John Schmid Music


What Will It Take?

I sang in three “lock up” dorms in a maximum security prison in northern Florida at the annual “We Care” Prison Ministries Week in January. I set up a small speaker and sang in the hallway between the two rows of solitary confinement-type cells. The cell doors are thick steel with bullet proof glass windows and a small opening to shove the food through to the inmate.

I could hear the applause, but also the banging, kicking and yelling of disapproval coming from within the cells. (Not everybody appreciates country/gospel music.) I could see faces in the windows. My singing echoed and bounced back and forth off the bare concrete walls and steel cell doors.

In each dorm, after I sang for close to an hour, we went cell to cell to hand out little booklets and try to communicate through the crack at the edge of the door. We asked how we could pray for them. I was not supposed to “preach” because since the men did not come to our service voluntarily (we were “invading” their space), federal law prohibits religious “indoctrination.”  But I could sing the gospel. Even though most were appreciative, several refused our offer to pray for them.
“I’m fine…” 
“I don’t need that…”  
“I’m an atheist…”

It got me to thinking about atheists. Maybe this isn’t a foxhole in the war, or a near death experience, but I had a hard time trying to figure out this kind of hard heartedness in what I consider a desparate situation. What will it take to get their attention?

Since I had just read a tract telling the last words of five famous atheists, I’ll print them here:

Thomas Paine, atheist and author of two of the most influencial pamplets (Common Sense and The American Crisis) at the start of the American Revolution – “Stay with me, for God’s sake; I cannot bear to be left alone, O Lord, help me! O God, what have I done to suffer so much? What will become of me hereafter?… O Lord, help me! Christ, help me! For I am on the edge of Hell here alone. If ever the Devil had an agent, I have been that one.”

Sir Thomas Scott, a member of the British House of Lords around 1572-“Until this moment I thought there was neither a God nor Hell. Now I know and feel that there are both, and I am doomed to perdition by the just judgment of the Almighty.”

David Hume, Scottish philosopher (1711-1776)- “I am in flames!”

Sir Francis Newport– the first Earl of Bradford (England), 1694- “You need not tell me there is no God for I now know there is one, and that I am in His presence! You need not tell me there is no Hell. I feel myself already slipping… I know I am lost forever! Oh, the fire! Oh, the insufferable pangs of Hell!” A fellow atheist companion tried to dispel his thoughts, but he had nothing to offer.

Anton LeVey, founder of The Church of Satan-“Oh my, oh my, what have I done?! There is something very wrong… there is something very wrong…”

Voltaire, (1694-1778) Anti-Christian French Enlightenment philosopher, famous for his wit and his criticism of Christianity- “…I am abandoned by God and man.” He said to his physician, Dr. Fochin: “I will give you half of what I am worth if you will give me six months of life.” When he was told this was impossible, he said, “Then I shall die and go to hell!” His nurse said: “For all the money in Europe I wouldn’t want to see another unbeliever die! All night long he cried for forgiveness.”

Steve Jobs, (not necessarily an atheist)- “Oh, wow… Oh wow… Oh wow…”

Chuck Wilson, an ex-convict friend who spent 30 years in London (Ohio) prison. Everytime he goes past a graveyard he says, “There is still time.”

Folks, there is still time. Give your heart to Jesus. Don’t end up in a tract about atheists.

Ray Comfort: “God doesn’t believe in atheists.”


Day and night the four living creatures never stopped saying,

“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is, and is to come.” Rev. 4:8

As much as I look forward to Heaven, the assignment of saying, “Holy, holy, holy…” day and night, 24/7, in Heaven did not look very exciting to me. Then I heard E. V. Hill explain: “The reason the four living creatures are praising God day and night is because every time they bow and say ‘Holy, holy, holy’ they lift up their heads and look, and God has done something new AGAIN(!), so they bow down and praise Him again! He never stops doing something new!”

