Saturday, July 30, 2005

Whatchya Polishing There?

Shortly after I came to Christ, I was introduced to the "Left Behind" series. I found the series fascinating, but did my best to focus on the entire Bible, so as not to over-focus on end-time prophecy. I know that many people feel that a lot of Christians have some kind of morbid fascination with doom and destruction, but for me, prophecy inspires me to live right today. Here's a list I've borrowed that mentions good reasons for studying prophecy:

Why Study Prophecy?
Nearly 1/3rd of the Bible deals with prophecy…events which at the time they were written had not yet occurred.

A. Prophecy Comforts and Calms (1 Th 4:16-18)
1. (1Th 4:18) “Wherefore comfort one another with these words.”

B. Prophecy Converts (Acts 4:1-4)
(fulfilled prophecy provides proof of the Bible's authority and veracity to help convert the unbeliever)

C. Prophecy Cleanses (1 Jn 3:2-3)
(we are declared righteous but we will be righteous at the marriage supper)

D. Prophecy Reveals True Doctrine
(pre-millennial position is not a popular one, but it is Biblical…literal)
(over 300 OT prophecies told of the coming Messiah...all fulfilled in Jesus, but the Nation of Israel failed to recognize Him as their Messiah)

E. Prophecy Instructs (1 Jn 2:27)

If we look at the prophecies that have been fulfilled, we see that they were fulfilled literally... and THAT fact gives us reason to believe that those prophecies that are yet unfulfilled, will be fulfilled.

That said, I also can't help paying attention to the warning of Ray Comfort, reminding us that examining the details of possible end times scenarios (amongst Christians) does nothing to evengelize. In his words:

Prophecy is great, it's fun, it sparks the intellect and proves the bible is divine revelation BUT it's polishing the brass inside the lifeboat.
Good point. However, I still think prophecy itself can be a powerful evangelizing tool. If and when someone can see that the Bible is astoundingly accurate at showing what's to come, it can make the person see God's omniscience, and spark an interest in learning more about what the one true God has to say on other matters.
Once again, I hold to no specific time that the end-times will occur, but this list certainly makes one wonder if we are "in season." Today, next week, 147ooo years from now? Only God knows, but Luke 21:36 tells us to : "Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man."

101 Last Days Prophecies

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Can Anything Good Come From Canada?

Born and raised a proud Canadian, it dismays me (as a Christian) to see the ultra-liberal path my home and native land seems to be walking down. The media that reaches me here in North Carolina would have me believe that the majority of Canadians spend their days getting high with their same-sex spouse. While one hand is busy growing and exporting marijuana to the US, the other hand is busy importing aspects of Muslim law (Shariah) in to the legal system. Supposedly, many parts of scripture cannot be uttered lest it be interpreted as "hate speech." This article by Hal Lindsay is nothing less than frightening in it's potential, long-term implications.
However, as with any country, the media coverage does not necessarily reflect what's going on in the mind and hearts of the populace. Even though he spends little time in Canada now, my fellow countryman, actor Kirk Cameron, is doing his best to spread the Good News with his "Way of the Master" Ministry. Here's a great article detailing his courageous witnessing to others on the set of the Left Behind III movie. Way to go, Kirk!
On one hand, I fully expect to see my beloved country of origin more and more in the news, as the inevitable tragic consequences of turning further and further from God come about. The good side of this is that the light that does exist in Canada will only become that much brighter. Whether or not it makes the secular news, I'm ready to hear stories of revival in pockets
of the Great White North.
How do I know this? The bible shows, over and over again, that God puts light in the midst of great darkness. The greatest darkness ever - Jesus' death - was ultimately the greatest light known to man. During earth's final days before Christ's return (the 7-year tribulation), Godless behavior will be happening at an unparalleled rate. Yet, at the same time, 144,000 Jewish witnesses will be bringing people to Jesus at unprecedented rates.
For any fellow Canucks reading this, I'd love to hear stories that verify the intense activity for Jesus when it comes.
Meantime, to Canadianize Micah 6:8, "Act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with your God, eh!"