A New Church?

Tonight’s post will be quite different from the normal post we do. Instead of discussing a familiar issue of today’s times or presenting some topic of interest while asserting my opinion on the matter, tonight I going to attempt to raise interest concerning a subject and then solicit the input and comments from the readers. I will reserve my thoughts and opinions for a later time after others have had an opportunity to respond. I realize this is an unusual approach but I’m anxious to hear from you before coming to a final conclusion. However, as always, the standard for comparison is always God’s Word and so I remind everyone to respond in light of that. So, if you’re ready, let’s get to it.

The subject for consideration this evening is this: “Satellite churches. Are they biblical or not”? There has been quite an emergence of these on today’s scene and have appealed to many people and the numbers seem to be on the increase. But, as with anything else, a new happening like this always brings with it a number of questions that need to be answered according to the scriptures.  

You might not be sure what I mean by the term satellite church so let me take the time to explain what I consider a satellite church to be.  A satellite church is one that holds its meeting in a public and common location but has no local pastor or church leadership. The services are conducted from a remote location and seen on large video screens quite some distance away where people are assembled to participate. These meeting places can be community centers, private event centers, hotel convention centers, and even abandoned church sanctuaries. The events remind me of watching a Billy Graham Crusade on the other side of the world and considering that to be participation in a local church. Mind you, this is not a negative shot at at evangelical crusades because they certainly have their place in spreading the gospel. It is only an example of something similar to what I see as a satellite church.

It is my intent to provoke an interest in this subject and my hope that it will create a dialogue with comments or even more questions from you, the reader. If you will respond with your comments on the post itself, everyone who reads the post will be able to see your comments. They can even respond to your comment on the post. I believe this could be a great learning experience for all of us and I am excited to hear what you have to say. We will discuss the subject more fully in upcoming posts as comments are made.

I want to thank all of you in advance for your participation and I pray that out of this all of us will experience  some degree of spiritual growth and understanding. God has a way of using different means and methods to get our attention and teach us. May God richly bless each of you.

  

 

The Gospel Arrow

Several weeks ago our Saturday morning Bible Study group began the study of the book of Acts. We all know this book as the historical record of the beginning of the Church and then its expansion throughout the known world of that time as Paul conducted is missionary journeys. In the very beginning of the book Jesus told the apostles that the Holy Spirit would be coming and that they were to be His witnesses throughout the world. We then see the selection of the apostle Matthias to replace the traitor Judas. Then we see a spectacular event occur by the sudden appearance of the Holy Spirit just as Jesus had said. This appearance was a noise like a violent rushing wind. It filled the whole house where they were and then appeared to them as tongues as of fire that rested on each one of them. At this point the Bible says they were filled with the Holy Spirit and folks, when that happens, there is change that takes place in one’s life that becomes obvious to everyone around them. And so it was then.

The Bible says that they begin to speak with other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance. Now there have been many attempts to make this into something mystical, super-spiritual, or something other that what it really was. This was a miracle of the Holy Spirit that was not for the benefit of those speaking but for those who were hearing. The passage goes on to say that those listening were hearing them speak in their own language so they could understand what they were saying. I have no idea how many languages or dialects that were present here but apparently they were numerous. Can you imagine being able to hear someone speak in German, French, or Spanish but you hear it in English. And that without an interpreter, but straight from the mouth of the speaker. This is exactly what was going on that day and there were other there that began to mock them and accuse them of being drunk. But Peter speaks to their assertions when He stands to preach his famous Pentecost sermon. And this is where I want to spend some time.

Peter stood with the other eleven and began to address those present that were from Judea and those who lived in Jerusalem because he was speaking to those Jews that were thee for the Pentecost celebration. He explained that they were certainly not drunk because it was too early in the day but there was another explanation for what was happening. He then that it was the fulfillment of prophecy that was spoken by Joel many years before and quoted the Old Testament passage. At this point he began to preach his first sermon emphasizing who Jesus was and is; the risen and exalted Lord and Christ. And he brought home to them that they are the ones that nailed Him to a cross by the hands of the godless Romans who put Him to death. Peter concludes his dissertation in verse 36 of chapter 2 and it reads like this. “Therefore let all the house of Israel know for certain that God has made Him both Lord and Christ-this Jesus whom you crucified.” What follows after this is the topic of tonight’s post.

