Monday, July 13, 2009

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Friday, June 19, 2009

Are we a "Christian nation"?

I got a link to the video Our Judeo-Christian Nation which is Congressman Randy Forbes' response to Not-the-President Obama's recent comment that we are not a Christian nation.

Here's my response after viewing the videos:

Obama did not deny our Christian heritage, so Forbes is answering a point that was never raised.

Would a "Christian nation" really "legally" murder over 50 million children? Would a "Christian nation" really legalize homosexuality? I don't know what point Obama was trying to make, but like Caiaphas (see John 11:49-52) he may have been speaking a prophetic word. We — the nominal "Christians" in this country — have in fact repudiated our Christian heritage. David Barton has done landmark work in this area, and I would guess that most church-going Christians know more about the work of Simon Cowell than they do about Barton's achievements.

John Adams said, "Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other."

James Madison: "We have staked the whole future of American civilization, not upon the power of government, far from it. We have staked the future of all of our political institutions... upon the capacity of each and all of us to govern ourselves, to control ourselves, to sustain ourselves according to the Ten Commandments of God."

Are we a "moral and religious people" as contemplated by Adams, or Washington, or Witherspoon? Does the average American Christian even know the Ten Commandments?

As Walt Kelly said many years ago through his "Pogo" comic strip: "We have met the enemy, and they is us."

2 Chron. 7:14 predicates national healing on the repentance of "My people who are called by My name." When we, as Christians, repent before the throne of God .... then Mr. Obama can eat those words. Until then, the Muslims actually have some of the moral high ground, because they don't murder their inconvenient children and they don't tolerate sodomy.

Check out ---> <--- for some sobering thoughts.

I'm not defending Obama, not by a long shot. He is the most rabidly pro-abortion "President" in our history, not because he favors abortion (as a Muslim, he opposes it) but because he favors dead Americans.

But we — the Christians — have brought this on ourselves. Check out Ezekiel 16:49-50. Sounds like us to me.

We in Laodicean America are in deep, deep doo. And the problem is not Obama ... it's us. He did not repudiate our Christian heritage; we did.

Will we repent? Will we rebuild our family altars? Will we turn off the streams of video immorality that flow into our homes and fall before our Savior in tears? Will we make restitution? Or will we continue to comfort ourselves that "we're Christians; the problem is with the Democrats/Socialists/homosexuals/Muslims" and that God is somehow indifferent to our sins because, after all, we "invited Jesus into our hearts"?

I posted these thoughts on an online forum, and one reader took exception to my statement that "the Muslims actually have some of the moral high ground, because they don't murder their inconvenient children."  He pointed out what is fairly common knowledge by asking, "What would you call sending young children out as suicide bombers?  What would you call it when Iran sent their little kids to the front lines to be the triggers/sensors for booby traps?"

It's a point worth considering.  I don't believe for a second that Islam is more moral in the Biblical sense than Christianity.  My point is that American "Christianity" is on the same level.  They kill kids; we kill kids.  They "justify" it because it's their war against the infidels.  We "justify" it because "we can't afford another child right now" or "I won't be able to fit into my prom dress" or "what will the neighbors say?  I'm a deacon!"  Have they killed fifty million yet?

We in America are "horrified" that those "evil Muslims" would send their kids out onto the battlefield to trigger booby traps, but how much noise do we make about guys like Tiller and Haskell ... or the abortionist who has an office right down the street?  What do American "Christians" have to say about that?  A lot apparently said, "We want Obama."  The one sin that Jesus rebuked more severely than any other was that of hypocrisy.

Matthew 12:41 comes to mind, as does Ezekiel 23:11.  The Ninevites were no paragons, but they had the sense to repent in the face of imminent judgment.  "Oholibah" had more spiritual light, and yet one-upped the wickedness of her sister.

They have the Koran; we have the Word of God.

And I stand by my statement.  We had a Christian heritage, and we have squandered it.  God will hold us accountable, and having "Proclaim Liberty" engraved on the Liberty Bell won't blunt His judgment.  It's not Obama's fault and it's not Islam's fault; it is OUR fault.

