The presidential election was a disappointment to many Christians. Because the Republican party failed to get into the White House, the wounds of this loss will be felt for a long time. We all know that President Barack Obama has set the nation on a course that is crosswise of the Word of God. We all know his history as a “professed believer” fails, big time, of the essentials of what makes a person a genuine, authentic child of God.
It wasn’t so much the president that set the course alone, but rather those that have his ear. Coupled with his version of “faith” and those that “have a form of godliness,” denying its power, we see that this perilous course will continue.
Welcome to the last days.
This is the agenda from here on out.
Protect the right to choose abortion and push, from the executive branch, the sin of homosexuality and other forms of immorality.
As the late Pastor John Osteen, father of Joel Osteen over 30 years ago once said….
“We must have the power of God for the dark days that lie ahead.”
The economy is being judged and as a result, at any moment, when there is no real solutions to reduce the government’s debt, accept to raise the credit limit, increase taxes, and increase the age of retirement for new hires, grid lock politics between the two parties, and the potential to select possibly two new supreme court justices of the liberal brand, this country could experience a serious collapse.
But is it that serious? 16 trillion dollar deficit and climbing and the high cost of living is a serious threat to this nation.
Consistent with the end times, we are seeing a funneling of economic policies towards a one world system monetarily. While the evidence is still lacking, we really do not see apocalyptic set ups just yet. But when you really do not know how all of this will play itself out, we must heed the admonition of Jesus. Be ready.
The character of a nation is defined by its moral fiber or lack thereof. The “moral” thing to do is to change the definition of morality to that which is “immoral.” See Isaiah 5:20-21.
But one thing is certain. The president’s “explanation” of justifying the sins of abortion and homosexuality falls tremendously short of true Biblical values.
If you look at the Republican presidential candidates, we see that many had placed their hopes in someone that is a practicing Mormon.
Just go to their website mormon.org to read what they believe.
When you get to the Mormon page, you will see a picture of Jesus and we do not need reminders of what others “think” of what Jesus looked like. I do not accept pictures of the Lord Jesus because the person putting up these pictures really take away from the Bible’s description. Fixated in our memory are good looking men that does a disservice. In fact, I call it idolatry because none except those that walked with Him, knew what He looked like.
So, please save us all the trouble and get rid of all these pictures. Black. White. All of these pictures are intentionally and deliberately misleading.
Anyway, for the most part, the conservatives on Charisma and other evangelicals thought that by overlooking what Mormons believe, we could some how, backdoor conservative values into the White House to stop the Democratic agenda of abortion and the sin of homosexuality. To check the spead of spiritual erosion.
The 40 Days of Prayer reported in Charisma Magazine reminded me of when there is trouble in the land, break out the good ol’ dependable in battle, Ark of the Covenant. Hophni and Phinehas were priests of sexual perversion. Sons of Belial. Eli, the high priest was overweight and going blind (doesn’t that sound like the prominent preachers of our day and the church) failed to discipline and kill his sons. The Israelites lost the battle against the Philistines twice and Ichabod became the epitaph of Israel. Phinehas’ wife named her child that name and died at child birth. Her husband committed adultery for a long time and they paid with their lives.
Christian conservatives all are wrong, or at the very lease misguided about abortion. Abortion is a solution of demonic proportions. But we have failed to address Secret Sexual Sins. We have failed to address, from the Bible, the evil sins of adultery and fornication. These sins went untouched.
We protest so much against abortion that the cause for pregnancy is completely overlooked.
When was the last time you heard on the anti abortion platform the call to abstain from fornication and adultery?
98% of all abortions are unintended pregnancies. But how did these pregnancies come to be?
Fornication and adultery.
We conservative Christians thought that if we would be outraged about abortion that America would return to Christian values. At the same time, because we thought that when we protest against abortion, and stop the murdering of innocent children, perhaps America would come to its senses. But we see that the world is entrenched in abortion because the world is entrenched in the sin of adultery and fornication.
And this is not to say that if we address the sins of fornication and adultery, abortion would stop.
The church has stuff going on that makes what the world do seem like child’s play.
The disappointment that you all feel as conservative values Christians is in the failure to clean the inside of the bowl first.
Our hypocritical walk before the world is deafening the ears of the world. You can’t argue with professional sinners. They know a sinning child of God when they see one. You can fool yourself, but you can’t fool the ones that watch you walk into their bar for a drink and some booty.
