TOUGH TRUTHS ABOUT SHARING THE GOSPEL

Simply revealing the love of God to someone is not evangelism. In fact, it can have devastating results. It takes much more than a love revelation to draw someone into a legitimate relationship with Jesus.

A revelation of our sinfulness and hopelessness is the critical starting point when sharing the gospel with someone. We cannot cover up this reality out of fear that someone will get defensive, offended or resistant to the message. Do we even understand anymore in our hyper-modern age that God is holy? If we modify the message of truth in hopes of ensuring a longer, more “successful” audience with a sinner, we are in serious violation.

As was done with the rich young ruler, you must make it hard, not easy, to follow Jesus. You aren’t a salesman, you are a representative of a holy God. Address sin, hell, the fear of the Lord, surrender, the cost of following Jesus and the personal loss that will result.

They will lose friends, leave immorality and selfishness behind, surrender all and sign up as a martyr should God call them to that.

If they eagerly repent after you share all that, you’ll know they are starting their Christian journey the right way. If you only share God’s love with them, they are at great risk of living their entire lives convinced all is well while actually following Jesus in an unsaved condition.

Stop minimizing the cost of following Jesus and hiding offensive truth in the hopes that people will get saved.

“For if we sin wilfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful expectation of judgement, and fiery indignation which will devour the adversaries.” Hebrews 10:26-27

If they don’t like God as He is or if they get offended when faced with their own wickedness, let them walk. That sounds harsh, but it’s truth. God is who He is, and we can’t attempt to make him more attractive. He truly is a loving and fearful God.

Of course, their decision to walk should rip at our hearts, launching us into tears and intercession for them. True love looks just like this. Refusal to confront with truth is damaging beyond measure, and hell is growing larger because of it.

much of this article was abstracted from Charisma Magazine article by John Burton Prophetic Revivalist Responds to Bethel’s Controversial LGBT Post.

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END TIMES CHURCH WILL BE FOCUSED ON BRINGING OTHERS TO JESUS

Are churches preaching Jesus as a means rather than as the end? “Come to Jesus! Jesus will bless you! Jesus will heal you! Jesus will help you! Jesus will prosper you!

Now, all these things are true. Jesus is concerned about us. But according to the New Testament, these promises are the byproducts of the gospel, not its central message and core. The gospel is not about me. The gospel is about Him.

Loaves and Fishes Christians

“Truly, truly I say to you, you seek Me not because you saw signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled” (John 6:26).

In John’s Gospel, the miracles that Jesus performs are called “signs” because they point to who He is as the Son of God. He is their long awaited Messiah.

In this context, it is obvious that Jesus rebukes the people for seeking Him out of self-serving motives. They are not seeking Him because they recognise who He is. They are seeking Him for what they think they can get from Him. They see Jesus as a means to their own personal comfort rather than as the end and goal of life.

Because we have preached a man-centred gospel, our churches are filled with self-centred, immature Christians. They can speak in tongues and prophesy, but they have no real power to counter the forces of darkness so evident today.

Ephesians 1:10 says that God will “gather together in one all things in Christ”. The phrase “gather together in one” is the translation of a Greek word that means “sum” or “total.” In other words, when all of God’s activity in time and eternity are totalled, it will add up to Jesus Christ. He is the end and goal of God’s plan and purpose.

Repentance is the refocusing of a person’s life so that self is no longer the end or goal.

Let us, therefore, repent and take “self” off the throne and enthrone Jesus as Lord. Let us not be afraid to present the demands of His character and grace to this generation. As we proclaim Him as the end and goal of life and eternity, I believe we will see the church refocused on the Great Commission – It’s all about bringing others to Jesus as declared by Australia for Jesus.

TOUGH MESSAGE FOR CHRISTIANS

I may lose some followers with this post, but so be it. This post is an edit of Jeffrey Daly’s (National Day of Repentance) letter to Christian Warriors – http://www.repentday.com
When modern day Mega-preachers tell us that you are supposed to “hang out” with sinners, that is false teaching. It results in chaos and disorder. We are to call sinners to repentance, just like Jesus did. If, after we give the message, they don’t want anything to do with repentance, here’s the scripture for that:
 
If anyone will not welcome you or listen to you, shake the dust off your feet when you leave that place, as a testimony against them.
~ Mark 6:11
 
When we align ourselves with evil-doers, we don’t advance the cause of Christ.  We simply get the world’s muck on us.  Soon we become indistinguishable from the world, “unsalty” salt only good for trampling underfoot. 
 
