Daily Archives: November 12, 2012

The Puzzle Unfolds: America and the End-Times

by Jan Markell
www.olivetreeviews.org
November 12, 2012

So we’ve had a birth pang of biblical proportions! And it was a U.S. election. Did it get our attention? Yes! Maybe it needed to. We’re all so busy that we don’t pay careful attention to how late it is.

We’re in the fast lane to the end of the age now. We have a Buddhist, a Muslim, and a Hindu in Congress so we’re one nation under many gods. We’re heading even more into rampant acceptance of same-sex marriage, abortion, and legalized recreational marijuana. Evil is called good and good is called evil. Do you have any doubt that we are officially in the “days of Noah?” Let me offer these observations, if they’re even needed.

There was a shot heard around the world, metaphorically speaking, in June 2009. When Barack Obama addressed the Muslim world from Cairo, Egypt, it was obvious that it was a new day and a black day. As Obama apologized to the Arab world from Cairo, his special guests in the audience were the Muslim Brotherhood. His uninvited guest was Egypt’s President Hosni Mubarak. You can bet when the “Arab Spring” took off in January 2011, the radicals reflected on Obama’s apologies.

I believe the predicted biblical perilous times were accentuated on June 4, 2009, in Cairo. After that, a steady stream of Muslim Brotherhood operatives made their way to the highest places in our land. They were frequent and regular guests of the White House and State Department. All other administrations but this one rightfully labeled the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist outfit. But our current Intelligence chief, James Clapper, suggested that the Muslim Brotherhood was closer to the Lutheran Brotherhood than a bunch of terrorists. The Islamics are just do-gooders, he suggested. The lying never ceases.

As terror expert Steve Emerson reports, legions of radical Islamists made regular visits to people in high places. It was not to share a cup of tea. It was to talk about darkness: How America could be harmed. As has been revealed, a key player in this scheme is Hillary Clinton’s aid, Huma Abedin, whose family are Muslim Brotherhood operatives. It makes no sense other than that love of country has been replaced by unseen hands who don’t have America’s best in mind. It will take a Woodward and Bernstein to sort through it all.

The hidden little secret to the Benghazi debacle is that our nation’s highest leaders were orchestrating a gun-running operation from terrorists in Libya to terrorists in Syria. So America doesn’t just acknowledge the “Arab Spring,” we actually helped coordinate it. We chose sides and we picked the real bad guys over the bad guys. The bigger question is why are we involved at all? Remember Israel and Egypt’s peace treaty that has held for 30 years? Why stick our nose in and wreck it?

The dead ambassador was a part of it. Imagine that. Our efforts there weren’t benign and humanitarian. And this isn’t speculation. Thanks goes, in part, to the team at Fox News who were sleuths-in-chief with no training other than that of crack journalists.

Could we have imagined a scenario like this ten years ago? Could we have fathomed it on September 12, 2001? In our wildest imagination we could not have! Islamic infiltration? Come on. Maybe Communists or Socialists, but not Islamists! Never would we have dreamed that Islam would have been an end-of-days nemesis to America.

For all of this to play out there needed to be a Muslim-friendly U.S. administration. Who would have ever dreamed that we would have a U.S. president with a Muslim heritage? A president who actually favored the Arab world? Who had deep-seated hostility toward Israel! This almost required a set-up made in hell. But, it’s the end-times, so why not?

So now we are smack dab in the middle of the most perilous times in recent memory and much of America just voted to re-elect someone who will make all these issues really hit the fan! Talk about events in overdrive.

The most-asked question as it concerns Bible prophecy is, where does America fit? Now our decline makes more sense since a ton of people were just re-elected who are fine with our decline. They have mastered the arts of recklessness and lawlessness. They are proud of their darkness. Their arrogance is stifling. Righteous people literally cannot watch it. When they parade before us, we turn the television off.

The problem is much deeper and far more serious than Mr. Obama, who is a mere symptom of what ails America. Blaming the prince of the fools should not blind anyone to the vast confederacy of fools that made him their prince. The Republic can survive a Barack Obama. It is less likely to survive a multitude of fools, such as those who made him their president.

Hear our post-election radio program with Jan, Jack Kinsella, and John Terry here.

Joel Rosenberg says it well when he states, “This is what happens when the Church is weak and fails to disciple believers to turn biblical faith into action. Given the enormous number of evangelical Christians in the U.S., this bloc could still affect enormous positive change for their issues if they were to unify and vote for the pro-life, pro-marriage candidate as a bloc.”

