When there is so much turmoil, religious strife, devastation, cruelty, murders, beheadings, and downright evil going on in the world, I often ask God what He would want me to write about here at this blog.
On Sunday, I saw another wonderful and relevant message entitled, Shoes of the Gospel of Peace in Dr. David Jeremiah’s current series on Spiritual Warfare. Viewing that sermon and letting the important message sink in stirred my soul and gave me encouragement to continue my ministry efforts here at Talk Wisdom!
But then…this morning my heart was, once again, deeply grieved as we get the terribly gruesome report that 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians have been beheaded by ISIL.
The murderous terrorist group now wants to take their jihad into Rome; desiring an evil attempt at attacking the Pope.
The article link above states, “ISIS is taking global jihad to the Arab world.” At least there are three leaders in the Middle East who refuse to dither and golf [like 0Zero does!] during this crisis! Well, it’s not only Arab countries where they are doing their killing rampage. These sub-humans are out to conquer the world in Europe and the Scandinavian countries as well. When will they hit America again? I have no idea.
Received a text from one of my good friends who is great at following what is going on around the world and how it relates to the end times. We always have a lot to talk about.
“We need to pray and ask for God’s help. The evil is growing and as in WWII, we need to be the power for good. This really does look like end times, and our comfort bubble is about to break”
“I said something similar to your comparison of what’s happening today to WWII with my husband this morning. It wasn’t until Japan bombed Pearl Harbor that we got involved; despite the horrific Holocaust going on. These days, we have no excuse because information is readily available on the internet.
I find it very weird that 0bama wants a new war resolution through Congress that will limit his ability to fight against ISIL. Why is that? My answer: he and his gal pal want to destroy the one that Bush created and got passed in Congress after 9/11/01, so that the next Republican President will have his hands tied during the first year in office. I am convinced that 0Zero is a treasonous traitor [and LIAR]!”
Yes, but as before we want our material world to stay the way it is, and we have a Muslim pResident this time. We Christians and Jews need to stand up for God, because it is time…
“I agree – but a lot of people just do not want to hear it.”
“I know, but we need to remember what happened before. We also need to remember this is a Christian nation and we are the majority.
Did you realize that they beheaded the Coptic Christians on the shores of Tripoli? If that is not a message to us in the U.S., I don’t know what is.”
I replied that I heard about this awful massacre when I woke up early to take the dogs out. I also stated that “Italy is next” because the Pope spoke against these horrific mass killings.
My thinking is that the killings of the three North Carolina Muslim students is probably going to trigger an attack here. I just don’t know when or where.
“We need a strong Christian leader here quickly. Thank God for Glenn Beck. At least he tells us what is happening. We just need to rally together.”
“I think that Scott Walker would be a great president! The trouble is, the idiot voters who want freebies won’t vote for him.”
My friend is exactly right when she wrote, “Yes, but as before we want our material world to stay the way it is.”
So true! Everyone from this BADministration, to Congress [except for maybe a new Congressman from Texas – Brian Babin – who isn’t afraid to speak up] , to the courts, to We the People – want our material world to stay the way it is. This is a big reason why lies are rampant, immorality is growing, greed of the elite is “king,” and our nation is suffering the consequences of the current fall from grace. The Bible verse that says what we need most now is this one:
“if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ! We are the ones “called according to His purpose.”
What does that mean?
It means that we are to do our best to watch, work, share, and warn others of what is to come. This is precisely why every Christian should be familiar with Bible prophecy and be able to recognize the signs of the times. We are heading towards end times prophecy at lightening speed! Of course, no one knows the day nor hour, but Jesus Christ Himself told us in Matthew 16 and Luke 17:26-30, to recognize the signs of the times.
“And as it was in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man:
“They ate, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all.
“Likewise as it was also in the days of Lot: They ate, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they built;
“but on the day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all.
“Even so will it be in the day when the Son of Man is revealed.
Take special note of this verse:
“A wicked and adulterous generation seeks after a sign, and no sign shall be given to it except the sign of the prophet [fn] Jonah.” And He left them and departed.
