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Our Only Hope

The other day I sat out on my porch in the early morning light. I was out much earlier than usual and the sun was just starting to awake. I glanced down at the pond below me and thought I saw a ginormous frog. I focused my eyes for a second and then realized that it was a rock. I laughed at myself but then realized, with somber awareness, that this is what so many are doing right now.

They are glancing or hearing something and they are taking it at face value. I would submit to you that the days for taking anything at “face value” are over. We can’t afford to just glance and assume we actually are seeing what we are seeing. It takes some serious digging to find out the truth. Digging that is critical to both our physical and our spiritual lives.

For example, the other day there was a doctor who put on social media what he is seeing in the hospitals. It was awful and, it it’s true, it was certainly something to encourage people to make a certain decision. However, upon further evaluation, we realized that he had said something that makes no sense at all and was completely inconsistent with common medical practice. Therefore it had absolutely no merit. He clearly had lied. Later, I found out that people are being paid money to lie on their social media accounts. With the dearth of integrity and the ease with which people lie, you can see how this would be a very effective way to push a narrative.

My point is this: Evaluate and examine everything. No matter which side or point of view it comes from. Don’t “pick a side” and then grow lazy. Deception is literally everywhere.

Whether it is regarding false teaching or any other happening in our world today, we must think beyond the obvious. Satan is counting on Christians not doing that. He’s counting on Christians not knowing the Word–either in regards to doctrine or prophecy. And he has a pretty good thing going at this point as most Christians are completely illiterate in both.

The Word is our only hope.

Literally–

Our. Only. Hope.

It’s what will keep us from being deluded. It’s what will show us deception. It will give us context for what is happening right now. It will encourage our hearts with God’s promises.

Remember–it will be so treacherous and perilous in the earth’s final days that–if it were possible–even the very elect would be deceived.

We must stay awake and alert with lamps full of oil as we await our Bridegroom (Matthew 25:1-13). We must not sleep like others do but watch and be sober (I Thessalonians 5:1-11).

We can’t glance at something and assume it’s true. Yes, it takes work to think beyond the narrative. It takes work to compare all we hear from preachers and authors and teachers–and even on social media–against the Word of God. But this is our task as believers.

It is our only protection.

It is our only hope in this mixed up, insane world.

(Yes. I do know that I am being redundant. I recognize that I am saying this same thing over and over again. I do so because A) perhaps there is a new reader out there, B) It really can’t be repeated enough, and C) It truly is the only hope for believers in these last days.)

 

Three Reasons to Avoid the Enneagram

The Enneagram has become a popular trend recently among many Christians–particularly Christian women. But as with anything that comes along, we Christians need to examine and test it (1 Thessalonians 5:21). If we say that we love the Lord and His Word, it is our responsibility to evaluate any new trend against that Word, no matter how wildly popular it is. Perhaps especially if it is wildly popular.

My daughter, Jess, took the time to do some evaluating of this popular trend recently over at her An Anchor for the Soul Facebook page and gave me permission to share what she wrote here on the blog. I hope this will be helpful to you as you seek to please the Lord with your life.

Here’s what Jess found out–

First, what is the Enneagram? It’s simple definition is “a system of personality typing that describes patterns in how people interpret the world and manage their emotions. The Enneagram describes nine personality types and maps each of these types on a nine-pointed diagram which helps to illustrate how the types relate to one another.” Sounds innocent, enough, right? Wrong.

Let me explain the three reasons why I believe the Enneagram is something we should avoid entirely–

1) ITS ORIGIN: The Enneagram was first created by George Gurdjieff as a symbol of the cosmos. He was an occultist who believed man isn’t aware of his true self or reality until he awakens his conscience. Gurdjieff’s pupil, Oscar Ichazo, used psychedelic drugs and shamanism and claimed he received instruction regarding the Enneagram from a higher entity called “Metatron.” He saw the Enneagram as a tool to explore how someone’s essence (which is originally “perfect and in unity with the cosmos”) becomes distorted by karma, subjectivity, and ego.

Claudio Naranjo, another occultist, then connected the symbol with nine personality types. He originally claimed that the nine types were rooted in ancient history but later admitted that they were created through the practice of automatic writing. Naranjo’s students spread the Enneagram throughout various Catholic communities in the 1970s and Don Riso and Bob Nochs furthered its audience and popularity. Richard Rohr brought it into Evangelical circles with his book “The Enneagram: a Christian Perspective” in 1989.

So the creation of the Enneagram includes mysticism, the occult, shamanism, spirit guides, drugs, occult symbols, catholicism, heretics and automatic writing. Does this sound like something a Christian should embrace?

2) ITS PURPOSE: According the Enneagram Institute, the purpose of the modern day Enneagram is very similar to that of Ichazo’s Enneagram. The goal is to help people unravel the mystery of their true identity and develop more desirable spiritual and psychological qualities. They believe people are spiritual beings who have lost contact with their true nature. Once people discover their true nature through the Enneagram, they can experience a spiritual awakening that brings freedom and joy.

This purpose flies in the face of the Gospel. No, we aren’t spiritual beings who have lost contact with our true nature. We are children of the world and slaves to sin apart from the redeeming work of Christ. No, we don’t need to unravel the mystery of our identity, unless we’re unraveling the fact that we’re hopeless sinners. No, we don’t need to discover our true nature to find a spiritual awakening. We need only to repent and believe in the truth of the Gospel to find freedom and joy. The Enneagram will not help us develop desirable qualities. Only the Bible and the Holy Spirit at work in us can do that.

3) ITS USE IN CHRISTIANITY: Many people say that the Enneagram has merit beyond it’s occult philosophy and purpose. Christians have praised the Enneagram as a tool to help us better understand ourselves and to better understand and offer compassion to others. But can we really use the Enneagram without dabbling in its new age creation and purpose? And if we could, does its purpose in Christian circles have any merit? The answer is a resounding no.

First, identifying your Enneagram number and exploring the meaning behind it is like identifying yourself by your Zodiac sign. It is no different. Everything about it is rooted in the occult. We will never grow in true knowledge of God or ourselves with a tool that God would call an abomination (Deuteronomy 7 and 18, Galatians 5, Jeremiah 17).

