A Great Church Is A United Church Under The Headship Of Jesus Christ

Psalm 133:1  King James Version (KJV)
133 Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!

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The following is taken from the devotional Our Daily Bread, June 23, 2017:

Playing in Concert
June 23, 2017

Read: Romans 12:3–8
Bible in a Year: Esther 9–10; Acts 7:1–21

So in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us.—Romans 12:5-6
During our granddaughter’s school band concert, I was impressed by how well this group of 11- and 12-year-olds played together. If each of them had wanted to be a solo performer, they could not have achieved individually what the band did collectively. The woodwinds, brass, and percussion sections all played their parts and the result was beautiful music!
To the followers of Jesus in Rome, Paul wrote, “In Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us” (Rom. 12:5-6). Among the gifts Paul mentioned are prophecy, service, teaching, encouragement, giving, leadership, and mercy (vv. 7-8). Each gift is to be exercised freely for the good of all (1 Cor. 12:7).
One definition of in concert is “agreement in design or plan; combined action; harmony or accord.” That’s the Lord’s plan for us as His children through faith in Jesus Christ. “Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves” (v. 10). The goal is cooperation, not competition.
In a sense, we are “on stage” before a watching and listening world every day. There are no soloists in God’s concert band, but every instrument is essential. The music is best when we each play our part in unity with others. —David C. McCasland
Lord, You are the Conductor of our lives. We want to play Your song of love and grace in concert with Your children today.
There are no soloists in God’s orchestra.

INSIGHT: There are five listings of spiritual gifts in the New Testament: Romans 12:6-8; 1 Corinthians 12:7-11; 12:28-30; Ephesians 4:9-11; and 1 Peter 4:11. In each of these lists the emphasis is not on how many different types of gifts there are, but on how we are to use them in a loving way that promotes unity in the church, builds up the spiritual maturity of the believers, and brings glory to the Lord. To achieve this, Paul tells us not to think too highly or too lowly of ourselves (Rom. 12:3). We are to use our spiritual giftedness in humility (v. 3) and embrace diversity in the body of Christ with sincere love (v. 9) and mutual respect (v. 10).How has God gifted you? How can you use your spiritual gifts to promote unity and harmony in the church? Sim Kay Tee

2017 Southern Baptist Convention Highlighted By Firestorm Initiated By Russell Moore, President Of The Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC)

Southern Baptists go ‘gender-inclusive’ on Bible

image: http://www.wnd.com/files/2015/04/Bible.png

The Southern Baptist Convention’s 2017 meeting is underway during a time of crisis and division for the nation’s largest Protestant denomination.

