Christians Responding to a Threat

Christians Responding to a Threat

Defense

All images pixabay com unless stated otherwise

Threat: What is a threat?
What Kind of threat? Does it matter?  Yes.
Let us see what the Bible tells us:

Romans 12:17 ESV 

Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all.
Christ Pays for Our Sin – images from pixabay.com

After King Saul became obsessed with killing David there were times when David could have killed King Saul but did not.
READ:  1 Samuel 24 New International Version (NIV)

“. . . . ’” Then David crept up unnoticed and cut off a corner of Saul’s robe.”

David could have killed King Saul who was a sever threat but did not.

Ageless Sword Protection

Jesus told Peter to put away his sword in the Garden of Gethsemane when Judas betrayed Him and He was about to be lead away.

John 18:11 ESV

So Jesus said to Peter, “Put your sword into its sheath; shall I not drink the cup that the Father has given me?”

 
 
What about threats to you and your family?
Bandit
Bully

Exodus 22:2-3 ESV

If a thief is found breaking in and is struck so that he dies, there shall be no bloodguilt for him, but if the sun has risen on him, there shall be bloodguilt for him. He shall surely pay. If he has nothing, then he shall be sold for his theft.

Much more to learn: Do not Murder; God may be the avenger; Jesus advocates turning the other cheek in some cases . . . 

A Biblical Argument for Self Defense: Wayne Grudem

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zSvm0sQ8BAw

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​​Live or Archived Sermons (to learn  from):

Audio Sermons too Learn by:Christ Is Enough – Hillsong Worship​_

 

Evil Redux

Evil Redux

About Evil – image pixabay.com
Evil Personified – image pixabay.com

Yes I wrote about evil before however, I thought it worthwhile to reiterate aspects of this seemingly ubiquitous aspect of life. If we just focus on The Ten Commandments and select those that instill an immediate threat to humans we should gain a bit more insight concerning evil. So, if I avoid debating social or cultural dilemmas head on cool heads may allow why sin is the source of evil. When GOD created the Heavenly Hosts they misused their Free Will as humans eventually had done later on when they were created. Satan and his demonic supporters fell from grace and influenced, and still influence, humanity: tempting us to give in to our sin nature thus perpetuating the influences of evil upon our world.

Isaiah 5:20 ESV

Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter! Self defense,  defending good, defending your family may lead to killing because there is little choice; possibly self sacrifice if it can do good is possible, but:

Ten Commandments – images from pixabay.com

Exodus 20:13 ESV

“You shall not murder.

Rather than go through every possibility in a short blog I will point out how  two more sins cause evil to linger on the Earth.

1. Untruth: lies, omission, deception, manipulation . . . These cause the innocent harm; rob the innocent of what is theirs; encourages and enables a perpetrator to continue in these sinful ways.   2. Greed: How much does a person really need of anything? If a selfish person acts greedily innocent people loose out: food, clothing, healthcare, . . . . . employment doing honorable work.  

Left Out of Prosperity – image pixabay.com
There is no such thing as a victimless crime according to the Laws of GOD. Jesus paid for sin and fulfilled the penalty for sinning but He did not do away with GOD’s standards and definition for sin.
Our Hope – image pixabay.com
Accept Jesus’ sacrifice and gain eternal life.

SONG: I WILL FEAR NO EVIL / Worship Song by Pastor Daryl K Williams

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o8ChhXg8E-k  


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Free Will

Is Free Will an Illusion?

Fork in the Road 2 – image pixabay.com

We go about our lives thinking we are deciding what to do, where and when to go; what to eat; who to marry; what job to take. Yet when any of these decisions turn out negative our minds may go into overdrive attempting to figure out what happened (a consequence of free will?). Philosophers have wrestled with this question for a long time and I myself confronted baffling outcomes to my choices. First, GOD blessed us with free will and had also blessed the angles with free will resulting in some rebelling introducing evil to creation.  

2 Peter 2:4 ESV

For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to chains of gloomy darkness to be kept until the judgment;

God does not allow Satan (a fallen angel) free reign:

Job 2:3 ESV

Satan
Rare Book Division, The New York Public Library. “Then Los & Enitharmon knew that Satan: is Urizen.” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed April 26, 2019. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47db-b5e1-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99

And the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, who fears God and turns away from evil? He still holds fast his integrity, although you incited me against him to destroy him without reason.”

If you read Job you will see a great struggle because with permission Satan tormented Job and still he held up to the onslaught.  

Job:
The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Print Collection, The New York Public Library. “Job Conversing with His Friends” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed April 26, 2019. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/c26b7a20-64a3-0133-111b-00505686a51c


 



 

 

 

 

 


I Surrender – Hillsong Worship

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s7jXASBWwwI


Job 42:16 ESV

And after this Job lived 140 years, and saw his sons, and his sons’ sons, four generations.

