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.

BEST NEWS EVER TOLD

The GOSPEL is the best news ever.in human history. Consider what God, our heavenly Father, did to make it possible for mankind that had rejected His sovereignty at THE FALL to be restored back into a right relationship with Him.

Adam was told that death would be the result of eating from the tree of the knowledge of Good and Evil> Yet Eve and he chose to disobey God and eat it being deceived by another being, a spiritual being, that had already chose to disobey God, Satan, also known as the Devil. Mankind thus bought death and suffering into a word that was originally created perfect.

God’s plan to restore mankind is beyond our comprehension and it is only because God originally made us in His image to be in relationship with Him does He reach out to us by His Holy Spirit to make Himself known.

The most remarkable part of God’s plan is that He, Himself entered His world in the person of His Son, Jesus to pay the price of mankind’s disobedience – death. It is important to understand Jesus came exactly as prophesied in God’s Word given through His prophets.

God has demonstrated that He wants a relationship with each of us. He has done this ever since Creation by working with individuals that trusted Him. It is why it is so important we know His Word (The Bible) is inerrant, it conveys the true history of this world and of His working with individuals.. Events such as Noah’s Flood, The Tower of Babel, Israel’s exodus from Egypt and above all Jesus resurrection from the dead were all real events. Satan has contrived with strategies that are demonstrably untrue, such that the world made itself via evolution and therefore miracles are impossible and that God’s intervention in His world with miraculous events such as Noah’s flood are myths. In the case of Noah’s Flood this is despite the fact most nations around the world have a flood story in their origins.

Delivering the Gospel, the best news this planet has ever heard should be a joy for us to deliver and we should be anxious to share it with everyone. The Holy Spirit indwells every believer. He is also the one who convicts unbelievers of sin so He will direct us to those people that need to hear the Good News if we are available to be led by the Spirit and are saying each day, as Jesus did when He walked this planet, not my will but yours, Lord be done today.

Time is short, brothers and sisters in Christ so let us get about our joyous task of delivering the best news ever told. Your own testimony of what God has done and is doing in your life is an important part of the Good News. So too is Jesus prophesied soon coming return to put things right.

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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. 20:5

This fallen world will experience the rule and reign of Jesus with the Saints for 1000 years before this world is destroyed by fire. The second resurrection of the dead and the White Throne judgement follows and only then will believers join Jesus and God the Father on a new earth and heaven. Jesus work is complete and He hands over sovereignty of the new earth to the Father. All unbelievers have been relegated to the Lake of Fire, punishment and a second death.

He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. The one who conquers will not be hurt by the second death.Revelation 2:11

Blessed and holy is the one who shares in the first resurrection! Over such the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ, and they will reign with him for a thousand years.” Revelation 20:6

Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire.” Revelation 20:14

But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.” Revelation 21:8

TO DIE IS GAIN

Let us look at a few Scriptures relating to life on God’s earth. This first Scripture makes it clear that God knows each one of us before we were born and He knows how we will live out our days.

Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.Psalms 139:16

So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.” Psalms 90:12

David asked God to teach Him. We need to have prayer filled lives and teachable hearts. Note: David wanted a heart of wisdom.

For if, because of one man’s (Adam) trespass, death reigned through that one man , much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ.” Romans 5:17

There is only one way we can reign in this life. It is when we receive through Jesus Christ the abundance of grace (Holy Spirit) and the free gift of righteousness.

For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me. Yet which I shall choose I cannot tell. I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better.Philippians 1:21-23

It really does come down to how much do we treasure our Lord Jesus Christ. Do we treasure Him above all life’s earthly pleasures? Note the two life options for Christians: fruitful labour for Jesus on this earth which Paul obviously enjoyed or to depart and be with Jesus Christ which he acknowledged was the better option.

And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment, so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.Hebrews 9:27

We all face death but how different is the fate of those that reject God’s offer of eternal life through His Son. Judgement, the Lake of Fire, punishment and eternal death. Unbelievers should be fearful of the fate that awaits them after death. If they knew perhaps some would repent. Let us do our best to reach as many as God brings across our path with the Gospel of Christ.

