Praying this morning on the eve of another Lord’s Day, praising God, my Father, desiring His name to be hallowed, seeking His kingdom and His righteousness, and His will to be done here on earth, it was with worship in mind.
Tomorrow He will meet with us who are gathered in the name of our Lord on the day of our Lord, January 10, 2021. This Eve has become a day of preparation for me, remembering that every day is the day of our Lord for over two thousand years. But, specifically, the first day of the week belongs to Him. According to His atoning work, we, who are His by grace, plan for this day to honor Him. He is the beginning of eternal life for us through His death and resurrection.
So, what difference does it make if I honor Him on His day? And what happens in this celebration of His atoning work of grace? New thoughts came to mind as I prayed for Chris, our pastor. He has specifically asked for prayer that He may preach more faithfully, more pointedly, and more Christ-centeredly. Daily praying for the Holy Spirit to work in Him in His preparation to preach the word in power, we pray more fervently the day before for the sword of God’s Word that will pierce our hearts. We pray for the Holy Spirit to prepare our hearts to receive the truth of His Word and that it will find its resting place to root and grow and produce its fruit in and through us as His children.
This means more than just saying “Amen” to what we hear. A prepared heart comes to listen to what our Father has given His servant for us. If we “have an ear to hear,” we will take in what He intends to reveal of Himself. The truth in the power of His Word will change our minds and hearts and conform them to His.
So, why do I need to be in church? The church is the place for gathering God’s people to honor His Son and receive the eternal life He came to give. It is the place of His worship and His Word. I need to know and hear from heaven the Father/Creator and Redeemer of my soul. The church was His plan, not man’s. We need under-shepherds who know Christ and the life He came to give His people, who are filled with the Holy Spirit, and who feed His sheep with the manna from heaven.
I need the cutting edge of the sword of His Word, not to desire what makes me feel good about myself, nor to be entertained, but to have all sense of pride and deception stripped from my being. I need to be cleansed of thoughts of, and plans for, myself.
Individual reading and study are good, but these are not all we need. We need the “body of Christ” listening collectively to how He plans to shape us into His image.
Christ died and rose again to give us His life, that we may live through Him (1 Jn. 4:9). The more we know of Him as revealed through the preaching of His Word, the more we become like Him, understanding the reality of His dwelling in us and our dwelling in Him (1 Jn. 4:13; Jn. 14:17, 23), Filled with Grace ~ Wrapped in Glory.)
The supernatural, spiritual work in His incarnation, His resurrection, and His ascension is the same divine power working in us through the sword of His Spirit ~ the Holy Spirit working His Word in our hearts and lives.
His sanctifies us individually and collectively.
We must submit ourselves to the weekly preaching of God’s Word to know His transforming power in the days ahead, lest we lose ourselves in the overwhelming chaos and uncertainty of the world. His Word defines who we are in Christ. We must plan, prepare, and anticipate a newness of life in Christ we have hardly known.
Dear Father, we ask for the unction of your Holy Spirit for the preaching of your Word tomorrow. Prepare our hearts to receive what you have given your ministers. Enable us to receive the truth of your Word for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, and for instruction in righteousness. Let us willingly accept what your Word reveals of the intentions of our hearts, deliver us from our sins, and conform us to the image of Christ. In His name, I pray. Amen. Fran
January 11, 2021, Governor Ducey gave his State of the State address in which he outlined his plans and goals for Arizona.
This is the time of the year when the President of the United States usually gives the State of the Union Address to the Nation. In it we hear the President’s views of how things are going in America and how he wishes for them to go in the future.
Joe Biden hasn’t addressed our Nation yet. It was thought he’d make that speech in early February, then maybe on February 23. It hasn’t happened and now it looks as though he isn’t going to make that speech at all.
I certainly wouldn’t want to upstage the Governor or the President, but today I want to give you God’s State of the World Address.
The State of the World is a topic much more important than the State of the State or the State of the Union.
– It’s more important because it involves the welfare of not just the 328.2 million people in The United States, but includes the 7.8 billion people in the whole world.
More people skipped Doug Ducey’s message than heard it, but God’s message is a message you can’t afford to skip.
– Because it’s Jesus’ assessment of the world, not mine.
– Also, because it has to do not just with economics, or education, but with Eternity.
