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Good News Press

Sharing the good news of Gods Love through his Son to our local community and world!
To Contact Us: (925) 368-5052 www.goodnewspress.us Summer 2017
Plan of Salvation:
John 3:16
For God so loved the world, that he gave his
only begotten Son, that whosoever shall believe
in him should not perish, but have everlasting
life.
Romans 10:9
That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the
Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that
God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt
be saved.

A Message From Good News Press


The Christian message is often re-
ferred to as the "Gospel," which
means "good news." Specifically, it
is the good news about Jesuswho
He is, what He has done, and what
He offers. Essentially, the message
is that Jesus was God in the flesh,
that He came into the world to rec-
oncile humanity to Himself, and
that his salvation is freely offered to
5 Tips For Active Summer Families each person who will respond in
faith. The Gospel message explains
that salvation is only possible
(Family Features) Summer is perfect for staying active uting to emotional and mental well-being. Most doctors through the Crucifixion and Resur-
rection of Jesus. Through his sacri-
and spending time outdoors with loved ones, but the recommend 6-8 hours per night for adults, and kids of fice, Jesus paid the price for our sin-
frantic pace of the season and overload of activities can all ages typically require even more, so work on getting fulness (rebellion against God), thus
take a toll on the entire family. into a nightly routine to ensure all members of the fami- offering us forgiveness. Then
through his Resurrection He con-
ly are getting the rest they need. quered death, removing it as the
With a little care and pampering, you can enjoy summer
penalty for our sin and replacing it
to the fullest while still keeping your family rejuvenated. Pamper Yourself at Home. Once you've completed with the offer of eternal life that is
chores in the heat or spent time enjoying family activi- only available from Him to all those
Eat Well. Food is fuel, and it's necessary to keep the that place their faith in Him.
ties in the sun, some simple pampering can be done at
entire family energized. During warmer weather, crav-
home to rejuvenate skin. Start with your hands, which
ings often lean toward lighter foods, making it the per-
are at the center of everything you do and often the first
fect time to add extra servings of seasonal fruits or veg-
point of contact with an activity, whether it's cooking,
etables to the family table each night. Also remember to
gardening, crafting or aiding friends and family. The
ensure family members are drinking plenty of water as
unique formula of Softsoap Hand Wash Plus Lotion liq-
extended time in the sun can lead to dehydration and
uid hand soap is made with a touch of lotion to lock in
dry skin if fluids aren't frequently replenished.
moisture for clean, soft hands. Available in Shea & Co-
Make Sleep A Priority. Sleep is as important to your coa Butter, Aloe Water & Lime and Orchid & Coconut
body as nutrition and exercise, and making it a priority Milk fragrances, this innovative formula can make your
can be beneficial, especially when your family's calen- hands irresistibly smooth, so your touch is always a soft
dar is packed with events. Sufficient, high-quality sleep touch.
contributes to a healthy immune system and helps re-
Take Time to Exercise. Even a little activity can have
pair damage done throughout the day. It also positively
a huge impact. Continued on Page 6
impacts metabolism and overall function while contrib-
Good News Press - 2
About Good News Press Recent News Headlines
Sharing the good news of Gods Love through his Son to our local community and world!

