Prophecy Update Newsletter
IN TODAY'S NEWSLETTER...
The Rapture Comes as a Thief in the Night - by Pastor Mike Taylor - https://pastormiketaylor.blogspot.com/2019/11/the-rapture-comes-as-thief-in-night.html
3 "Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts,
4 And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation." (2nd Peter 3:3-4)
2 "For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.
3 For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.
4 But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief." (1st Thessalonians 5:2-4)
You have heard so much about the "rapture" of the church, but have up to this point, discounted the subject as irrelevant, or not to be taken seriously. Now you are searching sites, just like this one that deals with bible prophecy, as before you thought it was something to be scoffed at, and now it has happened right before your very eyes. Fear grips your every nerve and your inner most being. You do a Google search on your computer, if the internet still works to find out what is going on. You turn on the TV to find frantic reports of the most horrifying news story that a person can ever imagine. The greatest event in all humanity has just happened, and you search for answers.
People you love, people you know, have suddenly without warning, vanished. Your wife or husband that pleaded with you to take this man and God in the flesh Jesus seriously, is no where to be found. Your children who attended grammar school or kindergarten are suddenly not in class. Their teachers are hysterical. Your baby is not in their crib. You hear the news, the panic in the reporter's voice that try to explain what is happening all around you. You see the disasters of planes crashing, trains derailing and the accidents of vehicles going out of control. You see reports of government officials, leaders of businesses and common men and women of everyday life suddenly gone. There is no rational explanation that can be found in this natural world. What has happened as your mind swirls with a thousand thoughts?
WAS THAT THE RAPTURE?
Then it slowly dawns on you and you begin to scream in your mind. Maybe you see an open bible that your spouse had been reading. Maybe you're inspecting personal items of loved ones that were theirs in this life. Have you just missed the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ in what they called "The Rapture"? What was it they kept telling you?
15:51 "Behold, I tell you a mystery: We all shall not sleep, but we shall all be changed,
15:52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
15:53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality." (Ist Corinthians chapter 15.)
You run to grab that Bible you thought was a joke. That book that spoke of fantasies, fairy tales you thought that no one in their right mind would believe is now in your hands. You may have been switching channels trying to find someone speaking what the Holy Book in your hands proclaimed and there is nobody on. The screens are blank and the men and women who proclaimed the coming "rapture" of the church of God are not on the air. Then by chance, you find one channel who said they were "Christian", and they are just as scared as you are. They proclaim what you feared, what your mind is becoming to understand, as you both missed it. This preacher who spoke uplifting words of personal development and the "purpose driven life" is now just as scared as you are...... you are left behind in utter chaos.
You fall to your knees with deep sobs and bury your face in your hands, as you cry out in deep remorse for your foolishness not to believe what you had been told all your life. Jesus has come and you missed it in all your pride and refusal to come to the knowledge of Jesus as you personal Savior. Is all hope lost? Are you and the rest of remaining humanity doomed and forever separated from THE God who just fulfilled His promise to remove His people from this earth? As long as there is life in you, you still have a chance and a choice to make. Will you continue as you have or make a change? Will you start on the road that you were pleaded with to accept before this world wide event that just happened is finished? How long do I have? You have 7 years of pure hell to endure. What is that word you kept hearing before this event? The word was "saved"? What does that mean, being saved? What do I do now? I can only imagine your fear and the events I can only give sketchy details, as it must be more horrible than anyone can describe in words. What do you do?
It starts with knowing Who and what you should have believed in before this hour.
3:16 "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on him should not perish, but have eternal life.
3:17 For God sent not the Son into the world to judge the world; but that the world should be saved through him.
3:18 He that believeth on him is not judged: he that believeth not hath been judged already, because he hath not believed on the name of the only begotten Son of God."(John 3:16-18)
Final judgment has not yet come. There is still time to take Him at His word. To believe in what you had refused to believe in before now. At this time, I would like to point you to more passages in your bible that I want you to read for yourself and the surrounding text. First, I ask you to read what I am suggesting in all love and desire for you to join us in this unspeakable joy, but unfortunately you will have to wait until Jesus comes back in His glorious appearing to set up His Kingdom. What I ask you to do is start by reading the Gospel of John in that bible in your hands. Find out who this man Jesus was and is today. It will explain in detail of why He came and what He accomplished. It will show you what He wants to accomplish in your life, as well. Then turn to the following passages and read the surrounding context.
