Monday, December 29, 2008

Rick Warren?

Good Morning! I hope that everyone had a wonderful, meaningful Christmas! The celebration of the birth of the baby in the manger who was more than an ordinary baby....He was the savior! The Lord of all Creation...the King of Kings and Lord of Lords! He was Jesus Christ! the foretold Messiah from the Old Testament Scriptures who fulfilled every prohetic utterance of His coming and....will COME AGAIN! The time is drawing closer...are you ready?

Part of the reason for a belief that Jesus is coming soon is the fact of the condition that we find ourselves in at this present time...wars and rumors of war abound...perilous times are are lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasures rather than lovers of God, having a form of Godliness but denying its power (II timothy 3:2-5)

In light of the above, here is an interesting take on the uproar by the decision to ask Pastor Rick Warren of Saddleback Church to pray at the inaugaration of President-Elect Barak Obama:

The Warren Controversy
by Michael G. Mickey

Talk about a circus! Barack Obama's decision to have mega church pastor Rick Warren offer the invocation at his presidential inauguration fits the bill. It seems that most everyone has a bone to pick about it.

ReligionNewsBlog has the following to say on the topic, in part:

The Rev. Rick Warren, who will give the invocation, is the most influential pastor in the United States, and a choice that has already caused problems for Obama.

Warren is a Southern Baptist who holds traditional religious beliefs and endorsed California’s Proposition 8, which banned gay marriage. But he also wants to broaden the evangelical agenda to include fighting global warming, poverty and AIDS.
Later in the article....

By picking Warren, Obama is sending another signal, about his willingness to upset liberals by tilting to the center. Gay rights groups are demanding that Obama rescind the invitation because of Warren’s opposition to same-sex marriage.

“By inviting Rick Warren to your inauguration, you have tarnished the view that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Americans have a place at your table,” Joe Solmonese, president of the Human Rights Campaign, said in a letter to the incoming president.
The liberals are upset

Joy Behar, co-host of The View and a way Left liberal by anyone's standards, had this to say of Obama's choice of Warren, according to Newsbusters, "I don’t think it’s appropriate. It’s like putting, you know, Cheney in charge of gun control. It’s’s just wrong.”

And why, exactly, was it wrong of Obama to choose Warren according to Behar? He has spoken out against gay marriage and a supporter of Proposition 8, of course!

The first openly gay member of Congress, Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., said recently, according to Fox News, "Mr. Warren compared same-sex couples to incest. I found that deeply offensive and unfair." I'm sure he did, but, no offense to Congressman Frank, the lifestyle he leads is every bit as vile a sexual sin as incest in the eyes of God. Both are forbidden by God and were, until recent times, illegal in most of these United States.

What a time we've come to in America's history when a pastor who preaches as judgmentless a form of the gospel as Rick Warren does is seen as an extreme fundamentalist by the Left! I would never have dreamed years ago that I'd see a day in my life that this could possibly be true. And yet here we are. These days, as a result of current trends, I see our nation in a brand new light - one that's anything but glowing.

I no longer wonder how much less we're going to honor the Almighty because I know the answer to the question. We're going to dishonor God, as a nation, to whatever extent He will permit us to without destroying us.

We're in a bottomless pit of sinfulness as a nation and the sad thing about it? Despite the great bounty of blessing that God has bestowed on us, we didn't fall into it; we jumped into it with both feet!

Homosexuals are upset

The Left is up in arms and, within their ranks fo the most part, homosexuals are as well.

The following is an excerpt from a article entitled "Homosexual groups blast Obama for 'mistake'":

Homosexual activist groups across the country are angry with the president-elect for choosing evangelical pastor Rick Warren to pray at the inauguration on January 20. Warren publicly voiced support for Proposition 8, the California ballot measure that banned same-sex "marriage" in the state.

The homosexual activist group Human Rights Campaign has accused Obama of dealing a "genuine blow" to the homosexual community by choosing Warren. In addition, a California homosexual-rights activist has labeled the selection "a huge mistake" by Obama; and the editor of the pro-homosexual newspaper Washington Blade calls the choice "Obama's first big mistake."
The ONN article quotes Jim Garlow, senior pastor of Skyline Wesleyan Church as saying "those protesting Obama's selection of Warren are "throwing temper tantrums like two-year-olds" just as they did after Prop. 8 was victorious in November."

