Is Pope Francis right that World War III started last night in Paris, November 13, 2015?

The Future Wars of the Nations (Part 2)

war


TEXT: Ezekiel 38:10-23

10 Thus saith the Lord GOD; It shall also come to pass, that at the same time shall things come into thy mind, and thou shalt think an evil thought:

11 And thou shalt say, I will go up to the land of unwalled villages; I will go to them that are at rest, that dwell safely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates,

12 To take a spoil, and to take a prey; to turn thine hand upon the desolate places that are now inhabited, and upon the people that are gathered out of the nations, which have gotten cattle and goods, that dwell in the midst of the land.

13 Sheba, and Dedan, and the merchants of Tarshish, with all the young lions thereof, shall say unto thee, Art thou come to take a spoil? hast thou gathered thy company to take a prey? to carry away silver and gold, to take away cattle and goods, to take a great spoil?

14 Therefore, son of man, prophesy and say unto Gog, Thus saith the Lord God; In that day when my people of Israel dwelleth safely, shalt thou not know it?

15 And thou shalt come from thy place out of the north parts, thou, and many people with thee, all of them riding upon horses, a great company, and a mighty army:

16 And thou shalt come up against my people of Israel, as a cloud to cover the land; it shall be in the latter days, and I will bring thee against my land, that the heathen may know me, when I shall be sanctified in thee, O Gog, before their eyes.

17 Thus saith the Lord God; Art thou he of whom I have spoken in old time by my servants the prophets of Israel, which prophesied in those days many years that I would bring thee against them?

18 And it shall come to pass at the same time when Gog shall come against the land of Israel, saith the Lord God, that my fury shall come up in my face.

19 For in my jealousy and in the fire of my wrath have I spoken, Surely in that day there shall be a great shaking in the land of Israel;

20 So that the fishes of the sea, and the fowls of the heaven, and the beasts of the field, and all creeping things that creep upon the earth, and all the men that are upon the face of the earth, shall shake at my presence, and the mountains shall be thrown down, and the steep places shall fall, and every wall shall fall to the ground.

21 And I will call for a sword against him throughout all my mountains, saith the Lord God: every man’s sword shall be against his brother.

22 And I will plead against him with pestilence and with blood; and I will rain upon him, and upon his bands, and upon the many people that are with him, an overflowing rain, and great hailstones, fire, and brimstone.

23 Thus will I magnify myself, and sanctify myself; and I will be known in the eyes of many nations, and they shall know that I am the Lord.

Is Pope Francis right that World War III started last night in Paris, November 13, 2015?

The Future Wars of the Nations (Part 2)

After the devastating terrorist attacks by ISIS in Paris, last night, November 13, 2015, a “date that will live in infamy”, the Pope, who is not infallible even though the Catholic Church thinks he is, may be off on his announcement that World War III started in Paris. But for sure, ISIS changed the game last night in Paris. For while President Obama, who is the leader of the free world, said on the same day that ISIS was contained, ISIS proved that they’re anything but contained. To say that this was a poor choice of words by President Obama is an understatement. I spoke more about President Obama’s handling of the war against ISIS in my message ‘President Obama, We are Pulling for You to Succeed Against ISIS, but God May Not Be with You.’ If you have not heard that message, you can listen to it on this site. By the way, it is reported that governmental officials and military leaders winced at that ill-advised statement. Sadly and unfortunately, ISIS has already decided to make the world their battlefield, not just a plot of land stretched across Syria and Iraq.

For those who do not know, the Caliphate which ISIS says they have established, is not just over Syria and Iraq, but wherever Muslims are in the world, which is nearly every nation in the world. They have made up their minds to take the war to the streets of Paris, London, Moscow, New York, Atlanta, Dallas, Los Angeles, and other points in between around the world, sending a deafening signal that this is not a game. And if it was a game in the civilized world’s mind, the game has changed. And while President Obama and other world leaders are insisting on not putting boots on the ground, ISIS is putting boots on the ground in all 50 states of America and every major city around the world. Although this may not be World War III yet, the game has changed for the rest of your lifetime in the sense that from this point forward, if our governmental leaders have any wisdom, you will start seeing military personnel, not just the police, walking in the streets with AK-47S and other weapons that can put a human being six feet under. With that said by way of introduction, allow me to continue my series on the The Future Wars of the Nations, Part 2, including the real World War III.

Jesus told us that “wars and rumors of wars” would abound in the end times. As we look at today’s headlines, there is never-ending talk of military tensions — in the Middle East, in Western Europe, and in the Asia-Pacific region. While many people are speculating about the outcome of the conflicts of our day, we can say that one thing is certain: all that is happening now is shaping up to align with the word of God and the predictions that God revealed to His prophets, such as Ezekiel, whose writings we are studying now.

In our last message, we began looking at the great Gog-Magog war of the end times. There has been increasing interest in this war because of the military conflicts and threats of conflict that are raging to the immediate north of Israel. Numerous factions, including Iran, Saudi Arabia, Russia, the United States, France, and Jordan, are engaged in Syria. Lebanon, also north of Israel, was attacked by ISIS this week; Israel reportedly carried out airstrikes near the Syrian capital of Damascus. And, further north, the nations of the NATO alliance are girding for a possible conflict with Russia.

The Bible predicts that a great confederation of nations will sweep down to attack Israel in the last days, most likely near the beginning of the seven-year Tribulation period after the false messiah, the antichrist, has signed a peace treaty with Israel. Some of the names mentioned by Ezekiel are easy to identify today — Iran, Sudan, and Libya. Others, such as Gog, Magog, Meshech, and Tubal, we believe are likely references to Russia and Turkey. As Dr. David Reagan summarizes, “This war will start when Russia invades Israel with certain specified allies, all of whom are Muslim nations today.”

