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Merrill Olson

Merrill Olson served as a senior pastor for thirty-four years. He received a B.S. from Minnesota State University-Mankato, an M. Div. from Bethel Theological Seminary, and a D. Min. from Columbia Evangelical Seminary. He is currently involved as an interim pastor along with a teaching and writing ministry. His emphasis is on apologetics and training believers to defend their faith in Christ from God’s Word. He is well versed in Bible prophecy as it pertains to end times. He is a gifted speaker with the conviction that only by the Word of God can people experience inward transformation by the Holy Spirit. He has been married to his wife, Jan, for many years and resides in Minnesota.

A World Leader Will Emerge

April 12, 2017

By Merrill Olson

Someone said, “A world crisis will produce the Antichrist.” Therefore, we can ask, “Do we see a world crisis today?” Without hesitation, the answer is a resounding “Yes!” As we view the world scene on television and by other means, there should be no doubt in our minds that each day this crisis seems to grow worse.

In fact, it extends all the way from gender confusion, to atheists on the rampage to denounce Christianity, to politicians and people expressing hatred, to Muslims fighting for control of the Middle East, to nations threatening to destroy other nations, to dictators killing their own people, and etc. This is not merely dark thinking but reality.

Nevertheless, the important thing to remember for anyone who professes saving faith in Christ, Bible prophecy is not to discourage but to inform and encourage. In writing about the Rapture in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17, the apostle Paul concluded with, “Therefore, comfort one another with these words” (v. 18). So, an encouraging comfort is to know that the Lord Himself will one day return for those saved in Him.

With that said, two questions can be asked: Where is the world crisis leading? Where is it focusing upon? Beyond the “blessed hope” (Titus 2:13), it is pointing to the appearance of the Antichrist who will emerge on the world stage before the Tribulation.

In the emphasis today on globalization by many nations, this is also a relevant factor in this man’s appearance as a product of his time who will first take control of a world in turmoil. He will appear to calm the horrendous chaotic waters caused by the unexplained departure of Christ’s redeemed (1 Cor. 15:51-53; Thess. 4:16-17). With millions of believers gone over the face of the earth, mass confusion will happen.

Even so, the Antichrist will present himself as the answer to the world’s problems. He will have eloquence and charisma. When he speaks, people will listen. The Bible says that his mouth will be “like the mouth of a lion” (Rev. 13:2). A lion excels that of any other beast. Therefore, the voice of the Antichrist will command attention. Satan will give “him his power, his throne, and great authority” (v. 2).

Is this the kind of leader that many are presently looking for? Yes! They want someone who has answers. As this “man of sin” is revealed, (2 Thess. 2:3), unsaved humanity will worship him and thus Satan (Rev. 13:4). He will draw world-wide attention as he even blasphemes God (v. 6). He will also have a false prophet that will exercise the same kind of demonic power (v. 12). This man will be in charge of people by deceptive signs and cause individuals to “receive a mark on their right hand or foreheads” (v. 16). Through it all, the entire world will experience evil as it has never experienced it before.

Yet, God wants His redeemed in the Lord Jesus Christ (Eph. 1:7) to walk daily in assurance and hope. We can do this because we have the sure guide of His Word (Psalm 119:105) as we keep our eyes on our precious Savior (1 Peter 2:7) and our “blessed hope” in Him (Titus 2:13).

Merrill Olson served as a senior pastor for thirty-four years. He received a B.S. from Minnesota State University-Mankato, an M. Div. from Bethel Theological Seminary, and a D. Min. from Columbia Evangelical Seminary. He is currently involved as an interim pastor along with a teaching and writing ministry. His emphasis is on apologetics and training believers to defend their faith in Christ from God’s Word. He is well versed in Bible prophecy as it pertains to end times. He is a gifted speaker with the conviction that only by the Word of God can people experience inward transformation by the Holy Spirit. He has been married to his wife, Jan, for many years and resides in Minnesota.