The very next verse says “Now when they heard this, they were pierced to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brethren what shall we do.”” Something wonderful begins right there and still continues today. That is the convicting power of the Holy Spirit. It is proof of the power of the preaching of the gospel. I love those words “pierced to the heart” because I still remember the day it happened to me. After hearing the gospel numerous times the Holy Spirit in His timing used His gospel arrow to pierce my heart. For the first time, as an eleven year-old boy, I truly realized that I was a sinner and was helpless on my own. I repented and put my faith and trust in what Jesus did at the cross. I may not have understood everything at that time but  I knew that He made a change in my life. And I have never gotten over it.

It may seem trivial to some but one of things that saddens me the most today is there doesn’t seem to be much evidence of being pierced to the heart. I can’t count the times I have been in worship services and heard a great gospel sermon preached yet there was no movement of any kind by anybody. And I wonder why that is. Is the convicting power of the Holy Spirit been diminished? Are people’s hearts so hard that the gospel arrow can’t penetrate it? Or is the gospel so watered down by the messenger that there is no power in it. Could it be there is so much of the world in our churches that we have become satisfied with the status quo? Maybe a combination of all of these things or even something else I haven’t mentioned.

I realize there have been all kinds of programs introduced to reverse this trend but it seems like nothing is working. We’ve moved away from traditional hymns of worship to a different type of music that so much of it doesn’t seem to have any message to it at all. We divided our congregations into traditional and contemporary segments based on our ages. We have compromised on various parts of God’s Word and have not taken a stand for the infallibility of it. If God said it, it is so. Period. We have even changed Sunday School in many churches to more life application stories that actual study expository study of God’s Word. And I still don’t see much “heart piercing”. I heard someone say the other day that the church has turned inward and is just ministering to itself. Outreach has become a thing of the past. No “heart piercing’ can happen that way.

It seems to me that we need to get back to the simple basics of our faith. We need to confess our sins so that we can then be used to be God’s instruments for sharing His love to the lost world around. We desperately need to spend more time on our knees in our private prayer closets and more time on our knees in the corporate environment. I guess the best way to put it is that we need revival! The real question is “Do we really want it?” God help us to have that desire again! We need our own hearts pierced again. 

“I am Sick”

I recently read a post on Facebook by one of our local pastors that cuts through the chase and sends a message to pastors and lay people alike. Many of our churches have more world in them than Jesus and it is no wonder  we don’t see lost people saved like we used to. They can’t tell us apart from the world and it’s time we return to the basics, trust God and then be willing to be the instruments He can use to bring about the changes needed.

I asked my friend, Brother Greg Woodall, if I could have permission to reproduce his post in my blog and he so graciously agreed. Tonight I have included his post, word for word, straight from his Facebook post. There is no doubt it came from the depths of his heart and in turn has stirred my own. I pray that it stirs yours also.


