Critically Reading Signs of The Times in The Last Days - By Ron Ferguson - https://www.raptureready.com/2023/05/16/critically-reading-signs-of-the-times-in-the-last-days-by-ron-ferguson/
This is an important posting. Please do not tune out and ignore what is happening now at increasing speed. We need to be able to read the signs of the time, and that is biblical, from the Lord Himself. Matthew 16:3 “and in the morning, ‘There will be a storm today for the sky is red and threatening.’ Do you know how to discern the appearance of the sky but cannot discern the signs of the times?” The Lord chastised the people for being able to do all manner of things, but they were not able to read the signs of the times.
We live in critical times and dangerous times. Surely you must be concerned about your nation and what is happening in the world? Do things seem to be spinning out of control?
There is such an advance of evil in our times. In fact, wickedness advances on steroids. In the free world, changes are being implemented at such a rate, it is astounding. Any honest-thinking person must ask, “Where is all this going to end?”
WHAT DOES THE TERM “IN THE LAST DAYS” MEAN?
Before we go any further, there are a couple of things that need to be addressed. The first of these is the term “IN THE LAST DAYS.” What does this term mean?
THERE ARE TWO USES OF THIS TERM. The first one applies to all that concerns Israel. For example, in this verse – Ezekiel 38:16 “and you will come up against My people Israel like a cloud to cover the land. It will come about IN THE LAST DAYS that I shall bring you against My land, in order that the nations may know Me when I shall be sanctified through you before their eyes, O Gog.” The armies of Gog/Magog (Russia, Iran, Libya, Ethiopia, and all the nations to the remote north of Israel) will invade Israel.
Every single one of the Old Testament references to the last days – and there are so many of them – are prophetic and concern Israel. They speak of trial, blessing, and the coming of the Lord to the nation Israel. Every single one of these references remains in the future and CANNOT HAPPEN while the Church is still on earth.
Many of them are connected with “the end of the age.” For example, the disciples asked Jesus in Matthew 24 verse 1 what the signs of His coming would be and when would be the end of the age. The end of the age regarding Israel is when the Lord returns at the Second Coming.
The second use of the term “In the last days” is more New Testament and applies to the last days of the Church age. This verse relates to that time – 2 Timothy 3:1-2 “Realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come, for men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy,” (etc).
Let us make that very clear. There are two ways the term “In the last days” or just “last days” is used in scripture. The first use is for the last days of the Jewish age and for the world society. That ends at the Second Coming. It means the end of the age for the whole world, and that will end after the Tribulation at the Second Coming when Jesus returns to establish His kingdom on earth.
The second use – usually found in the New Testament references – is the last days or the time before the Rapture, when the Lord returns in the air to catch up His believing people, as we have in these verses – 1Thessalonians 4:16-17 “For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ shall rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and thus we shall always be with the Lord.”
Where are we today? We are living in the Church Age, actually right at the end of the Church Age. This is why it is so important to understand that we are right at the end. This is not a time to be slack in our Christian witness and living for the Lord. The time is short – very short! Students of Bible prophecy know that to be the case.
CHURCHES HAVE FAILED IN BIBLICAL PROPHECY
It is a very sad thing that so many churches neglect the study of biblical prophecy and relegate it to the unimportant. That attitude dishonors God, and Christians who go along with that ought to be ashamed. Those churches have no expectation of the Lord’s return or the redemption of the believers at the Rapture.
Churches, even denominations, do not teach the Rapture because they cannot be bothered or don’t believe it, yet the imminent coming of the Lord for the believers in the New Testament days was an essential doctrine called “the glorious hope.” The “coming of the Lord” is what inspired godly living and gave hope to the martyrs who were being killed for the name of Christ. The neglect and dismissal of the Rapture understanding is a cunning insertion of Satan into doctrines, especially at and after the time of Constantine and in the Reformation. The Reformation did not go far enough. This is what God says about it (the church at Sardis represents the Reformation period) – Revelation 3:2 “Wake up, and strengthen the things that remain which were about to die, for I HAVE NOT FOUND YOUR DEEDS COMPLETED in the sight of My God.”
In a survey done on Rapture teaching in the churches, I present this, a quote from Daymond Duck:
In early March 2023, prophecy teacher Amir Tsarfati wrote, “According to those who gather such statistics, of the 2.42 billion people who bear the label ‘Christian’ today, only 6.6% believe in the Rapture of the church.”
The reason for that low percentage is the fault and neglect of churches and their ministers and denominations who are too careless about the Bible. It might be one thing to be caught up in believing error, but it is almost criminal in God’s eyes to keep believing it.
