WHY DOES GOD PERMIT THE COMING GREAT TRIBULATION

More great teaching from Nelson Walters. Nelson is one of the Board Members of our website http://www.powerpointsermons.net where we provide resources for the end times church to prepare them for Jesus Second Coming.

Everyone expects that a time of great distress is coming. But why will God permit a Great Tribulation and will he allow believers to endure it?

A Great Tribulation is coming. Jesus said so, it will be.

In episodes, two and three Nelson presents evidence that Christians will enter and endure that period. But the question must be asked, WHY would a loving God allow this? What could be his purposes? If you missed these two videos – Will Christians Face Great Tribulation? and When Does the Wrath of God Begin? then go to http://www.thegospelintheendtimes.com.

Watch Episode Four in the series Dawn of a New Day to find out:

TRUE FREEDOM IS ALIGNING OURSELVES WITH OBJECTIVE TRUTH

This episode of CHRIST REVEALED introduces you to Sean McDowell, the son of well-known author and apologist Josh McDowell. Sean is an author and professor at Biola University, and he shares an inspiring overview of “Christian apologetics”. Sean describes how he takes classes of Christian students to meet and interact with atheist and Muslim groups, in order to discuss their Christian view and the power behind it. This is an exciting interview that will challenge your confidence in your Christian worldview. Do you really know the truth sufficient to face the coming tribulation leading up to Jesus Second Coming.

The Christ Revealed team  then takes you to the Garden Tomb, one of 2 places that Christ was thought to be buried. This amazing coverage of the ancient site is beautiful and inspiring.

Meet Tisha Michelle, Christ Revealed (CR) team’s expert guide through Israel. Tisha meets CR TBN studios in Jerusalem, with a majestic view of the old city behind her. A beacon of Christian light in Israel, Tisha’s command of scripture matched to key locations throughout the Holy Land is stunning. She turns “black and white knowledge” into a full technicolour experience—and you’ll never forget her compelling personal story!

BALANCING GRACE AND TRUTH

The majority of the churches in America, but not only America, are seeking to please the masses rather than convict. Judgement is never mentioned; repentance is rarely sought and sin is often excused. We want to build a church rather than break a heart, be politically correct rather than biblically correct, coddle and comfort rather than stir and convict. This leaves people confused and deceived because we teach and live a form of Christianity void of repentance … void of truth.

The church and our nation desperately need to hear “the voice of one crying in the wilderness” to awaken, convict and restore. It was not so long ago that we were concerned about the fall of America. America cannot fall because she has already fallen. We are now picking up the pieces of a broken nation reflected in our laws, our personal lives, our families and our children. America’s moral heartbeat has ceased because we cut off the source of life. We need resuscitation, renewal and revival of the truth. Biblical truth.

When people, groups, denominations or movements depart from absolute truth and thus quench and grieve the Spirit of God, they become mechanical in their approach to Christianity and lose the ability to guide. The Word of God is not in their hearts “as a burning fire” (Jeremiah 20:9), but relative, powerless and debatable. This is what we see today.

The “moral” laws in the Old Testament such as killing, stealing, lying, adultery, sexual immorality and so on are all valid today. Jesus referred often to the Old Testament, and said that He didn’t come to abolish it, but to fulfil it. For example, Leviticus 20:13a states, “If a man lies with another man as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination.” To suggest that this verse is invalid today is to advocate the dangerous practice of redefining or deleting what God has said. Not to mention other stories in the Old Testament that highlight the dangers of homosexuality and all sexual sin.

Jesus condemned “all” sexual activity outside of marriage between a man and woman when He said, “For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, sexual immorality, thefts, false witness, and blasphemies. These are the things which defile a man” (Matt. 15:19-20). Jesus was implying that all sexual activity outside of marriage between a man and a woman is harmful and immoral. The word “fornication” in the Greek is porneia, where the word “pornography” comes from. We cannot say, “But I was born this way.” I was born to lie, cheat, lust and deceive, but this doesn’t make it right. It makes me sinful and in need of a Saviour.

The consequences of wrong actions may have changed, but the moral implications remain the same. For instance, even though we no longer stone to death those who commit adultery, this does not mean that adultery is acceptable or any less dangerous. Adultery is wrong even though there aren’t legal consequences. The laws of a nation should reflect God’s Word, but they are never above it!

Romans 1:18-32 and 1 Corinthians 6:1-20 tells us that when mankind does not see fit to acknowledge God, and they suppress the truth; God will give them over to a depraved mind—to do those things that are not proper. This should put the fear of God into us all. Homosexual behaviour, and sexual sin in general, is comparable with dishonouring the body and turning from God. John Piper said, “The sexual disordering of the human race is a judgement of God for exchanging Him for the creature.”