COMPLETING THE GREAT COMMISSION

What are we doing to witness to the goodness of God in a world that has ceased to acknowledge His existence, let alone His sovereignty over the Cosmos. Jesus gave us an assignment to tell those around us about the good news of the Gospel.

Bible prophecies forecasting the events prior to Jesus second coming to earth are being fulfilled at an ever increasing rate much like “birth pangs”. This should prompt spirit filled believers to get about our master’s business. We will need to give Him an account of our actions or inaction.

Let us not be like Jonah. When God sent him to Nineveh he rebelled and took a boat to Tarshish, far from Nineveh. God used the situation to have Jonah witness to the sailors on the boat. Jonah told them he was the cause for the terrible storm and that if the sailors threw him into the water the storm would cease. They eventually did and the storm ceased. “So they picked up Jonah and hurled him into the sea, and the sea ceased from its raging. Then the men feared the Lord exceedingly, and they offered a sacrifice to the Lord and made vows.” Jonah 1:15

Next God orchestrated for a fish to swallow Jonah, he repented after God called him a second time, and Noah eventually fulfilled his mission. The response to Jonah’s message was astounding . This notoriously immoral city and an enemy of Israel repented with fasting, sackcloth and ashes. When Nineveh repented, the reason for Jonah’s rebellion became clear: he had feared that God would forgive the Ninevites; and when God did forgive them, Jonah resented it (Jonah 4:1-3).

And finally, God’s question to Jonah “And should not I pity Nineveh, that great city, in which there are more than 120,000 persons who do not know their right hand from their left… ?” is unanswered and should confront each of us. There are many people who have not heard the gospel and just as Jonah was commanded to go we also are commanded to go and share the gospel with all God brings across our path or leads us to. Are we being obedient to His call?

GOSPEL IS SIMPLE, SANCTIFICATION IS MORE COMPLICATED

ICCC Word of the week. This article was written by Peter Michell. For more helpful teaching material, please check out the Transformed Working Life videos, study guide, and booklets. These materials are available free of charge at www.transformedworkinglife.net

The gospel is very simple – believe, put your trust in, the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved. Your eternal destiny will be secured as your spirit is born again and becomes filled with the Holy Spirit. It’s simple, straightforward, and easy to understand – we have become new creations with God Himself as our Father.

On a more complicated note, Paul said this to the Thessalonians, Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul and body be preserved blameless at the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it.’  1 Thess. 5:23-24 

Here is the promise that the Lord will sanctify us (set us apart) Himself. But we still experience all sorts of problems from inside ourselves and from outside influences.  How do we live through these things victoriously?  Is the problem me? Is the problem someone else? Is the problem the world we live in? Is the problem from our enemy? How am I to deal with every situation?

Complexity can rule the day with lots of ‘what if’ questions.  Simplicity has the answer every time – take it to the Lord in prayer!  Business problem? – take it the Lord. Relationship problem? – take it to the Lord. Money problem? – take it to the Lord. Problem understanding something? – take it to the Lord. Any type of problem? – take it to the Lord. We are all invited

‘Come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.’  Hebrews 4:16.

Why are we invited to the throne of grace? – so that the Lord can deal with our request! Coming to Him shows our trust and expectation that He will hear us. Why would God answer and help us? Simply out of love. He created man for a love relationship with Himself. He knows our struggles in life on earth and has and will provide all we need through His grace and mercy. He can deal with the most complicated issues of life and work.

Right now, as the world reels from one thing to another, we need, and will continue to need, His intervening help – and He will gladly give it.  The walk of faith will not be taken away from believers.

Nevertheless, there is a ‘learning curve.’  Like any aspect of life, we have to learn. This is why we are urged to study to show ourselves approved. (2 Timothy 2:15)  There is the need to rightly divide the word of truth –  that is to understand the new covenant we have been brought into by Jesus’s blood sacrifice, and not to get caught up trying to keep the old covenant because righteousness does not come through the law.

So, let’s enjoy the simplicity of coming to Jesus with our needs, and invite the Holy Spirit to increase us in all aspects of truth to deal with the complexities of life. 

As many of my followers know, I am on the Board of ICCC Australia so am familiar with their excellent training materials available for free on http://www.transformedworkinglife.net.