“I am Sick”
I have been a pastor for 30 years. I started preaching when I was only 18. When I started I had no staff. It was just me. I was the worship leader, maintenance man, lawn keeper, secretary, you get it.
A lot has changed through those years. Today I have a wonderful staff of secretaries, student pastor, pastoral care pastor, media specialist, worship pastors, school teachers, administrator, connection leaders, children’s pastors, and about every kind of special ministry you could think of.
But I have become sick and it’s serious!
Used to I had no computer, no internet, etc… All I had to prepare my sermons were prayer and my bible. 
I would labor all week to prepare and think and pray and listen to what God would have me to say. As soon as I would feel a peace about my Sunday morning message and get it prepared, Sunday night was staring me in the face! I had yet another message to prepare, pray over, listen, and stay attentive to what God would have me to say. I would study and read and study and read. Once I labored over that message to get it in my spirit, I would deliver it with passion and people would come to the altar and genuinely give their lives to the Lord! I would wipe my brow on Sunday night and take a deep breath only to have Wednesday service staring me in the face! The routine of prayer, and begging God for an idea, and studying and more prayer, and listening to the Spirit as I would take the temperature of my congregation to give them what I felt God would have me to say. Again, I would labor and labor over my message and once again give birth to it and watch it live!!! People would come to the alter with tears and give their hearts and lives to Jesus!
Not just me, this is the way all pastors would preach. We had to. There was no other way!
But what has made me sick is that today, not all, but many pastors do not pray, do not study, do not listen to the Spirit, do not labor over their messages and don’t have to look at another service because there isn’t one. In a world that is falling apart and needs more God and more church than any generation before us, we are giving them less God, less Word, less passion and less church.
The messages are messages from other pastors that have been memorized and reproduced in the pulpit. I see it all the time. Pastors will have their own picture up and a quote from their sermon like it was their own and it’s straight off the internet. There are some that quote some internet idol weekly and changing titles so that no one knows it’s not the Word God gave to them.
There is no anointing! There are no alter calls! There is no prayer! There is no praying for the sick!
It’s just a talk, not a sermon. It’s a watered down motivational speech.
People are getting baptized but they aren’t changing!!!!!
Please do not be offended if it isn’t you. Keep on preaching what God has given you. But if it is you, get back to the Word of God! Get back to the altar! Close your computer and listen to what God would have you say and deliver it with passion and the anointing of God!!!
If you will notice, many of these preachers that pastors study and try to be like are taking a dive on biblical truths. 
Don’t try to be like them! Be you!!!! God chose YOU because He knew YOU had the potential to change the world for Him! YOU! You listen to Him! You follow Him. Don’t try to pattern yourself after anyone. You imitate Him, not some cool and successful pastor, Him!
This world needs Jesus! It’s time to quit being so neutral and dodging tough topics that are abominations to God! Stand up you mighty man of God! You have what it takes to make a difference! Yes it requires more. Yes it takes more time. It’s not as easy as picking some sermon on-line and reproducing it verbatim. But it’s what God gave you! And it’s the message He wants you to speak. The great thing about that is that it’s so much better!
Let’s heal the world and ourselves! 
God heal every one of us! Put us back at your altar. Fill our hearts with your anointing and our mouths with your Truth! 
I’m tired of being sick!

Greg Woodall
Florence First Assembly


I am so thankful that there are still pastors like Brother Greg and my own pastor, Brother Mark Mayfield, that will stand firm on God’s Word and not compromise in any way, shape, form, or fashion. I pray that God would give others the desire and then the strength to do the same. Please join me.

There are some of you on our email list that like to follow the activities of our group Reassurance. As a way of and update, we will have the morning service this Sunday, March 10, at my home church, Leighton Baptist Church. Please pray for the service and that we stay out-of-the-way so that God can do something wonderful. We want to lift high the name of Jesus in praise and share a message of hope through our music. He will then do the rest for His glory. So, to God be the glory and honor forever and ever. Amen.

He Keeps His Promises

Sometimes, when we begin to experience some unwelcome event in our life, we get so caught up in the present moment that we lose our sense of direction and ignore our spiritual compass. There are many things that can trigger these events including health issues, financial problems, a rebellious child, the loss of a job, marriage instability and even the death of a loved one. However, despite the cause, the event imposes so much emotional and physical stress on us that we don’t know where to turn. And even in extreme cases it may lead to thoughts of bringing harm to our own selves. So, the point is this; before we allow ourselves to get to a point of utter despair, we need to stop, turn around, and follow our spritual compass back to the One who guide us through the storm to safety. This He has promised He would do.

The word “promise” used above is not just some ordinary word with a basic dictionary definition. When it is used with respect to Holy God, it means much more than just a pledge. It carries a much heavier weight than that. When we speak of a promise that God has made in the context and content of His written word, we should understand that there will be no wavering or withdrawal on His part. His promises are sure and He will never break a single one of them. That is why David could say in Psalm 23 “Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil. For Thou art with me.” And when we read the words of Jesus himself in Matthew 28 as He gave the disciples His great commission, we find in verse 20 where He promised that “He would be with us always, even to the end of the age.” The writer of the book of Hebrews repeats some Old Testament scripture in chapter 13, verses 5 and 6, He promises again that He will never leave us or forsake us.

