EPOCHS, LIFE ALTERING EVENTS: 1 Corinthians 15:5-53;1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; John 14:1-3
An epoch is an event or a time that becomes a point of reference that begins a new period of development. When an event occurs that is world-changing, or on a personal note, life-changing it is called an epoch.
Pearl Harbor was an epoch. 9-11 was a epoch. Both evets certainly changed America. Our world wars were epochs. Landing on the moon was an epoch. In my lifetime I have seen many such epochs.
My life has been altered by three very distinct epochs.
THE FIRST EPOCH was May 15th, 1953, when I met, fell in love with, and two years later, June 30th, 1955 married my beautiful wife Marlena. She began the change in my life that brought me to the second epoch. That includes the birth of or children, Rachelle and John David. Rachelle’s birth in March of 1958 is what prompted the second Epoch…
THE SECOND EPOCH happened on a Thursday morning in October, 1958, when Pastor Jim Combs and a layman named Glenn Clark, from The Olivet Baptist Church in Lynwood, California, came to our home in Downey, California, and led me, a drunken atheist, to a saving knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ.
THE THIRD EPOCH happened in a little room at Rolling Hills Youth Camp, Citronel, Alabama, when I completely surrendered my Life to the Lord. It was a recommitment, a filling or a baptism of the Spirit. It was that day when I fully realized "I was not my own…" (1 Corinthians 6:19,20). It was there I gave myself back to God.
THE FOURTH EPOCH is yet to come. The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Chicago Tribune and every Newspaper on earth will print the news. ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox News, MSNBC, and thousands of News outlets around the world will report this fantastic event. It will sound something like the following:
"Good morning, ladies and gentlemen, we interrupt this program to bring you a news story of epic proportions. Last night, without warning millions of people vanished from the earth! The streets are filled with frantic citizens looking for their loved-ones. In the hours since this mysterious occurrence, our world has been torn apart by anarchy and chaos. Violence is spreading, and looting is rampant in the cities. Planes have crashed all over the world, and freeways are impassible, strewn with wrecked cars whose drivers suddenly disappeared. Trains have been derailed in every country, leaving confused, injured people wondering why help is so slow in coming. Panic-stricken mothers are looking for their missing children. Appeals to the Federal Government as to what has happened have been useless. Phone lines are down, for some reason some Cabinet members and many Congressmen cannot be reached. Where did everyone go? Speculation is beginning to mount about an invasion from outer space."
Farfetched? Impossible? Sensationalism? Listen to God’s word:
“For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a commanding shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet call of God. First, the believers who have died[c] will rise from their graves. Then, together with them, we who are still alive and remain on the earth will be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. Then we will be with the Lord forever” (1 Thessalonians 4:16,17 New Living Translation).
The Bible is God's inspired Word, which means is it God-breathed! It is one-hundred percent accurate and true. When Jesus says “I will come again,” believe it! When you least expect it, expect it! Even though time has spread more than two-thousand years between His day and ours, it is still true! You can take it to the bank! One-hundred percent guaranteed! He will come again.
The next event on God's timetable is the “rapture” (from the Latin Vulgate, "rapturo,” meaning, “caught up"), the catching up of all true believers. Jesus says: “Don’t let this throw you. You trust God, don’t you? Trust me. There is plenty of room for you in my Father’s home. If that weren’t so, would I have told you that I’m on my way to get a room ready for you? And if I’m on my way to get your room ready, I’ll come back and get you so you can live where I live. And you already know the road I’m taking” (John 14:1-3 The Message).
LOOK UP! Jesus is coming!