“He that takes truth for his guide, and duty for his end, may safely trust to God’s providence to lead him aright.” – Blaise Pascal. "There is but one straight course, and that is to seek truth and pursue it steadily" – George Washington letter to Edmund Randolph — 1795. We live in a “post-truth” world. According to the dictionary, “post-truth” means, “relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief.” Simply put, we now live in a culture that seems to value experience and emotion more than truth. Truth will never go away no matter how hard one might wish. Going beyond the MSM idealogical opinion/bias and their low information tabloid reality show news with a distractional superficial focus on entertainment, sensationalism, emotionalism and activist reporting – this blogs goal is to, in some small way, put a plug in the broken dam of truth and save as many as possible from the consequences—temporal and eternal. "The further a society drifts from truth, the more it will hate those who speak it." – George Orwell “There are two ways to be fooled. One is to believe what isn’t true; the other is to refuse to believe what is true.” ― Soren Kierkegaard
God has to listen to a ton of prayers. With all those prayers going up around the world all the time, he is forced to field some pretty dumb ones. Lucky for us, the archangel Gabriel gave the Babylon Bee a special look into the worst prayers God received this week. Enjoy!
1. “Dear Lord, please bless this food, and– TOMMY STOP HITTING YOUR BROTHER!!!!”: Unfortunately, this prayer was never finished as the next 5 minutes was just incomprehensible screaming and crying.
2. “Mother God, please help our church to be less white, and lift up our LGBTQ womxn teaching pastors. Amen & Awomen”: Sources say this prayer went straight to “junk mail.”
3. “Dear God, please bless these Twinkies to our bodies…”: He did not.
4. “Almighty Father, we thank thee for this kale…”: Sources say God mercifully blessed the kale even though it is a creation of the Devil.
5. “Daddy God, just… just… surround us with your awesomeness, Daddy God. Let us see your face, today…”: God mercifully did not show his face to the worship leader who prayed this prayer, sparing his life.
6. “Lord it’s been a rough day and I’m… glad… to finally… have time here in bed to… talk with… you… [snoring noises]”: Credit for trying, at least.
7. “Dear God please help us think of a third conservative joke.”: HAHA who would pray something like that? Certainly not us… shut up.
8. “Hey God it’s me. Haven’t talked in a while since you let the Democrats steal the election. Please don’t let everyone notice my pants are on backwards right now.”: We have no idea who prayed this, but he seems like a very godly man and we’re sure God answered his prayer.
Man, those were some rough ones! Good thing God is really merciful!
Everywhere we see the state seeking to displace God:
There is only one true God of the universe. There is only one true sovereign. But when mere men reject the living God, they will always seek to find another god to put in his place. Usually it is self. And often it is the state. Today we see the rise and rise of Big Government and statism all over the West, and the very things warned about in novels like 1984 are quickly coming to pass.
This is a perennial problem. Consider two millennia ago when the early church was beginning to grow. It was considered to be a major threat by the Roman authorities – not so much for religious reasons, but because of political reasons. The government back then was quite happy to have all sorts of religions, as long as they allowed the state to declare itself to be Lord.
The Pantheon featured plenty of gods, and they could happily coexist, as long as Caesar got his due worship. This was something the Christians could not do of course. Only Jesus is Lord, and he alone is to be worshipped. So the believers back then were on a direct collision course with the state.
And it has always been that way. The state always seeks to take ever more power and control, displacing all rivals for supreme authority and full submission. The West today is in the very same boat. And that is why Christianity always poses a direct threat to Big Brother statists.
Let me draw upon some commentary here from several important books that were penned last century. Nearly 40 years ago Herbert Schlossberg wrote a very significant volume called Idols for Destruction (Thomas Nelson, 1983). One of the idols he wrote about was political power.
He has much of value to say in his chapter on this issue, but let me quote from just one section of it: “Our Father, the State”. He quotes the words of Jesus as found in Matthew 23:9: “Call no man your father on earth, for you have one Father, who is in heaven”. He then says this:
The paternal state not only feeds its children, but nurtures, educates, comforts, and disciplines them, providing all they need for their security. This appears to be a mildly insulting way to treat adults, but it is really a great crime because it transforms the state from being a gift of God, given to protect us against violence, into an idol. It supplies us with all blessings, and we look to it for all our needs. Once we sink to that level, as Lewis says, there is no point in telling state officials to mind their own business. “Our whole lives are their business.” The paternalism of the state is that of the bad parent who wants his children dependent on him forever. That is an evil impulse. The good parent prepares his children for independence, trains them to make responsible decisions, knows that he harms them by not helping them to break loose. The paternal state thrives on dependency. When the dependents free themselves, it loses power. It is, therefore, parasitic on the very persons whom it turns into parasites. Thus, the state and its dependents march symbiotically to destruction.
Since he appealed to C. S. Lewis, let me speak further to what Lewis said on this matter. His piece was a 1958 essay called: “Is Progress Possible? Willing Slaves of the Welfare State.” He writes:
“The modern State exists not to protect our rights but to do us good or make us good—anyway, to do something to us or to make us something. Hence the new name ‘leaders’ for those who were once ‘rulers.’ We are less their subjects than their wards, pupils, or domestic animals. There is nothing left of which we can say to them, ‘Mind your own business.’ Our whole lives are their business.”
He goes on to discuss how science and technocracy are leading the way in bringing about the planned, ‘perfect’ society. Says Lewis:
I do not like the pretensions of Government—the grounds on which it demands my obedience—to be pitched too high. . . . On just the same grounds I dread government in the name of science. That is how tyrannies come in. In every age the men who want us under their thumb, if they have any sense, will put forward the particular pretension which the hopes and fears of that age render most potent. They ‘cash in’. It has been magic, it has been Christianity. Now it will certainly be science. Perhaps the real scientists may not think much of the tyrants’ ‘science’– they didn’t think much of Hitler’s racial theories or Stalin’s biology. But they can be muzzled.
He reminds us that a “hungry man thinks about food, not freedom.” He goes on to say this:
We have on the one hand a desperate need: hunger, sickness, and the dread of war. We have, on the other, the conception of something that might meet it: omnicompetent global technocracy. Are not these the ideal opportunity for enslavement? This is how it has entered before; a desperate need (real or apparent) in the one party, a power (real or apparent) to relieve it, in the other. . . . The question about progress has become the question whether we can discover any way of submitting to the worldwide paternalism of a technocracy without losing all personal privacy and independence. Is there any possibility of getting the super welfare state’s honey and avoiding the sting?
What assurance have we that our masters will or can keep the promise which induced us to sell ourselves? Let us not be deceived by phrases about ‘Man taking charge of his own destiny.’ All that can really happen is that some men will take charge of the destiny of the others. They will be simply men; none perfect; some greedy, cruel and dishonest. The more completely we are planned the more powerful they will be. Have we discovered some new reason why, this time, power should not corrupt as it has done before?
My third commentator on this is Rousas Rushdoony. I will draw upon two of his books. In his 1970 volume, Politics of Guilt and Pity, he has a chapter on “The Biblical Doctrine of Government” that is worth quoting from. He writes:
In this rise to totalitarian power, the state has smoothed its way at every turn by claiming to act in behalf of man, as the representative of the people. In the name of man, the state has usurped the place of God. . . . The state denies man the liberty which the Creator grants man. Under God, man is responsible and therefore liable to judgment. Under the caretaker state, man is not responsible nor is he free, for the state alone is free, and the state supplants responsibility with cradle-to-grave security….
To obey the state, therefore, when it enters into the domain of the church, whether to deny or to grant it the right of life, or of liberty of worship, or merely to regulate its existence, is to disobey God and to render to Caesar what belongs to God. This the early church refused to do. To obey the state when it enters the domain of the family, school, business, and other like areas, is again to disobey God and to make a god of the state….
1 Samuel 8:7ff. makes clear, first, that statism is a rejection of God, and the growth of statist power coincides with the decline of the true faith. Second, when men seek their security from the state rather than from God, they lose security and gain slavery. Third, men who will not be God’s servants become the state’s servants or slaves.
And in his 1986 book, Christianity and the State, he says this:
What then is the basic problem? Not only is every church a religious institution, but every state or social order is a religious establishment. Every state is a law order, and every law order represents an enacted morality, with procedures for the enforcement of that morality. Every morality represents a form of theological order, i.e., is an aspect and expression of a religion. The church thus is not the only religious institution; the state also is a religious institution. More often than the church, the state has been the central religious institution of most civilizations through the centuries….
The real issue is not between church and state, but is simply this: the state as a religious establishment has progressively disestablished Christianity as its law foundation, and, while professing neutrality, has in fact established humanism as the religion of the state. When the religion of a people changes, its laws inevitably reflect that change and conform themselves to the new faith and the new morality.
And this brings me back to Schlossberg and his book. As he says there:
What is widely regarded as a struggle between the religious and the secular is really a struggle between religions. The current strife over such issues as abortion is perfectly in order, because it is an attempt by both sides to establish a rule of order in accordance with basic religious precepts. Man is the autonomous ruler of himself, able to define right and wrong and frame statutes according to whatever he defines as just. Or else man is created and sustained by a holy and just God who declares on matters of right and wrong in the form of law. Both are religious views held by faith. In the most basic sense there is no such thing as a secular culture.
And this is what I said at the outset. This is ultimately a religious war, and it is a war over who is god: the one true God, or some other manmade god, such as the state. All three authors that I cite here of course understand that God is the creator of civil government, and it does have an important role to play in a fallen world.
But like anything else, the modern state can easily become God – or at least seek to usurp the role of God. And when that happens, we are all in a real bad way.
21 Jesus said to him, “If you wish to be complete, go and sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” Matthew 19:21 (NASB)
The message of salvation that is normally preached or taught in the vast majority of churches these days has been contaminated with Humanism. The focus is on becoming a Christian for some great benefit or reward from God. Masses of people respond to that false gospel as well….
The genuine gospel that our Saviour preached during His earthly ministry may have mentioned the benefits of being saved, but He emphasized the cost of becoming His disciple in such a way that it caused many of His hearers to not follow Him anymore. In fact, whenever He saw that the people were flocking to Him to have their felt needs met, He would speak a message to them that expressed that those who are His disciples are the ones who have counted the cost and seen that the eternal is all that truly matters. View article →
If you are reading this, I suspect you are disturbed by an ideology that segregates people by race; that insists on a racial hierarchy in which entire racial groups are monolithically good or bad; that does away with race-blind tests in the name of progress; and that insists that any inequality of outcome is evidence of systemic discrimination. Those are bad ideas at odds with our most foundational American values. On Friday, Andrew Sullivan published an essay arguing that CRT removes the “bedrock of liberalism.” I agree. The question is: What should be done about it?
If you want to understand how Critical Race Theory functions you can’t do much better than watching this recently leaked clip of a teachers’ meeting in Portland, Oregon. Here, an eighth grade teacher (pronouns: “she, her, we and us”) tells her colleagues that “you can’t change your melanin, alright, but you can change your mind.” She compares teachers that don’t adopt “antiracism” to to sex offenders and warns them: “If you’re going to keep with those old views of colonialism it’s going to lead to being fired.”
Is it fair to call this an example of Critical Race Theory? Academics would say absolutely not. They will point out that CRT is, exactly as the name suggests, a theory — one developed in the 1970s by legal scholars to expose the way racism was baked into the structures and systems of American life.
But the reason that moms and dads across the country are discussing Critical Race Theory at their dinner tables is not because they’ve all just discovered critical theorists like Derrick Bell. It’s because that academic idea — or worldview, really — has captured schools across the country. It’s because it is affecting what their children are taught about America and about themselves.
If you’re new here — welcome! — let me catch you up on a few flashpoints that will give you a sense of what I mean:
An elementary school in Cupertino, California, instructed third graders to rank themselves based on their power and their privilege.
The San Diego Unified School District told white teachers that they are guilty of “spirit murdering” black children.
California’s Department of Education is proposing to eliminate opportunities for accelerated math in the name of “equity.” That means discouraging algebra for eighth graders and calculus for high schoolers.
Most recently, the University of California system decided to scrap the SAT and the ACT on the argument that the tests themselves are biased against low-income applicants of color.
Those are just a handful of examples from California, where I’m currently living. I could pull similar headlines from other public school systems in other states. And this is to say nothing of the country’s private schools: The more elite the school, the more in thrall they are to this ideology, for reasons I explain in depth here.
If you are reading this, I suspect you are disturbed by an ideology that segregates people by race; that insists on a racial hierarchy in which entire racial groups are monolithically good or bad; that does away with race-blind tests in the name of progress; and that insists that any inequality of outcome is evidence of systemic discrimination.
Those are bad ideas at odds with our most foundational American values. On Friday, Andrew Sullivan published an essay arguing that CRT removes the “bedrock of liberalism.” I agree.
The question is: What should be done about it?
Republican lawmakers across the country think they’ve come up with the solution: banning Critical Race Theory from public schools. There are more than a dozen states with proposed legislation banning or restricting the teaching of this ideology.
