Posted in discernment, election, judgment, primaries, super tuesday

The political process is incidental to our Christian lives

On “Super Tuesday” preceding the long build-up to the November Presidential elections, James R. White of Alpha and Omega Ministries wrote a long political opinion piece on his Facebook page. I was struck by the first paragraphs, which I excerpt here. To read the full opinion essay, go to his Facebook page.

As my friend Patee Jennings said: “As you contemplate your day trust God is in control and still reigning on earth no matter what…..

The political process may be a part of our lives, but it is incidental to our Christian lives. This is evidenced by the fact that even those with minimal discernment can see that America is fading into history. Yet Jesus and His word shall never fade away. (Matthew 24:35)

James R. White, Waddell, AZ, United States 

James R. White bio 

The Disenfranchisement of Sanity 

I have a somewhat unique perspective on the political process in the United States. As a professional speaker and debater with extensive experience around the globe engaging in polemics and debate (and as an Independent, unaligned with either political party), I watch the drama playing out in the US with a mixture of horror, disgust, revulsion, shock, and what would pass for humor if our freedoms, liberty, and future were not at stake. It is not that political debate has been particularly in-depth or appropriate in years past. Real “debates” have always been a rarity, but the 2016 Presidential election has reached new heights in absurdity. And this time, “evangelicals” are smack-dab in the middle, playing a pivotal role in what I am convinced will be their own downfall. 

I write from the perspective of one who believes the great experiment with liberty that was the United States Constitution is breathing its last. That grand document has reached the end of its time of usefulness. It is not that the form of government it created does not remain a perfectly valid and liberty-granting institution. It is that the people it was written for no longer exists. It was not written to govern a self-centered, ignorant, arrogant, sinful, secularist people. It was written for a “moral and religious people,” as John Adams rightly said, “It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” It is hardly surprising that we would see confusion when the words of the Constitution have lost their meaning and their ability to provide guidance.

But there is much more going on in this election year. I see clear and compelling evidence of supernatural activity in our land. Yes, I see the judgment of God upon a people who can see the videos of Planned Parenthood, aka Molech International, and not only refuse to immediately shut them down—out of simple, common humanity—but instead they prosecute those who documented the evil, and rally to the defense of the caretakers of the ovens of Dachau! This is the same nation that has festooned its government buildings with rainbow-colored lights in celebration of the overthrow of the ordinance of marriage by five robed oligarchs.

Yes, judgment is in the air. …

Posted in holy, judgment, prophecy, tongue

"The Tape Recorder Judgment"

Every human will be judged. There are two kinds of judgment. One is for the lost, judgment for their sin. God will judge them and then cast them into hell for all eternity to endure the punishment of His wrath. (Revelation 20:11-15). This is known as the Great White Throne Judgment.

The other judgment is not really a judgment, more of an evaluation. All believers will stand before Christ after the rapture, and He will evaluate their lives based on what they did for Him, and what their motivation was. Christ will judge our works. We aren’t under wrath because as believers we entered heaven through the Door of Jesus, and He already exhausted God’s wrath for us by absorbing our punishment for sins when He was on the cross. So, God is not angry with us like He is with the unbelievers, but we can lose rewards that we would have otherwise earned. This is known as the Bema Seat. (2 Corinthians 5:10).

Hebrews 10:31 says “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” Though we have nothing to fear, just thinking about standing before Jesus and having all my works and secrets of the heart exposed is cringe-worthy. To add fuel to the fire, so to speak, our pastor said the following last Sunday. I’ll paraphrase.

He was in a court situation observing a woman who was about to be sentenced for her DUI charge. As the court came together and the judge was preparing to speak the verdict, our pastor said that he could see the defendant begin to shake. Her arm quivered visibly, then her leg. She soon was shaking uncontrollably. A human judge was about the render a verdict in her crime, and she knew she was guilty. Her shaking increased. It is a fearful thing to be publicly judged for our crimes.

Now imagine this.

Imagine that God put a tape recorder around your neck. For the next year, He recorded everything you said. At the end of the year, He took off the tape recorder and played it back. Imagine then, He uses the same level of judgment that you used when talking to other people or about other people…on you.

It makes us cringe, doesn’t it? And if we think that our own words used against us as the benchmark of judgment is harsh, a human standard, what then of God’s holy and perfect standard? One cannot even conceive of being able to stand before Him.

If you, LORD, kept a record of sins, Lord, who could stand? (Psalm 130:3)

And yet those who are in Christ, will be able to stand.

The Psalm verse goes on to show the glorious reason why,

But with you there is forgiveness, that you may be feared. (Psalm 130:4)

If in thinking of the tape recorded judgments you utter make you shrink back in fear of having those same levels of judgment thrown back at you… if thinking of that human standard makes you fear of their exposure before Jesus’ much higher Godly standard, that is the fear of the Lord. It is a good fear. It is a Godly fear. It is the kind of fear that keeps our behavior and our sins in perspective. God’s holy standard of judgment are perfect and unimaginable, and thinking of them rendered upon the lost makes me feel more compassion for them, instead of irritation. Thinking of my own words used against me to judge me, keeps me more honest about my conversations.
And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell. (James 3:6).
Posted in book of life, daniel, judgment, prophecy

"and the books were opened…"

Even in these casual, pagan, secular days, there are still a few places which engender a gravitas and causes proper behavior to be displayed and proper clothing to be worn: funerals, and court.

