Sunday, May 19, 2019
End Days - Mathew 24:20 - Winter
By Odon Bulamba
Today we are going to talk about winter and summer. Pray your flight won’t be in the winter or the summer. In this verse, God is commanding us to pray so that whenever we fly, it shouldn’t be winter or summer.
What is winter? Cold and dark. The sun doesn’t appear as many hours in winter as in other seasons. Before winter comes we see signs and today we are going to talk about those signs. Jesus is a tree and we are branches in Jesus. Branches are the part of the tree that hold fruit and leaves. When winter is on its way, we see the leaves falling from the tree. You will see green leaves turning colour and losing leaves.
We are branches in Jesus and when this dangerous season is coming, we start to lose leaves. What do leaves represent? Leaves represent our good actions, things that people see through you, your behaviour, attitudes and all that you do. When winter comes, when this power comes, it will shake you like the wind it will make you move to and fro and you will start to lose your actions, “I’m fed up with this situation, I can’t bear this anymore”.
Even if you had the gift of patience, because of pressure you feel sick of the situation and don’t have patience anymore, “I must take control of my own life and I don’t want your input in my life anymore” and then I decide to put my good actions aside and act like someone who isn’t a Christian
When someone slaps your right side, give your left side too. God is not giving you more power to overcome sin. There is a season for everything. We have just been through the season where the Spirit will be seen and that time is finishing because we are now facing winter.
People run from cold to seek refuge where it is warm. I wear a jersey to protect myself from cold, some use heaters and others use blankets to keep warm. These are artificial means of heating. By putting on my jersey, it is not natural warmth but produced by man to keep warm. Because of that reason, we are living in the cold in the gospel now.
Many preachers created a warmth which is not from God but from their own mind. They preach about God’s love but it doesn’t come from God, “No matter what you do, God loves you,” instead of telling you to repent and come close to God. They tell you, “God understands, it is alright”. No, God doesn’t work like that. He follows what He promised. This will happen and it must happen. We can’t tell God, “You will understand because I don’t have time to read my Bible anymore”.
Here God is telling us to pray and pray that your flight may not be in winter. Normally, when we are down, that is the time that we seek God’s face. When we are crossing a problem, that is when we come close to God and pray for God to take away our problem. That is when we feel that we need God but when the problem is finished, we sometimes forget about God.
God is reminding us that you had summer, the time when you felt His warmth. The sun rises early in summer and goes down around 9pm. God represents the sun, He is the light in our lives and warms our spirit and lives. When you feel the heat, you don’t wear your jersey but wear light clothing. When God overwhelms you with his Spirit, you feel that it is too much and you tell God to cut it down to what we can handle.
How much power of God do you have in you? How much warmth do you get from God each day? We are living in the end times and heading towards a time when we won’t find the Word of God anymore. After summer comes autumn when you feel the temperature change and decrease. Once the heat decreases we feel like something is going wrong. We say, autumn is coming. Spiritually it is the same. People go to church and don’t have time for their Bibles, to pray, or to listen to the Bible or do good things. We start to lose the desire to do good things for God. we lose the desire to sing and worship God.
After autumn is winter. It is a big work to pick up leaves. When leaves start to fall, it is a big job to collect the leaves and find a place to store them. If you don’t pick up the leaves, they will cover the lawn and if you are not careful, they will become rotten and produce other things. The church is living a situation where the actions of the people in the church are dying and they are falling. They are all on the ground and producing something bad.
The leaves don’t have life anymore, they are dead leaves. Most of our actions don’t reflect Jesus through us. People will know Jesus through our actions. We know a person is a good person through their actions. When someone who doesn’t believe acts, their actions speak. Today the church’s actions are just on the ground. You meet someone on the street and you can’t tell that they are a Christian. You may only recognise them at church and you will be surprised that they are Christian because they are two different people. I’ve met true Christians but their actions make me wonder if they are truly a son of God.