True praise in worship doesn’t come cheaply. Praise is not: “1,2,3 let’s go” as the band jams for twenty minutes. Praise is not created by a hip worship band and leader up front manipulating emotions to bring people into an ecstatic state as the congregation watches, mostly in silence, the great performance. People who live by this kind of intoxicating approach to praise will never find true satisfaction in God’s worship. The experience will never be high enough, the churchgoer will be tossed back and forth by every wind of “feeling.” True praise that God loves comes out of a whole heart, in the gathered assembly, as all the voices of the people together are raised, because the marvelous works of the Lord have been sought out, comprehended, and believed.
Psalm 111 is the first of the great Egyptian Hallel (meaning “praise”) praise psalms celebrating the Lord’s deliverance from Egypt through the institution of the Passover. We can learn a lot about true praise from the first inspired Hallel.
Consider the call to praise in Psalm 111:1: “Praise the Lord! I will give thanks to the LORD with my whole heart, in the company of the upright, in the congregation.” We are presented with the character of true praise in Israel. The psalmist expresses his love to gather with the company of the upright, in the congregation, and express his thanksgiving with a whole heart to God. The entire congregation is summoned to praise the Lord with all their faculties (mind, will, and affections), appreciating the peculiar blessing that the world does not have when the saints gather together for worship.
American Praise Music
American Christians are challenged by this description of praise. We have been trained by the broader culture that how we feel when we come to worship is determined by the success of the instrumentation to create a good feeling. The assumption is that praise is created by the success of the musicians, as if we have to achieve concert quality music to truly praise God. This has led many to view their church music as the one aspect to their church that they perceive as not very good. What we need is a young, hip musician up front, graphic T, with a band behind him, who will bring us into a state of true praise. This has become the de facto standard of achieving true praise in American churches.
Those churches who do not mimic this model often find that their congregants view their music as mediocre, tolerating the sub-standard approach, believing that most other churches down the street do it better. For a variety of different reasons, they are willing to remain with the church, but they have given up hope that the music will ever get better.
Further, for most church shoppers, their entire church attendance is based on this question: how uplifting is the music? If the church music doesn’t achieve the status of elevating people to the rated quality of expected feeling, many people will disregard that church altogether, regardless of how faithful the ministry of the Word may be. The question is whether such an approach to praise is correct, and whether the church itself is to bear the weight of the responsibility to create what people assume is fulfilling praise. There may be variation in the circumstances of praise, but the question has to do with how true praise is accomplished.
It might be shocking to the reader to hear that much of what is so called praise today in worship is not received by the Lord. God certainly turns his ear away from not just vain repetitions, but also empty hearts due to empty theology. It should be self-evident that our feelings have to arise to something higher than animal instincts to truly praise the Lord.
The Biblical Corrective
This is why Psalm 111 is a corrective as it describes what constitutes true praise. The psalmist is led to the most sincere expression of true praise. Notice the first two characteristics that are described of true praise: 1) it is done with the whole heart, and 2) it involves the entire congregation.
But there is a third and most important aspect of true praise captured in verse 2 that makes the first two characteristics possible. Verse 2 states, “Great are the works of the LORD, studied by all who delight in them.” Third, God’s wonderful works must be sought out and praise is the response that follows.
Historically, Christians believe that true worship requires a proper kind of preparation that the “whole person” may worship the Lord properly. This is why the Jews had an entire day of preparation before Sabbath worship. But preparation is not for merely gathering for worship, it also belongs to offering praise in song that is sincere.
The Psalmist says that true praise is a result of considering the great works of the Lord. In fact, the psalmist says that the works of the Lord are studied or “sought out” by those who delight in them. This is the basis for offering true praise.
Here we arrive at the question of why so many complain that they just don’t feel joy or lack spiritual life in their Christianity. Frequently, the blame is placed on the church’s failure to bring forth praise that, as it is assumed, will create more joy and a vibrant spiritual-filled life. Churches certainly fail in offering true praise. But what is rarely discussed is the responsibility of the churchgoer in offering true praise.
Here, in verse 2, we are commanded by God to walk in love. Do this! Walk in love! Be imitators of God by your walk in love.
What does the love of God look like? We are told in 1 John 4:9-10, “In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. And this is love, not that we loved God, but that God loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” And now, having defined love, we are given the command in verse 11, “Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.” We are not to love as the world loves, but rather, we are to love as God has manifested His love toward us undeserving sinners. His love is one of self-sacrifice and self-denial.
But notice as well, the command in verse 21, “And this commandment we have from Him: that He who loves God must love his brother also.” Here again, we are to walk in love! How can we readily identify the children of God? By their God-like love toward others!
Suggestion for prayer
Pray for the Holy Spirit to create in us a pure heart, a heart that truly loves God and expresses this God-like love toward our neighbor.
Rev. Henry Van Olst felt called to the ministry at the age of 32 after 12 years of working in the accounting field. He served the Parkland Reformed Church (URC) of Ponoka, Alberta from 1993 to 2005; served in several other churches, and upon retirement in 2020 moved back to Ponoka, Alberta along with his wife Mary, to be closer to their four married children and fifteen grandchildren. Rev. Van Olst remains active in preaching and teaching as the church is currently vacant. This daily devotional is also available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional.
Cherishing Secret Sins Like a Dog Bone Job 20:12; Psalm 90:8; Proverbs 14:10
Go down into your hearts and take the keys of them and ransack your private cupboards, and narrowly observe what junkets your souls have until now lived upon, and gone behind the door and there secretly and stoutly have made a meal of them. Delights are secret things, as treasures are. As dogs … have bones they hide, and secretly steal forth to gnaw upon, so men have sins they hide under their tongues as sweet bits.
Ritzema, E., & Vince, E. (Eds.). (2013). 300 Quotations for Preachers from the Puritans. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.
Have Jesus Always for Your Patron Psalm 107:23–32; John 17:15–18; Hebrews 6:18–19
You are going to take the high sea of the world; do not change, on that account, patron or sails, or anchor, or wind. Have Jesus always for your patron, his cross for a mast, on which you must spread your resolutions as a sail: your anchor shall be a profound confidence in him—and sail prosperously; may the favorable wind of celestial inspirations ever fill your vessel’s sails fuller and fuller, and make you happily arrive at the port of a holy eternity.
FRANCIS DE SALES
Ritzema, E. (2013). 300 Quotations for Preachers from the Reformation. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.
We are living in a period of church history when a startling number of professing Christians have little concern for the truth. From one of our Ask R.C. events, R.C. Sproul appeals to every believer to pursue and contend for the revealed truth of God.
Just ask Ligonier to get clear and trustworthy answers to your biblical and theological questions.
3:16 Paul referred to the Lord as the Lord of peace and prayed for God’s granting of peace to them in every way. This was particularly important for a church under persecution.
3:16 Paul offers a benediction. Lord of peace. Jesus has reconciled the Thessalonian Christians to God and is at peace with them, able to replace their disturbed fear (2:2) with an experience of inner peace. in every way. Especially peace as opposed to consternation regarding the end times (2:1–3:5) and peace amid ongoing persecution (1:5–10).
3:16 the Lord of peace. Paul knew this characteristic of God would be most meaningful to reflect upon in light of the intense spiritual battle that raged all around the Thessalonians (cf. 1:2; 1Th 1:1; 5:23). Cf. Paul’s other benedictions to this church in v. 5; 2:16, 17; 1Th 3:11–13; 5:23.
3:16 In view of the possibility of disharmony in the church, Paul prayed that the Lord of peace would guide their actions, granting peace and unity to the church.
3:16. Paul wants the Lord of peace to grant the readers peace always in every way. Of course, those who fear they have missed the Rapture and those who are living off others are not experiencing that peace. Paul prays that the Lord would be with them all.
3:16 This verse has been called “a peaceful close to a stormy Epistle.” In it Paul prays that the suffering saints at Thessalonica may know the peace of the Lord of peace at all times and in every way.
The Christian is not dependent on anything in this world for his serenity. It is based entirely on the Person and work of the Lord Jesus. The world cannot give it or take it away. But we must appropriate it in all the circumstances of life. “Peace is not cessation from persecution, but is the calm of heart that comes from faith in God and that is independent of circumstances.”
3:16. This is Paul’s fourth prayer for the Thessalonians in this epistle (cf. 1:11–12; 2:16–17; 3:5). From correction Paul turned to intercession. Without the Lord’s working all exhortations would be ineffective. Paul’s concern was for peace within the church through the unity of all members obeying the truth. The Lord is the source of peace (cf. 1 Thes. 5:23) and Paul prayed that He would bestow this on the Christians in Thessalonica. A Christian and a church enjoy peace when they are rightly related to the will of God. Paul prayed that this would be the Thessalonians’ condition at all times regardless of their circumstances, even in persecution.
In praying that the Lord would be with them all, Paul was not implying that God is with Christians only some of the time (cf. Matt. 28:20). Rather, he was praying that fellowship with Christ (that Christians can enjoy only as they obey His Word) might be the portion of each believer—not just of the obedient but also of those who were presently disobedient through idle living.
3:16. Paul offered a prayer on behalf of these beloved believers, asking that the Lord of peace himself give you peace. Paul drew attention to the Lord as the giver. Peace is the desire, but it is the Lord Jesus Christ himself who arrests our attention and captivates our thoughts. Paul directed our gaze toward the Lord, who intervenes on behalf of his children. From him comes the gift of peace. We cannot attain it on our own, but we wait for it in trusting anticipation—a peace born of God. The peace Paul prayed for exists apart from circumstance.
His brief prayer concluded with the Lord be with all of you. Paul desired that all the believers in the church, even those currently living in disobedience, experience the reality of God’s presence. The spiritual truth of God’s continual presence keeps a person growing and following in obedience.
3:16 “the Lord of peace” This is a common title for God the Father (cf. Rom. 15:33; 16:20; 2 Cor. 13:11; Phil. 4:9; 1 Thess. 5:23; Heb. 13:20).
16. Thoroughly convinced that in their own strength the readers cannot fulfil the precepts contained in the preceding verses, the writers add: Now may he, the Lord of peace, give you this peace at all times in all ways. The Lord of peace is the Lord Jesus Christ. It is he who established peace through his cross. It is he who not only pronounces it but actually imparts it. Hence Paul writes, “Now may he … give” (δῴη, 3rd. per. sing., aor. optative active). This peace or spiritual prosperity will prevail when the disorderly persons begin to live calmly, attending to their duties both earthly and heavenly (that is the immediate context here), when the faint-hearted go to the depths of God’s promise, no longer worrying about their departed friends and about their own spiritual condition, and when the weak gain strength through sanctification. It is needed “at all times, in all ways,” that is, in every circumstance of life. The peace here indicated is of a very special character. Note the article in the original (literally, “Now may he, the Lord of the peace”). Objectively, it is the condition of being reconciled, God’s wrath having been removed. But here the subjective must not be dissociated from the objective. It is the reflection of God’s smile in the heart of the believer who, by sovereign grace, has received the blessed assurance of this state of reconciliation. This, truly, is prosperity! Note also the similar expression toward the close of the first epistle (see on 1 Thess. 5:23; also on 1 Thess. 1:1, for the meaning of peace; and see N.T.C. on John 14:27).
Implied in the peace is the fellowship, which, however, because of its superlative worth, merits special mention. Hence, there follows The Lord (i.e., the Lord Jesus Christ) with you all (with the verb “be” understood). Note: you all, not even the disorderly ones are excluded! Did not the writers proceed from the idea that the censored persons were, after all, brothers? Cf. 1 Cor. 16:24; 2 Cor. 13:13.
Ver. 16. Now the Lord of Peace Himself give you peace always by all means.—
Peace from the Lord of peace:—There is another reading of this passage, which modern editors have preferred, and I think with good reason; for τρόπῳ they substituted τότῳ—“in every place” for “by all means.” The expression in our version may, no doubt, have a good and important sense; but it sounds like a tame addition to the words which have preceded. The other suggests a new thought, which enlarges and completes the prayer. “May the Lord of Peace give you peace at all times and in all places.” Such a petition must needs have a deep and solid ground to rest upon. “The Lord of Peace,” he says, “give you peace.” This he assumes as the very name of God. A god of war they had all heard of. He was said to have watched over the infancy of the greatest city in the world, to have been the father of its first king. Whithersoever the Roman Eagle had been borne, there were the tokens of his presence. The name Thessalonica testified that he had been on that soil. He knew that the heathens had never been satisfied with the idea of a god of war, however much it might have possessed them. They felt that the olive was a sacred emblem as well as the laurel. There must be some One from whom it came—of whom it testified. The quiet homestead, the growth of trees and flowers, the power and art of tillage, must have an origin, as well as the skill and feats of armies. Surely tempests did not witness of unseen power more than a still lake or an evening of clear starlight. All sweet notes and their intricate combinations told of some secret source of harmony. The heart which responded to these sights and sounds demanded a Lord of Peace nigh, and not afar off. Was He a different Being from the other? It was the misery of Polytheism to believe that He must be different. How could such opposite effects proceed from the Same Cause? It was the blessed privilege of the Jew to be taught in direct words, and by the whole course of his history, that the Lord his God was one Lord, that the God of armies was the same as the Lord of Peace. The acts of His power were the manifestations of His righteous will. He was the Lord God, merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy; therefore would He not clear the guilty; therefore was all evil, everything unmerciful and oppressive, hateful in His eyes; therefore was He pledged to destroy it. There was no actual or implicit contradiction in His nature. I. The words are very emphatic. May
He Himself give you peace. As if he had said, “I know and am persuaded that no one else can give it you; not I, not all the preachers and doctors in the universe. Properly speaking, you do not even receive it at second-hand through us. He gives you the thing itself; we present you with the seals and sacraments of it. He opens a direct communication with your hearts; he conveys into them that which we only stand offering to them from without. “May He,” says the apostle, “Himself give it you! Be not content to take it from any other.” II. And be sure also that
He gives it. You do not purchase it by prayers or faith or good deeds. He receives the gift of a higher life, or he sinks into death. In other words, God gives him peace, or he continues in a state of perpetual war.