I want to remind all of us that His eyes are always on us and we are never out of His sight. We can also trust the fact that we can never move so far away from Him that we are out of reach of His outstretched hand. That is, if we belong to Him, He is always there to faithfully forgive us and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. So when we find ourselves in one of those situations I outlined in the start of the post, we need to remember His unbreakable promises and allow Him to again to take control of the rudder of our life’s ship. Turn to Jesus. We can trust Him and we can certainly trust His promises. I pray that I will continually hold on to all of His promises for He is my rock and my redeemer. In Him only do I trust.

My God Delivers Again

Tonight’s post will be quire short. It has been another difficult week with health issues much like what has been going on for the past month. I believe heart problems have been ruled out and the pneumonia is now gone. But there still are some things happening that cannot be explained. Had my follow-up visit with my primary care physician and he has referred me to a GastroIntestinal Specialist. I had an appointment with him on Thursday and now have been scheduled for an upper GI scope procedure commonly know as an endoscopic inspection. This will be a look down my esophagus and into my stomach and hopefully the real problem can be found. Please pray that it will be so. So much to do and so little time.

Even with all the health stuff happening, an untimely death of a friend we have been praying for, and then throw-in all of the rain we’ve seen, God has still taken care of me and my family and all of the other friends I have. Not one time has He left my side but there is no doubt that I have left Him out through some of all of this. And as I have sat down to write this post and reflect back on the week, I have realized again how he uses the negative events in our lives to make us stronger. He has been taking His time to teach me things along the way. I think it might be worth reminding of all of us of a couple of those things.

Number one. If we place all of our faith and trust in Him then we are guaranteed that all of the promises that He has ever made he will keep. He has told us that He will never leave us or forsake us and in addition to that he has promised that He will make all things work together for good for those of us who love Him and are the called according to his purpose. In spite of how we may let Him down, He is always faithful in His wonderful promises.

And number two. He tells us that the good work He has begun in all of us He will continue and then will complete one day. For all the failures that may we have had in our lives He will remove them as wood, dirt and stumble and they will be destroyed forever. As my pastor has said numerous times, He what will call us up, clean us up and then we will live forever with Him as His adorned bride. What A Day That Will Be! 

God’s Word In Action

I find it interesting how we can go for days and weeks without taking the time to really  appreciate how God takes care of us. We are so wrapped up in our own little world that we fail to see how He is involved in our daily lives. The past few weeks have offered me a number of reminders that I am one of those very people who I have just described. But I suspect there are others that find themselves in the same predicament. And If that is so how do we make the adjustments necessary to bring us back to reality? Well, I choose to turn to the only truly reliable source, the Bible. I have found through the years that God’s Word provides the answer to any and all questions and problems that we encounter and that even includes our own complacency.

There is no situation that we can find ourselves in that takes Him by surprise and when we turn to Him and His word with repentant hearts, He is quick to restore us. His word is filled with promise after promise and He never fails to keep any of them. When we are hurting, He soothes the pain. When we are discouraged, He brings us hope. When we are lonely, He fills our lives. When we are disobedient, He disciplines us like a loving Father should.

It never fails to amaze me how His word is applicable to any unwelcome situation we find ourselves in or to any bad circumstances that surface, even those of our very own making. In any and all of those instances we should be reminded of what happened to us when we were saved. If we truly turned our lives over to Him and put all of our faith and trust in Him, we can rest assured that He will be faithful to us just as He promised. He is the Rock of our salvation and in Him only do we trust.

So when we’ve let the world and our flesh take us where we don’t need to be, we can find comfort in the fact that if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us of all unrighteousness. We can’t ask for anything better than that. To God be all the glory, honor, and praise!

Something’s Missing!

As I have mentioned before, I am part of a Saturday morning bible study group of men who love getting together to read and study the Word of God. We have completed studies of the Gospel of John in the New Testament and the book of  Esther in the Old Testament. At the beginning of the year we returned to the New Testament and began a new study of the book of Acts. As most of us realize, Acts is a very important book because it details the beginning of the church. We are right now in the middle of chapter two and have just covered one of the most remarkable events in all of the bible. We see the arrival of the Holy Spirit on the scene just like Jesus had promised not many days before. The Holy Spirit was heard, He was seen, and then was felt as He filled and indwelled the believers on that day. Amazing things began to happen with those early believers because the Holy Spirit was in control. And this forms the basis for our post tonight.

