Christ Will Return – Pete Garcia - https://www.rev310.net/post/christ-will-return
A reader reminded me of an article I had written back in 2019. For whatever reason, it did not make the transition from my old website to this one. Here it is.
As the old saying goes, the eyes are of no use if the mind is blind.
So it is come to this then, that we who live in the most transformative, prophetically active time since the days of Christ, see so little interest in what the Bible has to say about what will come to pass in these last days. Tragically, this disinterest comes as equally from those who profess Christ, as from those who don’t. The study today is over why this is.
“However, we speak wisdom among those who are mature, yet not the wisdom of this age, nor of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the ages for our glory, which none of the rulers of this age knew; for had they known, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.” – 1 Corinthians 2:6-9
The section of Bible prophecy which speaks to the events of the last days, Eschatology, is not some fringe hobby that people dabble in with the same seriousness as those who follow UFOs or Big Foot. Eschatology is a major doctrinal study that consumes around 30% of your Bible. John F. Walvoord, the late President of the Dallas Theological Seminary, dubbed it the ‘capstone of Christian doctrine’, because your eschatological view determines how you hold to every other major doctrine…such as Soteriology, Ecclesiology, etc.) If you think about it for a second, your entire Bible, either center around Christ’s first coming, or His second. It only makes sense that a book in which God is revealing Himself to mankind progressively, (i.e….not all at once), is a book that hinges around His own Incarnation and His return for His people.
Yet today more than ever, so-called Evangelicals are increasingly becoming dismissive of Bible prophecy because they believe it is a fool’s errand, that Christ may never return, or that it impedes their ability to enact cultural change through the social gospel. This is promulgated in the Reformed Theology groups as well as thru the Prosperity Gospel and Emergent Church movements. It’s like it has become popular again in Christendom, to no longer care if or when Christ will return as if it is some distraction we needn’t concern ourselves with.
“We know that we are of God, and the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one.” – 1 John 5:19
As Christians, we must understand that Satan really exists, and he is a real enemy of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and the nation of Israel. He’s an enemy of the Gospel because it represents his ultimate defeat and demise at the Cross of Calvary, and whatever schemes and plans he had prior to the Cross, became null and void when God provided a foolproof way to redeem fallen man through the shed blood of Jesus Christ. He’s an enemy of Israel because she represents the Apple of God’s Eye, (Zech. 2:8) and because of the promises and covenants God made with her. (Romans 11:25-29) If a “Christian” refuses to believe that Satan really exists, then they are in a sense, calling into question, Jesus’s sanity…for whom else did Jesus speak to in the desert when undergoing His forty days of temptation were it not who Scripture says it was? (Luke 4:1-13)
Satan and all of his demonic hosts then, HATE Bible prophecy, because it foretells their sure doom. We know the things Satan hates most because these are the things he has spent most of his time and energy, trying to destroy. Likewise, if the world is under the temporary control of Satan, it makes sense then that these are the same things the world hates. Satan has invested millennia in distorting, perverting, discrediting, dismissing, and silencing true, orthodox, and Scriptural Bible prophecy.
Think about it this way; the world and its way of thinking, tolerate pretty much everything to one degree or another…except Biblical Christianity and Israel’s existence. Child marriages, abortion, Islam, Buddhism, paganism, Satanism, murder, theft, corruption, etc., etc….the world tolerates and forgives. But if you say that Jesus is the only way to salvation, the world will destroy you, or die trying. In regards to Bible prophecy then, ask yourself;
1. Which does the world hate more, Pre-Millennialism or Amillennialism?
2. Which does the world hate more, a Pre-Tribulation Rapture, or no Rapture at all?
3. Why are there so many different views on when the Rapture takes place?
Can we not see the satanic attempts to distort and pervert our understanding of the “Blessed Hope”? And be certain, it can only be a “Blessed Hope”, if we are removed before the world enters into the 70th Week of Daniel (Daniel 9:24-27). Going in, halfway, or all the way removes any sense of ‘hope’ if we are to be subjected to the horror Christ Himself said would not only be present but be unparalleled in all of history (Matt. 24:21-22).
