CHRISTIANS MUST EXPECT PERSECUTION TO ESCALATE

It is important to remember that persecution come with the territory for Christians doing what God has called us to do. You are a Kingdom warrior in a spiritual war so expect demonic attacks. Moreover, Jesus tells us we should rejoice and be glad for we are blessed and our reward will be great in heaven.

Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, while evil people and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived.2 Timothy 3:12

If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you.1 Peter 4:14

Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.Matthew 5:10-12

Many times demons work through unbelievers to insult, attack, degrade and persecute believers. This should be expected and how we respond is of course key to our ability to influence them for God. We know that they cannot understand the word of God without the Spirit of God. All we can do is love them, pray for them and return good for evil

The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.” 1 Corinthians 2:14

bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you.” Luke 6:28

It is also important to remember that Satan is a created being under God’s control. He is limited by God as to what he can do to you. Read the story of Job again.

Demons do know your weaknesses, particularly long standing addictions and will challenge you again and again to exploit that weakness. The Holy Spirit will convict you and hopefully repentance is quick in response. Make sure you have a mentor with whom you are committed to confess your sins and will hold you accountable to the path of righteousness.

As we approach the last days before Jesus returns, He has told us that spiritual warfare intensifies. Satan knows his time is short. God uses the time of tribulation to purify His church. Many people who call themselves Christians will fall away and compromise with the world and its changing values.

Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for my name’s sake. 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 will be increased, the love of many will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end will be saved.Matthew 24:9-13

But just as Satan intensifies his effort to deceive and destroy, God likewise intensifies His efforts in the natural and supernatural. Joel testifies to this “prior to the great day of the Lord comes”

And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, and your young men shall see visions. Even on the male and female servants in those days I will pour out my Spirit.” Joel 2:28-29

And I will show wonders in the heavens and on the earth, blood and fire and columns of smoke. The sun shall be turned to darkness, and the moon to blood, before the great and awesome day of the Lord comes. And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved. Joel 2:30-32

HARVEST RIPE: THE GOSPEL WELCOME NEWS TO THE YOUNG

A recent study from Barna that found that two-thirds of teens and young adults (65%) agree that “many religions can lead to eternal life” compared to 58% of teens and young adults surveyed in 2018. Additionally, 31% of teens and young adults “strongly agree” that what is “morally right and wrong changes over time, based on society,” compared to just 25% in 2018.

A 2018 study from Barna similarly characterized Gen Z as the “first truly ‘post Christian’ generation,” with only 4% adhering to a biblical worldview. “Moral relativism hasn’t just crept into the worldview of Gen Z,” said Jonathan Morrow, director of cultural engagement and student discipleship at Impact 360 Institute. “It is now the majority opinion.”

whosoevers.comMAINSTREAM STATS AND QUOTES ON 25 OF SOME OF LIFE’S TOUGHEST TOPICS TEENS STRUGGLE WITH TODAY, AND THE BIBLE’S RESPONSE TO THEM.

Ryan Ries, co-founder of The Whosevers, a movement that seeks to deliver the message of the Gospel to schools and empower students to live boldly for Christ, told The Christian Post that these recent statistics reveal how important it is for young people to have a positive, biblically-grounded influence in their life.

Anxiety, depression, suicide, identity issues, all of these things are at an all-time high right now,” he said.

“We are seeing it across schools, we’re seeing across the country. “Parents, youth pastors, and anyone who works with teens and young people need to “be honest about the statistics and really let them know what’s going on,” Ries stressed. “Kids know they are depressed, suicidal, and struggling, and when you try to sugar-coat the Gospel and avoid hard issues, they aren’t going to know there is freedom that can take place,” he explained. “We’ve got to have good conversations and address these things because otherwise, we’re missing an opportunity to have a high impact and disciple these kids.”

Thanks to social media, young people are able “to sin in the most radical ways,” Ries said, adding: “When we were young, we had to figure out how to sin. We are now living in a whole different time, where kids who are 9 years old have the mind of teenagers because of the content that they’re exposed to. They’re getting immune to it, callous to it, and corrupted by it.” But as a result, Ries said, the “harvest is ripe” for the Gospel. He said that he’s seen an unprecedented increase in teens and young people dedicating their lives to the Lord in recent months. “The fruit is so ripe that it’s literally falling off the trees up to this point,” he said. “Everyone is giving their life to the Lord. You’ve got to have a conversation with them, be genuine with them, let them know that you love them and that God loves them. They are so eager for the freedom and truth the Gospel gives.”

Time is short so take this opportunity to present the greatest good news ever told to all in your circle of influence. If you are available the Holy Spirit will bring people to you. God loved us sufficient to send His Son to die for us that we have the opportunity to get back into a son/daughter relationship with Him. Not only that, but also to be assured of eternal life with Him on a new earth and heaven with an end to pain, suffering and death.

