Prophecy Update Newsletter
IN TODAY'S NEWSLETTER...
''In WHICH Day . . ?'' - Jack Kinsella -
''The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and terrible day of the LORD come..'' - (Joel 2:31)
The Old Testament prophets speak of the "latter times" and "That Day" - the Prophet Joel calls it the "Day of the Lord." But the Bible also speaks of the "Day of the Lord," the "Day of Christ" etc.
The Scriptures speak of four distinct "Days" - all of which apply to the overall "latter times." Let's get the "latter times" out of the way, first.
The "latter times" and "last days" don't refer to the Tribulation Period. The terms refer to the times of the New Testament - the entire Dispensation of Grace from Pentecost until now.
What we would think of as the last days is actually what Daniel terms the "time of the end." What I want you to see is that without an understanding of exactly what each term means, it is impossible to rightly divide the Word.
The Scriptures speak of four "Days" relevant to understanding unfolding Bible prophecy.
1. The "Last Days" means the entire span of this present Dispensation. (Joel 2:28, Acts 2:17) It is separated from the "former things of old" (Isaiah 46:9) separating the former things "come to pass" from "the new things" to be declared.
"Behold, the former things are come to pass, and new things do I declare: before they spring forth I tell you of them." (Isaiah 42:9)
The "former things" refers to the Dispensation of the Law, which concluded with the start of the Dispensation of Grace. Just before His ascension into heaven, the Apostles asked Jesus if this was when He would restore the kingdom to Israel.
Jesus told them instead to get to work on building His Church. He said they would "receive power after the Holy Ghost has come upon" them, instructing them to bear witness to the "uttermost part of the earth."
"And when He had spoken these things, while they beheld, He was taken up; and a cloud received Him out of their sight. And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen Him go into heaven." (Acts 1:9-11)
2. The Day of Christ is the day that the two angels were talking about when they said that Jesus would return in the same manner in which He went up into heaven.
There are two "brackets" that are on either end of the Church Age.
It begins with Jesus quietly ascending into heaven witnessed only by His Apostles and the angelic witnesses. This brackets off the Dispensation of Grace from the Dispensation of the Law.
The Lord's final words were not addressed to the world, but only to those charged with bearing witness to his Gospel, the "Apostles whom He had chosen."
The two angelic witnesses provide a clue to the other 'bracket' telling the Apostles that it will end the same way - with the Lord descending from heaven for His Church at the Rapture. (Philippians 1:10, Philippians 2:16, 2 Thessalonians 2:2)
3. The Day of the Lord refers to the Day of the Vengeance of Our Lord. It refers to the Tribulation Period which begins at some point after the Day of Christ. The Tribulation Period, the Apostle Paul writes to the Church at Thessonika;
". . . is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you; And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:" (2 Thessalonians 1:8)
The Prophet Daniel's vision of the 70 Weeks is similarly divided. After sixty-nine weeks, the Messiah was "cut-off" stopping the clock and leaving an unfulfilled 'week' of years.
That final 'week' begins with the covenant between the antichrist and Israel referenced in Daniel 9:27 when God turns His focus to effecting the national redemption of Israel. Jeremiah calls it the 'time of Jacob's Trouble.'
Revelation separates the purpose and destinies of all three spiritual creations of God. To the new creature, (the Christian) Jesus promises,
"Because thou hast kept the word of My patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth." (Revelation 3:10)
Note that Jesus said that it would come upon ALL 'that dwell upon the earth'. Beginning with John's translation from earth to heaven in Revelation 4:1, the only ones pictured as dwelling upon the earth are Israel and the Gentiles.
That is consistent with the time of Jacob's Trouble and the Day of the Lord's Vengeance. What would be inconsistent would be the inclusion of those already purchased by the shed Blood of Christ.
The Day of the Lord and the Dispensation of Judgment begins with the breaking of the first seal of judgment as recorded by Revelation 6:2:
"And I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer."
The Rider on the White Horse is the antichrist and his ride does not begin until after the brackets are closed on the Age of Grace. Grace and Judgment are mutually exclusive.
This is further confirmed by the sealing of the 144,000 servants of God in Revelation 7. They are the only ones in the Tribulation that are specifically sealed (not necessarily indwelt) by the Holy Spirit.