Why does this confederation attack Israel? Obviously, the Muslim nations have been trying to push Israel out of existence for many years. That is one factor. When they ally themselves with Russia, they will think that they have a real chance at doing that.

The Bible hints at another motive for this war as well. Ezekiel writes, “And thou shalt say, I will go up to the land of unwalled villages… to take a spoil, and to take a prey; to turn thine hand upon the people that are gathered out of the nations, which have gotten cattle and goods, that dwell in the midst of the land… Art thou come to take a spoil? hast thou gathered thy company to take a prey? to carry away silver and gold, to take away cattle and goods, to take a great spoil?”

Notice the emphasis on taking spoil, prey, cattle, goods, silver, and gold. In other words, these nations will come against Israel, not just to destroy her, but to take what she has. Israel has been extremely blessed of God and will be even more blessed as time goes on. It is likely that these nations will grow jealous of Israel’s natural resources and conspire to take over the land. For Russia, oil may be the key factor. Oil was recently found in Israel’s territorial waters as well as in the Golan Heights, between Israel and Syria. In the next few years, Israel is poised to become energy independent and will be able to sell fuel to other nations. Arab countries, which are the world’s largest suppliers of crude oil, may want to cut off this threat to their monopoly on the oil market. Whatever the case, the goal of this anti-Israel war effort will not only be to destroy Israel, but to take control of Israel’s blessings.

As we touched on last week, God will not allow this effort to succeed. He will rise up and defend His people. In Ezekiel 38 we read, “And it shall come to pass at the same time when Gog shall come against the land of Israel, saith the Lord GOD, that my fury shall come up in my face. For in my jealousy and in the fire of my wrath have I spoken, Surely in that day there shall be a great shaking in the land of Israel… And I will plead against him with pestilence and with blood; and I will rain upon him, and upon his bands, and upon the many people that are with him, an overflowing rain, and great hailstones, fire, and brimstone. Thus will I magnify myself, and sanctify myself; and I will be known in the eyes of many nations, and they shall know that I am the LORD.”

Dr. David Reagan said, “The invading armies will be supernaturally destroyed by God ‘on the mountains of Israel.’ The Lord will accomplish this destruction through earthquakes, pestilence, hail storms, fire, brimstone, and battlefield confusion. Even the Jewish people will recognize that the victory belongs to the Lord, and many will open their hearts to the Lord. In fact, this event could mark the occasion when the 144,000 Jews of Revelation 7 accept Jesus as their Messiah and are sealed by the Lord for special service throughout the seven year period of the Tribulation.”

We are used to thinking of the miraculous military deliverance of Israel in Old Testament terms. However, God will make it known in the last days, during the great Gog-Magog war, that He is still looking out for His people. This deliverance will be a miracle on the scale of the Red Sea opening and Pharaoh’s army being destroyed or the angelic slaughter of the 185,000 Assyrian troops who laid siege to Jerusalem. God will show His glory and power to the heathen nations. Even though it will seem like the world is spinning out of control, God will show that He is the one who guides the destinies of every nation.

_________________

If you are with us today, and you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior, allow me to share with you how you can trust Him for salvation so that you can be ready for His return.

First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”

Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”

Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

Now that is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.

Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “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… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. I am sorry for my sins, and today I choose to turn from my sins. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. I trust Jesus Christ as my Savior and I choose to follow Him as Lord from this day forward. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.

If you just trusted Jesus Christ as your Saviour, and you prayed that prayer and meant it from your heart, I declare to you that based upon the Word of God, you are now saved from Hell and you are on your way to Heaven. Welcome to the family of God! Congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is receiving Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door.” Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”

God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.

Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in over twenty-five foreign countries. He is the author of over forty books. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry which publishes a monthly magazine called The Torch Leader. He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts/podcasts, which include: The Prayer Motivator Devotional, The Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report, the Second Coming Watch Update and the Soul-Winning Motivator, among others. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, a Master’s degree in Religion, a Master of Divinity degree, and a Master of Theology degree from Liberty University School of Divinity. He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica for over twenty-seven years. God has blessed their union with seven children. Find out more at www.danielwhyte3.com. Follow Daniel Whyte III on Twitter @prophetdaniel3 or on Facebook.

The Future Wars of the Nations (Part 1)

war


TEXT: Ezekiel 38:1-13

1 And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,

2 Son of man, set thy face against Gog, the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him,

3 And say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal:

4 And I will turn thee back, and put hooks into thy jaws, and I will bring thee forth, and all thine army, horses and horsemen, all of them clothed with all sorts of armour, even a great company with bucklers and shields, all of them handling swords:

5 Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya with them; all of them with shield and helmet:

6 Gomer, and all his bands; the house of Togarmah of the north quarters, and all his bands: and many people with thee.

7 Be thou prepared, and prepare for thyself, thou, and all thy company that are assembled unto thee, and be thou a guard unto them.

8 After many days thou shalt be visited: in the latter years thou shalt come into the land that is brought back from the sword, and is gathered out of many people, against the mountains of Israel, which have been always waste: but it is brought forth out of the nations, and they shall dwell safely all of them.

9 Thou shalt ascend and come like a storm, thou shalt be like a cloud to cover the land, thou, and all thy bands, and many people with thee.

10 Thus saith the Lord GOD; It shall also come to pass, that at the same time shall things come into thy mind, and thou shalt think an evil thought:

11 And thou shalt say, I will go up to the land of unwalled villages; I will go to them that are at rest, that dwell safely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates,

12 To take a spoil, and to take a prey; to turn thine hand upon the desolate places that are now inhabited, and upon the people that are gathered out of the nations, which have gotten cattle and goods, that dwell in the midst of the land.

13 Sheba, and Dedan, and the merchants of Tarshish, with all the young lions thereof, shall say unto thee, Art thou come to take a spoil? hast thou gathered thy company to take a prey? to carry away silver and gold, to take away cattle and goods, to take a great spoil?

