Grace and Truth

…all the words of this life…


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Bible Prophecy: We Are Close to Christ’s Return

bible_prophecy1Today we want to consider some well-known and often quoted prophetic verses of scriptures, not so much as a teaching exercise but, as a reminder of how close we are to the return of Jesus.

The verses we refer to are found in Luke 17: 26-28:

“And as it was in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man: 27 They ate, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all. 28 Likewise as it was also in the days of Lot: They ate, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they built;…”’

There are, in fact, two very different aspects in these three verses.

  • In the first (verses 26 and 27) Jesus tells his disciples that before He comes again it will be like the days of Noah when people were leading carefree lives unaware of the impending disaster about to overtake them. 
  • In the second (verse 27) He tells them it will be the same as it was in Sodom before it was destroyed.

It is interesting to note that in both cases people were eating and drinking, buying, selling and marrying; in other words leading apparently normal and carefree lives. Yet in both cases they were behaving in a manner unacceptable to God. In the days of Noah it was corruption and violence (Gen. 6:11) and in the days of Sodom it was sexual abomination, especially homosexuality (Gen 19). In time each was judged for their, different but, unacceptable behaviour.

But Jesus also says that before His coming again both of these sinful behaviors will be present in the world and He clearly warns of the consequences of such behaviour.

If we look around the world today we see violence and corruption abounds everywhere: we see it between tribes, nations, within societies and even in families. Certainly none of this is a new phenomenon, yet it appears to be on the increase everywhere; frequently confirmed by governments and law enforcement authorities, stating that violence is on the increase and becoming more difficult to deal with. In the light of Jesus’ remarks to His disciples, the question we surely have to now ask ourselves is: “How close are we to the point where God will not tolerate it anymore and step in to deal with the problem”?

Of course homosexuality and general sexual promiscuity is everywhere and also on the increase, being encouraged by the media, also governments, especially in the West. Even Christian denominations are now openly allowing practicing homosexual leaders to minister and teach their congregations; in flagrant violation of God’s Word which explicitly condemns such behaviour. The increase in these evils in recent years has been astounding.

In addition the secular world not only mocks God but denies his very existence. God will not tolerate such behaviour for much longer.

Surely, the world is fast approaching the point of the days of Noah and Sodom, which Jesus warned would happen before His return.  We can only conclude that there cannot be much time left before Jesus returns to correct matters.  As the Lord said to Abraham:

“Because the outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grave, I will go down now and see whether they have done altogether according to the outcry against it that has come to Me; and if not, I will know.” (Gen 18:20, 21)

Let us ask ourselves: Are WE at this point yet? 

And if not, how close are we…?

Bible believing Christians need to constantly remind themselves of this and not become complacent and allow themselves to be seduced by the ways of the secular world.

It is interesting to note that when Lot tried to warn his two sons-in-law to leave the city because God was about to destroy it, they would not listen because “his sons-in-law thought he was joking”. (NIV Gen: 19:14).

Even now, in our day, we see that many have disregarded the warnings that Jesus is coming soon, even to the point of ridicule.

But those Christians who hear and understand Jesus’ prophetic words of what will take place beforehand – that God will not forever tolerate the gross sin being perpetrated in the world today – must stand firm and persist in warning others of the nearness of His return.

Chris, from our fellowship, has an interest in Bible prophecy and from time to time will share his views with us on current events and how they relate to prophecy in this new series “Bible Prophecy”.


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One Woman’s Stand Against the Lie of Chrislam

This link was blocked from American YouTube.  This German woman is a true hero of the faith.  At an interfaith concert where Chrislam was being promoted she alone stood, and proclaimed “Jesus is Lord!”  as everyone else sat. Click on link below to see what she did.

“How long will you falter between two opinions?  If the Lord is God follow HIm, but if Baal, follow him.  But the people answered him not a word.”


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Satan’s Tool in the Emergent Church

480_sheepscloth1This post follows on from The “Emergent”-cy of Post-Modernist Christianity where we saw that philosophy can and does shape reality.  Just like any other movement in society, the Emergent church movement is underpinned by a system of philosophy. I would like to look at this philosophy, called “de-constructionism”, in order to discover its roots and where it is leading.  The outcome of this philosophy is very REAL and is taking hold in the Church right now.  I believe it is very important for every Bible-believing Christian to be aware of how the enemy is working, because none of us are beyond deception. 

What is De-Constructionism?

