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Top ten stories of 2015


Celebrating the Feast of Silvester in Burserberg, Austria. The feast which falls on December 31st marks the death of Pope Sylvester I who died on that day in 335 AD. The feast is celebrated in many European nations. Photo: BRainy Photography/Flickr/Creative Commons

Celebrating the Feast of Silvester in Burserberg, Austria. The feast which falls on December 31st marks the death of Pope Sylvester I who died on that day in 335 AD. The feast is celebrated in many European nations. Photo: BRainy Photography/Flickr/Creative Commons

It has been an eventful year, so what were the top most read stories on opentheword.org?  From first to tenth, actually eleventh due to a virtual tie for last place, here they are:

  1. Did the Bible predict beheadings by Muslim extremists?

    With gruesome stories coming out of the Middle East about ISIS beheading Christians, it is not surprising many Christians are wondering if this was mentioned at all in the Bible particularly as it related to the end times. Not surprisingly it does. This story topped the list with 7,868 reads in 2015.

  2. Sir Isaac Newton predicted world would end in 2060 AD

    End times events are on many people’s minds these days. Researchers studying the writings of Sir Isaac Newton, who died in 1727 AD, stumbled upon his prediction when Christ would return. Newton studied the Bible and particularly end time events. Why did he date Christ’s return to centuries later — in our day?   One more thing, from his study Newton also determined that Israel had to be restored back to the Promised Land first. He added that this would not happen until closer to the time of Christ’s return. When I started this blog, I purposefully decided not to spend a lot of time writing about the end-times. Oh the irony….

  3. Former Muslim imam says the Qur’an is the reason he converted to Christianity

    Coming in at number three is one of my favorites. Most of are unfamiliar with the Muslim Qur’an, but surprisingly it speaks about Jesus Christ more than even Muhammad. In this article we look at the intriguing story of Mario Joseph, a Muslim imam who became a Christian. He explains how the Qur’an led him to Christ. I received an interesting Google search on this article. A person came to opentheword.org asking “Has Mario Joseph converted back to Islam?” It made me wonder if some are spreading rumors that he has and this person was checking it out. Don’t worry Mario hasn’t. (Note: We are only given information on the searches themselves not on who made the search.)

  4. Why is the Christian population exploding in Iran?

    Iran is a dangerous place to be a Christian. Some Iranian political leaders have referred to Christians as “deviants.” Yet despite this danger reports are coming out about a remarkable growth in the underground church?  As is often the case, when the church is under stress, the Holy Spirit begins to move.

  5. ISIS and their ‘loathsome,’ flesh-eating disease?

    This story at number five actually surprised me. But again it deals with an end-time event mentioned in the Book of Revelation. John talks about those opposing Christ getting loathsome sores on their body. Decide for yourself if Leishmaniasis fits this description. This story was shared on Facebook 528 times. It even received a nasty comment from someone named “&^%43” stating it was full of “!@#$%^.” Yes, both were swear words.  I never bothered to post the comment.

  6. The Arctic melt myth: Seven years ago Al Gore predicted the Arctic would be ice-free — he was wrong

    In 2007, while accepting his Nobel Prize for his work on global warming, Al Gore predicted the arctic would be free of ice by 2014. So how well did that prediction go? Meanwhile, most of us would be over joyed if they could get their weather predictions right for the weekend.

  7. King David’s big, dark secret

    This is another article that received a surprising number of reads this year. It shows a different side of King David’s life. It provides a different take on a rather famous Bible verse Psalm 51:5. I shared this in a service once and a woman interrupted my sermon three times stating I was wrong. Maybe I am, but read it and decide for yourself.

  8. King Solomon’s lame excuse for high taxes

    We all hate taxes and wasteful governments and not surprisingly so did the Israelis. In fact, it was high taxes that would eventually break apart the nation into Israel and Judah. This article looks at how taxes were levied in Israel and what led up to the nation being torn apart. Incredibly this article made the top ten without receiving any significant Facebook shares.

  9. Another end-times event? The Temple Institute has built the Jewish altar

    Another end-times story comes in at number nine. Plans are afoot in Israel to rebuild the Jewish Temple. As part of this, a group  announced they have just constructed the Jewish altar that would eventually be part of this temple. Does the Bible speak of a third Temple?

  10. Gay activists fail to derail evangelistic crusade in Iceland

    Separated by just three reads, there are two stories in a virtual dead heat for tenth place, so I will list them both. The first involves a failed attempt by gay activists to derail a Franklin Graham evangelistic campaign in Iceland of all places.

    Paga: Hitting the mark in intercession

    The second story involves a word study of the Hebrew word “paga” that is translated intercession in the Old Testament. “Paga” is used in multiple ways that show different sides to intercession. In this article, we discuss how God wants to direct the prayers of the intercessor.

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