In Luke 4:18-19, Jesus read to the listeners in the House of Worship His mission and purpose.  He read to them:

[18] “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,  [19] To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.”

After Jesus read those words to the people he concluded with these words:  “This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.” (Lk 4:21a, KJV)

The door of GOD’s grace was about to open up for all mankind to walk through.  The LORD and Savior of the world, unknown to those that heard Jesus read those words and proclaim their fulfillment, was beginning the countdown to His return beginning then, around 29 A.D. to our present time.

The Acceptable Year of the LORD

Many individuals read the Book of Revelation and glaze right over Chapters 1, 2 and 3, not realizing those chapters share the timeline of the Church, and countdown period before the Savior returns and the removal of His Church from this world.  Many look at those chapters and miss the key phase of who the LORD is talking to: “He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches” (Rev 2:7a, 11, 17, 29; 3:6, 13 and 22, KJV).

The seven periods of the Church are countdown periods within the Acceptable Year of the LORD.  They are the grace period before the LORD completes the rest of the sentence that He read in the House of Worship from the Book of Isaiah 61:1-2.  For the Acceptable Year of the LORD is the beginning of salvation.  The gift that GOD was providing to the sinful man that we might be saved.  Jesus was reciting verses 1 and 2a of Isaiah 61 which was the futurist promise of salvation without the judgment.

[1] “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; [2a] To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.”  (Isa 61:1-2a, KJV)

Jesus was fulfilling (and presently is still fulfilling) that portion of scriptures, but the Acceptable Year of the LORD is beginning to come to a close and the Judgement of the LORD is about to begin.  “To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God.” (Isa 61:2, KJV)

The Count Down

The Savior Is Coming, Are You Prepared To Meet Him, is a serious statement and question for all followers of Jesus Christ to consider.  But, you need to understand the count down process so you are ready for the Savior’s coming.

Looking at the Seven Periods or Phases of the Church, Jesus is sharing the condition and the deterioration of the Church.  Like sand falling in an hourglass, Revelation Chapters 2 and 3 tell us what the Church will experience before Jesus pulls His Church from this world.

To briefly look at the countdown to the Savior’s return, I will use the Revelation hourglass found in Revelation Chapters 2 and 3.

  1. The Ephesus Church – Rev 2:1-7 (Approximate date 30 to 100 AD)

“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” (Matt 5:16, KJV)

This was the time period of Peter, Paul, and the Apostle who preached the Gospel to those that would accept it.  It was also the beginning of the Gentiles becoming apart of the family of GOD through Jesus Christ the LORD and Savior.

  1. The Smyrna – Rev 2:7-11 (Approximate date 100 to 312 AD)

“And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake.”  (Matt 10:22, KJV)

This was a time period in world history where many followers of Jesus Christ were killed because of the faith.  The faithful service and preaching of the gospel by Peter, Paul, and Jesus’ other Disciples caused many to become followers of Jesus even after their deaths.  The world rejected Jesus because of Satan’s influence.  But the Church grew under Satan’s persecution.

  1. The Pergamos Church – Rev 2:12-17 (Approx: date 312 to 593 AD)

“Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.” (Jas 4:4, KJV)

This was the time period in world history when the world saw the ruler of the Roman Empire marry the Church to the world.  Constantine stopped the persecution of the followers of Jesus Christ and made Christianity The Roman Empire National religion.  What is not documented at that time, however, are the true followers and leaders of the Gospel.  Just the history where the world now sees the Roman Emperor and the City of Rome as the center point of the Church.

  1. The Thyatira Church – Rev 2:18-29 (Approx: date 593 to 1520 AD)

“And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.  Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.” (2 Cor 11:14-15, KJV)

This was the time period in World history when the Church leadership became “Organized Religion.”  The world saw men dressed in religious garments and crosses hanging on walls and around their necks, but there was no love for Jesus Christ in their hearts.  Once again, the true Church followers are not documented in the world.

  1. The Sardis Church – Rev 3:1-6 (Approx: date 1520 to 1750 AD)

“They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service.”  (Jn 16:2, KJV)

There was a time period in World history when the Bible was locked down and 100,000 individuals were killed for having a Bible in their possession.  There was no preaching or reading of the Gospel during this time period which was better known as “The Dark Ages”.

  1. The Philadelphia Church – Rev 3:7-13 (Date 1750 AD To Present)

“Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me” (Rev 3:20, KJV)

This was a time period in World history when the Bible was being printed again into various languages and individuals became fearless and began preaching the Gospel despite the penalty of death.  The True Church arose and was not afraid to tell others about Jesus Christ and GOD’s true salvation plan for them.

  1. The Laodicea Church – Rev 3:14-22 (Date 1900 AD To Present)

“Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.”  (1 Jn 2:15 KJV)

As the sand begins to run out in the hourglass, this is the last phase and condition of the Church.  This is the period we are living in today.  We have a mixture of all Seven Church periods existing throughout the world today, but the most dominant condition is the worldly and compromising Church existing today.  Jesus is not impressed with today’s Church. He stated, “So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.” (Rev 3:16 KJV)

The Church today married the world again.  It is deep in politics, society events, getting all the comforts of this world, and pleasing the flesh despite the Savior’s requirements and commandments.

In conclusion, Jesus is looking for the Church that He set up and left in place with His Disciples.  The Church that continued between 100 AD to 312 AD that was not afraid to live by His word and for His Word.  Going to church is not enough.  Growing up in a God-loving home is not enough.  The Savior is looking for us to have a personal relationship with Him according to His commandments—not ours. Jesus said, “If ye love me, keep my commandments.” (Jn  14:15, KJV)

So, now you know, “The Savior Is Coming,” the question remains; “Are You Prepared To Meet Him?”

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Pastor Matthew E. Thompson, Sr.

Pastor Matthew E. Thompson, Sr.

Since May, 2010 Elder Matthew Thompson has served as Senior Pastor of the Friendship Church of God in Richmond, VA. He is joined in the ministry by his lovely wife, First Lady Clariss Thompson. Church focus and goals: In line with the organizational mission, the Richmond church is working to fulfill the Great Commission through obedience to the great commandment. (Matthew 28:19-20 and 22:37-39) Go. Teach. Spread. Love. Under the leadership of Pastor Thompson, the church has found unique ways to reach those in their community. The church’s outreach program includes: (1) Food/Meal Ministry, (2) Helping Hands Clothing Ministry, (3) Community Fun and School Supplies Giveaway Day at the Church Park, (4) Distribution of the Happy News and Daily Bread in the community and (5) Free GED and Trade School Training Opportunities Awareness – a program through which some individuals have gained employment. Personal Interest: Many are unaware that Pastor Thompson is also a published Composer and Songwriter and an accomplished musician, a career he left behind to pursue the calling God had placed upon him. Favorite Scripture: His guiding scripture is Psalms 34:3. “O, magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together.”
Pastor Matthew E. Thompson, Sr.

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