On the day of the 9/11 attack, a shock wave emanated from the Twin Towers to the Federal Hall, cracking the very foundation of the building that had served as the original seat of government of the new nation. Jonathan Cahn, author of The Harbinger, maintains that this event was the sign of coming judgment upon America. See his fascinating interview with Pat Robertson of the 700 Club.
It is not hard to see how the way is being prepared for that greatest deception of all—the appearance on the world stage of the man who will present himself as the savior of mankind but who has actually come to destroy it—the Anti-Christ predicted in the Bible.
"Although Repulicans lost big on the national level, they control three out of five governor's offices at the state level. Herein lies the real answer to the electoral riddle that puzzles so many party leaders and conservative media"
Can we possibly ever be the land of opportunity again when most people would rather take a hand out than give each other a leg up? I SERIOUSLY DOUBT IT!
If you want to be among those who are rescued from the terrible ordeals that are about to come, you must give up your pre-occupation with acquiring possessions and enriching yourself and make Jesus Christ the love of your life. He will take care of the details.
It is time to take sides in this great battle between the kingdom of God and the kingdom of Satan. Make sure that your loyalties lie with the one who will be on the winning side. That one is Jesus Christ, King of the Jews and rightful heir to the throne of Jerusalem. Have you pledged your allegiance to him?
Today's church is in desperate need of revival. Not some man made revolution or reformation, as some Christian leaders suggest, but a genuine Holy Spirit led revival.
To properly understand Bible prophecy, it is important to know the context of the times in which it was written. To do that requires setting aside our modern western understanding of nations as geographical and political nation states and recognizing that in the ancient world, nations were people descended from a common ancestor whose language and culture originated at the Towe of Babel.
Does knowing that Jesus is coming back to earth to set up His kingdom, free us from sin and death, and restore creation to its pristine state excite you so much that you want to tell others? That is the hope that should purify us, draw us together in close community, and spur us on to good works.
As Christians, we need to make political choices that will protect and preserve biblical values, provide peace and security, preserve our God-given rights, and allow us the maximum freedom to share the gospel.
In days gone by, there was a generally accepted set of standards that governed the conduct of interpersonal relationships in our society. If there was a question about what constituted acceptable social norms, people would consult such authorities as Emily Post or Judith Martin, a.k.a. 'Miss Manners,' both of whom wrote syndicated newspaper columns on etiquette.
The only reasons we don’t warn people about hell are that we really don’t comprehend how horrible it is or how heinous our own sins are.
Christians have filled their heads with Bible knowledge from years of listening to sermons and attending Bible classes, but all the knowledge hasn’t made any difference in the way they live their lives.
“Love looks like something,” i.e. it is more than just prayers and advice. It means drilling wells for water, building homes for the homeless, providing disaster relief and practicing the 'one anothers' one on one (not just as part of some church program).
Nowhere in the secular world do the parties to sexual abuse circle the wagons as tightly as they do in Christian circles. Even the Christian media are loathe to expose a fellow belliever caught in the act of sexual abuse. And while Christians may think that they are honoring God's name by shielding it from the arrows of the Enemy, what they are really doing is creating a target rich environment for perennial sexual predators.
Barak Obama's real agenda is to take America down a few pegs, to make her an equal among nations, no greater and no less ...he wants to restore balance between the third world and the first world; the underdeveloped and developing nations, and the economic superpowers.
If we cannot even grasp the utility of the Lord's prayer, how can we ever hope to learn the more difficult aspects of the faith like forbearance, forgiveness, patience under pressure, and genuine brotherly love that bears another's burdens and shares his joys?
The fact of the matter is that the makeup of Congress simply reflects the changing values of a country where conservatism is on the rise. The Republican Party was in the wilderness in the 1970s. It had not had control of congress since the days of FDR. There was no Ronald Reagan and no talk radio. The country was predominantly conservative, nonetheless.