What I find interesting, is that those Christian “scholars” and denominations who dismiss Bible prophecy as either unimportant or irrelevant, seemingly do so because it interferes or distracts people away from their earthly agendas. Whether those agendas are soaked in social justice, the environment, or perhaps trying to make themselves culturally relevant, Bible prophecy definitively takes people's gaze from looking down to looking up. What I also find interesting, is that even our enemies, those spiritual forces who are opposed to God, believe and understand Bible prophecy.
“When He had come to the other side, to the country of the Gergesenes, there met Him two demon-possessed men, coming out of the tombs, exceedingly fierce, so that no one could pass that way. And suddenly they cried out, saying, “What have we to do with You, Jesus, You Son of God? Have you come here to torment us before the time?” Matthew 8:28-29
The demonic hosts, tremble at the thought of God (James 2:19). They tremble at the name of Jesus Christ. Not only do they know He (Christ) exists, but they also know that there is coming a day of reckoning when they will be judged and cast into eternal punishment. They know the seriousness of this coming judgment, as some of their demonic ‘brethren’ were already cast into the Abyss, under chains of darkness, until that Day of Judgment when they are to be cast into the Lake of Fire forever. They will suffer this for their sins of mixing sexually with humans in an attempt to corrupt the genetic gene pool prior to the Noahic Flood (See Gen. 6:1-4, 2 Peter 2:4, Jude 1:6-7). Yet, as wicked and depraved as these fallen angels are, they at least, have the common sense to fear and tremble at the very mention of God…whereas defiant and rebellious man does not.
“…and especially those who walk according to the flesh in the lust of uncleanness and despise authority. They are presumptuous, self-willed. They are not afraid to speak evil of dignitaries, whereas angels, who are greater in power and might, do not bring a reviling accusation against them before the Lord.” – 2 Peter 2:10-11
Perhaps this increased skepticism about Christ and His return ties back into the whole normalcy bias that our world has succumbed to. People do not understand the supernatural realm and are rarely exposed to it, therefore, they dismiss it, because they can’t physically put their hands on it or see it with their eyes. This idea that the supernatural either doesn’t exist or is so ethereal that it’s irrelevant, has become the dominant view in academia and government and is very pagan in origin. Naturalism, secular humanism, realism, and materialism have become the only acceptable platforms in the ‘public arena of ideas for the last half of the 20th century and have had devastating results in our education system, culture, and the Judeo-Christian way of life. Not only are these views the mainstay in our secular culture, but has effectively infiltrated and infected our theological institutions as well.
In fact, the overwhelming number of seminaries today, are largely liberal. Yet, what’s frustrating is that we have lived through arguably the most transformative, dynamic, technologically advanced, and blood-stained century the world has EVER seen…yet, we act as if things have always been this way. Just think about the major events which have radically changed the world in just the last 100 years or so;
1. World War 1 (1914-1918) reshaped and redrew the boundaries of much of Europe and the Middle East.
2. Bolshevik Revolution (1917-1922) created a communist superpower through the formation of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), which would enable the Cold War to be waged for almost 50 years.
3. World War II (1939-1945) again drew the whole world into conflict. Out of its ashes, gave reason for the world to create a global governing body (United Nations), and Europe's cause to come together economically (European Coal and Steel Community) and militarily (NATO).
4. The rebirth of the nation of Israel in 1948, after almost two millennia of diaspora, would become the very catalyst that would awaken the sleeping giant of orthodox (i.e….radical) Islam. Both Sunni and Shia sects then became bent on destroying Israel. Israel’s rebirth into the table of nations galvanized Islam into a regional nightmare bent on wiping Israel (and all those who support her) off the map.
5. Bretton Woods Agreement (1945) effectively put the world under a single, global, reserve currency…the U.S. Dollar, and linked it to the Gold Standard at $35 an ounce.
6. OPEC (1960) stands for the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, which has come to dominate the petroleum-based energy needs for the last half of the 20th century. The United States worked a deal with OPEC nations from 1973 to 1975 to create what would come to be known as the fiat “Petrol Dollar”, which meant that the US would militarily and economically remain faithful, so long as all oil transactions were made in US Currency.
7. The creation of the Internet (the 1980s) is a system of systems, which links electronic devices together via the World Wide Web (www). It’s hard to imagine life before the Internet, because it has really been the biggest revolutionary change to communication, ever. It has rapidly increased information availability, communications, and technological advancements in every sector, and has become instrumental in media, government, and the military.
