Are you willing to die for your faith?

Our generation has never truly had to ponder this question: are you willing to die for your faith? Stop for a moment and really think about that.

We have lived in a nation and a state of being that provides immediate gratification and extreme comfort. We live in a time where we have the privilege to choose whatever we desire. While some have more privileges than others, we all in America post 1970 give or take a few years, have really had the luxury to choose where to live, what career to pursue, what schools to attend, where to worship, what political party we affiliate with, etc. In America we have been given many freedoms that other nations have never experienced. Because of this comfortability, it has caused many us to turn blind eyes to many things we should be seeing.

We figure that if we, as Christians, do not get involved with matters of the state, then we can just continue to live our comfortable lives, go to our churches and have our social groups. What real change are we producing? Do we want to produce change? How do we go about doing it? Better yet why should we do it?

As Christians first and foremost we should do it because it is our duty as followers of Christ in fulfilling the Great Commission. In Christianity today many people are blinded with the idea that Christianity is self serving. Many people get stuck at conversion believing that after acceptance of Christ we are to maintain a lifestyle that is unrealistic, and we spend the rest of our days trying to arrive or accomplish perfection and in return, get blessed here and there and get to go to heaven. This couldn’t be farther from the goal of real Christianity. Our goal as Christians is not to be saved but to help save others. Charles Finney made an excellent point, “The lack of power in the church stems from the majority of people resting in conversion and not continuing to seek until they see the outpouring of power from on high. Hence so many people who profess to be Christian have no power with either God or man.”   But instead, and its nothing new, we judge and condemn the world for their ungodly ways and separate ourselves for fear we might catch their sin like it’s a disease. In this we lack power to transform, both ourselves and the lost.

How does deception enter in and rule over a nation? Is it by Christians standing by and doing nothing? Radicals in the past were willing to lose their lives for their faith. We here in America have had the privilege of freedom of speech for a very long time, and instead of radically speaking the truth, we are afraid of being disliked, unpopular, an outcast or imprisoned (which was unlikely, until now).

Read this scripture with me:

Romans 1:18-32

18 But God shows his anger from heaven against all sinful, wicked people who suppress the truth by their wickedness. 19 They know the truth about God because he has made it obvious to them. 20 For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God.

21 Yes, they knew God, but they wouldn’t worship him as God or even give him thanks. And they began to think up foolish ideas of what God was like. As a result, their minds became dark and confused. 22 Claiming to be wise, they instead became utter fools. 23 And instead of worshiping the glorious, ever-living God, they worshiped idols made to look like mere people and birds and animals and reptiles.

24 So God abandoned them to do whatever shameful things their hearts desired. As a result, they did vile and degrading things with each other’s bodies. 25 They traded the truth about God for a lie. So they worshiped and served the things God created instead of the Creator himself, who is worthy of eternal praise! Amen. 26 That is why God abandoned them to their shameful desires. Even the women turned against the natural way to have sex and instead indulged in sex with each other. 27 And the men, instead of having normal sexual relations with women, burned with lust for each other. Men did shameful things with other men, and as a result of this sin, they suffered within themselves the penalty they deserved.

28 Since they thought it foolish to acknowledge God, he abandoned them to their foolish thinking and let them do things that should never be done. 29 Their lives became full of every kind of wickedness, sin, greed, hate, envy, murder, quarreling, deception, malicious behavior, and gossip. 30 They are backstabbers, haters of God, insolent, proud, and boastful. They invent new ways of sinning, and they disobey their parents. 31 They refuse to understand, break their promises, are heartless, and have no mercy. 32 They know God’s justice requires that those who do these things deserve to die, yet they do them anyway. Worse yet, they encourage others to do them, too.

Romans 2

1You may think you can condemn such people, but you are just as bad, and you have no excuse! When you say they are wicked and should be punished, you are condemning yourself, for you who judge others do these very same things. 2 And we know that God, in his justice, will punish anyone who does such things. 3 Since you judge others for doing these things, why do you think you can avoid God’s judgment when you do the same things? 4 Don’t you see how wonderfully kind, tolerant, and patient God is with you? Does this mean nothing to you? Can’t you see that his kindness is intended to turn you from your sin?

We see here in chapter one Paul was addressing the sinners and the church goers who easily exchanged truth for lies, which we see happening frequently in the church now, right. Many denominations are splitting, half proclaiming to be more “liberal,” the other half more “conservative”. But what does Paul go on to say to the church in Chapter 2?

How do we judge the world when we were forewarned that this would happen? We have seen it happen time and time again, nothing new under the sun right? I heard a Nigerian evangelist say he was called here to America to call America to repentance. He stated recently that God cannot visit us here in America because the church is so divided.  We can’t blame it on the sinners. Let’s look at the next scripture. People without the spirit cannot even understand the things of God. We the “spiritual ones, that know better” are called to be salt and light, not judges and spectators.

1 Corinthians 2:14-16

But the person without the Spirit does not receive what comes from God’s Spirit, because it is foolishness to him; he is not able to understand it since it is evaluated[g] spiritually. 15 The spiritual person, however, can evaluate everything, and yet he himself cannot be evaluated by anyone. 16 For who has known the Lord’s mind, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.