Bottom line: GOD gave free will because when we choose GOD it is on our own accord not a forced choice.

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Do Not Hold a Grudge

unfortunately religion often is at the root of human conflict (wars and the violation of human rights)

The Bible in Your Language: https://www.twr360.org/

Support Christians under persecution: https://www.persecution.com/

No Borders Visible Here– images from pixabay.com
How can these believers in religions that worship a loving God allow this to happen? Take the Balkan Peninsula of Southeastern Europe for example:

” The places of lowest religious concentration were Slovenia 65.4%, Serbia with 63.7% and Croatia with 63.6%. Religious differences between Orthodox Serbs, Catholic Croats, Muslim Bosniaks and Albanians alongside the rise of nationalism contributed to the collapse of Yugoslavia in 1991.” https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yugoslavia

Countless peoples around the world have scores to settle with neighbors, some hundreds of years old. Sad to say even Christians can be found in this group.

Old Scores – images from pixabay.com

One of these conflicts became bloody several times within my lifetime: The Northern Ireland Conflict 1968-1998 – An Overview “… Another angle of the conflict was sectarian or communal violence between the majority unionist or loyalist Protestant population and the minority Catholic or nationalist one. …”http://www.theirishstory.com/2015/02/09/the-northern-ireland-conflict-1968-1998-an-overview/#.XJFDNoUnbno

Still Fighting – images from pixabay.com
Before you start judging who is more just, I want you to see how even the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ can bring a peaceful time even in the most dire of circumstances: Global war

“During World War I, on and around Christmas Day 1914, the sounds of rifles firing and shells exploding faded in a number of places along the Western Front in favor of holiday celebrations in the trenches and gestures of goodwill between enemies.” https://www.history.com/topics/world-war-i/christmas-truce-of-1914


CLIP: Christmas Truce of 1914, World War I – For Sharing, For Peace https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6KHoVBK2EVE


John 16:33 ESV

I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

Victim – images from pixabay.com

Matthew 5:9 ESV

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.

Forgive and Forget; Extent your hand in peace.

Go in the world and avoid conflict as much as it is possible. Let ancient grudges fade away – who living today even was witness to many of these happenings. Take care they are not the children of mythology causing harm to the innocent. You my fellow believer are the Representative of Christ and the expression of The Love of GOD.


SONG:Matthew West – Forgiveness (Lyrics) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6KHoVBK2EVE


Dove – images from pixabay.com

No matter what the outcome and when the deadly evidence has vanished future generations may completely forget the great suffering the conflicts of the past had inflicted on humanity.

After the Great Wars – images from pixabay.com

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Martyrs and Isolated Churches

The Bible in Your Language: https://www.twr360.org/

Support Christians under persecution: https://www.persecution.com/

– images from pixabay.com

2 Timothy 3:12 ESV / 153 helpful votes

Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted,

Most dangerous places for Christians: North Korea, Afganistan, Somalia, Libya, Pakistan, Sudan, Erithria, Yemen, Iran, India . . .Read:https://www.opendoorsusa.org/christian-persecution/stories/10-dangerous-places-christian-world-watch-list/

Acts 7:59 ESV (the first martyr)

And as they were stoning Stephen, he called out, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.”

– images from pixabay.com

Yes there are Christians being martyred even today and Isolated Churches can have difficulties

“China Closes Megachurches Before Christmas “

Christian Martyr – A: see cite below *

“Sri Lanka: Attacks on minority faiths keep increasing in the majority-Buddhist island nation.”

“Church leaders and toddlers arrested after singing in public: Communist country proves it is serious about newest religious restrictions.”

These and more stories can be found in “Chistianity Today” https://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/topics/a/asia/

*Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Jean Blackwell Hutson Research and Reference Division, The New York Public Library. “Christian martyr, in Madagascar in chains – receiving consolation.” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed March 15, 2019. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47dd-c940-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99


SONG: Christian Martyrs Be prepared to CRY! YouTube by Lerryson Christyhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wDSMDt4oq6k


Christian Martyr Burned at the Stake – B: See Cite Below**

**Art and Picture Collection, The New York Public Library. “And last of all, they burned him to ashes at the stake. Thus came Faithful to his end.” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed March 15, 2019. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/72adcec2-57de-558a-e040-e00a18062a3e

Mark 16:15 ESV

And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation.

List of Some Isolated Churches

Note: please visit the links for photos and a narrative; i do not wish to violate copyright law by re-posting without clearance.

