Posted in bible jesus, end time, prophecy

Back to basics

By Elizabeth Prata

I wrote this series in 2011, ten years ago. Things are worse now, as we know. Things have worsened exponentially. So I’m bringing back this series for another round in hopes it might help someone in this decade.


bible with glasses

I’ve been mulling over some things about apostasy. This is because in the course of my online and real life discernment and encouragement ministry, I see that the essential doctrines of our faith not only are being eroded “out there”, but also “in here”, in Christian places and in people close to me. I am horrified at the depth and breadth of the erosion of what I believed were the obvious givens. I am grieving over the adherence of many people to the destructive heresies.

Continue reading “Back to basics”
Posted in end time, pre-trib, pre-tribulation rapture, prophecy

The Rapture will occur before the Tribulation

By Elizabeth Prata

Believers of the Church Age will not go through the Tribulation. Let’s define the Tribulation period and the word wrath to help understand what this unique event and time period is for. Here are the verses:

The Tribulation’s purpose is stated in Daniel 9:24. God’s purpose for the Tribulation is to accomplish 6 things. It is actually a decree:

Continue reading “The Rapture will occur before the Tribulation”
Posted in egypt, end of days. prophecy, end time, pre-tribulation rapture

America’s sad decline, Eschatology on the rise

By Elizabeth Prata

heaven
America’s trajectory seems to be heading downward. It took a long time, but our moral and spiritual decline is speeding up like a snowball down the Alps.

I’m not down on America. I think our nation is magnificent. But our atheism, child murder, immorality, and worship of pagan gods has chipped away at our core until now, there is barely anything left to stand us up on that hill. We are rolling down it. I believe it is so.

God raised us up and for a long time our influence was so strong in the world. We had the moral clout to speak because we believed in God. He gave us the strength to put moral actions to those words. No? Don’t think so? I have one word for you: D-Day. A generation of brave men got off a boat and waded to shore amid artillery fire to save Europe and the Jews from annihilation. Nowadays men would just Tweet about it, then go have a latte.

We stopped believing in God and we no longer have the moral clout to speak. Our influence must be removed. And note: we do not find our nation mentioned in the Bible in the end times at all. And why should we be? We were great, but only for a short time, and then we squandered it.

Bible prophecy seems to be dormant for years then suddenly a rapid progression occurs that is visible to most believers. Like earthquake activity, following years of inactivity, everything suddenly moves all at once.

I believe that anyone who reads the Bible on a constant basis notices the pattern. These days, I see a renewed interest in eschatology among believers, both in real life and in the stats of this blog whenever I write about it lately.

I’ll write more about eschatology in days to come. I am always glad when people delve into this aspect of the Bible, it IS almost a third of the entire Bible after all! It’s one of the pillars of study in Systematic Theology, too. In recent times stemming back decades, there have been date setters, newspaper eisegetes, and fringe folk who bring a bad name to this particular sphere of study. I do my best to bring biblical credibility back to it. Why? Prophecy gives us hope for the future, helps us see Christ as He is NOW, not only the beaten & crushed man on a cross but the Commander of Armies ordaining all activity in the universe from his throne in heaven, and instills a fervency of life for sharing the Gospel and pursuing holiness.

Maybe today will be the day we see Jesus, if not, then let’s study Eschatology!

Posted in end time, prophecy

The Goodness of the Lord

By Elizabeth Prata

The LORD is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear? (Psalm 27:1)

There’s nothing like the Psalms for comfort. I first met the Lord as Light, and I gravitate to all the metaphors of Him as Light. Though to be sure, He IS the Light, and not just metaphorically on this side of earth. He will someday literally provide the only illumination:

The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp. (Revelation 21:23)

In Psalm 27, David’s unwavering confidence in the LORD in times of trouble or fear is a good example to us today. We awaken in the morning to more and more bad news

Jesus told us that the run-up to the Tribulation would be fraught with wars and rumors of wars, and nation rising against nation and kingdom against kingdom. (Matthew 24:6-7). Men’s love will be waxing cold, and disobedience and futile thinking will run rampant in the end time. We are in the end time. We have been since Jesus ascended. The time between his departure and His second coming, though, will progressively worsen, and it sure feels like we lurched forward a notch in 2020. Continue reading “The Goodness of the Lord”

Posted in a new creation in christ, end time, prophecy

The surety of Christ

By Elizabeth Prata

I vacationed frequently at the beach in Venice, Florida. The Gulf coast is so peaceful the water so blue, I found it incredibly relaxing. One day, I watched a couple of kids make a huge sand castle. They spent most of the day on it. It was not architecturally sophisticated. They simply dragged up pail after pail of sand, made it about as tall as themselves, and spent a while looking for the perfect stones and shells to adorn it.  A stick on top and a scrap of seaweed made the flag. And what castle is complete without a moat? The kids wanted to be sure no enemy could raid their fortress, so they made three moats.

Everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not act on them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. (Matthew 7:26).

90baa-venicebeach
Gulf Coast, Florida. EPrata photo

Continue reading “The surety of Christ”

Posted in creator of the universe, end time, God, hubble, prophecy

Ode to Hubble?

By Elizabeth Prata

With the Hubble Telescope’s 30-year anniversary back in the news I thought I’d reshare my thoughts from April 2010 on the same subject

First, new thoughts on Saturn. Thanks to Hubble, scientists are still perplexed that some of their theories of how the universe was created don’t flesh out when confronted with the physical reality of it- CNN Continue reading “Ode to Hubble?”

Posted in end time, high priest, melchizedek, prophecy

Jesus as High Priest

By Elizabeth Prata
This first appeared on The End Time in December 2010

There are many aspects to the Lord’s personality, aspects we have been given through His grace to explore for all eternity. We will never learn all there is to learn about Him, because He is infinite, but the glory will be in the journey, drawing ever closer to Him.

The Christmas season rightly focuses attention to Him as savior, the babe born of a virgin and who lived a sinless life, died as the sacrifice to satisfy God’s Holy righteousness and fulfill the sin-debt that must be paid. We usually focus on Him as Savior, friend, father, and occasionally as judge. But there is another aspect to Him that I would like to explore today: Priest.

David refers to the coming Messiah as a priest on the order of Melchizedek. “The LORD has sworn and will not change His mind. You are a priest forever According to the order of Melchizedek.” (Psalm 110:4)

Who was Melchizedek and why is his Order considered higher than Aaron’s, the first High Priest of the Levites? We read of Melchizedek when he meets with Abraham in Genesis. He is an actual King and an actual Priest, living and walking on the earth in Abraham’s day.

And Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine; now he was a priest of God Most High. He blessed him and said, “Blessed be Abram of God Most High, Possessor of heaven and earth; And blessed be God Most High Who has delivered your enemies into your hand.He gave him a tenth of all.” (Gen 14:18-20).

The city of Salem was later known as Jerusalem.

In Hebrews 7:3 we read again of Melchizedek, and notice that there is an omission. Usually, especially in the Old Testament, people are introduced to the reader by their genealogy. “So-and-so who was the son of so-and-so and father of…” But it is specifically noted that Melchizedek has no genealogy, so we wonder how anyone who claims Melchizedek is actually Shem, for example, and some Talmudic scholars do, learned of Melchizedek’s lineage. No one knows his genealogy, as is stated in the Hebrews verse below.

In any case, the personage of Melchizedek is certainly righteous. Anyway, the story of the meeting with Abraham is repeated in Hebrews, and introduced this way:

Melchizedek’s Priesthood Like Christ’s
For this Melchizedek, king of Salem, priest of the Most High God, who met Abraham as he was returning from the slaughter of the kings and blessed him, to whom also Abraham apportioned a tenth part of all the spoils, was first of all, by the translation of his name, king of righteousness, and then also king of Salem, which is king of peace. Without father, without mother, without genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but made like the Son of God, he remains a priest perpetually.” (Heb 7:1-3).

Melchizedek is referred to again in Hebrews 5:6-10; Hebrews 6:20; Hebrews 7:1-21: “Thou art a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek”; and Hebrews 8:1. From his initial introduction at the meeting with Abraham it was another thousand years until David mentioned him and another thousand again until the writer of Hebrews mentioned him, and then Melchizedek disappears from the biblical record. But the notion of Jesus as Priest does not.

High Priests of the Temple died and their office was given to the son. But Jesus is perpetual and His office of High Priest will never die. High Priests in the temple managed the sacrifices, which were daily. Thousands upon thousands of lambs and other animals were killed, blood ran by the buckets all day every day, but Jesus is the once for all sacrifice. He IS our High Priest, forever.

