WHO DECIDES RIGHT AND WRONG?

The scourge of abortion is a form of idolatry. It has been considered a human right a woman has by virtue of choice. When humans decide to take life from the womb of a woman for the sake of convenience or personal right as a matter of liberty, they cross the divide between man and God and take to themselves the prerogative only God has—the authority to decide right and wrong. Man puts himself as God. That is idolatry, and for that, all nations, not only America, will suffer the judgment of God when it comes upon the Earth. 

Moreover, God has told us beforehand exactly how and when His wrath will be poured out on an unbelieving world.

Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness?2 Corinthians 6:14

And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not alarmed, for this must take place, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are but the beginning of the birth pains.
“Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for my name’s sake. And then many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another. And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end will be saved.
Matthew 24:6-13

And if those days had not been cut short, no human being would be saved. But for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short. Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect. See, I have told you beforehand.Matthew 24:22-25

During the Millennial reign of Jesus Christ on this earth in the not too distant future, abortion will be a mortal sin punished by death. Many in the world will object to God’s laws which is the reason why Jesus and the Saints need to rule with a rod of iron.

From His mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and He will rule them with a rod of iron.Revelation 19:15

The one who conquers and who keeps my works until the end, to him I will give authority over the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron, as when earthen pots are broken in pieces, even as I myself have received authority from my Father.Revelation 2:26-27

Just as Satan and one-third of the angels rebelled against God in heaven, many humans will rebel against Jesus and the Saint’s reign on this earth. We are told that when Satan is released from the Abyss at the end of Jesus’ Millennial reign he is still able to raise an enormous army to come against Jesus and the Saints.

And when the thousand years are ended, Satan will be released from his prison and will come out to deceive the nations that are at the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them for battle; their number is like the sand of the sea. And they marched up over the broad plain of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city, but fire came down from heaven and consumed them.” Revelation 20:7-9

REBELLION AGAINST GOD IN THESE LAST DAYS

Jesus is coming back, and He is warning those who want to be on his side to be ready. God is calling us all to leave behind terrible habits, addictions, and anything that pulls us away from Him. The movie below reveals where sin is headed and why it’s so crucial that we are not slaves to it. It explores how to overcome sinful addictions and the meaning of repentance. This is one to see, share, and watch with a group! Unlimited lawlessness is now possible with augmented reality. We are living in a time when the prophesied apostasy (falling away) in the church is already happening and it will only increase as Satan steps up his demonic activity to destroy mankind. Satan understands his time is short.

AoC Network is a Christ-Centered content creator with a goal to represent God’s Kingdom online. Learn more at https://www.aocnetwork.org/about-us

I do not agree with their interpretation of the parable Jesus told of the rich man and Lazarus in this video and ask you to consider the following exposition of this parable.

Does the story of the rich man and Lazarus in Luke 16:19-31 teach an eternal hell of conscious torment?
No! It is a parable Jesus used to emphasize a certain spiritual lesson. The point of the story is found in verse 31. Parables should not be taken literally—otherwise, we would believe that trees talk! (See Judges 9:8–15.)

The traditional view is to take the story of Lazarus and the Rich Man literally, but I believe as many others do that it is a parable that Jesus told to the Pharisees and Sadducees as it followed other parables that all start with the same intro: “There was a certain man

The two parables here both have to do with “mammon” (money) and the misuse of it. If the first is clearly a parable, why not the second, for it is in the exact same section of scripture?

The Jewish Rabbis of Jesus’ day commonly used parables as teaching tools. This is in part why Jesus used them to correct the Pharisees (self-righteous religious leaders) who were unjustly criticizing what he taught.

