Sunday, March 3, 2019

End days - Mathew 24:17 - On the Roof

By Odon Bulamba

A very short and simple verse to understand, “Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take anything out of his house”

Here we have an idea of a house.  In the Bible, you can learn a lot from houses.  People, kings and God lives in houses.  When you think about a house, what comes first in your mind?  Is it just the place where you spend the night or to be sheltered from the heat or is it a special place for you?  When we talk about your home, what does it mean to you?  I think it means a lot

In your house, you will keep all your secrets, all your treasures, you can walk naked, you can sing and scream and go to bed when you want in your house.  There are things that you can only do in your house and you can’t do elsewhere and if there is any secret about your body, your house can be the first witness to say exactly who you are.

Your neighbours won’t know who you are exactly while you are inside your house.  For that reason, God has chosen your body to be the house of your soul and spirit.  Your body is a temple for the Holy Spirit, a house for the Holy Spirit to live.

Jesus said that someone built a house from sand (parable) so that when a storm came, he lost the house because the foundation was not good.  There God wanted to teach us, you can have a beautiful, great house but you must consider the foundation of your house.  In topography they will advise you to study the soil before to build a house. Is your body a good foundation for your house?  When you stand around, do you remember that your house stands on a foundation?  If not, if a storm comes, your soul/spirit will collapse like in the sand. 

Rahab was prostitute in the Bible and she welcomed the servants of God and she said to them, “you can not stay at this level because someone is after you, I will keep you in the roof of the house”.  You can have a house, your body, mind, your belief but you should know where to keep your soul/spirit in your life.  What level is your soul?  Is it on the ground level, first level, second level or the roof? 

When we book a room in a hotel, you can choose the level you want.  The UN workers choose the second or third floor just in case there is fire you can escape and if there are terrorists, they will come in through the first floor.  When you work for the UN you have to be careful that someone is watching you and if you feel suspicious you change rooms.

For Rahab, those men were in the house safe but when those who came to find the servants, Rahab decided to hide them.  When satan is after your soul/spirit, what do you do?  Temptation will come to look for you to see if there is any opportunity to kill you spiritually. That is why we must know how to protect our gifts.  E.g. someone can tell you that they have the gift of kindness or peace but when anger strikes, the person with this gift can become angry.  How to protect this gift of peace in your life?

I might have a gift of hospitality but when a visitor comes while I am eating, I feel annoyed because I don’t want to stop eating.  We push the visitor to go away.  For God to visit you, He will come to see where you put more valuable.  If you have five gifts, how important are they to me and to my soul?  Those gifts are not only for God but also for others and for ourselves.

If you have a gift of singing people, others will say, that person is a good singer.  They will recognise that gift.  It is your responsibility to protect it and to protect it you must know where you are up to with your gift.

When you are in the roof, don’t come down.  I have given you all the gifts, you have priorities in your life.  Maybe priority number one is to go out, to buy a house, to have money and very few will say my soul is my priority or to one day be in the heaven.  When I pray to God, I try not to forget to ask God to make sure I am ready and that I will be in God’s kingdom when He comes back and then I will pray for my family, friends and others because I want to see each other in heaven and I ask God to let my little gifts be in action.

I’ve seen people kneel down for a nice job telling God, “I will serve you for the rest of my life” but once job is there, they tell God, “goodbye, I have to focus on my job”.  Other activities can be our priority.  Jesus tells us, “you as my child, although you can be in the house, I God have put you above and you don’t need to put yourself down again.”  If you are raised up, be there, why are you tempted to come down again?

If Jesus gave you the gift of praying, keep praying, don’t give up now, don’t go back down to your old way of living.  This is how we fail to serve our God and please Him.  He tries to put us up but we bring ourselves down because we want to be like others.

Kiwis love to watch rugby and all young people in New Zealand have touched a rugby ball and know how to throw it.  It is the dream of children to become rugby players and they can even name themselves after famous rugby players.  Whenever New Zealand will be defeated by another country, we feel sick because we lost the game and we are disappointed.  This is just a simple physical game.

