Saturday, October 24, 2009

SIGNS OF THE END OF THE AGE

LUKE 21

5
Some of his disciples were remarking about how the temple was adorned with beautiful stones and with gifts dedicated to God. But Jesus said, 6"As for what you see here, the time will come when not one stone will be left on another; every one of them will be thrown down."

7"Teacher," they asked, "when will these things happen? And what will be the sign that they are about to take place?"

8He replied: "Watch out that you are not deceived. For many will come in my name, claiming, 'I am he,' and, 'The time is near.' Do not follow them. 9When you hear of wars and revolutions, do not be frightened. These things must happen first, but the end will not come right away."

10Then he said to them: "Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. 11There will be great earthquakes, famines and pestilences in various places, and fearful events and great signs from heaven.

12"But before all this, they will lay hands on you and persecute you. They will deliver you to synagogues and prisons, and you will be brought before kings and governors, and all on account of my name. 13This will result in your being witnesses to them. 14But make up your mind not to worry beforehand how you will defend yourselves. 15For I will give you words and wisdom that none of your adversaries will be able to resist or contradict. 16You will be betrayed even by parents, brothers, relatives and friends, and they will put some of you to death. 17All men will hate you because of me. 18But not a hair of your head will perish. 19By standing firm you will gain life.

20"When you see Jerusalem being surrounded by armies, you will know that its desolation is near. 21Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, let those in the city get out, and let those in the country not enter the city. 22For this is the time of punishment in fulfillment of all that has been written. 23How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers! There will be great distress in the land and wrath against this people. 24They will fall by the sword and will be taken as prisoners to all the nations. Jerusalem will be trampled on by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.

25"There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars. On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea. 26Men will faint from terror, apprehensive of what is coming on the world, for the heavenly bodies will be shaken. 27At that time they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. 28When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near."

29He told them this parable: "Look at the fig tree and all the trees. 30When they sprout leaves, you can see for yourselves and know that summer is near. 31Even so, when you see these things happening, you know that the kingdom of God is near.

32"I tell you the truth, this generation" will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened. 33Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.

34"Be careful, or your hearts will be weighed down with dissipation, drunkenness and the anxieties of life, and that day will close on you unexpectedly like a trap. 35For it will come upon all those who live on the face of the whole earth. 36Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man."

37Each day Jesus was teaching at the temple, and each evening he went out to spend the night on the hill called the Mount of Olives, 38and all the people came early in the morning to hear him at the temple.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

The Withered Fig Tree

20In the morning, as they went along, they saw the fig tree withered from the roots. 21Peter remembered and said to Jesus, "Rabbi, look! The fig tree you cursed has withered!"

22"Have[f] faith in God," Jesus answered. 23"I tell you the truth, if anyone says to this mountain, 'Go, throw yourself into the sea,' and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him. 24Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. 25And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins."[g]

Thursday, August 20, 2009

JACOB'S TROUBLES

Jeremiah 30

I am with you and will save you,'
declares the LORD.
'Though I completely destroy all the nations
among which I scatter you,
I will not completely destroy you.
I will discipline you but only with justice;
I will not let you go entirely unpunished.'

12 "This is what the LORD says:
" 'Your wound is incurable,
your injury beyond healing.

13 There is no one to plead your cause,
no remedy for your sore,
no healing for you.

14 All your allies have forgotten you;
they care nothing for you.
I have struck you as an enemy would
and punished you as would the cruel,
because your guilt is so great
and your sins so many.

15 Why do you cry out over your wound,
your pain that has no cure?
Because of your great guilt and many sins
I have done these things to you.

16 " 'But all who devour you will be devoured;
all your enemies will go into exile.
Those who plunder you will be plundered;
all who make spoil of you I will despoil.

17 But I will restore you to health
and heal your wounds,'
declares the LORD,
'because you are called an outcast,
Zion for whom no one cares.'

