Monthly Archives: April 2017
“They say to the seers, ‘See no more visions!’ and to the prophets, ‘Give us no more visions of what is right! Tell us pleasant things, prophecy illusions.’ ” .. Isaiah 30:10 (NIV)
While I realize the title of this commentary is a bit harsh, it speaks directly to what is taking place in today’s Church environment. .. This recent news headline supports this claim … “Passing on Prophecy: Latest surveys indicate that some 90% of pulpits today have never, or are no longer preaching the return of Jesus Christ” .. (posted on Rapture Ready news headlines – April 19, 2017). .. This may seem astounding to those of us who DO follow Biblical eschatology (end-time teaching), but sadly it is true. .. In my own Church-searching experiences, i have witnessed this reality ‘up close & personal.’ .. In fact, when I’ve discussed this subject with numerous pastors, I was simply amazed by just how little they knew about it. .. In one instance, a preacher became very upset with me for bringing up the “Left Behind” book series! .. Upon further digging, I found that the cemetaries (whoops – I mean seminaries) are just not teaching it. .. The plain truth is, most Bible Institutions have eliminated some one-third of the Bible by excluding the prophetic teachings! …
OK .. so why? .. The following are just some of the reasons I’ve discovered along the way. .. Many Church leaders believe it to be a very ‘negative’ subject to approach. .. In fact, they go as far as to say it is a complete distraction. .. Some go even further & say that it is much too controversial & those who get involved in these sorts of studies are mostly labeled as ‘nut jobs’ or ‘date-setter kooks.’ .. They feel they are much better off teaching folks about ‘Nine Ways to a Better Marriage’ or ‘How to be Happy All the Time.’ .. In other words, they are much more concerned about what the world thinks rather than what God thinks. ..
Now I’m not saying that the aforementioned subjects as well as others like Celebrate Recovery, prison ministries, youth programs and such are not important. .. In fact, they all have a vital role in the ‘complete walk’ of a mature Christian. .. But then, to exclude nearly one-third of the Bible so as not to be perceived as controversial is very possibly a fatal mistake in their mission. .. The reality is this – while there’s absolutely nothing wrong with ‘feeling good’ & ‘being happy,’ the storms of life will come upon each & every one of us at some point in our walk, & if we do not have ALL the weapons we will need in our spiritual arsenal, then we will fall by the wayside when the ‘storms of the enemy’ hit! .. (see Ephesians 6:10-18 for an excellent overview of this). .. Simply, an incomplete Biblical foundation will not weather the storms of life that come to us all. .. The foundation needs to built upon solid rock, not sand! .. (see Matthew 7:25) ..
Here’s just some of the reasons why Bible prophecy contributes to this complete foundation ……
*All Prophecy points to Jesus Christ! .. “The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” .. (Rev. 19:10) ..
*We are instructed to Watch .. Jesus commands us to “stay alert” and to “keep watch” .. Mark 13:33,35 ..
*Prophecy is Pure Proof of God’s Holy Word .. Think of this .. There are some 1000+ prophecies in scripture, of which over half have already come true .. without error! .. Again, think of this, you skeptics & nay-sayers! ..
*Prophecy gives us Specific Blessings .. “Blessed is he one who reads the words of this prophecy, and blessed those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it, because the time is near.” .. (Revelation 1:3) ..
*It brings understanding. .. While most all the other things the Churches do have purpose, they DO NOT explain why the world is spinning out of control! .. Unless we understand why, it becomes confusing & the hope of most fades away. .. 2 Peter 1:19 says it perfectly (why am I NOT surprised?!) .. “And we have the word of the prophets made more certain, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts.” .. Don’t you just love that?! .. Simply, when we begin to fully understand ‘why,’ then all fear is replaced with hope and excitement because we now realize that HE IS COMING BACK AT ANY MOMENT! … Hallelujah! … There is much more I could add to the overwhelming advantages of teaching prophecy, but this gives you at least a brief glimpse of just some of it. .. Pastor & author David Jeremiah said it this way .. “Understanding prophecy should be the greatest motivation to telling others about Jesus Christ. Prophecy is the springboard for evangelism.” .. He is absolutely right! .. I have witnessed this with my own eyes. .. The ‘doubting Thomas’ has no defense when shown the full picture of how & why all these things are taking place in our world today. .. Prophecy is NEVER wrong, nor will it ever be going forward. ..
