Prophetic Sword Picture

Saturday, March 3, 2018

To tell the truth, so help me God!

Dear friends and readers,

Does anyone agree that the world is currently in terrible shape and getting worse by the day? Everywhere I look good pastors and reputable authors are publishing articles with exactly the same theme; JESUS IS COMING SOON!

Admittedly, probably all past generations of believers either thought that or at least fervently hoped they would be part of the rapture of the church. So why would it be any different for our current generation? Well, the simple fact is that no other generation since the cross actually witnessed the ingathering of the Jews back to their ancient homeland of Israel in accordance with prophecy in Ezekiel chapter 37. Also no other generation witnessed Israel once again becoming a nation on May 14, 1948. SPECIAL NOTE! In case you are wondering, in the entire history of the world, no---I repeat no other culture was ever reinstated to their ancient national homeland after being dispersed worldwide. It has only happened one time and Israel is the one nation it has happened to. And yes, I do believe that Israel represents a Biblically prophetic time clock against which all else in the world will be measured.

I have no idea if we are close enough to the rapture for me as an individual to experience what Christians worldwide have always longed for. But if I had to guess I would say that people of my generation---at least some of them will. I was born in 1944 which means that I was alive to witness May 14, 1948 and I actually have some dim memories of the actual occurrence. My grandparents had one of the very first round screen black and white T.V's. Of course then I also remember victrola's, horse drawn milk wagons, Levis with buttons and my very first car, a 1950 plymouth 4 door. 8 track cassettes, a drivers license at 14, 50 cent per gallon gas and being fortunate to earn $1.00 per hour.  And a bit later, transistor radios so my life has spanned some very interesting times. My father was an engineer on the very first moon shot and at 18 years old I was working as a hard rock miner 1600 feet under the ground on the very day JFK was assassinated. But I was making BIG money doing it. $2.12 an hour.

Back in those days, western movies featured good guys wearing white hats and bad guys wore black. The good guy always got the good girl and they didn't go to bed until after marriage. Drugs were around but only just and divorce (although it did happen) was socially frowned upon. There were NEVER any pregnant girls in high school (at least in the country) although you would never know it by all the lies the locker room guys were telling. I absolutely knew that they were lying because girls wore girdles in those days and those critters were undefeatable.

Then came the sexual revolution of the 1960's, Woodstock, huge rally's with women tearing their bras off and throwing them into bon fires to declare their independence. Next day the news papers were crowing about how large the crowds became. But I was in Law Enforcement at the time and can tell you for a fact that the next day "HUGE" crowds were mostly men gathered around the perimeters watching women tear off their bras. Funny the women never seemed to realize that!

Now here we are about 60 years later. Divorce is huge even within the church. I was doing some paperwork for our adopted son in a San Diego court a few months ago and there was sign advertising 1 day divorces??? Now men are becoming women and women becoming men? Makes me wonder who exactly is tearing off their bras these days? Drugs are epidemic. Politicians in most part are liars, Police are now the persecuted minority. In the past 40 years 1.72 BILLION aborted babies have happened worldwide. Nuclear proliferation is once again a threat to the entire planet. No one really knows these days who you are sharing a public toilet with. Children are given birth control devices at school without parental consent.

And those few things are only the tip of the iceberg.

Galatians 5:17-21 is now in full bloom. The works of the flesh. NOTE: Before going further this is no "goody goody two shoes" article. Christians make mistakes also and I fully realize that. My too!

But lets just list a few no-no's Biblically from Galatians and then you tell me if they sound accurate by todays news feeds? Lust, adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery (including drug abuse), hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies (false doctrines), envy, murder, drunkenness and revelries.

Sound familiar?

If you want to see contentions simply look at the United States Congress. If you want to see murders simply look at most major U.S. cities. If you want to see adultery, lewdness, fornication and even more murder just look at our abortion rates. If you want to see liars just look at most of the large news agencies. By the way LIARS was not listed in Galatians 5. Want to know where it is listed? The very last book of the Bible, Revelation chapter 21:8 and 27. Scary!

In my day a man's hand shake meant something. And in a few cases today it still does. But not much any more. Today nothing is for certain. Absolutely nothing.

Well there is one thing that is certain; Jesus is on the Throne and coming back for His church--His Bride. But of one thing scripture makes absolutely clear. The Bride will not include liars or any of those other folks referred to in Galatians 5:17-21.

The good news is that Galatians also lists the fruits of the Spirit. LOVE, JOY, PEACE, LONG-SUFFERING, KINDNESS, GOODNESS, FAITHFULNESS, GENTLENESS, SELF CONTROL, and against such there is no law.

I ask myself frequently if my life reflects those standards? I sure hope so because if not, I and anyone else who's lives do not reflect them will be in a heap of trouble when the Lord does come.

It's time for us who believe in the Lord to begin looking up, for our redemption really does draw close.

Come quickly Lord Jesus.

God bless you all,
Pastor Rance.

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Confused about politics in the USA? Well, join the crowd!

Dear friends and readers,

Is anyone but me scratching your heads in confusion over the latest spat of Republican/Democratic political antics?

I try diligently to keep my articles NON political and so please know that I am not blowing anyone in particulars trumpet. But wow. The question is, who is going to "get" who? I really do not like to be melodramatic or just another voice of doom and gloom in an already crowded forum.  But with every single day that passes, I do wonder just how much really creepy stuff is hidden in the hallowed halls of congress, the FBI and Justice Department?

Oh gosh, did I forget to mention the State Department and White House? Still I suppose it could be worse, after todays news at least the Military is funded. YEA! Of course there is that little matter of several hundred MILLIONS of dollars that seem to be missing from departments entrenched in the Pentagon, but then who is really counting? Uhhh, apparently no one!

So let me see if I can get this straight. The GOP has unearthed horrible evidence of everything from Democratic collusion between the Clintons, Russia, secret retired British agents, privately paid companies hired to do political hit jobs, Uranium 1 scandals, secret dossiers,  all the way to downright criminal activity within the FBI and DOJ.

At the very same time, the Democrats have unearthed horrible evidence regarding collusion between the White House and the Kremlin, evidence of a completely dysfunctional White House because one of it's young staffers beat up his wife (well er, ok it may have been two wives---hopefully not married to them both at once),  Wire taps,  staff infighting and a President who lacks mental prowess but at the same time managed to kick the Dems butts on a number of issues not the least of which was tax reform/relief, an attempted Government shutdown and a 2 year funding deal for the Military.

Then there are the leakers (of high level government secrets) and the news media in general who have earned the lowest popularity ratings in all of history from the American public. Lets not leave out battles royal nearly daily by and between such august organizations as Planned Parenthood, Right to Life Advocates, the NRA, ACLU, Civil liberties groups on every front---none of whom agree on anything???

Well let's see, does that cover it? Not by a long shot. It does beg the question, who exactly will pay the 20 Trillion dollar national debt? Who will finally get some workable plan going for people to obtain decent medical insurance? Who Will be able to finally overhaul a badly broken immigration system? Oh and just so you know? In my opinion the Stock Market is headed for a massive correction---no let's reword that to massive total and complete failure in which your green backs will be worth exactly zilch!

I wonder if anyone has considered selling the book and movie rights for this non fiction thriller to Tom Clancy, Clive Cussler or Daniel Silva. After all there is a real life spy involved even though he is not an Israeli named Gabriel Allon. Golly the book sales alone could help pay off the national debt!

Uh, oh and I forgot to mention that congress will fix it all. After all, that's what the granpoobahs of both parties are telling us daily, right? Right? Well maybe not!

