Archive for the ‘David’s Blog’ Category

This is part 2 of the chapter 15 excerpt from The Cost of Our Silence

history5-newspapersOn May 14, 1948, a most remarkable event took place when the nation Israel was born in one day, as prophesied in Isaiah 66:8. This is unprecedented in all of history: Over five million Jews have returned to Israel, and as predicted, the remnant was restored (Isaiah 11:11-12; Ezekiel 37:21-22; 38:8). Never before in history has a people been dispersed and scattered among the nations of the earth and then return to their homeland from the north, south, east, and west (Isaiah 43:5-6). Nearly a million Jews traveled south from Russia alone, tens of thousands have left France, and the emigration of Jews to Israel from other nations continues.

About the size of New Jersey, Israel is not just the center of the universe, but the center of attention politically, spiritually, and geographically. The Bible was proved true when Israel became a desolate wasteland for about 1,900 years, but today we see the fulfillment of several more prophecies, such as Israel will bud and blossom, and fill the whole earth with fruit (Isaiah 27:6; Isaiah 35:1-2). Israel now exports fresh produce to the world to the tune of 800 million dollars each year, including over 200 million dollars from flowers and plants.

Nearly uninhabited and desolate a century ago, this little nation exports well over 40 billion dollars’ worth of goods. Tourism is one of Israel’s major sources of income and economic growth, attracting a record 3.54 million foreign tourists last year. According to the World Bank, exports of total goods and other services Israel provided to the rest of the world were over $91 billion (USD). How is this possible? Some suggest it is because of the increased rainfall while others point to Israel’s irrigation technology. Let’s not forget God.

According to the prophets Amos and Joel, the mountains of Israel would one day flow with sweet wine, and God would restore the people so they could rebuild ruined cities (Amos 9:13-15; Joel 3:18). They would plant vineyards and gardens, enjoy the land, and God promised they will not again be rooted out from their land which I have given them. Amos and Joel are among the first biblically prophetic books written sometime between 750 BC and 835 BC.

The prophet Isaiah also describes forests of trees filling the formerly barren land and specifically mentions the cedar, acacia, myrtle, olive, juniper, pine, and cypress trees (Isaiah 41:18-20). God fulfilled His promise to open up rivers, springs, and fountains of waters so people would know the hand of the Lord has done this. In the last hundred years, approximately one billion trees have been planted in Israel. This is all part of Bible prophecy!

Just as predicted, the city of Jerusalem had been destroyed, trampled underfoot by the Gentiles (Luke 21:24) since AD 70. According to prophecies, Jerusalem would be – and was – rebuilt on its own ruins (Jeremiah 30:18; Zechariah 12:6) and reestablished in 1948. The Jewish people finally regained full control of the city during the Six-Day War in 1967. On June 7 of that year, the Israeli army broke through and returned Jerusalem to the Jewish people for the first time in 1,897 years! Israel has been attacked many times and even outnumbered, and yet – somehow – this tiny nation has not only survived, it has thrived.

Another major prophecy that was fulfilled is the restoration and revival of Hebrew as the spoken language (Zephaniah 3:9). According to Jewish News, the process began in October 1881 as Eliezer Ben-Yehuda and his friends agreed to exclusively speak Hebrew in their conversations, leading to Hebrew becoming the national language of Israel once again.

Around that time a belief existed that “one of the criteria needed to define a nation worthy of national rights was its use of a common language” in the society, but the language had not been spoken as a mother tongue since the second century. Because of his goal to reestablish the language, Ben-Yehuda is said to have raised his son to speak Hebrew throughout his childhood while sheltering him from other languages. One of the keys to its revival was the development of the first Hebrew schools in small communities during the early 1900s. Regardless of how man thinks it happened, we must acknowledge that God made it happen.

The burden of the word of the Lord concerning Israel. Thus declares the Lord who stretches out the heavens, lays the foundation of the earth, and forms the spirit of man within him, “Behold, I am going to make Jerusalem a cup that causes reeling to all the peoples around; and when the siege is against Jerusalem, it will also be against Judah. It will come about in that day that I will make Jerusalem a heavy stone for all the peoples; all who lift it will be severely injured. And all the nations of the earth will be gathered against it (Zechariah 12:1-3).

Similar to Old Testament times, the very existence of Israel and Jerusalem causes surrounding nations to tremble; their hatred of the Jews is almost irrational. In modern times, Hitler tried wiping out the Jews, as will the Antichrist during the tribulation. As news reports today are filled with the global conflict over Israel, many nations have formed an alliance against Israel (Psalm 83:4-8), particularly Muslim nations sworn to her destruction…

WHAT ABOUT ISLAM?

How does Islam fit in to the end times? Several years ago, author Joel Rosenberg said, “To misunderstand the nature and threat of evil is to risk being blindsided by it. A new evil is rising in the world.” We can see evil be spoken of as good right before our eyes whether it is on our television screens or the Internet.

ISIS is beheading and persecuting Christians and “infidels” worldwide as was prophesied in Scripture (Matthew 24:9). The growing terror this generation is witnessing is part of the predicted end time lawlessness, and political correctness in America often gives the terrorists a pass. This should be another wake-up call for America, as we are in the midst of a dangerous combination of events. Ignorance is partly to blame while a complicit liberal media attempts to cover for Islam, but even Christian leaders have been complacent when it comes to discerning prophecy and world religions.

There are approximately 1.6 billion Muslims, accounting for 23% of the world’s population. In America, estimates suggest 3.5 million; 250,000 of which may be classified as those committed to radical Islam. Until recently, most Americans have looked the other way, but with instant news and Internet access, we hear about Christians or Jews being killed on a weekly if not daily basis. (Please check out Voice of the Martyrs at persecution.com) We have been warned about this persecution in the pages of the Bible, and we are to have a reverent fear of God rather than a fear of man.

Jesus Christ died for the sins of the world, and the gospel is the power of God for salvation. God has purchased people from every tribe and nation with the blood of Christ (Revelation 5:9). As ISIS continues their murderous rampage, spreading terror in places like Syria, Iraq, Nigeria (Boko Haram), and elsewhere; there are also reports that more Muslims are hearing the truth about Jesus for the very first time and are coming to faith in Christ. Other followers of Muhammad are turning to the only living God and Savior because of the godless reign of terror. God is at work through the Holy Spirit in the most terrible times even when we don’t see the results right in front of us.

Joel Richardson and Walid Shoebat are two who suggest the Antichrist will emerge from Turkey, Syria, or Iraq. Modern Turkey is practically immersed in what used to be the Assyrian Empire, and Turkey’s role in the end times seems to be supported by the prophets Isaiah and Micah as they refer to Assyria’s opposition to the Messiah. Many others who have studied Bible prophecy, such as Hal Lindsey and David Jeremiah, point to a European Antichrist (which is the standard view among Christians), because it is doubtful the Jewish people would support an Islamic leader. How it plays out sure will be interesting.

A majority of Muslims would never work with any other global government or religion unless it included or endorsed Islam and Shariah Law. According to the Bible, the Antichrist will be of Roman descent and will rise to power in Europe. Can you imagine Muslims submitting to or supporting a European leader? Particularly those seeking a Caliphate (a form of Islamic state including religious and political control or leadership) will not rest until Islam dominates the nations. ISIS is unwilling to coexist with other religions or political systems, period.

We cannot deny the truth regarding the deception and oppression of Islam. Due in part to modern technology, some Christians in the West have reluctantly discovered the brutality of a people who show no mercy to those who oppose their agenda. In addition, since ancient times, Islamic forces have stormed through villages and cities in vicious killing campaigns, beheading and slaughtering the innocent they consider to be infidels. The fact this is happening today should be of no surprise to those who are informed.

