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What Luther Says

Yes, We Christians Will Still Be Here On September 23, 2017

Here on the East Coast of the United States it's now less than 1 hour until September 23, 2017.

You might think it's just another normal September evening and Friday night, but you would be sadly mistaken, my dear friends! Oh no, because for many of my brothers and sisters in Christ worldwide, they're on pins-and-needles while they sit and listen to Barry McGuire serenade them to sleep tonight his 1965 classic hit single with visions of the Rapture, the Antichrist, and the Tribulation death-marching through their mind's eye.

Is tonight the eve of destruction? Well, I guess if you listen to a majority of Christian YouTubers right now, and take your cues from popular Christianity, then the answer is an emphatic "YES!!!" in light of what's been called the "Revelation 12 Sign" for months now.

So, this is for all the #ChristianConspiracyTheorists out there on YouTube and around the world who INSIST that there's going to be some "paradigm-shifting" and "global event" that will occur tomorrow on September 23, 2017 (seriously, just do a quick Google and YouTube search for "September 23rd" if you don't believe me and you'll see what I mean -- it's downright ridiculous!).

In fairness, and trying to "put the best construction on things" though, I get it. I really do.

For starters, there was a time when I was once the "Christian Conspiracy" guy myself and I saw what I thought were "signs" E-V-E-R-Y-W-H-E-R-E that I looked! In fact, I was even a huge proponent of the "Pre-Millennial Rapture" popularized by the "Left Behind" series of books and films too.

Lord, please forgive me.

Plus, I can kinda see where many people are coming from in light of the condition we find the world in right now. The political and social unrest, the recent solar eclipse, devastating hurricanes and mega-earthquakes, and the threat of imminent nuclear war with North Korea all certainly call to mind some very specific Bible verses I'm sure.

Genesis 1:14 (ESV) And God said, "Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night. And let them be for signs and for seasons, and for days and years,"

Luke 21:25-26 (ESV) "And there will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and on the earth distress of nations in perplexity because of the roaring of the sea and the waves, people fainting with fear and with foreboding of what is coming on the world. For the powers of the heavens will be shaken."

Matthew 24:6-8 (ESV) "And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not alarmed, for this must take place, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are but the beginning of the birth pains."

Again, I get it. Even so, let's all take a deep breath and step back from the precipice of so-called "prophetic" signs and wonders.

I never realized it when that was me many years ago, and I know many people who have good intentions and who mean well, but it's funny how they seem to prefer to focus on current events in the here-and-now rather than realizing that the "paradigm-shifting" and "global event" they ultimately seek, actually already occurred some 2,000+ years ago on Mt. Calvary.

Jesus Christ died on the cross for the forgiveness of sins of all mankind -- for you and for me -- and He was resurrected from the grave three days later, defeating the devil and death in the process, and securing for us His free gift of salvation unto eternal life!

Romans 5:8 (ESV) "but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us."

John 3:16 (ESV) "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life."

John 14:6 (ESV) "Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.'"

Ephesians 2:8-9 (ESV) "For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9not a result of works, so that no one may boast. "

In light of that reality, that truth, how can you who are so pumped up over the possibility of what tomorrow might bring, not hear Jesus's rebuke from Matthew 16:4 ringing in your own ears: "'An evil and adulterous generation seeks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of Jonah.' So he left them and departed."

Now, if you wanna be a "watchman" (Ezekiel 33:6), then simply watch for opportunities within your God-given vocations in your day-to-day life to accurately, boldly, and faithfully share what we as Christians confidently believe, teach, and confess about the Gospel of Jesus Christ for forgiveness of sins available to the sinner, because that's what matters most regardless of what does or doesn't happen tomorrow. That's not "Gospel Reductionism" as much as it is common sense.

Better yet, let's look for Christ where we can be sure that He can already be found and where He has promised to come to us so that we may receive Him -- through His Word and Sacraments.
Besides, I think we should take Jesus at His Word when He said, "But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only" (Matthew 24:36).

I hate to break it to you, but "no one" means "no one" and that includes you no matter how "annointed" and "spiritually gifted" you think you are.

What happens if I'm wrong? What happens if something earth-shattering and unthinkable does happen tomorrow? My dear friends, even if the world is on the eve of destruction and we wake up to a world that is drastically different from the one we know right now, you and I are not on the eve of destruction, because "there is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus" (Romans 8:1). What a blessed hope and glorious promise indeed!

In a Lutheran layman's terms, tomorrow will not be the so-called "Rapture" or the "End of the World" either, because we Christians will still be here on September 23, 2017.

