A BIBLICAL WORLDVIEW IS CRITICAL

A biblical worldview is critical because that’s what enables you to become a true disciple of Jesus Christ. Romans 12 talks to us about, ‘you have to have your mind renewed’, you must be ‘transformed’ by that ‘renewing of your mind’ with God’s principles at the core of all of your thoughts so that you can in fact live like Christ.”

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.Romans 12:2

Moreover, this is impossible unless we have been born again with the Holy Spirit now indwelling our spirit. Proverbs tells us that the spirit of a man is the lamp of the Lord and of course a lamp needs oil to function which is, of course, the Holy Spirit. To function as God intended we have always needed the Holy Spirit to be our counsellor, our comforter, and our teacher.

The spirit of man is the lamp of the Lord, searching all his innermost parts.” Proverbs 20:27

 Also, according to Barna, the only way to achieve cultural transformation is if people choose to “believe God’s truths,” which in turn will allow them to “act upon those truths based upon those things that you believe.”

“We are here to be salt and light. That’s what transformation is: changing the world around us forever based on God’s truths. But in order to do that, we need a healthy church. We need believers who get it, believers who are willing to put their lives on the line. Today’s traditional church and leadership model has veered far from Christ’s New Testament model of disciples making disciples typically in house churches.

In fact, a study released earlier this year by the Cultural Research Centre of 1,000 pastors found that only 37% of Christian pastors in the United States have a biblical worldview. The majority possess the hybrid syncretism worldview.

“As you read the Scriptures, you find that biblically, it is the role of the community of faith, i.e., our churches, to be supporting families and particularly parents in that process, equipping them for raising up their children to be dynamic followers of Jesus Christ,” Barna advised. Only the church model Jesus established, as described in the Book of Acts, will achieve that goal. I a convinced that the House church model is Jesus model and the institutional church will not survive the prophesied “end times” tribulation.

WHAT NEXT FOR AFGHANISTAN?

Let me make a few observations: In the Book of Acts the Gospel bearers face death threats, persecution, imprisonment, internal conflict, theological controversy, litigation, storms and shipwreck, but none of these impede the Gospel’s progress. If the title of the book of Acts were to be changed, I would suggest, ’The Unstoppable Gospel’. What a refreshing encouragement to read this Holy Spirit-inspired book and be reminded that God’s purpose prevails.

The Gospel is the powerful instrument the Holy Spirit uses to produce believers – in Jerusalem, Samaria, Cyprus, Lystra, Derbe (city of Galatia) and throughout Europe. In rural areas (Acts 14) and philosophical centres (Acts17), the Gospel is equally at home, with the Holy Spirit revealing the truth of the Gospel.

Scripture alone makes it clear that what is happening in Afghanistan will not impede the progress of the Gospel. Look what happened to the church in China when all the missionaries were either killed or ejected under the rule of Mao.

Persecution threatened to wipe out Iran’s tiny church. Instead, the Iranian church has become the fastest growing in the world, and it is influencing the region for Christ.

How did this happen? Mark Howard serves as the Director of Development for Elam Ministries where he oversees the ministry’s efforts to share globally the story of the church in the Persian-speaking world. He suggests two factors have contributed to this openness. First, violence in the name of Islam has caused widespread disillusionment with the regime and led many Iranians to question their beliefs. Second, many Iranian Christians have continued to boldly and faithfully tell others about Christ, in the face of persecution.

As a result, more Iranians have become Christians in the last 20 years than in the previous 13 centuries put together since Islam came to Iran. In 1979, there were an estimated 500 Christians from a Muslim background in Iran. Today, there are hundreds of thousands—some say more than 1 million. Whatever the exact number, many Iranians are turning to Jesus as Lord and Saviour.

God is raising up amazing ministries that are already aware of what God is doing in the Muslim countries of the middle east. Global Catalytic Ministries is one of them. I have followed and know the leadership. Check out what they are doing:

Since 2011, GCM has served in two of the most dangerous countries in the world for Christians. Additionally, these countries have the fastest growing movement of Christianity in the world, as featured in the documentary films Sheep Among Wolves I & II.

“We are doing whatever it takes, and continue to be obedient to the Lord as He calls. If you are feeling led to give, pray, or desire more information, visit our newly updated website at catalyticministries.com.”

