Three Prayer Requests for the Casual Christian

Prayer A to Z

 As true, growing believers we should regard evangelism as our duty and responsibility. Moreover, as Christians, we should grow to have a deep concern for the lost, and a joyful excitement about sharing our faith. If we lack these three qualities, that is, if you think you might be too casual and carefree in this area, you can always pray about it and expect God to change your heart.  Here are three prayer requests for the casual Christian:

 To see our duty and responsibility to witness.  We must never think that God’s call to us is optional—He commands us to go and be witnesses (Matt. 28:19).    This means that witnessing is our duty and responsibility.  Yes, He has put a heavy weight on us.  He has committed to us the ministry of reconciliation, by which we as His ambassadors are to reconcile the world to Himself (2 Cor…

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The Nature of the Tribulation: A Day of Destruction and Disaster

The nature of the Tribulation can best be revealed by examining the various Tribulation Scripture passages (both Old and New Testament) to see what words are used to describe it. In my research I found about thirty passages and an equal number of words (in the NASV). And I thought it best to combine them; I came up with four different categories to explain the Tribulation: a day of destruction and disaster, a time of trouble and distress, a day of vengeance and wrath, and a time of fear and terror. In this blog we will cover the first category.

A Day of Destruction and Disaster

In the Scripture passages below, I found the following five words that fit under this heading: destruction, calamity, devastation, disaster, and shaken. Notice that I put these words in bold to emphasize them. Notice also that there are a few other descriptive words in these passages (from other categories), indicating that the Tribulation is full and intermixed with every kind of horror.

Deuteronomy 32:35-36

‘Vengeance is Mine, and retribution,

In due time their foot will slip;

For the day of their calamity is near,

And the impending things are hastening upon them.’

36 “For the Lord will vindicate His people,

And will have compassion on His servants;

When He sees that their strength is gone,

And there is none remaining, bond or free.

This passage (above) is prophesied for the nation of Israel. God’s vengeance is coming in the Tribulation to bring calamity on the unrepentant wicked; but His vindication (forgiveness) and compassion are coming for the righteous. These will either be saved and raptured before the Tribulation, or saved sometime during the Tribulation; in that case they will either be martyred and spared from His wrath, or God will put His seal of protection on them.

Obadiah 12-13

“Do not gloat over your brother’s day,

The day of his misfortune.

And do not rejoice over the sons of Judah

In the day of their destruction;

Yes, do not boast

In the day of their distress.

13 “Do not enter the gate of My people

In the day of their disaster.

Yes, you, do not gloat over their calamity 

In the day of their disaster.

And do not loot their wealth

In the day of their disaster.

These words of destruction and disaster are a warning and a prophecy for all evil nations. Just as they gloat and rejoice over Israel’s calamity and disaster, the same will be done to them in the Tribulation. As verse fifteen declares, “For the day of the LORD draws near on all the nations. As you have done [to Israel], it will be done to you. Your dealings will return on your own head.”

Isaiah 24:1-6

Behold, the Lord lays the earth waste, devastates it, distorts its surface, and scatters its inhabitants. 2 And the people will be like the priest, the servant like his master, the maid like her mistress, the buyer like the seller, the lender like the borrower, the creditor like the debtor. 3 The earth will be completely laid waste and completely despoiled, for the Lord has spoken this word. 4 The earth mourns and withers, the world fades and withers, the exalted of the people of the earth fade away. 5 The earth is also polluted by its inhabitants, for they transgressed laws, violated statutes, broke the everlasting covenant. 6 Therefore, a curse devours the earth, and those who live in it are held guilty. Therefore, the inhabitants of the earth are burned, and few men are left.

These words look forward to the Day of the Lord—the Tribulation, of which the prophet Isaiah has already spoken more specifically in chapters 13-23. Here, and also in chapter 13:1-16, it is clear that His judgments will include the entire earth. The entire earth will be “laid waste and completely despoiled.” All its inhabitants will be scattered and few will be left alive.

Isaiah 24:19-20

The earth is broken asunder,

The earth is split through,

The earth is shaken violently.

20 The earth reels to and fro like a drunkard,

And it totters like a shack,

For its transgression is heavy upon it,

And it will fall, never to rise again.

