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Looking for ways to connect with the divine when TV just doesn't cut it anymore
His rise to power is inconspicuous. Most people will not notice in the beginning. His rise will hardly raise the attention even of those who are closest to the center of action. He will rise up out of the masses. The combination of magnetic personality, speaking ability, and extreme good looks will make him virtually irresistible to the masses. When he comes on the scene, people will flock to him like flies to honey, and they will fall over themselves to do anything he asks.
The Antichrist will be Satan’s Superman, represented as a Beast (Revelation 13:1-18). During the last 3 ½ years of the Tribulation, the Antichrist will personify Satan himself. Second Thessalonians 2:9 says, “The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders.” He will persecute, torture, and kill the people of God, and lead the armies of the world into the climactic battle of Armageddon. He will be the most powerful dictator the world has ever seen, making Caesar, Hitler, Mao, and Saddam seem weak and tame by comparison.
Our clues to the identity of the Antichrist are that he comes from the masses; his personality is magnetic; and people will be drawn to his speaking ability and good looks. And, of course, his “power, signs, and lying wonders” in the last half of the Tribulation will leave no doubt that he is Antichrist.
—-Dr. David Jeremiah
I have searched the Internet and looked everywhere I can. I have watched and listened to commercials to see if I can find one. There just are not any out there. I cannot find anyone or any business that uses lower standard to bring in business and clients.
I cannot find a dentist or doctor that is offering discounts because he sterilizes his instruments after every third patient. I have looked for an automobile company that is advertising a lower price because they use lower-quality parts on their brakes. They just are not out there!
If there is a business in North America that is following the lead of contemporary churches to attract people, I just cannot find one! Where are they?
In fact, it is just the opposite. I found the following: Meijer, “higher standards”; Bank of America, ” higher standards”; Ford, “Quality is Job One”, etc. etc. British Columbia’s Minister of Education, George Abbot, wrote the following:
The plan consists of five key elements: personalized learning for every student; quality teaching and learning, flexibility and choice; higher standards; and learning empowered by technology.
I think if we talked to any company trying to compete in the marketplace, we would find that they are promoting higher standards for their business and top quality products. It seems that the business world knows that the higher they can keep their standards, the better the product they will produce, and the more clients and customers they will attract.
The Bible says in Luke 16:8, “For the children of this world are in their generation wiser than the children of light.” Why is that the only place where people seem to want to lower the standard is the church?”
I recently asked this question to a group of young adults, and one young man said, “Because we are wicked flesh.” What an astute answer! There is always a battle between our wicked flesh and the higher standards set forth by the Scripture.
Sadly, many churches are caving in to the desires of fleshly members and lowering their standards. The church is the only place where people do not understand that lower standards equal lower quality. Maybe this is the reason we are so powerless in impacting our communities of Christ.
Now is the time for local churches to begin promoting “higher standards” like the companies listed above. While doing so, we should also instruct our church family that having higher standards is a good thing. Higher standards produce better quality. Everyone in the business world knows this, and we should as well.
Second, when higher standards are promoted, we attract people who are looking for quality. There are people who are sick and tired of churches that lower their standards, but we are afraid to promote that we have a higher standard. We should never be ashamed of belonging to a church where one strives for a high standard. People in our communities will attend churches with higher standards when they understand that higher standards are a good thing, even for churches.
Third, when presented properly, higher standards develop stronger churches. It is time we begin to explain to our church families the biblical reasons we hold to a higher standard. When we do that, they will not be tempted to take their families to the churches that are luring them away with worldliness and entertainment.
Satan has used the contemporary church movement to attract people from our churches by lowering their standards in music preaching and dress. The philosophy of this movement is that God is not interested in high standards. They have taken this argument and promoted it so much that people believe it without even thinking it through.
Please consider this carefully. Not one business would promote lower standards. They know that lower standards do not stand for high quality, and people want the highest quality they can get. Neither should the church lower its standards. We should never let the “children of this world be wiser than the children of light.”
