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The Unfortunate Controversy of 2 Thessalonians 2:3 - by Mark A. Becker - https://www.raptureready.com/2020/10/06/the-unfortunate-controversy-of-2-thessalonians-23-by-mark-a-becker/
I wanted to address this seemingly controversial passage of Scripture, with a strong desire to avoid any contention it may cause. How successful I'll be able to attain to this goal will be totally dependent upon the reader.
I truly want loving fellowship with all brothers and sisters in Christ, despite any differences we may have with any interpretation or views regarding Scripture and the non-essentials of the faith. (I never even knew this was a controversy, until fairly recently.) I only want to offer my take for the reader's consideration and allow them to make up their own mind as to what they may deem the appropriate view.
We most certainly should have unity in all doctrine revealed to us in the Word of God, but there are those situations - and this would be one of them - where it can be considered "open for debate."
Let us not lose sight of the importance of the essentials and at the same time consider, with love and grace, those things that have been left open for us to investigate and are free to come to our own conclusions, with no animosities of others who may disagree.
The Passage and a Breakdown
"That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition" (2 Thessalonians 2:2-3).
I see, in these two verses, two false teachings that Paul is attempting to put to rest. We can decipher this from how Paul is addressing his response to them in these two verses alone. By dissecting the two verses, we see the two errors that have been taught to the struggling Thessalonians, in the name of Paul, by the false teachers.
The first is found in verse 2 which reads: "That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand."
The error is that some were being taught that "the day of Christ [was] at hand." That is, the rapture wasn't only imminent, it was about to happen right then, right there.
How many times have we heard this in our own day and age? How many times have we seen segments of the body of Christ quit their jobs, sell their material goods, and wait for the Lord at a certain time appointed by false teachers?
We just went through this as recently as September 17-23, 2020.
I had received emails and newsletters from those claiming they knew, for a fact, that the rapture was going to happen during this time frame. One such ministry (a ministry I recently came across, enjoy, and have much in agreement with) made the astonishing claim, that if "this theory falls apart... we'll have to recalibrate." So, you're just going to go back to the drawing board and recalibrate and recalculate, after your first failed date setting attempt?
Stop it! Please, just STOP IT!!! Keep preaching Christ and edifying the church with valuable insights, but please, discontinue the date-setting of the rapture. We know we are in the last of the last days, and we can almost hear that shofar blast now. That should be good enough. Nobody wants our "blessed hope" more than I do. But I refuse to get caught up in date-setting, something that was never commanded of us by the Apostles or our Lord.
Verse 2 clarified and remedied this false teaching and comforted those that were deceived. The rapture wasn't going to happen then and there, and they needed to understand that truth and continue to abide. They most certainly were to live life as if the rapture could happen at any time - and indeed it could have - but they were not to be persuaded that that day was "at hand" and absolute.
The second error being taught by false teachers is found in verse 3, which reads: "Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition."
That is, the second error the church at Thessalonica was being taught was that they were already living in the Tribulation.
"That day" is none other than the "day of the Lord" which commences with the "day of Christ." (My article, An Examination of the 'Day of the Lord' discusses this in great detail, and can be found here: https://www.raptureready.com/2020/08/11/an-examination-of-the-day-of-the-lord-by-mark-a-becker/ or https://www.faithwriters.com/article-details.php?id=205363 )
We know this because Paul goes on to describe what the Tribulation will look like under the Antichrist. He also elaborates on this "falling away" (which we will be discussing below) with the following details: "And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time. For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way. And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming" (2 Thessalonians 2:6-8).
Virtually all agree that the "He" that will be "taken out of the way" is none other than the indwelling Holy Spirit within every truly born-again believer, being removed in the rapture of the church.
So Paul, in just two verses, destroyed two false teachings that were distressing the Thessalonians. Verse 2 assured them that the rapture of the church wasn't about to happen (although they, and we, should always live as if it could), and in verse 3 he reassured them they were not living in the Tribulation, as the rapture of the church had to happen first.
The reader should find it just as fascinating as I do that these two errors are the very errors that have been plaguing the church for 2,000 years and are so prevalent in our day and age.
In regard to the position I hold, I will not outright say that, "I am right, and you are wrong." And, honestly, I respect everyone's right to whatever perspective they may hold on this particular issue. But, as you will see later, there is a possibility both interpretations may be in view.
So, hang in there as we continue on.
