The Trial - by Jack Kinsella – www.omegalettercom.wordpress.com
During the thousand-year Millennial Reign, the earth will be populated by ordinary, living, breathing humans, some of whom survived the Tribulation Period, together with those who will be born (in the usual manner) during the Kingdom Period.
The human lifespan will return to what it was in the days of Adam, but they will be mortal humans in the sense that, even with Satan bound, men will still die, and sin will still exist;
“There shall be no more thence an infant of days, nor an old man that hath not filled his days: for the child shall die at hundred years old; but the sinner being an hundred years old shall be accursed.”
Further proving that the inhabitants of the Kingdom Period are ordinary humans; they will need food, and shelter, and to get it, they will have to work for a living, even as they enjoy an extended lifespan:
“And they shall build houses, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and eat the fruit of them. They shall not labour in vain, nor bring forth for trouble; for they are the seed of the blessed of the LORD, and their offspring with them.” (Isaiah 65:21-22)
Coinhabiting the earth with mortal humans, Scripture tells us, are the immortal resurrected dead.
“And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.” (Revelation 20:4-5)
Notice two key points John makes in this passage.
First, those being addressed are undeniably those who came out of the Tribulation. And second, John says that, AFTER the Tribulation, (in which they were beheaded) they both live AND reign with Christ for the full thousand years.
This passage is often used as a proof text to argue in favor of a post-Tribulation Rapture. After all, they are clearly those who endured the Tribulation. And if it is the ‘first’ resurrection, then it must take place concurrent with the Rapture.
That seems to make sense, until you look at the passage again. Those referenced there are ONLY those who came out of the Great Tribulation.
Church Age believers and the Old Testament saints are not mentioned, since they have already received their resurrection bodies. (Matthew 19:28, Daniel 12, Job 19:25)
“Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.” (Revelation 20:6)
Revelation 20:4-6 mentions a “first resurrection” and identifies those involved as “blessed and holy.” The second death (the lake of fire, Revelation 20:14) has no power over these individuals.
But how does one have two ‘first’ resurrections; the first at a pre-Trib Rapture, and the second at the end of the Tribulation Period?
Actually, the Bible identifies the ‘first resurrection’ as occurring in four stages, not two.
The first resurrection, in general, is the raising of all believers from all ages.
It corresponds with Jesus’ teaching of the “resurrection of the just” (Luke 14:14) and the “resurrection of life” (John 5:29).
And it clearly takes place in various stages; the first was Jesus Christ Himself two thousand years ago.
He was the ‘Firstfruits’ (1 Corinthians 15:20) Who prepared the way of salvation for those who Trust Him during the Church Age.
The second stage involved the resurrection of the saints of Jerusalem;
“And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, And came out of the graves after His resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.” (Matthew 27:52-53).
Stage three is the resurrection of the “dead in Christ” followed by the Rapture of “we which are alive and remain” at the Lord’s return for His Church at the conclusion of the Church Age. (1st Thessalonians 4:17)
And finally, the resurrection of the martyrs at the conclusion of the final seven years of the Age of the Law. (Revelation 20:4, Daniel 9:24)
All these groups are part of the ‘first resurrection’ upon whom the ‘second death’ (in the lake of fire) will have ‘no power’.
There is no inconsistency between resurrection of the saints at the conclusion of the Church Age, followed by a separate resurrection of the martyrs at the conclusion of the Tribulation, anymore than there is an inconsistency between the Resurrection of Christ followed by the separate resurrection of the O. T. saints in Jerusalem.
From the Resurrection of Jesus to the resurrection of the Tribulation martyrs and O.T. saints (Daniel 12:13); it is all part of the general ‘first’ resurrection of the dead in four stages, each of which is clearly separated according to Scripture to a specific purpose in the overall Plan of God.
The second resurrection, then, is the raising of all unbelievers; the second resurrection is connected to the second death. It corresponds with Jesus’ teaching of the “resurrection of damnation” (John 5:29).
