Monthly Archives: August 2016
The title of this commentary comes from an article I just read by Erick Erickson posted on his website, The Resurgent, of which I will share with you in a moment. .. Basically, he is addressing two specific controversial subjects as it relates to Christianity in today’s America – homosexuality & politics. .. There is no question that both of these subjects have created much discussion as to how our church community should be addressing them. .. For the sake of simplicity, allow me to break it down to two basic positions – the ‘literal, uncompromising fundamentalists’ (mainstream) & the other that believes ‘basic scripture needs to be adjusted in order to fit today’s ever-evolving society.’ (mainline) .. Sadly, at least for me, the latter is winning hands-down over the former, and the subjects of homosexuality & politics have played a huge role in this division. .. Now that we’ve established the premise, let me now share Mr. Erickson’s article …..
– Pressurized Sin –
“Christians differ on whether it is permissible, according to faith, to participate in gay marriage ceremonies. The ‘mainstream’ Christian view is that marriage is ordained by God between one man and one woman. .. Providing the goods and services for a gay wedding would be participating in sin.
“While Christians may disagree, it is commonly recognized by all Christians that to demand a Christian provide goods and services or otherwise participate in a gay marriage ceremony would be sinful. The reason comes from scripture. The apostle Paul wrote that pressuring a Christian to do something he believes is sinful is to commit a sin.
“The one who observes the day, observes it in honor of the Lord. The one who eats, eats in honor of the Lord, since he gives thanks to God, while the one who abstains, abstains in honor of the Lord and gives thanks to God,” Paul writes at Romans 14:6-7. He concluded at verse 23 with, “But whoever has doubts is condemned if he eats, because the eating is not from faith. For whatever does not proceed from faith is sin.”
“If a Christian in good conscience believes that to engage in an act would be sinful, trying to pressure the Christian into an act would itself be sinful. This applies to nebulous matters not clearly addressed in scripture. Paul makes clear that there are things that are absolutely, indisputably sinful. “But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler – not even to eat with such a one. For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the Church whom you are to judge? God judges those outside. ‘Purge the evil person from among you.’ ” (1 Corinthians 5:11-13)
“While many non-Christans quote “judge not lest ye be judged,” scripture makes it absolutely clear Christians are to judge those within the Church who are engaging in clear sin. If someone holds himself out as a Christian, but is unrepentant in sinning, other Christians are to shun him lest he reflect on the Church as a whole.
“Everything above is commonly accepted Christian orthodoxy. In Matters of no Biblical authority, if someone believes an act is sinful he should not be pressured into that sin. But those who believe it is sinful are not to judge those who think the act is not sinful. In matters that are absolutely, objectively in the Bible considered sinful, Christians are to judge their fellow Christian and disassociate from him unless he repents and turns from his sins.
“A lot of Christians who believe everything written above as it applies to gay marriage have come to the conclusion it does not apply to American politics. Right now there are Christians in America who believe they should not vote for a man who calls himself a Christian, brags about his affairs, and swindles the elderly and single moms out of money. These same Christians also believe they should not vote for a woman who supports the right to kill children.
“But other Christians are hell bent on pressuring these conscientious objectors into voting. Politics is not a subject from which one can remove one’s faith. There is no obligation in Christianity to vote. In fact, it is a rather good thing to not collaborate in the political process if doing so might prop up those who hold themselves out as Christians while openly celebrating sin. The right to not vote is as powerful as the right to vote and the most important thing is to not violate your conscience. We may all be sinners, but Christians do not endorse sins, they repent.
