The Seven Churches Of Asia Minor (Revelation 2-3)

The seven churches mentioned in the book of Revelation, chapters 2-3, reveal many characteristics of the church, both good and bad.  We can use these churches as a check against our own respective vineyards today, since our churches are similar to the early church.  You may see traits of your church in several of these examples.  Dr. Henry M. Morris III from the Institute For Creation Research (ICR) wrote the seven sketches of the churches below in the devotional “Days Of Praise.”  They are all listed below.  Afterwards, enjoy the superb video of The Seven Churches.  In Christ, Pastor Steve

Lukewarm Laodicea
by Henry M. Morris III, D.Min.                     Evidence for Creation

“And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; . . . I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.” (Revelation 3:14-16)
The Lord Jesus used intense language to rebuke this church, the last of the seven He had John write to in the book of Revelation. Laodicea was dangerously near the brink of being disavowed by He who is the Head of the church.
Such churches believe they “have need of nothing” (Revelation 3:17). Worldly wealth, extensive property, and popular recognition blinded these members and their leaders to their true spiritual condition. They failed to understand that, from the Lord’s perspective, they are “wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked” (Revelation 3:17).
The cause of this terrible spiritual destitution is being spiritually tepid. It’s like expecting a glass of cold water or a cup of hot tea but finding everything at room temperature. This church “tasted” just like the world around them. They were neither godly nor in rebellion—just “nice people” who blended in well with the community. Their spiritual reputation did not smell either like life or death (2 Corinthians 2:16).
Despite the Lord’s distaste for such a condition, He loved and counseled them to “buy” from Him the gold of the Kingdom’s true wealth, righteous clothing that would cover their shameful exposure of worldly behavior, and to anoint their spiritual eyes so that they could see eternal values rather than temporal things.
As the Lord graciously closed His letter, He “stands at the door” of the church, waiting for anyone to open and let Him in (Revelation 3:20). Tepid spirituality keeps the Lord outside. What a shame that such could ever be said about any church. HMM III

Strong Philadelphia
by Henry M. Morris III, D.Min.      Evidence for Creation

“And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; . . . I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name.” (Revelation 3:7-8)
Philadelphia and Smryna are the only churches that did not receive warnings from the Lord in the seven letters recorded in Revelation. Philadelphia had “a little strength” because they had built their church on the two foundations of the Word of God and the name of the Lord Jesus.
The foundation of Jesus Christ Himself (1 Corinthians 3:11) and the foundation of the writings of the “apostles and prophets” (Ephesians 2:20) that are inspired by God (2 Timothy 3:16) make the church “the pillar and ground of the truth” (1 Timothy 3:15). Philadelphia had faithfully held these eternal principles and was therefore given an “open door.”
The Lord’s introduction to Philadelphia cites the “Key of David,” suggesting a reference to the treasure house of the king (1 Kings 7:51) and to Christ’s authority as the heir to the kingdom (Isaiah 22:22). The treasure of the eternal Kingdom is not physical riches but the gold, silver, and precious stones of God-ordained work for the Kingdom (1 Corinthians 3:12-13).
But just as the talents and the pounds granted to the servants in the parables (Matthew 25; Luke 19), the open door is an opportunity to use the resources of the King for His benefit—not a guarantee of success. The Lord grants the resources, but the work and the use of those resources are our responsibility. We will be held accountable.
If we use those resources well, even those of the “synagogue of Satan” will “come and worship” (Revelation 3:9) and “every tongue [will] confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:11). HMM III

Dead Sardis
by Henry M. Morris III, D.Min.                   Evidence for Creation

“And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead.” (Revelation 3:1)
The church at Sardis received the saddest of the Lord’s seven letters in Revelation. Sardis seemed to want to remain known as a “live” church, but the Lord saw their real testimony and reputation and concluded that they were “dead.” Many such places around the world today are enshrined with stained glass, statuary, crosses, and inscriptions that have the “name” of Christianity emblazoned throughout their property, yet they are dead spiritually. Such churches might be compared to the monuments and gravestones erected in cemeteries to honor the memories of faithful men and women of past generations who were alive for a time with a solid reputation for godliness yet whose families have drifted away from the Lord.
Yet, “even in Sardis” there was a small number who had remained faithful in spite of the drift of the church itself, as there are also in families now adrift but with a Christian heritage. The advice to Sardis (and certainly to families as well) is this: “Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent” (Revelation 3:3).
The Philippian church received the same counsel: “Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you” (Philippians 4:9). The verb is “do.” Heritage is wonderful, but each church—and each of us—will be held accountable for what is actually done. HMM III

 

