SOLAR ECLIPSE: A WARNING FROM GOD

by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio

Guard your heart above all else,
for it determines the course of your life.” ~ Proverbs 4: 23


PLEASE NOTE: I am sending this post early because it is time-sensitive. 

The United States is gearing up for a major event that will occur on Monday, August 21, 2017: the Total Solar Eclipse that will traverse our country from the Northwest to the Southeast. 

This is an event of major significance in that it is a warning from God calling us to repentance, both as individuals and as a nation. The eclipse will occur only over the United States and over its expanse, meaning this is a message specifically for America.  So, we must take special heed!
 

The  Bible tells us that God speaks to us through the signs in the sky (Genesis 1: 14).  The question is: Are we listening?

God issues these celestial warnings out of His infinite love for us. He is saying that if we don’t repent, we will bring judgment and great suffering on ourselves because we have disobeyed His commands. (See the Book of Revelation). 
 
Please take this warning to heart and warn your children and grandchildren.  This is not something to take lightly and to brush off.  Your eternal destiny and theirs are at stake.
 
 
Many Biblical scholars and other Christians believe that the Lord’s return for His Church in an event called the Rapture is at hand, and that this eclipse is meant to prepare us for the Lord’s return.  Only those who have been born again will be removed from the earth and will escape the great Tribulation which will soon come upon the entire world with the rise of the AntiChrist. Those who have not accepted Christ as Savior and Lord will be left behind and will endure the Tribulation. This will be a seven-year period of horrific suffering and oppression such as the world has never seen.
 

You do NOT want to be left behind! Accept Jesus Christ now as your Savior and Lord and spend eternity in His Presence. Here is a simple prayer to be born again:

“Lord Jesus, I come to You now just as I am—broken, bruised, and empty inside. I’ve made a mess of my life, and I need You to fix it. Please forgive me of all of my sins. I accept You now as my personal Savior and as the Lord of my life. Thank You for dying for me so that I might live. As I give you my life, I trust that You will make of me all that You’ve created me to be. Amen.”

If you sincerely prayed this prayer, you are now a child of God and a follower of Jesus Christ. Please write to me at drmaryann@maryanndiorioministries.com. I would like to send you a booklet to help you get started in your walk with Jesus. 

Now, it’s YOUR turn: Are you listening for God’s voice as He speaks through His signs in the sky? Are you looking up for the imminent return of Jesus Christ for His Bride? How are you preparing for His return? 

TWEETABLE: “SOLAR ECLIPSE: A WARNING FROM GOD” by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio (CLICK TO TWEET)

If you found this post helpful, please forward it to a friend. Thank you! Check our archives in the right sidebar for older posts on a variety of topics. You may also search for a particular topic in the search box at the top right. Some of our most popular posts

Eight Signs of Spiritual Growth

Sex and Soul Ties

How to Recognize a Controlling Spirit

For additional encouragement, check out my podcasts at the following links:

A Moment with MaryAnn – Podcasts on Living the Good Life

Winning with the Word Podcast Series

Write Your Heart Out! – Podcasts for Writers

NOTE: If you are struggling to know your purpose in life, I can help you! As a highly experienced Certified Life Coach, I will help you set priorities in line with your God-given purpose. For more information or to set up a phone appointment, please send me an email at drmaryann@maryanndiorio.com. You’ll be taking a major step toward fulfilling your destiny!

Please tell your family and friends about this blog and please pass this post on to them. Thank you!
______________________________________________________________

Copyright 2001-2017 by Dr. Mary Ann Diorio. All Rights Reserved.

Matters of the Heart is a weekly blog that deals with the deepest issues of the human heart, the issues we all face but sometimes don’t want to talk about. The heart is the programming center of our lives. What is programmed into our heart will affect every area of our lives. Learn how to discover what is in your heart and how to program your heart for success.

AN INVITATION TO YOU: To follow this blog via Facebook, click here. If you are not on Facebook or would prefer to subscribe via a different venue, please check the sidebar to the right for subscription options. Thank you!