NUKING ON THE DOOR North TSA begins testing biometric finger-


Partner With Us in Sharing Korea is now 'only one step away' print screening at 2 airports
the Good News of Jesus from launching a nuclear missile Forget fumbling for your photo ID and
which can hit America, US expert boarding pass at the airport. Soon, certain
Christ to our Community! passengers will be free to move through the
warns News comes as Kim Jong- airport and check into their flights using only
Good News Press is a Christian un's rogue state continues to ramp up their fingerprints, thanks to the TSAs latest,
outreach publication in the San its weapons programme. (The Sun) more intrusive, innovation.
Francisco Bay Area. This popular (rapturready.com; rt.com)
high-quality, newspaper, informs
and inspires believers, as well as Islamic State leader Baghdadi
London fire: Six killed as Grenfell
plant seeds into the hearts of 'may have been killed by Rus- Tower engulfed
men and women that do not sia' Russia's defence ministry is in-
know Jesus Christ. Six people have been confirmed dead after a
Good News Press covers
vestigating whether one of its air huge fire raged through the night at a west
strikes in Syria killed the leader of London tower block, and police expect that
world, national, and local reli- number to rise. Eyewitnesses described peo-
gious news and events, and fea- the Islamic State militant group (IS). ple trapped in the burning Grenfell Tower, in
tures inspiring Christian articles (BBC News) north Kensington, screaming for help and
and insights. It is available, both yelling for their children to be saved. Fire-
fighters rescued large numbers, but Lon-
digitally online and in full-color don Mayor Sadiq Khan said a lot of peo-
printed format.
Christian newspapers reach a targeted share the good news, and bring to Canada Passes Bill C-16 ple were unaccounted for..
(raptureready.com; bbc.com)
audience-specifically a family orient-them the love of Jesus Christ. We do
that by bringing glory to God in this
Making It A Hate Crime With
ed, audience, with strong loyalties and
convictions. newspaper. Jail Time To Address Missing US Sailors Found
Urgency We believe that these are
Why Support Good News Press
Fulfill the Great Commission! Help the last days and that Jesus Christ is Transgenders Using Wrong Dead After A Navy Destroyer
us tell our neighbors about the Good soon to return. Collided With A Cargo Ship
News of Jesus Christ and reap eternal Distribution Good News Press is
Pronoun (Buzz Feed News)
distributed FREE all over the Bay Area. Canadas Senate passed Bill C-16, which
rewards. Good News Press believes puts gender identity and gender expres-
that this commission begins in our You can find it in area grocery stores sion into the hate crime category of its
own backyards. There are more than 7 and businesses. Criminal Code by a vote of 67-1....
Million people in the Bay Area and a Good News Press is produced by (Nowtheendsbegin.com)
great number need to be reached. We Baron & Connie Woods and Family.
want to reach these men and women, To contact us: info@goodnewspress.us.

The Influence of Church on Wellbeing in Adolescents and Millennials


Teleios Research conducted a survey by perience and promoting prayer in believ- 1. Bible-based teaching and preaching to meet its own institutional needs primari-
recruiting respondents from visitors to ers' lives. (75%) - Overwhelmingly, this criterion ly, but to equip its members to impact the
InstaPray, a Christian Instagram account. 2. Spiritual growth (56%) - Participants was selected by participants. It should en- world for the gospel and to serve the local
generally recognized the church helps courage the church to see such an im- community for the common good. These
There were 884 participants surveyed them in their Christian lifestyle and to be- portant cornerstone of church function results demonstrate the incredible unity,
about their Christian life and how church come mature believers. chosen by young evangelicals. across the world and age groups, provided
affected their wellbeing. The majority of Praise and worship (54%) - Praise of God by the Bible and promoted by the Holy
participants: attended church at least 4+ 2. Encouraging Bible-based speech Spirit among young evangelicals."
is central for the Christian life and for the (51%) - This choice was a surprise for
times/month (80%); were female (73%); church.
ages 18-30 (39%); reside in the USA second place as this topic often seems More data from this study can be found
(56%); college or post-graduate degree minimized in church life. The Bible indi- here teleiosresearch.com/index.php/church
(30%); employed (37%) and evangelical The above list is encouraging in that the cates our speech should be primarily for -wellbeing-survey.
(77%). church is emphasizing spiritual growth, the hearer, to meet their needs, and not for
prayer and praise in young church at- ourselves. Teleios, a non-profit foundation, seeks to
How does church/church members help tendees. However, the amazing finding is Powerful biblical vision for the church demonstrate the truth of Scripture and the
your wellbeing? The 3 most common re- that Christian adolescents have the same (44%) - Participants also perceived that the Christian faith through the scientific meth-
sponses are noted below: desires for their church experience as the church leadership actually help their well- od by providing evidence for the positive
millennial generation. being by directing the church in Biblically results of a biblically-based life-
1. Prayer (59%) - Prayer is a cornerstone based goals!
in Christianity. The church might assist style teleiosresearch.com.
How does church leadership help your
prayer by acting as a guide to supplica- wellbeing? The 3 most common responses Dr. William Stewart, cofounder of Teleios,
tions to God, a more expansive prayer ex- are noted below.
Inc, commented "The church functions not
Good News Press - 3
Understanding Angels
by Greg Hanson
Society holds a fascination for angels. Peo- angels, I found practically nothing in my
ple want to know: What do angels look library I soon discovered that little had
like? Does each person have a guardian been written on the subject in this centu-
angel? How many angels are there? Is it ry I have never heard anyone preach a
possible to see an angel? Is it proper to sermon on angels. Which prompted him
pray to angels? Does a person become an to write a book of his own on the subject.
angel after they die?

