Friday, April 29, 2011

I Regarded the Royal Couple and Their Wedding As the Majority Chooses to Regard God!

Printed and broadcast media were saturated for an extended time about the royal wedding which took place in England on April 29, 2011. --- a gigantic number of media sources were involved -- everyone had reporters all over the place, probably hanging even from the rafters!

No, I did not do extensive reading on Prince William and Catherine Middleton as the wedding day drew closer. I did not view the wedding or look at the literal hundreds if not thousands of photos related to all their history from childhood. I do not plan to buy the special issue of stamps which will be produced by the U. S. Postal Service in the near future. Plainly stated, I am not interested in this whole event and at best am very indifferent to it. And if they had some kind of claim on my life and activities I would quite possibly be defiant by way of response!

I have friends in the UK who, of course, were much interested and likely followed very closely all that was going on in the lives of Prince William and Catherine, his bride to be. And certainly in most all nations of the world there were those who passionately followed events leading up to the wedding, the ceremony itself, and happenings taking place afterward.

I am of English ancestry on my mother's side of the family -- her maiden name was Sedgwick which is about as English as one might get. And on my dad's side my ancestry is German -- what a combination! The name has been "Americanized" which is a good thing -- I saw the original in German and couldn't remember how to spell it much less be able to pronounce it!

As noted at the beginning -- I regarded the royal couple in much the same manner as the majority of this nation's and this world's population regard Almighty God.

First, there is an indifference in regard to God. He is not considered important enough to be given time and attention. The one exception is when we are plunged into a crisis and then we might consider praying and asking for His help. If you want to see how God may respond in those situations, read Jeremiah 2 -- it's a "Surprise! Surprise! Surprise!" chapter. In regard to the prince and his bride, I just did not consider them to be important enough to be given my attention -- not that they aren't really important, but for me, I was simply not interested.

Second, we have a heap of living to do -- places to go, people to see and tons of things to do! So why waste time with God-stuff? It simply does not fit into our agenda. In regard to the royal couple and the wedding -- I just had other things I preferred to do and so I did what I wanted to do and they were not in the picture at all. Even the headlines on the internet with pictures and all were passed by rather quickly as I moved to some other place in which I was much more interested.

Third, I believe in the living existence of Prince William and Catherine -- that they are real people living in a place thousands of miles from me. But that "belief" does not in any way whatsoever impact my life. My life is not different because I "believe" that they exist. They go their way and I go mine each day without any kind of connection being made. There are huge numbers who claim to "believe" in God -- that God does exist and many of these would get upset if confronted by an atheist who says there is no God. But the lives of these people are not at all changed and very different because of a professed "belief" that there is a God out there somewhere!

However, this claim of "belief" is a deceptive thing -- it is simply a fact that rattles around in the brain but goes no further. Someone has observed that the distance between Heaven and Hell is not as great as some might claim. The distance is really about 12 inches -- the average distance between the brain and the heart! God makes plain the fact that it requires more than mere mental assent that He exists -- life changing belief comes from the heart -- down in the depths of the soul itself, which means that my belief in God so impacts my life that I seek His mercy and forgiveness intentionally, that by choice I receive His Son, Jesus, into my life as Savior and Lord, and that I commit my life to being submissive to His will. Obedience to the will of God becomes a daily priority.

The discipline of prayer and Bible study on a daily basis is not an option in this relationship to God -- it is an absolute necessity. And this must be coupled with fellowship with other believes in a place of public worship. The one exception is when one lives in a nation that is aggressively and violently persecuting Christians and there are such in today's world. It happens in some Muslim dominated countries and atheistic systems such as China, North Korea, etc.

In conclusion, while I expressed indifference to all the media hype about a prince, his fiance and eventually their wedding, the one thing I am not indifferent to is the purpose God has for their lives. It is my prayer that God's wonderful purpose for them (and for all of us) will be fulfilled until our Lord Jesus returns to this chaotic world in power and glory as King of kings and Lord of lords!

They profess to know God, but in works they deny Him, being abominable, disobedient, and disqualified for every good work. --- Titus 1:16

Monday, April 25, 2011

Perfect Timing -- The Corpse Flower Is Blooming on Easter!

