How Close is the Rapture of the Church? - Britt Gillette - http://www.end-times-bible-prophecy.com/how-close-is-the-rapture-of-the-church.html
How close is the rapture of the church? I think we can get a good idea based on recent surveys of self-identified Christians in the United States.
Recently, The Christian Post reported, "Over a third of senior pastors believe 'good people' can earn their way to heaven." This was the conclusion of a survey conducted by the Cultural Research Center at Arizona Christian University. The survey polled around 1,000 Christian pastors, examining dozens of beliefs they hold, and found only 37% hold a biblical worldview. The survey found 39% believe "each individual must determine their own truth," 38% do not believe "human life is sacred," and 37% believe "having faith, in general, is more important than in what - or more specifically, Whom - one has faith."
Assuming this is true, it should come as no surprise to learn the people sitting in the pews of these churches hold similar views. In his blog post, "Barna: Most Americans Create a Customized Worldview," Ken Ham states, "Seven out of 10 U.S. adults call themselves 'Christians' and yet only 6 in 100 (6%) actually have a biblical worldview." He then went on to cite statistics from a recent Ligonier Ministries survey. Among its findings:
These beliefs don't fit with what the Bible teaches, meaning those surveyed (who self-identified as "Evangelical Christians") either haven't read the Bible or they reject what it says. This "falling away" from the foundational beliefs of the Christian faith, by those who profess to be Christians, is an indication the world is on the verge of the seven year Tribulation. And since the Bible tells us the rapture occurs prior to the Tribulation (Revelation 3:10; 1 Thessalonians 1:10; 1 Thessalonians 5:9), if we see signs and indications we're on the verge of witnessing the events of the Tribulation, we can know the rapture is even closer.
The Bible says the Day of the Lord (the Tribulation) will not come and the Antichrist will not be revealed until "a great falling away" happens first (2 Thessalonians 2:3). Some translations call this "a rebellion" or "apostasy" - an abandonment of the faith by professed Christians. Do these survey responses indicate a great falling away? They seem to.
However, by itself, this sign isn't enough to indicate the nearness of the end times - and thus, the rapture. After all, it's subjective. Some number of people have always professed to be Christians while denying the foundational principles of the faith. But on this scale? I don't think so, but I can't know for sure. That said, these surveys indicating a falling away from the faith are not the only sign telling us the end times and the Second Coming of Jesus Christ are at hand.
Jesus and the prophets gave us a number of signs to look for. Furthermore, and this is the key, Jesus said, "When you see all these things, you can know my return is near. I'm right at the door" (Matthew 24:33). This was in response to the disciples asking Jesus to tell them "the signs of your coming and the end of the age" (Matthew 24:3). In other words, Jesus said the #1 sign of His Second Coming and His return to establish His Millennial Kingdom is the convergence of the various signs He and the prophets said to look for. This is stated in three of the four Gospels - in Matthew 24, Mark 13, and Luke 21. Jesus said, "When you see all these things taking place, you can know that his return is very near, right at the door." (Mark 13:29). He also said, "When all these things begin to happen, look up for your salvation is near!" (Luke 21:28).
The Bible is clear. The #1 indication Jesus will return soon is all the signs appearing together. Both Jesus and the prophets told us what those signs are, and the appearance of just one is reason enough to take notice. But the arrival of one sign after another demands your attention. It's the sign Jesus said to look for. This convergence of signs confirms our generation will witness the Second Coming - not according to me, but according to Jesus.
The Convergence of Signs
A great falling away of those who profess to be Christians, but deny the foundational truths of Christianity, is just one of many signs. Jesus and the prophets pointed to dozens and dozens. This article cites only a few, but the reality of each one of these signs is undeniable. And their convergence should be enough convince you the return of the Lord is close at hand. These signs include:
Israel Back in the Land - God promised to bring the Jewish people back into the land of Israel before He returned (Jeremiah 23:7-8). He said He would call them from "among the nations" (Ezekiel 39:28), from "the farthest corners of the earth" (Isaiah 11:12), and from "north, south, east, and west" (Psalm 107:3). He promised to welcome them home from the lands where they were scattered (Ezekiel 20:34). When they did, He promised to return and establish His everlasting kingdom (Isaiah 11:11-12).
