes is a good timeframe for your initial story. If the listener asks questions afterwards, you can tell of other incidents in your life where Christ has been there for you, if time permits. Initially, you just want to include those parts in your story that have to do with Christ being there for you, and share how Christ has made a difference in your life since you have known Him. How did Salvation change you as a person? Then give examples of how you have enjoyed living for Christ.

Sometimes deciding what to include in your story is not easy, especially if you have had a very exciting and eventful life. That is why you need to sit down and think through the moments in your life when Christ has been there for you, choosing those moments that will best explain and clarify what you are trying to get across to the listener about Christ as your Savior and living for Him.

After you have written and refined your story, put it aside and think about it for a day. Then come back to it and make sure that it includes what you think is important to tell to another person about your life walk with Christ. Finally, read your story out loud a couple of times so that you feel comfortable in telling it. To get even more comfortable, tell your story to your spouse or a fellow Christian friend. After you have told your story, and you feel comfortable that it includes what you would want a non-Christian to know about your life and what Christ has done for you, you are ready and prepared to share your story about Christ with another person.

I also suggest that you learn the Scriptures of what is commonly known as “The Roman Road”.  It is called “The Roman Road”, because most of the Scriptures come from the book of Romans. Other Scriptures I have included come from the book of John, II Corinthians, and Revelation. These are all Scriptures that explain the path of Salvation to someone who is not “Saved”. They include:

Romans 3: 23 – “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.

Romans 6: 23 – “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

John 3: 16-17 – “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. For, God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.

Romans 5: 8 – “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

II Corinthians 5:15 – “and He died for all, so that they who live might no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf.

John 3:3 – “Jesus answered and said to him,Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the Kingdom of God.’”

John 14: 6. – “Jesus said to him,I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.’”

Romans 10: 9-10 – “That if you confess with your mouth ‘Jesus as Lord’, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in Salvation.

Revelation 3:20 – “Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My Voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me.”

Romans 10: 13 – “For, ‘Whoever will call upon the Name of the Lord will be Saved.’”

I suggest that you memorize these Scriptures so that you are always ready to share the path of Salvation with your mentee or even a stranger. You may wish to start with your personal story and then end with the pathway to Salvation through the Scriptures. You may even want to add one of your favorite Salvation Scriptures to it. But however you decide to share your faith in Christ, be ready. Have your story ready, and either memorize the above Scriptures or have them written down to be easily reached within your purse or wallet.

If you are not yet a true “born-again” Christian, I pray that in reading “The Roman Road” that you will realize that you are a sinner. I pray that you decide to ask Christ to forgive your sins and then ask, believing that He not only was raised from the dead, but that He will indeed come into your heart and cleanse you from all unrighteousness and sin. You can do it! You can accept Christ as your Savior. 

And if you are already a Christian, you can mentor another person for the Lord. You can share your story and perhaps lead another woman to Christ.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

The End of the Age or of Time as We Know It

As I was watching the news today, I saw that North Korea is rattling their sabers again, threatening to “nuke” anyone they don’t like. It brings to mind just how fragile our existence here on earth really is. The only thing that is keeping us from all being destroyed by nuclear fire is that God is in charge of the day and moment in time when things will end here for earth.

Christians do not need to fret or worry about the end of the age or of time, but we do need to care about those who have not yet come to know Christ as their Savior. For, when the world ends, if they have not repented of their sins and invited Christ into their heart, they will not go to Heaven. Our responsibility, then, is to make sure that people whom we know, and even those that we don’t know, have heard the Gospel message. For Jesus said: “There will be more joy in Heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.
– (Luke 15: 7. NASV).

Therefore we are to “Produce fruit in keeping with repentance.”
– (Matthew 3: 8. NIV).

Active Relational Christian Mentoring is just one way that women can share the Gospel message with other women and produce fruit for the Kingdom of God. But, whatever Kingdom service you choose to do for the Lord, just remember that time is indeed winding down, so we cannot take for granted that tomorrow will come. We have to make sure that we have done everything that we can to share Christ with others and that we have stepped forward in some manner or another in order to be there for those who are in need.

From the time that Christ started His ministry here on earth, Christ spoke of our need to repent of our sins and truly live for God. He told His followers of the Salvation and the eternal rest that God, through Him, would offer to all those who would repent of their sins and ask Christ into their heart. In fulfilling God’s plan of Salvation, Christ died on the cross taking upon Himself the sins of the world and then conquering eternal death by arising from the grave.

