Worthy to Escape
IN TODAY'S NEWSLETTER...
Worthy to Escape – Pete Garcia - https://www.rev310.net/post/worthy-to-escape
We defeated the enemy in Afghanistan. We killed or captured the terrorists who planned, plotted, or aided in the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. We killed the ringleader, Usama bin Laden. We disrupted the terrorists’ camps where they plotted and trained. We dislodged the Taliban government that aided and abetted bin Laden.
We just don’t know how to appreciate a good thing. A big part of our foreign policy failures is not knowing when and how to declare victory. So, why not a parade? Bring the troops home and declare the victory that should have been declared years ago.
The only reason victory is elusive in Afghanistan is that presidents continue to have an impossible definition of victory. If victory is creating a nation where no real nation has ever existed, then no victory will ever occur. Sen. Rand Paul (Op-Ed 2018)
Having served in Afghanistan on two different deployments for a total of sixteen months, and another year in Iraq, I have mixed emotions about watching the utterly humiliating collapse of the military/diplomatic/ humanitarian mission there, and our Saigon-2.0 exit from the embassy and airport.
Even on my first tour of duty back in 2008, I personally believed we never should have gone there. Why? My main reason was exactly what the good senator from Kentucky echoed above. We had never defined what victory should look like. We didn’t do the things necessary to actually win the war, therefore, the war was never designed to be won. IF we had been serious about winning the war, we would have:
1) Give a 24-hour notice to evacuate the cities, then begin a non-stop air campaign dropping nothing but GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast (MOAB) bombs all over Afghanistan until we got an unconditional surrender from the Taliban
2) Next, (simultaneous to #1) we should have destroyed the Jihadist's safe havens in the Waziristan Region (north and south) inside Pakistan by the same air campaign (see point#1)
3) Then we should have ensured that all of the poppy fields in Afghanistan were destroyed (i.e., the Taliban’s main source of income)
4) Reconstruction efforts would be contingent upon unconditional surrender, and would thus require a multi-national recovery, but would require the Afghanis to a) rebuild their own country with only limited engineering and architectural oversight from the US b) create new farming and agricultural efforts c) create a government that was representative of all the country's minority ethnic tribes
Alas, we never did any of those things. If we had done those things then, we would never have gone into Afghanistan. What we did instead, was create an unwinnable forever war. Although I don’t pin all of this on The Dementia Kid (TDK) Joe Biden; Obama, and GW Bush also share in the blame for perpetuating the sunk-cost fallacy and the mishandling of operations there and elsewhere.
In hindsight, I suppose most of the blame should lay on the globalist G.W. Bush for this debacle. Shortly after 9/11, we had enough global support and justification to turn most of Afghanistan, and North and South Waziristan, and other key enemy locations into parking lots. Again, we squandered that in favor of two ill-planned land wars in the Middle East.
I leave out President Trump primarily because he understood a long time ago what a waste of time and resources our mission in Afghanistan was. You can google quotes by him going back to at least 2011, and he had always been against this ‘forever war’ the military-industrial complex and the war hawk neocons had been propagating in perpetuity. Perhaps now you understand why the senior pentagon brass and the deep state despised Trump. He was about to take away their personal war slush fund.
However, Trump understood from a very pragmatic perspective, how futile it was to attempt to change the culture in Afghanistan without actually changing the things that make that culture the way it is. Had he stayed in office, we would have still seen an American withdrawal from the Afghan theater, however, I’m willing to bet my life savings it would have looked a whole lot different than what we are seeing now. He’s also the only president to walk away with a realistic and comprehensive normalization peace deal (Abraham Accords) involving Israel and numerous Muslim Arab nations.
Key Facts (courtesy Associated Press)
As many prophecy teachers have already alluded to, Afghanistan does have a role to play in last days events. We read in Ezekiel 38-39 of a coalition led by Gog, from the land of Magog. This coalition is made up of both Sunni and Shia fighters and involves a multitude of nations not connected (geographically) to the land of Israel.