The Jewish People in Control of Jerusalem - Jesus said armies would surround Jerusalem, destroy the city, and enslave its citizens. The Roman legions fulfilled this prophecy in A.D. 70. Jesus then said people other than the Jewish people will control Jerusalem for a time, until the Jewish people once again control Jerusalem. When they did, Jesus promised to return (Luke 21:24-28). Since 1967, the Jewish people have controlled Jerusalem.
The Gospel Preached Throughout the World - When asked about the end of the age and the signs of His coming, Jesus said to look for a very specific sign. He said the Gospel will be preached throughout the entire world. Every nation will hear it. And then? And then, the end will come (Matthew 24:14). For centuries after the crucifixion, the Gospel was confined to a small area surrounding the Mediterranean Sea. In the past two centuries, Christians have brought the Gospel to every nation in the world. Today, missionaries are in every nation. The Bible is translated in hundreds of languages, and the message of Jesus is sent around the world by radio, TV, satellite, and the Internet. This generation is on the verge of spreading the Gospel to every last person on earth.
An Increase in Travel and Knowledge - Six hundred years before Jesus, an angel gave Daniel a special message. He said "travel and knowledge" will increase in the end times (Daniel 12:4). For centuries of human history, dramatic gains in travel and knowledge did NOT take place. Yet the last two hundred years have seen explosions in the speed and frequency of travel as well as the amount and availability of knowledge.
Arrival of the Exponential Curve - Jesus said a variety of global signs will come before His return and the end of the age. These signs will be spiritual, natural, societal, and political in nature. He said they will appear in a distinct way - "like birth pains" (Matthew 24:3‐8). This means the frequency and intensity of these signs will increase as we near His return. Our generation has seen the exponential increase in war and famine Jesus said to look for. In the 20th Century alone, more people died from war and famine than lived on the earth when Jesus spoke these words.
Israel Surrounded by Enemies - The Bible says enemies will surround Israel in the end times. Those enemies will say "Come, let us wipe away the nation of Israel. Let's destroy the memory of its existence" (Psalm 83:4) and "Let us take for ourselves these pasturelands of God" (Psalm 83:12). Ezekiel said Israel's neighbors will say "God has given their land to us" (Ezekiel 11:14‐17), and "Israel and Judah are ours. We will take possession of them. What do we care if their God is there?" (Ezekiel 35:10). Ever since the rebirth of Israel in 1948, the daily headlines have included these Bible verses. Israel's Muslim neighbors claim the land of Israel for themselves, and they have no regard for the God of Israel.
Israel's Exceedingly Great Army - Ezekiel said, in the end times, Israel will field "an exceedingly great army" (Ezekiel 37:10). Zechariah said Israel will be like a fire among sheaves of grain, burning up the neighboring nations (Zechariah 12:6) and even the weakest Israeli soldier will be like David (Zechariah 12:8). Since 1948, Israel has fought no less than four conventional wars against its neighbors. Despite being outnumbered more than 50 to 1, Israel has achieved overwhelming victory every time.
Rise of the Gog of Magog Alliance - The Bible says a military alliance that includes Russia, Iran, Turkey, and a number of other nations will attack Israel "in the latter days" (Ezekiel 38:8) when God brings His people home from among the enemy nations (Ezekiel 39:27). Today, we see those very nations coming together for the first time - an alliance that has never existed in world history.
Rise of a United Europe - The Bible says a revived Roman Empire will come to power in the end times (Daniel 2, Daniel 7, Revelation 17). According to Daniel, it will be a ten nation alliance of weak and strong nations. Some parts will be as strong as iron, while other parts will be as weak as clay (Daniel 2:42). We see the beginning of this alliance in the European Union - a coalition of weak and strong nations struggling to stay together.
