[Jennifer] Welcome to the Marriage After God podcast.
[Aaron] We’re your hosts. I’m Erin.
[Jennifer] And I’m Jennifer.
[Aaron] We’ve been married for 14 years.
[Jennifer] And we have five young children.
[Aaron] We started blogging over 10 years ago, sharing our marriage story in hopes of encouraging other husbands and wives to draw closer to God and closer to each other.
[Jennifer] We have authored over 10 books together including our newest book “Marriage After God”, the book that inspired us to start this podcast.
[Aaron] “Marriage After God” has a message to remind all of us that God designed marriage with a purpose.
[Jennifer] To reflect His love.
[Aaron] To be a light in this world.
[Jennifer] To work together as a team.
[Aaron] Using what He has given us.
[Jennifer] To build His kingdom.
[Aaron] Our hope is to encourage you along your marriage journey.
[Jennifer] As you boldly chase after God together.
[Aaron] This is Marriage After God. Hey, welcome back to another episode of the Marriage After God podcast. We’re Aaron and Jennifer Smith.
[Jennifer] Your hosts, and we’re excited to be here. Actually, I gotta tell you guys, I’m gonna tell on Aaron real quick.
[Aaron] Oh, wait, okay. Is this a good thing or a bad thing?
It’s totally good.
[Jennifer] We were just praying before we started recording as we always do, just that God would use us to encourage you guys listening. You just prayed that even though we don’t have all the answers, you hope that this episode today inspires and encourages our listeners to seek that truth to understand it and to go to Him for it. And so I just got really encouraged just by hearing you pray that. And I wanted to share that ’cause that truly is where our hearts are postured today. Not that we are answering this question, are we living in the last days?
[Aaron] We kinda–
[Jennifer] But to prompt this stirring in you guys, if you’re not already stirred, which I’m sure you are to search it out, to search scripture and to dig in a little deeper.
[Aaron] Yeah. As we are. We just spent like an hour almost just talking about all this stuff. Not even gonna say about the episode which is–
[Jennifer] Just having fun with God’s word.
[Aaron] We were digging in and trying to… We were reading through scriptures and talking about the days we live in. It was actually a lot of fun. On that note, we only have one more episode in this season.
[Jennifer] Why’d you have to go there and say that?
[Aaron] Yeah, well, there’s this episode and then one more after this. But that’s okay ’cause there’s a season for everything. And so we’ve been happy that everyone’s been with us.
So it’s okay. We will be back.
[Jennifer] I was gonna say, typically, we do come back. So we always have that to look forward to.
[Aaron] Yeah. So we just want you guys to be praying for us, pray for God’s timing and wisdom and we’re gonna be praying for the same thing. And also if you wanna reach out to us through Instagram and send us a message on possible topics for future episodes, we’d love that.
[Jennifer] All right, before we dive into today’s topic, I wanted to share something encouraging with you guys that I had recently been studying. And it wasn’t by my own doing. A friend of mine was sharing something that she was going through and how the Lord was kind of speaking to her through that hard situation that she was going through. And one of the words that He gave her to really kind of search out and look into was the word hope. And she stumbled across some blog articles and looked up the Hebrew meaning. And like she was doing all this work, but it was like hard work. It was like, it was good. And then she started sharing it with me and I was like, “What! This is amazing!” And I love when God does that. And He just kind of ties everything together for you. But it’s–
And you also like looking into Hebrew words.
[Jennifer] I do. I know we’ve mentioned that before and I do like that. I just feel like it gives a greater picture to these words that we’ve known our whole lives, but understanding them in a new light. Actually, in an old light ’cause Hebrew language is old. But the word that I wanted to share with you today also goes hand-in-hand with this topic that we’re gonna be sharing about. So I’ll probably even mention it as we go on today, but this word hope that she was kind of working through, well, hope means to cherish a desire with anticipation. So it’s to eagerly wait for, okay? And the root word, well, the Hebrew word is qavah. Qavah. There’s actually multiple words in Hebrew for the word hope that define and describe different things. But what I’m sharing with you today is qavah and the real word, Q-A-V is the word it means cord, okay? So think of like–
[Jennifer] Yeah, like a rope. So it means to collect or bind together, perhaps by twisting together. So just think of a cord or a rope, to be strong, robust for the notion of binding fast or tying fast.
[Aaron] It reminds me of that description in Ecclesiastes of a cord of three strands, not easily broken.
[Jennifer] Oh, yeah–
[Aaron] But that’s in reference to not walking alone. You actually, if you walk with someone, you have more hope for the future because if you fall, they’re gonna help you up.
Like that’s kind of this idea, right? It’s a strengthening.
[Jennifer] Yeah. And it’s what’s so interesting that I love about this word and it’s also this feeling that my friend was experiencing in her turmoil and what she was going through is tension. And so if you think of this root word meaning cord or to collect or bind together as a rope twisting together, you get the tension of that twisting it together that makes the strength hold or makes it strong. And so Aaron, just even what you just said about a cord of three strands is about relationship and not being alone and how often we feel tension in our relationships. I just think–
[Aaron] I know they’re good and hard.
[Jennifer] Yeah, from a fleshly standpoint that was a really good example. Okay, so this word, it is a verb and it means to wait, to look forward to, to hope, to expect. The Strong’s, if you wanna look that up, it’s H6960. And here are some verses where this word qavah is mentioned: Isaiah 40:31, “But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength. They shall mount up with wings as eagles. They shall run and not be weary and they shall walk and not faint.” And so there’s this idea of hope and waiting upon the Lord where that idea of tension comes in. And I just really love it. Another one is Psalm 25:5, “Let integrity and uprightness preserve me for I wait on the…” So I wait on the Lord
[Aaron] Genesis 49:18 says, “I have waited for thy salvation, O Lord.” That waited is hope. I’ve hoped for thy salvation. I’ve longed for it. Psalm 25:5, “Let integrity and uprightness preserve me for I have waited on thee.” So all of these verses are showing this wait aspect of hope, of qavah.
[Jennifer] It also shows, going back to relationship, just how in our relationship with the Lord, there is a waiting on Him that there’s this tension created between us and between what’s happening. So anyways, I just thought that this word qavah is so beautiful. You guys should look it up. It’s spelled Q-A-V-A-H and that’s the Hebrew word for hope. And literally, it means to bind together like I talked about like the tension required to make that cord or rope. Figuratively, it means to wait for, but the literal provides the strength in faith to purposely wait on the Lord. And I just think that that’s so powerful. And I think you guys will see how this word will come into play later on as we talk about the episode.
[Aaron] And it does perfectly fit. When you think about what hope is, it is a tension, that waiting. Waiting is hard.
[Jennifer] One as believers and we’re trying to answer this question, are we living in the last days? As believers, we have the word of God and we know what is to come even if we don’t maybe clearly understand everything that’s written as prophecy and scripture. But we do hope for the end and to be with our Lord, right? And so there’s that tension that we’re all feeling right now .
[Aaron] Yeah, ’cause we’re here. Not there. Hey, so before we move on, I just wanna invite everyone ’cause lots of people have been doing this and it’s such a huge blessing and it helps the episodes get more visibility. If you haven’t left a review yet, or a star rating, would you do that today? I think it’d be awesome. We love it when you guys do that. As we like to call you guys, you are our share warriors. So share a review, share a star rating, and we’d really appreciate it. And one more thing before we move on, we don’t have… I mean, we have a free thing. You can always go to marriageprayerchallenge.com and sign up for that.
[Jennifer] Do it.
[Aaron] But we wanted to share a resource with you. It’s not free. You would have to pay for it, but it’s not for us. We’re speaking about end of days and end times prophecy and that kind of thing today, but there’s this really well done–
[Jennifer] It’s like a documentary style–
[Aaron] Yeah, it’s a… How would you call it?
