Prophecy Update Newsletter
IN TODAY'S NEWSLETTER...
The Church of a Little Strength - By Pete Garcia -
"I know your works. See, I have set before you an open door, and no one can shut it; for you have a little strength, have kept My word, and have not denied My name." - Revelation 3:8
So far, 2020 is not turning out to be my favorite year. I had high hopes for it too, seeing as how we are now in the overtime period beyond Israel's 70-year marker. Still, we are one day closer to the return of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. For that, I am thankful.
Back in January, I retired from the Army after 21.5 years. I had spent the past two-decades travelling the world, getting married, raising kids, and maturing into the man God has called me to be. Definitely not arrived "yet" to that mature phase, but I reckon I am still a work in progress.
It's also a bit of divine-irony I suppose that I have been a writer since 2011. I always hated writing. Had Jack Kinsella not asked me to join the Omega Letter back in 2011, I don't suppose I ever would have written anything...at least not to the degree I have today. I've lost count of how many articles I've actually written, but I figure they are in the neighborhood of 500. Not too shabby for a "non-writer" I suppose. Nevertheless, I have yet to arrive at Jack's level of mastery of the art even after all these years.
But after the Omega Letter, I decided I had to keep going. It wasn't a want or like too, it was a NEED too. I had/have so much flowing through my gray matter that I would probably burst if I didn't have an outlet. Seems like God knew what He was doing with me after all.
Still, it doesn't feel like enough.
I feel like I need to be teaching, preaching, and getting involved in many other things than just putting words to the computer. But with five young kids and a full-time, temporary, job, it's hard. It's also hard to get involved when you are the round peg in a square church because you don't share the same hermeneutics or eschatology. Because of this, I often feel like I don't matter much in the big scheme of things. Even still, as blessed and fortunate as I consider myself as having been worthy to live in times like these (ahead of Christ's return), I feel like I should be doing more.
Perhaps you feel the same way. I want God to do something impossible with me. Like parting the Red Sea impossible. I don't care about fortune or fame, I want to be used by God mightily. You can keep the Publisher's Clearing House or the Mega Lotto Millions, I'd take God using my earthen vessel to do something that has eternal ramifications, any day of the week over earthly riches that will rust and fade.
Yet, I come back to Revelation 3:8, and I empathize greatly with this Philadelphian Church. We are living in the age of Antichrist. We are living in the age of lawlessness. We are living in the age right before Christ returns, and when I should be my most, I seem voiceless...powerless...irrelevant. It feels like the machinations of the world are in full swing, and things are happening, and all I can do is be a spectator.
We vote, and nothing changes. We get the right judges in, and evil still seems to get legalized. We protest, boycott, and complain on Facebook or email, and we call, but who really cares about what we have to say. We are the "huddled masses." We are the faceless crowds in flyover country. We are the "bitter-clingers," and "deplorables." We are the way to silent, silent masses.
And nothing seems to change.
But things will change.
Like, twinkling of an eye fast.
"Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed-in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed" - 1 Corinthians 15:51-52
And as much as I long for that day, it has not yet come. Things seem to just be going from bad, to worse. We are living in increasingly perilous times. We are living in the age of do what thou will. This is what a post-modern, post-American 'America' looks like. This is what one major political party (i.e., Democrats) are offering as their alternative vision for our future. The gloves are off and they are now capitalizing on decades of progressive indoctrination through public education, public universities, and pop culture to hopefully flood the streets of America with this demonically charged, spirit of lawlessness.
As such, we are watching the threadbare tapestry of our national fabric, unwinding quickly. We no longer have to wonder what it was like to be a Roman when the empire finally collapsed in 476AD, because we are literally living through the final death throes of a nation on life support. We are witnessing a nation being given over to debased minds; either unable or unwilling to come to the truth as to be saved.
And yet, this is not even as bad as it gets. I believe God is allowing this global dumpster fire to show the world what will happen, one second after the Rapture of the Church. Once the Restrainer is removed (2nd Thess. 2:4-8), the wheels are coming off the bus and there will be nowhere to hide. It will be an explosion of vitriol, violence, and insanity everywhere. Imagine all the rioting, looting, murder, rape, and every other vile form of human behavior being fully unleashed without any restraint everywhere. Not just in the big cities, but in the small towns, the neighborhoods, everywhere. That is what the world is going to look like moments after the Rapture.
