I figure if Jesus was premillennial, and his cousin was a Baptist, then that’s good enough for me.
I figure if Jesus was premillennial, and his cousin was a Baptist, then that’s good enough for me.
Ok folks, here are some of my favorite tweets as everyone considers the Mayan calendar’s predictions….
Here’s a summary of the entire thing:
Everywhere you go, people are making Apocalypse jokes like there’s no tomorrow.
— Gene Clyatt (@Shinar_Squirrel) December 21, 2012
This is what I’m doing too!
sitting here reading all of the #endoftheworldconfession tweets and laughing…
— taryn lee (@tarynitup96) December 21, 2012
#endoftheworldconfession the world isn’t ending, and anything you confess might be used against you tomorrow, and the day after that.
— Emily (@Emily_Knutson) December 21, 2012
The 5 year plan? Really?
#endoftheworldconfession At High School, I had macaroni cheese for lunch every day for 5 years.
— Jamie Glackin (@Jamie4Labour) December 21, 2012
Now these are just for entertainment:
Still think the power companies should shut off the power today for 10 minutes just to make everyone freak out #endoftheworldconfession. >:)
— Sahar J (@SaharrMJ) December 21, 2012
#endoftheworldconfessionI really do like cats. I just can’t eat a whole one by myself.
— Jason Kraft (@Papa_Kraft) December 20, 2012
#endoftheworldconfession when guys ask me for my number i give them my brothers hahahhaha
— Emma Monroy (@Eastsideemmmma) December 21, 2012
Now we know! Call Baha Men!
#EndOfTheWorldConfession I let the dogs out
— Fill Werrell (@FillWerrell) December 21, 2012
This is astounding!
#endoftheworldconfession I’ve never watched Star Wars or Lord Of The Rings, and I have no idea what happens in them or what the story is.
— Travis Porter (@Travis0396) December 21, 2012
But here is what we really need to remember:
So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him. #endoftheworldconfession
— K☯ (@kaitmathison) December 21, 2012
#EndOfTheWorldConfession its not the end. If you read Matthew 24:36, you’d know that no one, not even the Son of God, knows the end but Him.
— Sarah Elizabeth (@itssarbearbaby) December 21, 2012
Alright, we’re calling it. 21st of December: Worst. #Apocalypse. Ever.
— Death Star PR (@DeathStarPR) December 21, 2012
It seems that a this whole deal with some guy (Camping?) predicting a rapture today has become quite a distraction for many. Will you be found ministering to the lost and equipping the saints? Or will your Lord find your breathing out sarcasm, being sure that your Facebook status is the funniest or most biting?
So I ask: what will you are doing when Christ returns? Assuming His second advent is imminent (whether you believe in a rapture or not), will he find His servant busy doing His will?
Let’s consider Jesus’ own words of warning:
Matthew 24:44-51 ESV Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect. 45 “Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom his master has set over his household, to give them their food at the proper time? 46 Blessed is that servant whom his master will find so doing when he comes. 47 Truly, I say to you, he will set him over all his possessions. 48 But if that wicked servant says to himself, ‘My master is delayed,’ 49 and begins to beat his fellow servants and eats and drinks with drunkards, 50 the master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he does not know 51 and will cut him in pieces and put him with the hypocrites. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
It seems to me that the point of the story is quite clear. If you are a servant of Christ, (and you are, whether you acknowledge it or not if you are indeed born-again), then you ought to be doing your master’s work, AT ALL TIMES. Although the Lord maintains a right to hold His enemies in derision, I’m not convinced that is our role. And even if it is, I’m not sure the complete outward mockery of this man and his predictions is warranted.
Camping is either an immature, undiscipled and poorly led Christian: a brother to whom we owe our love and compassion, or he is a non-believer; someone who is hellbound in his sin, as you once were. Jesus said, Matthew 7:1-2 ESV “Judge not, that you be not judged. 2 For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you.” Here is what I consider to be a rare reasonable application of this scripture (rare in terms of the percent of times this scripture is used compared to the percent of times it is used correctly.)
