The Power of One

The Power of One
Vol: 29 Issue: 7 Tuesday, November 7, 2017

”And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; or the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:” (Ephesians 4:11-12)

The purpose of the Omega Letter is slightly different than that of most website ministries, in that the main focus of our attention isn’t to attract the lost.

Instead we target those already saved by grace in an effort to provide them (you) with the tools you need to be more effective in your own evangelistic efforts. There isn’t a lot of milk in the contents of the Omega Letter — this is a diet for meat-eaters only.

Note the purpose of each of the offices of the early Church. Paul outlines the job of the Apostles to seed the Churches, prophets to announce its arrival, evangelists to take the fight to the enemy, and pastors and teachers for the perfecting of the saints.

All offices aim for the same ultimate objective, the edification of the Body of Christ. Webster’s defines ‘edification’ as follows:

(1) The act of edifying, or the state of being edified; a building up, especially in a moral or spiritual sense; moral, intellectual, or spiritual improvement; instruction. (source: brainyencylopedia.com)

There are certain members of the Body that are assigned to ‘capture new ground from the enemy’ — these are ‘evangelists’. They are good at leading people to Christ.

They can take the battle right up to the devil’s camp and set free the captives of darkness. They are the front line men of the Kingdom and their job is to capture the “gates of the enemy”.

Because they are fighting against spiritual powers, the evangelist is a man of power in the Holy Spirit. We are not fighting with flesh and blood, but against “principalities and powers” (Ephesians 6:12-13). The evangelist must know how to fight with Spiritual weapons from God.

The work of the evangelist includes showing others how to overcome the enemy. A part of his ministry is to convict the believers and move them to action in the battle for the souls of mankind.

The evangelist is the man of war in the Kingdom of God. The evangelist is one who is not afraid to associate with those who are in most need of the healing power of God.

Jesus said,

“They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick. But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” (Matthew 9:12-13)

The most powerful evangelists are not necessarily the Billy Graham’s of this world who lead massive world-wide crusades. Consider this: Billy Graham’s crusades have, according to the encyclopedia, reached live audiences of 210 million people in 185 countries. He has led hundreds of thousands of people to make personal decisions to accept Christ into their lives, this being the main thrust of his ministry.

Many of his sermons center on the topic “Jesus Christ is the only way of salvation”. He has often advised US presidents and continues to be listed as one of the “Ten Most Admired Men in the World” in Gallup Polls. (source: brainyencylopedia.com)

There aren’t very many people in this world who haven’t at least HEARD of Billy Graham, even if they haven’t heard him preach. Now, imagine Billy Graham, standing before the Bema Seat, surrounded by the millions he led to Christ, as he accepts his reward. Wow!

BUT, who is Mordechai Ham? Most of us may not ever have heard of him, but he is a legend in heaven. Because standing in FRONT of Billy Graham is Mordechai Ham, the man who led Billy Graham — and by extension, Billy Graham’s millions — to Christ back in 1934.

Such is the power of one evangelist who is faithful to his calling. That power belongs to each of us who are faithful to the truth and prepared to share Christ with the skeptic.

That is why the Omega Letter touches on such a wide range of topics, like politics, social issuesand international affairs, instead of focusing exclusively on theology.

Each of us has, at one time or another, overheard someone, upon hearing of yet another murderous mother, homicidal husband or the latest wartime atrocity and exclaiming; “I don’t know what this world is coming to.”

We do. And it is our job to seize that opportunity as the Lord puts it before us. Many of you have been called to the ministry of the evangelist, whether you know it or not, or you would not be subscribers to the Omega Letter.

“For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.” (1 Corinthians 1:18)

It is the Power of One that can dispel the clouds of confusion that blind the eyes of the lost.

Jesus, the Great Physician and First Evangelist, outlined our mission for the last days in unmistakable terms, saying,

“The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few; Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into His harvest.” (Matthew 9:37-38)

We are the ‘watchmen on the wall’ for the last days, and it is incumbent upon us to be able to discern the truth and sound the alarm.

It is a grave responsibility —

“But if the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet, and the people be not warned; if the sword come, and take any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at the watchman’s hand.” (Ezekiel 33:6)

Every person we meet in the course of a day has an eternal destiny. Either that person will spend eternity in heaven in the presence of Christ, or they will be cast into a Christless eternity ‘where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth’ — “Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched,” a destiny so certain that Jesus repeated it three times (Mark 9:44,46,48).

It was the Power of One, manifested through Mordechai Ham, that resulted in the millions of decisions for Christ over the lifetime of Billy Graham’s ministry.

