A Reprobate Mind

And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; (Romans 1:28)

Romans 1 beginning with verse 18 delineates the progressive decline of mankind’s spiritual condition into total depravity. I know, the Calvinists will point out that we are all born in total depravity, and I get that. “All have sinned and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). However, I am speaking from a human perspective in this case. Humans gauge good and evil very differently than God does. For example, humans view theft in degrees. Lifting a pack of Live Savers ™ and slipping them into your pocket or purse when the cashier is not looking, is not as bad as armed robbery of the same convenience store. Holding up a convenience store because you want to feed a starving baby, is not the same as robbing that store because you need to feed your drug habit. However, to God, it’s all theft. He does not view sin in degrees.

So, back to the decline of man: Romans 1:18-32 outlines the progressive decline into a condition of irreversible depravity. It begins with the failure to recognize God, the Creator, in the first place. One does not need the Bible to inform oneself about God. The very creation testifies to His existence. The vastness, enormity, and complexity of creation, from the unfathomable reaches of the universe beyond our solar system to the invisibleness of the subatomic world, scream that all of this is no accident. It is all too well-balanced. It is too precise. Everything in the Creation works together and is interrelated. None of this could possibly come into existence from a freak explosion of an indefinable particle of mass somewhere in the emptiness of nothing. The thought of such a thing is absurd! Yet, the majority of humankind, if they give it any thought at all, prefers the absurd instead of acknowledging the Creator.

Therefore, “Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse” (Romans 1:19-20, emphasis mine). God gives no excuse for denying the Creator.

From there the downward spiral begins. Since they deny God, they need to replace Him with something out of their own imagination: a Big Bang, evolution from a primordial soup, seeding and evolving of the human race guided by the aid of “Ancient Aliens” from other worlds. Close examination of such far-fetched ideas leads to a never-ending list of more unanswerable questions with just as many unsatisfactory answers. The real answer to all of these questions is GOD, but that answer is just too simple for God deniers. So, they continue in their fruitless pursuits, and they “[become] vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart [is] darkened” (Romans 1:21). The dark obscures clear vision. “Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools” (Romans 1:22). God calls them “fools.”[1]

After that, humanity falls into idolatry. Idolatry is not necessarily the worship of grotesque figures of strange demonic entities. Idolatry is more than that; it is the act of giving anything priority over God. That can be as innocuous as the forms of entertainment that occupy our time to involvement in such grandiose ideas as the activist groups who want to save the planet, combat climate change, save the dogs, engage in politics, etc. Anything that takes one’s focus away from God is idolatry. The passage explains the decline like this: “[They] changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things” (Romans 1:23). America pulled up anchor from the Solid Rock of God more than five decades ago and has drifted into idolatry, as a nation, ever since. As a result, “God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves” (Romans 1:24). We see this too in the rise of pornography, homosexuality and all forms of sodomy, pedophilia, and more.

This gives evidence that we are in the place of God’s judgment on our nation. “For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet” (Romans 1:26-27, emphasis mine). Unless you have been living in seclusion, or worse, you are caught up in the idolatry of this world, it should be obvious that our nation has fully sunk into the morass of all kinds of human depravity.

Except for the voices of maligned Christians, our nation as a whole gives no thought to God. “And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient” (Romans 1:28, emphasis mine). The Greek word translated “reprobate” is adokimos means “not standing the test, or not approved.” It is used in reference to metals or coins that do not meet accepted standards. They are unfit, unproved, or spurious. The English definition gives the meaning of “depraved, unprincipled, or wicked.” A “reprobate mind,” therefore, is one that is incapable of proper reasoning.

This explains much of the unrest in our country. ANTIFA claim that they are anti-fascist, but they practice fascistic behavior. The BLM movement claims they support black lives, but their actions end up being detrimental to black lives. Many politicians of both parties wrap themselves in the Constitution, yet they oppose the duly elected President of the United States and refuse to investigate the illegal voting in five states that robbed President Donald Trump of a second term. And now that the other candidate appears to have the office in hand, they turn in irrational spite, hatred, and vindictiveness against the sitting President who has only a matter of days to serve in an attempt to impeach him. It makes no sense, and no amount of logic or reason will deter them from such a stupid act. This is a clear example of a reprobate mind!

Sadly, it appears that come January 20, 2021, the party of the reprobate mind will rule our nation unless we have a miraculous intervention of God. Let us pray that happens.

Notes:


[1]  Psalm 14:1; 53:1

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Loosening Grip? « Terry James Prophecy Line

Source: Loosening Grip? « Terry James Prophecy Line

 

I am so ready for this! How about you?

