Sunday Will Come

"Each of us will have our own Fridays—those days when the universe itself seems shattered and the shards of our world lie littered about us in pieces. . . . But I testify to you in the name of the One who conquered death—Sunday will come. In the darkness of our sorrow, Sunday will come. No matter our desperation, no matter our grief, Sunday will come. In this life or  he next, Sunday will come. . . . [T]he Resurrection is not a fable."  —Joseph B. Wirthlin

The Near-Death Experience of Howard Storm

Of the many near-death experiences I have heard or read, Howard Storm’s account is one of the most remarkable and memorable to me. In 1985, Howard was a hard-driving atheist who thought as he was preparing to die in a Paris hospital that it would be a “go to black” moment, the end of his existence. He was in for a delightful surprise, as are we all.

Howard changed careers after his experience, as many experiencers do: He got a theology degree and became a pastor.

Some of the things about Howard’s experience that really resonate with me:

  • His authenticity and vulnerability
  • How his ember of faith rescued him
  • His long interview with Jesus Christ
  • His impression that Jesus not only loved him but really liked him!
  • His many insights into other worlds, the next life, angels, and the other side of the veil

This interview is longer than most but worth the listen.

You can find his book, My Descent Into Death: A Second Chance at Life, here.

Our King

Adapted from the words of S. M. Lockeridge and Chuck Missler.

Our King is
the King of the Jews,
the King of Israel,
the King of righteousness
the King of all the ages,
the King of Heaven,
the King of Glory,
the King of Kings and
Lord of lords.

I wonder, do you know Him? Do you really?

Followers of Christ wave palm leaves as Jesus enters Jerusalem.

He was a prophet before Moses,
a priest after Melchizedek,
a champion like Joshua,
an offering in the place of Isaac,
a king from the line of David,
a wise counselor above Solomon,
a beloved, rejected, exalted son like Joseph.

The heavens declare His glory,
and the firmament His handiwork,
He who is, who was, who always will be,
the First and the Last,
the Alpha and Omega,
the Aleph and the Tau,
the first fruits of them that slept,
the “I AM that I AM,”
the voice out of the burning bush.

He is the Captain of the Lord’s host,
He is the conqueror of Jericho,
He is enduringly strong,
He is entirely sincere,
He is eternally steadfast,
He is immortally graceful,
He is imperially powerful,
He is impartially merciful.

He is the greatest phenomenon to ever
cross the horizon of this world.

In Him dwells the fullness of the Godhead,
our Kinsman-Redeemer,
our Avenger of Blood,
our City of Refuge,
our eternal High Priest,
our perennial prophet,
our reigning King.

He’s the loftiest idea in literature,
He’s the fundamental doctrine of theology,
He’s the supreme problem in higher criticism!
He’s the Miracle of the Ages,
the superlative of everything good.

We are the beneficiaries of His love letter,
written in blood on a wooden cross,
erected in Judea 2,000 years ago.
No means can measure the limits
of His limitless love.

He was crucified on a cross of wood,
yet He made the hill on which is stood.
By Him were all things made that were made, and
without Him was not anything made that was made,
and by Him all things hold together.

Jesus is nailed to the cross.

What held Him to that cross?
It wasn’t the nails!
It was His love for you and me.

He was born of a woman
so we could be born of God.
He humbled Himself
below all things
so we could be lifted up.
He became a servant
so we could be heirs with Him.
He suffered rejection
so we could become His friends.
He denied Himself
so we could freely receive all things.
He gave Himself
so He could bless us in every way.

He’s available to all,
to the tempted and the tried,
He blesses the young,
He cleanses the lepers,
He defends the feeble,
He delivers the captives,
He discharges the debtors,
He forgives the sinners.

He franchises the meek,
He guards the besieged,
He heals the sick,
He provides strength to the weak,
He regards the aged,
He rewards the diligent,
He serves the unfortunate,
He sympathizes and
He reaches down to save.

A portrayal of Christ's empty tomb after his resurrection.

His offices are manifold,
His reign is righteous,
His promises are sure,
His goodness is limitless,
His light is matchless,
His grace is sufficient,
His love never changes,
His mercy is everlasting,
His Word is more than enough,
His yoke is easy and His burden is light!

He’s indescribable,
He’s incomprehensible,
He’s irresistible, and
He’s invincible!

The heavens cannot contain Him
and man cannot explain Him,
The Pharisees couldn’t stand Him and
found they couldn’t stop Him.
Pilate couldn’t find fault with Him,
the witnesses couldn’t agree against Him.
Herod couldn’t kill him,
death couldn’t handle Him, and
the grave couldn’t hold him!

He has always been and always will be.
You can’t impeach Him and
He isn’t going to resign!
His name is above every name
and at the name of
Yeshua Mashiach
every knee shall bow and
every tongue confess
that Jesus Christ is Lord, who
reigns in power and glory,
forever and forever.
Amen and amen.

Mary Magdalene speaks with Christ after His Resurrection.

All images courtesy of Gospel Media © IRI.

Second Coming: We Are in Perilous Times

Nearly 2,000 years ago, the apostle Paul told us “that in the last days perilous times shall come” (2 Timothy 3:1). Other translations render the word perilous as times of stress, hard, grievous, dangerous, distressing, difficult, extremely fierce, terrible, terrifying, and violent. I think it’s evident to any watchful believer in Christ that we are in the last days and that we are currently living through “perilous times.”

Minneapolis, Minnesota, May 29, 2020 (Wiki Media Commons)

In his letter to fellow disciple Timothy, Paul went on to list what to look for in these times (see 2 Timothy 3:2–9). What we are seeing in on our city streets right now—vandalism, rioting, looting, violence, and murder, under the banner of a worthy cause—is a reflection of Paul’s list. We seem to be at a precipice.

