Sermon Sunday – Charles Spurgeon – A Call For Revival

January 6, 2013 at 6:08 pm | Posted in Sermon Sunday | Leave a comment
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“Come my beloved, let us go forth into the field, let us lodge in the villages. Let us get up early to the vineyards; let us see if the vine flourish, whether the tender grapes appear, and the pomegranates bud forth: there will I give you my loves. The mandrakes give a smell, and at our gates are all manner of pleasant fruits, new and old, which I have laid up for you, O my beloved.”

Song of Solomon 7:11-13 Continue Reading Sermon Sunday – Charles Spurgeon – A Call For Revival…

Persecution Fridays – Nigeria: Attack Sparks Revival

February 24, 2012 at 6:30 am | Posted in VOM Fridays | Leave a comment
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For more news on what’s really happening to Christians around the world go to the Voice of the Martyrs website: www.persecution.com

Nigeria: Attack Sparks Revival

Increasing violence in Nigeria has only strengthened local Christians’ faith, even sparking a revival at the Deeper Life Bible Church in Gombe, where nine Christians were martyred in a Jan. 5 attack on the church. During a funeral service on Jan. 19 for those killed, many believers rededicated their lives to Christ, and others came to faith in Christ for the first time, according to a VOM worker.

Weeping and singing on their knees, a choir led about 500 attendees and 50 pastors in worship. The martyrs’ relatives and other dignitaries — including the deputy governor speaking on behalf of the state’s governor — spoke about each murdered Christian. The four-hour service then moved on to intercessory prayer for the church in Nigeria, the nation at large, Muslims in Nigeria and the Muslim extremist group Boko Haram.

“The leader of the prayers based most of the prayers from the book of Isaiah 61:1–4, among other scriptures, which strengthen and encourage the Church. He encouraged the Church to be more prayerful than complaining,” said the VOM worker. “He said the Lord knows how to fight his own battle in his own way, and we should not revenge whatsoever.”

On Jan. 5, Godwin Odoh, a 36-year-old teacher, was leading prayers at a weekly meeting called “The Hour of Revival.” When the church came under attack, Godwin was shot in the head, chest and legs and died instantly. Eight other attendees were also killed, including children as young as 10 years old and a pastor’s wife.

Ten days later, 72-year-old Yahaya Wuro Buntu, a pastor at Deeper Life Bible Church, was brutally murdered by a group of men who came to his house asking about the Christian faith. Yahaya was often sought out by Muslims to discuss Christianity, so he welcomed the men into his home. The men subdued him, took him to an uncompleted building near his house and killed him, according to a VOM worker. His life was celebrated during the Jan. 19 memorial service for the nine Christians killed during the church attack.

Ever since Boko Haram published an ultimatum on Jan. 3, 2012, threatening violence if Christians did not leave northern Nigeria, the extremist group has claimed responsibility for the murders of at least 44 Christians. On Jan. 22, Muslim extremists and members of Boko Haram attacked a church in Bauchi state, killing at least seven more Christians.

Ayo Oritsejafor, head of the Christian Association of Nigeria, told Compass Direct News that Christian leaders have decided to find a way to defend themselves against the senseless killings. “We have the legitimate right to defend ourselves,” Oritsejafor said. “We will do whatever it takes.”

Sermon Sunday – J.C. Ryle – Authentic Religion

May 22, 2011 at 6:30 am | Posted in Sermon Sunday | 2 Comments
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Authentic Religion
by
J. C. Ryle
(1816-1900)

“Rejected silver” (Jeremiah 6:30)

“Nothing but leaves” (Mark 11:13)

“Let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth”
(1 John 3:18).

“You have a reputation of being alive, but you are dead” (Revelation 3:1)

If we profess to have any religion at all, let us be careful that it is authentic.  I say it emphatically, and I repeat the saying: Let us be careful that our religion is authentic.

