Is it OK for Christians to be vegetarians/vegans?

I receive questions from time to time and usually answer them via email. This was on a topic not often raised (in my sphere) so I thought I’d answer it here as well as having answered the person individually.

Q. I have a question.

Lately I have been reading about health benefits of eating primarily vegetables and eliminating or reducing meats and dairy from a person’s diet. I listened to one of John Macarthur’s sermons on seducing spirits from 1 Timothy 4, and it does say everything God created is good.

Meat and dairy seem to be linked to many of the diseases we have in this country and western civilization. For health reasons is it ok for a Christian to refrain from certain foods?

I would think we are free to choose based on health reasons, but 1 Tim 4 says everything God created is good. So I wonder.

A. Thank you for your question and for your long readership of my blog! I appreciate both so much.

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The 1 Timothy 4 verse mentioned above is in verse 1-5,

Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons, 2 through the insincerity of liars whose consciences are seared, 3 who forbid marriage and require abstinence from foods that God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth. 4 For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, 5 for it is made holy by the word of God and prayer.

The false teachers were forcing an asceticism on the Ephesians that the Bible doesn’t command or even suggest. The John MacArthur Study Bible note says,

The false teachers’ asceticism contradicted scripture, which teaches that since God created both marriage and food, (Genesis 1:28-31, 2:18-24, 9:3) they are intrinsically good (Genesis 1:31). and to be enjoyed with gratitude by believers. Obviously food and marriage are essential to life and procreation.

The point was, no one has the right to force an asceticism on anyone, and all foods should be gratefully received because when God made them, they were good.

In Acts 10:10-15 God declared all foods clean, meaning the dietary restrictions placed on the Israelites was lifted.

On the more practical side of things, everything God created was good. Key detail: was. In the original creation, everything was perfect. When Man sinned and fell from grace, pollution and death entered the world. Botulism, salmonella, e coli, and other diseases cause us to select and prepare food very carefully. Our compromised human immune systems and tendency toward disease means we have to watch what we eat, especially if we have been diagnosed with celiac disease, diabetes, or other food-related conditions..

It falls to an individual’s Christian conscience as to what foods you would like to consume and how clean the conditions are when you prepare it.

I myself refrain from eating meat for both financial and taste reasons. I’m also a celiac and so for health reasons have to restrict gluten from my diet. There are many reasons one may want to restrict certain foods from their diet.

Because food restrictions are not prohibited nor commanded in the New Testament for NT believers, it falls in the gray area of Christian liberty. Even within these matters where there are no details, the Bible gives guidance.

Paul wrote about the law of liberty in Romans 14 and one of his examples was food. See the verses below.

For one man has faith to eat all things, while another, who is weak, eats only vegetables. Let not the one who eats despise the one who abstains, and let not the one who abstains pass judgment on the one who eats, for God has welcomed him. 4Who are you to pass judgment on the servant of another? It is before his own master that he stands or falls. And he will be upheld, for the Lord is able to make him stand. Rom 14:2-4.

In his example of those who eat only vegetables being ‘weak’, don’t worry, he is not saying vegetarianism is a character flaw, lol. The context is one where the Christian who was refraining from eating meat was afraid to get involved in eating meat that had been sacrificed to idols. That’s no longer an issue since even the last remnants of the sacrificial system have dwindled away.

1 Timothy 4:3 says, who forbid marriage and require abstinence from foods that God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth.

Here we see that food only becomes an issue when someone holding to some kind of authority imposes restrictions upon another. This is wrong, for God declared all foods clean. (Acts 10:15-16).

So if the question is one of personal conscience, health, or desire, and is not biblically forbidden, then not eating meat becomes a question of individual liberty, i.e. individual choice. As long as we’re not doing something that might cause a weaker brother to stumble, or judging someone by what they do/don’t eat, and we’re not violating a biblical prescription, then we may eat or not eat as one feels is physically wise and spiritually acceptable.

It’s worth noting that in the original creation, man was a vegetarian. He will be again in the future Millennial Kingdom.

Here is a resource John MacArthur recommended on the topic of dietary restrictions for the Israelites,

There’s an excellent paperback book called None of These Diseases, a little paperback by Dr. S.I. McMillen. Some of you may have read it. It’s very helpful in telling you why God gave Israel many of their laws regarding communicable diseases and dietary laws and what they could eat and so forth and so on.

