May 1, 2017

Death Penalty Games

The spectacle that has become the death penalty process recently came here to Arkansas. Events were set in motion by the state announcing its plan to execute eight men within a span of 11 days. The reason for the cluster of executions was because the state needed to carry out the executions—before its supply of midazolam would expire at the end of the month. I knew the process was not going to be that simple.

The left has become fanatically opposed to capital punishment. They don’t care if Muslims are throwing homosexuals off rooftops or stoning women to death for being victims of rape. Their compassion is for people who are guilty of coldhearted murder.

The chief strategy in combating the death penalty is to gum up the justice system with endless frivolous appeals. The average time it takes to put someone to death for a crime is over 20 years. Some cases stretch out over 30 years. You would think that after multiple decades of legal wrangling, there would be little doubt about a convicted murder’s guilt when the time comes for their sentence to be carried out.

There has been a huge legal battle over how the state purchased their supply of midazolam, which is used to sedate the person being put to death. To obtain the drug, a worker for the state had to travel incognito to a distributor. When McKesson Corp, the maker of midazolam found out about the plan to use its drug in the executions, it filed for an injunction. McKesson did receive one injunction, but it was later overturned.

With the appeals system staffed with liberal judges committed to the anti-death penalty agenda, disruptions have become routine. One of the first judges to stand in the way of the executions was Judge Wendell Griffen. Immediately after he halted Arkansas from executing six prisoners, he participated in a protest against capital punishment outside the Arkansas governor’s mansion by laying on a cot, as though he were a condemned man on a gurney. Since then he has been barred from taking up any death penalty-related cases. This type of outrageous judicial misconduct should be grounds for removing Griffin from the bench all together.

It didn’t take long for half of the planned executions to be canceled or receive a stay because of various court decisions. But time did run out for convicted criminal, Ledell Lee. It was the first time in 12 years that Arkansas carried out the death penalty.

Of course the liberal media has diligently kept track of the stats on capital punishment.  They have implied we were doing well for a dozen years and then we lost our way. I could sense the dismay in the media coverage when it was announced that two killers would be executed within hours of each other. The last state that put more than one inmate to death on the same day was Texas, which executed two killers in August of 2000.

The last double execution in Arkansas took place last Monday April 24, ending the lives of Jack Jones and Marcel Williams. The lawyers for these convicted criminals proclaimed their clients were too fat to be put to death. Since both men had eaten themselves into poor health, the lawyers argued they may not respond to the drugs, causing them to suffer a painful death. Nevertheless, the executions went off without any major problems.

Since weight comes up in many death penalty cases, I can only conclude the likelihood that many of these criminals are being advised to become as overweight as possible, to try to prevent their death sentence from being carried out. (The obesity ploy may be the wrong way to get sympathy.)

The execution of a fourth inmate, Kenneth Williams, shows the problem of warehousing murders. One of the most common arguments used to do away with the death penalty is the suggestion that we can lock people away forever, without any chance of an innocent person being put to death.

Whenever a hardened criminal escapes prison, the innocent public often suffers. Williams was less than three weeks into a life term for killing a University of Arkansas cheerleader when he escaped by hiding in a load of garbage. In his short time of the run, Williams killed two people. Only now after his execution, can we be sure that his murderous rampage is over.

We don’t have endless space in our prison system. The jails in Arkansas are so full, we have to rent space in other states to find lodging for our criminals. Every time we add a person to the prison population another prisoner has to be released. Quite often, the person being set free is someone who committed murder and was sent to prison for life. These murderers get back on the street and eventually kill some other person. As jails become a revolving door, it becomes clear that our approach to justice needs to be reexamined.

The following two passages of Scripture are often used to support the position of capital punishment:

“Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man” (Genesis 9:6).

“For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil. Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake” (Romans 13:3-5).

God does not play games with sin. Whenever He administers judgment in the Bible, He is very direct and to the point. These liberals who think they would have the God of heaven tongue-tied on judgment because they stood the moral high ground, are in for a big surprise. The Lord sees sin as such a serious matter, the death of His Son was the only way to lift punishment.

“For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:23).

–Todd


America’s Schizophrenia

The United States is divided today as much as it was during the Civil War. We aren’t shedding blood in furious, literal warfare, but the hatreds–the differences in thought–divide as surely as did the north-versus-south issues of the mid 1800s.