They are not the Church or leftovers from the Church Age, since the sing a new song that ONLY those 144,000 who ALSO have the special status of being "redeemed from the earth". (The Church was redeemed from sin.)
If there are any living saints depicted on the earth after Revelation 4:1 apart from the 144,000 of Revelation 7 and the saints overcome by the antichrist in Revelation 13, I have been unable to locate them.
Note also that the Gospel is carried, not by the Church, but by an angel.
4. The Day of God: The "Day of God" begins with the conclusion of the Dispensation of Judgment with the Battle of Armageddon (Revelation 16:4).
The Day of God continues through the Millennial Kingdom Period and through to the destruction of this present creation and its replacement with the new heaven and the new earth. (2 Peter 3:12)
One of the most important doctrines concerning the last days is the doctrine of immanency. The doctrine of immanency says that the Lord's return is a signless event that cannot be calculated.
Jesus explained it using the example of a thief coming to burglarize a house.
"And this know, that if the good man of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched, and not have suffered his house to be broken through." (Luke 12:39)
The lesson is clear. If it were possible to calculate when the Lord was to return at the Rapture, then there would be no reason to watch. Therefore, there are no signs that precede the Rapture.
The Rapture could have occurred in the 1st century like the Church at Thessonika feared had happened.
If the Rapture were dependent upon definite signs, then no generation in history would have been looking for it except the generation that saw the signs.
So instead, the Scriptures give signs pointing to the Tribulation. While every generation could be the generation of a signless Rapture, only one would be the generation that would see all the signposts of the approaching Tribulation.
So the Bible extended the Blessed Hope to every generation, but to the generation that sees the signs of the Tribulation there is an added sense of urgency.
The Dispensation of Grace began with the Ascension of Jesus into Heaven after having given His Own the Great Commission to occupy until He comes.
The Dispensation of Grace concludes, according to the bystanding angels, in 'like manner' as He left. He ascended in a cloud, seen only by His own and the angels.
He returns with a shout and the voice of the archangels for His own, -- the dead in Christ first, then we which are alive and remain. (2 Thessalonians 4:16-18)
But the Dispensation of Judgment - the Tribulation Period - begins with the breaking of the 1st Seal Judgment in Revelation 6:2.
The Day of Christ does not take place during the Day of the Lord. They describe distinct and separate events. The Day of Christ makes way for the onset of the Day of the Lord.
The Rapture cannot take place, as Pre Wrath postulates, with the breaking of the seventh seal judgment --without making Jesus a liar.
"Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh." Matthew 24:44
According to the Pre Wrath Theory, that verse cannot be true. Instead, the Rapture is triggered by the breaking of the seventh seal. That isn't such a time as I think not, but a very definite time, indeed.
It is no longer a signless event, but is preceded by six very definite signs, including the Revelation of antichrist and the deaths of a quarter of the population from famine, pestilence, war, persecution and death.
Do you see the problem?
In this view, the Rapture will coincide with the opening of the Sixth Seal, the great earthquake, the sun becoming black as sackcloth and the moon as blood. It certainly must take place afterthe first five seal judgments.
It could NOT have taken place at any time in history past -- and it cannot take place tomorrow. Or even the next day. There is no need to look up and lift up our heads, for our redemption is NOT nigh -- it is still an antichrist and five more judgments way.
There is a reason why understanding the divisions between the Dispensations is so essential. Without Dispensational truth, there is no explanation for why we are no longer under the Law.
The rules under which the Dispensation of the Law worked are different than those of the Dispensation of Grace, which are different than the operational rules of the Dispensation of Judgment, which are AGAIN different than those in operation during the Millennial Kingdom.
Is it an eye for an eye? Or is it turn the other cheek? Stone blasphemers and adulterers to death? Or love the sinner and hate the sin? Do lions eat lambs? Or lie down beside them and smell flowers?
Without a clear division between the Dispensations it is not possible to reconcile these different and seemingly contradictory spiritual economies.
The Rapture belongs to the Dispensation of Grace - it signals its conclusion. It occurs at such a time as ye think not - that disqualifies the breaking of the 7th Seal since that event is preceded by the Blood Moon.