The nations include Russia, Turkey, Iran, Libya (Put), Sudan (Cush), and “many peoples with you” (vs. 38:6). It should be noted that the nations of Afghanistan and the other “Stan” countries are also part of this “many peoples.” This includes the former Soviet-bloc satellite nations (who are Muslim-majority) like Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, and Kyrgyzstan. These will also come with Gog to descend upon tiny Israel. Their supernatural defeat by God almighty will signal the end of Islam, as well as the end of the anti-globalist sentiment.
Watching the heartbreaking video clips of desperate Afghanis storming the tarmac at the Kabul International Airport, and of them clinging to the sides of the US Air Force C17 “Globe Master” cargo planes attempting to take off, reminds me of another coming crisis. They stormed the airport and clung to the sides of the planes because they know what kind of government the Taliban will bring. They desperately want to escape from the homicidal government that is about to come. Would the world be cognizant of the final global government that is to come?
Well, the world is quickly heading toward a governmental system that will make the Taliban look like Carter Administration by comparison. Revelation 13 outlines a new global system that will initially begin as either 10 regions or 10 nations, and from them, one arises who takes over the whole thing. This man is the Antichrist, and he, along with his religious henchman, the False Prophet, will quickly take control of the entire world. They will do this through the use of supernatural power, advanced technology, powerful delusions, and some new form of digital currency.
There will be no more Islam or Hinduism. There will be no Roman Catholicism or Buddhism. This new government will demand 100% allegiance to them on the pain of death. They will either erect or take control of giant images around the world and make everyone bow down and worship them. Furthermore, you must take this mark of allegiance to this new system, or you either starve to death or be beheaded. And the only escape from this coming world government will be to leave the earth before it comes to power. Although many people know this time as “the Tribulation,” its actual title is the 70th Week of Daniel (Dan. 9:24-27) and it is the final remaining week of years that must come to pass.
Jesus said that this period was so dreadful that if He didn’t come back and personally intervene, no flesh would survive. In fact, He said it was the worst period of time that has ever, or will ever be (Matt. 24:21-22). This is what is coming upon the earth. And we are, even now, starting to get glimpses of it foreshadowing into our day with the draconian COVID lockdowns and mandatory dictates from the governments around the world. While the vaccines and the vaccine passport isn’t The Mark, it does however prefigure the same mandatory obedience to the state that the Mark of the Beast will one day require (Rev. 13:16-18)
I’ve been writing about the collapse of the United States for many years now. For the record, I’m not a doom-&-gloom / glass is half empty kind of teacher because I want it to happen. I am simply a biblical realist because I know it has to happen in order for the end to come. Among the many signs of our impending national demise, this abandonment of Afghanistan (in the manner it has happened) is one of the clearest signs of the end of American global hegemony.
Nonetheless, as our national end begins to happen, I can’t help but wonder how much of it we (the Church) will have to endure before our deliverance? One could argue that for most of the past two thousand years, human suffering and misery were the global norms, and in our collapse, we are just returning back to the normal state of affairs. Clearly, the United States has been blessed far beyond any nation before her and has brought our standard of living and leisure to unmatched heights.
Also clearly, the US has spiritually abrogated this spiritual blessing by committing mass infanticide (legalizing abortion), anti-Israel actions (Clinton, Obama, Biden), and legalized sexual perversity as the new normal. We were the exception to the norm by almost every measure. Not only are we a Genesis 6 generation (wicked only continually, great violence, and tampering with genetics), but we are also a Judges 21:25 generation. Every man is doing what was right in his own eyes.
Be that as it may, Jesus said that at the end, the days would be like that of Noah and Lot. Everyone would be eating, drinking, marrying, and giving in marriage (Luke 17:26-27) up until the point where they were all destroyed. There is a sense in this statement of a Daniel 5/Belshazzar’s Feast in this sentiment in that this judgment will catch everyone unawares. Paul, writing to the church, echoes a similar thought in 1st Thessalonians 5:1-5.
But concerning the times and the seasons, brethren, you have no need that I should write to you. For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. For when they say, “Peace and safety!” then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape. But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief. You are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness. (emphasis mine)
There is a clear distinction between you (the church) and they (not the church) and what befalls them. They shall not escape. Well, if they shall not escape, then what shall we do?