OLSON ARCHIVES

The World’s War On Truth

March 19, 2017

By Merrill Olson

Our present age is troubling because the world is influenced by distortion, deception, and lies in different areas that confront us each day. Unless we have discerning spirits, we will find ourselves succumbing to these destructive influences. However, the tragedy is that many people have surrendered to them. In fact, they have yielded to Satan, the one Jesus calls “a liar” (John 8:44).

What is interesting is the in depth description the Lord gives regarding him. He said, “He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it” (v. 44).

The context is about those who opposed Jesus. As He confronted them, He said, “You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do” (v. 44). Their minds were so deceived that it was impossible for them to believe the truth regarding Him and what He spoke about Himself. It is the same way today as it has been since the time of the Lord. People are influenced by deception and lies that are propagated by the evil one who has no truth in him for “he is a liar and the father of it.”

There are at least five areas that Satan’s lies are clearly evident in American society. Yet, the whole world is under his power. The Bible says that the god of this age [Satan] has blinded the unsaved “lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them” (2 Cor. 4:3-4).

(1) Gender neutrality. There are those who are no longer satisfied with the biological gender that God gave them and want to change it. There are even parents that desire the same thing for their children or for themselves. There are also children that are asking to become the opposite sex. All of this is total rebellion against God. The Bible says that God created man “male and female” (Gen. 1:27).

(2) Same-sex marriage. God’s design for marriage is between one man and one woman (Gen. 2:24; Matt. 19:5). Anything else is against God. For people to believe otherwise is to believe a lie produced and empowered by Satan.

(3) Abortion. Over 60,000,000 babies have been murdered in America since abortion became legal. The devil’s lie is “My body is my choice!” This lie is fed by the abortion industry. God gives a vivid description of the unborn (Psalm 139:13-16).

(4) Evolution. This lie has caused an unbelievable amount of damage. It is a man-made theory that has no evidence to back it up. Naturalistic evolution cannot adequately explain the origin of life. God’s Word is the only source (Gen. 1-3).

(5) Relativism. We have a whole culture that believes there is no absolute truth. Truth can be found by man on his own. There are many ways to God. These lies doom people to hell. There is only one way to truth and that way is Jesus Christ (John 14:6).

Merrill Olson served as a senior pastor for thirty-four years. He received a B.S. from Minnesota State University-Mankato, an M. Div. from Bethel Theological Seminary, and a D. Min. from Columbia Evangelical Seminary. He is currently involved as an interim pastor along with a teaching and writing ministry. His emphasis is on apologetics and training believers to defend their faith in Christ from God’s Word. He is well versed in Bible prophecy as it pertains to end times. He is a gifted speaker with the conviction that only by the Word of God can people experience inward transformation by the Holy Spirit. He has been married to his wife, Jan, for many years and resides in Minnesota.

OLSON ARCHIVES

Facing Perilous Times

March 3, 2017

By Merrill Olson

The Bible says that “in the last days perilous times will come” (2 Tim. 3:1). It is also translated “difficult.” The Greek word Clelepos carries the idea of perilous, grievous, or dangerous. In Matthew 8:28, it speaks of “two demon-possessed men, coming out of the tombs.” It says that they were “exceedingly-fierce.” The NASB translates it “violent.” The word is used by the Greek writer Plutarch in describing an infected, ugly, and dangerous wound. This gives a clear understanding of the meaning of “perilous times.”

The “last days” began with the earthly ministry of Jesus Christ. Therefore, it includes the entire period from the first century until He returns. In other words, we have been living “in the last days” for many centuries. As the Lord nears His coming, the “perilous times” will obviously get exceedingly worse. This will lead into the Tribulation period, after the Rapture (1 Thess. 4:16-17), when people will feel that they are truly living in a time that can be described as “an infected, ugly, and dangerous wound.”

There are many who know Christ and follow His Word will agree that our present age is rapidly moving toward this period of “perilous times.” When people sixty years and older look back at their growing up years, they will admit that they experienced a totally different society. For instance, all people knew what is right and wrong. This was taught in the homes and the churches. Television programs were family orientated. Even the educational systems believed in it and followed it. Politicians on either side were in agreement regarding an accepted morality when passing laws and making legislation.

