Generation Cedar

Jess at Making Home makes some of my favorite points (doesn’t everybody get this?) about our birth control culture. Very well-articulated.

Subtle effects of the birth control culture

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36 Responses

  1. I found this to be very helpful. I’ve read Jess often, and really apreciate her opinions, candor, and talent. There are well over 100 comments just on this post, so she’s encouraged a lot of people. I personally would like to repost one here (if that’s legal):

    From Brandy:

    I appreciated what Hannah said above. Here is a link to a woman who used to be part of the “quiverfull” movement. She says some insightful things. http://blog.birthblessed.com/2008/01/on-friday-january-6-you-wrote.html Here is a great article by Douglas Wilson that is helpful in “deciding” how many kids to have. He says “I would encourage you to have all the children you can. But that can is much more than biological.” http://www.credenda.org/issues/18-4husbandry.php

    – Amy of the first blog mentioned is very candid and gentle, and makes very good points. And she has 7 children, so it’s not like she dosen’t have some experience with the QF idea. If you (ladies in general) wish to respond to me, please keep in mind that I hope for a massive family. I am proud of the ladies who rear lots of godly children, and am incouraged by them, and hope to encourage them myself. I just think Amy, Brandy, and Doug Wilson have some good things to say, too. Thank you for your time. Thank you, Kelly, for this link to Jess’s posting. I enjoyed it.

  2. I loved her post, & even though I deep down feel it's right to not try to take control of things we have no control over, I have questions.

    What about when one has several special needs children; it runs in the family now. The parents are alone with no support… it is very tough for those not in that situation to understand or appreciate the difficulty, even though the children are so cherished.

    Then with end times upon us, & we really are prime for this now, it seems from my research we will not be raptured. What happens to my children when we're either struggling becz we can't buy or sell or I'm martyred…

    Heavy stuff, for heavy times. We must be real; He warned us for a reason. So why not talk about that too…

  3. Anon,

    First of all, as with every other time I’ve posted about this, the intent is to address “the prevailing attitude”, not to dissect the 1% of families who might be dealing with a hard situation. I have a friend who has ADOPTED 12 special needs, so, there’s that.

    But we can never approach a situation from the “what if” to formulate our world view. What if I got killed and left my childre motherless..what if they got killed and broke my heart. What ifs would prevent us from doing anything in life if it ruled our thoughts.

    Which is why God’s soveriengty is so comforting.

    End times…I don’t see anything in Scripture that suggests we are to stop having children because of possible persecution.

    When the children of Israel had been bought into captivity, many were being killed (remember the babies and Moses?), God gave them a command…

    “Be fruitful and increase.”

    That speaks a lot to me.

  4. Anon – re: “end times upon us” – This is meant as NO correction, only a cause for hope and relief.

    GAry DeMar writes here, as a comment in this article:

    http://www.americanvision.org/blog/?p=265

    Anyone wanting to know my thoughts on Matthew 24, the most basic book is my “Is Jesus Coming Soon?” It is a verse-by-verse exposition of Matthew 24.

    There is also John Bray’s “Matthew 24 Fulfilled” and my “Last Days Madness.” These are available at http://www.AmericanVision.org

    1. Jesus said “this generation will not pass away until ALL These things take place.” The “all things” refer to the signs of verses 4-32.

    2. Each and EVERY time “this generation” is used in the gospels, it always refers to the generation to whom Jesus was speaking. There are no exceptions (see 23:36 which every commentator, even C.I. Scofield notes refers to that first-century generation). If Jesus had a future generation in view, He would have said “that generation.”

    3. Matthew 24:33 tells us who would see the signs: “even so YOU too, when YOU see all these things, recognize that He is near, right at the door.” The “you” refers to Jesus’ present audience. Follow the use of the second person plural from 24:2 through 24:34. If Jesus had a future generation in mind, He would have said “when THEY see.”

    4. Jesus was quoting Daniel 7:13 and Ps. 110.1 in Matthew 24:30. It’s a reference to Jesus ascension not His coming down to earth to set up an earthly kingdom. This, too, also happened in the first century. He told Caiaphas, “From now on YOU will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of Power, and coming on the clouds of heaven” (Matt. 26:64).

    I’ll be debating Barry Horner on this subject Saturday, November 22, 2008 in Sacramento.

    I’ll have an extensive outline on every verse of Matthew 24:1-34, comparing Scripture with Scripture, available for download after the debate.

    I don’t want any of my debating strategy to get out early.

    Gary DeMar

    Kelly, I realize this is a serious “can of worms”. I fully undestand I fyou choose to keep this off the comments. It is off topic to the original post.

