Has anyone noticed that we live in a hopeless generation? As the Doomsday clock clicked two minuets closer to Midnight most wonder if they will survive the coming distress. As the world ponders an increase in global disasters, a nuclear holocaust, worldwide persecution of Christians, or a pandemic the civilization is left with little hope. Anxiety has reached an all time high. Many are hoping that they will escape the clutches of fanatical terrorist or the terror of evil gangsters roaming our inner-cities. Gun sales have skyrocketed. Many are hoping for financial independence to pay more than the monthly minimum payment, freedom from dependence on the State and its welfare rolls, and the ability to feed and clothe their family. Yet, total dependence upon the State to provide assistance is on the increase. Many others hope for a good marriage that will last, while co-habitation has become the standard. Others hope that they can escape their bondage to the multitude of emotional and psychological problems, yet every day more enter into bondage to worldly counseling and psychotropic drug addiction. The tragedy is that most will not hope beyond what they can see or touch. We live in a hopeless generation!
However, every Christian sealed by the living God produces hope beyond measure. To understand how the seal of the living God produces hope we need to first of all understand what the seal is and most importantly its benefits. The Bible says, “In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise” (Ephesians 1:13). Clearly from Scripture there is a process in receiving the seal. First of all there was an act of faith; trusting in the Risen Lord Jesus Christ to do all that He has claimed to do in the life of every believer. To trust in Christ to save us from our sins by delivering us from a horrible bondage and a slave to sin through forgiveness and His shed blood, atoning sacrifice on the Cross. Then secondly, to hear the word of truth that He makes us into a new creation were old things pass away and behold all things are new. Also, from the word of truth we learn that we grow from one degree of glory to another until we are made into the perfect image of the Son. And from the gospel of our salvation we learn and accept that we must die to self as Jesus Christ died on the Cross so that we can be raised up with Him and seated in heaven. The kernel of the gospel is, “He has risen” from the grave. Even death could not hold Him captive. Then after we have believed we are sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise.
To be sealed shows ownership. We have been bought with a price. No longer our own, to stumble around aimlessly in life, we soon discover that there is a plan for our life. We are given heavenly gifts and uniquely placed into the body of Christ – the Church. Every waking moment, for those who have been called, is in service to the One who has called us. We walk in the promise of a new life in Him, everyday believing that He is growing us from one degree of glory to another. His promise reaches beyond this short life to an everlasting life in heaven where every tear will be wiped away and where joy will fill our soul. Awesome benefit: the seal also means protection. This is demonstrated beautifully in the Revelation where it says, “Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads” (Revelation 7:3). And then we have it repeated again in Revelation that says, “And it was commanded them that they should not hurt the grass of the earth, neither any green thing, neither any tree; but only those men which have not the seal of God in their foreheads” (Revelation 9:4). So God has marked His own with an (invisible yet powerful) seal upon the forehead of His servants so that they would be protected from His wrath being poured upon a godless world. Dear friends, that is our hope! Don’t let anyone take it from you. Although, we may experience many of the things coming upon the world it will be used for our benefit. As the medal passes through the fire to remove the dross, so we too may pass through the fires of affliction. We do so to purify us, as the “radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless” (See Ephesians 5:25-27). The Bible says, “For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ” (I Thessalonians 5:9). Being sealed produces hope!
So how do we know that we are sealed by the living God? It’s really quite simple. Once we are sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise then He sets about doing His work in the life of the believer. Amazing things happen as we are being changed into His likeness. As the Holy Spirit produces fruit in the life of every believer it is the very anthesis of the old life. For example, the fruit of love will cause you to truly love those you once despised. The fruit of joy will maintain a joyful heart in the midst of your greatest trials – it’s quite impossible to stay depressed. The fruit of peace will keep you calmly focused when the whole world is riddled with anxiety – truly a peace that passeth all understanding. Step by step we witness all the fruit being brought forth in our lowly hearts to the glory of God. We have a foretaste of things to come. Let me be very clear this is not anything we do. We must allow God to do it through the indwelling Spirit. If we allow Him, if we Trust Him, then He will make us into a beautiful new creation abounding in hope when the rest of the world is running to hide in their caves and among the rocks, proclaiming; “Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb!” (See Revelation 6:15-17). Praise God, that we have been given a better hope – a hope that will not disappoint us. “Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost” (Romans 15:13). Have you been sealed by the Living God?
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One thought on “Tribulation Coming – Are You Prepared?”
Very nice post! There is a passage in Ezekiel which mentions an angel sealing all those who sigh and cry over sin. May we likewise sigh and cry over our sin and the sin of others all around us.