We are in trouble.  Will we repent?

Time will tell. But there isn't much of that left, either.

Friday, June 12, 2009

When is Pentecost? And How Much Does It Matter?

I was recently asked why I am using July 23rd as my Pentecost date for The Final Fulfillment of Pentecost.

I had contacted Arnold Bowen and he said it's on July 22nd. Then I went to Troy Miller's "creation calendar" site and checked out and that seems to point to the 20th (unless I miscounted).

I also considered Deuteronomy 16:9-10, which says:

"You shall count seven weeks for yourself; begin to count the seven weeks from [the time] you begin [to put] the sickle to the grain. Then you shall keep the Feast of Weeks to the LORD your God with the tribute of a freewill offering from your hand, which you shall give as the LORD your God blesses you.

I can certainly sympathize with anyone who says the whole issue is confusing.

I selected July 23 because it's the "outside limit" and because, at the time, Arnold was my most trustworthy source. July 22 is the New Moon.

It will also be Obama's 183rd day in office. It could be that he plans to have all the Christians off the streets at the end of his 172nd day and then he will "rest" (faithful Muslim that he is) and we will have ten days in the slammer (Rev. 2:10) before we are delivered ... one way or the other. Highly speculative, I readily admit ... but in today's political climate it is not all that unlikely.

From a practical point of view, it's becoming less important to me because, when that time actually arrives, I believe there will be Magor Missabib ("terror on every side") and most of our neighbors will be freaking out. In any event, our calling at this hour, I believe, is to speak prophetically, and our example should be John the Baptist, during whose ministry the Kingdom was also at hand.

In The Greatest Prophet? Steve & Marilyn Hill point out:

According to Jesus the greatest prophet was John the Baptist who came preaching "repentance for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand." So far as we know John never had a vision, dream or angelic encounter. Yet Jesus called him the greatest prophet!

So if we get the date right, good for us. But if we get the message wrong ....

My prayer is that each of you remains strong and focused, and that you are extremely effective in the ministry God has given you.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Pentecost Rapture 2009

A case can be made that Pentecost is a feast that lasts more than one day (Acts 21:27). If the Feast of Weeks is a week long, we still could have a "Pentecost rapture" this year, while not knowing the day or the hour.

In the parable of the bridesmaids, the bridegroom was delayed. He was not there at the appointed time. At midnight, when ALL the lamps were apparently running out of oil, the delayed bridegroom's arrival was announced. Was the Lord telling us, in veiled parabolic language, how events would play out when He returned for His bride?

We can speculate, of course. What isn't speculative is the growing international animosity against Israel and the accelerating efforts of Iran to develop nuclear weapons. These are, to me, much more compelling arguments for the soon coming of Christ than are my extrapolations from parables. And Jesus definitely gave us signs to watch for that concern Israel, and relate her last-days distress to His return.

Not-the-President Obama is out of town this week. Most of his cabinet will be in the midwest. It appears that the NWO people in our federal government know that something major is about to happen, and that DC will not be a very safe place to be. A rapture in the next six days remains, to me, extremely likely.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

What's Wrong With Being a 'Date-Setter'?

Thomas Ice has a problem with it. So does Pastor Joseph R. Chambers of Paw Creek Ministries, who asserts that "we are forbidden to set dates."

Oh, really?

I find it interesting that there was a specific date set for Jesus' first coming, and He held the Jews responsible for knowing it. Jesus rode into Jerusalem in fulfillment of Zechariah 9:9 exactly 483 years TO THE DAY after the decree by Artaxerxes to rebuild the city, just as Daniel said.

Brother Ice "supports" his position with scripture:

Matthew 24:36 "But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone. Mark 13:32 is an exact parallel.

Matthew 24:42 "Therefore be on the alert, for you do not know which day your Lord is coming.

Matthew 24:44 "For this reason you be ready too; for the Son of Man is coming at an hour when you do not think He will.

