“Why Jesus Could Return by A.D. 2000”

Christian Persecution Grows

I recently was scanning the spines of some of my books dealing with eschatology, the study of the end times or the last days. I happened on a 1997 book titled THE END, by Ed Dobson.

I didn’t remember I had this book about predictive prophecy and pulled it out to scan and review for a few minutes. I discovered the front cover had a subtitle which “said it all”:

“Why Jesus Could Return by A.D. 2000.”

Now, two decades after the original publication date and nearly the same number of years past the turn-of-century target date, this projected timing of Christ’s coming and the end of the world can be mocked (along with the other Y2K prognostications). However, these future realities cannot be ignored.

With the current bellicose threats from the demented dictator of North Korea and his provocative testing of long-range missiles, which could potentially be fixed with nuclear warheads and reach most countries of the Pacific Rim—including highly populated parts of the United States, the world may be closer to “the end” than ever before.

The predictions of the book’s author may have been misdated (“…by A.D. 2000”) but his major propositions still attract our attention. Here they are:

  1. The Bible predicts that Jesus Christ will come back to the earth and judge the lives of the living and the dead.
  2. The Bible predicts the specific events and trends that will precede and accompany that coming of Christ.
  3. The current situation in the world has remarkable parallels to the events and trends predicted in the Bible.

We humans seem to have an insatiable curiosity for knowing or sharing future and unusual events. Consequently, many are the gullible guests of charlatans preying on unsuspecting souls by dishing out supposed truth or outright error in palatable portions. Additionally, we must recognize that some sincere but confused people are deliberately or demonically deceived.

Biblical prophecy is not like that. It is distinguished from the grocery store’s tabloid-type predictions of the weird, bizarre, and ridiculous. Instead, its predictions are not only  Continue reading

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God Bless America!

It is the 4th of July and the stars and stripes of “Old Glory” are flying in festive parades and front porches across the United States America, as we celebrate our 241st Independence Day.

My flag is flying between bright red and white rose bushes in my front lawn garden. I may need to plant some Texas bluebonnets next year, to round out the patriotic display!

Along with the happy celebrations, this annual holiday should prompt some holy reflections, since true freedom ultimately comes from God. King David said, “I will walk in freedom, for I have devoted myself to your commandments.” (Psalm 119:45) This greater freedom comes from putting God first and obeying His commands.

In this “greatest country on God’s green earth,” to quote radio commentator Michael Medved, we enjoy many freedoms. Today, we can enjoy the freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, and the freedom to elect our leaders. All of these freedoms were secured by the dedication of our Founding Fathers.

If we fail to remember and reflect on these freedoms or selfishly demand them for ourselves and fail to courageously secure them for others we will progressively Continue reading

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Socialist Senator Questions Christian Theology

Political correctness is increasingly encroaching upon religious freedoms in most  Western countries, including the United States.

Bernie Sanders, the socialist Senator from Vermont who could have become president in 2016, recently announced that he will oppose President Trump’s nominee for assistant budget director, Russell Vought, on religious viewpoint positions.

It seems that Mr. Vought shared his religious views in a blog in January of 2016, defending his alma mater, Wheaton College (Wheaton, Illinois) concerning the firing of a professor who taught that Muslims and Christians believe in the same God. To this,  Mr. Vought’s post had distinguished between Christian and Islamic theology.

Wheaton College is a highly respected evangelical Christian institution whose statement of faith holds to historic orthodox Christianity, where Jesus claims to be “the Way, the Truth and the Life” and that “no one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6).

The fact that Mr. Vought affirmed these words of Jesus Himself in a public blog has nothing to do with him being acceptable as a nominee to work in the Office of Management and Budget or any other government position. As a matter of fact, Article VI of the U.S. Constitution provides that “no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.”

However, Vought’s affirmation of this core Christian doctrine led the senator from Vermont to grill him about this politically incorrect religious position, when he testified before the Senate Budget Committee, June 7th.

“You wrote,” the senator stated, “‘Muslims do not simply have a deficient theology. They do not know God because they have rejected Jesus Christ, His Son, and they stand condemned.’ Do you believe that that statement is Islamophobic?”

Mr. Vought said, Continue reading

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50 Years Later and Still Confronting Islamic Terrorists

According to The Times of Israel, President Donald Trump’s traveling goodwill mission to the Middle East arrived in Israel just in time for the celebration of the 50th anniversary of Israel’s remarkable victory in the 1967 Six-Day War. That dramatic victory over six of tiny Israel’s aggressive Muslim-majority neighbor-nations brought about the historic reunification of Jerusalem, under Jewish control.

After the modern re-birth of Israel in 1948, the surrounding Arab nations reacted immediately to destroy the nascent nation. The armistice, ending that conflict in 1949, did not bring peace to the region.  Armed Arab-actions of resistance for nearly two decades culminated, by May of 1967, with Israel on the verge of extinction. The Muslim-majority Arab nations, again, joined together with a stated goal of wiping Israel off the map. Yet, six days in early June of 1967 changed history forever, and “the Battle for Jerusalem” resulted in the reunification of Israel’s ancient capital.