So many people ask guys like me, "why is not the United States mentioned in end times Biblical prophecy"? Surely nothing could EVER EVER happen to the greatest nation the world has ever seen. Of course we must remind ourselves that in their historical times all of the following nations were the greatest the world had ever seen; 1). Egyptian Empire 2). Ancient Philistine Empire 3). Assyrian Empire 4). Babylonian Empire 5). Persian Empire 6). Greek Empire 7). Roman Empire 8). Byzantine Empire 9). Spanish Empire 10). Nazi Germany (well at least Hitler thought so), not to mention 11). The Soviet Union. Not one of whom by the way ever approached a one trillion dollar national debt let alone one of 20 trillion!

All of these and more spanned thousands and thousands of years and where are they now? All of them, every single one? In the dust bin of destroyed societies, all of whom thought they had it wired forever!

Friends we are witnessing the dying throes of the United States as a world power. Sad to say but true. There is absolutely no way back for a country who has turned against itself, turned against God and turned against all moral authority in a quest for self righteous fulfillment. How will the mighty USA finally fall from grace and power? Sorry, but I don't have an answer for that. Not even specific timing. Perhaps the fall will not be tomorrow but it is coming.

When the United States does fall---and fall it will, a vacuum of immense proportions will engulf the world and there will be a man who steps into that vacuum and at the time he will seem like a savior, A good guy with all the answers. But he won't be, and he won't have. No he will be the antichrist in all his horrible glory. Helped along by the False Prophet who will force earths population to its knees in worship of a false god.

He will literally enslave the world and its entire population. Mass murder, rape and mayhem will ensue over the next 7 years and such a catatonic catastrophe will be created that the final battle of Armageddon will force its way upon the world stage and engulf nearly all living beings.

But there is good news, at least for some. Jesus Christ will come back for His church---long before Armageddon. Yes, the rapture will take place first. Somewhat over 7 years later, near the end of the war of Armageddon, Christ will appear in His second coming. Peace will be restored and eventually He will be enthroned in Jerusalem for a physical reign of 1000 years.

But in the meantime there are troubled waters ahead. Christians should not be fooled or surprised because much of this end time scenario is written in scripture.

If you are a follower of Christ please pray diligently for your families, for your neighbors and yes for your country no matter where in the world you reside, and for your leaders.

If you are not a follower of Christ, making a decision to change that NOW will be your only salvation from eternal catastrophe. Romans chapter 10 verse 9 is your way, literally your pathway to safety. Not that everything will be perfect in your lives by making this decision because it won't. You will still have problems. But you will also know for certain what your future holds for you, an eternity with God.

But this decision will also have to be accompanied by soul wrenching, sincere repentance. These are the requirements; Heartfelt prayer to God including 1). Repentance 2). If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus Christ 3). Believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead.


But don't do this as a form of escape. That will not work for you. You must do so because you do truly love Jesus Christ with all your heart.


God bless,
Pastor Rance.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

FEAR NOT! REALLY? Did the Lord really expect that of human beings?

Dear friends and readers,

Are you a follower of Christ who is constantly bothered by your unwanted companion, FEAR?

Have you ever known someone who was so incapacitated by fear that they were nearly unable to make it through life? Unfortunately that is an all too often problem for lot's of folks including among some believers.

In it's worst form fear is called "AGORAPHOBIA". It is so debilitating that people inflicted with this particular PHOBIA, often cannot go outside of their own homes. They are near paralyzed with such dread that they are subject to panic attacks, fear of even the smallest crowds of people, and positively distraught over the mere thought of travel, open and wide spaces, strangers and any type of social interaction.

Fear takes many forms and fortunately is far less traumatizing for most people than those who suffer from Agoraphobia. Fear is an emotional response and is common in one form or another to all mankind. Even the most well trained and fearsome soldier, policeman or other first responders such as fire fighters are subject to fear. That is only natural. For those kinds of "front line" folks, training, education, team work and safety issues normally help them push past the fear factor and get the job done. But that does not mean the fear is not there. But for the rest of mankind, regular folks with 8 to 5's, families, bills and little league, fear can also be debilitating. For some folks more than others of course.

Christians are no less susceptible to fear than anyone else---but we should be. After all, we are the only persons on planet earth who's God and King says to us regularly, FEAR NOT!

True confession? Easier said than done. But there is help if we will but look. I had a young missionary on my staff many years ago who was subject to great fear. While on an outreach  near a desert town, I later discovered that she was near paralyzed in fear an entire night while sleeping in a tent. All night long, a terrifying huge mountain lion was scratching on the outside of her tent fabric trying to get in. Sound silly? Well it wasn't for her, it was very real and very traumatic. Of course it was only wind and branches scratching at the tent but our human minds, particularly in the middle of the night can dredge up the most horrible circumstances and while we are involved in those mental gymnastics, nothing and I mean nothing can make the reality go away, frequently even prayer.

Have you ever noticed that the middle of the night often brings with it the worst possible kinds of worry? The light of day and a good cup of coffee often dulls the worry but of course some worry and fear is truly rooted in reality. Illness particularly when suffered by a loved one, loss of a family member, divorce,  wandering children, unending bills that threaten to bury us in a veritable mountain of debt, all these things and more can take their toll and the fear that accompanies those kinds of circumstances is not easily shed. In fact I learned as a very young pastor, that although ALL the answers to mankind's problems are contained within the pages of our Bibles, still you cannot simply "throw scripture" at people and expect their problems to go away and their fear to dissipate.

A small confession; I learned something extremely valuable early on while performing fear counseling sessions as well as other types of counseling.  Often, it was better for me to simply keep my mouth shut and listen. Folks in many cases did not need advice, they needed someone to walk along side them or sit with them and patiently listen while they worked through the problem on their own. In many cases they left my office thinking their pastor was a genius while in fact they had the answers all along themselves. Not always of course, some people really do need council including scriptural reminders to work their way through what ever it is that is bothering them.

NOTE OF ADVICE TO HUSBANDS; Something else I learned early on in life. Gents, don't be in a rush to try and fix your wife's problems. Often she just needs to vent and have an understanding ear. She will generally come up with the answers all by herself and if she really wants your advice, she will ask for it. (-:

Ladies as a husband myself I would not think of trying to give you advice about communications with your husband. I would just get myself into trouble )-:

But back to fear. You know as a believer we really do have some protection and guidance available to us. First really is the power of prayer. I myself have found myself worrying about something and only after working myself into a dither did I finally slow down and realize I had not prayed about the issue FIRST! As a pastor one of my first questions is "have you prayed about this"? Frankly in a very large number of cases the answer is NO! So let's talk about a very real scripture that some folks in the church try and explain away. John 10:27 (As you know the Lord refers to His followers as sheep), "My sheep hear my voice and I know them, and they follow me". Yes, yes, I know somewhere along the line someone has taught you that the Lord only speaks to us through His written word. Ah, well could someone please find that scripture in the Bible and send it to me because I have read the whole thing and cannot find it anywhere. You can also send a note to both Daniel and John who had visions and dreams.

Yes, the word of God does speak to us as we read or hear it. In fact "faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God", Romans 10:17. But is that the ONLY way God communicates with us? God "spoke" to Adam and Eve, to Cain, to Moses through a burning bush. He spoke to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob (Israel). He spoke to Elijah in 1 Kings 19:9. and in fact God spoke to the prophet Elijah more than once. And how did He do that? First, God had to get Elijah's attention and when He had it He spoke to the prophet in a "still small voice". Was that an outside voice or an inside voice? Who knows. But of one thing I can absolutely assure you; If you want to hear that "still small voice" you have to slow down. Chill out, get by yourself and pray and then listen. Shed the hecticity of daily life. No guarantees of course because it is up to Him how He chooses to communicate with you.

To clarify, I am not speaking of the gifts of the Spirit as reflected in either 1 Corinthians chapter 12 or Romans chapter 12. I am not speaking of gifts of knowledge, wisdom, prophecy or tongues. I am not speaking of a gift of discernment. For the record I believe in all those gifts but also believe according to 1 Corinthians chapter 14 verse 40 (in speaking of the various gifts) "Let all things be done decently and in order". NO WEIRD STUFF with the gifts of the Spirit!

