Tag Archives: Bible

In the Home Stretch …in the End of Times!

“God chooses a nation to become the geographical point, where the attention of the world will concentrate mainly in the end of times, and chose the nation of Israel.”

Dr. Armando Alducin

Dr. Armando Alducin, Founder of "New Life for the World."

Dr. Armando Alducin, Founder of “New Life for the World.”

Nearly 36 years ago, Dr. Armando Alducin had a personal encounter with the Lord Jesus Christ.
After having studied and experimented with various philosophies and religions he became an atheist, because according to him, no absolute truth could exist in any system of thought.
Happily, through his brother Alejandro and the missionary Emilio Aandereud, Dr. Alducin came to the knowledge of the truth and began his life in the Christian walk.
In 1982 he founded “Vida Nueva para México” [New Life for Mexico], which later on would change its name to “Vida Nueva para el Mundo” [New Life for the World], an organization that is currently bringing the Gospel to more than 55 nations. In fact, along with his brother Alejandro, Dr. Alducin has founded more than 40 churches in different parts of Mexico, the United States, Europe, South America and Israel. His ministry also sustains several missionaries around the world.

Dr. Alducin, how do you see the current picture in the geopolitical framework in relation to the so called “the end of times” stated as such by the Bible?

It is a great blessing to know that 2,600 years ago the Hebrew prophets in the Bible, in a chronological-supernatural way were able to draw us a map, a guide for us to know –those who have reached these times in the 21st century, that we are actually in the end of times of human history.

The prophecies mainly of the books of Ezekiel and Daniel are amazing in the light of the prophecies of the Apostle John in the book of Revelation. The Bible has chosen Israel to be a thermometer, thus, through Israel we can measure the temperature of the world; and we know that the Middle East started the beginning of civilization in Iraq and what is now Syria, which was Mesopotamia back then, and it was not yet divided, and civilization was going to end there.

It is incredible that now in the 21st century, we are right in this moment, in the month of November 2016, where the Middle East is a boiling pot. Now, the civil war in Syria is about to bring about an international social outbreak, in which many nations will have to be involved. It is wonderful, that this does not infuse us Christians any fear. Why? Because we know that these are signs that Jesus anticipated us, signs that were going to be manifested, that we really are in the end of times and we should rejoice. And Jesus said, “When these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near.”

So, I think it is the time when the Church and those who are Christians be aware that there is a day of judgment approaching, and that the Lord created us as free and responsible moral agents, and that we have to repent of our sins to stand before the judgment of God some day.

In fact, we are living wars, rumors of wars and natural phenomena like tsunamis, among others. But many people assert, “There has always been the same thing.” What is the answer to that statement: “there has always been the same”, as we are now living that “end of times”?

Wars have always been there, ever since Cain killed Abel, there have been murders and wars; but not ever before the 20th century, the past century, had all the nations of the world been involved in the First and Second World War. And Jesus said in Matthew 24, Luke 21 and Mark 13, that there would be wars and rumors of wars, and that nation would rise against nation. And this has never happened until the 20th century. We realize that this was the beginning of what Jesus in Matthew 24 proclaims, as the beginning of sorrows. In the First and Second World War, the United Nations was formed to try to prevent a Third World War and we know that since the Second World War up until now, the 21st century has seen more than 283 revolutions and coups d’État. Now, with all the technology that we have and with all scientific advances, we are on the brink of an international social outbreak of war in the Middle East.

Throughout history, we know that Israel has been hated by certain groups or nations. In fact, they wanted to exterminate Israel. In that perspective, how should we understand that Israel is the “thermometer of God”?

Many people say to me: “well, why did not God choose the Italians, the Spaniards, why not the Mexicans or the Ecuadorians”? This is the answer:
God chooses a nation to become the geographical point, where the attention of the world will concentrate mainly in the end of times, and chose the nation of Israel. God chose the nation of Israel, because the Messiah was born there, and this is proved by the genealogies of Jesus Christ in Luke and Matthew. Christ is the only person born in history, from whom his genealogy can be traced, from Adam or from Abraham. No other man, no matter what monarchic ancestry he may come from, not even the kings’ origins can be traced.

