I was thinking of something new to write for tomorrow, specifically in memory of D-Day. The only thing that keeps coming to mind is “only a few.”
Now, the first thing that sounds like is “The Few, the Proud, the Marines.” Maybe that’s why I hearing those words in my head, you think?
On the other hand, it could come from the idea that all it takes is “only a few.” You know, like those Marines, or a few initial protestors, or even the miniscule 200 in the upper room that became the Christian Church.
Sometimes all it takes is a few people to make a difference, even to change the world.
By the Numbers
But when I look back at June 6th, 1944, there were far more than “only a few” who stormed those beaches. Far more.
156,000 troops or paratroopers came ashore that day alone.
195,700 naval personnel were used.
By the end of June 11th (D+5), 326,527 military personnel had come ashore.
From Yahoo News: “The First U.S. Army, accounting for the first twenty-four hours in Normandy, tabulated 1,465 killed, 1,928 missing, and 6,603 wounded. The after-action report of U.S. VII Corps (ending 1 July) showed 22,119 casualties including 2,811 killed, 5,665 missing, 79 prisoners, and 13,564 wounded, including paratroopers.”
Also from Yahoo News: “German sources vary between four thousand and nine thousand D-Day casualties on 6 June—a range of 125 percent. Field Marshal Erwin Rommel’s report for all of June cited killed, wounded, and missing of some 250,000 men, including twenty-eight generals.
What’s the point?
Sometimes all we need are “a few good men.”
On the other hand, there are times when “only a few” good men (and/or women) just isn’t enough.
Today, June 5th, we live in a world with battles raging. Yes, there are physical conflicts in play in various places, but there are other battlegrounds, too.
The fight for religious liberty and freedom of speech
The fight over personal liberty without constant government overreach
The fight over personal conscience with regard to changing social norms
The fight for the right to defend oneself
The fight for our nation’s moral conscience, dignity, and very sovereignty
There is even the battle for the survival of the local rural church congregation due to COVID-induced “couch worship.”
People, we need more than “only a few,” we need all hands on deck.
How often do you say that? How often do you hear it said to you? “Good morning!”
Funny thing is that those same two words can be spoken in so many ways. How many of the following do you think express the true meaning of the salutation?
“Good morning.” – as spoken by a husband to his wife after waking up sore, sleep-deprived, and just slightly damp after a night camping under the stars.
“Good morning!” – as expressed through the sinister grin of a drill seargent on the first morning after arriving at boot camp.
“Good morning.” – growled by a teenager the morning after being threatened with the loss of her cell phone if one more disrespectful word spewed from her lips.
“Good morning!!” – as exclaimed by a “Karen” the first morning on the job after being hired as a quality control manager with the business at which she had recently voiced her disapproval of employees’ customer service.
Correct, none of the above examples express the intended (or at least commonly understood) meaning of the greeting.
So, what is saying “Good morning!” supposed to mean?
Unless I’m sorely mistaken, when you say “Good morning” to someone, what you are doing is one of two things:
a) stating a fact; or
b) wishing for, or blessing another with a desire that their morning actually be a good one.
Based on the above definition, I want to wish you a “Good morning!” I also want to say that it IS a “Good morning!” This is the day that the Lord has made, remember? Let us rejoice and be glad in it!
Sure, I know you might have aches and pains, but you woke up! You’ve been given another day to do something with those talents God has intrusted to you. Invest them!
Yes, you may have lost everything in a bankruptcy, a divorce, or a tragedy of some kind. But you survived! You’re alive! Now’s the moment when you can start seeing the miraculous hand of God work! You might have been so caught up in other things that you failed to see how good God is, but now you can better focus on the grace and mercy of the One who clothes the flowers and really does care about you!
The Bible says that “weeping may endure for the night, but joy comes in the morning”! This is a brand new day. You may have really, without a doubt, messed up yesterday. But, you know what? If you are a born-again, blood-washed, redeemed child of God, the Cross means that what Jesus did has already atoned for your mess up. You’re forgiven! Now, walk in forgiveness and grace while giving God the glory!
Instead of reading this, you COULD be in eternal torment, separated from the loving presence of God. begging for just a single drop of water to cool your tongue, but you’re not! It’s not a matter of luck; there’s a reason.
So, I’d say, without a doubt, no matter who you are, it is … and I bless you with these words …
It is 1:27 in the morning, and I just finished preaching to the congregation in Pakistan. It was a sweet time of fellowship with brothers and sisters 10 time zones away.
