2020 – YEAR FOR DISCIPLE MAKING MOVEMENTS

Joseph Mattera joins the list of Christian leaders in the USA that recognise that God is bringing about radical change in His church. It is imperative that believers have truly died to self and live life directed by the Holy Spirit.

He says in an article in Charisma News entitled Five Ways God is Reforming His Church in 2020. “I believe 2020 is the year when more and more leaders will attempt to build “disciple making movements”. The corporate business model of doing church—which took off in the 1980s—has proven that, irrespective of the crowds they garner, they usually fail at disciple making. Jesus proved that focusing on disciple making was the key to building the largest and most effective movement the world has ever seen.

This will be the year when disciple making will gain the traction needed to eventually challenge the assumptions of the “CEO convert driven” model of church.

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Luke called his historical narrative “the book of Acts” (or the book of Action), not “the book of theology or philosophy.” The Scriptures were written to tell the story of our missionary Father/God, who loved the world and gave up His only Son to save every tribe, nation and people. Those who are truly hearing the heart of God will read the Bible with a missional lens and desire to demonstrate the power of God to a lost and dying world!

In the context of the church, they will live to empower disciples for the work of the ministry (Eph. 4:12) and in the context of the world, they will desire to manifest His power in a way that proves Jesus rose from the dead. Consequently, many new evangelists will begin to arise (as we saw in the “voice of healing” movement in the 1950’s) and some will eventually fill stadiums, proclaiming the gospel and praying for the sick. (In the past decade, we have only seen a trickle of what is to come!)”

May the reformation of the church that started in the 16th century continue until the Lord Himself comes back for His bride. May all who read this post have ears to hear what the Spirit is saying to His Body!

2020 – TIME FOR A NEW HOUSE CHURCH MOVEMENT

Those that have been reading my posts for awhile now, know that my call from God is to provide videos and power point sermons for the last days church (http://www.powerpointsermons.net). Believing that the end times church will be a return to the church as described in the Book of Acts – a house church movement.

Francis Chan has taken a similar position having walked away from a church of 5,000 in 2010. He recognised that God expects every person in the congregation to use their spiritual gifts for the body not just show up and hear and see Francis use his gift. Moreover, the cost of running his show was millions of dollars.

Torben Sondergaad has reached a similar view of church for 2020 and I encourage you to view his video below explaining his journey to reach this position.

MEGACHURCH MODEL IN DISARRAY

After the suicides of two young pastors of Megachurches, one in 2018 and one this year, Rev. Howard-John Wesley, senior pastor of the historic Alfred Street Baptist Church in Alexandria, Virginia, surprised his congregation earlier this month with an announcement that he is stepping away from his ministry for a season because he feels far from God, tired in his soul and needed to recuperate mentally and physically.

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“From January 1 (2020) to April 1. I am walking away from every responsibility I have as pastor,” Wesley announced in his sermon on Dec. 1.

“You can’t pour out of an empty cup. It is very dangerous for your pastor to be on empty,” he told congregants.  “I need to take care of me.

In a sermon entitled “Selah” on the value of rest, Wesley noted how common pastoral sabbaticals are in white churches while pointing out how rare it was in black churches. He argued that many black pastors don’t take sabbaticals because they are afraid attendance might dip and affect the bottom line or the church may just function just fine without them.

The journey of Francis Chan from a Megachurch in California to starting a successful House church movement and more recently to a ministry in Hong Kong demonstrates God is taking His church back. The end times church will be like the church described in the Book of Acts. Take a look at my recent post Thailand – Free in Jesus Christ to see the Book of Acts church in action.

WHY PEOPLE LEAVE THE CHRISTIAN FAITH

Extensive new research from The Barna Group shows that nearly half of young adults worldwide who have a connection to Christianity feel that the Church can’t answer their questions. 

Barna, a California-based evangelical research firm, partnered with the leading international evangelical humanitarian organisation World Vision to compile “The Connected Generation” study. 

Published in a research report, the study is based on a survey of 15,369 young adults between the ages of 18 and 35 across 25 different countries and nine languages. 

According to the study, one in three young adults (32 percent) said “hypocrisy of religious people” causes them to doubt things of a spiritual dimension. Almost half of the young adults who have left Christianity see the religion as “hypocritical.” 

Meanwhile, 31 percent of respondents said “science” also challenges their willingness to believe. Which is one reason why we need to connect young people with Creation Ministries International (CMI) http://www.creation.com.