Here is Ligonier Ministry with an essay on Christian Liberty guiding the believer when it comes to gray areas-

4 Principles for the Exercise of Christian Liberty

Friends, weigh in. What has been your experience with eating or not eating certain foods? (a different topic from the spiritual discipline of fasting)

Comments welcome below.

Physics and the Bible

Men have been yearning to learn of the mysteries of life, the universe, and our world since the beginning. Genesis 4:20-22 recounts the start of livestock husbandry, musical instrument making, and metal forging. By Genesis 11:3-4, not long after the Flood, people were building with the invention of bricks and mortar. They were also once again rejecting God and substituting their own selves for the deity as had occurred in Genesis 3.

This sinful attitude has never abated. In Romans 1:23 we read that man ‘exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.’

Man sees himself as God and as such he looks for answers within himself, using his own capabilities, never acknowledging that life itself is a gift from above, as is power (John 19:11) and even the conscience. (Isaiah 30:21, Romans 2:15).

But that doesn’t stop today’s scientists for looking for answers in all the wrong places. Or, they look for answers to the big questions of life in the right places, but fail to see or acknowledge God as the originator, author, architect, and ultimate Source.

Answers to the deep mysteries of life are not scientific, because they are supernatural, being originated from God. Science can only go so far.

I love science and I see God’s fingerprints all over it. The Bible is not a book of science, but it is a book of answers. If you have a biblical worldview, science fits right in. It’s the secular worldview that makes scientists perplexed when things don’t fit in, because they look, but do not see. (Matthew 13:13).

The BBC Documentary Atom is a multi-part series narrated by British physicist Jim al-Khalili. He makes particle physics and quantum physics understandable. Well, he makes a lot of it clear, lol, but not all of it is clear in my puny mind. That doesn’t matter, because where I fail to make connections scientifically, I can see the answers biblically. And that’s enough.

Example #1.

Here are some examples of what I’m talking about. Early in the series, the narrator is describing the scientists’ upset of discovering that everything is made up of atoms. Then they got more upset learning that atoms are (seemingly) mainly empty space.

1957 atom. Source

If you picture a football field, with the center being the nucleus, and a soccer ball rolling around the edge of it, that’s the proportional distance. How does the electron know to remain in orbit around its designated nucleus? Why doesn’t it dance off to another location, and what holds it there? These questions were posed in the documentary. There is a scientific answer. But also, there is a biblical answer.

And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. Colossians 1:17.

Jesus holds the electrons in their place.

Example #2.

In this section of the documentary, al-Khalili explains how genius Paul Dirac sought the unification solution before Feynman came up with it. Dirac is quoted as saying “a physical theory must have mathematical beauty”. The disparity between special relativity and quantum mechanics was not just inconvenient to Dirac, it was downright ugly.

The soul thirsts for God and not just a utilitarian God. We intuitively understand that God is orderly. His perfections include symmetry, and beauty. If the world emerged from a bang and chaos, why did it evolve to produce such beauty everywhere? The universe must be harmonious, it just seems right to believe this, as Dirac was sure of.

As RC Sproul explained in his lesson titled Recovering the Beauty of the Arts,

Will our art be beautiful or ugly? Harmonious or cacophonous? Orderly or chaotic? Once we see that God is the foundation of Beauty, since He Himself is Beauty, we shall see that God is the ultimate artist. He spoke and worlds were created. His word of order triumphed over the chaotic abyss present in Genesis 1:2. Any example of creation points to His majestic artistry.

God made the worlds beautiful and pronounced it all good. Dirac’s quest for a harmonious resolution of all things is an innate understanding that beauty comes from the Originator of it, God Himself. Not just colors and such, but even the laws of nature are beautiful, harmonious, and elegant.

Example #3.

One issue that the documentary raised is that the laws operate differently when looking at the grand things in Einstein’s special relativity and at the small world of quantum mechanics. Space and time laws operate differently than the laws at the small level as the atom. It drove Einstein crazy that the physical laws at the macro and the micro were different. Physicists try to reconcile these two in a unification theory, which they think they have reached. This unifying theory is called quantum electrodynamics (QED) “and is the first theory where full agreement between quantum mechanics and special relativity is achieved.”