On the other hand, our present time bears little resemblance to it. With the gradual rejection of biblical morals that built this country, there is no longer any real standard for determining what is right and wrong. Many people, who do not know Christ, have their own personal morals. Someone may consider something to be right while another person may regard it completely opposite. Therefore, it is really a corrupt society that determines what is good and what is evil and many follow it. However, the Bible focuses on this when it speaks of “of those who call evil good, and good evil” (Isaiah 5:20). That is a vivid description, practice, and belief of many in our society! Agree?

When we look at the characteristics of “perilous times” in 2 Timothy 3:1-5, it is easy to recognize many of them not only in present day America but in the world as a whole.

For instance, God’s Word says that “men [meaning both sexes] will be lovers of themselves” (v. 2). The sin and pride of self-love is a deadly evil that grips the human soul. Out of it many ugly sins are discharged. Another is “unholy” (v. 2). This person is driven by a self-love to gratify passions and lusts with no sense of decency. A third is “unloving” (v. 3). The news is filled with vicious actions of people toward others. One more example is “lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God” (v. 4). Self-explanatory!

These are only a few examples. However, as we near the Tribulation period, times are going to get worse. Nevertheless, for those who know Christ, our focus must be on Him! He will eventually bring all people and events to finality (Phil. 2:9-11).

One Future State for Israel Without Occupiers

February 19, 2017

By Merrill Olson

There is much conflict today regarding the nation of Israel. This tension involves dividing the land whereby a Palestinian state can be established that includes the West Bank, East Jerusalem, the Western Wall, and the Temple Mount. Defying the Word of God, the recent resolution in the U.N. Security Council depicted that Israel’s settlements are jeopardizing the two-state solution and is totally illegal.

Nevertheless, what is interesting about the resolution is that there is no consideration given to the history of the Palestinians. A person, therefore, may ask: “Where in the history of the world has there ever been a Palestinian State?” The answer is that there is none! What history does tell us is that there was no Palestinian National Authority before 1994, the year it was founded. As a result, the Palestinians have no right to any of the land of Israel because it never was theirs.

God gave the land only to the descendants of Abraham through Isaac and Jacob (Genesis 12:1-3; 13:14-18; 15:1-21; 28:13-15). Anyone else would merely be occupiers, including the Palestinians if such a thing happens before the Lord returns. Occupiers are people who dwell on land that does not belong to them. Right now some of them are residing on the Gaza Strip. When the Lord returns, that will change.

We know it will happen because of what God said to Abram, “And I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you in their generations, for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and your descendants after you. Also, I give to you and your descendants after you the land in which you are a stranger, all the land of Canaan, as an everlasting possession; and I will be their God” (Genesis 17:7-8).

In spite of Replacement Theology, political Leftists, Muslims and anyone else who tries to disprove God’s promise to Abram (Abraham), the unconditional covenant of God stands strong. He assured Israel that all the land and not part of it belonged to her. Canaan would be an “everlasting possession,” and He “will be their God.”

What is interesting about the nation is that God is restoring the land and the people of Israel (Ezekiel 36). It was a desolate piece of property for centuries because of Israel’s own disobedience. Then the Jews began returning to the land and on May 14, 1948 the present state of Israel officially began. God’s promises were being fulfilled.

However, total fulfillment will take place as the Lord Jesus sets up His Kingdom reign after His Second Coming. Scripture teaches that God will gather to the land of Israel the remnant of Jews who accept Jesus as their Messiah at the end of the Tribulation or during it (Zech. 10:6-9; 12:10-14; Ezek. 37). He will pour out His Spirit upon them (Ezek. 36:22-28; Is. 32:15; 44:3). They will enjoy dwelling in all the land God has promised to give them, which has never happened. All covenants will be fulfilled (Joel 3:1-18).

In the meantime, Israel will be “a very heavy stone of all peoples” (Zech. 12:3) until Christ returns. For us whose faith rests in Him, our focus is on God’s prophetic plan.

