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Tag Archives: believers

Is This Really Happening?

In 1997, Mel Gibson and Julia Roberts starred in Conspiracy Theory.  Gibson plays Jerry Fletcher, an outspoken critic of the government who is obsessed by numerous theories that he believes to be true.  Paranoid by the thoughts in his mind, Gibson’s character is portrayed as crazy, a lunatic that needs to be locked up in a mental hospital.  Meanwhile, Roberts plays Alice Sutton, a sympathetic lawyer from the Justice Department who humors Fletcher until some of his theories turn out to be true.

At that time many will be offended and repelled [by their association with Me] and will fall away [from the One whom they should trust] and will betray one another [handing over believers to their persecutors] and will hate one another, Matthew 24:10.

Early in the first century, a man from Nazareth developed a large following.  Without any formal education or schooling, this preacher puzzled religious leaders.  Experts of the law, Pharisees and Sadducees were amazed by his authority, communicating the Old Testament like a biblical scholar.  However, when Jesus prophesized about the end of days, public officials began to label Jesus as a lunatic and liar.  Following his death on a cross and resurrection, those who once mocked Jesus began to say, “is this really happening?”

But understand this, that in the last days dangerous times [of great stress and trouble] will come [difficult days that will be hard to bear]. For people will be lovers of self [narcissistic, self-focused], lovers of money [impelled by greed], boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy and profane, [and they will be] unloving [devoid of natural human affection, calloused and inhumane], irreconcilable, malicious gossips, devoid of self-control [intemperate, immoral], brutal, haters of good, traitors, reckless, conceited, lovers of [sensual] pleasure rather than lovers of God, 2 Timothy 3:1-4.

I watched the History Channels version of Revelation: the End of Days the other night.  As a former seminary student, it wasn’t hard to recognize the various theological errors, stretching the truth to appeal to an American audience.  Nonetheless, when you read the Bible, listen to conspiracy theories espoused daily and watch reports of great stress and trouble on cable news, the end of days may be closer than I once thought.  When I reflect upon Jesus’ words in Matthew 24 and the apostle Paul’s comments about societal trends in 2 Timothy 3, to a certain extent these events have arrived.  According to the Bible, no one will know the time of Jesus’ second coming, but if I were you, I’d make my reservations for heaven immediately, 1 John 5:13.

by Jay Mankus

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The Burning of History

Nearly a year ago, a little known school in North Carolina made national news.  Richmond Early College High School near Rockingham decided to recall all 2017 yearbooks.  At first glance, I thought there may be a major defect, glitch or typo.  As I read deeper into this article, the culprit was a controversial slogan deemed hurtful, insensitive and racist.  All yearbooks were confiscated due to a quote used by Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, “Build that wall.”

For I do not want you to be unaware, believers, that our fathers were all under the cloud [in which God’s presence went before them] and they all passed [miraculously and safely] through the [Red] Sea; And all [of them] were baptized into Moses [into his safekeeping as their leader] in the cloud and in the sea; and all [of them] ate the same spiritual food; and all [of them] drank the same spiritual drink, for they were drinking from a spiritual rock which followed them; and the rock was Christ. Nevertheless, God was not well-pleased with most of them, for they were scattered along the ground in the wilderness [because their lack of self-control led to disobedience which led to death], 1 Corinthians 10:1-5.

During a letter to an ancient Greek city, the apostle listed a series of mistakes made by the Israel.  Apparently, the Holy Spirit compelled Paul to bring up these misguided steps.  If you don’t learn from history, you become vulnerable to repeating these same errors.  However, if books are burned, hidden or taken off the shelves due to politically incorrect content, how will future generations learn from past and present sins.  In addition, if statues of Civil War heroes are destroyed or taken down, how can young people decipher the context of their lives in history.

Now these things [the warnings and admonitions] took place as examples for us, so that we would not crave evil things as they did. Do not be worshipers of handmade gods, as some of them were; just as it is written [in Scripture], “The people sat down to eat and drink [after sacrificing to the golden calf at Horeb], and stood up to play [indulging in immoral activities].” We must not indulge in [nor tolerate] sexual immorality, as some of them did, and twenty-three thousand [suddenly] fell [dead] in a single day! We must not tempt the Lord [that is, test His patience, question His purpose or exploit His goodness], as some of them did—and they were killed by serpents. 10 And do not murmur [in unwarranted discontent], as some of them did—and were destroyed by the destroyer. 11 Now these things happened to them as an example and warning [to us]; they were written for our instruction [to admonish and equip us], upon whom the ends of the ages have come, 1 Corinthians 10:6-11.

Every year the Bible is one of the top selling books in America.  According to the author of Hebrews 4:12, this collection of 66 books has a special attraction.  These pages are living and active, having supernatural power to speak to hearts and minds each time you read.  Whenever individuals open the pages of the Bible, each chapter can admonish, equip and guide souls toward that which is good, right and true.  During the rise of Communism in Europe, Bibles were banned and confiscated along with crosses.  If Christians don’t stand up to defend, fight for and pray for truth, the burning of history will overtake America to erase the Judeo Christian values that this country was founded upon.  May this blog inspire hearts and minds to embrace history so that the future will be brighter than the past.

by Jay Mankus

 

Heroes in the Line of Fire

After a long week of work, I had sometime to catch up on current events.  As the investigation into the motive of the Las Vegas shooter continues, stories of heroic acts are beginning to be uncovered by the media.  While innocent victims were dropping from gunshots from above, good Samaritans stood up entering the line of fire.  Although some of these heroes lost their lives, their selfless acts prevented many more concert goers from dying.

