POWERFUL TESTIMONY BY DENZEL WASHINGTON

Actor Denzel Washington does not mince words when it comes to his faith in God. And in a recent interview with the New York Times, Washington reiterated that he is a “God-fearing man” while also warning people to not become too self-focused. 

“This is spiritual warfare. So, I’m not looking at it from an earthly perspective,” he said in the interview. “If you don’t have a spiritual anchor you’ll be easily blown by the wind and you’ll be led to depression.”

As CBN News has reported, Washington gave his life to God early on, but it took a few years for him to understand the weight of that decision. 

“Three times…I think we all go through that. I was filled with the Holy Ghost and it scared me,” he said. “I didn’t want to go this deep…I want to party. It was a supernatural, once in this lifetime experience that I couldn’t completely understand at the time.”

Now, the 64-year-old actor lives out his tenets of faith daily. 

“I’m a God-fearing man,” he told NYT. “I try not to worry. Fear is contaminated faith.”

Washington goes out of his way to help others and encourage them.

Actor Corey Hawkins, who plays opposite of Denzel in “The Tragedy of Macbeth,” told the New York Times the actor prays with him. “Sometimes we get talking and you see the preacher in him,” he said. “He’s just a natural-born charismatic leader who is not afraid to talk about his own faults or misgivings or shortcomings.”

Washington has become more outspoken about the pitfalls of social media. “The least we can do is consider what we have done and think about the young people,” the two-time Academy Award-winning actor said. He also recently shared scripture encouraging people not to get too focused on social media. 

“The Bible says in the last days — I don’t know if it’s the last days, it’s not my place to know — but it says we’ll be lovers of ourselves,” he said. “The No. 1 photograph today is a selfie, ‘Oh, me at the protest.’ ‘Me with the fire.’ ‘Follow me.’ ‘Listen to me.’”

“We’re living in a time where people are willing to do anything to get followed. What is the long or short-term effect of too much information? It’s going fast and it can be manipulated obviously in a myriad of ways. And people are led like sheep to the slaughter,” Washington added.

His focus has become more heaven-bound. 

“There are going to be two lines, the long line, and the short line, and I’m interested in being in the short line.”

During his American Film Institute Life Achievement Award acceptance speech, he was outspoken about His faith in God. Hopefully, it impacted some of the Hollywood stars present. He also warned against the “twitter-tweet meme-mean world that we’ve created for our children.” Be encouraged and challenged.

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

PROPHESIED “END TIMES” FALLING AWAY

George Barna, the lead researcher at the Cultural Research Center, explained in a statement. “’Christian’ has become somewhat of a generic term rather than a name that reflects a deep commitment to passionately pursuing and being like Jesus Christ.”

Of an estimated 176 million American adults who identify as Christian, just 6% or 15 million of them actually hold a biblical worldview, a new study from Arizona Christian University shows.

The study shows, in general, that while a majority of America’s self-identified Christians, including many who identify as evangelical, believe that God is all-powerful, all-knowing and is the Creator of the universe, more than half reject a number of biblical teachings and principles, including the existence of the Holy Spirit.

Strong majorities also errantly believe that all religious faiths are of equal value, people are basically good and that people can use acts of goodness to earn their way into Heaven. The study further showed that majorities don’t believe in moral absolutes; consider feelings, experience, or the input of friends and family as their most trusted sources of moral guidance; and say that having faith matters more than which faith you pursue.

Worship
Parishioners of Lakewood Church led by Pastor Joel Osteen pray together during a service at the church in Houston, Texas, on September 3, 2017

One of the most disturbing results was that most adult US Christians don’t believe Holy Spirit is real. Some 62% of self-identified born-again Christians contend that the Holy Spirit is not a real, living being but is merely a symbol of God’s power, presence or purity. These people obviously do not believe the Bible is God’s Word because it reveals that unless a person is born again with the Holy Spirit, Jesus will say to them on judgement day “depart from me I do not know you”. Jesus told the disciples the Parable of the Ten Virgins to show us what the church will be like in the last days before His return. All were asleep when He came and half were not born again.

