Monday, September 1, 2014
Defining it as “historical” may be an overstatement. However, what happened on July 19 is a landmark in 150 years of Italian evangelicalism. For the first time ever, nearly 100 percent of Italian evangelical churches and bodies (85 percent of the 500,000 Italian Protestants) signed a common statement reinforcing our evangelical commitment to the gospel of Jesus Christ. This statement provides biblical standards to assess the mounting ecumenical pressure coming from the Roman Catholic Church to expand its catholicity at the expense of biblical truth.
See entire article here:
Saturday, August 30, 2014
Friday, August 22, 2014
I wanted to list a few really helpful links explaining the concerns about Beth Moore and why she shouldn't be endorsed as a solid Bible teacher:
2. Beth Moore endorses Roman Catholicism
3.Beth Moore Exposed Facebook Page
4. Various other articles
2. Beth Moore endorses Roman Catholicism
3.Beth Moore Exposed Facebook Page
4. Various other articles
Saturday, August 16, 2014
Russia has annexed Crimea. Russian separatists in the Ukraine have shot down a Malaysian airliner killing nearly 300 on board. Hamas has fired thousands of rockets into Israel and Israel has now invaded Gaza. Islamic radicals have seized large parts of Iraq and Syria and threaten to seize more. In the U.S. thousands of illegal men, women, and now children have entered in violation of U.S. law, and those who have been charged with enforcing the laws will not! Iran continues on its seemingly inexorable march toward obtaining nuclear weapons. Libya has become increasingly anti-American and the American Embassy has been closed. In America there is an exponential increase in immorality and ungodliness, and in some cases actual promotion of ungodliness. There is also blasphemy, disobedience of law, and even disobedience of parents, despisers of good, and promotion of sexual immorality, homosexuality, and violence. Many call evil good and good evil! The love of pleasure and rise of pleasure seeking even to the complete disobedience of God among those who actually know better has increased substantially. We live in perilous times!
There are those who profess to be “leaders” in the Christian church, who deny Jesus is “the way, the truth, and the life”. They deny the great doctrine of substitutionary atonement. They deny that God created the heavens and the earth in six days and on the seventh day rested. They deny that God destroyed the world because of sin and saved Noah and Shem, Ham and Japheth and their wives. Such positions undermine the sublime authority of God’s Holy Word. The overwhelming weight of irresistible evidence supports the Biblical doctrine of Creation, substitutionary atonement, and salvation by faith as a sheer gift of God in the Lord Jesus Christ—Exclusively!
The fossil record is not contrary to, but actually supports the Biblical doctrine of the global flood. The discovery of the DNA code supports the Biblical account of Creation and actually destroys the myth of Darwinian evolution. So—why aren’t more people coming to Christ? Because faith comes by hearing the Word of God, specifically it is the glorious Gospel of Jesus Christ that is the “power of God unto salvation”. Moreover, no person can come to Christ except the Father draw that person to Christ. The simple fact is that what keeps people from Jesus is neither a lack of truth nor a lack of reliable evidence – but a lack of willingness! Jesus said “you will not come unto me that you may have life” (John 5:24). Why will they not come? Because men (mankind) love darkness more then they love light (truth) because their deeds are evil! What are we to do? Is there anything we can do? Yes, resoundingly yes!
Before we can get the speck out of someone else’s eye, we must first get the beam out of our own eye. Here are some other things we can do:
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Fourth—Confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead and you will be saved.
Fifth—Don’t be discouraged by the events and circumstances of our
day. A brief look at the Holy Scripture shows us clearly that all of
these things will come to pass. Therefore, fear not, take heart, Christ
will come again and receive us unto Himself. Is His return imminent?
Only the Father knows. We want to be faithful, on the job, making
“But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come. For men will be lovers of themselves , lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure, rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!... But evil men and imposters will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived. But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them. And that from childhood you have known the Holy scriptures, which are able to make you wise unto salvation through Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. (2 Tim. 3;1-5 & 13-15)
Avoid such people. Stay away from them. Pray for their salvation but do not be with them. You must continue in God’s Holy Scriptures which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. Remember, be diligent to study God’s Holy Word “to present yourself approved unto God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed [for you are] rightly dividing the word of truth.”
