Pastor Chris Deknatel

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Rapture Is A Lie!


INTRODUCTION:  The rapture has become a popular theology, like many of our feel good, urban legend theologies; they lead people into fantasy, but far from reality and scripture.  America loves vampires, mystery and intrigue.  The rapture plays right into their thinking.  We attend churches because of where our friends attend, or the message was a self help book, or the speaker was entertaining.  Seldom do we hear that a person sought first the correct theology, then a church that taught it.  The reason for this is because church beliefs are all the same!  Right?  Wrong!

Throughout this paper you will hear my intensity and anger at this movement. Anytime Christ is diminished I have a righteous anger.  In a blog of this nature, I will be bold, but understand that I have nothing but love and concern for those who have been lured away into this doctrine and even more so for those who teach it!

The rapture and those who teach it are false theologians, who speculate an exciting ending. Unfortunately they destroy scripture and take Christ’s redemptive work away from Jesus and give it to us.  Under this theology we now save ourselves.  We cooperate with God to get heaven.  For Lutherans, God does it all.  Soli Deo Gloria.  To God alone be the Glory!  Therefore it has become essential for me to refute this heresy and those who teach it.  Below will be a systematic process of proving the rapture, as they teach it, wrong.  I pray that through the power of the Spirit, to all who read this, will come the knowledge of Jesus Christ, leave these churches and unite with the truth.

ORIGIN:        John Nelson Darby first proposed and popularized the pre-tribulation rapture in 1827.[23] This view was accepted among many other Plymouth Brethren movements in England. Darby and other prominent Brethren were part of the Brethren Movement which impacted American Christianity, especially with movements and teachings associated with Christian eschatology and fundamentalism, primarily through their writings. Influences included the Bible Conference Movement, starting in 1878 with the Niagara Bible Conference. These conferences, which were initially inclusive of historicist and futurist premillennialism, led to an increasing acceptance of futurist premillennial views and the pre-tribulation rapture especially among Presbyterian, Baptist and Congregational members.[24] Popular books also contributed to acceptance of the pre-tribulation rapture, including William Eugene Blackstone‘s book Jesus is Coming published in 1878[25] and which sold more than 1.3 million copies and the Scofield Reference Bible, published in 1909 and 1919 and revised in 1967.

The early original Christian church,[26] as well as the Catholic Church, Eastern Orthodox churches,[27] the Anglican Communion and many Protestant Calvinist denominations, have no tradition of a preliminary return of Christ and reject the doctrine. The Orthodox Church, for example, rejects it because the Protestant doctrine of the rapture depends on a millennial interpretation of prophetic scriptures, rather than an amillennial or postmillennial fashion.[28]

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ORIGIN COMMENT:         As you can see this is not something that was riveted in history.  It was invented!  It was inspired by a little girls dream.  For 1800 years no one thought of this.  The apostles never spoke of it nor is it in scripture.  Scripture has been re-worked to imply it, but due to ignorance people do not see how that wording is not true.  I will explain all of this later.  For now, note that the rapture is a recent design and not an understanding from the apostles.  Ironically, because the rapture is a “pop” culture fad, those who speak against it are perceived as introducing a new theology when in fact, the rapture is the new theology!

I will use a two prong approach to this discussion, one by reasoning and two by scripture. I will conclude with the truth of the end times and what will happen.