But yes, I also believe in scripture when it says "My sheep will HEAR my voice". Did you notice that did not say "READ MY VOICE"? It says hear My voice. The problem with most people is that they are far too busy to hear the Lord speak to them even if He was trying to beat a brass drum in their ear.  We are commanded to pray. That means speaking To God. But honestly some folks spend so much time speaking that they don't take the time to listen. Once again, slow down, get by yourself, spend time with the Lord, certainly pray but then be quiet and listen. And then if He chooses to speak to you keep your own counsel. It seems in this day in age that the church is over run by the "GOD TOLD ME" crowd. If God is really speaking to you regardless of how He chooses to do so, you are far better off simply acting upon what He has said to you. But before you act, seek confirmation with the word of God because He will never ever tell you something that is in conflict with His written word.

Also, many of you reading this were estranged from the organized church for some past hurt. Yes, individual Christians can be mean spirited at times. Entire church boards can become so tied up in the work of the church that they loose track of the fact that the work of the church is PEOPLE! But you cannot paint the entire church with the broad brush of "hurtful". Look for a small fellowship with a pastor who is full gospel and who is vested in his congregation. They are out there and pastors are given by Christ to the church for a very specific reason, (Please look up Ephesians chapter 4 verses 11-16). Having a pastor to speak with in times of worry and strife is a very comforting thing.

When people come up to me and say "God told me", I generally tune them out. The same holds true when folks hand me business cards labeling themselves as PROPHETS or APOSTLES! Those cards go directly into my round file (garbage can). If you are ever in the genuine presence of a Prophet of God or an Apostle, you will know it. They do not need to beat their own drum so the world knows. The signs of verification of either of those offices is clearly found in the Bible. If God speaks to you, consider yourself blessed but don't be in a hurry to announce it to the world. Now a word of clarification so no one misunderstands; I read my Bible and count on it for the answers to life's problems and recommend that you do the same. It is invaluable to followers of Christ.

In that Bible, the word fear is listed over 500 times in one form or another. It is a very real human emotion and no one should ever feel ashamed because they are having problems with fear. But there is great value in scripture so we do need to rely on it for advice in the important issues of life. One caution however; When praying if we do receive some kind of answer from God, please know that inwardly God's voice and our own voice can sound exactly the same. That is why we need to confirm what we think we are hearing with the printed word of God. I cannot stress that enough. And don't forget, counsel with your pastor.

Worry and fear can recede into the background of our minds after prayer. Notice I did not say that the problem would disappear. Sometimes problems simply have to work themselves out and we need to be proactive in caring for our own responsibilities. Also, some illnesses and other human problems are beyond our power to fix. We don't always get what we want. But the Lord is always there and listening to the cry of our hearts.

Someone once said "the Lord often misses golden opportunities to be early but He is never late". In my experience God does His best work at what we would call the very last moment. That is what builds our faith.

Proverbs 9:10 gives us the basics for trusting God with our problems; "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding". I am not speaking of the kind of fear in which we are in dread of God Himself. After all, we are saved by the blood of the Lamb of God because God loves us and desires our fellowship. No, I am speaking of a kind of fear in which we really do respect our God and want our lives to reflect as closely as possible, HIS LIFE! Jesus clearly states in Luke 6:46 "But why do you call Me Lord, Lord, and not do the things that I say?" The things that the Lord says are pretty well boiled down to the proverbial nutshell in Galatians chapter 5 (22-26) while speaking of the things of the Spirit. On the other hand the same could be said to be true about those who are NOT walking in the spirit but rather in the flesh because Galatians also spells those out in verses 17-21. Decisions leading to a "flesh ruled" life style can end up disastrous as is seen in Matthew chapter 7 (21-23) in which folks who think they belong to God are told "Not everyone who says to Me Lord, Lord shall enter the Kingdom of heaven". Reading further we discover that these people are "PRACTICING LAWLESSNESS (evil)". We are not speaking here of honest mistakes repented for. We are speaking of people who say they are believers but have never really changed from evil lifestyles.

In times of worry and fear the very first step is repentance and prayer. Making certain our lives are playing themselves out in Godly ways. Also worthy (more than worthy) of mention is James 4:8 "Draw near to God and He will draw near to you". And verse 10 "Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord and He will lift you up". A sincerely humble heart yearning after God will get His attention.

Fear and worry are a natural part of human existence but there is help. Scripture tells us (Ephesians 2:14) "For He Himself (Jesus) is our peace". And He further says in John 14:27 "Peace I leave with you, My peace I give you; Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid".

Someone once said "most worries never become reality". Basically that can be said for most of our human middle of the night sweat sessions. Not that bad stuff does not occasionally happen because it most assuredly does. The question is, are you as a believer and follower of Christ walking through what ever issue is bothering you, BY YOURSELF? Here is something for you to think about;

We look at our lives differently than God looks at our lives. Picture in your minds eye a standard 12 inch long ruler. It begins with one inch and ends with 12.  That ruler figuratively represents your life. You are holding it horizontally to you so you see the entire thing at one time. BUT, you can only understand the particular mark upon which you currently stand. The number 1 inch mark represents your first birthday, Perhaps number 6 represents your marriage date. Now here you are at 2 a.m. on a particularly worrisome night and you are at the number 9 inch mark of your life. You are worried sick and in fear because you do not know what the number 10 mark will be like when you get there. Sound familiar?

God on the other hand is Omnipresent. He is everywhere at the same time and knows the beginning from the end. Surprise, even of your life. The prophet Jeremiah was spoken to by the Lord in Jeremiah 1:4-5. "Then the word of the Lord came to me saying": " Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you-----"! And the word of God also says that He is no respecter of persons, Romans 2:11 (note: Some versions say "For there is no partiality with God"). One way or another the message is the same. God knows about your tomorrows. Just like the prophet Jeremiah, no matter what happens in your life, it is no surprise to Him. In short, He looks at your 12 inch ruler not horizontally but from end to end. He sees the date of your birth and at the very same time He sees the date of your passing from this earth. He knows exactly what will happen in your life at the number 10 mark.

Try asking Him and even if He chooses not to reveal the exact future to you, He will bring that peace that passes all understanding into your heart. You are not alone.

Matthew 28:20 "----And lo, I Am with you always, even to the end of the age. AMEN"!

Have a great sleep tonight and be at peace.
God bless,
Pastor Rance.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017


Dear friends and readers,

What a year we have all just experienced. One of the most hotly contested US Presidencies of all time, Israel now despised by a minimum of 128 countries who are members of the United Nations, The United States beginning to pull financial support from that august body, signs of the demise of ISIS, Nuclear war once again a danger to the world, both Russia and China charging full speed ahead into a race for world domination-----and the list goes on an on!

For those of you who study Biblical prophecy, all these things can trigger both excitement (for the possible soon coming of our King) and also undeniable nervous tension (over the exact timing and what that will mean for the rapture of the church). And truthfully, no one really knows for certain, do we? But it's becoming ever increasingly difficult to look at our world without both these feelings of excitement and trepidation.

My heart to yours 2018 is my way of saying "fear not because the King has it all under control". So, I wanted to take a few minutes to share with you all, my thoughts and the way all this is working out in my life. My heart.

