SOME COUNTRIES LEARN FROM PAST MISTAKES

The following article (abbreviated) is by Damian Wyld Director, Australian Family Coalition

It’s easy in such a time to feel like you’re the odd one out; believing in such quaint ideas as the uniqueness of man-woman marriage, the intrinsic value of human life, mere biological truth, or that the virtues underpinning Western civilisation are worth defending, rather than apologising for.

Are you mad for believing such things? No, you’re not.

Aside from having the weight of evidence on your side (history and science just for starters), vast swathes of the world still hold to the same principles as you. And here’s something truly remarkable. Some nations, learning from past mistakes, are now returning to those principles. Within the last few weeks, significant steps towards enshrining the family have occurred in not one, but three countries: Hungary, Poland and Russia.

What these countries really have in common is that each endured the scourge of Communism for decades. This awful ideology, the cause of millions of deaths worldwide, proved incredibly effective at causing birth rates to plummet, divorce rates to increase, and the overall impact on the family to be catastrophic.

This makes what we’re seeing in Central and Eastern Europe all the more amazing. So, what is happening there? As you might have read recently, Hungary has made good on its proposal to legally set in stone a person’s biological sex at birth. Despite attacks from the EU, the UN, and Amnesty International, the Hungarian Government and Parliament show no sign of backing down.

Meanwhile, Poland is in the middle of a presidential election. Incumbent President Andrzej Duda has used his campaign to decry the Rainbow Agenda as a “foreign ideology” and “even more destructive to the human being” than Communism.

“Today, there are attempts to push an ideology on us and our children, It’s totally new, but it is also neo-Bolshevism,” Duda said. “The Polish family has preserved our values. The family is a special value, which demands special protection from the state … Marriage is a relationship between women and men, and so it will remain.

Andrzej Duda speaks at a campaign rally in Złotoryja
Duda pledged to “defend children from LGBT ideology”.

”Duda won the first round of elections just days ago and, according to polls, is slightly ahead of his ‘progressive’ main opponent the Mayor of Warsaw, Rafał Trzaskowski, going into the final round of voting.

Lastly, Russia has just held a referendum on constitutional amendments. Perhaps unsurprisingly, most media commentary has focused on limits to presidential terms (allowing Putin to stay in power longer), so there has been minimal coverage of other changes. The revised constitution backs up existing laws that declare marriage to be the union of a man and a woman, as well as referencing “the memory of our ancestors who transmitted ideals and faith in God”. Whatever one makes of Vladimir Putin or of geopolitics, these changes would have been unthinkable a few decades ago in the “Evil Empire” of the Soviet Union. My point here is not to point to any political leader, but rather to the people of these three countries; people who have endured hard times and bankrupt philosophies; people who are now seeking a path forward. They know from firsthand experience that strong families build strong societies and nations and what is happening in the west with gay marriage,

GOD REACHES OUT TO THE UNREACHABLE

Werner Nachtigal founder Go2020 shared that in some of the hardest to reach Muslim nations, there were thousands of decisions for Christ—6,400 in Somalia, and 8,300 in Afghanistan.
He told the story of one unnamed North African city, where a Muslim imam used the mosque’s loudspeaker to call Muslims to come and watch the Jesus film. 16,000 people made a decision for Jesus as a result.
In Tanzania, almost half a million people responded to the gospel. These numbers and stories are truly mind-blowing.

The Canberra Declaration community, say they have truly been blessed to be a part of the Go2020 prayer and outreach movement. God is good!

Global Outreach Day was a worldwide Go2020 prayer gathering to pray for the global harvest in the midst of the COVID-19 virus crisis. Many prayer streams, so far embracing 145 nations and including International Prayer Connect, have come together to arrange this united event. It will be led by ministry leaders from every region of the world, including some praying children.

Persist as the prayer does not start until about 7 minutes in when David Demian gives a great introduction.

CHRISTIANS: YOUR WORLD VIEW IS EVIL AND BIGOTED

In the USA they, as a society (Supreme Court), have now said as a matter of law that to hold beliefs about marriage and gender and human sexuality that are consistent with the Bible is discrimination, that it’s hateful and bigoted.