Immediately following the appearance of the Holy Spirit, Peter stood and preached that great Pentecost sermon which resulted in so many being saved. Later we see the first apostolic miracle with healing of the lame man, the sudden death of Ananias and Sapphira after their lying to the Holy Spirit, Stephen’s address to the Sanhedrin and his ultimate stoning and Paul’s conversion experience on the road to Damascus. Therefore the evidence of the Holy Spirit’s indwelling and control is much too great to deny. Many years have now come and gone since the early days of the church and there is no doubt there have been outpourings of the Holy Spirit down through the centuries at different times and different places. However, it has been quite some time since I have witnessed or even heard of a such an outpouring in this country of ours like there has been in the past. It seems to me that there is something missing.

I remember times when I was a boy and even into my teenage years that the Holy Spirit was present in just about every church service I attended. I remember prayer meeting times when men would be on their knees and faces praying for God to intervene in the lives of others as well as their own. I’m not talking about one man at a time but many and all praying out loud at the same time. The Holy Spirit would fill the place and you knew it. I’ve heard people testify and weep because of what God had done for them. And yes I have seen and heard people shout on many occasions. People who overflowed with gratitude for the blessings they had and for answered prayers. The Holy Spirit was in the midst. No put on. No embarrassment. Just filled with the Holy Spirit.  So what happened? What has changed?

What I have described above may sound somewhat strange and may be foreign to some of you. But I know others of you can attest to and have witnessed some of the same thing. But something is missing today. And I believe it is the presence of the Holy Spirit. If I am correct in my assumption then what has caused this to happen? Well, my guess is the problem lies with us. We have changed. The church has changed. We and the church are so full of the world we left no room for the Holy Spirit to do His work. We have grown complacent and unconcerned about our spiritual life and many have fallen for the lies of false teachers. We’ve neglected personal study of God’s Word and have almost totally abandoned our prayer life. God help us! Sin is still sin, disobedience is still disobedience. We have a problem and something needs to be done about it. We should be reminded that we may have changed but God has not. He is the same yesterday, today and forever. So the problem is us. So what do we do?

Folks, we, and especially me, need real revival. We need to come to our senses like the prodigal son and return to our father. We need to humble ourselves and pray, then repent and turn from our wicked ways just as we have been instructed to do. If we do, God promises that He will not only heal us but He will heal our land. I long to see another real outpouring of the Holy Spirit and I know that in order for that to happen revival must first begin in my own heart. God give me a true desire for that and help me to be open and willing for it to happen. Can I get a witness? 

  

 

What It’s All About

Last week’s post, “What’s Next?”, centered around the new law in New York state that allows for an abortion to be performed all the way up to birth. I believe we all have been shocked by such a law that would protect that kind of atrocity but as we have seen this week there are others that advocate it is even okay to murder a baby just after it is born. When I asked that question last week I never imagined that someone would suggest that we should now go to another extreme. What is our nation coming to that we would sit back and even allow someone to voice such as thought and still consider them a public official? So I ask the question again. “What’s next?” Hold on to your seats because I’m sure there is more coming. As it does we will discuss and we will bring it to the table for consideration.

Tonight I want to change gears a little bit and look at something that is much more positive and simply an extension of how we should live out our lives as Christians. I want to share with you an experience that I had this week because it brings to life what our Christian life is all about. This not only involved me but several other guys that I am very close to and their thoughts about the experience are the same as mine.

On Thursday evening our group Reassurance had the wonderful opportunity to minister to an elderly couple from my church and one in which the husband has been recently diagnosed with stage four cancer. I learned some time ago that he was an avid fan of southern gospel music and had certainly expressed an interest in hearing us sing. When I heard about their situation God almost immediately revealed to me that this would be a great opportunity to use our talents to truly minister to and encourage another believer who was facing some very difficult circumstances. After discussing with my pastor he called the couple to find out what they thought about the idea. And they were delighted to have us come. We were eventually able to work out the date and time for us to come to their house and this is where things began to unfold.