Therefore, holy brethren, partakers of a heavenly calling, consider Jesus, the Apostle and High Priest of our confession;” (Hebrews 3:1-3)

So what does a High Priest do? They were compassionate about sins, being human themselves. They participated in the sacrificial system, managing others’ sacrifices. Yet being human, they also had to sacrifice on behalf of their own sins. They represented humans before God.

In Revelation 1:6 we read that we are made to be Kings and Priests. “and He has made us to be a kingdom, priests to His God and Father–to Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.” 

Again, in Rev. 5:9b-10 we read that

Worthy are You to take the book and to break its seals; for You were slain, and purchased for God with Your blood men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation. “You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to our God; and they will reign upon the earth.”

Peter reveals that we as believers are part of a royal priesthood:

you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. … But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.” (1 Pet 2:5,9).

Matthew Henry writes:

“All true believers are a holy priesthood; sacred to God, serviceable to others, endowed with heavenly gifts and graces. But the most spiritual sacrifices of the best in prayer and praise are not acceptable, except through Jesus Christ. Christ is the chief Corner-stone, that unites the whole number of believers into one everlasting temple, and bears the weight of the whole fabric. Elected, or chosen, for a foundation that is everlasting.”

What Grace! What Mercy! He as the Chief Cornerstone as High Priest, elects His priests and unites us in a priesthood to serve Him! We are called privileged and we are. Our duties today and forever are to offer up spiritual sacrifices to Him the Most High. Is this a good gift in your eyes? Better than an X-box or a bike or a diamond bracelet? It is a tremendous gift to be called to a royal priesthood serving the High Priest in heaven. It is a high calling. Are you living a holy life worthy of Him and making spiritual sacrifices so His name is magnified? I am rejoicing! I am singing His praises!

As you ponder the mysteries of His very Being this Christmas season, ponder Him as high Priest representing us before God. What a blessed Gift to be able to serve for Him and with him!

Posted in end time, theology

Daniel’s 70 weeks and Tribulation explanations

I can’t wait to see what you all look like when you are glorified! I can’t wait to see the glassy sea, the angels who have helped me, the face of Jesus! I can’t wait to be free from pain and shed of my sin nature. I can’t wait to be in eternity! However, I will await His timing. We all must await the number of our days to be up and His determination of when we enter glory. More on that below.

The Tribulation is prophesied to be a period where many things will happen. One of them is that the earth and heavens themselves will be wildly disrupted. Landforms disappear. Weather patterns evaporate. Orbits cease. And more.

The outline of what Jesus will be doing at that time is presented to us in Daniel 9:24. The Lord will do 6 things:

“Seventy weeks are determined For your people and for your holy city,
1. To finish the transgression,
2. To make an end of sins,
3. To make reconciliation for iniquity,
4. To bring in everlasting righteousness,
5. To seal up vision and prophecy,
6. And to anoint the Most Holy.”

Notice several things. First, it is a period where though the times will seem chaotic, it will actually be orderly. It is all in control of God. The three series of 7-judgments apiece (Seals, Trumpets, Bowls; perhaps four sets if the Seven Thunders of Revelation 10:3-4 are actually judgments) will be delivered in orderly fashion. The judgments unleash chaos, but their deliverance is orderly and controlled.

The Tribulation is the time for it all to come to the conclusion that God exists, He is angry with sinners, and to repent. So it will be a time of demonstrable wrath and the conclusion of the 6 things. In further orderliness, He stopped His prophetic timetable clock at 483 years. In Daniel 9:24a the angel declared to Daniel it would be 7X70 or 7 bundles of 7’s (a shavuim). But nowhere was it promised to be 490 consecutive years! But they should have known that, because the interruption was stated. In Daniel 9:25-26, a mere verse later, the angel told Daniel that after seven sevens and 62 sevens, Messiah will be cut off (vernacular for died) and the people of the prince who is to come (antichrist) shall destroy the city.

Jesus’s entry into Jerusalem was 483 years to the day and then the clock stopped. Since then, Jesus has been taking 2000 years to build His church. When the church reaches His quota of people inhabiting it, (Romans 11:25) He will snatch us away from this earth, and He will finish that last 7 years of the prophesied 70 weeks and accomplish the rest of the 6 things.