I have spoken to so many believers over the years who say "but didn't every single generation since the cross hope for the coming of Christ? And of course the answer to that would be a resounding YES. But, our generation is the ONLY one in world history who can look backward at the monumental number of fulfilled Biblical prophecies which were accomplished on May 14, 1948 when against all odds, Israel once again became a nation, after 2000 years of physical non existence. By the way, the only nation to have ever done so. But this article is not about that. It is about hope for the future. A hope based in scripture. Based in an indelibly written promise by God Himself. 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 identifies Christ coming to take His church out of this world. 2 Thessalonians 2: 1-12 gives us detail of the rapture and even a hint at timing. Not THE TIME that it will occur but certainly timing of key events as they relate one to another. Several times in the book of Revelation Jesus says "I AM COMING SOON"! There are at least 10 things Jesus says about His return listed in the Gospels and 15 more about His second coming. Why did He belabor all these promises? Because He knew that in the end times, it would be difficult, even for many of His followers to look past "no hope" to eternal hope.

I for one look at eternity through vastly different eyes than many I have spoken to. You might be one of those who is as blessed as I consider myself to be, to look at world events and know that they are not real. Oh they are real here on this planet at this point in time, but they are not real when compared to gazillions of years of eternal life in a very special place called heaven because that is what we are promised. All who have placed their faith on the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. All that we physically see before us here on this earth today is temporary. Our actual, physical citizenship has been permanently transferred. Permanent citizens of heaven, merely waiting for our bodies to catch up!

As a pastor for many years I have had to comfort very many people who have lost loved ones. In fact I have several myself. In my case I have loved ones on both sides of the eternal ledger. Some saved and some lost. Some blessed for all eternity and some----well no blessings there. Fact is fact and if we believe the Bible which tells us of heaven, then we must also believe in "that other place". The word no believer likes to dwell on when confronted by the passing of a loved one who was not a believer. Hell. It's that one single word, at least for me that keeps the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20) before my minds eye.

This may sound odd to you but it is that very word, hell that has kept me from ever---not one single time consenting to minister a funeral for a non believer. I want to give those left behind hope and in those cases simply cannot. And I will not skirt around the issue. So I just simply do not provide that service. Nor have I ever one time ministered a wedding for non believers. What is the sense when worldwide statistics tell us that marriages between non believers has a slim chance at success? So I simply don't.

I don't want anyone to think that I am uncaring so please consider my words within the context of the absolute fact that for me heaven is a very real place. Also the words of God Himself who says in Psalm 116:15 "Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints". Unfortunately there are many within the church who have misunderstood that verse as meaning that God is somehow uncaring or mean spirited. Sadly it's those same folks who may have gone through desperate times and think God is punishing them for some past (repented for) sin. Both vastly untrue! In reverse order God in fact says in Psalm 103:12 "As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us". Think about that geographically for a moment; At no point on this planet does the east ever meet the west. The north does meet the south but the east never ever meets the west.

And the death of the saints of God? It is obvious in the book of Genesis that God created mankind for fellowship. For Himself! As much as we don't like the idea of parting with loved ones on this earth, could it be that God simply wants, NEEDS our loved one to be with Him in Paradise? Right now?

It is very natural and good for human beings to grieve the loss of loved ones. In fact trying to cut that grieving period short is I have found, a very unhealthy thing to do. Grief must play itself out naturally so we as humans can come to the point in time in which yes, we still miss mom or dad, grandma, sister or son but we are comforted to know beyond a shadow of doubt that they are not lost. Either to us or to any other believer. They have merely changed addresses. Temporarily. In fact in the course of time we will join them and be reunited for all time. And that is MY reality. As I must help people through the grief of loss of a loved one with the greatest degree of compassion, in my mind and heart it is an entirely different matter. You see, for believers in Christ, I have this checklist in my mind. The one with names and little check mark box's next to them. And when someone---believers pass from this earth, particularly for those who have been ill or in pain, I thrill at being able to put an X in the box labeled "SAFE"! Of course that is a very private thing because we must carefully guard the feelings of folks enduring grief.

But can you imagine? What it will be like to actually SEE the face of Jesus for the very first time? To enjoy the intense gratitude of reuniting with those who have gone before us? Can you imagine what the river of life actually looks like or the kinds of vivid colors that this earth may not even be capable of producing? The sights and sounds of millions upon millions of believers singing and playing heavenly instruments in praise of our God? And our angels. Someone once said, "you know you are in trouble when your Angel is in therapy", kiddingly of course. But really, I will enjoy talking to those guys. Knowing what they did have to do to keep me out of trouble.

I read an article a few years back about Albert Einstein. A famous absolutely brilliant man. The author, also a scientist claimed that even someone as mentally swift as Mr. Einstein was only able to use a very small portion of the mental abilities created by God in the human brain.  Can you imagine what it will be like in heaven when we are unencumbered by "HECTICITY"? When we are no longer burdened by worry, anxiety, pain, stress, lust, jealousy, hatreds and envies---age, to name only a few human emotions on this earth? No more thought of hair style, latest fashion, diet or the dreaded three letter word, the "GYM"? When we are finally able to use 100% of the brain power we were endowed with?

Now please don't misunderstand my intent. While still on this earth I fully intend to enjoy what I have here. I love to spend time with family and friends, good food, riding my quad, my home, and have no desire to end it any time soon. But on the other hand I am also ready when the Lord decides to "punch my particular button". Also, as you know, I sincerely love to write Biblically based articles that have an opportunity to touch peoples lives. But even more than that is my intense desire to know and understand what the word of God has to say about my future. My LONG TERM future. For me, probably a lot older than many of you reading this, it is almost like I am attached to heaven by a very long rubber band. One that is being stretched tighter and tighter with each passing day. And I know for certain that the day will come when that rubber band is stretched to it's maximum and either through my natural passing or the rapture of the church, I will, in the twinkling of an eye, suddenly shoot skyward, past whatever now stands between myself and my Lord. That could be seconds from now or it could be years. But in any case I am content to know that HE knows.

As we travel through this uncertain time in world history together, my hope is that you too have a perspective that centers on your ETERNAL life. That no matter what the news channels may have to say, you are able to keep your mind stayed upon Him who has given you and me the gift of eternal life as a free gift of grace.

From my heart and my household to yours, Have a happy New Year in Christ Jesus. And remember His words ending the Great Commission (Matthew chapter 28:18-20). "And lo, I Am with you always, even to the end of the age." AMEN

God bless you all,
Pastor Rance.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

As the nations— (and some) Christians rage!

Dear friends and readers,

WAR LOOMING. Psalm 83 may be on the immediate horizon. 

For the past three weeks I have been plagued with "writers block”. I could have written any number of articles of interest to me but I have a small problem. What I want to write is what the Lord inspires me to write and guess what? Zero inspiration—three full weeks which is very unusual considering I now have over 160 articles on the internet, PTL. Waiting, waiting, waiting.

Until now! But enough of me for the time being! It  seems to me  that among Biblical writers, the inference nearly always swimming to the surface is that he or she claims to have the absolute latest news “from on high” and the latest inspiration from the Holy Spirit. I don’t claim that at all, nor am I a prophet. Just that I write what I feel inspired to write after prayer, study and yes, reviewing the latest news feeds.  Not so much television because most that amounts to a bunch of "talking heads” who are merely expressing individual political opinion and guessing at outcomes. I normaly stick to reading well established commentators both from the Biblical world and secular,  who avoid grabbing your attention with “spectacular” headlines. I am sure you to have seen really provocative story lines but when all the layers are peeled away it ends up being not much more than a puff piece and often ends with appeals for money.

Having said that, there are some really good news feeds available but even then I look for “trends” not one item news issues. And when I have digested all of the above, checked the facts and applied Biblical applications, I always allow room for my readers to decide for themselves. No one is infallible, not on this earth anyway. Well except for one, and He gave His life for all of mankind on the cross of Calvary about 2000 years ago. Fortunately for all of us, that is not the end of the story; But we will pick that theme up again towards the end of todays absolutely inspired Biblical article??? Er!