Even worse, when we “befriend” the world, we actually become ENEMIES OF GOD!
Adulterers and adulteresses, do you not know that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.  James 4:4
 
As Paul passed his mantle to Timothy, his words still bless us today with Holy Spirit-filled guidance for addressing sinners:
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 And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by Him to do His will.  2 Timothy 2:24-26
So, instead of attempting to make “friends,” let’s… GO AND MAKE DISCIPLES OF ALL NATIONS IN CHRIST’S NAME!
Still not convinced, here are some more Scriptures:
1. Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship has righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion has light with darkness?  2 Corinthians 6:14
2. I wrote you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people. 1 Corinthians 5:9
3. Have no fellowship with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.  Ephesians 5:11
4. Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful. Psalm 1:1
5. I do not sit with deceitful men, nor will I go with pretenders. Psalm 26:4
6. I hate the assembly of evildoers, And I will not sit with the wicked. Psalm 26:5
Thus, scripture does NOT teach us that Jesus is a “friend of sinners.” He came to CALL SINNERS TO REPENTANCE!
7. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance. Luke 5:32

 

TO LIVE AS IF GOD DOES NOT EXIST IS ABSURD

And yet, our educational establishments lead the way with this foolishness. clinging to the notion that nothing can produce something, even more obtuse, a big bang can produce the complex universe in which we live.

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Our children are taught there is no right or wrong, no meaning or purpose in life, despite the fact that our Creator God has revealed the true history of the universe through His prophets, His covenant people Israel, His Word, and finally stepping into history just over 2,000 years ago as the God/Man, Jesus Christ. Is it any wonder that false science is now a major problem when people call evil good and good evil.

The Bible gives us an accurate record of this world and even more important reveals to us the end of the story. Twenty five percent of the Bible is prophecy and just as it accurately predicted Jesus first coming to earth, it also tells us of His second coming. Moreover, the events unfolding on earth at this time indicate we are fast approaching the final seven years prophesied by Daniel in the 70 Weeks prophecy (Daniel 9:24).

It is now inconceivable to think that nations would repent of their past godless actions as President Abraham Lincoln  did just one hundred years ago. His April 30, 1863, call expressed timeless sentiments that remain applicable to us today, including:

It is the duty of nations as well as of men to own their dependence upon the overruling power of God; to confess their sins and transgressions in humble sorrow, yet with assured hope that genuine repentance will lead to mercy and pardon; and to recognise the sublime truths announced in the Holy Scriptures and proven by all history that those nations only are blessed whose God is the Lord. 
. . . We have been preserved these many years in peace and prosperity. We have grown in numbers, wealth, and power, as no other nation has ever grown. But we have forgotten God; we have forgotten the gracious hand which served us in peace, and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us; and we have vainly imagined, in deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us! It behoves us, then, to humble ourselves before the offended Power, to confess our national sins, and to pray for clemency and forgiveness…”
We know this: the Lord will do His part. As He sees “His people called by His name” turning from our sins, He will hear once again, will forgive our personal and national sins, and will heal our precious land.”
Sadly, as mentioned, we know the end of the story, for Christians the last six years of history this side of the Millennium will be a serious challenge, but also exciting for those who stand firm, who overcome. “To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.” Revelation 3:21

LOVE 2 LIVE 2 LOVE: REFLECTION ON CHURCH BY MAN OF GOD

In an interview with The Christian Post, the longtime pastor of the multi-campus Harvest Bible Chapel in Illinois, Pastor James MacDonald, candidly shared what he’s learned and continues to learn about the heart of Jesus, and where he sees the Body of Christ going amid profound cultural changes.

With three decades now behind him, MacDonald is already vision casting and planning for the next 30 years, alongside his three children who are also active in ministry. MacDonald founded Harvest Bible Chapel in 1988 with 18 people and today hosts 13,000 at their seven Chicago-area campuses every week.

MacDonald shared that only more substance (Biblical) makes better disciples. And it’s really hard work. Jesus was more gifted than any person on Earth and He spent three-and-a-half full years on 12 people and didn’t get all of them to the finish line. So, it’s really a time consuming, exhausting thing making disciples, and I think I’ve seen the church swing back toward a focus on quality. We’ve said for years in our church “not a quantity of disciples, but quality of discipleship.” And more and more, I hear pastors leaning in that direction.

