Archive for the ‘Jesus Christ’ Category

Strife in this World. Where Are You? Where Are You Going?

January 24, 2017

I recently listened to one of the Dave Matthews Band’s greatest hits entitled, “Where Are You Going.”

You can watch the video here:

YouTube: Dave Matthews Band: Where Are You Going? [Lyrics below post]

I have always liked this singer’s voice and many of the band’s songs. Matthew’s singing style is often very calm and soothing. In this particular song, Dave Matthews  asks  the “where are you going?” question.  At certain spots in the song, he (sadly) states that he “has no answers for you.” But he does state, “where you go is where I wanta be.”

So, where does one look for the ultimate answer to “where are you going?” Where do YOU ultimately want to be and with Whom?

Before we get to those important questions, let’s look at a few words that describe what most of us go through at times in this life.

The first word is “strife.”

The meaning of the word “strife:”

noun
1. vigorous or bitter conflict, discord, or antagonism:
to be at strife.

2. a quarrel, struggle, or clash:
armed strife.

3. competition or rivalry:
the strife of the marketplace.

4. Archaic. strenuous effort.
– Dictionary.com

The Bible utilizes the term “tribulation” [“trouble” in some versions]

noun

1.  grievous trouble; severe trial or suffering.

2.  an instance of this; an affliction, trouble, etc.

tribulation in the Bible:

trouble or affliction of any kind (Deut. 4:30; Matt. 13:21; 2 Cor. 7:4). In Rom. 2:9 “tribulation and anguish” are the penal sufferings that shall overtake the wicked. In Matt. 24:21, 29, the word denotes the calamities that were to attend the destruction of Jerusalem.
Easton’s 1897 Bible Dictionary
– Dictionary.com

The NKJV at the Blue Letter Bible website informs us that the term “tribulation” occurs 22 times in 22 verses.

The plural version of “tribulations” occurs 8 times in 8 verses.

I encourage readers to click on the individual verses and read the surrounding Scripture. It always helps to clarify the content and keep it in proper context.

When we read this portion of a verse in 2 Thessalonians, one could accidentally take it out of context.

2Th 1:6

since it is a righteous thing with God to repay with tribulation those who trouble you,

Reading all of 2 Thessalonians chapter 1 reveals what we are to be, do, and endure on this earth. There will come a time when those who wrought trouble upon believers in Jesus Christ will be “repaid with tribulation” by God Himself.

Did anyone reading here today hear about the recent clash between a female anti-Trump passenger and a male passenger sitting next to her on a plane?

You can view the video clip HERE.

In the video clip, Martha McCallum also interviews the man who was verbally attacked, and you might be surprised at what he says near the end of the interview. He didn’t want to press charges against her, saying that “maybe they were just having a bad day, or something.” And he ended the interview by saying, “I just wanted to show them the love of Jesus.”

Perhaps the Christian man heard that the woman and her husband were flying back from the funeral of her mother-in-law? Now THAT would have been a very bad day for anyone! If the woman and her husband were not kicked off of the plane, perhaps he could have shared the Good News of the Gospel with her.

Maybe not…

But this man showed grace towards two individuals – one was silent (the husband) while the other verbally abused and cursed at him (the cursing part isn’t in the video clip, but several witnesses said he was cursed at during this encounter).

Jesus warned us that “in this world, we would have tribulation (or trouble).”

Matthew 24 describes it vividly, and we learn that such trouble and strife will increase the closer we get to the end times.

Mat 24:7

“For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences,[fn] and earthquakes in various places.

Mat 24:8

“All these are the beginning of sorrows.

Mat 24:9

“Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake.

Mat 24:10

“And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another

Mat 24:11

“Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many.

Mat 24:12

“And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold.

I am seeing a huge increase in “the love of many will grow cold.” Even relatives, friends, and acquaintances are turning on each other over the election results last month! It’s truly sad…

Matthew 24 informs us:

Mat 24:13

“But he who endures to the end shall be saved.

Mat 24:14

“And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.

The truth contained in the Bible knows no equal! We are told that Christians are going to be persecuted. Notice that “the fruit of the Spirit” contains the term “longsuffering.”

Gal 5:22

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,

Gal 5:23

gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.

Longsuffering is why Christians are told (in Matthew 24:13)  to endure till the end.

What are we seeing since the election (as well as before it)? A huge increase in the following as described in Galatians:

Gal 5:19

Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery,[fn] fornication, uncleanness, lewdness,

Gal 5:20

idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies,

Gal 5:21

envy, murders,[fn] drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

No matter what is thrown against us, we have the promises of Jesus Christ to sustain us through it all.

Jesus tells us:

Jhn 16:33

“These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will[fn] have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”

Paul reiterates this in Romans:

Rom 8:38

For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come,

Rom 8:39

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.

Our true and ultimate home:

Jhn 14:2

“In My Father’s house are many mansions;[fn] if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.[fn

 

Jhn 14:3

“And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.

NKJV Footnotes

(14:2)

Literally dwellings

Hat tips to all links and graphics.

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Lyrics to “Where Are You Going” by the Dave Matthews Band.

Where are you going
With your long face
Pullin’ down
Don’t hide away,
Like an ocean
That you can’t see
But you can smell
And the sound of waves crash down.
I am no superman
I have no reasons for you.
I am no hero,
Aw that for sure,
But I do know one thing,
That’s where you are is where I belong.
I do know
Where you go,
Is where I wanta be.

Where are you going,
Where do you go.
Are you looking for answers,
To questions, under the stars
Well if along the way,
You are grown weary,
You can rest with me
Until a brighter day
When you ok.

I am no superman,
I have no answers for you.
I am no hero,
And that’s for sure.
But I know one thing,
That’s where you are, is where I belong.
I do know
Where you go,
Is where I want to be.

Where are you going
Where do you go.

Where do you go.
Where are you going,
Where do you go.

I am no Superman
I have no answers,
For you.
I am no hero,
Aw that’s for sure.
But I do know one thing,
That’s where are,
Is where I belong.
I do know
Where you go,
Is where I wanta be.

Where are you going
Where do you go.

And a where are you going.
Where…lets go!

Songwriters
HARRISON, GAVIN RICHARD / BYER, RICARDO A.

Published by
Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

Read more: Dave Matthews Band – Where Are You Going Lyrics | MetroLyrics

What is Stored Up In You?

January 19, 2017

As I witness the continual, never-ending calamity going on within our political system, I decided to find out the truth behind it all.   The reasons for my search include the following:

  1. The horrible rhetoric that comes from certain individuals in Congress.
  2. The pundits on TV who agree with such harmful words (and their motives behind it all).
  3. The hatred spewed daily by the Hollyweird crowd.
  4. The radical and dangerous groups that have chosen to do evil and plot schemes to cause disruption and outright harm to the Americans attending the inauguration of Donald J. Trump as our next President of the United States.What is the underlying cause?

    I decided to go to the Bible to help me figure out and understand why many persons on the far left choose to be so vicious against (and highly disparaging of) their opponents (especially Christians!) on the right.