This past couple of weeks for myself and my family has been a tough ones. Tough because we have been away from home visiting very good friends and relatives. You know how tough it is to be away from your normal—well, normal. Usual routine, your own coffee blend, your own bed and your own dog? No one can replace Fido! Lot’s of great pooches out there, every one sweet as pie, but just not my very own Fido! Well Ok in our case it’s not really “Fido” it’s “Copper”, all 100 pounds of her Golden Retriever self—tennis ball and all. And yes we did have someone trustworthy watching out for the beloved household family mutt. On the other hand can you guess how much 100 pound “dawg” debri I was  facing when I arrived home? Ugh! Well that’s life in the country isn’t it?

On the positive side the annual family and friends visit is a great time and brings with It blessings that only family can accomplish. But then there are also the sad partings and sometime other stuff better avoided. Have you ever seen the movie “Fiddler on the Roof”? The central characters, (Tevye the poor milk man and his sharp tongued wife Golde)? Poor old Teve who is joyful but yet saddened by 5 daughters who are rejecting the old ways and want to step into a new and modern world. This forces Tevye to do the “on the other hand" routine throughout the entire film. Boy don’t we all go through times like that ? If I decided this, what would be the outcome? But If I decided that??? Ah, if we could all just have the gift of hindsight—BEFOREHAND! Me too, can’t deny it.

Our own Cook family home is one of peace and generally quiet. TV never on during the day, maybe a nice Christmas movie or (Shhh—don’t tell anyone) sometimes a “chick flick”—romantic comedy in the early evening with my wife. Can’t let THAT secret out, it wouldn’t be manly.  Nor would crying in any form—just had a small speck of something in my eye. Of course in a Biblical sense that would be a plank would’t it? Well, no matter, it happens. 

All the other stuff turned off, nice cup of something warm, looking at the ocean, taking a family walk, holding hands, enjoying our child and that ole tennis ball mutt. just living life and enjoying what God has done for us. However, while traveling, all that changes. Nothing wrong with that, it's just spending time with other folks who like other kinds of evenings. And days! And ad infinitum. TV’s  on constantly, talking heads raving for or against the current President. Conspiratorial garbage and the latest exposure on some slime bag sex offender. It just never ends—on and on and on. I remember one time when a large church visited our missions center in Mexico. They were so sweet, wanted to surprise our staff of missionaries. They had rented a large van and hauled a BIG screen T.V. along with dozens of (questionable?) movies. Just wanted to give us a break from reality. None of our people wanted to spend each and every evening watching that crud and sweet or not, could not wait for them to leave---T.V. and all.  Now, please don't get the wrong idea because we are far from "Puritans" wearing long white robes and silly pointy hats. But maybe this reality nice church group failed to understand that they were leaving their reality to enter into THE reality that most of the world actually lives.

Since we do live a “country life style” we are not used to rants and raves about things that mean absolutely nothing in the long term scheme of things. We are not used to being around folks, “Christians folks” who are embroiled in pure unadulterated hatred against some President or congressional personality who is enjoying exactly 15 minutes in the limelight. Ok, so maybe as much as 4 or even 8 years. No matter really because whatever they decide today will be changed tomorrow by their replacement. Anyone read King Solomon’s statement that “there is nothing new under the sun” lately? History always repeats itself. 

During this trip we were subjected  to various people totally entwined in the latest political drama. Wow, dude! There has to be a better way to spend time. By the way, for those of you who read my articles on a regular basis, do you EVER remember me writing about politics? Not that I don’t mention specific people from time to time in relation to possible future Biblical events but really? I remember just two weeks ago that some folks were talking impeachment not just for a President but for some members of congress as well. It was all the rage. Sucked every bit of oxygen out of every single news cast. This week no one can even remember all that garbage let alone act upon it. What an utter waste of time.

Now to clarify, I am not one of those church leaders who claim the church should never be involved in politics. Actually the church should be involved fully in every single aspect of human life. But in a positive way. Speak up, be proactive and exercise our votes. People should express their views at the ballot box. And you know it’s OK for two people sitting next to each other on the same church pew to be registered in different political parties. As long as we have Christ in common, can we not agree that it is OK to disagree about a particular President? What a revolutionary thought. No need to agree, you honor my opinion and I honor yours. Which brings up another subject. Let’s take the Civil War for an example. Horrific event, tens of thousands killed on both sides, Still to this day for many very raw feelings. 11 Southern states seceded from the Union in 1860. Arguments have been raging ever since that the move to secede was over slavery and some say it was over states rights. I will not argue the point because by doing so every single southerner would have to be painted with the broad brush of pro slavery which is simply not true. Having said that slavery in any form is wrong. But that is not the reason I brought up the Civil War.  And by the way, for the record there was nothing “CIVIL” about it.  It was horrible, cruel, bloody and deadly.

Did you know, that leaving the issue of slavery out of the equation, both the Presidents of the Union (Abraham Lincoln) and of the south (Jefferson Davis) were in fact Christians? And so were the two most famous generals from either side. Ulysses Grant of the North and Stonewall Jackson from the south. So was Robert E. Lee. Of course folks try to argue against that but who really cares? The point is that all these great men and leaders all called Christ Lord. And so did a huge majority of the soldiers who fought on both sides, many of whom really did not understand what the war was about in the first place. So let’s take a look at an example for you to think about; A CHRISTIAN private in a blue uniform is pointing his rifle at a CHRISTIAN private wearing a grey uniform. Both pull their triggers at precisely the same moment in time. Both bullets run true to the heart and actually pass each other within centimeters while in flight. Both men, both believers in Christ, die at exactly the same moment. Instantly, both believers find themselves prostrate before vthe Lord in heaven. To whom does the Lord say “well done good and faithful servant”? Think about that in context of todays electrically charged political environment.

A huge majority of of the House of Representatives and the Senate call themselves Christians. So did all five of the current and past Presidents. George H. W. Bush, Clinton, George Bush, Obama and now Trump. And most of them HATE each other. Most of congress is no better than those wearing blue or grey uniforms in the Civil War. If they have a D. next to their names they HATE those with an R. And visa versa. And then they all trundle off to the church of their choice and worship Jesus Christ. Really? Next Monday morning they all go back to work, forget all about the Lord, cannot come together on a single vote on ANYTHING, go back to their offices for lunch where most probably they have a Bible prominently displayed —while many of them (not all thankfully) grope their secretaries! What a sad inditement for Christianity in general. To Which of these hate filled “Christians" will the Lord say “well done, good and faithful servants”? To be absolutely clear, I am not the judge and don’t know the answer to this either. What I do know is that HATE is not something I believe pleases the Lord. How about you?

Two weeks from now no one will even remember todays news unless of course it has something to do with fulfilled Biblical prophecy. Did you know that the Bible tells us that we as Christians are now citizens of heaven? Of course being honest here, I cannot claim that everything happening today pleases me either because it doesn’t. But the question is, can I change any of it? And the answer is absolutely not! 

Well, let’s walk that one back a bit because prayer does change things but after all, who on this earth really wants to pray for some political animal we don’t agree with? Not many I know although that really is what the Bible directs us to do. Isn’t it? Did I read that wrong? The anger in todays society either for or against any particular political figure is absolutely staggering. And of course whoever it is that is sincerely hated “is going to take the entire country down the drain”. Probably right in the end because so many writers have correctly said that the United States is no where mentioned in the Biblical end times scenarios. Of course that does not necessarily mean it will be destroyed but perhaps somehow downsized from a major power position on the world stage? Gosh with a national debt now over 20 Trillion, a false (my opinion) inflated financial and stock market bubble that should by all rights burst wide open any second? Another cold war forming with the U.S., Russia, China, North Korea, Syria, Lebanon, Turkey, Iran and even Argentina (and I could go on and on with lists of several other countries). Military and nuclear threats and build ups in several regions of the world, Unstable oil producing nations, Europe being ripped apart by Islamic extremism. Well, need I say more? Something has got to give. SOON.

