2018 Commentary

 

CB11A;18

Buck  The  Tide

You've seen them, haven't you?  (pictures showing  herds  being
led in a particular direction)  Well, both Republicans and Democrats
seek to lead the  herds  residing in the USA and, to a degree (using 
different platforms), around the world.

Which group will  you  follow?  Or perhaps, considering the fallacy
of the excluded middle, could there be other paths to take?  Indeed
there are.  Here's one ...

God, through the prophet Isaiah, first came up with the famous
saying:  "Woe to those who call evil good and good evil."  Because 
the devil offers cheap counterfeits of God's precious things (and
ways), we take just a moment to bring yet another one of His
(God's) messages:

Yes, under both Democrats and Republicans, people exploit 
people.  Both, influenced by darkness' soon-coming mandate
for a one world society (if they will even exist at that time), will
lead the various  herds  toward bitter bondage, a slavery that
will actually run eternal.

Will  you  choose the dark path - the way of the dragon and his
host  OR  will you choose the path of light - God's path:  Jesus
Christ, Son of God, Savior?  Will  you  follow the beast and the
one who the Bible calls the "false prophet"  OR  will you follow
God's way, Christ Jesus, the One who continues to be called
Immanuel, God with us?

One's  eternal state  is truly determined in this.

So in this context, we offer a challenge:

Will you fail to  buck the tide  and, in herd mentality and action,
follow the overwhelming majority into a dark, eternal abyss 
without God  OR  will you be counter-cultural and take the 
narrow way of forgiveness, life and love  and enjoy a light
eternity in Creator God's glorious presence?  Sincerely, it's
your  choice.  We challenge you to say "no" to the slavery
of present culture and follow (or perhaps, better follow) God.

For those who have yet to say "yes" to His gift, God continues
to offer precious Hope, Peace and Love through His own pro-
vision of salvation: Jesus Christ His Son.  CLICK HERE
for crucial details.  

____________________


CB11B;18

The  Spirit  Of  Antichrist

Because we have many more readers at this juncture, we are posting
a revision of an older handout we have used in ministry for decades.
Please view this important handout by  Clicking Here.  And please,
for  discipleship  purposes, share this material with others who are
also seeking God's pertinent Counsel for life in Christ today.

May those of us who are included in the group of the 5 wise virgins
better discern the lateness of the hour.  The  time of sorrows,
while its effects continue, is now behind us given we've entered
into the early period of tribulation as outlined by our Lord Jesus
in Matthew 24:9-14.

____________________


CB11C;18

"Both ... And"    &    "EITHER ... OR"  Conundrums

God's Word is replete with sound principles tied to logical fallacies.
Mankind has discovered three (of many) helpful ones - common-sense
errors simply summarized in these ways:

1.  The fallacy of prematurely committing to (in a dogmatic way) one
     view as opposed to another.   Example:  choosing  between  two
     seemingly  opposing views (say V1 & V2) while failing to acknow-
     ledge  both  may be true at the same time when considered in a
     proper, holistic context ;

2.  One should also  not  fail to acknowledge there may actually be
     other  possible  views  (V3, V4, etc.), ones which differ from views
     V1 and V2, as this, too, can be faulty presumption leading to error.
     Example:  deciding between two conflicting Pre-millennial views
     (e.g., Is it "Pre-Trib"  or  "Pre-Wrath"?)  without considering more
     biblical options:  Click Here  for one example ; 

     There are possibly  other  faulty judgments one  could  make, one
     of which we'd also like to include here:

3.  The fallacy of choosing/embracing opposites in a context where both
     cannot be true at the same time - the error of contradiction.  This
     could be exampled in this way:  Affirming both premises which are 
     on the present  table of consideration - namely,  accepting both  God
     exists 
 (P1)  and   God does not exist  (P2)  are true at the same time.
     The accepting of both P1 and P2 would be an incorrect conclusion.

These fallacies are  principle errors  which raise their ugly heads
at times.

So how does this relate to other pressing  end-time  matters?
Great question!