I'll start with quoting from my above-mentioned article, An Examination of the 'Day of the Lord':
While there certainly is a "falling away" happening within the church in regard to pure doctrine and the infiltration of demonic teachings (1 Timothy 4:1), this, unfortunately, has always been a problem within the church. Paul's epistles often battled blatant false doctrines infecting the church on numerous occasions. But this is not the primary meaning behind the phrase, as rendered, in this verse.
Dr. Andy Woods has written a powerful book called, The Falling Away: Spiritual Departure or Physical Rapture? explaining that the Greek word translated "falling away" is "apostasia" and means "departure" or "departing," translated as such in seven previous English translations, including the Wycliffe, the Coverdale, the Tyndale, and the Geneva Bibles. This is most definitely the proper translation, and I highly recommend Dr. Wood's book for further information regarding this subject.
The 1599 Geneva Bible translates 2 Thessalonians 2:3, "Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a departing first, and that man of sin be disclosed, even the son of perdition." This departing is the rapture of the church.
In addition to my quote from my article above, I'd like to offer the following.
"Apostasia" is derived from the Greek root word 868/"aphístēmi" meaning "leave, depart," which is derived from 575/apó, "away from" and 2476/histémi, "stand") - properly, departure (implying desertion); apostasy - literally, "a leaving, from a previous standing." (Biblehub.com)
What Do I Make of This?
Not that my opinion matters much, but I really see a possible trifecta here. That is, it may be possible that Paul, inspired by the Holy Spirit, was using the Greek word "apostasia" to cover three different aspects of his teaching of what will come before the Tribulation.
Before I reveal them, I wanted to make this point that I made in my article, Allusions to the Rapture in the Tanakh, found here https://www.raptureready.com/2020/09/17/allusions-to-the-rapture-in-the-tanakh-by-mark-a-becker/ or https://www.faithwriters.com/article-details.php?id=205722.
"One of the many things I have learned from my Scripture study is that the Word of God is layer upon layer of remarkable multiplicity. That is, when one digs deep beneath the surface, there is an insurmountable amount of treasure to be found. So much so, that this is the reason I truly believe we will be studying the Scriptures in eternity with The Word, Jesus Christ, teaching us things we never would have been able to see without His insight."
An example of this is in Daniel:
"But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased" (Daniel 12:4).
This "running to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased," isn't only about the increased transportation and scientific knowledge we see in today's world, it is also a reference to how we study the Scriptures "to and fro" throughout the books of the Bible and how our knowledge of the Word of God has increased exponentially in these last days.
So, in regard to an alternative, uniting interpretation, Paul's possible trifecta would be as follows: #1 is the bride of Christ's "departure and falling away" from the earth at the rapture; #2 is the "departure and falling away" of sound doctrine within the professing church; and #3 is the "departure and falling away" of modern society from Biblical, moral, and governmental law.
I offer this possible alternative as an "olive branch" to the other side of the issue, but I truly take the position of "apostasia" as that of describing the rapture of the church.
The Controversy's End Result
I have done my own study on this topic and have shared the results in this article. For me, this is how I see this issue and hold no ill-will against anyone who doesn't see this as I do.
For those who desire to debate this issue, I'm not your man. If the reader has issues with this topic, I suggest their grievance is with the following:
Dr. Andy Woods, and other scholars who also hold this view, and the early English translators, mentioned above, who translated their Bible versions hundreds of years ago; hundreds of years closer to the original Greek language, and hundreds of years closer to the Apostles and the first-century church.
This is not an essential issue for the body of Christ, and it should be treated as such.
When it comes to the interpretation of this passage of Scripture, we should be treating each other with respect and not allow this issue to progress into division within the church.
It reminds me, to a certain degree, of the differing views on the timing of the rapture of the church which, in its own right, has caused division and schism that never should have been. Where someone sits on the rapture fence will in no way jeopardize their chances of being "caught up" at the pre-Tribulation rapture of the church.
Do you like what I did there? Come on, we've got to have some humor in this messed-up and fallen world!
With all that said, I pray we would all go along to get along, and to agree to disagree. I think this is our reasonable service to the Lord in such matters.
Love, grace, mercy, and shalom in Messiah Yeshua, and Maranatha!
[Author's note: This article was written in its entirety August 25th through August 27th, 2020, but wasn't released to the public until late September/early October 2020 due to the rapture of the church predictions of September 17-23, 2020, by certain ministries. I really did hope that they were right but, as we now know, they were not. My prayer for them is that they refuse the temptation to date-set the rapture in the future.]