Tolerant Thyatira
by Henry M. Morris III, D.Min.
Evidence for Creation

“And unto the angel of the church in Thyatira write; . . . I know thy works, and charity, and service, and faith, and thy patience, and thy works; and the last to be more than the first. Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee.” (Revelation 2:18-20)
The Lord Jesus’ letter to the church at Thyatira is the longest among the seven recorded in Revelation. Although they were faithful in their works to the city, had a strong charity among themselves, and were evidently growing in their reputation and perhaps even in number, the Lord Jesus used some very harsh language to rebuke their behavior.
Whether or not the woman who held influence in the church was actually named Jezebel, she had entrenched herself as a prophetess. Her namesake in the Old Testament (1 Kings) was the wicked queen and wife of King Ahab of Israel during the days of Elijah. Her evil deeds are recorded throughout seven chapters—more than any other woman in Israel’s history!
The Jezebel of Thyatira had been allowed “to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols” (Revelation 2:20). It is not clear if the Lord spoke of physical fornication among the church members, but the practice of sacrificing to idols was a serious rebellion against the second commandment and a clear violation of God’s Word (Exodus 20:4-5).
Those who were committing “adultery with her” (Revelation 2:22) had entered into “the depths of Satan” (Revelation 2:24). Whether this behavior was a physical practice or not (as was common among the pagan religions of the day), it is most certainly identified as spiritual adultery when those who name the name of Christ worship other gods (Jeremiah 3:1, 20; Hosea 9:1; etc.). May God protect us from such horrible leadership. HMM III

Permissive Pergamos
by Henry M. Morris III, D.Min.
Evidence for Creation

“And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write; . . . I know thy works, and where thou dwellest, even where Satan’s seat is: and thou holdest fast my name, and hast not denied my faith . . . . But I have a few things against thee.” (Revelation 2:12-14)
Retaining a clear identity as a church of the Lord Jesus in an evil environment is worthy of commendation. And indeed, this body of believers at Pergamos held fast to its Christian name—even in a city that was known (at least by God) as the place where Satan had his “seat.” One of their members, Antipas, was killed for his faith. Yet, the church at Pergamos remained faithful with a spiritual testimony, a small light in a sea of wickedness.
But perhaps because of the pressure surrounding them, the Lord warned them that they were allowing two destructive doctrines to flourish among them. The first was compromising with “wages of unrighteousness,” exemplified by Balaam, which had become entrenched among the church (2 Peter 2:15). The second was the “doctrine of the Nicolaitanes,” which their sister church in Ephesus also confronted (Revelation 2:15, 6).
Balaam was a well-known prophet who willingly accepted an assignment with an enemy of God’s people so that he could receive a large sum of money (Numbers 22). And, even though God would not permit Israel to be cursed, as the enemy wanted, Balaam continued to promote his “error,” and Israel lapsed into grave sin (Jude 1:11).
Not much is written in Scripture about the Nicolaitanes. The word basically means “conquer the people.” This early teaching developed into a strong hierarchy of church polity over the next decades, and by the end of the second century, it was well established in the major cities. Jesus taught against such leadership (Matthew 20:26-27) and clearly said that He hated it (Revelation 2:6). HMM III

Faithful Smyrna
by Henry M. Morris III, D.Min.
Evidence for Creation

“And unto the angel of the church in Smyrna write; . . . I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich) . . . . Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer . . . be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.” (Revelation 2:8-10)
The Lord Jesus recognized this struggling church, which is not mentioned anywhere else in the New Testament, as one of only two churches mentioned in the book of Revelation that did not receive any warning or condemnation.
He saw them very differently than our “church growth” movement might today. Many tend to envy the churches with big auditoriums or grand building programs. Most of the world praises those churches that are “emerging” from the restraints of godliness and churches that are “driven” to attract and please the ungodly.
Smyrna was poor, troubled by those who hated God’s message, and suffered tribulation for their works. Some were thrown into prison for their willingness to be identified with the truth. Generations have passed since anything like that has happened to churches in the Western world. Those countries that persecute Christians today seem only like scattered incidents that have little bearing on the day-to-day life of “civilized” nations. May God protect us from such attitudes.
But the One who walks among the “candlestick” churches of Revelation (His churches) saw Smyrna as rich and worthy of a crown of life. He praised this little church and encouraged them to remain “faithful unto death” (Revelation 2:10). When the King gives out His rewards from the great judgment seat, these faithful, poor, persecuted, troubled, and imprisoned souls will enter eternity with great riches and joyful liberty in the “general assembly and church of the firstborn” (Hebrews 12:23). HMM III

 