The people of God are marked by the set of their face. They look to the future, and they look with anticipation. Implicit in fellowship with God is the promise that the best is yet to be. Of course, there are those in the Old Testament who did not see this. The writer of Ecclesiastes says there is nothing new under the sun, that what has been will always be, that all things are more wearisome than one can express. (Ecc. 1:8-10) But this is a minority voice in the Old Testament.

-The psalmist tells us of a new song the Lord has given him. (Ps. 42:8)

-Isaiah writes of new things to be learned and a new name (Isa. 42:9, 62:2) and of a new heaven and a new earth (Isa. 65:17; 66:26).

-Jeremiah proclaims a new covenant and new mercies every morning (Jer. 31:31; Lam. 3:22,23).

-Ezekeiel tells of a new spirit and a new heart (Ezek. 11:19; 18:31; 36:26)

The New Testament picks up this theme and promises:

-a new birth (I Per. 1:3)
-a new life (Rom. 6:23)
-a new self (Eph. 4:24; Col. 3:10)
-a new attitude (Eph. 4:23)
-a new commandment (John 13:34)
-a new and living way (Heb. 10:20)
-a new creation (2 Cor. 5:17; Gal. 6:15)
-a new heaven and a new earth (2 Pet. 3:13; Rev. 2:1)

It should be no surprise to us, after we have considered all of the above, to find the concluding word coming from God Himself: “See, I have made all things new.” (Rev. 21:5) Apparently God never quits making things better because His word comes as the last word in human history. He is the God of the eternal renewal.

But what about the doleful words from the author of Eccesiastes? He may be a keener observer than we thought. He says there is nothing new under the sun, and he is right! The true newness never comes from us, from the natural. It comes from beyond us, from the God with whom we have the privilege of walking. Our response has to be: Everything is new under the Son, for it is He who makes all things new.

As I look at these last days of 2022 and into the future of 2023, my thoughts here are mixed with Dr. Dennis Kinlaw’s entry from his Jan. 2 meditation in the book, This Day with the Master. Dr. Robert Coleman, Professor of Evangelism at Asbury Theological Seminay, often said, “The best is yet to be!” In this crazy world of conflict and evil, Isaac Watts said, “He rules the world with truth and grace, and He makes the nations prove the glories of His righteousness and wonders of His love.”



Ex-marine, Chuck Swindoll, told this story:

Two California Highway Patrol Officers were conducting speeding enforcement on I-15, just north of the Marine Corps Air Station at Miramar Naval Air Station. One of the officers was
using a hand held radar gun to check speeding vehicles approaching the crest of a hill.

The officers were suddenly surprised when the radar gun began reading 300 miles per hour. The officer attempted to reset the radar gun, but it would not reset and then turned off.

Just then a deafening roar over the tree tops revealed that the radar had in fact locked on to a USMC F/A-18 Hornet which was engaged in a low flying exercise near the location.

Back at the CHP Headquarters the Patrol Captain fired off a complaint to the USMC Base Commander.

The reply came back in true USMC style:

Dear Sir

Thank you for your letter. We can now complete the file on this incident. You may be interested to know that the tactical computer in the F-18 Hornet had detected the presence of, and subsequently locked on to, your hostile radar equipment. The Hornet automatically sent a jamming signal back to your radar gun, which is why it shut down.

Furthermore, an Air-to-Ground missile aboard the fully armed aircraft had also automatically locked on to your equipment location.

Fortunately, the Marine Pilot flying the Hornet recognized the situation for what it was, quickly responded to the missile system alert status and was able to override the automated defense system before the missile was launched to destroy the perceived hostile radar position.

Our pilot suggests you cover your mouths when cussing at them, since the video systems on these jets are very high tech. Sergeant Johnson, the officer holding the radar gun, should get his dentist to check his left rear molar. It appears the filling is loose. Also, the snap is broken on his holster.You may want to look into this.

Thank you for your concern.

Semper Fideles

It’s easy for those in authority on earth to forget that there is a higher authority that hovers above them. There is a sovereign God, who presides over out times and our seasons…who does whatever He pleases…whose authority is supreme. He answers to no one. We answer to Him.