  5. Lori–LOL, you are right about the can of worms! But I’m glad you’re tackling it…I’m still researching and reading to be able to articulate these beliefs…not ready to debate yet, but you have at it! Important!

  6. Anon1 here again,

    Bless your friends; they are doing His will obviously. Not all of our situations are ideal for these choices.

    1% is a low estimate on this as well; I honestly don't know where that came from. There are an incredible amount of us out there. Because you are blessed with healthy children & do not run in these circles keeps you unaware of the magnitude of families out there.

    Some are struggling with just 2 children with special needs. It varies from family to family & their situation. To say well I know someone who ADOPTED this many special needs children, undermines the real individual struggles of others, others, by the way, who are not having the body come forward for any help or support to help them in their parenting as well. The churches aren't "there" either; it just rarely happens. Your friends may be one of the rare few with support, or the gifts to manage well alone.

    I believe the Lord is here for us; He willed it all, & I do believe He is in charge, all the time, no matter what we try to "plan".

    There has been a lot of spiritual growth in my life, due to my having special children, but I struggle daily with knowing I can't do it all for them, yet they are left with me alone to help them. It's only through Him that I can do anything at all.

    I rec'd Christ long after my marriage with 2 children already, & dh isn't there yet. He is not able to have the Lord guide his parenting; he does not have concerns for their greater spiritual good. He is an excellent provider. I am a "single parent" though, for the most part, & definitely am "single" spiritually.

    I liked your point about the Israelites in Egypt. I often wonder about the verse reg. how difficult it will be for pregnant & nursing mothers in days to come though…

    Reg. the response on endtimes, I do not agree with the argument that is thrown at people – the one about people having claimed it was the end several times in history.

    Sure, that's true. But we've NEVER been lined up for it the way we are now. The bible talks about people around the world being able to watch things happening; that could not have happened without today's technology – TV, internet, etc. With Obama center stage & beloved by the world, it is certainly plausable he can be used to usher in the new world order.

    It is painfully obvious things are getting very close. To say otherwise seems naive. God would not have spent so much time with warnings & prophesy if it weren't important that we should be watchful & aware, even though we can never know "the day", we can see what's happening & be alert.

    Blessings.

  7. In the comments after the DeMar article I shared, one man made the case that George W. is the antichrist. Made some interesting points (tongue in cheak)! I’m o.k. with being deemed as niave. Obama is, what, the 50th guy to be heralded as the antchrist, right? I think you’re giving him way too much credit. Eh.

  8. Lori,

    please read carefully… I did not say he was the antichrist. You need to understand the endtimes better. He may very well usher in the new world order, but that is not the antichrist. That happens later.

    Thanks…

  9. Anon1 – “I do not agree with the argument that is thrown at people – the one about people having claimed it was the end several times in history.”

    Well, that’s a perfectly reasonable rational for disagreement, if that were all there were. But points 1-4 that DeMar made are all scriptural, not anecdotal. Same thing with “verse-by-verse exposition of Matthew 24.” The issue of the ever-present threat of THE antichrist is kind of like saying, “Well, if the formula hasn’t worked still, maybe it’s a wrong formula”. And that same argument you mentioned is also to reveal how people tend to interpret the Bible in light of the news, over and over and over again. It’s not the main point. And it’s one you brought up.

    But keep up the good work with your two blessings, and your husband. “For the unbelieving husband has been sanctified through his wife” 1 Cor 7:14.
    I hope you can get the support (moral or otherwise) you need.

  10. – He may very well usher in the new world order, but that is not the antichrist.
    Beg your pardon

    -You need to understand the endtimes better
    What? That’s it? Umm. Sure. O.K.

  11. Sorry Lori; been doing a lot of reading lately.

    Really not trying to do this according to "news"; been paying attention to all the Bible has to say & it just seems to fit very well. Really, it has to eventually right? It is about what is going to happen – in the world, right?

    Of course no one knows the date, time, person of antichrist, etc. If anyone claims to they are not right. I would never claim such a thing. Just wanted to make that clear.

    Only time will tell, as we see the events unfold.

    Thanks but I have a few more blessings than that ;-).

  12. “We are told that none of us should think of ourselves more highly than we ought to think (Rom. 12:3). Before you build the tower, you ought to do some contingency planning (Luke 14:28). Sit down and count the cost. What are your likely financial boundaries? What is your health like? How old will you be when the youngest graduates from high school? Will you short-change your oldest daughters in their education by pressing them into service taking care of their younger siblings? Given how hard you will have to work to feed them all, will you have any time and energy left over to love them? Remember that children don’t just need quality time; they need quantity time. What will the tuition payments to the Christian school be when all of them are enrolled? Are you equipped to homeschool so many children at so many different levels, or will things quickly deteriorate as they are left to instruct themselves or each other?
    This is susceptible to misunderstandings, I know. But having answered all the questions above (and others like them) as honestly as you can, knowing what you can do, I would encourage you to have all the children you can.”

