If Bible Prophecies Worry You (or a Loved One), Read This

Mar 15, 2014 · Posted in Emails

This past week, I had a young mother practically living on my Facebook wall. She’d ask a prophecy question, then I’d answer it, and then she’d have another one minutes later.

For three days she covered practically every Bible prophecy topic you can name, pretrib vs. post-trib rapture, the 144000, the mark of the beast, and of course,”What about the four blood moons, aren’t they in the Bible?” referring to the holy day lunar eclipses starting up next month.

Also, “What about how everything is getting worse? It can’t go on much longer this way…”

I’d answer each question with one of my many articles that address  these common questions. Yet it seemed like none of my answers could satisfy her or bring her peace. She confessed she was not sure of my answers because she did not know who to trust on any of these topics.

Nevertheless, she kept on asking. Finally on the third day after dozens of Q & A, it came out why she was so inconsolable. “I have a baby boy and it does hurt me to think I will not get to see him grow up…”

Aha! The one article I did not give her would have addressed that very fear of the end coming too soon to live out your life,
including raising your kids.

Read on to learn what my answer to her fear was and the answers to 6 other common end time …

 

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An Ipsos poll in 2006 found that 25% of adults believed it was at least "somewhat likely" that "Jesus Christ will return to Earth" in the coming year. Among white evangelical Christian adults, a whopping 46% believed this. Yet eight years later Jesus still has not returned. Want to know why Jesus has not come back as expected in 2007 and still won’t be coming in 2014? Read Featured Article

The Millennium and 10 Changes Jesus’ Second Coming Brings

Feb 16, 2014 · Posted in Emails

See my new article on the Millennium and the surprising changes prophecy predicts for it.

http://www.escapeallthesethings.com/the-millennium.htm

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What the 46% Who Believe Jesus Will Return in 2014 Don't Know But Should...

An Ipsos poll in 2006 found that 25% of adults believed it was at least "somewhat likely" that "Jesus Christ will return to Earth" in the coming year. Among white evangelical Christian adults, a whopping 46% believed this. Yet eight years later Jesus still has not returned. Want to know why Jesus has not come back as expected in 2007 and still won’t be coming in 2014? Read Featured Article

Who Will Be Left For Us To Rule in the Millennium?

Jan 10, 2014 · Posted in Millennium, Rapture

The Dilemma for Post-tribulation Rapture Only?

A question that eventually comes up after studying end time prophecy long enough is who is going to be left to populate the earth during the Millennium, especially the start of it. The question arises from two discoveries:

  1. The righteous go up to heaven in the rapture and then come back glorified to rule.
  2. The unrighteous go through God’s terrible wrath (which means being subjected to hundred pound hailstones among other things – Rev 16:21) and seem to all die from many verses (1Th 5:3; Ps 2:12; Zeph 3:9; Mal 4:1; 2Th 1:7;2:12)

For pretrib rapture believers, who position the rapture seven years before #2 above, they believe some of those left behind after the rapture become righteous (such as Jews) and survive into the Millennium. They argue that the post-tribulation rapture must be false because, with it coming at the end, there is no time between the rapture and the start of the Millennium for any unbelievers to be converted and saved

The Surprising Solution

Despite many verses that on their own seem to point to utter destruction of all unbelievers in God’s wrath, there is a very clear verse which pretribbers overlook specifically talking about survivors from Armageddon:

Zechariah 14:16-18 (HCSB)16 Then all the survivors from the nations that came against Jerusalem will go up year after year to worship the King, the LORD of Hosts, and to celebrate the Festival of Booths. 17  Should any of the families of the earth not go up to Jerusalem to worship the King, the LORD of Hosts, rain will not fall on them.  18 And if the people of Egypt will not go up and enter, then rain will not fall on them; this will be the plague the LORD inflicts on the nations who do not go up to celebrate the Festival of Booths.

How can this be?

