May 29, 2015 Truth2Freedom Daily Christian Blog/Article Collection

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5 Indicators of an Evil and Wicked Heart

When you confront evil, chances are good that the evil heart will stop counseling with you because the darkness hates the light (John 3:20) and the foolish and evil heart reject correction (Proverbs 9:7,8). But that outcome is far better than allowing the evil heart to believe you are on his or her side, or that “he’s not that bad” or “that he’s really sorry” or “that he’s changing” when, in fact, he is not.

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Church Disciplines Wife for Wanting to Divorce Husband who Admitted Paedophile Leanings

Hinkley issued a statement criticising the church’s actions. The discovery of her husband’s use of “child pornography”, she said, was “an indescribable shock and triggered a thorough upheaval of every aspect of my life”. However, she said that “what has become even more troubling than the issues that have come to light in Jordan’s life has been the consistent refusal of the pastors and elders of The Village Church to respond in a way that takes into account the seriousness of the situation at hand”. She also accused them of “spiritual abuse”

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Popularity: A Pastor’s Fiery Trial

Near the beginning of his 1830 publication on the pastoral ministry (The Christian Ministry), Charles Bridges discussed the trials and difficulties of the ministry. In this section he wrote that for pastors, “the greatest difficulties derive their origin and power from ourselves.” This whole section is outstanding, and very much worth reading. One part of it that stuck out for me was what Bridges said about opposition to the ministry on the one hand, and popularity on the other.

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Overture 3: Parental Promises in the Baptismal Vow

This overture seeks to change the language of that third vow by replacing the clause “Do you now unreservedly dedicate your child to God” with the following: “Do you now acknowledge that God in his providence has placed this child within the covenant family, and entrusted (him/her) to your care….” The vow that follows remains unchanged, spelling out the parents’ responsibility, relying upon divine grace to set before him a godly example, to pray with and for him, to teach him the doctrines of our religion, and to bring him up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

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Why Friendships Can Be So Hard

Friendship is like any relationship; it takes hard work. It also takes intentionality. It takes a willingness to forgive and overlook offenses. It takes time and effort. Friendship isn’t always equally balanced. Sometimes we might have to work harder than the other person for a while. We might have to take the first step and initiate needed conversations. We might need to lay down our own needs for the sake of theirs.

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A Requiem for the Boy Scouts

Secretary Gates proposes that the compromise be abandoned, accepting the inclusion of openly-gay leaders. His argument is entirely based on the self-preservation of the B.S.A. as a national organization. He made no moral argument at all. He did not celebrate the new policy he proposed on moral grounds, nor did he lament the loss of the older policy on moral grounds. There were no moral elements in his argument.

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Continuing Down this Path, Complementarians Lose

A hierarchy in the immanent Trinity will always lead to inequality. It is more than a difference in roles. It is about the nature or essence of God. I can’t help but conclude that their argument is the biblical, trinitarian equivalent of “separate, but equal.” No matter their intention, the result is the same. It’s not equal.

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5 Steps to Becoming the Most Relevant Pastor Ever

Ah , relevance. That holy grail of pastoral ministry. The relevant pastor is up on the latest movies, in on the latest trends, and speaks the language of the streets. He brings life to every party and puts a smile on every face. People can relate to a relevant pastor…because he’s relevant. See how that works?

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Christianity and The Culture War

The Christian Church is called to address the issues of society with the gospel, love and truth of Jesus Christ. Over the past several decades many are concerned with how the church has been absent on issues like abortion, homosexual marriage and other issues. What should the role of the Church be in these times […]

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Warnings Met With Deafness

by Marsha West

Here’s another gem from the pen of Bill Muehlenberg. In this piece over at Culture Watch, Bill addresses the sad fact that those of us in discernment ministries are having to “duck and cover” more and more these days. But not from the bullets coming from secularists who hate the truth and attempt to shoot us down for declaring it. […]

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Better gear up for the 5 major changes coming to the Church

by Marsha West

John Burton has written a piece entitled “Ancient and Emerging: 5 Major Changes Coming to the Church.” Before you get all excited, or maybe even concerned over those changes, you should know a bit more about Burton. As it turns out he’s a “prophet” in the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) movement. According to his blog, John Burton, he “has been developing and leading ministries for over 20 years and is a sought out teacher, prophetic messenger and revivalist. Burton has authored ten books, has appeared on Christian television and radio and directed one of the primary internships at the International House of Prayer (IHOP) in Kansas City.”

