HOW TO BE READY FOR THE COMING OF THE LORD

“But the end of all things is at hand; therefore be serious and watchful in your prayers” (1 Pet. 4:7).

As time draws nearer to the coming of the Lord our attitude should be one of soberness and watchfulness. Every righteous generation of saints has eagerly anticipated the Lord’s coming. The biggest reason He has not come is understood in 2 Pet. 3:9.

“The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent” (2 Pet. 3:9).

The Lord does not want anyone to be lost. His delay is based on His love and patience for all mankind to allow them time and space to repent. Nevertheless, every true Christian is to anticipate the Lord’s coming with desire and eagerness.

A heartfelt desire for Christ’s immediate return was expressed by the early Christians and every righteous generation since then. Along with this desire there are exhortations to live a holy life, especially in the light of the Lord’s return drawing nearer.

“Therefore you do not lack any spiritual gift as you eagerly wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed. He will also keep you firm to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Cor. 1:7-8 NIV).

Here is a great promise that the Lord will keep us firm until the end so that we will be blameless at His coming.

Notice the same pattern in the following scriptural references. At the mention of the Lord’s coming there is almost always an exhortation to holiness. As the Lord’s return draws near we are to cast off the works of darkness and put on the Lord Jesus Christ, making no provision for the lusts of the flesh.

“And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed (this speaks of our complete salvation which includes our new resurrected bodies).  The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light. Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts (Rom. 13:11-14).

Once again, we see that as the day of the Lord’s return draws near, not only are we to maintain an anticipation for the new heavens and new earth, but we are exhorted to live holy and godly lives, making every effort to be found living peaceful, pure, and blameless lives.

“But the day of the Lord will come as unexpectedly as a thief. Then the heavens will pass away with a terrible noise, and the very elements themselves will disappear in fire, and the earth and everything on it will be found to deserve judgment. Since everything around us is going to be destroyed like this, what holy and godly lives you should live, looking forward to the day of God and hurrying it along. On that day, he will set the heavens on fire, and the elements will melt away in the flames. But we are looking forward to the new heavens and new earth he has promised, a world filled with God’s righteousness. And so, dear friends, while you are waiting for these things to happen, make every effort to be found living peaceful lives that are pure and blameless in his sight (2 Pet. 3:9-14).

We are admonished in the following verses again to keep the commandment Paul just gave in the preceding verses, without spot and blameless until the Lord comes.

“But you, O man of God, flee these things and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, gentleness. Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. I urge you in the sight of God who gives life to all things, and before Christ Jesus who witnessed the good confession before Pontius Pilate, that you keep this commandment without spot, blameless until our Lord Jesus Christ’s appearing (1 Tim. 6:11-14).

In this next scripture we are encouraged to abide in Him so that we’ll have confidence and not be ashamed when He comes.

“And now, little children, abide in Him, that when He appears, we may have confidence and not be ashamed before Him at His coming (1 Jn. 2:28).

In these next verses notice how the hope of being like Him when He is revealed at His coming has a purifying effect on our lives. This is not just a natural hope but it is a living hope, a hope that presses into being conformed to His image. As we behold the glory of the Lord in our hearts we are changed (2 Cor. 3:18).

“Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure” (1 Jn. 3:2-3).

This pattern is so consistent and so clear with every New Testament writer. In nearly every reference to the Lord’s coming there is almost always a strong exhortation to holiness and sanctification as well as a certain looking forward to and expectation of His return.

There are so many of these scriptures that we cannot refer to all of them. But I’m giving you a good number of them so that you can be fully convinced and persuaded of the unmistakably clear pattern of this theme in all the apostolic letters. Let’s look at three final verses.

“For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ (Tit. 2:11-14).

“Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Thes. 5:23).

“And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching” (Heb. 10:24-25).

Are you getting the full picture from these scriptures on what our position is to be at the Lord’s return? And if He does not return in our lifetime we are to have this same position when we depart and leave this earth to be with the Lord.

What the Lord sees in our lives is the position of our hearts – the longing, the yearning, and the burning desire for Him. The memorial in your life as a Christian is what you are doing inwardly in your heart toward God. That is called sanctifying the Lord in your heart (1 Pet. 3:15).

May it be so for everyone of us who calls themselves by His Name. As I stated in my last blog, pursuing and perfecting holiness is the main theme of all the apostolic letters, and all the more so as we see the Day approaching. It is time that all the churches emphasize what the early apostles emphasized.

The separation is here. While many are departing from the faith many are stepping up their pursuit of God. May our hearts burn with His holy fire.

PURSUING AND PERFECTING HOLINESS: THE THEME OF THE APOSTOLIC LETTERS

Pursue … holiness, without which no one will see the Lord: looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled” (Heb. 12:14-15).

“Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God” (2 Cor. 7:1).

The subject of holiness has taken a bad rap. It has almost become a dirty word, an outdated and primitive theme in many Christian circles. Nowadays Christians equate it with living by rules and dos and don’ts. Many equate it to legalism, salvation by works, or attempting to earn God’s approval from a system of works. But what does the Bible say about true holiness?

First of all, holiness is not salvation. Holiness is not something you pursue in order to obtain salvation; it is something you are set apart for after salvation. It is what true converts pursue and perfect in their new life and walk with God.
Holiness is the likeness of God. It is the total summation of all His attributes.

One of my favorite definitions of holiness as it applies to believers is that it is a moral dedication and a life committed to purity of thought, word, motive and deed. At the center of that definition is the fact of being set apart or consecrated to God’s purposes.

Holiness means that just as God is otherworldly, we as His chosen people are to be distinct and set apart from this world. In other words, we are not to be conformed to its ideals, patterns, and standards. Holiness is conformity to God’s nature and God’s will.

But even more importantly, holiness has to do with whom we belong to. To whom do we give our loyalty, love, and allegiance to? To be holy means that all we are and all we have belongs to God, not ourselves, and is set apart for His purposes. It means that every aspect of our lives is to be shaped and directed by God. He is our Lord and Master.

Is that not a beautiful thing? Why then has there been such a hush-hush and a deafening and even demonic silence about it in our modern day churches?