They're not just throwing temper tantrums; they're being quite, dare I say it once again, intolerant of Christians.

In a One News Now article entitled "Homosexuals showing 'radical intolerance' of Rick Warren", Bishop Harry Jackson, Jr. of the High Impact Leadership Coalition is quoted as saying, "What's being revealed in this process is that the intolerance of the radical left is coming out. They want to be received and tolerated, but when someone takes one little overture like praying a prayer at a major event, they can't take it," he points out. "And whether we like it or not, this man Rick Warren has become the next generation's Billy Graham."

Amen to that, Bishop Jackson! If I've said it once, I've said it a thousand times. Tolerance is a one-way street that flows away from God!

Traditional, fundamental Christians are upset

As a strictly traditional Bible-believing Christian, Rick Warren isn't someone who has ever impressed me a great deal with his 'Purpose Driven' gospel. Heavy on love and practically devoid of the threat of judgment found throughout the Scriptures, his teachings have always left me flat. Of his books, I have told people that they're Gospel Lite as opposed to Gospel Right and cautioned them against becoming followers of his theology. His decision to accept Barack Obama's invitation to give the invocation at his inauguration only reinforces why I've never been a big fan.

What he reportedly had to say in a recent sermon only sours me on him more. According to Fox News, Warren had the following to say on 12-21-08:

"I have in no way ever taught that homosexuality is the same thing as a forced relationship between an adult and a child, or between siblings. I was trying to point out I'm not opposed to gays having their partnership. I'm opposed to gays using the term marriage for their relationship."
He's not opposed to gays having their partnership in defiance of the Word of God? Well, he ought to be as God's Word is clear as crystal on the matter.

God gives no sanction to same-sex relationships of a romantic nature whatsoever. It's issues like this that upset Bible-believing Christians - one reason why I count it as anything but joyful when Rick Warren is referred to as 'the Billy Graham of the next generation.'


Why should a Christian leader, even Rick Warren, snuggle up to a man, on the day of his inauguration to become our president no less, who has promised to advance the causes of the homosexual agenda on a wide variety of fronts and swing wider the doors of abortion clinics than they have ever been before? I can't think of a good reason, personally.

This isn't the time for the Church to be found among the world, but a time for us to be separate from it! Instead of praying at the inauguration of Barack Obama, many of whose policies are going to fly directly in the face of Almighty God, Pastor Warren and the Church in general should be standing back a bit, not so far away that president-elect Obama can't see or hear us but far enough away that he knows our highest allegiance is to our God and it is an allegiance we are not going to compromise on!

Am I suggesting that Christians shouldn't show our incoming president love, respect, and support? Absolutely not, within boundaries of course. I believe that president-elect Obama is reaching out to the evangelical community somewhat in this gesture, perhaps to show us that he isn't going to slam the door in our faces concerning the issues that are important to us once he moves into the White House, but mark my words. If the Church starts cuddling up to his way Left policies as though he can do whatever and continue to meet with our approval, while the door won't be slammed in our faces, it will be subtly and quietly pushed shut until, if we listen closely, we'll be able to hear it latch and be locked! Who are we kidding if not ourselves to think otherwise? The Left doesn't care about us except when it's time for a voting lever to be pulled. The GOP isn't much if any better, for the record, but that's a topic for another time.

The years ahead, depending on where you get your information from, are going to be bad or worse than bad. Most economic prognosticators are predicting that our nation is going to fall on some very hard times and that means we're going to be NEEDING God's hand of mercy more than we have in a very long time and less DESERVING of it than ever before.

The Warren controversy, all perspectives shown here included in that ongoing melee, shows us the state of disrepair our nation's collective spirituality is presently in - and vividly at that.

The wicked are so wicked that anything short of our government signaling a total disregard of God's Word is no longer acceptable to the masses. More troubling, perhaps, is that the Church has become such a non-factor in having a discernible voice from everyone else that Rick Warren is considered the voice of this and the next generation of evangelical Christians.

All of the above shows us just how close we are, conditionally at the very least, to the return of Jesus Christ.

2nd Timothy 4:3-4:

For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.
In these last days, sound doctrine isn't acceptable in many churches. As a direct result, there are a lot of ear-tickling preachers in the world, Rick Warren among them, ready to tell us just what we WANT to hear and absolutely nothing we NEED to and that? It's prophecy being fulfilled and a sign of the last days.