“The king’s heart is in the hand of the LORD, Like the rivers of water; He turns it wherever He wishes.”   –Proverbs 21:1

The Bubonic Plague and The Passion Play


An outbreak of the Bubonic Plague devastated Bavaria in the 1630’s. The plague took the lives of several hundred thousand people in Europe during this time.  From September 1632 to March 1633, a total of 81 people died in the little German village of Oberammergau.

In October 1633, the villagers got together and vowed that if God spared them from the plague, they would perform a play every ten years depicting the life and death of Jesus. After that vow was made, not one person in Oberammergau died of the plague(!) and the villagers kept their word and have performed the passion play every ten years since 1634.

I first heard of the play in 1976 while visiting Oberammergau and I have wanted to attend ever since, but… life kept happening and I continued to be either busy or negligent and I never went.

THEN… This year, which is an off year because of another plague, COVID, I had several friends and friends of friends come back and tell how good the play was. Long story, but I got two tickets online (not cheap) on August 3rd and one week later my daughter, Amelia, and I were in Oberammergau!

Even though our seats were in the very back row and the play is in German and we had jet lag and my hearing is not good… it was an amazing experience to be part of an almost 400 year tradition of honoring Jesus by performing a play of his life, death and resurrection. 2000 village folks are involved in the production; actors, sound techs, props, tickets, etc. There will be 109 performances this summer with 5000 people in each audience. (109 X 5000= 545,000 viewers!)

The play is five hours long with a three hour break for supper. On the morning of the play an orientation about the play is given in English. Here are a few facts from that orientation:

-The actors are not professionals. They are residents of Oberammergau.

-You must live in the village for 20 years to be a part of the play.

-The play was exclusively Catholic. Then Protestants were allowed. Now, any 20 year resident can participate.

-There are many children in the play. The children have two rules:

            1. Do not look at the audience.

            2. Look at Jesus when he is speaking.

I wonder if that isn’t the most profound lesson of our week long historic Passion Play trip:

            1. Don’t look at the audience.

            2. Look at Jesus when He is speaking.

A great conductor once said, “To lead the orchestra, you must turn your back on the crowd.” These are great lessons for life.

One last thought: What great long lasting, historic tradition might come from the tragic COVID pandemic? Will our culture turn to God for relief from the plague like the citizens of Oberammergau did in 1633? Will we make a vow? A commitment? A promise?

If our culture will not turn to God, we can individually turn to Him. “…today is the day of salvation.” 2 Cor. 6:2    “Come unto me and I will give you rest…” Matt. 11:28



I toured with the We Care Prison Ministries Fund Raising Banquet Tour for two weeks.

In each of the 14 banquets ex-inmate, Jeff Tyler, shared his story of being helped by Steve Stoltzfus, one of the We Care chaplains in Alabama. Jeff had messed his life up so completely that he lost everything- his business, his wife, his three daughters, his parents, his siblings- everyone close to him! He wrote to his daughters every week, but they were so traumatized by his abandonment of them (drugs) that they never wrote back. He wanted to give up, but Chaplain Steve encouraged him to keep writing, even if they never respond. They never did.

Now that he is out of prison, he has re-established a relationship with all three daughters! The letters, even though they went unanswered, surely helped.

In each of these banquets I sang Randy Davenport’s song, Mail Call- about a prisoner who went to mail call everyday but never got one letter. Russ shared that at mail call all the inmates gather around the officer and wait for their name to be called. Some never received one letter the whole time that Jeff was in prison. They turn away trying to look tough. BUT, when Jeff heard his name and the officer handed him a letter, he said it was like winning the lottery! Better than a million dollars! He hurried back to his rack and read the letter once, twice, three times… and then he would share it with a friend, and then another friend. Then he would read it again.

