CHURCH IN THE END TIMES

“Realise this, that in the last days difficult times will come. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; Avoid such men as these.” (2 Timothy 3:1-9)

NOTE WELL: “holding to a form of godliness although they denied its power.” That line is not a description of the world; it is of a faithless, powerless, fruitless church! The light went out in the Church and the world got dark.

Image result for picture to illustrate Jesus is the light of the world

“If the light that is in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!” (Matthew 6:23)

One of the most destructive lies preached in many churches today is “In the last days the church will get brighter and brighter while the world gets darker and darker!

God’s word does reveal good news about the end times darkness and one of my favourite Scriptures in this regard is in Isaiah.

“Arise, shine; for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you. For behold, darkness will cover the earth and deep darkness the peoples; But the Lord will rise upon you and His glory will appear upon you. Nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness
of your rising.” (Isaiah 60:1-3)

“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:16

We need to consider how we can serve others in extraordinary ways. How can we do ordinary things in extraordinary ways? Perhaps for business people, it is how you serve your customers. Workers how you go the extra mile for your boss, so that he asks you why you are doing it, and as a result you have the honour of bringing glory and honour to your heavenly Father.

Maybe this will light up the darkness, illuminate cities and shift atmospheres? Might it be that meeting the simple, felt needs of our cities in extraordinary ways is what will drag communities out of the cesspool of despair into the wellspring of hope?  I believe it will! Jesus told us “this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all nations, and then the end will come.” Matthew 24:14

 

POPE CELEBRATES MASS WITH CATHOLICS AND MUSLIMS

Tens of thousands of Catholics and several thousand Muslims attended an unprecedented public celebration of Mass on Tuesday by Pope Francis, the first pontiff in history to visit the Arabian peninsula.

About 135,000 worshippers gathered in Zayed Sports City stadium in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates, to see the pope, who is in the Gulf Arab country to promote inter-faith dialog.

Pope Francis waves as he arrives to hold a mass at Zayed Sports City Stadium in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

Catholics from about 100 nations were expected to attend the Mass, along with about 4,000 Muslims, including government officials, organisers said. We should not be surprised as the pope has said many times that all major religions are meeting God in different ways – apostasy of the first order. Jesus said, “I am the way the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” John 14:6.

The pope, who arrived on Sunday at the invitation of Abu Dhabi’s crown prince, has used the visit to condemn regional wars, including that in Yemen, and to call for greater cooperation between Christians and Muslims.

Newspapers in Saudi Arabia, where churches are banned, ran pictures of Francis’ meetings with the grand imam of Egypt’s Al-Azhar mosque in Abu Dhabi on Monday and Abu Dhabi’s crown prince and Dubai’s ruler.

The Pope entered the stadium in a white open top jeep to roars from the crowd. People wearing white baseball caps emblazoned with the visit logo packed the stadium stands and snapped pictures on their smartphones.

The Mass was “a moment of divinity that will stay with me forever,” said Josephine Periera, a 68-year-old retired teacher who had travelled from the Indian Ocean nation of Sri Lanka to attend.

As I have said before this pope could well be the False Prophet the Bible prophesies in the “last days” who will lead millions astray. What is unfolding also fits with an Islamic Antichrist that the False Prophet teams up with; expect him to emerge speaking PEACE.

 

PROPHESIED APOSTASY IN THE LAST DAYS

Anglican ambassador to the Vatican says Jesus did not physically rise from the dead.

After Dr. John Shepherd was appointed as the new representative to Rome last week, a 2008 Easter sermon resurfaced in which he said: “It’s important for Christians to be set free from the idea that the resurrection was an extraordinary physical event, which restored to life Jesus’s original earthly body. The resurrection of Jesus ought not to be seen in physical terms, but as a new spiritual reality.”

Shepherd, who was Dean of Perth from 1990 to 2014, will be central to discussions with the Pope and will act as the de facto ambassador for the Archbishop, the Church of England, and other Anglican churches around the world. Shepherd was appointed after the previous ambassador, Archbishop Bernard Ntahoturi, resigned following accusations of sexual misconduct.

Image result for picture of Anglican Archbishop of Perth Kay Goldsworthy

Those that backed Shepherd included Anglican Archbishop of Perth, Kay Goldsworthy, she criticised people for making “statements of concern” about a sermon from 11 years ago, the West Australian reports.

“If that happened to every preacher in the Church we would all be in trouble, frankly,” she said. “There is a statement that people have picked out, whoever the people are, and have sort of wanted to make some example of. I am not sure what they wanted to achieve.

