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.
This is one of the most needed sermons for the church, particularly the denominational church in our day. In the age of “selfies”, this generation is more focused on me than any in my lifetime, and my lifetime now spans three generations. Yes! my eldest son is a grandfather.
Francis Chan recognises we are in the last days: unless Christians are truly born again of the Holy Spirit (died to self), they will fall away when prophesied persecution of Christians intensifies.
Each of us needs to obey God and use the gifts He has given us to bless the church and take the Gospel to their world.
Please share this sermon by Francis Chan to challenge and hopefully bless many.
As the victorious South African national rugby team prepare to return home to a hero’s welcome, one player’s life story has captured the world’s imagination. Captain, Siya Kolisi has been on an extraordinary journey. Growing up in an extremely poor township outside Port Elizabeth, his mother died when he was just 15 years old and his family struggled to get him a decent education.
“Sometimes we didn’t have enough money to pay my primary school fees of R50 ($4) a year,” Siya said. Relying solely on his talent and a relentlessly positive attitude, Siya was eventually scouted for his athletic talent after being spotted playing a sports game with his friends.
He earned a scholarship to the prestigious Grey High School in Port Elizabeth. The rest was history. Fast forward to Tokyo and this extraordinary player, the first black man to captain the South African national team, was lifting the Webb Ellis trophy aloft, his proud family watching on.
Speaking to SportGo Mag just prior to the World Cup, the rugby star opened up about how the Lord had been getting him ready for the big stage by refining his character. “God has been preparing me for such a time as this,” he said. “While struggling with a lot of things personally, temptation, sins and lifestyle choices, I realised I wasn’t living according to what I was calling myself: a follower of Christ. I was getting by, but I hadn’t decided to fully commit myself to Jesus Christ and start living according to His way.”
Kolisi continued: “Something I was struggling with in my personal life was suddenly exposed to the public (God will do this to cause us to make a decision). I knew I either had to change my life, or lose everything. Up until then everything I was fighting against was hidden, but when my sin was exposed I decided to lose my life and find it in Christ. Walking alongside a spiritual mentor, I’ve been able to discover the saving power of Christ in a whole new way. This new life has given me a peace I’ve never experienced before. Now that I have given everything to God, nothing else affects me. I now live and play with the freedom of knowing His plan will always happen, and at the end of the day, that’s all I care about!”
Pat and Karen Schatzline are international evangelists and authors who co-lead Remnant Ministries International and the I Am Remnant Movement. This passage is an excerpt from their book Rebuilding the Altar (August 1, 2017)
God is Calling Hungry Hearts to the Altar in This Season say Pat and Karen Schatzline
The monumental journey of writing this book (Rebuilding the Altar) began late one night roughly 20 years ago following a discussion about the altar. In May 1997, we were youth pastors at Calvary Assembly of God in Decatur, Alabama. The church and the youth ministry were in a state of revival. We were young pastors at the time, and we were zealous to see God pour out His Spirit in north Alabama. Secretly, though, something was stirring within us. We realised later that God was getting ready to move us to the next level, and part of His process was to create this stirring in our spirits. What used to satisfy our spirit just wasn’t working anymore.
I (Pat) remember praying early one morning in the living room of our small condo. As I lay there, I suddenly saw a vision of King David carrying the ark of the covenant back to Israel. I said, “Lord, why am I seeing this?” He replied, “Son, I am asking you and Karen to carry My mercy seat back to America.” I knew in that moment that God was calling us to be evangelists.
In fact, until 2015 our ministry was called Mercy Seat Ministries. We changed the name to Remnant Ministries International in 2015 after a new revelation came to us. As I lay on the floor praying that morning, our son, who was five at the time, came and lay on the floor beside me. “Daddy,” he said, “why do you cry all the time?”
I smiled at him and replied, “Because Daddy hurts for this generation.”
Suddenly the Lord spoke to me again. He said, “Son, you weep because you are mourning your own death.”
“Lord,” I replied, “what do You mean?”
“What I mean is this,” God replied. “If I am going to use you and Karen, you must die to everything. You must build Me an altar.”
Together we have travelled more than two million miles to the four corners of the earth. We have seen hundreds of thousands saved, renewed, filled with the Spirit and healed. It has not been easy, but we have been kept by God’s presence, which we experience only by being obedient to meet Him at the altar.
We are known for giving altar calls at our meetings, and we have seen thousands touched and transformed at the altar. Yet many have abandoned that place of surrender and obedience. The altars of our churches have become the steps by which man ascends the platform rather than the place to learn to walk in God’s steps! Sadly, we now live in a day when God would be treated as a stranger if He were to show up in many of our churches.
If we are to experience the trans-formative power of God, we must return to the altar. When Jesus stretched out His arms on the cross, He was telling mankind, “Now you can have access to meet with God!” Jesus’ entire ministry on earth was established so that we could have direct access to heaven.
Do not read this if you are satisfied with a life of spiritual mediocrity, which will, in turn, cause God to simply be a stranger when you arrive to meet Him in heaven. God’s call requires a response as it takes you on an adventure in faith, freedom, authority, wisdom, blessing, spiritual identity and dying to self. Although we will discuss the physical church altar, this call of God is about a personal and deep encounter with the One who hung between the thieves. It is at the altar of the cross that we once again desire to see God more than we desire people, platforms or plaudits, where we become plaintiffs in the courts of heaven and not defendants in the inner circle of the religious.
This is not a call for the satisfied or those who recoil at the thought of God invading their space. It is a call to hungry hearts, a call to the realisation that the ultimate altar was a cross that held the jewel of heaven (Heb. 10:12–13).
Are you willing to run, walk or even crawl back to the place where your freedom awaits, to lay aside the day-to-day, nonstop busyness and dust off the altar of encounter? If so, then you might just be a prime candidate to become what we call “the altared “—those who have realised that without a daily encounter with God, life will never be complete. The altared have experienced Psalm 32:7, and that is their cry: “You are my hiding place.”