First, while the Battle of Armageddon will result in complete destruction of the Beast’s armies (God’s enemies) as Zechariah clearly depicts (Zec 14:12), this is only the armies who come against Jerusalem. The rest of the people left behind in the nations where the armies came from will not be destroyed by God at the Battle of Armageddon.

Secondly, even with hundred pound hailstones that fall before Armageddon comes, some of these people left behind will find cover and survive. Zechariah 13:8 suggests that as many as one third will be left after God’s wrath.

What About the Mark of the Beast?

There is still another problem with the unrighteous survivors of the tribulation which many will think of. Everyone who is not raptured and is not martyred will have the Mark of the Beast within five months. At first glance, it seems that those who took the mark and worshiped the Beast’s image will be tormented forever (Rev 14:11). This naturally reminds Christians of hell.

However, the passage does not explicitly say the torture itself lasts forever. It only says the smoke of their torment rises forever which is impossible and cannot be meant literally. It is an idiomatic expression which is used previously in the OT. It is found in that form and others such as the worm of the dead not dying (Isa 34:10; 66:24). Similarly, Revelation says later about the destruction of Babylon that her smoke rises forever, too. We understand that Babylon is not destroyed, burning or tortured forever. The hyperbole about smoke rising forever seems to convey the seriousness of the judgment.

Where it says that those who worship the Beast have no rest day or night, that’s talking about how bad the cup of the wrath of God (Rev 14:10) will be that they must face. It’s not talking about hell. The lake of fire comes over 1000 years later at the Great White Throne Judgment (Rev 20:11-14).

Thus, the implication of Zechariah 14 that survivors will come up to worship (or receive no rain) is that the mark of the beast that was on all of them was removed when the Kingdom of God begins to reign. Satan is bound at that time (Rev 20:1-3) and it stands to reason the mark and enslavement of people it brought is also terminated.

Why the Marked Don’t Deserve Damnation

This releasing and forgiveness of the marked would only be fair of God when you consider the circumstances. People who take the mark will have been deceived into thinking the Beast is God himself (2Th 2:4). They will also be coerced into taking it by the fact that they cannot buy or sell without it (Rev 13:17). Plus there are the locusts that are unleashed at the start of the Great Tribulation on people (Rev 9:4-10). They torture people with pain like from the sting of a scorpion for five months (Rev 9:10). Probably only those who have resisted taking the mark receive this torture. (For more on the locusts and what they probably are read my Mark of the Beast article.)

As you can now see, there will be survivors who make it through the Great Tribulation, the wrath of God and the mark of the beast. These survivors, although not righteous or believers, will become the subjects of the Kingdom during the Millennium. The point about there being punishment if they disobey God’s instructions fits the fact that these people are not starting out as believers or even welcoming of Jesus. They will no doubt have resistance to the new king of the Earth who has just arrived and changed everything without their consent.

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2014 in Prophecy: Why Jesus Won’t Be Coming This Year

Jan 4, 2014 · Posted in Prophecy, Second Coming

See the article on my prophecy site here:

Why Jesus Can’t Come Back in 2014 (or even this decade?)

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Why God Likes You More Than You Think

Dec 17, 2013 · Posted in Emails, Repentance

Believer’s Paranoia

Whether they know it or not…

Whether they admit it or not…

….every believer struggles with having a positive image of God. Is he mad at them for their latest sin, committed for the umpteenth time? Is he holding back blessings…or even sending curses on them? Has he stopped hearing their prayers?

Sound familiar?

If you want to know how I know what you’re going through so well, it’s because all believers signed up for  the same challenge of serving an invisible and silent Father in heaven. Yes, we all know it’s a matter of faith to believe in and serve God. But being told that over and over does little to help us with our day to day uncertainty on how he judges in general, and us in specific. We’re all left kind of paranoid about God because we are lacking information.

I finally recognized this universal problem after noticing similar questions from believers like above. I would receive these questions from people despite my advertised area of expertise being in Bible prophecy (the topic of my first book), not in, say, pastoring or Christian counseling. That indicates how desperate people are for answers on this problem.