That Burton was associated with IHOP-KC could only mean that he has served under IHOP’s Pied Piper Mike Bickle. I spent quite a bit of time researching Bickle for a piece I wrote and discovered his strong ties to the NAR or what some refer to as Dominionism. Also identified was his involvement with the Kansas City Prophets (KCP). According to Pastor Ken Silva, the KCP:

brought grandiose claims that a ‘new breed’ of super prophets were beginning to arrive on planet earth who would change the world forever. These so-called prophets were a group of men that coalesced around a church known as the Kansas City Fellowship, pastored by Mike Bickle, that attracted a following of other likeminded churches in that region. (More on the KCP here)

It gets worse. Mike Bickle believes that God speaks to him in an audible voice. But here’s the kicker. He has visited heaven – twice. On one visit he told false teacher Bob Jones:

I stood in this room and it had…clouds, it was a room only maybe 20 by 20 or 30. It was a little room. It had clouds in the bottom, on the top and the walls…I stood there, I was at the Lord’s left hand, and I stood there, this was not a dream, this was as real as life here…I know it wasn’t a dream or a vision… (There’s more to the story here)

I included Bickle’s background and a snippet of the tall tale he spun on his alleged visit to heaven to highlight the fact that he’s a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

So here’s my question: why is John Burton proud of his association with a false prophet who’s the main man at IHOP-KC? IHOP –KC is viewed by many mainstream scholars as a cult because it is a “false, unorthodox, extremist” sect of Christianity (dictionary.com).

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Hillsong: The multi-million dollar “crazy cult”

by Marsha West

Churchtwatch Central brings us Australia’s “A Current Affair” report on Hillsong Church, a Pentecostal megachurch out of Australia. Hillsong Church’s well-recognized music ministry has spread all throughout the globe.

In spite of Hillsong’s continual lies, their facades of “relevancy” and their contemporary nonsensical gimmicks, the world still sees through it. The reality is this: the world is not being won over to Jesus Christ. In fact, Hillsong is giving the world an excuse to hate Christianity while Hillsong is militantly campaigning against biblical Christianity. Not only that, Hillsong is stealing Christians from other churches and taking over churches by force under the guise of “blessing” churches. It is time the media, the Australian Government and more importantly church leaders, stop calling Hillsong a church. Cults have always declared war on Christianity. Hillsong for decades have proven again and again to be a word of faith and prosperity cult. When will Christianity finally say enough is enough?

Churchwatch Central has provided “A Current Affair” video.

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Rick Warren twisting Scripture – teaching Storehouse tithing, and Word of Faith

by Marsha West

According to Psalm 12:

On May 17, 2015, Pastor of Saddleback Church took the opportunity during Sunday Morning worship service to make a plea for more money. He twists several Scriptures in order to guilt members of his church into believing that if they aren’t giving 10 percent of their income on a weekly basis, they will not receive the blessings of God. He then ends his message with having his members sign an oath, “pledging” to give 10 percent of their income from this point forward, and that it “saddens him” to “know that some members would be missing out on God’s blessings,” and that “people might not go to heaven” because they didn’t give their money to his church.

A video of Warren’s Scripture twisting has been provided on the Psalm 12 blog.

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The New Evangelical Gospel of Unity

There tends to be a great amount of resentment towards believers who are quick to rebuke other Christians who are in sin, or even false believers who are masquerading as Christians. The argument is that it distracts from the love of Jesus, but love is not the only quality of Jesus. Jesus came to bring along with a sword (Matthew 10:34). Jesus did not come to tell everyone that they could believe what they want to believe, worship whatever idols they want to worship, and seek whatever God they want to seek, The Bible actually teaches against being united around error (Romans 16:17). This is a false unity. Biblical Christians must be united in truth.  Christians should not forsake orthodoxy for ecumenism.