Jesus said to his disciples: “Take heed that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name, saying ‘I am Christ,’ and will deceive many. And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.
Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. But he who endures to the end shall be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come. (Matthews 24:4-14)
“Notice that “Wars, earthquakes, persecutions, and false prophets are all signs of Jesus’ second coming, BUT THEY INDICATE ONLY THE CERTAINTY OF JUDGMENT, not it’s time. Such signs characterize the entire period between His resurrection and His coming in judgment. Knowing when he would return would lead His disciples to laziness and laxity in their watchfulness. Therefore, the ‘when’ that Jesus gives is task oriented: it is after the gospel has been preached to the nations.” 
After telling the disciples of the “abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place” Jesus says “then there will be great tribulation…” Jesus continues His account of the sign of His coming and of the end of the Age. Notice that the question was “when will these things be” and what will be the sign of your coming?” Notice also that Jesus is the personification of TRUTH and it is He who is speaking.
The Coming of the Son of Man
“Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken.” Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. (Matthew 24:29-31)
The Answer to the Disciples’ question is of WHEN
But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only. But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. (Matt 24:36-39)
Notice first that Jesus (Who is The Truth) authenticates the Genesis account of the global flood! Jesus knows Noah! He says that while we will not know the day and hour of Christ’s return, we are to be “watching”. We are also told that we are to watch for the events and times that parallel the times of Noah. Did you know that Noah’s son Shem lived almost as long as Abraham and would have relayed the actual account of the flood? What was it like in Noah’s day? In Gen 6:5 we read:
“Then the lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” In verse 13 the authentic holy truth of God’s word reveals that… “the earth is filled with violence through them…” This is the authentic description by Jesus of Noah and his day. Jesus gives this description while pointing out to his disciples that only the Father knows the day and hour of the [second] coming of the Son of Man, so that they (&we) can “take Heed” that no one deceives them (&us)! Take Heed! How can one take heed if he does not believe that the Genesis account of the flood is true? Jesus says it is true! Who is that person who dares to argue with our creator, redeemer and teacher? Avoid those that tell you God’s Holy Word is not true, especially if they tell you that science has proved that the Word of God is not true, they will lie about other things also!
WHAT ARE WE TO BE DOING?
Paul’s instructions to Timothy “Remember that Jesus Christ, of the seed of David, was raised from the dead according to my gospel, for which I suffer trouble as an evildoer, even to the point of chains, but the word of God is not chained. Therefore I endure all things for the sake of the elect, that they also may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory. For if we die with Him, we shall also live with Him. If we endure, we shall also reign with Him. If we deny Him, He will also deny us. If we are faithless, He remains faithful; He cannot deny himself. Remind them of these things, charging them before the Lord not to strive about words to no profit, to the ruin of the hearers.” (2 Tim 2:8-14)
APPLICATION OF MATTHEW TWENTY FOUR
In May of 1979, Frank M. Barker, Jr, then senior pastor of Briarwood Presbyterian Church in Birmingham, Alabama said that Jesus clearly teaches that there are certain events that must be fulfilled before Christ returns. Being both watchful and expectant are not contradictory. Dr. Barker said the following:
Believing and Being Watchful are not Contradictory:
Believing that these events have to be fulfilled before Christ returns and, at the same time, being watchful are not contradictory. Jesus has spoken of certain events which must be fulfilled…such as the Gospel being preached to all the world, the tribulation and the cosmological disturbances. Paul speaks of a number of other events which must take place before Christ returns. It is, as John Murray points out, Paul mentions the conversion of Israel (Rom. 11), as one thing that must take place prior to Christ’s return. Murray says, “The collective restoration of Israel does not require the conversion at a future date of all Jews any more than did the rejection mean the apostasy and reprobation of every Israelite. But it surely must imply the widespread acceptance of Jesus as Messiah and entrance into the church of Christ.” This must happen before Christ returns, so says Paul and Murray as he interprets Paul.
The certainty of the event and uncertainty of the time is a very helpful incentive in holy living:
And, of course, apart from His coming, you never know when you are going to meet Him! You never know when death may take you – maybe as you leave this place today or even as you sit here.