The Future Wars of the Nations (Part 1)

Today, we are moving on to the next major phase of God’s dealings with the Gentiles in the end times. So far, we have looked at:

1. The Times of the Nations, in which we explored the present state of affairs in the world, the question of “Why do the heathen rage?”, and the current state of relations between Jews and Gentiles.

2. The Antichrist Spirit in the World Today, in which we dealt with Satan’s influence not only in the world, but in the church and how he is spreading the seeds that will lead to the rise of the antichrist in the end times.

3. The Antichrist Religion of the End Times, in which we looked at Revelation’s depiction of “Mystery Babylon” which will lead the world into false religion and false luxury during the Tribulation and will ultimately be destroyed.

Now we move into the geopolitical side of the events concerning the Gentile nations in the end times — particularly the wars of the nations. The Bible speaks of three major military conflicts surrounding the Tribulation period. We are going to begin looking at the first of these conflicts — an attack on Israel from enemies to her north. Some Bible scholars believe this attack will take place at the beginning of the Tribulation period; others say it will take place near the middle of the Tribulation period. Regarding the date of this battle, Dr. John Walvoord and Dr. Roy Zuck state: “It seems best to place Ezekiel’s battle of Gog and Magog in the Tribulation period. Other internal markers indicate that it should be placed in the first three and one-half years of the seven-year period. The attack will come when Israel is at peace. When Israel’s covenant with the Antichrist is in effect at the beginning of Daniel’s 70th Week, she will be at peace. The battle will possibly occur just before the midpoint of the seven- year period.”

Whatever the case, the only way to understand this war is to understand who will be fighting in it. And this passage in Ezekiel is replete with proper names of nations that we are not familiar with. Before we get into that, however, allow me to provide some perspective on this passage from Dr. John MacArthur. He said:

In the last phase of Gentile world government, there is going to be a revival of the Roman empire. In Daniel’s image, the final phase of the great image was the legs and the feet of iron and clay being mixed together. They were symbolic of Rome. The ten toes, the ten kings, and the ten horns all signify a ten nation confederacy. There will be one government governing all of Europe.

However, during the tribulation, a great power is going to sweep over and encompass the holy land. In fact, the great world leader who runs the revived Roman Empire, is going to make a covenant with Israel. He’ll say, “I’ll protect you and I’ll take care of you.” Under his leadership, he brings a false world peace. However, it only lasts for three and a half years — for half of the tribulation.

[The antichrist’s] power is going to be challenged. From that time on, all hell breaks loose. And it stays that way until Jesus returns. From that moment on, the big war machines begin to roll. The next thing you know, the north comes down and you’ve got world war in the land of Israel.

God gives Ezekiel a prophecy regarding his end-time attack on the nation of Israel. He says, “Son of man, set thy face against Gog, the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him.” Now these nations or people groups are not mentioned frequently in Scripture. They are not familiar to us like the Philistines or the Egyptians. On top of that, Ezekiel is using the terms of his day to relate to geopolitical realities that have yet to come about.

So, who are these nations and people whom Ezekiel is addressing in this prophecy?

Who is Gog? Gog is a proper name mentioned only once outside of Ezekiel in the Old Testament. In the New Testament, it is mentioned only in the book of Revelation. Scholars believe it is a proper name or title referring to a person. This “Gog” is the “chief prince of Meshech and Tubal”; his land or home country is called “Magog.” In fact, Magog means “land of Gog.” It is the mountainous region between Cappadocia in Turkey and the northwestern region of present day Iran. This area is, of course, north of Israel.

Next, Ezekiel calls out the names “Meshech and Tubal.” These have popularly been identified as the Russian cities, Moscow and Tobolsk. This perspective is further bolstered by the Hebrew word, “Ro’sh”, which is translated as “chief” in the King James Version but is used as a proper name Rosh in other translations. Dr. Walvoord and Dr. Zuck caution against the identification of these ancient names with modern-day Russia simply because they sound similar. However, they state that “three reasons suggest including the Soviet Union within Ezekiel’s prophecy: (1) Some of the countries named by Ezekiel were located in what is now Russia. (2) The armies are said to come “from the far north”. This probably includes the land bridge between the Black and Caspian Seas, now part of the Soviet Union. (3) Ezekiel spoke of a coalition of several nations, many of whom are today aligned with or under the influence of the Soviet Union. These include Iran (which the Bible calls “Persia”), Sudan and northern Ethiopia, Libya, and Turkey. All these nations, possibly led by the Soviet Union, will unite to attack Israel.” Mark Hitchcock said, “Near the end of the Tribulation, Russia and her allies will descend on the nation of Israel.”

As we look at the headlines today, we can readily see how these events are shaping up. In response to the recent events in the Middle East, Joel C. Rosenburg wrote, “The stunning move by Russia and Iran to intensify their military alliance and to actually engage in combat operations in Syria, not far from the borders of Israel, has prompted renewed interest in these ancient prophecies [regarding Gog and Magog].” Libya has become overrun by Islamic State jihadists and other Muslim extremist groups. Sudan is allied with Iran, and an Iranian warship docked in a Sudanese port a few months ago. Rosenburg also stated that the current Turkish president is positioning his country “as an enemy of Israel and an ally of Putin.”

Whatever form this anti-Israel strike force takes, God makes plain what His opinion of it is. He says in verse 2, “Behold, I am against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal: And I will turn thee back, and put hooks into thy jaws, and I will bring thee forth, and all thine army, horses and horsemen, all of them clothed with all sorts of armour, even a great company with bucklers and shields, all of them handling swords.”