Here we see quite a vivid picture of how earthquakes will shake the earth during the Tribulation. The prophet compares its shaking to the stumbling walk of a drunkard and to a flimsy old shack being tossed around.

Joel 1:15

Alas for the day!

For the day of the Lord is near,

And it will come as destruction from the Almighty.

Joel, like an evangelist gives a warning to his own people, the Jews, that God’s judgment is near and they must repent.

Luke 21:25-26

“And there will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and upon the earth dismay among nations, in perplexity at the roaring of the sea and the waves, 26 men fainting from fear and the expectation of the things which are coming upon the world; for the powers of the heavens will be shaken.

1 Thessalonians 5:2-4

 For you yourselves know full well that the day of the Lord will come just like a thief in the night. 3 While they are saying, “Peace and safety!” then destruction will come upon them suddenly like birth pangs upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.

In summary, these passages indicate the destructive nature of the Tribulation. And the words in bold help us to picture what will happen to the earth. The earth will be destroyed, devastated, and “completely laid waste” (Isa. 24:3). It will happen through war and killing, but even more by the supernatural acts of God through earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and by dramatic celestial disturbances. All these things we know will happen, because they are recorded for us in the book of Revelation by way of the seals, trumpets and bowl judgments (Rev. 6-16). Here are a few samples of the more dramatic occurrences.

Revelation 6:12-14 (from the sixth seal)

And I looked when He broke the sixth seal, and there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth made of hair, and the whole moon became like blood; 13 and the stars of the sky fell to the earth, as a fig tree casts its unripe figs when shaken by a great wind. 14 And the sky was split apart like a scroll when it is rolled up; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places.

Revelation 8:8-9 (from the second trumpet)

And the second angel sounded, and something like a great mountain burning with fire was thrown into the sea; and a third of the sea became blood; 9 and a third of the creatures, which were in the sea and had life, died; and a third of the ships were destroyed.

Revelation 16:18-21 (from the seventh bowl)

And there were flashes of lightning and sounds and peals of thunder; and there was a great earthquake, such as there had not been since man came to be upon the earth, so great an earthquake was it, and so mighty. 19 And the great city was split into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell. And Babylon the great was remembered before God, to give her the cup of the wine of His fierce wrath. 20 And every island fled away, and the mountains were not found. 21 And huge hailstones, about one hundred pounds each, came down from heaven upon men; and men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail, because its plague was extremely severe.

Jesus and the Pharisees: John 9:39-41

This is our thirty-sixth study. Please click HERE for an introduction to this study.

John 9:39-41

39 Jesus said, “For judgment I have come into this world, so that the blind will see and those who see will become blind.”

40 Some Pharisees who were with him heard him say this and asked, “What? Are we blind too?”

41 Jesus said, “If you were blind, you would not be guilty of sin; but now that you claim you can see, your guilt remains.

Observations

In these verses I think a better translation of verse 39 is… “so that the blind will see and those who think they see will become blind.” (will be humbled). Of course, the Pharisees were offended by this because they believed that they could see (understand) the Scriptures just fine; but they were spiritually blind.

When Jesus said to them, “If you were blind you would not be guilty of sin,” He meant that if they were physically blind and could not read the Scriptures, they would not be guilty, because they would have an excuse; but they were guilty because they were fully capable of reading and understanding the Scriptures. They had no excuse.

Application

If you can read and have a good understanding mind, you should do all we you to obey His word. And be always listening to Him for more insight.

Three Prayer Requests to Develop a Bold Witness

Prayer A to Z

 

How can we be bold in our Christian witness? Here are three ideas that have to do with our awareness and our perception of the condition of the world around us. And since in the flesh it is very hard to have this perceptions, we bring these ideas to you in terms of prayer requests. Thus we pray…

 1. To be aware of the harvest. In Matthew 9:37-38 Jesus said to His disciples, “The harvest truly is plentiful but the laborers are few.  Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.”  The harvest Jesus is talking about here is souls ready to he saved.  The laborers are evangelists—those who will share the gospel with them and lead them to Christ.  In this setting, Jesus is looking over a multitude and is moved with compassion for them.  He knew that there were many…

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Third Purpose for The Tribulation: To Bring Salvation to The Repentant Lost

There are three great purposes for the Tribulation: 1) to prepare Israel for her Messiah; 2) to bring judgment on all unbelievers and unbelieving nations; and 3) to bring salvation to the repentant lost.