Before we were saved we served sin, the flesh, the world, and our own pleasures, but now that we’ve been saved we are to serve the Lord and His will and pleasure.

What many Christians fail to realize is that holiness, like a lively flowing stream that cuts through a dense forest, is the theme that runs through all the epistles. It is to be our post-salvation and post-Pentecost life and walk with God. It is what one Pentecostal scholar called “Pentecostal Pedestrianism” or “rule of the road”. It is the walk in the Spirit so that we will not fulfill the desires of the flesh (Gal. 5:16) (Rom. 8:13), and the pursuit of God and sanctification that we are to walk in for the rest of our lives, especially as the Lord’s coming draws nigh (1 Thes. 5:23).

The Christian life is not one of constant ecstasy where after being baptized in the Holy Ghost you live in a glory cloud. As much as I am a strong proponent of revival, if it does not lead to individuals walking in the Spirit, which is the essence of a holy life, it is not worth much.

We are not to reflect back on our own personal Pentecost and build a shrine around it as if to memorialize the experience as the peak of our entire Christian experience. Our calling is to live always in the now with God and press forward toward perfection, being conformed daily into His image. Simply put, the post-Pentecost calling is to “abide” in Him.

“Therefore let that abide in you which you heard from the beginning. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, you also will abide in the Son and in the Father” (1 Jn. 2:24).

The “afterward” of a Pentecostal blessing is walking in the Spirit. It is not the receding glow from a past day of an emotional high; it is a path where you maintain that glow “that shines ever brighter unto the perfect day” (Pr. 4:18). That abiding is to be so until He comes so that we will have confidence before Him and not be ashamed.

“And now, little children, abide in Him, that when He appears, we may have confidence and not be ashamed before Him at His coming” (1 Jn. 2:28). That “abiding” is the ongoing practice of righteousness (v 29) through the obedience of His Word.

“But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him. He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked” (1 Jn. 2:5-6).

It is certainly good and right to reminisce, rehearse, and rejoice in the sacredness of our new birth, the glory of our own personal Pentecost and baptism of power, but the danger is to live in the memory of it only. Let us remember that the years passed for those early Christians who participated in that glorious initial promised outpouring in the upper room (Acts 2). Those early years passed for Peter and John who were pillars in the Church. The years passed for Paul and Apollos, and all the others who shared in the blessing of a Pentecost as at the beginning (Acts 11:15). Unquestionably and undeniably, the baptism of the Holy Spirit was a vital essential and a requirement for all those who believed, and still is (Acts 8:15-17; 18:24-26; 19:2). However, it did not make them perfect for the post-Pentecost epistles and that which came “afterward” are full of practical exhortations to holiness and warnings against sin.

We affirm again that indeed holiness and sanctification are the supreme themes of the apostolic letters to the churches. The emphasis being on the gracious sufficiency of every saint to live a life of victory over the flesh, the world, and the devil in every area of life – whether it be at home with family, at work with employers and employees, or within the church and community. The epistles are full, full, full of such instructions while many churches today are nearly empty of any.

The overall body of teaching in the New Testament epistles implicitly implies that believers who had received the baptism of the Holy Spirit still needed to “put off the old man and put on the new man”, “be doers of the Word and not hearers only”, “be diligent to make your calling and election sure”, “contend for the faith”, and “work out your salvation with fear and trembling”. There was no automatic rule that once they had started well they were certain to go on well and finish well. The very opposite was true – their going on was dependent upon a constant appropriation of sanctifying grace and power through a continually renewed fullness of the Spirit, and faithful obedience to the Word.

It was also the regular care of the ministers of Christ to remind and exhort the believers in the various local assemblies to “not receive the grace of God in vain”, to “not be deceived”, “to not drift away”, “to stir one another to love and good works”, and to “be rich in good works”. Even in Christian churches that were throbbing with the supernatural manifestations of the Holy Spirit it was the habit of its ministers to expound on sound doctrine and teach and exhort the saints with all authority on living an exemplary life of holiness lest their testimony spoil their witness.

By the time the last books of the New Testament were being written, many already had fallen asleep in Christ; those that remained were “elders” in the most literal sense of the word. The last writer John used the term frequently. And what was his own personal attitude and teaching concerning the fullness of the Spirit that had come to him so long ago in Jerusalem? Simply this, as we’ve already made mention – that the anointing they had received of Him proved to be abiding; and that it was the calling of the anointed ones to abide in Him (1 John 2:27).

That, my friends, is holiness. And that is what the Church is to major on. It’s about time every church got that right.

RESTORING THE PROPHETIC DISTINCTION AND GLORIOUS PROCLAMATION OF THE CHURCH

“I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom: Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching.  For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers;  and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables” (2 Tim. 4:1-4). 

A lukewarm spirit incomparable to anything I’ve witnessed in my day has overtaken so many professing Christians. Many are falling away from a vibrant and living Christianity as the world gets all their attention. No longer are Christians in general open to penetrating and piercing preaching. They are afraid of truth that warns and convicts.

Years ago when I first started preaching I got discouraged after a meeting because no one responded to what I thought was a real word from God. The elderly pastor who had been around in the tent meetings of old with such names as Oral Roberts and Jack Coe encouraged me. He told that if my message had been preached back in that day the people would’ve made a run for the altar before I had even finished preaching.

Decades ago people wanted to hear about sin and true grace, the law, the cross, and the real gospel, repentance, holiness, and sanctification. Christians even enjoyed hell, fire, and brimstone messages. Today we’ve substituted “happy Christianity”. If it hurts the flesh and the feelings people don’t want it. They want flowery sounding words that tell them how wonderful they are and how God will prosper them and make all their dreams come true. Worse still, is that preachers accommodate their itching ears with more dainties for the sweet tooth. I fear that we are not properly preparing the majority of the Church for the day of battle when they will have to endure hardness and tribulation.