III. This peace the apostle desires for the Thessalonians. Not some image or shadow of peace, but peace itself, in its full meaning. Not a peace which depends upon pacts and bargains among men, but which belongs to the very nature and character and being of God. Not a peace which is produced by the stifling and suppression of activities and energies, but the peace in which all activities and energies are perfected and harmonized. Not a peace which comes from the toleration of what is base or false, but which demands its destruction. Not a peace which begins from without, but a peace which is first wrought in the inner man, and thence comes forth to subdue the world. Not a peace which a man gets for himself by standing aloof from the sorrows and confusions of the world into which he is born, of the men whose nature he shares, choosing a calm retreat and quiet scenery and a regulated atmosphere; but a peace which has never thriven except in those who have suffered with their suffering kind, who have been ready to give up selfish enjoyments, sensual or spiritual, for their sakes, who have abjured all devices to escape from ordained toils and temptations; the peace which was His who bore the sorrows and infirmities and sins of man, who gave up Himself that He might become actually one with them, who thus won for them a participation in the Divine nature, an inheritance in that peace of God which passeth understanding. IV. St. Paul could then say boldly, “The Lord give you peace in all times.” He was living in a time of exceeding restlessness. All about him were wars and rumours of wars. The Jewish commonwealth was breaking to pieces, from the hatreds of its sects, from its mad desire to measure its strength with its Roman masters. St. Paul was the object of the fiercest spite of those fighting sects. They did not abhor each other so much as they abhorred him. And he knew that the end was coming—that God Himself had pronounced the doom of the city of David; that if he did not witness the fall of that nation, to save which he was willing to be accursed, it would be only because some violent death would take him sooner than it out of the world. In this time, which affected all his disciples as well as himself, which had caused great sufferings to the Thessalonian Church, both from present Jewish persecutions and from the dim feverish apprehension of some day of the Lord which was near at hand; in this time, he could ask the Lord of Peace to give himself and them peace. He could ask it confidently, nothing doubting that the petition would be heard and answered, nay, that the very tumults in the world and in themselves were intended to awaken it and to accomplish it. He knew that easy and comfortable circumstances do not impart the peace which men want. He knew that the most disastrous may drive them to that centre where it dwells and where they may possess it. V. He prayed also, if the reading I have spoken of is the true one, that they might have peace in every place. He had some experience of different places, of Greek cities and Jewish, if he had not yet seen Rome, as he purposed to do; and all his experience hitherto had been of strifes, tumults, persecutions. He had come to Thessalonica because he had been thrown into prison at Philippi. He escaped from Thessalonica to Beræa, thence to Athens. In Corinth the continued Jewish opposition was trifling compared with the struggle in his own spirit, which made him despair even of life. At Ephesus he was destined to fight with men who assailed him as the beasts assailed those who were exposed in the Amphitheatre. At Jerusalem voices cried, “Away with such a fellow from the earth! it is not fit that he should live.” Bonds and imprisonments awaited him in the capital of the world. And yet he could say, “The Lord of Peace give you peace in all places.” In the prison he had found it; in that infinite tumult and despair of his own spirit he had found it. And this, he was certain, was not because he was an apostle—because he had Divine revelations—because he had singular gifts. It was because he was a man, sharing the temptations of men, experiencing in himself the redemption which had been wrought out for men.
VI. Do we not need to hear at this time, in this place, the same message? VII. But is not the week that witnesses of the sacrifice of the Victim one that brings peace, if it finds but little? Is not the week that commemorates the completion of the sacrifice one that carries peace even into the midst of war? Yes! this, and nothing less, is what these days signify. “The Lord of Peace Himself give you peace in all places.” You want a Lord of Peace, One in whom Peace dwells always, under all conditions, amidst all turmoils. Here, in the agony of the garden, on the cross of Calvary, behold Him! (F. D. Maurice, M.A.)
Peace from the Lord of Peace:—
I. The Lord of Peace is Jesus. St. Paul habitually calls Him Lord, and brings His name into special relation with peace. This is an apt compendium of His other titles and gives in one perfect phrase the whole sum of His mediatorial work. 1. The appellation is only another form of the title by which His coming was fore-announced. It was declared that He should vanquish Satan, turn aside the Divine displeasure, and establish a government of peace. Isaiah makes all His glorious names merge into “The Prince of Peace.” His mediatorial obedience is bearing “the chastisement of our peace.” The increase of His kingdom would be the “abundance of peace” (Isa. 9:6; 53:5; 9:7; Psa. 72:7). 2. The manner of His coming was a token of peace. “God with us.” “Peace on earth.” These announcements declared that the world’s Peace was born, and that the alliance of God with our nature was the reconciliation which had been preached. This was the “everlasting sign that should not be cut off” (Isa. 7:14; 55:13). 3. But He who brought that sign was Himself cut off that it might be everlasting. Though the reconciliation was virtually effected from the beginning, for the “Lamb was slain from the foundation of the world,” yet it required the atonement of “the blood of the Cross” (Col. 1:20–22). 4. The title, however, is a glorious one, and directs our thought to Christ’s exaltation. Our Melchizedek became King of Salem, i.e. peace, by virtue of the sacrifice which He first offered as Priest of the Most High God. But the Royal title tells us that He has achieved our peace with the power of an endless life. Yet, like His ancient type, He was never other than a King. 5. Whilst this is true, it must not be forgotten that the term “Lord” is for the most part applied to Christ in respect of the jurisdiction He obtained in death (Rom. 14:9; Matt. 28:18; Acts 10:36). Everything became Dominical from that time: the Lord’s “house,” “supper,” “day,” and so “peace.” 6. Christ is Himself the Publisher of His own peace. The terms on which the sinner may make his peace with God are prescribed by the Lord Himself; nor does He permit any human authority to interfere with them. (1) Repentance; no peace that was ever pronounced upon those who are careless of this condition was ever ratified by Him. (2) But when this condition is complied with He demands only a supreme reliance upon Himself; and those who encumber the sinner’s approach by any human inventions have no sanction from Him.
II. The bestowment of peace. 1. Our Saviour Himself administers His own government by His Spirit, and imparts with His own hands the blessings of His peace. As He presents His atonement in heaven He imparts it on earth (Rom. 5:11). He dispenses the forgiveness of sins, permitting none to interpose between Himself and the penitent save as the simple ambassadors of His will. He commanded His apostles to preach and to utter the salutation of peace, but the assurance of remission He reserved for His own lips. But in proportion to the restraint upon them was the freedom with which He dispensed it to the penitent. And still “the Lord of Peace” speaks the word that tranquillizes the conscience and gives the heart rest. 2. “Give you peace always.” This means—(1) At the outset, that the humble petitioner may expect a permanent assurance of acceptance. The prayer for forgiveness which ascends “without ceasing” is heard and answered “always.” (2) But the peace of Christ is larger and deeper than reconciliation; it includes all spiritual prosperity (John 14:27; 15:11). 3. “By all means.” We must expect it to come through strange and seemingly discordant methods. He who is “Lord of Peace” shows His supremacy in this, that He can make all things contribute to His servants’ prosperity. We pray not merely that the Redeemer may shed peace through His Word and ordinances, but in tribulation, and make that minister to the profound communion of the soul with God; that He may preserve to the spirit interior peace, whilst the surface is harassed by temptation; that the very turbulence of the world may be made not only to heighten our peace by contrast, but to confirm it by driving us to more perfect fellowship with Him (John 16:33).
III. The guarantee of this peace. “The Lord be with you all.” Where He dwells there must be peace, but this indwelling is only secured by prayer. He commanded His disciples to pronounce their peace in every house they entered. Much more does He observe His own law. Entering our hearts, He speaks His “peace”; abiding in us, He gives us peace “always”; and by the secret energy of His grace He turns all events to our good “by all means.” (W. B. Pope, D.D.)
Benediction and invocation:—Before closing his letter to the Thessalonians, St. Paul desires three Divine things for them.
I. That the Lord of Peace would give them peace. By peace some understand all manner of prosperity; but the apostle meant, in particular, peace with God—peace in their own conscience—peace among themselves—peace among others. And this peace he desired for them always, and in everything, and by all means. As they enjoyed the means of grace, he would have them successful in the use of all the means and methods of grace; for peace is often difficult, as it is always desirable. The gift of peace is God’s, who is “the Author of peace and Lover of concord.” And of this we may be firmly assured—that we shall neither have peaceable dispositions ourselves, nor find men disposed to be at peace with us, unless the Lord of Peace Himself give us both.
II. That the presence of the Lord might be with them. How intensely the great leader of Israel desired the Divine Presence to go with him and the people to the land of promise may be gathered from his own words to Jehovah Himself: “If Thy Presence go not with me, carry us not up hence.” He knew full well not only the absolute need of His presence to guide them, but also that His presence really included every other good. Paul felt as did Moses. He was sure that if the Lord was with the Thessalonians, all would be well with them. And we need nothing more to make us safe and happy, nor can we desire anything better for ourselves and our friends than to have the Lord’s gracious presence with us and them. This will be a guide and guard in every path we may go, and a real comfort in every condition in which we may be placed. It is the presence of God that maketh heaven to be heaven, and the presence of God will make this earth, albeit cursed with sin and sorrow, like unto heaven. No matter where we are if God be with us; no matter who is absent from us if God be present with us.
III. That the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ might also be with them. Whatever the eminence of the Thessalonians for their inherent virtues and gracious qualifications, yet the apostle knew that it was only God’s sovereign grace, and not their own merit, which must be relied upon for obtaining any temporal or spiritual mercy from the hands of God; for though he commended them for their faith, and love, and patience, and other excellences, yet he closeth and crowneth all by wishing God’s free grace and favour to them as the fountain-cause of all they stood in need of or could expect. This grace or favour flows to us through Jesus. And it is this that is “all in all” to make us pure and happy. The apostle admired and magnified this grace on all occasions: he delighted and trusted in it: it had made him the saint, and the preacher, and the hero that he was; and no marvel that, as he loved his Thessalonian converts with a deep and holy passion, he took his leave of them with words so meet arid precious. (D. Mayo.)
The jewel of peace:—
I. The many-sided blessing. The peace of the text is a gem with many facets, but—1. Its main bearing is towards God. (1) The Atonement has wrought perfect reconciliation and established everlasting peace. Into the enjoyment of this all believers enter. (2) Our hearts should be at peace by being fully in accord with God’s will. Some of God’s children complain of His dealings with them and so have not perfect peace. (3) There is also the peace of conscious complacency, the sense of Divine love which is lost when God hides His face through our sin. Peace because sin is forgiven is the fruit of justification (Rom. 5:1). Peace because the heart is made to agree with the will of God is the result of sanotification. “To be spiritually minded is … peace.” Peace through consciousness of Divine love is attendant on the spirit of adoption. 2. This peace spreads itself abroad, and covers all things with its soft light. He who is at peace with God is at peace with all things that are God’s, and all things work together for his good. 3. This practically shows itself in the Christian’s inward peace with regard to his present circumstances. He sees God’s hand in everything, and is content. Is he poor? The Lord makes him rich in faith. Is he sick? The Lord endows him with patience. 4. This peace is mainly to be found in the soul itself as to its thoughts, believings, hopings, and desires: “the good man is satisfied from himself.” Some minds are strangers to peace. (1) How can they have peace where they have no faith. (2) When they are much afraid.
II. The special desirableness of this peace. 1. It is essential to the joy, comfort, and blessedness of the Christian life. 2. Without peace you cannot grow, A shepherd may find good pasture for his flock, but if they are hunted about by dogs they will soon become skin and bone. 3. Without peace you cannot bear much fruit. If a tree is frequently transplanted, you cannot reasonably look for many golden apples. 4. Stability is dependent on peace. The doctrine can soon be driven out of a man’s head which affords no light and comfort to his heart. 5. You must have peace for your soul’s wealth. As war spends and peace gathers the riches of nations, so does inward strife devour us, while spiritual peace makes the soul fat.
III. The sole Person from whom this peace must come—the Lord Jesus, the Prince of Peace. Who else can it be but He whom the angels announced with “Peace on earth”; who made peace by the blood of His Cross; who is “our Peace,” having broken down the middle wall of partition; who said, “My peace I leave with you,” &c.? 1. The apostle does not say, “May the Lord of Peace send His angel or His minister to give you peace,” or “May you have it at the communion table, or in reading the Word, or in prayer.” In all these we might be refreshed—but “Himself” give you peace. (1) We do not obtain peace except from the Lord Himself. His Person is a source of peace. (2) He “gives” this peace; not merely offers it to you, or argues with you that you ought to have it, or shows you the grounds. 2. “The Lord be with you all” 2. “The Lord be with you all”—as much as to say, “That is what I mean; if He is present, you must enjoy peace.” Let the sea rage, yet when Jesus arises there will be a great calm.