Jesus died for all, so that they who live might no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf.
– ( II Corinthians 5: 15 NASV).

Christ tried to prepare His followers for what was going to take place upon the cross. However, they did not really understand until it happened. At around the same time, Christ also told His disciples that He would then have to leave them for awhile to go back to Heaven. But Christ assured them, and us through His Word, that He would someday return at the end of the age. Consequently, from that moment on men and women have wondered when the end times will actually come. Then a few weeks after He arose from the grave, Christ indeed went back to Heaven to prepare a place for all those who will accept God’s offer of Salvation and ask Christ into their heart.

Throughout His ministry on earth, Christ Jesus told parables or stories in order to give His followers some insight into what Heaven would be like and what they could expect toward the end of the age. These parables helped to illuminate Christians’ responsibilities while we are here on earth. (See Matthew 20: 1-16; Matthew 25: 14-30; Luke 17: 7-10; and Luke 19: 11-27). Christ also told parables about Heaven, and through some of these parables He told us who would be able to enter into Heaven and who would not. (See Matthew 13: 3-8; Matthew 13: 34-30; Mark 4: 30-32; Luke 20: 20-21; Matthew 13: 44; Matthew 13: 45-46; Matthew 13: 47-50; and Mark 4: 26-29).

Whether it was through a parable or through an answer to a direct question, Christ told His followers what they could expect if they repented of their sins and asked Him into our heart. They would receive Salvation! He told them that among the many wonderful things that Salvation brings, like being able to lay their burdens upon Him, that their Salvation would bring an internal soul peace to those who asked Him into their heart, but in addition there would also be an eternal soul peace and rest when we get to Heaven.

 Then, Christ told the people what they could expect if they did not repent of their sins, and if they did not ask Him into their heart; they could expect eternal damnation or hell. Since the cross and Christ's resurrection, all people can choose one or the other: Heaven or Hell. Each person, then, has to make a choice about their life and choose for whom they will live their life. Are you going to choose to live for yourself and the world, or are you going to live for Christ? You do not want to put off making a choice to serve Christ for too long, or it may become too late for you to make a choice. For, when we take our last breath, there are no second chances. It is at that point that you will either go to Heaven or to Hell depending on the choice you have made. By the way, simply not making a choice to believe and accept Christ as your personal Savior is still a choice, for you have chosen to reject Him and have chosen Hell.

Throughout His ministry, Christ gave us a great deal of information about both Heaven and Hell, so there is certainly one thing that we cannot say. We cannot say that we have not been warned or that we have not been told of the consequences of our actions and inactions. For, as in all aspects of life there are consequences for how we live out our lives in the here and now, but there are also consequences that can lead to an eternal existence in either Heaven or Hell. Do you know where you will reside?

In preparing His disciples and followers to understand the importance of living their lives for God, Christ told them that there will also come a time when the earth will no longer exist as we know it. Although Christ is now in Heaven with the Father, there will come a time when Christ will return at the end of the age. It is at the end of the age that Christ will arrive to judge those who have chosen to not follow Him. At that time the earth will be in turmoil. People will have done more to hurt each other than ever before. Later, after Christ’s judgment of all people who have refused to honor God and turn to Him, the earth will be changed into a new and more beautiful earth for those who have chosen to accept God’s gift of Salvation. But, before there is a new earth, there will be a terrible time on this earth for all people living here.

The Signs of the End of the Age

Having heard Christ tell of the end of the age, many of Christ’s followers and especially His disciples wanted to know when He would return and when the last days of this earth would occur.

In chapter 24 of Matthew, the disciples ask for specific signs of the coming of the end of the age. “… What will be the sign of your coming and the end of the age?  -- (Matthew 24: 3. NIV). Jesus then gave them what is now known as the Olivet Discourse; called that because they were sitting on the Mount of Olives when Jesus explained many things to them including the signs of the last days.

Jesus said:
Nation will rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these will be the beginning of birth pains.

Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations, because of Me. At that time, many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people.

Because of the increase of the wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved. And this Gospel of the Kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations and then the end will come.
– (Matthew 24: 7-14. NIV).

The Gospel of Mark gives us further information about the signs for the last days. Again, Jesus is talking to the disciples about the last days when He says:

Brother will betray brother to death and a father his child. Children will rebel against their parents and have them put to death.”
– (Mark 13: 12. NIV).

