Who Needs Prophecy?

I once overheard an individual state that they could not understand the book of Revelation. In frustration they said that they were unable to sort out whether the rapture would take place before, in the middle of, or after the seven years of tribulation. Confused by the deep symbolism found in the prophetic books of the Bible, especially Revelation as noted, they seemed to be close to giving up. It is unfortunate to stumble across this, especially when I myself have been a close student of prophecy, and have spent a great deal of time studying the particular book in question. It saddens me to see Christians about ready to give up on prophecy due to a struggle to understand the Bible.

But I do understand the problems which lead to that final decision to not bother studying Revelation. It seems there are quite a few cryptic symbols in the pages of holy writ. Bible Prophecy in general tends to be characterized by deep symbolism, as though many of the prophetic books of the Bible were written in code. Perhaps if the book of Revelation were written this way, it would make sense. Deep symbolism used as a form of a code protects the messages of the Bible, which otherwise would not bypass the scrutiny of persecutors, especially if any of them are mentioned in the prophecies of holy writ.

But unfortunately this places Christians in the position of having to decipher the codes of Bible Prophecy, in order to understand the messages that God has given to us. As noted, some seem to struggle with the task, and even give up, especially due to confusion from pre-established viewpoints and where they fit into the scope of final events. Alongside the cryptic nature of prophetic books of the Bible, it would seem there are as many views of prophecy as there are denominations in Christendom. If this is indeed the case, what is the Christian to do?

We need not be discouraged by the cryptic symbols of the Bible. God never intended for deep symbolism to be a hindrance to the faithful Bible student. The book of Revelation itself contains a promise for those who read it, which says: “Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.” – Revelation 1:3. 

There is therefore a blessing pronounced on those who attempt to undertake the study of this specific prophetic book. Other Bible promises are also well suited to the different prophetic chapters, parables, dreams, and visions across the Scriptures. James 1:5, Mark 11:24, and John 16:13 could perhaps bring encouragement to struggling students of Bible Prophecy.

The abundance of views concerning prophecy however are a different matter. An example of this boils down to issues surrounding the rapture, the seven years of tribulation, the sequence of the rapture, and other events connected to prophecy. This is in addition to the fact that while some say all of prophecy will be fulfilled in the future, others teach it was all fulfilled in the past. Prophecies surrounding the antichrist are made to be about one man who will stamp out religion with Hitler-like fury [thus bringing about the seven years of tribulation], or it is claimed that he was Nero during the days of the Roman persecutions.

As stated above, even those who hold to the idea of the rapture cannot agree as to whether it will occur before the tribulation, during the tribulation, or after the tribulation. It creates a quagmire for the Christian to wade through and struggle with as they sit back confused, trying to determine which of the views is correct. This is where I want to make a radical suggestion.

I do not want to be perceived as though I personally hold to disbelief in the second coming of Christ. That would unquestionably be nothing short of heresy. But if any of the multitudes of views regarding prophecy have confused you and made it difficult to study Bible Prophecy and final events, I want to encourage you. I would suggest that you for the moment forget about trying to learn the sequence of the rapture in relation to the tribulation.

If you do not live in a country where there is a lot of persecution, take advantage of your religious freedom. Think and study for yourself freely in spite of what anyone at your church believes, teaches, or preaches. I propose that you conduct an experiment in which you lay aside all pre-determined views of Bible Prophecy. This includes the rapture, its sequence [pre-trib, post-trib, or mid-trib], the idea of a one-man antichrist, whether or not he will come in the future or if he was Nero, and any other views which you know other people personally hold.

After doing this, take every Bible Commentary in your house and put them in a place in which you will not be tempted to use them. You do not want their ideas to become your own. Then get down on your knees and spend some time in prayer. Claim the promises listed here in this post [Revelation 1:3, Mark 11:24, John 16:13, James 1:5]. After that, take a concordance or Bible search engine and dive into the word of God. Use the methods of study outlined on this blog. Then let me know if this helps you to better understand the teachings of Scripture on these points for yourself.

