Category Archives: Christianity

A Dream for Today

It was only a dream, but it seemed so real:

I stood on a starting line waiting for a race. A man dressed in a long white robe stood off to my left, wearing leather sandals on his feet. His dark beard and long hair framed his bronze face. He held a starter’s gun in his hand and nodded at me.

“Are you ready?” he asked.

I pulled up my red track shorts, yanked my white athletic t-shirt outside my shorts for more freedom of movement, and checked to see if my shoestrings were tied tightly on my Nike running shoes. Everything seemed ready. I nodded back at him.

“Now remember,” he said, “you need to go as fast as you can. This is a timed race. You only have a limited amount of time to finish it, okay?

I looked over the racecourse. In the distance, I saw the finish line with healing, deliverance, prosperity, miracles, wonders, peace, and joy awaiting me on the other side. Between the starting and finishing lines stretched an obstacle course. Posts sticking out of the ground. Fences. Brick walls. Quicksand pits. Mud bogs. Trees. Rivers. Water falls. Railroad tracks. Highways. Tunnels. Dangerous cliffs. A narrow path zigzagged its way through the course like a switchback jungle road. It looks easy enough, I thought, just stay on the path and run as fast as I can.

I nodded again to him.

“Get ready.”

I got down on my haunches.

“Get set.”

I rose into a sprinter’s position. My feet and legs strained, set to slingshot my body forward.

“But first, you’ll need this,” he said before firing the gun. 

He walked over and covered my eyes with a black blindfold. Not one ray of light touched my eyes. I could not see a thing, not even my feet.

“Now, don’t forget, you must go as fast as you can.”

I heard a faint whispering behind me, a soft voice saying something. I paid no attention to it.

BANG!

I took off like an Olympic sprinter, running as fast as I could.

BAM!

I hit a post and fell to the ground. My nose felt like it was broken with blood gushing from it. The warm wetness soaked through my t-shirt. It hurt so much I wanted to just lie there and quit.

The dark haired starter walked over and stood above me.

“Now, don’t forget this is a timed race. You need to run as fast as you can.”

I struggled to my feet. As I did, the same soft voice whispered words behind me. But again, I paid no attention and took off running.

YUCK!

I fell into a quicksand pit and found myself sinking under the heavy glop. The more I flailed my arms and legs, the faster I sank. The sandy goop soon reached my neck, not far from my nose.

“Help me, Lord,” I shouted.

My body relaxed and I floated over to the edge, crawling out of the pit. I flopped down there. It was all I could do to catch my breath from the all-out physical effort of trying to survive. I wanted to quit.

“Don’t forget. This is a timed race. You need to go as fast as you can,” the starter exclaimed.

Why I stood up, I don’t know. Maybe I was a glutton for punishment or possibly a modern day Don Quixote searching for futile endeavors to joust against. I brushed the sand off my legs and attempted to clean my shoes. I once more heard what sounded like soft whispers in the background, but like the earlier times, I ignored them.

My sense of direction was completely out of kilter. I could not figure up from down, let alone north, south, east, or west. However, I gave it the old college try and took off running.

SPLASH!

I fell into a deep river with fast-moving waters rushing over me. The hurtling rapids sent me flying downstream in a haphazard manner, smashing my body against rocks and floating logs. I attempted to swim toward shore, but the full force of the current battered my body, flinging me about like a rag doll in a typhoon.

“Lord, help me!” I screamed.

My hand reached out and grasped a tree limb. I pulled myself across the stream, hand over hand on the limb, and climbed onto the shore. This was the end. I couldn’t handle anymore.

I heard the soft voice whispering to me once again. This time I gave it my full attention and listened.

“Stand up,” said the gentle voice.

I obeyed it.

“Okay, now turn to your right ninety degrees.”

Again, I obeyed.

“Walk four steps ahead and stop.”

I walked ahead and waited for the next command.

“Turn forty-five degrees to your left.”

I turned.

“You went too far. Turn to your right five degrees.”

I adjusted myself in accordance with the instructions.

“Walk ten steps forward and wait.”

