To Set the Captive Free

 By Francis Frangipane

During the last hours of this age a great army shall arise; it shall consist of many who were formerly lame and spiritually oppressed. Indeed, a multitude that is last now, will become first to enter His glory.

When we consider the waning hours of this age --- the times of judgment, glory and terror --- we must keep our eyes upon the grace and purposes of God. The Scriptures tell us that Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Heb. 13:8). Christ never ceases to be the Redeemer of mankind, even during times of divine judgment.

We may wonder, Isn't He coming with great wrath? Yes. But the "Lion" who alone is worthy to "open the book" is always also a "Lamb standing, as if slain" (Rev. 5:5-6). Christ will not cease being the Redeemer, even in the day of His wrath; in wrath, He remembers mercy (Hab. 3:1-2).

Be Anxious for Nothing

By Francis Frangipane

Jesus warned that, in the last days, the world would face unfolding trauma. There would be wars, earthquakes and many other disasters. Yet to His disciples, He said, "Do not be terrified" (Luke 21:9). He also said that, because of world conditions, men's hearts would fail "from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth" (Luke 21:26 NKJV). Not only would actual events generate worldwide fear, but the expectation of difficulties would cause men's hearts to fail.

Today, heart failure is the number one cause of death in North America. Approximately every thirty-four seconds a heart stops beating and another person dies, usually suddenly. There may be many contributors to heart failure, but one major source is the inability to handle stress.

The Power of Appreciation

By Francis Frangipane

Some of us cannot communicate with our loved ones. Why? Part of the reason is that we are unappreciative of them. You see, just as God requires us to "enter His gates with thanksgiving" (Psalm 100:4), so we gain access and the "right to speak" into the hearts of our loved ones through genuinely appreciating the good things we see within them. We must learn to be thankful for the people God has given us.

If you are not thankful for your teenagers, for example, your disappointment with them will ultimately drive them from you. Take time with them and sincerely communicate the things you appreciate about them. There are many good things about them that they need to hear you acknowledge. I am not saying we should not correct our children, but we must balance correction with appreciation and praise, reinforcing their sense of self-worth and value.

The Divine Purpose

By Francis Frangipane

"And we know that God causes all things to work together for the good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose" (Rom. 8:28).

Even before I came to Christ, the phrase, "it all works for good," was a familiar coping mechanism used by believers and nonbelievers alike. Yet this spiritual truth really is not a promise for everyone. What I mean is that there are many things in life -- horrible things -- that are not working for good. For instance, millions die without accepting Christ who will not go to Heaven. Others languish in prolonged agony, suffering from unspeakable diseases, physical trauma or war. What of abortion, human trafficking and drug addiction? Do any of these work for good?

Life-Giving Spirit

By Francis Frangipane

As Christians our faith tells us that Christ died as payment for our sins. We believe He actually rose from the grave as proof that He was indeed sent by God. Yet it is also our conviction that, upon this resurrection event, not only were the sins of mankind atoned for but through Christ a second Genesis began.

Paul explains, "The first man, Adam, became a living soul. The last Adam became a life-giving spirit" (1 Cor. 15:45). The word Adam means "man" and is representative of "mankind." There are now two Adams or two species of man. The first species of man is the descendant of sinful Adam. His life orbits around his carnal or "natural" desires. He carries both the DNA of Adam’s nature and the consequences of Adam's sin. This natural man is focused upon fulfilling the needs of his soul. He is indeed a "living soul," but he is controlled by fears, physical needs, intellect boundaries, cultural environment and sin.