Pick a Pack of Proper Preppers - Steve Schmutzer - https://www.rev310.net/post/pick-a-pack-of-proper-preppers
I leaned back in my chair and watched as my friend carefully lifted out his new stock Remington 700 .308 from its case. He laid the rifle on his lap and fondly caressed its barrel. “I can take out a bad guy from a quarter-mile away with this sucker,” he said. “If I put a Leupold scope on it, it’s a guaranteed kill.”
I was confused. “How do you know they’re a ‘bad guy’ if they’re that far away?”
“I’ll know,” he murmured.
I was unconvinced.
“Doesn’t the right to use a gun for self-defense end at the door?” I asked. I wasn’t an expert on these issues, but I’d already checked out my state’s laws on that one.
He curled his lip and looked at me with feigned disgust. “I’m not talking now. When the SHTF in the tribulation, you won’t want to wait till they’re on your doorstep firing at you. That’s too late.”
I took a sip of coffee as I thought about my next words. “I don’t plan to be around then,” I replied matter-of-factly.
My friend said nothing. He shook his head and continued his public display of affection with his newest acquisition. He knew better than to argue with me.
My friend’s a good guy. I’ve known him a long time and he seems to be a solid Christian. He’s active in his church and he’s passionate about prayer. He also has a heart for ministry, and he’s trying to organize a street outreach team to college students. I can’t fault him there since that group needs all the help they can get these days.
Somewhere along the line, however, my friend jumped on the bandwagon of the Reformed movement. I don’t know how or why that happened – but I’ve watched his journey with mounting concern.
A few years ago, he used to devour prophecy-themed books by Arthur W. Pink, J. Dwight Pentecost, and John F. Walvoord. Those were the good old days, and he and I used to have a lot of great discussions. He’s since given most of those books to me as he started reading a bunch of authors I was less familiar with.
He talks constantly about “the importance of the church,” and he's frustrated with any discussion that holds it's different than Israel. He throws out Romans 10:12 and Galatians 3:28 as his primary defenses for seeing “no difference between Jew and Gentile,” and he believes this settles the matter. He claims he doesn’t subscribe to replacement theology, but his newer notions seem to suggest otherwise.
I’m not sure where in his journey my friend became obsessed with The Gospel Coalition, but he’s all about it now. He’s convinced himself that every passage of Scripture somehow divulges the person and work of Jesus Christ – and I do mean every! He goes to elaborate lengths to explain the “gospel meaning” within verses that are plainly speaking to unrelated matters.
All said, my friend is not the same person he used to be. He’s made choices to believe things he once didn’t.
I still remember the day we met for lunch and he told me he’d decided he was a “postmillenialist.” I knew what that was, but I wanted him to explain his position to me.
In short, he believes we are in the Millenial Kingdom now. He does not believe it’s a literal 1000 years, but “a very long time” instead. He believes the church will grow in its ministry and effectiveness to eventually transform entire cultures around the world, infusing them with prosperity, goodwill, and “kingdom peace.” He’s sure the Second Coming of Jesus Christ will occur only after this all takes place.
He’s got one big problem here: the Bible doesn’t support any of that.
Actually, my friend has several big problems, and they each begin with his decision to doubt that God says what He means and means what He says. His doctrinal gaffes are the offspring of willfully mishandling the Bible.
He doesn’t believe in a literal Millennial Kingdom (Rev. 20:2-7; Luke 1:32-33; Micah 4:2-4, et al) because he sees no Biblical significance in national Israel and he dismisses God’s unconditional and unilateral promises to the Jews. He’s convinced himself that there’s a better meaning within these Scriptures, and he feels self-righteous for discerning their “spiritual application.”
Because he feels the church will continue to have a greater and more positive impact on the world as time goes on, my friend sidesteps discussions about the rapture. Why remove from the earth the very institution that’s – obviously! - making our world a much better place to live?
He’s lumped the rapture into being one and the same with the physical Second Coming of Christ. He argues that Christ doesn’t come back to earth two more times. I agree with him. I’ve pointed out all the ways Scripture defines these two events differently, but he’s quick to spiritualize those details which call his own persuasions into question.