One-quarter (28 percent) of respondents said human suffering and conflicts around the world cause them to have doubts. Once again, having a Biblical world view is so important. Understanding that SIN introduced by man’s disobedience and lack of trust in God is the cause of all of man’s troubles.

“It’s always the question of why God allows suffering; this is the biggest objection to Christianity. And there is no easy answer to it,” Nicky Gumbel, vicar of Holy Trinity Brompton Church in London and pioneer of the Alpha Course, wrote in an essay published with the research report. 

I would agree with Nicky that there is no easy answer, but the only answer that makes sense of the world’s condition is JESUS and what He has provided for us, both salvation and the provision of the Holy Spirit to be our counsellor, comforter and teacher.

The survey found that only 13 percent of respondents globally who grew up with a Christian background can be labelled “resilient disciples” today.

 A “resilient disciple” is someone who attends church regularly, engages with the faith community beyond just attending worship services, trusts firmly in the authority of the Bible, is committed to Jesus personally, and expresses a desire for their faith to impact their actions. 

Thirty-eight percent of respondents who grew up with a Christian background were defined by Barna as “habitual churchgoers” who do not fit the definition of “resilient disciple.”  Among respondents with a Christian background who live in countries with a “secular climate,” the survey found that only 5 percent can be defined as “resilient disciples.”

Eighty percent of young people who left Christianity said they believe that present-day Christianity is “anti-homosexual,” while 81 percent say present-day Christianity is judgemental.

Seventy-four percent of those who are no longer Christian said present-day Christianity is “out of touch with reality.” Only 60 percent of respondents who are no longer Christian said present-day Christianity “consistently shows love for people.”

Strangely, more than half (57 percent) of respondents to the survey, however, said they feel as though religion is good for people and society. 

“Ultimately, the only answer to it is in Jesus, who suffered for us and suffers with us. So that is the answer, but it’s much harder to get to. We’ve got to answer their questions, but more importantly, they want to know what we’re doing about [these issues]. If the Church is doing nothing and is not engaged in social action against homelessness, poverty, racial injustice, climate change or any of these issues, young people are not going to be very interested:, says David Kinneman, President of Barna Research.

END TIMES CHURCH WILL BE FOCUSED ON BRINGING OTHERS TO JESUS

Are churches preaching Jesus as a means rather than as the end? “Come to Jesus! Jesus will bless you! Jesus will heal you! Jesus will help you! Jesus will prosper you!

Now, all these things are true. Jesus is concerned about us. But according to the New Testament, these promises are the byproducts of the gospel, not its central message and core. The gospel is not about me. The gospel is about Him.

Loaves and Fishes Christians

“Truly, truly I say to you, you seek Me not because you saw signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled” (John 6:26).

In John’s Gospel, the miracles that Jesus performs are called “signs” because they point to who He is as the Son of God. He is their long awaited Messiah.

In this context, it is obvious that Jesus rebukes the people for seeking Him out of self-serving motives. They are not seeking Him because they recognise who He is. They are seeking Him for what they think they can get from Him. They see Jesus as a means to their own personal comfort rather than as the end and goal of life.

Because we have preached a man-centred gospel, our churches are filled with self-centred, immature Christians. They can speak in tongues and prophesy, but they have no real power to counter the forces of darkness so evident today.

Ephesians 1:10 says that God will “gather together in one all things in Christ”. The phrase “gather together in one” is the translation of a Greek word that means “sum” or “total.” In other words, when all of God’s activity in time and eternity are totalled, it will add up to Jesus Christ. He is the end and goal of God’s plan and purpose.

Repentance is the refocusing of a person’s life so that self is no longer the end or goal.

Let us, therefore, repent and take “self” off the throne and enthrone Jesus as Lord. Let us not be afraid to present the demands of His character and grace to this generation. As we proclaim Him as the end and goal of life and eternity, I believe we will see the church refocused on the Great Commission – It’s all about bringing others to Jesus as declared by Australia for Jesus.

THE VOICE OF TRUTH WILL NOT BE SILENCED

Be bold and truthful says Pastor Shane Idleman. The world wants to silence preachers of God’s Word. Sadly much of the church has abandoned God’s Word, denying its inerrancy, its inspiration by the Holy Spirit.

Fortunately, Jesus told us in Matthew 24:14 that “the major sign of His coming and the close of the age” will be:

“And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then the end will come” Matthew 24:14

The climax of the age will not be brought about by the actions of secular government or military power, nor by the floods of satanic deception and lawlessness. The final decisive activity will be the preaching of the gospel of the Kingdom accomplished by the church of Jesus Christ.