NOTE: Please understand that I'm not a called and ordained minister of God's Word and Sacraments. I'm a layman or just your average everyday Christian, Corporate Recruiter, Husband, Father, Friend who lives in the "City of Good Neighbors" here on the East Coast. As another Christian Blogger once wrote, "Please do not see this blog as me attempting to 'publicly teach' the faith, but view it as an informal Public Journal of sorts about my own experiences and journey, and if any of my notes here help you in any way at all, then I say, 'Praise the Lord!' but please do double check them against the Word of God and with your own Pastor." To be more specific, and relevant to the point I want to make with this disclaimer/note, please understand that I'm a relatively new convert to "Confessional Lutheranism" and one who recently escaped an American-Evangelical-Non-Denominational mindset a little more than 4 years ago now despite being a Christian my whole life. That being said, please contact me ASAP if you believe that any of my "old beliefs" seem to have crept their way back into any of the material you see published here, and especially if any of the content is inconsistent with the Bible, our Confessions, and Lutheran doctrine in general (in other words, if it's not consistent with God's Word, which our Confessions merely summarize and repeatedly point us back to over and over again) so that I can not only correct those errors immediately and not lead any of His little ones astray (James 3:1), but repent of my sin and learn the whole truth myself. With that in mind, please be aware that you might also discover that some of the earlier/older pieces I wrote for this blog back in 2013 definitely fall into that "Old Evangelical Adam" category (and they don't have a disclaimer like this) since I was a "Lutheran-In-Name-Only" at the time and was completely oblivious to the fact that a Christian "Book of Concord" even existed (Small/Large Catechism? What's that!?!). This knowledge of the Lutheran basics was completely foreign to me even though I was baptized, confirmed, and married in an LCMS church! So, there are some entries that are a little "out there" so-to-speak since the subject matter was also heavily influenced by those old beliefs of mine. I know that now and I'm still learning. Anyway, I decided to leave those published posts up on this website and in cyberspace only because they are not blasphemous/heretical, because I now have this disclaimer, and only to demonstrate the continuing work of Christ and the Holy Spirit in my life (Hebrews 12:2; Philippians 1:6). Most importantly, please know that any time I engage in commenting on and/or interpreting a specific portion of the holy Scriptures, it will always closely follow the verse-by-verse footnotes from my Lutheran Study Bible and/or include references to the Book of Concord unless otherwise noted. Typically, I will defer to what other Lutheran Pastors both past and present have already preached and taught about such passages since they are the called and ordained under-shepherds of our souls here on earth. Finally, I'm going to apologize ahead of time for the length of most entries (this disclaimer/note is a perfect example of what I mean! haha). I'm well aware that blogs should be short, sweet, and to the point, but I've never been one to follow the rules when it comes to writing. Besides, this website is more like a "Christian Dude's Diary" in the sense that everything I write about and share publicly isn't always what's "popular" or "#trending" at the time, but is instead all the things that I'm studying myself at the moment. For better or for worse, these posts tend to be much longer than most blog entries you'll find elsewhere only because I try to pack as much info as possible into a single piece so that I can refer to it again and again over time if I need to (and so that it can be a valuable resource for others -- if possible, a "One-Stop-Shop" of sorts). Thank you for stopping by and thank you in advance for your time, help, and understanding. Feel free to comment/email me at any time. Grace and peace to you and yours!

About JKR

Christian. Husband. Father. Friend.

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Thank you for visiting A Lutheran Layman! Please feel free to leave a comment or a question since we do not exercise censorship. We've seen a similar policy with other blogs and it's worth repeating: Please act as if you're a guest in my home, and we'll get along just fine. I think anyone would agree that the kind of back-and-forth that is characteristic of blogs/chat forums and social media is becoming tiresome for all of us. Still, we should confess, edify, and love (and contend and defend when needed). Bottom line? Search the Scriptures! Apply Acts 17:11 to anything and everything you find here and, if you do happen to disagree with something you find here (which is certainly ok), or think I'm "irresponsible" and "wrong" for writing it, then please refute my position by supporting yours with Scripture and/or the Confessions. I don't think that's an unreasonable request, especially for those who identify themselves as "Christians" here, right? Besides, Proverbs 27:17 tells us "Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another" and 2 Timothy 3:16 says, "all Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness." If you have an opinion that's great, I welcome it, but try to support it using God's Word. I mean, if the goal here is to help us all arrive at the truth of God's Word (myself included), then it should be easy to follow through on this one simple request (I'm talking to all you "Anonymous" visitors out there). Grace and peace to you and yours!

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