[Aaron] It’s a movie, but a documentary and it’s–
[Jennifer] It’s got some commentary in it.
Yeah, and it’s got a lot of the pastors that we love to listen to in it, but it talks about the rapture. It talks about the coming of the Lord, Jesus. And it talks about how it relates to a Galilean wedding. And it’s beautiful. The movie is called “Before the Wrath”. And if you go to marriageaftergod.com/btw, just the letters. So marriageaftergod.com/btw, it automatically forward you directly to the movie. And then if you want to, you can rent it on Amazon. But we loved the movie, it was awesome. And if you wanna go support it and you wanna go check it out, super encouraging.
[Jennifer] All right. For the big question of the day. Okay, it’s not just our question. The reason that we’re even doing this episode is because I feel like–
[Aaron] Lots of people are having this question.
[Jennifer] Lots of people are having this question. And so not only is it something of personal interest to you and I, Aaron, it’s something that we like to dig into and when we see an article or we read something in scripture that excites us or makes us think we’re living in the in times, we share it with one another and we have that dialogue which is really powerful to me. I appreciate it. But I’ve been seeing it a lot in other people’s social feeds or people talking about it.
[Aaron] Yeah. And it’s not just a conversation among believers. And we’ll talk about that a little bit later. Something’s going on. This topic used to be very normal for believers to talk about. The early church had so many questions about it actually that Paul, Peter, John, Jesus, all talked about it and made aware the prophecies about the end of the age, the end days, the end times, whatever you wanna call it. Because it was important to give them hope. That’s often how it was referenced is like, “I tell you these things to give you hope. Share these things with each other because of hope.” Like these are the things that the Bible says about it. So we’ll start with some scripture. And in our Bible, the headline says, “The coming of the Lord”. And in your Bible, probably say something very similar. But it’s in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, it says, “But we do not want you to be uninformed brothers about those who are asleep that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. There’s that word hope right there. I don’t know if that’s qavah, this is actually in the Greek, so it’s not gonna be qavah, but it’s hope. And he’s answering a question from the church in Thessalonica.
[Jennifer] They had the same question?
[Aaron] Well, they had a question about death and resurrection and like when a believer dies, how do we respond to that? Because that happens. Death happens. But listen how he answers it. He says, “We don’t want you to be uninformed and grieve how others do who have no hope. ‘Cause we have hope, so we grieve differently. For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, though Jesus–
Or through Jesus, thank you, God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep for this we declare to you by a word from the Lord that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord will not precede those who have fallen asleep. 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. 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 Him with the Lord. Therefore, encourage one another with these words.” This is often how the end times are referenced to believers is encourage each other with these words. These words should give you hope.
[Jennifer] So hearing that you’re gonna meet someone in the clouds one day is like not supposed to sound terrifying or anything like that.
[Aaron] No, I mean, some people have a fear of heights. I believe there’s that.
[Aaron] But when it comes to the loss of loved ones who know the Lord, we don’t mourn the same way those that don’t have hope. We’re like, “Well, we have hope… They’re with the Lord. They’re in a better place.” We still mourn, but we don’t mourn the same way. And we have a hope. And I just love that he talks about this, he’s like, “Those that have died in Christ are going to be resurrected to new life, to new bodies with the Lord…” And what’s awesome is they’re gonna be with Him first. There’ll be there before we who are alive go. And so these are just encouraging words to start this episode off with is that the Lord is coming to take His church home or as in other words, His bride to be with Him forever. So why did we start with this verse?
[Jennifer] Because scripture says to encourage one another with these words, plain and simple
[Aaron] That’s why we’re doing it. And that’s what this episode is about, is doing encourage you and encourage us about the days we live in. Although, these are not the only verses about the last days, it is about them. And it’s an encouraging thing to look forward to for the believer. We have something greater look forward to than just what we have in front of us.
[Jennifer] A hope that is beyond this present age and life that we have.
[Aaron] Yeah. Ephesians puts it this way. It says that we have an inheritance that’s imperishable waiting for us, that we have light to look forward to, that we have a new body to look forward to, that we have a kingdom to look forward to, that we have all sorts of things to look forward to that is greater than this present life. Paul even said that, “I don’t count it worthy to compare my current sufferings to the coming glory.” He’s like, “Okay, yeah, these things I’m suffering in my body right now, they’re painful, but they’re nothing to be compared with what’s coming to me when the Lord returns.”
[Jennifer] Yeah, and I just wanna mention that, I mean, a lot was talked about in those scriptures that you read, and I think for a lot of people, we can try and read these words and have this picture in our minds of what it means and what’s–
[Aaron] Yeah, how is that gonna play out?
[Jennifer] Yeah, how’s it’s gonna play out. Exactly.
[Aaron] There’s movies about it.
[Jennifer] I know. So just so you guys know, when we talk about the end of days, even if we’re not super clear, and when I say we, I’m not talking about Aaron and I or even you listening, but like collectively as a whole, believers. If we’re not always agreeable in how it will play out, it is supposed to be an encouraging thing to do, to encourage one another with these words. So I think for the sake of this episode and just being willing to share all this with you guys, just know that, again, our heart posture is not that we have all the right answers or that what we believe is it. We want to inspire you guys to dig in for yourself and ask God who in James says, “Ask for wisdom and ask Him–
[Aaron] And He will give it without reproach.
[Jennifer] Yeah, to reveal these things to you. And as a married couple, to be able to talk about them and be encouraged with these words, I just find so valuable.
[Aaron] And some of the details we’re not going to know. And I think that’s okay. But what we can know is what it does say. That it says we’re not gonna precede those that died first, that we’re gonna be taken to be with the Lord forever, that it brings us hope. Like these things, we can be rest assured in, like oh, the Lord is coming. Whatever that looks like, we know the Lord is coming. And to be honest, we probably couldn’t even describe it ’cause it’s never happened before the way it’s gonna happen.
[Jennifer] Okay, so as you kind of introed that Aaron, you talked about how Jesus and Peter, they all talked about the end times and end times prophecy. And it was recorded in the New Testament, all of that information that we have, but prophecy didn’t start there. It started in the Old Testament and the two are so intricately woven together, which I love the Old Testament. So God used prophets to share His message, especially about Jesus coming the first time. So prophecy is not a new phenomenon. It’s not something that’s all of a sudden like–
[Aaron] It’s not exclusive to the New Testament.
[Jennifer] Yeah, it’s been a gift to God’s people throughout the ages. And I think that’s pretty awesome.
[Aaron] And just thinking about that gift that you mentioning as a gift from God, what’s awesome about it is God understanding that we’re finite and Him still speaking to us about things that are coming like about himself, and it’s all about Him. It’s about His son, it’s about His kingdom, it’s about His rule, it’s about His reign, it’s how He’s gonna save, it’s about how He’s gonna pour out. And that’s why it’s hopeful. Because if He says it, it’s going to happen.
[Aaron] And I was joking with you the other day, but I said maybe it’s not written super clear and that there are all these other opinions because then the enemy would know exactly how it’s all gonna unfold and maybe he’s still just as confused as we are. I don’t know.
[Aaron] He still loses. Regardless, yeah.
No matter what. You’re right. Okay.
[Aaron] I think we can know enough. And that’s what we get to know because we know enough. Because whether we know all the details or not, that’s not required for our salvation. That’s not required for knowing God. And we can still know a lot and we can grow and learn in that and I think as we get closer to the day, I think more and more things are gonna make sense ’cause we’re gonna see ’em play out before our eyes.
[Jennifer] Plus, this episode is gonna encourage everyone to dig in a little deeper and all that fresh scripture in your mind is gonna make you see, okay
[Aaron] Open the Bible.