As I've said numerous times, evil men love chaos and crisis, because it provides them opportunities to take advantage of said crisis in ways they would never get when times are calm and peaceful. The final human government that arises after the Rapture, will be the most totalitarian, authoritative, and oppressive system ever devised. And this time (unlike in times past), this final government will have the technology to match its evil ambitions. Their brutality will make the Third Reich look like amateur hour.
We are on the cusp. We are near the edge of this global abortion, and it is causing us (God-fearing believers) to recoil in horror.
This is our wake up call to witness to the lost now.
And as much as I respect what Dr. Tim LaHaye did with this Left Behind books, there is a complaint I had with them all. They failed to convey just how horrific these last moments of human history will actually be.
Not only will humans lose their minds and become absolute savages, but the supernatural world is going to come crashing into our world with a vengeance. The demonic forces are no longer going to be restrained from physically manifesting. They are going to come out of the shadows. They are going to full-on possess people. They are going to allow people to perform false signs and lying wonders (2nd Thess. 2:9-12) like the world has never seen.
When I say false signs and lying wonders that does not imply the magic is fake, or not real, but that it comes from a source apart from God. It will become the age of monsters and magic, much the same way the world was right before God destroyed it with the flood (Gen. 6:1-4).
So this is our world, on the verge of its final plunge. We are watching it with eyes wide open, fully understanding what is currently happening, and what is about to take place. Satan wants you to feel powerless, irrelevant, and useless. He wants you to stay the "silent majority" because he wants to keep as many people here as possible. He doesn't care what you talk about, so long as it's not about the Good News of Jesus Christ.
The Good News (Gospel) is that Jesus died for your sins, and He paid the price no one else could pay (Romans 10:9-10). He not only paid for your sins, but He conquered sin and death in the process, and provided a way for you to receive the righteousness of God through His shed blood (2nd Cor. 5:21). All He asks, is that you believe in Him, and His finished work on the Cross for salvation.
So while the world might see you as weak and irrelevant, recognize that God has chosen you to live in these final moments of human history. He saw you before the foundation of the world was laid, and decided that YOU should live in times such as these. You don't have to be the next Billy Graham or Charles Spurgeon. You just need to be the person God has called you to be, to those people in your life. Plant the seed, or water, and let God give the increase. Lastly, comfort each other in the knowledge of the truth that Jesus is not going to put His bride under His wrath (1st Thess. 1:10, 5:9), but rather, take us home to be with Him.
"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. Behold, I am coming quickly! Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your crown. He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go out no more. I will write on him the name of My God and the name of the city of My God, the New Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God. And I will write on him My new name."
"He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches."' - Revelation 3:10-13
Even so, Maranatha!
Optimistic Pessimism - By Todd Hampson -
We're in for a Wild Ride-But God is in Control.
I am an optimist by nature; I tend to look at the glass as half-full, and I tend to have a natural hope for the future. But today, I come to you as an optimistic pessimist. Let me explain. I have some great news to share, but first, I have to share some tough news. Before a doctor can share treatment options, they must first give their patient the unadulterated truth. A doctor can't sugarcoat the news that someone has cancer or a terminal illness. They are trained to separate themselves from the emotion of the moment to help their patients fully understand the reality of what they are facing. Likewise, when a police officer has to share the news that a loved one has died, there is no simple way to say it. There is nothing they can do to lessen the impact of the terrible news. But the news still must be shared.
I'm not a doctor or a police officer, but I have some blunt news to share, then some great news to follow.
THE BAD NEWS
OK, where do I start? The signs of the times are screaming at us through:
We are watching our country die before our eyes. America-the greatest superpower of history-is not found in end-time Bible prophecy as a major player. Something terrible must happen to her before the tribulation begins.
Those are the cold, hard facts. Now, for some more bad news. (Don't worry, I'll get to the good news in a minute.)