The Rise of Global Government - The Bible says a single government will rule the world politically (Revelation 13:7), religiously (Revelation 13:8), and economically (Revelation 13:16‐17) in the last days. It will rule over "all people, tribes, and languages" on the face of the earth (Revelation 13:7). Its authority will be so complete no one will be able to buy or sell anything without its permission (Revelation 13:16‐17). For centuries, a true global government was impossible. Today, world leaders openly discuss it.
Denial of the Signs - Almost two thousand years ago, Peter issued a warning. He said in the last days people will mock the idea of Jesus returning. They will make fun of those who believe in the Second Coming and say exactly what we hear today - things like, "I thought Jesus was coming back? What happened to His promise? Generation after generation has said He's coming. Yet, since the beginning of the world, everything has remained the same!" (2 Peter 3:3‐4).
The Hour is Late
It's not true to say these signs have always been present. Generations of Christians lived and died without witnessing any of these signs. For centuries of Christian history, none of these signs were present. Zero. Today, they all are. Jesus said when you see these signs, you can know His return is near. He's right at the door (Matthew 24:33). In fact, Jesus said the generation witnessing these signs will not pass away before He returns (Matthew 24:34). So despite the skeptics and naysayers, Jesus is coming, and ours is the generation that will witness His return. The convergence of all these signs confirm it.
This means the church is on the verge of the rapture. The rapture has always been an imminent, signless event. No preconditions are necessary for it to happen. However, as we approach the beginning of the Tribulation - a time period filled with numerous specific events - we're running out of time for the rapture to come unexpectedly on the world. Jesus said, "You also must be ready all the time, for the Son of Man will come when least expected" (Matthew 24:44). By definition, Jesus can't be talking about a time during or after the Tribulation. Once the events of the Tribulation begin to unfold, the glorious appearing of Jesus will be expected. He's talking about the rapture before the Tribulation. Furthermore, Jesus promised to keep us from "the great time of testing that will come upon the whole world to test those who belong to this world" (Revelation 3:10). This means if we see the events of the Tribulation just ahead and the rapture takes place beforehand, we're extremely close to the rapture.
The signs of His return are all around us. Jesus is coming. If you've been waiting to share the Gospel with someone, don't wait one minute more. You may not have another opportunity. The hour is late. The signs are present. Now is the season of the Lord's return. So keep your eyes fixed on Him - Jesus is coming!
The Magnificent Glory That Awaits Us in Eternity – Jonathan Brentner - https://www.jonathanbrentner.com/https/jonathan-brentner-g8fgsquarespacecom/config/2022/10/14/jesus-longs-to-show-us-his-glory
It’s a word that we often hear, but what does “glory” really signify?
A popular worship song includes the phrase “show us your glory,” but can that request have an eternal ring to it?
Dictionaries provide several facets of meaning for the word “glory.” I looked it up in the Merriam-Webster online dictionary and discovered these shades of meaning:
In John 17:24, Jesus spoke these words in His prayer on our behalf:
“Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world.”
Isn’t it amazing that Jesus longs for the day when He can show us His eternal glory? Why else would He pray in such a way just hours before His crucifixion?
Let’s take a little deeper look at the implications of Jesus’ request on our behalf.
IT CAN ONLY HAPPEN WHEN WE ARE WITH JESUS IN HEAVEN
We use the word “glory” to refer to aspects of our walk with the Lord. We glorify Him by exalting His name through praise songs and worship. When we give Jesus all the credit for what He accomplishes in or through us, we correctly refer to this as giving Him the glory.
We see a foretaste of God’s heavenly glory in beautiful sunsets, the grandeur of snowcapped mountain tops, and through the beauty and wonder of nature in all its various forms. Last week, my wife Ruth and I hiked in a Wisconsin state park where the leaves had just begun to change colors; it was breathtakingly beautiful. God’s creation reflects His beauty, magnificence, and splendor, and for those paying attention, nature glorifies its Creator.
