Monthly Archives: October 2018

Prayers for the American Church (10/23/2018)

Christ Church Stellarton

Photograph of Christ Anglican Church, Stellarton, NS. Taken the morning of October 28, 2005

The Apostle Paul uttered some words that still shake me to the core when I read them.

For I could wish that I myself were accursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers, my kinsmen according to the flesh. (Romans 9:3)

If you missed what Paul was really saying in this verse, read it again. You see, Paul was willing to give up his salvation and go to Hell forever if his doing so would result in his fellow Jews being saved.

I don’t know about you, but Paul’s words make me uncomfortable at my low-level of love for my neighbors and other Americans.

My prayer today:

Lord, give the American church a love for our neighbors and other Americans like Paul had for his kinsmen so that we have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in our hearts until we see a great harvest of souls in our nation. (Based on Romans 9:2)

Join me on Tuesdays to fast and pray for the American church.

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Churches: Fellowship Without Fellowship (Part 12)

 

My guess is that 5 to 10% of American Christians believe the gifts of the Holy Spirit are not for today’s believers. They believe the gifts were only for the early church and passed away when the last apostle died. Another 15 to 25% are either Pentecostal or Charismatic in their beliefs and believe the spiritual gifts are for all believers.

If my guess is accurate, this leaves approximately 70% of American Christians who either have not considered the spiritual gifts as important enough to seek or have received no teaching on them.

Here’s the dilemma for the 5-10% naysayer group and the 70% clueless group: what will we do when the Antichrist requires everyone to receive the mark of the beast in order to buy and sell anything?

What if our spouse needs special medications in order to live or our child needs emergency medical assistance to survive an ailment, what will we do? Will we let our spouse or child die? Or will we take the mark of the beast for their sakes? There will be no fence straddling at this time.

But here’s what we can do: we can prepare ourselves ahead of time for these end-time events by seeking the spiritual gifts now.  The gifts of word of wisdom, word of knowledge, faith, healing, working of miracles, prophecy, discerning of spirits, tongues, and interpretation of tongues have already been provided by the Lord for these extreme situations. Thus, why not lay down our traditions and follow the practices of the early church by seeking the spiritual gifts now?

Ah, that brings up another dilemma.

Let’s say we seek the spiritual gifts and then receive them through the baptism of the Holy Spirit, where will we practice using our gifts? We have to remember that our gifts and our faith will be strengthened as we use the gifts, but still there is a learning curve and mistakes may occur along the way.

Can we practice using our newly received gifts in a median-sized sanctuary of 300 or more members? Probably not. This is generally the realm for pastors and elders to operate their gifts. Most pew-sitters are required to be spectators only.

So, the only place where each believer can practice using his or her gifts is in a small home fellowship where each knows and trusts each other.

(Continued in Part 13…but if you want to read all of the parts to date, you can go here.)

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Churches: Fellowships Without Fellowship (Part 11)

In God’s first attempt at planting a new church, He did it in a unique fashion.

And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. (Acts 2:2-4)

The gifts of the Holy Spirit fell on all the people, not just the apostles or prophets or evangelists or pastors and teachers. Everyone was empowered by the Spirit and His spiritual gifts.

Four or five years later, Philip was preaching in Samaria when a revival broke out with many people being saved. Peter and John traveled to Samaria to help Philip. The first thing the two apostles did was check the new believers to see if the Holy Spirit had fallen on them.

For as yet the Holy Spirit had fallen upon none of them. They had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Then they laid hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit. (Acts 8:16-17)

Almost twenty years later, the Apostle Paul had already planted many churches, including the Corinthian Church, when he met some new disciples in Ephesus. What was the first thing Paul checked with these new believers?

“Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” And they said to him, “We have not so much as heard whether there is a Holy Spirit.” (Acts 19:2)

When Paul heard these new disciples had not been baptized in the Holy Spirit, but only into the water baptism of John the Baptist, he wasted no time.

And when Paul had laid hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke with tongues and prophesied. (Acts 19:6)

The evidence seems to prove that the apostles made sure that all of their new church plants followed the same pattern God used when He planted the first church in Jerusalem. They laid hands on the new believers and asked the Holy Spirit to fall on them so that the spiritual gifts were poured out on the new believers

Why was this important? And is it important for us today?

(Continued in Part 12…but if you want to read all of the parts to date, you can go here.)

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Prayers for America (10/18/2018)

 

At the close of the Constitutional Convention in 1787, Benjamin Franklin was asked a question by an onlooker. “Well, Doctor, what do we have – a Republic or a Monarchy?”

Benjamin Franklin replied, “A Republic, if you can keep it.”

As Franklin stated, America was founded as a republic, which is basically a government based on the rule of law. Our U. S. Constitution sets limits on how the elected can govern and the rights of individual citizens and states.

