Exodus 20:7-8 ESV “You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain. “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.
quick lesson on our days off for those who don’t know. The last day of the week is Saturday and the reason for this being generally accepted as a day off is because God took the day off. For the Jews they observed it as a day of rest. Now that sacrifice has been made for sin we observe Sunday as the lords day because he resurrected on Sunday. Much of the problems within the church and in individual lives of Christians are particularly because we live in the world five days of the week then forget to keep the Sabbath holy. Not that I believe that we should keep it as they did in old times but we should be living within Christ like modesty in our down time because we’re at our worst when we at rest and leisure. Indeed we come to our Lord with with contempt in our worship when we forget who we party with the devil then present ourselves to our saviour on his day. When we drink we drink to modesty. When we go with friends we should act appropriately as ambassadors of Christ. When we show love to those we love we love not as the world sees love. This is not self righteousness. I’ve failed to this task much in my life. Our goal should be to present ourselves to our Jesus, our creator as we are. We should come to him on his day to refresh and ask that he continues with us for the next week to be our strength to act in a way pleasing to him. When we fail it is because we haven’t asked as men desperately seeking. He does the saving. He does the rearranging. He does the work. so I would leave with the lords prayer as a guideline to bring us into harmony on this Sabbath because as with all instruments we need constant tuning.
Matthew 6:9-13 ESV Pray then like this: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
First we submit to his authority and glory, worshipping in our hearts his greatness.
Second we give him all authority to move in our whole life.
Third we ask him for the gifts to perform his will in our lives and to perform his will before those who do not believe.
fourth we acknowledge that we have nothing to give him that is not his already as a child asking for money to buy his father a gift. We ask him to forgive the best we bring to the table which is our sinful nature and deeds done apart from him and on our own.
Lastly we ask him to take our hand through the week as a child does when walking down a busy intersection. No father would lead his son into a crosswalk that has on coming cars, and that is what a child will do on his own because he does not know any better but to run into the street after what ever catches his eye.
Ephesians 6:12-13 ESV For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.  Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.
What shall I say of mankind but this, for any nation to enjoy any kind of peace and or security one must prepare for war. When God led Israel into the promised land he told them to purge it of all of the people living there for two purposes. First to establish them as a nation set apart from the rest of the world and second to keep them from adopting the gods and idols that were already there. Instead over and over they failed to expunge those who were not to dwell among them nor reject the ways they brought with them.
When Jesus came to bring salvation and established his church he gave commandments to live amongst the world. Instead of worldly security he gave us security within the kingdom of God. He did not call us to wage war as the world does yet he called us to take up arms against spiritual enemies. Against strongholds Satan held tightly. Strongholds within people, strongholds within governments on a more personal level within the officials who governed and not on the battlefield. Where believers failed was by not purging the ways the world taught us to live, and the ways it taught us to make war. At least on a spiritual level. Indeed as countries go there is obviously still a time for physical war, yet as Christians those must be fought within a fair and righteous way honorably toward believers and non believers alike with out partiality.
So brings me to America, which has long been known as a country, a nation that is Christian. In fact when you say it is a Christian nation that is in fact what you mean by compacting the previous sentence. Though the obvious looming precursor of Christianity itself is that you can not be born into the kingdom of God by the physical birth. You can not have faith by association. Indeed many are called to faith and salvation through belief in in the blood payment of Christ. Thus further a nation in itself can not be saved. There can be a hedge around a said nation for the glory of Christ eternal kingdom and the furthering of his glorious message of good news but eventually there would need to be a call to revival which there has been. The purpose of said nation would inherently not be a forever resting place for his followers nor a place to only reward obedience but perhaps a call to arms to protect his natural first earthly elect nation when the time came as it has and to further his call to his heavenly kingdom across the globe which it has. The reality though much to most of our heritage has been and continues to be stained by horrific acts done not only by the non believers but outstandingly by his church and in his name. In his revelation to John he did not seperate the chaff from the wheat when he talked to the churches therefore I will not either. I will say this, God calls both the church and non believers to repentance but holds each accountably different. Condemnation is not off the table.
