Apocalyptic Carols reblog from THE CHRISTIAN PUNDIT


I had just finished an article on why we should be celebrating the return of Jesus during our Christmas celebrations and then I ran across this post at another blog and thought it fit quite nicely with my dissertation.

There was a time in the not so distant past where Saints of old would remember that the coming of Jesus during the first Advent was proof that he would return a second time to usher in the Millennial reign of the Lord and King. In fact some of the old familiar carols alluded to this truism and it was the author’s intent to remind the church of Jesus’ true purpose in the fulfillment of scriptures.

Many of these verses have long been discarded since they are not as popular as some of the other verses of these hymns but none-the-less they were included in the original scores.

Apocalyptic Carols « THE CHRISTIAN PUNDIT.

What do Christmas carols make you think of? Luke 2? Manger scenes? Candle-lit Christmas Eve services? Turkey dinners with family? That’s what they do for most people. Few of us think, “Oh, Christmas carols = the sky being peeled back and saints being caught up in the clouds.”

It is true that the nativity is the main theme of carols. Several carols also point to Calvary: “Then let us all with one accord/ Sing praises to our heavenly Lord/ That hath made heaven and earth of nought,/ And with his blood mankind hath bought” (“The First Nowell”).

But some of the best-known carols refer to the second coming. They tell us that Jesus was “born to raise the sons of earth,” so that Christians “need not fear the grave: Peace! Peace!/ Jesus Christ was born to save!/ Calls you one and calls you all, to gain His everlasting hall.” Because of Jesus’ incarnation and crucifixion, “He rules the world/ With truth and grace,” and comes to “open wide our heav’nly home;/ Make safe the way that leads on high,/ And close the path to misery.” One day, “Saints before the altar bending/Watching long in hope and fear/ Suddenly, the Lord descending, in His temple shall appear.”

The first coming—Christmas—was tangible, crucial proof that God was keeping His promises to His people. The first coming—the incarnation—was evidence that God was executing His plan of salvation. But it was the first: we have been promised a second. Christmas should not only remind us of what did happen, incredible as it is. It should also remind us that because of what did happen, we can look forward to what will happen. The second coming will finish the work that the first coming established. A good Christmas carol will remind us that looking back is only spiritually useful if it spurs us on and points us forward to the day when Jesus will again come to earth incarnate. Then the plan of salvation will be complete. The glory that Christ’s birth began will be consummated when He comes again, with glory:

Not in that poor lowly stable,
With the oxen standing by,
We shall see Him; but in heaven,
Set at God’s right hand on high;
Where like stars His children crowned
All in white shall wait around
.”

What if instead of Santa Claus you got a visit from Jesus Christ?


Source: victorpicarra.files.wordpress.com

Here is is a thought to ponder as you end 2014 and make plans and preparations for 2015. Now that Christmas is behind us now maybe a good time to ask this very important question.

We say December 25th is the day we celebrate Jesus’ birth, okay what day do we set aside to celebrate his SOON RETURN?

What instead of spending so much time and energy making preparations for the jolly fat man, who is never going to come because newsflash he is not real, we put the same amount of energy and preparation into a imminent return of the Lord Jesus Christ?

Nary a thought is given to a returning King but we sure do spend a great deal of time preparing for the arrival of Santa Claus.

Isn’t something out of kilter here? Shouldn’t the Christian church be focusing people’s attention on the upcoming arrival of King Jesus? Isn’t that what Advent is supposed to be preparing hearts and minds for? Isn’t the coming of a Messiah the reason for Christmas?

He has already been born, he has been crucified, he was buried, he arose from the dead and ascended into heaven, his next big move will be to return to gather together all his believers. Since no one knows the date or time of his upcoming arrival it really would behoove us to be ready and waiting by the door when he comes to call don’t you think?

Many call this generation the Millennials and perhaps they are for this may be the generation that ushers in the millennial reign of Jesus Christ. What are we doing to prepare the Millennial generation for the millennial reign of Christ? Was there any talk around the Christmas tree of Jesus’ second coming? Or were we too busy opening presents and talking about all the stuff we got? You do know that you will not be able to take any of it with you.

The greatest gift ever given to man was when God gave us his own son to die in our place. There is not a gift under heaven that can compare to that great gift of God. Nor is there anything under heave that is able to keep you from the wrath of God that is going to come to this earth. Therefore the gift God gave us is the only thing that we can take with us and will protect us from the coming wrath, everything else is worthless by comparison.

Since we do not know when Christ will return we only know that his return is guaranteed shouldn’t we be working hard to make preparations for his return? Just saying.

That is the way I see it, what say you?

See on Scoop.itEagle Views

Apocalyptic Carols: Singing About the Lord’s Return in popular Christmas Carols

If You Love God, the World is Going to Hate You


“… Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God” (James 4:4, ESV).