The important thing now in the marketplace of Christianity is to be a success, to be somebody, to have material goods, and enjoy the good life, which to many Christians, simply means fulfilling the American dream of happiness, peace, and prosperity. Instead of having gatherings where prayer, repentance, and revival are the focus, the popular notion is to emphasize entertainment, technology, arts, and culture. Of course, we attach a nice little pep talk to it using some scriptures. And if a minister already has a large building and a large following people will believe whatever he says. There is such a spiritual poverty on the listeners who swallow anything a popular, elevated teacher says without ever checking the Scriptures to see if it is really so.

The glory of preaching has diminished in these modern times. We’ve forgotten that the Church is the only entity on the earth that carries the responsibility and stewardship of public proclamation. A value and esteem for holy Scripture has diminished. Paralyzed by worldly distractions it is only a minority now that really savors the living word.

The Church has lost its prophetic distinction in the world because of its own worldliness. Like Samson we’ve fallen into the lap of Delilah and allowed her to take our strength. Ministers have failed to function effectively in their high priestly role of prayer and the Word. The lethargy in our pulpits has been passed down to our pews.

We have mastered the art of performing services at the expense of incarnational preaching where men speak, as it were, the utterances of God. Men are more interested today in the preservation of their ministries than the salvation of men and edification of the Church. Penetrating preaching that brings a consciousness of man’s condition before God and eternal realities has clearly diminished from mainstream Christianity. This again is a sure sign that the Church has left her first love, and the honor of the Lord is no longer the treasure of many ministers and saints.

When our vision of the Lord increases, when we see Him in the beauty of holiness and in His awesome majesty, we will catch fire inwardly and the exaltation of Spirit proclamation will be restored in our day. When it does, the hearer’s conception of God will increase and His purposes will be esteemed as worthy of our time, labor, and investment. A vibrant affection for the Lord and a fresh zeal and eagerness to serve Him and do His will will grip the people of God again, and they will go forth truly empowered as faithful witnesses in these last days.

In the early Church the apostles were fit to proclaim eternal realities  because they had been with Jesus and continued to devote themselves to prayer and the Word. They recognized that if fervent, unceasing, Spirit-wrought prayer should decrease in them and in the Church, the giving and receiving of the Word of God would also decrease.

Let us return to the old paths and true foundations of our faith. Let us preoccupy ourselves with the glory of God. Let us pray the glories of what Ephesians 1:16-23 and 3:14-21 promise us so that we may be filled with all the fullness of God.

I see this as a day of great searchings of the heart. It is a day of separation unto God. It is a day purification and holiness. May the inward man awaken to such a consciousness of God’s high and holy calling.

While many are departing from the faith in the present apostasy, every true saint is pressing into God and preparing for that glorious attained place where they shall not be found naked, where they shall be blameless and immoveable, where they are being purified by the power of the Word of God. Having within them a consciousness of the very presence of God, their very nature being changed and preparing them for a greater thing and causing them to be ready for translation (Phil. 3:8-16).

Let us have this same mind.

SIN, TRUE AND FALSE CONVERSION, AND BABY CHRISTIANS

There are a vast number of people who, instead of making Jesus Christ their standard and just obeying the Bible because it is the Spirit-inspired Word of God, only aim to keep up a respectable religious front for others. Instead of seriously asking themselves what the Lord and His Word require, they tend to look at the status quo professing church member and imitate them. They do that which is outwardly respectable, but not what is inwardly right, true, and holy according to God’s Word.

Standing beside each other a true convert and a sinner will talk and act differently, but a true convert and a false convert can look similar. The Bible says there can be quite a few outward similarities between them. It tells us that an unsaved “religious” man (false convert) can be strictly moral and seem prayerful in his outward life (Mt. 23:8) (Mk.12:40); zealous in religion (Mt.23:15); and even conscientious in doing what is expected of him (Mt. 23:23).

A false convert can also be making efforts to gain converts and give money for the work of religion (1 Cor. 13:3; Mt.23:15; Lk. 18:12). But none of these things are necessarily fool proof signs that he has definitely been converted.

Remember that the false convert is not a Christ rejecter. He stands beside you in the midst of the congregation or he could be a member of another congregation. What he has done is merely change his means of serving himself, from the secular to the religious. Either way, he is still serving himself. Unlike a false convert, a “baby” Christian being young in the Lord is selfish at first, but the love of God is now shed abroad in his heart by the Holy Ghost (Rom. 5:5), and his motive to live unselfishly for the Lord has been planted there. He only needs to grow.

“And He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again” (2 Cor. 5:15).

In God’s sight it is the heart that determines whether he is a true Christian or not. We can’t judge someone’s heart, but we can judge the fruit of his life. But if the heart is wrong, everything else is wrong, no matter what is done outwardly. Either your heart is set on serving Christ supremely or it is set on serving yourself supremely. You either belong to God or you do not.

But the most basic and fundamental message of the gospel is that Jesus came to save us from our sins. The message to forsake our sins is not optional; it is an absolute necessity. It is as simple and clear as, “Surrender your will and live. Rebel and die.” No honest Bible scholar could justify the salvation of a man who still lives in sin. No definition of a Christian, that allows fellowship with sin and cost God His Son and Christ His life, comes from the Holy Spirit of God. He that practices sin has not been born of God.

“Whoever has been born of God does not (practice) sin, for His seed remains in him; and he cannot (practice) sin, because he has been born of God” (1 Jn. 3:9).

What about “baby” Christians? Don’t they sin? As a new convert I remember  sitting at a racquetball club after a workout and having a beer. My mentors, a young Christian couple, walked into the club at that time and later told me how disappointed they were in me. I had no knowledge of wrongdoing. If a “baby” Christian does not know that what he is doing is wrong, to him it is not sin. I was not drinking to get drunk, but enjoying a beer after a workout. In God’s eyes I was innocent.

If a “baby” Christian sins ignorantly, it is not reckoned as sin; if he sins knowingly, it is sin (Jas. 4:17).

My point is this: Although a “baby’’ Christian needs to grow spiritually his “growing” is not from partial repentance to then a commitment to complete repentance. All true converts who have come to genuine faith and repentance have forsaken all known sin, and are not knowingly living in sin. They have surrendered to the Lordship of Jesus and their will is bent toward serving Him. They just need to “grow” now as they receive more light from the Word of God and discipline new areas of their lives that the Holy Spirit reveals to them.