  1. If the rapture happened today, why does my friend Roger get a second chance but my mom doesn’t? Why would God create a system where only a select few get a second chance to believe and be saved, while all those who died before, get their life and that’s it. The rapture is a theology for those living in the here and now appealing to those who think only of themselves.
  2. It diminishes Christ. If Christ died once and for all, why does God need a rapture?
  3. Jesus preached that those who are blessed are those who do not see. Why would God give the world such evidence? It is Faith that saves us not sight. If a million people leave the earth like Tim LaHaye fictionally writes, who wouldn’t believe?  Everyone has heard about this concept.  Who wouldn’t believe after such catastrophic events?  Come on!  The rapture makes no sense in line with all that Jesus taught and did!!!  If it were true then out of love for others I would never evangelize to anyone who transports another person.  All pilots, conductors, taxi drivers need to be atheists, otherwise they may kill a non-Christian during the rapture. No salvation for pilots!  Obviously this is ridiculous and further reason why God would never have done something like this.  Think past the urban legend to the realistic outcomes of such silliness!
  4. It is the most unloving event I have ever heard of. If my God, tortures my loved ones with fear and agony after I am gone, that is a horrible punishing God. How can he be a God of love? The rapture theology is for those self righteous who want revenge on those people beneath them!  I actually had a non-denominational tell me she does not sin any more.  After a few minutes of questioning, she found out she did, and unfortunately never came back to learn about Grace.  My guess is that she went to a church that told her she was without sin again.  We call those churches’s theology, “Holiness Churches.”  A new form of Pharisee-ism!
  5. Dispensationalism: Dispensationalism is the belief that God rules differently at different times. This is called descriptive theology, not prescriptive. In other words, people looked at what God did and reasoned that the bible looks like God ruled differently at different times.  But the bible prescribes i.e. like a prescription, that God is the same. He does not change his mind, and is the first and the last!  Secondly, in dispensationalism each different rule of God is ushered in by the failure of the previous rule.  Therefore, when Christ sets himself up as ruler, on a temple 7,392,000 feet high, his rule fails and that ushers in the last dispensation and the end comes according to the Rapture theology.  Maybe it failed because no one can live above 18,000 feet!  The rapture is a silly theology for the silly minded.

 SCRIPTURE:  I will begin by refuting the passages used by Rapture heretics, and then show the passages that refute the rapture, ending with the passages of truth about the end times.  There is a day when Christ comes back, but that is all there is, one day and it’s all over!

  1.  Luke 17:32-36 NIV Remember Lot’s wife! 33 Whoever tries to keep his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life will preserve it. 34 I tell you, on that night two people will be in one bed; one will be taken and the other left.
    35 Two women will be grinding grain together; one will be taken and the other left
    .   This is not the entering of the tribulation. In the end, I will be taken and an atheist left behind to be consumed by fire.  I am taken into the air to unite with the saints coming down from heaven.  1 Thessalonians 4:15-18.  Therefore, Luke 17 is not a rapture verse, but just a verse describing how we will be separated, sheep from goats, good from bad…
  2. Revelation 3:10 (NIV) Since you have kept my command to endure patiently, I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come upon the whole world to test those who live on the earth. The rapturists say that this is the rapture. Although it is written to Philadelphia and all the Apostles experience a trial as did Philadelphia, they still seem to think that this means those who believe will not experience a trial. Again, this would be revenge by God and sparing us from trial. God did not promise that we would have no trials, if anything he “Prescribes” that there WILL be trials.  Trials are a  mark of a Christian.  So why spare anyone?  This is inaccurate convoluted thinking to assume that this passage “prescribes” the rapture, as opposed to merely “describing” the events in Philadelphia and prescribing what’s going to happen to them!
  3. Revelation 4:1 (NIV) After this I looked, and there before me was a door standing open in heaven. And the voice I had first heard speaking to me like a trumpet said, “Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after this.”  This is where they place the rapture in scripture. Unfortunately for them: Revelation 13:7 (NIV) He was given power to make war against the saints and to conquer them. And he was given authority over every tribe, people, language and nation. How did the saints get back on the earth in Chapter 13 if they were raptured? I know they say it’s the new saints and a second harvest of people Rev. 14:14-15. Then the end should come, but no, there is more left to the story. Our loving, caring God wants to torture the people some more, according to the rapture-ists.


***That’s about all they have along with a much embellished story. Although at times they can piece details form the Old Testament to certain pieces of Revelation, they cannot make it all fit.  They can’t explain Babylon, nor can they rectify the Gospels, New Testament and the Old Testament.  Hence they had to create dispensationalism to help them explain a theology that no one believed.  They basically shot an arrow and painted a target around it over the years. 

 Now let’s look at what Scripture does say!

  1. 1 Thessalonians 5:1-3 (NIV) Now, brothers, about times and dates we do not need to write to you, 2 for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. 3 While people are saying, “Peace and safety,” destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape

1A.  The word quick and soon are the same word in Greek.  Where Revelation is saying “soon” can also             mean quickly as the rest of scripture agrees.  And if it the end times were coming later, why did he have             to write in haste?