The somber scene where the anticipation of the gallery, the nerves of the plaintiff and defendant, the busyness of the defense and prosecuting lawyers as they bustle to their seats and open attache cased and extract papers and files…then the bailiff comes and says ALL RISE! and the gravity of the scene deepens as the Judge enters. You stand before the judge, you don’t lounge, sit, squirm, or are in any way inattentive. He commands the courtroom! Then He opens his file and the proceedings begin. It is a somber and serious scene.

Imagine, then, the exponentially deeper gravity of that scene when the JUDGE comes to hear the cases of each and every person who ever lived.

“He told me all I ever did!” (John 4:39).

Jesus will judge each person and the proceedings will be the most serious, the most grave that were ever conducted anywhere ever. Here is from Daniel 7:9-10. Please read it slowly and ask the Spirit to impress the scene upon your heart. There is little attention paid to prophecy, judgment and accountability these days. This scene will happen for the hundreds of millions of people who do not know Christ. Is your colleague, friend, loved one going to be among them?

Is the name of your friend, loved one or colleague’s name in the Lamb’s Book of Life? Or is their name in the Books that recount all they ever did, which was sin against our Holy God unto everlasting judgment. Share the Gospel and the reason for the season today. Jesus our Savior, Hallelujah, the Lamb has come!

“As I looked,
thrones were placed,
and the Ancient of Days took his seat;
his clothing was white as snow,
and the hair of his head like pure wool;
his throne was fiery flames;
its wheels were burning fire.
10A stream of fire issued
and came out from before him;
a thousand thousands served him,
and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him;
the court sat in judgment,
and the books were opened…
Daniel 7:9-10

EPrata photo

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Further Reading

The Holy Spirit: God’s Prosecutor

Posted in deliverance, judgment, micah, old testament, wrath

Micah’s question: Who is like God in His judgments?

EPrata photo

The faithful have been swept from the land; not one upright person remains. (Micah 7:2 NIV)

Some thoughts on Micah’s entreaty regarding the moral breakdown of Isaraelite society, after listening to James Montgomery Boice’s exposition of Micah 7.

God has stored up His wrath on sinners for His great Day. We know this because it is promised repeatedly throughout the Bible. But that does not mean He is not judging now, also. He does send His wrath onto the earth when He judges nations. (Romans 1:18). He is supreme in His holiness, and one of those supreme attributes is that He judges now. When He judges a nation, its rulers, and its people,  He shows us that the wages of sin really is death. (Romans 3:10). On a more individual level or regarding a family unit, when we go our way He begins to show us the frustration of sin in our lives, and eventually if someone is unrepentant, destruction comes- ether now or later.

Micah begins his picture of judgement on national Israel by showing a three-pronged cycle.

1. God judges moral breakdown in a society. “Everyone lies in wait to shed blood; they hunt each other with nets.” (Micah 7:2b).

2. It continues with a breakdown in leadership. “Judges accept bribes. Rulers demand gifts. The powerful dictate what they desire— they all conspire together.” (Micah 7:3).

3. His judgment finalizes with breakdown in the family, the most personal and foundational of all. Do not trust a neighbor; put no confidence in a friend. Even with the woman who lies in your embrace guard the words of your lips. For a son dishonors his father, a daughter rises up against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law— a man’s enemies are the members of his own household. (Micah 7:5-6)

The cycle Micah describes above begins with a general immorality in a society, descends to more personal immorality such as corrupt leaders, rulers, and judges. It ends with neighbors betraying one another and one’s own intimate family members being an enemy. A society exhibiting that kind of judgment is truly at the end of its national life.

We see that last-stage internal family betrayal as an indicator of a society’s moral breakdown is repeated in Matthew 10:36, “And a person’s enemies will be those of his own household.”

Societies break down, that happens. What Micah is doing in recording his own day’s societal breakdown is that he was showing the breakdown against God’s moral excellency. In chapter 7, Micah is talking about the judgment of God upon a rebellious society. What makes this so significant, is that this is an aspect of God’s judgment in the here and now (of Micah’s day, of Jesus’ day and of our day and of the future day) and not only a future Day of the LORD. It’s like this- if a society refuses God who made them and blesses them and protects them, then breakdown will follow. This promise of wrath revealed upon corrupt and rebellious societies is mirrored in the New Testament cycle of Romans 1:18-32, a cycle which I’ve mentioned often.

When you see this kind of breakdown is should be evident to the people as to what has happened in their national life. In Romans 1 it effectively states that when they would not have God, He would not have them. When a society rejects God, the decline of national life is inevitable. They reject God, He rejects them. They rebel against God, He gives them over to rebellion. After a while it is impossible to detect who is doing the rejecting, as the very sin a society chose becomes their very own judgment.

Micah asked, Who is like our God in His judgments? and it is good and wise thing to remember and ask ourselves in this day.