The last one to leave is Jesus Christ. He takes time to offer a word of blessing to the worship leader, gives him a fond embrace and slowly exits the door. Will He come back again? Perhaps not soon. Next week you may find Him visiting another local church just like this one or maybe another house church in China. But one thing is certain, He won't be headed for Europe or North America anytime soon.
The American culture prizes celebrity, yet the vast majority of us live in anonymity. Therefore many people in our society feel profoundly insignificant. Like Flavio, you can show people how highly God prizes them by honoring them yourself.
When religious experts monopolize the ranks of leadership, pedagogy replaces holistic ministry. Preaching and teaching take precedence over caring for those with deep needs. The rhetorical replaces the practical. That is why Jesus said, “For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven” (Mt 5:20).
Today's brand of forgiveness requires nothing more than an attitude adjustment. It does not necessitate confrontation of the sinner or resolution of the conflict. It never balances the ledger of justice, and justice is the casualty of unconditional forgiveness.
On the other hand, the Christian church is flourishing in parts of the world where Christians are being persecuted because this world has little appeal. They have found a hope in the Christian promise of heaven. And because of the lack of seminary trained clergy, people have not entrusted ministry to professionals. They all minister to one another.
It is time for Christian leaders to come down off their pedestals and realize WE DON'T HAVE ALL THE ANSWERS ANYMORE!!!! We can no longer hold ourselves accountable. We need someone who is not committed first and foremost to the protection of the institutional church to hold us accountable. Why? Because the institutional church isn't worth saving anymore!!
There are literally hundreds of verses in the Bible that deal with the perils of chasing wealth. Nonetheless, if you look around the average middle-class church parking lot, you will see mostly late model cars. Believers stretch their budgets to buy the most home they can afford and then fill it with all kinds of gadgets, including big screen TVs, expensive stereo equipment and stacks of CDs and DVDs.
If we want to enjoy at least the same level of prosperity and freedom that we have known in years past, we need to begin to starve the government beast.
The best resource on the web for church leaders who want to change to a more interactive website is the Web Evangelism page of casualchristian.net.
Mothers tend to be nurturing. They apply the bandaids and soothe the hurt feelings. Dads tend to be the standard bearers. They set expectations and enforce the discipline.
The Bible is not just a guideline. It is the authoritative Word of God. Disobeying it has consequences. Obeying it has rewards. Yet we fudge. We compromise. We rationalize. We trade away our spiritual integrity for man’s approval and as we do, we gradually erode our ability to distinguish right from wrong, to see our own failings, and to turn back in repentance to God.
Jesus regularly downplayed the importance of religious buildings. When his disciples marveled at the beauty of the temple, he warned them not to glorify something that would be torn down in a matter of just a few years. When Peter suggested he and James and John built a shrine to honor the Transfiguration, Jesus just ignored him ...Jesus made it clear over and over again that His kingdom was not a temporal kingdom but an eternal kingdom.
Today, as in Jesus day, the church has become a religious establishment ruled by a professional religious class consisting primarily of seminary trained pastors and theologians. They have abandoned the itinerant ministry of Jesus and the apostles for organized ministries based on charismatic personalities. Rather than serving and suffering, the path to leadership is academic achievement and professional accomplishment.
Christian leaders need to come to terms with the fact that all their modern methods and techniques are not having a tranformative effect on Christian character. They need to come clean about protecting their institutions rather than confessing their sins and turning in repentance to God as David did when he was confronted by Nathan with adultery and murder.
Where the New Testament church grew organically, drawing people into their fellowship by their genuine love for one another, modern church leaders focus on how to grow the church organization by getting the most bang for their marketing buck.
The Bible uses several metaphors to describe the church. These images were meant to guide our thinking about the church. Notably absent is the corporation. What could be more impersonal than a corporation? It conjures up a cold, calculated approach to business—no fond affection of a bride for her groom, no sense of mutual dependence of a body, and no unquestioning obedience of sheep.
If Christians are no different from anyone else then why become one? If the church is just as flawed as any secular institution, why join it? What does it mean to be a Christian and what is the purpose of the church if it is no different from the rest of society?