Our loud preaching is followed by our loud hypocrisy.
Sex And The City?
Sex And The Church!
We know that behind the scenes lurk an evil agenda to plunge America further into darkness.
And then the Lord said to me…“They are Americanizing Christianity.”
That’s where the problem is.
For years, we have been saying that Americans were founded on Judao-Christian values as established by the forefathers of this nation. That the founding fathers were Christians. But we sort of side step the fact that some of these guys, including George Washington were Freemasons.
Secret societies that we know is connected to demon power.
We are so proud of our culture as free people that our own freedoms has ensnared the people.
The freedom of free speech has been hijacked. Here is an example.
In prisons across America, the first amendment allows prisoners to have pinups. Just in case some of you all do not know what a pin up is. It is a sex picture. And there is only one purpose. When you are a prisoner, and you can’t have women, except in certain places that allow for conjugal visits, the pin up is a sexual image that men use to gratify themselves. Eventually, they go from fantasy to homosexuality in the prison system. This is a subject but it is related.
Sexual immorality has been interpreted as free speech and this sin is protected, knowing full well that “the heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked. Who can know it?”
These obscenity laws were tested on prime time national TV when NYPD Blue came out. The fixation of soft porn at 10 PM became the standard and they almost got away with it. But the movie houses are filled with soft porn. The new Denzel Washington picture “Flight,” is an example of soft porn. I did not see the movie and I do not intend to, but just to know that soft porn is the norm on the movie set is a clear example of the media teaching the world about the acceptance and normalization of the perversion of sexuality.
Even on national TV, the acceptance as normal of the sin of homosexuality in sitcoms, is indoctrinating the people on the “vile passions” of MSM and FSF. But there is nothing great about HIV/AIDS and other STDs that manifests as a direct result of Secret Sexual Sins.
The point is clear. We must stop trying to fit Christ into the culture of Americanism. Jesus is not an American.
Jesus is Lord.
The culture of America is not Christian. The culture of America is freedom to do as one pleases apart from God. While many will say that the founding fathers were Christians, and there may not be much to dispute it, I find it very hard for a person that claims Jesus as Lord to be bedfellows of secret societies attached to their obituary. It’s a bed of spiritual orgies of epic proportions.
We have been beguiled into thinking that we could some how “return” to what we think is Christianity by Americanizing it. And that is not the way to go. We are to make disciple of every nation. In other words, let God use His people to present the gospel to a person living in America.
The ideals and culture of a nation is bent on perversion and sin. We must drop the notion of trying to change the landscape, leased by the devil. The god of this world is not going to let you usurp what is temporarily in his hands.
The earth is the Lord’s and the fulness thereof. The church is on enemy territory until the complete redemption of Christ occurs.
Let’s be found doing what we are called to do. Make disciples, not remake a nation.
There is strong disagreement. People honestly believe that the entire nation would turn. Look outside your window, spiritually. The decline has continued. Revival in Nineveh can happen, but with all places that turn away from God afterwards, they returned to their vomit, never to recover. The days of America have already been numbered. The grace of God may have extended it. More like mercy to me.
Matthew 24 tells us plainly of these things that the decline of nations must take place.
Welcome to the last days.
As Pastor Scott Lively stated, abortion is part of the global strategy, along with the LGBT to push sexual immorality in the world without opposition from the righteousness of God in the church. In an article from Charismanews, (click the Abortion link on the above toolbar) and also from 40 Days Of Life reported that Planned Parenthood (Planned Abortionhood) has initiated prayer.
While prayer is always commendable, there is only one qualified prayer that sinners can make that God will hear. Every other prayer is mute.
The only prayer that God will hear from sinners is “God, be merciful to me, a sinner.” The Sinner’s Prayer is where one renounces sin and receive Jesus as Lord and Savior. Any other prayer made by sinners is not valid, nor is it heard by God.
You must remember. Sinners believe that they think that they could tell children of the Most High God what to do. Sinners are not in the kingdom of God and they do not qualify to tell children of the Most High God what to say or do.
They are not in the kingdom by the new birth. They need to be born again and renounce sin, and have their sins forgiven to qualify as saints in the light (see Ephesians 1:3-14 and Colossians 1:12-14).
In the subject of proponents for abortion praying, I find it very disturbing of the kind of prayer that they are offering.
Among the “prayers” the pro-abortion group is offering in its 40-day vigil are:
• “Day 1: Today we pray for women for whom pregnancy is not good news, that they know they have choices.”
