“VICTIMS OR VICTORS?”
Over the past several years, we’ve watched in dismay many decisions go against Christians in the courts and legislatures of our states and country. We may feel as if, somehow, these grave miscarriages of justice are indicative of some master plan to disenfranchise those of us who truly believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. Then, there are those who have chosen to believe that this is just an anomaly and with the
election of a new president and congress, things will get back on the right path again. I thought it might be instructive to see if the Bible has anything to say about what’s going on in our country and, more broadly, on the world stage today.
As you may imagine, the word of God is absolutely light years ahead of modern technology, science and intelligence in mapping out what was, is and will be unfolding on earth in the days, weeks, months, and years to come. Let’s take a look at what has happened in the Middle East within the past three years.
First, the majority of the nations within the European Union have castigated Israel and boycotted many products produced there. These actions have placed an economic burden on the nation and people of Israel. Second, the Palestinian flag—the flag of a country that doesn’t exist—has now been raised among the flags of the United Nations. It is symbolic of the acceptance of terrorists within the framework of the global community. Third, Russia has established naval and air force bases in Syria, within easy striking distance of Jerusalem, with, until just recently, no real resistance from our country or the United Nations. These moves are not random but part of a well-executed plan to, not only influence, but control the course of events in the region for years to come. Forth—but certainly not least—the rise of the ugly head of rogue states (Iran and N. Korea) with nuclear capability.
Indeed, the prophet Ezekiel wrote about these very events 2,500 years ago. Chapters 38 and 39 explain, in vivid detail, exactly how all of this will unfold and the reasons behind the moves that are being made by the various nations in the region of the Middle East and beyond. Can you imagine the audacity of someone, even one year ago, trying to predict the events which we’ve watched take place within that period of time? Who would have believed Donald Trump would be sitting in the White House a month and a week before election day one year ago? But, the Bible gives us accurate detail and complete clarity concerning every aspect of what is happening in the world right this instant! It’s amazing.
The present day negative focus on Christians is also clearly foretold in Matthew 24, Mark 13 and Luke 21. We are told by Jesus himself to expect the world to turn on us as “the time of the end” approaches. Are we, as Christians, prepared for the inevitable collapse of our society, constitutional government and way of life? The events we are witnessing in other parts of the world could easily be on our doorsteps very soon.
Why am I bringing all of this, not so good, news to your attention right now? It is not my intention to scare you or project a false sense of fear or foreboding into your lives. What I’m trying to express is my overwhelming sense of excitement and anticipation that Jesus is coming again, very soon. If that is true, even if things get darker and the world seems more dangerous, we are not to consider ourselves victims, but rather, victors. Do you feel like a victim today? It’s a question we should all ask ourselves. Satan is a master at portraying Christianity as a losing proposition that only naïve, unsophisticated individuals would ever consider. Those who are “in the know” can see right through the “holy roller” mentality and don’t want anything to do with it. The world, with Satan’s direction, has put into place a literal cornucopia of diversions to keep people as far away from the gospel of Christ as possible. Yes, as we look at what’s happening in the world today, things look bleak, depressing and dangerous. God’s word tells us, however, that we who know Jesus as our Savior are in a very special place—the palm of His hand. Just look what the Bible tells us in the book of Romans, chapter 8, starting with verse 35: “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or peril, or sword? As it is written: “For Your sake we are killed all day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.” Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
So you see, my friends, no matter what the world may say or do, we are safe and secure in the arms of God, now and forever more. You are the victors, not the victims!
Evangel Home of Fresno held their Annual Fall Banquet, “A Night At The Movies” at Tornino’s in Fresno to a packed crowd of donors, volunteers and supporters. Three residents of Evangel Home gave their testimony to the power and love of God and the staff at Evangel Home in changing their lives forever, further justifying the need for such worthy mission ministries in our communities … The Christians in Action Gala Dinner celebrated their 60th Anniversary at Tornino’s and presented many dramatic and inspiring stories of missionaries from around the world continuing to spread the gospel and love of Christ and helping to plant churches to continue the ministry, knowing the reward is great … Bless the Lord in his wisdom and grace … Our annual Baptism Service was held at Hume Lake to celebrate and welcome Caleb Ahumada, Wendy Ahumada, Jeannine Hayes, Jonathan Lovewell, Lee McComb, Rick McComb and Judy Wolfe to the family of God. Their baptism declared their faith, shared Christ’s burial and resurrection, symbolized death to their old life and announced their new life in Christ. We gathered with them to celebrate and enjoy a picnic and fellowship in the pines on a beautiful sunny day. God was truly good to us … Autumn signaled the end of a long, often very hot summer and the beginning of cooler nights, shorter days, and the promise of the lovely golden hues of autumn, and of course the beginning of a very busy season for our little church on the hill … A big thank you to Donna Stieber for agreeing to offer her home for our Helping Hands Potluck and Meeting on the 12th, since the Social Hall kitchen was still under renovation with the installation of brand new flooring and new commercial cook stove and ovens … Our AWANA Club meeting kickoff for the new school year was held on the 19th with some bright and shiny faces eager to hear the good word that Jesus loves them and anxious to hear what fun times Lesley Davison and her volunteer leaders and helpers have in store for the youth this year. Those who gathered that night were able to enjoy the new kitchen renovations … The kickoff for the Hilltop Chapel Operation Christian Child gift shoebox will be held October 1st, with shoeboxes, videos, literature, and information available. Learn how you can change the life of a child, that child’s family, and their community. This mission field brings joy and hope to children in desperate situations around the world through gift-filled shoeboxes and the Good News of God’s love. We look forward to an active and lively participation in this worthy ministry supported by Franklin Graham and Samaritan’s Purse … Remember, October is NATIONAL PASTOR APPRECIATION MONTH. Show your Pastor how much you appreciate everything he does for our church, the congregation and the community … Our annual Harvest Dinner & Auction will be held on Sunday, October 15th in the Fellowship Hall so be saving those special made-with-love items and unwanted gently used items for our Auction. Drop-off for these items will be at Hilltop Chapel on Wednesday, 10/11/17, from 5:30-7 PM and on Friday, 10/13/17, from noon until 5 PM ... Bless our Schools Sunday was celebrated on the 17th with prayer. One of the favorite hymns for moms on the first day of school would be “Peace, Blessed Peace” … Remember to always trust in God, but lock your car and your house … Favorite hymns for HD TV watchers: “All things Bright and Beautiful.”