Jerusalem in Prophecy

Much has been speculated and written about regarding the role of Jerusalem in biblical prophecy. The following article by Pastor Bob Russell is as plausible a take on it as I have seen. Whatever the Lord , in His providence, has in store for Jerusalem it is sure that we should be praying for the people of Jerusalem and that they that do not know Him will seek after Him soon. Pastor Russell’s article appeared first at: http://www.bobrussell.com as: Jerusalem in Prophecy. RMF

Jerusalem in Prophecy

by Bob Russell

Pastor Bob Russell

Occasionally people ask my opinion on various personal or church issues. I recently received the following question which I have reprinted below, followed by my response.

QUESTION:  Bob, Wow! I’m holding my breath today as we watch the formal opening of the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem and the city being named the capital! Would you consider doing a blog about what is happening right now in Jerusalem and the world? It’s crazy, exciting, scary, and prophetic!

MY ANSWER

US Embassy in Jerusalem

Bible-believing Christians hold different views of the Nation of Israel in prophecy. For example, a recent Lifeway poll* found that 80 percent of evangelicals believed that the creation of Israel in 1948 was a fulfillment of biblical prophecy that would bring about Christ’s return. Twenty percent believed it was an interesting historical event but had nothing to do with Biblical prophecy.

While not everything that happens in Jerusalem is a fulfillment of prophecy, it seems to me that current events are laying the groundwork for the final chapter of history to unfold. Consider what the Bible says about the city of Jerusalem.

God chose Jerusalem as a Holy City
The Lord will inherit Judah as his portion in the Holy land and will again choose Jerusalem” (Zech 2:12).

  Jerusalem is located on the mountain where Abraham intended to sacrifice his son Isaac on the altar. As a result of God’s intervention, Abraham became the father of many nations. (See Gen. 22:2.) Jerusalem was chosen as Israel’s headquarters by King David and is where Solomon built the first temple. (See 2 Samuel 5;7-9.) Jerusalem is where Jesus shed His precious blood for the sins of the world and where the resurrected Christ ascended into heaven. The Bible identifies Jerusalem as “the city of God” or “the city of the Great King” (Psalm 48).

God loves Jerusalem, and Psalm 132:13-14 promises: “The Lord has chosen Zion; He has desired it for His habitation. ‘This is my resting place forever; here I will dwell, for I have desired it.’”  Continue reading

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Being strong and courageous in Kingdom service

When Joshua was preparing to lead the Israelites into the Promised Land, God gave him a list of promises and admonitions. God promised that He would give them the land He had sworn to Moses, victory over their enemies, success, and most importantly to me, His presence. He assured them that they should not be frightened, dismayed or distracted from obeying the law He had given them. Three times God urged Joshua to be strong and courageous. There was no reason for Joshua to be worried as God promised: “…the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. (Joshua 1:9)
I am convinced that just as God was with Joshua He will be with us also. Our job is to be alert, listen for God’s leading and guidance, and then act on that with confidence whether for small or large missions. Sometimes our part will be small but it may be a major part in what God is doing wherever He is accomplishing His purposes. We simply need to be alert and be available, ready to be used of God. We can be certain that He has supplied us with everything we need to accomplish what He is calling us to do. We operate with the gifts He has given us and in the strength of His mighty power. Because He is with us we can be strong and courageous. What a great promise.  RMF

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Get Ready — It May Get Worse

The following is an article which pretty much captures my understanding of what is happening in our culture, i.e., “We are moving into an era of troubled people and troubled times, a time when the devil will be active and angry, but also a time when the glory of God will be upon His people.”  The article is by Pastor Billy Long and appeared at: Out of the Box  as:  The Fierce Society.  RMF

THE FIERCE SOCIETY

By Billy Long

Pastor Billy Long

This article is meant to be a discussion of current times, not end times. I don’t want to get into theological debates around eschatology. Some emphasize the great falling away while others argue that the Gospel will conquer. There is often an element of paradox in spiritual truth. The Bible speaks of great evil and darkness while also speaking of the glory of God and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Regardless of a person’s perspective on end times, it is indisputable that we are currently in a time of world-wide intensity, as seen in nature, politics, economics and sociological dynamics. Nations are filled with conflict and distress. Those that seem to be at peace are better described as being in a malaise (that vague sense of ill-being and debility that accompanies the onset of an illness). Even people who lack spiritual perception can sense the urgency of the times.
We are moving into an era of troubled people and troubled times, a time when the devil will be active and angry, but also a time when the glory of God will be upon His people. In the days that are coming, Christians should be spiritually alert, in prayer, and boldly proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit. –Billy Long

The Fierce Society
By laying aside God, the Bible, and Judeo-Christian values our society is deliberately or unwittingly destroying the under-girding foundation necessary for a peaceful, stable, and prosperous society, and in turn is laying the grounds for an intellectually inferior, undisciplined, morally depraved, lawless, and fierce society.