One of America’s great poets, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, has a similar, even more devestating story of unanswered letters. She was born in 1806 into a difficult family. Her tyrannical father was very domineering and for some unknown reason forbid any of his 12 children to ever marry. When Elizabeth ran off and married fellow poet, Robert Browning, her father disowned her.

For the next ten years, Elizabeth tried to mend the relationship with her father. Every week she wrote incredibly crafted, poetic letters to him. She never received a response. Finally, one year before her father’s death, she received a box in the mail from her father. She was ecstatic! Her excitement soon turned to anguish. Every single letter she ever wrote to him was in the box, unopened! She was devastated. How cruel!

Today these letters are published and are considered to be some of the most beautiful classical English literature ever written. What a tragedy that such incredible writings were never seen by the one for whom they were intended. If Elizabeth’s stubborn father would have just opened even one letter, perhaps his heart would have been softened just a little. But he didn’t, and he died a poor, bitter man because of it.

As I think how foolish, bitter and even stupid this was, I am reminded of the beautiful collection of love letters that were sent to me and remained unopened for 23 years of my life. They sat on the shelf, collecting dust. This collection of love letters is called the Bible. God wanted to mend our relationship. He wrote how much He loved me, but I never opened the letter until I was 23!

Now it’s different. I read His letter everyday! Then I read it again. Then I share it with a friend. It’s like winning the lottery. Better than a million dollars!

Do you read God’s love letter to you? Are you like Elizabeth Barrett Browing’s father? Are you like I used to be? Or are you like inmate Jeff Tyler. You read God’s word everyday. You read it again. You share it with a friend. I want to be like Jeff. Realize how precious is a letter from a Friend.

Good news from [the outside] is like cold water to the thirsty man.” Prov. 25:25
“Study [the Bible] to show thyself approved…” 2 Timothy 2:15
“Thy Word have I hidden in my heart that I might not sin against Thee.” Psalm 119:11



The weekend of July 28, 1991 we went to Putnamville Correctional (then called The Indiana State Farm) for a Gospel Echoes sponsored “Daily Light Seminar – Self Acceptance from a Biblical Perspective.” During the invitation on Sunday morning an inmate asked Doug Gingerich to go with him to the altar. Doug and the inmate walked to the old fashioned altar in this huge prison chapel that was built before Christian Chapels were considered discriminatory in government facilities.

“He asked me to pray for God to help him quit smoking. I was so convincted, I don’t remember praying for him, but I remember praying that God would help me quit smoking,” Doug said.

Doug was in my Sunday School class and I didn’t know he had a hidden habit. He later told me that he thought, “Now that I quit smoking, everything is fixed. I’m clean with God…. Later I realized that now God could show me all the other garbage in my life!”

Doug was a changed man. Within two years he sold his thriving construction business, moved to Florida to be a volunteer prison chaplain with a newly formed minsitry: GEMS (Gospel Express Ministries South), and with the money from selling his business and his house, he went to college classes after working in the prison all day. He earned his B.A. and became state chaplain (no longer volunteer). His first salary was $21,000 @ year. With four teenagers and a stay-at-home wife!

For the next 15 years he served as chaplain at five northern prisons: Liberty Correctional, Appalachee Corr., Washington Corr., Wakulla Corr. and Gulf Correctional (some of these prisons twice) before being promoted in 2001 to the Central Office in Tallahassee where he was appointed head chaplain over all the faith based prison dorms in the Florida System.

Fast forward to Jan. 25, 2020: I was on my way from Sarasota to Montgomery, Alabama to be with We Care Prison Ministries Program for the 30th year in a row (minus a year or two). I called Doug to tell him I’m coming through his town, can I park my RV in his yard overnight? “Sure! In fact, I’m having a retirement party on Saturday. Can you stay an extra day and be here?”

Of course I can! Can you believe that?! I’ll be late for We Care, but I was at the very first prison service where Doug Gingerich fully dedicated his life to the Lord and later to prison ministry, and now I have the honor of being at the celebration of his last prison service. Well, his last “paid” prison service. I know Doug well enough that even with the travel and retirement plans, he will never stop ministering in prisons and in his local church. Oh! I forgot to mention: Doug is also the pastor of the church they attend (Berean Christian Fellowship)!