“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” (2nd Timothy 1:7)

We have that Power of One through the One Who indwells us. But it is up to us to exercise it.

Instead of praying that the Lord will send forth laborers to His Harvest, pray to be one of the laborers that are to be sent.

You may not be the next Billy Graham. Instead, you may be blessed to be the next Mordechai Ham.

This Letter was written by Jack Kinsella on August 1, 2004

Featured Commentary: Bend Until it Breaks ~Pete Garcia

FLASHBACK 2008: Blood in the Pulpit

FLASHBACK 2008: Blood in the Pulpit
Vol: 29 Issue: 6 Monday, November 6, 2017

On Sunday, a man named Jim Adkisson walked into the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church with a shotgun and opened fire on the congregants. By the time members of the congregation tackled Adkisson, eight people lay wounded. Two, Linda Kraeger and Greg McKendry, later died.

Knoxville Police Chief Sterling Owen IV said a signed, four-page letter written by Jim D. Adkisson, 58, was found in his small SUV in the church parking lot after gunfire erupted during a children’s performance based on the musical “Annie” Sunday morning. Seven people also were injured in the melee.

“It appears that what brought him to this horrible event was his lack of being able to obtain a job, his frustration over that and his stated hatred of the liberal movement,” Owen said at a news conference.

No children were hurt, but five people remained in serious or critical condition yesterday. A burly usher who died, Greg McKendry, 60, was hailed as a hero for shielding others from gunfire.

This is the third major church shooting in the U.S. in the past year.

Last summer, Jeanne Assam made headlines the world over when she drew her own firearm and killed Matthew Murray after he went berserk and shot up two churches in Colorado and killed four people in two separate instances twelve hours apart.

Last August, a First Congregational Church in Nehosho, Missouri was attacked by a gunman. The pastor and two worshippers were killed in the attack. The gunman, Elken Saimon, was arrested at the scene.

In May 2006, Anthony Bell walked into the tiny Ministry of Jesus Christ Church in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and killed five people and wounded several others including the pastor.

In February 2006, Kevin Collins walked into the Zion Hope Missionary Baptist Church in Detroit, Michigan. He killed two people at random before turning his gun on himself.

And the list goes on:

* March 12, 2005 – Brookfield, Wisconsin Living Church of God: Terry Ratzmann opened fire on the congregation, killing seven and wounding four before taking his own life.

* July 30, 2005 – College Park, Georgia – World Changers Church International. Air Force S/Sgt John Givens went berserk in church and was killed by a police officer.

* Oct. 5, 2003 – Atlanta, Georgia – Turner Monumental AME Church – 2 killed

* June 10, 2002 – Conception, Missouri – Benedictine monastery – 2 killed plus the shooter

* March 12, 2002 – Lynbrook, New York – Our Lady of Peace Catholic Church – 2 killed.

* May 18, 2001 – Hopkinsville, Kentucky – Greater Oak Missionary Baptist Church – 2 killed

* Sept. 15, 1999 – Fort Worth, Texas – Wedgewood Baptist Church – 7 killed

At one time, churches were not just called sanctuaries; they were sanctuaries.

When I was a kid growing up, I was taught — in school, no less — that in the event of danger, run to the nearest church. The door wouldn’t be locked, and who would violate the sanctity of a church

But, I grew up in the last century. . .

Assessment:

What caused Jim Adkisson to snap? It depends on where you get your news from. If you get it from CNN or the LA Times, then Adkisson attacked the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Church because he hates liberals. In his ‘suicide’ note (he didn’t expect to survive) he blamed ‘liberals and gays’ for his inability to find a job.

The openly-liberal Raleigh News and Observer included this handy fact box beside its coverage of the shooting:

Unitarians have roots in a movement that rejected Puritan orthodoxy in New England. Although individual Unitarian churches can vary dramatically in outlooks, most congregations retain a deep commitment to social justice, which has led many to embrace liberal stances on the ordination of women, civil rights and gay rights.

I’ve watched as the background of this story has shifted over the past twenty-four hours. Virtually all of the news coverage highlights the fact the Adkisson hated liberals and that was why he targeted the liberal Unitarians.

It was reported that inside Adkisson’s house, officers found “Liberalism is a Mental Health Disorder” by radio talk show host Michael Savage, “Let Freedom Ring” by talk show host Sean Hannity, and “The O’Reilly Factor,” by television talk show host Bill O’Reilly.

As to Adkisson himself, the mainstream press focused its full attention on the “liberal” angle. The majority of the press coverage of the story seemed to suggest without actually saying so was that Adkisson hated liberalism because he was a latent Christian fundamentalist.