Karl Barth (pronounced Bart) is consid-


Everyone has their own opinion about an- ered to be one of the most important
gels. And most have a mental image of Christian thinkers of the 20th century. As a
what they think angels look like. They may theologian and an authority on angels, he
even collect ornaments of angels (or ra- described the topic as the most remarka-
ther, ornaments of their perception of an- ble and difficult of all.
gels).

So to clear up some of the confusion, con-


But despite this fascination, there is a lot of sider some of the things angels are not.
confusion and misunderstanding surround-
ing angels. And thats probably because of
where people turn to get their infor-
mation. What Angels are NOT:

Angels are not cute chubby babies with


Like the movies. Angels are portrayed in bows & arrows.
films such as City of Angels with Nicolas
Cage, Dogma with Ben Affleck and Matt Cupid, draw back your bow This is one
Damon, Meet Joe Black starring Brad of the many images of angels. But this im-
Pitt, or even the Christmas classic, Its a age originated from works of art during
Wonderful Life. Those movies may be the Renaissance, and has nothing to do
entertaining or even inspiring, but they are with reality.
also misleading when it comes to angels.
Angels are not what people become after
they die.
Television is another source. Touched By
an Angel was a long-running show watched
by many. In the 1980s, Highway to Heaven This is one of the more popular beliefs
starred Michael Landon as an angel trying about angels, but its wrong. At funerals
to earn his wings. These may have been people often make comments such as,
good wholesome shows, but still not the Hes an angel now, or, God needed
most reliable sources to teach about an- another angel in that heavenly choir! Its a
gels. sweet thought, but its not true. Angels
and humans are completely different crea-
tions.
Ancient mythology and antiquated works
of art also contain representations of an- Angels are not all-knowing, all-powerful, or
gels. But unfortunately, they are not por- all-present.
trayed very accurately or consistently.
Those are attributes that belong to God
and God alone. Angels, on the other hand,
And the result is a pretty mixed-up under- are confined by time and space. They are
standing of angels, including a lot of light smarter, more powerful, and faster than
and fluffy beliefs drawn from all kinds of we are, but they are not on par with God.
contradictory sources. Its no wonder
there is so much confusion. Angels are not objects of worship.

