Weekly Newsletter – December 28, 2020
FROM THE HEART OF DR. REXELLA VAN IMPE
WHY AM I SURPRISED?
It’s very hard for me to describe my feelings-perhaps a sense of awe, humility, and gratitude? -when I think about the wonderful opportunity God gave my husband and me to reach around the world each week with the gospel. I definitely believe the Holy Spirit impressed Jack to find a format that so many people watch.
When we first knew we were going to have a program that would be beamed around the world, we had prayerfully planned an unusual approach that seemed really exciting. Then, about a week before we were to start production, Jack came to me and said, “Rexella, I believe we are to do a different format. I sense that we are to gather news from around the world-global headlines-and connect them to the Word of God.
With all my heart, I believe the Lord directed my husband in that decision. Through the years we would get hundreds of pounds of mail every week from viewers who ordinarily would not watch a church-related or religious program. One day we walked into a restaurant and were recognized by a group of some twenty Jewish people. “Oh, Dr. and Rexella,” they said, “we love your program and try to tune in every week!”
In the same restaurant, we met a smaller group of Arab people who smiled and said, “Thank you for your program-we appreciate it so much!”
I was also stopped by the wife of a state senator who said, “I don’t know if you know this, Rexella, but the first thing on the agenda of many of the senators on Monday morning is to get together over coffee and discuss your program!”
On the street in Toronto not too long ago, we were stopped by a Muslim man who said, “Many people in our community here watch your telecast often-we enjoy it so much.” I couldn’t help asking, “Why are you attracted to a Christian program that presents the gospel and quotes the words of Jesus? Why would you want to watch that?”
His answer was so humbling-“We trust you!”
So many calls and letters we received are from people like this who might never go to church or watch another religious program. Our media consultants (who also work with numerous other ministries) say that we are seeing more response to the invitation for salvation than perhaps any other program on the air today.
Many people write to say, “We couldn’t make it through our week without hearing your analysis and encouragement.”
And not long ago I got a letter that brought tears to my eyes. A young girl who had decided to commit suicide was flipping through the TV channels and stopped on our program. She wrote, “Rexella, you looked straight into the camera at me and said, ‘God cares about you…and so do I!’ That changed my whole thinking…and saved my life.”
Preparing for the promised days
Jack and I always prayed earnestly as we prepared for each program. We were keenly aware of the responsibility that was ours because we truly believe that we are living in the days just prior to the coming of the Lord. We don’t like to use the phrase “last days” because it’s not a countdown to the world ending. Actually, it’s the promised days-just before Christ will come back to earth, set up His kingdom, and stop all the mayhem and madness. It will be the beginning of a thousand years of peace on the earth.
I believe we are now living in the time the Bible refers to as the “hour of temptation” that will come upon all the world and try those who live on planet earth (see Revelation 3:10). But Jesus surely is coming very soon!
When is He coming? Each week on television, we talk about the events the Bible says are signs of His coming. We share news reports about wars, rumors of wars, famines, pestilences, earthquakes, and countless other distresses and fateful events.
Often people will say, “The world has always had war and famine and trouble-all these things. Are today’s events any different? Why do they have special significance now?”
The answer is found in two key verses. Jesus said, And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end (end of the age) come (Matthew 24:14). Only recently, in our generation, could it be said that the gospel has been preached in all the world, witnessing to all nations.
Secondly, the Bible doesn’t say, “when you see wars, look up” or “when you see famine and pestilence, the time is near.” Look carefully at what Jesus said in Matthew 24:33-when ye shall see ALL these things, know that it is near, even at the doors (emphasis mine). All these things, all at once-simultaneously! That’s the key Jesus said to watch for, and I’m telling you, that day has come!
There are many places in the Word that talk about things that will come to pass-there’s a whole list of them, but I’ve chosen to write about just four-perhaps the top four-that have to come together before the coming of the Lord.
So today we must do all that we can to point the lost to the Answer-not a theory, a contract, a plan-but to the Son of God, Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world. That’s what Jack and I do every week on our worldwide telecast.
Hunger and pestilence (Revelation 6:8)
The second thing that shocks me is how there can be famine, privation, and deathly need and starvation in a world where there is such abundance. Why am I surprised? Often there can be unimaginable opulence and wealth at one end of the street, and hunger, want, and terrible suffering at the other end of the same street.
The hunger, disease, and pestilence around the world hurt my heart so much. Today we have many, many billionaires all over the world-people with so much wealth that they literally cannot even count it all. There are billionaires not only in prosperous, wealthy countries, but also in poor, underdeveloped nations. Outside the gates of these billionaire’s estates-in the very shadow of their elegant palaces of privilege-starving people die in the darkness.