(In fact, one of his neighbors reported Adkisson had serious problems with both Christianity and the Bible.)

But the story will undoubtedly be spun and twisted until it becomes that of another crazed religious conservative trying to impose his own fundamentalist views at the point of a gun.

That was also the spin put on the twin Colorado shootings last year. The fact Matthew Murray had been raised in a Christian home was held up as ‘proof’ that fundamentalist Christianity was every bit as dangerous as fundamentalist Islam.

When an adult enters a church and starts shooting it up, it is usually blamed on fundamental Christianity. But when a kid enters a school and starts shooting it up, nobody blames it on the liberal secular humanist curriculum.

But at the more personal level, the Tennessee shooting is a chilling reminder that words have consequences. The mainstream media was careful to make note of three books in his home; Michael Savage’s, Sean Hannity’s and Bill O’Reilly’s.

We don’t have any idea if these were the only three books in Adkisson’s entire house, or if they were just three among many. But you can bet that they will be the only ones the mainstream media mentions by name and author.

Of the three pillars upon which the antichrist will build his government, two are already well advanced. The global economy is a reality. The infrastructure for a global government is in place and much of national sovereignty world-wide has already been surrendered to the center in reaction to the fear of global warming.

What still remains murky, however, is the status of the third pillar of the antichrist’s government — a global religion. The term, ‘religious fundamentalist’ has become a euphemism for ‘radical’ or even ‘terrorist’.

There are efforts underway at the UN and within the World Council of Churches to establish and develop a kind of ‘world church’ that embraces all religions equally and universally condemns fundamentalism as the religious cancer responsible for most of the wars of the past two millennia.

According to Revelation 13:16-17, the Mark of the Beast is not just an economic mark. It is also a system of worship — which is the reason that anyone who accepts the Mark during the Tribulation has forfeited salvation. (Revelation 19:20)

Those who embrace Christianity during the Tribulation will be charged with ‘fundamentalism’, and given the choice between renouncing Christianity in favor of the religion of the False Prophet or death by beheading.

“And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations. And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.”

But before fundamentalism can be outlawed, a convincing case must first be made outlining its dangers. With religious fundamentalists flying planes into buildings, blowing up abortion clinics and shooting up churches, it shouldn’t be hard to make the case that the world would be much better off without them.

“If any man have an ear, let him hear.” (Revelation 13:7-9)

TANSTAAFL

TANSTAAFL
Vol: 29 Issue: 4 Saturday, November 4, 2017

When I was a young man, among my favorite books were the early works of a science-fiction writer named Robert Heinlein. A Marine buddy introduced me to them by lending me a book called, ”The Moon is a Harsh Mistress.”

Throughout the book, whenever it fit the story plotline, one of the characters would utter the catchphrase, “There Ain’t No Such Thing As A Free Lunch” by its acronym, ‘TANSTAAFL’.

It was one of those oddball phrases that stuck in my head because of the simple truth it conveyed; in this world, there is no such thing as a free lunch.  Everything comes with a price tag.  

It is a basic law of physics as expressed by the phrase, “for every action, there must be an equal and opposite reaction.”

As a principle, it stands at the core of economic theory, as well as virtually every other area of human endeavor. God so designed this universe that that everything is, in the end, a zero-sum game – all things balance out to zero eventually.

The Book of Ecclesiastes, or “the Preacher” was written by the wisest man the world has ever known, King Solomon. Late in his life, Solomon realized his gift of wisdom had benefited all but himself. 

The Book of Ecclesiastes could be described as the somewhat bitter memoir of a wise old man who looks back on a life filled with regrets. It is lots more than that.

Many Christians find Ecclesiastes a gloomy book; its central theme is that life is pointless, (all is vanity) and since all that awaits us is the grave, “every man should eat and drink, and enjoy the good of all his labour, it is the gift of God.” (Ecclesiastes 3:13)

But if there is one central theme in the Book of Ecclesiastes, it is TANSTAAFL.

“For that which befalleth the sons of men befalleth beasts; even one thing befalleth them: as the one dieth, so dieth the other; yea, they have all one breath; so that a man hath no preeminence above a beast: for all is vanity. All go unto one place; all are of the dust, and all turn to dust again.” (Ecclesiastes 3:19-20)

Critics and skeptics argue that these verses contradict Scriptures that speak of the afterlife and resurrection.  There will always be critics and skeptics that will find a way to read Scripture to make it sound like there are contradictions.

They are so intent on disproving the wisdom of Scripture that the wisdom of Solomon goes completely over their heads. 

Solomon is expressing reality as viewed from this side of eternity.  All of his laments make the same case. All is vanity.