But beyond this, the difficulties of established views and cryptic symbolism may trigger some to ask why Christians should even bother studying prophecy in the first place? Afterall shouldn’t we just focus on evangelism? Would salvation not be a better study for the Christian to dwell on? Perhaps these seem like good questions on the surface, but in reality they convey the idea that prophecy is somehow unimportant, or that other matters should receive more attention from the Christian. Evangelism for instance can be supported and made more effective by a thorough study of the prophecies in connection with history.

The particular school of prophetic interpretation you believe in has an influence on this. However the ability to demonstrate the fulfilment of Bible Prophecy in history is something which has won souls in the past. This is because it in effect proves the inspiration of Scripture, and provides facts and evidence upon which a person may base their faith and make intelligent decisions for the truth. When supported by evidence that the events actually occurred in history, and the books were written before the events took place, than the Christian is equipped with powerful arguments in support of the truth.

Thus abandoning the study of prophecy because it is more important that we “focus on evangelism” is like going into battle without a sword, armor, or a shield. As for Salvation, it is of course important that every Christian, especially those engaged in evangelism, have a thorough understanding of the nuts and bolts of how to be saved. I can agree that everything else should be put on hold until you understand this, but some reach a state in their Christian experience where they do understand these issues. Therefore it is a little ridiculous to use salvation as a means of dismissing the study of the prophecies. The term “excuse” comes to mind.

But effectiveness in evangelism is not the only reason Christians should consider studying prophecy. It constitutes one of the reasons, as when one studies the issue thoroughly enough a powerful argument for apologetics is produced. But note what Peter had to say about the matter.

“We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts.” – 2 Peter 1:19

It would seem that the “sure word of prophecy” is something that Christians would do well to pay attention to. This is clear from Peter’s words “whereunto ye do well that ye take heed.” Other versions render this literally as, “and you will do well to pay attention to it.” Scripture teaches that prophecy is to receive our attention, thus I would suggest that no Christian who is serious about their faith can dismiss the prophecies of Scripture in favor of other concerns. Beyond Peter’s admonition to pay attention to prophecy, consider the following.

The prophecies surrounding the second coming of Christ contain numerous warnings about deception. You can see these warnings in passages such as Matthew 24:4-5, 24:11, 24:23-24, and 2 Thessalonians 2:8-9. That knowledge would lead us to seek to be thorough Bible students in general and to practice discernment, but you would not have this knowledge unless you had taken the time to study prophecy. It may also leave you without an understanding of what needs to happen in your life in order for you to achieve a readiness for the final events.

If we take also for instance the prophecies surrounding the mark of the beast, a thorough understanding of these issues might also help you to avoid receiving it yourself. You would be capable of discerning precisely what the mark is, and have a decent enough knowledge of how to escape it. But a neglect of attempting to study them would leave you without that knowledge. Thus you would be unable to identify it when it arrives, and could theoretically be deceived into receiving it.

A thorough understanding of the prophecies connected to the final events is undeniably of great benefit to the Christian. In view of this fact, if you’ve ever felt frustrated at the deep symbolism and the varying beliefs regarding the prophecies, take courage. A study of prophecy is not only beneficial but important, and therefore it is worth a little perseverance on your part.

The Importance Of Bible Study

“What have you been studying out of your Bible lately?”

To many within Christendom, this would seem an unanswerable question. It is as though some irrefutable argument was thrown at them, and they’re squirming to respond with solid logic. The reason for this is of course obvious, they haven’t been studying their Bibles. Searching the Scriptures seems to be a neglected and forgotten practice in the Churches of today. A variety of reasons are usually cited, from not having the time to not knowing how.

At one time, I had the opportunity of attending a group Bible study at another Church. It was aimed dominantly at young people, and I was invited to it by a couple of friends. Rather than an interactive study as I was typically used to from my own Church, this seemed more like a sermon with some discussion that followed than anything. One of the people who I met from here remarked, “I don’t need to study the Bible. It’s not like it’s a salvation issue!”

Evidently this individual did not consider Bible study to be important enough to be ranked as something effecting their salvation. To this day such a statement causes me to smack my palm against my face as a reaction to what was said by this person. Bible Study is perhaps more important than we as Christians give it credit for, and it does indeed have an impact on our personal salvation.

