Saturday, July 30, 2011

God's Last Name Isn't "Damn"

   Many people strive to make a name for themselves. A person's name symbolizes not only what they have accomplished in their lifetime, but it also reveals their character, whether good or bad. The Bible states, "A good name is rather to be chose than great riches.." (Proverbs 22:1) In fact, God values His name so much that He gave the following command: "“You shall not misuse the name of the LORD your God, for the LORD will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name." (Exodus 20:7)
   The Bible is the record of God's love for mankind. Throughout the Bible, many names referring to God are given, and each name gives a different aspect of God's character. For instance, Isaiah 9:6 states, "For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace."  These names refer to the precious Son of God and each name gives a glimpse of God's character.
    Not only does the Bible show the character of God, but it also reveals the depravity of man. Romans 3:12 states, "All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one.” "For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God;"(Romans 3:23) Your sin has earned spiritual death, seperation from a Holy God and an eternity in Hell. "For the wages of sin is death..." (Romans 6:23a) "Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. Anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire." (Revelation 20:14-15)
    The good news is that God's love for you gives you a way escape. This way is revealed in His name. Matthew 1:21 states, "She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” God loves you so much that He sent His Son to pay the penalty for your sins. "But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." (Romans 5:8) Jesus' death on the cross paid your sin debt, if you would only believe in Him. Jesus stated in John 5:24, "“Very truly I tell you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life."
   The Bible was..."written, that you might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you  might have life through his name." (John 20:30-31) There is no other way to obtain salvation. "Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.”(Acts 4:12) Doing good deeds will not earn your salvation. God said, "Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son." (John 3:18)
    Obtaining salvation and an eternity in heaven can be simple. God gives you this promise: "If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.  As Scripture says, “Anyone who believes in him will never be put to shame.” For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile—the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him,  for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” (Romans 10:9-13)
   If it is your desire to be saved, in prayer to God, admit that you are a sinner in need of forgiveness. Admit that you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins and put your faith in the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross as payment for your sins.
   What's in a name? Philippians 2:9-11 says that the name of Jesus is "...  is above every name,  that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth,  and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."  One day, you will believe in God, but will you be too late? Please do not take your salvation lightly. Trust in Christ today.


Thursday, July 28, 2011


(Jerusalem, Israel) The nations are being shaken – physically, spiritually, emotionally, financially, politically and in so many other ways.
  • The people of Norway have been shaken this week by seeing sheer evil unleashed against precious, innocent children.
  • Japan has been shaken this year by the enormous earthquake, the resulting tsunami, and the horrific nuclear meltdown.
  • The people of Egypt, Syria, Tunisia and Yemen have been shaken this year by dramatic and largely unexpected the revolutions underway there and throughout the Arab world.
  • Iran has been shaken by the enormous pro-democracy movement that took to the streets but was then nearly crushed by the tyrannical government in Tehran.
  • The people of Israel are being shaken by fears that Iran is rapidly closing in on building nuclear weapons and the world is not doing nearly enough to stop them in time.
  • Greece has been shaken by its unprecedented debt crisis and resultant riots and social unrest.
  • Americans, too, are being shaken. We face arguably the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. Nearly half of all Americans believe we are heading towards another Great Depression. Unemployment is over 9%. Housing foreclosures are skyhigh. People have lost enormous sums of money due to depressed housing prices and stock market volatility. The federal government is trying to spend our way to prosperity but is making things worse. Our annual federal budget deficit topped $1.3 trillion last year. This year, it looks like the feds will spend more than $1.5 trillion beyond what they are taking in in revenue. Our debt is skyrocketing. The U.S. is now on the verge of financial default, and hampered further by political ineptitude in Washington that threatens to comp0und an already precarious situation.
What if these events are not all random? What if the God of the Bible is allowing these to happen to shake us, to wake us, to get our attention, that we might turn to Him and ask Him to have mercy on us and help us?
The Lord said through the ancient Hebrew Prophet Haggai that the nations would be shaken in the future. "For thus says the Lord of hosts, 'Once more in a little while, I am going to shake the heavens and the earth, the sea also and the dry land. I will shake all the nations….I am going to shake the heavens and the earth. I will overthrow the thrones of kingdoms and destroy the power of the kingdoms of the nations." (Haggai 2:6, 7, 21, 22)
In the New Testament, the Lord reinforced that theme. "See to it that you do not refuse Him who is speaking. For if those did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, much less will we escape who turn away from Him who warns from heaven. And His voice shook the earth then, but now He has promised, saying, 'Yet once more I will shake not only the earth, but also the heaven'….Therefore, since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude, by which we may offer to God an acceptable service with reverence and awe; for our God is a consuming fire." (Hebrews 12:25-29)
Bible prophecy is clear: the Lord shakes individuals and nations that we might let go of all of the flawed political, philosophical, intellectual and religions notions that we cling to that won't give us true peace, that don't give us real hope, that can't bring us any security, that can't provide forgiveness from our sins much less eternal life for our souls. The God of the Bible wants to shake us loose of such things that we might turn to Him, and to the life He offers through faith in His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. The Lord isn't letting us be shaken because He hates us. He's letting us be shaken precisely because He loves us and wants us to repent and turn to Him and call out to Him, as individuals, as families, and as nations. Jesus said, "I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?" (John 11:25-26)

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Don’t All Religions Lead to God?

