Do You Practice an Escapist Theology?

I believe we all need to read and re-read Matthew 24 and 25.  Many Christians are looking for an event called The Rapture, when Jesus will come and take us out of this evil mess the world and our lives are in. But what if instead of looking for an escape, we should be strengthening ourselves with the “Whole armour of God” Ephesian 6:10-18. to combat this present evil. We are not “called unto wrath”, but Jesus many times told his disciples they would endure tribulation John 16:33.

 In Second Thessalonians the 2nd Chapter, Paul reminded them of a coming trial and a great “falling away” before the Lord’s return.  That is not “Catching away”as you may have been told. Look it up in the Greek.  It is the word “apostasia”. Believers will fall from the faith in droves.  Why?  Because, they believed in an “Escapist” theology and were not prepared for the trials of their faith. 

When God doesn’t rescue us from what is happening in this world, will you still believe in His love and care for you?  When your loved ones are taken and tortured and killed, will you scream against a God that would allow it to happen?  Will you declare there must not be a God, because the whole Earth is filled with horror?  Will you, yourself, deny him in fear, for the horrors that are happening?  Peter did.  And I’m afraid much worse, than what would have happened to Peter, is going to happen to believers in the near future.  Many in other countries are already experiencing it.  Little children are being beheaded because they say they love Jesus.  People in China are being imprisoned and tortured because they were preaching the gospel of Christ.  But you say, “This is America, it won’t happen here”.  I would have agreed with you a few months ago.  But now I read the Prophet Jeremiah’s writings and I see the United States doing even worse than Israel did.  The U.S. has been the most blessed Nation in the world. 

Daniel and his friends were among Israel’s finest, smartest, most godly young men. They were captured, made eunuchs, research what that means, and forced to live in Babylon and learn the Babylonian way of life and religion. Do you remember Sunday School lessons that told us about Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego being thrown into a fiery furnace because they would not bow to the Golden Image. Daniel was thrown into a Den of Lions for praying to his god. Do you think we are exempt from discrimination and persecution for our faith? Are you prepared for that?

Luke 12:46-48 “The lord of that servant will come in a day when he looketh not for him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in sunder, and will appoint him his portion with the unbelievers. 47 And that servant, which knew his lord’s will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. 48 But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required : and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.” KJV

The Final Straw

This world is in a mess and I really don’t see how anything can be done except that Christ Himself intervenes. 

The statement has been made that there is only ONE chance to get this right and the timing has to be perfect.  I see so many, when we try to show them the evil, saying, “I’m not a political person” or “I’m just so tired of the negativity” or “I don’t like to think about things like that.” Americans are too comfortable with their world and just don’t realize how little will be left in a very short time and then they will look around and say “how did we get here?”

We ARE the Church of the Laodiceans .  (Rev 3:14=)

 I’ve been researching the Child Abuse Trafficking Activity and it has been being reported by reputable people for years and no one has cared to do anything about it.  No one wants to think that such abomination could really exist.  I heard recently that when Kamala Harris was asked about it before the elections, she replied, “those children are just trash.”  Even now, there is no notice being given to the thousands of innocent victims, because most of them are coming from poor Asian countries where the parents are actually selling their children.  Is any child trash? Doesn’t every child deserve to be loved and nurtured.

I really don’t care if Trump comes back.  He is old and I imagine tired of all the hassle.  God will anoint the right person to lead our country, but are people more enamored with Trump than they are with Righteousness?  It is going to take people being so totally disgusted with the government that only then will they believe Truth when it is told?

Before the Exodus, as overburdened as the Hebrew slaves were, it took Pharaoh making them find their own straw to make the bricks.  That probably required even the women and children hunting for straw.  Then, they said, “Enough” and were willing to follow Moses out of Egypt.  I guess that was the straw that broke the camel’s back.  What will be America’s?

What’s best for our children?

I’ve also heard parents say, “I want my children to make up their own mind about religion” I ask, “Do you let them decide when they go to bed? What they eat? Whether they go to school?” Our job is not to make the decision for them of course, then they would rebel, but we do have to be sure they have the opportunity to have what is best for them. Are you providing the BEST for your children? If you do not feel your own faith is truth and the best, then maybe you should look at own relationship with Jesus.

