Satan’s Holiday

Satan’s Holiday
Vol: 85 Issue: 31 Friday, October 31, 2008

Today is Hallowe’en, or the Feast of Samhain, el Dia de lost Muertos, one of the world’s oldest holidays, still celebrated from Europe to the Americas (and my daughter, Kari’s birthday. Happy birthday, Kari!)

One year for Christmas, one of my sons gave me a 700 page book entitled, “The Story of the Irish Race” written by Irish historian Seumas Macmanus near the close of the 19th century.

Throughout his book, Professor Macmanus demonstrates a record of Irish history, maintained through its songs, legends and traditions, almost as rich and detailed as that of the Hebrews themselves. Indeed, Roman historians of antiquity considered Ireland to be an ancient kingdom when Rome was still young.

Part of Irish folklore history holds that the ancient Ard-Righs (High Kings) of Ireland were trading partners and allies of King Solomon of Israel. It seems that the ancient pagan Irish Druidic class was modeled after the Israelite system of priests and judges.

The Druids maintained the history of the Irish race, mimicking the practice of the Israelites of committing the past to both oral and written records. The Druids were like the ancient Israelite priests, only without the God of Israel.

The ancient Romans referred to the Druids as ‘barbarian philosophers’ but in his book, the Gallic Wars, Emperor Gaius Julius Caesar noted that it could take up to twenty years to complete the Druid course of study.

“The principal point of their doctrine”, says Caesar, “is that the soul does not die and that after death it passes from one body into another. . .

With regard to their actual course of studies, the main object of all education is, in their opinion, to imbue their scholars with a firm belief in the indestructability of the human soul, which, according to their belief, merely passes at death from one tenement to another; for by such doctrine alone, they say, which robs death of all its terrors, can the highest form of human courage be developed.

Subsidiary to the teachings of this main principle, they hold various lectures and discussions on astronomy, on the extent and geographical distribution of the globe, on the different branches of natural philosophy, and on many problems connected with religion”.

Caesar also noted the Druidic deity was the equivalent to the Roman god of the underworld, Hades. The ancient Israelites would have recognized him from their literature as Satan.

The whole ghosts and goblins and witches thing comes from the Druidic traditions of the ancient Celts. November 1st was the beginning of the Celtic new year, marking the end of the harvest and the beginning of the dark cold winter.

The winter season in Celtic tradition was closely associated with human death. The winter’s cold would hasten death, and so November 1st was the day when the Celts believed the boundaries between the living and the dead were the weakest.

On October 31st, following the ancient custom of burnt offerings unique to the Celts (and ancient Israelites) the Druids were order huge sacred bonfires (bone-fires) where people would gather to burn crops and animals as sacrifices to the Celtic deities.

During the celebration, the Celts wore costumes, typically consisting of animal heads and skins, to frighten away the spirits of the dead.

Under the Romans, the Druidic custom merged with the Roman customs of Feralia, the Roman day of the dead and that of Pomona the goddess of fruit and trees. By the 4th century, it became the feast of Samhain.

In the 7th century, the Roman Pope Boniface IV declared November 1 All Saints Day, the day to honor saints and martyrs. In this way, the Vatican hoped to replace the Celtic festival of the dead with a church-sanctioned festival of the dead instead.

From the History Channel’s website:

“The celebration was also called All-hallows or All-hallowmas (from Middle English Alholowmesse meaning All Saints’ Day) and the night before it, the night of Samhain, began to be called All-hallows Eve and, eventually, Halloween.

Even later, in A.D. 1000, the church would make November 2 All Souls’ Day, a day to honor the dead. It was celebrated similarly to Samhain, with big bonfires, parades, and dressing up in costumes as saints, angels, and devils.

Together, the three celebrations, the eve of All Saints’, All Saints’, and All Souls’, were called Hallowmas.”

Assessment:

Hallowe’en is a conundrum for Christians. There are two ways that we, as Christian parents, generally approach it. Here’s the first thing I did as a new Christian just learning what Hallowe’en is all about.

On October 31st, we’d turn off all the lights and pretend we weren’t home.

Later, we learned from an elder about greeting the little trick or treaters and giving them tracts instead of candy.

My kids didn’t get to trick or treat for Hallowe’en when they were little. Instead, I used them like little banners to demonstrate my faith. (It wasn’t easy being one of my kids. Take their word for it.)

When all the other kids were dressing up like fairies and demons (and princesses and comic-book characters and hobos) I insisted that my kids be given something else to do besides celebrate in Satan’s holiday.

After a decade or so of alienating my kids, it occurred to me that other kids weren’t really celebrating Satan’s holiday.

My kids knew about the history of Hallowe’en. I made sure of that. They knew it was Satan’s holiday. But they didn’t want to worship Satan.

They wanted to dress up in costumes and play instead of do schoolwork and canvass the neighborhood for free candy and eat it until they got sick.

They also knew that they could do all that without worshipping Satan even once the whole night. They figured that out years before I did.

The second way to deal with being a Christian at Hallowe’en is to go to the Bible for the answers. (I didn’t get around to that until about the time my last kid was too old to go trick or treating anymore. Being one of my kids really wasn’t easy.)

Paul writes in Romans 14:1; “Him that is weak in the faith receive ye, but not to doubtful disputations.”

Hmmm. Doubtful disputations? Like what?

“For one believeth that he may eat all things: another, who is weak, eateth herbs. Let not him that eateth despise him that eateth not; and let not him which eateth not judge him that eateth: for God hath received him.”

What about days like Hallowe’en? “One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.

Paul says that a day is a day is a day: “He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the Lord; and he that regardeth not the day, to the Lord he doth not regard it.”

As to how Christians should regard it, ” let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.” Why? Because Paul says a day, in and of itself is just not that important.

“For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord’s. For to this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that He might be Lord both of the dead and living.”

What Paul says regarding things like Hallowe’en is; “So then, every one of us shall give account of himself unto God” — and if you are ok with it, then its between you and Him.

Why? Because to a Christian, it is just not that important.

