BELIEVE AND OBEY, BOTH NECESSARY

There is no doubt Jesus accomplished all we need to be righteous before God our Father. Salvation is available for all those that repent of their sins and believe in Jesus as both our Saviour and Lord.

For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes,” Romans 1:16

But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it— the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe.Romans 3:21-22

We are justified by His grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,” Romans 3:24

And he said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.” Luke 7:50

It is a done deal, however the following verses also indicate that Jesus calls us to action.

And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” Immediately they left their nets and followed him.” Matthew 4:19-20

As Jesus passed on from there, he saw a man called Matthew sitting at the tax booth, and he said to him, “Follow me.And he rose and followed him.

To another he said, “Follow me.” But he said, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father.” And Jesus said to him, “Leave the dead to bury their own dead. But as for you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God.” Luke 9:59-60

Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.Matthew 16:24

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.Ephesians 2:10

Jesus has put us in right standing with our Heavenly Father and made it possible for our Father to send the Holy Spirit to enable us to live the Christian life, to be our Counsellor, our Comforter and Teacher so the question now is are we truly obeying His call to follow Him and to do the good works He has prepared for us?

YOU NEED TO KNOW JESUS

For this reason God highly exalted Him and gave Him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow — of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth — and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.Philippians 2:9-11

JESUS MILLENNIAL KINGDOM IS COMING (This Kingdom by Geoff Bullock)

VERSE 1: Jesus, God’s righteousness revealed, The Son of Man, The Son of God, His Kingdom comes, Jesus, Redemption’s sacrifice, Now glorified, Now justified, His Kingdom comes.

CHORUS: And this Kingdom will know no end, And it’s glory shall know no bounds, For the majesty and power of this Kingdom’s King has come, And this Kingdom’s reign, And this Kingdom’s rule, And this Kingdom’s power and authority, Jesus, God’s righteousness revealed.

VERSE 2: Jesus, The expression of God’s love, The Grace of God, The Word of God Revealed to us, Jesus, God’s Holiness displayed, Now glorified, Now justified, His Kingdom comes

CHORUS: And this Kingdom will know no end, And it’s glory shall know no bounds, For the majesty and power of this Kingdom’s King has come, And this Kingdom’s reign, And this Kingdom’s rule, And this Kingdom’s power and authority, Jesus, God’s righteousness revealed.

THE GREATEST PERSON WHO EVER LIVED

Megachurch Pastor Jonathan Stockstill recently released his debut bookThe Real Jesus, Challenging What You Know About the Greatest Person Who Ever Lived, as a way to combat cultural Christianity.

Here we have a megachurch pastor realising that the church has largely failed in its mandate to produce disciples who can produce more disciples but he is yet to realise that the church model he continues to pursue is a major part of the problem. Nevertheless, his new book conveys important truths and the following edited transcript of Stockstill’s interview with The Christian Post where he identifies the differences between cultural Christianity and the biblical mandate to follow Christ is helpful to understand the state of the church. Another observation of Stockstill in this interview; in my opinion, he does not give sufficient recognition to the Holy Spirit and His role in every believers life.

The Real Jesus: Challenging What You Know About the Greatest Person Who Ever Lived

Christian Post: What inspired you to write The Real Jesus?

Stockstill: Three things: 1) I have seen that we live in a cultural Christianity — whether seen in our Christmas and Easter holidays, or in the gospel choir on the Grammys. We are a product of Christianity. I wanted to put the person of Jesus Christ back in the center of what it means to be a Christian. 2) I had an encounter with God in October of 2007 that forever changed my life. I talk about it in the book. 3) Jesus said, “if you love me, you will obey my commands.” That verse pierced me to my core and sent me on a journey of discovering exactly what He taught. This book is all about the man, the model, and the message of Jesus Christ.    

CP: Does Western society have different versions of who Jesus is?

Stockstill: Absolutely. … People commonly confuse their church attendance, spiritual habits, and good deeds as a sufficient substitute for their own faith in and relationship with Jesus. Yes, all of those things are great, but unless these actions are the result of an intimate relationship with our Savior, then it’s all for naught. Our faith in Christ should be so flourishing and fruitful that we can’t help but regularly do those things. 

Sadly, the idea of Christianity has become a to-do list for many, while Jesus just desires to know each of us more intimately.          

CP: How do you keep your ministry focused on the real Jesus despite the many different versions of Jesus that exist in this day and age?