We met at my house before going over to their home and we went over the four songs we were prepared to do and then prayed that God would use us to encourage an bless them. When we arrived they were very gracious and welcomed us to their home. After some small chat and setting up our equipment we began to sing. Almost immediately tears welled up in their eyes and it was a struggle for us to get through the very first song. It was as if the Holy Spirit had surrounded us with His presence and had not only prepared their hearts but ours also. We sang those four songs we had prepared and then we had coffee and pecan pie with these sweet folks. But it didn’t end there. They wanted us to sing some more and by the time we had finished we had sung for almost 45 minutes. We finally ran out of music tracks that we had brought so we had to stop. We then all gathered in a circle and one by one we prayed for them and thanked God for giving us the opportunity to be a part of their lives. We also got to hear their personal testimonies of how God has been faithful to them in everything and these circumstances were no different. Theres were lots of smiles and lots of tears and for the record, when it was all over we were the ones who received the greatest blessing because they ministered to us as we ministered to them. What a great evening it was and what a lesson we learned again. God uses people to bless His people.

When I got home and had a chance to unwind, I was reminded of what God’s Word says about bearing one another’s burdens. I realize even more now how important it is to be willing to be used by God to do so and that we would always be alert and aware of those opportunities that present themselves. I’m always amazed how when we are obedient to His instruction and follow His will the outcome is always a blessing. I thank God for again providing another teaching moment in our lives. All the glory and honor belongs to Him. And I long for more of those opportunities!

I have shared this story not to boast or in any way bring any accolades to myself or our group but to provide another example of how God ways are so much higher than our ways and His Word is perfect and true. What an awesome God we serve!

 

What’s Next?

For the first time in quite a while, last Saturday I failed to publish the weekly post that I enjoy doing so much. I apologize to those of you who look forward to it and for not being able to advise you that there would not be one that evening. The truth is that I have been having a number of health issues for the last two weeks and on that evening I was in the emergency room at the new hospital. Sometime after midnight I was released after being diagnosed with pneumonia. It has been up and down since then but I believe I am now beginning to turn the corner back to my normal self. Thanks to all of you that heard about my ordeal and offered up prayers on my behalf! God is faithful to hear them.

Tonight I want to consider what has recently been legislated in the state of New York and what (or who) is really behind it all. As we discussed in our last post two weeks ago, we have three enemies that we must face on a continual basis and this weeks news from New york certainly reveals the presence of two of those. We are at constant war with the other enemy, our flesh, but this turn of events sheds a brighter light on what is going on in our society today. So let’s first start with the details of the event and go from there.

The following information was published this week on the website LifeNews.com and is a summary of two articles I found there; The New York Senate passed a radical pro-abortion bill this past Tuesday that would allow unborn babies to be aborted for basically any reason up to birth. The bill passed after abortion activists pushed it for more than a decade in New York. Until now, it failed to pass the state Senate because of Republican lawmakers, but the November election put pro-abortion Democrats in control of both houses. The vote was 38-24. And now Governor Andrew Cuomo has signed the bill into law. As if that weren’t bad enough, a very disconcerting video showed legislators cheering after passing the horrific legislation.

What an unbelievable and ungodly piece of legislation! This means that in the state of New York a woman can have her baby aborted (murdered) just before the child exits the birth canal. Can you imagine in your wildest dreams that there is a mother capable of that? Can you believe that there are so-called physicians and even nurses that would be a party to it? Even as evil and corrupt as many politicians are, it is hard to believe that they would introduce or even support such legislation. But here it is folks. The start of a whole new concept that is going to eventually lead to murder outside the womb. It is a new definition of pro-choice. So what’s next? 

Abortion activists have been very subtle in their pursuit. As time has gone by we’ve seen changes in the standards from first tri-mester, then second tri-mester, then third tri-mester, and now up to birth. They have always advocated that abortion is for women’s health and that changed to the woman’s right to control over her body. Now we know that all of that was simply lies. This legislation is the final proof that it has always been about convenience, not health and not rights. Why else would murder be considered at birth? So what’s next?