I stopped after walking ten steps.

“Won’t this take a long time to finish the obstacle course,” I said.

The gentle voice laughed.

“My system is the fastest way through the obstacle course. However, you can always choose to return to your running blindly method, but as you have learned, that can be extremely painful. What do you want to do?” the voice said.

“Lord, what’s Your next instruction?”

Then I awoke with a Bible verse on my mind:

“Your own ears will hear Him. Right behind you a voice will say, “This is the way you should go,” whether to the right or to the left (Isaiah 30:21 NLT).

(An excerpt from my memoir, The Hunt for Larry Who.)

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Hey God, didn’t You hear our prayers and prophecies on the presidential election? (Part 6)

I really believe that God is backing Donald Trump’s bid to become the Republican candidate for President of the United States.

Okay, okay, relax for a moment. Take a deep breath and then continue reading.

No doubt, it’s easy for all of us to point out Trump’s flaws and his lack of Christian credentials. What you see with Trump is pretty much what you get: a seventy-year old man with swooped back hair, wearing a Brioni suit and dripping with pride, petty anger, lack of graciousness, intelligence, and bravado. He is what he is and nothing more.

Aha, so why would God back him?

Trump is the perfect tool in God’s hands to expose the Republican Party — GOP, as in God’s Own Party — to us Christians. And oh my! Has he ever! Trump has ripped open the underside of the Republican Party and exposed the party as a bunch of lying, conniving, manipulating, money-hungry scalawags that cares little about us believers, except for needing Evangelicals to keep them feeding at the money trough.

“Deception lasts until the faith for it is all used up.” (Francis Frangipane)

We Christians should praise God for Donald Trump. We should rejoice that our eyes are opened to the whitewashed deception that is the Republican Party and our involvement with it. We should bow on our knees and repent for placing our hopes for America in the GOP. We should then say, “Lord, what do You want us to do?”

Will Donald Trump become President of the United States? Maybe, but I do not know for sure.

Will America survive?

I believe America will survive – and may even see prosperity again – for a few more years, but we need to use this time of grace to wisely prepare for the horrible times that await us. How well we and our families handle the bad times in the future depends on  our preparations now.

(Taken from a series I wrote in 2016: Will America Survive?)

(Continued in Part 7…see complete series to date here.)

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Hey God, didn’t You hear our prayers and prophecies on the presidential election? (Part 5)

Frank Schaeffer, son of Francis Schaeffer, wrote a best-selling memoir, Crazy for God: How I Grew Up As One Of The Elect, Helped Found the Religious Right And Lived To Take All (Or Almost All) Of It Back.

His quote — “We helped make a movement that went totally off the rails and, of course, politically is still going now” — mainly refers to his disenchantment with Evangelical Christianity from his insider’s view of the participants.

But more on that later.

Let’s say that Francis Schaeffer was busy reading a book and didn’t watch TV the night Rev. Jerry Falwell preached at the televised crusade in 1978. Then, they probably would never have met. Then, Rev. Jerry Falwell would not have been involved in politics. Then, the Moral Majority would never have begun. Then, the Evangelicals would not have flocked to the Republican Party. Then. Then. Then. Then. Many other things would not have happened in America.

Would we be any worse off in America today if Schaeffer and Falwell had not met in 1978?

I believe the answer is a loud “NO!”

In fact, I believe we might be better off today if these two men would never have met.

Why?

Both Schaeffer and Falwell were dynamic, persuasive, intelligent believers. So, when they arrived at American Christianity’s fork in the road in the late 1970s, they set the standard for Christian leaders by choosing the much-traveled path of preaching and lecturing, which allowed them to reason with hundreds of thousands of people. Their examples spawned tens of thousands of pastors and preachers to tread on the same roads.

Almost overnight, eighteen state Moral Majority Chapters were organized with grassroots volunteers, supporting the Republican party. This probably helped elect President Ronald Reagan in 1980, but it also encamped most Evangelicals inside the GOP as lemmings following supposed Christian/conservative candidates.