I wish people could step back to see the big picture, and then ask themselves one fundamental question; “Is the world growing towards, or further away from, global government?”
We know that according to Scripture, the world will eventually come under the control of ten regional rulers. (Daniel 7:23-25; 8:23-25, Rev. 13:1-4; 17:9-14) From this regional consortium, will arise one man who is given power by three of these regions/kingdoms. From here, the man (who we believe to be the antichrist/rider on the white horse) will come to singularly and authoritatively rule the entire world.
But changing from the world as it is today, to what the world will look like then, will not happen overnight. Infrastructure and legislation have to be put in place, technology has to be developed which would allow for the implementation of global control mechanisms, which would mean that the conditions are such that independent countries would willingly set aside their national borders and sovereignty, in order to come together for the common good. Change like that only happens in the face of a massive, global, crisis.
Now, we’ve all been witness to the current, unsuccessful attempts by globalists today to try and generate panic on a worldwide scale, through the false alarms of “Global Cooling”. When that didn’t pan out, they called it “Global Warming”. When the scientific data didn’t support the AlGorian hyperbolic warnings of impending destruction, the crisis HAD to be rebranded again, to “Climate Change”. So why the hard push for something that clearly at the present, isn’t a crisis?
Since the world already has a global government called the United Nations, it has the mechanism, but not the authority to pull all the nations together under its protective umbrella. In fact, the UN is quite impotent in its ability to do much of anything. What it lacks though, is a means to fund its initiatives through global taxation. It needs a crisis and this crisis would potentially be used to create a standing army/navy/air force to enforce peace, and security, and serve as a way to enforce taxation compliance.
Currently, the United Nations currently receives the bulk of its funding through the United States, where it is also headquartered. The “Climate Change” crisis was absolutely necessary in order to drum up funding for enhanced global governance through “carbon taxes”, which would then achieve two goals; punish the rich, western nations through heavy taxes for benefitting from industrialization (wealth redistribution), and create bureaucratic overreach which is necessary to implement Agenda 21 and 2030 programs which remove sovereignty nations have over their own territories. Imagine the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) on a global scale.
So let’s be clear on this then, that Satan’s schemes and maneuverings in these regards are neither random nor arbitrary. He is in the process of putting his affairs in order, in short order…because he knows he has but a little time left before all this comes apart at the seams. He knows the Bible and knows what God told Noah after the Flood (Genesis 8:20-22), that He will keep the seasons and natural order going until He deems fit, so all this talk of global cooling, warming, and climate change crisis, is simply machinations of something more sinister he has in store…which is, to bring the world together under one man, antichrist, who will then take that last stand against Christ at His Second Coming.
Satan knows perfectly well, that Christ will return for His bride, the Church before all this goes down…which is why he has invested so much time and energy in confusing the churches about the subject. He knows that this is THE crisis he will use to bring all the governments of the world together into his already well-laid plans. He just doesn’t know when this will all go down. So the overwhelming lack of interest, the skepticism, and outright scoffing of the Bible, and Bible prophecy that we see today, is in keeping with the two thousand-plus years’ worth of deception and corruption that Satan has invested in keeping people in the dark.
“And shall God not avenge His own elect who cry out day and night to Him, though He bears long with them? I tell you that He will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?” Luke 17:7-8
We need only look back at Christ’s first coming, and the scarce knowledge and awareness of the people then knew that their Messiah had come, to see how Satan works in keeping the world blinded to God’s future prophetic timeline. As we near His Second Coming, do we not see the exact same thing taking place, even in the churches? On one hand, the Church has come under intense persecution throughout much of the world. On the other, the churches have largely fallen asleep and no longer know where we are on God’s divine timeline, nor do they know where they are going. Believers are starting to give up on God’s promise of returning for His own.
Rest assured… He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming quickly.”
Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus!
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen. Rev. 22:20-21
Hype At the Expense Of The Truth: Trusted Ministry Leader Warns Against The Dangers Of Sensationalism – By Breanna Claussen - https://harbingersdaily.com/hype-at-the-expense-of-the-truth-trusted-ministry-leader-warns-against-the-dangers-of-sensationalism/
Amir Tsarfati, Founder and President of Behold Israel, discussing on Wednesday the central question of his new book “Has The Tribulation Begun?” warned about the dangers of sensationalism.