You can be the wisest man who ever lived. You can have all the riches the world can offer. You can be the world’s most powerful king and have the world’s most desirable woman for your queen.  

You can have the admiration of men and the love of women and the riches and wisdom of Solomon, but in the end, it is STILL a zero-sum game.

“Then said I in my heart, As it happeneth to the fool, so it happeneth even to me; and why was I then more wise? Then I said in my heart, that this also is vanity. For there is no remembrance of the wise more than of the fool for ever; seeing that which now is in the days to come shall all be forgotten. And how dieth the wise man? as the fool.” (Ecclesiastes 2:15-16)

Ecclesiastes isn’t a gloomy book.  Neither is it contradictory.  Written by the wisest man who ever lived, it is unsurprising that those who attempt to understand it’s message apart from the Holy Spirit miss it completely. 

They are looking for what they think is the central theme of the Bible.  That because the Bible freely offers salvation to “whosoever will” that the Bible offers a free lunch. 

Solomon isn’t contradicting Scripture, he is setting the record straight.  They are looking for a free lunch. 

TANSTAAFL.  There ain’t one.

Assessment:

By now I can almost hear some of you arguing with me in your head; “What are you saying! Salvation is a free gift.  The Bible says so! Look!

“But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many.” (Romans 5:15)

See! FREE GIFT.  A GIFT has to be FREE, or it isn’t a gift!  Right?

“And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification.” (Romans 5:16)

See! FREE gift!

“Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.” (Romans 5:18)

See! Free gift upon all men is this HARD?

TANSTAAFL!  Read it more closely.  The gift of eternal life is free – to YOU.  But the price paid to secure it was unimaginably high. 

You just weren’t the one that had to pay for it.  Jesus Christ paid the price for every sin you ever committed or ever will commit — on the Cross at Calvary.

And it HAD to be that way.  He could not pay the price for just some of the sins you commit – that is an imperfect price. Since there is no such thing as a free lunch, there is no such thing as a partial payment on a free gift.

To be free, the payment must be in full and to be a gift, it must be offered without further payment due.

The gift of salvation wasn’t free – it was paid for with the Blood of Jesus Christ.  Does that mean that you can now sin with impunity? 

That’s what lots of people teach, even though logic and experience and the principle of TANSTAAFL prove the opposite to be the case.

Even more will reject the idea eternal security on the grounds that it is a free lunch, which they logically – and correctly — understand to be impossible in God’s creation.  Nothing is free.  Not in the here and now and not in the hereafter.

My salvation was purchased for me. It was then offered to me as a free gift.  Once I have accepted it, it is mine forever – once saved, always saved.  But that does not mean that I am exempt from the consequences of sin – I certainly am not.

If one smokes, one will pay the consequences.  Smokers get COPD, lung cancer, emphysema, etc.  Continuing to smoke after salvation will kill you just as dead, just as slowly and painfully as it would an unsaved smoker.   

Chronic boozers get cirrhosis, heart disease, and all kinds of other ailments.

“Who hath woe? who hath sorrow? who hath contentions? who hath babbling? who hath wounds without cause? who hath redness of eyes?  They that tarry long at the wine; they that go to seek mixed wine.”

“Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth his colour in the cup, when it moveth itself aright. At the last it biteth like a serpent, and stingeth like an adder.” (Proverbs 23:29-32)

It is often rightly said that sin will take you further than you want to go and keep you there longer than you want to be there.  That is one of those universally true statements because it is founded in a universal truth.  

Sin has consequences.  But sin is NOT the dividing line between heaven and hell.  One doesn’t go to heaven because one is sinless or to hell because one is a sinner.  If that is true, then Jesus Christ would still be the only human qualified to enter.

And strictly speaking, He IS the only one qualified to enter – on His own merit.  The rest of us are qualified by Jesus, based on His righteousness and not our own.

Jesus paid the eternal penalty due for all sin – but the temporal penalties remain outstanding.

A saved person cannot sin with impunity. There are physical consequences attached to sin.  There are social consequences attached to sin. There are emotional consequences attached to sin.  Sin hurts a saved person more than it does a lost person. 

But sin isn’t the determining factor between saved and lost. ALL Christians are sinners.  The determining factor in salvation is whether you repented (changed your mind) about sin and turned your life and your will over to Jesus Christ and then trusted Him with your eternity.

Neither can a person sin without spiritual consequences — as well as physical ones.  Each of us will stand before the Judgment Seat of Christ to answer for those things we have done in this life.

“Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.  If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.” (1 Corinthians 3:13-14)

God has a plan for your life and it will be reviewed at the Judgment (Bema) Seat of Christ.  There you will be rewarded for the times you were faithful and you will give account for the times you were not.  