            2A. “They will not escape”    There is no “left behind” to get a second chance.

  1. 1 Thessalonians 4:16 (NIV) 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.

Matthew 25:31 (NIV) “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory.

2A.  God does not come quietly.  The first rapture of people is silent according to the rapture-ists. Scripture does not support this.  They hang much of their theology on this passage, so they can’t switch and say this is a last, last time and still use it as evidence for the first last time.  NO WHERE IN SCRIPTURE does it describe a sequence of events.  If that were true, just hang on for 7 years of the Trib. And you KNOW when he is coming back.  Doesn’t that defeat the purpose of  Romans 5:18-25?  Who needs hope when we know he’s coming back after the 7 year trib.

  1. Luke 12:44-46 (NIV) I tell you the truth, he will put him in charge of all his possessions. 45 But suppose the servant says to himself, ‘My master is taking a long time in coming,’ and he then begins to beat the menservants and maidservants and to eat and drink and get drunk. 46 The master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he is not aware of. He will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the unbelievers.  No second chance!
  2. Acts 1:7 (NIV) He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority.  The words for time in Greek are Chronos and Kairon. Chronos is where we get chronological time and Kairon is a period in time.  You are taking your Kairon to understand the Chronos of events.  If Revelation is meant to be figurative description of a literal series of literal events, then we will know the times and dates.  We’ll know how much time they have to believe and makes God predictable during the Tribulation.  Again, just NOT true.
  3. Matthew 24:9 (NIV) “Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. No one who believes will escape persecution as the rapture-ists suggest.  The Apostles did not!

6          Hebrews 9:28 (NIV) so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him. No where does he mention giving them a second chance. It might be an important concept seeing how God wants all to be saved.  He comes back and that’s it!

  1. John 5:28-29 (NIV) “Do not be amazed at this, for a time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice 29 and come out–those who have done good will rise to live, and those who have done evil will rise to be condemned. Again, that’s it. No second chance.
  2. 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 (NIV) 1Th 4:13 Brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep, or to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope. 14 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 own word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left till 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 each other with these words. The end time is to encourage us, not scare us half to death.   Just like when the Catholic Church used Urban Legend to scare people into baptizing their babies in fear of the satanic Black Mass. Now it’s the rapture!  Faith and truth is all we need. God requires FAITH not signs and wonders!
  3. 2 Thessalonians 2:1-12 (NIV) Concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered to him, we ask you, brothers, 2 not to become easily unsettled or alarmed by some prophecy, report or letter supposed to have come from us, saying that the day of the Lord has already come. 3 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. 4 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. 5 Don’t you remember that when I was with you I used to tell you these things? 6 And now you know what is holding him back, so that he may be revealed at the proper time. 7 For the secret power of lawlessness is already at work; but the one who now holds it back will continue to do so till he is taken out of the way. 8 And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will overthrow with the breath of his mouth and destroy by the splendor of his coming. 9 The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with the work of Satan displayed in all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders, 10 and in every sort of evil that deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. 11 For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie 12 and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness.  Why would God give Satan another chance to deceive his people, when he tells us that is second coming will destroy Satan’s work?
  4. Matthew 25 1-13, 14-30 & 31-46 The door is shut, no second chance for anyone and those separated are going to hell in each case. Now, the Rapture-ists say that this is the second, second coming. The first was silent in which all the Christians were “raptured.”  No where in all of scripture does it speak of this.  NO WHERE!
  5. Matthew 13:24-30, 40-42   Jesus told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. 25 But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. 26 When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared.  27 “The owner’s servants came to him and said, ‘Sir, didn’t you sow good seed in your field? Where then did the weeds come from?’ 28 ” ‘An enemy did this,’ he replied. “The servants asked him, ‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?’ 29 ” ‘No,’ he answered, ‘because while you are pulling the weeds, you may root up the wheat with them. 30 Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.’ ”     “As the weeds are pulled up and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the age. 41 The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil. 42 They will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Again, no second chance for the weeds to correct themselves.