One problem many of us in America have is we now find our country enabling Islam, the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas, and other terrorist organizations either directly or indirectly. It is no longer any secret the Obama administration openly supports Islam – remember the president’s 2009 speech in Cairo when he first signaled his loyalty to Muslim nations? Now, ever since the “Arab Spring” in early 2011, Sharia Law has been implemented in several Islamic countries, and the persecution of Christians has reached record levels as a result.

Dedicated followers of Islam have been seeking a caliph to carry on the prophet Muhammad’s original vision of Islamic domination through conquest. Many believe they have their man in Abu Bakr al Baghdadi. “Abu who?” You may be asking. It shouldn’t surprise us that American news consumers do not know who he is. Always protecting the president, few media outlets reported in 2010, one year after President Obama released Abu Bakr al Baghdadi from an Iraqi jail, Baghdadi formed ISIS, and they have been on a bloody rampage of terror, death, and evil ever since.

 

revelationSome see the rapid advancement of Islam as part of the prophecy regarding the last days authority given to the beast for forty-two months to engage in war against the saints and overcome them (Revelation 13:5-7). Allegiance and worship is demanded by this “beast,” and all those whose names are not written in the Lamb’s Book of Life will follow him. Whether or not the final Muslim caliph is the Antichrist the Bible refers to remains unclear.

The fact is that pure Islam aims to dominate the world, and the hateful savagery of deceived, dedicated followers cannot remain hidden any longer. Be reminded, Islam means “submission,” and a practicing Muslim disciple is one who has submitted his life to Allah. Let’s be clear – their movement will continue to advance for a time. However, according to Ezekiel chapters 38 and 39, Islam will suffer at least a partial defeat when they come against Israel.

Many Muslims, particularly in America, appear to be moderate and do not follow all the tenets of Islam; but why don’t they publicly renounce acts of terror in the name of Islam? Sadly, we cannot ignore or forget what a small number of Muslims did in the months and years leading up to September 11, 2001. They lived among us, assimilated our culture, and carried out a massive act of terrorism that changed America forever.

Some of what I’ve written may be misinterpreted as hate speech due to those who discriminate against all Muslims because of the actions of the radicals. That kind of discrimination is wrong, just like discriminating against all Japanese citizens in America was wrong when their country bombed Pearl Harbor in 1941. We must be discerning and loving, but we also need to be informed and never back down from the truth. There are Muslims worldwide working to implement Sharia Law in as many countries as possible to fulfill their goal of global conquest.

Though America doesn’t even seem to be a blip on the radar of end times prophecy, Israel will be the one to stand its ground according to Scripture. Arab nations will come against Israel and will not succeed, but because they love bloodshed, they will be consumed by it, and their land will be desolate (Ezekiel 35:6-7, 15). Some say this prophecy against Mount Seir has already been fulfilled.

Author, evangelist, and prophecy expert Dr. David Reagan of Lamb Lion Ministries reminds us the future of all Arabs isn’t as bleak. He writes:

Like the Jews, a remnant of the Arabs will emerge from the Tribulation with their hearts turned to the one and only true God, Yahweh (Jeremiah 12:14-17). The most remarkable prophecy concerning the future salvation of an Arab remnant is contained in Isaiah 19:16-25. Isaiah says that when the Lord strikes Egypt and Assyria, they will turn to Him and He will have compassion on them and “heal them.” Isaiah then presents an incredible picture of Egypt, Assyria, and Israel living together in peace, worshiping the same God!

There are obvious contrasts between Christianity and Islam, particularly relating to end times doctrines. Nowhere in the world are Christians persecuting unbelievers, threatening lives, attacking places of worship, chasing people out of their own homes and villages while killing any who resist. However, most of us have seen headlines and news stories telling about the gruesome slaughter of Christians in what are now Muslim-dominated cities and countries.

In Mosul, for example, the Christian population was over 100,000 a decade ago. Within a month of ISIS proclaiming leadership and slaughtering minorities, estimates have dropped from 5,000 to around two hundred Christians or fewer. In the summer months of 2014, a statement was issued by ISIS, the al Qaeda offshoot, to dwindling Christian populations where the Islamic State is taking over. They are implementing a “dhimma” contract, a historic practice under which non-Muslims were protected in Muslim lands in return for a special levy. The statement added:

We offer them three choices: Islam; the dhimma contract – involving payment of jizya; if they refuse this, they will have nothing but the sword,

In some cases, ISIS gives infidels three options: Convert to Islam, pay exorbitant taxes, or be killed. Those of us in the West should not be shocked by the advancing evil in our time. Not only does the Bible predict it, but common sense says as man becomes more godless, evil will spread like disease. The fact remains evildoers need salvation through Jesus Christ.

Our reaction to terrorism and evil should be faith, love, and steadiness because it is for times such as these, Scripture is filled with the words “fear not.” The Holy Spirit that God gives believers in Christ is a spirit of power, love, and a sound mind – not one of fear (2 Timothy 1:7). We are also encouraged to stand firm and in no way be alarmed by your opponents or adversaries even if it means we are called to suffer for His sake (Philippians 1:28-29).

In light of current world events including political upheaval, we must revisit these and other relevant Bible passages with a fresh perspective.

…We keep our focus and keep the faith by remembering this life is temporary and every prophecy in Scripture will be fulfilled. We can be confident God’s justice and His judgment will prevail. Malachi 4:1-3 states:

“For behold, the day is coming, burning like a furnace; and all the arrogant and every evildoer will be chaff; and the day that is coming will set them ablaze,” says the LORD of hosts, “so that it will leave them neither root nor branch.”

“But for you who fear My name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings; and you will go forth and skip about like calves from the stall. You will tread down the wicked, for they will be ashes under the soles of your feet on the day which I am preparing,” says the LORD of hosts.

God is concerned about reconciling the world to Himself and saving the souls of mankind, not about saving the United States or preserving the earth. The day of the Lord will come like a thief, and this world as we know it will pass away and be destroyed, which is why we are looking for new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells (2 Peter 3:10-13).

…Understanding prophecy will also enable us to keep current events in perspective. With all the bad news, terror, and chaos in a shaky world today, we know how it all ends, and we can have an unshakable hope in a never-changing God. Let us worship Him with reverence and thankfulness because we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken (Hebrews 12:28).

Yes, we are to obey Jesus’ command to go and make disciples by the uncompromising preaching of the gospel. However, until we get our own houses in order, call the church back to repentance, and seek personal and corporate revival, our power and effectiveness will continue to be limited. God calls believers to holiness and obedience and says, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance (1 Peter 1:14-16).

… If however, Christians do not see the need to repent, America has no chance of preservation. Has God ever allowed any nation to survive who had so much favor and the blessing of God only to turn its back on Him? Where are the watchmen warning the church about impending danger? Is today’s church reliving history?

In the past, God would allow His people to be attacked so they might turn back to Him. Isaiah wrote to the Israelites:

your sins have hidden His face from you so that He does not hear (Isaiah 59:2). Through the prophet Joel, the Lord told them to return to Him with all their heart, even after all their disobedience and sin, reminding them He is gracious and compassionate (Joel 2:12-13).

[end of excerpt]

*Part of the conclusion to the book:

…Our silence has had tragic consequences, but from now on, let’s be prepared and useful to the Master (2 Timothy 2:21), encouraging people to be saved and lukewarm believers to return to Jesus Christ. These may be the final hours in which to take action… A time is coming when we will no longer be able to speak.

Then comes the end; when He hands over the kingdom to the God and Father, when He has abolished all rule and all authority and power. For He must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet. The last enemy that will be abolished is death (1 Corinthians 15:24-25).

 

*Click here if you missed Part 1 of this excerpt!