Easter Sunday -- hours for visitation were published, although the flower began to open Saturday evening at the greenhouse on the campus of Ohio State University. This 5-foot, 6-inch tall monster from the Indonesian rain forest unfurled its 3-foot-wide dark purple flower early this evening, to wide smiles and a few grimaces by those who got close enough to take a whiff. "It's starting to smell!" said Joan Leonard, coordinator of OSU's Biological Sciences Greenhouse. "Isn't that great?" --- information from various sources, including The Columbus Dispatch

The "corpse flower" (amorphophallus titanum) is native to the Indonesian rain forest in Sumatra but is threatened with extinction due to illegal logging and land cleared for farming. A number of commercial greenhouses have the plant which is unpredictable when it comes to a blooming schedule. One just bloomed in Switzerland for the first time in 17 years.

But the one at Ohio State University is interesting for one main reason -- it started its bloom the evening before Easter Sunday. The university has scheduled visiting hours published for Easter Sunday afternoon and all day on Monday. Its bloom will only last about two or three days at most.

What is so special about that, you may ask. Well, let me tell you, as you bear with my bit of "speculation" on this unusual event and timing of the same.

Down through the centuries the literal resurrection of Jesus has come under attack. You could expect that from the heathen religions of the world such as Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism as well as smaller groups and those who have but a few dozen rallying around a crackpot leader with crazy ideas.

But the skepticism and raw unbelief about Jesus' resurrection has reared its ugly head within the ranks of Christianity over time as well. It's nothing new really due to the fact that in the New Testament mention is made of those who doubted Jesus' resurrection from the dead in literal fashion.

Scholarship and research into certain areas can be a good thing or it can be a curse, depending on who is doing it and what that person's relationship to God really is. In the centuries since it has happened, the resurrection of Jesus has had some wild interpretations spring up within the ranks of those professing to be Christian in faith.

It is of no profit to detail these at this moment other than to say that one of Satan's tactics is to plant the seed of doubt when it comes to the mighty works that God has done, and this includes the literal resurrection of Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God!

The unbelief has been spread by theologians, seminary professors, church leaders, and pastors much like a cancer spreads throughout the human body. This is not to suggest that all are guilty, but even one spreading his/her unbelief in the literal resurrection of Jesus Christ is one too many!

Now what does the corpse flower have anything to do with this? At least one started blooming Saturday evening before Easter and was in bloom on Easter Sunday at Ohio State University.

Perhaps God permitted this to happen as a fitting tribute to all those within the ranks of professing Christianity who cannot or refuse to believe that Jesus literally came back from the dead three days after being brutally put to death on a Roman cross! It would be appropriate to have the corpse flower placed in the home of every theologian, the office of every church leader and seminary professor, and the church of every pastor who do not believe in the literal resurrection of Jesus Christ Who holds the title, "King of kings and Lord of lords!"

The flower emits an odor that reflects the theology of these people -- it is the odor of death and that is the state of their theology which brings death and not life to all who listen to them.

If nothing else, when you encounter those who doubt the resurrection of Jesus, you can always respond in the words of a song sung in many churches on Easter -- "You ask me how I know He lives -- He lives within my heart."

I rest my case in regard to a living Savior Who has promised to see me through everything I have to deal with in this earthly journey and He has prepared a place for me in the perfect environment for eternity (John 14).

Now if Christ is preached that He has been raised from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ is not risen. And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is vain and your faith is also vain. Yes, and we are found false witnesses of God, because we have testified of God that He raised up Christ, whom He did not raise up; if in fact the dead do not rise. For if the dead do not rise, then Christ is not risen. And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins!
--- 1 Corinthians 15:12-17

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The United States Doomed to Fail and Collapse!

He rules by His power forever; His eyes observe the nations; do not let the rebellious exalt themselves. Selah. --- Psalm 66:7

Pour out Your wrath on the nations that do not know You, and on the kingdoms that do not call on Your name. --- Psalm 79:6

The wicked shall be turned into hell, And all the nations that forget God. --- Psalm 9:17

It is still a given that the majority of United States citizens believe certain myths about our republic:

1. Some believe the U. S. to be the most powerful nation in the world.

2. Some believe and insist that the U. S. is the most wealthy nation in the world.

3. There are those who believe that the U. S. is the "leader" among the 195 nations of the world.

4. And there are those, of course, who mistakenly believe that the U. S. is a "Christian" nation!

Why the change from what used to be great power, wealth, a prominent leadership role in the world, and a prestigious identity with the Christian faith?