According to the Bible, children are a blessing. God intended for men and women to marry and to be fruitful and multiply, not decrease. Killing a child in the womb is bad news, not the pregnancy. Don’t be fooled for one second.
God already place a choice before all mankind. “I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing. Choose life that you and your seed may live.”
• “Day 5: Today we pray for medical students who want to include abortion care in their practice. May they receive good training and find good mentors.”
Praying that doctors become more skilled in the profession of pulling from the womb a child?
• “Day 7: Today we pray for the 45 million American women who have had safe, legal abortions. May they stand tall and refuse shame.”
How can you refuse shame? First, the sin of fornication and adultery established their shame. Now, the are told by a male to get rid of the “shame” by having an abortion to wipe clean their sin?
• “Day 11: Today we pray for better access to all forms of birth control.”
Better access to the altar of Molech to sacrifice children.
• “Day 18: Today we pray for all the staff at abortion clinics around the nation. May they be daily confirmed in the sacred care that they offer women.”
Sacred care? There is nothing sacred about invading the womb to destroy a life. NOTHING!
• “Day 34: Today we give thanks for abortion escorts who guide women safely through hostile gauntlets of protestors.”
Who are they praying this prayer to? The devil! The devil cannot protect himself.
• “Day 36: Today we pray for the families we’ve chosen. May they know the blessing of choice.”
I can tell you what the best choice is. Choose not to get in bed with a male that cannot and will not marry you. Choose not to have sex until you are married. That’s the blessing of choice. The “blessing” of choice to irradiate a life to cover your sin of fornication or adultery is the worst choice.
• “Day 38: Today we pray for a cloud of gentleness to surround every abortion facility. May everyone feel calm and loving.”
How can you feel calm and loving when a doctor is violently pulling a child, piece by piece, from the womb? Or use saline solution and other chemicals to “flush out” a life destroyed by a doctor?
• “Day 40: Today we give thanks and celebrate that abortion is still safe and legal.”
Give thanks to who? The devil? Certainly not to God because He didn’t make abortion legal. No matter which way you look at it. Murder is murder no matter what legislative tool man uses.
According to CDC (Center Of Disease Control), and other sites, 98% of abortions are “inconvenience pregnancies.”
In other words, the majority of abortions performed we done where the individuals committed sexual immorality (fornication or adultery) and a pregnancy resulted.
To cover their sin of adultery and or fornication, the child is sacrificed.
Let’s get back to these false prayers.
If you look at each individual prayer, you are wondering who they are praying this prayer to.
It is with 100% certainty that the Lord God of heaven and earth is not a participant in these prayers, let alone their hearing their prayers. Planned Abortionhood wants us to accept their “prayer offering” as a way to fool us into thinking that they are “spiritual.”
They are spiritually dark.
This is another form of deception that is clearly an aggressive tactic to steal from the true church of the Most High God, the righteous prayers of the righteous, true saints.
Listen to the Song of Moses in Deuteronomy 32:3-5.
“For I proclaim the name of the Lord: ascribe greatness to our God. He is the Rock, His work is perfect; for all His ways are justice, a God of truth and without injustice; Righteous and upright is He. “They have corrupted themselves; They are not His children, because of their blemish: a perverse and crooked generation.”
Notice the latter portion, “They have corrupted themselves; they are not His children, because of their blemish: a perverse and crooked generation.”
This clearly describes the abortion proponents.
Then, then they try to tell the church that the church is wrong.
Have you ever seen darkness argue with light when the light is turned on? No! Darkness leaves. There is no comprehension or discussion. When the light comes on, darkness leaves immediately. It is not given time to negotiate to stay.
The church must shed light on this deceptive practice of prayer in any person or organization that doesn’t know God (see Matthew 7:21-25, and John 17:3).
Do not be fooled because the devil wants the church to be silent.
They do not want the truth to be revealed.
Because they cannot handle the truth!
Having said this.
The blame of abortion is with the sexually promiscuous males.
If men do not impregnate a woman, a woman cannot have an abortion.
Throw away the condom. It is alleged that the condom companies are in bed with Planned Abortionhood to increase the failure rate of condoms. I personally spoke with a person that sat on a community committee board of Planned Parenthood that had plans to ensure the failure rate of condoms.
That means males must not to have sex with women until they get married.
That means no porn and self gratification, commonly called masturbation either.