 

eastern-gateFrom now on I am telling you before it comes to pass, so that when it does occur, you may believe that I am He. John 13:19

(Excerpt from the closing chapter in The Cost of Our Silence)

Three major things happen when we understand Bible prophecy better: Our faith is strengthened, our hope in Christ is encouraged by the fulfillment of prophecy, and we are more excited to tell others!

Did you realize the most dominant subject in the New Testament next to salvation is the second coming of Jesus Christ? His return is our hope.

To those who trust in Him and obey His commandments, God has promised a fulfillment to our hope in Christ and security in His presence for eternity. The entire Bible points to Jesus Christ, and prophecy should encourage us to dig deeper into the Word of God, marvel at its perfection, and trust its truth – particularly concerning what is yet to come.

According to scholars, there are 1,845 references to the return of Jesus Christ in the pages of the Bible. In fact, references to the second coming outnumber references to the first appearance of Jesus by an 8 to 1 margin! We easily get lost and overwhelmed by prophecies and their meaning until we take a closer, more concentrated look. At least one quarter of the Bible is prophecy (some suggest one third), so we must make a sincere effort to understand these Scriptures.

Jesus’ return is highlighted in seventeen Old Testament books, and within the twenty-seven New Testament books, there are 321 mentions of the second coming. This latter number equates to one out of every thirty verses in which the return of Christ is mentioned.

Prophecy indicates believers who are alive when He returns will be ushered into the kingdom of heaven (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18). All of the promises in the Old Testament to Israel will be fulfilled as well as the New Testament promises to believers, and Christ will reign as King over the whole earth for one thousand years. This is the end of history as we know it: The earth will be completely destroyed (2 Peter 3:10), and the universe imploded and replaced by a new earth and new heavens in which we will be with Him forever.

Jesus prophesied saying, Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away (Luke 21:33). Jesus made this statement over 2,000 years ago, way before the printing press was invented, and today His words remain accurate, trustworthy, and indisputable. The Bible is the best-selling book of all time, and hundreds of millions of Bibles and portions of Scriptures are distributed every year worldwide.

It amazes me with all the evidence and Scripture proving the existence, deity, and truth of Jesus Christ that many still refuse to believe. One reason for this may be the fact His birth and earthly life had one purpose, but His return will have a very different purpose – the final judgment of all mankind…

The “God-breathed” sixty-six books in the Bible were written by forty different authors; men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit (2 Peter 1:21 NIV). These messengers of God came from diverse backgrounds, and Scriptures were written in three different languages over a period of 1,500 years on three different continents! There are no contradictions or inconsistencies in the Word of God, and over 25,000 archaeological finds support the fact that people, places, and events mentioned in the Bible are real and accurate. Skeptics who say they need more evidence simply do not want to believe – it is an act of the will.

What human being could have ever manufactured such an intricate plan – a masterpiece combining thousands of years of historical events, as well as prophecies, in perfect and specific detail? More importantly, what man could have created and insured the carrying out of such an elaborate story in advance, well before many of those written about were born, before nations were formed, and years before historical events had even taken place? Over a span of thousands of years, hundreds of prophecies were made by men living in different time periods and who had never met or communicated with one another!

The sum of Your word is truth, And every one of Your righteous ordinances is everlasting (Psalm 119:160).

FULFILLED BY JESUS CHRIST

In the events surrounding His birth, Jesus Christ – Emmanuel, “God with us” – fulfilled prophecies about the Messiah no other person has fulfilled. Could these events have been manipulated? As for details surrounding the crucifixion and death of Jesus, at least twenty-eight prophecies were fulfilled. Jesus Himself fulfilled more than 300 prophecies. What are the odds? For those who have an open mind, evidence produced by an honest investigation of the life and death of Christ should astound even the most intellectual skeptics and mathematicians.

In his book, Science Speaks: Scientific Proof of the Accuracy of Prophecy and the Bible, Professor Peter Stoner (1888 – 1980) calculated the probability of one man fulfilling a handful of Messianic prophecies. Stoner was Chairman of the Departments of Mathematics and Astronomy at Pasadena City College in California and Chairman of the Science Division at Westmont College in Santa Barbara. His research revealed the mathematical probability of one person fulfilling just eight of the prophecies was a mind-boggling one chance in 1017 (one, followed by 17 zeros)! The word impossible comes to mind.

The odds of one person fulfilling forty-eight prophecies equal 10 to the 157th power! Imagine the astronomical odds overcome as Jesus Christ successfully fulfilled hundreds of prophecies – which He has – and there are more to come when He returns.

God leaves nothing up to chance. Rather than provide a lengthy list here, let’s take a look at just a handful of key Bible prophecies about Jesus Christ fulfilled by Him:

  • The Messiah will be born in Bethlehem of a virgin; He will be called Immanuel and live in Nazareth (Isaiah 7:14; Micah 5:2; Matthew 2:23).
  • He will be a prophet like Moses, enter Jerusalem triumphantly, riding on a donkey (Deuteronomy 18:15; Zechariah 9:9; John 12:12-19).
  • He will be rejected by His own people and betrayed by one of His followers for thirty pieces of silver (Isaiah 53:1-3; John 1:11; Zechariah 11:12-13; Matthew 26:14-16).
  • The Messiah will be mocked, taunted, spit upon, severely beaten, and flogged (Psalm 22:7-8; Isaiah 50:6; 53:5).
  • He will be tried and condemned to die by crucifixion (Psalm 22:14-16; John 19:15-16).
  • His hands and side will be pierced; His garments will be divided by casting lots, but His bones will not be broken (Zechariah 12:10a; Psalm 22:16-18; 34:20; John 19:36).
  • The Messiah will bear the sins of many and pray for those who kill Him (Isaiah 53:12b).
  • He will suffer with sinners, die with criminals, and He will be buried with/by a rich man (Isaiah 53:12a; Matthew 27:38, 57-60).
  • The Messiah will be raised from the dead (Psalm 16:10; 30:3; 1 Corinthians 15:4-8).
  • He will make His enemies a footstool for His feet; He will be exalted and will sit at God’s right hand (Psalm 110:1; Hebrews 12:2; Acts 2:32-36; Hebrews 10:12-13).

Another interesting point occurred when Jesus told the disciples the temple in Jerusalem would be destroyed. They asked Him when that would happen and what would be the sign of His return. The first thing He said was, See to it that no one misleads you (Matthew 24:4). Jesus immediately went on to explain some of the signs to come, such as wars, rumors of wars, famines, earthquakes, false teachers, and the persecution of Christians. We are seeing all of these things today, including nations fighting nations, all of which He described as the beginning of birth pangs (Matthew 24:8).

A new level of evil has arisen as people justify more sinful behavior, bringing us to new heights of godlessness. Persecution of the godly will increase, and evil men will proceed from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived (2 Timothy 3:12-13). Some believers have departed from the faith, and even Christians are being seduced by doctrines of demons. This is a wake-up call to the remnant!

Though many good churches exist in America and people are still being saved, it is only by the grace and mercy of God and the presence of active, committed believers, His true church, that the Holy Spirit’s presence and power is restraining more evil in our land. I certainly would not want to be around when the church is gone and Christians are raptured.

Believe it or not, with all the warnings from Scripture and the signs we are beginning to witness, people will still be surprised and caught off guard when Christ returns (1 Thessalonians 5:2-5).

You may have heard the story about Ruth Graham responding to Billy Graham after she read a draft of a book he was writing. She said to her husband, “Billy, if God doesn’t punish the United States of America, He’s going to have to apologize to Sodom and Gomorrah!” Some sources indicate she made that statement in the mid-1960s, not long after the Bible and voluntary prayer to God were banned from government schools.