In a third example from Atom, Dirac sought his unification theory through his mathematical equations, and discovered something stunning. al-Khalili said, “Another universe exists where we never noticed before. There is a mirror image to our universe, where properties are reversed. For every particle that can exist, there is a corresponding antiparticle with the same mass, but exactly the same in every other way- a mirror of the universe.”

I don’t understand Dirac’s equation above, and I have a hard time understanding matter and antimatter. But biblically I do understand a parallel universe. Think of the Transfiguration. Peter, John, and James are atop Mt Olive with Jesus, and when Jesus is transfigured, He is suddenly talking with Moses and Elijah, who have appeared out of nowhere.

And behold, there appeared to them Moses and Elijah, talking with him. (Matthew 17:3).

Or of Elisha’s chariots-

Then Elisha prayed and said, “O LORD, please open his eyes that he may see.” So the LORD opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw, and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha. (2 Kings 6:17).

Note that as the two men appeared, they were already talking with Jesus. Jesus exists in all places at once- He is omnipresent. Heaven is that alternate universe Dirac and other scientists have discovered. It is next to us, close, somewhere in a parallel dimension. When we die, our bodies remain here, but our soul goes there. A multiverse does exist, one that’s here and one that’s there where the dead go. Who are living. Matter and antimatter? I don’t know, but I am sure the two worlds, exist, not because of an equation, but because Jesus told us there was.

In a fourth example from Atom, physicist Richard Feynman pushed the envelope further than Dirac. He played a large part in developing the next phase of quantum mechanics. Like Dirac’s antimatter equation before, the intent of Feynman’s new theory was unification. He aimed to explain how everything works, through the electromagnetic field. Once again, the theory is called quantum-electrodynamics, or QED.

Feynman diagram

QED is difficult to understand, said Feynman. Even he didn’t understand it, he said. But at root, it explains that empty space isn’t empty. Even in a vacuum, there is stuff and the stuff is heaving with activity. Atoms borrow energy from the future, and pay it back again very quickly. This exchange is repeated billions of times with many matter and antimatter particles being created and destroyed very quickly. But what it tells physicists is that ultimately the activity of these electrons popping in and out of existence, are simply leftovers of a deeper more permanent reality.

Yes. That’s called heaven. ‘Empty space’ is seething with energy we can’t feel and particles we can’t see. For example, angels both holy and unholy are spirit beings, but pop into physical existence. Somehow. The deeper, more permanent reality is the one that’s there, after death. The reality we experience in this temporary tent called a fleshly body is the impermanent one.

A final unification of these two realities that the physicists feverishly seek, will be completed after the universe is melted in a fervent heat and remade. (2 Peter 3:10). Life in heaven that’s going on now with Jesus, the angels, and dead souls, and life on earth, with living people breathing and working and consciously producing what they (we) believe is finite reality, will unite.

To conclude this journey through physics and the Bible, Physicist Hendrik Casimir discovered that in that so-called empty space, there exists a mysterious force that eventually, for example pull two inert metal plates together. Like the wind that pushes the sails of a boat, the stuff that emptiness is made of is pushing the metal plates together. This is called the Casimir Effect. al-Khalili said of the Casimir Effect,

“The fact that nothingness, real emptiness, could exert a small force, is surely one of nature’s greatest magic tricks.” ~Jim al-Khalili, Atom, part 3

The biblical view of this is not that a force that connects all things is a magic trick, but that it is the scriptures explaining God to us.

The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of His nature, upholding all things by His powerful word. (Hebrews 1:3).

The Bible is not a book of science, but it is a book of answers. Where physicists are stumped, or marvel at mysteries, or deem the foundational properties of God’s work as a magic trick, we understand that He revealed Himself to us through His creation. It is wonderful that men seek to understand through harmonies of art, music,and science, but ultimately the answers are contained in God’s mind, and insofar as He has revealed some answers to us, we can and should read them in His word. Where science fails, and it does, many times, we believers have the knowledge of Him who created all things, and is before all things. Sadly, peering into the great mysteries didn’t bring Dirac closer to God, it actually hardened him into worshiping the creature instead.

If we are honest — and scientists have to be — we must admit that religion is a jumble of false assertions, with no basis in reality. The very idea of God is a product of the human imagination. It is quite understandable why primitive people, who were so much more exposed to the overpowering forces of nature than we are today, should have personified these forces in fear and trembling. But nowadays, when we understand so many natural processes, we have no need for such solutions. I can’t for the life of me see how the postulate of an Almighty God helps us in any way. ~Paul Dirac, Fifth Solvay International Conference (October 1927)

Dirac’s fundamental belief, as he answered a student’s question, was not that there is an intelligent God who made all things and upholds all things, but that

 the laws of nature should be expressed in beautiful equations.