Jesus said that since the beginning of creation, God created them male and female in order that they would be joined together and become one flesh. He adds, “What therefore God has joined together, let not man put asunder” (Mark 10:9). Marriage between a man and a woman is God’s plan since creation. No matter how many laws are passed in favour of gay marriage, it will not change God’s mind.

Jesus would often speak out against sin, but His love and mercy also reached out to those who regretted and hated their condition. Forgiveness is a mark of genuine faith. We should have compassion for those who struggle with same-sex attraction because we all struggle with sin, but at the same time, we should not condone or excuse this type of sin any more than we condone or excuse any other sin.

Taken from an article “Is Being Gay “God’s Greatest Gift to Us”? in Charisma News by Shane Idleman founder and lead pastor of Westside Christian Fellowship just north of Los Angeles

 

THE SACRED THINGS OF GOD

For us there are many situations in Scripture which seem to involve a punishment that was too severe for the crime.

God kills Uzzah just because he tried to keep the ark of the covenant from falling. Uzzah touched the ark because the cart it was riding on hit a pothole (2 Samuel 6). It seems like a trivial mistake with good intentions. Sure, God had forbidden anyone from touching the ark, but what was Uzzah supposed to do? Let the holy ark of God fall to the ground?

What about Moses, who didn’t get to see the promised land because he struck the rock rather than speaking to it (Numbers 20)? After everything Moses went through, was it such a big crime to be frustrated with the people and strike the rock in anger?

Then there are Ananias and Sapphira. They were both struck dead because they lied about how much money they donated to the church (Acts 5). And this is in the New Testament! Really, who hasn’t exaggerated?

Sadly, we don’t understand what it means for something to be “sacred.” Jesus taught us in the Lord’s prayer to say “Hallowed be Your name” (Matt. 6:9; Luke 11:2). Do we really understand what we are saying? Like the high priest entering the holy of holy’s, we are to treat prayer as sacred.

“Guard your steps when you enter the house of God, and draw near to listen rather than to offer the sacrifice of fools, for they do not know that they are doing evil. Do not be quick to speak with your mouth, nor let your heart be hasty to utter a word before God.

For God is in heaven, and you are on the earth; therefore may your words be few. For a dream comes when there is a great burden, and a foolish voice when there are many words.” (Eccl. 5:1-3).

In all the above situations, people rushed into something sacred and paid the price. We shouldn’t be surprised; we should be humbled. We have all done things more irreverent than those mentioned above. Let’s thank God for His mercy and tread more carefully into sacred matters. Others may treat these things as common, but we cannot. While others quickly judge God’s actions and question His commands, we are to be careful even to speak His name. We don’t carelessly question His actions or inaction.

We are a part of something much bigger than ourselves, something sacred. Through Jesus’ sacrifice, we have been joined to His church. Because of this, we are not only a part of God’s sacred temple but also a part of the heavenly community.

Take some time to read Revelation 4–5 as it describes the scene in heaven. It begins with a majestic picture of God on His throne. The scene is busy and intense: the four living creatures are declaring His holiness, the seven spirits of God are blazing, myriads of angels are praising Jesus with loud voices and the 24 elders are flat on their faces while laying their crowns before Him. Then in 5:8, we finally appear.

“When He had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each one having a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of saints” (Rev. 5:8).

Maybe you feel a bit insulted by this. You’re thinking, That’s it? My only part is that my prayers are lumped in with the prayers of all other believers to form a bowl of incense? Don’t worry—you’re also mentioned in verse 13 when your voice joins the chorus of billions.

“Then I heard every creature which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that are in them, saying: ‘To Him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honour and glory and power, forever and ever!” (Rev. 5:13).

What is a tremendous, unspeakable honour may feel insufficient for those who are used to being god of their own blogs and Twitter accounts. It feels insignificant to those who have erected their own shrines on Facebook and Instagram, filled with beautiful pictures of themselves. They don’t realise that true joy comes from the opposite. Joy comes as we stand among those Jesus has redeemed and get lost in a sea of worship, becoming fully a part of something sacred.

Gathering with the church should lead us to holy ground. We get to come and worship someone else, with someone else. We get to pour out love to Him by serving those around us and considering them more important. It’s not about us. And we should be glad. Because this is something far greater. It is sacred.