Then the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish, and five were wise... the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the marriage feast, and the door was shut. Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, Lord, lord, open to us.’ But he answered, ‘Truly, I say to you, I do not know you.Matthew 25:1-12

With most of the denominational churches in the USA accepting gay marriage and transgender priests it is obvious that these Cultural Research Center figures are an accurate depiction of the church and fits with the Bible’s prophesied apostasy in the last days.

REPENTANCE THAT LEADS TO SALVATION

For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death. For see what earnestness this godly grief has produced in you …” 2 Corinthians 7:10-11

To get into Christ’s Kingdom, you have to truly repent, truly dying to self so that you cannot go back to your old life. Paul talks about godly grief, being convicted by the Holy Spirit about your sin. Knowing how abhorrent sin is to God you will have “godly grief that leads to repentance“. You will also realise how good, how gracious and merciful God was to send His Son, Jesus, to pay the price for your sin of rebellion against Him and His values.

Once we have truly repented and accepted Jesus as our Saviour and Lord, God the Father sends the Holy Spirit to indwell our spirit. God’s Word tells us that our spirit is the lamp of the Lord and a lamp requires oil (Holy Spirit) to function as God intended. When Adam and Eve sinned the Holy Spirit departed their spirit, so they died spiritually immediately and their bodies died some 900 years later.

The spirit of man is the lamp of the Lord, searching all his innermost parts.” Proverbs 20:27

Without the Holy Spirit we cannot live the Christian life. He is the one that brings about the sanctification process, making you Christ like. He is the one that produces the fruit of the Spirit in your life; love, joy, peace patience, faithfulness, gentleness, goodness, kindness and self control. He is also one that provides the gifts of the Spirit for ministry; words of knowledge, words of wisdom, prophecy, faith, healings, miracles, discerning of spirits, speaking in tongues, interpretation of tongues. You are not saved unless the fruit of the Spirit and the gifts of the Spirit are evident in your life.

Sadly, there are many people sitting in the pews of churches that have not experienced “godly grief that produces a repentance that leads to salvation“. The “end times” parable of the Ten Virgins tells us that half of them that are waiting for the bridegroom (Jesus) to return do not have oil for their lamps and Jesus tells them to depart from me I do not know you. This parable reveals that half the people in the “end times” church that think they are Christians and are waiting for Him to return are not saved and will be on earth when the wrath of God is poured out with the Trumpet and Bowl judgements.

For Christians this should be a wake up call, we have a mission field in our churches people who need to experience “godly grief that produces a repentance that leads to salvation.”

YOUR INTELLECT AND HUMAN REASON ARE NOT ENOUGH

Faith in Christ comes first, which is a miracle of the Holy Spirit in the spirit of man.

Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spiritJohn 3:6

The spirit of man is the lamp of the Lord, searching all his innermost parts.” Proverbs 20:27

The spirit of man (like a lamp requires oil) requires the Holy Spirit to function as God intended. At the Fall of Man the Holy Spirit departed from Adam and Eve’s spirits. Jesus made it possible for our Heavenly Father to send the Holy Spirit to once again indwell believers spirits.

Without saving faith, you only have human reason upon which to base your decision concerning the truthfulness of Christianity. You need to be raised up to a higher level in order to know for sure that Christianity is true.

Would you like to receive the forgiveness of sins as well as sanctified reason from your Creator?

The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel” Mark 1:15

If so, “Repent and believe the good news of what Jesus has accomplished for you” (Mark 1:15).  In those few words, Jesus presented man with the only path to eternal life on a new earth and heaven. Are you on it? And if not, do you want to be on it?

The Apostle John under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit taught people how to know if their religion was fake:

Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, but whoever keeps His word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in Him: whoever says he abides in Him ought to walk in the same way in which He walked.” 1 John 2:4-9

By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother.1 John 3:10

We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brothers. Whoever does not love abides in death.1 John 3:14

The Apostle John also taught people to know if they had eternal life.