To Bring Salvation to The Repentant Lost

 This has to be included as one of the Tribulation purposes, mainly because of the great many people who will be saved out of it, and also because God always desires that man be saved no matter how and where that happens. The prophet Joel declared, “Anyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved” (Joel 2:32).

Now there seems to be evidence of two different Tribulation revivals: one, mostly toward the beginning of the Tribulation and another at the very end of the Tribulation.

The earlier revival is divided into two groups. The first group (Revelation 7:1-8) are no doubt all Jews, 144,000 of them, 72,000 from each of the twelve tribes. And the second group (Revelation 7:9-17) consists of “a great multitude which no one could count, from every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues.” This group, as recorded here, has been martyred and are now “standing before the throne and before the Lamb [in heaven].” They have come out of the great Tribulation and they have been given new glorified bodies. Verse fourteen states, “And they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.” And then in verse 16 and 17 we read…

“They shall hunger no more, neither thirst anymore; neither shall the sun beat down on them, nor any heat; 17 for the Lamb in the center of the throne shall be their shepherd, and shall guide them to springs of the water of life; and God shall wipe every tear from their eyes.”

We don’t know exactly how this revival will be set off, but I am guessing that it will be due to the miracle of the Rapture of the church and also to the realization of the horrors of the coming wrath of God.

Now it may be assumed that this countless group are all Gentiles, but I’m not sure of it. I think most of them will be Gentiles; however, I don’t think we can rule out the possibility that a few will be Jewish. The Scriptures do not give us any indication one way or another.

Though I think most will be saved toward the beginning of the Tribulation, I also think that the work of salvation will continue to happen all through the seven years, as they hear the consistent preaching of the 144,000 Jewish evangelists and also of the two Jewish witnesses and the angels. Most of these will be martyred, but some will survive and be blessed to go into the Millennial kingdom alive.

But I think the greatest number of people who survive the Tribulation and are saved will be Jewish. This will occur at the very end when Jesus appears in the sky. This is the later revival. As I stated earlier, two-thirds of them will die in the Tribulation, but one-third of them will be left alive and will be saved (about 10 million of them; I am taking the literal view that “all will be saved”).

Here in Zechariah 13:8-9, and 12:10-11, are the details of that conversion.

Zechariah 13:8-9

“And it will come about in all the land,”

Declares the Lord,

“That two parts in it will be cut off and perish;

But the third will be left in it.

9 “And I will bring the third part through the fire,

Refine them as silver is refined,

And test them as gold is tested.

They will call on My name,

And I will answer them;

I will say, ‘They are My people,’

And they will say, ‘The Lord is my God.'”

Zechariah 12:10-12

“And I will pour out on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the Spirit of grace and of supplication, so that they will look on Me whom they have pierced; and they will mourn for Him, as one mourns for an only son, and they will weep bitterly over Him, like the bitter weeping over a first-born. 11 “In that day there will be great mourning in Jerusalem, like the mourning of Hadadrimmon in the plain of Megiddo.

Here also is the record from Matthew’s gospel.

Matthew 24:29-31

“But immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from the sky, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken, 30 and then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky with power and great glory. 31 “And He will send forth His angels with a great trumpet and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of the sky to the other.

“His elect” here consists of all glorified and unglorified people in world history who will be ushered into the millennial kingdom. And a big part of that elect group will be those unglorified, saved Jews who come out of the Tribulation. Many of those will be those who will serve Him in the new millennial temple (see Ezekiel 40-48).

Jesus and the Pharisees: John 8:12-19

This is our thirty-fifth study. Please click HERE for an introduction to this study.

