If Christians Did These 4 Things They Would Rule the World

If you haven’t picked up on it from this blog yet, I have an optimistic view of the future because I am a Kingdom man. I believe Isaiah when he said the knowledge of God will cover the earth as the waters cover the sea, and that the people will stream to the mountain of God. See Isaiah 2:2, 11:9.

I believe Daniel when he said the kingdom of God will crush and put an end to all these other kingdoms but that the kingdom of God will endure forever. Daniel 2:44.

I believe Jesus when He said the kingdom of God will leaven the entire world and become like a tree so that the even non-Christians will seek to nest under the shade of its branches. Matthew 13:31-33.

I read with interest the efforts to theologify (I made that word up) these beliefs into a system of strategies and tactics whether it be Christian Reconstruction, the Seven Mountain Mandate, or any of the efforts to express the idea that the world should run best when it is run by those who are obedient to King Jesus.

But while tactics and strategies are important, they are really useless if the people who are given the responsibility of carrying them out have not been trained to do the fundamentals first. Christians don’t need to understand the Seven Mountains or Christian Reconstruction to advance the kingdom of God.

If Christians only consistently did the following four things they would see the greatest advance of the kingdom of God since the first century:

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Jack Burke, Jr. Dies at 100

Yesterday was a sad day.

Jack Burke, Jr, legendary professional golfer, instructor, Ryder Cup captain, and founder of Champions Golf Club, died at the age of 100 years.

His death is big news, being picked up by USA today, the Golf Channel and other local and national news outlets. His life though is the story.

As a member at Champions golf club, I had the honor of knowing Mr. Burke. Over the years, I would talk with him when I saw him in the dinning room, coming out of his office at the club, or on the driving range. He was a friendly man and was generous with his time.

Over the last year I saw him more often, usually on Sunday mornings. He would eat a late breakfast the same time each Sunday in the bar area adjoining the dinning room. I would go there for breakfast after our early church service. He was always there.

There are not many golf clubs around the country with a multiple major golf champion walking the halls daily and who will freely answer your questions about the golf swing, his career, or just life in general. But that was Mr. Burke, and it was only one of the many reasons so many loved him.

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Early Christian, Medieval Travel Journal-Day 7

The spot where Savonarola was martyred for speaking Truth

Today was our Savonarola day. Girolamo Savonarola (1452 – 1498 A.D.) was a Dominican monk who preached Truth in Florence in the 2nd half of the 15th century. Savonarola did so in the face of opposition from the most powerful man in Florence, Lorenzo de Medici, who had coopted Florence’s freedom, murdered political opponents, and bribed the Catholic church. Moderns practically worship Lorenzo de Medici because he promoted and financed the arts during the Italian Renaissance, but his rightful place in history is more dubious.

When de Medici sent his friends to persuade Savonarola to stop preaching against his corrupt practices, they became Savonarola disciples. De Medici then tried to bribe Savonarola, which also failed. But when de Medici was on his death bed and needed the last rites, instead of calling any number of priests loyal to him, he called on the one man he knew would speak Truth: Savonarola. At de Medici’s bedside, Savonarola asked de Medici if he placed his faith in God for his salvation, and if he would return all the money he had obtained unlawfully from others. His answer to both questions was “Yes.”

Unlike other preachers at the time, Savonarola preached directly from the Bible, and the Word changed peoples’ hearts, drawing them to repentance. Luther and other Reformers considered Savonarola a proto Protestant because of his doctrine on salvation by grace through faith. Florence, for a time, was a changed city, culminating in the so-called Bonfire of the Vanities, when people voluntarily set out their pornography and the clothes and masks they used for the Florentine version of Mardi Gras, into a bonfire in the Piazza della Signoria.

Unfortunately, the change was short-lived, and after preaching against corruption in the Catholic church, being excommunicated, and Florence being threatened with interdiction by the Pope, a rival group incited a mob to descend on the San Marco Convent and take Savonarola and two other monks away to the Piazza della Signoria, where they were hung and burned. But while the change in Florence didn’t last, Savonarola’s influence on individuals did. For example, Michelangelo, who had heard Savonarola preach, is said to have carried a book of Savonarola’s sermons with him for the rest of his life.

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Early Christian, Medieval Travel Journal-Day 4

The Colosseum, where Ignatius of Antioch was martyred

At 9:15 a.m. we were back at the entrance to the Domus Aurea, and this time there was a tour guide waiting for us. The Domus Aurea (“Golden House”) was the ostentatious palace of Emperor Nero-three of its wings covered 125 acres–for those of you keeping score, that is nearly 5.5 million square feet. The Domus Aurea was an extension of Nero’s original palace, the Domus Transitoria.

There is a good argument for the proposition that Nero was “the beast” John wrote about in the book of Revelation. “Neron Caesar” transliterated from Greek into the Hebrew short-form spelling, נרון קסר, produces the number 666. See Revelation 13:18. Nero instituted a horrible persecution against Christians following the great fire of Rome in 64 A.D., falsely blaming Christians for the fire. Nero also murdered his own mother and first wife.

Nero, according to contemporaneous Roman historian Tacitus, had Christians “killed by dogs by having the hides of beasts attached to them, or they were nailed to crosses or set aflame, and, when the daylight passed away, they were used as nighttime lamps.” Tacitus writes that “Nero gave his own gardens for this spectacle . . .” And Nero did that here, where we were this morning.

The now buried halls of Nero’s Palace, where Christians were martyred for his amusement

The tour through the now underground halls of the Domus Aurea is fascinating and is enhanced by a virtual reality experience that brings it all to life, but ultimately the Domus Aurea was a a monument to the vanity and wickedness of one man.

God’s judgment is not always swift but always certain. The Roman Senate eventually turned on Nero, and Nero committed suicide before he could be executed. Emperor Trajan subsequently filled in and covered over the Domus Aurea with dirt, using it as a foundation for a public bath.

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Early Christian, Medieval Travel Journal-Day 3

The cross in the sky, September 2, 2022, over the Baptistry of St. john the Lateran, Rome

Everything I’m about to tell you about what happened to us today is true. It’s not “based on a true story” or “inspired by actual events.” It actually happened.

We were supposed to meet tour guide at the Colosseum at 9:15 a.m. for our tour of it, the Forum, and surrounding sites, only our guide was not there. We waited, and then we waited some more. Still no guide. At 9:30, we asked The Wife, who is responsible for scheduling, to pull out the confirmation papers, so we could call and find out where the guide was.

After The Wife reviewed the papers, she asked, “What day is this?”

As it turned out we were early. A day early. The question was, “Now what?” We needed to find something in the area that fit into our GBS tour theme.

We settled on visiting the Church of St. John Lateran, which was less than a mile away. When we arrived at the square, we didn’t know what we were looking for, except that it was a church, but as I surveyed the landscape I saw a cross in the sky–I kid you not (see pic above)–and looking below the cross, a very old looking building with a rotunda.

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