I love Thanksgiving! It is an awesome time to reflect on all the blessing of the Lord! Every year the President of the United States gives an honorary pardon to some lucky turkey who will spend the rest of his entire life in retirement on a farm, forever safe from harm. The other day we had two wild turkeys in our back yard. Rather than putting them on the Thanksgiving table, I, too, extended a pardon. They soon wandered off into the woods, free and safe from harm. I don’t think the turkeys ever knew the potential danger they were in, never mind being thankful to be allowed to go free. This year, as I consider these turkeys, I am reminded of the pardon God extended to me! It is not because I am lucky, but because I am loved of God, so much so that He sent His only begotten Son to die on the cross for me. That alone is enough to be thankful this Thanksgiving!
After working several months with our town officials, the planning board has finally approved our site plan and we now have our building permit! Let the construction begin! We thank the Lord for answered prayer. We know the road ahead will have its share of obstacles, but we have a wonderful, hard-working group of people, and most of all, we have a might, miracle working God!
We are moving forward as a church as we seek to move to a new building. The Lord has been opening doors for us as we have been praying for Him to lead us. God has helped us to work out an agreement with the landlord. After meeting with town officials, we hired a company to help us with a site plan for the property. We had our first meeting with the town planning board to present our vision for a church at this location. Because we are changing the use of the property from retail space to a church, we are going to have to make many changes to bring everything up to code. Although we have a monumental task ahead of us, we are grateful that they are willing to work with us to see the project through. We have a great God who is able to do all things. “For with God nothing shall be impossible” (Luke 1:37).
I am thinking today about the message I preached on Sunday morning, the day after the supposed Judgment Day. It was titled, “Now What?” I am sure that there are going to be repercussions to that false prophecy. As you watch and read the news, you can see that many lives are going to be affected. Those Christians that believed and followed Harold Camping and Family Radio are no doubt affected today. I have read that some sold their possessions and gave to that ministry. Now they are broke and wondering what to do next. I read of one man who took the week off to take his family out to California to be with his fellow followers. He figured that the pay check he would lose that week would only be coming to him after the Rapture, so he wouldn’t be needing it. I hope he was not living paycheck to paycheck, as so many of us do. Not to mention the cost of driving cross country! This group of people have been taught that the churches of today are all apostate and that they should leave them to follow the Family Radio Ministry. No…the truth is that people need the local New Testament church. I would agree that there are some churches that should not be attended, as they are not Bible-believing churches. What should we do now? We should recognize that we need to be a part of a good church and strive to live for the Lord.
No doubt, the duped followers are not the only people that will be affected by the false prophecy. The scoffers of Christianity are having a field day with this false prediction. The Bible says in 2 Peter 3:3-4 that “…there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, and saying, Where is the promise of his coming?….” A scoffer is someone who mocks or makes fun of. There are many today that are laughing at all Christians as they lump all of us into the false prediction crowd. The devil is using this to full advantage to make people have even more doubts about and concerns about Christianity.
The truth is, everyone will in one way or another be affected by all of this. The duped followers no doubt are shaken today. The scoffers are enabled today. Those who are hurting and needful of the Gospel are being lured away from finding in Jesus the way, the truth and the life. Those of us today who are Bible believing followers of the Lord, who desire to live right and reach others with the Gospel, are also affected. We now are going to have an even harder time reaching people. Yes, the devil is having a field day!
So now what? We need to stay with what we know is right. We need to start with our own walk with God and draw close to him. Read your Bible everyday. Make prayer a stronger part of your life, and seek God’s power. One thing that has not changed in all of this: God is still on the throne. The Bible still says in Hebrews 13:8, “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever.” The Lord has not changed. He can still help people and change lives. We need to keep reaching out to folks and let them know He loves them and will help them. Now what?…..Keep on keeping on!
Well , the prediction of the Rapture and Judgment Day on May 21st once again proved to be wrong. The day has come and gone with no disappearance of Christians and no apocalypse! The simple truth of the matter is that Jesus said in Matthew 24:36, “But of that day and hour no man knoweth…” No one should have been duped by this prophecy, as the Bible tells us that when someone makes such predictions, you can tell if he is a true prophet of God if what he says comes to past. Harold Camping made a similar prediction back in 1994 that did not come to pass. No one should have taken him seriously this time either. The truth is, even he did not fully believe his own prophecy. I read of persons and groups who offered to buy all of the his personal and ministry assets for prices anywhere from one dollar to a million dollars (his ministry is worth a lot of money!). He certainly would not need any of it if the Rapture were to truly take place on May 21st. He would not sell. He should at the very least have made some provision for that wealth to go to help feed the poor and hungry during the tribulation, or something like that. He should have done what he asked so many of his followers to do. Sell everything to get the Gospel out.
On Wednesday, May 18th, I preached a message titled, “What if he is right?” I did not believe he was, but I challenged the church give thought to how they would live if Jesus truly was coming that day. If we knew our last day on the Earth would be that Saturday, would that change the way you live the next couple of days? The truth is that Jesus could come again at any time, but most Christian are calculating that he will not come today, or tomorrow, or anytime in the near future. How can you tell they are doing that? By the way they are living today!! If we really believed he were coming soon, as He said, we would be doing everything we could to live right and reach out to others with the Good News that Jesus loves them and wants to save them from their sin. If the Rapture did take place on the 21st, many of our friends, neighbors and loved ones would be in Hell today, and we would be standing at the Judgement Seat of Christ giving an account of how we lived our lives for God. Many would be just like me, ashamed at how little I had done for Jesus.
That message continues to challenge me today. I hope it will challenge you as well. If that truly was the day of judgment, how would you have fared with God? Do you know Jesus as your Savior? Would you be saved, or left behind? Are you living for Jesus each day, or would you be ashamed at His coming? May we take this to heart in the days ahead…..remember, He IS coming again!
10:00AM Sunday School
11:00AM Morning Worship
6:00PM Evening Worship
7:00PM Prayer & Bible Study
*Nursery is available during all services!
Cornerstone Baptist Church
651 Mast Rd.
Manchester, NH 03102