The sad fact is that Christianity entered into spiritual warfare against abortion and anti-Christ attitudes by aligning itself with a political party and placing its hope in politicians. Yipes! We’re using the world’s weapons to try and defeat Satan on his battlefield and with his rulebook. It will never result in victories for Christ and His followers!

Yet, if anyone mentions that we’re heading the wrong way, tens of millions of believers will rise up and scream, “It worked for us in 1980. We just need another Ronald Reagan to change America!”

It would have been better to have suffered defeat in 1980. Then, we could have licked our wounds, sought the Lord, and learned how to fight the good fight. And anyway, almost every accomplishment of President Ronald Reagan has long since been lost…except for the political template, which we Christians drag out every four years to supposedly “take back America.”

I agree with Francis Schaeffer’s son Frank’s quote, but I believe Evangelical Christianity never had its wheels on the right track even at the beginning of the journey in 1979. However, we’re still trying to beat the rock with Moses’ worn-out staff, hoping to get water from it.

(Taken from a series I wrote in 2016: Will America Survive?)

(Continued in Part 6)

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Hey God, didn’t You hear our prayers and prophecies on the presidential election? (Part 4)

“We helped make a movement that went totally off the rails and, of course, politically is still going now.” (Frank Schaeffer, son of Francis Schaeffer)

What if Francis Schaeffer had never met with Rev. Jerry Falwell in 1978?

Francis Schaeffer was a Christian theologian, pastor, author, political activist, founder of L’Abri community in Switzerland, noted intellectual, and profound speaker. He emerged as a powerful critic of American Evangelical churches and their many  compromises with the world, especially abortion. He lectured, wrote books, and filmed a series of documentaries.

Schaeffer then crisscrossed America in the early 1970’s with his wife Edith and son Frank, pointing out our nation’s sins. His messages caught the attention of powerful Christian politicians: Congressman Jack Kemp, Senator Bob Dole, President Jerry Ford, Ronald Reagan, and the Bush family. These politicians believed the Republican Party needed to back Schaeffer’s ideas.

Also, during the 1970’s, Rev. Jerry Falwell, pastor and founder of Thomas Road Baptist Church and Liberty University, realized America was becoming more and more secular, moving away from its Christian roots. Although he had believed and preached for years that Christians should not be overly involved in politics, he noticed the success of Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Civil Rights Movement in changing America through the political process. He then traveled across the nation in his “I Love America” tour in 1976 and preached against Equal Rights Amendment, lack of prayer in schools, and abortion.

Schaeffer happened to see Falwell on a televised crusade in 1978. Schaeffer instantly recognized Falwell’s potential for building a broad fundamentalist-evangelical alliance. The two met and Schaeffer convinced Falwell that Christians needed to change America through political involvement.

From this meeting, Falwell went on to found the Moral Majority with Paul Weyrich, a Republican political activist. President Ronald Reagan stated that the Moral Majority helped put him in the White House in 1980.

The Moral Majority was eventually disbanded in 1989. Jerry Falwell stated: “Our goal has been achieved…The religious right is solidly in place and … religious conservatives in America are now in for the duration.”

I agree with Francis Schaeffer’s son Frank’s above quote, but for totally different reasons. More on that later.

But once again, what if Francis Schaeffer had never met with Rev. Jerry Falwell in 1978?

(Taken from a series I wrote in 2016: Will America Survive?)

(Continued in Part 5)

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Hey God, didn’t You hear our prayers and prophecies on the presidential election? (Part 2)

 

Let’s step back a few feet so we can have a look at a bigger picture of what’s happening in America right now:

I am seventy-four years old and soon to be seventy-five.

You can call it pride or whatever you want, but I have always hoped to see the Lord return in my lifetime. Maybe others can relate to this same hope. But all of this was shattered to pieces when I felt the Lord speak to my heart, “I am not returning in your lifetime. Help prepare your children and grandchildren for the End-Times.”

Whatever disappointment I might have felt at the time was erased by the urgency of His words.

Many preachers talk about the “Great Falling Away” as if it will be just a slight bump in the road for the American church. After all, America has the greatest concentration of Christians within its borders compared to any other nation in the world. 80 to 100 million Evangelical Christians by many estimates. Almost thirty percent of our total population.