Piercing The Perils Of Current Times

February 3, 2017

By Merrill Olson

A lot has happened in recent days that reveal the arrogance and willful disobedience for what is good and right. Much of what has taken place lurks in the realm of evil. People have protested by destruction, defying police, carrying vulgar and degrading signs, and demanding that things be done their way. Women have marched for the right to continue to kill their unborn babies. There are those who are still demanding the assassination of the President of the United States. Consequently, Satan’s influence of evil is vividly present in using the “wickedness” of the human heart” (Jer. 17:9).

Another result of human depravity is evident with certain politicians threatening that they will defy the President in obstructing him from carrying out his duties. Their political and selfish views drive them to say and do degrading things.

Therefore, one may ask: Where does a person find the answers for what is happening? Is there any source that describes what is taking place that will help to pierce the perils of current events? The answer to those questions is found in God’s Word. There is no other place but the Bible that is reliable. Human opinion will only lead a seeker further astray. God is the One who knows the “end from the beginning” (Isa. 46:10).

For instance, Romans 3:9-18 gives a vivid description of sinful humanity and that all of us are guilty before God. No one is exempt from His judgment (v. 19). Without Christ, people remain under condemnation. This condemned state is revealed in the defiance and actions of sinful individuals as described in those verses. Read them!

Another passage of Scripture that clearly exposes the slippery slope into wickedness is given in Romans 1:18-32. In fact, Romans 3:9-18 merely applies the concept of depravity taught in Romans 1:18-32. Even our TV newscasts picture it before our eyes.

The Bible begins the description of this degeneracy with the words, “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness” (v. 18). Why is God angry against sin? Because people have suppressed the truth of God in order to support their own self-centered lifestyles. “Ungodliness” means lack of reverence for God.

Because of their own void in reverence for Him, “they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools” (vv. 21-22).

Where has it taken this country? It has led to condoning homosexuality and same-sex marriage (vv. 26-27). But more than that! It has led to a “debased mind” and “being filled with all unrighteousness…and wickedness…..” (vv. 28-32). Abortion is part of this wickedness. Read the evils that are mentioned. Once people reject God’s truth, it leads to evilness never deemed possible a few years ago. Does this describe America? Only the Lord Jesus can totally turn it around which He will do someday. Until then, He tells believers to be “salt and light” (Matt. 5:13-16) and remain faithful until He comes.

The Domain Of The Unsaved After Death

January 17, 2017

By Merrill Olson

In recent months the world has experienced a number of deaths of well-known people. They have ranged from actors to politicians to singers and others from different walks of life. Except for people like Fidel Castro, most of the deceased are treated as though they have gone to heaven. Even television personalities speak of them as being in a better place. But, is it true for all that their eternal domain is one of blessed bliss?

The answer to this question, according to God’s Word, is “No!” Sadly, the same response stands for our own loved ones who have died without Christ. This may be hard to take, but it is biblically true! With God, there are no eternal options (John 14:6).

Therefore, to understand the death of an unbeliever, we must begin with the Old Testament. One of the most important words in speaking of the afterlife is the Hebrew word “sheol.” It occurs sixty-five times in the Old Testament. The confusing problem is that some translators translate it as “hell,” “grave,” or “pit.”

Now, depending on the context, it can be translated as “grave.” However, to let the Hebrew word stand by itself, the inspired writers of the Old Testament did not mean that a deceased person just went to the “grave.” Instead, they also experienced a conscious afterlife. This included one of either bliss or torment. Thus, the word “sheol” speaks unmistakably to the realm of departed spirits. For example: “For You will not leave my soul in Sheol, Nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption” (Ps. 16:10). Jacob said, “For I will go down into Sheol to my son in mourning” (Gen. 37:35).

In the New Testament, the Greek equivalent is “Hades.” Peter quotes Psalm 16:10 in Acts 2:27. But instead of using “Sheol,” he used the word “Hades”: “Because You will not leave my soul in Hades, Nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption.”

Even greater clarity is given in the Lord’s use of the word “Hades.” In His account of the Rich Man and Lazarus, He spoke of a place with two compartments, one of Abraham’s bosom and the other with torment (Luke 16:19-31). This realm is “Hades” (v. 23). It is not “hell,” “Geenna,” as some have translated. The word “Hades” is used four times in the Gospels, and this is only by Jesus (Matt. 11:23; 16:18; Luke 10:15; 16:23).