—Dr. Earl Jessup
General Director, Baptist Church Planting Ministry
NOTE FROM ADMINISTRATOR: This article is very pointed and shows us where many churches have fallen from the gospel and biblical teaching and preaching. This is very much what Rich Warren’s Purpose Driven philosophy is all about. Have you looked at your church recently to take an inventory? Are they trying to draw crowds with entertainment and/or not preaching the entire Word of God? If so, you may want to seek out a “Bible believing, gospel preaching church” in your area.
“Your glorying is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? Therefore purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened. For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us.” 1 Corinthians 5: 6,7
That’s what a man asked me several years ago. I was at a service station in Avondale Estates, Georgia, when a drunken man came walking up. I spoke to him and asked if he was a Christian.
“Oh, no,” he said. ”I”m not a Christian. I’m not sure God could even save me.” I assured him that God could save him–and not only could, but would, if he’d trust Him.
He cried and told me that he had left his family and had not seen them for three weeks and that they did not know where he was. ”Will you take me home?” he asked.
I said, “Why, sure, I’ll take you home.” I thought that on the way home I’d have an opportunity to lead him to Christ.
We started out in the automobile together. ”Which way?” I asked.
“Take a left.”
We drove for a few miles, and I said, “Now, you must show me the way to go. I don’t know where you live.” After a few miles, he told me to take another left. By this time we were on Highway 78 and headed toward Stone Mountain. We drove on by Stone Mountain and then on to Snellville. By then, we were thirty or forty miles outside of Atlanta, and it occurred to me that I had not asked the man where he lived.
“Sir, where do you live?” I asked. Without battling and eye he replied, “Boiling Springs, North Carolina.”
I thought, Good night! I can’t take this man to Boiling Springs, North Carolina. That’s over two hundred miles. Well, I reasoned, I told him I’d take him home. The poor man is drunk and wants to go back to his family. I’m going to take him home.
I stopped at the next service station and called my wife. ”Honey,” I said, ”I’ll be late coming home tonight. I’m going to take a man home.”
There was silence on the phone for a minute, and then she asked, “Where in the world does he live?”
I laughed and said, “Boiling Springs, North Carolina. Don’t ask me any questions about it now. I’ll tell you about it when I get home tonight.”
We started out again. As I drove, I prayed that God would sober the man up before we got to Boiling Springs so I could lead him to Christ. The man fell asleep. I kept driving and praying.
After an hour or so, he awoke. He looked around the car as if he didn’t know where he was. Then he looked at me and said, “Mister, I’m as sober as a judge!”
I said, “Are you sure?”
“I ought to know,” he said. ”I’ve been drunk most of my life. I’m sober!”
I said, “Well, I’m taking you home.” He cried and told me he had sold everything he could sell before he left home.
He said, “I don’t know what my family will think when I get there, but I want to go home.”
“Well, you ought to go back home a new man.” I said.
“What do you mean?” he asked.
I pulled over to the side of the road, took my Bible and led the man to Christ. I was blessed to hear this poor man sob and pray and tell Jesus Christ that he would trust Him as Saviour. He was happy! He literally clapped his hands.
Now he was anxious to get home, and I broke the speed limit, because I was anxious to get him there.
When we arrived in Boiling Springs, he directed me to the backside of town to a little shack. I knocked on the door, and a lady answered. She held one child in her arms, and two or three other children played on the floor.
I said, “Ma’am, I’m Curtis Hutson. I brought your husband home.” She stood silent. I continued, “Ma’am, your husband is a new man. He has accepted Jesus Christ as his Saviour. He wants to make a Christian home. Wouldn’t you like to have that kind of home?”
“Oh, yes!” she said, and invited me in. There were only a few pieces of furniture in the house. I sat down, took my Bible and led the lady to Christ. Before I left, I saw the man and his wife hug and kiss and vow that they would set out to make a Christian home.