The event which divides the first and second resurrections is the millennial kingdom.
The last of the righteous are raised to reign “with Christ a thousand years” (Revelation 20:4), but the “rest of the dead [that is, the wicked] lived not again until the thousand years were finished.” (Revelation 20:5).
As part of understanding Scripture’s outline of the overall Plan of God, consider the various epochs of human history from the perspective of the angels who did NOT join the rebellion, and who, by nature, have no understanding of what sin really is or how it really works.
“Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; WHICH THINGS THE ANGELS DESIRE TO LOOK INTO.” (1st Peter 1:12)
We are a mystery to the angels. The Bible says they are charged with ministering to us, but that one day, they will be judged BY us. (1st Corinthians 6:3)
“Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with SO GREAT A CLOUD OF WITNESSES, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,” (Hebrews 12:1)
Isaiah 14 introduces us to the first outbreak of sin in the universe.
“For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.”
For his sin of arrogance, God pronounced judgement on Lucifer, the most honored of His angels, and those rebellious angels who followed him;
“Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.” (Isaiah 14:12-15)
The existence of humanity is often described by theologians as the ‘trial of Satan’.
The courtroom is Planet Earth, with Jesus as the Righteous Judge, the angels as witnesses, and with sinful mankind serving as evidence. It is more than just the trial of Satan. Sin itself is on trial.
Lucifer, called in Scripture, “the anointed cherub that covereth” was highly favored of God; “and I have set thee so” (Ezekiel 28:14) Isaiah 14:14 defines that first sin as, “I will” — the sin of pride.
The trial is to prove what ‘one little sin’ can do — the classic ‘slippery slope’ scenario.
The trial opens with Exhibit 1 — Adam and Eve. They are placed in a perfect environment and given only one command — to avoid the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge. They fail — and man inherits a sin nature.
Exhibit 2 –Man is allowed free reign until the Flood — the so-called “Age of Conscience”. Without Divine interaction or instruction, society becomes so sinful and corrupt that God saves Noah and his family alive and destroys the rest in the Flood.
Exhibit 3 – During the Age of the Patriarchs, God spoke directly to chosen individuals; Abraham, Noah, Lot, etc. Each, even having spoken directly with God, commit some heinous sin.
Having gone from one commandment (the Age of Innocence) to no commandments at all (the Age of Conscience) to direct confrontation,(the Age of the Patriarchs) God progresses to giving mankind the Ten Commandments (the Age of the Law).
Not one person ever kept all ten of them throughout his lifetime, no matter what the circumstances. (David, for example, broke all ten of them.)
Exhibit 4 — The Age of the Law, during which time the Commandments of God became so corrupted and perverted that it became necessary to scrap the whole system and replace it with the Age of Grace.
To accomplish that God Himself stepped out of space and time, took on the form of sinful man, kept the Law on our behalf, and paid the price for our sin. (Death)
In so doing, He made a way for all mankind to be saved by faith through grace.
But most of mankind rejects even the free offer of grace, preferring a life of unregenerate sin.
That constitutes Exhibit 5 — and it must make the angelic witnesses gasp in disbelief.
From the perspective of the angelic witness, then, ‘one little sin’ has thus far brought mankind to the point it is today. So far, God has given sin every opportunity to prove itself worthy of its wages.
“For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 6:23)
Exhibit 6 — The Age of Grace concludes at the Rapture. The Rapture removes the restraining influence of the Holy Spirit, giving Satan (and sin) free reign for seven years. And the end result is the near-destruction of all human life.
Jesus then returns at the 2nd Coming, binds Satan for a thousand years, and reigns Personally from Jerusalem.
Mortal humanity has no excuse, He is right there, in Person, for all to see.
Satan’s influence is restrained, lifespans are extended, there are no more wars, famine or poverty, and humankind is returned to the Eden-like state from which it began.
With God Himself on the Throne of human government, ruling with a rod of iron for a thousand years, Satan is loosed for ‘a little season’.
“And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog, and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea.”