In nations ravaged by famine, with millions of starving children, cruel dictators hoard the country’s meager resources and even confiscate the humanitarian aid sent by other nations for their own personal gain. No wonder the Word reminds us that the heart (of man) is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked (Jeremiah 17:9).
Most of us are not billionaires. Perhaps we do not even have much to spare beyond our basic needs. But in the words of American writer Edward Everett Hale-
I am only one, but still I am one.
I cannot do everything, but still I can do something.
And because I cannot do everything,
I will not refuse to do something I can do.
There is always something we can do to help share the gospel with those who do not know the Lord. Even when the physical needs of nations and people are beyond our means to change, we can point them to Jesus and His words of eternal life. In many impoverished regions where television is not available to very many, we are broadcasting the message of Christ’s soon return on radio, hoping that somehow we can get through to some of the people.
Without natural affection (2 Timothy 3:3)
Recently on our telecast, I read a horrifying headline and story about a mother who cut off the hands of her children because they were disobedient! Can you believe it? That’s not the affection of a mother’s heart. How could a parent’s mind get so twisted as to mistake brutal, bloody amputation and dismemberment as loving discipline? Truly we are living in “perilous times.”
Do you believe we are living in a day when people are without natural affection? We see and hear about it all the time. There are many husbands who beat and abuse their wives, even wives who also are abusive. There have also been numerous cases of children who have murdered their parents, or beat or injured a younger brother or sister.
Why am I surprised? We live in an age when sexual predators stalk children on the playgrounds of schools. Even teachers and religious leaders have been involved in horrible sexual abuse of young boys and girls. I just reported a story on our telecast recently about a man who had the names of 36,000 young boys on his computer. Investigators suspected that he had probably actually had sex with hundreds of them.
That’s not a natural heart! That is a person without natural affection. You do not prey on children-I don’t care who you are or what “logic” you use to rationalize it. God intended for us to love our neighbor as ourselves-to have a love for everyone, no matter who they are. Betraying the trust and dependence of children and family is unnatural!
The Bible warns us about a whole laundry list of terrible behavioral practices that become common in the world before the end of the age comes. The Apostle Paul wrote, For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away (2 Timothy 3:2-5).
Do you recognize any of these things in our society today? Are they happening around where you live? Then pay attention. This is a biblical, prophetic sign of the promised days just prior to Christ’s coming!
Worldwide terrorism (Matthew 24:37; Genesis 6:11, Luke 21:9)
Worldwide terrorism! Why am I surprised? Jesus said, But as the days of Noe [Noah] were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be (Matthew 24:37).
What was it like in Noah’s day? The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence (Genesis 6:11). Does that description fit the world you know? I think so.
Finally, Jesus said, But when ye shall hear of wars and (violent) commotions, be not terrified: for these things must first come to pass…nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom… (Luke 21:9, 10).
Terrorism is certainly on the upswing right now. But we must not be surprised when it strikes. Jesus said these things must come to pass-terrorism will continue at some level right up until the coming of the Lord!
This is why I am so excited, positive, and thankful about the incredible tool the Lord has given to us with our weekly telecast, Jack Van Impe Presents. We don’t come on each week with global news and gloom and doom. We say, “Yes, we do see terrorism, just as Jesus foretold. But let not your heart be troubled-these things must come to pass. They precede the coming of the Lord.” We’re trying to prepare people with a positive outlook, knowing that trials teach us trust in our Heavenly Father!
Yes, there have been some dark days. There may well be dark times again. But don’t be afraid of “the power of darkness.” I believe darkness doesn’t really have any power of its own-it’s only the absence of light! If you carry light with you, it always dispels darkness! Darkness has no power if you hold up the light of the world-Jesus Christ, the Son of God, our Savior and our Lord. He said, Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid (John 14:27).
Today let us allow God to comfort our souls and give us hope for tomorrow. Be ready and watching for His return. With all my heart, I believe He is coming very soon!
Don’t be surprised!
A CLASSIC MESSAGE OF HOPE FROM DR. JACK VAN IMPE
The final two chapters of the Book of Revelation present the glorious future which awaits every believer of all dispensations and ages. The eternal state of both the saved and lost is described in the first eight verses of this chapter. In addition, verses 9 through 27 present a glowing description of the New Jerusalem. The view is absolutely breathtaking. Let’s begin our study.
Verse 1: And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.