Acts 2:38 "And Peter `said' unto them, Repent ye, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ unto the remission of your sins; and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit."
You must believe that Jesus Christ was the Son of God. You must repent of your sins and ask forgiveness of those sins and request mercy from God to impart God's Holy Spirit into your life and heart. Then start living like it everyday you have left. At the present, you are outside of the grace of God and His mercy, but God may be using this event to shake you to your uttermost being, your very core. The Holy Spirit of God stills wants you to give Him entrance into your life. He is knocking. Will you open that door?
"Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.
21 To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne." Revelation 20-21)
"For if, while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, shall we be saved by his life;
5:11 and not only so, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the atonement (reconciliation).(Romans 5:10-11)
John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me."
THERE IS ONLY ONE WAY!!
There is no other way, no pathway through any religion, no feel good gospel can lead you to eternal life. Other men might have led you to believe that all religions lead to God, like a spoke on a wheel, they all lead to the axle which is God. That was the lie they wanted you to believe, what Satan wanted you to believe. You cry out, "I was a good person. Why was I not given that much credit?" Yes, you may be an upstanding citizen. You went to church on Sunday with your spouse and kids. You sat there with every thought but what was being preached, just to get through so you could go play golf, or go fishing, or any other activity apart from following what God was trying to draw you to. But what was it you were told? What was God trying to convince you of?
3:23 "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
3:24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:
3:25 Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;
3:26 To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus."(Romans 3:23-26)
No manner of good works, although honorable in itself, can remove the penalty of sin from any man or woman. God is holy and to stand before Him, we must be found holy. We must be clothed with the righteousness of His Son, who died for us. God the Father will see nothing but Jesus in us, and everything else will be forgotten and separated from us, as the east is from the west, so shall our sins be. You cannot be good enough, generous enough, or righteous in your own power to stand before Almighty God and be counted forgiven of being a person wallowing in sin.
10:8 "But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach;
10:9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
10:10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
10:11 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed."
12 For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.
13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved."
It is not good enough to understand the words, but a person must internalize them. They must believe them in their heart and mind that these words are truth and were made for the salvation of mankind, including you. You must take that step of faith, even in this terrible hour to understand, to believe that Jesus died for your sins and wishes you to spend eternity with Him and the Father in heaven and on a coming new earth. You must believe in your heart of hearts that God raised Him from the dead and seated Him in glory at His right hand.
James 2:19,"Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble."
He has now come, as He promised and you are left to face what will come upon the earth. What is coming? This is wrath, my friend and judgment from a righteous and Holy God. But what is this wrath and what can you do now?
"And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb:
6:17 For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?"(Revelation 6:16-17)
This wrath is the judgment of God upon a rebellious and unholy human race that professes all unrighteousness and have turned their back on their Creator and have turned to the worship of the creation. I would describe it as it was in the days of Noah. We all were giving in marriage, eating and drinking and life was status quo, until as in the days of Noah, the flood came and swept them all away. So it has happened now. God in His wrath will sweep away all rebellion. Two thirds to three quarters of mankind will be extinguished, the earth will be scorched, the waters will be turned unusable for consumption, and a madman will be hunting down anybody who professing any allegiance to God. That is why we have believed , on this site, the pre-tribulation return of Jesus, the One you just experienced that left the world in total chaos and upheaval. Jesus will return in approximately 7 years, but it won't be the world in status quo or the same as it was before Jesus came the first time. Before Jesus will come to set up His Kingdom, that world will be near total destruction and human annihilation. Unless Jesus shortens this time, no flesh will be saved, but for the elect, He will shorten it. (Matthew 24:22)
RISE OF THE ANTI-CHRIST
I give you a word of dire warning, my friend. There is coming a man, that you will see arise. . He will use words that will attempt to calm the storm all around you. He will give false promises and reasons for this calamity. He will try and convince you that all is well and try and explain away the disappearance of millions of people. I can only hear him in my mind saying "Alien abduction" or "being destroyed because they stand in the way of the evolution of mankind." He will resort to that kind of deceiving lies. Be not deceived. The Bible describes him. He is the Anti-Christ who will be a powerful dictator of the whole world for a very short period of time.