“If a person wants to vote in the Presidential election, let him. But if someone refuses because their conscience tells them none of the candidates are worthy to support, pressuring them to vote is as much as sin violating one’s own conscience. Our country is not eternal, but we are and will be called one day to account.” ———————————————————————————————-
Basically, I agree with most everything Mr. Erickson said in his article. .. I know its not easy sometimes to try & follow exactly what the Bible tells us, especially in an ever-evolving society, but also, I don’t believe it is optional. .. Sadly, many of our Churches & their leaders are going against this premise & are ‘adjusting’ the Word of God to fit today’s societal desires, and for obvious reasons — mainly popularity, fame, fortune, etc. .. Simply, society is evolving, and will continue to do so until God intervenes, but the Holy Scripture NEVER changes! … Nothing written in the 66 books of the Bible has an ‘optional clause.’ …
One more thing, I am so glad to hear a fellow Christian come out and say that the Christian leaders have no place in telling us that we must vote, even if it is ‘the lesser of two evils.’ .. So few have. .. Quite honestly, I’m really weary of the Christian ‘superstar’ pastors telling me that I’m sinning if I don’t vote! .. What?! .. Just to make it clear, I think that any of us who vote, or support in any way, anyone who openly professes issues that are clearly defined sinful in the Bible are going against God’s teachings. .. The bottom line is this – we who have been raised in this country have been brainwashed into thinking America is really the center of the universe and will ultimately be the savior of the world. .. This is called ‘Nationalism.’ .. While being loyal to your government is not necessarily wrong, as long as it doesn’t go against scripture, that’s fine. .. But to think that any government that is overseen by the carnal human nature can overcome the problems of the world are totally deceiving themselves. .. It has never worked in the 6,000 year history of man, & it never will. .. Simply, unless America, or any other nation for that matter, turns its face back to God, there is no hope .. and sadly neither candidate for President in this year’s election seems to represent that hope. .. Ultimately, a theocracy is just around the corner, and it will be the final government. .. Why? .. Because its leader will be King Jesus! .. Hallelujah! ..
In closing, I know that my position is in the vast minority of the American Christian thinking. .. In fact, in past commentaries, my biggest and most vehement opposition has come from the nationalistic-thinking brother or sister. .. But then, when has it ever been popular to profess the truths of scripture. .. In most cases, it is the ‘pick & choose’ Christianity that appeals to our ‘Laodicean’ (lukewarm) Church mentality of today. .. How tragic .. and dangerous! ..
Going forward, I will be earnestly praying for this nation & its leaders .. that they will turn their faces to the Almighty God. .. It certainly would ‘buy’ this nation some time which would allow more folks to hear the real truth of out Lord’s teachings before it is too late … I pray most of you will do the same. .. Why? .. because it’s Biblical! …
Until next time,
“And so we have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well to heed as a light in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts.” .. 2 Peter 1:19 ……
The Bible says we cannot know the exact time of our Lord’s return (Matthew 25:13), but it does tell us clearly that we will know the season. .. 1 Thessalonians 5:2-6 says this … “You yourselves know full well that the day of the Lord will come just like a thief in he night … But you brethren, are not in darkness, that the day should overtake you like a thief, for you are all sons of light and sons of day. We are not of night or darkness, so then let us not sleep as others do, but let us be alert and sober.” …
These verses clearly assert that Jesus will come like a thief in the night, but then goes on to make it abundantly clear that this will be true ONLY for for the pagan world and not for believers. .. Simply, His return should be absolutely no surprise to those of us who know Him and His Word, for we have the indwelling of the Holy Spirit to give us understanding as to why the times we are living in are spinning totally out of control. .. In addition, scripture gives us signs to watch for – signs that will signal that our Savior is right at the door, ready to return. .. In the Book of Hebrews, chapter 10, verses 25-27, it says to us that we should encourage one another when we see the day of judgement drawing near. .. Also, Christ Himself shared with us many of the signs that would specifically signal His imminent return. .. (Look to Matthew 24, Mark 13 & Luke 21) … Jesus said this in Matthew 24:33 … “When you see all these things, recognize that He (Jesus) is near, right at the door.” ..
Every time I think about the signs of the times, it reminds me of the first time I stumbled upon Bible prophecy. .. It all began in the mid 1970s when I read Hal Lindsay’s “The Late Great Planet Earth.”
.. It was all over for me! .. I immediately began digging into Bible prophecy with a passion I’d never before experienced. .. As I began to know what to look for, there were a few signs floating around. ..
