Prophecy Update Newsletter
IN TODAY'S NEWSLETTER...
Three Raptures: Vol. III -The Church - by Pete Garcia and Randy Nettles - http://rev310.com/2019/05/three-raptures-vol-iii-the-church
The Rapture of the Church vs. the Second Coming
One of the major theological issues Christian's have divided over these past two millennia, has been the manner and timing of Christ's return. Some Christian's do not believe Christ will return at all, but that is NOT, what the Bible teaches. That is man's teaching, and man's attempt to bring the kingdom in now through their denominational or religious efforts. Clearly, if there is one thing all TRUE Christian's can agree on regarding this topic is this, that Christ will return again.
Christian's division over the timing of Christ's return is in my estimation, a lesser issue, but no less the theological hot potato. Because it can be a contentious issue, many churches refuse to teach on the subject anymore.
So there are three major views regarding WHEN Christ will return. There is the Pre-Tribulation View- Christ will return for His Church before the 70th Week of Daniel. There is the Mid-Tribulation view- Christ will return at the mid-point and/or the Tribulation is only 3 ½ years long. Finally, there is the Post-Tribulation view, and that is that Christ Second Coming and our being caught up (Rapture-Eng, Raptus- Latin, Harpazo- Greek) to Him are all in the same event. There are other fringe views, but their insignificant and not worthy of discussion at this point.
The first thing we have to realize is that Christ's Second Coming is broken up into two parts. The Rapture (Harpazo-catching up) of His bride the Church (1 Thess. 1:10; 4:13-18, 1 Cor. 15:51-56), and His return to earth with His bride the Church at the Triumphal Return (as chronicled in Zech. 14:3-5, Matt. 24:29-31; 26:64, Jude 1:14-15, Rev. 1:7; 19:11-14). These cannot be the same event because of the numerous and glaring distinctions juxtaposed against each other. (Differences chart)
Critics of my aforementioned statement (Second Coming in Two Part Harmony) fail to recognize that the Jews of Jesus's day had that exact same problem concerning Christ's First Coming as these critics now have with His Second Coming. They (first century Jews) thought the Messiah would come kick the Romans out and usher in the Kingdom right then and there. What they failed to see in the Old Testament (but what we Christians now clearly see with Scriptural hindsight) is the two separate comings of the Messiah...first as the sacrificial Lamb who takes away the sins of the world, and later as the conquering King. (Isaiah 53, Dan. 9:24-26, John 1:29, Psalm 2, Zech. 10, 14) Critics of the Pre-Tribulation view, fail to see that Christ's Second Coming is also in two parts.
We (proponents of the Pre-Tribulation view) recognize that Jesus does talk extensively about the events leading up to and including His Triumphal Return, but that does not diminish nor deny that He also talks about His return for the Church first.
Days of Noah vs. the Olivet Discourse
The first mention of the concept of the Rapture in the Gospels is found in Luke 17:26-30. In it Jesus likened the time of His return to that of the days of Noah and Lot-a world which was largely carrying on as if it didn't have a care in the world. In fact, He went out of His way to emphasize the sense of normalcy surrounding these events despite their OT pinning's. Were they in massive tribulation prior to the flood, or prior to Sodom and Gomorrah's fiery hailstorm? No, life was normal. Incessantly wicked and violent yes, but normal in the sense that a frog cooking in a pot does not realize the water it is in is being boiled until it is too late. (Gen 6, 19)
People were going about their normal lives...and then disaster struck. Jesus could not be possibly referring to the events inside the 70th Week of Daniel primarily because as the 21 divine judgments are unleashed, the world will be anything but normal. Those judgments cause half the world's population to die, large percentages of the ocean and fresh water to turn to blood, the sun has a 'nova' like event, then goes dark, people are struck with sores, and the Two Witness's perform unbelievable signs and wonders, etc., so there leaves little possibility for 'normal' inside the seven-year Tribulation.
