We shall not cave in. We will get up, go to work, and function as we normally do. Terrible things will always happen, but we will not be terrorized into silence or dormancy. According to my Bible, these tribulations make the obedient Christian stronger! We have the choice to cower or tower. Let us choose wisely.
Archive for the ‘Bible Prophecy’ Category
The theme for this year’s National Day of Prayer (May 5, 2016) is ‘Wake Up America.’ The emphasis is upon the need for Christians to “return to the God of our Fathers in reverence for His Holy Name.” The representative verse the NDP committee has chosen is Isaiah 58:1a:
“Shout it aloud, do not hold back. Raise your voice like a trumpet.”
I like it, but before we all set out to participate in this year’s event, I’d
like to elaborate upon their import, at least as far as it pertains to consequence, as I suspect a certain presidential candidate’s name is going to come up a lot in our prayers today. If (or when) God pours out His wrath on America it won’t entirely be because of a heathen in the White House, but because there are heathens in His house as well. So before we go around proclaiming, “Surely God’s wrath is coming now!” we should submit to a little self evaluation.
Let us consider the NDP theme Scripture verse from a few years ago:
If you’re a Christian and you’re concerned about the wrath that is coming, focus on the log that might be in your own eye — that person you’re shacked up with, that lifestyle you embrace, that porn you watch, that substance you abuse; you get the picture. Be ye revived! Some would say you aren’t even born again, so if that’s the case, be ye born again!
Then all the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel at Ramah; and they said to him, “Behold, you have grown old, and your sons do not walk in your ways. Now appoint a king for us to judge us like all the nations.” (1 Samuel 8:4-5)
Oh no. Looking back we see that Israel has made a grievous error. When God chimes in, we see the full depth of their mistake and the consequences that will follow. Take note: these consequences are in essence a promise from God.
The Lord speaks (verse 7):
The Lord said to Samuel, “Listen to the voice of the people in regard to all that they say to you, for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me from being king over them.
We immediately see the root of the problem – the people have rejected God. These religious folks only wanted to be religious up to a certain point. They would be great Jews on the Sabbath, but as for the rest of the week, well not so much. As a result they would receive exactly what they asked for and the consequences that would go along with those choices.
There Are Always Consequences
So Samuel spoke all the words of the Lord to the people who had asked of him a king. He said, “This will be the procedure of the king who will reign over you: he will take your sons and place them for himself in his chariots and among his horsemen and they will run before his chariots. He will appoint for himself commanders of thousands and of fifties, and some to do his plowing and to reap his harvest and to make his weapons of war and equipment for his chariots. He will also take your daughters for perfumers and cooks and bakers. He will take the best of your fields and your vineyards and your olive groves and give them to his servants. He will take a tenth of your seed and of your vineyards and give to his officers and to his servants. He will also take your male servants and your female servants and your best young men and your donkeys and use them for his work. He will take a tenth of your flocks, and you yourselves will become his servants. Then you will cry out in that day because of your king whom you have chosen for yourselves, but the Lord will not answer you in that day.” (1 Samuel 8:10-18)
It Doesn’t Matter Who You Choose
When a nation collectively rejects God, this is what we get. I don’t know this for a fact, but I suspect there were at least some Jews who did not want a king. Too bad for them. We can assume that their efforts were in the minority and had no bearing on what Israel would ultimately receive. So it is for our nation.
Am I suggesting that this First Samuel passage is applicable for today? That’s exactly what I’m suggesting and I can’t find anything in the Bible that undoes the consequences (promises) that God established as a result of our historical desire for secular leadership.
But we’re Christians! Jesus is Our King!
This is true. But nevertheless, the consequences linger – we have adopted a system of governing ourselves and we are stuck with it. The best men can do is modify this broken system, which in many instances only makes the situation worse; i.e., communism, socialism, fascism, capitalism, etc. At the end of the day, and regardless if we rightfully claim Christ as our king, we will have this earthly leadership, that is, until Christ returns. Then and only then will the kingdom be restored.