Grytviken Churchhttp://www.sght.org/grytviken-church/

Katskhi Pillar in Georgia https://georgianvoyage.com/katskhi-pillar/

Two Churches, Tristan da Cunha https://www.tristandc.com/churches.php\

Solovetsky Monastery, Russiahttps://orthodoxwiki.org/Solovetsky_Monastery

Svalbard Church, Norwayhttps://www.visitnorway.com/listings/svalbard-church/199335/

Ittoqqortoormiit, Greenland. https://www.tripadvisor.co.nz/LocationPhotoDirectLink-g797798-d2435680-i77090546-Kap_Hope-Ittoqqortoormiit_Sermersooq_Municipality.html

Chapel of the Snows, McMurdo Station, Antarcticahttp://www.southpolestation.com/trivia/history/chapel.html

Source for some of these churches: https://www.urbanghostsmedia.com/2014/04/10-most-remote-churches-places-christian-worship/

Hidden Christian sites in Nagasaki and Amakusa region:https://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2253.html

ALSO SEE “Open Doors” :https://www.opendoorsusa.org/christian-persecution/stories/7-reasons-why-hotbeds-of-persecution-are-growing-in-central-asia/

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The Appeal of Modern Prophecy

Short Video of what Revelation may be like: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GyFEJ-Cptr4

Yes it may be a frightening time to be alive
Great Torment – images from pixabay.com

However we are curious: it is in our nature. We also have a tendency to gravitate toward drama. We may seek relief from our fears by knowing somethings others do not know. Or, it could just be entertainment for some people. Rest assure however our eternity is hinged on what we believe about GOD and Jesus. No doubt GOD has a plan; people may disagree on the details but what does scripture say? This blog cannot cover it all so I suggest a long term Bible study with good references and bona-fide teaching.

2 Timothy 3:1-5 ESV

But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people.

Lovers of Self – images from pixabay.com

Matthew 24:7 ESV

For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places.

Nation against Nation – images from pixabay.com

Matthew 24:14 ESV

And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.

The Gospel Reached the Whole World– images from pixabay.com


Hillsong-This Kingdom (with lyrics)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BUwNY7uEEc8


Kigdom of GOD on Earth – images from pixabay.com

What do I believe? I believe in the per-tribulation rapture: I with other Christians living and dead will be called up to meet Jesus when He returns I believe I will experience the 1000 year reign of GOD before the final judgement.

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Sudden Calamity

No Warning – images from pixabay.com

How fast does change happen?

Unexpected Failure – images from pixabay.com

One minute you are riding happily in your car with your family when suddenly a vehicle from oncoming traffic slams into your car head on. In an instant flames erupt and everyone dies. Nothing humans can do can completely eliminate unexpected danger from destroying us, our family or our homes – the best we can do is to have a plan for a catastrophe and pray.


Lightning Strikes – images from pixabay.com

Unbelievable accident, happened within seconds


Firery Crash – images from pixabay.com

Christians have much more than an Earthly plan: we can look forward to an eternity in heaven with GOD because of the accomplishment of Jesus Christ.

Romans 6:23 ESV

For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Jesus paid the penalty for sin we just have to accept that and accept Him. We then become Christians with and eternal future with GOD. That is our major insurance policy for sudden calamity leading to death. Lesser events and challenges can be handled with prayer and use of our brain (intelligence) given by GOD.


Newsboys – Disaster (Lyric Video)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ai9QSPjeZJQ


Sudden Bombing – images from pixabay.com

Starting soon series on the end times and prophecy.

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Teacher Preacher – images from pixabay.com

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When the Excitement Fades

TRW360 learn about Christianity in your language.

LINK: https://www.twr.org/

The call is exhilarating; the field exotic

Fisherman – images from pixabay.com
Sea of Galilee – images from pixabay.com

1 Corinthians 12:4-11 ESV

Holy Spirit as a Dove – images from pixabay.com

Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. For to one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, …

When we become a Christian we seek advice from GOD concerning our gift(s); are eager to learn from The Bible; eager to witness; eager to serve ; maybe eager to go out as a missionary. We can clamor so much we miss the quiet whispers from GOD and grow restless – we are still human: we may think we were mistaken; newness may fade; routines may eventually become uninspired and dull. What shall we do? Pray, pray, pray. Seek help from the Holy Spirit and counsel from mentors to renew our energies and correct our course.

Seek GOD – images from pixabay.com

I was taught Christians are needed in every walk of life so that GOD’S Love and standards can be seen in many places.

Women at Work – images from pixabay.com
Older Worker – images from pixabay.com

Steven Curtis Chapman – For The Sake Of The Call [Official Music]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QDkmbB8LWE8


Pray for a renewed spirit and renewed or new inspiration:


Psalm 51:10 ESV

Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.

Donnie McClurkin: Create In Me A Clean Heart

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bacXQPujfKI


Whatever works to help you rekindle your fire; loosing faith is a test more common then many Christians Realize

Daniel Comboni – images from pixabay.com

SEE: 1 Kings 19:4-20 ESV

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1+Kings+19%3A4-20&version=ESV

Even Prophets of old fell victim to doubt and disappointments. Christians I have known have sought counsel, fasted, prayed . . . whatever necessary in order to rekindle their spiritual fire. You will not loose your salvation but you can loose heavenly rewards when doubts discourage and weaken your effectiveness as a Christian.