If a “baby” Christian is struggling with areas of the flesh and wants to be set free and made right, then we are to instruct them and help them and work through with them in these areas. Once I was instructed and knew that drinking beer did not provide for a godly Christian witness and could be a stumbling block to others I immediately stopped and have not even had so much as a sip of beer since them. As a young believer and disciple of Jesus it was far more important to me to please the Lord than to please my friends or look respectable in the eyes of the world.

The problem has been that there are so many professing “Christians” in churches today who are living in adultery, fornication, homosexuality, addicted to pornography, drinking, smoking weed, are gossipers, slanderers, criticizing other Christians etc. and nothing is being said or done about it.

We are called by Scripture to teach, exhort, and rebuke in these areas. We are called to confront such ones who are living intentionally in sin, and with meekness instruct them as a means of bringing them to repentance (Mt. 18:15-17) (Gal. 6:1). If they refuse, we are called to take one or two others with us and confront them again. If they refuse again, we are to tell the church and break fellowship with them and/or turn their flesh over to Satan for destruction so their spirits might be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus (1 Cor. 5).

If more Christian pastors and leaders were thorough in following through with these steps we would have a far purer and more powerful church.

That’s what love would do.

 

 

FALSE CONVERTS AND FASHIONABLE CHRISTIANS

If you are walking in willful disobedience to God’s Word, if the consistent pattern of your life is the practice of sin and the deeds of the sinful nature that Paul describes in 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, Galatians 5:19-21, and Ephesians 5:3-7, then you must question your salvation.

Any teaching that opens the door to false assurance and loose living is not from God.

A wave of watered-down and milquetoast “Churchianity” has flooded the church world. A non-confrontational gospel has failed miserably to deal with sin and repentance. We have forgotten that the central message of the gospel is that Jesus came to save us from our sins (Mt. 1:21), not in our sins. He didn’t just come to forgive us of our sins, but to free us from our sins. This is one of the most tragic fundamental errors we have made in our contemporary gospel, and it largely explains the degradation in our society today. A weak church has opened the way for the devil’s onslaught.

Not only has our gospel been watered down, but the themes of holiness and sanctification in the church are hardly ever mentioned. As a matter of fact, there’s been a diabolical silence on it as the “I’m okay, you’re okay-once saved, always saved” mantra  gains popularity”. And all at the expense of the many urgent appeals of New Testament writers to warn the early saints of the dangers of deception (1 Cor. 6:9), falling back (2 Pet. 3:17), drifting (Heb. 2:1), stumbling (1 Pet. 1:10), changing the grace of God into a license for immorality (Jude 4), and giving heed to seducing doctrines of demons (1 Tim. 4:1).  The church world is fast adrift into an “easy believism” salvation void of His Lordship that Christ would not recognize today.

Men who profess Christ are not meeting God’s own conditions for true conversion. “Christian” is almost a meaningless word to the masses today, because so many believe they are Christians, when in fact, they are not. And sadly, there are very few voices today strong enough to change that and stir the church and shake the world.

It has been estimated that over half a million were converted to God as a direct result of Charles G. Finney’s ministry in the 1800s, and that by a conservative estimate over 80% remained true to Christ to the day of their death, without backsliding or falling by the wayside. Figures are nowhere near that today.

“Examine yourselves, whether you be in the faith… prove your own selves.” (2 Cor. 13:5).

Only the dishonest fear the truth. If your faith is real, it will stand any thorough examination. If it is false, God knows it and you shall know it, too. Please do something about it before you go out into eternity.

Christian, God’s question to you is not, “What are you doing?” but, “Why are you doing it?” It is possible to look exactly like a true Christian in every outward detail, but for a fundamentally different reason. Man looks on the outward appearance, but God looks on the heart. Other professing Christians judge you by the ways and means you live out your life, but God looks at the reason and purpose for which you are living (Mt. 6). Almost any means of Christian service can be counterfeited by a deceived person, but unless there has been a change of heart, or ultimate purpose, nothing you do is really true.

So a person may believe that Christ came to save sinners, and on that ground may submit to be saved for his own safety, without submitting to His Lordship. His submission is only on the selfish condition that he will be happier. It is never with that unreserved trust in God’s character and love for the complete will of God. And in large part, this is what we have come to today: Christianity is a religion of happiness and prosperity. But that is not the gospel, dear ones.

The false convert obeys God, not because he loves Him, but only because he hopes to get something good out of it for himself. The true child of God delights in doing God’s will. When love for Christ and the gospel is central, there is no weariness or struggle in serving the Lord. It is your delight! His commandments are not grievous. (I Jn. 5:3; Mt. 11:30; 23:4; Lk. 11:46) Do you enjoy Christianity or do you serve God basically only for what He can do for you?

A true convert loves the word of the Lord. He loves hard truth. He loves to hear about being holy, fearing the Lord, denying yourself, and taking up your cross and following Jesus. He is not the least bit offended by those themes.

The false convert never enjoys hearing those type of messages.

Christ’s words commanding supreme love of His followers over all other earthly loves have no meaning to the false convert. They do not supremely love Him. They love themselves, and everything connected with their own happiness (Matt. 6:33; 22:36-40; 10:37-39; Lk. 14:25-26).

We have a radically defective Christianity today. It is not an exaggeration nor unloving to say that these aforementioned descriptions of false conversion seem to fit a very large majority in the church.It differs from Christianity as much as the Pharisees differed from Christ, or as much as true faith and love differs from fear and legalism.

Now, let me ask you another question. Is Christ the center of your life, or are you trying to fit Him in for your own happiness?

The problem has been that it has become quite fashionable today to take Jesus as your Savior, but not as your Lord as if He is somehow divided. However, if you do a study on the word “Lord” you will find it listed more than 400 times in the N.T. as opposed to Savior, which only appears 15 times. The N.T. calls Him our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. His Lordship always has preeminence. To our own detriment, preachers today have subtly excused His Lordship by saying things such as, “sinners just need to take Jesus as their Savior”, as if His Lordship is optional or something you do later on when you become a stronger Christian. Once again, that is not the gospel.