“Sensationalism is using you and then throwing you away. It will never really give you the truth,” Tsarfati underscored, pointing a direct link between sensationalism and confusion surrounding the timing of the Tribulation.
“Why is sensationalism so dangerous? Sensationalism is the attempt to Hype things at the expense of the truth,” Tsarfati cautioned. “You want to make something known, but you don’t care if it’s true or not, you don’t care if it’s accurate or not, you don’t care if it’s scriptural.”
Amir pointed the finger at social media, where garnering likes and viewership is frequently preferred over a Biblically sound understanding of future events.
Many in the church today have been swept up in the undiscerning claim that the Tribulation has already begun. As Amir noted, this is not the first time members of the body of Christ have been stirred into such panic.
“The Bible is very clear about a specific set of events that will mark the beginning of the Tribulation, not only when it’s going to happen but also where and to whom. I believe that once you take these things out of context, you lose the ability to discern that, and this is exactly what happened to the Church of Thessalonica,” he highlighted. “In 2nd Thessalonians chapter 2, the first few verses, you can clearly see that they were absolutely convinced that the Rapture [had taken] place and the Tribulation had begun. Paul had to write them a letter and calm them down—he started giving them the set of events [of] what has to happen.”
“We must not fall into sensationalism,” Tsarfati stressed. “The biggest problem with the church today is that we are so much into sensationalism that it’s coming at the expense of biblical interpretation of the scriptures.”
“I think that the way to distinguish between the sensations and the truth, in this case, is timing. Timing is everything. If there is one event in history that is described in the Bible in accuracy of days, weeks, months, and years, it is the Tribulation,” he argued. “We know exactly when to start counting, and yet people choose to ignore this precious information and confuse one another with things that we see today as if they are part of it.”
Additionally, confusion surrounding the commencement and purpose of the Tribulation arises “the minute you take Israel out of the equation,” Tsarfati highlighted.
“If you read carefully, you know that the Tribulation is a set of seven years of God’s judgment. A set of seven years that was already promised to Israel in the Book of Daniel chapter 9,” he explained. “This is a set of events that are related to the nation of Israel, [and] related to the world in relation to Israel… It’s related to a certain person who is going to pretend to be their Messiah; it’s related to Jerusalem; it’s related to the temple. You cannot detach those things from it. You cannot just take things out of context.”
“Just because things are bad in the world, just because there are wars, and there are pandemics, and there are earthquakes—these things are mentioned in the Bible as the sign of the fact that we are at the end times… but Jesus Himself, when He gave those signs, said but the end is not yet,” Tsarfati described.
“The Tribulation is not just the set of events that brings about judgment, but it is also a set of events that are meant to bring Israel to their salvation. It’s the suffering of Israel that will bring about the repentance of Israel,” he added.
Late last year, pew research published a poll revealing that nearly 40% of all US adults believe we are “living in the end times.”
Behold Israel highlights on their website, “As local and international events and news reports become more troubling, interest in Bible prophecy continues to grow. Cultural anxiety is reaching unprecedented highs, and many Christians have begun to wonder if the tribulation described in Revelation is already upon us. As we wonder how close the end times truly are, we must return to God’s Word for clarity and wisdom.”
While the Bible provides a detailed description of the events to come, one of the earmarks of the time prior to the return of Christ is deception and apostasy (Matt. 24:5, 1 Tim. 4:1-2, 2 Tim. 3:13, 4:3-4), underscoring the importance of discernment as we examine world events and the timeline of Biblical prophecy.
Amir Tsarfati described “Has The Tribulation Begun?” as the most evangelistic book he has ever written. Its purpose, he explained, is not only to share the Gospel, which is “the whole hope of the world,” but also helping believers “avoid confusion and redeem the time in these last days.”
“I believe that the best preparation for any upcoming disaster has to begin with a crystal clear understanding of God’s plan, His timing, and what it is that He expects of us,” he concluded. “God gave us today a clear description of tomorrow… the knowledge today can save us from the experience of tomorrow.”
