Friday, June 25, 2021

Apathy -- the Christian Pandemic

Hey Friend,

First a little business -- in case you haven't noticed, my blog is no longer getting to your inbox courtesy of Feedburner. Google, which owns the Blogger platform on which I write, announced they were dropping Feedburner as a subscription service.

I had one month to come up with, and implement a "Plan B" which gave this non-tech-savvy writer a mild panic attack. After reading the pros and cons of all the services out there, I decided to go with Please let me know, by way of a comment or email, if you are receiving my blog posts. No mail service is good if it doesn't get the mail where it needs to go...

It occurred to me, I can't remember the last time I heard a pastor preach about the second coming of Christ. In fact, I don't think I recall an expository message based on prophetic scripture since my youth.

The late A.W. Tozer wrote about what he called "the decline of apocalyptic expectation" in the contemporary church. Mind you he lived from 1897 - 1963. I wonder what his commentary would be on our modern-day church?

Christ is coming again! I believe the church has forgotten this truth. Christians, rather than being distinct from the world around them and living in expectation of their Lord's return, have become so much like the world that sometimes you can scarcely tell the difference between the two. Many churches reflect an apathetic, rather than serious, attitude toward the coming of the Lord.

Some church-goers view talking about the end-times and Christ's coming again as a downer -- a negative subject. Who wants to hear about Armageddon and ruin a perfectly good Sunday morning?

The events surrounding the second coming of Christ do come with a stern biblical warning and judgment is a prominent theme. BUT...I believe the coming of Christ is the brightest, most radiant star on our bleak horizon.

Others plead -- please don't spend an hour teaching "end time" matters on Sunday morning to people with family struggles, business and marriage failures, and a host of other emotional and physical problems. That is SO irrelevant!


In his book, The Book of Signs, Dr. David Jeremiah says this, "I can promise you with a strong degree of assurance: One minute after the Rapture, the subject won't be "irrelevant" at all. It will be the very definition of relevant."

If it's been awhile since you've read about Christ coming to catch away the saints to the marriage supper of the Lamb, while the earth is plunged into the Great Tribulation, take a gander at Matthew 24:36-44 and see if goosebumps don't rise up on your arms.

Q: What's the difference between ignorance and apathy?

A: I don't know and I don't care.

I believe that's kind of the way many feel about the Rapture. They don't know and they don't really care.

Jesus warned about three different attitudes about His coming again. Let's call them the Three "C's":

Cavalier Attitude:  Just as the days of Noah were, so also will be the days before the coming of the Son of Man. Before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day Noah entered the ark. 

Genesis 6:5 tells us that when the Lord looked down upon His creation He "saw the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually." 

When you read all the horrible stuff reported in the news, do you wonder how could anyone ever think up something so evil? That's the way it was just before the Flood. 

Noah preached and warned about the coming flood for one hundred twenty years. That's a long time to preach one message, but no one wanted to hear about "judgment." Quite possibly they told Noah he was irrelevant and politically incorrect. 

In 2 Peter 3:3-6, Peter is saying the time immediately before Christ's return will be just as it was during Noah's day. I wonder if they wished they'd heeded Noah's warning?

Careless Attitude:  1 Thessalonians 5:2 reminds us, "For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night." Just because the Lord will come suddenly and unexpectedly, and just because we don't see this taking place right under our noses, doesn't mean we can become careless in our attitude. 

Other people get robbed, develop fatal illnesses, have their marriages fail, or lose their savings. Jesus warns against a careless, reckless, self-deceptive attitude that keeps insisting, "It can't happen to me." It can and it will. One day God will say, "That's enough."

Callous Attitude:  I believe many put off making a decision for the Lord because it's "not convenient." Perhaps they've got some wild oats to sow or some crazy, self-indulgent things they want to do. They think they've got it all figured out -- at the first whiff of Jesus coming again -- then they'll pull their life together. It's kind of a callous procrastination. 

This same attitude goes for believers. One of the greatest lies Satan deludes us with is this: There is plenty of time. I know I've thought to myself, I'll have that conversation with my neighbor tomorrow. I'll write my son about the hope that lies within me -- tomorrow. 

Stubbornly, we always think there will be a tomorrow, but just as the door on the ark closed, so is the Son of Man coming at an hour we do not expect. Let's not wait until the time is convenient. Even if the world mocks you like they did Noah, let's have an attitude of radiant expectation vs. lackluster apathy.