For women who play netball (kiwis are good at netball) when we lose, we feel bad.  How do you feel when you fail your own soul, or your spirit?  Some will say it’s a mistake and move on.  I have seen in New Zealand, once a team fails the people of New Zealand will say that the couch must resign.  Does the coach play?  He/she doesn’t even play.  They will tell the coach to resign because the team did not perform well.

You are responsible for your soul and spirit, when your body fails, you are the coach and you have to take care of your soul/spirit/body.  Many will tell you it’s God’s plan but God has given you a big responsibility.

Another example in the Bible is the coins.  God says, “You will return to me the benefit of the coin, not the coin itself”.  We all have gifts, we can all read and see.  Is there is any benefit that I give to God with my eyes?  What does God get back from me because I have hands?  We should ask ourselves these questions.  God wants us to be different but we don’t want to.

Children can fight to become a famous person.  Why do they want that? Because they believe they famous people are models for us, we should be like them.  Once you are like Helen Clarke (previous prime minister of New Zealand), you should remember that you are not allowed to do what you want because people will talk about it.  A simple mistake that you do will become a problem.

God has been raising us up.  Maybe the position that God has given us is higher than Helen Clarke but we forget about our responsibilities and act like others.  A few years ago, Jacinda Adern (current prime minister of New Zealand) and Simon Bridges (current leader of the opposition) would talk on morning tv.  Now Jacinda is the leader of the country, she occupies the position is higher.  Paul Henry used to mock them and ask them foolish questions but he won’t ask them those same questions today.  Although Jacinda is the same person, she has another level in politics.

You are a Christian for many years, your level shouldn’t be the same as a new Christian. Your answers and actions should reflect a mature person.

In the story of Rahab, they searched for the servants but they couldn’t find them because Rahab hid them.  The level God has put you is secure and satan can’t find you because you are covered by the blood of Jesus but if you leave that place to do your own things your own way, you will be exposed.  If you resist satan, he will run away from you. 

We are not only to be called Christians but we are supposed to know where is our place in the house of the Lord and secondly decide, make a tough decision not to come down.  I have given my life to Jesus, I am known as a servant of God and I am not going down even if it is for money or anything that you want.  The decision is yours.  Jesus decides that it will be good for you if you want to be in Kingdom of God to stay at the level God has put you.

The sign of the end of times is that Christians will act worse than pagans.  We all live the same life as the world.  The church is dying day after day.  Those that do medicine will know that some parts of the body die first when a person is dying.  The last thing to pull out is your breath.  You can talk to someone breathing but they can’t hear you and then finally they will leave us.  What part of your spirit is leaving you?

How many gifts do you have and how many do you use?  If you have five gifts, do you use all of them or not?  Are they alive or not?  Then you will be ready to welcome your Lord.  Only those that are sealed by the Holy Spirit will go with him.  To be sealed with the Holy Spirit, those gifts have to be operational in your life.  If not, it will be difficult to meet with your Lord. 

Pray for yourself and tell God, “put me at the level that you think I should be and restrict me from going down to find something else”.

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Signs of the End Times - Mathew 24:15 - Abomination

By Odon Bulamba

Once again we are here for the Word of God.  This is our first Sunday to meet for 2019 and I’m sure that although we are Sunday today, this Sunday is different from the last Sunday we met.  Everyday is different, days can have the same name but they are different days.  Every single second of your life is different.  Every breath you take is different.  Life is moving on and is not the same. Most of the time we get confused because we forget what we were yesterday is not the same person we are today.  If I was weak yesterday, today I am strong.  If I was tired yesterday I can be awake today.

What is your plan for 2019 with God, Jesus Christ?  Singing these songs today, I have collected a few good lessons.  When Jesus went to Jerusalem, He had a plan.  “Prepare the way of the Lord,”: He knew He had to prepare His way of moving from here to there and everybody knew that Jesus was coming.  What preparation do you have for meeting Jesus in 2019?  Maybe Jesus has sent you to find a donkey for him to ride on.  Maybe he has asked you to prepare a jacket for him to walk on.  Maybe you are to collect the palm leaves.  What have you planned for God?