What do I mean when I use the word “authentic.”  I mean that which is genuine, and sincere, and honest, and thorough.  I mean that which is not inferior, and hollow, and formal, and false, and counterfeit, and sham, and nominal.  “Authentic” religion is not mere show, and pretense, and skin-deep feeling, and temporary profession, and works only on the outside.  It is something inward, solid, substantial, intrinsic, living, lasting.  We know the difference between counterfeit and authentic money–between solid gold and tinsel–between plated metal and silver–between authentic stone and plaster imitation.  Let us think of these things as we consider the subject of this paper.  What is the character of our religion?  Is it authentic?  It may be weak, and feeble, and mingled with many defects.  That is not the point before us today.  Is our religion authentic?  Is it true?

The times in which we live demand attention to this subject.  A want of authenticity is a striking feature of a vast amount of religion in the present day.  Poets have sometimes told us that the world has passed through four different states or conditions.  We have had a golden age, and a silver age, a brass age, and an iron age.  How far this is true, I do not stop to inquire.  But I fear there is little doubt as to the character of the age in which we live.  It is universally an age of cheap metal and alloy.  If we measure the religion of the age by its apparent quantity, there is much of it.  But if we measure it by its quality, there is indeed very little.  On every side we want MORE AUTHENTICITY. Continue Reading Sermon Sunday – J.C. Ryle – Authentic Religion…

Newslinks 12/05/10

December 5, 2010 at 9:20 pm | Posted in Newslinks | Leave a comment
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Sunday’s Newslinks brought to you by At Ease Tees

Global Church Leader Urges Koreas to Refrain from Use of Force
The United States and South Korea began naval exercises off the west coast of the peninsula Sunday to send a clear message to North Korea that its aggressive actions must stop.

Pakistan Gov’t Barred from Pardoning Christian on Death Row

2 Healthy Churches Merge for Bigger Impact in Ariz.

Religion Debate Pits Blair Against Hitchens

Don’t Do Christmas on Credit, Debt Charity Warns

Iraq Arrests 12 Suspected in Deadly Church Siege

Leak of State Dept Cables Could Impact Friends and Allies Around the World, White House Says
(CNSNews.com)
– Sunday’s release by WikiLeaks of classified U.S. State Department cables provides a glimpse into the world where views are delivered directly and sometimes bluntly, far removed from bland diplomatic statements reserved for the cameras. The cables reveal frank evaluations of a range of issues and political leaders, offered not just by American officials but also by their foreign interlocutors speaking on the assumption of confidentiality.

Raising the Social Security Retirement Age Might Shift Older Workers Onto Disability Rolls, Report Says
(CNSNews.com)
– Improvements in life expectancy have led to proposals to raise the earliest eligibility age for Social Security retirement benefits above 62, the full retirement age above 67, or both. But a recent government report found a downside to raising the retirement ages.

South Korea Warns North Korea of Retaliation As Naval Exercises Begin
(CNSNews.com)
– South Korean President Lee Myun-bak on Monday vowed strong retaliation against the Stalinist state in the event of any further provocation. He spoke a day after the United States and South Korea launched a four-day joint naval exercise in the Yellow Sea. , the body of water located between China and the west coast of the Korean peninsula. China has complained about the U.S. Navy movements in its “exclusive economic zone.”

Alleged Christmas Tree Bomber Said He Wanted to Kill Americans While ‘They Were With Their Families Celebrating the Holidays,’ Says Affidavit
(CNSNews.com)
– Mohamed Osman Mohamud, a 19-year-old Somali-born naturalized U.S. citizen, allegedly made the statement in a video- and audio-taped conversation he had with two undercover FBI agents on Aug. 19 of this year in a Portland, Ore., hotel room.

Security Situation Seen as ‘Bad’ by One in Five Afghans; 80 Percent Say Corruption Affects Daily Life
(CNSNews.com)
– “The number of Afghans rating their security situation as ‘bad’ is the highest since the nationwide survey began in September 2008,” the report stated. “This downward trend in security perception is likely due to the steady increase in total violence over the past nine months.”

Tea Party May Target Major Companies That Back Obama Agenda, Poll Shows
(CNSNews.com)
– The results of the survey led the pollster to conclude that Tea Partiers could “realistically” lead a boycott of such companies.

Obama’s Agriculture Dept. Has Hired Consulting Firm to Advise It on ‘Diversity
(CNSNews.com)
– Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has “taken a number of actions to make his department more sensitive to civil rights issues,” The Hill newspaper reported on Monday.