Matthew 25:13 "Be on the alert then, for you do not know the day nor the hour. Mark 13:33-37 is a parallel passage.

Acts 1:7 He said to them, "It is not for you to know times or epochs which the Father has fixed by His own authority;

1 Thessalonians 5:1-2 Now as to the times and the epochs, brethren, you have no need of anything to be written to you. For you yourselves know full well that the day of the Lord will come just like a thief in the night.

Sorry, but I see no support here. I see neither a COMMAND nor any prohibition; simply statements of fact that were true when uttered, and applied to those to whom spoken. The fact that they don't know doesn't mean that WE can't know, that we won't find out, or that we are forbidden to search for the answer. Nor do I see a refutation of Amos 3:7

Surely the Lord GOD does nothing, Unless He reveals His secret to His servants the prophets.

David Jeremiah recently pointed out that we probably know more about the book of Daniel than Daniel did. The prophecies concerning the end times were a 'closed book' for much of church history, but these things are for us to know in our time. Mapping current events to Bible prophecy is what the command to "Watch" is all about, and extrapolating to particular windows of time is hardly inappropriate.

I concede that Edgar Whisenant and many others have given themselves black eyes by making predictions that were inaccurate. But it does not logically follow that, because one or a hundred students of the Word make errors in their study, that the rest of us should stop watching and stop warning.

Is a watchman who won't warn any better (or any worse) than a watchman who won't watch?

The king has departed on a long journey. He has given instructions to watch for his return. Does the watchman fulfill his duty by simply reminding the people that the king will return? If he does not know exactly when the king will return, does this excuse him from being at his post?

And if he sees -- off in the distance -- something that indicates the king may be returning, should he announce it? Or should he "wait and see"? If he sees all the signs of the kings approach but does not see the king, should he proclaim it? If he thinks he knows when the king will arrive, should he say so?

Jesus told us to "watch and pray." Just what did He mean by that? Did He really mean "wish and pray" or "hope and pray"? What does "watch" REQUIRE us to be doing?

Perhaps it means watch for the signs that He said would immediately precede His return. If that's true, they why are so many Christians so ignorant of the signs, and so ignorant of what is going on in the world? Are we being .... disobedient?

If we love Him, we are to keep His commandments. Did He command us to "watch"?

I'm a date-setter. I have nothing to gain if I am right, and plenty to lose if I am wrong. But I believe that both current events and prophecy are pointing at Pentecost 2009 as the day of the rapture of the church, and I believe Jesus' command to me to be a watchman REQUIRES that I proclaim my conclusions and how I reached them.

His command also requires some due diligence on the part of those who hear what I have to say.

See you on Saturday.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Final Note on Corrie Ten Boom

I took some heat for my previous post because I mentioned Corrie Ten Boom in what one reader thought was a "malicious" way. So it wasn't general heat; just one miffed brother. Except for that, the response to my theme -- that "the problem is that the professional clergy does not prepare the saints for ANYTHING." -- was overwhelmingly positive.

So let me briefly clarify: Corrie Ten Boom had a ministry of reconciliation, mainly for Europeans in the aftermath of World War II. I cannot and do not judge her, nor do I, did I, or did I intend to "malign" (malign: having or showing intense often vicious ill will: malevolent) her or her ministry. However, I was and remain unwilling to give her a pass for what I consider shabby eschatology. Nor can I countenance the vilification of Christians who see the reasonableness of a pre-trib rapture. I am not asserting that Corrie did so, but it appears that she considered pre-tribbers to be "heretics." I believe that rises to the level of vilification.

I stand by my comments regarding the "celebrity Christianity" that seems to characterize much of American-style "Christianity" but I cannot include Corrie in that, since she apparently did not aspire to "celebrity" status and, in any event, she was not an American. She had a ministry, and she served with genuine humility, always seeking to glorify her Savior. Would that more of us would follow her example.