So, back to the basic premise. All this hatred. What I tried to tell my friends (would not listen) is that hatred is not something that our Lord Jesus approves of. In fact what the Bible does say for certain is that it is the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob who puts world leaders into power. True even if it does not make sense to us at the time. Instead of hate, we should be praying for these leaders  and it is not our responsibility to “fix” the world but we should be adding to the Kingdom of God by accomplishing the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20) and standing firm until the end. 

Here is the deal; All these world leaders and political parties only THINK they are in charge. In fact they are not! They are all simply kings, queens, knights, bishops  and rooks on a heavenly chessboard. And yes of course they all have free will. Some do really good things and some really bad things.  But they are simply chess pieces being moved around by a power far greater than any of them could possibly imagine. Each and every one of our current world leaders are merely doing their small part to move the entire world into a Biblical position that will allow the next phase of Biblical prophecy to be fulfilled. President Trump is simply a pawn, a rook on that chess board,  as was President Obama and before him two Bushes and a Clinton. At least half the country hated what everyone of these men stood for. But sadly the general populace has no idea that someone far greater is pulling the strings, moving the chess pieces around the big Biblically prophetic board.  

But, would you not suspect that believers with a Bible at their disposal would recognize what is going on here? They should. Before we go further, if you look at history, you will discover that nearly all the truly great societies fell from power through varying forms of the very same disease. Moral decay from within, power struggles, debt, military abuse, decline of family values and waring political parties. Name them; Greece, Rome, Nazi Germany, Napoleons’ France, Alexander the Great’s empire, the Saracens, Turkish Ottoman Empire, Nebuchadnezzar’s dream world and the great Arab and Persian Empires. Name some more, same issues, same fate. Gone, all gone. 

History repeats itself, plain and simple and the great societies of todays world will do exactly the same. Every single sound bite recorded on the evening news was known in heaven long before those news castors were ever born. Long before any American President was a twinkle in his mommy’s eye! The scripts were written before the world began. Every single thing taking place today is already printed out on the “BIG BOARD in heaven. No mistakes and no surprises. Every single move the current leadership of America makes (not to mention the European Union, NATO, Russia and China) are moving the world inexorably closer to one single point in time. The second coming of Christ. And of course before that happens other things—other Biblically prophetic things will most assuredly happen. NOTHING CAN STOP IT!!! Things like the rapture of the church, Probably a war listed in Psalm 83, certainly the great war of Gog from the land of Magog listed in Ezekiel chapters 38 and 39. Eventually all the events of the 7 years of tribulation culminating in the huge worldwide war of Armageddon. And let us not forget the advent of the ultimate boogeyman, the foretold antichrist. He is coming as well. Things are on the move folks. Headed downhill toward the finish line. Nothing can stop it.

Last week the American President announced that Israel’s capital is Jerusalem. What a surprise. Seems to me that the Bible tells the story of King David purchasing the area of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem from a guy by the name of Araunah in the 10th Century B.C. Roughly 1000 years before Christ walked the earth. He paid the man fifty Shekels of silver for the Title. But now world leaders everywhere are predicting that Trumps terrible action will cause a horrific war in the Middle east because the poor Palestinians are being deprived of their rightful capital. Hog wash. While I do think the Palestinians deserve their own homeland it should not now or ever be carved out of Covenant land given by God to Israel. In fact history records that the League of Nations (precursor to the United Nations) did in fact create a homeland for the Palestinians prior to 1948. LONG PRIOR! It was called TRANS JORDAN, later given to a newly minted King who renamed TRANS JORDAN to THE KINGDOM OF JORDAN and refused to accept the poor Palstinian people into his new kingdom.

In fact history will also reflect that among the Middle East Arab, Turkish and Persian nations, they hold sway over a staggering 3, 596,959 square miles of territory. That’s right you read that correctly. OVER 3 1/2 MILLION SQUARE MILES! But what does the world want? To give the Palestinians a homeland within the boarders of tiny little Israel which includes a paltry 6,178 square miles of land. They want to give the Palestinians 1/2 of Jerusalem. The Eastern  half which includes the entire Temple Mount which was lawfully purchased by King David somewhat over 3,000 years ago.

I wrote an extensive article on February 26, 2017 entitled “END TIMES, PSALM 83. WAR IS IMMINENT"! You can find it by queuing up the BLOG ARCHIVE SECTION in the right hand column of this particular blog

In  that article, I articulate the various possible scenarios and people groups who might be involved in an invasion of Israel as spelled out in Psalm 83. This past weeks announcement by President Trump could and may well advance the time line of this war and to my way of thinking move the necessary chess pieces into order for that to happen. A veritable ground swell of  violent hate filled antisemitism is building throughout the Middle East as I type this.  The various sworn enemies of Israel may have just found their next excuse to try to wipe tiny Israel off the map once and for all. Of course it will not succeed. As did not all prior attempts but a war of this size could well bring hardship and death to the very doors of God’s promised kingdom. It could (notice I did not say would) also bring about Isaiah chapter 17, the total and complete destruction of the Syrian capital of Damascus. 

This article is already long so I will end it here. But please know that there are many other things in store for this planet prior to the second coming of the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords.

The answers are ALL in the Bible. Study and you will know. 

God bless you all in Jesus Name.

Pastor Rance.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Science catching up with the Bible---FINALLY!

Dear friends and readers,

As a follower of Christ, have you ever wondered why incredibly intelligent people such as scientists, cannot seem to get it right?  Not all of course because their are some extremely serious Christian believers who are scientists.  But on the whole, these people seem to deny anything they cannot physically touch or feel.  No room for a Spiritual God, even though they themselves cannot figure out how it all began.  Maybe it is a matter of being locked up in sterile laboratories with no one to talk to but monkeys and lab rats?  Scientific vision clouded by beakers, microscopes and text books?

Of course there is nothing wrong with education and text books.  I have some myself.  But it does amaze me that people who deny anything having to do with an unseen God, can at the very same moment enjoy toast cooked via electricity that itself cannot be seen.  Feel invisible wind on their faces at the beach, understand unseen gravity and believe in some mystical vast universal explosion that created the universe billions of years ago (with zero evidence by the way).  And actually---I will never understand this one---believe and teach that all life began at a moment in time when a single celled amoeba of some unknown origin, with no thinking capacity what so ever "DECIDED" to crawl up out of the primordial ooze to become some kind of prehistoric beast that eventually became a monkey who then turned into---a man? Wow.

So I said to myself, self I said, why then over vast millennia has man not changed one tiny little iota into say, a "ecostratocumba"?  You say you have never heard of a "ecostratocumba"?  Well, neither have I but I figure if highly intelligent scientists can creatively invent such utter nonsense, then I can invent a new name for a future creature who will never ever exist!

Creative license.

Just today I ran across an article originally printed in "BREAKING ISRAEL NEWS" by a Canadian born resident of Jerusalem named Yehezkel Laing.  Fascinating.  The basic thrust of the article is slowly admitted new evidence that scientists now believe indicate,  ALL mankind can be traced back to one man and one woman.  What an amazing revelation!  Gosh if only some of those people had read that very thing in the book of Genesis of Bible fame, they could have saved an awful lot of monkeys and lab rats.

You know, the story of the original man and woman, Adam and Eve?  Garden of Eden and all that stuff?  Have you noticed that it is so much easier to believe obvious truth than to work up endless theories to deny it?  So apparently new studies based upon DNA suggest that all women can be traced back to one single female and all men to one single male.  There has been something floating around the scientific world called "The Multiregional Hypothesis" which was believed an indicator that suggested multiple origins for humanity in general.  More modern research now indicates humanity has a common source.  Do you remember all that we were told since 1987 about this new evidence?  No?  Well, perhaps that's because we were not told.  But apparently there was a published study investigating common origins in 1987.  The study researched something called "MITOCHONDRIAL DNA"  which is passed from a mother to both daughters and sons.  Therefore it reveals maternal lineage.