Israel, today, is bristling with arms and weaponry. They are surrounded by hostile neighbors who continually make clear their hatred for the Jewish state and their desire to see her destroyed. However, in the end times the nation of Israel will be vulnerable after its agreement with the false messiah, the antichrist. Sensing Israel’s weakness, fueled by hatred, and perhaps inflamed with jealousy over the blessings bestowed on Israel, this vast northern confederacy will descend on the Jewish state intent on wiping her out once and for all. However, as He always has, God will step in and defend His people. He will use the attack from the north to demonstrate His power over the affairs of this world. Dark days will still be ahead for the Israelites in the end times, but their miraculous deliverance will serve to reassure them that there is still a God in Heaven who has not forsaken His promises to His chosen people.

_________________

If you are with us today, and you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior, allow me to share with you how you can trust Him for salvation so that you can be ready for His return.

First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”

Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”

Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

Now that is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.

Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “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… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. I am sorry for my sins, and today I choose to turn from my sins. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. I trust Jesus Christ as my Savior and I choose to follow Him as Lord from this day forward. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.

If you just trusted Jesus Christ as your Saviour, and you prayed that prayer and meant it from your heart, I declare to you that based upon the Word of God, you are now saved from Hell and you are on your way to Heaven. Welcome to the family of God! Congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is receiving Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door.” Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”

God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.

President Obama, We are Pulling for You to Succeed Against ISIS, but God May Not Be with You

President Obama
President Obama

TEXT: 1 Kings 22:13-18

13 And the messenger that was gone to call Mi-cai-ah spake unto him, saying, Behold now, the words of the prophets declare good unto the king with one mouth: let thy word, I pray thee, be like the word of one of them, and speak that which is good.

14 And Micaiah said, As the Lord liveth, what the Lord saith unto me, that will I speak.

15 So he came to the king. And the king said unto him, Micaiah, shall we go against Ramothgilead to battle, or shall we forbear? And he answered him, Go, and prosper: for the Lord shall deliver it into the hand of the king.

16 And the king said unto him, How many times shall I adjure thee that thou tell me nothing but that which is true in the name of the Lord?

17 And he said, I saw all Israel scattered upon the hills, as sheep that have not a shepherd: and the Lord said, These have no master: let them return every man to his house in peace.

18 And the king of Israel said unto Jehoshaphat, Did I not tell thee that he would prophesy no good concerning me, but evil?

During the Old Testament era in which God allowed judges and kings to rule His people, Israel, it was traditional for the king or military leader to enquire of the Lord before going to war. In response to such prayers, God would send one of His prophets to the kings and tell him yay or nay. Sometimes, the prophet would say something similar to, ‘Yes, you can go to war because the Lord is with you and you will be victorious.’ However, at other times, the prophet would say, ‘No, do not go to war because the Lord is not with you, and you will not be victorious.’ We see these types of scenarios in the lives of Moses, Joshua, David, Saul, Hezekiah, and the kings mentioned in the passage which we just read — Jehoshaphat, the king of Judah, and Ahab, the king of Israel.

In Exodus 33:15, when Moses is instructed by God regarding leading the children of Israel into the Promised Land, Moses tells God, “If thy presence go not with me, carry us not up hence.”

In 2 Samuel 5:18-19, when David was the king of Israel, we read: “The Philistines also came and spread themselves in the valley of Rephaim. And David enquired of the Lord, saying, Shall I go up to the Philistines? wilt thou deliver them into mine hand? And the Lord said unto David, Go up: for I will doubtless deliver the Philistines into thine hand.“

In Numbers 14, when the children of Israel prepared to take the Promised Land after their initial disobedience and refusal to do so, Moses tells them, “Wherefore now do ye transgress the commandment of the Lord? but it shall not prosper. Go not up, for the Lord is not among you; that ye be not smitten before your enemies. For the Amalekites and the Canaanites are there before you, and ye shall fall by the sword: because ye are turned away from the Lord, therefore the Lord will not be with you.”

In 1 Samuel 28, when Saul was faced with the Philistine army, the Bible reads, “And when Saul saw the host of the Philistines, he was afraid, and his heart greatly trembled. And when Saul enquired of the Lord, the Lord answered him not, neither by dreams, nor by prophets.”

Now, at the beginning of 1 Kings 22, we are informed that there were three years of peace between the kingdoms of Israel and Judah and Syria. However, in a previous war, the Syrians had seized the Israeli city called Ramoth-gilead. Israel had never retaken the city, and so Ahab, the king of Israel, goes to Jehoshaphat, the king of Judah, and proposes that they go to war together in order to take the city back from the Syrians. Jehoshaphat wisely suggests that they go to God before going to war. He tells Ahab, “Enquire, I pray thee, at the word of the Lord today.” So, King Ahab gathers 400 prophets and says, “Shall I go against Ramoth-gilead to battle, or shall I forbear? And they said, Go up; for the Lord shall deliver it into the hand of the king.”

To make a long story short, Jehoshaphat did not trust Ahab’s 400 prophets who claimed to speak the word of the Lord, so he asks for another prophet. King Ahab begrudgingly tells him that there indeed is another prophet in Israel, the prophet Micaiah, but says, “I hate him; for he doth not prophesy good concerning me, but evil.” Jehoshaphat has Ahab to call for him anyway, and that is where we come in to this passage today. Micaiah comes and delivers a message that is truly from the Lord, and, just as he suspected, it is not a message that Ahab likes. Ahab learns that although Jehoshaphat has agreed to go to war with him, and although 400 prophets have predicted that He will be victorious, the most important ally that he could have, and the only ally he really needs is not on his side. Micaiah delivers a message that is truly from God — that the joint armies of Israel and Judah will be defeated by the Syrians and scattered across the land.

