Almost 2,000 years ago, Jesus made this promise to the disciples:
“…you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.
Now when He had spoken these things, while they watched, He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel, who also said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven.” Acts 1:8-9
For 2,000 years, true lovers and followers of Jesus Christ have looked with great anticipation toward that promised return. The Apostle Paul, knowing that he was soon to be executed, expressed his great love for his Master and urged Christians everywhere to not lose their love for His appearing. This is what he said to Timothy :
For I am ready to be poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing. 2 Timothy 4:6-8
In spite of the fact that the true Church of Jesus Christ has been looking for and expecting the return of the Messiah for nearly two millennia, it is only this present generation that has been privileged with the opportunity of witnessing the fulfillment of so many of the great events that were foretold to occur right at the end of the age. Now, the Times of the Gentiles are coming to a close. One of the promises made in the Scriptures is that there would be both early and latter rains of spiritual outpouring before the second coming of the Messiah. The early rains happened following the Day of Pentecost soon after the crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus Christ. The latter rains are now being witnessed all around the world. Millions of people are being reached with the Gospel of Jesus on every continent except the uninhabited continent of Antarctica. It has not come without a price. The fallen Lucifer and his kingdom of hell has fought every move of God with a brutal hatred. More saints of the Kingdom of God have been murdered for their testimony in the past century than all 19 centuries since the Day of Pentecost.
Our own House of Blessing missionaries have experienced the same persecution as the true saints of God experienced from the very first Christian martyr, Stephen. I don’t know the exact number of HOB missionaries that have died as martyrs in the past six years, but it is at least 3,000. The House of Blessing School of Ministry continues to raise up newly trained missionaries to take the place of the fallen ones and so, by the grace of God, the work continues.
The blow suffered by the House of Blessing in the last attack was a heavy one. It has taken some days, especially for the leadership who knew the ones lost so well, but their faith is strong and they are anxious to get back out to the mission field and make the most of what little time is left. Of the original 42 that were shot, there are now only 13 remaining. Two of these 13 lost their legs, the hospital having no choice but to amputate them due to the severity of the damage. These men, as well as the remaining injured missionaries, very much need our prayers, as do the new widows and children. Sister Fatima is doing what she can to bring them together and begin training the widows to take over the work their husbands were doing.
There are still at least 8,500 of the newest believers that are waiting in line to take the HOB School of Ministry course. This is another reason the loss of leaders was so critical at this time. Pastor R and the remaining leaders are trying to regroup and, along with everything else that they are doing at this time, they are shuffling the responsibilities of the remaining 2,200 HOB missionaries to teach as many at a time as they can.
The Muslim month of Ramadan for 2018 is now nearly a week old and there is much work to be done. In spite of the fact that funds are limited, souls are at stake and, as is determined every year, HOB is going to treat this Ramadan as possibly the last one before the Lord calls His people home. If it turns out not yet to have been the last Ramadan, then each missionary can at least know that they have done the best they can. This is the same attitude all of the true followers of Jesus must have. The return of our Lord is imminent and it is important to be about our Father’s business.
I am aware that in many Christian circles it is not the most popular subject to be discussing end-time events and the soon return of Jesus Christ–especially in the Western Church. It is tragic! Too many have become so comfortable with life as it is that they are not really anxious for Jesus to come just right yet. Personally, I believe that this fact not only saddens our Master, but will cause Him to allow some very difficult events to transpire, harsh wake-up calls. The door to the ark is about to be shut and now is the time to wake up! There is a reason why the Scripture above speaks of those who have a genuine love for the appearing of our Lord. It is because many of God’s people are too much in love with the world around them. Many Christians have lost their first love…and maybe aren’t really even aware of it. Sad.
Since we know that we will all stand before our Master soon, let’s ask the Holy Spirit to show us how we can redeem the time. We can’t leave it for others to do. It was God’s sovereign will to place every single one of us in this generation, in fact, right at the very end of the age. What a privilege it is…what a responsibility it is!
I want to thank everyone who prays for the House of Blessing. I also want to thank everyone who has given sacrificially. God has blessed every prayer and He has multiplied every dollar. We serve a very great GOD! For those who would like to help with the work of the missionaries, please find the PayPal button provided on this blog site. Every dollar goes to the work of the missionaries. HOB has no paid staff. Absolutely everything they do is done by faith in the Lord of the Harvest.
Forever in His Service,