The Lord’s teaching (not a parable because parables have no names) gives insight into the death of believers and unbelievers before Christ’s resurrection. Both of them went to this domain of departed spirits. The believers entered what Jesus called “Abraham’s bosom” (v. 23), a place of comfort as with Lazarus. Unbelievers entered the place of torment, as the Rich Man, with a “great gulf fixed” between (v. 26).

When Jesus died and rose again, He took all of the believers out of “Abraham’s bosom” and took them to heaven. Since then, His redeemed at death enter heaven where He is (2 Cor. 5:8). The unsaved, still enter “Hades” at death. There they experience suffering (vv. 25-31) until the Great White Throne Judgment (Rev. 20:13). After that, they are cast into “Hell” (v. 15). Remember, it is horrific beyond imagination to die without Jesus!

God’s Plans For Israel Will Not Be Thwarted

January 4, 2017

By Merrill Olson

In spite of what has recently happened with President Obama’s decision to divide the land of Israel, this will not deter God’s ordained plans for this nation. They are clearly revealed in the pages of Scripture.

These plans began with Abraham and God’s unconditional covenant with him (Gen. 12:1-4; 13:14-17; 15:1-21; 17:1-8). Keeping of this covenant would be totally upon the faithfulness of the LORD GOD. This is stressed as He alone passed between the sacrifice (15:9-17). This signified that Abraham had no part in making or keeping the covenant. The LORD alone would keep it; and since it was totally depended upon Him, it was unconditional.

Therefore, God has a binding relationship with Israel. Even though the people went through times of rebellion leading to captivity, as clearly revealed in Old Testament history, God’s ultimate purposes for Israel would not be rescinded. These ends would include blessing Israel by revealing Himself through her, providing redemption through Christ, and bringing her into the Promised Land (15:18; Ps. 105:8-10).

The importance of God’s special relationship with Israel would be covered in His pronouncement to curse those who curse Israel and to bless those who bless her (Gen. 12:3). Even though this promise was made to Abram (Abraham), it would take in his posterity by Jacob (28:1-4). Friends of Israel would be blessed and anti-Semites would be cursed. There would be divine, retributive justice taken against any who treated Israel with contempt. A thorough study of history bears this out.

Consequently, for the United States to turn against Israel and seek to divide her land is hostile to God and what He says about her. Even though Israel has never entirely obtained the land God has given her (Gen. 15:18), she will someday in the millennial reign of Christ. Until that happens, God’s hand remains upon her. To “curse” her is to receive a “cursing.” To “bless” her is to receive a “blessing.”

However, God’s Word distinctly reveals also that Israel is yet destined for a time of trouble. In Daniel 9:24-27, the prophet Daniel receives his famous vision of 490 years that God has decreed upon the Jewish people. The first 483 years have already been fulfilled (v. 26). The remaining seven take in the Tribulation period; but the last three and one half years of it will bring about abominations and desolations upon the Jewish people (v. 27). Jeremiah 30:7 calls the Tribulation “the time of Jacob’s trouble.” Everyone will suffer, but the Jewish people will suffer the most.

Nevertheless, the Tribulation will end with the Lord’s return physically to this earth (Zech. 14:4). He will render judgment and inaugurate His millennial kingdom (Zech. 14:9-21; Matt. 25:27-31; Rev. 20:4). He will establish Himself as King in Jerusalem as He sits on the throne of David (Luke 1:32-33). Saved Jews will then dwell in all the land God has promised under the rule of their Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ. What a promise! God’s plans for Israel will never be thwarted (Jer. 31:35-37).

God’s Justice Will Be Satisfied

December 16, 2016

By Merrill Olson

Since the election, there has been an onslaught of evil in words and actions. Sinful human nature continues to spew out its hatred. There are those who no longer desire to do what is right but to do everything to thwart the votes of people. Without any longing for unity and peace, human degeneracy drives many of them to do anything they can to accomplish what they want. This has led some to even make death threats unless things happen their way.