I drove into the early hours of the morning, but I enjoyed every moment of it. I cried and prayed and rejoiced that God had given me the opportunity to take a poor drunk home and show him from the Bible how he could go to the heavenly Home.
Was it worth it—all those hours of driving for just two souls? I think it was. No price is too great to pay for a soul, as is evidenced by the death of Jesus Christ on the cross.
—Dr. Curtis Hutson
Greg asked Gary Stearman of Prophecy in the News this question regarding “the sin unto death” that is mentioned in 1 John 5:16,17.
Here is the question and Gary’s answer:
Question: If sin is sin and all sin leads to death, then why does the Scripture say that there is a “sin unto death,” and “all unrighteousness is sin. . .?” There’s a lot more going on here and from this verse, [we see] that there are different types of sins, and that not all sin leads to death.
You are referring to the following verses, which convey one of the most difficult concepts in the Bible:
“If any man see his brother sin a sin which is not unto death, he shall ask, and he shall give him life for them that sin not unto death. There is a sin unto death: I do not say that he shall pray for it. All unrighteousness is sin : and there is a sin not unto death.” (1 John 5:16,17). (KJV)
The New King James Version renders this verse: (inserted by the Administrator)
“If anyone sees his brother sinning a sin which does not lead to death, he will ask, and He will give him life for those who commit sin not leading to death. There is sin leading to death. I do not say that he should pray about that. All unrighteousness is sin, and there is sin not leading to death. “
What is being spoken of here is physical death. John is not talking about spiritual death. If one is born again, he possess eternal life. He is telling us that it is possible for a believer to commit a sin that results in being called home by the Father. If the situation warrants, He can and will physically remove an individual from this life on Earth, perhaps because he is bringing shame upon God’s name and upon the church.
In Acts Chapter Five, we have the example of Ananias and Sapphira. They lied in the presence of God’s Holy Spirit and many church members about the amount they gave to support the early church, saying that it was the full amount they had gained by selling a piece of land. But really, they had secretly held back part of the money for themselves. They wanted to enhance their public reputation, giving a false impression of themselves. Both immediately died for their duplicity. God expects honesty, and they were made a permanent example of this fact.
In the Old Testament, Moses and Aaron committed a lapse of faith . . . they lost their tempers. For this, both of them were denied entry into the Promised Land; they died. (See Numbers 20:12).
And then there is the illustration given in 1 Corinthians, Chapter Eleven. Many of the Corinthian believers had shamefully displayed selfishness and drunkenness at the Lord’s Supper. Paul chastises them for this adding:
“For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep” (1 Corinthians 11:30).
Here, Paul warns believers that failure to exhibit the proper respect, morality and public behavior can result in God’s judgment, up to and including physical death. A sin “not unto death” is God’s way of saying that some sin among believers will result in chastisement that leaves one still alive in this world.
The three cases above are not examples of the unpardonable sin. But they do show that it is possible for a child of God to be taken home on the basis of his bad behavior. Nevertheless, in heaven, he is still God’s child. The idea of God, that you can’t habitually disgrace the name of God, while at the same time remaining smugly content that you are portraying a convincing image of piety and faithfulness.
The three examples above show that God rejects hypocrisy, uncontrolled passion and restrained public behavior. In the Bible, there are many other examples along these lines. But I hope that these three will serve to illustrate the idea expressed by John and to answer your question.
In the 1980′s, a radio station reported a story about a stolen car in California. Police were staging an intense search for the vehicle and the driver. They even went so far as to place announcements on local radio stations to contact the thief.
Why was it so important for this car to be found?
Unknown to the thief, in the front seat of the stolen car sat a box of crackers laced with poison. The car owner had intended to use the crackers as rat bait.
The police, media and the owner of the car were more interested in apprehending the thief to save his life than to recover the car.
So often, when we run from God, we feel it is to escape His punishment. However, what we are actually doing is eluding His rescue.
