Episode 22 - Bible Prophecy for the Grieving Mother with Jessica Speas
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Join us for a conversation with Jessica Speas about Bible Prophecy and The End Times. This is an opportunity for grieving mothers to learn more about Bible Prophecy and the hope we have as we await Jesus' Second Coming. With a third of the Bible being about prophecy, this is a topic we cannot ignore as Christ-followers.
In our season of grief and in this broken world we live, our hope can only be found in Jesus who has promised to return to this earth to rule and reign. Jessica, a grieving mom herself, is passionate about teaching Bible Prophecy and encouraging women to "look up" for their Blessed Hope.
In this episode, we answered these questions:
Why does Bible Prophecy matter to the grieving mom?
Why aren't more people talking about prophecy?
What will the future Heaven be like?
When will we be reunited with our babies?
What is the rapture and when will it happen in the timeline?
Who is the Anti-Christ and what will he do?
What is the Seven-Year Tribulation and the mark of the beast?
What End Times signs should we be looking for?
Why is prophecy centered on Israel?
What is globalism and how does it play a role?
How can I find hope in these difficult days?
Where in the Bible can I read about the End Times?
What other resources are available to learn more about Bible Prophecy?
Full transcript below.
Each episode has a special Hope Guide that you can download by clicking the button below. It is packed with hope-filled resources and extra information from the episode!
Discussion / Application Questions (leave your answers below in the comments!)
Jessica shares that no one thinks of Heaven more than those who have lost someone because it makes it more real to you. Do you feel this to be true after the loss of your baby? When you think of Heaven, what do you think of and what questions do you have? Share your thoughts in a journal.
Ashley and Jessica talk about the resurrected bodies we will have at the Rapture. This includes our sweet babies who have passed. Can you imagine this moment? Spend some time in prayer imagining this beautiful reunion you will have with your baby. What feelings and images come up?
This was a heavy episode with a lot of information on the End Times and Bible Prophecy. How much of it did you already know and how much was new information? What questions do you have? Write down areas you want to study more. How does talking about the End Times make you feel? Scared? Excited? Worried? Hopeful. Process your thoughts in a journal.
Graphics to share on social media or pin on Pinterest!
MEET OUR GUEST
Jessica is a mom of four, one living in Heaven, and lives a sweet Southern life out in the country in Tennessee. She spends her time homeschooling, homemaking, and pouring into her Bible prophecy ministry.
Jessica regularly posts about prophecy on her Instagram page and hosts weekend retreats for women passionate about prophecy.
Connect with Jessica:
(Her Bible Timeline is sold here ^)
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MEET OUR HOST
Ashley Opliger is the Executive Director of Bridget's Cradles, a nonprofit organization based in Wichita, Kansas that donates cradles to over 1,250 hospitals in all 50 states and comforts over 26,000 bereaved families a year.
Ashley is married to Matt and they have three children: Bridget (in Heaven), and two sons. She is a follower of Christ who desires to share the hope of Heaven with families grieving the loss of a baby.
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Episode 22: Bible Prophecy for the Grieving Mother with Jessica Speas
Ashley Opliger: [00:00:00] You’re listening to the Cradled in Hope Podcast where we believe that the hope of Heaven, through faith in Jesus Christ, has the power to heal our hearts after the loss of a baby. It’s a pain no mother should have to endure and we want this podcast to be a safe place for your broken heart to land. Here, we are going to trust God’s promise to restore our joy, use our grief for good, and allow us to spend eternity with our babies in Heaven.
I’m your host, Ashley Opliger. I’m a wife, mom, and follower of Christ clinging to the hope of Heaven. My daughter, Bridget, was stillborn at 24 weeks in my first pregnancy in 2014. In her memory, my husband and I started a nonprofit ministry called Bridget’s Cradles, and God has given us purpose in our pain and we’ve seen beauty come from ashes.
Although we wish you didn’t have a need to be listening to this podcast, we believe God has a reason for you to be here today. We pray this time would be a source of healing for you as we remember that Jesus cradles us in hope while He cradles our babies in Heaven. Though we may grieve, we do not grieve without hope. Welcome to the Cradled in Hope Podcast.
Ashley Opliger: [00:01:26] Hi, mommas, and welcome back. This episode today is going to be a little bit different than past episodes. My guest and I are going to be co-teaching on a topic in an interview style and the topic goes really deep. We are talking about the End Times and our hope is to introduce you to Bible Prophecy so that you will be inspired to dig in and study it on your own.
