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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

Speculation about ancient human skull in Israel points to unscientific method of modern science

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Speculation about ancient human skull in Israel points to unscientific method of modern science

What does an ancient human skull found in a cave in Israel tell us about the past? It all depends on which perspective you take and whether you want to follow sound scientific practices or manipulated conclusions from circular reasoning.

Modern science can give us a tremendous view of the past. With nearly every discovery, we can see God’s work at play in molding the planets and the stars, the oceans and the lands, the people and the other wonderful creatures. Unfortunately, scientists often distort the findings to fit in with their secular worldview. A clear case of this comes to us from a study published four years ago in the scientific journal, Nature, titled Levantine cranium from Manot Cave (Israel) foreshadows the first European modern humans, that is still being erroneously taught today.

First, watch the way that it is being reported. Then, let’s discuss the conclusions.

This is an important discovery, one that clearly points to a Biblical worldview of the roots of man from the garden of Eden working its way from what is now Africa into what is now the Middle East. It jibes with the story of the great flood, stories from the life of Adam through Joshua, and a centralized end point of ancient man in the region along the Mediterranean Sea from North Africa up through modern day Turkey.

Of course, that’s not what the scientists doing the research concluded.

“The is the first evidence that shows that, indeed, there was a large wave of African migrants coming out of East Africa and inhabiting the Eastern Mediterranean region,” said Israel Hershkovitz of Tel Aviv University.

One of the biggest problems with modern science is that our society blindly accepts their conclusions. They know, right?

Proper scientific method that we all learn in high school tells us the conclusions of the research are completely unscientific. We know a few things that are truly observable:

  • Humans very likely started in Africa and Neanderthals were in the Middle East.
  • Humans and Neanderthals interbred to form the basis for Europeans. Today, everyone other than purely African people have at least a little Neanderthal DNA.
  • A human skull fragment was found in Israel.

Given this information, it is obtuse to draw the conclusion that this represents a large wave of African migrants inhabiting the Eastern Mediterranean region. One skull fragment does not tell us that there was a large migration. One skull fragment does not tell us that it was a migration at all. Modern science must establish hypotheses based upon observable facts, but it almost always extrapolates too much.

This wouldn’t be a bad thing if it extrapolated based upon the Bible. We are told the general story of everything that happened from creation through the rise of the Greeks within the Old Testament. Every scientific and archaeological discovery in the region supports this general story, but a culture that utilizes far more distant time frames to explain the discoveries has generated the faulty conclusions that scientists present to us today.

The evidence tells two different stories depending on the observer’s worldview. It’s unfortunate that most have pushed aside the obvious and verifiable conclusions in order to perpetuate the paradigm of secularism.

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Culture and Religion

Seriously, ‘eat mor chikin’ at Chick-fil-A

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Seriously eat mor chikin at Chick-fil-A

A month doesn’t pass without some organization protesting Chick-fil-A to exclude them from participating in some program or even open restaurants in certain locations. This month’s version of Chick-fil-A hate was the last straw for Senator Ted Cruz (and me) as San Antonio’s city council has voted to prevent the fast food chain from operating at the airport.

Let’s call this what it is. Any individual, organization, or company that supports a Biblical worldview or donates to Judeo-Christian causes are considered to be anti-LGBTQ. The only ones who are not labeled as such are those who go out of their way to embrace the LGBTQ community and who promote such things as gay marriage. Faith-based institutions that prioritize modern day’s version of “tolerance” over the Bible’s teachings are often considered to be A-OK to the leaders of the LGBTQ community (as compared to the actual members of the community, most of whom are not involved in pushing the leadership’s agenda beyond believing marriage is not only between a man and a woman).

Chick-fil-A has done nothing to attack the LGBTQ community. They’ve always been stalwart defenders of equal rights and do not deserve the type of treatment they get from people like the six who voted against them in San Antonio’s city council. Yes, they donate to Christian causes. Yes, they let their employees off on Sunday except in those rare circumstances when they’re presence on Sunday is a blessing. Yes, ownership expresses a Biblical worldview. But such things shouldn’t earn them a place on the blacklist.

Nevertheless, they are, and it’s time for patriotic Americans to commit to a sustained campaign in support of this company which has become a symbol as a primary victim of the left’s contempt and discrimination.

Starting tomorrow (can’t start today since it’s Sunday), it’s time to eat out at Chick-fil-A whenever it makes sense. But don’t just do it once. Make it a regular thing. Thinking of other fast food joints for lunch? Whenever possible, don’t. We need to let them and everyone else know that if the left is going to continue to denigrate and block Chick-fil-A, that we’re going to counter their maneuvers by supporting them with our business.

It can’t stop there. We also need to let those who act against Chick-fil-A know, such as those discriminating against religious freedom at the San Antonio city council, that it’s unacceptable. Notice that I’m referring specifically to those who act against Chick-fil-A and not average citizens who protest Chick-fil-A. Protests are protected by the 1st Amendment, so anything beyond respectful discourse should be avoided with the people who have a conscientious difference of opinion. But those who act against Chick-fil-A, especially if they’re part of the government, must be dealt with at the ballot box. A strongly worded letter wouldn’t hurt, either.

Chick-fil-A doesn’t need our help. They’re doing just fine. But that doesn’t mean we can’t expand our support for them anyway. The best way to show or deny support is with our business. Give it to them. Withhold it from those who oppose American freedom.

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Culture and Religion

Did Jesus die exactly 1000 years after King David died?

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Did Jesus die exactly 1000 years after King David died

History doesn’t tell us exactly when Yeshua was born. Luke tells us that He was about 30 years old when He began His ministry and we know it lasted approximately three and a half years.

And Jesus himself began to be about thirty years of age, being (as was supposed) the son of Joseph, which was the son of Heli, – Luke 3:23 (KJV)

We know that King David died in 970 AD. The math might start sounding pretty cool at this point, but I’ll elaborate.

Scholars put Yeshua’s birth to likely fall in the 6-4 BC range. Experts place the range of His death (and resurrection) between 30-33 AD as a result of the data that they’ve worked out.

If He did die in 30 AD, that would mean that he died exactly 1000 years after his human ancestor King David.

Some will point out that the calendars were changed, going from 364 to 360 up to 365 at different points within this time range across the various regions, but using the accepted calendars, we can claim that it’s possible for it to be a 1000 year gap. Knowing the amazing order and precision with which our Father has established His creation, it wouldn’t shock me to find out some day that it was precisely 1000 years all the way down to the second.

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