     Just because all of the world’s religions express important elements of spiritual truth doesn’t mean that they all represent enough truth to lead to God.
The history of religion shows how immoral and violent religion can be. Most modern people would look upon the actual practice of many extinct religions with horror. The Canaanites, for instance, practiced human sacrifice, bestiality, and ritual prostitution. The Phoenicians practiced a similar, horrible religion. In the New World, the Aztec Indians practiced ritual human sacrifice on a scale that is almost beyond modern imagination.
     Even our relativistic, “Postmodern” culture would find it difficult to defend religions that encourage impersonal ritual sex, human sacrifice, and cannibalism. It’s just too obvious that such religions don’t bring out the best in people. Neither do they produce healthy civilizations.
History also shows us that some civilizations that were founded on evil religion were ripe for destruction. The Canaanites were conquered by Israel. Carthage was utterly destroyed by Rome. The Aztecs were conquered by a few hundred Spaniards and a vast army of Amerindian allies from surrounding tribes who longed for deliverance from Aztec terror.
     The major religions that still survive today have lasted a long time, gained many followers, and produced complex and highly developed cultures. Those that have survived into the 20th century generally uphold a moral law similar to the biblical 10 Commandments.  But the world’s major religions do not share a consensus about how to come to terms with our failure to live up to the moral standards of our faith.
     While all major contemporary religions have a fairly close general consensus regarding the moral law—the kind of behavior that deserves to be classified as virtuous or sinful—they fall far short of showing us how to come to terms with our own failure to live up to the moral standards of our faith.
According to the New Testament gospel of Christ, knowledge of the moral law brings awareness of sin and guilt (Romans 3:19,20Romans 7:7-131 Timothy 1:7-11), but is in itself not a means of salvation. Knowledge of the moral law only brings condemnation, and with condemnation comes guilt and the many destructive ways people try to suppress it (legalism, self-righteousness, scapegoating). (See the ATQ article, Can Assurance of Salvation Be Found in Obeying the Old Testament Law?)  Only reliance upon Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection in our behalf provides a solution to the awareness of moral condemnation and agony of guilt that rises out of knowledge of the moral law. Only Christianity offers access to God because it answers the problem of evil and guilt.
     Jesus Christ fulfilled the moral law both in His life and in His death. He obeyed it perfectly. Of the entire human race, only He never sinned (see John 5:462 Corinthians 5:211 Peter 2:22). He also laid down His life to pay the penalty for sin demanded by the law (see John 3:16John 10:11-l8; John 11:50-52Romans. 5:6-82 Corinthians. 5:21). Because Jesus Christ fulfilled the requirements of the moral law, believers in him are restored to relationship with God through grace and no longer alienated and tormented by guilt. Only with Jesus Christ as both master and example can people manifest God’s love and exhibit a righteousness that fulfills the law without being shackled by it (Romans 13:8-10).

By Dan Vander Lugt (

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Conversions of the Rich and Famous

     "For consider your calling, brethren, that there were not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble; but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong, and the base things of the world and the despised, God has chosen, the things that are not, that He might nullify the things that are, that no man should boast before God." (1 Corinthians 1:26—29)
     Paul possibly went over the membership of the Corinthian church in his mind as he wrote verse 26. He reminded them that they had very few who were famous, wealthy, highly educated, powerful, or influential when they believed in the Lord Jesus Christ. It is likely that, when they became Christians, they lost a great deal of the prestige, influence, and income they did have. Consider your calling, brethren, he says. Paul always uses the term calling to refer to the saving call of God, the effectual call that results in redemption. “You know what sort of persons you were when God called you out of darkness. You know that He did not accept you as His child because you were brilliant or wealthy or intelligent or powerful. If you were any of these things,” he says, “you were saved in spite of them not because of them. If anything they were stumbling blocks that hindered you, obstacles between you and God’s grace.” He implies that they should be glad that not many were wise according to the flesh or mighty or noble. Such things often keep people from the sense of need that leads to salvation. If more of them had been wise, mighty, or noble, it is likely that fewer of them would have been saved.
     God is not looking for Phi Beta Kappas to save and to do His work. Nor is He looking for millionaires or famous athletes or entertainers or statesmen. His salvation is open to them just as surely as to others, but only on the same basis of faith. The very things that put them ahead in the world may actually put them behind with God. It is the feeling of inadequacy that makes people aware that they have need, and often draws them to the gospel.
     Jesus prayed on one occasion, “I praise Thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that Thou didst hide these things from the wise and intelligent and didst reveal them to babes” (Matt. 11:25). As the context makes clear, this prayer was spoken publicly as a part of His preaching to the crowds. He was addressing His hearers as much as His Father when He prayed these words. He wanted them to know that God wanted only their faith and nothing else. He was also warning that “the wise and intelligent” were at a disadvantage as far as spiritual life and understanding are concerned. It is not that they could not accept and believe, but that pride in and dependence on their accomplishments and abilities could keep them from the kingdom. Weakness and insufficiency are the climate in which God’s strength is made manifest.
     God’s wisdom is a kind of paradox. In human thinking, strength is strength, weakness is weakness, and intelligence is intelligence. But in God’s economy some of the seemingly strongest things are the weakest, some of the seemingly weakest things are the strongest, and some of the seemingly wisest things are the most foolish. The paradox is not by accident but by God’s design.
     A simple, uneducated, untalented, and clumsy believer who has trusted in Jesus Christ as Savior and who faithfully and humbly follows His Lord is immeasurably wiser than the brilliant Ph.D. who scoffs at the gospel. The simple believer knows forgiveness, love, grace, life, hope, God’s Word—God Himself He can see eternity. The unbelieving Ph.D., on the other hand, knows nothing beyond his books, his own mind, and his own experience. He sees nothing beyond this life, and he cannot be considered anything but foolish.
     We are often tempted to think that it would be wonderful if such–and–such a great athlete—or brilliant scientist, popular entertainer, or world leader—would become a Christian. But Jesus did not think this way when He chose His disciples. Some were probably well known in their local circles and perhaps a few of them were well off financially. But He did not choose them for their wealth or influence, and in His training of them He did not try to capitalize on any such things. None of them had anything so great that he was not ready to leave it to follow Christ.

