REMEMBER GOD IS IN CONTROL

In times of great political change, major cultural transformation, and social upheaval like you and I see today, we have to remember that God is in control. 

Great article by Martyn Iles, God has raised up the Martyn Iles for His purposes in these last days.

This is of extraordinary comfort to the Christian. God knows His people and He cares for them.

That is the story of Scripture and of history. And that is your story. He will not leave or forsake you – that is one thing you can be certain about.

There is not one square inch of all creation over which God is not sovereign. He governs all things; He ordains all things. He sits above and behind all things and gives all things their meaning – including the government.

Daniel 2:21 tells us: “He changes times and seasons, deposes kings, and sets up kings.” 

Romans 13:1: Paul said: “there is no authority except God, and those authorities that exist have been instituted by God.”

God can’t be shut out of government.

Some want to say, “No, this is a secular society and God cannot come in.” But it’s not possible. It matters not whether the people in government have faith or not. God was, and is, already there.

And you and I are in a rare situation today – it’s called a democracy.

That means as Christians in this nation, you and I can be a voice of righteousness when leaders are weak, failing, or evil. It means you and I have an opportunity to speak up. We can tell the truth. We can mobilise.

Some may say, “Does political action really matter? Shouldn’t we just preach the Gospel?” My response would be: “Why can’t we do both?”

You and I need to be whole Christians. We need to be Christians who live and speak the Gospel in the workplace, in the community, and in the public squares. That’s when people will ask, “What’s different about you?” and they’ll come on the journey towards Christ.

That is desperately needed right now. YOU are needed right now – to be salt and light in a society that is gripped by uncertainty.

In difficult times the work of God becomes more urgent, not less. People need to hear the truth with more urgency and clarity because the stakes are higher.   

You and I are called to speak of Christ, represent Christ, and do good. To be salt to stop the decay, and light to drive out the darkness.

Democracy is a precious gift we can use to be the voice that our leaders sometimes are not.

And that leads me to the upcoming elections. If you want to know how you should vote, I will tell you … Vote for righteousness.

Don’t vote for the widest motorway or the biggest welfare cheque. Vote at a macro level for right and wrong.

Obviously, it’s never a perfect choice. But vote for the one who you truly believe will promote that which is good, and restrain that which is evil, more than the other. That’s what the government is meant to do!

ACL is here to inform you, equip you, and mobilise you to be a voice of truth and righteousness at a time when there are many conflicting messages, and when our government is making critical decisions for our nation.

LIVING OUT OUR CHRISTIAN FAITH

CS Lewis writes in Mere Christianity: Christ says, “Give me all. I don’t want so much of your time and so much of your money, and so much of your worth: I want you. I have not come to torment your natural self, but to kill it. No half measures are any good. I don’t want to cut off a branch here and a branch there. I want to have the whole tree down. I don’t want to drill the tooth, or crown it, or stop it, but to have it out.”

Lewis could only write these thoughts because he understood Jesus’ words:

Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it but whoever loses their life for me will save it. What good is it to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit their very self,Luke 9:23-25

Lewis also understood that our actions must speak louder than our words.

But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.James 1:22-24

What do our lives look like to others? Do they know you will stand up for God’s truth regardless of the consequences? Do they know you care for them? Do they know God cares for them even more than you do?

GOD CAN USE YOU JUST AS HE DID REHAN

A Pakistani teenager has reportedly led his entire tribe to embrace Jesus, a remarkable story shared this week by Mission News Network (MNN).

A 17-year-old going by the pseudonym “Rehan” for security reasons was working as a waiter when he met Safdar, a truck driver, and partner with a missions group called Foursquare Missions International (FMI).

Safdar gave Rehan an audio Bible after they met, and the teen listened. Then, he started meeting with Safdar to talk about God and the Bible. Soon, he became a Christian and was baptized, according to Missions Network News MNN.

Rehan soon shared the Gospel message with his family and community members. Considering the sweeping and intense persecution Christians face in Pakistan, these actions were dangerous and, without a doubt, courageous.

Pakistan (MNN) — In Pakistan, a 17-year-old boy led his entire tribe to follow Jesus.

At first, Rehan’s parents, who were receptive to the Gospel, were scared. But he reportedly forged on.

A man named Nehemiah, who works for FMI, explained that Rehan wasn’t dissuaded. He invited missionaries to minister to his tribe and share the Gospel – and the results were incredible.

Rehan’s 60-person tribe reportedly stopped participating in Muslim prayer and turned toward Jesus.

“One evening, he gathered all the tribe’s members under one big tent. First, Rehan showed a movie about Jesus,” Nehemiah told MNN. “Then, an FMI partner shared a 15-minute devotion about new hope in Christ. That day, a 17-year-old boy led his whole tribe to the Lord Jesus Christ.”

Now, the missions groups ask for prayer for this tribe and others in the region.

This story is especially remarkable, considering the hostile arena in which Rehan boldly shared the Gospel. As Open Doors USA’s “2022 World Watch List” notes, Pakistan is one of the most dangerous countries in the world to be a Christian. The nation ranks eighth on the list, with Islamic oppression serving as the primary form of persecution.