Will you stop running , turn to God today and allow His healing touch to rescue you?
–Heal Me, O God, My Journal, April 2013
Those that preach the “Prosperity Gospel” are very successful in getting you to send your money to them. They then “brainwash” their followers so they will perpetuate the “giving.” This insures them million of dollars to spend as they see fit to further their lavish lifestyles.
Oh, yes, some of them may drill a water well in Africa or show giving food to the poor on their television programs, but ask yourself, just how much do they take in when they show these poor helpless souls? They may spend “pennies” (literally) to drill a water well compared to the millions of dollars they take in via their programs.
But the worst part of all is that their teachings are from “demons.”
1 Timothy 4:1-2, “Now the Spirit explicitly says that in the latter times some will depart from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and the teachings of demons, through the hypocrisy of liars whose consciences are seared.” (Holman CSB)
2 Peter 2:1-3, “But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. they will secretly bring in destructive heresies , even denying the Master who bought them and will bring swift destruction on themselves. Many will follow their unrestrained ways, and because of them the way of truth will be blasphemed. In their greed they will exploit you with deceptive words. Their condemnation, pronounced long ago, is not idle ,and their destruction does not sleep.” (Holman CSB)
Who are some of these false prophets who are set on exploiting you? (Word of Faith, i.e. Prosperity Gospel preachers)
Paul Crouch- -Trinity Broadcasting Network
Marilyn Hickey and daughter, Sarah
Fred K.C. Price
***Note: These are just a few of the false teachers promoting their wares on television, radio and through their books. You are actually opening your mind to “teachings from demons” when you continue to view their programs, support their ministries and buy their books.
Many people have been “so taught” from these people that they actually believe and hold to many false beliefs themselves and are totally unaware of it. When told what the Bible actually says, they become very defensive, argumentative and down right “ugly” in their attitudes toward the Truth and those that preach the truth.
Take a look at the first video and Dr. John MacArthur gives you information on the Prosperity Gospel.
Pastor John MacArthur preaches against the prosperity gospel advocated by various heretics, exposing their teaching as a satanic, false Christianity and false view of God. He calls several out by name, including Benny Hinn, Joyce Meyer, and Kenneth Copeland, and says he believes that they all hate the true God.
This is an excerpt from John MacArthur’s sermon, “A True Knowledge of the True God.” Used by permission. You can read the transcript, watch, or download the full video here: http://www.gty.org/Resources/Sermons/…
Then take a look at the second video which shows Jesse Duplantis’ newly acquired lavish home and jets (this is just a small example of how lavish the lifestyles of these individuals can be).
Yes, they earn their money and according to some, they should be able to spend it on what they want. The problem that they are overlooking is the multi-million dollar salaries and the lavish lifestyles.
The money is coming from viewers who are being “exploited” and taught “doctrines of demons”. . . . not biblical Truth.
BACK TO BASICS
“I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.”
When I first heard the news, I was stunned. Only days before we had been scrunched together in the backseat of a compact car. ”Hank,” Glenn had said urgently, “don’t ever forget! You only have one life. Soon it will be past. Only what you do for Christ will last.”
The words had not meant much to me then. But now, with the news that Glenn was dead, they hit me with hurricane force. I just could not believe it. In a flash he had been changed from mortality to immortality.
I met Glenn just days before going into full-time Christian work. He immediately became a role model. Not only was he an equipped Christian who could articulately share his faith, but he was committed to training others to do so as well.
On day he urged me to make my life count; the next his life came to an abrupt end. The newspaper headline ”4 Killed When Balloon Hits Wires and Burns” seemed to say it all. The story behind the story, however, provided a completely different perspective.
Glenn’s wife, Gail, gave him an early Christmas surprise. It was something he had long dreamed of–the exhilaration of a hot-air balloon ride. And now, early one Saturday morning, he and two of his friends were poised for the thrill of a lifetime.
