Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Now We See but a Poor Reflection

Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

1 Corinthians 13:12 (New International Version)

Sometimes I’m frustrated by all the alternative theories that are floating out there about the end times or Armageddon, or about where we are in God’s plan, and how the current Middle East crisis fits in. Are we at the very threshold of Armageddon where two-thirds of Israel will be killed (Zechariah 13:8-9)? Where does the rapture fit in? Is there even going to be a rapture since 1 Corinthians 15:52 says that we will ALL be transformed “at the last trumpet” (of Revelation?). Very confusing! Nonetheless, there is no doubt we are to keep watch for Christ’s return. The preparations are clear. We need to preach the gospel “in and out of season” until Christ calls us home. I thank God for the simplicity of that instruction, and mostly, for the simplicity of His plan of salvation. All you have to do is simply confess sin and accept Christ as ruler of your life. That sounds like a big commitment, but our lives are only a vapour in time so this is not asking much of us at all, especially since Jesus did the hard part by providing the sacrifice.

I’ve often wondered how meaningless and incredibly shallow it is to pursue a life of leisure, money and possessions. We are living on a minuscule planet in an immeasurable universe, and most of mankind is interested in “the pursuit of happiness” as its overriding goal. If you’re living life like that, may you snap out of the utter stupidity of it (sorry, there are no other, more appropriate words for it). I guess that kind of lifestyle just grinds me, because I see it all over where I live, in the land of the second largest oil reserves in the world. Many young people here are incredibly wealthy, with incredible amounts of toys (i.e. boats, $125,000 cars, trailers, ATV’s, Harley’s, massive houses, etc, etc, etc). Ahhhh! These people are completely blind and need desperately to wake up! It’s frustrating watching young people throw their very eternities, not just lives, away because they devote their lives to hedonism– what a trap! THERE IS AN INFINITELY BIGGER PURPOSE! (did I stress that enough? I don’t think so!)

I’m going on vacation again to visit family over the next two weeks. I’m looking forward to it as a kind of “spiritual pilgrimage”. I’ve already had great talks with my dad on eschatology on the phone, and I can’t wait to dig deeper into conversation with him personally. Thank God that I have godly parents, who have truly dedicated their lives to Christ. It’s an incredible, divine miracle that my parents even survived their childhood, fleeing the horrors of Germany during WWII and literally outrunning Russian bombs, not unlike the situation in Lebanon today. But as is typical of God’s wisdom, I think it’s this traumatic event that produced the unshakable faith in God in my parents. One thing I’m clear on regarding the end times is that the world will enter a time of unparalleled tribulation (Matthew 24:21) before Christ returns. And whether we as Christians live through, or die in, or completely miss the Tribulation, we should all be praying for more faith, and more wisdom so that that day does not surprise us “…like a thief” (I Thessalonians 5:4)

Friday, July 14, 2006

I can tell you what will happen next!

"If the occupying regime of Jerusalem attacks Syria, it will be equivalent to an attack on the whole Islamic world and the regime (Israel) will face a crushing response" Ahmadinejad was quoted as saying by the official IRNA news agency.

Yup, it's going that way alright. Am I the only one of very few who are awake on this issue? The Muslim Dome of the Rock is the abomination of desolation on Mount Moriah, the temple mount. The battle of Armageddon is just about ready to ignite...and what do you hear in Christ's remaining churches? NOTHING!

Granted, there have been a far-than-adequate number of false alarms about Christ return, but shouldn't Christian churches at least be exploring the possibility that this latest Middle East crisis will lead to Armageddon and the return of Christ? A U.S. senator (I can't remember which one) stated last night on CNN's Larry King Live that this crisis is far more severe than any of the previous Israeli battles - including the 6-day war in 1967, and the Yom Kippur war of 1972, because this conflict has a chain-reaction (read: nuclear reaction) attached to it. The enemies of Israel in this war will chain-react from: Hamas->Hezballah->Syria->Iran->the rest of the world. THIS SOUNDS A LOT LIKE ARMAGEDDON TO ME, FOLKS! Should the sincere Christian churches, few they may be, not at least be standing up and speaking about this distinct possibility?

Alas, we are in an evil, blind age. Call me a fundamentalist Christian. That's ok, I consider that a compliment and a necessity, but the church reaction to this crisis gives me perfect understanding of Matthew 24:38-39:

"38For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; 39and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man."

Lord, help me to do what I can to wake up my fellow Christians (and non-Christians especially), because your patience is about finished - the time is short.