“In Pakistan, Christians are considered second-class citizens and are discriminated against in every aspect of life,” Open Doors reported. “Church leaders can be arrested if they don’t abide by the authorities’ wishes. These arrests act as warnings to the Christian minority and intimidate them further.”

Regardless, God is at work as Rehan’s story demonstrates it just requires willing workers that God can use.

Be Prepared to Handle Persecution Like Päivi Räsänen

Christian MP says prosecution for tweeting Bible verse on homosexuality is a ‘privilege’

Finland, Päivi Räsänen

Finnish Parliament Member Päivi Räsänen authored 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.

Päivi Räsänen, who was interrogated by police for over 13 hours and questioned on how she interprets the Apostle Paul’s letters in the Bible, will appear in court next Monday over criminal charges for voicing her belief on marriage and sexuality. She faces the possibility of six years in prison for sharing her deeply held biblical beliefs on sexuality and marriage. Räsänen shows amazing courage in saying that it’s “quite a privilege” to be interrogated for her religious beliefs.

“I could never have imagined when I worked as the minister of the interior and was in charge of the police that I would be interrogated and asked that kind of questions in a police station,” the lawmaker who led the Christian Democrats party from 2004 to 2015 said.

She said police also asked her if she was ready to “renounce” her writings. “But I answered that I will stand on what I believe and I will speak about these things and write about these things also in the future because they are a matter of conviction, not only an opinion,” she said. 

“I thought it was quite a privilege to have these kinds of discussions with the police,” Räsänen said in an interview with Alliance Defending Freedom International, a legal nonprofit that specializes in religious freedom cases and is supporting the 62-year-old former interior minister.

“I had many times during these hours the possibility to tell to the police the message of the Gospel, what the Bible teaches about the value of human beings, that all people are created in the image of God and that is why they all are valuable.”

It was like “giving Bible studies to the police,” she remarked.

Persecution of Christians is only going to escalate as the final prophesied tribulation that precedes the rapture of the Saints (trumpet blast at the opening of the seventh seal) and God’s wrath being poured out (Trumpet and Bowl judgements) on the unrepentant, unfold. We need to be prepared to be part of God’s disciples like Päivi Räsänen who will proclaim the gospel of the kingdom to all the world.

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. And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.Matthew 24:9-14

DEALING WITH CONTROVERSIAL TOPICS LIKE ABORTION

Why Are You Pro Life? How to Defend the Unborn

Do you struggle with knowing what to say and how to say it when a controversial topic such as abortion comes up?

“Challenging Conversations”, hosted by author and Christian worldview expert Jason Jimenez ia a conversational podcast designed to help Christians overcome their fears and learn to respectfully engage people of a different view or belief system. You will gain insight as Jason and his guests get into deep conversations about the Christain faith and discuss how Christians ought to be defending the Gospel as they speak the truth in love to those around them.

Click on the link below to hear Jason on How to defend the unborn.

https://player.edifi.app/episodes/Why-Are-You-Pro-Life-How-to-Defend-the-Unborn/4391984

LIVING THE CHRISTIAN LIFE

Another amazing video from Torben. This video is of Torben’s last week living for Christ in Florida. Letting the Holy Spirit guide his steps. This is how we all should live the Christian life.

You will love this video! Watch the first minute, and you will want to see more!

Torben’s message:

“Our heart is that people out there will experience Christ, get born again, and then start to live this amazing everyday life led by the Holy Spirit. They will see miracles! This is for you. If you don’t know where to start, then visit http://www.TheLastReformation.com/ start and watch some of the movies, or go through the online Pioneer School. Read our book The Last Reformation about how we need a reformation of the church back to this life. Don’t stop before this is your life!”

Blessings Torben Sondergaard

MADE IN THE IMAGE OF GOD

Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness… So God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.” Genesis 1:26-27

We all bear the Image of the Godhead, however marred it may be from the treason in Eden. Yet as Jesus saves us and the Holy Spirit sanctifies us, He conforms us into the image of Jesus—thus those of us who call upon Him also bear His Name. In the words of Paul, we are then to bear His Message. Scripture places a unique stewardship of the Message of Jesus on those He has saved. We are all called to be disciples of Jesus Christ.

When the heart and mind of the Godhead first decreed the creation of humankind, They purposed that man—both male and female—would bear the Image of the beautiful One who inhabits eternity. With this holy dignity came a profound burden of responsibility; to align our affections and allegiances with anything other than our Maker, our “Source,” is more than simple “sin,” to “miss the mark” as if your arrow flew past the target and you could shoot another one instead. It is treason. This is why “the wages of sin are death.” Violations of goodness and justice may not dwell alongside the truth Adam and Eve determined by word and deed to forfeit forever.

The Godhead was never going to give up on the creature they had made in their own image. In fact, the following Scriptures reveals that they knew beforehand both that mankind would need to be redeemed and that only by a member of the Godhead, God the Son paying the price for our redemption could it be achieved.

He (Jesus) was foreknown before the foundation of the world but was made manifest in the last times for the sake of you who through him are believers in God, who raised him from the dead and gave him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.” 1 Peter 1:20-21

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before Him. In love He predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will,Ephesians 1:3-5.