IV. The sweep of the prayer. 1. “Always.” On week-days as well as Sundays; in the prayer-meeting and in the workshop; with the Bible and with the ledger; at all times, under all circumstances, and everywhere. Why are we troubled, when we may have this peace always? 2. “By all means.” Some agencies evidently make for peace, but He can give us peace by opposing forces; by the bitter as well as the sweet; the storm as well as the peace; loss as well as gain; death as well as life. There are two grand ways of giving us peace. (1) By taking away all that disquiets us. Here is one who frets because he does not make much money, or has lost some. Suppose the Lord takes away his covetousness; he is at peace, not because he has more money, but less of grasping desire. Another is ambitious. Suppose the grace of God humbles him so that he only wishes to be and to do what the Lord wills; how readily he rests. Another has an angry temper; the Lord does not alter the character of the people round about him, but makes him gentle. What peace he now feels! (2) By discoveries of Himself and His grace. Conclusion: “There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked.” (C. H. Spurgeon.) Peace of conscience and heart the element of holiness1. “Always”—i.e., absolutely permanent. The same word is used of the angels, who always behold the face of God; and of Christ, who “foresaw the Lord always before Him.” The constancy of the Christian’s peace is to be the same as that wherewith angels wait on the behests of God and Jesus realizes God’s presence. 2. “In every manner.” There are different modes and circumstances of its manifestation, according as the heart is burdened with anxiety, or depressed with a sense of sin, or feverish with excitement, or distracted by business. We may taste it in every form, according to the special need of the moment. 3. The Lord of Peace, its Author and Source, is called upon to bestow it (John 14:27; Phil. 4:4–7). 4. This peace is a main essential to holiness; it is not only the root out of which it grows, but the strength in which alone it can be successfully pursued, and the element in which it moves. Its spheres are—
I. The conscience. 1. It must be admitted by faith in Christ—such an act as shall shed abroad in the heart a sense of God’s pardoning love. This act is simply a cordial acceptance of God’s gift of Christ. Having performed this, we place ourselves in the condition described in Rom. 5:1. 2. But it must be detained. It is a sensitive guest, apt to take flight at the slightest affront, The conscience, once cleared by faith, must be kept clear by effort, the use of appropriate means, sad repeated acts of faith. “Herein do I exercise myself to have always a conscience void of offence.” But as faults will accrue, we need for the maintenance of peace periodical examinations of the conscience.
II. The heart. Peace under the vexations and frettings of life. 1. This fretting may arise from anxieties, the right method of dealing with which is in Phil. 4:4–7. Whatever may be your wishes on the subject which makes you anxious, refer them to God in prayer; and having done so, leave them with Him, assured that He will order the matter for the best. Drop them altogether. They are off your hands now, and are in better hands. They are no longer your business; they need not be your care. Thinking is utterly fruitless, and fruitless thinking is waste of the energy needed for progress, and is also a positive breach of God’s precept—“Be careful for nothing.” The spiritual life of the present moment is the one thing needful. As for future evil, it may never come; and if it does, it will prove less in reality than in anticipation. The women going to the sepulchre troubled themselves unnecessarily about the stone, for it was rolled away. 2. This discomposure may arise from things going cross in daily life, rubs of temper, annoyance, &c. The rule for the maintenance of peace is here the same. Never let your thoughts dwell on a matter in which another has made you sore. If you do, a hundred aggravations will spring up. With a brief prayer for him who has offended you, keep your thoughts away from what he has done. Try to realize God’s presence. “My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest.” But the great point is to let the mind settle. Turbid liquids will clear themselves, and precipitate their sediment simply by standing. Be still, then. Conclusion: 1. Those who indulge fretful feelings, either of anxiety or irritation, give an opening to the devil in their hearts. “Fret not thyself, else thou shalt be moved to do evil.” “Let not the sun go down upon your wrath, neither give place to the devil.” Peace is the sentinel of the soul; only so long as this sentinel is on guard the castle is kept secure. 2. Be careful to maintain peace, if thou wouldst not only resist the devil, but receive the guidance of God’s Spirit. That Spirit cannot make communications to a soul in a turbulent state. The Lord is not in the wind, or the earthquake, or the fire. Not until these have passed, can His still small voice be heard. (Dean Goulburn.)
Peace versus war:—I. First, then, we have a peaceful designation. 1. He who is the eternal and omnipotent Jehovah—“The man of war,” “The lion of the tribe of Judah,” is here described as “The Lord of Peace.” He is so in His disposition. Peace, like silver sheen, is woven in His nature. His life manifested it, His words breathed it, His looks beamed with it, His prayers pleaded for it, His chastisement was to procure it, and His death was to seal it. 2. This fact may be yet more clearly seen if we remember how longsuffering He is with His enemies. What trifles prove sufficient to light the torch of war, if there be the desire first. Contrast with this what our Lord bears from His avowed foes, and His longsuffering towards them, and you will then be enabled in some measure to grasp the peaceableness of His disposition. Oh, what affronts does He receive, and yet forbears to smite! What indignities are heaped upon Him! How is His name profaned, His Sabbath desecrated, His laws broken, His Book derided, His worship neglected! What monarch on earth has ever been so openly defied, and that by creatures who are at His mercy for their very breath and bread? 3. This peace-loving disposition of our Lord can also be demonstrated by His forbearance with His friends. A slight from an open enemy is insignificant in its power to wound, compared with one that comes from a professed friend. What weakness, what base ingratitude, what falseness of affection are shown to Him, by the very ones whose names are engraven on His heart. And yet He bears with us and loves us still. Surely God’s grace is not more marvellous in its first love than in that love’s continuation. 4. The Lord is also the “Lord of Peace” in His actions. This is seen in the fact that He purchased it at a tremendous cost. Peace could only be procured by His own humiliation, agony, and death. At His baptism the peaceful nature of His mission was again made known, by the descent of the Holy Spirit. In what form was it that the Spirit alighted upon Him? He is His people’s Ambassador above; and whilst He remains our representative there, our peace is secured, and glorious truth, “He ever liveth to make intercession for us.” 5. The peace that was purchased by His blood is now secured by His life, and He only waits to place the crown upon the whole by perfecting our peace. Peace without the alarm of battle; peace beyond the noise or even rumour of strife; peace, deep and calm as mountain lake unruffled by a breeze, yet glittering in the sunlight, is the sweet consummation of the dealings of the Lord of Peace with us. II. We have, in the second place, a peaceful supplication. “The Lord of Peace, give you peace.” 1. A conscience peace. This is one of the greatest gifts the Lord can bestow. What is a man without it? He may be surrounded by every luxury; but if he lacks this, he lives in a perpetual hell. That this happy experience might be theirs was prayed for by the apostle. 2. But as these words were addressed unto the Church at Thessalonica, they may also be understood as praying for their Church peace. A Church without peace is in just as wretched a condition as a heart without it. No country has ever suffered half so much through the ravages of war as has God’s Church from its internal strifes. And, alas! as in other wars, what trifles kindle the flame. Some little grievance between two members, which a word of explanation on either side would heal at once, is allowed to grow and rankle, whilst partisans flock to the rival standards, and the few neutrals left find themselves powerless to avert the calamity. 3. Notice, further that the peace desired was a perpetual one. “Peace always” was the apostle’s prayer. Very different this to the peace which has been Europe’s of late. A peace so long, that war shall be forgotten; a peace so complete, that the probability of war shall cease. 4. It was also to be a peace that came by all means. May every privilege (Paul seems to say) which, as Christians, you possess, be so many golden pipes conveying to your hearts the oil of joy and peace! When you pray, may you lose your burdens and your cares, and find in it sweet peace. When you gather for the holy purposes of public worship, may a heavenly calm be yours, and may you find the sanctuary a means of peace. When alone, you meditate upon the promises, may they be to you as songs of consolation.
III. A peaceful benediction. “The Lord be with you all.” 1. His presence be with you to comfort. May you never miss His smile or mourn His absence. 2. His power be with you to keep. In the seasons of temptation, may He hold above thy head His shield. 3. His Spirit be with you to guide. In the daytime may a cloudy pillar go before thee, and in the night season may one of fire direct thee.
IV. An interrogation. “Have you this peace?” Is there within your breast a pacified conscience and a soul that has found its rest? (A. G. Brown.)
16. As in the first epistle, Paul reminds his readers that what he has been telling them to do cannot be achieved in merely human strength (see 1 Thess. 5:23). The emphatic autos de with which the verse opens turns their thoughts away from their own efforts to the Lord … himself. Paul usually speaks of ‘the God of peace’ (see comment on 1 Thess. 5:23), but he generally means Christ when he says ‘the Lord’. On the whole it is likely that he means Christ by the Lord of peace (cf. Eph. 2:14), though, as we have seen in other places, he does not sharply differentiate between God and Christ.
Peace (see comment on 1 Thess. 1:1) is a comprehensive term for the prosperity of the whole man; Paul seeks nothing less for his friends. Its supernatural origin is indicated by its association with the Lord. True peace in the deepest sense comes only as God’s free gift; man can never work it up by his own effort. At all times (as rsv, neb, etc.) is no improvement on ‘always’ (av) as a translation of dia pantos (being rather the rendering of pantote). The idea is that of a peace that remains constant and unbroken no matter what the trials; ‘continually’ (Moffatt, nasb) is the sense of it. It is accompanied by in every way (en panti tropō), which does refer to changing circumstances (lb ‘no matter what happens’). The peace for which Paul prays will be there continually and it will not vary, however much outward circumstances and conditions may alter.
The Lord be with all of you is not a different prayer altogether. The peace the Christian enjoys has no existence in its own right; it is possible only because of the presence of the Lord. It is because we know that the Lord is with us and that he will never forsake those whose trust is in him (cf. Heb. 13:5) that our peace remains unbroken (John 14:27). The peace of the Christian is the presence of the Lord.
There may well be significance in the all. Paul prays for every one of them, the dissident brothers as well as the loyal and obedient.
16. Now the Lord of peace. This prayer seems to be connected with the preceding sentence, with the view of recommending endeavours after concord and mildness. He had forbidden them to treat even the contumacious as enemies, but rather with a view to their being brought back to a sound mind by brotherly admonitions. He could appropriately, after this, subjoin an injunction as to the cultivation of peace; but as this is a work that is truly Divine, he betakes himself to prayer, which, nevertheless, has also the force of a precept. At the same time, he may also have another thing in view—that God may restrain unruly persons, that they may not disturb the peace of the Church.
Ver. 16.—Now the Lord of peace himself. In 1 Thess. 5:23 it is “the God of peace” who is invoked: “And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly.” Here it is Christ who is named a “the Lord of peace.” He is the Lord of peace, as the Author, the Procurer, the Mediator of peace. Peace is here to be taken in its widest sense—peace with God, complete salvation. Give yon peace always by all means. Some mannscripts read “in every place,” but the reading in our version is best attested—“always by all means;” “at all times and in every way;” whether it be outward or inward, for time or for eternity. The apostle could desire no higher blessing for his converts. The Lord be with you all.
3:16 / For the emphatic pronoun, himself (standing first in the Greek sentence), see the discussion on 1 Thessalonians 3:11. For peace, signifying well-being in the widest sense, see discussion on 1 Thessalonians 1:1, and for the Lord of peace, see discussion on 1 Thessalonians 5:23. While the earlier discussion suggests that the pronoun may reflect a liturgical formula, Morris observes that its effect as the letter draws to a close is to direct the readers’ attention away from themselves back to the Lord. Once again we face the difficulty of identifying whether the Father or the Son is intended by Lord (see disc. and note on 1:1). The reference is probably to Jesus, whereas before Paul spoke of “the God of peace,” a reference to the Father. Again we are reminded that for Paul the two are One (see disc. on 1 Thess. 2:12; 3:11). Paul prays that the Lord might give them an enduring peace—peace at all times, dia pantos, “through all,” the word for times being understood, and in every circumstance, en panti tropō. The second prayer, the Lord be with all of you, may again reflect a liturgical formula, in this case the blessing at the end of a service (cf. Rom. 15:33; Phil. 4:9 where the “God of peace” is the subject; 2 Tim. 4:22; cf. also Matt. 28:20). The answer to this prayer is the answer also to the first, for the Lord (Jesus) is our peace, putting us at peace with each other (to the extent that we allow his influence, his Spirit, to come to bear on our lives) and reconciling us to God through the cross (cf. Eph. 2:14; Col. 1:20; also Mark 9:50).
The Lord of peace (v. 16)
Here Paul speaks of ‘the Lord of peace’. In 1 Thessalonians 5:23 he wrote, ‘may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely’. ‘The Lord of peace’ is our Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, when he was reassuring his disciples on the eve of the crucifixion, spoke pointedly about peace, saying, ‘Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you’ (John 14:27). The Lord the Thessalonian believers serve is the Lord of peace and, whatever their lot in this fallen world, they are to receive ‘the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding’, which will guard their hearts and minds through Christ Jesus (Phil. 4:7). Paul prays for such peace to be known experientially by all the believers in Thessalonica.