In conclusion, don’t ignore it. .. Find a Church that doesn’t exclude it. .. To quote fellow Christian Britt Gillette,
“Don’t ignore Bible prophecy. Don’t poke fun of it or laugh at it (1 Thessalonians 5:19-22). Prophecy is behind almost every promise Christians hold dear, The promise of heaven…. The hope of salvation…. The joy of eternity with Jesus.” .. Once again, Hallelujah! …
Love you all, and know that I am praying for each & every one of you, & our Great God knows exactly who you are! …………
Until next time,
“For a time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. 4) They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.” ……………..
2 Timothy 4:3-4 …
I know I’ve been referring a lot to this particular scripture lately, but with what I’m experiencing in my own journey, I just can’t NOT bring it forth. .. To the point, this particular passage of scripture points out one of the primary causes of today’s famine in our spiritual walks. .. Sadly, in the vast majority of Churches today, God’s people are being told what they think they WANT to hear rather than what they NEED to hear. .. Simply, they are being spoon-fed warm milk .. the so-called ‘soft doctrine’ .. one that is free of any accusations for pretty much any & all lifestyles. .. Judgement of any kind is mostly absent from the messages radiating from today’s pulpits. .. What it boils down to is an incredibly dangerous manifestation of ‘consumer Christianity .. to ‘adjust’ the good news of Jesus to fit most any & all lifestyle choices the ‘consumer’ might decide to choose. …
There are many examples of this spiritual cancer, but the one I will dwell on for a brief moment this time is the latest hot topic in Christian circles. .. “The Shack” .. It was originally a book released several years back, and now has been brought forth as a movie, recently hitting all the major movie outlets across the globe. .. Needless to say, the ‘Christian’ world is abuzz! .. People are all over social media with raves about how it made them feel all happy, warm & fuzzy. ..
When the book first came out, like most everyone, I went out & bought it, & soon after, began to read it. .. Within the first few pages, the alarm bells started ringing .. The further I read, the louder the bells! .. About at the half-way point, I closed it & got it out of my house as fast as I could. .. Simply, to me it represented pure blasphemy! .. Simply put, to even begin to try & misrepresent the Holy Trinity is completely beyond my imagination! ..
And here’s the real dilemma .. most all comments & thoughts I’ve encountered have been nothing but glowing… Even when I questioned it’s validity on FaceBook which I backed with scripture, the comments were shocking to me. .. Basically several admitted that ‘yes, it isn’t scriptural, but it still was great & it made them feel good all over.’ .. WOW! … And herein lies the prophesied ‘myths’ of the opening scripture in 2 Timothy! ..
Allow me to support this just for a moment. .. In all the ‘watering down’ that’s taking place in today’s Christian consumer movement, one of the most dangerous of this phenomena is ‘Universalism’ .. Simply, this is the doctrine or belief that ALL men will be saved, or made happy in the future state. .. In other words, it really doesn’t matter what lifestyle you choose, or how much of the scriptural teachings you choose to follow, it will all be OK. .. We will all be happy & blissful in the end anyway! .. To me, ‘The Shack’ is a perfect example of this thinking .. make God, Jesus & the Holy Spirit anything you want them to be .. in the end, it doesn’t really matter! … How utterly tragic! ……
Let me share just one social secular example of WHY this ‘no consequences for your actions’ mentality doesn’t work. .. Just take a quick glance at today’s Millennial Generation .. the young folks who have grown up with everyone getting a trophy, that behavior is a ‘natural trait’ & shouldn’t be hindered in any way, regardless of whether it’s disruptive to others or not, etc … The statistics are coming in all over the place. .. Here’s just a couple of headlines from this week … “Most Millennials Struggling with Transition to Adulthood” .. (NBC – April 20). .. Here’s another .. “More & More Americans 18-34 Living With Parents” … What is even more telling is what is going on at today’s American college campuses .. ‘micro-aggression’ teaching, ‘safe rooms’ where they are given Play-Doh, coloring books, etc, so as to free themselves from anything considered threatening to their well-being. .. And we wonder why they are struggling with adulthood?! ..