Without even addressing the act of searching the Scriptures itself, there is the fact that the Bible teaches precisely how to be saved. Thus if a Christian is neglecting to study the Bible, they will not have a correct knowledge of salvation, which would impact their’s in a negative way. Without an understanding of how salvation works, how is it that you’re supposed to be saved? You could literally wind up attempting to earn it by your own good works in spite of passages like Ephesians 2:8-9 and Romans 6:23, but you would not know about these texts if you had not studied your Bible.

The Scriptures are also a safeguard against deception. To be clear, deception isn’t given to save you. The entire purpose of it is to lead you away from the true path, to cause you to miss the mark so to speak that would lead to God and salvation. Real world examples can be in the form of other religions, such as Mormons or Jehovah’s Witnesses. Can you believe that the teachings of these groups will save the members of their congregations, and that these religions genuinely do lead to God and salvation? If this is in your thinking, you’re probably heading down the path of subjective truth and universalism. Both beliefs are wrong, but you wouldn’t know this unless you had studied your Bible.

The first great deception provides us an example of how error and false teachings are given to trigger the loss of our salvation. Especially when you consider the source of deceptions, as outlined by the Scriptures, and where the first one came from. In fact, we as Christians are in the mess we’re presently in, in which we’re sinners in need of a saviour, because of the first deception and it’s results causing the fall of man.

“Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. And the serpent said unto the woman, ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.” – Genesis 3:1-5

Many of us know where this story goes from here. If you don’t, Genesis 3:6-24 will finish it off for you. Eve and Adam both ate from the tree as a result of these statements of the devil, although according to other Scriptures [“And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in transgression” – 1 Timothy 2:14] Adam was apparently not deceived during this whole mess. To an extent, the implication here is that he ate from the tree deliberately. I’m not certain we have the full picture as to why he would do this, but I can make a well-educated guess that it has something to do with Eve. Evidence supporting the fact that the serpent is in fact the devil can be derived from the book of Revelation.

“And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent called the devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.” – Revelation 12:9

A few key points may be gleaned from this incident.

  1. The result of the fall of man, brought on by deception, was the entrance of sin into this world. Romans 6:23 says that the wages of sin is death, referencing the loss of one’s salvation. [Revelation 21:8]
  2. The fall of man resulted in Adam & Eve being kicked out of the Garden of Eden and access to the tree of life being barred, in one sense causing them to lose eternal life. [Genesis 3:22-24, 3:19.]
  3. Deception resulted in the first sin ever committed. Is it not logical to conclude that one purpose of deception is to trigger the commission of sin?

In view of these facts, it should make a bit more sense why the Bible is full of strong warnings about deception, false teachers or teachings, and false prophets. [2 Peter 2:1, Matthew 7:15-20, 1 John 4:1, Matthew 24:23-24, Matthew 24:4-5, 2 Thessalonians 2:8-12, 2 Timothy 3:13, Revelation 16:13-14, Deuteronomy 13:1-4.] These things are not brought onto the scene to save you, they’re strictly for the purpose of misleading you so that you will miss the mark and ultimately miss out on eternal life.

The only way to defeat deception is a thorough knowledge of the Scriptures. Think of the Bible as a map and a compass. We use these tools to find our way in order to avoid being lost in the wilderness when we go hiking or on long backpacking trips. They help us find direction and determine our position. Imagine for a moment that these instruments have given you the details of where you need to be and go in order to avoid getting lost, but on your journey you come across many who say you’re heading in the wrong direction. There is nothing wrong with either your compass, and your map is accurate. In all reality, they’re the ones taking the wrong route. But you wouldn’t know this unless you checked your map and compass.

When false teaching, teachers, or prophets arise telling you “this is the way”, a thorough knowledge of your Bible enables you to know the correct path in spite of their deception. If it points one direction, and people point another way, in all reality the Bible is correct and they’re wrong. But without studying your Bible you will not be able to detect these things. This is why the Bible gives us the example of the Bereans, who literally checked their “compasses and maps” when they were introduced to fresh concepts to be sure if they were heading in the right direction.