Jesus Christ proves that by being descendant from King David, from Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, He was really the Messiah that God had chosen.

Romans 9: 3 – 4 states that God chose Israel so that through the Jews, we obtain the Book of the books,

Dr. Armando Alducin, San Antonio, TX

Dr. Armando Alducin, San Antonio, TX

which is called the Bible. The book that was written in Hebrew and Greek has the earliest record of history, archeology, cosmology, anthropology, psychology, literature, poetry, among others. With respect to this book, I have always asked people and it is one of the questions whereby I like to challenge the scientific, political, philosophical, writers’ audiences, I always say: “tell me,” –and I have 35 years of preaching this message – “Which book do you know is better than the Bible?”; and up until this moment, after 35 years of standing before all kinds of fora and auditoriums, there has not been a single person who has dared to tell me that there is a book better than the Bible.

This is why God chose Israel. And I repeat, to be the point of the prophecies. Right now we realize that Israel is precisely surrounded by 22 million Arabs who are trying to exterminate it, and since 1948 when it became independent as a sovereign nation, 22 million Arabs have not been able to remove or push them to the Mediterranean.

This is to be fulfilled in the prophecy of Amos 9, which states that “they shall never again be uprooted out of their land,” and these are the evidences that the Bible leaves us, history shows that God exists.

Along these lines, there are other sacred writings such as The Quran of the Muslims, the Tripitaka of the Buddhists, and other religions whose followers claim that they are the sacred books through which their god speaks to them and conducts their lives. What should we say to them in the face of the Bible?

When we confront them with the Bible, let us remember the Hindus, they did the Vedas; The Maharani Nasutta; The Muslims, the Quran; The Tripitaka, the Buddhists; and so we can go through sacred books and none of these sacred books contains prophecies. None of them predicted when its founder was to be born. Buddha, for example, before dying, said: “seek the truth” to his disciples, he never said that he was the truth. Hindus have millions of gods. Buddhism is an atheistic religion, because Gautama Buddha did not believe in God; [speaking] of the Quran created by Muhammad, and here, this man’s moral profile is terrible upon marrying a 7 year-old-girl, for God’s sake, psychologically, he tells us that he was a psychopathic man!
No founder of any religion can even compare himself with the person of the Son of God or with the Holy Scriptures!

To conclude, what is your final message in the framework that we have discussed? Your message for our Christian audience and for those who do not necessarily identify themselves with the Christian Faith!

Firstly, I would like to remind all my brothers and sisters in Jesus Christ who we have experienced the new birth, about the words of Christ in Luke chapter 21, which states that when we see all these things, let us remember the following: “Let our heart not to be filled with carousing and drunkenness, and the anxieties of life, and come suddenly upon us that day. Because as a snare, Jesus said: ´it will come upon on all those who live on the face of the whole earth. Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man´[at his second coming].”

Dr. Armando Alducin & Cecilia Yepez, at the moment of the interview

Dr. Armando Alducin & Cecilia Yepez, at the moment of the interview

The Church has to understand something, we have a mission: to win souls and to disciple them. Every Christian has to seek a person, someone with whom they can share the Word of God and talk about Christ, to all the people we can, because time is up!
For the people who do not know Jesus Christ, the Bible states that the human being is a sinner and that these sins cannot be eradicated or erased with religions, and that by good deeds we could never obtain our salvation. The Bible asserts that there is a barrier between God and man, which is called sin; and only through the blood of Christ, only through His sacrifice on the cross, it was possible for this barrier to collapse.

This is the message of the Bible given by God to us, He offers us salvation without having to do anything but believe, what Jesus did in our place, on that cross. So, invite Him as your Lord and Savior, repent of your sins; believe that after 3 days He rose from the dead, and from then on, begin to feed yourself spiritually with the Bible, because that is the nourishment of the Spirit of the Lord.