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Happy New Year?

Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure: (Isaiah 46:9-10)

I really do not feel like writing. I am feeling rather sad, but I try to post something every week, so here goes.

The year 2020 has been the worst year of my 70 ½ years on this earth. I am certain that many of my readers share the same feelings. Now we are looking ahead to a new year. In the past, the New Year offered hope for improvement, but this year, the outlook, at least from my perspective, looks dismal.

Last year started out looking promising, but then COVID-19 hit and threw the entire world into a panic. Without recounting all the details, our nation suffered a great loss economically, socially, and religiously. Our shadow government, the unelected bureaucrats that seem to be the de facto legislators, instituted irrational mandates about wearing masks, social distancing, prohibitions on public gathering – all unconstitutional, by the way – and the public just fell in line like lemmings. What makes me really sad is how our pastors have willingly gone along with these (yes, I will say it) stupid regulations and closed their churches or instituted ridiculous rules on how we do gather – reduce attendance, wear masks, social distance, no “fellowshipping” inside the church, come in, wait to be seated, leave only when your row is dismissed, etc. Seriously, I have lost my desire to attend a “live” service. I know, Hebrews 10:25 tells us not to forsake the assembling of ourselves together, but one would think our pastors would look a little harder at that verse and consider also the one that says we should obey God rather than men (Acts 5:29).

I get it. COVID-19 is highly contagious and can be deadly, but so can the flu. As 2020 came to a close, the death rate from all causes in the United States did not increase even with COVID-19 (the CCP Virus). In fact, the complicit media suppress the statistics published by the CDC that those that contract the disease have a better than 99% expectation of surviving it. The relatively small numbers that do die of the disease have other underlying complications that contribute to the death. And yet, the general public is paralyzed with fear of contracting the disease. I have to laugh (although it is actually not funny) when I see people driving in their cars or walking outdoors in the fresh air wearing masks. It’s funny, but it’s sad.

The ones making the rules (I will call them “the Swamp” because they are indeed swamp creatures) do not care about the welfare of the public, although they would have you think that they do. (By the way, have you noticed that none of them have missed a single paycheck while the rest of the proletariat are losing their jobs and their businesses?) Their interest and intent is complete control of the populous so that we will fall in line according to their dictates. The first step was to incite fear of an invisible enemy, the CCP Virus, and make everyone shelter in place, wear masks in public, and social distance. That worked. The next thing will be to force everyone to take a vaccine for a disease that has a 99% survivability rate. You might object, “The government isn’t making anyone take the vaccine.” You would be right about that – now – but it may happen in the near future. Consider that airlines are already talking about requiring proof of vaccination before they will allow passengers to board their airplanes. Many “Big Box” stores, like Amazon who does not even have “stores,” are saying they will require proof of vaccination before they will sell to you or allow you into their stores. It sounds a lot like the “Mark of the Beast” (Revelation 13:18). It is NOT the Mark of the Beast, but it certainly paves the way for it.

On top of that, 2020 was an election year that gave us what is arguably the worst case of voter fraud in history. The abundant evidence of fraud in a variety of forms clearly shows that President Trump handily won, but the Swamp persists in robbing him of a second term. Even many of those who claim to be on his side, starting with the Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell, encourage the President to concede the election, claiming that it would be in the best interest of the nation. Inhabitants of the Swamp include many RINOs.

Three days from the posting of this blog article, a joint session of Congress will meet to count the electoral votes. There are two Constitutional ways that President Trump can secure a second term. According to Article II, Section 1, and the Twelfth Amendment of the Constitution, the President of the Senate, VP Mike Pence, is responsible for counting the votes. If he determines that elections for certain states were improperly and unconstitutionally conducted, he can choose not to count the electoral votes from that state. We have at least five or maybe six states that conducted fraudulent and unconstitutional elections, and if VP Pence rejects those votes, it is quite possible that neither candidate will have a majority. In that case, the vote goes to the House where each state is allowed one vote for President. Since the majority of the states represented are Republican majorities, President Trump will get the majority of votes, and he will win a second term.

The second option is for a member of the House of Representatives to challenge the legitimacy of the votes from those states in question. That would certainly be a Republican Congressman. This would require a second to the motion by a member of the Senate. The two houses would then divide for debate, and if the challenge stands, again, the vote would go to the House of Representatives where each state would get just one vote, and again, the majority of states being Republican, President Trump will win a second term – if everything is on the up-and-up.

