Apr 22, 2019

The LGBTQ Agenda Has Won the Culture War: Why Is It Not Satisfied?

The gay movement has made huge social gains over the past 60 years. In the late 1960’s it was illegal in most countries to participate in homosexual acts. Today, being of the LGBTQ bent would go unnoticed, if it wasn’t for them still proudly declaring their sexuality.

The LGBTQ folks are still of the impression that they have several steps to go before they achieve equality with straights. In reality, every major barrier has been removed. They can dress up in clothes previously restricted to the oppose sex, they can serve openly in the military, and they now enjoy the same marital rights as heterosexuals.

The lack of any real grievance is the reason why some sexually confused people decided they wanted the right to use the restroom of their choice. A couple of years ago, the LGBTQ lobby was calling for a boycott of states with laws that required people to use restrooms that corresponded to their sex at birth. The whole issue lost momentum and faded when everyone collectively realized the silliness of the whole matter.

Another phony battle that the gay community has been waging is the one with Chick-Fil-A. The fast food company does not have any active opposition to homosexuality. Chick-Fil-A has long backed away from supporting any organization that is remotely anti-gay. The hatred festers because the queer community wants Chick-Fil-A to bend its knee to the gay lifestyle.

San Jose city council members voted unanimously to hang rainbow flags and pink and blue pro-transgender rights flags outside the Chick-fil-A that’s scheduled to open inside the San Jose International Airport in May. There have been campaigns around the country, including San Antonio, Texas, and Buffalo, New York, to try to prevent new Chick-fil-A locations from opening in their communities.

Jack Phillips, owner of the Masterpiece Cakeshop, was sued when he refused to make a wedding cake for a gay couple on religious grounds. The U.S. Supreme Court gave him a partial victory by saying that Colorado’s Civil Rights Commission violated Phillips rights under the First Amendment. Because the court did not rule on the larger issue of whether businesses can invoke religious objections to refuse service to gays and lesbians, it allowed for someone else to sue him over a refusal to bake a cake celebrating a gender transition.

It should be clear to anyone with the rational mind, that you don’t ask your enemy to bake you a cake. It is just pure vindictiveness to try to compel this man to violate this faith.

Pete Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, has formally launched a bid for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination. Buttigieg, who has enjoyed a surge in opinion polls and fundraising in recent weeks as his contrived feud with the vice president has drawn a great deal of media attention.

Buttigieg claims that a 2015 Indiana law signed by Pence allowed businesses to use religious liberty as a defense for hate. He argued the law would allow businesses to discriminate against the LGBTQ community.

“The vice president is entitled to his religious beliefs,” Buttigieg, the openly gay mayor of South Bend, Ind., said on CNN’s “New Day.” “My problem is when those religious beliefs are used as an excuse to harm other people,” he said.

Buttigieg didn’t have any beef with Pence when he was Governor of Indiana. Now that he is running to be the first gay president, Pence and Chick-Fil-A are the enemies of gay rights. Because homosexuality is based on a belief that is contrary to human nature, Buttigieg can’t tolerate Christians that hold to biblical truth. The only way to have sexual freedom in America is to silence the voices of all believers who dare to stand against the LGBTQ agenda. The day will soon come when they will get their wish, but instead of paradise, the world will suffer the fate of Sodom.

“It was the same as happened in the days of Lot: they were eating, they were drinking, they were buying, they were selling, they were planting, they were building; but on the day that Lot went out from Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all. It will be just the same on the day that the Son of Man is revealed” (Luke 17:28-30).

–Todd


The Departure

Author’s note: This article has appeared in this and other forums previously. The heads-up it represents to the Christian who should be looking for the Blessed Hope (Titus 2:13) has never been more relevant than now. Because the spiritual falling away is so pronounced, the literal (spatial) “Departure”–the Rapture of the Church–has never been more in immediate prospect!

The Scripture is haunting. It echoes and reverberates throughout the spiritual hallways of the Church with each passing hour.

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).

