OBEDIENCE NO MATTER WHAT THE OUTCOME

John Chau

On Nov. 15, 2018, John made first contact with the Sentinelese. Later that day, a Sentinelese boy shot an arrow at John that lodged in the Bible he was holding.

John retreated and prayed for wisdom. Should he keep going? Should he turn back?

“God, I don’t want to die,” John wrote in his journal that evening. “WHO WILL TAKE MY PLACE IF I DO? Forgive [the boy who shot me] and any of the people on this island who try to kill me, and especially forgive them if they succeed.”

On the morning of Nov. 17, the fishermen who had dropped John off saw tribesmen burying John’s body on the beach.

“I believe that the measure of success in the kingdom of God is obedience,” John Chau said shortly before his death. “I want my life to reflect obedience to Christ and to live in obedience to Him. I think that Jesus is worth it. He’s worth everything.”

John Chau was one of whom the world was not worthy of. I remember when the news of him got onto the media, people mocked his decision and said it was his fault that he died, sadly even some people who profess the faith condemned his actions. What a beautiful life he lived for the Lord. He reminds me of how Korea got the gospel through Missionary Thomas who got killed on the shore even before he got to preach the gospel just like John Chau, but through that death, a great revival was brought forth upon Korea. May the blood of John Chau bring great revival upon the Sentinelese people. Just like what God’s word says in John 12:24, “Truly, truly I say to you unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.” Truly humbled by what John Chau realized as he gave his life to serve the Sentinelese people. Thank you, VOM for this beautiful video!

BELIEF OF AUSTRALIANS ABOUT JESUS AND THE RESURRECTION

The recent Australian Community Survey (ACS) run by National Church Life Survey (NCLS) Research, reveals current beliefs amongst Australians about Jesus and the Resurrection.

44% of Australians believe in the resurrection of Jesus from the dead in some way according to the research.

30% of Australians do not believe in the resurrection of Jesus from the dead

25% of  Australians do not know what they believe.

50% of all Australians believe Jesus of Nazareth to be a historical figure. This is perplexing, given the wide acceptance amongst historians that Jesus Christ was a real person who lived in first-century Palestine.

22% of Australians accepted Jesus was divine, or ’God in human form who lived among people in the 1st Century’

20% of Australians thought Jesus was a mythical or fictional character.

30% of Australians don’t know.

Camdenville Methodist Church Girl’s Vigoro team and Men’s Cricket team. Mr. Bottomley was pastor of the church and Sunday School that was a feature article in the Sunday Telegraph newspaper, “The Miracle at Camdenville”.

These figures differ greatly from when I was a boy attending Sunday School at a Methodist Church in Camdenville, Sydney, a time when most people identified with a Protestant or Catholic faith. I am the boy with a white shirt in the back row, third from the right. My sister is in the back row with an arrow pointing down to her head, My brother is the tallest boy in the centre of the back row.

There is no doubt that the teaching of the failed theory of evolution as a mechanism for bringing this complex universe into being is the reason for discarding the God of the Bible as the Creator of the Cosmos and Jesus Christ, God’s Son as the Saviour of mankind. Thank goodness, the discovery of DNA (complex information that controls the functions of all cells in the body) and the electron microscope which has revealed complex machinery in the cells that had to be complete from day one of the cell’s existence for the cell to function correctly has revealed that creation is the only plausible explanation for the complex cosmos that exists.

AMERICAN ADHERENCE TO BIBLICAL CHRISTIANITY FADES IN CHURCHES

By Leonardo Blair, Senior Features Reporter, ChristianityToday, Thursday, April 28, 2022

Parents of preteens, children younger than 13, “are in a state of spiritual distress” as American adherence to biblical Christianity fades in churches, and a “tragic crash” is coming as a result of the situation, according to new data from the Cultural Research Center at Arizona Christian University and the American Worldview Inventory 2022.