Bush, Warren: It’s Not About You
Former President George W. Bush revealed on Monday that during his eight-year term, he had in tow the same words of wisdom that Pastor Rick Warren may be famous for: It’s not about you.

Catholic Bishops Back House Resolution to Protect Iraq’s Christians

Survey: Evangelicals Go Against the Tide on Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell

Family Group Blasts Holiday Gift Certificates for Abortion

Man Without Limbs: Live Without Limits

Survey: 1 in 20 Christians Cite Accountability in Church

Mother of 13 Urges Adoption of HIV-Positive Children
Carolyn Twietmeyer, a suburban mother of 13 children – including six from Africa – has a message she wants to say on World AIDS Day: adopt HIV-positive kids.

Faith Leaders Back DREAM Act for Undocumented Youth

Christian Charity in India Educates Public on HIV and AIDS

Televangelist Admits Affair on TV

Christian Columnist: We’ve Won the War on Christmas

Pro-Family Groups Fight Against ‘Hate Group’ Label

Prison Ministry: Spiritual Revival Happening in Women’s Facilities
For unexplainable reasons, other than the Holy Spirit, women inmates are attending Bible meetings and coming to Christ like never before, a prison ministry reported.

Conservatives Warn: DADT Repeal Likely to Hurt Morale, Recruitment

Apple Urged to Restore Manhattan Declaration App

Kay Warren on HIV/AIDS: God Broke My Heart, Wiped Me Out

Poll: ‘Very Religious’ Americans Have Better Emotional Health

Wash. Football Player Flagged for Pointing to God

Drug Cartel-Related Murders Exceed 10,000 for Year So Far, According to a Mexican Newspaper Tally
(CNSNews.com)
– Cartel-related murders in Mexico’s drug war have surpassed 10,000 so far this year, according to a tally kept by the Mexican newspaper Reforma. That figure is about twice the overall number of U.S. military fatalities in Iraq and Afghanistan combined.

November 2010 Was Deadliest November for U.S. Forces in 9-Year Afghan War
(CNSNews.com)
– At least 45 U.S. troops were killed in Afghanistan last month — up from the 17 killed in November 2009. That makes November 2010 the deadliest November since the war began more than nine years ago, according to CNSNews.com’s database. So far this year, 452 U.S. troops have been killed in Afghanistan, more than was killed in any previous year of the war.

Hoyer Supports ‘Disciplinary Action’ Against USDA Employees Who ‘Consciously’ Discriminated Against Black Farmers
(CNSNews.com)
– House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) voted in favor of the huge settlement for black farmers who were discriminated against by the Agriculture Department from 1981-1996, but when asked whether “disciplinary action” should be taken against any USDA employees, Hoyer said he didn’t know enough about the case to endorse any specific action. “It’s pretty amazing to me that you can have 94,000 people likely discriminated against and you can’t find one single individual responsible for $2.3 billion worth of discrimination,” Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) told CNSNews.com Monday.

‘Misleading’ Andy Griffith Ads Cost Taxpayers $3 Million, Gov’t Documents Show
(CNSNews.com)
– The federal government spent $3.1 million on TV ads in which actor Andy Griffith touts the new health care law, but a non-partisan watchdog group says those ads are misleading.

White House Deficit Commission Won’t Say If Federal Salaries Should Be Cut
(CNSNews.com)
– The co-chairs of the White House deficit commission said they support “at least” a freeze of federal employees’ salaries but declined to say whether they support a cut in federal salaries. Data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis for the year 2009 show that federal worker compensation including benefits averaged $123,049, which was more than double the private sector average (with benefits) of $61,051.

Now That Obama Administration Is Taking Terrorism ‘More Seriously,’ Airport Security ‘Significantly Improved’ This Christmas, Lawmaker Says
Washington (CNSNews.com)
– Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.), the ranking Republican on the House Homeland Security Committee, said airport security has “significantly improved” since last year’s attempted Christmas bombing. “The federal government, Homeland Security and TSA have, I think, significantly improved since last Christmas, there’s more cohesion.”

