Sunday, September 29, 2013

The battle of Armageddon #2

Because of its strategic importance, Megiddo has been the sight of more decisive battles than any other spot on earth. Six important battles are listed in the Old Testament as taking place on the Plain of Megiddo, some of which were previously mentioned. Consequently, “Megiddo” may be used symbolically, just as Jerusalem, Mt. Zion, Mt. Sinai, Valley of Hinnom, Babylon, and Egypt are sometimes used. I believe that “Armageddon,” as used in Revelation 16:16, has a symbolic meaning, and that the “battle of Armageddon” is not a physical “sword and spear” or “gun and bomb” battle.

The book of Revelation is a book of signs and symbols. The very first verse of the book reads, “The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John.” Please note that everything in Revelation would shortly come to pass and that the things revealed were “signified,” which meant that they were denoted by signs or symbols. We must interpret the signs and determine the message intended for the people to whom it was written and the meaning for us today.

The battle of Armageddon, then, has come to refer symbolically to a scene, or time, or fact of a decisive battle. Compare our modern-day sayings such as “Remember the Alamo” or “Remember Waterloo.” The city of Waterloo has come to symbolically refer to the scene, time, or fact of defeat. We say of someone today, “he met his Waterloo,” and people who know little or nothing about Napoleon or his defeat at Waterloo understand what we mean. “Armageddon” is used in a similar fashion.

Kyle Campbell

Monday, September 23, 2013

Explain, please?

Good scientific research almost always has two outcomes:

  1. The answer to a question through the scientific method of constructing a hypothesis, performing tests which produce results, then compare the results to the hypothesis, and revise.
  2. More questions.

There are always more questions to answer. Man has always wanted to learn more about his surroundings and about how things work. Pagans are evidences of that, taking what the see in the world, and trying to make sense of it all from no correct information, creating idols to worship in an effort to try and reach out and manipulate the mechanics of the cosmos (i.e. praying to Poseidon [Neptune] to calm the seas).

Science is a beautiful tool we’ve been given through the gift of logic to understand much of the world around us, but, just as in the garden, temptation can ruin a beautiful thing. The more questions that arise, one question has swayed many scientists away from God: Does God exist?

Logic is a useful tool, but to have logic alone is not to strive to be like Christ, which will make us perfect if we do His commandments. Faith is the key which marries with logic to create the answer which is something beautiful and precious: salvation from our sins. Science has yet to begin to answer that question.

Lance Byers

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

The battle of Armageddon #1

It seems that every time the country has a recession, Premillennial speculations go on the upswing. The opposite is true for periods of prosperity: Premillennial speculations decrease. When these speculations begin to circulate, people want to connect biblical events to events in the Middle East. I have heard it said that whenever someone sneezes in the Middle East, someone in America thinks it is the end of the world!

One of the events we have heard the most about is the battle of Armageddon. Revelation 16:16 says, “And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon.” This is supposedly the one final battle after the seven year tribulation period and before Christ sets up His earthly throne in Jerusalem to rule for 1,000 years. Most Premillennial theories revolve around two major events in Revelation: the battle of Armageddon in chapter 16 and the millennium in chapter 20.

In Hebrew, Har-Magedon literally means “Mount Megedon” or “Megiddo.” Megiddo is on the southern edge of the valley of Jezreel, now called Esdraelon. Megiddo was in the territory of Manasseh (Joshua 12:21; 17:11; Judges 1:27), and was the site of many significant events in the Old Testament (Judges 5:19; 1 Samuel 31:1-6; 2 Kings 9:27; 23:29-30; 2 Chronicles 35:20-27). Thus, Megiddo fitly symbolized the worldwide distress of righteousness and evil engaged in combat. Because of Megiddo’s significance, Thutmose III of Egypt fought the Syrian forces and urged his army to seize it, “for the capturing of Megiddo is the capturing of a thousand towns! Capture ye firmly, firmly!” We will continue its further significance in the next article.