“I know, and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus, that there is nothing unclean of itself: but to him that esteemeth any thing to be unclean, to him it is unclean. But if thy brother be grieved with thy meat, now walkest thou not charitably. Destroy not him with thy meat, for whom Christ died. “

So if you, my brothers and sisters, think that turning off the lights and pretending you aren’t home tonight is an appropriate response, then it is an appropriate response and I praise the Lord for you.

On the other hand, if you think the appropriate response is to greet the little trick or treaters with a Bible tract, you are equally correct and I praise the Lord for you.

And if you think that Hallowe’en trick or treaters are just kids having innocent fun and you also want to load them up with junk food commensurate with how cute they are, then, by the authority of the Word of God, you are ALSO correct and I praise the Lord for you.

“Hast thou faith? have it to thyself before God. Happy is he that condemneth not himself in that thing which he alloweth.” (Romans 14:22)

It is possible to be a Christian in this world and still live a little.

The Most Diabolical Election in History

The Most Diabolical Election in History
Vol: 85 Issue: 30 Thursday, October 30, 2008

What is it about Election ’08 that pretty much the whole world has unanimously declared to be the most important in US history? Why is this election more important than, say, Election ’40?

It isn’t simply because America’s security is imperiled or that America is engaged in a global war on terror.

In 1940, Franklin Roosevelt was running for an unprecedented third term. One might argue that was the most important US election by far. The US was in danger of being dragged into what was then called “The European War”.

Both candidates were running on a promise to keep America neutral. But given the state of global affairs on the eve of the Second World War, the winner of Election ’40 held America’s continuing existence in his hands against a threat far more tangible than al-Qaeda’s terror network.

Election ’08 will make US history. Either Sarah Palin will be America’s first female VP or Barack Obama will be its first black president. But in 1940, Franklin Roosevelt was running for an unprecedented third term. There were no term limits on the presidency at the time.

But until the Roosevelt presidency, no US president had ever served longer than eight years. Insofar as history-making elections are concerned, Election ’40 forced the passage of a Constitutional amendment.

After Roosevelt’s death, the 22nd limited a president to two terms in office in one lifetime.

The economy, as history-making is it may be, is in nowhere nearly the condition it was when voters were considering their options during Election ’40. Americans in 1940 KNEW what a bad economy looked like.

Most Election ’08 voters think a ‘bad economy’ is 6% unemployment and 3% inflation. (At least those under fifty do)

But everybody that can get his face on a TV talking heads show repeats at least once per appearance that “Election ’08 is the most important in our history.”

On tonight’s Hal Lindsey Report, Hal talks about the interest the US elections has generated over at the UN, where the Washington Post found 80% of UN staffers and diplomats in an ‘informal poll’ were hoping — and in at least one case, ‘praying’ for an Obama victory.

“Obama supporters hail from Russia, Canada, France, Britain, Germany, the Netherlands, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Indonesia and elsewhere. One American employee here seemed puzzled that he was being asked whether Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) was even a consideration. “Obama was and is unstoppable,” the official said. “Please, God, let him win,” he added.

Many U.N. rank and file are less circumspect, saying they see in Obama’s multicultural background — a Kenyan father, an Indonesian stepfather and a mother and grandparents from Kansas — a reflection of themselves. “We do not consider him an African American,” said Congo’s U.N. ambassador, Atoki Ileka. “We consider him an African.”

One U.N. official threw a party over the summer and asked guests to place stickers of either an elephant or a donkey on the front door to show their political preference. At the end of the night, the door was covered with about 30 donkeys and two elephants.

“We found out that one of the Republicans was an American and the other couldn’t vote,” according to a U.N. official who attended. “So we convinced the American to vote for Obama.”

Assessment:

One notes that the ‘Obama Nation’ sees Election ’08 as more important than America itself. Or at least the sanctity of the American sovereign franchise, since it was the first thing sacrificed to the god of power by the Obamanation.

ACORN’s activities are all over the news — even the mainstream media can’t suppress the voter fraud ongoing across the US. And even the best spin doctors can’t disguise the fact that ACORN is working exclusively for Barack Obama.

ACORN’s (and Obama’s) strategy is as frightening as it is desperate. The plan from the beginning was to so corrupt the electoral process that a close election would be so contested it would make Election 2000 look like a model of orderly democratic electoral process.

In a close election, no matter who wins, nobody will know for sure. If Election ’08 wins the title of “Most Something“, it will be the “Most Diabolical Election in US History”.

Think of just how diabolical a plan this actually is.

If McCain wins, Obama’s agitators will continue the “he’s not my president” theme that deprived America of an effective presidential administration for the past eight years.

Say what you will about Bush’s mistakes in office, no honest observer could deny he’s been forced to govern for the past two terms with one electoral hand tied behind his back since he took office. Who knows what might have been accomplished?

Should McCain win, ACORN has assured another four years of a ‘Bush presidency’ to strengthen Obama’s hand in 2012 — even if it means depriving America of effective government for another four years.

Obama’s forces have so corrupted the polling processes that anything less than an Obama landslide will give weight to the inevitable charges that somehow, McCain’s forces ‘stole the election’ — which will all but guarantee that Election ’08’s contribution to history is that 2008 will be the last time America can brag of its traditional peaceful transfer of power.

If McCain wins, it will be ugly. And I still believe that he probably will, despite the polls, and for two reasons. The first reason is ACORN.

Polls assimilate new voter registration and registered party affiliation into their data. That is the difference between ‘likely’ voters and what is called a ‘straw poll’. ‘Likely’ voters have favored Obama by significantly higher margins than do straw polls of voters in general.

But since among the ‘likely voters’ registered as Obama supporters are Mickey Mouse, the Dallas Cowboys, Goofy Dawg, and some of them have registered dozens of times, the fact they favor Obama by five points isn’t necessarily an Obama asset.

There are lots and lots of fraudulent voters who will vote for Obama — Mississippi has almost a thousand registered voters who either haven’t cast a ballot since 1965 or are older than 105 today. But not nearly as many voters are there are registered frauds who will never cast a ballot.

