Leaving Laodicea
432 - The Importance of Trust in Dark Times

432 - The Importance of Trust in Dark Times

September 24, 2019

The expectation for our future, as a Nation and as the church, are grim indeed.  We are going to face some very tough times, and have to navigate some very rough waters, especially for those of us who live in the United States.

During the Tribulation, the Bible teaches that Israel will stand alone.  No longer will we be her protector.  God will fill that role.  In fact, the US is not even a minor player in the end times scenario.  Look at Ezekiel 38 and 39 if you need convincing.  The prophetic future of the US is almost non-existent.  Something must happen to us to bring us down to the point we can no longer protect Israel.  Can you see it coming?

Just look around.

The Expectation

We are facing unprecedented times in America:

Our trade war with China, and soon the rest of the world.
The coming 2020 elections and all the chaos that will surely follow, regardless of who wins.
The overt attack on Christianity in the media.
The almost insane push of the homosexual agenda. Judicial tyranny at every level.
The widespread corruption in our honored institutions and the government.
Natural disasters run amok, earthquakes, drought, hurricanes, flooding, etc.
Societal breakdown.
Hatred among citizens.
The public talk of a Second Civil War.
Mass shootings and other acts of terror on almost a daily basis.
And it only gets worse.

Because of these, we will need to learn to lean more on the Lord than ever before.  Sunday School faith will no longer cut it.  Church, as we have known it in the West, will become more and more obsolete and irrelevant.  Your personal faith and trust in the Lord will rapidly become the most important thing in your life.  And it all hinges on one word:


Trust During the Coming Darkness

The classic Old Testament teaching on trust is found in Proverbs 3:5-6.  There our Lord gives us a profound if/then promise, the very if/then promise we so desperately need as we see the darkness approaching.  Consider His words:

(if) Trust in the LORD with all your heart, (if) and lean not on your own understanding; (if) in all your ways acknowledge Him, (then) and He shall direct your paths.

As we look at this promise, we are compelled to ask ourselves a few questions about the joy of having the Lord directing our paths.

What would you give, especially when we see the coming darkness in our world growing stronger, to have the Lord of All direct your life?
What would it be worth to you to have the confidence to run to Him for shelter and refuge and to know you are welcome under His wings?
What confidence in dark days would that give you?

There is so much more here than just what we read on the surface.  To discover the meaning and implication of each word of this glorious if/then promise, and then to rest in His promise, you will need to keep listening.

The following is a study on the importance of trust as found in Proverbs 3:5-6.

431 - How to be Filled with the Holy Spirit

431 - How to be Filled with the Holy Spirit

August 20, 2019

As we begin to see the darkness come over our land and persecution confront the church in ways unimaginable just a generation ago, it is well past time for each of us to understand and embrace the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit like never before.  As Appollo Creed said to Rocky to shake him from his fear, "There is no tomorrow!"

And Appollo was right.  There is no tomorrow.  The time for spiritual preparation is today.  Actually, it should have been yesterday, or last week.  The time for fervency towards our Lord cannot be put off any longer.  The well-worn excuses about family responsibilities, career advancement, and the general business of life seem trite at best, and will mean nothing when persecution comes.  And it will come.  Most assuredly it will come.  The Scriptures promise persecution.

Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution - 2 Timothy 3:12

That is, of course, unless you aren't particularly interested in living godly in Christ.  Then you may be pretty safe, right up until the time you take the mark on your hand or forehead.  But that's another issue for another time.

How to be Filled with the Holy Spirit

The key to living a life of assurance and confidence in Him is learning how to remain filled with the Holy Spirit.  And before you can remain filled, you have to be filled in the first place.  This is what this message talks about. We talk about some steps you can take to prepare yourself for His filling.  They are as follows:

First, you must desire to live a life that will please the Lord.

Second, be willing to surrender your life totally and irrevocably to our Lord Jesus Christ.

Third, confess every known sin that the Holy Spirit calls to your remembrance and experience the cleansing and forgiveness that God promises in 1 John 1:9.

Fourth, ask Him, by faith, to fill you with the Holy Spirit. You can pray something like this:

Dear Father, I need You. I hunger and thirst for a more vital relationship with You. I admit that I have been in control of my life. And, as a result, I have sinned against You. Thank You for forgiving my sins through Christ’s death on the cross for me. I now confess and turn from my sins and surrender the control of my life to the Lord Jesus. By faith, I invite You to fill me with the Holy Spirit as You commanded me to be filled. You promised to fill me if I ask according to Your will. I pray this in the authority of the name of Jesus Christ.

To demonstrate my faith, I now thank You for filling me with Your Holy Spirit and for taking control of my life. Amen.

But that's not the end of it.

There is so much more to learn.

You will need to understand the basis of God's filling, and it has nothing to do with the amount of time you spend praying or the people who lay hands on you.  The basis is on the command (Eph. 5:18) and promise (1 John 5:14-15) of God.  And the filling of the Holy Spirit is given to you the same way you received salvation, by faith.

But there is so much more about all this that we cannot do it justice in this simple summary. 

