Where America Actually IS In Bible Prophecy

Where America Actually IS In Bible Prophecy
Vol: 59 Issue: 23 Wednesday, August 23, 2006

We’ve had extensive discussions about the question of where America is in Bible prophecy in the past. But a reader sent me an email that (correctly) pointed out that all we have really done is deal with the question.

This reader castigated me (again quite rightly) for what she thought was a cryptic comment to the effect that the answer to the question of where America is in Bible prophecy ‘is as obvious as it is terrifying’, complaining that while it may be obvious to me, it isn’t obvious to her.

My correspondent makes a point of saying that she has been both a Christian and a student of Bible prophecy for thirty years.

Then she shared with me what she believed was America’s fate. She began by asking sarcastically, ‘Please enlighten this lowly believer who truly wants to know,” which is usually a dead giveaway that what she really meant was that she was about to enlighten me.

Sure enough, the very next sentence was “I will tell you what I think may be describing America in prophecy: The white rider who goes out “conquering and to conquer” may be George Bush or America. “

(Bingo! I should have known George Bush would fit into it somewhere. Pretty much every sarcastic letter I receive has some undertone of ‘George Bush is the evilest man on the planet and you don’t see it . .’ and almost all of them contain the word ‘courage’ — as in, ‘you don’t have the courage to tell the truth, but I do.’)

“If I knew where America fits in end times prophecy were obvious, I’d definitely have the courage to “announce” it. What little light I may have I, in fact, I do “announce” to anyone who cares to discuss the matter,” she writes.

To demonstrate, (after she identifies George Bush and America as the antichrist) she turns decidedly optimistic:

“Additionally, I see a second Great Awakening taking place in America. I see that God could be grooming us to stand apart from our European allies when it comes down to the time of the tribulation.”

“I see America resuming its place in history as the “city set on a hill” (as John Winthrop and other forefathers believed, even as recent as Ronald Reagan), an example of fierce independence and autonomy in a world of globalization and multiculturalism.”

I see this happening now, and I see it happening much more rapidly in the future in response to debilitating terrorist invasion and attacks throughout our country.”

“I see the spirit of our forefathers rising up in us and American Christians reclaiming our land “for the glory of God and advancement of the Christian faith” as those band of Pilgrims in 1620 compacted. I see a second American Revolution, one that will overcome foreign enemies as well as enemies within (secularists). This is the America I see in the end times. What do you see?”

She signs it, ‘with respect’ and her name and town.

Assessment:

While I generally try not to rise when somebody baits me like this, my correspondent DOES have a point. I’ve said it was ‘obvious’ why America isn’t mentioned in Bible prophecy, I AM a bit cryptic when it comes to the reason why.

The reason is partly because I don’t know for sure — I can only speculate — but also, it is partly because when I DO speculate, it terrifies ME.

The Apostle Paul, in his discussion of the Rapture and the end times, closes 1st Thessalonians 4 by saying, “Wherefore COMFORT one another with these words” and not, ‘Wherefore, TERRIFY one another with these words.”

But, since I did say in the column she was referring to that the answer was obvious, (The 100% Reality) and then didn’t elaborate, perhaps she has a point.

So, with your indulgence, I will speculate a little about what it is that terrifies me, (with the attached disclaimer that it IS speculative, and that I could be wrong.)

First, George Bush and America are NOT the rider on the white horse. The Book of Revelation is written chronologically – – and the Rapture occurs before the Four Horsemen of Revelation begin their ride.

Following the seven letters to the seven Churches, John writes, “After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter.” (Revelation 4:1)

With these words, the perspective of the Church shifts from the view from Planet Earth to the view from Heaven, where it remains until the conclusion of the Tribulation and the 2nd Coming of Christ.

At the present time, the Church is still here.

Plus, I believe George Bush is a saved Christian. That is NOT to say that Bush holds the same view of eschatology that I do — agreeing with ME is not a condition of salvation.

Trusting in the sufficiency of His sacrifice for my sins and accepting the offer of Pardon He extends to me is. George Bush has made a public confession to that effect.

The Scriptures identify the spirit of antichrist thusly:

“And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world. . . . For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist..” (1st John 4:3, 2nd John 1:7)

Neither Bush nor America meet the Scriptural qualifications for the role of antichrist.

As to my correspondent’s contention of a Great Revival and a 2nd American revolution, that is a political pipe dream with no Scriptural support whatever.

Paul warns that ‘evil men and seducers will wax worse and worse,’ after outlining, in detail, the prevalent social characteristics that serve as the hallmark of the last days of the Church Age.

America’s Red State/Blue State divide follows that basic outline. The Red States are derided by the Blue Staters as ‘JesusLand.”

Politically, the Blue Staters favor negotiating with terrorists and terrorist states.

They favor ‘separation of Church FROM state’, they support abortion on demand, euthanasia, gay marriage, gun control, “commitment to Israel but support of the Palestinian State” (and THAT quote comes directly from the DNC’s website) giving aid and comfort to the enemy by promising negotiation instead of confrontation, and the complete removal of any reference to God in the public square.

Paul’s description could also have come from the Blue Staters platform:

” . . . men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof . . .” etc. (2nd Timothy 3:2-5)

Since America is already politically controlled by the “JesusLand” Red States, a 2nd American revolution would demand the courage of the Blue Stater’s convictions. Which of the political convictions outlined by the Blue Staters would YOU be prepared to die for?

Which would THEY be prepared to die for?

A Great Revival is a possibility, but an unlikely one, since the Blue Staters build their platform on the removal of God from public life. (And there is Paul’s promise that evil men and seducers get worse — not better.)

If my correspondent is advocating a Red Stater revolution, but sees George Bush and America as the antichrist, who would the revolution support?

And how in the world could that bring about a Great Revival?

Having said all that, I will speculate as to where America is in Bible prophecy. I believe the Blue Staters will eventually take control of the government. Having done so, they will agree to a form of dhimmitude in exchange for peace with the Islamofacists. That is already fairly evident when one considers the efforts being made to fight Islamic terror without offending Islam and pointedly ignoring the connection between Islam and terrorism.