The Rapture will end our current Church age and the times we live in. The Church will be translated to heaven before the great and terrible Tribulation breaks out over the earth for 7 years. Any of you people who are skeptical of the Rapture and believe there is just one coming of Jesus in the future, please read the New Testament carefully and even check out material that proves all this, such as this (series on the Rapture) – https://www.sermoncentral.com/sermon-series/eschatology-rapture-bible-prophecy-and-current-affairs-sermon-series-from-ron-ferguson-22819?_gl=1*19ft8o6*_ga*MjA4NjkxMzQ5Ni4xNjcyNzM5NjA2*_ga_TRT0ERDR3P*MTY4MTM0MTQ1OC4yMTAuMS4xNjgxMzQxNDcxLjQ3LjAuMA
READING THE SIGNS OF THE TIMES
So far, we have spoken about the last days as they apply to Israel and to the Church and about the Rapture, so we must address the SIGNS OF THE TIMES. I am reluctant to say it, but they are blind who can’t read the signs of the times. When Jesus upbraided those who did not know the signs of the times, don’t you think you have a responsibility to do that? Or do you think it does not apply to you?
We live in such evil times, and the things that concern us are getting worse. Listen to what Paul said about the last days of the Church age – 2 Timothy 3:1 “Realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come,” (etc). That means “days or hardship” – difficult times” (NASB) and “perilous times” (AV). In examining the signs of the times, we need to understand what is meant by “difficult times.”
Difficult times must be understood as something different from what has been in the past. Horrible things have featured in the past, like wars and famines and persecution and death and other things, so what makes our times difficult or unique?
Let us look at some of this. So much of what is happening is now in the global arena.
[A]. MILITARY EXPANSIONISM
Have you not seen how the world seems primed for war? Putin, a declared war criminal, wants to dominate and take all of Europe. Xi of China, another war criminal, wants Taiwan and then expand through Asia, and Biden won’t stop it because he is weak and not in his right mind. The “rocket man” from North Korea wants to go to war against anyone. Nations are arming to the teeth, to use that well-known expression.
Some people think there will be a World War 3, but I feel confident none of that will happen before the Rapture (that is imminent).
Now I want to add something else to the mix. How many remember the wars that happened among the former members of the Yugoslavian Communist Federation after Tito? Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia, and others? These were ethnic wars. What of the upheaval of civil wars when PEACE IS TAKEN AWAY? My thoughts go immediately to the USA and the racial civil war that could happen, repeated all over the world, especially in these days of mass migration of displaced peoples.
Note this very carefully. After the Rapture of the Church in 1 Thessalonians 4 and 1 Corinthians 15, the world will find itself in a measure of chaos. When the Church is raptured, it goes to heaven, and Revelation chapters 4 and 5 will happen. Then immediately after that, the Tribulation starts with the breaking of the first seal in Revelation 6:1, and that one is the revealing of the Antichrist/world leader.
BUT the next seal, the second, is this one – Revelation 6:3-4 “When He broke the second seal, I heard the second living creature saying, ‘Come,’ and another, a red horse, went out, and to him who sat on it, it was granted TO TAKE PEACE FROM THE EARTH, AND THAT MEN SHOULD SLAY ONE ANOTHER, and a great sword was given to him.” Dear readers of this article, do not dismiss this. We are very close to this event. The nations of the world are primed for war. It just needs a trigger, and that trigger will be the Rapture.
[B]. DESTRUCTION OF GOD’S DECLARED ABSOLUTES FOR MAN
What am I speaking of here? Well, God instituted marriage between man and woman, but wickedness has turned that on its head by making it the perversion of homosexual marriage. It is sick, but that sickness proceeds from the corrupt nature that makes up what mankind is. The degrading aspects of homosexuality are now enshrined in the law courts of Australia and the USA and are so radical that people are now persecuted for disagreeing with it and are losing their jobs and freedoms. It is satanic, just one more sign of the times.
God established true sexuality, that of male and female: man and woman. He created them in the image of God, and for all these last 6,000 years, the world recognized male and female genders. However, in the last few years, we have the great confusion and perversion of sexuality and gender. Some of us know this terminology from hell – LGBTQIA +, and there are more of these distortions.
They call it gender identity, gender diversity, and gender fluidity. I call it demonic gender corruption. God will not allow this evil to continue for much longer, and as the flood came crashing on the ancient world, so shall the Tribulation burst onto the earth.
[C]. THE SEXUAL DESTRUCTION OF CHILDREN
This is monstrous. Firstly, the abortion of the unborn is straight from hell again, for Satan hates the human race and seeks to destroy whatever he can. There are over 70 million abortions performed worldwide yearly. God said, “Be fruitful and multiply,” but evil says, “Be aggressive and annihilate.”
Then those who are born are subject to the destruction of true sexuality in the education systems. In some cases, young children are exposed to all sorts of perversions at school in the sex education classes and told nothing is wrong and to go out and experiment with their sexuality. What sort of demonic monsters have gained access to these programs? How long will God continue to persevere with this evil?