This time I told Pastor Victor that I would provide to him a transcript from which I would preach so that he would be able to know exactly what I said. But that being said, having a transcript made things easier for me, too. As some of you may understand, it is not at all easy to preach through an interpreter.
So, doing the best I could with the little time I actually had – because a 10-minute sermon can take 15 minutes to translate – I preached a sermon on the Rapture. Honestly, it was a VERY SIMPLE sermon, one which was meant more to encourage the believer than convince the skeptic.
After all, how many unbelievers do you expect to show up to a Christian service in a 98% Muslim country?
I hope the following sermon transcript encourages you, too (even if you didn’t vote for Trump – LOL).
Good morning, brothers and sisters, I am so happy and honored to be worshipping with you today.
It is also my honor to have been asked by Bro Victor to preach to you each Sunday the rest of this month.
When Bro Victor asked me if I would preach each Sunday in February, I asked him what it was that he thought I should preach.
That is not something I normally do; I normally never ask another man what I should preach, only God.
But this time, because your pastor knows you better than I do, I wanted to hear what you needed or desired to hear from God’s Word.
So, today I am going to talk about something that should be an encouragement to all of us… to every Christian in every country… This morning I am going to talk to you about the Rapture of the Church.
I am going to ask Bro Victor to read to you my opening text…
1 Corinthians 15:51-53 – Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal [must] put on immortality.
This year in America we had a very controversial election. According to the numbers reported, this year more people voted than ever before – the most for a Republican candidate, the most for a Democrat candidate.
Unfortunately, many Americans just like myself think something was not right.
We look at the crowds President Trump had at his campaign rallies, then compare them with the tiny crowds Joe Biden had, and it’s very hard to believe that more people voted for Biden than Trump.
So, when people ask me, “Anthony, do you think the election results were manipulated?” I say, “Yes, I do.”
Now, the problem is that anyone who thinks like I do these days is laughed at and mocked. It is now being said by some people that those who voted for Trump should be sent away to re-education camps!
They even say that Trump voters are as crazy as Christians – and as dangerous – for believing in a “fairytale,” a “myth,” even a “lie.”
This should come as no surprise to us, for Jesus said that His followers would be hated by the same people that hated Him. Those who mock the name of Jesus will mock Christians, too.
But what do people think of you and me when they ask if we believe in the Rapture of the Church? Should we be surprised if they laugh at us?
Just like those of us in America who think something went wrong with the election, they will laugh at us and say, “Show us the evidence!”
But this is nothing new, for they have been saying the same thing for 2,000 years! Saint Peter wrote about these people…
2 Peter 3:3-4 – Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as [they were] from the beginning of the creation.
But let me tell you, dear church, that things have not always gone on the same from the day of creation. For one thing, everything changed when a Virgin gave birth to a Child and called His name Jesus!
The world went on like normal for thousands of years until the King of the Universe, the Living Word of God, became flesh!
John 1:1-2, 14 KJV – In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. … And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
This was the First Coming of Jesus Christ! The fact that Jesus came to earth the first time is all the evidence I need that he will return again.
For you see, for thousands and thousands of years a Messiah was promised, even as far back as the Book of Genesis when Eve rejoiced at having a man child.
Throughout the Old Testament we read of One who would be our Kinsman Redeemer, our Great Shepherd, our Fountain in the wilderness, our Rock in the storm, and the Servant who would suffer for the sins of mankind (Isaiah 53).
The Messiah was promised, His birth, His life, and His death… especially His resurrection… were all prophesied, and it all happened just as we were told it would!
Acts 1:9-11 KJV – And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight. And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.
Did you hear that last part? This SAME JESUS shall so come!
Jesus told us that He would return. Do I believe Him? Yes, I do!
As the Apostle Paul said, one day a trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised, and we who are living will be caught up! We will be snatched up, like pulling a fish out of the water! We will be taken out, like pulling a cork out of a bottle!
In the blink of an eye, when the trump of the Lord shall sound, we shall be “caught up,” raptured to be with Jesus!
IF I can do nothing else this morning, dear church I want to encourage you!
You live in a world that hates you for what you believe, for you believe in grace, not works.
You believe in freedom, not slavery.
You believe that all men and women, boys and girls, are made in the image of God.
You believe that God became flesh, that Jesus died for our sins, and that He rose again.
You believe in Jesus, yet you are mocked, you are laughed at, you are hated.
But you and I have a HOPE! Our HOPE is not in our good deeds.