“While the warning signs are identifiable and unmistakable, it appears that parents, as well as their support system (i.e., churches, extended family, and parachurch ministries), are too distracted or disinterested to acknowledge and address the parenting crisis. It seems that a tragic crash is in store,” said George Barna, director of research at the Cultural Research Center at Arizona Christian, in a release earlier this month.

“Parents, to whom the Bible assigns the primary responsibility for shaping the worldview of their children, are called to equip youngsters to grow up in a relationship with and service to God. That requires the intentional and consistent development of a biblical worldview in the minds and hearts of children since every person’s worldview begins developing before their second birthday,” Barna explained.

“Yet parents are not devoted to biblical worldview development in their children partly because they do not possess a biblical worldview to pass on to their progeny. The CRC research reveals that a paltry 2% of the parents of preteens — children in the worldview development window — have a biblical worldview.”

A big reason for the lack of a biblical worldview in parents today is syncretism. This ideology is described as “the worldview that merges otherwise incompatible philosophies of life into a made-to-order worldview that incorporates enough biblical elements to be minimally Christian in nature.”

Under the sway of syncretism, according to Barna, the American Church has failed to contend earnestly for the Christian faith.

“The American Church has lowered the entry bar so much that it is difficult to identify any beliefs that disqualify one from claiming to be Christian. The parents of children under the age of 13 are a stellar example of this Christian nominalism that is widely accepted as spiritually normal and healthy,” he said.

“Indeed, a worldview is comprised of a unified series of beliefs that then determine behavior. The alarm bell has not been rung because there is no single belief, or even limited series of identified beliefs, that are acknowledged as undermining Christianity or disqualifying an amenable adult from being considered a disciple of Jesus.”

Barna suggested that one explanation for the current crisis of faith is that the American Church is measuring the wrong indicators of faith.

“By emphasizing measures such as church attendance and participation in prayer, the emphasis is placed upon the quantity rather than the quality of spiritual activity, and on overt participation rather than core developmental efforts,” he noted.

“In other words, the emphasis is placed upon breadth rather than depth. But even more significantly, the spiritual warning signs have been misinterpreted. By looking for glaring deficiencies in the lives of self-described Christians, leaders have ignored the importance of numerous, less noticeable deficiencies. Their conclusion is that nobody is perfect, so while there are some identifiable spiritual and lifestyle defects among parents, they are not sufficiently disturbing to constitute a crisis or require a concerted call to action.”

Church leaders, explained Barna, have largely ignored the crisis of faith in the Christian community because indicators like church attendance, Bible sales and donations “have remained sufficiently robust to feel reassured.”

Barna noted that while some commentators on the effect of syncretism on the American Church might minimize it as a “rough patch,” emerging data on children shows a different picture.

“The disinterest and even disrespect many children show to their elders is partially a reaction to the lack of authenticity and integrity they experience in the presence of parents, teachers, pastors, and other cultural leaders. Children sometimes feel compelled to ignore adults whose talk and walk are inconsistent,” he said.

“When children are exposed to teaching — through words or actions, whether formal or informal — that are contradictory, they naturally conclude that the Christian faith is inherently contradictory and therefore may not be what they are seeking as a life philosophy,” Barna adds. “Young people may be interested in and intrigued by Bible stories, but unless the underlying life principles are both identified and exemplified, children are likely to miss out on those life changing truths.”

He suggested that the reason most Christians aren’t alarmed by the crisis of faith and parenting could be that the rest of the culture is syncretistic as well.

Data published by ACU last year shows that of an estimated 176 million American adults who identify as Christian, just 6%, or 15 million of them, actually hold a biblical worldview.

The study shows, in general, that while a majority of America’s self-identified Christians, including many who identify as Evangelical, believe that God is all-powerful, all-knowing and is the Creator of the universe, more than half reject a number of biblical teachings and principles, including the existence of the Holy Spirit.

Strong majorities also errantly believe that all religious faiths are of equal value, people are basically good, and that people can use acts of goodness to earn their way into Heaven.

