Monthly Archives: November 2015
One wrong perspective about the end of the world is that it’s going to be all fun and thrills. People feel that they will somehow manage to gain neutral spectator positions from where they will be excluded from all the painful parts of the end times. I reckon, some will be eager to take videos or photos of such events and pass it along for their 15 minutes of fame. Such an attitude won’t do them good. The Bible does tell us about the bitterness of it. Let’s read Revelation chapter 10 which confirms this:
1 Then I saw another mighty angel coming down from heaven, wrapped in a cloud, with a rainbow over his head, and his face was like the sun, and his legs like pillars of fire. 2 He had a little scroll open in his hand. And he set his right foot on the sea, and his left foot on the land, 3 and called out with a loud voice, like a lion roaring. When he called out, the seven thunders sounded. 4 And when the seven thunders had sounded, I was about to write, but I heard a voice from heaven saying, “Seal up what the seven thunders have said, and do not write it down.” 5 And the angel whom I saw standing on the sea and on the land raised his right hand to heaven 6 and swore by him who lives forever and ever, who created heaven and what is in it, the earth and what is in it, and the sea and what is in it, that there would be no more delay, 7 but that in the days of the trumpet call to be sounded by the seventh angel, the mystery of God would be fulfilled, just as he announced to his servants the prophets.
8 Then the voice that I had heard from heaven spoke to me again, saying, “Go, take the scroll that is open in the hand of the angel who is standing on the sea and on the land.” 9 So I went to the angel and told him to give me the little scroll. And he said to me, “Take and eat it; it will make your stomach bitter, but in your mouth it will be sweet as honey.” 10 And I took the little scroll from the hand of the angel and ate it. It was sweet as honey in my mouth, but when I had eaten it my stomach was made bitter. 11 And I was told, “You must again prophesy about many peoples and nations and languages and kings.”
Wrathful nature of the Devil at the end times
Another thing about the end of the world is that the vile hellish serpent also known as the Devil or Satan will be thrown down to earth along with his angels due to their defeat at the hands of the archangel Michael and God’s holy angels (Good angels exist too). Also keep in mind he’s going be around with his wicked angels when he comes around. Since the Devil knows his days are numbered (all thanks to God!), he’s going to be filled with rage against the inhabitants of the earth and the sea as well but mostly towards those who keep God’s commandments and the testimony of Jesus Christ. The “those” who are mentioned in the Holy Scriptures are Christians! Obviously, this is not going to be a roller coaster ride when the Devil comes to make war.
7 Now war arose in heaven, Michael and his angels fighting against the dragon. And the dragon and his angels fought back, 8 but he was defeated, and there was no longer any place for them in heaven. 9 And the great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world—he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him. 10 And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, “Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ have come, for the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God. 11 And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death. 12 Therefore, rejoice, O heavens and you who dwell in them! But woe to you, O earth and sea, for the devil has come down to you in great wrath, because he knows that his time is short!”
13 And when the dragon saw that he had been thrown down to the earth, he pursued the woman who had given birth to the male child. 14 But the woman was given the two wings of the great eagle so that she might fly from the serpent into the wilderness, to the place where she is to be nourished for a time, and times, and half a time. 15 The serpent poured water like a river out of his mouth after the woman, to sweep her away with a flood. 16 But the earth came to the help of the woman, and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed the river that the dragon had poured from his mouth. 17 Then the dragon became furious with the woman and went off to make war on the rest of her offspring, on those who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus. And he stood on the sand of the sea. (Revelation 12:7-17)
The Anti christ and the False prophet will be there in the end times
Now the Devil will in those days do something not yet done. He will invest his power and authority into a sinister person who will be the Anti christ, also referred to as the Beast. Plus the False prophet who is also called as the Second beast shall arise. This unholy alliance, this evil trinity will try to openly and blatantly enforce worship of the Anti christ and also the image of the Beast. People who are holy shall not worship such wickedness despite the war being waged upon them by the Beast (Many will be killed in such times for refusing to bow down to the Beast and its image). While the others who don’t respect nor believe in the Lord shall end up worshipping the fake god controlled by the Devil who is none other than the Anti christ. You can refer to Revelation chapter 13 in which the whole chapter which confirms this. Don’t assume this will not happen in your beloved nation but only happen in a single nation such as Egypt or Syria, since this will be a world-wide event. People should stop assuming that the end times are happening only due to a certain country and its behaviour towards Israel. Like it or not, the various nations of the world have been playing puppet to the Devil for a very long time! Don’t be shocked if they’d follow the Beast too while staying silent when he causes the true followers of God to be martyred.