 

This week in Pakistan, a pregnant Christian mother of four and her husband, falsely accused of burning pages of the Koran, were beaten by a Muslim mob and thrown into a kiln, a fiery oven at a brick factory, where they were roasted alive.

Over 200 Christian girls in Nigeria were captured by Boko Haram. “I abducted your girls, said its leader, Abubakar Shekau in May; “By Allah I will sell them in the marketplace” as slaves.

Pastor Saeed Abedini, an American, is still being held in prison in Iran for apostasy and practicing his Christian faith. Source

The current trend in society today is for everyone to get along. The tag-line is tolerance. Except when it comes to morality and societal norms than tolerance becomes lost in the rhetoric and vitriol.

No one likes to be told what to do, and yet that is exactly what is happening in our society. A few people are telling everyone else how they are to behave and act. They are pushing their views of morality upon the masses, and refuse to show any tolerance to those who might not hold to their moral standards. These preachers of hate stand in the city square and pontificate loudly and forcibly their viewpoints and even threaten dissenters with legal action. They are all for freedom of speech and assembly as long as those who are speaking are using the approved talking points and are gathered in support of the ‘cause’. There is no room for opposing viewpoints.

If anyone does happen to offer an opposing viewpoint or even question the legitimacy of the issue they are shouted down, or worse yet browbeaten into submission.

Who are these militant purveyors of hate? If you said right-wing conservative Christians you would be 180 degrees out of step with the real world. The true haters are all those who hate God. They call themselves progressive, liberal, or free-thinkers. They portray themselves are ‘enlightened’ and educated, while portraying their adversaries as ignorant, unenlightened, and regressive. They only wish to hear one side of an argument, and that has to agree with their viewpoint.

Real enlightened individuals espouse multiple viewpoints, and ponder all differences of opinions, and weigh all options before forming a defining position on any issue. The ones who militantly vocalize only one viewpoint are not open-minded at all but are rather close-minded and dogmatic. They show no tolerance or mercy. They are hateful, vindictive, and vile ideologues.

They do however have one thing in common, they have a uniform dislike for anything that resembles God or godliness. They hate the sound of Jesus’ name, and run with their ears stopped when scripture is read out loud. They bash Christianity and decency at every opportunity. They are lawless, abusive, selfish, slanderous, ungrateful, unthankful, disrespectful, loud, obnoxious, unforgiving, proud, abusive, greedy, brutal, lack any self-control, are conceited, and boastful. They rejoice in wrongdoing, and actually encourage others to take part in their destructive behavior as if to be promoting a worthwhile cause.

Those who espouse Christian principles and a Godly worldview, attempt to live at peace with all men. They are loving and kind, generous, forgiving, merciful, law-abiding, honest, truthful, and humble. And because they love Jesus Christ and have faith in the God of Abraham Isaac and Jacob, they are hated by the world, just like Jesus was.

2 Timothy 3:2-4 (NIV)
2 People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, 4 treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God–

We have been warned that this day would come.  There will be those who will pretend to be godly and even use scripture to support their perversions, and the bible tells us to have nothing to do with them. Do not imitate their ways, do not even engage them in their folly, simply have nothing to do with them. Let them go and do what they are going to do, because in the end they will receive the rewards their folly deserve, for they have rejected the wisdom of their elders, and have forsaken the sure paths to walk in crooked paths. They have built their lives on the shifting sand of moral relativism and as a result what they are building will crumble and fall. It is inevitable and their destruction is sure.

As for your my brothers and sisters in Christ:

Matthew 5:11-12 (BBE)
11 Happy are you when men give you a bad name, and are cruel to you, and say all evil things against you falsely, because of me. 12 Be glad and full of joy; for great is your reward in heaven: for so were the prophets attacked who were before you.

 

And that is the way I see it. What say you?

Fruit Inspectors, Log Detectors, or Foolish Advisors? You be the Judge!


Isaiah 59:14-15  “And judgment is turned away backward, and justice standeth afar off: for truth has fallen in the streets and equity cannot enter.  Yea, truth faileth; and he that departeth from evil maketh himself a prey:  and the Lord saw it, and it displeased Him that there was no judgment.”

 

I am afraid that we have lost our way in America. For too long we have been fed this anti-biblical principle that no one is allowed to judge anyone for anything, and we are all just supposed to love one another no matter how the other person behaves or what the other person believes even if those beliefs are contrary to our own. We are being told over and over that tolerance is the way forward, and we all need to be accepting of others.

The only problem with this is those who are calling for others to not judge set themselves up as the arbiters and judges of all that is judgmental. In other words they judge others while exempting themselves from the same judgment they are meting out.

In fact, in today’s modern culture, “judge not” carries more weight than another of Christ’s one-liners, ”Go and sin no more.” This is a situation where a little Bible knowledge can be a dangerous thing.

JUDGE NOT and THOU SHALL NOT are not stand alone statements.

It is important to take scripture in context to get the full meaning of what Jesus or any of the other biblical writers are trying to say. Taken in context then we have our judge not comment below.

