Wednesday, August 22, 2012

What Is Going To Happen According To End Time Prophecy

The Bible has a lot to say about the end times. Nearly every book of the Bible contains prophecy regarding the end times. Taking all of these prophecies and organizing them can be difficult. Following is a very brief summary of what the Bible declares will happen in the end times.

Christ will remove all born-again believers from the earth in an event known as the rapture (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; 1 Corinthians 15:51-54). At the judgment seat of Christ, these believers will be rewarded for good works and faithful service during their time on earth or will lose rewards, but not eternal life, for lack of service and obedience (1 Corinthians 3:11-15; 2 Corinthians 5:10).

The Antichrist (the beast) will come into power and will sign a covenant with Israel for seven years (Daniel 9:27). This seven-year period of time is known as the “tribulation.” During the tribulation, there will be terrible wars, famines, plagues, and natural disasters. God will be pouring out His wrath against sin, evil, and wickedness. The tribulation will include the appearance of the four horsemen of the Apocalypse, and the seven seal, trumpet, and bowl judgments.

About halfway through the seven years, the Antichrist will break the peace covenant with Israel and make war against it. The Antichrist will commit “the abomination of desolation” and set up an image of himself to be worshipped in the Jerusalem temple (Daniel 9:27; 2 Thessalonians 2:3-10), which will have been rebuilt. The second half of the tribulation is known as “the great tribulation” (Revelation 7:14) and “the time of Jacob’s trouble” (Jeremiah 30:7).

At the end of the seven-year tribulation, the Antichrist will launch a final attack on Jerusalem, culminating in the battle of Armageddon.Jesus Christ will return, destroy the Antichrist and his armies, and cast them into the lake of fire (Revelation 19:11-21). Christ will then bind Satan in the Abyss for 1000 years and He will rule His earthly kingdom for this thousand-year period (Revelation 20:1-6).

At the end of the thousand years, Satan will be released, defeated again, and then cast into the lake of fire (Revelation 20:7-10) for eternity. Christ then judges all unbelievers (Revelation 20:10-15) at the great white throne judgment, casting them all into the lake of fire. Christ will then usher in a new heaven and new earth and theNew Jerusalem—the eternal dwelling place of believers. There will be no more sin, sorrow, or death (Revelation 21–22).

Saturday, August 4, 2012

A Higher King than James

Prayer Is Desperately Needed

A Higher King than James
The Mandate Kicks In

John Stonestreet - August 03, 2012

This past Wednesday, the Obama Administration’s Health and Human Services mandate requiring all employers to provide contraceptives and abortion-inducing drugs went into effect. Christian business owners, many non-profits, schools, and hospitals can now face legal consequences for refusing to offer services, even if doing so violates their consciences.

As we have been saying for months, this isn’t a Catholic-only issue. It goes to the very heart of our American experiment, and threatens a doctrine the West has cherished for generations. But the word is spreading, and a recent move by one of America’s foremost Evangelical colleges has made it clear that many Christians are willing to stand together in defense of religious liberty.

And as Dr. Timothy George, dean of Beeson Divinity School, chairman of the Colson Center, and co-author of the Manhattan Declaration, pointed out at our recent Wilberforce Weekend, it was a Protestant standing up for Catholics who gave us the idea of religious freedom as we now know it when he broke the spiral of silence four centuries ago.

In 1612, the English-speaking world first heard the radical idea of Thomas Helwys, a British missionary who co-founded the Baptist denomination. Helwys sought to challenge King James I’s tyranny over religion. This was no easy or safe task. For years, those who sought to practice Christianity according to their own consciences faced severe persecution. The year before, Baptist Edward Wightman was been burned at the stake for his beliefs. And while Helwys was working in The Netherlands, his own wife was thrown into prison back home.

Desperate to stop the persecution, Helwys spoke up. But rather than beg the king for mercy, he made an audacious move that ultimately cost him his life.

With his book, “A Short Declaration on the Mystery of Iniquity,” hot off the press, Helwys attached a polite cover letter and mailed this historic defense of religious liberty to King James. Needless to say, the king was less than pleased, and four years later, Helwys died in Newgate Prison, a victim of the persecution he sought to end.

But the radical idea of his book (and the church he helped start) lived on, and was adopted not only in England, but throughout the Western World — most famously in the First Amendment of our own Constitution.

His words renouncing the persecution against Roman Catholics are worth repeating here:

“For we do freely profess that our lord the king [of England] has no more power over their consciences than over ours, and that is none at all. For our lord the king is but an earthly king, and he has no authority as a king but in earthly causes…For men’s religion to God is between God and themselves.”

Earlier this month, the Evangelical Wheaton College joined its voice with the growing ranks of Catholic institutions suing the Obama Administration over the HHS mandate. Wheaton filed the suit jointly with The Catholic University of America, making this “the first ever partnership between Evangelicals and Catholics opposing the same regulation in the same court.”

This historic decision “shows the broad consensus” that the HHS mandate threatens everyone’s religious liberty, says Kyle Duncan, General Counsel for the Becket Fund, which is representing both schools.Thomas Helwys would be proud. As another overreaching government tries to forbid usfrom living out our faith in all areas of life, we need to join with Wheaton and Catholic University and stand together, across our faith traditions, for the freedom Helwys helped give us, and remind this government that our consciences answer to a higher King than James.