Another gift from ACORN is the predicted record turnout of young voters and Hispanic voters for Obama. ACORN registered lots and lots of them, but based on early voting samples, they aren’t turning out in any greater numbers than they ever did.

An analysis of early voting in Nevada so far found that, of the 25% statewide who’ve already voted, only 20% of Hispanics, 14% of voters under thirty and 15% of voters who didn’t vote in the last three elections showed up to vote so far.

The second reason I think Obama will lose is based in my reading of Bible prophecy for the last days. I don’t think rest of the world is quite ready for Obama — yet.

The European Union isn’t quite strong enough, the US isn’t quite weak enough, the economy isn’t quite deep enough in the tank for the creation of a global central bank or for the transfer of financial dominance to pass to Europe.

It’s very close, but not quite ready.

The world has not polarized enough yet. America isn’t isolated enough yet.

That’s hardly a ringing endorsement of John McCain — all these shortfalls will likely be corrected during his watch. But my sense is that Obama’s time is not quite yet.

I went against the conventional wisdom on the economy, based on my understanding of where we are along the Scriptural timeline. My belief is still that this isn’t the Big One — it’s coming, but this is premature.

But I could be wrong. We could be closer to the Tribulation than I think.

The same applies to Election ’08. I don’t think Obama will win because I believe 2nd Peter 3:9 is still in operational phase;

“The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”

I believe the fields are still white with the harvest and while the time is soon, it is not quite yet. I don’t think the whole company of saints has been called out yet.

At the same time, I’m not a prophet. I’m just a guy with a Bible. I could be wrong — and if I am, it’s me that is wrong, not the Bible.

So I’ll be monitoring Election Night with unusual interest this year. If Obama wins, then it’s time for me to re-evaluate that timeline.

Because we’re LOTS closer than I thought.

You’re All Invited to the Omega Letter Election Night Party!

On Election Night, join me in our chat rooms for an Election Night party. You don’t need any extra software to join the chat — you just need to be logged in as an OL member.

Frank will post a link to the chat room on the main page to help you navigate your way there.

We’ll watch and discuss the returns together as they come in, together with your shared insights about what it all means.

Party starts at 7:00 EST, Election night, November 4th, 2008.

I’ll bring the pizza and pretzels.

Evil Men and Seducers

Evil Men and Seducers
Vol: 85 Issue: 29 Wednesday, October 29, 2008

There is a growing sense of all-pervasive evil overspreading the planet like a cloud. One can almost taste it in the air. It corrupts everything around us; entertainment, politics, the social structure, in the sense evil being the new good.

That which was heretofore unthinkable is now routine; as it becomes routine, it assumes a degree of normalcy. This morning, I was listening to a news anchor’s description of the destruction of Jennifer Hudson’s family.

I didn’t know who Jennifer Hudson was, but because she won an Oscar for something, when her mother, brother and nephew were brutally murdered, it was newsworthy.

The crime itself is horrific beyond belief. The woman’s mother and brother were gunned down, according to police, by her own brother-in-law.

The suspect is the stepfather of seven year old Julian King. The little boy was taken from the murder scene by his step-father. Later, his little body was found, riddled with bullets and one of his hands hacked off! Seven years old!

If that isn’t evil personified, it is difficult to imagine what could be worse. The news anchor read the story from the teleprompter as if he were describing a automobile accident. Nothing is shocking, anymore.

The Apostle Paul refers to evil as a ‘mystery’, writing that “the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only He who now letteth will let, until He be taken out of the way.” (2nd Thessalonians 2:7)

“Mystery” is a word used 22 times in the New Testament, not at all in the OT, and refers exclusively to a progressive revelation from God not previously known to the Church.

“And He said unto them, Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables,” Jesus told His disciples in Mark 4:11.

The Apostle Paul wrote to the Romans; “Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began.” (Romans 16:25)

“But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory.” (1st Corinthians 2:7)

“Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,” (1st Corinthians 15:51)

One would think little about evil would be a mystery to mankind; evil reared its ugly head in the Garden of Eden. Mankind is no stranger to evil. Evil is his constant companion. But there is little about evil, when you get right down to it, that isn’t a mystery.

For one thing, evil is unique to mankind. A cat can’t commit evil. A dog is incapable of an evil intent. A forest fire that consumes thousands of living trees and the wildlife living therein is a tragedy, but it is only evil if it were deliberately set.

An earthquake that spawns a tsunami that claimed hundreds of thousands in Asia was a catastrophic event of immense tragedy; the genocide in Darfur the perpetuation of a great evil.

They are different. Evil requires an intent, while at the same time, it doesn’t actually exist. (See why Paul called it a mystery?)

Evil is the absence of good, therefore, it cannot exist apart from good. Which came first? Good or evil? How does one measure evil, except by the absence of good? Good, on the other hand, is not the absence of evil.

(Hitler was good to his dog, Blondie. Until he had her poisoned)

Evil is like cold. It cannot exist independently. Cold is the measure of the absence of heat. Heat can exist without cold. Cold could not exist without heat. Or like darkness. Darkness is the absence of light. Light could exist without darkness. Darkness could not exist without light.

Evil could not exist without good. Evil is the measure of the absence of good. The murderer of Jennifer Hudson’s family was exceedingly evil, but had it been quick and painless, one could argue there was some measure of good to be found.

Strip away even that measure of good, and what is left is the incredibly evil manner of death that overtook seven-year-old Julian King.

Assessment:

If man wrote the Bible, it would have a happy ending. If human beings authored Scripture, the Gospel message would go something like this.

“In the beginning man was evil, but over the course of the ages, through effort and education, mankind gradually began to shed his self-destructive tendencies and as civilization developed, man grew less warlike, less murderous, less evil, and overall, the species began to improve.”

That’s the narrative, for example, behind the wildly successful “Star Trek” franchises. That given sufficient time, man will shed his evil nature.

It is a seductive message — and one that seems logical. Man is continually trying to improve himself, is he not?

As we observed earlier, one of the bedrock principles of progressive liberalism is change for the sake of change itself. We can do better, say the liberals.

But since the Bible was Divinely Inspired, the Scriptures say exactly the opposite. 2nd Timothy 3:1 says that in the last days, “perilous times shall come.”

