The NFL Goes Political
One of the devil’s favorite tools for changing the social and political values of a society is a strategy of maintaining continuous forward attack. He launches an endless stream of cavalry charges until victory is achieved. It doesn’t matter if the vast majority of the population is against something. Satan will use his minions to apply constant pressure until public opinion moves in his favor.
The devil has been able to manage some truly stunning transformation in our world. There was once a time when someone who was found to be a practicing witch would be burned at the stake. Today, it is cool to be a dabbler in the dark arts. In England, for example, there was a fashion show at a 1,000-year-old church, where models dressed up in witch costumes.
Before, the term homosexual and transgender was largely associated with people with mental illnesses. Now, people use their sexual practice as part of their name.
Having won nearly all the moral battles in America, Satan is now working on attacking the very fabric that keeps us together as a nation. By getting people to dishonor the nation’s flag, he can tear apart the principles that have made America the greatest nation on earth.
The now infamous NFL controversy started in September 2016, when San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick began bowing at the national anthem. He said at the time that he was taking a position against “a country that oppresses black people and people of color.” Kaepernick was short on details on why he was protesting. The police, who were said to be the source of his narrative, were all found not guilty of hate crimes. Kaepernick didn’t even bother to vote in the last election.
As soon as Kaepernick started his sideline stunts, ratings for football began to decline. The liberal media fought back against the fan revolt by posting stories that had the ratings decline as an unknown mystery. Despite there being numerous polls that showed why the public was unhappy with the protests, the press has argued that the rating drop is just a short-term glitch in the ratings data.
President Trump has weighed in on this controversy. He said the NFL owners should fire anyone who “disrespects our flag.” As soon as he spoke, he was immediately pounded with the full assault from the liberal media. They ran with their prepared script and acted like every American except Trump was perfectly fine with this travesty. If this protest is about free speech, then the president should be able to say what he wants on the matter.
By allowing ourselves to be spied on by the NSA and body searched by TSA agents at the airport, we have already surrendered much of our personal liberty. If we allow the flag to be disgraced by the NFL, we are surrendering our identity as a nation. What will result is the rule of law being replaced by mob rule.
This sudden need for football players to wave the Black Lives Matter banner on the field flies in the face of standing NFL policy. The league had previously refused to allow players to wear things that honor the five cops killed in Dallas, the 9/11 terrorist attack, and victims of domestic violence. One player was fined for simply wearing at a post-game press conference a shirt that said “No Jesus No Peace.”
I am doubtful that there will be any enduring backlash against these protests. In 1966, John Lennon had people burning Beatles’ records when he said, “We’re more popular than Jesus now.” The next year, the group had their biggest hit record of their career.
Far too many people ignore facts that contradict their beliefs. Most folks know that the liberal media is lying to them, but they don’t care because they don’t see the danger. One of the shortcomings of democracy is that our liberty can be used by the enemy to destroy our freedom. If you allow people to say, “There is no justice in America for black people” and “We are no better than North Korea,” we will end up with someone of the same type of barbaric leadership as Fat boy Kim Jong Un.
In the past few weeks, several earthen dams have been placed in danger by the massive rain from recent hurricanes. The failure of one of these dams is a perfect example of what is occurring in America. Once water overtops an earth-filled dam, the water action eats away at the material, releasing more water and causing an exponential rate of collapse of the dam.
This same principle is at work in the spiritual world. As demonic forces gain control of areas of our society, they use their influence to draw more and more people into their control. This vortex of evil is engulfing our nation at such a fast rate, we can tell that we are at the latter part of the latter times.
“Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils” (1 Timothy 4:1).
“…And the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined” (Daniel 9:26).
Rapture and Watching
Recently I listened to a well-known preacher on his TV program saying something to the effect that only those “watching” for Jesus will go to be with Christ in the Rapture. He defined “watching” as those Christians who are truly wanting for Jesus to return and that believe with great faith that He will call them to Himself in that great Rapture event.
This didn’t totally surprise me, because this particular preacher has, in my opinion, never been clear in his thoughts on the security of the believer—that is, the once saved, always saved doctrine, as the sometimes hotly debated term goes.
While his remark in making such a statement—to be watching is commanded by the Lord—is scripturally correct, I totally reject the premise that it is possible for even one truly born-again person to be left behind when Christ says: “Come up hither” (Rev. 4: 1).
I believe that the apostle Paul made very clear who will be taken in the Rapture when Jesus calls the Church. Paul, in revealing the mystery of the Rapture, said the following:
Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. (1 Corinthians 15:51–52)
Paul, given the key to this mystery by the Lord Jesus Himself, tells us clearly that all will be changed. It will take place in less than a microsecond. That’s the Rapture!
The word “we” is the pronoun that is all-inclusive as given in this context. The “we” here means all who are born again—the Church.
There is no room for any believer to be left behind in Paul’s declaration. Those who are truly saved—that is, who are in Christ Jesus, who shed His blood and resurrected to redeem all who will but received this free, grace gift, will go in that twinkling-of-an-eye moment.
Paul, under divine inspiration, further enlightens concerning the security of the believer:
For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:38-39)
Again, Paul uses a pronoun that is all-inclusive of believers in God’s way to salvation—Jesus Christ—the only righteousness God the Father recognizes. Paul, under that divine inspiration, says that nothing and no one will ever be able to separate “us” from the love of God.
Paul is undeniably talking about the born-again, because he goes on to say that this “love” of which he speaks is “in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
The pronoun this time is “our,” meaning those he is talking about—including Paul himself—who are born again—that is, who are believers in Christ for salvation.
The TV preacher then said that watching for Christ means one is “worthy” to stand before the Lord on that Rapture day. Again, implying strongly that unless one is watching, he or she is not going to go in the Rapture.
He used the following Scripture in that declaration:
Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man. (Luke 21:36)
Some years ago, I addressed the matter of being “worthy” in God’s holy eyes.
What does it mean to be “worthy,” as given in this Rapture example? Again, the answer is wrapped up in the same name as before: Jesus. Jesus is the only person “worthy,” in God’s holy eyes, to be in the heavenly realm.
Remember what Jesus said to a man who addressed Him as “Good Master”?
And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? none is good, save one, that is, God. (Luke 18:18)
Jesus, the second person of the Godhead, was not seeking to chastise the man for addressing Him in this way. The Lord was confirming through this question that He is indeed God, the only good, the only righteousness. Righteousness is the only ticket to Heaven–either through the portal of death, or through the Rapture. Only through Jesus—being born again into God’s family through belief in Him—can a person enter the heavenly realm.
Jesus spoke to this all-important matter by addressing Nicodemus:
Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. (John 3:3)
God’s Word says about fallen mankind:
As it is written, There is none righteous no not one. (Romans 8:10)
For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. (Romans 8:23)
So, Jesus is the only person “worthy” to enter Heaven. It is through Him that any of us are worthy to stand before Him in that heavenly realm. That is the truth found in the Scripture in question.
On a less magnificent scale, the word “worthy” in this passage means that we should be in a constant mindset of prayerful repentance. We should always want to be found “worthy”—cleansed of all unrighteousness, as stated in 1 John 1:9, so that we will hear our Lord say to us on that day:
Well done, good and faithful servant. (Matthew 25:23)
Many of God’s children will doubtlessly lose rewards at the Bema (judgment seat of Christ,) for not being watchful and not listening for their Lord’s call in the Rapture. But, they will make that fantastic trip into Heaven, every single one, because of the Lamb of God who redeemed them.