Jesus, speaking in Luke’s version of the Olivet Discourse has this to say to those who will see the “day of the Lord” approaching.
For it will come as a snare on all those who dwell on the face of the whole earth. Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man. Luke 21:35-36
But these were not the final words Jesus had to say on the subject. Speaking many years later to John in the Revelation) He said this:
To the Church of Sardis
Remember therefore how you have received and heard; hold fast and repent. Therefore if you will not watch, I will come upon you as a thief, and you will not know what hour I will come upon you. Rev. 3:3
Note the warning wasn’t that He wouldn’t deliver them, but that this deliverance would catch them by surprise. This is a violation of what Paul had told the Thessalonians about being “sons of the day” and “sons of the light,” by watching for His return. I am assuming here, but it looks like those who refuse to watch for Christ’s return, will not only suffer some divine "shock and awe" when they are suddenly snatched up but also a great loss of reward when they get to the Bema Judgment.
Lastly, to the Church of Philadelphia
Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth. Rev. 3:10
Jesus stated in Luke 21 that this “snare” would come upon all who dwell on the earth. In Revelation 3:10, Jesus reiterates this also by distinguishing those who are being kept from the “hour of trial” and those who still “dwell on the earth” (those not being kept from the hour of trial).
The Bible is crystal clear that the Church will be “caught up” to meet the Lord in the air before the start of the 70th Week of Daniel (the hour of trial). The 70th Week begins with a covenant being confirmed between the Antichrist and the many (Dan. 9:27). What this covenant is exactly, or who the Antichrist is, we don’t know. His identity will not be confirmed until after the Restrainer (the Holy Spirit indwelling the Churches) is removed (2 Thess. 2:7-8). There is then a period of time between the Rapture and the official start of the 70th Week known as "the gap" and however long it ends up being, is anyone's guess. Nevertheless, our deliverance (the Rapture), at a minimum, must come before the 70th Week.
Lastly, the Rapture seems to capture the world unawares. Should the US collapse prior to the Rapture, the old world order will come completely unhinged as China, Iran, and Russia make land grabs by military force to reclaim territories they think belong to them (i.e., Taiwan, Iraq, and Ukraine). This will trigger massive migrations of desperate populations to other nations further stressing those nations. The global economy will begin collapsing as currencies around the world begin to fail. This will trigger a massive spike in crime, violence, and widespread lawlessness. The last thing people will be thinking about doing after an American collapse is eating, drinking, and marrying.
But take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that Day come on you unexpectedly. Luke 21:34
In terms of fairness and whether or not American Christians should or shouldn’t go through some unmitigated catastrophe (such as an American collapse) prior to the Rapture just because the rest of the world has had it harder, I don't think it has anything to do with us in that regard. The Rapture will happen regardless of who is at the top of the geopolitical pyramid. And it will catch those Christians who refuse to watch unaware, thus, fulfilling Paul and Jesus’ warnings. Just as the Rapture doesn't trigger the 70th Week, it will, however, trigger the conditions on the ground (global chaos) that get the world moving in that direction.
Jesus is coming back soon. Don't be like those desperate people rushing to the airport tarmac, clinging to the sides of planes trying to escape the chaos. Today is the day of salvation! Get your seat reserved now, today, free of charge, and I promise you will not be left behind.
A – ADMIT (Acknowledge) Admit honestly to God that you have sinned and disobeyed Him.
Romans 3:23 – “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”
Romans 6:23 – “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Isaiah 53:6 – “All of us like sheep have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; But the Lord has caused the iniquity of us all to fall on Him.”
James 2:10 – “For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles in one point, he has become guilty of all.”
Romans 3:10 – “as it is written, ‘There is none righteous, not even one’”
John 16:8 – "And He (the Spirit), when He comes, will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment”
II Corinthians 7:10 – “For the sorrow that is according to the will of God produces a repentance without regret, leading to salvation, but the sorrow of the world produces death.”
B – BELIEVE (Trust) Believe that Jesus died on the cross and rose again. His blood was shed to pay for your sins.
I Corinthians 15:3-4 – “For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures”
Romans 5:8 – “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”
John 3:16 – “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.”
Ephesians 2:8-9 – “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.”