We (at Endurance Ministries) have, on multiple occasions, made
appeal for  balance  when it comes to accepting Bible Truths.  These
many articles and blogs are most often tied to the  both/and  principle.
It is possible multiple premises could be correct when the appeal is
considered in a holistic, full-Counsel-of-God  context.  Here are some
examples of our dealings with contemporary end-time issues in past
presentations:

BOTH     God's sovereignty          AND    man's freedom to choose
BOTH     faith                                  AND     works  (done  in Christ )
                    (in relationship to  justification  before God)
BOTH     GOD's Word                    AND     written by mankind
BOTH     God incarnate                 AND     Son of Man

ALL of the above examples are easily reconciled and shine True
in light of God's big-picture revelation masterpiece.

The second principle is also employed in many of our blogs and
articles.  While this principle is affirmed, we eventually take the
next step  and decide to  reject  various end-time positions, ones
we doubt  on the basis of  good (biblical) reason(s).  In this setting,
we acknowledge the existence of various positions but we, due to
Bible data, go on to question some of the  un-evidenced  or  poorly
evidenced  views.  (e.g., We discern Preterit eschatology  to be 
clearly lacking ; we warn against the  it will all pan out in the end
so don't concern yourself with end-time considerations  
perspectives
because they foster the denial of Bible exhortations - appeals toward
the end of being ready, prepared, watchful.) 

In  THIS  blog, we wish to affirm the reality of the  3rd  sound
principle - the matter of contradiction - that is, accepting two
opposing views at the same time - details described in the 
God exists  and  God does not exist  example above  and 
outlined below in the context of  one  end-time consideration.

So let's move into yet another  end-time  matter  ...

Please understand:  the  Pre-Wrath  (end-time position #1 - P1)
and  the Final Trumpet Rapture Gathering  (end-time position
#2 - P2)  have MUCH in common.  In writing to our  Pre-wrath
friends over the years, we have made this absolutely clear.

BUT ...

On the matter of the  timing  of the final trumpet (I Cor. 15:51, 52)
rapture (John 14:1-3 ; I Thes. 4:13-18)  gathering (Mt. 24:31 ; II Thes.
2:1)  as outlined in Scripture,  the two positions - namely, P1 & P2 -
teach differently!

The  Pre-Wrath  view teaches the Church will NOT experience the
Trumpet judgments (having been raptured prior to the beginning
of the Trumpet blasts of Rev. 8 - 11)  WHILE  THE  Final Trumpet 
Rapture Gathering view teaches the Church will go through the
Trumpet period due to Bible data pertinent to the timing of our
gathering.

The  Pre-Wrath  view teaches the Church will NOT be on earth
during the Day of the Lord (having been raptured just before the
7th Seal is broken)  WHILE  THE  Final Trumpet Rapture Gathering
view teaches the Church will enter the  early  part of the Day of
Christ/Day of the Lord  BUT  will be raptured from the earth
before  the Bowls of God's  wrath  are poured out upon the earth.

These differences place us in a context of an  EITHER/OR  choice.
One cannot believe both views at the same time (and be correct)
due to the different teachings concerning the  TIMING  of the rapture.
It's one or the other ... or, if we also include the principle of the fallacy
of the excluded middle, the  truth  could be found in yet another view.
Our point here:  The  Pre-Wrath view  conflicts  with the Final Trumpet
Rapture Gathering view when it comes to just when the rapture of the
Church takes place.  The Final Trumpet Rapture Gathering view
teaches  differently  than the  Pre-Wrath view.

So how does one address this reality - the fact that we have two 
similar but also very different end-time views which we are especially
highlighting in this blog - though many other end-time views exist?
(And, to you  skeptics  out there, we write:  Yes, we have considered
the other  epistemic  views tied to the big question, "How do we
know?"  or  "On what basis do we go about addressing this question?"
We acknowledge there does indeed exist other views than "the
Bible says so" - we don't want to commit the fallacy of the excluded 
middle here either! -  BUT, sincerely, we have found these views
which reject special revelation from God to be lacking, VERY 
MUCH SO!)

Moving right along, how does one, who cares about this CRUCIAL
topic, go about  investigating  the issue raised?  (Sorry Andy
Stanley!  In your  Irresistible  book, Jesus Christ, through the Word
of God, does indeed speak  clearly  on end-time matters, just as
the Word speaks clearly concerning our origins, the flood, salvation
and other essential doctrines of the faith.  Andy, PLEASE  submit  to
Psalm 119, II Timothy 3:16, 17  and  many other passages addressing
the truthfulness of the holy Word of God!)

Back on point  ...  Allow me to restate the question:  How does one
go about investigating  end-time  matters?