Quoting from Derek Prince in “Shaping history through prayer and fasting”

Scripture is very precise about the message that will be preached in the last days. It is to be the gospel of the Kingdom. It sets forth Christ in His kingly victory and power. It will be true and effective witness to all nations.

“Where the word of a king is, there is power.” Ecclesiastes 8:4

“For the kingdom of God is not in word, but in power.” 1 Corinthians 4:20

The kingdom gospel is supernaturally attested “with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit ,,, Hebrews 2:4

The “last days church” will be like the church described in the Book of Acts. “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” Acts 1:8

God will bring together the various resources that are needed: the human resources of Spirit filled people of all ages but particularly young people, and the material resources of wealth and technology.

 

DID POPE FRANCIS JUST CALL FOR A ONE-WORLD GOVERNMENT?

Members of the Pontifical Academy met late May, 2019 at the Vatican to discuss the topic of: “Nation, State, Nation-State.”

Pope Francis is pushing for steps toward global authority that supersedes the rights of individual countries, all with the goal of pursuing “the common good” on issues like climate change and immigration.

“When a supranational common good is clearly identified, it is necessary to have a special authority legally and concordantly constituted capable of facilitating its implementation. We think of the great contemporary challenges of climate change, new forms of slavery and peace,”

“The nation-state is no longer able to procure the common good of its populations alone. The common good has become global and nations must associate for their own benefit,” Francis said.

While addressing the conference, Francis rebuked the trend of nationalism among individual countries and the many tensions that “come from an excessive demand for sovereignty on the part of states.”

Francis also implied national sovereignty becomes twisted when countries do not have a welcoming attitude toward migrants.

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Issued a joint declaration with Muslim leader proclaiming that ‘pluralism and diversity of religions are willed by God‘;

“The church observes with concern the reemergence, in many parts of the world, of currents that are aggressive towards foreigners, especially immigrants, as well as a growing nationalism that neglects the common good,” he told the conference.

This, in turn, “threatens to jeopardise consolidated forms of international cooperation, undermines the aims of international organisations as a space for dialogue and meeting for all countries in a spirit of mutual respect, and hinders the attainment of the sustainable development goals approved unanimously by the United Nations,” the pope said.

The Pope also said individual countries can no longer look out for their own people by themselves due to globalisation.

The Pope also pushed the idea of supranational entities to the conference.  A supranational union is defined as a type of multinational political union where negotiated power is delegated to an authority by governments of member states.  The term is sometimes used to describe the European Union, according to Wikipedia.

For instance, a group of nations could “strengthen their cooperation by connecting certain functions and services to intergovernmental institutions that manage their common interests,” he said.

“When a supranational common good is clearly identified, it is necessary to have a special authority that is legally and concordantly constituted and capable of facilitating its implementation,” the Pope concluded.

As I have posted many times, this Pope is a strong candidate for the end times False Prophet. It must be remembered that Pope Francis is the leader of over a billion of the world’s Christians. This push by him for supranational union is a big step towards one world government. However, the big indicator for him being the False Prophet is his statement that Jesus is not the only way to God and as a result acceptance of other religions as valid.

Pope Francis on Muslims – ‘We must never forget that they profess to hold the faith of Abraham, and together with us they adore the one, merciful God, who will judge humanity on the last day.‘   (November 24th, 2013 VATICAN.VA)

It is amazing that the following prophecy from Catholic Archbishop Fulton Sheen is coming to fruition

We are living in the days of the Apocalypse–the last days of our era…. The two great forces of the Mystical Body of Christ and the Mystical Body of Antichrist are beginning to draw up the battle lines for the catastrophic contest.  The False Prophet will have a religion without a cross. A religion without a world to come. A religion to destroy religions. There will be a counterfeit church. Christ’s Church will be one. And the False Prophet will create the other. The false church will be worldly ecumenical, and global. It will be a loose federation of churches and religions forming some type of global association, world parliament of churches. It will be emptied of all divine content and will be the mystical body of the Antichrist. The mystical body on earth today will have its Judas Iscariot and he will be the false prophet. Satan will recruit him from among our bishops.
Archbishop Fulton Sheen (source:  The Thunder of Justice)

IS YOUR CHURCH AUTHENTIC OR PART OF PROPHESIED LAST DAYS APOSTASY?

Pastor Francis Chan says he’s tired of man-made revivals and warned the church that there’s no time for “playing games” any more. Chan’s comments came during a February 6 speech at Liberty University’s Convocation gathering.

Chan, an avid surfer, compared man-made revivals to a wave pool—controlled and fun, but ultimately predictable and artificial. He says he came to that realisation while visiting a wave pool in Waco, Texas.