Taken from:

Sunday, July 24, 2011

The Decision Is Yours

     We have a big choice to make in this life. The decision to accept or reject Christ's offer and gift of eternal life. Many people believe this life is all there is. If that is the case, 'If the dead do not rise, "Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die!"' (1 Corinthians 15: 32)
     But Jesus has risen from the dead! And eternity is forever!  His resurrection shows that He conquered death for those who would place their faith and trust in his work on their behalf.  What work had to be done and why?
     Mankind is fallen and stands guilty before a Holy and Just God. Romans 3:10-18 gives us the description, "As it is written:

   “There is no one righteous, not even one;
 11 there is no one who understands;
   there is no one who seeks God.
12 All have turned away,
   they have together become worthless;
there is no one who does good,
   not even one.”
13 “Their throats are open graves;
   their tongues practice deceit.”
“The poison of vipers is on their lips.”
 14 “Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness.”
15 “Their feet are swift to shed blood;
 16 ruin and misery mark their ways,
17 and the way of peace they do not know.”
 18 “There is no fear of God before their eyes.”

     Man is depraved and in need for God to save him by His grace! Not one person on this planet can accomplish their own salvation or work their way to God. It is impossible. Our sin has put a great chasm between us and God. Jesus is the only one to bridge that gap. " For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus." ( 1 Timothy 2:5)
     Jesus has accomplished all the work necessary for man to be made right with God.  2 Corinthians 5:21 says this: "God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God." Jesus got our sin...and we can gain a right standing before God now. What is required of us then?
    We must respond to the only way for us to be forgiven and saved from the penalty our sins deserve. That is to accept and fully trust in the person and work of Jesus Christ. He has said on the cross. "It is finished!" He paid in full the penalty that our very sins deserved. God is not only loving, but Holy and must judge our sin.  We need to appropriate this by responding to the call and throwing ourselves on Christ.
    For those who decide to accept Christ's free offer of forgiveness, he give us His Holy Spirit as a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance. "And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory." ( Ephesians 1:13-14)
    You will then become a new creation in Christ! "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!"( 2 Corinthians 5:17)
    In Ephesians 2:1-10 it describes how we are made alive in Christ: "Once you were dead because of your disobedience and your many sins. 2 You used to live in sin, just like the rest of the world, obeying the devil—the commander of the powers in the unseen world. He is the spirit at work in the hearts of those who refuse to obey God. 3 All of us used to live that way, following the passionate desires and inclinations of our sinful nature. By our very nature we were subject to God’s anger, just like everyone else.
 4 But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much, 5 that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved!) 6 For he raised us from the dead along with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ Jesus. 7 So God can point to us in all future ages as examples of the incredible wealth of his grace and kindness toward us, as shown in all he has done for us who are united with Christ Jesus.
 8 God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. 9 Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. 10 For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago."
    So the choice is yours! Accept or reject this. There is no middle ground, no purgatory, no second chances, no fence sitting. Hebrews 9:27 makes this very clear: "And just as each person is destined to die once and after that comes judgment."  This life is your probationary period for you to get right with your Creator. We are all guilty, not one of us is innocent. The Ten Commandments are there showing us that we have broken God's and are unable to keep it! Have we not lied? Have we not stolen? Have we not lusted in our hearts?  We must all give an account to God! Spend some time today thinking about eternity and where you would like to spend it. Heaven or Hell. Eternally in God's presence or eternally cast from His presence. It is the biggest decision you will ever make and the most important one at that!!   In Christ -Dustin

Saturday, July 23, 2011

The Garden of Eden

     The Garden of Eden, part two of the seminar series, describes the earth as it was before the worldwide flood. Dr. Hovind explains in detail how it was possible for man to live over 900 years, for plants and animals to grow much larger than today, and for dinosaurs to thrive along with man. The Earth was certainly much different before Noah's flood!! It is two hours long...but well worth watching!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Are We To Judge?