It’s not hard to see that my friend generally discounts the prophetic Scriptures. Though he once had an appetite to study them, he now claims they are the “nonessential” parts of God’s Word. He’s condescending to folks like me that would challenge him on that, and he feels “we should be focused on the gospel” instead.
I’ve pondered my friend’s belief that the person and work of Jesus Christ is somehow revealed in every verse of the Bible - and the way he disregards the importance and intent of the prophetic Scriptures. Is there a connection?
Besides the fact that certain prominent Christian leaders appear to align with my friend’s errant views – and it’s always easier to tout one’s position if “so and so” supports them too - I’ve come to an unsettling conclusion. There is absolutely a strong connection!
If one believes something is there within a particular portion of God’s Word when it’s really not, then it’s no big deal to claim something is not there when it really is! It’s the same reckless mishandling of the Bible either way. Neither decision submits one’s will to God since both choices engage in an intentional remodeling of His divine truth.
And both choices are guilty of dismissing the greater body of God’s Word in favor of an “easy believe-ism” which justifies one’s right to rank the importance of Scripture. It all tends to lead to mindless chant-like slogans like “It’s all about Jesus” that sound true on the surface but which overlook the proper regard and handling of the entire Word of God (2 Tim. 2:15; 3:16).
Let me make one thing clear about the gospel message. While I believe the greater picture of the Scriptures point to Jesus and His redemptive plan, the granular approach may not tell that same story every time. The gospel message is not always inherent in each verse or even in some passages of Scripture.
One is therefore required to take in the complete counsel of God’s Word, and that includes all of the prophetic Scriptures. In Rev. 19:10 it says, “For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” The bottom line is prophecy is designed to reveal the full person and divinity of our Lord Jesus, and as such, we should not discount it. We miss something important if we do.
My friend’s decision to approach God’s Word on his own terms precipitates a conundrum for him: his rationale is not required to follow a consistent logic. He can say in one moment that the church is making everything better in this world while claiming in the next breath that he can “take out bad guys in the tribulation” with his new bolt action boom stick. Are things going to get better, or are they going to get worse? He’s saying two different things.
It’s convenient for him to have it both ways - and in that, he’s not alone. Plenty of Christians pick and choose their way through the Scriptures like they’re at a buffet. This permits them to hold to whatever beliefs best serve their preferred positions, but it’s not right, responsible, or even remotely reverent.
And that brings up my earlier conversation with my friend. There are some issues I want to address for those believers like him who are prepping now to go through the tribulation.
There are various passages in the Bible that speak to the matter of “saints” during the tribulation. The larger counsel of the Scriptures make it clear this is a group which comes to saving faith after the rapture and not before it. The reality check that emerges for these people is not a pretty one, and several points are made evident:
They are not protected from the impact of God’s judgments
In Revelation 7:9-17, John sees a vast multitude in heaven, and the text says they are martyred believers from all parts of the globe. The scene is explained to John and he learns this crowd came “out of the great tribulation.”
This underscores a plain fact: people will come to genuine saving faith during this terrible time. The convicting ministry of the Holy Spirit (John 16:8-10) will continue then as it does now.
But John learns something else about this group - these saints will not suffer “any more.” Specifically, they will not face any more extreme hunger or thirst, nor will they need to further endure the scorching sun and heat. Their severe physical, emotional, and mental strain on earth has come to an end.
It’s clear that the closing years of these martyrs’ lives on earth will be desperate times. It will be hard for them to acquire their basic needs of food, water, and shelter. They will live their lives on the run, looking over their shoulders, and doing whatever they can do to survive.
The larger Biblical narrative of the tribulation describes God’s judgments as far-reaching. Specific texts like Revelation 7:9-17 clarify that it will be a very difficult time for believers too.
They are not victorious over the ambitions of the world religion
My friend believes Christians will eventually overcome the corruption of this world and lead it into a glorious spiritual age. He believes the institution of the church is playing this role even now.
In fact, quite the opposite is true. The world ahead of us is going to descend into depths of chaos, barbarism, and depravity the likes of which history has never seen (Matt. 24:21; Rev. 11:9-10). There’s no sound Biblical indication that Christians will deter these developments, and that’s a much different scenario than my friend anticipates.