Some people do worship angels and pray


Even within the Church, there is a lack of to them. But in his letter to the Colossians,
information about angels. Back in 1975, the the apostle Paul clearly discouraged this
respected evangelist Billy Graham said, practice. Continued on Page 6
When I decided to preach a sermon on
Good News Press - 4
Events (East Bay Times)
Events East Contra Costa County, CA become members of a team providing
free tax preparation for individuals of all
Summer Open Gym: 3-6 p.m. Tuesdays, ages. Volunteer positions include tax
beginning June 13, Antioch Community counselors who are trained by Tax-Aide
Center,4703 Lone Tree Way, Antioch. and certified by IRS, and client facilitators,
Middle school teens can hang out with who schedule appointments and assist
friends, play basketball, table games or clients at tax sites. Classes for tax coun-
take part in other activities with supervi- selors begin in January. Apply online at
sion. $3 per visit. Purchase a punch card www.aarp.org/taxvolunteer or call
in advance and get a free visit. 925-776- LaVerne Gordon at 925-726-3199 for in-
3050. formation.
Discovery Bay Library Connection: 8 a.m.- Meals on Wheels: Volunteer drivers are
5:30 p.m. Monday-Friday and 9:30 a.m.-5 needed to deliver nutritious meals to
p.m. Saturday, Discovery Bay Community homebound, frail seniors living in far East
Center, 1601 Discovery Bay Blvd. A new County. Meals are delivered between
service allows Discovery Bay residents to 10:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m., Monday-
borrow library materials without having to Friday. Call 925-625-4545.
travel to the library. Patrons with a valid Host families needed: Cultural Homestay
library card can request items, including International is seeking volunteer host
books and music CDs, online at ccclib.org families for boys and girls from a variety
and they will be delivered to the Commu- of countries. Students are 15 to 18 years
nity Center the following Thursday after- old. Call 209-502-7567 or 877-737-0409
noon. Checkout time is 27 days, including or go to www.chinet.org.
delivery time. 925-634-1131. Red Cross: Become part of Red Cross
Delta Shadow Boxers Parkinsons Support disaster responders to provide assistance
Group: 6:30 p.m. third Wednesdays to individuals and families affected by lo-
monthly, John Muir Health building, 2400 cal emergencies and disasters. Hours are
Balfour Road, Brentwood. 925-550-2756. flexible, and free training, including CPR/
Are You A Veteran?: Veterans Peer to First Aid, is provided. Call 925-603-7426
Peer night meets 6 p.m. Wednesdays, or email VYSNB@redcross.org.
1023 Second St., Antioch (corner of Sec- Senior Volunteer Program: Senior volun-
ond and L streets). Call 925-206-4113. teers with the California Highway Patrol
GSMOL Education Classes: 4:30-6 p.m. provide a visual presence around school
second and fourth Thursdays monthly. zones. Call 925-646-4980 or visit the of-
Oakley location given upon registration. fice, 5001 Blum Road, Martinez. Hours
Hosted by Golden State Manufactured are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Fri-
Home Owners League Chapter 196. Fa- day.
cilitator Glorie Illian discusses important Brentwood Library Foundation: A variety
topics related to mobile home living. Call of volunteer opportunities are available to
925-625-6251. help support the Brentwood Library Foun-
Exploring the Dunes: 10-11 a.m. second dation. Contact Diane Alexander at 925-
Saturdays, end of Fulton Shipyard Road, 634-5456.
Antioch. Guided tour will focus on the HEALTH
wonders of Antioch Dunes National Wild- Free Blood Pressure Screening: 10:30-
life Refuge. Call 707-769-4200. 11:30 a.m. third Mondays. Ambrose Com-
Online Drivers Education: Students 15 munity Center, 3105 Willow Pass Road,
and older can start the process to obtain a Bay Point. John Muir Health Senior Ser-
drivers license by enrolling in this interac- vices: free blood pressure screening. Call
tive online course. Learn the rules of the 925-458-1601.
road, DMV procedures and more. Regis- Brighter Beginnings Family Health Clin-
ter at Oakley City Hall, 3231 Main St. A ic: 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Mondays, 2213 Buchan-
valid email address is required. $39-$49. an Road, Suite 103, Antioch. Fees: sliding
Call 925-625-7041 or email scale. Any additional costs incurred for
tumin@ci.oakley.ca.us. laboratory, radiation or medication ser-
Team Select Youth Basketball Tryouts: Go vices are the responsibility of the patient.
to www.teamselectbasketball.com. Try- Call 925-303-4780.
outs will take place at Antioch Community Freedom from Tobacco: Kaiser Medical
Center, 4703 Lone Tree Way, Antioch. Offices, 4501 Sand Creek Road, Antioch.
Ruben Garcia, 925-367-3912, in- Learn about overcoming nicotine addic-
fo@teamselectbasketball.com. tion and how medications can help. Call
VOLUNTEERS 925-813-3560.
AARP Tax-Aide: Contra Costa County
AARP Tax-Aide is seeking volunteers to
Good News Press - 5
Local Seminary Launches New Certificate Program