…At the return of Jesus Christ, He will enter the city through the now cemented and sealed Eastern Gate (Ezekiel 44:1-3; Nehemiah 3:29). This significant city gate is one of eight gates to Jerusalem and was walled up by Muslim conquerors in the 16th century. Just as the Bible teaches, the Eastern Gate to the city remains closed and will be sealed until the Messiah returns. The glory of the Lord will come by way of the gate facing toward the east (Ezekiel 43:4). The Eastern Gate is the only one that has been shut for 500 years.

This is both interesting and significant due to the fact the city walls and gates in Jerusalem have been torn down and rebuilt more than once. And when they were rebuilt, it was always on the same spots. The oldest city gate, the Eastern Gate was the only one not to be rebuilt by Suleiman the Magnificent around AD 1540. In addition, some of the massive stones in the wall were identified as masonry from the 6th Century BC, which is during the time the prophet Nehemiah rebuilt the city walls and gates.

Read the entire book excerpt here:

christmas without christOn Christmas, most of us will gather with family or friends, exchange presents, watch kids tear through wrapped boxes in record time, and eat way too much food. Others will be faced with loneliness, health or financial issues, a broken family, and some will consider suicide.

But it’s “the most wonderful time of the year,” right?

The truth is even Christians don’t always feel joy and peace in this world or with other people. In fact, conflict often seems to be the norm. This temporary world is not our home as our citizenship is in Heaven (Phil. 3:20) and we truly are just passing through. But why does lasting peace seem so elusive, even during Christmastime?

Isn’t there supposed to be “peace on earth”? What did the angels mean when they appeared to the shepherds praising God and saying,

“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased.” Luke 2:14

The only true peace we can have – on this earth – is by doing God’s will and pleasing Him. This requires faith (Hebrews 11:6) because only through the shed blood of Christ on the cross can we find forgiveness, reconciliation, and peace with God. This however, doesn’t mean we will have peace with people.

Jesus said,

Do you suppose that I came to grant peace on earth? I tell you, no, but rather division; (Luke 12:51)… “Therefore everyone who confesses Me before men, I will also confess him before My Father who is in heaven. But whoever denies Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father who is in heaven. Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. (Matthew 10:32-34)

The world is divided over Jesus. A baby in a feeding trough called a “manger” is not confrontational or threatening. But that baby born in Bethlehem of Judea grew up and declared that He is the Truth and no one comes to the Father except through Him (John 14:6).

Lots of folks would have preferred that Jesus remain an infant because at Christmas, the world can look at the baby Jesus on a bale of hay and think, ‘how cute,’ and then go on living however they want with no thought of the future. Millions of people say they’re happy and at peace without God, but Jesus also said “whoever is not for Me is against Me,” and He confronts that which is not based on a personal relationship with Him.

But how do we reconcile the angel’s proclamation of peace with what Jesus said?

Pastor John Mac Arthur writes about the Paradox of Christmas, that on that holy night 2,000 years ago:

“One star lit the Heavens and marked the spot where the Christ was born, where God was made flesh. Today a million neon signs mark the spot where the sale begins, or where you can throw away your money buying what isn’t needed…

The babe of Bethlehem was born a Savior to give to men all that they need. He has been replaced by a huckster named Santa Claus…”

If you find yourself getting too busy, rushing around buying things, overwhelmed with preparations or piling up credit card debt, stop! Cancel your Christmas traditions and worship Jesus. Sadly, Christmas is the only time many people forget to invite the guest of honor to His own birthday celebration!

Christians see the birth of Christ as the most glorious event of the world next to His resurrection through which He defeated death. To others, Christmas is a reminder of what could be, but the lures of this world, pride, and the desire to live what they think is their best life now trumps the truth of the gospel and eternal destinations.

Jesus Christ is the Cornerstone of our faith; Isaiah refers to Him as “a precious cornerstone for a sure foundation (Isaiah 28:16).”

You can only celebrate Christmas with real joy and peace if your trust is in the Good Shepherd because if you don’t believe, then Christ is a “rock of offense” or a stumbling stone. He is precious to us who are saved, but offensive to the world; so much so they avoid any reminders of God, their sin, judgment, and accountability.

The hostility toward Christians escalates almost daily it seems, and this time of year, ongoing efforts to remove nativity scenes from public places continue. Due to people claiming to be offended, many Christmas carols are now prohibited in public schools and other places, and atheists keep placing billboards attacking our faith. Even many department stores and websites avoid using the word “Christmas.”

fighting over presents

Lots of people who do not believe in God or Jesus still buy and exchange presents, go to parties, and maybe even attend church on Christmas Day. It is what most Americans have always done.

It’s not a war against Christmas, but against the person, truth, and deity of Jesus Christ.

Pastor Greg Laurie wrote about the conflict of Christmas reminding us of the spiritual warfare going on all around us…

One of the unexpected passages in the Bible that deals with the subject of Christmas is found in Revelation 12, where we have the picture of a woman being pursued by a powerful dragon who seeks her death. As she is preparing to give birth to a child, the dragon hovers over her, wanting to destroy the baby. The woman is a picture of Israel, the child is Jesus Christ, and the dragon is Satan.

In verse five, the male child is described “who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron.” There may not necessarily be a culture war, but there sure is a spiritual war going on. For those who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus, the devil (dragon) is at war with us (Revelation 12:17).

The angel Gabriel announced the holy Child shall be called the son of God (Luke 1:35). To Mary, he also said:

And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name Him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David; and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and His kingdom will have no end.” Luke 1:31-33 (NASB)

No wonder Satan was furious! No wonder people are offended. Old Testament prophecies and the picture of the Messiah were and are coming together. This baby would be surrounded by controversy and upheaval.

Even when Mary and Joseph took baby Jesus to the temple to be dedicated, a righteous and devout man named Simeon was there “looking for the consolation of Israel; and the Holy Spirit was upon him.” When he saw Jesus, he praised God saying, “My eyes have seen your salvation… (Luke 2:30).” They were encouraged and warned at the same time.

And His father and mother were amazed at the things which were being said about Him. And Simeon blessed them and said to Mary His mother, “Behold, this Child is appointed for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and for a sign to be opposed— and a sword will pierce even your own soul—to the end that thoughts from many hearts may be revealed.” Luke 2:33-35

In order for us to be adopted into the family of God, Jesus, “born of a woman, born under the law” was sent here on a rescue mission to redeem us at the perfect time (Galatians 4:4-5).

A strange way to save the world? Perhaps; but it was God’s plan all along!

Preaching on the day of Pentecost, the Apostle Peter declared to the people regarding Jesus, “delivered over by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men and put Him to death. But God raised Him up again (Acts 2:23-24)…”

In this truth – in Him – we hope.

Let’s pray for those who feel hopeless, depressed, confused, lonely, or lost. Christians should not only understand what’s at stake, but as messengers of reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5:18) we should share the glad tidings of great joy. This never gets old:

For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. (John 3:16)

Someone once said that the hinge of history is on the door of Bethlehem’s stable. Opposition is guaranteed; salvation is not; but in Christ, God has provided the way. Let’s do our part to point people in the right direction and get them on the road leading from the manger through the cross to His throne. God has done the rest.

Merry Christmas!

from manger to cross

For you yourselves know full well that the day of the Lord will come just like a thief in the night. While they are saying, “Peace and safety!” then destruction will come upon them suddenly like labor pains upon a woman with child, and they will not escape. But you, brethren, are not in darkness, that the day would overtake you like a thief; 2 Thessalonians 5:2-4

hitler and mueller

If the foundations are destroyed what can the righteous do? Psalm 11:3

Looking back at history and comparing early America to today, few would deny the fact the transformation has been drastic and the moral decay great. Were there warning signs and if so, why were they not heeded? Consequences of Christians backing out of culture include open promotion of sin, a nation in which God has practically been blotted out, bigger government and less freedom, a virtually ineffective church, and the fact we have nearly lost the battle for righteousness.

