The lack of some 'good' preachers, faithful to preach and teach the word to the one's who 'want' to listen,
is sometimes the result of blindness to what the word of God 'really' says, and not just what the seminaries
have taught them to teach. Laziness is an easy master, able to keep the 'lulled-to-sleep' pastor a snoozing on.
There is also the problem of those who fill in the blanks on their own where Scripture is silent or only gives highlights but not the entire story. Many there are who will run to those that claim to know, in detail, what Scripture doesn't lay out.
We are called to live by faith. Blessed are those who believe without seeing (or thinking they know everything).
As the song says, trust and obey. We read throughout Scripture how God called someone to live for Him without giving details and how faithful men trusted and obeyed. That's our calling too.
That's a whole worthy sermon right there! More meat there than some folks get in a month of Sunday's in their church.
When people start talking to our pastor about America needing a revival and how we should pray for that he points out a story about when someone asked their pastor why there wasn't revival in America. That pastor told the man if he wanted to see revival in America he should go home, stand still and draw a circle around himself and then pray for revival for everyone in that circle until it happens. Revival starts within our own hearts. If we get our hearts right with God, fighting against and repenting of sin daily, then we can better pray for others and be good salt and light in the world.
How I wish I had learned of the importance of true, daily biblical repentance in a believers life much sooner!
With the neo-cons back in more power they are once again pressing their primary agenda of using America as the world enforcer in an attempt to spread "American democracy" around the world, with the aim to conform all the world into the image of America which they believe will achieve that new world order they have long dreamed of.
War is the best means of distracting the population while being able to call for the need to have more taxes and higher government spending and an expansion of the government and military for the purposes of the elite to exploit.
Many Republicans, with them not even having assumed control of congress yet, are already calling for enhanced military action, provocations to war and outright war in several Mid-East countries, in Ukraine against Russia, in Africa and possibly even a tougher stance in the Asian-Pacific region.
Perpetual war and promoting fear of "enemies" all around has long been the hallmark of out-of-control governments and tyrannical leaders. Never mind the mess, corruption, lawlessness, and misery within the country, just make sure the population is fearful of some "enemy" out there that must be dealt with first...or else!
Meanwhile, a large percentage of American Christians support the use of America as world policeman and advocate for war after war. Little time left for spreading the Gospel, living for Christ, shining the light of Christ for the lost world to see.
If we spent half as much time pursuing growth in Christ in our own lives as we too often spend in observing and critiquing others we would likely see a far greater move of the Lord not only in our own lives, but in our families, churches and overall.
I believe the ten toes are the same areas of the old Roman Empire and their colonies. I believe America will be the 11th horn that up roots three of the toes during the war of Gog and Magog.
If the ten toes are ten distinct kingdoms and they exist today that would mean the ten toes are not an area and colonies but actual nations today. America, nor any nation in the Americas were or are a colony of Rome.
Just who is God and Magog? There are dozens of theories as to who this refers to and the Christian view of this has changed over the centuries many times. Early Christians thought this Gog and Magog referred to Rome. In the mid-1800s a theory arose it referred to Russia, but that wasn't given serious acceptance until the midst of the Cold War. Syria, Georgia, Germany, the Scythians, the Monguls, the Huns, Khazars, and a host of others have all been pointed to.
After 2,000 years there is still no consensus regarding the details of the end-times and virtually every generation bases their view upon the contemporary situation around them at the time.
Just in my own lifetime there have been more variations of who and what all this refers to than I can count. With each contemporary change in the world, previous declarations which were given as a sure thing were cast aside in favor of new views that were presented as certain...only to be cast aside when the next geo-political change-up occurred.
I love a good mystery, I love the Bible even more, I would love to know exactly what all the end-times things in Scripture refer to and mean, but it seems to a great extent God is keeping much hidden for His own purposes.
With regards to what Jim brought up, I think the great danger lies with so many these days either replacing the local church with TV preachers, books by various Christian authors, radio sermons, online preaching; or in giving little heed to their local church pastor while looking to others for spiritual guidance.
I don't think there is anything wrong with listening to or reading Pastor Markle's sermons which he posts here (for instance) but we shouldn't skip attending a home church to do so. The same is true with reading or listening to other Christian authors and preachers.
Hopefully, we each have at least a good, if not very good, home church and pastor, and that's where we should receive most of our Christian teaching and training; that's where our spiritual gifts and "works" should go to, or through.
When it comes to Christian authors or preachers who ere on some points, who may be weak in some areas, or who might be outright fraudulent in some cases, it's up to each of us to decide if they are worth our time and attention. Myself, those who have proven to be fraudulent time and again, I would want nothing to do with, regardless of how sound they might be on some point. There are other, non-fraudulent authors/preachers out there who would be better to give attention to. When it comes to the others I mentioned, there are some I might read or listen to some of their stuff, but if they are very far off on some things I wouldn't recommend them to others.
I read a lot, but my main feasting is upon what I receive from sermons, Sunday school and Bible studies at my home church led by our pastor.
It especially saddens me to think of those who really do believe they are good Christians, really do think they are trying to live for God, who are sincere, yet sincerely wrong and as lost as anyone else without being born again in Christ.