Jesus

A Prophet’s Complaint

A Prophet’s Complaint

My fingers raced to the book of Habakkuk early this morning.

Why would I seek the wisdom of an ancient prophet to ease my troubled mind? His opening complaint, written 2,650 years ago, captures the cry of my heart.

I so often cry out to the Lord to stop the senseless murder of children as well as the killing of those precious little ones who survive the horrific evil of abortion.

The Departure of 2 Thessalonians 2:3

The Departure of 2 Thessalonians 2:3

I realize that one look at the title may cause you to hit the snooze button. Why examine the translation of one word? We do so because it has the potential to greatly strengthen our belief that the church will miss all of the coming tribulation. Please allow me to explain why this matters to us.

In recent years, the Greek Word apostasia in 2 Thessalonians 2:3 has received heightened attention. The traditional view is that it refers to a falling away from biblical faith as we see in all our modern English translations, but this has not always been the case.

Prelude to the Tribulation

Prelude to the Tribulation

A common response to those like me who believe we live in the last days is this: “The world has seen violence and wickedness all through its history. What’s so different about today?”

I fully understand that question especially when one considers the world wars of the previous century. Seventy-five years ago many Christians thought Hitler was the antichrist based on his hatred of the Jews and his efforts to establish a worldwide socialist empire. This was truly a terrible time in world history, but it was not the prelude to the tribulation.

5 Perils of Denying Jesus’ Future Reign

5 Perils of Denying Jesus’ Future Reign

I could not have written this article several months ago. Although I had no doubts about the biblical truth of premillennialism, I did not fully comprehend the perils of denying Jesus’ thousand year’ reign over the nations of the world as described in Revelation 20:1-10 and Zechariah 14. The denial of Jesus’ rule over a restored Israel is known as amillennialism.

When I heard a popular prophecy preacher refer to amillennialism as a “false teaching” and a “doctrine of demons” (Tim. 4:1), I shuddered; I was not sure I agreed with him. Now I know he was correct.

Lessons from My Battle with PTSD

Lessons from My Battle with PTSD

I know a great many believers, like me, have struggled with issues related to anxiety either in the past or are doing so now. My battle with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) was long, much longer than necessary because of my slowness in learning how to combat the anxieties and wounds from my past.

I will not go into the circumstances that led to my PTSD; I did that in another post.

These are not steps to healing, but rather biblical truths and lessons I gleaned along the rugged path to my healing from PTSD.

Will Jesus Leave Us Behind?

Will Jesus Leave Us Behind?

I was terrified! I had wondered away from my parents and now I could not see them. For a brief moment, I wondered if they had left me behind. Maybe my parents thought I was with my older sister. Maybe each thought I was with the other. Where were they? I had looked away just for just a moment and now I did not see them!

The unfamiliar surroundings made the situation more frightful.We were visiting my sister in Southern California and after spending the day sightseeing we went to Chinatown for supper and shopping, where I became distracted looking at toys and lost sight of my parents.

How Do We Respond?

How Do We Respond?

If you are like me, you find it difficult to maintain your sanity as you watch the growing apostasy in the church and look on as the world descends deeper into wickedness and violence seemingly every day.

One morning this week I read the story in Luke 9:51-56 about a Samaritan village that would not accept the presence of Jesus. In response to the city’s rejection of Jesus, James and John said “Lord, do you want us to tell fire to come down from heaven and consume them?” There are days, I confess, when I have sentiments that are far too similar to these two disciples than not.

The Triumph of the Redeemed!

The Triumph of the Redeemed!

At some level, all believers share in the sufferings of Jesus. We may not face torture and martyrdom for our faith as many of our brothers and sisters in Christ experience throughout the world. But nonetheless, we know the pain of rejection and ridicule as a result of our love for Jesus and His Word.

Just as we share in Jesus’ suffering we will also someday share in His triumph. Now we endure the ridicule and persecution of those who reject the Savior; in the future we will reign with Jesus.

What Does the Sunrise Mean for Israel?

What Does the Sunrise Mean for Israel?

Today, many Bible-believing pastors ascribe to replacement theology, which asserts that God has replaced Israel with the church. They preach that Israel no longer has a place in God’s prophetic program for the future.

