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Spiritual preparation supersedes physical preparation

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Spiritual preparation supersedes physical preparation

The world is currently in a state that some consider to be indicative of the end times. It appears as if society is heading in the wrong direction – good is being called evil and evil is being called good. Governments are corrupt. Economies are failing. Wars and rumors of war fill the news every day. A conscientious and discerning Christian probably feels anxiety about the world around us.

These feelings can compel us to prepare, to circle the wagons so to speak and to get ready for the worst. The “prepper” movement is alive and well in America as people are buying food, ammunition, and emergency supplies as if tribulation and the apocalypse are right around the corner. They may be right, but there’s a step that many are skipping before they get physically prepared to weather the coming storm.

The step I’m speaking of is spiritual preparation. It’s very common for Christians in western society to take for granted their own spiritual preparation. This is a mistake. When tribulation comes, we will all be faced with challenges and persecutions that can make the unprepared turn away from their faith. I want to go over a few things we believe are important to prepare before worrying about whether or not you have enough ammunition to keep the ravaging hordes away from your food and water stocks.

Certainty in your heart

If you’re like many in the United States, you may have sat with a pastor and prayed the “Sinner’s Prayer.” It comes in many forms but usually ends with a statement from the pastor that if you said those words and meant them in your heart, that you’re saved now and forever. For many, this is a life changing experience that truly brings about a shift in your heart. That’s the Holy Spirit moving within you to make it sting inside when you sin, that guides you to do the right things even when they seem hard, and that fills you with sadness when you see people you care for who do not believe.

If, like many, you said the prayer and went about your business living life the same way you always did with the only difference being a feeling of license to sin without consequences, then it’s time to pray again. And again. And again. The Holy Spirit will move you to pray always, read your Bible, and fulfill the desired goals and actions that our Father has set before you. If you aren’t baptized, get baptized. If you aren’t certain if you’ve ever been baptized or you think that you were baptized as a child, get baptized.

There’s a verse in the Bible that is conspicuously missing from many translations. That verse is Acts 8:37:

35 Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus.
36 And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized?
37 And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.
38 And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him.
39 And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more: and he went on his way rejoicing.

The King James and other versions of the Bible make it very clear that being baptized is a choice that depends upon belief that Yeshua is the Son of God. Babies are incapable of believing this which is why the verse is excluded from Bibles that are commonly used by faiths that promote childhood baptism. Baptism is necessary and should be performed when you believe in Yeshua, not when you’re a child or when you still have doubts about the inerrancy of the Bible.

Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. – John 3:5 (KJV)

This isn’t the time to debate whether or not Baptism is necessary. That’s something we’ll cover more in-depth later. The point here is that you should make sure you’re truly in the Body of Christ. Going to church every Sunday and asking for things in prayer every now and then is likely not the certainty you need in your heart.

Understanding of the possible trials and tribulations

We aren’t going to go into our perspectives about the pre-tribulation rapture. That’s a topic we’ve covered before and we’ll cover again, but not here. As Christians, we know that at any time we may be called out for our faith and even told that we must denounce it. Throughout American history, even recently, we’ve seen occasions where people are given a choice between death or denouncing the Bible. In many countries, this potential is a part of everyday life.

Would you be willing to accept death the way the 21 Coptic Christians did in 2015? Reports show that the Islamic State abducted dozens of men and told those who were Christians to convert or die. 21 of them chose death.

It is terrifying to imagine that we could be put into the same situation. Believe it or not, things can be even worse. What if you’re in a terrible situation where your family is going to be tortured and killed if you don’t denounce your faith. Would you have the spiritual fortitude and courage to know that worshiping the Father, believing on the Son, and following the guidance of the Holy Spirit must supersede all worldly considerations, even family? Would you be able to do as Abraham did, nearly sacrificing his own son at the command of our Lord?

These questions aren’t meant to depress you. It’s important that you consider them. It’s imperative that you’re mentally and emotionally prepared if, God forbid, you are put into a situation where you must make these types of choices. It’s something that nobody likes to think about but it’s the type of situation that we all must prepare for just in case.

Bringing your circle to faith

We all have friends or family members who simply do not believe. They may be lukewarm Christians. They may be non-believers or worshipers of false religions. Once you are steeled in your own faith, it’s important for both you and your family/friends that you do what you can to bring them to the same place in life.

That’s an important distinction to make. Being a Christian isn’t just a belief. It’s a way of life. It’s a stage in the journey for many of us that brings wonders and joy to those who truly get there. I’m not talking about wonders of this world or the joys of these bodies. Faith isn’t about riches or ease. True faith is the knowledge that we are given the ultimate gift and the desire to share that gift with as many as possible. It’s important to start with family and friends.

