Thursday, April 26, 2012

"Iranian Nuke Update"

International negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program have gone nowhere. Though further discussions are planned for next month, odds are they will only accomplish one thing: allowing more time for Iran to continue uranium enrichment. Apparently, the international community, blind to that fact, is determined to allow Tehran its "stall tactics". Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said, " My initial impression is that Iran has been given a freebie. It's got five weeks to continue enrichment without any limitation, any inhibition."

In a Tuesday CNN interview, Netanyahu reiterated that while sanctions against Iran are crippling its oil exports, they have not affected its continuing nuclear activities. "They're certainly taking a bite out of the Iranian economy, but so far they haven't rolled back the Iranian program or even stopped it by one iota. I hope that changes, but so far, I can tell you the centrifuges are spinning. If the sanctions are going to work, they better work soon."

In the meantime, it appears Israel is preparing for war. According to The Times of Israel, "A major Israel TV station on Sunday night (April 15th) broadcast a detailed report on how Israel will go about attacking Iran's nuclear facilities in the event that diplomacy and sanctions fail and Israel decides to carry out a military strike."

Should the order to attack be given, the plan calls for dozens of planes to take part in the mission. "Attack and escort jets, tankers for mid-air refueling, electronic warfare planes and rescue helicopters" would be used. The report adds, "the moment of truth is near." All it would take to trigger an attack is Iran moving key parts of its nuclear program underground to its Qom facility. The Israeli Air Force (IAF) will have little choice but begin "the long journey to Iran."

Israel fully expects the strike to bring retaliation ("presumably from the Iranian-proxy Hezbollah in Lebanon) and years of preparations are likely to come to realization...This could be the first full-scale war the IAF has fought in nearly 30 years."

Let's keep Israel and the negotiations with Iran in our prayers. A war in that region won't be good for anybody, especially if Russian President Vladimir Putin carries through with his threat to back Iran. Russian military intervention would almost certainly broaden the scope of the conflict and things could easily spin out of control.

Ezekiel 38 clearly predicts this is exactly what will happen eventually, so let's pray that God will intervene and prevent it from happening now.

"I look up to the mountains-
does my help come from there?
My help comes from the LORD,
who made the heavens and the earth!
He will not let you stumble and fall;
the One who watches over you will not sleep.
Indeed, He who watches over Israel
never tires and never sleeps." -- Psalm 121


  • CNBC: The government of Holland nearly collapsed on Monday
  • Former Obama adviser: "US won't apologize to Israel over Iran" (double-dealing)
  • msnbc: Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke: "Congress steering US economy toward a fiscal cliff."
  • Pentagon chief: " We're within an inch of war almost daily."
  • Reuters: US lawmaker urges investment treaty pact with China
  • CBN News: A Global Genocide Against Christians Underway?
  • Debka file: European sources calculate the Obama administration will decide to lift sanctions against Iran in stages.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

"Do You Have a 'Wait' Problem?"

What is the secret to living a balanced and fruitful life while waiting for Christ's imminent return?

Good question, and in the Book of 2 Thessalonians, Paul addresses this very issue. Apparently, a certain number in the community had decided to stop working, kick back and wait. And why shouldn't they? If Jesus is already on His way, why bother to continue working? What's the point of sowing if we won't be around to reap? Paul admonished them with these words: "But as for you, brethren, do not grow weary in doing good (2 Thessalonians 3:13).

From the moment Jesus was taken up in Acts 1:10 until now, every generation of believers has faced the balancing act of how to live with the possibility of Christ's immediate return. In the Book of Romans, Paul says, "For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now. Not only that, but we also who have the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body. For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees? But we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance" (Romans 8:22-25).

Hope is a constant expectation of an unseen reality. We are saved by faith, but our hope is in the return of Christ in all His glory. But we can't just sit around and wait; we're expected to persevere in doing good and not grow weary. In other words, we should be busy waiting (doing good) and not allow our eager expectation to become a "wait" problem.

A wise man once said: "Between us and heaven or hell there is only life, which is the frailest thing in the world."--Blaise Pascal

  • Debka file: Obama ready to yield on Iran's nuclear transparency. Israel: Tehran will cheat.
  • CBN News: India successfully test fires nuclear-capable long-range missile.
  • Jerusalem Post: Israel suspects Obama of clandestine deal with Iran
  • Reuters: Fears resurface over Europe's sovereign debt crisis
  • UN General Assembly vote threatens Palestine as much as Syria

Thursday, April 12, 2012

"Playing Church in the End Times"

The Bible says in 2 Timothy 3:11, "But know this, in the last days perilous times will come." In context, people will have "a form of godliness" or an outward appearance of reverence for God while denying its power. Religious activity that is not based on a true and living relationship with Jesus is empty.