Careful Ephesus
by Henry M. Morris III, D.Min.
Evidence for Creation

“Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write;. . . I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars.” (Revelation 2:1-2)
This church, founded by the apostle Paul, had grown in its doctrinal precision and careful attention to the words of Scripture. They were intensely focused on purity of leadership and were vigilant against any form of false teaching. Most of us would find that kind of church a refreshing example to follow in these days of indifferent (and often heretical) theology.
They hated the “deeds of the Nicolaitanes,” which was a horrible practice that the Lord Himself hated (Revelation 2:6). Peter had warned against this domineering attitude in his first general letter to the churches when he insisted that the elders of the churches should not be “lords over God’s heritage, but [be] ensamples to the flock” (1 Peter 5:3).
Ephesus was a “good” church, but the risen Lord Jesus had “somewhat against” them. Apparently, amid all of their careful attention to doctrine and to purity of leadership lifestyle, they had “left [their] first love” (Revelation 2:4). They had fallen from the deep bond of love they had demonstrated years earlier when Paul called the elders to Miletus to encourage and exhort them to remain faithful to “all the counsel of God” (Acts 20:27). They were so much in tune with Paul’s heart for the gospel that they “all wept sore, and fell on Paul’s neck, and kissed him” (Acts 20:37).
The drift away from that “first love” was so serious that the Lord warned Ephesus to repent or He would take away their “candlestick” (Revelation 2:5)—their authority to represent Christ as one of His churches. Cold, precise doctrine must never take away our love for people or for the truth. HMM III

***********************

If I Were The Devil By Paul Harvey

Sometimes God Sends Us A Prophet With Tremendous Insight About The Age In Which We Live.  This Was Originally Read 52 Years Ago, Yet Sounds Just Like Our World Today.  Listen To Paul Harvey For The Rest Of The Story…

 

If I were the devil . . .

I would gain control of the most powerful nation in the world;
I would delude their minds into thinking that they had come from man’s effort, instead of God’s blessings;
I would promote an attitude of loving things and using people, instead of the other way around;
I would dupe entire states into relying on gambling for their state revenue;
I would convince people that character is not an issue when it comes to leadership;
I would make it legal to take the life of unborn babies;
I would make it socially acceptable to take one’s own life, and invent machines to make it convenient;
I would cheapen human life as much as possible so that the life of animals are valued more than human beings;
I would take God out of the schools, where even the mention of His name was grounds for a lawsuit;
I would come up with drugs that sedate the mind and target the young, and I would get sports heroes to advertise them;
I would get control of the media, so that every night I could pollute the mind of every family member for my agenda;
I would attack the family, the backbone of any nation.
I would make divorce acceptable and easy, even fashionable. If the family crumbles, so does the nation;
I would compel people to express their most depraved fantasies on canvas and movie screens, and I would call it art;
I would convince the world that people are born homosexuals, and that their lifestyles should be accepted and marveled;
I would convince the people that right and wrong are determined by a few who call themselves authorities and refer to their agenda as politically correct;
I would persuade people that the church is irrelevant and out of date, and the Bible is for the naive;
I would dull the minds of Christians, and make them believe that prayer is not important, and that faithfulness and obedience are optional;
I guess I would leave things pretty much the way they are.

This is Paul Harvey signing off.  Good day.

  Understanding America’s Five Faith Tribes

The following article speaks for itself and needs no commentary or clarification:

 

Understanding America’s Five Faith Tribes through keying the following link:

Read more at http://www.prophecynewswatch.com/article.cfm?recent_news_id=1368#9MRKv0J8Gd8wtzJE.99

***************************

Belief matters because it drives action, both in the voting booth and out. We read and hear every day about a society embracing LGBT rights or turning away from the Church, and it may be cause for concern.

Although these trends are not to be ignored, it is important to keep in mind the fact that no society possesses a single group identity.

Instead, a closer look at the true divisions within society offers considerable insight into how the five major “faith tribes” behave based on their beliefs as well as how each is able to influence American culture as a whole.

Through examination of how these faith groups move a society, changes can be tracked, understood and predicted.

The breakdown of these cultural tendencies comes from research conducted by Barna and is particularly relevant following the unusual election cycle of 2016 and the major cultural forces that many believe are pulling the country in opposite directions.

Whereas it is true that there are a great many faith practices in the United States, three of the five faith tribes used in Barna’s research are Christian simply because of the fact that each is greater in size than any minority religion and that their influence on both culture and politics is also substantial.

 

 

All of the following figures refer to the adult population.

1. Evangelical Christians (6%)

Evangelical Christians, a group narrowly defined by the Barna researchers, tends to be older than each of the other four tribes.

They are also politically more conservative with 69% of respondents classed as fiscal conservatives and 79% as social conservatives.

The great majority (84%) are pro-life and pessimistic on the direction of the country (69%). The Tea Party movement also enjoys its greatest support, around 50%, from Evangelical Christians.

Spiritually, they believe in absolute moral truth, traditional moral values (98%) and the accuracy of the Bible.

Politically, only 18% describe themselves as environmentalist and a scant 4% support LGBT rights. In contrast to the common view of gun ownership, only 31% own a firearm, not so far removed from the 22% of religious skeptics and atheists who own guns.

In general, Evangelical Christians find themselves on the opposite side of the political and cultural spectrum, not in contrast to other religions but, rather, from skeptics and atheists.