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Satan Has Become One Of The Hottest Spiritual Figures In America - by Michael Snyder - http://endoftheamericandream.com/satan-has-become-one-of-the-hottest-spiritual-figures-in-america/
Should we be surprised? As our society comes apart at the seams all around us, Satan and Satanism are becoming extremely popular. Videos featuring Satan are getting millions of views on TikTok and YouTube, millions of Americans are watching shows that feature Satan as a main character on Netflix and other streaming services, and the Satanic Temple has become one of the fastest growing religious organizations that the United States has ever seen. As you will see below, traditional American values are declining at a very rapid pace, and it was inevitable that something would fill that void. In fact, it turns out that Satanism’s “values” correspond almost perfectly with the “values” that much of the population has already embraced in this day and age.
Once upon a time, most Americans were repulsed by anything that had to do with Satan.
But now Satan is eagerly welcomed into homes and hearts all over the nation. Today, Satan has become one of the hottest spiritual figures in America, and that is unlikely to change any time soon. The following comes from a Newsweek article entitled “Satan is Getting Hot as Hell in American Pop Culture”…
The Devil is front and center in movies, TV shows, podcasts and even children’s books. There are Satan After School Clubs, while the proliferating Satanist groups have their own political divisions.
There’s The Exorcist Files, in which Father Carlos Martins recreates exorcisms, and the podcast routinely tops the list of the most popular in the “spirituality” categories. On Netflix alone there are dozens of titles dealing with hellish demons, including Warrior Nun, Devil in Ohio, The Bastard Son & the Devil Himself and Lucifer, in which the ruler of Hell runs a piano bar in California. Comedy is also fair game, thus Ted Danson plays a torturous demon who is prone to mistakes in the Netflix series, The Good Place.
On top of everything else, a major convention is coming up.
It is being billed as “the largest satanic gathering in history”, and it is being held in Boston at the end of April…
This year’s event is taking place in Boston, Massachusetts, from April 28-30, 2023, and is titled “Hexennacht in Boston” — otherwise known as “Witches Night.” On the announcement page, the Satanic Temple (TST) laments Boston Mayor Michelle Wu “for her unconstitutional efforts to keep TST out of Boston’s public spaces” and announces that the event will be dedicated to her.
In the old days, maybe a few fringe weirdos would get together for something like that.
But this year’s “SatanCon” was completely sold out six weeks in advance.
The Satanic Temple is the organization that runs the conference. It was established in 2012, and it now has more than 700,000 registered members…
Founder Douglas Mesner, who goes by Lucien Greaves, declined Newsweek’s request for an interview, but The Satanic Temple’s website espouses such non-controversial tenets as forgiveness, empathy toward all creatures and freedom — including “the freedom to offend.” Its website boasts more than 700,000 registered members.
That makes the Satanic Temple one of the fastest growing religious organizations in U.S. history.
One of the organization’s core beliefs is that you are supposed to have complete freedom over your own body…
Citing its tenet that “one’s body is inviolable, subject to one’s own will alone,” The Satanic Temple has filed lawsuits on religious freedom grounds in states that limit abortion, claiming that abortion bans violate the rights of an “involuntarily pregnant woman” to engage in a “Satanic Abortion Ritual.”
But it turns out that anyone that attends SatanCon must “have proof of COVID vaccination” and must wear a mask…
Now according to the Satanic Temple’s website, “Satancon attendees must be 18 or over and have proof of COVID vaccination. Attendees must wear an N-95, KN-95, or disposable surgical mask. Gaiters, bandanas, and cloth masks will not be allowed.”
So much for being consistent.
Of course a lot of their followers simply do not care. Many of them have embraced Satanism because it fits what they already believe much more than Christianity does.
Sadly, a brand new Wall Street Journal-NORC poll shows that traditional American values are in a very rapid state of decline…
Do you want the good news or the bad news first? It’s all pretty bad, but let’s get it over with: the share of Americans who say patriotism and religion are “very important” to them has fallen sharply, as has the number of Americans who value involvement in their community, hard work and having children.
These revelations come courtesy of a new Wall Street Journal-NORC poll, complete with a graph depicting our nation’s nosedive. Some nitty-gritty: in 1998, 70 percent of respondents deemed patriotism to be very important; now, that number is 38 percent. Twenty-five years ago, 62 percent said religion was very important; now only 39 percent do.