(Should we conduct ‘religious profiling’ of Islamic passengers, or should we screen 80 year old Swedish grannies at airports so as not to give offense to Islam?)

America will be free to practice its religious convictions, provided they do not run contrary to that of Islam (which means the end of the free exercise of Christianity or Judaism and its replacement with a less offensive, all inclusive version of both).

That precludes any ‘Great Revival’ — and it also means removing America from any prominent role on the world stage in the last days.

America’s 2nd revolution would be the opposite of the first, with those supporting it favoring dhimmitude over freedom, but renaming it ‘peaceful coexistence’.

The only reason for optimism that I can see in America’s future is that, having fulfilled its Great Commission, the Church Age will draw to a conclusion when;

“the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” (1st Thessalonians 4:16,17)

Other than that possibility (which may or may not come first) it is a pretty pessimistic picture.

In my humble opinion.

‘Discrimination’ Is In the Eyes of the Beholder. . .

‘Discrimination’ Is In the Eyes of the Beholder. . .
Vol: 59 Issue: 22 Tuesday, August 22, 2006

The American Civil Liberties Union (which is increasingly neither ‘American’ nor ‘Civil’ and cares nothing about ‘liberty’ except as they define it) has filed suit against the city of Hazelton, Pennsylvania after they passed an ordinance requiring the city to obey federal law.

Let’s look at that again. What is wrong with a picture in which a city must first pass an ordinance before it is required to obey federal law?

Pop quiz. Name a federal law that it is legal to break in America? Clock is ticking. . . ok, time’s up!

My first choice would be the federal income tax law. Of all the laws on the federal books, that would be the one balancing on the most precarious legal foundation. The United States Code of Federal Regulations says that federal income tax applies only to foreign-related commerce.

It does not apply to purely domestic commerce-income derived from within the United States. This is shown in Section 861 of the Internal Revenue Code of the Code of Federal Regulations, where categories of income not exempt from federal taxation are explicitly enumerated.

The domestic income of the average citizen is not included in this enumeration because of constitutional restrictions. The federal government’s powers to tax its citizens are enumerated explicitly in Article One, Section Eight of the Constitution. The power to lay taxes extends merely to foreign commerce and few other stipulations.

This is reinforced by the tax laws stating only those with income related to foreign commerce are not exempt from paying a federal income tax. In other words, if a US citizen derives his income entirely from domestic commerce, that income is NOT subject to federal income taxes.

Numerous judicial rulings have upheld the same verdict: The federal government was conferred no new powers of taxation by the 16th Amendment. The federal income tax does not owe its legitimacy to this amendment. It only owes its misapplication to its misinterpretation.

There is NO law the average working American citizen – earning purely domestic income – to pay a federal income tax. There is no authority for such a law. To get around this, the government has hidden the regulations for determining taxable income – Section 861 – from the general outline of the tax codes – Section 61.

But the federal government claims such a law exists — even though the Internal Revenue Service itself cannot prove it. When asked, the IRS simply refuses to answer. Some years back, a group of tax protesters ringed the IRS building in Washington and demanded the IRS meet with them to produce the law that requires US citizens to pay income taxes.

A tax-protest group called “We, the People” issued a five point challenge to the IRS which, to date, the IRS has not only refused to answer, but has refused to even hear in public.

1) In 1913, the 16th Amendment (the “income tax” Amendment) was fraudulently and illegally declared to be ratified by a lame-duck Secretary of State just days before leaving office;

2) There is NO LAW that requires most Americans to file a tax return, pay the federal income tax or have the tax withheld from their earnings;

3) People who file a Form 1040 “voluntarily” waive their 5th Amendment right not to bear witness against themselves;

4) The IRS routinely violates citizens’ 4th Amendment rights against illegal search and seizure, by failing to properly obtain warrants issued by a court upon probable cause and supported by oath and affirmation; and

5) The IRS, as standard operating procedure, routinely and grossly violates citizens’ due process rights in its administrative procedures and operates far outside the boundaries of U.S. law.

That being said, if you don’t pay your taxes, the IRS will come after you. Once they come after you, they will seize whatever assets you have and impose a tax lien against the rest. And, if they come after you hard enough, you could end up in prison for violating IRS tax ‘REGULATIONS’ since there is no federal law compelling you to pay federal income taxes.

So, given the understanding that there IS no federal law authorizing the government to tax your income, federal confiscatory powers in the absence of such a law are a clear violation of one’s civil liberties. If one is not at liberty to keep what they earn, and if the government has no authority to take it, where is the American Civil Liberties Union?

Assessment:

The ACLU is too busy protecting the ‘rights’ of non-US citizens to take up an actual violations of American civil liberties. While it can be easily argued that there is no federal law restricting an American citizen’s right to earn a living, the laws regarding a non-citizen’s ‘right’ to earn a living in the United States are both Constitutional and direct.

Before they can legally earn a living in the United States, they must first legally enter the United States. If they do not legally enter, they cannot legally work. That is a federal law that is not in dispute.

But the ACLU filed a lawsuit against Hazelton, Pa., because it passed an ordinance requiring its citizens to obey existing federal immigration laws. The ordinance stipulates that that anybody who knowingly rents or leases to illegal immigrants could face a fine of “not less than $1000”.

It also requires business owners to “verify the legal work status of all persons whom” they employ or assist in getting a job.

Says the ACLU, “One consequence of this Ordinance is that certain individuals are not and will not be able to live, work, shop or secure services in Hazleton without a U.S. birth certificate or identification papers in hand. If the Ordinance is allowed to stand, anyone who looks or sounds foreign – regardless of their actual immigration status – will not be able to participate meaningfully in life in Hazleton, returning to the day when discriminatory laws forbade certain classes of people from owning land, running businesses or living in certain places.”

The ACLU does not explain how requiring non-citizens to comply with the same laws imposed on citizens is ‘discriminatory’ — because it cannot.