"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:
2:9 Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,
2:10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
2:11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:
2:12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness."(II Thessalonians 2:8-12)
Believe him not. He will try and say words that will try and calm you, to deceive you, but the Word of God says that he is filled with the spirit of Satan.
"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;
2:4 Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God."( II Thessalonians 2:3-4)
He will try and convince you that your continued way of life is for the good of the planet. He will speak soft words and lure you to follow his master plan of a "greener earth", to banish global warming and promote salvation of humanity through human endeavor. He will make himself out to be a god in the flesh and demand a mark of loyalty. A further word of warning:
"And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand,
14:10 The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb:
14:11 And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name."( Revelation 14:9-11)
All who take this mark will do it with full knowledge of their actions. They may believe the lie, but will take a mark of loyalty and proclaim this man, as a god, to their eternal destruction. They may think of him as "the anointed one" a false messiah. Be not deceived, I plead with you. Therefore:
"Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God;
1:9 Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,
1:10 But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel:
Be not ashamed of Him any longer. Now is the day of salvation:"(II Timothy 1:8-10)
II Corinthians 6:2, "For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation." (2nd Corinthians 6:2)And again:
Luke 19:10 "For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which had become lost."
You have come to a cross roads in your life and your spiritual condition. You can continue in this, your way of life. You can believe the lies that this charismatic man called the Anti-Christ has with his silky words of deception, or you can listen to the still, small voice that calls you to repentance and to follow Him, Jesus Christ. It won't be easy to do the latter, but to follow the former will damn you to a devil's hell burning with fire and brimstone.
"For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another.
3:4 But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared,
3:5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;
3:6 Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour;
3:7 That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life."(Titus 3:3-7)
If you are reading this and the horrible events that I briefly describe have not transpired as of yet, then there is still time to make that decision for Jesus Christ. It's a matter of your eternal destination and to soberly meditate on. Do it now while there is still time. Take each of these passages and devour the words preceding and following each quoted scriptures. Drink them in and let them fill you mind and your heart. Then take action by doing a simple sinner's prayer:
Lord Jesus, I ask you to come into my heart. I am a sinner and confess my sins to you. Cleanse me from all unrighteousness and give me the strength and faith to follow you to the very end. I believe you died and rose again, as you have come and I want to be with you, when you come again to set up your Kingdom. Allow me in your mercy and grace to be added to your Book of Life. I live to follow you, as My Lord and Savior. I ask these in the Name of the only begotten Son of God, Jesus the Christ. Amen.
Note that you do not have to say these words verbatim, but you MUST believe them in your heart. To do otherwise, will throw you into what is coming.....Rapture when you least expect it and the coming Tribulation.
This is pastor Mike Taylor praying that you hear that still small voice calling. It is the Holy Spirit. I pray that you will heed His call, and this warning. If you need help with anything, prayer, counseling, or just a listening ear, then email me at email@example.com , browse for more messages of the coming of our Lord and the only Way to salvation through Christ Jesus . God bless you all...TILL WE MEET AT JESUS FEET
By striking in Syria, Israel sends clear message to Iran that it will not be deterred - By Yaakov Lappin -
The IDF has been pursuing an active campaign of removing threats as it detects them, relying on intelligence and precision firepower to deal with ongoing Iranian challenges from Syria. The goal? To nip hazards in the bud.
Israel launched a broad wave of precision airstrikes early on Wednesday morning, hitting dozens of Iranian and Syrian military targets, and sending a very strong message that Israel is rejecting Iran's attempt to force new "rules of the game" against it.
Most of the Iranian military targets that were hit were situated within Syrian military bases, underlying the Iranian tactic of embedding and disguising its threatening presence within the Syrian Arab Army.