You will see the rewards you would have earned, had you been where you were supposed to be when you were off sinning somewhere.

Your sinful works will be tested by fire, and burned into so much ash and stubble, and you WILL suffer loss.  Unimaginable loss – for eternity. 

But not the loss of eternity.  Your eternal security is not a free lunch.  Jesus paid for it.  Your sin is not a free lunch. You will pay for it.  Just not in hell.

“If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.”

You cannot ignore the consequences of sin simply because Jesus has ransomed your eternity.  You cannot smoke without consequence. Or drink without consequence. Or stuff yourself without consequence.

“Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.” (1 Corinthians 3:16-17)

Obviously, this destruction can only refer to the ‘temple’ – the body – and not the eternal soul that Paul just finished saying would be saved, yet so as by fire.  

Defile the temple and God will destroy it.  Need another proof text?  Visit a cancer ward.

What is the point here?  Eternal security is NOT a free lunch.  To argue otherwise elevates man to the level where he plays an instrumental role in his own salvation.   

 “Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness.” (1 Corinthians 3:18-19)

“Not Thee, Lord, but thee and me.” That elevation comes at a price by minimizing the price paid at Calvary.  Jesus can’t do it, but together, we can.  

“And again, The Lord knoweth the thoughts of the wise, that they are vain. Therefore let no man glory in men. For all things are Your’s.”

If salvation is a case of “Thee and me” then there would be ample reason to glory in men.

“I am saved because Jesus paid the price and now I don’t sin.  I used to be a terrible sinner, but now just look at me. Look at what Jesus can do.”

That is why if one sins after being saved, there is no way to renew him to repentance, as Hebrews 6:6 says, “seeing they crucify the Son of God afresh and put Him to an open shame.”

If you don’t sin anymore because of what Jesus did for you, what does it say about Jesus when you fall? For you will fall.  Did you fall?  Or did Jesus drop you?   

Why is this important?  Because there is no “license to sin.” Salvation is not a function of sin.  It is a function of grace.  There is no such thing as a free lunch. There is a huge difference between consequences and penalties.

Consequences are the effect, cause or outcome of an action.  A consequence can be good or bad.  A person can save someone’s life and consequently be awarded a medal. Or he can stand by and do nothing and consequently that person will die.  

Consequences are simply outcomes of particular actions.  

penalty is a punishment imposed for a violation or crime.  A penalty is always bad and can never be good.   Eternal security means that the penalty due for my sin was paid for by Jesus Christ. 

But the consequences of my sins are on me.

This Letter was written by Jack Kinsella on April 19, 2011

If They Persecuted Me . . ..

If They Persecuted Me . . ..
Vol: 29 Issue: 3 Friday, November 3, 2017

There was a time, not too long ago, when the idea of Christians suffering persecution seemed anachronistic to most Westerners. Christianity has nurtured, instructed and inspired Western culture since the days of the Roman Empire.

Fifty years ago, growing up anywhere in the Christian West, from West Berlin to London to Toronto to Los Angeles to Sydney, one grew up under the welcome shadow of the cross.

Fifty years ago, a baptismal certificate was as good as a birth certificate. Being a good Christian was synonymous with being of good character. Being of good Christian character was as valuable an asset fifty years ago as having a good credit report is today.

How often one attended church and one’s reputation within the Christian community often played a role in renting a home, getting a bank loan, or getting a secular job, a promotion or a position of trust.

All other considerations aside for a moment, fifty years ago Western society was at its peak; it is nicknamed “The Golden Age” for a reason. Government was smaller and less intrusive, taxes were lower, standards of living were higher, families were closer and as I recall, people were generally a lot better-humored.

If somebody got offended, he could either get over it or go somewhere where less offensive. Free speech used to include the right to be offensive. It just wasn’t considered particularly polite.

That isn’t some old fogey reminiscing about his own childhood in some especially blessed place – a person who grew up in downtown Los Angeles fifty years ago wouldn’t recall things much differently.

If you aren’t old enough to remember, try watching some of the original 1950’s “Dragnet” series with Jack Webb and Harry Morgan. “Dragnet” would devote entire programs to crimes like check kiting and shoplifting – in Los Angeles.

Sgt. Friday would rotate through various divisions; the bunko squad, vice squad, major crimes squad, occasionally homicide; but a police show devoted exclusively to investigating murders would be too far outside the general public’s experience to be believable.

Another prime-time program was “Highway Patrol” with Broderick Crawford. Like Dragnet, it was dry as dust by today’s entertainment standards. But in the 1950’s it was high drama. Few ordinary people had much connection with murders or violence or drugs but everybody had potential contact with the Highway Patrol.

