Tag Archives: Christianity

Sin Distorts

          The Lord woke me in the middle of the night and said, “get a pen and paper and write down everything I tell you.” I quietly rolled out of bed, not wanting to wake my wife, and did as He instructed.

          As soon as I sat down the Lord began to speak to me about my life and ministry. After a page and a half of correction, instruction, and exhortation, the Lord made this final statement to me,

“Don’t let sin distort your reflection of Me. I will confirm this word with a sign following to seal it in your heart.”

          Seven days later while starting my daily routine, I was taking a prayer walk around a nearby lake as the sun came up. As I was walking and fellowshipping with the Lord, He instructed me to go sit on a certain bench that was facing the lake. As I sat down on the bench and looked out across the lake, I was mesmerized by what I saw.

          The lake was completely still, not a ripple or a wave of any kind. It was a perfect mirror. Being a fisherman, I have been on many bodies of water early in the morning and seen water so still that you almost didn’t want to touch it and disturb its stillness. This was something more than that.

          As I looked across the lake I could see the shoreline on the other side. I saw the rich green grass rising from the edge of the water with huge Live Oaks on the other side topped off by a beautiful blue sky with a few puffy white clouds. As I looked at this scene, I saw that the reflection in the lake was a perfect mirror image of what I was seeing.

          As I focused on the reflection in the water I realized that this reflected image is such a perfect representation of the real thing, that if I didn’t know this was a reflection from the lake I would not be able to tell the difference.

          As I was having this thought, amazed at this perfect reflection, a tiny fish jumped in the middle of the lake, right in my line of sight. I sat and watched as the ripples from that tiny fish slowly spread over the entire lake, distorting that perfect reflection that I was admiring.

          Then the Lord spoke, “Don’t let sin distort your reflection of Me.” This was the sign that sealed the things He spoke to me in my heart.

JC.

Something Beautiful I learned about God.

          I love how God reveals Himself to His children. He knows just how to speak to us in a way that is so personal and intimate that it makes us fall that much more in love with Him.

          While listening to a minister teach on the fall of man, the minister made reference to Genesis 3 when Adam and Eve heard God walking in the garden and hid themselves. He went through the questions that God was asking in verses 9-13, “Where are you Adam?” “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten of the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?” “What have you done?” The minister then made this statement, Of course God knew the answers to these questions, He knows everything. He was saying this for Adam’s sake.”

          Right after the minister spoke those words, the Lord spoke to me and said, “I don’t always use My foreknowledge.” I must say, that shocked me. However, I knew it was the Lord. I recalled in Genesis 22 how Abraham took his son Isaac to the top of the mountain to sacrifice him and the angel of the Lord stopped him and said, “now I know that you fear God.”

          Instead of using His foreknowledge. God, FATHER God, will choose the wonderful discovery process of relationship over His foreknowledge every time. He loves the spontaneity, the anticipation, the surprises of growing in intimacy with His children. Then He spoke this to me,

I gave man his creativity so I could be surprised at how he loves Me with it.”

We truly are here for His good pleasure. I am thinking of how many times God has surprised me and my family. Now I’m thinking about how I can surprise Him.

I’ve been crying for three days!

JC

Truth about the Rapture

           Let me first say, I am not attacking any person or ministry I am attacking what I now believe to be a false doctrine that is popular in many Church circles.

          My hope is that this will enlighten folks to the truth before it is too late. My own church teaches a pre-trib rapture and I may get some heat for posting this but I am not afraid to challenge teaching that I believe is hurting the ones I love. So, he who has ears to hear, let him hear.

          As far as I can tell there are only four passages in the bible that teach us plainly, openly, and directly about the rapture so I am only going to use those four.

        The first of these passages is found in Mathew 24.

Now, this is Jesus talking. Red letters in my Bible. I think He is the highest authority qualified to teach about the rapture. Pay attention to the text.

Matthew 24:29-31

“Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 30 Then will appear in heaven the sign of the Son of Man, and then 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. 31 And he will send out his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

          Look at the opening phrase of verse 29. “Immediately after the tribulation of those days…”  Jesus is speaking to His disciples, and the Church, about what we will experience and go through before we (the Elect) are gathered from the four winds, or as we like to call it, “raptured.”