The mortal humans who have lived in a state of God-given idyllic bliss for a thousand years, under the influence of Satan, raise an army to bring against the King of Kings and Lord of Lords Himself. Exhibit 7.
Sin is judged according to its works.
“And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever. And I saw a great white throne, and Him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.”
This is the SECOND resurrection. Unlike the first resurrection, it has only one phase.
“And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.”
“And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.” (Revelation 20:10-12,14)
In the overall Plan of God, as outlined in Scripture, everything has a purpose. There are no omissions, no errors, and no inconsistencies.
From Genesis to Revelation, a central theme of Scripture is that sin is the cause of death, and will ultimately be eradicated from existence, together with all those who “received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.” (2nd Thessalonians 2:12)
Praise the Lord for that OTHER central theme of Scripture.
“For God so loved the world, that He gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (John 3:16)
Nearing Midnight: This Drunken Earth – Terry James - https://www.raptureready.com/category/nearing-midnight/
God’s prophetic Word, I’ve always considered, says something profound regarding this wondrous planet. My fascination begins, as I’ve written before, with Jesus’ words upon entering Jerusalem on the little donkey not long before He was crucified.
The people were, you will remember, shouting “Hosanna!” They were welcoming Jesus because they thought He was to be Israel’s Savior—their Messiah, perhaps.
The Judaizers—the Pharisees and others who were His detractors—were trying to make the people stop praising Him. They wanted Him to shut down His ministry because they thought He was taking away their power and authority.
They appealed to Jesus to shut the people up, and He replied that if they were to remain silent, the very stones would cry out.
By this, the Lord meant, I have no doubt, that if they didn’t praise Him at that history-shaking moment, the very geophysical creation would erupt in praise of Him.
Then I think of that day on that boat when the storm on Galilee was raging and the disciples awoke Jesus to ask if He didn’t care that they were about to perish in the tempest. Jesus chided them just a bit for their lack of faith (they didn’t yet know that He was fully God as well as fully man). So they were fearful—as you and I would have been.
He put forth His hands and said, “Peace, be still.”
I believe He said it very softly rather than shouting it. The raging wind stopped. The heaving waters became instantly calm. It is said that not even the convulsions had to settle as waters have to do after being so turbulent. That lake became like glass.
So this planet is under the Creator’s hand at all times. Jesus created all that was created, and by Him all things (every element) are held together.
When God’s prophetic Word says something about planet earth that hasn’t yet occurred, we, as believers that Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life, can be assured it will happen.
Things are being reported today with prophetic overtones. Scientists have climbed aboard the climate-change panic train, of course, and are using their findings to further foist that mantra.
Now, we admit to climate change because the climate is and always has been changing during various eras of recorded history. But climate change because man is responsible for it in the physical meaning is a lie being perpetrated for political/ideological control reasons.
On the other hand, climate change by mankind in the evil-spiritual sense is indeed taking place.
Here’s what I mean.
Mankind doesn’t have the ability to change the climate in the sense of physically affecting it. We are simply too small. God controls it completely. But, like Jesus said, when mankind doesn’t praise Him, the very elements (the physical earth, for example, will “cry out”).
With the world now getting much like it was in antediluvian times—with people denying God at every level, especially the scientists—perhaps the planet is beginning to “cry out.”
The following further validates this possibility:
“For the first time, scientists have identified why Earth wobbles as it spins.
The decrease in Greenland’s ice mass is the main reason for the wobble, NASA says.
Changes in the Earth’s wobble could impact the accuracy of satellite tools like GPS systems, according to NASA.
Climate change is impacting how Earth spins on its axis, NASA says.
Over the past century, Earth’s axis—the imaginary line that passes through the North and South Poles—has drifted about 4 inches, and a decrease in Greenland’s ice mass is the main contributor to the wobble, the space agency has announced.
As temperatures increased throughout the 20th century because of humans, Greenland’s ice mass decreased.