Based upon this study, researchers were able to determine that EVERY SINGLE HUMAN BEING alive today can trace their ancestry back to one single human female.  So much for one celled organisms and primordial ooze!  Scientifically speaking this single woman is now referred to as "MITOCHONDRIAL EVE".  They are trying to narrow down the window of life for this first woman and now believe it as few years ago as a mere 100,000.  I could help them with a short Bible study but hey, if I did that who would spend all that Government sponsored research money?

Oops, do you suppose that God, the Creator of human life might object to these scientific doubters and unbelievers appropriating the name of Eve?  Talk about plagiarism!  Next we will find that they will also be using ADAMS name.  They wouldn't go that far would they?  Surely not.

Err, well maybe they would.  Seems like another discovery was made in 1995.  Gosh that means it only took the great scientific minds a mere 8 years to marry off MITOCHONDRIAL EVE to "Y-CHROMOSOMAL ADAM".  Ancestral Adam to us common folk.  In fact this new study confirmed that the Y-Chromosome is passed through a single male to his sons.  No daughters by the way, just sons.  Well let me see if I can understand this.  That must mean that in order to continue the human race, a man is needed to pass on his Y-Chromosome and a woman must  come together with that man so she can pass on her mitochondrial DNA to their off spring.  One man, one woman, makes sense to me.  But then that concept was also clearly stated in the book of Genesis.  But heck why belabor the point, right?

Golly, I just had a thought.  Do you suppose that this new line of scientific thinking could also lead to our brain trust finally realizing there is a reason why they have discovered sea shells on the highest mountain tops? Dude, that's way out there for certain.

I will quote just one original paragraph from the article I read. "The studies were quickly attacked by other researchers. But subsequent studies confirmed the original findings and the theory is now generally accepted by the scientific community".

How original of them.

God bless,
pastor Rance.

Saturday, October 14, 2017


Dear friends and readers,

Recently I posted a comment on my FaceBook page and was surprised to have a negative comment.  Not that we all don't receive some negativity from time to time but this one did surprise me and I thought, well, maybe this would be good time to write an article about the subject matter which is SHABBAT.  Another way of saying that is a Sabbaths days rest, featured as the 4th commandment in Exodus chapter 20 verses 1-17, of 10 Commandment fame.

To clarify so were are all on the same page, if you are a Christian, who has repented for your sins and accepted Jesus Christ as Lord, you have been given the most valuable treasure in the entire Universe.  Salvation!  Eternal salvation bought and paid for by the voluntary sacrificial death and resurrection from the grave of the Lord of Lords and the King of Kings, Jesus Christ, the Messiah of Israel.  There is no work you can do to earn it, no amount of good works, lighting candles, giving money, or even a lifetime of going to church.  You could literally observe every Sabbath until the cows come home and it will get you nothing but a well deserved rest each week.  But that is the point I will get to later in this article.  You cannot obtain salvation by obeying the laws of the Old Testament.  It is a free gift from God Himself based solely upon your belief that Jesus is Lord.  But the Old Testament is filled with wisdom and if sought diligently one can clearly see the Messiah, King Jesus as though looking through a beautiful pane of pure crystal.  Don't make the mistake, as do some believers and  discount the Old Testament and in so doing throw out the baby with the bath water.

Romans 10: 9-10  "That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.   For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation".  Simple, nothing else required.  Period!

Of course there is also ample scripture telling us that AFTER salvation some things are expected of us.  Ephesians 2:10  "For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them".   Then there is Luke 6:46  (Jesus speaking)  "But why do you call me Lord, Lord and not do the things which I say?  "Bottom line folks, because we are believers saved by grace does not mean we can sit around on our laurels and wait for Him to get here.  We need to be about our heavenly Fathers business  (Luke 2:49).

The statement I posted on FaceBook was on Friday evening.  Here it is.  "Jerusalem is 10 hours ahead and their Shabbat begins at 5:38 p.m.  Ours is coming soon.  What does that mean to us?   It means that we can take a break for 24 hours IF WE CHOOSE TO DO SO.  NO LEGALISM IN THAT FOLKS!  Mark 2:27 tells us that the Sabbath was made for men.  It also says that Jesus is the Lord of our Sabbath.  God gives us permission to step back and take a day off with Him, our families and friends, in fact the 4th Commandment actually Commands it.  Why is that anathema to so many Christians today?" End of comment, pretty simple to understand, don't you think?

I received a reply, very politely given by the way from an extremely nice person but telling me that I might want to refresh myself with the second chapter of Colossians.  A scripture that warns against legalism.  But the writer was insinuating that voluntarily observing a Sabbath days rest was somehow observing the commandments and doctrines of men and "Let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or  Sabbaths".  I had to ask myself, am I judging anyone or giving solid Biblical advice?

???  Well, I have run into this before so I do understand.  However it does make one wonder when I clearly said IF WE CHOOSE TO DO SO and NO LEGALISM IN THAT FOLKS.  So lets clear the record because Over my years in ministry as a working pastor I have discovered something.  Many Christians have by one means or another become petrified at the thought of ever straying into the law of the Old Testament  because that would mean they are rejecting their salvation through grace.  I don't intend this article to sound defensive in any way but I do have concern because healthy BALANCE is possible between Old and New Testaments.

So, lets agree on better wording for that issue, shall we?  If Christians tried to go back and observe the law as a means of obtaining salvation then they would in fact be rejecting salvation through grace.   That does not mean that every single word of the Old Testament needs to be anathema to Christians.  If that were the case then why are both the Psalms and Proverbs recited in nearly every church of the land?  Why are there Bible studies (after Bible studies, ad infinitum) on the book of Ruth, Esther and Song of Solomon?  I Bet you yourself have attended some.  And maybe one on the 10 Commandments as well?

There is a lot of confusion for some believers about exactly what "THE LAW" is.  In the Old Testament it is believed by most scholars both Jew and Christian alike that there are 613 laws in the Old Testament.  James 2:10 says  " For whoever will keep the whole law and yet stumble in one point is guilty of all".  Clearly no one could ever NOT stumble somewhere on all these laws so we know that salvation by keeping the law is simply not possible.  That is why the Lord Jesus Christ provided salvation as a free gift of God for us through His sacrifice on the cross at Calvary.  But speaking of Jesus, He also said in Matthew 5:17 "Do not think that I came to destroy the law or the prophets.  I did not come to destroy but to fulfill".

Lets take that in reverse order;   Jesus came to fulfill the prophets?  Well folks, a tremendous amount of Old Testament prophecy is yet to come true and will not completely be fulfilled until the very end of the 1000 year reign of Christ on this earth.  Jesus said "I came to fulfill"---future tense. He did not say "when I came I fulfilled"---past tense.  Clearly He is in the process of fulfilling the Prophets but there is much work yet to be done.

 Now for the law;  The original law was given to Moses on Mount Sinai in the form of the 10 Commandments, something that appears today on very many court houses, all across America including the United States Supreme Court.  That document had nothing what so ever to do with the 613 other Old Testament laws.  In fact the 10 Commandments were the only laws commanded by God to be placed in the Arc of the Covenant.

So, let's talk for a moment about Jesus coming to fulfill the law.  He will not fulfill all the law until the moment of His second coming.  You don't think so?  Well let's look at todays events, over 2000 years after the Lord spoke those words.   Is there still murder in this world including on occasion among believers?  Are record numbers of pastors, and elders falling from grace because they have cheated on their wives and slept with a secretary or church member?  Has there been in recent years SEVERAL female adult school teachers who have had sexual relations with their students and some of these women wore crosses around their necks?   Did you know that it is believed that a full 68% of western church going men are addicted to internet porn?  Or that Focus on the family and several other church helps groups offer pornography counseling to pastors AND pastors wives?  Really, pastors wives?  YES!  How many stories have come up recently about holy men and priests having sex with children?  Church board members or treasurers absconding with church funds?
I am not trying to paint a dark picture here about the church folks because this is merely the tip of the worldwide iceberg and things are even worse in the secular world.  But this is very real and the scriptures say that Jesus came to fulfill (future event) the law and the prophets but clearly that complete fulfillment is yet future.  He did not say "I FULFILLED,  as in already accomplished.