          Just to make sure we understand what Jesus is referring to when He said, “the tribulation of those days,” we will read everything in chapter 24 leading up to verse 29 so we are clear on what tribulation Jesus is talking about.

Matthew 24:3-28

As He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?” And Jesus answered them, “See that no one leads you astray. For many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and they will lead many astray. And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not alarmed, for this must take place, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are but the beginning of the birth pains.

“Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for my name’s sake. 10 And then many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another. 11 And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. 12 And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold. 13 But the one who endures to the end will be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come. 15 “So when you see the abomination of desolation spoken of by the prophet Daniel, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand), 16 then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. 17 Let the one who is on the housetop not go down to take what is in his house, 18 and let the one who is in the field not turn back to take his cloak. 19 And alas for women who are pregnant and for those who are nursing infants in those days! 20 Pray that your flight may not be in winter or on a Sabbath. 21 For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, and never will be. 22 And if those days had not been cut short, no human being would be saved. But for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short. 23 Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. 24 For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect. 25 See, I have told you beforehand. 26 So, if they say to you, ‘Look, he is in the wilderness,’ do not go out. If they say, ‘Look, he is in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it. 27 For as the lightning comes from the east and shines as far as the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. 28 Wherever the corpse is, there the vultures will gather.

          I am not sure that I could help by elaborating on the stark clarity of the above text. However, I will make a few comments. In verse 15. The abomination of desolation spoken by Daniel standing in the holy place. This I believe is an obvious reference to the antichrist and his actions after his rise to power. After his rise to power, vs, 21 says there will be great tribulation, and those days being shortened for the elect’s sake. False prophets trying to lead astray the Elect. This sounds like tribulation to me. I know some pre trib doctrine say that the “elect” are the 144 thousand, and that is true but it is also the church He is talking about the ones chosen for the high honor of living in this extraordinary time.

Lets look at the other verses.

2 Thessalonians 2:1-12

Now concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered together to him, we ask you, brothers, not to be quickly shaken in mind or alarmed, either by a spirit or a spoken word, or a letter seeming to be from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come. (Note: according to Paul, the “the coming of our Lord, our being gathered to Him, and the day of the Lord” are the same day.)

Let no one deceive you in any way. For that day will not come, unless the rebellion comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, who opposes and exalts himself against every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God.  (Note: We are going to see this great falling away and the Anti-Christ and his abomination of desolation with our eyes!) Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you these things? And you know what is restraining him now so that he may be revealed in his time. For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work. Only he who now restrains it will do so until he is out of the way. And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will kill with the breath of his mouth and bring to nothing by the appearance of his coming. The coming of the lawless one is by the activity of Satan with all power and false signs and wonders, 10 and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. 11 Therefore God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false, 12 in order that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

1 Thessalonians 4:13-17

But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. 14 For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep. 15 For this we declare to you by a word from the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore encourage one another with these words.

1 Corinthians 15:51-52

Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed.

          These last two passages speak about a trumpet blast but 1 Corinthians makes it clear WHAT trumpet. Is it the seventh trumpet in Revelation 11? Or is the trump of God different than the seven trumpets in Revelation like many of the pre-trib doctrines try to explain away? It is The LAST trumpet! Meaning there will be NO OTHER TRUMPETS AFTER THIS ONE. PERIOD! So, this is CLEARLY the seventh trumpet in Revelation 11. If it is not, then the trumpet would have to come after the seventh trumpet or it would not be THE LAST.

        To even start believing in this foolishness we first had to learn it from another man. Maybe a father or a pastor, or some teacher we trust, we just didn’t learn it from the bible. No matter what theological gymnastics we use we can’t get around this being the Last Trumpet. We can use other

passages of the Bible to imply or infer a pre trib rapture, we can even try and project or convey our interpretation of prophecy onto these text, BUT WE WILL NOT FIND IT IN ANY TEXT!

Here is a letter from Corrie Ten Boom. I think she is uniquely qualified to comment on tribulation and persecution.

Corrie Ten Boom’s Letter

          In 1974 Corrie Ten Boom wrote a letter to warn Christians about the false teaching of the pre-tribulation rapture.

