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Guillotines and The Apocalypse

Posted by admin in January 16th, 2020
Published in faith, freedom, Waiting

When I was a kid we watched horrible movies at church about the last days. Thief in the Night and A Distant Thunder are such wretched films. They are badly directed, badly filmed, badly acted, and I’m not so sure they are theologically sound. Daryl told me he knew kids who became Christians because of those movies. Really? That’s hard to believe, but God can and does use anything.

When I was growing up in the church we heard a lot of sermons about the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. It was talked about, preached on, studied, and maybe it got a bit weird at times, but still the Church (capital C) included Christ’s return on its “important issues” list. And then it stopped.

In the 90s, Jerry Jenkins and Tim LaHaye brought a renewal of the topic with the Left Behind books. Later Kirk Cameron and Nicholas Cage starred in the series on the big screen. The movies were a bit silly – not their content, but again with the writing and the acting – let’s just say they didn’t win any awards. Movies by Christians about Jesus should be excellent. These were corny, trite, and not believable. Sadly.

But I bring all of this up for an important reason. I had a conversation recently with a Christian counselor. Helen (pseudonym) is a strong believer. She was raised on the mission field and has followed Christ all of her life. She got into Christian counseling as a way of ministering to people hurting and struggling with life. She’s an excellent counselor and I really admire her walk with God. I trust her. She’s solid.

One morning, she and I were discussing how the world is changing and how people are increasingly unable to cope with what is happening around them. And then Helen dropped a bomb! She totally opened my mind to a new perspective – one I had never, ever thought of. But when she was telling me about her theory, I knew she was right! It hit me between the eyes and stuck. I can’t shake it.

Helen was raised hearing the same sermons as I heard; watching the same horrible last days movies as I watched and pondering what would happen if the Antichrist took over America. She explained, for most Christians in the USA, we could stand strong facing the guillotine, or even a firing squad. Americans are built to stand for Christ. We are a nation built on independence, fighting for ideals, and personal freedoms. We are stronger than we think and I’d venture to say, as Helen said, that if the Church in America was given a choice to deny Christ or face a firing squad, I think we’d take the bullet–literally. We’re wired like that. It’s in our DNA.

And for most of us in the Church, that’s the persecution we were expecting. That’s the persecution we have been taught about. We’ve seen it in places like China, North Korea, and in Muslim nations. Open Doors has created an entire ministry based on this type of persecution. We’re ready for it.

But Helen had another idea. As a counselor she sees many born-again believers who are struggling to cope and struggling to hold on to their faith. She sees clients who are petrified by living in an upside down, topsy-turvy world. They just cannot reconcile what is happening to them or around them. Things don’t make sense; things are not fair, or balanced, or just. And Helen said that’s when it dawned on her, maybe persecution of the American Church in these last days won’t be the straight forward “deny Christ or die,” but a more subtle, and yes more powerful, persecution – that of trying to navigate in a crazy world.

Never in my wildest thoughts did I ever think the evangelicals of this nation would change their minds on topics such as same-sex marriage, homosexuality, legalization of marijuana, sex outside of marriage, transgender issues, abortion, and obeying the law…and believe me! It’s happening and I have been blindsided by it.

Isaiah 5:20-23 comes to mind, “Woe to them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! Woe to them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight!…Which justify the wicked for reward, and take away the righteousness of the righteous from him!”

Think about it! We are living in an upside down world- obvious injustices, good being declared bad and bad being declared good; evil being declared normal. Our nation calls wrong right and right wrong and the Church is following! This type of persecution is truly destructive to the American Christian’s psychological health. But what a strategy!! The enemy is strategic in his plan of persecution of the Church in America! And it just might be working.

We’re confused, and knocked off-balance by what is being declared not only in our nation, but in our churches. We look around us and ask the question, “What’s wrong with me? Am I losing my mind?” And according to Helen, many people do just that! It’s hard to stand strong these days. The hashtag movement is killing truth in our churches! #METOO #LOVEWINS #SANCTUARY #WELCOMETHESTRANGER

I have friends who attend a church and its motto is, “We don’t care who you sleep with, what you drink or what you smoke…just come be a part of us.” Stop it! Don’t say God loves us unconditionally. Yes, He does, but He doesn’t accept us unconditionally. God loves us through His Son Jesus and we must come to God through Christ and Christ alone and well, sorry to go against the mainstream here, but there are requirements to salvation: John 8:11, Jesus speaks to the woman caught in adultery and says, “Go and sin no more.” 1 Cor. 15:34, “Awake to righteousness, and do not sin…” 1 John 2:4, “Whoever says, ‘I know him,’ but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in that person.” And there are results to salvation, 2 Cor. 5:17, “Therefore if any person be in Christ, he or she is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things become new.” New! So yes, there are conditions and the fact that I’m having to state them shows exactly how far the Church has slipped and sadly, followers of Christ who believe in these absolutes are now made to feel out of touch with reality.