Stockstill: Here at Bethany Church, our mission statement is: “Bringing all people into the life, family, and purpose of God.” If our ministry isn’t bringing someone into a personal relationship with Jesus, connecting them with other believers to do life with, or empowering them to live out the God-given purpose in their life, then we know that what we are doing isn’t of the real Jesus that we read about in Scripture.    

CP: What can someone do to identify how they might be following the wrong gospel?

Stockstill: To be a Christian means to be a little Christ. The only way you can be a little Christ is if you study Him, follow Him, obey Him, and allow His Spirit to transform you into His image. 

Simply put, if you have a religious tradition, but not the things I mentioned, you may be on the wrong track!  

CP: Along with being a pastor, you’re also a worship leader. Does being a worshiper help your connection with God?

Stockstill: For sure! Whether I’m leading or not, there’s no doubt that entering into the presence of God through worship is powerful. 

There are many instances in the Bible where praise preceded a breakthrough. No matter what it may sound like, declaring whose we are and who He is will always create an environment where God can work in our lives and reveal Himself to us. 

A Jesus-centered mentality has changed how I lead worship. When I lead in worship, I focus all my attention on Jesus. His presence follows.      

CP: What do you say to those who might not believe in real-life encounters with the son of God?

Stockstill: It’s human nature to doubt and play the “what if” game. However, Jesus Himself said, “Blessed are those who believe without seeing me.” When you pursue Jesus, and not just what He offers, you can’t help but encounter who He is. 

For those with their own questions, I encourage you to seek out Jesus wholeheartedly for your answer(s) because you’ll soon experience for yourself everything that He is and wants you to become in Him.      

CP: Why do you think people do not have a real, raw and relevant relationship with God? What are the roadblocks? How can we cultivate that?

Stockstill: Life happens, and it’s so easy to get wrapped up in the things of today. Intentionally creating time and space for any relationship is difficult. With a world full of distractions, it’s no wonder that people lack authentic relationships with others and God. You may be doing a bunch of good things but that doesn’t mean you’re doing what’s best. And it’s hard to know what’s best unless you’re in constant communication with who has given us His best. Being still and knowing that He is God is most definitely easier said than done. 

We can’t hear His voice unless we’re close to Him and have removed ourselves from the things of this life. Until we are disciplined enough to create space for God, it’s crazy to think that we’ll know Him fully. Jesus was intentional about His relationships with others and even sought refuge in a garden to get clarity from His father, so shouldn’t we learn to do the same.

CP: What are the benefits of being a true disciple of Jesus and not just a fan?

Stockstill: Being a disciple of Christ means that we have everything through Him that God’s Word promises. As His sons and daughters, we will never be without because we are one with Him. 

A fan of Jesus may temporarily experience these things, but being His means that it’s ours for eternity.    

SUBMISSION TO AUTHORITY

Submission comes down to a choice. Are we going to recognize the authority of another, or are we going to insist on doing things the way that we want to do them? Above all do we recognise the authority of our Creator God. The following Scripture tells us exactly what our Creator thinks about the importance of us submitting to authority. Moreover, His word tells us exactly the roles and rules He has established for male, females, fathers and mothers, elders and children that enable us to function in His world.

“Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men.  Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.  For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name.” Philippians 2:5-9.

Understanding that submitting to authority does not have anything to do with the value or worth of an individual is fundamental to our ability to accept whatever role God assigns to us.

Submission is defined as, “The action or fact of accepting or yielding to a superior force or to the will or authority of another person.”

People have struggled with the idea of submission forever, usually because of pride, ego, or greed. For organizations to function effectively, there must be order and recognition of authority. In the absence of these two things, we have chaos. Jesus is such a great example for us and yet Jesus asserted His authority over man when He said:

“I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” – John 14:6. and “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.” Matthew 28:18

Sadly, the roles and rules established by our Creator are no longer considered valid in todays society. We would prefer to make up our own rules so that we can do whatever we desire to do whenever we want to do it. Lawlessness is the result. God’s Word tells us that in the last days before Jesus returns to this earth lawlessness will abound.

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

Now concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered together to him… Let no one deceive you in any way. For that day will not come, unless the rebellion comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, who opposes and exalts himself against every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God.” 2 Thessalonian 1:1,3-4

Jesus second coming is as important as His first coming. It is glorious for those of us that have accepted His offer of eternal life. It was achieved by Jesus sacrifice on The Cross which was necessary to bring us back into a righteous relationship with our Heavenly Father. However, accepting Jesus offer also requires us to submit to His Lordship over our lives. When we do, Jesus makes it possible for our Heavenly Father to send the Holy Spirit to indwell our Spirit enabling us to live the Christian life. Our Spirit is the lamp of the Lord which requires oil, the Holy Spirit to function, to produce light.