We’ve discussed the similarities between the progressive liberal world view and the characteristics of the society Paul warned would bring perilous times until you can probably quote 2nd Timothy 3:2-5 from memory verbatim.

The world view that the polls say is shared by half the country is a letter-perfect fit to Paul’s social prophecy. Paul describes a world view in which man sees himself as the supreme authority.

In Paul’s society, the family unit has broken down, the church is an object of ridicule, children are disposable, rules, like promises, are made to be broken, self-control is non-existent, and those who dare to point out the deterioration of society from a spiritual perspective can expect fierce opposition.

Paul put it like this: “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. . .”

It sounds like the Denver DNC convention to me.

The platforms embraced by the Obama nation are a mirror image of the characteristics Paul said would bring about those perilous times. I usually end my examination of 2nd Timothy halfway through verse 5 — “having a form of godliness but denying the power thereof:” but the verse goes on to say, “from such turn away.”

Paul outlines what sounds to me like a summarize version of the Clinton administration, “For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts,” and promises that, despite the lessons learned there, mankind is “ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.”

While man, in his arrogance, might prophesy the improvement of the human race, (as do the tenets of most existing non-Biblical religious systems) the Scriptures were inspired by God, Who knows better.

Man would like to believe that his function is self improvement, and it seems logical, then, that man would embrace whatever would aid him in that goal.

Instead, Paul promises the exact opposite, that, “all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution,” while promising that “evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived.”

What lesson can we take away from the escalating tragedy that is the society of the last days? We can heed the instructions given us.

“But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of Whom thou hast learned them. ” (3:14)

The fact that evil men and seducers continue to wax worse and worse, in spite of what man might expect, is evidence that man didn’t write the Bible.

“All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.” (2nd Timothy 3:16-17)

That is our assurance that, no matter how scary things get, God remains in charge. He knows what He is doing. He hasn’t forgotten His children. He hears our prayers.

But He has a Plan of His Own. All He asks of us is to trust Him while it unfolds before our eyes.

“But let all those that put their trust in Thee rejoice: let them ever shout for joy, because Thou defendest them: let them also that love Thy Name be joyful in Thee. For Thou, LORD, wilt bless the righteous; with favour wilt Thou compass him as with a shield.” (Psalms 5:11-12)

Maranatha!

A Collision of World Views

A Collision of World Views
Vol: 85 Issue: 28 Tuesday, October 28, 2008

A Collision of World Views

As Campaign ’08 continues to unfold in favor of Barack Obama, the most liberal candidate for the White House in US history, it has me scratching my head in wonderment.

Obama has countered charges of socialism, Marxism, racism, anti-Americanism and ultra-liberalism with what amounts to, “Yeah? So?”

And instead of his candidacy sinking like a stone, the American Left can’t seem to get enough of him. The more he espouses classical Marxist theory, the wilder his audiences cheer him on.

Conservatives are out of favor this year and liberals are in. There is no particular rhyme or reason that I can discern apart from popular ignorance of what the differences between the two world views.

First off, we need to define liberalism according to its classic sense, rather than the popular understanding of the word.

Politically speaking, classic liberalism doesn’t represent the Left, but rather, represents the center of the political spectrum.

The definition of ‘liberal’ is wildly abused by those, including yours truly, who have allowed the Left to appropriate the word to describe themselves.

Liberalism is not an ideology so much as it is the starting point for shared assumptions between right and left. Classical liberalism is actually what we label ‘conservativism’ whereas modern liberalism is best served by the label ‘progressivism.’

And so properly defined, the definition of a liberal is both an American-style conservative and an American-style progressive conservative. It is important to understand that these are ideologies, and not simply political labels.

A conservative is not necessarily the same as a Republican, and a liberal is not always the same as a Democrat. There are conservatives for whom the GOP is too liberal (in the sense of progressive) and there are liberals who think the Democrats are too conservative.

John McCain is a Republican. But John McCain is not a conservative. Barack Obama is a liberal who has openly accused the Democrats of conservatism.

A conservative would argue that a terrorist has no rights but an embryo does. That is based in the conservative principle of personal responsibility vs. self-evident truths.

To a conservative, that a human embryo is both human and innocent are self-evident truths. It is equally self-evident that a terrorist abrogated any claim to human rights when, by his actions, he placed himself outside of those boundaries of humanity.

A liberal would argue the opposite based on the principle that terrorists are human beings while embryos are not. Liberals would argue terrorists are the product of inequality and collective responsibility. And self-evident truths are subject to interpretation until government makes a law.

Note the glaring collision of worldviews this creates: There is mutual agreement on the concept of ‘human rights’ while there is no mutual agreement on the definition of ‘human’.

Progressive liberalism of the kind espoused by Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid or Barack Obama is based in six key principles.

The first is Positive Law. This refers to the belief that individual rights are derived from written law. Liberals agree that certain basic rights, (life, liberty, property) are natural rights, they can, under certain conditions, be curtailed by the state.

The second fundamental principle of modern liberalism is where they put their faith. Liberals put their faith in progress, hence the label, ‘progressive’ and believe that every situation can be made better by change. Obama’s campaign theme is ‘change’ for change’s sake, because Barack Obama is a modern, progressive liberal.

Liberals believe their responsibility is to change the world and government is a tool to be used to that end. In his acceptance speech, John Kerry said, “We have it in our power to change the world.”

In his first inaugural address, Bill Clinton said: “Let us resolve to make our government a place for what Franklin Roosevelt called ‘bold, persistent experimentation,’ a government for our tomorrows, not our yesterday.”

The third fundamental principle of progressive liberalism is preference for equality over liberty. Obama’s recent ‘spread the wealth’ comment illustrates this principle well. A liberal is comfortable in trading certain freedoms, like the freedom to pursue unfettered wealth, for greater equality and social stability.

The fourth principle of progressive liberalism is a faith in the benevolence of government and the inherent goodness of human beings. Liberals therefore believe it is the responsibility of government to assist the disadvantaged in society as the champion of the downtrodden and the instrument of their deliverance.