Dirac was a genius, who advanced our understanding of how the universe works in measurable and interesting ways, but he is dead now. Now he knows the truth. He has the answers, but they are not helping him in any way.

Jesus is the answer, He is before all things.

For in Him all things were created, things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities. All things were created through Him and for Him. (Colossians 1:16)

Praise, for kings will shut their mouths

Chris Powers at fullofeyes.com and on Patreon, recently created this illustration based on an Isaiah verse. We praise the Lord for all His ways, not just on Sundays but every day.

He was, and is, and is to come.

Illustrator and artist Chris Powers wrote:

Isaiah 52:15, “…he will sprinkle many nations, and kings will shut their mouths because of him. For what they were not told, they will see, and what they have not heard, they will understand.”

May it be so…..

Below you can read the string of thoughts from my journal that led me to this text in Isaiah and, eventually, to today’s picture.
_________________________

Surely there is at no time a divorce between the Son’s outer form or experience and His revelation of the Father. Surely, the Son is no less the perfect image and radiance of God’s glory when He is stripped and beaten than when He is transfigured in splendor. Surely, the face shining like the sun in full strength and the face marred beyond human recognition are both the face in which we see the light of the knowledge of the glory of God….and no less in one than in the other.

Or perhaps, in our present state, there is less we can see in one….in the face that shines like the sun, we can see nothing….our eyes are overwhelmed, our faces turn away and hide…….But when that same resplendence clothes itself with flesh…and submits that flesh to be beaten and torn and wounded in the place of enemies….then….then we know what we could not know before. Then we shut our mouths for wonder because that which had not been told to us, we can now see, and that which we had not heard, we understand….

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Pleading for a reduced charge

People who are unsaved have a list of charges against them. These are the sins (crimes) they have committed against Jesus during their lifetime. At the end of time, Jesus will assemble all the unsaved and judge them. The judgment is not whether or not they will be going to heaven or hell. The one and only standard against which people are judged is whether they believed in the Son.

They will be judged on their crimes. God keeps track.

And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Then another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done. (Revelation 20:12).

For the Son of Man will come in His Father’s glory with His angels, and then He will repay each one according to what he has done. (Matthew 16:27)

This is not just a New Testament concept. It is in the Old Testament too, seen in the eschatological book of Daniel.

A river of fire was flowing And coming out from before Him; Thousands upon thousands were attending Him, And myriads upon myriads were standing before Him; The court sat, And the books were opened. (Daniel 7:10).

Unsaved people are judged according to their deeds they did in life, and their words, and their thoughts. (Luke 8:17, Romans 2:16, Matthew 12:37).

The sea gave up its dead, and Death and Hades gave up their dead, and each one was judged according to his deeds. (Revelation 20:13).

John MacArthur said of this verse,

The record, by the way, for each person will be unique and so will the punishment. That’s an important thing to think about. Hell is not like some great big hole where everybody gets thrown into the same place with the same level of torment. No. Every person’s life will be evaluated uniquely and every person’s punishment will be consistent with that unique evaluation.
For example, and I need to explain this cause it’s very important to understand there are degrees of punishment consistent with degrees of sinfulness. … So there is a more and a less tolerable punishment, fitting the level of sin.

Knowing this, all this foundation I just laid, that we’re judged on our deeds, thoughts, and words, and that the punishment corresponds in relativity to other how many crimes they committed, let’s turn now to two other verses.

And falling to his knees he cried out with a loud voice, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” And when he had said this, he fell asleep. (Acts 7:60).

Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” And they divided up His garments by casting lots. (Luke 23:34).

What does this mean? I’m sorry that after looking at the scriptures and many commentaries, I do not have an answer. I don’t know how this plea turns out in the heavenlies. But my thoughts are, if punishment is relative, and if we plead with God to forgive a sinner’s sin against us, would He remove that sin from their charge, reducing the severity of the punishment by a jot or a tittle? Stephen prayed so. Jesus did as well. It’s worth thinking about.