Yet for all the reality of wrath and judgment, there is a promise of deliverance! There is no one like God in His judgments, yet there is no one like God in His deliverance. God judges, but He delivers and when He delivers, He shepherds! He is a good God who cares for His flock. Micah was speaking specifically of Israel and to Israel here, look at the promise of future deliverance of the nation God has elected!

You do not stay angry forever
but delight to show mercy.
You will again have compassion on us;
you will tread our sins underfoot
and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea.
You will be faithful to Jacob,
and show love to Abraham,
as you pledged on oath to our ancestors
in days long ago.

He is a God who fulfills His promises! What do we need to do in the meantime, as we wait for the glorious return?

But as for me, I watch in hope for the Lord,
I wait for God my Savior;
my God will hear me.
(Micah 7:7)

Posted in death, glory, jesus, judgment, shoreham

Shoreham Air Crash, pics and video

News today is of a terrible crash of a plane participating in an air show…that crashed on the highway adjacent to the field, killing commuters.

Dramatic video has emerged showing a plane as it crashed during an airshow in southern England. The footage shows the aircraft hitting a road, striking a number of vehicles, as it explodes into flames. The number of casualties is still unclear.


Published on Aug 22, 2015. A Hawker Hunter plane has crashed at Shoreham Airshow in West Sussex.

It is now known that at least 7 people were killed in the crash.

Ian Fowler ‏@ian_wfc posted this on Twitter–

My heart goes to the families of the pilot and 7 unaware passersby who were killed. I cannot imagine worse news than the family at home receiving a call that a loved one has died tragically.

Wait, yes I can.

If they didn’t know Jesus. That is worse.

Our days are numbered, there are only so many of them that the Lord has ordained, (Psalm 39:4), and then we go to our eternal destination, heaven or hell.

Yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. (James 4:14)

That sudden tragedy tells us is that it can happen any time, in any manner, to anyone.

In the immediate aftermath of America’s most recent tragedy, 9/11, John MacArthur preached this:

I’m going to give you one last reason and this is the real reason we need to understand. Theological reason…why did it happen? Why did all those people die? I’ll tell you why, because the wages of sin is death. That’s why, because it’s appointed unto men once to…what?…die. I don’t know how else to say it. Nothing happened to those people on Tuesday that wasn’t going to happen anyway. They were all going to die, just not then, they thought. Nothing extraordinary about people dying. Are you ready for this? Since Tuesday 50 thousand Americans have died…since Tuesday. Have you been concerned? Fifty thousand. This year, 2.5 million will die. And eventually everybody will die, that’s reality. We feel much more comfortable when they die one by one.

We all have an eternal destination, please consider what it takes to not go to your default place forever: hell. Because we are sinners from birth and we sin against a holy God, He will not allow us into His heaven. We need to be declared righteous and that can only happen if we enter through the only Righteous One, Jesus Christ. If you repent of your sins and  submit to Jesus, you will please God and He will declare your sins forgotten and forgiven. Otherwise…

and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.” (Mark 1:15)

Posted in death, hell, judgment, prophecy, second coming, sin, wrath

Preaching wrath-sin-death-judgment as well as salvation-grace-redemption-hope

“Wrath”. EPrata photo

A third of the Bible is prophecy. There are fulfilled prophecies, prophecies that have been fulfilled and will be again (double prophecies, Pentecost, Acts 2:14-21), and prophecies that are yet to be fulfilled. (Christ’s second coming)

There are complicated prophecies, (Book of Obadiah, Daniel’s prophecies) and simple prophecies. (Messiah will be born of a virgin, (Isaiah 7:14). Prophecies that involve war upon nations (Ezekiel 35:4) and prophecies that involve just one individual. (Eve will be the mother of all the living, Genesis 3:20; Mary a virgin would give birth, Luke 1:35).

Many Christians are fascinated by prophecy and study them diligently. But there is a prophecy that many people don’t like to study and it is one that affects all people, Christian and non-Christian alike.

Jesus said He is coming again to judge the living and the dead. (Ecclesiastes 3:17; Jeremiah 17:10). Non-believers will be judged based on their works and condemned, and believers will be judged not unto condemnation but still, judged according to our works.

No Christian likes to be thinking about the prophecy of being weighed in the scales and found wanting. No one likes to think they have disappointed Jesus. We all want to hear “Well done, good and faithful servant.” (Matthew 25:23). Not all of us will. Some will enter heaven by the skin of their teeth. (1 Corinthians 3:15).

Yet Christians are told several times about our coming judgment (not unto condemnation, but according to our works).

Believers are judged at the Judgment Seat of Christ (Romans 14:10-12). We will all have to give an account of ourselves. Jesus will judge the decisions we made, whether they were founded on the flesh or upon Him.

One subset of judgment will be teachers of His word. Teachers of the Bible will be judged more strictly-

Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness. (James 3:1).

Grumblers will be judged-

Don’t grumble against one another, brothers and sisters, or you will be judged. The Judge is standing at the door! (James 4:11, James 5:9).