However, as we all know, our system of government has loopholes and gray areas that allows politicians and others to take advantage of the citizenry to advance their own agendas. Why? Because even though our system of government may have been God-inspired, it was still man-made and is subject to the god of this world: Satan.

On the other hand, the Kingdom of God is an absolute monarchy with King Jesus as the head. The subjects in this kingdom are all sons and daughters and members of His royal family. This kingdom has no loop holes or gray areas and is not subject to Satan and his kingdom of darkness. It is an eternal kingdom without end.

So, when voting this year, keep in mind —

But first and most importantly seek (aim at, strive after) His kingdom and His righteousness [His way of doing and being right—the attitude and character of God], and all these things will be given to you also. (Matthew 6:33)

My prayer today:

Lord, remind us Americans that apart from You, we can do nothing. (Based on John 15:5)

What do you think and has the Lord spoken to you today?

Join with me on Thursdays to fast and pray for America. 

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Churches: Fellowships Without Fellowship (Part 10)

 

“Indeed the safest road to Hell is the gradual one – the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts…Your affectionate uncle, Screwtape.” (C. S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters)

We have to keep in mind that the Great Tribulation will be a seven-year time period, which begins in peace. A man of peace – the Antichrist – will forge a peace treaty that will be accepted by most Christians, Jews, Muslims, and nations. This will stop the wars – nations fighting against nations and kingdoms against kingdoms.

The peace treaty will be so strong that the Jews will be allowed to build a temple on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem and carry out daily sacrifices. I know – it’s hard to imagine this ever happening again, but it will!

This peace treaty will be in effect for three and half years until the Antichrist sets up the image of the beast in the Temple and stops the daily sacrifices.

Now, don’t go thinking the three and half years during the peace treaty will be a time for Christians to sit around a campfire, strumming a guitar and singing, “Kumbaya My Lord.” No! I believe it will be a time when churches will be pressured to accept compromises – small at first, but increasing in severity as time passes – in order for them to survive.

How do I know this?

This is what the Communists did in China with their Three Self Patriotic Movement. The same Satan who authored the suffocating rules on the Three Self Churches will attempt to do the same on our traditional churches. All of it will be done under the guise of tolerance and keeping the peace.

Then, BAM!

Many traditional churches and believers will be preconditioned through the gradual slope of compromises into accepting the mark of the beast.

“Home fellowships are persecution proof and are the only viable form for underground churches. We believe in the years to come, we will see increasing restrictions on our ability to meet together, to worship together and to pray with each other.” (Chuck Missler)

(Continued in Part 11…but if you want to read all of the parts to date, you can go here.)

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Prayers for the American Church (10/16/2018)

Christ Church Stellarton

Photograph of Christ Anglican Church, Stellarton, NS. Taken the morning of October 28, 200

 

On the first Pentecost, a sound came from heaven like a rushing mighty wind, filling the house where one hundred and twenty believers waited for something to happen in Jerusalem. Then, divided tongues of fire sat upon each person.

And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. (Acts 2:4)

The one hundred and twenty believers walked outside, still speaking in tongues. Devout Jews heard these believers and thought they were drunk.

Peter said, “These are not drunk, but this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel:

And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, that I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your young men shall see visions, your old men shall dream dreams. And on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days. (Acts 2:17-18)

What happened at the first Pentecost was only a partial fulfillment of Joel’s prophecy. The Spirit was not poured out on all believers nor did every son and daughter prophesy. It only fell on one hundred and  twenty believers.

Even the Azusa Street Revival and the Charismatic Revival – as great as they seemed at the time – were only partial fulfillments of Joel’s prophecy. The Spirit was not poured out on every believer.

My prayer today:

Lord, help the American church to believe and pray for an outpouring of the Holy Spirit on every believer; thus fulfilling Joel’s prophecy.

Join me on Tuesdays to fast and pray for the American church.

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Prayers for America (10/11/2018)

“The devil made me do it!” (Flip Wilson)

The recent Justice Brett Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford brouhaha underscores a dismal situation for most American Christians: our lack of spiritual discernment.

So that no advantage would be taken of us by Satan, for we are not ignorant of his schemes. (2 Corinthians 2:11 NASB)

Sadly, we American Christians are ignorant of Satan’s schemes. You see, we allowed the accuser of the brethren (Satan) to manipulate us into being his pawns on social media and elsewhere for dividing the Body of Christ.

Somehow, we have to eventually realize that many of our problems in America are caused by the kingdom of darkness. Our only hope is to follow the King when He leads us so we can advance the Kingdom of God in our nation.

My prayer today:

Lord, open our spiritual eyes so that we can submit to You and then resist the devil. (Based on James 4:7)

What do you think and has the Lord spoken to you today?

Join with me on Thursdays to fast and pray for America.

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