THE END IS NOT HERE…YET

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End

David Meade was wrong. The end of the world did not come yesterday as predicted.  Meade along with Dr. Harold Camping– doomsayer of September 6, 1994, along with the Y2K nuts of January 1, 2000 and the Mayan Calendar loonies of December 21, 2012 were all wrong!  And so many “Christians” continue following such nonsense! To you I say “read your Bible and be literal about it”!  The Bible is the only book of prophecy that has been 100% accurate in prophetic fulfillment since its writing.  Yet how few truly study that book, let alone read it with any regularity.  David Meade, rather than trying to figure out some numeric nonsense from passages in the Bible, should actually try just taking it at its word.  If he had then he would have read the words of Jesus regarding the end in Matthew 24:35-36 where He said: Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will never pass away.  No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father”.  When Jesus was on this earth even He didn’t know what day the world would end—so where in the world does “Christian” David Meade think he is getting his information from?  Even if he had figured out the day– God would have had to change it in order to keep His word true!  For scripture also says: “let God be true and every man a liar” Romans 3:4.

One thing is true.  The end is coming. The Bible tells us so although it gives us no dates.  It does illustrate the “season” or the appearances of such a time. The Apostle Paul told his apprentice Timothy: “But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days.  People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy,  without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people”. 2 Timothy 3:1-5  He continued by saying:  “ For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.  They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths”. 2 Timothy 4:3-4

There are many other prophetic passages in the Bible that reveal events that mark the seasons like Israel becoming a nation (1948), political world conditions, catastrophic events, etcetera, but the greatest predictor of the season to me is this mindset of mankind. A growing number of people have no regard for God and move like sheep without a shepherd into darkness while scoffing at the ancient truth.  This is what the apostle Peter warned us about:

Above all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires.  They will say, “Where is this ‘coming’ he promised? Ever since our ancestors died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.” But they deliberately forget that long ago by God’s word the heavens came into being and the earth was formed out of water and by water. By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed.  By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly. But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.  The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare.  Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat. But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells.  2 Peter 3:3-13

Jesus warned us of false prophets.  They will be known by their fruit He said.  Matthew 7:15-20 According to the Bible a prophet who uses the name of God and is wrong once is done! Peter also told us to pay attention to the prophecy in scripture.  No other prophecy is worth our time.  No other prophet is true!

We also have the prophetic message as something completely reliable, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts.  Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation of things.  For prophecy never had its origin in the human will, but prophets, though human, spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.                          2 Peter 1:19-21

When all is said this remains true:  We are all closer to the END with each day we live.  Today the end for many people did come.  I know a man who found his lifeless son in bed this morning.  So let us stop looking for an end date and start living for each day to please the gracious God who made us.  Behold, now is the time of favor; now is the day of salvation! 2 Corinthians 6:2b

FAITH TRAIN #3

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HippieCaboose

The lesson below is the conclusion of three on the “Faith Train” that I taught at our kids summer camp: Camp Faith (you can check out pictures of that camp at thewayout.org).  I thought I would pass the lessons on to you as a simple reminder of how we need to operate our lives.

In 1969 the Woodstock Festival or simply Woodstock—was a music festival that attracted an audience of over 400,000 people, (Many of them hippies) scheduled over three days on a dairy farm in Bethel, New York (not Woodstock as originally planned). It actually turned out to be a free concert (because of the unexpected crowds) where nothing was sold.  No tee shirts, no records, nothing!  There was also a 17 mile traffic jam that lasted eight hours.  Many people just walked to the concert! It rained off and on throughout the concert and the last performer was delayed so long because of the rain that only 30,000 people were left by the time he came on. Jimi Hendrix closed that concert with his stellar guitar performance of The Star Spangled Banner and then Woodstock was history and so were the hippies of the 1960’s.  The very next year was 1970 and the “Me Generation” was born.

How did the hippie’s peace, love and unity fall into such a selfish new group of people?  It was feelings.  Whenever a person lives out their life led by only their feelings they are headed for a train wreak!  When a person lives for their feelings and follows their feelings they live for themselves.  You can’t have peace, love and unity and think only of yourself.  You must think of others.  Only Jesus can help us love others truthfully. Only Jesus can bring true peace and only Jesus can bring real unity.

Lesson:

 And suddenly there appeared with the angel a great multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying: “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom His favor rests!” Luke 2:13-14

 You see, that was the promise that the angels came to proclaim on that first Christmas Eve. Peace was the promise only for those “on whom His favor rests.” And it still is! Peace, love and unity is only for those who put their hope and faith in Jesus Christ. Only those who put their faith in Jesus are favored by God. Only those who receive Jesus as their Lord and Savior are God’s friends.  Only they will know peace, love and unity with other believers in heaven one day because Jesus makes that possible.  The hippies couldn’t make that happen because they were hooked on their own feelings.  Their train rolled on for ten years and finally derailed to make way for the “Me Generation.”

Me, me, me must shrink away and Jesus must be lifted up.  We must all realize that we cannot lead our life.  Faith in Jesus must be first, facts of that faith must fuel our lives and feelings must stay in the caboose (in the back) if we are to stay on track in this life.