You did only what was absolutely necessary and nothing more. So Phil Fondaw went home and got a job teaching in a Christian academy. The superintendent was horrified when I told him there was a pedophile on his staff. But you didn't care as long as you were rid of Phil.
I don't think small groups are the answer to Christian character development. What the church needs is structural reform. We used to call this 'revival' a term that has fallen into disrepute with the religious establishment that considers it a repudiation of modern church growth methods.
Christian leaders somehow cannot draw the connection from the declining moral and ethical standards in the Christian community to a church that has failed to produce Christian character. Failure is always attributed to the individual and not the quality of his Christian nurture or training.
I will never forget the day I asked you for help networking in the church for employment. Your answer was, "A bad match would be a poor reflection on the church." What church were you talking about? The church at the address on Seminary Street in Wheaton, IL, or the body of Christ that Jesus and the Apostles charged to "bear one another's burdens."
Out of 37 references to 'one another' there are only three mentions of teaching or worship! These are the things the modern church emphasizes most! Second, there are six references to public displays of affection! The early church must have been a very warm and welcoming bunch of people.
Miracles, whether large or small, are just as possible today as they were in Jesus day. All that is required is implicit trust in the whole Word of God, no strings attached, dependence on the power of the Holy Spirit, and proper motivation which is the advancement of the kingdom of Christ.
We are willing to believe that an inanimate, impersonal universe is more capable of producing human life than Almighty God, yet we freely offer prayers to God asking Him to shape events on our behalf and we hold firmly to a belief in the human soul and an afterlife. We embrace the notion of survival of the fittest, yet we ask for mercy for our weakness. We believe that a process called natural selection spawned life out of chaos, yet we depend on the world to be predictable and orderly every morning when we get out of bed.
Human beings have an “edifice” complex—an urge to build something permanent. When Peter went with Jesus to the Mount of Transfiguration, he felt compelled to build a shrine, but that was not Jesus’ plan. The meeting had served its purpose when Moses and Elijah returned to heaven. It was time to move on.
The base of operations is the place where men, women and materiel are deployed in preparation for battle. It is for provisioning, regrouping and redeploying. This is the proper mission of the church building. It should be a place where we prepare for the battle. The enemy isn’t going to come to us. We have to go to him.
I have enclosed a letter which I would like you to read and sign and then send on to the designated recipients, if you so choose. Then if you don’t mind, please let me know how you responded my emailing me at email@example.com. In so doing you will help bring this matter to resolution in a way that glorifies God.
You see, the modern church is not a 'one another' kind of institution. It is all about me and my personal reltionship with Jesus Christ. It is about my spiritual growth. It is about my stewardship, my witness, my faithfulness. And while these things are important, they need to be tied into the life of the body of Christ by the one anothers.
We cannot drive up to a ghetto in a Rolls Royce and expect to have any impact. So if we want to reach those who are most receptive to the gospel—‘the least of these,’ we may have to forfeit some of the trappings of our considerable wealth.
If the church ever hopes to reclaim the moral authority of a people who have been called to live a life that glorifies God, Christian leaders need to hold to a higher standard in the way they conduct their affairs. Stifling the cries of wounded believers to protect their authority is not the way to go.
“Strikingly, contemporary church thought and practice have been influenced far more by post biblical historical events than by New Testament imperatives and examples.”
Regardless of its true character and intent, the Christian community is not known for love, nor for a life transforming faith.” George Barna
One way religious leaders can build rapport with church members and open themselves up for honest dialogue is to shed the spiritual veneer that many of them have so assiduously cultivated.
“A word of advice. Open your heart to the people. Do not hole up in that corner suite of offices and isolate yourself from the members ... Send a message that folks are welcome to meet with you."
“Abuse is sad. But because of that pesky matter of church autonomy, we can’t remove predatory pastors from the pulpit. Please stop calling and emailing about your suffering. Our hands are tied, but we hear prayer heals all wounds. God bless.”
It is time to put our houses in order so that when Christ appears we will be found faithfully building His kingdom.