Our  name “United ” is no longer applicable in the truest sense. We are split in many ways, from political ideology with regard to constitutional authority, to worldview on geopolitics, socioeconomics, and religion. In terms of the discipline of human psychology, we are a schizophrenic country. We have severe split personality disorder, at the very least.

National  schizophrenia continues to manifest in ways that indicate mental disorder within some factions of American society and culture. Anger, unfounded, i.e., unprovable as to reasons it is warranted, is growing. Denial of reality, in that much of the population refuses to accept the legitimacy of a constitutionally conducted presidential election, is a prime symptom of the nation’s psychological illness.

Members among that faction talk openly in social media about actually wanting to see the newly elected president murdered. It’s a psychological–even psychotic revisitation, some might say–of those long ago, southern-like sympathizers in the mold of John Wilkes Booth.

Their mindset is not unlike that of the  dastardly assassin, who so resented President Lincoln after Lincoln’s directing the winning of the Civil War to preserve the Union that he could abide nothing less than the sixteenth president’s murder.

Voters have spoken within the rational, constitutional process. They put the current president in office. Mainstream media, entertainment media, higher educational institutions, and leftists of every stripe refuse to accept the legitimate election. They are observably driven to a form of madness. They are the ones who manifest the mental illness they accuse the new president of having.

We review just a few of the schizophrenic symptoms manifest in the U.S. It all stems from reprobate or upside-down thinking of which the apostle Paul warned in Romans chapter 1. It’s what happens when any people move in a direction other than that which God prescribes.

* Muslims are called peaceful while Christians are called homophobic, islamophobic, etc.

* The liberal mindset is that we should do all for the children, yet they are responsible for 58 million being murdered n their mothers’ wombs.

* This mindset calls homosexuality an acceptable alternate lifestyle, while God Word calls it abomination

* Marriage is between one man and one woman, and this culture now says it is legally a marriage between man and man and woman and woman.

* The mindset is to say “God Bless America,” yet the government has kicked God out of public affairs in 1963 and since.

* Schizophrenia exists as Islamists commit heinous attacks out of hatred for anyone who doesn’t see things their way (bow to Allah), yet the mindset is that we must have open arms and welcome people from those countries–without questioning and examining (vetting) them.

* Christians are called intolerant, yet the progressives won’t tolerate the Christian worldview–they see it as intolerant and hateful.

* Men want to become women, women want to become men–now men want to be made into women who can have babies.

* Presidential administration always looks for a “motive” when it is obviously Islamists who murder. Never call them Islamic terrorists.

* Socialism is literally impoverishing all societies around the world and yet capitalism is called the system that demeans people–examples being Venezuela and other places of late…

* Israel has only a sliver of land and the Arab nations have vast lands, yet the world diplomatic community (and many among the ideological left in America) demands that the Jewish state divide its land and give it to make a Palestinian state–from people blood-vowed to kill all Jews.

The final bulleted point in this list is the most troubling. It holds the very fate of America within its grip, if one believes God’s Word as given in Genesis chapter 12–and we do.

The schizophrenia is seen to be a perhaps unresolvable spiritual malady in this regard. America has for the last couple of decades–particularly over the past eight years–exhibited a split over support of Israel.

The former administration “put light” between the U.S. and Israel, something one of the Obama administration spokespersons vowed would happen as stated at the very outset. The Trump administration has vowed to do just the opposite. It has indeed to this point embraced the Jewish state and even is seriously considering moving the American embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv.

Yet at the same time, the American government is again befriending Israel, there is a faction, made up of domestic terrorists, it seems, who are exhibiting psychotic hatred reminiscent of that found in the Germany of the 1930s.

NEW YORK – Antisemitic incidents in the United States surged by 34 percent in 2016 compared to 2015, and have jumped 86 percent in the first quarter of 2017, new data released by the Anti-Defamation League on Monday showed.

In its annual ‘Audit of Antisemitic Incidents’, the ADL reported that there has been a “massive increase” in the amount of harassment of American Jews, particularly since November, the month of the US presidential election.

The report stated that there was a total of 1,266 acts targeting Jews and Jewish institutions in 2016, nearly 30% of which occurred in November and December. These incidents included 720 incidents of harassment and threats, 510 vandalism acts and 36 physical assault incidents.

During the first three months of 2017, another 541 incidents took place including 380 harassments and 161 bomb threats. In addition, the beginning of the year saw 155 vandalism acts – including three cemetery desecrations– and six physical assault incidents. Among the latest incident, included one last month, in which a New York rabbi received a threatening email, which read in part: “Things will start getting bloodier for the Jew boys, I know where you live.”