The Olivet Discourse on the other hand is what most people automatically default to when they want to get Jesus's view on the last days. The Synoptic Gospels-Matthew, Mark, and Luke all carry a variant of the Olivet Discourse. What often gets overlooked, is that each of the Gospels, provide a different perspective on the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus because they were geared toward different audiences.
Wait...did John forget to put his version of the Olivet Discourse in there? He was one of the attendees after all (Mark 13:3). Maybe he knew he was going to write the book of Revelation later in life (95AD) and decided to save it till then...oh wait...he didn't know that either. (Did he know he was going to get banished to the Isle of Patmos under Domitian?) Hmmm...I wonder why John didn't record a variant of the Olivet Discourse? Why would John leave out one of his Lord's longest and most prolific discussions?
Perhaps John's Gospel being the last, thought it unnecessary since the other three had it? That seems silly since only one version of the Olivet Discourse would be necessary, not three (Matthew, Mark, and Luke's). Perhaps it is because the Holy Spirit instructed him not to write it. Instead, he records the Upper Room Discourse (John 14-16)...which was taught exclusively to the eleven disciples the night before His crucifixion. Instead of recording wars, rumors of wars, earthquakes, pestilences, etc....John records the comforting words that Christians of every generation could take solace in,
"Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father's house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to myself; that where I am, there you may be also. John 14:1-3
Jesus (being God in the Flesh) knew before He ever came the first time that His second coming would not be a singular event. Rather it would be two events, both of which bestow a special place of honor for His bride the Church. It is not that we the Church are deserving of any such honor, but only because Christ shed His own divine blood for us and that we are the Church He built (Matt. 16:18-19). We are the pearl of great price in the parable in which the merchant sold all He had to purchase it (Matt. 13:45-46).
One common misconception nonbelievers have about Christianity is that when we Christian's mention the Church, they somehow believe we are only speaking about a religion, a denomination, or a building. The Bible describes the Church (Greek-ekklesia) as being a living organism, e.g., the universal body of believers who are neither Jews nor Gentiles, but a new creation (2 Cor. 5:17, Gal. 3:28, Col. 3:11).
Born again Christians make up the multimember, corporate-yet singular, body of Christ (Col. 1:18, 24; Eph. 5:23). In fact, the true Church consists of all believers from the first Pentecost (33AD est.) until the Rapture. Most importantly, is that the Church is not something men can even build, but something only Christ can do alone (Matt. 16:18-19). The case that Christ is building it (rather than renovating something that already was-Israel) is more proof that the Church is not Israel. Neither is Israel the Church. The Church could not have existed until AFTER Christ's death, burial, and resurrection and subsequent indwelling by the Holy Spirit.
At the core of the Church, is the belief in the Gospel (1 Cor. 15:1-5). The Gospel is that Jesus died for our sins, was buried, and rose again on the third day, conquering death and hell in the process. We trust in His finished work on the cross, and trade our sinfulness, for His righteousness (2 Cor. 5:17-21). That is the only way we can be born-again. Our being born-again does not make us go from being sinners, to holy rollers. We go from being spiritually dead, to spiritually alive (Rom. 7). Thus, we are reconnected with our Creator and will at the appointed time, be translated (during the Rapture) from mortal, to immortal to live with our God forever.
The second common misconception amongst believers regarding the origin of the Church was that the Church was born at Pentecost. The Church was not born at Pentecost, but rather, was conceived there with the giving of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2). Just as when the Holy Spirit overshadowed the Virgin Mary, she did not immediately give birth to the Messiah, but rather, went through the normal stages of pregnancy carrying Jesus to term before delivering Him in a manger (Luke 2:7). The Church was conceived at Pentecost and has been going through the stages of development, as it were, these past two millennia. The Rapture is that day (or the day of Christ) in which we have every generation has been waiting on for our delivery, when immortality becomes a reality.