But Until That Day…
“(Let) Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God. Therefore whoever resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God; and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves. For rulers are not a cause of fear for good behavior, but for evil. Do you want to have no fear of authority? Do what is good and you will have praise from the same; for it is a minister of God to you for good. But if you do what is evil, be afraid; for it does not bear the sword for nothing; for it is a minister of God, an avenger who brings wrath on the one who practices evil. Therefore it is necessary to be in subjection, not only because of wrath, but also for conscience’ sake. For because of this you also pay taxes, for rulers are servants of God, devoting themselves to this very thing. Render to all what is due them: tax to whom tax is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honor to whom honor. (Romans 13:1-7)
God in His infinite wisdom has given us a way to deal with it. In the same way God placed regulations on slavery (not because He condoned slavery, but because slavery is a reality to this day), God gives us regulations for living in harmony with the secular, government system. Again, we’re stuck with it (in subjection to it), until Christ’s return, so this is how we’re to deal with it. God puts it this way: “This is my ordinance and if you oppose it, you’re bringing condemnation upon yourself.”
This is my ordinance and if you oppose it, you’re bringing condemnation upon yourself.
The American Dynamic
It appears to me that God allowed something unique for the United States. Don’t get me wrong – God is not a respecter of persons in that regard, but at the same time God said to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.”
I believe God showed our founding fathers some of this mercy when they set out to create a republic that fully recognized God as creator and the giver of rights. As a result, we the people were given access to God-given rights that in many cases the government had previously denied. Just that we could now cast a vote for our leaders was positive, but this system went even further: we could dictate the kind of leader we desired, including his religious affiliations. Naturally, in these early elections, Christians were commonly running against Christians, and therefore Christians commonly won.
So what happened?
I suppose we could call it the Ancient Israel Syndrome: through the years we wanted less God and more of ourselves. In a word, the system is still broken. We redefined Christianity over and over in our desire to make our faith fit our culture, rather than having our culture conform to our faith. As a result we have a country with laws (I still can’t believe it) that allow drug use, homosexuality, murder in the womb, and general moral decline. We have become a nation of ‘those who call evil good, and good evil; who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness; who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!’ (Isaiah 5:20)
The Christians Rebel
Is it too late for this country to recover? Can Christians rally to get a solid, evangelical, fundamentalist Christian in the White House to save America? I believe it’s too late, but in the same way that it was too late for Israel way back in First Samuel. Ever since they rejected God and desired secular kingship, the dye was set and rule will not be restored until Christ returns to establish His Government.
Let’s go back to Romans 13:1-7. In it we see a brief description of what we and these God-ordained leaders are supposed to do.
Do you want to have no fear of authority? Do what is good and you will have praise from the same; for it is a minister of God to you for good. But if you do what is evil, be afraid; for it does not bear the sword for nothing; for it is a minister of God, an avenger who brings wrath on the one who practices evil.
Ideally, if we do good (if we obey the laws of the land as long as they’re not in opposition to God’s law), we can live fearlessly. This is of course where Christians have the advantage; if we adhere to God’s Biblical mandates and are persecuted for it, we have the assurance that our eternal futures are secure. Non-Christians have no such promise.
The passage goes on to say that these leaders are sword bearers, in other words they are the God-ordained mechanism for protecting the people militarily. So, if you’re pacifist, no worries! God has established a government to fight for your protection; avengers and bringers-of-wrath to evil doers! But take note that while these rulers are servants of God, devoting themselves to this wrath, that does not necessarily mean that they are followers of Jesus Christ or (hold on to your Easter bonnets), do they have to be.
Don’t get me wrong. Personally, I want ALL my leadership, from the POTUS to my local town mayor, to be Christian. Why? Because I know that Christians (theoretically) have the same moral values. However, the reality in these United States is that although we have the freedom to vote, we really don’t have the freedom to elevate the best candidates to be elected. That process is pretty much done by the government and as a result, our choices are severely limited. Honestly, sometimes our choices are horrid.
Then Don’t Vote!
Not voting is not really an option and I’ll remind you why: Romans 13:1 says we’re to be in subjection to the governing authorities. These authorities have established laws and our civic privileges, and as good citizens we’re to take full advantage of them. If collectively we refuse to vote, the system will take advantage of our failure and usher in a dictatorship by default.
That leaves us with voting for what we’re given, and if we’re not pleased with the choices, we’re to essentially choose the candidate that will do the least amount of damage to our moral structure, national security, economic stability, and personal freedoms. Keep in mind, Billy Graham is not running for president this year, nor is Franklin Graham, Max Lucado, or Greg Laurie.