John 8:12-19

12 When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

13 The Pharisees challenged him, “Here you are, appearing as your own witness; your testimony is not valid.”

14 Jesus answered, “Even if I testify on my own behalf, my testimony is valid, for I know where I came from and where I am going. But you have no idea where I come from or where I am going. 15 You judge by human standards; I pass judgment on no one. 16 But if I do judge, my decisions are right, because I am not alone. I stand with the Father, who sent me. 17 In your own Law it is written that the testimony of two men is valid. 18 I am one who testifies for myself; my other witness is the Father, who sent me.”

18 I am one who testifies for myself; my other witness is the Father, who sent me.”

19 Then they asked him, “Where is your father?”

“You do not know me or my Father,” Jesus replied. “If you knew me, you would know my Father also.”

Observations

The Pharisees had no idea who Jesus was. They were not listening to Him. They only wanted to trap Him. I’m sure that when Jesus spoke of His Father, they quickly dismissed it. And when they said, where is your father, they had no interest in what He would say to them.

Application

The Pharisees never believed that He was the light of the world. It is up to us to believe that, and that if we follow Him we will not walk in darkness but will have the light of life.

Prayer to Be Better Witnesses – 10 Prayer Requests

Prayer A to Z

The Bible tells us that God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance and to the knowledge of the truth (2 Pet. 3:9, 1 Tim. 2:4).  For this reason, He wants us to pray for the lost—for all the lost.  It is how God has designed for people to be saved (Rom. 10:1).

But we should also pray for ourselves—because we are the instruments that God has chosen to pray for them and to bring them to Christ.  Of course, in our own ability we will fail, because we naturally lack the desire, the skill, and the courage to witness.  But with prayer, God will work the power of His own Spirit in us, so that many may be delivered out of the power of darkness and into His marvelous light.

Now the most vital thing we need as witnesses is to be…

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FDR: What you may not know about him

It seems that Franklin Delano Roosevelt was well-liked by most people—even Republicans. He is known for his weekly fireside radio chats, and he made a good show of it. Many I suppose couldn’t wait to hear him. But there were things that he never talked about—that he kept secret. And these secret things I think would qualify him as being one of the worst Presidents.

But why am I telling you this? Why should we dig up negative stuff now? Well because I think history is important for our overall understanding of the world—especially in Presidents. And I think, because he was so well liked, this President had a lot to do with setting the standard for Presidents, especially Presidents of the democratic party.

Overall, the basic criticism of FDR was that he was very controlling; he sought to control the government and the Democratic party; many thought he was headed toward a dictatorship by attempting to pack the Supreme court (And this is what we are doing now); and, he was the only president to run a third term—though the last term was shortened by his death.

Here are five more criticisms of FDR:

1. Many of his allies, after a time, rejected him.

  • His Vice President, John Garner, was not pleased with many of his policies, though we don’t know why.
  • Raymond Moley became a bitter opponent of his New Deal and caused him to turn conservative.
  • Ambassador Joseph Kennedy (John Kennedy’s dad) had an uneasy relationship with him.
  • Journalist Walter Lippmann thought he was unqualified to be President.
  • Publisher William Hearst was highly critical of his New Deal.
  • Al Smith, Gov. of N.Y. also opposed his New Deal.

2. Many were critical of his New Deal.

This New Deal was an extensive government intervention. In this New Deal FDR dramatically expanded the welfare state; he believed in an equal distribution of wealth.

3. Many said FDR was a communist and a fascist.

And many came out and blatantly said that he was anti-God.

4. He was racist for the following reasons:

  • He sent 120,000 Japanese and American citizens of Japanese ancestry to internment camps after WW2.
  • In the 1936 Olympics only white athletes were invited to meet Roosevelt. Even Jesse Owens who won four gold medals was not invited.
  • He did not support making lynching a federal crime.
  • FDR nominated Hugo Black to the Supreme Court, knowing that he had been an active member of the KKK in the 1920’s.

5. He was anti-Jewish.

  • He did not try to prevent the Holocaust.
  • In 1939, 936 Jewish refugees were denied asylum and not allowed into the U.S.
  • FDR knew that Jews were being killed but did nothing!
  • FDR failed to issue any public statements of the killing of Jews in any of his 998 press conferences. No wonder so many people in the U.S. knew nothing about the six million Jews that were killed. Why did FDR keep this a secret? And why did he not at least try to prevent the Holocaust?