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The Daily Discovery (May 29, 2015)

Homosexual Heretics – “This might seem to some to be a perfect example of fundamental offish backwoods Christian bigotry— its not! It is rather a clarifying word as to what the new ‘gay-Christian’ groups are guilty of. They are not simply guilty of opting for an alternative lifestyle, they are not simply guilty of stepping outside of ecclesiastical bounds, breaking and shattering homes, marriages or undermining ‘human flourishing’; the issue is doctrinal. It is one of orthodoxy versus heterodoxy and ultimately rank heresy.”

Breaking: Obama to Force Faith-Based Grant Recipients to Hire LGBTs – Feeling the pressure yet? Just wait until the Catholic Church folds on this issue!

The Cooperative Program and the Road to Serfdom by G. Seth Dunn, MAcc, CPA – ” I’m a Baptist of Baptists. I wasn’t baby-dedicated at my church on the 8th day, but it was done within a few weeks. I grew up in a Southern Baptist church in a family that faithfully gave. As a carefree middle-class youth, I never knew how much was given but it made an impression on me every week to see my father put a check in the offering plate.”

Words, Faith and Prosperity – Part 2 – “Today I’m going to be posting up the the second part of my notes from the fourth and final talk I gave at the Last Days Bible Conference.  That talk was about the Prosperity Gospel.  Last post, I gave an overview of Word of Faith theology and attempted to show how it set the stage for Prosperity Gospel theology.  In this post, I’m going to be posting the notes that engage many of the standard proof texts of the Prosperity Gospel Movement.”

Dead to sin, alive to God – Sanctification – “The Lord gave the Church a wonderful gift when He knocked Saul of Tarsus off his horse and effectually called Him to be His Apostle. His Epistle to the Romans is a huge piece of the doctrinal foundation of the Church. In Romans 3:20-5:21 he covered the doctrine of justification. This is God’s declaring the believing sinner righteous. In Romans 6:1-8:39 he covers the practical ramifications of this justification. This is the doctrine of sanctification, which is God’s producing actual righteousness in the believer.”


SERMON:

Charles Spurgeon – God’s Will and Man’s Will


VIDEOS:

Dr. James White, The Gospel, and Suffering

Are Christian Scientists Biased In Their Research?


“If you alter or obscure the Biblical portrait of God in order to attract converts, you don’t get converts to God, you get converts to an illusion. This is not evangelism but deception.” – John Piper

Source


Charismatic Faith Healing Fraud Benny Hinn Begs Followers For More Money

Controversial televangelist Benny Hinn has claimed in a message that the “greatest wealth transfer in human history” is approaching, and asked people to sow money into his ministry as he prepares for a new world tour.

“The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means; and my people love to have it so: and what will ye do in the end thereof?” Jeremiah 5:31 (KJV)

Benny Hinn is the Amway of the religion business. He wants you to sign up to buy his merchandise on a regular basis, and he wants you to get your friends to do the same. All the while making great and lofty promises about the “amazing lifestyle” you will have if you will only keep those donation checks coming in. If you removed all the references to money from his website, all you would be left with would be the Contact Us page. But even that page is used to beg for money. Benny Hinn is a fraud, a charlatan in the classic Elmer Gantry mold. Now comes his latest prophecy about a “global wealth transfer” that will change the world.

“It is estimated by many leading financial analysts that during the next three decades more than $16 trillion will transfer from one generation to the next,” Hinn said on his website.

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“As I’ve been sharing with you in recent months, the Word of God clearly tells us that we are coming into a time when we will see a glorious transfer of wealth for the preaching of the Gospel and for the financing of the end-time harvest,” he continued.

He then quoted a number of passages in the Bible which he said talked about a great transfer of wealth, including Abraham (Genesis 12:10), Isaac (Genesis 26:1), Jacob (Genesis 31), Joseph (Genesis 41), Israel (Exodus 3:19-22), and Solomon (1 Kings 10:23).

Hinn argued that before each “historic financial blessing,” God asked people for an offering.

“Right before giving them their supernatural wealth transfer, He first asked them to give an offering. Every household was commanded to bring a lamb to sacrifice. Then, after making the sacrifice and applying the blood over the door and on the doorposts, God told them to go and receive the wealth of the Egyptians.”

NBC Dateline Exposes Benny Hinn’s Phony Faith Healing Crusades

The televangelist asked people to join him in preparing for this great transfer of wealth, and asked them to “prayerfully sow a sacrificial seed and take an extraordinary step of faith.”