          This is a portion of that letter. If you would like to read the entire letter click here: (Corrie Ten Boom’s letter of warning)

 “There are some among us teaching there will be no tribulation, that the Christians will be able to escape all this. These are the false teachers that Jesus was warning us to expect in the latter days. Most of them have little knowledge of what is already going on across the world. I have been in countries where the saints are already suffering terrible persecution.

In China, the Christians were told, “Don’t worry, before the tribulation comes you will be translated – raptured.” Then came a terrible persecution. Millions of Christians were tortured to death. Later I heard a Bishop from China say, sadly,

“We have failed. We should have made the people strong for persecution, rather than telling them Jesus would come first. Tell the people how to be strong in times of persecution, how to stand when the tribulation comes, to stand and not faint.”

I feel I have a divine mandate to go and tell the people of this world that it is possible to be strong in the Lord Jesus Christ. We are in training for the tribulation, but more than sixty percent of the Body of Christ across the world has already entered into the tribulation. There is no way to escape it. We are next.

Since I have already gone through prison for Jesus’ sake, and since I met the Bishop in China, now every time I read a good Bible text I think, “Hey, I can use that in the time of tribulation.” Then I write it down and learn it by heart.

When I was in the concentration camp, a camp where only twenty percent of the women came out alive, we tried to cheer each other up by saying, “Nothing could be any worse than today.” But we would find the next day was even worse. During this time a Bible verse that I had committed to memory gave me great hope and joy.

If you are reviled for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. Make sure that none of you suffers as a murderer, or thief, or evildoer, or a troublesome meddler; but if anyone suffers as a Christian, he is not to be ashamed, but is to glorify God in this name. (1 Peter 4:14-15)

I found myself saying, “Hallelujah! Because I am suffering (for the name of Christ), Jesus is glorified!”

In America, the churches sing, “Let the congregation escape tribulation”, but in China and Africa the tribulation has already arrived. This last year alone more than two hundred thousand Christians were martyred in Africa. Now things like that never get into the newspapers because they cause bad political relations. But I know. I have been there. We need to think about that when we sit down in our nice houses with our nice clothes to eat our steak dinners. Many, many members of the Body of Christ are being tortured to death at this very moment, yet we continue right on as though we are all going to escape the tribulation.”

JC

What you may not know about God’s Mercy

          While watching a discussion on social media with A troubled young woman reaching out for help, she asked this question.  

“If God is so good, why did he kill all those people in the flood and send them to hell?”

          That is a legitimate question… If they are in fact, in hell.

But they are NOT. They are in Heaven with the Master!

          Let me show in scripture.

Romans 5:13       

for sin indeed was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not counted where there is no law. 

Romans 4:15

For the law brings wrath, but where there is no law there is no transgression.

          Sin is not counted where there is no law because without the law there can be no transgression. God did not destroy these people out of anger, He did it because of His great Love and mercy!

          They were already completely devoid of spiritual life and since there was no law to show them their condition and point to their need for God, they would have only gotten worse and reproduced more people with the same horrible condition.

          So, in God’s great wisdom and mercy, He pushed the reset button and destroyed them all except those on the Ark.

          So, where are they now? Still in hell? Heaven? Let’s look at the scripture.

1 Peter 3:18-20

For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit, 19 in which he went and proclaimed to the spirits in prison, 20 because they formerly did not obey, when God’s patience waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through water. 

          One of the amazing things Jesus did in the three days between His death and resurrection is go to hell, snatch the keys of death, hell, and the grave, and preach to those who were in prison there. Although this verse only mentions those in Noah’s flood, He preached to ALL those who died without the Law.

Let’s take a closer look at Romans 5:14

Romans 5:14

death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sinning was not like the transgression of Adam, who was a type of the one who was to come.

          How was Adam’s sin different from all those who came after? Because Adam was not born with a sin nature. He had a choice. Everybody else, including you, are born with a fallen sin nature that was no fault of their own.

          God knows that it is not your fault that you act the way you do. He knows it wasn’t your choice to be born into sin. That is why He sent Jesus to buy back mankind and give us a choice that would allow us to live under His power and authority while still on earth, tethered to our fallen nature. It is an amazing mystery!

          The first Adam made a wrong choice that effected and infected all of mankind. The last Adam, Jesus, never said yes to sin and took back death’s reign over mankind. Death is no longer in control… Unless you choose it.