First, I believe the next 3-6 months could be the most volatile we've seen this century. We simply must wake up to the fact that there is something MUCH larger at play in our country than mere political differences. Forget Democrat vs. Republican for a moment. What we're seeing is a globalist plan to take down America. This plan has been in place for decades and has progressively ramped up the past 12 years to never-before-seen levels. There are very real, very well organized, very intentional, very prophesied (if I can use that as a term), very powerful people behind the scenes fomenting division, disorder, lawlessness, and instability in America.
People must wake up. Globalists want to take America down because it will implode the world economy, and they want to rise to power through order out of chaos. It's on our dollar bills, it's in their public speeches, it's out in the open. They don't even hide it anymore.
Please research this for yourself, and please prove me wrong. I don't want to be correct here, but I am. It's hidden in plain sight. I know it sounds crazy, but it's true. Behind these globalists is an even bigger, more organized puppet master-Satan himself. Scripture tells us he is the "god of this world," the "ruler of the power of the air," and that he has levels of coordinated evil ranks in the unseen realm (Ephesians 6). He knows (by studying prophecy) that the rapture of the church is on the near horizon, and he is aggressively positioning his chess pieces on the board.
So, what does this look like in the seen realm? It looks like more waves of chaos to come. Whether you like Trump or not, please-for a moment-remove his personality and your thoughts about him from the picture. Now, view these few facts with as little bias as possible. We have an unexpected DC outsider in the White House who is a staunch Nationalist who understands (and pushes back against) the globalist agenda. That is the single fact that most people miss. The raw fact is that the president (love him or hate him) has thrown a major monkey wrench into the plans of the globalists-and they have been throwing a 4-year lawless temper-tantrum.
Here's why I share all of that. The globalists play for keeps, and they see their moment slipping away. Between now and the election, they will likely leverage anything and everything they can to increase social and economic chaos in their attempts to get a globalist into the White House.
Now, here's the rub. There is no good outcome. If Trump gets in for a second term, the globalist temper tantrum will accelerate. Who knows what post-election plans the globalists-who see their moment slipping away-will implement? If Trump does not get in for a second term-they will move at lightning speed to get their agenda back on track. The gloves will be off. There will be no restraint. They don't want the moment to slip away. An increased animosity toward Christians and Jewish people will increase (and already is). Freedoms (including religious freedom) will likely be trampled upon even more if we don't stand up. Aside from divine intervention, we could be in for some tough times in America.
I'm not a prophet, but the above is my prayerful, Holy-Spirit-led take on what is to come. I pray I'm wrong. I pray that the pandemic and riots cease, that our country turns back to God en masse and that we can catch our breath and return to stability and normal life. But you and I both sense in our gut that is not going to happen. It seems we're nearing a tipping point.
THE GOOD NEWS
Now for some good news. All of this lines up 100% with end-time prophecy. Events in our day are converging like no other time in history. We have more reason to believe the Lord is coming in our lifetime (perhaps very soon) than any other generation of Christians in the history of the church. Every Old Testament prophet except Jonah predicted Israel would become a nation again in the last days. Jesus indicated that the generation that sees Israel become a nation again would be the generation that witnessed all end-time events. I am 100% convinced that the rapture will occur prior to the revealing of the Antichrist and the beginning of the tribulation period.
As for our country, I truly believe that the rapture of the Church (perhaps along with other events) is what ultimately weakens America, collapses the world economy, and prepares the way for the rise of the Antichrist.
On this point, I've noticed a gigantic uptick in confusion and error about when the rapture will occur. The enemy is trying to create battlefield confusion at a time when we need to be crystal clear about the times and order of events. Here are 7 reasons to firmly believe the rapture will occur before the tribulation. By the way, that doesn't mean we won't face some tough developments before the rapture. Look around. In case you haven't noticed, we're already in tough times.
1. We are not appointed to Wrath (1 Thessalonians 5:9)
This and many other verses clearly say we are not appointed to wrath or that we will escape the coming wrath. The entire tribulation period is God's wrath. Jesus is opening the seals at the beginning, and by the 6th seal judgment, the inhabitants of earth clearly state they know that it is God's wrath (Revelation 6:15-17).