Now let’s be clear – I see no problem with disagreeing with Camping. In fact, I do. I do not believe the rapture will occur today, and I find it unbiblical to set a date. His actions are vile as I believe he twists scripture and blasphemes God in so doing. This might be considered “worse” than the whole 2012 movie craze, because this man actually comes in the name of Christ.
But mocking and scoffing? How is that what you want to be caught doing? Please, dear Christian reader: WE FAIL ENOUGH. We all constantly bring shame to our Redeemer with our lack of faith at times, our submission to the flesh and lack of control of our tongues. In our private lives, none of us behave as well as when the pastor is around. Why is it that the eyes of the Lord Jesus Christ on me all the time doesn’t have the same tempering effect on my demeanor as knowing a church member might see does? Are you any different?
We have one of the biggest, most publicized “events” in a while. It is enough alone to EASILY spark conversations about the gospel and the return of Christ. Non believers DO NOT CARE, nor do they NEED TO KNOW whether you are a pretribulational amillenial bapticostal lutherpiscopal. Non believers need to know that you also believe Christ is returning, and that they now have a chance to repent of their sin and believe the gospel.
I’m all for funny jokes. I enjoy them especially within the confines of private messages with like-minded believers sometimes. But your public profile, your Facebook status – trust me – your non-believing friends are watching, waiting to tear down your perfect savior because of the faultiness of His followers.
I pray that this post embodies the scripture below for those of you who disagree with me. I encourage you to follow the same:
2 Timothy 2:24-26 ESV And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, 25 correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, 26 and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will.
Prove Camping wrong if you must. Protect the flock! (as endangered as they really are 🙂 – but please, don’t let this give power to your flesh. That arrogant, prideful, self-righteous section that is still there, even in the Spirit indwelt believer. Starve your flesh, and the Lord’s Spirit will direct your paths.
If my words offend you, I will ask you to consider Galatians 4:16 ESV Have I then become your enemy by telling you the truth?
And consider the following that a dear brother brought to me recently: slander – even if TRUE – is quite firmly described in scripture as unwise and unloving. If the end of your rope is that you are sure you really need to warn people of this guy, at least consider your method and the grace your lips ought to be seasoned with. I mean, how much more of your time was spent berating this guy and his notions than praying for him? Why not give the guy as much time before the throne of grace as you gave the time you are taking to mock him and his ideas?
I am all for warning the brethren, just not the mocking type. And it seems the author of Proverbs isn’t either.
Proverbs 10:18-19 ESV The one who conceals hatred has lying lips, and whoever utters slander is a fool. 19 When words are many, transgression is not lacking, but whoever restrains his lips is prudent.
Proverbs 11:9 ESV With his mouth the godless man would destroy his neighbor, but by knowledge the righteous are delivered.
Proverbs 11:13 ESV Whoever goes about slandering reveals secrets, but he who is trustworthy in spirit keeps a thing covered.
Proverbs 12:18 ESV There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.
Proverbs 13:3 ESV Whoever guards his mouth preserves his life; he who opens wide his lips comes to ruin.
Proverbs 15:4 ESV A gentle tongue is a tree of life, but perverseness in it breaks the spirit.
Proverbs 16:5 ESV Everyone who is arrogant in heart is an abomination to the LORD; be assured, he will not go unpunished.
Proverbs 16:7 ESV When a man’s ways please the LORD, he makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.
In the love of Christ, I send this as a warning to myself and all of us who have been consigned to proclaim, teach and protect God’s Word. Let the love of God and for men reign in your heart, being happy for opportunities to suffer shame for His namesake. Acts 5:41
This was presented at Berean Baptist Church, Sunday July 25, 2010.
If the player is not working or you would like to download the teaching, use the link below.
Hebrews 13:8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever.
Wow! How can our finite minds even begin to comprehend this? Let’s face it, we only understand things on a limited level. What a contrast to God whose understanding is infinite – Ps 147:5. Jesus Christ has never changed, and never will. While we are blown around by the latest wind, He is immutable, Is 64:6; Malachi 3:6 – I am the Lord, I change not!
