Is God’s Judgment Upon Us?

Lady-Liberty-WeepingI was reading an article from the Israeli News Service Arutz Sheva about the dilemma that our traditional allies are having trying to figure out the real direction of America and President Obama’s seeming obsession with loyalty to Islam. I highly recommend taking the time to read it as I think it addresses certain questions that many of us here in America are asking as well.  Who’s side is the current Administration on?

Today most of us are so busy with life that it tends to put all other things on the back burner if they are hard for us to handle or calling us to deal with things we don’t like to think about.   The truth is though that we must think about these things in the light of our current crisis of confidence and the realities of the danger represented by those who follow the real teachings and practices of Islam as set forth in the Qur’an and the Hadith.  One of the most frightening yet eye opening things I have seen lately comes from a media interview with an Islamic Mullah living in Norway who tells the truth about the goals of true Islam in the world today.

Psalm 33:12  reminds us that “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord. . .”   But with the pace that America is moving to erase the God of the Bible from our national conscience and replace Him with one who resembles a powerless and confused deity from some mythical Land of Oz,  the question comes to mind:   ‘Are we as a nation under the Judgment of God?’  Is all the confusion and double mindedness that we see operating in the Halls of Power and Government in America actaully the result of forsaking the One who guided the hearts and minds of our Founding Fathers?   Are we, like the Jews who came out of Egypt in the Exodus story – blinded by disobedience and our failure to ‘Walk in the Law of the Lord’?

One of the great realities of our Democratic style of Gevernment is that the people we put in power act as a barometer of the moral and social thinking of the voters.  This can be good if we recognize areas in need of change or correction and we act on them properly.  But it seems that todays political parties are so focused on establishing a safety net for holding onto the reigns of power that most legislation is clearly intended for that purpose by both parties.  A blind man can see what needs to be done in most cases, but self serving politicians seem unable or unwilling to do what is needed for fear of being ostracized or losing the benefits their office affords them.  We are hamstrung by bureocracy and many Americans  are swooning in the stupor that this has created and giving up their hopes in the process.

We are tired of war and our enemies are taking advantage of that.  The wars of the last 13 plus years have drained our strength and our economy.   This puts us in a position of vulnerability like we have not seen in over fifty years.  But facing the reality of radical Islam cannot be something we ignore.  This enemy sees all efforts for restraint and civility as weakness.  The more we ignore this the more endangered we become as a nation and a civilzation.

So what is the answer?  For believers it is the same as it has always been:  call upon the Name of the Lord and ask for forgiveness and mercies.  Our enemies are His enemies.  He knows what to do and He can make swift work of them if we will humble ourselves, pray and seek His face and turn from our wicked ways’, (2 Chronicles 7:14)

Before our allies in the world can believe in America again we must first do so ourselves.  I for one realize that I am in the last quarter, but I am still moved to speak out with what voice I have for Righteousness and Truth.  My children and grandchildren’s future depends upon it and so I must.  Hopefully our own Government will wake up soon and we can be a nation united once again around the Truths and Principles that made America the greatest nation in the history of the world.  ∞

 

 

The Power of a Vision

“Where there is no vision, the people cast off restraint; But he that keepeth the law, happy is he.”  Proverbs 29:18

Hope-DespairThere are few things that can motivate and inspire a person, group or nation like having a vision or goal that adds purpose to life.  Humans were created with purpose and throughout the scriptures when God speaks to someone He imparts a vision or a purpose to them that inspires them to act, or in some cases to wait for something that is coming.  We are creatures of purpose and without it we descend into corruption and slavery to our fallen nature.  It doesn’t take long for the lack of vision or purpose to bring your life to a resounding halt.  It is the same for a nation as well as an individual.