Those words spoken by Jesus in John 16:33 are a continual comfort to me!  We are to expect trouble and tribulation in this temporal world, but Jesus has overcome the world!  As believers and followers of Him, what could be better than all of His promises to us?

When addressing the Pharisees in Matthew 12:22-37 (who accused Jesus of casting out demons through the power of Satan) in Matthew 12:22-37,  Jesus said, “The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him.”  Matthew 12:35 NIV

 

Jesus was telling us that what we say reveals what is in our hearts.  What comes out of the mouth is an indication of what your heart is really like.

When Jesus began his ministry on earth, he said, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Matthew 4:17b

We know that well-known people (i.e. athletes, celebrities, politicians, even religious leaders) make public apologies.  However, it begs the question:  Are they truly sorry or sorry they were found out?

Only God knows, of course.  We could phrase it another way and say if people (including us) are sorry for sins, shouldn’t they (we) come forth on their (our) own before they (we) are called out?

In 2 Corinthians 7:9 we are shown the fruit of genuine sorrow.

“Now I rejoice, not that you were made sorry, but that your sorrow led to repentance.  For you were made sorry in a godly manner, that you might suffer loss from us in nothing.”

We recognize that “godly sorrow produces repentance” (2 Corinthians 7:10).  That is, when we are truly sorry about something, it will be evidenced by our repentance–which includes confession, asking forgiveness, and restitution where it is needed.

The NIV version of 2 Corinthians 7:10 reads:

Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.

We could contrast the obvious godly sorrow that Peter felt when he denied Jesus three times (which Jesus predicted he would do even before it happened!) vs. the worldly sorrow that Judas felt when he tossed the 30 pieces of silver back to the Pharisees and then ended up hanging himself.

Compare Peter’s remorse and repentance with Judas’s bitterness and act of suicide.  Both disowned Christ.  One repented and was restored to faith and service, the other took his own life.  Worldly sorrow leads to death.  Not only death in this earthly life, but also eternal death.

Another example is the two thieves on either side of Christ as he hung on the cross.

Luk 23:39

Then one of the criminals who were hanged blasphemed Him, saying, “If You are the Christ,[fn] save Yourself and us.

Luk 23:40

But the other, answering, rebuked him, saying, “Do you not even fear God, seeing you are under the same condemnation?

Luk 23:41

“And we indeed justly, for we receive the due reward of our deeds; but this Man has done nothing wrong.”

Luk 23:42

Then he said to Jesus, “Lord,[fn] remember me when You come into Your kingdom.”

Luk 23:43

And Jesus said to him, “Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.”

It is never too late to repent!  Right before the thief’s death, he acknowledged his sin and asked Jesus to remember him when He comes into His kingdom!

Paul told us that there is a false kind of sorrow–the “sorrow of the world.”  And that sorrow leads not to repentance but to “death.”  Yes, sins and errors of judgment are embarrassing and sometimes shameful.  But when their magnitude is truly realized, godly sorrow always leads to repentance–a change of mind and direction.

D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones wrote:

“Christianity starts with repentance.”

Very true!  The term “repent” appears in the Bible 33 times in 32 verses.

John the Baptist, who was prophesied in Isaiah 40:3 urged people to repent:

Mat 3:1

In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea,

Mat 3:2

and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!”

Mat 3:3

For this is he who was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah, saying:

“The voice of one crying in the wilderness:
‘Prepare the way of the LORD;
Make His paths straight.’ ”[fn – Isaiah 40:3]

More prophecy fulfilled from (4:16)

Isaiah 9:1, 2

 

Mat 4:12

Now when Jesus heard that John had been put in prison, He departed to Galilee.

Mat 4:13

And leaving Nazareth, He came and dwelt in Capernaum, which is by the sea, in the regions of Zebulun and Naphtali,

Mat 4:14

that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying:

Mat 4:15

“The land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali,
By the way of the sea, beyond the Jordan,
Galilee of the Gentiles:

Mat 4:16

The people who sat in darkness have seen a great light,
And upon those who sat in the region and shadow of death
Light has dawned.”[fn]

Mat 4:17

From that time Jesus began to preach and to say, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

There is a Proverb that reads:

For a righteous man may fall seven times and rise again, but the wicked shall fall by calamity.  Proverbs 24:16

There is another Proverb that reads:

Do not envy wicked men, do not desire their company; for their hearts plot violence, and their lips talk about making trouble.   Proverbs 24:1-2

Since there is none who are righteous (see Isaiah 64:6 and Romans 3) God sent His Son to pay the penalty for our sins and reside in our hearts (through the Holy Spirit)  as His righteousness within us!

Jesus’ shed blood at the cross was the propitiation for our sins; and believing in Him, confessing and repenting of our sins, is the only way back to God.

Hat tips:

Blue Letter Bible
All Graphics links

Leaders Can Be Either a Blessing or a Punishment

January 12, 2017

Yesterday, I had some time in the morning to watch the hearing on Rex Tillerson’s appointment to be the next Secretary of State.  I wasn’t able to watch all of it (had to go for a follow-up root canal appointment…ugh!), but what I did watch and then observe through news broadcasts later made me both proud of Tillerson and absolutely cringe at his detractors!  It was expected that the Dems would try to trip up Rex and rip his nomination bid apart.  But when a GOPe harpylike devourer Rubio comes along and tries to act more intelligent than the nominee (but then gets destroyed by Tillerson’s great response) it’s even more painful to watch.

Marco Rubio needs to grow up…A LOT…before he ever runs for president again. On second thought, I don’t think he should ever run for president!

Tillerson’s response to all of his detractors yesterday (at least the ones I saw before I watched Trump’s press conference) were all brilliant!
I wonder…how many readers here and others are noticing what I have noticed? I now see many (not all) politicians as ignorant or definitely biased in either their thinking or ideology; whereas those who have been successful in business (like Trump and Tillerson) have much more intelligence, savvy, knowledge and proper demeanor on how the world REALLY is and how to work successfully with our allies! They also have the smarts to not jump to conclusions regarding our enemies and are more thoughtful and wise in how to deal with them.

Perhaps it has been the eight long years of hubris and deceit under Barry’s BADministration that has caused many politicians to lose their minds?!  But I think that it probably is more likely that they were really on the other side and “secretly” agreed with Barry and HiLIARy.  Unconscionable…to say the least!

God saw fit to enable Trump to win the presidency.  However, should we go so far as this man (now deceased – God rest his soul) did in his “prophetic” ideas regarding Trump?

See: WND: Did This Man Predict Trump Presidency in 2007?

I liked one response written by “Informed” to the article that reads:

Informed • an hour ago

God is sovereign. He grants us leaders to be a blessing and a punishment. Whether Trump is more blessing or more punishment will not be known for a long time. I pray he brings much more respect for God’s moral truth, some good sense and efficiency to our delusional, self worshiping, wasteful and inefficient federal government.

Yes.  We will have to wait and see whether Trump will be “more a blessing or more punishment.”  We have already experienced punishment via the outgoing BADministration!  I second “Informed’s” prayer and sentiment!