Obama Administration Linking Arms Control Treaty With Russian Cooperation on Iran
(CNSNews.com)
– Pushing to get the New START arms reduction treaty through the lame-duck Senate, the Obama administration and Democrats are looking to pro-Israel organizations, arguing that delaying ratification will jeopardize Russian support for international pressure on Iran. Many conservatives, including some Jewish groups, have deep reservations about the negotiated treaty, including concerns that it will constrain U.S. missile defense options.

EPA Shifting Its Emphasis to ‘Sustainability’
(CNSNews.com)
– The Environmental Protection Agency, marking its 40th anniversary this week, has commissioned a National Research Council study that will help the agency “incorporate sustainability into the way the agency approaches environmental protection.” What does that mean? The EPA reaches all the way to Africa to provide an example.

‘Our Government Has a Role to Play’ in Reducing the Stigma of HIV/AIDS, Obama Says
(CNSNews.com)
– In a message marking World AIDS Day on Wednesday, President Obama urged the American people to “join in appropriate activities to remember the men, women, and children who have lost their lives to AIDS and to provide support and comfort to those living with this disease.” He reminded infected people that his new health care law will help them get “adequate health insurance coverage and quality care.”

Energy Secretary Bemoans ‘Downward’ Trend in Energy Budget
(CNSNews.com)
– Energy Secretary Steven Chu said the “downward” budget trend for research and development at the Department of Energy is “alarming.”

Full-Scale Replica of Noah’s Ark Coming to Ky. Theme Park
Noah may have taken 400 years to build the ark but investors of a new biblical theme park in northern Kentucky plan to replicate a full-scale model in under 36 months.

Former Daystar Employee Sues Evangelist Over Affair

Late-Term Abortionist Moves to Maryland

Obama to Receive Christmas Cards Urging Mideast Peace

Americans Prefer ‘Merry Christmas’ to ‘Happy Holidays’

53rd Grammy Nominees for Gospel Music Announced

FCC Commissioner Wants to Test the ‘Public Value’ of Every Broadcast Station
(CNSNews.com)
– American journalism is in “grave peril,” FCC Commissioner Michael Copps says, and to bolster “traditional media,” he said the Federal Communications Commission should conduct a “public value test” of every broadcast station at relicensing time. In a speech at the Columbia University School of Journalism on Thursday, Copps also said station relicensing should happen every four years instead of the current eight.

British Christian Group Raises Concerns About Shari’a-Compliant Food
(CNSNews.com)
– A Christian organization in Britain has launched a petition campaign aimed at defending the right of those who do not want to eat meat slaughtered according to Islamic law (shari’a). Operation Nehemiah argues that the mainstreaming of halal across the world constitutes part of a global Islamization drive. While Muslims should be free to follow their own religious practices, the group objects to non-Muslims having little or no choice in the matter.

Bachmann: ‘There Needs To Be an Insurrection’ Against GOP Leaders If They Don’t Hold Straight Vote to Repeal Obamacare
(CNSNews.com)
– Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), founder and chairman of the House Tea Party Caucus, told CNSNews.com that there will be an “insurrection” against the House Republican leadership if it does not hold an independent, straight up-or-down vote on repealing the entire Obamacare law that does not tie this repeal to other policy initiatives including any effort to “replace” elements of Obamacare with new federal health-care reforms.

Q&A With Michele Bachmann: Zero Out Funding For Obama’s Czars and Obamacare
(CNSNews.com)
– Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), founder and chair of the House Tea Party Caucus, told CNSNews.com this week that when Republicans take control of the House in January they should kill Obamacare by zeroing-out funding for it. They should also remove funding for the non-Senate-confirmed “czars” President Barack Obama has named to his administration. “That’s the beauty of conservatives winning in this election, because the House has the power of the purse and we can zero that out in our budget,” she said.

Pence, DeMint Push for Permanent Extension of Bush Tax Rates
(CNSNews.com)
– Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) and Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.) renewed their call on Wednesday for making the current tax rates permanent before they automatically reset to 1990’s-era levels at year’s end. “Higher taxes aren’t going to get anybody hired,” Pence said. “Raising taxes on job creators won’t create any jobs. Raising taxes during the worst economy in 25 years is just a phenomenally bad idea.”
“Uncertainty is the enemy of our prosperity,” Pence said.