Organized religion will indeed play a role, but it’ll be part of the problem and not part of the solution. Christians will be viciously targeted by a corrupt world religion during the tribulation (Rev. 17:6), and they are not likely to survive this pogrom as the fifth seal judgment of Revelation 6:9-11 makes very clear.
The tribulation Scriptures repeatedly emphasize the theme of persecuted Christians during the tribulation. They are murdered “….because of the word of God and the testimony they had maintained” (Rev. 6:9). The post-rapture saints are not “victors” by relevant earthly definitions – “victims” is much closer to the truth.
They are not insulated against the effect of the global economy
I know a few preppers well – and they’re obsessed with being “ready for anything.” They are stocking up now so they can sail through the challenges of refusing the mark of the beast.
Beans, band-aids, bullets, and batteries may be their cliché staples, but are they really ready for what’s coming? It’s easy to read Revelation 13:16-17 and oversimplify the situation.
This passage says those who refuse the mark cannot “buy or sell,” but the implications of this are far greater than one’s inability to score a Big Mac or sell a bike.
The real picture is one of complete economic control. It’s an entirely different system one cannot easily avoid and it will own those who are part of it. It will affect everything: taxes, mortgage, and car payments, utilities, medical services, school loans, credit cards, and myriad other basic transactional elements we take for granted today. It will be a radical and invasive concept through which a comprehensive new economic structure will flow.
Hunkering down with a basement full of goodies might work for a couple weeks, but when bills aren’t being paid, the mail isn’t getting picked up, or other folks get desperate and put “two and two together,” it’ll be nearly impossible to go unnoticed. And trust me - when the first bullet flies in either direction, the gig is up!
And that leads to my last – and most sobering – point about believers in the tribulation.
They are not successful against the campaign of the antichrist
Read that again and let it sink in. It’s not my conclusion; it’s the Bible’s.
According to the Scriptures, God gives the antichrist “authority” (Rev. 13:5-7). This apocalyptic despot is entitled to his role because God will arrange it. This enables the antichrist to “wear down” the saints and “overcome” them according to Daniel 7:25. Revelation 13:5-7 adds the antichrist is given power to “….wage war with the saints and conquer them.” He’ll be extremely effective!
Satan gets in on the deal too. While God grants authority and power to the antichrist to fulfill His divine sovereign plan, Satan actually gives the antichrist HIS power and “HIS great authority” (Revelation 13:2). Satan’s role is a subset of God’s intentions. Satan’s personally invested - but ironically, he’s assisting God’s plan!
The result is the antichrist is unstoppable. Nothing – and nobody - on earth will be able to stand against him. Everyone will know it and everybody will be talking about it (Rev. 13:4).
That’s why masses of Christian martyrs in the Great Tribulation are killed for their faith and for their refusal to bow to the antichrist’s terms (Rev. 20:4). These believers do not gain the right to reign with Christ because they set up a perimeter and fought off intruders while living on rice and pond water. They will reign because they chose a right relationship with their Lord and Savior over everything else.
So let’s just cut to the chase here. The antichrist is a tool in God’s hands, and Satan - duped by his own pride and ambition - plays right into God’s plan. While nothing is out of God’s control, the net effect is the tribulation saints will die in innumerable numbers (Revelation 7:9). Their desperate conditions will be the result of facing unparalleled injustices on earth (Rev. 6:10-11).
Prepping to go through the tribulation may sound appealing to the mercenary types (“Oh man - - I can’t wait to waste all the zombies!”), but that’s a passion which finds its inspiration more in The Walking Dead than in The Living Word. It’s not based in sobriety, and it’s certainly not based in a proper interpretation of the Bible.
I think it goes without saying that one must choose to have this errant view. If one mocks the prophetic Scriptures (2 Peter 3:3-4), shuns solid teaching in favor of right-sounding pabulum (2 Tim. 4:3), extracts meanings from the Bible that are not there, or refuses to act on the divine truth that is there, then one naturally puts themselves at risk for doctrinal drift.
Believers today are reminded that they “….are not destined for wrath” (1 Thessalonians 1:10; 5:9; Revelation 3:10), and the Scriptures teach that the Tribulation timeframe is not about the church. God has different intentions for those seven years, and they do not involve His Bride.