It will be very interesting to see what an ordinary American businessman can achieve in the position of President of the United States.  A majority of Americans are absolutely fed up with career politicians who make promises that they don’t ever intend to keep!

Career politicians (like John McCain) are being revealed for what they are…in government for their own gain!   See Lame Cherry’s latest post about McCain!  Chilling…

Hat tips to all links.

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1Pe 2:4

Coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God and precious,

1Pe 2:5

you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.

1Pe 2:6

Therefore it is also contained in the Scripture,

“Behold, I lay in Zion
A chief cornerstone, elect, precious,
And he who believes on Him will by no means be put to shame.”[fn]

1Pe 2:7

Therefore, to you who believe, He is precious; but to those who are disobedient,[fn]

“The stone which the builders rejected
Has become the chief cornerstone,”[fn]

1Pe 2:8

and

“A stone of stumbling
And a rock of offense.”[fn]
They stumble, being disobedient to the word, to which they also were appointed.

1Pe 2:9

But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;

1Pe 2:10

who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy.

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One Thing Remains…

“The idea of the free man in God has always been terrifying to tyrants” – Billy Graham

November 17, 2016

“The idea of the free man in God has always been terrifying to tyrants, and that is why religious liberty is being curtailed in so many parts of the world today.  Give people the Bible and freedom to proclaim its message, and they will soon be free.” – Quote from Billy Graham speech, “Will America Survive” speech on New Years Eve, 1975.

America has been under the influence of political tyrants, especially over the last eight years under the Obama regime.  The fact that America voted against the tyrannical, socialist, pro-Islamic radicalism, immoral, deceiving, Christian-hating and liberty stealing agenda of the Democrats on November 8, 2016 shows that despite the overwhelming support by the media-of-mass-deception for Hillary Clinton, the public was not fooled.  Millions of Americans saw the awful truth about her via social media, online news sites and blogs (especially through Wikileaks and Project Veritas) , and made their decisions in the voting booth to be sure that the Clintons never attain any leadership position in the White House ever again!

One of the latest posts over at The Last Refuge blog shares a video and commentary about Hillary Clinton’s first public appearance since losing the election.

There are hundreds of comments there, but I wanted to focus on a few that I found quite telling.

First, I will share my reaction after viewing the video.

christinewjc says:

November 17, 2016 at 8:14 am

I watched the video hours ago, but if I recall correctly didn’t the woman who introduced Hillary claim that she has known her for 45 years? Does that mean that she only knows the public image (and obviously fake image) or does she also know all about the crime family side of the Clintons?
With all the evidence of corruption and deceit that was exposed by Wikileaks and Project Veritas, how could a woman who runs a children’s charity ever think that HilLIARy would be suitable as president?
Does anyone know whether or not the disgusting pedo island child abuse ring will ever be completely exposed and participants prosecuted? Is that investigation still ongoing?
How could any woman ever think that Hillary isn’t evil?
I continue to thank God each day that America was saved from the evil of the Clintons! I pray that they will now remain in the dustbin of history.

Then, there was this comment:

JoD says:

November 17, 2016 at 8:20 am

She might have just launched HER new campaign….
Beaten down and emotionally broken….Time for a Pardon!!
Please explain:
If she didn’t do ANYTHING wrong, why does she even need a pardon…hmmm?

My reply:

christinewjc says:

November 17, 2016 at 9:18 am

That is an excellent point JoD! Why did Jesse Jackson need to get behind a podium and say that 0bummer should pardon her…if she didn’t do anything wrong? Answer: They KNOW about all of her criminal activity (some of which has been exposed online but not all of it by the media of mass deception) and they are all probably scared that once Trump gets into office, she will be prosecuted.

Next this commenter makes a good point:

Phil aka Felipe says:

November 17, 2016 at 8:43 am

Children’s Defense Fund? She’s what the children needed a defense against. Thank God, He provided Trump to Defend The Children – from her!

My reply:

christinewjc says:

November 17, 2016 at 9:49 am

Agree totally with your comment! Anyone who supports partial birth abortion when a baby in the womb is pulled out of the mother’s body except for the head and then killed with scissors cutting at the back of the neck isn’t a “defender” of children!

Next, these comments stuck out in my mind as apropos for discussion here at Talk Wisdom.

North Wind says:

November 17, 2016 at 8:51 am

If Hill and Bill are connected to the pedophile ring uncovered in wikileaks, then this whole speechifying thing by Hillary is totally sick and twisted!!!

She may or not get her just desserts here on Earth, but I guarantee you, she’ll get them after death (only God knows a person’s heart, to be sure, but I can find no evidence that she belongs to Jesus).

Phil aka Felipe says:

November 17, 2016 at 9:42 am

“I can find no evidence that she belongs to Jesus”.
He is the good shepherd. His sheep hear His voice and He knows them and calls them by name and they know Him and follow Him.

The voice of another they will not follow because they are a stranger or a hireling or a thief or a robber. The thief comes to steal or to kill or destroy. Hirelings care not for the sheep. John chapter 10.

The fruit is evidence of who she follows and those that follow her indicate they are not His.

The FACT that Hillary Clinton’s hatred towards God was very evident when a woman at an event had to stumble over the words “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance and then ended up eliminating it from the Pledge that day, tells us where Hillary stands regarding God.

My reply to Phil aka Felipe:

November 17, 2016 at 10:04 am

So true Phil aka Felipe! Her hatred of Christians has been very evident for most of her life. She labeled us as being in a “basket of deplorables.” The term “deplorable” is an adjective, not a noun!

adjective
1.
causing or being a subject for grief or regret; lamentable:
the deplorable death of a friend.
2.
causing or being a subject for censure, reproach, or disapproval; wretched; very bad:
This room is in deplorable order. You have deplorable manners!

Word Origin and History for de-plor-a-ble
adj.
1610s; see deplore + -able. Perhaps from French déplorable or directly from Late Latin deplorabilis. Johnson (mid-18c.) noted the weakened colloquial use of the word for “very bad.” Related: Deplorably.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

She is a deplorable person! Her attitude during her entire life has obviously rejected the saving power and grace of Jesus Christ our Lord. And, she hates those who are born again in Christ and follow Him.
She is part of “the world.”

Jesus warned and told us:

Jhn 15:18

“If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you.
Read all of John 15:18 – 25.*

There are those who will forever refuse the redemption offered by Christ. All we can do is continue to share the Gospel. Those who reject it, we have to be willing to “shake the dust from our sandals” and say, “so be it.”

Mat 13:40

“Therefore as the tares are gathered and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of this age.

Mat 13:49

“So it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come forth, separate the wicked from among the just,

Mat 13:50

“and cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth.”

 

Now that Donald Trump is our President-Elect and Mike Pence is our Vice-President Elect, we need to keep them and their families covered in prayer.  We need to pray for those chosen to be in his Cabinet and all who will be given positions in our federal government.  We need to pray that the Supreme Court justices chosen will uphold our U.S. Constitution (especially freedom of religion, freedom of speech, life, liberty, association, and the pursuit of happiness for all – even those babies in the womb) and make decisions accordingly.  Prayers for protection, prayers for them to keep their campaign promises to We The People, and prayers that their solutions to the problems here at home and around the world will be successful.

