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2004-07-10_1522_fromjoewatson-woman-by-the-water
This week’s blog post begins with a provocative question: When terrorists strike, are they doing God’s will?

Before we come up with an answer off the tops of our heads, let’s think about this for a moment and ask a question concerning the nature of God. “Is there anything the Lord cannot do?” Biblically, the answer to that question is, “No.”

Stay with me.

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2009-02-23_1031_ministrywall

I grew up as a kid watching WWII movies, stories of heroism. The Great Escape. The Dirty Dozen. And when I watch films today where the U.S. military is involved, such as Captain Phillips, I am moved, often to tears. Perhaps having lived abroad as a missionary has made me very aware of the relief I would experience if I needed rescue as a foreigner in a distant land. It is difficult to experience the feeling of home I felt as I walked into U.S. embassies in other countries. It sounds weird, I suppose, because I wasn’t really home. I still resided in a foreign nation. Nevertheless, that is how I felt. I also came to understand the comforting nature of the “golden passport”—the support, the justice, and accompanying power that stands behind that document. Therefore, I am extremely grateful to be an American citizen.

As much as I am thankful for that security, I must not compromise myself as a Christian in order to maintain that wonderful sense of safety that I enjoy.

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img_0406

In this series of articles, we have been looking at this question: How does a Christian pray for the Church, when the Bible is clear that it will become apostate before Jesus returns?

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p1040005

To me, Ezekiel is one of the strangest books in the Bible. The only one stranger is Revelation. When I use the word “strange,” I do not mean that in a negative way at all. It’s just that when I read these two books, my response is, “Wow. What? Really!?”

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p1040004

I’ve thought in the last few years that the revealing of the man of lawlessness would bring anarchic chaos in the days before the Lord returns.

However, now I think that my understanding and focus of this difficult yet glorious time to come has been wrong.

Here’s why. Read the rest of this entry »

2009-02-20_1651_1_ChurchPlaqueOne of the saddest portions in all of Scripture, in my opinion, is 2 Kings 25:8–17, where we read that the beautiful house of the Lord was burned down, the wealth of the temple was looted, and God’s city, Jerusalem, was laid waste by Babylon.

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open-bible

One of the things the Lord does when we read Scripture is He lays our lives against its plumb line. Someone has said that it’s not so much that we read Scripture, but that it reads us.

But this has become a bit of a problem in the evangelical church. One is that we’ve become so familiar with Scripture that it fails to impact us anymore. In addition, somehow, we’ve trivialized certain parts of Scripture. I’m not sure how this happened. Here’s an example about what we’ve done. We’ve transformed some of the most uncomfortable passages in the Bible into palatable kids’ stories. Noah’s ark. Animals and rainbows and a smiling guy with a white beard. This is in actuality a terrible account about God’s judgment of an evil world, where everybody was destroyed. Samson. Lots of people died when Samson was around. Moses before Pharaoh. Terrible plagues and destruction.

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p1010090

Yesterday was a bit…puzzling/interesting/troubling in my neck of the woods. I received the following from former mindsay acquaintance, who had received it from a friend.

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2005-03-18_2302-12_thomsoncam0376

I was reading the other day and came across this passage of Scripture, spoken by the prophet Joel, hundreds—actually over two thousand—years ago:

“I will gather all the nations and bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat. And I will enter into judgment with them there, on behalf of my people and my heritage Israel, because they have scattered them among the nations and have divided up my land.”

This is a prophecy about the last days, when the Lord will bring nations to a place called the Valley of Jehoshaphat, to fight what is called the Battle of Armageddon. Joel is saying that what will happen there will be the result of what the nations have done to His people, “my heritage Israel.”

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