Thursday, April 25, 2013

"Has God Chosen You?"

Let's face it gang, the Bible says "many are called, but few are chosen" (Matthew 22:14). The word called in this instance refers to being 'invited'. Tragically, not all those invited will be among the chosen of God.

Romans 8:29 says, "For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son."

Wow. Does that mean that God "foreknew" certain people? And what about predestination? Are we to understand that only certain individuals are picked out beforehand to be saved?

Apparently so. Jesus says in John 15:16, "You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should bear fruit." In fact, the doctrine of election, or being especially chosen by God, is woven throughout the Bible.

It is also one of the most hotly debated mysteries of the Christian life.

There are two basic positions (excerpted from pg. 1984 of the Nelson Study Bible) :

  • Some understand foreknowledge to mean God's knowledge in advance of those who would repent of their sin and believe the Gospel. In other words, in eternity past, God looked down the corridors of time to see all who would one day accept the offer of salvation through Christ. Those who accept salvation are the elect. The fact that they would eventually believe in Christ was the condition that prompted God to choose them or predestine them to eternal life.
  • Others understand foreknowledge as a 'relational' term. In other words, foreknowledge refers to God's intimate knowledge of and love for His elect before they came into existence. It is God's sovereign choice, and not a person's exercised faith, that determines who the elect are.
Got that? In the first view (known as Arminian), election is defined as: the conditional choice of God that is the result of our faith. In the second view (known as Calvinism), election is defined as: the unconditional choice of God that is the cause of our faith.

Regardless of one's stance on the matter of election, this much is clear: God is infinitely wise, powerful, and good. We cannot accuse Him of being unfair in His dealings with humans. It was our own sinfulness that has entrapped us and condemned us. Yet God, out of His infinite mercy, chooses to save us.

The ultimate inconvenient truth is this: Not everyone is chosen.

Go back and reread Romans 8:29, "For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son" (emphasis added).

If we are not being conformed to the image of His Son, odds are we haven't been chosen. If our "salvation" hasn't had a profound impact in the way we live our life here on earth, it probably hasn't actually taken place. Jesus said, "Not everyone who says to Me 'Lord, Lord', shall enter the Kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father" (Matthew 7:21).

Jesus is the Word made flesh (John 1:1). If we don't know or love the Scripture, we can't know or love Jesus. We can't be conformed to His image if we have no knowledge of who He is. In other words: Knowing Jesus = Knowing His word. Because Jesus said, "You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should bear fruit", shouldn't we be careful 'fruit inspectors'? The fruit of the Spirit is: Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, goodness, faithfulness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23). These attributes describe Jesus. And over a lifetime, they should begin to describe us, too, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in us. In other words: No spirit = No salvation (Romans 8:9).

"So think clearly and exercise self-control. Look forward to the special blessings that will come to you at the return of Jesus Christ. Obey God because you are His children. Don't slip back into your old ways of doing evil; you didn't know any better then. But now you must be holy in everything you do, just as God--who chose you to be His children--is holy. For He Himself has said, "You must be holy because I am holy" (1 Peter 1:13-16).

A wise man once said: "If you haven't chosen God, He probably hasn't chosen you. But if you are blessed to be among the chosen, leap with joy and follow hard after Him." -- unknown

  • Fox News Channel: Extreme drought continues to plague Plain states while devastating flooding swamps much of the Midwest
  • Drudge Report: New bird flu strain "one of the most lethal" with potential to spark global pandemic, surfaces in China
  • Reuters: U.S, confirms Syrian government used chemical weapons on its own people
  • Debka Files: Tsarnaev brothers double agents who betrayed U.S. by defecting to jihadist networks instead of infiltrating them. Police: Bombers had plans to target NYC next.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

"Does the Bible Predict the Death of the Dollar?"

Some believe the recent fall in gold prices signals the end of our financial troubles. What do we think? Hooray--if it's true.

The financial crisis of 2007-2008 was the worst since the Great Depression. It resulted in the failure of large financial institutions, bank bailouts, a housing bubble, and prolonged unemployment. In fact, the downturn in the economy was so severe it led to the 2008-2012 global recession and contributed to the European sovereign-debt crisis. The financial crisis was triggered by a complex web of greed, debt, and more debt.

And guess what? They really haven't fixed anything. The same debt-based system is still in place.

The Federal government has only three ways to get money:
  1. tax
  2. borrow
  3. print
With the U.S. National Debt Clock running to the tune of 16 trillion and counting, they cannot tax or borrow enough money to even make a dent. They must resort to printing money out of thin air.

Sound good? Not!

The printing of money with nothing to back it is essentially counterfeiting by the government. You can expect high levels of inflation to follow eventually. How long? Nobody knows.

WARNING: Whatever recovery we might experience is distorted by the Fed flooding the economy with $85 billion per month (or 1 trillion dollars per year) of counterfeit money. The fact that this so called 'recovery' is so weak in spite of this infusion of cash is very telling.

The truth is this: We are in a failing financial system across the globe. Printing money to pay the government's bills is not something to be taken lightly. It is one of the last and most desperate measures.

What can we do?