Trump's Illness Akin to Hezekiah's Illness: Offering Second Chance at Pre-Messiah Song - Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz - https://www.israel365news.com/159194/trumps-illness-akin-to-hezekiahs-is-illness-offering-second-chance-at-pre-messiah-song/
"In those days Chizkiyahu fell dangerously ill. The Navi Yeshayahu son of Amotz came and said to him, "Thus said Hashem: Set your affairs in order, for you are going to die; you will not get well." Isaiah 38:1 (The Israel BibleTM)
Last Thursday, President Trump announced that he and the First Lady tested positive for COVID-29 and he was subsequently admitted to Walter Reed Hospital. One rabbi in Israel noted the compelling similarities connecting Trump's illness with King Hezekiah's both coming at a critical historical juncture.
RABBI GREENBAUM: TRUMP IS LIKE KING HEZEKIAH
Rabbi Avraham Greenbaum, director of the Azamra Institute, made this compelling comparison.
"King Hezekiah got sick later in life when Sanherib threatened to take over all of Israel," Rabbi Greenbaum noted. "Hezekiah was standing between the Torah and Sanherib so it was absolutely critical that he stand firm. Particularly since there was a majority of the Jews who were against him and wanted to open the gates of Jerusalem and allow Sanherib in. They were led by Shebna, the royal steward, who had an enormous popular following."
Rabbi Greenbaum noted that this is very much the political situation today.
"Shebna was, in his time, like the deep state is today," Rabbi Greenbaum said. "Hezekiah was the legitimate king of Judah and Shebna was working from within to erode the king's rule. Trump is unquestionably the legitimate president of the United States and in a disturbing and unprecedented manner, there are powers within the government that are working against him. This is not Democracy at work. The opposition is, in fact, taking away the people's power of choice, usurping the voice of the populace and replacing it with their own."
The rabbi noted that not only is this 'deep state' anti-democracy, but it also opposes the state it claims to represent.
"In the Talmud, it is taught that Shebna was basically treasonous. He was conspiring with Snaherib to bring about a new world order. This is precisely like Biden and Hillary Clinton trying to sell America out to China. Sanherib was trying to take over the world and that is what China is trying to do today. Sanherib wanted to have a world empire and the only one standing between him and achieving this was Hezekiah, just as today, the only one standing between China and a world empire is Trump. Like Hezekiah, Trump is standing for Jerusalem and truth. Like Hezekiah against Sanherib, if Trump goes, that is it; the deep state will win."
Rabbi Greenbaum compared the recent frenetic political period to the Biblical story of Queen Esther.
"The timing of Trump's illness and of the last six months is like the story of Purim," Rabbi Greenbaum said. "Every day, there is a whole new twist and it is all incomprehensible. What we thought we knew yesterday is no longer relevant. Something that looked horrible is actually good and vice versa. But it is all God's plan."
THE POWER OF PRAYER
One bright point of the president's illness was the prayer vigils held for his benefit.
"Hezekiah was healed through prayer while Sanherib went back to Ashur and was killed by his sons. Perhaps the entire point of his getting sick was to bring the people to pray. The same is true of Trump. It was beautiful that his illness brought people together in prayer. There were even rabbis and Jews praying for him in Israel."
"The Midrash calls Sanherib, Nebuchadnezzar, and Nimrod 'cosmocratic'. This comes from the Greek for 'ruling the universe.' They sought to take the rule over the universe away from God. This is what the Democrats want to do; negate the creation and usurp God's rule."
Academics generally associate cosmocratic ideas with Marxism. Dennis Overbue, a prominent science writer, postulated that "Marxist cosmocratic ideas have been moved to the dumping ground of the history and replaced by "technocratic" beliefs of the current Chinese ruling elite."
GOG AND THE MESSIAH: A MISSED OPPORTUNITY
Rabbi Greenbaum noted that the story of Hezekiah's illness and recovery at the height of the siege was recounted three times in the Bible: in Melachim 2, Isaiah, Chronicles 2, underlining its importance.
"The Talmud in Sanhedrin stated that God wanted Sanherib to be Gog and Hezekiah to be Mashiach (Messiah). But when Hezekiah failed to sing after the miracle, God put off the Messiah. This underlines the Gog-Magog connection."
UNITY THE KEY
Rabbi Greenbaum emphasized that he did not favor any candidate or party.