Hinn continued: “I know you may have other plans for that seed, but I’m asking you to seek and obey God as He shows you a divine destiny for that seed. And as you sow it into the Lord’s work, He will get you out of your bondage.” source

Benny Hinn Responds to Controversy on Nightline

Being a Benny Hinn follower is nothing but bondage. False miracle, false prophecies, and pre-arranged fake healings are what you get for your donation dollar to his “ministry”.

Just don’t say that nobody ever warned you.

The post Charismatic Faith Healing Fraud Benny Hinn Begs Followers For More Money appeared first on Now The End Begins.


Post Resurrection Life

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Q. According to Rev 21:24-27, it appears there are two groups of humans mentioned, 1. The Kings of the Earth 2.The Nations of them that are saved. I have a theory that those of us who are saved will be given an assignment like Adam had to populate a planet and have dominion over it.  Do you think God has prepared for each of as a similar assignment?  After all, I can’t imagine that we will do nothing!

But if you see the pattern of our earthly lives and what its meant, it appears this ‘Earth University’ was to train us on how to run our own planet some day. I know its far fetched, but I don’t think its impossible.  And at the appointed time, the nations bring their glory to the new Jerusalem to worship The Almighty!  What do you think?

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Legs Of Iron, Feet Of Clay

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Q. When Daniel interpreted King Nebuchadnezzar’s dream to him he mentioned the feet and toes of the great image as being mixed with miry clay and iron. I was taught that the two feet represented the eastern and western provinces of the revived Roman Empire and the ten toes as representing the ten kings that will rule in the last days.

It seems to me that the old Roman Empire and the Islamic nations would meld together politically and religiously as well. Could the iron represent the political part and the miry clay the religious part? I would appreciate any comments or scenarios you may have. I still see things through a darkened glass as well!

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Altar Call Or Not?

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Q. I used to attend a church that gave an invitation (altar call) after the message was given. Where I now attend, the pastor just dismisses the congregation after the message, with no altar call. Personally, I preferred it the old way. Here’s my question.   Is the altar call necessary or even scriptural? Should I consider this when searching for a new church?

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Jesus’ Tomb and God’s Sovereign Rule

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When you think of seeing God’s hand at work in one’s life, we tend to always think of God working through miraculous/ostentatious activity, right?  I’m thinking of an example like a sick person being instantly healed against all odds, someone surviving a horrible traffic accident without a scratch, etc.  If we were being honest, we don’t tend to think of God’s hand in the common.  You know, the regular things of life that happen all the time: eating a sandwich, going to work, etc.  Yet, as Christians we understand (hypothetically) that God is sovereign; he rules over all creation including events both magnificent and microscopic.  Allow me to say that another way: God is in charge of all the common and miraculous occurrences in every life; he orchestrates both the miraculous and the common equally.  Although miraculous events are (by definition) hard to miss, I’d suggest that we often miss God’s providential orchestration of our lives to bring us to just the right place, at just the right time, with just the right thoughts in our head.

We see this in Jesus’ burial as recorded in Matthew 27:57-60.  The text reads:

When it was evening, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who also was a disciple of Jesus. He went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Then Pilate ordered it to be given to him. And Joseph took the body and wrapped it in a clean linen shroud and laid it in his own new tomb, which he had cut in the rock. And he rolled a great stone to the entrance of the tomb and went away.

Joseph of Arimathea was a very wealthy disciple of Jesus who owned a tomb.  When Jesus was dead, Joseph got the body and laid it in the tomb.  Amazing, right?

Well, not at first glance.

People get buried, thousands of times a day, every day.  That’s nothing new, not impressive, right?  Besides, in the ancient near east, people regularly bought tombs.  There were rich people in the ancient near east, just as there have been in every era of every nation in history, and Jesus had more than a few disciples who followed him around (his general followers, not the 12), so it’s certainly not surprising that at least one of them as a man of some financial means.

But, upon closer inspection of the text, there appear to be a series of strange coincidences.

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The World Is Changing As The Spirit Of Antichrist Begins To Rise Around The Globe

Tonight it seemed as if the headlines were screaming a wake up call to a slumbering world, is anyone even listening?