Now, society might give some of those hateful religious people an exception because their Constitution and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act tell them that they have to do that. But, when you think about the political and cultural trajectory of the USA, how long do you suppose that the religious liberty exception is going to last when everybody thinks that this is a bigoted and evil view?

We should not be surprised, Jesus told us beforehand.

Jesus told His disciples “and you will be hated by all for my name’s sake.” Matthew 10:22a but also “But the one who endures to the end will be saved. Matthew 10:22b

Thankfully, there are many prophecies warning us of escalating tribulation in the seven years preceding His Second Coming. World events indicate we are approaching that last seven years but IMO we are not there yet.

CHURCH IS NOT OPTIONAL

Why is it important to get back in the habit of regular and faithful attendance? Why should those connected to a local congregation make a new commitment to attend as regularly as possible? Here are five reasons:

1. The Bible mandates we gather for worship. The writer of Hebrews is unequivocal:

“And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near” Hebrews 10:25, NLT

Gathering for worship is not an optional activity. It is not an occasional activity. It is an ongoing and regular commitment.

2. The Bible emphasises the importance of the local church. Think about it. After the four Gospels, almost all of the New Testament is about the local church or directed to the local church. Throughout the New Testament, different local congregations met together and worshipped together. It is simply what believers do.

3. When we gather together, we encourage each other. Look at Hebrews 10:25 again. “not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.” What Day? The Day of Jesus return. Therefore, this will be increasingly important as persecution escalates.

4. When we gather together, we encourage our leaders. The encouragement of one another includes the encouragement of our leaders. They desperately need it. I pray that many people will return to the in-person gatherings with new levels of commitment. Our leaders will be greatly encouraged.

5. We grow spiritually when we commit to faithful attendance. We grow as a believer in Christ when we have a committed prayer life. We grow when we are committed to read Scripture daily. We grow when we share our faith regularly. We grow when we serve in ministry. And we grow when we commit to attend worship services faithfully. That attendance is a spiritual discipline. It is a vital and necessary act toward greater spiritual maturity.

The pandemic and quarantine have been transformational moments for our world and our churches. We now have the incredible opportunity to hit the reset button in our own lives. Church is about relationships and therefore small groups. It is not about meeting once a week on Sunday. God has reminded us, perhaps even given us a major wake-up call, first about what church really is and how really important it is.

THE GOSPEL IS ABOUT RECONCILING PEOPLE TO GOD

The agenda of the gospel is not social and structural reform. The Gospel is about reconciling mankind to God, not to one another.

It is through reconciliation to God by the finished work of the cross that reconciliation happens between people groups. This simply means works produced by faith cannot be had without genuine faith. This seems like stating the obvious, but with all of the assumptions on what is of “first importance” today, it must be stated, and restated because it is becoming less and less clear to those who consider themselves faithful Christians.

Sure faith without works is dead but those works will bring love, joy, peace, righteousness, kindness, goodness and mercy. We will do all that we can to be at peace with all men because we are at peace with God. The gospel of individual salvation must always be in the place of “first importance“. 

The early church adhered unflinchingly to the refusal to use violence. It is part of the critical power of the gospel that this summons to freedom – which also means freedom from the inner law of violence – is still heard today. is in fact once again being heard more clearly. … Reflection on the message of Jesus against the background of the unimaginable brutality and injustice of his age could help us today better to understand the gospel, that is, Jesus’ summons to freedom, and to act accordingly.

Relevant Scriptures:

So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.” James 2:17

Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up his son Isaac on the altar? You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by his works; James 2:21

Wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace. James 3:17-18

PROPHESIED EVENTS UNFOLDING AS BIBLE PREDICTS

Palestinian historian Ghassan Weshah claimed in an interview on Hamas’ Al-Aqsa TV that America is on the verge of collapse and will be replaced by Islamic regimes, not China. Listen to the why he believes this will happen.

European countries like Holland are becoming Islamic purely by Muslim immigrants producing many children and the locals not even at replacement numbers.

The anarchy we see happening in America and other countries is emboldening Muslims once again as we saw for a brief time with Isis.