The gift of peace (v. 16)
The blessing of Christian peace is not independent of Christ and is also a gift of the Holy Spirit (Gal. 5:22). Thus it is Trinitarian in its source. It is a given peace, and is promised as a permanent (subjective) peace, felt always and in every way. Paul’s hope is that they will know the continual calmness of spiritual peace, whether in persecution or suffering, and with every turning life demands. The source of this present and constant peace is the ‘Lord’ himself, so it is necessary to abide in him by faith (John 15:4) in order to benefit fully from daily union with the Saviour. The fruit of the Holy Spirit includes peace, thus our peace is also dependent on ‘walking in the Spirit’ (Gal. 5:16). This gift of peace from the Lord of the church is directed to the heart: ‘Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid’ (John 14:27). This peace comes independently of outward circumstances and reigns in the hearts of all who trust God’s grace as faith is exercised (Ps. 46:10–11).
16 Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with you.
Paul moves toward his final greeting in this letter in a very Jewish way, by offering the Thessalonians a “wish of peace,” a prayer-wish that is singularly different from the one in his first letter, which focused on their living holy lives. Here Paul’s concern is altogether on their experiencing Christ’s shalom itself.
16 As Paul neared the end of his first letter, he prayed, “May the God of peace himself sanctify you in every way.” But in the present letter, “holy living” as such has not been in focus at any point. Rather, what has been in focus is the coming day of the Lord and shalom within the believing community. Thus the prayer-wish in this case calls on “the Lord of peace” to grant them peace. In many ways this is the most “Jewish” of all the Pauline benedictions; but that is surely not the reason for it. In light of the preceding content (God’s coming judgment on their enemies; the timing of the day of the Lord; and unrest caused by the disruptive-idle), this prayer is precisely what is needed. So quite in keeping with what will become his lifelong habit, the “grace” at the end of the letter focuses altogether on their shalom. And quite in keeping with the overall christological focus in this letter, the prayer is for “the Lord of peace” to give them peace.
As throughout the letter, therefore, this prayer has considerable christological implications that are simply assumed by Paul—and thus of his readers—and therefore not made a point of, as it is necessary for us to do. First, in keeping with the primary focus of the prayers in 2:16 and 3:5, the prayer itself is directed toward Christ, and again as in 3:5 to Christ only. In later letters this prayer is to “the God of peace,” but in keeping with the Christocentricity of this letter Paul addresses his prayer to “the Lord of peace.” The prayer itself is that they will know this peace “at all times and in every way,” the two phrases that embrace all of life, both temporally (“at all times”) and experientially (“in every way”).
It is therefore of some interest that the salutation of 1:2, which embraces both Father and Son as the source of “grace and peace,” at the end of the letter focuses altogether on the Son alone, which becomes all the more noticeable in the follow-up prayer, “The Lord be with you.” This latter prayer is an especially noteworthy, final moment of (seldom noted) intertextuality in this letter. In this singular moment in his letters, Paul dips into his Jewish heritage with the traditional blessing, “The Lord be with you”; only in this case, given the nature of the letter, it becomes, “The Lord be with all of you.” In so doing he appropriates language that in the Old Testament was seen as evidence of faithfulness to Yahweh, as the author of Ruth is keen to point out. Thus Boaz greets his workers with: “The Lord be with you”; to which they respond, “The Lord bless you!” (Ruth 2:4). Paul’s greeting once again reflects the (in this case verbless) text of the Septuagint:
The Lord (be) with all of
The Lord (be) with
Thus once more, again in an especially significant way, Paul has appropriated what strictly belonged to Yahweh in an Old Testament passage and applied it directly to Christ.
16 Paul usually has a short prayer toward the close of his letters, and it not uncommonly includes a reference to “the God of peace.” Because of this it is probably wrong to place a great deal of emphasis on the occurrence of “peace” just here. Yet at the least we may notice that it is appropriate immediately following his references to the unhappy division in the church. The Lord they serve is a Lord of peace, and those who serve him should likewise be characterized by peace. At the same time we must bear in mind that peace in the Bible is not simply the absence of strife (see on 1 Thess. 1:1). It means prosperity in the completest sense, and its association here with the Lord is a reminder that such a state comes only as the gift of God.
Though a prayer with a reference to “the God of peace” is common in Paul, one mentioning “the Lord of peace” is not (the expression is found here only in the New Testament). “Lord” with Paul usually means Jesus Christ, and there is every reason for thinking that it is Jesus who is in mind here. The “himself” gives it a certain emphasis, as is the case elsewhere in these epistles. The entire expression is a reminder to the Thessalonians that the solution to the problems before them, including those of the idlers and disobedient, rested not in their own efforts, but in the help that the Lord would bring them. “At all times” is not quite the force of the Greek, which is rather “continually” (as Moffatt renders it). The thought is not that of a peace that comes on a series of occasions, but that of a peace that is unchanging. It abides continually. The thought of a peace that is present no matter how the circumstances may change is contained in the following “in every way.” “Way” literally means “turning.” It has within it the idea of the manner in which conditions alter. No change in that which is outward can interfere with the Christian’s deep-seated peace. His peace is not a matter of equilibrium with the tensions of the outward. It is the gift of the Lord, and comes independently of outward circumstances.
This is put in another way when Paul prays, “The Lord be with all of you.” The Christian’s peace is never independent of the Lord. It is the gift of the Lord, and it is impossible apart from him; indeed, it is the very presence of the Lord. It is only as the Lord is in the heart of the believer day by day that he knows this peace. It may be an example of the way Paul enjoyed it that he puts “all” at the end of his prayer. There is no resentment against those who disobey his injunctions. He prays for all the Thessalonians, those who were out of step as well as those who were in perfect harmony with him.
Prayer for God’s Peace and Presence (3:16)
16 “Now” (or perhaps more accurately “but”) once again marks a transition from command to exhortation to prayer. The prayer recognizes that ultimately God alone can bring about compliance with what Paul has asked of his readers. “Yet without the Lord’s help all of your efforts will be in vain” is the thought behind this petition. Only “the Lord of peace” can make harmony among believers a reality. Though this is first and foremost peace with God, it provides the ground for believers’ peace with one another (Eph 2:14–18; cf. 1 Th 5:23).
“At all times” asks that there be no break in the flow of Christ’s peace (cf. Jn 14:27; 16:33; Col 3:15); “in every way” asks that the prevalence of peace continue, no matter what the outward conditions. “The Lord be with all of you” requests what was previously guaranteed for Christians. Jesus Christ’s promise never to leave or forsake his own provides the assurance of this (Heb 13:5). Here is an instance of the cooperation of prayer in fulfilling what God’s purpose predetermines (cf. 2 Th 1:11–12).
Now may the Lord of peace Himself continually grant you peace in every circumstance. (3:16a)
Paul’s first request here, as in his other letters (cf. 2 Cor. 13:11; Eph. 6:23), is for that highly prized, yet elusive reality, peace. The world defines peace as the sense of calm, tranquility, quietness, contentment, and well-being that comes when everything is going well. But that definition, frankly, is shallow. A calm, tranquil feeling can be produced by lies, self-deception, unexpected good fortune, the absence of conflict and trouble, biofeedback, drugs, alcohol, even a good night’s sleep. Such peace is fleeting and easily destroyed. It can be shattered by the arrival of conflict and trouble, as well as by failure, doubt, fear, bitterness, anger, pride, difficulty, guilt, regret, sorrow, anxiety over circumstances beyond one’s control, being disappointed or mistreated by others, making bad decisions—in short, by any perceived threat to one’s security.
But true spiritual peace is completely different from the superficial, ephemeral, fragile human peace. It is the deep, settled confidence that all is well between the soul and God because of His loving, sovereign control of one’s life both in time and eternity. That calm assurance is based on the knowledge that sins are forgiven, blessing is present, good is abundant even in trouble, and heaven is ahead. The peace that God gives His beloved children as their possession and privilege has nothing to do with the circumstances of life.
That peace has several characteristics. First, it is divine, deriving from the Lord of peace Himself. The pronoun autos (Himself) stands in the emphatic first position in the Greek text. The God who is peace grants peace to believers. It is the very essence of His nature, one of His attributes. God is at all times at perfect peace, without any discord within Himself. He is never under stress, worried, anxious, fearful, unsure, or threatened. He is always perfectly calm, tranquil, and content. There are no surprises for His omniscience, no changes for His immutability, no threats to His sovereignty, no doubts to cloud His wisdom, no sin to stain His holiness. Even His wrath is clear, controlled, calm, and confident.
Scripture makes it clear that peace characterizes and flows from every member of the Trinity. “God of peace” is a common title for the Father (e.g., Judg. 6:24; Rom. 15:33; 16:20; 1 Cor. 14:33; 2 Cor. 13:11; Phil. 4:9; 1 Thess. 5:23; Heb. 13:20). First Thessalonians 5:23 calls the Father “the God of Peace”; Jesus Christ is here called the Lord of peace. Taken together, the two passages reveal Christ’s deity and equality with the Father, since both are the source of peace. Isaiah 9:6 gives Him the title “Prince of Peace”; speaking of Christ, Ephesians 2:14 says, “He Himself is our peace.” The Holy Spirit is also the source of peace. Peace is one of the fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22), while Paul wrote in Romans 14:17, “The kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.”
In the perfectly harmonious working of the Trinity, the Father decreed peace, the Son purchased it (cf. Acts 10:36; Rom. 5:1; Col. 1:20), and the Holy Spirit brings it.
Second, divine peace is a gift from God. It is His good pleasure to graciously grant it to those who belong to Him. The priestly blessing of Israel reads in part, “The Lord lift up His countenance on you, and give you peace” (Num. 6:26). In Psalm 29:11 David declared, “The Lord will bless His people with peace,” while Psalm 85:8 adds that “God the Lord … will speak peace to His people, to His godly ones.” In Isaiah 57:19 God Himself promises “Peace, peace to him who is far and to him who is near” (cf. Isa. 26:3, 12). Paul prayed, “Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing” (Rom. 15:13). Peace also comes from the Lord Jesus Christ, who promised, “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you” (John 14:27; cf. 16:33; 20:19, 21, 26). Peace is such an integral part of the New Testament that it appears in the greetings of all of Paul’s epistles, as well as in 1 Peter, 2 Peter, 2 John, 3 John, Jude, and Revelation.
God does not give true spiritual peace to unbelievers, for it is a feature of salvation (Rom. 15:13). Isaiah 48:22 bluntly states, “ ‘There is no peace for the wicked,’ says the Lord” (cf. 57:21; Jer. 6:14; 8:11; Ezek. 13:10, 16). The peace the wicked experience is the false peace of delusion. The Puritan pastor Thomas Watson wrote:
Peace flows from sanctification, but they being unregenerate, have nothing to do with peace.… They may have a truce, but no peace. God may forbear the wicked a while, and stop the roaring of his cannon; but though there be a truce, yet there is no peace. The wicked may have something which looks like peace, but it is not. They may be fearless and stupid; but there is a great difference between a stupefied conscience, and a pacified conscience.… This is the devil’s peace; he rocks men in the cradle of security; he cries peace, peace, when men are on the precipice of hell. The seeming peace a sinner has, is not from the knowledge of his happiness, but the ignorance of his danger. (Body of Divinity [reprint; Grand Rapids: Baker, 1979], 182)
The false peace of the unregenerate also has several components. It is the peace of presumption. It is based on pride, not truth, stemming from thinking oneself to be worthy before God. Those who have it are under the mistaken notion that God will accept them because they are good people. It lulls those headed for hell into a false sense that all will be well.
In addition, the false peace of those who are enemies of God separates peace and holiness—two realities that God has joined. Psalm 85:10 affirms that true peace is inseparably linked with holiness when it declares, “Righteousness and peace have kissed each other.” Isaiah 32:17 adds, “The work of righteousness will be peace.” Only a foolish, deceived man could boast, “I have peace though I walk in the stubbornness of my heart” (Deut. 29:19). Watson notes, “You may as well suck health out of poison, as peace out of sin” (Body of Divinity, 183).
Furthermore, unlike true peace, which grows stronger through trials, false peace cannot survive the tests of life. Trouble severely shakes it and leaves it in despair. The false peace enjoyed by unbelievers will be of no comfort when the Day of the Lord comes: “While they are saying, ‘Peace and safety!’ then destruction will come upon them suddenly like labor pains upon a woman with child, and they will not escape” (1 Thess. 5:3).
A third element of the divine peace that God gives to believers is that it is continually available. Why then does Paul pray for believers to experience it? Because though true peace is always available it can be interrupted. Weak or disobedient Christians may find their peace disturbed by the same sins, doubts, fears, and anxieties that destroy the false peace of the unredeemed.
How may a believer’s interrupted peace be restored? First, by trusting God. In Psalm 42:11 the psalmist asked himself, “Why are you in despair, O my soul? And why have you become disturbed within me? Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him, the help of my countenance and my God” (cf. v. 5; 43:5).
Second, peace that is forfeited by sin can be restored by repentant obedience. God promised Israel, “If you walk in My statutes and keep My commandments so as to carry them out … I shall also grant peace in the land” (Lev. 26:3, 6). To the Romans Paul wrote that there will be “glory and honor and peace to everyone who does good” (Rom. 2:10). “If you would have peace,” counseled Thomas Watson, “make war with sin” (Body of Divinity, 185).