You guessed it:  Back to the BIBLE to see what it actually says! 

It is the Word of God that serves as believers' authority for faith 
and practice, NOT  opinions of man - and surely not Andy Stanley's 
opinions,*  opinions which include fallacious appeals found in his 
chapter, The Bible Says.  This actually even includes  interpretation
opinions!  Extra-biblical teaching is not always correct, on  all  topical 
fronts - this includes  end-time  claims.


By way of what has become an important end-time example, read
carefully the most recent edition (September/October, 2018) of
Zion's Fire - specifically, the article titled, "Silence in Heaven Before
God Goes to War."  Note the extra-biblical  interpretations  as to
the indentity of the  Saints  of Revelation 7:9.  Here is  one  of the
Pre-Wrath teachings with which we take exception:  

After appealing to an event taking place  after  the Rev. 7:9
context (by quoting Revelation 8:3-5) -- an event later than
the rapture which, as  they  teach, occurs just before the 7th Seal
(see the Rev. 8:3-5 quotation ... By the way, why not quote the full
paragraph of Rev. 8:1-6?) -- the authors of this article go on to
make these claims:  (I quote the entire paragraph on page 11 
so as to set our concern in context.)

"The prayers of the 'saints' refer to the prayers of the great
multitude in Heaven (Revelation 7:9).  Following the breaking
of the sixth seal, they were raptured and glorified, and are now
serving God in His Temple (Revelation 7:14-15)."   Did you
catch the added  interpretations?

The  explicit  data of Scripture (of Rev. 7) does  not  teach this
"great multitide" is a group of  raptured  saints  as the Rosenthals
would have us believe.  Instead, the  actual  Word of God states,
"... These are the ones who  come out of the great tribulation ..."
(Rev. 7:14 ; emphasis ours).  That's what the passage states
anyway.  Please read the entire section of Revelation 7:9-17 in
the context of Revelation chapters 6 - 8!  Let's not  add  potentially
incorrect interpretations,**  ones that are not stated in the text,
especially when there are other differing views appealing to the
actual  data of the texts under consideration.

In light of the full Counsel of God, the teaching position of the 
Final Trumpet Rapture Gathering  view proposes this:  The ones
coming out of the great tribulation are martyred saints - the very
ones killed during the period of the war against the saints.  This
period of time includes the great tribulation period of Mt. 24:15ff.

And when it comes to holistic end-time viewpoints ...

Let's (may we ...)  consider the interpretive  options  such that
we do not rule out - dogmatically, when we don't have grounds
to do so - viable understandings.  And may we take a further
step:  May we seek to discern which of the  multiple competing
end-time  hypotheses  
is MOST biblical in light of the full and
explicit Counsel of God's Word.  Church:  WE  CAN  DO  THIS!


*  See Andy Stanley's recent book,  Irresistible: Reclaiming the
    New that Jesus Unleashed for the World
.  (2018 ; Zondervan)

This is insightful ...

**  The Pre-Wrath folks may respond to this concern by saying 
     something to the effect:  "But yes, the 'raptured Saints' are the
     ones who come out of the tribulation."  BUT please recall,
     according to Mt. 24, the tribulation  comes to an endTHEN
     the heavenly signs blaze (vs. 29),  THEN  the Sign of the Son
     of Man occurs (vs. 30),  THEN  the rapture gathering of the
     Church occurs (vs. 31 ; cf. Mark 13:27).  Our POINT:

     According to Mt. 24:29-31, the  tribulation  is  closed  at the
     time when the heavenly signs, the Son-of-Man sign and yes,
     the rapture occurs.  These  facts  conflict with the Zion's Fire
     
quote above (from page 11).  The Pre-Wrath teaching that the
     Church is raptured (i.e., taken out of the tribulation) during the
     great tribulation period is in conflict with the full Counsel of
     God's precious Word.  May we discern Pre-Wrath (future)
     responses to this fair concern in the months and years ahead.
     And please note the "on-what-basis" their answers are given.
     We believe their answers may be based on their (faulty) under-
     standing that the "great tribulation period" takes place when 
     they say it does - in the early part of the second half of
     Daniel's 70th Week.  But is this possible in light of all that
     takes place once the tribulation is closed?  We need to bring
     more thorough Bible definitions of "tribulation" when addressing
     this matter.  This will be yet another blog, Lord willing, in 2019.
     Perhaps we should title this future blog,  The Failing  Evidential 
     Walls  of the Pre-Wrath Position
.  What do you think?