          God is just. His judgements are righteous judgements. Don’t question God’s love and mercy because you misunderstand the mystery.

          ALL those who died without the Law are now in heaven.

JC

The Mind of Christ and God’s glory

Colossians 1:24-27

Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church, 25 of which I became a minister according to the stewardship from God that was given to me for you, to make the word of God fully known, 26 the mystery hidden for ages and generations but now revealed to his saints. 27 To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.

          According to Paul, the mystery of the gospel is this: “Christ in you, the hope of glory.”

          So, what exactly does that mean? Who’s hope? Who’s glory?

          It is the Father’s hope that when you receive the seed of Christ into your heart it produces the fruit of His glory. In this instance the word “glory” refers to any made seen or made known attribute of God.

          For instance, a miracle of healing is the glory of God made seen and known. Gifts of the Spirit are the glory of God revealed. Feeding the poor in the name of Christ is the glory of God made known. Acts of Love, forgiveness, mercy, kindness, these all make God seen and known.

          Think of it this way.

“Christ in you, the hope of making God seen and known.”

          For us to reach our highest expression of giving glory to God we must have the mind of Christ. So, what is the mind of Christ?

          Many would say, “The Word of God is the mind of Christ.” It is true that reading and studying the Bible will renew our minds to God’s way of thinking, the mind of Christ is simply a mindset. It is the realization that I can do nothing of myself. I can do nothing of my own free will.

John 5:19-30

So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing. For whatever the Father does, that the Son does likewise. 20 For the Father loves the Son and shows him all that he himself is doing. And greater works than these will he show him, so that you may marvel. 21 For as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, so also the Son gives life to whom he will. 22 For the Father judges no one, but has given all judgment to the Son, 23 that all may honor the Son, just as they honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him. 24 Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.

25 “Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming, and is now here, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live. 26 For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself. 27 And he has given him authority to execute judgment, because he is the Son of Man. 28 Do not marvel at this, for an hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear his voice 29 and come out, those who have done good to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil to the resurrection of judgment.

Witnesses to Jesus

30 “I can do nothing on my own. As I hear, I judge, and my judgment is just, because I seek not my own will but the will of him who sent me.

          This understanding puts us all on a level playing field. It doesn’t matter if we have served God faithfully for decades or was just born again yesterday, we can submit our free will to God’s will. We can lay down our sovereignty at His feet and become the express image of His person just like Jesus.

          If we live our lives in complete submission to Him we will give Him glory in everything we do.

         

JC

Reckon Yourself Dead to Sin

Romans 6:11 Likewise, you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

          So, what does it mean to “reckon yourself to be dead to sin?” Many translations render this phrase “consider yourself to be dead,” but what does that look like?

          Another good word for “reckon” is “believe.” You must believe that you are dead to sin. But that is not the end of the verse. You must also reckon (believe) that you are ALIVE TO GOD in Christ Jesus! So, what it really means is to stop believing and thinking of yourself as a “sinner,” and start believing you are a forgiven, redeemed son of God.

          The problem is: thinking and believing does not change automatically, it is changed by what you continually look at and meditate on. Without daily reading and hearing the Word of God you will stay focused on your failures and shortcomings and never actually become what Jesus paid for.

          Filling your heart and mind with the gospel builds faith and displaces doubt and wrong thinking. It changes how you see yourself and how you speak about yourself.

          The Bible says that “out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.” (Luke 6:45 Matthew 12:33-37)

          What is in your heart and mind (believer and thinker) will eventually come out of your mouth, and that is the other thing that must change.

          You will never be free from sin while keeping it in your language!

          So, stop talking about how normal it is for you to sin. Stop saying, “We all sin! Everybody sins! You know you are always going to sin!” You must STOP talking about your sin and the sins of others and STOP filling your prayer life with wrong confessions of how sinful and unworthy we are. STOP BOASTING IN YOUR ABILITY TO SIN!

That is NOT humility, it is BLASPHEMY! HE MADE YOU WORTHY!

          Talking and thinking that way is “reckoning” (considering, believing) yourself alive to sin. It is saying that sin still has power over you, and therefore suggests that the finished work of Jesus did not actually accomplish anything for you.

Sin only has power over you if empower it.