“We have developed this philosophy in order to come up with an answer to the strange contradiction between a self-pleasing, self-centered person who claims the name “Christian” but who bears no resemblance to the Savior they profess to love. It’s been an easy way to distinguish between an “effective” Christian who lives like his Lord, and the “believer” who seems no different than his pagan neighbor. One has made Christ his Savior and believed Him for salvation, but has not yet made Him Lord that He might use this person for service. The common thought has been that this nominal “Christian” may partly serve God while at the same time partly living in sin. His ticket to heaven is guaranteed; his discipleship is optional. It appears by this that a man can be saved, but not surrendered to Christ; following Him, but still serving himself.” — Paraphrased quote from Charles G. Finney

Friends, that is not the gospel! This line of thinking is at the root of all the church’s problems today.

Maybe it is time to face the hard truth. The real answer is that the person who displays these characteristics is a false convert. Our churches our full of them.

They are “fashionable Christians!” Their style of religion is fashionable and popular and they generally follow the spirit of this age in their thinking, behavior, fashion, dress, and custom. No matter what God requires, they are carefully determined not to offend His enemies. If they are ever faced with a choice between pleasing man or pleasing God, they will offend God. They will do more to gain the approval of men than the approval of God. This must change in the church today if we are to see nationwide revival.

Will you surrender now and trust in God’s empowering grace to live no longer for yourself, but to live for God and His glory? Will you, preacher and pastor, begin to proclaim the real gospel and the real salvation?

 

OBAMA, OUR GOVERNMENT, AND OUR COURTS NOW A TERROR TO GOOD WORKS

Although we are to pray for kings and for those in authority (1 Tim. 2:1-4), we are not to submit to ungodly laws and decrees that contradict Scripture. And we are not to remain silent and cower down before the wicked while anti-Christ laws and policies are passed, perverted values are celebrated, and bullying and intimidation against all righteousness and common sense become the norm.

In the Bible Spirit filled prophets and preachers confronted evil. I am following their lead and destroying a mind-set in the Church that we should never disobey the laws of the land and cannot speak against evil kings, corrupt governments, or crooked courts. This is a false honor – the same false honor that was found in Germany in the time of Hitler’s takeover – a false honor that eulogized Hitler and allowed him to commit untold atrocities against the Jewish people and Christians who hid some of them.

The same scenario is unfolding itself right here in modern day America. Dutch Sheets had this to say concerning the evil of this current president.

“And who could ever forget the mocking spirit demonstrated by our president when he decorated the White House with rainbow colors. Using one of God’s covenantal symbols, a symbol now used by the LGBT movement, President Obama delivered one of the most arrogant, in-your-face gestures ever performed by an American president. Knowing fully the anguish millions of Christians were experiencing over this ruling, and knowing the insult this act would be to those millions of Americans, he chose to decorate the White House in this gay and lesbian symbolism. When asked during a press conference to comment on the ruling (and other “victories” he experienced last week), he reinforced his arrogance and insensitivity. Refusing to back down, He lauded this inexcusable act, speaking of it as “a moment worth savoring.” I can assure our president there will come a time when he will not savor that moment. The rainbow does not belong to any earthly movement but is a sacred symbol of one of God’s covenants. And the definition he just helped redefine was written by God, not a person. It was not only the Church and millions of Americans that were mocked; it was also Almighty God. And I can assure you; He will have the final say.”

I honor the office of President, but this president has been a disgrace to the office as he makes a mockery of Christianity.

It is always a dishonor for the righteous to bow down to the wicked. Daniel refused to submit to King Nebuchadnezzar’s ungodly decree. Moses was hidden for three months by his parents in defiance of the king’s command. Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego didn’t bow down to the nation’s idol. When threatened by religious leaders Peter and John would not refrain from preaching the gospel. With holy boldness we must follow their example. As these servants of God defied their kings and their unrighteous laws we must do the same.

Moses rebuked Pharaoh. Samuel rebuked King Saul. Elijah rebuked Ahab.

This pattern of confronting kings and corrupt politicians continues in the New Testament.

John the Baptist rebuked King Herod, and it cost him his head. And notice Jesus’ response when the Pharisees warned Him of Herod’s murderous plot.

And He said to them, “Go, tell that fox, ‘Behold, I cast out demons and perform cures today and tomorrow, and the third day I shall be perfected’” (Lk. 13;32).

Jesus’s answer was directed at Herod himself. Not exactly a reverential response to the king. Jesus uses the word ‘fox’ here, which is a cunning person. In calling Herod a fox he reveals to him his true character. He was subtle as a fox, noted for being crafty, cunning, treacherous and base.

In modern vernacular we could say His tone resembled this: “Get out of my face Herod! I’m moving in power today, tomorrow, and the day after. I will lay my life down at Jerusalem where you have no jurisdiction. Get thee behind me!”

The “softer, kinder, and gentler approach” is not what Jesus used on Herod. Although Jesus was the kindest and most gentle human being who ever walked the face of the earth, it wasn’t His gentleness and kindness that got Him killed. He was crucified for being bold and confrontational in truth and love. John the Baptist was beheaded for the same. Stephen was stoned for more of the same.

Jesus had no hesitation about speaking truth to political power and confronting kings. Actually, the Pharisees and the Sadducees were the politicians of Jesus’ day. They passed laws and would arrest people for violating those laws. They detained them, put them on trial, flogged them, and even persuaded the Romans to put them to death.

Thoroughly unintimidated by their political powers, Jesus rebuked them publicly, directly calling them “a brood of vipers” (Matt. 23:33) and the seed of Satan: “You are of your father the devil” (John 8:44).

Somebody once stated, “God has not called us to be nice. He has called us to be good. Nice people never confront evil and error, but good people do. It is the truth that sets men free, and genuine love will drive us to declare the truth no matter the cost.”

It’s time to put on the whole armor of God, pray, and stand, and speak the truth.

Romans 13:1-2: “Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same.”