Prior to the acceleration of our decline however, Christians in the 1800s were gaining converts, momentum, and influence. Some consider that century the greatest missionary century in history. Our culture, institutions, laws, and businesses were influenced by Christians who, for the most part, were not ashamed to live their faith publicly and discuss spiritual things.

As the 1900s rolled around, things began changing as America experienced economic success and cultural advances. Several factors including busier lives, increased population, and worldly temptations led many believers to back out of public involvement in political and social issues.

By 1918, all states required mandatory school attendance for children, and the public education movement in America rapidly expanded in the decades to follow, soon to be infiltrated by progressives. By more or less withdrawing from culture, Christian leaders gave humanists and secularists control of major institutions, including higher education, government, the judiciary, media, and the entertainment industry.

The results have been devastating. This spiritual war had been going on from the beginning, but suddenly it seemed as if the primary battleground and prize possession was the United States. Major conflicts were brewing within America. As you read this, you may be saying to yourself “but where were the religious leaders and why weren’t more Christians taking a stand?” Can we not ask the same questions today?

We must realize evil is at work all around us, and there is nothing new under the sun. When depravity and immorality appear more prevalent in society, one of the main causes can be traced to silent or inactive Christians. This environment sets the stage for emboldened agendas against God, His Word, and His people…

Discrimination toward Christians in America is increasing and we tolerate a faulty understanding of the First Amendment. As society becomes more corrupt and godless, those who hate God no longer feel the need to be subtle about it. Where they used to simply disagree with us, today they want to remove the “conservative opposition” by silencing us.

Opponents of the biblical Christian worldview are not satisfied with just denying God exists as they fight to stop our moral influence on culture. Our choice to trust in Jesus Christ rubs them the wrong way, and they now feel emboldened to go so far as to take away that option for anyone else. We are at this pivotal point in our history because Christians not only allowed the secularization of America, some have welcomed it…

Most of our Founding Fathers would have testified to the fact that this country was based on the morals and values in the Holy Bible. Standing for truth demanded a firm foundation without abandonment of principles and standards. It is so much easier to compromise than to reverse the devastating consequences of compromise.

Citizens of Germany know all about compromise. Perhaps one of the more known and respected Christian martyrs of the 20th century is Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a German theologian and conservative Lutheran pastor famous for his stand against Adolf Hitler and the Nazi socialist party. He refused to compromise, and his beliefs and convictions ultimately cost him his life days before the Allies invaded Germany in 1945. Bonhoeffer once said:

If the heart is devoted to the mirage of the world, to the creature instead of the Creator, the disciple is lost … However urgently Jesus may call us, His call fails to find access to our hearts … for they have already been given to another.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s words should keep true believers inspired and motivated: “Silence in the face of evil is itself evil;”

As Chancellor of Germany in 1933, Hitler promised, “The rights of the churches will not be curtailed.” He flat out lied.

Looking back in regret for not opposing Hitler years earlier, Niemoller admitted he was betrayed. Laws were passed preventing churches from interfering in politics, and the Nazis systematically limited church influence in society…

In Germany, the churches were kept quiet by force; in America, the churches have been silent due to self-inflicted apathy (for now).

How long will true Christians and freedom-loving Americans allow a power-hungry, corrupt government to bully and intimidate us? How about when activist judges overrule the people – should we be silent? Governing authorities in Germany had the same agenda in 1935 as radicals and the left in America have today: Eliminate all Christian influence over public life…

Many have asked how such a thing as Hitler’s Nazism rose to dominance in a once Christian nation on the very cutting edge of civilization. Author Scott Alan Buss concluded that whenever God is removed, something or someone else must take His place. Buss writes:

I now know that a nation that is Christian in name only is no farther from hellish barbarism than that which openly professes allegiance to a pagan god or no god at all. I now know that the paths of historic Germany and contemporary America are founded on a solid, clear, and powerful line of logic. It all begins with one simple, all-encompassing and worldview defining principle: There is no God.

America has not been far behind Europe in many aspects of society. If there was ever a time for Christians to shout from the rooftops and warn others, that time is now…

Keep in mind this is but a set-up for the Antichrist. What is happening in America and around the world is paving the way for the ultimate government that will be god to the people. The “man of lawlessness” is waiting in the wings, but Jesus Christ will ultimately bring godly government to the world during the millennium.

America and the world are heading toward exactly what the Bible predicted… children praying in 1962

Proverbs 14:34 states,” Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people.” America will either advance toward a God-sent revival or an irreversible decline; it depends on the course Christians choose. Who will stand for righteousness in culture?

Perhaps the better question is – who will stand for righteousness in America?

*From the 2015 book, The Cost of Our Silence, this is a portion of an extensive book excerpt from chapter 2, “Failing to Learn From History –  click here to read more:

1scandal

Some important stories drew the public’s attention last week including the heated debate over national security; open borders, ISIS, welcoming refugees to America, and teachers promoting Islam in public schools.

Overlooked however, were television ads featuring two dads, the news about Target Corporation fully backing radical LGBT legislation (so-called “Equality Act”) that would criminalize Christianity, and not surprisingly, prime time promotion of abortion.

Losing public support due to its many scandals, what’s an abortion giant to do? Have Hollywood promote your godless cause!

Writing for Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), Marissa Poulson asked,

It can’t get any worse than abortionists advertising fresh baby parts to the highest bidder and pulling dead babies out of the freezer, right? We already told you about Katie Couric’s problematic PR visit to Planned Parenthood, but last night’s winter finale of Scandal was one big, hour-long Planned Parenthood advertisement.

I’ve never seen the show and had no idea it’s been on television since 2012, but in this episode, the character Olivia (Kerry Washington) gets an abortion for convenience.

One of the big lies the industry of death promotes is abortion liberates women, but the end result of this controversial practice is not that women get a free pass to avoid the responsibility of motherhood; it is the fact human lives are considered expendable.

Not many shows have tackled the abortion issue in such detail, but to state the obvious, Scandal and most prime time series have no problem openly glorifying adultery and of course, homosexuality. Its pilot episode involved a conservative Christian Republican being told by Olivia that he should embrace his same-sex attraction and put those “bigoted Christian values and voices” behind him.

But if you think you’ve heard the worst part of this offensive story, think again.

During the scene in which Olivia prepares to have her baby ripped out and its life destroyed, surgical instruments are shown and as the abortionist begins the horrific procedure, the background music they chose for this event was, wait for it – the Christmas song, Silent Night.

You know the lyrics, don’t you?

…Round yon Virgin, mother and child; Holy infant, so tender and mild; Sleep in heavenly peace.

3scandalHollywood uses one of the most brutal acts the Bible refers to as child sacrifice to mock the Savior of the world who in reality was “born that man no more may die,” to quote another Christmas song.

The show is simply another display of Hollywood’s moral depravity, pushing the envelope of decency…

The Bible teaches that sin separates us from God and we all need forgiveness. It is God’s will that people be saved and come to know the truth, but how can they have an opportunity to receive a ‘second birth’ if they are not allowed a first one?

Read more and share the GOOD news:

 

broken ten commandments

How did one of the greatest Christian societies in the world decline to the point in which Bible-believing Christians may soon be criminalized in our own country? What happened to America’s Judeo-Christian foundation? Consider the concept of “cultural hegemony” and let’s look at some history.