Much of the division centers on politics – and at the center of the firestorm is Russell Moore, president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC).
Moore spent last year waging a long and bitter war against President Donald Trump and his supporters, including penning frequent attacks on the then-candidate in the pages of leftist media outlets like the New York Times.
He also condemned Trump’s immigration policies after the president’s election.
Even before the rise of Trump, Moore had also been pushing the denomination to support amnesty for illegal aliens, skepticism of Israel and other stands with which most American conservatives would disagree.
During last year’s meeting, the Southern Baptist Convention even took time to denounce the display of the Confederate battle flag. Some observers argue Moore may even break evangelical Christians’ reliable support of the Republican Party.
While President Trump has delighted many American social conservatives, especially with his actions against abortion, Moore has been largely frozen out of the White House and was noticeably absent from President Trump’s signing ceremony for an executive order on religious liberty.
And Moore’s strong stand against Trump has angered some Southern Baptist leaders who have pledged to withhold donations to the ERLC and the Southern Baptist Convention’s “Cooperative Program.”
However, the Southern Baptists are also facing serious issues because of reasons which go beyond politics. The Southern Baptist Convention has lost members for close to a decade, with most of the losses coming from those who leave the denomination after being raised in the faith.
Religion News Service reports the Southern Baptist Convention is also losing more members to evangelical and nondenominational churches than they are picking up as converts. And despite Moore’s support for mass immigration, the Southern Baptist Convention is also losing out to other denominations when it comes to attracting immigrants.
Carl Gallups, the author of several books including the recent title “When The Lion Roars,” has expressed concern about the future of the denomination. The pastor has a long history with the organization.
“I have served over 30 years as a senior pastor with the SBC, also spending over a decade of that time as an international youth evangelist with what was then called the Home Mission Board,” he told WND. “During the totality of my affiliation with the SBC I have spoken, by invitation, before the Board of Trustees, of what was then called the Home Mission Board. I have also preached by special invitation in the chapel services of the SBC central headquarters in Nashville and in SBC seminary and university chapel services as well. I have also served for over a dozen years on the Board of Regents for a major SBC University.”
Extraordinary events predicted centuries in advance are unfolding now. Here is your guide to the incredible prophecies being fulfilled before our very eyes. Don’t miss the bestselling sensation from one of America’s most prolific and beloved pastors. “When the Lion Roars: Understanding the Implications of Ancient Prophecies for Our Time” by Carl Gallups, available now in the WND Superstore.
Gallups praised the Southern Baptist Convention for its long record of being steadfast in defending the truth of Christian doctrine.
“The Southern Baptists have been widely acclaimed as one of the most doctrinally conservative Christian denominations,” Gallups said. “Since Southern Baptist churches are autonomous and do not ultimately answer to a higher ecclesiastical body outside the governance of each congregation, there can certainly be variances among individual Southern Baptist churches regarding worship practices, style of local leadership, and even nuances of doctrinal positions. This rather unique style of denominational cooperation might well be a major reason why the Southern Baptist denomination is still so biblically sound in most areas of its ministry endeavors.”
However, Gallups expressed concern that stance may be weakening. The Southern Baptists have now adopted a “gender-inclusive” translation of the Bible. And Gallups warns the denomination seems to be trying too hard to appeal to a secular, anti-Christian culture rather than simply standing for truth.
“Our national obsession with political correctness is destroying our nation and is heavily influencing even the ‘conservative’ Southern Baptist denomination and many of its churches,” the pastor warned. “While every reliable poll indicates that America is slipping ever deeper into the abyss of a declining Christian identification, Southern Baptist membership has also been on a decade of decline. They simply are not hanging on to the younger generation of believers, or potential believers. There are a multitude of reasons why this is happening – too many to recite here – but the main culprit is the political correctness gremlin.”
In June 2015, Thomas Kidd and Barry Hankins, professors of history at Baylor University, argued in The Washington Post Southern Baptists should become more active about evangelism and maintain doctrinal rigor to combat its falling membership rolls. Gallups enthusiastically agrees, but worries the denomination is being cowed by the hostile media climate against believers.
“Many believers are fearful of sharing their faith in an increasingly Christian-hostile culture,” he said. “Conservative Christian young people are often marginalized by practically every aspect of the world in which they are now being raised. The mantras of ‘inclusiveness’ and ‘tolerance,’ as well as the ostracism techniques of relentlessly labeling Bible-believing Christians as ‘homophobic,’ ‘xenophobic,’ or ‘racist,’ are powerful weapons of the demonic realm. As a result, many pastors have become increasingly fearful in proclaiming the whole council of God’s Word or discussing ‘tough’ matters because they are afraid of losing members. And so we have only 17 percent of Americans who identify as Christians actually holding to a biblical worldview. And these statistics are in spite of the United States being the largest ‘Christian’ nation on the planet and the home of the largest conservative evangelical denominations.”
Instead of compromising with a hostile culture, Gallups urges the Southern Baptist Convention to stand boldly for biblical truth and stop trying to win fawning media reports by attacking conservatives or President Trump. He argues the churches which are doing well are those who have refused to cater to the anti-Christian bias of the mainstream media and the larger culture.
“The churches that are spiritually and biblically thriving are the ones that are unashamedly standing in the contextual Word of God, exalting the name of Jesus, engaging in meaningful biblical worship, boldly proclaiming the Gospel message, discipling the body of Christ, and thoroughly engaged in hands-on and true mission endeavors,” Gallups said. “These are the churches that today’s Christian youth are so desperately seeking. These are the churches where young adults want to serve, grow, and raise their families. These are the churches, Southern Baptist or otherwise, that will continue to make a real difference in the advancement of the kingdom work of Jesus Christ.”
Extraordinary events predicted centuries in advance are unfolding now. Here is your guide to the incredible prophecies being fulfilled before our very eyes. Don’t miss the bestselling sensation from one of America’s most prolific and beloved pastors. “When the Lion Roars: Understanding the Implications of Ancient Prophecies for Our Time” by Carl Gallups, available now in the WND Superstore.
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Read more at http://www.wnd.com/2017/06/major-denomination-goes-gender-neutral-on-bible/#6xGPCRY4EhV0bOi3.99