  1. In God’s nature he gives us every opportunity to follow him. When the rich man went to hell and cried out for water, God said no.  When he asked that his brothers be told, God said no.  Our chance and God’s patience is here on earth now.  Why would God give yet another chance to only those who were alive during the rapture and not to the billions who have died before?  God has given me this response and his zeal.  This is a false theology and all those who teach it are false teachers!  Flee!
  2. 13. Romans 9:16 It does not, therefore, depend on man’s desire or effort, but on God’s mercy. 2 Corinthians 5:7 We live by faith, not by sight. How is it that Christ, who so adamantly proclaimed that it was no longer by sight, calls those blessed who do not see, would grant to those, who are “left behind” who have no faith, those he gives a second chance and an opportunity to see, while trillions of people before did not get that second chance?


My dear friends, there is so much more I want to show you. I cannot write books on the internet to persuade you that you are buying into a lie.  I can only plead with you, as I’m sure you would for your loved ones to believe and be saved.  The Rapture is a false theology.  With all my heart, God has spoken to me.  God revealed this to me long before my schooling and it was confirmed then by my education in scripture.  Can you imagine how much a revelation this was for me, to have this theology come to me in my head without any training?  I didn’t, at the time comprehend what this meant, only that I was able to explain the Book Revelation in a way that made perfect sense.  Then I go to School for my Masters in Theology and they give us the Book of Revelation in Greek taught by one of the foremost authorities on the subject.  Praise be to God I’m hearing in my ears the understanding given to me by the spirit.  CONFIRMATION!  They picked a book like Revelation written in apocalyptic language so they can manipulate the definition of the words and there meanings.

 Now, what does God and scripture teach us? The end will come and all will be done away with.  The Apostles were more post-millennialists than anything else.  Some believed that it had already happened and we believe as they did, but we add to it that it continues on.  What they could not know is that the world was not going to end tomorrow. 

 Therefore, we believe as “amillennialists” that the Tribulation, reign of Christ and the reign of the Church co-exist now. For example, the 4 horsemen exist now.  Is there, bloodshed? Yes!  Is there death, economic disarray and the anti-Christ?  Yes.  Even the earth is polluted by one third.  The Book of Revelation is a repetitive book that describes the condition of the earth now and the end time.  It explains why there is pain and suffering and tells how God will bring all things to an end.  It is a book of great hope and it teaches us where to put our hope and faith.  It warns us against prostituting ourselves out to other beliefs.  We have sanctuary in the church and comfort through God’s word and his sacraments.  Christ can over throw Satan with his word.  It is how we can rebuke demons.  If not, we have no protection.  God is sovereign and works in, through and with us everyday.  And on that last day, it will all end.

 A few thoughts:

One, if your church believes in this, rebuke them. Talk to your pastor.  Do NOT leave the church entirely; just find one that teaches the truth.  Make sure your Pastor has been properly educated and properly called.

 Two, despite my frustration and anger at ridiculous theologies, I love my crazy brothers and know that through Grace, by faith they will be saved. What hurts is that they don’t feel the same about me.  The reformed non-denominational movement is a separatist group that feels only they will be saved and us who rely on Grace are relying on cheap grace and will not be saved. 

 Three, LEARN! I am a teacher by gift.  Know what you’re getting into, don’t just find a friends church.  That is not a valid criteria!

 Four, Stay put. Stop church hopping.  It prevents discipline and Gods’ discipleship.  It’s not what you WANT in a church, but what God has SAID through his church. 

 Finally, I cannot do justice to this topic on paper. If I have created a doubt that the rapture is wrong.  Learn more.  Begin to ask:  What is your pastor’s education level?  Can he/she translate Greek?  Do they align with ALL of scripture?  Are they mature in their faith or a recent convert?   Does their theology have 500 years behind it or do they make it up as they go along?  Do they say things like God laid it on my heart only to defend their inability to defend the faith scripturally?



May God be the Glory in His church and through His Son our Savior Jesus Christ!


The Rapture is a false theology taught by false teachers!


