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THEY'VE ALL BEEN WRONG
Looking back at how Christians have viewed Christ’s second coming in the past, we find many people obsessed with figuring out all the details and making predictions.
Here is a quote: "The last days are upon us. Weigh carefully the times. Look for him who is above all time, eternal and invisible" That statement was not made by a modern prophecy expert. That statement did not come religious TV. It was made by a Christian named Ignatius, who lived in 110 AD, just a few decades after 1 John was written.
Here is another quote: "There is no doubt that the Antichrist has already been born. Firmly established in his early years, he will, after reaching maturity, achieve supreme power" That statement wasn’t made by a radio prophecy teacher. It was written by a Christian leader named Martin living in 375 AD.
In the year 236 AD a church leader named Hippolytus predicted that Christ was sure to return by 500 AD.
The years between 999 and 1030 AD were characterized by excessive speculation about Christ’s second coming among Christians, so much so that it led to social chaos as farmers didn’t plant crops for the next year, buildings weren’t repaired, and the details of daily life were neglected because they thought Christ would return in their lifetime.
In the 1500’s the Protestant reformer Martin Luther said, "We have reached the time of the white horse of the Apocalypse. This world will not last any longer… than another hundred years."
Christopher Columbus said he was sure the world would end by 1656. The year 1666 saw an explosion in end time speculation, so much so that one pastor wrote in his journal that every time a storm hit, people would go to church to await Christ’s second coming.
In the 1800s a Christian named William Miller said, "I am fully convinced that somewhere between March 21st, 1843 and March 21st, 1844 Christ will come." When Miller’s date came and went, hundreds of people walked away from the Christian faith. If their pastor was wrong about that, what else was he wrong about?
In our own generation, many modern day prophecy experts guessed that 1981 would mark the rapture of the church and the beginning of the terrible seven year tribulation period that would culminate in the battle of Armageddon. Now as we near the year 2000, dozens of prophecy experts on Christian TV, radio, and in books are making new predictions related to the year 2000.
Christian historian Richard Kyle cautions us, "Through two thousand years of Western history millions of…sincere, devout, and knowledgeable people have seen the end as [about to happen in their own lifetimes]…But they have all been wrong."
SOURCE: Timothy Peck. Citations: Richard Kyle, "The Last Days Are Here Again," pages 27, 55, 87. Abanes, "End Time Visions," pages 337-338.
COMPROMISE AND ANTI-CHRIST
Religious tolerance is not always a sign of good will. It can be a sign of careless, perhaps hypocritical religious indifference of the most high-handed philosophic relativism. It can also be a mask behind which to hide downright malice. During the Nazi era, for example, arguments for Christian openness to other perspectives were used by German Christians in an attempt to neuter the church’s protest against the neo-paganism of Hitler and his minions. The Confessing Church in Germany found in John 10 a theological basis to stand against Hitler. There are times in which the only way to keep alive the non-vindictive, nonjudgmental, self-sacrificing witness of Jesus Christ is to stand with rude dogmatism on the rock that is Jesus Christ, condemning all compromise as the work of the Antichrist.
SOURCE: Ronald Goetz in "Exclusivistic Universality" (Christian Century, April 21, 1993). Sep00
[All the Wrong Questions, Citation: Michael Scott Horton in Mission Accomplished. Christianity Today, Vol. 31, no. 7.]
The ultimate questions people of our day are asking are these: What is the meaning of life? What is the purpose behind my life and my destiny?
What questions are we evangelicals asking? Is dancing a sin? Should we immerse, sprinkle or pour? Who is the next logical candidate for Antichrist?
While we are busy at conferences and conventions, talking with ourselves about the need for Christian aerobics, or coming up with four new and painless steps to victorious Christian living, the world is taking its business elsewhere--to merchants who apply their philosophy to the deep, essential questions of human life.
Contributed by A. Todd Coget
“Christianity, in its purest form, is nothing more than seeing Jesus. Christian service, in its purest form, is nothing more than imitating him who we see. To see His Majesty and to imitate him, t...
QUOTE –GOD CAME NEAR:
“They were too busy. The day was upon them. The day’s bread had to be made. The morning’s chores had to be done. There was too much to do to imagine that the impossible had occurred. God had entered the world as a baby. Yet, were someone to chance upon the sheep stable on the outskirts of Bethlehem that morning, what a peculiar scene they would behold. The stable stinks like all stables do. The stench of urine, dung, and sheep reeks pungently in the air. The ground is hard, the hay scarce. Cobwebs cling to the ceiling and a mouse scurries across the dirt floor. A more lowly place of birth could not exist…
Meanwhile, the city hums. The merchants are unaware that God has visited their planet. The innkeeper would never believe that he had just sent God into the cold. And the people would scoff at anyone who told them the Messiah lay in the arms of a teenager on the outskirts of their village. They were all too busy to consider the possibility. Those who missed His Majesty’s arrival that night missed it not because of evil acts or malice; no, they missed it because they simply weren’t looking. Little has changed in the last two thousand years, has it?” (Max Lucado).