Existing federal law requires non-citizens to provide a work visa or a social security card or some other proof of legal standing just like the rest of America’s workforce is required to do.

The ACLU’s lawsuit does NOT address the federal requirements for legal US citizens to register with the Social Security administration, which is the legal mechanism whereby the IRS imposes illegal income tax collection.

The ACLU exists because of its IRS tax-exempt status. It is funded by US tax dollars. It if actually pursued American civil liberties as outlined by the US Constitution, it would cut off the major source of its own funding.

In his new book, Pat Buchanan (who is otherwise nuts, IMHO), cites figures that say 95% of all outstanding warrants for homicide in Los Angeles County are for illegal aliens.

All 47 Mexican consulates in the United States are mandated to provide textbooks to U.S. schools with significant Hispanic populations. Those textbooks teach the Mexican version of US history — which is that the United States stole the Southwest from Mexico. The Los Angeles consulate, alone, has distributed 100,000 such textbooks just this year to the L.A. Unified School District.

A poll conducted in August found found that 73 percent of respondents view the illegal immigration situation as a “serious problem,” and 81 percent want the government to secure the borders before deciding what to do about illegal aliens already in the U.S.

Similarly, a May 2006 Fox News/Opinion Dynamics poll found that 86 percent of Americans view illegal immigration as either “very serious” or “somewhat serious.”

New reports outlining illegal aliens of Middle Eastern descent infiltrating Mexico, blending into Mexican culture, and then sneaking across the US border by pretending to be Mexicans has reached epidemic proportions.

And thanks to the efforts of the American Civil Liberties Union, Almost half of the illegal aliens arriving in the U.S. from terrorist-sponsoring or “special interest” nations in the past few years have been released into the American population following their apprehension.

The Constitution gives the federal government the right and obligation to determine and secure its borders from foreign invasion. The Constitution forbids the federal government from imposing or collecting a federal income tax against its citizens.

Where is the American Civil Liberties Union? Suing Hazelton, Pennsylvania for ‘discriminatory’ enforcement of federal immigration laws. In the meantime, I find myself in complete agreement with Pat Buchanan.

I think I need to take an aspirin. My head hurts.

Special Report: Eternal Security and the Oldest Lie in The Book

Special Report: Eternal Security and the Oldest Lie in The Book
Vol: 59 Issue: 18 Friday, August 18, 2006

I received an email recently in which the writer, arguing against the doctrine of eternal security, noted that some Scriptures seem to support it and others seem to contradict it.

He lamented that nobody can know for sure, and therefore, nobody should teach eternal security as a doctrine.

Any Scripture taken out of context can be made to prove anything. Within various chapters and verses, one finds specific contexts.

But then there is the whole body of Scripture, which, when taken in its entire context, DOES reveal the truth. The central theme of Scripture centers around three main points;

1) Man is a sinner constitutionally incapable of keeping the law.

2) Nobody is qualified to enter into the Presence of God based on his own merits and,

3) For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Remove any of those key points from the equation and the theme of salvation makes no sense. If point 1 were not true, then it would negate point 2, which would then eliminate the necessity for point 3. Do you see it?

If eternal security is a false doctrine, that means we each play a role, through our works, (either sinful or righteous)in maintaining our salvation.

In that case, maintaining one’s salvation would require working at it by maintaining our personal righteousness.

But the Scripture says that “all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags” (Isaiah 64:6)

Remember, our native unrighteousness is the central theme of Scripture — and it demands the necessity of a Savior.

Therefore, if maintaining one’s personal righteousness is a condition of salvation, then point 1 is not true, point 2 is partially untrue and point 3 is unnecessary. That would defy the central theme and context of the revealed Word.

In witnessing to the lost, one generalizes the whole context of Scripture, telling the sinner;

“You are lost, and cannot stand before a Righteous Judge clothed in your own righteousness. But Jesus has paid the penalty for your sins at the Cross. Repent (change your mind) and trust in His shed Blood as full payment for your sins.”

Then one turns to Scripture to lead the sinner down what is often referred to as ‘Romans Road’.

Is that not the central theme of Scripture as generally presented by pretty much EVERYBODY, regardless of their position on eternal security?

Is that not the altar call that YOU responded to?

One can dig and dig and find Scriptures that appear to say the opposite — yet those who focus on those seemingly contradictory Scriptures find no conflict in giving the same synopsis of salvation to a lost sinner that I just gave.

It isn’t until AFTER someone surrenders to Christ that they begin to doubt, and Satan is more than able to direct the doubters to this Scripture, or that, until the free gift of salvation morphs into a joint effort between the Lord and the believer.

Pretty soon, the believer starts to put sins into various categories, according to his own human understanding.

But the Scriptures are abundantly clear that ALL sin is equally sinful in God’s view, and ONLY that view is in harmony with the central context of Scripture as summarized as points 1, 2, and 3.

In the Garden of Eden, the serpent deceived Eve by promising her that, in disobeying God, three things would happen.

“For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.” (Genesis 3:5)

Let’s break it down into its component elements.

1) “Your eyes shall be opened.”

The serpent begins by hinting that God is deliberately withholding beneficial information from them. The argument that some Scriptures seem to require salvation by faith plus works, while others seem to support eternal security stems from that seminal deception — that God’s Word is ambiguous when examined closely.

2) “Ye shall be as gods.”

It goes against the grain of human pride to believe that the only role we play in our own salvation is to accept a free gift of unearned pardon. Most human religions — and many Christian denominations — insist that mankind play some role in his redemption.

In this view, the sacrifice of the Cross is not enough — it is just a kick-start that gets us going. We must then perform at a certain level or that sacrifice is negated by our own failed efforts.

3) “Knowing good from evil.”

This goes back to the belief that we humans can know which sins are sufficient to disqualify us from heaven and which ones God will let slide because they weren’t as evil — which is the ONLY rationale for rejecting the doctrine of eternal security.