    This is a quote from the Douglas Wilson article. He compares tower building to raising children; not sure that’s a good annalogy. :[

    Like Kelly said, this kind of thing has you running around in a “what if” scenario.

    *What are your likely financial boundaries? – How do I know? My second was in the NICU 12 days. Should we have 12 days worth of money saved up before we allow ourselves to fall pg again? One BIL actually suggested this. Then what happens if the next is in the NICU a whole month? What then? One of dh’s uncles was paralized at 38yo. Maybe we should prepare for that, too.

    *What is your health like? – My best friend has Lyme’s. She was so sick when she married – having her son 41 weeks after her wedding was a huge leap of faith. Having children has made her stronger, unlike what they thought would happen!

    *How old will you be when the youngest graduates from high school? – My dad is 63yo; he’ll be 65yo before my youngest brother graduates. What a mistake! (sarcasim) This young man is the shining light in my parent’s life right now – the older two sons would have left them with broken hearts and no hope.

    *Will you short-change your oldest daughters in their education by pressing them into service taking care of their younger siblings? – Or is that known as learning how to multi-task and preparation for motherhood??

    *Given how hard you will have to work to feed them all, will you have any time and energy left over to love them? – Oh, my! I’m tired with one 2yo…multiply that out and I’m a wreck. Of course. Am I capable of raising *one* child with lots of time and energy? Is it easier to cook for one baby or two? Frankly, I find it much easier to cook for four people than I did two! :S Am I really the best judge of my ablities? I would have said I couldn’t handle one child, I would have said I couldn’t handle an NICU stay – I would have said I was too weak to do many, many necessary things.

    Remember that children don’t just need quality time; they need quantity time. What will the tuition payments to the Christian school be when all of them are enrolled? Are you equipped to homeschool so many children at so many different levels, or will things quickly deteriorate as they are left to instruct themselves or each other? – Moses didn’t think he was equiped to be a public speaker. I feel like an unlikely mother! God says that He uses the weak and poor to confound the wise of the world … for me to raise multiple children with any semblence of sucess should do just that!

    According to this “helpful” article, I should be working on a teaching degree and working so that we can save up money. And I’d have one or two children wel into my 30’s.

    Just my two cents.

    Relying only on Him,
    Ashley
    http://www.homesteadblogger.com/Jonash2004

    p.s. As for the end times thing that has taken over the comments section,we barely remember Nero’s atrocities. We remember Hitler’s better. Who was worse? I mean, have we really seen devestation such as the “world has never known, nor will see?” [Matt 24:21] Have we lost a third of the sun, or of the stars? Just thoughts. I think it’s com’in – and weather we’re here for it or not is a different story. :]

  13. Ashley – you quoted several of Wilson’s questions: here’s what he said (for those who didn’t read it)

    “This is susceptible to misunderstandings, I know. But having answered all the questions above (and others like them) as honestly as you can, knowing what you can do, I would encourage you to have all the children you can.” You don’t have to answer the questions in a prescribed way. Just answer them.

    re:”According to this “helpful” article, I should be working on a teaching degree and working so that we can save up money. And I’d have one or two children wel into my 30’s. “
    No, that’s not what he was getting at. BTW, in case you didn’t know, he and his wife never used family planning.

    “The Bible teaches that it is not just a matter of having them.” D. Wilson in the article

    “But women will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith, love and holiness with propriety.” 1 Tim 2:3

    I think Wilson is trying to say you don’t have to be totally anti-family planning to be a good, faithful christian (or even to have a quiver full), and that being anti family planning is no guarantee of good parenting, of good faith, or leaving a good legacy. I inserted the scripture, not he, to point out that it’s the parenting, not the propigating itself, that makes the diff.

    I was thankful to Brandy for this link, and I think it’s helpful and not “helpful”, because he brings up very real questions, and treats them respcetfully.

  14. Sorry to have taken over with the endtimes stuff here… I really don't have anyone to talk to about it & need the discussion. Maybe I should go join a board somewhere lol.

    On another note, dh (not saved as I mentioned I was saved after our marriage), has of course, a different view of children, etc. Recently, after looking over all our little blessings, he said to me, in regard to having more, "If it weren't for the special needs, it wouldn't be so bad."

    I try to take on the bulk of it all; the treatments, implementing them, etc. It really takes 2 though, to make special children succeed in life.

