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Wednesday
Mar302011

World Without End Begins With His Return

Last fall in South Africa there was a gathering of the global church to discuss world evangelization. Here is a description from the website of the Lausanne Congress on World Evangelism.

Over 4,000 leaders from 198 countries were together in Cape Town, South Africa, to confront the critical issues of our time as they relate to the future of the Church and world evangelization.

 

I am sure that most of the presentations given had to do with the strategy of meeting the physical needs of people in places of the world who live from day to day without the necessities of life. Who would argue with this?  Of course we feed the poor, clothe the naked, give drink to those who thirst.  As a result of our showing compassion and love, our hope is that people will respond to the message that God loves them, and that Jesus is the way, the truth and the life. However, as I interviewed a participant who went to Cape Town about the event, he was glowing with reports of how social justice was being lived out throughout the world, and Christians were leading the way. Now, don't get me wrong, I think these kind of reports shows that God is at work through His Church.  What I was stunned by was the lack of preaching on the return of Jesus Christ. 

We live in a day when the news from around the world is living out the prophetic words of scripture, and the gathering of the worlds leading Christians never focus on it, not even once?   I don't want to be critical but let's be honest and truthful.  The blessed hope of the Church, global and otherwise, is the return of Jesus Christ. The conditions in our world read like Matthew 24, and we don't notice?  How can we be a prophetic voice in our world without giving people the hope of His return?  We are closer today than ever to a one world government with one global financial system.  We are experiencing more devastating earthquakes in varying places in our world, and yet we are silent about these signs?  Then there is the issue of deception in the church, as the new evangelical voices of the emergent church are leading people away from Christ, not toward Him. All these signs and more are in our faces everyday. So how is it that when we gather 4,000 global Christians together to inspire them about evangelism, we say nothing about these signs as forewarnings of His return? How can that be? 

This is not a critique on what was said in Cape Town, it is an observation of what was missed. Most Christians don't want to engage in prophetic discussion, they don't care, and it doesn't matter to them. However the news headlines continue to remind us that we are living like those in Noah's day before the flood, unaware of the pending disaster about to come upon us.  

Here is a link that I think keeps it honest and truthful!  Until next time.....K

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qNZvfiKrJHo&feature=related

Tuesday
Mar292011

Characteristics of A World at End

"See that no one leads you astray"  the very first words Jesus tells His disciples as he begins His remarks in Matthew 24 about the last days of this world. Jesus tells us that the world will experience wars, famines, earthquakes, persecution, Christians will be hated, false prophets, lawlessness will prevail, and the love of people will grow cold.  Now that's a list! 

People have been telling me that their pastors won't comment on these kinds of things, because the end times are too controversial, too volatile, too upsetting to the congregation. Hummmmmm, yet Jesus thought it important to place these predictions in His book, helping us to get ready for what is going to happen. 

Here is a glimpse of what Jesus said will happen to our earth from Revelation 8:

7The first angel blew his trumpet, and there followed hail and fire, mixed with blood, and these were thrown upon the earth. And a third of the earth was burned up, and a third of the trees were burned up, and all green grass was burned up.

 
8The second angel blew his trumpet, and something like a great mountain, burning with fire, was thrown into the sea, and a third of the sea became blood.  9A third of the living creatures in the sea died, and a third of the ships were destroyed.

 
10The third angel blew his trumpet, and a great star fell from heaven, blazing like a torch, and it fell on a third of the rivers and on the springs of water.  11The name of the star is Wormwood. A third of the waters became wormwood, and many people died from the water, because it had been made bitter.

Frightful, yes if we aren't right with God. 

Hey pastors wake up! You have a job to do, and it's not easy to do what what you have been called to do.  However, you are called to teach, comfort, warn, and preach the truth the way the Bible teaches it.  Stop being Dr Phil in the pulpit and give your congregation what it needs, not more of you, but more of Him.  

The overriding characteristic of the end of this world as we know it is "deception."  That is what Jesus taught. 

Listen Church, deception doesn't come afar, but from within. YOU are the target of the new Christian voices and your young people are the most vulnerable to these new voices. 

Here is one case in point.  Did you know that the cross is a distraction to God....if this wasn't so tragic, it's laughable.  Until next time, keep it honest and truthful.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8SOUfsX2fbk

 


  

 

Monday
Mar282011

How Prepared Are We?