But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him, Luke 10:33.

One week earlier, another tragedy went relatively unnoticed as a gunman shot 7 people at Burnette Chapel Church of Christ in Antioch, Tennessee.  One woman was killed in the parking lot before the shooter entered the church.  More lives may have been lost if not for a 22 year old usher who stepped into action.  Robert Engle quickly confronted, then wrestled the intruder to the ground, holding him down until the police arrived.  This is another example of a hero in the line of fire.

He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him, Luke 10:34.

The average citizen will most likely not be thrust into an arena where life and death depends on how swiftly you act.  Yet, every day, normal human beginnings come into contact with someone in need.  This could be a co-worker, family member, friend or neighbor.  Some conditions are obvious with others more subtle.  Nonetheless, God calls believers to be the hands and feet of Christ.  If no one demonstrates the love of God, hearts will grow cold.  Despite how inconvenient helping others may be, true heroes enter the line of fire by faith.  May the acts of these modern day good Samaritans inspire you to live a life fueled by faith in action.

by Jay Mankus

The Good Things of Christ

There are four books of the Bible known as the gospels according to Jesus Christ.  Matthew, Mark, Luke and John give an account of the life, teachings, death and resurrection of Jesus.  However, gospel originates from the Old English term godspel.  This word has two meanings, referring to good tidings or good news.  Thus, inside these four New Testament books contain the good things of Christ.

But when Christ came as high priest of the good things that are now already here, he went through the greater and more perfect tabernacle that is not made with human hands, that is to say, is not a part of this creation, Hebrews 9:11.

According to Hebrews, Jesus came down to earth to be a physical great high priest.  Within the four gospels you will find verses that highlight this great news.  The inspiration behind this selfish act was love.  Trying to restore that which was lost, Jesus resists temptation to become the perfect lamb of God.  Following the disappointment of Jesus’ death on the cross, Sunday’s resurrection rejuvenated those who had lost hope.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.  For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him, John 3:16-17.

Today, some members of the media are trying to rewrite history, suggesting the resurrection was a hoax.  Using the conspiracy theory first conceived in Matthew 28:12-15, film makers have created moderns movies to deceive Christians.  Yet, like anything else in life, you have to surround yourself with positive people, fleeing from negative influences.  As another Resurrection Sunday approaches, may the good things about Christ lift you up and draw you closer to a risen Savior during this season of miracles.

by Jay Mankus

 

You Just Don’t Get It Do You

Have you ever been clueless, left in the dark or lost?  Are you a quick learner or does it take you longer than the average person to understand something?  Whatever the situation, you may experience a moment or subject that you just don’t get.  Today’s title sounds like something that I heard numerous times from my parents in my youth.

Aware of their discussion, Jesus asked them: “Why are you talking about having no bread? Do you still not see or understand? Are your hearts hardened? – Mark 8:17

One day Jesus struggled with the lack of discernment that his disciples possessed.  Despite witnessing miracles daily, these godly men were mental midgets, regularly missing the point of Jesus’ actions.  Thus, Jesus appears to be frustrated in the passage above as if to say, “you just don’t get it do you?”

Do you have eyes but fail to see, and ears but fail to hear? And don’t you remember? – Mark 8:18

Today, Christians often walk around defeated, void of the power of the Holy Spirit.  Instead of walking by faith, selfish servants of God tend to demand a sign as if the resurrection wasn’t enough.  Unfortunately, out of sight, out of mind also refers to believers who are struggling to make sense of their current situation in life.  When communication with the Lord fades, frustrated souls just want to know if they are on the right track or not.  The sooner you acknowledge that you don’t have a clue, the greater the likelihood that God will shine light on your prayers and concerns.

by Jay Mankus

 

The Other Closet

As many heard yesterday, Jason Collins has become the first openly gay athlete in one of the 4 major sports while still playing, a center for the Washington Wizards.  Revealed in the cover story of Sports Illustrated, Collins talks about the relief of being forthright.  This confession has resulted in a media feeding frenzy, with leading figures, including the president, adding their two cents on this historical day.

21 hours ago

While one closet has been opened, another closet remains shut, locked for similar reasons.  For many growing up in the 1980’s, faith was communicated as something private, saved for your home and family.  Thus, many secret believers kept their mouths shut, fearful that they might be exposed or labeled as a Jesus freak.  According to Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh, many Christian’s in Hollywood continue this tradition today.  In their minds, coming out could either ruin their career or lead to less opportunities.

I wish there was common ground, a meeting place to resolve conflicting beliefs, yet religion has a history of dividing families, states and nations.  Freewill is a powerful option, a choice to obey or disobey, accept or refuse and express yourself or hold feelings in.  In the end, God allows you to make your own decision, Romans 1:18-20, letting your own desires take over.  However, my prayer is that as individuals come out of the other closet, the media will have the same admiration and respect as they do for Jason.  May love, keep the great American melting pot together.

by Jay Mankus

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