Bringing your circle of family and friends to the faith isn’t just a selfless act. As the world gets crazier and crazier, it’s our inner circle that influences us whether we want it to or not. Yes, we want to help them, but being surrounded by fellow believers, particular in these end times, makes it easier for us to continue down our path and is part of the strength we’ll need to persevere.

Wait, help, strengthen

Once you have accepted the gift of Salvation, prepared yourself mentally and emotionally for tribulation, and done what you can to bring your inner circle of influence to the faith, it’s time to partake in the great commission.

Matthew 28:16-20 (KJV)

16 Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them.
17 And when they saw him, they worshipped him: but some doubted.
18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

For many, the next step can mean forsaking all else and doing ministry or missionary work. For others, it means finding that perfect cabin off the grid and getting physically prepared for the coming tribulations. We are not against “preppers” by any means. We’ve even done a small amount of preparation ourselves. However, all of this is secondary to the needs of the Spirit – spreading the Gospel and continuing to be students of the Bible in a constant state of learning and worshiping.

If we truly are in the end times, it’s a time to rejoice. As things get more and more difficult in this life, we know that the next life is drawing closer. Praise be to God.

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Culture and Religion

2 Thessalonians 3:5 – ‘patient waiting for Christ’

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2 Thessalonians 3:5 patient waiting for Christ

And the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God, and into the patient waiting for Christ. – 2 Thessalonians 3:5 (KJV)

This is a very straightforward verse, but with a subtle undertone that must be understood. We are flawed creatures who cannot do well nor even have faith in God without God’s intervention. In verse 2 and 3, it is clear that men have no faith but the Lord is faithful. That is why He directs our hearts to love Him and gives us patience to carry on until Christ’s return. Even faith requires what God has put in our hearts.

This should be comforting, especially to those who are unsure whether or not they truly have faith. The faith we have is not our own but given to us by God. If it is given to us by Him, we can be certain it will be true.

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The biggest threat to Christians is the teaching of a pre-tribulation rapture

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The biggest threat to Christians is the teaching of a pre-tribulation rapture

In many scriptures of the Bible, there is a “falling away” or discussion of great deceptions that are coming to the world. It has been hard for believers in Christ to comprehend the possibility of the masses falling away from Christianity because faith has been a powerful part of society for nearly two millenniums, but we are seeing it today. Moreover, we are seeing the spreading of a seed that will cause further apostasy among believers in Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior: the myth of a pre-tribulation rapture.

Most who have gone to church in the last hundred years have likely considered the possibility at the very least that the rapture of the church will occur before the tribulation that is spoken of in many books of the Bible, including the Book of Revelation. Some estimates put it at 90% of the Christian church believes in a pre-tribulation rapture. The vast majority of popular churches teach that believers will be called up to Heaven before the tribulation. Simply stated, the Bible does not support this claim.

2 Thessalonians 2:1-3

Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him,

That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.

Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;

Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.

Jesus will come in the clouds and call up those who are believers. This will not happen prior to the tribulation. The sun and moon will be darkened, and then He shall return. The majority of churches that teach Imminency, the concept that Jesus will return at any moment and His people will be raptured at that time, point to one verse to counter the argument of signs that will precede His second coming:

Matthew 24:36

But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.

This is obviously a true statement. It is also one that is completely misunderstood. The fact that we nor anyone else can know the day or the hour does not mean that He can come at any time. Throughout the Gospels and the writings of Paul, we hear of things that must happen before His return. It is not for us to know the day or the hour, but the season will make itself very evident. We will see certain events occur. One of those series of events are known as the Great Tribulation.

Why it is believed

The simply answer when asking why so many people, even “educated” church leaders, is that we want to believe it. It’s human nature to want to avoid persecution, war, sickness, and beheadings, all of which are spoken of as parts of the tribulation. If someone of authority tells us that we will not have to go through these things as long as we believe, it’s a message that can resonate. Those who hear the truth, that we may be living in the end times and that as a result many of us will go through great suffering due to our faith – it’s just not as positive of a message.

The not-so-simple answer is that Satan is pushing this as part of his agenda. It is Satan that rules the earth. His goal is to pull as many people away from the faith as possible, which is why he and his minions began deceiving Christians at their core starting in the early 19th century with the doctrine of a pre-tribulation rapture. He has brought about and continues to bring about waves of deceptions to pull people away from even considering the Word of the Bible, but this particular deception is to attack those who are wanting to be strong in their faith. It’s designed to shake the spirits of the believers to the point of non-belief.

Think about it. If you make people believe that they are not going to face suffering, that they are “special” and will avoid all of the troubles that will engulf the world, then they are weakened as a result. They will not be ready. When the tribulation does begin and they’re still on this planet going through it, they will begin to question their own faith. They will not be prepared to fight against persecution. They will be more willing to be deceived in order to save their lives. They will be more open to deceptions of the Anti-Christ. They will be more likely to worship the false messiah to take his mark in order to buy and sell. They will see the formation of the one world government, the one world economy, and the single world leader and they will do so more willingly than those who have their eyes open.