2. Non-evangelical Born Again Christians (23%)

The faith tribe Barna describes as Non-Evangelical Born Again Christian is larger by a factor of nearly four, but has been declining in population over the past decades.

image: http://www.prophecynewswatch.com/images/ads/TCC_banner1.jpg

They tend to be less conservative and less traditional, though the majority still self-identifies as conservative on both fiscal (56%) and social stances (59%).

Spiritually, they share the confession of sin and trust in the salvation of Christ. Non-Evangelical Born Again Christians may belong to any one of a number of mainline churches, but it is their beliefs that set them apart from the other faith tribes and unite them, even across denominational lines, with other Non-Evangelical Born Again Christians.

Firearm ownership is the highest among this group and despite fiscal and cultural conservative leanings, they double the support of Evangelical Christians for environmentalism (37%) and the Black Lives Matter movement (36%) while increasing the support for LGBT rights seven-fold at 27%.

Still, 87% support traditional moral values and 63% are pro-life with a nearly equal 62% holding a pessimistic view of the direction the country is heading.

3. Notional Christians (42%)

Notional Christians are the largest faith tribe and show a plurality of support, though not a majority, for the democratic party.

Less theologically conservative at 30%, Notional Christians, those who believe in Christianity in a general way but have not made a personal commitment for their own salvation, also show more progressive beliefs on environmentalism and LGBT rights, both at 39% support.

Rather than trusting their faith in Christ’s sacrifice on the cross (only 10% believe in salvation through faith alone), their notion of salvation comes from earning their way into Heaven through good moral acts on Earth.

4. All Other Religious Faiths (6%)

All other religious faiths combined, including Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, Buddhism and numerous others, comprise only 6% of the total US population. Barna has categorized Mormons in this category as well, further swelling its ranks.

 

This is the segment of those polled who identify themselves as being the most willing to engage in civil disobedience as a form of protest (31%) and fully 43% consider themselves to be environmentalists.

They are the only faith group to align in their majority with the Democrat party (58%) and support for LGBT rights (47%), they also support traditional moral values (57%) and a set of moral absolutes.

This group composed of all other religions is the group least likely to own a gun but also most closely aligns with Notional Christians with respect to the stated importance of their faith with only 43% responding that their faith is very important to them.

Their social liberalism further aligns them with Notional Christians with respect to their support for environmentalism, abortion, Black Lives Matter, LGBT rights and gun control

5. Skeptics and Atheists (23%)

The group composed of skeptics and atheists sits so far on the opposite end of the spectrum from Evangelical Christians that it is a strain to classify them as a ‘faith’ tribe.

By far the most liberal of the five faith tribes, 48% of skeptics call themselves environmentalists, 13% are pro-life and 66% support the LGBT movement.

Overall, 62% claim liberal positions on most social issues. As many as 44% consider themselves fiscally liberal as well.

Why Does It Matter?

To understand the faith tribes is to understand American politics. To understand how the five faith tribes grow or shrink in size or change their geographic distribution is to understand how politics is shifting.

The 2016 election cycle saw Evangelical Christians lining up behind President Trump with the Notional Christians splitting their vote between Trump and Clinton.

To predict future political opinion on LGBT rights, gun control, fiscal issues or abortion, shifts among faith groups is an essential study.

As the ranks of Evangelicals slowly shrink and skeptics, Notional Christians and other faiths grow, the national consciousness will be pulled along with them.

Some predict that the 2016 election may be a high point for conservative politics.

Pray For Revival In America!

Sword Of The Lord ~ December 16, 2016 ~ Dr. Shelton Smith, Editor

Amen Corner

The preacher with fire in his bones does not only await an opportunity; he make one.  He must preach!  -John R. Rice

The prophet is a troubleshooter, not a troublemaker.  -Vance Havner

I would that I had a thousand bodies that I might devote them all to no other employment than preaching the Gospel to those who have never heard the joyful sound!  -A missionary

Through the blessed Holy Spirit, we may have strength for every duty, wisdom for every problem, comfort in every sorrow, and joy overflowing in His service.

A faithful servant of the Lord once said, “In coming to the Word of God, we do well to remember that we should add nothing to it (Rev. 22:18), take nothing from it (vs. 19), change nothing in it (Prov. 30:5).

A believer may feel the stroke of death, but he shall never feel the sting of death.  -D. L. Moody

Faith is the hand by which my soul touches God.  -Billy Sunday

Nothing is politically right which is morally wrong.  -Abraham Lincoln

Crooked men get into office because honest men fail to do their duty.

It is better to shun the bait than to struggle on the hook.

There is no point in aiming at a target with no arrow in your bow.

Nothing is so convincing to ungodly men as to see Christians very calm in time of danger, very resigned in the hour of affliction, and very patient under provocation.  -Charles Spurgeon

I think most Christians would be better pleased if the Lord did not inquire into their personal affairs too closely.  -A. W. Tozer

 

 

 

 

The Temple May Soon Be Built! ~ Prophecy News Watch

Israel is God’s Prophetic Time Piece.  When the church age is concluded with following the rapture, Israel will be the focal point during the seventieth week of Daniel (Great Tribulation).  The Temple will be ground zero in reference to the activities during this volatile time in history.  The commencement of the building of the Temple will indicate that we are knocking at the door to the end of the age.  Enjoy this article from the website Prophecy News Watch.  Open the following links for pictures of the proposed Temple, and important additional information.