What a wonderful God we have. He loves us in a way it is hard for us to comprehend. Our Heavenly Father was prepared to ask His Son to die that we might be restored back into a right relationship with Him and inherit eternal life.

He is worthy of all our praise and worship above all else. We know we have eternal life and that God will be with us whatever He calls us to do. The big question is what are we prepared to sacrifice for our Lord?

Only let each person lead the life that the Lord has assigned to him, and to which God has called him.1 Corinthians 7:17

So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. Give no offense to Jews or to Greeks or to the church of God, just as I try to please everyone in everything I do, not seeking my own advantage, but that of many, that they may be saved. ​ Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ.

TESTIMONIES ARE POWERFUL

And they have conquered him (The Accuser/Satan) by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death.” Revelation 12:11

Brian Ivie
Brian Tetsuro Ivie

Young Christian filmmaker Brian Tetsuro Ivie says Christians are losing relevancy in modern-day society for not speaking to people’s spiritual and physical needs as Jesus did. To change that, Ivie has teamed up with NBA all-star Steph Curry to create films with original content that will inspire Christians to do both.

Ivie’s testimony is inspiring and is typical of how God works with His new children:

“When I became a Christian, I thought I was gonna leave the film industry entirely because I figured once you became a Christian, you had to go to Africa, or you had to give up all of your dreams,” Ivie told The Christian Post in a recent interview. “I think, in some ways, that was good because it taught me how to just walk with God and not look at my career as something that was going to ultimately fulfill me because it’s not.”

At the beginning of his faith walk, Ivie took part in philanthropy and social work for a few years, a season he pegged as a “desert.” He worked in South Korea and other parts of the world, which is how his film “The Drop Box” came about. The movie, made in partnership with Focus on the Family, told the story of South Korean Pastor Lee Jong-rak, who, after gaining a reputation for his willingness to care for disabled children, built a box into his home’s wall because he did not want any babies to be discarded and left for dead.

Years later, Ivie was asked to make “Emanuel,” which tells the story of the 2015 church shooting in Charleston, South Carolina. It was then that he and Steph Curry became acquainted, and soon after, Curry joined the film as an executive producer. 

So when the famous athlete thought about launching his own production company, he brought in Ivie to help create the faith content that would be overtly Christian and inspiring to viewers. 

It felt like it was the realization of the dream — the new dream and the new vision God had put into my heart when I became a Christian. It felt like the moment where the old dream and the new dream came together. And it felt like, ‘OK, this is God’s plan for my life,’” Ivie said.

ARE YOU PASSIONATE ABOUT SHARING THE GOSPEL OF CHRIST?

JESUS FINAL WORDS WERE: “ALL AUTHORITY IN HEAVEN AND ON EARTH HAS BEEN GIVEN TO ME. THEREFORE GO AND MAKE DISCIPLES OF ALL NATIONS …

And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 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 28:18-20

It was clearly a command to HIS followers. Will we be obedient to that command?

HE HAS GIVEN US THE MINISTRY OF RECONCILIATION. WE ARE AMBASSADORS FOR CHRIST

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and He has given us the ministry of reconciliation, that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.
Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God. For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” 2 Corinthians 5:17-21

Time is short, start living eternal now with a focus on Jesus return. Jesus made it possible for our Heavenly Father to send the Holy Spirit to be your counsellor, teacher and comforter. He will guide you into all truth, He will direct your paths, but it must be with a humble and contrite heart that says, not my will but Your will be done from this day forward.

Listen to Floyd McClung give excellent teaching on being an obedient disciple of Christ using the Parable of the Sower.

REALITY OF CHRISTIAN DISCIPLESHIP

Good to see this video from Torben about the reality of his experience when sharing the GOSPEL on the streets. When Jesus sent out the twelve disciples His instructions were:

EXPECT PERSECUTION

“Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves. Beware of men, for they will deliver you over to courts and flog you in their synagogues, and you will be dragged before governors and kings for my sake, to bear witness before them and the Gentiles. When they deliver you over, do not be anxious how you are to speak or what you are to say, for what you are to say will be given to you in that hour. For it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you. Brother will deliver brother over to death, and the father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death, and you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. When they persecute you in one town, flee to the next, for truly, I say to you, you will not have gone through all the towns of Israel before the Son of Man comes.
“A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master. It is enough for the disciple to be like his teacher, and the servant like his master. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more will they malign those of his household.” Matthew 10:16-25

HAVE NO FEAR

“So have no fear of them, for nothing is covered that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known. What I tell you in the dark, say in the light, and what you hear whispered, proclaim on the housetops. And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows. So everyone who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven, but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven.Matthew 10:26-33

NOT PEACE BUT A SWORD

Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. And a person’s enemies will be those of his own household. Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.Matthew 10:34-39

ETERNAL REWARDS

?Whoever receives you receives me, and whoever receives me receives him who sent me. The one who receives a prophet because he is a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward, and the one who receives a righteous person because he is a righteous person will receive a righteous person’s reward. And whoever gives one of these little ones even a cup of cold water because he is a disciple, truly, I say to you, he will by no means lose his reward.Matthew 10:40-42