          IF you do miss it and sin, run to God, and declare “I am sorry, that is NOT who I am Lord! That is certainly not what You look like in me! Thank you for making me clean and transforming me into your image. Thank you for perfecting your work in me and bringing me to the place where this is not an issue anymore. Thank you for your blood! Thank you for redeeming me!” That is what repenting looks like after you have been saved.

           Understand that you have a new identity that was purchased by the blood of Christ. Without your constant exposure to God’s Word, you will never find out who you are, and who you were created to be. Here are some scriptures that tell you who you are:

“You are sanctified.” (Hebrews 10:10)

“You have been perfected.” (Hebrews 10:14)

“You are the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus.” (2 Corinthians 5:21)

“You are holy, blameless, and above reproach in His sight.” (Colossians 1:22)

 “You are chosen by God, without blame, an adopted son, accepted, redeemed by His blood and forgiven by His grace.” (Ephesians 1:4-7)

          To truly live the abundant life in Christ you must die to your fallen, carnal nature. For you to be successful at this you will need constant intake and exposure to the Word of God.  

Your Bible and your relationship with the Word of God is the vital key to dying to sin. So, give yourself to reading and listening to the Word and boast in Him and what He has done!

Black History in the Bible.

February is Black History Month. Do you know the black history in the Bible?

There are many captivating stories in the Bible. The Word of God is rich with intrigue and full of fascinating, true stories of African queens, kings, and other influential black people who made substantial contributions to our world. Black history in the Bible will amaze and inspire you!

The Queen of Sheba: Queen of Ethiopia

The name of the Queen of Sheba was actually Makeda. She ruled a rich kingdom and was a wise and very beautiful queen. When she heard of the fame of King Solomon concerning the Lord, she came to Jerusalem to test him with hard questions. She came with a very great caravan with camels carrying spices, and lots of gold and precious stones. When she met him, she told him all she had on her mind and he answered all her questions. She was amazed at his wisdom, his house, the food on his table, his officials, and all that he had acquired. It took her breath away. In an act of honor, she gave him 120 talents of gold and a very great quantity of spices and precious stones. Never again was there such an abundance of spices as those the Queen of Sheba gave to King Solomon. In response, King Solomon gave the Queen of Sheba all that she desired; whatever she asked was given to her. Having richly blessed the king, she returned to her own country, also richly blessed. (1 Kings 10:1-14; NIV)

Zipporah: Ethiopian wife of Moses who saved his life

The Lord told Moses to go back to Egypt to bring the Israelites out of bondage. On the way, Moses, with his wife, Zipporah, and their sons, stopped to lodge for the night. The Lord met Moses there and was about to kill him. Evidently, this was because Moses had failed to circumcise his son. Acting quickly, Zipporah took a flint knife, circumcised her son, and touched Moses feet with the foreskin. So, the Lord let him live. Zipporah, Moses Ethiopian wife, had sensed the reason for God’s displeasure with Moses and reacted quickly to save her husband’s life. He went on to fulfill his destiny, so that Israel could fulfill theirs. Where would we be without Zipporah? (Exodus 4:18-31; NIV) & (Genesis 17:9-14; NIV)

Ebed-Melech: Ethiopian who saved the life of Jeremiah the Prophet

Ebed-Melech was an Ethiopian eunuch and servant of the king. At that time, Jeremiah, a prophet in Israel, had prophesied, “Whoever stays in this city will die by the sword, famine or plague. But whoever goes out and surrenders to the Babylonians who are besieging you will live;” and the city would be handed over to the army of the King of Babylon. As Ebed-Melech served in his royal duties, he overhead some men conspiring to kill Jeremiah by putting him in a cistern- a well with no water but plenty of mud. He immediately went to the king and told him what the men had done to Jeremiah. The king told him to take thirty men and lift Jeremiah out of the cistern before he died. Ebed-Melech was responsible for saving the life of Jeremiah the Prophet. The Lord was so pleased with Ebed-Melech’s efforts he told Jeremiah to tell him, “Though Israel will fall, I will rescue him because he trusted in me.” (Jeremiah 38:1-13; ESV) & (Jeremiah 39:15-18; ESV)