It is important for us that during these times that we are going through, we take God seriously, people must repent in their lives and learn that there is a God who loves them eternally, and that this is perhaps the only opportunity you may have in order to determine the Eternal destiny of your soul!

Is the Collapse of Global Society accelerating? Any Hope?

“No society can sustain itself without a belief in absolute values, because then the law of the jungle will prevail…”

 

Dr. Miguel Núñez

Dr. Miguel Núñez

Dr. Miguel Núñez

Dr. Miguel Núñez (MD, Th. M., D.Min.) is the senior pastor of the International Baptist Church (IBI) in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. He is also the founder and president of “Integridad y Sabiduría” (the Integrity and Wisdom Ministry) which has the vision of awakening Latin America to God’s truth.

He is the author of two books: “Jesús, el hombre que desafió al mundo y confronta tu vida” (Jesus, the Man that Challenged the World and Confronts Your Life) and “Una Iglesia Conforme al Corazón de Dios” (A Church After God’s Own Heart). He is also the co-author of the book “Seguirazgo” (Followship), which deals with leadership.

He is the TV co-host of “Respuestas: Verdades Absolutas para un Mundo Relativo” (Answers: Absolute Truths for a Relative World), a program transmitted throughout all of Latin America and some other countries as well.

Dr. Núñez practiced medicine as a physician in the area of internal medicine and infectious diseases in the United States for 15 years (1982-1997), and he was a clinical professor at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York.

In addition to pastoring the church, he serves as a teacher and an apologist, and he is also a frequent guest speaker in all of Latin America and the United States. He has been married to Dr. Catherine Scheraldi, a practicing physician, for more than 30 years.

 

First of all, Dr. Nuñez, I’d like you to talk about the current times our global society is experiencing in terms of spirituality, although we realize that it bears an influence on all the other areas of a given society.

I believe society is in the midst of a crisis –a crisis of values, integrity and leadership. That’s one way to see it. On the other hand, we also know that Europe and North America are facing a time that has been called the post-Christian era. I don’t think Latin America is actually there, but it is obviously being influenced by the winds of post-Christian societies.

A post-Christian society is where Christian values have no significance at all. They play a very small role and have slight influence. Latin America is experiencing a different moment now, because God is definitely moving here. Actually, God is moving in what is called the “Global South:” Latin America, Africa and Asia. Something new is happening. The Reformed Theology that changed the face of Europe during the time of Martin Luther’s Reformation never really reached Latin America. Even five hundred years after this event which will be in 2017, the Reformation hasn’t been seen in our continent. However, such values have started to blossom and be embraced by a younger generation of people in their 20s, 30s and 40s who are proclaiming the Gospel, and that gives me hope. It’s like Latin America is being bathed by two winds: the wind of secularism and post-Christian societies and a new wind of evangelization coming from more mature movements based on a more solid doctrine than what we have seen here so far.

A few weeks ago, you mentioned at a conference that the United States and Europe are experiencing a society that is post-Western, postmodern and post-Christian. But what is happening now with Africa and Asia, and yes, Latin America? Although, you have already mentioned briefly about it.

Well, when we think about this kind of post-Christian society, like I briefly mentioned in the previous question, we’re talking about societies that were greatly impacted by Christianity and were developed based on Judeo-Christian values. But today, those same values have been removed from society, and now people prefer identifying themselves with secularism which has no identity with God, much less with the God of the Bible. So we see what has happened in Europe where churches have been slowly dying off, and the United States is experiencing something similar. Statistics for the year 2050 for the United States and Canada are not at all encouraging for the Christian movement and its membership.

Africa, Asia and Latin America have been influenced by Christianity, but because of the immaturity of the Church, the Church has made huge mistakes and has diluted the Gospel to the point that during the last 20 years, the most popular gospel has been the prosperity gospel which is not in accord with the biblical gospel.