I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life” 1 John 5:13

This knowledge of eternal life through faith in Christ is what then confirms to a believer that Christianity is true.

The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.Romans 8:16

This explains how I know Christianity is true. What about you? Are you trusting Christ alone for salvation? It is the only way to be forgiven of your sins, and the only way to receive the anointing and sanctified reason. This is how you can come to know that Christianity is true.

Without the new birth by the Holy Spirit, a person remains in spiritual darkness and only rises as high as his intellect and human reason can take him. 

RELIGIOUS FREEDOM TO DO WHAT?

Pray for religious freedom so that we can love God and love our neighbour as we do ourselves. However, as the following Scripture makes clear, this does not necessarily mean loving people as they want to be treated. True love is leading people to the truth about God and His righteousness. This must be the ultimate purpose of our actions. People need to know the hard truths about God and themselves and particularly the need for repentance. Sadly, this is not what they want to hear. They want to hear we acknowledge and approve of their sinful behaviour. The result, they are the victims and we are the oppressors.

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.

First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Saviour, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time. For this I was appointed a preacher and an apostle (I am telling the truth, I am not lying), a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth.1 Timothy 2:1-7

What we are experiencing should not come as a surprise, Jesus tells us that people will hate us when we stand up for the truth about God and His righteousness.

Blessed are you when people hate you and when they exclude you and revile you and spurn your name as evil, on account of the Son of Man! Rejoice in that day, and leap for joy, for behold, your reward is great in heaven; for so their fathers did to the prophets. Luke 6:22-23

This website Living Eternal Now is all about getting you into the scriptures that reveal the truth about God, this life and history of the world.

Are you born again with the Holy Spirit indwelling your spirit? Without Him you are not saved. Jesus made it possible for our Heavenly Father to send the Holy Spirit to be our counsellor, comforter, teacher. He is the one that produces the fruit of the Spirit (love, joy, peace, patience, faithfulness, gentleness, goodness, kindness and self control ) in our lives. He controls the sanctification process, He makes available the gifts of the Spirit for ministry (1 Corinthians 12:1-11). Without Him you can do nothing that has eternal value.

Jesus told the Parable of the Ten Virgins (Matthew 25: 1-13) to reveal that half the church (people who believe they are Christians) in the “last days” do not have the Holy Spirit and He tells them to go ” I do not know you”.

Are you Holy Spirit empowered to Live Eternal Now?

Available on Amazon as ebook and trade paper back editions.

THE UNSTOPPABLE GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST

In the Book of Acts the Gospel bearers face threats, persecution, imprisonment, internal conflict, theological controversy, litigation, storms and shipwreck, but none of these impede the Gospel’s progress. The Gospel is the powerful instrument the Holy Spirit uses to produce believers – in Jerusalem, Samaria, Cyprus, Lystra, Derbe (city of Galatia) and throughout Europe. In rural areas (Acts 14) and philosophical centres (Acts17), the Gospel is equally at home, with the Holy Spirit revealing the truth of the Gospel.

All three persons of God are involved in redeeming mankind: God the Father, Jesus His Son and the Holy Spirit

Luke gives us statistical summaries to show the growth of the church (Acts 2:41; 4:4) and comments throughout on the health of the Word. In Chapter 6, when dissension breaks out in the church, Luke tells us ‘the word of God continued to increase and spread’ (v.7). In Chapter 12 when Herod has James killed, the word’s health is contrasted with Herod’s wormy death (v.24). In Chapter 19 when people burnt their magic scrolls to ash, the Word, he says, ‘continued to increase and prevail mightily’ (v.20).

If the title of the book of Acts were to be changed, I would suggest a title which included ’the unstop-ability of God’s Gospel’. What a refreshing encouragement to read this Holy Spirit-inspired book and be reminded that God’s purpose prevails.

“The purpose of God is to glorify himself by saving a people of his own, through hearing and believing the Gospel of his Son, as it is carried to the world by his Holy Spirit-empowered people”.