Let no one in any way deceive or entrap you, for that day will not come unless the apostasy comes first [that is, the great rebellion, the abandonment of the faith by professed Christians], and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction [the Antichrist, the one who is destined to be destroyed] (2 Thessalonians 2:3 AMP)

Do you actually believe the Apostle Paul was talking about a slight bump in the road when he wrote about the “Great Falling Away?”

I don’t.

It’s my belief that if we don’t take drastic steps that 50 to 75% or more of America’s Christians will abandon their faith during the soon coming End-Times period. That’s forty to seventy-five million believers turning their backs on God!

Why such a large number?

Corrie Ten Boom’s 1974 letter about the Rapture explains most of my reasoning:

There are some among us teaching there will be no tribulation, that the Christians will be able to escape all this. These are the false teachers that Jesus was warning us to expect in the latter days.

In China, the Christians were told, “Don’t worry, before the tribulation comes you will be translated – raptured.” Then came a terrible persecution.  Millions of Christians were tortured to death. Later I heard a Bishop from China say, sadly, “We have failed. We should have made the people strong for persecution, rather than telling them Jesus would come first. Tell the people how to be strong in times of persecution, how to stand when tribulation comes — to stand and not faint.”

Somehow, most American believers have swallowed the same poisonous Pre-Trib Rapture doctrine and believe we won’t suffer even though Jesus said –

For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be. And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened. See, I have told you beforehand. (Matthew 24:21-22, 25)

We believers are the elect. His warning was meant to inspire us to prepare ourselves ahead of time.

(Excerpt from my series, Will We End Up Being a Part of the Great Falling Away. You can read the whole series here.)

So, how will our Lord stir up His church to rid us of our rebellion, apathy and lethargy?

(Continued in Part 3)

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Are You Willing to Pay the Price?

The vibrant sounds of Mozart’s Piano Concerto Number Seven swirled through the Beacon Hill mansion’s ballroom. The fifteen females seated around the grand piano, listening to the maestro, had proper Brahmin names like Cabot, Coolidge, Forbes, Lodge, or Shaw. Each traced her ancestry back to the earliest Puritan settlers of Boston. This blueblood lineage insured their invitation to the social tea, no nouveau riche Johnny-come-latelies were among the invitees.

When the pianist completed the piece, he stood and bowed. The women showed their appreciation with warm applause. One of the ladies put her white-gloved hands to her mouth and said, “Oh, I would just do anything to be able to play the piano like that.”

The maestro turned and stared at her. His eyes exploded with fire.

“No you wouldn’t,” he said.

The crowd collectively gasped. All felt sorry for the woman who had been openly rebuked by the man’s insensitive words.

As for the lady, she sat stunned, paralyzed by his harsh eyes, tears rolled down her cheeks. Then, as if she remembered her privileged pedigree, she mouthed three defiant words at the pianist: “Yes, I would.”

“No you wouldn’t,” he said again, leaning over the piano toward the lady.

“Because if you really meant what you said, you would have been willing to give up your youth, your teenage years, and eight to ten hours every day practicing on the piano. You see there is a price to sit on this bench. I’ve been willing to pay it, and you have not!”

Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. (Matthew 16:24)

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Over 60? Is it too Late to Build a Prayer Life? (Part 4)

praying

Along with our friends, Tony and Janelle, Carol and I moved to Charlotte, North Carolina, in late 1997 to join The Watch of the Lord prayer ministry and to attend All Nations Church. Mahesh and Bonnie Chavda headed both ministries.

Each of us felt the Lord directed us to move there. Our billfolds lacked money and credit cards, but faith filled our hearts, believing God would somehow supply our needs.

We pooled out money together and rented a room with two double beds at the Charlotte Residence Inn. The room contained less than two hundred square-feet of floor space with a kitchenette, two beds, four chairs, table, and a bathroom.