A total of about 7,500 gigatons—the weight of more than 20 million Empire State Buildings—of Greenland’s ice melted into the ocean during this time period.” (“Climate Change Is Causing Earth to Wobble on Its Axis, NASA Says,” By Pam Wright, weather.com)
Jesus’ pronouncement, as said at the beginning of this article, is the first of the fascinating things about the reactions involving this planet on which God has chosen for us to live. It gets much more interesting even in the prophetic sense. The prophecy I have in mind relates significantly, I think, to the article above.
God, through the prophet Isaiah, says the following about a future time:
“The earth shall reel to and fro like a drunkard, and shall be removed like a cottage; and the transgression thereof shall be heavy upon it; and it shall fall, and not rise again” (Isaiah 24:20).
Today, the ideological mindset of the reprobate mind (Romans 1:28) is that man is physically destroying Mother Earth with reckless fossil fuel carbon emissions, etc. But, God says mankind is making the world corrupt through anti-God activity. Here is the entire body of that Isaiah passage telling why the earth will eventually stagger like a drunkard.
“From the uttermost part of the earth have we heard songs, even glory to the righteous. But I said, My leanness, my leanness, woe unto me! the treacherous dealers have dealt treacherously; yea, the treacherous dealers have dealt very treacherously. Fear, and the pit, and the snare, are upon thee, O inhabitant of the earth. And it shall come to pass, that he who fleeth from the noise of the fear shall fall into the pit; and he that cometh up out of the midst of the pit shall be taken in the snare: for the windows from on high are open, and the foundations of the earth do shake. The earth is utterly broken down, the earth is clean dissolved, the earth is moved exceedingly. The earth shall reel to and fro like a drunkard, and shall be removed like a cottage; and the transgression thereof shall be heavy upon it; and it shall fall, and not rise again. And it shall come to pass in that day, that the LORD shall punish the host of the high ones that are on high, and the kings of the earth upon the earth” (Isaiah 24:16–21)
It is the sins and rebellion of mankind that will make the planet itself drunk on the rebels’ corruption –much like in the days of Noah. For this, God will make those evil ones drink from the cup of His wrath (Revelation 14: 10).
You don’t want to be part of that drunken time when even the earth staggers and falls, and is unable to recover its equilibrium. Here is how to escape that fate and instead be with the Lord in the wonders of Heaven.
“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).
Are They Essentially Erasing Most of The Internet? - by Michael Snyder - http://endoftheamericandream.com/are-they-essentially-erasing-most-of-the-internet/
What I am about to share with you is incredibly alarming, and so I hope that you will share this article as widely as you can. The Internet has made it possible for us to communicate directly with one another on an absolutely massive scale. For many years it truly served as a very robust “marketplace of ideas”, and it was not difficult to find a multitude of viewpoints on just about any topic that you could possibly imagine. Unfortunately, things have completely changed. As you will see in this article, much of the Internet has essentially been erased at this point. If you don’t understand what I am talking about, just keep reading.
For most of us, search engines are the primary tools that we use to find information on the Internet.
When they originally came on the scene, search engines could generally be trusted to present information in a neutral manner. The most relevant information was supposed to come up first, and less relevant information was supposed to be pushed farther down the listings.
Of course bias eventually started to creep in, and that was extremely unfortunate. Certain sources of information were purposely elevated while other disfavored sources of information were purposely suppressed.
But what if I was to tell you that we have now gotten to a point where the vast majority of the information on any particular topic is being purposely excluded altogether?
I know that this may sound crazy, and so I am going to take some time and prove it to you.
Google is the most prominent search engine in the world, and so let’s start there. Go to Google and do a search for “Donald Trump” and look at the top of the page to see how many “results” you get.
I just did that, and it says that there are about 451,000,000 results.
That should be plenty of information, because nobody would ever have the time to go through 451,000,000 results.
But the truth is that the search engine doesn’t actually give us that many results.
Scroll down and go to page 2. For me, it still says that there are about 451,000,000 results.
Most people would stop there, and the big search engines know this.