The List

Let’s review that list. I’ll add synonyms from other translations (other than the King James version) and my own comments along the way. You can decide for yourself if you are a witness of prophetic times:

  • “For men shall be lovers of their own selves” — selfish, self-absorbed, self-centered, the opposite of the love Christ shows to us
  • “covetous” — obsessed lovers of money, desiring the rightful property or relationships of others
  • “boasters” — pretentious, haughty, stuck up, self-congratulating
  • “proud” — arrogant, not humble, swaggering, ignorant, unwise, self-deceived
  • “blasphemers” — abusive, mocking and speaking evil of sacred things and of God and His Son
  • “disobedient to parents” — not honoring or respectful of parents, disobeying “the first commandment with promise” (Ephesians 6:2)
  • “unthankful” — grumbling, murmuring, ungrateful, unappreciative, lacking self-reflection
  • “unholy” — cursed, crude, profane, willfully self-defiled, ungodly, knowingly walking away from God’s commandments
  • “without natural affection” — cold, unloving, uncaring, unkind, heartless, callous, inhuman, hardhearted
  • “trucebreakers” — promise breakers, implacable, unwilling to reconcile with others, unforgiving
  • “false accusers” — pointing fingers, shaming, accusing, slandering, gossiping, backbiting, lying about others, not taking responsibility for their actions but blaming others
  • “incontinent” — lacking self-control, giving in to pleasure, without restraint, intemperate, dissolute, profligate, unashamedly justifying their giving in to carnal desire
  • “fierce” — mean, untamed, angry, brutal, savage, violent, ruthless, unmerciful, unrelentingly cruel, acting like wild animals
  • “despisers of those that are good” — opposed to and hating those who are good or are trying to be good, calling evil good and good evil
  • “traitors” — without principle, treacherous, turncoats, turning against friends, family, commitments, and allegiances to God, faith, and country
  • “heady” — self-important, conceited, full of themselves, excessive claims about self
  • “highminded” — pretentious, exaggerated, intellectual mocking
  • “lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God” — self-indulgent, sensual, led away by a variety of lusts, preferring physical pleasure over loving, honoring, and serving their Creator
  • “having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof” — pretending to be holy, acting like followers of God or higher principles but denying, mocking, and abusing God’s power

Turn Away

Paul advises us “turn away” from such and tells that this “folly shall be manifest unto all men.” I believe Paul meant we should turn away from people who behave and live like this, but I also think it means we must turn away from all these evils ourselves. This isn’t about judging others; it’s about living for Christ.

Turning away, for me, includes turning off the popular media voices who want to flip our world upside down while claiming to be full of virtue. I believe among the politically righteous there are wolves in sheep’s clothing, matching Paul’s descriptions of self-congratulating end-times characters.

We are and have been misled and deceived on a massive scale. Could this current unrest—a good measure of which appears to be legitimate protests co-opted by more nefarious actors—be an attempt to distract a nation from what is really going on behind closed doors? I believe it is.

You may also like: “The Riots and the Danger of False Narratives” from Meridian Magazine online.

The Way Out

If we deny our Creator, we will remain “ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.” Always learning something new but forgetting God. Always seeking “the truth” but coming up unhappy and short. “These also resist the truth” because they are “men of corrupt minds, reprobate [lost] concerning the faith” of Christ.

Jesus said, “I am the way [and] the truth” (John 14:6). If we want to find the truth, we have to first find ourselves in Him. There is no other way. Any other path is a false path.

There is hope for all of us through Christ, through humility and faith on His name, the faith to exercise sincere repentance and obedience to Jesus Christ, our Lord, Savior, and God.

I invite you, plead with you, to turn or return your heart to Jesus Christ so you may be led away from the coming calamity. This is not doom and gloom: this is a way out.

Be safe and lean on Jesus. I promise to do my best to follow my own advice.

Spiritual Whirlwinds

This short video came out a few years ago. It was introduced to me tonight. I can’t believe I missed it, but I’m so glad I found it—or it found me. I love how everything changes when the young man, who could be any of us, takes upon himself the image of Christ.

And now behold, I ask of you, . . . have ye spiritually been born of God? Have ye received his image in your countenances? Have ye experienced this mighty change in your hearts? (Alma 5:14.)

I believe we were all destined, foreordained, and sealed to take on His image and likeness, if we are only willing.

For he knew all about us before we were born and he destined [Aramaic “sealed”] us from the beginning to share the likeness of his Son. This means the Son is the oldest among a vast family of brothers and sisters who will become just like him. (Romans 8:29, The Passion Translation.)

Favorite moments are at 1:49 and 1:58.

The Crucifixion of Jesus

Once again, here is another wonderful video from Messages of Christ. It helped me grasp and understand more about the crucifixion and death of our Savior. When I look at what our Lord suffered during the last hours of His life, it fills me with an awe and reverence that I can barely express to others.

Just considering what He actually did for us is more than I can bear yet the burden He bore is unimaginable.

To me, one of the most piercing verses of scriptures is found in 2 Peter:

For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty. (2 Peter 1:16.)

May we be eyewitness of His majesty this season.

The Anointing of Jesus

The New Testament gives several accounts of Jesus being anointed in the days prior to His death and Resurrection. John places an anointing six days before the Passover (see John 12:2–8) while Matthew and Mark place the event two days before (see Matthew 26:6–13 and Mark 14:3–9). There are similarities in the accounts but also distinct differences.

I have always thought they were two accounts of the same event, but this video opened my eyes. I am now reconsidering my assumptions. Always a healthy thing.