The purpose of Bible prophecy is to authenticate the living and powerful word of God--but it doesn't end there. Though the message can frighten unbelievers, for the believer it is a message of hope. God has a plan for the world, for history and for each one of us. There is a new dispensation coming and we are experiencing the "birth pangs".

For the believer, this time of trouble ought to have a purifying effect. As we see the words of the scripture fulfilled before our eyes, it should cause us to draw closer to God and to warn others. We should stop "playing church" and get serious about our faith.

Unfortunately, it doesn't always work that way. The Bible tells us that in the last days the church at large (mainstream denominations) will grow weak. So weak, in fact, that Jesus wondered if He would find any faith at all at His return.

People will turn to false teachers that only sound like Christians. How can we know who's true and who's false? Listen to their message:
  • Do they teach the Gospel? Do they give the message that Jesus is the only Son of God, born of a woman in order to live a perfect life, die for our sins (in our place) and then rose from the dead in accordance with the scripture?
  • Do they teach day after day, week after week from the Bible as the only word of God?
  • Do they teach you how to be prosperous?
  • How to win friends and influence people?
  • How to name it & claim it? blab it & grab it?
In other words, if they don't stick with the word of God, don't stick with them.

True Christian teaching will not make you rich, or popular, or beautiful. It should over time make you more like Jesus, prepare you for the next life and cause you to be pleasing to God. It isn't easy and it isn't accomplished overnight. It takes a lifetime of walking as close as possible to the Savior. So what should we be doing in these perilous times?

We should turn away from false teaching and religious activities that have nothing to do with a true relationship with God and turn wholeheartedly to the only One who can save us.

"And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren" Romans 8:28-29.

  • North Korea Rocket Breaks Up After Launch
  • Jerusalem Post: Turkey: Syria truce deadline void; border clashes kill 3
  • Fox News: Egypt, Jordan, Pakistan join US in massive war games in Persian Gulf
  • Reuters: Indonesia 8.6 strike-slip earthquake largest ever recorded
  • CBN News: Planned Parenthood Launches "Prayer Campaign" For Abortions; not for the unborn baby

Thursday, April 5, 2012

“What If You Could Be Raised From The Dead?”

Sounds like a trick question, doesn’t it? What if…me?! Raised from the dead—yeah, right—and while we’re at it, can I be taller, too?
But Jesus told His disciples in John 14:19, “Because I live, you will live, too.” Seven simple words with the power to change the world.
There are many religions, but only one claims that its founder returned from the grave. The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the foundation on which Christianity is built. If it isn’t true, we are (as the apostle Paul said), “dead in our sins. We might as well eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we die.”
But what if it is true? Consider the following excerpt from Lee Strobel’s The Case for Easter:
“When Jesus was crucified, His followers were discouraged and depressed. So they dispersed. The Jesus movement was all but stopped in its tracks. Then, after a short period of time, we see them abandoning their occupations, regathering, and committing themselves to spreading a very specific message—that Jesus Christ was the Messiah of God who died on a cross, returned to life, and was seen alive by them.
“And they were willing to spend the rest of their lives proclaiming this, without any payoff from a human point of view. They faced a life of hardship. They often went without food, slept exposed to the elements, were ridiculed, beaten, imprisoned. And finally, most of them were executed in torturous ways. For what? For good intentions? No, because they were convinced beyond a shadow of a doubt that they had seen Jesus Christ alive from the dead.
“Yes, people will die for their religious convictions if they sincerely believe they are true. Religious fanatics have done that throughout history. While they may strongly believe in the tenets of their religion, however, they don’t know for a fact whether their faith is based on truth. They simply cannot know for sure. They can only believe. In stark contrast, the disciples were in the unique position to know for a fact whether Jesus had returned from the dead. They saw Him, they touched Him, they ate with Him. They knew He wasn’t a hallucination or a legend. And knowing the truth, they were willing to die for Him.
“The disciples didn’t merely believe in the resurrection; they knew whether it was fact or fiction. Had they known it was a lie, they would never have been willing to sacrifice their lives for it. Nobody willingly dies for something that they know is false. They proclaimed the resurrection to their deaths for one reason alone: they knew it was true.”
The good news is that Jesus is still alive. And…if He lives, we can live too. Seven simple words with the power to change your world.

  • GRTV: U.S. stops food aid to North Korea because they refused to cancel a rocket launch they say is for a satellite
  • Reuters: U.S. officials debate virulence of Iran-backed Hezbollah threat
  • Debka file: Iran wants nuclear talks moved to Baghdad or Beijing
  • CBN News: Military plans on Iran leaked in effort to thwart Israel?