How Evil Is Restrained

There will come a time (during the Tribulation) that evil will not be restrained—when the restrainer (the Holy Spirit) is “taken out of the way” and when evil dominates the world (2 Thess. 2:7-8). During that time, in his book, “What On Earth is Happening?” Ray Stedman wrote,

The arrogant pride of humanity will break out into the open as the Antichrist steps forth and claims to be God…Evil will reign in triumph…lawlessness will fill the earth…men and women will stubbornly refuse to repent. Fear will not drive humanity to prayer but to further defiance. The human race will not wish to be delivered but only to be destroyed. People will take no delight in good but will celebrate the triumph of evil.

But that has not happened yet, and will not happen until the Tribulation. As long as believers are in the world, evil will not be allowed to dominate. Stedman said,

[In this world now] only the good is really acceptable. Evil must dissemble and disguise itself to gain acceptance. Once evil is unmasked, it is rejected by the world. This fact alone is ample proof that even the massive power of evil that we see on every hand is still in check by the even more massive power of good… Evil is powerful, but hemmed in by forces of good.

As a Christian, I see so much evil going on in the world, and sometimes I get discouraged and can hardly see any good. But, as Stedan indicated, overall, only the good is acceptable, and evil is masked and sort of hidden—but still we can see the results of it. Evil is now kept in check because of the salt and light in Christians. As Jesus said, “You are the salt of the earth… You are the light of the world” (Matt. 5:13-14). “Salt [said Stedman] doesn’t merely add savor to food. It is also a preservative, halting the process of corruption.”

This puts a grave responsibility on us as Christians to be in the word and in prayer, so that we remain salty and light—so that evil will continue to be unmasked and hemmed in. I fear, and I can feel that we as Christians are becoming less and less salty and evil is becoming more and more bold. The spirit of Antichrist is on the rise. So, let us battle against it. He is coming soon!

When Am I Most Believable?

If you’re like me, you hate it when people don’t believe what you say. There is no worse feeling than when you share an important bit of information with a friend, and he or she immediately turns to someone else to get a different opinion—to check the validity of your statement.

I hate that. Why don’t people just believe me? But then I ask, what makes me unbelievable? Maybe it’s the way I look. Do I look like a dork? A crazy person? An imbecile? Uneducated? Not confident in myself? What is it?

Or maybe it’s more than just the way I look. Maybe it’s the way I come across. The way I act. Maybe I don’t come across to people with confidence. Or maybe they just don’t know me well enough.

Maybe the question I should be asking is, when am I most believable? That’s easy. I am most believable at my job. I’m a house painter; have been for 30 years. Most of the people that call me for work are repeat customers. They know me and know that I do a good job for them. I love it most when they give me a key to get in if they are not going to be home. I love that because that tells me that they trust me.

You know that I’m a blogger; but I’m also a self-published author. It’s important for me to know, or at least to believe, that people believe me, to believe what I say in writing. But it has been especially hurtful when someone I regard as a friend has had no interest in reading one of my books. I don’t mind if they judge me after they have read some of it; but to judge me before they read one word of it is especially hurtful. It is almost like telling me that I have no business writing a book on anything, because I’m just not of that caliber; that I should prove myself first; that I should make a name for myself before I put a book out.

I think it’s most important for people to believe in an authority figure like the President or the governor or a policeman. These days people are really distrusting the police—that’s so sad. But it’s even more devastating to know that they mistrust our President. Many love the President; but sadly, far too many despise him—thanks to the media who constantly spew lies about him.

I think everyone has watched the TV show Bonanza. Out of all the characters in that show, who is the most believable? Well, it has to be Benjamin the father. He is the oldest and has proven to be the wisest. Adam, the oldest son, I think is also quite believable. He just has that look of maturity about him. But little joe and Haus, not so much.

Back to Presidents. Which President do you think has been the most believable—trustable. George Washington is a good choice. But FDR I think is a better choice. He took us through over 3 terms—12 ½ years. Everybody loved him and trusted him (Democrats and Republicans), even though we knew he was less than perfect.

You know, now that I have had a chance to think about it for a while, is it most important that people believe you, believe me? After all, most haven’t and don’t believe in Jesus as they should. I think our greatest effort should be to convince people to believe in Him. But can I convince them if they don’t first believe in me when I try to tell them about Him?

I don’t know. All I can do is try to make myself believable and present the gospel as well as I can—and let the Holy Spirit do the rest. That’s a good thought. I think the Holy Spirit will help to convince a person to believe where I can’t. He will do the work in a person regardless of my inadequacy, my clumsiness, my lack of wisdom and maturity. Thank God that we have such a helper available to us. With His help I indeed am most believable.

8 Nature Snapshots

I am privileged to have so many nature trails very close to where I live. This place is my most recent discovery. Paved trails, as well as unpaved trails, follow very close to the creek and provide the nature gazer, like me. with beautiful scenery. I love it.

Just a little way down the path, the greenery thickens.

I just began my walk and I started to see these beautiful little light purple flowers.

And a few more.
They were everywhere. So lovely!

The creek. I love the flow of the creek. It always reminds me of how the Holy Spirit flows in us and through us, providing us with His living water.

Some places like this have no movement. But still it has its own beauty.

It’s always like me to wander off the main path. I’m always looking for new things to see.