Karl Marx believed faith in God was like a bad drug. He once said, “The first requisite for the happiness of the people is the abolition of religion.” Disciples of Marxism believe in and work toward a state-controlled, godless paradise. Capitalism and western civilization have been in their way. In fact, Marx claimed that mankind’s foundation was the history of the “class struggle.”

Antonio_GramsciFollowing in his footsteps in the early 1900s, atheist, philosopher, and founder of the Communist Party of Italy, Antonio Gramsci believed the new battleground must become the culture. America would never be defeated militarily. In order to overthrow the greatest nation on earth, Marxists had to destroy the traditional family, weaken our morality, and infiltrate churches, schools, media, entertainment, literature, and academia. And they did.

Gramsci believed the goals of Karl Marx would never be reached as long as Christianity was strong in America. He was right! Antonio Gramsci was known for promoting the concept of cultural hegemony; grinding down the morality of a culture to destroy its foundation. He was patient; and he thought of this agenda as a long, evolutionary march through the major institutions in America in order to break down the wall of Christianity over a few generations.

Have disciples of Marx and Gramsci been successful?

Gramsci was a key influence of Chicago radical, father of community organizing, Saul Alinsky who as many of us now know heavily influenced Barack Obama…

Over the last fifty to seventy-five years, the decline has been swift in America, and the decay of our culture has accelerated while the church became more comfortable and apathetic. Too many professing Christians were conforming to the world as anti-Christian agendas were being implemented; a lethal combination.

A global movement toward ecumenism, (unity among all churches and religions), and a one world government are in the works as the Middle East is on the brink of self destruction if not nuclear war. America keeps printing money as big government refuses to cut spending and reduce the national debt. Racism is being incited by the Left, the economy could soon implode, and with wide open borders, illegal immigration is at epic proportions.

The stage is set for disaster…

Read more:

cmp vid collage

Within the last thirty days, more Planned Parenthood videos have been released exposing their callous attitude toward life; an assistant football coach was banned from praying on the field after games, the gender neutral bathroom debate is heating up, and Bruce Jenner is going to be named woman of the year by Glamour Magazine.

This is the culture our past silence has cultivated in America.

Even more disturbing is the fact we have a biased media taking sides, particularly regarding the issue of abortion. Katie Yoder of the Media Research Center reports it has been three months and counting since ABC, NBC, and CBS have even mentioned any of the disturbing video footage provided by The Center for Medical Progress.

You read that right: more than three months of media silence as more undercover videos have been released exposing Planned Parenthood’s exploitation of aborted fetal tissue. The last mention by a major network was July 31.

Here are a few of the headlines ABC, NBC and CBS has refused to investigate:

• Planned Parenthood Partner Jokes about Shipping Intact Baby Heads
• Gosnell-Like Horror: Abortion Worker Describes Cutting Open Baby with ‘Beating Heart’
• Planned Parenthood Workers Laugh Over Babies ‘All Mixed Up Together in a Bag’
• VIDEO: Abortion Workers ‘Would Just Take’ Baby Parts from Women – Without Consent!

Most Americans believe our tax dollars should not help fund abortion. Over 80 percent also believe abortion should have at least some lawful restrictions placed on it, and many say what Planned Parenthood is doing is either evil or wrong. According to past studies however, less than five percent of the media is pro-life. This helps explain their willingness to cover-up abortion business practices.

center for m p

In fact, we’ve seen the media attack those who are attempting to report the truth as well as those working to ban federal funding of the giant abortion provider. Yoder stated:

They’re ignoring these terrible headlines of abortion workers cutting open babies and Planned Parenthood partners joking about shipping intact baby heads.

Many in today’s liberal media forget two important principles of journalism: an obligation to tell the truth and its first loyalty to American citizens. Journalism must also maintain independence from those they cover. It is now quite clear their reporting has been tainted by their support for pro-abortion Democrats and by a worldview that ignores America’s culture of death.

For those who need more proof:

Since the release of the first video on July 14, the broadcast networks have proven hesitant to publicize the story – and when they did, they refused to even utter the word “baby.” Two months after the first video’s release, ABC, NBC and CBS had aired a mere 0.13% of the CMP footage during their news shows – or 1 minute, 13 seconds of more than 16 hours.

The media’s loyalty to big abortion was further revealed when they overwhelmingly reported on Cecil the lion, and on panda cubs at the National Zoo while ignoring the harvesting and selling of human baby body parts.

cmp vid quote

Even in the horrifying case of Philadelphia abortionist and mass murderer, Kermit Gosnell, and his trial in which witnesses described baby abortion survivors “swimming” in toilets “to get out,” it was only after 56 days, multiple letters from members of the House of Representatives and a public outcry, that all three broadcast networks reported the story.

The networks have now skipped over the last SEVEN videos exposing Planned Parenthood; this is by design.

At the risk of stating the obvious, the media has power to influence people, affect public opinion, and sway elections – and they do. But we are talking about the most basic of issues here, the precious right to life – and the value of every human being created in the image of God. We are talking about morality. To cover up sin and to refuse to acknowledge blatant evil is a disservice not only to Christians, but to millions of Americans.

cmp video

Check out my new website and book, The Cost of Our Silence

New Age gurus

Oprah Winfrey has become more influential than most of America’s pastors and religious leaders. Too many people today follow pop-culture icons and celebrities and even many Christians end up believing their teachings. Oprah has launched book sales and resuscitated careers for many authors and spiritual gurus while giving proponents of higher spirituality a platform, particularly those who promote a New Age philosophy.

In one interview on her network, OWN, she asked Deepak Chopra and other leading spiritual thinkers about God; remember, she promotes these folks and their teachings as truth. It went like this:

Oprah: What is your definition of God?

Deepak Chopra: God is the evolutionary impulse of the universe…

Debbie Ford: A spiritual energy. It has no denomination, it has no judgment…

Wayne Dyer: God is the highest place within each and every one of us. It’s our divine self.

Gary Zukav: I don’t have a definition of God, because I’ve never really understood that word…

Marianne Williamson: An all-encompassing love that is the source of all, the reality of all, and the being through which I am.

Eckhart Tolle: God is beyond all the forms of life, but also indwells every form of life as their essence. God is both beyond and within.

Remember this: Satan disguises himself as an angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:13-15), and in these last days, false prophets and teachers will deceive many professing Christians. Jesus warned true believers many times to be watchful and to “be not deceived.”

Jesus clearly stated, “I am the way, the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through me (John 14:6).” He is the Alpha and the Omega, was with God in the beginning, and became flesh (Rev. 22:13, John 1:1-2). Moreover, Jesus created all things and sustains all things (Colossians 1:15-17).

Oprah has made many confusing claims in the past including:

I am a Christian who believes that there are certainly many more paths to God other than Christianity. I’m a free-thinking Christian who believes in my way, but I don’t believe it’s the only way.

(The following is an excerpt from my first book, Eradicate: Blotting Out God in America, from the chapter, “Emerging Into Confusion.”)

In his book, For Many Shall Come in My Name, Ray Yungen describes the term “New Age” as based on astrology. Some believe there are cosmic cycles in which the Earth passes through a time period when it falls “under the influence of a certain sign of the zodiac.” This is a belief system stating that everything exists and revolves around energy containing tiny particles: atoms, molecules, protons, etc.

All is energy. That energy, they believe, is God, and therefore, all is God. They believe that since we are all part of this ‘God-energy’, then we,too, are God. God is not seen as a Being that dwells in heaven, but as the universe itself.

Many New Age proponents strive for a “Christ consciousness” or a “higher consciousness” in an effort to become more aware of these spiritual realms; the most direct way to achieve this is through meditation, “a primary source of spiritual direction of the New Age person.”

