Time For The Trumpets?
October 1, 2016
Time For The Trumpets?
The Bible has much to say about trumpets. They were warning signs of impending danger regarding an approaching enemy. Today we are more familiar with sirens that warn of us of some distinct danger such an approaching thunderstorm or even a tornado. Not all of the warnings we hear materialize, but some of them do. If we are wise, we do our best to heed the sounding sirens. Injuries and death occur sometimes because warnings are not heeded.
The warnings and sirens we hear are the best efforts of man to protect us. We should be thankful for them even though not all of them bring about what was warned of.
The trumpets of God, however, are always fulfilled. They are not given in vain. What God has said He will do, He will most certainly do!
In this article, I would like to discuss the subject of trumpets. Then, I would like to use the imagery of trumpets to give some warnings of things that will bring about God’s judgment if not remedied. They are things that bring great harm to the name of God and great harm to the world. Yes, God is long suffering, but the time of judgment is certain though the time is not known by us. Let’s hear what the prophet Amos said, “Shall a trumpet be blown in the city, and the people not be afraid?…” (Amos 3:6).
Perhaps the trumpet most believers are familiar with and concerned about today is the trumpet that will be sounded at the rapture when Jesus returns in the air for His own, the church. The Biblical teaching is, “For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord” (I Thess. 4:16-17). The rapture of the church is the great hope of the believer. It may or may not come in our lifetime, but either way, we will be at home with the Lord. The believer knows this world is not his home for, as Paul said earlier, “For our conversation [citizenship] is in heaven; from whence we look for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ” (Phil. 3:20). Believers have the confidence, the faith, that they will be with Jesus in heaven when the Lord comes back or when they pass from this earth. So, believers who know their Bible know that the trumpet of the Lord will eventually sound and it will usher in a glorious event.
Now, as for some trumpets that should be sounded today by preachers of the word of God and, actually, by all who believe the truth of the Bible. Let me suggest a few that I believe should be sounded. Keep in mind that I am not referring to literal trumpets but to truths that I think we should be well aware of, truths we should be well aware of and heed.
The trumpet of the possibility of persecution. Persecution has always been a part of the believers’ experience from the beginning of time. There was persecution of believers in the Old Testament, and in the early history of the church. There have been times when the persecution of the church has been especially severe. Then, there was the time of the Middle Ages when persecution was excessively severe.
The reason for this persecution is evident in the word of God. Jesus said in His prayer to the Father regarding believers, “I have given them Thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world…They are not of the world even as I am not of the world” (Jn. 17:14, 16). When people accept Jesus Christ as their Savior, they are no longer a part of the world system with its goals, ambitions, philosophies, “wisdom”, and corrupt culture. They are a set apart people whose identity now is with Jesus Christ Himself.
It is thus that Paul urges, “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness?…for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you” (II Cor. 6:14…16-17).
Because believers are separated unto God, the world hates them. The world cannot identify with or, in reality, control believers. What the world cannot control, the world despises! This is true now, but will become even more evident with the passing of time when the lines are more distinctly drawn.
The trumpet of departure from Bible doctrine. The foundation of Christianity is the word of God, the Bible. Of course, Jesus Himself is the ultimate foundation. “For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ” (I Cor. 3:11). Without the truth of the Bible, however, we would have no basis for what we believe. We can be so thankful that, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness” (II Tim. 3:16).
However, a trumpet needs to be sounded today because so many have departed from the sound truth of the Bible. This includes denominations, colleges and universities, local churches and individuals as well. This really is not a surprise because the Apostle Paul exhorted, “Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables” (II Tim. 4:2-4).
Unfortunately, this time has more than arrived. It has permeated much of our professed Christianity. The results are devastating. If the word of God is not preached, people will not comprehend the truths of creation, sin, judgment, God’s plan for the ages and any number of other things. Most importantly, the message of the cross will be rejected and people will not turn to Christ for salvation. They will rather find their “peace” in false teachings of salvation. They will be content with empty forms that are devoid of the life of Christ. Paul describes this condition as, “Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof…” (II Tim. 3:5). No wonder he warns, “…from such turn away” (II Tim. 3:5).
The message of the gospel is simple, even as Jesus explained in His prayer to the Father, “And this is life eternal, that they might know Thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom Thou hast sent” (Jn. 17:3).