In Matthew 25, Jesus tells a parable about ten virgins waiting for their bridegroom to come. Now what are we taking about here? How is it that there are ten women, waiting for one bridegroom?  Doesn't anyone think this is a bit excessive, or even immoral?  However, it's a parable, a story with a lesson tied to it.  This 25th chapter of Matthew is talking about the Kingdom of God, and these ten virgins are waiting for the coming of the Messiah. Of the ten virgins, five were foolish and five were wise, and today you and I are in one of those camps. There are many lamps of religion, the mechanisms by which light or truth is seen, however it's the oil that makes the light work. Since Jesus was addressing His people, the Jews, I often wonder if He was referring to them as the five foolish virgins. Yes, they had the structure of the lamp of religion, but failed to find Him as the oil of the lamp.  

It occurred to me recently, that a person can have all the trappings, the structure of an outward relationship with God, but be like the foolish virgins because they really don't know Him.  Jesus said this in Matthew 7:

 21“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.  22On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’  23And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’

Many have the structure of the lamp today, they go to church, and say they are Christians, but their hearts have no interest in surrendering to Him as Lord of their lives.  As we watch the world around us shake with earthquakes, and war, we are reminded these are the signs of His soon return.  Are you ready?  David Wilkerson has been preaching a message for 50 years warning it is time to get ready and get right with God. He speaks about a word we rarely hear preached today, "repentance" a turning away from sin, or a lifestyle unbecoming of a follower of Jesus. Being prepared, starts with a heart that repents, because repentance is how we fill our lamps with the oil of His Grace. 

David Wilkerson is not for the faint of heart, but his message is needed in today's church.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6eruJ4GmAho&feature=youtube_gdata_player

 

Ask yourself, be honest, am I ready?  Have I surrendered my life to God?  Is my lamp full or empty today? 

 

Until next time....keep it honest and truthful......K

Friday
Mar252011

Can Anything Good Come From a F-word?

Now before you think I have gone crazy with the link I am about to share with you, please hear me out. 

Pastors, like so many other commentators in the media, need to come up with unique ways of getting their message across. The Apostle Paul agrees that it we are to take extreme measures at times to make a point.

1 Corinthians 9:19-22

 19For though I am free from all, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win more of them.  20To the Jews I became as a Jew, in order to win Jews. To those under the law I became as one under the law (though not being myself under the law) that I might win those under the law.  21To those outside the law I became as one outside the law (not being outside the law of God but under the law of Christ) that I might win those outside the law.  22To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some.

The point Paul is making is we are to use methods at our disposal that work in communicating our message. Personally, I don't have a problem with people who are creatively communicating, as long as they don't creatively invent a new gospel, like so many are doing in some Christian movements today.

Because today is Friday, I thought I would give you an example of a pastor who I think is trying to communicate a strong message using the context of a swear word to deliver the punch line.  I think it was effective, see what you think. 

 

See you next week......K

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vqPOKbTSMpk&feature=player_embedded

Thursday
Mar242011

Does God Shy Away from Judgment? 

Here is a quote from a national New show: MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell said last week on his program: "The Book of Revelation is a work of fiction describing how a truly vicious God would bring about the end of the world. No half-smart religious person actually believes the Book of Revelation. They are certain that their God would never turn into a malicious torturer and mass murderer beyond Hitler's wildest dreams." 

Oh really, it is fascinating that people have this issue with God citing Him for being too cruel, or question His power and decision to punish anyone in an eternal hell.   Many pastors and Christian authors today love to write about the love and mercy of God, but fail to mention He also deals with sin, judgement, and eternal punishment. (they probably don't write about these things, because they just don't attract book sales) 

Yet, is it fair to worship only the God of love?  After all, the God who sacrificed His Son on the Cross is the same God who killed women and children in the great flood in Genesis.  It's the same God who told Israel not to spare any of the people groups as it was conquering the land in the Book of Exodus.  Most Christians who only beat the love of God drum forget about the wrath of the lamb of Revelation 6:16

16calling to the mountains and rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who is seated on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb,"

Christians who do read and believe in the prophecies in the Book of Revelation realize that after Revelation chapter five, all the destruction that comes upon the face of the earth is orchestrated by the same Lamb of God we associate with as  the Savior of the world.  So come on, let's be honest, you can't have the love side of God without the judgment side of God. Even Jesus told us that we should fear the one who had the power over eternal punishment. 

Matthew 10:28

 28And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.

(there's that place mentioned again, that some pastor/authors think doesn't exit)

So what we have today is a spirit of denial, a spirit of anti-christ that wants to deconstruct God into our own image of a nice guy, with a big heart.  This kind of deconstruction has been happening for some time, and will continue to happen, because the enemy of our soul knows his time is short.  I recommend for those of you who aren't afraid to hear the truth to listen to some truth telling from a reliable source. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UaPCxDtUZXo&feature=youtube_gdata_player

 

Until next time....K

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