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Gods Gives Freedom Religion Enslaves.

13 “But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut the kingdom of heaven in people’s faces. For you neither enter yourselves nor allow those who would enter to go in.
15 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel across sea and land to make a single proselyte, and when he becomes a proselyte, you make him twice as much a child of hell as yourselves. – Matthew 23:13-15

If you read about the Pharisees and religious leaders in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John you will find how terrible they treated people.

The Pharisees were consumed with fulfilling their religious agendas. They would go to any means in order for their agenda to be accomplished, even to the degree of killing the Son of God.

Jesus called them “white washed tombs” having the appearance of good but inwardly evil. In the name of God, holiness, religion, and truth they believed what they were doing was good.

Today we have religious leaders as well. Today’s religious leaders are not quite going to the extreme of killing or throwing people in prison but the attitude, and belief are similar in nature. They believe they are fulfilling the will of God by creating religious bound agendas that they expect others to fulfill. As Christians we must break free from this religion and begin to establish Gods kingdom.

Jesus came to set to people free. Jesus came to liberate those that are oppressed (Luke 4:18) When you look at the life of Jesus in the Gospels you will see that the people he encountered were liberated. He opened the eyes of blind, healed those that were crippled and mute, and was gracious and merciful to prostitutes.

The life Jesus lived challenged the religious system and made those in power very angry. Jesus lived a free life, he said that he only did what he saw his father doing.

As believers let’s learn and educated ourselves so that we do not make the mistakes of becoming religious people. Let us be a free people who seek liberty, life, and freedom.

In this world you will have troubles

In John 16:33 Jesus says, “ I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble.But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

You take this even to another greater notch we can look at Matthew 24:9

Jesus says, “ Then you will be handed over to be persecutedand put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. “
In this world we will have trials, challenges, and problems but Jesus promises he will be with us as we go. He prepares a table before us in the presence of our enemy’s.

The struggles are real and they must be resisted through prayer, fasting, and fellowship. If we truly want to live with biblical integrity and holiness in a fallen world we must fight the battle.

All too often we are taught to fight through busyness, and expelling energy. This will not win spiritual battles! Spiritual battles will only be won with spiritual weapons. This why Jesus speaks of some only coming out through prayer and fasting.

Because of the victory that Jesus accomplished through his death and resurrection we are still guaranteed certain victories and blessings, but there are still some that we will only have access to through fighting spiritual battles. Let me explain… A promise of God will always be kept on his part. He will follow through always without question. It is not God that has to adjust for us, it is us that must adjust so that we can begin to comprehend rightly. Your definition of God does not make it true. He is constant and never changing, so if anyone is wrong we can safely say it is not him.

In light of that, if he has certain promises in his word such as, I will never leave you nor forsake you. When you feel like he is not there it’s something that needs to adjust in you because his promises are always yes and amen.

Back to my original point! There are certain things we can access that are not promises, such as… this one will only come out through prayer and fasting. This implies that without action on our part it will not happen.

It is these areas in our life that we must seize. It is our responsibility! When I first got saved certain spiritual leaders in my life used to tell me something along the lines of: God has a plan for your life and he is faithful to bring it about. While there is certain truth that can be taken from that statement. The statement in and of itself just is not true. He will not fulfill our part for us. It is our responsibility to fulfill those prophetic words and callings over our lives.

The prophetic word is the glimpse of what we can accomplish but it is not a guarantee. If we look at the life of Joshua and even Caleb. They both got a glimpse with their own eyes of the promised land, but because of 8 other unbelievers they had to wait an additional 40 years to fulfill it.

Finally we see in Joshua 1 where God says to Joshua, 1 After the death of Moses the servant of the LORD, the LORD said to Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ assistant,
2 “Moses my servant is dead. Now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, you and all this people, into the land that I am giving to them, to the people of Israel.
3 Every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon I have given to you, just as I promised to Moses.
4 From the wilderness and this Lebanon as far as the great river, the river Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites to the Great Sea toward the going down of the sun shall be your territory.
5 No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life. Just as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you or forsake you.
6 Be strong and courageous, for you shall cause this people to inherit the land that I swore to their fathers to give them.
7 Only be strong and very courageous, being careful to do according to all the law that Moses my servant commanded you. Do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may have good success wherever you go. – Joshua 1:1-7

God had brought the prophetic destiny back around to Joshua and this time he wasn’t with those who didn’t believe.