2 Timothy 3: 1-3, and Romans 1: 28-32 describe the ultimate characteristics of a culture that rejects God and which is “given over” to itself and its sin. Paul says that the times will be “perilous.” The Greek word is also translated “fierce” and is the same word used to describe the demoniac (Matthew 8:28) out of whom Jesus cast a legion of demons. This man was exceedingly “fierce,” living among the tombs, naked, cutting himself, breaking chains used to bind him, and producing fear in all who came near. It is quite disturbing that the word used to describe this man is also used to describe times and the people that “will come.”   Continue reading

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John Boyd and Strategic Thinking

I first learned of John Boyd through my friendship with his children Mary Ellen and Jeff Boyd, who I met at New Life Christian Church (www.newlife4me.com).  Later I met Col. Boyd’s widow, Mary, and in fact officiated at her funeral service.  I also know Rebah Boyd, Col. Boyd’s granddaughter and Mary Ellen’s daughter.  They are an interesting and delightful family and I am grateful for learning about the patriarch’s work years before he became as renowned as he has become in more recent times.  The following is an interesting and educational article by Brett McKay which describes Col. Boyd’s signature work, the OODA Loop, in a detailed way.  I believe you’ll enjoy the article which appeared first at: www.artofmanliness.com as: The Tao of Boyd: How to Master the OODA Loop.  RMF

The Tao of Boyd: How to Master the OODA Loop

by Brett McKay

Col. John Boyd

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Brett McKay

John Boyd is described by some as the greatest military strategist in history that no one knows. He began his military career as a fighter pilot in the Korean War, but he slowly transformed himself into one of the greatest philosopher-warriors to ever live.

In 1961, at age 33, he wrote “Aerial Attack Study,” which codified the best dogfighting tactics for the first time, became the “bible of air combat,” and revolutionized the methods of every air force in the world.  Continue reading

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Running the Race God’s Way

Following is a neat article by one of my very favorite authors, Randy Alcorn.  It is about one of my favorite life heroes, Eric Liddell.  The article appeared at: www.epm.org  as: The Little Known Story of Olympian Eric Liddell’s Final Years .  I believe you will enjoy it and, if you have not already done so, want to check out Chariots of Fire, a truly thrilling movie.  RMF

The Little Known Story of Olympian Eric Liddell’s Final Years
By Randy Alcorn

The “Flying Scotsman” character in the Chariots of Fire movie

Eric Liddel at the Paris Olympics

One of my favorite movies of all time is the 1981 Chariots of Fire. It’s the only reason many people are familiar with Eric Liddell, the “Flying Scotsman” who shocked the world by refusing to run the one hundred meters in the 1924 Paris Olympics, a race he was favored to win. He withdrew because the qualifying heat was on a Sunday, and he believed God didn’t want him to run on the Lord’s Day. Liddell then went on to win a gold medal—and break a world record—in the four hundred meters, not his strongest event. (In the black and white photo, that’s the real Eric Liddell in his gold medal winning 400m final at the Olympics.)

Randy Alcorn
Eternal Perspectives Ministry

My favorite lines from the movie are when Eric’s character, played by actor Ian Charleson, says, “God…made me fast. And when I run, I feel his pleasure.” Though those lines were actually penned by screenwriter Colin Welland, I think the real Eric would have agreed with the sentiment. Those who knew him testified that his personal and moral convictions weren’t born of a cold, rigid religious piety, but of a warm, happy devotion to his Lord and Savior. Here’s that clip from the movie, with Eric talking to his sister Jenny.