“And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming hither went in unto the synagogue of the Jews. These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the Scriptures daily, whether those things were so.” – Acts 17:10-11

The Bereans are termed “more noble than those in Thessalonica” due to the fact that they “searched the Scriptures daily, whether those things were so.” As Paul and Silas preached to them, they had a tendency to check their “map and compass” as I stated above to determine if those two were teaching truth, which I would suggest is a part of the reason why they “received the word with all readiness of mind.” This where the phrase “being a Berean” in Christianity originates from, and it is based on their example of checking things out.

Your Bible cannot function as a spiritual map and compass for you, if you are not well conversant with it. Thus if deceptions particularly relating to salvation were to arise, you wouldn’t be able to pick up on it. In such a case, you could more than likely end up losing your salvation, as Adam and Eve were kicked out of the Garden. Especially if you’re as accepting of passages quoted out of their context as the last post demonstrated many Christians to be.

You are dealing with a foe who is also a thorough Bible student, and who has often quoted texts outside of their context to support his deceptions. You can especially observe this taking place in Matthew 4:5-7, which are passages from which we get the concept of presumption, or simply “tempting God.” Since Christians have demonstrated due to Jacob Dufour’s experiment that many of them cannot pick up on when some one quotes a verse out of context, unless they obtain a thorough knowledge of their Bibles they’re likely to be swept up by the strong current of the devil’s lies. This is not something that Satan does to save you, neither are his deceptions things that you would want to run around believing if you had their true character unmasked.

At this point the reasons mentioned above are usually cited, such as not having the time. The demands of married life can be somewhat understandable, in addition to work. But at the same time there needs to be some questions asked as to whether or not your time is being used wisely. If you were to calculate the amount of time you have in the day in which you’re not working, spending time with family, or sleeping perhaps you would be shocked to find that maybe you have more time for the Bible than you thought.

For instance, how much time after work is spent in front of the television watching movies or some show? In the case of youth, how much time is spent playing video games? These are buttons that need to be pushed in the Christian world, because I strongly believe that many of us have made idols out of entertainment. Our free time is often all-consumed by amusements whereas very little time is spent in the word or in prayer. We neglect these important practices of the Christian life in favor of amusements and suffer the results in a lack of power and discernment in our walk.

When I worked swing shift at a foundry a few years back, I was still able to find time to pray and study my Bible. I would spend breaks and lunch during my shift praying and memorizing Scriptures, and took the time before work to pray and study the word. Theoretically you should have time both before and after whatever job you work and time off from work. This can be in the form of vacation time, holidays, weekends, or simply just days off that some jobs give. How much of this time is spent in your Bible as opposed to on other things? Most people have a tendency to gravitate towards entertainment/amusement first over the Bible during such days.

Reality boils down to the fact that “I don’t have time” is an excuse. You would probably find that at best you have anywhere from fifteen minutes to an hour every day in which you could be studying your Bible, or at least memorizing a passage of Scripture. The real reason probably goes back to the previously mentioned entertainment. Idols in the form of movies and video games have created a situation in which Christians would rather engage in these activities than spend time in the word.

Not knowing how to study the Bible is a little bit more legitimate of a reason. I’ve come across some that are fifty-five years old, have been Christians all their lives, and they still do not know how to study God’s word. Many can find the task a little daunting. But I’ve written two posts here and here which deal with this subject in-depth, and should help to resolve that problem. Even then, much of what I learned was through trial and error, sort of jumping in and learning to swim. I had the advantage of naturally being somewhat of an intellectual individual who is analytical in his thinking, but this still demonstrates that you can figure it out if you’re willing to.

One of the real problems may rest in the fact that there are hordes of people in our age who do not like reading. In all reality, if this is you I would say you’re going to have to overcome this in the case of your Bible. This is because the idea that searching the scriptures has no impact on your salvation is a false teaching, the Bible has a major impact in the transformation of your character, and you more than likely will be swept up with the current of Satan’s deceptions otherwise. You do not need to spend time diving into a reading list which is 144 books long like myself, but I cannot stress enough how important it is than you get into your Bible. It is probably the most important book that you will ever read.