Due to their extensive network and years of investing into Afghanistan, they have trusted leaders and multiple options to deliver needed goods and operations in and out of the country. In just three days, GCM has raised over $429.000 from more than 1500 people! This is what they had to say: “We are so grateful for all who have stepped up to help. Thank you! We had a goal of raising $500K by September 11, but it looks like we can up that goal to $1 million. Rest assured that our commitment is for 100% of these donations to go directly to the basic needs of our people in Afghanistan; food, water, medicine, shelter.” Go to the website given above to make your donation.

MAKING DISCIPLES FOR CHRIST

The Bible defines in the book of Acts, what the Christian life should be as a disciple of Jesus Christ — healing the sick, cleansing the lepers, raising the dead, casting out demons, and making disciples of all nations, baptising them to Jesus Christ, and teaching them to observe all things that Jesus commanded.

Sadly, this does not describe the Christian life for most of us in the West. The church needs to come back to the beginnings of the church that we read about in the Book of Acts. We have to return to God’s intention and see how the Holy Spirit moves as we step out in faith to share the Gospel and grow His Kingdom.

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Torben Sondergaad of the Last reformation explains what he believes has occurred with the church in the West and what needs to happen now.

“It was never God’s intention for these revealed truths to result in independent church denominations that, after a while, quench the fire of revival. God did not intend to create separate churches and denominations with their own disconnected ‘little’ truths, while ignoring the other parts and, thus, hindering their members from gaining the whole truth. We believe that it is a reformation that will restore the Church back to what we read in Acts: a simple disciple-life led by the Holy Spirit, where the kingdom of God comes near in homes, on the streets, in shops — yes, all places where people are,” says Torben.

“He says the Church is not the building; the Church is you and me. “God does not live in a temple built of stone. He lives in us — Christians, His disciples. Jesus wants to be part of our everyday life in a practical, direct relationship with Him, without intermediaries.

“I have so many testimonies of people who have been sitting in a Church for 20 or 40 years and have never led anybody to Christ, never cast out demons, healed the sick or experienced the supernatural life, and don’t have testimonies like we read about in the book of Acts.

“The book of Acts should be the normal Christian life — being led by the Holy Spirit and used by God to build His Church, whereas most Christian churchgoers do not lead a life as described in the book of Acts,” says Torben.”

He contends that although Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever, we should ask ourselves if the Holy Spirit is living through us in the same way He lived through the followers of Christ in the book of Acts.

THE UNSTOPPABLE GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST

In the Book of Acts the Gospel bearers face threats, persecution, imprisonment, internal conflict, theological controversy, litigation, storms and shipwreck, but none of these impede the Gospel’s progress. The Gospel is the powerful instrument the Holy Spirit uses to produce believers – in Jerusalem, Samaria, Cyprus, Lystra, Derbe (city of Galatia) and throughout Europe. In rural areas (Acts 14) and philosophical centres (Acts17), the Gospel is equally at home, with the Holy Spirit revealing the truth of the Gospel.

All three persons of God are involved in redeeming mankind: God the Father, Jesus His Son and the Holy Spirit

Luke gives us statistical summaries to show the growth of the church (Acts 2:41; 4:4) and comments throughout on the health of the Word. In Chapter 6, when dissension breaks out in the church, Luke tells us ‘the word of God continued to increase and spread’ (v.7). In Chapter 12 when Herod has James killed, the word’s health is contrasted with Herod’s wormy death (v.24). In Chapter 19 when people burnt their magic scrolls to ash, the Word, he says, ‘continued to increase and prevail mightily’ (v.20).

If the title of the book of Acts were to be changed, I would suggest a title which included ’the unstop-ability of God’s Gospel’. What a refreshing encouragement to read this Holy Spirit-inspired book and be reminded that God’s purpose prevails.

“The purpose of God is to glorify himself by saving a people of his own, through hearing and believing the Gospel of his Son, as it is carried to the world by his Holy Spirit-empowered people”.