Looking at the state of the union, I would be very weary to say that we won’t be cast into tribulation to be tried as Americans have never been before. To burn away the dross. To refine our faith. To see if we are indeed going to found to be good servants when he returns. To see if we have oil in the lamp or if and when our hedge is removed if we are found looking for oil to light our way through the night.
John 14:9 ESV Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?
There is a illustration here for those of us who call ourselves Christians. Often I heard growing up I heard the phrase ” not perfect but forgiven”. Not that I completely in disagreement with this but often it is used as a shield to excuse our falling short. Indeed a better saying would be to say that I am on the path to being recreated in Christs image. If indeed we are honest with ourselves and those we seek to win from hell Itself yes we are a continuous work in progress until we leave this wretched flesh behind.
Self assessment of ourselves through the lens of the Holy Spirit should be this, have those you have come across today seen the son of God today? Have they seen unwarranted love? have they seen themselves for who they are by the wisdom given through the word and the Holy Spirit? Have they seen his grace? Have they been brought out of the darkness and into the light by your presence? If I had no religious affiliation would those who don’t believe call me a little Christ?
Genesis 16:3-14 ESV So, after Abram had lived ten years in the land of Canaan, Sarai, Abram’s wife, took Hagar the Egyptian, her servant, and gave her to Abram her husband as a wife.
And he went in to Hagar, and she conceived. And when she saw that she had conceived, she looked with contempt on her mistress.
And Sarai said to Abram, “May the wrong done to me be on you! I gave my servant to your embrace, and when she saw that she had conceived, she looked on me with contempt. May the LORD judge between you and me!”
But Abram said to Sarai, “Behold, your servant is in your power; do to her as you please.” Then Sarai dealt harshly with her, and she fled from her.
The angel of the LORD found her by a spring of water in the wilderness, the spring on the way to Shur.
And he said, “Hagar, servant of Sarai, where have you come from and where are you going?” She said, “I am fleeing from my mistress Sarai.”
The angel of the LORD said to her, “Return to your mistress and submit to her.”
The angel of the LORD also said to her, “I will surely multiply your offspring so that they cannot be numbered for multitude.”
And the angel of the LORD said to her, “Behold, you are pregnant and shall bear a son. You shall call his name Ishmael, because the LORD has listened to your affliction.
He shall be a wild donkey of a man, his hand against everyone and everyone’s hand against him, and he shall dwell over against all his kinsmen.”
So she called the name of the LORD who spoke to her, “You are a God of seeing,” for she said, “Truly here I have seen him who looks after me.”
Therefore the well was called Beer-lahai-roi; it lies between Kadesh and Bered.
When we truly meet the living God of creation, we meet ourselves. He shows us who we have been who will can be and who will become. He shows us though we may think we are alone in our journey he has always been there before we knew him. He shows us that he hears our struggles. He shows us even when others choose to see the worst of who we are he shows us who we can be. He shows us when there seems to be no justice for us he is working to give it equally to all of us though we may not always deserve it. He shows us if we choose his ways he gives freelly and calls us not servants but friends.
John 15:15 ESV No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.
Malachi 2:17 ESV You have wearied the LORD with your words. But you say, “How have we wearied him?” By saying, “Everyone who does evil is good in the sight of the LORD, and he delights in them.” Or by asking, “Where is the God of justice?”
Malachi 3:2-3 ESV But who can endure the day of his coming, and who can stand when he appears? For he is like a refiner’s fire and like fullers’ soap.  He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and he will purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, and they will bring offerings in righteousness to the LORD.
Malachi 3:5 ESV “Then I will draw near to you for judgment. I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers, against the adulterers, against those who swear falsely, against those who oppress the hired worker in his wages, the widow and the fatherless, against those who thrust aside the sojourner, and do not fear me, says the LORD of hosts.
