Jesus

Moody's Illustration of Grace

Moody's Illustration of Grace

Dwight L. Moody once gave the following illustration during a sermon to demonstrate that our salvation is all of grace and not of works . . . .

Each and every one of our good works as believers results from our regeneration that occurs at the moment of our rebirth. Works contribute absolutely nothing to our salvation nor do they keep us saved. It’s all of grace from beginning to end.

Pretribulation Rapture Signpost #5: Surprise

Pretribulation Rapture Signpost #5: Surprise

A news story about a burglar in Rochelle Park, New Jersey recently caught my attention. In the process of robbing a home, the thief woke up the couple who lived there. Not wanting the owners to catch him, the robber climbed out a window and fled from the scene of the crime.

Sticking with his escape plan, he ran down the street and quickly hopped into the backseat of a car. Unfortunately for him, he soon discovered he had gotten into a police car, which made his ensuing arrest rather easy.

In 1 Thessalonians 5;2, Paul compares the arrival of the day of the Lord to the surprise of discovering a intruder in one’s home. He likely had a more competent thief in mind than the bungling burglar in New Jersey.

Pretribulation Rapture Signpost #4: Expectations

Pretribulation Rapture Signpost #4: Expectations

My wife and I walked into the restaurant with high expectations. Someone had told us this was the best place in the area for Italian food. Maybe it was an off night, but we left unsatisfied with what we ordered that evening. As I look back, I wonder if our anticipation of a really great Italian dinner contributed to our disappointment.

Expectations have a powerful influence on us. The wrong ones, such as what we will see with Paul’s new converts in Thessalonica, can lead to much disappointment and even grief.

Pretribulation Rapture Signpost #2: Unique

Pretribulation Rapture Signpost #2: Unique

The next signpost pointing to the occurrence of the rapture before the tribulation simply says “unique.” For pretribulationism to be biblical, the rapture and second coming cannot be the same event. If they are identical, we obviously cannot separate them by seven years or so.

If premillennialism is true, and it absolutely is, then then the following differences between the rapture and second coming passages argue strongly for regarding them as separate and unique events.

The Repackaging of Amillennialism

The Repackaging of Amillennialism

For several months I attended a church whose doctrinal statement affirmed its belief in premillennialism, the belief in Jesus’ reign over the nations before the eternal state. So my wife and I faithfully attended assuming the church stood by its statement of faith. Such was not the case.

Later, in discussing prophecy with the pastor I discovered he identified himself as a “covenant premillennialist.” I remained hopeful even then that he believed in a future for Israel and an actual millennium. I later discovered that he did not believe these things.

7 Reasons Why the Rapture is Not the Second Coming

7 Reasons Why the Rapture is Not the Second Coming

Is the rapture unique or just another way of describing the second coming?

Pastors, teachers, and Christian writers have differing opinions on this. One assistant pastor at a Bible-believing church once told me he did not believe in the rapture. Along with such denials, many today assert that the book of Revelation is mostly allegory or past history, which necessitates that the rapture and second coming be the same event.

When I look at Scripture, I see two unique events separated by a period of time. The New Testament teaches Jesus will appear to take believers back to His Father’s house in heaven.

Our Meeting in the Clouds

Our Meeting in the Clouds

Clouds fascinate me more and more as I grow older. I am not sure any correlation exists with age, perhaps the reason for my growing interest lies elsewhere.

When cloud formations catch my eye, I often think of the time we will meet Jesus in the air. One day during the past week the cloud formations took me in a different direction. They brought to mind Jesus ascension.

Understanding High Profile Departures from the Faith

Understanding High Profile Departures from the Faith

As for the recent high profile departures from the true biblical faith, questions keep coming to my mind: How can a person walk with Lord and worship Him without the inner confirmation of the Holy Spirit regarding the truth of the Gospel and the claims of Jesus? What do they do with the historical fact of the empty tomb?

How do we understand what is happening?