We are beginning to see this type of rebellion in some of our children today, but someday that rebellion will be so great that children will actually have their parents put to death. We are already seeing hatred for those who profess to love Christ. Certainly, too, we are seeing an increase in wickedness and deceitfulness. Although, we are still free from religious persecution in our country, the Christians in the Middle East and other areas of the world are being persecuted, and some are being persecuted by their own children. In fact, right now in the Middle East many Christians are continuing to be beheaded or put to death in some other violent manner for just believing in Christ. The hate filled terrorist Muslims want to kill all Christians and Jews. However, they don’t just want to kill those living within their own their territory, for they want to kill Christians and Jews throughout the world. This means that they look forward to killing Americans in our own country when and if they can get here, or when they can send a bomb here.

It isn’t just in other countries, though, wherein there is an increase of hatred and wickedness. For, there is an increase in hatred, wickedness and deceitfulness here in our own country, as people no longer respect the Commandments of God or the Constitution of our nation, and young people kill, loot, and destroy other people’s property just because they can. People are feasting upon their hate of each other; our law enforcement or police are now under attack by lone haters and killers. There may even be organizations that are now promoting this type of hate.

Although we cannot know when the earth will end or when Christ will return, we can recognize the signs that Christ gave to His followers in the first century. For, in the last ten or more years there has been a dramatic increase in the earthquakes and famines, which have hit nearly every country in some manner or another. Terrible forest fires and floods, including Tsunamis, have killed many people and destroyed more property than ever recorded before now. These are the beginnings of some of the birth pangs or signs of the end of the age, which Christ gave to us long ago. Christ gave us these signs not to frighten us, but so that we could be on the alert, and so we could know that time is running out for us to reach the unbelievers. None of us, though, will know until Christ returns that the end of the age is here. In the meantime, we are not to be afraid, but we are to work for the Kingdom of God by producing fruit for the Kingdom and by helping those who could use our specific help.

In chapter 13 of the book of Mark, Jesus tells us that Heaven and Earth will indeed pass away (see Mark 13: 31). At the same time, Christ also tells us that His words will never pass away. In addition, Christ’s words have been recorded in the Bible so that we cannot say that we were not warned, even though:

“No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in Heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Be on guard! Be alert! You do not know when that time will come.”
– (Mark 13: 32-33. NIV).

Being on Guard and Alert

But, what does it mean to be on guard and be alert? Well, it means that we must focus on doing our part for the Kingdom of Heaven. We should not go through life as if it will never end. Instead, we must put Christ’s return in the forefront of our minds so that we are constantly aware that we need to share the Gospel with others. We must focus on being “doers of the Word” and constantly working for the Lord.

Humans have a tendency to truly adhere to the old adage: “Out of sight, out of mind.” In fact, knowing that something might happen does not always mean that we are ready or prepared for when it does happen. For example, most couples work hard and look forward to the day they can retire together and spend their later years living for themselves rather than working for a job. Although, we are to work to bring in money for a roof over our heads, food and clothing, we should also be working and planning for our retirement. We should be putting money aside for the future, because realistically speaking we may not have the needed health to continue working past a certain age. Some couples would like to retire at an earlier age, though, where they can enjoy some of the fruits of their labors before they are too old to travel or do things together.

How many stories have you heard, though, about couples getting close to retirement when they suddenly realize that they are not financially ready for retirement. Over the years they were not alert to the financial needs that the retirement years can bring. They did not put away enough money to live comfortably, so now they either cannot retire, or they are will be scrimping to barely make it. Had they been on guard, they would have started putting money away for their retirement in their early thirties and all the way up through their fifties to insure that they had the money they would need when they actually retired. Obviously, there are a lot of variables that can influence how much money one can put away for retirement, but no matter how small the amount, couples should be on guard and alert to their future financial needs. They should be working to put away something.

In some respects, working for God, is no different. Christians have been given a job to do to share the Gospel message so that others can come to know Christ and go to Heaven with them. Christians have also been given the responsibility of making sure that we are there to help other people. Whether it is sharing our skills, talents, knowledge or specific information, we all have a responsibility to “love our neighbor as ourselves,” and in so doing help those who need help.