The negative feedback I got began with my being accused of dishonesty, and descending from there. My dialog with my detractor has hopefully resolved our differences, and it would be inappropriate to post it here. Suffice it to say that I hope this suffices.

'Nuff said.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

The Rapture and Corrie Ten Boom

In A History of the Early Church & Post-Tribulation Doctrine, author Richard Perry presents his defense for the post-tribulation eschatology, and buttresses his arguments with the opinions of the late Corrie Ten Boom.

First things first - if the pre-tribulation rapture is true, then it would be wrong to withhold it from Christians, to label it as false, or to marginalize it or vilify those who proclaim it. If it is true, it is God's truth, and God's truth -- ALL of it -- belongs to ALL of God's people.

Let's be clear on what it is that we believe: that there is a prophesied specific time of extreme tribulation that will affect the entire earth during the very last years before Christ's visible return to establish His Kingdom and begin to reign on the throne of David, and that Christians who are alive when this particular period of tribulation begins will be removed from the earth beforehand.

THAT is the pre-trib rapture position, and to attempt to make it apply to ALL hardship and ALL tribulation throughout the entire "church age" is to misrepresent the eschatology. Yes, Christians will be persecuted ... but to a point. The church has endured persecution and tribulation since Jesus left. All we're saying is that the final seven years of tribulation are not for the church.

That being said, let us consider for the sake of the argument that Christians will NOT be spared. Let's say they must prepare themselves spiritually for end-time tribulation. Just what does this "preparation" look like? How should the Christian proceed?

I would suggest that, first of all, the Christian deal with all known sin. Repent! When appropriate and possible, make restitution! Clean up your life - identify and discard every bad habit, every evil vice. Get all the garbage out of your home and out of your life. Get your prayer life on track; live by faith. If you are facing hardship, and especially hardship directed at you by an anti-Christian world that wants to destroy your faith, it would seem that your optimal preparations would be quite clear. You need to get your faith established. If you are being persecuted, you sure don't want sin in your life to get between you and God.

BUT - if you look at my suggested activities, you will see that they are exactly the same as I recommend for those anticipating the rapture. In other words, whether we live or whether we leave, we are the Lord's. Preparing for the rapture also prepares you for hardship.

The problem is that the professional clergy does not prepare the saints for ANYTHING. Many "believers" have such a casual view of sin that they see no need to deal with it; they think the rapture is a come-as-you-are party, and that spots and wrinkles, or even the total absence of a wedding garment, are nothing to be concerned about. "Jesus loves me so much that sin doesn't matter! Let's party down!!" I personally know people who consider themselves Christians who refuse to believe in the imminent rapture ... and also refuse to believe in imminent tribulation! They think things are gonna stay about the same, or eventually get better again.

I think Miss Corrie mis-identified the problem. At least she's correct in stating that there is a problem. But the problem is not Pre-trib eschatology, but American ecclesiology. The American way of "doing church" doesn't prepare anyone for much of anything. Going to a building and having someone lecture you for 45 minutes every Sunday morning is not the abundant Christian life. Singing hymns only equips you to sing hymns. Listening to "professional" Christians equips you to listen. Participating in the "Christian" youth group equips you to play video games or go to a theme park. Practically NONE of the Christian busy-work in American-style churches equips the saints for the hard work of living for Christ in a world that hates Him. Instead, we have embraced "Pagan Christianity." Most of the folks who I know who ARE equipped grew up at home on their own. They started their own small group, did their own Bible study or otherwise started taking their Lord very seriously. Very few are equipped or even encouraged by their "church leadership."

And Corrie allowed herself to become part of the problem. She has allowed herself (may she rest in peace) to become a "Christian celebrity." That's how we "do church" here. Most of us just spectate. Christianity, for many, is just another item on the "To Do" list that is checked off on Sunday morning. We want celebrities: the big name preachers and the big name musicians and the notorious sinners who got saved ... or the concentration camp survivors. The thing that gets left out is God's grace. Corrie endured the camp by grace; the same grace that holds my life together. But we prefer celebrities ... just like the world.