Judging-What does it mean? Is it right to judge? Have you ever pondered these questions? "Judge not that ye be not Judged" (Matthew 7:1), has led many Christians to conclude that they have neither right nor responsibility to judge what they see and hear. Yet this conclusion leaves them at a loss to know how to cope with life about them. A study of God's Word will show that His children do have a responsibility to judge.

Personal Responsibility to Judge

Jesus said, "Judge not according to the appearance, but Judge righteous judgment" (John 7:24). From the beginning of time God's Word has held up a standard of right living.
The Bible clearly teaches that lying, stealing, covetousness, and all immorality are displeasing to God. It states that anger, foolishness, and selfishness are not to be permitted in the lives of God's children. If these deeds and attitudes are present in my life, do I not need to judge them as sinful and seek deliverance from them? If I notice such deeds and attitudes in the life of a friend, dare I say "Well, I'm not to judge it right or wrong," when God has declared that "... they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God"? (Galatians 5:21).
Each day brings to every person opportunities for both good and evil. How is a person to know what to accept and what should be rejected? First Thessalonians 5:21 tells us "Prove all things; hold fast that which is good." By what standard do we prove "all things"? The only true standard we have to live by is God's Word.

Understanding Matthew 7:1

What was Jesus teaching when He said, "Judge not, that ye be not judged"? Let us take a look at the entire passage that contains these words.   “Judge not, that you be not judged.  For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you.  And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye?  Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye?  Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye." (Matthew 7:1-5).
This portion of scripture, which many say prohibits judging, actually teaches us to judge in two ways. First, we are to judge sin in our own lives. Then, with a pure attitude, we are to help our friend or brother judge the error that might be in his life.

A Right Spirit for Judging

We must be careful to judge righteous judgment with a tender heart toward the one who is erring. Perhaps one reason that judging is so ill-spoken of in today's world is that far too much of it is done hypocritically and harshly. Christlike judgment is that which seeks to reveal error, points to the remedy, and leads to healing and restoration. This part God has entrusted into the hands of true believers (2 Corinthians 5:19,20). People have a natural tendency to become critical and censorious toward those with different opinions and lifestyles. It is easy to judge another's words or actions without having a complete knowledge of all that pertains to the situation. A man may feel that a friend has done a grave wrong, and roundly condemn him for it. If, however, he would take the time to visit with the friend and would learn the truth of the matter, he might well conclude that he himself would have acted in the same way.
Perhaps our feelings have been hurt by a remark made by a neighbor. "He's mean!" we fume, "he wanted to hurt me." In reality there is a great possibility that our neighbor had no ill intention at all. He may have misspoken or we may have misunderstood his words. We may see a Christian brother fail in some way. "Look at him," we mutter, "he doesn't care how he lives!" In reality he may care very much, and even at that moment may be in anguish because of his failing. It is not our responsibility to condemn the one who has failed. We should help him see his error and lead him to repentance and forgiveness.
Man, with his depraved nature delights in proving others wrong and himself right. Sometimes we begin to feel it our responsibility to convince another person of his wrong-doing. If the individual we are trying to convince is not easily persuaded, we may become argumentative. We may speak loudly and forcefully. We may begin to list many errors and failings of the one we are speaking to, or confront him in such a manner that the accused has no way to explain his position. This is not the Lord's way of proving and judging sin. When a person wants to "win the argument" or "prove to someone he's wrong", he has ceased to be an ambassador for Christ. He is on his own mission and is no longer reconciling his brother to Christ. "Now then we are ambassadors for Christ." (2 Corinthians 5:20).
As we seek to judge the error in the life of our brother or of our neighbor, we should never allow this judgment to cause us to feel uncharitable or irritable toward him. We must speak to him tenderly and patiently. "Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted" (Galatians 6:1).

Judgment Committed to Christ's Church

The New Testament teaches that responsibilities have been given to the believers who form Christ's church on earth. They are to be a people distinct from the ungodly generation about them (2 Corinthians 6:17,18). They are to live in unity, "having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind" (Philippians 2:2). The keys of Christ's kingdom have been given to them, and they are to bind that which God has bound and loose that which has been loosed in heaven (Matthew 16:19. 2 Thessalonians 3:6-14, Titus 3:10.11).