In the Pre Wrath view, the Rapture CANNOT happen until after the Sixth Seal.
But the Rapture is not triggered by a judgment for sin - the Rapture concludes the Dispensation of Grace.
Judgment for sin cannot begin until Grace is withdrawn.
Grace has no place in the Dispensation of Judgment. The Dispensation of Grace ends with the Rapture.
The Dispensation of Judgment begins with the breaking of the first seal judgment.
"Of these things put them in remembrance, charging them before the Lord that they strive not about words to no profit, but to the subverting of the hearers. Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." (2 Timothy 2:14-15)
It is often pointed out that the rain falls on the evil and the just alike. But judgment is more like lightning. It hits what God aims it at.
Jerusalem Is Rising as Israel's Enemies Falter - By Alex Traiman - http://www.prophecynewswatch.com/article.cfm?recent_news_id=2244
In the past 70 years, no single country's stock has risen faster or farther than the State of Israel. Once a resource-poor, existentially endangered nation-state comprised of refugees from post-Holocaust Europe and Muslim countries throughout the Middle East and North Africa, Israel has emerged into a world economic, military and diplomatic superpower.
In just one week, Israel's elevated status is being put on full display, in no small part due to the unlikely and oft-polarizing duo of U.S. President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
While announcing America's exit from the flawed Iran nuclear deal--officially the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA--Trump's direct reference to Netanyahu's publication of incontrovertible evidence exposing the full nature of Iran's sophisticated nuclear-weapons program places Israel at the center of policymaking in the free world.
Just prior to Trump's speech, it was reported that Israel had briefed at least 22 nations on the full contents of the documents, photos and simulations daringly confiscated by Israel's Mossad, clearly signaling that Israel's intelligence is among the best in world. Following Trump's speech, it became clear that Israel's analysis of Iran's nuclear program and the nuclear deal now defines and supports America's policy.
In the hours after Trump announced America's withdrawal from JCPOA on May 8, a large explosion occurred at an Iranian weapons depot outside of Damascus, with reports of yet another alleged Israeli airstrike into foreign territory that penetrated its targets, despite the presence of Russian missile-defense systems in Syria.
Just a few years ago, leading up to the signing of the JCPOA in 2015, Israel was a pesky obstacle to the deal that was supposed to be the crowning foreign-policy legacy of the Nobel Peace Prize-winning President Barack Obama. At the time, Netanyahu obstinately delivered an impassioned speech before Congress opposing the deal, angering Obama, the Democratic Party, the international community and liberals at large.
Yet with Trump's exit from the deal, which he noted during his speech on Tuesday "failed to make the world safer," it now becomes clear that Netanyahu's views have prevailed. Jerusalem's position and Washington's position have aligned to dictate a new international policy towards Iran, the world's leading state sponsor of terror.
In just a few days, Washington will further crown Jerusalem's status as a leading center of international policy by officially moving the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Israel's historic capital city, home to the executive, judicial and legislative branches of Israel's government.
It is, of course, fitting that the very date--May 14--of the new embassy's opening ceremony corresponds both with Yom Yerushalayim ("Jerusalem Day") on the Hebrew calendar and the 70th anniversary of Israel's Independence on the secular calendar.
While the Jewish state's stock is rising, Israel's enemies are imploding. Though Iran has expanded its reach across the Middle East--wreaking havoc on Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Yemen--severe cracks have been exposed in the dictatorial regime of the Islamic Republic.
During the past year, public protests against the regime's corruption have broken out across the country. And in the past several weeks, the value of Iran's currency, the rial, has plummeted, throwing Iran into severe economic uncertainty even before the impending onset of the "highest level of economic sanctions" about to be imposed by the United States.
At the same time, the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank and Hamas in Gaza are showing signs of collapse.
Gaza is an economic disaster, with billions of dollars of aid money for its nearly 2 million residents over the past several years diverted towards the building of terror tunnels and rockets meant to inflict damage on Israel. In the past year, Israel has destroyed most of the Hamas tunnel network and neutralized the impact of missiles through the Iron Dome defense system.