I agree that most American Christians are unprepared for either rapture or tribulation. The problem is not with the eschatology, however. It's with a liturgical, organizational (rather than organic) religionized Christianity that does not allow for the equipping of the saints, mainly because it strips Christ of His proper headship and replaces Him with Christian celebrities and professional clergy.

Final thought: Pre-trib rapture belief is not a heresy. Heresies mis-represent God and replace God-centered priorities with man-centered ones. Much "prosperity theology" is heretical because it posits that the comfort of man is paramount to holiness. "Family-centered" ministries also err in placing the "needs" of the family before our duty to love and serve God. Most of the pre-tribbers I know love God first and foremost; many have lost relationships with family members because they love the Lord first. The real heresy in this argument is the heresy that the body of Christ is an organization run by professionals, rather than an organism headed by Christ.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Preparing for His appearing -- "The Bride must make herself ready"

The days before Christ's return are ticking down quickly. The most probable dates, to me, are May 21st (the Ascension) and May 31st (Pentecost). However, we should be ready for His appearing at any moment. I have recommended a few action steps, which I repeat here for those who may be new to this blog or may have not seen them:

  • Get your spiritual house in order. REPENT. This means align your life with the law of God. Where you have sinned, you must acknowledge your sin, confess it to God, and make restitution where-ever possible and AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.

  • OBEY - Every person who was saved in the Church Age repented, confessed, was baptized, and submitted to the Lordship of Christ in ALL of life. If you are not living in newness of life, it's because you are not reconciled to God through Jesus Christ. Do yourself (and your loved ones!) a favor: turn off the TV, take out the trash (foul books, music, videos, etc.) and get your heart right before God. DO NOT PUT THIS OFF. Don't trifle with God, His law, or His offer of salvation. He WILL preserve you if your belief is evidenced by obedience, hatred of sin, holy living, and love of the brethren.

  • Don't be deceived. Study your Bible. The time is getting really short.

  • Pray for those you know who are still lost. No one can come to faith in Christ unless the Father draws him (John 6:44). IF you are saved, you have a privilege and an advantage that most people don't share: access to God's Throne of Grace. Use it!

  • I know that, especially among the Evangelical community here in the U.S. there is still a lot of resistance to what is mis-characterized as "water salvation" and this leads to a great deal of resistance to water baptism. I was once among them. However, true conversion ALWAYS results in obedience, and immersion is both 1) a command of Christ, and 2) a prerequisite for the rapture. Check out The Epic Event and notice that according to Hebrews 10, to participate in the Event we must:

    1. draw near with a true heart,
    2. have our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience,
    3. have our bodies washed with pure water,
    4. hold fast the confession of hope without wavering,
    5. stir up love and good works, and
    6. exhort one another.

    Here is an excellent audio resource by Mark Biltz that you may also find helpful:

    A Church Without Blemish — If you've ever wondered about the meaning of "spots, wrinkles and blemishes," this is an in depth study allowing the Bible to explain itself.

    Remember - once that trumpet sounds, it will be TOO LATE to do any more preparation. Let's all be found without spot, wrinkle or blemish when our beloved Lord returns for us. Let's make it His most joyful day!

    Saturday, April 18, 2009

    Why the "Tea Party" Movement Will Go Nowhere

    The "tea party" movement will go NOWHERE. Here's why:

    Our problem is not economic or political. It is a moral rot undergirt by the culture's willingness to accept homosexuality, and primarily by the culture's willingness to accept the "right to choose."

    Our rights come from God as an endowment, but we have squandered the endowment by embracing what God abhors. We now have the blood of 50 million innocent American babies crying out to God for vengeance. God has obviously decided to take our God-given rights away.

    Were these tea-partiers staunchly opposed to the wickedness of abortion, we would at least have standing to appeal to God and rely upon His Divine providence. Or His mercy. But alas! many of our conservative and patriotic comrades-in-arms have no problem with abortion at all! They think "choice" in all matters is a good thing, and object only to an overbearing central government's meddling.