Fast forward to today, I can’t even begin to keep up with all the prophesied signs that are exploding across the world’s news outlets. .. It is simply incredible as to just how fast it is all happening! .. But then, Jesus told us that this is how it would be, that the increasing signs of His return would be just like the birth pains a woman experiences while giving birth. .. Elbert Peak, a great man of God, said this while giving his teachings at a Bible Prophecy Conference in Orlando, Florida in the early 1990s. .. He was about 80 years of age at the time. .. “Sixty years ago when I first started preaching, you had to scratch around like a chicken to find one sign of the Lord’s soon return. But today there are so many signs I’m no longer looking for them. Instead, I’m listening for a sound — the sound of a trumpet!” … And that was in the early 90’s. .. Fast forward some 20 years and it is simply amazing as to just how fast it has all accelerated since then! .. And incredibly, they will continue to accelerate until the trumpet does sound to call us home. … Simply incredible! ..
For those of you who are ‘looking’ for proof of the truth of all this, let me for a moment, and in a totally condensed form, share with you exactly WHAT to look for. .. Trust me when I say, when it all starts to fall into place for you, it will all begin to make sense and will only increase your urgency to ‘get right’ with God. .. You, like me, will realize just how little time there is left before that trumpet does blow. …
– Nature/Pestilence –
“…. Scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, 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 creation.” .. (2 Peter 3:3-4) ..
The signs of nature are the most criticized by the naysayers. .. In fact, they will say that there has always been earthquakes and crazy weather since the beginning of recorded history. .. But many scientists today have admitted that things like this have NEVER been like they are now. .. Of course, they blame it on global warming or whatever other modern title they can come with to justify it. .. Call it what you want, what is happening are the ‘birth pains;’ Jesus Himself prophesied would happen. .. Never before have we witnessed so many record-setting weather/climate events as there are taking place almost daily somewhere in this beleaguered world. .. An example is earthquakes. .. The quakes measuring 6+ on the Richter Scale have quadrupled in just the past two decades! .. Never before have we witnessed the number of volcanoes going off everywhere, with new ones showing signs of activity … Scoff all they want .. these are facts, and secular science does not deny it. … And guess what … all this craziness in record-setting weather events are only going to increase in number & intensity! … All you have to do is watch. ……
– World Society –
“But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God ..” .. 2 Timothy 3:1-4 ..
This passage reminds us of today’s news headlines, doesn’t it? .. Notice the three things God points out here … Self, money & pleasure. .. Just to keep this short, let’s switch to our American society for a moment as an example. .. Our society has become the poster child for the 2 Timothy passage we just reviewed. .. And besides all that, we have kicked God to the curb, allowed biblical perversion to become the law of the land, and now it is quickly becoming against societal norms to call ourselves male or female! .. If we keep going at the pace we are currently on, we will make Sodom & Gomorrah look like Ding Dong School. .. Honestly, I’m totally surprised America is still around. ..
– Spiritual Signs/Deception –
“For a time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.” .. 2 Timothy 4:3-4 ..
In last week’s commentary, I talked about how our churches today are ‘turning aside to myths’ – how the churches are abandoning biblical teachings to adjust to today’s society. .. Let me quote a paragraph from ‘Laodicean Wolves’ by Joe Sutherland .that sums it up quite well .. “We can now watch the ravenous wolves masquerading amidst the fold as they wittingly or unwittingly join the rebellious forces of our adversary — Satan. These wolves parade around as self-annointed apostles and prophets of Christ but instead they seduce and devour scripturally unanchored souls, or seek to drive wedges between unwary believers and their Savior.” …. Pretty much says it all ……
– World Politics –
This one is obvious for anyone with an IQ above 40. .. The likes of people from Pope Francis to our own President Obama openly support globalization. .. If you’ve followed this site for any length of time, you’ve heard me talk about last September’s (2015) UN conference & their endorsement of the Agenda 21 globalization plan. .. In a nutshell, it lays the foundation for the coming world government, which will include international police units, etc. .. Right now, President Obama wants this rapidly developing international police force (Blue Helmets) to come into certain American cities where police departments are deemed incompetent. .. I hate to break it to the scoffers of today, but with the current demise of the world’s only super-power (America), there will be no one to stop this onslaught of the coming world regime that will be the host of the Beast, or Anti-christ. … One possible scenario to watch for … If, in fact, Obama doesn’t usurp the Constitution like he already has in so many instances, and leaves office in January, don’t be surprised if he ends up at the UN. … Just sayin’ …….