Here are some other facts making it clear that Luke 16:19–31 is a parable:
1. Abraham’s bosom is not heaven or paradise. (Hebrews 11:8–10, 16).
2. Abraham was not in heaven in bodily form so how can Lazarus literally be comforted by Abraham? 3. People in hell cannot talk to those in heaven (Isaiah 65:17).
4. The bodies of the dead are in their graves (Job 17:13; John 5:28, 29). The rich man was in bodily form with eyes, a tongue, etc., yet we know that the body does not go to hell at death but remains in the grave, as the Bible clearly teaches.
5. People are rewarded at Christ’s second coming, not at death (Revelation 22:12).
6. The lost are cast into the Lake of Fire (Hell) after the White Throne judgement not when they die (Matthew 13:40–42).

Why did Jesus give this parable here?

In the first thirteen verses of Luke 16, we find Jesus teaching his disciples about being wise stewards and that man cannot serve both God and mammon (money, earthly possessions, etc.). The Pharisees overheard what Jesus said and, knowing it also applied to them, roundly criticized him:

Now the Pharisees who were also covetous (greedy and lovers of money) heard all these things, and they ridiculed Him.” (Luke 16:14).

Jesus tells the Pharisees that they seek to justify themselves before men and not God. After a few more comments he speaks this parable that is in direct response to their finding fault with what he taught.

The parable begins: “Now there was a certain rich man, and he was clothed in purple and fine linen, and daily indulged himself in luxury.” The rich man in this parable is a symbol for the Pharisees and Sadducees themselves.

And there was a certain poor man named Lazarus, who was laid at his porch, full of sores.” (Luke 16:19 – 20). Why did Christ refer to this poor beggar as Lazarus? There are two reasons. One is the meaning of his name. It means ‘whom God helps.’ or ‘assistance of God‘. The Pharisees prided themselves on their righteousness through strict obedience to their interpretation of God’s law. They particularly despised the gentiles. The irony here is that those who honestly believed they served and represented God would not help someone “whom God helps.” They disdained someone whom God accepted.  

Lazarus in this parable represents the Gentiles – the world outside of God’s chosen people. God’s people (particularly the Pharisees and Sadducees) treated the Gentiles like dogs who were full of sores (spiritual sickness) and in need of rescue (help from God). The Gentiles like Lazarus were stopped at the gate of the temple (which represents the entrance to God) and were not allowed to go inside (never to have a relationship with God).

In verse 22, we see that something unnatural has occurred. Both die, Lazarus is carried away by the angels into Abraham’s bosom and the rich man ends up in hell. Note what verse 22 does NOT say! It does NOT state that the beggar went to heaven. It also does not say the rich man, immediately upon death, was tossed into some eternal Hell. The verse says the beggar is carried to “Abraham’s bosom.” But what does this phrase mean? What is significant about Lazarus being in the bosom of Abraham? Being in the bosom of someone is a symbol of love and closeness John 13:23 “Now there was leaning on Jesus’ bosom one of his disciples, whom Jesus loved.” Lazarus (symbol for the Gentile nation) being in Abraham’s bosom (place of spiritual promise to be loved and close to God) illustrates the roles have switched. Galatians 3:14 “so that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we might receive the promised Spirit through faith.” Now Lazarus is in the place where the rich man (Pharisees and Sadducees) was. So, what was the cause of such a radical change in the status of God’s chosen people and the Gentiles? Let us see what Jesus had to say about it; Matthew 23:33 “You serpents, you generation of vipers, how can you escape the damnation of Hell [Gehenna – God’s Judgement]?” The roles switched because of the arrogance, self-righteousness, and disobedience of the Pharisees and Sadducees. They did not see a need to help others, they boasted about having the law of the prophets, and they worshiped themselves, but things just changed

Lazarus is carried into a close relationship with Abraham (who represents faith in God and salvation). He is allowed entrance into God’s kingdom (but it does not state when this occurs).

We now come to the verse that has led countless people who study the Bible to believe in a fiery Hell where sinners suffer forever. However, four times in Revelation we are told of the second death: Revelation 2:11, 20:6, 20:11, and 21:8. Moreover, the Bible teaches that there will be just punishment of the unrepentant for sins committed on earth which is followed by the second death in the Lake of Fire.