Best Religion For Millennials

It has been said of the Millennial generation that they are entitled and they feel the world owes them. I have to admit as a Builder/Boomer I have said those same words myself.  I often told God that I did not ask to be born into a poor family of alcoholics.  I found Paul also asked questions in Romans 9, and God replied that we basically should not ask.   But I did ask and I know what it feels like to be brought into a world that I didn’t ask for.  If you think about it, this generation is actually holding their parents accountable for not taking the time and effort to make sure they were marrying the right people, and that they had a good job and enough money to raise and take care of a child.  Every generation has its benefits and contributions to society that helps shape it.

So, in light of some of the stigmas of the Millennial generation, which faith best suits its needs and beliefs? Ironically, that would be the Lutheran faith.  The Lutheran faith is the closest to a sense of entitlement.  God comes to us and gives us faith, love and forgiveness.  He fills us with the Holy Spirit and enables us to believe.  God claims us as his own, and sacrifices everything for us.   The life we live is not an expectation or responsibility, but rather a response to the love that God first gave to us.  HE comes to us and fills us, and we in return live a life of thankfulness.  All other Christian religions have a list of expectations.  The freedom found in the Lutheran faith, which is a Christian faith is one that is full of love and grace.

Let me clarify that there are different Lutheran faiths. IN addition, most Lutheran faiths are dying and wouldn’t know what they themselves believe.  If you are in our area, I encourage you to come and find sanctuary at Promise Lutheran Church.  We will share with you how, because of a loving God, you are saved by grace through faith and that this is a gift of God, so no one can boast.  It is the perfect faith for this generation and most importantly it is a right faith.  It follows strictly the word of God.  We don’t use churchy euphemisms that no one can understand or do.  We give straight honest talk about God’s love for us and how we live our life in grateful thanksgiving for all he has done for us.  We are a God first religion and I hope if you are ever in the Murrieta area you seek us out at Promise.  If you do not live near us, try a Lutheran church in your area.  If they live their doctrine it will be a place of love and acceptance, if not, I apologize in advance for those who are ignorant of their own faith.  May God lead you to His truth in your life and the saving grace of Jesus Christ.

Finding Peace In A Chaotic World

The world is full of chaos and at times it seems out of control. Too often we think that our era is the worst, but in reality every era has been bad.  Sixty years ago we had separate places for blacks and whites.  We incarcerated Japanese people out of fear.  Our world before that was completely at war.  Not a single place anyone could flee to, that was safe.  We held drills in America for the potential of an atomic holocaust.  If you think about it you can find that our world has never been “okay.”  If you want to see something interesting Google search wars throughout history.  There has never been a time that our world was not at war with someone.  As Matthew says, there will be wars and rumors of war, but do not be afraid.  And that my friend is the affect of Satan released into this world.  We are not evolving into a better species; we are just different people enduring the same kind of stuff.   So what do we do?

Right now those of us who are football enthusiasts are taking in the final games of the season.  The next time you watch football look at what the line does with their hands when they pass block.  They put their hands out and hold the defensive lineman away.  To allow them to get in close would mean the defensive lineman could control, move and manipulate them.  I use this analogy often because it is the best way to deal with the chaos of this world, and the reason why we get controlled and moved around.  Maybe for you it’s a difficult family member or friend.  Maybe you’ve felt betrayed and wronged.  Don’t let it in!  Don’t let it hit you in the chest i.e. your heart.  People are sinful and will do sinful things.  People hurt others knowing and unknowingly for a variety of reasons.  Some have been hurt so much they lash out at anyone.  Some are afraid and keep closed up.  Some of our problems today come because we either feel too much or too little.  Balance comes when we hold that thing that controls us at arm’s length.  It is the skill of “empathy.”  My psychology professor had a great analogy for this.  He said; imagine quicksand with a person crying for help out in the middle.  Sympathy is you jumping in with them and now you both are drowning, but it feels good sharing.  Apathy is standing on the land and yelling in instructions for how they can get out.  Knowing the more we struggle the worse it gets.  Maybe you have had a person be apathetic to your needs.  Great advice, but how do you execute it if you’re hurting?  And finally there is empathy.  It is reaching in with one hand while you keep your other hand on a branch.  Keeping people, problems, and chaos at arm’s length is the only way we can find our way through the chaos.  One author said, “compassion is the sometimes fatal capacity to feel what it’s like to live inside of someone else’s sin.”  That is good, providing we don’t put their skin on us.  I can empathize without becoming their pain too.