There are great resources available on the occult practices and history. It is so important to immerse ourselves into the Word of God and study to show ourselves approved by Him. We must be discerning about things such as: contemplative prayer, “centering prayer” and mantras, the law of attraction, witchcraft and Harry Potter, the Kabbala, spiritual formation, Labyrinth walking, and Wicca.

Teachings promoted by well-known celebrities (or best-selling authors) are dangerous because people tend to believe and follow those they idolize.

How can there be only one way to heaven or to God? – Oprah Winfrey

You may have heard about A Course in Miracles, written by well-known New Age representative Helen Schucman, who claims the book came directly from her inner voice. In the course, the listener is taught there is no sin, they are told not to make the “mistake” of “clinging to the old rugged cross,” and that the name of “Jesus Christ as such is but a symbol.”

Oprah has done many good things to help people, but does that mean we should trust her theology and religious beliefs? I’m not judging her heart because we are all wicked without the atonement of Jesus Christ. [Some] Christian pastors have warned about the teachings promoted by Oprah. A Course in Miracles teaches that God is in everyone and everything and that “the oneness of the Creator and the creation is your wholeness, your sanity, and your limitless power.” Wow.

Maybe you’re an Oprah fan and have always defended her, or maybe you had no idea what she believes. In an interview with Oprah, New Age author and mystic Eckhart Tolle criticized Christianity and also took live calls from viewers. Tolle stated:

The moment you say ‘only me belief’ or ‘our belief’ is true, and you deny other people’s beliefs, then you’ve adopted an ideology… and then religion becomes a closed door.

Oprah told the caller to simply realize Christianity is but one of many ways to achieve the higher consciousness, and the belief that one must follow a set of doctrines is a consequence of “ego consciousness.” [Always the opportunist, she should talk about ego?]

She holds that while Christianity is a valid way to achieve high states of spirituality, it must not be considered a unique way, or a “correct way.” Oprah believes God is all love, and she does not subscribe to the teaching that He is also a holy, jealous, just, and vengeful God. She told her audience:

The new spirituality is that you are your own best authority as you work to know and love yourself, you discover how to live a more spiritual life.

Sadly, millions of spiritual seekers have been led astray; and due to Oprah’s popularity, people have opened themselves up to all kinds of practices, religions, and teachings contrary to the gospel of Jesus Christ and biblical Christianity.

We need to pray for her and for those who may blindly hang on her every word, or the words of any secular celebrity.  Oprah is not the enemy – she is deceived – but she obviously believes she has the answers regarding God, spirituality, and eternity. People need to be warned; countless unsuspecting souls following her and those like her are being led away from the One true God and down a path of destruction… (end of excerpt)

Why is this important? A majority of young people today identify as being spiritual, not religious, and they trust their celebrity role models, even when it comes to bad theology. Some have already fallen for New Age teachings and tragically, many within our church denominations have been influenced by New Age authors and gurus. Sure, Oprah has done some good things with her massive wealth, but countless unsuspecting souls following her and those like her are being led away from the One true God down a path of destruction. Do we care enough to warn them?

More on the New Age or “new spirituality” movement:

Deceived by Higher, “Christ Consciousness,” & the New Age

The New Age Paganism: Infecting the Church like Cancer by Bob DeWaay

Many Shall Come In My Name – author and former New Ager, Warren Smith on Understanding the Times
radio (interview)

The Daniel Plan and a Heaping Cup of New Age

Oprah’s at it again, declaring she’s a Christian

Video: Audience interaction on her show and Oprah denying Jesus Christ and the Bible on live TV

Kim Davis and media

Some say Kim Davis should have resigned rather than go to jail; others say she should have obeyed the laws of the land and issued marriage licenses to whoever wanted them. Some ask why she is the only government employee refusing to go along with the Supreme Court’s ruling while others insist she must obey the authorities even though it would go against her faith.

There are so many angles and subplots to this multi-faceted issue; some we hear over and over while others do not get much air time. One thing is certain: America has changed and we have taken our freedoms for granted for way too long.

If you haven’t heard, Kim Davis, a county clerk from Kentucky was released September 8 after having been sent to jail for six days because she refused to issue marriage licenses to homosexuals citing religious objections and matters of conscience. Davis stated:

To issue a marriage license which conflicts with God’s definition of marriage, with my name affixed to the certificate, would violate my conscience.

One point of interest is the fact Davis, a relatively new Christian, was elected to her position as Rowan County Clerk and was sworn in before the Supreme Court ruled in favor of same-sex “marriage,” and also at a time when 75% of Kentucky citizens supported natural marriage between one man and one woman.

Yes, the opinion of five liberal Justices disregarded and ignored the will of over 51 million Americans in over 30 states who had taken the time to vote in their state elections to protect God-ordained marriage. However, the law of the land has now changed dramatically.

Though our Founding Fathers set up a system in which all three government branches were accountable to the people, the nation they envisioned and established is past history. Early American patriots who died fighting for freedom would be astonished today that the citizens the Constitution was written to protect have done little to speak up in protest of the corruption, growth, and immorality of our government.

Kim Davis has been personally attacked and insulted by some on the Left and in the media including liberal talk shows such as The View. She has been labeled a hypocrite because of her four past marriages, but her divorces actually took place prior to Davis becoming a Christian four years ago.

You and I can now expect opposition, discrimination, and perhaps persecution should any of us take a stand for Jesus Christ and God’s Word.

It is imperative we acknowledge first this battle is not against flesh and blood (Ephesians 6:12). This is part of a massive spiritual war. This is also not a battle over marriage alone; it is about defending the advancement of an evil, anti-Christian agenda whose proponents are systematically working to remove any remaining moral anchors in American society. marriage_license

Then there is the issue of the Constitution and those sworn to uphold it. Why have several elites including President Obama, Eric Holder, Hillary Clinton, and Lois Lerner (to name only a few) avoided scrutiny and accountability when it comes to obeying federal laws?

What about the sanctuary cities in the country? Elected state leaders such as the Mayor of San Francisco, openly refuse to enforce federal laws on immigration and few other than Bill O’Reilly, Mark Levin, and Ted Cruz point out the lawlessness. Or what about the seven attorneys general including those in Oregon, California, Illinois, and Nevada who refused to obey their own state gay-marriage bans earlier this year?

No media. No backlash. No jail. Double standard? No kidding.

Thomas Jefferson and many others warned against tyranny in America if a decision is rendered that is not born out of the will of the people through the political process and their elected representatives. To naively say something is the law of the land because the Court decided, is to surrender to judicial tyranny. What if a court ruled it is illegal for blacks to marry Hispanics?

But here’s another question: why haven’t there been millions more like Kim Davis speaking up across the country? When asked by activists, “under whose authority” was she withholding marriage licenses, she said “Under God’s authority.” Being unsure of her theology or her Apostolic church’s apparent denial of the trinity, I am not endorsing her church or her doctrinal beliefs.

Moreover, I am not putting this woman on a pedestal or mentioning her in the same sentence as Martin Luther King as a few folks have done. She is not a hero. A patriot, perhaps, but most importantly, Davis is a Christian who had the courage to speak up; forgiven of her sins just as any of us who have accepted the grace of God through faith in Jesus.

We can and should look to her example as one who chose Christ over culture, knowing elites in America no longer tolerate those who strive to live our faith in public. Davis stated:

Following the death of my godly mother-in-law over four years ago, I went to church to fulfill her dying wish,” Davis said. “There I heard a message of grace and forgiveness and surrendered my life to Jesus Christ. I am not perfect. No one is. But I am forgiven and I love my Lord and must be obedient to Him and to the Word of God.

Some may argue Scripture teaches submission to all governing authorities “established by God” (Romans 13:1) because the Apostle Paul wrote about God and human government in a society; but we also must look to the example the Disciples set for us who, after being threatened, boldly proclaimed, “We must obey God rather than men (Acts 5:29).” Who’s right?