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One of the main signs that we are approaching the end of the church age is apostasy.  Russell Moore has caved into political correctness and religious correctness.  He despises the administration of Donald Trump, throws Israel under the bus, supports illegal immigration, and was ideally chosen by Satan to polarize Southern Baptists against each other.  Moore has capitulated to the zeitgeist (climate of opinion) of the age.  A “Gender-inclusive” Bible, inspired by man and not God, may be the harbinger of whether or not many Southern Baptists desire to stay within this denomination.  I am a born again Christian first, and a  Southern Baptist secondly.  I will continue as a Southern Baptist only if they submit to the Word of God.  This now seems in jeopardy and is of great concern.  If this sorry 2017 convention is a harbinger of things to come, it is an indication of apostasy within our ranks, and my exit could be sooner rather than later.  The coyote is in the henhouse.  Pray that our membership would boldly oppose this unscriptural mindset.

Blessings, Pastor Steve

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Another polarizing convention splitting issue raised after the above article was published:

A Resolution Condemning White Supremacy Causes Chaos at the Southern Baptist Convention
At its annual meeting, the evangelical denomination initially declined to consider a statement of its opposition to the alt-right.

 

 

The ABCs of Salvation

Some people think a personal relationship with God is something only theologians can comprehend.  Actually, God’s plan of salvation is simple enough for everyone to understand.  Here are the ABCs of salvation.

Admit

Admit to God that you are a sinner.  All persons need salvation.  Each of us has a problem the Bible calls sin.  Sin is a refusal to acknowledge God’s authority over our lives.  Everyone who does not live a life of perfect obedience to the Lord is guilty of sin.  “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God”  (Romans 3:23).  Since none of us is perfect, all of us are sinners (Romans 3:10-18).

The result of sin is spiritual death (Romans 6:23).  Spiritual death means eternal separation from God.  By God’s perfect standard we are guilty of sin and therefore subject to the punishment for sin, which is separation from God.  Admitting that you are a sinner and separated from God is the first step of repentance, which is turning from sin and self and turning toward God.

Believe

Believe in Jesus Christ as God’s Son and receive Jesus’ gift of forgiveness from sin.  God loves each of us.  God offers us salvation.  Although we have done nothing to deserve His love and salvation, God wants to save us.  In the death of Jesus on the cross, God provided salvation for all who would repent of their sins and believe in Jesus.  “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life”  (John 3:16).

Confess

Confess your faith in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord to others.  After you have received Jesus Christ into your life, share your decision with another person.  Tell your pastor or a Christian friend about your decision.  Following Christ’s example, ask for baptism by immersion in your local church as a public expression of your faith.  “If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.  For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation”  (Romans 10:9-10).

-taken from Open Windows devotional (LifeWay), Summer 2017

 

Profound Insight And Quotations From The Sword Of The Lord – January 27, 2017 And February 10, 2017

INSIGHT:

When the Lord Jesus Christ hung upon the cross, cosmic events accompanied by signs and wonders occurred between heaven and earth. A supernatural darkness came over the earth midday. Many theologians believe that for the first time in eternity past the fellowship between the triune God—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—was interrupted. As Christ took our sins upon Himself on the cross, His Father could not stay in fellowship with Him. An earthquake opened the tombs of some Old Testament believers, who were brought back to life. So dramatic were these events that even a Gentile, such as the Roman centurion who oversaw Jesus’s crucifixion, made a declaration of faith.