– Technology –
“But you, Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book until the time of the end; many shall run to and fro , and knowledge shall increase.” .. Daniel 12:4 ..
“Go your way, Daniel, for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end.” .. Daniel 12:9 ..
There’s no question mankind is ‘running to and fro’ right now. .. Everybody is going in all directions all the time! .. It’s crazy! .. And the increase in knowledge cannot not be denied by anyone with half a brain. .. I think of my mother who was born just 102 years ago (1914). .. She grew up on a homestead in eastern Montana & her main mode of transportation was riding a horse. .. But before she died in 1997, she witnessed incredible changes which included a man on the moon. .. And even myself, I didn’t see a TV until I was 12 years old! – all this living proof of Daniel’s prophecy, I would say. ..
Concerning God’s Word, there are many end-time prophecies that simply cannot be understood apart from modern technological developments. .. For example, look at the prophecy in Revelation 11 about the two witnesses who will call the world to repentance during the 1st half of the Tribulation. .. When they are killed by the Anti-christ, we are told that their bodies will lie in the streets of Jerusalem for three & a half days, and the whole world will look upon them (vs. 9). .. How could anyone understand such a prophecy before the development of satellite TV or the internet? ……
Here’s a couple more … How could the Anti-christ control all buying & selling worldwide (Revelation 13) without the aid of computer technology? .. How could the False Prophet create the illusion of giving life to a statue (Revelation 13) without the technology of holograms, virtual reality, & robotics? .. How could an army of 200 million come out of the far east (Revelation 9) before the population explosion that was produced by modern medical technology? .. How could the Gospel be proclaimed to all the world (Matthew 24) before the invention of motion pictures, radio, TV, & the internet? .. The list goes on & on ……………. Like the opening verses state, Daniel was told that knowledge would increase in the last days & that he would not understand them. .. He certainly didn’t like it, but that’s how it was with most of the prophecies written over 2000 years ago. … It’s simply amazing to watch it all happening right now! ……
– Israel –
“Therefore prophesy and say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God: “Behold, O my people, I will open your graves and cause you to come up from your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel.” ..Ezekiel 37:13 ..
Israel is the BIG ONE! .. It is God’s time clock concerning the timing of His glorious return. .. We see here in Ezekiel that He (God) promises to bring them back into their land after many hundreds of years of exile – the diaspora. … The Jews began returning to their land around the turn of the 20th century & then became a sovereign nation in 1948. .. Looking back, that is when the signs began to accelerate and are today become rampant. .. And just look at this tiny nation today .. surrounded by hostile nations on every side. .. And now even America’s current leaders are pulling away from this one-time ally. .. Zechariah 12:3 (written some 2500 years ago) said that this was exactly what would happen right before the return of Jesus Christ. .. “And it shall happen in that day that I will make Jerusalem a very heavy stone for all peoples; all who would heave it away will surely be cut to pieces, though all nations of the earth are gathered against it.” .. Wow! .. it can’t be said any clearer than that! .. Going forward, it will only become more intense for the Jews as we draw ever nearer, but they will survive because God said so. .. For those of you who have any interest in Bible prophecy, watch Israel closely. .. Again, she (the Jews) are the key .. they are truly God’s time clock. ……
OK .. That’s it for now. .. My hope here is to give you tools to enable you to more easily follow the events relating to today’s exploding Bible prophecy. .. For those of you who are of the ‘doubting Thomas’ persuasion, (like me in the beginning), I pray that once you look at all these things & see just how accurate all of it is, you, like me, will become convinced beyond a shadow of a doubt that The Bible is totally accurate & that God, Jesus, and all the rest is totally true!
I pray for special blessings for each of you & pray that, when understanding WHY everything is the way it is, you will lose any & all fear & begin to rejoice as we see the day rapidly approaching. .. Hallelujah! ..
Until next time,