The wrath of God in its various forms will manifest in the end times
There are going to various instances of God’s wrath in the end times (refer Revelation chapter 16). This is because a lot of people will not give glory to God but will rather worship the Anti Christ. Here’s a list of a few such punishments mentioned:
- Harmful and painful sores will come upon the people who bore the mark of the Beast and worshipped its image.
- The sun will scorch and kill people with its heat.
- The throne of the Beast, and its kingdom will be plunged into darkness.
- There will be a great earthquake so violent that a great city will be split into three parts, and the cities of the nations will fall, and God will remember Babylon the great, to make her drain the cup of the wine of the fury of his wrath.
The end times are anything but fun and games. The Devil’s going to be trying to destroy many at such times. Satan’s henchmen the Anti Christ and the False Prophet will deceive a huge number of people leading into eternal damnation. The wrath of God will work very strongly against all those who worship the Beast and even sinners in general. Dear reader, take such times seriously and act in a holy manner worthy, having full faith in Jesus Christ. Avoid taking causal mannerism towards the end times. Pray that you are found faithful to the Lord now and forever more.
Christ be with you!
Forget about the turkey,
the dressing and the sides
forget about the pumpkin
pecan or chocolate pies.
Instead lift up your voice,
with shouts of joy and praise
to God your loving Father
let your thanksgiving raise.
Forget about the cleaning,
the flowers and table setting
forget about all the stuff . . .
over which you’re sweating.
Instead show the Lord,
your genuine gratitude
give your thanks to Jesus
for His gracious servitude.
Forget about the dinner,
and cooking that big bird . . .
instead let your song of praise
to God, be forever heard!
O come, let us sing unto the Lord:
let us make a joyful noise to the
rock of our salvation.
Let us come before his presence
with thanksgiving, and make a joyful
noise unto him with psalms.
King James Version
by Public Domain
Deborah Ann Belka
“In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight: If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister;” (Col. 1:22-23)
In the previous verses of Scripture, the Bible says that God will present us holy, unblameable, and unreproveable in His sight if we continue in the faith.
As we happen upon the word “if” in this portion of Scripture, it seems that we have come upon the question of an individual’s possible loss of salvation. The question of “eternal life” and whether or not a Christian can lose their salvation involves a doctrine which is called by many the “Once Saved, Always Saved Doctrine” of salvation.
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Thousands years have passed
Tirelessly the earth rotates
The sun shines from the east then walks to the west
The wind blows from the south then whirl to the north
Water flows along the river and flocked into the sea
Then fly into the sky and jump down to wet the ground
From age to age all recurring… as if it never ending…
One generation comes… another generation away
The new life comes… another life must go away
Earth indeed rotating millions times
But our life clock rotates only once
And no one knows when it will stop
Later when the life clock is no longer ticking
The dust will fused into the earth where it was taken
The human Spirit comes home to God in the eternity
Nothing efforts that can be grasped
There is no perishable thing that can be sustained
Life under the sun…
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The name of the LORD is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe. (Proverbs 18:10)
All praise unto the Lord Jesus who made us more than servants because he made his friends. Thanks be to God who reveals his wisdom to his beloved people so that they can act wisely in words, action and prayer. O Lord by your Holy Spirit help us to intercede for the worst of all sinners so perhaps they may repent and given glory to you. Amen.
There was a time when Abraham interceded for the sinners of Sodom and Gomorrah. But first let’s understand why was Abraham even given that opportunity by the Lord. Let read Genesis 18:17-21 as mentioned below:
16 Then the men set out from there, and they looked down toward Sodom. And Abraham went with them to set them on their way. 17 The Lord said, “Shall I hide from Abraham what I am about to do, 18 seeing that Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him? 19 For I have chosen him, that he may command his children and his household after him to keep the way of the Lord by doing righteousness and justice, so that the Lord may bring to Abraham what he has promised him.” 20 Then the Lord said, “Because the outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is great and their sin is very grave, 21 I will go down to see whether they have done altogether according to the outcry that has come to me. And if not, I will know.”
The Lord had willed to punish Sodom for their sin. Why so? Because there was an outcry against not just Sodom but also it’s partner city Gomorrah. The nature of their sin was very grave, it was sexual perversion; homosexuality (Genesis 19:1-22 confirms that was indeed homosexuality). Again, there were people who were complaining against them unto God. Might be these cities could have abused people from outside their area but God knows best! So, the Lord decided to get all these allegations examined and if these were false, he’d tackle the complainers and if true then he’d act against the two cities mentioned earlier.
