One Of The Signs In The Last Days: The Persecution Of The Church

A great preacher and a great message. Prepare for it is coming, God said so.

These Christian Times

 

LOVE WORTH FINDING.ORG: Listen To Late Adrian Rogers Sermon On How To Prepare For The Persecution Of The Church. Broadcast For Friday June 27, 2014. Please click on link to hear this great sermon.

http://www.oneplace.com/ministries/love-worth-finding/player/how-to-prepare-for-persecution-409193.html

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Please share to show my pupils how far a photo can go (even if you don’t want it to!)

Pictures on the Internet don’t go away either. Once they are out in the public domain they never come back.

Not about everything

Sharing this, because it seems an interesting lesson.

I am teaching E-safety to my pupils at the moment and wanted to try a little experiment. Please share this photo and see how far it gets, I want to show my students how easily photos etc can go viral, even when you may not want them to. Share it and see how far it goes!

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What is in the news today?

2 Timothy 3:1-5
Amplified Bible (AMP)

1 But understand this, that in the last days will come (set in) perilous times of great stress and trouble [hard to deal with and hard to bear].
2 For people will be lovers of self and [utterly] self-centered, lovers of money and aroused by an inordinate [greedy] desire for wealth, proud and arrogant and contemptuous boasters. They will be abusive (blasphemous, scoffing), disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy and profane.
3 [They will be] without natural [human] affection (callous and inhuman), relentless (admitting of no truce or appeasement); [they will be] slanderers (false accusers, troublemakers), intemperate and loose in morals and conduct, uncontrolled and fierce, haters of good.
4 [They will be] treacherous [betrayers], rash, [and] inflated with self-conceit. [They will be] lovers of sensual pleasures and vain amusements more than and rather than lovers of God.
5 For [although] they hold a form of piety (true religion), they deny and reject and are strangers to the power of it [their conduct belies the genuineness of their profession]. Avoid [all] such people [turn away from them].

I use the Amplified version because it has a deeper, more meaningful impact to us and our language today. There is nothing wrong with the older translations, but this version helps more people to truly understand what God’s Word is saying regarding the times that the early Church had to deal with. It also sounds a lot like today’s headlines doesn’t it?

We are acting and doing all of these things and more today, and yet they were happening to the early church as well before the coming of all of today’s conveniences and all the “knowledge” that we have being thrown in our faces today as if it is “new-age thinking”. Nothing is happening today that hasn’t happened before.

Just as The Preacher said in Ecclesiastes, “There is nothing new under the sun”, and there isn’t. Oh, it is true that Solomon didn’t have the Internet and neither did Jesus and His disciples, but other than the “electronic age” that we are having to endure, there is nothing new, there is nothing that hasn’t happened in the past in some way or another.

I have written about the news being or at least seeming to be mentioned in the Bible before, but when you read 2 Timothy as in the beginning of this post, it does truly sound like today’s headlines. God knew then and He knows what is happening now and what will happen in the future. He knows when the end of the age is…the exact day and hour, but no person can claim such knowledge. It is not found in the Bible nor in any other arcane book found in book stores.

But, the time is foretold, so we have to be prepared. Whether you are or not won’t matter regarding the outcome, the only part of this that we have control over is whether we have accepted Jesus as our personal Savior or not. That is the part which will have a direct impact on your personal future.

Think about it.

In the course of time….

We, being the people of the United States, have done great things, both great good and great evil in the course of becoming a nation and a people, populated by people who claim to believe in God and in His laws. Some of us have used those laws and His Word to justify great and good things and very evil and vile treatment of people, especially those of color whether they were of African origin or Native American. Using the Word of God to justify the killing or maiming of anyone is wrong! There is no justifying these sorts of crimes, in the past or today, regardless of which Holy Book you claim to be following!

Killing someone is wrong and has been since the time of Cain and Abel, and using God’s Word or another so-called “holy book” to justify the killing of people because they don’t believe like you do or because of the color of their skin is something that God will hold you accountable for! Our history is replete with examples of this type of behavior, and so is the rest of the world especially in the area around Israel today. There is no True God which requires this and anyone who claims that Allah says to do this and then says that the God of Abraham is the same is a liar!