This forewarning fits into the last-days pattern, also given by the Apostle Paul, in the familiar prophetic passage:

Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of Perdition. (2 Thessalonians 2:3)

The “falling away,” apostasia in Greek, means a “departure from.” Paul prophesied in the 2 Timothy 4:1 passage that there will come a time at the end of the Church Age when people will depart from the “faith.” He foretells in 2 Thessalonians that this will be a general “falling away,” the apostasy of the end time. What is this “faith” from which people will fall away, and who are the “people” who will fall away? Another crucial question is: Can the departure that God forewarned be recognized when it occurs?

“Faith,” as here defined, must by context be the faith in the One who is at the heart of the Gospel–faith in the Lord Jesus Christ as the Lamb of God, chosen from the foundation of the world to be the propitiation for the sin that separates fallen man from God. It is the faith you and I must have in order to confess with our mouths that Jesus is the only begotten Son of God, and to believe in the deepest part of our spirits that God raised Him from the dead.

That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. (Romans 10:9)

A person can’t fall from a position (doctrinally speaking in this case) he never has attained. The “people,” then, whom Paul the apostle is writing about in his prophecies of 1 Timothy 4:1 and 2 Thessalonians 2:3 are those who have believed in Jesus Christ for salvation of their souls.

This brings us to the question: Can the departure God, through Paul, foretold be recognized when it occurs? To recognize that “falling away”–that apostasia, or apostasy—when it begins to happen will almost certainly give the Christian attuned to God’s will a heads-up on the nearness of the Tribulation era, thus to the nearness of the Rapture of the Church.

We have looked at the “faith” as faith in Jesus for salvation and at the “people”who will “depart” from the faith as being the Church–that is, the true Christians who are alive at the time of the end, when the apostasy takes place.

Although there are those who think this departure includes the possibility of one losing one’s salvation, the “falling away” of 2 Thessalonians 2:3 cannot include that meaning. A quick look at Romans 8:38 and 39, to name just one security-of-the-believer passage, shows that God’s Word teaches that the believer can’t depart from the Heavenly Father to the point of losing his or her family status. Jesus, in John chapter 17, makes that absolutely clear. I suggest that if you have questions about this, read the Scriptures I just mentioned.

What, then, is meant by “departing from the “faith”? Glad you asked. The “faith” mentioned in 2 Thessalonians and 1 Timothy 2:3 is a collection of faith principles wrapped up in the Lord Jesus Christ. These principles are doctrines put forth by the Word of God. The Word of God is none other than the Lord  Jesus:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (John 1:1)

“People” at the time of the “falling away” will “depart” from the “faith”–the doctrines put forth by the Word of God, who is Jesus Christ. This departure will mark the generation of Christians at the very end of the Church Age.

The question that applies most relevantly to us today is: Are we seeing signals of the departure about which Paul forewarned?

We have analyzed, dissected, examined, and inspected every end-time signal found in God’s Word many times in these commentaries: Israel again in the land of promise; the EU looking to be the reviving Roman Empire; Russia, Persia (modern Iran) and other nations looking to be a nucleus that will one day form the Gog-Magog force of Ezekiel chapters 38 and 39. These, plus, all of the other end-time characteristics of this generation.

However, I believe the most insidious of all the things taking place under the clever, devious hand of the devil–Satan—is the falling away, the departure from the faith being currently orchestrated by Lucifer, the fallen one.

This departure is evident to the spiritually discerning when looking at the church growth movement. This “seeker friendly” approach to both the saved and the lost (all who don’t know Christ) through New Age, corporation-type seminar seductiveness and brainwashing techniques that water down or completely eliminate true Bible doctrine is leading in a profound departure from the “faith once delivered” (see Jude 1: 3).

The new paradigm instituted by the champions of the church growth movement is the shift from New Testament Christianity to “New Spirituality-Driven Christianity.” Like in the modern corporate organization, invented in large part by German economic guru Peter Drucker, who mentored some of the leading designers of the church growth movement, the system is more an organism than an organization–adopting Drucker’s model based upon Freudian psychology and Darwinian evolutionary principles. The individual is assigned a value, and must fit in or be removed from the system. To put it as I heard one person of the movement say: “Pillars just hold things up. So, they need to be moved out of the way.” So, those who hold to doctrine must get out of the way so no one

will have their feelings hurt by talk of sin, blood atonement, and eternal punishment in the place called Hell, if repentance is not forthcoming.