Deut 6:6-7 “And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: 7 And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. “

Deut 11:19 “And ye shall teach them your children, speaking of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.” KJV

Love Letters

I was watching a 1995 movie, “A Walk In The Clouds”, starring now famous Keanu Reeves as a young soldier who caught up in a pre-WWII frenzy, married a young woman (Debra Messing) whom he had just met a few days prior to leaving for the battlefront.

At times overwhelmed by the horrors of war, he had written daily letters to his bride, describing his experiences and how he felt about them.  He also wrote about his dreams of coming home and how he wanted to return to his job selling specialty chocolate candy, buy a home and start a family.  The time he spent describing his dreams took his mind away from the horrors of the fox hole and his wounded and dying fellow soldiers.  He had poured out his heart, describing both his despair and his hopes for a better life and the ability to forget his present surroundings.

Then the war ended and he joyfully wrote that he was coming home.  His ship landed and there were wives, children, friends and relatives to meet the returning soldiers.  But no one was there for him.  He simply picked up his duffel bag and found his way home.  He still had his key so he let himself into their apartment, just to find his wife actively in bed with another man.  She exclaims, “What are you doing here? I did not know you were coming home!” 

He said, “Didn’t you get my letter?” 

She says, “Oh honey, I got all those letters.  What did you do?  Write every day? But it was always about the War and what was happening and I just quit reading them.”

He exclaimed, “You did not read them?  I told you all about my dreams for us when the war was over.  You did not read them? You don’t know me at all! “

She said, “Oh, I just couldn’t get into them  But look here, I kept everyone one of them!” And she shows him a large box of his unopened letters.

Is that the way we do Jesus?  God has written us hundreds of Love Letters.  We start reading some of them and decide it is just too hard to understand.  It doesn’t apply to your life and you just can’t get into it.  But you keep a Bible on the coffee table.  You’ve still got Grandma’s Bible somewhere. 

Maybe you even go to Church and listen to the preacher or Sunday School teacher share some things from the Bible.  But you just don’t have time to search out the scriptures for yourself to see if what they are saying is true.

If you really love someone, would you be satisfied only hearing what someone else says your loved one said.  Wouldn’t you want to read your loved one’s words for yourself? Wouldn’t you hunger to read every letter and search between the lines to feel what they were feeling as they wrote to you? 

Would you be satisfied reading a daily letter written by someone else who quoted something your loved one said or did but never hearing directly from your loved one?

I wonder if the difficult times we are in just might be a trial.  Many people say they are Christians but never open a Bible.  They know who they are and God knows who they are.  Soon the whole world may know who they are. 

Are we in the End Times?

I came across a good article that summarizes my thoughts on the Last Days of this age on Earth. It is called “The End of the End with Jimmy Evans” and is basically an interview of Jimmy Evans by someone with DayStar Television. While it is by no means an in depth study, it is certainly a good outline to go from as it does give scripture references for a number of relevant verses. Here is a link to the article.

I still want to study how the Jewish Feast’s Calendar correlates to the End Times but that will be another post.

What is the “day of Christ”?

(Please note that the numbers besides the words being studied are taken from Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance and the definitions are from Strong’s Greek/Hebrew Definitions) 1.

Many in the Church at Thessolonica were being told that Jesus had already returned and they were living in the Tribulation. , 2 Thess 2:1-2 “Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand”.
First let’s look at the words: “gathering together”. This comes from the translation of the single Greek word, episunagoge [NT:1996 episunago (ep-ee-soon-ag’-o); from NT:1909 and NT:4863; to collect upon the same place:] KJV – gather (together). No where in the New Testament is the word “episunagoge” translated church. So does this “gathering together” speak of the return of the Jews to their homeland. We are certainly seeing this starting with the Balfour Declaration in 1917, then On May 14, 1948, in Tel Aviv, Jewish Agency Chairman David Ben-Gurion proclaims the State of Israel, establishing the first Jewish state in 2,000 years. Ben-Gurion became Israel’s first premier. Since then persons of Jewish heritage have been returning to their homeland by the millions.

[Do not confuse this with the Greek word for Church ekklesia NT:1577 ekklesia (ek-klay-see’-ah); from a compound of NT:1537 and a derivative of NT:2564; a calling out, i.e. (concretely) a popular meeting, especially a religious congregation (Jewish synagogue, or Christian community of members on earth or saints in heaven or both): KJV – assembly, church.]