18 "This is what the LORD says:
" 'I will restore the fortunes of Jacob's tents
and have compassion on his dwellings;
the city will be rebuilt on her ruins,
and the palace will stand in its proper place.

19 From them will come songs of thanksgiving
and the sound of rejoicing.
I will add to their numbers,
and they will not be decreased;
I will bring them honor,
and they will not be disdained.

20 Their children will be as in days of old,
and their community will be established before me;
I will punish all who oppress them.

21 Their leader will be one of their own;
their ruler will arise from among them.
I will bring him near and he will come close to me,
for who is he who will devote himself
to be close to me?'
declares the LORD.

22 " 'So you will be my people,
and I will be your God.' "

23 See, the storm of the LORD
will burst out in wrath,
a driving wind swirling down
on the heads of the wicked.

24 The fierce anger of the LORD will not turn back
until he fully accomplishes
the purposes of his heart.
In days to come
you will understand this.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

END TIMES ????

Isaiah 29:13 (New International Version)

13 The Lord says:
"These people come near to me with their mouth
and honor me with their lips,
but their hearts are far from me.
Their worship of me
is made up only of rules taught by men

Signs of End Times????

Some interpreters point to every earthquake, every political upheaval, and every attack on Israel as a sure sign that the end times are rapidly approaching. While the events may signal the approach of the last days, they are not necessarily indicators that the end times have arrived. The apostle Paul warned that the last days would bring a marked increase in false teaching. “The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons” (1 Timothy 4:1). The last days are described as “perilous times” because of the increasingly evil character of man and people who actively “resist the truth” (2 Timothy 3:1-9; see also 2 Thessalonians 2:3).

With these signs in mind, we can be wise and discerning in regard to the expectation of the end times. We should not, however, interpret any of these singular events as a clear indication of the soon arrival of the end times. God has given us enough information that we can be prepared, and that is what we are called to be.
www.bible.logos.com

Monday, August 17, 2009

The Temple Tax

24After Jesus and his disciples arrived in Capernaum, the collectors of the two-drachma tax came to Peter and asked, "Doesn't your teacher pay the temple tax?"

25"Yes, he does," he replied.
When Peter came into the house, Jesus was the first to speak. "What do you think, Simon?" he asked. "From whom do the kings of the earth collect duty and taxes—from their own sons or from others?"

26"From others," Peter answered.

"Then the sons are exempt," Jesus said to him. 27"But so that we may not offend them, go to the lake and throw out your line. Take the first fish you catch; open its mouth and you will find a four-drachma coin. Take it and give it to them for my tax and yours."

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

DO NOT THROW YOUR PEARLS TO PIGS

Matthew 7:6

6"Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and then turn and tear you to pieces.

Monday, August 10, 2009

G-D'S FREEDOM AND GLORY

2 Corinthians 4:4 (New International Version)

4The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of G-d.

2 Corinthians 3:18

18And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect[a] the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.


1 Corinthians 3:18 (New International Version)

18Do not deceive yourselves. If any one of you thinks he is wise by the standards of this age, he should become a "fool" so that he may become wise.

2 Timothy 4: 3-4

3For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. 4They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.

James 1:19-27 (New International Version)

Listening and Doing
19My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, 20for man's anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires. 21Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.

22Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. 23Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror 24and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. 25But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it—he will be blessed in what he does.

26If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless. 27Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.

Mark 8:34-38 (New International Version)

38If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his Father's glory with the holy angels."

Monday, July 27, 2009

GODLESSNESS IN THE LAST DAYS

2 Timothy 3

G-dlessness in the Last Days
1But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. 2People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, 4treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of G-d— 5having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them.

6They are the kind who worm their way into homes and gain control over weak-willed women, who are loaded down with sins and are swayed by all kinds of evil desires, 7always learning but never able to acknowledge the truth. 8Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so also these men oppose the truth—men of depraved minds, who, as far as the faith is concerned, are rejected. 9But they will not get very far because, as in the case of those men, their folly will be clear to everyone.