The study further showed that majorities don’t believe in moral absolutes; consider feelings, experience, or the input of friends and family as their most trusted sources of moral guidance; and say that having faith matters more than which faith you pursue.

Everyone who makes a practice of sinning also practices lawlessness; sin is lawlessness. 1 John 3:4

According to Barna, “If ever there was a time when our nation was desperate for a grassroots spiritual revival led by the remnant in the pews who still revere God, Jesus Christ, the Bible, and truth, now is that time.”

However, the Bible reveals that Jesus told His disciples that in the end times just before He returns to this earth there would be a great falling away in the church. This is just one of the many end times Jesus gave us so we would not be caught off guard.

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 (SIN) will be increased, the love of many will grow cold.Matthew 24:10-12

YOU’RE NOT LIVING IF YOU ARE NOT LIVING FOR THIS

Pastor and author David Platt warned young Christians this week that taking a “casual, comfortable, cultural” approach to their faith, neglecting God’s command to proactively share the Gospel, and instead pursuing material successes, will lead to a wasted life.

“Be finished and done with a form of Christianity that says, ‘Pray a prayer, go to church, live it up in the world, go to some conferences and coast your way to Heaven,’” the Virginia-based pastor said during the annual Passion conference in Atlanta this week. “That’s not Christianity, because it’s not following Christ.”

David Platt says 'very skewed' version of Bible 'being sold across our culture,' blasts 'superficial Christianity'
Evangelical Baptist pastor David Platt pleads with an audience of thousands of adults and teens for them to spread the Gospel to unreached people at the annual Passion 2022 Conference in Georgia.

Platt, the lead pastor of McLean Bible Church, told the 65,000 young adults gathered inside the Mercedes Benz Stadium that to follow Jesus means allowing the Gospel message and mission to “dictate everything you think, desire and do, dictate your plans, dreams, how you’re going to live, what degree you’re going to get and how you’re going to make and spend money for the spread of God’s great love in Jesus among the nations.”

“You will waste your life if you get caught up in this American dream,” he continued. “Don’t do it. Lift your eyes above the distractions. Look at the destiny of this world. The train of history is headed towards people of every nation, tribe, and tongue, enjoying and praising Jesus. Jump on that train.”

Platt spoke directly about the U.S., noting it is “quite possibly” the one place in the world with the greatest access to the Gospel, set apart from the many countries whose citizens “don’t have access to someone who can tell them about Jesus” and “don’t have followers of Jesus or churches proclaiming the Good News of God’s great love.”

Displaying the Radical Stratus map, showing the myriad places around the globe where the Gospel is not accessible, the pastor explained the importance of international missions work.

“This is why we don’t say, ‘Well, I don’t know why we talk about unreached people around the world when there are unreached people on my campus, there are unreached people in my neighborhood,’” Platt said. “You say, ‘How do you know?’ Because they’re on your campus. They’re in your neighborhood. They have access to the Gospel. You’re it.”

“We’re talking about people who don’t have anyone near them to tell them about Jesus,” he added.

In light of that information, Platt closed his message by urging the Passion conference attendees to use their platforms, access, careers, finances, etc., to share the Gospel with people who have never heard it.

“Based on this picture of God’s Word and this picture in the world, I want to plead with you tonight to refuse to settle for a casual, comfortable, cultural Christianity,” he said. “I want to plead with you to refuse to do what millions of Christians and leaders of churches are doing in our country — to turn a blind eye and a deaf ear to 3.2 billion people and thousands of people groups who have never heard the Gospel.”

Platt told the crowd their purpose, as believers, is to tell others about Jesus. “You are not living if you’re not living for this,” he said.

“As a result of His ultimate rescue, God’s glory shines in this broken world not only through strengths but also through scars, ” he concluded.

Live for this. If necessary, die for this — for people from all nations to hear and receive the Good News of God’s great love in Jesus.