Dealing With End Times Complacency by Britt Gillette

Dealing With End Times Complacency by Britt Gillette

To say the world is the same today as in years past – that we don’t live in unique times – is just not true. More than any other generation, ours has reason to expect the Second Coming. Jesus and the prophets said to look for specific signs heralding the end times. For over 1,800 years, you couldn’t find one of the signs they said to look for. Today, in one form or another, you can find all of them. Here are just a few examples:

What Does Jesus Tell Us to Do in Light of His Coming?

What Does Jesus Tell Us to Do in Light of His Coming?

Though only a small child at the time, I remember the sight of a large old farmhouse with a peculiar small room on top of it with windows on all sides. The farmer told my dad that the previous owner of the homestead had the lookout post built on the pinnacle of the roof so he could watch for the return of the Lord.

While we admire this man’s confidence in Jesus’ promise to return for us, is this really what Jesus meant by watching for His appearing? Although our English word for “watch” fits such passive behavior as looking out a window, the word in the original implies much more than that.

What does Jesus tell us to do in light of His imminent return? What do His instructions tell us about our expectation of His appearing?

Top 10 Signs of the Last Days

Top 10 Signs of the Last Days

We live in the last days of human history as we know it before the start of the tribulation.

We do not know the day or the hour when Jesus will come for His church or when day God’s fierce wrath will begin. The prophetic signs we see all around us, however, tell us these things are getting ever so close.

I shared this list a couple months ago through my newsletter. As events continue to point toward the soon return of Jesus, I decided to update the list and make it available to more who may be interested. I have also changed the order a bit.

Do You See the Storm Clouds?

Do You See the Storm Clouds?

Most of us have seen it at some point in our lives. The daytime sky becomes dark ahead of an approaching strong storm; the blackness of the clouds makes it seem like night outside our window as our smartphones buzz with weather warnings. This happened outside my window as I was writing this post.

In Jesus’ day, people did not have our technology to warn of approaching storms. Instead, they learned to recognize signs in the sky that told them what to expect.

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.

3 Reasons Why Satan Hates the Future Reign of Jesus

3 Reasons Why Satan Hates the Future Reign of Jesus

The opposition to Jesus’ future reign on earth remains intense. Although premillennialism grew dramatically during the twentieth century, many Bible-believing teachers and pastors have reverted to Augustine’s platonic view of reality that denies biblical teaching regarding the millennium.

What has caused this reversal in recent decades? I believe the roots of today’s passionate opposition to premillennialism lie in Satan’s continuing hatred of anything to do with Jesus’ future reign.

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.”

No Time for Snoozing

No Time for Snoozing

Caleb could scarcely believe his eyes; the Egyptian army was advancing slowly but surely toward his city. From his vantage point high on the wall, he identified their flag in the distant horizon just as the sun rose in the sky. They would be at the city walls by sunset!

Several other watchmen refused to believe Caleb’s warning or even look in the direction of the advancing army.

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.

5 Ways Amillennialism Discredits the Bible

5 Ways Amillennialism Discredits the Bible

One aspect of amillennialism that deeply troubles me is the denial of a future kingdom for Israel. Those who advocate this position believe the Old Testament promises made to Abraham, Jacob, David, and Israel are fulfilled by Jesus Christ and His church in this current age, a spiritual millennium.

They support this assertion through an allegorical interpretation of large sections of prophetic Scripture in both the Old and New Testament.

I believe this disregard for the literalness of prophecy weakens the integrity of the rest of God’s Word. Though often not right away, eventually many non-prophetic passages fall victim to those wishing to overlay a symbolic interpretation upon them that conforms to what they believe.

What Does Noah Tell Us About Waiting for Our Lord?

What Does Noah Tell Us About Waiting for Our Lord?

We live in an age of instant access. If I want to see the latest weather forecast, I instantly bring it up on my smart phone. If I want something warmed up, it only takes a few seconds in the microwave.

Perhaps this is why waiting is so difficult for us, especially when it comes to waiting for something that was promised us two thousand years ago. As we see biblical prophecy springing to life in our world against the backdrop of wickedness and violence we often ask, “How much longer, Lord?”