Matthew 24:32"Now learn this lesson from the fig tree [i.e. Israel]: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out[i.e. May 14, 1948 the re-establishment of the state of Israel], you know that summer [i.e. the Second Coming] is near.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

World Crisis Escalation

As a Christian, today is an incredible time to be alive. Israel, the olive tree upon which I am grafted (Praise the Lord!), is back in the holy land and is surrounded by its enemies. These enemies, the leopard-bear-lion of the Book of Revelation, are intent on Israel's complete annihilation:

"I am going to make Jerusalem a cup that sends all the surrounding peoples reeling." Zechariah 12:2

Now, Iran's Ahmadinejad is thumbing his nose at the U.N. and the IAEA, and promising the soon destruction of Israel. Iran Focus ( has reported that Ahmadinejad said just yesterday: “In the near future we will witness the rapid collapse of the Zionist regime”.
Ah...excuse me Mr. Ahmadinejad? The true and only God of Abraham, that is: the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob said:

On that day the LORD will shield those who live in Jerusalem, so that the feeblest among them will be like David, and the house of David will be like God, like the Angel of the LORD going before them. 9 On that day I will set out to destroy all the nations that attack Jerusalem. [Zechariah 12:8-9]

These are the words of the only God, not the words of the anti-Christ - Allah, and his book of Satanic Verses - the Quran. So put the only God to the test Mr. Ahmadinejad. Let's see whose god is the true God. Ahmadinejad is only coming against Jerusalem because God declared it long ago in Joel chapter 3.

This upcoming battle, whether very near (as Ahmadinejad's rhetoric seems to suggest) or in the not-too-distant future, is what I call the world escalation in slow motion. As a Christian, I know this battle is coming. The only question is when. According to Ahmadinejad, the Hezbollah, Hamas, Al Aqsa, etc this day will be coming sooner rather than later. I say: amen, let it come:

He who testifies to these things says, "Yes, I am coming soon." Amen Come Lord Jesus [Revelation 22:20; emphasis mine].

May you be found ready.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Things are Flaring Up Quickly, Folks!

The significant news of our day concerning Israel is happening at a blistering pace. And yet, while it seems like a million things are happening at once, the news all seems to be vaguely familiar to me – like I’ve already read this book before. The reason of course is that what’s happening in Israel today, is leading up to what has already been written in the books of Jeremiah, Zechariah, Joel, etc. Have you been paying attention to the news this week? I have a regular habit of watching at least an hour of news every night. I think I sometimes drive my wife nuts with my infatuation with world events. But I’m thinking that our generation could very well be the last generation before Jesus’ second coming. What can be more exciting than that?!

Things seem to be moving very quickly to a final showdown. I’m not trying to set a specific date, but it just seems to me that end time events are happening at a quickening pace. It’s like the world is being overtaken by the flood of Daniel 9:26

26 After the sixty-two 'sevens,' the Anointed One will be cut off and will have nothing. The people of the ruler who will come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end will come like a flood: War will continue until the end, and desolations have been decreed.

or Matthew 24:38-39:

38For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; 39and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.

Just look at what is happening today in Israel. Hezbollah fighters (Islamic warriors at that – see my last posting) have taken two Israeli soldiers hostage and eight others have been killed in a firefight between the IDF (Israeli Defense Forces) and Hezbollah. According to a news report in DEBKAfile ( Iran’s nuclear negotiator, Ali Larijani, is flying to Syria to honour a recently signed defense agreement between Iran and Syria, and in response to the Israeli incursion into Lebanon. Basically the pact states that any attack on Syria is considered an attack on Iran. At the same time, the White House released a statement holding Syria and Iran jointly responsible for the Hezbollah abduction and demanding their immediate and unconditional release. Israel meanwhile is marching into Lebanon, which is basically a satellite state of Syria, looking for it’s two kidnapped soldiers, while at the same time turning Gaza upside down searching for their initial kidnapped IDF soldier - Gilad Shalit This situation is flaring up in a hurry folks.
In Zechariah 12:6 God says:

"On that day I will make the leaders of Judah like a firepot in a woodpile, like a flaming torch among sheaves. They will consume right and left all the surrounding peoples, but Jerusalem will remain intact in her place.
God uses the analogy of a torch among sheaves implying that the battle of Armageddon will be a fiery lop-sided battle, not a United Nations diplomacy battle of the clauses. Are we immediately headed toward Armageddon – I don’t know for sure. But I do know that we should be watching the apple of God’s eye, Israel, very closely these days, and becoming prepared for His coming. Do not let Him find you sleeping (Matthew 25:1-13).