On 29th April 2015, at 12.25am, Pastor Andrew Chan, Myuran Sukumaran and six others were brutally killed by firing squad. They were strapped by the elbows to wooden crosses and sang until their voices were silenced by the fatal gunshots.
A lot of evangelicals are expecting some kind of reward or benefit from Trump’s presidency – that he will somehow bring about a more godly, more believer-friendly nation, a restoration to the greatness of America’s alleged Christian roots. (They clearly haven’t been paying attention to the past four years).
In a very mercenary way some have “prophetically” declared Trump to be a type of Cyrus appointed by God to turn things around for the American church. Apart from that being false prophecy, its mercenary nature is based on USING Trump while winking at his lies and immorality, showing absolutely no concern for Trump’s eternal destiny.
If there is an ancient precedent we should be considering, it would be to pray for Trump to emulate Nebuchadnezzar, a proud brutal man who was confronted by God and eventually turned his life around to worship God.
Possibly God does wants Trump to serve another four years, but it won’t be for the reasons that Trump’s evangelical supporters think. God is not looking for Trump to make America great, and He’s not relying on Trump to make things better for the church.
It is more likely that a further Trump presidency will be a judgement on his evangelical supporters. God does not reward immorality, lies and hatred – or those who support such things. What Trump’s ‘evangelical’ base have not recognised, is that should Trump be re-elected, he’ll no longer need them or their support.
However the election goes, I have a strong suspicion that the damage has already been done.
2 Chronicles 12 says about King Rehoboam: “he did evil, because he did not prepare his heart to seek the Lord”. (NKJV)
Or in the NIV “He did evil because he had not set his heart on seeking the Lord”.
How many Christians today are personally preparing/setting their hearts to seek the Lord – and how many are merely sitting in church to get their weekly sermon fix?
“What may be known about God is plain … because God has made it plain. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.” (Rom 1)
From Back to Jerusalem, Three Chinese Church Leaders with Paul Hattaway.
We have noticed that many Christians in the West have an abundance of material possessions, yet they live in a backslidden state. They have silver and gold, but they don’t rise up and walk in Jesus’ name. In China few of us have any possessions to hold us down, so there’s nothing preventing us from moving out for the Lord. The ministry of the Chinese church is like that of Peter at the Beautiful Gate. He told the crippled beggar, “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ, walk!” (Acts 3:6). We can’t afford any big programmes or fancy gospel presentations. All we have to give people is Jesus.
We are praying that God will use the Chinese church to help the Western church wake up and walk in the power of the Holy Spirit. It’s almost impossible for the church in China to go to sleep in its present situation. There’s always something to keep us on the run, and it’s very difficult to sleep while you’re running!
This video is the third part of a very worthwhile teaching series. The other parts are worth following up.
It’s always encouraging when things I have learned and shared are confirmed by the Lord from a separate source.
As I’ve written in the past, if we search the scriptures for ourselves, and trust the Holy Spirit to give us understanding, then Lord will bring either correction or confirmation of what we’ve discovered through other Spirit filled believers.
The Holy Spirit will NOT reveal something to one person and something totally contradictory to another.
The following video, is a wonderful confirmation to me, referring to many of the things I wrote about a couple of days ago, even referencing the same bible verses and making the same points I made I my post here. A post in which I included scriptural support for each point made through links to BibleGateway.
A very insightful and informative article from Art Thomas about the “guilt by association” accusations that have been levelled against his ministry and others.
I thank the Lord for it.
I know that a few weeks ago I probably would have eagerly dismissed and cautioned against ministries like that of Art Thomas and Todd White, not because of anything inherently wrong with the work or the message, but because of alleged associations with others.
Lord, I repent of that attitude and the broad-brush condemnation that it fuelled.
What is the New Apostolic Reformation?
What is the New Apostolic Reformation? Why is it such a big deal to so many people? And what threat does the New Apostolic Reformation pose to the Church?
I want to offer a balanced response to these three questions and hopefully clear up some of the rhetoric and confusion that’s out there. My primary goal here is to give the Body of Christ a reasoned look at a complex topic so that we can be discerning and loving in how we interact on the subject. My secondary goal is to call out false teachers, slanderers, and children of the devil who have built their audiences out of innocent people whose itching ears are eager to hear what they want to hear.
Today I’m going to expose some wolves in sheep’s clothing, prominent theological errors, and divisive lies that are tearing apart the Church.
But it’s probably not going to look like what you expect.
In my best attempt to be like Jesus, I intend to love and defend the innocent while not pulling punches against those who have sown lies, discord, and false doctrine in the Church.
So hold onto your hat!
See full article at link above.
Paul’s thorn in the flesh continues to be raised as an argument against it always being God’s desire to heal.
I share the following video from David Servant and follow up with a repost of an article I wrote back in 2013, where I suggest that God’s response was not a “no” answer to Paul’s prayer for the thorn to be removed, but a revelation of its purpose, pointing Paul to the way he needed to deal with it – through obtaining and applying grace (which is given to the humble).
Finally, I include an audio version of F.F Bosworth’s chapter on the subject from his book Christ the Healer
(My article from 2013)
A few thoughts about Paul’s “thorn in the flesh”.
Despite common assumptions, there is no indication that Paul’s thorn in the flesh was a health issue – the scriptures describe it as a messenger (angel) from Satan sent to buffet Paul.
Paul had the understanding that God COULD remove it and would possibly be willing to remove it and therefore was able to ask for it to be removed. Then Paul was open enough to God’s Spirit to seek and hear God’s reason for the non-removal. He didn’t merely assume God wasn’t in the thorn-removal business.
2 Cor 12 spells out the nature of this “thorn in the flesh” and God’s revealed reason for not removing it:
“…because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations [given to Paul], a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
Paul’s thorn wasn’t removed because it prevented him from becoming conceited (proud) due to the revelation he’d been given.
God told Paul that His grace was sufficient, but sufficient for what? Sufficient for Paul to endure, or sufficient for Paul to personally resist that messenger from Satan?
An interesting parallel dealing with similar issues of pride, humility and Satanic harassment can be found in James 4:6-7
“God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble. Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”
I find a comparison between the two scripture passages suggests a viable answer to my question above about sufficiency.
A reading of F.F. Bosworth’s chapter on Paul’s thorn in the flesh from his book Christ the Healer.