This abbreviated and slightly modified inspiring article by David Cook is from AP – Reformed Thought for Christian Living

BACK TO CHURCH AS IN THE BOOK OF ACTS

“Apathy has killed us,” said Pierre Bynum, a chaplain at the Family Research Council, who was among speakers at the Washington Prayer March. “We’ve watched as prayer has been taken out of our schools. We’ve watched as Bible reading has been taken out of our schools. Where were we? What were we doing? What were we thinking?

“They took the Ten Commandments off the walls. They legalized abortion, they legalized same-sex marriage, defying the living God. … God has called us to be anything but apathetic,” he stressed.

Our country is imploding upon us and it’s all because of us. If the church had done its job all these years, if we had spoken out about the issues that we should have spoken out on and stood for them and stood in the public square, we could have kept this thing from happening.”

“But now we’re in deep trouble and only God can save us at this point in time. Even our repentance is inadequate if it’s just human repentance. We’ve got to have God intervene and deal with us,” he declared.

Jesus told us that in the last days before His return there would be a great falling away in the church and that lawlessness will abound just as in the days of Noah when God judged the earth. The only survivors, eight people and the animals that God brought to the Ark.

God will pour out His wrath upon this earth with the prophesied trumpet and bowl judgements but born again believers will not experience God’s wrath having been taken out (Rapture)

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 6:16

This Scripture is at the end of the sixth seal and it is at the trumpet blast when the seventh seal is opened, the Rapture occurs, simultaneously the wrath of God is poured out with the Trumpet and Bowl judgements.

Rapture of the Saints – dead in Christ first and then those that are alive on earth

GOD IS FORCING CHURCH TO CHANGE

How many Christians believe God is bringing this pestilence for His purposes much as He brought the ten plagues on Egypt to force Pharaohs hand?

God, being the sovereign judge over the nations, is the theme throughout the Bible. Christians should have no doubt God is working out His plans and purposes in His world. Much of the Bible is prophecy, almost two thirds fulfilled prophecy so we know that the rest of the prophecies, much about the “end times” before Jesus returns to rule and reign with a rod of iron, will come to pass.

In a short period, God has shut down the activity and economy of the developed nations of the world! Sadly, the world so deceived by an evolutionary world view no longer believes God exists let alone controls all events in the Cosmos. A recent Barna survey revealed most Christians now don’t hold a Biblical world view. They need to be reminded afresh that Yahweh alone is the true sovereign Lord. Let me remind you of what the Bible says is coming.

“For the day of the Lord of hosts shall come upon everything proud and lofty, upon everything lifted up — and it shall be brought low — They shall go into the holes of the rocks, and into the caves of the earth, from the terror of the Lord and the glory of His majesty, when He arises to shake the earth mightily.” Isaiah 2:12, 19

The arrogance of humankind, seduced by its self-focused affluence, makes this generational visitation a necessity.

Due to the massive proliferation of this virulent outbreak God has hopefully caused every person to consider their fragility and mortality.

“Who knows the power of Your anger? For as the fear of You, so is Your wrath. So teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” Psalm 90:11

With schools cancelled and parents working from home, God has forced families to spend time together. Hopefully, mothers, fathers, siblings and spouses are connecting in a meaningful manner.

Now, more than ever, church will have to go to another level in faith and dependence upon God for their sustenance. Those who lack experiential faith and intimacy with God during these days will either pursue an encounter with the living God or experience deep despair and failure.

With less emphasis on the large crowd, many church initiatives have collapsed down to personal touch rather than programmatic persuasion. For too long, the term “church” was equated to what took place within the four walls of a building on Sunday mornings. The success of a congregation was primarily gauged by how many people were present for service. We even call the facilities that are being used for service, “church.” The coronavirus pandemic has proven that the church can no longer be defined by a single Sunday morning service. My prayer is; it will get back to holding a Biblical worldview knowing the Bible provides the only true history of God’s world. It tells us the end of the story. What we can expect to unfold in the years ahead before Jesus return. Watch this space and together we will see world events unfold exactly as prophesied.

WAKE UP CHURCH TO WHAT GOD IS DOING

Love this video: Could the World’s Darkest Hour become the church’s finest hour. It suggests; it’s opportunity time for the church. As church buildings close, Christians are starting to ask questions about how they can be church now. Realisation occurs to some, that the church has never been the building, but the people in the building, and that those people are called to be a blessing to a dying world. Jesus has charged them to bring the good news of Christ to these lost souls destined for judgement by their Creator, punishment and finally a second death.

Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years. Revelation 20:6

THE REMNANT CHURCH

The authentic church is totally confident Jesus is on the throne and that God’s purposes for His elect and His planet will unfold exactly as prophesied in His Word.

His church is Holy Spirit empowered, anchored in God’s Word (not tossed about by every “wind of doctrine”) and Kingdom focused.

Such churches are made up of remnant people. Jesus Himself, in His great prayer for His disciples in John 17, indirectly reveals their characteristics:

  • They know Jesus as Lord and Saviour. It is a personal relationship and above all else they want to make Him known. They trust and obey Him.
  • They understand the role the Holy Spirit has in their life to be their counsellor, comforter and teacher and they seek His guidance in all things.
  • They cherish God’s Word. It is truth, the way of life.
  • They are commissioned to make disciples.
  • They are not “of” this world but in it to complete God’s set purpose. They are set apart, dedicated to the work entrusted to them.
  • They are hated by the world because of their total commitment to Christ and the Gospel.
The Way of Life

BOOK OF ACTS CHURCH IN OUR DAY

During a sermon delivered at Moody Bible Institute’s Founders Week Conference, Chan, former teaching pastor of Cornerstone Community Church in Simi Valley, California, revealed what God is now calling him and his family to do. A trip to minister in a village in Myanmar where there were no believers , no not one, and seeing God turn up to heal not one person but everyone Francis laid his hands on, has changed Francis and his families lives. This is a story you need to hear, so I have attached his sermon, hopefully it will change your life too.

“At one point, we were in this village that had no believers, like zero. Not a single one,” he recalled. “And this lady had built a relationship with the head monk and the village leader and somehow was able to work out that we could go into the village.”

“My translator told me he had been in that area before and was chased out with knives and stones thrown at him, so he was terrified,” Chan continued. “But the entire village showed up, and I had the honour of sharing the Gospel through a translator, to be the first one to lay out the Gospel and explain that they had a Creator and explain that He had a son and explain what He did on the cross and the resurrection.”

“There’s no way I can communicate to you how much peace I felt,” Chan stressed. “I am sharing the Good News with a village of people who have never heard of this before. I can’t tell you how right it felt.”

Later in his message, Chan revealed that while in the village he asked God to help him heal those suffering. 

“I’m going, ‘God, please, please hear,’” he recalled. “People started coming forward for healing.”

“Every person I touched was healed,” Chan declared as the audience applauded.

“You guys, OK, this is craziness to me,” he added. “I have never experienced this in 52 years. I’m talking like a little boy and a little girl who were deaf. We laid hands, she starts crying and smiling. These are not Christians who have even heard about Jesus, and she’s freaking out. We lay hands on her little brother, we lay hands on him, and he starts hearing for the first time.”

Chan admitted that the entire process was out of his “comfort zone,” adding, “This is stuff I’d read about, but I’m going, ‘Man, it happened. It happened.’ Stuff left and right.”

“I thought I had faith, but my faith was at another level, and I think there are some things that contributed — some of it was just faith in His word, that when Jesus says, ‘I am in you and you are in Me,’ to take that literally,” he declared. 

Francis admitted that when he walked in the village, he had a “little bit of fear,” adding, “I said, ‘No, no, this is no different than if You walked in the village, and I know what you’d do, Jesus. You’d proclaim the Good News and you’d heal.'”

“I started having this mindset again of going, ‘No, no, this is what the Word of God says. You said I would do the same things that You did, and even greater things. Jesus, I know what You would have done in this village.’ I believe there was something about that faith, I believe there was something about the unity that we had as a group there,” he explained.

Chan said that although he disagreed theologically with some of the individuals on his team, he believes God was “honored by this fight for unity, and I believe God was honoured by this pursuit of the unreached, and obeying the Great Commission and we saw power.”

“And I don’t know that that means it will happen every time,” he clarified. “My theology says I don’t think it will happen everywhere … but best I understand Scripture, He wants me to believe in my unity with Him, this power that I have because He and I are one. He wants to believe that you and I can become perfectly one.”