But I want you to try something. Just keep going to the next page for as long as you can.
For me, everything looks the same until I get to page 12. At the top of the page, it says “Page 12 of about 118 results”.
Needless to say, 118 results is a far smaller number than 451,000,000, and the vast majority of the 118 results that I have been given come from corporate media sources that generally have similar opinions of Trump.
At the bottom of page 12, there is a message that will seemingly allow me to pull up the rest of the 451,000,000 results. This is what it says…
In order to show you the most relevant results, we have omitted some entries very similar to the 118 already displayed.
If you like, you can repeat the search with the omitted results included.
That sounded good to me, and so I clicked on the link.
But it didn’t give me 451,000,000 results.
Instead, I can now click through 40 pages of results that mostly come from corporate media sources and that’s it.
The top of page 40 says “Page 40 of about 398 results”, and there is absolutely no option to go farther.
Do you understand what this means?
All but 398 of the 451,000,000 potential results have been purposely excluded.
You may be tempted to believe that this is just because Donald Trump is such a controversial figure.
So let’s try an example that is completely and utterly uncontroversial.
Let’s try putting the term “quilting” into Google.
I just did that, and the top of page 1 tells me that there are about 228,000,000 results.
And it keeps telling me that there are about 228,000,000 results until I get to page 26.
Once I get to page 26, the top of the page tells me that there are only 258 results.
But once again I am given the option of repeating the search with the omitted results included by clicking a link at the bottom of the page.
I just did that, and now I have been given 42 pages of results.
At the top of page 42, it tells me that there are only 414 results and it will not allow me to go any farther.
No matter what you search for, the pattern will always be the same.
You will only be given hundreds of results, and those results will generally be from certain types of sources.
Bing is the second largest search engine, and they do things a little differently.
If you do a search for “Donald Trump” on Bing, it will tell you that there are 194,000,000 results.
But for me, once I got to page 14 I noticed that they started to give me the same results on each page over and over again.
For dozens of pages, it was just the same results.
Do they really think that people wouldn’t notice?
Try it for yourself. Go to Bing and type in “Donald Trump” and just keep scrolling through the pages and you will notice this very odd pattern.
So at this point, the largest search engines are purposely restricting the amount of information that they give us.
And the vast majority of the listings that they do come up with are generally from certain types of sources that they wish to promote.
Yes, it is still possible to find truly independent sources of information, but it is becoming much more difficult to do so.
For example, once this article has been discovered by the search engines you will be able to find it if you type in the exact title.
But the vast majority of people just type in a single word or a short phrase when they are searching for something online, and those searches are going to be overwhelmingly dominated by certain types of sources.
In other words, the big tech companies have essentially put you and me in a box at this point.
We are going to be repeatedly fed information that they want us to consume.
As for everything else, what we are not allowed to find may as well not even exist.
Facebook, Twitter and the other big social media platforms do the same thing. They promote the things they want you to see, and they suppress information that they want you to avoid.
The information that they are keeping from us is still out there, but at this point the tech giants have pretty much been successful in essentially deleting most of the Internet for the vast majority of the population.
The inspiration for this article was a great YouTube video that was produced by a guy named Jimmy Corsetti. I would encourage you to share his video with everyone that you can, because he does a great job of breaking all of this down.
I still believe that search engines and social media platforms could be such helpful tools if they would just present information to us in a neutral way.
My hope is that many people that work in the tech industry will read this and that it will inspire them to push for reform.
Trying to greatly restrict the amount of information that we have access to is fundamentally wrong.
A vibrant “marketplace of ideas” is essential for any free society, and right now our “marketplace of ideas” is dying right in front of our eyes.
I’m a Misfit at Church, Are You? – Jonathan Brentner - https://www.jonathanbrentner.com/https/jonathan-brentner-g8fgsquarespacecom/config
It seems to be an annual rite of passage in many Bible-believing churches. As summer draws to a close, pastors assure the faithful that their church remains committed to the Great Commission. It’s the mission of the church and thus everyone must help fill the building with people in the coming year.