Our HOPE is not in how many times we pray or in what direction we pray.
Our HOPE is in Jesus! Our HOPE IS Jesus!
And one day, whether we live or die, one day He will receive us unto Himself!
Listen to what the Apostle Paul wrote to encourage the church at Thessalonica:
1 Thessalonians 4:13 – But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.
Some people are full of sorrow and fear because they don’t know where they will go when they die, but you know! You have hope in Jesus!
1 Thessalonians 4:14-15 – For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive [and] remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.
You see, Paul was trying to encourage the Church, for many thought that those who had already died would never see the return of Jesus. But Paul said that not even death would prevent the Christian from receiving a resurrected body!
1 Thessalonians 4:16-18 – For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive [and] remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.
Did you hear that? Those are the words of COMFORT! That is TRULY encouraging! One day, we don’t know when, but one day a trumpet is going to sound…
Do you believe that?
One day the Lord Jesus is going to descend from heaven with a shout! Do you believe that?
One day we will be caught up, taken out of this world, and given a new body fit for eternity in heaven!! Do you believe that?
Then, church, be COMFORTED WITH THESE WORDS! HALLELUJAH!
Do I believe that Jesus is coming again? Yes, I do.
Do I believe that at any moment a trumpet could sound and I could be raptured out of this world to be with Jesus? Yes, I do!
And why do I believe that? Because God keeps His promises! If Jesus came the first time as promised, then I believe He will come again just as He promised.
The only thing is that none of us knows when, so we must always be ready to meet Him.
Are you ready to meet Jesus? Are you ready to meet God?
Please be sure you have accepted Jesus as your Savior, dear friend. For if the trumpet doesn’t sound, we are also promised something else, that it is appointed unto man once to die, and after that the judgement (Heb. 9:27).
You could die today, even before the rapture, and you want to know your soul is right with God.
Brother Victor, I will now give the service back to you.
I hope every one is doing well on this sunny Wednesday afternoon in Georgia! I know some of you have snow and rain, but for now it’s in the high 40’s and bright and sunny where I am at.
I just wanted to take a moment to share some photos of what I did this past Sunday morning – I preached in Pakistan!
For those of you who don’t know, I do my best to help support a worthy ministry in Pakistan and my pastor friend, Victor Sammuel. I will tell you more in a future post.
Anyway, this past Sunday morning I was able to speak to Victor’s congregation during their morning worship service – at 1 a.m.! Talk about an “early service”!
And what is awesome is that I was asked to preach each Sunday morning the rest of this month!
But this is more than simply live-streaming our regular services at church. This is me speaking live to a group of Christians in a Muslim nation where persecution is common (even expected) and the average wage of a teacher in a Christian school is $60 a month (more about that later, too).
I would just encourage you to pray for me and for this congregation as I preach and teach God’s Word to a congregation who genuinely want to hear whatever I have to say.
And the topic they want to hear me speak on the most? The Rapture.
To begin, let me first apologize for the horribly weak audio of me speaking. The video I’m attaching was recorded, as usual, on my iPhone, but for some reason the corded external microphone attached to the pulpit didn’t work!
Ironically, you can hear everyone else clearly.
But beyond the audio issue, I’m attaching this video from Sunday night in order to encourage you. You see, even preachers need preaching to.
Did you know God loves you? He does.
If you have any questions or comments, I’d love to hear them. Either comment below or email me at email@example.com.
In my last post about the possibility of Biden listening to and acting upon questionable or sinister science, I might have given the wrong impression. I say that based on a comment I received from a friend, Joel Ziegenmier.
If Joel was correct, then I do apologize for the confusion or spurious impression. Please allow me to clarify my stance on science and faith.
I believe that science and faith are completely compatible and non-exclusionary. Both can exist side-by-side without conflict. Why do I believe that?
First of all, we must understand what faith and science are. Once we do that, everything will become a little more clear.
Science, unlike what it’s made out to be in the news media, is a process of acquiring knowledge. It is not dogma, doctrine, philosophy, or religion. All it is – or what it is supposed to be – is a process through which knowledge and understanding can be acquired through theorizing, testing, observing, repeating and replicating, and so on. The scientific method is not a Truth in itself, but a process by which we discover and make application.
Faith is trusting in something. Blind faith is putting one’s trust in something without any evidence that the thing is trustworthy. On the contrary, orthodox Christianity is not a religion or set of beliefs based on a blind faith, but on tangible, historical, and verifiable evidence and Truth claims.
