What does it mean to be living in the last days? The first step you need to do is to examine yourselves to see if you are prepared to meet your God? I pray and hope that you are. If not, it is our prayer that you would prepare yourself to meet God.
Let begin by looking at Amos 4:12-13, “Therefore thus will I do unto thee, O Israel: and because I will do this unto thee, prepare to meet thy God, O Israel. For, lo, he that formeth the mountains, and createth the wind, and declareth unto man what is his thought, that maketh the morning darkness, and treadeth upon the high places of the earth, The Lord, The God of hosts, is his name.”
What was the conditions of the nation Israel? They had become a nation that were brought into existence by God. God by great miracles delivered them out of Egypt by leading them through the wilderness and providing manna for their daily food. God gave them the laws to live by for a long fruitful life. God drove out their enemies from before them and gave to them the land he had promised Abraham. There was a general excitement about God but as success and prosperity came they progressively began to lose interest in God as their interest grew in other things, their houses, their crops and their pleasures.
These things began to surpass their interest in God. God sent his messengers to plead with the people to not lose their first love and to come back to that closeness they once knew. As the people continued to drift away from God prophets began to deliver a stronger message declaring the consequences of forsaking God. You may think that you can get away from sin without God noticing but sin has its own consequences. The path of sin leads to sorrow, suffering and pain. As they began to experience some of the suffering that sin always brings the prophets pointed out to them that these things were the result of worshipping other gods. God then began to allow national calamities to get their attention and to cause them to turn to Him for help.
This is basically what our text is about. God had allowed food shortages with the purpose was to cause them to return to God. When this didn't work He withheld the rain from them which gave them a period of drought. Still they did not seek God or return to Him. Next we see how He allowed crop failures and plagues of locust but this did not wake them up to return to God. God then brought pestilence's such as were brought upon the Egyptians you would think that surely this will arouse them from their deadly lethargy but it didn't. No matter what would happen from wars, volcanic eruptions earthquakes still the people persisted in their evil. All of the invitations of God were met with rejection as they even began to act with violence against the messengers of God. All of the warnings of God were ignored as they were passed off as natural phenomena.
The love of God has been snubbed and the grace of God has been rejected. The patience and longsuffering of God has been exhausted and they are now about to see another side of the nature of God as the wrath of God is to be revealed.
PREPARE TO MEET YOUR GOD
In the book of Hebrews, it declares that it is a fearful thing to fall in the hands of a living God.
IT IS SHEER FOLLY TO MEET GOD AS AN ADVERSARY.
The scripture declares, "Woe to Him who strives with His maker." Isaiah 45:9 How could you possibly ever hope to win. Some of you are striving with God today. The Spirit of God has been convicting you of some of the things that you have been doing. You are fighting against the Holy Spirit and truly to strive with God is a no win situation. If you do win by refusing to bow to His demands, then you will be eternally lost.
I want to highly to encourage you not to strive with God but to surrender to God. Someday all of us will have to stand before our creator we are going to give an account of ourselves. He knows every thought and motive of your heart.
How can I ever stand before Him? God has provided an advocate for me, Jesus Christ. Satan my prosecutor who has been accusing me night and day. He knows that he has the evidence to convict me and he is pressing for the death penalty. For the law says that soul that sinneth shall surely die. My advocate advises me to plead guilty as the evidence against me is overwhelming. He says, let Me plead your case before the judge. As He approaches the bench, He says, "Father, the defendant has entered a plea guilty as charged but this is one who’s guilt I took, I died in their place and I paid the price for their redemption." The gavel will come down and the Judge will declare "Justified". Who shall lay anything to the charge of God's elect? It is God who has justified. Who is he that condemned? It is Christ who has died, ye has risen again, and is even at the right hand of the Father making intercession for us. Others of you will be saying to the advocate and tell the Judge how hard I tried to be good. Tell Him how I went to church on occasion. I even sang the songs out of the Hymnal, and dropped something in the offering plate every time it came around. The advocate will look at you and declare, "I don't know you." You will say but Lord, Lord I did wonderful things in your name. He will answer, "Why do you call Me Lord when you never did the things I commanded you?"
The Bible tells us it is appointed unto man once to die and after that the judgment. Jesus said, "If you will confess Me before men, I will confess you before My Father which is in heaven. But if you deny Me before men, I will deny you before My Father in the presence of the holy angels. This is serious business; you need to prepare to meet God. For someday you are going to be standing before Him, and your standing will be in the righteousness of Christ or in your own righteousness
What should be your number one concern as we are living in the last days? I believe it is that you prepare to meet your God. It is our prayer that you do.