John 10:28 ESV

I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand.

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When Each Day Becomes Precious

Lyrics – images from pixabay.com

 

 

 

 


Grand Farm – images from pixabay.com

Luke 12:16-21  (ESV)

New Barn – images from pixabay.com

16 And he told them a parable, saying, “The land of a rich man produced plentifully, 17 and he thought to himself, ‘What shall I do, for I have nowhere to store my crops?’ 18 And he said, ‘I will do this: I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. 19 And I will say to

Silos and Barn – images from pixabay.com

my soul, “Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.”’ 20 But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul is required of you, and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’ 21 So is the one who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God.”

When You face the Day of Reckoning

Justice – images from pixabay.com

I am old enough to share that most of my family, some of my friends and many peers succumbed to one of life’s ultimate realities: death.  Some suddenly others slowly; some in peace some in pain. This is our fate even as Christians unless, Jesus returns and spares us this transition. So, in the mean time if you experience a serious injury or illness and survive like almost everyone we learn just how precious life is and make some plan to change something about our life.


Near death experience inspires a new song with lyrics 2015  by Matt Norton

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RAhgJ6T9_fY


New Born – images from pixabay.com

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 ESV

For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; …

Last Ride – images from pixabay.com

Maybe you have learned this the easy way . . .

 

Almost – images from pixabay.com

. . . you look to GOD for the way to live, treat others accordingly and prioritize your goals by GOD’s standards. That would be wonderful.  If not consider not waiting for calamity to push you to make that decision.

 

GOD will accept your repentance at the last  breath; just accept Jesus into your heart.

 

You still can be saved – images from pixabay.com

Some people are taken aback when they learn this: whether you accept Jesus as a small child or as an elderly person on your death-bed you are still saved for eternity.  There are heavenly rewards if you have a chance to earn them but salvation is a free gift from GOD because of the work of Jesus Christ.

 

1 John 1:9 ESV

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

 

Next Week: Misplaced Fear

ESV: English Standard Version – Crossway

Join a Church, Bible Study . . .  read the whole Bible in order to learn the full meaning of GOD’s Word.

Police States?

Lyrics – images from pixabay.com

 

 

 


The Roman Colosseum – images from pixabay.com

GOD Provides us with Governments to Serve the People not Themselves.

Matthew 20:28 ESV

Even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

 

Sinful humans abuse this power for selfish gain and power. The struggle initiates violent conflict, abuse of human rights and persecution. Jesus

Catacombs – images from pixabay.com

advocated peace, love and forgiveness. This philosophy left aggressive violent people with the impression Christians were meek and docile and easy prey: Persecution followed.  What these  perpetrators did not realize, long after they were to be gone Christianity would prevail.

Matthew 22:17-21 ESV

Tell us, then, what you think. Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not?” But Jesus, aware of their malice, said, “Why put me to the test, you hypocrites? Show me the coin for the tax.” And they brought him a denarius. And Jesus said to them, “Whose likeness and inscription is this?” They said, “Caesar’s.” Then he said to them, “Therefore render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.”

Roman Republic – images from pixabay.com


Slavic Christian Community- Famous Song about Persecution by Brandon Heath: Dmitri’s Song

Todd Smith (Video)  – “Dmitri’s Song (Jesus Is Alive)”

https://youtu.be/GD4EYlGXZkc

Recent News Indicated Persecution Still Occurs

Yes even today:

https://factsandtrends.net/2018/01/29/quarter-billion-christians-face-major-persecution-2018/

San-Sebastian – images from pixabay.com

Governments limit, forbid or attempt to annihilate Christians even today. The negative forces have the opposite affect. When Christians face these most dire conditions they go underground and there Faith grows stronger and their numbers increase.


Police States May Oppose and Control Humans of a  Race, Political View, Ideology, a Creed or Religion.


Though the USA is considered a police state by some that is hyperbole – having over a million law enforcement personnel may make it seem so, but our population is over 325 million .

These are the current police states in the world according to Business Insider magazine:

https://www.businessinsider.com/police-force-per-capita-2011-5


Icon – images from pixabay.com

 

THEY MAY HAVE BEGUN BECAUSE OF LAWLESSNESS – Crime, Corruption or violence.Then Absolute Power Corrupted the Good with Evil making matters worse.


2 Corinthians 11:13-15 ESV

For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is no surprise if his servants, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their deeds.

Next Week: The Value of Humans

ESV: English Standard Version – Crossway

Join a Church, Bible Study . . .  read the whole Bible in order to learn the full meaning of GOD’s Word.