[Jennifer] We do love pastors and people who are willing to share about Bible prophecy because I think it’s important, we think it’s important that believers are reminded that this world that we’re living in is not our home. It’s a very short season of our life and it’s temporary.
[Aaron] And when we talk about temporary, these are the kinds of the terms the Bible uses when it comes to believers, ambassadors, right? And an ambassador is a temporary–
Messenger of another country so that ambassador is in any country that’s not their own as a messenger from their own country. Another word it uses is exiles. Another word, Paul says, he calls his body a tent. A tent is a super temporary dwelling place. It’s not something you live in permanently.
[Jennifer] Even God experienced the tabernacle and the temple.
[Aaron] And they were temporary. Those were temporary places. So all of these words are… Ecclesiastes says that our life is but a breath, a mist, a vapor.
[Jennifer] Sure feels that way when I look at my kids growing up, I’m just like, how is that possible that this is flying by this fast?
[Aaron] Yeah, so this life is… The definition of life is temporary because we all we die. That’s how life goes. We can see it all around us.
[Aaron] It’s fleeting. They’re all temporary things that denote that where we’re from is not here. We’re from somewhere else. And this is not our permanent home and–
[Jennifer] Which again goes back to that hope that we have that what we have is eternal, not temporary.
[Aaron] Yeah, that’s why we’re to build our treasure in heaven and not on earth. The way the Bible communicates to us, the whole world doesn’t communicate that way. The rest of the world thinks, “Oh, I gotta build my kingdom here now. This is the best I’m gonna have. I gotta get more. I gotta do this. I gotta make sure that I’m known. I gotta make sure that I’m set up. I gotta make sure that…” And not that pursuing some of those things isn’t good for a believer, but that is not… We know that it doesn’t matter what we pursue here, it’s temporary. And so we don’t put our trust in all those things at all, actually, ’cause we know that they are fleeting.
[Jennifer] Another thing that Bible prophecy and scripture reminds us is that God’s not done.
Oh, that’s really good.
He’s working in all of us and He’s so patient because His desire is that none would perish. And so He’s doing His work. He’s unfolding all of this before us, He’s given us the word to know–
And His spirit.
[Jennifer] And His spirit to be comforted by that. And so we can have hope, we can have qavah for what is to come.
[Aaron] Well, and I just wanna reiterate what you brought up with that word, qavah, that while we’re here, that is the tension we’re in. And at the end of this, we’ll talk more about that, but we’re here, but we’re not from here.
[Aaron] We’re living, but we’re living sacrifices. We’re walking, but we’re looking up. Like it’s a tension of… Like Paul said, he’s like, “To die is gain and to live is Christ for I don’t know what’s better, to be with the Lord or to be here with you and to profit you.” Like he had this… That’s exactly where we’re at as believers is we’re in the middle of eternity in temporary, like waiting. So we may not all agree exactly how Bible end times prophecy is to be interpreted, but we can all agree that the Lord is coming, that we are His bride, that we will be with Him in eternity. And these are things that should bring us hope.
[Jennifer] And I just wanna add that even though we may not all understand perfectly how it’s all gonna unfold, we should at least know it and we should be willing to discuss it, right? Especially with each other.
[Aaron] And joyfully without quarreling, but to talk about the things that we can know to have our eyes open. So that’s good stuff that we should be pursuing as Christians.
[Jennifer] So as we dive into this topic today, the word that comes to my mind when I think about Bible prophecy and especially our relationship, Aaron, as a married couple, is just exploration. That exploration and learning of, well, what does God say? And how does this line up with what’s going on in current culture and what’s happening in… I think that that discovery and paying attention to is something that’s really positive.
[Aaron] Yeah. Well, especially when the heart is to discover the truth. Not to land and say, “This is what I’m gonna believe in and I don’t care what I find out, but like to read scripture and to dig in.” And one thing that we need to remember is that believing that what we believe about the end of the age is not the same thing as believing before the end of the age.
[Jennifer] Hold on. I think I just heard a mic drop. Say it again. Say it again.
[Aaron] Well, it’s good to figure out what we believe about. Is it eschatology end times prophecy? Study of end times? It’s important to figure that out. But it’s not as important as believing before the end of the age. The Bible says, “Today is the day of salvation.” Today. Not then when you see it all unfolding then you realize what it is. We are to have our eyes on the Lord and be waiting and looking for and longing for and walking before our Lord right now today. That’s what’s most important. But knowing God and looking for the signs of His coming is something that we get to joyfully do.
Cause we look forward to it.
[Jennifer] That’s so good. Another thing that I wanted to encourage you guys with is that when it comes to Bible prophecy, I mentioned earlier that the New Testament wasn’t… It wasn’t a new thing to the New Testament. It goes back.
It’s what God did.
It’s what He did. It’s what He does.
It’s what He does, yeah.
[Jennifer] And so an encouragement to you is not to solely focus on end times prophecy, but to actually go back and revisit fulfilled prophecy because that will affirm you in what… Or we it’ll affirm all of us in what we believe as Christians.
[Aaron] Yeah, the fact that Jesus himself fulfilled hundreds of prophecies from the Old Testament in His own life and death and resurrection, things that He couldn’t have individually personally controlled. I mean, although He’s God, just in His life, things that unfolded, He fulfilled prophecy after prophecy after prophecy about Himself.
[Aaron] And so prophecy proves God to be true. And God is true.
[Jennifer] We were just reading Isaiah 53 and we were reading about how… It’s talking about Jesus, but it’s written in the past tense as if it had already happened, but it hadn’t happened yet. And I looked at Aaron and I’m like–
[Aaron] Why are they writing it like that?
[Jennifer] Why are they writing it like that? It’s so fascinating to me. But Aaron, we’re gonna move on here. One thing that I wanted to share is a question for everyone listening, and maybe you can try and answer this. I mentioned earlier that people are gonna have differing opinions, by how much we love pastors and people who talk about it. So should we follow or listen to pastors or others who post about what specific things that they believe about the end times? How do we gain our knowledge–
[Aaron] I think so. That’s a good question. And I think it’s a yes and a–
[Jennifer] Be careful, yeah.
[Aaron] We should be careful who we’re listening to. We should be careful who we’re getting our information from. I mean, we like to listen to other varying opinions and ideas on what these mean ’cause it helps us to understand the Bible better. We can have a difficult time discerning truth maybe so we can listen with each other. We can ask questions, we can listen to something and be like, “Hey, what’d you think of this? This didn’t sit well.”
[Jennifer] What is the practical to that?
How do you discern the truth from what someone is saying and not just take that, run with it, regurgitate it?
[Aaron] I think an easy one that a lot of Christians even know that there’s certain specific things. If someone’s like claiming to know like the day of the Lord, that should be a red flag. It just should be.
[Jennifer] Keep a close eye on that one?
[Aaron] Yeah. So I would be like… Usually, I’m like, okay. Because here’s the deal. Everyone I’ve ever seen do that has been wrong. And they all keep doing it. I don’t know why they keep doing it.
[Jennifer] Something encouraging in our relationship is you’ve always shared with me when it comes to scripture that scripture is universal. So what is for some person over here in North America is the same for Africa, same for Asia.
And Alaska, yep.
[Jennifer] Right? And so I was using continents and you threw in Alaska like that. No, that was good. Everybody’s important here. But you say that God’s truth it’s universal. And so, I mean, would God just give one person or maybe a handful of people a specific date like that?
[Aaron] Well, He has in the past. I would say I haven’t seen Him do it in the current time.
Does that make sense?
[Aaron] Like of course, He spoke through Elijah and Ezekiel and Daniel and Hosea, and He spoke through all of these prophets in the past. But I haven’t seen Him do it in the current timeframe.
[Jennifer] Okay. So practically, what does testing the word of–
[Aaron] Right. 1 John tells us to test every spirit. So the Christian should not just listen to anyone and not test it. Paul commended, the Bereans for testing what he said. That’s Paul.