I don't have to remind any of my regular readers what was going on in Sodom and Gomorrah at the time of its destruction. Things were so bad there that the righteous soul of Lot, seeing and hearing all that was going on around him, was vexed on a daily basis according to 2nd Peter 2:8. The similarities between Lot's days in Sodom and the world faithful Christians are living in today are strikingly similar.

Prophecy is being fulfilled - a reminder that we may be closer to seeing Jesus than we've ever dreamed possible. Not only that, it's a grim reminder of how many are going to be caught completely offguard, wrapped up in the concerns of this world, when the Rapture of the Church occurs.

Luke 17:28-30:

Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded;

But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all.

Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed.
Soon, Christians! Soon!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Watch & Pray!

Good Morning...I hope you will read the following article and take heed!

Something Evil This Way Comes – Again
By Ron Graham

“This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come, For men shall be lovers of their own selves...Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God...Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof...Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth,” 2 Timothy 3:1, 2, 4, 5, & 7.

“And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you,” Matthew 24:4. Jesus was very concerned about His future Church becoming deceived. With so many statements made by the writers of the Bible under God’s inspiration that speak of being deceived, why are so many not taking heed?

Ask your pastor or Bible teachers about the Emerging Church and you will probably get a host of different answers concerning that movement. Some say “it’s not yet definable” or “let’s wait to see just where they are going”, (currently 40 million strong just here in America ). Some say it’s the young people who want something different; they don’t want to follow the old Christianity of their parents (which has been quite sufficient for the last two-thousand years). They want much more than just to attend a Church service on Sunday mornings. Others say it’s a short term movement and it will run its course and fall by the wayside. To those individuals I say, “Look again”.

The proponents of the Emergent Church movement claim Christianity must be re-defined to adapt it to the post modern crowd. It’s Satan’s business to disrupt the fellowship of believers any way he can. Doctrinal differences are wide and in many cases satanic in origin. That’s how the enemy works. Division among God’s saints is his greatest achievement. The Emergent Church movement is just one more in a long line of divisions initiated by God’s greatest enemy. “Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;” 1 Corinthians 15:1. When we exchange the truth of the Gospel of Christ for a lie, a perversion we will certainly reap as we harvest what we sow.

The Emergent Churches precepts are certainly not anything new to the Church of God . In the Apostle John’s three epistles he gives us a look at the heresy known as Gnosticism. Gnosticism takes a different and deceptive path than that of true Christian doctrine. The Gnostics didn’t believe Jesus’ death on the cross was a true event. They promoted the idea that a substitute was placed on the cross while Jesus made his escape. The Gnostics believed that we must obtain knowledge, a special secret knowledge to achieve Heaven’s reward. The Gnostics also denied the deity of Jesus Christ. Today there are many who deny that Jesus Christ is God Almighty. Sadly, they are all totally deceived.

The Emerging Church movement has become most popular with the younger crowd, but it’s also making huge inroads into our established Christian Churches . I’m including some of the most popular names connected with this movement as well as some who are connected to the New Age movement: Brian McLaren, Dan Merchant, Dan Kimball, Tony Campolo, J.P. Moreland, Brennan Manning, William Shannon, Henri Nouwen, Rob Bell, Ken Weber. These names should be posted on our refrigerators as people to stay away from at all cost. There are many others who have signed on to this heresy; is a great resource for information giving the warning signs about the Emergent Church/Contemplative Spirituality (EC/CS), as well as a host of other perversions. Here’s a small sample of a warning that came through my e-mail recently from Lighthouse Trails.
Dan Merchant is the author of a new book titled “Lord Save Us From Your Followers”. Merchant's book, published by Thomas Nelson, is similar in nature to Dan Kimball's “They Like Jesus But Not the Church” .The message in Merchant's book is basically that since the world doesn't like Christians, it must be the fault of Christians who spend too much time "preaching" the Gospel as opposed to just listening and befriending unbelievers without trying to convert them. The subtitle on Merchant's book is “Why is the Gospel of Love Dividing America ?” suggesting that a "true" gospel message would not be dividing but rather uniting people.
Also, J.P. Moreland, in a Christianity Today article, says that Christians are too committed to the Bible:“
In the actual practices of the Evangelical community in North America , there is an over-commitment to Scripture in a way that is false, irrational, and harmful to the cause of Christ.”
Lighthouse Trails says this is a very typical outlook by contemplative/emergent advocates. Contemplative figure Brennan Manning calls this over-commitment "bibliolatry"(Bible Idolatry):
“I am deeply distressed by what I only can call in our Christian culture the idolatry of the Scriptures. For many Christians, the Bible is not a pointer to God but God himself. In a word--bibliolatry. God cannot be confined within the covers of a leather-bound book. I develop a nasty rash around people who speak as if mere scrutiny of its pages will reveal precisely how God thinks and precisely what God wants.”