According to international media reports, 23 people, including 16 "foreigners"-an apparent reference to Iranian operatives-were killed in the strikes.
The Israeli action came in response to an Iranian-directed rocket attack on Tuesday morning, in which projectiles were launched from the Damascus area in the direction of Israel. An Israeli Iron Dome battery intercepted the four rockets, which set off warning sirens in northern Israeli communities.
That rocket attack could be linked to a reported Israeli strike on a key Iranian military installation in the Damascus area this week, though Israel has not commented on such reports.
Iran is continuing its efforts to build a war machine in Syria and entrench itself militarily by moving weapons, military forces, militias and building missile bases on the territory controlled by the Bashar Assad regime. The goal of Iran is to build a second Hezbollah in Syria and to move its own military capabilities into the area so that it can threaten Israel from multiple fronts.
Israel has been pursuing an active campaign of removing these threats as it detects them, taking the initiative, and relying on high-quality intelligence and precision firepower to deal with the ongoing Iranian challenge from Syria. The goal is to nip the threat in the bud and not wait until it takes on monstrous proportions, as Hezbollah's rocket and missile arsenal has become in Lebanon.
The Quds Force, Iran's overseas special operations unit, is in charge of the Iranian expansion program in Syria. Its commander, Gen. Qassem Soleimani, has attempted to enforce new rules on Israel, according to which any Israeli preemptive strike will result in Iranian retaliation.
This Iranian equation is essentially designed to deter Israel from taking the initiative and removing threats to its security preemptively. Iran wants to impose a "price tag" on Jerusalem for the active defense campaign that Israel has been pursuing with much success. Hundreds of Israeli airstrikes in recent years have prevented the Iranians from achieving most of their goals in Syria, leading to frustration in Tehran, though its confidence has been rising recently.
The successful Iranian cruise missile and drone attack on Saudi state-oiled oil fields on Sept. 14 were a display of highly advanced, long-range firepower. The Iranian attack was a threat directed at Israel as much as it was to Iran's other regional arch-foe: Saudi Arabia. Israel heard the message and sent one of its own on Tuesday, rejecting Iran's attempt to deter it from taking action in the region to defend itself.
It appears as if the Iranians absorbed a painful blow in Syria, just as they did in May 2018 during "Operation House of Cards," when Israel struck a series of Iranian targets in response to an Iranian truck-mounted rocket attack.
Iran now has three options going forward: It can choose not to respond, launch a minor response or order a more significant response.
The fact that the regime is under pressure at home due to domestic unrest, that its economy is bleeding due to biting American sanctions, and that it is facing unrest in other zones of influence-like Lebanon and Iraq-means that Iranian decision-making may become more unpredictable going forward.
'We are prepared for any scenario'
Speaking to reporters on Wednesday after the strike, Israel Defense Forces' spokesman Brig. Gen. Hadi Zilberman stressed that the IDF still has the initiative. "We will not allow Iran to entrench itself in Syria," he said.
"We prepared a battle procedure that included deployment of air defense and attack preparations. The wave of strikes was broad in its targets."
According to an IDF statement, dozens of targets were struck in the Damascus area, south and west of Syria's capital, and on the Syrian Golan Heights near the Israeli border.
In addition, the Israeli Air Force destroyed Syrian surface-to-air missile batteries that are considered advanced after they fired at Israeli aircraft. Syrian weapons storage facilities, military headquarters and observation posts were all destroyed by Israeli aircraft.
When it came to the Iranian assets, the IAF demolished Iranian military buildings, a headquarters situated in Damascus International Airport and an observation post on the Golan Heights.
"We acted against the Syrian host and the Iranian guest," said Zilberman.
Outlining Israel's posture, he assured that "we are prepared for defense and offense, and we will act with severity against any attempt to respond. We are prepared for any scenario. We will not accept Iranian entrenchment. This is a red line."
It also appears as if the Assad regime keeps failing to heed Israel's warnings to refrain from joining the Iranian-Israeli showdown, and Syria's decision to fire surface-to-air missiles resulted in a loss of a number of its air-defense batteries.