     IF we allow SCRIPTURE to be our authority for building our end-
     time perspective, the Pre-Wrath position is found to be problematic,
     in multiple respects.  Yes, the Pre-Wrath has a huge problem when
     it comes to  this  concern we've defined above.  Are we, God's elect,
     gathered together  after  the tribulation as outlined in the explicit data
     of Mt. 24:29-31?  Indeed we are!  In light of this explicit revelation
     
data, the Pre-Wrath teaching that the Saints of Rev. 7:9 are 
     'raptured Saints'
 -- which is not taught in the passage (NB: the phrase
     "raptured saints" is not found in this Rev. 7 passage nor is the rapture
     gathering event seen explicitly stated in Rev. 6!) -- would conflict 
     with the black-and-white data of Rev. 7:14 and Mt. 24! 
 The Word
     teaches the  "great multitude"  comes out of  the great tribulation
     NOT the raptured saints.  THINK ON THIS, for it does indeed expose 
     additional weaknesses of the Pre-Wrath position.

More on this growingly important matter will be coming this next year. 

____________________


CB11D;18

Practice,  Practice,  PRACTICE!

Do you recall the scene in the movie,  Sneakers,  where Liz (Mary
McDonnell) tells her piano student,  "Practice, Practice!, Practice!" ?
We'd like to tweak this quote just a tad to read,  "Study, Study!, Study!"

(What follows relates to the appeal - to avoid hasty conclusions - as
outlined in CB11C;18 above.)

We have been told the  Final Trumpet Rapture Gathering  end-time
position is  contradictory  due to the data of Revelation 6:14-17.  
Here's the NKJV quote of the passage: 

   Then the sky receded as a scroll when it is rolled up, and
   every mountain and island was moved out of its place.  And
   the kings of the earth, the great men, the rich men, the 
   commanders, the mighty men, every slave and every free
   man, hid themselves in the caves and in the rocks of the
   mountains, and said to the mountains and rocks, 'Fall on
   us and hide us from the face of Him who sits on the throne
   and from the wrath of the Lamb!  For the great day of His
   wrath has come, who is able to stand?'

Some  persist  in  incorrectly  charging us with this contradiction:

You say the Church does not incur God's wrath  but  then go on
to teach the Church incurs the wrath of God - due to it still being
present on the earth until the 7th trumpet of Revelation 11:15.
Given the data of Revelation 6:14-17, your end-time position is
problematic at best.  

Once again, a response of restatement is appropriate at this juncture.

Actually, we do  NOT  embrace an inconsistency because we 
believe the Church is taken  before  the bowls of God's wrath.
It's  after  the final (7th) trumpet rapture gathering when the
bowls of wrath are poured out.  PLEASE note and acknowledge
the testimony of the 24 elders:

   And the twenty-four elders who sat before God on their thrones
   fell on their faces and worshipped God, saying, 'We give You
   thanks, O Lord God Almighty, the One who is and who was and
   who is to come, because You have taken Your great power and
   reigned.  The nations were angry, and  Your wrath has come
   and the time of the dead, that  they should be judged, and
   that  You should reward Your servants the prophets and the
   saints, and those who fear Your name, small and great, and
   should destroy those who destroy the earth.'    
   (Revelation 11:16-18 ; NKJV ; emphasis ours)

THEY (the elders) say,  "Your wrath has come" and they say
this in response to the 7th trumpet being blown - just after
the final trumpet (of the Revelation trumpets) sounds.

According to  The Final Trumpet Rapture Gathering  viewpoint,
the 7th and final trumpet blast includes (in this order):

1.  the gathering together of the Church;  and then,
2.  the pouring out of the bowls of God's wrath.

Because we - those who "remain" (I Thes. 4:17) - will have
endured great tribulation, we will  MISS  the "hour of trial"
(what we believe to be the period of the bowls of God's 
wrath) of Revelation 3:10.  We, the Church, therefore, do
NOT  incur the wrath of God in two crucial ways:

A.  We miss the bowls of God's wrath;
B.  We, also by  God's grace through Jesus Christ,
      do not incur the  eternal  wrath of God. 