The objectification of women and the abuse of women has gone on too long. We have let the men off the hook when they should be placed on a big hook, and swinging.
Mr. I. B. Stupid, Ignorant Bonehead Stupid males need to do right by women and not put them in the predicament in the first place. While it takes two to tango, ultimately, the male is responsible.
Sexual immorality is a very serious problem in the world but it is a more serious problem in the church.
1.2 million abortions take place in the United States.
The devil is receiving this offering and the false prayers as part of the ritual sacrifice as an offering to the gods.
In the church, it will end when males live according to the Word of God. It will end when women hold out for the right male that know how to do right by women.
Until then, we will see this travesty continue in the church and the nation. And they will continue to steal from the church, not only the sacredness of holy matrimony, but the very vehicle of righteous prayer.
Thanks to Mr. I. B. Stupid.
It’s time for you to make something good happen in His church. Many of you are waiting around for someone else to make something good happen in the church you attend. It’s time to stop looking around for someone else to do what God called and ordained you to do, and get busy. It’s time to lay aside every weight and the sin that easily throws you off and run with patience the race that is set before you.
It’s not all bad out there in many of our churches. I know that for the most part, you have been reading the bad stuff. Not every church is caught up in the realm of sin and wickedness.
My point is that we do not need to allow ourselves to turn a blind eye to the obvious sinful actions in our local churches and spiritual leadership.
It is important that we take Paul’s admonition.
“lest satan should take advantage of us; for we are not ignorant of his devices.”
The New Living Translation says this,
“so that satan will not outsmart us. For we are very familiar with his evil schemes.”
This, of course, is 2 Corinthians 2:11.
Paul takes time to share his heart about the repentance of the brother that committed a sexual sin, so gross that the world expressed it’s displeasure.
Having his father’s wife.
The severe judgment imposed upon him got his attention. It also got the attention of the church at Corinth. The church became so sorrowful that they didn’t take action until Paul stepped in.
The outcome, by far, was better than expected.
To preserve the reputation of the gospel of Jesus Christ, they repented.
I believe that there are bad things happening in the church but there are also good things that is happening in the church. All over the world we are hearing tremendous stories of believers standing for the faith in conditions that far exceeds what the United States is going through.
While the economics and social ills of this nation is appalling, we still have a chance to see God turn it around. However, it must first turn around in the church. The churches that are examples of walking to please God need to put the Word out as to how they are doing it.
I mean, it is obvious how they are doing it. Strictly obeying the Word of God, but they also need to communicate to the other churches their level of staying above the fray of the activities of sin.
From martyrdom to poverty, Christians are stepping up to the plate and gloriously glorifying our heavenly Father. There are pastors in other countries that are making their stand for Jesus regardless of the cost to their lives.
Christianity is always at its best is when we love the brethren and we willingly sacrifice our lives so that others would benefit.
Selflessness is emerging on the level of Jesus.
Hosea chapter 4 is a disturbing mirror picture of the church in the United States.
We are seeing people that profess to know Jesus abandon the true teachings of the Word of God. It is a reminder of what Peter told us in 2 Peter chapter 3. There are many saints that transformed into ain’ts. In other words, they aren’t saints anymore or they are in an extreme backslidden condition.
Out of the backslidden bunch emerged apostates. In other words, they walked away from their salvation.
This is according to Hebrews chapter 6. They failed to produce fruit for the kingdom according to John chapter 15:1-10.
Why do they fail to produce fruit?
Luke 8:11-15 has the answer.
There are three types of grounds that will never produce fruit.
You will also note that these grounds are no where near the good ground which is in the middle of the field. Good things that happen in the church always happens when you are in the good or middle ground of the church.
If you are just hanging around, there is no way that you will be fruitful.
Do not get me wrong. Hanging around is bad but there is a better place.
Many of you do not want to plunge into the good ground because of the fear of giving something up in return. Yes, you will lose something. You are exchanging what displeases God with what pleases Him.
Yes, there is danger.
It will cost you more than what you are willing to pay.
The good that happens in church is according to the plans and purposes of God. When you are ready to get deeper in the Lord, you must realize that it is exactly what the devil doesn’t want you to do.
IF you decide to go deeper. IF you decide to get to the good ground, something good is going to happen in your church, in your family, and in your life.
You’ve been waiting for your moment.
Here it is.
It’s time to take the initiative and it’s time to take advantage of the season you are in. You’ve been waiting for a favorable, convenient moment. When it comes to making something good happen in your church, the opportunity comes and goes.
