A Spiritual Vaccine

 

 

By Senior Pastor Lance E. Ralston

Editor’s note:

Before you just tab your way out of this article because it was written by a cleric, please consider this. Pastor Lance has an outstanding ability to relate biblical teachings to current and historical issues, philosophies and events. He runs a large church with a very diverse congregation, with all sorts of activities, charities and outreach. Their services are not only live, but also made available on the Internet to many more people.

The sermon which this article was named for was delivered on Sunday, 11-29-20, to a much thinned out, masked, socially distanced congregation. He attempted to figuratively “inoculate” the audience with a “truth serum,” a spiritual vaccine against “a highly infectious and contagious virus”– the evils of life all around us and even within us, with an emphasis on some ominous and rapidly moving events in recent times. Christian doctrine holds that we are ALL sinners, lack the strength to save ourselves and therefore can only be saved by the Lord God, if we will accept Him.

But regardless of your faith and beliefs, there are some valuable lessons here for both believers and non-believers, even if you don’t accept them all. He does identify some current and likely upcoming events as corresponding to biblical prophecies of “The End Times,” with the upcoming Tribulation, before Jesus comes back to straighten things out. But whether or not you believe in God, Jesus, the Bible and the prophecies, particularly the frightening Book of Revelations, it’s hard to deny what he points out is already happening and not much harder to see that much of what he predicts is plausible.

Here’s the event video (sermon starts about 30 minutes in)

Here is the text of Pastor Lance’s sermon …..

A Spiritual Vaccine • 2 Cor 6:17-7:1

A Sermon on 2 Corinthians 6:17-7:1

Introduction

We’re hearing a lot about vaccines. With the emergence of the coronavirus earlier this year, the race was on to develop one. Billions of dollars and thousands of hours have been spent by some of the sharpest minds to develop a remedy. But controversy’s swirled around vaccines for several years. Many are concerned about what’s in them and the harm they may be doing.

I’m not going to argue for or against vaccines. I’m going to administer one. Not by syringe, Dixie cup, or sugar cube. The vaccine I bring is spiritual, a truth-serum to inoculate us against a highly-contagious and lethal infection, a virus of that attacks not the body; it goes after the soul.

We’ll get to our text in a bit, but need to start here . . .

The End Times

I believe the Bible. All of it. So, I believe what it says about the End Times. A literal interpretation strongly suggests we’re rapidly approaching them.            Saying that often gets this push-back; “People have claimed it was the Last Days for decades. But we’re still here. Jesus hasn’t come back.”

True! But there’s an important difference. It used to be people had to shoe-horn current events into what the Bible says about the End. They came up with all kinds of bizarre interpretations for how things fit prophecy. What makes our time different is, we don’t need to do that. We see a pending literal fulfillment. We don’t have to bend and twist current events to make them fit. On the contrary; it’s hard not to see how they fill-out prophecy.

  • The single biggest prerequisite for the End Times to commence is for Israel to be back in her land fulfilling Ezekiel 36 and 37. That took place in 1948 after being displaced for 1800 years.
  • All the geo-political players of Ezekiel 38-39 are in place; Europe, Turkey, Iran, Russia.
  • The technology needed to fulfill prophecy is already in use, fulfilling several passages.
  • And crises like COVID have prepared people for the drastic changes foretold for the Tribulation.

But here’s the thing: We ought not expect the transition from before the Tribulation to the Tribulation itself to be abrupt. It’s not going to be a sudden, dramatic, Day and Night change. Those who go into the Tribulation aren’t going to wake up one morning and say, “Oh no! It’s the Tribulation!”  There are trends in place before, preparing the world for what’s to come. Let me share just 2 that signal the Tribulation is close.  I share all of this as preparation for what we’ll take a look at in 2 Corinthians.

The Health Pass

There’s a movement underway to ensure everyone gets the coronavirus vaccine.

From the Pharmaceutical Journal, “We cannot allow freedom of choice to endanger the lives of whole populations, so governments need to step up efforts to enforce vaccinations.[1]

The New York State Bar Association says, “Some Americans may push back on the COVID-19 vaccination for religious, philosophical or personal reasons.  For the sake of public health, mandatory vaccinations for COVID-19 should be required in the United States as soon as it is available.”[2]

The American Medical Association’s Journal of Ethics, says “Vaccination to prevent an epidemic is well within the police powers of the State. People do not have a 14th-Amendment-liberty or due process argument because vaccination is for the health and welfare of the state. Even if someone had a religious objection, it would most likely be dismissed because >> [get this] a compelling state interest may abridge religious freedom. [3]

Remember that, because we’ll come back to it later. The Journal of Ethics of the AMA, the premier and hugely influential medical establishment, says, “compelling state interest may abridge religious freedom.”