Mathew 7:1-5 “Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.

You see, Jesus commanded us to not judge hypocritically, He never commanded us not to judge. He asked us to remove the logs so we could “see clearly” to help our brother. How are we to remove a log if we feel that we do not have a log? And how is it that we learn about having a log in the first place? If everyone around us keeps telling us the way we  see things is right and good, then we will continue down a path that we think is right only to find that path led us right to our own demise. What was the problem? How did we get here? Why did God allow me to go down this road? My friend it was because you had believed the lie that you should not be judged in anything you said or did or thought. You were blinded by a huge log that you refused to allow anyone to point out to you.

So then how do we learn about our logs or specks for that matter? We learn from others who have already removed the logs from their eyes, or better had the logs removed for them by the Lord through spiritual encounters.

I Corinthians 2:15 “But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man.”

We are instructed to judge all things….things…not people.  Actions, thoughts and words are things. Choices are things, what people do are things. You should judge decisions and actions of others to decide if those actions are good or bad. Yes my friends some things are bad for you. Heck if we follow the teaching of these blinded fools and not judge anything then we will not be long for this life since we will be eating poisoned fruit. Who is it among us who will stand and say that they do not judge what they eat? No one would intentionally ingest poison, and yet many, for lack of judgment, are ingesting a deadly poison, that of a failed worldview. Their visions are clouded by huge logs. Just like a good chef knows how to pick good fruits and vegetables to cook with, and seeks out only the freshest and finest ingredients, shouldn’t we do the same when it comes to things that pertain to this life?

Yes we are and yes we should!

I Corinthians 6:2-4 “Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters? Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life? If then ye have judgments of things pertaining to this life, set them to judge who are least esteemed in the church.”

….How much more the things that pertain to this life.

Only  a fool would willing eat poison, or follow a path that led off a cliff, and using sound judgment is the key to avoiding such deadly consequences. The problem with sin though is its subtlety. It is not  labeled poisonous and  there are no DANGER signs posted on the pathway of destruction. In fact sin is very enticing, it has an intoxicating appeal. It is addictive. Like the siren’s of Homer’s Odyssey sin’s haunting allure leads all to their destruction.

We all have specks in our eyes and our visions are cloudy, some even have forest growing in their eyes, therefore all of us need some guidance and direction when it comes to matters that pertain to life. It is where we go to get that instruction which could be a matter of life and death. Paul admonished the Corinthian church to set them to judge who are least esteemed in the church. In other words listen to those who you might not otherwise esteem as notable. Many times God speaks through those we least expect and in ways that challenge our intellects.

How then can one know what is good and what is bad? Discernment is the short answer, but learning from others is probably the better answer. Allow others to look for logs and specks. Allow your fruit to be inspected by a certified fruit inspector.

Matthew 7:15-18 “Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.”

Jesus clearly delineates between good and bad, and exhorts us to do the same. That requires judgment.

Do not think too highly of yourself that you feel you are above reproach in all areas of life. Pride will surely lead you down the road of self-destruction because you will not heed the warnings of others, or listen to the rebukes of those who have gone down the same path before you. You will simply cry out in a loud voice…WHO ARE YOU TO JUDGE while you are speeding along the pathway of destruction.

A Violent Purge


1 John 4:3 (AMP)
3  And every spirit which does not acknowledge and confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh [but would annul, destroy, sever, disunite Him] is not of God [does not proceed from Him]. This [nonconfession] is the [spirit] of the antichrist, [of] which you heard that it was coming, and now it is already in the world.

persecutedThe recent violence in Gaza has drawn attention away from the continuing extreme actions by ISIS, the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. Having conquered much of northern Iraq, ISIS is busy persecuting Chaldean Christians in the area. The city of Mosul, for example, has been purged of Christians, perhaps numbering 100,000. As one commentator observed, “Our worst nightmare is confirmed. Christianity in Mosul is dead, and a Christian holocaust is in our midst.” The goal of the radicals is to create an Islamic state with no room for dissenters. Christians are being forced to convert to Islam, face death, pay a fine or leave.

What many do not know is that Islam was the driving force behind the original Jewish Holocaust that brought about WWII. Hitler was urged to purge the Jews by Islamic leaders of the day. Nazism and Islamic extremism are blood brothers.

The battle in Israel is the same battle being waged around the world. China removes crosses from churches, Obama covers-up crosses when he gives a speech at a religious building. The ACLU and Freedom from Religion organizations are suing cities and towns across the country to remove roadside crosses. Recently there was a lawsuit to keep the ground zero cross out of the ground zero museum, where the court recently ruled that the cross could be included and indeed should be.

Since the time of Eden Satan has waged a war against God and anything that resembles God on earth, thus this purging of Christians and Christian symbolism along with the constant attack on the Jewish people, are all symptoms of the same spirit, the spirit of the Antichrist.