I dedicate this letter to my friend and fellow soldier in the trenches, Chaplain Doug Gingerich. Almost 30 years of faithful service and sacrifice. Doug is the kind of man who would have been one of my financial supporters if he had stayed in business. Instead of giving tithes and gifts to many ministries, he gave his whole life to God and to prison ministry. Congratulations, Doug! You and I both know that “retirement” just means a change in direction.

Blessings in this new phase of life.


January Newsletter 2020

Dennis Kinlaw was president of Asbury College when I attended there. He tells of taking an afternoon walk in the Helderberg Mountains (NY) with Norman Grubb, son-in-law of C. T. Studd, the “Babe Ruth of British Cricket,” who became a missionary to Africa. Grubb spent many years in the heart of Africa, working with his father-in-law. One of the stories that Grubb told Kinlaw was “unforgettable.”

Studd and his missionary team lived deep in the interior of Africa. Their mail only came every two weeks. Their existence depended on the money that came in the mail, so its arrival was always an event. C. T. Studd was the master of ceremonies at this bi-weekly ritual of the “opening of the mail.”

One fortnight there was a pleasing amount of money in the mail. Studd’s comment was, “Bless God forever! He knows what a bunch of grumblers we are, so He sent us enough to keep us quiet!” Another fortnight the amount was quite small. Studd’s comment was, “Hallelujah! We must be growing in grace. He thinks we are learning to trust Him.” One fortnight there was nothing. Grubb said that the missionaries gathered around Studd waiting, wondering what he would say. They were not disappointed. He lifted his voice in a shout, “Hallelujah! Praise God forever! We are in the kingdom already, for in the kingdom there is neither eating nor drinking, but righteousness, joy, and peace in the Holy Ghost!”

Some would think Studd’s faith was reckless, but I suspect that he had a special place in the heart of God because he dared to expect God to be faithful to His promises.

As I look back on 2019, do I see the undeserved goodnesses of God? As we look forward, do we look with joyous anticipation? We should. His track record is very good! May this be your (our) best year yet!


December is usually my busiest season because of the opportunity I have to sing/speak at local small business Christmas banquets. At one time Holmes County was the “small business capital of Ohio,” and many, if not most, of these local businesses are owned by Christians who want a family friendly, Christian program. They may not want a preacher, but they don’t want something devoid of content. I seem to fit right in to that genre. I enjoy having fun, but the end goal is to point folks to real meaning of Christmas: Jesus.

The banquets are also a great help financially to the ministry. The local businesses believe in what Common Ground Ministries is doing and they are generous.

So… I am tired, happy, content, excited, thankful… I have several days off. Bring on 2020!

Leave the irreparable past in His hands and step out into the irresistable future with Him.” – Oswald Chambers

There’s no future in my past.” – Will Stoltz

The best is yet to be!” – Dr. Robert Coleman

2020 will be a great year..” – John Schmid

A Song Speaks To The Heart

I try not to let it bother me, but when somebody gets up and leaves during one of my concerts, it bothers me.

Last week at The Salvation Army Resource Center in Medicine Hat, Alberta, I was singing a Tribute To Johnny Cash before transitioning to gospel by singing Steve & Annie Chapman’s song, I Want To Go With My Daddy. Halfway through the song a man abruptly stood up and walked out. I guess he doesn’t care for Gospel songs?

After the concert his buddy told me the rest of the story: When he heard Steve Chapman’s lyrics about a son following his dad down the wrong path, he said, “I’m going to go spend time with my son!”

What a great reason to leave a concert! Even if it’s me singing! Great lyrics, Steve Chapman!

Steve Chapman once told me that some of his songs are recorded with the purpose of never being sung in a concert setting. They are recorded to reach that man who drives his pickup by himself with a CD player and hears God speak to him through a song when no one else is around. I don’t think I Want To Go With My Daddy is one of those, but it sure did speak to a man publicly in Medicine Hat last month. And he acted. Right now!