Chan revealed that in three weeks, his family plans to move to Hong Kong and go to “some places that are pretty sketchy, dangerous.” The reality of persecution, he said, has caused him to “evaluate” his beliefs. 

“Do I still believe that my life has no value outside of accomplishing what God wants me to do?” he asked.

The pastor said that while he loves to preach the Word of God to believers, it’s “nothing like” preaching to people who have never heard the name of Jesus. 

“So I’m excited. In a couple of weeks, we’ll be moving, Lord willing,” he said. 

During the service, Chan also compared Americans to “spiritual foodies,” adding: “All of you are. … We’re just picking it apart. And I just go, ‘I don’t know if I can do that anymore when there are people who have no spiritual food, who have never heard the name of Jesus.’”

“I say this because there’s a crowd of young people here, and you’re thinking about what to do with your life,” Chan continued. “Just think through the calling of Scripture, because I want that peace that I felt there. I want that for your life, and I know what you’re going to face your entire life here. You’re going to hear a lot of lies and a lot of those are going to come from within the church.”

“If I had listened to those voices, I would’ve missed out on so much of life because so many people, even in the church today, they’ll reason with you from their logic rather than from the Scriptures,” he warned. 

Chan said it is “crazy” to him that it’s “perfectly normal” to be a Christian in America and be “obsessed with staying alive,” citing John 12:25: “Anyone who loves their life will lose it, while anyone who hates their life in this world will keep it for eternal life.”

“Is that what you really see in the Scriptures?” Chan asked. “The only thing I’m trying to do with my every breath is complete the ministry He gave me. If I’m going to breathe another day, it’s to finish the task that He’s given me, which is to testify to the Gospel of the grace of God. I just want to get out and explain the grace, what God has given me, through Jesus Christ.”

THE CHURCH IN THE LAST DAYS

This article is taken from the book by John Burton – The Coming Church. It only confirms what I have been saying for a number of years now. The traditional institutional church must change if it is to be used by God in the “last days”.

 The Coming Church, by John Burton

“We need a church on fire today more than ever. The lost are being introduced into lukewarm, natural, Ichabod religion instead of a supernatural shaking that can only come from the Great I Am. They are convinced they are saved as they are assimilated into a community of like minded quasi-spiritual people who would love to see God manifest in their natural realm—yet have no interest in manifesting in the spiritual realm where the Holy Spirit broods.

My challenge to pastors is simple: Risk everything. Allow your church to dwindle, if necessary, to a few remnant people who will live, pray, walk and advance in the Spirit. The world is waiting for them. (Francis Chan is a living example of a pastor who has accepted the challenge.)

We soon won’t be able to define going to church the way we do now. God is coming to reform, to crush structures of old for what is to be introduced very soon. Our call isn’t to stand strong until the shift comes, it’s to prophetically sound the alarm and awaken those at risk! God is coming! The force from Heaven, the celestial asteroid, is going to impact the Church, and most pastors and people will resist with everything that’s within them. Man-made support systems will be removed. People’s financial and relational structures will be threatened by this strange new spiritual invasion. The human wisdom and natural common sense that have been involved in the development of the current church structure will not be usable in the new. Those who walk by sight are in danger.

I’ve met countless pastors and others who say they are focused on revival, but who are misguided on exactly what it is. Their focus is on attracting people to the church, on people getting “saved” and on other church growth strategies.

The problem? The foundational pursuit of revival has nothing to do with church growth or the lost. It has everything to do with the church awakening, contending in intercession and attracting the fire of the Holy Spirit.

The lost didn’t show up in the upper room. Marginal followers of Jesus were repelled by the upper room. Acts 2:1-3

Revival isn’t marked by a full house. Revival starts in a room that reveals the remnant. The revival that erupted in that roomful of remnants resulted in explosive church growth and kingdom advance.

The pure Christian message of surrender, repentance, holiness, intercession and rescuing souls from hell has been replaced by a self-centred gospel that boldly affirms a focus on benefits without cost, on personal gain without sacrifice, on freedom without consecration. The Church has been unapologetically and boldly focused on how to have faith to receive while forsaking the call to have faith to give. The spirit of the age infiltrated churches long ago—and now, all too often, that demonic spirit is the primary counsellor.”