RECOGNISE AND SUBMIT TO GOD’S SOVEREIGNTY

When I shut up heaven and there is no rain, or command the locusts to devour the land, or SEND PESTILENCE among My people, if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”  2 Chronicles 7: 13-14

“The instant I speak concerning a nation and concerning a kingdom, to pluck up, to pull down, and to destroy it,  if that nation against whom I have spoken turns from its evil, I will relent of the disaster that I thought to bring upon it.”  Jeremiah 18:7-8

How foolish are our leaders! The answers to our problems are in God’s Word as these two scriptures testify. Sadly, as God’s Word predicts, in the “last days” the world turns away from God and in fact denies His existence. The consequences of that rebellion are also revealed in the Bible – God’s wrath will be poured out on an unrepentant world just as it was in Noah’s day. Jesus also warns us beforehand of the coming tribulation that will face Christians who fear God and hold to the inerrancy of His Word, His commandments, particularly the sanctity of marriage, and gender.

For as were the days of Noah, so will be the coming of the Son of Man (Jesus second coming). For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, and they were unaware until the flood came and swept them all away, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.Matthew 24:37-39

Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then will appear in heaven the sign of the Son of Man, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And He will send out his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.Matthew 24:29-31

He will send out his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

YOU VERSION BIBLE APP – A REASON TO CELEBRATE

The following report on usage of the YouVersion Bible App demonstrates how God uses catastrophes for His purposes. How important it is we seek the Holy Spirit’s guidance so we are in step with His purposes in our sphere of influence.

Searches on the YouVersion Bible app increased by 80% this year, to nearly 600 million, as the pandemic created a sense of uncertainty and turmoil. The verse Isaiah 41:10, which is about God’s promise for strength and help, was the verse that was bookmarked, highlighted, and shared the most.

“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you,
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10

With 43.6 billion Bible chapters read, 7.5 billion audio chapters played and 1.4 billion Bible Plan days completed, YouVersion says it “saw its highest levels of global Bible engagement in app history.”

“This has been a challenging year with many people facing devastating loss, loneliness, and fear,” said YouVersion founder Bobby Gruenewald. “While 2020 is a year so many say they’d like to forget, we see it as a year to remember how God used the Bible App to help so many people who are searching for answers. Through every hardship, people continue to seek God and turn to the Bible for strength, peace, and hope.

The results reveal how people are seeking God as they wrestle with the difficult circumstances they’ve faced in 2020, and that’s something we can celebrate.

BIBLICAL ILLITERACY ‘UTMOST PROBLEM’ FACING GLOBAL EVANGELISM

The biggest crisis facing the evangelical, global church today is the growing lack of biblical literacy worldwide, according to Thomas Schirrmacher, the newly elected secretary-general of the World Evangelical Alliance. I agree with him.

“Our biggest problem is that Bible knowledge is fading away,” Schirrmacher told The Christian Post. “This is the utmost problem we have beyond all theological differences, financial problems, and political questions.”

According to the State of the Bible 2020 report released by the Barna Group and the American Bible Society, U.S. adults who say they read the Bible daily dropped from 14% to 9% between early 2019 and 2020.

The study found that the proportion of Americans who read the Bible daily also fell to fewer than one in 10 (9%), the lowest number on record during the 10 years of the State of the Bible research study.

We are talking about God’s Word, our Creator’s Word, that He wants to convey to His creation. To those, He made in His image. What could be more important? It contains the message of who we are, why we are separated from our Creator, why the world is like it is, and more importantly what God has done and is doing to put it right. The Bible gives us an accurate history of this world so different from the godless evolutionary view inspired by the god of this world, Satan.

I use NKJ, ESV and New Living translations and can recommend Logos Software

Schirrmacher, who studied theology in Switzerland and the United States, and serves as the WEA’s Associate Secretary General for Theological Concerns, said that in the Western world “more and more kids that come from evangelical families are not really rooted in the Bible,” and many of them leave the faith.

In an increasingly polarized society, Schirrmacher also emphasized the importance of unity, stressing that the “biggest obstacle” to the spread of the Gospel are divisions within Christianity.

“We need to discuss much more and long for what is the DNA, I would say not only of evangelicalism but of Christianity,” he said. “What we have together is the Bible, Jesus, and the Gospel.” We cannot allow these central teachings of Christianity to fade away together with minor topics. Then, there will be nothing left.”

Fortunately, the good news is, God is active in His world. He will accomplish His purposes and it will unfold exactly as He tells us in His Word. As I have mentioned countless times before on this website, there are more prophecies about Jesus soon coming return then there were about His first coming to earth and there were more than 300 of those. It should be reason enough for everybody on this planet to want to spend time in His Word and for those who know Him to want to share the good news with others.

GOD’S WORD STUDIED IN THE WHITE HOUSE

An atheist activist group, Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) is suing the federal government over the allegation that Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson is “dodging records requests relating to a White House bible study.”

FFRF PRESS RELEASE: “According to reports, the Trump administration holds weekly bible study sessions at the White House. FFRF is seeking the records to determine whether or not the bible study uses government resources, whether staffers may feel coerced into organising or even participating in the religious event, and to ascertain government access granted to Capitol Ministries, a group that seeks to evangelise elected officials.