Many Christians interpret this passage of Scripture to mean that we should blindly submit and obey our government, even if it’s an evil and corrupt government. This is a misconception and a falsehood. Most people fail to consider verse 3, “For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil.” Clearly, God is speaking about good government in Romans 13. It is only good government that is a terror to evil works, such as murder, violence, gross immorality, sexual deviancy, and other criminal acts. This president is a terror to good works and an advocate and activist of evil works. Here is what Rev. Franklin Graham said about him and our nation a few weeks ago before the SCOTUS decision to legalize gay marriage:

“President Barack Obama was right about one thing in the speech he gave at a Gay Pride event he hosted in the White House. He said, ‘There has been an incredible shift in attitudes across the country.’ That’s true—but it is definitely not a shift for the good of America. The shift in attitudes he refers to is the moral decline we are seeing manifest daily around us. Accepting wrong as right—accepting sin as something to be proud of. Yes, that’s definitely a shift. Should we be surprised that he thanked the LGBT community for all that they had helped him accomplish during his time as president? He said, ‘A lot of what we’ve accomplished over these last six and a half years has been because of you.’ He also noted there were two states where gay marriage was legal when he took office, but now there are 37. The President is leading this nation on a sinful course, and God will judge him and us as a nation if we don’t repent.”

And shortly thereafter the  dippy, daffy Supreme Court made the disastrous decision to legalize gay marriage in every state.

Barrack Obama is a terror to Christianity. He is a terror to the gospel. He is a terror to the nation of Israel. He is a terror to godly values. He is a terror to traditional marriage. He is a terror to the unborn. He is a terror to law and order, the ten commandments, and the constitution of the United States of America. He is a terror to the bravery, honor, and patriotism of our military. He is a terror to our children and grandchildren’s hopes for a better future.

We must not be silent, Church, and we must not be passive. Pastors, I hope you are not in the 90% number of pastors across this country who are choosing to remain silent and not speak on critical issues and Biblical principles in such an urgent time when your people need to hear it (Odds Are That Your Pastor Is Keeping The Truth From You Instead Of Preaching It). If you are, please change and get some fire in your belly. Surely God has anointed us to rise up and speak up as one unified voice in this hour and resist all evil. Even Russia’s leader Putin, and most recently Kenya’s president, are rebuking Obama and telling him to keep his sewage in America. What a travesty! Never I have been more ashamed of an American president than this one.

As my friend and cultural commentator Larry Tomczak says, “We are facing a “Dietrich Bonhoeffer Moment.” You recall that he chose civil disobedience and disobeyed Nazi law that stated that protecting Jewish people was against the law. He was hung for his stand. He also said prior to his death, “Silence in the face of evil is evil itself. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.”

This nation has a history of civil disobedience and throwing off tyranny and revolting against abusive government and laws. From the early revolution to anti-slavery to civil rights we are not strangers to lawbreaking (The Coming Era of Civil Disobedience).

God has a divine response to every form of evil. Fire in our pulpits can do much in igniting the Church and potentially the nation. I propose that first, pastors, should lead their churches in godly repentance, for judgment must begin in the house of God (1 Pet. 4:17). “Let us cleanse ourselves” (2 Cor. 7:1). It has been because of a weak, carnal, and idolatrous church that the way has been paved for the mess we are now in, but repentance, conviction, and courage can turn the tide.

Perversion fills our land (A Queer Thing Happened). Confusion fills our land (A Portrait of America’s Confusion). And those who speak out against it are persecuted for it. As for me, I will take it. All for my Lord Jesus.

America And The World Ripe For A Third Awakening

We have reached a point in time where the world sits and waits for the proverbial “other shoe to drop.” Something big is going to happen soon. Christians sense it. Students of Bible prophecy can feel it in their bones. Even the unsaved world senses that something ominous is heading our way. We live in the most dangerous time in world history. What’s going to happen in the next year or so? Will there be a war in the Middle East around the Blood Moon timeframe? A global financial collapse on the next Shemitah? A nuclear tragedy? Another terrorist catastrophe? (Prophecy News Watch)

As a student of revival, I have read about the impact that past revivals have brought to America and the world. The first and second awakenings of the 18th and 19th centuries as well as the 20th century awakening were so powerful and far-reaching that they changed the spiritual and moral culture of entire nations.

The Welch revival is a great example of the violent upheaval a Spirit-born awakening can bring down on society. After the initial outpouring in Wales at the turn of the 20th century the churches were crowded for two years with 100,000 outsiders being converted. Drunkenness was reduced by 50%, taverns went bankrupt, crime nearly disappeared that judges had no more cases to judge, and the police became unemployed in many districts. This outpouring affected all nations. It spread like wild fire through Ireland and Scotland, and into other nations of Europe where meetings were marked by prayer and confession of sin.

That outpouring coincided with others during that same time period, such as the Azusa street revival in Los Angeles, and was not only international in nature but ecumenical as well. It impacted nations and involved major churches and denominations such as the Baptists, Lutherans, Methodists, Presbyterians, Anglicans, Congregationalists, Disciple, and Reformed churches. The only ones left virtually untouched as in earlier awakenings were the Roman Catholic and Greek Orthodox communities.

It is recorded that William T. Stead, a London newspaper editor, considered by some to be the most powerful man in Britain at that time, gave this impression of the Wales revival.

“There is something there from another world. You cannot say whence it came or whither it is going, but it moves and lives and reaches for you all the time. You see men and women go down in sobbing agony before your eyes as the invisible Hand clutches at their heart. And you shudder.”

When asked if it was all emotion and if there was any teaching, Stead responded:

“Precious little. Do you think teaching is what people want in a revival? These people, all the people in a land like ours are taught to death, preached to insensibility. They all know the essential truths. They know they are not living as they ought to live, and no amount of teaching will add anything to that conviction.”

This is where we presently are as a Church today.

It takes a man of wisdom and understanding to know the times and seasons of God, and what the Spirit is calling for. Teaching is important, but there are times when people will never abandon their sin and idolatry unless they are aroused and awakened, until they feel an urgent sense of guilt and danger and can no longer contain themselves.

