Saturday, June 3, 2017

HILLTOP CHAPEL NEWSLETTER JUNE 2017

HILLTOP CHAPEL NEWSLETTER
JUNE 2017
“JUST THE FACTS”


I’ve been giving a lot of thought, lately, to the Bible passage concerning how things will be when we finally reach the “end of days”.  I’m not going to give you any remembrances of the past this month, just a truthful examination of what we can expect in the near future.  The intent of this article is not to scare or intimidate any of you into submission to God, but to inform you about what the Word of God has to say concerning what we’re experiencing in our day and time.

In 2 Timothy 3:1-5, the apostle, Paul says: “But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come:  For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God,
having a form of godliness but denying its power.  And from such people turn away!”  Does this
passage of scripture, in essence, capture the way in which many people conduct themselves in our day and age?  You bet it does!  What does Paul say about what our reaction should be to these people? That’s right, we’re to turn away.

It’s easy to overlook what the world is doing; we can look away and say, “It’s really none of my
business what my neighbor says or does.’  ‘As long as he or she is not hurting anyone, it’s none of my affair.”  However, the reality is that we must stand for Jesus and God’s Word, making sure that we give an account of our faith.  Paul goes on to say, in verses 10-12:  “But you have carefully followed my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, long suffering, love, perseverance, persecutions, afflictions, which happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra—what persecutions I endured.  And out of them all the Lord delivered me.  Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.  We’ve already seen and heard about Christians, all over the world, suffering verbal abuse, prosecution, persecution at the hands of neighbors and former friends, loss of jobs, homes and, ultimately their lives, just because of their strong faith in Jesus Christ.

We Christians are clearly being singled out for not participating in the world’s headlong plunge into darkness.  We’ve been called a lot of nasty things from many quarters lately, all with the intent
that we understand that society has passed us by and we’re irrelevant in the modern world.  In one respect it’s kind of refreshing to know exactly where we stand, without having to wonder whether we’re accepted or just being tolerated.  Unless you’ve been asleep, like Rip Van Winkle, for the past 20 years, there’s no denying that, in the United States of America, “one nation, under God” is no longer in vogue.  We are now living in a “post Christian” country.

Does that mean we roll up our tent and go home?  Not yet!  While we still have the opportunity, we must seize the moment and preach the Gospel.  In 2 Timothy 3:13-4:2, Paul tells us what is expected of us:  “But evil men and imposters will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived.’  ‘But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them, and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to  make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.  All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.”I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom: Preach the word!  Be ready in season and out of season.  Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all long suffering and teaching.”

There is no greater burden on my heart right now than to see family, friends, neighbors and
people I haven’t even met yet, come to know Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.  Without Him, there is no hope for eternity.  Jesus told His disciples (and us), in Matthew 24:4-6 & 13-14, “…Take heed that no one deceives you.  For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many.’ ‘And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars.  See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet…But he who endures to the end shall be saved.  And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.”

This article is primarily God’s word, as it should be.  Since God said it, I believe it and that settles it.  This world may scare you, but Jesus said, “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me
you may have peace.  In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome
the world.  It may not be an easy journey, but our heavenly home is in sight and Jesus is waiting with open arms to welcome us.  What a day of rejoicing that will be!

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