--Brennan Manning, The Signature of Jesus, pp. 188-189
Keep in mind that Manning rejects the idea that God the Father sent His son to die a violent death on the Cross for the sins of mankind. "[That God] does not exist," Manning states in his book, Above All, actually copying verbatim Eastern mysticism proponent William Shannon (from Silence on Fire).

The proponents of this movement say they succeed because God is behind them. Interestingly they remove Jesus Christ from the path laid out in the Bible as our only way to salvation and replace Him with a “more spiritual” way of attaining forgiveness. I can promise you this: God is not behind this movement, but His enemy most certainly is.

“Every modern erroneous cult is some ancient satanic heresy revived. Every “new” heresy has been anticipated by the Holy Spirit. Satan has nothing new to offer. We live in a day when religious toleration is interpreted to mean “one religion is as good as another.” Many people try to take the best from various religions and fabricate their own. To them Christ is only one of several great religious teachers, with no more authority than they have. He may be prominent, but certainly not preeminent.

When we make Jesus Christ and the Bible only a part of a total religious system or philosophy, we cease to give Him preeminence. When we strive for “spiritual perfection” or “fullness” by means of formulas, disciplines, or rituals, we go backward rather than forward. We must beware of mixing our Christian faith with such alluring things as yoga, transcendental meditation, Oriental mysticism, and the like. We must also beware of the “deeper life” teachers who offer a system for victory and fullness that bypasses devotion to Jesus Christ. In all things, He must have preeminence!

No one familiar with the teaching of Colossians will ever be misled by the specious sophistries of the various occult systems now being foisted upon a credulous public, such as Theosophy, or Spiritualism; or be deluded by the revived Gnostic religions of Eddyism, Unity School of Christianity, or other branches of misnamed New Thought or New Age.”

Dr. Chuck Missler –
On the surface, this EC/CS movement may actually seem to be an awesome magnet, successfully drawing millions into its fold. But in all actuality its agenda is to supplant God’s word. Their leaders are young, energetic, deceived men and women aiming to bring about a new Christianity steeped in eastern mysticism and spiritualism. Using deceptions and non-biblical concepts of who God is, they determine we can achieve “a form of godliness” beyond what the Bible teaches.

The main overwhelming heresy that should trigger a warning light in front of the eyes of those who attend these meetings is Jesus Christ has been removed from the foundation of their belief system. Gnosticism is back and in full vigor. It really never left the world scene but has always been lurking in the shadows. Without Jesus Christ as the foundation of the Church we have no Church.

Remember this. Satan’s main goal is to get people to look at Jesus as just another good teacher in a line of many good teachers, who, along with all the others, did His fair share to help the downtrodden of this world. If humanity is to look to Jesus Christ at all, Satan wants us to see Him only as some sort of a prophet, never as the Savior of the world. “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me,” John 14:6. To all who can read, Jesus’ statement here is crystal clear.

The promoters of the EC/CS movement claim it’s a new world and we must embrace new concepts of Christianity for proclaiming a new message that will lead to a healthier and more peaceful future for mankind; lots of feel good tripe but no substance, nothing that gives us the true way to salvation. Satan has many tricks up his sleeve and this is just another in a long line of deceptions. Sadly, millions are falling for this new movement with all its promises of a better world. The Bible tells us things will get worse, not better, as the end draws nearer. Jesus said “And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many,” Matthew 24:11.

There are many scriptures in the Bible which point out that there will be a perverted apostasy promoted as the norm in the last days. How then are leaders like these who promote this EC/CS movement and others able to be so completely deceived? It’s actually quite simple. They don’t really believe what the Bible says or they allegorize scriptures that should be taken literally. As President Bush stated recently, “I don’t take the Bible literally, I’m not a literalist”. When he meets Jesus face to face, he will be.