However, I believe that things are starting to take a right turn now. We’re not even half way there yet, but there are a group of people who experienced that approach and departed from it. They came away empty and now they’re looking for the true Gospel and are going to churches that preach a sound doctrine. And this same phenomenon is taking place in Latin America, in Africa and in Asia where churches that once embraced the prosperity gospel are now having a new experience.

I believe that that phenomena is an apostate movement. I think there are two large apostate movements at present. One is “completely Christian,” meaning that it identifies with the type of Christianity that is the prosperity gospel which has embraced five continents and almost every denomination. The other movement doesn’t have Christian roots. It’s anti-Christian and is based on a redefinition of marriage, because that’s the foundation of the family.

The only way for us to pass faith on from one generation to another is having Christian families that are based on Christian values and teaching those values to the next generation. But if that family model does not exist and we redefine it today believing that it can be two men or two women raising a child, then the next generation won’t acknowledge the faith. And if they don’t acknowledge the faith, they won’t experience salvation. And if they don’t experience salvation, then there’s no hope for them.

So I said that that’s an apostate movement simply because different denominations in all five continents have begun embracing this new definition of marriage, and I believe that those two things will become important and will deeply undermine what we have considered Western Christian society until now.

And speaking of Christian foundations, a few days ago, I received a comment through this blog. The person who wrote referred to one my interviewees and said something like this: “Who do you think you are to disqualify other religions and impose your Christian philosophy as the only truth?” Apparently he was a follower of the Eastern philosophies.

It’s incredible that those people who don’t want us to spread the Gospel continue proclaiming their own

Cecilia Yepez interviewing Dr. Miguel Nuñez at IBI

Cecilia Yepez interviewing Dr. Miguel Nuñez at IBI

philosophies and moral values. We don’t have a problem with other people talking about their beliefs. Our problem is that they don’t want us to talk about ours.

We believe in a pluralist society in which different philosophies are taught. It was always like this in the West. In Europe and in the United States, no one ever prevented other persons from expressing their philosophy of life or their religious beliefs. But today the problem is that the followers of all those other philosophies and religions want us to stop expressing ours, and that’s the fight we’re having against that movement.

And along that same line, why does the Christian Church insist on saying that Jesus Christ is the only true God and therefore the only way to transform lives?

Well, I think we could address this topic from different angles. Let me start with the wider angle, a wider lens. Christianity is a worldview. A worldview is the way we see life, the way we interpret life and react to it. It’s not just a religion. It is religion, but it goes beyond that. It’s a worldview!

Worldviews must be tested. Literally, there is a number of questions and questionings that every worldview must answer. And then, when those answers are given, they have to be consistent and coherent.

Therefore, when we define Christianity as the only true faith and Jesus Christ as its founder and the only true God, the first answer would be because this is the only worldview that responds to the most important questions people have, and in the end, it’s what is totally coherent in its answers. When I start by asking where I come from, well then, God is the Creator. What am I here for? Well, God reveals to me that we are His handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do the good works which God prepared in advance for us to do. The first question has to do with destination: Where do I come from? The second question is about purpose: What am I here for? The third question is about destination: Where am I going? So your direction depends on what you do with God in your life. What is right and what is wrong? That’s a question of morality. Well, there’s a God who is absolute, holy, just and omniscient and who is the standard of good and evil.

So then we have Christianity and reality: God created the heavens and the earth. That’s reality. There is God who precedes all creation and everything that has been created as well.

But, if we put other worldviews to the test, you could ask, for example, a person who believes in Hinduism about the reality that has been created. Then one group will say that even what you and I are doing isn’t happening and that it’s just an illusion. It’s like the dream of Brahma and we think we’re doing it, but it’s really not happening.

This in inconsistent, because if that were true, then when I’m about to cross the street, I wouldn’t have to pay attention to the cars because they don’t exist. And if someday I have surgery, I won’t need anesthesia, because pain is an illusion and it doesn’t exist. So then you begin to notice the inconsistency of those other worldviews.

If you ask another follower of Hinduism about this same topic, he may say that yes, reality does exist, but we’re really only an extension of Brahma. In other words, Brahma exists and we’re an extension of him, so to the extent that we purify ourselves, then we unite with Brahma, and in the end, Brahma is the only reality.