What is the thrust of this passage? The need for watchfulness and preparedness. Someone has said that the Christian’s motto ought to be: “To Live as if Christ died yesterday; as if He rose this morning; as if He is coming tomorrow.” The Christian should have that attitude of heart.
Another thing this passage says is that we are to examine our lives. Am I being watchful? Does my life evidence this fruit which is the indication of a real and genuine walk with the Lord? Is there any way in which I am secretly saying to myself, “My Lord delayeth His coming. Let me indulge myself a little”? Finally, it raises the questions: Have I made a genuine commitment to Jesus Christ? Have I really surrendered my will to Him in repentance? Have I really put my trust in Him? If you have not done that, why not right now commit your life to Jesus Christ?
[Just bow in prayer and] think through these matters. Have you been saying the Lord delays His coming? Have you been kidding yourself about your commitment being genuine? Have you been gambling with your soul thinking that later on you will get right with God? Why not, right now, turn your life over to Christ. Receive a Master. Trust a Savior. If you want Christ as your Lord and Master and you are willing for his will to be done in your life, pray in your heart this prayer:
Lord Jesus, what folly to gamble with my soul! Thank you for bringing it home to my heart. Lord, I am willing to have you for my Master. I know you are a good and loving Master. I surrender my will to you. I trust you to forgive my sins on the basis of your death and your resurrection. Come into my life. Amen.”
As you continue to think on these matters be diligently to take heed that you be not deceived. Purpose in your heart to be both a “hearer” and a “doer” of God’s holy word. Avoid those who try to tell you that any portion of God’s word is not true. Know and understand that Gods revelation in the “Old Testament” is foundational to God’s revelation in the “New Testament”. Purpose in your heart to obey God’s exhortation for “you to earnestly contend for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints.”
“Now unto Him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy. To God our savior, who alone is wise, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and forever Amen.”
Your Friend & Brother in Christ
Daniel (Bill Gray)
Tuesday, August 12, 2014
Prophecy is a very important part of Scripture. In fact all of Scripture is prophecy. In some places, the Bible gives us God’s words as He reveals to us what He wants us to know and do (or not do), and in other places, it gives us His revelation concerning what will take place in the future. Prophecy has been referred to as “forth telling” and “foretelling.”There is no better apologetic for the claim that the Bible is indeed the Word of God than prophecy. Speaking through Isaiah, God characterizes Himself as the God of prophecy and challenges the gods (i.e., the demons) behind the idols to prove their validity by their prophecies being fulfilled: “Let them bring them forth, and show us what shall happen : let them show the former things, what they be, that we may consider them, and know the latter end of them; or declare us things for to come. Show the things that are to come hereafter , that we may know that ye are gods: yea, do good, or do evil, that we may be dismayed, and behold it together” (Isaiah:41:22-23).
Only God knows the future. His prophecy is proof that He alone is God: “Let all the nations be gathered together, and let the people be assembled: who among them can declare this , and show us former things [things that had been spoken of in the past—foretold—and had now come to fruition]? let them bring forth their witnesses, that they may be justified: or let them hear, and say, It is truth. Ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me” (Isaiah:43:9-10). “Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done , saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure” (Isaiah:46:9-10). [Emphasis added]
More than a quarter of the Bible is predictive prophecy. Much of it centers on the person of Jesus Christ. In the Book of Genesis (3:15) the first prophecy is given indicating God’s solution through Jesus to reconcile mankind to Himself following the sin of Adam and Eve. Numerous very specific prophecies throughout the Old Testament are given so that Israel might look forward to and recognize Jesus as its Messiah, the “Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world” (John:1:29). All prophecies related to the first coming of Jesus Christ have been accurately fulfilled .
Even more prophecies are found in Scripture foretelling our Lord’s Second Coming. Not only do the prophecies deal with the person of Jesus, but they also address events and conditions of which believers need to be aware, both for encouragement and for their spiritual welfare. It’s a wonderful reassurance to recognize prophecy being fulfilled in our day.