The passing away of the first heaven and earth occurred at the conclusion of the Great White Throne Judgment. This was part of the renovation of the world which Jesus predicted in Matthew 24:35 when He said, Heaven and earth shall pass away. The time and method are described in 2 Peter 3:7, 10-13. Listen carefully to these solemn words: The heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men. But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.
In the new world, the sea is eliminated, possibly because of its connotation with wickedness: The wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt (Isaiah 57:20). Another reason may be that oceanic vegetation is no longer necessary.
Verse 2: And I John saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
Two Jerusalems are mentioned in Scripture (see Galatians 4:25, 26 and Hebrews 12:22). One is earthly and the home of the believers during the millennial period. The other is heavenly-as the New Jerusalem, or celestial city, hovers over the earth during the thousand-year (millennial) reign of Christ and then becomes situated eternally upon earth at the end of the thousand-year period. Revelation 21:1-8 actually follows 21:9-22:15. This is one time the chronological outline of the book of Revelation is different. The New Jerusalem is undoubtedly the one Christ has been preparing for over 2,000 years, for the Saviour said in John 14:2, I go to prepare a place for you. This magnificent masterpiece descending toward earth reminds one of the elegant beauty of a bride on her wedding day.
Verse 3: And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.
To this point in time, God’s Tabernacle has been located in heaven. Now we discover a change of address. The Almighty descends to earth with His heavenly entourage, settling in the New Jerusalem to begin global operations from this satellite city. The redeemed-in their glorified bodies-live in the New Jerusalem. Those with bodies of flesh-those who were born and saved during the millennial hour-enter the eternal state with their natural bodies. They live on earth, in and under the light of the Holy City (see chapter 21, verse 24). The true beauty of the entire scene is that God dwells in the midst of His people, for a voice cries, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.
Another exciting fact is that believers, with their glorified bodies, will be able to travel as fast as the speed of light, yea, as fast as their thoughts. Thus, they will traverse back and forth to earth from their city in space-the New Jerusalem-in a moment of time. Presently the world’s scientists predict that men will certainly be living in space cities within our century. They don’t know the half of it! Amen!
Verse 4: And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.
This verse should be a favorite among God’s people. Think of it! Pain, sorrow, crying, and death are forever eliminated in this land of eternal life. This, as mentioned in verse 2, is only true after the Millennium when Christ’s Kingdom is recommissioned and eternally established on earth. No wonder the redeemed are able to triumphantly shout, O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? (I Corinthians 15:55). Never again will a funeral procession take place, for death, the last enemy, will have been destroyed (see I Corinthians 15:26). In addition, everything associated with death is also eliminated for time and eternity. Glory! No more disease, heart attacks, automobile accidents, wars or rumors of wars. “It is finished” is truly the national anthem of eternity.
Although these truths are wonderful in themselves, the greatest fact is that the Lord’s people see His face (see chapter 22, verse 4). In addition, sin has ceased to exist because Satan is eternally incarcerated in Gehenna, the lake of fire (see chapter 20, verse 10). A new day in a new heaven suspended above a new earth has arrived because…
Verse 5: He that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.
Verse 6: And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.
God speaks to John, saying, It is done. As Christ completed His redemptive work for sinners on the cross, He cried, It is finished. Now God, who has made all things new, again announces, It is finished, or done. His will has been accomplished in Jesus Christ-namely, that the earth should be free from the curse of sin and that its inhabitants should be conformed to His very likeness. This has happened. It is done. God adds, I am [the] Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. Alpha and Omega are the first and the last letters of the Greek alphabet. Hence, the explanation, the beginning and the end. But what does it mean? In Christ, all creation began without sin (see Colossians 1:15-19). Now, in Christ, it has ended without sin.
In this glorious city-New Jerusalem-the spiritual thirst of God’s people is also satisfied forever. While on earth, Jesus said to the woman of Samaria, Whosoever drinketh of this water [in the well] shall thirst again: But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life (John 4:13,14). That time has come, and God states: “I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.” It is yours to possess throughout the ages. Enjoy yourselves!
However, make no mistake about it. The eternal prize of being in the presence of God in the New Jerusalem, where there is no more death, sorrow, crying, pain, or thirst, is only for those who trust in the merits of the shed blood of Christ.
Verse 7: He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.
Who is the overcomer? The one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God (see 1 John 5:4). Oh, be sure of your salvation, because the next verse mentions a motley group of sinners who miss the eternal paradise upon earth.
Verse 8: But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.
