March 14, 2018 Steps to Life Newsletter
What’s More Important Than Understanding About End Time Prophecy?
That’s not to say understanding we are living at the close of Earth’s history is unimportant!
It is very important. Why? Because we must be ready for the temptations, distractions, divergent false gospels, creeping immorality and the impending tumultuous times happening right now in an increasing crescendo. We should recognise all the events happening with increased intensity, frequency, strength and subtlety of temptation. Never before in Earth’s global history has access to evil, false religion, hedonism and self-indulgence been so easy for so many. Simultaneously, never has war, hardship, starvation, hopelessness and privation pressed in on so many. There is a great, growing divide between spiritual wealth and poverty and between material wealth and poverty.
The Biblically predicted signs are numerous. They include –
• The rise of the movement for global government.
• Young people who are disobedient to parents and authority.
• The rising acceptance and media portrayal of the occult, witchcraft and paganism.
• A universal repetition of what it was like in Sodom when Lot lived there, coupled with the life style of the anti-deluvians.
• Humankind destroying the Earth for the sake of amassing wealth.
• The explosion of world wide travel.
• Incredible wealth being concentrated in the hands of the relative few, while hardship, uncertainty of employment and poverty increases for the expanding majority.
• The information and knowledge explosion while there is a loss of appetite for God-given spiritual understanding.
• Populations living in fear as a way of life from various social and physical threats external to them, making life perilous.
• Pestilences and pandemics including but nor confined to AIDs influenzas, super-bug outbreaks, malaria, etc. – despite incredible advances in medical knowledge.
• Drought and famine. Death of millions by starvation and associated illnesses.
• Earthquakes, tsunamis and similar. (Between 1950 and 2017 earthquakes of a 5.6 plus magnitude, world wide, increased 2250 to 4000 per year!)
• Rumours of and real wars engulfing millions.
Right now in March 2018 the indicators of the end time climax are all present and happening together. But we are so used to this state of affairs that we become accustomed to it as being ‘normal’, therefore un-alarming.
In addition to the above end-time picture, 21st century scientists talk about possible Extinction Level Events. ELE’s are calamities that could result in the annihilation of most species on the planet. Scientists say that most ELE’s are unpredictable and unpreventable. Scientists claim that if some organisms survive all other ELE’s, the Sun will kill us, given time. It’s gradually burning brighter and heating us both causing the death of vegetation and drought while chemically breaking water down into hydrogen and oxygen, which bleed away into space as gasses. It’s part of global heating. Of course, this is all set into the ages of evolution.
However, the Bible talks about the impact of sin on God’s creation and how God will destroy sin and those who destroy the Earth. Realistically or pessimistically, scientists say there is ultimately nothing we can do to prevent the inevitable. The Bible outlines a God given solution whereby the Earth will be made new.
ELE’s include potential-
• Solar occurrences such as the sun heating up, or a coronal mass ejection by which a star expels charged particles from its corona and a major one gets close enough to Earth to fry us. Or a supernova shoots out a gamma ray outburst destroying our protective ozone layer.
• Geomagnetic pole reversals whereby the magnetic field of the Earth flips having a range of dire consequences.
• A huge meteor strike on Earth. They are out there is space and have not all been identified. Some identified are over one kilometre in diameter.
Optimistically, the Bible paints a picture of the battle between Satan and God and while there are tough times ahead, we are given assurance of His help and our salvation and that He will make all things new, including us.
So, what’s more important than understanding the God given prophetic time chart of the Bible that predicts and pinpoints Jesus’ second coming and the eradication of sin? It’s understanding the provision God has made for the salvation of all who will accept it and ask for his strength to faithfully serve Him.
The apostle Paul said to the Ephesian believers and to us - But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. (Ephesians 2: 4 to 9).
To the Galations and us he says, - But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith. (Galatians 3: 11) This text is the text that changed Luther’s understanding of salvation. We must exercise faith and believe unreservedly, that Jesus forgives our sins and will give us strength to over come them.
Grace is God’s gift of unmerited/undeserved favour. If we accept it at face value through faith we have salvation. Salvation comes about as our sins are exchanged for Jesus’ righteousness. An unequal transaction. We respond to the gift by repenting and confessing and asking for forgiveness. (Acts 2: 38, Mark 1: 5).
Salvation happens as we are justified. Titus 3: 7 - That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life. God forgives those who want to forsake their sins.
Salvation happens as we are sanctified and given the gift of empowerment to overcome sin.
Jesus says - If ye love me, keep my commandments. (John 14: 15). Sanctification is the growth process and empowerment that God provides for us to overcome sin and to reflect the character of Jesus. God does not justify those who do not want to be sanctified. Paul says in 1 Cor 6: 11 - And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.
Justification: covered with Christ’s robe of righteousness. And sanctification: being empowered as we come to Jesus to deal with temptation. Both were provided to us when Jesus died and rose again. We are told to have faith that this is the case. The apostle John says - Whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. (1 John 5:4)
Ellen White says - What kind of faith is it that overcomes the world? It is that faith which makes Christ your own personal Saviour—that faith which, recognizing your helplessness, your utter inability to save yourself, takes hold of the Helper who is mighty to save, as your only hope. ….. How precious is the thought that we may indeed become partakers of the divine nature, whereby we may overcome as Christ overcame! ….. Jesus is the fullness of our expectation. …….. He is our refuge in the storm. He is our righteousness, our sanctification, our redemption. (Review and Herald, August 26, 1890.)
So, what’s more important than understanding about end time prophecy, as important as it is? It’s being assured of our salvation, through the provisions of justification and sanctification by grace through faith, which ultimately provides our glorification at Jesus’ second coming.
The Godhead: Joel’s Journey, March 17, 5.30 pm to 8.00 pm, Steps to Life Studio.
You are invited to attend this most important two part presentation. Its Joel Ridgeway’s story of how he as a staunch Anti-trinitarian believer became dissatisfied with his beliefs, studied deeply for himself to learn the truth of the matter and became a confirmed believer in the Eternal heavenly Trio described in the Bible as being the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Joel’s presentation will be in two parts – Why I left the Anti-trinitarian Movement and The Pioneers and the Omega of Deadly Heresies. Joel is a young man who has been STL’s Media producer for a number of years. He wants to share his testimony on how God has led him in his understanding, so that others can be helped clarify their thoughts on the topic of The Godhead or the Trinity. His book by the same name, but containing more depth and documentation will be launched at STL on the day after Sabbath has closed. Joel’s presentation will be filmed and made into a DVD. Both can be pre-ordered, purchased on the day or over the STL website after the March 17. They will be a great resource and a helpful present to share with friends and family and place in your church library.
April Seminar Series. Pastor Justis St Hilaire: Do You Feel the Shaking?
Canadian evangelist, Pastor Justis St Hilaire is presenting our April seminar this year. Full details are in the enclosed/attached brochure.
Audience Required for Special Filming on Thursday, April 12, in the STL Studio
Pastor Justis will be filming a three and half hour series entitled The Mystery of the Trinity on Thursday, April 12 at STL, 15 Industrial Park Dve, Lilydale. He would like you to be part of his audience. It’s a three and a half hour seminar to be filmed in two sessions. Session 1 commences at 10.30 am. Session 2 commences at 1.30 pm. Please make your own lunch arrangements. You are welcome to eat yours in the studio. If attending, please try and be seated 15 minutes before the commencement of each session as late entry can disrupt the filming.
Christian greetings from Cherryl and the STL team.
Brian Way/ Programs Coordinators