Simon of Cyrene: African man who carried the cross of Jesus

On the day of Jesus’ execution, he was brutally beaten, then forced to carry his heavy cross through the streets of Jerusalem to the place where they were going to execute him. On the way, the Roman garrison seized Simon from Cyrene (Cyrene is in Northern Africa) as he was on his way in from the country. They forced the cross on him and made him carry it behind Jesus. On the most important day in history, the Lord inserted Simon in the story. He carried the cross of Christ. (Luke 23:26; NIV)

Ethiopian Eunuch: Came to Jerusalem to worship the Lord

An angel of the Lord told Philip to go to Gaza and he met an Ethiopian eunuch on the way. This man was an important court official in charge of all the treasury of Candace, Queen of the Ethiopians. He had come to Jerusalem to worship and was returning, seated in his chariot, reading the prophet Isaiah. The Holy Spirit told Philip, “Go over and join this chariot.” When Philip heard him reading Isaiah, he asked if he understood what he was reading. The Ethiopian Eunuch said he needed someone to explain it to him. Philip told him all about the good news of Jesus. He obviously received Jesus as his savior, because, coming to a body of water, he asked Philip to baptize him. The Ethiopian Eunuch then went on his way rejoicing in the Lord. (Acts 8:27-39; ESV)

(From Breaking Christian News)

God’s Perspective on Politics

The Wimpy Western Church

JESUS IS COMING!

          Of that we can be sure, yet the urgency of this truth is virtually absent in the church today. Why?

“We have become far too familiar with a God we barely know.”

          Familiarity breeds unbelief. We see that example in the life of Jesus. Even He could do no mighty works in His hometown because of their familiarity with Him. They could not believe that this Jesus, whom they saw grow up as a carpenter’s son could be the Christ, or even a prophet. Their familiarity with His life and history hindered their faith.

Mark 6:4-6 And Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor, except in his hometown and among his relatives and in his own household.” And he could do no mighty work there, except that he laid his hands on a few sick people and healed them. And he marveled because of their unbelief. And he went about among the villages teaching.

          We see very few mighty works in the church nowadays. The fear of God is no longer on His people. We no longer tremble at His word. We treat what is holy as common. We seek for blessings, benefits, and prosperity far more than we seek Him. We have reduced the gospel of Christ to a self-serving message with a free ticket to heaven. We run the church house like a business and measure its success by prosperity and headcount. We emphasize wrong doctrines about tithing and giving, compelling people to give so the “gospel ship” can stay afloat. We are lukewarm and loving it.

          The Lord has much to say about being lukewarm.

Revelation 3:15-19 I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! 16 So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth. 17 For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked. 18 I counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire, so that you may be rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself and the shame of your nakedness may not be seen, and salve to anoint your eyes, so that you may see. 19 Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent.

          The Lords counsels us to buy from Him “Gold tried in the fire.” So, what exactly does that mean? What is the gold tried in fire? It is our faith…and it is expensive! It will require suffering. Its going to cost us everything! We “buy” this precious faith by following the Lord at all costs, by laying down every aspect of our lives and submitting our free will to the will of the King.

          Every great man and woman of faith in the Bible went through tremendous trials and persecution. Abraham and Sarah, Jacob, King David, Joseph, Daniel, Paul, John, Peter, and the list goes on. Yet we pray against the trial. We rebuke the fire. We resist persecution, let alone count it as joy. We get surprised and even upset, questioning God about why this is happening instead of straightening our shoulders, lifting our chins, and shining through the difficulty as a witness to who we are.

1 Peter 4:12-19 Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. 13 But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed. 14 If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. 15 But let none of you suffer as a murderer or a thief or an evildoer or as a meddler. 16 Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in that name17 For it is time for judgment to begin at the household of God; and if it begins with us, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God? 18 And “If the righteous is scarcely saved, what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?” 19 Therefore let those who suffer according to God’s will entrust their souls to a faithful Creator while doing good.

          Make no mistake about it. “IT IS GODS WILL FOR CHRISTIANS TO SUFFER!” We don’t want to hear that though. We like to hear about the blessing, the healing, the prosperity.

          We need to quit being spiritual wimps and READ OUR BIBLES so we know what God expects from us. He who has ears to hear let him hear.

“It is time for Judgment to begin at the house of the Lord.”

Preparing for Revival #2