God always has a plan for us.  Do I have a plan for God?  Jesus is our friend and He loves us.  If He is your friend, what do you plan for your friend in 2019?  At the end of 2018 you had a plan for your friends and family.  You planned what gifts to give ahead of time.  What have you prepared for 2019 for Jesus?  That question is not only for you but it is also for me.  If I haven’t prepared anything yet for Jesus, I am late and I need to hurry up.  In January this is what I have planned for you and February, March to the end of the year we need to plan for each month of the year.

If you did not prepare anything, then prepare to fail.  If you don’t have anything prepared for Jesus, then you are preparing for failure and your relationship won’t work well. 

“You are my King, I’m forgiven”…song continues… “Amazing love”.  Do you have an amazing love for Jesus or does Jesus only have to love you amazingly? Don’t you have to love him back?  When you were a child your parent said to you I love you and you answered, I love you too but when Jesus says He loves you what do you say in return? 

Mathew 24:15, this is a message Jesus was giving to His disciples.  The 10th sign of Jesus coming back.  We have talked about the first 9.  “When you see the abomination that causes the desolation spoken of through the prophet Daniel, let the reader understand”.

The person who is supposed to understand the message is not the listener but the reader.  It’s not about the observer it’s about the reader.  Let the one who reads, understand this.  How often do you read and when you do, what do you read?  You can see children read a book in 2 days.  Adults read the paper.  My father would read one verse of the Bible quickly and then read the paper and take time to read the paper.

Do we sometimes read the gospel of Jesus to find out what is going on in our lives or do we just read it because it is there?  If you want to understand, then you must read.  If you don’t want to understand, then be lazy in reading. 

When you see the abomination of the desolation.  Before to see it, you must understand what it is.  Behind me there are good patterns on the wall but I don’t understand their meaning.  Maybe someone else will know.  The person who made the patterns will be able to tell us the story behind the signs.  Is it just a decoration or does it have meaning?

By reading the Word of God, we don’t have to say amazing love but we have to understand the meaning behind the words.  What we see behind what we see.  When I read the Word of God and understand it, then it is good but when I don’t understand then I am just wasting my time because I don’t understand what is behind the words and when I am asked a question, I get lost.

My first question, what is the abomination of desolation?  What does it mean?  It’s not any type of desolation but what Daniel talked about.  This is the 10th sign, what Daniel talked about.  What did he speak about.  Daniel 9-11: that is where the story lies. Before we go deep in that, today we will only talk about abomination of desolation to try to understand what it is so we can then come back to Daniel to understand what and why he wrote it.

Abomination is something that is violent and destroys and gives the feeling of vomiting.  When was the last time you vomited?  Can you remember it?  When vomit is coming, you can’t stop it even if you are clever and strong, tall, white or black, you can’t stop it.  It’s a feeling that starts in a way that you can’t explain.  Slowly inside you, you feel nauseated and you get lots of saliva in your mouth and you can’t swallow it.  If you swallow it, your body feels worse.

I’ve seen people in church when they feel nauseated, they start to think where is the toilet?  That feeling of vomiting makes you lose your peace and pushes you to feel uncomfortable.  People can talk to you but you can’t respond because your concentration is on something else.  You can tell those around you but it doesn’t sort it out.  That feeling of vomiting will come inside you.  You might be someone who had a nice meal earlier in the day and maybe spent time cooking it but the feeling of vomiting won’t care about the time you spent cooking.

That feeling of vomiting will push you to get rid of that nice meal.  You can enjoy your icecream but when you vomit, the taste of the icecream won’t be the same.  This kills what was good in the nice food to become yuck and you don’t want to look at it anymore.  When you saw the icecream, you looked at it and it looked delicious but when you feel nauseated, it doesn’t look good anymore.  When you bring the food out of your body, people who enjoyed you eating icecream will not want to look at the vomited icecream. 

Abomination transforms what is in your body, to something that is rejected.  The Word of God is food, a message from a preacher, a message from God and you appreciate that food.  When you are crossing a lot of problems and you open your Bible and you feel Jesus is listening to you, you feel good.  Then abomination comes to you and brings that taste to change your joy in the Lord and you feel nauseated and you no longer want that Word in you anymore.