And secondly, even if we could separate it from its occult origin, it offers nothing helpful in our walk with Christ. I found it interesting that many so-called christian proponents of the Enneagram use a quote from Calvin as support for their argument. But the quote they use (“Without knowledge of self, there is no knowledge of God”) is simply a heading taken from one of his books. His conclusion under that heading says “Thus, our feeling of ignorance, vanity, want, weakness, in short, depravity and corruption, reminds us that in the Lord, and none but He, dwell the true light of wisdom, solid virtue, exuberant goodness. We are accordingly urged by our own evil things to consider the good things of God; and, indeed, we cannot aspire to Him in earnest until we have begun to be displeased with ourselves.” I have a feeling they left that part out on purpose.

The Enneagram is focused completely on self. It’s a tool of self-discovery in its most basic form. But we don’t need a tool for self-discovery that inflates our ego and makes us feel better about ourselves. We only need the Bible that instead leads us on the only true path of self-discovery, a path that shows us our sinfulness and our need for a Savior. We are already naturally obsessed with ourselves. The last thing we need is another teaching or tool that focuses on US. The Bible never says to learn about ourselves. It simply says to deny ourselves and grow in our knowledge of HIM.

You don’t the Enneagram, my friends.
You just need your Bible.

 

 

Preparing the Lemmings

Since the beginning of time, man has assumed that the world came into being through a Creator. This is across all cultures and lands, where you will find variations on biblical accounts (such as creation, the fall of man, and Noah and the flood).

While man has always had a rebellious heart and worked hard to remove the accountability of man to that Creator (through religions such as Deism), it wasn’t until the late 1700s that someone came up with the idea to just remove a Creator altogether. From that point on, various men put forth this idea, but it wasn’t until the late 1800s that the theory of evolution caught on through a man named Charles Darwin.

Now we find ourselves in a place where if we don’t believe in this ridiculous theory, we are viewed as unintellectual and even stupid.

Never mind that it goes against all natural laws and is absolutely impossible. Never mind that it takes more faith to believe that than to believe in a Creator. Never mind all those things. Just believe what we tell you. Or we will shame you and and ruin your reputation.

Sound familiar?

Fast forward over a hundred and fifty years. This has happened over and over again with so many different things, hasn’t it? Both within the church and without. They have convinced us that therapy and medication is our only hope for inner peace. That the new age practices of yoga and mindfulness will help us. We are told that it is normal for women to work outside the home and to lead in our churches. “They” have been prying our fingers from the Word of God and its literal interpretation for many years now.

Scientists, psychologists, specialists, professors, doctors, authors, preachers, and celebrities all wield a particular kind of power that is actually kind of strange and more than a little scary. We have been fully prepared to listen to any specialist or scientist rather than God. To believe what they tell us over what God’s Word tells us. And when they are all saying the same thing, it can become overwhelming in its wrongness.

And now many of these “professionals” are telling us that certain things work and certain things don’t. To follow certain paths and avoid others. Even though it is clear from the statistics and data that they are LYING.

And so here’s a reminder:

Truth is not determined by how many people believe it.

Read that again.

A million “professionals” can declare, publish, and affirm a lie while a handful hold to the verified truth. Who is right and who is wrong in this scenario?

More than a few years ago now, I read the story of John G Paton and his missionary adventures in the New Hebrides Islands (what is now known as Vanuatu). In it, he told the story of how he sat in his house with his family one night with native warriors all around. For some reason, they never attacked them. He was puzzled until, some years later, one of those warriors explained. When they came to kill the family, they had seen large men in white standing guard. Angels had protected that family.

Fast forward to a few months ago. I had remembered this story (it’s a memorable and comforting story!) but just couldn’t remember where I had read it. So I decided to do an internet search to see if I could find it. One of the articles that came up was a Snopes article “fact-checking” this event from the 1800s and declaring it false.

Dear readers, fact-checkers are not always right. And, I dare say, are often wrong. These are being used as a tool to sway and move the lemmings in a certain direction. There is a method to the madness of all that is going on right now.

And, once again, may I remind you that this is from both sides. Beware of both sides. Don’t align with either. Both are evil. The great reset side and the great awakening side are full of deception and lies.

The world is calling its lemmings to pick a side. Do you know what a lemming is? It’s a small rodent that has a long-standing myth that surrounds it: They will jump off a cliff en masse and commit suicide. How about that??

But we aren’t lemmings. We are people. And we have a Good Shepherd (John 10). Instead of looking to the “professionals” for our beliefs, we look to what the Word says. Instead of basing our lives (and the many decisions we are called to make) on internet posts and books and podcasts, we base them on the Bible. Instead of picking a side, we firmly plant our feet on God’s side.

We are the people of God and we are but pilgrims passing through. The waves of darkness and apostasy that are overtaking the world should not ruffle us as much as they do. (But, if we are honest, many of us are quite ruffled. We are nervous and upset and worried when we stop long enough to think about the future. Particularly, if we aren’t getting strength every day from the Word.)

So there are a few things we can do to keep ourselves from joining the lemmings. To set ourselves apart from the crowd. But we need to ask ourselves: Am I willing to do this? It’s not an easy route to take, to be sure. It’s a difficult and rocky path. But it is worth it and it is what we are called to do.

1. Read and study your Bible. I know I say this so often, but the reading and study of the Word by a humble and obedient soul cannot be over-emphasized. You see, as you read, many of the lies we have been fed about this world fall away as we recognize the Truth and the consistency of that Truth throughout the entire Book. It’s an amazing and incredible Book.

I heard a statistic the other day: 97% of people who call themselves a Christian have never read the entire Bible through. Are you one of those people? If you are, may I encourage you to make a change today? (Personally, I waited far, far too long to make this change and it is one of my biggest regrets in life.) We are powerless and vulnerable without God’s Word. It is what He has given us to live a victorious Christian life.

2. Value and search for the truth, no matter the cost. Ask God to show you the truth about what is going on in this world, no matter the consequences. One of the reasons so many people shy away from the truth is because it costs too much. It hurts too much. It’s often so much more pleasant to believe a lie. But we can’t expect to know the truth if we aren’t willing to pay the cost.

Humanity has always loved lies. From the Garden of Eden to this present day, we are so much more prone to listen to a pleasant lie than an unpleasant truth. And God even tells us in His Word about this, where He explains that the ungodly exchange the Truth of God for the lie (Romans 1:25).

But, as believers, this should not be so! We should be earnestly searching for the truth in all situations. We should be facing the world with open eyes and ears, willing to hear even the hardest of truths. Christians can face these hard truths because they have a secure future in Christ. No matter what happens in this world, we are safe from eternal harm.