“Doom sky”. EPrata photo

All non-believers will be judged. As much as a Christian cringes at the thought of being judged by the Mighty Righteous God, non-believers absolutely hate us even mentioning it to them! The lost person becomes angry at the very thought of them having failed the standard God sets forth. Yet it will happen, at what is called the Great White Throne Judgment of Revelation 20:11-15.

This judgment does not determine salvation because the lost person’s eternal state is fixed at death. Everyone at the Great White Throne will be an unbeliever who has rejected Christ while they were living and is therefore already doomed to an eternity in the lake of fire. (Revelation 20:12). The judgment they will be experiencing is their life works projected like a mirror against a holy and righteous God and the level of their torment assigned. Yes, there are different degrees of punishment in hell.

Believers should think about this most difficult subject for several reasons. First, because as each person is cast (thrown) into the Lake of Fire (Revelation 20:15) we can easily what John Bradford said. He was a martyr, imprisoned for the faith in 1553. As prisoners were paraded to the execution stake, Bradford would exclaim,

The pious Martyr Bradford, when he saw a poor criminal led to execution, exclaimed, “there, but for the grace of God, goes John Bradford.” He knew that the same evil principles were in his own heart which had brought the criminal to that shameful end. (Source A treatise on prayer by Edward Bickersteth (1822).

Over time the phrase has been amended to say “There but for the grace of God, goes I.” Any one of us could be that person facing the wrath of Jesus, condemned and tossed into the torment forever, unless it had been Him sovereignly saving us. We are no longer under wrath, but at one point in our lives, we were. Don’t forget that.

Second, the Christian should ponder these things because we must give the full counsel of God as we witness. (Acts 20:27). We must share the bad news before we can get to the Good News. The bad news that there is no one righteous, no, not one. (Romans 3:10). We all fall short of the glory of God and are destined for the Lake of Fire forever, to be punished for our sins by the Judge. We tend to shorten the witnessing moment because we expect the outrage and anger when sharing that the person we are talking with is a sinner in need of the grace of Jesus. It’s hard to make someone angry. Even pastors shorten the counsel of God, by omitting the sin-death-wrath-punishment part and then quickly get to the part that they think is more palatable, or “attractive.”

“Red heaven” EPrata photo

The full counsel means both sides, His sovereign choice of the people He elects to salvation, and the personal responsibility of each man to repent and believe else be eternally responsible for their sin. Spurgeon said of the full counsel of God

Running away with half a Truth, they are like men that go through the wilderness wearing only one shoe—they become lame in one foot—and that makes them limp all over. It does not matter which foot it is that is lame—the man is a cripple if either foot is thus afflicted.

Think often of the prophecy of the Second Coming of Jesus. He spoke of it more often than anything else. The Bible refers of it constantly. Within the Second Coming are a host of different prophecies. I agree, they are interesting to study. However, we need to remember that we labor for a holy God and He will return to judge the living and the dead.

Acts 10:42
He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one whom God appointed as judge of the living and the dead.

Romans 14:9
For this very reason, Christ died and returned to life so that he might be the Lord of both the dead and the living.


2 Timothy 4:1
In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction

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Further reading

What does it mean to preach the whole counsel of God

The whole counsel of God

What is the difference between the Rapture and the Second Coming?

Posted in encouragement, john macarthur, judgment, prophecy, rapture, relief, tribulation

Beleaguered brethren, relief is on the way

What a blessed relief the rapture is to look forward to!!!

In his tremendous sermon delivered last Sunday, July 19, Pastor John MacArthur demonstrated once again the qualities of a superlative shepherd.

After Memorial Day he planned to go on vacation as usual. He delivered a sermon to help his flock prepare for events that may occur while he was gone. He said in his good-bye for now sermon,  “Hope for a Doomed Nation” that

So as we look at our nation – and I don’t know what’s going to happen in the next few weeks when I’m not here. I’m just kind of preempting that a little bit by helping you to be able to think through whatever happens. I have to say at this point that there are many churches who aren’t helping.

One event was obviously what turned out to be the devastating Supreme Court decision to legalize homosexual marriage in all 50 states as the law of the land. We knew that the Supreme Court decision was coming out in early June, and we knew the decision would not likely swing to the moral side of the compass. So the Pastor was preparing his flock to receive bad news and retain their spiritual equilibrium (and ours too, if we listen to GTY). However, in addition to the SCOTUS decision, we also endured the Charleston church shooting, Chattanooga military base terrorist shooting, Louisiana movie theater shooting, and the Planned Parenthood videos. A lot happened while their senior pastor was away.

So much so, that the rapidity of our moral collapse as a nation is dizzying. The collapse is coming from many different directions. That’s partly why it’s dizzying, our heads are swinging from this side to that to detect all the incoming. So though Pastor MacArthur’s vacation was going to be the usual length, most of the summer, MacArthur had an opportunity to return and preach for one Sunday, July 19 before resuming this week. In the face of moral collapse, heightened danger physically and spiritually for every Christian in this country, and grief over the heinousness of the Planned Parenthood videos, how can a pastor best help his flock at such a time as this?

He opened that sermon, We Will Not Bow by saying,

A lot is happening at a very rapid rate. And with all the discussion that’s been going on, I’ve been kind of eager to get to you, and maybe help to give you a perspective.