Prove False Teaching

Christendom is in great confusion today. One group of professing Christians proclaims "here is Christ." Another denomination says, "No, He is here." Doctrines are being taught that conflict greatly with one another, yet all claim spiritual authority. What is the cause of this chaos? Has it not come about because of the unwillingness of people to judge between truth and untruth? Jesus said, "Beware of false prophets, ... Ye shall know them by their fruits" (Matthew 7:15.16). The Son of God gave to believers the grave responsibility to judge their teachers by the lives they live. He warned that many false prophets would come in His name, and in His name would do many wonderful miracles. Sadly, however, the fruit of the lives of these teachers would reveal selfishness, pride, lust, covetousness, dishonesty, and other ungodly characteristics. By this proving, the sincere child of God is to be admonished to flee from these teachers, lest he also be led astray by them (1 John 4:1).
Much of the false teaching that has spread across the world has a certain appeal to the nature of man. It seems reasonable and right. Those who follow it give great testimony to the power of God in their lives. Only a careful and thorough proving of these teachings, comparing them with the complete Word of God, will reveal that falsehood has been mixed with truth. As these tenets are followed to their conclusions, it is so often found that they do not blend with the biblical doctrines of self-denial, humility, and meekness. They seem rather to give place to self-sufficiency, pride, and carnal living.

God, The Final Judge

There is coming the day of final judgment at which time God will deal with the fate of the souls of men. His judgment will be in accord with His written Word. The Bible tells us that the day will come when "the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ" (2 Thessalonians 1:7,8). God has the ability to look inside the heart of man. He alone is able to weigh all the circumstances under which each soul has lived. He is able to determine the motives and intentions which move each human being. God is able to decide whether a soul has lived according to the faith prescribed in His Word.
The individual who Judges sin in his life, who lives according to the Word of God. can be assured that God will receive him at the final day of judgment. The person who does not give heed to the teaching of Jesus will face a fearful day of judgment. Jesus said, "He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day" (John 12:48).
May we ask God, the great Judge, to give us a keen understanding of His will for our lives, that we may judge righteous judgment and at the end receive our eternal reward!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The Stage Is Nearly Set

     I marvel at the workings of our God. He said in the book of Isaiah, “So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.” (Isaiah 55:11)
     Everything He said that would occur in the last days prior to His return, is happening exactly as He said it would, and His chosen people Israel, is the hub of it all. That He has preserved Israel, scattered her, kept her national identity, and now brought her back as a nation, and prospered her, is a jaw dropper in and of itself.
     Just as amazing, is how He has meticulously set the stage for everything to come together in these last days. This can be easily seen when we realize just what transpired in the year 1948 and other years in close proximity. The State of Israel was founded May 14, 1948, and as previously mentioned, Israel is the key element. Notice below just how many beginnings there were in the mid to late forties alone. (By the way, I’m sure many of you can come up with several others that I have not listed.) Some of these “may” seem inconsequential, but I do not believe that is the case. 

1920          American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) founded
1945          The United Nations (U.N.) replaced of The League of Nations
1945          The atomic age began with the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
1946          The Atomic Energy Commission was created.
1946          Xerographic photocopying process was invented.
1947          The Truman Doctrine (aid to countries whose governments are threatened with overthrow)
1947          India and Pakistan proclaimed independent nations
1947          First airplane to break the speed of sound
1947          The transistor invented at Bell Laboratories
1947          Americans United for Separation of Church and State (AU) founded
1947          Holography invented
1947          Doomsday Clock invented by scientists
1948          The Marshall Plan (giving aid to 16 European countries)
1948          Foundation of the State of Israel
1948          Communists take over Czechoslovakia
1948          Organization of American States founded (human rights)
1948          First flight of first commercial jet airliner
1948          World Council of Churches formed
1948          U.N. adopts Universal Declaration of Human Rights
1948          World Health Organization (WHO) founded
1949          Communists forces gain power in China (nationalists flee to Taiwan)
1949          North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) established
1949          Soviet Union detonates its first atomic bomb
1949          Israel admitted to the U.N.
1949          Lucky Lady (U.S. Air Force) completes first non-stop around-the-world flight
1949          Electron microscopy developed
1949          Council of Europe formed
1950          National Council of Churches formed
1958          European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) and European Economic Community (EEC)
formed by six European countries (the beginnings of the European Union, as known today)

     The ACLU was founded 28 years prior to Israel being founded as a State, but I think that was probably necessary to have plenty of time to infect several generations with their poisonous venom of lies, and bring us to the state we are in today. All the others are within two to three years!
This can be no accident. Nor is it a coincidence. Our Lord Jesus is clearly gathering the world to the final scene, as the symphony conductor leads each piece of the orchestra to the grand finale of the musical composition. Maybe we need to consider Isaiah 55:11 once more, “So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth; It will not return to Me empty, without accomplishing what I desire, And without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.” (NASB)
    The naysayers can ridicule and laugh all they like, but God’s Word will not come back unto Him void. The world can swim in its indignation of the Truth if it so chooses, but God’s Word will be fulfilled to the letter. Only a fool could look at these dates and not see the hand of God moving among them.
     Allow me to go further. It is interesting that Jerusalem came under Israeli
control for the first time in 2,500 years on June 6, 1967, and the following occurred in that same time period (not an exhaustive listing of course):
1963          American Atheist founded by Madalyn Murray O’Hair (pushed separation of church and state)
1963          Murray vs. Curlett resulting in Supreme Court decision (8-1) that year which made it unconstitutional for school sponsored Bible reading in public schools
1967          Israel defeats Arabs in Six Day War
1967          First Super Bowl
1967          First heart transplant (by Dr. Christian Bernard)
1967          First celebration of Earth Day
1967          First broadcast of Sesame Street
1967          Jerusalem became Israel’s capital