I would go so far as to say that reading the word isn’t enough. Simply studying it isn’t enough either. You need to thoroughly examine it and apply its teachings to your life. You can study the Bible as one studies the sciences, but it will not be of any value unless you’re living up to teaching of the Scriptures. “But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.” – James 1:22

If you catch the importance of Bible study, than my appeal to you is to spend at least one hour every day, whether before or after your job, searching the pages of holy writ. Use the methods outlined in my other posts, and perhaps leave a few comments about the effects on your walk with God.

Contend For The Faith

“Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.” – Jude 1:3

“But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:” – 1 Peter 3:15.

Apologia

This Greek word is the source of our word “apologetics”, which means a defense of the faith. The word here used in the Bible as “Apologia” in the Greek under the term “answer” as it appears in 1 Peter 3:15 means “A verbal defense, speech in defense, a reasoned statement or argument.” This is of course according to Thayer’s Greek dictionary. Being the branch of theology which focuses on a defense of the faith, you would think that Christians might see this to be more important.

An effective defense of the faith requires a person to be studious. I would suspect you would have to read works that have been written answering charges, take the time to research what others have done in this branch of theology, learn what the different logical fallacies are, and spend the time answering attacks on the faith. I’ve run into too many who consider this to be a waste of time. Some of the reasons cited are the idea that you should spend your time studying the truth, and often an illustration of how “they” don’t spend time studying the counterfeit dollar in order to spot the fakes but instead study the genuine.

Comments which imply that people think apologetics is about arguing with others are occasionally made. Then others will still say they don’t have the time to spend in studying into something which isn’t true. We then start to wonder why it is that our youth sometimes leave the churches in droves, and it is so hard to answer the charges of atheists. I know that some in my church have struggled to answer questions which relate to God’s existence. Challenging questions like “who made God” and “why does he allow evil” are the stumps which Christians of different faiths have a tendency to trip over, including the issue of “why Did God command Genocide?”

I’ve had an interesting experience in this area myself. So much so that I would say my encounters with opposition to the Christian faith have been quite insightful. I’ve been blessed with the opportunity for door to door work. Knocking on doors is a very rich experience, in which you gain an intimate understanding of evangelism and what kinds of attitudes exist in the world. A friend of mine once said that, “you’re getting the whole gambit.” I’ve met all kinds of people knocking on doors, and have enough experiences where I could probably write a book chronicling my story.

But I learned something very important when I was beating on doors. Upon occasion, an atheist answered the door. From these people I have been told I’m following a ridiculous path, that my testimony is an example of a coincidence, that there is no God because if he existed he wouldn’t allow evil, that God himself must be evil because of apparently messed up things in the old testament, and that he cannot be real because they’ve found alien skeletons on the moon. I think the attack I’ve heard the most is, “who made God?”

While this was discouraging at first, it drove me to study into apologetics. I have to admit that I have much to learn. But I’ve discovered that the question of “who made God” is a lot like the controversy surrounding Arianism, in which those who’re into false theology claim that Christ is a created being. If God was made than he obviously isn’t God, and thus the question cancels itself out. Alien skeletons on the moon is of course a laughable argument. But this is all beside the point. We as Christians need to know why we believe what we believe.

An argument often used by Atheists is that if you were born in some other country, you would be a part of a different religion. Thus it is claimed that you have been brain washed into accepting your current beliefs, that in applicable cases you’re only following it because your family has, and so on. We need to know why we believe what we believe as Christians, and not find ourselves going to a particular church because our parents always went to it. There is a real need to study into these matters. We often however do not study these things, and thus we’re left defenseless when the arguments of the atheists start pouring in.

We need to be able to respond to some of the attacks on Christianity which exist in our day. We should also understand that it isn’t a denial of faith to be able to explain why you believe in God, as this would be living up to some of the Biblical commands, and the early Christians had apologists in their ranks. Studying into Church History is sufficient to reveal that they had to deal with attacks against Christianity as well. They contended for the faith, responding to these charges at a time when they were also experiencing fierce persecution.