I was floored when I first saw those numbers.
Have we really fallen that far?
In such an environment, it is easy for evil to thrive.
For example, a man was recently convicted of “2,190 counts of rape of a child under age 13”, but it barely made a blip in the news…
A Greene County man was sentenced on Tuesday to 3,000 years in prison for sex crimes against children.
According to a news release from the district attorney’s office, Matthew Perry was convicted of 13,143 felony counts of sex crimes against children, including 2,190 counts of rape of a child under age 13.
The reason why it barely made a blip in the news is because there are hordes of other predators out there that are just like him.
In fact, it won’t be too long before the number of registered sex offenders in America hits the one million mark.
There has always been evil in our society, but today vast multitudes of people are openly celebrating it.
For those that wish to revel in the evil that they are doing, Satanism is perfect for them.
But what is going to happen to our nation as even more Americans reject Christ and embrace Satan?
We are truly in uncharted territory, and we should all be deeply alarmed by the tremendous evil that is rapidly growing all around us.
Babes Need to Grow - Nathele Graham - email@example.com
It’s not easy to live a God-honoring life and still live our daily lives in the world. Still, that’s exactly what we are supposed to do. Christians are to be in the world but not of the world. It’s difficult for a person who has been a Christian for many years, but even more difficult for a babe in Christ who needs to learn and grow in the faith. Jesus had many verbal confrontations with the Pharisees, and in one such battle of words, Jesus told them “And he said unto them, Ye are from beneath; I am from above: ye are of this world; I am not of this world.” John 8:23.
One of the descriptions of Satan is that he is the god of this world, and Christians need to turn from serving him and only serve Jesus. Christianity is faith, not religion, so there isn’t a list of rules you must follow. You don’t have to knock on doors or empty your mind through meditation. Jesus is our example and Scripture is our guide. Placing faith in Jesus is what makes the difference between eternal life and eternal death. It isn’t a complicated thing to do.
The Apostle Paul says how simple it is. “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation” Romans 10:9-10. Of course, each denomination has a list of rules they feel must be followed, but that’s religion and has nothing to do with faith or being saved.
When a person truly understands they are a sinner and that sin separates them from God, that’s when they need to confess Christ as their Lord and Savior. That’s called justification. A change should be evident in the way they speak, dress, and live. That change may happen immediately or it may take time. That’s called sanctification, and will continue throughout our life on earth. That change is a choice each one of us makes daily. “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.” Romans 12:1.
Being a living sacrifice means that we live our life to honor God. Jesus lived His life on earth as an example of how we should live for Him. He said “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.? Matthew 5:16. Works don’t save us but doing good for others glorifies God. The change from a worldly attitude to a God-honoring attitude, may take time. If that change doesn’t happen, does that mean the person isn’t saved?
Only God truly knows if the confession of faith was true. We face many temptations in the world, and a person who has been living a life which reflects worldly thoughts and actions may make a true, honest, and heartfelt profession of faith, but the pull of the world is strong. Satan is the god of this world and isn’t happy when someone turns to Jesus. Old ways of life may pull that person back into the ways of the world. Where are the Christian mentors who can lead the babe in Christ to live for Him? Jesus told us how to combat temptation. “Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Matthew 26:41. Prayer is important in the life of a Christian. It isn’t a magic incantation, but a heartfelt conversation with God. He listens, but so must we listen for His answer.
One of the biggest failures among Christians today is a lack of mentoring. The Gospel is shared, but if the person hearing the message receives Christ, there’s little or no follow-up. In truth, that’s when the struggle begins. Satan doesn’t like to lose a follower, so he and his minions target new believers with temptation and place thoughts in their minds to discourage them. Unfortunately, there is very little support and encouragement from older Christians to help the new babes in Christ to grow and become strong in their faith, and too many pastors only feed the flock milk but no meat of Scripture is taught.
Peter was told directly from Jesus to feed the lambs and to feed the sheep. “So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea Lord, thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs.” John 21:15. The lambs are young in their faith and need to be gently fed the truth in order to grow. Quite often the new ones are children, but they are also adults who have professed faith and need to learn Scripture. We usually don’t seem to have a problem sending our children to school and college to be taught and mentored by secular humanists who contradict Scripture. Shame on us for neglecting to mentor children and adults in Gods truth.