The Bible study is a rarity in government, and, according to Drollinger, a similar study among cabinet members potentially hasn’t happened in over a century. The weekly Bible study in question has been “making history.” Drollinger told CBN News in an interview last year that participants — some of the most powerful people in government — are “godly individuals that God has risen to a position of prominence in our culture.”

The participating secretaries include: CIA Director Mike Pompeo, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Dr. Ben Carson, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Purdue, EPA head Rick Perry, Secretary of Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price and Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

“[Jeff Sessions will] go out the same day I teach him something and I’ll see him do it on camera and I just think, ‘Wow, these guys are faithful, available and teachable and they’re at Bible study every week they’re in town,’” Drollinger said.

The Bible Study is apparently co-sponsored by Vice President Mike Pence. The list of bible study attendees includes officials whose appointments FFRF objected to because of their inability to keep their personal religion separate from their public office: Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, CIA Director Mike Pompeo, Energy Secretary Rick Perry, and, of course, Secretary Ben Carson, the surgeon whom President Trump tapped to run Housing and Urban Development. (Trump himself rarely makes an appearance.)”

The Bible study, in particular, has been an area of interest for the FFRF due to the fact that Ralph Drollinger of Capitol Ministries, the man who leads it, has reportedly made controversial past statements about about Catholicism as well as women legislators.

He reportedly called Catholicism “one of the primary false religions of the world” and wrote the following about female politicos:

It is one thing for a mother to work out of her home while her children are in school. It is quite another matter to have children in the home and live away in Sacramento for four days a week. Whereas the former could be in keeping with the spirit of Proverbs 31, the latter is sinful.”

2020 THE YEAR OF THE BIBLE

The founder of the “Year of the Bible” movement is Nick Hall, who also founded PULSE and the Together movement.

Imagine what God can do with an entire year as we commit to elevate Scripture across the nation. Join Nick Hall and people like Francis Chan and Ravi Zacharias to make this happen.

THE BIBLE IS THE MOST CATALYTIC BOOK IN HISTORY.

IT HAS INSPIRED MORE EXPRESSIONS OF BEAUTY & SOCIETAL ADVANCEMENTS THAN ANY OTHER BOOK. EVER.

THE ONLY QUESTION LEFT IS – WHAT WOULD BE INSPIRED IN YOUR LIFE IF YOU MADE THIS YOUR YEAR OF THE BIBLE?

Believe in the Lord your God, and you shall be established; believe His prophets, and you shall prosper.” 2 Chronicles 20:20

To participate in the movement, you follow just three simple steps:

Declare: Take a picture with your Bible and post it with the #YearoftheBible hashtag.

Engage: Engage with the Bible like never before using the movement’s resources.

Create: Use the inspiration to create art and music you can share with the #YearoftheBible hashtag.

“‘Your Year’ is not a pass/fail test,” the movement’s website says. “It is an intention to passionately engage with Scripture for a whole year. This is a community of Bible readers across the world that is diving into the same reading plans and resources, which means you can study the same books and fascinating themes together.”

Almost 2,500 people have already used the hashtag #YearoftheBible on Instagram. Hundreds of these photos show people with their Bibles—some clean and brand-new, others ragged with pages covered in notes and underlines. Come join.

DO YOU BELIEVE GOD SPEAKS TO US?

Read Bill Yount’s story of how God broke through his doubts, to speak to Bill, and how it changed his life. Jesus said, my sheep hear my voice. His sheep spend time in His Word, they spend time in prayer and they spend time in praise. 

What’s keeping you from hearing God’s voice clearly? This is part 1 of Bill’s message on listening to God. The second part is what Bill believes God wants us do in this “crucial hour” we are in, leading up to His second coming. 

“As a new Christian, out of the gate running, hell took its best shot at me to abort the innate desire to ever hear God’s voice. A wedge of contention drove deep between my Bible teacher and me the moment he said, “God spoke to me.” Those words were alien to me. Immediately, my whole being was flooded with doubts as the enemy unleashed those infamous fatal words: “Indeed, has God said?” (Gen. 3:1). Surely this man had a big ego problem, thinking God Almighty would take the time to speak to him personally among the billions of people on earth.

I left the Bible study in frustration that evening, thinking he was certainly out of his mind. That crazy teacher kept me awake. An hour later a question walked into my bedroom, “But what if you could? What if you could actually hear God speak to you?” As I began to faintly consider the possibility of an answer, that question lit a fire within me that has never gone out. I thought to myself, if God could actually speak to me, I would be willing to wait 30 or 40 years to hear him speak one word: not a whole sentence but just one word.

God wants to speak to you. Two hours later, the Lord Himself walked into my sleepless night. He said, “Son, I want to speak to you more than you want Me to.”

From that moment, my journey began listening for His voice. Now you know what I live for. I live to hear God speak. My worst days have taught me:

When God speaks, you live. When God speaks, you’re healed. When God speaks, you’re delivered. Storm clouds scatter. Dead dreams thunder with life. I’m not talking about man speaking, but when God speaks, you live. His voice has brought me through hell and back, changing doctors’ reports and adding years to my life. The devil’s best shot missed me.”

Bill is a member of Bridge of Life in Hagerstown, Maryland, where he is an elder and a home missionary for the past 40 years. He faithfully served in prison ministry at Mount Hope Inc. for 23 years and now travels full-time, ministering in churches and Aglow circles. Bill has authored several prophetic books. His latest book is The Power of Real / Transparent Prophetic Encouragement. Visit Bill’s website at billyount.com.