    Kinda breaks my heart…

  15. Anon1 – I didn’t forget you. It’s a serious question and should be respected. And why not here? If Kelly didn’t want it, she’d deleted the comments. I’m a preterist, just regular preterist. I’m post-millenial. Literally thousands of pages have been written by, knowledgeable, eloquent men. I need a bit to give a decent response. Esp with little ones around, and housework. Congratulations with your more than two blessings. That’s wonderful. I wish I had something particular and to the point by way of encouragement. Is it enough to say that my heart goes out to you? (I’m serious. I don’t want to be trite.)

  16. Annon – here is a link for you. Maybe you’ve read it, maybe you haven’t and it could encourage you today. I’m part of a MOMYS board and when I read this it was just so beautiful, and then I thought of you. :]

    http://www.our-kids.org/Archives/Holland.html

    I don’t mind the end-times stuff. 🙂 I’m certainly not qualified to debate it, though! My postscript is probably as far as I will take that one, though I sure don’t mind reading about it!

    lori, the part that gets me is this: “But having answered all the questions above (and others like them) as honestly as you can, knowing what you can do , I would encourage you to have all the children you can.”

    It’s hard for me to judge, myself, what I can do. That’s all. I was simply looking at the questions he posed, and my abilities, and drawing conclusions. You have to understand that the timing for each of our three was “crummy” to me. I ‘wasn’t ready’ for children with #1, but dh was. #2 was concieved 2 weeks after a miscarriage! The more I get to know ds #2, the more I realize how much ds #1 could consume me – he is the most challenging, stubborn little boy! He needs lots of love and consistancy.

    According to DW’s article, I could be short-changing him by allowing so many younger siblings to compete with my attention along with him. Or is it teaching him even more to have siblings?

    I’m just glad I don’t feel in charge of having to make that choice as to how benificial that is. :]

    “I think Wilson is trying to say you don’t have to be totally anti-family planning to be a good, faithful christian (or even to have a quiver full), and that being anti family planning is no guarantee of good parenting, of good faith, or leaving a good legacy.”

    All very, very true! All I want to point out is that you can honestly believe you are a good parent capable of providing, and not be. Our own perceptions and logic tend to be decieving. I believe He will give more grace, for example, to Anon1, who knows she struggles, than to a family who might have all the resources and be such good parents “everyone knows they should have more.”

    I’m not glorifiying having many children; but Wilson’s article left out the importance of prayer and faith in “deciding” or not deciding how many to have. He makes it sound more of a logical, think-it-through and decide how many ‘you’ can have/handle. He did not mention the word PRAYER once! Ouch.

    I simply do not feel qualified to make the judgement call that one more child will bankrupt me financially/physically/emotionally. Most people I know handle their “oopsie” child okay, although usually with some grumbling, lol.

    And I’m sure you can’t “read” my tone, but I have fun with things like this. :]

    Ashley
    http://www.homesteadblogger.com/Jonash2004

  17. Ashley – “And I’m sure you can’t “read” my tone, but I have fun with things like this. :]”

    I thought you were very polite. You clearly put a lot of effort into your presentation.

    My main goal in responding with more about DW was to see that he was fairly represented – what he did and didn’t say.

    I hadn’t noticed that he didn’t mention prayer. Good point. I don’t think he meant to exclude that point, perhaps he thought it would be taken for granted?

    Thank you for your mention of your #1. Mine too, is a challenge, to put it mildly. But better as time goes on. Even though we had always wanted to have a big family, I was nervous about #2. I believed that all kids are different (not all are so high-maintanence), and that God would make us better parents, as we so desperately needed. God has been soooo good. Things have gotten easier.

    The problem is that humans are flawed, though and through. So our logic can be flawed. But we still use it, with council (blogs and articles can serve in that function), and much prayer, as you pointed out.

    Haven’t read the article yet, but will. Thanks.

  18. Anon1 –
    Please revisit my second posting. I can’t say anyting more clearly than that. But to that, I’d like to add that I believe
    1) that when Jesus taught his disciples to pray “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven” he meant for them to pray expecting God to grant that.
    2)when Jesus said that “the meek shall inherit the earth” he meant His followers (the decendents of the people he spoke to then and there) would someday rule the earth in peace and brotherhood.
    3)that Christ began His millenial reign when he ascended into Heaven, and that millenial reign dosen’t literally mean 1000 years.
    4) that the crushing of Christ’s foes is progressive, and not in one fell swoop (if I may use a cliche). (please see http://www.americanvision.org/blog/?p=198)

    This is just a rough outline, and not meant to be comprehensive by a longshot. The real masterpiece is David Chilton’s Paradise Restored.

    I really appreciate American Vision (www.americanvision.org) for their products. They have so much information, and much is free in their archives. If they sell a book published by Institute for Christian Economics, you may be able to download it for free here:
    http://www.entrewave.com/freebooks/sidefrm2.htm

    They also have open forums if you’re interesed. You do have to sign up, but it’s free.

