Judgement - Mike Baker, The LAST Resort - Mark Copeland, Stay NEW - Michael Ledbetter


Does the name Harold Camping sound familiar? At the time of this writing Harold Camping was an 89-year-old minister from Alameda, California. Mr. Camping predicted Judgment Day to be May 21, 2011. He predicted that a massive earthquake would strike New Zealand at 6 PM and that the quake would follow the sun over the next 24 hours destroying the earth. Mr. Camping’s most ardent followers quit their jobs and abandoned most of their possessions.

This story made Worldwide News. Many of you may have heard Mr. Camping’s prediction, what did you do? Most of us didn’t give it much thought. We may have even joked about it or thought it was foolish. Our opinions that such predictions are worthless and foolish are not unfounded. Jesus said, “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone” (Mt. 24:36). So it is silly, even foolish to proclaim Judgment Day a specific day.

Mr. Camping had previously predicted the end of the world to take place in 1994; May 21, 2011 was his second miss. He revised his calculations and a day in October 2011 was third target date. Mr. Camping had staked his knowledge of scripture and his reputation on these predictions and has again proven that the word of God is true; no one except the Father knows the day and the hour.

CONSIDER THIS…if we think Mr. Camping is foolish for gambling away his reputation by claiming to know when the end of time will be, what does that say about us? No, we don’t claim to know the specific date of Judgment day. We do something much more foolish and much more dangerous. We gamble our soul. Our unprepared lives demonstrate our belief that Jesus is not coming back today or tomorrow.

All of us want to go to heaven, but many aren’t prepared to meet our Savior because we think we have plenty of time. 13 Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, and spend a year there and engage in business and make a profit. 14 Yet you do not know what your life will be tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away. 15 Instead, you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.”16 But as it is, you boast in your arrogance; all such boasting is evil. 17 Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin. (James 4:13-17)



Brother Mike Baker



The “Preacher” tells us in Ecclesiastes 12:14...”For God will bring every act to judgment, everything which is hidden, whether it is good or evil.”  This statement came from him because he had been searching for the answer to the question in chapter 1:3...”What profit has a man from all his labor in which he toils under the sun?”
Solomon searched for the meaning of life.  He knew that once a person was born, that person would also eventually die.  In the time that mankind would be on the earth, he wanted to know what would be the most important way to conduct one’s life so that it wouldn’t end in vanity.  He considered pleasure, labor, human wisdom, laughter, wine, possessions, political popularity, dreams & many words, as well as other things.  After trying these or at least thinking about such things, he came to the conclusion that it was all vanity and striving after the wind. 
There are two main messages in the book of Ecclesiastes: 
1) The vanity of life under the sun from an earthly perspective...1:14.
2) The importance of fearing God and keeping His commandments...12:13.
Solomon wrote the book of Ecclesiastes to help us with our questions about what is important.  He gives us great counsel that we should follow.  We don’t have to try the same things that Solomon did to find that living our lives from an earthly perspective doesn’t work.  We can just look at his conclusion...”Fear God and keep His commandments” (12:13) and live our lives starting with that perspective.
Much of the time, we want to live our lives from an earthly perspective.  When we find out that it is not successful, then we want to give our life to God as a LAST RESORT.   Some people will never know that living from an earthly perspective wasn’t successful until life on earth ends.  Many people think they are living from a Godly perspective but aren’t living that way at all.  Jesus tells us to “Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness (Matt. 6:33).   You see, Jesus wants us to put Him as “OUR FIRST RESORT, NOT OUR LAST RESORT.”


START NEW   As we begin a new year, actually a new decade this time, we take time to reflect on the year behind and plan for things we want to do better in the year ahead.  Starting a new year allows us to set new goals and take a fresh start to some planned projects.  We like fresh starts and new beginnings when we can leave some of the old baggage behind us.
According to the inspired writing of John, we can continually “be new.”  We don’t need to wait on a New Year to follow John’s teaching, but we can certainly take advantage of a fresh 2020 to devote ourselves to the path that he recommends.
1 John 1:5-9
(5) This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.  (6) If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.  (7) But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.  (8) If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.  (9) If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
How do we stay new?  If we walk in the light, we will maintain our fellowship while receiving the continual cleansing that keeps us pure.  Yes, we all sin and fall short, we must be honest with ourselves and continually course correct, seeking forgiveness, keeping our eyes on the goal and keeping our feet heading down the right path.  As we walk in His light, reflecting His light to the world, we can be confident that we are cleansed and new.
So, as we start the new year of 2020, enjoy the new decade, put 2019 behind us, seek His light, let His truth guide our steps and enjoy the assurance that we are in fellowship with each other and our creator.  Happy New Year!   Submitted by:  Michael Ledbetter


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