“De-constructionism” is: “a philosophical theory of criticism (usually of literature or film) that seeks to expose deep-seated contradictions in a work by delving below its surface meaning”   http://wordnetweb.princeton.edu/perl/webwn?s=deconstructionism

De-constructionism is a “fascist world-view where all authority is rejected and truth is denied by attacking language”. (see “Where’s Truth?” on “absolute truth”).  Its roots are from ex-Nazi Heiteger but developed by French philosopher Jacques Derrida.  As Nietzsche had previously asserted that “life is meaningless” (known as Nihilism) so this philosophy carries nihilism further – into literature itself, and says that:

  • Language is meaningless
  • Language contradicts itself
  • Language is lying
  • Literature lies

By applying this philosophy to a book, poem, paragraph or sentence the text is de-constructed and it is found that every word contradicts itself, contradicts the other words and contradicts the whole work itself.

So to write :  “The sky is blue” for example, may not actually really mean that the sky is in fact blue.  It could mean that the sky is another colour, but we just call it blue.  It could mean that the sky isn’t blue or even a colour at all.  It could mean that I am not even really talking about the “sky” after all, but something else entirely.  “The sky is blue” cannot be understood because all words are meaningless and contradict themselves.

So we see how de-constructionism has removed absolute truth from literature.

What would happen if this method was applied to the Word of God, ie the Bible?

What would happen if Christians adopted this method of studying the Bible?

The Emergent Church

persecutionUnfortunately they are both already in full-swing, within the Emergent Church.  Many of the Emergent Church’s leaders (whom are Evangelicals, not Liberals!), such as Tony Campolo, Rob Bell and Brian Mclaren, have studied and adopted de-constructionism as their method of studying the Bible.  Here is what Leonard Sweet, Brian Mclaren and Jerry Haselmayer wrote in their book “A is for Abductive”:

“Traditional modern interpretation is fond of finding the one “true” meaning in a text while de-constructionists do not give any one reading privileged status, but rather are interested in hearing the interplay of many interpretations that arise from within many different interpretative communities.”

So in essence, they do not view the Word of God as the ultimate authority – all opinions, views and interpretations are equally valid.  This would mean the Koran and other ancient non-Biblical texts are just as valid too. This is classic relativism denying the absolute truth and authority of the Bible in their drive to be :

  • “relevant” to a new generation and
  • palatable to non-believers

The First De-Constructionist

In fact this is not a new “literary technique” at all.  It is as old as time itself!  Satan’s aim, as the world’s first de-constructionist, has always been to cause human-beings to doubt God’s Word.  We see that his tactics haven’t changed since the beginning of time.

In Genesis 3:1 he said to Eve: “…Has God indeed said…?”

And that is essentially what Christian de-constructionism is – has God really said…?emergent-church

The denial of the authority and truth of God’s Word has led to the demise of the preaching and expounding of God’s Word within the Emergent church and rather “dialectics” are now being encouraged.  Dialectics is discussion, analysis, criticism, contrasting ideas etc.  Absolute Truth is side-lined while each individual’s opinions, interpretations and views are held in high regard.  And in the light of relativism, each opinion is equally valid and opposing “truths” are ok.

Ultimately Satan’s aim is to break down “absolute truth”. Why?

Because he is paving the way for a One-World religion, getting ready for the Anti-christ.   How?

By combining a “thesis” with an “antithesis” and making into a “synthesis”.

A thesis is a “proposition (of truth) to be maintained or proved”, such as Christianity.  An antithesis is a “contrast of ideas; direct opposite of”, such as Islam as the opposite to Christianity.  A synthesis is the “combining of elements into a whole.”

It looks like this:

THESIS                  arrow              SYNTHESIS            LeftArrow      ANTITHESIS

Christianity             arrow            Chrislam                 LeftArrow       Islam

bible-cover-pageChrislam is gaining momentum outside of Nigeria now, and Wycliffe Bible Translators have just translated the first “Chrislam” Bibles (that remove or change terms deemed offensive to Muslims and thus creating a Muslim-friendly Bible). 

Next time…  The Falling Dominoes in the Emergent Church

 

 

 


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Bible Prophecy: Why Study It?

bibsAmongst Christians, there seem to be two schools of thought concerning Bible Prophecy. One school of thought, possibly the vast majority of Christians, simply chose to ignore it; while at the other extreme they embrace it to the point of ridicule.

So how should we Christians regard Biblical Prophecy? To answer this question we need to look at a few facts concerning prophecy in the Bible and then ask ourselves a few pertinent questions. Hopefully we will be able to come up with a sensible answer to this apparent dilemma.

