Encouragement

Courageous Hope

Courageous Hope

I know “courageous hope” sounds like an oxymoron. After all, does it really require courage to hope for a sunny day, a successful job interview, or a speedy recovery from an illness?

Biblical hope, however, differs radically from what typically comes to our minds when we hear the word “hope.” For those of us in Christ, Jesus’ resurrection provides absolute confidence that His promises for our tomorrows will not fail.

Although our desire for the weather to cooperate with our plans may not happen, we can trust the words of Jesus regarding our future.

5 Reasons to Talk about Prophecy

5 Reasons to Talk about Prophecy

Does the study of prophecy add value to the lives of believers they could not receive apart from it? Is it worth the effort talk about our future hope despite the controversy that rages over it today?

Yes, absolutely! The Lord provided us with prophecies regarding Israel, the rapture, and Second Coming throughout Scripture; the last book speaks almost exclusives on future things.

Here are five key reasons for talking about our future hope

Where is the Hope?

Where is the Hope?

According to the Center for Disease Control, the life expectancy in the United States has declined for the third year in a row. The last time this happened was a century ago, 1915-1918, when our country entered World War I and 675,000 Americans died because of the Spanish Flu.

This time it’s not war or a flu pandemic contributing to the decline in life expectancy, it’s hopelessness. The key contributors to the current decline are drug overdoses (at least 90,000 in 2018), suicides (45,000 in 2017), and alcohol abuse. Researchers Anne Case and Angus Deaton have dubbed these as "deaths of despair.”

7 Reasons to Regard the Rapture as a Unique Event, Part 2

7 Reasons to Regard the Rapture as a Unique Event, Part 2

In my last post, I began listing reasons why we should regard the rapture as a separate event from the Second Coming. Much confusion exists today over this mater.

Because so many today fail to make the distinction between the two events, or fail to even believe in a rapture, it’s important to understand why it is different than the Second Coming.

My Battle With PTSD: The Rugged Path to Healing

My Battle With PTSD: The Rugged Path to Healing

My hope of forever also keeps my perspective balanced between now and forever by reminding me that eternal realities are so much more valuable than the fleeting things of this life. That, however, was a lesson I learned the hard way!

It took the Lord working through much pain and chaos in my life to change my earthbound outlook on life and through that to put me on the path of healing in my battle with PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder).

Note: This is a repost for those new to my blog!

If in this Life Only

If in this Life Only

No one would ever accuse the Apostle Paul of neglecting the Great Commission; I cannot think of anyone else who worked harder to take the Gospel to a lost world. Would he agree with those today who say that the preaching of the cross excludes teaching about prophecy or the signs of the last days?

Would he emphasize the benefits of the Gospel for this life only and ignore our hope of imperishable bodies, our future reign with Christ, and the unbounding joy of heaven? I don’t think so.

If the apostle were alive today, I believe his excitement would bubble over as he viewed all the current sign pointing to the nearness of the tribulation and hence to Jesus’ imminent return for us.

The Biblical Basics of Our Hope

The Biblical Basics of Our Hope

We hear so many differing viewpoints today regarding our hope of forever. Some reject the notion that anything physical can be spiritual or godly and on that basis deny our hope of reigning with Christ in a physical kingdom. The Bible, however, flatly rejects such thinking.

As believers seeking God’s wisdom, what does the Bible say about our future? What are the basics that can place us on firm footing amidst the myriad of false teaching that surrounds us today?

Below I list five items that I believe are the rock bottom basics of our biblical hope. For each, I start with the words of Jesus and then provide support from what He also revealed about our future from other places in Scripture.

3 Lessons from the ER

3 Lessons from the ER

I never imagined I would spend much of my birthday in the emergency ward, but that is what happened this past week.

I called my doctor's office this past Wednesday to make an appointment as I had been experiencing dizziness and numbness on my right side on New Year's Eve and Day. The nurse feared I might be having a stroke and said I should go to the ER as soon as possible.

Morning Coffee with Habakkuk

Morning Coffee with Habakkuk

Pull up a chair, pour some coffee (or your morning beverage of choice), and let’s spend some time with Habakkuk. I believe he can ease our burden in the light of several current events.

“Haven’t we already done that?” you might ask. Yes, but if you are anything like me you need a fresh reminder of not only the prophet’s complaint, but the Lord’s response as well. I am again wondering why He does not respond to all the violence and perversion of justice I see everywhere I look.

What's Next for the Church?

What's Next for the Church?

Since my seminary days, I have heard people say the church should endure at least a part of the tribulation because of its need for persecution. But is more suffering really what is next for us? Are we to expect persecution or perhaps greater oppression in case of many believers worldwide? Or, are we to expect Jesus’ appearing to take us to His Father’s house (John 14:2-3)?