Well, the truth is that when the Word of God defines this, we can clearly see the difference there is between God the Creator and His creation. So how do we come back to God, back to His presence? If we are saved, it’s by keeping our individualities, our personalities and our characteristics in a very, very different manner.

One Hindu may say that god is personal and another Hindu can say that god is impersonal. They live with those contradictions. Christian faith does not break the law of non-contradiction. If there is something we cannot negotiate, that’s the law of non-contradiction which says that “two contradictory statements cannot both be true when they are said at the same time and in the same sense.” God cannot be personal and impersonal at the same time.

So I could have turned to the Bible to repeat what Christ declared when He said, “I am the truth, the way and the life,” but I have just defined this a bit more philosophically by saying that Christianity is a worldview that responds to all the important questions of humankind with consistent and coherent answers. No other worldview can do that.

But if I turn to the Bible, then Christ made a statement about Himself that He later proved. He said, “I am the truth, the way and the life.” He died and was resurrected. He said, “I have the authority to give my life, and I have the authority to take my life back again.” And He proved that with His life, with His death and with His resurrection.

Just to close this very important idea, would you share with us a concrete example to prove that Jesus is the life?

Dr. Nuñez hosting "Answers: Absolute Truths for a Relative World."

Dr. Nuñez, TV co-host of “Answers: Absolute Truths     for a Relative World.”

Well, I think saying that we can prove it by using a scientific method is just not the way to address this matter because Christianity is not a science, so we have to do this in a different way. I believe we have to ask about the resurrection, for example. Are there historic and conclusive evidences about Christ’s resurrection? The truth is that even non-Christian people came to believe it after evaluating the veracity of the historical New Testament documents and found that there is no other document from ancient times that comes close to the veracity of these New Testament documents.

For instance, when we take a look at the Iliad and the Odyssey, famous written works from the past, we realize that there are four, six or at the most, eight copies that date back to a thousand years after the death of their author. But when we think about the documents of the New Testament, there are fragments that date back to 25 to 50 years after the death of their authors. There are other fragments and more complete documents from the years 250 A.D. to 300 A.D. And there are fifteen thousand copies! Not four and not eight! There are fifteen thousand copies in Greek that can be compared!

So I could give you many examples of this type of evidence, but there really is enough conclusive historic evidence to prove Christ’s life and Christ’s resurrection. It’s more of a historical proof than a scientific proof. People have tried to do away with Christianity for two thousand years, but they haven’t succeeded. Today, Christ is the most influential man in the entire history of humankind.

When Napoleon Bonaparte was in exile, something that caught his attention was precisely how this man who had died could still bring people together over the centuries. Napoleon said that when he was a general or the emperor, people responded to his voice, but when he didn’t have a title, no one followed him anymore although he was still alive. He didn’t understand how people kept on following that man hundreds of years after His death. Well, people follow Him because He is who He said He was: the way, the truth and the life. And the primitive church gets stronger, gets larger and continues to grow after His death. It should have been just the opposite, but a persecuted church is the church that became stronger after His death.

To conclude, in what times do you think we are living according to the biblical perspective of the so called “last days”? And is there any warning message to the world first of all, and to the Christian church as well?

First of all, I’m going to give a technical definition of “the last days.” In the Bible, the phrase “the last days” technically means the times from Christ until now. That’s the first part. When you open the Book of Hebrews it says, “But in these last days He has spoken to us by His Son.” So this text gives us a good definition of when these “last days” began.

Now, within these “last days” there’s a period that the Bible states as the time when we will be closer to the coming of Christ. I don’t know whether He will come in five years or fifteen years or fifty years. I can’t determine that. I’m not a prophet and I’m not a prophet’s son, like the Bible phrase says. But I do believe that the days in which we’re living are taking us quickly to that very end, regardless of when it will happen.