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The world will not be Christianized, but it should be evangelized.  -Vance Havner

How often a good sister or brother rises to testify, “I want to live such a godly life that sinners will see my daily walk and be saved!”  Living a godly life is important; but the first condition of soul winning is this: Get up and go after sinners! -John R. Rice

Christ’s last act was winning a soul.  His last command was to win a soul.  His last prayer was forgiveness to a soul.

The Lord has given you much light from the Word and will hold you responsible for its use.  If you obey Him and walk in the light, you will have more.  If not, the light will be withdrawn.  -George Muller

I don’t know any more about theology than a jackrabbit does about Ping-Pong, but I’m on my way to Glory!  -Billy Sunday

A good character is the best tombstone.  Those who loved you and were helped you will remember you when forget-me-nots are withered.  Carve your name on hearts and not on marble.  -Charles Spurgeon

There is no gathering a rose without a thorn until we get to Beulah land.  -D.L. Moody

Our greatest trouble is, as I see it, that we have Christianity without Christ; forgiveness without repentance; salvation without regeneration; politics without God; and Heaven without Hell.  -Oscar Lowry

Do not in the darkest night what you’d shun in broad daylight.

The chief danger of the church today is that it is trying to get on the same side as the world instead of turning the world upside down.  Our Master expects us to accomplish results, even if they bring opposition and conflict.  Anything is better than compromise, apathy, and paralysis.  God, give us an intense cry for the old-time power of the Gospel and the Holy Ghost!  -A.B. Simpson

I’m more impressed with what a preacher gets thrown out of than with what he gets invited to.  -Tom Malone

In some circles, God has been abridged, reduced, modified, edited, changed, and amended until He is no longer the God whom Isaiah saw, high and lifted up.  -A.W. Tozer

I hope I shall always possess firmness and virtue enough to maintain what I consider the most enviable of all titles, the character of an “honest man.”  -George Washington

Youth today is asking, “Who am I?”  But few are willing to face what they really are-sinners separated from God.  -Vance Havner

Many people will not kill a mouse without publicizing it.  Samson killed a lion and said nothing about it.  Say much of what the Lord has done for you.  Say little of what you have done for the Lord.  Do not speak a self-glorifying sentence.  -Charles Spurgeon

Men will wrangle for religion, write for it, fight for it, die for it-anything but live for it.  -D.L. Moody

If we abide by the principles taught in the Bible, our country will go on to prosper; but if we and our posterity neglect its instructions and counsel, there is no telling how great a catastrophe shall come upon us and bury our glory in profound obscurity.  -Daniel Webster

You may be deeply religious and still be lost.  It is sad but true that many will be in Hell not because of lack of religion, but because of their religion.  -Curtis Hutson

The religion that makes a man look sick certainly won’t cure the world.  -Phillips Brooks

 

 

Holy Trinity

1 Corinthians 13:13

And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.

King James Version (KJV)

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Rushton Lodge in Northamptonshire is unusual – the building only has three sides.  Everywhere the number three is emphasized – three floors, three windows on each wall, each wall 33 feet long, three chimneys, etc.  It was built in the 1590’s by an Elizabethan knight to declare his staunch belief in the Holy Trinity.  The Father loved us enough to devise a plan of salvation.  The Son loved us enough to die for us.  The Holy Spirit appealed in love to us to repent and trust Christ for eternal salvation and to build our lives around Him.  What legacy will we leave for others to see?   -Brian Powlesland

Holy, holy, holy merciful and mighty, God in three Persons, blessed Trinity.  -Reginald Heber 

Addressing Apostate Pulpits In America

When a nation plummets into gross immorality and apostasy, God will use the most unlikely of sources to expose the current form of anemic “Christianity” in America.  The following article is what one might call a “Wake Up Call”: 

 

