END TIMES APOSTATE CHURCH

Foley Beach, Archbishop of the Anglican Church in North America, provocatively but convincingly calls “neo-pagan Anglicanism”—Anglican in style but not substance.

Speaking with a prophetic mantle, Beach observes that “liberal innovations in theology and sexual ethics” are hidden within an orthodox façade, comparable, I would say, to the Trojan horse: This so-called gift to Anglicans in North America and Great Britain signals ruin. He bemoans:

Neo-pagan Anglicanism is beautifully packaged in some of the most elegant liturgy, music, and tradition in Christianity. But it has become liturgy for the sake of liturgy, music for the sake of music, and tradition for the sake of tradition. As the apostle Paul wrote, they are “having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power” (2 Timothy 3:5). And as Athanasius argued against Arius’s heresy, the Jesus whom they promote is not the Jesus of which the Bible speaks.

As a result of this tragic accommodation to culture, Beach eschews the flaccid slogans of Canterbury and New York City about “communion across difference,” “mutual flourishing,” and “walking together” because there can be no truce with heretics and schismatics who advance a counterfeit gospel (Romans 16:17–18). Estranged Anglicans in the Global North, he argues, can address their “ecclesial deficit” by joining forces with Anglican leaders from the Global South, who, beginning in 2008, formed the Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON), which has continued to serve as a vital reform movement: “As colonial and aging wineskins continue to promote neo-pagan beliefs and practices, the new wine of Christ’s continuing redemptive work will burst out to transform lives and renew our churches among the nations.”

I would like to think that Beach is right that GAFCON “will burst out to transform lives and renew our churches” but I do not believe the institutional church is capable of doing it.

C. S. Lewis envisioned Christianity as a house with “a hall out of which doors open into several rooms.” The rooms are ecclesial traditions that offer disciples a fire for warmth, a chair for rest, and a meal for nourishment and fellowship, whereas the hall is “mere” Christianity, a place where disciples greet and gift each other with riches from their respective rooms.

The Book of Acts describes the early church meeting in homes and the church in various cities, like the church in Antioch or the church in Caesarea were a collection of house churches but one church and the leaders of those house churches would often meet to deal with issues that sought to divide the church in that city. The “end times” persecuted church will be like the church in the Book of Acts and like we are now seeing in places where the church is already under intense persecution like in Africa, China, Middle East. Moreover, we are hearing amazing stories of the tremendous growth of the church in Iran.

CHURCH AS JESUS INTENDED PART 3

The only “building program” in the New Testament is the building of men and women up in Jesus Christ. In the New Testament God did not reinstitute a new physical building program as He did in the Old Testament. God sovereignly destroyed the only physical building in the world that had any reflection of Him!

In the New Testament, in every town and city, Christians gathered in house churches. It was through all these small house churches everywhere in cities that Christians so rapidly multiplied and “turned the world upside down” for Christ. Only when we follow God’s model can we expect to do the same.

In the New Testament Jesus’ followers came together to “break bread” and “remember the Lord” only in house churches. Why only in houses churches? Jesus may have many more reasons that we don’t think about or understand, “His ways are not our ways.” But I can think of at least 10 pretty good reasons:
1. Identification: God does not want to be identified with a lifeless dead building anymore but rather only with life – the life of Spirit-filled believers.
2. Invitation: No one ever feels defensive when invited to come to a home, but rather gratitude and appreciation.
3. Extension: A house church is like a large family. It is just a large spiritual family. How a family operates is similar to how a house church family functions. Thereby, a good family becomes a good model for a house church and a good house church becomes a good model for a family.
4. Participation: A group as small as a house church allows everyone to participate and enjoy doing so. There is no such thing as “pew warmers”. House churches naturally foster real spiritual growth among everyone. In a traditional church, you are like a “spectator”. You walk in and are ministered to, spoon-fed, and entertained. You sit, you listen, you hear music, you hear a sermon and then you walk out. It’s like a spectator sport where you go, sit, watch and walk out. But believers in the New Testament church were not spectators ꟷ they were participators!
5. House Unity: Believers that meet in small house churches all feel very close to one another and experience true practical unity, quite unlike and impossible to experience in a large church congregation.
6. City Unity: Small house churches feel a greater need and desire to have unity with the larger body of Christ throughout their city, breeding a citywide spirit of love and unity with all believers in their city. The big building church congregations are so large that they often don’t see outside of their own big organization, unlike the small house churches.
7. Multiplying Leaders: The more leaders that develop within any group in society, the greater that group will multiply. Small house churches automatically stimulate spiritual leadership where large church building congregations with their professional clergy intrinsically suppress multiplying leaders.
8. Spreading the Gospel: Preachers are more apt to follow the New Testament example of going out to the public to preach the gospel when they don’t have a big church-building organization for people to come into. They’re more apt to follow the New Testament command to “GO and make disciples…”
9. Money: Billions of dollars are spent on church buildings, while if the same dollars were spent directly on people it would have an explosive impact the world over for the Kingdom of God.
10. Our Heavenly Father knows best: If we are not able to see any good reasons for house churches, we should still defer to house churches for no other reason than it is the only New Testament example that God Himself gave us. Does not our heavenly Father always know what is best? “What sorrow awaits those who argue with their Creator. Does a clay pot argue with its maker? Does the clay dispute with the one who shapes it, saying, ‘Stop, you’re doing it wrong!’ Does the pot exclaim, ‘How clumsy can you be?” (Isaiah 45:9).
The implications of the precedent that God set in the New Testament for meeting in-house churches is staggering once you understand all the benefits and implications of it. Here are 8 more important implications:

  1. Spiritual growth explodes qualitatively and quantitatively because everyone is committed and involved in a house church.
  2. Real accountability with all the believers becoming close, loving one another, and being “subject one to another”, as the Scripture instructs.
  3. Potential leaders have real and practical opportunities to develop and multiply rapidly unlike possible in traditional churches.
  4. All Believers can be more individually encouraged and motivated to share their faith in all their workplaces and marketplaces.
  5. Eliminates the destructive clergy/laity class system so unbiblical and oppressive in traditional church organizations. In house churches, all the Believers are not just “priests” in theory but in practice (1 Peter 2:5, 9).
  6. Stimulates all Christian men to rise up and see their spiritual opportunity and responsibility to become mature men and spiritual leaders within house churches, thus greatly benefiting and affecting their own physical family, their workplace, and their whole community (1 Timothy 3).
  7. Allows for and galvanizes the “apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers” to get out of their “church” buildings and follow Paul’s example to preach in public areas and from house to house (Acts 20:20).
  8. No money is diverted into building programs or church bureaucracy etc. but all funds go to help any faithful believers that are in genuine need and into the growing number of spiritual leaders to “fill all the city with their teaching about Jesus” (Acts 5:28).

Extracted from Jim McCotter’s book Church Revolution Today.

A BIBLICAL WORLDVIEW IS CRITICAL

A biblical worldview is critical because that’s what enables you to become a true disciple of Jesus Christ. Romans 12 talks to us about, ‘you have to have your mind renewed’, you must be ‘transformed’ by that ‘renewing of your mind’ with God’s principles at the core of all of your thoughts so that you can in fact live like Christ.”

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.Romans 12:2

Moreover, this is impossible unless we have been born again with the Holy Spirit now indwelling our spirit. Proverbs tells us that the spirit of a man is the lamp of the Lord and of course a lamp needs oil to function which is, of course, the Holy Spirit. To function as God intended we have always needed the Holy Spirit to be our counsellor, our comforter, and our teacher.

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

 Also, according to Barna, the only way to achieve cultural transformation is if people choose to “believe God’s truths,” which in turn will allow them to “act upon those truths based upon those things that you believe.”

“We are here to be salt and light. That’s what transformation is: changing the world around us forever based on God’s truths. But in order to do that, we need a healthy church. We need believers who get it, believers who are willing to put their lives on the line. Today’s traditional church and leadership model has veered far from Christ’s New Testament model of disciples making disciples typically in house churches.

In fact, a study released earlier this year by the Cultural Research Centre of 1,000 pastors found that only 37% of Christian pastors in the United States have a biblical worldview. The majority possess the hybrid syncretism worldview.

“As you read the Scriptures, you find that biblically, it is the role of the community of faith, i.e., our churches, to be supporting families and particularly parents in that process, equipping them for raising up their children to be dynamic followers of Jesus Christ,” Barna advised. Only the church model Jesus established, as described in the Book of Acts, will achieve that goal. I a convinced that the House church model is Jesus model and the institutional church will not survive the prophesied “end times” tribulation.

