Thursday, June 30, 2016

"Bible Prophecy: Over-hyped Doom & Gloom or A Message of Hope?"

In his classic commentary on The Book of Revelation, What The World Is Coming To, the late Chuck Smith, founder of Calvary Chapel states:
"The world is moving toward its zero hour.We're in the final countdown...The "birth-pains" have begun." (Matthew 24:8; Mark 13:8).
Doom & gloom? You betcha--if the birth-pains (or doom & gloom) were the only message.

"The Book of Revelation delves into grave details using remarkable symbols of judgment," proclaims S. Douglas Woodward of Faith-Happens. "Each broken seal discloses a new horror; each trumpet portends a new calamity; each vial grows increasingly more horrible."

"If we dwell on these images of doom, no doubt we too would become gloomy," cautions Woodward. "Nevertheless, the Bible consistently offers a starkly contrasted message: the greatest day for those who believe in Christ, comes on the worst day for those that don't."

In other words, the doom & gloom has a purpose. For the unbeliever, these "birth-pains" are a warning: seek God while He may be found; receive the redemption His Son suffered and died to purchase for you before it's too late.

For the believer and student of Bible prophecy, these same birth-pains are an amazing, faith-building, fear-of-God producing, awe-inspiring wonder to watch as events unfold exactly as God said they would in His word.

Remember, the purpose of Bible prophecy is not to predict the future, but to authenticate the message.

And what is the main message of the Bible?

Hope! God is the creator of everything. He has a plan and a purpose to redeem not only those of us who believe that Jesus died in our place and rose again as our Savior, but His entire creation as well.
"Now we live with a wonderful expectation because Jesus Christ rose again from the dead. For God has reserved a priceless inheritance for His children...It will be revealed on the last day for all to see. So be truly glad! There is wonderful joy ahead..." 1Peter 1:3-6
Eventually, there will be a new heaven and a new earth where everything (including us) must be born again. But first, like any birth--there are birth pains.

A wise man once said: "Night is coming...a darkness that will cover this globe in suffering and sorrow such as we have never known. But we must not sit and wring our hands about the state of the world. God has provided a way to escape the coming night. Now is the time to tell everyone about the hope of a brand new world waiting for us." -- David Jeremiah, author
"So I pray that God who gives you hope, will keep you happy and full of peace as you believe in Him. May you overflow with hope through the power of the Holy Spirit." Romans 15:13

  • The Washington Free Beacon: CIA Director Says Istanbul Bombings Warning To U.S.; group aims to carryout similar attacks in U.S.
  • Reuters: UK consumer confidence tumbles after Brexit vote.
  • WND: Russia About To Endorse Fines For Sharing Faith In Anti-Terror Legisaltion. 

Thursday, June 23, 2016

"Sci-fi Banking"

The future is now--at least when it comes to verifying one's identity.

Facial scans, eye scans and the ever-popular fingerprint, along with other biometrics are all being used in some of the nation's largest banks--but a password?

Not so much, according to The New York Times:
"Millions of customers at Bank of America, JP MorganChase, and Wells Fargo routinely use fingerprints to log into their bank accounts through their mobile phone. The feature, which some of the largest banks have introduced in the last few months, is enabling a huge share of American banking customers to verify their identities with biometrics. And millions more are expected to opt in as more phones incorporate fingerprint scans."
And that ain't all folks. Other biometrics have begun to come online as well:

  • Wells-Fargo uses eye scans 
  • Citigroup uses voice recognition
  • USAA (military bank) uses facial contours
"We believe the password is dying out," said Tom Shaw, Vice President for Financial Crimes Management at USAA. "We realized we have to get away from personal identification information because of the growing number of data breaches."

The ubiquitous iPhone, many equipped with touch pads, cameras, and microphones has made what used to seem like science fiction--a reality.

"It is harder to take someone's eyeball than someone's user ID and password," said Steve Ellis of Wells Fargo.

Maybe so, Steve Ellis. But what if they knock you out first, drag you off to some creepy bio-thief surgeon who steals the eyes from your head?

Unfortunately, where there's a will, there's a way.

A wise man once said: "When this gets hacked, and it will, what's next? A full body scan backed up by some DNA? Then the hackers can get all your info, clone you and the fun!" -- Roger 124, commenter
He required everyone--great  and small, rich and poor, slave and free--to be given a mark on the right hand or on the forehead. And no one could buy or sell anything without that mark..." Revelation 13:16-17

  • Reuters: N.Korea says missile gives "sure capability" to attack U.S. in Pacific
  • The New York Times: Zuckerburg (Facebook) covers laptop photo, video & audio portals with tape as security measure
  • RT News: Russia to reveal location of U.S. military satellites in free report  

Thursday, June 16, 2016

"Orlando Terrorist Re-Ignites Gunfight"

A terrorist in Orlando, Florida, armed with an assault rifle, killed 49 people and wounded 53 others, committing the worst mass-shooting in U.S. history.

Who gets the blame? The gun, of course.

The Congressional debate over new gun control laws was reignited after the slaughter in Orlando, as it is after every gun-related incident on U.S. soil and around the globe.

"There's no excuse for allowing suspected terrorists to buy guns," said Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid.

According to Republican House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, they're not allowed to buy guns.

"Law enforcement is already being notified if people being investigated for terrorism try to buy firearms," McCarthy said. "If you listen, they are being notified."

But the left isn't listening because, as the Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says:
"Our suspicion is this is basically a politically motivated effort [by the Democrats]. We're open," McConnell continued, "nobody wants terrorists to have firearms--we're open to serious suggestions from the experts as to what we might be able to do to be helpful."
The problem? Congress can pass gun laws from here to the moon and back and it won't fix anything. Terrorists and crazed gunmen are not law abiding citizens. To disarm the law abiding is to make us sitting ducks.