“This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.” 2 Timothy 3:1-5 (KJV)

I thank God that He allowed me to be born in this place and time, and to be counted as part of the Body of Jesus Christ called the Church. I know from the past 25 years of studying my King James 1611 Authorized Version Holy Bible that we live in the dispensation known as the Age of Grace, the Church Age, and that it is getting ready to give way to the next dispensation at the moment when the Rapture takes place.

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But tonight, it feels as if things have started to speed up even more. Tonight, I can see the coming dispensation of the Great Tribulation staring at me through the glass. I can feel the darkness rising and I know you can, too. I thank God that the Church will be removed in the Rapture prior to the Tribulation, but this story tonight is not about us, it’s about those who will be left behind. It’s about you. Are you ready for what comes next?

These Are The Days Of Prophecy

Looking at the aggregate headlines of the ever-present Drudge Report was like taking a stroll through the book of Revelation with a detour through Matthew 24. From a spiritual perspective it was quite sobering. Let me share a random sampling of them with you and show you what I mean.

  • STREET ANARCHY IN BALTIMORE FUELS RASH OF HOMICIDES: In Baltimore, Maryland, Antoinette Perrine has barricaded her front door since her brother was killed three weeks ago on a basketball court near her home in the Harlem Park neighborhood of West Baltimore. She already has iron bars outside her windows and added metal slabs on the inside to deflect the gunfire. “I’m afraid to go outside,” said Perrine, 47. “It’s so bad, people are afraid to let their kids outside. People wake up with shots through their windows. Police used to sit on every corner, on the top of the block. These days? They’re nowhere.”
  • TEXAS TOWNS BRACE FOR MORE FLOODING AS DEATH TOLL CLIMBS: The National Weather Service says hail, tornadoes and thunderstorms are possible across the southern Plains Thursday evening and that flooding remains the greatest threat for areas that have received record rainfall. Blanco County emergency management spokesman Ben Oakley also said for the first time that five people are missing in Blanco County. That’s in addition to the 10 people already counted as dead and eight missing in central Texas flooding.
  • ISIS FORCES CIVILIANS TO WATCH EXECUTIONS IN ANCIENT CITY’S AMPHITHEATRE: ISIS rounded up civilians trapped in Palmyra and forced them to watch 20 people be executed in the historic city’s ancient amphitheatre, a Syrian monitoring group has claimed. The Unesco World Heritage site was overrun by militants last week, threatening the future of 2,000 year-old monuments and ruins. Thousands of Palmyra’s residents fled but many are still living within the city walls, while the UN human rights office in Geneva said it had received reports of Syrian government forces preventing people from leaving until they retreated from the city.
  • TEENS ACROSS THE COUNTRY ARE CONJURING UP DEMONS ON TWITTER: A game that purports to invoke a Mexican demon – known as “Charlie, Charlie” and considered to be a simplified version of the Ouija board – has gone viral on social media among young people, prompting one exorcist to warn of its dangers. The game, which has gained significant traction online in recent days, involves a pair of pencils or pens, a sheet of paper, and the invocation of a spirit named “Charlie.” Scores of short video clips, posted mostly by teens, show players shrieking and running out of view when the pencil apparently moves on its own and points to a “yes” or a “no” after they say a phrase inviting the demon. Spanish exorcist Jose Antonio Fortea told ACI Prensa that the so-called #CharlieCharlieChallenge involves the very real, occult practice of “calling on spirits.”
  • KILLER ROBOTS WILL LEAVE HUMANS UTTERLY DEFENSELESS: Killer robots which are being developed by the US military ‘will leave humans utterly defenceless‘, an academic has warned. Two programmes commissioned by the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) are seeking to create drones which can track and kill targets even when out of contact with their handlers. Writing in the journal Nature, Stuart Russell, Professor of Computer Science at the University of California, Berkley, said the research could breach the Geneva Convention and leave humanity in the hands of amoral machines.“Autonomous weapons systems select and engage targets without human intervention; they become lethal when those targets include humans,” he said. “Existing AI and robotics components can provide physical platforms, perception, motor control, navigation, mapping, tactical decision-making and long-term planning. They just need to be combined. “In my view, the overriding concern should be the probable endpoint of this technological trajectory. “Despite the limits imposed by physics, one can expect platforms deployed in the millions, the agility and lethality of which will leave humans utterly defenceless. This is not a desirable future.”
  • 26 PEOPLE TREATED AFTER US ARMY SHIPPED LIVE ANTHRAX VIA FEDEX:  At least 26 people are being treated for potential exposure to deadly anthrax after an Army bio-defense facility in Utah mistakenly sent live samples to private and military laboratories in as many as nine states, including California, and South Korea, officials said Thursday.