According to the data, if antisemitic occurrences continue at this rate, 2017 could end with over 2,000 incidents. (Source: “US Antisemitic Incidents Jump 86% at Start of 2017,” Danielle ZiriJerusalem Post, April 24, 2017)

For the moment, it seems that the current administration wants to apply healing balm to the rift with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his nation caused by the previous administration. But the American schizophrenia remains a most serious spiritual disease that grows within. Believers must continue praying as hundreds of thousands prayed leading up to the presidential election just past. It is the only Rx that will spare this nation the demise that the Lord says will befall all individuals and nations who choose to defy His divine order for mankind.

–Terry

Apr 24, 2017

Donation Drive May to July 2017

For nearly 30 years Rapture Ready has been an online resource for end-times information. I started the site in September of 1987, while I was an airman stationed at Offutt Air Force Base. In these three decades many things have changed, and some have come full circle. I started on an Apple computer that had a small screen and no mouse. Today, most people access the site on an Apple smart phone with a tiny screen and of course no mouse.

The credit for RR’s success goes to the dozens of people who have helped build and maintain its content over the years. Every day we have people posting news, monitoring the message board, creating new articles, and keeping our various categories updated.

I am always open to receiving article submissions from new contributors. Our main guideline for submissions is simple; they should have a general promotion of the gospel message and/or  sound biblical content relating to Bible prophecy and/or the end-times. I do have a word to say about commitment: I’ll have five people ask about submitting articles to RR, and I’m yet to have more than one person follow through.

We are still working on transferring articles to the WordPress format. Since last June, our Web design team has posted 5,200 articles to our new format site. We have several thousand more to relocate. If we don’t make it before the Rapture, there is already a vast amount of information for people to find.

As I mentioned in a previous a Nearing Midnight update, Rapture Ready has become locked in a life and death struggle with technology giants that act as gatekeepers of the Internet. If you are a Christian or conservative, your content is frowned upon by the Web overlords.

Throughout Scripture Jesus and the Apostles urge us to “watch” and be ready for His return. We post a lot of information on Rapture Ready that speaks to how close we are to the final years of world history—to the end of the Church Age (while at the same time emphasizing the need for people to come to a saving faith in Christ). It is also our intention to encourage believers in their walk with Christ by offering edifying content, and providing a place to visit and feel a sense of belonging in these days of uncertainty.

It has become more of an effort to maintain the site because of the anti-Christian, anti-conservative bias of the tech giants who play fast and loose with their power over those of us who are dedicated to the gospel and Christian/conservative principles. Your prayers are very much needed. I believe we are battling “the prince and power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience” (Ephesians 2:2b)—the devil himself.

A friend told me he visits a site on home gardening that is run by a Christian couple. Even though they don’t express any political views, their ability to function is being undermined; their videos are banned, blocked or diminished because of various hurdles to get to their site. It has become quite clear that if you want to have a presence on the Web, you need to keep your religion to yourself.

In any other age the mere allegation of a company deciding to discriminate against Christians would have people rioting in the streets. We have overwhelming evidence that this is happening, and yet people in general have very little concern. In February, I mentioned a petition that aimed at getting President Trump’s attention on this matter. It failed because not enough people signed up.

We have made steady progress in improving the ranking of RR. We have used ads and the posting of our content onto social media to combat the negative bias. A couple months ago, “Rapture Ready” was the only way get the site to show up in a search result. We have now been able to get first and second page listing in several prophecy-related phrases.

I do not think the bias against Christian sites is going to get any better. The left has become so insanely radical in their opposition to the folks on the right, they are going to use every opportunity to seek our destruction. Because of this blind madness, I can only conclude that it would be a fatal blow to democracy in America to even have the Democratic Party get back into power. Even with Trump as president and with Republicans controlling Congress, the left is making inroads.

Contributions which enable us to share the gospel message are not consistent. Over the years, we’ve lost faithful supporters due to death, poor health, and financial reversals. I think the greatest limiting factor now is time—it is rapidly running out.

As we get closer to the Tribulation hour, it is important for every Christian to have an end-time mindset. With the devil doing everything he can to silence promoting Bible prophecy, we must be close to the end. Because it has become very costly to keep our heads above water, it is vital that we receive your financial support along with your prayers. Your participation in this ministry is greatly appreciated and we could not continue reaching others without your help.