Those of us that are part of the church right now are misled if we are prepping to “take out the bad guys from a quarter-mile away.” Instead, we should be “prepping” our hearts to hear the voice of the archangel and “….to meet the Lord in the air” (1 Thess. 4:15-17).
Steve's amazingly articulate and uplifting articles can be found at his website: http://thewordwithsteve.com//articles/steve_articles.htm
Another excellent article on the subject is found here: https://christianendtimesprophecy.blogspot.com/2022/06/are-christians-supposed-to-be-preppers.html (h/t Julie!)
Israel Cannot Afford To Wait Any Longer – By Amir Tsarfati - https://harbingersdaily.com/mideast-review-w-amir-tsarfati-israel-cannot-afford-to-wait-any-longer/
It was a festive time in Israel’s capital city this weekend as the nation celebrated Jerusalem Day. This is the annual celebration of the day Jerusalem was reunified under Israeli control after the Six-Day War in 1967. Despite Palestinian protests and the lies of their propaganda machine which claimed that the Jews were going to storm the temple mount and destroy Al Aqsa Mosque, the celebration went on and thousands of Israelis joined in the festivities.
In a move that would have been unheard of just a few short years ago, Israel and Saudi Arabia are planning a major diplomatic meeting. Agreements are expected to be signed in the areas of aviation, research and technology in medicine, agriculture, and energy.
In Iran, an explosion last Wednesday at the Parchin military nuclear program facility which the government claimed to be an accident is now rumored to have been an assassination attempt on the Commander of the IRGC Aerospace Force, Major General Amir Ali Hajizadeh. A bomb went off in front of a car brigade when he left the military barracks, killing one engineer and wounding two other workers. The weapon appears to have come from a UAV.
The Tehran terror regime has been upping its own UAV game. Dozens of drones have been deployed in Iraq and Syria for use in intelligence gathering and suicide attacks in both Israel and Saudi Arabia.
Last week, I wrote about a tanker full of Iranian crude that had been seized by the Greek government. Now, in response, the IRGC has seized two Greek oil tankers in the Persian Gulf. Initially, it was reported that they detained nine Greek soldiers, but currently Iran claims that all the crew has their freedom. The regime’s national security council is also preparing to discuss a retaliatory official recognition of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus in response to the tanker incident. So far, the only country that recognizes the existence of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus is Turkey.
The Iranian rial has plunged to a 20-month low of 315,000 rials to a dollar. This is part of the reason for the massive anti-regime protests that have swept across the country which included chants of “Death to Khamenei!” In the city of Abadan, the protests have been particularly sharp after a building collapse killed at least 34 people with more still missing. Thirteen people, including the mayor, two former mayors, and the building contractor have been arrested in the incident. On Monday, in the capital city of Tehran, football fans at Azadi Stadium chanted “Abadan! Abadan!” in support of the victims and in protest against the regime.
Iran continues its uranium enrichment bringing it to 18 times the limit allowed under the 2015 agreement. It is beyond dispute that they have enough uranium to create a weapon. However, there are still steps that must be taken if they are to weaponize what they have. In a misguided attempt to encourage people, the EU has announced, following a visit by chief nuclear negotiator Enrique Mora, that the Iran nuclear talks are back on track. In response, the world breathed a sigh of relief at the possibility that there might be a new set of rules and regulations for the Iranian regime to ignore.
Israel cannot afford to wait any longer to see when Iran will weaponize their uranium. Already, we have been in a month-long drill to prepare for a major attack from Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, and Yemen if Israel is forced to act to take out Iran’s nuclear program. Tuesday night, Israel conducted the largest air drill in its history employing hundreds of platforms including fighter jets and refueling planes and others. The simulation was attacking a far-away location. This was undoubtedly a preparation for an attack on Iran. Watch my Breaking News for more details.
Israelis vacationing in Turkey were warned by the National Security Headquarters that they had been marked for harm by Iranian assets in the country. More than 100 citizens of Israel were told to come home immediately due to threats that were immediate and concrete.
President Erdogan is giving a hard pass to Finland and Sweden joining NATO as long as Turkey remains sanctioned by the countries due to their actions in Syria. Meanwhile, Turkey’s military has launched a “special military operation” against Kurdish forces in northern Syria.