In light of this background from Scripture, and in light of events that are going on in our world today, the Lord has given me a very specific message for such a time as this. As you know, President Obama announced this past week that he along with a coalition of European and Middle Eastern nations will be expanding the fight against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (also known as ISIS). I am led to say to President Obama that I support what you have chosen to do to combat the Islamic State which is slaughtering Christians and minorities indiscriminately in Syria and Iraq. Many Christians support you; the American people support you; it is the right thing to do. In fact, last week, I did a podcast showing the Biblical basis for such action against these evildoers.

Mr. President, let me say that I am a biblically conservative Christian and because of your position on homosexuality and abortion, I did not vote for you in either of the past presidential elections. However, as a biblical Christian, I could not vote for Romney last time either because of his Mormon cult religion that would not allow blacks into the priesthood for years. Plus, one of the first persons he hired on his staff was an openly homosexual individual. Also, I respect Dr. Ben Carson, however, based upon our Christian tradition of respecting governmental authority, I believe that he was disrespectful in using the National Prayer Breakfast to confront you. There are some things that I can commend you on. You seem to be a good husband and father. You appointed Dr. Suzan Johnson Cook as the international ambassador for religious freedom after urging from Christian groups; you have also recently appointed Rabbi David Saperstein to that position. I also commend you on allowing American doctors who were stricken with Ebola to come back to the country to be treated. And, I commend you on your program to help young black and Hispanic men, as long as you do not promote homosexuality.

However, I believe that God is leading me to say that He is not with you because of other things that you have done that are displeasing to Him — particularly what you have done to support and promote homosexuality, the homosexual agenda, and homosexual marriage in this country. I am afraid to say that although there is no reason why the United States and its allies should not prevail against the terrorists of the Islamic State, this could turn out to be another debacle in a long line of debacles that have happened throughout your presidency.

In fact, I believe that a part of the reason why the world is facing this crisis is because you have chosen to promote homosexuality in this country and around the world and you have chosen to not only support abortion, but to fund abortion through your signature healthcare program. You have committed moral atrocities by promoting the homosexual agenda at the United Nations, by withholding medical and financial aid to the people of Uganda when their government decided to enact laws punishing homosexual offenders, and by not taking the opportunity you had to solidify a measure that protects Christian organizations from being sued because they refuse to hire those whose lifestyles are contrary to the Bible.

As you already are well aware, the Islamic world sees America as “the Great Satan.” Part of this is because of America’s unyielding support of Israel. But another part of it is because of the immorality in this country. Although we claim to be a “Christian nation” much of what goes on in our society not only contradicts the Bible, but also contradicts the Muslim Quran, the Jewish Torah, and the Christian New Testament. When you publicly support homosexuality — something which is condemned by the Jewish faith, the Muslim faith, and the Christian faith, two of which you have ties to due to your upbringing — you only further entrench in the minds of many Muslims in the Middle East the view that America is the enemy. That is part of the reason why ISIS is beheading our citizens in Syria. They feel that they are doing the right thing (according to their holy book) by punishing our people whom they see as infidels, unbelievers, and apostates. Mr. President, the truth is many in the faith of Islam have lost all respect for you personally because of what you have done.

Some will recall that in 2007, the then-president of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, spoke at Columbia University in New York City and mocked Americans by saying, “In Iran, we don’t have homosexuals like you do in your country. In Iran, we do not have this phenomenon.” The more the president and others in our society promote this abomination, the more enmity will fester between the West and the Muslim world. The beheadings of Americans and Britons that we have seen is just the tip of the iceberg. The Islamic State is aiming for another 9/11. They have already declared that one day an Islamic flag will fly over the White House.

Although you naively and untruthfully suggested that the Islamic State is not Islamic, we cannot deny that the roots of this conflict are religious — even if the religious nature of the sides engaged in this fight can be traced back to the same figure — Abraham. In response to your comments, Dr. Albert Mohler, president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, stated: It is “an indisputable fact that the terrorist organizations that have most targeted the West, and the United States in particular, are specifically driven by an Islamic ideology and by the unquestioned ambition to further the reach of Islam not only throughout the Middle East but also in the rest of the world.”

Mr. President, the world will not be able to bear another defeat on your watch. What are some of those defeats?

  1. The complete pull-out from Iraq, which many believe was the wrong thing to do. In fact, what President Bush predicted would happen if we pulled out in 2007 is now happening. Bush said, “It would mean surrendering the future of Iraq to Al Qaeda. It would mean that we’d be risking mass killings on a horrific scale. It would mean we allow the terrorists to establish a safe haven in Iraq to replace the one they lost in Afghanistan. It would mean we’d be increasing the probability that American troops would have to return at some later date to confront an enemy that is even more dangerous.” That is precisely what we are doing today.
  2. The attack on the U.S. embassy in Benghazi, which left four U.S. officials dead.
  3. The current failure of the state of Libya despite your decision to militarily support rebels’ efforts to overthrow the government.
  4. The fall-out from Edward Snowden’s leaking of massive amounts of data concerning the U.S. National Security Agency’s surveillance and intelligence practices. Many now believe that America’s enemies, including ISIS, are using this information against us.
  5. Russia’s wrongful seizing of Crimea and its incursion into Ukraine, which led to the re-starting of Cold War tensions between the former Soviet Union and the United States.
  6. The ongoing U.S.-led nuclear talks with Iran, which have bore no fruit.
  7. The prisoner swap that the United States government made to bring Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl home in exchange for five Taliban leaders.

Mr. President, I say again, the world cannot bear another failure of foreign policy on your watch — much less a defeat at the hands of the ruthless Islamic State who will seize any chance they can to perpetrate terror against not only their own people, but against Israel, Europe, and the United States. More than ever, you need God on your side.

Now, as I close, I want to share briefly with you three steps on how this situation can be turned around for the good of President Obama, the United States, and the world.