According to a 2013 study by the US Department of Veterans Affairs 22 American military veterans commit suicide every day.  Today we are seeing a rash of suicides among young people like never before.   A study done by  James W. Prescott, PhD claims that suicide rates among children 5-14 have doubled in America during the past twenty years alone.  His studies concerning the origins of violence among youth offer profound insight into the massive growth of youth gangs and many of the problems related to many of today’s children who are turning to violence as a way to express the meaningless they feel about life.  Where purpose and direction is lacking self-gratification and violence often fills the void.

It wasn’t so long ago when the American Dream was empowered by a vision for Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.  But that dream has been thoroughly painted over by one that lacks meaning and substance.  We have become a nation driven by values that cannot deliver and are mere vapors of illusion that now fill the air: self gratification, addiction to entertainment and an apocalyptic view of the future cannot give hope or any valuable meaning to life.  Because we have no vision we are losing hope and casting off the restraints that once kept us linked to God.

We don’t have to understand it or like it, but the fact of the matter is the Islamic State (ISIS) is driven by vision and purpose.  They attract young followers to their warped and demonic vision of a religious system of life that offers them a sense of meaning and purpose.  Once they buy the idea that what they are doing is linked to a divine ideal the rest is simple.  If they believe that the god of Islam is God, then what they are doing is easy to justify and they believe they will be rewarded for doing it in the end.  In a world where violence and unrestrained immorality is pumped out on movie screens, video games and an endless stream of dark music,  the bleak purpose of ISIS  fits in perfectly with their current world view.

Those in this nation who are fighting so hard to destroy the American Dream do so because they have lost the vision that it once imparted to its people.  It was a vision based on the Truth’s that come from the God of the Bible.  All it takes is for someone to read the quotes and speeches  of our Founding Fathers to know without a doubt that they were motivated by these truths.

Today our political leaders have been largely bought by special interest groups that empower them and drive them in the pursuit of power and self emulation.  Most of them have lost the vision that made America a great nation.  What once was meant to be a temporary position given to those who wanted to serve our country has now become a career and a stepping stone to riches and power.  They are drunk on these things and will do anything they can to keep them.

The Judeo-Christian revelation of God is where we can find the hope and vision that will restore our nation and save our youth.   It was not so long ago that most Americans had that dream and believed in the God of the Bible.   We must find our purpose again as individuals and as believers.   When our people can again say “Taste and see that the Lord is good” (Psalm 34:8) He will step in and fight our battles for us.  Truly the battle is the Lord’s.  Without Him we cannot withstand the evil that is coming and is even now here knocking on the doors of our homes and our nation.

Just Looking For Some Truth Here?

Bible vs Qur'anWatching the television news these days can be a very confusing thing if you are hoping to find any reasonable thinking on display.  Especially when it comes to figuring out the way our government and the media is going to deal with the growing problem of terrorism in the world.  It would seem like the easiest way to deal with things of that nature would be to simply tell the truth.  That seems to be a difficult matter for politicians though, and for mainstream media as well.  Distorting or avoiding the truth must be part of the underlying  qualification for becoming a politician or a journalist these days.

Take the term ‘Radical Islam’ for instance.  It apparently is very hard for the current administration to use that term when it comes to terrorism, but when they do use it they point to it as being a small part of the religion or system of Islam.  But if we look at the term ‘Radical Islam’ from a pure language perspective  we see that it identifies just the opposite of what they are trying to portray.  According to most English language dictionaries the word ‘radical’ actually means “arising from or going to the root source”.  From that perspective ‘Radical Islam’ is a term that means basically Islam in it’s pure root form.

Of course that is perfectly understandable to anyone who has taken the time to read what Muslims read.  In spite of their claims that the radicals are misinterpreting the Qur’an, if you read the book itself you will see that the “radicals” actually represent true Islam and the moderates don’t.  From that perspective you can see why the Islamic State (ISIS) fighters are killing other Muslims:  They don’t consider them to be real Muslims.  And according to the Qur’an they are right.  So if you really think Islam is a religion that we should defend you should take up a gun and head for the nearest ISIS recruitment center to sign up.

