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.