( And that the wealthy won’t mind their wealth being confiscated to pay for it.)

The fifth principle of progressive liberalism is the belief in the perfectibility of individuals. Liberals believe that, with “proper education” everyone can lead happy, productive and virtuous lives.

The sixth and final principle of progressive liberalism is a belief in the community — Obama keeps repeating that “we’re all in this together,” (except conservatives, Republicans, xenophobic, gun-totin’ Bible-thumping rednecks, etc., who are all racist George Bush wannabes, but I digress. . .)

Obama claimed his time as a community organizer in Chicago as sufficient qualifications to be president of the United States because, as a progressive liberal, his faith is in the community. His responsibility is to change the government.

At the root of modern liberalism is not merely the desire for equality, but for the social progress that the progressive believes only an egalitarian society can achieve.

Assessment:

What does such mind-crushingly dull political theory have to do with Bible prophecy for the last days? Understanding those six principles of progressive liberalism provides the key to understanding the ‘Obama nation’ in its Scriptural and prophetical contexts.

Everybody is promoting Election ’08 as one of the most important in our lifetime, if not our history. They are doing it because they sense that it is, but if you asked ten people why, you’d get ten different answers.

This election has become a contest between competing world views. The first, and most baffling to non-progressives, is what makes a progressive liberal tick? It isn’t so important to know what he stands for as it is to know the fundamentals upon which those stands are constructed.

To quickly recap and contrast, the six key fundamentals of liberal progressive theory are; 1. Positive law 2. Progress 3. Equality over Liberty 4. Benevolent government 5. Human perfectability; and, 6. Community.

By contrast, the six fundamentals of modern conservative (classical liberal) theory are; 1. Natural law 2. Established institutions 3. Liberty over equality 4. Suspicion of power 5. Exceptionalism and; 6. Individualism.

This is about fundamental world views. Each provides a Scriptural snapshot. Look where progressive liberals put their faith.

In more laws. In social progress. In man’s ability to change the world. In the fundamental goodness of man, and in the benevolence of government.

There is no room in this worldview for the acknowledgement of God or and respect for His laws. It is upside down from end to end, Scripturally speaking.

This is not an indictment; it is an explanation for the world view of the Obama nation.

“Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools . . .Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever.” (Romans 1:22,25)

The six points of progressive liberalism are all contained in Romans Chapter 1, beginning with verse 18: “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;”

As we’ve already learned, progressive liberalism and conservatism spring from the same classical liberal theory. Where they diverge is at the point where they put their faith.

The progressive’s faith is in man and his trust is in the social collective’s wisdom to govern.

The conservative’s faith is in the Divine and his trust is in individual responsibility. Government is a necessary evil.

Go down the list of issues near and dear to the hearts of the Obama nation. Compare them to the world view described by Paul in Romans 1:18-32. You’ll find everything from Marxist economic theory to Defense of Marriage Act represented there.

What is important is that THIS is what makes the Obama nation tick. This is a contest between opposing world views. In a sense, America is voting on the same question Joshua posed to the Israelites — and based in the same stark choice of world views.

“And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.” (Joshua 24:14)

That is not to say that a vote for McCain is a vote for God. Nor am I saying a vote for Obama is a vote against God.

But the outcome will be an expression of the world view that America, as a nation, trusts to guide it for the next four years.

I believe that is why this is the most important general election of this or any other lifetime.

The Lord is watching this one very closely.

Back to the USSA

Back to the USSA
Vol: 85 Issue: 27 Monday, October 27, 2008

Over the weekend, Barbara West, a local Florida TV anchor, dared to point out the similarities between Marxism and the Obama campaign by quoting Karl Marx and Joe Biden back to Joe Biden.

The reaction of the Obama campaign to the line of questioning is only now beginning to be assessed the the mainstream media.

The campaign canceled a WFTV interview with Jill Biden, the candidate’s wife.

“This cancellation is non-negotiable, and further opportunities for your station to interview with this campaign are unlikely, at best for the duration of the remaining days until the election,” wrote Laura K. McGinnis, Central Florida communications director for the Obama campaign.

We’re going to be hearing about ‘socialists’ and ‘socialism’ a lot over the next couple of weeks, so it might be helpful to know exactly what it is that we’re talking about.

The University of Kansas offered this definition for socialism at its website: “An economic, social and political doctrine which expresses the struggle for the equal distribution of wealth by eliminating private property and the exploitative ruling class. In practice, such a distribution of wealth is achieved by social ownership of the means of production, exchange and diffusion.”

Under definitions for ‘socialist’ was this definition; Socialism; see ‘communism’, but in the main, a socialist is defined as ‘one who practices or advocates socialism’.

We’re going to be hearing a lot more about Marxism, as well. Marxism refers “to the economic theories proposed by Karl Marx that called for collective ownership of the means of production.”

Soviet Communism was the political expression of Marxist economics — the USSR stood for the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.

There are varying degrees of socialism as practiced among the nations — the USSR represented extreme Marxism, but not all socialist countries are Communist. Sweden is a socialist state, although it is a political democracy.

Socialism stands in stark opposition to capitalism in that capitalism stresses individual opportunity and individual responsibility and socialism gives rights to the collective at the expense of the individual.

Also, this weekend, somebody located a recording of a radio interview Obama did shortly after the 9/11 attacks.

In it, Obama laments: “the Warren Supreme Court failed to reinterpret the Constitution to read into it what was not there: Redistribution of wealth for “political and economic justice in this society.”

I’m not kidding. Go to my blog and hear it for yourself – I’ve post the whole interview clip.

He also notes that one of the “great tragedies of the civil rights movement” was that it was court-centric and got away from “political and community organizing and activities on the ground that are able to put together the actual coalitions of power through which you bring about redistributive change.”

Let’s deconstruct that last sentence. “Court-centric” is how Obama defines strict interpretation of the rule of law. Instead, Obama prefers ‘political and community organizing’ (collectivism) and a court susceptible to influence by ‘actual coalitions of power.”

Notice carefully what Obama says that will accomplish: “redistributive change.”