One reason it is all happening is because many of them feel no accountability to God. The Word of God says that “there is no fear of God before their eyes” (Romans 3:18).

Nevertheless, there is a day coming when God’s justice will be satisfied. The Bible clearly teaches that everyone will be judged to justify the justice of God before all people. There will be no exemptions (Hebrews 9:27). Almighty God will bring forth a time of divine reckoning for each one who has lived, is living, and will live on this earth.

This time of accountability will involve two main judgments: The Great White Throne Judgment (Rev. 20:11-15) for all unbelievers and The Judgment Seat of Christ (2 Cor. 5:10) for every person who is truly born again (John 3:3).

To read about the Great White Throne Judgment comes from a very sobering passage in the Word of God. It describes what the unsaved are going to experience in their ultimate encounter with God. In fact, because all judgment has been committed to the Son (John 5:22), this judgment will be before the Lord Jesus Christ. It will occur after His 1000-year Kingdom reign on this earth and before the eternal ages begin.

It is described as a “great” and “white” throne. It is “great” because of the One who will occupy the throne and the significance of the judgment that will be rendered. It is “white” because it signifies the purity and righteousness of the One who is seated on it. It, also, portrays the equity with which the justice will be administered. People will be judged for their “works” (Rev. 20:12) and sins on this earth. Their eternal destiny will be “the lake of fire” (v.15). There will be no grace or mercy. There will be no second chances. This throne is the final reckoning before an eternal hell where the devil, the beast (Antichrist), and the false prophet have been cast sometime before (Rev. 20:10).

The Judgment Seat of Christ for His redeemed will take place in heaven immediately following the “Rapture” (John 14:2-3; 1 Cor. 15:51-52; 1 Thess. 4:13-18). This judgment is not to determine whether we are saved and will enter heaven. This has already been settled on this earth the day we experienced new life in Christ (1 Cor. 6:11; 2 Cor. 5:17).

This judgment before Christ will determine the worthlessness or worthiness of our works on this earth after we were saved (2 Cor. 5:9-10). Our Christian lives will be evaluated.

Knowing the truth of Scripture and that life on this earth is very short (James 4:14), what should be the aim for our Christian lives? It is this: “Therefore we make it our aim, whether present or absent to be well pleasing to Him” (2 Cor. 5:9).

The World’s Problems Involve The New Birth

December 1, 2016

By Merrill Olson

The majority of people in this world have no clue about the importance of Jesus’ declaration: “Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again’” (John 3:7). These words, spoken by the eternal Son of God, are not an option but a requirement for entering “the kingdom of God” (John 3:3). Without being spiritually “born again,” there is no hope of eternal life or of ever entering heaven.

For the person who wants to be the captain of his or her own soul, these words are devastating. They seem far-fetched and deluded. However, they are spoken by the Creator (John 1:3; Col. 1:16), by God Himself, the Lord Jesus Christ. What He says is true for He is “the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6). What He speaks is eternally tight and unchanging. He declared that “Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away” (Matt. 24:35). Therefore, when He said, “You must be born again,” this is exactly what He meant. There are no alternatives!

Whenever someone dies without professing Christ, it is troubling to hear people say, even from believers, “God is the Judge.” It is like saying, “The person may be in heaven because God is the final Judge.” That type of reasoning is unbiblical because God has already made His judgment. If the deceased had never experienced the new birth, Jesus’ words have settled the matter as far as the person’s soul.

If people could get to heaven without being born again, then we better not witness to them or send missionaries to foreign lands proclaiming the Gospel. In this way, they can remain in their sins without heeding the truth and still go to heaven. However, that is biblically untrue. People need to hear the truth of the Cross, become convicted of their sins, and reach out to Jesus, through the grace of God, for cleansing and for the gift of salvation (Rom. 10:9-13; Eph. 2:8-9). Without doing so, they remain in their sins and are under condemnation (John 3:18). They are void of redemption in Christ (Eph. 1:7).