The primary type of evangelism that we see in the Scriptures is one-on-one. Jesus with Nicodemus, Jesus with the woman at the well, Philip and the Ethiopian eunuch. And that does not in any way negate mass evangelism. In Acts Chapter 2 we see a mass evangelism situation with the coming of the Holy Spirit. But was that normative or an exception? I think typically we see one-on-one evangelism and to subjugate the Sunday morning, which is so needed for infusion of spiritual strength through proclamation [of the Word], through worship, through fellowship, from giving and serving is, I think, increasingly seen as  inadequate to sustain in a strong, growing church. All of those things stoke the fire of a Christ follower’s vertical relationship [with God].  That’s the reason why in 2012, I wrote the book Vertical Church. We have to come back to that as our primary focus.

James MacDonald’s response to this question is enlightening. “What do you make of the credible allegations of sexual misconduct and abuse within influential churches and Christian ministries over the past two to three years?”

Scripture says “He who sins in the presence of all, rebuke in the presence of all that others may fear.” And you look in the book of Acts when they lied about their tithe, Ananias and Sapphira were taken, “and great fear came upon the Church.” Also, the only response to public exposure of private failure should be to look in the mirror, even when disaster strikes. In every instance when calamity strikes, when personal failure is exposed, we should be looking in the mirror. We should be saying: “There but for the grace of God go I.” We should be deepening our own reflection and repentance. And most of all, we should not be piling on and shaming others but we should be responding with grace and with genuine reflection upon the needs of our own heart. Because none of us are all that we have articulated to be important. And I’m not saying leaders shouldn’t be an example. Of course, leaders need to be an example, and if they are not an example of the believer, then they should step down.

We’re talking a lot in our church right now about what we call “love 2 live 2 love.” You’re not living until you’re loving God. That’s the first great commandment, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength.” And then “live 2 love.” You’re not really loving God unless you’re loving others. And Jesus said the second is like the first. And not like it because they are both great, and not like it because they are both about love. But like it because he was only asked for one and he gave two because they are inseparable.

ANGEL COLON KNEW HOMOSEXUALITY SEPARATED HIM FROM GOD

TESTIMONY TO THE POWER OF PRAYER

Though Angel had grown up with a strong spiritual family who taught him right from wrong, He had forsaken them and God for drinking, drugs, and a lifestyle that drove him away from God.

Angel said, “The world told me I was gay, that my new identity was in the LGBT community, but at my heart, I missed worshipping the Lord. I was so consumed with drugs, alcohol and, most of all, homosexuality, that it took one of the worst massacres in U.S. history—and the power of a praying mother—for me to repent of my sin.”

June 12, 2016, changed his life in a way he never expected.

Angel Colon

“I headed to a friend’s housewarming party, where we all decided to head to Pulse nightclub in downtown Orlando.

I remember love and laughter until 2:02 a.m., June 12, 2016. I was on my way back from the bar with my final drink for the night to bid my friends farewell with hugs and kisses.

That’s when we heard the “big pop.” We know now Omar Mateen opened fire with a machine gun. We were like fish in a barrel.

I tried to run, but it was too late. The moment I realised it was a gunman, he was only a few feet away from me and took aim at my body. Shots riddled my frame.

As I struggled to my feet, I felt a foot step behind my left leg and heard a loud snap. My left femur shattered.

The only thing I could do was cover my head and pray that stillness would overtake my body. That last part wasn’t too hard given I couldn’t even feel my legs.

With chaos all around, I could hear the shots, the screams, the glasses and bottles all shattering.

I looked up and all I saw was bodies falling down one by one. I couldn’t believe what was happening.

Shots began again, but this time they were slow, methodical. Mateen didn’t want to leave anyone alive.

I begged my neighbor to pretend she was dead, but the closer the shots got, the louder she shrieked.

The footsteps were practically on top of us now. I held my breath and covered my face with my hand.

“Pop!” Her eyes closed slowly. I couldn’t believe I’d just witnessed this beautiful lady die in front of my face.

I was petrified knowing I was next. I heard the shooter behind me, gauging his next move.

That’s when I asked the Lord for forgiveness, to forgive me for failing Him, for turning my back on Him. I wanted to be at peace with God, but at that moment, my prayer changed to prophecy.

I prophetically claimed my life for the Lord. I told Him I would not leave that building dead, that I had a purpose and He would fulfill all the promises He made over my life. I knew in that moment that I was chosen and God had something big for me.

I promised Him I would worship Him for the rest of my days.

The very moment I said, “amen,” I felt the bullet. Heat swelled through my abdomen, and I was certain I was dead. But when I opened my eyes, I knew the Lord spared me.