For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now. Not only that, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body. Romans 8:19-23
Thus, the Rapture of Church is more than just an escape plan. It is more than our physical deliverance from the coming wrath of God upon the earth, but our physical deliverance from mortality, into our immortality. It, like the birthing process, is a necessary transition in order for us to adapt into our new environment. Not only can the human body physically not survive where God is in the flesh, but we (in our sinful state) could not exist where God is because of His holiness. We have to be changed, or we could never go. God is spirit, and the third heaven exists in a spiritual domain in the eternal realm. We will be given glorified (built for eternity) bodies. The Apostle John addresses this and likens it to Christ's body after His resurrection. Jesus could touch and be touched, could eat, and could move about as a normal person does. He could also appear and disappear at will and could walk through solid objects.
Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure. 1 John 3:2-3
Although much unnecessary hype was made over the Rev12 sign movement that was popular a few years back, it was not a total wash. Two solid teachings actually came out of it (or that I took out of it) and were these: the church was not born at Pentecost, and the single, silver-bullet rapture passage every rapture skeptic is always asking for, is actually Rev. 12:5.
Now a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a garland of twelve stars. Then being with child, she cried out in labor and in pain to give birth. And another sign appeared in heaven: behold, a great, fiery red dragon having seven heads and ten horns, and seven diadems on his heads. His tail drew a third of the stars of heaven and threw them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was ready to give birth, to devour her Child as soon as it was born. She bore a male Child who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron. And her Child was caught up to God and His throne. Then the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God, that they should feed her there one thousand two hundred and sixty days. Revelation 12:1-6
You see, when reading the passage, we see within a single verse, a concise, chronological picture of the birth, life, death, and resurrection of Christ. Then you see His body (the Church) being caught up (same word- harpazo) to the throne of God. Thus, the only mention of the Church after Revelation 3:22 on the earth is here by inference, and she is not addressed as ekklesia, but as her Child (speaking of Israel's). So for a quick rehash on who's who in Revelation 12;
Of this, Dr. Svigel quotes Darby in saying:
In the same year, on July 15, 1848, in a letter to one Ralph Evans, Darby walks through his interpretation of Rev 12. He identifies the woman as Israel. With regard to the identification of the Man child, Darby interprets this as Christ but then adds, "Now the church is only brought in as being identified with Christ Himself, here according to the promise of Thyatira."23 In this promise, we recall, Christ extended the Messianic rule described in Ps 2 to those who overcome:
The one who conquers and who keeps my works until the end, to him I will give authority over the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron, as when earthen pots are broken in pieces, even as I myself have received authority from my Father. (Rev 2:26-27)
Thus, Darby is making a corporate connection between the male child in Rev 12:5 and his corporate body, the church, applying the same promise of Ps 2 both to Christ and the church.
I first heard about this perspective from Scottie Clarke, who from what I gather, learned about it from Dr. Michael Svigel (Dallas Theological), who had noticed some forgotten work done much earlier by the likes of Darby, Blackstone, and Ironside regarding Revelation 12. The accusations from non-pre-trib Rapture proponents will be...see, see....you got your teachings from men! Ok. Guilty I suppose. However, where did they get it?
Not only would it be the height of arrogance for me to try to pass this revelatory insight off as my own, but it would also be dishonest. Earlier, greater and smarter men than I have come to these same conclusions long before I ever did...and that is ok. We only see as much as we do today (prophetically speaking) because we stand on the shoulder of giants.
However, not everyone is of this opinion. Here is a point in which Randy and I would disagree. I believe (as does Randy) that you should hear both sides of the position so that you can make your own mind up (as the Lord leads you) regarding this tertiary topic.
From Randy: Regarding Revelation 12:5; I don't see the Church mentioned anywhere...only Jesus. And her (Israel) child (Jesus) was caught up unto God,and to his throne. Yes, Jesus was caught up into heaven after his 40 days on earth after his resurrection. He was the firstfruits of those believers who will die and receive their heavenly bodies at the Rapture. Of course Jesus received his glorified heavenly body when he was taken up. The Old Testament saints (spirits) were relocated to the 3rd heaven from Sheol/Paradise after Jesus' crucifixion. They will not receive their heavenly bodies until Jesus' 2nd Coming. I guess it all depends on the definition of caught up. Jesus still left the earth by supernatural means. I just have trouble with Israel's (her) child being the Church and not Jesus.