What do Dr John Shepherd and Archbishop Kay Goldsworthy do with the following Scripture.

” Now if Christ is preached that He has been raised from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ is not risen. And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty. Yes, and we are found false witnesses of God, because we have testified of God that He raised up Christ, whom He did not raise up—if in fact the dead do not rise. For if the dead do not rise, then Christ is not risen. And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins! Then also those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable. 1 Corinthians 15:12

We are indeed in the “last days” and judgement of His church as prophesied in Revelation will come upon them “as a thief, and you will not know the hour I will come”.

I know your works, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead. Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die, for I have not found your works perfect before God. Remember therefore how you have received and heard; hold fast and repent. Therefore, if you will not watch, I will come upon you as a thief, and you will not know what hour I will come upon you. Revelation 3:1-3

Note: We are to watch, to be alert to the days we are in, to be courageous and outspoken for the truth of God’s word. It is obvious that those that seek positions of leadership in the denominational churches, in the main, are looking for approval from the world and earthly rewards.

BALANCING GRACE AND TRUTH

The majority of the churches in America, but not only America, are seeking to please the masses rather than convict. Judgement is never mentioned; repentance is rarely sought and sin is often excused. We want to build a church rather than break a heart, be politically correct rather than biblically correct, coddle and comfort rather than stir and convict. This leaves people confused and deceived because we teach and live a form of Christianity void of repentance … void of truth.

The church and our nation desperately need to hear “the voice of one crying in the wilderness” to awaken, convict and restore. It was not so long ago that we were concerned about the fall of America. America cannot fall because she has already fallen. We are now picking up the pieces of a broken nation reflected in our laws, our personal lives, our families and our children. America’s moral heartbeat has ceased because we cut off the source of life. We need resuscitation, renewal and revival of the truth. Biblical truth.

When people, groups, denominations or movements depart from absolute truth and thus quench and grieve the Spirit of God, they become mechanical in their approach to Christianity and lose the ability to guide. The Word of God is not in their hearts “as a burning fire” (Jeremiah 20:9), but relative, powerless and debatable. This is what we see today.

The “moral” laws in the Old Testament such as killing, stealing, lying, adultery, sexual immorality and so on are all valid today. Jesus referred often to the Old Testament, and said that He didn’t come to abolish it, but to fulfil it. For example, Leviticus 20:13a states, “If a man lies with another man as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination.” To suggest that this verse is invalid today is to advocate the dangerous practice of redefining or deleting what God has said. Not to mention other stories in the Old Testament that highlight the dangers of homosexuality and all sexual sin.

Jesus condemned “all” sexual activity outside of marriage between a man and woman when He said, “For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, sexual immorality, thefts, false witness, and blasphemies. These are the things which defile a man” (Matt. 15:19-20). Jesus was implying that all sexual activity outside of marriage between a man and a woman is harmful and immoral. The word “fornication” in the Greek is porneia, where the word “pornography” comes from. We cannot say, “But I was born this way.” I was born to lie, cheat, lust and deceive, but this doesn’t make it right. It makes me sinful and in need of a Saviour.

The consequences of wrong actions may have changed, but the moral implications remain the same. For instance, even though we no longer stone to death those who commit adultery, this does not mean that adultery is acceptable or any less dangerous. Adultery is wrong even though there aren’t legal consequences. The laws of a nation should reflect God’s Word, but they are never above it!

Romans 1:18-32 and 1 Corinthians 6:1-20 tells us that when mankind does not see fit to acknowledge God, and they suppress the truth; God will give them over to a depraved mind—to do those things that are not proper. This should put the fear of God into us all. Homosexual behaviour, and sexual sin in general, is comparable with dishonouring the body and turning from God. John Piper said, “The sexual disordering of the human race is a judgement of God for exchanging Him for the creature.”

Jesus said that since the beginning of creation, God created them male and female in order that they would be joined together and become one flesh. He adds, “What therefore God has joined together, let not man put asunder” (Mark 10:9). Marriage between a man and a woman is God’s plan since creation. No matter how many laws are passed in favour of gay marriage, it will not change God’s mind.

Jesus would often speak out against sin, but His love and mercy also reached out to those who regretted and hated their condition. Forgiveness is a mark of genuine faith. We should have compassion for those who struggle with same-sex attraction because we all struggle with sin, but at the same time, we should not condone or excuse this type of sin any more than we condone or excuse any other sin.

Taken from an article “Is Being Gay “God’s Greatest Gift to Us”? in Charisma News by Shane Idleman founder and lead pastor of Westside Christian Fellowship just north of Los Angeles