Please know that I don’t doubt the sincerity of these pastors nor their desire to see people come to saving faith in Jesus. I very much share that same longing.
What makes me a misfit in many churches is that I have a different perspective of what it means to fulfill the Great Commission.
What’s missing, in my opinion, is a biblical understanding of all that it means to “make disciples.” Thus the teaching aspect of Matthew 28:19-20 receives little, if any, consideration.
I believe that Jesus’ command . . .
EXTENDS BEYOND FILLING A BUILDING WITH PEOPLE
In many “seeker-friendly” churches today, the emphasis is upon butts in the seats rather than genuine disciple-making. As a result, church leaders settle for professions of faith rather than evidence of authentic regeneration in the hearts of those who respond to the Gospel.
Fulfilling the Great Commission thus becomes a matter of getting people to church and the number of professions of faith and baptisms. The problem with this approach is that pastors duly avoid any and all biblical teaching that might cause divisions among those professing faith.
You will never hear the word “Rapture” in such churches unless it’s in a negative context.
EMBRACES THE DIFFERING SPIRITUAL GIFTS OF ALL THE SAINTS
Over the course of my life, I have shared the Gospel with many people and the Lord has used me to play a part in bringing some to Himself. However, my giftedness lies in other areas than evangelism. In spite of this understanding, I almost always feel a ton of guilt after hearing sermons on the Great Commission.
What’s missing in such messages is that all believers possess differing spiritual gifts that all contribute to the furthering of the Gospel even if many serve in ways that are not out front and visible.
Several years ago, a family in the church that I attended in Iowa incurred considerable damage to their country home and acreage due to a fierce tornado. The following Saturday, a large number of people from my church showed up to help the family with the cleanup. As a result of our show of support, a neighbor came to saving faith Christ.
All the passages on spiritual gifts in the New Testament emphasize that Jesus gives His church a wide variety of gifts that differ greatly. Romans 12:3-8 is one such passage that encourages the use of one’s gift to bless the entire body of Christ.
My point is that the proper functioning of all the gifts contribute to the growth of the body of Christ as well as to the furthering of the Gospel, even the ones that very few notice. Gifts that enable the proclamation of the Gospel and God’s Word are equally essential to the proper functioning of the body of Christ.
HAS AS ITS GOAL MATURITY IN CHRIST
In Colossians 1:28-29, I believe that Paul aptly sums up the goal of disciple-making as bringing believers to maturity in Christ:
Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ. For this I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me.
We see this same emphasis in Ephesians 4:11-16; mature saints are those who are “no longer children, toss to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes” (v. 14). If there ever was a time when we see believers tossed “about by every wind of doctrine,” it’s now. Social media intensifies this phenomenon with the many bogus ideas of Christianity that one finds there.
If the goal of church leadership is a building full of people, the true saints will rarely receive teaching by which they can grow to maturity in Christ. If the object of the pastor is not to touch any controversial topic of Scripture lest it offend someone, believers will not hear the full counsel of God that they need in order to mature in Christ.
The purpose of the Great Commission is ultimately to bring saints to maturity in the faith. It’s so much more than a matter of gaining professions of faith.
SIGNIFIES THAT PREACHING MUST GO BEYOND THE MILK OF GOD’S WORD
Those who attend seeker-friendly churches often hear just the milk of God’s Word consisting of the “basic principles” of the Gospel and simple steps for Christian growth.
In Hebrews 5:12-14, the writer addresses the matter of believers who can only handle the “milk” of God’s Word or its “basic principles.” He puts the responsibility on his readers, but I believe this also applies to pastors and the content of their sermons.
Notice the words of verses 13-14 in regard to this matter:
“for everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is a child. But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil. (vv. 13-14).
I believe that these verses sum up the weakness of the church in America today. How many believers sit in church week after week listening to messages that only provide the “milk” of God’s Word and then support political candidates that wholeheartedly and avidly promote abortion up to and beyond birth as well as the LBGTQ agenda? Such believers lack the proper training in Scripture in order for them to properly “distinguish good from evil.”
