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The Harbingers Series*

 

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har·bin·ger - a person or thing that announces or signals the approach of another. (google.com)

"Refresh" - Last Revised 7/24/15

 

Welcome to "The Harbinger Series"
A perspective on national and world events and a proposed Christian response.
 

These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace.
In the world you have tribulation,
but take courage; I have overcome the world.
Jesus, John 16:33 nasb


Anyone who has been around me the past few years has probably heard me say at least once, "Even at my age (born in 1940) I expect to see the day when American Christians will need to thrive without the **church as we now know it, and we're not ready for that."
I don't think I'm an alarmist (I know, nobody thinks they are) but I do believe there are many indications that troubles lie ahead for America. Most Christians I talk with agree but don't have a clue about how to respond. While hoarding food and other survival supplies, along with buying guns, ammo and gold are among popular options, all will fail us in that time. Our only hope is to move toward a level of intimacy with God which empowers us personally, and results in loyal, mutually supportive relationships. These, together, will equip us to not only survive but to thrive and to make the glory of faith in God known to others.

A handicap for many American Christians is that while the church imparts to them the sense of having fulfilled an obligation to God and/or having satisfied the expectations of others, it has little impact upon the rest of their week and does almost nothing to prepare them for what is coming. Until that changes they will not be able to remain faithful to God and loyal to each other when our church doors are closed and it costs us something to confess Christ.

Many lack understanding of what God intends for, and has provided for the Church. Even when they begin to grasp that, actively living under the Lordship of Christ - - which implies taking up their cross daily to follow Him (Luke 9:23-25) and renouncing their love for the world (I John 2:15-17) - - often seems too great a price to pay. They may actually want to be different but are not willing to change in order to be different.
This Harbinger Series is intended to both provoke our sober thinking about where things are at and where they are heading, and to help equip God's people for that day. A redundant theme of mine is that we must be aware of the growing darkness in our nation and our world, but have our focus on the Light of God and on what He is doing among us. It is true, that light shines most brightly in darkness, and He is at work!
I recommend Wayne Jacobsen's books because of the way he presents both the need in the church and the path toward our becoming more the Church. His pilgrimage has included many of the same twists and turns in the church as mine and while I harmonize with his concerns, his insights go far beyond my own. More on that and on Jacobsen himself in the page on his books and other resources.
 
It is impossible to present a better way of following Jesus without implying that the present system is inferior. A common response is that we are negative and are "attacking the Church." I beg you to reconsider such judgments. It is also likely that those who are pursuing something more have experienced rejection and misunderstanding, and may have allowed that to influence how graciously we express ourselves. We are responsible for that but please be as understanding as possible and help us do it better!
 
My earnest prayer is that this series will help you "get real" about the day we live in; that you will pursue God with new vigor regardless of the cost; and that you will encourage many others along the same path.
 
**Throughout my writing I use Church (capital C) to identify the Body of Christ as in the "they" and "them" of John 17. It is the active, vibrant and fruitful Church which is addressed in Rom. 12:4-6, I Cor. 1:2, I Cor. 12, Eph. 1:22-23, I Peter 2:1-10 and many other texts and which reflects His glory in our broken world . (See cross references from here).
   
I use church (small c) to identify the groups of Christians of similar persuasion who regularly meet in a certain building at a specific time under the direction of identified positional leaders. Some are vibrant and alive but few have a strong sense of God in their daily life. Most have little awareness of meaningful partnership with others in a spiritual pilgrimage and essentially no thought of participating with God in making Him known to the ends of the earth. Authentic Church can occur within the church but much that takes place within the church has little to do with the authentic Church, the Body of Christ.


The following resources are offered for your consideration: ***

    Section Last Revised
    Harbingers - My premesis for this material 7/24/15
    Scriptures to Help Us 1/6/15
    Recommended Books and other Resouces 8/1/15
    Wayne Jacobsen's Books & Resources on Church 2/21/15
    Thots on Jacobsen's formational book HE LOVES ME 2/21/15
    Ken Stoltzfus, www.john2031.com Resources 8/3/15
    Ministries, Action-Places to Plug In 10/23/14
    Resources, News, Opinions, Current Events, Gay Agenda 3/19/15
    Practical Action Steps 8/3/15
    ICF - Intentional Christian Fellowship 10/3/14
    More to come  



*** My opinions expressed herein in reference to a declining state of morality in America, and the reasons I give for that decline, are based on my personal understanding of the historic Biblical, Christian and American view of human sexuality and practice, and of how current trends relate to that. I do not hate anyone, including those who oppose my views, but believe that those historic values had significantly influenced the welfare of our nation to our benefit and that we will pay a terrible price for having abandoned them.

 

* Here’s a bottom-line thought. We have nothing to lose and everything to gain by viewing American and world events as a wake-up call. If Christian-Americans were to take this to heart the resultant repentance and new Life would make us more like the people God always intended us to be. This would extend the time of God’s grace upon America; and/or empower us to stand firm and to serve Him effectively through difficulties. If such difficulties are only imagined by some (like me), we would have become a more authentic and vibrant Church and would have enjoyed God in an incredibly richer way. Regardless, we win. And regardless, it would be another proof that all things, even evil, ultimately serve the Lord our God! - Isaiah 46:9-10 - II Peter 3:8-9

 
     
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