    There is no consensus for righteousness amongst these tea-partiers, and God is properly using Obama and his ilk to punish America for her sins.

    So this "tea party" fad is simply a tempest in a teapot. There is NO call for repentance, or for the end of the shedding of innocent blood. For this reason, the patriots cannot prevail.

    In the days of Israel's revivals, the idols were torn down and the center of Molech worship in Jerusalem, the valley of the son of Hinnom, was turned into a garbage dump. When we give that sort of treatment to the abortion "clinics" in our communities, then maybe ... MAYBE ... God will hear and relent. But I don't think it's gonna happen. It appears that the Libertarians are the strongest bloc within the "freedom movement" and they still don't get it. On most of the political forums I've visited, talk of tax resistance is fine, but talk of ending abortion is "mixing politics with religion" ... the same old cop-out.

    I don't even know a lot of Christians who are passionate about ending abortion. So, if we won't end it, God will.

    P.S. Another excellent treatment of this topic was written by Joel McDurmon:
    TEA-Party Hypocrisy: How Much Socialism Is Acceptable?

    Wednesday, February 18, 2009

    Prophetic Implications

    In the world of eschatology, much has been made of the regathering of the Jews in their ancient homeland. I have been rather critical of this "sign" because many of the so-called "Jews" in the modern STATE of Israel are allegedly not descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Instead, they come from the Khazar kingdom of early Europe and they are not even Semitic people.

    That being said, it may still be that the re-establishment of a Jewish nation could be a sign. It is certainly unprecedented. And in view of the prophesied destruction of 2/3 of the people in the land at the hands of the "Magog Alliance," it is not outside the realm of possibility that the survivors could be Mizrachim Jews; that is, Semitic people.

    Highly speculative, and no offense intended. In any event, if the creation of the State of Israel on May 14, 1948 is of prophetic significance -- if this is the "budding of the fig tree" that portends the final generation before the return of Christ -- then it's possible to crunch a few numbers. If the maximum time passes and Jesus does not return, we will know that Israel's re-establishment was not a sign. However, it is better to be prepared for the Lord's return and be mistaken, than to NOT be prepared and have Him come.

    A Biblical "generation" is generally agreed to be seventy years. Indeed, that is the only possibility remaining if the "fig tree" budded in 1948. In addition, a prophetic year is 360 days. Thus, the duration of a generation would be 25,200 days and the last day would be on May 12, 2017. If there is a final 7-year period of worldwide tribulation, which many Bible students see as the most likely meaning of the end-time prophecies, that period would have to begin no later than June 18, 2010

    However, a quick perusal of the news on the internet, or your favorite print media (if they haven't already gone bankrupt) seems to announce that some "tribulation" has already begun. Can you find anyone (who isn't trying to sell you something) who thinks things are going to get better any time soon? Will these multi-trillion dollar bail-out schemes help the average working stiff, or put any bread on YOUR table, or help you with YOUR mortgage?

    Is it possible that we are seeing a ramp-up to world-wide chaos: economies in shambles, people at war, violence in the streets, famines and plagues? What would one expect the world to look like after the Four Horsemen begin their work?

    My experience in discussing these things is that most people don't believe we are really on the threshold of the return of Christ. This, of course, is another confirming sign; just what Jesus said to expect. However, looking at the scriptures and at the state and direction of our world, it is hard to draw any other conclusion.

    This is it, folks. Jesus Christ IS coming back. Russia and Iran are forming an alliance, and the next major event (besides the removal of the Bride of Christ from the earth) will be a major war in the middle east, and judgment on the "coastlands."

    Read The Final Fulfillment of Pentecost (or re-read it - it's been enhanced) and follow the links at the bottom. If you are fearful as you face the future, it's because your heart isn't right.

    Judgment is coming. Expect it, and be ready for it.