    (Yes, I’m shamelessly plugging AV, but all the free stuff. Gotta love free. And I’m a fan of DeMar.)

    O.K. Here is an article that I thought was helpful about post-millenialism. The first couple paragraphs are somewhat harsh, but not too much so as to be unreadable.

    http://www.preterist.org/whatispreterism.asp

    Thank you for your openness to dialogue. I’m sorry I couldn’t offer you anything more succinct at this time.

  19. “Will you short-change your oldest daughters in their education by pressing them into service taking care of their younger siblings?” D Wilson

    I think his concern is that a parent might use an older daughter primarily as babysitter rather than training and discipling her as a singular daughter of the most high. Of course it’s fine for her to help out. Good for her. But what is a parent’s long term goal for his/her older daughter? Just to be helpful, or learn how to glorify God in the home? I’ve known people who used their older children primarily as hired (cheap!) help, rather than rearing them with legacy and discipleship in mind. Perhaps he had such parents in mind when he wrote that…

    Again, I think his question is about shortchanging her education, not about her helping with the younger children.

  20. Lori, that's way more than is appropriate to go through here, but please be careful…
    http://lionofjudah.tribulationforces.com/articles/prophecy/puritannews_preterism.html

    We must be ready. It's been said the christians who think nothing is going to happen, either through your views or through rapture views, are the ones who will fall away in those last years.

    Be careful… believe the scriptures for what they say.

    People want to be "optimistic"; they don't want to hear about bad things. They don't want people to frighten them. But God gave us His Word & it's full of warnings for good reasons. He wants for no one to perish.

    Again, way too much to go into here, but look into it further, elsewhere than where you are presently reading, for yourself before settling on that view…

  21. Anon – You told me to go "elsewhere than where you are presently reading". Well, I went to the site you directed me to. I appreciate that you want to save me (seriously: no sarcasm), but the site you sent me to said "FORBIDDEN" (it was in big, bold type)"You do not have permission to access this site". Don't they want to save me too? (the whole thing strikes me as plenty humorous) Besides, I have read from plenty of different sources, I just shared the ones that I thought were particularly accessable, both mentally and digitally (well, physically in the case of the Chilton book, which is not too hard to get through inter-library loan). And I grew up, indeed still live in an area where pre-millenialism, amillenialism, and post-millenialism were well represented, but with the emphasis on pre-millenialism. So I have more than a little to go on. But allow me to share a bit more scripture. Even if we differ in interpretation, we can agree on it as a source.

    1)Peter speaking on the day of Pentacost (Acts 2):
    "16but this is what was spoken of through the prophet Joel:
    17'AND IT SHALL BE IN THE LAST DAYS,' God says,
    'THAT I WILL POUR FORTH OF MY SPIRIT ON ALL MANKIND"
    (skip to v 33)
    "Therefore having been exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He has poured forth this which you both see and hear."

    So let's review: Joel profesies that Jesus will "pour fourth his spirit on all mankind" "in the last days", and Peter says outright, "He has poured fourth this which you both see and hear" "this" being His Spirit, which he recieved from the Father, and was witnessed by all present. Peter claimed this. Not me. Not Gary DeMar, et al.

    2)Acts 2:34
    "THE LORD SAID TO MY LORD,
    "SIT AT MY RIGHT HAND,
    35UNTIL I MAKE YOUR ENEMIES A FOOTSTOOL FOR YOUR FEET."'

    Here Peter quotes from Psalms 110. This to show that FIRST Jesus sits at God's right hand (from the ascention), and THEN God will make His "enemies a footstool for your (Jesus') feet." First Jesus takes dominion, then God hands over the enemies (in my view, progressively). Peter said this.

    3)1 Cor 15:25-26

    24"then comes the end, when He hands over the kingdom to the God and Father, when He has abolished all rule and all authority and power.

    25For He must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet. "

    So Let's review:

    "The end" does NOT come until Christ has established His kingdom (which He did at the ascention), and all His enemies are vanquished. "When He has abolished all rule and all authority and power" (1 Cor 15: 24) That is, all authoritiy and power challenging His. This is His second physical coming. Judgement Day. First Christ reigns His millenial reign, then when all usurpers are squashed, and only then does He return physically for the final judgement. When Death is destroyed for ever. Death gets no more casualties. Everyone is in his/her final "resting place". In Heaven or Hell.

    4) Heb 1:1&2
    1"God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways,
    2"in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world. "

    So let's review: The author of Hebrews "in these last days spoke to us (the author and those around him. At that time)" That author was in those last day. The last days he speaks of here is the last days of the old order.