But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.” Revelation 21:8

We also find proof in verse 23 that this parable is not meant to be taken literally in every detail. Both the rich man and Lazarus are shown to be alive after they died. If we take verses 22 and 23 literally, it would mean the resurrection of the dead has already taken place!

Here is some further proof of why this story should not be taken literally in all details. How could the rich man know who Abraham was when he had been dead for 1,800+ years? Also, it would be difficult for the rich man to recognize Lazarus in a glorified body, as he had been an emaciated pile of bones and flesh and full of sores during his physical life. The difference would have been appalling.

Additionally, Luke 16:24 reiterates how the roles of these two men have changed. The rich man was without need of help when the beggar was in dire straits and now, he is in a dire situation when the beggar is without need. In effect, Christ is giving a warning to the Pharisees that their state in life could quickly change, therefore they should not be so smug and look down on others.

Remember, my son, that in your lifetime you were given all the good things, while Lazarus got all the bad things. But now he is enjoying himself here, while you are in pain. Besides all that, there is a deep pit lying between us . . . (Luke 16: 25 – 26).

Jesus got the immediate attention of the Pharisees by using Abraham as a character in his lesson. Christ is showing that one needs to live his life correctly today, not wait until the next life to make amends.

The last four verses of this parable describe Father Abraham explaining to the rich man that his five brothers (Judah had five brothers) have the prophets (the Old Testament scriptures) as a witness. Jesus knew full well that the arrogant religious leaders boasted about their knowledge of the scriptures, but their hearts were hardened. Despite the many O.T. prophecies about Himself, the Pharisees and Sadducees continued not to believe that Jesus was the Messiah.

The rich man goes on to explain that if one is raised from the dead they will believe (repent). People claim that the story of the rich man and Lazarus is not a parable because Christ identifies a character with a real name as in this case, the name Lazarus. They say that this fact alone is proof because Christ never used a real name in any other parables. Do you think that it is ironic that there is an actual person in the book of John that has the same name, Lazarus who was sick and died but Jesus raised him from the dead which is the same context of the rich man’s inquiry? You see, Christ was spoken of and prophesied about many times in the Old Testament. Jesus makes another prophecy in this parable stating that if they will not hear the words of the prophets; neither will they believe if one is raised from the dead. Jesus used the real name Lazarus because he already knew that he was going to resurrect a real person named Lazarus shortly thereafter from the dead to further prove his point in the parable.

He said to him, ‘If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead‘”.(Luke 16:31)

Jesus ultimately tells us the meaning of the rich man and Lazarus parable. He was telling the Pharisees (who were self-righteous hypocrites) that since they did not truly believe and follow what Moses and the prophets wrote, no amount of miracles and wonders would be able to change their minds and alter how they lived life. It was the hardness of their hearts that kept them from truly repenting and serving God. Jesus knew that despite adequate proof of His own resurrection these Pharisees and Sadducees would still not believe He was their prophesied Messiah.

THE GOSPEL IS AN AFFRONT TO THE NATURAL MIND

The gospel tells us that we are lost in our sin, and there is no way we can save ourselves through good works. The moment we recognize the awfulness of our sin and cast ourselves upon God’s mercy and grace, He forgives, transforms, and justifies us. Salvation is by grace through faith, not of works (Ephesians 1:7–9). That is the gospel message.

That message is a problem for nonbelievers because the natural human mind cannot admit the gravity and horror of sin. The natural mind says, “I admit I’m not perfect, but I’m a good person. If there is a God, He will accept me. I don’t need a Savior. So keep your ‘sin’ talk to yourself. Don’t bother me with your gospel.”

The natural mind refuses to admit to having sinned so grievously that Jesus would have to die. “You’re telling me that Jesus died to save me? Me? Are you calling me a hopeless, helpless sinner? How dare you!”