For Obama, the redistribution of wealth is a civil right that the civil rights movement failed to attain. To Barack Obama, the redistribution of wealth is basic “political and economic justice,” and one segment of society has the basic right to the money of other segments of society. He’s very straightforward about this.

Consider some of the proposals on the table from the Obama camp. First, the Fairness Doctrine will silence conservative talk radio. The Fairness Doctrine requires that every point of view be balanced by an opposing view or it cannot be presented. It sounds fair, but all it does is so regulate what can be said that radio stations throw up their hands in disgust.

Before Ronald Reagan repealed the Fairness Doctrine, there were about 25 talk radio stations in America — mostly liberals like PBS. Now there are more 2,000. The return of the Fairness Doctrine would be the end of talk radio.

Obama has pledged a Canadian-style, single-payer system, in which health care is nationalized. Socialized medicine will do in America what it has done in Western Europe and Canada: push politics permanently to the left. It will result in a hugely expensive, non-responsive bureaucratic monstrosity that will provide sub-standard care and health-care rationing.

Like Medicare/Medicaid and every other government entitlement, once entrenched, it is impossible to dismantle, no matter how poorly it performs. But socialized medicine is the hallmark of a cradle-to-grave liberal welfare state and the first step down the road toward a truly socialist system.

During the Soviet days, there was a joke that made the rounds as a way of explaining the notoriously poor Soviet work ethic. It went like this: “We pretend to work. And they pretend to pay us.”

Jerry Kuhner of the Washington Times paints an even darker picture:

“The Obama-Pelosi-Reid unholy alliance will complete the revolutionary project of the 1960s: a society stripped from its traditional Christian moorings. Mr. Obama has made no secret of his support for abortion rights. He is a radical, an extremist, on the issue. He opposes the ban on partial-birth abortion. As an Illinois state legislator, he even voted against a law to preserve an infant’s life if an abortion is botched.

Finally, his administration will consolidate a liberal Supreme Court and thus advance the leftist social agenda of abortion on demand, gay rights, the decriminalization of prostitution, the legalization of marijuana and euthanasia. The culture of death will triumph. Democrats will finally attain the twin goals of liberalism: economic collectivism and moral anarchy. “

That is the change America seems on the verge of embracing; The Union of Socialist States of America. All it would take to make this a reality is an Obama White House with a Congressional supermajority.

And today’s RealClearPolitics average gives Barack Obama a 7.5 point lead over John McCain.

Assessment:

Barack Obama has held the lead in every single poll since mid-September. The McCain camp’s biggest fear is that the polls will so demoralize the GOP voters that they’ll conclude that its a lost cause anyway so why bother voting?

It certainly seems that it is a lost cause — even Karl Rove said so last night on Fox News Sunday. And given the consequences four years of one-party rule under the most socialist presidency the nation has ever contemplated, look at what it reveals about America’s post-Christian era.

(Not the least of which would be confirmation that we have well and truly entered into that period.)

Revisit 2nd Timothy 3:1-5 with me again.

“This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.” I am trying to recall a time in world history in which times were more perilous than they are today. I’m drawing a blank. Prior to WWII, we did not have the means to destroy the world. Post WWII during the Cold War era, we did not have the will.

Paul’s description of the prevailing social order during these perilous times reads like the William Ayers Handbook for Preparing America for Barack Obama:

“For 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 . . .”

I mean, really! Can you come any closer to the Weather Underground’s raison d’etre that this description?

“Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God . . .” I’m trying to see which of these adjectives I’d have trouble applying to the candidate himself.

But up pops the Reverend Jeremiah Wright, under whose teaching influences the candidate sat for more than twenty years;

“Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof . . .”

What if Obama DOES win? This is what I believe personally. I don’t have any specific Scripture I can use to back it up. But my gut tells me that his election would mean we’re in the home stretch.

I’m not saying Obama is the antichrist — but his election would certainly prove to me that the world was finally ready to embrace him when he shows up.

I believe that, just as Israel is emblematic of the Jews in the last days, America is emblematic of the Church. Rather than look at how far short of deserving the title America is, which is the world’s most Christian country, if not America?

I don’t mean run to the CIA Factbook to look up statistics, but can you think, off the top of your head, of another viable candidate for the title?

That isn’t to say that God thinks America is the most Christian country, or that God likes Americans best, or any such nonsense as that.

Rather, I believe that 2nd Timothy 3:1-5 was written TO this generation specifically because Christians of any nationality would see America’s reflection in Paul’s image and understand where that puts us on the timeline — in the last days, and during perilous times.

I don’t know if Obama will win. I’m betting on a surprise McCain landslide because I believe that the Lord will tarry just a little longer, to extend that last possible chance to the very last lost one before recalling His ambassadors at the Rapture.

“The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” (2nd Peter 3:9)

But the Apostle Paul warns that before antichrist is revealed, there must first be a great falling away, a departure from the faith so radical that someone could appear on the world scene and actually claim to be the Messiah — and be believed.

I don’t think Obama’s the antichrist. I don’t think he meets all the Scriptural qualifications — but at the same time, there’s much we don’t know about the guy.

In any case, I’m not looking for the antichrist — I’m looking for the return of Christ.

But the Apostle Paul says that the antichrist cannot be revealed until the Restrainer is taken out of the way.

“For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only He who now letteth will let, until He be taken out of the way. And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of His mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of His coming:” (2nd Thessalonians 2:7-8)

Note there are two “He’s” referred to here. The first is the Restrainer, the “He” that ‘lets’ (old English for ‘restrain’) and the second is the Lord Jesus Who destroys that “Wicked” with the brightness of His coming.”

The Restrainer is the Holy Spirit, Whom the Bible promises will indwell me and comfort and guide me until the Lord returns. Note the chronology.

The Restrainer is taken out of the way. The Wicked is revealed (and accepted) by a world under strong delusion. Then the Lord returns to the earth at Armageddon at the end of the Tribulation Period.

But Jesus promised the Restrainer (the Holy Spirit) would never forsake me until the Lord returned for me. If the Restrainer is taken out of the way before the antichrist is revealed, that would mean the Holy Spirit would no longer indwell me but the Lord’s return remains yet seven years away.