GOD IS RAISING UP HIS WARRIORS

One of those warriors in Australia is Martyn Isles of the Australian Christian Lobby (ACL). This recent email from him reports on his recent tour around Australia entitled The Truth of It.

Dear Ronald,

Looking back, I’m so thankful for how God directed The Truth of It LIVE tour so friends like you could attend – narrowly missing lockdowns, border closures, and other problems. More than that, I’m thankful for how many people said it was timely for them personally.

There’s a hunger for truth right now that is very significant.

It has been many years since large venues were filled night after night with people who wanted to hear biblical truth. 

But that’s what happened in Queensland, Western Australia, Tasmania, and South Australia this year, with more than 18,000 people attending meetings to lift up the name of Jesus!

The church is being stirred to action through events like The Truth of It LIVE that you’ve helped provide.

You’re helping to inspire Christians to be bolder in their public witness for Christ, to study their Bibles, pray for our nation, think deeply about the issues of our day, and speak up about the lies harming our nation.

And not just small numbers of Christians – thousands of them are finding their voices and bringing their influence to the public squares in Australia.

What is also worth noting is that you’re helping people become Christians through our efforts together to make the truth public. 

People write to me saying they’re emboldened to talk about God’s truth and, as they do, they’re leading people to Christ. Here’s an internal note that one of our staff members shared with our team…

“I was just on the phone with one of our supporters. She is a busy mum of five and lives in Victoria.

“Being a mum, she hasn’t had much chance to tune in to what is happening in the political sphere. She wanted to extend her gratitude because she said without ACL, she probably wouldn’t know what is happening.

“She said the content that comes from ACL affects her and her family greatly, causing them not only to be aware of what is happening in Australia, but it also stirs them up to be part of cultural change.

“She saw Martyn’s talk on Q&A and it affected her greatly. After watching this episode, one of her friends who is gay reached out to her in hope that she could shed some light and peace.

“He was in a place of confusion, brokenness, and said he was more lonely than ever before. He had given up on God, but after seeking some guidance from her, he started to question his whole life.

“She said it was because of watching Martyn on Q&A and The Truth of It videos that she knew how to approach the situation when he came to her. He has given his life back to God and come to a place of repentance!”

Amazing! I’ve had numerous people approach me at The Truth of It LIVE saying they watched my videos to hear the imagined ‘lies and hatred’ I was spreading – and then one thing led to another, and they became Christians.

Not only that, but a ministry that has a call-in line for people who have questions about God also told me that many callers say their first exposure to the Gospel was through The Truth of It videos.

Who would have thought that people would be started on their journey towards Christ through the hard truths discussed in those videos?

Testimonies like these reveal the true power of the Word of God. 

Even when people are hostile to Christianity and they hear confronting, uncomfortable, unpopular truth – the Lord can use it to transform their lives.

That’s why you and I should never be ashamed to talk publicly about what the Bible says.  

The fruit from The Truth of It LIVE tour this year has been remarkable, and now there are more communities that are hungry for truth – people we can reach together. 

Your support of this recent tour has also sent a powerful message to MPs, Senators, and Premiers, as they’ve now seen venues like Brisbane City Hall, Perth’s RAC Arena, Hobart’s Federation Concert Hall, and the Adelaide Convention Centre filled with Christians who want to engage in the public squares.

So today I’m asking for your help to take The Truth of It LIVE to more towns and cities next year.

Get behind and support the warriors like Martyn Isles that God is raising up in your nation, your town, your suburb. Use Martyn’s videos The Truth of it Live on YouTube to inspire and encourage others. If you would like to donate go to http://www.acl.org.au

BELIEVE AND OBEY, BOTH NECESSARY

There is no doubt Jesus accomplished all we need to be righteous before God our Father. Salvation is available for all those that repent of their sins and believe in Jesus as both our Saviour and Lord.

For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes,” Romans 1:16

But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it— the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe.Romans 3:21-22

We are justified by His grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,” Romans 3:24

And he said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.” Luke 7:50

It is a done deal, however the following verses also indicate that Jesus calls us to action.