Joshua owned his calling and began to take the land. For many chapters later we read of all the battles and opposing lands that Joshua conquered. This was his prophetic destiny and now he was actually doing it.

It is the same with us nothing has changed. Our prayers should be: God changed me into the man or woman who is capable of fulfilling that which you have prepared for me.

let’s be like Joshua! Let’s believe that this land is ours and take hold of the spiritual disciplines  it requires to birth our destiny.

 

Is this the Church’s finest hour?

Since March 26 this year flights began to stop from Europe to the US, businesses began to close, and sporting events were stopped. Our nation and our world has been closing up more and more.

So much of our attention as a country gets bogged down over time with sports, entertainment, movies, concerts, parties, Grammys, Hollywood, and so much more.

I believe we as the church have the greatest opportunity now to arise and let our light shine. So many of the distractions are gone. The people who lived for these distractions are having to turn to other places. Our world is in such a place of stillness and rest.

This is the church’s finest hour. Manipulations strategies to get people to church you will need to do anymore. Twisting peoples arms with false promises and a shallow Gospel you will not need this anymore either.

A pure and powerful Gospel message is needed during this time. A message of hope and a message of life and what better time than the Holy Week of Passover and Easter.

So how do we do this?

It’s simple, most won’t gather physically, so we go to social media means, videos, websites, phone calls, FaceTime, live feeds. Whatever way works for you, the time is now the opportunity is now. The season of rest his here and many are open and looking. Let’s give them a message of hope a message of life. The message that when we surrender ourself to Jesus he will come. When we surrender he will come!

He will come and bring healing, he will come and comfort, he will come and bring that wonderful life that he promises. The new life, where the old passes away and all things become new.

Post it, share it, record it, video it, YouTube it, whatever means works for you. Now is the time!

Happy Easter!

Will the Lord save his people from this trial?

In 1 Peter chapter 2 we see Peter opening up with challenging words for the church in regard to false prophets and teachers.

This follows a strong exhortation from Chapter 1 where Peter strongly urges the church to strengthen themselves in their faith so that they will not fall.

During this time of trail while this virus is spreading itself across the earth the people of God have a wonderful opportunity to strengthen ourselves.

Schools are closed, work is not happening, travels are suspended, but the word of God and our social presence for fellowship is strong. The people of God are strengthening themselves during this time of rest. Like a solider preparing himself for battle the people of God are preparing themselves for the greatest harvest and outpouring of the spirit we have ever seen.

After this word of encouragement from Peter in chapter 1 he gives a warning of false prophets and teachers who arise among the people of God and bring heresies.

For a few paragraphs Peter speaks of their end being destruction. Our God is mighty to save and deliver his people. We will not fear the terror of the night or the arrow that flies by days. We will watch and see the fall of the wicked.

You cannot stop the Church of Jesus. You can take our Bibles, take our liberties, take our pews, and take lives but the Chuch of Jesus Christ will never be stopped.

The Glory of the Lord will fill the earth as the waters cover the seas. The Lord will rescue the godly from trails and keep the unrighteous under punishment.

then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment until the day of judgment, – 2 Peter 2:9

After this time of resting and strengthening ourselves in the Lord passes we will see the greatest growth for the church of Christ we have ever seen.

Patrick

 

There is only one hope for America!

There is only one hope for America. Media, social media, and news outlets have tirelessly given hope to America through promises, statistics, relief money, and good leadership.

All of these are good in there own way, but they have failed to included at anytime that there is only one eternal hope for America and mankind. His name is Jesus! The giver of life, forgiver of sins, savior of man, light in the darkness.

The cdc, cnn, hospitals, doctors, nurses, governors, presidents, vaccine, medication or anything else will not give us eternal life.