A mortgage financing company hired the four of us as telephone sales reps on our second day in Charlotte. The company paid its employees on a biweekly basis, which meant our first paychecks arrived two weeks later. This posed a problem because we only had enough money for one week of rent at the motel.

Each morning the four of us gathered together and prayed for our finances, as in, “Oh Lord, help! HELP!”

We introduced ourselves to the church and ministry as soon as it was possible. The members said we were the answers to many prophecies spoken to the group about people moving from different parts of America to be a part of the ministry. Their words encouraged us, but our money still dwindled daily because of food and gas.

A couple from All Nations Church invited us to their home for a small group meeting and Christmas party on the last night of our motel rental. The four of us agreed not to mention our dire financial needs to the group, but instead, we were determined to trust the Father, according to Matthew 6:6 −

But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.

The married couple lived in a beautiful new two-story home located in a picturesque area with tall pine trees. It had a large living room, three bedrooms, fireplace, two bathrooms, and large kitchen. A perfect place for four needy, soon to be homeless, believers like us.

The meeting began with Christmas songs and prayers, with the group then waiting on the Lord to hear His voice. The group leader broke the silence by turning to Tony and Janelle.

“Do you guys need something?” he asked, looking at them.

Tony and Janelle shook their heads.

“Not really. The Lord is taking care of us,” said Tony.

The group returned to waiting on the Lord, but the leader was not satisfied and again turned to Tony and Janelle.

“I just don’t feel good about your answers. What do you need?”

Tony and Janelle answered again in the same manner.

“The Lord is taking care of our needs. Thanks for asking.”

The leader would not quit. He continued to ask them what they needed.

“Okay, here’s the story,” Janelle finally said, “we’re out of money for rent and groceries starting tomorrow morning. We don’t know where we shall go or how we’ll survive until we get paid next week.”

How do you think these joyous, Christmas celebrating Christians replied to her statement? And remember: it was December and cold outside.

The group’s leader digested Janelle’s statement for a moment. He motioned with his hands.

“Let’s gather around these two couples and pray for them.”

Tony, Janelle, Carol, and I stood in the middle of the living room while ten Christians placed their hands on our shoulders and prayed. They cried out to the Lord with passion for our circumstances.

I cheated a little by keeping my eyes open and watching the group. Oh Lord, I thought, this looks like the sum total of their aid for our needs. If so, I feel like puking all over their carpet for their level of Christianity.

The rhythm of their prayers reached a crescendo and backed off, waiting for someone to speak.

“I see the Lord raining drops of gold on the four of you,” prophesied a woman. “And all you have to do is reach up by faith and grab what you need. Just reach up right now.”

The prayers ended and we sat down again.

What a convenient prophecy, I thought. They actually believe they don’t have to help us in our time of need because of the woman’s prophetic words. Shouldn’t someone ask how much gold we were able to cram into our pockets during the prayers? Why did the Holy Spirit unmask our financial needs? To reveal our lack of faith or to reveal the group’s hypocrisy?

Various types of Christmas cookies, fudge candy, sandwiches, chips, and potato salad kept the four of us busy after the prayers. We stuffed ourselves and then graciously said our goodbyes and left.

The four of us did our best to pray blessings on the group and forgive them for their lack of hospitality on our drive back to the motel.

We checked out of the motel the next morning, packed our cars, and went to work. After our phone sales shift, we drove to a large shopping mall and stayed there until it closed at 9 p.m. We then drove both cars behind a large motel and slept in our cars.

How we handled the cold December temperatures was out of necessity rather than comfort. We only started our engines when the cold became unbearable. As soon as they warmed up, we turned the engines off to conserve fuel.

This routine continued for days.

I now wonder about the what if’s, such as, what if we had been four fluffy Golden Retriever puppies abandoned by a cruel master on the couple’s front steps. Would the small group have ignored our pleading eyes and whimpering yelps, allowing us to freeze to death outside in the cold weather? I don’t think so because that’s too inhumane, right?

But whoever has the world’s goods, and sees his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him? Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth (1 John 3:17-18).

If we want to build our prayer lives, we have to prepare ourselves for the possibility that we might end up being the answer to someone else’s prayers. If we don’t want to do that, why even pray, right?