There were more incursions by Chinese planes into Taiwanese airspace. The Chinese military said that it had conducted a combat readiness patrol in the area in response to collusion between Washington and Taipei.
Ukrainian President Zelensky has admitted that his forces are losing between 60-100 soldiers a day, with another 500 wounded. In contrast, Russia’s nuclear forces held military drills in Ivanovo Province, northeast of Moscow. While I am absolutely against what Russia has done to Ukraine, there is no doubting that Putin has the upper hand in this conflict. I am so frustrated and discouraged at how the western media is twisting the facts with its biased reporting. Donbas is a disaster for Ukraine, and so many Ukrainian troops are either surrendering, defecting, or dying. Yet, the western media ignores it or covers it up because it doesn’t fit their narrative. We must be praying for Ukraine because the situation there is worse than you can imagine.
For up-to-the-minute unbiased information about the Russia/Ukraine war and news of the Middle East, please subscribe to my Telegram Channel.
Implications of Engineered Baby Formula Shortage - By Gary W. Ritter - https://www.raptureready.com/2022/06/03/implications-of-engineered-baby-formula-shortage-by-gary-w-ritter/
The latest crisis to clobber the American public is a purposeful shortage of baby formula. This, of course, is just one of many global supply chain problems – along with deliberate acts of sabotage – whether through physical harm to a production plant or by governmental action. In the case of baby formula shortages, the FDA appears to be a prime mover causing this issue. This is not a result of incompetence. It is all part of the intentional agenda to harm God’s best and most glorious creation – man – as evil continues manifesting within the human heart, egged on by Satan and his wicked minions.
Several months ago, the FDA ordered the Abbott Laboratories plant that makes significant quantities of baby formula to close based on faulty information. Supposedly a microbiological inspection of the plant yielded tainted formula… but then it didn’t. However, the flawed diagnosis was enough for the government to close down the plant.
Naturally, this was just in time to add to the various shortage woes plaguing our nation.
Lately, the Biden Regime stated that the baby formula crisis appeared out of nowhere as though it was a Jack-in-the-box, and only a mind-reader could have known that it would pop. With the suddenness that it came about, there was naturally nothing that could be done to alleviate it. Of course, this is one more lie that goes against the facts, which show that this crisis-in-the-making was known since at least February, i.e., a good two to three months prior to the shortages on grocery shelves.
Just to show the goodwill of our government and how much they care, it is now known that we are sending truckloads of pallets filled with what little baby formula is in stock to the Mexican border to feed the children of illegal aliens crossing our southern border in contradiction to the laws of our land.
What a compassionate people we are!
The problem is that as we do this, hundreds of thousands (millions?) of US citizens – parents of little babies dependent on formula – go without since the store shelves are bare.
Conveniently for those engineering this crisis, the number of US families on Food Stamps – now euphemistically called the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) – has skyrocketed since Barack Obama was president. Over half of the infants in this nation are fed via WIC. In other words, the dependency on government largesse of mothers and infants in this country is better than 53%. We are a nation of welfare recipients, pure and simple, which has significantly increased the absolute requirement for baby formula.
But, not to worry! Just disclosed is the fact that Bill Gates has presciently prepared for this very day. He, along with fellow billionaires Jeff Zuckerberg, Jeff Bezos, and others, have been massively investing in a start-up enterprise that manufactures artificial breast milk. As described, it is the first cell-cultured human milk produced outside the breast.
We really need to consult Gates concerning the next Kentucky Derby. With his crystal ball and astounding prescience, maybe we could cash in on an 80-1 longshot like what happened this year at Churchill Downs.
All snark and cynicism aside, this formula shortage is one more in a long list of engineered crises for the express purpose of implementing the New World Order, a.k.a. the Great Reset.
As I outlined in my recent Awaken Bible Prophecy Update titled The Serpent’s Seed, there is a nefarious and very deadly agenda in play. It is one that intends great harm in any of several scenarios. Evidence has come to light that mothers who have had the COVID jab and are breastfeeding their infants may be imparting large amounts of inorganic materials into their milk. This makes the milk both undrinkable for the child and transmits who-knows-what if the baby does ingest it. Given that situation, a mother would need to find another source of nutrition for the infant, namely prepared formula.