First, remember that God is in control no matter what happens (Isaiah 46:9-11).

Second, remember that knowing God is in control does not remove our responsibility to do everything possible to prepare ourselves (Proverbs 22:3).

It's important to do your own homework. Find out for yourself what's really going on. Figure out what your options are and pray for discernment. And then consider whether the following options (taken from Christian Financial Concepts, Inc.) make sense in your own situation:
  • Have an emergency fund. Plan for the unexpected like you should for an earthquake or a job loss (Proverbs 6:6-11).
  • Get out of debt. No one can indefinitely spend more than they make. What you own belongs to you and not to a lender. Many could be debt-free just by moving funds from one investment to another, such as withdrawing funds from a retirement account to pay off their home mortgage. Sound drastic? What makes sense in a stable economy may not in a volatile one. Pay off all credit card debt. Paying interest makes no sense if you can avoid it (Proverbs 28:8).
  • For those who are at least 20 years from retirement, concentrate on paying off debt before saving for retirement. Set a goal to be debt-free ASAP (Romans 13:8; Proverbs 22:27).
  • Diversify as much as possible. Don't put all your eggs in one basket, all your money in one bank, and for those of you with substantial assets--all your investments in one country.
Remember what happened in Cyprus last month when its banking system nearly collapsed? They put depositors on the hook for the bailout! And not only that, but Dutch Finance Minister, Jeroen Dijsselbloem said that the Cyprus deal will serve as a 'template' for future bank bailouts. That sets a precedent. IF they can do it there--they can do it here. What happened in Cyprus put a spotlight on the economic woes that are still there just below the thin veneer of 'recovery'.

While the Bible doesn't use the phrase 'one world currency', it provides enough evidence to enable us to draw that conclusion. Most likely it will be a virtual or digital form of currency. Revelation 13:16-17 describes some sort of specific mark on the right hand or forehand that will be required to be able to buy and sell. We believe the church will be gone at this point, but the fact remains: Our current banking system will no longer exist. Could we be in the beginning of that process now?

Check out these opposing views on where the economy is going.
Bullion Brawl: Doug Kass vs. Peter Schiff

For a very interesting, but more extreme view of where things might be headed go to:
Very Dangerous Market Distortions by Gregory Mannarino @

A wise man once said: "Just as the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, so economic collapse will come in the midst of what appears to be economic prosperity. The very debt that creates the prosperity ultimately destroys it." Larry Burkett, founder of Christian Financial Concepts, Inc.

"Dear brothers and sisters, whenever trouble comes your way, let it be an opportunity for joy. For when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be strong in character and ready for anything."


  • World Magnitude 7.8 earthquake rocks Iran. Second large quake within 7 days. Dozens dead.
  • CNS New immigration bill guarantees rush across border; legalizes illegals' relatives previously deported, shredding current laws.
  • Live Science: New study finds 'supervolcano' magma reservoir under Yellowstone is at least 50% larger than previously thought; an eruption could alter the planet.
  • Daily Express: North Korea vows blitz attack on South Korea warning: retaliation will start without notice.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

"What are the Signs of His Coming?"

Christian author and founder of  The Berean Call , Dave Hunt, died last week. He left behind a legacy of expert scholarship, impeccable research, and a wide variety of in-depth studies we can all benefit from. He also left us with a couple of warnings:

  • "There are two solemn and related warnings which Christ gave concerning His coming again. First of all, He repeatedly and earnestly declared that He was coming very soon and should be expected at any moment. That He hasn't come in more than 1900 years, far from discrediting that promise, makes it all the more urgent that we heed it in our day. By heaven's reckoning, Christ has been gone a very short time; and His coming is nearer now than it ever was."
  • "Secondly, He warned us about preoccupation with the things of this life. Christ knew the attraction which the pleasures and ambitions of this world, wicked though we realize it to be, can have for each of us. So He warned us that unless we kept the thoughts of His return fresh in our hearts at all times, we would be caught by surprise at His coming."
Dave Hunt was adamant about the fact that there are no signs for the rapture of the church. Not even one. There is absolutely nothing that must proceed it. Jesus said that He would come like a thief: "At such an hour as you think not" (Luke 12:40). Some translations say He's coming when you least expect Him. There are at least twenty warnings in the Bible telling us to watch, be ready, and stay awake.

Why? Because complacency is human nature. Remember the parable of the 10 bridesmaids in Matthew 25? "When the bridegroom was delayed, they all lay down and slept" (emphasis added).

The world is asleep right now and sadly, so is the church. And yet:
  • Israel is back in the land (Ezekiel 37:21)
  • surrounded by enemies (Psalm 83)
  • Iran and Russia have a military alliance for the first time in history (Ezekiel 38:5)
  • technology has advanced to the degree that everything predicted in the Scripture is possible for the first time in history (Revelation 13)
  • the financial world is sagging under its debt load (Revelation 6:5-6; James 5:1-3)
  • sin is rampant; deception everywhere (Matthew 24:9)
  • everything has gone super sized (i.e. earthquakes, storms, tsunamis, etc.) (Luke 21:25-26)
People--these are signs for the Tribulation and the Second Coming, not the Rapture, two distinct events that take place 7 years apart.