This abbreviated and slightly modified inspiring article by David Cook is from AP – Reformed Thought for Christian Living

CHURCHES GROW UNDER PERSECUTION

A new peer-reviewed study published last month in the academic journal Sociology of Religion demonstrates that churches grow under persecution.

The study’s findings, outlined in Christianity Today by authors Nilay Saiya and Stuti Manchanda, buck conventional wisdom. In places where Christians enjoy official support from national governments, religious faith tends to decline. Conversely, Christianity spreads most successfully in countries with legal commitments to religious pluralism and in places that actively discriminate against and persecute believers.

These are the countries with the fastest growing Christian populations (the states with low/no official support for the faith are in bold): Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia, UgandaRwandaMadagascarLiberia, Kenya, DR Congo, and Angola.

And here are the countries with the fastest declining Christian populations (the states with moderate/high official support for the faith are in bold): Czech RepublicBulgariaLatviaEstonia, Albania, MoldovaSerbiaGermanyLithuania, and Hungary.

Hungary, for example, is an officially Christian nation. Even still, faith is waning: Although a majority of Hungarians identify as Catholic, only 12% regularly attend church services and just 14% describe religion as “very important” in their lives.

It is worth noting, as author Rod Dreher has, Prime Minister Victor Orban’s governance in Budapest is very much aligned with politically conservative Christian views. As such, the country has passed legislation to that end.

Nevertheless, Saiya and Manchanda argue that, in pluralistic societies, where religious ideologies coexist and must compete, for lack of a better word, Christianity — untethered from politics — often flourishes. Paradoxically, they found, “state favoritism of religion inadvertently suppresses it.”

That is due to the fact that, countries that are “officially Christian,” and even in the U.S., to an extent, Christianity may become less about a convictional relationship with Jesus and instead morph into just one aspect of a citizen’s larger national identity, resulting in faith being less about personal beliefs and more about cultural tradition.

On the other hand, the Christian faith has expanded most in Asian countries, where there’s no “official” faith and pluralism has been embraced: In contrast to Europe, Christianity in Asian countries has not been in a position to receive preferential treatment from the state, and this reality has resulted in stunning Christian growth rates. The Christian faith has actually benefited by not being institutionally attached to the state, feeding its growth and vitality.

Consider the case of South Korea, which in the course of a century has gone from being a country devoid of Christianity to one of its biggest exporters. It currently ranks as the second-largest sender of missionaries, trailing only the United States.

This example illustrates well the paradox of pluralism. Because South Korea is not a Christian country, Christianity enjoys no special relationship to the state. In fact, Christianity in Korea endured the brutal persecution of Japanese colonial rule, during which churches were forcibly closed down and their properties confiscated. Indeed, the church persisted through poverty, war, dictatorship, and national crises throughout Korean history.

Since World War II, Korean Christianity has grown exponentially, with tens of thousands of churches being built and seminaries producing thousands of graduates every year. Today, about a third of the country is Christian.

Christianity also seems to flourish — as it did for the early church leaders in Acts — in places where believers face discrimination and persecution.

The faith of those facing persecution for their convictions is often deeper and more profound, because the stakes are inherently higher when it’s not in one’s cultural best interest to embrace such beliefs.

Open Doors USA, an advocacy organization tracking Christian persecution around the globe, ranks Iran as the eighth-worst place in the world for believers. Despite facing “extreme” persecution — where the government has outlawed conversion from Islam, imprisons those who evangelize, and arrests people for attending secret house churches or sharing Christian literature — it’s believed there could be at least one million Christians in the Islamic country.

A similar phenomenon is believed to be unfolding in Afghanistan, which Open Doors lists as the second-worst place to be a Christian. There is only a small number of believers in the country, where it is illegal to convert from Islam, and those who do face certain imprisonment, violence, and potentially even death. Rula Ghani, the first lady of Afghanistan, is a Maronite Christian from Lebanon.