I like what S. D. Gordon wrote: "It is startling to think that Satan can actually come into the heart of a man in such close touch with Jesus as Judas was. And more--he is cunningly trying to do it today. Yet he can get in only through a door opened from the inside. Every man controls the door of his own life. Satan can't get in without our help.
At the turn of the century, Pastor William Hendrickson wrote that the mark of the beast is "the God-opposing, Christ-rejecting, church-persecuting spirit of the antichrist, wherever and whenever it shows itself. This mark is impressed on the forehead or right hand in Rev. 13. The forehead symbolizes the mind, the thought life and philosophy of a person. The right hand indicates his deeds, actions, trade, and industry. Therefore, the person receiving 'the mark of the beast' indicates the person who belongs to the company of those who persecute the church."
THE MANIFESTATIONS OF AN ANTICHRIST
A father told a Senate committee that his son committed suicide after listening to songs about violence, sex, drugs, and death. "He was a good boy," Raymond Kuntz of Burlington, N.D., said of his only child, 15-year-old Richard. "The music wasn’t symptomatic of other problems," Kuntz told the committee, which is gathering information on how violent themes in music affect children. Richard Kuntz, a 10th-grader, took his life because lyrics in Marilyn Manson’s song, "The Reflecting God" told him to kill himself, his father said. Shock-rocker Manson’s album Antichrist Superstar was a favorite of his son, who seemed trapped in depression as he wrote about the band for an English class, Kuntz said. "Marilyn Manson shows that it is possible for Christian society to produce someone who is against everything it stands for," the boy wrote. "Believing that what he is doing is good and promoting it through music, he gains followers by epitomizing children’s black thoughts of rebellion." Producers should be forced to attach labels to their albums to warn public officials, store managers and parents about lyrics, Kuntz said. Such labels now are voluntary. Music-industry spokeswoman Hilary Rosen said music was not to blame for the boy’s death, and that his parents should have been monitoring him more closely. Rosen said that much of the alarm about today’s music is reminiscent of ...
WHAT IF THERE WAS NO CHRISTMAS?
Lets ponder the what if - say- the antichrist powers would have defeated Christ at birth and therefore eliminated Christianity? what would have been lost?
i. There would be no Christmas joy
ii. There would be no kids smiles
iii. There would be no Merry Christmas
iv. There would be no singing of jingle bells
v. There would be no joy to the world
vi. There would be no hark the herald angels singing
vii. There would be no silent night
viii. There would be no gift giving
ix. There would be no colorful lights
x. There would be no candy canes
xi. There would be no God with us
xii. There would be no reason for the season
xiii. There would be no holiday spirit of giving
xiv. There would be no Good News
xv. There would be no sacred romance between us and the Lord
xvi. There would be no faith
xvii. There would be no prayer
xviii. There would be no bridge to Heaven
xix. There would be no supernatural healings
xx. There would be no grace
xxi. There would be no mercy
xxii. There would be no forgiveness
xxiii. There would be no purpose for our lives
xxiv. There would be no bondage breaker moments in life
xxv. There would be no freedom
xxvi. There would be no eternal life
xxvii. There would be no transformations
xxviii. There would be no light at the end of the tunnel
xxix. There would be no revivals
xxx. There would be no church - no Christian Hills
xxxi. There would be no Christians
xxxii. There would be no bridge to the presence of God
xxxiii. There would be no Spirit filled life
xxxiv. There would be no 12 step recovery program
xxxv. There would be no love
xxxvi. There would be no wise men
xxxvii. There would be no family gatherings
xxxviii. There would be no New Testament and the Bible as we know it
xxxix. There would be no entrance to the Holy of Holies
xl. There would be no revelation of Jesus
xli. There would be no Christian organizations
xlii. There would be no pastor’s
xliii. There would be no worship music
xliv. There would be no Bread of Life
xlv. There would be no deliverance
xlvi. There would be no joy or smiles in this life
xlvii. There would be no testimonies to His resurrection power
xlviii. There would be no miracles
xlix. There would be no defeating of death
l. There would be no salvation
li. There would be no hope
THE ANTICHRIST IN JEWISH LITERATURE
In Jewish literature, the Antichrist was sometimes referred to as Belial. According to the Jewish Encyclopedia, "in Jewish circles in the pre-Christian period the expectation was prevalent of the appearance of Belial (one of Satan's lieutenants) if not of Satan himself; and that his activity was imagined as being almost identical with that expected of the Antichrist in Thessalonians."
In Jewish literature after the time of Jesus, the Antichrist is given a number of names, like Haramlet, Tarmila, and Armilus. "They call him Armilus...[he will] say to them, "I am your Messiah, I am your god!" And he will mislead them and they will instantly believe in him."
[T'fillat R. Shim'on ben Yohai, BhM [Bet haMidrash] 4:124-126]