Many new believers feel that the pews are filled with hypocrites and are uncomfortable in a church setting. All Christians are sinners saved by grace and we all stumble at times. “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.” Romans 3:10-11. It’s true that there are many people sitting in pews who think they are “holier than thou”. That’s a wrong attitude. A babe in Christ must be mentored and guided by a person with a heart to serve Christ. They need encouragement, and human forgiveness when they fail. God forgives, so must we. The truth is, we all need encouragement from fellow believers. We also need to be encouragers and help our brethren to walk close to God.
When a person first realizes they are a sinner and bound to spend eternity in Hell, that’s when they understand that faith in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ is the only way to find forgiveness. At the moment we first believe, all our sin is forgiven. Not just the sins of the past, but also future sin. That’s something that’s hard to come to grips with. We all fail in our walk with Christ, but He knew that we will fail and loves us anyway. As Christ hung on the cross, all of your sins were in the future. He willingly spilled His blood for you long before you were even born. As the Son of God hung on the cross looking at those who had pounded the nails into his hands and feet, and at those who had cried out for His death, He felt love and compassion. “Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.” Luke 23:34. Jesus asked God the Father to forgive those sinners as they kept on sinning. His love for us hasn’t changed.
When we first come to Jesus, there’s usually an excitement and the new life in you is very real. Then, after a short time, the pressures of life close in and you’re back to your job, and co-workers annoy you. The office gossip is still tempting you to share the latest scoop with others. After work, your friends want you to join them at the bar, and possibly find a “one night stand” who is willing to tempt you to sin. This is when you need a mentor to help you see that Jesus still loves you, but that you are in a spiritual battle and need Christ to give you strength in the fight. Sadly, most churches drop the ball in helping new Christians. Instead of helping the babe in Christ to understand failures are forgiven, many older Christians shake their heads and shun anybody who fails.
Too many pastors care more about not offending anyone, than they care about calling sin what it is…sin. Remember, Jesus cared about sinners but never accepted the sin. Jesus changed sinners; the sinners didn’t change Christ. No matter how much sinners want to change God’s word to condone their sin, God’s word hasn’t changed. When Jesus called the men who would follow them, they left their old lives behind and followed. “And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men. And they straightway left their nets, and followed him.”
Matthew 4:19-20. Jesus didn’t call the religious elites, but called fishermen, tax collectors, and other sinners. Then, He spent the next three years helping them to change. How long are you willing to mentor and teach a man like Peter, or even Judas? Many people have a bad feeling about stepping into a church building, so why not open your home to a Bible study? Or, possibly go to a park and let others hear and be drawn to the teaching.
When I was a teenager, my youth group went on an outing. We stopped at a hamburger stand to eat, and while we ate, we began asking our pastor questions. Then someone who wasn’t a teenager asked a question. I looked around and a large number of people gathered and were very interested. That was amazing, and taught me to never be afraid to talk about Jesus.
Before a person has placed their faith in Christ, they cannot understand anything about Scripture. They may pick and choose verses that seem to contradict other verses, or they just don’t understand why Jesus being crucified and rising from death is the greatest event in history. Why are they so blind and deaf to God’s truth? “But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: in whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.”
2 Corinthians 4:3-4. It’s the Holy Spirit that makes understanding and discernment possible. When a person first truly believes, the Holy Spirit is sealed within them. God wants us to know Him better and learn. The Holy Spirit is given to all Christians in order for us to understand more. “That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ. In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.”
Ephesians 1:12-14. That seal is unbreakable. The Holy Spirit lives in you and will help you to understand Scripture. As with all things, you have a choice whether to let Him guide you or to ignore Him. There are many, many excellent Bible teachers, but there are also some who twist God’s truth. The Holy Spirit doesn’t want you to fall victim to false teachers. Ask God to help you discern truth from lies.
If you are a new believer, ask God to guide you to a Christ centered, Bible believing place of worship. Ask Him to lead you to a mentor who will help you to grow. Babes in Christ need to grow into full-grown sheep and be able to reach others.