To compel vaccination, businesses are planning to make proof of it needed to access their services.

From USA Today: Qantas and Korean Air are working with other airlines to require a “vaccination passport” for travelers. [4]

According to Billboard Magazine, Ticketmaster will require a health-pass as proof of vaccination before selling tickets to events. [5]

Such health-passes are being developed by several firms. One British cyber security company has already developed the COVI-PASS.[6] It’s based on a tracking app already employed in China that’s part of their Social Credit System. In China, people have a social credit score. When they tow-the-line and do what the government wants, their score goes up and that gains them perks. If they disappoint the government, their score drops. If it drops low enough, their movement is restricted and opportunities are limited. If it drops too low, off to a re-education camp they go; like the hundreds of thousands of Uighurs who as Muslims, won’t knuckle under to the Chinese Communist Party.[7]

China is able to keep track of its population because there’s surveillance, literally EVERYWHERE! So the individual Social Credit Rating of everyone is updated constantly in real-time.

I had just read of China’s Social Credit System when I got an email from Amazon about new feature called Sidewalk. It’s coming to their Echo devices soon. Sidewalk links ALL WIFI connected devices that install it.

This is from the email I got, “Sidewalk uses a small portion of your Internet bandwidth to provide services to you and your neighbors. This setting will apply to all of your supported Echo and Ring devices that are linked to your Amazon account.” So, you leave your house and go for a walk. If your phone is with you or you have a fitness watch, your location is handed off to every device. Every time you’re in range of a Sidewalk enabled device, your location’s logged. Someone will say, “So what, the phone already does that thru the GPS?” Sure, but if Alexa’s running, it knows what you’re doing, listening to what you’re saying.

The point of all this? All the groundwork’s been laid for The Mark of the Beast, foretold in Revelation 13. A means of identification with the Antichrist that unlocks the so-called perks of His system; without which, the Bible says, no one may buy or sell. A mandatory vaccine and the health-pass it bestows is grooming people for just such an End Times scenario.

The Great Reset

Another trend signaling the rapid approach of the Tribulation is the call among world-leaders for a “Great Reset.”

The World Economic Forum is a union of the world’s ultra-elite globalists in govt, banking, and industry. Their vision is a One-World Government and they’re well on their way to making it a reality.

Their website has a page dedicated to “The Great Reset.”[8] It states, “There is an urgent need for global stakeholders to cooperate in simultaneously managing the direct consequences of the COVID-19 crisis. To improve the state of the world, the World Economic Forum is starting The Great Reset Initiative.”

In a recent UN meeting, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said, “This pandemic has provided an opportunity for a reset. This is our chance to accelerate our pre-pandemic efforts to [now catch their real goal]  reimagine economic systems that actually address global challenges like extreme poverty, inequality and climate change.” Trudeau admits this was the plan before the pandemic. They can just accelerate those plan via the pandemic. In other words, “Let’s USE the COVID-crisis to install our Radical Left-Progressivist vision.”

In August, French President Emmanuel Macron tweeted, “In all crises, an old world disappears, a new one appears. This crisis can be an opportunity.”

Their Plan was spelled out by their spokesman, Klaus Schwab in June in the book The Great Reset.

Do you remember Joe Biden’s Campaign slogan? “Build Back Better.” That’s drawn directly from this book by the World Economic Forum.

A reset is coming alright. But it’s not going to be so great. It’s a nightmare.

Separate

The Health-Pass and Great Reset are just a couple of the trends pointing to the imminence of the End Times. I share them to set the stage for the appeal Paul makes in 2 Corinthians 6.  

17 Therefore “Come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, and I will receive you.” 18 “I will be a Father to you, and you shall be My sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.”

Sound interpretation of Scripture begins by asking what it meant to those who wrote and first read it. The Corinthians had no trouble knowing what the Apostle Paul meant. As shared in an earlier study, Corinth was Sin-Central of the first Century. It was New York, San Francisco, Los Angles, and Las Vegas all rolled into one. It was known across the Roman Empire as a place of blatant vice. If you wanted to insult someone as a moral wretch, you called him a “Corinthian.”

The historian Strabo reported the temple to Aphrodite employed a thousand “courtesans;” men and women prostitutes who secured income for the temple by walking the streets of Corinth in various states of undress, seducing people.

All the trades had their own guilds; an ancient form of a labor union. Masons were part of the masons’ guild.  Ship-builders belonged to the shipwright’s guild.             Each guild had their own idol and temple. Their meetings were feasts where they sacrificed to the idol, then ate demon-dedicated meat. As with unions today, if you weren’t part of the guild, finding work was hard.