CHURCH AS GOD INTENDED

Church Revolution Today

The first Christian leader who read this book changed what they had been doing in starting new churches. Following the Biblical model in Church Revolution Today, in 5 years they started over 6,000 house churches and saw over 60,000 new baptized believers. This book is indeed revolutionary.  

available from http://www.jimsbookstore.com for a donation

The author, Jim McCotter, has personally started countless house churches and a worldwide movement of churches. He has trained thousands of believers in how to win others to Christ and how to work together to grow and multiply churches in cities throughout the world. Some that Jim has trained internationally and that have read this book are now starting, on average, more than one new house church a week.
Jim has proclaimed the Gospel in person to tens of thousands in cities and universities all over the world. And through newspapers, radio networks and television stations, which Jim and his team have owned and operated, he has communicated to literally millions of people nationally and internationally advancing the Kingdom of God. Now Jim and his team are developing new media, interactive multimedia, to reach every nation in the world.

Think about it… without any modern-day transportation, communication, or technology the New Testament churches were literally fulfilling the Great Commission in their day. It was even the heathen that were saying, they are “turning the world upside down for Christ!” Yet today, Christians have not even turned one city upside down for Christ, much less the world! Something is wrong! The church and church leadership must dramatically change. We must humble ourselves and acknowledge that the churches, spiritual leaders and we are missing the mark. It is we that must be revolutionized. We need a spiritual revolution.

Charles Otieno Owino of the Kenya House Church Movement brought Jim McCotter to my attention and I am glad he did. Make sure you read it and bring it to the attention of all those who want to be obedient to God’s call to preach the Gospel, particularly to pastors in traditional denominational churches.

“LAST DAYS” TRIBULATION IS TO PURIFY THE CHURCH

A new study from the Cultural Research Centre at Arizona Christian University (ACU), guided by popular pollster George Barna, has found that just 37% of Christian pastors in the United States have a Biblical worldview.” Seriously? Just 37%? It would be bad enough if less than 4 in 10 believers held to a biblical worldview. But less than 4 in 10 pastors? How can this be? In the words of Barna, “This is another strong piece of evidence that the culture is influencing the American church more than Christian churches are influencing the culture.” Or, viewed from another angle, rather than Christian leaders equipping their people to swim against the tide of the culture, they too are being carried by the current of the age. And that, in turn, means that the light is not shining and the salt is not being salty. It is a vicious cycle of moral and spiritual deterioration.

“The survey found that the category with the lowest percentage of pastors holding a Biblical worldview is the one related to beliefs and behaviour about the Bible, truth, and morality.” No surprise here! And what do we make of the finding that just 4% of executive pastors (this is not a typo) hold to a biblical worldview? Just 4%? And how much influence do executive pastors have in the staffing of churches and in many of the practical decisions the church makes?

These statistics should not take Christians by surprise our Bible tells us that in the last days before Jesus returns many false prophets and teachers would arise and lead many astray.

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See that no one leads you astray. For many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am the Christ (led by Christ),’ and they will lead many astray.Matthew 24:4

And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray.” Matthew 24:11

For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect. See, I have told you beforehand.Matthew 24:24

The coming of the lawless one is by the activity of Satan with all power and false signs and wonders, and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. Therefore God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false, in order that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.2 Thessalonians 2:9-12

But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power.” 2 Timothy 3:1-5

These Barna statistics reveal the need for God to purify His church, as well these Scripture verses should show any discerning person that God has given us sufficient warning of what is ahead for Christians and unbelievers alike before He returns to put things right. Hopefully, for Christians, it is a wake-up call to start Living Eternal Now – Ready for Jesus Return.

DISTURBING BUT PROPHESIED STATISTICS

There has been an “unprecedented drop” in the number of Bible users in the United States since last year, according to a report released by the American Bible Society.

The estimated number of Scripture-engaged Americans dropped from 64 million in 2021 to 49 million in 2022. At the same time, the estimated number of Bible disengaged Americans rose from 100 million last year to 145 million this year.

Sadly, only thirty-three percent of baby boomers “strongly agreed” that Bible reading was important to a child’s character development,. Even less with Generation X at 28%, millennials at 19%, and Generation Z at 20%.

