Monday, August 14, 2017

August 21, 2017---Millions Will Be Looking Up

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One week from today, August 21, 2017, a total solar eclipse will occur across the contiguous United States---for the first time in nearly 100 years.

A variety of meanings are being attached to the event. Many are asking if there is any spiritual significance, because millions will be looking up next Monday.

Millions plan to position themselves in the total eclipse corridor. Unfortunately, many, perhaps especially here in the Northwest, will seize the moment to smoke pot and watch the sun.

To a one, medical experts are warning people that the least exposure of the naked eye to the sun will cause permanent damage to the eye. And just this weekend, a massive recall was announced on glasses that were supposed to allow you to stare at the sun.

Is there a spiritual or biblical significance to the event?

Pastor/ evangelist Greg Laurie says he doesn't think there is, but evangelist Anne Graham Lotz---Billy's daughter and Franklin's sister---believes there may be a great deal of significance.

Recently she wrote on her website that a few years ago, as she was teaching through the book of Joel, the ancient words came up off the page.

A few years ago I was teaching through the book of Joel when the ancient words of his prophecy came up off the page. I knew with hair-raising certainty that God’s severe judgment was coming on America! I have taught Joel several times since. Each time has served to confirm with deep conviction that God is warning America of impending disaster and destruction.
In light of Ezekiel 33:1-6 that commands a watchman to be faithful to warn others of the danger coming against the land, I feel compelled to issue the warning once again. The warning is triggered by the total solar eclipse of August 21, 2017, nicknamed America’s Eclipse. For the first time in almost 100 years, a total solar eclipse will be seen from coast to coast in our nation. People are preparing to mark this significant event with viewing parties at exclusive prime sites. The celebratory nature regarding the eclipse brings to my mind the Babylonian King Belshazzar who threw a drunken feast the night the Medes and Persians crept under the city gate. While Belshazzar and his friends partied, they were oblivious to the impending danger. Belshazzar wound up dead the next day, and the Babylonian empire was destroyed.
Jewish rabbis have historically viewed solar eclipses as warnings from God to Gentile nations. Therefore, my perspective on the upcoming phenomenon is not celebratory. While no one can know for sure if judgment is coming on America, it does seem that God is signaling us about something. Time will tell what that something is.

Lotz says, "Please be assured that balancing God's warning is His plea for us to return to Him and rend our hearts in sincere, heartfelt repentance."

She says, "I can almost hear the tears in Joel's voice as he pleads for us to repent and return to God, because who knows? He may return and have pity and leave behind a blessing (Joel:13-14)."

"Without a doubt," she says, "this is time for God's people to get right with God. To repent of our own sin. To share the Gospel with our neighbors. And to pray that in the midst of His coming wrath, God will remember mercy."

Several scientists are presenting some stunning facts that may indeed give opportunity to biblical believers to share the Gospel around the total solar eclipse.

Dr. Hugh Ross, founder of "Reasons To Believe," a group that uses science to point toward Creator God.

He says 3600 planets have been found by scientists, but none are like our Earth.

"As astronomers began to find far-distant planets circling stars much like our sun, they suspected many might turn out to be similar to Earth or other planets in our solar system," Ross says, "But as that number of planets soars to more than 3600, the surprise is how different they are from Earth and its neighbors."

He says, "Now we recognize that none of them are like the planets in our solar system."

"There is no Jupiter twin. There's no Venus twin. We're able to find planets as small as Mercury, but we're not seeing any twins---not only of Earth, but of any of the eight planets in our solar system," he explains.

"And this has led my astronomy peers to discover that every one of the eight planets in our solar system plays a critical role in making advanced life possible here on planet Earth," he says.

He says even the Milky Way is one-of-a-kind.

Ross says, "It's the only galaxy that we see that has the spiral arm symmetry, the spiral arm separation, the necessary lack of spurs and feathers, and the size and right ratio of exotic dark matter to ordinary matter that makes advanced life possible."

He and others have said the accuracy of the universe is undeniable. The possibility of a planet that sustains advanced life is nearly mathematically impossible.

He says, "A comparison or rough equivalence would be someone here in California [where their offices are located] winning the California lottery 150 consecutive times where they buy just one ticket each time."

He also says, "The most spectacular measurable evidence of fine-tuning design in all of physics is the fine-tuning of dark energy, that energy that's embedded in the space surface of the universe that controls the rate at which it expands."

If there was no dark energy and instead the mass of the universe was controlling its own expansion there would be chaos.

"You would have to fine tune the mass of the universe to such a degree that if you were to add the weight of one dime to the universe, or subtract the weight of one dime, that would be enough to upset the balance to make life not possible," Ross says.

But he explains there is dark energy, and, "You actually have to fine tune dark energy to a factor of a quadrillion quadrillion quadrillion quadrillion times more than the dime analogy."

"So how can we escape the conclusion there must be a mind with supernatural power that designed it just right so that we could be here?" he questions.

As the total solar eclipse happens precisely at the correct time next Monday, it provides a good time for biblical Christians to share the good news in the context of the event.

And it serves as a reminder that the same God who spoke the universe into existence and absolute order, presides over each of our lives---if we allow Him to do so---bringing order out of chaos, love out of fear, peace out of confusion, forgiveness from guilt and restoration from brokenness.

Is this solar event a sign of the end times, or of the destruction of America? Only God knows.

One thing is certain. You can count on God-----He is always precisely on time.

You can also be sure that among the millions looking up next Monday, there will be many who believe that the universe randomly materialized---and they are hoping that somehow, some way the same thing can happen in their confused and broken life.

And you can tell them that the Great Designer of the universe also has a plan for their life.

Be Informed. Be Faithful. Be Prayerful. Be Blessed.