That’s where truth comes in.  Most people aren’t asking the right questions.  For one: is the God of Islam the same as the God of the Bible?

A close friend and I attended a ‘Ministry to Muslims’ conference in Detroit several years ago.  We were there to distribute the book, ‘The False Prophet’ by Ellis Skolfield, which clearly shows that Islam is the end time enemy of Israel, the Church and the God of the Bible, and fulfills the prophecies of Daniel and the Book of the Revelation.  Most of the ministries that attended disapproved of our being there and they clearly stated that Islam is just another religion of the God of the Bible.  In other words when Muslims say ‘Allah’ they are talking about the same God we worship.   Let’s see if that’s true.

The Qur’an says –  “Those who say: ‘The Lord of Mercy has begotten a son,’ preach a monstrous falsehood, at which the very heavens might crack, the earth break asunder, and the mountains crumble to dust. That they should ascribe a son to the Merciful, when it does not become the Lord of Mercy to beget one!”   —Qur’an 19:88

The Bible says: ”  Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father either; he who acknowledges the Son has the Father also.”  1 John 2:23

Gee, that was easy. Logic tells me that two opposing statements cannot both be true.  From that simple premise you can accept the Bible or the Qur’an as representing the Truth about God, but not both.

You can make it more difficult if you want in an effort to defend Islam but from my perspective it places a person right in front of Joshua as he proclaimed to the Israelites:

“And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”   Josh. 24:15

Now if you are wondering who the Amorites were they inhabited much of Syria and founded what we know as Babylon in Iraq.

Add to these tidbits of truth the fact that our President told a New York Times reporter that he considers the Muslim call to prayer “one of the prettiest sounds on earth at sunset” and   . . . well, that’s another thing that might make someone wonder what the truth is isn’t it?

Just thinking . . .

 

My Brothers Keeper

My Brothers’ Keeper   by Craig Marlatt   ©2015

Cain and AbelIf you’re like me you have probably wondered about some of the questions found in the Bible where God doesn’t provide an answer. The first big one that caught me by surprise is found in Genesis 4:9 when Cain, after brutally killing his brother Abel, had a surprise visit from God who asked him, “Where is thy brother Abel?

To which Cain sternly replied, “I know not. Am I my brothers’ keeper?”

Let’s face it: if you got caught red-handed by God doing something that bad you might not be as creative as Cain was. This is a first class job of spontaneous ‘shifting of the heat’. Cain might just as well have come right out and tried to put the blame on God himself with something like,  ‘Don’t ask me. You’re the one who’s supposed to know everything.’

But strangely enough God doesn’t answer Cain directly. Instead He chose to ask Cain another question:     “What hast thou done?”

This is also the first indication that parents would pass bad things down to their kids via the ‘monkey see monkey do method’. You might recall Cain’s father Adam when― after the big mishap with the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil ― Adam shifted the heat to Eve and she then followed that up by passing it off on the serpent. To paraphrase the First Couple, Adam said, “The woman You gave me, she made me do it. To which Eve replied, “The serpent tricked me and I ate it.”

I mean, you can’t really blame them since no one had ever been found guilty before. They were just taking their best shot at self-preservation. As for Cain, he was just following in his parents footsteps and carrying on the family trait of shifting the heat.

But I digress. Let’s get back to the question, Am I my brother’s keeper? It’s a good one if you really think about it. We hear a lot about personal responsibility these days. Maybe Cain had just been wondering about that himself and he decided to test the theory to find out what the answer was. Hey, it’s a thought!

I recently heard about a situation in downtown Orlando where a street panhandler was run over by a generous elderly woman who gave him a dollar. Apparently he had one of those “Help please I’m homeless” signs and the nice lady rolled down her car window and handed him a dollar bill. Unfortunately for the pan handler the wind blew it out of his hands and in a desperate effort to retrieve it he crawled under the ladies car after which she then drove over the top of him unaware that he was under the wheels.

