Tag: prophecy

What Happened To Holiness?


Way back in the first century, even when the Church was Spirit-led and full of the power of God, Jude wrote a letter to his friends. A letter that was not only timely for them, but for us as well. Here’s a small portion.

“Dear friends, I had been eagerly planning to write to you about the salvation we all share. But now I find that I must write about something else, urging you to defend the faith that God has entrusted once for all time to his holy people. I say this because some ungodly people have wormed their way into your churches, saying that God’s marvelous grace allows us to live immoral lives. The condemnation of such people was recorded long ago, for they have denied our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.” (Jude 1:3-4 NLT) 

I sincerely believe Jude’s letter, though only 25 verses long, is THE most important letter for our day and age. I suggest you read the whole letter, and read it often, to see for yourself.

He began his letter saying he had planned on writing something different, a word that was possibly a little more easy for his readers to enjoy. People haven’t changed much over the last 2,000 years. The majority of people would rather hear “All you need is love…”, than “Is your all on the altar?”

Yes, we need love. But we need it as God has defined AND demonstrated it.

Jude said, “…urging you to defend the faith that GOD has entrusted once for all time to HIS HOLY PEOPLE…” Just who are His Holy People? Those who have named the Name of Jesus. Those who are born again, who’ve received Jesus Christ as the LORD of their lives.

Notice: “Paul, called by the will of God to be an apostle of Christ Jesus, and our brother Sosthenes, to the church of God that is in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints together with all those who in every place call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, both their Lord and ours.” (1 Corinthians 1:1-2 ESV)

“To all those in Rome who are loved by God and called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” (Romans 1:7 ESV)

“Called to be saints (or holy people)”. Simply meaning, “set apart BY God”, “set apart UNTO God”, and “set apart FOR God.” Set apart means “sanctified”. So, saints are, in God’s mind, set apart. Sanctified.

Paul even wrote to the carnal church of Corinth, “called to be saints…” Doesn’t that seem incredible? But that’s how God sees His people. We are set apart by Him, to Him, and for Him.

Peter said, “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.” (1 Peter 2:9 ESV)

Can you get at least a glimpse of what we, as Christians, are called to be and do? Jude knew these things, and was compelled by the Holy Spirit to urge us to DEFEND the faith that was entrusted to us. Defend what we believe.

If we don’t defend it, who will? 

People say, “My faith, what I believe, is too personal to talk about.” Really? Why? If it’s good enough for you to believe, why not pass it on? Or do you really believe?

The Gospel of Jesus Christ is not only a personal thing, it is something that DEMANDS to be shared. God Himself could have kept it all to Himself, but He loved us too much to keep it “personal”. The Son didn’t become flesh for His own glory. He LEFT glory to become like us, FOR us. He didn’t let the “personal” aspect of faith keep him from demonstrating His love for mankind.

People of faith, people who have believed and embraced the gospel of Jesus Christ, have the responsibility to contend, struggle for, wrestle for, i.e. defend the truth. Speak up for it, declare to their generation the truth OF God, as well as the truth ABOUT God.

Why? Because “some ungodly people have wormed their way into your churches, saying that God’s marvelous grace allows us to live immoral lives.” 

Yes, it’s true. You don’t need to look very far to see the very things Jude was writing about. Compromise, as well as an outright denial of certain things “written by holy men of old who were moved by the Holy Spirit” (2 Peter 1:21).

What’s happened to holiness? Why is there so much immorality in our society, and even in the church? And why do so many “people of faith” get rankled when someone innocently points to a certain behavior and calls it sin? What’s happened?

I’ll tell you what’s happened. We have come to care more about what WE believe than what God thinks. We’ve allowed voices that speak contrary to God’s Word to be heard and believed. We have NOT defended THE FAITH (God’s version, not man’s) that God gave to us.

WE have allowed immortality to invade our society by allowing ourselves to be suckered in to believing the same thing. We’ve believed the words of ungodly preachers, because we didn’t take the trouble and research the Word to see if what we were hearing was really true.

Ungodly preachers? According to Jude, people who teach that immorality is okay, that “God’s grace allows it…” are ungodly. 

Yes, WE have let the world’s belief system infect our faith. Instead of the other way around.

And it’s time to change. But it won’t be easy.

People don’t like to be told they’re wrong. Remember the feeling? People can’t stand to hear about absolute truth. And the phrase, “there’s a Heaven to gain, and a Hell to shun” is, to many, as outdated as the old Model T.

Jude summarizes his letter with a reminder and some spiritual, yet practical, advice.

