ARE WE WORKING OUT OUR SALVATION WITH FEAR AND TREMBLING?

Paul tells us “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.” Philippian 12-13

“With fear and trembling” sounds daunting and certainly not pleasurable. In fact, is it even possible?

Working out your salvation is not possible if you have not accepted Christ as your Savior. But once you have, the Holy Spirit comes to live inside of you.

With His partnership you can “work out” your salvation. You can experience practically in your everyday life the unlimited resources of peace, joy, and hope that accompany the Holy Spirit’s presence inside of you.

Sadly, you have to question how many people in our churches today are born again and have received the Holy Spirit as their counsellor, teacher and comforter. It is only the Holy Spirit that produces the fruit of the spirit in our lives: love, joy, peace. patience, faithfulness, gentleness, goodness, kindness and self control. It is only the Holy Spirit that provides the gifts of the spirit for ministry: word of knowledge, word of wisdom, prophecy, faith, healing, miracles, discerning of spirits, tongues and interpretation of tongues.

The “fear and trembling” Paul is referring to is the attitude Christians are to have in pursuing this goal. We are to have a healthy fear of offending God through disobedience and an awe and respect for His majesty and holiness.

How we act right now as followers of Jesus will greatly impact our internal peace. Fear and trembling simply means, approach God with humility and ask him for His peace to be increased to a greater measure than the anxiety you are experiencing. Say to Him, “Lord, I humbly ask for your peace to be increased in me. I need it Lord to get through my day. Please help me Lord.”

And guess what? God will. God promises us in Philippians 2:13 that “He is at work in us both to will and to work for his good pleasure“. This is a promise.

Obedience triggers greater peace in our lives and greater peace triggers greater effectiveness for us as witnesses for Christ. Paul tells us in Philippians 2:15 that obedience brings blamelessness into our lives in the midst of a crooked and twisted world and this enables our light for Him to shine brighter.

We have to hold on to God’s Word, be in God’s Word, and apply God’s Word to our lives if we hope to maintain any sense of peace in this world. If we hold fast to God’s Word we are fixing our gaze on God by reading His Word and applying it to our lives regardless of our circumstances.

Much of this article was taken from a post by Pastor Kelly a Guest Contributor to http://www.patheos.com entitled Working Out Peace In Your Life In 2021

DANGERS CONFRONTING THE WORLD

The chief dangers that confront the world today are politics without God, Christianity without Christ, forgiveness without repentance, salvation without the justifying work of the Holy Spirit.

The World Economic Forum (WEF) has revealed its Davos 2021 Agenda, confirming the annual gathering of political and business elites next month will be a digital event heralding the public unveiling of its Great Reset Initiative (essentially a one-world government). “This global pandemic has demonstrated again how interconnected we are. We have to restore a functioning system of smart global cooperation structured to address the challenges of the next 50 years. The Great Reset will require us to integrate all stakeholders of global society into a community of common interest, purpose, and action,” said Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum.

What the world really needs is a “church reset”. Churches back to their New Testament roots as described in the Book of Acts. This includes upholding the inerrancy of God’s Word and its account of the history of the Cosmos including the miraculous. The miraculous events of creation, Noah’s worldwide flood, the confusion of languages at the Tower of Babel which created the nations, Jesus incarnation, and resurrection.

God does intervene in history to alter reality. He has done it in the past and will continue to do so in the future. His Word tells us that the catastrophic world events unfolding right now signal Jesus’ return to this earth is not too far distant.

It seems that for many liberal theologians those “mighty, saving acts of God and of judgement” are symbolic, images, rather than extra-mental realities. As a result, theology takes on a whole new nonsensical meaning. It no longer explains anything but only expresses the effects symbols might and perhaps should have in the spiritual lives of individuals and groups. Moreover, they are oblivious to the promise of Jesus second coming as are the scoffers described by Peter “knowing this first of all, that scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own sinful desires. They will say, “Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things are continuing as they were from the beginning of creation.2 Peter 3:3-4

Churches must undergo a reset that begins with getting back to the authority and truth of God’s Word and then obeying His commandment to complete the Great Commission to share the Gospel with others, to make disciples who will, in turn, make disciples. The church described in the Book of Acts and by Jesus in Matthew.

I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.Matthew 16:16

The “keys” signify the authority given to Christ’s church to stand against the powers of “Hades,” or Hell. The church needs to start walking in this authority

MAJORITY OF AMERICANS BELIEVE BEING A GOOD PERSON IS SUFFICIENT

A new survey shows that the majority of Americans no longer believe that Jesus is the path to salvation and instead believe that being a good person is sufficient.

As part of the ongoing release of the Arizona Christian University-based Cultural Research Center’s American Worldview Inventory, the latest findings — exploring perceptions of sin and salvation — from George Barna, the group’s director, show that nearly two-thirds of Americans believe that having some kind of faith is more important than the particular faith with which someone aligns. 

Sixty-eight percent who embrace that notion identify as Christians, including 56% of self-described evangelicals and 62% of those who identify as Pentecostals. Sixty-seven percent of mainline Protestants and 77% of Catholics also embraced that idea, the findings show.

Slightly over half of Christian respondents said they believe someone can attain salvation by “being or doing good,” a figure that includes, 46% of Pentecostals, 44% of mainline Protestants, 41% of evangelicals, and 70% of Catholics.