    Again, some “may” seem inconsequential, but I think each plays its own part in what we have become today, and where we are in this period of time.
    Many others have noticed this phenomenon also. So, I am certainly not the first, nor will I be the last to notice God’s hands all over history. Any student of prophecy has probably noticed this trend in their beginning studies of prophecy.
    Every time in history that God has brought down judgment on a nation or even an individual, He has provided plenty of warnings. In just the observance of these dates alone, He has taken out the crayons, and colored in the pictures. Even those who may be weak in their understanding of prophecy must ask themselves, “How can this be?”
     Why are these two crucial dates, Israel’s statehood (1948) and Israel’s control of Jerusalem (1967), surrounded by so many other very important dates that have formed the modern world we live in today? These other dates have formed our economy, our world view, our spiritual apostasy, our playtime, our interests, our families, our government, our acceptance of lies and rejection of Truth, our view of Israel, our acceptance of false gods and false religions, our view of sin, our emphasis in all that is worldly, our criminal behavior, our technology, our travel, our knowledge, and we could go on and on. In other words, they all have their part in advancing the world to its climax, the return of Jesus Christ.
     Who would have ever thought, just a few years ago, that this world we now live in would be so drastically changed, and not for the better I might add?
     Who would have dreamed that our nation would ever turn its back on the “apple of God’s eye”, Israel? Not only have we turned our back on her, we are openly opposed to Israel and now support her enemies. May God help us! To me, this is the most frightening thing of all. As I have already stated, Israel is the hub of the wheel of prophesy. Her enemies are ready to pounce, and we now number among them. I am not frightened for myself, because I rest in our Lord’s protection. However, I am frightened for those who “skip-to-my-lou” through life, totally oblivious to an imminent judgment upon this world, a hell on earth that is surely soon about to happen.
     I occasionally receive emails from those who “chastise” me for believing in the Rapture (or snatching away) of the Church prior to the Tribulation. It seems that when I mention the “R” word, here they come to set me on the “right” path. After all the folderol of the likes of Harold Camping, et al, it’s no wonder the Rapture has such a “bad name” among so many people. I believe wholeheartedly however, that the rapture of the church prior to the Tribulation will happen, but when God is ready. He said He is coming back for His bride (the Church), and then the “time of Jacob’s trouble” (the Tribulation) will begin. 
     Some think that too much is said about end times prophecy and not enough about evangelism. I believe both are important. I am also convinced that those who look deeper into last days prophecies, are much more keen about evangelizing than those who do not, because they see the urgency of the times we are in. Speaking for myself, I speak of the Rapture and what follows because I would like to see people come to Jesus now, instead of facing the horrors of the Tribulation period. I feel confident that all of us who speak of the Rapture and the Tribulation period on “Rapture Ready” feel the same way. None of us want to see anyone go through the Tribulation, but to the contrary, enjoy the reunion with our Savior when He comes for us at the Rapture.
     Nevertheless, let us return to the dates. They are there before us … cold hard facts. Why has most everything else had its beginning around the same times that Israel was founded as a State (1948) and took control of Jerusalem (1967)? Think about it. There can be only one conclusion. God has been on stage, behind the curtain, setting the props for the curtain to open. The orchestra is warming up. The actors are ready. The audience is seated. The last scene of history is about to begin. When? Again, I do not know, but it could be much sooner than we think.
     Very few will take heed. Most will laugh off everything that has been said. Some may listen just long enough to say, “I’ll think about that later”. Well, think about this. There are no signs for the Rapture of the Church. All the signs we are seeing are in preparation for the Tribulation which follows the Rapture. If we are seeing so many preparation signs for the Tribulation, and the Rapture precedes it, how close could it be for our Savior’s return for His bride? How close could it be for His judgment to be poured out upon the world? Don’t be one of those who waited too long.
     I have been working on this article, off and on, since prior to leaving for vacation. My wife and I just returned, and now I would like to conclude with this observation. While on vacation we noticed something that reminded me of Jesus’ outstretched arms beckoning us to come to Him. A child, about eight or nine years old, had strayed from her parents and become lost. A couple brought the child to the life guard at our station. Within a few moments, a police vehicle arrived with her father. As the life guard was leading the child toward the police vehicle, she recognized her father and ran to him. It was a “magic moment” reunion for both parent and child. Both were so very happy to be reunited.
Jesus said, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28) Sometimes, we lose our way among all the hubbub of the world around us. For those who are His sheep He says, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:” (John 10:27) To both, those who are not His sheep and those who are His sheep, He says, “Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.” (Isaiah 1:18)
     We read concerning the “prodigal son” the following; “And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.” (Luke 15:20)
     And Jesus says, “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:29-30)
The Lord God Almighty is showering this world with signs of His soon return. We Christians need to be ready, working while it is day, but all the while looking up for His soon return. Far too many others need to come to Him for forgiveness of sins, through His sacrificial death and empty grave. He holds out His arms as the father that found his child.
     If you are His child, and you have allowed the world’s distractions to keep you from your Father’s business, go to Him now. He is waiting with outstretched arms. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9)
If you are not His child, you can be, but you must come to Him through His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. His arms are also outstretched for you. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)
     Sometimes God speaks in a still, small voice, and sometimes He speaks like a trumpet. I can’t imagine all the signs from God we see around us today being classified as a still small voice.
Grant Phillips (