Science and faith are not opposites, but complimentary. Where faith can be tested, it should welcome it. Where science yields information, faith is placed in the interpretation of the evidence obtained.
Certain things, however, are beyond the realm of the scientific method. Those things that are supernatural (outside of the realm of what is considered naturally possible) cannot be observed, tested, and repeated, especially if the supernatural event is beyond natural capability.
Science, too, is limited in its ability. A prime example is the question of the origin of the universe. Although observable and repeatable theories can be applied to current natural processes, science in and of itself cannot observe and test the origin of the universe, nor account for where natural law may have been broken. Ironically, it takes faith for both the Christian and the naturalist or atheist to make dogmatic claims about the origin of all that is.
But for the Christian, science is not an enemy; it is only a tool. Thanks to a quick Google search, I was easily able to find a list of famous scientist whose works contributed to the way we live today, and each one was a Christian. They include the likes of Robert Boyle, Michael Faraday, Arthur Compton, Gregor Mendel, Isaac Newton, George Washington Carver, Francis Collins, and winner of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine John Eccles.
So therefore, it’s not a matter of whether or not Joe Biden listens to the scientists, for that’s a fine and noble thing to do. The problem is which scientists he’s listening to. Every scientist has presuppositions and assumptions. Every scientist has a personal worldview. Are the scientists that Biden trusts knowledge seekers or agenda pushers? Are they rabid naturalists who deny their own presuppositions and assumptions, or simply honest men and women who simply go where the facts lead them?
I’m not trying to be hyperbolic, but just keep in mind that it was the “scientists” of the 1930s and 1940s who concluded that a perfect and superior race was achievable through the elimination of all who were sick, retarded, deformed, homosexual, and Jewish.
It’s when “science” determines that faith is a detriment to society, a scourge on humanity, or a drug from which society must be weened for its own sake, that we have a problem.
It’s happened before. It’s been observed. It can be repeated.
Let me start by saying that I don’t know what the temperature is at this moment, but I am freezing! I’m sitting in a cold, metal chair as a cool/cold and damp wind cuts straight to my bones.
As you can see in the above picture, I’m here in the courthouse square at the farmer’s market in Sandersville, GA. I’ve been coming here most Saturdays for the last couple of months. But, unlike all the other days, this one is cold.
It’s sorta funny, though. I’ve been in colder weather, for sure. The temperature, here, isn’t exactly cold enough to freeze the moisture in your breath. However, I FEEL the cold, and it’s making me feel sickly.
Fortunately, I have a Stanley thermos full of hot coffee. That should at least keep the big dogs with the brandy around their necks away. . . for now.
One may wonder why I come out here every week, especially when I rarely sell any of my artwork. Well, first of all, this isn’t the best time to be doing what I’m doing; the crowds go way, way down when there are no vegetables for sale. But, secondly, it really is more about meeting people than selling paintings (although selling some art would certainly help).
Just this morning I was blessed by a man named Roscoe. Roscoe and his two granddaughters stopped by my table to admire my work, then he began to talk about Jesus. It literally took him no more than 2 minutes to move the conversation into praises to God for his goodness!
I don’t know if I will sell anything today, but I’m still hoping. Nevertheless, I have faith that God will use me to bless someone – or maybe it was meant for me to get the blessing.
I think that my immediate future will include a break from the cold as I sit in my car for a few minutes. There are other people around me, so if anyone wants to buy anything, the other folk will tell them where I am – I hope.
It would be nice to become a world-famous artist, but that’s really up to the Lord. My main goal is to bring glory to God through my art (since He gave me the talent) and make Jesus even more well known.
If uplifting the name of Jesus Christ is my goal, my future looks bright 🙂
A reader named Stephen decided to throw in his two cents in response to a recent post called “He Will Be My President.” Before we go any further, I’d like to share it with you.
Talk is cheap and you got a website dedicated to it. I get the feeling it won’t take long for the hypocrite in you to come out, but you’ll justify yourself in your hypocrisy. It’s what religious people do. Reeds in the wind, flailing about trying hard to show the world just how saved you are. Keep working at it, your salvation is near.
If you would like to read my follow-up to Mr. Stephen’s comment, you can go to the comment section of that post. For now, I want to direct you to the video below.
It’s not that often I preach a classic three-point sermon, but this is one I would ask you watch. The subject of the sermon this past Sunday morning was how to move forward in “such a time as this.”
I would love to hear your thoughts and comments, even if they are like the one above.