Revelation 3:7-13  &  I Thes. 5:9-11 provide helpful insight
pertinent to this matter.


SOME would passionately respond, "But what about the
Revelation 6 passage where it states God's wrath has
come - at the time of the opening of the  6th Seal ?"

This is a fair question, one which does indeed relate to a
possible  contradiction! 

Thus, a restatement of our past answers is warranted.  In answer ...

Please see  THIS LINK  for quotes from our 2009 book, quotes
which  deny - through clear Bible evidence - the charge that we
commit a contradiction as outlined above.

IF you would like to glean Truth tied to this concern of the timing 
of the rapture of God's Church in Jesus Christ our Lord, please
read our book - a work which also includes, by God's precious
grace, MANY helpful  Counsel-appeal  highlights, ones so per-
tinent to our walk with Jesus Christ today (e.g., end-time Bible 
themes  currently being expressed by global culture).  Please
prayerfully consider ordering the 3rd printing of our book.  You
can secure a copy through this means:  CLICK HERE

May God grant us humility of heart, one willing to consider Bible
appeals in this day of great deception, persecution, unrighteousness
and apostasy! 

____________________


CB12A;18

Helpful  Enduring  Through A  Grateful  Heart

It is both good and beneficial to give thanks to the Lord.

Were you  blessed  this past Thanksgiving through praise - as
a result of sharing testimony with family and friends as to God's
heavenly blessings in Christ Jesus His Son, our Savior?  

Avoiding the error of  riding-on-past-laurels  syndrome, we need
to  press on  in fostering hearts full of  thanksgiving.  We need to
guard against actions flowing from a complaining heart.  Instead,
let's do the right and honor-giving thing:  Let's be grateful children
in Jesus Christ. 

What a contrast (understatement!) between a child who expresses
an  attitude of gratitude  as opposed to  one who whines for more.

Let's continue - in light of the MANY reasons God has graced us
with - walking under / in submission to this exhortation:

     Give thanks with a grateful heart
     Give thanks to the Holy One
     Give thanks because He's given Jesus Christ, His Son

     Give thanks with a grateful heart
     Give thanks to the Holy One
     Give thanks because He's given Jesus Christ, His Son

     And now let the weak say, "I am strong"
     Let the poor say, "I am rich"
     Because of what the Lord has done for us"

     Give thanks  ...  give thanks  ...  give thanks.

          Henry Smith  (1978)

____________________


CB12B;18

When  FALSEHOODS  Grow

This is a  partial-truth  statement:

"The USA is  not  found in explicit end-time Bible prophecy."

While the continental USA is not highlighted in clear Bible
prophecy, global issues  and  Bible warnings tied thereto  are
MOST abundant.  Principles addressing cultural shifts are 
absolutely tied to Bible prophecy concerning the days prior
to the return of Jesus Christ.  This includes cultural shifts
within the USA.

Questions:  Do we (the church in the USA) think so highly
                      of ourselves that:

1.  we think the USA warrants Bible inclusion?
          Answer:  In God's eyes, we are no more special than the
                            rest of the global inhabitants.

2.  we think we - the USA - can turn a  deaf ear  toward the
      many end-time Bible thematic appeals that are speaking
      so loudly about present, at-home cultural affairs?
          Answer:  Church, LISTEN to God's Word!  -  e.g., read
                            these weekly blogs:  B41;18 - B48;18.

I am also addressing the past perspectives of authors like Joel
Rosenberg in this blog, especially since he, for example, and
others like him, wield such influence over certain churches
within Evangelicalism today.

Correct:  The USA is  not  explicitly highlighted (geographically)
                in Bible prophecies tied to the 2nd Coming of Jesus Christ.

BUT  this in  NO WAY  allows us to put aside the Scriptures which
address end-time concerns because USA citizens are included in
the Bible passages which address holistic,  thematic  end-time 
topics.  What I mean by this is this:

It's  WRONG  when we allow  parial truths  to become twisted
to the extent it allows for falsehoods - e.g., "Because the USA
is not found in end-time Bible prophecy, we need not seek
God's end-time  thematic Counsel  for today."  This would be
an incorrect perspective. 

Don't get me wrong:  I'm  not  saying this is Rosenberg's intent
in his fictional appeals.  NEVERTHELESS, some have  grown
this fact (that the Bible does not explicitly include the nation of
the USA in its eschatological details) into a lie - the deception
that the Word does not offer practical eschatological doctrine
and/or application clarity to  us  today.  This attitude is also 
fostered through other venues as well - e.g., some  preterit  
folks who deny clear end-time Bible Counsel.