And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” Immediately they left their nets and followed him.” Matthew 4:19-20

As Jesus passed on from there, he saw a man called Matthew sitting at the tax booth, and he said to him, “Follow me.And he rose and followed him.

To another he said, “Follow me.” But he said, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father.” And Jesus said to him, “Leave the dead to bury their own dead. But as for you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God.” Luke 9:59-60

Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.Matthew 16:24

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.Ephesians 2:10

Jesus has put us in right standing with our Heavenly Father and made it possible for our Father to send the Holy Spirit to enable us to live the Christian life, to be our Counsellor, our Comforter and Teacher so the question now is are we truly obeying His call to follow Him and to do the good works He has prepared for us?

WHICH DO YOU WALK IN AND WHAT IS YOUR DESTINATION?

Only new life in Christ equips believers to walk in the Spirit. Which do you walk in, the flesh or the Spirit? The difference on this earth is stark and even greater for eternity.

For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other,Galatians 5:17

And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.” Galatians 5:24

WORKS OF THE FLESH

Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.Galatians 5:19-21

WORKS OF THE SPIRIT

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.Galatians 5:22-23

The fruit of the Spirit leads to true happiness in this life and of course it leads to eternal life in the Kingdom of God, first during the transitional Millennial Kingdom and then on the new earth and heaven after the White Throne judgement for eternity.

“They came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended. This is the first resurrection.” Rev.20:4-5

“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away… Rev. 21:1-

More on CHRISTIANS: The Urgent Case for Jesus in our World

In this Direct interview, John Anderson (former Deputy Prime Minister of Australia) is joined by Greg Sheridan, widely-respected foreign editor for The Australian. . They discuss the Christian foundations of Western civilisation and the profound importance of religion at a societal, cultural and individual level. They delve into the deep rationality that often undergirds Christian faith, and question the capacity of atheistic philosophies to truly nourish the human soul. Greg Sheridan is one of Australia’s most influential national security commentators, who is active across print media, television and radio and also writes extensively on culture. He has written eight books. His latest, Christians: The Urgent Case for Jesus in Our World is a compelling argument for the modern relevance and importance of the New Testament. As foreign editor of The Australian, he specialises in Asia. He has interviewed Presidents and Prime Ministers across the world.

CHRISTIANS – The Urgent Case for Jesus in Our World.

Christians  The Urgent Case for Jesus in our World / Greg Sheridan

Greg Sheridan widely-respected foreign editor for The Australian. has written an impassioned, informed and utterly compelling case for the truth and importance of Christianity in our lives. He presents a strong argument for the historical reliability of the New Testament, meets the living Jesus there, explores the extraordinary personality of Paul, celebrates Mary’s activism and examines the magnificent richness of John.

Filled with insights, intelligence, warmth and humour, Greg also introduces us to a range of fascinating Christians today, among them political leaders, and young activists offering the radical Christian interpretation of love to their generation. His book explores the journey of those who have been guided by faith, such as Gemma Sisia, whose school in Tanzania has transformed the lives of thousands of children, and the dynamic Chinese Christians pursuing their beliefs under harsh restrictions. He examines where Jesus can be found in popular culture and talks to Christian leaders – Pentecostal, Catholic, Evangelical and others – in Australia, the US and Britain.

At a time when the chasm of understanding between secularism and faith has never seemed wider, Christians is timely, relevant and convincing.

‘At the heart of the Christian story is the truth about the life of Jesus … Greg Sheridan’s book is a good read about Good News.’ Peter Comensoli, Catholic Archbishop of Melbourne

‘If there is ever going to be a Renaissance of Christian belief to save us from the dreariness of much secular humanism, it will come from a book like Christians. I will be buying it and giving it away to believers and sceptics alike.’