The angel also explained to Daniel that it is a time when God directs His attention to “your people” and “your holy city” (Jerusalem). That does not mean He isn’t paying attention to non-believers or non-Jews during the Tribulation, or that nothing will happen to them during the Tribulation. Not at all. Jeremiah 30:7 calls it the Time of Jacob’s Trouble, though, and its point is for the LORD to finish His promises to His people. #1 is to finish the transgression, and #2 says He will make an end to sins. This making an end to sins is an even that will affect everyone on the planet. God always sees the world through the lens of His people the Jews and through the central location of the Holy City. But all the world will be affected.

In addition, note the progression of the 6 things on the list. At the beginning, He allows the transgression to have its full expression. By the end, the Most Holy is anointed. The Most Holy is Jesus. Ahhh, what a day that will be! The Tribulation is the cap-stone to the final age of man where He allows the total outcome of rejection of the Holy Spirit to take its full course. Like in Noah’s day, where all of man’s thoughts were only evil continually, (Gen 6:5) so it shall be again at the end of days (Matthew 24:37). But in the Tribulation, man will actually act out all his evil in his heart, it won’t remain there. He who holds back lawlessness will be taken out of the way (2 Thessalonians 2:7) ,another way of saying He will release His restraining hold against sin.)

Can you even imagine how drastic that time period will be? Just as we can’t imagine in our finite mind the full scale of His glory in heaven, we cannot imagine that bottomless, putrid pit in which sin flows forth. /shudder/. Better to not think of it.

The Daniel 9:26 verse also promises that the end will come like a flood. This does not mean that there will be a flood of actual waters as in the first global judgment. He promised Noah that he would never drown the world again. (Gen 9:13). However, as part of the cataclysmic geo-physical upheavals during the Tribulation there will be floods and tides and hurricanes and tsunamis. However, the verse uses figurative language.The Hebrew word in Dan 9:26 is “sheteph; from shataph; a deluge (literally or figuratively) — flood, outrageous, overflowing.” He means that SIN will have its outrageous overflowing.

This flood language mirrors the language in Revelation 12:15. Midway through the Tribulation, the antichrist tears up the peace treaty he had confirmed with the Jews at the beginning of the Tribulation. He then persecutes them with all unholiness and evil. He goes after the Jews with an evil vengeance that makes the WWII Holocaust look like a picnic. Rev 12:15 says- “And the serpent poured water like a river out of his mouth after the woman, so that he might cause her to be swept away with the flood.” Satan pours out his evil and sin flows over the world like a flood.

Floods have waters that rise, and rise and rise, eventually washing away all that is in its path. Even tsunamis which travel at jet speeds have waters that flow and rise accordingly. The end began when Jesus ascended, but it has been 2000 years and we can see that the flood waters of sin are not lapping at our toes…are not sweeping against our waists…but the flood waters of sin seem like they are actually crashing over our heads by this point in time. It is like the famous photo of the lighthouse and its keeper

la-jument-7[6]

But we are not destined for wrath! (1 Thessalonians 5:9). Though sin tries to engulf us, it will not prevail against His church! (Matthew 16:18). Notice where the keeper is: INSIDE the Lighthouse. Would you want to be anywhere else when the wages of sin try to engulf you? No. You would not survive that wave. You would not survive the hidden reefs under the wave. (Jude 1:12). Being in the Lighthouse is the only safe place to be, in ages past and in this present age. Blessedly, Jesus removes His bride from the earth before the Tribulation begins. We are not condemned, nor will we be punished for sins that He forgave us for. It will be the unbelieving world who will suffer the consequences of their rejection of the Savior.

Jude says, the unbelievers and apostates are “Raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever.” (Jude 1:12).

Peter says, “These men are springs without water and mists driven by a storm. Blackest darkness is reserved for them.” (2 Peter 2:17).

Isaiah says, “But the wicked are like the tossing sea, which cannot rest, whose waves cast up mire and mud.” (Isaiah 57:20).

What of us, individually? His word says that Hades will not prevail against His church. Some days, though, sin prevails against me. What about you? Each of us struggles against sin every day. Some days it truly feels like it will engulf me. Here is the remedy: “The Lord is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” (Psalm 27:1).