Embrace LIFE not DEATH.

UPDATE FROM KENYA HOUSE CHURCH MOVEMENT

I, Pastor Charles would like to personally, and on behalf of our Kenya house church movement (KHC), to give thanks to you, and to all the community of believers, followers, and friends of Living Eternal Now, all who felt in their hearts to help donate their finances to support our last joint KHC (8 house churches) meeting for 2020 this coming week. A BIG THANK YOU!

I pray and believe that the meeting will be a great blessing to the life of our people, and to the surrounding community, and will bring a positive outcome.

I will keep you updated!

I am keen to purchase a computer and large TV screen for Pastor Charles so we can hold Zoom Meetings and he can use the Power Point Sermons we have for the end times church. As well, he will be able to connect with and use the excellent resources of the many excellent para church groups out there particularly those that are about making disciples to complete the Great Commission. If you would like to help grow the Kenya House Church Movement then please click on the Donations button on the Home screen.

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

END TIMES: GREAT FALLING AWAY IN THE CHURCH

Can we tell in advance who is going to be part of the Great Falling Away, The Apostasy? Can we anticipate apostasy in our church by observing the actions and beliefs of churchgoers? Based on what the Bible tells us, the answer is YES. Churchgoers may act like they believe, but remember Jesus said, “Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’ Matthew 7:22

Watch this Nelson Walters YouTube Video to find the answers.

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.”

FALSE SPIRITS INVADE THE CHURCH OF CHRIST

Thank God the church in the main has recognised that the spirits evident in the video below are not of the Holy Spirit but deceptive evil spirits.

Sadly, instead, the spirit of the world has swept into the church and in the name of tolerance and false love, homosexuality, transgender and gay marriage are all considered acceptable lifestyles. Speaking out on the consequences of living those lifestyles brings immediate condemnation and loss of position and even ability to keep a job and earn a living. In Australia, Israel Folau and Margaret Court are good examples of this persecution.

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Two of the sport’s most legendary players John McEnroe and Martina Navratilova protesting against the naming of Margaret Court arena at the Australian Open.

Listen to what Jesus told the disciples in Mark and Luke as to what believers/Christians can expect from the world in the end times just before His return, first to take the saints to heaven so they will not endure the wrath of God that is poured out when the scroll (all seven seals removed) is finally opened and the trumpet and bowl judgements are poured out on the earth. Revelation 8.

But when they arrest you and deliver you up, do not worry beforehand, or premeditate what you will speak. But whatever is given you in that hour, speak that; for it is not you who speak, but the Holy Spirit. Now brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; and children will rise up against parents and cause them to be put to death. And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake. But he who endures to the end shall be saved.” Mark 13:11-13

But before all these things, they will lay their hands on you and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues and prisons. You will be brought before kings and rulers for My name’s sake. But it will turn out for you as an occasion for testimony. Therefore settle it in your hearts not to meditate beforehand on what you will answer; for I will give you a mouth and wisdom which all your adversaries will not be able to contradict or resist. You will be betrayed even by parents and brothers, relatives and friends; and they will put some of you to death. And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake. But not a hair of your head shall be lost. By your patience possess your souls.Luke 21:12-17

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!

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.

SIGNS OF THE END TIMES

According to a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, just 30% of respondents identifying as Millennials or Generation Z (ages 18-38) say religion or belief in God is very important, which means 70% don’t believe in God. This compares with 67% of those over 55 who say belief in God is important. 

The above poll results demonstrate, conclusively, the devastating effect the teaching of evolution as fact in our schools and universities has on belief in God and His Word.

Despite the fact the latest scientific evidence, particularly the DNA Encode project, has proved conclusively, living things are highly complex, with an extraordinary multi layer level of information on the DNA. Moreover, the DNA controls highly complex machines in the multitude of cells that make up a human body so that only intelligent design can be their source. The information on the DNA, and the design of the machines in the cells, had to be correct when the organism came into existence (irreducible complexity). Evolution by random chance is nonsense and yet it is still being taught in our schools and universities. Why? Because they cannot countenance a supernatural God, certainly not the God of the Bible. Moreover, they are oblivious to the fact that supernatural beings are influencing their actions. This is spiritual warfare as described by Paul in God’s Word.

“Put on the whole armour of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armour of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.” Ephesian 6:11-13

Another devastating result is most respondents under 38 do not see having children as very important while some 54% of respondents over 55 say it is. 

Don’t believe in God, and judgement, and life after death, then why be concerned about anything but self. God’s Word prophecies that prior to Jesus second coming that this is what it will be like for Christians.

“Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations 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. And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.” Matthew 24: 9-14

Will the church be prepared for the coming tribulation? What is being preached in your church about increasing persecution of Christians and the end times? Has your church compromised with the world on gay marriage and homosexuality?