I firmly believe it is the latter. The church at Thessalonica illustrates the difference between an anticipation of tribulation conditions and further persecution versus that of the rapture.

A Man, a Wheelchair, and Overflowing Joy

A Man, a Wheelchair, and Overflowing Joy

He was perhaps the most joyous and Spirit-filled believer I had seen up to that point in my life. Though it was decades ago, I remember the joy that beamed from Paul Lundgren’s face as he sang.

I also recall the sight of Paul, bound to his wheelchair, sitting on the platform at my church. A traffic accident while delivering a piano had left him paralyzed from waist down. This did not deter him, however, from singing and talking about his expectation of walking on streets of gold.

What's God Doing in These Last Days?

What's God Doing in These Last Days?

Have you ever wondered what God is doing during these last days? Why does wickedness abound all around us? Why do believers endure so much personal sorrow and even persecution?

The Lord spoke to my heart about these things through JD Farag’s special update on October 7, 2018. Farag emphasized that the things causing us so much distress today are in reality preparing us to leave this world. That which upsets us the most, the evil around us and the frustrations we personally experience, help us release our grip on the things of this world grab onto our hope of eternity.

Life's Illusions

Life's Illusions

If you have followed the news regarding Brett Kavanaugh Senate hearings, you likely feel the same frustrations I do. The false accusation of a woman, who has no proof whatsoever of her claims, could derail his confirmation to the Supreme Court.

It feels as though the wrong is winning and perhaps for a moment it is. However, Scripture tells me that any success that some may have in discrediting Kavanaugh is not the end of the story. God will have the final say in the matter.

3 Ways John 14:1-3 Comforts Us

3 Ways John 14:1-3 Comforts Us

When I think of Jesus preparing a place for me, I visualize a majestic chamber within a gigantic castle, much like the one pictured above. Whether I’m right or wrong about this, I know the place Jesus has for me will be magnificent and spectacular beyond all we can imagine.

Once with Jesus, we will have no complaints about the accommodations or the timing of His return to take us home. Instead, we will revel in His great mercy, grace, and exceeding kindness.

Should We Still Be Watching?

Should We Still Be Watching?

Most people disdain the whole idea; many Christians regard it as an out of date belief.

“Who really believes in the Rapture anyway?” some ask. “Why should I put my hope in something that no one believed until the nineteenth century? Why would anyone look for something that only recently appeared in the long history of the church?”

3 Truths to Remember When Others Accuse Us

3 Truths to Remember When Others Accuse Us

What can we do when hurt by the slander of others? We can rest in God’s “steadfast love” for us knowing that He sees what we are going through; we can trust Him to defend us in His time.
Until then, the Psalmist says to “Be strong, and let your heart take courage.” So hang in there! The Lord’s love will not fail us regardless of what others say about us or do to us.

The Rapture, What’s to Fear? Part 4: The Comfort

The Rapture, What’s to Fear? Part 4: The Comfort

The brides of Jesus’ day did not fear the arrival of the bridegroom. The bride looked forward with much anticipation to the surprise return of her bridegroom; this was an expected and exciting part of the wedding festivities. It brought great joy to the bride as she eagerly awaited the groom’s arrival to abduct her and take her to the place he had prepared especially for her.

Jesus is now preparing a place especially for us. Many neglect to emphasize this wonderful truth when teaching about the rapture. We can be sure this place will be astonishing beyond anything we can imagine. Jesus is designing and preparing it with our specific needs and desires in mind.

5 Biblical Characters and What They Teach us About Walking with God

5 Biblical Characters and What They Teach us About Walking with God

Several years ago, I discovered I could learn a lot from some of the shadier characters of the Bible. It was not that their examples were so stellar, most failed miserably in their walk with God. However, I have gleaned much from their bad examples over the years.

You may be wondering what in the world we can learn from such misfits and failures. How can they possibly help us in our walk with the Lord? Here are some examples from my book.

Please consider purchasing my book to learn more about what some lesser known guys of the Bible can teach you about your walk with God.

The Renewal of All Things

The Renewal of All Things

What will our lives look like when Jesus establishes His kingdom over all the earth? What will the coming renewed creation look like? Can we even imagine what it will be like for the Lord to make us completely whole in our bodies, spirits, and souls?

John Eldredge, in his latest book All Things New, seeks to answer questions such as these. He focuses on passages such as Matthew 19:28-29 and Revelation 21:1-5 that point to the wondrous and joyous renewal Jesus promises for all who know Him.

You might think it strange I would recommend a book that ignores the rapture and the tribulation (as he does) and settles for a singular purpose of encouraging believers regarding their eternal hope in Christ's coming kingdom. I admit, at first I was a bit leery about the book since I am passionate about all of these things.