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Posts Tagged ‘itching ears’

Great article over in Charisma News online opinion section.  How do the churches you know rate?  And how can we stand up for Truth – the word of God – in our own Churches and communities!

Remember, the darker it gets, the brighter and farther our little light shines!

Maranatha, Lord come quickly!

myblessedhope

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8 Clear Signs of a Compromising Church

1. In the confessing church, Christ is over culture. The compromising church accommodates Christ to culture. The confessing church believes Jesus is Lord over all creation. Hence, they attempt to reflect Christ in every area of culture. The compromising church has a posture of accommodation. Hence, the Christ they believe in and preach is shaped by the culture they live in.

2. The confessing church holds fast to the Word of God in spite of opposition. The compromising church alters the Word of God because of opposition. Soon in America it is quite possible that it will be illegal to preach from certain passages of the Bible dealing with human sexuality. Because of this, many will alter their theology to fit the culture while the confessing church will preach the Word of God in spite of governmental fines, penalties, lawsuits and even serving time in jail.

3. The confessing church puts the kingdom of God above their culture and ethnicity. The compromising church puts their ethnicity before the kingdom of God. The German Church during the Nazi era put nationalism and their Aryan heritage above the Word of God. Many pastors and believers today view the Scriptures more through the lens of their ethnicity and national heritage than through a proper exegesis of Scripture.

When, and if, our nation officially makes biblical Christianity illegal, we will soon see who will be the confessors and who will be the compromisers. In many ways, practicing biblical Christianity is already illegal when it comes to believers attempting to walk out their faith in the marketplace because private Christian-owned businesses do not have the same level of protection today as do local churches.

4. The confessing church alters their methods of preaching. The compromising church alters the message they preach. While it is wise and biblical for the body of Christ to be relevant to culture regarding the preaching of the gospel, it should never put being relevant above being faithful. The compromising church puts being relevant before biblical faithfulness. Hence, they not only change the method of preaching but also the message they preach.

5. The confessing church is a remnant in the minority of church and state. The compromising church wants to be in the mainstream of both church and state.  The confessing church endures long seasons of feeling like aliens and strangers in their own communities. The compromising church wants to be in the mainstream of culture more than living in the divine flow of God’s favor and presence.

6. The confessing church is penalized by the state government. The compromising church is applauded by the state government. While the confessing church is hunted down and ostracized by the humanistic state, the compromising church is celebrated by the far-left radicals and used as a model of how church and state should function together.

7. The confessing church prophetically speaks truth to power. The compromising church conforms to those in power. The confessing church knows that at various seasons in their existence they will not gain a lot of converts and/or experience societal transformation. The best they can do is to maintain a prophetic witness to the cultural elites and surrounding communities. Since the compromising church enjoys the power and prestige the elites grant them, they always conform rather than confront.

8. The confessing church desires the praise of God. The compromising church desires the praise of men. Ultimately at the end of the day it boils down to this: Are we living for the praise of men or the praise of God? If things don’t change in the coming days, we will be shocked at how many megachurches, mid-size churches and smaller churches compromise the word of God so they could continue to keep their doors open.

At some point we will all have to stand the ultimate test, which is whether we desire God more than we love our lives, or whether we love our pleasures, conveniences and material goods more than God. Truly, if we confess Christ before men He will confess us before His Father in heaven, but if we deny Him before men He will deny us before His Father in heaven (Matt. 10:32-33).

Joseph Mattera is overseeing bishop of Resurrection Church and Christ Covenant Coalition, in Brooklyn, New York.

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Click on the article title for a link to full original referenced article.

In Romans 10 Paul lays out how salvation is open to all, Jew and Gentile.  He writes:

“For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.” – Romans 10:4-5

What he is saying is now it is not about works or how closely to a “T” you follow the law.  But that it is through God’s gift of grace through faith in His Son, Jesus Christ.  It is really that simple, and yet a hard step for some of us.

“That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” – Romans 10:9

Christ is the narrow gate (Matthew 7:13-14), through faith in Him you will be saved.  It is the only “works” that God requires for eternal salvation.

It is The Gospel of Jesus Christ.  To learn more check out the following link.

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This is the beginning of a great series by JD.  It is oh so relevant to what we are seeing and feeling as Christians living in this fallen world.

The real question we must ask ourselves is: Am I living in this world for myself or for God?

Have I died to myself and am only living in this would not being “of this world”.  For those that are not “of this world”, this world will hate.  We are seeing that escalate.

The quote from JD that hit me the hardest was when he states:  We are at a crossroad of decision everyday of our lives.  Are we going to pick up our cross (die to self) and follow Christ today or are we going to live for ourselves (for our own gain) as part of this world.

That is what Jesus meant in Luke 9:23

Luke 9:23-26

New American Standard Bible (NASB)

23 And He was saying to them all, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me. 24 For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake, he is the one who will save it. 25 For what is a man profited if he gains the whole world, and loses or forfeits himself? 26 For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when He comes in His glory, and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.

And do we really know the consequences of living for ourselves?

It was laid out for us in Matthew 6 and James 4:

Matthew 6:24

New American Standard Bible (NASB)

24 “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.

James 4:4

New American Standard Bible (NASB)

You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.