3. Stop caring about popularity. Oh, how powerful peer pressure is. You can see the lemmings lining up to do as they are told because they want people to like them. They don’t want to stand out as different. They don’t want to make a scene. They don’t want others to think they are uncaring or mean-spirited. They want to be accepted and loved. As we are told that there are certain actions we must take in order to receive acceptance, love, and to look like we are a “nice person”, many cave to the pressure. But it’s important that we fully evaluate any decision before we bow to that pressure. Is this what is best or is this simply what is going to keep us from standing out as odd?

4. Expect to be ridiculed. As you make choices that go in direct contrast with the world, expect to be hated. The world has never liked the guy swimming upstream in a downstream world. They have never liked the guy who chooses the narrow, difficult path, instead of joining the throng on the easy, wide road. As you make choices that go against the crowd, these things will come.

Sometimes they come from a very sad and disheartening direction and family relationships are strained and friends are lost. Sometimes even Christian ones. These may be the price to pay if we search out the truth and follow it whole-heartedly.

 

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As we strive to live in this crazy insane world, may we choose to remember our identity: We are the people of God. We are not the lemmings of the world that can be swayed and moved any which way. As we see the lemmings prepared for the antichrist system, may we believers keep ourselves separate and apart, just as we are told to do in God’s Word (Romans 12:2).

 

 

What the Bible Says About Fixing the World

Is it the job of the Christian to make the world a better place? Is it our job to fix it? You may be surprised to know that this is a mainstream philosophy of many churches and Christians today. They believe we are here to improve the world. Many believe that Jesus won’t return until we do this. That somehow we have to prepare the world for His return.

Now you may be able to get that from a few verses that are twisted and pulled way out of context, but this is not the actual message of scripture.

If you look at both the Gospels and the Epistles, we see an acceptance of the world the way it is and instructions for living in it (I Corinthians 12:13 and Ephesians 5&6). More importantly, we see that the Christian is not to focus on this world but on eternal things (Colossians 3). And, most importantly, we read throughout the entire New Testament that the only way for true and lasting change in both the individual and in the culture is through the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

We are also told in scripture that the world will get worse and worse (2 Timothy 3:1-9; Jude). We should not expect to live in a fixed earth for there will be no such thing until Jesus returns.

This past week in Sunday School, our teacher pointed out a verse in Daniel 9 that I never noticed before–

O my God, incline Your ear and hear; open Your eyes and see our desolations, and the city which is called by Your name; for we do not present our supplications before You because of our righteous deeds, but because of Your great mercies.

As I read and then re-read that verse, it hit me! The main problem with the social justice/fix the world movement is PRIDE. Man actually thinks he has the power to fix the world. Think about that for a moment.

Now–keep in mind that I am not saying we aren’t to do good things. Scripture makes it abundantly clear that we are. And I am not implying that cultures won’t be better sometimes because of Christians. I think those of us in America did have that experience (particularly if we are older).

But we have to recognize that without Christ, we can do nothing (John 15:5). That any good that we accomplish is through God alone. And God does graciously choose to use us in this world to accomplish His purposes. He has clearly set out good works for us to do (Ephesians 2:8-10) and we are to faithfully going about His business.

But to think we can fix the world is rather presumptuous, don’t you think?

Read that verse again. Do you see what Daniel said? He is asking for God to hear Him –not because of their righteous deeds but because of His great mercies.

Not because of their righteous deeds. It seems like this group of “Christians” are very much counting on their righteous deeds to ready the world for Christ. Ironically, this movement has little to do with the genuine Gospel in their efforts to attain utopia here on earth.

And don’t miss two facts about that this movement to bring in a better world–

First, this is the same old, same old that Satan has been trying to accomplish since the beginning of time. Man can be like God and bring in a utopian society. Sure, there are a few more Christian terms covering up the true agenda, but if you dig a little, you will see little reliance on God in this movement and much reliance on self.

Second, please note how this movement will play right into the system of the antichrist. These people who are crying out for a perfect world will be ripe to fall into the worship of the antichrist, as he promises to join them in fixing the world. This is not just a “movement” but a very intentional direction that Satan is taking the church.

Now, I want to be clear about one thing before I close today: I am sure there are many Christians who have been deceived in this area of making the world a better place. Just as we are all deceived about one thing or another.

We must pray diligently that the Lord will keep us from deception, for it is everywhere now. EVERYWHERE. We must persevere in finding out the truth in all areas of life or we will leave ourselves open to great deception. Trust NO MAN OR WOMAN more than you trust the Word of God.

If God said it and the true Church has believed it for over 2000 years then it is true–no matter what new-fangled way someone has of interpreting a verse or passage.

This is why church history is so important. It gives context and a firm foundation of the true Christian Faith (this is the true Christian faith–and does not include the Catholic church, which is not a true Christian church and never has been.) Sorry, I got a little off of topic there, but I do believe that church history is critically important. Actually, history is critically important. We see many things happening today because people do not know history. Or they believe a faulty history. And so it repeats itself. Over and over again. But I digress.

Dear readers, we are not here to fix the world. Anyone who reads and studies their Bible must come to that conclusion, for there is no other conclusion to be drawn. We are here to share the Gospel and to make the Lord known in a rebellious and dark world. Most will turn away from the Gospel. but God, in His Providence, will lead us to some who are seeking after Him and longing to be part of His family. And so we continue to share the Gospel and to contend for the faith in the midst of the great apostasy that is taking place today.

 

 

A Warning (and a bit of encouragement, too!)

Last year I wrote often about what was happening all around us. I shared much of my journey with you as I tried to process all the changes we were all experiencing in the light of my faith (or lack thereof). As we settled down into the unsettled and uncertain “new” normal, I chose to go back to my normal style of writing, at least for the most part. But today, I want to talk just a bit about all that’s happening around us and simply offer a warning and also some encouragement.

This summer has given us a bit of our old lives back, albeit with shortages and rising prices, the brandishing of sin as never seen before, and the terrifying threats of governments to citizens who won’t do their bidding. And, of course, here in the U.S. there is the very strange phenomenon of the government handing its citizens gobs and gobs of money that it doesn’t have. You have to admit that this is just…weird.

While all this stuff is going on, it’s been nice to experience a bit of normal. The masks are off, the store shelves are mostly full, people are vacationing, and life feels okay for now. But I think we all know it’s temporary. As much as we’d like to believe differently.

The other day I was in a store and overheard a conversation between two women. They looked to be in their sixties and the one mentioned how she had gotten the v-xine and wasn’t sure if she should have and the other women said something in response that I couldn’t hear and then, as they walked away, I heard one of them say that she just feels like something else is coming, although she doesn’t know what. My husband has shared with me that customers and business associates often mention this same thing to him, as well. I think we all know that this unsettled normal we find ourselves in this summer is only temporary. It’s like a bubble that is floating along that has to pop eventually.