[D]. NATIONAL TRENDS IN THE WORLD
Those who study the signs of the times are noticing several very disturbing trends. The first is that incompetent men and women have accumulated in governments, and there is awful incompetence in governing the nations. It is as if morons now run the show.
The governments of the world are turning more and more to the left, to socialism and Marxism, and all those systems are built on humanism. This is not really a surprise, as they are all being drawn in to globalism, the one-world system. More and more arrogant people are found in government forcing their constituents to conform to a restrictive control, and those who object or disagree are canceled out in many different ways. In Australia, in the past 10 years, thousands of freedoms have been removed through legislation and penalties. Crime is out of control, and the government refuses to address it.
WOKE. We have all heard it. From the Guardian Newspaper – “The word woke loosely refers to a social media-fueled, left-wing political ideology that emerged in the English-speaking world in the early 2010s.” Anything WOKE is not Christian. It began with radical racism. It is another deep decay in society in these last days.
[E]. DELUSION WITHOUT JUSTIFICATION
We are having our lifestyles altered because the false delusion of climate change is unbounded. The whole world, except the Communist nations, is forced to conform to this climate untruth. Costs are rising, and the nations become ungovernable. Never do these fanatics and cunning destroyers ever use TRUE science to justify a climate crisis because there is no crisis. People can’t pay electricity bills, and manufacturers are being brought to their knees by costs they cannot recoup. National debt is so high, it cannot be repaid.
Reader, where do you think this is all going? Have you considered it? That is not a difficult question. The purpose of all this is to bring the whole world under centralized control when nations are weakened so that they are no longer viable. Satan has his men in top government positions, and the heads of the USA, Australia, France, and so many more are doing the bidding of their masters. The Bible is clear about this. Straight after the Rapture comes a man, and this is said about him – Revelation 13:3 “I saw one of his heads as if it had been slain, and his fatal wound was healed. And THE WHOLE EARTH WAS AMAZED AND FOLLOWED AFTER THE BEAST.” The whole earth will follow this most evil man ever to set foot in the world (the Antichrist).
Things are falling into place. This is NOT the time for unbelief or mocking or dismissal. The signs of the time indicate the Rapture is very close. Are you living for the Lord Jesus Christ?
World alignments are falling into place. The World Economic Forum and the World Health Organization are the forerunners in this New World Order, The Great Reset. It is advancing at alarming rates. I suspect those who dismiss the Rapture might also dismiss the lining up of world events – the Signs of the Times. The people in Jesus’ day could not read them, and I suspect the same today.
AND WHAT OF THE CONCERN FOR JUSTICE?
You Americans, have you been following the huge injustice in your nation that has caused Congressional and Senate hearings? There is corruption right through government and the White House. Innocent people are dismissed from their jobs and penalized and arrested for not accepting the pride flag, but the grossly criminally guilty are not charged. Australia is much the same, even worse. I fear this is a worldwide trend. The denial of justice is everywhere.
The righteous have a sensitivity to justice that is not generally found in an unsaved man. It is justice we must pursue, for it is the justice of God that led to our conversion.
The prophet Isaiah was so burdened that the Spirit of God wrote through him – Isaiah 59:8-15 “They do not know the way of peace, and THERE IS NO JUSTICE IN THEIR TRACKS. They have made their paths crooked. Whoever treads on them does not know peace. Therefore, JUSTICE IS FAR FROM US, and righteousness does not overtake us. We hope for light, but behold, darkness; for brightness, but we walk in gloom. We grope along the wall like blind men. We grope like those who have no eyes. We stumble at midday as in the twilight. Among those who are vigorous we are like dead men. All of us growl like bears and moan sadly like doves. WE HOPE FOR JUSTICE, but there is none; for salvation, but it is far from us.
“Our transgressions are multiplied before You, and our sins testify against us; For our transgressions are with us, and we know our iniquities: transgressing and denying the LORD, and turning away from our God, speaking oppression and revolt, conceiving in and uttering from the heart lying words. JUSTICE IS TURNED BACK, AND RIGHTEOUSNESS STANDS FAR AWAY; FOR TRUTH HAS STUMBLED IN THE STREET, and uprightness cannot enter. Yes, truth is lacking; and he who turns aside from evil makes himself a prey. Now the LORD saw, and it was displeasing in His sight THAT THERE WAS NO JUSTICE.”
So much of what Isaiah wrote we see and know to be in today’s world. When the Lord returns at the Second Coming, His justice will flow through the earth.
CONCLUSION – IT IS ALL IN GOD’S TIME
It is not my purpose to highlight the afflictions of our times and leave it at that. All I want to do is to cause you to think about the Signs of the Times as Jesus expected his nation to have done when He was on earth. It is so important that we understand our times because then we understand the times that are ahead.