Adapted from an article by Francis Chan in Ministry for Today Why These Scripture Passages Deeply Bothered Francis Chan

 

REJOICE AND BE GLAD WHEN PERSECUTION COMES

“Dear friends, do not be astonished that a trial by fire is occurring among you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice in the degree that you have shared in the sufferings of Christ, so that when his glory is revealed you may also rejoice and be glad. If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory, who is the Spirit of God, rests on you.” 1 Pet 4:12–14

Peter does not want Christians to lose hope in the midst of adversity, which is the reason he exhorts them to keep perspective and look ahead and even rejoice of that future day when Christ’s glory is revealed.

Jesus gave the disciples the following warnings about the time of His second coming so we will be prepared for persecution in the “last days”.

“For nation will rise up against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows. Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. And many will be offended , will betray one another, and will hate one another. Then many false prophets will rise up to deceive many. And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. But he who endures to the end will be saved.” Matthew 24:7-13

These are tough words and only those who truly know God, who trust God with all their heart will endure to the end.

We need to be able to say like David: ” You are my strength and shield; My heart trusts in Him and I am helped; therefore my heart greatly rejoices, and with my song I will praise Him.” Psalm 28:7

You will be helped by God. He will be with you through the coming times of trouble, persecution. You need to keep an eternal focus. Hence the title of this blog: living eternal now.

ONE OF THE BEST ARGUMENTS FOR CREATION AGAINST EVOLUTION

SEX AND ALL IT ENTAILS IS ONE OF THE MOST TELLING ARGUMENTS FOR CREATION.

I’m referring to everything from that first moment of attraction between a man and a woman, to the complementary anatomical structures and organs that work so well together, to the millions of interactions that happen on the physical/hormonal/emotional levels, to the love and pleasure of two people becoming one flesh, to cells smaller than the head of a pin contributing 1.5 billion letters of DNA each in order to form a new 3 billion-letter blueprint, to the nonstop application of that genome as it rapidly develops into over 20 trillion cells and 200 types of tissue and hundreds of organs and meters of blood vessels all interacting together, to the final moment a fully-functioning, crying, squirming baby emerges from its mother 6,480 hours later. Surely, you would agree that’s mind-boggling.

Of course, it’s only a tiny fraction of what actually goes on with sexual reproduction. Just pick up an anatomy or biology textbook, or a book on pregnancy, and you quickly realise there are a crazy number of interconnections that are infinitely interdependent.

Sex is the perfect example of inconceivable irreducible complexity and design.

According to evolutionary theory, all of it ultimately happened by chance. Sex just came to be through a series of random processes, over long periods of time, without any overarching purpose. However, they just focus on the smaller questions such as the usefulness of splitting the genome between a male and a female, or how certain behaviours developed, or single-cell sexual reproduction.

What they don’t tackle is how sexual complexity originated step-by-step over hundreds of millions of years. In fact, when you actually consider the magnitude of the situation, 540 million years—the conventional date for the start of complex life—doesn’t seem like nearly enough time.

After all, it’s not just humans we’re talking about. It’s millions of species of extinct and living animals that have been, and still are, engaging in sexual reproduction. Each process is almost as complex as that between two humans, although each is also extremely different.

Insects, fish, reptiles, birds, mammals—there are hundreds of thousands of variations of sexual reproduction. From mating rituals to copulation to pregnancy to birth, the complexity just multiples as you examine the diversity of life.

Furthermore, it appears from the fossil record that sea-dwelling trilobites (now extinct) were also male and female. Trilobites are found at the lowest levels of the fossil record, occurring during the Cambrian explosion. In other words, male and female creatures just appear as male and female.

So how did the division of sexes come to be? The question of which came first during this long development, the male or the female, is an impossible question: don’t you have to have both to have offspring?

The truth is that sexual dimorphism—different, unique characteristics between males and females—is also a hard thing to explain from an evolutionary origins perspective. Sure, it’s easy to recognise the benefits of separating and recombining genomes, but how did all the trillions of uniquely integrated processes and parts and systems in all the different species first originate? And why do they all work so well?

Talking about sexual reproduction in cells doesn’t really address the problem. It’s like saying you’ve explained football by pointing to a few blades of grass; everyone knows there’s a lot more going on. If it’s impossible for us even to understand all the aspects of sex, it’s clearly impossible for it to have evolved in a slow, step wise fashion.

Instead, when you stop and think about it, Genesis provides a far better explanation. The immediate, fiat creation by God in a short span of time (just a few days) is a far better reason for all the incredibly complex aspects of sex.

But it’s not just that. Genesis also explains the purpose behind sex. And it’s a lot more amazing than most people realise.