On the other hand, we will not see the glory of which Jesus spoke in John 17:24 until we are with Him in heaven. All the magnificent scenes in nature are but a sampling of the beauty that Christ desires to show us once we are physically present with Him. The full magnificence, splendor, and power of our Savior are not things we are currently capable of witnessing apart from our glorified bodies, which we will receive when Jesus appears to take us home (1 Corinthians 15:51-55).
I’m always amazed by John’s reaction to seeing Jesus as recorded in Revelation 1:17. Even though the apostle had spent three and a half years with the Savior, caught a glimpse of His eternal glory when He appeared with Moses and Elijah, and spent weeks with Him after His resurrection, he still “fell at his feet as though dead” when He revealed perhaps just a part of His glory to the old apostle.
The book of Revelation is all about Jesus’ glory. That’s why the last chapter contains a dire warning for all those who mess with its words through allegory or place its prophecies in the past tense (Revelation 22:18-19). This was the topic of a recent post, Don’t Mess With the Book of Revelation.
IT RELATES TO THE PROMISE OF JOHN 14:2-3
Jesus’ prayer request in John 17:24 takes us back to His promise in 14:2-3.
“In my Father's house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.”
Jesus says that when He comes for us, we will be “where” He currently resides. In John 17:24, the Lord prays that believers “may be with me where I am . . . .” Jesus thus prays for the day when He fulfills the promise He gave to His disciples, and us, in John 14:2-3, that of taking us to where He currently resides in His “Father’s house.”
Once there, we will see Jesus’ great brilliance, magnificence, and splendor, which we cannot fully witness until that day.
This is the event that we call the “Rapture of the church.” We must receive our immortal bodies and go up to heaven in order to see the full display of Jesus’ divine glory. Someday, perhaps soon, Jesus will catch us up to meet Him in the air and we will be with Him forevermore.
In light of these verses from the Gospel of John, carefully consider Paul’s words in Colossians 3:4:
“When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.”
Glory is most certainly not a place on earth. When Jesus “appears,” we “appear with him” in heaven above, aka “glory.” We go to where our Savoir currently resides. Again, this is the Rapture. Colossians 3:4 also takes us back to Jesus’ prayer in John 17:24.
When Jesus returns to earth after the Tribulation, He stays on the earth. When He comes for us, we go up to witness the splendor of His beauty and magnificence.
WE WILL SHARE IN CHRIST’S GLORY
The Bible not only tells us that we will witness Christ’s glory, but there’s a sense in which we will also share in it. In Romans 8:16-17, we see these amazing words:
“The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.”
Again, in Romans 8:30 Paul writes
“And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.”
Someday, we will “be glorified with” Jesus, which is a direct and inescapable result of our justification that happens at the moment of our salvation.
What might that mean for us?
First, the Bible teaches that we will receive immortal and imperishable bodies (1 Corinthians 15:50-54). This happens at the Rapture of the church when both the dead in Christ and living saints receive immortal and imperishable bodies. That’s when Jesus “will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body” (Philippians 3:20-21).
This aspect of our hope is over-the-top wonderful.
Second, the New Testament promises an inheritance for all that belong to Christ (1 Peter 1:3-5; Ephesians 1:11-14).
According to Jesus, there’s a sense in which we can add to this treasure that awaits us (Matthew 6:19-21). However, as for the basic heritage that awaits all of us, Peter says that it “is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you” (1 Peter 1:4).
As believers, it’s impossible to lose the glorious inheritance that awaits us.
The Bible does not provide many details about this, but from what it says we can assume that it’s tremendously valuable, physical in nature, everlasting, and a cause for rejoicing even in the midst of severe trials (1 Peter 1:5).
I believe our secure “inheritance” includes the place that Jesus is preparing for us in the New Jerusalem and all the physical treasures that might go along with it. If it seems sacrilegious for me to put it that way, remember that Jesus Himself said it was possible to “lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven” (Matthew 6:20).