In his article “How the triumph of LGBTQ+ activism has negatively impacted the Church” in Christian Press Voices on June 20th, 2022, Michael Brown writes about the change in American culture from respecting the Church to instead condemning it in favor of promoting LGBT ideals. He notes there have been many reasons for this shift over the last 30 years, including Former President Obama’s endorsement of gay “marriage” in 2012 and the Supreme Court redefining marriage in 2015, but points out that true followers of Jesus still adhere to the Bible—which condemns homosexuality—and explains this has put believers at odds with today’s culture. In short, if gay is good, the Church is bad. This is another reason why many have left the Church, especially among the younger generation.

Today, you would be hard-pressed to find a major TV show that doesn’t have an LGBTQ+ character. Even cartoons and children’s shows feature LGBTQ+ characters and themes, while the number of gay or bi, or trans superheroes grows every year. Talk about a massive cultural shift. America has never seen anything like it before.

In the past, being pro-Christian and pro-natural marriage meant swimming with the tide. Today, it is the exact opposite.

And make no mistake about it: this is an intensely personal issue, not just a theoretical issue. After all, we’re talking about someone’s child. Or their best friend at school. Or their favorite media personality. “You’re telling me that they’re going to hell because of who they love? You’re telling me they can’t serve in your church? If so, I want nothing to do with your religion or your God.”

Writing on the MSNBC website on February 26, 2014, Jane Timm stated that “One-third of young people who left organized religion did so because of anti-gay teachings or treatment within their churches, according to a new study.” Yes, “A full 31% of young people (ages 18 to 33) who left organized religion said ‘negative teachings’ or ‘negative treatment of gay people was a ‘somewhat important or ‘very important’ factor in their departure, as surveyed by the Public Religion Research Institute.”

The problem for true followers of Jesus is that the Bible hasn’t changed, which means that God is still against homosexual practice and identity. And so, if we want to be in solidarity with the Lord, we will find ourselves at odds with the prevailing culture.

At the same time, we do not want to drive people away from the Lord by making opposition to LGBTQ+ activism our primary cause (as opposed to the Great Commission being our primary cause). Nor do we ever want to appear (or be) mean-spirited, judgmental, or hypocritical.

What, then, do we do?

First, we ask God to fill our hearts with His love for those who identify as LGBTQ+, then we seek to share that love with them, face to face.

Second, we make clear in our messages that all of us are fundamentally flawed, which is why all of us need a Redeemer.

Third, we make a distinction between an aggressive agenda and individual people.

Fourth, we hold to biblical standards regardless of public opinion (and regardless of how much these standards challenge our own lives).

Fifth, we give ourselves to prayer, also believing that those with anti-biblical values will continue to overplay their hand, further exposing the wrongness of their position.

Sixth, we share the testimonies of those who have been transformed through the Gospel, making clear that our message is filled with hope and life.

Seventh, we let the chips fall where they may. We need to remain determined to preach Jesus and live for Jesus no matter what, always remembering that this world is not our eternal home.

It is true, that, for many reasons, people are leaving the Church. It is also true that many others are meeting Jesus powerfully. That’s because, what the world so desperately needs, we have in the fullness of the Gospel. Let us not be ashamed to live it and proclaim it. Time is short, we are in the “end times“.

The following Scriptures are Jesus’ answers to his disciple’s questions on the”end times“. He tells them that believers will be hated and persecuted for their Biblical faith. But then Jesus raptures the church to heaven before God pours out His wrath upon the unrepentant. Next, Jesus returns to earth with the glorified Saints to defeat the Antichrist and his army at the battle of Armageddon. He will then rule and reign with the Saints on this earth for 1000 years.

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.Matthew 24:9-13

Then will appear in heaven the sign of the Son of Man, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And He will send out his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.Revelation 24:30-31

After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb! ,,, Then one of the elders addressed me, saying, “Who are these, clothed in white robes, and from where have they come?” I said to him, “Sir, you know.” And he said to me, “These are the ones coming out of the great tribulation. They have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.” Revelation 7:9-10, 13-14

Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! The one sitting on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness, he judges and makes war… And the armies of heaven, arrayed in fine linen, white and pure, were following him on white horses. From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and He will rule them with a rod of iron.Revelation 19:14-15

BELIEF OF AUSTRALIANS ABOUT JESUS AND THE RESURRECTION

The recent Australian Community Survey (ACS) run by National Church Life Survey (NCLS) Research, reveals current beliefs amongst Australians about Jesus and the Resurrection.

44% of Australians believe in the resurrection of Jesus from the dead in some way according to the research.