The coming of the Lord for His Church is so very close. Once the Rapture happens, it will be too late to do the Lord’s will. You should be doing that today as if the Lord comes tomorrow. Be busy about service for the Master. If you have been lazy, then arise and get busy!
All things are falling into place, and quickly too. The last days of the Church age will see increasing turmoil and disgraceful behavior from people, for Paul stated that wicked men will proceed from bad to worse. 2 Timothy 3:2-4 “For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God.”
I will close with a few verses about the Lord Jesus Christ, and here they are:
Isaiah 30:18 “Therefore the LORD longs to be gracious to you, and therefore He waits on high to have compassion on you. For THE LORD IS A GOD OF JUSTICE.”
Isaiah 42:1 “Behold, My Servant whom I uphold; My chosen one in whom My soul delights. I have put My Spirit upon Him; HE WILL BRING FORTH JUSTICE TO THE NATIONS.”
Isaiah 42:4 “He will not be disheartened or crushed until He has established JUSTICE IN THE EARTH; and the coastlands will wait expectantly for His law.”
Revelation 13: The rise of the beast - By Mark Creech - https://www.christianpost.com/voices/revelation-13-the-rise-of-the-beast.html
Revelation chapter 13 describes the rise of the Antichrist and his activities. It will be necessary to tarry on this subject for a while, cross-referencing this chapter with Old and New Testament texts.
Here is what the apostle John wrote about him:
Then I saw a beast rising up out of the sea. It had seven heads and 10 horns, with 10 crowns on its horns. And written on each head were names that blasphemed God. This Beast looked like a leopard, but it had the feet of a bear and the mouth of a lion! And the dragon gave the Beast his own power and throne and great authority.
I saw that one of the heads of the Beast seemed wounded beyond recovery — but the fatal wound was healed! The whole world marveled at this miracle and gave allegiance to the Beast. They worshiped the dragon for giving the Beast such power, and they also worshiped the Beast. “Who is as great as the beast?” they exclaimed. “Who is able to fight against him?”
Then the Beast was allowed to speak great blasphemies against God. And he was given authority to do whatever he wanted for 42 months. And he spoke terrible words of blasphemy against God, slandering His name and his dwelling — that is, those who dwell in heaven. And the Beast was allowed to wage war against God’s holy people and to conquer them. And he was given authority to rule over every tribe and people and language and nation. And all the people who belong to this world worshiped the Beast. They are the ones whose names were not written in the Book of Life that belongs to the Lamb who was slaughtered before the world was made.
Anyone with ears to hear should listen and understand. Anyone who is destined for prison will be taken to prison. Anyone destined to die by the sword will die by the sword.
This means that God’s holy people must endure persecution patiently and remain faithful (Revelation 13:1-10).
In recent years, the world has seen something of its incredible vulnerability for a global disaster of monumental proportions. The geopolitical tensions and the use of nuclear armaments could lead to catastrophic consequences. An economic collapse or financial crisis could trigger social unrest and upheaval across nations. With the increasing dependence on the internet and digital technologies, cyberattacks could cause widespread damage to critical infrastructure, financial systems, and national security. Extreme weather events and natural disasters could significantly damage infrastructure, homes, and human lives. The outbreak of infectious diseases such as COVID-19 can spread rapidly and cause significant social and economic disruption. Pollution and abuse of natural resources can lead to conflicts over water scarcity, food depletion, and widespread malnutrition.
Any leader who could sufficiently address these concerns and promise humanity peace and prosperity could gain control of the entire world. The Bible says that Satan will raise up a Superman who can do it. Revelation says he will come up “out of the sea” (Revelation 13:1). The sea is symbolic of Gentile nations (Revelation 17:15; Isaiah 57:20-21).
So, the likelihood is that this individual, the Antichrist, will be a Gentile world religious and political leader, who will astonish everyone with his incomparable abilities and be worshipped internationally. People will ask, “Who is as great as the beast?” (Revelation 13:4).
The name “Antichrist” is only found in the apostle John’s first and second epistles. In those texts, John says anyone who denies Christ is antichrist.
Today there are many clergy who could legitimately be labeled antichrist.
Recently I was teaching an adult Sunday School lesson at my home church, and I was sharing how progressive clergy can be so pomp and pious. Yet they support so-called abortion rights, celebrate LGBTQ, and laud socialism, something for which they should be ashamed. They rarely, if ever, raise their voices against the things destroying people’s lives: alcohol, marijuana, gambling, pornography, and other evils. They never speak out or challenge the false philosophies and “doctrines of devils,” ruining minds and twisting personalities. They encourage a disregard for biblical morality and the rejection of orthodox Christianity. These clergy never risk a confrontation with the forces of sin, and their silence gives tacit approval to the bad influences literally tearing our nation apart. They fear they may be branded an extremist, a holy roller, an out-of-date Puritan of yesteryear, or a prophet of doom. They prefer popularity and acceptance. If they had any love for the truth, they would be ready to fight for the fidelity of God’s truth. It is not an overstatement to call these religious leaders antichrists. Like the devil, they lead people away from God. They oppose the will of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Although anyone who denies Christ, or the way of Christ, can be labeled antichrist, the Bible still recognizes a real end-time person who will appear in a crescendo of opposition to the true Savior of the world.