Dear Heavenly Father, forgive me for having an "I'll get to it tomorrow" attitude when it comes to sharing with others the greatest truth of all time. Let me not be cavalier, careless, or callous when it comes to getting right with you or sharing hope with those who need to know even if they don't want to know. I thank you for your persistence in your long-suffering so that the whole world may know your abundant and saving grace. Let me be your messenger. In Jesus' name I pray, Amen.

What about you? What's your attitude? Are you willing to be like Noah even if the world mocks you? What holds you up? What urges you on? Will you share? Be blessed...

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Sunday, June 6, 2021

Why We Can't Afford Not to be Bold

Hey Friend,

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.” This expression, “Yet once more,” denotes the removing of those things which can be shaken, as of created things, so that those things which cannot be shaken may remain. (Hebrews 12:26-27)

As I look back over the past year and a half as well as the days, months, and years leading up to today, I don't think you have to be a theologian or Biblical scholar to recognize God's hand of favor is no longer resting on the once loyal shoulder of the US because He will only be our God if we will be His people. 

I believe we are in the "yet once more" season of God shaking the earth "so that those things which cannot be shaken remain." It's almost as if we are consciously trying to provoke God's judgment. 

Some of the signs of a nation heading to judgment include societal division, civil disrest, disorder, lawlessness, raising of idols, sexual immorality and perversion, violence, overturning our moral and constitutional foundation, abolishing God's Name and His holy Word, and killing of the innocent and unborn. All these things are taking place right before our eyes and some days I am flummoxed at how so many keep right on going and doing as if nothing is amiss. 

"Some of the racial conflicts that we are having today are happening because race has become an idol." -- Tony Evans (Senior Pastor of Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship in Dallas, founder and president of The Urban Alternative, and African American citizen)

I have read and studied prophecy in the Bible (which accounts for over 30% of scripture). I think we are remiss, as the body of Christ, in not talking about it because I believe we are witnessing something beyond just judgment -- the very times of prophecy being fulfilled. 

Before you write me off as a conspiracy theorist or a prophecy lunatic, Jesus spoke, at length, regarding end-times prophecy. Today, very well respected pastors, preachers, and theologians are sounding this same alarm. Franklin Graham, in the latest issue of Decision magazine says, "The Bible says, 'For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work' (2 Thessalonians 2:7). Behind the ever-rising tide of violence, rage and anarchy is the evil one, the devil himself, spreading his wickedness in increasing intensity. The sheer brutality that has infected our culture is shocking, but not to our adversary who delights in it."

Franklin Graham goes on to say, "One day -- and I believe soon -- the lawless one will be revealed, and that is none other than the rise of the antichrist in the Great Tribulation." 

In Matthew 24, Jesus lays out, for His disciples, a sobering description of the woes which would take place before the end of the age: In addition to wars, there would be famines and pestilence (we've witnessed plagues, viruses, and a pandemic) (Matthew 24:7). Knowledge would increase -- how about by leaps and bounds (Daniel 12:4), but so would immorality. 

The love of many would grow cold (Matthew 24:9). Children would turn against their parents and parents against their children. Men would become despisers of faith, and believers would be persecuted (Matthew 24:9). I used to feel like I could freely express my faith, but now the circle of comfort has greatly diminished. 

The Apostle Paul wrote that men would be "lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers,...lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God." (2 Timothy 3:2-4). And, he describes in 2 Thessalonians 2:3 a great "falling away." Only 6% of Americans now hold a Biblical worldview and it's been quickly shrinking. God is gathering the Jewish population from all ends of the earth back to Israel and armies are rising up and raging against Israel. All these prophecies are coming to pass. 

I used to think it would have been so unbelievably cool to have lived in Biblical times. Well, I'll be darned if I'm not already there. I believe I am part of the generation which will have the greatest privilege and highest honor to have been chosen to witness these things and to live in such a time as this.

Many are turning to fear, but I believe all of these occurences are cause for encouragement and power if you are a believer. The fact that God told us all these things (in scripture) before they occurred, tells us God is still very much in control and very much on the throne. Though darkness surrounds us, we know Jesus -- the Light of the world is coming again and we are assured of our salvation and eternity with Him. 

We are not to fear, but we need to live all the more assured, more bold and more strengthened. Why? We need to stand up for what we believe, share the Good News of the Gospel with those who don't know. We need to -- as our military says -- "Leave no man behind!" Time is of the essence.

"If the dark is getting darker, it's time for the lights to go light up the world. If the world is going from bad to worse, now is the time for God's children to go from good to great." - Jonathan Cahn 

What say you? Can you afford not to be bold? 

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