It has been almost a week since the elections in America. I take a look at all of the social media, the news. A lot of people are happy, many are angry. Some look on towards the next four years with hope, some with fear. I suppose it is a very good thing to step back from all things political, to take a breath and as a firm believer in Christ say all things are within Gods hands. If your faith is in Christ then you should know that God himself has no respect for a mans stature. He cares not for his wealth, nor his political association. No respect for his denomination. If you indeed do well God will bless you. If you call on his name and repent of your sins he will forgive you. If you forgive he will forgive. Does God always bless us in worldly blessings? absolutely not. One of the things God will do is bless us according to his will, and curse those who do wrong according to his will. It is for us to accept that he is control. He alone allows man good and bad to prosper.
Romans 13:9-10 ESV For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,” and any other commandment, are summed up in this word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”  Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.
Obviously we live in trying times. I personally never have attached myself to the Trump train, day one in announcing his candidacy I was not in favour of him. his attitude, his corrupt ways of dealing. The lack of any respect for people. Yet for all of this he was elected to office. Apparently he was indeed part of Gods plan. Christians embraced him as their man to bring forth Gods plan to bless his people, bring justice and yet for all that he said or did that was not good or right they ignored those things though contrary to biblical righteousness. Indeed I know God has used those who were not good people in the bible for his plan but those who where Gods people never coddled them nor ignored their sins. God never allowed Nebuchadnezzar to believe it was under his own steam. This is where I do think Christians have indeed fallen short with Trump. Also the ugliness much of his supporters have not been called out for what it is. Wicked arrogance, hatred. I would be remiss to say the democratic party was perfect in their words and actions toward him though I would say God holds those who proclaim his name more accountable then those who don’t believe. Consider the Pharisees and Sadduccees. A two party system of Jesus times that Jesus had no few words with and more so with the more religious Pharisees than the not so much Sadduccees. I say all this because my hope is not in either political party nor should it be. No party has laid its life down for me. No blood of any politician redeems my soul. There is only one Holy Spirit that has been faithful to complete Yahweh’s work that has been promised to been done within me. I know that my reward awaits me in His kingdom. Obviously we live in times that we can look to whatever media(um) that supports our own bias, we hold. I honestly don’t think that it really matters at this point. What we need to do is seek Jesus, love our neighbors, stop getting ensnared into endless debates, seek fair dealings with those we disagree, bless those who hate you, stop hanging salvation on a political party stance, and humble ourselves as Jesus humbled himself to become the very thing he hated, sin, so that you could believe in him and have salvation from sin and eternal life with him.
Ecclesiastes 1:18 ESV For in much wisdom is much vexation, and he who increases knowledge increases sorrow.
One of the first things family and friends will say during interviews after a tragic act of violence or suicide is that they cannot believe what that person has done. They say that was not the actions of the person they had known. In fact they did not actually know that person. There are many reasons for this, whether the person hid their real self or the people around saw the signs and didn’t take the time to see the real person right there next to them in pain or living with anger. Another reason being that people are caught up in their own lives being too busy or distracted to notice what was happening right before them. In many ways we don’t really know the person next us this rings true for our relationship with God.
Many times I have heard or read comments objecting to some attribute of God someone has attributed to God. “That is not the God I know!” “That’s not how God is” “my God is loving and would not do that” “my God only rewards the righteous and punishes the wicked”. All of this can be boiled down to a philosophical view or understanding of God that one believes. Indeed everyone I have met has a philosophy on which they have lived their lives. A philosophy on which they see the world. A philosophy on which they connect with others. It is important to note that people have a positive and negative connotation towards even the word philosophy. To me it seems useless to know a word without context, to use a word with a bad Definition, so lets look at the definition of philosophy.
Now with the understanding that philosophy is a word the means love of wisdom we can extrapolate better reasoning that there are two kinds of people, those who seek wisdom and those who follow wisdom. Further more there are those who seek worldly wisdom and wisdom that comes from our creator. There are those are fine with the simpler things and those who were created with a need to search for deeper wisdom. I would define the difference between the two as this, the philosopher who seeks wisdom as Solomon, and the practitioners of the philosophers philosophy.