With close to nothing to show for its investment in Israel's destruction, Hamas now resorts to sending "flaming kites" into Israel in the hopes of starting brush fires in Israel's south.
In the West Bank, the P.A. has been exposed as a corrupt kleptocracy--led by aging autocrat Mahmoud Abbas who is now in year 13 of a four year term--hell-bent on inciting and incentivizing the murder of Jews. The P.A. is perhaps as far away as ever from the creation of a Palestinian state in the disputed Israeli territories.
Just last month, the United States passed the Taylor Force Act designed to withhold international aid to the P.A. if it continues its sophisticated practice of making payments to jailed terrorists and the families of terrorists killed in the act of murder.
Rather than comply with the regulations of the Taylor Force Act, the P.A. continues to pay terrorists, and has simultaneously ended all communication with the U.S. government over its official recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital. In just a few weeks from now, U.S. aid to the P.A. will end, likely igniting a fiscal crisis.
Israel this week advanced its equivalent of the Taylor Force Act through a first reading in Knesset. The law is intended to offset monthly transfers of taxes and tariffs collected by Israel on behalf of the P.A. at Israeli ports. A sum equivalent to nearly two months of the Palestinian annual budget will be withheld should Israel pass its version of the law.
As Israel celebrates its 70th anniversary and the official recognition of Jerusalem as its nation's modern capital, Palestinians will commemorate the nakba, or "catastrophe," on May 15 as a result of the founding of the Jewish state.
Just days after the nakba, Palestinians will begin celebrating the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, a period during which too many Palestinians in recent years have observed the modern jihadi traditions of attempted murder via car-rammings, knife-stabbings and suicide-bombings.
Yet perhaps this year, if aspiring martyrs realize that they and their families may no longer receive the financial compensation promised for terror, and that those acts are doing little to no damage to the existence of a strengthening Jewish state--even as they sometimes succeed in taking a handful precious Jewish lives--they may begin to recognize that the only way they stand to benefit is by ditching their anti-Israel activity and by aligning with Washington and Jerusalem.
Jerusalem historically has been a city of epic highs for the Jewish people, as well as challenging lows. We may yet see more difficult times ahead for Israel's oft-embattled capital city. Yet at the present, all indications are that Jerusalem is rising.
News from Hal Lindsey Media Ministries - Hal Lindsey -
Last Monday, the United States formally dedicated its new embassy in Jerusalem. It was historic.
Less than 50 miles away, Hamas staged deadly "protest" riots at Israel's border with Gaza. Much of the mainstream media focused their coverage of this momentous event on the fact that more than 50 Palestinians died in violent confrontations with Israel Defense Force soldiers at the border.
What they neglected to tell you (and Hamas later admitted), is that most of those killed were Hamas soldiers or operatives. And contrary to what many uninformed celebrities were tweeting, many of the Palestinians were, indeed, armed with deadly weapons of various sorts.
It was an interesting three days. Sunday was "Jerusalem Day," when Israelis celebrate the unification of Jerusalem. Monday was the 70th anniversary of the founding of the modern state of Israel (on the Gregorian calendar) and the day the U.S. opened its embassy. Tuesday was "al-Nakba" or the day that Palestinians mourn the great "Catastrophe" or the birth of the State of Israel.
As I watched these events unfold, I marveled at how entrenched certain assumptions have become in the world's thinking. Of course, most people routinely accept what the mainstream media says as fact. That's a dangerous thing since so much of what the media says is either incorrect or patently untrue.
Most people do not know -- or will not accept -- that much of the mainstream media serves simply as a propaganda arm for those with "globalist" ambitions who seek, ultimately, a one-world government. Just as the ancient Bible prophets predicted.
One of the greatest falsehoods of all time was on constant display during those three days.
I call it "The Modern Lie."
Hitler's philosophy was that if you told a big enough lie (one that rational folks wouldn't be foolish enough to devise) and you repeated it often enough, the people would begin to believe it as truth.
We're seeing exactly that strategy at work in the world today. In fact, the conflict that seems to preoccupy the world is predicated on an enormous lie. The mainstream media, the Left, the United Nations, and many governments of the world have either fallen prey to the lie or are actively perpetuating it.