Maranatha, Pastor Steve

 

 

image: http://www.prophecynewswatch.com/images/website/logo_top_150.gif

Sign up for prophecy news updates.

ARTICLE

Push To Rebuild Jerusalem Temple Has Earth-Shaking Implications

image: http://www.prophecynewswatch.com/images/recent/temple4april032017.jpg

By WND.com April 20, 2017

Share this article:

The future Third Temple & as it might appear There is probably not a more disputed parcel of real estate than the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. A portion of the land there is occupied by an Islamic mosque, yet there are developing plans to rebuild the prophesied third Jewish Temple. That leaves the government of Israeli& .repubhubembed{display:none;}

@media screen and (min-width: 737px) { #ld-sbs-cntnr { overflow: hidden; width: 100% } .ld-side-by-side { box-sizing: border-box; width: 50%; float: left; } .sbs-left { padding: 0 10px 0 0; } .sbs-right { padding: 0 0 0 10px; } }

image: http://www.prophecynewswatch.com/images/ads/TCC_banner1.jpg

Back to home page

@media screen and (min-width: 737px) { #ld-sbs-cntnr-1 { overflow: hidden; width: 100% } .ld-side-by-side { box-sizing: border-box; width: 50%; float: left; } .sbs-left { padding: 0 10px 0 0; } .sbs-right { padding: 0 0 0 10px; } }

@media screen and (min-width: 737px) { #ld-sbs-cntnr-2 { overflow: hidden; width: 100% } .ld-side-by-side { box-sizing: border-box; width: 50%; float: left; } .sbs-left { padding: 0 10px 0 0; } .sbs-right { padding: 0 0 0 10px; } }

RESOURCES

image: http://www.prophecynewswatch.com/images/shop/Convergence_200x200.jpg

The Coming Convergence DVD

1

image: http://www.prophecynewswatch.com/images/shop/BrokenBread_200x200.jpg

Broken Bread: An Ancient Look at the First Last Supper

2

image: http://www.prophecynewswatch.com/images/website/DTF_DVD_200x200.jpg

Decoding the Book of Revelation (7-Discs)

3

image: http://www.prophecynewswatch.com/images/website/TFP_DVD_200x200.jpg

The Final Prophecies (DVD)

4

Other News

April 19, 217Christian Conference Threatened By Armed Islamic Radical – Only The Start?

Christian conference attendees may have narrowly escaped becoming next Facebook livestream victims….

Read Full Story

April 19, 2017Syria And The End Times

What does the Bible have to say about Syria and the end times?…

Read Full Story

April 19, 2017Rise Of The Sultan: Turks Vote to Give Away Their Democracy

This election was all about endorsing an ambitious man who promises to revive a glorious past….

Read Full Story

April 19, 2017Homeschooling Now Booming – In Russia!

Homeschooling was previously banned in Russia for most of the last century….

Read Full Story

April 17, 2017 Will Nuclear Deterrent Keep North Korea EMP Threat At Bay?

A significant EMP attack properly carried out in the skies over the US could take down the nation’s electronic infrastructure….

Read Full Story

April 17, 2017Why Don’t We Care About The Slaughter Of Christians?

Christians are slaughtered by ISIS while attending services on Palm Sunday and there is barely a national yawn. How can this be?…

Read Full Story

April 17,2017Is This What You Mean By ‘Equality’?

Do the feminists of the world really want to engage in head-to-head athletic competition with their male peers?…

Read Full Story

Get Breaking News

© 2017 Prophecy News Watch. All Rights Reserved. Located in Coeur D Alene, Idaho – USA. Call Toll Free: 1-877-561-4442 Email: Info@ProphecyNewsWatch.com

image: http://www.prophecynewswatch.com/images/website/facebook.png

 

Read more at http://www.prophecynewswatch.com/article.cfm?recent_news_id=1177#PHcEayHqyVOzveu6.99

If Hillary Clinton Wins The Election, She Will Finish The Job That Barack Hussein Obama Started, And America Will Forever Be Destroyed

As we move toward Election Day on November 8th, polls show that the American people are searching for a “change agent” to remove the human scum that has collected around the position of power and wealth in the nation’s Capital over the last half-century. Solomon observed, “Take away the wicked from before the king, and his throne shall be established in righteousness.”*

Michael V. Fox comments, “Before a silver vessel can be cast, the ore must be refined by melting it down and removing its impurities. So too must the king remove the human scum that collects around the power and wealth of the royal court in order to allow his reign to rest firmly on righteousness.”