When winter comes, tree don’t have protection and you feel like God is far away from everything. Many today pray not to be saved but to see miracles because we can’t see God or feel Him anymore so we start to seek God through miracles only. People think that when someone tells them about a miracle, then they know Jesus is there. We can only accept God when a miracle is performed. If there is no miracle, we won’t know God exists because we feel God is far from us.
As we are heading towards winter, we don’t see as much sun or the warmth from the sun anymore. We feel cold. Do you feel spiritually cold? How do you warm yourself? With the artificial way? Do you cover yourself with the fake message. My body can be protected but what about my soul. We sons of God need to remember and pray. There is no other thing. It’s not about meeting with pastors, listening to prophets or to have miracles but to pray that we won’t flee in summer or winter.
When a danger comes we flee to God to get support. How do you flee toward God when satan visits you? How do you go towards God? Pray to God, “Lord help me, intervene, listen to me”.
When winter comes, many Christians don’t have the time to pray but instead see a person and choose to speak to individuals and flee our problems and find refuge in human beings and ask them to pray for us. We sometimes think their prayers are more powerful than our own. Someone won’t pray for you with the same power, effort, or time as you will pray for yourself.
We are becoming lazy and we are losing the action of praying and coming close to God so we stay far away. This is not the right time to flee. Flee to God when the sun is here.
We should not flee on the sabbath. The time when we don’t do activity but only worship God. One time I was hungry and I went to a restaurant but I was told, “We are closing now”. There was food but they were closing, “Everything has been cleaned and no one is able to serve you”. This is the time of sabbath. We are living the last minute of our lives where everything is shutting down. We can move from one church to anther to find the truth in the Word of God but you won’t find it. Preachings are like stories today.
Some churches will only use jokes to make Christians feel happy but forget to tell people about the gospel of the end of the time and that we are living in the dangerous time of our lives. Are you preparing yourself for the last time of your life.
In some places we see snow in winter. Snow falls and when it falls it doesn’t fall like a big rock, it is a very small dust falling without stopping and after some time the dust doesn’t penetrate the ground but builds up and becomes big and the more there is, the harder it becomes when it used to be soft.
Today churches, we neglect to see the signs of danger, we see it just like dust and it won’t harm us but once it touches our bodies, souls and minds, it will harm us. Someone can break their bones by falling on the snow. Many people go to hospital because of the cold of snow and many die. Many souls in church today are dying because they don’t protect themselves with Jesus.
I see Anna, she looks nice but it is cold. For other people we must wear two pairs of socks to feel comfortable. In church today, we all want to look physically beautiful but we don’t protect ourselves spiritually for the coming winter. Satan has given this power to push us to test us to tempt us to the point that today we find sin as being normal. Things we used to find wrong is normal today.
In the church today, we don’t worry about sin anymore because God loves sinners. We take it lightly. It is time for you to pray. We have seen the signs of the end times and we see our hearts becoming colder because Jesus is coming back soon. How will we run towards Jesus if we are cold?
In other countries you wear different shoes in winter you can’t wear the shoes we wear in New Zealand. What shoes are you going to wear to meet Jesus while in winter? Jesus is not coming into the church anymore, He is calling us to follow Him to carry your cross. The church is telling us that Jesus is coming to you, stay where you are. Regardless of your weakness, come close to Jesus.
The prodigal son left everything and decided to come back to his father. Maybe you are also far from your Lord, maybe you have lost your gifts, maybe your actions are walking without faith or your faith is without actions. Ask God for good actions, new actions that allow you to live as a good Christian. Our actions will accompany us when Jesus comes back. What actions are you going to present to Jesus on that day?
The Lord is calling us to be on our feet to start this new journey. Pray that God will not allow us to go through winter. In other countries, people leave their place in winter to go to another warm country. When you see winter coming, leave your place and go to where the sun is, light is and strength and ask God for a new life.