"I only pray that truth will prevail and that this brings everyone closer to God,"
Social separation and quarantine may be a way of forcing us to do what is called in Jewish practice Hitbodedut (solitary mediation). The message is that we need tshuva (repentance). Whoever wins it will be a difficult situation and getting through that will require a lot of prayer."
This period of separation makes people more aware of the need for connection with their fellow man. When we come back together, we will be more aware of how we treat each other."
The rabbi cited a verse in Isaiah:
But a shoot shall grow out of the stump of Yishai, A twig shall sprout from his stock. Isaiah 11:1
The idea behind this verse, of that entire chapter, is that opposites can coexist and are actually codependent on each other. We need the left and the right. This is a prerequisite for the final redemption. In the end of days there will be peace, not because we are all the same, but because we will see that we need each other because of our differences.
We are seeing this now in the Abraham Accords that brought together Israel with Arab nations. Trump has the ability to bring together opposites. He sits with North Korea. Obama, Clinton, and Biden sow division, even among people who should be together.
Nearing Midnight: Plans for a Digital Dollar Are in the Works - Todd Strandberg - https://www.raptureready.com/category/nearing-midnight/
For years, several central banks have contemplated the introduction of a digital currency. These talks have never gone beyond the theoretical planning stage because it would be a huge move to switch to something that is outside the current banking system.
The Federal Reserve has been researching the nuts and bolts of a digital currency for some time. The Board of Governors has a technology lab that has been building and testing a range of distributed ledger platforms to understand their potential benefits and tradeoffs. Staff members from several Reserve Banks, including Cleveland Fed software developers, are contributing to this effort.
The business world has made huge advances in creating technology that makes a 100% digital currency system possible. You can now use your smartphone to conduct nearly any financial transaction. The day may soon come when children have no knowledge of paper currency.
The COVID-19 crisis has motivated the Federal Reserve to take a series of bold steps, and a digital dollar is now on the front burner. The Fed is planning to send money directly to Americans In The Next Crisis: "By getting money to consumers, you can limit the depth and duration of a recession."
Former Fed official Simon Potter sees the Federal Reserve as being able to act faster than the government. If the economy goes to crash mode, the Fed can get money swiftly to people who need it most in a crisis.
Potter added, "It took Congress too long to get money to people, and it's too clunky. We need a separate infrastructure. The Fed could buy the bonds quickly without going to the private market. On March 15 they could have said interest rates are now at zero, we're activating X amount of the bonds, and we'll be tracking the unemployment rate-if it increases above this level, we'll buy more. The bonds will be on the asset side of the Fed's balance sheet; the digital dollars in people's accounts will be on the liability side."
Cleveland Fed president Loretta Mester delivered a speech to the Chicago Payment Symposium titled "Payments and the Pandemic" in which, after going through the big picture boilerplate, Mester goes straight to the matter at hand.
In the section titled "Central Bank Digital Currencies," the Cleveland Fed president writes that "the experience with pandemic emergency payments has brought forward an idea that was already gaining increased attention at central banks around the world, that is, central bank digital currency (CBDC)."
And in the shocking punchline, then goes on to reveal that "legislation has proposed that each American have an account at the Fed in which digital dollars could be deposited as liabilities of the Federal Reserve Banks, which could be used for emergency payments."
The US Constitution states that all spending needs to be approved by the House of Representatives. There is no provision that authorizes the Fed to issue money in any form to the public. Since much of what the Fed does is illegal, it doesn't matter what the founding fathers had to say.
The Fed realized that sending out cash doesn't guarantee that will spend the money to reach the goal of boosting the economy. By having a digital dollar, they can add a time limit to each account. If you don't spend the money in a set time period, it may disappear.
The Fed's digital dollar will fit perfectly in with the coming mark of the beast. People will line up for days to receive a chip that will give you $1,200 a month for free. I can see now why the Book of Revelation makes such strong warning against people taking the devil's mark.
"And another angel, a third, followed them, saying with a loud voice, 'If anyone worships the beast and its image and receives a mark on his forehead or on his hand, he also will drink the wine of God's wrath, poured full strength into the cup of his anger, and he will be tormented with fire and sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever, and they have no rest, day or night, these worshipers of the beast and its image, and whoever receives the mark of its name'" (Revelation 14:9-11, ESV).