Third, we know that we will reign with Christ during the millennium and then forevermore. Perhaps this will also be a part of our glorious inheritance. This is something we will indeed treasure: no more mundane jobs, but an amazing role in serving Jesus in precisely the way He created us.
THE GLORY AHEAD FOR US MAKES THE WAIT MORE BEARABLE
It’s more than a little difficult waiting for the Lord’s return. High watch times come and go, and we remain on the earth as wickedness and lawlessness grow far beyond what we ever thought possible.
I believe that a focus on the glory ahead for us can make the wait more manageable.
However, I also know that for some, the Rapture seems like a sudden, unwanted, and scary change of address.
There are many factors that can alleviate these fears and thoughts.
We know that the apostle Paul suffered greatly as he preached the Gospel throughout the Roman Empire. He describes his hardships in 2 Corinthians 11:24-28 (and we know many more followed after he wrote this list).
In spite of all he endured, he wrote this in Romans 8:18:
“For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” (KJV)
This is the glory that Jesus longs to show us as His bride and someday very soon He will do just that.
The next time I sing the words “show us Your glory,” it will be a prayer for Jesus to appear and take me to heaven where I will see the full extent of His magnificent beauty and splendor.
My book, The Triumph of the Redeemed-An eternal Perspective that Calms Our Fears in Perilous Times, is available on Amazon. In this book, I provide a solid biblical foundation for our hope in Jesus’ glorious appearing before the start of the events described in Revelation 6-18.
Note: Please consider signing up for my newsletter on the home page of my website at https://www.jonathanbrentner.com/ . It will greatly help me reach more people. Thanks!
Prophecy Update Videos
On Poking a Nuclear Bear – Terry James - https://terryjamesprophecyline.com/blog/
For those believers who understand that the PreTrib view of eschatology (study of end things) is truth presented by God’s word, seeing movement toward initiation of World War III should be especially pertinent. Not only is evidence of such movement front and center at the moment, but astoundingly dramatic movement it indeed is, by my way of analysis, at least.
The prophetic heart of the matters involved revolves around the Gog-Magog prophecy of Ezekiel, chapters 38 and 39.
We have looked at Gog-Magog numerous times from most every angle. And many top prophecy ministries have done the same. So, it isn’t necessary, I sense, to delve again here into the nuts and bolts of Ezekiel’s greatly detailed foretelling of that assault that will come against God’s chosen nation, Israel. Rather, let’s take a look at most recent developments that, collectively, almost certainly are precursor issues that seem to be late-date stage-setting for that devastating invasion.
Most who are of the PreTrib view believe there are two prophecies leading to the Tribulation (some believe these might be fulfilled perhaps in the early days of the Tribulation). That is, there are likely, we consider, two prophecies in the immediate future that could happen soon following the Rapture of the Church, which ends the Age of Grace.
One of those prophesied events, I believe, might even precede the Rapture of the church. But I think it not likely. That is the foretold destruction of Damascus, Syria.
“The burden of Damascus. Behold, Damascus is taken away from being a city, and it shall be a ruinous heap.” (Isa 17: 1)
The other prophecy that most PreTrib students believe is probably next for fulfillment on God’s prophetic timeline is the Gog-Magog attack on Israel found in Ezekiel chapters 38-39.
What I hope we will look at with intention to gain insight is the reality that the Gog-Magog primary actors are in the headlines each and every news cycle. The nation prophetically scheduled, according to God’s Word, to bring Ezekiel 38-39 to fulfillment –the nation Rosh (Russia) has been dominating the news for some time now. Not only has it been dominating the news, but it is at present feared to at any moment bring man’s worst nightmare to fruition. Russia and its nuclear capability –either ranked 1 or 2 so far as numbers of stockpiled nuclear weapons— is positioned to initiate World War III at any moment.