C – CHOOSE (CONFESS) Choose to trust Jesus alone for the forgiveness of your sins.
Romans 10:13 – “for ‘Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved.’”
John 3:18 – “He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God”.
Acts 3:19 – “Therefore repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord”
Romans 10:9-10 “that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved”
Conclusion: We can count on Him to keep His promises. “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” I John 1:9
Afghanistan Is The Thread That Will Start To Unravel Western Dreams Of A “New World Order” - by Michael Snyder - http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/afghanistan-is-the-thread-that-will-start-to-unravel-western-dreams-of-a-new-world-order/
The drama playing out in Afghanistan right now has enormous implications for the entire planet, because it represents a colossal defeat for western globalists. Ever since the end of World War II, western elitists have been tirelessly working to establish “liberal democracies” all over the globe, and the idea was that all of the “liberal democracies” could be increasingly integrated into an emerging one world system. Of course China, Russia, Iran and their allies were never going to fully go along with this plan, and that is one of the reasons why they are endlessly demonized by media outlets in the western world. The Chinese, the Russians and the Iranians all have their own ideas about what the future of the planet should look like, and none of them are good. But when it comes to world domination, the western powers were closer to achieving that goal than anyone else. Unfortunately for the western powers, the tide is now turning, and it appears that an era of tremendous instability is dead ahead.
U.S. globalists such as Henry Kissinger helped to popularize the idea of a “New World Order”, but in recent years western elitists have more commonly referred to it as “the Liberal World Order” or “the Liberal International Order”. The following is how the Liberal International Order is defined by Wikipedia…
In international relations, the liberal international order (some times referred to as the rules-based or the US-led international order) describes a set of global, rule-based, structured relationships based on political liberalism, economic liberalism and liberal internationalism since the late 1940s. More specifically, it entails international cooperation through multilateral institutions (like the United Nations, World Trade Organization and International Monetary Fund), and is constituted by human equality (freedom, rule of law and human rights), open markets, security cooperation, promotion of liberal democracy, and monetary cooperation. The order was established in the aftermath of World War II, led in large part by the United States.
For a long time, the globalists were supremely confident that nobody could stop them, but over the past five years or so they have really started to doubt themselves. For example, the following is an excerpt from a Council on Foreign Relations article entitled “What Is the Liberal World Order?”…
World leaders created a series of international organizations and agreements to promote global cooperation on issues including security, trade, health, and monetary policy. The United States has championed this system—known as the liberal world order—for the past seventy-five years. During this time, the world has enjoyed unprecedented peace and prosperity.
But these institutions are far from perfect, and today they are struggling to address new sources of disorder, such as climate change and a deadly pandemic. What’s more, democracy is on the decline around the world, authoritarianism is on the rise, and countries like China are deliberately chipping away at the liberal world order, creating parallel institutions of their own. Faced with these challenges, will the liberal world order survive? If a new system emerges, what will that mean for freedom, peace, and prosperity worldwide?
These globalists really do believe that they know best, and many of them are truly convinced that what they were doing was what was best for humanity.
Time after time, we witnessed the same pattern. A foreign government would be toppled, a friendly “liberal democracy” would be set up, and that “liberal democracy” would start to be integrated into the world system.
That is precisely what happened in Afghanistan, but now after nearly 20 years the opium-selling nuts that were toppled in 2001 have overthrown the “liberal democracy” in Kabul and have reconquered the country.
Not only that, in the process they have completely and utterly humiliated the United States and other New World Order powers.
The Taliban has exposed how weak the New World Order really is, and that is going to greatly embolden other enemies of the New World Order.
If a motley collection of drug dealers and goat herders can defeat the New World Order, do you think that the Russians, the Chinese, the Iranians or anyone else will be intimidated ever again?
At this hour, the airport in Kabul has essentially been transformed into a giant prison. Anyone that tries to get in or get out is being shot by the Taliban.
The only way out is by air, and the desperation of those that are trapped inside the airport is off the charts. Three Afghans actually tried to cling to a U.S. military plane as it was taking off, but they quickly fell to their deaths…
At least eight people were killed at Kabul airport on Monday, including two who were shot dead by US troops, three who were run over by taxiing jets and three stowaways who fell from the engines of a US Air Force plane as it fled an airfield of thousands of desperate Afghan nationals.