There are indeed problems with whichever category a person may land on. It gets tricky when you seek wisdom. It pleased God when Solomon ask for wisdom. Therefore we can say the pursuit of wisdom can not be inherently bad. In fact when we humble ourselves and say I lack the wisdom and seek God he liberally gives us such wisdom. However we do see that wisdom is like a drug. Sometimes seeking wisdom tastes sweeter than digesting the wisdom God provides. Therefore we can conclude that gluttony for wisdom is as dangerous as any other drug that man can ingest.
I disclose all of this with a grain of salt. When seeking wisdom we have two sources for which there is good and true knowledge and wisdom, the word of God itself and those who consult knowledge and wisdom of the bible through the lens of the Holy Spirit which discerns between good and bad philosophy. Notice there also that discernment is not judgment. We all digest good and bad philosophy daily whether we mean to or not and for good reason we are told not to be a judge of people because God indeed forgives our own ignorance as we forgive our brothers and sisters ignorance. To know God and his ways we must be true philosophers (seekers of true wisdom and knowledge) of his word. To know God we must have a whole truth found in the whole bible. His righteousness, his grace, the reason for his wrath, what and who he hates, what and who he loves. What and why he calls sin.
1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 ESV But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope.  For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep.  For this we declare to you by a word from the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep.  For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first.  Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord.  Therefore encourage one another with these words.
The Saints were worried for their brothers and sister dying before Jesus Christ came back. Obviously this passage does not say the word rapture, but sets up the pretense which that word maintains. Those who have passed will be risen first. This sets up the disagreement that the rapture and the day of the Lord are two different things.
1 Thessalonians 5:2 ESV For you yourselves are fully aware that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night.
1 Thessalonians 5:4 ESV But you are not in darkness, brothers, for that day to surprise you like a thief.
The day of the Lord (not the rapture) will come like a thief in the night for those who do not believe. Those who are awaiting the day of the Lord will know absolutely how close it is when it comes. No they won’t won’t know the day or hour. But they will know by the season. They will know by the events going on. Now the events of the tribulation will be so pressing and that there will be no date calculated on the calendar.
2 Thessalonians 2:2-3 ESV not to be quickly shaken in mind or alarmed, either by a spirit or a spoken word, or a letter seeming to be from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come.  Let no one deceive you in any way. For that day will not come, unless the rebellion comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction,
Now the day of the Lord will not come until after the anti christ stops the sacrifices happening in the new temple built. He will seat himself on the throne in the temple. He will reveal himself completely.
Daniel 9:27 ESV And he shall make a strong covenant with many for one week, and for half of the week he shall put an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall come one who makes desolate, until the decreed end is poured out on the desolator.”
The Thessalonians were troubled thinking that the day of the Lord had past and missed him. This seems to be in line with much of the thinking today that we who believe today will miss the tribulation but consider this verse of those who are in heaven awaiting the day of the Lord for judgement to come to those who have murdered the Saints.
Revelation 6:9-11 ESV When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the witness they had borne.  They cried out with a loud voice, “O Sovereign Lord, holy and true, how long before you will judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?”  Then they were each given a white robe and told to rest a little longer, until the number of their fellow servants and their brothers should be complete, who were to be killed as they themselves had been.
So the complete number of the martyrs for christ must be accounted for before the day of the Lord that comes like a thief to be gathered together at the end of the tribulation.
Revelation 16:14-16 KJVS For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty.  Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.  And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon.
Now I understand the preferred theology that pre tribulation gives. No one likes the idea of suffering or being murdered for their faith. Yet Jesus told us this would happen. We would be murdered for his name. He said that we would have to endure to show our faith be true. To those who would say we are not ment to endure God’s wrath which will be poured out on the earth, that is true. Just as much as God’s wrath was not poured out on the children of Israel in Egypt. The enslavement of Israel in Egypt is the same as our bondage in this world. Instead of pharoh being the man trying everything possible to keep us enslaved to sin it is Satan who will be fighting to stop us from leaving sin behind. His time will be short.
Revelation 16:2 ESV So the first angel went and poured out his bowl on the earth, and harmful and painful sores came upon the people who bore the mark of the beast and worshiped its image.
