27 April, 2015
Know Why You Believe
Throughout many years I’ve added a wide variety of pages to the site that are all designed to help advance the gospel message. One of the most basic witnessing tools can be found on the Testimony pages. They were added to the site sometime in the spring of 2002.
In one of my Nearing Midnight articles I had made an appeal for people to write up their testimonies and send them to the site. We listed them by common categories such as homosexuality, drugs, and cults to encourage people who may be dealing with those various problems. Since we had as many as a dozen people under each category, I was satisfied with the number we had—so we never added any new testimonies.
But recently I have had to make regular updates on those Testimony pages. There have been at least a dozen times that people have asked me to remove their testimony of faith from the site. I only used first names, so it wasn’t a problem with personal information. A few people included emails to mostly Hotmail, AOL, or Yahoo accounts.
It quickly became obvious why people wanted me to delete their testimonies; they no longer believed what they had written. The passage of time had caused them to back away from the most important declaration that a person can make: To choose Christ as Lord and Savior by faith and accept His free gift of salvation.
You would think that most people would be too embarrassed to make such a request. I could tell that having a testimony on the Internet had been eating at them. They searched for their testimonies down to the point of discovering some of the ones found on a RR’s mirror sight. It makes me sick to my stomach to have people driven to remove all traces of their previous confession of faith In Christ. I can only think of Jesus’ statement:
“Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels” (Mark 8:38).
In one case, I received a delete request from someone who had previously operated a major Christian website. It once had the motto: “This ministry is devoted to Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior.” I asked the person why he pulled the plug on his witnessing tool.
He wrote back saying, “I have mixed feelings about organized religion... I also have concerns about the Trinity doctrine, and I think Jesus might have been a prophet. I also have doubts about the Rapture doctrine.”
But he still wanted to be “like Christ” from an academic point of view.
I did a search of this person’s name on Google and found he had a long unflattering record with Wikipedia. He had been banned from the site for posting lies and creating false accounts to promote a book he wrote. To get back in Wikipedia’s good graces, he had to post a letter admitting his misdeeds.
Over the years, I have witnessed dozens of people who have suffered spiritual train wrecks. Of the people I know personally there were warning indications of trouble to come. I don’t ever recall observing someone of strong faith just suddenly recanting his or her belief in God. The ones who flame out are those who have a long struggle with their Christian identity.
The obvious lesson here is that identifying yourself with Christianity doesn’t make you a believer. True faith must come from the heart. The apostle Paul said you could do all the good works in the world, but without love you have nothing:
“Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing” (1 Corinthians 13:1-3).
The main purpose for having a testimony is because you love the Lord Jesus, and you wish to publicly declare what He has done for you. The test of time will separate true believers from false believers. If you have a true commitment to Christ, there is nothing that can break that bond.
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek” (Romans 1:16).
Israel in the Eye
It is striking, yet not much is said about it among prophecy observers, as far as I've found. A tremendous storm is brewing in the Middle East, and lesser, troubled winds are stirring all around the planet. What I believe to be the end times hurricane is building. The one place where there seems a relative calm at the moment is within the focal nation of the world, from God's Perspective.
Israel looks out upon the swirling winds that wreak their deadly havoc upon regions to their north and east while the likes of ISIS (ISIL) beheads Christians and anyone else who doesn't agree with their brand of Islam. Saudi, and others, prepare to oppose assaults from a number of enemies who want their oil riches, while the terrorist organizations build and stockpile war-making tools.
Israel looks out upon Iran, while their once staunch ally, the United States, foolishly, as if under delusion, bargains away Israel's security from nuclear threat. Russia's Putin, stung by sanctions because of his aggressive behavior, glares angrily at Russia's neighbors and looks lustfully southward at the region where oil and gas fields diminish his own source of revenue to rebuild Soviet-style military might. America's president puts the Jewish state and its much, personally-disliked prime minister last on his priority list of things to do in trying to prevent conflict in the Middle East.
It's as if the whole world is pretending not to notice little Israel. Mainstream news media are complicit in deliberately looking the other way while Israel looks out from its precarious position in the calm center of the brewing storm and comments on its plight, unable to have its voice heard by those who count in terms of international community movers and shakers.
The words seem calmly put, but beneath the surface utterances is an ominous undertone of the phrase, “Never Again.”
This portentous, subliminal message was made starkly manifest with last week’s Iranian Army Days Celebration. Benjamin Netanyahu framed the objections the Israeli government has to things going on in regions all around his threatened country.
He protested, particularly, the Russians supplying the S-300 missiles to Iran at a time when the Iranian regime is ramping up its threats. The Israeli prime minister derided the fact that there is no reference to Iran's stepped up aggressiveness in the P5+1 major powers' dealing with Iran regarding their nuclear program.
The Iranian chess masters almost remind me of the "Iron Sheik"—a professional wrestler of the 1980s who was really an Iranian who defected from the despotic regime of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. The bad guy (Iron Sheik) would protest that he had nothing nefarious in mind while he tried to get past the referee to inflict damage on his opponent with illegal tactics.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, following the immensely enhanced 2015 version of Iran's military, which passed in review during the Army Day parade in Teheran Saturday, April 18, said about the massive S-300 missiles from Russia, "[They are part of our] strategy of deterrence in order to prepare for peace and security in Iran and the Middle East. ...Our method of action is defense and not offense..."
The intrigues in the matter of Iran vs. Israel are, of course, not a sports entertainment soap opera. It is a deadly serious, end time’s chess game, with potentially deadly serious consequences to the winners and losers.
The Israeli prime minister is not under the delusion that the rest of the world's leaders seem to be. He framed his clear understanding of the situation as it exists:
"Yesterday we saw the military parade in Tehran and Iran’s exhibition of weapons to the world. Every year the missiles are bigger and enhanced—in accuracy, strength and deadliness; however, one thing does not change. What does not change is the inscription ‘Death to Israel’ on the missiles.”
Mr. Netanyahu's words were calm, without equivocation. He looks out upon the storm swirling about his beleaguered nation that sits in the storm's eye. But, the subliminal warning to the rest of the world—to the Iranian chess-masters must not be ignored. "Never Again.”
We learned this past week that Netanyahu's claim is true that Iran could be as close as, not ten years to developing uranium enrichment for a bomb, but in actuality, only two to three months away from their goal. Now, the Obama Administration is agreeing that that claim, scoffed at by media and by the administration, was exactly right.
The administration apparently decided to bring the truth of the matter to light because they want, due to the critical time the world faces for Iran's nuclear breakthrough, to pressure the Senate to rubber stamp Obama's deal with the Iranians. This, in some sort of ludicrous, convoluted rationale, supposedly convinces the administration that the deal will forestall the bomb's near-time production.
And Israel sits in the eye of the storm that is coming ever closer. "Never Again," is the refrain that can be heard eerily echoing within the increasing winds of war.
***Midnight Cry –You must
Perhaps no other song more
reflects the Glorious Rapture of the Church than does The Midnight Cry”.
We have put a link to what we
believe is the most thrilling rendition of that song we’ve heard (although
all renditions are great.)
Shawn Crane is the
singer. Shawn and his family are part of
Terry’s family, in his heart. We hope you will enjoy Shawn’s version
of this tremendous song.
Send it as you wish
through out your various social media outlets.
Link to: Midnight Cry