OK, let’s take that secular disastrous experiment & transfer it to our Churches … the ‘Universalist’ – ‘no consequence’ mentality being displayed across the Christian landscape. .. It works just fine on the surface, but once crisis strikes, these ‘spiritual foundations’ which are built upon sand will crumble. .. And if we read the ‘whole’ Bible, we know through prophecy that more & more difficult times are soon to come upon us. .. My greatest fear is that the Church is NOT preparing its flocks to withstand this evil onslaught. ..
Finally, I know that the ‘judgement’ & ‘consequences for your actions’ mentality is far from popular today, but in this ‘me’ society we are living in, it is completely necessary for the salvation of mankind! .. Just look at the ‘complete’ scriptures for a moment .. Samuel, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Jonah, Paul, and Jesus Christ Himself preached judgement & an eternal consequence for a sinful lifestyle. .. And consider this .. Hell is mentioned 12 times in the New Testament, 11 of which were from Jesus Christ Himself! .. My question to you Church leaders .. should you be doing any less?! .. The Bible says it it clearly .. IT IS REQUIRED! … Get over the ‘winning the popularity contest’ mentality and get back to the truth of all scripture! .. In the end, the rewards will far outweigh the temporary ‘high’ of today’s feeble attempts at human success. ..
In Jesus’ ‘Seven Churches’ teachings in Revelation, chapters 2 & 3, He in most cases pointed out the many flaws of each, but He also mentioned that a remnant, the true followers of Jesus Christ, would exist in all seven churches. .. After studying these passages extensively, what He is saying very plainly is that we must follow ALL of His teachings, not just some of it .. and that we can’t just ‘pick & choose’ what feels right. .. 1 Corinthians 1:18 says this .. “For the message of the Cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to those of us who are being saved, it is the power of God.” .. Hallelujah! .. We who are listening to it all are His remnant! .. Again, Hallelujah! ..
Times are, and will increasing be more & more difficult as we move ever closer. … That is why it is SO important to have that spiritual foundation that is built upon the full knowledge of the teachings of Jesus Christ .. our rock. .. Without it, many will fall by the wayside in the coming days of increasing evil. … Withstand! .. Stand Firm! .. Do not EVER waiver! .. Stand strong in the complete Gospel of Jesus Christ, our blessed Lord & Savior. …….
Until next time,
“The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness.” .. Romans 1:18 ……
I will start off with this news story from just a few days ago (Fox News – April 10). .. The headline reads … “Signs of Society: Son dead, father wounded after shootout over who is going to walk the dog” .. Here’s a brief excerpt from it … “How did we get here? How did we get to the point where ‘I hate my blood family enough to take his life?’ It makes no sense.” .. Here’s a couple more comments: ” There is so much pain in Chicago’s troubled neighborhoods that even the most trivial interactions can explode. .. There is no love in these communities. .. A lot of people have mental health issues. .. A lot of people are walking around in a lot of pain.” ..
How tragic! .. And this is just a microcosm of a much bigger picture that includes a rapidly growing number of folks in most all walks of life. .. Of course, these signs are not only in the inner cities of America, but across the entire globe! .. Hopelessness is fast becoming the order of the day concerning mankind in general. ..
I know I’ve been ranting much about this sort of thing in recent commentaries. .. In fact, just one month ago today I offered my thoughts on “America’s Descent into Hell.” .. This opening news story is a perfect example of this! .. The least little thing is setting off tragic reactions all over this nation! .. A sense of hopelessness is becoming the ‘normal way of life.’ ..