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Join my Team and get a free copy of my ebook on balancing your life.

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Copyright 2000-2017 by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio. All Rights Reserved. This article may not be published or printed in any form whatsoever without the written permission of Dr. MaryAnn Diorio. You may contact her at drmaryann@maryanndiorio.com to request permission.

Amazon.com Required Disclosure: MaryAnn Diorio is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

Disclaimer: This site uses cookies. Your continued use of this site constitutes your consent to our use of cookies. 

DEALING WITH ANGER

by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio, Your Virtual Life Coach

Guard your heart above all else,
for it determines the course of your life.” ~ Proverbs 4: 23

Many problems in relationships are caused by unprocessed anger. Anger is that God-given emotion that warns us when an injustice has been committed. Yes, anger is God-given. God Himself tells us to be angry, but not to sin in the process (Ephesians 4:26). Problems with anger arise when our God-given emotions are not handled properly, resulting in misunderstanding, conflict, and, sometimes, even violence. 

Like any emotion, anger has two parts: the feeling and the behavior. While we cannot control the feeling of anger, we can control the behavior that results from the feeling. Most people, however, have never learned how to control their behavior when they are angry.  Instead, they either explode by lashing out verbally and/or physically, or they implode by withdrawing and suppressing their negative feelings. Neither behavior is proper, and both lead to further problems,  emotional as well as physical.

If you are having trouble controlling your anger, here are some suggestions that will help you to do so in a healthful way:

1. Admit that you are angry. Say out loud something like the following: “I am angry about this situation. Now what do I plan to do about it?” This kind of statement helps you to be aware that you are angry and gives you time to think about the action you are going to take.

2. Control your immediate response. The triggering of all emotions involves a stimulus followed by a response. The split second between the stimulus and the response is the moment of choice. It is during that split second that we decide how we are going to respond to the stimulus.

When dealing with anger, decide ahead of time that when a stimulus triggers your anger, you will stop to think before responding to the anger.

Don’t give in to the two most common responses to anger: a) verbal or physical venting or b) the silent treatment. Count to ten, leave the room, or do whatever you have to do to avoid getting out of control. When I feel angry, I usually go off by myself to vent to God and to pray for His help in dealing with the situation that caused my anger. When you wait before responding to anger, you will avoid saying or doing things you will regret later.

3. Determine the cause of your anger. Ask yourself what triggered your anger. Was it a legitimate injustice, or was it an honest mistake? Often people allow themselves to get angry over something that later turns out to be insignificant.                                                                                                  

4. Consider your options. Ask yourself if the response you wish to make to your anger will help or hurt your relationship with the person who has wronged you. The two basic choices you have when facing anger are (a) lovingly confront the person who has wronged you or (b) decide to forget about the matter.

5. Act on the option you have chosen. If you’ve chosen to confront the person who has wronged you, do so in love. Listen to his side of the story. It may totally change your perception of the situation. If the person who has wronged you asks for your forgiveness, forgive him.

If you’ve chosen to forget about the matter, tell God what you’ve decided. Give your anger to God and trust Him to deal with the person who has wronged you in His own time and in His own way.

By implementing these five steps, you can turn your anger into something productive that will not destroy your relationships but actually improve them.

Now, it’s YOUR turn: How do you measure your spiritual growth?

TWEETABLE: “Dealing with Anger” by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio (CLICK TO TWEET)

If you found this post helpful, please forward it to a friend. Thank you! Check our archives in the right sidebar for older posts on a variety of topics. You may also search for a particular topic in the search box at the top right. Some of our most popular posts

Eight Signs of Spiritual Growth

Sex and Soul Ties

How to Recognize a Controlling Spirit

For additional encouragement, check out my podcasts at the following links:

A Moment with MaryAnn – Podcasts on Living the Good Life

Winning with the Word Podcast Series

Write Your Heart Out! – Podcasts for Writers

NOTE: If you are struggling to know your purpose in life, I can help you! As a highly experienced Certified Life Coach, I will help you set priorities in line with your God-given purpose. For more information or to set up a phone appointment, please send me an email at drmaryann@maryanndiorio.com. You’ll be taking a major step toward fulfilling your destiny!