What entertained people fifty years ago was what was familiar. That’s why Andy Griffith’s “Mayberry” was so popular – a town populated by church-going Christians whose sheriff didn’t have a gun and whose deputy only needed one bullet wasn’t that far-fetched.

It is said that life imitates art, but for art to have any meaning, it must also reflect life from the perspective of the artist. What was entertainment fifty years ago reflected the culture of fifty years ago.

“And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind. . . ” Paul writes in Romans 1:28.

The dictionary defines “reprobate” as “immoral”. It further defines “immoral” as “contrary to accepted moral principles”.

Any similarity between the accepted moral principles of the society reflected by “Leave It To Beaver” and the one reflected by “The Family Guy” is purely coincidental.

Over the past five decades, the Christian institutions of Western civilization have systematically toppled as God was deemed increasingly irrelevant and faith in God denigrated to that of simple-minded superstition.

Even thirty years ago, the Biblical scenario in which Western society would countenance the persecution of Christians in the last days, simply because of their faith seemed too far-fetched to be literal.

Assessment:

Today, Christian persecution is so commonplace that it barely rates a headline. Compass Direct News reported the execution of a Christian woman in Somalia  — for possessing six Bibles.

An influential leader of the Islamic Al-Shabab group, a warlord identified only as Sheikh Arbow from Middle Juba region of Somalia, shot a Christian lady, one Mariam Muhina Hussein on September 28, 2009.

Compass Direct, quoting local sources, reported that the warlord sent his wife to pretend to be interested in Christianity. The Christian lady gave one of her Bibles to the warlord’s wife, who took it back to her husband.

Sheikh Arbow went back the next day saying he was “looking for Christians who defiled the Islamic religion” (quoting Compass Direct) and ordered Mariam Hussein to surrender her Bibles. She retrieved them from hiding, whereupon Arbow fired three bullets into her, killing her instantly.

It didn’t make the newspapers because if the papers reported every case in which a Christian is murdered for his faith, there would be no room to print anything else.

In the Sudan, the entire Christian population of the country is being systematically exterminated by the Islamic janjaweed under orders from Khartoum. The genocide has been going on as long as Hitler’s genocide against the Jews, and is almost as brutal, if not nearly so efficient.

The UN estimates that the Sudanese Islamic Republic has so far only managed to exterminate a half-million or so Christians and other non-Muslims. But since the targets are primarily non-white and Christian, nobody seems particularly concerned.

Christians are routinely murdered for their faith in almost every country on earth. In the West, persecution is so far confined to harassing Christian teachers and schoolchildren, churches, veterans’ groups and so forth.

There is a cross that was erected on an outcropping of rock in the middle of the Mohave Desert on the Mojave National Preserve. It stands as a memorial to the veterans who gave their lives in the First World War.

The cross stands in the middle of the desert in a place so remote that two cars passing by within an hour would constitute a traffic jam. Unfortunately, somebody in one of those two cars drove by the cross and got offended by it.

Honest. They got offended by it!

It looks like the kind of cross you’d see in a veteran’s memorial cemetery, not a crucifix or even a Christian symbol. How in the world can a a plain old, unadorned cross, two beams that form a “t” standing on a rock in the middle of the desert can be offensive escapes me.

But it didn’t escape the federal judge that ordered the cross encased inside a plywood box so that nobody else could see it and be offended! So now, it looks like a billboard with nothing on it.

If it WAS a billboard, you could put up an ad for a roadside adult bookstore, or a strip joint, or maybe one of Ashley Madison’s “Get a Divorce!” billboards. Or a billboard making fun of Jesus or God or religion.

But it’s not a billboard. It is a mask to hide something TRULY offensive – something so much more offensive than a billboard announcing “NAKED GIRLS! 10 Miles at Exit 27”.

“Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his Lord. If they have persecuted Me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept My saying, they will keep yours also.” (John 15:20)

Jesus said it begins with persecuting Him – then persecuting His followers naturally follows. Persecution starts small, taking tentative steps, but once the camel’s nose is in the tent, so to speak, the rest of the camel will eventually follow.

Granted, hiding a cross inside a billboard to protect people from being offended by it isn’t equal to the kind of persecution where you can be shot for harboring Bibles.

But the possibility it could come to that doesn’t sound nearly as ludicrous as it did back when Barney Fife was patrolling Mayberry.