Napolitano Says Granting Legal Status to Some Illegal Aliens Improves Immigration Law Enforcement
(CNSNews.com)
– Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said granting legal status to illegal immigrants who attend college or join the military will help the country target criminal illegal immigrants. She said the U.S. should “prioritize our enforcement resources on removing dangerous criminal aliens” rather than wasting time and effort prosecuting young people “brought here through no fault of their own.”

Congressman: Close Tax-Funded Smithsonian Exhibit Despite Removal of Ant-Covered Jesus
(CNSNews.com)
– Rep. Jack Kingston (R-Ga.) said that removing a video with images of ants swarming over Jesus Christ on a crucifix is a “positive” step, but he said there are other elements of the show that make it inappropriate for display in a federal institution where families come to see iconic works of arts such as the portraits of U.S. presidents.

Combat Troops’ Opposition Not an ‘Insurmountable Barrier’ to Letting Gays Serve in Military, Defense Secretary Says
(CNSNews.com)
– Although up to 60 percent of U.S. combat troops oppose the idea of homosexuals serving in the military, those concerns do not pose a ‘insurmountable barrier’ to repealing the statute, Department of Defense Secretary Robert Gates told a Senate panel on Dec. 2. Gates indicated that the combat troops’ negative response to repealing the law stems from their lack of experience in serving with homosexuals. “I couldn’t disagree more,” responded Sen. John McCain.

Congress Should Look At Reducing Federal Workforce ‘Across the Board,’ Republican Says
(CNSNews.com)
– Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) on Thursday declined to say whether salaries of federal employees should be cut, but he did say that Congress needs to look at “a reduction of federal employees across the board.”

Leaked Cable May Prompt Iran to Demand Resignation of Nuclear Watchdog Chief
(CNSNews.com)
– Amid rumors that Iran will demand his resignation, the head of the United Nations’ nuclear watchdog agency denied any wrongdoing Thursday, following reports that leaked U.S. diplomatic cables indicated he sided with the U.S. on the Iranian nuclear standoff. Tehran has long accused International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director-General Yukiya Amano of lacking impartiality.

Church Planter Tackles Men Who Won’t Grow Up
A St. Louis pastor and respected church planter raised the alarm about a societal problem he calls “ban,” which are males that are not quite boys nor men in their maturity level.

Military Chiefs Ask Lawmakers to Delay DADT Repeal

Petition Asking Apple to Reinstate Christian App Gains Steam

Groups to Press Obama to Defend Iraqi Christians

Calif. Judge Refuses to Bow Out of Prop. 8 Appeals Panel

Wrong to Exclude God from Classroom, Says U.K. Think Tank

Newslinks 06/20/10

June 20, 2010 at 1:25 pm | Posted in Newslinks | Leave a comment
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Sunday’s Newslinks brought to you by At Ease Tees

Papers Reveal Kagan’s Thoughts on Partial-Birth Abortion, Religious Freedom
As a Clinton White House counsel, Solicitor General Elena Kagan said she felt it was best to let doctors decide when a “so-called partial-birth [abortion] procedure” was necessary.

Fla. Gov. Vetoes Pro-Life Bill

Christian Health Care Sharing Requires More Than Religion

Defending Christianity’s Place in U.S. Against ‘Anti-Faith’ Attacks

Pope Ends Year for Priests With Apology for Abuse Scandal

Salem Web Network Acquires GodTube.com, Tangle.com

Carter’s method still ineffective, says analyst
A national defense analyst and former State Department official to the Bush administration says Barack Obama is on the road to re-Carterizing America.

Homegrown terrorist threats
A homeland security expert thinks Americans should be concerned with the increase in the number of U.S. citizens being radicalized” to Islam, often with a Somali connection.