Again, the Apostle Paul wrote God’s view of this watering down of doctrine:

But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. (Galatians 1:8)

Are we at the point of departure from the faith that is prophesied for the very end of the Church Age? Maybe we can get a better sense by looking at one more area of Scripture pertaining to the matter:

I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. (2 Timothy 4:1-4)

There is another prophetically scheduled departure to consider. It’s the one we should be looking forward to. It is a God-ordained onethat will remove every child of God of the Church Age–living and dead—from Planet Earth in one millisecond:

Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ. (Titus 2:13)

–Terry

Apr 15, 2019

The Death Penalty Is Not a Joke, But It Has Become One

I was going to write about the Death Penalty based on a timely ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court, but I needed to put it off until this week for one important reason – I simply could not deal with how insane it has become. Over the past 10 years, I must have written at least four Nearing Midnight articles on the craziness of capital punishment.

It has become increasingly difficult to carry out a death sentence because of an ever-growing number of tactics. Lawyers for the condemned will raise issue after issue until they find a judge that agrees with them. The U.S. Supreme Court recently blocked the execution of a Buddhist inmate on death row because prison officials wouldn’t let his spiritual adviser be present in the death chamber. The adviser was said to be essential in guiding the inmate into the rebirth of his next life.

There has been a long battle over the use of drugs in executions. The left has convinced most domestic drug companies it would be bad publicity for their product to be used in an execution. The state of Texas had to create a secrecy law to shield the pharmacy that provided the Texas Department of Criminal Justice with the pentobarbital used in its execution.

When Oklahoma executed Charles Warner by substituting potassium acetate for the potassium chloride, the anti-death penalty purists whined that there had been a major violation of the state’s execution protocol. Both Nebraska and Ohio attempted to purchase sodium thiopental from overseas suppliers, and either the companies quit making the drug or they banned all exports to the U.S.

The lack of access to drugs has caused some states to turn to alternative execution methods. Tennessee reauthorized use of the electric chair, while Oklahoma passed a bill to make nitrogen gas asphyxiation its backup method. These two methods will likely be combated with the “cruel and unusual punishment” amendment that was first used to gum up the death penalty process.

When carried out in a timely manner, capital punishment has an enormous deterrent effect on the number of murders. Murder rates, which had trended downward since 1935, took off almost vertically after 1963, the year the Supreme Court started overturning state death penalty convictions.

The reason why we need a death penalty is to protect society from evil people. The press loves to give coverage to cases where someone is released from jail after being wrongfully convicted. They remain silent when a murderer is released, then kills someone else.

Last month, a man was released from jail who simply shouldn’t be breathing air. Thomas Kokoraleis was part of the four-man satanic cult called the “Ripper Crew” that terrorized Chicago in the 1980s, killing up to 18 women in the area, according to The Chicago Tribune. Kokoraleis went to prison for a single woman’s 1982 murder after he agreed to a 70-year plea deal. Because Illinois required the person incarcerated to get day-for-day credit for time served, Kokoraleis only served 35 years.

The mother of that slain woman was obviously outraged by Kokoraleis’s release:

“I will never understand how a man who was convicted of raping and murdering my daughter could be walking free in Illinois today. My daughter was an innocent victim,” she said. “Her murderer did not receive the justice that he deserved. But I believe in God, and I have no doubt that God will deliver the final judgment,” said Lorraine Borowski.

The Bible provides strong support for the death penalty with the Old Testament bluntly saying “Whoever takes a human life shall surely be put to death” (Leviticus 24:17). In Romans, Paul wrote that it’s indication of sound authority rule for leaders to properly punish wrongdoers. The fact that capital punishment has become such a massive joke is one more indication that this world is well deserving of God’s end-time wrath.

“Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, for he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer. Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God’s wrath but also for the sake of conscience….”(Romans 13:1-14 ESV).

–Todd


Bad News/Good News

Our news as Christians today is filled with trepidation. It seems all is bad news.

Every aspect of life at present appears on the brink of contributing to the bringing forth of the dreaded Tribulation predicted by God’s Word.

Geopolitically, the world is on the verge of war and freedom seems on the cusp of being snuffed. Even the great bastion of freedom–the United States of America–appears subject to a future of such oppression.

Sociologically and culturally, evil men and seducers are growing worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived. Paul’s 2 Timothy chapter 3 “perilous times” are front and center in the news during our every waking moment.