This is the nation, according to most who study the Ezekiel 38-39 prophecy that will lead the coalition over the mountains of Israel to take great spoil, as the scripture says.
Russia has at present, as its leader, a man that fits the profile of Ezekiel’s description of Gog. Gog, as we have seen, is the demon-spirit from the abyss that will indwell an end times leader of Rosh.
Therefore, with these facts in mind, it is more than prudent to look at the man Vladimir Putin, president of Russia. It is important to think on the profound threats and other relevant statements surrounding Mr. Putin and his actions of late while his forces zero in on his objective –taking over at least part of Ukraine.
Whether Putin is in fact the one who will become Gog is beyond our knowing for certain. But he, as stated before, seems to fit the profile Ezekiel provided for us to consider. And issues and events surrounding Russia and this leader point to dangers that portend perhaps war that could engulf the world in nuclear holocaust.
Russia, as configured as the Soviet Union, was often characterized as a bear. Soviet dictator Leonid Brezhnev, as some will remember, seemed to personify that bear, so intimidating was his appearance with the bushy eyebrows and his frowning, hulking figure.
The Russian bear still, I think, is a proper caricature of present-day Russia. And this American presidential administration –and the military-industrial complex controlled by the globalist powers-that-be are poking that bear. It is as if they are wanting Vladimir Putin to unleash the bear’s destructive power from its nuclear cave.
Although a smaller figure of a man and not as physically intimidating as Brezhnev, Putin none-the-less is possessor of a nuclear arsenal more powerful than his Soviet predecessor commanded. And it is the Putin version of the bear that is being gouged in ways not done in any era of the cold war.
There are so many examples of this poking going on that there isn’t room to begin writing them here. So, I will just give the most recent as of this writing. It is a profound indicator of the globalist war mongers’ trying to goad, thus provoke an “evil thought” from the Russian bear.
Former White House national security adviser John Bolton is now taking to the networks to call for Russian President Vladimir Putin’s assassination. “I think we should make it clear publicly so that not just Putin but that all the top Russian leadership… that if Putin authorizes the use of a nuclear weapon, he’s signing his own suicide note,” the well-known neocon hawk said to CBS in a Friday appearance.
Describing that Putin is head of command and control for all Russian – including nuclear – forces, Bolton continued by stating what he says should be official US policy: “He’s a legitimate military target… he needs to know that he’s on our target list at this point.” Bolton essentially called for the US to assassinate the Russian leader if the opportunity ever arises. Bolton went on the discuss an op-ed he penned days prior in the online military journal 1945 wherein effecting regime change in Russia was the focus.
“There is no long-term prospect for peace and security in Europe without regime change in Russia. Russians are already discussing it, quietly, for obvious reasons. For the United States and others pretending that the issue is not before will do far more harm than good,” Bolton spelled out in that op-ed. (Watch: John Bolton Calls For Putin Assassination, Regime Change, by: Tyler Durden, ZeroHedge)
Why the insanity –to call for an already angry bear’s assassination? Many observers of the globalists –like those within the World Economic Forum (WEF)– believe the new world order minions are willing to bring on nuclear conflict and World War III in order to accomplish the Great Reset those such as Karl Schwab and George Soros desire.
Other than that explanation, one can properly conclude that it’s all part of the reprobate mind-set of Romans 1: 28. It is because of the Ephesians 6: 12 human minions’ turning of their collective back on God. They are sin-infected with satanic insanity.
All this said, the Russian bear and his hordes as foretold in Ezekiel 38-39 will have the hooks in the jaws only when God does the hooking.
Before that time, when the nukes, I believe, will be unleashed, Jesus Christ will Call His Bride to Himself. That very day of Rapture, Jesus said Judgment will begin to fall like it did on the wickedness and evil of Sodom and Gomorrah of Lot’s day (Luke 17: 28-30).
Don’t be left on this Judgment-appointed earth when God’s Wrath must do its Righteously destructive work. Here is how to avoid that time of Tribulation.