Outside the Middle East, the world’s largest persecuted body of believers is found in China, where the communist government continually discriminates against and harms Christians.

Chinese police destroyed several church buildings earlier this year, including one where 50,000 Christians worshipped.

Much to President Xi Jinping’s chagrin, Protestant Christianity has continued to grow exponentially in China, where the government estimates some 200 million of its 1.5 billion citizens are believers.

Fenggang Yang, a sociologist of religion at Purdue University, said in 2019 he believes more Protestant Christians will live in China by 2030 than any other country in the world.

“When Communists took power in 1949, there were one million Protestants living in China, compared with 58 million in 2010 and probably around 100 million in 2019,” he said. “Despite the government’s efforts to suppress, I don’t think it will stop the growth of Christianity in China. All the evidence I have collected shows it’s undeniable; it’s already happening.”

If these numbers reveal anything to Christians, it is that believers should place their trust not in conventional wisdom, but in the often paradoxical work of the Holy Spirit.

Russian philosopher Fyodor Dostoevsky once lamented the deeply misguided belief held my many Christians “that Christ cannot reign without an earthly kingdom.”

It would be folly for the Christian to spend his or her life building an impenetrable kingdom on earth. We know from Scripture such an effort would be in vain. Psalm 46 says, “The nations rage, the kingdoms totter; he utters his voice and the earth melts. The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.” And, in Matthew 24, Jesus told His disciples it is His authority alone that will stand the test of time: “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.”

In Matthew 6, Jesus warned His followers against storing up treasures on earth, “where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal.” Instead, He told them to invest in the eternal Kingdom of God.

Our ultimate hope, redemption, and restoration comes not in the protection of the state, which is never certain, but through salvation in Jesus, with whom we are heirs to a Kingdom operating outside the space and time of this temporal world.

Article by Tré Goins-Phillips Editor of Faithwire

LET US CELEBRATE PENTECOST SUNDAY 2021

With Pentecost Sunday coming up, it is an appropriate time for us to reconsider what Jesus made it possible for our Heavenly Father to do when He went to the Cross and died on our behalf.

Our Heavenly Father sends the Holy Spirit to indwell every believer to make it possible for us to live the Christian life.

“Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may know the things freely given to us by God, which things we also speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, combining spiritual thoughts with spiritual words.1 Corinthians 2:12-13.

If we have the Spirit, our hearts will be gentle and kind. 

If we have the Spirit, our intentions will be pure.

If we have the Spirit, our words will show compassion and not judgment.

If we have the Spirit, our lives will exhibit the fruit of spirit: love, joy, peace, faithfulness, gentleness, goodness, kindness and self control.

And God will give us the right words if we heed His SpiritHe will guide and guard our every step.

When we allow God’s word and His Spirit to shape our actions and our words, we are walking in the Spirit and pleasing God.

But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do.Galatians 5:16-17

Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.” Galatians 5:19-21

How are you living your life? According to the works of the flesh or will you follow Jesus and commit your life to walking in the Spirit.  It is never too late to make the right decision! 

“The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.” – Mathew 20:28, Mark 10:45.

Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.Philippians 2:5-8

LISTEN TO HOW THIS CHURCH GOT RIGHT WITH GOD

Bob Gallaty finally realises He was the problem in His church. The reason why churches are not seeing God move is the Holy Spirit is not directing them, particularly their leaders, and true prayer is absent. Pastors in particular need to watch this video.

Robby Gallaty is senior pastor of Long Hollow Baptist Church in Hendersonville, Tennessee. He spoke with Faithwire about his church having seen 1,048 people baptized from Dec. 20 to April 11. He spoke about how to lead a church, how to make space for the Holy Spirit, and how to pursue God in prayer in effective and meaningful ways.

Those who follow livingeternal.net know that I believe the end times church will be like the church described in the Book of Acts. Church is relational, home groups, and is about making disciples who in turn make disciples of Jesus. Therefore, I am not saying that Bob Gallaty has discovered the right model but he is certainly moving in the right direction.