You’ve heard, no doubt, in the earthly judicial system about a reduced charge. You’ve seen lawyers on TV plea bargaining and listing the charges and then the judge might decide to remove a charge or two and the person serves a sentence with a lesser degree of punishment. There legal terms are familiar to to you.

Recently the adult son of a well-known theologian-pastor was charged with two felonies and two misdemeanors. When it came time for sentencing they decided to forego a trial. The judge wiped one felony and two misdemeanors from the list of this man’s charges and the man was only charged with one misdemeanor. He’s serving 18 months of probation and no jail time. Some charges were removed and thus the punishment was lessened.

Jesus commanded in the Lord’s prayer to forgive those who trespass against us. Is it too bold to plea that He remove the charge of those who trespassed against us from their list of crimes thus lessening their punishment? Stephen did not think it too bold. Does God actually do so if we pray it? I do not know.

I do know that when I pray for my enemies, and specifically for God to remove the charge of their crimes against me from the list of crimes which we know are ultimately perpetrated against Him, it is a prayer of grace and humility that changes me.

Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. (Philippians 4:3).

Can I forgive as God asked us to forgive? Can I pray this as Stephen had? If I think of others more highly than myself, I will.

Gill’s Exposition says of the Acts 7 verse and Stephen:

Lord, lay not this sin to their charge: do not impute it to them, or place it to their account; let it not rise and stand in judgment against them, or they be condemned for it; grant them forgiveness for it, and for every other sin: there is a great deal of likeness between Christ and this first martyr of his at their deaths; Christ committed his Spirit into the hands of his Father, and Stephen commits his into the hands of Christ; both prayed for forgiveness for their enemies; and both cried with a loud voice before they expired; for so it follows here,

Pray for your enemies, for those who have done you wrong. God will dole out the punishment as He wills, the Lord knows, I do not know. But meanwhile, we grow in grace when we think of others more highly than ourselves, even our enemies, and plead with the Lord to remove this charge from their list of deeds and not hold it against them.

angel lamb's book of life

The death of a Christian

And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep. (Acts 7:60)

Today I want to look at the kind of death Christians are afforded, as opposed to the unsaved. Tomorrow I’ll look at what Stephen cried out, the mater of pleading to the Judge for a reduced charge.

Death is the final frontier for unsaved people. That is the very edge of the precipice of knowledge which the unsaved person can tread. Beyond death, they do not know. And in the not knowing, they fear. What happens after death? Is there life? Do we blink out of existence? Death is the final frontier, and to the unsaved, ti’s one from which no one ever returns. There is no hope.

William Shakespeare’s character Hamlet said,

Thou know’st ’tis common; all that lives must die,
Passing through nature to eternity.

To grunt and sweat under a weary life;
But that the dread of something after death,
The undiscover’d country from whose bourn
No traveller returns, puzzles the will

It surely puzzles the will. The world has spit up millions of poems, stories, essays, and books musing on the undiscovered country, and all are in vain, they’re only wind.

Yet that undiscovered country is one the born-again person knows well, from His word and through prayer, we are familiar with the other side. When, as Hamlet opined, ‘we shuffle off this mortal coil’ we know that we know that we know what lies ahead: glory, peace, perfection, and Light.

Some were blessed with glimpses of it on this side of the mortal coil. Stephen, when in the throes of preaching God’s word to the Pharisees, was seen to have the countenance of an angel, because he saw the Lord standing beside the father. Paul said he had been afforded a glimpse of glory so inexpressible and beautiful he had no words to describe it. Moses, upon having been with God atop Mt. Zion, still permeated with His glory when he descended the mountain, his face shining so brightly the people were afraid.

When the unsaved attempt to gaze into the beyond they only see darkness, question marks, and unwelcoming shadows and gloomy fear, behind which their perception stalls.

The saved person has had their heart regenerated, eyes opened, and mind illuminated to the scriptures, knows what comes after death. Life! The peace one feels now that one is no longer at enmity with the Savior permeates all of a born-again person’s life, even into and through death. Barnes’ Notes says of the Acts scripture above:

how peaceful and calm is a death like that of Stephen, when compared with the alarms and anguish of a sinner! One moment of such peace in that trying time is better than all the pleasures and honors which the world can bestow;and to obtain such peace then, the dying sinner would be willing to give all the wealth of the Indies, and all the crowns of the earth. So may I die and so may all my readers – enabled, like this dying martyr, to commit my departing spirit to the sure keeping of the great Redeemer! When we take a parting view of the world; when our eyes shall be turned for the last time to take a look of friends and relatives; when the darkness of death shall begin to come around us, then may we be enabled to cast the eye of faith to the heavens, and say, “Lord Jesus, receive our spirits.” Thus, may we fall asleep, peaceful in death, in the hope of the resurrection of the just.