So, the events of the final days and the person of the Antichrist are inseparable. The spirit of antichrists pervades the entire Christian era and is prevalent today. But there will be an individual who rises to world dominance and attains the accolades and affection of the masses. Although the nations will laud him as magnificent and majestic, Revelation refers to him as “a Beast” to reveal his character’s beastly nature.
This Beast plans to plant his flag on this planet as a God-free zone. He will turn people away from the Lord and his mercies and coerce small and great to bow down to him.
We see types of the Antichrist in the Old Testament.
The book of Genesis says Nimrod was a great hunter and a king (Genesis 10:8-12). The expression “great hunter” refers to his remarkable ability to communicate and win over the hearts and minds of the people of his day. He was the founder and ruler of Babylon, and known for his great strength and military prowess. He was also a great builder and directed the construction of the Tower of Babel. The Tower would reach to the heavens, signifying the world unifying around a false religion.
Nimrod’s name has come to be associated with rebellion and defiance against God. Some scholars believe he was a god-like figure in the eyes of his people, and they worshiped him as a deity.
Nimrod was a shadow of the Antichrist.
Pharaoh was a type of the Antichrist. He was an oppressor and persecutor of the Jewish people, much like the Antichrist will be an enemy of God’s people in the latter days. Additionally, the Pharaoh’s rejection of Moses’s messages and refusal to acknowledge the power of God mirrors the Antichrist’s rejection of Jesus and God’s authority in the end times.
Some believe Haman, as described in the book of Esther, is a foreshadowing of the Antichrist because of the similarities between his actions and character to those of the Antichrist. Haman and the Antichrist are seen as power-hungry, malicious, manipulative, and authoritarian characters determined to destroy the people of God. Both are also obsessed with control and dominance, as evidenced by Haman’s desire to have all Jews killed and the Antichrist’s commitment to do the same and rule the world. Additionally, both use deception and flattery to achieve their goals, which results in significant harm and suffering for innocent people. Haman clearly serves as a warning of the coming of the Antichrist and the importance of being prepared for the latter days.
Through the years, there has been considerable speculation as to the identity of the Antichrist. The following are some of the many figures throughout history who were suspected or accused of being the Antichrist.
In the first century A.D., some Christians believed the Roman Emperor Nero was the Antichrist because of his cruel persecution of Christians.
In the 10th century, rumors circulated that Pope Sylvester II had made a pact with the devil and was the Antichrist. In the 12th century, St. Bernard called Pope Leo the Antichrist. In the 13th century, Frederick II, ruler of the Holy Roman Empire, accused Pope Gregory IX of being Antichrist.
In the 16th century, some Catholics believed Protestant reformer Martin Luther was the Antichrist because he departed from Catholic doctrine and had many sharp criticisms for the Catholic Church. Interestingly, Catholics of this period revived the old theory that the Antichrist would be a Jew. This position relieved the Pope of any possibility of Antichrist guilt. However, the revival of this theory which associated the Jew with the Antichrist also gave rise to the anti-Semitic overtones of the Inquisition.
In the early 19th century, some Christians believed Napoleon Bonaparte was the Antichrist because of his tremendous military conquests and growing political power over much of the world.
During World War II, some Christians were convinced Adolf Hitler was the Antichrist due to his acts of genocide against the Jews and his ambition for world domination.
In the 1980s, some Christian groups believed Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev was the Antichrist because of his role in the Cold War, his efforts to reform the Soviet Union, and his development as someone with increasing influence on the world stage.
In the 21st century, some conservative Christians believed former U.S. President Barack Obama was the Antichrist because of his policies and political ideologies. Although the President claimed to be a Christian, he downplayed the influence of Christianity and erroneously showed favor for Islam as a beautiful and peaceful world religion.
Regarding the many conjectures and suppositions which sought to identify the Antichrist, and there have been hundreds of them, each one was proven wrong. It seems as though such labeling was often born out of political or religious hatred and suspicion. Christians should be more circumspect in their understanding and application of biblical prophecy.
The late M.R. DeHaan, in his book, Revelation, offers wise advice:
"The true identity of the Antichrist will not be known until the Church is gone [until the Church is raptured out of the world]. This is definitely stated in II Thessalonians 2:3, where we are told that the man of sin will not be revealed until after the Church is gone. It is foolish, therefore, to speculate as to his identity."