I know some of you just don’t want to hear this. It’s overwhelming or too negative for you. And I get it. Sometimes I feel that way, too. You will not offend me if you just don’t want to read this. Go to something else and forget about this particular post.

But for those of you who see it coming and are trying to process, please keep reading.

Jesus gives His followers a warning in Mark 13:5–

And Jesus, answering them, began to say: “Take heed that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am He,’ and will deceive many.

He continues on in verses 21-23 on this topic of deception–

“Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or, ‘Look, He is there!’ do not believe it. 22 For false christs and false prophets will rise and show signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the g]”>[g]”>gg]”>]elect. 23 But take heed; see, I have told you all things beforehand. 

2 Thessalonians 2:3 also warns us not to be deceived–

Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of b]”>[b]”>bb]”>]sin is revealed, the son of perdition

 

I believe deception is one of our greatest dangers as we navigate this strange new world. I have been so disappointed to watch well-known Christian after well-known Christian cast their lot in with one side or the other. There is the “great reset” side– the social justice/socialism/left side and there is the “great awakening” side–the freedom/we have rights/”a great revival is coming”/right side.

Please understand: Both sides are dangerous. Both sides represent evil. And Satan is using them both, pitted against each other, to prepare the world for what Revelation says is to come.

You may be thinking: How can you say that??

So let me tell you how.

I have spent many years researching things I never write about here on the blog. Very little is as it seems in this world. If you value truth, it doesn’t take long to figure this out. Many are uncomfortable with what they find out and turn away. Some even mock and ridicule those who talk about these things. (This always makes me laugh a bit because it is so well-documented. I always say that I don’t care at all if you don’t agree with me, but do the research first and then tell me you don’t agree.)

But my point is this: As I have come to recognize that nothing is as it seems, I have also come to understand how Satan uses the Hegelian Dialectic to move the world in the direction he would have it go. The left side and the right side are two wings of the same bird.

It is critical to understand this if you are going to keep yourself from being deceived. And we know from the verses above that deception, which has always been a danger for believers, will ramp up considerably towards the end of this age. I believe we are watching this “ramping up” take place right before our very eyes.

As believers, may we heed Christ’s warnings and keep our eyes on Him. I caution you to keep from aligning with either side. You will find that the one side may talk more about “Jesus” but, if you listen carefully, you will find that the majority are not talking about the Jesus of the Bible.

Discernment is more critical than ever at this time. We cannot let our guards down for a second. I know so many don’t want to live like this. It’s not in them to be a skeptic. They just want to glide along in life. Well, let me tell you a secret–I’d like that, too! But scripture makes it clear in so many places that “gliding along” is never an option for a believer. And when we choose to do so, we end up going the wrong direction. It’s inevitable.

I want to encourage you to really think about what’s happening in light of where we know the world is eventually headed. If you have been around here awhile, you already know that I am most certainly not a date-setter. So the Revelation scenario could be a few years from now or it could be fifty. That’s not my point. My point is that we can see things setting up for what the Bible has told us is coming and deception is occurring at unprecedented levels.

Have you ever watched a small animal that stops with ears pricked as they listen for a predator? They have a God-given sense of danger that they heed. As they stop and intently listen for their predator, they are an example for us. So, we, too, should be aware of our predator (I Peter 5:8).

Blindly lolly-gagging in a meadow is no place for us to be at the moment. We are surrounded by wolves on every side. Many of them are dressed in “sheep’s clothing”. We must be vigilant. But, most importantly, we must stay close to the Shepherd. For He is truly our only hope for protection and comfort and rest.

As I consider this world full of spiritual land-mines that we currently are traveling through, I have to wonder if we genuine Bible-believing Christians are going to end up the very hated minority crushed between the two movements. It will be interesting to watch this all play out.

With this in mind, I did also want to offer some encouragement. As I was reading in Ephesians last week, there was a short passage that profoundly struck me. Let me share it now–

Ephesians 2:4-7–

 But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.

 

Many days it feels like we’ve landed in an alternate universe. But this universe is so temporary. Paul reminds us in the above passage that we have AGES to come where we are going to experience the EXCEEDING RICHES of God’s grace. Oh, to keep an eternal perspective as we move forward into the unknown on this broken and sinful earth.

So keep your eyes and ears alert to danger. It’s all around now. But don’t let it get you down. This is but a temporary home and we are headed to a wonderful place where there is no sin or Satan or evil plots. And we will be in that home forever!

 

 

Be Different

I just cannot believe the division that has been growing over this past year. It’s like a cancer in families and among lifelong friends. It’s in churches and workplaces and schools. And it all has to do with a virus and how we each, individually, choose to respond to this virus.

People have extremely strong opinions on both sides of this and it has led to a divide I honestly never thought I’d see. Satan is having a heyday. There are threats, name-calling, thoughtless judgments, outright lies, and unkind and downright mean spirits. It’s been a sad and disheartening thing to watch. Even tragic.

Now we can expect this kind of thing among unbelievers. They are not compelled to live a life obedient to Christ’s commands and they certainly aren’t living by God’s Word. But watching this division happen among Christ’s own has been disturbing and heart-breaking.

No matter which side you are on of the great debate, I am guessing that– if you are a believer– you truly want what is best for your fellow man. This non-biblical issue can have two people who dearly love the Lord and passionately love people coming up with completely opposite opinions. They BOTH love God and love people and, yet, they don’t agree.

The question is this: Shouldn’t they still be able to love each other?

As we watch the world fight and accuse and ridicule, we Christians should take no part. If we can’t love each other despite our differences then we look just like the world.

This doesn’t mean we can’t kindly express opinions and have discussions. What it does mean is that we love each other as Christian family, despite our differences.

I know that there is great passion about this on both sides of the issue. I get it. But to let it ruin relationships and destroy families is giving Satan a BIG win. As much as it depends on us, we can’t allow that to happen.

I have, on several occasions, publicly drawn attention to the side of this issue that I believe is often unheard. I want to, right now, publicly say that if you don’t agree with me, I still love you as my sibling in Christ. You don’t have to agree with me on this particular issue to be my friend. I hope you feel the same if you don’t agree with me.

We are Christian brothers and sisters. We can’t let this divide us into two different teams. We must be unified as we face whatever lies ahead. We can’t allow this to weaken us.