Oh sure, these deceived leaders speak as with great scriptural knowledge and authority, very eloquently, but they are actually harboring satanic deceptions. Christian leaders who embrace this new spirituality are leading multitudes astray, all because they refuse to follow God's word. They are heading right down the path that their leader has set for them. He’s a wily old fox and a deceitful lying serpent.

“Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time,” 1 John 2:18. A very strong delusion has arrived on the Christian scene in force and millions of gullible folks are already deeply involved in that deception. “They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us,” 1 John 2:19. Of those high profile evangelicals who are now so deceived, many actually began their journey in the ministry with very good intentions. They started well but have been seduced by listening to Satan who convinced them to join his team. And, of course, they are so deluded they don’t even realize it.

“Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son,” 1 John 2:22. Many evangelicals are now beginning to align themselves with other faiths, such as those who embrace the Muslim faith. They’ve begun to meet together with the leaders of those false religions in order to promote universal ecumenicalism. But Islam denies Jesus is the Christ. How can evangelicals promote a unified body with Islam? Be careful folks! Something evil this way comes!

There is a huge deception currently being promoted by some evangelicals that a great revival is coming. Supposedly, it will be so pervasive that all evil will be eradicated from the face of the earth. Only then will Christ’s Second Advent be ushered in. This sounds good, but the Bible tells us something different. God’s word tells us that the true believing Church will become quite weak in the end times, almost pathetic in its existence. Jesus told His Apostle John to write, “And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write... ‘I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name,” Revelation 3:7a, & 8. Jesus says the Church at the end, just before His return, will have a little strength, not that they would be some huge worldwide conglomeration of believers eliminating evil from the world.

“Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that [spirit] of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world,” 1 John 4:1-3. John says try the spirits; don’t just fall for any old lie that begins to gain prominence. Remember, the Gnostics did not believe that Christ came in the flesh and this is the spirit of antichrist. Don’t fall for it! Adherence to this lie will do just one thing for your future - condemn you to the same place Satan is condemned to. Jesus said “Watch therefore:” Matthew 24:42.

Watch therefore! Watch out for the books these silver-tongued false teachers are promoting. They can be found in most big-named secular bookstores, as well as in most Christian bookstores. Do not invite them into your homes as many have already done. Their words will infiltrate your mind, corrupt your beliefs, and confound your faith in Christ. They carry the spirit of antichrist between their pages, ready to mislead you.

How do we avoid the same traps as those who have already been consumed by this perverse delusion? First of all, study your Bibles and learn God’s truth for yourselves. Secondly, never listen to anyone who doesn’t believe Jesus Christ is God. The Holy Spirit, sent to us from God, will never deceive us. His main purpose is to point us to Christ. That’s the Spirit we should be listening to, especially now as we move into the last of the last days here on earth.

Always be alert to the evil that surrounds us. Jesus Christ has not changed and we don’t need a new spirituality, or some demonic spirit guide to lead us around by the nose. God’s word is unchanging; read it, study it. That’s your revival. Instead of Christians conforming to God’s Word, many are trying to conform God’s Word to us. "It’s cultural", they say. “We’ve changed." That’s just another buzzword to confound the weak-minded. It’s not cultural.

We are the body of Christ; it’s His Church and always has been. Charles Spurgeon wrote “A church should be a camp of soldiers, not a hospital of invalids.” How true. Sadly though, the latter is what we see in many of our Christian Churches today.

Just because we see this world falling into step with end time’s Biblical prophecy, doesn’t mean we should give up or look for some new spiritual concept. Christianity has endured for almost two-thousand years and will continue to do so until God calls an end to all things. The Emerging Church/Contemplative Spirituality movements are heresies and should be shunned by all believing Christians and by all Christian Churches. Let it be known. A choice made to embrace these two movements will strike a devastating blow to the body of Christ!

“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever,” Hebrews 13:8. The next time someone tells you we need to re-define Christianity, quote the above verse to them and then Jesus’ admonition to Peter, “Get thee behind me, Satan”.