1. Notice that God will sometimes not allow victory if there is sin in the camp. Throughout Scripture, we see that many of the military victories of the Israelites were directly tied to the spiritual condition of the nation. Often, God would allow the king to be defeated at the hands of his enemies because of his own disobedience. King Saul is an example of that. He would not submit to the Lord and to the Prophet Samuel, and God allowed him to suffer defeat repeatedly at the hands of the Philistines before he killed himself in battle.

Another example of that is Joshua at Ai. When the Israelites were defeated at Ai, God informed Joshua that it was because someone in the Israelite camp had sinned. As soon as Joshua dealt with the sin and the sinner, the Israelites were victorious over their enemies.

2. Notice that God’s approval is necessary for victory. Right now, President Obama has the secretary of state flying around the Middle East seeking promises of support from Arab nations in the region. However, I want to remind the president of Solomon’s words in Proverbs 21:31: “The horse is prepared against the day of battle: but safety is of the Lord.” In other words, you can have all the king’s horses, and all the king’s men, but if God is not on your side, you will not win. Or, as the Prophet Isaiah puts it: “Woe to them that go down to Egypt for help; and stay on horses, and trust in chariots, because they are many; and in horsemen, because they are very strong; but they look not unto the Holy One of Israel, neither seek the LORD.” Mr. President, I encourage you to follow the example of King Jehoshaphat and seek the Lord before you go to battle.

3. Notice that repentance is the only way to true blessing. Right now, America has many needs. Not only do we need victory over ISIS in the Middle East, but we need economic and financial stability here at home. The government is coming up with all kinds of plans. Politicians are making all kinds of promises. But all of it is futile if we continue on the path of spiritual and moral decline.

We don’t need another plan or another promise. What we really need in this nation is repentance. President Obama needs to repent of promoting homosexuality, the homosexual agenda, and homosexual marriage. Others in this nation need to do the same. All of us, Christians included, need to repent of our sins and our lack of trust in God. We need to turn back to God and turn back to the spiritual principles of the Bible and the moral principles that are not only in the Bible, but are also in the Torah and the Quran.

When we turn from our wicked ways and seek God’s face, we can be assured that God will be on our side because we are on His side. As Psalm 37:39 says, “The salvation of the righteous comes from the LORD; he is their stronghold in time of trouble.”

________

For those of you who are listening who do not know Jesus Christ as their Savior, allow me to share with you how you can get to know Him today.

First, please understand that you are a sinner, just as I am, and that you have broken God’s laws. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” Please understand that because of your sins, you deserve eternal punishment in hell. Romans 6:23 says “the wages of sin is death…This is both physical death and spiritual death in hell. That is the bad news.

But here is the good news. John 3:16 says “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. I am sorry for my sins, and I want to turn from my sins. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. I trust Jesus as my Savior and I choose to follow Him as Lord from this day forward. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.

If you just trusted Jesus Christ as your Saviour, and you prayed that prayer and meant it from your heart, I declare to you that based upon the Word of God, you are now saved from Hell and you are on your way to Heaven. Welcome to the family of God! I want to congratulate you on doing the most important thing in life and that is receiving Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door.” Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”

God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.

GLMX #204: Malaysia Airlines Flight 17: If You Were to Die Today, Where Would You Go — Heaven or Hell?

Malaysia Airlines Flight 17
Malaysia Airlines Flight 17

It was like deja vu.

Another Malaysia Airlines flight mysteriously vanishing from the sky.

Scores of people dead in an instant.

Government leaders and aviation experts scrambling for answers.

Hundreds of families and friends grieving for their loved ones.

The world in shock once again.

Nothing could have prepared the world for what happened on Thursday, July 17, 2014. A passenger airplane, carrying 298 people, was shot out of the sky as it flew over a war zone in eastern Ukraine. Residents of a Ukrainian village reported debris and corpses falling out of the sky — one woman said a body fell through her roof, another body fell into a neighbor’s garden. Hundreds of bodies fell into the wheat fields around the village.

Just as it seemed the world was recovering from the shock of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 — where 239 people were lost forever after a plane inexplicably vanished somewhere — another tragedy eerily reminiscent of the first re-opened worries, fears, and feelings of helplessness. The shock of this unexpected occurrence, which left families around the world from Australia to the Netherlands to the United States mourning the loss of their loved ones, reminds us of the fact that we can be here today and gone tomorrow. Or, more accurately in this case, here one minute and gone the next.

In times like these, we should call to mind the Bible’s words in James 4:14: “Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.”

As King David prayed in Psalm 39:4: “LORD, make me to know mine end, and the measure of my days, what it is; that I may know how frail I am.”

This event reminds us that our lives are no more valuable than the lives of those lost on Malaysia Airlines Flight 17. We are just as fragile. We, too, can be here one moment and gone the next. We can pass from life to eternity in an instant because of some unexpected, tragic event that is totally beyond our control. Such events remind us that we need to be ready for death and for what comes after death: a meeting with God, our Creator, and the beginning of life in an eternal destination.

MUSICAL SELECTION: “Blink” by Revive

GLMX #190: Cold War

temple-curtaintorn

Over the past few weeks, as the world watched the tense situation in Ukraine, numerous analysts, experts, officials, and politicians likened the divide between Russia and Western nations to the conditions of the Cold War. After World War II, Russia and the USSR maintained a long period of conflict with the United States and European nations. During this time, there was not an all-out war between the two blocs, but both sides built up military capabilities and tried to undermine the other side in numerous ways including through economic sanctions, propaganda, and espionage. For many years, the Iron Curtain divided these two sides ideologically — on the Eastern side were nations under Communist control, and on the Western side were free countries under democratic governments.

In the late 1980s, a wave of change began to sweep across the European continent and culminated with the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989.