Society as a whole cannot be sustained by the values it’s embracing at present. It won’t last. Even in ancient times when society was extremely corrupt, people still believed in absolute values. Perhaps Plato, Socrates and, Aristotle didn’t believe in the God of the Bible, but they did understand that there was an Absolute or Supreme Being, something beyond. And they spoke about virtues –cardinal virtues. Nowadays, people just don’t believe in absolutism at all. No society can sustain itself without a belief in absolute values, because then the law of the jungle will prevail, and that means that each individual believes that good is what he or she feels is good. Such a society cannot sustain itself and it will collapse. And when it collapses, it won’t be just one nation or just one area that collapses. Entire continents will collapse. Since we are part of a global culture, then that global culture experiences similar changes as well as similar values. Some occur first and then others follow. For example, Europe is always first, then the United States and then we follow. But I believe we’re fast approaching what will be the collapse of society. There’s no way for society to survive without a correct definition of marriage. It just won’t happen.

When will it happen? Honestly, I don’t know. But I think there are signs pointing towards a relatively short time, even though that “short” time may be much beyond my lifetime. I believe we will see God’s intervention as a way of judging the sin that has become so widespread lately and also of completing His redemption plan. Christ didn’t mention the exact time or date for His coming, but He didn’t say that we wouldn’t have a clue as to when the “last days” would be, either. He said that in the same way when we look up in the sky and know it’s going to rain, the generation alive at that time will say, “It seems like the last days are getting closer!”

So, if our generation does not have a clue, and the next generation is the one meant to precede the coming of the Lord, some people will be clearer about this because the signs of His coming will also be clearer. Or perhaps it may happen during my lifetime but after some years when the signs may be clearer.

But yes, I do believe we are getting closer to a collapse, even from a sociological point of view. Malcolm Muggeridge talked about empires and how they decayed when certain signs began to appear. He mentioned the rise of eroticism that is obviously present these days. There’s also an increase of boredom. We can’t deny that people are bored. They’ve tried out everything and nothing seems to satisfy them. There’s more entertainment; people just want to enjoy life and do nothing but have fun. And finally, it’s interesting that he said another sign is when governments create increasingly more complex taxation systems. Governments get into so much debt, they start inventing new taxation systems to collect money to help pay those debts.

We’re seeing all of these signs of collapse. That’s a sociological analysis, not even a Christian perspective. So if you add moral collapse to all this, I believe the Lord must be just around the corner, even though I don’t know when that will be.

So what is your message of warning for the world and for the Christian Church?

Christ said to us, “I am coming soon.” So that could be today. Therefore, I believe that the best warning message is that you must be prepared for the day when He will return, even if that happens today. Consequently, your only hope is the Gospel of Christ and finding salvation and holding on to Him, clinging to Him through thick and thin, regardless of all the changes. You must believe in His Word, believe in His promises and develop hope in those promises that He left with us. It’s not about looking around to see what’s happening, but rather thinking about the eternal life in which our hope lies.

This world has no hope. This world will continue to be like it is now. Christ Himself said that. It will

Teacher, apologist, guest speaker in Latin America and the United States.

Pastor, teacher, apologist, guest speaker in Latin America and the United States.

remain like this until the last days. This world began sinful and will end sinful. Things will only change when He comes back to judge and redeem it. I can’t rest my hope on any new government or on any new educational system or on any new generation, because all of them will eventually produce the same results as in the past. Someone has said that history doesn’t change, only the actors are different. And we really do have the same violence as before, the same paganism from the past, the same promiscuity and homosexuality from ancient times. “What has been will be again,” said Solomon in the Book of Ecclesiastes. And sadly enough, that’s true, but history isn’t circular like some people say. They say it’s a never-ending circle that goes around forever. No. History is linear. The problem is that along that timeline we make the same mistakes and repeat the same sins, but history has a beginning and an end. I think it’s good to define it as linear because when we say that history repeats itself, we give the impression that we think history is circular and never ends and we’ll be living like this forever, but that’s not so. History is linear and it has an end that we will certainly see someday!