Wednesday, May 29th, 2013
Isaiah 61 (Part 12, Conclusion)
The Time To Shine
For as the earth brings forth its bud,
As the garden causes the things that are sown in it to spring forth,
So the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations.
Isaiah 61:11 (NKJV)
Matthew chapter 24 is about the signs of the times and the end of the age. In it, Jesus says, 'And this Gospel of the Kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come' (v.14). It's a positive action plan--similar to the one in Isaiah 61:11.
But consider the 5 verses preceding Matthew 24:14:
'Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My Name's sake. And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. But he who endures to the end shall be saved' (v.9-13).
Today, Christians are hated by some in all nations. They are hated by many in others--like North Korea and Saudi Arabia.* In them, Christians are persecuted, imprisoned and killed. If we include abortion, then the United States is no exception. 53 million babies have been killed in utero since Roe v. Wade. False prophets have risen in God's church. Some have been exposed. All will be. Unmistakably, lawlessness abounds--even in our schools.
Since Jesus spoke these words from Matthew, over 2000 years have passed. It's taken that long for man to develop the worldwide web and the media which springs forth from it. To many Christians, it seems like a ruination.
To me, it seems like an opportunity. Because right now, God is directing a miracle. Rising against the downward spiral in entertainment are actors, models and talent for Christ. Rising against the cultural flow and surely against the odds are God's stars, causing...
'Righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations' (Isaiah 61:11), that 'This Gospel of the Kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations' (Matthew 24:14). For this moment in time, it's cool to be a Christian in Hollywood--in film, fashion, music, theater and sports. Jesus said:
'The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into His harvest field' (Matthew 9:37). Saints have been asking and God has answered.
Actors, models and talent for Christ are God's field workers. For this moment in time, the enemy has been restrained and you have been commissioned. Through your witness, millions upon millions of lost and prodigal children will be brought into the Kingdom of God.
Go forth and multiply.
*Link to the top 50 countries of Christian persecution: http://www.worldwatchlist.us/world-watch-list-countries/
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Isaiah 61 series.