When Christianity degenerates and the Church backslides, the nation is further darkened and sucked down into gross immorality, perversion, pride, greed, luxury and idolatry. It takes these mighty awakenings to break that cycle and revive and promote Christianity.

There are two elements that often lead to revival: Spiritual hunger and/or a great crisis. I see both happening simultaneously right now in its beginning stages. Prayer is often born from these two elements. And the two foundation stones that make it all work are the preparedness of man and the sovereignty of God.

God has always worked throughout history by means of revival. The fallen nature of human beings in cooperation with the devil tend to evil and sliding off into Deism, and God has to often reverse this downward cycle through sudden and mighty outpourings of His Spirit, sometimes preceded by judgments.

“Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually” (Gen. 6:5).

God always looks for a man to stand in the gap and plead for the sins of the people. He found such a man in Noah (Gen. 6:8). This has always been the case throughout Israel’s history that God raised up a leader in a time of judgment and brought restoration. From Abraham to Moses to Gideon to Jephthah; from Jehosaphat to Hezekiah to Josiah it has always been the pattern.

We are facing the same cycle today as Israel and our spiritual forefathers did before us. In his book on Revival, Winkie Pratney states that there is a cycle of change and decay, of reformation and revival and then apostasy, which agrees with the four fold collapse of Israel’s history:

1. Israel forgot God;
2. Israel forgot God’s laws;
3. Israel made up new gods;
4. Israel made up new laws.

Nations leave the ways of God because of a physical law present in the universe called, the Second Law of Thermodynamics. Basically this law teaches us that things tend to run down, not up; from order and cohesion to disorder and decay and eventually death. This is the reason reforms, revivals, and awakenings are mandatory. They create spiritual momentum and violent upheavals in society.

In light of the abominable sins of our modern culture and the widespread deception and apostasy of a backslidden church, oh, how we need a third great awakening right now that will affect not only America, but the nations of the world! May God grant it as His people prepare for it.

If you are sleeping it is high time to wake up. The battle for the souls of men is raging.

It can no longer be casual life or church as usual.

AMERICA NOW IN ITS FINAL STAGE OF REBELLION AGAINST GOD: WHAT’S NEXT?

I just witnessed one of our top television preachers playing down the Supreme Court decision to legalize gay marriage. He said, “That’s the world. It’s what they do. Blah, blah, blah.” No conviction, to moral outrage, no instruction – just another lame, please- everybody-TV ministry, hoping that soon everyone will just forget about this and move on.

This is not the example of Scripture nor of the early apostles, nor of our recent revival forefathers and champions of cultural change.

“Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you more than God, you judge. For we cannot but speak the things we have seen and heard” (Acts 4:19-20).

“We ought to obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29).

The Supreme Court has just declared war on the Church, and all this preacher could say was that it’s just how the world acts. God is trying to wake up His generals and captains because frankly, they are in a coma. Some of these famous preachers need to get off television and sit down because they have nothing to say.

So we are just supposed to lie down like a dog, or crawl in a hole and hide, and accept the consequences of the Supreme Court’s ruling – just what the Church did with the abortion issue in Roe vs. Wade. Just what the Church did when prayer was taken out of the schools. When will we learn? What will it take for the blood of these major ministries to boil and use their platform to be a voice for spiritual revolution and change?

Do we really understand Romans 1 language? The bible says that because of certain abominations like homosexuality the land will vomit out its inhabitants (Lev. 18:25-28). The apostle Paul called it shameful, and the result of being given up by God to “vile passions” (Rom 1:24-27). He is not speaking mainly to the Church. He is also speaking of the world.

In the Old Testament, those who practice these things were removed from the congregation of Israel by execution. We are told in the New Testament that those who practice homosexuality will not inherit the kingdom of God (1 Cor. 6:9-10). Romans actually shows homosexuality to be the final order of rebellion against God. What do you think is next?

When people exchange the truth of God for a lie, and begin to worship the creature more than the Creator, God gives them up to evil. When values are turned upside down and moral anarchy appears, men burning with lust for other men and women with other women – then receiving in their own bodies the punishment for their actions, it is already the judgment of God manifestation.

These Christians who say, “God is not a God judgment, He is a God of love” do not read their bibles. They get all their understanding from their most popular teacher or pastor on Christian television who does not have a hint of understanding himself of the true nature and character of God. Of course, God is love, but He is also holy and just and “can in no wise clear the guilty” unless they repent and believe/obey the gospel.

Even when studies show the enormous cases of sickness, disease, and premature death among the gay community (D.C. Clothesline)  they continue to rush headlong into destruction. Even with the continual new reports of children of gay unions, now adults, being so emotionally harmed and psychologically abused and coming out in opposition to gay marriage (The Daily Signal), they still trek onward in this perverted path of irrational judgment and sure destruction.

But that’s not all. Now our government, our puny little puppet president, the leftist media, and the highest court in our land continues to fight for this, defend and celebrate its position, and promote it. Now polygamists want their rights. Now pedophiles want their rights. Now people want to marry their dogs and animals. Have the courts realized what they’ve done? I tell you, America has gone MAD!!! Hell has unleashed itself! And in the midst of this, many preachers are still saying, “Oh, that’s just what the world does”.  God, help us!

How much wrath does America have to incur before there is a massive corporate uprising among the Church and its leaders? “Oh, we don’t believe in God’s wrath. We’re under grace.” Really? Well, you’re too late. His wrath is already being revealed.

“The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness” (Rom. 1:18).

“Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves” (v. 24).

“For this reason God gave them up to vile passions” (v. 26).

“And when they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased/reprobate mind” (v. 28).

Do we understand that this is already the wrath of God being revealed? From the so-called sexual revolution of earlier years to the celebrated sexual perversion of today, to the ruling of the Supreme court for same-sex marriage is already the wrath of God being revealed. He has given this nation over to lustful, debasing, and perverted acts.  “They not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them” (v. 32). The judgment is not coming. It is already here! The wrath of God is already being revealed. He has abandoned much of our society to a reprobate mind.