What a blessing the Lord has given us, His imparted knowledge of what comes next. Even better, we have the assurance of His presence and love throughout eternity. No cold darkness for us! No gate of hell with sign affixed, as Dante mused,

“Lasciate ogne speranza, voi ch’intrate”, or “Abandon all hope, ye who enter here.”

Instead we may hear, as the servant in the parable heard,

‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ (Matthew 25:23).

Hamlet soliloquized upon contemplation of his suicide, ‘ to sleep, perchance to dream.’ No, friend, we have the assurance of life beyond life, love, light, activity, and a reality so real this present mortal coil will become the dream instead.

Beyond this mortal coil, we will live where righteousness dwells. Pray to thank the Lord for His many manifold blessings.

new heavens rigteousness dwells verse

EPrata photo

 

The Man Who Will Change the World

On November 4, 2008, Barack Obama was elected President of the United States. Two days ahead of president-elect Barack Obama’s inauguration, the Independent UK newspaper published this article:

John Rentoul: The man who will change the world

There will setbacks, there will be frustrations, but Barack Obama’s presidency heralds a better future for his country and for us all.

It’s nearly 9 years since that was written. Are you having a better future yet? If so, was it thanks to Obama? The article continued,

On that slight prospectus, he secured the support of the voters of the United States and, by proxy, the non-voters of the rest of the world, to assume leadership not just of the most powerful nation but of the entire planet.

I was unaware that by proxy, the American President was actually a Global King.

But that is how they viewed Obama. “The world will be a better place” the author concluded. He was sure that Obama was a savior come to rescue us from…whatever the secular world believes we need rescuing from.

Obama’s book, The Audacity of Hope, then and throughout his 2 terms, co-opted the word hope and twisted it into a political slogan that drained it of meaning. The Gentile world hopes for what they cannot see, do not know, and yearn for an unnameable something. They dwell in a cloud of foggy wisps of aspirations, desires, wishes, expectations, that cannot ever be grasped.

The born-again Christian knows that “faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” (Hebrews 11:1). Assurance and conviction are key words there.

The Obama debacle was a forerunner (in my opinion) of how the world seeks and will embrace the final false savior- The Antichrist. They look for a savior, a man, who will bring them temporal comfort, political savvy, global dynamism. They want someone handsome, accomplished, smooth-tongued, who will tell them everything will be all right and all they have to do is ride his coattails.

Children, it is the last hour, and as you have heard that antichrist is coming, so now many antichrists have come. Therefore we know that it is the last hour. (1 John 2:18).

However, there is a prophecy that one is to come who will embody all the negative qualities of all sinners who ever existed. A man who will be so full of sin he is called The Man of Sin. (2 Thessalonians 2:3).

They want everything except the Man-God who tells them they need forgiveness of sin, to sacrifice self for neighbor, to help the poor and widows, to obey, to submit, and to release their hold on this world. Those words and concepts are anathema. The Man of Sin will speak much more flatteringly to the people and ignite their heart of what they really want. They want luxuries, delicacies, cargoes, and splendors. (Revelation 18:14). In other words, they want this world.

Anyone who does not believe in Jesus is an antichrist, little ‘a’, as John wrote-

In his place shall arise a contemptible person to whom royal majesty has not been given. He shall come in without warning and obtain the kingdom by flatteries. (Daniel 11:21).

The coming antichrist will be a man, a regular, mortal man, but satanically imbued with charisma, charm, apparent skill, deftness, and solutions, the world will go after him, hard.

This prophesied time that is not yet here, will be a time like the author wrote of when Obama rode the crest of popularity and was actually whispered to be a savior. The above author’s glee and relief that a savior in Obama had come and the world will be fixed was not just his own, most of the world thought so too. Amplify that wave of popularity by ten thousand million and you have an idea of the reception the Antichrist will receive.

There is only one Man who can ever fix the world.

Jesus Christ is that Man, who is Man-God. He is creator of the world, reader of hearts, intercessor of His people, King above all, bringer of wrath.