Third, peace may be restored by accepting God’s chastening:
Behold, how happy is the man whom God reproves, so do not despise the discipline of the Almighty. For He inflicts pain, and gives relief; He wounds, and His hands also heal. From six troubles He will deliver you, even in seven evil will not touch you. In famine He will redeem you from death, and in war from the power of the sword. You will be hidden from the scourge of the tongue, and you will not be afraid of violence when it comes. You will laugh at violence and famine, and you will not be afraid of wild beasts. For you will be in league with the stones of the field, and the beasts of the field will be at peace with you. You will know that your tent is secure, for you will visit your abode and fear no loss. (Job 5:17–24)
Fourth, peace may be restored by walking in the Spirit, since peace is an element of the fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22).
Fifth, peace may be restored by loving God from the heart and avoiding legalism. In Galatians 6:16 Paul wrote, “And those who will walk by this rule [by faith in the power of the Spirit], peace and mercy be upon them.”
Sixth, those whose peace has been interrupted need to pray that the God of peace and the Prince of Peace will restore it.
A fourth element of the divine peace that God continually gives the redeemed is that it exists in every circumstance. It is unaffected by anything in the worldly realm because it is based on the promise of eternal salvation (Heb. 5:9) made by the God who cannot lie (Titus 1:2). It is anchored in the reality that “He who began a good work in [believers] will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus” (Phil. 1:6). This unbreakable, unassailable, transcendent peace, so utterly unlike worldly peace (John 14:27), stabilizes the Christian in every situation (cf. Phil. 4:7).
Paul longed for God to grant the Thessalonians peace so that no matter what their circumstances were, they would experience settled confidence and unshakable joy amid the storms of life.
The Lord be with you all! (3:16b)
At first glance, this seems like a puzzling statement; since God is omnipresent (cf. Ps. 139:7–12), how could He not be with them all? But Paul did not have some benign sense of God’s presence in mind, but rather His presence to empower believers to live for His glory. The psalmist rejoiced over that strengthening presence in Psalm 46:1: “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” It was His enabling presence that the Lord Jesus Christ spoke of in Matthew 28:20 when He said, “I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” He promised the Twelve, shocked and saddened by the revelation that He would soon be leaving them,
I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. (John 14:16–18; cf. Acts 1:8)
Believers need God’s strengthening presence for several reasons. First, it enables them to resist temptation. First Corinthians 10:13 promises, “No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.” Christ’s strength will open up the path for believers to flee temptation.
Second, believers need God’s strength to face Satan and his demon hordes. In Ephesians 6:10–13 Paul instructed Christians how to prepare for spiritual warfare:
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm.
Third, believers need God’s strength to effectively serve Him. “I was made a minister,” wrote Paul, “according to the gift of God’s grace which was given to me according to the working of His power” (Eph. 3:7). To the Colossians he added, “For this purpose also I labor, striving according to His power, which mightily works within me” (Col. 1:29). He praised “Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, because He considered me faithful, putting me into service” (1 Tim. 1:12). The writer of Hebrews expressed his wish for his readers that “the God of peace, … equip you in every good thing to do His will, working in us that which is pleasing in His sight” (Heb. 13:20–21).
Fourth, believers need God’s strength to persevere. Paul wrote confidently to Timothy, “The Lord will rescue me from every evil deed, and will bring me safely to His heavenly kingdom; to Him be the glory forever and ever. Amen” (2 Tim. 4:18). Jude reminded his readers that God “is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy” (Jude 24).
Fifth, believers need God’s strength to endure trials. Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 12:9–10:
And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.
Sixth, believers need God’s strength to effectively evangelize the lost world. Jesus said in Acts 1:8, “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth” (cf. Matt. 28:18–20). After his conversion Paul “kept increasing in strength and confounding the Jews who lived at Damascus by proving that this Jesus is the Christ” (Acts 9:22; cf. 18:9–10; 2 Tim. 4:17).
Paul’s prayer in Ephesians 3:16–19 summarizes believers’ need for God’s power in every aspect of life. He prayed that God
would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.
Philippians 4:13 succinctly states, “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.” God provides all the strength necessary to serve and glorify Him to those who trust Him, obey Him, accept His chastening, walk in the Spirit, love Him from the heart, live by the Word, and faithfully pray.
 Davis, J. F. (2017). 2 Thessalonians. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1914). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
 Thomas, R. L. (2006). 2 Thessalonians. In T. Longman III & D. E. Garland (Eds.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Ephesians–Philemon (Revised Edition) (Vol. 12, p. 484). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.
“But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.” Isaiah 40:31
What’s your mountain?
You know, the thing that’s standing in your path that feels insurmountable. A special needs child or dealing with a drug addicted teen? A financial crisis? A health issue? Perhaps it is the battle to forgive. Maybe you need help to love unconditionally or you have a hard time giving up control.
As you stand and gaze upward, its looming presence is overwhelming and you may wonder, “How will I ever get over this? Do I have the energy and the fortitude to even try? What if I fail?” I have such a mountain in my life. Some days (very few I must admit), my mountain seems “manageable,” but most days I’m praying for what seems impossible. I have observed something — when I focus on the mountain I’m easily overwhelmed by the enormity of it. Recently, my nephew shared with me how he was dealing with his own personal mountain – Army Basic Training. He said, “One. Boot. At. A. Time.”
I suddenly realized I’d been fixating on my mountain instead of fixing my eyes on my God. I assumed I would climb this mountain in one gigantic impossible leap, instead of one boot at a time.
We don’t have to worry about failing, falling, or fainting because God is with us. He’s got this mountain! We still must climb it but when we choose to concentrate on God, not on the mountain, we can walk up it, one boot at a time.
Faithful Father, you never call us to something that you will not equip us to handle. You never promised an easy road but you do promise to be with us and to give us the strength to hike it. Show us the way, strengthen us for the journey, and teach us to trust in you one boot at a time. Amen
“She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them” Luke 2:7
We attended a family gathering a couple of years ago to celebrate a young couple’s fifth wedding anniversary. During dinner, I noticed our kids taking only a small portion from each of the delicious dishes paraded in front of them. I knew they were hungry because they had told me so.
After we finished several courses, our hostess announced it was time for dessert. The desserts looked incredible, but I could not eat another thing. I overheard the kids whispering to each other. “It was a good idea that we made room for dessert.” Suddenly, it all made sense. They planned all along to save valuable tummy space for dessert.
As Christians, we often forget to plan ahead and end up stuffing ourselves with things of this world, discovering we have left little room for Jesus in our daily lives. For many of us, we make time to chat with friends and colleagues, respond to text messages, and participate in social activities. How can we make the same time for our relationship with our heavenly Father who loves us?
God wants us to make him a priority, which means making room for Jesus. We can ask the Holy Spirit to help us glorify our Savior above all. Although we do not get text messages from him, he is worth far more than just another ping on our phones.
Christ is our source for truth, goodness, beauty, and love in our lives. When our relationship with Jesus is a priority, nothing else is as important as our Lord and Savior.
Let us make room in our hearts each day just for Jesus.
Lord, let me not be so attached to the activities of this world that I forget to include you in my daily life. You have given me many good things and helped me in many ways. The least I can do is make room in my day to give thanks and praise to you. Amen.
Evaluate how you spend your time. Ask the Holy Spirit to show you where you can make more time to spend with Jesus.
Self-Denial Consists in Little Things Luke 9:23; Romans 13:11
The self-denial which is pleasing to Christ consists in little things. This is plain, for opportunity for great self-denials does not come every day. Thus to take up the cross of Christ is no great action done once for all, it consists in the continual practice of small duties which are distasteful to us.
JOHN HENRY NEWMAN
Ritzema, E. (Ed.). (2012). 300 Quotations for Preachers. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.
Keep Christ’s Gospel and Hold It Fast 1 Corinthians 11:2; 1 Thessalonians 5:21; 2 Thessalonians 2:15; 2 Timothy 1:13; Hebrews 10:23
I ask you, by the passion of Christ, to keep His gospel and hold it fast, and to bring forth fruit as you advance.… Do not vacillate and waver in your minds. Moreover, give no heed to those who have entered upon an uncertain path and have taken a different turning, and who are now the keenest opponents of God.
Ritzema, E., & Brant, R. (Eds.). (2013). 300 quotations for preachers from the Medieval church. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.
Scotland’s Largest Teacher’s Union to Host “Transgender Jesus” Play for Students Scotland’s largest teacher’s union, The Education Institute of Scotland,–which boasts representation of around eighty percent of Scotland’s public educators–is hosting a line-up of LGBTQ and drag performers to celebrate Pride Month as part of its campaign to promote sexual indoctrination in public schools. one particularly blasphemous performance titled The Gospel According to Jesus, Queen of Heaven. It will be performed by Jo Clifford, a feminist drag performer, who will present Jesus as a “transgender woman” when he returns to Earth. … Clifford says the performance is not meant to be sacrilegious.
Rabbi Predicts Messiah Appearing Soon An Israeli news outlet is reporting in Hebrew on a rabbinic prediction from over 200 years ago regarding dwindling world food supply that was predicted to occur now, in our time (!), and how it heralds the Messianic kingdom in Israel. The COVID global lockdowns disrupted large sectors of many economies and caused a degree of global food crisis. Even before that, researchers in various fields have been warning for years of a looming food shortage crisis. The world’s population growth is outpacing the production of food.
Jewish entrance to Temple Mount in danger of collapse – report The bridge to the Mughrabi Gate, which Jewish and other non-Muslim visitors use to enter the Temple Mount, is in immediate danger of collapse, an expert engineer for the Western Wall Heritage Foundation warned on Thursday, according to Channel 13. The wood of the bridge will not afford safe use for an extended period, wrote the engineer in a document, advising that the bridge be replaced “without delay” with a steel bridge in order to avoid constant maintenance and protect the bridge against fire.
Ethiopia, Somalia warned against renewed locust infestation The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has warned that swarms of desert locusts are expected to descend on parts of Ethiopia and Somalia. “Despite an earlier decline, the current upsurge prevails in the Horn of Africa where good rains allowed breeding to continue with hatching and more hopper bands forming in eastern Ethiopia and northern Somalia,” the FAO said in a report on Friday.
The Latest US Intelligence Report on ‘Alien’ UFOs Is In, And It’s… Inconclusive The conclusion of a classified US intelligence report on the existence of alien UFOs is… inconclusive, US media reported Friday. US military and intelligence found no evidence that seemingly highly advanced unidentified flying objects sighted by military pilots were alien spacecraft, the report concludes, according to The New York Times and other media briefed on it. The main report will be unclassified and can be made public, but there will also be a classified annex, the Times said, that will remain secret. The report, The Washington Post said, “will offer no firm conclusions about what the objects… might be.”
How to watch the ‘ring of fire’ solar eclipse put on a show this week Some lucky skywatchers in a narrow section of Canada and Siberia will have an opportunity to see the most dramatic part of the show, the “ring of fire” that results from the moon covering all but the edges of the sun. The path of the Eye of Sauron-like phenomenon is called the path of annularity, and in this instance it passes over some very remote and uninhabited areas, including northern Canada, Greenland and the North Pole.
Yellen Admits Inflation Is About To Surge, Says It Will Be A “Plus For Society” Fed Chair Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen addressed our rhetorical concern, and following the G7 finmin meeting in London where the world’s most advanced nations agreed to impose a 15% minimum corporate tax rate (with zero enforcement provisions), said that contrary to the Biden Budget, inflation could climb as high as 3% this year in what the WaPo said was “the first time the Biden administration projected what inflation could be through 2021”, which by the way is dead wrong since Biden’s budget just last week predicted only 2.1% CPI in 2021.
Scientific Model Shows State Fairs Can Occur at Full Capacity With No COVID Risk As some Democratic governors hold firm on capacity restrictions for outdoor events, a new model shows that state and county fairs can safely occur this summer at full capacity without mask mandates. According to models created by simulation technology company Epistemix, outdoor fairs operating at full capacity would cause zero increase in the spread of coronavirus if the local population has at least 70 percent immunity.
The price of friendship with Biden’s Washington In his speech at the ceremony marking the changing of the guard at the Mossad, as director Yossi Cohen transferred the baton of leadership to David Barnea, Netanyahu referred to Iran’s nuclear program as an “existential threat.” He then stated frankly, “If we must choose, and I hope this won’t happen, between our great friend the U.S. and eliminating an existential threat—eliminating an existential threat takes precedence.” Shortly thereafter, Defense Minister Benny Gantz (long a core member of the Netanyahu-haters’ camp) rejected Netanyahu’s assertion. “The U.S. was and will remain Israel’s most important ally in preserving its security and its security superiority in the region,” said Gantz. He went on: “The Biden administration is a true friend of Israel.
Royal Navy pits AI systems against live supersonic missiles The Royal Navy has used artificial intelligence to help counter live-fire supersonic missile attacks in sea trials for the first time. Part of the Formidable Shield NATO exercise involving 10 nations, 15 ships, dozens of aircraft, and about 3,300 personnel, off the coasts of Scotland and Norway, the test seeks to detect, track, and intercept sea-skimming missiles as well as ballistic missiles faster with less human intervention.