I still remember sitting with Nanci in a large Portland theatre in 1981, smiling and crying through various parts of that unforgettable movie. Chariots of Fire ends with these brief words about Eric’s life after the Olympics: “Eric Liddell, missionary, died in occupied China at the end of World War II. All of Scotland mourned.”  Continue reading

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Depression And Thoughts Of Ending it All

Here is an article to save [Click HERE] for when you or a friend are depressed and even consider suicide. The article is written by Senior Pastor Brian Jones.  Brian is a graduate of Princeton Theological Seminary and the author of Second Guessing God, Forgiveness, and Finding Favor. He’s the Pastor of Christ’s Church of the Valley in suburban Philadelphia. Brian and his beautiful wife Lisa have three amazing daughters, one of whom, Chandler, we had the privilege of hosting in our home while she was an intern at The International Justice Mission in DC  during the summer of 2015.

I enjoy Brian’s writing style and wit and have reblogged a couple of his articles in the past. This particular article grabbed my attention due to the fact that over the years I’ve had the opportunity to walk with some dear friends who were dealing with depression.  I’ve always felt less than adequately prepared to be of much assistance to them even as a friend, much less as a counselor.  My one piece of sound advice to them has always been to seek well-qualified professional help.  But I always have sought to be a good listener and to truly understand what it is they are experiencing.  Incidentally, I don’t pretend to do even that as well as I would like.  

Anyway, when I read Brian’s article it seemed to be of such a quality that I would like to share it with others.  Before doing that, however, I thought it wise to run it past a friend who is currently struggling with depression.  I asked him if he believed it was worth sharing.  Here is his response:

“I appreciate you sharing the article with me. Needless to say I have read a tome of such things over these last few years by my own initiative, but it is an exceedingly rare occurrence for someone to share such things with me out of concern. Interestingly, Jones quotes Psychologist William James (1842–1910, whom I believe is often called the father of modern psychology) saying that there are those who are “organically weighted on the side of cheer.” If James was correct, then there is in those people—who I assume constitute the majority—an inherent and endogenous inability to comprehend the experiences of those who are weighted otherwise; it is for them, a natural blind spot. This deduction (or induction—whichever it is) I find helpful in contending with the loneliness and isolation that is such a universal experience for those in recalcitrant depression. 

“As for your questions about the usefulness of the article, unfortunately I (and others in my lot) are not always the best people to ask. The darkness (as I have come to name it), particularly at its most unmitigated points, produces a cognitive fog—a haze through which nothing is seen clearly. All sound becomes like white noise that does not soothe, but rather distracts with its incessant din—I have often likened it to how a sunburn feels in the shower. Words on a page get jumbled. Compassion, pleasure, and general interest are anesthetized to the point of numbness, and the outward and manifold expressions of joy and laughing in everyone else seem perplexing and incoherent. The point, I think, is that it becomes nearly impossible to discern things that are useful from things that are superfluous, things that are helpful from things that are desensitizing, and things that are superficial from things that have form and dimension. Even worse…is the suspension of the ability to discern what is God-centered from what is man-centered. So, truthfully, I struggle when I try to engage such things.

HOWEVER….I would say that Jones’ article is nothing if not engaging—I was able to stay with it to the end. More often than not, I find that I kind of “trail off” without finishing such self-help thoughts due to lack of connectivity. So, if he can hold my attention all the way through, it is very likely worth re-posting—especially since he includes some practical steps and critical resources at the end.
Hope that helps, / S /

So, with that clearance for sharing the article from my trusted friend, here it is:  RMF

A Note For Anyone Who Has Thought About Suicide (Like Me)

By Brian Jones

Brian Jones

I talk to my cat a lot.

If you spent five minutes with him, you would too. Seriously.

He acts like an affectionate Golden Retriever. He’s big and fat and cuddly and constantly wants to jump on your lap and snuggle. Anytime Lisa and I hug he’s like, “Hey, let me in on some of that!”

If you’re not a cat person, I will pray for your dark, miserable soul. 🙂  Continue reading

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Why We Should (& Should Not) Be Excited About Today’s Blood Moon

God is at it again. He’s actually at it every second of every day. But there are moments here and there, like today, where he cranks up the show. Three notable lunar events are coinciding.  Check out The Cripplegate post by Eric Davis at: Why We Should (& Should Not) Be Excited About Today’s Blood Moon.  RMF

Why We Should (& Should Not) Be Excited About Today’s Blood Moon

by Eric Davis

Click HERE:  Why We Should (& Should Not) Be Excited About Today’s Blood Moon

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