Please tell your family and friends about this blog and please pass this post on to them. Thank you!
______________________________________________________________

Copyright 2001-2017 by Dr. Mary Ann Diorio. All Rights Reserved.

Matters of the Heart is a weekly blog that deals with the deepest issues of the human heart, the issues we all face but sometimes don’t want to talk about. The heart is the programming center of our lives. What is programmed into our heart will affect every area of our lives. Learn how to discover what is in your heart and how to program your heart for success.

AN INVITATION TO YOU: To follow this blog via Facebook, click here. If you are not on Facebook or would prefer to subscribe via a different venue, please check the sidebar to the right for subscription options. Thank you!

Post Footer Content

____________________________________________

Join my Team and get a free copy of my ebook on balancing your life.

____________________________________________

________________________________

Copyright 2000-2017 by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio. All Rights Reserved. This article may not be published or printed in any form whatsoever without the written permission of Dr. MaryAnn Diorio. You may contact her at drmaryann@maryanndiorio.com to request permission.

Amazon.com Required Disclosure: MaryAnn Diorio is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

Disclaimer: This site uses cookies. Your continued use of this site constitutes your consent to our use of cookies. 

EIGHT SIGNS OF SPIRITUAL GROWTH

by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio, Your Virtual Life Coach

Guard your heart above all else,
for it determines the course of your life.” ~ Proverbs 4: 23

How well I remember my first vegetable garden! Each day I would lovingly water the tender plants and carefully check their growth. I found it exciting to watch them increase in height and fullness every few days and to know they were flourishing.           

Planting a garden led me to think about my spiritual growth. Was there a way, I wondered, to measure my progress in an area of life that defied accurate measurement? Although I could not measure my spiritual growth with a ruler, I needed to know if I were moving ahead, or slipping back, in my walk with the Lord.

As I studied God’s Word, certain indicators began to emerge that have helped me to determine whether or not I am progressing spiritually. Over the years, these indicators have served as a checklist which, I trust, will also help you to evaluate where you are in your own spiritual development.

1. Do I have an increasing hunger to know God and His Word? When I first became a Christian, I was like a newly wed enraptured and enamored with her husband. Then, over the years, I became comfortable in my relationship with the Lord. Yes, I still loved Him deeply, but I had lost some of the passion.When we find ourselves longing fervently for a closer relationship with God, and we determine to develop that relationship through daily prayer and study of His Word, we know that we are progressing spiritually.

2. Do I have a stronger desire to separate myself from the things of this world? Spiritual growth involves a process of separation. God said, “Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate” (II Corinthians 6:17). Although for now we must live in and influence the world, it must have no grip on us. As we grow spiritually, our desire for the things of this world will decrease while our desire for the things of God will increase.

3. Do I have a growing faith? The Word of God tells us that “the just shall live by faith” (Romans 1:17). When we find it increasingly easier to stand on God’s Word, especially in difficult circumstances, we are growing spiritually. The Bible becomes our final authority, and we can trust God to work in our lives. Whereas we once focused on the problem, we now focus on the solution found in the Word.

4. Do I find it easier to forgive? Jesus said, “Forgive, and ye shall be forgiven” (Luke 6:37). We know that we are growing spiritually when it becomes easier to forgive. This includes forgiving not only those who have offended us, but forgiving ourselves as well.

 I remember an occasion when I asked the Lord to reveal to me if there were anyone in my life whom I had not forgiven. Feeling certain that I had forgiven everyone, I was startled when a young woman came to mind. She had wronged me many years earlier, but I had never even thought of forgiving her. Although I had completely forgotten the incident, I immediately repented of my unforgiveness and asked God to bless her.