20 things that you must believe in order to convince yourself that everything is going to turn out okay somehow - by Michael Snyder -
Despite everything that we have already been through in 2020, the dominant narrative in our society right now is that everything is going to be just fine once we get past our temporary problems. So many people that I hear from can't understand why I am so "negative" about the future, because they are completely convinced that really great days are just around the corner. As odd as this may sound, we are seeing this sort of wild optimism among both Democrats and Republicans, Christians and atheists, capitalists and communists. Of course about half the country will have their optimistic hopes for the future brutally crushed by the results of the upcoming election, but we aren't there yet. For now, both sides are absolutely convinced that they are going to win, and both sides are envisioning a wonderful new era for our nation in which their values reign triumphant.
If only things were that easy.
The truth is that many of our largest problems have been steadily growing for decades, and they aren't going to magically disappear just because a particular candidate wins an election. Our debt levels are absolutely exploding, our economy has plunged into a depression, there is widespread civil unrest in our streets, our nation is more divided than it has ever been in my entire lifetime, and our society is literally coming apart at the seams as just about every form of evil that you can possibly imagine is growing rapidly all around us.
But there are a whole lot of people out there that want to stick their heads in the sand and pretend that everything is going to be just fine.
If you would like to be just like them, the following are 20 things that you must believe in order to convince yourself that everything is going to turn out okay somehow...
#1 "Being 27 trillion dollars in debt is not a problem. We can go into as much debt as we want, and future generations of Americans won't mind at all that we are dumping all of our bills on them."
#2 "The fact that the Federal Reserve creates trillions of dollars out of thin air whenever a major crisis erupts doesn't really matter. We can debase the reserve currency of the world as much as we want and the rest of the globe will continue to use it and the inflation rate in this country will never get out of control."
#3 "Antifa is just an idea, and all of the rioting, looting and violence will somehow magically come to an end after the upcoming election."
#4 "When I see people smashing windows, setting buildings on fire and shooting at police officers, I just remember to remind myself that those are really just peaceful protesters."
#5 "It is perfectly okay that a former intern for Joe Biden will moderate the next presidential debate. He has promised that he will be perfectly neutral, and I believe him."
#6 "Kamala Harris will never become president if Joe Biden wins the election, because Joe Biden is so strong and vigorous that he could easily make it through two terms."
#7 "The Democrats would never pack the Supreme Court, because Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are way too decent to ever allow that to happen."
#8 "Once the election is over, the big social media companies will give us our freedom of speech back because that is the right thing to do."
#9 "It makes perfect sense that the stock market has soared to record highs while the real economy has plunged into a horrifying depression. This isn't a bubble, and stock prices will just keep going up indefinitely."
#10 "It is perfectly okay that 40 percent of U.S. children are being born outside of marriage. America can certainly prosper without strong marriages and strong families because so many other great civilizations have shown that it can be done."
#11 "Even though study after study has shown that antibodies fade very rapidly and that any immunity is very short-lived, a vaccine will save us from this pandemic."
#12 "Once this virus has been eradicated, they won't make us wear masks anymore, and they certainly wouldn't try to force people to take vaccines if they don't want them."
#13 "Now that everyone has seen how much chaos this pandemic has caused, evil people would never purposely release more deadly viruses because they wouldn't want to kick us while we are down."
#14 "There is no need to worry that our relationships with Russia and China have gone down the tubes, because our military is so strong that nobody would ever dare getting into a military conflict with us."
#15 "Even though the head of the UN World Food Program is warning that there will be famines of 'biblical proportions', I am sure that any food shortages are just temporary and everyone in the world will have plenty of food to eat in 2021 and beyond."
#16 "More than 60 million Americans have filed new claims for unemployment benefits this year, but most of those jobs will quickly come back, and we are on the verge of the greatest era of economic prosperity in U.S. history."
#17 "The rapid rise in crime rates in cities all over the nation is just temporary. I am sure that things will go back to normal in 2021."
#18 "We can ignore the hundreds of earthquakes that are shaking the west coast, because 'the Big One' probably won't happen for thousands of years."
#19 "The fact that tens of millions of Americans will be mailing in their ballots won't cause any issues at all. All of the ballots will be counted quickly, efficiently and accurately, and the American people will remain perfectly calm while we wait for days or even weeks to find out the winner of the presidential election."
#20 "Even though more than 60 million children have already been aborted, and even though every form of evil that you can possibly imagine is exploding all around us, there will never be any serious consequences for our actions and the greatest days for America are still ahead of us even though we completely refuse to change our ways."