A gay couple getting married in Norway

Most of the denominational churches have compromised with the world in an effort to keep bums on seats and money to pay the bills including the minister’s salaries. Preachers belonging to these denominations have stopped preaching the gospel of redemption from sin, and now preach a message of human virtue. They have stopped preaching the cross and the empty tomb and instead preach positive thinking. They have stopped preaching justification by grace through faith, and instead preach social justice propaganda.

In many of the charismatic churches, it is all about the preacher and his ego. He/She wants to be liked and admired by nonbelievers who will donate big money to a ministry that flatters their egos.

What did Paul tell Timothy to do in a world that is hostile to the gospel of salvation? Guard the truth!

“What you heard from me, keep as the pattern of sound teaching, with faith and love in Christ Jesus. Guard the good deposit that was entrusted to you—guard it with the help of the Holy Spirit who lives in us” (2 Timothy 1:13-14, NIV).

The “pattern of sound teaching” Paul writes of is God’s blueprint. The word translated “pattern” is the same word used for an architectural design. What happens if a builder decides to ignore the architectural blueprint? What if the builder decides he doesn’t want to bother putting up the pillars, crossbeams and archways that are specified by the architect? The building will collapse.

Though Paul is burdened by the subversion of the church, he is able to say, “That is why I am suffering as I am. Yet this is no cause for shame because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him until that day” (2 Timothy 1:12). What day? The day of the Lord’s return!

And that is why the apostle Paul, in the closing days of his life, pleads with Timothy—and with you and me—to please, please, please follow the blueprint of sound teaching. Please, please, please guard the deposit of truth that was entrusted to you. Don’t try to improve on it. Don’t deviate from it. Don’t modify it.

Paul’s message to Timothy and to us is to keep the pattern of sound teaching and guard the good deposit of truth that was entrusted to you. The Lord is faithful to His Word. He will never allow the light of the gospel to be extinguished. God has entrusted the gospel to us, but He has not abdicated. He is watching over His Word. He will preserve it, with or without us. Whether or not we remain faithful, He will always be faithful.

He is trustworthy. He will accomplish all things according to the counsel of His will.

His Word reveals that Christians will have a time of tribulation/persecution prior to His second coming. We need to be prepared and warn others as to what lies ahead. We need to realise that God is still in control of all that happens on His earth. What plays out in the last seven years with Satan and his Antichrist, God allows. During this time Christ’s church will be purified before He takes us to heaven with the Rapture and then pours out His wrath upon unrepentant earth with the seven Trumpet (Revelation 12) and seven Bowl (Revelation 16) judgements. It is all revealed in God’s Word.

REPENT – AN OFFENSIVE WORD TO MOST

Humanity’s primary problem is sin, and without repentance, forgiveness, and faith in Christ, sin will be punished. When is the last time we have taught these things in our churches and to our youths? When is the last time, Christian parent, that you have taught such things to your kids? We no longer teach that people need to repent of their sins. Remember that word? Let me say that again, repent, since it seems offensive to most these days, even though it was the KEY message of Jesus and the apostles.

Anarchy on the streets of Seattle

From that time Jesus began to preach, saying, Repent for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand! Matthew 4:17

When is the last time we taught them that we will all stand before the Lord on judgment day to give an account for the things we have done in the body, whether good or bad?.

For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.2 Corinthians 5:10

Is it any wonder, then, that a generation of young people apparently feels no remorse, no conviction, no guilt for stealing, destroying small businesses, and injuring other human beings? There is no fear of God before their eyes because we made no effort to tell them the truth about God.

This Scripture will tell you how to understand the fear of the Lord and to find knowledge from God then He will be your shield and watch over you.