John the Baptist was like the first real hippie…he had long hair and a scraggly beard.  He wore animal skins and lived in the wilderness alone. He even ate grasshoppers dipped in honey.  Unlike the hippies of the 60’s though, He came out of the desert to tell people that Jesus was coming and that they needed to repent (turn away from their sins) and follow Him. Stop living for themselves and their feelings and turn around and head the right direction. Jesus was that right direction!  He still is!  John baptized people. That is he dipped people in the water and brought them back up again to make a picture of dying to self and rising up new in Christ. Even Jesus got baptized by John to show the people how to do it.  John gathered a lot of followers whom he baptized, but when Jesus came to him he announced to everyone:

Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.  John 1:29

John knew that he was not the answer to life’s problems.  John knew that he was not the engine to the train of life. John pointed to Jesus.  Jesus was the answer then. Jesus is the answer now.  He is the same yesterday, today and forever more!

John’s disciples told him that everyone was leaving him to follow Jesus, but John didn’t get all emotional and feel depressed, he didn’t get mad because Jesus was more famous, he didn’t cry, throw a temper tantrum or start talking bad about Jesus.  John said:

He must become greater; I must become less.” John 3:30

 Jesus must become greater kids…we must become less.  We must put our feelings behind us and put our faith in Jesus before us while we in the middle fuel our faith!  Faith, Facts then Feelings: Jesus in the driver’s seat and us in the caboose.  Then and only then do we have friendship with God.  Then and only then does His favor rest on us.  Then and only then do we have peace, love, hope…and unity.

Are you on the Faith Train? Get on board if you haven’t already. We’re headed through life on the pathway to heaven where we will finally see the one we had faith in all along. King Jesus, Savior, friend and Lord! Now that’s a concert that I will certainly not be missing!

 

Faith Train #2

Get my Sunday Sermons from The Gathering Church in Audio with the notes at www.properknowledge.com  Download the free app. On both Android and iPhone by searching Proper Knowledge Ministries. 

The short lesson below is the second of three that I taught at our kids summer camp: Camp Faith.  I thought I would pass the lessons of “The Faith Train” on to you as a simple reminder of how we need to operate our lives.

CoalCarStoker

There are many facts that fuel our faith in Jesus.  The pile of coal in the second car behind the old steam engine fueled the furnace that boiled the water and made the train go. In the same way, facts make our faith go! And facts continue to fuel our faith throughout life.   

If a steam train runs out of coal then a steam train will slow down and eventually stop.  If you don’t continually add facts to your faith then eventually you may stop believing in Jesus.  Although a train may eventually run out of coal you will never run out of facts to keep your faith going in Jesus.  The only way you can run out of fuel for your faith is if you stop looking, listening and acting on faith.

It was up to the fireman (Stoker) to keep the engine full of coal and it is up to you to keep your faith burning. We can keep our faith “burning” by doing four things:

  1. Read and learn from the Bible!

The Bible is a fact that makes our faith go! It is 66 books written by over 40 different people, in three different languages, over 1,500 years.  It tells us all about faith, Jesus, and his promises for us (“His children”) who believe. Of all of the religious books written in the world, the Bible is the only book that actually contains God’s own words. If there is only one book you read in your entire life it should be the Bible.  If someone tries to pass themselves off as smart but has not read the Bible then they really fooling themselves. Don’t let them fool you!

Whenever you learn from the Bible you are fueling your faith! The Bible is God’s word written down so it is alive! It is the same words that were spoken and created the heavens and the earth so God’s word can also create you into a “steam engine of faith!”

For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it (goes through and reveals everything) penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Hebrews 4:12

The word of God is also called a light unto our path. And who dosen’t want a light on your train especially when you’re moving through the dark times?

Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path. Psalm 119:105

  1. Have friends of faith.

The people you hang out with will either help you in your faith or hurt you in your faith.  If the stoker (Fireman) was shoveling water balloons into the engine’s furnace instead of coal he would be in trouble.  Eventually the water would put out the fire and the train would stop running.  We need to make sure that the friends we hang out with love Jesus too! Then those friends will help to keep our faith burning and not soak it out. Godly friends will encourage us to read the Bible, go to church and do the things that Jesus teaches us.  Ungodly friends will pull us away from our faith and corrupt (ruin) the good character that God puts in us.

Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.”  1 Corinthians 15:33

  1. Talk to God.

Prayer is a great thing that God gives us.  It is like having God’s personal cell phone number!  We need to talk to God regularly to keep in touch with Him just like with anybody else.  Talk to Him when things are good, when things are great and when things are bad.  We can sing songs to Him and thank Him for all He has done and is doing in our lives (that is called praise and worship). We can also ask him for direction and guidance.  Talk to God no matter how you feel.  Don’t ever allow your feelings get between you and God. We may not always understand the things of life but we must never forget that God does understand and He cares for us deeply.  Talk to God about your problems and your joys. Pray for the needs of others too.

The Lord is near to all who call upon Him, to all who call on Him in truth. Psalm 145:18

Remember; when you do call on God don’t be fooling around.  Talk to Him truthfully. Only then will He be near to you. Talk to God.

  1. Always look for more facts to fuel your faith and keep you going.

Life is always moving.  We are always busy doing something, but don’t ever be too busy to fuel your faith.  Remember, you are both the passenger on your Faith Train and the Fireman (stoker).  You need to keep that furnace of faith burning with facts that fuel your faith.  If you are always looking for God at work in your life then you will always see Him.  There are always plenty of things in this life that reveal God to us if we look for God, listen to God, and act like God’s children. Wherever you go, whatever you do, live out your faith in God and you will always be running on that faith train bound for that land of glory where you will be with Jesus forever and ever.

It is written: What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived — the things God has prepared for those who love him.  1 Corinthians 2:9