That leaves but one logical conclusion that I can see.

“For 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)

I don’t think Obama is the AC, but I believe his election would send the signal the world is truly ready to embrace the real A/C when he comes on the scene.

“And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh. ” (Luke 21:28)

It’s the Economy, Stupid! – The Crash of 08 and Beyond

It’s the Economy, Stupid! – The Crash of 08 and Beyond
Vol: 85 Issue: 25 Saturday, October 25, 2008

Yesterday was the 79th anniversary of the Stock Market Crash of 1929. The Dow Jones Industrial Average peaked in September, 1929 at 386 — following a bull market that provided that decade with its historical nickname, the “Roaring Twenties”.

The Crash of ’29 was not a one-day affair — the market collapse was a three-phase operation that began on Black Thursday, October 24. But it was the the catastrophic downturn the markets took on the following Monday and Tuesday that precipitated the panic.

The Crash of 1929 came following an astonishing five-year run in which the market’s value increased five-fold.

From its September 3rd high, the market began to decline, losing 17% of its value in a slow but steady sell-off before recovering half its losses in late October. Then came Black Tuesday, October 29, 1929 when the bottom fell out.

The panic was so severe that the volume traded on that day set a record that stood until 1968. The stock market lost $14 billion on Black Tuesday, bringing the three days of losses that started on Black Thursday to a total of $30 billion.

In 1929, $30 billion was ten times the annual budget of the US federal government — more than was spent by the US fighting the First World War.

By November, 1929, the market had fallen from its peak at 386 to what turned out to be an interim ‘bottom’ at 198. After a short rally, the slide resumed.

By July of 1932 the market closed at 41.22 — an 89% decline over three years — and driving the Dow Jones Averages down to levels not seen since the 1800s.

And if you had held on to your stock portfolio and rode out the market, your portfolio wouldn’t have recovered from its 1929 losses — until late 1954.

A Congressional investigation that began in 1931 found that one of the underlying causes of the crash was that commercial banks were gambling in the market using depositors’ money.

In 1933, the Congress passed the Glass-Stegall Act, which mandated a separation between the commercial banks that write mortgage loans and the investment banks that underwrite and distribute stocks and bonds.

The provisions of the Glass-Stegall Act that mandated that separation were repealed in 1999 by Congress and signed into law by President Clinton. The repeal enabled lenders to underwrite and trade financial instruments like mortgage-backed securities and established schemes like Structured Investment Vehicles.

Nine years after repealing the Glass-Stegall Act, on the 79th anniversary of the Crash of 1929, the Dow closed down 312 points on the day, bringing total market losses since the start of this year to 40.3 percent.

The one constant about history is its tendency to repeat itself. Should the pattern hold true, then this is Year One of the Crash of 2008-2010.

Buckle up.

Assessment:

There is a fundamental difference between the Crash of 1929 and the current situation. In 1929, the market crashed because the fundamentals of the economy had begun to collapse.

In 2008, it crashed because the public began to believe the politicians on the Left who have been talking down the economy since the start of the first Bush administration.

When John McCain made his much-ridiculed statement of early September to the effect that the ‘fundamentals of the economy are sound’ he wasn’t wrong. The fundamentals of the economy remain unchanged. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac collapsed primarily because of politicians, not bankers.

The Community Reinvestment Act championed by Congressional Democrats pushed Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae into covering bad mortgages made by local banks under pressure from groups like ACORN who would file nuisance complaints against banks who wouldn’t relax lending standards for minority borrowers.

Lenders make money one of two ways: keeping the paper themselves and getting the interest over the term of the loan, or selling the paper to someone else for a guaranteed short-term profit.

When Fannie and Freddie began buying all of this paper, they created a huge demand for subprime loans and lenders responded by offering easy money to almost anyone who applied.

They threw out income requirements and equity thresholds (such as down payments) and generated tremendous short-term profits for themselves while Fannie and Freddie assumed all the long-term risk.

The Democrats in Congress pushed to ‘securitize’ debt in order to spread the risk. Consequently, investors considered those mortgage-backed securities to be a safe bet, backed by the US government.

As it happens, the head of Freddie Mac was the gay lover of Representative Barney Frank, chairman of the House Banking Committee charged with Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae’s oversight.

Frank’s lover’s golden parachute was directly related to Freddie Mac’s performance and Freddie Mac’s performance was measured by how many mortgages it had.

I’ve said more than once that the crash was a politically-motivated downturn that got out of hand. Shouting “Fire” in a crowded theater will empty the place out quickly, but should panic set in, the situation rapidly spirals out of control.

The Dems have been shouting ‘fire’ for almost eight years. Why would the Democrats want to tank the economy?

For reasons that make no sense to me, the Democrats earned the reputation of being the party of the poor, while the Republicans are seen as the representatives of the rich.

Since the first Clinton administration, the Democrats have tagged themselves with the slogan, “It’s the economy, stupid!” In case you are wondering who ‘stupid’ is, it is the voter who thinks that the Democrats want to fix the economy and restore financial prosperity to the nation.

Look at the number of Republicans who now say they plan to vote for Obama because of the economy. If you are the party of the poor, then what’s the best way to expand your base? Create more poor people. How does one do that?

It’s the economy, stupid!

Proof Text Without Context

Proof Text Without Context
Vol: 85 Issue: 24 Friday, October 24, 2008

I received an email from a member regarding yesterday’s OL, “God’s Grace” that asked: “Jack, what makes you so completely sure of your eternity in light of so many confusing scriptures that “seem” to link eternal life with obedience (Galatians 6:8)?”

(“For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. “)

I replied to the email but was led to expand my answer and post it as an OL, so I suspect that there must be others among our membership also struggling with the same question(s).

The arguments presented by the opponents of eternal security, derided as “Once Saved, Always Saved” (or OSAS) are indeed Scriptural. Just look at all the Scripture that they come up with to prove their point.

For example, Matthew 6:14-15. “For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”

In context, Jesus is teaching His Disciples the Lord’s Prayer. Having just presented it to them, He was explaining what to pray and why. Matthew 6:12 – “Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors.”