The most traumatizing night of my life also revealed that God had answered the heartfelt cries I’d prayed for years.

Every night, I would ask the Lord, “Please, God, make something happen in my life that will make me return to You, that will make me leave this life of sin, leave the life of homosexuality that I know is not right in your eyes.”

And all the while I prayed, my mother prayed, too. For eight years, she faithfully asked the Lord for the return of her prodigal son.

Two years later, I’m still recovering, but I know beyond the shadow of a doubt what true love, true happiness and true peace really is.

I wake up every morning and say, “I am good with God.”

 

CHURCHES THAT WILL TRANSFORM COMMUNITIES – Part 2

In order for kingdom culture to rule and reign on the earth, we must repent as a church for a mindset that doesn’t foster kingdom culture. We are citizens of heaven on earth, but we must act like it. At Pentecost, we were reminded that Jesus made it possible for our Heavenly Father to send the Holy Spirit to indwell all born again believers to empower them to do the things He is calling us to do.

We are living so far beneath our potential. As the church, if we don’t begin to live in the knowledge of His empowerment and guidance, then culture will not change around us. We have been given the Holy Spirit so God Himself can effect the changes He wants to make manifest in the earth, but we have to truly believe and act on it.

Repent simply means to change your mind. The church is not walking in the authority of God and His Word. We as a church are constantly submitting to the things of the world and the strongholds of the enemy that come from the second heavens, yet He has already raised us up and seated us with Him in the heavenly realms (Ephesians 2:6).

We need to step out into the world and use the gifts of the Spirit as Paul instructed. The church needs to work in John 17 unity of purpose to build His Kingdom on earth.

My book Living Eternal Now – Empowered by the Holy Spirit is a useful resource and is available as an ebook on Amazon.

“For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function, so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another. Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith; or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching; he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.” Romans 12:4

LAST DAYS CHURCH WILL PREACH REPENTANCE

“The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now He commands all people everywhere to repent, because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead.” Acts 17:30

“And he (John the Baptist) went into all the region around the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the remission of sins.” Luke 3:3

“When Jesus heard that, He said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice.’ For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.Matthew 9:13

Jesus answered and said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.Luke 5:32

“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.” Luke 24:47

Him God has exalted to His right hand to be Prince and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins. Acts 5:31

When they heard these things they became silent; and they glorified God, saying, “Then God has also granted to the Gentiles repentance to life.” Acts 11:18

“I kept back nothing that was helpful, but proclaimed it to you, and taught you publicly and from house to house, testifying to Jews, and also to Greeks, repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.” Acts 20:21

“and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent, turn to God, and do works befitting repentance.Acts 26:20

“Now I rejoice, not that you were made sorry, but that your sorrow led to repentance. For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death. 2 Corinthians 7:10

“Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.” 1 Corinthians 6:9-10

Listen to John Bevere teach on the need to preach repentance to church leaders. Many in the church are destined to hell because repentance is not being taught as mandatory for salvation.

“NO ONE COMES TO THE FATHER EXCEPT BY ME” JOHN 14:6

Jesus said to him (Thomas), “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me”. John 14:6

For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.1 Corinthians 3:11

For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him.” Colossians 1:16

Only the one “by whom” and “for whom” all things were created could “take away the sin” that destroyed the first creation  and bring in a “New Creation.

There is only one KEY to open the Kingdom of Heaven for lost humanity. It is found in only four words “JESUS IS THE CHRIST“. He who was “in the beginning with Godandwas God” became a man to take away “the sin” that entered into the world through the first man Adam.

“You know that He appeared in order to take away sins, and in Him there is no sin. No one who abides in Him keeps on sinning.” 1 John 3:5-6

There are many Scriptures which show that because of the holiness of God there is only one way our Heavenly Father could restore humanity. Moreover, it would reveal the extent of His love for us. He was prepared to ask His only son to become a man, Jesus, to live a sinless life, so He could die in our place and thereby offer us redemption from our sins (our rebellion against God and His ways). Such a sacrifice on our behalf, and all our Heavenly Father requires of us, is to acknowledge and repent of our sins and embrace His son, Jesus, as our Saviour and Lord.

Jesus is the KEY to restore us, and once we repent and accept Him as our Lord and Saviour, our Heavenly Father sends the third person of the Trinity, The Holy Spirit to indwell our Spirit. We cannot be holy without the Holy Spirit, our body becomes the temple of the Holy Spirit. Notice that all three persons of the Trinity are involved in our Salvation.