For example, here’s the latest one from just this week on this theme:

i pray to Jesus but I’m afraid because i am not very christian in my ways that he don’t hear me

what do you think?

When I answered her she was quite pleased with what I said. Therefore I am going to publish my answer to her below knowing that for every person who has asked, there are many more who have not yet have the same doubts.

Here’s What I Said:

What you’re saying about having doubts and fears is very common. In the last few years I conquered my own doubts about God not wanting to hear from me or to help me. I did this by studying Jesus words and deeds which he said was always “showing the Father” and only doing what the Father willed.

And what did he do? He only loved those who came to him for help (which excludes the religious leaders he rebuked because they came to attack him). He even healed every single person who came to him, even when there were masses of hundreds, it says he healed them all. Of course, in crowds of that size there were certainly some there of “unchristian ways” like you have, and even heavy sinners. Yet we find that he never said, “go repent and do better before I’ll heal you.” He healed all who came.

God is the same way because Jesus said he reflected the Father’s wills and ways. He will do the same for us if we seek him. He will not reject us and say we’re not good enough.

Now, if you think you’re not good enough or worried that you are not right with God, then that’s actually a very good sign. The real problem would be if you were not worried about your ways or relationship with God. You know, just like most of the world who does not give God a passing thought let alone care what he says? You’re not like that based on what I’m hearing, so your every attempt at prayer or good works, even when you fail, is pleasing to God.

In Revelation it reveals that the prayers of the saints are as sweet incense to God. How can that be? Because it takes faith to pray to an invisible God and to believe he will do good in response. Hebrews says without faith its impossible to please God. You’re very pleasing to God when you act in faith, no matter how imperfectly (or even boringly!).

Consider by comparison how we view toddlers who try to do well but stumble and get in trouble and make messes. Even though we are imperfect and “evil” (Lk 11:13), we love them and enjoy their every cute attempt to please us, no matter how disastrous. I think God has to see us as toddlers, too. When we keep stumbling while trying to do right he still loves and enjoys us as, compared to us, he is full of patience, mercy and love.

And here’s another thing: he expects nothing less since he made us this way: limited in strength, understanding, and willpower. He already knew we’d make mistakes, forget to do what we promised and , etc. He forgives all because this is how we designed us: imperfect and learning through repeated, inevitable mistakes. When you think about it, we probably in total do more things wrong in life than right, yet we’ll all be in the kingdom for our intent or heart to do right and not be kept out for all our failures.

Do you feel better yet? Then go pray to God and just talk to him like a toddler goes on and on and know that, like we do with our toddlers, God will laugh and enjoy it. God wants to hear from you, his child who seeks to please him.

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Should We Celebrate Christmas?

Dec 16, 2013 · Posted in Bible, Emails

Someone asked me a very common question for December:

Should we celebrate Christmas? Since it had pagan beginnings?

Here is my answer:

Bible Does Not Prohibit Celebrating Days – Only Judging About It

Like most everything in life (minus five prohibitions Jesus listed as salvation requirements) (Mt 19:17-19), Christmas is a matter of personal choice, not of sin or of right and wrong. That something came from pagans simply does not make it sin or wrong. It’s a good thing, too, since most everything in life was devised by heathens, not by servants of God (who are in the minority always). You’d have to live in a cave and be all knowing of everything’s origin if God really expected us to concern ourselves with avoiding all pagan-influenced things. (And by the way, how would you know for sure this is God’s will, anyway, since it’s a minority fringe opinion that we must maintain such a standard of purity?)

When you investigate the Bible to find God’s will, there is nothing in the NT about believers needing to quit celebrating holidays. In Jesus’ and Paul’s day under Roman occupation, there were many such pagan festivals celebrated around them. And although they talk a lot about many actual sins going on and to be repented of, not a word is mentioned on holidays except when Paul talks about those who judge each other about such things (Rom 14:4-5; Col 2:16). Instead the focus is always on actual sins…like judging.