Certainly the reestablishment of the nation of Israel in 1948 was a thrilling experience for all of those believers who were alive at the time. This event was an astonishing fulfillment of many prophecies such as Amos:9:14-15: “And I will bring again the captivity of my people of Israel, and they shall build the waste cities, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and drink the wine thereof; they shall also make gardens, and eat the fruit of them. And I will plant them on their land, and they shall no more be pulled up out of their land which I have given them, saith the LORD thy God.”
There is no denying that God’s words have been realized in modern Israel over the past six-plus decades. The land has become an agricultural phenomenon whose fruitfulness has fed much of Europe. Israel, against overwhelming odds from its beginning, has defeated the surrounding nations that were bent on its annihilation. In the wars that followed with those same nations, God has fulfilled His prophetic word that Israel “shall no more be pulled up out of their land which I have given them” (v. 15).
The Apostle Paul’s prophetic statement of a condition that is also being fulfilled in our time is another proof of the foreknowledge and accuracy of the Scriptures. He wrote this warning to Timothy: “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves…” (2 Timothy:3:1-2). We are certainly in such “perilous times” as psychology, specifically humanistic (self-love) psychotherapy, has dominated counseling and much preaching outside as well as inside the church.
Those are just a couple among numerous examples presented in Scripture that give believers insight into God’s prophetic timeline for the world and the church. They are a heads-up concerning what lies before us. A believer who disregards prophecy that foretells future events removes himself from the discernment that God has provided in His Word. He may find himself supporting programs and agendas that seem “right unto a man” but in fact are at odds with what the Scriptures tell us will take place. For example, if he supports a ministry that is attempting to transform or solve the problems of the world with the goal of ushering in the physical Kingdom of God, then he is unwittingly opposing the clear biblical teachings that tell us that the next kingdom to be manifested is the kingdom of the Antichrist.
There are also a host of abuses of biblical prophecy, such as the denial and mockery cited by Peter: “Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, and saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation. For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men” (2 Peter:3:3-7).
Furthermore, there are those who set themselves up as prophets similar to the false prophets about whom the Lord warned Jeremiah: “Then the LORD said unto me, The prophets prophesy lies in my name: I sent them not, neither have I commanded them, neither spake unto them: they prophesy unto you a false vision and divination, and a thing of nought, and the deceit of their heart” (Jeremiah:14:14).
Among the false prophets of our day are those who set dates for prophetic events. In the past, such false claims have instigated religious cults and doctrinally aberrational groups such as Jehovah’s Witnesses and Seventh-day Adventism. One of the latter’s major figures is Ellen G. White, who was alleged to have “the spirit of Prophecy” yet made numerous predictions that never came to pass. Besides a number of failed prophecies regarding the return of Jesus, she also predicted that the population of the earth (which was at 1.6 billion at the time) would decline due to many diseases. Today’s population of 7 billion proves her wrong. Just prior to the 20th century, Mrs. White prophesied that slavery would be revived in the Southern states. That has yet to take place and is contrary to US law.
The false prophecies of Jehovah’s Witnesses are also numerous and continuous. Early leaders C. T. Russell and Judge J. F. Rutherford made many false predictions about the coming of Jesus and Armageddon, i.e., the end of the world. Rutherford had a ten-room mansion built in San Diego, California, for those who would rule the earth. Among these coming leaders, he believed, would be King David and other Old Testament figures, who he taught would be appearing soon. The mansion featured a two-car garage with a 16-cylinder automobile deeded to King David.
The foremost prophet of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is Joseph Smith. His numerous declarations included a prediction (made in 1835) that Jesus would come in 56 years, that the New Jerusalem and its Temple would be built in his lifetime in Zion, Missouri, and that the US government would be “utterly overthrown and wasted” for its “wrongs committed upon the Saints in the state of Missouri” not the least of which was forcing Mormons to flee the state before Smith’s prophecy could be fulfilled.
Many of today’s false prophets, acting within the church (Acts:20:29-31), have been spawned by an alleged movement of the Holy Spirit that began in the 1940s in Saskatchewan, Canada.