I have said this before; neither option for President will improve our nation’s situation. If Biden wins (God forbid!) our nation will rapidly sink into Socialism and submit to a One-World government. If President Trump wins, the Swamp will rise up like nothing we have seen to date.

The year 2020 was not a good year. The New Year, 2021 does not promise to be better. In fact, it will probably be worse. Can we have hope? YES! Signs around the world and our nation portend the soon return of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. For those who have placed their trust in Him, He will soon take us out of this world before the Seven-Year Tribulation devastates the planet. After the Seven-Year Tribulation, He will return with His saints to rule and reign on Earth. Then, and only then, we will have true world peace. Joy to the World! But for those who have not placed their trust in Christ, this year will be nothing compared with what is to come. If you do not know the Savior, read my page on “Securing Eternal Life.”

Happy New Year?

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When Foundations Move

If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do? (Psalm 11:3)

Several years ago (I do not recall the exact year because I do not keep a diary), my backdoor neighbor, Tim, had the slab foundation of his house leveled because he noticed cracks in the brick mortar and wall separation on one side of his house. He caught me outside one day and pointed out that my house had the same problem as his and suggested my house needed the foundation leveled as well. I could not see any problem because I had not noticed any mortar cracking or wall separation, but my friend swore that he could see it. He worked in housing construction most of his life and has an eye for that kind of thing. I do not, especially if the defect is minor (to my eye). So, I ignored his advice.

Not long after that, I noticed that the sliding glass door leading to our backyard was developing some fogging between the panes of glass. These were very expensive insulating doors installed by Champion Windows & Doors ™ that came with a lifetime warranty. I called Champion out to see about replacing the doors. When the technician arrived, he informed me that they would not be able to replace the door because it needed to be reframed and the foundation had shifted. He said I needed to get the foundation repaired first, and then they would return to replace the door.

Convinced now that my neighbor was right all along, I called some foundation repair service to come to inspect and repair the foundation of my house. They came out and confirmed that the foundation sunk about three-fourths of an inch on the east side of my house. It took eight piers on the east side of the house to bring the foundation back to level. With that done, Champion came back and replaced our sliding glass door without any problems.

Fast forward to the year of the COVID-19 and the first year of my retirement, June and I decided we needed to do some “minor” renovations to our house. I avoided it as long as possible because, while I can do the work, it takes me a lot longer than it does a “pro” and besides that, my knees are not up to a lot of the getting up and down required by this kind of work. I convinced June that it would be better to get a “professional” to come in and do the work. Because they know what they are doing, they should be done in three to four days – two weeks at the most, while it would take me a month or more. The job was relatively small: replace five interior doors, replace the carpet in our bedroom with laminate flooring, and extend that flooring into our master bath.

June, being the ultimate bargain shopper that she is, found a “highly recommended” contractor on our “Neighborhood” web page, and she gave me his contact information. I procrastinated for several months until I finally called the man over to give us an estimate shortly after Thanksgiving. I had just accepted a very time-consuming and challenging teaching opportunity at church, so hiring this guy to do the work seemed like a good option. The estimate, for his labor only, seemed reasonable enough, so we hired him to do the job. While looking the job over, he recommended replacing our existing tile shower with a poly “shower kit” that would look so much better than our moldy old tile. That sounded good to me, so I bought the kit and included that with the “upgrade.”

Well, to make a long story short and to get to the point of my title, the man knew nothing about hanging doors. The floor and the shower he subcontracted out, and the men that did that work did an excellent job, but anything my guy and his workers did was very poor quality. I do not want to be too critical of the man, but it seems that he did not know the purpose of a carpenter’s level. The reason he had trouble hanging the doors was due to my original foundation problem. When my foundation settled, all the framing of the house shifted to the east, not much, but enough to throw everything off “plumb.” Had my contractor put a level on the door frames, he would have seen the problem and corrected it (or not). As it was, he wasted my time and his (a little over a month), and the job was ended by me in an incomplete state. Tim, my backdoor neighbor, came and helped me get the doors hung properly. In the past when Tim was working, all he did was install windows and doors, so with his expertise, we were able to correct all the problems. All the doors open and close properly. One problem still remains. The shower doors do not hang correctly for the same reason, but I know now what to do to correct it.

Jesus once said, “And no man putteth new wine into old bottles; else the new wine will burst the bottles, and be spilled, and the bottles shall perish. But new wine must be put into new bottles; and both are preserved” (Luke 5:37-38). Of course, His application had a different purpose, but the adage still applies. You do not put new doors on old door frames.