In other words, while Christmas-keeping is not in any way clearly defined as wrong in the Bible, judging others over keeping it is!

Objection: “Israel Was Told Not To Copy Pagan Worship – Like Christmas”

Some argue that in the OT ancient Israel was told to not worship idols or even to worship God the way other nations worshiped their gods (Dt 12:30-31). However, this was a higher standard based on revelation given only to ancient Israel on how to worship him (Dt 12:32), which was a condition for them staying in the Promised Land. When they forgot about God and sought after other idols that the heathen nations around them served continually, they were evicted from the land. Believers today are not under Moses or any other prophet telling them how to serve God. They do the best they can on their own. Therefore, keeping any holiday or even Christmas to worship Jesus is not a violation of anything believers have been told.

When the Millennium comes and Jesus and the saints rule so that the word of God covers the earth, then there will be instructions on worship and the accountability to follow them. We can see this in the clear penalties that are carried out against those who disobey (Zech 14:18).

As for today not under the government of God, there’s no prohibition about celebrating Christmas. It’s up to you and your own conscience whether you do or not.

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My Opinion on Walid Shoebat’s Teachings

Dec 7, 2013 · Posted in Discernment, Emails

Walid Shoebat’s Prophecy Teachings

Frequently, visitors to my site ask my opinion of other prophecy teachers, their predictions, interpretations and prophecy theories. This is often a tricky proposition because my answer can easily be perceived as attacking another man or his ministry even though I have no malice for other teachers, whatever they may teach or believe. The way I see it, we’re all sincerely teaching what we know to be true although without a doubt we are all in error on many points. The problem is that we don’t know which points are wrong until later (or we would not be teaching them).

Thus, I have nothing against Walid Shoebat as a person or teacher. I wish him and his ministry well. However, in response to questions about his teachings and claims I would say, the ones I have looked at I have not found to hold up to careful scrutiny including the Berean test (Acts 17:11).

As such, I have been disappointed with his teachings, such as the idea of the Antichrist being Muslim. For one example of the proof he gives for that claim and how it does not stands up to inspection, see this article: http://barthsnotes.com/2009/07/06/is…aim-revisited/

Charity and Terrorism Expert Claims

Regarding his claims to being an ex-terrorist and expert on Islam terrorism, CNN did a investigative report on him and his charity but could not find any evidence to back up the claims:
Part 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=04yWUuoU7Lc
Part 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ItxpU7ll2SE

In the end, whether CNN’s report is accurate or a smear, for me on prophecy he’s just another teacher who seems to mean well but ends up telling people to watch and wait for the wrong things. Islam’s influence today is scary to many believers, but that does not mean it will have a large end time role. Islam has been taking peace from the earth since inception just as the red horseman spirit was to inspire on the earth (Rev 6:3-4). Beyond that I find no end time role for Islam, including no verse requiring the Antichrist be a muslim.

In conclusion, feel free to listen to Walid Shoebat and to test what he says for yourself. I’m not telling anyone to avoid him as to avoid considering any teaching is a missed opportunity to sharpen your discernment and critical thinking skills. And the same goes for me, too. Check what I say against Scripture and good logic (and do let me know if you find anything you think I missed).

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What the 46% Who Believe Jesus Will Return in 2014 Don't Know But Should...

An Ipsos poll in 2006 found that 25% of adults believed it was at least "somewhat likely" that "Jesus Christ will return to Earth" in the coming year. Among white evangelical Christian adults, a whopping 46% believed this. Yet eight years later Jesus still has not returned. Want to know why Jesus has not come back as expected in 2007 and still won’t be coming in 2014? Read Featured Article

Is There Still Punishment For Forgiven Sins?

Nov 23, 2013 · Posted in Emails, Repentance

I received the following question on Facebook about how forgiveness works:

Feeling as if it is a fresh start and that yesterday’s mistakes aren’t part of ‘today’ have made a large difference. I ask for forgiveness and hope for the best and try not to doubt the forgiveness. I guess I sometimes wonder about that word too; forgiveness. Like, does God forgive us our sins in the fact that they are erased so much that we don’t go to hell but still receive punishment in life for the sins.. or is the forgiveness wiping away our sins entirely as long as we ask, and we suffer no punishment?