But this verse is packed with more than Mal 3:6. This verse is another affirmation of the deity of Jesus Christ. Just as he himself declares in John 8:58 (before Abraham was, I am), and just as He is pictured throughout scripture as Lord of lords and King of kings, (Rev 19:6,16), and as He stated in Revelation 1, He is the alpha and the omega, the beginning and the end. Jesus is God, has always been God and always will be God. This is not easy to understand and many cults have obscured this view!
Let’s take a look at some of the confusing issues, taking the scripture and see if we can make some sense of things.
Some will say that according to John 3:16, if Jesus is God the Father’s son, then Jesus was “born” or that he is a created being. Jehovah’s Witnesses employ this strategy. But does this make any sense? Jesus as the firstborn among many brethren Romans 8:29…does this prove that He is created, rather than eternal? I think that people are applying human reasoning to scriptural things. The fact is that I no more made my own son than I make any cell in my body. That Jesus was begotten of the father doesn’t mean that he was created, but rather that he is of the same nature, cut from the same fabric to use a phrase we understand today. Contrary to declaring Christ as a creation, this emphatically declares Christ as one with the Father, fully God (John 10:30). We must always remember to get our view of scripture from scripture, not from human wisdom applied to scripture (Proverbs 14:12).
Let’s look at scripture again. Scripture is quite clear that Jesus is worthy of all our praise and worship, that He alone deserves honor and praise and glory and that he will receive it for all eternity. Revelation 5:12-14
12Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing.
13And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever.
14And the four beasts said, Amen. And the four and twenty elders fell down and worshipped him that liveth for ever and ever.
…That being said, for God to speak so disdainfully about worshipping the creature rather than the creator in Romans 1:25 would be contradictory to the plain fact that Christ (the lamb of God from John 1:29) is worshipped for eternity if Christ were a created being! Let me repeat that another way…God cannot and will not contradict Himself…In Romans 1, He is clearly calling men unrighteous who have worshipped “creatures” rather than the “Creator”, yet Christ is constantly worshipped in scripture! So Christ could not be created…if you believe the Bible!
Refer to Colossians 1:16 and John 1:1-3. Really…mouse over those references and read words! All things were made by Him and all things are held together by Him. Nothing that was made was not made by Him! It is so clear, He is the maker of all the earth (including all men!). Why do men insist on denying this? Romans 1:18 – so that men may continue to indulge in the sin they love. For if it is acknowledged that Christ is creator, then he is also the rightful judge and we are all accountable. And frankly, we are all in trouble, for we all have sinned. Our situation is hopeless except for the fact that he chose to save us by becoming a man and taking on the shame of the cross in order to satisfy the Holy Righteous judgment that is required for sin.
So how do I explain that Jesus Christ is the same, yesterday and forever, yet he became a man? This makes no sense to us in human terms! Because we live within and are constrained by the confines of this thing called time. Time is something that Jesus is not subject to and never has been subject to. Christ lives outside of time, and sacrificed himself before the foundations of the world. He elected to save us before he even created the world. (Eph 1:4) He was not surprised by Adam’s sin, nor by yours. Jesus is unchanging because He is God. God is unchanging because He cannot improve, He is already perfect, and He cannot degrade, as the result of His perfection. He became incarnate to reveal himself to us, but He is immutable, unchanging. His thoughts of you have never changed, His Word has never changed and will never pass away (Luke 16:17)
The fact that Jesus is God necessitates that He is immutable! If He was changeable, then He would be imperfect.
Dear Christian, this is a great comfort! When you sin as a Christian, (and you will, by the way), you can remember that God already knew you would sin after being saved. Oh, it is one thing to realize that he knew the evil you would do before you were saved and to be excited about the fact that He would save you by grace in spite of your enmity with him, but it is another level of joy to know that He saved you knowing the evil you would still commit in your heart and deeds AFTER giving you the promise of forgiveness. To know that he has provided you with the means to trample on His grace, to suffer the shame of seeing Christians everywhere drag his name into mud, but because of his great love and patience 2 Peter 3:9, and for His name’s sake would save you from your sin, and the consequence of that sin, what unspeakable mercy! What love. Oh how hard is it for us to forgive others in this world. And how impossible it would be for us to forgive someone if we knew they would “do it again!” But Jesus commanded that we do so continiously, and we can and should, because He does!