Now, you may be wondering what the End Times has to do with the loss of your baby or how this will help you in your grief. I'm excited for you to listen because the central message is that we have hope because of Jesus. In our grief and in this crazy, broken world that we live in, things can get really bad, both in our personal lives and in our world.
But because of Jesus, we know that in the end He will be victorious and we will spend forever with Him and our babies in Heaven. He is coming back and that is a reason for us to rejoice.
So I am having my friend, Jessica Speas on with me today because Bible Prophecy is a passion of hers and she is both a grieving mom and teacher of the Bible. She has so much wisdom to share with us.
But before we get started, I want to preface this episode with a few things. First, when it comes to eschatology, the study of the End Times, there are several different persuasions that Christians have, Pre-Millennial, Post-Millennial and Amillennial. These are in reference to the Thousand-Year Reign of Jesus known as the Millennium.
Pre-Mil believes that Jesus will come back before His Millennial Reign, which will be a literal thousand years that happens sometime in the future, after which He will establish the New Earth. Post-Mil believes that His Second Coming will follow His Millennial Reign, which comprises of the time between 70 AD and when Jesus comes back, meaning we are in the Millennium now. And Amil believes that there's no literal Millennium and that when Jesus comes back, He will immediately establish the New Earth.
To make matters more complicated, within the Pre-Millennial view, which believes in a Rapture of the Church, there are three positions of when the Rapture will occur in relation to the Seven-Year Tribulation that happens before the Millennium, Pre-Trib, Mid-Trib, and Post-Trib, meaning the Rapture will either happen Pre-Trib, meaning the Rapture will happen right before Tribulation starts or Mid-Trib, meaning the Rapture will happen in the middle of the Seven-Year Tribulation at the three-and-a-half-year mark, or Post-Trib, the Rapture will happen at the end of the Seven-Year Tribulation.
There are so many great resources on eschatology. There are books, debates, podcasts, and blogs, so we are not going to go into each of these different beliefs. But both Jessica and I believe in a literal Thousand-Year Reign, so we will be discussing this episode from a Pre-Millennial, Pre-Trib viewpoint.
We will share scripture to support our statements and encourage you to dig deeper in your own Bible to test what we are saying. I share all of this background knowledge of the different viewpoints not to confuse you, but to be transparent with you on our beliefs and give you a base understanding to study eschatology yourself.
Secondly, I want to mention that we recorded this episode back in December, before everything happened with Russia and Ukraine, so you won't hear us mention it in the episode. But if you're curious as to how the current world events are playing out in prophecy and you're wondering about Russia's role in the End Times, I will link some resources for you to dive further.
In short, Russia's invasion of Ukraine is not a direct fulfillment of a specific Biblical prophecy, but it is potentially a foreshadowing of when Russia will invade Israel in the war of Gog and Magog, which is outlined in Ezekiel 38. If you'd like further resources and discussions on this, I'll link some in our show notes, but we aren't going to be talking about that today.
We truly believe that we live in Biblical times. It's scary yet exciting at the same time. When the world gets dark, we know that our Jesus is coming soon.
So after recording this episode, which was several months ago, I had the chance to meet Jessica in person when I was in Nashville in early March. It was such a joy to meet her and talk about the hope we have in waiting for our Savior’s Second Coming.
So without further ado, I would like to introduce you to Jessica. She is a mom of four, one living in Heaven, and she lives a sweet Southern life out in the country in Tennessee. She spends her time homeschooling, homemaking, and pouring into her Bible prophecy ministry.
Let's dive into this conversation, but before we do, please join our Cradled in Hope moms Facebook group. If you're listening to this on your phone, go ahead and get right on into Facebook and look for the Cradled in Hope Community Group for moms. We are going to continue this conversation and answer any questions you have about this episode or about Bible prophecy in the group. So be sure to connect with us in the Facebook group and let's get started with this episode with Jessica right now.
Ashley Opliger: [00:06:23] Welcome Jessica. I'm so excited to have you here today!
Jessica Speas: [00:06:27] Hey there. Thanks for having me.
Ashley Opliger: [00:06:29] I have been looking forward to this conversation for quite some time. You and I had the opportunity to have another Zoom meeting before, so that we could talk about this topic that is, honestly, not talked about enough in today's culture.
