Why do the righteous suffer?
Suffering is paradoxical. It has a way of making or breaking us. It can convert a person into a bitter, depressed and vengeful wretch who spends his time shaking his fist at God. Or, it can have the opposite effect; it can draw a person deeper into the Lord and shape that person more fully into the image of Jesus.
The response depends upon the quality of one's faith. As Billy Graham has often put it, "The same sun that melts the butter hardens the clay."
The Character of Man Continues to Decline as an End-Time Sign.....
It's nothing new for a president to lie to us, but Obama's style is unique.
Barack Obama has offered all sorts of similar empty pledges, like promising to close the federal detention center at Guantanamo Bay within a year of taking office. It is still open. Obama also promised to halve the deficit by the end of his first term. Instead he doubled it. Ditto Obama’s promises on the good things to follow Cash for Clunkers, on the shovel-ready jobs that would follow the stimulus, and on the summer of recovery to be spawned by massive borrowing. At your own job, if you promise the boss that you will do something and then don’t, you’re likely to get fired; when presidents do the same, it’s called politics.
For most of the latter half of the 20th century, religious life in the United States was marked by four consistent trends: oldline Protestant membership was declining; evangelical Protestants were growing; Roman Catholics were hovering just above the replacement level (with new immigrant growth slightly exceeding the amount of erosion in the white ethnic base); and each succeeding generation of adults was participating less in religious institutions.
Christmas is the exaltation of one particular religion that makes a claim of being the only true religion and that is unacceptable to the movers and shakers of contemporary American popular culture, elitist academia, and many in the mainstream media, news, and entertainment. Therefore, Christmas must be replaced with words and ideas that are broad and general so as to knock Christmas from its traditional place in America's public life. It is an attempt to define Christianity as no more important to the history and fabric of America than is, say, Hinduism. This is what these people (often called secular progressives) believe, and evidently a number of Christians agree with that position. Subsequently these Christians find more fault with their fellow believers – those of us who want to keep Christ in Christmas and Christmas in America – than they do with those who want to eradicate Christmas.
OUR CURRENT RADIO PROGRAM
Jan and her team review the most important radio programs aired on Understanding the Times in 2013. We play clips from Rep. Michele Bachmann, Dr. Erwin Lutzer, Gary Kah, and many more. We have tried to keep you up to speed on dozens of issues, breaking news, feature stories, and more. Jan, Eric Barger, and producer Larry Kutzler add commentary along the way. Find the stunning book we refer to by Dr. Erwin Lutzer here. We use the mobile app found at www.oneplace.com.
Politicians lie, but this was a whopper, designed for the purpose of turning South Africa and its strategic materials over to the communists. The perfect front man, Mandela had always denied being a party member and, for the benefit of foreign audiences, publicly rejected Marxism as a "foreign ideology" as recently as a few years ago. It appears that was just a ploy to keep the foreign aid coming. South Africa has been among the top ten recipients of U.S. foreign aid, getting close to $500 million in fiscal year 2013.
The media are currently filled with reports of students in the U.S. scoring poorly on international tests. The Program for International Student Assessment, which compares 15-year-olds in most industrialized countries, reports that American students dropped from 25th to 31st in math, 11th to 21st in reading and 20th to 24th in science. The solution consistently offered for these low rankings is to spend more money on schooling. But numerous studies examining the billions of dollars we've spent on education in the last decade show that money has not improved the performance of U.S. students, and higher-scoring foreign countries spend far less per pupil than we do.
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Events in the world of eschatology raced in 2013. Here is just a short list of how God's end-time prophetic scenario moved ahead throughout the year:
We have seen the rise of lawlessness starting with the highest leaders in the land. Laws are broken with the stroke of a pen. The U.S. Constitution is ignored by American leaders acting in a totalitarian manner. Such leadership lawlessness inevitably leads to the lawlessness of the people under them. Charles Krauthammer writes an insightful article about the "breathtaking lawlessness" of our times here. Matthew 24:12 refers to the rise of lawlessness in the last days.
Given the turmoil surrounding the Arab Middle East, the endless bloodletting in Syria, Iraq, and Egypt, as well as Iran's hegemonic drive in the region – which has opened a Sunni-Shite fault-line – Kerry's obsessive focus on the creation of a Palestinian state seems somewhat incomprehensible.
Are Israeli Jews preparing to build the "Third Temple" in Jerusalem in fulfillment of End Times Bible prophecy? If so, who is behind such developments? How are Muslim leaders responding? Could such a move trigger an apocalyptic reaction by the Muslim world against Israel in an already volatile environment?