US Navy intercepts ballistic missiles with the aid of a Dutch frigate With the aid of a Dutch De Zeven Provincien-class frigate, the US Navy destroyer USS Paul Ignatius (DDG 117) has used two Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) Blk IA interceptors to destroy ballistic missiles while they were still in space during the Formidable Shield 2021 NATO sea exercises off the coast of Scotland . The US Navy being able to intercept ballistic missiles isn’t new, but being able to do so in partnership with NATO ships is. What is newsworthy is that, until now, this sea capability was exclusive to the United States because of the nature of the technology.
N. Korea accuses ‘misanthropic’ Israel of genocide, ‘massacring children’ North Korea accused Israel of genocide, crimes against humanity and targeting children during Operation Guardian of the Walls last month. Israel has an “extreme misanthropic spirit and ambition for territorial expansion,” and is engaged in “state-sponsored terrorism and [the] act of obliterating other nations,” the Foreign Ministry in Pyongyang said in a statement released on Friday.
Iran hopes Russia and China oppose US role in MidEast, Central Asia An article in Iranian media looked to a Russian political analyst to understand how Russia might aid Iran in its own ambitions in the region. “The main goal of the United States in the Middle East and Central Asia at the moment is to create problems for strong political and economic partnerships,” the article notes.
Abbas pays $40,000 to family of terrorist who murdered two Israelis The Palestinian Authority on Sunday handed the family of a Palestinian who murdered two Israelis the sum of 30,000 Jordanian dinars ($42,000). The money was provided by PA President Mahmoud Abbas to “complete the payment of the price” of the family’s house that was demolished by the IDF, according to the PA’s official news agency Wafa.
Why Kim Jong-un is waging war on slang, jeans and foreign films North Korea has recently introduced a sweeping new law which seeks to stamp out any kind of foreign influence – harshly punishing anyone caught with foreign films, clothing or even using slang. But why? Yoon Mi-so says she was 11 when she first saw a man executed for being caught with a South Korean drama. His entire neighbourhood was ordered to watch.
Bush’s $5 MILLION Payoff From The CCP Exposed I voted for George W Bush … twice. It’s not something I am proud of looking back on it, but it seemed like the right idea at the time. Of course that was before the internet was ubiquitous and independent journalism dominated social media.
Unthinkable Thoughts… In the present Orwellian era, where propaganda and deception are ubiquitous, one of the signposts of truth that I have learned to respect is that the most important truths are the most heavily censored.
The Democrat senator from the deep-red state of West Virginia showed that he’s more concerned about being beholden to his constituents than to advancing his party’s power plays. Senator Joe Manchin penned an op-ed in West Virginia’s Gazette-Mail over the weekend, sending a clear response to Joe Biden’s not-so-veiled rebuke over his refusal to go along with Senate Democrat desires to eliminate the filibuster. “Partisan policy making won’t instill confidence in our democracy — it will destroy it,” Manchin wrote. Therefore, he declared, “I will vote against the For the People Act. Furthermore, I will not vote to weaken or eliminate the filibuster.”
Last week, Biden asserted, “I hear all the folks on TV saying, ‘Why doesn’t Biden get [HR 1] done?’ Well because Biden only has a majority of effectively four votes in the House and a tie in the Senate, with two members of the Senate who vote more with my Republican friends.” Once again, facts don’t appear to matter to Biden when he’s spinning a yarn, as the record shows that both Manchin and Senator Kyrsten Sinema (AZ) — the other apparent reference — have voted with Biden 100% of the time thus far.
Manchin contends that the biggest problem with the Democrats’ “For the People Act” is its partisan nature, observing that not one Republican has voted in favor of it. “Voting and election reform that is done in a partisan manner will all but ensure partisan divisions continue to deepen,” he argues. The reality is that, for Democrats, the partisanship is the point. Democrats’ bill is somendacious, tilted in their favor, and flagrantly unconstitutional that no Republican could ever support anything remotely like it. Manchin’s tone it down message is far from sufficient.
Meanwhile, like Sinema in her defense of the Senate filibuster last week, Manchin noted that the Founding Fathers wisely constructed the Senate as a check against absolute power, intending “specific checks and balances to force compromise that serves to preserve our fragile democracy.” At one time this perspective would have been widely held by the majority of lawmakers in both parties, but in this modern era of hyper-partisanship the majority of Democrats have heeded the siren call of power over principle.
In any case, Manchin’s declaration makes it somewhat official — the Democrats’ prospect of eliminating the filibuster in order to get HR 1/S 1 onto the desk of Biden is all over but the shouting.
Speaking of shouting, though, Manchin received an earful from former ESPN anchor and Leftmedia pundit Jemele Hill, who ridiculously asserted via social media: “Record number of black voters show up to save this democracy, only for white supremacy to be upheld by a cowardly, power-hungry white dude. Sen. Joe Manchin is a clown.” The only clown here appears to be Hill.
Manchin may or may not be truly bound by principles. He does have a “D” after his name, after all. But he is at least keenly aware of political reality in a state Donald Trump won by 39 points.
The “very Catholic” President Joe Biden may have had “scheduling conflicts” that prevented him from delivering a commencement address at Notre Dame recently, but he did have time to recite a sub-three minute speech to all college graduates in a video posted on social media.
It was in some ways a typical commencement address, full of the usual bromides of hope delivered to those embarking on an entirely new phase of life. We will, however, say it was bizarre for him to tell these graduates that they’re the “one of the most … well-educated generations in American history.” Coming out of a pandemic that greatly disrupted the last two years of their education, and given the utter miseducation driven by leftist indoctrination on race and gender in particular, this was the description of an alternate reality.
But what really stood out to us was something else Democrats tend to do — make “wars” out of things that aren’t wars. He did it by likening current struggles to the war our nation was fighting when Biden graduated college in the 1960s:
Just three years after I stood where you’re standing, two of my political heroes, Dr. [Martin Luther] King and Robert Kennedy, were gunned down. The Vietnam war divided the nation and divided families. We were in the midst of a great movement for civil rights, women’s rights, and environmental rights. We faced an inflection point, and we did our best to seize that moment because things were changing so rapidly.
And now, you face another inflection point. As we put this pandemic behind us, rebuild our economy, root out systemic racism, and tackle climate change, we’re addressing the great crises of our time with a greater sense of purpose than ever before.
He then told them, “Because of you, your generation, I’ve never been more optimistic about the future than I am today.” Perhaps that’s because our country is such a racist cesspool, according to Biden, that we can’t help but improve. Perhaps it’s also because he knows how deeply leftist indoctrination on race is sinking in with this generation.
There’s so much packed into his short speech that we could spend thousands of words rebutting him, but we’ll focus on his Vietnam analogy to point out some gross hypocrisy.
First, rather than serve his country in the ‘60s, Biden himself received five student draft deferments. He’s hardly alone in that, but then again he’s telling this generation of graduates to tackle climate change and racism like this is a war.
Should they, too, get deferments?
Second, a certain John Kerry is Biden’s current climate czar. Kerry may have received three Purple Hearts while serving in Vietnam, but his treason actions cavorting with the North Vietnamese and then slandering American troops in sworn testimony before the Senate should have earned Kerry something a bit different than a longtime Senate seat, a stint as secretary of state, and a post as climate czar.
Should these graduates treat the climate “crisis” with the same seriousness?
Finally, the Democrat Party is the entire reason for the division and “inflection points” of the ’60s and now. They’ve turned MLK’s “Dream” into a racist nightmare. Their “Great Society” and “war on poverty” is the primary reason there is anything resembling systemic racial disparities.
Should today’s college graduates continue this agenda, or should they take Biden’s other advice and “change the trajectory of the country”?
In the largely ignored May 11 hearing before a Senate panel tasked to report updates on the coronavirus response in the U.S., more than two hours of testimony revealed yet more of the Beltway’s boundless hypocrisy. It continues to matter to millions of Americans.
Testimony was offered by Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy & Infectious Diseases; Dr. Peter Marks, director of the Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research housed in the FDA; and Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control. Nearing the conclusion of the testimony, Senator Richard Burr (R-NC) got to something important: “I’m going to go to Dr. Fauci, Dr. Marks, and Dr. Walensky. What percentage of the employees in your institute, your center, or your agency, of your employees, has been vaccinated?”
Based on the nonstop cable news COVID coverage with the major emphasis to get “shots in arms,” along with President Joe Biden’s major push over the next month to have 70% of adults vaccinated by July 4, one might expect that the answers would be points of pride for these health leaders. Remember, media outlets get most of their information about this crisis, when they’re not citing each other, from the NIAID, FDA, and CDC. We’re all vaccinated would have encouraged Americans to consider following suit.
Instead, Fauci had to respond, “I’m not 100% sure, Senator, but I think it’s probably a little bit more than half; probably around 60%.” Dr. Peter Marks echoed, “I can’t tell you the exact number, but it’s probably in the same range. Some people [have been] vaccinated at our facility, and others outside of the facility.” Finally, Dr. Walensky opined, “We’re encouraging our employees to get vaccinated. We’ve been doing town halls and education seminars. Our staff have the option to report their vaccination status, but as you understand, the federal government is not requiring it, so we do not know.”
Interestingly, these comments mirror the public’s response, as noted by President Biden last week. In his declaration for June to be a national month of action, Biden cited CDC data that 52.8% of U.S. adults have been fully vaccinated, including 75% of seniors, the most vulnerable and likely to succumb to the virus. His multi-tiered plan to raise those numbers involves education, incentives, and greater availability of vaccines in non-healthcare venues. But pay attention to the numbers.
The American public has responded, in large part, by wisely talking to their healthcare providers and their families and making personal decisions on the vaccine. There are roughly 140 million adults with COVID protections due to the vaccine and another 30 million with a single shot of the two-dose regime. There is some overlap between infected and vaccinated, but more than 30 million Americans have had COVID, meaning they have some natural immunity now.
As the CDC director noted in her response, those who are in charge of COVID response are making the same choices about the COVID vaccine as the general public.
Social media, however, caught fire when @Breaking911 posted on Instagram about the hearing’s revelations, framing it this way: “NEW: About 40-50% of CDC, FDA employees are refusing the COVID-19 vaccine, according to Fauci, Marks.” Of course, the “fact-checkers” sprang into action to clarify that no such comments were made. While getting a “False” declaration from PolitiFact and similar coverage at Reuters and USA Today, the math still adds up. If around 60% have been vaccinated, according to these leaders, then around 40% have chosen not to be vaccinated after six months of free vaccines available nationwide. So we can quibble about the meaning of “refusing,” or we can get the general gist of the math.
How does Biden plan to increase these numbers? Incentives. He praised the state of Ohio for its “Vax-A-Million” promotion for those vaccinated to sign up to win one of five $1 million drawings, as well as Anheuser-Busch’s “Let’s Grab a Beer” promo that involves the things that motivates our current culture most — taking pictures of themselves at their favorite hangout and getting free alcohol. Once America reaches the 70% mark of shots in the arms of citizens, the King of Beers “will buy America’s next round” to celebrate. Other states and businesses are offering similar incentives as vaccination rates fall off.
The federal healthcare bureaucracy has earned mistrust over the last 18 months because of embracing partisanship and tactics of shaming instead of relaying dispassionate and essential information for individuals to use to make informed decisions. Senator Burr’s closing comments to these lettered experts summed it up as well as anything we’ve seen: “We’re going to have to start portraying that we’re willing to do to ourselves what we’re asking the American people to do.”
In what can only be described as yet another capitulation to mob violence by Democrats and the Biden administration, White House “Jewish engagement director” Aaron Keyak has warned Jews that they should remove faith-identifying items from their clothing due to an escalation of anti-Semitic attacks and physical assaults.
“It pains me to say this, but if you fear for your life or physical safety take off your kippah [head covering] and hide your magen david [Jewish Star of David]. (Obviously, if you can, ask your rabbi first.),” he said on May 21.
Moreover, when Keyak received the well-deserved blowback that anyone capitulating to mob violence should engender, he doubled down four days later: “It’s important that those who wear kippot don’t feel more pressure to put our lives in unnecessary actual danger — especially when actions are attempting to be grounded in halach [the body of Jewish law]. Given the rise in Jew hatred and antisemitic attacks, we must stand with all Jews.”
Stand? Cower is more like it, courtesy of an administration disproportionately obsessed with white supremacy, and a Democrat Party that remains highly tolerant, if not wholly accommodating, to the increasing anti-Semitism among its supporters — and in its ranks.
And despite the administration’s obsession, columnist Robert Spencer illuminates wholly inconvenient truths about exactly who is attacking Jews:
In New York City, a Muslim mob screaming “Allahu akbar” attacked a Jewish man in midtown Manhattan. Also in Manhattan, Palestinians threatened violence and screamed anti-Semitic slurs at Jews. One threw a mini-firebomb. Pro-jihad protesters stormed a restaurant and spat on Jewish patrons; one of the thugs threw a bottle. A Muslim, Waseem Awawdeh, was arrested for viciously beating a Jew in Times Square.
In Los Angeles, Palestinian protesters asked people dining at the Sushi Fumi restaurant if they were Jewish, and proceeded to attack them with knives. Elsewhere in Los Angeles, two cars festooned with Palestinian flags chased a Jewish man down a street as he was leaving his synagogue.