The problem with putting the burden on attendance at small groups for spiritual growth is that the leaders are in same boat as everyone else that hear only the bare necessities of the faith each Sunday. They can only pass on the milk of the Word rather than a deep understanding of the Gospel that’s needed to facilitate maturity in the faith.
INCLUDES TEACHING ON OUR “BLESSED HOPE”
For those who have read my previous articles, you know that I believe the apostles initially carried out the Great Commission with a message that emphasized Jesus’ appearing for His church. I will not dwell on this matter here.
I am a misfit in many churches for believing that fulfilling the Great Commission should include teaching about our “blessed hope.” It’s a message that both seekers and those already in the faith should hear on a consistent basis.
IMPLIES COMMITMENT TO JESUS RATHER THAN JUST TO A LOCAL CHURCH
Today, a number of parachurch organizations contribute to the furthering of Jesus’ kingdom. Samaritan’s Purse, for example, is able to go far beyond what any local body of believers could do in ministering to people around the globe after calamities. Groups such as Navigators and Campus Crusade for Christ have impacted a great many college students for the cause of Jesus over the past several decades.
However, I have found that most churches are myopic in this regard as well. Although they recognize the contribution of the above ministries to Jesus’ kingdom, they only care about how one can serve their church. Membership is “commitment to church XYZ” rather than a ongoing dedication to the overall cause of Christ.
Even though I work fulltime in my writing ministry; because it does not fit with the preordained functions of the churches that I have recently attended, they regard me as an outsider.
Please, please understand that I care deeply about bringing others to Christ and pray daily for the unsaved in my family as well as for those around me that do not know Him. I’m all about furthering the cause of Christ in any way that the Lord leads me. Over the years, Lord has used my writing ministry to clearly explain the Gospel to a large number of unsaved people.
My complaint is with churches that only provide the milk of God’s Word on Sunday mornings and provide only a surface understanding of the Gospel and matters such as justification by faith and our hope of glory and eternal life.
Sadly, if I see that a church’s statement of beliefs strongly emphasizes the Great Commission, I instinctively know its pastor will completely ignore Bible prophecy. He will most likely regard it as nonessential to the cause of Christ.
If I see the word “premillennial” in the declaration of a church’s faith, I have discovered that does not necessarily signify that its pastor believes in a millennium with a restored Israel.
I’m a misfit in most churches primarily because I believe that the apostles fulfilled the Great Commission with an emphasis on future things and it’s the lack of an emphasis in these things today that is weakening the witness of the church in today’s world.
Apart from an understanding of Bible prophecy shedding light on the day in which we live, believers will continue walk out of such churches on Sunday morning ill-prepared to meet the challenges of the perilous times in which we live. Many have no clue that we live in biblical times with Jesus’ appearing close at hand.
These things ought not to be.
My book, The Triumph of the Redeemed-An eternal Perspective that Calms Our Fears in Perilous Times, is available on Amazon. I wrote this book to fill in the gap of teaching in most churches today that fail to provide a proper understanding of biblical prophecy and thus leave the saints unprepared to deal with the perilous times in which we live.
Daily Jot: The FBI, CDC, inflation deception - Bill Wilson – www.dailyjot.com
As a journalist, we used to be taught not to speculate on news stories. That premise, however, seems to be lost in these days of 24-hour a day news. Notwithstanding, looking deeper into the events of the past two weeks, one can extrapolate a pattern designed to maintain control and power of a strong centralized government AND secure the elections to perpetuate the growing absolute power of government. It is a complicated, yet intentional, web of events orchestrated by those in control, primarily members of the Democratic Party and some Republicans who empathize with the socialist, even fascist, agenda of the extreme left. The agencies hey control reach far beyond elections and threaten your freedom.