(Unless one is prepared to accept as fact that there are saved believers who never sin again after being saved. I’ve never met one, personally. But let’s examine the possibility that I missed him.)

Ever get angry after being saved? Ever say something hurtful? Ever roll through a stop sign? (Did you hunt down a cop to tell him you deserve a ticket?) Ever eat something you knew was unhealthy? Ever think something bad about somebody at church? Ever get mad at your parents? Ever think, ‘you idiot!’ when somebody cuts you off?

(“. . . whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.” — Matthew 5:22)

“Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things. . . ” (Romans 2:1)

Humans know right from wrong because right and wrong are relative to actions. One can do right, or one can do wrong. Saving a person from being hit by a streetcar is a right thing. Pushing him in front of one is wrong — one might even say, ‘evil’.

But good and evil are outcomes — and the outcome of our actions is known only to God. Allow me to illustrate.

You are in Vienna, Austria, and the year is 1905. A man is painting a landscape portrait of downtown Vienna and doesn’t realize he has stepped back into the path of a street car. You see him, and push him to safety.

You did the right thing, right? It was a ‘good’ thing that you did, and not ‘evil’, right?

If you knew what the outcome of your good deed in 1905 would be — that is, if you knew at the time that you had just saved the life of Adolph Hitler and knew what he would become — did doing ‘the right thing’ result in a ‘good’, or ‘evil’ outcome?

The first lie of the Garden of Evil was that man should trust in himself and on his own understanding. The Scriptures teach the precise opposite.

“Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.” (Proverbs 3:5)

The doctrine of eternal security flies in the face of that first lie by removing man from the equation altogether. Eternal security says that human righteousness is as ‘filthy rags’ before the Lord, therefore, Jesus paid the FULL penalty for sin.

It teaches that man plays no greater role in his salvation than that of accepting the gift of Pardon offered him by repenting (which means to change one’s mind) about his sin and trusting in the shed Blood of Christ as a completed work.

The Scriptures teach us we can be, “confident of this very thing, that He which hath BEGUN a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.” (Phillipians 1:6)

One doctrine, that of salvation plus works, teaches that once He hath begun a good work in me, it is up to ME to perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.

The other, that of eternal security, teaches that, once He hath begun a good work in me, HE will continue to perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.

Which doctrine lines up best with the main theme of the revealed Word of God?

We return to the message of salvation, but presented WITHOUT the implicit promise of eternal security for the believer.

“You are lost and deserve to go to hell. But Jesus has made a way for you to be saved. All you have to do is believe in Him and not sin again. Go to church, learn the Bible, quit smoking, drinking, swearing, having lustful thoughts, avoid all your old sinful friends, do good and don’t sin, and you shall be saved. But if you continue in sin after trusting Jesus, you will go to hell anyway.”

If one discounts the doctrine of eternal security as some kind of Satanic lie, then giving the Gospel in any manner differently that the one above is deceptive advertising.

But the Scriptures teach, “For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature.” (Galatians 6:15)

“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” (2nd Corinthians 5:17)

If one is turned into a ‘new creature’ through God’s extension of Sovereign grace accepted through faith, how then does one turn ONESELF back to the old creature by an act of human will (sin)?

Finally, there is the logic argument, as further advanced the Apostle Paul in his letter to the Galatians.

“I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.” (Galatians 2:21)

“Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.” (Romans 3:28)

Enemies of the Gospel

Enemies of the Gospel
Vol: 59 Issue: 17 Thursday, August 17, 2006

I had a most interesting discussion the other day about Israel and the role she occupies in the Plan of God. Actually, we weren’t discussing Israel as a nation, but rather ‘the Jews’. It seemed quite important to my conversation partner that I knew he wasn’t an anti-Semite. I lost count of how many times he said so after the fourteenth time in a single conversation.

Things like, I’ve got nothing against the Jews, but . . . and I love the Jewish people, but. . . and of course, Some of my best friends are Jews, but . . .

My ‘friend’ also told me at least ten times that he was a devout Catholic who ‘had the Sacred Heart of Jesus’, each time pulling a crucifix from around his neck to kiss the image of the broken Body of Jesus depicted as still hanging dead on a Cross.

Although my friend demonstrated virtually no knowledge of the Scriptures themselves, he was extremely well-versed in the reasons why the Jews were responsible for the Crucifixion, telling me at least four times that Pilate had absolved himself (and all Gentiles) of His murder by ‘washing his hands’ of the crime.

It seemed very important to him that I understood that Pilate was a Roman, most probably due to the fact that my friend was of Italian descent and therefore Pilate’s self-absolution was equally extended to Italians in particular.

His arguments were classic; the first was, of course, that the Jews were ‘Christ-killers’ (although he had nothing personal against the Jews, he assured me.) Since the Jews rejected their Messiah, they were cursed by God, and that is why Israel has no right to exist. God has abandoned the Jews for their crime, and now the blessings of Israel are the property of the Church.

Each of us at that table attempted to disabuse him of this notion to no avail, but the points raised are worthy of repeating here.

First, had the Jews accepted Jesus as their Messiah, He would not have gone to the Cross. As he (accurately) noted it wasn’t the Romans who sought His execution, it was the Jews. Indeed, had the Jews accepted the Messiah at His First Advent, God’s Plan for the redemption of all mankind would have been thwarted.

It is worthy of noting that Satan’s penchant for overplaying his hand is most perfectly demonstrated at the Cross.

Had he not withstood Jesus, had he not actively worked to blind the Jews to His identity, had he not indwelt Judas to betray Him, had he not inspired the Sanhedrin to condemn Him, had he not whipped the crowds into a frenzy against Him, God’s promise of a Redeemer would not have been kept.

As the Apostle Paul noted, But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory: Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of Glory. (1st Corinthians 2:7-8)

My friend DID know one Bible verse well enough to quote Matthew 27:25: His blood be on us, and on our children.

However, he assured us all, he had nothing against Jews personally. They pronounced their own curse, he argued. That self-pronounced curse was binding on the Jews, he argued.