Now this might shock you, but I’m not sure I’d vote for any of those guys anyway. Sure, they’re abundantly equipped in one particular area, but I suspect they fall way short in others. Obviously I don’t know what kind of expertise they would bring to the table, I’m just making a general observation.
As for 2016 (and at the time of this writing), the field has been effectively narrowed down to three possible candidates (for me) and my choice (which I have voiced on social media) is not sitting well with many of my Christian brothers and sisters. Actually, the phrase ‘not sitting well’ is being kind. Some of my ‘brothers and sisters’ have become outright nasty over my choice because (I gather), he is the least Christian of the bunch. While they’re hoping to pick a ‘Pastor-in-Chief’ from the group we’re given, I’m leaning towards that sword-bearing, avenger of wrath that God told me about, praying that in addition to keeping the nation secure, he will also serve to protect what’s left of our Christian morality, despite the fact he isn’t the model of Christian morality himself. In other words, through constant prayer, I’m trying to vote for the best overall candidate given the circumstances.
Vote For Whoever You Want
I hope that it’s clear that you should vote for whoever you want, but if the last paragraph riled a few Christians up, remember to love others, love your enemies, and behave in a way that is pleasing to God. If you have a beef with your brother or sister, go to them privately and try to settle it, keeping in mind that every player in this next election has a log in their eye, skeletons in their closets, and a penchant to sin.
Posted in Bible, Bible Prophecy, Christianity, discipleship, tagged 50 shades of grey, Apostle Paul, high horse, Jesus Christ, marriage, National Day of Prayer, obama, president obama, Ravi Zacharias on February 11, 2015| 6 Comments »
Now concerning the things whereof ye wrote unto me: It is good for a man not to touch a woman. Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband. 1 Corinthians 7:1-2
I really didn’t want to enter the 50 Shades debate. I think it was because I’m still reeling from the President of the United States standing up before the 2015 National Day of Prayer and reminding us all that we should dismount our ‘high horses’ of anger and justice (in regard to Muslims burning a man alive), and pause to remember the church’s historical record. I’ve this vision of President Obama calling me out, “Ya know Dave, I think you should get off your ‘high horse’ and stop talking about all this ‘sex within marriage’ stuff. Seems to me your record on this issue makes you a hypocrite.”
Ya know Dave, I think you should get off your ‘high horse’ and stop talking about all this ‘sex within marriage only’ stuff.”
Where do I get off warning others about their sexual exploits after I’ve had my fill. While I’m at it, what business do I have warning others about drug and alcohol abuse, drunk driving, aggravated assault, or dare I say murder. Let the record show that Dave has lots and lots of blood on his hands.
A ‘Biblical Reality’ Check
This is where we all need to pause and consider all the players in the Bible, save Jesus. Can you think of one who was without sin? Me either. But yet these same men, inspired by the Holy Spirit, wrote the Bible. My mind immediately flashes to the Apostle Paul; a guy who arrested and murdered Christians, not unlike some barbarian Muslims we know! How dare this wretched man offer us Godly counsel and call it wise.
Ah, but for the grace of God, there go I.
Our One Defense
For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from works of the Law. Romans 3:28
Sinners have only one defense in this matter: we boldly proclaim Biblical truth because we are justified by our saving faith in Jesus Christ. It is not the Christian who speaks, but the saint who is robed in His righteousness. No one in Christ’s church sits upon a high horse except Christ Himself, and it is in His name we may speak. It is for this reason I often declare on these matters that I have no opinion – I have a Bible. Therefore, we boldly proclaim that sex outside of marriage (i.e., marriage between a man and a woman) is wrong because God has said so.
I Don’t Agree
Please don’t argue with me or anyone else, read Acts 15:20; 1 Corinthians 5:1; 2 Corinthians 12:21; Galatians 5:19; Ephesians 5:3; Colossians 3:5; 1 Thessalonians 4:3; and Jude 7 for yourself. If you still don’t agree, bring your debate to God, however trust me, “But Dave did it,” is not good fodder for your argument! The Bible commands complete abstinence before marriage, with sex between a husband and his wife being the only sexual relationship God approves.
It’s Black and White
5o Shades of Grey is nothing more than perversion. Even when I was active in my sexual sin I would have recognized this book as perverted, depraved, and pornographic. There’s nothing gray about it being smut. Know this: if you’re a follower of Jesus Christ and find yourself attracted to this book (and reportedly there are many), you are being deceived and you’re opening a door to consequences you may not be prepared for. Check out the last verse of Romans 1.
Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them. Romans 1:32
Earlier in this same Book, the Apostle Paul makes ill mention of all practitioners of unrighteousness, with dishonorable recognition going towards fornication, inventors of evil things, an unnatural affections. If we stop reading after verse 31, we might ride away on our high horses saying, “Shame on these evil doers,” but verse 32 serves to knock us out of the saddle by reminding us that if watch (or read) from the sidelines, we’re just as guilty.
Please don’t reject 50 Shades because some hypocrite told you it was filth; reject it because God says it’s more harmful than you know.
Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. Isaiah 55:7-9
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Posted in Bible, Bible Prophecy, Christianity, discipleship, Holy Spirit, Jesus, tagged Abednego, and Abednego, daniel, daniel and the lion's den, fiery furnace, Jesus Christ, Jesus saves, Meshach, picture of hell, Shadrach on November 13, 2014| 4 Comments »
“My God hath sent his angel, and hath shut the lions’ mouths, that they have not hurt me: forasmuch as before him innocency was found in me; and also before thee, O king, have I done no hurt. Then was the king exceeding glad for him, and commanded that they should take Daniel up out of the den. So Daniel was taken up out of the den, and no manner of hurt was found upon him, because he believed in his God.” Daniel 6:22-23
Everyday approximately 250-300 Christians (on average) are murdered simply because they believe and follow Jesus Christ. I have often wondered why Jesus doesn’t *spare His faithful as He spared Daniel or as He protected Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in the fiery furnace. Despite occasional bewilderment, to this truth I cling: Jesus saves — He always has and He always will. Daniel could have been eaten alive that day, but he would have still been saved. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego could have burned, but yet saved.
The reality is that Daniel did eventually die and Jesus spared him again (and permanently this time) from the lion; Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego all died, and again they were spared from the fiery furnace, but this time for eternity. You see, the lion’s den and the fiery furnace, although quite real to Daniel and the boys, is a picture of hell for us; a visual depiction of God’s promise to protect His children. However, for those unrepentant souls who falsely believe they can destroy a Christian, there is no such sparing. For them the lion waits and the furnace burns.
He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him. John 3:36
Rejoice not when thine enemy falleth , and let not thine heart be glad when he stumbleth; Proverbs 24:17
As you pray for the persecuted church, pray also for those who persecute. Remember, the Apostle Paul was once a vile persecutor of the brethren, but he turned away from evil, turned to Jesus, and his life was spared. Everyday there are stories of evil men rejecting the gods and tenets of their false religions and being saved when they turn to Jesus Christ. I’m not certain how our prayers fit into the equation, but nevertheless, the Holy Spirit is coming along side these men and convicting them by their own wicked deeds, and they are repenting!
Remember to also pray for how the Lord wants to use you in your religious freedoms, I should add, ‘while you still have them.’ Christian persecution has arrived on the shores of America and has taken root. I say that, to say this: it will never be more easy to share your Christian faith as it is right now, as tomorrow brings more detractors and new deterrents. Do not fear the mouth of the lion or the heat of the furnace, for from these things we have been spared.
I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish , neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand. I and my Father are one. John 10:28-30
*Note: Jesus does still occasionally ‘spare’ his children from earthly atrocities. I remember hearing first hand from a Christian pastor (in India) who himself was tied to a tree to be burned. They piled wood about his feet and doused it with kerosene. When the match was struck and tossed upon the wood, it did not ignite. Match after match, nothing happened. In frustration, they left him tied to the tree with the promise to return in the morning to finish the job. In the middle of the night one of these men, convicted by his evil deeds, returned and cut him loose.
We give thanks to God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you, Since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus, and of the love which ye have to all the saints, For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven (Colossians 1:3-5a)
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Posted in Bible, Bible Prophecy, Christianity, discipleship, tagged adding to the word of God, Bible inerrancy, Bible truth, big bang, Christ Jesus, evolution, genesis, Genesis account of creation, Jesus, Pope Francis, the Word of God on October 30, 2014| 2 Comments »
“Great is my boldness of speech toward you, great is my glorying of you: I am filled with comfort, I am exceeding joyful in all our tribulation…For though I made you sorry with a letter, I do not repent, though I did repent: for I perceive that the same epistle hath made you sorry, though it were but for a season.” (2 Corinthians 7:4+8)
Recently Pope Francis addressed an audience at the Pontifical Academy of Sciences where he contradicted the Genesis account of creation arguing that theoretical science (Darwinian evolution and Lemaîtrian ‘big bang‘) are compatible with the Biblical narrative. That’s worth repeating: the Pope said God’s word and the unproven theories of men are agreeable, congruent, and coexistable.