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Death Is The Great Equalizer

    On Saturday night, I was flipping through the channels looking for something to watch when I came across the ending of the blockbuster movie from several years ago, The Titanic. It was at the point in the movie where the ship was on its nose, slowly sinking into the icy waters. The lifeboats were already separated from the luxury liner, leaving the rest of the people clinging to their last few minutes of life. It is a horrible scene, especially due to the fact that this movie was based on a very real disaster that took over 1500 lives. As I watched the ship sinking, the people dying, I immediately thought that despite all the ways man creates to separate himself from other men, death is the great equalizer!
    On that great ship were people of great privilege, people of incredible wealth. On that ship you also had those who had nothing. However, on that fateful night, there were men worth millions who died in those icy waters along side of men who didn't even have $1. At the moment they took their last breath, their name, their job, their bank account, what they may or may not have accomplished during their life, all ceased to matter. At the moment they took their last breath, the only thing that mattered was their relationship with Jesus Christ, nothing else.
    This is the foolishness of putting everything you have into these few years on earth. James calls life "a vapor." The Bible tells us tomorrow is promised to none of us, that each day is a gift from God. Most people live their lives like they will never die, spending every second fulfilling the desires of their flesh. Their entire focus is on these few brief years and all of their time and energy, talents and resources, are invested in a life that will be gone in the blink of an eye.
    If Bill Gates would die without accepting Christ into his heart, like the rich man in Luke 16, the moment he dies he will be eternally separated from God. All of his billions, all of his great accomplishments, all of his "good works," will not matter. The moment he dies there is only ONE THING that will matter, and that is if he has accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior.
Likewise, if a homeless man in Chicago dies but knows Christ as his Savior, like Lazarus, the moment he dies he will be eternally with God his Creator. The fact he had no money, or no possessions, or never did great things in his life will not matter. The moment he dies there is only ONE THING that will matter, and that is if he has accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior. DEATH IS THE GREAT EQUALIZER!
    What is the main focus of your life today? Is it solely focused on these few short years, or are you preparing for your eternal home? Are you using each day to lay up treasure where moth and rust doth corrupt, or are you laying up treasure in Glory? Do you spend your day on the temporal or the eternal? How much of your time, talent, and treasure is spent on this life versus your eternal life? These are all serious and legitimate questions only you can answer. Another good question you need to ask yourself is what will your legacy be? Are you working to build a legacy in this temporal world, or are you working to build a legacy that will stand for all eternity?
    The most important question that I could ever ask you is, are you ready to meet Jesus? Are you ready to take your last breath and be standing before God your Creator? If you took that last breath in the next moment, do you know without any doubt where your eternal home will be? Are you ready to die? Are you ready to meet Jesus? Are you ready to stand before God your Creator? If you can't answer each question with an emphatic YES and you aren't 100% certain that you will be spending eternity in Heaven, please, take a moment right now and ask God to open your heart to hear His voice and watch this video clip:
    There is no decision you will ever make in this life more important, since this is the decision that will determine where you spend eternity. The moment you die, all that will matter is whether you know Jesus as your Savior by faith. All of the things that separate men in this life cease to exist. As a man takes his last breath, he will be separated like the wheat and the chaff. All that will be left are those who rejected Jesus and those who surrendered their heart and life to Him by faith. Death is the great equalizer!
    God put you on my heart today and wanted me to tell you that if you have not accepted Jesus as your Savior by faith, NOW is the time to do it. You may not have tomorrow. If you do know the Lord in the pardon of your sins, it is time to quit focusing so much on this temporal world, and start focusing more on eternity. The things of this life will all pass away, but there is an eternity awaiting each of us. It is not our accomplishments for this world that will stand the test of eternity, but our accomplishments for the Lord! Our only real legacy is not in the impact we make on this temporal world, but the impact we make in the eternal souls of men!
    I will be praying for you today to open your heart and hear the Lord's voice speaking to you. He loves you and has a wonderful plan and purpose for your life. He wants to use you to touch hearts and lives for the Lord. God has given you life to serve Him. May this word today open your heart to the fact God is calling you and asking you to turn completely to Him. Turn from the temporal pleasures and attractions of this life and focus instead on the eternal hopes and goals of our Heavenly home. It is too late for the rich man in Luke 16 to tell those he loves about Jesus, it is not too late for you!