“It’s so different than going in the ocean, where it’s like, ‘Gosh, I don’t know if something huge is going to come.’ There have been times where we’ve driven for like an hour and just sat in the water—nothing happened. … There’s so many things that can happen in the ocean. And I thought, ‘This is so nice. You can just go to a wave pool and you won’t have any fear.’

“And when I looked at that thing, I thought, ‘Gosh, you know, this is what church services sometimes feel like to me.’ It’s like this wave that you can create. You know at 9:15 this is going to happen, and you know at 9:20, and then you know at 9:40 it’s going to start dying out because it has to. It’s just going to happen. And you can do it over and over and over again. And I feel like for many years I’ve been content with that, because it’s fun and everyone’s having a good time. But man, don’t you read the Scriptures and go ‘Gosh, there was so much that was unpredictable’? Where it really was a move from God. It wasn’t mad-made. It wasn’t this man-made wave, but things would happen that were out of your control.”

Chan says he is done with artificial moves of God and instead said he craves an authentic move of the Holy Spirit.

“I’ve been praying that this would be something that is not man-made, because I feel like I know how to make a wave in a room,” Chan says. “And I’m just done with it. There’s just no time for that anymore. I’m just done playing games.”

Jesus told the parable of the Ten Virgins as part of His response to the disciples question “what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?” All ten virgins were waiting for the bridegroom, so we can presume they ALL thought they were Christians. What was the outcome? ALL slept (is Jesus telling us that the church will be asleep) and worse still half of them were not born again (no oil for their lamps). The Lord said to them, “depart from me, “I do not know you”. Could it be that 50% of people in our churches today are not saved?

I believe this wake up call to the church by Francis Chan is timely. Suggest you share it with others.

THE LAST DAYS REMNANT CHURCH

“And the dragon was enraged with the woman, and he went to make war with the rest of her offspring, who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.” Revelation 12:17

John tells us here that the church remnant in the “last days” will keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ and he repeats it just two chapters on with a reminder of the deadly tribulation facing Christians in the last seven years before Jesus return.

Here is the patience of the saints; here are those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.
Then I heard a voice from heaven saying to me, “Write: ‘Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.’ ”
“Yes,” says the Spirit, “that they may rest from their labours, and their works follow them.” Revelation 14:12-13

The good news is that Jesus reveals in Matthew 24:14 that the remnant (keeping His commandments, walking in holiness) will be active and achieving great things for Him,And this gospel of the Kingdom will be preached in ALL the world as a witness to ALL nations, and then the end will come.” NOTE BOTH ALL’S

God is in the process of restoring all things, and we are going to be the generation that finally gets things right.  The greatest move of God of all time is going to happen right before the return of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and we are going to become the kind of bride that He deserves.  On our own, this is impossible, but with Him all things are possible.

 

CHURCH IN THE LAST DAYS

Expect God’s judgement on His church in these last days.

Both Ananias and Sapphira, together with Simon the sorcerer, attempted to introduce into the glory of the early Church corrupt values that would have defiled and greatly diminished her glory. However, it was stopped at the door and the glory was protected and allowed to increase.

In like manner, the true judgements of the Lord that produce holy fear and genuine repentance will return to the Church in these “last days”, so there can be a thorough cleansing and the glory of the Lord can be restored. Already, we see a great falling away in the church as it compromises with the world’s values. This will increase as tribulation builds: “Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake” Matthew 24:9.  But we also know the “end times” church will receive Holy Spirit power, as in the early church as described in the Book of Acts, so that “this Gospel of the Kingdom will be preached to all the world as a witness to all nations, and then the end will come.” Matthew 24:14

Smith Wigglesworth prophesied correctly back in 1927:

“There must be special preparation for the return of Christ and at least half of all believers will be totally unprepared. We have to see that these days have to come before the Lord can come. There has to be a falling away. I want to speak to you very exactly. All the people which are pressing into and getting ready for this glorious attained place where they shall not be found naked, where they shall be blameless, where they shall be immovable, where they shall be purified by the power of the Word of God, have within them a consciousness of the very presence of God within, changing their very nature and preparing them for a greater thing and causing them to be ready for translation.

This is the day of purifying. This is the day of holiness. This is the day of separation. This is the day of waking. O God, let us wake today! Let the inner spirit wake into consciousness that God is calling us.”

What an appropriate call for our day. Let us prepare now for what Jesus is calling us to do preach the Gospel of the Kingdom to our circle of contacts, our community where God has placed us.