(Continued in Part 5)

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35 Years Ago Today, A Baseball Game Was Rained Out and I Met Jesus

baseball_rain

 

In 1985, my life smashed into a brick wall. I needed thousands of dollars to start a publishing company and bail my family out of debt. My sources were all maxed out and the hope level in my reservoir was hovering at empty. I was finished.

The only untouched asset I had was a $125,000 life insurance policy. So, my solution seemed obvious: suicide.

As for taking my life, I had no problems with it because I was an agnostic. No God equals no problems with eternal judgment, right? It wasn’t personal, just a business solution for my family and me.

My plan was uncomplicated. I figured on enjoying one last weekend with my family and then committing suicide on that Monday evening.

Thus, on May 20, 1985, I spent the day finishing up loose ends. Then, for some reason, I stopped at an insurance agent’s office. Although we knew each other, Bill Sheridan and I were not intimate friends and had never really talked to each other before that day.

Bill invited me into his office. We discussed baseball. Then in the middle of our conversation, he stared at me and said, “You’re thinking about committing suicide, aren’t you?”

His words hit me like a sledgehammer. How did he know? I told no one. It was my secret $125,000 payday. I was speechless. As I sat there, a vision played across my mind about my car ramming into a viaduct and killing me.

I wept and although I tried to regain my composure, I could not. “How did you know?” I asked.

“Oh,” said Bill, “the Lord told me while we were talking to each other.”

His words shattered my unbelief. God was alive and He cared about me. We continued talking and he finally gave me a book to read: Power in Praise by Merlin Carothers.

When I arrived home, I began reading the book. After a few pages, I walked into the bathroom, closed the door and knelt in front of the sink. Looking into the mirror, I prayed, “Jesus, I’ve tried everything else and nothing has worked. I guess I’ll give You a try.”

Instantly, I was changed. Fear and shame were no longer a part of me, but instead, joy and hope filled my heart. Bowing and worshipping my new King, I promised to never let go of His hand.

If my story were a fictional Hollywood movie, perhaps it would resemble It’s A Wonderful Life. Jimmy Stewart would play me and Donna Reed my wife. The angel would get his wings and everyone would live happily ever after. The end.

But sadly, my life has not been a work of fiction. It has been a day to day journey, filled with a few good experiences, but also many mistakes, false starts and failures. Divorce. Loss of friends. Numerous firings from sales positions. Low-paying jobs. Poverty. Rejection. Loneliness. Not exactly, a picture perfect Christian life.

And yet, it has been in the deepest valleys where the Lord has truly revealed Himself to me. It was there He became my loving Father and I learned His grace was sufficient for me.

Oh yeah! The baseball game, right?

On May 20, 1985, the Cleveland Indians versus the Milwaukee Brews baseball game at Cleveland Stadium, became the first rain-out of the 1985 Major League season.

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Over 60? Is It Too Late To Build A Prayer Life? (Part 3)

praying

 

Religious Nut

The first time I heard the term “religious nut” was in the 1950’s when my mom spit those words out of her mouth. It happened when we shopped at Meiners’ Grocery Store in Forreston, Illinois. Mom picked a few items off the shelves and carried them up to the checkout. Lillian Meiners, the cashier, attempted to talk about the Lord to Mom while totaling the purchases on the cash register. It was a one-sided conversation with Mom saying nothing.

“She’s a religious nut!” Mom proclaimed as we walked to our 1955 Pontiac, parked outside the door.

From that day forward, Lillian Meiners personified a religious nut to me. I would often see her and when I did, Mom’s words popped into my mind. Lillian never knew my true feelings about her. It was one of those inner character assassinations I never spoke aloud to anyone.

Lillian’s name was filed on a forgotten corner shelf of my mind until late 1985. It would still be there covered with layers of dust and cobwebs except for the question I asked the Lord one morning during prayer.

“Jesus, why did you save me?”

A clear voice whispered to my heart.

“Because of Lillian Meiners’ prayers for you.”