So you see that even in time of judgement and trial God remains faithful to those who have not sided with the anti christ. Those who remain faithful will be preserved just as he preserved the Israelites in Egypt. Just as Job was rewarded when Satan was allowed to test his faith he had much like our faith in America, Jobs faith had never been tested like when Satan truly tested it nor has our faith in America been tested like it will be in the tribulation. We will be rewarded for our faithfulness when the hedge is removed. Be strong keep the full armor of faith. Because it will sound better to curse God and die than to endure these trials. But as so this cup falls perhaps to our generation like it did to Jesus. Is it not written that it must come to pass?
Matthew 25:1-13 ESV “Then the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom.  Five of them were foolish, and five were wise.  For when the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them,  but the wise took flasks of oil with their lamps.  As the bridegroom was delayed, they all became drowsy and slept.  But at midnight there was a cry, ‘Here is the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.’  Then all those virgins rose and trimmed their lamps.  And the foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’  But the wise answered, saying, ‘Since there will not be enough for us and for you, go rather to the dealers and buy for yourselves.’  And while they were going to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the marriage feast, and the door was shut.  Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, ‘Lord, lord, open to us.’  But he answered, ‘Truly, I say to you, I do not know you.’  Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour.
In closing argument. When the day of the lord comes, the doors to the kingdom will be shut. Therefore there will be no more grace for those who do not believe. There will be no more chance for redemption. There will not be any more time to repent and the gates to heaven will be shut. When the trial of humanity, the greatest trying of faith, we will be tested. For those who mock their hearts will be hardened. Their minds deceived, their bodies given to the lusts of their flesh. Those who are on the fence will have a choice. Thus the tribulation will be the last chance for salvation before the day of the lord. If we are to be taken before the tribulation then praise the Lord, however Lot was taken from Sodom and Gomorrah as the city was destroyed, so too will be the day of the Lord. Today is the day to prepare with enough oil to make it to the day of the lord whether you get there in life or death. The message is two fold for if you die without faith or go into these times with dead faith the time to buy more oil is gone from you.
Borrowing from C.S. Lewis the importance of definition. Being a gentleman used to mean something different than a man’s character. A status of a man was his preferred definition. As such the definition of a Christian should be also a matter of status as we represent each other and our saviour regardless of if we are good representative of our faith or not. Truth be told as much as blood binds brothers and sisters together regardless of if we acknowledge our blood relatives so to does the blood of Jesus. It is better to acknowledge that we are in fact brothers and sisters than to deny it. As family has disagreements but still a hope of reconciliation. If we were are indeed not family then there is no hope to be one together on this earth nor in heaven afterward. Indeed some if not many do take the Lord’s name in vein not in speech but actions toward their spiritual family and those who may or may not become fellow siblings in faith based on how we represent each other.
Revelation 22:10-11 ESV And he said to me, “Do not seal up the words of the prophecy of this book, for the time is near.  Let the evildoer still do evil, and the filthy still be filthy, and the righteous still do right, and the holy still be holy.”
As I set here the world turns, and as I still have breath, ask the Lord Yahweh to cleans me of all that has jaded me. We see all things coming to a close as we enter perhaps the final act of human history. Chaos reigns supreme as those who have no hope hide in fear while clutching to futility and those who have a hope clouded by sins abounding in these times. Written on the wall are the sins of our fathers yet we still have been doomed to repeat history. We have the promise that if we try to save ourselves that we will lose our lives but if we lose our lives for Jesus Christ sake we will find true eternal life.