A NEW MODEL OF LEADERSHIP FOR BAY AREA


PASTORS TO ENGAGE CURRENT SOCIAL PROBLEMS
BSW & PICO TEAM UP TO LAUNCH A by those in positions of power. Sadly, faith leaders
have been hard-pressed to help their congregations
NEW PROGRAM THAT TEACHES THE understand and respond to these changes.
ART OF ACTIVE PUBLIC THEOLOGY
The events of the last decade have made it clear
that our society yearns for courageous prophetic
Berkeley, CA For the first time, The American Bap- leaders who are prepared to inspire, speak out, and
tist Seminary of the West (ABSW), in partnership with help organize their congregations, their peers, and
the PICO National Network, will launch this summer a their communities in ways that not only shape the
Public Theology Certificate Program focused on societal debate, but the outcome of the critical moral and
issues. ABSW and PICO will seek to recruit clergy, non- ethical issues of the day, said Michael-Ray
ordained congregational leaders as well as faith based Mathews, Director of Clergy Organizing, PICO
community leaders to be part of this exciting new pro- USA. Unfortunately, few seminaries are currently
gram. Applicants can learn more at www.absw.edu/ structured to prepare clergy for this type of leader-
publictheology. ship, he added, but ABSW has stepped forward
and they are uniquely equipped as one of the most
diverse seminaries in the US.
The 5-course 18-month program is designed to fill
the gap between what current seminary curriculum
The ABSW/PICO partnership for the creation of a
offers and the need for activist clergy to bring their
program in Public Theology has been made possible
spiritual perspective to the most pressing issues of
by a generous grant from the Henry Luce Founda-
the day. Classes will cover issues ranging from mo-
tion.
rality & society to community organizing. Ministers
will also be expected to participate in a placement at
Classes will begin this summer. All clergy interest-
a community organization working to expand oppor-
tunities for justice. ed in applying can go to www.absw.edu/
publictheology. Scholarships are available.
From the Black Lives Matter movement to the chal-
lenges of the current political climate, the country is
witnessing dynamics that will shape the next decade
or more of our nations political and social debate. About American Baptist Seminary of the West
Thats why ABSW and PICO have launched this
effort. ABSW is a laboratory for building communities of
Christian hope, justice, and reconciliation. We glad-
America is facing a dramatic new set of ethical and ly welcome students from other faith traditions. Our
moral challenges for which traditional training/ mission is supported by a faculty that is representa-
formation of clergy has found itself to be inade- tive of the constituencies we serve, competent in
quate. These challenges are played out not just in- scholarship, skilled in teaching, experienced in min-
side the church but also in the community. In order istry, and dedicated to the work of social justice..
for contemporary clergy to be effective there has to
be a new awareness on how to engage community
concerns. This is why the seminary has chosen to About PICO
partner w/PICO, said LeAnn Snow Flesher, VP of
Academic Affairs at ABSW. The PICO National Network has a 44-year track
record of equipping grassroots faith leaders and
Tension is growing in communities across our coun- those most impacted by injustice with the tools to
try. There is ever-increasing frustration organize their communities to make concrete policy
change that advances racial and economic justice in the
and anger over promises made and promises broken United States.
Good News Press - 6
Angels continued from Page 3
Angels are not halo-wearing, wing-clad, spirits and there are evil spirits. These
harp-players. evil spirits (commonly known as demons
or devils) are actually angels that re-
Again, these images come mostly out of belled against God. Paul wrote in 2nd
artwork, some dating all the way back Corinthians about how these fallen
to Greek and Roman times. But the angels could disguise themselves as serv-
Bible makes no reference to angels ants of righteousness. Their aim is to
wearing halos or playing harps. As for deceive. Not every spiritual being is
wings, the Old Testament prophets Eze- friendly.
kiel and Isaiah both refer to special clas-
ses of angels (cherubim and seraphim)
that are portrayed as having wings. But Angels are servants of God.
even these seem to be simply part of a
Aside from those that are fallen, an-
vision and are not meant to be a literal
gels do what God wants them to do.
description of angels. Angels are spiritu-
The word angel literally means
al beings, and they do not have physical
messenger, indicating that one of
bodies. their primary functions is to deliver
messages from God. As when an angel
told Mary that she would give birth to
So with those misconceptions out of the Jesus, or when an angel informed the
way, consider these five realities that shepherds that Jesus had been born.
the Bible reveals about angels.

