Tuesday, September 27, 2011

180 Movie

Just finished watching this!

30 minutes that could change your mind about everything.

Monday, September 26, 2011

A Case for the Rapture

I) Surprise
My main focus is on Jesus' description of the Day of the Lord coming “as a thief in the night” (Matt 24:42, Luke 12:40 – there is no reference in Mark or John; Jesus refers to it again in Rev 16:15).

The apostles continue using this phrase in 1 Thes 5:2, and 2 Pet 3:10.  (2 Thes 2 also talks some about the Coming of our Lord.)

Matthew says "Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come" (Luke is similar in content).

It might be argued from 1 Thes 5:4 that Christians can know the hour (that it is non-Christians who are taken by surprise), but verse 6 still calls for us to be watchful – there is no mention of any events for us to look for which would signal the Second Coming.

We see the opposite in 2 Thes 2.  Apparently, some false teachers told the Thessalonians that the Day of the Lord was upon them (v2, they had been in effect “left behind”).  Here Paul proves to them they are not in the last days, as there would be several very clear signs.

The other possible counterpoint is Rev 3:3 (letter to Sardis).  Here the context is not the Day of the Lord; but related – judgment against a local church.

II) The Fullness of Wrath in Judgment
This is counterbalanced by the giving of several very specific time frames for events during the Great Tribulation, as God's wrath is poured out through many specific, supernatural signs.

For example:
Rev 9:5  - 5 months
Rev 11:3 - 1260 days
Rev 13:5 - 42 months

Additionally, there are the events of the 21 judgments which are played out sequentially.  Many charts have been drawn up which detail much of this period, and which could be used to reliably determine the coming of Jesus.

III) Contradiction?
So then, we have an apparent contradiction – Jesus comes as a thief in the night, totally unexpected.  Yet, we have Jesus' coming preceded by very specific, well-timed events (of unmistakeably supernatural proportions).

How can we resolve this contradiction?

The Rapture comes as a thief in the night, where we are “gathered unto Him” for we are “not appointed unto wrath”, and at some point after, the well-timed events begin their march to the close of history.  The wrath of God poured out unto judgment.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Debt, Deficit, and Growth

(continuing my series on economics)

Some important definitions:
debt - money that is owed (like a mortgage or credit card balance).

deficit - a shortfall in your budget (losing money each month or year).

Obviously a family can deal with some amount of debt, and it can be good.  Borrowing for a home can be a way to get a home now and pay for it over your lifetime.  Borrowing for a car is probably less wise, and running up your credit card is just foolish.

In the same way, government debt is not necessarily bad.  As long as the economy is growing, the debt is controllable (you will have more future earnings to cover the interest payments).

Deficits are a whole different story.

Clearly, a family cannot survive for very long with debt and a deficit.  Eventually, the credit cards will run out, and you will be bankrupt.

With the government, things are more muddy.

The economy (as it is currently formulated) is dynamically stable - like a bicycle.  As long as it is running, it will stay upright.  If it stalls, it will fall over, and is difficult to restart.

The government can take action to keep the economy running (running a deficit to pump money into the economy and make it grow).

But this doesn't make sense in a static economy.  You're trying to restart an engine which has nowhere to go.  You can continue to print money and hand it out, but there are not any more goods being produced.  That will lead to inflation.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

A Coming Static Economy?

(continuing my series on economics)

When I look at current events, I wonder if we are looking at a transition to a static (non-growing) economy (although I am a pessimist, so it just might be me).

As I mentioned before, the primary factor of the economy is people. With abortion rates approaching 25%, we must admit that we have fewer people now (the producers and consumers of today's economy have been murdered). Also, reproduction rates in the West have fallen below the replacement rate (in America, you must overlook the first generation immigrant rate to see this trend). It is highly unlikely the population in the West will double in 40 years, or ever. It is possible the population will decrease (and will become heavily weighted toward the elderly).

When you look at the events of the Arab Spring, they are fundamentally economic (young people realizing they have no jobs). This is also somewhat present in the West, although to a lesser degree (although we are seeing some contraction of welfare states).

Interest rates are an indirect indicator of people's belief about growth in the economy. The government can lower rates to try and drive growth, but when rates stay low for long periods of time (record low rates on 30 year loans, for example) - this is an implicit statement that the economy will not grow.