To understand what the full cost of sin is, you have to first properly understand the nature of our reward in the Kingdom. It’s not as simple as Christians generally understand it, being only about salvation. For example, Revelation says we are rewarded “according to our works” (Rev 20:12-13). How can that be when many NT passages speak of salvation being a free gift according to grace through faith?

The answer is that Revelation is not talking about salvation there but to a second component of our reward after the first component of salvation. Everyone gets eternal life in the Kingdom for having faith in the Word of God. It’s the same “one penny” reward for all by grace through faith (Gen 15:6=Lk 8:21=Mt 20:10). You can’t earn it, Jesus paid for it already so that those who turn to God can have their sins forgiven and they can enter the Kingdom and live forever.

In that eternal life there are different roles, responsibilities and brightness of bodies according to Daniel and Paul (Dan 12:3=1Co 15:40-41). Or what Jesus referred to as “riches in heaven” that come from greater sacrifice (Mt 19:21). What you get depends on your works (Jas 2:24=Mk 4:8=Rev 20:12-13). To qualify higher you need more works and less sin. Because it says love covers a multitude of sins (Jas 5:20) it seems that the equation is something like REWARD = GOOD WORKS – SINS.

So there’s no need to be in guilt on past sins or paralyzed worrying about them as Jesus paid the price to forgive them so you can still enter the Kingdom. If you instead focus on replacing them with good works, they don’t have to hurt your reward level in the Kingdom, either.

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What the 46% Who Believe Jesus Will Return in 2014 Don't Know But Should...

An Ipsos poll in 2006 found that 25% of adults believed it was at least "somewhat likely" that "Jesus Christ will return to Earth" in the coming year. Among white evangelical Christian adults, a whopping 46% believed this. Yet eight years later Jesus still has not returned. Want to know why Jesus has not come back as expected in 2007 and still won’t be coming in 2014? Read Featured Article

Scott Clarke Prophecy Video Theories Debunked

Nov 20, 2013 · Posted in Discernment, Emails, Prophecy

The Prophecy Video Trend

I always enjoy answering emails from readers asking for help discerning prophecy theories. In the last couple of years I’ve been getting more and more requests from readers to take a look at a prophecy teaching on Youtube for them. In the past these videos were almost always the amateurish kind with text flowing on the screen slowly with distracting music. When you combine a shaky typical date-setting premise from the title with a tortuous deliver like that, I found them unbearable to watch.

Lately when I click the link, it turns out out to be a video on the eternalrhythmflow Youtube channel by the prolific pretribber Scottie Clarke. Thankfully, he does not torture you with text. Instead, he narrates various images and charts such as from an astronomy program. Yet, as a pretribber his main focus is continually looking for signs of the rapture or Jesus’ return (seven years later according to pretrib thinking). As these never pan out, he has a reason to keep producing videos with new theories.

Here’s the latest email I’ve received on one of this videos:

I was wondering if you thought about the findings of  Scott Clarke related to his Rev 12 ‘virgin birth’ event that perfectly correspond to astronomical alignments in 2017? Please view his video detailing this at http://youtu.be/v5dyEnZFu0w “A 2017 Virgin Birth In SPACE?!”

Please view it with an open mind (ie ignore his conviction about what this “sign in the heavens” means for the rapture event). Rather, I’m curious what your thought is on how this very rare sign could mean to the sequence of events as detailed in your book? Like, what do you think the virgin birth event sign in the sky in Sept 2017 means? Could it simply say that 2023 is the right timing for our Lords return (and not 2030)? Are there any ‘events’ in your timeline around the 2017 or 2018 time period that could corrsepond to this ‘virgin birth’ sign in the heaven?