If you are going through something right now, you’re probably saying that sounds good but how do I do it?  How do I keep problems at arm’s length so they don’t hit me in the chest?

First, look at whatever it is honestly for what it truly is.  If you have someone with psychological problems there is only so much you can do.  If you have financial problems, you take one step at a time to crawl out.  Looking honestly at the problem is holding onto a branch.  It secures you to reality and not the feeling of swimming in soup.  In the movie Twister Helen Hunt was in a truck on a thin road between two bodies of water.  A twister came and she pointed saying, “there’s a cow!”  A few seconds later, “there’s another cow.”  The guy in the truck with her said, “No honey I think that was the same cow.”  Ever feel like the same issues or problems just keep coming around?  It stops when we see it for what it is and plan a realistic step by step path out, keeping it at arm’s length.  To take this to the extreme, even in finding out you have cancer, it is usually a long road to the final diagnosis.  We hold our fears at arm’s length and look at it for what it is.  It’s a mass and they don’t know anything about it yet, so we wait and hold fear and being assured we are dying at arm’s length.  Easily said I know, which is why we daily call on strength from our Lord and Savior who empathizes with our hurt and pain.

Second, the art of keeping it at arm’s length requires us to be able to get help.  That help comes from knowing that God has you.  Having been extremely poor and now doing very well I know how far down I can get and still be okay.  I’ve never thought I’d EVER stand in a food line, or need help, but I found that I can actually get that low and still be okay.  God would perform amazing miracles.  One Christmas when we had nothing, not even a tree, a farm boy pulled up out front and asked if we needed a Christmas tree and food.  He said he and his family cut down a few trees every year and take them to people they think might be in need.  It is that kind of experience that gives us comfort in the hard times.  Even if I lose my house and job, I can survive.  God may change my life, move me to some place different, or feed me where I am at, if that be his will.  Sometimes we may refuse to move until all is taken away, only to find out later that where we ended up was a necessary part of God’s plan.

Chaos in this world is a reality.  As long as Satan exists there will be chaos.  Revelation speaks of Satan and when he is in the water the water trembles, there is chaos, but when Christ is in the water it is a glassy sea.  Christ wants to give us a glassy sea, if we only trust in him.  It doesn’t mean there won’t be struggle!  His glassy sea is that we trust in him through the storm.   Hold those things that would destroy you at arm’s length.  Look at whatever is bothering you honestly for what it is and come to understand “why” it is the way it is.  Change what you can and accept what you can’t.  Never jump into the quicksand of someone else’s chaos.  Above all trust that this too will pass and there will be calm seas ahead, we merely need to trust in the one who can calm the seas.

So as you watch the games note how the linemen hold the opposing force at arm’s length, and then, through the power of prayer and trust in God, you act.  And when you don’t know which way God wants you to move, scripture says, God will make that known to you too.  God is the Master Craftsmen and I am a work in progress!  And may the peace which passes all understanding guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

About the Author

I am always troubled when writing about our faith, because I have to defend, and in defending I draw a straight line.  If there are multiple paths to heaven, and all faiths are okay, and everyone goes to heaven, then why do we have a church?  Isaiah 6:1-12 is our reality.  Therefore, I want to explain that when it comes to theology I will speak directly and hold nothing back.  Scripture says that defending the faith is essential.  God tells us to watch our doctrine closely!  There are 250 denominations and 1,500 Christian organizations when last counted.  Some of them that claim Christianity, such as Mormons, aren’t Christians.  BUT, it is essential to realize that when I use a name of a faith,  it is the theology I am discussing and not the person,  For example there are Bad Mormons that make great Christians and bad Christians that make good Mormons.  Ignorance is not bliss!  So understand that when I discuss theology I may appear unkind, but I believe that every person is loved by God and He desires them to come to the truth of the Gospel.  My job as a called and ordained Pastor is to hold the scriptures sacred and refute false theology where it exists.  Therefore, know that I love all people, and do not think of myself more highly than I ought.  Romans 12:1-3, but when it comes to theology there is NO GRAY.  It is right or wrong!