Can you see it, can you feel it? The world as we know it has changed drastically since 2008, and the changes are coming so fast that few people are really processing it. In the Middle East, ISIS is advancing virtually unchecked and so far, unstoppable. They are massing a power base that is nearly too incredible to be believed. Now is the time to stop them before they grow too large to be contained, but no one is doing that. The nations of the world are sitting back and watching it happen. Allowing it to happen. Are they all afraid, are they all helpless? Or is it happening because the unsaved world is preparing for the appearance of the Antichrist?

The world has grown darker, more sinister. Like the flickering flame of a candle about to be blown out, the darkness seems to be flooding in all around us. No longer is there an outcry about the red light traffic cameras that monitor and record our movements. No one seems to care that nearly every human being carries around multiple tracking devices in their homes, in their cars, and in their pockets. We have, it seems, accepted the inevitable leash of Big Brother and no longer fight his deep intrusion into our private lives. You can easily picture people willingly lining up around the block to receive their implantable RFID chips, and then bragging about “how cool it is” when they show their friends the latest “technology upgrade”.

Christians and the Bible are sneered at, looked down upon as the hinderance to the full acceptance of the New World Order which seems to be founded on the LGBT Movement. Radio, television, the Internet and the movies glorify every manner of filth and perversion. Dark has become light, evil has become good. If you want to become transgender, they give you a reality show. If you want to hold a Bible study they call the police. Can Reeducation Facilities really be that far behind? I think not.

Anyone who has ever flown on an airplane well knows that just before the flight, the plane taxis across the tarmac, slowly gathering speed before rumbling to life as it launches into the air. That’s how it feels tonight, like the very ground under my feet is shaking in preparation of cataclysmic events which are soon to try all those who dwell upon the earth. For the born again Christian, we know where we are going, and we know it will be before the Tribulation. But for everyone else, you have no hope at all. None. You will be left behind to face the Antichrist, the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, and Trumpet, Bowl, Seal and Vial Judgments that will make Hitler’s Holocaust look like a little girl’s tea party.

One more time, we invite you to get saved, to become born again as the Bible teaches. But you better hurry, because after the Rapture then chances of you getting saved then after you have rejected the gospel now will hover at right about near zero. Read for yourself the fate of those who reject the Truth now:

“And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” 2 Thessalonians 2:8-12 (KJV)

Tick, tock….time’s almost up. Are you ready for what comes next?

 

The post The World Is Changing As The Spirit Of Antichrist Begins To Rise Around The Globe appeared first on Now The End Begins.


‘Pope’ Francis Claims Devil Keeping Evangelicals, Roman Catholics Divided: ‘They Are One’

LTRP Note: Please see the video below, which is an 8-minute talk Pope Francis recently gave regarding this matter. While listening to him talk, it was hard not to think of the martyrs described in Foxe’s Book of Martyrs, many of whom died at the hands of Roman papacy because they would not accept Catholic […]


Letter to the Editor: Alpha Course Founder, Nicky Gumbel, Asks for Ecumenical Unity with Catholic Church

Dear Editors: When I came across a tweet including a picture of my pastor attending the recent Alpha Leadership conference in England, I was intrigued. I had never heard of Alpha, so I did some research.



Hate the Sin, Love the Sinner?


“My Last Day” — the Jesus Anime

9 powerful minutes of animation that begins with a thief behind bars watching the scourging of Jesus, and it ends with the thief dying next to Jesus, and waking to see Him in a beautiful place.

The dying thief: What was so great about his faith?