Is this true? No! This doctrine contradicts the clear teaching of Scripture in so many places! In Romans 11:1-2, Paul leaves no doubt as to the continuing place of Israel in prophecy, “I ask, then, has God rejected his people? By no means! For I myself am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham, a member of the tribe of Benjamin. God has not rejected his people whom he foreknew. . . .”

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.

Has God Rejected Israel?

Has God Rejected Israel?

It’s becoming increasingly popular in Bible-believing churches to believe that God rejected the nation of Israel after the first century Jews rejected Jesus. Those who hold this view believe that the Lord has replaced Israel with the church. As a result, the church now inherits the kingdom promises of the Old Testament in a “spiritual” sense.

This teaching often goes by the name of “replacement theology” or “amillennialism.” I have many problems with such teaching starting the words of Paul in Romans 11:2, “God has not rejected his people whom he foreknew.” I am not sure how some get around Paul’s clear assertion in this text that God has not rejected Israel, but many do.

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.

Is Belief in the Rapture Relatively New?

Is Belief in the Rapture Relatively New?

Those who oppose our beliefs in a pretribulation rapture fill up social media and the Internet with stories mocking the rapture as something no one believed until the nineteenth century. They discredit it based on its recent appearance in the life of the church.

So, is our belief in the rapture relatively new in church history? No, absolutely not! As will see in the following sections, saints in the early days of the church looked for Jesus’ appearing to take away His church ahead of a time of tribulation on the earth. The doctrine existed long before people began calling it “the rapture” during the 1800’s.

God's Steadfast Love

God's Steadfast Love

Through all the ups and downs of my life, these words from Lamentations 3:22-25 have remained dear to my heart, “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. . . . The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him.”

The Hebrew word for “steadfast love” is chesed. You might see it translated “lovingkindness” or just “kindness” in other versions. It’s difficult for one English word or phrase to capture its total meaning in the original. In Scripture,

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.

The Wrath of the Lamb

The Wrath of the Lamb

When John the Baptist saw Jesus he exclaimed, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29). Indeed, Jesus was the ultimate Passover Lamb whose sacrifice paid the debt of our sins.

Peter put it this way, “knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot” (1 Pet. 1:18-19).

But who ever heard of “The Wrath of the Lamb?” Does this not sound like the strangest oxymoron you have ever heard? Although unusual, we do see this description of Jesus in the Bible.

Are You Ready for the Coming Tsunami?

Are You Ready for the Coming Tsunami?

On September 28, 2018, many residents of Palu, Indonesia gathered on the beach to celebrate the town’s anniversary. Despite the rumblings of earthquakes, it seemed like a normal day to the people joining in the happy festivities.

Due to a failure in the tsunami warning system, the people on the beach were unaware that a tidal wave at least ten feet high was headed their direction at a speed of 500 miles per hour.

Jesus compared His appearing to the days of Noah and issued this warning along with that, “and they were unaware until the flood came and swept them away, so will be the coming of the Son of Man” (Matt. 24:39). Do you see why the tsunami is an apt picture of Jesus’ words about the last days?

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 Reasons Satan Hates Heaven

3 Reasons Satan Hates Heaven

If there’s anything has shocked me since I started writing about prophecy, it’s the large number of Bible teachers and Christian authors who relegate the entire book of Revelation to the past or else regard it as an allegory meant exclusively for first century believers.

So why do so many today put the fulfillment of the eternal state in past either historically or symbolically?

I believe it’s because Satan hates the idea of heaven (i.e. the new earth and New Jerusalem) and does all he can to discredit any teaching that regards Revelation 21-22 as literal future prophecy. He’s our enemy and as such loves to rip away our fondest hopes!

What Were The Disciples Thinking?

What Were The Disciples Thinking?

In November of 1943, the USS Iowa carried President Franklin D. Roosevelt to a meeting with Joseph Stalin and Winston Churchill to discuss future plans regarding WW II. Somehow the crew of a nearby ship, the USS William D. Porter, mistook the USS Iowa for a German ship and fired a torpedo at it. Fortunately, the missile missed its target and the President continued safely to his summit. Although we do not know all the details that led to this error, we are still left wondering, “What were they thinking?”

At first glance, we might also ask this question in regard to a question the disciples posed to Jesus just moments before He ascended into heaven, “Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” (Acts 1:6).