This is arguably the greatest deception that Satan has pulled off thus far.

Why churches teach it

Building a church is not as black and white for most as it is for others. It’s much easier to build one with a happy message than to try to build one through promises of fire and brimstone, persecution and suffering. There are those sitting in the seats of church leadership who realize that a pre-tribulation rapture is not correct but they continue to preach it in fear that their congregation will shrink or disappear altogether if they go against the grain.

As with any man-made organization, the Christian church world has a “club” among the leaders. There are those who are in the club and those who are not in the club. Those who are in the club are able to speak at events, sell books, build up an online following, and prosper as a church. Those who are not in the club have a much harder time finding relevance in this world. Today, the club is made up of pre-tribulation rapture teachers. If you’re not preaching a pre-tribulation rapture, you can’t be in the club.

It’s a catch-22 for many. Not all do it because of ignorance or greed. There are those who teach it because they feel that a message that can resonate with more people is better than a message that alienates many. In other words, they realize that they are not teaching this particular issue properly but if they can misinterpret this one little point, they’ll be able to get the other important messages out to more people. It’s a misguided attempt at an honorable sentiment that is actually more dangerous than not reaching the people at all. We believe there is a likelihood that many people will fall away in the last days, but others will open their eyes as well. If they open their eyes and start reading the Bible, they will see what they had missed their whole lives and will have an opportunity to head down the right path before it’s too late. If, however, they are weakened by expectations of a pre-tribulation rapture, it will be more difficult to bring them back to the truth.

Debating the Issue

It is sad when I read some of the assertions of those who continue to fight the truth of post-tribulation rapture. They are often excellent writers or orators fighting from a misguided perspective. For example, in the book Triumphant Return by Grant Jeffrey, he states:

Several incorrect premises have caused some to reject the pretribulation Rapture and accept the position called the “postribulation Rapture.” The first premise is an emotional contention that it would be unfair for the modern Church to escape to heaven scot free to escape the martyrdom that other believers have experienced.

In all of our studies of those promoting a post-tribulation rapture, I have never heard this premise before. It’s appalling that Jeffrey would lead with such a poor premise, as if trying to mislead the readers into believing that the post-tribulation doctrine is so weak that those who believe in it are emotional and ignorant simpletons.  Below, you will see videos of people who have formed their doctrine based solely on the Word of the Bible, who make it crystal clear that a post-tribulation rapture is without a doubt the reality, and that the theory of a pre-tribulation rapture is damaging to those to which it is taught.

The Words of Jesus Christ should be the resounding end of any debate that He will return before the tribulation:

Matthew 24:29-31

29 Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:

30 And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.

31 And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

There are other verses that also make it clear, but this is obviously the most specific. There are those who will say this is referring only to the Jews. There are those who will use charts and graphs to convince you of a pre-tribulation rapture. They will point to interpretations by Darby, Ephraem the Syrian, and Scofield as proof. Do not be misled.

Rather than point to the evidence or attempt to debate the concept, I will defer to a few people who have done more research on the subject than me. Please take the time to watch these videos and share this article. It’s important that believers are prepared for what’s to come. Whether it’s today or in a thousand years, we cannot allow people to be guided down a path that can lead them to be part of the falling away the Jesus spoke of in His ministry. We must open our eyes, see the truth, and spread it to all that we can.

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Liz Wheeler to Catholic girls: ‘Stop pretending you’re a victim because you broke the rules and rolled up your skirt’

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Liz Wheeler to Catholic girls Stop pretending youre a victim because you broke the rules and rolled

Students at Cathedral Catholic High School in San Diego are protesting their dress code. This isn’t an uncommon occurrence; there have been plenty of protests over the years, especially by feminists, in opposition to school dress codes that require girls to wear skirts. But this protest is different. The students are protesting because girls are no longer allowed to wear skirts.

Principal Kevin Calkin, the principal at Cathedral Catholic High School, changed the dress code in the most recent iteration of policy. Now, it states: “The most significant change is that skirts will no longer be an option for girls. Dress code is a perennial challenge. The dress code exists for at least three good reasons: to foster unity, to encourage modesty, and to minimize pressure to conform to particular styles or clothing brands. Basically we hope to foster a faith-based environment where students are focused on learning and not on outward appearances.”

But students brought signs and demanded the old policy be put back in place. Signs had various messages from “My body, my choice” to “Even Jesus wore one.”

The policy was put into place after the principal and others on staff had handed out “hundreds of hours of detention” to girls who would break the knee-length minimum for skirts, especially by rolling up their skirts to reveal more of their lower bodies.

One America News host Liz Wheeler lambasted the students, who apparently can’t tell the difference between rights and privileges. Only in America can students feel so victimized because they can’t wear skirts to school.

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