THE LORD IS ALWAYS AT WORK PARTICULARLY IN CRISIS SITUATIONS

Lord is always at work. In fact, it is specifically in the midst of catastrophe, crisis, and the times when it seems as though the Lord is most absent that He is actually most active. Learning to see gospel opportunities when many others only see crisis is not a skill that comes naturally. Yet it is a skill that the body of Christ must learn. The closer we get to Jesus return the more we are going to see crisis situations and catastrophes. The Bible is clear, the last seven years of history prior to Jesus return will entail Christians going through tribulation and great tribulation in the second half of the 70th Week of Daniel. We are fortunate that God has given us many prophecies concerning His Second Coming so that the church can prepare and even use the prophesied events as part of our evangelism efforts.

Is the church preparing for this period?

We are told that there is a great falling away in the church in the last days. Sadly, we see that happening in our day with much of the church compromising with the world on issues such as gay marriage, homosexuality and other LGBTQ issues.

The catastrophes of history have not been meaningless. God’s plan was that in the fullness of time, He would reveal the hero of the story who would make sense of all the suffering mankind has endured throughout the ages. From the chaos is revealed a mystery of unimaginable grace from God to His creation. More than has ever been given out, by way of indescribable human suffering, God has taken upon Himself in the person of His Son. The promised Deliverer finally came, and His tragedy was greater than any catastrophe to ever befall mankind, for God made “him who knew no sin to be sin for us, so that we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:21).

Before the first human disaster ever struck, God determined that He Himself would bear all of the suffering of man’s failures on Himself when He would come and die on a wooden cross. If we are tempted to think it has been unfair that God would orchestrate catastrophe in human affairs, can we still remain uncertain in light of this truth?

Quotes taken from the book, The Mystery of Catastrophe: Understanding God’s Redemptive Purposes for the Global Disasters of the Last Days by Joel Richardson and Nathan Graves  (Kindle Locations 119-121). WinePress Media. Kindle Edition.

 

PROPHESIED END TIMES APOSTATE CHURCH

The Scottish Episcopal Church voted to redefine marriage to include same-sex couples, becoming the first major U.K. church to break from the Anglican majority, which defines marriage as a union between one man and one woman.

However, Church of England says it will recognise marriages of transgender worshippers.

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The marriage of worshippers who transition to a different gender will still be valid, the Church of England has said. The position extends only to worshippers who were in an opposite-sex relationship at the time of their marriage, it clarified. The clarification was made in response to a question asked by Prudence Dailey, churchwarden of St Michael at the North Gate, Oxford, ahead of the General Synod in York. The written reply acknowledging this position was from the Bishop of Newcastle, Christine Hardman.

Episcopal Church in the USA:  In 2015, the church’s 78th triennial General Convention passed resolutions allowing the blessing of same-sex marriages and approved two official liturgies to bless such unions. It ordains women and LGBT people to the priesthood, the diaconate, and the episcopate. In 2003, Gene Robinson became the first openly gay person ordained as a bishop.

The Presbyterian Church USA allows same-sex marriage (2014), and ordains openly LGBT members in committed relationships as teaching elders (clergy), and ruling elders (elders elected to serve on the Session).

United Church of Christ: The national settings of the UCC have historically favoured liberal views on social issues, such as civil rightsLGBT rightswomen’s rights, and abortion.

Affirming Pentecostal Church International (APCI) is a Pentecostal denomination. It was founded December 5, 2010 in Indianapolis, Indiana. It is currently the largest LGBT -affirming Pentecostal organisation in the World.

Some Good News to report:

United Methodist Church: By a vote of 438-384, delegates from around the world attending the United Church’s General Conference in St. Louis reinforced a United Methodist Church policy established in 1972 stating that “the practice of homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teaching.” Sadly, almost 50% of the delegates don’t believe God’s word.

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PROPHESIED APOSTASY – CONFIRMED BY STATISTICS FROM BARNA RESEARCH

David Barton, a well-respected Christian historian revealed the following information on the Strang Report by Stephen Strang of Charisma Media. The Podcast was entitled:

Insight Into America’s Christian History with David Barton

In the USA, the Barna Group recently put three massive polls in the field on Christian values and beliefs. The results were staggering… 72% of churches and senior pastors do not agree with the Bible and do not agree with its teachings.”

The survey was conducted among 384,000 churches and senior pastors. Only 28% of American Christians actually believe the Bible is true and agree with its teachings. To make matters worse, among those 28% that believe the Bible is true and agree with its teachings, Barton says, 97% say the Bible speaks directly to hot-button political topics today. But those same people said they refused to preach about those issues because they were political.

“That puts us at 2.8% of pastors addressing what the Bible addresses if it’s also in the news,” Barton says. “Now that’s a problem. We also have a problem when only 14% of Christians read the Bible every day. … And only 9% of Christians have a biblical worldview. … So we’re looking at a nation that doesn’t think biblically.”

This modern trend of unbiblical thinking stands in stark contrast to the common mindset during our nation’s founding, Barton says.

“When you look at the founding of America on the side that was the really biblical side, they were very covenantal as a people, and they believed in covenants,” he says. “As John Winthrop said, ‘If you deal treacherously with God in this endeavour, you’ll bring judgement.’ … And they viewed their contracts as covenants. As a matter of fact, that’s why the longest-lasting treaty back in history was between Pilgrims and the Wampanaugs. And it wasn’t the Pilgrims who broke the treaty; it was the Wampanaugs who broke it.”

In this way, Barton explains, the Bible-minded colonists of early America acted like Israel. Israel had a covenant with God that could not change. That’s how these early colonial Americans viewed their national covenant with God.

“We’re now in a place described three times in the Bible where everyone did what was right in their own eyes,” he says. “[They say,] ‘I can choose my identity if I want.’ … So we now have 92 legally recognised identities in America. … So I would say that it’s not ‘Where’s God?’ It’s ‘Where’s God’s people and why have they stopped studying His Word and why do they no longer believe what He said?’

Exactly what we are seeing playing out in the world is revealed in God’s Word. The Pharisees and Sadducee’s did not discern the time of Jesus first coming despite the three hundred plus prophecies and likewise despite the many more prophecies of Jesus second coming much of the church is oblivious to the truth therein.

Paul describes the events preceding the Day of the Lord (Jesus second coming): “Let no one deceive you by any means for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition.” 2 Thessalonians 2:3

Jesus describing the end times tribulation: ” Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated for My name’s sake. And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. But he who endures to the end shall be saved.” Matthew 24:9-13

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.

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“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