So, in response to the deceptive, half-truth falsehood
immediately above, please note  this  Bible fact well:

It's actually just the opposite!

Read Revelation 2 & 3.

Church:  Read and heed (Rev. 1:3) these two chapters.

1.  Let's humble ourselves and be willing to repent of our
          willful rebellion of throwing off our first love;
2.  Let's be faithful unto the end, enduring tribulation from
          the world and darkness in general;
3.  Let's  run  from sexual sin and the doctrine of the 
          Nicolaitans which so undermine God's fruitful
          and gracious workings in our lives;
4   Let's hold fast to our faith and be willing to discern
          and expose the  Jezebels  among us today, keeping
          His works unto the end;
5.  Let's be watchful in light of a  biblical  eschatological
          perspective whereby we are NOT surprised at His
          coming due to having embraced end-time error;
6.  Let's continue in perseverance knowing He will keep
          us from the hour of trial which will unfold on the 
          whole world;
7.  Let's be open to His corrective love by being humble
          enough to respond in zeal and repentance to His
          loving rebuke and chastisement.

And these explicit appeals only scratch the surface of God's
call to repent!  We've only highlighted  some  of the pertinent-
to-today  mandates in these two chapters.  What about the many
other passages we (God's church) are presently neglecting as a
result of embracing, in part, false (that is, unbiblical and anti-
biblical) doctrines?

Are we so short-sighted to think God's love (as secularism so
often defines it)  trumps  God's holiness when it comes to, by
way of example, His declaration that we abstain from sexual sin?

Are we so erroneously defiant and committed to our religious
traditions -  CLICK HERE  for examples - that we REJECT
explicit Bible Truth?  E.g., Many evangelicals today reject
God's revelation concerning a  holistic  Bible-based
soteriology (doctrine of salvation).

"RIGHT!"  some would say and then go on to add:  "Prove
it!  Prove what you've just claimed!"

Okay, here's one of many examples:

Read James 2:14-26 in light of the ACTUAL content of
Genesis 12 - 22.  (This reading, obviously, is to be distinguished
from Catholic theology on this matter of  rightness  before God!)
Justification before God mandates an active faith - one including
life-in-Christ works.  IF our faith does not continue - progression
(read about this in our book,  The Final Trumpet Rapture Gathering:
An Introduction
,  pages 131, 138-143 and 167-175.  CLICK HERE  for
information about book purchase)  -  IF our faith does not continue,
then we are in danger of possibly embracing a false-hope, partial-
truth paradigm which could bring on apostasy (biblically speaking),
luke-warmness (biblically speaking) and yes, even eternal surprise:
non-admittance into God's holy presence - the Lake of Fire.  LISTEN,
dear church, to the words of our Lord Jesus when He says things 
like  Mt. 7:21-13, Mt. 13:1-23, Mt. 22:1-14, Mt. 25:1-13 and many
other passages (like Revelation 2 & 3).

It is a BIBLICAL appeal to examine oneself to see if one is indeed
in the faith!  (see II Cor. 13:5)  It is a Bible-honoring action to be
diligent unto the making of our calling and election sure.  (see
II Pet. 1:10)  It is God's desire we work out our salvation.  (see
Phil. 2:12, 13)

And once again, DON'T misquote or misrepresent me, those of
you who are of the Cult of Unbiblical Grace!  (Erwin Lutzer calls it
"hyper grace" ; Wayne Grudem warns against the false assurance
promoted by "Free Grace" advocates ; etc.)  Avoid, please, this
faulty judgment because I believe in the other facets of the whole
Counsel of the Word of God - those Bible Truths which highlight
the other sides of divine (Bible-content) paradoxical coins - para-
doxical from man's puny/limited perspective anyway!

One additional point in all this: 

False judgments (against those who proclaim God's Word in full 
context) are dangerous as we will give account to God for our
words (Mt. 12:33-37)  and  our actions (Ecc. 12:13, 14).  In balance,
we are also to discern the deceptions of half-truth appeals, ones 
that run contrary to the full Counsel of God's holy, insightful Word.
Thus we speak out and warn against  deceptions  within churches
today  because of God-given  tough love  for His true Church in
Jesus Christ our Lord and because we seek the glory of the One
who has graciously revealed His Truths to us.  