When Jesus looked over the crowd gathered to watch His death, Luke says He granted them absolution, saying, Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.

My friend never missed a beat, claiming that absolution was given to the Romans, not the Jews. After all, he argued, Pilate ‘washed his hands’ of the murder of Jesus, whereas the Jews pronounced their own curse upon themselves.

This view only makes sense from the perspective that man is capable of his own absolution or condemnation, but my friend was unmovable.

But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. (1st Corinthians 2:14)

We tried to explain what Paul meant when he said ‘the wages of sin is death’ and that it was the practice of the Jews, as commanded by God, to sacrifice an innocent lamb as payment for the sins of the family that offered it.

That’s disgusting! he snorted. How could anybody do such a thing? What kind of God would demand such a thing!

I would NEVER do that! he exclaimed between bites of his bratwurst. I pointed out that he had no apparent philosophical disagreement with sacrificing an innocent animal to provide life for his body by eating it.

That’s different, he said, as he helped himself to another brat. The Jews, (which he had nothing against, personally, he reassured us all) practiced a barbaric custom of animal sacrifice that Jesus put an end to on the Cross.

(Great. Jesus died so animals wouldn’t be sacrificed for sins. Much better that they should be sacrificed to make bratwurst. That’s different.)

For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. (1st Corinthians 1:18)

If the Jews really loved God, he argued, then why aren’t there any Israeli Christians? By this time, I had pretty much lost my normally sweet gentle spirit and was resisting the temptation to stuff his bratwurst up his, umm, nose, so I left the table to let my friend Messianic Rabbi Ric Worshill field this question.

Ric explained that Jews don’t reject Jesus because they hate God they reject Him because they love God and fear that becoming Christians means they’ve abandoned God.

As a Christian, suppose, just for a second, that Islam made some sense to you. Maybe, you suppose, those Muslims have something there. Maybe the Koran really is the final testament of God. Maybe . . . but maybe not.

And all your Christian friends, your pastor, all your Christian books, and the Koran itself tell you that by accepting Islam, you must first reject Jesus. (Which is true enough).

To a Jew, accepting Christ means rejecting the faith of their fathers, from Abraham forward, every sage, every teacher, every rabbi, their own parents, brothers, sisters and friends. All that they’ve ever known or been taught.

To a Jew contemplating Jesus, it means rejecting the Abrahamic covenant, abandoning their place among God’s Chosen People, and worst of all, accepting that when the Messiah DID come, they MURDERED Him! (That’s not how it really is, but it is how they see it.) Plus, Jewish history is filled with examples of Jews being themselves murdered as ‘Christ-killers’ under the shadow of a Cross.

To a Jew, the Cross is only slightly less repugnant than a swastika. The swastika itself is simply a bent cross.

Moreover, God’s plan for the redemption of mankind is in two parts. The Abrahamic covenant promises the eventual redemption of the Jewish people. The New Covenant of Christ promises the redemption of the Gentiles who accept Christ. The redemption of Gentile believers is the centerpiece of the Church Age.

After the conclusion of the Church Age, God’s plan for Israel’s national redemption is accomplished during the Tribulation Period, explains the Apostle Paul:

What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded. . . I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy. For if the firstfruit be holy, the lump is also holy: and if the root be holy, so are the branches. . . And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, wert graffed in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree; Boast not against the branches. But if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, but THE ROOT THEE. Thou wilt say then, The branches were broken off, that I might be graffed in. (Romans 11:7,11, 15-19)

For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in. And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: For this is My covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins. (Romans 11:25-27)

Therefore, concludes the Apostle Paul, himself a Jew and formerly a Jewish lawyer (Pharisee),

As concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, they are beloved for the Father’s sakes. For the GIFTS AND CALLING OF GOD ARE WITHOUT REPENTANCE. (Romans 11:28-29)

Paul continues, For as ye in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their unbelief: Even so have these also now not believed, that through your mercy they also may obtain mercy. For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all. (Romans 11:30-32)

Sadly, after some three hours of discussion, my friend was unmoved. At the last, he turned his attention to flying saucers and I turned my attention to getting another soda.

I pray that the seeds we planted might one day bear fruit. Nonetheless, the discussion was not wasted. At some point, I feel confident that some of you may find yourselves in a similar discussion.

1st Peter 3:15 reminds us of our obligation to be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear.

But Ephesians tells us that the purpose of evangelism is not limited to leading the lost to Christ.

And He gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers. . .

Evangelism means to preach Christ and Him crucified, but it is more than just that. It is also given the Church, For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ. (Ephesians 4:10-11)

The Jews may be the enemies of the Gospel now, but that is part of God’s plan to accomplish our own redemption. As such we who are saved owe the Jews an incalculable debt.

It is our obligation to understand WHY we stand with Israel. And to be able to explain why when called upon to do so.

That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God. (1st Corinthians 2:5)

Maranatha!

Defeatism – The Gift that Keeps on Taking

Defeatism – The Gift that Keeps on Taking
Vol: 59 Issue: 16 Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Defeatism – The Gift that Keeps on Taking

It is not merely Islamic propagandists that are saying that Israel lost the war with Hezbollah in Lebanon. There is no question that Israel lost the political war. Hezbollah remains in power in Lebanon. Nasrallah continues to bluster and threaten and ignore the terms of the ceasefire at his discretion with no fear of being held accountable by the United Nations.

The Lebanese ‘government’ — having made all the necessary promises in order to obtain respite from the Israeli pounding, has since indicated it has absolutely no intention of abiding by any of it’s promises. The Lebanese Army will not disarm Hezbollah and has said it will refuse to fight against Hezbollah.

All they intend to do is go to South Lebanon and watch. Since all that the UN’s UNIFIL forces have done for the last twenty-nine years, in the final analysis, it boils down to maintaining the status quo that prompted Israel to go to war against Hezbollah in the first place.