The Bible tells us that in the last days before Jesus returns there will be wars and rumours of wars. I believe the next major war we will see in the Middle East is the battle outlined in the prophecy from Daniel 8. It is a battle between Iran, the ram (Shia) and Turkey, the male goat (Sunni) to establish who will lead the final Muslim Empire (Erdogan outspoken about a Revived Ottoman Empire). Turkey, the male goat crushes Iran, the ram. Then we learn it is broken up into four nations (perhaps the West or Russia or both will not countenance another Ottoman Empire) and out of one of them the prophesied Antichrist will arise to power.

Turkish President Erdogan poses with Ottoman era soldiers in front of monument dedicated to a revived Ottoman Empire

Therefore the male goat grew very great; but when he became strong, the large horn was broken, and in place of it four notable ones came up towards the four winds of heaven. And out of one of them came a little horn (Antichrist) which grew exceedingly great toward the south, toward the east , and toward the glorious land (Israel).” Daniel 8:8-9

TRIBULATION PRECEDES THE RAPTURE WHICH PRECEDES THE WRATH OF GOD

Social justice activist Shaun King unleashed a barrage of comments on social media claiming that statues of Jesus Christ are “a form of white supremacy” and should be torn down.  King is the co-founder of Real Justice PAC and supports the Black Lives Matter movement by sharing his views on injustice through social media.  His remarks come in the wake of a surge of protests and activism that have been taking place over racial injustice and equality.  Across a number of countries protesters have vandalized and torn down statues that represent history.  In a series of tweets, King declared that “public statues of the white European they claim is Jesus should also come down.  They are a form of white supremacy.  Always have been.”

He continued, “All murals and stained glass windows of white Jesus, and his European mother, and their white friends should also come down.  They are a gross form of white supremacy.  Created as tools of oppression.  Racist propaganda.  They should all come down.”  The activist alleged that the “white Jesus is a lie” and “a tool of white supremacy created and advanced to help white people use the faith as a tool of oppression.” 

Many of my previous posts have quoted Scriptures that clearly demonstrate the Bible prophesied this coming escalating persecution of Christians. Bible prophecies also address the apostasy, the falling away of churches that don’t uphold the inerrancy of God’s Word. This we also see happening as churches approve gay marriage and homosexuality. The good news is that these events signal the soon return of Jesus to rule and reign on this earth. Man’s time to rule on this earth, as well as Satan’s time of dominion, is coming to an end. Although, the Bible reveals that Satan gets an another opportunity to deceive mankind at the end of Jesus Millennial reign.

And when the thousand years are ended, Satan will be released from his prison and will come out to deceive the nations that are at the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them for battle; their number is like the sand of the sea. And they marched up over the broad plain of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city, but fire came down from heaven and consumed them, and the devil who had deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur where the beast and the false prophet were, and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.” Revelation 20:7-10

Jesus tells us that Christians will experience great tribulation during the last seven years prior to His return, but they will not experience the wrath of God that is poured out on unbelievers. The wrath of God follows the opening of the seven seals around the Scroll containing the trumpet and bowl judgements.

When he opened the sixth seal, I looked, and behold, there was a great earthquake, and the sun became black as sackcloth, the full moon became like blood, and the stars of the sky fell to the earth as the fig tree sheds its winter fruit when shaken by a gale. The sky vanished like a scroll that is being rolled up, and every mountain and island was removed from its place. Then the kings of the earth and the great ones and the generals and the rich and the powerful, and everyone, slave and free, hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains, calling 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, for the great day of their wrath has come, and who can stand?Revelation 6:12-17

The next event John sees in Revelation 7 is the saints in heaven. The Rapture of the saints has occurred at the seventh seal. The censer that held the prayers of the saints is offered up one last time and then the censer is filled with fire from the altar and thrown to earth to initiate the the first trumpet judgement.