2. Departure Before Antichrist (2 Thessalonians 2:3*)
Scripture teaches a great falling away from truth in the end-times (1 Timothy 4:1, 2 Timothy 4:3), but the Greek word in 2 Thessalonians 2:3 literally means "departure." Strong's concordance says the root word aphistémi means: to lead away, to depart from (Usage: make to stand away, draw away, repel, take up a position away from, withdraw from, leave.) Another reason I feel this is referencing the rapture is that saying a great falling away "must occur first" detracts from the doctrine of imminency (the consistent scriptural teaching that the rapture could happen at any moment).
3. Jewish Wedding Traditions
All of the symbolism related to end-time events mirrors ancient Jewish wedding traditions. Jesus used that tradition in his teachings. In ancient Jewish (specifically Galilean**) wedding traditions, the groom would leave the father's house, travel to the desired bride's home, pay a great price for the bride, have his offer accepted or rejected, become legally bound if accepted, and go back to the father's house to prepare a place for his bride. At a specific time known only to the father, he would send the son to fetch the bride. The groomsmen would announce the groom's arrival, then the bride would be lifted up on a seat to be carried away with the groom. The two would enter the wedding chamber for 7 days, then there would be a great wedding feast after the marriage was consummated.
Space does not allow, but every single one of those details line up with the order of key first-coming and second-coming events. Here is one key passage: John 14:2-3- "My Father's house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.
(**There is a great film that unpacks this beautifully called "Before the Wrath.")
The clearly taught doctrine that the Lord could return at any time.
5. Our Blessed Hope
Titus 2:13 calls the rapture our "blessed hope." It is what we're looking forward to. Nowhere does scripture tell us to prepare to endure Hell on earth. Every instance of the Lord's return is painted as something we look forward to with joyous anticipation. Most believers in the tribulation period will be martyred. That is not a "blessed hope."
6. Old Testament Types
Two judgments clearly prefigure the final time of God's wrath on earth: the flood of Noah's day, and the judgment of Sodom and Gomorrah. In both cases, God removed the believers prior to judgment. There are many other types and figures that point to this pattern as well.
7. Rapture Designed to Encourage
In the main text on the rapture (1 Thessalonians 13-18), Paul concludes by saying, "Therefore encourage one another with these words" (1 Thessalonians 4:18).
Now, here's THE Good News. Your sins can be forgiven, and you can look forward to the rapture and eternity with the Lord in Heaven. If you have never accepted Christ, now is the time to ask him to save you and receive his free gift of salvation. Sometimes we make it too complicated. Becoming a Christian is simply accepting Jesus is who he said he was (God in the flesh), and believing that his death and resurrection were for the purpose of paying your sin debt. We can't work for salvation; it has already been paid for. We simply need to receive the gift and trust in Christ.
So, as believers, how now should we live? What can we do in these trying times? Here are a few marching orders.
First, it's no time to play around. This is not a playground; it's a battleground. We need to get serious with the Lord and serious about our faith. If you are a believer, it's time to read your Bible seriously. It's time to seek the Lord sincerely and deeply. It's time to turn from anything that pulls us away from a quality relationship with the Lord.
Second, we simply MUST understand the times. If you are fuzzy on Bible prophecy, now is the time to get unfuzzy. (Yes, I'm making up words like the apostle Peter did.) God means what he says and says what he means. We CAN understand what the Bible teaches about prophecy and the end-times. Don't settle for anything less than clarity. Wrestle with scripture in prayer until you have it.
Third, we must take it one day at a time. The weight of world events can be overwhelming. Swimming upstream and being a countercultural Christian who studies prophecy like the watchmen we were called to be is hard work. Most people won't get you. That is OK. Be like Jeremiah and be prepared to say what God calls you to say even though most will misunderstand, ignore, or even mock you. You are not running the race for them. You are running for an audience of One! Spending time in his word and in prayer daily is critical. Focusing on one single day at a time is freeing as we trust our Savior for our marching orders for that day.
Fourth, if you're not a believer, now is the time to believe. Time is short. How short? I don't know, but I know that every breath is a gift, and life has no guarantees. If you sense a stirring in your heart to come to the Lord, do not ignore it. Respond to the Holy Spirit who is drawing you to Jesus. I promise you He is real and the Bible is true. 100% of it! Soon, our faith will be sight!