5. Do I have a growing love for other people? When we notice an increase in our love for other people, we know we are growing spiritually. Increased love manifests itself in actions. Are we more patient? Do we readily respond with kindness instead of anger? Do we criticize less? How can we say we love God if we don’t love our fellow man (I John 4:20)?

6. Do I have a heightened desire for the spiritual welfare of others? We are growing spiritually when our heart’s cry is to lead others to Christ and to the fullness of the abundant life, no matter what the cost.

Jesus said, “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you” (Matthew 28:19-20). We are increasing in spiritual maturity when we are ready to follow the Lord’s leading for each person we meet, knowing that at times we plant, at times we water, and at times we reap. Ridicule and persecution cause us to rejoice because we are sharing in Christ’s suffering.

7. Do I have a greater awareness of sin? We are growing spiritually when we are more sensitive to sin in our lives. What we may have considered harmless a few years or even a few months ago now pricks our conscience. Moreover, we find ourselves grieving deeply at the seriousness of sin’s offense against our Lord.

When I committed my life to Christ, certain activities that had seemed neutral to me suddenly took on a different perspective. As I grew spiritually, I became aware of subtle ways I sinned without even realizing I was sinning.

8. Do I have a greater willingness to obey God in all things? We are growing spiritually when obedience to God becomes a joy instead of a duty. As Jesus said, “Blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it!” (Luke 11: 27-28). When our response to God’s call becomes “Not my will, but thine, be done” (Luke 22:42), we know we are making spiritual progress.

Spiritual growth takes time. Just as we would not expect a child to grow up mentally and physically overnight, we should not expect to grow up spiritually overnight. Sometimes our progress may be slow. At other times, it may even seem as though we are regressing. Often it is only with the vantage point of several years that we can look back and realize how much we have actually grown.

Like physical and emotional growth, spiritual growth is sometimes painful. But let’s be encouraged! The Holy Spirit, our instructor, is guiding us and leading us into all truth. We can rejoice, therefore, in the knowledge that each moment, day by day, we are becoming more conformed to the image of Christ.                                                        

Now, it’s YOUR turn: How do you measure your spiritual growth?

TWEETABLE: “Eight Signs of Spiritual Growth” by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio (CLICK TO TWEET)

If you found this post helpful, please forward it to a friend. Thank you! Check our archives in the right sidebar for older posts on a variety of topics. You may also search for a particular topic in the search box at the top right. Some of our most popular posts

How to Recognize a Controlling Spirit

Sex and Soul Ties

How to Make Change Your Ally

Are You Playing the Blame Game?

For additional encouragement, check out my podcasts at the following links:

A Moment with MaryAnn – Podcasts on Living the Good Life

Winning with the Word Podcast Series

Write Your Heart Out! – Podcasts for Writers

NOTE: If you are struggling to know your purpose in life, I can help you! As a highly experienced Certified Life Coach, I will help you set priorities in line with your God-given purpose. For more information or to set up a phone appointment, please send me an email at drmaryann@maryanndiorio.com. You’ll be taking a major step toward fulfilling your destiny!

Please tell your family and friends about this blog and please pass this post on to them. Thank you!
______________________________________________________________
Matters of the Heart is a weekly blog that deals with the deepest issues of the human heart, the issues we all face but sometimes don’t want to talk about. The heart is the programming center of our lives. What is programmed into our heart will affect every area of our lives. Learn how to discover what is in your heart and how to program your heart for success.

AN INVITATION TO YOU: To follow this blog via Facebook, click here. If you are not on Facebook or would prefer to subscribe via a different venue, please check the sidebar to the right for subscription options. Thank you!

Post Footer Content

____________________________________________

Join my Team and get a free copy of my ebook on balancing your life.

____________________________________________

________________________________

Copyright 2000-2017 by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio. All Rights Reserved. This article may not be published or printed in any form whatsoever without the written permission of Dr. MaryAnn Diorio. You may contact her at drmaryann@maryanndiorio.com to request permission.