Lenard Ravenhill once said,
“Opportunities of a lifetime must be seized in the lifetime of the opportunity.”
Too many good things fail to happen, or at the least, they are delayed, or postponed due to human speed bumps and detours.
Sometimes, church hurt prevents a lot of people from stepping back out to do what God called them to do. Church hurt can come from pastors, their leaders, and church folk that do not know any better. Sometimes there are “well intentioned” believers that have only one intention.
To intentionally or unintentionally hurt others.
People that are hurt in church sometimes operate in such a way that they block others from succeeding. It is a demonic ploy of the enemy to infect others with being disgruntled according to Galatians chapter 5.
That’s why it is important to walk in the Spirit and walk in love. We must discern the motives of people. We must also be prepared to stop what we are doing to see what we are doing that may negatively affect others according to James 3:13-18.
But you have to fight through the indirect attack of the enemy just to get what God has within you out to others.
Because their victory over bitterness and their redemption, restoration, and salvation depends upon your decision to never let the enemy side track you with evil.
The devil knows that if you ever get connected and completely ignore those that trouble you, that God will use you to bring tremendous deliverance to someone in need.
What’s at stake.
At the intersection of life, people are waiting for the product of purpose that God placed within you. No one else is capable of putting that product out but you. No one else can do what you do so well. God is depending upon you to take a risk and put out that product.
Lives are depending upon it.
You do not have to have a calling to the ministry to get the product out. Unless, however, you were called to the ministry and you are reneging on your obligation to be used by God on this level. You’d be surprise as to how many undercover Christians stay under the radar when the Lord has need of them.
Failure is not an option.
You cannot be afraid to fail. You cannot be afraid of “small beginnings” (see Zechariah 4:10).
You cannot be afraid of the “day of adversity” (see Proverbs 24:10).
Failure is a stepping stone to success. Failure does occur but what are you going to do when failure happens? Failure is waiting on your decision to try again, discontinue, and or quit.
Failure is an imperative fact that speaks only two things to the pursuers of success.
“QUIT!” or “Keep trying until you get it.”
Pursuers of success are in pursuit of success. They know that failure will happen but they keep moving until there is a pay off.
As my uncle in law, Bishop Tom Johnson would preach…
“Pay day is coming, it will pay off after while!”
Nothing good happens when you decide to quit when one or two doors close. Sometimes you have to break down a door to get a break.
When you decide to come to prayer meeting, something good is happening in your church. When you decide to financially support your church, something good is happening in your church. When you decide to wholeheartedly support effective ministries, something good is happening in your church. When you give yourself selflessly to support the vision of your local church through effective evangelism, something good is happening in your church.
You must never wait for someone else to do what you should already be doing. If you procrastinate it is already too late. God created you with something to bless and benefit the church and you do not have a right to be selfish with a gift that God gave to you.
That gift within you is destined to be shared because someone was waiting for you.
Stop looking around. God is looking at you to get it done.
It’s time to step up and step out before someone steps away from Jesus.
Yes, it is that serious.
All good churches have initiators and risk takers. People that want to see the church blossom and bloom are always looking for ways to make something good happen in their church.
When the church is focused on making something good happen in their church, there will be no time for Secret Sexual Sins, or any other sins for that matter.
Is something good happening in your life and in your local church?
by Fred C. Rochester, Pastor. The Fastest Way To Grow Your Church. Copyright 2011. All Rights Reserved.
Over the last few decades, many pastors are looking for ways to grow his or her local church. The Lord gave the apostles a blueprint to do just that.
During the 1980’s and 90’s the churches that came about were more or less “TRANSFER” growth churches.
In other words, people heard about a particular church and what they were offering. People “shifted” their membership from one local church to another.
Transfer growth is a part of church life but abuses on both parts unnecessarily takes place. It is frustrating for pastors because when you are trying to build on the momentum, sometimes people act funny after they make a commitment. Sometimes pastors act funny too and abuse the people that truly desire to be a part of the local church.
Sometimes people are led of the Lord according to the divine plans and purposes of God to go to a local church. Sometimes people relocate to certain parts of the city, state, or nation. Sometimes a church closes for whatever reason and they look for another place to fellowship.
Sometimes people are spiritually restless and they are looking for another place to grow spiritually. Sometimes people do not want to come to church and go to channel surfing church or they check out live streaming as opposed to leaving their homes.