The big question is “Why has this happened and how did it get this far?” Well, the answer is quite simple. The enemy is winning the battle. First of all Satan has used his special skill of deception to convince people that they are in control of their own lives and that no one can dictate to them what they should do. These people are now a part of our other enemy, the world. And they don’t even realize it. They have gotten to the point that they consider anyone that does not hold to their beliefs as someone other than normal or with some kind of phobia. We as Christians are now fast becoming the minority and it won’t be very long before laws will be in place that will not allow us to speak out against such things. It is just the tip of the iceberg and we need to be prepared for more of the onslaught.

What’s next? Well, I don’t know what that may be but as long as Satan is the ruler of this world, you can bet he is going to continue his ways and the world is going to get deeper in the mire of sin. However, there is great news. God has not been caught off guard and in His timing this world and Satan himself will come to the end of their reign and will receive their just reward. In addition, because we have been bought with a price by the blood of Jesus we have nothing to fear. One day He will return as King of Kings and Lord of Lords and He will reign forever and ever. All wrongs will be righted. True justice will prevail and just as He promised, we will be in His presence for all eternity. Satan may be winning the battle, but Jesus has already won the war. So what’s next? Jesus is coming soon! Come Lord Jesus!

  

 

What Time Is It?

In last week’s post “Moving Forward” there were a number of resolutions for the new year that I shared with you which revolved around my Christian life. I’m aware that they all sound very spiritual and it certainly would be a wonderful thing if I were successful in meeting the challenge. However, we all know that most resolutions, especially those of a spiritual nature, are never kept in their entirety. This is usually because we attempt to do it on our own and not realize it is an impossibility to do it without the help of the Holy Spirit. The minute the enemy realizes that we are serious at the start, his attacks begin with trying to convince us that we don’t need any help. And sooner or later we buy the lie and we are in deep trouble. I can’t count the times this has happened to me and I can safely venture to guess that it has most likely happened to you.

So the question becomes “What can we do to combat this situation and when do we plan to start?” We can all relate to how our first glance at the hands on the face of a clock causes our mind to automatically asks the question “What time is it?” And I believe this is the question we need to ask ourselves as we proceed with this new year. What time is it? I conclude that it’s time for a change. It’s time to:

  • Realize that we have a real enemy in Satan and just as the Bible says, he goes about seeking who he will devour with his deception and lies. He is not some make-believe character or a figment of our imagination. He is real. He is the enemy.
  • Realize that the world is also our enemy. All we have to do is watch what is going on in the political arena in our country, the trash that is being produced in the music and entertainment world, the acceptance of the sin of homosexuality as a viable alternate lifestyle, the murder of innocent babies for the sake of “women’s health”, the growth of false religions and cults, and many other ungodly activities going on all around us. And, yes folks, the invasion of the world into our churches.
  • Realize that our own flesh is sometimes the fiercest enemy we have. The battles that rage within us are won by the flesh and is simply because we are not “filled with the Holy Spirit” as God’s Word says in Ephesians.
  • Return to the real reason why we are still here and that is to share the gospel with those around us and even to the uttermost parts of the earth.  To turn our focus away from programs and events that seem to be designed for entertainment instead of evangelism.
  • Make a much better use of the power of prayer. To return to corporate prayer times that is fueled by the presence of the Holy Spirit and offered by sincere believers. to return to individual prayer that is more than just mere repetition but comes from a heart of gratitude for all He has done for us.
  • Insure that what we hear from the pulpit and what we are taught by others is doctrinally sound as we compare it to what the Holy Spirit has revealed to us during our personal bible study time.
  • Take a stand against the rampant immorality of our time and return to the truths and standards that were so important in the past. If we don’t do it now, what chance will our children and grandchildren have in the future to stand firm? 

I believe that if we would take seriously the things above, a great revival could begin in our midst and we might see God again do some mighty things. I sincerely believe that we need that revival now more than anything but it is up to us as individual believers to be instruments that God can use. Revival needs to start in our hearts and it needs to start in mine first. Lord, give me the desire to yield to you and become your vessel for revival!