Our world is going through some tough times right now and will go through more as the time nears for Jesus’ return. Whether you believe in Jesus or not, it will happen. Although it may not be in the next five years or even ten, but it will happen. Nothing that was prophesied in God’s Word has failed to come to pass, although many try to scientifically explain away the things which have happened.

The killing of innocents will not go unpunished, whether they are children or fetuses, all will be avenged by God. Evil, in all of its forms and guises, will not prevail but will be defeated and all of the atrocities which happened or are happening because of people claiming to be doing “God’s will” by doing these things, will be avenged by God Himself, so whether you believe in Him or not, be warned.

Those of you who may have accepted Christ at one time in your life and then walked away from the church are only doing yourself a disservice. No matter what it was that drove you away from the church, or maybe it was a person or a preacher, you need to get back into it. God loves you and He hasn’t moved, you did. The more distance you put between yourself and God, the less influence He has in your life. Your spirit will not be convicted by His Spirit if you have distanced yourself from Him and quenched His power in your life. When this happens, there is less of Him showing through your life which is when people call you a hypocrite. Think about it.

Jesus, can we believe in Him?

Consider that He is the Living Word and the Son of God who took the punishment for the sins of mankind, how can we not believe in Him? The prophecies in the Bible from the time of the prophets and all the way back to the book of Genesis spoke of Him and He fulfilled almost all of the prophecies about Himself when He came the first time. Some of those prophecies that were not fulfilled are reserved for His second coming which is yet to happen!

He said that when He comes back He will receive unto Himself those who have accepted Him as Lord and Savior. This is an awesome promise and one that cannot be broken because Jesus is our Creator and equal with God so He cannot lie. Your life and mine are His, regardless of our belief in Him or not and yet when you give your life and heart to Him it becomes much more. The world looks different, your friendships are different. Everything changes when you change from the inside out and asking Him to come into your life changes your perspective in many ways.

Belief in Jesus and in Who He is will change you, and yet many people find it hard to do. Satan and his demons believe in Jesus because He is the Creator and they know Him as the Holy One of God so the point of view that some have today that there is no God is totally wrong!

He has never left us alone and is always there waiting for us to ask Him to come into our hearts. The place inside us where we know that there is supposed to be “something” and yet until we ask Him in, we don’t know what fits in that place. We have tried to fill it with many things, but none of them satisfy the longing that we feel at times. When He comes into our hearts, the satisfaction is real and it is lasting!

Decide to give Him access to your heart today! We are not guaranteed tomorrow so this is the day of salvation. Please do not wait!

The Lord’s Prayer

 

Our Father, which art in Heaven,

Hallowed be thy name.

Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done,

On earth as it is in Heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us

Our debts as we forgive our debtors.

Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

For Thine is the Kingdom, and the power and the Glory,

Forever.

Amen.

Our Father”, we acknowledge that God is the Creator and Sustainer of all of us, as well as all of Creation itself. He is the Father of Jesus, our Savior and redeemer. He alone deserves our praise, not some god that man has fashioned from his imagination or from some part of creation itself.

Which art in Heaven”, with these few words we are telling God that we know where He lives and we realize that He is above all, our thoughts, our ways and our sins. But, we are also acknowledging that we are, in spirit at least, there in our thoughts and in our longings.

Hallowed be thy name”; we know that God is holy and we humble ourselves before Him. Because of Who He is, we can do no less. We can’t comprehend God anymore than a bacterium can comprehend us!

Thy Kingdom come”; here we are telling God that we want His Kingdom to come and we are acknowledging that it is and will be His Kingdom that we want to be a part of it with Him!

Thy will be done”; we know that God’s will is sovereign and over all. His will is over all of Creation and nothing happens outside of His will. Jesus said that not even a sparrow falls from the sky without the Father noticing it. Because He is in touch with His Creation to that extent, how do you think He feels when we push Him away?

On earth as it is in Heaven”; we acknowledge that one day God’s will for us will be done on earth as in Heaven because He said so. The prophecies in God’s Word say that this will happen, therefore it will! There is no debate nor argument for or against this; God said it so it is done!