Whoever accepts Jesus, Jesus lives in them but when abomination comes, you feel like vomiting.  By using His saliva, Jesus made a blind person to see.  When you are nauseated you spit your saliva and you don’t want your saliva.  People will be shocked to see you vomit.  You can’t control yourself and you can’t act responsibility.  When the devil comes in your life with abomination and he comes into the temple, into the church, he gives the feeling of nausea.  I don’t feel like reading Word of God today, I’ll read it tomorrow.  When someone uses the Word of God, you feel defensive.

When the Holy Spirit speaks to your conscience, you believe the Holy Spirit has no role in your life and you tell him to be quiet.  When you vomit, you try to force it out.  You widely open your mouth and tell your lungs be ready and you take in the breath and push it out.  Sometimes you will accept to put your head in the toilet bowl because if you stand up, you will get vomit over you.  You accept for your head to be in the toilet.  The smell from the vomit doesn’t please you but you force yourself to do it.

Someone will ask you, “Are you alright?”  You have a justification, “I feel sick, I ate such and such”.  You have an explanation that your body doesn’t accept what is inside you.  Praise the Lord we have people working at the hospital to help that person to vomit and they write down the times that you vomited.  A nurse will check your temperature and ask you if everything alright but that doesn’t stop the hospital from feeding you.  You must eat even though you are vomiting because your body needs food.

Those who vomit say they don’t want to eat anymore because it might make them vomit more.  Those that quit the gospel don’t want to consume it anymore because it will make them vomit.  Better not to read it anymore.  That is why Jesus says in Revelations, “remember your first love”.  When you were first saved you read the Bible all the time but now you don’t want it anymore.

Desolation means to destroy something.  You vomit not because something came inside your body but because the devil has a secret, he wants to destroy your soul.  The Word of God of is life and the devil knows that for you to die, he must remove that Word of God from your life.  He fights first against the Word of God that lives in you.  If you kick that Word of God outside of you then it will be a desolation. 

How do you protect the Word of God that lives in you?  Do you have any precaution on how to protect Word of God?  Do you have any assurance for the Word of God?  Many people have life/contents insurance.  I have had things stolen and my insurance replaces what I have lost because those things are important to me.  The Word of God that you receive every day, have you got insurance for Word of God?  How do you protect it because it is precious?  People will run to find the Word of God but they won’t find it in the end times.

How do you protect your gospel?  If not, you don’t have any insurance.  I have seen the pills to take for nausea.  If vomiting was so good for your health, then the doctor would not give you medicine to stop you from vomiting but because vomiting can be dangerous for your life, they must make sure you are safe.  Jesus lives in you.  How to we protect him and make sure He doesn’t leave our lives?  Do you have any agreement with God to live with you forever? 

Otherwise, when we feel nauseated, we might think to vomit rather than stopping the nausea.  If you don’t have any anti-nausea medicine, you will vomit.  You might find yourself removing God from your actions, your life etc. 

Recently, I went to Tauranga.  Hayley met with some friends.  I had my own time.  It was a Sunday.  A man was on the street giving leaflets to Jesus.  Every person rejected his leaflet.  Another lady was giving away a leaflet about makeup.  People could take from the women but not from the man because his was about eternal life.  I picked up one.  He was a white man from south Africa.  I said, “Hey people of Tauranga, why do you reject Jesus?”  The man ran away from me.

People were passing me as though I was crazy, “if you want life come and listen”.  A few people came around and I told the guy to talk but he said, “no you do it”.  We want to serve God but we don’t have the courage.  I used to stand on the street giving leaflets but did they understand the leaflet, why didn’t I open my mouth to speak which is louder?

When you board the trains in China, they are all on their phones but nobody is talking.  One day I shouted, “hey you people of China” but no one could hear me because they had their earphones in their ears.  No one could hear me even though I was shouting.  Once you are talking to them, they can’t hear you because they are busy listening to their own thing.  What have you put in your ears to avoid hearing the Holy Spirit or why do you run away from Jesus when He is talking to you?

There was crowd watching Jesus on the cross but how many could hear what He was saying?  Maybe only those who were closer to Him.  Only those that come close to Jesus will hear His voice.  Don’t accept your body to accept abomination because you will be the one who gets destroyed.

2019 should not be a year of abomination but a year of building and making yourself stronger.