    There's no rapture. Jesus has established His kingdom. He will rule it until He comes again in body. And then the resurrection.

    So I believe that things will get better and better, as Christ progressively subjugates the foes, and then will return, physically and in glory, for the final Judgement Day. Makes me optimistic! 🙂

  22. re: -“we barely remember Nero’s atrocities. We remember Hitler’s better. Who was worse?”

    I have to admit, I don’t know Nero’s total casualties count. But your point stands.

    Modern despots kill more efficiently than ancient despots because they have modern, efficient technology at their disposa. I believe that modern technology is a gift from God. It can be used for evil intentions. Take medicine for example. God has allowed us to heal injuries and cure diseases that were insurmountable a very short time ago. But sometimes humans use modern medicine to kill unborn babies, or unwanted post-natal people for that matter(euthanasia). We can split an atom and destroy villages, whole cities. But maybe someday we will split atoms for clean, abundant energy. We are not in that time when Christ has subjugated all foes. No one ever said it would be easy or quick.

  23. This is probably not the place to debate end-times theology, but Kelly graciously allows us to!

    I am a Bapti-costal, and still believe in the pre-tribulation Rapture. I can’t believe how this doctrine is under attack in this age of the great falling away, which I believe we are in.

    I think that the pre-tribulation Rapture has been mis-taught and mis-understood: that it’s purpose is to deliver the Saints from persecution. That is NOT true. Christians have undergone persecution from the time of Jesus until now, and persecution of Christians will continue up until the Rapture. More Christians are being persecuted now than ever before in history. That will continue until the Rapture. We Christians need to be warned.

    But just because a doctrine has been mis-taught and mis-understood is no reason to throw it out. It must be taught and understood properly.

    The reason for the Rapture is NOT so that Christians will escape persecution. It IS to remove the restrainer (the Church) SO THAT Anti-christ can come to power. As long as the restrainer (the Church) exists on earch, Anti-Christ cannot come to power.

    So, the reason for the Rapture is so that Anti-Christ can come to power, NOT so that Christians will escape persecution. We need to be warned.

    People will accept Christ as Saviour during the Great Tribulation (mostly Jews, the nation of Israel, with whom God again deals directly like before the time of Christ). These who come to Christ during Anti-Christ’s reign, however, will pay for it with their lives.

  24. Lori,

    Time has proven that as we get further & further away from the Lord, e.g. increased promotion of homos*xuality, increased ease of abortion, electing a president that believes in infanticide, God taken out of the schools, etc etc etc, the worse things get, for everyone.

    Revelation 20:4-6 (NKJV)
    4 And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was committed to them. Then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ for a[a] thousand years. 5 But the rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. 6 Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years.

    Lori,

    When did this happen exactly? Were all these folks beheaded for not accepting the mark of the beast or worshipping the antichrist? When exactly did they live & reign with Christ for 1,000 yrs? Why is 1,000 yrs not 1,000 yrs? It's what's written… it's literal.

    None of this has happened yet. Don't be anticipating things will get better, because there is much persecution in the future of the true believer. The concern for those who feel nothing bad is coming is they will fall away permanently when it starts to happen…

    Matthew 24:10-14
    10 And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. 11 Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. 12 And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. 13 But he who endures to the end shall be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.

    There's tons of good reading out there… here's just one.

    http://www.midnightcall.com/articles/money/terrible_times.html

    HTH

  25. Lori,

    Sorry, that link cut off at the end for some reason. Add imes.html at the end to make it times.html – that should work, hopefully.

    Civilla,

    I really hope you're right, but, why would the church hinder His process? Whatever God wills will happen, & if it's in His plan, it will happen, without believers' interference. We're going to have less & less influence; who respects a true Christian viewpoint anymore anyway… ?

    A nation that was built on christianity has just elected someone who is for infanticide – & that was okay with the majority, so he's now our leader. If that can happen, imagine what our world & the future holds.

    And yes, thank you Kelly, for this outlet for a particularly heavy topic.

  26. Anon., I can see what you mean about Christians, in America at least, not being much of a restraining force, since nobody listens much to Bible Believing Christians any more. Perhaps God will judge and destroy America and we will be out of the picture long, long before any Rapture. I don’t know.

    If God sovereignly uses the church to restrain evil, He will sovereignly take it out of the world when His plan for the church is completed. He is in control. But, He chooses to use the church, right now, to restrain evil. We think things are bad now, but when the church is gone, the floodgates will burst.

    When the church is gone, He will turn again to the nation of Israel. That is another reason for the Rapture. Israel is very important in the end times. After the Rapture, when Anti-Christ reigns, his (Anti-Christ’s) wrath will be poured out on Israel, and Israel will recognize Jesus Christ as their Messiah. Many will turn to Him. Many will pay for it with their lives, because of the wrath of Anti-Christ.