The Big Bang, which today we hold to be the origin of the world, does not contradict the intervention of the divine creator but, rather, requires it. … Evolution in nature is not inconsistent with the notion of creation, because evolution requires the creation of beings that evolve.” – Pope Francis
Before I record my remarks, let me affirm that I am not a scientist, a Bible scholar, or a member of clergy. I am merely a man of faith who chooses to stand as firmly as I am able upon the Word of God. On issues scriptural, I maintain that I don’t have an opinion, I have a Bible. Furthermore I dismiss any source that does not agree with or affirm the Bible, not because I am an arrogant, Bible snob, but because there can only be one truth and I’m siding with God. I deem this stance the safest and most secure position known to mankind; the Word of God is the best defense for the Word of God. For my money, Charlie Spurgeon said it best: “The Gospel is like a caged lion. It does not need to be defended. It just needs to be let out of its cage.” I find this to be very freeing, pun intended. Christians don’t need titles, degrees, and strings of letters after their names. They just need the Bible and the God-given faith to trust it. If they also want to understand it, that’s a work of His Holy Spirit.
[T]he natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. (1 Corinthians 2:14)
So in regard to the Pope’s disputation (and with as much love and respect as one can muster in the written word), I boldly pronounce his remarks to be rubbish, trusting that God and His Word have my back. I say to Pope Francis, either ‘all Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,’ or it is not. Either God’s Word is truth, or it is not. You either take the warning to not add or subtract from God’s Word seriously, or you do not.
For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book. (Revelation 22:18-19)
I cannot imagine remaining under the tutelage of a school teacher who does not believe in their textbook, but by his own words the Pope essentially made that exact declaration of disbelief, plus the more grievous one — Jesus is a liar. Jesus believed in the Genesis account of creation, so much so He quoted from it in the Gospels, therefore it must be asked, “If Jesus believes it, why doesn’t the Pope believe it”?
“Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female” (Matthew 19:4)
If the Pope, or anyone else for that matter, has any doubt whatsoever about the legitimacy of the Old Testament text, your skepticism should be immediately exorcised when Jesus, who knew no sin and who by His very nature is incapable of uttering a lie, teaches from the manuscript. If you believe in Jesus, you must believe the Book He teaches from. If you don’t; if you still maintain evolution and the Genesis account of creation are compatible, you are deeming our Lord and Savior a liar.
If you believe in Jesus, you must believe the Book He teaches from.”
Yes, when sharing these same Biblical truths on social media, I was told (by a professing Christian) I was being harsh, judgmental, divisive, and even Pharisaic. I have come to expect those remarks from the atheist, and I even tolerate their opposing views for the sake of sharing Bible truth with them, but when professing Christians say such things I am deeply saddened. My heart breaks for those who selectively receive only specific Bible portions and summarily reject those parts they either don’t understand, don’t agree with, or worse, don’t harmonize with their lifestyle choices. They’ll call Bible-believers harsh and judgemental, but reject the notion that their additions and subtractions to and from Scripture is arrogant, pretentious, and perhaps just steps away from blaspheming the Holy Spirit.
Labels such as those are served up for one purpose only: to silence the Bible thumper (a term I use in the best possible sense). What they call harsh, I characterize as bold and true. For the record ‘harsh’ is when somebody (for example) sticks a sign in your face that reads, “Fags Go to Hell.” That’s coarse and devoid of love. Please don’t ever throw God-loving and God-fearing Christians into that group. I’ll add here that if you’re sensing an attitude of judgement and divisiveness, you might be onto something — it could be you’re feeling the conviction of the Holy Spirit and it’s causing you to squirm. It could be that the divisiveness you sense is real, but it’s the result of the barriers you’ve constructed about your skewed ideology. I was there and I know how that feels. I also have learned that [that] sensation subsides when you submit yourself fully to God and His word.
“Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand. Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:5-7)
On this final point I want to be as crystal clear: I am not disputing anyone’s salvation, including the Pope’s. God only knows. But do I have an opinion regarding a person’s salvation if they elect to teach unscriptural doctrines? Yes I do, but I will not judge (condemn) anyone to hell — that’s God’s job. To say at this juncture, “The Pope is going to hell,” would be an opinion based on limited preponderance and access to all the facts. Repentance is always an option and one we should be praying for.
What we can affirm is that the Pope is adding and subtracting from the Word of God and that the act is a confessable and pardonable offense. Only God knows if the thin ice on which the Pope stands will support him in the interim. Salvation (in this regard) is perhaps a topic for another blog; my purpose for discussing the original issue was not to judge a man unto condemnation, but rather to judge him for the purpose of identification. In other words, let’s not glean from the Pope’s teaching on this one, for it unquestionably contradicts the Word of God. May it also serve as an admonition to those Christians who would do similarly. Let us rather rest in God’s Word and know there is nothing to be spiritually gained by glomming onto worldly wisdom at the expense of Bible truth.
Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity. For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb. Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed. Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass. And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday. Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass. (Psalm 37:1-7)
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Posted in Bible, Bible Prophecy, discipleship, Jesus, religion, tagged 9/11, a future and a hope, Christianity, future glory, hope of Heaven, Jesus Christ, Terrorism on September 10, 2014| Leave a Comment »
Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober. For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night. But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation. For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep , we should live together with him. 1 Thessalonians 5:5-10
The Evil Ploy
Terrorism is a psychological tactic of the enemy, the purpose of which is to instill crippling fear in those who have a [real or imagined] personal attachment to its victims. Therefore, the terrorist, given a choice of killing ten men with a gun or savagely beheading just one with a dull knife, will opt for the latter because of its horrifying, emotional impact. Of course modern terrorism has gained greater momentum because there exists a media that will transmit these images around the globe within minutes of their occurrence; audio and video snippets awash with fear-filled analysis from an equally fearful commentator. We watch, we pause a moment to consider the future, and typically, we succumb to this evil ploy of the enemy – we are afraid.
Is there a remedy?
The terrorist knows we will pause to speculate upon the future, trusting our imaginative gaze will likely freeze at a point where his heinous acts could affect us most directly. Oh, he wants us looking forward, but only so far; he wants to keep our projections inside the box; a house of horror designed by satan himself. The enemy also knows if a Christian looks too far into the future, the fear he has will subside and eventually disappear. Therein lies our solution.
We’ve heard it said, “The next time satan reminds you of your past, remind him of his future.”
To that I say, don’t waste your time; satan knows Bible scripture better than you and I – he knows perfectly well what his future holds. This time could be better used to remind ourselves what our future holds, skipping over the ‘box’ entirely and gazing full-throttle into eternity, considering the reality of a blessed infinity. Thankfully, the Bible has much to say on the matter (click on the hyperlinks as needed).
First off, we have a future and a hope, our strength will be renewed, our Lord and Savior has overcome and so shall we, and we have a promised rest and a promised inheritance prepared by God Himself! This is no secret, “We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed…The dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with (us).”
Need more of a glimpse?
Right now we are God’s children and when Jesus appears we shall be like Him. Our citizenship is most assuredly in heaven. We have been sealed with the Holy Spirit…the guarantee of our inheritance. We are fellow heirs with Christ Jesus, adopted by God, grafted into the vine, and made the very bride of Christ.
We need not fear!
Remember in Luke 8 how Jesus instructed his disciples to set out in their boat to go over to the other side of the lake? They obeyed, but a great storm came about and they immediately panicked. Jesus said to them, “Where is your faith?” Where was their faith indeed! Didn’t Jesus say they were going to cross the lake? Jesus cannot lie. When Jesus tells us that He is going to prepare a place for us, He was telling the truth – like the disciples, we will cross over — where Jesus is, we will be too!
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.” (1 Peter 1:3-5)
What do we do in the meantime?
Keep doing what you’re doing (unless of course you’re doing nothing). Go to work, go to school, be a parent, be a friend, be a loving and outspoken Christian, and do it all for the glory of God, praying constantly for opportunities divine, and most importantly ‘teaching all nations (and) baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.’ Remember, in the darkness of terrorism, you may be the only light in the room.’
Our future is so bright the light of eternity can be seen on our faces, so let’s not cover it with a veil of fear.
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