Daily Jot: Post Truth Media - Bill Wilson -
There is no doubt about it, as a prophetic people, we live in a prophetic time. We are seeing types and shadows of Isaiah 59:14 playing out before our very eyes: "Justice is turned back, And righteousness stands afar off; For truth is fallen in the street, And equity cannot enter." Justice is turned back as the nation deals with lawlessness and the crazy, wild-eyed liberal concept of abolishing law enforcement. Righteousness stands afar off as evil is called good and good evil. People are hesitant to even say how they feel about issues for fear of being ostracized. Truth is fallen in the street as we have no idea what truth is with all the information and counter information reported. And equity cannot enter due to the barriers to truth.
One of the barriers to truth is the Post Truth Media. Seriously, hardly a story would have passed the editorial desks of organizations that I worked for in the 1970s, and it was all starting then. Story after story that have no attribution. "Sources with knowledge of the situation," "Unnamed sources familiar with the issue," "Anonymous sources who wish to remain unidentified," "One source speaking on the condition of anonymity to describe the internal reaction," "A source familiar with the president's health," "A White House Official," and more. Many of these stories do not even attempt to name a source, but the writers think they are creating a story just by quoting "an aide" or "an official."
This is the Post Truth Media. It is beyond fake news. It is reporters copping a byline by writing the narrative they want people to hear, attributing it to unnamed sources, and then getting experts to comment on the on the record about what the unnamed sources are postulating. Case in point is a story posted on Politico about President Trump's health. It gives what the President's doctor said. Then it casts doubt on Dr. Sean Conley by saying that other unnamed White House officials close to the president contradict Conley's assessment, causing a "baffling back and forth," confusion and criticism. Then the story went on to quote "experts" on the record commenting on the confusion and criticism, or leveling the criticism.
When I was doing investigative reporting, there were rare occasions when a quote from an anonymous source was necessary. My personal rule was and still is that two sources independent of one another had to confirm what was being discussed, and even then, the goal was to get at least one of them on the record or the story was a "no go." The Post Truth Media could care less about the truth or the facts. They care most about the narrative they create. Media Research Center studies indicate journalists, "voting habits are disproportionately Democratic, their views on issues such as abortion and gay rights are well to the left of most Americans and they are less likely to attend church or synagogue." And that's the Post Truth Media-a leftist, godless agenda normalizing leftist thought, attacking any dissent. Truth fallen in the streets.
Daily Devotion: Run for Him - by Greg Laurie -
You were running the race so well. Who has held you back from following the truth? -Galatians 5:7
https://harvest.org/resources/devotion/run-for-him-2/ - Listen
Discouraging things can happen when you follow Jesus. Life doesn't always go the way you hoped it would go. Tragedies befall you. People let you down. You ask questions that go unanswered, and sometimes you wonder if you can keep going.
But whom did you sign up to follow? I signed up, if you will, to follow Jesus. Jesus always has been what He promised to be for me. He's never failed me once. He's never let me down. And He's the author and finisher of my faith, which means that God finishes what He starts.
He started a work in your life, and He wants to continue it. But for that to happen, you need to keep your eyes on Jesus, who ran His race for you.
He had His back ripped open by a Roman whip when He was lashed 39 times. After that, He picked up a huge cross and carried it through the streets of Jerusalem. Then they nailed His hands and feet to that cross, and He hung there.
The people cried out in unison, "Crucify Him!" His own disciples were largely in hiding. One of His own handpicked friends, Judas Iscariot, betrayed Him.
How easily Jesus could have said, "I'm done here, people. No one apparently understands why I've come to this world and what I'm about to do, so I'm not going to do it." And He would have been justified.
So why did Jesus do it? What kept Him going? Hebrews 12:2 gives us the answer: "Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame" (NLT).
What was the joy awaiting Him? It was you and me. He knew what His death and resurrection would accomplish, and that was the joy that kept Him going.
He ran His race for us. And we need to run our race for Him.
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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4) We need your financial support!- To put it quite simply, without your support, there would be no Prophecy Update.
I ask that you would prayerfully consider partnering with us to get the Word out and keep the world informed. Remember, your gift, no matter how small, does make a difference! You will be helping to touch lives, around the world, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, thanks to the internet your generosity carries a global impact! - Thanks!
Our Prayer for You- "Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God. This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of God's people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God. Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, men will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else." 2 Corinthians 9:10-13
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