The movement of our house’s foundation was very subtle, almost unnoticeable. The walls “looked” perfectly straight and “plumb.” However, when a “square” door, a plumb line, or level – a perfect standard – is placed against, it exposes the defect. Corrections can be made to make things “look” straight, but the fact remains that the foundation moved and the whole building is now “off plumb.” Nothing can correct that without tearing down the whole structure and rebuilding from the ground up on a level foundation.

Our nation was founded on a firm foundation. However, in the 233-year history of our nation’s founding, so many extraneous laws, regulations, and edicts, the majority of which are unconstitutional, have been attached to our Constitution that the foundation is leaning and cracking. We hear of the “swamp” that is deep, wide, and far-reaching, that operates unfettered by the Constitution, and which makes and enforces laws and edicts of which most citizens are unaware. Our beloved President, Donald Trump fights against the swamp, but the swamp creatures are numerous, stealthy, and vicious. Some even appear to be “straight” (as in “upright”), but they expose their “swampiness” when they vote to enact perverse legislation, like the latest COVID-Relief Bill, against the good intentions of our President.

The moisture and soft marsh of the swamp weakens an otherwise solid foundation. The black mold of the swamp putrefies and decays the framework of any structure causing it to lean and eventually fall. This is where we are. The year 2020 has been the worst year of my lifetime, but it exposes the weaknesses in our nation’s once strong foundation. When foundations move, the building will eventually fall. I do not look forward to the year 2021 except for the fact that our Lord, Jesus Christ, will come for His Bride very shortly. He will destroy the foundations of this world, lay down a new foundation, and build an everlasting structure thereon. Come quickly, Lord Jesus!

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Strange Christmas

But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, (Galatians 4:4)

The year 2020 has been a historic year to say the least. It started with my retirement at the end of December 2019 and quickly followed by minor knee surgery on my left knee just three days after. Being new to retirement, I found it challenging to find what to do with all my spare time. I filled some of my time with volunteering opportunities at church and at the ICR Discovery Center for Science and Earth History. Of course, that occupied only part of my time. I also spent many hours, three to six hours a day, studying Scripture, something I enjoy the more I do it.

It was nice to have control of my own time and spend it at my own discretion. Then COVID-19 hit and everything changed, not just for me, but for everyone on Earth. I will spare all the details. I am certain that anyone reading this had similar experiences with masks, social distancing, restrictions on large gatherings, church shut-downs, etc. The year 2020 has been, in many respects, the worst year in the threescore and ten years of my life. Personally, I believe that what we experienced this year, especially with the draconian governmental intrusion into our lives, portends to the seven-year Tribulation prophesied in Scripture and the soon coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. That, in turn, gives me hope that the Rapture of the Church can happen at any moment now. That gives me joy and hope in spite of all this stink going on in our nation and the world.

The year 2020 quickly comes to a close, and we now come to Christmas. But like the rest of 2020, Christmas this year is very strange. My church just opened back up at the beginning of December, but with so many restrictions that it does not even “feel” like church. Attendees must wait to be ushered into a socially distanced place, wear masks during the worship portion of the service, and then wait to be ushered out at the end of the service. Any “fellowshipping” must be done outside of the building and hugs and handshakes are strongly discouraged. We normally put on a Christmas program at this season with choir and orchestra, which usually packs out the sanctuary. This year, we had a socially-distanced ensemble and a guest singer. The music was nice, but it lacked the pizzazz of past Christmas programs. Of course, the audience was at one-third of normal due to all the restrictions, and I missed the “feeling” of the event. I normally sing in the choir, but we could not do that because of COVID-19.

Christmas Eve service will be even stranger. This year it will be “virtual.” Our pastor will bring a Christmas message and we will observe the Lord’s Supper “online.” I do not mean to criticize. I am only stating reality. I know our church staff is trying to make the best of a stinky situation, but for all their effort, it is still a very strange Christmas.

For many years I have bemoaned the inflated sentimentality attached to the season. (You can read my past articles on the topic.) In the first place, it is highly unlikely that Jesus was born in December. In the second place, the overt commercialization of the season detracts from any significance of its true meaning. And in third place, the sentimentality attached to it makes it more about us, and it does about Him.

Our tree is up, the nativity is on the mantle, and Christmas lights illuminate our front yard, and it still feels like a very strange Christmas. What is not strange or unchanged is God’s love and gift to us in taking “upon him the form of a servant and was made in the likeness of men” (Philippians 2:7) “that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). When you think about it, that in itself is strange. However, it is God’s plan, and it is in effect regardless of circumstances. Maybe it’s good that this is such a strange Christmas after all.

Merry Christmas!

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