What is important to note in all of this is that this is the core of the world’s problems. The majority of the people in this world are not born again. They are walking the “broad way” to hell (Matt. 7:13-14). Their hearts have not been changed by the Holy Spirit. They remain in their sins (John 8:24) like the religious leaders that confronted Jesus. People remain spiritually unregenerate and are motivated by their sinful hearts (Mark 7:20-23).

What do sinful hearts do? Their actions and attitudes are against God. No matter what realm is described, sinful hearts are manifested. Whether it be the political life, the wickedness of ISIS, destructive protests, peoples’ greed, dishonesty, jealousy, murders, robberies, drunkenness, lying, etc., it is a heart issue. The Bible says that “out of the [heart] spring the issues of life” (Prov. 4:23). God’s Word depicts “the heart” as “deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it” (Isaiah 17:9).

This is why the world’s problems involve the new birth. Without it, humanity goes on its destructive ways to hell. Even good people need to be born again (Rom. 3:23). Only God can change the human heart. Has Jesus changed yours?

God’s Sovereignty Over The Election

November 11, 2016

By Merrill Olson

Something happened with the election that defies all odds. After enduring for months the unjust criticism by the liberal, intolerant, and bias media, and the abusive character assassinations by others, who were seeking to disqualify him as being unfit, Donald Trump was declared the new President-Elect.

After he received the necessary electoral votes to win the presidency, there were people shouting for joy and others were weeping in disbelief. The next day certain college students decided to burn the American flag. Even some high school students left their classes and walked in protest. Others protested using anarchist language, even destroying and burning because the election did not go their way. What is the cause? Much of it comes from the corrupt media spewing its hatred and intolerance.

Nevertheless, the people of the United States have placed Donald Trump in this important office of the United States. His choice for Vice President has been well received. Mr. Pence is a godly man who bears testimony to his faith in the Lord Jesus. This should be a very positive note for all believers, everyone “born again” (John 3:3).

However, it is not just the people of the United States that have placed him in this important position, but it is the eternal sovereign God who has chosen to do so.

For example, God’s sovereignty is distinctly revealed in Daniel 4:28-33. One day, King Nebuchadnezzar “was walking about the royal palace of Babylon” (v. 29). In fact, he may have been led by an entourage of cabinet and counselors. With inflated pride, he said, “Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for a royal dwelling by my mighty power and for the honor of my majesty (v. 30)?” At that moment, God judged him and the Scriptures share the account. His kingdom was taken from him and he became, for seven years, like a creature who “ate grass like oxen” (v. 33). For the voice from heaven (v. 31) said to him, “Until you know that the Most High rules in the kingdom of men, and gives it to whomever He chooses” (v. 32).

When God restored Nebuchadnezzar’s kingdom, he gave praise and honor to God (vv. 34-37). He said, “All the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing; He does according to His will in the army of heaven And among the inhabitants of the earth. No one can restrain His hand” (v. 35).

The Almighty God has appointed Donald Trump as the next President of the United States. It is “according to His will.” He has used him to expose the evil under works of this nation, much that has been hidden from the American people. Issues have been opened up that otherwise have been secreted. Even as God chose “Cyrus” (Is. 45:1-7) as His instrument, so He is choosing to use President-Elect Trump at a crucial time.

Many believers have known that America was at a precipice (last 2 articles) and have earnestly prayed for this election. God has graciously heard and may be giving America another chance. Now we must continue to pray for him, for his soul and for direction.

America Is At A Precipice

November 6, 2016

By Merrill Olson

America truly is at a precipice. It is situated like on a very steep or overhanging place. This next presidential election will determine whether or not it makes a sheer fall into no return. If it does drop into the abyss, it will still exist, for a time as God allows, but it will never be the nation that many have known in the present and for decades gone by.

Its movement toward the precipice has slowly taken place since President Ronald Reagan left office (1981-89). It was on a downward slide before his time, but God granted His common grace to the United States and Reagan’s presidency brought it back on the right track. He was a God fearing man, a believer in Christ, who knew that unless things changed, America would end up on the cliff. It became a good time to live. People felt secure under this strong, godly leader.