 “Give us this day our daily bread”; He will sustain us with His power and with our life’s work so that we can live for Him daily. If we choose not to live for Him, we are not forced but if He has a plan for our lives, circumstances will work toward getting us in line with His will eventually. Jonah found this out and we will too if we try to change things!

Forgive us our debts”; we are to ask for His forgiveness for our sins humbly and willingly because we are guilty of being sinners.

As we forgive our debtors”; this is the hard part to digest because it simply means that we are forgiven in the same way that we forgive others. Once you have asked Jesus into your heart and life, you are forgiven but you are to forgive others too. If you can’t forgive others, how can you show that you have been changed into the likeness of Christ?

 “Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil”; God doesn’t lead us into temptation, Satan does that by enticing us with things which he knows that we will pay attention to. If we are being led by God on a daily basis we will not be led into temptation, but we will be given the strength to resist it!

In delivering us from evil, God will deliver us from the evil influence of Satan and his demons by His strength as long as we are relying on Him and not our own.

For Thine is the Kingdom”; we know that the Kingdom to come is the Lord’s and if we belong to Him, we will share in it. How could you not want to share in an eternal Kingdom with God?

The power and the Glory, Forever”; God has always been, period. He is omnipotent or all-powerful. He is the Creator of everything from the smallest atom to the largest galaxy and everything in between! All of these things that He created show His wonderful majesty and awesome power! Our God, His Son, Jesus and the Holy Spirit are three in One and between them and their influence in our universe everything works, PERIOD!

This is just a small part of what Jesus said while He was here, but what a mighty impact it has had. Many people pray that prayer as their prayer but it is supposed to be a model for us to pray, not a memorized prayer! We don’t have to pray exactly the way this prayer is laid out, but as long as we acknowledge Who is in control and give Him our petitions and problems and have the faith that He will work things together in our lives for our good and for His Glory, we only need to lean on Him in prayerful dependence with faith like a child.

He loves us more than we can comprehend. The only thing that is required from us is to love Him, we don’t have to but don’t you want to! God gives us all that we ever need or that we could want, not out of necessity but out of love for us. He doesn’t supply all the money that we want but He does supply our needs, because He knows each of us far better than we do.

Give your heart and your life to Him and all things will work together for your life in His will and for the good pleasure of Him who sustains you.

The real reason for the season

Although it is true that a pagan holiday was co-opted for the time of Christmas, it is not the reason that we celebrate. In our society today it is because of the gifts and presents that we want to give and that we want to get from our families and relatives. This is not the reason for our celebration either. Regardless of the actual date of Christ‘s birth, whether it was in or around September or October really doesn’t matter. Celebrating the birth of the Christ, the Messiah is the reason for the celebrations which occur every year at this time. The giving of gifts to one another is a repeat of the gifts given to Christ at His birth and the gift of Jesus to us by God the Father.

In our own way we attempt to emulate exactly the giving to someone that we care for, regardless of the value of the gift itself. The gift and its value should not be the only reason that we do this nor should the cost of the gift be considered. The thought and the feeling of appreciation between each person is what is being expressed by the gift and the giving, not the value of the gift. It has much more value if the gift is one that you make yourself as a gift and not one that you buy, especially if it is an enduring gift which will last for years.

Our lives are fleeting moments in time and we should not waste them worrying about trivial things which don’t matter and won’t be recalled a decade or more from now. The relationships which we have between friends and family and most importantly with our Lord are the most valuable possessions that we will ever have. These are priceless and should be treated that way.

God loves us so much that He, in the form of Christ, gave up His position as God to become a man. To be as we are. Frail, lonely, afraid, depressed, and to suffer through human existence so that He could know us better. To truly know someone and their problems you have to live as they live, daily, and that is what He did while He was here. He never stopped being God, but yet chose to live as a man willingly and to give His life to ransom those of us who will accept Him, even though He paid the penalty for all. He even paid the penalty for those who won’t accept Him as Lord simply out of love. No mere human could or would do that!

Give your life to Christ and ask Him to come into your life and truly make you whole. Your life will never be the same after that, but it will mean more than you can ever know.