This text plainly states that those who were condemned at the judgment of chapter 20, verses 11-15, have been cast into the lake of fire, or Gehenna. They were not given a reprieve, a commuted sentence, or a second chance, as some sentimentalists teach. Revelation 21 is the eternal state.
No more changes are possible. Those who stood before God’s Great White Throne did not make it. Who were they?
- The fearful-those who rejected Christ to escape the ridicule of men.
- The unbelieving-those who rejected the doctrine of Christ’s deity and shed blood as the only means of obtaining eternal life. Jesus said, Ye shall die in your sins… if ye believe not that I am he [or that I am God] (John 8:24). In John 5:40, the Saviour again said, Ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.
- The abominable-those who engaged in wicked practices. They spoke the language of christendom but never lived it: They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate (Titus 1: 16).
- The murderers-including those who carried hatred within their hearts and minds for others. If you don’t believe it, listen to the following: Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him (1 John 3:15).
- The whoremongers-those who engaged in fornication (premarital sex), adultery (extra marital flings), or perverted sex.
- The sorcerers-those who practiced drug usage for “kicks” and “highs.”
- The idolaters-those who worshiped or revered anyone or anything other than the living and true God, or who used idols in worship. Remember God’s warning, Little children, keep yourselves from idols (1 John 5:21).
- All liars-those who deceived others, distorted the truth, and destroyed mankind by lies.
Verse 9: And there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, Come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb’s wife.
Here one member of the angelic host which administered the final seven judgments now speaks to John, saying, “Come here. I want to show you the Bride, the Lamb’s wife, the one who made herself ready [in] fine linen, clean and white (chapter 19, verses 7 and 8) and who returns with Him for the 1,000-year honeymoon (chapter 19, verses 11 through 16).” At this point the Bride is envisioned in her final resting place.
Verse 10: And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God.
The Bride is pictured as the city of the New Jerusalem because a city is composed of people. Buildings, streets, and light are but aids to the residents. For example, one refers to a city as “clean” or “wicked.” Why? Because of its people. Now, as John views God’s heavenly creation, he is impressed by (1) the brilliance of the city (verses 9-14), (2) the size of the city (verses 15-17), and (3) the beauty of the city (verses 18-21). He describes the city as…
Verse 11: Having the glory of God and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a Jasper stone, clear as crystal;
Verse 12: And had a wall great and high, and had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel:
Verse 13: On the east three gates; on the north three gates; on the south three gates; and on the west three gates.
Verse 14: And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.
In Bible times walls were erected for protection. However, since war is forever finished, one may question the presence of this wall in the New Jerusalem. The answer? It serves as a reminder that the God of love protected His people while on earth. This wall is an eternal memorial to the fact that our lives have been hidden with Christ in God (Colossians 3:3).
The city also has twelve gates, each inscribed with one of the names of the twelve tribes of the Children of Israel.
The gates are staffed with angels who welcome those possessing the right and privilege of entering the city (chapter 22, verse 14). The twelve angels standing at these entrances are possibly those who worked jointly with each tribe during the earthly sojourn of the people of Israel. We also note that, just as the gates are inscribed with the names of the twelve tribes, the foundations of the wall itself contain the names of Christ’s twelve apostles. Next week we will consider the size of the city.
CHANGED LIVES-one at a time
Your latest weekly email was very helpful to me! Just wanted to let you know that you helped me today. You are a treasure! Thank you and Merry Christmas!
your friend and sister in Christ,
I have watched Jack Van Impe for perhaps 50 years. So good to see you pressing on with the message you both have preached for many years. Miss the program on TCT, but still get your updates.
Bless you and the loving message you still end every program with!
HIGHLIGHTED MINISTRY OFFERS
Dr. Robert Jeffress of Pathway to Victory and First Baptist Church Dallas is an influential speaker, Christian leader and his book Praying for America will show you how your prayers can help return the USA to being one nation, under God
Each chapter combines an inspiring story from America’s past with specific prayers for America’s future that will lead to God’s blessing in the nation we love. (These prayers can be used for any nation!)
In the final weeks of his life, Bible prophecy expert Dr. Jack Van Impe poured his heart into preparation for a powerful television special that he wanted broadcast around the world.
He gave clear direction for content for the program, and interfaced with Dr. Rexella Van Impe and the board of directors to make sure this message went out.
Awake America 2020shines the spotlight on these latter days, sounds the alarm that the return of the Lord is at hand, and delivers an urgently needed message to multitudes.
This video includes the complete, unabridged program – more than we had time to broadcast on television! Be sure to share it with your friends, family, and church!