If one person dies from this virus or 20 million die from the virus, the question should not only be: what could we have done to save more lives? But how could we have gotten this wonderful news of the saving power of Jesus into a sick and dying world.

On the day of judgment your medications, vaccines, doctorate degrees, savings accounts, 401k, retirement plans, or remorse will not find you favor in the sight of God. It will only be because of the precious blood of Jesus that you will be saved.

Today is the day for salvation not tomorrow. Jesus said, come unto me all who are weary or heavy laden and I will give you rest. Do not wait until your life is all put together to come to him. Surrender yourself to him and he will come. When you surrender yourself is when he comes. Surrender your life over to him and let him give you a new life and take you down a new path.

Today is the day!

Could this be the greatest time in history for the preaching of the Gospel?

With the Coronavirus in full swing there is a lot of talk that this coming week of April 6th could be the most difficult week yet for the USA.

While practicing the guidelines for social distancing I can’t help but notice the amount of interaction I see when I go out the grocery store or to the park for exercise.

With so many people out of work boredom sets in and people want to go out for exercise. Many people are reverting to being social… from a distance.

Jobs are gone, stores are closed, people are strongly encouraged stay home, yet so many are reverting to becoming social. Some in public and some online.

In the Bible we see Jesus share with his disciples to look for people who receive you. ( Matthew 10:5-15 & Matthew 10:40 )

Looking for those who are receptive is such a big advantage when it comes to the Gospel message being received. With so many distractions put on hold people are open. However this may not be true for every country and city it is for some.

Not only do we have social engagement as an opportunity but we also have fear. I would not ever promote fear or attempt to make people fearful however fear is a good motivator. Fear is never a good vehicle for someone coming to know Christ. Getting sick is not a good thing either but I sure am thankful that we have hospitals where we can be treated and get well.

Sometimes it is the problem that lead us to solution and right now we have a global problem on our hands with a lot of people looking for hope. The message of the Gospel is a message that delivers us from the powers of darkness and transfers us to the kingdom of life.

There is such a huge opportunity in front of us right now and we can seize this opportunity. Share with your neighbors, share with your friends, share with those in your city, online, through skype, or anywhere else that there is hope and it is an eternal hope that delivers us from death and destruction.

How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? 15And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!” g Romans 10:14-15

Are we seeing end times prophecy fulfilled?

There is a lot of talk right now regarding the Coronavirus, and it being a sign of the end times as the Bible records.

When we look at scripture we can find examples happing today that back up these claims such as the mentioning plagues, and natural disasters. (Revelation 13 & Matthew 24)

While we can see that the coronavirus is a plague when we look at history we can also see that a number of plagues and virus’s have happened long before the Covid-19.

Some may even argue that history will conclude we have gone through times that were a greater example to the fulfillment of end times prophecy than what we see now with the Coronavirus.

For example in the 1400s when the Black Plague swept across Europe killing off 1/3 of the population. Did you know this is also the era of the reign of the Catholic Church which was burning Christians at the stake and martyring off the Mennonites by the thousands? These times were very dark, oppressive, and could have been said “ The end must be here.” We know now that is not true as that was over 600 hundred years ago.

However, when we will look at history there was always one thing missing that was not there that is today. That is: that this Gospel will be preached to all nations and people and then the end will come. ( Matthew 24:14 ) We would not have been able to say this were true in any time in history except now. Many missiologists would say that we are very close to the gospel being preached to all people and nations. We are not there yet but very close.

With times becoming unsure and confusion settling in there is such a great opportunity for the Gospel to be preached.

It is times like these where people who do not have an eternal hope go looking for something. Some look in place that this world may even deem as good and others in areas that are clearly dark and not good.

Did you know just this last week Alcohol sales saw an increase by 50%. People as we speak are trying to drowned out their sorrows, pain or the reality of losing a job, or loved one.

Now is the time for the Church, now we should be on the front lines, now we should be preaching this glorious message that in the midst of death there is a life available for all people and it can only be found in the message of salvation. That Jesus delivers us from death and darkness and gives us a whole new life with him. People are looking for this life and you can give it to them. Will you go?