The answer is rather simple -- we no longer are under the blessing of Almighty God as in times long since past.

Consider three critical issues as to why this deplorable condition exists:

1. The first issue is financial in nature and the fact that the U. S. is deeply and hopelessly in debt. Perhaps one way of illustrating this tragedy is to imagine a quicksand bog -- we are as a person who has become trapped in it, and the struggle begins -- one foot is raised in the attempt to find something solid upon which to stand, but the other foot and leg sink even deeper. All the while there is the steady sinking into the mire happening and no hope of rescue! And the more intense the struggle to break free, the deeper into the quicksand the victim descends! Our present "bog" which is enlarging every second is over 14 trillion dollars. The nation of China owns about 1 trillion of that alone.

Recently a flurry of activity took place in the nation's capitol over the budget. Republicans wanted to originally cut spending by 100 billion -- then that was reduced considerably and a final "compromise" worked out in which now the figure of cuts is about 38 billion. That sure will go a long way in eliminating over 14 TRILLION dollars of debt, will it not?

The president and the U. S. Congress are intent on spending money we do not have and will not exercise restraint and common sense in handling revenue income. The Scriptures reveal that a nation intent on obeying God will be blessed with prosperity and will be a lender to nations and NOT a borrower! (See verification in Deuteronomy 28 where finances are mentioned, but there are other issues in the chapter where it is like looking into the mirror and there we see the United States).

2. Second, an issue that is moral in nature. The president pushed for and, with support from enough members of the Congress, was able to get legislation that removed the ban on sodomites serving openly in the U. S. military. While the sodomite/lesbian agenda has been making great strides forward with growing acceptance across our nation, God's view of this type of sexual activity has not changed at all. God labels such activity as an abomination -- not merely as sin, but as something that is as sin intensified many times over! It is totally repugnant in the sight of God and thoroughly condemned. The ultimate consequences are seen in the ashes of Sodom and Gomorrah! (Note references to these in 2 Peter 2:6 & Jude 1:7).

3. Third, an issue that is also moral in nature. The president and supporters in Congress are aggressive in the support of the destruction of unborn children, under the deadly idea that it is a "constitutional right" to do so -- the average rate of destruction is about 25,000 a week throughout the year!

The president's record as a legislator is clear -- he opposed efforts to try to place some restrictons on aborting unborn children and obviously he would do likewise in any future attempt to further restrict abortions in any way whatsover!

Even worse is the fact that there are church leaders who shoose not to address the rampant "shedding of innocent blood" in this republic. God, of course, has made extremely clear His view of human life and His holy purpose for the same.

Once one has given serious thought to God's view of human life, there is but one conclusion to which one can arrive. To intentionally interfere with God's plan and purpose for a human life is to invite His judgmental wrath at some point in the future. With nearly 53 million unborn victims tallied so far in the United States' unique version of "Holocaust", the question is not whether God's judgment will come upon our republic, but rather how soon will it happen?

Will radical and necessary changes be made very soon so that once again the nation will be blessed by God with success and have a hopeful and secure future? There is absolutely no indication that our leaders (political and church) are willing to engage in a transforming life experience known as repentance! And if the leaders refuse to repent, then the citizens most likely will follow the example which guarantees failure and collapse!

Other issues are further detailed in comments titled, "Driving the Final Nails!"
Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD, and the people whom He has chosen as His own inheritance. The LORD looks from heaven; He sees all the sons of men. From the place of His habitation He looks On all the inhabitants of the earth; He fashions their hearts individually; He considers all their works. No king is saved by the multitude of an army; a mighty man is not delivered by great strength. A horse is a vain hope for safety; neither shall it deliver any by its great strength. Behold, the eye of the LORD is on those who fear Him, on those who hope in His mercy, to deliver their soul from death, and to keep them alive in famine. --- Psalm 33:12-19

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Jesus Christ Returning to This World on May 21, 2011?