By Bill Keller (

Sunday, July 17, 2011

If God Is Good.......

CHAPTER 30. Why Doesn’t God Do More to Restrain Evil and Suffering?

 64.  What has kept evil from destroying the world?

Why does the chaos that breaks out in some corner of the world always prove the exception rather than the rule? Why haven’t tyrants, with access to powerful weapons, destroyed this planet? What has kept infectious diseases and natural disasters from killing 99 percent of the world’s population rather than less than 1 percent? [page 327]

65. Whenever God has given a culture over to their sins, they have ceased to exist.

If God permitted people to follow their every evil inclination all the time, life on this planet would screech to a halt. Sometimes God permits evil by giving people over to their sins (see Romans 1:24-32), and this itself leads to the deterioration and ultimate death of an evil culture, which is a mercy to surrounding cultures. The most morally corrupt ancient cultures no longer exist. [page 327]

66.  The miracle on the Hudson River.

Fatal car and airplane accidents bring awful devastation, but statistically these are rare. On January 15, 2009, what should have brought certain death to passengers aboard Flight 1549, and catastrophe to Manhattan, turned into what secular reporters labeled a “miracle.” The pilot, Chesley Sullenberger, safely landed a crippled plane in New York’s Hudson River, with no serious injuries.

While chunks of ice and busy ferries filled most of the river, the place where the plane came down remained clear of both ice and boats. It landed without breaking apart. Ferryboat captains rescued all 155 people from the frigid river within minutes. The New York Times suggested “more than luck” brought the plane down mere minutes from experts trained in water rescues. Passengers who said they hadn’t believed in God nevertheless prayed to him on the plane, then publicly thanked him for sparing their lives. [page 328]

67.  Hotel or prison, depending on your view.

C. S.  Lewis wrote,

Imagine a set of people all living in the same building. Half of them think it is a hotel, the other half think it is prison. Those who think it is a hotel might regard it as quite intolerable, and those who thought it was a prison might decide that it was really surprisingly comfortable. So that what seems the ugly doctrine is one that comforts and strengthens you in the end. The people who try to hold an optimistic view of this world would become pessimists: the people who hold a pretty stern view of it become optimistic. [page 330]

68.  All sin deserves punishment; one is not more guilty than another.

Dorothy Sayers wrote,

“Why doesn’t God smite this dictator dead?” is a question a little remote from us. Why, madam, did he not strike you dumb and imbecile before you uttered that baseless and unkind slander the day before yesterday? Or me, before I behaved with such a cruel lack of consideration to that well-meaning friend? And why sir, did he not cause your hand to rot off at the wrist before you signed your name to that dirty bit of financial trickery? You did not quite mean that? But why not? Your misdeeds and mine are none the less repellent because our opportunities for doing damage are less spectacular than those of some other people. Do you suggest that your doings and mine are too trivial for God to bother about? That cuts both ways; for in that case, it would make precious little difference to his creation if he wiped us both out tomorrow. [page 331]

69.  Every evil is a capital crime.

Do you believe the world would be a better place if people immediately paid the just penalty for every sin? In God’s sight, every evil is a capital crime (see Romans 6:23). The woman who tells a “little white lie,” the teenager who shoplifts, the greedy man, the gossiper, all would instantly die. D. A. Carson writes, “Do you really want nothing but totally effective, instantaneous justice? Then go to hell.” [page 332]

70.  We do not need to wait until God ends suffering to enter His presence.

Thankfully, while the Messiah may not return to Earth as soon as we’d like, he promises, “Surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matthew 28:20). So while we long for and pray for God to send the Messiah to bring an end to this age of evil and suffering, we need not wait until then to enter his presence.

In light of the work done by Christ, our sympathetic high priest, we’re told, “Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need” (Hebrews 4:16).

Until God sends the Messiah to rescue the world, or he rescues us through our deaths, may we approach his throne confidently, seeking his fellowship, comfort, mercy, and grace in our time of need… today, this very hour. [page 333]

CHAPTER 31. Why Does God Delay Justice?

 71.  The delay of reward and retribution never exceeds a life span.
God’s is not a vending-machine justice in which a coin of righteousness immediately produces reward or a coin of evil yields swift retribution. Packaged theologies seek to neatly account for everything, but as Job, Psalms, and the prophets repeatedly demonstrate. That’s not how life works.
Yet God doesn’t delay justice for as long as we often imagine. The wheels of justice may seem to turn slowly, but they turn surely. Some rewards of goodness and punishments of evil come in this life. And though ultimate rewards and punishments await the final judgment, considerable justice, both reward and retribution, gets dispensed upon death, when God’s children immediately experience the joy of his presence and the unrepentant suffer the first justice of Hell (see Luke 16:19-31). This means that the maximum duration of injustice experienced by any person cannot exceed his life span.
How long is a life span? Remarkably short. David says, “You have made my days a mere handbreadth; the span of my years is as nothing before you. Each man’s life is but a breath” (Psalm 39:5). [page 335]