No one knows the day or the hour of the Rapture, but once it comes (when we least expect it) the Second Coming can be calculated to the very day. Everything hinges upon the Rapture because it is the kickoff of the last 7 years as detailed in the Book of Daniel (Daniel 9:20-27).

Jesus said, "Watch out! Don't let me find you living in careless ease and drunkenness, and filled with the worries of this life. Don't let that day catch you unaware, as in a trap. For that day will come upon everyone living on the earth. Keep a constant watch. And pray that, if possible, you may escape these horrors and stand before the Son of Man" (Luke 21:34-36).

Why did Jesus warn us to keep a constant watch? Because the signs of the Tribulation will all be there in the distance for anyone who is aware and watching to see. For those who are not watching it will be "business as usual right up until the hour when the Son of Man returns" (Luke 17:30).

"So keep a sharp lookout! Don't let Him find you sleeping when He arrives without warning. What I say to you I say to everyone: Watch for His return!" (Mark 13:35-37).

A wise man once said: "How close are we? Christ could come at any moment--before I finish writing this page, or before you finish reading it. Does that thought bring joy or regret--perhaps even fear? The honest answer to that vital question reveals one's spiritual condition and the measure of one's love for Him." -- Dave Hunt (1926-2013)

(want to be sure you're ready? click here )

  • World News Now: North Korea fuels ballistic Musudan missile with a range of 2,175 miles putting U.S. bases within reach. U.S. and Seoul on emergency threat level WatchCon2, one step away from war.
  • Yahoo News: 'Devastating' quake strikes near Iran's Bushehr nuclear plant, kills 37 and injures 870
  • U.S. News: Massive storms and giant tornadoes rip through Midwest leveling homes and causing power outages, 1 death and many injuries
  • Bloomberg: Distrust of Federal Reserve and concern that U.S. dollars may become worthless, fuel push in more than a dozen states to recognize gold and silver coins as legal tender
  • Drudge Report: ACLU accusing IRS of reading taxpayers personal emails without warrant
  • Fox News Channel: Maryland to enforce "rain tax" on homeowners, charging them for rainwater runoff each time it rains; states finding ways to raise revenues through new taxes and fees

Thursday, April 4, 2013

"Worldwide Threat Assessment"

Last month, the Senate Intelligence Committee held hearings on “Current and Projected National Security Threats to the United States.” All the top dogs were there, including the directors of the CIA, FBI, and National Intelligence.

The assessment?

Move over terrorists— you've been supplanted by something bigger and even more terrifying—cyber-attacks.

That’s right; al-Qaida is old school. Times have changed and the biggest threat now facing the U.S. is technology. Technology that is evolving so fast, even the top security experts are unable to keep up.
James Clapper, the Director of National Intelligence, told the committee, “In some cases, the world is applying digital technologies faster than our ability to understand the security implications and mitigate potential threats.”

Clapper played down the likelihood of catastrophic attacks on the United States in the near term—but should we believe him? He just admitted they don’t have the ability to understand the risks, let alone stop them.

Other potential threats?

  • ·         North Korea
  • ·         Syria
  • ·         Iran

While North Korea has always been belligerent, lately they've really been ratcheting up the rhetoric. Saying things like nukes “are our country’s life” and declaring on Saturday that it was entering a “state of war” with South Korea. The general consensus? There doesn't seem to be one. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said Wednesday that North Korea's provocations are " a real and clear danger and threat" to U.S. interests and Washington is taking them seriously. Others believe it's just another game of saber rattling in exchange for aid. Even though this latest string of nasty outbursts is predictable, Kim Jong Un is not.

What about Syria?

The U.S. spy agencies assessed the Syrian situation as ‘eroding’. It seems the government of President Bashar al-Assad is hanging on by a thread. Assad’s forces have stopped insurgents from seizing cities such as Aleppo, Damascus, and Homs, but the agencies say insurgents have been gaining strength in rural areas.

Imagine how well they’d do if they had a little help?

And last, but not least, there’s Iran.

In spite of what you might have heard, and what Ahmadinejad has said, the intelligence community does not believe Iran’s leadership has decided to build a nuclear weapon.
Oh…well. As long as they haven’t actually decided…

And there you have it. Cyber-attacks lead the pack followed by North Korea, Syria, and Iran. Our top dogs know what the problems are. All they need now are some solutions.

A wise man once: "There is a mysterious cycle in human events. To some generations much is given. Of other generations much is expected." -- Franklin D. Roosevelt

"Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father's house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. And where I go you know, and the way you know...I am the way, the truth, the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me."  John 14

  • Drudge Report: North Korea dramatically escalated its warlike rhetoric on Thursday, warning of plans for nuclear strikes on U.S. targets
  • BBC: U.S. to move missile defenses to Guam as North Korea steps up its warlike rhetoric
  • Washington Free Beacon: Military build-up in China near allied, North Korean border appears linked to Korean peninsula crisis
  • Russia on Wednesday said it was worried by the "explosive" North Korea situation, saying even a simple human error could cause crisis to spiral out of control.