And another angel came and stood at the altar with a golden censer, and he was given much incense to offer with the prayers of all the saints on the golden altar before the throne, and the smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, rose before God from the hand of the angel. Then the angel took the censer and filled it with fire from the altar and threw it on the earth, and there were peals of thunder, rumblings, flashes of lightning, and an earthquake. Revelation 8:3-5

After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” And all the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures, and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, saying, “Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honour and power and might be to our God forever and ever! Amen.Revelation 7:9-12

DECEPTION IN THE LAST DAYS

Jen Hatmaker, Christian pastor, speaker and author faced backlash in 2016 when she departed from traditional Christian teachings and declared same-sex marriage to be “holy”.

One of her daughters, Sydney recently revealed she is gay. At the introduction of the lengthy conversation between Hatmaker and her daughter Sydney, the “For the Love” podcast host said the episode was not “an announcement,” because her family has known for quite some time that Sydney is homosexual. It was, though, the first time she’d shared the revelation with her listeners and readers.

Sydney Hatmaker , with the agreement of her mother, said it’s “not enough” for pastors and Christians to just love LGBT people; they need to also fully embrace their lifestyles.

Hatmaker explained that it is “maybe even more cruel” to love LGBT people while also believing homosexuality to be contrary to biblical teaching.

“It is not enough, Christians, to say, ‘Well, we love you, anyway,’” she said. “I don’t want to be ‘loved anyway.’”

All of this comes on the heels of the release of Hatmaker’s newest book, “Fierce, Free, and Full of Fire: The Guide to Being Glorious You.” She wrote in the book that she has largely exchanged evangelical theology for “the wild terrain of the wilderness.”

GOD MAKES IT CLEAR HE LOVES SINNERS BUT HATES SIN. JESUS IS THE ANSWER TO THE SIN PROBLEM. HOMOSEXUALITY IS A SIN PROBLEM ALONG WITH ALL THE OTHERS.

Sydney explained a particular moment, which Hatmaker described as “a terrible day,” when she picked up a book by an unnamed pastor who “didn’t know where he landed [on homosexuality] but knew that he loved the gay people in his life, systematically going through the Bible and, verse by verse, coming to the conclusion that gayness is sin.”

“That was just — destroyed me,” she told her mom, recalling having a “full meltdown” that day. “[I] read the whole thing in one day, just fully feeling in that moment like God didn’t love me.”

Hatmaker argued many pastors preach as if only heterosexual people are in their congregations, when, in reality, “every single church is just filled with gay kids and gay moms and dads.”

“It’s just so irresponsible to break their hearts,” she added.

PROPHESIED “END TIMES” PERSECUTION OF CHRISTIANS

Spiked Online Editor, Brendan O’Neill says the fallout from the death of George Floyd has transcended into “a kind of explosion of political correctness” in Britain.

“There is a politically correct mob running around the country who are expressing all sorts of dangerous, backward, strange ideas.” He said protesters who are now smashing statues “looked to me like the woke-Taliban”. “This idea that we must cleanse the public sphere of every bad person, every bad idea, every bad way way of thinking”. “I think that’s incredibly intolerant, it’s not progressive and it certainly has nothing to do with the awful killing of George Floyd”

Because “racism” is the rationale of the Woke Taliban’s lawlessness and those who applaud and defend them, then nothing is safe from this lawlessness. Any monument to our Founding Fathers is eventually doomed to these mobs and vandals  . . . and then they will come for the Christian Church — a Church the media and left have spent decades smearing as racist and homophobic.

A statue of a man lies on the ground surrounded by protesters

Those Christians who know that persecution is coming and that we will not be “raptured out of here before the bad things begin” are not fretting over this. We expect this and thus our posture is one of soberness and humbleness to be counted worthy to suffer for Christ.

The temptation to apostatise is real. The majority of the Evangelical church is folding like dominoes at this time. But you brother and sister stand firm and have endurance to weather the spiritual storm that is upon us and will only continue. The world hates us, but only because they hate Jesus. It will be difficult to endure, as there will be no recourse, except for the ultimate reward of Jesus that awaits us.

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. And then many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another. And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end will be saved.Matthew 24:9-13

PRIESTLY BLESSING

The ‘Priestly Blessing’ or the ‘Aaronic Blessing’ (after Aaron the priest), this blessing has been spoken or sung by Jews for thousands of years over their children or as a benediction over a congregation. The Priestly Blessing can be found in Numbers 6:24-26.