*Jhn 15:18

“If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you.

Jhn 15:19

“If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.

Jhn 15:20

“Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will keep yours also.

Jhn 15:21

“But all these things they will do to you for My name’s sake, because they do not know Him who sent Me.

Jhn 15:22

“If I had not come and spoken to them, they would have no sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin.

Jhn 15:23

“He who hates Me hates My Father also.

Jhn 15:24

“If I had not done among them the works which no one else did, they would have no sin; but now they have seen and also hated both Me and My Father.

Jhn 15:25

“But this happened that the word might be fulfilled which is written in their law, ‘They hated Me without a cause.’[fn]

Jhn 15:26

“But when the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me.

Jhn 15:27

“And you also will bear witness, because you have been with Me from the beginning.

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Hat tips to all links.

The Presidential Campaign Has Gone From Bad to Worse, to Nightmarish, to Surreal!

October 10, 2016

Joel Rosenberg’s blog post should be read by everyone – especially Christians!  It is spot on in describing what the current presidential campaign has become!

Ironically, Dr. David Jeremiah mentioned Mr. Rosenberg’s expertise on the Bible and Bible prophecy in today’s sermon on Turning Point:  “The Apathy of America.”

Excerpt:

As the news from both presidential candidates goes from bad to worse to nightmarish to surreal (see below), I find myself grieving. There is no other way to put it. I’m not grieving as one who has no hope. But I am grieving all the same.

It is bitterly painful to see America arrive at this point, neck-deep in corruption and vulgarity, edging closer and closer, day by day, towards moral, spiritual, social and economic implosion.

We desperately need a revival, a sweeping spiritual awakening, to put us back on the right track. Will it come? I honestly do not know. I’m praying — pleading — for the Lord to give us one, and soon. I’m praying for each of the presidential and vice presidential candidates, and their families and advisors. I’m praying the Lord will supernaturally salvage this train wreck of an election and give us a surprise ending that will truly bless the entire country. Yet I’m also praying for His infinite, amazing grace and mercy if He chooses to let us proceed down this ugly path “as is.”

Unless we turn wholeheartedly to Christ our coming King and Redeemer, it could be a very dark four years indeed. But the Scriptures do offer us hope.

“If at any time I announce that a nation or kingdom is to be uprooted, torn down and destroyed, and if that nation I warned repents of its evil, then I will relent and not inflict on it the disaster I had planned. And if at another time I announce that a nation or kingdom is to be built up and planted, and if it does evil in my sight and does not obey me, then I will reconsider the good I had intended to do for it.” (Jeremiah 18:7-10)

I have to admit that I seriously long for the Lord to set the Rapture into motion in the days or weeks ahead. Election Day would be just fine, though sooner would be better.

I am willing to preach the Gospel and teach the Word of God and make disciples and serve the poor as long as the Lord tarries, so as long as He continues to grant the grace and strength to do His will and forgiveness whenever I inevitably fall short.

But as darkness falls over America, as it is falling over so much of the world, I am growing weary. As the rich and powerful and corrupt seem to gain more riches and more power and grow more corrupt, I am growing weary. As I see injustice spreading like a cancer, and as I see so many people abandoning the faith and ignoring the Word of God and doing whatever is right in their own eyes, I am growing weary.

It is all foretold, of course. The ancient prophecies are coming to pass — all the apostasy, the corruption, the persecution and darkness that the Lord Jesus and the Apostles and the Hebrew prophets foretold about the “last days” — we’re seeing it all play out, just as the Word warned us ahead of time.

Consider just this passage and ask yourself if this doesn’t describe American culture and politics today? “But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; avoid such men as these.” (2 Timothy 3:1-5)

The worse it gets, the more I find myself saying, “Maranatha, come, Lord Jesus!”

I’m not going to post anything new about the increasingly toxic and tremendously disturbing presidential campaign. If you’re interested, you can read what I posted on my “Epicenter Team” page on Facebook on Friday. Or you can scroll through the last several days of Tweets.

For now, let me just say this: regardless of how grieved I am by both nominees, I am 100% committed to genuinely and faithfully praying for the Trump family, and for the Clintons, as I have been throughout this campaign. I will continue to pray that the Lord Jesus Christ shows them great mercy, that they will seek Him with all their heart, and that He will supernaturally change them and bear much good fruit in and through them.

The God of the Bible is a change agent. All through the Scriptures we see God saving, changing and redeeming broken, burdened, troubled lives, and it is breathtaking to behold. The Lord loves to change hearts and minds and mouths. He alone has the power to change lives, and I truly pray He will show His great mercy and love to the Trumps and the Clintons. Meanwhile, I have great respect for those who feel called to provide either family and either candidate sound, Biblical, spiritual counsel. Both families need true, faithful believers around them speaking the truth in love, as do we all.

Indeed, whoever wins the presidency and is raised up to lead America for the next four years, I will pray for faithfully and respectfully. This is what the Apostle Paul commands of us. Thus, I hope you and your family and friends will be faithful in praying for the next president and all the Members of Congress, too. “First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity. This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” (I Timothy 2:1-4)

That said, I believe it’s important for all of us to realize just how much trouble we’re in. After killing 58 million babies, America now faces impending divine judgment. There is no way out, no way back. The blood of 58 million babies is crying out for justice and they will get it.

Only a true revival — a great, sweeping spiritual awakening — could possibly forestall such a judgment. In addition to such a great awakening, ideally the Lord will give America a leader like King Josiah, the Biblical leader who made big, bold changes to turn his nation around. Indeed, God saw Josiah’s humble heart, and his great love for the Scriptures, and his passionate commitment to help his nation make major reforms and get back on the right track, and therefore He gave Josiah much favor. Indeed, because of Josiah’s leadership, the Lord chose to forestall imminent judgement of the nation of Judah for some two decades.

Sadly, neither Donald Trump nor Hillary Clinton nor Tim Kaine have demonstrated any of the characteristics of Josiah. But Gov. Mike Pence has. Perhaps the Lord will raise him up to provide the leadership we need at this time. I hope so. Time will tell.

In the meantime, prayer is really all we have as individual Christians at this point. Yet what more do we need? Prayer offers us a direct line to our Father in heaven, the Almighty God of the universe who could grant us a great awakening if He sovereignly chose to, or who alone can give us the grace to endure the suffering and hardships if He chooses to set His judgments into motion.

In these dark times, my friends, come what may, may you and I keep our eyes on Jesus and be “joyful in hope, patient in affliction, and faithful in prayer.” (Romans 12:12)

Hat tips:

Joel C. Rosenberg’s Blog: Some thoughts on a presidential campaign going from bad to worse to nightmarish.

David Jeremiah.org

Who Is Your Source of Hope?

October 1, 2016

Take it from me…it pays to pre-order books because sometimes you will get the book even before the national release date!  Yesterday, I received Dr. David Jeremiah’s latest book:

People Are Asking: Is This The End?