Israel took a beating militarily, losing almost an entire brigade of its much-vaunted Merkava tanks to Russian-supplied Hezbollah weaponry, and never got close to wiping out Hezbollah’s rocket arsenal. And it accepted the UN-imposed ceasefire without even securing the release of the Israeli hostages that predicated the invasion in the first place.

Make no mistake about it. Israel lost and lost big. And there is little point in blaming the UN because the agreement was so one-sided. Israel accepted it as offered. It wasn’t a surrender. It was a defeat.

All that remains to be determined is just how bad a defeat it really was.

Assessment:

The U.N. estimates that more than 200,000 people have been killed in Darfur since fighting erupted between the government and several rebel groups in 2003. Two million more have been displaced, and both rebels and notorious government-sponsored militias have been accused of abuses against civilians.

Last October, Kofi Annan promised during one of his stirring ‘moment of silence’ speeches that the UN would send in a UN force to make Khartoum stop killing Christians.

In that speech, he invoked the memory of the Rwandan genocide, demanding a global ‘moment of silence’ that would prevent a repeat of Rwanda, even as the UN was debating whether or not the extermination of Sudanese Christians was genocide, or maybe something less annoying, like ‘ethnic cleansing’ — or was it possibly a misunderstood Sudanese urban renewal project?

Kofi promised in a report to the UN Security Council to send in a UN ‘mission’ force of some 20,000 troops. He said the force would focus primarily on protecting civilians, including the large number of internally-displaced people currently living in camps.

Pointing to the need to get Sudan’s consent, Annan said “the United Nations has no hidden agenda … beyond the urgent need to help the population and prevent the crisis from spreading further.”

It would be deployed to help the parties to implement the peace agreement, “not to occupy the country.” He urged Khartoum not to misrepresent the aims of the U.N. for political ends.

So Khartoum exploited the aims of the UN for political ends and Kofi never sent the troops.

Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir, citing Hezbollah’s victory over Israel and the humiliating defeat forced on them by the United Nations, promised that his country would emulate Hezbollah’s tactics in Lebanon, in the unlikely event that the UN actually made good on its threats.

Iran, having witnessed Israel’s defeat at the hands of Hezbollah and the United Nations, concluded, as did Sudan, that IT wasn’t going to be the only country to take the United Nations seriously. And with good reason. Look at all the good taking the UN seriously has done Israel.

Iran’s spokesman Gholam-Hossein Elham, speaking for Ahamandinejad, warned that “the West, especially the United States” would lose more than Iran if sanctions were applied in an effort to force it to shut down its nuclear program.

“We control the energy sources,” he said, in reference to Iran’s position as a major crude oil exporter — and also possibly to Iran’s potential to disrupt oil shipments from the Persian Gulf through the Straits of Hormuz.

Regarding UN sanctions, he taunted the UN, saying that those applied in the past against Iran had stimulated the Iranian economy. “It was under these sanctions that we managed to acquire peaceful nuclear technology,” he said.

Sunday, the Speaker of the Iranian parliament, Gholam-Hossein Hadad-Adel, said that Iran may withdraw from bodies like the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) if it is deprived of its “inalienable right” to carry out a nuclear program.

Ahmadinejad has promised the world a ‘final answer’ to its demand that Iran abandon its nuclear ambitions on August 22, a significant date on the Islamic calendar. That is the day that Mohammed allegedly ascended into heaven on a winged horse from the Dome of the Rock (that didn’t exist at the time)

Israel’s defeat at the hands of Hezbollah and with the aid of the United Nation’s General Assembly has [rightly] convinced the Islamic world that it has nothing to fear from the United Nations.

At the same time, it has come to believe that, because the United Nations was so instrumental in ensuring Israel’s defeat at Hezbollah’s hands, the UN would probably sit on its hands regardless of the provocation, provided the provocateur was a member of the Islamic world.

Ahmadinejad has promised to wipe Israel off the map, and the response from the UN was something more than mild disinterest, but something less than a standing ovation in the General Assembly at the idea. The Islamic world believes that the rest of the world would welcome Israel’s annihilation, even if they pretended they did not. This latest UN imposed ceasefire reinforces that view.

And in any case, the Islamic world is pretty much in agreement that if the UN doesn’t like it, they can take a hike. They don’t believe the world would bother going to war over the extermination of Israeli Jews or Sudanese Christians

And, with the lone exception of America (and even then, only Red-State America) they have every reason to believe they are correct.

Special Report: There is Never Time Enough For ‘Later’

Special Report: There is Never Time Enough For ‘Later’
Vol: 59 Issue: 15 Tuesday, August 15, 2006

I got a phone call this morning that rocked my world. It isn’t the first such phone call I’ve received in this life, and I expect it won’t be the last one, although I pray with all my heart that it is.

One of my dearest friends took his own life last night after a night of heavy drinking. The tragedy was compounded by the fact that he did so while he was on the telephone with a friend. I can only imagine the pain she is now feeling. I pray God will comfort her.

It is a tragedy compounded yet again by the fact that I do not know for certain what Jesse’s status was before the Lord when he took it upon himself to hasten his appearance before Him.

We had discussed the issue of sin and salvation together, but Jess was always pretty non-committal about it. And I fell into Satan’s trap of believing that I’d get another chance to press the issue.

Jess was still a fairly young and healthy man, and it seemed like there would be plenty of time for him to make that firm decision to either accept the free offer of pardon Jesus extended to him from the Cross, or for Jess to consciously reject it.

But I don’t know what that decision was.

What I DO know is that it was my responsibility before the Lord to ensure I had done everything humanly possible to make sure he understood what that decision meant to his eternity.

And I failed miserably. In the end, Jess took his own life before I could fulfill the Great Commission given me and I now bear that responsibility before Christ. It is a heavy, crushing weight.

I loved Jesse and cherished his friendship. And I have no assurance in my spirit that I will ever see him again.

The Apostle Paul wrote, in his prelude to his revelation of the mystery of the Rapture of the Church, “But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with Him.” (1st Thessalonians 4:13-14)

Paul’s admonition is both a blessing and a curse. It is a blessing for those who have the assurance that their loved one was safely in the arms of Jesus.