Referring to Tuesday's rocket attack on the Israeli Golan, the IDF stated, "Yesterday's Iranian attack towards Israel is further clear proof of the purpose of the Iranian entrenchment in Syria, which threatens Israeli security, regional stability and the Syrian regime. Furthermore, the IDF holds the Syrian regime responsible for actions taken in its territory and warns it from operating or allowing hostilities against Israel. Such actions will be followed by a severe response. The IDF will continue operating firmly and resolutely against the Iranian entrenchment in Syria."
Israel has heard Iran's message and sent its reply. The ball now returns to Iran's court.
God is Waiting - By Dennis Huebshman -
There are instances in the Bible that show us that God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit are patiently waiting for each of us to call out to be saved. One of the more popular parables from Jesus is the one about the Prodigal Son in Luke 15:11-32. (any emphasis is mine)
To summarize: A father had two sons, and the younger one asked for his inheritance in advance. The father gave him what he asked, and the son left his father's house and traveled to a place far away. There, he indulged in a lavish lifestyle and soon had squandered his entire inheritance. After this, his new "friends" would have nothing to do with him, so he had to hire himself out to a pig farmer just to survive. For a Jewish person, this would be the ultimate lowest point to which they could sink.
After a time, the young man realized it would be best to become a servant in his earthly father's house, as the servants there were far better off than he was. He swallowed his pride and started on the journey back home.
Even though the father had every right to totally disown his son, he watched the road every day in hopes of possibly seeing him again. We're told that while the youth was still a long way off, the father recognized him and ran all the way to greet him. Instead of chastising the boy, the father welcomed him with open arms. He threw a huge party for the son and declared that his son, who had been "lost," was again found.
We're told in Luke 15:10, "Just so, I tell you, there is joy before the angels of God, over one sinner who repents." We know the "Father" that Jesus was referring to in this parable is His own Heavenly Father, the Lord God Jehovah. The son/daughter would be us when we stray from His will. At times, we indulge in a "lavish" lifestyle, and turn away from the grace and mercy we have received; and some have even fallen into very deep, sinful ways. Even so, our Heavenly Father continues to watch for us, and stands ready to accept our plea for forgiveness. He knows who truly has accepted Jesus as their Savior, and who has not.
Peter explained this in 2 Peter 3:9, "The Lord is not slow to fulfill His promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish; but that all should reach repentance." No one has sinned so bad that they cannot be forgiven, if they truly repent and ask Jesus to be their Savior. This means to turn away from our "habitual" sinful lifestyle, and live for the Lord. Any who refuse to accept Jesus will not be forgiven. To expect the Father to forgive sins, but to reject Jesus, is a futile request.
If anyone truly repents: knows they are a sinner and are lost without Jesus, asks Him to forgive their sins and calls out to Him to be their Savior, they will be saved. This is given in the post-Calvary covenant in Acts 2:21 and Romans 10:13. Romans 10:9-12 gives the elements of what is needed to truly call out to the Savior. There are no magic formulas, no secret rituals, no special works that must be done, and no earthly price we can pay to receive this forgiveness and have eternal life with Jesus. It's a "heart condition" that makes it all possible.
Believe that Jesus is our one and only Savior; He died on the Cross for our sins - My sins. Confess that we have sinned, as everyone on this earth is a sinner as given in Romans 3:23. Have faith and believe He was raised from the dead to conquer sin and death for us. As Romans 10:10 says, "For with the heart one believes and is justified; and with the mouth one confesses and is saved."
This is something we absolutely do not deserve. So that no one can boast of their "godliness," Romans 6:23 sums it up; "For the wages of sin is death; but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord."
What we "deserve" is the punishment that our Jesus endured for us. Also, remember there was only one person who ever lived on this earth that was completely sinless, and that is our Savior. All others that have ever lived from the time of Adam and Eve, and that will ever live to the end of the Millennium, are sinners in need of the perfect sacrifice that was given for us.
