Friday, February 26, 2016

Some Day Believers Will Be Standing Beside A Sea Of Glass Mingled With Fire

I don’t remember when I became interested in studying “end times.”  I always had a faint idea that some day Jesus would come back and be our King. Our daughter was interested in learning about the end of the world when she was in 7th grade. So a schoolteacher friend from church explained to her that Jesus wins. She seemed satisfied with this explanation. We made no attempt to understand the prophesies until many years later in a home Bible study.  We studied Revelation.  It made no sense to me.

But now with worldwide upheaval due to war, increase in wickedness, natural disasters, persecution, false prophets, secularism, loss of faith for many, I believe that we really are in the end times. 

With the opportunity to study Revelation with Bible Study Fellowship this year my eyes and heart have been opened by God to understand more of what is happening in the scripture and thus in the world.

I believe that God is leading the U.S. off of the global stage.  When we are no longer a "Christian" nation it will be easier for the antichrist to take over.  God is putting everything in place for the final judgment of those who have not repented of their sins.

However, God delays and delays again and again to give time to those who have not yet believed in the Lord Jesus Christ. 

When I began this study I was a Pre-Tribulationist because of what 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 says--16 For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord.

Sounds to me that there are clouds involved and those in Christ will meet Jesus in the air.  I would call that “rapture.” 

But then in Revelation 9 we see believers on the earth while God pours out judgment on 1/3 of the earth and on the people who do not believe.

Revelation 9: They were told not to harm the grass of the earth or any green plant or any tree, but only those people who do not have the seal of God on their foreheads. 

So there are believers on the earth at the time of that judgment.

Next in our study of Revelation 14 and 15 we don’t see any believers on the earth.  We see those who have been victorious over the beast and his image and over the number of his name standing by a sea of glass mingled with fire.  The judgment of the whole earth is about to be poured out.  So apparently all the believers have been transported to heaven by then.

Believers may or may not go through the tribulation. From Revelation 14 and 15 I believe it is possible that the believers will go through part of the tribulation.  So then if I believe this I would be a Mid-Tribulationist.

The most important thing Christians can do is pray that all those who have accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior will study the Bible and become more in love with Jesus, walk in His way, and live as lights in the society for what little time is left until the end of the world.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Secret Thoughts

Over twenty years ago Rosaria Butterfield was a tenured Nineteenth Century English literature professor at Syracuse University. She was a staunch feminist, outspoken atheist, and a practicing lesbian.

I first heard of her in 2012 when her book, “Secret Thoughts Of An Unlikely Convert,” was published.  In the book she relates how she was examining the religious right from a lesbian feminist point of view for her latest research project.   At that time Promise Keepers was planning a local event ( so Butterfield decided to write an Op-Ed for the local newspaper. She believed that the organization and men in general were oppressors of women. 

Needless to say she received many letters from both sides.  But one letter from a local pastor was neither positive nor negative. It was nothing but loving and kind.  With much trepidation she contacted him and was invited to his home.  His wife prepared a simple vegetarian meal for the three of them.  They began discussing the Bible.  Butterfield read through the Bible 7 times to prepare for further discussions.  Two years later she became a Christian.  

Click here if you would like to listen or read the transcripts for radio programs where she is interviewed by Nancy Lee DeMoss Wolgemuth. Scroll down to the bottom of the page to start with day 1. I highly recommend the programs.  Worth your time!

A new book just out by Caleb Kaltenbach called “Messy Grace” sounded interesting.  Caleb’s parents both came out as homosexual while Caleb came out as a Christian.  He tells the story of how God’s grace worked in their lives.  Click here to read more about the book. 

I enjoy learning about how others overcome their struggles.  It comforts me to know that I am not alone in my thrashing about.  Do you feel the same way?

Monday, February 15, 2016

It Was A Dark And Stormy Night

It Was A Dark And Stormy Night --At least that is how I felt when I learned of the sudden death of Justice Antonin Scalia.  Why would God allow this loss to His people here in the U.S.?  Conservatives are belittled and persecuted for believing that human life and marriage between one man and one woman are more important than the environment, or not allowing our soldiers to fight our enemies.  (During WW II the French were taken over by the Nazis because they refused to fight.)

But I believe that God in His mercy will make this bad thing work for our good—Romans 8: 28.  God will do above and beyond anything we can think of or ask for-- Ephesians 3:20.  My ideal would be that Jesus would come back and set up His Kingdom in Jerusalem. 

Meanwhile, I will pray that those in power will seek God in His Word and in prayer.  I will pray that our leaders will be prudent so that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness so that we may spread the gospel before it is too late.  After reading Revelation 14:6-13 today for my BSF lesson I realized I wouldn’t want my worst enemy to experience torment from burning sulfur and with no rest day or night.  Would you?

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

I’m Weird And Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders Are Normal

My thought processes about the primary election held in New Hampshire this week were challenged by the current series our pastor is preaching called “Weird.” He is preaching through the Sermon on the Mount.  He points out that the normal person will do what seems normal but the Christian is weird because, if he is walking in the Spirit, he will do the opposite.  Here are some examples:

Normal                                                            Weird
You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.
But I tell you, Do not resist an evil person.  If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.

You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy
But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.

You can read through the whole Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5 to 7.  So, from my observation of Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders, they are normal.  They would take an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.  They would not turn the other cheek. They would take revenge on a person if they were crossed. Donald would call his enemies names and Bernie would do a sit in.  While these men take vengeance on their own personal enemies, they wouldn’t give a thought to what is best for the people of this country. It would continue to go to “pot” (probably literally). 

It is important for Christians to be involved in politics. Christians should also be involved in many other ways in fighting the culture war.  Here is a blog which I feel gives good advice on how to live the Christian life when everyone else is doing the normal thing.

I agree that we do need laws and we need a President who would enforce the laws.  We must have a President who would obey the laws himself, including God’s law.  No human is above it.


Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Learning From Fictional Depictions On TV about How To Think Morally

Here’s the bad news.  The world has gone mad and is sinking into greater darkness every day.  Instead of seeking God, and learning how He thinks, the world is sponging up Hollywood and the media’s views.   Albert Mohler on his podcast “The Briefing,” click here, commented on two articles appearing in the New York Times.  The first article is about gender-neutral language and how the idea of sexual fluidity has changed many minds about morality.  Click here to read.

The second article relates how gay activists have changed the language to call anyone phobic if they don’t agree with their agenda. Click here to read.

Now the good news—Christians can turn off the TV, skip the movies, and spend time with God by praying, seeking Him through Bible study, and through fellowship with other Christians.  As we grow closer to Jesus we can take our eyes off of the trials and tribulations of this life and put our eyes on the promises of Jesus and how much He loves us.