Our hope was that the many brothers and sisters that had discovered the joyful, empowering experience of serious Bible study could band together, grow together and be made available to God to become that next layer of leaders in the Body of Christ.
For some 21 years the Lord has seen fit to allow me to be the proverbial “fly on the wall” while traveling and serving with Chuck. I am sure that many of you have imagined the fantasy of having all the time available to explore the depths of the “rabbit trails” that Chuck often tantalizes us with.
I have thought of you many times through the years, wishing that I had all your questions as well as my own. I have always seen what I have been allowed to do as somehow vicariously sharing this experience with all who have been blessed by this ministry. This has allowed me to remain “one of you.”
Oftentimes your questions have been the inspiration for our conversations. I want you to know that I listened as you poured your hearts out, tried to articulate some technical question or tried to express the wondrous world of understanding that He had opened to you. Through me your voice has been heard. Through me your questions have not only been answered, but have affected what we all, including Chuck, have learned about the depths of our Lord’s Life.
There are three principal judgments that are often confused: the Bema Seat Judgment, the Sheep and Goat Judgment, and the Great White Throne. They are each quite different.
They say experience is a hard teacher because it gives the test first and the lessons afterward. However, we have ample lessons in life well in advance of our final exam. Paul has given us numerous written guides to help us prepare for it.
Yet we all do have a last “final exam” still ahead of us: “We must all appear before the Bema seat of Christ…” And every day that our Lord tarries gives us an additional day to prepare for it.
What is the “Bema seat”? Where will it be held? When is it given? What is at stake? What are the grading criteria?
The Apostle Paul, in several of his letters, highlights that he supported himself through a recognized vocation at the time, tent-making.
As we mentioned in our earlier article, when someone becomes truly serious about serving our Lord, he is typically confronted with two basic choices:
Seeking employment in a Christian organization: a church, a “para-church” organization, etc.; or
Joining an organization in which one must bring their own support: YWAM, Campus Crusade, et al.
This basic choice is between being an employee and spending a significant portion of one’s time soliciting personal support. The second approach can be effective for a season, but is inefficient over the long term since one can spend over half their time “pan-handling.” Each of these have restrictions and frustrations.
There is an alternative, a road less travelled: the independent “Spiritual Entrepreneur.”
Daily the world’s media is filled with the macabre images that portray this ruthless group of fundamental Muslims as uncompromising and terrifying to say the least.
The rapid rise of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has caused many in the world to wonder at its apocalyptic implications. They have distinguished themselves by being the first terror group to declare its captured territory a sovereign country. As a self-proclaimed Caliphate, they aspire to bring much of the Muslim-inhabited regions of the world under their direct control. Just days after the group posted a video on social media showing one of its fighters beheading the journalist James Foley, US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel declared, “This is an organization that has an apocalyptic, end-of-days strategic vision and which will eventually have to be defeated.”
…but because they had never treated or operated on someone with my condition, they miraculously made an exception and took me as a training example… To be honest, I was terrified.
Last month we began a series of articles on the phenomenal subject of “hope.” What hope is; why it’s so important and how hope is our only “anchor” when everything else in our life is crashing and burning. As we said, God is not only the Author of all Love, the Bible is His message of “hope” to a dying world.
My motive for writing is that I see hopelessness everywhere, especially in the Christian Body. And, since I am living in a similar hopeless (by world’s standards) situation right now, I pray God would use my own experience to help others see their difficult circumstances as opportunities to draw them even closer to the Lord. Without hope, we allow the enemy not only to have an entrance into our souls, but also to destroy our faith and kill our dreams. I know, because I’ve been there! Proverbs 13:12 says “hope deferred makes the heart sick.” This is exactly what happened to me last year.
The melanoma is back, not only on her nose, but also in her lungs. She has begun treatment using a brand new drug specifically designed for melanoma cancer. She is also using several natural therapies. She continues to rely on the Lord for healing, just as she has been all along.
You can have faith, but still be hopeless. After being a Christian for over 60 years, Nancy lost her hope this past year as she faced overwhelming and multiple physical challenges. But God loved her so much that He used her pain and suffering to teach her what real hope in Him means.