A Divinely Human Experience

Ultimately, sex is about the joyful pleasure of personal relationships.

In this case, the sexual marital relationship between a man and a woman mirrors the spiritual marital relationship between Christ and the church. Paul explains it from Genesis, saying: “‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.’ This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church.” (Eph 5:31-32)

Genesis explains why there is sexual dimorphism in people. We are made in God’s image to reflect His attributes and show forth the divine/human relationship as male and female: “in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” (Gen 1:27)

In other words, the man is to Christ as the woman is to the church. Paul explains: “For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church” and “Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.” (Eph 5:23,25)

Genesis explains why sex is placed within the structure of marriage. The covenant bond between a man and a woman reflects the covenant bond between Christ and His bride. (Rev 21:2)

Genesis also explains why sex is considered a wonderful, spiritual experience by many people. Unlike evolutionary theory—which sees sex as just a higher animal function—the Bible sees sex as an incredible gift from God, uniquely given to man to show forth His image. In fact, there are numerous Christians who have had spiritual experiences that rival or surpass what they have felt having sex.

Genesis explains why sex has an essential moral nature to it that everyone intrinsically understands. It’s why adultery is considered wrong in almost all cultures, Christian or not. It’s also why those who have had adultery committed against them always feel betrayed. The prophet Jeremiah observes that adultery is the same as idolatry (Jer 3:9), and mirrors the emotions of God when man betrays Him on a spiritual level.

In fact, almost all the sexual sins of our society can be traced back to spiritual issues.

Homosexuality emerges in a society as the result of worshipping the creature instead of the Creator (Rom 1:25-27); it mirrors man worshipping himself rather than worshipping Christ. This looks more like ‘the wife is the head of the wife as the church is the head of the church.’ Created similarities replace created differences.

As well, attempts to change gender are ultimately doomed to failure. The essential sexual dimorphism embedded in every part of the creation points to the essential distinctions between God and man. Just as man cannot truly become God, so too, a woman cannot truly become a man, nor a man a woman. In each of us, our maleness or femaleness is unchangeably stamped on over 50 trillion of our cells.

It is not until we understand the nature of sex, with all its power and complexity and importance, that we can begin to understand its significance both to God and to ourselves.

Talking about Sex

I realise many Christians avoid talking about sex and even get uncomfortable when it comes up. Few have heard it discussed openly in their churches or families.

Considering what’s going on in our culture, that probably needs to change. Sex is one of the essential parts of God’s creation, something only He could create in order to show forth His glory. If He dedicated an entire book of the Bible to it (The Song of Songs), it’s something we should strive to understand from a Biblical perspective.

After all, God put a deep fascination within us toward sex because He wants us to get a sense of the complex relationship He has with us. It’s no coincidence that the Bible begins with a marriage and ends with a marriage.

So when evolution comes up next, start talking about sex, it will lead to a very interesting and unexpected conversation.

NO TO ISRAEL, NO TO THE USA, NO TO PEACE

Death of Oslo? Palestinian council votes to end recognition of Israel

Whoever does broker a peace deal with Israel, and it will happen as prophesied, the world will shower accolades on this man. He will look good and even the elect may be deceived. Perhaps the Antichrist’s appearance on the world scene is not too far distant.

Death of Oslo? Palestinian council votes to end recognition of Israel

The Palestinian Central Council (PCC), which met in Ramallah over two days, decided on Monday to end all commitments in the agreements the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) has signed with Israel, to end security coordination and to revoke the Paris Economic Protocols which govern the economic cooperation with Israel.

Such moves mean the end of all peace protocols with Israel and the complete collapse of the Palestinian Authority (PA).

The PCC alleged that “in view of Israel’s continued denial of the signed agreements,” it again recommends eliminating end all of the PLO and PA’s commitments under their agreements with Israel, as well as suspending their recognition of the state of Israel until it recognises the non-existent state of Palestine on the June 1967 borders with the eastern portion of Jerusalem as its capital.

By way of background, “Palestine” never existed within the 1967 “borders,” which are in reality boundaries. Jordan occupied these areas for 19 years prior to their liberation by the IDF in the 1967 Six Day War.

Security cooperation with Israel, largely aimed at protecting Abbas from his rivals in the Hamas terror group, is unpopular among Palestinians but has survived repeated crises and years of deadlock in talks with Israel, as it is first and foremost in Abbas’ interest.

Abbas’ unelected government would likely collapse if he cuts ties with Israel.

The PCC gave the power to PA head Mahmoud Abbas, who chaired the PCC meetings, and the PLO’s executive committee to implement these decisions, and Abbas has the final say on such drastic moves.