So Jesus Christ is the same, yesterday and today and forever. Be comforted, brothers and sisters, the same God that spent His life on that cross for you is still your advocate (1 John 2:1), His intercession on your behalf is eternal (Heb 7:25, 9:24-25), and based in His great Love and His faithfulness. Now enjoy the fruit of this love and walk in obedience to Him, joyfully, for his yoke is not burdensome!
28Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
29Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
30For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
1 John 5:3-4
3For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.
4For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.
Let’s assume there is a problem today. The problem is that not a lot of people seem to be getting saved. Can you play along? This article is for Christians only. I want brothers and sisters to consider what I am going to say because I believe it is important. Just thinking about it brings conviction to my soul. To be more specific, it brings me shame and distress. Thankfully, I don’t stay there long as I lay my sin at the foot of the cross and trust that Christ has wiped them away completely, but once in while He gives me an all-too-clear glimpse of my truly disgraceful sin nature and tendency to succumb to the flesh.
The sin I am going to talk about is the worst sin possible. It is the sin of unbelief. In fact, it is the only unforgivable sin, if committed fully against the Son of God, Jesus Christ. But for those of us who have had hearts regenerated by His Holy, Infinite Grace, unbelief still creeps in. Often it occurs in subtle and deceitful ways. In my case, and I believe in many others, it can be spawned by a misapplication of scripture. Not a misinterpretation or misunderstanding in this case, but a mis-applying of the often well-understood, clearly believed Truths.
For now, I need to establish some assumptions I will trust axiomatically for purposes of this post. These are not un-provable, but I’m going to choose not to prove them now. Additionally, if you are of a different ‘camp’ in this often disputed eschatological argument, I’d encourage you to judge the content of the article NOT based on whether you agree with my view of end times, but rather, whether the statements I make do, in fact, logically follow from my assumptions, and whether the application I’ll try to encourage myself and others to employ as the result is actually biblical.
Ok. Long story short. “Too late,” you say? Sorry. 🙂 Let’s begin here. I’m what I believe is commonly called a pretribulational, premillenialist. (I think I got that right) What this means is that I believe that the next event that is to occur, prophetically speaking, is what is called the rapture of the church. I trust it is imminent and that nothing is ‘holding that back’ prophetically that still needs to occur; that is, it could happen at any time. It also means that I believe there will be 7 years of tribulation on the Earth after that event, followed by a literal 1000 year Earthly reign of Christ on Earth. As I said these are oft disputed items that are not to be proved in this article.
Now, what I am going to say is the result of this may also be shared by people of other end-times views. People who share the same views as I do may have different understandings than what I’m about to share as well. I’m just one man, and I may or may not represent the whole of my ‘camp.’ In other words, don’t throw out a baby because I’m in the bathwater!
So what? So I believe this rapture is imminent and the millennial reign is future? Why does that matter? Well, here is why. I believe that the sin cursed world we live in is only getting worse. The degradation of EVERYTHING is continuing without regression. If it had velocity, I’d tell you it was accelerating. At the least, it is not slowing down. The bible declares that scoffers will come in the last days (2 Peter 3:3). It is also clear that not a lot of people will be saved! (Matthew 7:13-14) So what’s my problem? Well, I think that at times, I take these verses and biblical ideas too far! I am shocked when someone wants to talk about Christ. If I hear that God has graciously saved someone, I am sometimes very skeptical! Reminds me of a strange story. The other day I saw I license plate that said, “CYNIC.” I glanced over at the guy and said, “I don’t believe you are a cynic.” LOL, eh?