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

When we say to our Heavenly Father, as Jesus did during His time on this earth, not my will but your will be done, the Holy Spirit will produce the fruit of the Spirit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, faithfulness gentleness goodness, kindness and self control. Also all nine gifts of the Spirit will be available for us to achieve God’s purpose for our lives (1 Corinthians 12;4-11).

Sadly, many people who think they are Christians have never truly submitted to the Lordship of Christ and so have never received the Holy Spirit to enable them to live the Christian life. They have never truly died to self to enable them to be born again in Christ. Where do you stand?

JESUS IS LORD

While elections and leaders come and go, what matters most in America and other Western nations is that we repent for turning away from God and rededicate our lives to the way of Jesus, to love God and love our neighbour as ourselves.

Wednesday, November 11th, 2020 is the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the Pilgrims to America and the signing of the Mayflower Compact. Fleeing religious persecution in Europe, this group of Puritans was in search of a new world where they could practice their faith without fear or opposition. Prayer Networks in Australia are encouraging Christians to set aside Wednesday to pray and fast for America—that the nation would return to God, and that God would direct the outcome of the election towards justice.

God is doing a “new” work in the USA and Terry and Barbi Franklin are privileged to be involved. In my next post, I will upload their video where they explain how God through repentance is bringing Christians to prayer and fasting as never before and of course, the results are amazing.

Hope you enjoy Terry and Barbi’s rendition of As One We Stand as much as I did.

Watch this beautiful overview of D.C. as you listen to the beautiful words sung by Barbi and Terry Franklin.

“GOO TO YOU” BY EVOLUTION IS NONSENSE

The world has been deceived and will suffer the consequences. It no longer fears God and yet God’s Word tells us: “The beginning of wisdom is to fear God.”

If you receive my words and treasure up my commandments with you, making your ear attentive to wisdom and inclining your heart to understanding; yes, if you call out for insight and raise your voice for understanding, if you seek it like silver and search for it as for hidden treasures, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God. For the Lord gives wisdom; from His mouth comes knowledge and understanding; He stores up sound wisdom for the upright;
He is a shield to those who walk in integrity, guarding the paths of justice and watching over the way of His saints.
Proverbs 2:1-8

“Beware that you do not forget the LORD your God by not keeping His commandments, His judgements, and His statutes which I command you today, lest-when you have eaten and are full, and have built beautiful houses and dwell in them, and when your herds and your flocks multiply, and your silver and your gold are multiplied, and all that you have is multiplied; … —then you say in your heart‘My power and the might of my hand have gained me this wealth.’ Deuteronomy 8:11-13, 17

“And you shall remember the LORD your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth, that He may establish His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day. Then it shall be, if you by any means forget the LORD your God, and follow other gods, and serve them and worship them, I testify against you this day that you shall surely perish.” Deuteronomy 8: 18-19

Read what God told Israel: “Not because of your righteousness or the uprightness of your heart are you going in to possess their land, but because of the wickedness of these nations the Lord your God is driving them out from before you, and that he may confirm the word that the Lord swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob.” Deuteronomy 9:5

Who controls kings: “The king’s heart is in the hand of the LORD, like the rivers of water; He turns it wherever He wishes. Every way of a man is right in his own eyes, but the LORD weighs the hearts.”  Proverbs 21:1-2

All will eventually acknowledge the Lord: “All the ends of the world shall remember and turn to the LORD, and all the families of the nations shall worship before You. For the kingdom is the LORD’s, and He rules over the nations.”  Psalm 22: 27-28


THE REMNANT CHURCH

The authentic church is totally confident Jesus is on the throne and that God’s purposes for His elect and His planet will unfold exactly as prophesied in His Word.

His church is Holy Spirit empowered, anchored in God’s Word (not tossed about by every “wind of doctrine”) and Kingdom focused.

Such churches are made up of remnant people. Jesus Himself, in His great prayer for His disciples in John 17, indirectly reveals their characteristics:

  • They know Jesus as Lord and Saviour. It is a personal relationship and above all else they want to make Him known. They trust and obey Him.
  • They understand the role the Holy Spirit has in their life to be their counsellor, comforter and teacher and they seek His guidance in all things.
  • They cherish God’s Word. It is truth, the way of life.
  • They are commissioned to make disciples.
  • They are not “of” this world but in it to complete God’s set purpose. They are set apart, dedicated to the work entrusted to them.
  • They are hated by the world because of their total commitment to Christ and the Gospel.
The Way of Life