God had a choice to not tell Abraham about what he wanted to do. He is the Lord and he can do anything (Some people find it hard to accept this simple truth but have no issues if God gives them good health despite their hate towards the Lord. Pathetic!). However, God also knew that he had given Abraham a great heritage and if you read the genealogy of Jesus Christ in Luke 3.23-38 you’ll realize that Abraham was the human ancestor of Christ! This meant that the Messiah would be a descendant of Abraham. We know the Messiah is none other than Jesus himself. So, the Lord then gave Abraham the knowledge of divine judgement against Sodom and Gomorrah. Now, let’s read Genesis 18:22-33 as mentioned below:
22 So the men turned from there and went toward Sodom, but Abraham still stood before the Lord. 23 Then Abraham drew near and said, “Will you indeed sweep away the righteous with the wicked? 24 Suppose there are fifty righteous within the city. Will you then sweep away the place and not spare it for the fifty righteous who are in it? 25 Far be it from you to do such a thing, to put the righteous to death with the wicked, so that the righteous fare as the wicked! Far be that from you! Shall not the Judge of all the earth do what is just?” 26 And the Lord said, “If I find at Sodom fifty righteous in the city, I will spare the whole place for their sake.”
27 Abraham answered and said, “Behold, I have undertaken to speak to the Lord, I who am but dust and ashes. 28 Suppose five of the fifty righteous are lacking. Will you destroy the whole city for lack of five?” And he said, “I will not destroy it if I find forty-five there.” 29 Again he spoke to him and said, “Suppose forty are found there.” He answered, “For the sake of forty I will not do it.” 30 Then he said, “Oh let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak. Suppose thirty are found there.” He answered, “I will not do it, if I find thirty there.” 31 He said, “Behold, I have undertaken to speak to the Lord. Suppose twenty are found there.” He answered, “For the sake of twenty I will not destroy it.” 32 Then he said, “Oh let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak again but this once. Suppose ten are found there.” He answered, “For the sake of ten I will not destroy it.” 33 And the Lord went his way, when he had finished speaking to Abraham, and Abraham returned to his place.
The above verses show us very clearly that the Lord had a listening ear for appeals of mercy in the times before the Gospel was ever preached. And yes, he heard out Abraham. Now, there was no manipulation nor overwhelming exchange of words, just a simple conversation. Abraham did not justify the lifestyle of Sodom and Gomorrah’s inhabitants. He knew God was not joking about these cities. So he appealed by the way of righteousness. And the Lord God did give heed to his words and even for the sake of 10 righteous was willing to spare the entire city!
Now the reader might wonder how on earth did Abraham expect even an ounce of righteousness to be present in these ‘Sin Cities’ . So here’s what’s the answer, read all of Genesis 14 (this chapter has another great meaning, if you read closely. Hint; look for the place where it mentions Melchizedek the king of Salem) and you’d realize that Lot who is the nephew of Abraham was a sojourner in Sodom. Among various cities captured by Chedorlaomer king of Elam and his allies, Sodom and its inhabitants were taken captive. Obviously Lot was taken captive. Then Abraham and his allies, with 318 warrior men of Abraham fought and defeated Chedorlaomer (difficult to pronounce, I admit! Maybe the phonetic method will help; ked·or·lä·o’·mer ) and reacquired Lot with his possessions, and the women and the people. Post battle, with even the Sodomites rescued, the king of Sodom wanted to negotiate with Abram (who God later renamed as Abraham). And this king honored his commitment to Abraham. Here are the specific verses:
21 And the king of Sodom said to Abram, “Give me the persons, but take the goods for yourself.” 22 But Abram said to the king of Sodom, “I have lifted my hand to the Lord, God Most High, Possessor of heaven and earth, 23 that I would not take a thread or a sandal strap or anything that is yours, lest you should say, ‘I have made Abram rich.’ 24 I will take nothing but what the young men have eaten, and the share of the men who went with me. Let Aner, Eshcol, and Mamre take their share.” (Genesis 14: 21-24)
Though Abraham was not interested in Sodomite wealth, all due to his loyalty to God, there were a few of his allies and his own fighting men who had eaten a few of the spoils of war. So for that he did bargain. And the king of Sodom, despite his wicked nature of allowing sexual perversion, still didn’t go back on his commitment. It’s possible that Abraham saw that as a small potential for change in the general nature of Sodom and Gomorrah but God knows best. If you look at this incident of the Elamite invasion of Sodom from another angle you’ll know that Abraham already rescued them once even though Sodomites were sinners. That was a physical rescue. He could have only chosen to rescue his nephew Lot and Lot’s possessions and people if he wanted to!
