Apocalyptic?

few weeks ago, as life trudged on under the shadow of the "V", one troubled soul came up to me and sadly asked: "Do you think we are in the end times, Pastor? The news keeps using the word 'apocalyptic'".  

Oh, now why am I not surprised at that? This from the same group that used the word 'Carmageddon', a few years ago, to describe congested freeways in LA.

No, when 'apocalypse' comes, we'll know it, dear ones. This too shall pass, and our Savior's Church will stand and shine more brightly than ever before! In fact, you already are! 

Still, my answer to the question is always the same: "Well, yes we are in the end times all right—you and I both. How old are you now?" 

You know, when Peter and Paul wrote of our Lord's "soon return", they weren't getting it wrong. He did come soon and He took them home! He's coming soon for you as well. Are you ready?

I love the story of Mary Poplin and how she came to Christ. Poplin was a Professor and the Dean of Claremont University's Graduate School of Educational Studies. A very accomplished woman with a very prestigious position. 

She had attended a Methodist church as a child, but then left it all for other spiritual paths: Buddhism, Transcendental Meditation; she even dabbled in the paranormal: ESP, mental telepathy, even bending spoons and things like that.

At Claremont, she struck up an acquaintance with one of her young graduate students, whose life was so very different from her own. Here's how she explained it: 

"First of all, he prayed for me for eight years. And he would say irritating things like, 'If you ever want to do anything with your spiritual life, I'd like to help you.' That was irritating because I thought I was doing just fine with my spiritual life. You know, I was bending spoons and all that. 

"Another very irritating thing he did was ask me questions like, 'Do you believe in evil?' And I realized that I couldn't answer the question consistently. I was beginning to feel empty and very confused inside

"After graduation, this young man worked at our university as a professor for a year during another professor's sabbatical, and then he left. 

"But immediately after he left, I had a dream. In the dream I was in a long line of people suspended in the air. The line seemed eternal on both ends. Jesus was standing there greeting us in line. 

"When I looked at Jesus, I knew immediately what I was seeing. I couldn't even look at Him; not even for a second. I just fell down at His feet and started weeping and the only way I can describe the feeling I had in that dream is that I could sense every cell in my body, and I felt total shame in every cell. Then Jesus grabbed my shoulders and I felt total peace come over me, like I had never felt before. 

"When I woke up, I was crying. I got up and went immediately to the phone and called that young man. He had never told me he was a Christian, but I knew he was! I called him and said: 'I think it's time to talk with you about my spiritual life.' 'Let's meet for dinner,' he said. 

"At dinner, he asked me: 'Why do you think you need to do something about your spiritual life?' And out of my mouth came something I never thought I would say: 'I have something black inside me. And I don't know what it is.' He just nodded and I told him the dream. I said, 'What should I do?'

'Do you have a Bible?', he asked. He made sure I had one before we split up that night. He sent me home with instructions to read the Psalms and the Proverbs and, since Jesus was the one in the dream, I'd better start in on the Gospel of Matthew as well. That's how casual he was about it. 

"I began to read the Bible and we began meeting in a town between our cities once a week. The meetings lasted from November to January.

"In January, my mother wanted to go to North Carolina where she had grown up. She took me back to the little Methodist church not because she was religious, but just because she wanted to see old friends. 

"The minute we got there, and I saw the altar and the cross, I wanted to go up there and give my life to Christ. There wasn't even an altar call; it was a 'communion call' instead. The pastor said: 'You don't have to be a member of any church to take communion. You just have to believe that Jesus Christ lived, that He died for your sins, and you have to want Him in your life.' When he said that, I was so powerfully moved that I actually thought: 'Even if a tornado rips through this building, I am going to go get that communion!'

"As I held on to the communion elements, I never even heard what the pastor was saying. I just kept  saying the words over and over again: 'Please come get me! Please Lord! Please come get me.' I took the communion and the minute I did I felt instantly free—as if tons of things had been lifted from me. I went home that day with an insatiable desire to read that Bible and to know Him more!" 

Oh, well done, dear daughter of God! Yes! "Strive to enter in!" Lk 13:24  For the time is short! The end is near! And there is no time to waste!

Sunday then. Cya!                              RAS

Singing Through the Uproar, Winging Through the ...
No 'Titans' Needed