Perspective: Slouching towards jihad
Why is it that Americans suffer the foolishness of political correctness that tells us we should celebrate the growth of Islam here in America? Continue Reading Newslinks 06/20/10…

Revival (long)

April 26, 2010 at 4:51 pm | Posted in Christianity | Leave a comment
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I don’t know what it is like in other areas of America (I’m originally from Ohio and don’t remember hearing a lot about this up there), but over the next five or so months, churches across the South will be holding revivals. These will be big to-dos varying in length from three or four days to an entire week. During the time leading up to these events, the church excitement grows and people look forward to this in order to be “refreshed” and get a spiritual boost so that they continue to “work for the Lord”.  They will dress in their Sunday best, notebooks in hand, to hear what the preacher/evangelist (usually a guest) has to say. Depending on the denomination and area, these meetings will range in volume and action. The expectation is that at the end of the week, they will have heard the very thing they needed to hear so that they can move to a new level with God and “do more” for Him. I remember attending a few revivals (I haven’t been to one in years) and recall them being emotionally charged appeals (in some cases) or sound, steady topical teaching (in other cases). For weeks following the revival, people would make larger efforts to have more ministries, outreaches, events, and other things geared toward the church. As I look back though, I seem to also remember that after about two months the revival wore off. People began getting caught up in the daily grind again and all of those new ministries and events just fell by the wayside. I have thought about this a lot lately. In my own life, I am striving harder to have everything I do line the Scriptures. I am not even close yet, but things are moving along. I started wondering what Scripture said about revival. What I found was interesting. Continue Reading Revival (long)…

Tea party in the church?

April 12, 2010 at 4:16 am | Posted in Christianity | 2 Comments
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The climate of the US has changed dramatically in just over a year. Where there was talk of “hope and change”, there is now talk of disappointment and disgust. Where there was talk of a better tomorrow, there has been more of the same. The politicians that supposedly lead this country have shown themselves, for the most part, to be incompetent at even the most basic of tasks. They can’t do the things that the Constitution gives them the power to do and they still try to grow beyond the limits the Constitution places on them. Some of them don’t even know basic geology (Guam, or any other island, cannot capsize and sink…). Enter the Tea Party. The Tea Party has been mocked as an “Astroturf” type of movement that is all fluff and no substance. Those who support the Tea Party have been labeled as “right-wing extremists”, “terrorists”, and “racists”. They have made their voices heard as they stand up for truth and integrity from our so-called leaders. They share the same principles that our God-fearing founders did. All of this started with the people… Continue Reading Tea party in the church?…

Sunday’s Newslinks – 02/14/10

February 14, 2010 at 9:47 pm | Posted in Newslinks | Leave a comment
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Sunday’s Newslinks brought to you by At Ease Tees

U.S. Baptists arrested in Haitian orphan incident
A group of 10 American Baptists were being held in the Haitian capital Sunday after trying to take 33 children out of Haiti.

A GOP bow to the Tea Party movement?
The Republican National Committee has adopted a rule that will prod GOP leaders to provide financial support to only those candidates who support the party’s platform.

Fortuneteller sues, claims discrimination
A Virginia fortuneteller is suing to overturn a Chesterfield County ordinance, saying it discriminates against her beliefs.

Muslim parents reject deal with Christian daughter
The Muslim parents of an Ohio girl who ran away from home claiming she feared harm for becoming Christian have rejected a deal meant to resolve the conflict.

U.S. Attorney Reviews Call for Probe of SEIU Activities with White House, Congress
(CNSNews.com)
– Federal prosecutors are reviewing a request for an investigation into whether Andy Stern, president of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), violated the Lobbying Disclosure Act with his frequent visits to the White House and with members of Congress in 2009. Americans for Tax Reform has written to acting U.S. Attorney Channing D. Phillips of the District of Columbia asking for a probe.

SEC Ruling Requires Companies to Tell Shareholders If Climate Laws Are Bad for Business
(CNSNews.com)
– A new SEC ruling by would require corporations to inform their shareholders about the business risks and potential impacts of climate change legislation, environmental regulation, and international climate treaties. The ruling marks the first time the SEC has required companies to make such information available to shareholders, and one fiscal conservative told CNSNews.com the ruling will benefit investors.