Kyle Campbell

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Alcohol use rampant in the United States

Alcohol consumption has been on the rise in the U.S. for some time, but a new study has found that binge drinking is rampant in many parts of the country. According to the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration survey, based on 136,000 interviews, drug abuse has dramatically increased as well and is as big a problem in some regions as binge drinking, which was defined as “drinking five or more drinks on the same occasion.” About 23 percent said they had binged on alcohol within the past 30 days.

The Bible very plainly says that drunkenness is a sin (Proverbs 20:1; 1 Corinthians 6:10; Galatians 5:21; Ephesians 5:18). Addiction to alcohol is also condemned (Proverbs 21:17; 23:29-32; Joel 1:5). Abstinence from wine was practiced several times in the Bible. Instances included the Levites while on duty (Leviticus 10:9; Ezekiel 44:21), the Nazirites during their vow (Numbers 6:3), of Samson’s mother during her pregnancy (Judges 13:4-5), of Daniel to avoid defilement (Daniel 1:8-20), of kings and rulers (Proverbs 31:4-5), and of John the Baptist (Luke 1:15).

It has become very common today to refer to alcoholism as a “disease.” By referring to it as a “disease,” it gives the impression that one cannot turn from this sin and be converted (Acts 3:19). I have watched my brother battle with alcoholism and I know how difficult it is to repent of this sin. However, Paul said some of the Corinthians were drunkards, yet they had the power to repent. You do too. The gospel can change your life.

Kyle Campbell

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

God's providence

The dictionary defines “providence” as “divine guidance or care; the God-conceived power which sustains and guides human destiny.” The word is used to denote the biblical idea of the wisdom and power which God continually exercises in the preservation of the world, for the ends which He proposed to accomplish.

Providence concerns God’s support, care, and supervision of all creation, from the moment of the first creation to all the future into eternity. The concept of providence is the opposite of “fate” or “chance” which see world events as uncontrollable and without any element of benevolent purpose.

Nebuchadnezzar learned of God’s ability. He was told in Daniel 4:25, “That they shall drive thee from men, and thy dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field, and they shall make thee to eat grass as oxen, and they shall wet thee with the dew of heaven, and seven times shall pass over thee, till thou know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will.”

Since the beginning of time, God’s providential hand has been seen in nature (Nehemiah 9:6; Matthew 5:45), in the kingdoms of men (Daniel 4:17, 32; Acts 17:26) and in the lives of individuals (Genesis 45:5-8; Matthew 10:29-31).

It is interesting to note that God’s greatest work of providence was seen in His Son Jesus (Acts 2:23; 3:18; 4:27-28). All nature and history moved to His hour of death and resurrection. This providence with a view to salvation was meant for me and you. Take advantage of the opportunity now! Start your life as a Christian and live under the providential hand of God.

Kyle Campbell

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Decision time

Life is full of decisions. Many of them are small and a few are big. The biggest decision, of course, is what to do about Jesus. Each person must decide to obey Christ. If he does not decide to obey Christ, he has rejected Him, and will face eternal condemnation.

In Mark 10:17-27, a man we call “the rich young ruler” once came to Christ, wanting to know what he had to do to inherit eternal life. Jesus gave the man an answer. It was time for him to make a decision concerning Christ.

Although the rich young ruler was under serious conviction (vs. 17) and he  claimed to keep strict commandments (vss. 18-20), he had to make a specific choice (vss. 21-22). Jesus knew that his idol was riches. The man could not turn to Christ unless he turned away from his idol of money. He had to make a choice! Not everyone who comes to Christ has to give up his money. In this case, the money was holding him back. He chose to keep the money and chose not to obey Christ.

He became the subject of a sad commentary (vss. 23-27). It is very difficult for rich people to be saved. The Lord, in an almost humorous hyperbole, likened rich people being saved to a camel passing through the eye of a needle. This is actually true whenever anyone substitutes the love of something else over the love of the Lord. The power of the gospel though, can change a hardened heart (Romans 1:16). That is why all things are possible with God.

Kyle Campbell