His phrase, ‘get to you’, was filled with urgency and the word ‘to’ was emphasized. You’ll hear it if you listen. It reminded me of a mama on a playground suddenly hearing her child cry because he fell down, and her instinct is to rush over and scoop him up and protect. That was the attitude in his statement, a shepherd rushing over to protect the sheep, to calm them and give them food. This in itself is encouraging.

The sermon was encouraging as much as it was informative. Toward the conclusion of it, MacArthur focused on the relief that is in store.

No matter what is occurring in the world or the United States ultimately there will be an end. The end for believers will be blessed relief from the corruptions of our flesh, the battles against the temptations of the world, and the deliverance from the presence of satan and sin. It will all end and for us, the end will be a holy blessed relief. It all can be summed up in one word: Jesus. He gives the relief and His work on the cross actuated it.

Part of that relief will be the righteous satisfaction in seeing evildoers punished. The end for those who do not love Jesus is eternal conscious torment after having been judged at the Great White Throne Judgment. I know this isn’t a palatable statement for many to read, but once we are glorified at the rapture and the end of all things plays out, we will be part of Jesus in every way. He longs for making all things right and we will too. Sinners’ sins are so terrible against our Jesus that we will want to see Him enthroned, claiming His position as dispenser of justice.

MacArthur said

But that same event brings us relief, relief. Verse 6, “It is only just for God to repay with affliction.” And implied, it is only just for God to give relief. He will give relief to His own. Affliction will end. Persecution will end. Suffering will end. That’s His promise. And it will end for those that belong to Him—those who have been afflicted by a God-rejecting, Christ-rejecting world.

And what does that relief look like? Verse 10, we’ll be glorified with Him on that day, “to be marveled at among all who have believed.” I love to think of that. We’re going to look at each other and say, “Whoa, did you turn out amazing! I never could have imagined.” I’ve told you before, I know there are many of you, that when we get to heaven, I won’t recognize. Perfection with obliterate any memory of what you used to be.

We’re just passing through, aren’t we? We’re just passing through. (John MacArthur “We Will Not Bow“)

I began this essay saying what a good shepherd John MacArthur is. I have several friends who had opportunity to hear the sermon live last Sunday. They both tweeted how blessed they were to hear it and be comforted along with many other solid believers. I write this essay because not everyone has such a blessing.

As the moral slide gains steam and hurtles down that downgrade, many discerning believers are left adrift inside their local congregations with unworthy shepherds. Some pastors are just plain unskilled at being able to comfort through scriptures. These pastors preach topically, usually three points of self-help sermons such as “Three Ways to Get Your Kids to Listen to You” or “Six Ways to Change Your Life”. Self-help is no help at all when trials come.

Other pastors are ignorant of eschatology or are unwilling to give it credence. Thus they avoid scriptures that refer to the end of all things such as the Matthew 24 or 1 Thessalonians verses, which actually are designed to comfort. (1 Thessalonians 4:18).

Other pastors are not saved and are actually agents of satan. We don’t like to believe this, but it is true far more often than most people realize. S. Lewis Johnson preached,

And so it was inevitable, Paul says, that factions would exist in the church. For there must also be factions among you that those are approved may be recognized among you. In fact, the factions and the process of being approved by the way in which we respond to the problems of the local church is really an anticipation of a separation that is to occur at the judgment seat — well, at the Great White Throne judgment.

There are people who are in ostensible fellowship with local churches that are not going to be in heaven. We know that. The Bible details that, too. Satan is very active in the Christian church seeking to overthrow the ministry of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. And so, consequently, he infiltrates the Christian churches. And if it’s a Christian church that is a fruitful church there will be some there that are not emissaries of our Lord but are really emissaries of Satan. Paul talks about that in 2 Corinthians chapter 11.

And he says “not only are they sitting in the pew, they’re standing by the pulpit.” As a matter of fact, the ones standing behind the pulpit are more dangerous and more likely to upset the Church of God. And so Satan is very anxious to have one standing behind a pulpit, or standing behind this pulpit, too, for that matter. 

For it is time for judgment to begin at the household of God; and if it begins with us, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God? (1 Peter 4:17)

So for those who do not have the blessing of a faithful pastor, and/or are attending a church filled with false doctrine but don’t know where else to go, or are dealing with factions and disgruntled members, or who simply feel alone even in the middle of a local congregation, take heart.

We are sojourners on this hostile planet. But that will end. Relief is on the way. Praise Jesus.

Posted in encouragement, gay marriage, homosexual, judgment, lot, sodom, supreme court

Take comfort: God knows how to rescue the Godly from trials

The Destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, John Martin, 1852.

if by turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to ashes he condemned them to extinction, making them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly; 7and if he rescued righteous Lot, greatly distressed by the sensual conduct of the wicked 8(for as that righteous man lived among them day after day, he was tormenting his righteous soul over their lawless deeds that he saw and heard); 9then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment until the day of judgment, 10and especially those who indulge in the lust of defiling passion and despise authority. (2 Peter 2:6-10).

