Subscriptions
Monthly Archives
Monday
Apr112011

Revival? Whats that?

Recently I received an email from someone quoting a response to a revival now happening in Alabama.

"This garbage is nothing more than the counterfeit revival of Pensacola - Part II. Don't let anyone con you. It is just more of the same old ridiculous rubbish from the same old deceiver - John Kilpatrick. It began in Kansas City, then Toronto, then Pensacola, then Lakeland, now it is Alabama. It is the same old lie from the same old liars repackaged."

He was pretty strong in his response to some of the past "so-called" revivals. I am sure that there were some sincere believers who benefited from these meetings, and walked away with God's provision of healing or a manifestation of a miracle, because I believe God honors true sincere faith.  With that said, I believe God will hold the leadership accountable for falsifying God's work by the manipulation of the flesh.  My wife played piano for a traveling evangelist who had her replay a song repeatedly to create an emotional effect on the audience.  These kinds of tricks of the trade are not of God but are of the emotional flesh.  I personally don't think this honors God, or does it teach people about God in the long run.  An honest encounter with God will last a lifetime, but a hyped up "emotional meeting" will only last a season, and in the end will do more harm that good. 

George Otis Jr who produces videos on "revival and transformation" says: "The seduction of Christianity is often very subtle and various Christian principles are targeted. The devil has already succeeded to infiltrate evangelical and charismatic Christendom through seduction to follow after a counterfeit  revival."

The Apostle Paul recognized this when he wrote:

2 Corinthians 11:14

14And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.

So how do we know what revival is?  Here are some thoughts that might be helpful to recognize if revival is really and truly happening. 

1. Repentance:  is there a turning away from sin, and lifestyle that is dishonoring to God?

2. Restitution: is there a spirit of making wrong rights right?  Grace forgives, but justice is often needed for the outside world to know God is at work in your life.

3. Hunger for God's word:  There has to be a deep desire to learn more about God and His desire to build a relationship with you.

4. Holy Spirit presence: God spirit leads you in truth and rescues you from yourself, and your sinful self centered ways. He  brings a humility into your life that makes everyone else more important than yourself. 

5. Fellowship with other believers to do the work of God:  This is essential for growth and nurturing, and sets a foundation for evangelism, (telling others about the gospel) good works, (social justice) and personal spiritual formation to grow into the person God created you to become. 

Revival isn't about the hoopla, it's about change, it's about dedication, and it's about vision. Out of the revivals of the past, whole continents were touched and changed as a result of a true revival. 

Revival is the heart cry of those of us who want to see the Church become the voice of God again, as it was in generations past. In order for that to happen, we need change in the attitudes of our church leadership.  Too many pastors have strayed from the scriptures to preach a brand of Christianity that just isn't Biblical. 

Today's preachers are not warning and they are not teaching their congregations about what the Bible really says.  Recently a church told a breakfast speaker that a video clip of Billy Graham giving an invitation to accept Jesus was too harsh.  Come on, a classic salvation clip of Billy Graham is too harsh?   Sorry, but Billy has never been too harsh. 

Friends, keeping things honest and truthful is not easy, and many times we would rather skip it and keep things at peace.  Churches or ministries that will not tell the whole truth will eventually fade and the message they do preach will be totally forgotten, because it isn't God's message. 

Take a moment watch this clip, and ask yourself before God in prayer. Is this preacher right?  If so, what can I do to take a stand for God in my Church?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KeVzyDU7_-I&feature=youtube_gdata_player

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

 


 

 

 

Friday
Apr082011

What's Wrong With The Bible I Read?

As a believer I recently looked at the journey I have been on with Christ since 1970, when my life was transformed forever. As I analyzed my life as a Christian I found five things that brought about that life changing transformation.

1. I accepted the gift of Salvation in Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins and the promise of everlasting life with God.

2. I accepted and read the Bible as the authority in my life, and from which my worldview is formed.

3. I accepted the Holy Spirit as my guide and my mentor.  I learned to recognize Him in speaking and leadng me in my daily life with gifts He provides as resources for ministry opportunities.

4. I accepted the importance of the fellowship of other believers as a source of strength and encouragement. This fellowship is practiced in my life by a weekly attendance to a worship service or a small group of prayer and Bible study.

5. I accepted the importance of Israel, and the Jewish people for the context of understanding His prophetic plan for the return of Jesus Christ as King of the Jews, and ruler of this world.

These five areas have blessed my life, they are the foundations upon which my faith is supported and strengthen.

These five foundational truths in my life have told me several things that is relevant for the Church today.