This applies to everyone who will call out to be saved. There are reports today of a turning to Jesus in the Middle East, especially among Iranian women where the dominant religion is Islam. This is something absolutely marvelous, because anyone there who calls on Jesus is putting their very lives on the line. There is no tolerance for Christianity in Islam.
This is one reason that our President wants to put restrictions on the open immigration of Muslims into our country. We have places in our country today where Islam is dominant, and Christians are not welcome in their communities. For now, we are still free to worship as we are led, but the day is coming where the anti-Christian attitude will be overwhelming. This is not something surprising to our Father, as Jesus and others talked about a "falling away" at the end of this age.
When the tribulation/wrath starts, to profess a belief in Jesus as the Christ (Messiah/Savior) will be a death sentence. The antichrist, false prophet and their followers will seek out anyone who will not take the mark of the beast, and the outcome will be martyrdom for those who refuse to accept the evil one as their leader.
For now, no matter what our status is, God is waiting to receive all who call on the name of Jesus to be saved.
In Acts 10:34-35, it says, "So Peter opened his mouth and said; truly I understand that God shows no partiality, but in every nation, anyone who fears Him and does what is right is acceptable to Him." Romans 2:11 repeats this, "For God shows no partiality."
For believers who have accepted Jesus, and have slipped into sin, we have 1 John 1:8-10 as our guide. "If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. [Remember Romans 3:23.] If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. [We still are subject to discipline for our actions.] If we say we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us." [Implies we were never truly saved.]
First and foremost, having Jesus in our lives is an absolute necessity.
John 14:6, "Jesus said, I am the Way, the Truth and the Life; no one comes to the Father except by Me." John 10:30, "The Father and I are One." Also 1 John 5:12, "Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life."
It's that simple, and there are no loopholes.
God is waiting right now, but soon the true believers' wait will be over. As given in 1 Corinthians 15:51-53 and 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17, we will hear the Trumpet of God, and a shout from the Arch Angel, and in a Twinkling of an eye, we will be taken up (Harpazo or Raptured) to meet Jesus in the air, and forever be with Him. This is a promise from the Father, and He does not lie (Titus 1:2).
It will still be possible to call out to the Lord after the Rapture, but why allow yourself all the grief that will most likely follow. All who have received Jesus prior to the Rapture have no fear of the 7-year Tribulation/Wrath. We simply won't be here.
The key is to call now, open your heart, and invite Jesus in. The Father, Son and Holy Spirit are waiting, and watching. Their answer will be immediate - call out now!
B'Shem Yeshua (In the name of Jesus) Amen!
Thanks - Nathele Graham - firstname.lastname@example.org
Should we say thank you to people? Some people don't want to be thanked for their acts of kindness because they say they are only sharing what God has given to them. If you try to thank them, they get offended. On the other hand, there are others who become insulted if they don't receive a great show of gratitude for any kindness they do. Jesus spoke about this and, like many Scriptures, people take it out of context. "But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth:" Matthew 6:3. That seems to make it clear that when you give a gift or do a service it shouldn't be done with a big show for all to see. This has nothing to do with the recipient of the kindness being grateful or saying thank you. When we look at the rest of this passage, we can get a clearer understanding of the issue which Jesus was addressing.
First, let's take a look at alms. What are they? Alms are gifts of kindness given in order to help another person who has a need. These kind acts are supposed to be done quietly without drawing attention to the giver. They are never supposed to be given to puff up the one giving the alms nor humiliate the person with the need. I saw this quality in my husband many times. One time he saw that my cousin was in desperate need of a washing machine. With a severely handicapped son and a toddler, her life was difficult and laundry day was a real problem. So, Ron went to our local appliance dealer and bought a washing machine for her. He gave strict instructions that they should just deliver it and not make mention of who had purchased it for her. My cousin was so surprised when the washer was delivered, and the feeling of having done a kindness was enough for Ron. That's what alms are and they should bring gratitude to God, not to the giver. When Jesus talked about quietly doing alms, He was speaking against hypocrites. The Pharisees liked to give alms, but they made quite a show of it so everybody could see just how generous they were. "Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven. Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward." Matthew 6:1-2. When doing a kind deed for another person, check your motives. If you're doing it so you'll receive a big thank you and so everyone around you will know just how giving you are, then your motives are wrong. Don't have false humility, though, and reject the recipient's gratitude. That person needs to say thank you. When the washing machine was delivered to my cousin, the company made a mistake and put our telephone number on the paperwork. She said thank you and Ron was gracious and humble in accepting her thanks. A Christian's goal is to please God, and blessing others pleases Him.