Then you have believers that roam from church to church, having multiple memberships. They say that they are “led” and they call everyone their “pastor.”
Whatever the case may be, it is important for people to have “a” church home. Why is it important? Coming to church is about honoring God and hearing from the Word of God from competent spiritual leadership. It is about joining a community of believers to fellowship with each other and to help one another grow spiritually.
It is about meeting the spiritual needs of the community that the local church is assigned to. It is about people participating in the greatest work on earth. Building the kingdom of God on the earth to manifest the will of God on earth as it is in heaven.
God cannot make everyone go to church. He’d rather have a willing heart than a heart that grudgingly serves Him. Either you love Him or you don’t.
I do not agree with pastors using “spiritual manipulation” to get people into church. I do not condone pastors using “strong arm” tactics to keep people in the pews. I don’t believe that the local church was designed to be socially agenda minded to the degree that the original intent of the church is overwhelmed and lost.
If the people come and stay in His local church, it’s because they love the Lord and they trust the leadership. As long as the leadership follow the Lord, and the Word of God. Trust, honesty, accountability, holiness, and singleness of purpose must be the benchmark of the minister.
The pulpit, the pew, and the musician must endeavor to live holy lives. Without holiness, no man may see the Lord (see Hebrews 12:14). Without holiness, no man is anointed.
The church belongs to the Lord Jesus Christ. The people belong to the Lord. According to Hebrews 10:25, no one should intentionally “…forsake the assembling…”
As a side note, if you study out the book of Hebrews, you will note that the Hebrew Christians were challenged by the followers of angel worshippers and the law of Moses to walk away from Jesus, and return to Judiasm.
The Hebrew Christians were terrorized and harshly persecuted. Even to the point of death. This kind of persecution caused many of them to walk away from the Lord and the church. While Saul wasn’t a part of this persecution, Saul was a terrorist until he met the Lord on the road to Damascus (see Acts 8:1-3, 9:1-9).
Today, many believers have walked away from the assembly (church). Not because of persecution but because of many other church “options” such as live streaming, cable, satellite, and the Internet. Another alarming thing is that many denominations are closing its doors because there is no replenishment of young people to pick up the torch.
Sometimes, when church leadership and people do not move to where the Spirit of the Lord is, that church, it’s leadership, and people will remain trapped in its traditional setting. In other words, when the church started 40 or 50 years ago, the same hymns, preaching, and praying is done today.
They cease to be a movement because they have monumentalized or crystalized what once was a fresh move of God.
Then you have people in the church that is afraid to take risks to evangelize. They leave evangelism up to the pastor that is already overwhelmed with prayer and the ministry of the Word according to Acts 6:4. They leave the shepherd to have sheep when sheep is supposed to produce sheep.
It is ultimately the responsibility of the pastor to train and equip the people to do the work of the ministry according to Ephesians 4:11-12. Not to train and equip the people to sit after they are trained. The pastors must motivate people to take partnership seriously according to Romans 12:1-13. Church life is more than just filling seats. The vibrant life of the church has its foundation in the worship service but the people come to life in its extracurricular activities.
Many were a part of the local church until they’ve experienced pastoral and parishioner “church hurt.” Many people will not darken the doorstep of a church because of hypocrisy in the pulpit and in the pews. Many will not come to church because of clergy sexual sins. Many will not come to church because of sins in their own lives.
While these reasons is not a valid reason for not finding a sincere church to be a part of, we that declare that we are “changed” should never give saints, sinners, and backsliders a reason for not coming to church.
The imperfect church is a place where we mature as believers in the Lord. We learn how to walk in love and grace towards one another. In being the church, we have to depart and refrain from iniquity while learning how to have forbearance towards one another.
When it comes to sin, light and darkness cannot fellowship, associate, or have anything in common. It means that sin must be dealt with by making a quality decision to obey the correct preaching and teaching of the Word of God.
Teaching people how to live lives free of sin and satan’s devices. It doesn’t mean we prevent people from coming to church with their sins unless they are not producing fruit in accordance with John chapter 15.
We give all believers the opportunity to grow and mature in the things of the Lord.
Having said this, the church must return to the true Biblical reason why it exists.
The church is an assembly of believers in the Lord Jesus Christ. The intent of the church is to be a place of God’s holy habitation through the Spirit.
The church is centered around seven things.