He concludes, “What will it take to educate, register and mobilize Christians to vote on the basis of biblical principles, and what kind of candidates could best mobilize them? This is a critical question that Christian political leaders as well as pastors must seriously consider. As we have seen, just a few million more evangelicals voting for pro-life, pro-marriage candidates could offset other demographics that are becoming more liberal.”

Hal Lindsey says, “The past four years have seen a marked increase in the erosion of many of our basic rights, values, and traditions. This administration has expressed almost unprecedented hostility toward Israel, traditional marriage, gun owners, small business owners and entrepreneurs, corporations, the energy industry, pro-lifers, and Christian institutions. And now that the President doesn’t have to worry about facing another election, who knows how that hostility will be expressed.” Lindsey feels we are on the fast-track to disaster.

Joseph Farah sums it up. He says, “That’s what Obama represents to me — God’s judgment on a people who have turned away from Him and His ways and from everything for which our founders sacrificed their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor. This election could very well represent the beginning of the end of the American dream, American exceptionalism, the American way.”

Dr. Albert Mohler called the election a “catastrophe for crucial moral concerns.”

Pastor Robert Jeffress of the First Baptist Church, Dallas, spared no punches. He said that, “The course he (Obama) is choosing to lead our nation is paving the way for the future reign of the Antichrist.”

Pat Boone says, “We have rejected the very same God and His way, and clamored after a king who has promised to provide, protect and lead them into a Promised Land where ‘everybody has everything.’ So that same God must take His hand off those who have rejected Him and allow them to reap the consequences. It’s not going to be fun.”

The Bible says globalism lies ahead and a cashless society. This election will speed that up. We are reminded that not only is this world NOT our home, we don’t want it to be our home! This is the home of the Antichrist and he is waiting in the wings. Our real Home is the one where Jesus Christ reigns. We have a mansion there. It will be glorious. The reunions will be out of this world!

The Bible says, “In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also.” John 14:2, 3

At “Understanding the Times 2012”, Dr. Erwin Lutzer delivered one message on Heaven (and Hell). For encouragement, it would be well worth the investment in the CDs or DVDs. There has never been so much instant feedback at these events thanks to one particular message. Also of urgency is Dr. Mark Hitchcock’s message on America in prophecy. Find that info here.

God has asked us to be His ambassadors in this depraved world. He asks us to stand for truth; to be light in the dark; to be salt in a world that is decaying. He asks us to distribute hope. Even if we get our heads chopped off like John the Baptist!

The world is getting darker but God’s call to His people is to ”Arise, shine, for your light has come and the glory of the Lord is risen upon you.”

May the church, the body and the bride of Christ, rise up and be that light that reflects the glory of God for all to see. Please go share your faith with five people this week. Time is running out.

Don’t look around because what you will see will be shocking. Look up and expect Him. That will soften the blow called reality now.

A final thought: Some of you will disagree and not understand the passion and discouragement many of us have. You have an equal passion for government to rule. Somehow as believers we have to get along. In eternity we’ll be of one accord. King Jesus will rule in Jerusalem for a season called the Millennium and we’ll be one political party. Until then, human government is designed to fail. But we do our best. Let’s try to love one another in spite of deep division.

Maranatha.

http://archive.constantcontact.com/fs138/1101818841456/archive/1111508245062.html

Dr. R.C. Sproul: The Biggest Concern for the Future of the Church in America

Dr. R.C. Sproul explains why he believes that statism may be the biggest concern for the future of the church in America:

Throughout the history of the Christian church, Christianity has always stood over against all forms of statism. Statism is the natural and ultimate enemy to Christianity because it involves a usurpation of the reign of God…In the final analysis, if statism prevails in America, it will mean not only the death of our religious freedom, but also the death of the state itself.

Dr. Sproul’s concerns remind Christians to rest in and remember that believers of all nations are citizens of another kingdom far greater than any other found in human history (Phil. 3:20).

http://www.ligonier.org/blog/statism-biggest-concern-future-church-america/

The Great Tragedy of the 2012 Election

A great tragedy unfolded less than one week ago on Tuesday, November 6, 2012.

The tragedy was not found in the celebrations of elected officials or the concessions of defeat. It was not colored red or blue, and it wasn’t wrapped up in meaningless campaign promises.

The tragedy of the 2012 election is that in this land of the free and home of the brave, many people were not allowed to vote. Their voices were silenced. Their votes were not cast. Their opinions not expressed. Why?

Because they were dead.

The great tragedy of the 2012 election is that roughly 33 million would-be voters had been murdered. From 1973 to 1994, roughly 35 million babies were aborted. That’s roughly 35 million 18- to 39-year-olds who could not vote from the grave.