The “sign of the prophet Jonah” refers to Christ’s three days in the grave after the crucifixion for the forgiveness of sins (offered to all of mankind!), and then the resurrection to life on that first glorious Resurrection Sunday! The Gospel of Christ is what we are to focus on – sharing with as many people as we can – which is the only way of salvation.
While walking my dogs this morning, I texted my friend and wrote:
“Each day when I walk the dogs I enjoy the freedom and the peace that we have here in the United States. I thank God for his blessings and pray that He will continue to bless our nation and protect our people.
So many have forgotten the God of the Bible and His Son, Jesus Christ. Therefore, it is up to us Christians to hold up us all in prayer.”
My friend wrote back:
“Yes I have been praying a lot for that as well. I think we need huge group prayers now and not be afraid.”
Hours later, I picked up a copy of BIOLA University’s monthly magazine (Fall, 2014) which was sitting in a stack of unread mail on my desk. The timely topic was “The Freedom To Be A Christian College.” As religious convictions are met with new legal challenges, what’s at stake for universities like BIOLA?
You can read the highly informative and timely edition in its entirety online:
In the section entitled, “What Can We Do?” we read that Christians should defend religious freedom globally.
What Can We Do?
What can Christian institutions like Biola do to better position themselves for present and future challenges to religious freedom?
1. Defend religious freedom globally
Religious freedom may be an increasing challenge in the U.S. but it has been and continues to be an even more dramatic, life-and-death challenge globally. Christians are being killed for their faith and driven from their homes in Iraq and Syria. In North Korea there are at least 70,000 believers in labor camps. In Egypt, many Christians cannot walk down the street without fearing for their lives.
Junior Mourin Serour knows this firsthand. After growing up outside Cairo, she and her Coptic Christian family fled to America in 2011 after it became too dangerous for them to stay in Egypt. As a Christian woman in a Muslim-majority nation, simply walking in public without wearing a hijab made Serour a target. Her life was threatened on numerous occasions.
Serour said it’s “amazing” to be in a safe Christian environment like Biola, where she is studying biology with hopes of one day returning to Egypt as a dentist, but she does find that many Christians in America don’t fully appreciate the freedom they have.
“Just peacefully walking the street is something Americans take for granted,” she said. “If we step outside of America and see what is going on in the world we should be so thankful.”
On one hand, Christians in America could look at what’s happening around the world and find our religious freedom challenges here almost laughably minor by comparison. But on the other hand, it could give us a view into where we may be headed, said David Curry, president and CEO of Open Doors USA.
“Right now persecution is episodic in the West and it’s not episodic in the Middle East and in North Korea — it’s constant,” said Curry, whose organization aids persecuted Christians around the world. “I think we have to understand that persecution of Christians will be the issue in the next generation and beyond.”
Curry believes that what is happening in small ways with religious freedom in America can give Christians a heightened sensitivity to what is happening to Christians globally. He hopes American Christians will pray for the persecuted church but also help meet their practical needs, like loving and welcoming expatriates and refugees, like Serour, who come to the U.S. to escape persecution.
Judith Rood, professor of history and Middle Eastern studies at Biola, agrees with Curry that a sense of solidarity with persecuted Christians in other cultures is essential.
“We need to pray for [Middle Eastern Christians], but we also need to see these people as part of us,” Rood said. “We have to broaden our idea of what it means to be a Christian, and not just in our American context. I think we need to have a sense that we are the church; we are the movement.”
And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.
Read all of Romans 8*[also below] for it highly describes what we are facing today and just Whom the victors will be!
Hat tips to all links.
There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, [fn] who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.
For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.
For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh,
that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.
For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit.
For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.
Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be.
So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His.
And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.
But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.
Therefore, brethren, we are debtors—not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh.
For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.
For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.
For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.”
The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God,
and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.
For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.
For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God.
For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope;
because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.
For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now.
Not only that, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body.
For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees?
But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance.
Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us [fn] with groanings which cannot be uttered.
Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.
And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.
For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.
Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.
What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?
He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?
Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies.
Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us.
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
As it is written:
“For Your sake we are killed all day long;
We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.” [fn]
Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.
For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come,
nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
NU-Text omits the rest of this verse.
NU-Text omits for us.