Man can not fathom the joys and wonders that God has in store for his children after the Rapture. "But as it is written, Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God has prepared for them that love him." (1 Corinthians 2:9).
So there you have it. I hope you have been blessed by this series of articles, and as believers and watchmen, been encouraged to work, wait, study, and watch for our Lord's soon return.
Even so, come Lord Jesus!
Trump administration to release Mideast peace plan 'when the timing is right' - By Jackson Richman -
As Israel heads to the polls on Sept. 17, the fate of the release of the Trump administration's entire Mideast peace plan for the Israelis and the Palestinians remains to be seen, an administration official told JNS on Thursday.
"The Bahrain workshop will go on as scheduled, June 25-26," said the official in an email. "As far as the rest of the plan/rollout, we've long said that we will release the plan when the timing is right."
The White House declined to note exactly when that time may be.
Kushner said in April that the so-called "deal of the century" would be released after Ramadan, which concludes on June 4.
The Bahrain workshop is the first part of the peace proposal rollout and is expected to deal with revitalizing the Palestinian economy.
The second part is expected to deal with the political issues surrounding the conflict, including geographic boundaries.
Nonetheless, the Palestinian Authority believes that Israel's unprecedented election status will delay the remaining part of the rollout, reported Haaretz on Thursday.
The failure of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to form a coalition largely came as a result of an impasse between former defense minister and Yisrael Beiteinu leader Avigdor Lieberman and the ultra-Orthodox parties-Shas and United Torah Judaism-over a military draft bill for ultra-Orthodox men.
"It's too bad what happened in Israel," U.S. President Donald Trump told reporters on Thursday. "More likely they'll have to go back into election mode."
On Thursday, Netanyahu met in Israel with White House senior adviser and presidential son-in-law Jared Kushner and U.S. special envoy to the Middle East Jason Greenblatt.
Also in attendance were U.S. Special Representative for Iran Brian Hook and Israeli Ambassador to the United States Ron Dermer.
"It's always a great pleasure to welcome Jared Kushner and Jason Greenblatt to Israel, to Jerusalem, and to discuss our common efforts for prosperity, security and peace," said Netanyahu. "I'm tremendously encouraged by how the United States, under [U.S.] President [Donald] Trump, is working to bring allies together in this region against common challenges, but also to seize common opportunities."
Kushner said "the security of Israel is something that's critical to the relations between America and Israel, and also very important to the president, and we appreciate all your efforts to strengthen the relationship between our two countries. It's never been stronger, and we're very excited about all the potential that lies ahead for Israel, for the relationship and for the future."
At the TIME 100 Summit in April, Kushner said "the two-state solution failed. New and different ways to reach peace must be tried."
He also stated that the strategy focuses on "how do we make life for Palestinians better?" and "how do we make Israel safer?"
JNS reported in February that the peace plan is expected to consist of the United States recognizing a Palestinian state with its capital in remote parts of eastern Jerusalem, according to an informed source hearing from top Trump administration officials.
The Palestinians have claimed that sector of the city as the capital of a future state, a position supported by most countries. But Israel considers the entire city, including its eastern part, to be the Jewish state's undivided capital.
The Trump administration officially recognized Jerusalem as Israel's capital in December 2017, in addition to relocating the U.S. embassy there from Tel Aviv the following May. However, the move by Trump did not recognize any boundaries of Jerusalem, which the president said would be resolved through negotiations. It also maintained the status quo for the holy sites in the city.
Finally, the peace plan includes official U.S. recognition of large Israeli towns in Judea and Samaria, according to the source, though did not specify which ones.