This is an unspeakable tragedy.

They did not have the chance to learn what makes our nation so great. They did not have the chance to watch the results roll in with their friends and family. They did not have the chance to rest their heads on a pillow in the land of the free.

But this tragedy is not over.

In 2016, roughly 5 million more voices will be unheard. Why? Because more than 3,500 babies will be killed today. And each day leading up to Tuesday, November 8, 2016. In the three minutes it takes you to read this article, seven babies will have been aborted in the United States of America. Their voices silenced. Their freedom robbed. Their bravery unknown.

Close to Home
This is a tragedy that hits close to home. When I was 19, I chose to end the life of my first child through an abortion. My friend and I were in a scary place, we didn’t plan to get married, and we had nowhere else to go. So we opted to end the life of our child.

That child would be 16 today. They’d be excited about driving a car and, in just a couple of years, they’d be excited about voting. But they won’t be doing any of that. We won’t be sitting down together as I explain how to think about policies and the candidates who represent them. I won’t be able to tell them about freedom and justice for all. I took that freedom away with my injustice.

I cannot undo what I’ve done in the past. None of us can. Only Jesus, who shed his blood for sinners like me, can heal those wounds. Jesus gives us great hope in the midst of this tragedy, and all the other tragedies we face in this life.

Refuge in Jesus
If you have committed an abortion, I want you to know there is a refuge in Jesus. He will heal your wounds. There is no sin so great that he cannot forgive and no sin so small that does not need to be forgiven. If you will confess your sins and turn to him in faith, he will wash away all your guilt and all your shame. Come to Christ.

If you support abortion, I encourage you to spend time in prayer and ask God to show you if abortion pleases him or not. Ask a Christian to help you learn what God’s Word says. I know you already have deeply rooted ideas. I did too. But I encourage you to take the time to read what God says about life and who has the right to give and take it away. I encourage you to start with Psalm 139.

Difficult Choice
If you are a Christian, be patient with those who view things differently. But also speak truth in love to those who are in need. Find ways to help those who are struggling through unplanned pregnancies. Investigate options for adoption and invest in the lives of those who are facing difficult choices.

I have on my wall a picture of a 3-year-old boy in cowboy boots. He nearly wasn’t with us today because his mother was in a difficult place. She was unmarried, pregnant, and scared. But my wife met with her, prayed with her, and took her to a Christian doctor who showed her the baby in her womb through a sonogram. That young mother had the courage to keep her child.

That young boy’s smile reminds me that God can save children, one at a time. He does this by using his people to come alongside the struggling to lovingly show them the Christ who can walk them through any terrifying situation—even an unplanned pregnancy.

I believe the only hope to turn the trend of this tragedy is for people to turn their hearts toward the God who made them through the way paved by his Son Jesus. Jesus changes hearts, and changed hearts can change a nation. May God give us grace as a country, and may God give us courage to stand up in the midst of this tragedy so that, if he tarries, many more will cast votes in 2030.

Lord Jesus, we need your help.

http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/tgc/2012/11/11/the-great-tragedy-of-the-2012-election/

James Emery White: The 2012 Tipping Point

What, exactly, happened on November 6, 2012?

It’s simple.

We witnessed the results of a cultural tipping point.

The idea of a “tipping point” owes its popular consciousness to Malcolm Gladwell’s seminal book, The Tipping Point. The idea is that “ideas, behavior, messages and products…often spread like outbreaks of infectious disease…these are social epidemics, and the moment when they take off, when they reach their critical mass, is the Tipping Point.”

There can be little doubt that this election was seismic in terms of social issues. Voters endorsed same-sex marriage in four states and the legalization of marijuana for recreational use in two. Even more significant was that Maryland and Maine became the first states to legalize same-sex marriage by popular vote, marking the end of a 14-year, 32-state losing streak when the issue was put to voters instead of being decided by courts or legislatures.

Consider recent history:

In 2004, 11 states voted to define marriage as “between a man and a woman.”

In 2006, seven states adopted similar language.

In 2008, three.

In 2010, none.

Then in 2012, Maine, Maryland and Washington voted in favor of same-sex marriage, and Minnesota rejected a constitutional ban earlier states had been uniformly approving.

“This represents a big change in American society” says Jennie Bowser, a ballot issues expert at the National Conference of State Legislatures.

You think?

But what has happened is far more than Colorado becoming the new Amsterdam.