Christians know that we need to thank God for everything, but do we do that? He gives us everything and we need to let Him know that we're thankful. "Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?" Matthew 6:26. Birds stay very busy gathering seeds and worms to eat. God provides for them generously. People also are provided for by God. We don't need to gather birdseed, but God provides the means for us to earn our food, shelter, and clothing. We need to sincerely thank Him for all He provides. When we stop being grateful, that's when we begin to think we deserve all we are given. Saying thank you to God or to a fellow human being is a way to stay humble. We acknowledge that we have received something we didn't deserve, but are grateful to have received it. If you've received help then give thanks. If you've given help then accept the gratitude.
Some people say that we should never thank people. The say that the gifts are from God, so only He deserves our thanks. It's true that all blessings come from God, but it's also true that He works through people. The Apostle Paul worked tirelessly in service for the Lord, but he needed help from fellow Christians. He didn't beg for money and he did without some basic comforts on many occasions. He established many congregations during his missionary travels, and some of those congregations supported his ministry. Paul was thankful to them. The congregation in Philippi was one that supported him, but their gifts didn't always reach Paul in a timely manner. Paul knew how to live on very little and he never complained in times of want, and he was sure to show gratitude when help came his way. "But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at the last your care of me hath flourished again; wherein ye were also careful, but ye lacked opportunity." Philippians 4:11. Paul wasn't easy to send gifts to. Just when they thought they knew where to send their gifts, he may have travelled on, or he might even have been put in prison. The Christians in Philippi were faithful to send help and Paul was not too proud to say thank you. "I can do all things through Christ which strengthen me. Notwithstanding ye have well done, that ye did communicate with my affliction." Philippians 4:13-14. God uses people in many ways. Some are spreading His message and some are supporting their efforts. If someone fills a need in your life, thank God, but also thank the person. Paul was humble enough to say thank you and hopefully the Philippians were gracious enough to accept his thanks.
Today there are many people with great need and Christians need to look to the needs of fellow Christians and help. That help isn't always in the form of money. A gift of time is always welcome. A person in a rest home or hospital can get very lonely. Let them thank you when you spend some time there. If you see a brother or sister struggling with a crisis, stop and pray with them, then let them thank you for your prayers or other help. It's very humbling when a brother or sister helps to fill a need and if you reject the simple words "Thank you" then you have rejected the humble gratitude of a fellow believer. "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven." Matthew 5:16. Be sure that God is glorified in all that you do. Don't do kind acts to get the gratitude of people, but when you receive a thank you, be sure that the glory goes to God.
Saying "Thank you" is important for our humbleness, but we must never forget to thank Jesus for all He does. Remember the ten lepers who were healed? They were all very happy about the healing and scurried off to the priest to be declared clean. Only one thanked Jesus. "And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God, and fell down on his face at his feet, giving him thanks: and he was a Samaritan." Luke 17:15-16. Only one of the ten said thank you and glorified God. It's from Him that all blessings come. Jesus didn't take the gift of healing back from the ones who didn't say thank you, but He did notice that only one turned back to thank Him. If we claim to be a Christian then we need to show our gratitude to Him. God gave us the ultimate gift...the gift of salvation. "For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." John 3:16. No mere mortal could accomplish that and He deserves our gratitude. Jesus chose to enter His creation, walk among men, then go through the agony of crucifixion in order to offer us the free gift of salvation through Him. That gift must be accepted, and if you've accepted it, don't take it for granted. Thank Him for loving you and taking your sin away.
If you've been given a gift, thank the person who gave it. If you've given a gift, accept the thanks. In all cases, give thanks to God.
