RIGHTEOUS BY FAITH ALONE

Anything that is not birthed out of faith is fatally flawed by sin.

“For whatever does not proceed from faith is sin.” Romans 14:23

According to Isaiah without faith even our righteous deeds are “like a polluted garment”.

We have all become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment.” Isaiah 64:6

The reality is that anyone outside the saving faith of Christ are dead people, spiritually dead and therefore only capable of doing wretched, sinful things. From birth this is the reality for us all. We need to be clothed in His righteousness and this can only be done when we repent and put our faith in Jesus, the only one who can make us righteous, and that is by being clothed in His righteousness.

None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.” Romans 3:10-12

The book of Job teaches us much about faith. Believing that God is good despite the apparent evidence to the contrary, Job rested in faith alone. In the depths of agony he could still proclaim, “I know that my Redeemer lives” (Job 9:25). In the end, God silenced all discussion with the truth that He alone is wise (chs. 38–41). Yet, He vindicated Job’s trust in Him (ch. 42), proving that genuine faith cannot be destroyed.

The gospel is the power of God for salvation for in it the righteousness of God is revealed but it is by faith that we live the Christian life.

For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes… For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith (or beginning and ending in faith), as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.” Romans 1:16-17

USA – A DIVIDED NATION

Many Democrats are calling for Trump’s impeachment and removal from office through Congress, or the Cabinet’s invocation of the 25th amendment. For them, it’s not enough that Trump lost… They want him punished for his transgressions and his supporters humiliated.

If this attitude continues – and it almost certainly will – there will be no national reconciliation. The healing that President-elect Biden claims to bring will emerge as a short-lived fiction and even if he wishes to pursue a moderate course, the radical Left will push him on divisive policies.

Democrats already seem on the brink of a full-scale purge of prominent conservatives from public life. They are pushing to have them kicked off social media, fired from their jobs, and canceled in every possible way. Trump has been banned from Facebook and Instagram at least until the transition of power to Biden on January 20.

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 24:12-14

The irony is that this scorched-earth approach from the political winners of 2020 will only bring together and energize a badly dejected conservative base.

Nothing unifies people like a common foe, and the expected abuses and vindictiveness of the newly empowered Democrats will spur the GOP to circle the wagons. It will just be a matter of time… we should prepare for things to get even more tense, ugly, and bitter in 2021 which will provide us with opportunities to present the good news of Jesus Christ who alone can put things right and His Word tells us that He will in the not too distant future.

THE CALL TO REACH NON BELIEVERS WITH THE GOSPEL

Christian Post: You’ve said that your life inspires everything that you do and you often speak about how much you love Jesus. For the Christian audience, for those that want to know what they can look forward to in the film, what would you say to them?

Emmy award-winning entertainer Kathie Lee Gifford is gearing up for the release of her new film, “Then Came You,” part one of what she said is a five-part film series on the power of redemption. The outspoken Christian said she feels the Lord has called her to reach unbelievers. The following is a short edited transcript of The Christian Post’s interview with Gifford.

Gifford: I hope people aren’t disappointed that this is not your typical, this is not a faith-based film, in the terms that it’s different than anything I’ve ever done before. But I felt the Lord’s calling on my life to write a movie for people who don’t know yet that God loves them. I didn’t know why I thought that was a strange thing for Him to say to my heart. But I have many, many, many friends, more nonbeliever friends than I have Christian friends actually in my life, people that I share my faith with and they respect it, but they’re not there yet.

I think the Church has failed nonbelievers in many, many ways through the years and one of the biggest ones is that we haven’t loved them into the Kingdom.

Daytime TV host Kathie Lee Gifford had her final day on NBC’s “Today” show Friday, after 11 years of co-hosting. Before making her official exit, the Emmy Award winner released a short film, titled “The God Who Sees” featuring Nicole C Mullen.

The “modern oratorio” was directed by Gifford and shot in Israel. Mullen, the star of the film and the voice of the song and narration sings and shares about multiple characters in the Bible who have had desert experiences but God saw them through.

“Can you identify with Hagar the single mother, Ruth the widow, David from shepherd boy to King … but still struggling? Or how about Mary of Magdela whose mental illness was caused by demonic forces? Ever been afraid, uncertain, worried, on the run?” Mullen wrote in an Instagram post about some of the people she mentions in the song.

The title is based on one of God’s biblical names — El Ro-ee — which translates to “The God Who Sees Me.” Hagar gave God the name in Gen 16:13.  

The song begins in the Old Testament and shows how God is faithful all the way through and ultimately shares the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

“God was giving us something special,” Gifford testified in a behind-the-scenes promotion for the project.

The respected entertainer linked up with Mullens to create the song. After writing it out, it was recorded in one take at a studio in Nashville. Gifford believes God then told her to shoot the video as a short film in Israel.

I hope you will be challenged by the testimony of Kathy Lee Gifford to start witnessing to the unbelievers in your circle of influence for the time is short.

TIMING OF THE RAPTURE

And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached throughout the whole inhabited earth as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will comeMatthew 24:14

The event Jesus is referring to hear may well be the angel who God commissions to preach the gospel to those who dwell on the earth – to every nation, tribe, tongue and people –

Then I saw another angel flying in the midst of heaven, having the ...