[Jennifer] So those listening to us today should–
[Aaron] Test what we’re saying.
[Jennifer] Do your own research and line up what we say was scripture.
[Aaron] Yeah, you should never say, “Well, Aaron and Jennifer said.” You should go yourself ’cause we could be wrong. We’re people. I’m not saying, thus says the Lord, everything I’m saying right now is from God perfectly. That’s not how it works. We’re trying to convey to the best of our ability as we walk in the Holy Spirit what we believe scripture say not what we say.
[Jennifer] Yeah. I would love if I could paint a picture for how I view this podcast and what Aaron and I do. We built a diving board and you guys are walking down to the end of it along with us. And then as soon as this episode’s over, you’re gone, you’re launched. You dive in in deep. That’s what I think, I don’t know.
Yeah. And our heart is that you do dig in. It’s one of the reasons why in a lot of our books, we don’t actually put the scriptures themselves in the books. We just put the reference.
[Jennifer] Sorry, we just want you to dig in.
[Aaron] Because we want you to go read the Bible. We didn’t wanna say, “Well, this is what it says.” And just you trust us like… And what if we took it out of context? We want you to go read. And open the word for yourself and let the Holy Spirit teach you what it’s saying. And you desire it, so–
[Jennifer] Most people have appreciated that about our books too.
[Aaron] John tells believers, test every spirit. We’re to test. I think it’s good to follow people that talk about end times and talk about prophecy and talk about what they’re seeing happened in the world and how it fits into the word of God and–
[Jennifer] Say, “Oh, that’s interesting.” And then go look up in scripture where it talks about that and read it, try and read it plainly, right?
[Aaron] Like what is it plainly saying? And then ask the Holy Spirit, “What are you saying on a deeper level? And how does this apply to today? Does it apply to today?” And search it out yourself. And I wanna encourage you, you can search it out yourself. You don’t need someone else to tell you the answers. It’s good to listen to other believers. It’s good to walk with other believers, it’s good to follow teachers that are rightly dividing the word of God.
[Jennifer] Or podcasters who are trying.
[Aaron] And we should do those things, but we ourselves are capable. We have the Holy Spirit. We can open up the word of God and say, “Okay, Lord, what are you saying? Teach me.”
[Jennifer] We absolutely need to be doing that. Another scripture that I wanna share with you guys is 1 Thessalonians 5:20-21 and it says, “Do not despise prophecies, but test everything. Hold fast to what is good.”
[Aaron] So let go quickly of the things that are not good?
Yeah, there you go.
[Jennifer] And I like that. Real quick, I like that it says do not despise prophecies because people do try and share about end times prophecies and I see so much like shut down or rejection of like, “Yeah, they’ve been saying that since whenever.” And it’s like that’s despising what the word of God tells us about the end time is drawing near. So anyways, we need to test everything and only hold fast to that which is good. Okay. Is there anything else you… I cut you off at one point.
[Aaron] No, that’s it. So I think it’s good to listen and to follow up, be careful who we follow. And if you hear someone that is consistently saying things that are off of scripture, out of context, then I would probably not follow that person.
[Jennifer] Also, how does their life line up in other ways that you do know is very clear written in scripture?
[Aaron] That’s a good point.
[Jennifer] What fruit do they have in their life?
[Aaron] Yeah, if they have bad fruit in another areas, you probably should be careful of that prophetic fruit.
[Jennifer] Which I know is hard, if you’re just following someone on social media or YouTube but you probably could still gather some intel. Okay. Is it good or necessary to keep watch on what’s happening in the world today in light of this topic?
[Aaron] I would say yes, because it shouldn’t be something that consumes our life that we’re constantly looking and wanting to go hide and like, oh, we gotta–
[Jennifer] I was gonna say, when we’re being stirred to anxiety, that’s probably not healthy.
[Aaron] But we’re told to look and to be aware and to know and to be watchful and prepared. Those are things that a Christian does. That’s the state of the Christian life is that we’re watchful, that we’re prepared, that we’re ready.
[Jennifer] I have this… This just popped into my mind. ‘Cause we went to the Oregon coast and they have these tsunami signs every so often going down the coast.
[Aaron] Yeah, they never make you feel good.
[Aaron] No, but they also have this big warning siren thing that goes off if there was one. So I don’t think people would despise that siren warning if a tsunami was coming.
[Aaron] No, they’d be like, Oh, awesome.
[Jennifer] I think they would appreciate it. And then run.
[Aaron] And I think the Bible, although we may not know the details of how things will perfectly play out, we do know the things to look for. The Bible does share the things to look out for, but then it says, but have hope.
[Jennifer] And trust in the Lord.
[Aaron] Yeah, and to trust in the Lord. So yes, I think keeping watch, having our eyes open.
[Jennifer] I think specifically for us and I kind of mentioned this already though, we are not like glued to a television or glued to the news online, but when we do come across an article that we feel like, hey, let’s keep an eye on this, oh, this sounds like Bible prophecy, we’ll send it to each other. We’ll Instagram message. We’ll texts–
A headline will pop up and be like, “Hey, that’s interesting.” And I’ll send it to my wife.
So what do you think of this?
[Jennifer] Yeah, sometimes we talk about it and sometimes we don’t because we just know that our eyes are on it. And that’s been a really fun and great way for us to connect on this topic of Bible prophecy. So I just wanna encourage those listening, when it comes to your spouse, being thoughtful of that conversation.
[Aaron] And I’ll say this specifically on… Like as we were talking about end times prophecy and then prophesy in general, but like mainly end times, the end of days which is a helpful thing for the believer, but a dreadful thing for those who do not believe it’s both.
[Jennifer] And the reason it’s hopeful you guys ’cause the Bible does talk about a lot of difficult things that are coming toward the end. Our hope is hope because we’re going to meet our savior and be with Him for eternity. And that is a beautiful thing.
[Aaron] And that trumps everything that could be coming.
[Jennifer] I was just sharing this with some friends, but when I thought about the tension of how people must have felt when Jesus was riding in on the donkey, okay? And the tension of God knowing that His son was going to be crushed to save the world, okay? That time period, right before His death. That’s an incredible time to had been alive and experience. Okay? We’re in–
And he missed it.
[Jennifer] Right. And I just feel like we could possibly be in one of those places, in the timeline of history and regardless of how far or close it is, we’re in that waiting period where God knows when Christ is going to do something miraculous and be with His bride. And I cannot wait–
[Aaron] Can I just say this? I’m just gonna answer the question. I believe we’re in the last days.
[Jennifer] Okay. Aaron thinks we’re living in the last days. Line it up with scripture.
[Aaron] Well, you were talking about tension and this is how I feel. This is what I feel like is happening. The rubber band’s getting pulled and is getting tighter and tighter and tighter until it just snaps. That’s what I feel like. We’re like at that last section. That’s my personal feeling on all of this. But again, what I was bringing about going back and forth with the end times prophecy stuff, looking out for it and seeing article headlines and sending to each other is it’s exciting. Like I send it to you I’m like, “Hey, what can we do to get the message out more to people? How can we share the gospel more? How can we get our kids excited about seeing the Lord one day?”
[Jennifer] Sometimes it’s just a text that says crazy exclamation mark.
