Saturday, September 24, 2016
Norek, Obadiah, and Prophecy
Norek, Obadiah, and Prophecy
Don Norek died and went home to live with Jesus on August 9, 2015.
He was notorious in our neck of the woods; and His spirit through his spirit continues to inspire me to pray and try to be more faithful than my carnality desires.
He was a patriot; serving as a captain in the Special Forces 101st Ranger Airborne Division with two tours in Vietnam and many special assignments around the world.
He founded His Glory Mission to meet the existential needs of people because he knew that meeting existential needs would provide opportunities to introduce ‘em to Jesus who is the only One capable of guaranteeing anyone can overcome mortal inevitabilities with heavenly assurances.
Sharing his disdain for too many of today’s clergy who are more interested in popularity, positions, prosperity, pensions, perks, and institutional loyalties than following Jesus by the book in an illogical exchange of the eternal for the existential, we became friends and comrades in the war against the wolves and their allies, enablers, and master.
Admittedly, nobody is pure and perfect in every way - which is why God forgives and eternalizes by grace through faith in Jesus – and Don could be exasperating in his eschatological obsession; always trying to figure out when Jesus was coming back for final judgment, deliverance, and shared victory with those who have received Him by grace through faith.
Don’s OCD about the end times was motivated by his love for everyone without regard to color, class, or culture because, like his Savior, he wanted everyone to be saved and experience the strong calm sanity of knowing paradise awaits believers immediately after the last breath in time.
So, essentially, one could say much of Don’s prophetic witness was to scare the hell out of people.
That is the prophetic tradition; speaking on behalf of God’s promise which is also His warning: “Return to Me and I will restore you. If not, not.”
Make no mistake about it!
That promise and warning are both existential and eternal.
Existentially, more holiness produces more happiness. Conversely, less holiness produces less happiness.
Eternally, well, let’s let Jesus speak for Himself: “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in Me, though he die, yet will he live; and whoever lives and believes in Me will never die.”
Anyone who thinks this prophetic tradition is more Old than New Testament is ignorant, deceived, defiant, apathetic, or co-conspiring with the wolves and their master to keep people from the confession, repentance, restoration, abundant living, and eternal life graced by God through faith in Jesus.
Just read the red letters if you have any doubts about that.
Don and the prophetic tradition came to mind as I was reading through Obadiah not too long ago.
Though nobody knows for sure, most folks think Obadiah was doing His thing anywhere from 2400 to 2900 years before Don showed up on State Street in Belvidere and Boone County, Illinois.
Again, in the prophetic tradition, they say, “Get back to God before it’s too late for you in time and your soul forever!”
While Obadiah’s witness was to Edom and Israel – with Edom being warned that God will punish anyone who messes with His people and Israel being assured that God will save anyone who trusts and obeys Him – the message remains the same though the cast of characters changes with the times: “Return to Me and I will restore you. If not, not.”
Highlighting a few verses, contemporary parallels, especially for America, compel our attention to confession and repentance.
God speaks; so we better listen!
“The pride of your heart has deceived you…Though you soar aloft like the eagle, though your nest is set among the stars, from there I will bring you down…See how insignificant I will make you compared to other nations. You will be completely despised by the rest of the world. Your deep pride has blinded you to the truth. You say to yourself, ‘Whose attack can reach up here and bring us down to the ground?’ Even if you fly high as an eagle, believing yourselves strong and free, and put your nest among the stars, I will have no trouble bringing you down.”
That’s pretty clear.
God doesn’t like rugged individualists who think they can make it without Him.
God humbles the proud who think and act like they don’t need Him anymore; and lifts up those who know they can’t make it without Him.
Total dependence upon Him is the only way to existential and eternal salvation.
“All your allies have driven you to your border…Your supposed allies – every last one – will turn against you; and they will run you out of your own town. And those who promised you peace will lie to your face and conquer you.”
That sounds more like America today than Israel way back then.
“The day of the Lord is near upon all the nations. As you have done, it shall be done to you…The day of God’s eternal judgment is near. Whatever evil you have done will be done to you. Your deeds will come crashing back on your head.”
Norek remains right!
Here comes the Judge!
God will not be mocked forever and definitely not in the end.
There is heaven for those who have trusted Him and tried to follow Him and hell for…
Well, that’s His judgment; and He is the Judge!
Trust and obey and live existentially and eternally; or roll the dice.
“There shall be those who escape…There is a place of safety for God’s people.”
Trust and obey to be happy in Jesus!
Life is good…with God!
Life is forever…with God!
Whether it’s Norek or Obadiah or you or me, the prophetic responsibility is the same.
We must speak on behalf of God with the same promise which is also a warning from God: “Return to Me and I will restore you. If not, not.”
I remember reading Will and Ariel Durant’s The Story of Civilization many years ago.
What I remember most is every civilization starts and stops.
Do you think America is an exception?
I think America has been exceptionally blessed to bless Him by blessing every nation with the wealth entrusted to us that He intended by design to be shared.
I think God’s deal with Abraham in Genesis 18 is still on the table – that God will restore America because there is a remnant that still prays and tries to honor Him by creed and deed.
I think America still has time to return to Him and avoid…
Well, we don’t want to go there.
That’s the real bottom line message of prophets like Norek, Obadiah, and anyone who knows knowing Him means making Him known; or as Paul wrote, “That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow…and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord!”
His embraced promise is a warning to those who are ignorant, deceived, defiant, apathetic, or co-conspiratorial with wolves and their master: “I am the way and the truth and the life.”
Blessings and Love!
Look up! Stand up! Speak up! Act up for Jesus!