Many Americans See The Hand Of God At Work In Current Events - by Michael Snyder -
2020 has been an incredibly bizarre year up to this point, and this has many people wondering if the hand of God is at work. And the worse things get, the more this sort of speculation will heat up. When things get crazy, people search for answers, and that can be a good thing. Because the truth is that during normal times most of us are way too self-absorbed and most of us spend far too little time thinking about the things that really matter. 2020 has really shaken up a large portion of the U.S. population, and we should hope that all of this shaking ultimately moves our society in a more positive direction.
Right now, COVID-19 is dominating the headlines day after day, and the debates that I have seen on social media platforms about this pandemic have often gotten quite heated.
I knew that many people had extremely passionate opinions about COVID-19, but what I didn't realize is that a large percentage of them are also convinced that God is somehow involved. In fact, an Associated Press/NORC survey found that 63 percent of all religious Americans believe that this pandemic is "a sign from God"...
Sixty-three percent of religious Americans say that the novel coronavirus pandemic is a sign from God, telling humanity to change its ways of living, according a new poll.
The poll, which was conducted by the Associated Press/NORC, surveyed 1,002 U.S. adults who say they believe in God.
I was stunned to see a number that high. The Bible does tell us that there will be "pestilences" in the last days, and it would have been very interesting to see how many respondents to that survey believe that this COVID-19 pandemic is one of those pestilences.
In any event, if this pandemic actually does inspire vast numbers of Americans to live better lives, that would definitely be a positive outcome.
Unfortunately, that does not appear to be happening. Instead, surveys have shown that Americans are increasingly turning to drugs, alcohol and television during this pandemic, and a survey that was released just this week found that Bible reading in the United States dropped precipitously "between January and June"...
The number of American adults the American Bible Society considers "Scripture engaged" based on how frequently they read Scripture and its impact on their relationships and choices dropped significantly from 28% to 22.7% between January and June, according to additional data collected by the organization in June.
Another thing that has many Americans speculating is the very unusual storm that hit New York City on Wednesday. A massive thunderstorm sent wind gusts of up to 75 mph howling through the city, and at one point "purple lightning bolts" were photographed striking One World Trade Center...
Dramatic photos captured the moment purple lightning bolts struck the tip of One World Trade Center - while smaller bolts scattered across the sky in New York City.
Huge bolts of lightning were also photographed hitting the middle of the Hudson River, near Lower Manhattan - making an eerie sight.
Could that lightning strike have some sort of spiritual significance?
I certainly do not know. But when video footage emerged of lightning hitting "on or behind" the Statue of Liberty, that fueled the speculation even more...
Video footage captured the moment lighting bolts struck on or behind Lady Liberty with dark clouds seen overhead.
Mikey Cee, who took the 21-second video from Ellis Island and shared it to Twitter, wrote: "The best video I ever captured. #NewYork #WeatherChannel #NYC."
In addition, a lightning bolt also hit the steeple of a church, and this caused a very dangerous fire...
The FDNY responded to the fire at the Spirit and Truth Christian Church on Sutter Avenue just after 7:30 p.m.
Crews worked hard to save the house of worship as flames raced up the front of the building, right beneath the steeple.
Neighbors say the clap of thunder that preceded the fire was even more dramatic than the actual flames.
Witnesses say the steeple took a direct hit from a lightning bolt.
In normal times, perhaps a thunderstorm of this nature would be largely ignored.
But these are not normal times.
On the other side of the Atlantic Ocean, people are buzzing about the fact that the locust armies that have been absolutely devastating parts of Africa, the Middle East and Asia have now made their way to Europe.
Farms on the Italian island of Sardinia are now being ravaged by desert locusts, and one British news source is using the term "biblical plague" to describe what is happening...
In a situation reminiscent of a biblical plague, the insects have stripped large areas of the island's agricultural regions of crops, in what the World Bank has already been branded the most serious such invasion the world has faced in 70 years. The epicentre is formed by the municipalities of Orani, Ottana and Bolotana in the Tirso valley, with insects having arrived from the Middle East and Africa, where 23 countries have experienced similar problems.
Over the past several months, I have written several articles about this very unusual plague and the impact that it is having on the global food supply. Some of the swarms are as large as major cities, and when the locusts descend upon a farm they can literally eat everything there in as little as 30 seconds.