We see here that the sinner, the unsaved, cannot even comprehend the things of Christ because understanding comes by way of the spirit. We who have the spirit have the responsibility to make sure we share truth so that others may receive the spirit and be able to discern truth from lies. Aren’t you thankful you were brought out of the darkness and into the light? All the more we should radically share what has been done for us with those that have no hope.

1 Corinthians 3:1-9 (NIV)

For my part, brothers and sisters, I was not able to speak to you as spiritual people but as people of the flesh, as babies in Christ. 2 I gave you milk to drink, not solid food, since you were not yet ready for it. In fact, you are still not ready, 3 because you are still worldly. For since there is envy and strife[a] among you, are you not worldly and behaving like mere humans? 4 For whenever someone says, “I belong to Paul,” and another, “I belong to Apollos,” are you not acting like mere humans? 5 What then is Apollos? What is Paul? They are servants through whom you believed, and each has the role the Lord has given. 6 I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. 7 So then neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth. 8 Now he who plants and he who waters are one, and each will receive his own reward according to his own labor. 9 For we are God’s coworkers. You are God’s field, God’s building.

Here we see Paul challenge the church of Corinth to grow and not be followers of their pastors and their churches but to be servants and use their own gifting to fulfill the great commission, for it is nothing we do of our own. We plant and water, but it is God who gives the increase. We are God’s building. We were never meant to be stuck in four walls, spending more money on buildings to congregate than ministry itself; we are the church!

Recently I learned of some happenings in California: see link below. California Assembly approved a bill AB 2943 50 to 18 on April 19, 2018, that tells churches and others with traditional beliefs about gender and sexual orientation that advocating for their views could get them sued.  AB 2943 threatens the ability of religious non-profits, churches, and pastors from selling resources that help people practice their faith.

http://www.californiafamily.org/2018/assembly-votes-to-violate-the-1st-amendment/

As you can see, the persecution of the church is real. When God is forbidden to be brought into a situation by law, then the government has succeeded in carrying out its agenda, which has been building for a very long time. Take John Dewy, a known educational reformer for example. Dewey was one of the founding members of a group who called themselves Humanists.  In truth, these people were anti-God change agents with an agenda to destroy Christian values and change the moral fabric of our nation.  In the first Humanist Manifesto he wrote, “The time has come for widespread recognition of the radical changes in religious beliefs throughout the modern world.  The time is past for mere revision of traditional attitudes.”  Dewey is known as the father of modern education in that he called for progressive education reform that would promote social reform through the minds of the nation’s children – social engineering based on his own anti-Christian, socialist ideals.    Dewy knew that his reform would likely not be seen in his lifetime, but he knew he was a part of a greater agenda and over time it would come to pass for the “betterment of the people and for the common good.”  (https://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2012/10/john_dewey_is_a_fraud.html)  He and his cohorts succeeded while Christians failed to discern what was happening and did nothing.

What are we willing to do, church? What if I challenged you to do something simple like rid yourself of your electronics? Could you do it? I mean think about it, now every person has a device that can assist them with instant access to just about any temptation. The viewing of pornography is rampant in the church with statistics that are alarming. A sexual addiction recovery ministry called Pure Desire (https://puredesire.org/) recently conducted 3,000 surveys throughout evangelical churches in the U.S. Their survey included a clinical Sexual Addiction Screening Test. The results they found were astounding. 66% of the churched men, 40% of the churched women, and 55% of the pastors qualified as having a sexual addiction, which literally destroys neuropathways that lead to healthy sexuality! And we wonder why marriages are failing?!?  If we can’t give up the latest and greatest devices or whatever it is that makes our lives easier, do we think we could really die for our faith?

These questions are just meant to challenge us as Christians on what we are willing to do to bring about change, or will we just sit by complacent doing nothing as the agenda of progressivism, or I should say the enemy, continues to conquer.

The word of God states in Hosea 4:6,

“My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.” We have heard the term ignorance is bliss. Well, I believe that God does not think so. Hosea goes on to say, “Because you have rejected knowledge, I will reject you from serving as my priest. Since you have forgotten the law of your God, I will also forget your sons.  The more they multiplied, the more they sinned against me. I will change their honor into disgrace. They feed on the sin of my people; they have an appetite for their iniquity. The same judgment will happen to both people and priests. I will punish them for their ways and repay them for their deeds. They will eat but not be satisfied; they will be promiscuous but not multiply. For they have abandoned their devotion to the Lord.  Promiscuity, wine, and new wine take away one’s understanding.

Now, often we do not like to hear these types of things because they don’t fit with the feel good message. We can ignore it, but it is truth. Think about it! We see it happening before our very eyes. Principalities are ruling our nation with abortion, homosexuality and gay marriage, open marriages, sex trafficking, and these are only a few.

What is a principality?