My son (daughter), if you receive my words and treasure up my commandments with you, making your ear attentive to wisdom and inclining your heart to understand; yes, if you call out for insight and raise your voice for understanding if you seek it like silver and search for it as for hidden treasures, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God. For the Lord gives wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding; He stores up sound wisdom for the upright; He is a shield to those who walk in integrity, guarding the paths of justice and watching over the way of his saints.Proverbs 2:1-5

HAVING A RIGHT ATTITUDE TO SINNERS

Arlington residents, students, and church members came together Wednesday night, only hours after shots rang out in Timberview High School in the Mansfield school district, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

The suspected gunman, an 18-year-old student, was taken into custody by police after he began firing shots in a classroom. The alleged shooter, Timothy Simpkins, turned himself in with his attorney Wednesday afternoon.

Just hours after tragedy struck, one 15-year-old student from Arlington, Texas, joined her community in prayer not just for her four classmates injured by a gunman who opened fire in her school Wednesday, but for the shooter himself.

“I want to pray for the shooter, Lord God,” said Ashlyn Henson, praying through tears. “That you’d touch his mind. Touch his heart, Jesus. That you allow him to see his wrong. That you allow him to feel that remorse and that pain he caused. And that he fixes himself in your eyes, Lord God.”

Henson shared her grief during an evening prayer service at Cornerstone Baptist Church, where the youth minister, Al Curley, reminded the community that horrible things happen because of the sin in the world, urging them to turn to Jesus for solace.

He went on to urge fellow believers to “proclaim hope” in the midst of despair.

“And the hope is that God so loved the world that He gave His Son that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life,” Curley added, referencing John 3:16. “Yes, the world is fleeting and the world is perishing, but, for those of us who have the assurance of hope in Jesus Christ, we have the promise of everlasting life.

We’ve got to share that message with the lost, because the message of the Gospel, the message of redemption, is life itself, eternal life.

THE PROBLEM OF SIN

Most people are comfortable even happy with their life of SIN. If you are a Rock Star earning lots of money with lots of young girls wanting to be with you, regardless of the cost, then why would you want to repent? The Gospel is not good news to this Rock Star not unless the Holy Spirit convicts him of his SIN.

Nevertheless, as ambassadors of God, we are called to beg people on His behalf to turn from their SIN, to come back into relationship with Him but on His terms. They need to know their eternal destiny is at stake. However, we must also convey to them the extent of their Creator’s love for them (Jesus died that they might have life).. But, ultimately they must want to be in relation with God, to love Him as He loves them and as a result are prepared to repent i.e. turn from their sinful life and keep His commandments.

SIN IN THE MILLENNIAL KINGDOM

“Also I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for the testimony of Jesus and for the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended. This is the first resurrection.” Revelation 20:4-5

The most unexpected aspect of Jesus coming Millennial Kingdom on this earth is Satan’s part in the story. We are told an angel seizes him and bounds him with a great chain, throws him into “the bottomless pit”, shuts it and seals it over him. Note that only another angel was needed to do it. My guess is the angel Michael. Satan is bound for almost the entire 1000 years.

Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, holding in his hand the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain. And he seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years, and threw him into the pit, and shut it and sealed it over him, so that he might not deceive the nations any longer, until the thousand years were ended. After that he must be released for a little while.Revelation 20:1-3

Why must Satan be released?

And when the thousand years are ended, Satan will be released from his prison and will come out to deceive the nations that are at the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them for battle; their number is like the sand of the sea. And they marched up over the broad plain of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city, but fire came down from heaven and consumed themRevelation 20:7-9

Jesus and the resurrected Saints have been ruling and reigning for 1000 years. Mind you, we are told they rule with a rod of iron. Even with Jesus ruling and Satan bound, Sin is still a major problem. It is a heart problem, people still want to be God and not have anyone, even their Creator to rule over them. Remember, despite being in the presence of God, Satan and a third of the angels rebelled against God. It will still be a major problem with Jesus and the Saints ruling and reigning in the Millennium. The number that rebel is like the “sand of the sea”.

The one who conquers and who keeps my works until the end, to him I will give authority over the nations, and He will rule them with a rod of iron, as when earthen pots are broken in pieces, even as I myself have received authority from my Father.” Revelation 2:27