Lastly, I wanted to mention a very close encounter that we will have with an asteroid on November 2nd. Apparently, a rock known as "2018 VP1" is supposed to pass very close to our planet on that day...
There's a video on Youtube saying we are about to have another "very-close encounter" with an asteroid. What the Jet Propulsion Lab in California calls "Near-Earth-Objects" or NEOs. Now keep in mind asteroids have been coming close or have hit our planet for millions of years, and many do daily. The bulk of asteroids and debris in space as you may remember from science class get burned up in the atmosphere, caused by the friction from the air as objects hit the atmosphere going many thousands of miles per hour.
However, one Youtube video says an asteroid called "2018 VP1", which is about 6 feet diameter will pass within about 300 miles of our planet on November 2, 2020. However, some experts are saying this nothing to fear. First off there's the math, asteroid "2018 VP1" is projected to come 0.02 times the distance between the earth and the moon. Given that the moon is 239,000 miles away, 0.02 equates to 4,780 miles. Now your thinking that's far off right? What's the big deal? Well, when they compute this stuff through orbital mechanics, they use the center of the celestial body, in this case, the earth. The earth is 7,917 miles across, and half that is 3,958 miles. That is where the video correctly gets its 300-mile estimate from, or a drive from Metro Detroit to Sault Sainte Marie in the UP to put it in perspective.
The good news is that this asteroid is so small that it is not likely to cause any damage even if it enters our atmosphere.
But I have noticed that there is a tremendous amount of discussion about asteroids on social media lately, and scientists assure us that it is just a matter of time before a very large rock does slam into our planet.
A lot of people do not like to be reminded of such things, but realizing how dependent we are on God for every breath that we take leads to humility. Sometimes we need something to shake us up so that we will turn back to Him.
It is so easy to lose sight of what really matters, and that is why we should be thankful for events that come along that cause us to step back and consider the bigger picture.
What the World Needs Now - By Hal Lindsey - https://www.hallindsey.com/ww-7-22-2020/
Mahatma Gandhi loved the Sermon on the Mount. But he never became a Christian. He famously said, "I'd be a Christian if it were not for the Christians."
And we all get it. No one needs to explain it to us. The moral standards of the Sermon on the Mount are breathtakingly beautiful. But no one - not even Christians - consistently live up to those standards.
What Gandhi didn't realize is that Jesus articulated God's morality for two reasons. The first is obvious - so that we can pattern our lives by those standards, something we should be doing with God's help every day. But a Hindu can also study those standards and try to live up to them. Gandhi explained that, "To be a good Hindu also meant that I would be a good Christian. There is no need for me to join your creed to be a believer in the beauty of the teachings of Jesus or try to follow His example."
That would be true if Jesus were merely another religious or philosophical leader. But Jesus was infinitely more. He was God in human flesh. He said He would die for the sins of the world, and on the third day would rise again. He came into the world for the purpose of being crucified. He didn't do it because we are so good. He did it because we are NOT so good.
In Mark 10:18, Jesus said, "No one is good except God alone." Romans 3:10 quotes the Old Testament assessment of humanity. "There is none righteous, not even one."
And that's the other reason Jesus articulated the moral standards of God - to show us our sinfulness. When He preached the Sermon on the Mount, He was speaking to people who thought that by carefully following tradition, they would secure their righteous standing with God. But Jesus showed that we are all sinners and we cannot trust in our own righteousness to save us. That means we need a Savior, and only Jesus meets all the qualifications.
The Lord directed much of His teaching to people described in Luke 18:9 as those "who trusted in themselves that they were righteous."
Think about Matthew 12:36. "But I tell you that every careless word that people speak, they shall give an accounting for it in the day of judgment." The King James Version says, "every idle word." People think of their lives as inconsequential, a chance to have some fun before they die. But Jesus taught that even small parts of our lives have enormous meaning and consequence. Every idle word will be judged. Every idle word matters to God!
That's wonderful... and terrifying. It's wonderful because it shows that our lives have meaning. It's terrifying because we are sinners, and God always judges sin. But the message of Jesus is not bad news. It is good news. He offers us complete and eternal redemption. He purchased that redemption when He received in Himself God's judgment for human sin.