This is so much worse than the fall of Saigon.
We are being told that there are approximately 34,000 people trapped inside the airport, and it could take weeks to finally evacuate them all…
The airport is being secured by 6,000 US troops but they yesterday failed to stop the runway being invaded despite helicopters being used to try and herd people off the tarmac.
Meanwhile there are at least 34,000 people – both citizens and Afghan allies – hoping to be rescued by the US and Britain and an unknown number relying on European countries, Canada and Australia.
The US hopes to be able to evacuate 5,000 people a day and the UK 1,000 a day but has so far both have managed a tiny fraction of that.
It is being reported that there are hundreds of journalists among those that are trapped inside the airport, and big media corporations in the United States are desperate to get them home.
As Americans cower in fear inside the airport, the Taliban are going door-to-door looking for attractive women to make into sex slaves…
Taliban fighters tried out a fun fair in Kabul while militants reportedly go door-to-door in the Afghan capital looking for interpreters and Western allies, amid allegations that gangs are marauding the streets of other cities hunting girls as young as 12 they can make their sex slaves.
The Taliban won and the New World Order lost.
This is going to change everything.
Of course the Taliban never would have been victorious without help. The Taliban makes hundreds of millions of dollars a year selling opium and other drugs, but they also receive hundreds of millions of dollars a year from other sources…
Both Afghan and US officials have accused regional governments of funding the Taliban, having long-suspected Pakistan, Iran, and Russia have offered their assistance at some point.
The most individual contributions come from Pakistan and Gulf nations such as Saudi Arabia and the UAE, providing an estimated annual income of $500 million (£360 million).
It shouldn’t surprise anyone that some of the countries mentioned in that quote are also considered to be some of the New World Order’s biggest enemies.
And I think that it says volumes that the embassies of Russia and China are now being guarded by the Taliban and have continued to operate throughout this entire crisis.
There will be no more “empire building” after this. The balance of power is shifting on a permanent basis, and western dreams of establishing a true “Liberal International Order” that encompasses the entire planet are now dead.
As I discuss in my new book, I do believe that there will be a one world government one day, but it will not be led by the western powers.
The stunning defeat in Afghanistan has turned the globalist news outlets in the United States firmly against Biden. Just a few months ago they were endlessly singing his praises, but now they are ripping into him quite viciously…
An opinion piece in The New York Times claimed that Biden would ‘go down in history, fairly or unfairly, as the president who presided over a long-brewing, humiliating final act in the American experiment in Afghanistan’.
A Washington Post column said the situation ‘is on Biden, and it will leave an indelible stain on his presidency’, while a piece in USA Today said ‘this catastrophe is appearing on his watch, and he will have to take his lumps’.
And on CNN, one contributor actually said that this represents “the Saigon moment for President Biden”…
CNN’s presidential historian Tim Naftali was one of many observers to compare the situation to the infamous fall of Saigon.
“This is the Saigon moment for President Biden and this will be an albatross around his neck for the rest of time,” Naftali said.
The New World Order does not like losers, and Joe Biden is a loser.
But even after everything that has happened, he is still standing behind his decision…
“I stand squarely behind my decision. After 20 years, I’ve learned the hard way that there was never a good time to withdraw US forces,” Biden said during a speech from the East Room of the White House Monday afternoon. “That’s why we’re still there. We were clear-eyed about the risks. We planned for every contingency. But I always promised the American people I would be straight with you. The truth is, this did unfold more quickly than we had anticipated.”
This was never supposed to happen.
Afghanistan was supposed to become a “liberal democracy” and integrate into the emerging world system just like the globalist planners wanted.
But now the Taliban has proven that the globalists can be defeated, and that is likely to encourage other enemies of the New World Order to become more aggressive.
Needless to say, that could create a tremendous amount of instability all over the planet, and great instability could eventually set the stage for war on a global scale.
The New Gospel of Self Esteem - Just Be You – Michael Brown - https://www.prophecynewswatch.com/article.cfm?recent_news_id=4908
A recent article (which I will not link here) proclaimed the salacious news that a Christian woman is stripping online (and getting rich in the process) because that is what God what wants her to do.