Today we don’t see the importance of this. More likely we don’t want to touch it because it involves the word “study.” If Apologetics requires research and studying, some of the masses who don’t like to read or barely get into their Bibles more than likely wouldn’t touch that branch of theology. Perhaps the thought that enters into their mind is that they should leave it to Ken Ham or Ravi Zacharias. Thus they don’t bother to touch it. This is like leaving evangelism to your pastor.

There are several reasons for why we need to consider the importance of apologetics. One of them is that Christianity is under attack from all directions. There are assaults on the trustworthiness of the Bible, the existence of God, and his character. It comes in a variety of forms from Evolution to the question of why there is an apparent command of Genocide in the Bible. Some of these questions can be very perplexing if you’re confronted with them. While the older people of the Church may be able to dismiss such questions easily, the youth could have their faith completely destroyed. Hence it doesn’t cut it simply to teach Bible stories without providing ample evidence upon which for them to base their faith anymore.

Christianity is also under attack in the form of cults that have arrived upon the scene who wrap themselves in the garments of sheep. The Mormons and the Jehovah’s Witnesses are examples of groups which fit this description. In view of so many attacks from external sources, I think it would behoove you study into the matter. A defense of Christianity is a needed thing, especially if you expect the Youth to stay in the Church.

But alongside them we have internal assaults in the form of heresies around almost every corner, and a mass amount of lay people who are not practicing discernment. Without exaggerating the seriousness of the situation, I would say that there is a spiritual war that is raging out there, and we as Christians are often busy posting things on Facebook like “post amen and God will bless you with such and such.” But as the video below demonstrates, some of us can’t even pick up on when something is quoted outside of its context.

Jacob Dufour is honestly some one I know almost nothing about. In the video he claims to be a Christian filmmaker. I’ve never seen any of his movies. This YouTube video is about as close as it gets to me watching something produced by him, and I stumbled across it because a friend of mine on Facebook shared it on their timeline. In turn I shared it on mine, because ultimately the message of this video is something that we as Christians need to see and consider. Thus it wound up in this post, as I thought it was very fitting with the subject in question. But because I do not know if everything he produces is Biblical, I thus will not say that I endorse all of it. If you watch anything of his in the future, do so with the very same critical eye that he admonishes you to have.

This video displays an overall lack of discernment, and perhaps even Bible study, on the part of the majority of Christian laypeople. What is worse is one of the individuals whom he was conversing with claimed to be a pastor, and mistook the quotation cited [which was originally from the devil as you saw], as being “our Lord Jesus.” Apologetics helps with the external assaults, but when the battle involves heresies floating around within the Church, especially in the form of prosperity gospel trash, you will need discernment. In fact, this video would cause me to go so far as to say that we’re in trouble. Why is it that I say this?

  1. A quotation which was taken out of context was accepted as truth because it sounded nice and inspirational.
  2. It stands to reason that if almost 97% of Christians conversed with were duped by a quote taken out of context as a simple experiment to see if they were serious, than they would likely be deceived on a more regular basis. Therefore they may accept all kinds of heresies as truth just because a quote was taken out of context to support it and it sounded “inspirational.”
  3. This was a statement taken straight from the mouth of Satan while Jesus was tempted. If Christians were duped by this, what will they do when the deceptions of the last days are multiplying around them? [2 Thessalonians 2:8-9, Revelation 16:13-14, Matthew 24:4-5.]

Christians really are in trouble, and especially at a time in which the battle for the faith thickens around us. Scanning through the WordPress reader, at times I’ve come across some blogs that have been produced by other Christians who’re an inch away from leaving the faith. Some of the earlier blogs I found when I started this ministry were by people expressing doubts about the truthfulness of the Bible and the existence of God. A friend of mine from the Bible college I went to suggested one of them was taking a bite out of “secular humanism.” They were definitely heading in the direction opposite of belief in God, as the title for their blog gave this suggestion. I battled back and forth with the person over Conditional Immortality in their blog comments for a time, not realizing that there was no way on earth they would listen to me. It was sad, because I was drawn into the fray over the fact that a part of the reasoning behind their doubts about God’s existence was the issue of an eternally burning hell.