2. Prayer and Evangelism
3. The Doctrine Of Christ/The Apostle’s Doctrine
4. Fellowship Among The Believers
5. Accountability And Stewardship Among The Believers
6. Company Of Believers Becoming One In The Temple
7. Meeting The Needs of the Needy
John 4:24 says, “God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship Him in spirit and truth.”
The word “worship” according to Vine’s Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words, comes from the Greek word, “proskuneo” and it is a compound word. “Pros” means “towards” and “kuneo” means “to kiss.”
Some of you will recall the Scripture in Psalm 2 and verses 11 and 12, “Serve the Lord with fear and rejoicing with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest He be angry and you be destroyed in your way.”
The Amplified Bible says, “Kiss the Son [pay homage to Him in purity],”
As an assembly of believers, our first intent is to provide an atmosphere of worship unto the true and living God. It’s not about the sound of music in the house. It is not about the praise and worship “experience” that makes a worship service.
In everything that we do, God is to be worshipped. However, the worship service is our weekly celebration of the true and living God through his Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, and to hear from the teaching and preaching of the Word of God by His appointed man or woman of God. In addition to paying homage or respect to God, we are loving Him. We love Him because He first loved us (see 1 John 4:7-11).
Matthew 22:37 says, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.”
Therefore, our total worship is an expression of our heartfelt, genuine love to the Lord.
Expressing our love to the Lord involves everything in us. Our heart, soul, mind and body according to Acts 17:28.
When people that do or do not know the Lord come to your church, do they see that you love the Lord? Is the atmosphere filled with a heartfelt genuine love for God? Can they perceive the love you have for God? If they cannot see that you love the Lord your God, then your worship service is not a real worship service.
Many will see something going on inside the facility but nothing that you do is drawing them to where you are because God doesn’t draw people to a place where He isn’t loved. The Lord will direct people to walk right past your church, walk across the street to the other church, and fill that place up.
If you come to church with a bad attitude towards God, they will see it. If you cannot live holy for God, they will see it. If you have hatred in your heart toward one another, they will see it. They will visit and never return because they cannot sense the love you have for God. God will not bring people into a house that hates and disrespects Him.
2. Prayer and Evangelism
THE PRAYER OF FAITH
Hebrews 11:1 says, Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Verse 6 tells us, “For without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those that diligently seek Him.”
Prayer is useless unless you come to Him with faith in Him and His Word. Even when it comes to worship. We must believe that He is God, the true and living God. The whole basis of faith involves our willingness to take God at His Word and believe that He is “able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think according to the power (faith and His Word) that works within us.” Ephesians 3:20.
THE PRAYER OF PRAISE AND WORSHIP
The Book of Psalm is the Prayer book of the Bible. There are 150 Psalms. Vine’s Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words defines the word “Psalms” as “a striking or twitching with the fingers (on musical strings), then, “a sacred song, sung to musical accompaniment, a psalm.”
So the combination of singing and instruments is used as part of the prayer service of the local church.
While there are several kinds of prayers to pray in the Bible, primarily, part of the worship service involves the use of the Book of Psalms.
Isaiah 56:6-7 says, “Also the sons of the foreigner who join themselves to the LORD, to serve Him, And to love the name of the LORD, to be His servants— Everyone who keeps from defiling the Sabbath, and holds fast My covenant— even them I will bring to My holy mountain, and make them joyful in My house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and their sacrifices will be accepted on My altar; For My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations.”
While the facility is the place where prayer is to be made, the house that the Lord is referring to is the believer. We are the ones that do the praying, not the building. It is important that you come prepared to pray.
We must always come to praise and worship the Lord for Who He is and not just for what He can do. The things in His hands come after we touch His heart. For He longs to be with His people, to love and fellowship with us. This is the ultimate purpose of why we were created.
The whole premise of worship centers on these two prayers that are primarily in use in the worship service of the church.
Praise and worship and believing that He is God.
We are to pray that the Lord send us (laborers) to work the fields that is ripe for harvest (see Matthew 9:35-38 and John 4:34-38). We are to pray that the Lord draw people to Himself and pray that the Lord would draw us to the sinner to be a witness for Christ.
True numerical growth will only happen when we commit ourselves to be a witness for Christ and lead people to the Lord. The moment we commit ourselves to preach the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ to the lost and win them to the Lord, is the moment we will see the kingdom of God expand.
Proverbs 11:30 says, “The fruit of righteousness is a tree of life, and he who wins souls is wise.”
