By Nicola Menzie , Christian Post Reporter
Dr. David Jeremiah, megachurch pastor, bestselling author and popular Bible teacher, believes the End Times began in 1948, when a nation that features prominently in the Bible was re-established as a state for the first time in 2,000 years. In fact, considering "the whole scope of world history," Jeremiah would have to conclude that "yes, we are in the End Times," or Earth's last days
“I personally believe that the End Times, in the sense of Bible prophecy, probably started for us in 1948 when Israel became a nation, because many of the prophecies in the New Testament especially, could not be fulfilled until Israel was at home in her nation," Jeremiah told The Christian Post.
The Shadow Mountain Community Church senior pastor, who took over that position from another prophecy buff, Dr. Tim LaHaye, examines perhaps one of the most intriguing books of the Bible in his latest work, Agents of the Apocalypse.
In Agents of the Apocalypse: A Riveting Look at the Key Players of the End Times, Jeremiah examines the Book of Revelation through 10 distinct characters or groups, including "The Exile," "The Martyrs," "The Two Witnesses," and "The Dragon." Each chapter opens with a "a fictional element," intended to help readers fully grasp the meaning of the apocalyptic work, explained Jeremiah.
By Alex Murashko , Christian Post Reporter
Pastors nationwide continued to dialogue and voice strong opinions about the issues surrounding the St. Louis grand jury decision, announced Monday evening, not to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson for the fatal shooting of Michael Brown, as wella the subsequent demonstrations.
"None of us really knows exactly what happened in the Ferguson shooting. Sadder is that even many Christ followers don't seem to want to know," posted Pastor James MacDonald, founding and senior pastor of Harvest Bible Chapel based in the Chicago area, on Instagram (see below). "What we appear to prefer is lining up without nuanced analysis entirely on one side or the other."
MacDonald gave examples of the views people line up with. "'All police are driven by racial prejudice and out to get racial minorities' – oh please! Or 'all police actions are justifiable and there is no abuse of authority or pent up feelings of righteous anger in our urban centers' – oh please!"
Two Christian pastors and a deacon have each been given six-year sentences by an Iranian court. A persecution watchdog group has expressed concern over the development, noting that the prisons are isolated and will force the men's families to travel great distances to see them.
"We are deeply concerned by the six-year sentences given to pastors [Benham] Irani and [Matthias] Haghnejad and deacon Silas Rabbani, and the fact that they will serve these sentences so far from their families and home towns," said Christian Solidarity Worldwide Chief Operating Officer Andy Dipper.
"We are particularly appalled by the extra six years given to pastor Irani, who has already endured ill-treatment whilst in prison and now faces nearly a decade in prison on trumped-up charges. We urge the Iranian government to release without delay every person who is imprisoned for their faith. Their incarceration contravenes international covenants guaranteeing freedom of religion or belief, to which Iran is party."
A new study from Christian Research company Barna Group reveals that unchurched Americans are the most resistant to outreach efforts by the church and friends than they've been in 20 years.
Data collected from 42,855 interviews show that 47 percent of U.S. adults who do not attend church said they were open to being invited to church by a friend – down from 65 percent in 1993.
However study results indicate that personal invitations from friends are the most effective way to draw church visitors compared to other outreaches.
“[The Birth of Jesus] In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child.”