In Florida, a van also bearing a Palestinian flag and emblazoned with the slogan “Hitler was Right” drove past a pro-Israel demonstration.
In Skokie, Illinois, a pro-jihad vandal wearing an Arab headdress smashed a synagogue window and left a Palestine flag and a pro-jihad sign inside.
None of this should be remotely surprising. Ever since 2012, when the effort to reinstate the recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital into the party’s platform during the Democrat National Convention was met with a loud chorus of boos, Democrat anti-Semitism has been increasingly impossible to hide. The recent attacks by Hamas against Israel brought that anti-Semitism to the forefront, courtesy of “Squad” members such as Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), who insisted that Israeli Prime Minster Benjamin Netanyahu should be held responsible for “war crimes”; Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN), who stated, “We must stand against efforts to silence legitimate dissent and accountability for illegal Israeli government actions”; and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), who asserted that America “should not be rubber-stamping weapons sales to the Israeli government as they deploy our resources to target international media outlets, schools, hospitals, humanitarian missions and civilian sites for bombing.”
Where was Keyak then? Nowhere to be found.
Again, this should surprise no one. As Wall Street Journal columnist Gerard Baker astutely notes, “woke” anti-Semitism has taken root in a party where “the rhetoric of some leading leftist Democrats has helped nourish resentments and prejudices.”
He is even more dismayed by the Democrats’ attempt to alter reality so that it squares with their contemptible agenda. “It takes extraordinary intellectual flexibility to represent the Jewish people, especially those in Israel, as part of some grand global historical pattern of white-supremacist aggression, but these ascendant protagonists of modern progressivism are used to such gymnastics,” he adds. “As long as the narrative can be sculpted to fit the larger objective, it will do.”
Keyak is equally invested in intellectual gymnastics. In September 2020, he blamed former President Donald Trump for anti-Semitism in the United States, saying, “We know that Donald Trump’s use of antisemitic tropes has emboldened all those who hate Jews.”
And how did Trump “embolden” Jew-haters? By doing what Democrats booed in 2012, and keeping a U.S. promise to move the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. By creating an entirely new Middle East paradigm with the brokering of deals known as the “Abraham Accords” that normalized relations between Israel and four Arab/Muslim nations, while making it clear that Palestinians would no longer be accommodated for their longstanding historical intransigence. By cutting off more than $200 million in aid to Palestinians purportedly used to provide aid to Gaza and the West Bank, but inevitably used to abet Hamas terrorism. And by making it clear that his administration’s support for the Jewish State was unequivocal and unwavering.
All of it infuriates Democrat mental gymnasts and their contemptible effort to view everything through a prism of systemic racism. Columnist Liel Leibovitz notes the inherent consequences of such rank propagandizing. “Seeing everything and everywhere through the same racially tinged lens applied to American politics isn’t just intellectually dishonest and morally ruinous,” he writes. “It also puts real American Jews in real danger: If, after all, you believe that Tel Aviv is just another Ferguson or that dead Hamas terrorists are only so many more George Floyds, why not respond to Israel’s attempts at self-defense by taking a page from the BLM playbook? And why not beat up men in yarmulkes the way you would anyone wearing uniform and a badge? It all makes perfect sense.”
Columnist Joel Pollak makes even more sense. “The only thing you should conceal (legally) is your firearm,” he argued. “Second Amendment protects the First. We are not Europe.”
Europe? When the left-leaning Anti-Defamation League (ADL) finds more than 17,000 tweets using variations of the phrase, “Hitler was right” between May 7 and May 14, 2021, and Keyak himself has a track record of supporting gun control, being like Europe is the least of our worries.
Enough obfuscation: Americans must understand that anti-Semitism and the Critical Race Theory being rammed down their collective throats are two sides of the same progressive coin. They must understand that every totalitarian effort, from Hitler to Stalin and Mao, and everything in between, has always been about first fostering division — followed by dehumanization — as a prerequisite for establishing “social utopia.” And for those deemed “the other,” be they the Jews, the bourgeoisie, Donald Trump supporters, or simply people who express disagreement with the prevailing dogma, all manner of retribution is presented as eminently justifiable, even when it precipitates a trip to gulag.
Insight: “An important art of politicians is to find new names for institutions which under old names have become odious to the public.” —Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord (1754-1838)
Upright: “BLM has been co-opted, and when I say co-opted, I mean teachers unions who show up to these woke BLM marches. … So if we’re talking about propaganda, we need to be looking at the teachers unions, and the sick mess that they’re putting out there that’s keeping our children out of schools these past couple of years, keeping the masks on our children. We need to unmask the illiteracy machine … with our education system.” —Rashard Turner
Observations: “As a society, we are growing increasingly self-interested. Citizenship brings responsibility beyond self-interest. … The social and cultural segregation in our country is directly contributing to the coarseness of our national culture and politics. We no longer just disagree in America; we vilify those who don’t share our views. … When you have little interaction with those who don’t share your background or beliefs, it’s easy to view them as caricatures. It becomes easier to demonize or marginalize them. This results in the sort of fissures we have in America today and the normalization of summary political violence; we’ve all seen it. Left to fester, these dynamics lead to the downfall of societies.” —Neil Patel
Political futures: “With Republicans restored to the House next year and Sen. Mitch McConnell on the cusp of regaining power, why on earth would Democrats want to scrap the filibuster? They will need it against McConnell and House Republicans. Unfortunately, Democrats cannot be honest. They must instead, with help from friends in the press, go through the ritualistic and stylized dance of defeat that signals to the base they care and are fighters while privately knowing defeat was always the only outcome. Democrats will inevitably have hell to pay from their base as Republicans did. The difference between them and Republicans is Trump was actually far closer to mainstream America than the far left. That gives the GOP one more advantage moving forward, even if the press and Democrats cannot admit it.” —Erick Erickson
Re: The ruling class: “The Biden administration has recently called for a 90-day intelligence community review into the origins of the pandemic, which is welcome news for those of us who have called COVID-19 a ‘Chinese Chernobyl’ demanding serious geopolitical accountability since day one — but sad news for those who may have presumed a modicum of intellectual honesty from our political elites. American politics is currently in the throes of a populist moment. That populist moment is characterized by widespread distrust of elites and a perceived ever-widening chasm between the ruling class’s prerogatives and the wishes of the American people at large. As we finally begin to emerge from COVID-19, that chasm will only grow wider. The ruling class has finally sullied itself one time too many.” —Josh Hammer
The bottom line: “The butchers of Beijing got away with the Tiananmen Square massacre. They got away with seizing Hong Kong. Almost immediately after communist China violated the treaty it made over Hong Kong’s sovereignty, it was ‘back to business as usual.’ The world shrugs as communist China suppresses free speech, oppresses religious liberty and commits genocide against ethnic minorities. But as I have repeatedly argued, trade with communist China has not changed communist China. It has changed us.” —Gary Bauer
For the record: “January 6th was a dark day in the history of the United States Capitol. … President Trump and I have spoken many times since we left office, and I don’t know if we’ll ever see eye to eye on that day. But I will always be proud of what we accomplished for the American people over the last four years.” —Mike Pence
Re: The Left: “One of the most disturbing developments of the past few months has been the Biden administration’s wholehearted embrace of the radical left’s all-encompassing assault on American culture and values. Under the Biden administration, patriotic education has been replaced with political indoctrination.” —Mike Pence
And last… “Just saw a guy riding a bike on a major road [with] lots of cars — without a helmet but … with a mask. People have lost all sense of risk analysis.” —Tom Elliott
WORLD—Prince Harry and Meghan, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, have announced the arrival of a beautiful new baby. In the announcement, they described their new baby as “a beautiful, 7 pound, 11-ounce baby girl who is half-oppressed and half-privileged.”
“Mother and baby are doing well,” said Prince Harry to reporters. “Even in these early days, we are making sure to teach our child that she carries the blood of white colonial oppressors, as well as oppressed people of color. This unique mix may make raising our child extremely difficult.”
Expert critical theorists also expressed worry that the child may grow up fighting a constant internal battle between her oppressor self and her oppressed self.
“It is very rare that these two sides achieve perfect equilibrium,” said sociology Professor Tawdro Dingletook of Yale University. “It’s likely this child will either be doomed to a lifetime of being an evil oppressor, or a horribly oppressed minority. She will never fully belong on either side. This is why we need to bring back racial segregation–to keep this kind of thing from happening.”
Local non-college-educated electrician Joe Yoder disagrees. “Maybe Harry and Meghan are simply two precious human souls made in God’s image, and their baby is too, and all this ‘oppression’ stuff is nonsense.”
At the time of publication, it is unclear exactly where Mr. Yoder got his crazy ideas, but it’s probably safe to ignore them since he doesn’t have a college degree.
Canceling Christianity: How the Left Silences Churches, Dismantles the Constitution, and Divides Our Culture.
If you haven’t been paying attention, you might be surprised or even skeptical about a title like Canceling Christianity. First, Jesus is Lord, He is sovereign, His Word is final authority, and our God can never be cancelled – even though for over 2,000 years, societies have tried.
The Left in America is no different, and they’ve been relentless. They are aiming to eradicate Christian influence and history from public schools and universities to the public square – to the halls of government and corporations. As they promote godlessness, they’re trying to control and silence those of us who oppose the antichrist spirit of the age.
Enemies of God want to destroy not only the church, but the very essence of America. And, as we’ve seen in recent years, the progressive left will use a virus, an election, or any crisis (real or manufactured) to gain power, suppress the truth, and openly advance evil agendas.
How should Bible-believing Christians respond?
Because our country and churches have been compromised, this book is a wake-up call for lukewarm, complacent, or concerned Christians. It’s also a call for believers who don’t want to stand by and watch America be deconstructed, the Constitution dismantled, and the true church be forced underground.
Persecution is not coming; it’s here. Canceling Christianity is a call to reclaim and strengthen the church for Christ before it’s too late. The gospel must be preached and the true church must not surrender! Did you ever imagine a time – in America – when government would deem the church “non-essential”?
A.W. Tozer said, “A scared world needs a fearless church.” That time is now!
Canceling Christianity is about the battle for the heart, soul, and survival of our nation, it’s about the spiritual conflict we’re facing, a conflict openly manifesting in the natural, physical realm. Forces of darkness – both human and demonic – are behind these leftist agendas driving cancel culture. Some are deceived while others are deceivers.
Should we just be silent or live and let live? If you think the nation is at a tipping point and “separation of church and state” is one of the biggest lies in America, this book’s for you!
Canceling Christianity is about opposition to the biblical church and growing hostility toward those who refuse to comply with evil agendas. At its foundation, this is a war of worldviews; one with God vs one without God; one that includes biblical morality and truth vs one that includes moral relativism, lies, and cultural chaos where the State is god.
With religious freedom being threatened, censorship increasing, and major institutions hijacked by the left, this book helps identify the dangers of these divisive times.
We discuss Cultural Marxism, globalism, social justice apostasy, compromised churches, the Black Lives Matter Global Network, the China Communist Party, today’s Democrat Party, the LGBTQ agenda, political correctness, a one-party big tech/media conglomerate, double standards, lawlessness, and open rebellion against God.
This book is a sobering analysis of the state of the church and a country on life support.
And I can use your help getting the word out! Like many friends, I’ve been suppressed on social media, shadow banned, censored, and demonetized on Facebook, where the powers that be just rejected a fourth ad for Canceling Christianity. I know, ironic.
So, friends on these platforms, every time you share one of my posts, it is much appreciated. I’m also looking for people or ministries who may be interested in purchasing a case of my books for 50% off through my publisher. Email Info@Freilingpublishing.com
The book has been endorsed by Jan Markell, Dr. Andy Woods, Pastor Steve Smothermon, Heidi St. John, Pastor John Haller, Pastor Carl Gallups, Gary Kah, Pastor Matt Trewhella, Dr. Jake Jacobs, and others.
Prepare for a sobering, eye-opening look at the conflict within and decline of America, as well as where we go from here. I hope and pray this book encourages you to act and strengthens your resolve to engage.
We must be undaunted in a divided culture becoming more hostile toward Christians. It touches on the unavoidable conflict we’re faced with, and the importance of the salt and light of Christianity to the health and strength of the nation.
For believers in Christ and a world-transforming gospel we’ve got work to do while we’re here! I hope and pray this book encourages your faith, challenges your perspective, reminds you of our true history, provides new insight, and strengthens your resolve to live out your faith and impact culture for Christ.
Get Canceling Christianity at Amazon, Barnes and Nobel, or wherever good Christian books are sold.
Canceling Christianity is about the battle for the heart of America between two contrasting worldviews finding it harder to coexist in a constitutional republic. It highlights realities that believers face, the spiritual conflict we find ourselves in, and stresses the importance of the salt and light of Christianity to the survival of the nation.
Forces of darkness, both human and demonic, are behind cancel culture and the agendas to eradicate God as well as His followers from the public square. The left envisions a much different America. Having hijacked major institutions, they claim unity, but now demand submission.
Democrats and their media satraps are trying to censor anyone who supports what they call the “Big Lie” — the idea that the 2020 presidential election was stolen. But the real “Big Lie” is that the 2020 presidential election was free and fair.