For that is that blessed hope to which Paul refers. That death is only a temporary separation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

But it is a curse to those who have no such blessed assurance. And it is a particularly hateful curse to those who believed, as did I, that there would always be tomorrow.

There are no more tomorrows for me and Jesse. There were only the todays I had when I had them. And I blew it.

Instead of the sure and certain promise that we will meet in eternity, I have only the hollow hope that maybe somebody else did my job for me.

Jesse worked as a civilian contractor for the United States Marines as a helicopter mechanic. His job required him to make regular trips out to war zones in Iraq and Afghanistan to service, repair and maintain Marine choppers and keep our birds in the air, as he liked to say.

He was very proud of the work he did. And we all were very proud of him as well.

A couple of years ago, as Jesse was getting ready for deployment, al-Qaeda murderers had just killed an American civilian contractor they had captured. This particular contractor reminded me of Jesse. He wasn’t involved in any combat capacity. He was a middle-aged guy who was killed simply for being an American.

When we heard of his murder, and knowing of Jesse’s deployment, I tried to talk with Jesse about the state of his soul. I cling to the fact that, in blowing me off, Jesse said something to the effect that ‘he and Jesus were ok with one another.’

I took that to mean that Jesse was open to the discussion, but just not now. So instead, I gave him some stupid advice about wrapping a strip of bacon around his neck and put a pork chop in his pocket.

God knows how I wish I had pressed him to wrap himself in Jesus and put a Bible in his pocket. But I didn’t. And Jesse came back from Afghanistan safe and sound. There was still time to talk about it later.

But later didn’t come. I had jotted Jesse down on my mental ‘to do’ list for when our road tour was over.

I have many other names on my mental ‘to-do’ list. People I love like family, people now grieving, as I am, for the loss of a beloved friend under tragic circumstances.

Some of them are reading today’s message right now.

I’m sorry I let Jess down. I love you all and I share your grief. I wish I could be there with you right now.

And I pray you will understand what I am trying to tell you. B.Y, Aubrey — and now Jesse — who knows which of us is next? Or when?

Jesus is real. Eternity is real. And there are but two places available for us to spend it. We choose.

God wants us to choose Him, but He leaves the choice in our hands.

He asks only that we accept the fact that we are all sinners before God and that God has made provision for us anyway.

He stepped out of space and time, took on the form of an ordinary man, and, having done so, He lived the perfect life God’s justice demands of us all.

And, having lived that perfect life, with no sin debt of His own, He allowed Himself to be sacrificed on our behalf, to pay the sin debt owed by each of us.

All any of us have to do is accept the offer of pardon He extends to us, and trust His promise that ‘whosoever shall call upon the Name of the Lord shall be saved.’ There is no requirement to ‘clean up’ first.

“But God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” We come to Him as we are, because He died for our sins, just AS we are. And He promises, “Much more then, being now justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him.” (Romans 5:8-9)

It isn’t ‘church talk’. It is reality. It is the truth. I know it like I know Becky’s pool table drifts to the left corner.

I know it like I know you. And you know me.

Jesus accepts us just the way we are. He accepted me. He’ll accept you just as joyfully.

All He asks is that we humble ourselves enough ask for His forgiveness and to trust His Promise. Just ask Him.

And leave the rest up to Him.

I didn’t do my job when it was before me. There was always tomorrow. Until today.

And I am so very, very sorry.

Idol Worship

Idol Worship
Vol: 59 Issue: 14 Monday, August 14, 2006

Idol Worship

Microsoft mega-billionaires Bill and Melinda Gates addressed the 16th annual International AIDS Conference in Toronto over the weekend. As I’ve noted in the past, being rich and famous makes you smarter.

Martin Sheen once addressed Congress on the problems facing the homeless. Being the rich and famous head of a famously dysfunctional rich and famous family of movie stars made Sheen sufficiently qualified to lecture the Congress of the United States about why the homeless are homeless, what do do to address the problem, and last but not least, the cause of the homeless problem.

Amazingly, the number one cause of homelessness, according to Sheen, is too many rich guys.

If everybody who was rich would just consent to being made that much poorer through the simple expedient of imposing punitive tax penalties on rich guys, why, the problem of homelessness would just disappear.

Angelina Jolie serves as a special United Nations envoy for international humanitarian causes. The rich and famous daughter of rich and semi-famous actor Jon Voight, the much-tattooed actress who once wore a vial of her boyfriend’s blood around her neck is just thirty years old, but, according to the press, has greater clout than many U.N. diplomats with Ph.D.s.

How did she acquire more clout than professional UN diplomats? She played one in a movie, affording her all the qualifications necessary to help the United Nations govern the world, or meet on demand with top Washington policy-makers to ‘discuss’ complicated issues like how to handle war refugees.

Rock star Bono (really, really famous people only need one name) can call the President of the United States as a recognized advocate against world hunger and African poverty.

Among his qualifications for being an expert on hunger and poverty are his singing voice, his rock-star millions and, ummm, well, that’s all I’ve been able to find in researching this story.

Then there is the lead singer for a rock group called ‘Coldplay’ Chris Martin, who is evidently famous (I never heard of him) but maybe he’s famous because he is married to actress Gwyneth Paltrow (whom I have), but in any case, he is rich and famous enough to fly around the globe campaigning against Western trade practices that he says undermines farmers in Ghana.

Get rid of unfair tariffs imposed on Ghana, and those farmers would thrive, says rocker Martin. Never mind the opinions of Franklin Cudjoe, a development director in Ghana’s capital, Accra. He’s not rich and famous. So few people will hear his opinion of what he calls ‘Rock Star Economics’.

Which is just as well. Cudjoe says well-intentioned efforts by rock stars such as Bob Geldorf’s ‘Live Aid’ Concerts actually prop up corrupt governments in Africa and keep them in business. Which is why Western governments aren’t showering these dictatorships with money they are hoping they’ll collapse. But what do government officials know?