What is happening in America on November 8th is so much bigger than a choice between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. What’s happened to Kentucky Clerk Kim Davis, WA State’s Barronelle Stutzman, Seattle Coach Joe Kennedy, plus the codifying of homosexual intercourse and marriage by the U.S. Supreme Court, and transgender bathrooms forced upon public schools by a corrupt and lawless Obama administration is just the beginning if Hillary Clinton is elected president.


America is about to learn something that can be learned in no other way, freedom and liberty are unsustainable without God. “The Kingdom of Judah never recovered from the spiritual degradation which he [Manasseh] had brought the nation. After forty-five years of court-sponsored paganism, Judean apostasy was so deeply entrenched that the sweeping reforms of the good king Josiah (640-609) could do no more than scratch the surface, but not for lack of trying.”**

The meteoric rise to fame of America came as a result of the Judeo-Christian foundation and Biblically based culture poured by America’s Founders. Since virtue and righteousness are key components of freedom and liberty, it’s easy to grasp why America is now largely indistinguishable from any other nation around the world, having become just another “heathen” nation.

As a result of Christian abandonment from the public square for the last three-quarters century, Secularism’s priests and values now saturate public education, higher learning, main street media, Big Business, Federal Courts, the U.S. Supreme Court, the Fortune 500, and Hollywood. Secular values impregnate every movie, song, book, magazine, and conversation in a nation that once established Christianity as the official religion of America in the original 13 Colonies.***

HISTORICAL BACKGROUND

America’s Founders established the people as the sovereign of America:

  • Thomas Jefferson, “But the Chief Justice says, ‘There must be an ULTIMATE ARBITER somewhere.’ True, there must… The ULTIMATE ARBITER is THE PEOPLE.” 
    • Gouverneur Morris who signed the Constitution, “This magistrate is not the king. The PEOPLE are the KING.”
    • Signer of Constitution James Wilson, “SOVEREIGNTY resides in THE PEOPLE; they have not parted with it.”
    • James Madison, “The ULTIMATE AUTHORITY… resides in THE PEOPLE ALONE.”
    • John Jay, the First Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, “The PEOPLE are the SOVEREIGN of this country.” Read “Who is the King in America here:https://goo.gl/q5wqX9

    Historian, Bill Federer tells a story to illustrate the responsibility of the sovereign of America:

  • Imagine traveling through a kingdom to visit a KING, and on the way, you witness the KING’s servants committing crime and corruption.

    As you enter the KING’s chamber, he reluctantly asks you, ‘Did you see all the crime and corruption as you came in here… I wish someone would fix this mess’.

    This is like someone in America watching television, seeing politicians committing crime and corruption, and saying ‘I wish someone would fix this mess.’

    A finger should reach through the TV screen and tap them on the shoulder reminding them, ‘In America, you are the KING. You are responsible for fixing this mess’.

    You tap the KING on the shoulder and remind him that HE is the KING, that it is HIS servants who are creating the problems, and that HE is the one responsible to fix the mess.
    It is the responsibility of Evangelical and Pro-Life Catholic Christians to fix this mess by:
    • Confronting secular, totalitarian, federal judges persecuting Christians who are refusing to participate in homosexual weddings
    • Defying the U.S. Supreme Court for imposing homosexual marriage on this once Christian nation
    • Facing down city councilmen and councilwomen who are placing our daughters at risk of sexual molestation by voting to open girl’s locker rooms and showers to perverted and immoral men

    It is our responsibility. Christians founded America-not secularists, agnostics, or atheists.America is headed toward collapse unless we act.

    PLAN OF ACTION

    1. PRAYER MUST BE REESTABLISHED IN AMERICA’S CHURCHES, LED BY THE SENIOR PASTOR

    2. PASTORS MUST DRIVE THEIR FLOCKS TO THE POLLS ON NOVEMBER 8TH

    We need a Gideon or Rahab to make a stand.

    David Lane
    American Renewal Project

    * Proverbs 25:5,
    ** Daniel L. Block, The Book of Ezekiel
    *** William Federer, The Original 13
    If you missed it, watch Newt Gingrich’s 8-minute address to North Carolina pastors. https://vimeo.com/185343458

<><   Pray and Vote   <><

Christianity Lite / Part 2

Some folks believe the Christian faith gives them both the Lord and the world.  The desire is merely to have fire insurance when they pass on to eternity.  Commitment is not in their vocabulary.  They remind me of the old Brylcreem commercial that tells us that “a little dab will do you.”  Remember?  You Tube flash back below:

I have met quite a few church hoppers through the years.  You know, whereas their “commitment” is one hour at a different church every other week.  I believe their understanding of the truth of Christianity is usually real, yet their heart, hands, feet and time do not follow their profession.  They intentionally find invented “problems” wherever they go, because if they did not, they might be expected or asked to be part of a time consuming ministry in the local church.  So, the preacher is too “hellfire and brimstone” in his delivery, or he is too soft, the choir is too old fashioned, no one pays attention to me, etc., etc., etc.  There is always an excuse, because not to have one would force us to be (Dare we say it?) ACCOUNTABLE.  They then attend another church in this never ending cycle.  Their only commitment is to non commitment.  Whenever they are spoken of, one can always say:  “They are attending another church.”   

