I keep hearing the term “white privilege.” I think some people may be suggesting that rich white people need to do more to help the poor black people, or even to somehow make it so that no one is poor anymore. I don’t think that is possible. Even Jesus said, “The poor you will always have with you…” (Mark 14:7). I’m sure Jesus didn’t like that people were poor. He just knew that because of sin in the world, there would always be poor people—and also rich people.
But if I am reading what people are saying, they are suggesting that governments can do something about the poor. Well, many governments have been trying to relieve the poor for many centuries, but have always failed. It doesn’t work. That government system is called Socialism or even Communism. It is what they tried in Venezuela, but you see what happened there. That country use to be a rich country. Sure, there were the poor there, but now everyone is poor—except a few at the top who are very rich.
I think we ought to just accept the fact that there are poor people, and rich people, and people in between. Sure, it is up to each of us to help whoever you see that needs help. But please don’t put it on the government. I think the best people can do to help the poor is not only to give to them, but help them to know how they can help themselves. Encourage them and pray for them and be a friend to them.
Please, we need to stop talking bad about rich people. They are not all bad. Many of them worked very hard to get to where they are. Some I know are crooked, but many are good and are great givers. We ought not to think that they should just give all of their money away to help the poor—so as to even things out, or make things fair. We ought to except things as they are. To be content. Whether we are rich or poor, to be content. And don’t think that being rich is all happiness and being poor is all sadness. Many rich people are very sad and many poor are very happy. True happiness has nothing to do with money, but everything to do with our relationship with God in Jesus. He gives us true happiness in Him.
Jesus is the greatest intercessor of all. From the passages I have copied at the end, we see the following three things that intercession is:
Intercession is praying on the behalf of others whom God has given us. In John 17:9 Jesus prays, “I ask on their behalf, I do not ask on behalf of the world, but of those whom Thou hast given to me.” And those whom were given to Him were not only His close disciples but they were all those who believe (v. 20). And so, we—you and I—are on that list. And He is still praying for us, since He ever lives to make intercession (Hebrews 7:25). This means that Jesus has interceded for believers everywhere, in all time throughout history. What a marvelous thought.
And we are His followers. And so, we must do as He does. We have that same calling: to intercede…
As I sped down the hill on my new black Schwinn bicycle, a new assurance gave me an overwhelming joy. I was saved and I had a place reserved for me in heaven. This new assurance had come to me a few months prior, at a church camp, when my camp counselor explained to me from the bible how I could be saved. And then I knelt down beside him in his cabin, and prayed that Jesus would come into my life and take control of my life. Instantly, after my prayer, I received a new peace, that after I die, I would go straight to heaven. From that point on my life was changed, not because of anything external or because of changed circumstances, but because I had a changed heart due to a new life inside of me. I had Jesus in me and He had given me a new peace, a new assurance, and a new attitude about life. I felt new and clean inside. In reality, at age twelve, I really did have a new life!
We had recently moved from our Montevideo farm to a house in the city of Montevideo. I don’t remember anything about the move, or about the house we moved into, but I do have a few memories—besides my salvation experience at camp.
One of my clear memories was when I was on the wresting team in 7th grade. I always thought I was a good wrestler, since I always beat my brother. But I found out different. Either I was really bad, or the guys I wrestled were really good—probably a little of both. Anyway, I had a rude awakening.
Another clear memory was of the city swimming pool, which was only a few blocks from our house. It only cost 10 cents, and for that one dime you could swim there all day if you wanted. And some days I did just that. It was so much fun. There were two slides and also two diving boards—a lower one and a high one. The high dive was scary, but I did try it a couple times. It was in that pool that I learned how to swim. Mom insisted that we take swimming lessons, and we all did.
One other good memory of that place in Montevideo, was playing baseball with all the neighbor kids in a nearby park. I remember how easy it was to get a game together. We just walked, or ran, down the streets and yelled out something like, “Who wants to play baseball?” We seemed to always get enough kids to play. We played for hours at a time. And now that I think of it, we also played football. That was a little rougher, but I loved it. Those were the days!