Turn or Crash - By Hal Lindsey -
In the last few years, American schools, churches, synagogues, and mosques have become targets of terrorism. These institutions, by their nature, have open doors and open arms. All are welcome.
The vilest sinner finds hope and answers in Bible-believing churches. But some sinners are not looking for hope. Some want to spread the despair and rage that fills their own souls. The welcoming nature of a church makes it a soft target for terrorism.
Today, churches and other institutions are hardening themselves - making themselves increasingly difficult to attack. They don't advertise it, but larger churches have armed security personnel on campus for major events. In smaller churches, more and more people are being asked to go through the process of becoming licensed to carry firearms.
The Church still welcomes the stranger. But it may watch him now with a wariness not known in the past.
Even though the likelihood of a child being shot at school is still extremely low, people are using the situation to scare schoolchildren across the land. Then they're using the children's fear for political leverage. Warranted or not, American kids are scared.
Only a few years ago, these things would have been unthinkable in the United States. Now, it's just a fact of life. Why? What happened? Shouldn't we at least consider the possibility that the anti-God agenda that permeates our culture is not working? Shouldn't we consider the possibility that children should be disciplined rather than drugged? To me it seems obvious that we must teach our young the old verities of right and wrong. We need to stop portraying lawlessness as cool, and godliness as boring.
When American courts outlawed prayer in school, they taught the following generations that God holds little or no importance in the life of our nation. When a later court legalized abortion, the nation took another step toward the abyss. But it made sense in a way. If God is not important, then how could human beings be important? It became legal to kill for the sake of convenience.
The despair being felt by Americans today was inevitable. Society tries to counter that despair by giving participation trophies. It has not worked. On a deep level, children know that if an unborn child holds no significance, then neither do they - no matter how many gold stars they get.
For the last 60 years, the American people and their institutions have been systematically rejecting God and His ways. Such rejection is not without consequence. We are paying the price. Some see the answer in more armed guards. Others see the answer in gun control or other regulations. But those are band-aids.
We need to address the real problem. We need to ask, "Are we 'one nation under God,' or not?" The only thing that can preserve America's freedoms and prosperity is a hard turn toward Jesus Christ. And it needs to happen now!
Turn Your Eyes - By Dennis Huebshman -
First, let's get the negative "junk" out of the way. With the exception of very few, our far-left liberals are doing all they can to take America down. The call for socialism, allowing illegals into the country, infanticide, and much more are causing us to look like a country that is about to fall from within, just as the Roman Empire did. Is it any wonder America is not listed in the end-times? (emphasis mine)
Socialism, communism, fascism, are all words that mean taking the rights away from the citizens and letting the government run amok. In just a short while, the government becomes all-powerful just as Venezuela's did, and the people are all but cut off. Venezuela was a very prosperous country with massive oil reserves that supplied a source of income for the people. A dictator took over and applied socialistic ways; and before long, people were eating their pets just to survive. You would even see them going through garbage dumps looking for anything edible. Meanwhile, the "government" folks are living a life of luxury, and keeping all the wealth for themselves.
We have people calling for socialism here, but if you look closely, they are amassing fortunes for themselves while telling us we must "share" everything we have with those who refuse to work. In 2 Thessalonians 3:10, Paul told the people that if they did not work, they would not eat.
By the way, the government of Venezuela took the citizens' guns away several years ago, just as Hitler did in Nazi Germany in the 1930's. Now, people are being killed on the streets as they try to protest their unfair treatment. People are trying to leave that country in droves.
Here, we have homeless veterans that are dying on the streets with inadequate resources to sustain them. Our elderly who rely on social security that they paid into all their work lives, are often times living below the poverty level. Many have to choose between medicine and food. Both of these situations are criminal for a country as "rich and powerful" as America, but liberals are ignoring them.
Meanwhile, illegals are given free housing, free medical, food vouchers, free education for their children, and the American workers are paying for all of it.