Here are the points that “tipped”:

1. America as a nation is now, without doubt, decisively post-Christian. This does not mean is it non-Christian, or anti-Christian, simply post-Christian. To be post-Christian means that the very memory of the gospel is fading. This declaration has nothing to do with who won the election. It’s not even about the overall statement the nation made through the election on social issues. It’s about reminding those who may be in shock over the various votes and decisions that this was simply a reflection of who we have become. Religious “nones” now make up one of every five in our nation. To use a biblical metaphor, we have gone from an Acts 2 culture to an Acts 17 culture; we no longer live among the God-fearing Jews of Jerusalem, but reside firmly among the populace of Mars Hill.

2. The culture war, in whatever form it may have continued to have been fought, has been lost. The “Christian Right” got out the vote, spent the money, made their position clear, and was rejected. This does not mean Christians should pull out of political involvement or abdicate our role as “salt” in a decaying culture. It simply means the nature of the war many fought, and the way they fought it, failed. Many Christians will consider this a good thing. Regardless, whatever hope we have for gaining Kingdom ground through political means must be rethought in terms of both strategy and goal.

3. The power of the media is now firmly entrenched as the supreme epicenter shaping our world, eclipsing both education and the judicial system. For example, consider the meteoric rise in the acceptance of same-sex marriage as evidenced in the recent election. How did that happen? It’s no secret: homosexual characters and homoeroticism itself was portrayed on film and television as not only acceptable, but normal. “To judge by the Bravo network, you’d think that gay marriage was not just legal, but mandatory,” observed Ann Marie Cox. “Think of this as the Will and Gracification of America” said Dan Schnur, director of the Jesse Unruh Institute of Politics at the University of Southern California.

4. Finally, I believe a tipping point has been reached in terms of what it means to be a follower of Christ. There has been a long slide toward remaking Jesus – and thus following Him – into our own image, an image reflective of our culture. Today, you can be a Christian and believe almost anything and live almost any way. In many ways, this is the real “culture war” that has been lost. Rather than standing prophetically over culture, we mirror it. John Stott titled his towering exposition of the Sermon on the Mount “Christian Counter Culture.” But that is precisely what is now vanishing before our eyes.

There is much that could be prescriptively offered in light of these tipping points, such as: an approach toward outreach that is deeply missional and culturally translated for our new context; a renewed effort on legislation guaranteeing religious freedom in light of growing animosity toward religious distinctive; insulating our young against the pervasive matrix of media while simultaneously taking up residence in its world as transformative agents; recasting discipleship from Jesus as a life-additive to Jesus as a life-converter.

But for now, in light of the “tipping points,” a single phrase comes to mind: “the new normal.”

Welcome to it.

James Emery White

Sources

Malcolm Gladwell, The Tipping Point.

“Gay marriage, pot make progress,” Elizabeth Weise, Dennis Cauchon and William M. Welch, USA Today, Thursday, November 8, 2012, p. 14A.

“Voters Endorse Social-Issue Firsts,” USA Today, Thursday, November 8, 2012, p. 1A.

“How gay equality became the new normal of US politics in 2012,” Ann Marie Cox, The Guardian, Wednesday, November 7, 2012, read online.

“Christian Right Failed to Sway Voters on Issues,” Laurie Goodstein, The New York Times, Saturday, November 10, 2012, p. 1A and 14A, read online.

Additional articles of related interest:

“A nation moving further apart,” USA Today, read online.

“The ‘nones’ say 2012 election proves they are a political force,” Religion News Service, read online.

“2012 shows a social sea change on gay marriage,” Religion News Service, read online.

“Liberals score social victories, may signal major shift,” USA Today, read online.

Editor’s Note

James Emery White is the founding and senior pastor of Mecklenburg Community Church in Charlotte, NC, and the ranked adjunctive professor of theology and culture at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, which he also served as their fourth president. His newly released book is The Church in an Age of Crisis: 25 New Realities Facing Christianity (Baker Press). To enjoy a free subscription to the Church and Culture blog, log-on to http://www.churchandculture.org, where you can post your comments on this blog, view past blogs in our archive and read the latest church and culture news from around the world. Follow Dr. White on twitter @JamesEmeryWhite.

http://www.churchandculture.org/blog.asp?id=3568

Caine, Moore and Bevere Teach Thessaloniki Women at ‘Be the Change’ Conference

On 9 and 10 November, a multitude of women gathered in Thessaloniki, Greece to learn how to “Be the Change” with speakers Beth Moore, Christine Caine and Lisa Bevere. Do Not Be Surprised takes a closer look at these three women and and at the content of some of their previous teachings, raising both questions and concerns along the way.

http://www.donotbesurprised.com/2012/11/caine-moore-and-bevere-teach.html