Imagine being Lot. A just and righteous man, he must have been greatly upset by what he saw all around him. We tease and laugh at Lot’s unwise decisions, choosing the city over the plain when separating from Abraham. We chidingly say, “Why didn’t Lot move out?” But by now he had a life there, economic entanglements, a family. He sat by the gate, which meant he was a town elder. Perhaps Lot thought he could do some good with what influence he had. Perhaps the slide toward almost total wickedness crept up on him. In the United States it really only took about 20 years for a reversal from east to west, from top to bottom, a change of nation-wide magnitude to happen.

Though many are mourning the Supreme Court’s decision to allow homosexual marriage in all the land, we aren’t righteous Lot. He had only two other truly righteous people around him, his daughters. His wife was later unmasked as false, unfortunately. Only Lot and his daughters. He did not have the Holy Spirit in Him, either, for comfort. Nor did he belong to the Body of Christ and thereby take comfort from fellow believers. It was just Lot, two daughters, and a city full of sodomites.

We are blessed! We have churches free and open (for now). We have blogs to express our thoughts and books we can be edified from and the Bible freely sold to learn about our holy God and brethren far away but as near as Skype to encourage and be encouraged by. We have prayer and a High Priest who intercedes for us!

SO! If the LORD God knew how to rescue righteous Lot, then He knows how to rescue the godly from trials. Our God is a God who sees the plight of the oppressed! (Genesis 16:13)

Our God is a God who hears!

And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. (1 John 5:14)

But truly God has listened; he has attended to the voice of my prayer. (Psalm 66:19)

Our God is not a distant, unaware, aloof God! He is intimately involved with His people and with the world!

Then the Lord said, “The outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is so great and their sin so grievous 21that I will go down and see if what they have done is as bad as the outcry that has reached me. If not, I will know.” (Genesis 18:20-21)

The Lord going down is explained in Jamieson-Fausset, Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible:

language used after the manner of men. These cities were to be made examples to all future ages of God’s severity; and therefore ample proof given that the judgment was neither rash nor excessive (Ez 18:23; Je 18:7).

God is patient, but aware. The righteous will be rescued and the wicked will be punished. I glory in both of these attributes, His long-suffering and His holy justice to come. His patience is so that many will come to repentance. Therefore, far from crying today I am worshiping our Great God. He hears the cries of the oppressed and of the righteous. He is omnipotent, all-powerful the great Amen. He’s got this!

Posted in heat wave, India, judgment, prophecy, revelation, wrath

Heat wave in India so severe roads are melting

Some roads in New Delhi melted.

This is an actual cover of yesterday’s newspaper in New Delhi, India. Steve Herman is the Asia correspondent for Voice of America.

Here is the story:
Intense heat wave claims over 900 lives across India, torrid temperatures melt roads in Delhi

An unrelenting heat wave has killed more than 900 people across the country over a fortnight with southern neighbours Andhra Pradesh and Telangana bearing the brunt, as torrid temperatures melted roads in the national capital and forced people indoors on Tuesday. The meteorological department issued “red box” warnings for Odisha, Jharkhand and coastal Andhra Pradesh, signalling high chances of heatstroke, dehydration and fatality with temperatures inching upwards of 45°C and conditions worsened by constant dry, sweltering winds.

This article from CNN said that the temps rose as high as 118F (48C), breaking previous the national high of 117. Some areas have reported temps of 120F. CNN reported that the death toll has reached 1,100 persons, dead from heat stroke or dehydration. In India, seven hundred ninety-two million people have no access to electricity, which means they do not even have a fan to even try and cool off.

By all accounts this heat is not normal and it’s breaking records, even for normally hot India. The average high temperature for Delhi in May is 90F. A prolonged heat wave with temps in solid triple-teen digits is unusual, though infrequently the temps may reach low triple digits for short periods. People who have been interviewed for news articles  have talked about how the heat wave has crippled the city, caused dehydration, parched bodies seeking water from anywhere.

The storm gathers: sin piles up to heaven, wrath is promised

All this reminds of of the Tribulation to come. It is not the Tribulation now. However, this heat in India reminds of of the more severe heat stored up in His wrath that the Lord will pour out on the world. This heatwave today is a dim picture of the judgment to come.

One of the judgments will be a scorching heat, at the same time there will be no water. The Euphrates will be dried up. (Rev 16:12). The rivers and other waters will be made into blood. They will have only blood to drink (Rev 16:4-6)

The fourth angel poured out his bowl on the sun, and it was allowed to scorch people with fire. They were scorched by the fierce heat, and they cursed the name of God who had power over these plagues. They did not repent and give him glory. (Revelation 16:8-9).

This is that the MacArthur Commentary for the Book of Revelation says about the above verse:

In contrast to the first three angels, who poured out their bowls on the earth, the fourth angel poured our his bowl on the sun. As a result the sun, which has since the fourth day of creation (Gen. 1:14-19) given the world warmth, light and energy, becomes a deadly killer. Searing heat exceeding anything in human experience will scorch men so severely that it will seem like the atmosphere is on fire. Those who will be scorched with the sun’s fierce heat are the same “people who had the mark of the beast and worshiped its image.” (v. 2).