Either way, the conflict it fosters is just as deadly. More ominously, 'The Modern Lie' is rooted in and animated by 'The Everlasting Hatred.'
What is the monstrous lie that much of the world has swallowed hook, line, and sinker? Simply this: The modern state of Israel was created when the Jews stole Palestinian cities, land, and houses.
Those claims are patently false.
On this week's program, I will present a series of powerful facts that prove the entire Mid-East "peace process" is based on a gigantic myth. A myth intended to deceive the world into annihilating Israel.
A myth that will eventually lead to the destruction of the nations of the world, because God Himself will defend His people.
Don't miss this week's Report on TBN, Daystar, CPM Network, various local stations, www.hallindsey.com or www.hischannel.com . Please check your local listings.
Regrets - By Grant Phillips -
Who among us can say we have never had any regrets in our life? We all travel that road. If you disagree, maybe you are not being totally honest with yourself.
In my opinion, regrets primarily come from bad decisions we make throughout life and even from missed opportunities. Some regrets may be the result of sins in our lives and some may not, but they are there nonetheless. Some affect us deeply, and some do not.
Allow me to point out several examples and the possibility of eliminating the regrets that haunt us.
Your test score arrives and the result is clear you did not study. (Some of us have felt that regret.) So how did you fix it? You studied for the next test and your score reflected your effort. Didn't the sun shine a lot brighter on that day?
You were warned by family and friends, but you married the "love of your life" anyway. Everything was peaches and cream for a while, but when the honeymoon was over, the person you couldn't see arrived to make your life miserable. Is this regret fixable? Yes it is possible, but it will take a lot of work from both parties involved.
You bought a beautiful new red sports car, but after only a week it is clear that it should have been painted yellow. You have had it in the garage so many times you have lost count. Regret! Regret! Can you fix this? Yes, but it will cost you.
You regret that you did not finish school. Go back and finish. You regret that you never learned to play a musical instrument. Start now and learn. It won't be easy, but these regrets can be turned into joy.
Most of the world today scoffs at any mention of the Rapture, but soon and maybe very soon, it will happen. Jesus Christ will come down from His Father's house in Heaven and remove His bride (the true Church) from this earth. He will take all who know Him as Savior and Lord to Heaven while He pours out His judgment upon this earth for a period of seven years. Immediately after the Rapture occurs where will you be, on earth, or in Heaven? One will result in overwhelming joy, but the other a frightening regret.
You have died. You are in hell, awaiting judgment. This is the worse regret, by far, you have ever experienced. Can it be fixed? You know the answer. Your regret comes from knowing that if you had come to Jesus before you died and asked Him to save you, you would be with Him in Heaven instead of hell, waiting for Him to judge you. This regret will be an albatross around your neck for eternity.
When we are alive upon this earth, everyone will have regrets of some kind, believers and unbelievers, but a believer in Jesus Christ will go into eternity with no regrets ... only everlasting joy.
While upon this earth, many regrets can somehow be reversed (some can never be reversed), but once an unbeliever dies, the regret of denying Jesus will never go away. It will be a constant reminder. Maybe you, as an unbeliever have made some terrible decisions while upon this earth, but the worse decision you will ever make is rejecting salvation through Jesus Christ.
Take a minute and consider the regrets in your life. Now don't tell me you have none, we all have them. How do they make you feel? Is there a smile on your face that hides a broken life? If you could change anything in your life, would you?
Maybe society sees you as the most successful and blessed person of the century. On the other hand, maybe society sees you as the biggest failure who ever walked the earth. Depending on the cause of your regrets, some could be like a pebble in your shoe or a hungry bear on your back. Whichever it is, it doesn't matter. You do have regrets, but will you have eternal regrets when your time is up on this earth?