Congressional Salaries Should Not Go Up Until Federal Spending Is Under Control, Hatch Says
(CNSNews.com)
– While the Congressional Budget Office reported last week a projected $6 trillion total in new national debt over the next 10 years, Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) told CNSNews.com that lawmakers’ salaries should not go up until Congress does a “really good job of getting budgetary spending under control.” Continue Reading Sunday’s Newslinks – 02/14/10…

America’s Greatest Need

April 21, 2008 at 1:17 pm | Posted in Christianity | Leave a comment
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In light of the presidential race and the focus on America, I’ve been hearing a lot about what America needs. Issues like jobs, the economy, tax reform, the environment, and abortion are all over the news with each candidate putting their spin on the issue in hopes of gaining the most votes and the presidency. All of this got me thinking about something…

What is America’s greatest need? Is it one of the issues listed above or is it something else? In the church, there might be a somewhat different response (although many churches today seem to be caught up in the same social issues that the world is). With spring comes buds on the trees and beautiful flowers, but spring also heralds the season of revival for many denominations. From now until the fall churches across the nation will be holding weeklong revivals in an effort to stir up the hearts of God’s people. There will be fiery sermons and exhortations. There will be songs of praise and worship. All of this will be done in an effort to please God and to “get Him to move” in the lives and cities where His people dwell.

But, is this America’s greatest need? Do we need revival? Should the body of Christ spend a week at a time clamoring for God’s attention, emotionally and spiritually whipping themselves into a frenzy? Should they put off everything else to spend an entire week of nights in the building called a “church” hearing a sermon that they may or may not remember a month from now? Is revival really America’s greatest need?

I don’t think so. I have nothing against revivals and have heard some wonderful sermons preached during these events, but that’s all they are: events. I don’t think that America’s greatest need is revival and I think that the church needs to realize that as well. In the book Downpour, author James MacDonald says what should be common sense to the church and yet seems to be ignored so many times. He says “to be revived, you have to be vived in the first place”. For revival to take place, those who profess to be Christians have to be “vived” to begin with. Sadly, that’s not the case. There are many in churches across the country living in sin (many openly) and no one is saying anything about it. There are people (including pastors!) committing adultery and they just keep on preaching “the Word”. There are people lying, stealing, cheating, and lusting after others and they are all professing to be Christians!

I don’t think that America’s greatest need is revival. You may disagree with me, but America’s greatest need is repentance. America needs to repent before we can ever be revived. So many talk about God bringing revival to the land, but many of those same people haven’t repented. We want our country to be free from the plagues that we face from every side, and we cry out for revival but to no avail. Why? Because we need to repent.

I’m not talking to the pagans and heathens either. I’m talking to the “Christians”! I’m talking to all of those pastors who are preaching a different gospel whether it is the “prosperity” gospel, the “feel good” gospel, the “you are god” gospel, the “social gospel” or any gospel other than the one that Jesus preached. REPENT! I’m talking to those “Christians” who think that they can live in adultery or sexual immorality and no one will know. REPENT! I’m talking to all of those youth who are sexually active or secretly pregnant. REPENT! I’m talking to all of those “men of God” who spend hours on the Internet looking at pornography. REPENT! I’m talking to all of those women who smile all pretty and talk sweet to people’s faces and then turn around and talk about them like nobody’s business. REPENT! I’m talking to all of the “Christian” men who need to be husbands to their wives, leaders in their houses, and examples to their children. REPENT! I’m talking to all of the women who profess to be Christians and have no problem at all killing the child that’s inside of them. REPENT! I’m talking to all of those “Christians” who claim that they can live a homosexual lifestyle and still be obedient to God. REPENT!

Is it any wonder why our country is in the shape that it’s in? We sit back and allow the world to fill our heads with lies about everything (and we believe it!). We chase the world and it’s ways in an effort to be “relevant” so that we can “reach out to the lost”. We spend all of our time and money on entertainment and events and the things that are “popular” in the world’s culture to draw people into the church, even though we know that Jesus said that we were to GO into the world! Our children run rampant (I’m talking about the ones from “Christian” families), they get into just as much trouble (if not more because they think they’re immune), and they are just as sexually active as those in the world. The divorce rate in the church is just as high as that of the world, even though we have scriptures that tell us how much God hates divorce and how it’s a permanent covenant that “no man” should separate.