“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)
Ready and Waiting: Toiling For The Gospel As The World Unravels - By Bible Bites - https://harbingersdaily.com/ready-and-waiting-toiling-for-the-gospel-as-the-world-unravels/
If you and I knew that the rapture is going to be on a certain day, 3 1/2 years from now, we would all set our alarm clocks and go to Vegas. Listen, the reason why we don’t know the day and the hour is so we will be ready now, and live a holy life now. The timing of the rapture affects how we live today. Pre-tribulation believers fulfill the calling of Colossians 3, “If then we are raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things of Earth.”
The rapture is our blessed hope, and provides peace in this chaotic world, as 1 Corinthians 15 is talking about. As Titus 2 says, “For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and the glorious appearing in the cloud of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ.” It also encourages holy living, and the desire to fulfill our calling while we remain on this world.
We have all heard someone say something along the lines of the Christian life being restrictive and boring. While there are definitely prohibitions within the Christian life – activities for us to avoid – none of them diminish the quality of life of anyone who adheres to them. The Bible says “do not be drunk” (Ephesians 5:18). No one who follows this will ever have a hangover or regret a poor decision made while drunk – not that the sober don’t make poor decisions.
The Bible says sexual intimacy is for married men and women only (Hebrews 13:4). No one has ever regretted waiting until marriage or honoring this directive. Nor will any marriage experience the pain of adultery when the covenant is honored by both people.
Ecclesiastes 5:18-20 KJV – “Behold that which I have seen: it is good and comely for one to eat and to drink, and to enjoy the good of all his labour that he taketh under the sun all the days of his life, which God giveth him: for it is his portion. Every man also to whom God hath given riches and wealth, and hath given him power to eat thereof, and to take his portion, and to rejoice in his labour; this is the gift of God. For he shall not much remember the days of his life; because God answereth him in the joy of his heart.”
Yes, being a Christian is sometimes hard. Yes, being a Christian will always be counter-cultural. But boring? Never! Restrictive? Not even close! It is the freest way to live.
1 Peter 4:3 KJV – “For the time past of our life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries:”
Peter says that living like the world, doing what the unsaved world does, is a waste of time. However much time we spent doing it in the past was enough wasted time. On top of all these things is that we live a life laboring and toiling for the gospel, being hated by all for His name’s sake, watching the world unravel while we await the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ.
Think about how you feel, act, and think when you are about to go on vacation or a long weekend. Think about how the excitement builds the closer you get to that much needed and long awaited break from the constancy of everyday life. As a Christian, we get to live like that every day!
Matthew 24:36 KJV – “But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.”
1 Corinthians 15:51-53 KJV – “Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.”
One day when we wake up, it will be that day – that day when everything changes forever. The knowledge of that future moment makes living a morally pure life today, a life that is sober and watchful, a life that is obedient and reverent, the most exciting life that there can be in this fallen world.
But unlike the time off or the vacation plans you mark on the calendar and count the days until they arrive, every day is a candidate for the moment and twinkling of an eye experience that awaits us.
2 Peter 3:10-13 KJV – “But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.”
No one who has lived for the Lord will ever regret it. No one who has lived for the Lord has missed out on anything in life that would make it better. Maybe this is a tough season for some who are reading this today. If that is you, just remember that a day is coming which will be the day when everything gets better forever, and today could be that day.
Even so, come quickly Lord Jesus.
Daily Jot: Researchers creating more deadly COVID strain - Bill Wilson – www.dailyjot.com
We heard throughout the entire COVID 19 pandemic that reasonable people must follow the science. Yet, the science that was repeatedly followed was political science as dissenting science was censored. Now scientists at Boston University, and supported by Harvard, Cleveland Clinic, Layola University, and University of Wisconsin, among others, have collaborated on developing a strain of COVID, called Omicron S, that is five times more infectious than Omicron and is vaccine resistant. In fact, the human-developed Omicron S had an 80-100% kill rate in mice used for experiments. This raises ethical questions about why do we need to invent more deadly diseases and risk their escape into mass society.