Ephesians 6:12 states, “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” (KJV)

In Daniel chapter 10, Daniel had an angel come to him in a vision and the angel stated, “Don’t be afraid, Daniel, for from the first day that you purposed to understand and to humble yourself before your God, your prayers were heard. I have come because of your prayers. 13 But the prince of the kingdom of Persia opposed me for twenty-one days. Then Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me after I had been left there with the kings of Persia. 14 Now I have come to help you understand what will happen to your people in the last days, for the vision refers to those days.”

If you have a chance go and read the whole chapter, but here we see the angel of the Lord was held up by the prince of Persia in the spiritual. GOD’S messenger was trying to get to Daniel and was blocked by a principality, a dark ruler of a nation who has legions of followers to carry out their strategic plan.

I think oftentimes we forget the spiritual battle that is warring in the heavenlies. Remember the enemy knows he is defeated and his ultimate goal is to take as many souls he can to hell with him.

What is our strategic plan church? How will we bring our nation back to God? I do not have the answers, but I do know this we have to do it together, a church undivided. And PRAYER is the weapon of our warfare – prayer and The Word of God. In fact, the Bible tells us there are certain demons that can only be cast out by fasting and prayer (Mt17:21 KJV).

Earlier I mentioned a Nigerian man called to the United States; he is the second African man that I have met this year that testifies to the Lord calling them to the US to be a missionary. We used to be the nation that sent missionaries to the nations. Now we need them ourselves. Is that acceptable with churches on just about every corner? What are we doing? Have we become a church with no power?

A church divided cannot stand. Jesus said in Mark 3:24-27:

“If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. 25 If a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand. 26 And if Satan opposes himself and is divided, he cannot stand but is finished. 27 But no one can enter a strong man’s house and plunder his possessions unless he first ties up the strong man. Then he can plunder his house.” Church we need to be the strong man! A United front.

1 Corinthians 12:12-31 Unity yet Diversity in the body

12 For just as the body is one and has many parts, and all the parts of that body, though many, are one body—so also is Christ. 13 For we were all baptized by[c] one Spirit into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free—and we were all given one Spirit to drink. 14 Indeed, the body is not one part but many. 15 If the foot should say, “Because I’m not a hand, I don’t belong to the body,” it is not for that reason any less a part of the body. 16 And if the ear should say, “Because I’m not an eye, I don’t belong to the body,” it is not for that reason any less a part of the body. 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? 18 But as it is, God has arranged each one of the parts in the body just as he wanted. 19 And if they were all the same part, where would the body be? 20 As it is, there are many parts, but one body. 21 The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” Or again, the head can’t say to the feet, “I don’t need you!” 22 On the contrary, those parts of the body that are weaker are indispensable. 23 And those parts of the body that we consider less honorable, we clothe these with greater honor, and our unrespectable parts are treated with greater respect, 24 which our respectable parts do not need.Instead, God has put the body together, giving greater honor to the less honorable, 25 so that there would be no division in the body, but that the members would have the same concern for each other. 26 So if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it.27 Now you are the body of Christ, and individual members of it. 28 And God has appointed these in the church: first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, next miracles, then gifts of healing, helping, administrating, various kinds of tongues. [d] 29 Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all do miracles? 30 Do all have gifts of healing? Do all speak in other tongues? Do all interpret? 31 But desire the greater gifts. And I will show you an even better way.

Then after this comes 1 Corinthians 13 which is the LOVE chapter. So how do we accomplish the unity through, reckless, unconditional love putting aside ourselves, our desires, our agendas and our differences and truly be like Christ who is LOVE.

1 Chronicles 7:14 says,

If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.

We must repent, unite, pray and fast, but the question is how do we do it together church. We must start a revolution, denying ourselves completely taking up our crosses and moving as a united front.  Mike Rosas, chaplain for the Houston Rockets and pastor of a church just outside of Houston Texas says in his book Change the World: Becoming a Revolutionary, “One of the main reasons revolutions fail is a lack of focus. They don’t keep the main thing the main thing.” Our main focus must be winning souls to Christ, defeating the principalities over our church in America and over our nation. This can only be done by setting aside our own agendas and our own kingdoms and doing it in one accord.

Let’s look at Philippians 2:1-11

So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, 2 complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. 3 Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. 4 Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. 5 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, 6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant,[c] being born in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. 9 Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Are you with us? Let’s do it! If you are interested in getting on a national list where the church as a whole can begin to network and collaborate unlike ever before please email me your contact information and we will be in touch on how we can begin to be radicals in our neighborhoods, churches and communities.

I have heard it said God doesn’t call the qualified; he qualifies the called, if you are wondering if this challenge is for you the answer is yes! He doesn’t just want to use official pastors and ministry leaders, he wants to use us, everyday church going, pew sitting people.

1 Corinthians 1:27-29 (ESV)

27 But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; 28 God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, 29 so that no human being might boast in the presence of God.

Ministry and sharing the gospel is for EVERYONE who proclaims to be a Christian! Let’s go church! The time is now. Let’s take back our nation and bring good news to the poor, bind up the brokenhearted, proclaim liberty to the captives, open the prison to those who are bound, comfort all who mourn, proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of the vengeance of our God.

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