Image result for picture of bunny rabbit church hoppers

They desire an inoculation and not a saturation.  We are talking “touch base” Christianity.   They follow movements, personalities and teachings – and they carefully hold them at arms length as they are already planning on their exit strategy.  I have spoken to people who tell visitors from the local church, that “they go to the other church in town,” playing both ends against the middle, and in reality they consistently attend no church in town.  Having been in the ministry for awhile, I am on to their slipping through the cracks and flying under the radar shenanigans, and I have no positive feeling when they come, anticipating their soon departure for greener pastures for whatever their newly concocted reason(s).  Of course we always pray for a change of heart.   

A careful reading of the Word of God however, tells us that this is always the case.  There are many professors and few possessors.  Let us close this devotional with the challenging Words of our Lord and Savior:

Matthew 7  

  13 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:  

14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.

22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?

23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

******************

Real believers produce real fruit.  Real believers desire to do more than blend in with the woodwork and continually look for another church.  The difference?  Jesus Christ has their heart, and they are truly born from above.  They are chomping at the bit to serve, and do not even have to be asked.  They are best summed up as truly living Romans 12:1  “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.”

Image result for picture of bunny rabbit church hoppers

It is inexcusable for anyone to consider themselves a committed Christian, who go for years without membership and consistent attendance in the local church of their choice!  Real salvation, sacrifice and service go together like love and marriage and like a horse and carriage.  Pretenders stick out like dead branches on a tree that are soon swept away.  When Jesus has your heart, He has all of you, and you enjoy rubbing elbows with others who are just as imperfect as you are!  You think about that.

Pastor Steve

Southern Baptist Convention ~ June 12-15, 2016 ~ Part 13

Southern Baptist Convention   ~   June 15, 2016    ~    St. Louis

Ted Traylor    ~    Convention Sermon

Message:  Unity Over Self

Illustrations:  1)Absalom.  2)Instead of standing shoulder to shoulder, we look at, and fight each other.

Psalm 133  King James Version (KJV)

133 Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!

It is like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron’s beard: that went down to the skirts of his garments;

As the dew of Hermon, and as the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion: for there the Lord commanded the blessing, even life for evermore.

Steve Gaines and J.D. Greer had a beautiful display of this Psalm and Unity as they ran for SBC president!  They placed unity over self.

1)Unity is released.  The oil runs down the high priest.  In the 133rd Psalm, oil is referred to running down Aaron’s beard and garments.

2)Unity is refreshing.  The dew from Mt. Hermon will flow down to Zion.

3)Unity is rewarding.  It is reflected by cooperation.  Love one another.  Refuse to be stingy and critical.  Refuse disunity.  In 1931, the Southern Baptists achieved  unity through the Cooperative Program (CP), the International Missions Board (IMB), and the North American Missions Board (NAMB).  The CP is unifying and scriptural.

John 17:20-23  King James Version (KJV)

20 Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word;

21 That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.

22 And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:

23 I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.

 

Southern Baptist Convention ~ June 12-15, 2016 ~ Part 11

Southern Baptist Convention   ~   June  14, 2016    ~    St. Louis

President’s Address:  Ronnie Floyd

Paul Ryan (Speaker of the House):  “The stakes could not be higher.”

Theme: Racism

Message:  The Stakes Are High – God gave Ronnie this message after twenty one days of fasting and prayer.  In the midst of terrorism, we have called 1,000 missionaries home.

We want to save a gorilla and murder babies.  Gay marriages are accepted.  Rainbow colors fly over the White House.  Our religious liberties in America are at stake.  The Israelites were taken to Babylon.

Esther 4:13-17

13 Then Mordecai commanded to answer Esther, Think not with thyself that thou shalt escape in the king’s house, more than all the Jews.

14 For if thou altogether holdest thy peace at this time, then shall there enlargement and deliverance arise to the Jews from another place; but thou and thy father’s house shall be destroyed: and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?

15 Then Esther bade them return Mordecai this answer,

16 Go, gather together all the Jews that are present in Shushan, and fast ye for me, and neither eat nor drink three days, night or day: I also and my maidens will fast likewise; and so will I go in unto the king, which is not according to the law: and if I perish, I perish.

17 So Mordecai went his way, and did according to all that Esther had commanded him.

We are here at the right time to accomplish the purposes of God.

If Satan cannot get us to do the wrong thing, he will get us to do the right thing in the wrong way.  Both are sin.

America is in a crisis.  We face either an awakening, or falling into an abyss.  America is in an economic, relational and racial crisis.  “All men are created equal.”  Declaration of Independence.  Dread Scott Decision.

