WARNING: Persecution Creeps toward the USA

From watch.org on November 1

Billy Graham’s Warning to American Churches: ‘Prepare for Persecution’

The Rev. Billy Graham has issued a written warning to America’s churches: “Prepare for persecution.”

The renowned preacher and founder of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association penned a commentary that was posted on his website last week and is slated to appear in the November edition of Decision magazine.

In the magazine, Graham notes that the American church has been largely unfamiliar with persecution, writing that this “immunity to persecution that Christians in our country have experienced in the past two or three centuries is unusual.”

“As a whole, our nation does not know what privation is. We do not know what sacrifice is. We do not know what suffering is. Suppose persecution were to come to the church in America, as it has come in other countries,” wrote Graham.

“Since we have experienced little religious persecution in this country, it is likely that under pressure many would deny Christ. Those who shout the loudest about their faith may surrender soonest.”

———– End Times Note ———-

Persecution of the “saints” comes in the end of this era of time on earth. This is clearly noted in Scripture. Reverend Graham is attempting to wake up a sleeping public. The US has spent more time recently being PC (politically correct) and as a result there are those claiming rights, as in civil rights, for issues that are not merely civil, but sinful. Scripture tells us we will arrive at a time when “right is wrong and wrong is right” … a lawless state will creep across the globe … it’s already happening and you are probably sleeping in the face of reality.

Like ISIS beheading ‘infidels’ or oppressing peoples in the Middle East of the imposition of religious law (Shiria law) on those who have otherwise lived at peace and with morality unifying their communities (e.g., Iraq, Syria, elsewhere) … persecution in the extreme will plow all that under into darkness … why would that only happen “over there” and not here … persecution creeps and spreads its tendrils … slowly and over time … persecution comes.

If you want to read exactly what appears in Decision Magazine, you can download an electronic copy here.

Director, windowview.org

The Present Church Age with LBGT Appreciation

What are we to Think of the LBGT Community in Terms of Bible?

First, a little bit of discussion is needed for context on this perspective. This needs to be sensitive to all who read because the main point made here is first not one of the writer’s making.  Second, anyone who reads the scriptures will see this is a critical and deciding difference between what human culture sees today and what God has determined ages ago.

The book of Revelation starts with seven letters to seven churches.  Each letter is a message to a church in the First Century, but also a message to all seven types of church ages to come.  The last church age is the present age we live in today. To see this illustrated, we refer your to WindowView’s Timelines (First Church Age here at 30 CE, the Second thought Fifth Church Age here, and the Sixth and final Seventh Church Age here). The final letter is to the church at Laodicea.  Further down is text from the web page describing characteristics of the age of apostasy that is now upon us. To be fair, representative congregations of believers from all seven types exist today, but a look at the rapidly changing social norms and it is easy to see why society and even the church is striving for something outside of Scripture and beyond God’s will for all humanity. But for Laodicea the church is labeled apostate (unbelieving, neither hot nor cold, and God ‘spits this church out’).

The Corporate Body of Believing Persons

We might add, the word ‘church’ appears nowhere in the Bible. The Greek term ‘ekklesia‘ (translated from the Greek into the English word church) appears and this essentially recognizes groups of or all of the believing body of persons (believing in Messiah and God). As such, the term could apply to Gentile and Jewish groups (or all persons corporately) who embrace the Jewish Messiah (Yeshua, Jesus). We use the term church here, but ‘ekklesia’ and even include synagogue as a reference point would be appropraite.

Laodicea (1900 to present day) – Apostasy

Apostasy comes in many forms.  From how people avoid, turn away, or disregard the will of God, engage in sin knowingly and wantonly, or turn faith into something that is lukewarm or an academic non-biblical exercise (etc.).

Regarding the churches (and denominations) today that embrace the LBGT community, we want to be clear.  This web post is not anti-anyone. The writer has family who falls into this category. But regarding life style choices, there is a focus here.  For transgender persons we leave open that issues of heredity and biological considerations may prevail. But overall, regarding life style issues, Jesus would have sat down to eat at our table and He did so with all types of persons.  But He, while speaking, would have made a distinction at every opportunity (about sin, gospel, and salvation).

To better understand where we fall on the issue of Christianity (and even for those who embrace the Jewish faith … and thus all within the Judeo-Christian, Jew and Gentile sphere of God fearing persons), we refer you to the book unChristian.

unChristian

unChristian

Not only are relevant statistics cited, an underlying difference between loving all persons and understanding where to stand in the presence of God is a key part of the book’s chapter on the topic of sexuality. The authors draw a line where you must embrace a specific reality to be a believer … and the Bible sets the standard—that is, God draws the line for all humanity, it is not something this post has established.  We all need to heed the difference.