– Its primary concern isn’t peace among nations, but peace with GOD
The State of the World’s Population
GOD would remind us there are more souls than ever needing the Gospel today.
– World population is 7.8 billion, with the highest growth in developing nations.
– Global outreach opportunities have never been greater — Christians are concerned about feeding the hungry, clothing the poor, tending the sick, and educating the illiterate.
That’s why we dig wells in Africa, buy blankets in Iraq, help the down-trodden in India, feed and care for the homeless in America………….when we do these things we’re doing them for/to Christ!
The State of the World’s Morality
What in the world has happened to our world?
What a dysfunctional mess we have on our hands!
Our culture is losing its moral and ethical roots!
People are redefining the meaning of moral in order to justify their self-indulgent, hedonistic behaviors and lifestyles.
Principles of Americans have become rotten as the moral compass of America continues to decay.
Not only our Christian moral standards, but our political system.
This can be seen by the newly elected members of Congress who are Socialist Democrats.
These anti-Americans are injecting poison into this country pushing for the same socialist policies that destroyed Venezuela.
I believe the moral decay in the United States is the direct result of our country increasingly opposing God over the years in favor of secular humanism.
As we continue to reject God and push Him out of our nation, we’re swinging our doors open and welcoming corruption, hatred and violence in our country with open arms.
In Edward Gibbon’s final volume of “The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire,” we see 3 of the 5 major causes he sites as destroying Rome that are clearly apparent in America right now.
They are: The breakdown of the family, an insatiable craving for pleasure, and the decay of religion.
We’ve become a nation as wicked, or even more wicked, than Sodom and Gomorrah, as evidenced by the increased acceptance of sexual immorality and the gruesome abortion laws that have been enacted.
We as a nation and as a world are steering off course onto the broad road leading to destruction.
We need a spiritual revival! We need to repent and turn back to God while we still can!
Ronald Reagan warned, “Without God, there is no virtue because there’s no prompting of the conscience. And without God, democracy will not and cannot endure. If we ever forget that we are one nation under God, then we will be a nation gone under.”
The State of the World’s Crises
Jesus would direct our attention to the widespread crises we’re facing today.
– These are heartbreaking times.
– With more people come more diseases and greater mortality rates.
Globally, about 10% of the world’s population has gotten Covid 19 (Coronavirus).
– In one year it’s reported that 3 million people died from this pandemic.
Vaccines have been developed to combat this disease, but their lasting effects are still undetermined. Doctors live in fear of a new virulent, unstoppable epidemic.
In addition, there are millions of people at war today, and thousands upon thousands are dying.
– Rogue states are developing nuclear capabilities, and shadowy terrorist organizations are seeking weapons of mass destruction.
– President Biden has repaved the way for Iran to get Nuclear Power which is kind of like feeding a tiger so it’ll have strength enough to attack and eat you.
– Radical Muslims are taking over the Mid-East and have set their sights on Israel and America!
– They plan a world-wide Caliphate with Shira Law which will destroy anyone who refuses to convert to Islam.
Russia’s are moving towards an invasion of Israel.
GOD warned Iran (Persia), with Russia (Magog), and a coalition of allies (including Turkey, Libya, Syria, Sudan) will go to war and will invade Israel.
Ezekiel 38-39 warns this coming war between Iran (Persia) and Israel will take place sometime after Israel has been re-gathered into her land as a nation (fulfilled on May 14, 1948)
This prophetic war hasn’t taken place yet…
THIS WAR will be unlike any other war in history … this war will unleash a series of IRREVERSIBLEevents which will change the world forever.
– God set aside two whole chapters in the Bible to warn us of this coming war…
According to the Bible, Israel must stand alone … with God.
Someone will ask, “Well, won’t the United States be there to back Israel, aren’t we allies?”
– When this coming war does finally start, the United States will be unwilling (or unable) to help Israel defend herself.
– We’ve already witnessed President Biden and his Government have cooled relations with Israel.
– Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said Israel will stand alone if need be.
The Bible warns the invading armies will ultimately be destroyed by God, it’ll be a devastating war for both Israel and the whole world. (Read Ezekiel 38 and 39)
Bible scholars are divided as to whether this coming war is part of the prophetic battle of Armageddon or will just precede Armageddon to prepare a way for the Antichrist.