If there is anything the enemy of our souls would seek to pervert, it is the message of the cross, the essential truth of salvation. Paul wrote of this when he said, “But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature” (Gal. 614-15). Salvation is not a matter of conformity to any system of religion, but of being made a new creation by faith in the finished work of Christ on the cross.
The trumpet of departure from Biblical morality. God has given in His word His standard of morality. Throughout the Bible we read of His concern that people would live righteously. This especially applies to believers because people who are not believers have little capacity to comprehend spiritual truth. Yet, a people may know and uphold in a general way the standard of God’s righteousness. For example, even the unsaved know it is wrong to commit murder, to steal, to commit adultery or lie. The ten commandments have indeed had a great effect upon the population of our country because for many years the truths of the Bible have been preached from our pulpits.
But in this day, because so many churches have ceased from preaching the truths of God’s word, Biblical morality is a thing of the past except in isolated places. Today there seems to be no restriction on wrong doing. “If it feels good, do it” seems to be the order of the day.
Still, the Bible is replete with warnings against immorality. Even a casual reading of Romans one will evidence this. Jeremiah speaks of the beginning of life and so is a rebuke of abortion. Because the world at large and very much of the professing church has rejected Biblical truth for political correctness, the world is inundated with moral perversity.
It may seem to many that the world is getting away with its plunge into moral wickedness, but it really is not! Consider the toll of human misery because of the rejection of God’ word. There is disease, broken relationships, broken hearts, despair, guilt, suicide, and a loss of all that could be because of saying no to God. Then, too, if men will not repent of their wickedness, the judgment of God will pertain. Personally, I believe that because many churches have departed from faithfulness to proclaim God’s word, this problem of moral wickedness has greatly accelerated.
Do churches need to sound the trumpet of moral wickedness? Yes!! To fail to do so is to fail not only God, but the multitudes who need to know the truth.
The trumpet of false Christs. There have always been false prophets. They have abounded throughout history. As time goes on however, it seems they will increase in number and intensity. Jesus warned, “For many shall come in My name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many” (Matt. 24:5). I believe this has a special reference to the time of the tribulation, but even now false Christs with their self indulgent and perverted doctrine are prevalent.
False Christs need to be identified because there is so much at stake. Both one’s temporal and eternal welfare are involved. False Christs deceive for profit, influence and power. Yes, they will eventually be dealt with by Christ Himself, but in the mean time, they can do very much harm.
A good verse to judge those who claim to be spiritual leaders is, “To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them” (Isa. 8:20). If one claims to be a messenger of God, but does not speak the truth of God’s word, he is indeed a false prophet. Unfortunately, so many churches have departed from the sound preaching of God’s word that many people do not know the difference. Indeed, many times when the Bible is preached, its message is rejected.
The trumpet of coldness, indifference. It seems to me that much of what passes for Christianity today is characterized by indifference, even a kind of coldness. We do the things expected of us, like attending church services and serving is some capacity in the church, but we do it so often without heart! The Lord said to the church of Laodicea, “I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of My mouth” (Rev. 3:15-16).
I think this is a condition that characterizes even many Bible believing churches today. Personally, I believe we need a call back to a personal relationship with God. We need to know what it is to know Him on a personal level. Where that is not the case, our worship and service is mostly mechanical. God is not honored and we are not much blessed by His presence in our lives and churches. Thankfully, we do have a wonderful invitation from the Lord Himself, “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear My voice, and open the door, I will come into him, and will sup with him, and he with Me” (Rev. 3:20).
Yes, it is time to sound the trumpets! To fail to do so is to fail God and all who should hear the message of the trumpets. It is time for Christians and churches to know the truth of the days we live in and sound the trumpets.
September has been a busy month, as it seems all months are. On September 14th, we attended the funeral for Craig Wirth at First Baptist Church in Barron. Craig was killed in a construction accident in Chetek. It was one of the largest funerals we have ever seen. It was my privilege to marry Craig and his wife, LeAnn, 47 years ago.
September also meant helping Tim celebrate his birthday. My high school class had another reunion which we attended. It has been 62 years since our graduation! We missed BJ’s class reunion because we went to Duluth to see the tall ships instead!