Nevertheless, as mentioned beforehand, it certainly seems the groundwork is being laid for the Antichrist’s appearance at the present hour. Current events such as increasing divisions and conflicts between nations, tremendous social unrest, a general hostility toward the Jews and Christianity, rank moral degradation, technological advancements that have enabled widespread surveillance and control, global pandemics, and the probability of a major worldwide economic crisis, are all signs of the last days pointing to the coming of the Devil’s superman, who will deceive the vast majority of the world’s population that he can solve every global issue. He will appear as a charismatic and persuasive leader who can provide salvation and deliverance. When in reality, he is a Beast – a human monster whose power comes from the dreaded Dragon — the devil himself.
Let me close with another quote from M.R. DeHaan:
“Terrible are the days which lie ahead. The rumblings of the coming judgment can be heard in the distance. The clouds are gathering. Inventions…have made men tremble at what lies ahead. There is only one way out, and that is through him [Christ], who is the door to absolute safety. Those who receive him and enter through the door by faith are safe. They are described as those whose names ‘are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.’ Is your name written there? Are you ready for his coming? If not, will you turn to him [Christ] and be saved now?”
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The Lukewarm Church Has Greatly Contributed To The Increasing Secularization Of The Culture – By Ken Ham - https://harbingersdaily.com/the-lukewarm-church-has-greatly-contributed-to-the-increasing-secularization-of-the-culture/
2 Timothy 4:3-4 KJV – “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.”
One of the observations I’ve made in recent times is that basic beliefs Christians have held to for 2,000 years (and the Israelites before them for hundreds more years!) are suddenly being portrayed as radical beliefs. At times, it’s as if those discovering that Christians hold to these beliefs are in shock that people could hold to these positions. Why is this happening?
I personally think there are at least five major reasons for this. Of course, I’m sure there are more, but before we look at the five I am proposing, let’s consider some examples.
Christian Organizations Want to Hire . . . Christians?
We have seen secularists respond in shock that Christian organizations would employ only Christians! LGBTQ people have spoken against Christian adoption agencies that only place children in homes that agree with their statement of faith.
Government officials can’t believe that Christian schools don’t allow students who are transgender/gay to be part of the student body or that they won’t hire LGBTQ staff members. Christians have been taken to court for not doing things (like making wedding cakes, doing photography, etc., for celebrations of nonbiblical “marriage”) that go totally against their biblical convictions. The list goes on and on.
Aliens—They’re Going to Hell!?
Let me give you a totally different type of example. In 2014, I wrote a blog post on Answers In Genesis about why I don’t believe in aliens. In that blog, I used the same type of arguments that I had used on our website in 2007. In fact, I have been giving these reasons for why I don’t believe in aliens for many years—it’s really nothing new. Not only that, but if you search the internet, you can find articles from other authors using arguments similar to the ones I use.
Now, one of the arguments I used in that 2014 blog was in regard to the gospel. I explained that if there were intelligent beings on other planets, then they would have been affected by the fall of Adam because the whole creation was affected (Romans 8:22). So these beings would have to die because death was the penalty for sin. One day their planet will be destroyed by fire during God’s final judgment, but they cannot have salvation because that blessing is given only to humans. If intelligent beings lived on other planets, they would suffer because of Adam’s sin but have no opportunity to be saved through Christ’s sacrifice.
When Jesus Christ stepped into history, he became the God-man. The Bible calls him “the last Adam” and the “second man” (1 Corinthians 15:45, 47). He became the second perfect man (Adam was perfect before he sinned), and he took the place of the first Adam by dying for the human race. As the first Adam was the representative head of the human race, so Jesus became the new head, the last Adam. So there can be no other Savior, only Christ. Jesus now sits in the heavens, still in human form, on his throne next to the Father. If Jesus stepped out of his human form, we would no longer have a Savior. He remains the God-man forever. But note, Jesus didn’t become a “God-Klingon,” a “God-Vulcan,” or a “God-Cardassian”—he became the God-man.
It wouldn’t make sense theologically for there to be other intelligent, physical beings who suffer because of Adam’s sin but cannot be saved. So my point was that I don’t believe in aliens.
Secularists didn’t respond to my writing on this over the years until 2014 when I used the above argument in my blog. For some reason, that blog captured their attention, and the secular media responded with headlines like these:
Okay, there were many more ridiculous headlines, all because I used an explanation about the gospel as one of the many reasons I give to say I don’t believe in aliens. We are certainly experiencing a time when those who reject Christianity will go out of their way to mock and attack Christians in ways we’ve never seen before in this culture. Why is this happening?
Five Reasons People Are Shocked
Let’s consider my five reasons:
Okay—there, I said it. I do believe much of the problem lies with the church. A lot of Christians look at the culture and say, “Look how bad the culture is.”