She claims to have a personal relationship with Jesus, but without the baggage of thousands of years of man-made doctrine. And, she claims, whenever she asks God about stripping naked online, He always gives her the same answer: yes!
This is the just latest example of a disturbing trend that has been growing in recent years, a trend in which you can claim to have a relationship with Jesus and speak of your great love for God while that relationship makes no tangible impact on your life.
Back in 2013, in an article in Ministry Today titled, "The Tragic Fruit of a Compromised Gospel," I referenced:
A senior editor of one of the nation's leading Christian publications who spoke with regret about "the long-standing evangelical myth that there should be something different about the Christian."
A glamorous spokeswoman for conservative Christian values who explained that, "I am a Christian, and I am a model. Models pose for pictures, including lingerie and swimwear photos."
A well-known rapper who claimed a conversion to Christianity and stated, "I love God, Jesus Christ is my savior and I'm still out here thuggin'." He has been baptized, attends church regularly, and says, "I still love the strip club and I still smoke and drink. I'm faithful to my family, so I wanted to make an album where you could love God and be of God, but still get it poppin' in your life."
Things are even worse today, as a superficial (or downright false) message is proclaimed day and night online and then spread like a tsunami via social media.
It is a message of salvation without sacrifice and redemption without requirements. It is the logical response to a modern-day gospel which says, "Jesus died for your sins and took away all your guilt, so don't ever feel condemned and don't let anyone ever judge you. You just be you. That's what it means to be saved."
But this is nothing new. As long as grace has been preached, grace has been abused.
That's why Paul wrote, "Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means!" (Romans 6:15) That's also why Jude warned about "ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into a license for immorality" (Jude 4).
And these words were written within the first century of this era, at a time when some of the apostles were still alive. That's why it is no surprise that, with so much "gospel lite" being preached today, the message of grace is being abused all the more.
In many circles today, it is more important for pastors to be hip than to be holy, while church growth seminars emphasize relevance rather than repentance.
In many circles today, sin is hardly addressed (other than the latest woke topic of interest), and controversial issues, issues that are addressed repeatedly in the Bible, are not addressed at all. Instead, the sermons are carefully planned out to make you feel good about yourself, even if you are living in complete rebellion against God. This is the essence of the gospel of self-esteem.
No wonder we have such a crisis of holiness in the Church today. (For the record, in the Bible, holiness is a beautiful word, and God Himself is "holy, holy, holy.") How could we not have a crisis, when so much of today's preaching is calculated to make sinners feel comfortable rather than convicted?
Shortly before he was beheaded by Nero, Paul wrote these solemn words to his spiritual son Timothy: "I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths" (2 Timothy 4:1-4).
We are in such a season again today, one in which Paul's counsel to Timothy, namely, that he "reprove, rebuke, and exhort" is judged to be severely outdated and out of touch. Honestly, you can listen to one whole year of sermons from some popular preachers today without hearing a single word of reproof or rebuke or exhortation, other than the exhortation not to feel bad or sad since God wants to make you glad, glad, glad. Am I exaggerating?
Of course, some of this superficial preaching is a fleshly reaction to "gospel angry," by which I refer to mean-spirited, self-righteous, condemnatory preaching which robs people of hope and drags them down in discouragement and despair. That is as wrong as gospel lite.
What we need instead is a right preaching of the gospel, one in which we realize how guilty we are because of our sins, how much we deserve divine judgment, and how gloriously Jesus paid for our sins, liberating us to live for God.
What we need is a right preaching of grace, a preaching that not only tells us about the depth of God's love as expressed through the cross but also tells us that His love calls us out of rebellion, out of disobedience, out of self-will.
What we need is a right preaching of Jesus, one in which we joyfully leave everything to follow Him once we learn who He really is. What a Savior!
Put another way, the gospel of grace has requirements, and to be saved means to serve Jesus as Lord. Anything less than this is not the gospel.
Viral Madness - By Steve Schmutzer - https://www.raptureready.com/2021/08/14/viral-madness-by-steve-schmutzer/
So – we are basically 18 months into this worldwide viral pandemic. Feels longer, doesn’t it?