1. The Church will continue to lose the ability to discern between truth and evil. These two will become married, and discernment between the two will become almost impossible. (Wheat and the Tares parable of Jesus)  More believers today are confused, and diluted by modern prophets and teachers that are designed to dim the reality of God. I might add, these are not people from another religion, it's coming from within the church.

2. Israel and the Jews will once again be the target of annihilation by the world. The Middle East will continue to shape up to be the center of attention in the world. God's promise to the Jews in Genesis 12:3 is still in force, and He will judge the nations for how they have treated the covenant people of Israel. Zechariah 14

3. The days prior to the coming of Jesus Christ to rule and reign will be filled with the darkness of the Devil, and hell will be unleashed upon this world. Modern prophets have repeatedly told their crowds that revival is coming, but Jesus told us differently in Matthew 24 and Luke 21.  

4. The preaching from the pulpits will like watching and listening to Dr Phil. Preachers are the most cynical and arrogant people on the face of the plant.  They are the modern day Pharisees, and narcissism rules the pulpits of the land. Preachers spend more time branding their spin on Christianity than they do in branding Jesus Christ. It will only get worse, and one day the record will be set straight by the fire of 1 Corinthians 3:13-15 

 13each one's work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done.  14If the work that anyone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward.  15If anyone's work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire.

5. Lastly, there will be a compromise in the Church that will accept all people and beliefs as having some validity and will embrace them into the family of faith. This compromise has already accepted homosexual clergy, Hindu practices of mind and body control, and inter-faith dialogue that treats Islam as a co-equal with the truth in Christ.  Compromise will continue until the shape of the Church will no longer resemble the truth of the scriptures. This next generation of Christian leaders are more compromised than any previous generation in modern memory. 

However, in light of all these negative and dark predictions, God will not be without a witness. He is raising up a remnant of people who will desire to know Him in the power of His resurrection, and they will become a radical segment of Christianity. They will be few in number, but their voice will be  prophetic speaking a witness against the worldview that replaces Jesus Christ as the center of God's plan of redemption for this world. 

So, what's wrong with the Bible I read?  Nothing, you just have to read it, to get it and become a remnant for His voice in a Christ-less Christianity. 

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

Thursday
Apr072011

What Does Success Look Like?

As a young man I thought success was pastoring a large church, authoring many books, and being considered smart by my peers. I guess that sounds good, and probably it isn't all bad, but I certainly have a different idea of what success is today. I watch a Joyce Meyers clip from the ABC News program Nightline, and was quite impressed with what Joyce was doing around the world.  She does get criticized for her prosperity style ministry with corporate jets, and million dollar homes, but who are we to stand in judgment of how God has blessed her. Some say that her flamboyant lifestyle is her reward now, much like Jesus said about those wanting to be seen by others doing good, have their reward. 

Matthew 6:1-2

Giving to the Needy

 1“Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven.

 
2“Thus, when you give to the needy, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward.

Even though Joyce Meyers has every right to work hard and reap the fruit of her labor in this life, is it the best way to awaken people to the message of sacrifice?  Christianity at it's core is a message of sacrifice.When you forgive others for things they have done to you, you are sacrificing your right to be mad and get even.  When you give sacrificially to the cause of the gospel, you have sacrificed some creature comfort for yourself for the sake of others. When you deny yourself, pick up your cross, and follow Him, you are sacrificing your dreams, and  ambitions with sacrificing personal achievement for the purpose of making the gospel known in our world.  The Bible is filled with examples of how we are to live our lives in the spirit and manner that Jesus lived His. He didn't live in a penthouse of His day, or ride the best camel , it was said that Jesus didn't even have a place to lay his head. 

Matthew 8:20

 20And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.”

So success isn't in the things you do, or in the things you have, success is found in the way you honor Him in your life. "Well done, thou good and faithful servant," these are the words that will be spoken to those who will not allow this life to set the boundaries on how we will serve and honor Him. 

The successful person places Him first in everything, and then admits it when they fail to do it. 

Joyce Meyers has a place in God's Kingdom, and she is doing what she feels is best. Only God knows her heart and her motives, as is the case with all of us. 

May we always decide to be successful by making Him look good by placing Him first in all that we do.

http://blogs.abcnews.com/nightlinedailyline/2010/04/a-day-spent-with-evangelist-joyce-meyer

Until next time, keep it honest and trustful.....K

Wednesday
Apr062011

Okay, What Am I Going to Complain About Today? 

Good question, I get irritated by three things and I complain about them all the time. 