Tim,…I’m hoping you recognize how rare this “birth” sign is (ie the gestation period of Jupiter is 41 weeks, the 12 stars crowning her head is rare, etc). The Lord provided this sign to indicate something – if it is not what Mr Clarke suggests, then what could it be?

The Flawed Assumptions

As you can see from the underlined text in the email above, the underlying assumption of this video  is that heavenly signs such as eclipses and conjunctions are something we should be poring over. The more unique and rare these events are, the more significant they are supposed to be, to the point that it is assumed that it must be God’s doing in order to tell us something. Not surprisingly, Scott Clarke is a fan of the four blood moons theory and includes it in the above video. (I debunked that speculation when Mark Biltz came out with it and when John Hagee issued his version of it.)

The problem with these assumptions is that they rely upon taking verses out of context and building doctrines on them. Clarke, like Mark Biltz and John Hagee, uses Genesis 1:14 as his license to look for signs in the sky. But that verse does not say to look in the heavens for signs of the end times. In context it is talking about signs for seasons/festivals, days and years (Gen 1:14 HCSB). In other words, the regular events we set our calendar by.

They also use Joel 2:31 since it mentions a blood moon in the end times. But it also talks about a solar eclipse at the same time. And if you back up a verse, there is more happening than that. Wonders in the heaven and on the earth at the time of that blood moon / solar eclipse (Joel 2:30). This is parallel to the 6th seal (Rev 6:12-19) which gives even more events like a great global earthquake and shooting stars. It all points to a new cosmic object like a comet in close proximity to earth which explains the four trumpet impact disasters that immediately follow in sequence (Rev 8:1-13). Joel does not direct us to look for normal solar and lunar eclipses on the NASA table as a sign of the rapture or anything. It directs us to expect something new in the heavens interfering catastrophically with our very planet and all life on it.

Jesus Already Said What To Look For (!)

What people are missing who try to read prophecy into these naturally-occurring heavenly events is that Jesus already explained what the end time signs were exactly. He said nothing about singular eclipses, or four eclipses, or conjunctions of heavenly bodies.

In the Olivet Discourse and Revelation he described a few events that he called collectively the “beginning of sorrows.” They are unmistakeable events that have not happened, unlike eclipses and conjunctions that happen on a regular basis. In the Parable of the Fig Tree. Jesus said these are the signs of his coming. He also said that until you see these events, his coming is not near (Mt 24:6). To understand what these “beginning of sorrows” are and what causes them, it’s important to understand Wormwood.

What About The Virgin Sign?

Regarding the heavenly sign of the Woman in Revelation 12, it had to do with Jesus (the manchild’s) birth 2000 years ago. It has nothing to do with the end times. You can tell this because this sign happens before the manchild is taken up to heaven, referring to Jesus’ ascension. Likewise it happens before the dragon (Satan) chases the Woman who God helps for 3.5 times, speaking of Satan’s wrath in the Great Tribulation.

In fact, this “Virgin sign” is not even unique. The heavenly arrangement depicted by Rev 12:1 including the crescent moon, the sun, the woman (constellation Virgo) and the twelve star crown (“Berenice’s hair“) happen in the sky on a repeating basis. 2017 is not the first time it has happened and it won’t be the last. As this article explains, it appeared in the sky when Jesus was born, allowing us to pinpoint the exact time of his birth on the Day of Trumpets (not Tabernacles as many Messianics believe).

Unique Signs Sent By God?

However, even if a sign is unique, that does not make it sent by God or is a divine communication. Even unique conjunctions in the heavens are still just the result of the natural movements of the heavenly bodies. There are all manner of unique signs that have happened throughout history. Uniqueness does not make any of them signs from God, even if we can find parts of them described in the Bible in another context.

In the Bible, when a sign is meant to communicate something from God, it is announced by a prophet beforehand. He also gives the meaning at that time, rather than force you to speculate what it means after the fact. This article explains that in the context of another “unique” phenomenon: major natural disasters which prophecy buffs never fail to seize upon and pronounce to be prophetic after they happen.