SOCIAL MEDIA RESTRICTING THE GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST

The YouTube Trust and Safety Team is now age-restricting videos explaining basic Christian theology. According to their interpretation of the Community Guidelines, anyone under eighteen years old should not be exposed to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

After watching the video below can I ask you to go to YouTube and type in “How Can God Die?” Note what comes up. Suggest you watch the video it has a powerful message. David Wood produces many excellent videos particularly if you want to be equipped to share the gospel with Muslims.

FROM FORTUNE TELLER TO FAITH IN JESUS

Amanda (not real name) and her husband come from a small Muslim village in Northern China. Amanda had a secret. She was a fortune-teller. Word began to spread that Amanda was exceptionally good at her ‘craft’ of fortune-telling, and people travelled from other villages to ask guidance about their future and seek solutions for their problems. But then Amanda was struck by a mysterious illness. One day she awoke and was unable to move any of her limbs. Her husband rushed her to hospital, but the doctors were unable to diagnose the problem. “I was so afraid,” Amanda recounted. “Somehow I just knew God was punishing me. I knew I must have done something to displease him.” Amanda’s sister was a Christian and visited her in hospital.

She told Amanda, “Jesus is the only Saviour for all mankind.” That night Jesus revealed himself to Amanda in a dream. “In the dream, I was in a taxi and it was very dark outside,” Amanda recalled. “We were driving into complete darkness. Suddenly, three men wearing white robes with radiant light all around them appeared on the right-hand side of the car. I couldn’t see their faces, but they told me it was time for me to make a choice. As quickly as they had appeared, they were gone. “Then two men wearing black robes appeared to the left of the taxi. They approached me and tried to entice me to join them on their side of the car. Something drew me inexplicably to the pure white robes, so I got out on the right-hand side of the taxi.

“I woke from the dream and knew immediately that one of the men in white robes was Jesus, and that I was to follow Him. I prayed right there in my bed and immediately the paralysis left my body. It has never returned.” Miraculously, her husband experienced the same dream months later, and also came to faith. Amanda’s ‘craft’ has been changed by her encounter with Christ. Now, when people come to ask for wisdom and solutions to their problems, Amanda points them towards Jesus. She prays that he will illuminate their lives with his truth and love.  But Amanda’s conversion hasn’t been free of persecution. When her father-in-law found out that she had become a Christian, he lost his temper and began to treat Amanda and her children with contempt.

“On one occasion, I had to go out, so I left my children in the care of their grandparents,” Amanda shared. “When I came back, I found bruises on their faces. My heart just broke.” To this day, Amanda’s children are afraid of staying with their grandparents. In spite of the persecution from her relatives, Amanda continues to share the gospel with others. Many have found the Lord, and up until the coronavirus crisis began, they were meeting once a week to read the Bible and pray together. Even in the hardest places to follow Jesus, his light is continuing to shine through believers just like Amanda.

TRUE GOSPEL VERSUS FALSE GOSPEL

Torben gives a much needed warning to the church: Are you preaching a false Gospel? Where is the repentance? Where is the real meaning of baptism taught – dying to self, alive in Christ? Where is the discernment of Spirits and the casting out of demons?

Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:19-20

He reveals how misguided many of the leaders of the charismatic movement in the USA have been and still are.

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 7:22-23

What we are seeing in the church is exactly what Jesus told His disciples would happen in the last days prior to His return – apostasy, compromising with the world and its values, a falling away, false prophets that tickle the ears of their followers.

FOUR FOLD GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST

Nelson Walters offers fresh insight on the GOSPEL MESSAGE revealed in the Passover meal taken by Jesus and His disciples on the night before His crucifixion.

Four Fold Gospel

  1. Salvation: immediate as baptised – died to self, alive in Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit.
  2. Sanctification as we submit our will to His will by the power of the Holy Spirit.
  3. Deliverance from the wrath of God at the Rapture. Finally the Bride is seen wearing the white robes after the Rapture, at the Seventh Seal. God’s wrath is simultaneously poured out at the Seventh Seal: At the opening of The Scroll and prelude to the Seven Trumpet judgements followed by the Bowl Judgements.
  4. Jesus said to His disciples at the Last Supper: “I will not drink again of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s Kingdom.”