Amazon.com Required Disclosure: MaryAnn Diorio is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

Disclaimer: This site uses cookies. Your continued use of this site constitutes your consent to our use of cookies. 

CHANGING YOUR MIND FOR A BETTER LIFE

by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio, Your Virtual Life Coach

Guard your heart above all else,
for it determines the course of your life.” ~ Proverbs 4: 23

Change.  For a while now, it’s been a buzzword across various social and academic strata. The word means different things to different people. But today let’s explore what it means to God.


In God’s Lexicon, at the place of the word change we find the word repent. According to God, to repent is to change, specifically to change one’s way of thinking. 

Virtually every problem we will ever face in life will result from wrong thinking. Wrong thinking proceeds from a lie, and a lie can never provide a solid foundation to life. Only Truth can do that.

So, when God commands us to change, He means for us to stop thinking the way the world thinks.  And how does the world think? It thinks contrary to the way God thinks.

Well, then, how does God think? We discover the way God thinks by studying His Word, the Holy Bible. In this best-selling book of all time, God sets forth His modus operandi, His M.O., for everything that pertains to our lives. I call the Bible God’s Manual for Man. Wouldn’t it make sense, then, to study it and apply it to our lives?

So, back to the concept of change. When we study God’s Word, we realize that our thinking needs changing. As we begin to learn the way God thinks, we begin to understand that our thinking is so inferior to His.  He Himself says as much in the Book of Isaiah, chapter 55, verses 8 and 9:


For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
    neither are your ways My ways, declares the Lord.
For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
    so are My ways higher than your ways
    and My thoughts than your thoughts.

 

God Himself tells us that our thinking is off base and far inferior to His. So, what are we to do to get our thinking on track so that we can live more successful, fulfilling lives?

THREE KEYS TO CHANGING YOUR MIND FOR A BETTER LIFE:

The LORD gives us the quintessential formula for success in Joshua 1: 8-9. Look at it carefully:

“This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.”

In this single verse, we have all that we need to live a successful life. It all boils down to three points: 

1–Meditate on God’s Word.

2–Memorize God’s Word.

3–Decree and Declare God’s Word.

Let’s consider each of this points one by one.

MEDITATE
Success starts with meditating on God’s Word. To meditate means to mull over, to think about, to repeat over and over.  The word meditate comes from the Latin word meditor, which literally means to chew, as in the way a cow chews its cud. By extension, this word means to think about or reflect upon, as in “He’s chewing on the pros and cons of his decision.” 

So, when we meditate on God’s Word, we are chewing on it, mulling over it, thinking about it, and reflecting upon it.

MEMORIZE
Memorizing God’s Word means hiding it in our hearts where no one can steal it from us. Why do we need to meditate on God’s Word? David the Psalmist gives us the reason in Psalm 119: 11: I have hidden Your word in my heart, that I might not sin against You. Some translations say “stored up” instead of “hidden.”  

So, the purpose of memorizing the Word is to store it in our hearts so that we will not sin against God. When we store the Word in our hearts by memorizing it, the Word will rise to the surface of our minds when we need it to keep us from temptation and to resist Satan.

DECREE AND DECLARE
The third point for living a better life is to decree and declare the Word. Well, how can we readily decree and declare the Word unless we have hidden it–or stored it–in our hearts? Once the Word is stored in our hearts, we can decree and declare it aloud because it is at our finger tips, ready for use.

Why do we need to speak the Word aloud over our circumstances? Because there is supernatural power in the spoken Word of God. Just as God created the universe by speaking, so do we create our lives by speaking. We are, after all, made in His image.

So we had better be sure that the words we are speaking over our lives are God’s words taken straight from His Word. Far too often, we speak negative words and those negative words will result in an unsuccessful life. If you–as.I have been–are guilty of speaking negative words, repent now.

And so, we come full circle to the word repent. To repent means to change. It means changing our thinking so that it aligns with God’s thinking. When we do, we will be renewing our minds. And isn’t this precisely what our Lord commands us to do in Romans 12: 2?

Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person
by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good
and pleasing and perfect.