Another blog that I found spoke about how there is no evidence to back Christianity up. The writer was going so far as to say that the “faith once delivered to the saints” was entirely fictional, and that learning this was a heart wrenching experience for them. It is saddening to come across something like that, but it can be directly charged to a neglect of study on the part of Christians. We not only do not study our Bibles or neglect to fact check those who quote something out of context, but we neglect an important branch of theology that would have us prepared to deal with such situations!

It is high time for us as Christians to awaken from our slumber. We need to be like the bereans, and we need to know why we believe what we believe. We cannot be the lukewarm pew warmers that some have been. There is a real need right now for us to be awake, especially if we genuinely believe that we’re approaching the final days of this earth’s history.

Locked In Deep Research

Over the past several months, I’ve found myself locked in deep study. With a reading list over 144 books long upon a wide variety of subjects, and a pressing need to mine the Scriptures for all they’re worth, I have been unable to post consistently for the past several months. I have regretably always been somewhat slow, unlike many of the blogs I follow which seem to keep my cell phone through the WordPress app buzzing every morning.

My posting speed can be directly attributed to some of the books that I will be working on, as well as my studies. The pursuit of a career as an author has always been something of a dream of mine, and something for which God has graciously given me the talents. Especially I find myself inspired by the book “Pilgrim’s Progress” by John Bunyan, and hold the desire to undertake a project which would be similar in that it most certainly would be a story or allegory with heavy Christian themes.

But lately a nonfiction book has absorbed my attention, and is soon to be published through create space. A post on this book is forthcoming, but for now understand that this as well as my super long reading list is where my attention has been these past few months. Many of the books I am reading are upon subjects which will have an influence on future posts.

The Lord has blessed me with access to a four volume set of books which give an in-depth synopsis of the history of prophetic interpretation. It traces out the history of the early Christian church, covers Jewish interpretations of old testament prophecies, enters catholic interpretations of prophecies during midevil times, sweeps through the protestation reformation and goes on up into the time when the books were written, which is around the 60’s. I’m only on the 2nd Volume, but I read through the 1st and found the information to be well-researched and very useful for the writing of future posts on various subjects.

You might be aware that I’ve written a number of posts on the subject of what is normally termed “Conditionalism.” [Everlasting Destruction, Forever – An Answer To Reveation 20:10, 14:9-11, The Rich Man and Lazarus, They Know Not Anything.] The author penned a pair of books on the history of the three schools of thought regarding immortality. [They’re all called Conditionalism Or Conditional Immortality, Universalism, and Traditionalism or sometimes simply Eternal Conscious Torment.] These books are also very high quality in the information they provide, which might also be worth a future post.

Many of the books on my list are historical or theological. However, several of them are related to apologetics, diving into the subject of creation vs evolution. One such book is none other than “Evolution’s Achilies Heel.” As for historical works, I’ve recently acquired access to a variety of books that cover the Protestant Reformation, as well as the overall history of the Christian Church. This is in addition to books by Flavius Josephus. I’ve also acquired a book which is an in-depth study on the issue of “Speaking in Tongues”, and one that studies into and refutes the teachings of the Mormons.

Why read all of this? I’ve always had something of a thirst for study and deep research. For whatever reason, it has just seemed to have been my natural tendency. Reading appears to be something I have just as much of a love for as writing. But beyond seeking to quench that personal thirst, many of these books have been carefully chosen with this blog in mind. It was my hope that the information in them would be helpful for the future of this ministry. Thus my reading list will likely have a major influence on the content of future posts. Additionally, some of them have been carefully selected with the hope that they will help in defending certain beliefs I hold, and give me arguments I can use in my books.

I was always told by my Father that if you want to be a good writer, you need to read what others have written. He directed me toward an endless list of novels, read for the purpose of learning the trade of crafting a story, describing scenes, and developing characters. Today that advice finds it’s manifestation in my present reading list of over 144 books, read for the purpose of gaining as much information as possible to refine the arguments of my writings.

Posts are in fact forthcoming on this blog, but at times I may be slow to post as I read through my list. So I would go so far as to ask that you be patient and stay with me, because if I’m slow some high quality information might be coming. Some of the things I write about honestly take more time and research to pump out than what others on Word Press produce.