This fiery judgment is reminiscent of Isaiah 24:4-6,

The earth mourns and withers; the world languishes and withers; the highest people of the earth languish. 5The earth lies defiled under its inhabitants; for they have transgressed the laws, violated the statutes, broken the everlasting covenant. 6Therefore a curse devours the earth, and its inhabitants suffer for their guilt; therefore the inhabitants of the earth are scorched, and few men are left.

One would think that the unparalleled disasters of the first four bowl judgments would cause people to repent. God’s judgment is designed to bring sinners to repentance (Rom 2:4), or, like Pharaoh,  to harden their hearts.  Instead of blaming their sin, in the most shocking example of hardness of heart in history, they blasphemed the name of God, whom they know to be responsible for all their misery. Amazingly, they know that it is God who has the power over the plagues that were afflicting them. Yet they will love their sin so much, and be so deceived by the antichrist, that they will not repent so as to give God glory. Until this point, only the antichrist has been described as blaspheming, (Revelation 13:1, 5-6); here the world adopts his evil character.

Do I refer to this heatwave’s a shadowy picture of one of the judgments to come because I believe we are in the Tribulation now? Of course not. The rapture of the church will happen first, and then the judgments will be rendered by the Holy and Just Judge exactly and in the order as chronicled in Revelation.

Do I speak of the severe judgment to come in order to instill fear? A little. Holy fear and biblical knowledge of the power of God in wrath is a good thing. His judgment and His wrath are holy attributes of which we should be acquainted. But that is not why I write about the India heat-wave, entirely.

It is because knowledge of the future judgments should give us an urgency to —

–witness with words as to the grace available through Jesus Christ now,
–live holy lives in the face of known coming judgment

When I read something like the India heatwave in the headlines, my mind goes this:

“Man, I’m sorry for those people. It hurts my heart to see this suffering.”
“Boy that heatwave is nothing like the one prophesied to come in Revelation. I wouldn’t wish that on my worst enemy…”
“I’m sooooo grateful to have been saved by His grace and living with the knowledge that He is preparing a place for us and to receive us in His great gathering up!”
“What about my neighbor? Does she know Jesus? Does she know how much He loves us but is storing up wrath to come? I should talk with her tomorrow…”

Prophecy is God’s glory on display

Prophecy gives us urgency. It reveals God’s plan and offers us the wonder of seeing it fulfilled to the jot and tittle, from the past by reading the Bible, and the future as we await His return. Prophecy shows us His holy anger, of which we must fear. We gain comfort and hope- think of Simeon and Anna in the temple, eagerly awaiting the Consolation of Israel, their hope and comfort fulfilled before their eyes as Mary and Joseph came to present the babe. (Luke 2).

I like being heavenly minded. I think of seeing the face of Jesus, singing to Him with all the redeemed. I think of the street of gold, the saints of the past I’ll get to know, and so much more. Being heavenly minded also means seeing the justice of God as He renders it in the Tribulation and in the Millennial Kingdom. Judgment, wrath, and hell. There but for the grace of God go I… He took my ragged and pitifully craven life and turned it into something glorious for the Father. He put in me a new heart and my soul daily being cleansed of sin.

In all the ways above and many more, prophecy demonstrates His glory.

I encourage you all to read and study the Book of Revelation. It is not difficult, and the Spirit will make it clear. John MacArthur’s “Because the Time is Near” is tremendous in explaining the Book, or any of his sermons at gty.org from Revelation are good. You know we receive a blessing if you read the Book of Revelation. In addition, as you saw from the explanation above, the parallel verse to the scorching heat verse in Revelation is one from Isaiah. Zechariah has as much prophecy in it related to the final days on earth as Revelation does, if not more. I enjoyed Steve Hadley’s verse-by-verse sermons from Zechariah. There is so much prophecy in the Old Testament. I guess I should just say that the entire Bible is wonderful. Some say that a quarter of the whole Bible is prophetic. There is history, Law, narrative, poetry, wisdom, and prophecy. Something for everyone! So get to it today, don’t shy away from prophecy, especially Revelation.

Prophecy puts me in my place. I am a crumb, saved by grace, and at His perfect appointed time, placed within the Age of Grace to do His will, and perhaps gloriously see His rapture while I’m alive. What a privilege. Share Jesus with another, His prophetic timetable is moving quickly toward the climactic moments on earth.

Posted in discern, judgment, prophecy, signs

“Discerning the Signs of the Times” by Pastor Phil Andrukaitis

A pastor-friend from Maine recently wrote this below, what was on his heart. I agree with it. It’s on my heart too.

In Hosea 5:12, the LORD promised to bring moth-like judgment upon Israel.

But I am like a moth to Ephraim, and like dry rot to the house of Judah.

Gill’s Exposition explains this long-slow kind of judgment.

Therefore will I be unto Ephraim as a moth,…. Which eats garments, penetrates into them, feeds on them privately, secretly, without any noise, and gradually and slowly consumes them; but at last utterly, that they are of no use and profit: this may signify the various things which befell the ten tribes in the reigns of Zachariah, Shallum, Menahem, Pekahiah, and Pekah, which secretly and gradually weakened them

It is not hard to imagine the Lord employing the same kind of judgment on America and other nations as we deepen our apostasy and turn from Him.