Not only will the Lord abandon this perverse generation unless there is massive widespread repentance (which I still believe there will be), but His wrath is also being revealed through calamities, natural disasters, plagues, and wars. Is it a mere coincidence that in the last 50 years there’s been more earthquakes than in the last 2000? This is all a building up to His coming, for when Jesus returns His wrath will be further unleashed against those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ (2 Thes. 1:7-10). This started in America decades ago. I will say it again: Homosexuality is the final order of rebellion against God!

Oh, how we need a revival of the fear of the Lord in our nation and in God’s house! “For judgment begins in the house of God and if it begins with us first, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel?” (1 Pet. 4:17).

During war time those who are passive and casual irk and disturb those who are passionate for a righteous cause, and who have a holy zeal for God’s house (Ps. 69:9) (John 2:17). When 3% of the population who confess to be gay, pushed and financed by a large active agenda, succeed in numbing and affecting a vast part of our US population into thinking homosexuality is normal and to be celebrated, we are in a fight for the nation, and ultimately the Church’s liberties.

We best not be casual about that.

 

THE PRESENT MORAL VACUUM GIVES IMPETUS TO A SPIRITUAL HURRICANE

What comes first – judgment or revival?

In the mid-1800’s during the days of Charles Finney America had sunk into great spiritual poverty, which led to a steep economic collapse. Uncannily, much like today, there were five contributing factors to that collapse.

1. Greed: The gap between prosperity and poverty widened attributing greatly to the increase of violent crime.

2. Occultism: Hungry for the supernatural the nation turned to spiritualism.

3. Immorality: Hard to believe that this was true way back then, but the playboy philosophy of “‘free love” was endorsed and embraced by many.

4. Political and commercial corruption: National laws legalized the cruel use of slavery and bribes and illegal business practices were rampant.

5. Atheism: Agnosticism, apathy, and indifference toward God and spiritual things abounded on every hand.

This spiritual decline in our nation touched four main areas: Spiritual, moral, political, and social.  Judgment came as secular and spiritual conditions combined to unravel one of the most severe economic and social crashes our nation has ever experienced. Thousands of merchants lost everything as banks failed and the railroad industry went into bankruptcy. Multitudes of people lost their jobs as factories shut down. In New York city alone there were some 30,000 men who were idle on the streets. By 1857 people were no longer looking to financial thrive and get ahead but only to eat and survive.

Many prognostics are predicting a similar crash in the very near future right here on our shores. Truly the conditions are ripe for it.

How did America recover from such tumultuous times? It was through the great 1857 revival which not only helped America to recover but also laid the groundwork and set the stage for the revivals of the 20th century and that which I believe is still to come. How did it happen?

Led by inarguably the greatest evangelist and revivalist of our time, Charles Finney, and his fiery  converts, these three elements helped pave the way.

1. A burning desire to implement the message of personal and social holiness. They preached and stressed a complete consecration to God that included your spouse and children, possessions and reputation, and the willingness to preach publicly.

2. A spreading everywhere of benevolent responsibility which flowed from personal holiness and sanctification. The revivalists linked true conversion and spiritual growth directly to the alteration of society and the culture. They never believed that isolating yourself and living in a hole would make one holy. They had a large vision of a mighty revival that would spread throughout the world and prepare mankind for the coming of the Lord.

3. A hunger for an experience that would ‘make Christianity work’. The leaders of this revival were not mystic dreamers. Finney believed and preached  that the theme of the baptism of the Holy Spirit was not only the secret of pulpit power but it was the fountain of energy that would evangelize the entire world.

In December of 1857 a convention on revival was called by the Presbyterians. About 200 ministers and many laity gathered, as much of the time was spent in prayer. Baptist and Methodist pastors in New York set aside one day a week for all day prayer and intercession for an outpouring of the Holy Spirit. By the beginning of 1858 messages on revival were preached all over the East. Prayer was such a key to the 1857 Awakening that it has been called the Prayer Meeting Revival, led, organized, and conducted by many laity, which was another key element of the revival.

Seeing the desperate situation in the city and country, ads for a noon day prayer meeting on Wednesday were passed out in downtown New York. The meetings began with few in attendance but grew steadily until they decided to meet daily instead of weekly.

Within 6 months over 10,000 businessmen were meeting every day in similar meetings, confessing sin, getting saved, and praying for revival. People met in stores, company buildings, and churches. Doctrinal controversies and jealousies were put to the side as churches began to pray and work together as one.

The amazing result was that America came back from the dead as in just two years time one million converts were added to all denominational churches. The social and ethical effects continued for almost half a century. This revival spread across the ocean to Great Britain, Scotland, Ireland, and Wales with approximately two million converts added to the churches in those nations.

Some of the great ministries of recent time were birthed during this period of time and era of revival. Such examples included the blossoming ministry of D.L. Moody and Ira Sankey, William and Catherine Booth and the Salvation Army, Hudson Taylor’s revival based concept of interdenominational missions, the China Inland Mission, and many others.

What can we learn and glean today from this great revival and awakening? We can be encouraged that true revival can change the moral climate of a community and a nation. When God finds a people who have the will and spirit to pray, the courage to preach, and live a life of consecration and holiness combined with compassion He can really begin to work. The hand and touch of God on ordinary people wholly consecrated to Him can make a huge difference.

Some might be of the persuasion that it’s too late for America. It’s too dark; it’s too far gone; it’s too sick. But let me remind of a great principle of revival and compare it to a hurricane.

Meteorologists can forecast the strength of the winds in a developing hurricane by the atmospheric pressure. The disparity of atmospheric pressure between the sea and the air creates a vacuum. The greater the vaccum the more violent will be the winds and the greater the water evaporation. For every one inch reduction in atmospheric pressure 13 more inches of water are lifted up by the hurricane as it acts as a vaccum cleaner. The water and the winds are what create devastation and destruction in a hurricane.

There is a great vacuum of death, despair, and darkness in our culture right now. There is a great God vacuum of true spirituality, which means hope springs eternal for an intense spiritual hurricane. Be encouraged.

Let it begin with you.