Now, as time passed by Abraham got a chance to spiritually rescue them. He interceded to the Lord God for them, perhaps the Lord would spare them. Notice, he didn’t even name Lot as one of the reasons for sparing these vile cities (read Genesis 18 again, if you want to) but was focused on the overall number of righteous of those regions.
Bringing this to the Christian experience or better still the Christian reality, it’s a very prudent thing to pray for the repentance of sinners. If you have a specific sinner or a group of sinners in mind and feel that you ought to intercede for them, then feel free to to pray for them. You can even pray for paedophile’s to cease and desist from their crimes and let go of the children they are manipulating! Maybe the sinners you are praying for will turn away from their sin, believe in the Gospel and NOT go to hell but rather be with the Lord Jesus forever!
You can refer to the below verses:
- Justice is turned back, and righteousness stands far away; for truth has stumbled in the public squares, and uprightness cannot enter. Truth is lacking, and he who departs from evil makes himself a prey. The Lord saw it, and it displeased him that there was no justice. He saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no one to intercede; then his own arm brought him salvation, and his righteousness upheld him. (Isaiah 59:14-16)
- If anyone sees his brother committing a sin not leading to death, he shall ask, and God will give him life—to those who commit sins that do not lead to death. There is sin that leads to death; I do not say that one should pray for that. (1 John 5:16)
- First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time. (1 Timothy 2:1-6)
- Pray for us, for we are sure that we have a clear conscience, desiring to act honorably in all things (Hebrews 13:18)
- The generosity of Abraham at Mamre (disciplesofhope.wordpress.com)
- Prayer for deliverance of children from child molestors (disciplesofhope.wordpress.com)
- When will you speak up against injustice? (disciplesofhope.wordpress.com)
- Jesus Christ Immanuel God is with us (disciplesofhope.wordpress.com)
The Spirit of God has made me, and the breath of the Almighty has given me life. (Job 33:4)
‘See now that I, even I, am he, and there is no god beside me; I kill and I make alive; I wound and I heal; and there is none that can deliver out of my hand. (Deuteronomy 32:9)
God can take life away but he can also give life. In fact he’s the creator of all living creatures. At time’s doctor’s help with life but if you notice its only about extending life and delaying death. Even the best of physician’s cannot create a living being from mere dust or speaking words. Only God can do that!
God can perform resurrection from the dead and no one can stop him. The book of Revelation tells us that the two prophetic witnesses will be miraculously raised from the dead. People shall be so haughty and arrogant that they’d not even give their bodies for burial in dignity. (A pathetic bunch of fools are such people who have no respect for the martyrs of the Lord. May the Lord refute their profane logic!) Then God will make the two witnesses alive in the sight of their enemies. What a great spectacular event indeed!
For three and a half days some from the peoples and tribes and languages and nations will gaze at their dead bodies and refuse to let them be placed in a tomb, and those who dwell on the earth will rejoice over them and make merry and exchange presents, because these two prophets had been a torment to those who dwell on the earth. But after the three and a half days a breath of life from God entered them, and they stood up on their feet, and great fear fell on those who saw them. Then they heard a loud voice from heaven saying to them, “Come up here!” And they went up to heaven in a cloud, and their enemies watched them. (Revelation 11:9-12)
The Lord has always been and will continue to be the giver of life. Nothing can outdo him, no one can compete with him. He is indeed the everlasting God.
For with you is the fountain of life; in your light do we see light. (Psalm 36:9)
“You are the Lord, you alone. You have made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them; and you preserve all of them; and the host of heaven worships you. (Nehemiah 9:6)
Some people who are depressed unfortunately don’t value their lives for a few seconds or minutes. And such a short span is used by them to commit suicide. How wicked are those people who deliberately cause other’s to consider suicide! May these people who do not value life so as to prompt suicide be exposed so that civil law takes it course! Pray about this for your local community especially.
By faith in the Gospel and resurrection of Jesus you have eternal life from God himself. So, your life in Christ Jesus is of great value. Not everyone regards it that well. Though at death bed people do get serious. Why delay such an important thing? Give God all the thanks you can. Take time to ponder about on the below verses from John 1:1-18 which shows your life in Christ:
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God.3 All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. 4 In him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7 He came as a witness, to bear witness about the light, that all might believe through him. 8 He was not the light, but came to bear witness about the light.
9 The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world.10 He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. 11 He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him.12 But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, 13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.