This needing to agree with each other about certain subjects in order to be friends has been gaining momentum in the culture at large for a long time now. Probably close to twenty years. But until this past year, I had no idea how it had so soundly infiltrated the church. How believers had been so taken in by it, too.

This tendency has made leading a church or Christian school a real difficulty for its leaders. Because, let’s be honest, you can never make everybody happy and both sides can get downright mean if they don’t think you made the right decision. (Pray for your leaders!)

And then there is the fact that we all mess up sometimes. We (including me!) don’t always respond right in the heat of the moment. Sometimes we get upset and say things we shouldn’t have. Sometimes we walk away angry. This is when we must ask for and offer forgiveness and grace to one another.

These things can be hard. Some of you find yourselves in passionate disagreements with co-workers, family members, and church family. It feels impossible. And it may be. If the other person isn’t willing to change then there isn’t much you can do.

But I am reminded that, while we can’t change others, we can change ourselves.

One of my favorite verses is Romans 12:18–

If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men.

This tells us it won’t always be possible but that we do our best to do what we can.

As we are overwhelmed by ugly debates and angry conversations that swirl around us, may we Christians not add to the noise, but instead offer a safe and loving place for intelligent and kind discussion about these things. A place where we stay friends no matter what our opinion is. And a place where we are bonded as family through our mutual faith in Christ Jesus alone for our salvation.

And in the midst of this, may we not lose site of our real purpose! We are here on this earth to know God and to make Him known. We want to lead people to Jesus. This is rather hard to do if we are destroying our testimonies through unkind arguments, unwise social media posts, and giving people the silent treatment.

We have an incredible opportunity right now to show that we are not part of this world. That Jesus has changed our lives and has given us a peace and a joy that no worldly pleasure could ever be worth. Let’s remember our focus. Let’s be diligent to discern over the biblical issues that are trying to twist and distort the Gospel. Let’s not get caught up in temporal, non-biblical issues but instead set our minds on things above.

 

If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.

Colossians 3:1-4

 

 

 

 

The Antidote to Insanity

If someone would have told us last year at this time what would happen in the next year, we may have actually laughed at the ridiculousness of it. But here we are. I don’t think I need to review the insane and irrational things we’ve been hearing and watching. But, just for fun (?), I’ll mention a few. (I am avoiding certain words due to censorship, but I think you’ll be able to figure out what I am trying to say.)

–Parents allowing their children to decide if they will be a boy or a girl (and Christians are accused of denying science? It would be comical if it wasn’t so tragic.)

–Abortion at nine months and, in some cases, a few minutes after birth, because, after all, it’s not really a human being until a few minutes after it’s born. (How sick and disturbing is that??)

–A v___cine  that has a death rate pretty similar to the actual vi__s it is designed to stop? Only they don’t really know if it’s effective, so we still need to wear masks and social distance, even after we get the v__cine. In fact, we might need to get this shot every year. Or even twice a year.

–A “Christian” apologist who spent his lifetime defending God and the Bible who not only proved to be a false teacher over the past few years, but actually did horrible, unmentionable immoral things–with no sign that there was any repentance even until the day he died (none of us can know what happened on his deathbed. We can only hope there was last-minute repentance.)

–Pastors claiming we need to apologize for being white and pay reparations for the sins of our ancestors.

–The unbelievable paradox in response from certain government representatives to the r____ts  from last summer as compared to the r___t   from last month. Last summer they were praising and encouraging those who would destroy the lives of so many–which, let’s not forget, included many of the people they were supposedly fighting for. But the other, they are labeling and destroying the lives of not only the people involved but even people who were not anywhere near the vicinity of the second or took any part in it at all. It’s really beyond absurd.

–And, finally, the censorship, peer pressure, and persecution that is ensuring that there is only one allowed opinion. Freedom of speech has all but disappeared in the last six months. People are removed from publicly traded social media companies without notice. Their lives are destroyed without a care. There is zero tolerance for an opinion that does not go along with the mainstream media’s narrative. And NO ONE IS DOING ANYTHING TO STOP IT. (If you don’t find this disturbing, no matter which side you are on, I beg you to consider that you will be next. Censorship such as this is an all-consuming fire.)

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And that’s just a drop in the bucket, isn’t it? There are a million more things. I’ve talked about some of them already here on the blog. And you probably have heard stories that I haven’t heard. I think we can all agree that it is beyond belief and can be quite overwhelming.

In the midst of this are arguments among Christians about masks and vaccines and politics. We are called to have grace for one another in areas that are not biblical and, yet, that grace has all but disappeared in the heat of these issues. Satan is not only causing chaos in the world, but he is actively causing it in the church, as well.

2020 was strange. 2021 may end up even stranger. In the midst of all of this it is important that we have something to anchor ourselves to. An antidote, per se, for the insanity around us.

When someone is bitten by a poisonous snake, the poison will seep into the body, slowing down and petrifying the systems of the body. The only thing that will save that person is the antidote–a counteracting agent that works against the poison.

Antidote (according to Merriam-Webster)–

1 : a remedy to counteract the effects of poison

2 : something that relieves, prevents, or counteracts

 

As believers, we have but one antidote in the midst of all of this insanity and that is THE BIBLE. I don’t think we can overstate the importance of this. You see, it is only the Bible we can turn to for absolute truth. It is only the Bible that can provide peace and joy in the midst of the chaos. It is only the Bible that can help us understand what’s going on. It’s only the Bible that actually has prophesied in precise detail about what we are seeing.

Only the Bible can keep us anchored and grounded during these tumultuous times.

It is literally the only thing that can relieve the confusion, anxiety, and fear; it is the only thing that can prevent deception; and it is the only thing that can counteract both the lies and the chaos.

The Bible has brought much comfort and peace over this time. It as also confirmed itself over and over again as we are watching things get set in place for those things prophesied in Revelation. There is a convergence of signs that really should fill us with awe. The Lord told us these things would happen and they are happening!

This antidote will not work, however, if you don’t approach it properly. Just as an antidote for a snakebite won’t work if you don’t administer it correctly, so, too, the Bible must be approached rightly if it is going to have an antidotal effect on us.

First, we actually spend time in the Word. More time than just a cursory reading of a verse or two. We can’t expect to know the Bible and have it affect us in any way if we never actually study and meditate on it.

Second, we humble ourselves and yield our desires and opinions to the Lord as we search the scripture. We even yield our “dislikes” to Him. If we don’t like something we read there, we choose to believe it in faith.