I think we should be saying, “Look how bad much of the church is,” and then we should commit to praying for the church and challenging her to stand on the authority of God’s Word, from the very first verse, so we can raise up generations who know what they believe, know why they believe what they believe, and will boldly share that with others.
America’s New “Woke” Religion - by Michael Snyder - http://endoftheamericandream.com/americas-new-woke-religion/
Have you “seen the light” yet? As Christianity has declined in the United States, other faiths have moved quickly to fill the void. In previous articles, I have written about the explosive growth that witchcraft and Satanism have both experienced in recent years. But Christianity’s main rival in the U.S. is neither one of them. Today, “woke” ideology and the backlash to it are constantly in the news. Our politicians are defined by their adherence to it, virtually all of our corporations are very careful to show public submission to it, many of our entertainers have become rabid proponents for it, and our public schools are being transformed into indoctrination centers for the cause.
As a result, we now have millions upon millions of young people that have a remarkably consistent set of core values.
Unfortunately, those core values are pretty much the opposite of the core values of the people that once founded this country.
Throughout much of our history, most Americans derived their core values from religion, and that is still true today.
You see, the truth is that there is much that is “religious” in the “woke” movement. It has its own rituals, practices, flags, songs, mantras, gatherings and evangelists.
Of course there are also heretics, and “cancel culture” has emerged as a way to punish those heretics.
In this new environment, either you will be “awakened” willingly or you will suffer the consequences. I really like how Michael Vlahos described the “new national church” that is now evolving all around us…
What does it mean to be woke? First and foremost, “woke” is a religious signal that you have heard the Good News and Seen the Light. Awakening means both witnessing revealed truth and experiencing spiritual transformation. Today this has taken the form of a collective enunciation: Of a new national church, reformed and transformed, to replace the original American sect, which is wicked and corrupted.
In simple, practical terms, the Church of Woke is pledged to the destruction of Racism, Patriarchy, and Heteronormativity.
We are supposed to be a very tolerant society, but there is no tolerance in this new religion…
In the woke religion, Christian beliefs about justice and truth are supplanted with contemporary doctrines of equality, LGBTQ+, aggressive feminism, anti-capitalism, cultural shame, historical national sin, legacy guilt, claims of privilege, intersectionality, micro-aggression, critical race beliefs, BLM, compelled speech and inclusion of all self-identities; but there’s no tolerance for those who challenge the woke faith. The woke spirit takes a young person who desires to do good and shifts them into a hating machine, an angry, bitter person.
Let me ask you a question.
If you encounter an angry person in the street demanding that you change your ways, is that individual more likely to be a Christian preacher or a radical “woke” activist?
I think that we all know the answer to that question.
Many of those that are “woke” believe their “gospel” with a fervor that would make the most extreme Islamic jihadists blush.
If you do not agree with them, you are “evil” and you are part of the problem.
According to Vivek Ramaswamy, we have now reached a point where “wokeness” actually “meets the Supreme Court test for religion”…
“Wokeness” has become so pervasive across America’s institutions from schools to corporations that author Vivek Ramaswamy argues it meets the Supreme Court test for religion.
“Wokeness is a secular religion. It isn’t a religion based on God. It isn’t a religion that offers a path to redemption, but it is a secular religion nonetheless,” Ramaswamy, author of Woke, Inc. tells CBN News.
Meanwhile, the influence of Christianity in our society continues to wane.
According to a brand new survey that was just conducted by the Public Religion Research Institute, only 16 percent of us still consider religion to be the most important part of our lives…
A survey by the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) shows that only 16 percent of Americans say religion is the most important part of their lives — down from a fifth a decade ago.
Meanwhile, about a quarter of Americans say they used to follow a different religion to the one they currently practice — a share of the population that keeps growing.
Church attendance has been declining for decades, and the percentage of Americans that identify as Christians “has been steadily dropping”…
The number of Americans who attend church once a week fell from 19 percent in 2019 to 16 percent last year, says the survey of some 6,600 adults across all 50 states.
Only 64 percent of Americans identify as Christian nowadays — that percentage has been steadily dropping.
The share of ‘nones’ — those without any religious affiliation — has meanwhile risen to 27 percent.
What we are witnessing is a shift of seismic proportions.
Over the past few years, unprecedented numbers of Americans have either switched to a new faith or have decided that it is time to walk away from religion completely.
Among those that have made a switch, approximately 30 percent say that it was due to “negative religious teachings about or treatment of LGBTQ+ people”…
About 30% said negative religious teachings about or treatment of LGBTQ+ people forced them to change.
Of course support for the LGBTQ+ agenda is one of the core tenets of the new “woke” religion.
And once June starts the entire country will be spending an entire month conducting gatherings, parades and celebrations to show how fervently they support “pride”.
The transformation of America is virtually complete.