    After this, God’s wrath will be poured out on the earth. Anybody who is a believer in Christ will have to flee (Matt.24)to the hills. The gentile church is long gone. God is dealing with Israel. Matt. 24 deals with the Jews in the end times. The “This Generation” that Jesus was talking about was the generation that will see all these things come to pass — the generation of Jews alive at the end times.

    Matthew 24 shows that Jewish believers at the end of the world (the day of the Lord) will ALSO be taken to a place of safety (“one will be taken and one will be left”) as the universe begins to disintegrate and God pours out His final wrath.

    There are other examples in the Bible about God’s people being taken out of a place or a situation, so that He could punish evil (Lot was taken out of Sodom with his family, and Noah and his family were put in the ark, so that God’s wrath could be poured out). God CHOSE to do it that way; He didn’t HAVE to. He chooses to use people and events in His own mysterious ways to accomplish His ends.

    I studied John MacArthur’s commentary about this, and that is where my ideas are from.

    By the way, John Calvin wrote a commentary on every book of the New Testament except for the Book of Revelation. Maybe he was not interested in it. I don’t know. Reformed people have always taken the a-millenial, no-Rapture approach to the end-times.

  27. Civilla,

    The massacre of innumerable amounts of christians during the trib could account for the weeding out, as you say.

    From what I understand, the "rapture" won't be until after antichrist sets up his reign, marks are given out, sides are taken, & martyrs are made.

    They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service……. But these things have I told you, that when the time shall come, ye may remember that I told you of them… — Jesus Christ (John 16:2-4)

  28. Yes, they will be put out of the synagogues — these are Jewish believers. Jesus was talking to Jews about future Jews.

  29. Matt 24 (and 1 Cor 7:29, 31; and Rev 1:1 and Rev 1:3) were prophecies that were fullfilled in AD 70. I posted that in my second comment, in the quoted section. If the pre-trib rapture has somce under attack (which it surely hasn’t here), perhaps it’s because pre-trep dispensationalists keep ignoring the passages where Matthew, Paul, and the author of Hebrews keep talking about “soon to come” “this generation (the generation that recieved the insturction) shall not pass away” etc. Has it occured yet, that if they were only speaking to a generation some 2000 years away, then Matthew, Paul, and the author of Hebrews were LYING to the poor “yokels” who got their sermons/letters? “You. You. This Generation.” I don’t think that’s the case. They were telling the truth, and it came true. What was prophecy became history.

    Anon claimed that she dosen’t interpret the Bible according to the newspaper, but then says, “The bible talks about people around the world being able to watch things happening; that could not have happened without today’s technology – TV, internet, etc.” And then “increased promotion of homos*xuality, increased ease of abortion, electing a president that believes in infanticide, God taken out of the schools, etc etc etc,” Well which is it? Do you interpret the Bible based on news or not?

    By the way, we are *Hardly* the first culture to practice homosexuality (and it’s not as bad as it’s been in history, numerous times), infanticide, etc. Yet history keeps chugging right along.

    Civilla – re: “More Christians are being persecuted now than ever before in history” First of all, I don’t know about that, but let’s say, for that sake of argument, that you’re right. Well, that could be simply because the earth is soooo populated. We have cities more populated than all of midievil Great Briton. More non-christians to persecute, and more christians to be persecuted. It’s like hurricane destruction: the hurricanes haven’t actually been as bad as they have been in the past, it’s just that in the last 20 (or less) years, millions of people have moved houses and business on or near those areas prone to hurricanes: more people means more damage from the same amount of hurricane.

    A millenium is a way of saying “really long time”. There is much symbolic language in the Bible. Even good ol’ Tim LaHaye recognized the symbolice use of imagery in the Bible: see LaHaye, Revelation Unveiled. Like when Jesus called himself the “bread of life” “Yet nobody believes that Jesus is claiming to be a loaf of bread in this passage” (Brandon Vallorani – http://www.americanvision.org/bwarchive/10-06%20Gensis%20Revelation.pdf

    So when did this happen? AD 70.

    Re: Rev 20 – I don’t see why this can’t have happened. If they are reigning with Christ, they would be in Heaven. Never been there myself yet.

    I’m not blind, I do see horrendus sin around me. But I see such praise worthy (to the King of Kings) that I have plenty of evidence that God is expanding His dominion in the practical, day to day occurances of life. Anyone have a friend who recently lost a child (say in the past 3 years) to whooping cough? Measles? Smallpox? No, because God is granting us victories progressively, even victories over microorganisms.