1)Now is the time for Southern Baptists to come together.

John 17:21 King James Version (KJV)

21 That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.

2)Now is the time for Southern Baptists to lead.  Structures are needed to support the work of the church.

3)Now is the time for Southern Baptists to evangelize.  Evangelism is the main thing, but is dying in our denomination and churches.

4)Now is the time for Southern Baptist to give.  Cooperative Program (CP).

5)Now is the time for Southern Baptists to prayer.  We are meeting to pray tonight.  Acts 4:31  “And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness.”

Bring prayer back to the schools, but also bring it back to the church!  9/11/01  2996 people were killed, 6,000 were injured.  We need 1)prayer and a 2)great awakening.

Jeremiah 7:28   “But thou shalt say unto them, This is a nation that obeyeth not the voice of the Lord their God, nor receiveth correction: truth is perished, and is cut off from their mouth.”  -We do not want to be this nation.  Ronnie Floyd closed the message with an altar call for pastoral commitment.

**********

Jerry Young spoke on A National Conversation On Racial Unity in America.  He referred to the recent tragedy in South Carolina.  Racism is a sin problem.  We are salt and light.  We are contaminated salt and concealed light.  We need to press the salt and turn on the lights.  The one who murdered nine in Charleston wanted to create fear and terror – but he went to the wrong place – to church.  “Love is greater than hate.”  Marshall Blalock

2015 Second Orlando Prophecy Summit, Part 41

Jim Fletcher    ~    The Plague Of Replacement Theology

…this is the view that God has replaced Israel and the Jewish people with the church.  This view used to be held in mainline churches, seminaries and in Catholicism.  Today, however, this problem has entered the evangelical community.  It spans all denominations.  Their desire is to minimize the uniqueness of the Jewish people and the state of Israel.  The issue of Israel is paramount proof that we are living in the last days.  This is a time in history where the Jews have reentered history.  This is astonishing.  A repeated theme in scripture is after the Jewish people spent a long period in exile, they will return to their ancient homeland.  In 1945 the Nazis killed six million Jews in Europe.  Three years later (1948) Israel was established, and today six million Jews are living there!  Many in the church culture in our nation are missing this point or want to miss it.  There is a sharp downturn towards the nation of Israel and Bible prophecy among evangelical leadership.

What is the answer towards antisemitism?  Why are people like this?  Why does it exist?  The hatred of the Jews is a spiritual sickness.  It has entered some of the American church.  An understanding of God’s redemptive plan is  the answer to antisemitism around the world.  Biblical illiteracy in our country today is at an all time high, it is frightening.  The view that the Bible is myth entered the blood stream of the American church in the 19th century.  This is one reason why the American church is ineffective today.  The so called nation of Palestine was created in order to get rid of the Jews.  Liberals claim the Biblical miracles are metaphors.

Replacement theology is the teaching that the Christian church has replaced national Israel regarding the plan, purpose, and promises of God.  Therefore, many of the promises that God made to Israel must be spiritualized.  Justin Martyr (AD 160) in speaking to the Jews said:  “The scriptures are not yours, but ours.”  [The Bible was written by Jews, it was lived by Jews, Jesus Christ and the apostles were Jews].  Irenaeus, Bishop of Lyon (AD 177) declared:  “Jews are disinherited from the grace of God.”  Tertullian (AD 160-230), in his treatise, “Against the Jews,” announced that God had rejected the Jews in favor of the Christians.  The Assemblies Of God and the Southern Baptist Convention are being targeted by replacement theology.  Calvary Chapel rebuffed this false theology.  Jesus was NOT a Palestinian.  He was a Jew who lived in the land of Israel.  The American church has turned their back on Israel.  They do not like Jews.  They are told they are greedy and start all of the wars in the world.  These are all of the old medieval antisemitic lies repackaged for new audiences.

Three men control the direction of the evangelical church in America.  1)Rick Warren on the west coast, 2)Bill Hybels in middle America, and 3)Andy Stanley on the east coast.  Lynne Hybels, Bill’s wife, is an enthusiastic supporter of the Palestinian narrative.  As a co founder of the Willow Creek association, she is in favor of the PLO and blames Israel for everything.  “Hank Hanegraaff’s blend of preterism and idealism produces an eschatology that is viciously anti-Israel and pro-Palestinian.  His brand of replacement theology teaches that national Israel has no future since she is replaced by the church.”  -Thomas Ice.

How do we handle this?  We need to confront error boldly.  Ask replacement theologians to explain the existence of the Jewish people in Israel today, after centuries of exile.  Use your sphere of influence in order to emphasize truth.

**********

Note:  At the June, 2016 Southern Baptist Convention in St. Louis, a small yet vocal minority promoted Replacement Theology during our business session.  By the grace of God, the overwhelming majority of the messengers at the convention did not agree with their theology in the least.  Thank you Jesus, and God bless Israel.  Pastor Steve