Songs seem to speak where preaching or reading doesn’t. Gospel Echoes representative, John Yoder, who toured with me in Alberta, told about a man who approached him at a banquet last year: “I was incarcertated at _____ Correctional several years ago when your team came to our prison. I was not allowed to attend the chapel, so you came back to my unit and sang for the 20 minutes you were allowed. I want to tell how much that meant to me. Many groups come and talk to us, but you sang. It touched my heart.”

Now folks, let me clarify, speaking and preaching are very important, and I consider my singing as “plowing the ground for the seed that will be planted by the preaching of the Word.” But sometimes singing is what reaches the heart of a man. It did in these two examples. Stories like these keep me singing.

I wish there was room to put the words to Steve’s song here, but they can be heard by googling, I Want To Go With My Daddy by Steve Chapman.

A closing thought:


I. Music is a science.
II. Music is Mathemtical
III. Music is a Foreign Language
IV. Music is History
V. Music is Physical Education
VI. Music Develops Insight and Demands Research
VII. Music is all these things, but most of all, Music is Art.

That is why we teach music:
Not because we expect you to major in music…
Not because we expect you to play or sing all your life…

But so you will be human…
So you will recognize beauty…
So you will be closer to an infinite beyond this world…
So you will have something to cling to…
So you will have more love, more compassion, more gentleness, more good-In short, more LIFE.

They Are Watching

Let your light shine because your life is a testimony

“I knew this young man when he was 6 years old.”

Two inmates were standing in front of the chapel after I had given an invitation. They were waiting until everyone was finished praying so they could speak to the congregation before the yard was opened and the chaplain would release them to go to supper.

When the prayer time was over the chaplain looked up and nodded for them to step up to the mike.

Inmate William started speaking, “I was praying with this young man and I looked at his name tag so I could call him by name. When I saw his last name, I recognized it. I used to run around with people by that name. I asked him if he was related to Ray Abernathy (made up name). He said, ‘Yes, that is my uncle.’ How about Joe Abernathy? He said, ‘That is my dad.’ ”

Then William almost started crying. “Oh, my! I remember you! I used to do drugs and all kinds of crazy, bad stuff with your dad and uncle. I remember you as a cute little 6 year boy old hanging around us and wanting to be like us. I am one of the reasons you are here! I was a terrible example for you! I have become a Christian since I am here in prison and I’m not the same man you used to admire! Will you forgive me for being such a bad influence in your life?!” William went on to lead this newly arrived young prisoner to faith in Jesus Christ!

While he had the mike, he went on to repeat some of the points I made in my sermon:

  • No matter how big or small our circle of influence, we influence people by our lives.
  • People are watching.
  • Little boys want to be like the older men. Especially dad. And dad’s friends. As William had mentored this little boy to a life that eventually lead to prison, he now wants to mentor this young man to a life that leads to eternal life.

Folks, people are watching us. They watch how we behave at the basketball game, in traffic, at the restaurant… they watch how we react to adversity; how do we handle being treated unfairly, how we handle success… they watch us on Sunday and they watch us on Monday and the rest of the week.

I have heard Steve Wingfield preach from Mark 4 about Jesus calming the storm, and he notices a verse that might seem insignificant to the story: “There were also other boats with him.” (v. 36) But that little verse reminds us that in the midst of the storm the ‘other boats’ are watching. How will Jesus and His disciples handle the storm? Those other boats may be our children, our employees, our friends… maybe they are total strangers. But our reactions (our lives) are living testimonies that influence people, whether we are aware of it or not.

Your are a witness. Your life is a testimony, either for good or for bad. The professional athlete who says, “I’m an athlete, I’m not a role model,” doesn’t know what he is talking about. Little boys are watching. I watched. I put my bat behind my back like Rocky Colovito. I tried to fade away like Pete Maravich. I try to engage the crowd like Johnny Cash did. I read through the Bible every year like Dennis Kinlaw did. I work hard like dad did… I try to follow Christ like Paul did.