Paul goes on to say, :2 Thess 2:3-8 “Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; 4 Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God. 5 Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things?6 And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time.7 For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way. 8 And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: ” KJV

There is a lot of debate on translation of the word “falling away”. In the Greek text it is translated from the word “apostasia” – falling away, forsake. Some want to say it means a “catching away” but following is what Strong’s Concordance says: NT:646 apostasia (ap-os-tas-ee’-ah); feminine of the same as NT:647; defection from truth (properly, the state) [“apostasy”]: KJV – falling away, forsake.
NT:647 apostasion (ap-os-tas’-ee-on); neuter of a (presumed) adj. from a derivative of NT:868; properly, something separative, i.e. (specially) divorce:

Are we not seeing a tremendous forsaking of traditional Christian values and morals among those who call themselves Christians. Even the value of life that is created in God’s image, marriage, sexuality, honesty and integrity, etc. are being devalued and those who still hold to those values are called judgmental, bigots and haters Previously traditional, Christian based, organizations have divorced themselves from any mention of Christ. Have you been to a AA or Al-Anon meeting lately? Participants are no longer supposed to use the name Jesus, now it is “my higher power” or “the god of my understanding”. Bible verses are not to be quoted but it is o.k. to quote Buddha or Confucius. God and Christ have been booed at the Democratic National Convention. Schools can’t even use Nativity songs during Christmas Concerts. Pope Francis says we all worship the “same god”. I challenge him to ask any Muslim if Jesus is the son of Allah. What do you think the answer will be? You can probably name many more activities that are either distorted or missing altogether in our Churches and pulpits. Is this not all Apostasy?

So, does this mean that the prerequisites for Christ’s return to earth as King, have or are being fulfilled today? I would think so.

Later, we will study the “man of perdition” and perhaps the “Rapture” of the Church.

1.(Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.)

What does Rosh Hashanah The Annual Feast of Trumpets have to do with the Church?

Today, at sundown, begins the annual 10 day observance of the Feast of Trumpets. Lev 23:23-33  “ And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, 24 Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, In the seventh month, in the first day of the month, shall ye have a sabbath, a memorial of blowing of trumpets, an holy convocation. 25 Ye shall do no servile work therein: but ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD. 26 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, 27 Also on the tenth day of this seventh month there shall be a day of atonement: it shall be an holy convocation unto you; and ye shall afflict your souls, and offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD. 28 And ye shall do no work in that same day: for it is a day of atonement, to make an atonement for you before the LORD your God.  29 For whatsoever soul it be that shall not be afflicted in that same day, he shall be cut off from among his people. 30 And whatsoever soul it be that doeth any work in that same day, the same soul will I destroy from among his people. 31 Ye shall do no manner of work: it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations in all your dwellings. 32 It shall be unto you a sabbath of rest, and ye shall afflict your souls: in the ninth day of the month at even, from even unto even, shall ye celebrate your sabbath.

Rosh Hashanah is also called “The Feast of Trumpets”.This is the next major Feast in the Jewish Calendar for Christ to fulfil. He has fulfilled Passover, First Fruits, Unleavened Bread and Pentacost. We read in New Testament many times that Christ’s return will be heralded by the sound of a Trumpet. What day and hour we will hear the Trumpet calling us home? The Bible doesn’t say; but we are told to be ready, it could happen at any time.

To read an in depth study of one of the Apostle Paul’s references to this “in gathering” read my next post.

They Would Not Understand

Life isn’t black and white.  It is also grey, green, blue, yellow and sometimes even red.  Self-righteousness has no place in reality.  Yes, there is the Model Life to try to attain but to think that it is really attainable is just an illusion.  To think you have attained it, is an hallucination.  It is a cloke to disguise our own shortcomings.

But are we really hiding our shortcomings?  What we think is a cloke is actually a barrier between us and others.  They see the cloke and know there is something being hidden.  They may not know what it is but they know there is something being hidden.  So the secrets are kept on both sides of the cloke.  Others don’t tell us their secrets because of the cloke.  It says, that secrets are to be hidden, not displayed for all to see.  

We think if others saw our secrets, would they think less of us?  Can we take that chance?   We’ve got to protect our image at all costs.  So we wear the cloke.  We try to present the illusion that we don’t have any problems.  And as long as we project that image, no one will dare tell us they have any problems.  We continue to live in the imaginary world we have created where all is beautiful and lovely.  