If the government was smarter than Sean Penn, he wouldn’t have visited Saddam Hussein’s Iraq in an effort to keep Saddam in power, making carefully choreographed visits to selected hospitals, etc., to show what a humanitarian Saddam really was.

It isn’t a new phenomenon. Back in 1985, Tom Daschle invited Jessica Lange and Jane Fonda to testify before Congressional hearings aimed at derailing President Reagan’s proposed cuts in farm subsidies.

He invited them to appear as ‘expert witnesses’ after both actresses had played farmers in movies. But he didn’t invite any farmers. They were neither rich nor famous, and therefore not nearly smart enough to qualify.

How smart are rich and famous people? Consider last year’s World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. The annual summit of heads of states and corporate leaders included Angelina Jolie, Richard Gere, Sharon Stone and Lionel Richie, who wrote the 1985 anthem of the Rich and Famous We are the World

Chris Rock, the foul-mouthed comedian/movie star was invited in 2002 to travel with then-Secretary of State Colin Powell to a development summit in South Africa and with former President Bill Clinton on an AIDS fund-raising mission in Africa.

They were invited as ANALYSTS to give their expert opinion on the subject of celebrity advocacy. According to the press reports at that time, “Skeptics were won over by the star panelists’ answers and their commitment to their causes. Right before the attendees rushed in to take pictures with the panelists and to get their autographs.

“I was very impressed when I realized that these people were very serious, ” says Michel Ogrizek, a former medical doctor in Africa who, as the World Economic Forum’s head of communications, was a panel participant.

“When you are a celebrity, people think you are doing it just for PR and self-image. I’m what people call a cynical French (person), but I was fully convinced that these people were genuinely authentic.”

Now, back to Bill and Melinda Gates. Bill Gates made his billions in software. He founded Microsoft, which cloned IBM’s PCDOS operating system, renamed it MSDOS, and did a better job of marketing it than IBM. He cloned the graphic interface program introduced by Apple in 1989, renamed it Windows, and did a better job of marketing it than Apple.

He cloned Peter Norton’s disk utility software and integrated it into his Windows software, doing a better job of marketing it than did its inventor.

And he had the foresight to hire better lawyers than even the government could afford in order to answer the never-ending stream of lawsuits from angry competitors, federal anti-trust lawsuits and intellectual-property theft lawsuits brought by the original developers of the software and concepts that made Microsoft the monolithic giant it is today.

One needn’t take my word for it. Google the keywords ‘Microsoft lawsuit’ and see how many patents Bill Gates is accused of stealing in order to build his Microsoft empire.

But now he’s the world’s richest man, making him an expert on AIDS research. As such, Gates addressed the International AIDS Conference, during which he expressed his expert opinion that the ‘ABC’s of AIDS prevention (Abstinence, Be Faithful and Condom use) is a waste of time.

Says billionaire expert Bill Gates, “We need to put the power to prevent HIV in the hands of women. This is true whether the woman is a faithful married mother of small children or a sex worker trying to scrape out a living in a slum.

In his speech, Gates never mentioned the fact that the AID epidemic was the result of homosexual promiscuity in the 1980’s and 90’s, since the Gates Foundation also funds gay rights causes.

(According to a National Center for HIV, STD & TB Prevention November 26, 2003 World AIDS Day 2003 press release, 70% of AIDS victims are male)

Having made his case for empowering women as a method of preventing what used to be called ‘the gay disease, he turned the podium over to his wife. The closest that either billionaire ‘expert’ came to equating AIDS with homosexual promiscuity was when Melinda Gates called for an end to the ‘stigma’ affecting those with HIV.

Noted the UK’s Guardian, Mrs Gates called for an end to the stigma affecting those with HIV. “Stigma makes it easier for political leaders to stand in the way of saving lives,” she said, in a direct attack on some African leaders whose reservations over condoms are encouraged by the US Christian fundamentalist Right’s belief that abstinence from sex is the answer.

I’m sorry. What was the question again? Oh yeah. How to stop a sexually transmitted disease from being transmitted.

Then she fired a shot across the bow of those idiot members of the US Christian fundamentalist Right who oppose condom distribution programs. You know, those reactionary religious fanatics who promote abstinence for the unmarried and remaining faithful in marriage, rather than ‘safe’, but otherwise unrestricted sex.

If you oppose the distribution of condoms, something is more important to you than saving lives.”

I wonder what that ‘something’ is?

Assessment:

What gives these people their sense of power and self-importance? At first glance, one might think it is their incredible personal wealth. Most Americans evidently agree that having lots of money makes you smarter. Otherwise, Julia Roberts wouldn’t have been called to testify before Congress about the critical need for funding autism research.

Martin Sheen has never been homeless; Elizabeth Taylor’s only qualification to testify about sexually transmitted diseases is her perfume line designed to, umm, curtail sexual behavior? Julia Roberts isn’t autistic, and she is hardly a trained research professional.

The Apostle John closed his 1st Epistle with the admonition; “Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen.” (1st John 5:21)

As we get closer to the end of this present age, that warning takes on a new perspective. When one reads of Biblical idol worship, one comes away with the sense of the ignorant and superstitious cultures of antiquity. “Idol worship” could never happen in America. We’re much too sophisticated for that.

So how does one explain software developers lecturing against monogamous marriage as a way of preventing AIDS? What keeps them from being laughed off the stage?

God hates idol worship because it leads people away from Him and into practices that, according to the Scripture, are the ‘ways of death’.

There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death, God tells us, (twice Proverbs 14:12, 16:25)

What is that ‘something’ that is more important to ‘some people’ than ‘saving lies’ through the promotion of condom use?

Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God. . . For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

(Romans 6:13,23)

Note:

Yesterday, I was blessed with the opportunity to lead four members of our Omega Letter family into believer’s baptism at Gage’s Lake, Illinois. We got lots of pictures. We’ll provide all the details, plus share some of the pictures captured by the participants and their families, in our member’s forum as soon as I can get them transferred to the website. Maranatha!