I read the introduction and the first few pages of Chapter 1 – “The Age of Anything Goes.” For an excerpt of the first chapter, scroll down the page at the following link and read Overview of Chapter 1: The Age of Anything Goes.

That excerpt is sobering, but now that I have delved into the entire chapter, the evil and depravity that is going on in the world today is so very discouraging, damaging and frightening!

I truly am saddened that the country that I grew up in from the mid-nineteen fifties through graduating college in 1977 has disappeared and been replaced with the “normalization” of the most egregious sinful secular-leftist and atheistic (even devil-worshipping!) kinds of immorality and death-cult beliefs that it is absolutely astonishing!

There was a time when Christian parents could shield their children from all of this, but no more.  The so-called “smartphones” that adults and children hold in their hands today are just a click away from pornography websites.

Excerpt from Chapter One:

Depravity in Our Minds

In January 2016, the Internet’s largest online pornography site released its annual statistics.  On just this one website in just one year – 2015 – consumers watched 4,392,486,580 hours of pornography.  Convert those hours into years, and it means those people collectively spent more than 500,000 years watching porn.

On this particular site in 2015 alone, people watched 87,849,731, 608 X-rated videos.  Over 87 billion!  That’s twelve videos for every man, woman, boy and girl on the planet.

The rate at which sexual depravity is being “normalized” is causing havoc upon many freedoms that Christians have enjoyed in the past.  Now, deeply held religious beliefs, freedom of speech, freedom to practice our faith in the public domain, freedom of association to reject the immoral cesspool around us, and most of all, the freedom to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ is actively being punished by “the powers that be” in government! This scenario is especially egregious in the liberal courts dominated by anti-Christian “judges” who decide to allow sexual immoralities described in God’s Word to trump the First Amendment rights of Christian believers.

I could go on and on…but most readers get the picture.

The saving grace in all of this is the fact that Christians know Who wins and triumphs at the end of days.  There will come a time when God’s mercy and grace will run out and the judgments will fall upon those who rejected God’s provision for salvation – the Cross of Jesus Christ!

This is probably the biggest reason why this blog exists.  To warn people about the schemes of Satan that are there to grab our minds, entice our flesh, and spiral us down into the cesspool of depravity through active sin;  in order to keep our minds, hearts, bodies, souls and spirits away from God.

God the Father,  who loves us so deeply that He sent His One and Only Son, Jesus Christ, to die on the cross in our place and free us once and for all from the penalty that we all deserve for our rebellion and sin; gives us the kind of hope that can never be achieved on our own.

What will YOU do (and decide about God’s provision through Jesus Christ) on this side of eternity?

Dr. Jeremiah masterfully shares the truth that for many people, their source of hope is sadly misplaced.  He states that “the question you must address is not whether America and the world will regain their footing, but how you will respond whether they do or not.”

“That is what this book is all about!”

Dr. Jeremiah explains the four common responses to the growing fears about the future.  Three are wrong, and one is right.

Wrong:

    1.  Denial – Living in the illusion that nothing will change, refusing to heed the clouds gathering on the horizon.
    2.  Despair – Collapse is inevitable, all is hopeless, nothing can be done and we are doomed.
    3. “Eat, drink, and be merry.”  As Solomon (see Ecclesiastes 8:15) warned us, all the pleasure we can get because there is “nothing new under the sun” is not productive.  It doesn’t give us hope.  In fact, it is “all vanity and grasping after the wind.”  (see Ecclesiastes 1:14).

Ecc 1:14

I have seen all the works that are done under the sun; and indeed, all is vanity and grasping for the wind.

Right:

The one right response is to look beyond the gathering storm to the one solid and certain source of hope–to God Himself.  Hope in the future of America and the stability of the world is little more than wishful thinking.  It is not reliable.  The hope God offers is the only realistic, absolute hope that carries the promise of a certain outcome.

The next three paragraphs in the Introduction are very powerful!

We do not know whether America will soon fall.  We do not know when the Lord will return.  But we do know that whatever our circumstances, God’s desire for us is to live without anxiety and with hope.  He offers you “thoughts of peace and not of evil.” and He wants “to give you a future and a hope” (Jeremiah 29:11).

In this book I will show you how to find that hope.  It is a hope that is not dependent on whether America falls or recovers or whether world order stabilizes or disintegrates.  It is a hope that rises above trouble and chaos, enabling you to keep your focus on your future reward and endure whatever comes, whether good or evil, with grace and equanimity.

Had to look that last word up in the dictionary!

equanimity:

1.

mental or emotional stability or composure, especially under tension or strain; calmness; equilibrium.
Dr. Jeremiah continues:

The added benefit of this hope is that those who exercise it before others set an example that may just make a difference in the outcome.  Enough Christians exhibiting faith in God just might be the salt that saves America.

— Dr. David Jeremiah

San Diego, California

June 2016

Hat tip: David Jeremiah.org – “People Are Asking: Is This The End?”

Hat tips to all links.

Compromise

September 28, 2016

Yes.  There are times in life where we can compromise.  Simple choices like which restaurant to choose for tomorrow’s dinner, which hotel is best to stay at, and even whether or not to get into an argument about something petty are just a few examples.  As the graphic above states, “There are things that are okay to compromise.  There are things that are not okay to compromise.  Life is about learning the difference.”

However, God’s written Word, the Bible, and His Living Word, Jesus Christ, is NOT included in the “okay to compromise list.”

 

I was reminded of the dangers when compromises of true Christian faith invade the Christian churches when I received an email containing a little parable about pastoral care.

First, a little background on the subject.  Sometimes I get emailed comments when people visit and post at my former Talk Wisdom blog.  Over the years since I had chosen to abandon that particular blog, I usually only get spam comments.

[FYI, the reason that I abandoned that blog was because I did not agree with the new rules that G00gle imposed upon blog owners.  If I signed into that blog to alert readers of my move over to WordPress, then I would have automatically been forced into the agreement.  That is why I could not post a message when I left that blog in order to lead former readers to this blog.]

The post where I received the legitimate comment (although the screen name said “Unknown,”) was written in response to my post entitled, “Compromise + Enabling = Heresy” posted on September 18, 2008.

Excerpt:

There have been so many great posts at many blogs on my Christian Blog List that have touched on the subjects of compromise, enabling and heresy. I think that this is a subject that is one of the most important issues that Christianity faces today.

Does compromise plus enabling equal heresy?

I truly believe that all three are actively at work in today’s postmodern Christian church culture. In years past, those churches that obviously compromised the truth of the Bible and true Gospel (regarding sin, pride of self, ignoring and/or allowing unrepentant rebellion against God and His Word, and the re-making of Jesus Christ in their own image) were typically labeled as the “liberal” wing of Christianity.

However, compromise, enabling and heresy is creeping into Evangelical church circles at an increasingly alarming rate. Those of us (called the elect in God’s Word) who see this are attempting to sound the alarm bells to warn those who may be caught up in such movements.  The call to return back to the Bible and what Jesus said was needed to inherit the kingdom of God, (namely – our need to repent of sin, follow the Law [Jesus said, “if you love me, keep my commandments] and the Prophets;  and abide by the true gospel of Christ is what points us towards righteousness and holiness.