Something which should be very obvious - ILLEGAL means Against The Law!
Somehow, the liberals, and even a few so-called conservatives in congress are overlooking this in favor of "grooming" future voters. Some are even in favor of giving illegals the right to vote! That's totally unconstitutional, as only "citizens", native or naturalized, have that privilege. One senator has even called for all criminals in prisons to have the right to vote. They gave up that right when they committed crimes that put them there. Should we allow terrorists, such as the Boston Marathon bomber, that have been incarcerated be able to vote?
Overall, this should not be a huge surprise, as this country is being totally set up for the end of this age. Satan knows his time is running short, and is preparing the world for the 7-year reign of the antichrist. This will be a true "socialist" arraignment where the antichrist is all-powerful, and everyone else will be subject to his will. We are not that far off from this right now with people seeking a one-world government. Changes are taking place daily that are leading to all the events spoken of in the Bible.
The only elements holding his appearance back are the Holy-Spirit indwelled believers (2 Thessalonians 2:6-7). Once we are removed through the Rapture, the peace treaty with Israel will be signed, the new temple rebuilt, and the Wrath will be underway. All this information is available in God's True Word (the Bible), but people are falling for Satan's deception, and are ignoring the warning signs.
False prophets are at work, inspiring people with false teachings that are meant to convince their members that there are many ways to heaven, that we all worship the same "god," that Jesus is not necessary for our salvation, and that abominations listed in the Bible no longer apply.
We are very close to the major world-changing event called the Rapture - taking up of all believers to meet Jesus in the Air. The description is in 1 Corinthians 15:51-53 and 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18.
For the false prophets that are here today that Jesus, Paul, Peter, John and others spoke of, their message can be disputed with one main verse - John 14:6, "Jesus said, I am the Way, the Truth and the Life; no one comes to the Father except by Me." Next, Acts 2:21 and Romans 10:13, "All who call on the name of the Lord will be saved." And of course, Acts 4:12, "And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given by men, by which we must be saved."
There is much more evidence given, but many that have turned away from the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are falling under 2 Thessalonians 2:11-12, "Therefore, God sends them a delusion so that they may believe what is false, in order that all may be condemned, who did not believe the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness." Sounds a lot like the beliefs of the "far-left."
What to do? Turn your eyes upon Jesus. This is contained in a song with that title, written by Helen Howarth Lemmel in England in 1922.
(V-1) O Soul are you weary and troubled? No light in the darkness you see. There's light for a look at the Savior, and life more abundant and free.
(chorus) Turn your eyes upon Jesus; look full in His wonderful face, and the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of His Glory and Grace.
(V-2) Through death into life everlasting, He passed and we follow Him there. O'er us sin no more hath dominion, for more than conquerors we are!
(Chorus - V-3) His word shall not fail you; He promised, believe Him and all will be well. Then go to a world that is dying, His perfect Salvation to tell.
For those who put their faith and trust in the Savior, we can expect to be persecuted and ridiculed. However, our "forever" will be totally awesome and wonderful, as we will live with Jesus forever. He Himself will prepare a place for each and every one of us (John 14:1-3).
All who deny and reject Jesus will end up in the Lake of Fire with Satan and his demons forever (Matthew 25:41; Revelation 19:20; Revelation 20:10-15).
By the way, Jesus knew there would be more people in this situation than those who would accept Him (Matthew 7:13-14).
Our Salvation is a gift; and for it to become ours, we must open it. To not do so is the same as telling Jesus that His gift is inadequate and not worthwhile.
We must believe He came to this earth, was crucified, died and was in the tomb three days. (This does not mean a full 72 hours, as any part of any day counts as a full Jewish day, even if only any part of the day has passed.) He was resurrected by the Father through the Holy Spirit to conquer sin and death for us by His perfect sacrifice.
He was "raptured" back to Heaven (Acts 1:9) where He is preparing a place for all believers, as mentioned above. The day is coming soon when He will return, and we will meet Him "in the air" to be taken Home to avoid the 7-year Wrath.