The scientists noted in their research paper how fast Omicron spreads and the number of variants evolved, exhibiting “a remarkable escape from infection- and vaccine-induced humoral immunity.” The less pathogenic variants develop or mutate from changes in the “S protein,” causing the scientists to study the S protein with the idea that it is at the “heart of Omicron’s pathogenic and antigenic behavior.” The report states: “To test the role of the S protein in Omicron phenotype, we generated a chimeric recombinant virus containing the S gen of Omicron (USA-iho1/2021) in the backbone of an ancestral SARS-CoV-s isolate. To produce this chimeric Omi-S virus, we employed a modified form…that yielded high concentrated virus stocks…” In other words, a gain of function, a weaponization of Omicron.
Their gain of function virus, Omicron S, spread much faster than the original Omicron—at a rate of 80% infected cells in 24 hours compare with Omicron at 48%. Omicron S produced over five times (5.1-5.5-fold) more infectious particles than Omicron with Omicron S virus titers 11-17-fold higher than Omicron. As if that wasn’t enough, the scientists reported: “We next expanded our studies to lung epithelial cells, which are a major viral replication site in patients with severe COVID 19. They also “leveraged the situation to compare the animal survival after viral infection.” The report said, “This (Omicron S) produced mortality rates of 100%…In contrast, all animals infected with Omicron survived.” The 38-page report concluded with thanking various scientists for providing virus cells and other contributions.
In reading through this study, one may be compelled to ask “What in hell?” We just went through a pandemic that killed millions because of an experiment of a deadly virus getting into the public. Now we see scientists making an even more deadly strain and proudly writing about it. Forgive my ignorance on this clandestine industry of science, but common sense and morals would inform us that what these researchers did should be illegal. How do we trust them and their ethics? It reminds me of King Achish’s response to David acting crazy in I Samuel 21:15, “Am I in need of madmen, that you have brought this man to rave in my presence? Must this man come into my house?” Are we in such need of pestilences that we pay “scientists” to bring them to our houses? Oh, by the way, Dr. Fauci’s NIH helped fund them.
Read the study here:
Daily Devotion: Drifting in the Wrong Direction - by Greg Laurie – www.harvest.org
You adulterers! Don’t you realize that friendship with the world makes you an enemy of God? I say it again: If you want to be a friend of the world, you make yourself an enemy of God. —James 4:4
Abram, or Abraham, lived in a pagan culture. He wasn’t raised with faith in the one true God, Jehovah, who created the heavens and the earth. But one day the Lord told Abraham to leave his pagan culture and unbelieving family and go to a land that He would show him.
Abraham partially obeyed. He left his father’s house, but he brought along his nephew Lot. When a famine came, Abraham decided they needed to go down to Egypt for a while. And while they were there, both Abraham and Lot became a wealthy.
The problem was that possessions became Lot’s primary focus in life. Lot’s heart was into wealth and worldly achievements, while Abraham wanted only to please the Lord.
Friction developed between Abraham and Lot, as it always will when people have different priorities in life. This is why the Bible warns us, “Don’t team up with those who are unbelievers. How can righteousness be a partner with wickedness? How can light live with darkness?” (2 Corinthians 6:14 NLT).
Abraham wanted to walk closely with God and enjoy fellowship with Him. In contrast, Lot wanted friendship with God, but he also wanted friendship with this world. Sometimes people who want to know God have a weakness in their faith and character. Therefore, they need other Christians to prop them up.
When Lot was around Abraham, I’m sure that he was doing fine spiritually. But when he was away from Abraham, he drifted in the wrong direction. The problem was that Lot was dragging Abraham down.
There are certain people we can spend time with who will cause our spiritual appetite to diminish. Then there are other people who will cause us to want to become more like Jesus. What about you? What kind of influence are you having on others?
FROM THE HEART
Let Us Make the Short Time We have Left,
Count for ALL of Eternity!
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