Caesar Nero, a horrible dictator, was in charge of Rome at the time Paul wrote:

Therefore you must be subject, not only because of wrath but also for conscience’ sake. For because of this you also pay taxes, for they are God’s ministers attending continually to this very thing (Rom. 13:5-6).

Though he admitted having a hard time with some of these verses, author and Pastor Skip Heitzig added:

Now, is there ever a time to violate a government’s rule? Yes—whenever a government commands us to do what God forbids, or forbids us to do what God commands. We ultimately obey a higher law, and that is God’s law. But even so, we as Christians have a responsibility—and here’s the hardest part of the message—to respect, submit to, and pray for human government and authority. We are to be, out of all people, model citizens.

So let this be another warning to the 244 million (according to Gallup) Americans – a majority – who believe the Bible is God’s Word. Looking deeper into this Gallup poll however, only 28% of us believe the Bible is literally God’s Word and is completely true.

One takeaway from the Kim Davis saga should be a wake-up call to all “practicing” people of faith: an American citizen was imprisoned because she was exercising her Christian faith and freedom of conscience. She was sent to jail! Until the past decade, our nation has always protected religious freedom for Christians and non-Christians alike.

When our founders wrote the First Amendment to the Constitution, one of the drafts included an emphasis on preventing government from respecting or establishing one denomination over another. This fact reveals they presupposed the people and nation to be Christian; not atheist, Buddhist, Humanist, Muslim, or any other religion. Today however, we live with the watered-down interpretation of America’s founding documents  inclusive of any and all religious beliefs or practices, even non-religions.

Concluding with key questions to true Christians:

• Who are we trying to please, God or man?
• Do we believe the whole Bible and take Jesus Christ at His word?
• Are we prepared to live in these last days and share the gospel knowing expressions of our faith in public will be increasingly threatened?
• Are we willing to sacrifice comfort, reputation, and security in this world for our King as well as for eternal rewards?

Let’s not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good (Romans 12:21). Because of past decades in which a majority of Christians have been silent, we’re now seeing obvious consequences including persecution by the same folks who claim they simply want to coexist with us. Regardless, our mission to be witnesses for Jesus Christ has not changed.

We’ve arrived at an historic moment in this nation’s history many of us knew was coming, but hesitated to admit. Be reminded the victory is ours in Christ and our labor in the Lord is never in vain (1 Cor. 15:57-58). Live well and love, always keeping an eternal perspective because as important as this journey is, the final destination is what truly matters.

Check out my new book at Aneko Press: The Cost of Our Silence

ultrasound procedure

When a society turns its back on their Creator or forgets Him; when they choose to live for themselves and for worthless idols, and when they no longer see a need for biblical morality, destruction is an obvious result. If you profess to be a Christian and claim to support life, your actions should match your words. Have you spoken up?
Every year, over 1.2 million abortions take place in the United States.

A sixth video exposing Planned Parenthood has just been released. The video shows how the abortion business sells body parts of aborted babies without patient consent.

The fact Planned Parenthood has been caught literally red handed shouldn’t surprise us. Abortion has been the law of the land for decades – and now some folks are upset baby body parts are being harvested and sold? If you’re suddenly disgusted by this, where have you been for the last several decades?

Why no outcry over the ongoing elimination of millions of these lives? Why no revolt over the confiscation of our tax dollars to fund what most of us consider unbiblical if not pure evil? Ray Comfort recently said:

When Hitler killed Jews, he got their possessions, their paintings, their houses, their cars, their bank accounts, the gold out of their teeth and the hair from their head. Killing Jews wasn’t just about Darwin’s “survival of the fittest.” It was about making money to finance his cause.

Why has it taken conservative investigative journalists to go undercover and present audio and video proof of how low America continues to stoop? Regardless of the fact the pro-abortion media refuses to report the whole truth, we already knew what abortion mills were doing. Sadly, many of us chose to look the other way as we contribute to the slaughter by electing men who do not fear God.

God’s Word and His law trumps man’s word and man’s law – every time, in every possible situation. Scripture holds abortion to be sin and in America, it used to be illegal. But how did we “progress” from Roe vs Wade to convicted murderer, Kermit Gosnell, to Planned Parenthood destroying fetuses and selling baby parts? Margaret Sanger would be proud.

It took less than fifty years.

In a chapter in my book, The Cost of Our Silence, I discuss the fascinating case transcript for Roe vs Wade and some of the arguments presented. The ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union) represented plaintiff, Jane Roe (Norma McCorvey), to secure the legal right to kill babies throughout the USA – abortion on demand. They pushed her to get a signature on the affidavit, and since she was struggling with alcohol, drugs, and depression at the time, she was exactly what the ACLU wanted.

A confused, vulnerable, pregnant woman in dire circumstances was exploited in order to sell the option for women to be allowed to “choose” to kill their babies rather than give birth if they thought their circumstances were not optimal.

The lesser-known story is Norma gave her life to the Lord in 1995 and admitted she was used and “persuaded by feminist attorneys to lie; to say I was raped and needed an abortion. It was all a lie.” Her book, Won by Love, as well as pro-life efforts have made a difference in recent years as more truth has been exposed.

Remember, powers reserved for states are not to be infringed upon by the federal government. The Tenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution reads:

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.

Just four states had legalized abortion in 1973, while forty-six states restricted abortion, but the Supreme Court decided to enforce an unwanted law on the entire country. The ruling continues to eliminate precious lives as it divides American families, the church, and political parties today.

Though sexual promiscuity, feminism, and abortions were increasing prior to the landmark case, it truly was a catalyst of epic proportions. Sarah Weddington represented Norma McCorvey and Robert Flowers represented Henry Wade and the State of Texas. In her opening statement, Weddington suggested a baby was a burden:

A pregnancy to a woman is perhaps one of the most determinative aspects of her life. It disrupts her body. It disrupts her education. It disrupts her employment. And it often disrupts her entire family life.

Calling the precious gift of human life a disruption reminds me of the warped worldview of President Obama. He stated if one of his daughters got pregnant, “I don’t want them punished with a baby.” He has also gone on record to say, “God bless Planned Parenthood.”

Today, doctors give babies in the womb pain medication during surgical procedures. Why? They feel pain, period. Keep in mind back in 1973 they did not have ultrasound, sonograms, and other technology. Regardless, person-hood of the fetus has been clearly established.

Citing the transcript of Roe vs Wade, Sarah Weddington also stated:

In this case, it has never been established that the fetus is a person, or that it’s entitled to the Fourteenth Amendment rights, or the protection of the Constitution.

As the case was being argued, Supreme Court Justice Stewart stated:

Well, if – if it were established that an unborn fetus is a person, with the protection of the Fourteenth Amendment, you would have almost an impossible case here, would you not?

Weddington admitted, “I would have a very difficult case.”

So much has changed since 1973 including medical advances and technology, but the Supreme Court’s decision remains untouched. Abortion is a selfish, violent way to destroy an unwanted life.

Planned Parenthood should be outlawed, not just defunded. Americans continue tolerating this barbaric practice, and yet, the problem goes beyond big abortion business.

We must get back to the biblical values of modesty, purity, and respect among adults and children alike. We must  also promote abstinence education to counteract our sexually charged culture. By our silence, we have allowed sexual exploration and experimentation to be encouraged while condoms are handed out at public schools. We also must encourage self-restraint instead of perversion and promiscuity.

Finally, will we care for “the least of these” and open our hearts again to value all human life? Please help raise awareness by sharing the truth! Every single life matters – from the womb to the tomb. It’s not a catchy slogan, it’s God’s Word on each precious life created in His image.