A key figure in the movement (which has gone under the name of The Latter-rain/Manifest Sons of God) was a very influential “prophet” named William Branham. Branham’s false theology included Oneness Pentecostalism (a denial of the Trinity), works salvation, a false Jesus, restored prophets and apostles, Eve’s alleged sex with the serpent of Genesis 3, and the claim that the Egyptian pyramids are a revelation of God’s Word. Among his false prophecies are the return of Christ in 1977 and the impossibility of man’s reaching the moon. Nevertheless, he greatly influenced later “prophets” such as Paul Cain, Bob Jones, Kenneth Hagin, Oral Roberts, A. A. Allen, and, more recently, Rodney Howard Browne, Todd Bentley, and those involved in the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) under C. Peter Wagner’s guidance.
Branham’s claim to be guided and empowered by angels was allegedly passed on to those who were leading the “Toronto Blessing,” a sideshow of alleged manifestations that was supported by John Wimber and the Vineyard churches. Branham’s disciples and leaders in the Latter Rain movement, in the days shortly following his death, believed that God would physically restore him to life, an event that never happened.
Oral Roberts, who died in 2009, was the most prominent of the so-called “faith” healers as well as a false prophet. His “seed faith” teaching, which perverts biblical faith, duped multitudes of Christians into giving millions of dollars to him in order to get more from God for themselves. Roberts claimed that God told him to build the City of Faith Hospital, and a vision of a 900-foot Jesus confirmed that the project would be a success. In another appearance of “Jesus,” Roberts declared that he was instructed to use the medical school to find a cure for cancer. In 1989 the bankrupt medical school and hospital shut down for good. Roberts was not only endorsed by his fellow Faith and Prosperity teachers, but conservative Christians such as Billy Graham and Bill Bright also supported his ministry. Graham introduced Roberts at the World Congress on Evangelism in Berlin in 1966 and dedicated Oral Roberts University a few years later; Bright visited the university at Oral’s invitation and brought Campus Crusade to ORU in the early 1980s.
Today’s reigning false prophet is Trinity Broadcasting Network’s favorite, Benny Hinn. Despite the fact that his prophecies are false, ongoing, and go beyond the ludicrous, his supporters’ enthusiasm hasn’t faded. A few examples of Hinn’s false prophecies: he predicted that there would be rows of the dead in caskets next to a TV as they awaited the TBN preachers to successfully resurrect them; Fidel Castro would die in the ‘90s; the homosexual community in America would be destroyed no later than the mid-‘90s; Jesus would appear physically at Benny’s crusades in Nairobi, Kenya; the Rapture would occur in two years (prophesied in 1990, then again in 1997).
Although Benny Hinn is so well known, it’s possible that even more people have heard of Harold Camping. Camping generated his own date-setting publicity by spending $5 million of donations on billboards throughout the country. His predictions of the return of Jesus and the end of the world failed in 1994 and then again in 2011.
Failed prophecy isn’t the only sign that a person is not speaking words from the Lord. In Jeremiah:23:16-17, we are told that some prophets speak “a vision of their own heart, and not out of the mouth of the LORD…” claiming “ye shall have peace” and “No evil shall come upon you.” A recent example of this is Rodney Howard Browne, one of the initiators of what has been called the “laughing revival” that was manifested at the Toronto Airport Vineyard. Sobering up, at least to some degree, Browne sees a revival ahead and claims that God commissioned him to tell America and the church to get ready for it. Joining him in his revival-promoting conference Celebrate America was “rabbi” Jonathan Cahn, the author of Charisma Publishing’s The Harbinger . Cahn’s book corrupts the prophecies of Isaiah chapter 10, a judgment upon the Northern Kingdom of Israel, and misapplies them to the Islamic terrorist attack on New York City in 2001. That constitutes false prophecy. Despite the distortion of God’s Word, Cahn was featured on the cover of a conservative Christian discernment magazine with the title: “An End-Time Prophet to America.” No. This is “End-Time” delusion. (See The Harbinger: Fact or Fiction? )
Prophecy, as noted, is a very significant part of Scripture. The Apostle Paul used it on his missionary journeys to prove to the Jews that their Messiah had come in the person of Jesus Christ. The Old Testament prophets gave the messianic criteria, which Jesus had to and did fulfill perfectly. Biblical prophecy tells believers in our day what to expect prior to the Lord’s return for His saints—a period that Jesus characterized as a time of great deception (Matthew:24:4). As the world, professing Christianity, and the church demonstrate what Jesus warned about, there is no hint from Scripture or from the moral condition of the world, that either global or national reformation or revival is ahead, especially regarding the countries in the West.