Mat 24:24 For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if [it were] possible, they shall deceive the very elect.

Mar 13:22 For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall shew signs and wonders, to seduce, if [it were] possible, even the elect.

The “elect” are the truly saved in Jesus Christ. Notice that Jesus himself acknowledges that the “false Christs and false prophets” [s]hall deceive the very elect. But notice what Jesus said just before those words – “if [it were] possible!! This means that it isn’t going to happen! There will always be a remnant of the faithful who will not be deceived by powerful “signs and wonders” that will deceive those not genuinely born again in Christ.

Human nature (especially the nature of the unsaved) is likely to deem such terminology as elitist, bragging, or much worse. What they are missing is the fact that it is the humbling of the heart, confession of sin, repentance of all our sin, asking for mercy and grace at the foot of the cross of Jesus Christ that enables us to be His (Jesus Christ’s). There is no pride allowed in such an act. We know from whence we came (sinners, desperately in need of the Savior) and that if it weren’t for Christ’s sacrificial, substitutionary death on the cross, WE WOULD ALSO BE LOST FOR ALL ETERNITY. We can’t boast in anything – but the cross of Christ.

Gal 6:14 But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.

Look at Paul’s instruction for the elect:

Col 3:12 ¶ Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;

Col 3:13 Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also [do] ye.

Col 3:14 And above all these things [put on] charity, which is the bond of perfectness.

Col 3:15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.

Col 3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.

Col 3:17 And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, [do] all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.

Also, look at Jude’s admonition to seek out the lost and if necessary, pull them out of the fire:

Jud 1:23 And others save with fear, pulling [them] out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.

How are we to balance all of this?

Some choose to use compromise so as not to offend anyone.

Others, choose to utilize a certain level of enabling – so as to appear loving, kind, tolerant, and non-judgmental.

Still others, go all the way towards heresy – willingly or unwittingly – and may THINK they are saved but because of following false doctrine, are not.

Read the rest of the post HERE.

*******

The following is a copy of the comment left by “Unknown” yesterday:

The Parable of the Train Traveler [in England]
by Rollin Grams

His disciples asked him, “Teacher, tell us: What is good pastoral care?”
He replied, ‘A certain man wanted to take a train from Cardiff to St. David. Three priests were standing on the platform with him. The man, who was terrified of train travel, asked the, ‘is this train safe?’
The first priest, who believed that all train travel was safe, assured the man that it mattered not which train he took or where he traveled. ‘You shall be safe,’ he stated firmly, ‘and know of a certainty that the Church has blessed this train.’ Then he gave the man and encouraging smile.

The second priest, who had planned to go to Oxford, said, ‘I shall change my ticket, travel with you, sit beside you to encourage you along the way, and have shared conversations.’ With that, he climbed onto the train with the man, helping him with his baggage.

The third priest, who moments earlier had checked the train news on his Smartphone, yelled, ‘Get off the train! The bridge is out and you shall surely perish, all of you!’

Then, turning to Peter, the teacher asked, ‘Which of the priests gave good pastoral care?’
“I suppose,’ answered Peter, ‘the second one, who stayed off his cell phone and gave the man his full attention and good company.’

Moral to the story:  (my own take)

Peter blew it.  Warning the people, as did the old time prophets (and as both John the Baptist and Jesus did), is a vital part of pastoral care, and sometimes it is the best thing we can do for our congregations, even if they do not want to hear it.

[Posted by Unknown to Talk Wisdom at September 27, 2016 at 10:41:00 AM PDT.]

A Prayer For Righteousness

September 21, 2016

Our Heavenly Father,

You are righteous, holy, and pure, light without shadow, presence without stain.

You’ve told us:  “Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people.”

We confess our sins to You, Lord; we have no righteousness of our own.

We claim the righteousness that comes by grace through faith in Jesus.

We claim the Spirit’s power to live pure and upright lives, for the grace that brings salvation also teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions and to be self-controlled and godly in this present age as we await our glorious hope–our Lord’s return.

So keep our minds pure.  Keep our eyes blameless.  Sanctify us by Your truth.

Preserve our hearts and homes in holiness befitting Your Name.

Your eyes are on the righteous, Lord, and Your ears are open to our prayers, so keep us from falling and restore righteousness to our land.

In Jesus’ Name,

Amen

Proverbs 14:34

Pro 14:34

Righteousness exalts a nation,
But sin is a reproach to any people.

Source: Turning Point Ministries, 2016 Prayer Card.

Hat tips to added graphics.

The Increase of Intolerance

September 5, 2016

The Increase of Intolerance

America was once a place where Christians were free to worship and live according to their consciences.

OVERVIEW of CHAPTER 3*

In fact, our country was built upon the principles of religious tolerance, individual liberty, and the right to dissent. In our founding documents, the source of these rights and freedoms is clearly acknowledged as God, not the government. Yet, the moral sea change we have experienced in the past century has so turned our culture on its head that to exercise those rights and freedoms means that a Christian risks marginalization, repression, and even outright persecution.

In the media, those who adhere to Christian values are portrayed as bigoted and backward, anti-woman and anti-gay, willfully ignorant and woefully out of touch. Government mandates seek to force Christians to act against their consciences and support practices the Bible calls sin. People are dragged to court for praying in schools or posting about their personal religious beliefs on their own private social media accounts. Jobs are lost, businesses are bankrupted, relationships are severed.

How are American Christians responding? Often with anger, bitterness, and withdrawal from the public square.

But how did the first Christians respond to persecution? When believers were being flogged, stoned, burned alive, and thrown to wild beasts in the arena, were they surprised? Incensed? Litigious? What about the millions of believers all across the globe today who suffer daily humiliation and violence as a result of their faith? What do they know about oppression that American Christians have yet to learn?

The Increase of Intolerance gives us biblical insight about what Jesus meant when He advised His would-be followers to count the cost before taking up their crosses. We’ll discover what suffering has to teach us about ourselves and our God. And we will be confronted with the unsettling question: Will I have the courage to stand against the persecution that is coming?

This message was also intended to encourage God’s chosen people while they were captives in Babylon. God wanted to show them that there was much more to their future than they could see.

It was God, not Nebuchadnezzar, who held the key to their future and the future of all humankind.

* Excerpt from: People Are Asking…Is This the End?

Jesus told us what to expect when we confess our sins,  repent at the foot of the Cross, and invite Him to dwell in our hearts through the power of the Holy Spirit.

He told us that when we are born again in Him, we are “not of this world” any longer. He warned us that we would be “persecuted for righteousness’ sake.” He told us that we would be reviled and persecuted. He told us that they will “say all kind of evil against” us…FALSELY…for His sake. He told us that we will be blessed, because our REAL home is in the kingdom of heaven!

Mat 5:10

Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake,
For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Mat 5:11

“Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake.

 

Mat 5:12

“Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Mat 5:13

“You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men.

Mat 5:14

“You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden.