Those left behind will be miserable. A person will still be able to accept Jesus as Savior, but it will be much more difficult; and, in the end, they will most likely be martyred for doing so.
Avoid this misery - Call on Jesus to be your Savior today. Confess you are a sinner as everyone on earth is (Romans 3:23). Ask His forgiveness, and for Him to be your Savior forever. It's the greatest request you will ever make, and today would not be too early to call on Him. He is due to return at a day and hour that only the Father knows, but it could be very soon!
Daily Jot: Too much of a bad thing - Bill Wilson -
You may have heard the old sayings, "You can have too much of a good thing," or "All things in moderation." Maybe American's love-hate relationship with news and politics is too much of a bad thing. Have you ever thought about how we as a country focus so hard on politics that it may be harming our mental health? People are angry, depressed, losing friends, arguing with family members, and getting all riled up over what's in the news and how American politics are rolling across the channels. This obsession is not only causing stress on individuals, it is ruining relationships across the country. We may feel like walling ourselves up to hear or see no more, but that isn't a solution that will change the issue. How to deal with it?
For me, I am bombarded with news and politics and religion from the time I awaken in the morning. I try to limit the amount of news intake because much the same is coming from all the sources. I try to discern what is truth and what is lie. And I step back to keep things in perspective. Each Daily Jot requires getting into the Word of God because there is a biblical principle that is emphasized with respect to the topic covered. Being grounded in God's word is a true aid to protection from news overload. It also is a guard against becoming offended by those who misinterpret, take out of context, are belligerent, judge from the content of their own heart, or are just outright nasty-many of whom claim to be Christians.
It's easy to get out of sorts when someone is calling you names, you are being labeled as something you are not, and just being associated with a certain political or religious persuasion singles you out as a dredge of society. But the solution is not to respond in kind-that only fuels the flames and confirms in the accuser's mind that he was right. Remember, people usually accuse another of exactly what the accuser is doing-this is what I mean when I say they are judging from the content of their own heart. These are folks who often have deep-rooted problems in their lives and are projecting those onto others because they cannot discern properly. The trick is to not get angry and retaliate, but be calm and educate.
The words of the Apostle Paul come to mind as an example of how to handle too much of a bad thing. He writes in 2 Corinthians 4:8-10,"We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body." Then in Ephesians 6:13, "Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand." This is followed by, "that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak." When you are overwhelmed by too much of a bad thing, remember who you are in Christ, his resurrection power, armor up with his Word, stand, and speak boldly. Focus on Christ, not news and politics.
Daily Devotion: Have You Told Her Lately? - by Greg Laurie - www.harvest.org
And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma. - Ephesians 5:2
In many marriages, men are spiritually passive at best. But to have a successful marriage the husband must love the wife as Christ loves the church. Ephesians 5:25 says, "Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave Himself for her" (NKJV). I want you to notice that the man is called to take point here. It is what God requires, and it's not easy.
This talks about expressing love. Women are far more social than men. They get together and start talking. Guys just kind of look at each other-especially if they have never met. I am amazed at how two girls who have never met can immediately become best friends.
The idea is that it's easier for a woman, generally speaking, to express affection, and show affection. They hug each other and say, "I love you." Guys are like, "Love you, bro," and kind of hit each other-maybe give a sort of sideways hug.
But men are just as full of emotion as women are. We feel it. We just express it differently. So here is something: love your wife as Christ loved the church. Don't just think it. Show it. Even better, say it. Proverbs 31 says, "Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her" (verse 28 NKJV).
Husbands, brag on your wives in front of your kids. Praise her in front of your friends. Do it in front of complete strangers. Say, "Let me tell you about my wife. She is the greatest wife ever!"
That is something husbands should do. Show affection to your wife. Verbalize it. Compliment her. Wake up, guys! Show her you love her. This models the way that God loves the church and the church loves God.
FROM THE HEART
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