Is the move of the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem a fulfillment of Bible prophecy?  (Part 1)

Is the move of the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem a fulfillment of Bible prophecy? (Part 1)

WOW what a timely question. To set the stage for answering this question, let us first review the Bible’s End Time events and then see if and how this move of the Embassy may tie in. We will need to have a two part answer to properly respond due to the complexity of the considerations. So Part 2 will be posted next week. You won’t want to miss it.
We are now in the Church Age period and many Bible scholars say the next event for those who have trusted in Jesus is what is termed The Rapture. Jesus comes down from Heaven in the air and takes all the dead believers and the living believers up with Him. (See our 11-20-17 posting for more details on the Rapture event)
The nation of Israel signs a peace treaty with a person called The Antichrist. Israel relies on the treaty with the expectation of a world peace. This begins what is called the Seven Year Tribulation Period and although the effects of the rule of the Antichrist are worldwide, Israel is the center-point at this time. (See Epicenter by Joel Rosenberg)
After three and one half years into the Tribulation, the true nature of the Antichrist is revealed and he, along with a false Holy Spirit and Satan, attempts to destroy the nation of Israel. It is during this second half of the tribulation period when catastrophic and devastating events occur worldwide. This is God’s wrath poured out on unbelieving nations.
A remnant of Jews escape Israel and at the end of the seven years Jesus returns with believers and defeats the Antichrist and his cohorts in a final battle, Armageddon.
Following this Period, Jesus rules with His people on earth for 1000 years, a time known as the Millennial Reign. The Bible also suggests that at that time King David, the king of Judah who reigned 1,000 years before Jesus, will return as regent to rule over Israel. (Ezekiel 37:24) These will be exciting times. Stay tuned.

How can I discover God’s Plan for my life as a Christian?

How can I discover God’s Plan for my life as a Christian?

Discovery questions like this one suggest that an adventure lies ahead. Indeed, discovering God’s plan for one’s life is the greatest journey a person can ever undertake. It is often revealed in phases over one’s lifetime as a Christian matures in their faith. Finding your purpose in life and living it with a passion is God’s intent for everyone. Then and only then will you be able to honor God with your life and your work or calling and enjoy his presence now and forever. So where do we start the search for God’s plan which was actually in place before you were born. That in itself is an amazing truth. (Ephesians 2:10)

It seems therefore that we should go first to the source, the Bible, God’s inspired Word, to discover the plan. In Jeremiah 29:11 for example we find, “for I know the plans I have for you, plans for your welfare and not for evil to give you a future and a hope.” So from this verse we know with certainty that God has a plan for each believer in Jesus. Jesus said, “If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you want and it will be done for you.” In other words, in searching for God’s plan one needs to diligently explore the Scriptures to become aware of God’s promises and their special calling from Jesus and one needs to abide in Jesus and follow His calling. Jesus wants you to become a disciple that makes disciples in whatever profession you are given. You are to become a partner in building God’s kingdom. Church Pastors, Christian guidance counselors and Christian friends can help you in your search.

To fully realize ‘the plan’ as a Christian you must live the Christian values of love, sympathy, compassion, humility, honesty and moral integrity. The apostle Peter said it well in chapter 3 verses eight and nine. His parting words were,” Finally, all of you be of one mind, sympathetic, loving toward one another, humble, and compassionate. Do not return evil for evil or insult for insult, but on the contrary a blessing because to this you were called that you might inherit a blessing.” The blessing is a life filled with meaning, with purpose and joy and an assurance of eternity in Heaven!

Therefore, in order to discover and live God’s plan one needs to read the Scriptures, pray, abide in Jesus, listen to the Holy Spirit, obey the Commandments, and finally become mature disciples of Jesus that share the gospel message of redemption and hope with everyone God brings into your path. God’s plan is for everyone to become more like Jesus.

Is Evil an Illusion or Reality?

Is Evil an Illusion or Reality?

Some religions suggest that evil is just an illusion. That it is a condition of the mortal mind. Others have said it is a result of ignorance and superstitions and if you don’t think about it evil will go away.

Our life experiences argue otherwise. We lock our cars and houses. We have security systems. We have laws against murder, rape, child abduction, lying under oath, etc. Yes evil is real.

It came about when Adam and Eve used their gift of free will to disobey God. There was only one commandment and they chose not to keep it. At that moment the human race and the earth began to experience the opposite of God’s goodness, evil.

Evil is the absence of God. We see it expressed in pain, suffering, discord, war and death. The ‘good news’ is that God reigns and one day evil will be overthrown. All those who put their trust in him will live eternally where there is no pain, no suffering and no death.