[Aaron] Yeah. So it’s something that is encouraging to us. It doesn’t raise anxiety, it doesn’t… I mean, sometimes there’s things that I’m like, “What is going on?” And then we pray. It brings us to prayer and we’re like, “Oh, we gotta pray and ask for God’s peace.” So an example of this, ’cause when we see something happening in the world and how we test it, we say, “Well, does the scripture even talk about this?” And so when we see those things, it affirms us in our faith. It gets us excited about the Lord’s return and it makes us consider what the word says. So here’s an example of something that’s happened recently in our life that matches up with scripture. So in Matthew 24, Jesus shares with His disciples about His coming, okay? And it’s in verse 37-39 it says, “For as were the days of Noah, so will be the coming of the Son of Man, for as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage until the day when Noah entered the ark. And they were unaware until the flood came and swept them all away. So will be the coming of the Son of Man.” So Jesus tells them like, hey, one of the signs, one of the ways of knowing the season that I’m gonna return is it will be like it was when the flood came in the days of Noah. So not only are we living in a day that looks more and more like the days of Noah with evil and wickedness just prevailing everywhere.
[Jennifer] And yeah, people were just eating and drinking and marrying was going on.
[Aaron] Yeah, life just is moving forward. It’s so wicked and there’s so much stuff going on in the world, like so much. And it’s just, we’re moving forward. But also we have two, not one, two literal life-size Noah’s arks. I know this sounds silly, but I’m pretty sure this is the only time in history since the original Noah’s ark that there’s been Noah’s arks. Think about that.
[Jennifer] It’s pretty interesting. We got to go to the one in Kentucky that–
[Aaron] We went to it twice.
[Jennifer] Ken Ham built.
[Aaron] Yeah, and it’s Awesome.
[Jennifer] It’s pretty fascinating, you guys.
[Aaron] When you stand in front of this thing, you realize, oh my goodness, this is massive. It’s like the biggest thing I’ve ever seen.
[Jennifer] And I think to kids, ’cause our kids were like in awe and wonder, it’s gotta be even more so just amazing.
[Aaron] But there’s not just one, there’s two. This Christian boat builder in the Netherlands made one and it actually floats. He planned on floating it to Israel.
[Aaron] And he’s using it to share the gospel with people. Two arks, so when Jesus said, “As it were in the days of Noah,” like up until the last 20 years before these arks are built, people, would’ve only thought like, “Oh yeah, it’s going to be wicked.” And then there’s gonna be people giving marriage and that no one was thinking about it. But we also have the arks. That blows my mind.
[Jennifer] I don’t think people were expecting that one.
[Aaron] Yeah. So it’s just crazy that we’re literally living in the days…
[Jennifer] Yeah, can you take the Bible literal? Yes.
[Aaron] We have Noah’s arks. I don’t know. I mean, we have ’em, so it’s crazy. Another fun and major prophetic end days news is, I don’t know how many people know this, but there’s actual building plans.
[Jennifer] Like they’re ready to go.
[Aaron] For the third temple.
[Jennifer] And you hear way more conversation in the news about a desire to build openly and publicly–
[Aaron] Moving forward and trying to pass legislation, trying to figure out where to put it, how to do it. Like this third temple thing is a legit real… It’s not just a one day. It is happening.
[Jennifer] They even have like the menorah and–
[Aaron] The huge golden menorah. You can go to Israel right now and go look at it.
[Jennifer] And other things ready for the high priest. And they’re training people to do that. They’re raising the red heifer for the purification sacrifice. So they’re up to a lot over there.
[Aaron] So these are real things. So think about this. So when Jesus talks about the abomination that causes desolation going into the temple, He says that in Matthew 24 right after saying that the temple that exists, that the one that they’re standing in front of in Israel is going to be destroyed.
[Jennifer] Which was destroyed.
Which was destroyed.
After His death.
[Aaron] In 70 AD. So for 2,000 years, there’s been no temple. And there actually was no Jerusalem. Like the city was there in ruins, but no people controlling it. The Jews did not control it until 1948.
[Jennifer] What happened in 1948?
[Aaron] The UN unanimously voted to make Jerusalem a state to make it a country.
[Jennifer] So in Matthew 24, it talks about the fig tree prophecy and that’s where a lot of people tie in that 1948 and Israel becoming a nation again–
[Aaron] And that generation not passing away.
[Jennifer] Yeah, with that symbolism of Israel becoming a nation. So that’s that timing right there.
[Aaron] But there can be no third temple if there is no Jerusalem. And there can be no Jerusalem if there’s no Israel. But right now, and this is something that… Who brought this up?
[Jennifer] I don’t know, but we’ve shared it before where this is like a really exciting time where the nation of Israel and the church–
[Aaron] The Christian church.
[Jennifer] Exists in the same time of history.
[Aaron] Yeah, because back when Jesus… Before Jesus died, Israel was a nation. And then He died, resurrected, sent His Holy spirit and the church began and Israel was dispersed and the city was destroyed.
Essentially within 35 years.
[Jennifer] So now 2,000 years later, we’re at a point where everything’s being–
[Aaron] It’s being rebuilt.
[Aaron] so when you see these things… Or when I look at scripture I say, God wasn’t… This is all true. He wasn’t lying. So these are the kinds of things we look for. We were just talking before this about Donald Trump making Jerusalem the capital of Israel and moving the embassy there which is a big deal ’cause every president for the last 40 years said they were gonna do it essentially and no one ever did it, except for him.
[Jennifer] I think that happened in May, 2018.
[Aaron] But what’s really interesting is that many of the religious Jews called him Cyrus for doing it. They labeled him Cyrus, even made a coin with Cyrus’s face on one side and Trump’s on the other. And what’s amazing about this is in Daniel 9 which I’m gonna read about in a second, it is prophesied by the Angel Gabriel, that King Cyrus or that the person that puts a decree to rebuild Jerusalem will be the start of the 70 week prophecy of the coming of the Lord, Jesus. And then the end of days, which is that 70 week prophecy. And so we have Cyrus starting that whole thing.
[Jennifer] He gives the decree, Nehemiah goes and builds.
[Aaron] Nehemiah goes and builds and then we have 430 something years and then Jesus comes and then we have… And all of a sudden now Jerusalem’s a nation again.
[Jennifer] Not Jerusalem.
[Aaron] I mean, Israel is a nation again, thank you. And a president declares Jerusalem the capital, moves the embassy there, and then people there start calling him Cyrus. None of this is coincidence. And I’m not saying any dates or nothing, I’m just saying, we are seeing prophecy. We’re seeing the Bible come alive before our eyes. And the Bible is living and active. That’s what the Bible calls itself. So we’re watching it happen and it’s pretty amazing.
[Jennifer] So another reason I just wanna share why it might be good to keep watch is because we know that we only have so much time and at some point God will fulfill everything that He has said in scripture.
[Aaron] And He’s doing it.
[Jennifer] Right? In the Bible. And this is the urgency that we as believers feel to share the gospel because–
[Aaron] Time’s short.
[Jennifer] Time is short. And so there’s that tension again. But you guys hear, “Repent, the end is near.”
[Aaron] Jesus said that. Something like that.
And people say that that has always been said because it has, but if we look at scripture and what is supposed to take place, we’re closer now than we ever have been before to everything unfolding, so I don’t know. I just think that urgency is really important too to consider.
[Aaron] And we talked about this in the beginning that not only is this conversation coming up more and more and more amongst believers, when the world who doesn’t believe in God or love Jesus is talking about these things, I think you can say like, “Oh, they’re feeling it too.”
[Jennifer] They feel that tension, but without the hope. And so you’ll see it come out in–
[Aaron] In ways of trying to solve the problems.
[Jennifer] Trying to understand, yeah, what’s going on.
[Aaron] There’s this thing called the doomsday clock. There’s a group of scientists that they have this clock that they move based off of world events and things that are going on. And they say like, “Oh, we’re this much closer to catastrophe, like nuclear war, or just devastation worldwide.” And they keep moving it. Currently, we’re at a hundred seconds to midnight is what they call it. But this is not Bible prophecy. This is not people that are saying, “Oh, we’re this close to the end of the age and Jesus’ coming.” They’re saying, “We’re this close to the destruction of the world.” But there’s never been a time in history that people have seen the world as something that could be destroyed until now. They actually believe, many people believe, we see it with climate change stuff, we see it with population size, we see with… The way the secular world sees–
What’s going on. They see it as catastrophic. The believer sees it as, yeah, the Lord’s returning. So the urgency is there in the church and in the world who have no hope. And so it should bring us to an urgency of like, oh, if the Lord’s returning, let’s get moving. Let’s throw off everything that’s holding us back, any fears that we might have and let’s tell people who Jesus is. Let’s use our gifts and talents and resources for His kingdom.