Phil Naman, a gun-rights advocate and radio host of "Firing Line Gun Show", says in shooting incidents in gun-free zones ( or as Naman puts it: "victim-rich environments") such as:

  • the Aurora, Colorado movie theater
  • Ft. Hood
  • Virginia Tech
  • San Bernardino
  • Sandy Hook
  • and the Chatanooga Recruiting Station 
an average of 14.1 people died. In an armed-security / conceal-carry environment 2.1 deaths occur, including the shooter. You do the math.

A wise man once said: "It takes a human being, and a human heart bent on evil, to pick up a gun, load it, and pull the trigger. The problem we have in this country is sin. We have a government that has taken God out of society." -- Franklin Graham, Samaritans Purse
"We are made right in God's sight when we trust in Jesus Christ to take away our sins. And we all can be saved in this same way, no matter who we are or what we have done.
For all have sinned; all fall short of God's glorious standard."  Romans 3:22-23

  • Fox News Channel: Billy Graham Rapid Response Team offers hope and comfort following Orlando attack.
  • CBS: "Gun control is now a matter of homeland security," DHS Sec. Jeh Johnson; Dems grow increasingly frustrated over right to bear arms.
  • Rolling Stone: It's time to repeal the 2nd Amendment; "Sometimes we just have to acknowledge the Founders and the Constitution are wrong," says law professor.


Thursday, June 9, 2016

"Will Satan Bring Down America?"

We are fast approaching "the most critical presidental election in our country's history," says Tim Wildmon, president of the American Family Association (AFA).

Heard that song before? So have we...but this time, claims Wildmon, it's true.

"I'm convinced that the secular 'progressives' or far-left in this country are driven to 'fundamentally transform' our country away from our Constitution and away from the Judeo-Christian moral value system."

Wildmon contends that "while this movement gets things done on a worldly and tangible level, I believe the underlying reason why this movement exists is basically spiritual. I believe Satan himself is trying to bring down America."

Wildmon cites 5 ways our current administration has driven this nation further from Judeo-Christian values:

  • It has been by far the most pro-abortion administration in history--in direct opposition to God's moral law.
  • It has pushed for homosexual 'marriage'. The Supreme Court changed the definition of marriage--in direct opposition to God's moral law.
  • It has overseen an increase in our country's debt from $10 trillion to nearly $20 trillion--a road to economic ruin from which we may never recover--in direct opposition to God's financial principals.
  • It promotes and defends Islam at every opportunity. Islam is in direct opposition to what the Bible teaches about who God is.
  • It is in constant conflict with Israel, America's closest ally in the tumultuous Middle East, ignoring Israel's plea for the U.S. not to sign a nuclear arms agreement with Iran who has sworn to wipe Israel off the face of the map. The Bible says God blesses those who bless Israel.
Wildmon believes "America in many ways is like a very sick person who is about to die."

The treatment? For Christians to stand against evil and for righteousness in government and everywhere else.

How do we do this? For starters, we vote.

A wise man once said: "Pray that God will raise up someone who understands that the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom." -- Tim Wildmon, AFA President
"Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. -- Ephesians 6:13

  • Associated Press: World Bank downgrades its forecast for the global economy again.
  • Wall Street Journal: U.S. carrier's moves send message to Russia meant to check Russian aggression; "Kind of makes them think twice," military official says.
  • Reuters: ISIS loses ground in Syria, Iraq 

Thursday, June 2, 2016

"3 Important Facts You Need To Know"

According to Strong's Concordance, the word elpis (translated "hope" in Romans 15:13), is a Greek term that denote "confident expectation" or "anticipation", not "wishful thinking".

Romans 15:13 says,
"Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit."
According to Greg Laurie of Harvest Crusade fame, "this verse touches upon three important facets of the Christian life that should give you great joy:

  • You have a new identity. When you accept Jesus Christ into your life, God gives you a new identity. You discover that you are not merely some product of random chance. You are not a speck in the universe. You are a child of God. And as God's child you can rest assured that you will be loved and cared for by your heavenly Father.
  • You have power to face life. With that new identity and hope in Christ, you also have the promise of the Holy Spirit's presence and power in your life. The Holy Spirit works constantly in your heart, helping you to understand God's Word and to to transform your attitudes and behaviors.
          An expanded translation of Romans 15:13 says that by the power of the Holy Spirit, your whole life and outlook will be "radiant with hope". God has not left you to face life on your own. He has promised to guide you and strengthen you with His Spirit.

  • You have hope for the future. As a Christian, you have hope and knowledge that there is life beyond the grave. Your last breath on earth will be followed by your first breath in heaven. (To know for sure you really are going to heaven, click here.  
The world offers many roads to happiness: sex, money, power, personal success. But they are all cheap and worthless substitutes in comparison to knowing that you are God's child and that you have the hope of heaven.

"This," says Laurie, "is the only road to lasting--indeed, eternal--joy."

A wise man once said: "There is only one kind of life that truly wins, and that is the one that places faith in the hands of the Savior. Until that is done, we are on an aimless course that runs in circles and goes nowhere."    --John Wooden, legendary UCLA basketball coach
Jesus said, "I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in Me, even though they die like everyone else, will live again. They are given eternal life for believing in Me and will never perish. Do you believe this?" John 11:25-26

  • Fox News Channel: Alan Greenspan warns: "Venezuela is now under martial law and America is next"; "a coming economy crisis" cited.
  • Reuters: U.S.-backed forces open major front in Syrian War after weeks of quiet preparation.
  • Star-Telegram: 3 dead, 6 missing after Army truck swept away in Texas flood.