For those mothers that already decided not to breastfeed but to use off-the-shelf products, what do they do if baby formula has vanished from the supermarkets? Is it even possible after a point for them to go back to breastfeeding? What if they had the COVID injection and were able to begin suckling their child? Would these mothers encounter the same problem as those who initially breastfed, i.e., poison in their milk?
So, mothers with children not yet able to handle solid food have a true dilemma. Perhaps they should resort to what many parents have done in the past, i.e., make their own? But wait!
The FDA has been warning vehemently against doing this because of the incredible dangers to the children of this approach. We know how concerned the FDA is with the welfare of children. After all, in order to protect them, they’ve authorized the COVID “vaccines” for little ones as young as six months to keep them healthy and flourishing. Just ignore the tsunami of hepatitis cases among youngsters, and you’ll believe the FDA on this point as well.
Contradicting the don’t-make-your-own narrative, several websites have published infant formulas people can make at home and that will be safe and nourishing. You can find these here and here.
The fact of the matter is that the baby formula shortage is one more globalist attack on humanity in league with Satan and his hatred of mankind. This is one more in the list of items in their genocide handbook. Here is Proverbs 26:24-25 with a word to the wise:
“Whoever hates disguises himself with his lips and harbors deceit in his heart; when he speaks graciously, believe him not, for there are seven abominations in his heart.”
The people behind these abominations hate with the passion of the demonic realm. When they open their mouths, nothing but lies spew out. We cannot believe anything they say. Back in the day, President Ronald Reagan joked that the nine most terrifying words anyone could say were: “I’m from the government, and I’m here to help.” What was humorously true then is a certainty today. The sad reality is that our United States government means its people – the ones it is supposed to represent and protect – great harm. The agenda of the great majority of people in power – whether having the public face of the Executive, Legislative, or Judicial branches or those which comprise the Deep State — are dedicated to bringing our nation to its knees so as to usher in the New World Order.
Because we understand the times, we see that, indeed, America will fall. It will lose its sovereignty just as every other nation on the planet will as well. God is allowing this so that He can bring His righteous judgment upon the earth.
There is little time left.
If you know Jesus as your Lord and Savior, draw nearer to Him. This is not an occasion to backslide and play with sin. If you don’t know Jesus personally and have never bowed your knee to Him, the time is now. You may not have another opportunity. Acknowledge your sin. Repent of it and ask the Lord for forgiveness. Believe on Jesus Christ as the only One who can save and deliver you from the madness of this world. Call upon His Name and declare Him as the Redeemer of your soul.
You’ll never regret it.
Gary Ritter website: books & blog
Is It Unbelief? – Jonathan Brentner - https://www.jonathanbrentner.com/https/jonathan-brentner-g8fgsquarespacecom/config/2022/6/2/is-it-unbelief
I’m weary of the excuses that I hear from pastors as to why they cannot talk about Jesus’ glorious return for His church. I’m tired of preachers going to great lengths to avoid saying the dreaded word, “Rapture.” You would think the church building roof would instantly cave in on the worshippers at even the mention of such a dreaded word.
Why are pastors today so afraid to talk about our future new bodies and Jesus’ return to take us to the place that He is preparing for us (John 14:1-3)? The good news they have to share is beyond spectacular and amazing, yet so many go to great lengths to avoid talking about our “blessed hope.”
Pastors say they fear causing division, but is that any reason to avoid teaching what Scripture tells us about the day in which we live? Is that any cause to withhold the truths about our glorious future from the ones who need it the most as they face perilous times? Pastors today have the most spectacular news, an over-the-top wonderful and joyous hope to share with their people. Why the silence?
In essence, they sacrifice biblical truth on the altar of maintaining peace. Of course, the scoffers will make their opinions known. I have many painful memories and scars, both physical and emotional, from dealing with such scoffers as a young pastor. Why should these mockers of our biblical hope determine the message that one preaches? Should our message not rather come from the leading of the Holy Spirit? We do not possess “a spirit of fear but of power and love and a sound mind?” (2 Timothy 1:7).