1. stupidity

2. arrogance

3. hypocrisy 

Stupidity: I complain about this because there doesn't seem to be much common sense anymore. Sometimes even spiritual people are stupid. I know this may not sound too kind, but have you ever encountered teaching that's just plain stupid? We have preachers today telling us that God doesn't know the future, hell no longer exists, and that Israel no longer has any relevance to God's plan. Now that's just plain stupid. How gullible do these preachers think we are?  Sorry, but I have to complain about it. 

Arrogance:  I complain about this because there is only one who knows it all, and it's not one of us. We have preachers telling us there will be a great revival, and that the church will take dominion over the earth and prepare it for the coming of Jesus Christ.  Sorry, once again, this is not what the Bible teaches. I have often wondered if these prophets are only interested in selling books and selling out their conferences. The only dominion that is going to take place on earth will not be accomplished by the Church, it will only happen when the feet of Jesus touch down on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem. The dominion of the earth will be conquered by Him upon His return.  This is what Jesus said would happen:

9“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.  10And then many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another.  11And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray.  12And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold.  13But the one who endures to the end will be saved.

I complain about this because the truth of the matter is, life gets harder for the believer in Christ, not easier. So why aren't these prophets helping people to prepare, and know what the Bible teaches rather than spinning some far flung idea of a better world that we ourselves create?  

Hypocrisy: Lastly, I complain about this because I find myself too often a hypocrite. I say things I don't mean, and I don't do things I say I will do. So, I am guilty.  The number charge against the Church by non-believers is that we are all hypocrites.  Are we?  Most of us would say no, but do we need a reality check?  When priests molest children, ministers are divorcing, having affairs, and engaging in homosexual episodes, what does this say about those who lead the flock?  Christian marriages are as much in trouble as marriages of non-believing families.  Divorce among Christians is equal to that outside of the Church, so we can't boast of any stellar record on family success. 

So what do we have to offer?  How about honesty, and truthfulness?   How about ceasing from being spiritual misfits about our shortcomings, and stop inventing concepts and peddling them to unsuspecting people. Let's face it, we are flawed people, and the only way we will ever keep any civility about our lives is if we surrender to Him. Now surrender doesn't mean going to church, reading the Bible, praying, and stopping all immoral thoughts.  Perhaps all of that may be necessary in your life, but when I say surrender, I mean, lay it all out before Him, and ask Him to take control over it all. (don't forget to surrender your pride, arrogance, and self serving nature too!)  

Personally, I just feel bad about complaining all the time and I think it's time that I surrender it to Him today...don't you?

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

Example of stupidity, arrogance, and hypocisy:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Mn5VhQNGmo&feature=related

Tuesday
Apr052011

Narrow is Godly?

The internet is buzzing about Rob Bell's new book, "Love Wins" and a young pastor in North Carolina lost his job over the issues raised by Bell.

DURHAM, N.C. -- When Chad Holtz lost his old belief in hell, he also lost his job.

The pastor of a rural United Methodist church in North Carolina wrote a note on his Facebook page supporting a new book by Rob Bell, a prominent young evangelical pastor and critic of the traditional view of hell as a place of eternal torment for billions of damned souls.

Two days later, Holtz was told complaints from church members prompted his dismissal from Marrow's Chapel in Henderson.

"I think justice comes and judgment will happen, but I don't think that means an eternity of torment," Holtz said. "But I can understand why people in my church aren't ready to leave that behind. 

Okay, it's too bad Pastor Holtz lost his job, but in my opinion, he is just a little too naive to think Bell has a point. Bell, like so many of his contemporaries in the Emergent Church movement are re-engineeing a Christianity that isn't Biblical. They want a God who can fit into tight little blue jeans and wears t-shirts that supports global warming.  Come on, who cares what Rob Bell thinks. He and his publisher got what they wanted, a whole lot of book sales based upon a stupid idea. Doesn't it occur to anyone that if Bell was right in His spiritual assessment, where is his evidence?  It isn't found in the Bible. Hell, and the broad way is what most people choose, it's not assigned, but chosen and that's what Jesus taught.

Matthew 7:13-14

 13“Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many.  14For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.

When we try to change the message of the gospel in order to appeal to the masses it only dilutes the truth, not enforces it. What Rob Bell thinks  will not happen. His accomplishments will only be a short run like all those before him in history who tried to change the scriptures to support their theories. 

Dr Norm Gesiler speaks to this issue if you're interested in furthering your understanding on how evil penetrates the Church.  http://olivetreeradio.com/OTM2011_04_02A.mp3

 

 

Facebook Twitter Vimeo Rss
Connect with Larry Kutzler