Paul's Charge to Timothy
10You, however, know all about my teaching, my way of life, my purpose, faith, patience, love, endurance, 11persecutions, sufferings—what kinds of things happened to me in Antioch, Iconium and Lystra, the persecutions I endured. Yet the Lord rescued me from all of them. 12In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, 13while evil men and impostors will go from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. 14But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, 15and how from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16All Scripture is G-d-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17so that the man of G-d may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

"DO NOT FEAR WHAT THEY FEAR"

1 Peter 3:13-22 (New International Version)

13Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good? 14But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. "Do not fear what they feara]">[a]; do not be frightened."b]">[b] 15But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, 16keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander. 17It is better, if it is God's will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil. 18For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive by the Spirit, 19through whomc]">[c] also he went and preached to the spirits in prison 20who disobeyed long ago when God waited patiently in the days of Noah while the ark was being built. In it only a few people, eight in all, were saved through water, 21and this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also—not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledged]">[d] of a good conscience toward God. It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ, 22who has gone into heaven and is at God's right hand—with angels, authorities and powers in submission to him.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

A TIME IS COMING

JOHN 16:1-4

All this I have told you so that you will not go astray. 2They will put you out of the synagogue; in fact, a time is coming when anyone who kills you will think he is offering a service to God. 3They will do such things because they have not known the Father or me. 4I have told you this, so that when the time comes you will remember that I warned you. I did not tell you this at first because I was with you.

JOHN 16: 12-15
12"I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. 13But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. 14He will bring glory to me by taking from what is mine and making it known to you. 15All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will take from what is mine and make it known to you.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

PERSERVANCE

Hebrews 11:6 (New International Version)

6And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.


If you need encouragement to persevere, read the following Scriptures: Psalm 73:26; 2 Thessalonians 1; Hebrews 10:19-39; 12:1-3.

DO NOT BE AFRAID TO ASK FOR HELP TODAY

John 16:23 (New International Version)

23In that day you will no longer ask me anything. I tell you the truth, my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

PASSING JUDGEMENT

Take Paul’s exhortation to heart and “stop passing judgment on one another” (Romans 14:13). Some matters of personal preference are just that—personal, which means that it’s between that person and God. Paul called them “disputable matters” (v.1)—referring to issues that are not clearly outlined in Scripture as right or wrong. Rather than using our preferences as a spiritual whipping post, we must give room for others to express a different opinion and to love them as Jesus does. And, Paul tells us, “make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in your brother’s way” (Rom. 14:13). When we know that something we feel is okay might endanger another’s walk with Jesus, then it’s up to us to love them enough to yield our preferences for the sake of their well-being.

And that’s the bottom line: love. It’s the glue that keeps us together when we face “disputable matters.” Next time you feel your grip tighten around a matter of personal preference, think about Romans 14:13. Stop passing judgment and make up your mind about what really matters—and hopefully love will win out every time!

YOUR JOURNEY…

  • What are some personal preferences you feel strongly about? In what ways might you be inclined to judge others who don’t match up to your view?
  • Sometimes it’s easy to get confused between non-negotiable biblical principles and our own personal convictions. Ask the Lord to help you carefully evaluate your personal preferences in light of Scripture.
  • According to Paul’s practical instructions in Romans 14:13, what are two steps you can take to avoid conflicts concerning personal preferences?

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

FRIEND OF THE WORLD

James 4 (New International Version)

Submit Yourselves to God
1What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don't they come from your desires that battle within you? 2You want something but don't get it. You kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want. You quarrel and fight. You do not have, because you do not ask God. 3When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.

4You adulterous people, don't you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. 5Or do you think Scripture says without reason that the spirit he caused to live in us envies intensely?a]">[a] 6But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says:
"God opposes the proud
but gives grace to the humble."b]">[b]

7Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. 9Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.

