Happy Independence Day…

…I hope it’s not our nation’s last.

As Benjamin Franklin said, “I have lived, Sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth – God governs in the affairs of men, and if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without His notice, is it possible that an empire can rise without His aid?” And so it follows that a government cannot continue without the continual aid of the Creator. I could write for hours about the voluntary relinquishment and Executive thievery of our freedoms as Americans. But I think the more important issue is to realize we are deep into the end times when the Lord will return for his church at any time. So I hope, as I do every year, it is my last Independence Day- as I wait in expectation of the Rapture.

Did you know that the first SEVEN translations of the Bible translated 2 Thessalonians 2:3 differently than the King James translators (who were making a political statement against the Pope with their translation)? Here is the NIV version:

Concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered to him, we ask you, brothers and sisters, not to become easily unsettled or alarmed by the teaching allegedly from us—whether by a prophecy or by word of mouth or by letter—asserting that the day of the Lord has already come. Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction. He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God.

That word rebellion was originally the Greek noun apostiasia. We commonly refer to this word now as apostasy, or the abandonment of a religious belief. But the first SEVEN translations? Departure. They all defined it as departure- not a departure from a belief, but a physical departure. Reread it in it’s original context. Does that not give you hope? As 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 says:

 Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. 14 For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. 15 According to the Lord’s word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. 18 Therefore encourage one another with these words.

So even in the midst of the deterioration of our once great and Godly nation, we can encourage each other knowing that the Lord has not forgotten us. He will come for us soon, even if there are desperate times prior to that day.

And we should remember that the lives sacrificed by the true friends of liberty were not wasted, as God has used our nation mightily for His purposes because of their sacrifice. We are grateful to them as we thank God we are here, in America, for such a time as this.

Be in the battle (you already are whether you know it or not).

To learn more about the meaning of departure in 2 Thessalonians, see Thomas Ice’s explanation at this link.