Glenn and his friends has a zest for living. But they loved the Lord even more than they loved life itself. Before taking off, they told their wives and loved ones they were looking forward to sharing their faith with the pilot of the balloon.
Their families were thrilled as they watched the brightly colored balloon rise magnificently into the air. With a great excitement they followed its pristine path through the blue skies over Fort Lauderdale.
Suddenly their ecstasy turned to agony The gondola struck a high-tension wire and was instantly engulfed in flames. The added heat shot the balloon upward. Then the inevitable occurred. In full view of their loved ones, the men and their pilot plunged from the sky to their deaths on the ground below.
If ever there was a time to test the truth of the verse “Death has been swallowed up in victory” (1 Corinthians 15:54), that time was at hand. The three courageous women who watched their loved ones fall stood fast in the midst of heartrending pain— not because of their own strength, but because of God’s strength had been made perfect in their weakness.
These women turned tragedy into a tremendous testimony for Christ. Gail, who like Glenn was an equipped Christian , shared her faith with an unbeliever who was badly shaken in the face of death. Not only did she personify the peace that Christ brings in the midst of the tempest, but she also displayed the assurance that her husband leaped from the heat of the flames into the arms of his heavenly Father.
Lois, as her husband, Jack, had committed herself to Christ’s Great Commission, sharing her faith with reporters from around the globe. To a journalist in Miami she reportedly said, “Write this down! We know that our loved ones are in heaven, not because of their own works but because of their faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ.” She then spoke of the peace and joy and life that only the Lord can bring to the human heart.
Kathy’s faith moved us all. Her fiance, Rick, died before her eyes. Yet she bore eloquent testimony to the triumph that only Christ can bring out of tragedy. But the testimony of her life that day was not nearly as meaningful to me as the testimony of her lips months earlier. Back then, she had been simply a frightened evangelism trainee who desperately wanted to know how to share her faith effectively. Along with the two others, she had knocked on my door while I was still a hardened skeptic. That night I saw the reality of Christ in her life in a way I had never seen. The seeds she planted not only lead to my conversion but also had an impact on what I am doing today.
You see, although I had grown up in a Christian home and was the product of a godly heritage, I had never been willing to become a disciple of Christ. Deep down inside I knew that to surrender to Christ meant to submit to His lordship. And that I was not willing to do. I did not want to be deprived of the pleasures this world had to offer. And so for twenty-nine years I chose rebellion rather than repentance.
Yes, you could find me in church from time to time. But I was not there because I wanted to extend God’s kingdom; rather, my goal was to extend my own. My eyes were not fixed on things above but focused on things below. I strove for happiness. For moving from one “happening” to another. For grabbing for all the gusto. But I always came up empty. Regardless of my outward successes, I was never inwardly satisfied.
The night Kathy called on me, I was exposed to what it truly means to be a disciple of Christ. While I was padding my life with passing earthly pleasures, Kathy was pursuing eternal heavenly treasures. It wasn’t until I caught her eternal perspective that my life was radically transformed.
Jesus warned His followers that He was not merely a means to their ends but that He was the end.
“Do not work for food that spoils,” He said, “but for food that endures to eternal life” (John 6:27). Paul echoed the warning when he said, “We brought nothing into this world, and we can take nothing out of it.” We would do well, said Paul, to lay up treasure for the coming age and in this way take hold of life that is truly life (1 Timothy 6;7, 19).
Are you looking for the real thing? Setting your heart on things above is where you’ll find true contentment!
This earth is not your dwelling place; you’re on your way to another kingdom. Suddenly there will be that crushing pain in your pericardium or the crashing of glass and you will be translated from the temporary to the eternal. In a microsecond, everything will change. The prosperity message will have lost its luster, and some of us will no doubt wonder why we did not spend more time pursuing the eternal.
When tragedy struck, Kathy’s faith did not fail. Why not? Because she had been looking for God in all the right places. That’s what getting back to basics is all about.
—Hank Hanegraaff, Christianity in Crisis