Through Much Tribulation

e4l5Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in chapter twenty-one of Luke’s gospel presents many warnings regarding the state of the world prior to His return to the earth. Not only are wars, plagues, famines, terrors, and false prophets spoken of, but He informs us that the religious persecution of Christians will be common. He states, “But before all these things they will lay their hands on you and will persecute you delivering you to the synagogues and prisons bringing you before kings and governors for My name’s sake.” (Luke 21:12) Notice that He refers to believers being delivered to “synagogues” or taken captive by the devout or pious leaders in order to stand trial for their faith in Christ.

Soul Liberty is defined in a book written by Henry C. Fish titled “The Price of Soul-Liberty and Who Paid It” as the liberty to think and act in religious matters without human dictation or control. God has given men freedoms and liberties to choose and live according to his/her dictates. Scripture is the guideline given to believers to assist in discerning good and evil in relation to decision making pertaining to the will of God.  True believers will not or at least are hesitant to violate not only their conscience, but more importantly the Word of God while making assessments. Biblical convictions will most certainly cause conflicts in the world, but surprisingly, Jesus warns us struggles will also occur within the church. This is clearly demonstrated by the skirmish in the fourth century over Sacramental Efficacy. The Baptist opposed the idea of “clinic or sick-room baptism” as well as baptizing unconscious children in order that they might be saved. In response to this (unbiblical) soteriological view, the Baptist protested and were denounced by the Roman Empire.

According to Fish, they were persecuted by religious leaders as a result of holding their views. “In the following year, the council of Carthage, of which Augustine was the President, thus decreed: “We will that whosoever denies that little children, by baptism, are freed from perdition and eternally saved, that they be accursed…Thus early did Baptists begin to pay the price of Soul Liberty…And ever suffering for their faith, is it strange that they should have been first and foremost in denouncing religious tyranny, and proclaiming the sanctity of conscience?” True believers can expect similar responses from world governments and religious leaders comprising the twenty-first century false church. Especially, in relation to topics pertaining to marriage; false religions; homosexuality; the deity of Christ; the inerrancy of Scripture; biblical roles; government policies;  and soteriology.

A quick assessment of viewpoints, laws, and regulations recently implemented regarding those who oppose such hot topics as same sex ‘marriage’, public schools, abortion, homosexuality, Islam, and governmental policies  proves the truth of Jesus’ aforementioned predictions.  As a result of this increasingly more hostile environment, Believers have and will spend more time before judges and courts answering for our faith and convictions.  One example of secular opposition is the recent discovery of the illegal activities within the Internal Revenue Service.  Reports have been uncovered that expose the practice of opposing or denying certain non-profit organization’s request for 501c 4 status in order to block political influence.   Nevertheless, we see similar antagonism developing amongst religious leaders towards the concept of the God of the Bible being exclusive. Jesus states, “Anyone who goes too far and does not abide in the teachings of Christ does not have God…” (2 John 9)  Many multi-faith or ecumenical leaders are attempting to unify world religious by laying aside doctrine in order to come together for the sake of a humanitarian effort.

In an article titled, Is Pope Francis Laying The Ground Work For A One World Religion the author writes, “Does Pope Francis intend to help the global elite achieve their goal of uniting all of the religions of the world under a single banner? Will he be instrumental in establishing a single global religion for the glorious “new age” that the global elite believe is coming? After he was elected, the cover of Time Magazine declared Pope Francis to be the “New World Pope“, and since his election Pope Francis has made it abundantly clear that he is going to make ecumenical outreach a top priority. He has spoken of his “determination to continue on the path of ecumenical dialogue“, and he has already held a number of very high profile ecumenical meetings. Not only has he worked hard to reach out to leaders from various Christian traditions, he has also made it a point to try to acknowledge the mutual bonds that he feels with all other religions. For example, in one recent address he made it a point to say that he believes that Muslims worship and pray to the “one God” that he also worships.

This “all roads lead to the same God” philosophy is a hallmark of the one world religion that the global elite have been slowly building toward for decades. The global elite know that even with a one world economy and a one world government, humanity will never be truly united until there is a single global religion. Unfortunately, this one world religion that they are seeking to establish is diametrically opposed to the Christianity that we find in the Bible. By throwing out Biblical truth for the sake of “friendship between men and women of different religious traditions“, is Pope Francis fundamentally betraying the faith that he claims to represent?

Christian persecutions

The biggest similarity between Islam and Catholicism is that both religions have a long history of persecuting and murdering Christians. Foxe’s Book of Martyrs written by John Foxe records not only the labeling of Christians as apostates but numerous murders occurring because of believer’s opposition to idols and satanic rituals practices by the papacy. Again, we are warned by Christ about the practices of religious leaders, “They will make you outcast from the synagogue, but an hour is coming for everyone who kills you to think that he is offering service to God…” (John 15:2) So, how should believers respond? “It will lead to an opportunity for your testimony…for I will give you utterance and wisdom which none of your opponents will be able to resist or refute.” (Luke 21:13, 15)

Jesus’ solution to this problem is to witness, testify, or preach the gospel to our persecutors!