Firstly, let us make it very clear that we believe, and know, that the Holy Bible is the inspired Word of God.

There are various estimates about how much of the Bible concerns prophecy, but we go along with the view of a number of Bible scholars who have calculated that some 30% of the Bible is prophetic; therefore making bible-cover-pageprophecy a substantial portion of the Bible. They also calculate that 80% of Bible prophecy has been fulfilled; leaving 20% of it unfulfilled.

The Bible contains about 31,000 verses and if we assume one prophecy = one verse, we find that over 9,000 Bible verses are prophetic with nearly 2,000 prophetic Bible verses remaining to be fulfilled.

Since God included so much prophetic insight in His Word, how can we simply ignore it? Primarily prophecy is a message from God, not merely foretelling future events. Of course it goes without saying that we have to be careful not to interpret unfulfilled prophecy to suit our position, whatever that may be. Date setting is one particular example where some Bible scholars have opened themselves up to ridicule, as well as bringing disrepute upon Christians in general and the Bible in particular.

So yes, we believe in the importance of Bible prophecy and the need to study it to try to help us explain some of the events currently taking place or unfolding in the world. Some of these we will look at and discuss from time to time.

We also believe that we need to be aware of the “signs of the times” so that we are not like the people (and religious leaders) of 2,000 years ago who, from prophetic scriptures then known to them, should have known the time of Jesus’ coming.

We don’t want the rebuke they received from Him when he said in Luke 12: 56:

“Hypocrites! You know how to interpret the appearance of the earth and the sky. How is it that you don’t know how to interpret this present time?” NIV

Chris, from our fellowship, has an interest in Bible prophecy and from time to time will share his views with us on current events and how they relate to prophecy in the new series of “Bible Prophecy” on this blog.


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594 of His Last 600 Sermons Wesley Preached on the Street

street preachingHere is a list of the “persecutions” that I have personally suffered whilst street-preaching:

  • Been called an “idiot” to my face
  • Been mocked and ridiculed
  • Been leered at
  • Been outright laughed at
  • Been screamed at to “shut-up”
  • Been heckled
  • Rude gestures made at me
  • Blasphemies and curses screamed at me
  • Having the cord of the PA system pulled out while I preach
  • People taking photos of their friends standing next to me
  • People trying to rip the microphone out of my hand
  • Another PA system turned up loud to drown me out
  • Man putting his arm around me

BIG DEAL

Maybe it will get worse, I don’t know.  Maybe if you went out you would be beat up or put in jail or worse, I don’t know that either.

But what I do know is that there is a whole generation out there going to hell.  HELL.

(Do you really believe it?)

And why are they going to hell? Largely because of:

  • Our fear of man
  • Our excuses
  • Our feebleness in following Christ
  • Our “ministries” and church mindsets
  • Our busy lives

Why are we just letting Satan do whatever he pleases?

And that IS what he is doing.  If you don’t believe me, go out there and see for yourself the kids on drugs, the alcoholics, the homeless people, the business people spending their lives coveting, the girls wearing hardly clothes for attention.  Go to your nearest city and just sit and observe.

Open your eyes and open your heart.

That man with tattoos on his face, Jesus died for him.

That kid wandering aimlessly, Jesus died for him too.

That young woman with skinny legs and a hole on the inside of her elbow, Jesus shed His blood for her too.

“How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?” (Romans 10:14)

You know, I’ve seen it with so many Christians, myself included.  We are so nice and polite.  We don’t want to offend people. “Best not to cause waves by shoving the gospel down people’s throats….”

And meanwhile the devil rubs his hands in glee and dances all over our craving to be accepted.

Jesus never told us to be gentle with the devil.  He never told us to accommodate him in any way or let him walk all over us.  No sir.

He did in fact say: “Behold I give you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy, nothing in any wise shall harm you.” Luke 10:19

One of the most powerful and effective forms of spiritual warfare is to preach the gospel.  Go to the sinners, don’t preach to the converted.  Get to where the sinners are and preach your heart out.

“Preaching is not a profession, it’s a passion” said Leonard Ravenhill.

Let’s get so full of the Holy Ghost fire that we are constrained by the love of Christ to take the good news of the Kingdom to the lost.

Let’s stop being cowardly, let’s stop being polite and comfortable, let’s meet the devil head on and give him something to worry about!

You can read more about what happened as I street-preached tonight here

Watch this for inspiration:

http://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=Leonard+Ravenhill+Agony&Form=VQFRVP#view=detail&mid=87A580689D3A172D462B87A580689D3A172D462B

In Jesus name

Amen and Amen