To find out more, you will need to keep listening. The following is a study on How to Be Filled by the Holy Spirit.

201 - How Long, Lord, Until the Reckoning?

201 - How Long, Lord, Until the Reckoning?

April 9, 2013
Have you ever felt abandoned by God?  No, not abandoned to God... but abandoned, left, forsaken, forgotten by the very God you love?

Often it can feel like God's Kingdom will never come, like justice will never prevail or evil vanquished.  Sometimes, in the middle of the night, it seems like the dawn will never break.

"How long?" oh Lord.  "How long?"

"This is the very question David was asking in Psalm 13 and the very question many are asking today.  How long, Lord?  How long before Your Kingdom comes?  How long before Your will be done?  How long before the reckoning?

Answer:  Not much longer.  Keep listening to find out more.

The following is a study on Psalm 13.
167 - More than a Biblical Placebo

167 - More than a Biblical Placebo

December 22, 2011
Romans 8:28 is either one of the greatest statements of divine encouragement found in the New Testament or it is, hands down, the greatest excuse for our "stay at arms length, don't get too close" lack of ministry to others who are hurting.  It has become for many a Biblical placebo freely prescribed by uninformed, apathetic Christians to those who are in deep distress spiritually, physically, or emotionally.

It's as if by saying the words or quoting the verse we have somehow uttered the magic incantation that will set everything right and soothe away all the pain and hurt.  "There's no place like home.  There's no place like home."

It has become the church's default ministry position when we simply don't know what to say or don't want to get too involved or we are just too busy to hear about their problems or bear their burdens.

Is that all this verse mean?

But for those who how understand and live in the realm of the sovereignty of God, it is something more.  Much more.  After all, according to Psalm 115:3, "Our God is in His heavens and does what He pleases."

So, which is it?  Encouragement or placebo?  Listen and find out more.

The following is a study on Romans 8:28.
157 - The Persecution Promise

157 - The Persecution Promise

July 30, 2011
Did you know that one of the true signs of saving faith is the fact that you will face persecution?  Consider the following:

The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs— heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.  Romans 8:16-17

Are you wondering exactly what that means and how it plays out in our lives today? 

Good.  Then keep listening.

The following is a study on John 15:18-27.
127 - The Coming Darkness

127 - The Coming Darkness

August 22, 2010
Be warned. The judgment of God is coming to America... and may already have begun.  When God brings judgment (calamity) it often helps to remember the big picture:

1.  All calamity is the result of sin. 
2.  Sometimes God brings special calamity as a judgment of sin. 
3.  Before calamity strikes, God always warns His people. 
4.  God is patient. So patient that many begin to feel that judgment won't happen. 
5.  Before judgment, God is ready to forgive those who come to Him on His terms.

Ready or not, here it comes!

The following is a study on the Coming Darkness.
115 - The Wall, the Valley and the End of Days

115 - The Wall, the Valley and the End of Days

April 3, 2010
Let's review some of the history of Jerusalem:  First, Pompey captured the city in 63BC and destroyed part of the walls.

Then, nine years later, Crassus ransacked the temple. 

In 40BC, the Parthians also came and plundered Jerusalem followed by King Herod who captured the city in 37BC. 

Finally, in 70AD, Titus laid siege to Jerusalem and destroyed the city and the walls, with the exception of the western wall and three towers.

Wonder where we are going with all this?  Then keep listening.

The following is a study on Proverbs 27:12.
112 - Sunday School Faith Just Ain’t Gonna Cut It!

112 - Sunday School Faith Just Ain’t Gonna Cut It!

February 14, 2010
Over and over again in the last chapter of the Revelation we see the red ink words of Jesus saying, in effect, "I am coming soon." 

But do we really believe that?  Do we really think His return is imminent or do we push it off into the dark recesses of our minds to worry about another day?  But look around.  Can't you see the signs of the times?  Don't you see our society unraveling at its core?  And if He is coming soon, then we can expect dark, perilous times ahead. 

Are you ready?  You need to be.  'Cause Sunday School faith ain't gonna cut it when the great deception comes.

Listen and find out.

The following is a study on Revelation 22:6-12.
110 - Why I Worry About You

110 - Why I Worry About You

January 29, 2010
There are Four "Preparedness" Stages of Denial.  Which one are you?

1.  It won't happen.

2.  If it does happen, it won't happen to me.

3.  If it does happen to me, it won't be that bad.

4. If it happens to me, and it's bad, there's nothing I can do to stop it anyway."

And our answer:  Really?

The following is a study on end-times deception.
092 - Our Greatest Ministry Opportunity… Ever!

092 - Our Greatest Ministry Opportunity… Ever!

August 23, 2009
With what looks like the coming collapse of our economy, or Israel's preemptive bombing of Iran, or Iran's bombing of Tel Aviv... or any one of a hundred different things that could send our nation and the world into cataclysmic upheaval and chaos... it is good to know that in times like this the church may rise to her finest hour since the days of the Acts.

Listen and find out how and why.

The following is a study of 1 Kings 17:1-8