The conditions of the Cold War are a compelling metaphor for the division that exists between sinful men and a holy God. God wants to have a good relationship with all people. He wants to be on friendly and peaceful terms with us. However, sin rises between us and God like an iron curtain shutting us off from God’s blessings. Foolishly, many people cling to their sin. They know that they should get right with God, but they don’t want to give up the way they have been living, so a separation between them and God continues. One day, if things are not made right, the separation will be permanent, and that poor soul will never have another chance to get right with God.

Because God loves us and does not want us to be separated from Him forever, He took the first step in tearing down the wall between us and Him. John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” God sent His Son Jesus Christ to earth to die on the cross for our sins — taking the punishment that we deserve — so that we would have the opportunity to believe in Christ, have our sins washed away, and have a relationship with God. Ephesians 2 says, “Now in Christ Jesus, ye who once were far off have been brought nigh by the blood of Christ. For He is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us.” For each of those who have chosen to trust Jesus Christ as their Savior, this passage goes on to say, “Now therefore, ye are strangers and foreigners no more, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God.”

Hundreds of years ago, in the Jewish temple, there was a thick curtain that hung in front of a space referred to as the Holy of Holies. This space represented the presence of God among His people. However, the thick curtain represented the separation between humans and God. The Bible tells us that when Jesus died on the cross, there was a great earthquake, and the curtain in the Temple ripped in half from top to bottom. The tearing of the curtain showed that there did not have to be any more separation between man and God. Through Jesus Christ, anyone can approach God and receive forgiveness, salvation, and eternal life.

+ Plus, listen to Newsboys singing “Restart”

Freestyle Skier, David Wise, Wants to Show People that ‘God Created Us All With the Potential to Enjoy His World’ (Gospel Light Minute #138)

David Wise
David Wise

He is an American freestyle skier. He won the gold medal at the Winter X Games #16 in the SuperPipe in 2012, 2013, and 2014. He also won gold at the 2013 FIS Freestyle World Ski Championships. Most recently, at 23-years-old, he went to the winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, and returned home with a gold medal in Men’s Halfpipe.

He became a Christian as a teenager and his faith is an important part of how he sees himself as a competitor and athlete. He said, “For me, if you’re going to go so far as to believe something, then it really should be a big part of whom you are. So, whenever I’m out there skiing, I try to be the same person as a skier as I am in church on Sundays. I try to be the same in everything that I do. I really feel blessed and fortunate to be a part of such a cool sport.” He added that his dream is to “take what I love to do and inspire other people…Show people that the world is beautiful. Yes, there’s ugliness mixed in, but God created us all with the potential of enjoying this place.”

He and his wife run the youth group at their church in Nevada and he said he could even see himself as “a pastor of a church at some point.” “If that’s the way it works out, or if that’s God’s plan for my life, then that’s something I’d be totally okay with, but if not, then I’ll do whatever else comes.” In the meantime, he runs a non-profit fund called the Clean Water Project, which aims to provide clean drinking water to people in Malawi.

His name is David Wise.

Olympic Speedskater Jilleanne Rookard: Christ Gives her ‘Courage to Chase a God-Sized Dream’ (Gospel Light Minute #137)

Jilleanne Rookard
Jilleanne Rookard

She is an American speed skater who has competed in the sport since 2006. She was named to the U.S. team for the 2010 Winter Olympics and reached 12th place in the 3000 meter competition and 8th place in the 5000 meter competition. She won the 3,000-meter women’s speedskating event at the Olympic Trials in Salt Lake City, Utah, on December 27, 2013. She is currently competing with the U.S. Olympic team in Sochi, Russia, at the 2014 Winter Olympics.

When she started training for the Olympics in 2006, she had every reason to give up. For two years, she had to search for the right coach, had very little financial support, and had to work to pay for groceries, rent, and coaching. On top of that, her father passed away in 2001, and her mother began undergoing chemo treatments before passing away soon after. Many people around her expected her to quit and give up on her dreams, but she had her faith in God to rely on.

She said, “I had accepted Christ just before I made the decision to train for the Olympics in ice speed skating in 2006. I was training at a gym and I started pouring out some of my troubles to a woman. Without hesitation, she asked me if I would like to pray. We prayed right then and there on the floor at the gym. I said yes, and that is when the magic started to happen. It goes to show that God is everywhere! God is on the floor of my local gym and He is in my bedroom at 3 a.m. when I am pouring my life out to Him!”

Her faith is a source of strength and inspiration for the times when she feels like giving up. She said, “it was strange that God didn’t solve all of my problems. But it seemed as though He was giving me the strength to handle more!” She had to remind herself every day why she was pursuing her dream. She told herself that whether she succeeded or failed, she would learn something. She said, “I realize that it’s not about me at all. It’s about finishing what I started… I’ve just kept growing since the time I accepted Christ, and it’s not anything sudden. I realize now that I’m never going to stop learning.” She thanks God every day for the lessons He has taught her in her journey. Even with the risks of moving, training, and uncertain outcomes, she says there is one thing she has learned, and that is: “Success is not defined by the outcome, but by the courage it takes to chase God-sized dreams.”

Her name is Jilleanne Rookard.

Bobsledder Elana Meyers: Win or Lose, ‘I’m in this Sport to Glorify God’ (Gospel Light Minute with Daniel Whyte III)

Elana Meyers
Elana Meyers

She is an American bobsledder who has competed in the sport since 2007. She won the silver in the bobsled two-woman event with Shauna Rohbock at the 2009 FIBT World Championships in Lake Placid, New York. Named to the U.S. team in 2010, she along with Erin Pac won the bronze medal at the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver. In 2013, she and brake-woman Katie Eberling won the silver at the FIBT World Championships in St. Moritz. She is currently competing in the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

Though she always dreamed of being an Olympian, it wasn’t an easy road to get there. Before taking up bobsledding, she was the first softball recruit at George Washington University and quickly set nearly every offensive record. However, she said, “My sophomore year, our softball team was doing really badly and our season ended up getting canceled. So, that being the center of my life, I got really depressed. I didn’t know what to do and I didn’t know what my purpose was. I just started researching religions. Something inside of me told me I needed more than this.” While reading a book about spiritual things over Christmas break, she became overwhelmed with emotion, and said of that time, “It hit me that Jesus is the way. I can’t explain it by anything other than that. It was so strong and powerful; I knew that I needed to change my life.” When she returned to George Washington University, she began to understand what it means to be a Christ-follower. She joined Athletes in Action, began studying the Word, and growing in her faith.