30% of Australians do not believe in the resurrection of Jesus from the dead

25% of  Australians do not know what they believe.

50% of all Australians believe Jesus of Nazareth to be a historical figure. This is perplexing, given the wide acceptance amongst historians that Jesus Christ was a real person who lived in first-century Palestine.

22% of Australians accepted Jesus was divine, or ’God in human form who lived among people in the 1st Century’

20% of Australians thought Jesus was a mythical or fictional character.

30% of Australians don’t know.

Camdenville Methodist Church Girl’s Vigoro team and Men’s Cricket team. Mr. Bottomley was pastor of the church and Sunday School that was a feature article in the Sunday Telegraph newspaper, “The Miracle at Camdenville”.

These figures differ greatly from when I was a boy attending Sunday School at a Methodist Church in Camdenville, Sydney, a time when most people identified with a Protestant or Catholic faith. I am the boy with a white shirt in the back row, third from the right. My sister is in the back row with an arrow pointing down to her head, My brother is the tallest boy in the centre of the back row.

There is no doubt that the teaching of the failed theory of evolution as a mechanism for bringing this complex universe into being is the reason for discarding the God of the Bible as the Creator of the Cosmos and Jesus Christ, God’s Son as the Saviour of mankind. Thank goodness, the discovery of DNA (complex information that controls the functions of all cells in the body) and the electron microscope which has revealed complex machinery in the cells that had to be complete from day one of the cell’s existence for the cell to function correctly has revealed that creation is the only plausible explanation for the complex cosmos that exists.

JESUS COMING MILLENNIAL KINGDOM

Christians do not rule the way the world does as the following verse outlines.

“You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all.Mark 10:42-44

In Revelation John, in accord with Daniel, describes the kings of the world as hybrid beasts under the control of Satan.

In the coming Millennial Kingdom while Jesus and the Saints are servant leaders sadly in a fallen world we are told they will rule with a rod of iron.

She gave birth to a male child, one who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron, but her child was caught up to God and to his throne,Revelation 12:5 This prophecy will be fulfilled during Jesus’ Millennial reign on this earth.

From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and He will rule them with a rod of iron.Revelation 19:14

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Paul confirms that the Millennial Kingdom of God will eventually abolish all other empires before this earth is destroyed with fire then the second resurrection and the White Throne judgement when all the unrepentant are cast into the Lake of Fire for punishment and the second death.

For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ. Then comes the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power. For He must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death.1 Corinthians 15:22-26

He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. The one who conquers will not be hurt by the second death.Revelation 2:11

Blessed and holy is the one who shares in the first resurrection! Over such the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ, and they will reign with him for a thousand years.Revelation 20:6

Prior to Jesus coming Millennial Kingdom, we know from Daniel’s 70 weeks prophecy (Daniel 9:24-27) that God allows Satan to empower the Antichrist who will rule the nations for 42 months. John confirms that the final ruler, Antichrist is empowered by Satan (the dragon).

“the dragon (Satan) gave him (Antichrist) his power and his throne and great authority” Revelation 13:2

And the beast (Antichrist) was given a mouth uttering haughty and blasphemous words, and it was allowed to exercise authority for forty-two months. It opened its mouth to utter blasphemies against God, blaspheming his name and his dwelling, that is, those who dwell in heaven. Also, it was allowed to make war on the saints and conquer them. And authority was given it over every tribe and people and language and nation, and all who dwell on the earth will worship it, everyone whose name has not been written before the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who was slain.” Revelation 13:5-8

In case we think that the book of Revelation is alone in portraying the kingdoms of this world as ultimately under the authority of Satan, we would do well to notice that at the beginning of the gospels Satan offered Jesus the kingdoms of the world if He would worship him,

“the devil took Him to a very high mountain and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory; and he said to Him, “All these things I will give You if You fall down and worship me” Matthew 4:8-9

Furthermore, Paul affirms Satan’s role as an empowering empire when he states that Satan is the “god of this age” 2 Corinthians 4:4

With regard to the coming of the Antichrist and the many scriptures warning the church about the coming tribulation, even great tribulation, “it (Antichrist) was allowed to make war on the saints and conquer them” what churches are making their members aware of the many prophecies of Jesus second coming. As I have said many times before on this website, there are far more prophecies about Jesus second coming (2,000) than there were of His first coming (300) Jesus must want you to know about His second coming and to prepare for it.