Third, we must approach the Bible with the correct hermeneutic (a big word to describe how we interpret the scriptures). I believe that the literal-grammatical-historical approach is the correct one, as it purports that we read the Bible literally, as it is written, unless the passage demands otherwise and clearly shows itself as allegorical or symbolic. This type of interpretation means that we concern ourselves with authorial intent. What did the author intend to say? It means that we take scripture passages in the context that they are given, reviewing the passages that are before it and after it. There is so much more, but these three specific things have really helped me in my own study. (I will put some more about this after the post for further study if you are interested.)

 

In many ways, I feel like I’ve been a broken record these past few years. The world is getting crazier. We need to cling to the Bible and only the Bible. That pretty much sums up the over-arching purpose of this blog.

There is one antidote to all of the insanity. And that antidote is the Bible. It is not a blogger, a pastor, an eloquent speaker, an author, a family member, or a teacher. All of these people can and will let you down. While these people can be of great encouragement as we strive to grow, may we keep our focus on the Bible and our loyalty reserved for it alone.

As we all live in the midst of all of this and wonder what is ahead, may we cling to the anchor the Lord has so graciously provided for us. For such a time as this.

 

 

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More regarding Hermeneutics:

From an interview with Dr. Abner Chou (find the rest of it here)–

How do we know we are studying the Bible rightly?

Sometimes people talk about a “literal-grammatical-historical” method. This examines a text with a view to authorial intent (literal) through the text’s wording and in light of the facts of history. How can we be sure this is the way God wanted us to view a text? After all, the Bible is a supernatural text. Perhaps a different method is warranted.

Initially, we could make an argument based upon the nature of language and communication. In other situations, we do not think twice about reading something this way. We do this with our contracts, emails, and our bank statements! God used human language in writing the Bible and arguably it operates along the same line. An even better approach is to see how the biblical writers themselves read and write. When they use Scripture, they claim it is “according to the Scriptures” (1 Cor 15:1-5), “as it is written,” or “what the prophets have spoken.” They insist their interpretation is not contradicting the language of Scripture but based upon authorial intent. Upon closer examination, the biblical writers read the Bible contextually and with an eye to detail. They link related passages together (Rom 9:25-29), showing they are aware of how the Bible contextually fits together. They also make a theological point based upon a single word (Heb 3-4) or grammatical observation (Gal 3:16).

This demonstrates that the biblical writers themselves believed the Bible is based upon authorial intent and that, because of inspiration (2 Tim 3:16), it is good down to the finest detail. Moreover, they read the text highlighting pertinent historical background (Mark 7:3-4), being sensitive to chronology (Gal 3:17), and even discussing history outright. They believed history helped to explain what they meant. The biblical writers themselves reveal the way they read and wrote Scripture. This then is the way the Bible works and grounds our reading of the biblical text. We read the Bible with a view to authorial intent through grammar and history because the biblical writers first did so for us.

In sum, the Bible comes with “hermeneutics included” and that gives us assurance that we did not make up our approach. Rather, the Bible invites us to read this way.

 

We are on a balance beam and there is grave danger on both sides

This is important. Extremely important. I have been watching a rather interesting thing take place. I am not sure where it will lead but I felt I just wanted to offer my readers a warning about what I am seeing.

This past year we have watched our world become extremely divided. While we must acknowledge that there are a few exceptions, we have seen a fairly clear line drawn down the center of mask wearers who believe the vaccine will take the world back to normal and those who believe masks are useless and the vaccine is dangerous. We have seen a fairly clear line drawn between those who agree with a leftist, “woke”, socialist agenda and those who do not. No matter which side you place yourself on, you are probably pretty sure the other side is dead-wrong.

If you are reading this blog on a regular basis, I am doubting you are on the socialist side of things, since this side clearly goes against the Word of God in so many ways. From the horrifying sanction of abortion to the breakdown of the family unit God has designed to the stealing from someone who works hard to give to someone who won’t work (yes, that is stealing, no matter what words they use to describe it), it has an anti-God agenda.

But let’s not be too quick to think that the other side (and I am talking about the side that gathered at the capital earlier this year) is without its major flaws. The main one I see being the new age influence.

A few days ago, I watched a really helpful video by an educated doctor talking about the vaccine and why it is so very dangerous. Her documentation and data were impressive and I can’t see any reason for her to lie, given that she is putting both her reputation and her life on the line to even speak up. But about three-quarters through the video, she started talking about Jesus. Only this was not the Jesus from the Bible.

Her “Jesus” tells her that He is not greater than we are but that He came to show us how to be greater than He is. We just need to search inside ourselves to be great. This is classic new age talk. She also kept referring to energy (always a red flag when you hear it.)

Of course, this was all couched in Christian terminology that made it sound almost biblical.

Why do I bring this up? It is because I have often seen this from the side that many Christians are running to for information. I spotted it in one of the first viral videos, where a doctor gave her testimony. There was nothing in her testimony at all about repentance and needing to be saved from sin. It was all experience and feeling and “light”. This type of new age testimony sounds pretty good, until we start recognizing what they haven’t said.

While there is nothing necessarily wrong with getting data and doing research, please listen very carefully when they start talking about God, Jesus, prayer, the Holy Spirit, and their personal testimonies. Pay close attention when they start talking about spiritual things. Does what they say line up with what the scripture says? Nine times out of ten, it does not. Maybe ninety-nine times out of a hundred. Terms to be aware of are The Great Awakening, energy, light, and Revival (their revival never includes repentance from sin). If they are really giving themselves away, they will refer to the god within or how we are divine as humans. Most of this side is not Christian, although they will sound like they are on the surface. We must not be deceived.

So where does this leave us as Christians? I am afraid it is not anywhere great–at least by human standards. We are literally on the balance beam of the Bible, trying to avoid the danger that lies on both sides. At least we should be there. We are watching the growth of two specific movements and we do not belong to either one. One looks black. The other looks white. But they are both evil.

I make no predictions about how this all ends. I have ideas that I have gleaned, according to the Word. But, let’s be honest, none of us knows how this is all going to go down. We are clueless. And so I am simply presenting what I have been observing. Be careful who you side with. Don’t be too quick to believe someone is saved simply because they mention Jesus. As I remember one of my teachers saying, “it is time to put on your thinking caps.” Think through what someone says and compare it to scripture. This can be done fairly clearly with new age testimonies, as well as with social justice and racism and every other “hot button” subject. God has given us His Word so we can know the truth!

As we start this process of thinking and realizing just how wicked the world is, we can start to feel pretty alone. And, yes, we are but a small group of people who want to follow the Lord whole-heartedly. But let us not forget– we serve the Living God!