In 2003, she was invited to try out for the 2004 Olympic softball team but the experience did not go well; she says she “crashed and burned.” After retiring in 2007, she took up bobsledding and she has worked hard to become one of the top female bobsledders in the country. After winning the bronze in 2010, she said, “To walk away with a medal was the accomplishment of a lifelong dream. It’s hard to put into words how incredible that experience was. That’s one of those moments when you know how real God is. I think I won that medal to glorify Him. One of the big reasons I was put in bobsled is to help people not only reach their goals, but come to Christ. God put me here for a specific reason and I don’t think it’s just to win medals. At the end of the day, I’m in this sport to glorify God, so if that means I come in last place or I win the gold medal, that’s what I’m going to do.”

Her name is Elana Meyers.

GLMX #183: Perfection on Ice

perfectiononice

The 2014 Winter Games are underway in Sochi, Russia, right now. All of the competitions are exciting and thrilling. But one of the competitions that is not only exciting and thrilling, but completely beautiful to watch, is speed skating.

The precision and grace of the sport often leave us in awe of those who take to the ice to master it. While those who compete on the Olympic level make it look easy, many years of hard work, training, and discipline are behind the few minutes of perfection on ice that make up a competition that is incredibly inspiring to watch.

Each of us strive for perfection in some area of our lives. Students desire perfect grades, moms and dads want to be perfect parents, and businesspeople want profit trajectories to consistently go up. Even though we may obtain something close to perfection in one or more of these areas in our lives, there is one area in which we will always fall short — and that is the area of moral behavior. Even the most disciplined person who strives to do what is right in every situation will often stumble in sin and immorality. As the Bible says, “there is none righteous, no, not one.”

We may see our sins as small infractions, but we shouldn’t. The reason why is because even the smallest of infractions is all it takes to separate us from our Creator who demands perfection from his creation. Yes, God’s requirement is that you and I be perfect in order to fellowship with Him.

“That’s impossible!” you say. “Everybody makes mistakes sometimes.”

Yes, everybody does make mistakes — even speed skaters. All of us, at some point in our lives, have sinned. In fact the Bible says, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” This means that we cannot have the fellowship with God that we would like to have. This also means that we are destined for eternal punishment and separation from God in an awful place called Hell.

All is not lost, however! The good news is that our Creator made a way for us — yes, us with all of our imperfections — to still have a relationship with Him. He did this by sending His perfect Son, Jesus Christ, into the world to take upon Himself the punishment that we deserved for our sins. Romans 5:8 says, “But God commendeth (or showed) his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” For a moment in time, God turned his back on His own Son and poured out His wrath on Him so that we could be eternally saved. It was the perfect sacrifice.

MUSICAL SELECTION:”Perfect People” by Natalie Grant

GLMX #133: The Meteorite that Shook the World

An asteroid zips past earth.
An asteroid zips past earth.

In 1977 Steven Spielberg released a science-fiction movie titled “Close Encounters of the Third Kind.” The movie was extremely popular and made over $337 million worldwide. It tells the story of Roy Neary, an Indiana electrician, and others who have “close encounters” with objects or beings from outer space. Astronomer J. Allen Hynek popularized the term “close encounter.” A close encounter is the sighting of or contact with such an object or being. In the film, some of the characters were kidnapped by aliens, which caused tremendous grief to their families. Because of their experiences, these characters became convinced that there is more to the universe than we know, and that sometimes, whatever else is out there can be quite dangerous.

This past week, we, too, were also reminded that the universe is a dangerous place. In Russia, many people experienced a “close encounter” with an object from outer space when an unpredicted and unexpected meteorite weighing ten tons and traveling faster than the speed of light crashed through earth’s atmosphere creating a sonic boom that damaged some structures and shattered glass windows across a vast area. Over 1,000 people were injured from the event.

Additionally, astronomers also tracked an asteroid which zipped past our planet a mere 17,000 miles away — that’s closer than many satellites which men have put in orbit. Scientists say that the chances of a meteor hitting earth and an asteroid nearly hitting earth on the same day are one in 100 million. Yet, they both happened this past Friday.

These “close encounters” serve to remind us of just how vulnerable we are in the universe. Many scientists believe that a huge meteor that struck near what is today the Gulf of Mexico is the reason why the dinosaurs became extinct. And many others say that it is just a matter of time before such an event happens again — causing major loss of life and major environmental changes for the earth. In fact, the Bible speaks of stars falling from the sky and striking earth during the end times.

No matter what happens to the earth, we do not have to fear such an event if we know what will happen to us when we die. We do not have to worry if we are depending on the one who owns the earth and the entire universe.

Psalm 24:1 says, “The earth is the Lord’s, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein.” This verse tells us that not only does the earth and everything in it belong to God, but you belong to God as well. God loves you and cares about you. He wants you to go to Heaven to be with him after you die. Because of this great love, he sent his Son, Jesus Christ, to earth to die on the cross for your sins. Your sins are the bad, wrong things that you do, and those things are what will cause you to be eternally separated from God in a place called hell after you die. However, John 3:16 tells us that “God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” If you trust in Jesus Christ and His saving work on the cross, you will not perish in Hell, but you will have everlasting life in Heaven with God.

+ Plus, listen to Newsboys singing “In the Hands of God”