Certainly we can point to many ‘human’ reasons for all this sadness & hopelessness, but again, in the final analysis, this is simply spiritual. .. Here’s proof. .. Just looking at America, the further we push God out of our society. the worse it gets! .. Every day we are seeing the continuing removal of all things relating to the God of the Bible. .. Here’s just one example: Christian clubs once were allowed in the public schools, but now are being removed & replaced by other organizational clubs including ‘inclusiveness, diversity,’ & even Satanism! .. More & more articles are being posted daily across the news outlets about how the Church in America is fading & we are now living in the ‘post-Christian’ era. (meaning ‘after’ Christianity). .. Sadly, according to most statistics, this is proving to be true. .. And now we are seeing the results en masse!
One of the main ‘buzz phrases’ of America’s search for the abundant way of life has always been ‘the pursuit of happiness’ .. ‘The American Dream.’ .. Sounds good. .. Why not? .. Why can’t we be happy? .. On the surface, anyone in their right mind wouldn’t argue with this. .. But then, I got to thinking about the basic premise of this nation’s recipe for happiness. .. What do most folks think of when they think of happiness? .. I think it is simply this .. happiness is a lifelong pursuit – making & spending money, collecting things, searching for new experiences. .. In fact, the whole ‘happiness’ thing comes down to mostly experiences & material things. ….. But then what happens? .. The toys rust, loved ones die, health deteriorates, money is stolen .. the party is over. .. And sadly, the happiness then fades away & despair sets in. .. Proverbs 14:12 says it perfectly .. “There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death.”
So then, is that all there is? .. If not happiness, what? .. In the minds of most, that is ALL there is! .. But wait! There IS something else. .. Let me share with you the alternative …. JOY! .. On the surface they seem to mean the same thing, but nothing could be further from the truth! .. Here’s why. .. Joy is a much deeper emotion, the result of which is a quiet, confident assurance of God’s love which then evolves into a sense of security which is unsurpassed by any other means. .. In other words, ‘happiness’ depends primarily upon ‘happenings & stuff,’ while joy depends fully & totally upon your spiritual well-being, your relationship with Jesus Christ. .. As some of you already know, I’ve experienced them both. .. Measuring purely by human standards, I’ve achieved considerable success in both the music & corporate settings, and have fled them both because of the sheer & selfish emptiness they ultimately offered. .. Since discovering the meaning of a true & sincere relationship with Jesus Christ, I can tell you that there is absolutely NO comparison! .. The ‘immediate high’ has been replaces with a lasting confidence & hope of an ‘eternal’ happiness & joy. .. Hallelujah! … And now my hope & desire is that all of you can find what I have .. a true ‘sense of security.’ ..
I will once more share these lyrics to a song I wrote just a few years back about all this. .. I named it “The Answer” .. Why? .. Because it is ….
“Eyes looking out from darkness – lonely & afraid ..
searching for hope & safety – but sensing fear instead ..
Wondering what will free them – in the days to come ..
from the fear of desperation – emptiness for some ..
“Reaching to the heavens – empty & alone ..
searching for an answer – of something that’s unknown ..
Hope seems only fleeting – when faced with despair ..
Grasping for an answer – but finding nothing there ..
“Now they’re running to & fro – everywhere ..
so many seem to have the answer – here & there ..
They’re looking to the wisdom – of this age ..
But answers always to to lie – on a different page ..
“But there is hope – there is love ..
just beyond – the edges of their gaze ..
There is peace – there’s an answer
this is the beginning – of a better day ..
Jesus is the answer – He’s the only way ……
“I tell you the truth, you will weep and mourn while the world rejoices. You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy.” .. John 16:20 … Hallelujah! ….
Simply, you don’t have to feel hopeless & lonely any longer! .. There is an answer .. and only one …
– JESUS CHRIST –
Until next time,