ARTICLE

A Secular Rapper Calls American Pastors To Account

image: http://www.prophecynewswatch.com/images/recent/lamarmay102017.jpg

News ImageBy Michael Brown/Ask Dr Brown May 10, 2017

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You know we’re in trouble when a secular rapper urges pastors to get back to preaching that the Lord is a jealous God of “discipline and obedience.”
As a recent article declared, “Chart-Topping Rapper Kendrick Lamar Is Preaching More Spiritual Truth Than Most of the Dead Churches In America.” So sad, but so true.
Lamar is a 29-year-old, Grammy Award-winning rapper, and his lyrics are typical, hardcore rap: filled with content, packed with protest, laced with profanity.
Suffice it to say that he is not a pristine pure, born-again, Christian rapper. Yet he sees a gaping hole in many churches today, and it mirrors his experience as a boy.
In an email to Hip Hop website DJ Booth he wrote, “I went to a local church some time ago, and it appalled me that the same program was in practice.
A program that I seen as a kid the few times I was in service. Praise, dance. Worship. (Which is beautiful.) Pastor spewing the idea of someone’s season is approaching. The idea of hope.”
He continued, “After being heavily in my studies these past few years, I’ve finally figured out why I left those services feeling spiritually unsatisfied as a child.
I discovered more truth. But simple truth. Our God is a loving God. Yes. He’s a merciful God. Yes. But he’s even more so a God of DISCIPLE. OBEDIENCE. A JEALOUS God. . . .”
And in words that mirror the words of Paul in Romans 11:22, which urge us to consider both the goodness and severity of God, he wrote, “So in conclusion, I feel it’s my calling to share the joy of God, but with exclamation, more so, the FEAR OF GOD. The balance. Knowing the power in what he can build, and also what he can destroy. At any given moment.”
How ironic that a worldly rapper is more concerned to balance out his message than many a preacher in America. How ironic that someone whom the churches would damn in a moment (in fact, “Damn” is the name of his latest project) sees the imbalance in so many of our contemporary churches.
Today, in many of our churches, it’s all about making people feel good about themselves, all about the coming breakthrough (probably financial!), all about fulfilling our personal dreams.
But what about the biblical gospel? What about the fact that one day we’ll have to give account to God for our lives? What about the judgment that will come on the whole world?
What about the reality that “the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23)? What about the fact that Jesus saves us from our sins so that we will live the rest of our lives for Him?
I’m all for preaching hope and encouragement and love, but that is not the whole message. What happened to the rest of God’s holy Word?
In my forthcoming book Saving a Sick America: A Prescription for Moral and Cultural Reformation, I devoted one chapter to the subject of “Restoring Thunder to Our Pulpits.”
In that chapter, I wrote, “Let the truth be told. There is very little thunder from our pulpits, very little preaching that creates an atmosphere of holy reverence (what the Bible calls ‘the fear of the Lord’), very little that challenges us and confronts us and stirs us and awakens us, very little that equips us to endure hardship or to be courageous or to confront the culture or to live a sacrificial life out of love for our neighbor.
“Many of our leaders preach a toothless, pep-talk gospel that fits in perfectly with our convenience store, quick-fix Christianity, promising all kinds of benefits without any requirements. What a deal! Who could refuse it?
No wonder we are producing consumers rather than disciples. What else can we expect when we so studiously bypass the cross in so much of our preaching? What else can we expect when we preach God the Genie rather than God the Judge?”
Do you affirm these words?
At the beginning of the chapter, I quoted from an 1873 sermon from Charles Finney. He said, “Brethren, our preaching will bear its legitimate fruits. If immorality prevails in the land, the fault is ours in a great degree. If there is a decay of conscience, the pulpit is responsible for it.

If the public press lacks moral discrimination, the pulpit is responsible for it. If the church is degenerate and worldly, the pulpit is responsible for it. If the world loses its interest,

the pulpit is responsible for it. If Satan rules in our halls of legislation, the pulpit is responsible for it.
If our politics become so corrupt that the very foundations of our government are ready to fall away, the pulpit is responsible for it. Let us not ignore this fact, my dear brethren; but let us lay it to heart, and be thoroughly awake to our responsibility in respect to the morals of this nation.”
Although the pulpit was more influential in his day than in ours, I believe that what he said remains largely true. If America is in serious moral and spiritual decline, many of our preachers are partly to blame.
I say it’s time that we restore thunder to our pulpits. A chart-topping, secular rapper says, “Please do!”
Originally published at AskDrBrown.org – reposted with permission.