Our entire society has been turned completely upside down, and if we stay on the path that we are currently on there is not going to be a future for our nation.
But at this point the environment in the U.S. has become so extreme that we are not even allowed to have a debate about such things.
There shall be no deviating from the new orthodoxy, and those that attempt to do so are likely to get brutally canceled.
Daily Jot: Stupidocrisy: Rewarding incompetence and evil results - Bill Wilson - http://endoftheamericandream.com/americas-new-woke-religion/
One of the most egregious examples of mishandling a pandemic in history was witnessed by the world during COVID. Now the US government is rewarding one of the organizations whose alleged negligence may have leaked the deadly virus from its Chinese lab. The National Institutes of Health on April 26 awarded EcoHealth Alliance, Inc and its Executive Director Peter Daszak another $576,290 for ongoing work on “Understanding the Risk of Bat Coronavirus Emergence.” Under the terms of the grant, EcoHealth will receive a total of $4,325,005 via NIH’s National Institute for Allergies and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), which was led by Dr. Anthony Fauci until December 2022. Here we go again.
In September 2021, The UK Telegraph published an investigative report on how Communist Chinese and American scientists proposed as early as 2018 to release COVID 19 into the Chinese bat population to make the virus easier to enter human cells. Moreover, the Telegraph reported these scientists “planned to create chimeric viruses, genetically enhanced to infect humans more easily, and requested $14 million form the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to fund the work.” The proposal was submitted by EcoHealth’s Daszak. DARPA refused funding, saying: “It is clear that the proposed project led by Daszak could have put local communities at risk”, and warned that the team had not properly considered the dangers of enhancing the virus (gain of function research) or releasing a vaccine by air.
In a letter to US Representative James Comer (R-KY), NIH Principal Deputy Director Lawrence A Tabak sort of admitted that unbeknownst to NIH, EcoHealth Alliance, helped develop gain of function in Wuhan by testing if “bat coronaviruses circulating in China were capable of binding to the human ACE2 receptor in a mouse model.” But Tabak was emphatic in the letter that while this result was unexpected, these coronaviruses “are not and could not have become SARS-CoV-2.” This conclusion is most certainly in dispute. An email trove obtained under Freedom of Information by Judicial Watch showed that the NIAID, under Fauci’s leadership, funded the Chinese Wuhan lab with some $826,277 for bat coronavirus research over five years. This was in addition to what it gives EcoHealth.
Where there is smoke, there is usually fire. That the NIH is giving more money to EcoHealth, which appears to be in cahoots with the Chinese Communists, is unthinkable. But NIH did it. According to the United Nations, there were 688 million COVID global cases and about 6.8 million people died, a little less than 1%. Bottom line, however, the UN estimates over a million Americans died and the US government apparently helped fund the gain of function research that caused it. In Luke 8:17, Christ said, “For nothing is secret that will not be revealed, nor anything hidden that will not be known and come to light.” As the bats come home to roost, more is being revealed on how these evildoers’ actions resulted in the deaths of nearly 7 million people worldwide. Using taxpayer funds to do more the same is, say it with me…Stupidocrisy.
Daily Devotion: Think Before You Pray - by Greg Laurie – www.harvest.org
Don’t make rash promises, and don’t be hasty in bringing matters before God. After all, God is in heaven, and you are here on earth. So let your words be few. —Ecclesiastes 5:2
https://harvest.org/resources/devotion/think-before-you-pray/ - Listen
Some people tend to pray broad, generic prayers: “Lord, save the world and bless all the missionaries. Amen.” However, I think it would do a little more for people if we prayed for them by name.
Of course, God knows everything. But when we bring our requests before Him, we should be focused. As the adage says, “If you aim at nothing, you’re bound to hit it.”
In Psalm 5 we see a prayer of David’s that hit the mark. One of the reasons it was effective is that it had a clear focus. David prayed, “Listen to my voice in the morning, Lord. Each morning I bring my requests to you and wait expectantly” (verse 3 NLT).
The New King James Version translates it this way: “My voice You shall hear in the morning, O Lord; in the morning I will direct it to You, and I will look up.” In the original language, this depicts the setting in order of pieces of wood on an altar of sacrifice.
Thus, it implies an order, a structure, and a focus in prayer.
David was saying, “Not only am I praying with passion, but I am praying with precision. I am praying with clarity. I am aiming my prayer in a certain direction.”
Ecclesiastes 5:1–2 tells us, “As you enter the house of God, keep your ears open and your mouth shut. It is evil to make mindless offerings to God. Don’t make rash promises, and don’t be hasty in bringing matters before God. After all, God is in heaven, and you are here on earth. So let your words be few” (NLT).
In other words, think about what you will pray.
It’s important to have passion in our prayers. But we also need to think through what we will bring before the throne of God.
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