Judgmental, critical, hateful, unloving, alt-right, hypocritical, and just plain wrong – all are labels pinned to the lapel of any follower of Jesus who stands up and declares, “This is wrong!” When I questioned church leaders a while back about a pastor’s plagiarism I was told that I WAS THE ONE IN THE WRONG! I was called a pseudo-intellectual snob and told to leave the issue alone. Upside down. Evil being declared good; good being declared evil.

So what’s the bottom line here? Get ready, it’s one of those clarion calls that includes a few ALL CAPS!

CHURCH WE MUST STAND! The Church is over 2,000 years old and it has not changed its mind on core issues. The Bible speaks very definitively about marriage, homosexuality, proper use of our bodies, the sanctity of life, the deity of Christ, Jesus as the only way of salvation, the Virgin birth, the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus, the return of Jesus, obeying the law of the land, lying as sin, and that the Word of God is wholly reliable and without error! The Church has held these core truths for over 2,000 years. We must hold on to Christ and hold on to our minds. We must stay drenched in the Word of God and pray without ceasing. We must fight this battle and use the weapons provided for us by Christ – they are mighty to the pulling down of strongholds. WE MUST STAND FIRM.  “BUT WE DO NOT BELONG TO THOSE WHO SHRINK BACK AND ARE DESTROYED, BUT TO THOSE WHO HAVE FAITH AND ARE SAVED! (Heb. 10:39).” And please do not feel discouraged or alone; just like the Old Testament prophet, there are thousands in the land who have not bowed their knee…Peace.

11 users Responded In This Post

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53889. Wayne Sumpter said,
January 16th, 2020 at 4:18 pm

Terri, I love this truth and I only wish you had a national pulpit to preach it!

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53890. admin said,
January 16th, 2020 at 4:56 pm

Dear Wayne, that is my heart’s cry!! I have such a burden for America. Please pray for me to have a platform. Thanks! And thanks for these encouraging words.

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53891. Barry Duwe said,
January 17th, 2020 at 8:48 am

Teri,the Lord is using you in through powerful message, and thank you for allowing Him to work through you.

Your message so resonates with my personal journey (since my wife, Ann’s, death in March) in implementing what I have learned in caring for dear Ann by re-directing my focus to being a servant to others in deep thankful response to what Christ has done in saving me from the “perish” part of John 3:16 I so richly deserve. Never before have I been so overwhelmed by the enormity of what Christ has done. The church seldom preaches on this, tending to assume we’ve got this all figured out, so the magnitude – the depth – of our sin and the infinite love God has poured forth in saving us through Jesus Christ gets taken for granted and buried in church-speak platitudes and programs that look very much like the world around us. Lovingly serving others from this deeply grateful perspective, freely sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ in word and deed, would look very much like the first century church, wouldn’t it? Your message reminds me I need to pray on this often. Thanks so much, Teri!

Your longtime brother in Christ,

Barry

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53892. LanaE said,
January 17th, 2020 at 9:20 am

These are great words Teri! Thanks for sharing them and the truth found in the scriptures. Keep it up!

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53893. admin said,
January 17th, 2020 at 8:55 pm

Lana your words mean the most.

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53894. admin said,
January 17th, 2020 at 8:56 pm

Bless you Barry. We miss beautiful Ann.

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53895. Sis said,
January 18th, 2020 at 9:19 am

Oh, sis! Yes! The clarion call must be capitalized!!! This is truly the message we knew you were (are) called to bring when the Lord told you He was equipping you for the end times-declaring truth, going against the ‘flow’ of a poisonous message/theme of these hashtag movements, our churches lacking the presence or moves of God! Thank you for this❤️

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53896. Annajane said,
January 18th, 2020 at 9:47 am

AMEN!!

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53900. Texas sister said,
January 22nd, 2020 at 2:00 pm

“Helen’s” observation is brilliant! She’s right. The word perverse comes to mind. Meaning the opposite of what is right and supposed to be.
Your insightful true words are a sonic boom to a deaf people. I clearly remember hearing a loud BA-BOOOM sometimes as the limits of air speed were cracked wide open during the beginning years of super sonic flight! It was unmistakable. We would all look up as some brave soul rocketed through the atmosphere, blazing a trail for others to follow.
Do that, and keep doing that!
Shake us up out of our seeker friendly, no altar call, no need for repentance, irrelevant, keep the message to 30 minutes, no presence of Almighty God, fit in with the culture, fear of man ridden churches!
I’m not just talking about where I go on Sunday mornings, I’m speaking of America’s houses of worship. It’s a bit stinky out there if you want my true opinion. Everyone leaves feeling good about themselves. No one is offended.
Jesus offended religious people all the time. Most all the time in fact.
I have to adjust all the time to milque toast messages instead of a glorious feast of real meat.
But that’s just me. I’m different.
connie

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53904. admin said,
January 23rd, 2020 at 7:28 am

Connie – what you’ve said here is so true! TRUE and WELL-SAID!! Love you!

mygif
53905. admin said,
January 23rd, 2020 at 7:30 am

I need your prayers! Thanks for encouraging me!

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