When the so-called “Inflation Reduction Act” was called out by reputable economic analysts for not reducing inflation or the budget deficit as advertised, but rather was a tax increase on businesses and the middle income, all of a sudden there is a needless FBI raid on the former President. At the same time, the Centers for Disease Control revised its COVID protocols, essentially admitting that the vaccines didn’t work as planned. Now there is no difference between the vaccinated and unvaccinated because there “are breakthrough infections” and unvaccinated people who have had COVID “have some degree of protection.” No longer is anyone required to quarantine if they have symptoms.
The extremists have been trying to undo Donald Trump from the beginning. Think about how Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama used false information to get a court order to spy on Trump’s campaign; the millions of taxpayer dollars spent on investigating non-existent Russian ties; impeachments; tax records; and now the FBI raid over materials that are declassified. All the accusations against Trump were found to be false, but it is the accusations that people want to believe. What better way to power grab with unpopular legislation that increases taxes and expands unconstitutional policing efforts through the IRS, than to bring more nefarious accusations against Trump with an FBI raid.
Slip in a backdoor admission that CDC COVID protocols were not “safe and effective” as advertised, and there becomes a perfect trifecta of accusations, power enhancements, and health confusion that just may keep the extremists in control come the November elections. “There must be fire if there is so much smoke around Trump,” people say. In reality, it is a smokescreen to get enough people to believe Trump and Republicans are totally corrupt and do not deserve election. The same smokescreen is used to cover up an iron-fisted power grab under the lie of “inflation reduction.” And “Oh, by the way,” COVID is no longer a thing—Democrats solved that problem—not with medical science, but with political science by issuing new protocols. Christ warned in Matthew 24:4, “Take heed that no man deceive you.” Analyze. Understand. Act.
Daily Devotion: Three Ways Sin Will Destroy Your Life - by Greg Laurie – www.dailyjot.com
But if you do not do so, then take note, you have sinned against the LORD; and be sure your sin will find you out —Numbers 32:23
https://harvest.org/resources/devotion/three-ways-sin-will-destroy-your-life-2/ - Listen
When people get caught up in sin, they think everyone is against them. “No one understands,” they say. “Everyone’s judging me. You don’t get it. I’m different.”
No, you’re not different. We’re all vulnerable. And we all are capable of doing foolish things. We have to know that about ourselves. We can come under the sway and influence and intoxicating effects of sin if we’re not careful.
That is what happened to Samson. He thought he could shake himself free of his enemies, just as he had done on other occasions. Instead, the Philistines took Samson, gouged out his eyes, bound him with bronze chains, and made him grind grain in the prison. Sin blinds you. Sin finds you. And sin grinds you.
First it blinds you. You end up doing irrational things. Men walk away from their wives and children who love them to go have some stupid fling. Women abandon their families to go “find” themselves. Sin blinds you to the truth. It seems so appealing at first, but then suddenly you realize that you’re trapped.
That’s when sin finds you. The Bible says, “And be sure your sin will find you out” (Numbers 32:23 NKJV). You may be getting away with something right now, but it will catch up with you sooner or later.
The Bible speaks of “the passing pleasures of sin” (Hebrews 11:25 NKJV). It’s passing . . . for a season . . . for a time. And then sin grinds you. The repercussions, like a ton of bricks, come crashing down on you: broken families, betrayed trust, a damaged witness and reputation, and devastated children with deep wounds, which they may carry for the rest of their lives.
Sin blinds you, sin finds you, and sin grinds you—that’s what sin can do.
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"Folks, it's all beginning to unravel. America is in more danger of falling than at any time in its history. But I believe Bible prophecy predicts this very decline. From this point on, we believers have to get serious. We are going to face discouragement, disillusionment and, most certainly, persecution in the time between now and the Rapture. But don't be discouraged or disillusioned. The coming turmoil will provide us unrivaled opportunities to share the good news of the Gospel. So be ready to share your faith and your hope with those who need Christ. We still have time to reap a great harvest of souls for God's kingdom!" - Hal Lindsey
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