God sends out three angels before the wrath of God is poured out with the trumpet and bowl judgements. The third angel likewise tells all those who dwell on the earth the consequences of taking the mark of the beast.

Then a third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, “If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives his mark on his forehead or on his hand, he himself shall also drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out full strength into the cup of His indignation. He shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb.” Revelation 14: 9-10

The church will not be raptured until the three angels deliver their messages to all the world. Five words demonstrate this point: “then the end will come” (Matt 24:14). The church will not be removed until this prophecy is fulfilled. It is simply another prophetic event that undermines an any-moment return of Jesus prior to Christians experiencing the Antichrist and tribulation.

On a related noted, having established that the church will be present on earth up to the end of the age in verse 14, notice in verse 15 Jesus says, “Therefore [oun] when you see the abomination of desolation…” The interpreter should not miss that Jesus has the same audience in view after verse 14. In verse 15, Jesus begins to describe the Antichrist’s great tribulation in more detail. There is no justification to claim that the referent “you” in verse 15 and afterwards is different from the “you” before verse 14. In other words, the disciples, who represent the new community of God (i.e. the church) will be on earth to see the Antichrist declare himself to be god and be the recipients of the tribulation even great tribulation that the Antichrist will inflict on Jews and Christians at that time.

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.

ENSURE PEOPLE UNDERSTAND THE GOSPEL MESSAGE

Here are five ways to ensure your Gospel message is understood so the enemy can’t snatch “the message of eternal life” from the minds and hearts of your hearers. This message applies equally to when you are speaking to a group or just one person.

When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in their heart. This is the seed sown along the path.” Matthew 13:19

1. Don’t focus on what you’re teaching, focus on what they’re learning.  Instead of being consumed with getting your message across, get feedback to ensure they are engaged. You’re not successful when you get through your outline, you’re successful when they understand the message, and sometimes those are two different things.

2. Don’t give the answer before they’ve asked the question.  Utilise the first few minutes of your message to engage with your audience, throw out strategic questions, to get people thinking. To get them asking the right questions, only then will your answers be meaningful. The goal is to get people wanting to know the answer to the right questions.

3. Tell better stories and use testimonies. There’s a reason Jesus told so many stories. We’re wired for stories. If your message has all the facts but no compelling stories, you’re in danger of teaching for knowledge, not understanding. Stories help complex and deep truths penetrate the outer shell of our minds. Share your testimony, testimonies are powerful. It will be the linchpin of your message.

4. Create environments that foster an atmosphere for deeper learning.  People need to feel welcomed, loved, accepted, comfortable in the physical environment you’re teaching in. Foster an atmosphere where people are open to deeper learning. Your reputation must be one of integrity.

5. Check the fruit. The easiest way to check whether you’re teaching for knowledge or understanding is to check the fruit. Are they following through with what you’re asking them to do? Are they living it out? If there’s no long-term fruit in your audience, you’re teaching for knowledge. Jesus himself said that when you teach for understanding, “this is the one who produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown”  (Matthew 13:23).

DYING TO SELF; TRULY BORN AGAIN

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.

HUMANS CREATED BY GOD LIKE GOD AND FOR GOD… LIVING WITHOUT GOD

The major tragedy is that those living without God will miss out on eternal life with God on a new earth, without pain, suffering and death.

God has revealed to us in His Word what they face after death: resurrection and a day of judgement when “there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Matthew 8:1222:1324:5125:30Luke 13:28). Should we not begin weeping at the very prospect?

ALL of us who know God and His goodness towards us in Jesus need to be reminded constantly of Jesus command:

“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing 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 28:10

“Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptised will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.” Mark 16:15

What Luke said to the disciples before He ascended to heaven needs a response from all believers. We have all received the Holy Spirit to guide and direct our steps, to be our counsellor, teacher and comforter just as the disciples received Him at Pentecost.

“These are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me.” And He opened their understanding, that they might comprehend the Scriptures.
Then He said to them, “Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day, and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. And you are witnesses of these things. Behold, I send the Promise of My Father upon you; but tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high.

Also Paul in Acts gives us the same message:

“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
Jesus then Ascends to Heaven
“Now when He had spoken these things, while they watched, He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel, who also said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven.Act 1:9-11

Image result for picture of God on white throne at Judgement Day

There are more prophecies in the Bible about Jesus second coming than there were about His first coming over 2000 years ago now. These “end times” prophecies reveal that both the signs Jesus gave to His disciples to watch out for prior to His return, and our Heavenly Father revealed thru the Prophets of Jesus coming to rule and reign on earth, are now happening. The big sign was the reestablishment of Israel as a nation in 1948.

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.”

IS YOUR CHURCH FILLED WITH HOLY SPIRIT EMPOWERED PEOPLE?

Listen to this testimony and be challenged. The Gospel must transform lives so that they start to obey Christ and begin to share the Gospel and therefore complete the Great Commission.

In these “last days” as the world, exactly as prophesied, more and more rejects God and His word, God is raising up the Torben Sondergaads (The Last Reformation) and the Francis Chan’s of this world, to start churches exactly as those described in the Book of Acts. Churches that are actually raising up disciples of Christ.