In John 6:28, people asked Jesus a crucial question. "What shall we do, so that we may work the works of God?" In verse 29, Jesus gave them the perfect answer. "This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent."
What the world needs now is a renewed understanding of the most famous verse in the Bible. "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."
Daily Jot: The Farm Chronicles: Boots on the ground - Bill Wilson - www.dailyjot.com
The nearest biggest town, Ravenna, Ohio, was some 16 miles from the farm. We didn't run to town very often. Dad and Mom would go into town on Friday's to get feed for the livestock, groceries and necessities, and then we would often get a bite to eat at East Park Restaurant. Now, East Park was a landmark. It was across from The Town Pump, which was an old bar. East Park was divided into two sections-one where there was a bar and the other was a restaurant. Of course, you could eat at the tables in the bar section, but Mom would only do that if the place was crowded. She preferred the more "cultured" side hidden from the bar. East Park was essentially the classiest restaurant in town-and the only one.
Dad would sometimes drop off Mom and I downtown while he went to the feed mill to get grain for the horses and cattle. We would do some shopping and meet him at a prescribed place and time-usually across from the courthouse in about an hour. Mom would always want to go to Skorman's Miracle Mart. Skorman's was a true forerunner to WalMart. It had everything. As you entered the store, there was men's and women's clothing. Down the steps was various hardware goods-everything from fishing gear to Army surplus. It was like entering a wonderland of stuff. And it was cheap. When you bought something there, you would get tickets. 75 of the tickets were good for 50 cents in trade. Bonanza!!!
So I could expect to get something cool when we went there. This time, I had to get something practical. Rubber barn boots. I was pretty smallish at seven years old. And most of the barn boots were for bigger guys. But Mom always figured she could buy me things a little big and I would grow into them. So we got the boots that were the closest fit. They were huge and almost went up to my knees! I was so proud of them that I wanted to wear them home. Mom resisted because we were going out to eat at East Park, and wearing barn boots was not appropriate. But I whined until I talked her into it. She said OK on the condition that I wore my jeans over the boots and kept my boots on the ground.
So we stretched my jeans legs over them so they were not noticeable. We got our table. It was in the middle of where the bar area and the eating area converged-a lot of people there. Waiting for my Paul Bunyan burger and coke, I was leaning back in my chair and WHAM, I tumbled over backwards, barn boots in their full glory straight up in the air. Everyone saw it. Mom was mortified enough to put her eyebrows in permanent surprise mode, as she said, "Oh Bill, what have you done?!" Dad just smiled and picked me up off the floor. That event gave new meaning to Christ's words in Mark 4:22, "For there is nothing hidden which will not be revealed." For years, this story was repeated as it became legend. Mom was always embarrassed. Dad always laughed.
Daily Devotion: What Jesus Wants for Us - by Greg Laurie -
I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one-as you are in me, Father, and I am in you. And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me. -John 17:21
Before I heard the gospel message, the love that Christians had for each other won me over. I watched them on my high school campus and thought, "Is this for real, or are they making this up? Is this an act? Do these people really love each other?"
After all, I was used to hanging around with people that I liked. Certain kids hung around certain kids. But as I watched the Christians, I realized they were from every kind of background imaginable, yet they obviously had something in common.
When Christians are unified and when they love one another, it's a powerful witness to a lost and divided world. And that is just what Jesus wants for us.
In John's gospel we find His prayer for us: "I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one-as you are in me, Father, and I am in you. And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me" (17:21 NLT).
Now, I'm not calling for unity at any cost because the most important thing is truth. But sometimes Christians divide over ridiculous things. They'll get upset over some minor thing, so they decide to leave fellowship altogether.
It reminds me of a story I heard about a man who had been stranded on a desert island. When rescuers finally found him, they noticed he'd built three huts on the island.
"I built those huts myself," he told them.
"Wow! What is this hut here?"
"That's my house."
"How about this one?"
"That's my church."
"That's fantastic! And what's the third hut?"
"Well," he said, "that's the church I used to go to."
As Christians, we should seek to live in unity and love one another as Christ has loved us.
FROM THE HEART
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