We’ve learned a few important things so far. The following data points have been reinforced numerous times by various leaders, doctors, scientists, and other “experts”:
COVID-19 is a very unique virus. There’s never been another like it. It is notorious for spreading at church events and religious gatherings. This is particularly true for those events within the Christian faith – and some Jewish elements too. It pretty much leaves Islamic mass gatherings alone.
It’s darn near fatal at Trump rallies, motorcycle rallies, and any right-leaning public events. Curiously, it seems to have no impact on Pride parades.
The virus is also camera sensitive. Records abound that show masks are unnecessary when cameras are “not” shooting and video is “not” rolling. But if they are – boy, let’s get those masks on! We don’t want to get sick, do we?
Democrat wedding receptions and recreational activities seem to be immune to this virus too. While the rest of us are ordered to stay home, Austin Mayor, Steve Adler, vacationed in Mexico; Denver Mayor, Michael Hancock, went to Mississippi; and Michigan Governor, Gretchen Whitmer, let her husband launch his boat.
If we’ve learned anything about this virus, we’ve learned it is an issue of zero concern whenever far-left leaders are having their public moments – you know, events like Governor Newsom’s dinner and President Obama’s birthday party.
The same is true for liberals’ private matters. It’s no problem for Pelosi to have her hair done at a San Francisco salon; there’s “nothing to see here.” But – Dallas salon owner, Shelley Luther, deserves to be jailed for attending to her clients’ and employees’ needs.
One thing we absolutely know for sure – any large public gathering is guaranteed to be a ‘super-spreader’ event. Count on that….
Oh, wait. There IS an exception. Those riots…uh, I mean, “peaceful protests.”
You know which ones I’m talking about – those ones where black garb and hidden faces are the fashion trend – those ones where the hammer and sickle is painted on makeshift shields, where eggs, flash bombs, and bricks are hurled, where streets get trashed, innocent bystanders get punched, where cars and businesses get burned, where cops are threatened, where statues get torn down, and so on. Yeah- those.
Those masses of people are not ‘super-spreaders.’ They’re just exercising their First Amendment rights. They’re…um, ‘peaceful,’ remember? No, let them be. They’re cool.
It’s the events like the ‘blue lives matter’ and pro-life gatherings that are guilty. And don’t forget those family worship events in parks. Yeah, THERE’S your bad bunch. Those are the irresponsible ones (…and such dangerous people too).
This virus is highly selective – much more than we’ve ever seen a virus be. It menaces certain businesses but not others. It even threatens certain parts of stores over other parts. Aisles where gardening supplies, plant nurseries, house paint, flooring, and furniture are found need to be closed off. It’s OK if other aisles stay open.
Many businesses are simply nothing more than danger zones. They should be shut down – or at least be so limited in their operations that they’ll be forced to close. The few businesses that for sure aren’t impacted by this virus include liquor stores, casinos, and pot stores.
COVID-19 is so bad, in fact, that we all need to get a vaccine passport. Anybody that doesn’t get one shouldn’t be able to fly or buy. Movies are a ‘no no’ for such selfish and irresponsible people as these folks. And no restaurants and concerts either. In fact – such people are a major threat to everyone else. They should just forget about getting a job or going to school.
CNN’s Fareed Zakaria put it bluntly. He said, “We have to start making life ‘very, very difficult’ for the unvaccinated.” Bill Gates recently suggested, “Don’t give them their Social Security benefits.”
Strangely, the vaccine passport – to say nothing of standard papers – isn’t required at our southern border. Studies show many thousands of illegal immigrants pouring through our border are COVID-19 positive. While the rest of us are being coerced to stay home, these unvaccinated and undocumented masses are being transported all over our nation.
SIGH…. In conclusion, let me leave you with one very wise piece of counsel: “Remember to get vaccinated, or a vaccinated person might get sick from the virus they got vaccinated against because you’re not vaccinated.”
Make sense? Nah – I didn’t think so.
