Am I the only one who sees the lack of faith in this modern day age?
All over the world, there is strife, anger and rebellious lewd spirits roaming about. America, our "Great Country" is getting closer and closer to becoming the modern day Sodam and Gomora, full of lust and pride. How have we become so separated from God?
When I was a child, nearly everyone was a Christian, not downing other people's beliefs, (even though they are worshipping false gods, and thats for God to judge). But Christ was the driving force behind this country's motives. Now money, power (the abuse of it), lust, are the motives of the people.
How do we combat this? By spreading God's Word, His Love, and His Message, even if it is in the most subtle of ways. God is returning to claim his true followers. I am not going to bury the coin, (the gift that God has given me), and wait for His return. I aim to spread His message. In truth and humbleness until boldness is called for.
I've encountered a teaching that seems to be quite prevalent, at least here in Israel. I first heard it taught in "The Purpose Driven Life" by Pastor Rick Warren and I have since encountered this teaching in 3 different Messianic Congregations here in Israel. That message is basically, 'forgiveness does not mean trust: that we as believers must forgive as Jesus taught, even 77 times (or 70 times 7 times) but that does not mean trusting the other person. They must re-earn our trust' and I basically just accepted this message as fact since it does seem to be reasonable. Then a few months ago, I finally watched the 1935 version of Les Miserables. For some inexplicable reason, I had been wanting to read or watch it for the last year or so but kept putting it off. When I finally encountered that scene with the Bishop and Jean Valjean, something hit me very hard about it. The way the bishop gave Jean the silver candlesticks when the police brought him back to the place and then the way the bishop told him before he left that he is always welcome there and that the front door is the proper way and not by any other means. It may be fictional, but it reminded me of a factual story.
The story from "The Cross and the Switchblade" and the way in which David Wilkerson led Niki Cruz and gang to the Lord. How he had finally gotten several gang members and others from the community together in an auditorium to share with them the Gospel message and how David Wilkerson asked Niki Cruz and his gang to take up the offering. As they were going through the passage up to the balcony, they noticed an exit door and were about to run off with the money when suddenly it occurred to them: 'This guy is trusting us. No one has ever trusted us before' and they brought the offering up to David. That single act of trust was instrumental in dissolving NYC gangs and eventually lead to hundreds of inner city Victory Outreach Missions throughout the world today, including one in Haifa, Israel.
So I started asking myself, "Why is it whenever this message of 'forgiveness does not equal trust' is taught, they do not bring any scriptural support for it?" And I'm kind of hard pressed. I am no doctor of scripture but I am quite familiar in a general overview sort of way and usually when I am troubled like this, the Lord will bring to memory scriptural support. But none arises to memory.
Three insights have been occurring to me and I'd really like some input here:
1) Forgiveness minus Trust really equals unforgiveness;
2) The person may be being hypocritical, saying to the other that they are forgiven, but their behavior, attitude and actions do not outwardly demonstrate it;
3) We are supposed to show to others the same Grace God showed us. God doesn't tell us, "I forgive you but now you must earn my trust". How then could we approach His Throne of Grace... How then will He welcome us into His Home?
If I am way off base here, then please let me know. I've been wrong many times in the past, and will be pleasantly surprised if I am way wrong about this: it will be an excellent reminder of how fallible I am and how much I need to be involved regularly in open discussions with other followers of Christ.
By Sharky and George
I think that as Christian's, we too can be "in the spirit" like John in the book of Revelation.
It is when you have a lot of faith and in this time a lot of God's revelations (things that will happen) come to us.
The book of Revelation has this title because of this - it was revealed to John how things will be.
A good way to get a lot of faith is to read your bible for a long period of time maybe an hour on an occasion - you cannot do this all the time but you should daily read your bible for shorter periods. Get an enjoyable version that is fun to encourage you to do this (I like the Message and/or the ESV - English Standard Version):
Faith is our link to God so having a link in faith enables Him to reveal things to us through what is like a telephone line that has been setup.
Read your favourite bible version and pray to God like you are having a conversation with Him whilst you are having a coffee - who knows, you might end up having a chat, coming closer to someone who loves you more than you could ever know and therefore making Him very happy.
Make sure you use wisdom with your faith though so you can discern away mis-leading spirits that may effect the conversation. This is noise and interference on the telephone line.
John 11:33-35 When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled. “Where have you laid him?” he asked. “Come and see, Lord,” they replied. Jesus wept.
Sometimes in our society the world tells people to suck it up, not be emotional, and looks at crying as a weakness. Especially if someone is a male it’s not looked at as manly to cry, yet Jesus wept. It said he was “deeply moved…..troubled….wept.” Not just a little upset, but extremely. This passage is clear that Christ had emotions and was compassionate. I believe this is an example where we should not follow the ways of the world, but use Jesus’ as an example of how to live. Romans 12:15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep, is another place we are told to do this. Then it goes on to say in John 11:36 Then the Jews said, “See how he loved him!” By weeping, Jesus showed love.
John 11:43 When he had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” Because what Jesus spoke comes to fruition, if he had not called Lazarus by name, it would appear that all the dead buried there would have been brought back to life.
John 11:48 If we let him (Jesus) go on like this, everyone will believe in him, and then the Romans will come and take away both our temple and our nation.” Fear of losing their power and greed led to the chief priests and Pharisees plotting to kill Jesus.
John 11:53-54 So from that day on they plotted to take his life. Therefore Jesus no longer moved about publicly among the people of Judea. Instead he withdrew to a region near the wilderness, to a village called Ephraim, where he stayed with his disciples. I’ve heard some Christians over the years say that we should just let evildoers overtake us and be martyrs for our faith. I think this is an example where Jesus was wise and didn’t help them to do evil to Him, until it was His appointed time to die/be our sacrifice.
By Brent Edwards
I'm Brent, and I currently help out the Youth Pastor at our church. First and foremost, my passion is to serve God, more specifically I feel God wants me to serve the youth of my community. We are a relatively small church in regards to number of current members. I have been apart of my Church for about two and a half years, and with the Youth Group for a year. Our surrounding community, and the majority of our members, are in a very poverty stricken area of Georgia. My main concern is giving the kids an environment that is always welcoming, a home away from home if you will. Most of these kid's parents have a very hard time getting by in general, and because of this they can hardly get the time to bring their kids to church on Wednesdays when we have our Youth Group lessons. Right now, I do all I can along with other folks, picking up and taking them home when they don't have a ride, but they still want to come. So we are in the process of trying to raise enough money to purchase a passenger van of sorts to accommodate the issues we're having. I'm seeking ideas and advise on how to accomplish our $3500 goal. If anyone has any helpful advise please let me know, and I've attached a go fund me, not looking for donations on here, but mainly to get an idea on how well it looks, and what changes need to be made. It's tough to be in this situation, but the teenagers shouldn't have to struggle because of the circumstances most of the community is in. We are in a high gang and drug activity area, and it would break my heart to see them succumb to their surroundings, and be a product of their environment. I want to thank everyone in advance for there support. I'm just a believer trying to change the statistics! God Bless Everyone!
Link Deleted by Omegaman 3.o
Sorry Brent - Too close to soliciting - which we do not allow here. However, people will likely pray for your situation, and perhaps, some will go hunt it down on their own.