So what is the situation today for biblical prophecy—that is, what the Bible actually says will take place? It is more critical than ever. Believers need to recognize its value in order to have discernment and to understand the times in which we live. Because of the importance however, Satan has flooded Christendom with false prophets uttering bogus prophecies that have seduced multitudes and subjected the Scriptures (true prophecy) to the confusion of believers and the ridicule of the world. Blood moons, conjured harbingers, setting dates for Christ’s return and the end of the world, a global revival, Bible codes and mystery interpretations, prophecies regarding America, the takeover (dominion) of the world by Christians, etc., may attract huge numbers of followers, but the paths lead to delusion at best and destruction at worst. The antidote for what may seem to be an overwhelming flood of deception is very simple and is available to every true believer: we all, by God’s grace, must be Bereans (Acts:17:11), diligently searching the Scriptures daily to know whether or not what is being taught or declared is true to the
Tuesday, August 5, 2014
By Michael Brown
I intend to bring a wake-up call and sound an alarm, as I take the trumpet to my lips: How should we be living today?
In a day in which we can watch videos of Christians being beheaded on our cellphones, while cities that have had a Christian presence for almost 2,000 years have been emptied of all believers by radical Muslims, how should we be living?
In a day in which civilian airplanes are being shot out of the sky, murdering a grandfather and his grandkids along with a mom and dad with their little daughter, plus a host of other unsuspecting passengers, how should we be living?
In a day in which the people of Israel find themselves surrounded by terrorists bent on their destruction, and the whole nation mourns as they bury their dead, while images of wounded and dead Palestinian infants fill our TV screens by the hour, how should we be living?
In a day in which sexual anarchy reigns in America, with reality-TV shows celebrating polygamy, polyamory, fornication and nudity, and an MTV star declares that "incest is hot," how should we be living?In a day in which Democratic leaders plan to run on an aggressive pro-abortion platform, promising to fight for a woman's "right" to a late-term abortion, while we continue to terminate the lives of 1 million babies every year, how should we be living?
In a day in which our president scorns the values on which our nation was founded and proclaims that sexual and romantic desires trump religious freedoms, while the courts overturn the will of the people in state after state, how should we be living?
In a day in which historic Christian denominations have completely capitulated to culture, and prominent Christian leaders choose political correctness over faithfulness to God's Word, how should we be living?
More than 40 years ago, Leonard Ravenhill wrote, "When a nation calls its prime men to battle, homes are broken, weeping sweethearts say their good-byes, businesses are closed, college careers are wrecked, factories are refitted for wartime production, and rationing and discomforts are accepted—all for war. Can we do less for the greatest fight that this world has ever known outside of the cross—this end-time siege on sanity, morality and spirituality?"
What would Ravenhill be saying today? How should we be living?
In the year 2000, in the Jesus Manifesto, I wrote: "The cat is out of the bag. The secret is no longer a secret. Anti-God forces are after the soul of our nation, and if we don't wake up now, if we don't take a stand now, if we don't repent and pray and rise and speak and act now, then instead of this great country being 'the land of the free and the home of the brave', our nation could become 'the land of sleaze and home of the depraved.' We need a revolution!"
That was almost 15 years ago, and things have deteriorated quite rapidly since then. How should we be living?Even in the best of times, the devil is still on the prowl, lives are still being destroyed, the Name of Jesus is still being blasphemed, and billions of souls still hang in the balance. How then should we be living?
As Paul wrote to the Romans, "knowing the time, it is already the hour for you to wake up from sleep, for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. The night is nearly over, and the daylight is near, so let us discard the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. Let us walk with decency, as in the daylight: not in carousing and drunkenness; not in sexual impurity and promiscuity; not in quarreling and jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no plans to satisfy the fleshly desires" (Rom. 13:11-14).
The time for slumber and playing games is long past, and the time for complacency is gone.
The harvest is ripe, the needs are overwhelming, and the potential is extraordinary.