God bless you all,
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Daily Jot: Democracy communist style - Bill Wilson – www.dailyjot.com
Cuba just had its elections. There were 470 candidates endorsed by the communist government. There were only 470 candidates on the ballot and voters were “encouraged” to turn out and vote for just the communist ballot. Of course, the communists won the election. Democracy, communist style. NBC News reports: “Cuban government officials say over 75% of eligible voters cast ballots Sunday in the legislative election…The turnout rate is largely used as a support indicator for the communist government, which is why in the last several months Cubans saw an extensive TV, social media and schools campaign to get out the vote, promoting a “unity vote” for the National Assembly candidates.”
Cuba faces black outs, crop failures, fuel shortages, 39% inflation, an economy projected to grow only 1.5% this year, and new laws that provided even the death penalty on anyone suspected of criticizing the regime. Trying to escape this communist rule, nearly a quarter of a million Cubans were intercepted at the US border, which Bloomberg reports, is about 2% of the island country’s population. This is down from last year because of US changes in entry rules when the Biden Administration announced with great fanfare it was taking steps to ease the “humanitarian” crisis forced on Cubans by their jack-boot government.
On Monday, May 16, 2022, the State Department announced, “the United States is taking a series of measures to increase support for the Cuban people in line with our national security interests. The Cuban people are confronting an unprecedented humanitarian crisis–and our policy will continue to focus on empowering the Cuban people to help them create a future free from repression and economic suffering.” Biden’s State Department then expanded authorized travel to Cuba, removed cash limits for money to Cuban businesses (which are communist party run) “while not enriching those who perpetrate human rights abuses.” Instead of insisting the regime move toward change, Biden made a unilateral concession that further enriched the heavy-handed communist state while saying the US supported humanitarianism and free speech.
Supporting the oppressive communist Cuban regime is a continuation of the Obama foreign policy that was undone by President Trump. The actions of both Biden and Obama, while playing word games with free speech and humanitarianism, accelerated the communist-style oppression. Similarly, Biden’s actions here in America caused blackouts, crop failures, fuel shortages, record inflation, censorship of free speech, questionable elections, and stagnant economic growth of 2.7%. Do you see the parallel? The Democratic Party rule, with little effective opposition from the Republican Party, is doing the same thing in America as its cousins ruling Cuba. Christ said in Matthew 24:4, “Take heed that no man deceive you.” Look what’s happening. Democracy communist style?
Daily Devotion: The Cross Wasn’t a Mistake - by Greg Laurie – www.harvest.org
As the time drew near for him to ascend to heaven, Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem. —Luke 9:51
https://harvest.org/resources/devotion/the-cross-wasnt-a-mistake/ - Listen
At Caesarea Philippi, Jesus asked His disciples a question: “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” (Matthew 16:13 NLT).
Different individuals came up with different answers. But then Peter, under the inspiration of God Himself said, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God” (verse 16 NLT).
Jesus commended Peter for his answer, and everything was going wonderfully.
But then Matthew tells us, “From then on Jesus began to tell his disciples plainly that it was necessary for him to go to Jerusalem, and that he would suffer many terrible things at the hands of the elders, the leading priests, and the teachers of religious law. He would be killed, but on the third day he would be raised from the dead” (verse 21 NLT).
Peter, probably thinking he was on a roll at that point, privately took Jesus aside and began to rebuke Him for making such statements.
But Jesus replied, “Get away from me, Satan! You are a dangerous trap to me. You are seeing things merely from a human point of view, not from God’s” (verse 23 NLT).
Why so harsh? Jesus was speaking to the spirit that motivated Peter to say what he did. It was the devil who was saying to Jesus, “Don’t go to the cross. Think about Yourself. What about You?”
Yet nothing would deter Jesus from His course. That is why Jesus responded to Peter so strongly. In fact, Luke’s Gospel tells us that “as the time drew near for him to ascend to heaven, Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem” (9:51 NLT).
Jesus Christ came to this earth to buy back that which was forfeited in the Garden of Eden.
The cross wasn’t a mistake. Jesus knew it was coming and spoke of it often. He had to go to the cross because there was no other way to bridge the gap between a holy God and sinful humanity. The cross was Jesus’ goal and destination from the beginning.
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