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Is God Still active and involved in His creation? Part 2

Is God Still active and involved in His creation? Part 2

Last week we covered God’s involvement in His creation up to the coming of Christ. After a silence period of 400 hundred years God again appeared and became actively involved to complete a plan He had before the creation of the world. So let’s now look at what we observe God doing after this silent period.
First,we see God active as evidenced in the birth, life, death and resurrection of Jesus, the sending of the promised Holy Spirit at Pentecost, the conversion of Paul and perhaps other unrecorded events.

We may not physically see God’s activity as much in Western Culture today, especially Europe, but God seems to be active in other cultures. Many of these cultures that seem so unlikely such as China and the Muslim world are coming to believe in Christ in huge numbers. God’s activity is being expressed through the Holy Spirit much like it was in the first and second centuries. God’s work form the beginning has always been the redemption of sinners from all nations, (John 6:29)
The Bible is clear on how God is involved today.

In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets … but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son. (Hebrews 1:1-2 NLV)

Now God speaks through the Holy Spirit that Jesus promised to send following his resurrection and His inspired Word, the Bible. However, when we ask about God’s activity we should be considering our own activity. Are you sharing the ‘Good News’ of the gospel, “Jesus saves”, as you are going about in your world daily? God still works thru Jesus’ disciples to bring hope, love and peace to a hurting world that He loves.

Finally, with the coming of Jesus, God began a new way to be active with his creation. He became active through the Holy Spirit. We must connect with God on a spiritual level and in turn He acts with us on a spiritual level to bring about His plan of redemption (John 4:24) and one day Jesus will return, perhaps soon. Remember to take time out with your worldly activities to be spiritually involved with Him. God is always available. He is waiting for you to call.

Is God still active and involved in His creation?

Is God still active and involved in His creation?

This is a good question and one that many people wonder about.

Now by its very nature this question implies that the questioner thinks God was once active in his creation but questions whether God is still involved. It also signifies that the questioner does not see any evidence of God’s activity today. If God is still involved what is the evidence?

We need to examine our time perspective in relation to God’s. The scientific interpretation of the genesis description of Creation is that the universe was created out of nothing about 13.8 billion years ago. Earth was created 4.8 billion years ago. Homo sapiens, man, represented by Adam, have been on earth about 10,000 years. In terms of God’s total activity with creation under this interpretation, man’s time on earth and God’s revelation of himself to man has been only 7.7 x 10-9% of the time God has been creating. So we are seeking a look at God’s activity during a very, very small window. Nevertheless, we see it.

The Bible records numerous instances of God being active in his creation within this small window of time. He was involved directly with people who had personal encounters with him: Adam and Eve, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, the Prophets, Jesus, Paul the Apostle and the disciples John and Peter just to name a few.
He was also involved with activities: the creation itself, the Flood, the Exodus out of Egypt, the occupation of the Promised Land, and the Israelites throughout the Old Testament. Then there was silence for a period of about 400 years between the Old and New Testament when God seemed to be silent. That period ended in with the coming of John the Baptist to pave the way for the ministry of Jesus who equated John with Elijah (Luke 1:17)

(The lesson to be remembered about the silent period is that the silence of God for a period of time is not to be taken as the absence of God. Remember God is not governed by time because he existed before there was any time. That came about as a result of creation. Rather, God acted in the fullness of time, at the perfect time in history to bring Jesus to mankind, an act predestined by God in his plan before the creation of the world (Ephesians 1: 4-7 NLV).

Next week we will examine the evidence of God’s involvement for the time of the past 2000 years. You will be quite surprised!

How does one acquire wisdom from God?

How does one acquire wisdom from God?

First we must believe in God and trust in Him before we can acquire wisdom from God. To know God, we must have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and have accepted Him as Lord and Savior. In the Bible, in Colossians 2:3 we are told that in Christ are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.

The primary source of God’s wisdom is God’s word as recorded in the Bible. The Bible contains instructions for our relationships with others and provides guidance for making many of life’s decisions. This is the first place to go when seeking God’s wisdom. The Bible is often referred to as the ‘Operating Manual for Life’ and ‘Best Investigated Before Leaving Earth’.

God instructs us in James 1:5-6 that if we lack wisdom we should ask God. The condition is that we must believe and not doubt. We need to be honest with ourselves and not be looking for answers that confirm what we want to do. We must be fully committed to obeying God. James 1:7 says that if we doubt God, we should not think that we will receive anything from Him.