    Civilla – I believe that it is a Christian’s duty to aid in conquering evil, not merely restraining it.
    “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good” Romans 12:21

    Article – The November Election and Claims that “The End is Near!”
    http://www.americanvision.org/blog/?p=265

    See also – Signs in the Heavens Return for the Umpteenth Time
    http://74.255.56.30/blog/?p=149

    ***A fave of mine, this one’s a must for a side by side comparison of our respective side’s interpretations. If you only visit one article I’ve offered, read this one.: http://www.americanvision.org/bwarchive/10-06%20Gensis%20Revelation.pdf

  30. And to tie all this in to modern birth control culture: All things to God’s glory. I hope to have lots of children (as many as God sees fit) to train up as spiritual soldiers of God, to expand his kingdom, hopefully with many little soldiers of their own, and grand-soldiers of their own. If that means one being an evangelist, great. If that means him being the best, most honest mechanic in town, I would love that too. Dominion over ALL of life, all of culture. A legacy of hope, of expantion. My children for God’s glory. Thank you Kelly, for sharing your space for this. Have a blessed, and restful Sunday.

  31. Lori,

    Revelation 20 could not have happened yet, because if you read it, it says they were beheaded for *not taking the mark or worshipping the beast*.

    There has been no "antichrist" yet; no one knows who he will be.

    I do not interpret the Bible through the news – but God gives us signs in the Bible to watch for, many, many warnings.

    Why should this generation here in the US feel we shouldn't be persecuted like so many others? We think we're too good for that or something? (note the last link I sent which discusses that problem today)

    And about diseases – what explains the horrid rise in all the other problems like cancer, allergies, autism … the list could go on.

    I'll finish here, to spare anymore posts on Kelly's blog here. It's probably been enough.

    But Lori, all you've done for me is prove to me how deceived people are in these days, as the Bible said they would be. Many will turn cold when the persecution comes to our door, because they expect to be rescued, or that it's all over.

    I do, & will continue to, pray for mercy.

    Blessings & thanks!

  32. Kelly,
    Thank you for allowing this discussion. It is something I keep studying over and over. I’ve read Revelations twice and still am confused. 🙂

  33. Lori, yes, we are suppossed to overcome evil with good. But, overcoming evil IS restraining evil. Overcoming it IS restraining it.

    “The fact that Jesus spoke in the second person, especially in Chapter 24, does not prove He was speaking to the disciples about their own generation. The Old Testament prophets frequently addressed messages to people yet unborn, some of whom would live hundreds of years in the future. God picked up the prophet, as it were, and transported him to the time wf which he was to prophesy, and he spoke as if he were standing directly before those future generations: Isa. 33:17-24; 66:10-14; Zech.9:9. Jesus was saying, in effect, ‘You who are alive at that time…'” (John MacArthur’s commentary on Matthew 24-28, pages 16 and 17).

    In the Olivet Discourse, beginning with verse 3 of Matthew 24, Jesus was talking of a time in the future.

    The principle of “talking TO somebody THROUGH somebody else” is a Biblical means of speaking to somebody. God talked TO Satan THROUGH the King of Tyre in Ezekiel 28.

    As far as the Anti-Christ goes, Satan, through him, will try to imitate Jesus Christ. Satan will inhabit a human being (the Anti-Christ). It will be a fake incarnation, mimicking the real Incarnation. Many will be deceived.

    Just like there were many “types” of Christ before He was born, so, I believe, there have been and will continue to be “types” of Anti-Christ (people like Hitler). One day, when the time is right and God allows it, the real thing will happen.

  34. Hmm, as much as I hate to resurrect a dead horse (end times debate in this case), it did come up again elsewhere and applies here. So I comment via: http://generationcedar.com/2010/02/families-worshipping-together-why-not-childrens-church.html#comments

    The prophecies came true. The old order was destroyed when Rome sacked Jerusalem – all that apocolyptic talk? Running for the hills? Woe to them that give suck? If you read up on what the Jews went through during the seige you’ll agree. Especially about woe to them that give suck. (shudder) It all happened, almost 2000 years ago.

    The Mark of the Beast? Here’s a little known fact:

    Remember how in elementary school you learned the Roman Numerals? They were really just letters w/ assigned numeric value.

    Same thing in Hebrew.

    AND if you spell out NERO CAESAR in Hebrew it also spells out in numerals. And you can add them up. And they add up to Six Hundres Sixty-Six.

    No lie.

    If you’re intrigued by that I recommend reading The Beast of Revelation by Ken Gentry, or for further explanation of above topic, read Before Jerusalem Fell by Ken Gentry. Don’t worry, it’s not just Ken Gentry talking, it’s explication of Bible passages.

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