– This will trigger the final prophetic 7-Year Tribulation which God has set aside for Israel and the World which is sometimes called the “Apocalypse” …
THE WHOLE WORLD should be sitting on the edge of their seats with white knuckles watching this terrible prophecy slowly start to unfold.
– Those who call themselves Christians are to “examine” themselves in the Word and in their faith to make sure they’re not just ‘almost’ Christians.
Matthew 7:21-23 21 “Not everyone who calls out to me, ‘Lord! Lord!’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Only those who actually do the will of my Father in heaven will enter. 22 On judgment day many will say to me, ‘Lord! Lord! We prophesied in your name and cast out demons in your name and performed many miracles in your name.’ 23 But I will reply, ‘I never knew you. Get away from me, you who break God’s laws.’
Too many Christians are “lukewarm” in their faith in Jesus and knowledge of God’s Word.
Revelation 3:14-16 14 “Write this letter to the angel of the church in Laodicea. This is the message from the one who is the Amen—the faithful and true witness, the beginning of God’s new creation: 15 “I know all the things you do, that you are neither hot nor cold. I wish that you were one or the other! 16 But since you are like lukewarm water, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth!
Jesus warned us in, Luke 21:36 — “Keep alert at all times. And pray that you might be strong enough to escape these coming horrors and stand before the Son of Man.”
The Bible promises that faithful Christians who are alive at that time and have endured in their faith in God’s Word are not “appointed” to this coming time of “God’s wrath” that’ll be “poured out” upon the “whole world.”
1 Thessalonians 1:10 10 And they speak of how you are looking forward to the coming of God’s Son from heaven—Jesus, whom God raised from the dead. He is the one who has rescued us from the terrors of the coming judgment.
1 Thessalonians 5:9-11–For God chose to save us through our Lord Jesus Christ, not to pour out his anger on us. 10 Christ died for us so that, whether we are dead or alive when he returns, we can live with him forever. 11 So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing.
Any day could bring the world to the edge of Apocalypse.
There are earthquakes, volcanoes, floods, drought, fires, blizzards, and all kinds of natural disasters as God tries to get our attention.
WAKE UP! IT’S TIME TO GET SERIOUS IN YOUR COMMITMENT TO JESUS CHRIST!
The State of the World’s Technology
Daniel 12:4 — But you, Daniel, keep this prophecy a secret; seal up the book until the time of the end, when many will rush here and there, and knowledge will increase.”
Daniel received some of the most sweeping prophecies found in the Bible.
Daniel’s prophecies take us from the days of the Babylonian captivity (which Daniel was part of) to the very end of this age . . .
It’s fascinating to see how God told Daniel, after giving him some of the most remarkable prophecies found in the Bible, to “shut up the words and seal the book, until the time of the end” and then gives Daniel two signs that would help us identify “the time of the end”…
#1. The ability to travel from one place to another would be unlike anything seen before in history.
It’s interesting to note that from the time Daniel wrote this book until almost the 20th century, the speed man could travel remained fairly constant … limited to the speed of foot, horse, and boat.
#2. ][ And knowledge would increase at a rate … and to a point … unlike any time in history.
It’s interesting how many reports and articles now brag how the sum total of man’s knowledge is doubling at a rate unlike anything ever found in the history of mankind . . .
Are you having a hard time believing in God? Just watch the news.
– Read your Bible it will become clear … Why? God is warning us . . .
The rapid development of technology is another distinctive sign of our age.
– Instant communication, entertainment-on-demand, and nanotechnology are daily changing the world so fast that we can’t keep up.
If you buy a new computer it is obsolete by the time you get it home and set-up.
Internet connections have created a global economy — the world’s open for business 24/7.
– The changes aren’t all good.
– In addition to online pornography and Internet gambling, there’s the danger posed to children by a lifetime of staring at screens.
The World Bankers are planning to do away with cash and the government is figuring ways to confiscate your savings to pay National Debt and then they can better control your earning and spending……….MARK OF THE BEAST!
There is a global push now to get rid of cash. And Revelation 13 tells us why. God warned us in Revelation 13 that the day would come when certain laws would be enforced and anyone who refused to go along with those laws would no longer be able to ‘buy or sell’.
Revelation 13:16-17 16 He required everyone—small and great, rich and poor, free and slave—to be given a mark on the right hand or on the forehead. 17 And no one could buy or sell anything without that mark, which was either the name of the beast or the number representing his name.