From what I understand she just drove off feeling good about doing a nice thing for someone and didn’t even notice the big ‘thump’ under her wheels as she pulled away. She probably thought it was just one of those annoying speed bumps that keep popping up everywhere these days.

No, it seems like no matter which way you go with the brother’s keeper idea it doesn’t guarantee that someone won’t have a bad day. Sometimes no matter how good your intentions are things don’t go that well.

I remember one time when I was retrieving my wife and daughter Julia from the local Barnes & Noble where they had been perusing the latest children’s books with some of our grandchildren. While I was exiting my van, a disheveled woman in her mid-thirties approached me and asked if I would give her $30 to catch a cab to her sister’s house. She said her husband had beaten her up and she was trying to get to her sister’s home who was apparently waiting to help her.

When I asked where her sister lived it was only a few miles away and happened to be in the direction we were headed.

“It won’t cost you $30 to get there,” I said. “It’s only a few miles away. Besides, you’re in luck,” I told her. “I’m headed that way. Let me get my family and we’ll take you right to your sister’s house.”

“I haven’t eaten all day so I was trying to get some money to eat too.” she replied. “That’s why I asked for $30.”

“You’re in luck again” said I. ‘We were going to have dinner somewhere, so I’ll buy yours too before we take you to your sisters.”

Then came the greatest follow-up I had yet to hear (and I’ve heard plenty in my time).  “I hope you won’t be offended” she said, with a sense of pride, “but I don’t ride with strangers.”

Needless to say I sent her off in another direction to continue looking for the next sucker. While I stood there still pondering the age old unanswered question, “Am I my brothers’ keeper?”

By the way, the panhandler that the lady ran over just died today.  No doubt, being your brothers keeper can be costly at times.  I guess there’s no easy answer for the question and we’ll have to work it out as we go through each circumstance of life.  Since God didn’t answer it outright, maybe we have to figure it out as we go.

The Cross – God’s Solution for Sin

“For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.”

The CrossLiving in a world so filled with man’s inventiveness it is hard not to marvel at what can be accomplished by the ingenuity and cleverness of human beings.  The giant leaps that have been made during my own lifetime in the areas of  science, medicine, technology and learning are nothing short of miraculous.  It has been said that the Twentieth Century alone saw more advancement in these areas than in all other periods of history combined.

Yet, in spite of all of our wisdom, genius and innovation we have not been able to save ourselves from who and what we are.  We still grapple with the base human elements and behaviors that make up the state of fallen man.  We murder, kill and make wars. We  practice deception, cheat and defile in epic proportions that seem to increase with every passing day.  Truly, as the apostle Paul wrote in Romans 3:10-12There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.”

The quest for advancement and self-improvement has not been lost on the Church either.  We hear much preaching today about overcoming our obstacles and failures and achieving great success and status in the world.  We have unlocked the secrets to personal blessings and many lay claim to great spiritual powers and gifts that can move God to do whatever they ask of him.

Generation after generation has seen and heard the clamoring voices touting the achievements of great men of wisdom and power.  Yet we are still in darkness, shackled to the sins that so easily beset us as they have all men throughout the ages.  In spite of all that we have been able to accomplish the statement can be drummed today just as loudly as it ever has been, “There is none righteous, no not one.”

And then we behold the Cross where our Lord and Savior gave his life and shed his precious blood for us.  Here we see God’s answer for our great dilemma.  Here we can find the solace that fills our hearts with hope and understanding.  Yes, it is foolishness to those who are lost, but to us who have been saved from the vanity and futility that is such a part of this life it is more precious than silver and gold.

Paul wrote that “The Jews require a sign and the Greeks seek after wisdom: But we preach Christ crucified . . .”  (1 Cor. 1:22)

But do we preach Christ crucified today?  Are we hearing that message from the pulpits today to remind us that Jesus died on the Cross so we could be re-united with our Heavenly Father.  Is there any hope for the world other than this clear promise that came down from Heaven to men?