He already came, taught, lived a sinless life, died as a sacrifice for redemption’s sake, imputed His righteousness to those who confess Him, ascended into heaven, and has been building His church. He will come again. He will allow the Antichrist to have his time, prophesied for three and a half short years, but then The Man-God, Savior of the world will return in wrath and kill those who make war against Him.

Repent now, while Jesus is building His church and receives with grace, not wrath. Your sins would be forgiven, and thrown into a place as far as the east is from the west.

For whether is easier, to say, Your sins be forgiven you, or to say, Arise, and walk? (Matthew 9:5)

Barnes’ Notes on the Bible

For whether is easier to say – Thy “sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise and walk?” The one involves divine “power,” the other divine “authority,” and neither can be done but by God. One is as easy as the other; and to be able to do the one, involves the right and the power to do the other.

Jesus is the only savior. Not any other man. Turn to Him now.

cloud

Why I love prophecy

In 2008 Pastor Phil Johnson wrote,

My own assessment would be that evangelicalism’s spiritual condition at the beginning of the twenty-first century is reminiscent of the medieval church just prior to the Protestant Reformation.

No, I take it back. Things are much worse among evangelicals today than they were in the Catholic Church in those days. Modern and postmodern evangelicalism is just like medieval Catholicism was—only more superficial.

He made the same assessment again last week during the Reformation reminiscing.

The news just keeps getting more bewildering. Sometimes I look at people who perpetrate these heinous crimes and see these faux-pastors who perform blasphemous services and I think, Jesus please come.

Prophecy promises us that He IS returning. We don’t know when, but I am glad to know, as I saw on Twitter, that “Evil has an expiration date.”

Prophecy is all about movement. It is always moving toward fulfillment. For example, the lineage of Jesus was ordained from the beginning. Each generation of unions resulting in a child was a movement toward Mary’s birth of the Messiah. Sometimes prophecy seems to be fulfilled suddenly, sometimes extremely so by those who have not been following it. Other times it was impossible to follow, as in the generations that preceded Jesus. Who knew that 1300 or so years prior to the birth of the Messiah that Rahab’s faith would save her and that she would subsequently be included in the line that would produce the Savior? Who could know that the perfect line of generations that came before Him would result in the One who would fulfill all? So sometimes it seems to come out of the blue. But God’s hand is always moving, His Divine Providence is always working in the world.

Divine providence is the means by and through which God governs all things in the universe. The doctrine of divine providence asserts that God is in complete control of all things. This includes the universe as a whole (Psalm 103:19), the physical world (Matthew 5:45), the affairs of nations (Psalm 66:7), human birth and destiny (Galatians 1:15), human successes and failures (Luke 1:52), and the protection of His people (Psalm 4:8).” (source)

So everything that happens, He is aware of, causes, or allows. And that means everything that happens is on a path toward fulfilled promises, including prophecy.

Is the movement speeding up? It feels like it. And what it is speeding up toward? Remember, the last days of the Tribulation is the end this age. It is the culmination of all of God’s works regarding sin, with the exception of the short rebellion at the end of the 1000 year Millennium Kingdom.

If you are interested in studying eschatology AKA prophecy, AKA Last Things, AKA prophecy, good for you. Prophecy is pre-written history. It is a demonstration of the Bible’s inspiration by the Holy Spirit and its accuracy as being a book delivered to us outside of time by our sovereign and omnipotent God. He proves Himself over and over by its accuracy and fulfillment. Israel’s re-emergence in 1948, an prophetic fulfillment that occurred in some of our lifetimes, is an example. The fulfillment of prophecy and its constant movement toward fulfillment is the very word of God, validated.

God accomplishes prophecy: “Who confirms the word of His servant, And performs the counsel of His messengers; Who says to Jerusalem, ‘You shall be inhabited,’ To the cities of Judah, ‘You shall be built,’ And I will raise up her waste places;” (Isaiah 44:26)

Ultimately, we study prophecy because Christ is THE great subject of it, since the beginning. We love prophecy because we trust His word, we love God’s timeless sovereignty, and we want to seek the face of Christ, the great subject of all time.

For Moses truly said unto the fathers, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you. And it shall come to pass, that every soul, which will not hear that prophet, shall be destroyed from among the people. Yea, and all the prophets from Samuel and those that follow after, as many as have spoken, have likewise foretold of these days.” (Acts 3:22-24).