Many will read this and say that the answer is 2 Chronicles 7:14:

2 Chron. 7:13-14:”If I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or if I command the locust to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among My people, and 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, will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

My first post was on the event last year called “The Call”. In almost a year since The Call, I’ve looked back to see very little impact from that event. The verse from 2 Chronicles was used extensively during the pre-Call time as well as during The Call itself. But is that really what happened? Is that what’s happening now? I wonder if those who profess to be God’s children really know how to do what’s quoted? First, do they know if they are His? If they’re living a life of sin, they are not His. Do they know how to humble themselves? I have seen a lot of false humility in the body of Christ lately. Many act like they are humble and contrite, but they don’t live it out. Do they know how to pray? I’m not talking about shouting to the heavens so that God might hear you better, and I’m not talking about rocking back and forth speaking in tongues. I’m talking about praying, spending time with God talking to Him, and interceding according to the truth of His Word. Do they know how to seek His face? From the looks of the modern church they don’t. They seek His hand or they seek His Name but they don’t seek His face. They look for “the blessing” and they talk about how they are glorifying God but they lack the substance that should accompany their efforts. Do they turn from their wicked ways? I can say with confidence that the answer is NO. They don’t turn from their wicked ways; they look to twist scripture to justify them. They seek for “loopholes” in scripture that they can make use of to suit themselves and lead others astray. They turn a blind eye to the truth of God for their own lives but seem to be quick to point out the troubles in the lives of others.

If none of what’s in 2 Chronicles 7:14 is happening, is it any wonder why God can’t hear us? Is it any wonder that our land isn’t being healed?

As I said above, I believe that the thing that America needs most is repentance. Those who profess to belong to Christ and follow Him need to actually start doing so. They need to stop living out “their best life now” or living Christianity out their own way and start living the Christian life the way that scripture says to live it. We are called to be holy. We are called to be set apart and different than the world. We are called to be a royal priesthood. If God were to treat us like He did the priests in the Old Testament, He would consume us with fire (Lev. 10) or have the earth swallow us up (Num. 16) because of our disobedience!

I can’t help but wonder something else as I write this. Why would we not want to repent? Ultimately, I know why. Think about it though. We have been given the greatest gift ever given! We have been given freedom from our sins and reconciliation to God! Not only that, but we have been offered the chance to be used by God to share that gift with others by telling them the truth of the gospel! Why are we not doing this? Why don’t we repent? Why aren’t we be rushing to God to ask for forgiveness, aligning our lives with His Word, and then doing everything that we can to go out and preach the gospel to the lost? Are we that happy with living our lives in the flesh? Are we so proud of ourselves and our accomplishments that we would rather rest on those than in the Savior of our souls?

What is our problem?!?!?!

To be honest, our problem is the same one we had in the garden. A friend of mine and I were talking about the Fall. She made a good point about Eve eating the fruit. In Genesis 3, when Satan questions God’s Word to man, Eve replies that she can’t eat the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil or touch it or they would die. God only said that they couldn’t eat it. So, when Eve allows herself to be carried away and enticed by her own lusts (James 1:13-15), she reaches for the fruit. When she takes the fruit and it doesn’t kill her, she may have thought, “Well, I didn’t die then…”

THAT’S what’s happening today too. We sin against God and it doesn’t kill us on the spot so we delude ourselves into thinking that it’s ok. We begin to feel comfortable with that sin so we commit another one. That one doesn’t kill us either and in time, we are ok with it too. Eventually, we are miles away from God, but we are comfortable with it because we have fooled ourselves into thinking that we’re still His, still doing His will, and nothing is wrong. I mean, if it were really as bad as it sounds, God would have done something about it by now right? I bet the Amorites said the same thing, until Israel came out of Egypt millions strong and decimated them…

Our greatest need here in America (and from the sounds of it everywhere else too) is not revival. It’s repentance. We need to truly repent of our sins and trust in Jesus. We need to live out our lives according to the way He has said. We need to study to show ourselves approved and to equip ourselves to do every good work. We HAVE to do this if we want to see America restored!

America, it’s time to repent!


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