We are Light keepers, and our job is never more important than during the storm! We are in Christ as THE Light, but we keep His word hidden in our hearts. We are ambassadors of His glory and His truths. We keep His commands. We keep His flame alive on earth by staying in Him and close to Him. It is important to be brighter during the storm and so let us be bright, by being full of peace and joy in these stormy times. Let the waves crash! We have the eternal Strength of the Light. Let others see, and hear the Good News, and come to Him.

Posted in earthquake, end time, japan

Powerful series of quakes in Japan cause landslide, kills 11

Earthquakes: a token sign of God’s displeasure over sin. See below, John Newton’s Messiah.

Update at bottom: “Swaying every hour

A powerful 7.3 magnitude earthquake occurred in Japan today, causing a landslide and 11 deaths. The large temblor was followed by a series of 5.7 and 5.4 magnitude quakes and other aftershocks as well.

It has been a busy week for quakes these last two weeks. After a period of several months of relative quiet, there have been 13 quakes in the 6.0-6.9 range.

A more powerful earthquake has rocked the southern Japanese city of Kumamoto in the middle of the night, a day after an earlier tremor killed nine people. The magnitude-7.3 quake hit at a depth of 10km (six miles) at 01:25 on Saturday (15:25 GMT on Friday) in Kyushu region. At least three people died and hundreds were injured. A village has been evacuated after a dam collapsed, media reports say. (Source)

Rescue crews scrambled through rubble Saturday morning in a desperate search for survivors of a magnitude-7.0 earthquake that struck Japan’s Kyushu Island, the same region rattled by a 6.2 quake two days earlier. (CNN)

Small eruption on Japan’s Mount Aso after earthquake

A small eruption occurred at Mt. Aso in southern Japan on Saturday around 8:30 a.m. local time (2330 GMT Friday) following a strong earthquake in the area, with smoke rising about 100 meters (300 feet) high, public broadcaster NHK reported. The Japanese Meteorological Agency kept its alert level at 2 on a scale of 5 for Mt. Aso, which has had eruptions in the past.
(Reporting by Chris Gallagher; Editing by Michael Perry)

Update: Japan earthquakes: Dozens killed, region ‘swaying every hour’

One can but hope and pray for the soon return of Jesus Christ. Since the fall of man into depravity and sin entered the world, life has been a terrible cycle of disasters, diseases, and death

Messiah, Vol 2, by John Newton (author of Amazing Grace hymn)

Can there be a stronger confirmation of what we read in Scripture, concerning the depravity of man? Can we conceive an employment more suited to gratify the malignity of Satan and the powers of darkness, if they were permitted to appear and act amongst us in human shapes? Could such enormities possibly obtain, if the mild and merciful spirit of the Gospel generally prevailed? But it shall prevail at last, and then the nations shall learn war no more (Isaiah 2:4). 

How transporting the thought! That a time shall yet arrive, when the love of God and man, of truth and righteousness, shall obtain [shall prevail] through the earth. The evils (and these are the greatest evils of human life) which men bring upon themselves, and upon each other, by their wickedness, shall cease; and we may believe that the evils in the natural world will be greatly abated. Sin will no longer call down the tokens of God’s displeasure, by such public calamities as hurricanes, earthquakes, pestilence, and famine.

Posted in end time, glorified, john calvin, prophecy, rapture, redeem

"That Arousing Shout", the coming rapture of the church

The next event on God’s scheduled plan will be the rapture. After that the wrath will be released in the Tribulation, Armageddon will occur at the end of it upon Jesus’ return, the Millennial Kingdom will be established, satan will be bound during that time, then after 1000 years satan will be let out and there will be one more rebellion and then the eternal state will begin with New Jerusalem descending to a new hearth through a new heaven. But next up, the rapture.

It is a glorious event in which all saints should be anticipating eagerly. It doesn’t matter that the fact of the rapture was revealed by Paul via Jesus and the Spirit in his letter to the Thessalonians and not by Jesus in His incarnation. It doesn’t matter that the rapture has been imminent for almost 2000 years and has not occurred yet. All that matters is that it is promised to every believer that at one point we will be called home, sail through the air, glorified bodily and be with Jesus forever.

Here are some verses for you about the coming glorification of the saints via the rapture. I pray they encourage you.