What’s a Lutheran?

We have had to take Lutheran out of our name because people were so confused.  If we tell people we are Lutheran they tell us they are Christian as if that is something different.  Every church including non-denominationals follow some theological predecessor.  You tell me what a church says about salvation and I can tell you who said it first.  Calvary Chapel is usually Armenian/Calvinists.  I say usually because denomination means organized, so you never know.  Rancho is reformed Calvinists.  They follow a modified version of John Calvin.  Baptists follow Ulrich Zwingli and have modified by conventions.  I guess “Murrieta Zwinglian Church” wouldn’t attract many people. We are the ONLY faith to keep the name of our founder as a part of our title and it has been a source of confusion for many years.  Not even Martin Luther wanted us to use his name.  He was all about changing those things that were wrong about the Catholic church. That’s why we were the first “Protestants”, which means protesters.  Make no mistake we are Christians!  Martin Luther was a monk who did not agree completely with the Catholic faith.  He wanted to debate 95 statements.  They tried to kill him.  The Pope even pardoned anyone who would kill him.  Luther hid away under German rule and wrote approximately 17 pages a day as he studied the scripture.  If you read his work some things are a work in progress which is why some uneducated people such as the heretic John Hagee, say Luther was anti-Semitic.  NOT TRUE!  Luther’s writings are not only scriptural interpretation, but also his own musings and feelings about those who would hinder and market grace.  Luther once said in regard to indulgences,  “since the Catholic Church is so rich, why don’t they pay one indulgence and save the world?”   Luther had several “ONLY” (soli) in his teachings.  Only Jesus!  Only Grace!  Only scripture!  Soli Deo Gloria, etc!  He was first perplexed by his own inability to rid himself of sin.  He would whip himself, until one day he fell unconscious on the floor.  His monsignor sent him to study.  In his studies the Lord revealed to him the amazing insights found in Romans of grace, love and freedom.  Luther went on to get his Doctorate and solidify his beliefs as he debated from afar.  Melanchthon served in the debates because Luther was under sentence of death by the Pope.  What came out of those debates are written in our Doctrinal book called the Book of Concord.  The Catholic faith responded with a document called the Confutation.  2017 marked our 500th anniversary of Luther presenting the 95 Thesis.  We have had thousands of the greatest scholars in the world, who have written volumes on the various theologies and debates among Christendom.  Lutherans have always been known for our excellence in education.  We follow the rule that scripture interprets scripture.  We cannot ignore some parts of scripture, as some do, nor can we explain the unexplainable.  As Luther said, “If you can not prove to me, by the word of God and not councils or Popes that what I have written is in error, then my conscience is bound by the word of God. Hear I stand I can do no other!”  Lutheran’s believe simply: Ephesians 2:8-9  For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God– not by works, so that no one can boast.

Accepting Jesus As Your Personal Savior

The Lutheran faith does not  believe that the key to salvation is “Decision Theology” i.e. accepting Jesus.   Now there is nothing wrong with saying you believe.  That is a “Profession” of faith.  But have you noticed that those who believe in that theology talk endlessly about what they did.  They remember their date and ask you about yours.  1 Corinthians 4:6-7 (NIV)  “Now, brothers, I have applied these things to myself and Apollos for your benefit, so that you may learn from us the meaning of the saying, “Do not go beyond what is written.” Then you will not take pride in one man over against another.  For who makes you different from anyone else? What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as though you did not?”   We believe as scripture says that Baptism unites us to Christ’s death and resurrection.  In that we receive the gift of the Holy Spirit and with it all its gifts.  No where does it say to ask Jesus.  Romans 3:22-23, 9:16, 11:32 just to list a few of hundreds of verses I could share.  They will use John 1:11-12 and Romans 10.  Romans 10 is speaking to Jews and adult converts.  He is quoting Deuteronomy 30:11-14  “Now what I am commanding you today is not too difficult for you or beyond your reach. 12  It is not up in heaven, so that you have to ask, “Who will ascend into heaven to get it and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?” 13  Nor is it beyond the sea, so that you have to ask, “Who will cross the sea to get it and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?” 14  No, the word is very near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart so you may obey it.” Notice that the word is already in their mouth and heart as is reflected in Jeremiah 31:31-14.  To the adult Jew conversion will be by hearing the word of God;  But notice that even though they heard they did not believe.  This does not negate all that God said as the one who gives us faith.  If you continue to Romasn 11:32 and then Romans 12:3 it will clearly defend our theology.