There are many acts of extraordinary faith in the Bible. The one that has impressed me the most concerns the dying thief on the cross. We could take the approach that he had nothing to lose, so he decided to cast his lot with Jesus. But this makes absolutely no sense of the text and the context.
In this conversion we have a specific fulfillment of Christ’s first words on the cross. No sooner had Christ spoken the words, “Father, forgive them,” had the Father answered that prayer by turning a once-reviling criminal into a Christ-glorifying saint. While the soon-to-be converted criminal was not directly responsible for Christ’s death, he nevertheless joined with those who were and was thus indirectly addressed when Christ asked for God to forgive “them.”
Christ, the sinless one, was numbered with or counted among the transgressors (Isa. 53:12; Luke 22:37), all of whom have a bigger problem than the day-to-day sins they commit. They hate Christ, the God-man. Anyone who has a master other than the Lord Jesus hates him (Lk. 16:13; Gal. 4:8). That these two criminals loathed him is clearly manifested during the crucifixion: “And the robbers who were crucified with him also reviled him in the same way” (Matt. 27:44).
When the criminal who was converted was doing his worst against Christ, Christ was doing his best for this criminal.
The conversion of the one criminal was most extraordinary and testifies to the power of Christ’s prayer and the grace of God. Why?
This criminal’s faith did not come at a time such as when Christ turned water into wine; or performed miracles, such as walking on water, opening the eyes of a blind man, or raising Lazarus from the dead. No! The criminal believed on the Messiah while he was hanging as one cursed upon a tree. The criminal trusted in and boldly defended the one whose disciples had abandoned him. Jesus was at his lowest when this criminal asked to be remembered in Christ’s kingdom.
When he was on the cross, did anyone publicly cry out, as John the Baptist did, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” (Jn. 1:29)? But this is essentially what the dying thief did. Little wonder, then, that Christ should promise him a place in his kingdom: “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise” (Lk. 23:43).
The criminal acknowledged he was guilty; he acknowledged that Christ was not (“this man has done nothing wrong”); he feared God; but, and here is the key: the criminal did not merely want to be in a better place. He wanted to be with Christ in a better place: “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom” (Lk. 23:42). The criminal believed “against all hope”.
Heaven is a better place because that is where Christ is. Everyone wants to go to heaven, but not everyone wants to go to Christ’s heaven. Not so with this criminal: he saw, with his eyes, Christ at his worst; but with the eyes of faith, he believed that Christ would soon be at his best, and so put his faith in a dying king.
Christ is always – always! – willing to save even the most miserable of sinners. A recognition of guilt (Lk. 23:40) and a confidence in him and not ourselves (Lk. 23:42) will always lead to the most assuring truth a sinner can receive: the Savior welcomes such into his paradise!
“One is saved, and we may not despair; the other is lost, and we may not presume.” Spurgeon
Source


Remember the thief.

It can be a difficult situation if someone you are witnessing to asks about the fate of a loved one who died and was not a Christian. Simply say, “Only God knows the eternal destiny of the person, and the Scriptures assure us that He will do what is right. So we can take consolation from that.” Some may be tempted to say that the loved one went to hell, but the truth is that we don’t know what happened minutes before their death. Remember the thief on the cross.


Our Time is Short

Read: Recommitting Your Life To God and Jesus Christ – Restoration and Forgiveness With God and Jesus Christ (Updated Version)


Don’t be Left Behind

View two-minute video


Ready to start your new life with God?

Who do you think that I am?

With that brief question Jesus Christ confronted His followers with the most important issue they would ever face. He had spent much time with them and made some bold claims about His identity and authority. Now the time had come for them either to believe or deny His teachings.

Who do you say Jesus is? Your response to Him will determine not only your values and lifestyle, but your eternal destiny as well.

Consider what the Bible says about Him: Read more


Look to Jesus
Have you ever felt a little lost and wished there was a quick-start guide to your relationship with God? This is it!

30 Day Next Steps
John Beckett, a leading Christian businessman, has written a series to read over 30 days for new believers.

New Believers Guide
The New Believer’s Guide is a series of articles designed to show you how to walk in the new life Christ has given you— a life of faith and freedom.

Jesus Booklet
Jesus is the Savior of the world. Discover who Jesus is today in this series.

About Christianity
Know Jesus Christ and your life will be transformed


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This post was originally posted on:

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(Alternative News, Apologetics, Current Events, Commentary, Opinion, Theology, Discernment Blog, Devotionals, Christian Internet Evangelism & Missions Activist).

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