However, now the United States sits close to a sheer drop with the possibility of no return. There can be no doubt that this election is the most momentous one for all of us in our lifetime. The reason is that there are two candidates who are on opposite sides of the fence as far as where he or she will take this country. One them will determine the path for generations to come if the Lord tarries His coming (1Thess. 4:13-18).

Therefore, for born again believers (John 3:3), there can be no loyalty to any political party. There is too much at stake in this election. With the wrong person in the Oval Office, Christians will not be able to practice their religious freedom in Christ. In fact, many have already experienced persecution when business owners have lost their livelihood because they sought to live out their biblical convictions. Under the wrong president, it is going to get much worse. This country will become anti-Christian and pro-Muslim. This is already happening and will greatly expand or utterly decrease depending on the election and the one who will be occupying the White House.

Another important issue to keep in mind as one enters the voting booth is the future of the Supreme Court. If the next two or four justices chosen by the next president are of the present liberal, progressive, judicial ideology, there will be no correcting of it for decades and possibly never. This will affect many of our own children and grandchildren and beyond. If we care enough about them and what we will leave them, this has to be a high priority for us. How can it be any other way? Is it not better to have people on the Court who will uphold the Constitution of the United States? How can truly born again believers not desire this for themselves and those they leave behind?

Another important issue has to do with the continued murder of unborn children. Since 1973 over sixty million have been literally killed in their mother’s womb. If a prolife president is not elected, this immense slaughter will continue in greater numbers. Because God forms the unborn child (Psalm 139:13-18), abortion is wickedness!

All voters need to keep in mind that they are not voting for a person. Instead, they are voting for a worldview. One of the candidates holds a progressive, liberal ideology. The other leans toward a biblical understanding. Which one will be your choice?

A change of guard temporarily works

October 23, 2016

By Merrill Olson

In just a few days the presidential election will bring a changing of the guard in January. Millions of people will enter the voting booth to make their decision for a leader of their choice. The particular person elected will determine the direction of the country for the next four years. In fact, the results may extend far beyond that even into the next seventy years and beyond if the Lord tarries in His coming and ends it all.

Nevertheless, both presidential candidates are in complete disagreement on issues. However, each one is appealing to the American people as continuous polling data reveals that 65 percent of Americans feel that this country is headed in the wrong direction. Their concerns stem from different reasons: the apparent lack of leadership in confronting the threats of ISIS and radical Islamic terrorism even to the United States, problems in handling effective immigration, managing the economy, and the divisiveness that occurs among class, color, faith, guns, and political groups.

Therefore, each presidential candidate is offering solutions to these problems and how they best can be handled. Even this has caused divisiveness. Hate language and accusations have been thrown out like wild fire burning and destroying along the way.

What has happened to the sense of decency that I experienced as a teenager in listening to my parents as they talked about the candidates? Back then the majority in that era were God fearing. Biblical morals meant something. The Judeo-Christian values, which this nation was built upon, still held power in the decisions that were made. Following the Constitution was a definite must.

In addition, children were taught to obey their parents. Parents sought to instill in their children general Bible principles which had traditionally helped young people to become honest, responsible, and productive citizens of their country. Therefore, the school not only provided a sound education but sought to reinforce the values taught at home.

However, a real change began taking place in the 1960’s. As it progressed, two godless world views began to govern: naturalism and postmodernism. Their influence has been powerful in shaping our modern society, including relentless attacks against Christianity, the Bible, and Jesus.

This election is crucial in getting back to some kind of decency even though America will still have one major problem: a heart problem (Jer. 17:9). Yet, this sense of civility can occur with a President who appoints prolife Supreme Court Justices, who believes in religious liberty, upholds the Second Amendment rights, works to correct immigration problems, and is concerned about economic growth and our national security.

God does work through sinful rulers as we see in the Old Testament. Nevertheless, the long lasting solution will not be from Washington but with the return of the Lord Jesus (Mark 13:32-37). Until then, we vote, we pray, we seek to do what is right in His eyes. We also seek God for our leaders and others who desperately need Him (Rom. 3:23).