As we see the world racing at rocket speed toward judgment, where will we look to find the hope and faith we need to stay the course?  It is not a sermon, or a message or even our own commitment to our faith that will bring us through.  It is the power of the One who said, “Come unto me and I will give you rest.”  He who promised,  “I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live.”

No, in spite of the genius and ingenuity of man, we cannot save ourselves from the ultimate end that awaits this fallen world.  But thanks be to God He has provided a Sacrifice.  The Lamb of God slain from the foundation of the world.  Jesus the Only Begotten of the Father who took upon himself the sins of the world so that we who believe can eventually find the Eternal peace and victory we are seeking for our tired souls.

So let us put our trust in the One who is able to delver on his promises.  Truly one day we will be exceedingly glad that we did just that.

Is God Real

The ThinkerAccording to a number of online and print articles I have seen recently many Christians today are beginning to question their faith and some in fact are walking away from it altogether.  Some site growing scientific evidence against a belief in God and others stress that the stringency of the rules or requirements are outdated and unrealistic for today.  Of course from a prophetic view the fact that this is happening adds strength to the reasons to believe since the falling away we are seeing was so clearly predicted throughout both the Old and New Testaments.  There is no better proof of God than fulfilled prophecy.

If you are someone who has been standing on the fringe of Christianity for some time, today’s world certainly is one that would call for a decision on your part.   The unrelenting assault on belief in the God of the Bible is hard to deny by anyone with a sense of objective reasoning.  One might ask the question, ‘If the Bible God is not real, why is the world so vehemently opposed to him?’   With so many apparent choices in the marketplace of religion these days it is easy to pick one that doesn’t create so much controversy.   So why are those who choose not to believe in the God of the Bible so adamant about removing him from the dialogue? And why doesn’t God just show up and reveal himself so we can all know what the truth about him (or her) really is?

That question may be easier to answer than one might think.  The fact of the matter is, God has no need to defend himself or to answer his critics, regardless of how much they believe he is obligated to do so.  It wouldn’t change things for him and it probably wouldn’t change things for those demanding a response.  In my humble opinion I don’t think the world would really be as eager to hear from God as they think.  He has plenty to be angry about if the Bible is true about what he expects from us.  And the truth is, he has shown up to reveal himself.  About 2000 years ago God made a real time visit to earth and what we can learn from that gives us a pretty awesome picture of what God is like.

The Bible says that if you want to know who God is and what he is like you can get all that information by observing the life and character of Jesus Christ.  Colossians 1:5 says, “The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.  (NIV) And again in Hebrews 1:3  the writer says, “Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high,”

It isn’t difficult to know what God is like if we really want to.  I think the real problem is that because of our unbelief we tend to like the question more than  answer.  The fact of the matter is God has shown himself to us and given us a real picture of what he is like.  And you couldn’t put it any better than Jesus did when answering his disciple Phillip in John 14:9:  “Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?”  It is pretty easy to choose the God of the Bible if you look at the other options that are out there.

But maybe we should go with Ayn Rand’s philosophy of ‘Objectivism’ which seems to be popular with so many today.  Why do we even need a God?  The fact that we exist is all we need to know.  It’s our being here that gives us the right to do things our way.  Whatever you think is right is up to you.  And if there is a God who doesn’t make himself visible to us he can’t hold it against us if we make the wrong choices in life.  Or in other words, “Let us eat and drink  for tomorrow we die.”  (1 Cor. 15:32)

Of course there’s always Islam, which seems to be gathering such an eager crowd of defenders today.  Just bow down to Allah and kill everyone who won’t do that. Now there’s a system that really sounds like fun.  Or maybe Hinduism which has so many millions of gods you can just pick whichever one you like to follow.  Then of course there’s Scientology for those who are looking for a science fiction writers version of God.

No.  I think God is real and in nearly 67 years of traveling this world I haven’t seen any that compares to the God Jesus called Father.