Mat 5:15

“Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.

Mat 5:16

“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.

Hat tips: DavidJeremiah.org, Blue Letter Bible, and graphics links.

“A Better Weight Than Wisdom…”

September 2, 2016

“…A Traveler Cannot Carry.”

I saw that “Viking Proverb” statement written out across the Direct TV screen in front of me on a day last year when I was flying back home on an airplane.  I had been visiting with family in Virginia for 10 days.

It is a great statement to ponder; and I wondered which type of “wisdom” the Vikings were referring to?

 

For me, the ultimate wisdom comes from God through His Written Word – the Bible, and His Living Word – Jesus Christ.

Evidence abounds these days that many are ignorant about God’s Word. The sad part is, many who call themselves Christian fall into this unfortunate category. I think it is really a terrible state of affairs to realize that even Christian college students (e.g. BIOLA U.) are being found to be biblically illiterate! There should be no excuse for them, in particular, to be guilty of such a flaw.

Recently, I received an email link to Muddy Streams blog that mentioned an interesting article that compared, contrasted, and explained the differences between religion and spirituality. The entire article can be read at Got Questions.

Excerpt:

Question: “What is Christian spirituality?”

Answer: When we are born again, we receive the Holy Spirit who seals us for the day of redemption (Ephesians 1:13; 4:30). Jesus promised that the Holy Spirit would lead us “into all truth” (John 16:13). Part of that truth is taking the things of God and applying them to our lives. When that application is made, the believer then makes a choice to allow the Holy Spirit to control him/her. True Christian spirituality is based upon the extent to which a born-again believer allows the Holy Spirit to lead and control his or her life.

Read it all at the link above. The details and Scripture references are all important regarding the type of “spirituality” that a Christian should follow and adhere to.

The NBC TV series – A.D. The Bible Continues – had its second episode originally broadcasted on Sunday evening (4/12/15). The disciples are now only starting to grasp the true meaning and significance of Jesus’ resurrection from the dead. They see Him, in the physical sense, as He appears various times to them (i.e. in the Upper Room, in front of Mary who was weeping inside the tomb wondering “where have they taken my Lord).

In the case of Mary, she asked such a question of someone whom she perceived as a “stranger” that appeared to her outside the tomb. It was only when He said her name, “Mary” that she recognized Jesus – her Risen Lord and Savior!

Jesus also appeared on the shore of Galilee where the disciples were fishing, but experiencing another bad day because they were not netting any fish. Jesus called out to them and said, “throw the nets on the right side of the boat.”

 

When they listened and obeyed His directive, their catch was abundant!

Jesus also had a discussion with Peter where he asked his wayward and denying disciple if he loved Him. The Lord asked three times, and Peter replied affirmatively three times. This was a way of restoration for Peter’s previous denials as Jesus was being led to the cross.

Love is sacrifice.
Love is mercy and grace.
Love is forgiveness of sins.
Love is listening and obeying.

Love is worship.

But it ultimately matters in whom one worships! Does the Messiah have worth-ship in order to lead us towards truth?

For our part, we need to believe in Jesus and repent of our sins, allowing the Holy Spirit to enter into our hearts in order to guide us into all truth.

All of this has been gained by Jesus’ sacrificial death on the cross!

During my Virginia visit, I made what is likely construed by most as a typical observation regarding all of the violence, hatred, evil, sin and death going on in the world today.  Jesus did tell us in Scripture that the “signs of the times” pointing towards His return would be “as in the days of Noah and Lot.”

In the case of Noah, there was so much violence, evil, sin and death that it grieved the Lord God immensely. The only “righteous ones” found were within Noah’s own family! All the others mocked, scorned, laughed at and ignored Noah for his “eccentric behavior” for building an Ark on dry land.

The people went on to continue in their sinful lifestyles.  They ignored Noah’s warnings and continued in their chosen evil and deadly ways.

In the case of Lot, the whole place (Sodom and Gomorrah) would have been spared if 50, then 20, then just 10 righteous people could be found in the cities.

We know that only Lot, his wife and children made it out (practically dragged out by the angels!); but even then, Lot’s wife looked back longingly (ignoring the angels warnings not to!) and she turned into a pillar of salt.

I always thought that it was interesting that we never knew her name, but Jesus’ admonition to “remember Lot’s wife” was a New Testament  (as well as modern-day) warning not to go back to our former lives of sin.

Back to my observation.

I mentioned to my brother that the ways of man without the wisdom of God being followed result in all forms of evil…and eventually lead to death. Why would God, knowing this, then allow a brutal beating, scourging, crucifixion and death of His “Holy One” in order to get through to all that need to be re-born and saved? Doesn’t it make sense to counter what the sinful mindsets of men do throughout the centuries in order to get our attention with the goal of discovering THE WAY out of our predicament?  That could be considered “man’s wisdom.”  The message of the Cross of Christ is “foolishness to those who are perishing…but to us who are being saved it is the power of God!”

1Co 1:18

For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

2Co 2:15

For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing.

God’s Wisdom in this is often regarded as offensive to those who are perishing.  It is for this reason that many non-believers hate Christians and Christianity.  Such hatred is ratcheting up the closer we get to the end times.  Jesus warned us that many would hate us.  But remember that they “hated Him without a cause.”

Jhn 15:25

“But this happened that the word might be fulfilled which is written in their law, ‘They hated Me without a cause.’[fn]

This also, was a fulfillment of prophecy!

Psa 69:4

Those who hate me without a cause
Are more than the hairs of my head;
They are mighty who would destroy me,
Being my enemies wrongfully;
Though I have stolen nothing,
I still must restore it.

In the economy of the Godhead – from eternity past to eternity future – this agreement was made between the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit so that mankind could be reconciled back unto a Holy and Righteous God! While we were yet sinners…Christ died for us!

The Bible tells us that there is no greater love than for a Man to lay His life down for His friends. But the God-Man Jesus Christ followed through to prove who he is and for this reason he was born to save his people from their sins.

1Jo 4:19

We love Him[fn] because He first loved us.

So, what are we to do? Accept it…and believe!

Thomas wanted proof that Jesus was actually resurrected from the dead. He stated that he would not believe until he saw Jesus alive again. What’s more, he needed to put his finger into the nail scars in Jesus’ hands and His side.

Jesus said, “Thomas, you believe because you have seen me. Blessed are those who have not seen me yet believe.”

That is FAITH!

Faith is the evidence of things not seen. Faith is the substance of things hoped for.

Heb 11:1

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

The next episode of “A.D. The Bible Continues” showed what happens to the disciples when they receive the power of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost.  These men were transformed forever – and  carried on through the Book of Acts in the Bible spreading The Way of salvation through Jesus Christ and reiterating man’s need to be born again through the Holy Spirit.

