The night before Jesus trial all of Christ closest friends either flat out betrayed him, or let him down. Not only did Judas get him killed, but Jesus who was so stressed out that he was sweating blood (Luke 22:44) a process known as Hematidrosis Jesus ask his friends to stay up and pray for him, yet they fell asleep twice! Then when he was arrested they scattered like cowards, to make matters worst Peter denied him three times. This doesn’t paint a picture of brave men who would be willing to die for anything, yet three days later Jesus rose from the dead, and these very same cowards who ran away when Jesus needed them most, suddenly became brave enough that they endured stonings, torture, prison, and even long torturous deaths.
Why would they deal with all this, if they knew that Jesus was still dead? They would not! They knew how dangerous it would be for them when they started telling the world about Jesus. Many of them endured minor beatings that would have discouraged them if they didn’t know it was dangerous to preach. Yet they kept on preaching even as the persecutions got worse. Some of the Disciples were still alive when the Great Fire of Rome happened that Christians we accused of causing which caused the persecutions to get worse, yet they kept on preaching.
In one way they are similar, both sets of people believed that they are dying for the truth. If the resurrection were a lie the disciples would have known it, and the cowards that ran away the night that Jesus was arrested would have never of became some of the bravest men that the world has ever known.
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Have you ever told someone you were fine when you were actually feeling terrible?
It is like we are programmed to tell people we are fine. We don’t intend on lying, it is just a reflex like pulling your hand back when your hand gets too close to the stove, you don’t think about it, you just do it.
I think our prayers can get like that. I know multiple seasoned citizens who have been saying the exact same prayer before eating as they were taught when they were three.
You have to wonder, are they actually expressing their gratitude to God for their food, or are they just reflexively saying the words that they were taught to say decades ago?
Ask yourself that same question, Are you really talking to God when you bow your head, or just moving your mouth? If your answer is uncertain or in the negative try re-reading the Psalms. There are some great players in there. Look for inspiration to change up your prayers a bit. Just changing a sentence or two can refocus your mind to actual prayer. And don’t forget to ask God to help you focus on him.
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Acts 1:11 Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.
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A lot of people have tried to guess when Christ will return over the past 2000 years. Everyone thought that they had good reasons for whatever date they picked, but so far they have all been wrong. When these dates come to pass, there are always some that leave the faith based on what the false prophet said.
There is no telling how many people were chased away from Christianity by false prophets like Harold Camping, who not only set several dates for Christ return that have already passed but fleeced people out of their life savings in the process. One of his followers actually tried to kill her family to protect them from the apocalypse!
Not only was she following a false prophet, but a preacher that somehow led her to believe that it was OK to kill her own children!
We as believers have a fine line that we have to walk when it comes to biblical prophecy.
On one hand, we are told that only the Father knows what day Jesus will return. On the other, we are told to watch for his coming. I feel that it must be soon, but I don’t know and neither do you. We can theorize, but we can’t know. Current events can, however, give us the incentive to act as if his return will be tonight. It is a part of learning about God so prophecy and the Second Coming can’t be ignored, but in some ways, it doesn’t even matter because even if he doesn’t come for another hundred years, we never know when our personal last day on Earth might occur it may even be tonight. Plan as if you will live to be 100 years old, but live as if you will see Jesus by the end of this article. Whenever he returns plan to already be busy doing his work.