Where’s the courage to stand up for what the Bible says? It seems almost nonexistent today!
Some preachers say they want to focus on the Great Commission and bringing others to Jesus, which are admirable objectives to be sure. But why should that interfere with giving the saints the glorious and joyous news that they so desperately need to hear at this time?
The apostles turned the world upside down with a message that emphasized an eager anticipation of Jesus’ imminent appearing. After Paul’s short stay in Thessalonica, the new believers in that city knew all about the coming Day of the Lord, Jesus’ imminent appearing, the future “man of lawlessness,” and the antichrist’s desecration of the temple in Jerusalem during the tribulation period. If Paul included these things in his proclamation of the Gospel while in Thessalonica, why do pastors refuse to talk about them with mature saints?
The apostles saw no conflict whatsoever between carrying out the Great Commission and preaching about Jesus’ imminent appearing and the Day of the Lord. Paul even talked about the still future antichrist during his proclamation of the Gospel in Thessalonica.
Some pastors insist they are not equipped to talk about prophecy. But is this not true about any topic or passage of Scripture? Do they not study many hours in preparing a sermon? An abundance of resources exists today that can prepare them to effectively speak on this topic.
Is unbelief the culprit behind the silence in America’s pulpits regarding prophecy? I know this is the case for those who deny the restoration of a kingdom for Israel during the millennium. But what about those pastors that claim to be premillennial?
Perhaps I am far too critical, but I think that if pastors truly believed what Scripture says about the end times, Jesus’ appearing, the glorious restoration of Israel, and our reign with Christ during the Millennium, how can they possibly remain silent about these glorious truths? Do they not understand all the treasures that Jesus has prepared for us beginning with the Rapture and our immortal bodies? Why should fear keep anyone from sharing such spectacular and joyous news even with unbelievers?
Perhaps it’s just me, but I truly do not understand the current reluctance to mention the Rapture in connection with our hope for the future.
Jesus is coming to give us immortal bodies and take us to the amazing place that He’s preparing for us. That’s far better news than hearing that one has won a three hundred-million-dollar lottery! Yet in most pulpits we hear not a peep about the Rapture, the most wonderful and encouraging and joyous news that pastors could possibly share with their congregation.
I am so weary of trying to understand this.
Such is the state of many churches that claim to be Bible-believing. Mention that you believe in the future restoration of a kingdom to Israel and the Rapture and pastors treat you like a pariah in their midst. They ignore and totally dismiss you. “How dare you connect current events with what the Bible says will happen in the future? You must be some sort of “doomsday” radical!
No, I simply believe what Scripture says about the Day of the Lord.
I praise God for the men in our day who have the courage to preach what the Bible says about the day in which we live. Unfortunately, they are far too few. Pastors such a Brandon Holthaus, David Jeremiah, Tom Hughes, Jack Hibbs, Billy Crone, and JD Farag have encouraged and blessed me beyond measure during the past several years. Any pastor would do well to learn from these men of God and follow their example, but so few have the wisdom to do so.
I sometimes wonder why I see these things when so many leaders of our churches do not. But then I realize that it’s not me at all, it’s just what the Bible says. I simply believe the words on the page with the ongoing help of the Holy Spirit inside me.
It’s not complicated; there’s nothing at all special about me or my insights into our biblical hope. The Lord does everything in spite of me.
Perhaps it’s not unbelief that keeps many pastors muzzled by fear, feelings of inadequacy, or errant reasonings that come from a faulty understanding of the Great Commission.
But in the back of my mind the question remains: Is it unbelief that keeps some pastors silent about the most amazing and glorious and joyous news they could possibly share with the saints? What else would cause them to sabotage the spectacular hope of the saints?
I can only wonder.
My book, The Triumph of the Redeemed-An eternal Perspective that Calms Our Fears in Perilous Times, is available on Amazon. This is not only an outstanding resource for focusing our attention on what lies ahead, but is also establishes a firm biblical foundation for our hope in Jesus’ imminent appearing.