Think about this: We are on the side of the God of the Universe. He can move mountains and make the rocks cry out. He can walk on water and He can raise the dead.

The remnant may be oh, so very small (and shrinking daily) but this matters not with God on our side.

I am reminded of Israel when they were surrounded by Arab nations intent on annihilating them. Renald Showers puts it like this, “Azzam Pasha, secretary-general of the Arab League boasted, ‘This will be a war of extermination and a momentous massacre which will be spoken of like the Mongolian massacres and Crusades.’  Because the Arabs had many more soldiers and superior weapons, they were confident the would eliminate Israel from the Middle East.” *

Israel should have lost that war. There is no possible reason why they should have–or even could have–won. The odds are so astounding as to be impossible.

But God was on their side. And so they came out victorious, gaining control of the western half of Jerusalem in the process.

Let’s also remember how God rescued Israel from the Egyptians, even parting the sea so they could escape. And the boy, David, as he slew the giant, Goliath. Let’s remember Gideon as he took his small band of three hundred men to battle victoriously against Midian. We remember Peter and the angel that released him from prison. And God didn’t stop showing up after the Bible was written. Many are the accounts of believers through the ages who have witnessed miraculous events. Our God can do anything.

Of course, we realize that this does not mean we will be saved from really hard times and great persecution. We know from the chapters 15 and 16 of the book of John, that we will be hated by the world if we are truly following the real Jesus. But the God who saved Daniel from the Lion’s Den and three Hebrew boys from the fiery furnace is the same God we serve today. We can rest assured that absolutely nothing can thwart the plan of Almighty God!

Our job is to stay on that Balance Beam that is the Bible, running every speaker, author, movement, song, movie, conversation, and every single thing through its grid so as to guard ourselves against deception.

And then God will take care of the rest. He will provide. He will supply sufficient grace.

So let’s be careful not to get caught up in any movements. Chances are they are not of God. No matter how good they may sound.

 

 

*p. 80 The Coming Apocalypse, A Study of Replacement Theology vs. God’s Faithfulness in the End Times by Renald Showers

 

 

Why I Believe the Book of Revelation Will Be Fulfilled Literally

If you are over the age of 50, you can remember a time when the church was very focused on the rapture and the tribulation and what that would look like. Movies like Thief in the Night and A Distant Thunder brought fear and trembling as we considered our standing before God and what the world might look like after the rapture. The interest died down in the 80’s a bit and then was renewed a few years later with the Left Behind book series put out by Jerry Jenkins and Tim LaHaye.

And then something drastically changed. Suddenly, most churches became silent on the topic. I remember talking to someone who told me that they didn’t even know what their church teaches on eschatology. They never talk about it.

But many in the intellectual circles started teaching an eschatology that was different than what I had always believed in. Replacement Theology, Amillennialism, Post-millennialism, and Dominionism (or Kingdom Now theology) all grew in the wake of the church’s silence as people searched for answers. Many landed with the intellectuals who were declaring that their eschatology was coming from the early church fathers, such as Augustine (I’d like to add here that it is better to get our eschatology from the Bible as one only has to look back before Augustine to recognize that the early church actually taught pre-millennialism.)

I am not sure if you are aware of this, but probably over half (or more) of believers would not believe in a literal Revelation. To believe in this is to subject yourself to much scorn, particularly in the intellectual circles of Christendom.

And, so, today I want to explain to you my own personal journey and how I landed quite solidly in believing that Revelation will be fulfilled literally. While this was what I was taught as a child, I did not automatically assume this as an adult. God has, step by step, been showing me this truth through a variety of avenues. I have much more to learn and God keeps teaching me, for which I am extremely grateful.

Before I go on, I want to make sure you understand that I firmly believe that those who don’t agree with me on eschatology are still my brothers and sisters in Christ if they believe in faith alone through Christ alone for salvation.

So, on to my own journey of how I ended up where I did.

1. The Miracle of Israel  I believe the first step in this journey was a book I just “happened” upon. It was a secular work of fiction called Exodus by an author named Leon Uri. To be honest, I have no idea how I came across it or what made me pick it up but this book changed forever how I viewed the nation of Israel. As the author told a fictional story that was filled with many facts of the birth of modern day Israel I was astounded and even shocked at the miraculous and supernatural nature of it. It gave me much pause for thought that even a secular author could see this. More research into the actual event confirmed what the author had written.

The modern-day nation of Israel should not exist. But God. His supernatural protection of her has continued to this day. To me, this eliminated Replacement Theology. There was no way God didn’t have a future for Israel. Why, we were seeing it come to fruition right in front of our eyes!

I could expound a bit more but I don’t want this to get too long. So may I encourage you to do your own research to confirm what I am saying here? I truly believe, you, too, will be surprised at what you find.

2. My Personal Study of Romans 9-11 As I was reading through the Bible for the first time ever, I had finally reached the book of Romans. To my shame, I had never read the whole thing through. When I read Romans 9-11, I was shocked at the clarity with which Paul himself talks so clearly about God and His Love for Israel. Here we find that, clearly, God has a future planned for Israel. To come away with any different interpretation is to do interpretive somersaults and back flips. Oh, it may sound intellectual but I wasn’t looking for what sounded intellectual. I was looking for what is right.

3. A Consistent Approach to Hermeneutics (which is: the study of the general principles of biblical interpretation)  I remember having a conversation with a pastor many years ago now and his comment to me was that he just can’t understand how [the Reformed crowd] simply change their hermeneutics when they reach Revelation. This led me to find out exactly what he meant. What exactly were Hermeneutics and why do they matter? I read a whole book on interpreting the Bible correctly and then took an online course on Hermeneutics, in my efforts to understand why it matters how we interpret scripture. What I came away with was exactly what the pastor said. If we apply a literal-grammatical-historical approach consistently to scripture, we always end up with a literal Revelation.

I remember hearing Abner Chou once say something like this: “If the plain sense makes sense, there is no need to look for any other sense.”

There is no need to look for allegories unless what we read makes no sense. And Revelation makes perfect sense. Especially in light of what we are seeing today, which leads me to my next point.

(There is so much more to say here but, again, I encourage you to dig on your own. A great place to start is this essay written by Abner Chou. It is long and hard to read but it is helpful for someone who is truly searching.)

4. Current Events What is happening around us has always been a pretty convincing argument that Revelation was going to be fulfilled literally. It just made sense. But, as I have watched the events of 2020 and now 2021 unfold, I have stood back and watched with awe. If anyone has had any doubts about a literal Revelation, I can’t see how they continue to do so after the past eleven months! We are watching the world get set up for a Revelation 13 scenario in ways we never dreamed we’d see in our lifetimes. It’s honestly incredible. And, yet, still so many just can’t see. I have found the past year to be incredibly confirming of scripture. What was prophesied 2000 years ago is getting set up to take place right before our eyes!