When the Lord said, “The kingdom of heaven suffers violence, for the violent take it by force.” He didn’t mean faith to believe God for something. He meant that the people grasped the message of repentance to the degree that people violently entered in. They pressed into the kingdom viciously.
The message of repentance grabbed them so badly that they violently and relentlessly pressured the kingdom of heaven to let them in. They got to the gates and the gates couldn’t withstand the assault.
Or, the amount of people that were pressing into the kingdom was overwhelming.
One of the most fascinating things that I have come across in many church growth conferences, books, and blogs is the reduced or lack of believing God in prayer for opportunities to witness. A lack of believing God to draw sinners into the house of worship. The lack of prayer to ask God to draw people to Himself.
The praying is twofold. Pray to go out and get them or to pray that God send them in to the house of worship to get saved.
We trust more in demographics, marketing, and targeting specific people. We trust more in our human ability to put out a product than putting our trust in the living God.
Do not misunderstand what I am saying.
It is important to recognize that as a local church, what you are specifically called to do, and to whom the Lord has assigned you to reach.
However, the moment that we minimize God’s divine influence, is the moment we keep the One Person responsible for bringing the people into the church building and ultimately, His kingdom out of the most important work of the church (see John 6:44, 12:32-33, and 1 Corinthians 3:5-6). The church is the ark of safety. It is a soul saving station. It is God’s house of redemption.
In places like these where prayer is minimized, it only reveals a deeper problem. A clear intentional reluctance to call on the name of the Lord for the lost. A sad lack of prayer to the Lord of heaven and earth.
There must be a balanced combination of the two things in order for results to manifest. We cannot afford to sit and pray all day when the Lord said, “Go, therefore…” And we must not “Go, therefore…” without receiving divine instructions on where to go.
In Luke chapter 5, after the Lord concluded ministering to the people, He told Peter to “Launch out into the deep…and let your nets down for a catch.” Peter told the Lord that he “toiled all night, nevertheless, at your word…” Peter didn’t pray a lick for fish. He gave up fishing after being out in one or several known spots all night long.
But perhaps Peter and the rest of the fishermen left one spot un-searched. Or the Lord withdrew the fish to assemble in the deepest part; undetected until it was time to catch them. Whatever the case may be, the lesson is clear. You cannot catch anything unless you rely on the only Person capable of drawing them to the net to be caught.
The Lord instructed them to go back out.
Three things that need to be shared.
One, it is important to understand that positioning had something to do with it.
Two, obedience, even after working all night long, is essential to receiving the manifestation of your prayers and efforts.
And three, no matter what, do not give up, is the final point. Persistence will pay off after while.
Methods and means will change but you have to be current with what the Spirit of God tells you to do. We do not have to compromise with the world to get God results. The world is competing against God for souls.
When the Lord moves, we must do so at His command. Therefore, do not seek just fill seats. Your church must be prepared to disciple those whom the Lord sends. This is what evangelism is all about.
We must remember that the Lamb of God came to take away the sins of the world. Without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sins. Jesus came to die for the sins of man. He is the propitiation or appeasing sacrifice, satisfying the just claims of the Most High God.
Man is to be reconciled to God through the blood of the everlasting covenant. God was never in the wrong. All have sinned and come short of the glory of God. However, we were justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.
The ultimate reason for the existence of the church is to inform sinners that the price of sin was paid in full by the life, death, burial, and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. We have victory over sin through the blood of His cross. Evangelism. True evangelism will always remind the sinner of the price the Lord Jesus paid to free us from the power and guilt of sin.
The pain and suffering of Jesus on the cross is what we must remember every single moment of our lives. He endured the cross and despised the shame. The joy that was set before Him caused Him to endure the suffering.
The joy that one day, we would be saved from our sins. The joy of being united in heaven with the Savior. The joy of being with those that made Jesus Lord of their lives. The joy of not being cast into the lake of fire, separated from the presence of the Lord forever.
True evangelism will never exclude the power of the cross.
If we water down this gospel, the true meaning of the gospel is lost or veiled to those that are blind and do not believe. Woe to the church if we fail to preach the cross of Christ.
Every time you go to a funeral or home-going, a soul’s name, written in the Lamb’s book of life is all that matters at the end of the day.
In Part Two we will cover…
3. The Doctrine of Christ. The Apostle’s Doctrine
4. Fellowship Among The Believers
5. Accountability And Stewardship Among Believers
6. Company Of Believers Becoming One In The Temple
7. Meeting The Needs of the Needy