TRIP TO AFRICA

This afternoon I am on a flight from Sydney to Nairobi, Kenya via Dubai. The prime reason for the trip is a three-day meeting with the 20 plus House Church leaders in Kenya. As followers of my post will know, I have been supporting the Kenya House Church Movement for nearly three years now. It has grown from six house churches to over twenty today. We would appreciate others joining us as well, both on Zoom and to help support mission trips to grow the movement. I have a Donations icon on the Home Page for this purpose.

Another important reason for the trip is to determine where the leaders are at in their Christian walk and to determine what training may be needed. Using Zoom, Creation Ministries Africa (CMI) will give a presentation to our meeting and I will also use Zoom to connect KHC leaders with other ministries I believe will assist the Movement.

I am also involved with the International Christian Chamber of Commerce (ICCC) and will be speaking at ICCC meetings in Kenya and Rwanda. The President of ICCC Kenya is also on the International Board of ICCC, Rene Kiamba. Rene is connected to KHC and has been involved in teaching them on at least one Zoom Meeting.

Each ICCC member attending the meetings will receive a copy of my book, Build a Kingdom Business – Empowered by the Holy Spirit.

I am also travelling to Arusha, Tanzania to meet up with a pastor friend, David Owens who is working with African Enterprise. I hope to connect him with the KHC Movement.

CHRISTIAN PERSECUTION IN INDIA

Authorities in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh arrested seven pastors at a prayer meeting under the state’s “anti-conversion” law, which Christians have accused Hindu nationalists of using as a tool to persecute them.

The pastors were arrested during a prayer meeting they were holding in Mau district last Sunday, UCA News reported, adding that the pastors have been charged with “illegal assembly.”

The U.S.-based persecution watchdog International Christian Concern said this past weekend that the Christians remained in jail.

“We will move bail applications and are hopeful that they will be out of jail soon,” the pastors’ lawyer, Ashish Kumar, was quoted as saying.

The police initially also detained 50 worshipers but released them the same day. Two Catholic nuns who were at a bus stop near the prayer house were also held at the police station for several hours until the evening, said UCA News.

“Police wanted to book the sisters along with the pastors but let them go after the pastors and the faithful said they were not part of the prayer group,” Father Anand Mathew, a member of the Indian Missionary Society, was quoted as saying.

india church, delhi
An Indian man walks outside a deserted Baptist church, as India remains under an unprecedented extended lockdown due to COVID-19 on May 5, 2020, in Delhi, India.

Uttar Pradesh is one of the several Indian states that have “anti-conversion” laws, which presume that Christians “force” or give financial benefits to Hindus to convert them to Christianity.

The law states that no one is allowed to use the “threat” of “divine displeasure,” meaning Christians cannot talk about Heaven or Hell, as that would be seen as “forcing” someone to convert. And if snacks or meals are served to Hindus after an evangelistic meeting, that could be seen as an “inducement.”

The ICC previously noted that India’s population data proves that the conspiracy of mass conversions to Christianity is a false claim. “In 1951, the first census after independence, Christians made up only 2.3% of India’s overall population. According to the 2011 census, the most recent census data available, Christians still only make up 2.3% of the population.” This is a sad state of affairs and Christians need to pray for India and God’s plan to liberate this nations from Satan’s clutches.

India ranks as the 10th worst country globally when it comes to Christian persecution, according to Open Doors USA’s 2021 World Watch List. The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom has urged the U.S. State Department to label India as a “country of particular concern” for engaging in or tolerating severe religious freedom violations.

Open Doors USA warns that since the ruling Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party took power in 2014, persecution against Christians and other religious minorities has increased. The group reports that “Hindu radicals often attack Christians with little to no consequences.”

“Hindu extremists believe that all Indians should be Hindus and that the country should be rid of Christianity and Islam,” an Open Doors fact sheet on India explains. “They use extensive violence to achieve this goal, particularly targeting Christians from a Hindu background. Christians are accused of following a ‘foreign faith’ and blamed for bad luck in their communities.”

This is further evidence we are in the prophesied last days before Jesus returns first to rapture the Saints and then to return with the Saints to set up His Millennium Kingdom. Time is short and the task is daunting but we know God is in control. Each of us just needs to allow the Holy Spirit to direct our steps so we complete the good works He has assigned for each of us.

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

work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.Philippians 2:12-13

For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ,Titus 2:11-13

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