Why do I start at the end? Because the end is the beginning! If one thing I know, God completely laid out the first coming, and his entire message within his word and no one saw it coming. No one was aware. They were awaiting a worldly leader, a messiah to establish a literal kingdom. The religious leadership was in complete darkness to the fact that Jesus came to establish a kingdom that was spiritual. A kingdom that never could be overthrown. It was alluded to throughout the Torah and by the prophets. As we enter I ask myself if we too are missing the point of his first coming, the subsequent prophecies and the book of revelation. You see people love to find work around uncomfortable truths. We try to find answers to problems that we don’t need answers to. We live in fear everyday like what will we wear, what will we eat, where will I lay my head? We have an an answer. The great I am will provide. We seek to help him by actively getting in his way like Abraham. Who acted faithfully, yet caused problems to this day with one unknowingly adulterous act of conceiving a child with a second wife. Indeed a blessing to Abrahams seed from Hagar became a curse of tension and fighting over bloodline of faith. Indeed a butterfly effect by one sin. We should be very careful when we set out to do God’s will on our terms. We have grace but every sin causes death and suffering! No wonder God hates sin so much. We ask how he stand to allow such calamity in the world. The truth is we make bad choices and blame him for them. Proverbs 19:3 ESV When a man’s folly brings his way to ruin, his heart rages against the LORD.
So again to our times we see man’s folly in full fruition. Indeed we try to legislate morality to no avail. Sin still tears through our land liberal and conservative alike. Doing as we please without concern. Look to the left, those looking to be left alone in their sin, look to the right looking for freedom to life, liberty and the right to happiness by whatever gain necessary standing on the near waisted earth and the backs of his fellow man asking am I my brothers keeper? All the same as Cain stood in arrogance before his creator while his brothers blood ran cold. We cry over our freedoms to worship yet what have we done with such freedoms? Indeed the church stands before God as filthy as Israel, yet looks down on those who mock as if we did not have an example of holiness and did not ignore it for personal gain and self righteousness. I myself included.
Over and over again Jesus warned us himself and through his prophets and his apostles. Did we listen? Some. Not nearly enough.
To this generation living perhaps within 100 seconds to midnight Jesus told his church….
….. ‘The words of him who has the seven spirits of God and the seven stars. “‘I know your works. You have the reputation of being alive, but you are dead.  Wake up, and strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your works complete in the sight of my God.  Remember, then, what you received and heard. Keep it, and repent. If you will not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what hour I will come against you.  Yet you have still a few names in Sardis, people who have not soiled their garments, and they will walk with me in white, for they are worthy. Revelation 3:1-4
Revelation 2:20-23 ESV But I have this against you, that you tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess and is teaching and seducing my servants to practice sexual immorality and to eat food sacrificed to idols.  I gave her time to repent, but she refuses to repent of her sexual immorality.  Behold, I will throw her onto a sickbed, and those who commit adultery with her I will throw into great tribulation, unless they repent of her works,  and I will strike her children dead. And all the churches will know that I am he who searches mind and heart, and I will give to each of you according to your works.
Revelation 2:5-7 ESV Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. If not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent.  Yet this you have: you hate the works of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.  He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who conquers I will grant to eat of the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.’
One of the repeating themes in the bible is perseverance, continued steadfastness and trying of faith. I have heard the pre tribulation rapture theology all of my life and I try to balance my views through scriptures. I have come to the conclusion that I just don’t know. The left behind books, thief in the night movies, made it sound like there would be chaos thereafter because of how many Christians are taken but the way Jesus calls us to live I just don’t see it. Also the foreshadowing of how God gave Job to be tested makes me wonder about Christians living as though they will be excused from the hardship of Satan be set free to do as he will. I do know that when Israel enters into the agreement with the anti christ he will be allowed to make war with the Saints.
Revelation 13:7 ESV Also it was allowed to make war on the saints and to conquer them. And authority was given it over every tribe and people and language and nation,
Many will die for their faith. In these last days brothers and sisters, remember Jesus words to endure as sin will continue to abound. It is our love that we must not allow to wax cold. Because our enemy will be in our own house. And we are to continue to love our enemy.
Matthew 24:12-13 KJVS And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.  But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.
Matthew 5:44 KJVS But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;
Matthew 10:34-36 ESV “Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword.  For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.  And a person’s enemies will be those of his own household.
Brothers and sisters if we do find ourselves in the tribulation or the beginnings of the tribulation do not lose faith. Hold strong and endure. Never lose faith till the end. Christ comes like a thief in the night and indeed we don’t know the day and hour. We don’t know how it will unfold. Look up for your redemption.