Anyway, the point is that I think part of the problem is that my focus is NOT on the Power and Glory and Grace of God! It’s like I’ve lost hope and faith that God is really going to work in the hearts and lives of people. Instead of preaching or witnessing, EXPECTING God to perform a miracle, I sometimes realize that I actually EXPECT THE OPPOSITE! I may be doing the right thing, actually in true loving, obedience to my Savior and Lord. But I am not being really faithful that He CAN and WILL save! I chalk it up to, “Well, it’s the end times. We’re just going to get scoffers and mockers and others who will not come to saving faith.”
I’m ashamed. Biblically, before 100 A.D. it was considered the end-times as well. Thank God the men and women of the faith in those times didn’t give up hope, even in the face of GREATER PERSECUTION than I’ve ever seen. Thank God early 20th century preachers didn’t give up just because they could see the end coming. We trust that the Lord could come any day…but do we ever think that maybe He could come 500 years from now? Maybe we are not even getting a glimpse of what “end-times” Christians will experience because the things we lament today will be SO MUCH WORSE years from now, maybe after we’ve gone to be with the Lord. My fear is that our attitude of unbelief is actually contributing to the problem. My sin has consequences in this world still, even if Jesus has paid for them. My sin still hurts people, and myself, as well as being an offense to my perfectly loving and graceful Savior.
Is it too late? It is too late to pray like we believe that God might bring revival to the USA? Many Christians, including me are sure God has taken His protective hand off of us. That the changes we’ve seen in our government lately is an indicator that we’ve already been left to our own sinful desires. EVEN IF THIS IS TRUE, I ASK, DOES THAT MEAN WE OUGHT NOT BELIEVE GOD CAN AND WILL RESTORE US? Isn’t that Israel’s basic problem? Wasn’t God, in the OT, for example, always ready to restore them to Himself? He was waiting for them all the time, inasmuch as you can ascribe the human quality of waiting to our Lord. Let’s just say he was patient, we He not? And how many times did He pick them back up after they fell? And He is going to do it again still! Pray to that end for the USA! Pray for your friends and family, but do it like you believe it. Not because your positive attitude will affect the effectiveness of your prayer, but because it is a display of our absolute TRUST in the Goodness and Faithfulness of the God of creation! It is an exhibition of His Glory when we pray for things that seem impossible!
To ask Him to protect you on your way home from work is perfectly ok, and I trust He does that for any of us that makes it home safely. But really, do you pray that prayer with urgency? And when you do, do you find it improbable in your mind that you weren’t going to make it home anyway? God doesn’t need a head start or a lead! When we pray to God, we can pray for the most unlikely thing, and if it is in His will, it will be done. So be bold! Ask God to save your mom or dad or your brother or sister. Ask Him to regenerate the heart of Barack Obama, because He can, and because you’ve had a heart change yourself, by which you are actually concerned for where our President will spend eternity, not because he annoys you. Do it because you deserve Hell as much as the President, and you will not be going there by the grace of God through faith in Christ alone.
So have you given up hope? Are you like me, a sinner in need of a Savior, not only from the punishment of your sin, but from the bondage of sin? The chains that keep me locked up in the mindset that if a camel cannot go through the eye of a needle in my mind, then it is not happening. With God, all things are possible! Luke 18:27
Dear Christian reader: do not despair, but rather rejoice in the Glory of our Lord Jesus Christ! Trust His Sovereign Grace to penetrate the hearts of sinners. And although you know that there are few that will find it, pray to Him knowing He can save more than we may think “a few” is. Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ!! Truly trust Him, in Him and Him alone. Stop being a part of the problem. Stop looking at every scoffer and mocker as “just an enemy of the gospel,” and start seeing them as sinners, like yourself, who desperately need a savior. And chances are they need a friend like you to introduce them by sharing with them what Christ did for them and why. If you really believe the rapture is coming, you should spend any moment you can sharing the gospel with an unsaved person! Do not misapply the scripture; Christ’s imminent return is cause to “be busy,” (Matthew 24:42,44-46) not be idle. It is a reason to have hope, not give up. As Tony says, “Don’t Quit!”