Working for the Lord then means that we are to be on guard and alert to the possibility that tomorrow could end at any moment. We must be concerned and realize that there are many people that we have not yet reached for the Lord. Those we have not reached may miss out on eternal Salvation and eternal rest, because we have not been more alert. We did not share the Gospel message with them. Or perhaps we did not show our love for others the way that God wanted us to do. Maybe we did not help or mentor others when they needed our specific help.

The End of Time as We Know It

 When the world ends, as Christians, we will not have to be in the Great White Throne Judgment. But, those who have not accepted Christ as their Savior will, at this Judgment, be separated from those who have believed in Christ. However, all Christians will still have to give an accounting of the services that we have performed for the Lord. Then we will receive rewards based on what we have done for the Kingdom of God while here on earth.

At the end of the age, Jesus will come back to judge those on this earth. Jesus explained this judgment at the end time this way:

“When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, He will sit on His throne in Heavenly glory. All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on His right and the goats on His left. Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by My Father; take your inheritance, the Kingdom prepared for you since the creation of Man.

For, I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave Me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited Me in, I needed clothes and you clothed Me, I was sick and you looked after Me, I was in prison and you came to see Me.

Then the righteous will answer, Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You something to drink? When did we see You a stranger and invite You in, or needing clothes and clothe You? When did we see You sick or in prison and go to visit You?

The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for Me.’
– (Matthew 25: 31-40. NIV).

Then Christ will say to those on His left:
“Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fires prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave Me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave Me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite Me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe Me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after Me.
– (Matthew 25: 41-43. NIV).

Then these people on the left will ask Christ when they neglected Him.
“He will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for Me.’ Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”
– (Matthew 25: 45-46. NIV).

Then, those that Christ has separated and put on His left, will be placed into the eternal fire of Hell. But, they have no one to blame but themselves. The choice they made while living here on earth was to not live for the Lord. They did not repent of their sins and ask Christ to come into their heart, and they did not help other people. They may not have been wicked as in being truly evil, but they did not have the love of Christ within their hearts, and they did not love others as they loved themselves. They did not serve the Lord, but served themselves.

Preparing for the End of Time

So, how can we be prepared for the end of the age? Well, we are not to be afraid. Fear is of the devil, and when we fear we take our focus off of the Lord who can take care of any situation. But, we are to be on guard and alert. We are to live our lives in such a manner that everyone that we see and meet will know that there is something different about us. They will see the light of Christ shining out of us and they will see that our actions match that light.

Jesus said:
“Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the Kingdom. … Be dressed ready for service and keep your lamps burning, like men waiting for their master to return from a wedding banquet, so that when he comes and knocks they can immediately open the door for him.”
– (Luke 12: 32, 35-36. NIV).

I don’t know about you, but I want to be dressed and ready for service. But, I also want to be engaged in a service. So, whatever service that God has given you to do for the Kingdom, do not neglect it or put it off until tomorrow. If you don’t have time to work with a large number of people, in our out of church, think about Active Relational Christian mentoring. It is a wonderful way to reach one person at time for the Lord. It is a wonderful way to help another person in their life walk for the Lord.

I will end with a Scripture about the coming day of the Lord and the end of the age that comes from the Apostle Peter. This is something to really think about. If you are reading this and are not “Saved” please know that time will not go on forever as we know it. There will come a time when you will be separated when you stand before Christ. On which side will you be asked to stand? Perhaps you should consider repenting of your sins and asking Christ into your heart, if you haven't done so already? You can do it? But you have to really mean it.

The Apostle Peter summed up very nicely what we can expect at the end of the age. He said:
“First of all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. They will say, “Where is this coming He promised? … But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping His promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.

But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The Heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare. Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives, as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat. But in keeping with His promise we are looking forward to a new Heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness.

… make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with Him. Therefore, dear friends, … be on guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of lawless men and fall from your secure position. But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen.”

– (II Peter 3: 3-4, 8-14, 17-18. NIV).

Unless you are not "Saved" you do not have to be afraid of the end of the age. Instead, Christians are to look forward to Christ's return. Let's show Christ how much we love Him by not only obeying His Commandments, but by working for the Kingdom of God every day of our life. You can do it! You can help others through many different services or ministries. Choose one or two, perhaps even ARCM to give glory to God and the Son. If you are not "Saved", please take a moment to consider repenting of your sins and asking Christ into your heart. He stands at the door of your heart and knocks. He is just waiting for you to open the door so that He can come in and eat with you and you with Him. (See Revelation 3: 20).