And I am just really looking forward to everything that you're going to share and the wisdom that you have. Before we get started on the topic of Bible prophecy as it relates to us as Christians and as grieving moms, I would love for you to introduce yourself and tell us about your motherhood journey and your experience with losing a baby.
Jessica Speas: [00:07:06] I'm Jessica, been married for 10 years now, got three babies earthside. We homeschool. We're in Tennessee. I have one baby in Heaven. Her name is Layla.
It was about two-ish years after my second baby that I had a miscarriage. I was about eight weeks. And I was at a concert, it was crazy hot in summer and I had all the thoughts of like, “This was my fault. I shouldn't have been at that concert. I shouldn't have been out in the heat,” and very much thought that there was something wrong with me, something I did must have [caused this].
And I hadn't told anyone aside from my husband that I was pregnant yet, and so we very much grieved alone together. And definitely something looking back, I would have reached out to everybody. Like, “I need prayer. I need your help.”
But something that God did through that for me is I had this dream of this sweet little toddler with big, bright eyes and two pigtails coming around the kitchen corner, just the happiest little child that I've ever seen. She was a girl.
And so ever since I had that dream, I'm like, “Okay, she was a girl. She's Layla. She is happy.” And it was that reminder that this person that Jesus loves is with Him. And she's with Him and He's with her.
Ashley Opliger: [00:08:40] And you'll get to see her again.
Jessica Speas: [00:08:42] And I’ll get to see her again, yes.
Ashley Opliger: [00:08:44] I'm so sorry, Jessica. I know that had to have been so hard, especially grieving alone.
I think that's a lot of our culture, says don't announce pregnancies until after 13 weeks, just in case, which, it goes back to so many people believing that a baby's not really a baby until they're born and that these early losses aren't really a loss.
And so many people that have the pro-choice argument say, “Well, it's not really a baby. It's just a clump of cells when it's that early, at eight weeks.” And of course we know that that's not true, that God has created each baby in His image and that a baby is a baby and has an eternal soul at the moment of conception.
Jessica Speas: [00:09:27] Yes.
Ashley Opliger: [00:09:27] And as Christians, we know that. And that's why we grieve our babies no matter how many weeks we were, even if we were four weeks. So I know that that must've been so hard to be grieving with only your husband and not having community of support around you.
Jessica Speas: [00:09:45] Yes.
Ashley Opliger: [00:09:45] What would you say grieving looked like for you during that difficult time? And as a Christian, how did you rely on your faith?
Jessica Speas: [00:09:53] It really brought in the perspective of Heaven for me. No one thinks more of Heaven than those who have lost someone. And I don't even remember where I heard the quote, but it was talking about Heaven and just walking around with the fragrance of Heaven. And I'm like, “That's where I was at.”
I felt more of a connection to eternity because someone so dear to me was there and it made it that more real to me. And then, obviously, that dream was just a God-send that I had the comfort of knowing my sweet little Layla is alive and well.
Ashley Opliger: [00:10:28] Absolutely she is. And yes, I think when you've lost someone, especially a baby, because it's not the natural order for parents, as mothers, for us to have to bury a child or not get to birth a living child.
And you had mentioned no one thinks of Heaven more than a grieving mom, and I do believe that's true. And I think it's an opportunity for us to be all the more fixated on Heaven and all the more focused on our Savior and not to be living for this earthly world, but be focused on His Kingdom that will have no end.
Jessica Speas: [00:11:04] Right.
Ashley Opliger: [00:11:04] And that's what we're going to be talking about today, is the Kingdom that's coming. And before we get started into the nitty-gritty of Bible prophecy. I would love for you to share how you became interested in Bible prophecy. Where did that interest, that passion come from? And then in recent times, how did that take off for you?
Jessica Speas: [00:11:29] I grew up not in Christian homes. I say that because I had a mom and a dad that separated, so I had two homes growing up. But my grandparents’ home was always my refuge growing up, and they were really strong believers.
And my grandma had always told me things, told all of us grandchildren things about the End Times and about what to watch for, and saying, “Hey, this is happening in the world right now,” or, “Watch, this is about to happen.”
And it was seeds that I didn't really pay much attention to, but they were there. They were always in the back of my mind. And then I became Christian at 16 and it was still stuff that I'm like, “Okay. Yeah, I know, Jesus is coming back. That's what every Christian believes, is Jesus is coming back.”
But it wasn't until my family and I moved to Tenne