“But you must remember, beloved, the predictions of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ. They said to you, ‘In the last time there will be scoffers, following their own ungodly passions.’ It is these who cause divisions, worldly people, devoid of the Spirit. But you, beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life. And have mercy on those who doubt; save others by snatching them out of the fire; to others show mercy with fear, hating even the garment stained by the flesh.” (Jude 1:17-23 ESV)

In other words, stand up for the faith, even though there will be scoffers. Build yourselves up, praying in the Holy Spirit, so you’ll be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.

Be ready, in season and out; reprove, rebuke, and exhort with complete patience and teaching (2 Timothy 4:2).

Holiness, walking with God in a way that pleases Him, IS appropriate for you and I as believers. 

And yes, even in this ungodly society.

Bloody Moons

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There are scriptural references to the moon turning blood red before the notable day of the Lord.

Please notice:

“And I will show wonders in the heavens above and signs on the earth below, blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke; the sun shall be turned to darkness and the moon to blood, before the day of the Lord comes, the great and magnificent day.” (Acts 2:20 ESV)

“When he opened the sixth seal, I looked, and behold, there was a great earthquake, and the sun became black as sackcloth, the full moon became like blood, and the stars of the sky fell to the earth as the fig tree sheds its winter fruit when shaken by a gale.” (Revelation 6:12 ESV)

A lot of people had their cameras out Sunday night, taking pictures of the fourth Blood Moon since April 2014. Along with the hundreds of moon photos posted on Facebook and Instagram were thousands of comments indicating how each commenter felt about the Blood Moon Theory.

Some comments were even a bit on the testy side.

In case you are Rip Van Winkle and you just awakened from a twenty year nap, I’ll briefly explain the hype.

Pastor John Hagee recently published a book about The Blood Moon Prophecy, detailing a belief that because four consecutive lunar eclipses occur on Jewish holidays, it could indicate a sign from God that the end of the age is near. Hagee, and his minister friend, Mark Biltz, went into great detail building their case.

I read Hagee’s book. It was an interesting read. I looked up the scriptures, and cross referenced where I could. In my opinion, he didn’t connect the dots.

But I could have missed a few dots, so I won’t say he was wrong. I will say I was disappointed with the book. I didn’t see what the big deal was.

However, that doesn’t mean we should forget what the real message is. The real message isn’t about bloody moons, earthquakes, violent storms, crashing economies, or who is the antichrist this week.

That’s where I get a little annoyed with this whole deal.

American Christians have an uncanny way of readily believing anything someone says, if they happen to have a big enough platform. If they’re popular.

No, I’m not chewing on sour grapes.

I’ve done it, too. Yep, for a while I believed Jesus was coming in 1988.

By the way, by the time 1989 rolled around, I quit believing it.

We can be easy pickings for just about any idea that suggests something supernatural. So instead of digging into God’s word, like the Bereans (Acts 17:11), we save time and trouble and run with the idea because so and so said it.

Blood Moons seem to be another example.

But, like I said, we shouldn’t ignore the end time message the scriptures actually teach. Let’s look at the two previously mentioned scriptures in context.

“‘And in the last days it shall be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams; even on my male servants and female servants in those days I will pour out my Spirit, and they shall prophesy. And I will show wonders in the heavens above and signs on the earth below, blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke; the sun shall be turned to darkness and the moon to blood, before the day of the Lord comes, the great and magnificent day. And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.'” (Acts 2:17-21 ESV)

“When he opened the sixth seal, I looked, and behold, there was a great earthquake, and the sun became black as sackcloth, the full moon became like blood, and the stars of the sky fell to the earth as the fig tree sheds its winter fruit when shaken by a gale. The sky vanished like a scroll that is being rolled up, and every mountain and island was removed from its place. Then the kings of the earth and the great ones and the generals and the rich and the powerful, and everyone, slave and free, hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains, calling to the mountains and rocks, ‘Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who is seated on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb, for the great day of their wrath has come, and who can stand?'” (Revelation 6:12-17 ESV)

What is the emphasis?

There is a time God refers to as the Last Days. A time when, first of all, He’ll pour out His Spirit upon ALL flesh; meaning everyone. Which indicates, to me, everyone will have a clear opportunity to understand what it means to either accept Jesus or reject Jesus.

“Before the dreaded Day of the Lord…” when the earth begins falling apart at a cataclysmic rate.

The main focus with ANY prophecy is, and should be, Jesus. It’s what the scriptures teach, and it’s something the Holy Spirit is emphasizing in these LAST DAYS.

I don’t know about the Blood Moons teaching. It’s interesting, but that’s as far as I’ll go.

But what’s truly exciting is Jesus IS coming again! 

Yes, people have declared that message for years and years. But just because it hasn’t happened yet isn’t an indicator that it won’t.

So let the moon turn bloody red; people will believe whatever they want. But as for me, I’m going to keep looking unto Jesus. He is my Salvation, no matter what color the moon becomes.

“Be ye also ready, for in the moment you think not, the Son of man comes…”

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