[Jennifer] That’s good. Okay, so earlier, I mentioned that tension or qavah and our souls waiting for that moment in history, in time where our Messiah will be united with His bride. Well, then that’s coming. That’s what we’re waiting for. That’s what we’re hoping for. There was another time in history that qavah–
That tension was felt waiting for God to move. And Aaron, I just want you to take a minute to explain that–
[Aaron] Yeah, this connection that I’m bringing up is something that I learned about. It’s not like I came up with it, but this is what’s awesome is we can research and we can learn, and we can learn from people that are smarter than us often. Make ourselves smarter.
[Jennifer] And as we dig, we find little treasures. That’s what this is.
Yeah. Jennifer loves the calm treasures. But in Daniel 9, I’m gonna read about the season Daniel was in, which is very similar to the season we’re in as believers. So let’s read Daniel 9, right? Daniel 9:1, “In the first year of Darius the son of Ahasuerus by descendant of Mead who was made King over the realm of the Chaldeans, in the first year of his reign, I, Daniel perceived in the books the numbers of years that according to the word of the Lord to Jeremiah the prophet must pass before the end of the desolation of Jerusalem, namely 70 years.”
[Jennifer] So this sounds like all mature and like really put together. But I can imagine Daniel just sitting like in this little room with a ton of books or scrolls or whatever it was just, maybe the window’s open and there’s a breeze and, or maybe there’s a candle on the desk. I don’t know, but he’s sitting here reading this and then he starts feeling like freaking out. I don’t know.
[Aaron] Well, he’s reading Jeremiah. So if we think about it, Daniel is currently writing Daniel. So as we’re reading this, it’s been written, but he’s writing it.
[Jennifer] He’s in the process, yeah.
[Aaron] He’s sitting there reading the book of Jeremiah, the prophecies of Jeremiah and this is what he’s reading from Jeremiah 25. “The whole land shall become a ruin and a waste and these nations shall serve the King of Babylon 70 years. Then after 70 years are completed, I will punish the King of Babylon and the nation, the land of the Chaldeans for their iniquity, declares the Lord, making the land and everlasting waste.” So imagine Daniel sitting there like us. We’re reading the Bible, we’re not writing it, but we’re reading it. And we’re reading things that have happened and things that are going to happen. And it stirs us. And he’s sitting in Babylon as an exile, in a land that is not as own, with a people that are not his own.
[Jennifer] With a hope for everything to be restored.
[Aaron] With a hope for his, to be back in his land with his God and with his people and with his temple and being able to worship in freedom. Like that’s what he’s longing for. Isn’t that what the believers are longing for? Back in our land, with our God, with our people. So he’s in a similar situation and there’s idolatry and persecution. Just go read Daniel and you read about it. The lion’s den, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, the fiery furnace.
[Jennifer] And how long had they been there? ‘Cause that matters as he’s reading this number of 70 years.
[Aaron] Up to this time, he’s like at like 68 years in. 60, 70 years in. They’re only a few years into the 70 years of this exile.
[Jennifer] So on the margin of his scroll, whatever he’s working on, he’s adding up the date. He’s figuring out the math.
‘Cause he been–
Wait a minute.
[Aaron] He came as a boy. When Jerusalem was sacked and he was brought to Babylon, he was brought as a boy. You can read all about it and Daniel, okay? So he’s been here most of his life, but now he’s reading in Jeremiah and he’s saying, “Wait a minute, these 70 years are almost up.” So imagine how that feels as the believer now, wait a minute, time’s almost up. Like it’s not a fearful thing. He’s thinking, yeah, this is gonna be awesome. So let me keep reading. In the first… “I turn my face to the Lord God, seeking Him by prayer and pleas for mercy with fasting and sackcloth and ashes. I prayed to the Lord my God and made confession saying, ‘Oh Lord, the great and awesome God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love Him and keep His commandments. We have sinned and done wrong and acted wickedly and rebelled, turning aside from your commandments and rules. We have not listened to your servants the prophets who spoke in your name to our Kings, our princes, and our fathers, and to all the people of the land. To you, O Lord belongs righteousness. But to us open shame as to this day, to the men of Judah, to the inhabitants of Jerusalem and to all of Israel those who are near and those who are far away in all the lands to which you have driven them because of their treachery that they have committed against you. To us O Lord belong open shame, to our Kings, to our princes, to our fathers because we have sinned against you.'” So Daniel’s his response to realizing that these 70 years that God’s discipline is being fulfilled in Babylon is almost up, is a prayer of repentance, not for just himself, but for his nation. Because the reason they’re there is because of their inequity, their rebellion. And what’s beautiful is we as believers, we have redemption and salvation already. And so our hope is not in… I mean, the Bible even says like our hope of redemption where we wait for our redemption to draw near. So we have it already. The thing that he’s repenting of, we’ve repented and we’ve received the salvation and we wait for the salvation. But what a beautiful thing that he sees this and he realizes that God’s good and that He’s right. And he repents for himself, for his people, and he doesn’t go to God first and say, “Oh cool. Get me out of here, God.” He realizes why he’s there in the first place. And he runs to his father in heaven and he asks for forgiveness, which is what we get to do. We get to ask for goodness. And it should excite us now because we’re like, “Oh, and now we’re so close.” And that response is a hopeful expectation that God is going to fulfill what He said. Not only did He bring him there like He said, but He’s also gonna restore them as He said. And what’s cool about this story when you think about Daniel in that excitement he feels that we can relate to that now. But think about this, right after this, so right after Daniel prays this long prayer of repentance, the angel Gabriel comes. God sends the angel Gabriel to go tell Daniel and give him understanding about what’s next after this time. And so the angel comes and says this, “70 weeks are decreed about your people and your Holy city to finish the transgression to put an end to sin and to atone for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness to seal both vision and prophet and to anoint a most Holy place.” So he tells him, he’s like, “Hey, after this, there’s gonna be 70 weeks that leads up to the most amazing thing.” Okay. Finish the transgression to put an end to sin and to atone for inequity, to bring in everlasting righteousness. God’s telling Daniel through the angel that he’s gonna fix all of it. And who’s the one that’s gonna atone for inequity? None other than Jesus Christ. And so he says this, “70 weeks are decreed.” So it says, “Know, therefore and understand,” this is in verse 25, “That from the going out of the word to restore and build Jerusalem.” So listen to this. This is a very specific time that the Jews would have had a timeline on because of Daniel himself and because of Nehemiah. “So from the time that the going out of the word to restore and build Jerusalem.” So Jerusalem was destroyed and it’s in rubble because of the Babylonians. And so we find out many years later if you read in Nehemiah, that Nehemiah finds out that his city, Jerusalem is in rubble and the remanent that is there are living in a broke down city with no walls. And he weeps about it. And the King, Cyrus says, “Why are you weeping?” He’s a cup bearer and he’s like, “Well, my city and my people, they have no walls. They’re there in shambles.” And Cyrus gives a decree and money and letters of passage to Nehemiah to go rebuild the city. Okay? And listen to what it says. It says, “To restore and build Jerusalem to the coming of the anointed one.” So from the time of that decree, to the time of the anointed one coming.