Read more at http://www.prophecynewswatch.com/article.cfm?recent_news_id=1223#oPRCeujPOylpez27.99

Born Again 3

“Ye must be born again.”  John 3:7

“Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.”   John 1:13

The new birth does not come through human descent (“not of blood”), nor does it come through human desire (“the will of the flesh”), nor does it come through human determination (“nor of the will of man”).  The issue is, have you put your faith in Christ?  Have you been born of God: have you been born from above?  Apart from this you will never enter the kingdom of God (John 3:3).  Believe on Christ now, tomorrow may be too late.   -W. Ross Rainey

Children of men, attend to the word, so solemnly uttered by Jesus the Lord; And let not this message to you be in vain, “Ye must be born again.”  -William T. Sleeper

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Let us contrast the beautiful aforementioned summary of true salvation with that of Rick Warren, founder of Saddleback Church in California.  The following quotation is taken from page 220 of the Purpose Driven Church:  “Anybody can be won to Christ if you discover the key to his or her heart.”

Sorry Rick, as it states prior to your man centered apostate statement, salvation does NOT come through human desire or determination.  It comes from ABOVE, and you and I are not big enough to find keys to anyone’s heart.  Do not be deceived- Salvation has everything to do with becoming born from above.  It has NOTHING to do with finding keys to people’s hearts.

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Are you a Berean or a Laodicean?  Do you believe the Bible or Rick Warren?  Rick Warren is a litmus test and a referendum of Biblical illiteracy.  Unfortunately he is plum out of line with how one becomes saved – the most important issue that anyone will ever face this side of eternity.  In the following video, John MacArthur succinctly and thoroughly exegetes the scriptures, comparing the impotence of Rick Warren’s “Gospel,” with the true and Biblical Gospel that saves.  Warren totally ignores the doctrine of repentance, without which one cannot be saved.  [Luke 13:3,5 “I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.”]  In a mere three minutes, the following video beautifully summarizes what true salvation is, and what it is not:

 

Do The Old Testament Levitical Feasts Forecast The Time Of Christ’s Return?

 We will show the movie The Coming Convergence at our church at 6 PM, Sunday, May 7, 2017.  It relates to believer and unbeliever alike, how the fulfillment of ancient prophecies is lining up.  It also features (see in the You Tube below), how Christ’s famous words:  “No man knows the day or the hour,” are related to the Feasts of Trumpets and may have a deeper meaning than has been surmised in the past.  Live in the light of His soon return, and pray for revival in America.

Maranatha, Pastor Steve 

 
 
 
 
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VIDEO – Does This Prove When Jesus Returns?

         
 
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  Prophecy Update: April 28, 2017.  
 
 
New discovery proves when Jesus returns? Theologians reconsider what was meant by “no one knows the day or hour”.
 
You might have heard it said that “no one can know the day or the hour” for the return of Jesus, and as a result, millions are ignoring the prophetic warnings that surround us in these last days; however, through a shocking discovery within the biblical timeline, this phrase, that so many use as an excuse to ignore the coming Tribulation, may actually have been taken entirely out of context.

No matter your view of the tribulation period or the second coming, you MUST watch this new video from PNW. This shocking insight was exposed by a new film called, The Coming Convergence, that presents evidence to finally prove to non-believers that Bible prophecy is real!

In fact, the message is so powerful, that many are calling for churches of all denominations across America to show it to their congregations! Make no mistake, The Coming Convergence is not what you would expect from your typical prophecy film, but is so life-changing, retailers are having trouble keeping it in stock as the word continues to spread!

This film will not only excite and strengthen your personal faith, but can be an invaluable tool to share with those that don’t believe the Bible.