God bless you all,
Ron Graham

Friday, December 12, 2008

Random Thoughts

It is late on Friday night and I am sitting at my computer, watching the news, with my wife Sandy asleep by my side...we went to Calvary Christian tonight to watch our son Collin play against Sherwood of Albany...we lost...big...Collin scored seven points tonight after scoring twenty on Tuesday night...the ups and downs of a freshman roundball player...

I am wondering why we have such corruption in the city of Chicago? Rumor has it that Daley tilted the election to JFK in 1960 and it has been going on ever since with four different governors going to jail, with the latest being Blago...Mr. Obama stated a few days ago that he was confident that none of his staff was involved in this sordid mess, but that was before it was revealed that Rahm Immanuel, his chief of staff, is on the tapes....I wonder why anyone would really think that someone who comes from the background of Chicago politics would be untainted?

Christmas is coming and this year with all the bailouts and layoffs, maybe, just maybe people will stop and think what Christmas is really all about...Its not about presents but about a Savior who left the glories of heaven to coem and be one of us, yet without committing any sin! Who gave his life for us, shedding His blood so that we might have the opportunity to be redeemed back to God...Praise the Lord! Glory to God in the highest!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Are You Afraid?

Good morning! With all that is happening around us in these days, many people are afraid...they are afraid of what is happening to the economy and what will we do if this industry or that industry bites the dust...One thing that we, and I am referring to believers in Jesus Christ, tend to forget is that God is sovereign and in control of all things! The following article from the Omega Newsletter is a great reminder of this truth:

Sudden Fear -- And the Desolation of the Wicked
In Defense of the Faith
Monday, December 08, 2008
Jack Kinsella - Omega Letter Editor

I read a statistic that said the stock market crash has erased something close to one third of the average American's 401k holdings. For folks around my age, it means rethinking the age at which retirement is possible.

I know a fellow about my age who retired on his investments a couple of years ago. The crash is forcing him out of retirement.
For somebody in their sixties or early seventies who retired recently, their monthly retirement income has suddenly dropped by a third and there isn't a lot they can do about it.

So what do you do? A person's first instinct is to panic. When enough people panic at once, well, that's how markets crash in the first place.

Individuals panic by cutting back on their cable bill, or selling their extra car, canceling their vacation or coming out of retirement back into the workplace.

Corporations panic by laying off more workers than necessary, selling off more inventory at greater discounts than necessary and closing more outlets than necessary.

Lenders panic by cutting off more credit than necessary to more borrowers than necessary. In all these cases, the thinking is the same -- cut back all the way to the bone and then reorganize.

Restructuring is not the same as reacting. One restructures as necessary. When one reacts, it is out of panic.

It's either controlled or uncontrolled, but its still panic. Panic is when you don't know what to do -- and you do it anyway.

I know Christians who when they panic, instead of cutting back, they double their tithe. They double down on their tithe so that God will bless the stuff they still have.

Sounds spiritual. But it's not, really. No matter where one stands on tithing as a doctrine, you can't get around what a tithe is mathematically -- it's ten percent.

(So if you're already tithing, then 'doubling down' is like offering God a tip.)

Ok. Let's roll everything back to zeroes for a moment and take stock of the situation.

First, we're Christians who believe that Bible prophecy is true and relevant to this generation and that we are living in the last days. We go to church on Sunday and pray, "Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done."

What does the Bible forecast for the last days? A great apostastic social meltdown. The rise of antichrist. The collapse of the economy. Earthquakes, famines, wars and pestilences.

What do we see? A great apostatic social meltdown. "Apostasy" means to 'fall away from the faith' -- it refers to watering down of doctrinal principles to conform to worldly principles.

The apostasy is global -- former bastions of Christianity across Europe have all but formally renounced their faith. Christianity in the West is on the decline to the degree that the term 'post-Christian era' is no longer surprising when applied to America.

Is the world ready to embrace the antichrist when he comes? I submit that the antichrist could run openly AS the antichrist and probably get the majority non-Christian vote, if he were half as charismatic as Barack Hussein Obama.

The global economy is in free-fall, as we've already noted. And we've spent the past ten years up to our necks in earthquakes, famines, wars and pestilences.

This is exactly what the Bible predicted for the last days. We know this in our hearts and in our minds. But we rail against the moral meltdown.

We worry for the future of a country under Barack Hussein Obama even as we KNOW what the Bible says is the ultimate future of not just this country but the entire western world under antichrist.

