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Posted By disciple

Have you given any thought to what Bilical part of history we are living in?  I believe most people would say we are approaching the end of times as we know them to be.  Some people say that before this happens we must face the rapture.  What do you think?  Will a rapture take place before, during or after the great tribulation era?  In other words will God take the Christians into the heavenly realm before the end of times?

 

You might be wondering what this tribulation period is.  According to the book of Daniel Chapter 9 verse 27 this is a time when "The Antichrist" will set himself up in the Jewish temple in Jerusalem "proclaiming himself to be God" demanding worship.  This will be in the middle of a seven year tribulation period according to the prophet.  This antichrist will become the abomination that cause desolation spoken of in this book.  It will be an era so bad that if God would not cut it short no Christian would survive.

 

I do not know if the Christians will be raptured before this tribulation period but what I do know I would like to share for some heart felt reflection.  The second letter to the Thessalonians Chapter two verses one through nine puts some light on this matter..  The Apostle Paul explains that we do not have to worry or be concerned about Christ coming back.  He goes onto explain that no Christian should be deceived, knowing that Christ will only come after "The Falling Away" happens and the antichrist is revealed.  This is a time when Christians will openly reject God's ways and fall away from His teachings and commands.  This will be a time when the church will start to compromise sin stating that God will understand. 

 

Are we (God's people) already starting to do this?  Many of the main line churches are beginning to axccept immorality as a way of life.  Think about this, there are as many divorces within the church as the secular world.  Churches are accepting homosexuality as a social norm.  They are approving abortion and so many other sins, therefore if the church is accepting this lifestyle then it must be alright with God.  Are we rapidly "Falling Away" from God's ways?  Many Christians think so but does that mean we are close to the ends of time?

 

I cannot answer that for you, only our Father, God, knows but I can tell you that if you see the temple in Jerusalem being rebuilt then these times are rapidly moving forward.  You see once the Jewish temple is rebuilt the antichrist will make himself known and he will claim to be God.  If you are here when this happens then listen for the trumpet of Jesus to sound.  Then and only then will He  come back to reveal the antichrist, consume and destroy him with His breath.  Praise God!

 

In the meantime are you prepared for this event? Are you liviing right or would you be considered apart of the great "Falling Away"?  Do you know Jesus? This is the only guarantee of living in God's eternal kingdom here and forever.  Take time now and ask Jesus into your heart, Amen!

 

Your comments ar appreciated.

 

Pastor Terry


 
Posted By disciple

Wedding preparations

    As the media and the secular world strive to decide the reason for the Christmas holidays and how to greet one another, I find myself immersed in the Christmas story.  The story tells us that in the sixth month of the Jewish calendar a little over two thousand years ago the angel Gabriel was sent by God to the city Nazareth.  His divine order was to find a virgin who was betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the house of David. This virgin’s name was Mary.  So the Christmas story begins.  The angel Gabriel approaches Mary, a virgin, with this greeting.  “Rejoice highly favored one, the Lord God is with you”, Luke1:28!
    What kind of greeting was this anyway.  No hello, or shalom or my name is….., just a simple definitive statement, REJOICE favored one.  The greeting actually startled the young virgin and the angel went on to tell her not to be afraid that God was about to bless her with a child, not just any child, but the Christ child. 
    The drama intensifies knowing that Mary is in the Jewish betrothal process. According to their custom Mary would have been picked as Joseph’s wife by his father, and then Mary would have established a dowry for Joseph to pay.  Once this was done a covenant or marital contract was made between the two of them, and then they went through a traditional  immersion ceremony which was symbolic of a spiritual cleansing allowing them to prepare for the wedding itself. 
    Their betrothal started at this point and was to last about a year.  During this time they lived apart abstaining from any sexual contact.  Joseph was preparing a place for them to live while Mary prepared for the wedding ceremony.  They did not know the date of the wedding.  You see it was up to Joseph’s father to decide and announce when the ceremony would take place.  All of this was going on in Mary’s life when the angel appeared telling her she would conceive as a virgin. 
    God sure does work in mysterious ways doesn’t He.  Would you consider this?  Because of God’s plan to become flesh through the miraculous conception of the virgin Mary, Jesus was born.  As a result, every Christian is preparing for another divine wedding ceremony which is their very own with God.  According to Jewish custom, which was ordained and designed by God, the Lord has chosen the church to be the bride of Christ.  Think about it, Jesus has accepted the dowry for our freedom.  He paid this with His blood on that cross.  We were immersed through our baptism and the acceptance of Christ sacrifice for the forgiveness of our sins. Our betrothal process is under way right now and only the Father God knows the time and the date of the actual wedding ceremony. 
    Where are you in this process?  Are you a part of Jesus’ church?  Have you accepted the covenant between bride and groom.  Jesus is preparing a place for you to live eternally in the heavens above and we are to be preparing for the ceremony itself, which means to be honoring our covenant with God.  I would suggest you get out as many invitations to this wedding as possible so none of your family or loved ones miss it.  In other words introduce them to Jesus.
    With this knowledge, there should be no problem greeting anyone during this time of year. It is simply and joyfully “MERRY CHRISTMAS”.                           Pastor Terry