So angels are Gods servants; they do


What Angels Are: not take orders from humanity. God
Angels are created beings.
may assign them to serve or protect
people from time to time, but its at His
Tips/Active Summer Families
Angels have not always existed. They bidding. continued from front page
had a beginning. In Colossians chapter
one, Paul teaches that Jesus created Angels battle for God, protecting Gods The American Heart Association member to take small breaks during
everything, including angels and the en- people.
tire the spiritual realm. And He didnt recommends at least 30 minutes of activities to stretch or take a short
just create a few prototypes; He created The Old Testament (2nd Kings 19) con- moderate-intensity activity at least walk to help relieve potential stress
a massive number. Revelation 5:11 even tains an account of King Hezekiah cry-
refers to thousands and millions of ing out to God for help when the Assyri- five days a week. Taking time out of on your body.
angels. an army attacks. And God responds. He your family's busy summer schedule
sends a single angel who slays 185,000 Find more tips to make your family's
to go for a walk, ride bikes around
Assyrian soldiers. Thats how powerful summer a happy, healthy and stress
Angels are invisible spirit beings. angels are. They are much more fierce the park or neighborhood, or play a
-free one at softsoap.com.
Angels exist as spirits, invisible to the than commonly thought. game outside together can contrib-
human eye. But, every once in a while, ute to maintaining a healthy weight About Family Features Editorial
angels do take on physical form in order
to make their presence known. We see Which makes the idea of a guardian and feeling more energized. Syndicate
angel particularly appealing. The notion
examples throughout the Bible of times
that a person is always being protected
Established in 1974, Family Fea-
when angels interacted with humanity. Slow Down. It's easy to spread
Every time, they appeared as young is compelling. But while God may peri- tures is a leading provider of free
odically assign an angel to a particular yourself too thin, especially in the
men. But this does not necessary imply food and lifestyle content for print
person, there is no clear indication that summer when there are often more
that angels have gender. this assignment is permanent. Nor is it and online publications. Our articles,
implied that the same angel is assigned
activities requiring your attention
photos, videos and web content so-
to the same person every time. and attendance. When you get
There were times when an angel would lutions save you time, money and
take on form and the people would not caught up in trying to make the most
even realize they were interacting with
help create advertising opportuni-
So are angels a reality? According to the out of every second of every day, it
an angel. And at other times, the people ties. Registration is fast and free -
would be struck with a sense of terror. Bible, yes. They may not fit popular con- can take a toll on both your family's
ceptions, but there is a host of angelic with absolutely no obligation. Visit
So it would appear that the form they physical and emotional well-being.
beings hidden in a spiritual realm. They editors.familyfeatures.com for more
adopt varies. are under the command of God Him- Slow down and take that well-
self, and they are ready to serve and information.
deserved personal time - even just
Angels may not be what they appear to battle at His discretion.
be. an hour a day - to do something you
enjoy with the ones you love. Re-
In the spiritual realm, there are good
Good News Press - 7
Good News Press - 8
Living for Christ in the End Times :: Dr. David R. Reagan
The Bible clearly teaches that society will degenerate in 2) Stand on the Word pride, and thus the Scriptures continually exhort us to
the end times, becoming as evil as it was in the days of The Bible says that the end times will be an age of decep- humble ourselves (1 Peter 5:6). Others fail to depend on
Noah (Matthew 24:37-39). The Apostle Paul, speaking as tion (Matthew 24:24, 1 Timothy 4:1, and 2 Timothy 4: 3- prayer because of unbelief. They either think God doesnt
a prophet, says that society will descend into a black pit 4). In fulfillment of that prophecy, we are today being care, or else they think He is no longer active in history.
of immorality, violence, and paganism (2 Timothy 3:1-5). bombarded with false but alluring religious systems of- But the Bible says we do not have because we do not
He asserts that men will be lovers of self, lovers of mon- fered by the Christian cults, Eastern religions, and the ask (James 4:2). How many blessings of God have you
ey, and lovers of pleasure. People will be boastful, ar- New Age Movement. left on the table because you tried to handle your prob-
rogant, and unholy, and children will be disobedient to Most professing Christians are sitting ducks for spiritual lems yourself? The Bible also says that the prayers of a
parents. deception because the average Christian is not certain righteous man can accomplish much (James 5:16). Do
Sounds like the evening news, doesnt it? In short, we what he believes. And even when he is able to articulate a you interpret this to mean that the power of your prayers
have arrived. belief, he usually does not know why he believes it. The depends on your righteousness? That is not what it
Signs of Coming Persecution result is that a Jehovahs Witness can turn the average means. If you are truly born again, then you are a right-
We should be deeply concerned over these developments, Christian into a theological pretzel in two minutes flat. eous person because you are clothed in the righteousness
not only because we are witnessing the destruction of our Anyone can be deceived. If you are to guard yourself of Jesus (Isaiah 61:10).
beloved America, but because both Jesus and Paul proph- against deception, you must get into the Word and stay in