I was going to write a whole post on how the signs of the times are converging so perfectly with what we are told will happen in the book of Revelation but if you can see it, you can see it. If you can’t (or you say you can’t even though you can), then you may be holding too tightly to a wrong eschatology or you might be gripping on to life here on earth and unwilling to see reality.

5. Understanding How Incorrect Eschatology Plays Into Satan’s Plan. If we are willing to take a step back and look back over history, we can see the role that replacement theology (the Church has replaced Israel) has played in anti-semitism. To be sure, I am not implying that most who hold this theology are anti-semitic but many of those who have believed in it have been anti-semitic, including Martin Luther.

As we turn our view to what is happening in our world currently, we can see how wrong eschatology changes how we view what’s happening. Let’s take a look specifically at Kingdom Now Theology (also called Dominionism). To put it very simply, this is the view that Christians will work to make the world better and better, as we prepare it for the Lord Jesus at His return. From the Bible, we see that the antichrist is going to bring a false sense of peace to this world. Think how vulnerable those who believe in Kingdom Now Theology will be to a man who claims to be working for God? Think for a moment, if you will, how they will actually help bring in this false system of light because they have been deceived. They are, in essence, working against God instead of for Him.

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So these are a few ways that God has used to bring me to an understanding of the future as prophesied in the book of Revelation. As I’ve mentioned many times before, I am no Bible Scholar. I am not even asking you to believe as I do. I am more interested that you are willing to actually study the Bible to come to your own conclusion. You see, so often we rely on men to tell us what we should believe instead of studying the topic for ourselves.

Yesterday, I was having a conversation with someone and I pointed out the compromise of a certain (very popular) teacher, using scripture to back up what I was saying. The response was from a heart unwilling to see. When I asked her to back up what she was saying with scripture, she replied that it wasn’t necessary. Basically, she was going to believe what she wanted to believe.

What that person didn’t realize was that she had made herself the authority on what to believe, rather than holding the Bible as her authority.

While this is probably worth a post all on its own, my point is that the starting place to find out what we believe about the end times is a humble heart with an open Bible. No matter what you believe about eschatology, it’s important that we know why we believe it from the Bible.

There is much more depth to the defenses for and debates surrounding these different eschatologies than I am able to delve into here. I know that those who believe a different way have a multitude of reasons that they could proffer for their beliefs.

But I am here to encourage you to think for yourself.

Don’t let an intellectual sway your thinking. Don’t be moved by peer pressure or the scorn of a certain group of people. Be willing to ask God to give you insight and then study His Word. And then bravely stand on what you believe.

No one can make you believe a certain way. You get to choose. Do so wisely. Cast your own preconceived notions and favorite teachers aside. And then search out the truth in God’s Word with a willing heart, no matter what the cost.

 

View from the Precipice

Doesn’t it feel like we are standing on a precipice  waiting to topple into darkness? Behind us lies our old, comfortable world. Ahead looks frightening and even dangerous and, yet, we have no choice but to move forward. Going back is impossible.

A question from someone yesterday gave me a thought that I’ve been mulling around in my head since then. It encouraged me so I decided to share here this morning, in hopes that you, too, will be encouraged.

First, I want you to think beyond material blessings regarding the world we are leaving. What do you see?

I see a compromised, worldly church. I see materialism and greed and self-absorption. There we find mysticism flourishing, strife of every kind, and very confused Christians. If we take an honest look back, it really isn’t that great from the perspective of a believer.

So we are moving into something different. Something unknown. Something that looks scary.

But as we think about what’s ahead, I am beginning to wonder if we are little like the person who has been fed hamburger their whole life and is getting ready to eat, for the first time ever, a big juicy steak.

As I have been reflecting on the many biographies I’ve read of Christian men and women and also on the personal testimonies I’ve heard, I can’t help but think that, while the road ahead may be difficult for believers, it may also be very rewarding.

Think about some of the possible good things that could very result from our new world–

Fake Christians will fall away. The murky, shallow Christianity that has made up most of America (and perhaps the rest of the western world) will fall away in the face of hatred and persecution. No one is going to stand up for biblical Christianity or have anything to do with it at all unless they are truly saved.

We will be blessed with clarity. The wicked world will reject us like never before and this will give us a much clearer picture of sin and worldliness. Those “gray areas” will diminish and maybe even disappear.

God will show Himself in our need. Let’s face it, we have had very little opportunity to see God at work because we have been over-supplied and have had very few needs. At least here in America. As we start facing harder times, we will be able to see God work in ways previously impossible. We’ve read about these kinds of things but we are getting ready to experience them ourselves!

Our walk with God will grow deeper. As the worldly comforts fall away and we are rejected by the world, we will be forced to turn to God and His Word for strength and comfort. This will, inevitably, lead us to grow deeper roots of faith and sanctify us in ways that were, before, impossible.

Our fellowship with the remnant believers will grow stronger. I’ve noticed this already. The kinship that we have with like-minded believers is stronger now than ever, as we cling to each other in the midst of the unknown and the unpleasant. God has given us each other to strengthen, support, and encourage each other. As we take a look back into our old world, most of us led lives that were far too busy for relationships. We led lives that were full of activity but very lacking in fellowship. I believe this will change as we move forward into this new world.

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And so I hope we all realize that the good things ahead aren’t just eternal. I believe there are some temporal good things that await if we can just turn aside from our fear and dread and trust the Lord. Yes, our ultimate hope is the rapture. But, if the Lord tarries, His grace and strength will be enough. This is a promise!

(I hope that I am encouraging you as I am processing everything that is happening along with you and desire nothing more than to honor the Lord in my response. This can be a real struggle for me as I imagine it also is for some of you.)

 

A REMINDER: At the end of last week, I sent a special email regarding the censorship that may be coming and how to keep in touch with me. If you’d like to continue hearing from me, should I be censored, I am asking you to give me your name and email address if you haven’t already done so. You can do this by simply replying to this email. I am trying to find a censorship-free platform to use for my subscribers and will only add those that really want to hear from me. You can find more details in an email I sent to you entitled “PLEASE READ”. I hope it doesn’t come to this, but I’d rather be prepared than sorry. :)

(I am sharing this here again because someone mentioned that the aforementioned email landed in their spam folder.)

 

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