Finally, when someone shares a discovery of a unique combination of events like this we have to remember the problem of confirmation bias. We all tend to see patterns or significance in disparate events that simply is not there. Our bias of ignoring information and aspects of these patterns that do not match our theory deceives us. When we hear someone else’s “the only way to explain this pattern is God!” theory, it’s hard to see all the things they left out that do not line up with their theory.

But we don’t have to. If we just remember that creating unique events in the heavens or on earth is not how the Bible shows God communicating with humanity, then we can safely ignore all speculation based on such things. The Bible already has specified how God talks to us: through certified, sign-working prophets like Moses and Jesus. What’s more, these prophets have already spoken on what the key events of the end times are. If you want to understand where we are in prophecy and if anything is near, learn and focus on those events, not the latest dazzling speculation on Youtube or anywhere else.

http://philologos.org/bpr/files/c006.htm

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What the 46% Who Believe Jesus Will Return in 2014 Don't Know But Should...

An Ipsos poll in 2006 found that 25% of adults believed it was at least "somewhat likely" that "Jesus Christ will return to Earth" in the coming year. Among white evangelical Christian adults, a whopping 46% believed this. Yet eight years later Jesus still has not returned. Want to know why Jesus has not come back as expected in 2007 and still won’t be coming in 2014? Read Featured Article

A Key to Repentance…From Comedian Louis CK?

Oct 10, 2013 · Posted in Repentance

Repentance: Why Do We Get Stuck?

Repentance is a nebulous word to modern ears. To repent literally means to turn. Specifically, to turn from your natural selfish inclinations to the way of God, the way of love and peace.

Of course, we tend to fail to act lovingly all the time. We all generally know what we should do in any situation, perhaps the opposite of our natural selfish instinct, but we don’t follow through. For example, the Bible is full of praise for giving generously to the poor or those in need.  As much as we all support that principle, in practice we tend encounter difficulties acting on it. We don’t know why, but we just can’t do it. Why is this and how do we change it? There is a way that I have been practicing that few seem to be aware or do. You probably will never get instruction on this in church, but you might just get a glimpse of it from a top comedian.

The Profound Insight

I certainly was surprised when I heard a comedian describe this key to repentance in a recent interview. Watch the short clip below. It’s profoundly insightful (as well as humorous) when he tells of pulling over and sitting with negative thoughts:

Did you catch the insight and how it relates to repentance? In his anecdote, he gave a powerful example of a habit we all have. When we have negative feelings or thoughts about ourselves, we try to ignore it or distract ourselves from it. In his case, it was sadness from being reminded that he is alone and may always be alone or even die alone. For believers trying to do the right thing, when we fail we likewise feel bad about ourselves. We may feel ashamed, hypocritical, ugly or guilty of not doing God’s will.

What most of have learned to do to handle these unpleasant feelings is to try to put them out of our minds. In our modern, connected world, it is incredibly easy to distract ourselves and not feel these thoughts. We can reach out to a friend through the phone like Louis CK did, or through social media like Facebook. We can go exercise or watch a movie or program on demand. We can eat some comfort food or get a drink or even take a pill like a Xanax. Any number of other pleasures are able to help us forget about how rotten we are.

How to Overcome Our Blockages

But what if we do what Louis CK did and actually get ignore our fear or discomfort and stop and look at ourselves in our moment of selfishness? Then we might actually be able to discover why we failed and fix it.

Going back to the example above where of not giving to someone in need, with a little repeated introspection we may discover that:

Once we get to the root belief system(s) behind our negative actions, we can work on questioning and changing that false value or false belief and replacing it with the proper true or loving belief. It may take some doing and petitioning in our prayer closet, but in time we will find that our actions align more and more with truth and love.

If you make it a habit to examine the beliefs behind all your selfish or fearful ways, you will be on your way to being called an overcomer (Rev 21:7 KJV) and producing much fruit (John 15:5).

 

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