Understand that the First Century had no concept of separation of church and state. Religion was wrapped round every aspect of life. To be irreligious was dangerous, treasonous even. Who knows what tragedy would befall if people turned their backs on the gods.

That’s the environment the Church at Corinth lived in. So when Paul says, “Come out from among them and be separate. Do not touch what is unclean, and I will receive you,” They knew exactly what he meant. Their relationship with God fundamentally altered their relationships with the world around them. Because God alone is God, they were to quit idols. No more trips to their temples. No more feasts at their table.

God’s Word was clear on the nature and purpose of sex. It’s for marriage between a man and woman. So, no visits to Aphrodite’s temple. No trysts with her employees.

7:1 Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting [carrying to completion] holiness in the fear of God.

Christian: Your calling, your mission, is to be holy; separate from the defilement of this fallen world so you can be in intimate fellowship with God. It’s there and only there you’ll know your amazing potential as a human being created in His image.

Not Popular

The call to holiness isn’t popular today. Truth is, it’s rarely been popular. Yet it is a major theme in Scripture.

1 Peter 1:13–16 // Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; as obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance; but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, 16 because it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy.”

In other words, “Be DIFFERENT from what you were before Jesus saved you.”

Here’s where the spiritual vaccine I spoke of at the start comes in.

Live Not by Lies

Alexander Solzhenitsyn was a dissident in the Soviet Union. A brilliant author, he was well-known outside the USSR, so they couldn’t just kill him. They tried to silence him by sticking him a concentration camp; a gulag. One of his books was smuggled out and became an international best-seller. Pressure eventually gained his release and exile.

Before he left, Solzhenitsyn wrote a last essay to the Russian people titled, Live Not by Lies. He challenged the idea that the Soviet system was so powerful ordinary people couldn’t change it. He said that the foundation of totalitarianism is an ideology made of lies. The system depends for its existence on people’s fear of challenging those lies.

He wrote, “Our way must be: Never knowingly support lies! You may not have the strength to stand up in public and say what you really believe, but you can at least refuse to affirm what you do not believe. You may not be able to overthrow totalitarianism, but you can find within yourself and your community the means to live in the dignity of truth. If we must live under the dictatorship of lies, then our response must be: ‘Let their rule hold not through me!’”

His was a call to break with the system of lies propping up the entire Soviet system. People eventually heeded Solzhenitsyn’s advice and the Soviet empire crumbled.

But here’s the thing; Christians in the USSR had for years quietly opted-out, though it cost them. The State took the place of God and demanded absolute loyalty. Obedience was rewarded while non-compliance was punished. That meant those who remained loyal to Christ were shut out.

 Father Kirill Kaleda, an Orthodox priest in Moscow who lived under Soviet rule was asked what life was like in the USSR. He said

It was difficult, but thanks be to God, there were people who were doing their best to build their lives in such a way that they could live in truth. People understood that if it was going to be a priority to live in truth, then they were going to have to limit themselves in other ways— the progress of their careers, for example. But they made a choice, and resolved to live by it.[9]

He explained that because he never joined the Communist Youth League, he wasn’t able to pursue his career choice of teaching history. His father told him the history taught in school was a pack of lies, propaganda to prop up the Soviet system. Because he never joined the Communist Party, he couldn’t travel abroad. His choice of places to live was limited to the lowest quality of apartment.

Baptist Pastor, Yuri Sipko said that in school, he wouldn’t wear a pin with Lenin’s face on it or the red scarf identifying students as loyal to the Communist Party. To be a Baptist in Soviet Russia was to be a permanent outsider. He said,

Christians lost any kind of status. They were mocked and ridiculed in society. Sometimes they even lost their children. Just because they were Christians, the State was willing to take away their kids and send them to orphanages. These believers were unable to find jobs. Their children were not able to enter universities. And still, they believed.[10]

 I share these stories because they’re a direct application of what Paul says here.  We in the West don’t live under the kind of totalitarianism the USSR did. But as our society continues its headlong dash into secular humanism, it grows increasingly hostile toward faith.

We’ve already seen how the Cancel-Culture wants to silence opinions and views that doesn’t align with the Progressive Left. What’s interesting is that it’s not government that’s behind this so much as the media and marketplace.  The culture-at-large has been co-opted by an Anti-Christian Progressivism.

While we’re not there just yet, we’re rapidly approaching the day when people will have to choose between loyalty to Christ and “The System.”  Christians already have to ask if they can in good conscience send their kids to public school because they’re taught blatantly anti-Biblical ideas about sex and gender. Most colleges are re-education camps where students are indoctrinated in Antichrist Critical Theory.