____________________


CB12C;18

The GOSPEL In  Light  Of CHRISTmas

No wonder atheists, agnostics, anti-theists and even deists have 
a problem with Immanuel - God with us!  It shouldn't surprise us
that a satan-bound world rejects Jesus Christ, Son of God, Savior.
Yes, even  Linus  (of the Charles Schultz  Peanuts  gang)  brings
offense as he shares the real (historical), joy- and purpose-filled
reason for the season - the hearing of which brought despairing
Charlie Brown  much  comfort and joy !

Linus (in  A Charlie Brown Christmas  DVD):  "Sure Charlie
Brown, I can tell you what Christmas is all about  ...

     And there were in the same country shepherds abiding
     in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
     And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the
     glory of the Lord shone round about them:  and they 
     were sore afraid.  
     And the angel said unto them, Fear not:  for, behold, I
     bring you [ good ] tidings of great joy, which shall be to
     all people.
     For unto you is born this day in the city of David a 
     Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
     And this  shall be  a sign unto you;  Ye shall find the
     babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
     And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of
     the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
     Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good
     will toward men."                          (Luke 2:8-14 ; KJV)


How about you?  Will  you  embrace Truth and enjoy the sweet
heavenly blessings found only in Jesus Christ this next year  or
will you choose the other side of the fence and  will  to be offended
by Truth?  Or, perhaps, will you remain on the disbelieving side of
the fence in a pseudo-neutral manner which, from God's tran-
scendent perspective, will bring grievous eternal consequence?
You're right, the choice is yours. ... Choose Life with God as 
opposed to life without Him. 

REALITY CHECK  ...

The enemies of Truth  who are so passionate about their faith
(that God does not exist; that His existence is doubtful; that He 
doesn't warrant recognition, obedience or worship; that YHVH God
has simply left the earthly scene), yes, those who would deny history,
cannot make Father God nor His Son, Jesus Christ, go away.
God is God - from everlasting to everlasting! - and man is just that:
man ... puny, limited man.  God is sovereign, or, to put it in street
terms
,  God calls the shots.

As God's eternal plan could not be thwarted - through Herod's
killing of the infants; through false gossip about the virgin-born
Messiah; through jealous hate of scribes and Pharisees ... Jesus
Christ, the Lamb of God, CAME.  As God's eternal object lesson
will not be compromised - through short-sighted disbelief; through 
rebellious, secular man-centered optimism; through war against
the One on the white horse ... Jesus Christ, the Lion of Judah,
WILL COME AGAIN.

His coming is soon.  Are  you  ready to meet your Creator, the One
who offers salvation from eternal existence in the Lake of Fire?  No
one can atone for one's sins in the eyes of God because  God calls
the shots  
on this one.  He has, in His infinite wisdom and grace,
provided forgiveness through His only begotten Son.  There is no
forgiveness of sin before God outside of Jesus Christ.  That's one
reason why the Lord said what He did:  "I am the way, the truth
and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through Me."  
(John 14:6 ; NKJV)

Got Life ... ETERNAL LIFE ?  Jesus Christ is the only One who 
provides it.  God tells those interested,  this:  Receive My sufficient
provision by faith
.  God's mercy and grace brought the greatest
Gift of all time:  His Son.  God's Holy Spirit graciously moves the
hearts of man to repent and to receive this absolutely necessary
provision.  Don't harden your heart by rejecting God's sweet
Christmas Gift.  Accept the Lord Jesus Christ  and His loving 
provision through His death and resurrection today  if  you
have not already done so.  Time is short. 

And  if  it is the case that we already call ourselves  believers,
let's 
 die to ourselves, take up our cross daily and both will and do
God's good pleasure by relying on His help to  act like those who 
believe.


Father, thank You that Your Son, Jesus Christ, came to seek and
to save that which was lost.  His victory continues to shine in such
amazing ways,  no matter what men may say.  Thank You for 
securing a glorious eternity for those who receive by faith, Your
precious Gift in whom we are complete.  Father, what JOY is ours
who take part in celebration of this 2,000-year-old anniversary of
the life of Your Son.  It's in His great name - the name of the Lord
Jesus Christ - that we pray.  Amen

 

 

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