Religiously, even the evangelical body of believers seems to be defecting–moving at breakneck speed into the apostasy of 2 Thessalonians chapter 2 and beyond.

Economically, while the national situation in fiscal matters is pointed out by “experts” as going “great guns,” one doesn’t have to look too deeply beneath the surface of financial/monetary matters to know there is serious trouble brewing. With a national debt of $22.1 trillion and climbing exponentially, how can future prospects be described as looking other than bleak?

In every direction we look on the future’s horizon, we see the last seven years of human history quickly approaching.

So, the news is bad for the most part; there is no other way to put it.

It is with this fact in view that it was brought to mind the good news/bad news plethora of jokes that have assaulted the ears through my life. Here are a few of the clean ones just to give an idea of those similar to the ones I’m sure you’ve heard, too.

These are jokes aimed at pastors for the most part.

Good News: You baptized seven people today in the river.

Bad News: You lost two of them in the swift current.

Good News: The Women’s Guild voted to send you a get-well card.

Bad News: The vote passed by 31-30.

Good News: The Elder Board accepted your job description the way you wrote it.

Bad News: They were so inspired by it, they also formed a search committee to find somebody capable of filling the position.

Good News: You finally found a choir director who approaches things exactly the same way you do.

Bad News: The choir mutinied.

Good News: Mrs. Jones is wild about your sermons.

Bad News: Mrs. Jones is also wild about the “Gong Show”, “Beavis and Butthead” and “Texas Chain Saw Massacre.”

Good News: Your women’s softball team finally won a game.

Bad News: They beat your men’s softball team.

Good News: The trustees finally voted to add more church parking.

Bad News: They are going to blacktop the front lawn of your parsonage.

Good News: Church attendance rose dramatically the last three weeks.

Bad News: You were on vacation.

Good News: Your deacons want to send you to the Holy Land.

Bad News: They are stalling until the next war.

Good News: Your biggest critic just left your church.

Bad News: He has been appointed the Head Bishop of your denomination.

Good News: The youth in your church come to your house for a surprise visit.

Bad News: It’s in the middle of the night and they are armed with toilet paper and shaving cream to “decorate” your house.

When people approach with these good news/bad news matters, they usually ask: “Do you want the good news first, or the bad?” Most, I believe, answer: “Give me the bad news first.” –At least that’s most often my answer.

So, looking through Rapture Ready news recently, I found these headlines that fit in the bad news category. We will have a brief gander at these first.

Diplomats at the U.N. commit anti-Semitic acts 
Global anti-Semitism can best be observed at the General Assembly of the United Nations.

*   Mystery E. coli outbreak sickens 72 people in 5 states, CDC says
A multistate outbreak of E. coli has raised alarms and questions: As of Thursday, 72 people in five states have become ill, yet the cause of their infection remains unknown, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Friday.

China is ‘threat to world’ says dissident writer
A dissident writer…said…that his homeland is a “threat for the whole world”. Liao Yiwu, who was jailed for writing a poem called “Massacre” about the Tiananmen Square protests, told AFP that it would be better for mankind if the economic superpower “splits up.”

Sources: UN nuclear watchdog inspects Iran ‘warehouse’ Netanyahu pointed to
The UN atomic watchdog policing Iran’s nuclear deal has inspected what Israel’s prime minister called a “secret atomic warehouse.”

Convention at major U.S. hotels showcases extreme sexual depravity

That weekend, major Cleveland hotels will host CLAW, the Cleveland Annual Leather Weekend It’s a large orgy of homosexual males focused on “sado-masochism.”

Well, we could have found even more significant signs of the approaching apocalypse. But you get the picture. Bad news is everywhere we look–and in every area of life.

Now for the Good News! Good News, of course, is the definition of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The Gospel is that Jesus came to die for the sins of mankind so that all people, if they individually accept God’s grace offer of redemption, will not die apart from God, but will have abundant life for all eternity.

Those same Christians are promised that they will not have to endure the Tribulation that is sure to come. They will be kept out of that time of God’s wrath (Revelation 3: 10). –And that’s the entire seven years of Daniel’s seventieth week (Daniel 9: 26-27).

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (John 3: 16)

–Terry