    Tuesday, January 20, 2009

    The Final Fulfillment of Pentecost

    I've always been interested in prophecy, and I've always been a date-setter. One of the first books I read after becoming a Christian was a book by a guy named Taylor who had biblical "proof" that the rapture would occur in September of 1975, and that Juan Carlos of Spain HAD to be the Antichrist.

    We've come a long way.

    I've seen a lot of theories, believed a few of them, and have been "wrong" every time ... so far. But the point is not to be "right" ... the point is to be READY. Knowing when the Lord could come can be a very focussing activity. And whether the conclusions in my article are right or not is insignificant compared to whether we are ready ... or not.

    These are my concluding thoughts, which also appear at the end of the article. If you're "too busy" to read the article, please at least spend some time on these:
    1. First, this is NOT a time to panic. We have known for 2000 years that Jesus was going to return, set up His kingdom, and judge the earth.
    2. Get your spiritual house in order. REPENT. This means align your life with the law of God. Where you have sinned, you must acknowledge your sin, confess it to God, and make restitution where-ever possible and AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.
    3. OBEY - Every person who was saved in the Church Age repented, confessed and submitted to the Lordship of Christ in ALL of life, and was baptized. If you are not living in newness of life, it's because you are not reconciled to God through Jesus Christ. Do yourself (and your loved ones!) a favor: turn off the TV, take out the trash (foul books, music, videos, etc.) and get your heart right before God. DO NOT PUT THIS OFF. Don't trifle with God, His law, or His offer of salvation to those whose belief is evidenced by obedience, hatred of sin, holy living, and love of the brethren.
    4. Don't be deceived. Study your Bible. The time is getting really short.
    5. Pray for those you know who are still lost. No one can come to faith in Christ unless the Father draws him (John 6:44). IF you are saved, you have a privilege and an advantage that most people don't share: access to God's Throne of Grace. Use it!
    6. If June 1st arrives and none of these things have happened, it is because I made unwarranted assumptions or otherwise erred in my study. The Bible is still true. You will never be any worse off for preparing for your inevitable meeting with God. And you could still be hit by a truck on June 2nd.

    I hope this article blesses and encourages each of you, and I hope you have friends to whom you will want to forward the link:

    Yes, I'm setting a date for the return of Christ. Please remember the boy in the fable who cried "wolf!" He was wrong every time ... except the LAST time. I have also been wrong every time ... but I've been ready. My earnest prayer is that we all will be; that we will not shrink back when He appears, or be found asleep instead of being ready as He commanded us.

    May the Lord continue to bless you as you seek the truth in Him.

    Wednesday, January 7, 2009

    "Whoever believes in Jesus will ....."

    I would submit that there are several Biblical ways to complete this, and all the completions are complementary. James says that the faith that saves is a faith that issues in obedience: "faith without works is dead." You SEE that a man is saved by works (because only God can see faith; all we can see is its results). Jesus said, "If you love Me you will keep My commandments." A "faith" that does not create any visible change in the life of the person is not a saving faith.

    "Do I have to be baptized?"

    That's probably not the real issue. The issue seems to me to be, "Just how disobedient and rebellious can I remain and still avoid hell?" These folks aren't particularly interested in loving God, submitting to Christ, becoming holy .... all they want is fire insurance. They want to remain fleshly; hence their aversion to burying the old man.

    I see this throughout "organized" Christianity; people who want to "follow the program" so they won't go to hell, but who at the same time don't want to allow the Lord to transform them. That's why they continue to listen to the same garbage music, watch the same garbage movies and TV programs, run with the same worldly crowd, and let their Bible gather dust.

    Baptism is a HUGE privilege. Those unwilling to submit to it are not going to fool God on the day of judgment. He won't be swayed by their theological rationale. But on the other hand, those who submit to the "ritual of baptism" and obey from the flesh rather than from the heart, and who don't continue in faith and obedience, will be just as lost as they were before they got wet. Baptism isn't magic; it's obedience. Talking about "saving faith" that does not issue in an obedient life is like talking about a one-ended stick. There is no such thing.