Indeed, it is!  And why does our Lord command us to renew our minds? The answer lies in the second part of the verse: Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.

Does that excite you as much as it excites me? God wants us to change our thinking (our minds) so that we can experience His will for us, “which is good and pleasing and perfect.”

There is no better formula for achieving a better life.

Now, it’s YOUR turn: Have you struggled to change our thinking to align with God’s thinking? If so, in what ways? How have you handled your struggle?


TWEETABLE: “Changing Your Mind for a Better Life” by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio (CLICK TO TWEET)

If you found this post helpful, please forward it to a friend. Thank you! Check our archives in the right sidebar for older posts on a variety of topics. You may also search for a particular topic in the search box at the top right. Some of our most popular posts

How to Recognize a Controlling Spirit

Sex and Soul Ties

How to Make Change Your Ally

Are You Playing the Blame Game?

For additional encouragement, check out my podcasts at the following links:

A Moment with MaryAnn – Podcasts on Living the Good Life

Winning with the Word Podcast Series

Write Your Heart Out! – Podcasts for Writers

NOTE: If you are struggling to know your purpose in life, I can help you! As a highly experienced Certified Life Coach, I will help you set priorities in line with your God-given purpose. For more information or to set up a phone appointment, please send me an email at drmaryann@maryanndiorio.com. You’ll be taking a major step toward fulfilling your destiny!

Please tell your family and friends about this blog and please pass this post on to them. Thank you!
______________________________________________________________
Matters of the Heart is a weekly blog that deals with the deepest issues of the human heart, the issues we all face but sometimes don’t want to talk about. The heart is the programming center of our lives. What is programmed into our heart will affect every area of our lives. Learn how to discover what is in your heart and how to program your heart for success.

AN INVITATION TO YOU: To follow this blog via Facebook, click here. If you are not on Facebook or would prefer to subscribe via a different venue, please check the sidebar to the right for subscription options. Thank you!

____________________________________________

Post Footer Content

____________________________________________

Join my Team and get a free copy of my ebook on balancing your life.

____________________________________________

________________________________

Copyright 2000-2017 by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio. All Rights Reserved. This article may not be published or printed in any form whatsoever without the written permission of Dr. MaryAnn Diorio. You may contact her at drmaryann@maryanndiorio.com to request permission.

Amazon.com Required Disclosure: MaryAnn Diorio is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

Disclaimer: This site uses cookies. Your continued use of this site constitutes your consent to our use of cookies. 

E

WILL YOU ENDURE TO THE END?

by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio, Your Virtual Life Coach

Guard your heart above all else,
for it determines the course of your life.” ~ Proverbs 4: 23

During his famous Olivet Discourse, Jesus gave us a powerful and sobering warning: “The one who stands firm to the end will be saved” (Matthew 24: 13).

What does it mean to stand firm to the end? And how can we be sure we do?

If you are paying attention at all to what is happening in our world, you will agree that it is NOT business as usual. Instead, insanity besets us on all sides. Insanity in our thinking. Insanity in our behavior. Insanity in our beliefs. To the follower of Christ, this insanity should not come as a surprise. Rather, it should come as a reminder that the time is short before the return of our Lord.

There is no question we are in the last days. But do you know that the last days, or end times, actually began with the outpouring of the Holy Spirit and the conception of the Church at Pentecost? Since then until now, we have been living in the last days. Despite scoffers who taunt that Christ hasn’t come yet so why should we think He’s coming at all, Scripture tells us that a day with the Lord is like a thousand years and a thousand years like a day (2 Peter 3: 8). So, according to Scriptural interpretation, we could say that only two days have passed since the Lord’s prophecies about what would happen in the latter days of earth as we know it.

Jesus warned us that as the time of the end draws closer and closer, the signs of the end would accelerate and converge. Here are His own words in response to the disciples’ questions, as recorded in Matthew 24: 3-14:

“As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately. ‘Tell us,’ they said, ‘when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?’