esied that when these things occur, the Church will come it on a daily basis. Also, you must test everything by the
under attack and individual Christians will be persecuted. Word (1 John 4:1). For Catholics this means discarding 5) Rely on the Holy Spirit
Jesus said that as lawlessness increases, most peoples doctrines like purgatory that have no basis in the Word Most professing Christians seem to be afraid of the Holy
love will grow cold (Matthew 24:12). He stated that in whatsoever. For Protestants it means being alert to the Spirit. This is usually due to a lack of knowledge con-
this hostile atmosphere, many professing Christians will twisting of scriptures or the manipulation of verses out of cerning the Spirit. For example, there is a tendency to
fall away and will proceed to cooperate in the persecu- context. On every doctrine, the Bible needs to be write off the Holy Spirit as some sort of impersonal force
tion of their former brothers and sisters in Christ searched from Genesis to Revelation to see what is said like The Force in Star Wars.
(Matthew 24:10). Paul indicates the same thing when he about the particular topic. We need to understand that the Holy Spirit is a person.
says that people will be haters of good and that they He is the supernatural presence of God in the world to-
will therefore be brutal and reckless, reviling those day. He performs a dual role. For the unbeliever, He is
who stand for righteousness (2 Timothy 3:2-4). 3) Believe in the Power of God Gods Evangelist. He is the one who works on human
We are watching these prophecies come true today before I am convinced that most professing Christians are deists. hearts to draw them to the Cross in repentance. No one is
our very eyes, both here in America and around the A deist is a person who believes in an impersonal god saved apart from the testimony of the Spirit (John 6:44 &
world. As our culture has secularized and paganized, who never intervenes in human affairs. According to De- 65).
Christianity, the Church, and Christians have come under ism, we are supposed to cope with our god-given reason, With regard to the believer, the Holy Spirit is Gods in-
increasing attack as intolerant bigots. (See Dennis Pol- our talents, and the wisdom of the Scriptures. As far as dwelling presence to provide us with power and guid-
locks editorial on page 9.) The attacks are going to inten- the deist is concerned, at the end of the First Century, ance. He is our Enabler. He is also Gods Potter, for one
sify, and it is going to become increasingly difficult for God retired, the supernatural ceased, and the age of mira- of His basic responsibilities is to daily shape believers
Christians to stand for righteousness. Jobs will be lost. cles came to an end. more fully into the image of Jesus (2 Corinthians 3:17-
Careers will be destroyed. Christians will even be sent to But the Hebrew Scriptures teach that God never changes 18).
prison for speaking out against evils like homosexuality (Malachi 3:6). And the New Testament specifically states One of the ironies of the Christian life is that we cannot
because such pronouncements will be labeled as hate that Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, and today, yes serve God in our own power. Rather, the only way we
crimes. and forever (Hebrews 13:8). can effectively serve the Lord is by relying on the power
What then are those of us who love Jesus to do as we face There is no way we can cope with the evil of end time of His Holy Spirit who resides within us. It is possible to
a rising wave of ridicule, harassment, and persecution for society in our own strength. Anyone who tries to do so quench and grieve the Spirit (1 Thessalonians 5:19 and
our faith? How shall we live for Christ in the end times? will be defeated. Our only hope is to turn to a God who is Ephesians 4:30).
Let me suggest a few guidelines. alive and well, who is still on the throne, who hears pray- The Word calls on us to be filled with the Spirit
er and answers prayer, and who still performs miracles. (Ephesians 5:18). This can happen only if we are willing
We must realize that the Bible teaches that we can limit to release the Spirit to become the Lord of our lives. Most
1) Order Your Priorities God by our unbelief. This a great paradox. Think about it of us are content to let the Spirit be resident in our lives.
The starting point is to review your priorities and make although God is all-powerful (Luke 1: 37), we who are He does not want to be simply a resident; He desires to be
certain that God is first in your life. Be honest with your- powerless in comparison can nonetheless limit His power president.
self. Dont play games. Dont kid yourself. by our unbelief (Mark 6:1-6). Thats because God is a Is that the case in your life? Is the Holy Spirit on the
Most Christians have allowed their priorities to get very gentleman. He does not force Himself upon us. If we throne of your life? Or is He being treated as an unwel-
mixed up. Usually, job or career is number one, family is want to try to cope on our own, He will let us. He re- come guest? There is no way you will be able to with-
second, and God is third or even fourth behind an obses- sponds when we reach out to Him in faith (James 1:6). stand the pressures of end time society without relying
sion with sports or something similar. daily on the power of Gods Spirit.
Ask yourself this question: If God were to give you the
opportunity to make one request, what would it be? 4) Persist in Prayer
Would you ask for money? Power? Fame? Success? One of the greatest blessings God has given believers is 6) Practice Tough Faith
Solomon asked for wisdom, but David asked for some- supernatural communication. God cares for us personally Faith comes easy when everything is going smoothly.
thing ten thousand times more profound he asked for (1 Peter 5:7), and He desires to communicate with us When there is good health and prosperity, it is easy to