A special CBN Documentary Film In Our Hands “tells the story of Israel’s 55th Paratrooper Brigade and how Israel’s Defense Forces risked everything for the sake of their homeland.” It celebrates this historic 50th anniversary of the Six-Day War and commemorates this historic battle for Jerusalem.

In Our Hands docudrama

This powerful docudrama features firsthand interviews and historical reenactments while focusing on the commitment and sacrifice of the soldiers who reunited Jerusalem. It is scheduled for showing nationwide in selected theaters for only one night, on May 23rd. Check here for locations near you.

However, disappointingly, President Trump will not be using this Jerusalem Day celebration to keep his campaign promise of Continue reading

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Anti-Christian Bigotry

Religious Freedom on Campuses

Anti-Christian bigotry is growing nationwide. In particular, this is being demonstrated in some high schools and on many university and college campuses.

The American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) is one advocacy group defending constitutionally religious liberties, secured by our laws. ACLJ is currently taking action in federal appeals courts to defend the faith of Christian students from what it calls “pervasive anti-Christian discrimination.”

Legal action is needed in a variety of specific cases where Christian college students have been denied admission because they “brought up religion,” were told to defile the name of Jesus, or were failed in a class for refusing to agree with an angry, atheistic professor that Christianity is false.

This is outrageous and Continue reading

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Coarse and Crude Comments

The chicken or the egg?  Which came first?

Similarly, one might ask if our culture produces the coarse and crude comments heard by today’s undisciplined, political candidates? Or, do the candidates themselves foster this kind of banal and base behavior on our culture—debasing political debate, while exalting political correctness?

A current example of this might be California Congressman Darrell Issa (R-Vista). A nine-term member of the U.S. House of Representatives, Issa was first a successful businessman in Southern California’s usually-conservative 49th District.  As a popular conservative politician, he built a reputation over the Obama years as a fierce partisan—staging high-profile hearings and appearing before any microphone he could find.

But, the political winds may be changing. In his northern San Diego County district, which Trump lost by more than seven points, Issa barely held onto his seat last year. Now, as the L.A. Times staffer Sarah Wire recently reported, Issa has taken a series of steps toward the center.

The congressman ignobly rejected such alleged, political repositioning (in an interview for the Times’ article, no less!) as “bullshxx.”

Profanity, like this, seems to flow all too easily these days, in both private and public conversations. From television and movies to the mouths of parents (at their kid’s sports events) to politicians (trying to gain attention or the upper hand in a debate or a town hall meeting), foul language clutters our airwaves and contributes to the corrupting of our private and public morals.

Even guests for Tony and Grammy Award Winning productions are frequently accosted by foul language, from the very first minutes of the special presentations. Having paid exorbitant amounts for tickets to these productions, most choose to sit through the verbal assaults, for which they had little or no advanced warnings.

Online responses to attempts by others to present a position or question/clarify a characterization in a public post, often result in obnoxious and offensive epithets by often “anonymous” data-revolutionaries. Some online forums have resorted to software subsystems, known as “profanity filters,” in attempts to modify or remove coarse or crude words deemed offensive by the administrator or community.

According to the website “cuss control,” swearing is bad for the following reasons:  Continue reading

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The Hope of Holy Week

We recently downsized and moved to a smaller home. Even though we had tried to give away or throw away much of the extraneous “stuff” we had seemed to acquire over the years before the moving van came, there were still more boxes and furniture than we comfortably had room. Christmas decorations and other seasonal things got moved to the attic.

But, the one thing I was careful to set aside was a simple, vertical banner with a colorful display of Easter lilies and the words, “Easter brings HOPE.” I was anxious to display this small declaration in the exterior entryway to our new home, in hopes that our neighbors would see it, be inspired by it, or even ask us questions about it.

You see, as much as we love the pageantry and celebration of Christmas, if it were not for “The Hope of Holy Week” Christmas would mean nothing.

The story of a newborn baby in a manger somewhere in the Middle East is just a happy beginning to something without eternal consequence. We need the “rest of the story,” beyond the miracle of God taking on human flesh.

We need to know and believe He lived a sinless, holy life and then was brutally beaten and bloodied and died an ignominious death for us! He willfully endured this disdain, discomfort, and depravity and gave up His life on the cross because He loves us unconditionally!

Then, after three days in a borrowed grave, He rose from the dead and was seen by hundreds, before He ascended to heaven to prepare an eternal home for His disciples, where they can live with Him forever. Without this hope-filled conclusion, Christmas is just a story and occasion for secular celebrations, with twinkling lights, silver bells, and eggnog.

Barbara Rainey, who with her husband Dennis, lead the large outreach Family Life Ministries (Help for today; Hope for tomorrow) reminds us that Jesus never asked us to commemorate His birth, but He did command us to… Continue reading

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