That is commonly rendered, “Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive the trespasses of others”, but in either case, what the Lord is explaining is WHAT the prayer asks. “Forgive us the same way we forgive others.”

The opponents of OSAS claim this means if we don’t forgive others, God won’t forgive us, and therefore, by not forgiving trespasses committed against you, you can lose your salvation, ipso facto, OSAS is a false doctrine.

First, Jesus is not addressing the redeemed Church, but His Jewish disciples. Doctrinally, the Lord’s Prayer is not a Christian prayer, but a Jewish one.

The Kingdom of God is a Judaic concept that refers to the return of the time of the Judges when Israel had no King but God, Who ruled directly through His prophets.

The Jews await the Kingdom of God; the Church awaits the Kingdom of Heaven. The Old Covenant with Israel is that Israel will be the center of the world, the seat of the Lord’s government during the Millennial Kingdom.

“And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the LORD’s house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. . . . And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. ” (Isaiah 2:2,4)

The promise to the Church is different.

“And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with Him, that we may be also glorified together. ” (Romans 8:17)

‘Joint-heirs’ is a term to describe children being given equal inheritances.

God’s relationship to Israel is likened to that of a spouse; Christ’s to the Church likened to that of a bridegroom and bride as heirs to the Father’s inheritance.

Everything Jesus said in His public ministry is of use to the Church, but not everything He said was addressed to the Church. Much of what He said was addressed, for example, specifically to the Pharisees of Israel.

We can therefore draw lessons from the parallels, but we must do so in context.

Another verse that is often cited as evidence that one can lose one’s salvation is Romans 8:1, which, oddly enough, is also one of the most powerful proof texts for proving eternal security.

“There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.”

This argument concludes that the saved Christian who later falls back into his old habits, the ‘carnal’ Christian, is walking after the flesh and not after the Spirit and so this verse teaches conditional salvation.

If you are walking after the Spirit, there is no condemnation. If you are walking after the flesh, then there is.

In context, Paul has just exhaustively argued in Romans 7 in favor of eternal security, explaining the dual nature of man, how often we fall short, how we do what we hate while knowing it is wrong, all the time hating ourselves for sinning.

Paul says, “Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. . . . For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.”

Having explained the exact nature of the conflict with the old man experienced by every Christian, Paul cries out in despair, “O wretched man that I am, Who shall deliver me from the body of this death?” before answering his own question and confirming that sin is a continuing part of a saved Christian’s earthly existence:

“I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.

In context, Romans 7 teaches that the struggle with sin is evidence one IS walking after the Spirit. Romans 8:1 is the promise that there is no condemnation for such a one who struggles with sin.

What does it mean when one DOESN’T struggle with sin? Think it through. There are but two answers.

Either one isn’t saved and remains dead on one’s sins. Or one has died and gone on to his eternal destiny.

In context, Romans 8:1 can have but one logical meaning, then. But using it out of context to prove one’s grip on salvation is tenuous is still Scriptural since Romans 8:1 is Scripture.

A proof text devoid of context is a pretext. But it’s Scriptural.

Assessment:

I am certain of my eternal destiny irrespective of my current state of sinlessness or vice-versa. Jesus didn’t save me on one day, for one day — and then leave the rest up to me. That flies in the face of both logic and experience, even before one turns to Scripture for confirmation.

I already knew before I read Romans 7 that I am in the same place Paul described. If I have to maintain my own salvation, I’m already lost. Logic and experience confirm that, as well. If eternal security is a false doctrine, then salvation is beyond my reach.

Yet, as we said at the outset, there are many strong Scriptural arguments to the contrary. But there can be only one truth. If salvation is conditional upon works, then God cannot be just, if ‘just’ means the same thing as ‘fair’.

Skeptics claim God isn’t fair because He would send somebody to hell, but that’s nonsense. People choose heaven or hell — God simply honors their choice. But when it comes to salvation by works, it really isn’t fair or just.

What we’re actually discussing are two different issues. One is salvation. Salvation is a free gift. The Scriptures are uncompromising on that point.

The other issue is that of living a Christian life. The two are NOT the same.

A person can come to Christ on his deathbed and go to the same heaven the Apostles went to. I think we all agree that is true.

So this guy, having never done a single thing for Christ in his lifetime, having never sacrificed a thing for his faith, having never led a person to Christ, or done an act of charity, and more importantly, he was not tempted to sin after salvation because he died.

But he goes to heaven.

Meanwhile, Joe Christian is saved at seven. He lives a sacrificial life for Christ, leads many people to the Lord, and does everything you wish you did when you take stock of what you’ve done for Christ.

But then, some personal catastrophe hits Joe, like it does you and me, and for some reason, this time, Satan gets a hold of ol’ Joe for a time, and Joe goes off on a three-week bender.

Before Joe has a chance to come back to his senses, he gets killed in a car accident.

Both trusted in Christ — Joe at the beginning of his life — the other guy at the end. But Joe’s many good works are of no consequence — he goes to hell. The guy on his deathbed’s many bad works are of no consequence, he goes to heaven.

In both cases, they trusted Christ. Joe had the Christian life part down pat, until he hit a rough patch. So if OSAS is a false doctrine, then Jesus let Joe down just when Joe needed Him most.

The real answer to the question, “How do I know that I am truly saved” is found in another question. “Who do you trust for your salvation?”

If you trust in the Cross AND in your own abilities to subsequently live a sinless life, the Scriptures say that is the standard against which you will be judged.

Despite great swelling words of protest to the contrary, you aren’t trusting Christ. You’re trusting you.

The Apostle Paul knew he couldn’t be trusted with his salvation. Romans 7 is a litany of spiritual failures. Without some sense of eternal security, the Christian life would be a fearful, nervous existence, where one was never sure where he stood with the Lord.

If one can sin one’s way out of salvation, which sin is it? Having a TV? Smoking? Cheating on taxes? Having a lustful thought? Road rage? Divorce?

Instead, the Lord says, “Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.” (Matthew 11:29-30)

That sounds like a promise I can trust.