“But I’m not well known or influential.” Ah, dear friend, I beg to differ. Someone knows you and you have a circle of influence, small though it may be. You are influencing someone. May we live our lives so that if someone emulates us, he will end up in Heaven, not prison.

“Let your light shine before men so they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in Heaven.” Mt. 5:16
“…you will be my witnesses…” -Jesus

Doomsday Predictions

This past weekend, September 23, 2017, the world was scheduled to end. David Meade prophesied that a planet was going to smash into earth and destroy the world. Since you are reading this, you probably realize that it didn’t happen. Not to worry: Meade has rescheduled this collision for the end of October.

Doomsday predictions are not new. The apostle Paul had to warn the Thessalonians to “not be idle.” Apparently they had misinterpreted messages about the coming of Christ and since they thought the world was going to end very soon, they decided to take it easy until He came. Meanwhile, they were living (mooching?) off of the church. Paul then commanded the church to “keep away from every brother who is idle…”

You may remember the book, 88 Reasons Why Jesus Will Return In 1988. As convincing as that book may have been, with all its mathematical calculations and reasonings, I didn’t believe it. Jesus had said, “No one knows the day or the hour, not even the Son of Man.” I did read the book and, yes, I believe that Jesus is coming back, but anyone who sets a date is setting himself up to be a fool. He can’t win. If Jesus does come back, so what? No one will congratulate him on the way up; if Jesus doesn’t come back… well, the fool resets the date.

Having said all that, I have to confess that the events in the last months have made me wonder if the end really might be near. Even leaders that I trust, “non-kooks,” like Ann Graham Lotz and John Hagee, have wondered if the Lord is speaking to us through these events.

Matthew 24 reads, “… You will hear of wars and rumors of wars… Nation will rise against nation… There will be famines… earthquakes… persucution… you will be hated… many will turn from the faith… there will be false prophets… the love of most will grow cold…”

In August there was a full solar eclipse, the first one in many years to be seen only in the US (God’s judgement on America?!) Last year was the blood moon. There have been three major hurricanes in a month. There was flooding in Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico… an earthquake in Mexico and Guatemala, famine in Africa, major fires in Montana… North Korea is threatening war. The NFL has become a political quagmire… Political unrest; racial anger; police assassinations; school shootings (and stabbings)… whew…

Is God trying to tell us something? Is Matthew 24 being fulfilled?!

Here’s my take on these events and predictions of the end of the world: Yes, God is speaking to us through these events. But, He also speaks through every sunrise and every sunset every single day. He raises His voice through earthquakes, floods, famine, etc. To paraphrase C.S. Lewis: “God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our consciences, but shouts in our troubles. They are His megaphone to rouse a deaf world.”

Although I don’t believe in doomsday dates, here are some things that these predictions do for me: They encourage me to be ready.

  • Make sure I have committed my life to Jesus Christ.
  • Make sure I have no known sin in my life.
  • Be at peace with all men.
  • Live as if He is coming tomorrow, and work as if He’s not coming for 1000 years. Martin Luther said that we should live every day with the day of our death always before us, like a billboard that we see everywhere we turn. Jim Elliott said he wanted to live so that when it came time to die, there was nothing else he needed to do but die. John Wesley said, “Our people die well.”

Friends, the Lord is coming back. He didn’t come on Sept. 23. Or did He?! Well, yes, for two people that I know, He came. Two of my friends died and stood before the Lord on September. 23rd. For them, this life is over.

For everyone of us a date has been set. “It is appointed unto men once to die and then the judgement.” Hebrews 9:27

Pastor Bill Detweiler said, “There are only two days in all of history that matter: 1. This day, and 2. That Day! Live this day so that day, “the great and terrible day of the LORD” will be a day of rejoicing for you. Malachi 4:5

Be ready! The Lord is returning! When? I can tell you the date: THAT DAY!