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Daily Jot: The Farm Chronicles: Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox - Bill Wilson – www.dailyjot.com
Our family’s Great Western Tour of 1963 took us to every state West of the Mississippi. There were really no superhighways as we have today, so the trip often took us through small towns, what would now be called the “business route.” Back then, especially in rural areas, there was a lot of competition for the tourist and those who were just passing through. Great effort was taken to place signs and billboards even a hundred miles out to attract people to a town. I remember rolling across the New Mexico dessert and seeing signs “Last Chance for Gas” or “Last Gas for 100 Miles at Rattle Snake Bill’s.” There was always a warning for the tourist trap ahead with some sort of added feature like snakes or Indian relics.
Old Route 2 out of North Dakota into Minnesota was pretty “Northwoodsy” and as an eight-year old boy, my thoughts and imaginations kind of turned with the road signs from images of cowboys crossing the Badlands to the adventures of Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox. Paul Bunyan was a huge lumberjack that cleared many forests in the Dakotas and the Northwoods of Minnesota and Wisconsin. Legend has it that he was so large that his footprints are what formed the 10,000 lakes of Minnesota. Truth is, the legend of Paul Bunyan is pretty embellished. Some have traced the folklore back to a French-Canadian lumberjack named Fabian “Saginaw Joe” Fournier. Fournier lived from 1845 to 1875 and was killed when he was hit on the head with a mallet swung by stone mason Blinky Robertson in Bay City, Michigan.
No one has ever documented exactly whether Paul Bunyan was an actual person or a myth. In books written about him, some older lumberjacks claimed to know Bunyan and the supposed location of his grave was actually thought to be in northern Minnesota. I had seen the Disney short film about Paul Bunyan’s escapades where he competes with his axe in a contest against a steam-powered mechanical saw. He was fantastic. And up ahead, I was going to see Paul Bunyan and Babe in person, well maybe. My parents cautioned me not to get my hopes up because I should have learned by then (a month into our trip) that the road signs and billboards exaggerate.
True, they were often a disappointment. But I was excited anyway. The two lane road seemed to weave in and out of the heavily wooded forests forever. I was thinking that Bunyan must not have done all that great of a job clearing out the timber in this area. Finally, in the distance I could see Bunyan’s head peaking up over the trees. He and Babe looked like a paper Mache project from the kids at school, only bigger. We got out and walked around, took a couple of pictures and, well, that was about it. All that built up excitement and then “poof,” kind of like the dinosaur at Dinosaur Park in South Dakota a few days earlier. In Jeremiah 33:3, the Lord says “Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.” Certainly, I saw a lot of great things during that trip. Some greater than others, but all wonderful.
Daily Devotion: When God Won’t Listen - by Greg Laurie – www.dailyjot.com
Listen! The Lord’s arm is not too weak to save you, nor is his ear too deaf to hear you call. It’s your sins that have cut you off from God. Because of your sins, he has turned away and will not listen anymore. —Isaiah 59:1-2
https://harvest.org/resources/devotion/when-god-wont-listen-2/ - Listen
There are things that can hinder our prayers, things we do that can stop God from intervening in our lives.
One obstacle to prayer is unconfessed sin. Isaiah 59 tells us, “The Lord’s arm is not too weak to save you, nor is his ear too deaf to hear you call. It’s your sins that have cut you off from God. Because of your sins, he has turned away and will not listen anymore” (verses 1–2 NLT).
If there is a sin in your life that you have not confessed to God, then confess it. The psalmist wrote, “If I had not confessed the sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened” (Psalm 66:18 NLT).
To confess our sin means to agree with God about it, seeing it for what it is. That means we stop rationalizing it, stop justifying it, and stop saying that everyone else is doing it. It also means that we need to ask God’s forgiveness.
We also need to forgive others because unforgiveness in our hearts can hinder our prayers. Jesus said, “But when you are praying, first forgive anyone you are holding a grudge against, so that your Father in heaven will forgive your sins, too” (Mark 11:25 NLT).
Notice that Jesus didn’t say anything about forgiving someone only if they deserve it. Rather, He simply tells us to forgive. We’ve all been hurt in life. But the Bible teaches us to “be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven [us]” (Ephesians 4:32 NLT).
If we do not forgive others, then bitterness will creep in, eating us up inside. Someone has wisely said that bitterness is an acid that destroys its own container. Forgive so that you can be free. Forgiven people should be forgiving people.
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