Then, our loved one commits suicide or is arrested for drugs, or commits adultry or worse.  Or maybe we do those things.  If we are wealthy, we can sometimes spend the money to keep it quiet.  Don’t let this show to others.  Cover it with the cloke.  Pretend it never happened.  Make up a story to take the place of reality.  Others would not understand.

BEEN THINKING ABOUT Black Lives Matter and White Privilege.

I was watching a Pod Cast of a Conservative talking about how *underprivileged* people in Eastern Kentucky are.  Nine of the worst counties in the U.S. are in Eastern Kentucky and yet it is predominantly White.  But no one talks about Eastern Kentucky in the news.  He showed present day pictures of living conditions there.  It is like third world country.  The life expectancy is 7 years below the U.S. average.  The drugs are rampant as well as suicide. A very small percentage of the population has a Bachelor’s degree.  But these are White people.

Then he spoke of what he considered his own *privilege*.  Yes, he is white but he did not consider that as important to his success in life as his childhood, being brought up by both parents who stayed together and are still together.  He had parents who put their children’s welfare above their own, making sure they had healthy food, adequate shelter and clothing and most important Spiritual training and loving discipline.  That is a privilege he experienced that many Black children never have.  So what causes that.

OK, we will talk about the Elephant in the room.  During slavery Black men were moved around from female to female to breed the same as one only needs one rooster or bull to breed with up to 10 females (or more).  Eventually, the black men who could produce the most offspring without caring about being torn from the family unit, became prized as slaves.  Within about three generations, this became a norm in the Black population and still exists today.  We see healthy, intelligent Black men going from woman to woman leaving more unsupported children in their wake with no adequate support or a male role model to guide and direct them.  The boys brag about how many “baby mamas” they have and even the girls expect to have babies by a number of different men. 

The pod-caster named fatherless homes as a Black disadvantage.  I think we are also seeing this as a growing trend among the White population.  The pod-caster asked, “What do we do about it”. 

God is not three different gods.

I worship a Triune God. I do not worship three different gods. I recognize and worship God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost (or Holy Spirit). But that is not three different Gods.

Confused? No, let me explain in simple terms. My son-in-law is a professional MLB coach. That is his profession. When he is on the job, he acts like a Coach. To his players his name is “Coach”. They relate to him as a Coach.  He trains them and observes their techniques and gives correction and advice as needed and all the things coaches do.

To My grandchildren he is “Dad”.  They call him “Dad”. He relates to them as a Dad. He provides for them and does things that dads like to do for their children.  They look to him for the things they have grown to expect of him as a Dad.

To my daughter, he is her husband.  She calls him either by his actual name or other terms of endearment they use with one another.  She does things for him such as a wife should do and expects things from him that a husband should do.

Coach, Dad, Husband, he is not three different people.  He is one person with different roles and functions.  Sometimes the roles overlap.  He may act like a coach with the children or treat a player in a fatherly manner.  But the division of roles still remains.  

God the Father or as some call him Creator God, is the source of all energy and matter among other things. 

God the Son or as He is first shown to us in the Bible as the Word of God, spoke the Heavens and Earth into existence.  At least nine times in the First Chapter of Genesis we read the words, “And God said . . .”  Some of the attributes of the Son are especially spoken of in the book of Colossians, where he is again shown as being present in the creation (Col 1:16) and a physical image of God (Col 1:15) & (Col 2:9).  And the Book of John says, ” 1:14 “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. ” KJV

It would take many books to fully address the office of the Son but most of us understand his sacrificial death for our salvation. 

Then there is the role of the Holy Spirit.  We see the Holy Spirit manifested many times in the Old Testament where He came down and entered into individuals to empower them to speak truths (Gen 41:38), enable with special skills (Exodus chapters 31 & 35), and many other abilities even worship (I Sam chapter 10).  Jesus addressed Him as a comforter who would guide and lead us into “all knowledge”.  Through the Spirit of God we are actually able to communicate with the Godhead.  Humans can actually talk to God as a father or brother.

These roles also sometimes appear to overlap as God works with mankind.  So we see that Christians do not worship three separate gods but One God who reveals Himself to Man in three different ways.  For children and the simple minded, whom God loves dearly, He simplifies by dividing those roles so they can relate more easily.  But to those who “Diligently seek Him” (Heb 11:6), God gives the opportunity to know Him even better and understand Him more clearly.