Some will say, but what about the Lord's statement while on the cross of Calvary?  "IT IS FINISHED"?  Does that not mean that in that instant He fulfilled all things?  And the answer to that is no, He did not.  What He did do was to seal the New Covenant with His shed blood and provide the way for all mankind to enter into salvation as a free gift of God purchased at great expense by the atoning death of the only sin free person in all of history.

 But again, both the work of fulfilling the prophets and completing the works of the law are yet future.  Does that run counter to salvation through grace?  No, for those who will accept that free gift.  But remember that a huge majority of the over 7 BILLION people on the earth today have so far rejected Christ as have a large percentage of Jews who are still trying to gain their salvation through the works of the law.

NOTE:  There have always been a remnant of Jews who accepted Jesus Christ as their Messiah.  All of Jesus original disciples and Apostles were Jews and even many Pharisees followed Christ after the resurrection.  They were able to make that "leap in faith" because the doctrines of the Pharisees allowed for resurrection from the dead and when they saw Jesus walking around Jerusalem alive AFTER they saw Him die on the cross, they simply could no longer deny Him.  The Sadducees and scribes (members on the Sanhedrin along with the Pharisees) did not believe in resurrection from the dead  and even though they experienced both with their own eyes, continued to reject Christ as Messiah.  However it should be noted that a healthy "MESSIANIC" population is growing both inside and outside Israel today.  Messianics are Jews who have come to faith in Jesus Christ as Messiah.

Now regarding the 10 Commandments;  For 33 years of full time ministry I have been asking Christians if they believe the 10 Commandments still apply to them?  I am guessing that fully 97% have said yes, of course they do.  I also have 130 lengthy articles on the internet and many have referred to exactly this issue without ANY---not one single complaint about the 10 Commandments being legalistic.  Except for 1 of the 10.  Bet you can't guess!  When asked if the 4th Commandment---a Sabbath days rest applies to Christians at least the same 97% have registered a variation of "no way Jose, that's just Jewish legalism".  Ok, 9 good, 1 bad.  Could it be that God made a mistake?  Should He have left that one out or is it simply because it is not popular?  Let's have a moment of honesty here shall we?  The moment of honesty I will give you is this;  The 10 Commandments are not Jewish anything.  They are Godly everything.  The Jews did not write them, God wrote them with His own finger.

So, lets go back again and reiterate.  Obeying all the 10 Commandments will not bring you salvation but you would have plenty of time to think about that from your jail cell.

10 Commandments in brief: GOD SPEAKING!

1). You shall have no other God's before me.  Not bad, we can all agree on that one.
2). Don't worship false gods.  No argument from Christians there.
3). Don't take the Lord's name in vain.  Ok, so far were good.
4). Sabbath rest.  Oh no, no way, that's just Jewish legalism!!!  Can't have that in the body of Christ.
5). Honor your mom and pop.  By the way you will live longer if you do.  100% on that one.
6). No murder.  That's jail time and who would possibly want that?
7). No adultery.  Of course not, who do you think we are?   Hmph!
8). No stealing.  Probably just County jail on that one.  But still not a good idea.
9). No lying about your neighbors.  Well for goodness sake.  What believer would do that?  Liars will NOT inherit the Kingdom of God!  Whoops, thats a New Testament quote.  Another mistake?  Mixing Old Testament with New Testament?  How scandalous is that?  Hmph!
10). Don't covet your neighbors wife or stuff.  Probably jail time in that also if you don't get shot by a jealous husband.

Yep no way, lets just chuck the 10 Commandments because they are definitely legalistic.  Really?  And while we are at it lets just give in to the liberal lefties who want to take all the 10 Commandments down.  Maybe they are right after all, it's obviously not healthy for our children to see any Biblical  kind of stuff that violates church and state mandates.  It's far better for school officials to give them condoms instead!  Oh and if the little kiddies get pregnant?  Well, no way parents are allowed to know that.  Hmph!

Let's get real folks, as a Christian you cannot have it both ways.  You either accept that God Himself gave the 10 Commandments or that He made a mistake.   Having said that, Jesus did come to bring a New Covenant, the basis for which is salvation through grace.  The question is, if something is important to God, should it not also be important to His people?  No absolutely, observing the 4th Commandment in itself cannot accomplish salvation and no one should celebrate the Sabbath as any form of Legalistic requirement.

But how about this zinger?  Mark chapter 2 verse 27.  This is NOT Moses speaking. This is NOT one of the Old Testament prophets speaking.   This is Jesus speaking, the one who provided us with salvation through grace.  The one who brought the New Covenant. "The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.  Therefore the Son Of Man is Lord of the Sabbath"!  Folks, if you do not want to take a Sabbaths days rest you will not loose your salvation.  But how about loosing your family after years and years of 24-7?  As  pastor, I see that happening frequently!!!  The Sabbath days rest is a beautiful gift wrapped present that the Creator of the Universe prepared for mankind because He knew that mankind needed rest just like God did after 6 days of Creation.  He gave us an example that most Christians reject out of fear of falling into legalism.  Open the present for goodness sake. Honest it won't hurt you.  Having said that I cannot always take a day off each week myself but I do understand the value of spending a day with the Lord, with my family and friends.

The attitude seems to be,  "but we can't do anything on the sabbath"!  No that is not what scripture says.  It is a day for you to back away from work.  A Sabbath days rest is NOT a list of things you cannot do.  It is a list of things you CAN do.  You can read your Bible and pray then spend QUALITY time with your spouse and kids.  You can have visits with family and friends.  You can laugh or go swimming.  You can be quiet and relax, take a nap, ride your horse, go for a ride in your car and chill out.

The whole idea is to get rested up because Monday comes soon enough.  No Christian should celebrate a Sabbath day because they have to but rather because they want to.  Also, Saturday which really is the original Sabbath may not work for you.  Many Christians consider Sunday as their Sabbath.  I was listening to a country song just yesterday while puttering in my shop.  It was speaking about a slow Sunday after church, taking a walk, having a family dinner and talking to one another.  Catching up as a family.

Ok, so I have had my say on this subject.  I just want to leave you with a thought.  Do you know what my wife and I see when we are out and about?  Entire families down to t-tiny little critters ALL texting and talking to everyone But each other.  As a ministry family we have had to make some rules for our own health.   Unless it is an emergency, we look upon our cell phones after 5 p.m. as just another invitation to talk.  Generally to someone other than our immediate family.  NO. NO, NO, NO. At 5 p.m. all the devices go off and it is family time.  Time to eat together and talk to each other.  Folks if you don't start doing that now, when your kids are grown and gone you will have NO ONE to talk to.  Believe me the kids won't melt if they have some rules in place regarding cell phones.

Being a Christian means living a life of balance.  Balance with work, family, church, and dare I say it?  Balance with understanding that while we are New Testament creations, we will not melt either if we open the Old Testament.  Many and I mean very many Old Testament prophecies may well begin to happen in your lifetime.  Will that surprise you when it happens?  Unfortunate, because God makes it abundantly clear in His word that He wants His people to know.  Did you know that Jesus Himself referred to the Old Testament?  It is the very foundation of the New Testament and the two should be viewed as ONE BIBLE!

Enjoy a day off with your family as often as you can and remember that Jesus will be there with you because He is Lord of your Sabbath.

God bless,
Pastor Rance.