God bless you all,
Ron and Nathele Graham's previous commentaries archived at http://www.raptureready.com/featured/graham/graham.html
All original scripture is "theopneustos" God breathed.
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Daily Jot: One testimony and many narratives - Bill Wilson - www.dailyjot.com
Just to demonstrate how the news media twists and turns information to support their own agenda, Gordon Sondland, US Ambassador to the European Union is just one man, but two narratives emerged from his testimony before the House impeachment hearings. Associated Press posted a big headline and ran with the "impeach Trump" crowd, leading with: "The US ambassador to the European Union told an impeachment hearing Wednesday that he was following the orders of President Donald Trump in seeking a "quid pro quo" from Ukraine." But Breitbart reports that Sondland testified previously that Trump sought no "quid pro quo." Truth twisting in the wind here because of all the agendas.
AP in its sensational story reported: "Gordon Sondland -- whose appearance before Congress is being watched especially closely as he was a Trump ally -- said he believed the president was pressing Ukraine to investigate his potential 2020 rival Joe Biden. "We followed the president's orders," Sondland said in his prepared testimony to an open hearing of the House Intelligence Committee. "In the absence of any credible explanation for the suspension of aid, I later came to believe that the resumption of security aid would not occur until there was a public statement from Ukraine committing to the investigations of the 2016 election and Burisma, as Mr. [President's Counsel Rudi] Giuliani had demanded," he said."
A string of tweets during Sondland's testimony reported: Rep. Adam Schiff to Amb. Sondland: "This is a seminal moment in our investigation, and the evidence you have brought forward is deeply significant and troubling."...State Department Spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus: "Gordon Sondland never told Secretary Pompeo that he believed the President was linking aid to investigations of political opponents. Any suggestion to the contrary is flat out false."...Gov Track tweeted: Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) reviewing that Sondland says he never spoke about the investigations directly with Trump, that the investigations didn't happen and that since Trump met with Zelenskyy during the UN General Assembly that's the same as a White House meeting. Sondland agrees."
Breitbart reported Sondland testified during his closed-door deposition in early September that he called Trump directly on September 9 and asked what he wanted from Ukraine. According to Sondland, Trump told him that he wanted "nothing" from Ukraine and there was "no quid pro quo." Two testimonies, one man, many narratives. Where is the truth? The truth is that the politicians and media have their own agendas. And as Isaiah 59:13-14 says that we know them: "In transgressing and lying against the LORD, and departing away from our God, speaking oppression and revolt, conceiving and uttering from the heart words of falsehood. And judgment is turned away backward, and justice stands afar off: for truth is fallen in the street, and equity cannot enter." You will not find truth in the media, it must therefore be sought from the Holy Spirit.
Daily Devotion: What You're Meant to Do - by Greg Laurie -
So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.-1 Corinthians 10:31
I never wanted to be a preacher. I wanted to be a cartoonist like Charles M. Schulz. But you see, that was not what God had in store for me.
Some years ago I mentioned to someone that I was a cartoonist, and they said, "Well good, because my car is broken. Can you fix it?"
So I explained that I can't tune a car. In fact, I'm the last guy you'd want looking under your hood, because the result would be a sad one.
Awhile back I received a letter from someone who listens to A New Beginning. He thanked me for my messages and then said, "One day, hearing your program, I prayed the prayer with you and accepted Christ into my life. I remember the feeling. It was awesome. I'll never forget you said, 'Tell someone,' and I did. I would tell anyone that would listen. I even told some people that wouldn't listen. I remember the feeling and the realization that I was finally doing what I was meant to be doing."
He went on to say that he started volunteering more and more. Eventually he went back to school and became a pastor. Then he used his skill set to start an auto repair ministry through his church in Olympia, Washington, which is reaching people in unique ways.
Then there is Steve Green, president of Hobby Lobby and chairman of the board at the Museum of the Bible in Washington, D.C. When you visit our nation's capital, we now have a Museum of the Bible among all the monuments. He has taken his abilities and used them for God's glory.
Maybe you're not called to preach, but you can use your abilities for the glory of God. Whatever you're called to do, do it for the glory of God.
FROM THE HEART
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