Notice the choice of words in Matthew.  We “CANNOT” serve two masters, this is a choice, and either or, and not something we should take lightly, also it is not a should or even something we could do if we really tried hard.

Second, James spells out the consequences of our choice, which took my breath away.  Me and enemy of God?  That is a very important daily decision.  Something I think many of us take way to lightly each and every morning.

If you wonder what it means to die to self and achieve absolute surrender.  There is an excellent book by Andrew Murray called Absolute Surrender.  He does a great job of laying out what it means and why it is so important in less than 100 pages.

We must choose to pick up our cross daily and not be ashamed of the Gospel.  We can not stand for a watered down version to appease their itchy ears.  It is so important in these last days.  God will do the work, we just need to stand up and let Him work through us.

Remember, the darker it gets, the brighter and farther our little light shines!

Maranatha, Lord come quickly!

myblessedhope

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Click on the article title for a link to full original referenced article.

In Romans 10 Paul lays out how salvation is open to all, Jew and Gentile.  He writes:

“For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.” – Romans 10:4-5

What he is saying is now it is not about works or how closely to a “T” you follow the law.  But that it is through God’s gift of grace through faith in His Son, Jesus Christ.  It is really that simple, and yet a hard step for some of us.

“That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” – Romans 10:9

Christ is the narrow gate (Matthew 7:13-14), through faith in Him you will be saved.  It is the only “works” that God requires for eternal salvation.

It is The Gospel of Jesus Christ.  To learn more check out the following link.

Read Full Post »

Pastor JD echos the heavy heart that I have been feeling.  But that is not really a good description.  It is more than that.  It really is a very strange combination of heavy heart, intense feeling that something big is just about to happen (anxious & nervousness combined), and finally a felling of things getting harder, as if the incline is quickly increasing on the treadmill of life.

Not a simple or pleasant feeling or easily described, but even though I feel weighted down by it.  I have this thread of nervous excitement, anticipation.  For what I am not exactly sure.

When I heard JD’s update this week, I was so very comforted.  Not because it necessarily cleared anything up for me, but it echoed the feelings I was having.  It confirmed that it is not just me.  I have since confirmed this with other brothers and sisters in Christ that I trust and listen to.

He quoted some very eerie prophetic words from Paul Harvey back in 1965.  I have included the full audio & text of it below.  It was the second time I have heard it this week and it just really hits home.

Paul Harvey’s words really do exactly match what has happened since they were spoken some 47 years ago.  They paint a picture of what Paul told Timothy the last days would be like.

2 Timothy 3:1-5 – (NKJV) – Perilous Times and Perilous Men

3 But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!

Lets run down the list:

– Lovers of themselves — check

– Lovers of money — check

– Boasters and proud — check

– Blasphemers — check

– Disobedient to parents — check

– Unthankful — check

– Unholy — check

– Unloving — check

– Unforgiving — check

– Slanderers — check

– Without self-control — check

– Brutal despisers of good — check

– Traitors — check

– Headstrong, haughty — check

– Lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God — check

– Having a form of godliness but denying its power — check

I think that about sums up what we are seeing.  But wait you say, we have seen all of these things throughout history what makes this time special.

Ahh, I may agree if Paul was talking about the world but he is talking about the church.  This is what has crept into the church in the last days.  Read the next five verses.

2 Timothy 3:6-10 – (NKJV)

For of this sort are those who creep into households and make captives of gullible women loaded down with sins, led away by various lusts, always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. Now as Jannes and Jambres resisted Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, disapproved concerning the faith; but they will progress no further, for their folly will be manifest to all, as theirs also was.

The other piece that makes me so sure in my heart is the magnitude we are seeing and the combination with other end times signs.  It is the entire picture God is painting for us, if we just have eyes to see.

“For men will be lovers of themselves…” and

“…lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God…”

Those two really stood out to me and drove the nail home.

The phrase “Pastors will preach man centered sermons” and the term “itching ears” pops into my mind.

JD does an excellent job stepping through the progression we are seeing.

God’s Word is truly amazing!  Praise God!

It is all there for us to read, all we have to do is have the desire to look.  To knock and the door will be opened…

Another area that JD explores is the comparison between the two end time churches Jesus speaks of in Revelation.

Philadelphia (Revelation 3:7-13) and Laodicea (Revelation 3:14-22)

“…I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name….” – Revelation 3:8 (partial)

“You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’…” – Revelation 3:17 (partial)

What pastor JD pointed out that I had not caught before was that the Philadelphia (faithful) end time church will be “weak” or “weakened” in the last days.  It will be the Laodicea (unfaithful) church that will be strong when measured by this worlds standards.

Give it a listen, maybe it will bring you comfort as well.

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Click on the article title for a link to full original referenced article.

Satan wants us uninterested in the things of God.

The stakes are so high: eternal life or eternal death.

Why would you not be concerned about that!

If you have not asked Christ into your life, the essential gospel is that Jesus died for our sins, was buried, and that He was raised on the third day (1 Cor. 15:3-4).  Believing this is the only qualification for salvation.  We are sinners in need of a savior.  Jesus died for our sins, and to prove that His death was sufficient for us,  God raised Him from the dead on the third day. Believing in our heart that God raised Him from the dead is our assurance that He will raise us, too.
 3 For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, (1 Cor. 15:3-4). 

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