[Aaron] Okay. Well, it’s seven weeks and then 62 weeks. So seven weeks in prophecy is weeks of years. So that’s 49 years. And that’s approximately the amount of time that it took Nehemiah to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. And then it says 62 weeks, it shall be built again with squares and moats, but in a troubled time. And if you read Nehemiah, it says that they would work with one hand with a sword and one hand with a plow because they were constantly feeling like they were gonna be attacked because there was people coming against them that didn’t want then to rebuild the city. And then it says, “Then after 62 weeks, an anointed one shall be cut off and she’ll have nothing.” That’s talking about Jesus. So 62 weeks, 62 times seven, 434 years which is approximately the amount of time from the building of that city to the moment Jesus comes on the scene. And so when you hear about… In the New Testament when you hear about the wise men who come and this is something I learned from a guy I was listening teaching on this. Wise men coming following the star looking for the coming Messiah, looking for the King that was prophesied about. Who was Daniel in charge of in Babylon?
[Jennifer] The wise men?
[Aaron] He was in charge of all the wise men. So this teacher I was listening to said, “How do you think these wise men even knew about these prophecies?”
Because of Daniel.
Because of Daniel. They had a lineage of knowledge passed down from Daniel. And they literally, they knew this timeline. They’re like, oh, okay, this decree from Nehemiah and Cyrus and then the building, oh, it took this long to build. And then, oh. They can calculate. We’re probably in this season that this King is supposed to show up. Which is why there was so much anxiousness in the people of Israel looking for a King, waiting for the Messiah. When Andrew says, “I’ve seen the Messiah,” he would have been confident that he did because it matched the timeline. So that same excitement that the people of Israel had about the Messiah coming, I believe we can now have because we can look at the things that are happening ’cause Jesus shows us, Paul shows us, we see it in scripture. We can look at the world and be like, oh, yeah, this makes sense. Our Lord’s coming. And we can be just as excited and we should have our eyes opened for it. I hope that encouraged some people. It encouraged me a lot and I wish I knew the YouTube link to the guy that talked about this, but essentially, what I shared is what he was sharing is this idea of like it makes so much sense. Like it’s not ambiguous.
[Jennifer] What I love about Daniel’s response after figuring out this season that he’s in and how things are gonna be changing was a heart of repentance. It wasn’t just excitement and hope for what’s to come, but there was an honest evaluation of what have we done? And in Daniel’s heart and Daniel’s posture was to go before the Lord and say, “Whoa.” And lay it all out before Him and repent. And so I just want to encourage all of us listening today that Aaron, if it’s true that we’re living in the last days, if there is that tension that we start feeling and that hope for Jesus coming back, especially soon, and that urgency we talked about, not only should we be sharing the gospel, but our hearts should be one of repentance and self-evaluation of what am I doing? What choices am I making?
[Aaron] Am I prepared for Him to return?
[Jennifer] Yeah. Because it literally could happen at any moment. And the Bible tells us, it warns us that that could be and that’s how it’s gonna be. And so we need to be reconciled with God while we’re here.
[Aaron] And praise God, we can do that in Jesus Christ. That when we believe on Him, we can repent and we can know that we’re forgiven and that He loves us and that He came to die for us and not to just die, but to raise again so that we can have new life. And that these mortal bodies can be given life and can be renewed and transformed and that our minds can be renewed. And that we can know Him and be–
Like truly know Him.
And be known by Him.
[Jennifer] Titus 2:11-14 says, “For the grace of God has appeared bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and savior Jesus Christ who gave Himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession who are zealous for good works.”
[Aaron] This is what we are looking forward to. We are not looking forward to wrath. We’re looking forward to our blessed hope. We’re not looking forward to judgment. We’re looking forward to our blessed hope. 1 Thessalonians 5:8-11 says, “But since we belong to the day, let us be sober having putting on the breastplate of faith and love and for a helmet the hope of salvation for God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ who died for us so that whether we are awake or asleep, we might live with Him. Therefore, encourage one another and build one another up just as you are doing.” So again, we are not destined for wrath. So no matter what version of the end times order we believe in, this right here says, we’re not destined for wrath. Okay? We might experience persecution. We’re going to experience tribulation. That’s what the Bible tells us. That’s guaranteed for the believer. He says, “If they hated me, they’re going to hate you.” But we’re not destined for God’s wrath. We’re looking forward to our blessed hope.
[Jennifer] We’re looking forward to the wedding feast.
[Aaron] Yeah, we’re looking forward to celebrating with our Lord in heaven. Jesus said, “I will not drink this cup again until I drink it afresh, anew with you in my kingdom.” We’re looking forward to drinking that cup with Jesus anew. And I love that in 1 Thessalonians it brings up two of the parts of the armor of God. It doesn’t bring the whole thing in. It brings in these two specifically. It says, “Having put on the breastplate of faith and love, okay, and for a helmet, the hope of salvation.” These are the two main things that we use when it comes to defeating the anxieties and fears of what’s to come.
[Jennifer] The heart and the mind.
[Aaron] Well, it’s our salvation and our faith.
[Jennifer] I know, but if you see those two pieces of equipment protect your heart and your mind and your heart is what you believe and your mind is what–
How you think.
And how you think.
And how you know. So–
[Aaron] We talked about believing last episode and people have actually really loved that episode, but those are the two things that we need to focus on that we have a hope of salvation, that our redemption draws near. And that’s where we get to look forward to regardless if it’s 10 years, 10 minutes, 10,000 years, it doesn’t matter. We hope for our salvation. It is coming and it comes swiftly.
[Jennifer] Something else that I wanted to share with you guys, when I read that verse just a bit ago in Titus, at the end of 14, it says, “To purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.” And that made me think that we need to be encouraged as believers not to grow weary of doing good. And the other verse that pops into my mind is Galatians 6:9, “And let us not grow weary of doing good for in due season, we will reap if we do not give up.”
Yeah, don’t give up.
And the reason that I bring this up is ’cause scripture does talk about the increase and intensity increase of labor pains in relation to the end times. And so you’ll see an increase in earthquakes, famines, wars and rumors of Wars.
[Aaron] Just go look up how many volcanoes have erupted over the last two years alone.
[Jennifer] It’s a lot, guys and–
[Aaron] It’s crazy.
[Jennifer] Really all kinds of natural disasters and wars and suffering and–
[Aaron] Biblical plagues. Literal biblical plagues around the world.
Yeah, like locust and stuff. But sometimes we can get overwhelmed by the news of how much is happening and it’s only gonna intensify as we grow closer to the last days. And I wanted to make sure that… We wanted to make sure that we encourage you guys today that we don’t allow the increase of what’s happening in the world and the suffering and the hardships and the natural disasters and everything that’s going on to overwhelm you because we need to be people of prayer. We need to allow God to use our resources in any way that we can help and provide for others. Why? Because these are opportunities to remind people of who God is and that He’s coming back. And so as these… You’ll see it all the time when people are talking about end times things that these labor pains are gonna intensify just like a woman about to give birth.
[Aaron] Going into transition and it gets some way intense until it’s like non-stop.
[Jennifer] So it’s gonna get more and more intense. We’re gonna hear about more things in the news or even in our loved ones’ lives. And we just need to be reminded of who we are in this world.
[Aaron] I think about that scripture, I can’t remember it’s, but it says, “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” That’s what we do.
[Aaron] Let’s overcome that evil with good.
[Jennifer] And we just keep doing it.
Yeah, don’t give up.
For His glory.
[Aaron] So the question, again, if we’re truly are living in the last days, which I believe we are. We’re seeing it happen unfold. It’s amazing, I think. How should we be feeling and thinking? We kind of already talked about that doing good, but.
[Jennifer] I think what comes to my mind–
[Aaron] Just going back to the specifically to that tension, like going home, but we’re here.
Like what do we do?