Also, you will need to know that confession is homolegumina.  It means to echo or literally one speak.  We see it in 1 John 1:8-10.  We echo what God has said of us.  Be careful when looking at confession as profession!  1 Peter 3:18ff.  The flood is symbolic of Baptism.  IF baptism is a symbol of faith, then the flood is symbolic of the faith.  First, that would be two symbolisms which would be ridiculous and second, faith is not like the flood.  Baptism IS like the flood since it drowns the Old Adam.  This argument takes much more discussion, but to get you thinking: Eph. 4:5 states there is only one baptism!  The word “Teaching” in Greek  is doctrine.   How can something symbolic have a  doctrine?  Acts 8:16-17 Why not just re-baptize if that was true doctrine?  Going back to John 1 the word “receive” in Greek is Lambano and is the same in 1Cor. 4.  Heb. 11:35 is also lambano.  Note how it’s used.   It does not mean to ask for, but to get.   I have extensive work on this discussion, too much to blog, but if you see a glimpse of the truth in my words then I will provide that resource other ways.  BOTTOM LINE:  Our whole thing as Lutherans is that all the credit goes to God.  He gives us faith and fills all our needs.  Anyone who takes from God’s work is bringing Jesus’ redemptive work down.  That’s the over simplified reason we resist.  It’s not your “profession.”  God loves to hear it!  It is “who” gets the credit and for that God is a jealous God!  For me as long as I do not reject God’s gift I am saved, even though I may go through various “levels” of faith.  The baby Christian is just as saved.  In “Decision Theology” no one has any clue.  Who can say their acceptance is “real” acceptance?  You will spend endless hours discussing “True” faith and who is saved.  Our faith gives all the credit to Jesus.  Saved by Grace through faith AND THIS IS NOT FROM YOURSELF, IT IS A GIFT OF GOD, not by works so no one can boast!   How can anyone refute that???????

Your Loved One Is Not Looking Down From Heaven!

Just finished a very frustrating inurnment service.  I had to let another Pastor speak, and as is always the problem when you let someone speak, you never know what they are going to say.  When they mess up, you can’t fix it without insulting them.  He is a humanist Pastor who wanted us to picture the deceased looking down from heaven.  He said that when we do good things we make them happy.  What a load of crap!  Talk about bringing Jesus down!  If my mom is looking down she is crying.  When you die you are looking at Jesus and your loved ones are not on your mind.  I liken it to when a famous movie star walks by or even a “Hot Babe”, people forget everything else.  Can you imagine seeing Jesus?  Your mind is fixed on Him.  That’s the comfort we have.  Your mom is not in the closet, under your bed or talking to you.   So who is talking to us when we see and hear things?  One of two people are speaking to you.  One, it is an Angel sent to comfort you, and what better way to get your attention than to manifest themselves as someone you love.  Two, it is a demon.  They will be sent to confuse you and take hope and comfort away.  I have lost most of my large family and none of them have ever “talked” to me, but Jesus has.   One more thing, can you image the guilt people (who are human) will experience when they do bad things, or a parent who can now use this as a weapon?  “Your mother is very sad right now, seeing you like this.”  We can’t pick our theology so that it makes us feel better, we must adhere to the word of God.  Jesus is my advocate.  I can’t think of a better one.  Jesus has my mom.  I find great comfort in knowing she is with Jesus and one day I will be too.  My mom lives on in me as I portray her best characteristics.   Please think before you attend a church!  EVERY church has a theology they follow!  If you need help figuring out which one your church has, just ask me.  You can email me any time!  May we all rest in peace in Christ Jesus!  No one comes to the Father except through Him!!!!!!!!!

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