intimacy with God (Psalm 27:4). And, because he put (James 4:8). Because He loves us, He earnestly desires praise the Lord. The test of faith comes when all the cir-
God first, he states in Psalm 27 that he did not fear life our fellowship (John 4:23). cumstances of life turn sour.
(verse 1) or death (verse 13). It is also the reason that he The tragedy is that most professing Christians seem to be God has not promised believers a rose garden. We live in
is remembered as the man after Gods own heart (Acts inclined to turn to prayer as a last resort only when all a fallen world. The rain falls on the just and the unjust.
13:22). else has failed and the situation has become desperate. The wicked prosper. Justice seldom prevails.
Some of this reluctance to seek God in prayer is due to It is easy for the righteous to grow discouraged. This calls
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for the practice of tough faith the kind of faith This brings us to the final guideline I would like to
that is not dependent on circumstances. Its the kind emphasize regarding how to live for Jesus in the end
of faith that hangs in there when the going gets tough times. The Bible tells us point blank that we are to
because of a confident belief that all things work live looking for Jesus (Titus 2: 13).
together for good for those who love the Most Christians are so caught up in the world that
Lord (Romans 8:28). they live thinking about anything but the return of
God never promises that believers will be immune to Jesus. This is a sad state of affairs because Jesus
suffering. What He does promise is that He will be return is our blessed hope (Titus 2:13). And His
there to walk through the trials with us. He promises return is imminent.
to be beside us when we pass through the waters Another problem is that most Christians know so
and walk through the fire (Isaiah 43:2). And He little about Bible prophecy that they cannot get excit-
states that He will be there when we walk through ed about the Lords return. How can you get excited
the valley of the shadow of death (Psalm 23:4). about an event you know nothing about? Ignorance
What is the quality of your faith? When life turns produces apathy.
sour, do you turn to God, or do you question Him or And apathy about the Lords return has tragic conse-
even curse Him? One of the keys to hanging tough is quences. It robs us of an eternal perspective, and it
to learn the promises of Gods Word (like Philippians destroys any sense of urgency about reaching lost
4:6-7, 11-13, and 19) and start claiming them in pray- souls. It also undermines a powerful motivator for
er when confronted with the challenges of life. holy living.
You see, when a person comes to truly believe that
7) Keep an Eternal Perspective Jesus is returning and may return any moment, that
We are to be in the world but not of the world (John person will be motivated to holiness and evangelism.
17:11 & 16). Thats a difficult principle to follow. It Regarding holiness, the Apostle John put it this way:
constitutes a daily struggle. We know that when He appears [the Rapture], we
It is so easy to get our eyes off the Lord and focus shall be like Him [glorified] . . . And everyone who
instead upon the world in which we live. The daily has this hope fixed on Him, purifies himself, just as
demands are so pressing. And one of the greatest of He is pure (1 John 3:2-3). Regarding evangelism,
those demands is that we conform to the world to Peter writes that the only reason Jesus has not yet
the worlds language, dress, entertainment, and val- returned is because God does not wish that any
ues. should perish, but that all might come to repent-
Thats why we are constantly exhorted in Scripture to ance (2 Peter 3:9).
consider ourselves as aliens, exiles, and strangers
who are just passing through this world (Hebrews A Spiritual Mirror
11:13 and 1 Peter 2:11). We are told to set our Paul provides us with a spiritual mirror for end time
minds on things above, not on the things that are on conduct. He says we are to deny ungodliness and
the earth (Colossians 3:2). And we are warned to worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and
never fall in love with the world or grow comfortable godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope
with it (Romans 12:2 and 1 John 2:15-16). In fact, and the appearing of the glory of our great God and
Jesus said we are to hate our life in this Savior, Christ Jesus (Titus 2:12-13).
world (John 12:25), and His brother, James, said When you look into this mirror, what do you see?
friendship with the world is hostility toward Are you walking in the center of Gods will? Have
God (James 4:4). you ordered your priorities to put God first? Are you
What does it mean to hate the world? It means we are standing on the Word of God, testing everything by
to hate the evil world system that prevails in society. it? Do you believe in a personal, caring and all-
We are to hate a system that glorifies violence and powerful God who hears prayers and answers pray-
immorality and which depreciates the value of life. ers, and who still performs miracles? Are you relying
As C. S. Lewis once put it, We are to live like com- daily on the power of the Holy Spirit? Are you prac-
mandos behind the enemy lines, preparing the way ticing tough faith, refusing to allow the calamities of
for the coming of the Commander-in-Chief. In other life to overwhelm you? Are you keeping an eternal
words, we are to live yearning for the day when Jesus perspective, refusing to get comfortable with this
will burst from the heavens to bring peace, righteous- world? And are you daily looking for Jesus? Is the
ness, and justice to the earth. Rapture in your heart? Is Maranatha! on your lips?
(A Raptureready.com Article)
8) Look for Jesus

Connie Woods Womens Ministries


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