14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. 15 (John bore witness about him, and cried out, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me ranks before me, because he was before me.’”) 16 For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.17 For the law was given through Moses;grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. 18 No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father’s side, he has made him known.
At the time of World War Two, various churches in England such as the one in the Streatham district of London, would allow warnings on their notice boards about impending air raids. This saved a lot of people over there from the wickedness of the Nazi Luftwaffe (air force), as they took shelter when they followed the signs of the warnings. They knew the French had suffered thousands of human casualties because the Nazi air raids. As a result the preacher’s did what is right. Those churches didn’t have preacher’s fearful of ‘offending’ their flock of church goer’s. Because they were focused on defending the people. They knew the lives of their people mattered more than their being in a false sense of security. Obviously they didn’t sugarcoat their warnings either.
If they could issue warnings for physical things why can’t we issue warnings about spiritual dangers? Is not a temptation to adultery, very dangerous to the married person’s relationship with his or her spouse? Then should not a preacher warn the people about the evils of adultery? Is not drunk driving something to be preached against? Then should one ever get embarrassed about warning the people who need to hear about such things? No, need to be shy nor fearful at all. The below verses confirm this:
“Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel. Whenever you hear a word from my mouth, you shall give them warning from me. If I say to the wicked, ‘You shall surely die,’ and you give him no warning, nor speak to warn the wicked from his wicked way, in order to save his life, that wicked person shall die for his iniquity, but his blood I will require at your hand. But if you warn the wicked, and he does not turn from his wickedness, or from his wicked way, he shall die for his iniquity,but you will have delivered your soul. (Ezekiel 3:17-19)
Ezekiel would as per God’s will, speak the word of the God to the people of Israel as and when it came to him from the Lord. The above verses also show that the Lord God expected his prophet Ezekiel to warn the wicked one’s so that they could repent of their wrongdoings and escape the judgement of God. So, Ezekiel was into saving lives! If you warn other’s in the right context you can inspire them to truly repent and believe in the Gospel.
If any gospel does not warn people of the coming struggles, but only focuses on having a blessed life, this gospel has been cheapened. The recipients of this gospel message may not be ready for hard trials, and could fall away. (Robert Brownell)
Any preacher who is too scared to warn the people about challenges to their following the Gospel, is not doing prudent service to the congregation. This sort of behaviour is not acceptable to God! Such a preacher needs to get off his high horse of people pleasing and start acting like a real preacher.
Now is this an accusation against all preacher’s? Definitely a no. But there are certain gullible preacher’s who are doing big disservice to their own flock. These are the one’s who need to get their act together. The Holy Scriptures confirm that people will be so depraved that they will even get teacher’s to suit their own ways of life. Here we go:
For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into muss (2 Timothy 4:3-4)
Do not be so crooked that you get you are influenced by the words and opinions of the people instead of honoring the Word of God. Do not be so cowardly that you only want to hear of blessings that you can receive but want to do nothing if any warning needs you do something right. Never become nor act like the type of depraved preacher or the depraved congregation mentioned in 2 Timothy 4:3-4.
The fact that you could continue to read till here shows that you don’t have itching ears to listen to compromising teachers. Congratulations dear reader on this!
There’s a good number of people all across the world that mentally shut off if the preaching they hear is warnings instead of precious little anecdotes and fables. (The Gospel tells us to be child like but not childish!). One of their tactics to avoid warnings is to keep begging the unsuspecting preacher to make the sermon more simple. Now if the preacher doesn’t seem to see past their vile scheme he will simplify even an already simple sermon. Slowly they’ll ask him to simplify things more so that they understand the way of God in a kinder way. But in fact the kindness they want is that they want to stopped being told to stop committing certain sins and foolish things they often do. These blatantly ignore the fact that Jesus Christ himself warned people many times. They also avoid the fact that Book of Revelation is full of serious warnings about the future.
A bit about balance in preaching now. Only preaching warnings from the Gospel is not preaching everything it says. One needs to also speak about the love of God, the abiding presence of the Holy Spirit, works of charity and kindness in the life of the believer in Christ. One ought to preach about praying for each other. One needs to know that the church doesn’t stop at the local community level but instead all across the world the church exists. Also that the church is not the property of any particular set of people but rather it’s the body of Christ of whom Christ Jesus is the head.
Do preach the Gospel in its entirety. And also be willing to hear the Gospel in its entirety. Why only stop at the Gospel’s? Be of good faith and give honor to the entire Bible from Genesis to Revelation. This way you’ll be surely pleasing to God.
Christ be with you!