Messiah’s Table and Celebrating Commitment in Light of Salvation

We have stated all of the above to set the stage to make a very specific point about the LBGT persons who join in worship of Messiah, Yeshua, Jesus, the Son of Man and Son of God … and God Himself, in unity with the Spirit (Adonai Echad).

Recently, while visiting and attending a worship service at a Christ Congregational Church we encountered the following statement spoken by the pastor as he invited the congregation to the communion table:

“When we approach our communion table and say, “No matter what … no matter who you are, no matter where you came from, no matter what you’ve done or where you’re going, no matter what, you are welcome here,” when we do that, we are rising with Christ.”

These words were spoken on Easter Sunday, most appropriately called Resurrection Sunday, when Messiah conquered both sin and death. Coming to the table is to agree with His act of giving His blood as the Lamb of God that we may have grace and life eternal. That agreement is implied by sharing in the bread and wine at the ‘Table of the Lord.’ You have to be a believing and a confessing person who has repented, to really be one who is sharing the unleavened bread (of sinlessness) and the cup (of wine representing the blood of sacrifice).

 But reread the pastor’s words. These imply you may come sinning and once you leave the table you may continue on (sinning). The rationalization here avoids Scripture or more importantly evidence Messiah provided in His words, spoken before a sinner, while He was present with us on earth.

The gay pastor clearly is mis-teaching his congregation. He rationalized that anyone can share in communion, no matter how they come or to where they will go. The Bible however tells us if someone were to approach the table, then they cannot depart the same way … or lose eternal life.

Do you think that gay persons are off the hook?

Our MAIN  POINT here Follows …

Jesus and the Woman Caught in Adultery

The object lesson here is simple and clearly makes the point.  In John 8:4-5 we read: “and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery.  In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women.Now what do you say?”

In verse 7: “When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.”

And as the story goes, everyone present with a stone, dropped their stones, turned, and left that place.

10-11 “Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you? “No one, sir,” she said. “Then neither do I condemn you,”Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”

Take heed, a real believer in Messiah should not and will not condemn a person in sin … for all who live in the flesh have sinned. Anyone engaged in discrimination of anyone, be they LBGT, of any race, religion, or otherwise, cannot be a believer in Messiah. But if Messiah points a way toward leaving sin behind, then any believer should and must point in that same direction. 

The American Standard Version puts it this way: “Go. From now on sin no more.”

This is a simple but powerful illustration of what needs to be acknowledged as the real difference. No congregation can tolerate false teaching. No pastor should turn a blind eye to sin, including his or her own! Worse still, turning a blind eye to Scripture is to lead a congregation to following false docterine. Doing so jeopardizes the salvation of other people … what an awful act in the name of the Lord.

The real point is we may find ourselves in error. So stop. Acknowledge what is going wrong and leave that sin behind to the past. And move forward as an example of a changed person, be born again, be renewed, be assured that Messiah has forgiven and not condemned you.

To the congregations like the one visited and reported here, we say that false doctrine leads to death … beware of wolves in sheep’s clothing … beware of false teachers …

——————– From Scripture and TimeLine —————————-

The Bible on Homosexuality

Leviticus 20:13 ‘If a man lies with a male as he lies with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination. They shall surely be put to death. Their blood shall be upon them. (NewKJV)

Leviticus 20:13 If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them. (KJV)

What The Bible Says of False Teachers:

Romans Chapter 16

17 Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. 18 For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple. (NIV)

Jude 1:4 – For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ. (NIV)

From the Timeline Page at WindowView, the following concerns the ‘church age’ we are now in:

Many of the leading critics possessed, at best, a lukewarm relationship with Messiah, and this was reflected in their hazy views of Scripture. The more open skeptics began to deny outright the supernatural aspects of the Biblical faith—all in the name of scholarship—and before long they has ”demythologized” Jesus into a mere man.

This … infection spread like wildfire through the seminaries in Europe and the US, and by the 1920s it was echoing from the pulpits of American churches. The Western world was caught up in scientific and philosophical rationalism and the church got sucked into the vortex because so many of its leaders had never experienced a deep faith in Jesus.

The sad truth is that thousands of churches around the world today call themselves Christian but Messiah is nowhere to be found in them. Tragically, most of the unbelieving world look at them—and want no part of their sham. And I don’t either!
Although this Laodicean lukewarmness is the predominant characteristic of he church age today, there are signs that the Philadelphian evangelistic fervor is reviving in these closing days of human history. That’s consistent with God’s pattern of always showering down grace before hurling blasts of judgment.
The unbelievers of this era will find themselves enmeshed in the judgments of God during the Great Tribulation which is soon coming upon the earth. But everyone within this church age who is a true believer in Jesus will be taken out of the world before the judgment, and will be rewarded for his faith by spending eternity with Jesus.” (Quotation from Lindsey)

WindowView.org