Daily Jot: Biden blunder has worldwide consequences – Bill Wilson – www.dailyjot.com
In what some are describing the worst foreign policy blunder in decades, President Joe Biden mustered up all the fortitude he could, stepped in front of the American people, and blamed everybody but himself for the Afghanistan crisis. He blamed the previous president. He blamed the Afghan military. He blamed the Afghan government for its reluctance to allow a preemptive US evacuation. After blaming everyone else, Biden reminded himself and others that, “I am the president of the United States and the buck stops with me.” His address was so fraught with blame and contradictions, however, that the only conclusion can be that Biden bungled the whole thing, with huge consequences for the future.
He said, “My national security team and I have been closely monitoring the situation on the ground in Afghanistan and moving quickly to execute the plans we had put in place to respond to every constituency, including — and contingency — including the rapid collapse we’re seeing now…We were clear-eyed about the risks. We planned for every contingency.” Then he contradicted that claim by saying, “The truth is: This did unfold more quickly than we had anticipated.” This is an admission that he and his security team totally misread the situation and failed to respond as the terrorist Taliban moved through Afghanistan and conquered all the cities that American troops fought, died and were maimed for life to secure.
Biden blamed President Trump, saying he inherited the Trump peace deal for a May 1 US troop withdrawal. Biden said that “The choice I had to make, as your President, was either to follow through on that agreement or be prepared to go back to fighting the Taliban in the middle of the spring fighting season. There would have been no ceasefire after May 1. There was no agreement protecting our forces after May 1. There was no status quo of stability without American casualties after May 1.” Biden failed to admit that he pushed back the withdrawal beyond May 1. Trump’s agreement was to fully withdraw troops in exchange for the Taliban to not attack American forces and cut ties with al-Qaeda. Biden obviously didn’t have the grit to stand up to the Taliban that was central to Trump’s strategy. And the Taliban knew Biden would be a pushover.
Reports are that the Taliban has freed al-Qaeda terrorists from the prisons and has seized extremely valuable US military assets that were left behind because of Biden’s botched retreat. Already, the Pentagon is “reassessing” the terrorist threat due to Biden’s blunder. Biden’s botch has ripple consequences across the world for the balance of power. China, Russia, Iran now know that Biden does not have the courage to defend the interests of the United States and its allies. Israel and European allies now know they can’t count on Biden. Proverbs 29:12 says, “If a ruler hearken to lies, all his servants are wicked.” If a leader believes his own lies, there are consequences as in Ephesians 5:6: “Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things comes the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience.” May the Lord have mercy on us all.
Daily Devotion: If You Want to Follow Christ . . . - by Greg Laurie – www.harvest.org
Then Jesus said to His disciples, ‘If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.’ — Matthew 16:24
https://harvest.org/resources/devotion/if-you-want-to-follow-christ/ - Listen
The cross has become a symbol of many things today. We see it depicted as a religious icon and in ornate jewelry. Yet the real cross of history was the symbol of a very cruel death. For people of the first century, the cross was a hated, despised symbol.
The Romans crucified many people on the roads leading into their cities as a warning to anyone who would dare to defy the powers of Rome.
So, when Jesus said to His disciples in Matthew 16:24, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me” (NKJV), the meaning was not lost on them.
Jesus made this statement at Caesarea Philippi, after He predicted His betrayal, crucifixion, and resurrection. At this point, Simon Peter took an authoritarian position and began to rebuke Jesus, saying, “Far be it from You, Lord; this shall not happen to You!” (verse 22 NKJV).
Essentially Peter was saying, “Avoid the unpleasant! Avoid the difficulty! Don’t give up anything! Let’s just continue as we have been up to this point.”
But Jesus was saying to Peter and the others, “Look, if you want to be my disciples, then you, too, will have to deny yourself and take up your cross. Yet as you do that, you will find life as it was meant to be lived.”
Sometimes we identify whatever is bothering us or plaguing us as our cross to bear. But that isn’t correct. The cross symbolizes the same thing to every person: it speaks of dying to self, of putting God’s will before our own.
The meaning of life, the purpose of life, is to know God. The best life to live is the Christian life. And to live it the most effectively, we must take up our cross and follow Jesus Christ.
FROM THE HEART
Let Us Make the Short Time We have Left,
Count for ALL of Eternity!
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