Four of the promises Jesus gives us, from over 7,000, in the Bible are:
"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." (Matthew 11:28-30)
"All those the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away." (John 6:37)
To all believers Jesus promises:
"So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. All who rage against you will surely be ashamed and disgraced; those who oppose you will be as nothing and perish. Though you search for your enemies, you will not find them. Those who wage war against you will be as nothing at all. For I am the LORD your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you." (Isaiah 41:10-13)
"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." (Romans 8:28)
For those who are interested in spending eternity in Heaven with Jesus and being regret free forever, consider this. There is only one way, and that is through Jesus Christ (John 14:6). Hear Him as He speaks:
"Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost." (Isaiah 55:1)
"For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith-and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God-not by works, so that no one can boast." (Ephesians 2:8-9)
Pre-Rapture Commentary: http://grant-phillips.blogspot.com
Rapture Ready: http://www.raptureready.com/featured/phillips/phillips.html
Daily Jot: Time to defund Planned Parenthood - Bill Wilson - www.dailyjot.com
At a time when Americans heatedly debate whether to allow children of illegal aliens to remain here, this country's government has allowed the extermination of over 50 million infants who never had the chance to be citizens. This is largely due to the so-called "health counseling" of Planned Parenthood, the largest abortion provider in the world. Even though not a penny of government funding is supposed to go to the Planned Parenthood abortion mill, all the $700 million-plus per year taxpayer money that goes to Planned Parenthood helps this evil institution keep its lights on and doors open. Sadly, the charade of Planned Parenthood will continue even with President Donald Trump's funding cuts.
Planned Parenthood separates out its "health services" from its "abortion services" even though often both are performed in the same building. This shell game of intermingling services is a planned action by the organization to make the best use of taxpayer money. As a Washington Correspondent for a major Christian network in 2005, I snuck into a Planned Parenthood lobby training session. Not knowing any news media was in the room, the leaders told the trainees that they were to tell Congressmen that the abortion services and health services were separate, but not to say funding from the government was necessary to keep the abortion side of the business going. They trained people to lie to Congress.
The Weekly Standard reports that the Trump Administration seeks to "require a bright line of physical as well as financial separation between Title X (sic government funded health related) programs and any program (or facility) where abortion is performed, supported, or referred for as a method of family planning." The funding is subject to a 1970 law that none of the money is to be used in programs where abortion is a method of family planning." But the courts and others interpreted the law to allow abortion referrals, co-location with abortion clinics, and to lobby for pro-abortion policies. President Reagan issued a regulation to prevent this, but the courts tied it up and it was never enforced, even though the Supreme Court eventually upheld it. When Bill Clinton took office, he did away with the Reagan regulation and it was not reinstated.
In Jeremiah 2:34, the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah, saying, "Also on your skirts is found the blood of the souls of the poor innocents: I have not found it by secret search, but plainly upon all these things." This was in response to Israelite women openly sacrificing children to pagan gods. It is very much the same with abortion-open sacrifice of children to the convenience of the world. It is wrong. It is murder. Those of us who believe in life are forced to fund death with our hard earned tax money. President Trump's proposal is a good first step, but more is needed. No taxpayer money should ever be used for anything remotely concerned with abortion.
Daily Devotion: Close, but Not Close Enough - By Greg Laurie - www.harvest.org
For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death. -2 Corinthians 7:10
When Jesus began His public ministry, the first word that came out of His mouth was repent. The Bible tells us to repent and be converted (see Acts 3:19) and that God has commanded people everywhere to repent (see Acts 17:30).
However, this is something that I think is missing in the lives of a lot of people. They have never repented of their sin. There may be thousands and thousands of people with a false sense of assurance sitting in the pews of our churches today. They think they will go to Heaven because they walked down an aisle or prayed a simple prayer.
Yet they have never fulfilled one of the primary conditions of being forgiven of their sins, which is repenting. It's great to realize that God loves you. It's wonderful to recognize that He is ready to forgive you. And yes, you must ask Jesus to come into your heart. But the Bible says that part of that process is repenting of your sin.
There are people who have never taken this step. They say, "I believe Jesus is the Son of God. I believe He died on the cross for me. I believe that He is able to change me. And Lord, I ask You to come in my life and be my best buddy." Meanwhile, they have never repented. They have never turned from known sin.
There are a lot of people today who have come close, but they haven't come close enough. The recognition of personal sin is always at the base of repentance. But to only do that can be useless at best and dangerous at worst. Recognizing personal sin without taking action can be self deceiving, because it makes us think that mere acknowledgment of sin is all that is necessary.
FROM THE HEART
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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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