11Brothers, do not slander one another. Anyone who speaks against his brother or judges him speaks against the law and judges it. When you judge the law, you are not keeping it, but sitting in judgment on it. 12There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the one who is able to save and destroy. But you—who are you to judge your neighbor?

Boasting About Tomorrow
13Now listen, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money." 14Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. 15Instead, you ought to say, "If it is the Lord's will, we will live and do this or that." 16As it is, you boast and brag. All such boasting is evil. 17Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn't do it, sins.
Footnotes:
  1. James 4:5 Or that God jealously longs for the spirit that he made to live in us; or that the Spirit he caused to live in us longs jealously
  2. James 4:6 Prov. 3:34

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Sharia Law

Harold Koh is the Obama nominee for the State department's legal advisor and, apparently, is a fan of Sharia law which, according to his legal philosphy, "in an appropriate case, he didn't see any reason why sharia law would not be applied to govern a case in the United States." The United States government is based on Judaic-Christian law. Our freedoms are given to us by liberty and justice granted by the laws of G-d, given to us through the grace of G-d. Sharia law has no place in the United States of America.

Do you think that if we decided to inhabit and live in the Mideastern countries, where the faith is largely Islam, that they would eventually allow Christian law "to be applied to govern a case" in their countries???? I think not.

These people have college degrees, which I have nothing against, BUT they have no "common sense".

Sunday, April 05, 2009

NOTES ON VIRGINIA 1782 BY THOMAS JEFFERSON

"Our situation is indeed perilous, and I hope my countrymen will be sensible of it, and will apply, at a proper season, the proper remedy; which is a convention to fix the constitution, to amend its defects, to bind up the several branches of government by certain laws, which, when they transgress, their acts shall become nullities; to render unnecessary an appeal to the people, or in other words, a rebellion, on every infraction of their rights, on the peril that their acquiescence shall be construed into an intention to surrender those rights." (Notes on Virginia, 1782. ME 2:178)

If the law of the land introduced by the United States Consititution is not followed by the representatives of the people, then the constituents must enforce,protect and uphold this word created for our protection from tyranny through the grace of G-d. We must not surrender our rights to govern "in order to form a more perfect union", but use our rights unless we lose them. (D. Noble, April, 2009).

In the winter of 1777 George Washington wintered at Valley Forge. Most of his soldiers were in rags, and only a few had bedclothing. Many had to sit by the fire all night to keep warm, and some of the sick soldiers were without beds or even loose straw to lie upon. Nearly 3,000 were barefoot, and many had frozen feet. In spite of all of this, Washington never doubted that in the end the American cause would triumph.
The story is told of a Quaker farmer, Isaac Potts, who approached the camp one day and saw George Washington on his knees in the woods, his cheeks wet with tears, praying for help and guidance.
When the farmer returned to his home, he said to his wife, "George Washington will succeed! George Washington will succeed! The Americans will secure their independence." "What makes you think so, Isaac?" inquired his wife. "I have heard him pray, Hannah, out there in the woods today, and the Lord will surely hear his prayer."
The Bible has been challenged in every century, yet stood the test of time against all its enemies and the corroding influences of time.

THOMAS JEFFERSON ON FREEDOM OF RELIGION

"One of the amendments to the Constitution... expressly declares that 'Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press,' thereby guarding in the same sentence and under the same words, the freedom of religion, of speech, and of the press; insomuch that whatever violates either throws down the sanctuary which covers the others." --Thomas Jefferson: Draft Kentucky Resolutions, 1798. ME 17:382

"The rights [to religious freedom] are of the natural rights of mankind, and... if any act shall be... passed to repeal [an act granting those rights] or to narrow its operation, such act will be an infringement of natural right." --Thomas Jefferson: Statute for Religious Freedom, 1779. (*) ME 2:303, Papers 2:546

Thursday, April 02, 2009

BEN FRANKLIN QUOTES



Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both.

All human situations have their inconveniences. We feel those of the present but neither see nor feel those of the future; and hence we often make troublesome changes without amendment, and frequently for the worse.