The power of God is totally available, and the Lord Jesus is enthroned in power, ready to send, anoint and bless and use.
It is time to wake up, stand up and show up.
Not tomorrow. Not next year. Not somewhere else. But today, this year, where you live, right now.
How should we be living? "For the eyes of Yahweh roam throughout the earth to show Himself strong for those whose hearts are completely His" (2 Chron. 16:9).
Live with such wholehearted devotion that the Lord will show Himself strong on your behalf.
You will never have a regret.
That is how we should be living.
Saturday, August 2, 2014
Maybe your scenario is different, but what holds true is that parents carry heavy heart-burdens for their unconverted children to know the Lord. And, by God’s good design, many children born into believing families will one day believe themselves. But stressed out moms and weary dads with tear-stained pillows are tempted to give up and ask, “Can God save my child?” Let me share with you some encouragement to press on in seeking your child’s salvation.
Demon possessed children have been freed
The dominion of sin in the life of unconverted children is devastating. You have seen this controlling evil bring great harm to your child, and realize that they must be freed from its authority. In Mark 9:14-29 we find Jesus speaking with a father whose son has a spirit that makes him mute, throws him into fire and into water, makes him foam at the mouth, and convulses him violently. From birth, this has been reality for the boy and his father. From birth, the father has been helpless to save his son—and this drives him to Jesus.
When he finally makes his way to Jesus, the father says, “If you can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.” Jesus responds, “If you can! All things are possible for the one who believes.” Immediately the father cries, “I believe; help my unbelief!” (v. 22-24) After Jesus saw the father’s heart of desperation and belief, He commanded the spirit to come out from the boy.
Is there anything too hard for God? Does Jesus really have the power to set your child free from the demon-like possession of sin? The response of Christ to the heart that questions His ability and willingness to save is one of exasperation, “If you can!” (v. 23) It is also one of compassion, “You mute and deaf spirit, I command you, come out of him and never enter him again.” (v. 25) Stop allowing the impossibility of your child’s situation to keep you from Jesus. Rather, let it drive you to Him.
Dead children have been raised
It is likely that you have correctly equated you child’s lostness to spiritual death. You have seen that the only answer to death is resurrection. This is initially a hopeless realization, because you cannot do what must be done. A father in Mark 5:21-43 finds himself thinking something similar when he falls at the feet of Jesus saying, “My little daughter is at the point of death. Come and lay your hands on her, so that she may be made well and live.” (v. 23) Upon hearing this, Jesus goes with the man to meet his daughter.
Before Jesus arrives at the father’s home, news comes that the little girl has already died. There is no need for Jesus now, they say. The desperate hope of the father has turned to grief. Jesus responds, “Do not fear, only believe.” (v. 36) Confidence must never rest upon the situation, but upon the Savior Himself.
Jesus then arrives at the home to a wild commotion of weeping and sorrow, and assures the people that the little girl is only sleeping. She clearly has died according to those mourning, and the mention of “sleeping” causes the people to laugh at Jesus. They have come to the hopeless realization that there is nothing they can do to help the dead little girl. To them, sleeping requires someone to wake her, which they could do. To Jesus, death requires that someone raise her, which He can do. And so we read, “Taking her by the hand he said to her, ‘Talitha cumi,’ which means, ‘Little girl, I say to you, arise.’” (v. 41) The little girl that had died got out of bed as if she had only been sleeping.
Lost children can be found
Perhaps you have laughed in unbelief at someone who spoke of your child, “He is not beyond the grace of God,” or “she is not too lost for Jesus to find.” In your heart you respond hopelessly, “She is dead! He is utterly lost!” Jesus tells you with stern tenderness, “Do not fear, only believe.” Will you trust God with your children, or will you doubt?
Let your children see you full of faith as you pray for their conversion and share with them this Jesus who casts none away who come to Him in faith. Model for them confidence in God, rather than confidence in you own parenting skills.
Before asking whether or not God can save your child, remember what He has done for others. Remember what He has done for you. Death to life is the necessity for the wayward teen and the obedient one alike. The Savior and His once-lost sheep share this—they were dead, but now they live. So take heart, death is as sleep to the living God.