When we pray for wisdom, we must be patient as we wait for an answer. God’s timing for things is often different than ours. When we receive the answer, it cannot contradict anything in the Bible. This is why Bible study and prayer are so important for the believer. The Bible books of Psalms, Proverbs and Ecclesiastes are called the wisdom books and we strongly urge you to study them over and over again. In them you will find those treasures of wisdom and knowledge.

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What does it mean to receive the kingdom of God like a ‘little child’?

What does it mean to receive the kingdom of God like a ‘little child’?

This is a really interesting two-fold question. It’s essentially asking what is the kingdom of God and how can it be received. Consequently, we will answer the receive part first and describe the kingdom of God next month. So let’s see what the Scriptures say about receiving the kingdom as a ‘little child’.

Jesus said, “Let the children alone, and do not hinder them from coming to Me, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” (Matthew 19:14–NIV)

Jesus’ statement is recorded in the three synoptic gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke) so it is important. His disciples were annoyed about the children that were being brought to Jesus, as well as at those that were pressing in to see him. Jesus saw these situations as teaching moments.

A child is totally dependent on his caretaker. Think of a child, simple, innocent, with no agenda; skipping along, going where their parent goes, trusting and asking no questions. If they let go of his or her hand and run ahead and get hurt, the parent says, “it’s okay,” and gently binds their wounds. “Next time you will trust me more when I caution you.” When the child is troubled, the parent comforts him; and when in danger, protects him. The parent shows unconditional love for the child.

Now think of us; are we like the child, harmless and inoffensive, free from resentment, meek, humble and without pride or personal ambitions? Or are we self-sufficient and trusting in ourselves as we navigate through life? Jesus says we must be like that innocent, trusting child, dependent on our Heavenly Father to guide us through life: to such belong the kingdom of heaven. When we come as a child, our sufficiency is in Christ, not in ourselves. Have you come to Jesus with that little-child like faith? He is waiting to receive you with open arms. Remember, Jesus is the only way to heaven and eternal life.

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What is God’s Amazing Grace?

What is God’s Amazing Grace?

Grace is more than the song, Amazing Grace. Yet the words of that song resound with the truth. If you are not familiar with the words, click here.

What is amazing about God’s grace is that it is a free gift. It is God reaching out to us. Yes, reaching out while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us (see Romans 5:8). A gift offered to all who accept Jesus as Savior and Lord. God’s grace is his unmerited favor bestowed upon repentant sinners. People can do nothing to earn it nor do they deserve it. It is an expression of God’s love for the world he created (see John 3:16).  God has made loving him a simple act. As the first verse of the song says:

Amazing Grace how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me. I once was lost but now am found was blind but now I see.

Those who reject God’s grace and mercy will experience His judgment and His justice. Again with free will the choice is up to each person; accept or reject. Choose wisely.

Is heaven real or a myth?

Is heaven real or a myth?

The Bible says that heaven is a real place prepared for all who love God and have trusted in Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord. ( See Revelation 21:1).

Heaven is beyond human description although some have been given glimpses of it. The best reference on what heaven could be like is found in Randy Alcorn’s book, Heaven. Another book, Heaven is for Real, is a sneak preview of how heaven might be seen through the eyes of a child. Finally, Jesus said to his disciples then and for those who have trusted him down through the ages and now:

I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. (John 14:3 – ESV)

Paul, an apostle of Jesus, wrote to the believers in the Greek city of Corinth:

What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him.  (1 Corinthians 2:9 – ESV)

Yes, Heaven is for real. It’s not a myth! It’s God’s ultimate gift to all who believe.

Can You know God personally?

Can You know God personally?

The answer is yes. In the beginning Adam walked and talked and fellowshipped with God every day. That was how God intended life to be for every person ever born; to actually know God personally. Unfortunately, Adam sinned when he disobeyed God’s one and only rule. Sin then separated man from God.

The “ good news” is that placing one’s trust in Jesus as Savior and Lord restores that relationship so a person can actually know God personally. God has a wonderful, exciting plan for everyone’s life.

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare[a] and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. (Jeremiah 29:11 – ESV)

Life’s grandest adventure is discovering that plan and living it to the ‘Max’. There is only one way to God. There is no path as some religions claim. Jesus said,

I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father (God) except through me. (John 14:6 – ESV)

God is a personal God. He desires relationships with his creation. He has given man the free will to say I want to know you or I don’t. The choice is personal. The choice is ours. The choice is yours. Choose wisely.