Pastor Andrukaitis

The author of the piece below, Pastor Phil Andrukaitis, is senior Pastor of First Baptist Church, South Portland Maine. Please read the below and see if you agree also.

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“Discerning the Signs of the Times”

When hostile, threatened, religious leaders questioned Jesus about His identity and ministry, Jesus responded, “When it is evening you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red;’ and in the morning, ‘It will be foul weather today, for the sky is red and threatening.’ Hypocrites! You know how to discern the face of the sky, but you cannot discern the signs of the times.” (Matthew 16:1-3).

I’m reminded of an earlier time during the initial reign of King David [1011 BC – 971 BC], when the men of Issachar, one of the twelve tribes of Israel, were identified as those “who had an understanding of the times…” (1st Chronicles 12:32).

Question: I wonder how many Christians understand the present times in which we live.

In my devotional reading this morning, my heart was moved by King Josiah’s response when the Book of the Law [God’s Word] had been found in the house of the LORD, while it was being restored by faithful servants.

Evidently, during his grandfather’s 55-year reign as king [Manasseh] and his father’s 2-year reign [Amon], the Book of the Law was lost because these two kings, like many kings before them, had served idols, seduced the nation to follow after other gods, and shed much innocent blood throughout the nation. However, when Hilkiah the high priest found the Book of the Law, he brought it to the attention of King Josiah.

As the Book of the Law was read to King Josiah, the Scriptures says that Josiah’s heart was tender. In addition, Josiah humbled himself before the LORD when he heard what lay ahead for the nation – judgment and desolation because the nation had turned away from God Almighty and had forsaken His Word. And Josiah wept before God and he tore his clothes (2nd Kings 22:1-20). Judgment was on the doorstep of the nation. Judgment was certain. God had set the date.

Questions: First, how do we respond when the Word of God is read? Think about it. Are our hearts tender towards the Word? Do we humble ourselves before God? Do we weep and grieve over the sins in our lives, in our families, in our churches, in our nation? Do we desire spiritual and numerical growth for the body of Christ?

Second, I wonder how oblivious God’s people are towards the events unfolding in our world today. I am not an alarmist who is crying, “The sky is falling! The sky is falling!” Rather, my cry is, “Jesus is coming! Jesus is coming!”

Consider the sins of our nation for just a moment.

ABORTION: We have slaughtered nearly 55 million innocent infants in their mother’s wombs in the past 42 years, all for the sake of “protecting a woman’s choice.” This is a most damnable grievance before God. God is not going to turn away from the innocent cries of these infants. I praise God that these little ones who have been forsaken are in the presence of Jesus.

GBLT: We have cut loose the mooring lines that held this nation firm to the biblical, moral foundation by forsaking the Bible. The LORD God identifies these lifestyles an abomination in His eyes.

SELF: As sinners, we are prone to demote God in our lives and promote ourselves as “gods,” choosing to follow our sinful passions with a heart full of pride. Consequently, every imaginable sin flows out from our hearts and through our lives.

Listen, America is under God’s judgment. The Lord warned ancient Israel that if His people turn away from Him and forsake His Word, God would bring upon them the following curses (Deuteronomy 28): A state of confusion, diseases, natural calamities, rampant domestic violence, economic collapse, and evil rulers.

While these curses were specifically given to ancient Israel, principally speaking, our nation is experiencing the same type of judgments. Consider the evil rulers throughout our nation, the state of confusion and corruption within government, the growing unrest in our country, and the increasing disrespect for authority in our land.

I believe our nation is on the verge of a global economic collapse. I believe government is waiting for the right opportunity to impose martial law in our country. And I believe the church is on the threshold of her glorious hour, especially when God visits our nation with judgment. May the church of Jesus Christ do away with its stupid, petty fights and truly demonstrate that they are Christians, known by their love for one another and others.

I believe it is too late for America. However, it is not too late for individuals to return to the Lord. Confess your sins and your role in the moral collapse of our nation. Believe that Jesus died for you, paying your sin debt by being crucified on the cross. The Bible says, “Without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness of sins” (Hebrews 9:22). Believe that Jesus rose from His grave, as this is God the Father’s proof that Jesus’ sacrifice was acceptable and that Jesus has conquered death, sin, and the grave. Moreover, the Lord is willing to forgive the humble, repentant sinner who comes to Jesus in faith. Go on, surrender your life to Him and know the forgiveness and peace that comes with knowing God through a personal relationship with Jesus.

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By Pastor Phl Andrukaitis, Pastor First Baptist Church South Portland, ME. Phil enjoys fishing and target shooting. His passion is making disciples. As a former Marine, his motto is “Honor, courage and commitment are ‘corps’ values that build character. Phil has been married to Sally for over thirty years.

Further Reading

John MacArthur on America: A Nation Abandoned by God

My Utmost for His Highest: Judgment and the Love of God

“What signs indicate that the end times are approaching?”