Watch this video: an unbeliever who knows and is impressed by Greg’s work as a journalist interviews the author. He now believes there is a valid case for God that needs to be explored.

https://fb.watch/7xML_9LI7z/

WORLD REJECTS GOD’S VALUES

Päivi Räsänen, a Christian politician is facing six years in prison for sharing her biblical beliefs on sexuality and marriage. Finnish Bishop-elect Juhana Pohjola, who distributed a pamphlet written by Räsänen is facing a similar sentence.

“The actions of the Finnish State in prosecuting Christians for holding to the clear teaching of the very words of Jesus regarding marriage and sex (Matthew 19:4-6) are egregious (extraordinary in a bad way),” says the statement issued by the International Lutheran Council and joined by the bishops and presidents of dozens of Lutheran church bodies worldwide.

Finland, Päivi Räsänen
Finnish Member of Parliament, Päivi Räsänen

Päivi Räsänen, a member of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland, could face up to six years in prison after being charged with three counts of ethnic agitation related to statements she made expressing her beliefs about human sexuality and marriage.

A longstanding member of the Finnish Parliament, Räsänen publicly voiced her opinion on marriage in a 2004 booklet on sexual ethics, describing marriage as between one man and one woman. She also expressed her views on a 2019 radio show and tweeted church leadership on the matter.

Pohjola, the bishop-elect of the Evangelical Lutheran Mission Diocese of Finland, has also been charged with one count of ethnic agitation for publishing Räsänen’s booklet.

“… The accused clearly affirm the divinely given dignity, value, and human rights of all, including all who identify with the LGBTQ community,” says the letter, titled “A Protest and Call for Free Religious Speech in Finland.”

“We Lutherans make this strong confession along with Drs. Pohjola and Räsänen,” it continues. “The vast majority of Christians in all nations, including Catholics and Eastern Orthodox, share these convictions. Would the Finnish Prosecutor General condemn us all? Moreover, shall the Finnish State risk governmental sanctions from other states based on the abuse of foundational human rights?”

Prosecutors determined that Räsänen’s previous statements disparage and discriminate against LGBT individuals and foment intolerance and defamation. The mother of five maintains that her expressions are “legal and should not be censored.”

“I cannot accept that voicing my religious beliefs could mean imprisonment,” said Räsänen in a statement previously issued by ADF International, which is representing her. “I do not consider myself guilty of threatening, slandering or insulting anyone. My statements were all based on the Bible’s teachings on marriage and sexuality.”

What we see playing out here in Finland and most countries in the west including my own country Australia is prophesied to happen in the “last days” before Jesus returns to this earth to rule and reign from the nation, Israel, that God established for His purposes nearly 2000 years ago. Most of the O.T. prophets from Moses onward prophesied that their Messiah will rule over the nations. The Millennial reign of Jesus on this earth will fulfill these prophecies and the Abrahamic covenant. It completes the unfinished business God had with Israel and is a transitional period prior to the destruction of this earth, the second resurrection and the White Throne Judgement.

I say a transitional period because we know that Satan is bound for most of Jesus Millennial reign on this earth and yet we are told that Jesus and the resurrected Saints need to rule with a “rod of iron”. (Rev. 2:27, 12:5, 19:15)

Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, holding in his hand the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain. And he seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years, and threw him into the pit, and shut it and sealed it over him, so that he might not deceive the nations any longer, until the thousand years were ended. After that he must be released for a little while.Revelation 20:1-3

Also, when Satan is released he is still able to raise an enormous army to wage a war against Jesus and the Saints.

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 sulphur where the beast and the false prophet were, and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.” Revelation 20:7-10

God is revealing to us the state of the human heart, Even though Satan is bound and Jesus and the glorified Saints are ruling and reigning on this earth, people will still reject God’s values and rebel against His authority over them just as Satan and one third of the angels did at the beginning of creation. Read what God had to say about people living on earth prior to God’s first judgement of the human race. Moreover, Jesus said that prior to the the wrath of God being poured out again they would be just like the people of Noah’s day.

The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.Genesis 6:5