Another excerpt from Got Questions:

Therefore, Christian spirituality involves a choice we make to “know and grow” in our daily relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ by submitting to the ministry of the Holy Spirit in our lives. This means that, as believers, we make a choice to keep our communication with the Spirit clear through confession (1 John 1:9). When we grieve the Spirit by sin (Ephesians 4:30; 1 John 1:5-8), we erect a barrier between ourselves and God. When we submit to the Spirit’s ministry, our relationship is not interrupted (1 Thessalonians 5:19). Christian spirituality is a consciousness of fellowship with the Spirit of Christ, uninterrupted by carnality and sin. Christian spirituality develops when a born-again believer makes a consistent and ongoing choice to surrender to the ministry of the Holy Spirit.

It matters greatly which kind of “spirit” one follows. You don’t want to be trapped under the influence of deceiving spirits! So, how do you know whether or not you are being deceived?

1. Read and study God’s Word – the Bible.
2. Follow God’s Living Word – Jesus Christ

That’s it!

We are told both in the beginning and the end of the book of Revelation that those of us who read and study it – will be blessed!

Yet, many churches and pastors these days ignore that book. Why? Why would they want their congregations to miss out on such blessings?

It must have something to do with knowing (or ignoring) the truth.

In Zechariah’s prophecy where he describes the King “riding on a donkey,” he also states:

Zec 9:11

“As for you also,
Because of the blood of your covenant,
I will set your prisoners free from the waterless pit.

 

No one likes the term “slave.” But the meaning here is a positive one.

Rom 6:18

And having been set free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness.

Rom 6:22

But now having been set free from sin, and having become slaves of God, you have your fruit to holiness, and the end, everlasting life.

Being set free from sin is the greatest achievement of all time! Jesus Christ accomplished this for us on the cross because without the shedding of blood, there is no remission from sin.

Jhn 8:32

Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

Three things that matter within our trust in Jesus and in our desire to be with God:

Jhn 14:6

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

P.S. The Vikings Proverb was included in a very long Land Rover commercial via Direct TV. In addition to that saying, the following quote appeared:

“Fifty percent of people in Iceland believe in elves.”

Wow.

Question:  What does believing in elves get you in this lifetime or in eternity?

Answer:  Nothing.

I think that staking my life on the historical, spiritual, and biblical proof of the resurrection of Jesus Christ is light-years more sensible!

~ Christine

Hat tips to all links.


Talk Wisdom

Talk Wisdom's goal is to defend the tenets and values of Biblical Christian faith. We defend our Constitutional Republic and Charters of Freedom, especially when speaking out against destructive social and political issues. As followers of our Savior and Lord, we should boldly stand up for Jesus Christ in our present circumstances. He is our Savior, Lord, and King, and His love needs to be shed abroad in our hearts and in our world - now.

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Truth2Freedom's Blog

Faith in Jesus Christ is our response to God's elective purpose in our life. These two truths--God's initiative and man's response--co-exist throughout the Bible. The gospel is "the message of truth" because truth is its predominant characteristic. Salvation was conceived by the God of truth (Ps. 31:5); purchased by the Son, who is the truth (John 14:6); and is applied by the Spirit of truth (John 16:13). To know it is to know the truth that sets men free (John 8:32). Believers are people of the truth (John 18:37), who worship God in spirit and in truth (John 4:24), and who obey the Word of truth (John 17:17). People have rejected, neglected, redefined, and opposed God’s truth for centuries. Some cynically deny that truth even exists or that it can be known by men (John 18:38). Others foolishly think that denying truth will somehow make it go away. Truth determines the validity of one's belief. Believing a lie doesn't make it true. Conversely, failing to believe the truth doesn't make it a lie. The gospel is true because Jesus is true, not simply because Christians believe in Him. His resurrection proved the truth of His claims and constitutes the objective basis of our faith (Rom. 1:4; 1 Pet. 1:3). Truth is our protection and strength (Eph. 6:14). Throughout history, people have tried everything imaginable to gain favor with God. Most turn to religion, but religion apart from Christ is merely a satanic counterfeit of the truth. At the heart of every false religion is the notion that man can come to God by any means he chooses--by meditating, doing good deeds, and so on. But Scripture says, "There is no other name under heaven that has been given among men, by which we must be saved" (Acts 4:12). That name is Jesus Christ, and we come to Him by confessing and repenting of our sin, trusting in His atoning death on the cross, and affirming His bodily resurrection from the grave (cf. Rom. 10:9-10). There is no other way to God. False religious leaders and teachers talk much about God’s love, but not His wrath and holiness; much about how deprived of good things people are, but not about their depravity; much about God’s universal fatherhood toward everyone, but not much about his unique fatherhood toward all who believe in His Son; much about what God wants to give to us, but nothing about the necessity of obedience to Him; much about health and happiness, but nothing about holiness and sacrifice. Their message is full of gaps, the greatest of which leaves out a biblical worldview of the saving gospel and replaces it with the worldview of postmodernism with its dominant ethical system of relativism. The Bible describes mankind in the end times: “always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth” (2 Tim. 3:7). Spiritual answers cannot be deduced by human reason alone (1 Cor. 2:14). It’s not that spiritual truth is irrational or illogical, but that human wisdom is defective, because it’s tainted by man’s sinfulness, and unable to perceive the things of God. That is why the Bible is so important. It gives us the answers we can’t find on our own. It is God’s Word to mankind. Scripture is divinely revealed truth that fills the vacuum of spiritual ignorance in all of us. Post-truth is the word of the year for 2016 and also the philosophy of the day, According to the dictionary, “post-truth” means, “relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief.” Simply put, we now live in a culture that seems to value experience and emotion more than truth. In a “post-truth” world, people make choices based on emotion and experience rather than objective fact. So in a post-truth world, truth is irrelevant. What exactly is a post-truth culture? It’s a culture where truth is no longer an objective reality. It has become subjective. It’s what’s true for me—my beliefs, my opinions, determine my truth. So in our post-truth culture, man determines truth. Man makes himself the ultimate authority. This starting point, which rejects God’s Word and the idea of moral absolutes, makes truth subjective. Truth will never go away no matter how hard one might wish. Christianity is grounded in objective truth. “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32). Objective truth exists because we have God’s Word. In the Gospel of John, Jesus says, “Sanctify them by Your truth. Thy word is truth” (John 17:17), and Paul and James describe the Bible as “the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15; James 1:18). The Psalmist says, “The entirety of your word is truth” (Psalm 119:160). Jesus Himself said, “For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice” (John 18:37). When Jesus said, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except by me” (John 14:6), He wasn’t expressing His personal belief or opinion. He was speaking the truth, a fundamental reality that doesn’t change from person to person. It doesn’t matter if our culture thinks all roads lead to God. The truth of the matter is “no one comes to the Father but by [Jesus].” This blogs goal is to, in some small way, put a plug in the broken dam of truth and save as many as possible from the consequences—temporal and eternal. "The further a society drifts from truth, the more it will hate those who speak it." - George Orwell

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WHENEVER ANY FORM OF GOVERNMENT BECOMES DESTRUCTIVE OF THESE ENDS (LIFE,LIBERTY,AND THE PERSUIT OF HAPPINESS) IT IS THE RIGHT OF THE PEOPLE TO ALTER OR ABOLISH IT, AND TO INSTITUTE A NEW GOVERNMENT...

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