This is the vaccine I administer today. A dose of truth that, while “Being Holy” has traditionally meant not being a part of a group the culture regarded as immoral, the cultural ground beneath our feet has shifted so that now it is Christians, loyal followers of Jesus, who are rapidly becoming those the culture disparages, bans, cancels. Under the reign of Antichrist, the Bible foretells believers will, FOR THE WELL-BEING and SAFETY OF THE STATE, do away with.

Coming Out and being Separate for us means what Solzhenitsyn said in Live Not by Lies. “Never knowingly support lies! You may not have the strength to stand up in public and say what you really believe, but you can at least refuse to affirm what you do not believe.”

Don’t let the world demand you recite its lies. Sensitivity Seminars and Diversity Training that demand you recite a transgender formula. And No! Silence is NOT Violence. That slogan is meant to coerce you to mouth lies that destroy souls.

These are all trends preparing the world for the day when the Antichrist will say that society must move on, must progress. a.        It can’t allow narrow-minded and small-thinking people to hinder the Dawn of a New Golden Age. When Christians won’t buy into his system, they must be removed.

And so we alread see the marginalization of churches and People of Faith. The Church is Non-Essential? Imagine the Founding Fathers being told the day would come in America when the Church would be declared by government as non-essential, while abortion clinics and strip clubs were essential.

Churches are as essential during COVID  as hospitals. While they attend to the bodies of those who been smitten, churches tend the many more souls devasted by lockdowns.

Conclusion

We’re praying for revival, pleading with God for mercy. We hope desperately revival comes. But while we PRAY for revival, we PREPARE for persecution. Christian, take a stand NOW! Decide your loyalty today. Live like a believer.  Build up the moral and spiritual inertia you’ll need when your faith is challenged.

I am not a prophet nor a prophet’s son. I’m a pastor, charged by God to protect His flock. When I see danger, it’s my solemn, sacred duty to warn. I see dark clouds on the horizon enlarging every day, drawing close. Being People of Truth means taking a resolute stand to reject the multitude of lies rising round us.

[1] Mandatory vaccination will protect all citizens | Comment | Pharmaceutical Journal (pharmaceutical-journal.com)

[2] State Bar Group Calls for ‘Mandatory’ COVID-19 Vaccinations, Regardless of Objections | New York Law Journal

[3] Is Mandatory Vaccination Legal in Time of Epidemic? | Journal of Ethics | American Medical Association (ama-assn.org)

[4] ‘Vaccination passport’: International travelers may face new requirements (usatoday.com)

[5] How Ticketmaster Plans to Check Your Vaccine Status for Concerts: Exclusive | Billboard

[6] https://apnews.com/press-release/accesswire/036d8848e9f5eee78b116d3d97e9e5b5

[7] The potential abuses of a coronavirus ‘health passport’ are downright frightening – MarketWatch

[8] https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/opinion/rachel-marsden-pandemic-leveraging-great-reset-is-hardly-a-myth/ar-BB1bjDNA?ocid=se

[9] Dreher, Rod. Live Not by Lies (p. 101). Penguin Publishing Group. Kindle Edition

[10] Dreher, Rod. Live Not by Lies (pp. 102-103). Penguin Publishing Group. Kindle Edition

 

Lance E. Ralston is Senior Pastor of Calvary Chapel Oxnard, CA.


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David Crow Cope
1 month ago

The REAL PRESENCE of GOD is in our Behavior and we get that from reading the Old and New Testaments. Our behavior starts with knowing the 10 commandments- a quick study is like this.
Do you know where the 10 commandments are first listed in the bible and do you know them.
Exodus 20 : 1-17
1) No strange gods before me Exo. 20: 2-3
2) no graven /things/images and nor bow down to them- Exo: 20 4-6
3) Lord’s name in vain- Exo. 20 : 7
4) Keep sabbath Holy- Exo. 20 : 8- 11
5) Honor father and mother Exo. 20 : 12
6) Thou shalt not Kill/Murder Exo. 20 13
7) Thou shalt not commit Adultry Exo. 20: 14
8) Thou shalt not Steal Exo. 20 : 15
9) do not bear False Witness/LIE Exo. 20 16
10) Do not covet / desire any thing
Teach our children this first for good behavior

Note: I have 7 Protestant bible including 1877 King James and I have 8 Catholic bibles including Latin Vulgate 1805 and they all witness the above 10 commandments.
David Crow Cope

Liz Jacob
Liz Jacob
1 month ago

Brilliant summation of where we currently find ourselves. Be vigilant, now more than ever we need to cling to the truth.

William
William
1 month ago

Believe what you want but don’t make yourself a hazard to others.

Shirley Lang
1 month ago

Spot on!