 
Posted By disciple

Recently I have been thinking about people that follow someone or something.  This could be a good thing or something that can get a person or group of people into trouble.  If you think about it there are followers within a gang, a culture, fads, politics and religion.  Gangs can be intimidating but yet give their members or disciples a sense of security and family.  Cliques follow some sort of fashion or lifestyle which gives a person a form of identity and confidence in oneself.  Religion represents a belief or dogma that a person chooses to live by.  Within each religious group there is a handbook, a creed or a book of discipline which represents their doctrine.   The Christian followers utilize the Bible as their standard of life professing that the Bible was given to humanity by God Himself.  According to the Bible a follower or disciple of Jesus is a person that believes that Jesus is “The Son of God, the Messiah or savior of humanity.  A disciple believes that Christ paid the ultimate price for all the evil, violence and corruption a person has ever done wrong by being hung on a cross until He died, was then placed in a grave and three days later arose from the dead.  Christian followers believe that Jesus ascended into the heavenly realm above and intercedes on our behalf today.  Because of this belief a disciple strives to be a witness to the world by trying to live like Christ did.  In other words A Christian is a person that strives to live a holy lifestyle, a person willing to accept the authority and responsibility that Jesus places upon them.   A follower of Jesus is a person willing to teach, talk about and represent the love of Jesus by the way they speak, by their actions or lifestyle, and by the work that they do for His church.  A follower of Jesus is a person that strives to be compassionate and forgiving attempting to be loving at all times especially toward his/her enemies.  This is a person that is willing to deny oneself in order to maintain their Christian integrity no matter what the cost.  A disciple or follower of Christ is a person that strives to place God above everything important to him/her knowing that everything good in this world is of God.  A disciple is a person that strives to perfect oneself everyday of their lives.  It is a person willing to abide in Christ and His Word.  Are you a Christian, or to put it another way, a follower or disciple of Jesus?  If so how are you doing living out Christ plan for you.  The reward is beyond one’s imagination, it is eternal life. 

Pastor Terry

I would love to hear your thoughts on this matter.


 
Posted By disciple

I recently returned from a mission trip to Kenya only to think about our spiritual “911 State of Emergency” in the States.  You see I heard one of our armed force generals talking about a potential third world war erupting.  His speculation was based on Israel taking aggressive action against Iran to stop them from continuing with their nuclear program.  He explained if this happens the allies (of both nations) would have no other choice but to defend these two Nations which would cause a  world war. 
    Israel believes that military options may ultimately be needed to halt Iran's nuclear progression. What would this mean to our Nation?  Life sure would change for the worst.  It’s a very scary thought to reflect on, isn‘t it? I can’t even imagine the consequences of an action like this.  Major destruction across the world.  Would there be anyplace safe to live during or after a time like this.  Is it possible for our great nation to stay intact or would we be devastated loosing our freedom and security.  
    I think of God who is all powerful, everywhere at one time and able to do anything, which means to intervene and put a stop to this possibility but would the Lord?  With the Biblical knowledge that I have, it depends upon the faith of God’s believers.  If we look at our past history we see that God actually placed judgment upon His believers, the Hebrews, by allowing the Babylonians to overthrow Jerusalem destroying it and totally devastating their nation taking a remnant of believers into captivity.  This was allowed  because of their rejection of God‘s ways.  Is this possibly the way God is looking at His followers in America today.  
    In the old Testament book of Ezekiel Chapter 14 the elders of Israel came to the prophet to dialog on current events.  This is when the Word of the LORD came to him, saying that these men have set up idols in their hearts causing them to stumble into sin. Upon hearing this Ezekiel asked God if he should listen to them.  He was told that the LORD would answer them according to the multitude of their idols, so that God would seize the house of Israel by their hearts to bring them back to Him.  God then instructed Ezekiel to instruct Israel to “Repent and turn away from their idols and all their abominations.
    Has the world of believers turned away from God so much that these are the words He would be speaking to us today.  Have we turned away from God so much that the Divine is about to take things into His own hands and pass judgment upon the world to bring His believers back to their faith.  A third world war would do that.  I hope not, but remember the “Great Flood” and the judgment put upon Sodom and Gomorra as well as the overthrow of Israel by Nebuchadnezzar.   If you are a believer in Christ and are living a life of sin which would be living according to the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes or just seeking selfish ambition I would suggest turning your life back to Christ asking for a renewed forgiveness so that we will be blessed not judged.  Amen!
   


 
Posted By disciple

    Did you ever feel like you were in a  battle and didn’t know who your enemy was.  If you have been paying attention to any of the news lately, it would be impossible to miss the battle going on throughout our nation over health insurance reform.  Both sides of the issue agree that we need to reform our system but can’t come to an agreement of how.  They are divided over what kind of reform should take place.  On the one hand many seem to think that a new government run health program should be instituted to create competition through out the health insurance industry so all can have affordable coverage.  On the other side of the argument are those that feel we have the best system in the world right now but have areas that need reformed like eliminating pre-existing conditions and spreading out the insurance pools.  The battle rages on.  Its hard to determine who is right and who is wrong concerning this issue.  Which side could be considered the enemy to the people.  Hopefully the battle will soon be over and our health insurance will be reformed so everyone wins. 
    I share this issue to remind you that all of us Christians are in another life and death battle that rages on daily.  Many believers are not aware of this or do not know that they have enemies that would still their peace in a moment.  The Letter to the Ephesians Chapter 6 warns us that we are to be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. We are to put on the whole armor of God, so that we will be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. The author explains that we are not in a battle with flesh and blood but with the devil and His dominions. 
    The Apostle John in his 1st letter to the believers Chapter 2 advises us not to love the world or the things in the world. He goes on to explain that if we do, than the love of the Father is not in us. We are reminded that the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life are not of God but of our enemy, which is the devil. Remember that the war has already been won by Jesus but the battle rages on.
    Looking at the health care battle, we may not be sure who the enemy is, but concerning the battle that we Christians are in, our enemy is spelled out clearly.  It is the very devil and its dominions.  Our daily battle is the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and our selfish ambitions.  To live in God’s daily peace we need to place our armor on daily so that we do not get wounded and loose our peace , Amen!