The World Bankis calling for governments to work together to implement standardized, cost-effective identity management solutions … Moreover, the nature of the deployments has required an economically feasible solution, and has demonstrated that reliable, biometric ID cards can affordably be used on a large scale. It offers hope for the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal of getting legal ID into the hands of everyone in the world by the year 2030 with its Identification for Development (ID4D) initiative.”
– You will notice that this refugee crisis in Europe is making the push for a global ID system even stronger.
So what does Satan need to do in order to successfully enforce the mark of the beast?
– Get rid of cash and make the financial system purely electronic, so that those in control
will simply be able to press a button and stop God’s people who refuse the mark from being able to buy and sell.
PAY ATTENTION! GOD SAID THIS WOULD HAPPEN AT THE END OF THE AGE!
5. The State of the World’s Religions
Jesus would be mindful of the state of the world’s great faiths.
On line reports indicate that there are 2.4 billion Christians, 1.8 billion Muslims (24%) (the fastest growing religion), 535 million Buddhists, 1.2 billion Hindus, and 16% of the world’s population claim no religion at all.
One Muslim leader proclaimed: “We aim to establish Allah’s religion in its entirety, in every soul and upon every inch of this earth, in every home, institution, and society.”
At the same time, persecution against Christians is widespread and underreported, occurring in 183 nations of the world.
– Latin America is now the largest continent of Christians, and the church in Africa is the fastest growing.
Meanwhile Pope Francis is traveling the world recruiting leading Evangelical pastors, Hindus, Muslims, and whoever else he can talk into forming a “ONE-WORLD RELIGION!”
– He recently proclaimed that Jehovah and Allah are the same God!
Pope Francis decreed that 2016 was a Holy Year and priests may absolve women of the “sin of a procured abortion” during a Holy Year. At the close of 2016, he made permanent the permission that he had provisionally given priests to forgive the “sin of a procuring abortion” through the sacrament of reconciliation, more commonly known as “confession.”
In Catholic teaching, it was normally only bishops or the Pope himself who may absolve the faithful of the sin of abortion, which led to excommunication from the Church.
In keeping with his ministry of mercy, however, Pope Francis extended his powers of forgiveness to those “missionaries of mercy” priests who will visit Catholic dioceses and parishes.
Only Christ can forgive sins!
Pope says, those who believe they have the absolute truth, (which would be genuine born again Christians who know nobody can absolve sins and get us to Heaven except Jesus Christ,) and go on condemning others through slander and defamation are in the wrong.
He is saying, Religious fundamentalism must be combated.
The Pope is trying hard to replace God in today’s world.
6. The State of the World Shouldn’t Surprise Us
If God was giving a “State of the World” address, are these the observations He’d would make?
Actually, Jesus did give us a “State of the World” message that transcends the centuries.
We call it “The Olivet Discourse” because He spoke it on the Mount of Olives shortly before ascending to heaven.
In Matthew 24:6-14 Jesus described the state of affairs that would dominate the world between His ascension and His return: 6 And you will hear of wars and threats of wars, but don’t panic. Yes, these things must take place, but the end won’t follow immediately. 7 Nation will go to war against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in many parts of the world. 8 But all this is only the first of the birth pains, with more to come. 9 “Then you will be arrested, persecuted, and killed. You will be hated all over the world because you are my followers. 10 And many will turn away from me and betray and hate each other. 11 And many false prophets will appear and will deceive many people. 12 Sin will be rampant everywhere, and the love of many will grow cold. 13 But the one who endures to the end will be saved. 14 And the Good News about the Kingdom will be preached throughout the whole world, so that all nations will hear it; and then the end will come.
Well, there you have it!
– God’s message about the State of the World isn’t very hopeful right now, but a new, greatly improved world with new leadership is on the way!
Jesus knew history in advance, and He’s still in control.
The problems of this world won’t be answered in peace initiatives, political movements, climate change seminars, or world religions.
The State of this World won’t be redeemed by medical advances or modern technology.
The Gospel of Jesus Christ is the only answer, and the return of Jesus Christ is the only hope.
If you’re disturbed by today’s headlines and tomorrow’s uncertainties, look to Jesus.
Trust His unfailing predictions, and lean on His unchangeable promises.
He told us in Luke 21:28 — “So when all these things begin to happen, stand and look up, for your salvation is near!”