In addition to the viewpoint that eternal salvation can be earned, survey results show that 58% of Americans believe that no absolute moral truth exists and that the basis of truth are factors or sources other than God. Seventy-seven percent said that right and wrong is determined by factors other than the Bible. Fifty-nine percent said that the Bible is not God’s authoritative and true Word and 69% said people are basically good.

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

Most people contend that all faiths are of equal value, that entry into God’s eternal presence is determined by one’s personal means of choice and that there are no absolutes to guide or grow us morally.

The philosophy of life now held by most Americans contradicts a fundamental basis of what may be the two most significant documents to the longevity and success of America – the Bible and the Constitution of the United States.

Those documents agree that this nation will only be healthy and fruitful if it is populated by moral people. By abandoning their moral standards and traditions, and replacing them with inclusive and conditional preferences, they are losing the foundations that have enabled the ‘American experiment’ to succeed for more than two centuries. We can only hope that their critical moral institutions — particularly the family and the church — will wake up and help the nation to get back on track.

IRANIANS FINDING SALVATION IN JESUS CHRIST

Iran is facing a wave of internal turmoil and covert attacks that are undermining the radical regime’s nefarious plans. Even as the violence escalates, hope is rising among Iranian citizens who are finding salvation in Jesus Christ.

Whether it’s the exploding coronavirus, mysterious fires at nuclear and military facilities or protests, Iran’s ruling Islamic clerics are facing unprecedented challenges as the regime tries to maintain an iron grip on the nation.

All this comes against the backdrop of ongoing government protests and a remarkable revival that’s witnessing thousands of Muslims turning to Christianity in the midst of COVID-19.

That’s why we are calling this a pandemic of hope,” said Mike Ansari, who runs Mohabat TV, one of the most popular Christian satellite channels in Iran.

Ansari told CBN News that Mohabat TV is recording 10 times more online salvation’s than this time last year.

We are registering around 3,000 personal decisions by Iranian Muslims to leave Islam for Christianity during this revival,” Ansari said.

That’s 3,000 people each month who’ve decided to follow Jesus Christ since the pandemic began in March.

“People in Iran are just not happy the way their economy is going, the way the government is robbing them of their national resources and exporting Shia Islam to the neighboring countries, so they just don’t trust their government,” said Ansari.

The large number of people leaving Islam is causing a backlash against the church. Dozens of Christians have been arrested and imprisoned for responding to the gospel message since March.

“During these critical times for the regime, there’s a tendency, historically, for the regime to really crack down on religious communities like Christian converts, and we see that today,” Nader told CBN News.

Iran is one of the world’s most dangerous places for Christians. Yet, Christianity is growing faster in Iran than in any other country in the world.

“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 24:14

FOUR FOLD GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST

Nelson Walters offers fresh insight on the GOSPEL MESSAGE revealed in the Passover meal taken by Jesus and His disciples on the night before His crucifixion.

Four Fold Gospel

  1. Salvation: immediate as baptised – died to self, alive in Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit.
  2. Sanctification as we submit our will to His will by the power of the Holy Spirit.
  3. Deliverance from the wrath of God at the Rapture. Finally the Bride is seen wearing the white robes after the Rapture, at the Seventh Seal. God’s wrath is simultaneously poured out at the Seventh Seal: At the opening of The Scroll and prelude to the Seven Trumpet judgements followed by the Bowl Judgements.
  4. Jesus said to His disciples at the Last Supper: “I will not drink again of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s Kingdom.”

PARENTS DON’T RAISE “CHURCH KIDS”

Parents we need to raise kids that don’t just go to church on Sundays. We need to raise children that know the truth about the world, about the universe and know it can only be discovered in God’s Word – The Bible.

They need to know the Bible is inerrant. Down through the ages, God has told us through His prophets what would happen in the future. Hundreds of prophecies have been fulfilled exactly as prophesied, proof indeed the Bible is inerrant.

That the Bible provides an accurate history of God’s universe. That it not only tells us why, when and how God made it but it also tells us what went wrong and therefore why the universe and us are like we are.

That Jesus death on the cross has provided a way (the only way) back into an eternal relationship with our Heavenly Father.

That the Bible tells us the end of the story, which is good news for all that have accepted Jesus as their Lord and Saviour, and have been born again by the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit, but it is incredibly bad news for all those that reject Jesus, God’s free gift of salvation.

That they would understand the extent of what Jesus sacrifice has provided. Our Heavenly Father has sent the Holy Spirit to indwell every believer, to be their counsellor, comforter, teacher, to produce the fruit of the spirit in their lives: love, joy, peace, patience, faithfulness, kindness, goodness, gentleness and self control and to provide all nine gifts of the spirit so we can be effective ambassadors for Christ in this world.

Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

That they would wake up in the morning thankful for the day, and commit to following the Holy Spirit’s leading, so that they can lay their head down each night, confident that God’s will had been done and His Kingdom advanced and that they had not grieved the Holy Spirit nor quenched His work in their lives.

That they would face the storms of life knowing God’s presence and provision.

That they would reach for the stars because they know the One who created them has a purpose for their lives.

That they will look up when they fall down. Reach out when they need help trusting the indwelling Holy Spirit.

That they will be like oaks planted by His stream of living water and bear much fruit.

That they would love their neighbours fiercely as their Heavenly Father loves them.

That they would see hope when every one else sees hopelessness. That they would share that hope and bring His light into every dark corner.