For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. (1 Thessalonians 4:16).

by way of exposition, intimating what is to be the nature of that arousing shout — that the archangel will discharge the office of a herald to summon the living and the dead to the tribunal of Christ. ~John Calvin


Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality. (1 Corinthians 15:51-53).

The New Testament is consistent in its anticipation that the return of Christ might occur at any moment. That pervading perspective of imminence prompts three questions. The first question pertains to whether the Tribulation will precede Christ’s coming for the church. The answer to that question is that it will not because the church is never asked to look forward to the tribulation, but they are asked to look forward to Christ’s coming. The second question revolves around how the return of Christ could have been imminent in the early church. The answer here is that no one but the Father knows when the coming will occur, so that Christians including the early church must always be ready. The third question asks why Christ’s imminent return is so important. This answer relates to the motivation it supplies for believers to purify their lives and thereby progress toward the goal of sanctification and Christlikeness. The threefold call of the imminence doctrine is to wake up and obey right now, to throw off the works of darkness, and to put on the garments of holy living. ~John MacArthur


But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself. (Philippians 3:20-21)

Why is it necessary that we should have a body? Well, in our last meeting, I made reference to one of the texts that Paul uses in Romans chapter 8, which at least gives us an understanding of why, in biblical doctrine, it’s important that we have the resurrection of the body. And we’ve made the point over and over again that when we talk about resurrection, we’re not talking about living again spiritually. We’re talking about the resurrection of the body. Many theologians have said this, but it bears saying again. If we do not speak of the resurrection of the body, we should not speak of the resurrection at all. It is the resurrection of the body — now, not the present body in the sense that it will be characterized by corruptibility and all of the weaknesses of our aging body. We’re talking about the resurrection body, the spiritual body. A true continuity with this body but, nevertheless, different. The resurrection of the body that is a spiritual body connected with this body is the teaching of the word of God.

So one of the great hopes of the Christian is not simply that he’s to enter heaven, but he’s to enter heaven with a redeemed body, his body resurrected, a beautiful, glorious body, Scriptures tell us, “Like our Lord’s own glorious body.” So that’s our hope. That’s why there is such a thing as the resurrection of the body, and that’s why it’s important for us to understand that. ~S. Lewis Johnson


Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. Therefore encourage one another with these words.(1 Thessalonians 4:17)

I shall view our text, in order to our comfort at this time, in three lights. I look upon it, first, as a continuance—we are with the Lord even now and we always shall be. Secondly, as an advancement we shall, before long, be more fully with the Lord than we are now. And thirdly, as a coherence—for we both are and shall be with Him in a close and remarkable manner. ~Charles Spurgeon

And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. (John 14:3)

Here are three words, upon any of which stress may be laid. Upon the word troubled. Be not cast down and disquieted. The word heart. Let your heart be kept with full trust in God. The word your. However others are overwhelmed with the sorrows of this present time, be not you so. Christ’s disciples, more than others, should keep their minds quiet, when everything else is unquiet. Here is the remedy against this trouble of mind, Believe. By believing in Christ as the Mediator between God and man, we gain comfort. The happiness of heaven is spoken of as in a father’s house. There are many mansions, for there are many sons to be brought to glory. Mansions are lasting dwellings. Christ will be the Finisher of that of which he is the Author or Beginner; if he have prepared the place for us, he will prepare us for it. ~Matthew Henry

waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ. (Titus 2:13)

Meanwhile, we live between those two advents—the two “appearings.” At the end of verse 12 Paul refers to that time-span between the two appearings as “the present age.” So he points us to the past, when “the grace of God . . . appeared.” He wants us to live “in the present age”—exemplifying the virtues of grace in the hectic here and now. And he wants us to keep an eye expectantly on the future, as we “[wait] for our blessed hope,” the return of God, our Savior in His full resplendence—which will be the final culmination of both grace and glory. 

In other words, there are past, present, and future dimensions to grace, and the present dimension is the main focus of our text. While we live between these two advents, grace takes us to school. This whole “present age” is the school of grace. ~Phil Johnson

Friends, take joy in the coming of our Lord. Though we may quicken and shudder to think of on facing Him with all our weaknesses and sins, His word has assured us that we may call Him Father, Friend, and Brother. And so we shall always be with Him.