Jesus answered: ‘Watch out that no one deceives you. For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and will deceive many. You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are 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 wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but the one 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.'”

Although these signs have been occurring since the conception of the Church, they are now increasing in frequency and intensity. Moreover, they are occurring simultaneously–a phenomenon called convergence

SIGNS OF THE END

What are these signs of the end times?

–Unusual natural phenomena.
 Earthquakes are increasing in frequency and intensity (Yellowstone National Park, Cascadia Subduction Zone, New Madrid Fault, Italy, Greece, South America, among others). Volcanic eruptions are becoming more frequent and intense (Mt. Aetna, Vesuvius). Unusually violent storms and floods (tsunamis in Asia, increasingly severe hurricanes). The heavens are shaking as meteors fall toward earth and nearly miss striking it. Signs are occurring in the Heavens through which God is speaking to a world that isn’t listening (Blood Moons, Solar Eclipses, and the upcoming September 23, 2017 sign).

–False Messiahs. People who claim to be Jesus Christ (Alan John Miller, Moses Hlongwane and Phetole Selepe in Africa, Jett Simmons).

–Growing Apostasy (falling away from truth). This is occurring in alarming proportions among those who call themselves Christians. Many pastors are preaching a distorted, unbalanced, “warm and fuzzy” Gospel that focuses only on the love and grace of God and not on sin, repentance, and uncompromised obedience to the Word. 

–Increasing tolerance and acceptance of sin and all of its perversions (adultery, fornication, pornography, pedophilia, homosexuality, transgenderism, bestiality). Lawlessness is rampant as people become more and more self-centered, more and more rebellious, more and more depraved. We have only to turn on the news or even look out our windows to see this happening now all around us.

–Increasing Ridicule and hatred toward Christians. Christians and Christianity are being increasingly ridiculed, maligned, and condemned. Hatred and intolerance toward Christians is multiplying geometrically.

–Increasing persecution of Christians (Verbal attacks; legal attacks; physical attacks: beheading, murdering, and torture of Christians). Have you been hated recently for being a Christian? Have you been arrested? Persecuted? Do you know of any brothers and sisters in Christ who have been killed for following Jesus? If none of this has happened to you yet, it will. It is only a matter of time.

A few years ago, a Christian writers’ organization I directed was denied the use of a meeting room in a public library because our organization was “religious.” When finally confronted by a Christian attorney hired by the writers’ organization, the library backed down, claiming that it had given us the wrong information. The truth was that the library had not expected to be confronted by our Christian group and backed down out of fear of adverse publicity.

Today, however, persecution is even more blatant and more brazen. Are you ready to handle it? Have you asked yourself what you would do when persecuted? Not if, but when, for you will surely be persecuted.

Have you asked yourself if you would stand firm in the face of death simply because you follow Christ? This is not far-fetched. Just look at our brothers and sisters who have been beheaded and tortured unto death in foreign countries simply because they loved and followed Jesus.

This could happen to us, too. We think that because we live in the United States, we are immune to persecution. This is a dangerous mindset that could cost us not only our lives but also our eternal salvation.

So, I urge you, dear brothers and sisters in Christ, stand firm to the end, no matter what. But in order to do so, you will have to keep yourself strong day by day by fervent fellowship with our Lord. Spend time in His Presence. Read, study, and obey His Word. Pray without ceasing. Fulfill the Great Commission to preach the Gospel wherever you go, healing the sick, casting out demons, raising the dead. 

Most of all, love! Love God! Love one another! Love your enemies! Bless those who persecute you, for thereby you may snatch precious souls out of the hands of Satan. 

One day, when all is said and done, we long to stand before our Lord and hear Him say, “Well done, My good and faithful servant. Enter into the joy I have prepared for you!”

But we will hear these words of His only if we endure to the end!

Now, it’s YOUR turn: Have you been persecuted for following Jesus Christ? If so, how? How did you handle the persecution?


TWEETABLE: “Will You Endure to the End?” by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio (CLICK TO TWEET)

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