Let’s see, my interest in Bible prophecy began when I was about 8 or 9 years old, when I began hearing people talk about the Rapture. I can’t remember who it was, whether it was a preacher or maybe my mother. Anyway, they would be trying to describe how quickly Jesus would come and take us away. They would say it that will be as fast as the twinkling of your eye. And then they would try to explain how fast that would be. And I remember someone saying that it won’t be the blinking of the eye but the twinkling of the eye.
Well that was the start of it. And that thought continued to intrigue me for many more years. Gradually my knowledge of the bible increased as I read more and more of it, especially after I was saved at age 12. Oh yes, and one of the things that excited me and turned me toward salvation is the knowledge that heaven would be a real place. I remember talking to my camp counselor about it. I had the idea that heaven would be like a dream, but he told me that it would be just as real as our life now, and even better.
So that’s the early background I had in bible prophecy. Not a lot, but those few pleasant thoughts of the Rapture and heaven really took hold. I remember, along the way, that I read some books on the subject. One was by Hal Lindsey. I read parts of it, and it seemed interesting, but I think it overwhelmed me a bit. So, I chose not to strain my brain on the subject. For the most part, I just held to the belief that someday Jesus would come to take me away. That’s all I really needed to know.
Well, years went by and God kept opening the door to more and more prophecy teaching. In 1977 I began attending Northwestern Bible College in Minnesota. I liked all my professors; and one in particular, Dr. Edwin Hartill was a good prophecy teacher. The classes from him were all excellent: Hermeneutics, Bible Survey, and Revelation. He definitely believed in the pre-tribulation rapture, and he wasn’t afraid to teach it.
During the same time my church put on a week-long seminar by J. Dwight Pentecost (a professor from Dallas Theological Seminary). He was teaching from his new book, Things to Come. What a treat! What a great book! I remember him saying something like, when it comes to the Pre-tribulation Rapture, I am not only dogmatic about it, I am doubly dogmatic! His book lays it out quite well. I have the book, and whenever I want to know anything about bible prophecy, I can usually find it there.
A few years went by, and I think it was about 1993 when I began going to these bible prophecy conferences once a year. They helped me tremendously in my faith and kept me looking up. One particular speaker that everyone liked was Dr. David Larson. He was the pastor at First Covenant Church in Minneapolis.
It’s been a few years since I’ve been to a prophecy conference, but I do listen to Jan Markell’s weekly radio broadcast, where she hosts excellent speakers from all over the country. They are so good. I have also been doing some writing. This I think has helped me the most, because it has forced me to read and study the subject. So far, I have been able to write two books on bible prophecy: Biblical Evidence of a Pre-Tribulation Rapture, and The Coming Millennial Kingdom. Both of these are self-published under my name, and printed by Lulu.com. I also have a another book coming out soon, called, After the Rapture: What Happens on Earth and in Heaven after the Rapture.
So there you have it: how I became interested in bible prophecy. And my interest remains strong. At the same time, I feel sad that so many have little interest in the subject and so many preachers purposely ignore the subject. I don’t know for sure, but I have been told that most of the Seminaries are teaching against the Pre—tribulation Rapture and are instructing their students that the subject of prophecy should be regarded as nothing more than a distraction.
I think I can see how this wrong teaching fits today—that is, how it is a sign of His soon coming. For we are told in 2 Peter 3:3 that in the last days there will be “mockers,” saying, “Where is the promise of His coming?” And we also see in these days that people are not enduring sound doctrine, but are listening only to those who tell them what they want to hear (2 Tim. 4:3).
But I am determined to seek the whole truth, which includes bible prophecy. We must open our ears to all of the word of God. It is all inspired by God and we must pay attention to it. The truth is, Jesus is coming very soon. He said in His word, “Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to render to every man according to what he has done” (Rev. 22:12).