We have three ways you can contribute to Rapture Ready and enable our efforts to expand our reach. You can help us keep getting our message out by sending a financial gift via our postal address; you can make a one-time donation by a credit card, or you can sign-up to make monthly donations via PayPal. More information can be found on our Donation page.

Rapture Ready’s P.O. box address:

Rapture Ready
P.O. Box 969
Benton, AR 72018

–Todd


Posthumous Post Profoundly Personal

Please indulge me as I yet again engage with personal memory of Easter season six years ago. It is a memory that I couldn’t put out of the forefront of my thoughts even if I wanted to do so–which I don’t.

Good Friday, April 22, 2011 was the day that, after a workout session, I felt as if my chest would explode. It was a widow maker heart attack.

Once the emergency guys got me to the hospital about 2 two miles from our home, my heart stopped. I was instantaneously in the presence of a throng of beautiful young people–male and female–who cheered vigorously, all the while bidding me to join them.

I started to do so, but everything grew dark around me and I was on the gurney being whisked toward the cath lab.

I heard a young man say he had to “hit him with the paddles.”

I asked, “What paddles?” and he replied: “Your heart stopped and I had to use the defib paddles.”

My heart stopped two more times that afternoon. Each time I was instantaneously in front of the same wildly cheering throng of young men and women who bid me to join them.

The third time I joined them and we were running a victory lap of some sort. They were looking over at me and laughing joyously, with their hands extended at full arms-length into the air.

 

The sensation was…well… heavenly. I have no other way of describing it. We were running–without any physical exertion whatsoever–toward some wonderful destination. (I have, in reflecting on this experience for years, come to the conclusion we were headed toward the Throne of God.)

I know these were the “cloud of witnesses” of Hebrews 12:1-3.

But, things grew dark again and I was again, after seemingly several seconds, on the cath lab table and the cardiologist interventionist was working on me. He had removed the arterial blockage.

Astonishingly, I had no permanent heart damage and have had absolutely no problem with my engine since. My life, however, continues to be affected every waking moment by that Good Friday trip to somewhere on the heavenly property that I will someday inherit–as will you, if you know the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior. (We are joint heirs with Christ, God’s Word promises.)

So, with that memory indelibly etched in my spirit, I naturally–or perhaps supernaturally would be a better term–was reflecting on my trip of six years ago the other day as Easter 2017 approached.

One of my things to do every morning is to read The Omega Letter. This email newsletter is well known by most who love Bible prophecy, of course. It is the letter mailed daily to subscribers that was written by Jack Kinsella, perhaps the most prolific such writer I’ve known.

Jack was a dear, personal friend who went to claim his heavenly property inheritance in 2013. I miss him immensely, as do all who knew him. He was indeed a special friend and Christian brother.

More than that, he was a special teacher of all things biblical–especially of the prophetic Word of God. In that regard I don’t miss him, because his many hundreds of articles continue to instruct, implore, exhort, admonish, and inspire on a daily basis. His writing is, amazingly, as fresh as the day he wrote it.

So it was on Saturday before this past Easter Sunday that I opened my Omega Letter.

There it was–Jack’s inspiration and exhortation for this Easter. Only it was originally written April 23, 2011. That’s right. It was written one day after my trip onto the heavenly property that Jack now owns for all of eternity. I probably shouldn’t, but I envy him that fact…

Jack’s words were wonderfully poignant and personal that day as he waxed eloquent yet simply in his own inimitable, communicative style.

Since there is no such word as coincidence in God’s vocabulary, according to Jack’s dear friend Hal Lindsey, I know that the Lord somehow used Jack’s and my close friendship to convey this special message on the day following Good Friday.

Jack, in closing that Omega Letter, addresses the question: What happens when we die?

He wrote:

If the Bible is true and Jesus can be believed, then when a saved person closes his eyes in this life, he awakes fully conscious in the next – where he is whisked by the angels into heaven… There is a choice. But it is admittedly limited. One can repent and trust Jesus or one can face God clothed in one’s own righteousness and see how things work out…

Jack pointed out in the article that,tragically, the rich man Jesus told about in the rich man and Lazarus story is still in the place of torment, eternally regretting depending on his own righteousness to get him to Heaven. Jack’s posthumous post delivers to me the profoundly personal exhortation to do more to reach the lost with the Gospel at every opportunity–opportunity I’ve been given by having been returned to earth for awhile longer.

–Terry