(Photo used by permission of Tom Chapin, Editor of The Punxsutawney Spirit)

Above is pictured a billboard near Punxsutawney PA stating that Jesus Christ will be returning to this world on May 21, 2011. A number of individuals and groups are attempting to spread this message in a variety of ways throughout the world. Source: Article in Punxsutawney Spirit on Saturday, March 26, 2011 at Faithful Await

The date has been set and those who are convinced that May 21, 2011 is indeed the date of Jesus' return and judgment day are doing all they can to let the world know of this impending event.

Quite a few details are given in the article which can be read through access to the link given above. That these people are sincere there can be no doubt. That many are very zealous in spreading the word about this happening is quite evident. If you are willing to paint lettered warnings and pertinent information about Jesus' return on your Cadillac for all to see as you drive about town, it is obvious that there is more than just a casual interest in what God is going to be doing in the very near future!

It has been demonstrated in countless ways down through the millennia of human history that one can be very sincere but at the same time one can be sincerely wrong. In some cases at least, it can lead to disastrous consequences, even death.

As pointed out in a letter of response to The Punxsutawney Spirit such antics as these always bring Christians to a fork in the road with a decision to be made -- who is the authority to whom I am going to give a hearing on this issue and then adjust my life accordingly?

Is Jesus Christ the Authority on matters related to His return to earth and the conclusion of human history as we presently experience it, or are some self-appointed humans the authority to whom we must listen?

According to the calculations made by certain persons, the date is May 21, 2011 on which Jesus Christ is to return to this earth.

But Jesus said something far different relative to His personal return to this world. He actually said that no one knows the day nor the hour. How else can you interpret the statement, "Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming." (Matthew 24:42). This was spoken in the context of trends that will take place as human history approaches its conclusion and God intervenes in order to prevent the total annihilation of the human race! Jesus referred to the fact that no one knows the time except God the Father Himself.

It is likely that the proponents of the May 21, 2011 date will have woven an extremely "clever" interpretation of those statements about no human, or even angels knowing precisely when the time will be. The human mind is very clever when it comes to sidestepping truth and replacing it with human speculation and fiction!

Just what is to be our attitude in regard to Jesus' return to earth? Live in light of what He did say about that event. We have responsibility to represent Him and His eternal Kingdom wherever we are on a daily basis. We are to be engaged in use of time, abilities, and material resources to carry out His parting command, which is to go into all the world and share the Gospel with all people in all nations. After all, He alone is the one and only answer to all human needs and problems, the greatest of which is sin in human nature and its horrifying manifestations!

It was His sacrifice on a Roman cross of execution that accomplished atonement for the sins of the entire human race. Every sin committed by every human being ever born into the world was placed on Him as He agonized on the cross for three hours. That sacrificial death on His part satisfied the demands of God's justice that every sin must be punished. Our response to that is to honestly admit we are sinners, repent and ask God's mercy, accept His forgiveness and receive Jesus as personal Savior and Lord of our lives.

That is the heart of what we are to be about as Jesus tarries in His return to this chaotic world. Live each day in expectation of His return but attempt to be sensitive to the doors of opportunity opening where by word and deed we can make an eternal difference in the lives of other persons! The fact that Christianity is the ONLY true way in this world rests on the solid foundation of Jesus' demands upon us humans, His absolute claims for Himself, His atoning sacrifice on our behalf, His victorious resurrection from the dead, and His promised return to set up His Kingdom on this earth at a time determined by God the Father and kept secret from all members of the human race.

It is pointless to argue about such a thing as a precise date someone has set for Jesus to return. As noted in my letter earlier to the editor I stated that the landscape of human history is cluttered with the wreckage of attempts to set dates as to when God was going to do a thing.

When you go to bed tonight and lay your head on the pillow, say to yourself, "Jesus may come back before the sun rises tomorrow morning." When you get out of bed tomorrow, say to yourself, "Jesus may come back today before the sun sets." And so long as He tarries, say also, "Jesus has work for me to do today before He comes back!" and then do it!

"But of that day and hour no one knows, no, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only. But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be." --- Matthew 24:36-39