 

The Coming Convergence  ~  Additional Information

Is it possible to know the day of our demise? Jesus chastised religious leaders in ancient Jerusalem for not knowing the time of His first arrival. Will the prophesied final generation today make the same mistake? The Bible foretells that the end of days would be preceded by a sequence of global events that has never before occurred, but can this be proven? Through newly exposed geological and statistical evidence, a convergence of events has now been discovered that many believe finally prove the Tribulation is about to begin! This whistleblower film breaks the mold of what a documentary can be by pulling you deeper into the reality of the approaching apocalypse as you follow the story of a young girl (Erin Hawkins) that is living through the end of days. Her cinematic interruptions throughout the documentary act as a warning to the genuine reality humankind will soon face. The conclusion of The Coming Convergence leaves such an impact that attendees during the film’s theatrical premiere in California were driven to tears and shock. Features Jack Hibbs, Ray Bentley, Douglas Hamp, Brent Miller Sr, Tom Hughes and Kade Hawkins. Written and directed by award winning filmmaker, Brent Miller Jr.

 

 

SPECS:
 
Run Time: 100 minutes
Format: Available on DVD, Blu-ray and Digital
Aspect: 16:9 Widescreen
Region: Region Free
Director: Brent Miller Jr
Studio: Ingenuity Films
Actors and Interviews: Jack Hibbs, Tom Hughes, Kade Hawkins, Ray Bentley, Douglas Hamp, Brent Miller Sr, Erin Hawkins, Jenna Sage, Allen Farmer.

 

Born Again 1

Have you ever wondered what the phrase “born again” means?  The Bible records that Jesus used the phrase in a conversation with a man named Nicodemus.  Nicodemus approached Jesus at night.  He was curious about Jesus and the kingdom of God.

Jesus told him: “Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3).  Nicodemus responded, “How can a man be born when he is old?” (John 3:4).

Nicodemus was a highly moral man who obeyed God’s law.  He was a respected leader of the Jewish community.  No doubt he was a fine man.  Yet something was lacking.  Like Nicodemus, many people today confuse religion with new birth in Christ.  Phrases like “I pray regularly” or  “I believe there is a God” often are confused with a real new-birth experience.

New birth begins with the Holy Spirit convicting a person that a person is a sinner.  Because of sin, we are spiritually dead.  For this reason, spiritual birth, as Jesus described it, is necessary.  God loves us and gives us spiritual birth when we ask Him for it.

The Bible says all persons are sinners (see Romans 3:23).  Jesus died on a cross and was raised from the dead to save sinners.  To be born again means that a person admits to God that he or she is a sinner, repents of sin, believes in or trusts Christ, and confesses faith in Christ as Savior and Lord.  Jesus told Nicodemus that everyone who believes in (places faith in) Christ would not perish (see John 3:16).  Jesus is the only One who can save us (see John 14:6).

To believe in Jesus is to be born again.  Confess your sins and ask Jesus right now to save you.  “And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved”  (Acts 2:21).  After you have received Jesus Christ into your life, share your decision with another person, and following Christ’s example, ask for baptism by immersion in your local church as a public expression of your faith  (see Romans 6:4; Colossians 2:6).

From Open Windows

A Guide For Personal Devotions

Fall 2016      Lifeway

 

 

 

 

Suffering / Part 8 Of 8

Why Christians Suffer

continued from Part 7…

9)Suffering Teaches Us To Pray

You have heard the saying  “There are no atheists in foxholes.”  Due to our sinful human natures, sometimes the only time we pray is when our backs are to the wall, and there is no one else to turn to.  Pray is our last resort.

10)Suffering Brings Rewards

There is a special reward for those who suffer patiently for Him.  Paul tells us in II Timothy 2:12  “If we suffer, we shall also reign with Him.”  We are made perfect through suffering.  Steel is iron plus fire.  Soil is rock plus crushing.  The Christian life is faith plus suffering.  It is God’s way of doing things.  It is God’s own way of making us what we ought to be.  God’s way is through fire, and through the fire He will perfect us.

Christianity does not promise us an easy walk.  We will always encounter many trials and tribulations, but if we look to Jesus in faith, He will carry our load.  Christianity promises us  1)all the grace of God we need, 2)a peace of mind beyond understanding that only a Christian has, and 3)we know we are heaven bound once we are “born again.”  What more can we ask for?  Are you suffering?  Then thank the Lord for it because it shows you are growing in Christ. 

Continued from Part 7…  This entire eight part series on suffering is all listed under the category entitled Devotionals/Inspirationals.