Some have preached good works until there is barely a decent person left in the congregation, while others have preached free grace and dying love in such a way that sinners have become saints,and saints have been as boughs loaded down with fruit to the praise and glory of God. Having seen the harvest which comes from what we have planted, we are not going to change it at the commands of this whimsical age.
Charles H Spurgeon The Greatest Fight
Good morning. Indeed it is a good morning. The Lord has not returned yet and we still have breath to speak on his word, his holy good news, his love and long suffering. The gospel that has indeed changed the coarse of history. We have a great feeling in these days that we face times that there is a hopelessness in reasoning. Long lost is the art of conversation. We have so downgraded conversations for quick quips, short stinging rebukes, empty memes without respect. Certainly the wise have done away with real wisdom for foolish pursuit of strange and new truths. The ignorant choose to willfully remain without insight to things they have no understanding, instead looking for leaders to dictate their every thought on every matter. In essence both have exchanged truth for a more comfortable lie at worst or at best omitting that which is uncomfortable.
In seeming juxtaposition Paul preached unwavering faith to his flock, while James taught vehemently the importance of works. Admittedly throughout history we see that people are as much same yesterday today and tomorrow as our saviour is. While the gospel is this, your faith has made you whole. Not your thoughts. Not your works. Not the uttering of a prayers like a pre prepared magical incantation or hidden cheat code to the universe. Your faith makes you whole. This free grace is the utmost powerful gift that builds up believers to move mountains. This free grace gives unlimited growth to change the coarse of countries, conflicts, wars. This pure faith is what gives power to the good works that James spoke of. If our works are not backed by faith what else are they? Greed? Fear? Insurance?
You can no more have faith or good works without love. One of the Most bastardized words to pass our lips. If we speak of love without faith in a fallen world then we come to a broken meaning. There are many different ways of love and in Greek they had separate words to quickly tell of what love you are speaking of. In a society devoid of true love we have often exchanged brotherly, parental or common admiration for repetition, idolatry and empty works. We exchange the communion of similar interest for sensuality. This leads to isolation as people don’t know what love is. This leads to jealousy, which leads to resentment, anger, hate, broken families, broken children, ,divorce, murder. Diseases from promiscuity. The emptiness of unfulfilled relationships leading to shame, self loathing, depression, suicide. Often we talk on what is a sin but leave out why it is a sin. Not only where we miss the mark but why we have a mark to hit.
It is not good to be alone. It is not good for man to be alone…. We see in the beginning the God himself did not want to be alone. He took a completely void nothing and turned it into everything. Great artistry. Perfect balance. Perfect harmony. Then he did something perfectly wonderful he created man in his own image. We immediately see an image as in what we can see. Physical. We live in a physical state of being. However this I full heartedly believe not to be true. His image is spiritual. It is eternal. It is not of our understanding. His being is only described best as light. Light also is not what we see only as illumination. If you retract it you get all colors. If you harness it from the sun you get power, electricity. If you were organic as the plant kingdom it would be food for your needs in photosynthesis. When we he created us he wanted a spiritual relationship. When he created male and female, he wanted us to have a spiritual relationship. When he multiplied us he wanted us all to have a spiritual relationship. When we try to substitute one aspect of our spiritual relationship with another we suffer. Love is the spiritual bonding of our spirit to one another. Every aspect of love is important. Admiration, brotherly, sisterly, parental, comforting, sensuality. But as with all things they need to be within their perfect balance. To each pure relationship we have, the healthier we are spiritually. Each impure relationship causes your soul harm. Every denied relationship because of fear is like cancer to our spirit. Our faith will heal our spirit, and allow us our spirit to work in balance and harmony like cogs. Cogs of spiritual war, repaired by faith, held together by love, harmonious working together. Every one having our own place in the Kingdom of god which is spiritual.
For those of us steadfast in our grace received by by faith, we need to return to the basics of our common faith, which is Jesus Christ. We disagree on many things however, no matter what ethnicity, political party, status in our faith and journey towards our promise, if we stand on a strong foundation of faith and true love, the kind only the holy spirit give we will win the race.
1 Corinthians 16:13-14 ESV Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.  Let all that you do be done in love.