His words shocked me, but a few years later, I talked with her pastor, Rev. Orin Graff. He told me Lillian was a faithful prayer warrior for kids who attended Bible Camp.

Thus, the first saint I am going to hug upon my arrival in heaven will be Lillian Meiners. I want to thank her for faithfully praying for an agnostic who always thought she was a religious nut. We can have a good laugh about my ignorance and how Jesus set me straight.

(An excerpt from my memoir, The Hunt for Larry Who.)

Lillian Meiners died over thirty years ago. So, she would have been in her 60s when she spent time praying for me.

Lillian reminds me of what Wesley said of Whitefield:

John Wesley and George Whitefield certainly had their theological differences which at times caused great problems. With this in mind, a timid lady asked Wesley after Whitefield’s death, “Do you expect to see Whitefield in heaven?”

“No, madam,” replied Wesley.

“Ah, I was afraid you would say that,” said the lady.

“Do not misunderstand me, madam! George Whitefield was so bright a star in the firmament of God’s glory, and will stand so near the throne, that one like me, who am less than the least, will never catch a glimpse of him,” said John Wesley.

I also will need strong field glasses to see the likes of religious nuts like Lillian Meiners and other senior citizens who have faithfully prayed for the generations that followed them.

(Continued in Part 4)

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Friday’s End Time Bible Studies (Part 11)

Is the Covid-19 virus one of the  seal judgments, specifically the pale horse, mentioned in Revelation Chapter 6?

Let me answer this question by looking at another time period.

In 1917-18, American soldiers were fighting in WWI. The end result of their struggles was over 117,000 killed in action and another 200,000 wounded. The total toll of WWI for all nations approached 20 million deaths.

Now, at almost the same time, an influenza known as the Spanish Flu, broke out on a global basis. Before it was finished in 1919, this flu killed 675,000 Americans and an estimated 20-40 million people world-wide.

So, if you think Covid-19 has people talking about the four horsemen of the Apocalypse, it’s nothing compared to how believers viewed the End Times in 1918-19. Believers were almost positive Jesus was returning almost any day back then.

But the years 1918-19 missed three important entities, without which the prophetic words of Revelation can’t take place. Those entities are: (1) Israel has to be a nation, (2) Jerusalem has to be the capital of Israel (3) and there has to be a functioning Temple with sacrifices.

Today, there is a nation of Israel with Jerusalem as its capital, but there is no functioning Temple.

The answer: Covid-19 is not one of the seal judgments.

Chauncey Novarro, an End Times teacher, pointed out an important fact in one of his many teachings. He stated, “The End Times calendar is laid out in Matthew Chapter 24.”

I agree with him.

Therefore when you see the “abomination of desolation,” spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place (whoever reads, let him understand) (Matthew 24:15)

Jesus referred to the Book of Daniel when he spoke about the “abomination of desolation.”

Okay, check out these two verses:

Then he [Antichrist] shall confirm a covenant with many for one week; but in the middle of the week he [Antichrist] shall bring an end to sacrifice and offeringAnd on the wing of abominations shall be one who makes desolate, even until the consummation, which is determined, is poured out on the desolate.” (Daniel 9:27)

And forces shall be mustered by him, and they shall defile the sanctuary fortress; then they shall take away the daily sacrifices, and place there the abomination of desolation. (Daniel 11:31)

The word “week” in the Hebrew either means a week of seven days or a week of years or seven years. Thus, the middle of the week would be forty-two months, 1260 days or time, times and half a time as mentioned in Daniel and the Book of Revelation.

Phew!

Okay, if you look at Matthew 24: 3-14, you will notice verses referring to wars, famines, pestilences, earthquakes, persecutions and martydom.  These seem to follow along quite well with Revelation Chapter 6 or the seal judgments.

And the verses in Matthew 24: 16-31 follow along well with Revelation Chapter 8 and 9 and also Revelation 11:15. These are the trumpet judgments and when Jesus returns.

Therefore, Matthew Chapter 24 seems to be a calendar for us to view the End Times.

(Continued in Part 12…but if you want to read all of the parts to date, you can go here.)

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