We fret and panic over our 401k accounts, knowing that what is transpiring is all part of God's plan for the last days.

We search the Scriptures for answers to questions like; "what should Christians do to overcome in such times as these?"

But isn't this what we prayed for?

There is an old principle of spiritual warfare that says, "Be careful what you pray for. You might get it." We tend to view it more as a joke than a principle.

We should take it seriously -- to do otherwise is the spiritual equivalent to assuming a gun isn't loaded.

A trained warrior knows what a bullet can do and treats all weapons as if they were loaded unless he has personally inspected them to ensure their status.

The seven words, "I didn't know the gun was loaded!" form the most tragic phrase in the English language.

Prayer is as real as a loaded gun. Because prayer is real, prayer has real consequences. It isn't enough to talk about trusting God in times like these. We've prayed for His Kingdom to come, for His will to be done.

Prayer is real, His kingdom is real and that His will is sovereign. So if you're afraid of what is coming, does that mean you're faithless? Does it mean you aren't trusting the Lord? No. It means you are human.

But it also means you're missing out on some of what God has set aside for you.

"Be not afraid of sudden fear, neither of the desolation of the wicked, when it cometh. For the LORD shall be thy confidence, and shall keep thy foot from being taken." (Proverbs 3:25-26)

Notice there are two fears being addressed here. "Being afraid" and "sudden fear."

"Sudden fear" is what comes to us all. Fear of losing my stuff. Fear of not being able to retire when I'd planned. Fear that my 401k is lost and gone forever.

It is this concept of 'sudden fear' that keeps us from being reckless. It is what keeps you from trying to beat oncoming traffic.

After all, you're saved. You're a Christian. Nothing can happen to you without God's permission. So why don't you just jump out in front of that oncoming car? (The 'sudden fear' that God may have granted that permission without telling you.)

Let's move up to the next level; from 'sudden fear' to 'being afraid.'

God says, 'be not afraid of sudden fear'. This is the trust level. Where you recognize that the danger is real and the fear is real.

But we needn't BE afraid of that sudden fear, NOR of the desolation of the wicked when (not 'if') it cometh. Note the promise: "For the Lord shall be thy confidence, and shall keep thy foot from being taken."

It is ok to be afraid IN the 'sudden' sense -- but not to be afraid OF the fear. We live in the world, but we are not OF it. The current economic panic began when folks decided they couldn't pay their mortgages and defaulted.

There are exceptions to every rule but, in the main, what happens when somebody defaults on their mortgage? Do they evaporate? Or do they move somewhere else where they still have to pay, even if it is less?

The Lord differentiates 'sudden fear' from giving in to panic. You lose your job and stop paying your bills to preserve your available cash for when you 'really' need it. That is panic; fear devoid of trust.

"Withhold not good from them to whom it is due, when it is in the power of thine hand to do it. Say not unto thy neighbour, Go, and come again, and to morrow I will give; when thou hast it by thee." (Proverbs 3:27-28)

Sudden fear is an understanding of the situation and a respect for its gravity. Being afraid of sudden fear is what happens when one forgets to place one's confidence in the Lord.

This is more than just a pretty platitude. It is a bedrock principle of doctrine. It is the Source of that "peace that surpasseth all understanding."

"Peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid." (John 14:27)

"Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you." (Matthew 6:31-33)

There is but one way to seek the Kingdom of God and His righteousness than I can find in Scripture -- and that is to trust Jesus. It is one thing to respect the risks attached as 'sudden fear' -- it is another to allow it to rule your life.

"Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof."(Matthew 6:34)

Don't worry. God's got it all under control.


Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Good Evening

Good evening...well Thanksgiving is over and we have survived "Black Friday", with the exception of the maniacs at the Walmart who stormed the doors, trampling to death a 34 year old employee...what a tragedy...our prayers go out to his family...

It is 23 days until Christmas...what are you celebrating? This is the time of year that we celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. My prayer for you is that the real meaning of the season will speak to your heart and remind you of what God has done for us...God provided a way of salvation for anyone who will receive His free gift of salvation through His Son Jesus...Jesus who was born of a virgin, lived a sinless life, died on a cruel, rugged, cross, but rose victoriously from the dead! He lives even now, seated at the Father's mighty right hand, interceding for those who believe...AND WHO WILL SOON RETURN! Do you know Him?