“Given the voluminous stream of moral challenges, and the rampant spiritual hunger that defines our culture today, this should be the heyday for biblical ministry. As things stand now, we have become content with placating sinners and filling auditoriums as the marks of spiritual health.”
However, like a sewer system that issues from a private home and eventually drops its unprocessed waste into the public waterways, private behavior eventually corrupts public morals as individuals who care little about others swell the ranks of the population.
Today's churches have abandoned this Biblical model to follow the secular culture. Churches look more like educational establishments with their classrooms and lecture halls than the intimate gathering places of the early Christians. As more and more ministry requires a seminary or Bible School degree, church programs have become increasingly academic. Church is more about Christian education than practical living skills.
We must start by acknowledging that no present day phenomenon can account for the massive forces of nature that accompanied the flood. The world that exists today is drastically different from the one God created.
These revivals began with a deep-seated sense of dissatisfaction with the life of the church that arose out of heartfelt prayer of believers throughout the Christian community.
Historical evidence for the accuracy of the Bible abounds. No other document has proven to be so reliable when it comes to matters of history or science or faith. So why are people so cavalier about their relationships to God and one another? God says the penalties for ignoring His Word can be very severe. And if those pronouncements are as reliable as the rest of scripture, then we disregard them at our own peril.
Have you asked God to grant you boldness to share your faith? Be assured, that is what He wants for you. If you ask for it, He will grant you boldness like you have never known. What have you got to lose?
This is the value neutral, non-judgmental environment of postmodernism which our culture has been fostering for a generation and which has now engulfed the Christian community. It manifests itself in Christian circles through the lack of emphasis on repentance and sorrow for sin, which used to be a prerequisite for forgiveness.
The great needs of society are left to para-church groups, government agencies, and other social service organizations. All the while the church is losing its muscle tone, its biceps are becoming loose and flabby and its belly is becoming round and soft. Not a pretty picture for one who once was toned and buff—a lean, mean fighting machine.
“To suppose that the eye with all its inimitable contrivances for adjusting the focus to different distances, for admitting different amounts of light, and for the correction of spherical and chromatic aberration, could have been formed by natural selection, seems, I freely confess, absurd in the highest degree.” Charles Darwin
There hasn’t been a national revival since the Great Revival, over 150 years ago. The major impediment has been reliance on the methods and means of man. Professionalism, performance and an over-emphasis on human leadership and achievement have supplanted reliance on the Holy Spirit and the unadulterated Word of God.
Paul wants believers to put his teaching into practice together as a family. His letters are filled with exhortations to “one another....” In all there are over 50 references to “one another” throughout the New Testament. In other words, spiritual growth was a group activity in the New Testament. Almost all of Paul’s admonitions are addressed not to any one particular individual, but to an entire group of believers. It is much easier to achieve spiritual growth with the active support of fellow believers. That is why Paul put such emphasis on working out the faith in vital community.
Where did the order come from? If the universe came about by chance, there would be no predictability - no laws of science. It is this predictability that allows scientists to put satellites in orbit around mars, a feat equivalent to throwing a basketball from New York City to San Francisco and getting nothing but net! Clearly there is a mind behind the order in the universe. And not just a mind, but a power to create and sustain it.
Getting in the habit of issuing a free pardon to the offender while compelling the wounded party to graciously accept his humiliation only produces a target-rich environment for perennial predators.
The modern church has become the Laodicean church — wealthy, self-satisfied, and complacent, but unable to recognize that it is blind, naked, poor and pitiful in God’s eyes.
The gospel is the most compelling message of all time because it tugs at a need we all have for spiritual restoration. If any message has the potential to go viral, it is the gospel of Jesus Christ. Yet we try to quarantine that virus in the familiar confines of our church buildings and programs.
The mega-church has been served up in a package that has been market tested to meet the tastes of a culture accustomed to around the clock entertainment. It lacks zeal for revival, remorse for sin, willingness to sacrifice for Christ and His kingdom, and the powerful prayer life that brings down the Holy Spirit in a flood of conviction, confession and commitment.