The PCC also expressed support for Abbas’ opposition on the US’ as-yet unreleased peace plan, accusing the US of “siding with the Israeli occupation” and of being “part of the problem and not part of the solution.”

The Palestinians reject any notion of a US-brokered diplomatic solution and have boycotted Washington since December 2017, when President Donald Trump announced official US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

Since then, the Palestinians have escalated their rhetoric and actions against the US.

Abbas has also blamed Hamas for failing to implement the reconciliation agreements signed with his Fatah party over the years, which would have brought an end to bitter and bloody internal Palestinian enmity.

The PLO also stressed the Palestinians “right to resistance by all means as per international law,” which represents a call to arms for intents and purposes.

LAST DAYS RUMOURS OF WARS

RUMORS OF WAR: Putin warns that Russia will target nations hosting US missiles

RUMORS OF WAR: Putin warns that Russia will target nations hosting US missiles

(ABC News) Russian President Vladimir Putin warned Wednesday that if the United States deploys intermediate-range missiles in Europe, Russia will have to target the nations that would host them. The stern statement follows U.S. President Donald Trump’s announcement over the weekend that he intends to opt out of a 1987 nuclear arms control pact over alleged Russian violations. Putin said he hoped the United States wouldn’t follow up by positioning intermediate-range missiles in Europe.

Such a move would be a repeat of a Cold War showdown in the 1980s, when the U.S. and the Soviet Union both deployed intermediate-range missiles on the continent, the Russian leader said. “If they are deployed in Europe, we will naturally have to respond in kind,”

RUMORS OF WAR: Retired General warns “War with China likely in 15 years”

RUMORS OF WAR: Retired General warns “War with China likely in 15 years”

(Military Times) The former commander of the U.S. Army in Europe says it’s likely the United States will be at war with China in 15 years. Retired Lt. Gen. Ben Hodges said at a Warsaw security forum on Wednesday that European allies will have to do more to ensure their own defences against Russia as Americans focus more on the Pacific. Hodges said: “I think in 15 years — it’s not inevitable, but it is a very strong likelihood — that we will be at war with China. The United States does not have the capacity to do everything it has to do in Europe and in the Pacific to deal with the Chinese threat.”

Hodges, now with the Center for European Policy Analysis, was U.S. Army commander in Europe during 2014-17.

NATO shows military might in giant exercises… Largest since the Cold War

NATO shows military might in giant exercises… Largest since the Cold War

(Yahoo News) NATO began its biggest military exercises since the end of the Cold War in Norway on Thursday, proof of the US’ “rock-solid” commitment to the alliance’s collective defence, US Navy Admiral James Foggo said, as Moscow denounced the maneuvers as “anti-Russian”. Around 50,000 soldiers, 10,000 vehicles, 65 ships and 250 aircraft from 31 countries were taking part in Trident Juncture 18,

which is aimed at training the Atlantic Alliance to defend a member state after an aggression. The show of force comes amid recent concerns over US President Donald Trump’s commitment to NATO, in particular, the “Article 5” mutual defence clause which requires all member states to come to the aid of another member state

GOD APPOINTS LEADERS – BRAZIL NOW HAS A DEVOUT CHRISTIAN PRESIDENT

Victory of Brazil right-winger Jair Bolsonaro latest shock in global politics

The Wall St Journal:  The rise of the right-wing firebrand is the latest shock in global politics as voters turn against the status quo, starting in 2016 with the Brexit vote in the UK and Donald Trump’s election in the US It also likely shifts politics in the world’s fourth largest democracy sharply to the right.

Mr Bolsonaro’s victory was the culmination of deep shifts in Brazilian society over recent decades, including the rise of evangelical Christianity. Mr Bolsonaro himself is a devout Christian baptised in the Jordan River. His middle name in Portuguese is “Messiah.”

Now comprising a third of Brazilians, evangelicals are on track to outnumber Catholics by 2035, according to pollster Datafolha. Bishop Edir Macedo, the billionaire founder of one of Brazil’s biggest evangelical churches who also owns the powerful TV Record network, endorsed Mr Bolsonaro shortly before the vote.

Before the results were known, but with much of the country now behind him, Mr. Bolsonaro said in a radio interview recently that he saw no reason to change or moderate his message. “I’m not going to become the little ‘peace and love’ Jair.” His name Jair means “He enlightens or one giving light”

I sincerely hope he lives up to his name.

THE TIMING OF CHRIST’S RETURN AND WHY IT MATTERS