This Letter was written by Jack Kinsella on October 2, 2009

Featured Commentary: Send those Refugees Back Home ~Alf Cengia

Friends of God

Friends of God
Vol: 29 Issue: 2 Thursday, November 2, 2017

All human beings, according to Scripture, are born with an eternal destiny. In the grand scheme of things, the main purpose of our earthly lives is to choose what that eternal destiny will be.

The Apostle James asks and answers the question;

“For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.” (James 4:14)

We can get some sense of perspective from our own human experience. We are created by God at conception, but spend nine months being prepared for life outside the womb.

We leave the comfort of the womb in terror; our first experience involves being grabbed by the head with a pair of salad spoons and yanked from our 98.6 degree environment into a sterile 68 degree delivery room, where we are promptly assaulted.

Shortly thereafter, silver nitrate is dropped into our eyes, we get poked, prodded, stuck with needles and get dropped into a basket where we find ourselves alone for the very first time in our brief existence.

(And you don’t even want to think about what is coming in a few days if you are a boy.)

But, given all of that, who would want to trade this life for a life spent floating in darkness inside the womb?

The baby on the way out doesn’t know what wonders await him on the other side, (but the doctor wielding the salad spoons does.) Still, the doctor only introduces the potential — what the baby does with that potential occupies his next seventy or eighty years.

Then the process starts all over again. Out come the Divine Salad Spoons, and we are dragged, kicking and screaming into the third and final phase of our existence — eternity.

Assessment:

The Bible is the God’s Owner’s Manual for human beings. It contains all the information necessary regarding humanity’s origins, care and feeding, rules for safe operation and guidelines for proper maintenance. It also explains our ultimate purpose — to be friends of God.

“Ye are My friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you. Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his Lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of My Father I have made known unto you.” (John 15:14-15)

Note that being a friend of God is conditional; whereas salvation is unconditional. Of friendship, Jesus said, “Ye are My friends, IF ye do whatsoever I command you.”

Regarding salvation, Jesus said,

“I am the door: by Me if ANY man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.” (John 10:9)

But of His friends, Jesus said,

“Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in My name, He may give it you.” (John 15:16)

Jesus is not extending His Hand of friendship to farmers. The command to ‘bear fruit’ that ‘should remain’ is a reminder that this life is, as James said, ‘even a vapour that appeareth for a little time, then vanisheth away.’

Each of us has an eternal destiny and each of us has the opportunity to choose where and how we will spend it.

We will either spend it in joy unspeakable in the Presence of God, or we will spend it in darkness, alone, separated from God for eternity, with only our memories, in the place Jesus described three times as being;

“Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.” (Mark 9:44,46,48)

My eternal destiny was sealed when I accepted the gift of Pardon Jesus offers and trusted Him for my salvation.

“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)

But what of my ‘fruit’ that is to ‘remain’, should I hope to be God’s ‘friend’ instead of just another servant. Note also that ‘grace’ is the extension of an unmerited gift, mercy and salvation are the gifts being extended.

But ‘friendship’ is something different. It is often observed that “we are stuck with family, but we choose our friends.”

Each of us, to be saved, chooses Christ. We become part of God’s ‘forever family’ as Hal likes to put it.

But Jesus says of His friends, ‘I have chosen you’. Not only that, but ORDAINED them to ‘bear fruit’ that ‘should remain’ after their own ‘vapour’ has dissipated from this earth.

Among His servants, Jesus has chosen and ordained certain of them to bear fruit, saying that those who accept His calling will be numbered among His friends.

There can be no question but that we are in the final countdown to the end of this present Age. The final war between the Lamb and the Dragon is poised to spill out into this reality during the Tribulation.

There is little time remaining for those of us who have accepted the call to take up our positions on the line. Not everybody is called to take positions in the front ranks, however.

Any army has many layers; warriors, support troops, cooks, supply clerks, ‘office pinkies’ etc.

In the Marines, I was a supply clerk, then later changed Military Occupational Specialties (MOS) to become an ‘office pinkie’ working in a data processing unit. But, like all Marines, I was, first and foremost, a combat rifleman.

Each of us may find ourselves in combat from time to time, if we are faithful, but that doesn’t make all of us frontline warriors. Some of us are more valuable in a supporting role.

An army’s effectiveness depends as much on its lines of supply as it does the fierceness of its warriors. (A Marine with an empty rifle would be a fierce warrior armed with an expensive, poorly designed club)

There are many ways the friends of God can lend support to those on the front lines of battle. Pray for us at the Omega Letter.

Seek the leading of the Holy Spirit. The time has come for those who would be friends of God to stand.

“Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.” (Matthew 7:20)

This Letter was written by Jack Kinsella on December 6, 2005

Featured Commentary: George Washington, The Flag and the Almighty ~J.L. Robb

I Thought I Saw It Coming- Jack Kinsella

Featured

I Thought I Saw It Coming
Vol: 29 Issue: 1 Wednesday, November 1, 2017

It is incredible, yet true. We are witnessing the unfolding of events long prophesied to take place during the last generation before the return of Christ.  We knew that it was coming – we were almost eager to see this day because it means the Rapture is that much closer.

But as the day approaches, it becomes less an abstract notion and more a crushingly painful reality.  It has made that transition from theoretical possibility to actual fact.   We always knew in theory that one day Christians would be marginalized to the point of insignificance.

We always knew that one day, some new religion having two horns like a lamb but speaking as a dragon would overspread Planet Earth.   For decades we’ve made a guessing game out of what it would look like and who would be its leader.

As we see the hard-and-fast answers crowding out our best guesses, the game isn’t as much fun as it used to be.  In fact, it isn’t any fun at all, anymore.

This IS what we’ve been expecting.  It is what the Bible forecast for the last days.  Jesus said the Tribulation Period would be a time so terrible that if He didn’t return to put a stop to it, there would be no flesh saved out of it.

So it is entirely reasonable to expect that the period leading up to it would be, ah, unpleasant, to say the least. Jesus prophesied that the time will come when those who kill you will think they do God service.

He reminded us that the world MUST hate us because it hates Him  – but that doesn’t make it any easier when it happens.

There are two competing sets of values here and it is out of that conflict that all the angst arises.  If we are where I believe that we are on Bible prophecy’s timeline, then America’s (and the West’s) days are numbered.

If we are where I believe we are, then the decline we are experiencing is both inevitable and unstoppable.   This is only part of the Big Picture – there are other, bigger and scarier parts yet to come.

Why are they scarier today than they were, say, ten years ago?   It isn’t as if Bible prophecy changed in the last ten years.   What we are experiencing is the realization of our expectations.   Did anybody really think that witnessing the unfolding of last days’ prophecy would be fun?

If you did, now you know.

You also know why you were but one of only a tiny handful of ‘prophecy nuts’ in your church.  I say ‘were’ because as we move forward on the Bible timeline, prophecy doesn’t seem so nuts anymore.

In the grand scheme of things, very few Christians in these last days have been called as watchmen.  Even fewer have responded to the calling.  It’s not for everybody — for some it is too much.  That is why we are necessary – to give the warning.

God has set each of us in the place He wants us to be for this time and place in human history.  That doesn’t mean it is a pleasant place – we had our pleasant time. But God in His wisdom, and for reasons known only to Him, has called us – you and me and others like us – as witnesses.

He promises a special crown for us at the Bema Seat.  There are only FIVE crowns and this is one of them.  So what made you think that earning it would be easy?  It is supposed to be hard.  Out of all the living Christians on this planet, God called YOU to bear witness for all those too afraid to look.

Yes, it is frustrating.  Yes, it is infuriating.  Yes, it is frightening.  And YES – it is unfair. Why can’t YOU be one of those Christians just strolling through life, tra-la-la-la-la, in blissful ignorance?

I dunno. Because you can’t.  God called you and you answered the phone.  Sorry.  This is a bell that you can’t unring.   Read through your assignment again — note in particular the parts in italics.

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.

But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.” (2nd Timothy 4:1-5)

Somebody has to watch in all things, do the work of an evangelist and make full proof of the ministry to which God called them. That’s the charge.  You accepted it — or you wouldn’t be reading these words now.

Now the evil days are upon us and somehow, we are surprised to find we don’t like it.   I am not saying that sarcastically – I am as surprised as anybody at how surprised I am, if you can follow my drift.

I thought I was made of sterner stuff than that.

So, what are we to do as Christians?  Our job.  Be witnesses.  Watch and observe and give the warning.  You know, the Bible says that Noah preached for one hundred and twenty years and never made a single convert.

But when the rains came down, Noah still got to ride out the storm in the ark.

It is easy to become discouraged, frustrated and even angry.  It’s natural.  But it is part of a plan that the God of the Universe has not only let you in on, He has included you as a necessary part.

“Now unto Him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy, To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.” (Jude 1:24-25)

He can keep you from falling.  He will present you faultless before the Throne with exceeding joy.  He knows what He is doing, and He has let you in on some of the details.

Here’s what we know —  and we know it for sure.  There is lots to be scared of.  But nothing to be worried about. Because He is able.  And He loves you more than you know.

Maranatha!

This Letter was written by Jack Kinsella on January 7, 2012

Featured Commentary: Nothing New Under the Sun ~Wendy Wippel