[Jennifer] I think what comes to my mind is, and I’m not gonna read it, but I think people know what I’m talking about is the 10 virgins in Matthew when it talks about five whose lamps are full of oil, waiting for the bridegroom. And he comes in the middle of the night and then there’s five who have lamps, but no oil. And they’re like, “No, wait. Can I have some of yours?” And they’re like, “We got to go and we need it.” And so they leave to go buy it and come back. And to me, this sets up a picture of believers and there’s believers in Jesus who are gonna be prepared and ready for His coming. And then there’s gonna be people who had received the knowledge of who Jesus Christ was, what He did, but never believed that He is Lord and savior.
[Aaron] Yeah, I think it just reminds us that we need to be prepared. Let’s not be the unwise women. Let’s be the wise ones. Let’s keep our lamps fullest. Let’s walk in the spirit of God that He’s given us. And the other thing is as believers, I think there could be a false idea that, oh, if the Lord’s coming, I’m not even gonna do anything. I’m just gonna sit here and wait and bask and like, okay, Lord, I’m just waiting.
[Jennifer] I don’t think that’s wisey.
[Aaron] No, Jesus, even warns like that we wanna be the wise servants that are found, yeah, either investing wisely our time, our efforts, our resources, our money into His kingdom or found serving wisely, not being lazy or beating the other servants, the Bible says.
[Jennifer] Something that we think about as parents to this note of what you’re talking about, Aaron is encouraging our family as a whole of what scripture says and that we’re waiting for our blessed hope and can’t wait to live in eternity with God. And yet, while we’re here sharing the gospel and leaving a legacy, building our family a way that, gosh, we hope that generations that are here long after we’re gone, if we’re not living in the last days and we leave that they know God. Does that makes sense?
[Aaron] Passing down an inheritance of like spirituality, an inheritance of the gospel an inheritance of also business that we build for the future, God willing, regardless if we have a future. That’s what we’re to do. We’re supposed to be working hardly as under the Lord we’re to be investing wisely, we’re to be using our time and not being wasteful in our life and not just giving up. We’re to keep moving. We’re working for the Lord and waiting for Him. We’re being wise servants. That’s what we wanna be, is wise while we’re here. What’s the phrase is like, living like there’s no tomorrow, but planning like you’ll be here for a thousand years. That we just keep chugging along in our walks in this world. We don’t just quit our jobs, and we don’t just… No, we’d be a light at our job. If we have a business, we use our business to glorify God. And we do both. That’s that tension. I wanna be at home with the Lord, but currently I live here. And what’s interesting, just on this note, when the people of Israel were being taken into Babylon, God tells them, He says, “Build homes, plant vineyards–“
[Jennifer] Have children.
[Aaron] “So that you will not diminish.” He tells them, He’s like, “You’re being disciplined. You’re being punished. You’re gonna be an exile for years, but don’t stop being my people. Don’t diminish. Build lives. Be my people there.” And that’s what He’s asked us to do. Build homes, plant vineyards, have children that we might not be diminished, that we can grow His kingdom within our homes and also within our neighborhoods and within our jobs. And so I think it’s just good to be reminded as believers that it’s okay to have that tension.
[Jennifer] Awesome. Well, one last encouragement to remind us all of a purpose we share in God’s kingdom. Something that I was thinking about just in light of trying to answer this question, are we living–
In the days of Noah?
[Jennifer] Are we living in the last days? Yeah, I’m gonna go back to Noah. Noah was commissioned to do the work of the Lord. And it was urgent, even though it took him a long time and he probably didn’t know exactly when it was gonna happen. He didn’t have time to spare. He had to get out there and build this incredibly massive, huge ark.
[Aaron] We’ve seen him.
[Jennifer] It’s gigantic, okay. Noah didn’t know when this thing was gonna happen, but he did know confidently that he had a job to do.
[Aaron] And that it was going to happen.
[Jennifer] He knew that it was going to happen and he trusted God throughout the process. Well, we have been commissioned by God, by Jesus and the beauty of knowing Jesus is coming back at any time makes that commission urgent. So what do we do? We share the gospel. We build His kingdom. We talk about this in “Marriage After God”, Aaron. We use what we have to build His kingdom and to remind people, remind believers that this is all going to happen. It’s going to be fulfilled. And to let others who may not be believers yet that this is truth in hopes that they come to that saving knowledge and belief of who Jesus is and what He did for us. We encourage one another with these words that the Bible has given us
Yeah, and Noah’s ark wasn’t capable of saving the whole world, right?
[Jennifer] That’s true.
[Aaron] But Jesus, His work on the cross is. So His ark or He is the ark to save us all. It’s capable, but we must enter in. We must believe in Him. And so Noah had that ark that saved his family and some animals, but we have the ark that’s capable of saving everyone and that’s God’s desire. And so our job is to show them the ark. Hey, this thing this is our ticket out of wrath. This is our salvation. His name is Jesus. He died for your sins and my sins and the sins of the whole world. So we love you guys and that’s our synopsis on current events.
[Jennifer] Now go test everything we just said up to scripture and then talk about it with your spouse.
And be excited. Be excited, guys.
[Aaron] Yeah, I hope you got that. So why don’t we share what we’re grateful for? ‘Cause that’s been our thing–
This whole season.
This whole season.
[Jennifer] It’s been fun.
[Aaron] Yeah, and then everyone here could be thinking about what they’re grateful for and share that with someone.
Let’s start with you.
[Jennifer] All right.
[Aaron] No, start with me. It says mine first. I’m grateful for my son Elliot. It’s crazy to think that he’s eight years old. It’s been a long time.
[Jennifer] Forget the age. I can’t stand looking over into the kitchen and he’s like so tall. He’s so tall and he’s like, yeah, he’s just getting older.
[Aaron] He loves God. And man, God has used him so many times to–
[Jennifer] And encourage us.
[Aaron] And to convict us at times, not that he’s doing it rude, like he just says, “Hey, I think you guys should pray.” And we’re like, “Oh, you’re right. We should pray.” Like he’s just his heart for the Lord and his heart for us and seeing him grow and connecting with us and just maturing as a man and he’s just, he’s really blessed me.
[Jennifer] He’s so creative. That’s something that I really–
[Aaron] So I’m really grateful for my son Elliot.
[Jennifer] That’s good. Well, I was gonna say I’m grateful for opinions. I truly do love hearing other people’s opinions whether it’s on marriage or end times prophecy or anything, how to build homeschool curriculum. I don’t agree with all of it. Just like everyone could probably say that. I don’t agree with everyone, but I do love gaining insight into the perspectives of others. I value people sharing their opinions and I appreciate it most when it’s done respectfully. You know what I mean?
That’s usually good, yeah.
[Jennifer] Like someone not just cramming their opinions.
[Aaron] I’ve gotten better at that, okay?
[Jennifer] No, I’m not talking about you.
But I have got better.
That’s funny. I just really value people’s opinions. And I think it’s a good thing that we have opinions, but we need to share them.
[Aaron] Shows that we’re all unique in some form or fashion.
[Aaron] Well, we love you guys and we usually end in prayer, so I’m gonna pray. Dear Lord, thank you for sharing your word with us. We feel like it’s an incredible time to be alive. Just like Daniel must’ve thought when he realized their time in Babylon was coming to an end or what the shepherds must have felt on their way to meet baby Jesus, whether we have moments, years or decades left in this world, we pray you would continue to equip us to endure and live righteously. We pray would be people full of your wisdom. We pray we would boldly share your truth with others. Please help us to navigate your word and your prophecy as couples. We ask for more wisdom as we learn about what is to come or see it unfold before our eyes. Lord, we pray for patience as you are patient. We know you have a purpose and we trust you, in Jesus name. Amen. We love you all. Please consider leaving us a review. Also, go check out that documentary. It’s marriageaftergod.com/btw and that’ll forward you to the video for you guys to rent. We love you. We pray that this blessed you and we’ll see you next week.