Only through hearing the “Good News” can men be saved. Therefore, Christians must not only be ready to preach the gospel but be ready to suffer for their faith. We are reminded in the book of Acts that through much tribulation, suffering, persecution, distress, rejection, we are to enter the kingdom of God. “Through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God.” (Acts 14:22b)

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Pentecost to Passion Prayer Plan

Thanks to  all of you who have agreed to join together with us to pray this year.

Praying hands

Week 15  8/18-8/25/13  Pray for the people of Egypt especially the Christian believers who are finding themselves the target of much of the aggression.

Romans 8:35
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?

2 Corinthians 12:10
Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.

 

e4l5

Week 1 5/19-5/25/13  Pray for our evangelists and missionaries.  Pray for their Health and Protection.  Pray for their Peace of mind.  Pray for Wisdom and Direction.

Psalm 4:1 Hear me when I call, O God of my righteousness: thou hast enlarged me when I was in distress; have mercy upon me, and hear my prayer. Psalm 5:3 My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O Lord; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up. Psalm 6:9 The Lord hath heard my supplication; the Lord will receive my prayer.  

Week 2  5/26-6/1/13    Pray for revelations about the Word of God and the work.  Answers may come as you pray just as Gabriel came to Daniel.  

Daniel 9:20-22   20 And whiles I was speaking, and praying, and confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel, and presenting my supplication before the Lord my God for the holy mountain of my God; 21 Yea, whiles I was speaking in prayer, even the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the beginning, being caused to fly swiftly, touched me about the time of the evening oblation. 22 And he informed me, and talked with me, and said, O Daniel, I am now come forth to give thee skill and understanding.

Week 3  6/2-6/8/13    Intercede for the Lost in the NW Ohio area.  Faithful saints of God have committed to door-to-door and street evangelism in the area.  Please pray for hearts to be changed and that God will draw them to Himself.

In the book, A Passion for Prayer,  author Tom Elliff  points that Genesis 18 is a clear example of a believer interceding for another.  If you will recall this is when The LORD and His angels visited Abraham and revealed to him that He was going to destroy Sodom.  The Bible records that, “the men turned away from there and went toward Sodom, but Abraham still stood before the LORD.” (v. 22)

When Abraham heard that Sodom and Gomorrah was to be destroyed because of  ‘their sin is very grave’ (v. 20) he stood before the LORD and began to intercede for the welfare of his relative Lot and his family.  Through persistence in prayer for the people, Abraham received assurance from the LORD that He would not destroy the land for the sake of ten righteous people. (v.32)  As we know the land and inhabitants was destroyed but Lot and his family was delivered.   Pray this week for the Lost. “Intercession requires aggressive cooperation with God along the lines of His revealed will” and it involves “Imploring God on behalf of a specific person or persons.” (Elliff, pg. 20) 

Luke 11:5-9 

5 And he said unto them, Which of you shall have a friend, and shall go unto him at midnight, and say unto him, Friend, lend me three loaves; 

6 For a friend of mine in his journey is come to me, and I have nothing to set before him? 

7 And he from within shall answer and say, Trouble me not: the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot rise and give thee. 

8 I say unto you, Though he will not rise and give him, because he is his friend, yet because of his importunity he will rise and give him as many as he needeth. 

9 And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you

Week 4  6/9-6/15/13   Pray that the LORD of the Harvest would send forth laborers into the field.  Pray that He would open doors for ministry to Evangelize4Life workers and give us increased opportunities to equip, train and encourage those with a heart and call to do evangelism.  

Ephesians 4: 11-13

11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;

12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:

13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:

Week 5  6/16-6/23/2013  God Is Always Working…

Please pray that true believers will assist in sharing the gospel and in discipling both unbelievers as well as new converts.  The Bible reveals that God is always working.   God the Father ministered or labored through His Son while on earth and now operates through Spirit filled Christians to reach the lost, plus (disciple) new believers.


My Father is working until now and I Myself am working…As Thou didst send Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world…”  (John 5:17, 17:18)

Week 6 6/24-7/1/2013  Weary Of Well Doing

Evangelism for some can or could be very discouraging especially if individuals are looking for immediate results.  The proper perspective must be directed towards God and His supernatural work in the lives of unbelievers.  The sower of the gospel is but a vessel used by the Lord to  scatter the seed, but ultimately God gives the increase.

“So then neither the  one who plants nor the one who waters is anything but God who causes the growth.”  (Corinthians 3:7)

Weeks 7-11 7/1-7/29/2013   Praying for Missionaries & Evangelists and their Personal Devotion Time

Pray for time of personal devotion.  As Christians we need to spend time in the Word of God and with our LORD every day.  Pray for our brothers and sisters who are on the front lines and on the field that you would give them the heart, desire and time to prioritize their time in personal devotions.  Pray that the Lord would give them quiet time each day when they can meditate and be strengthened.

Week 12  7/29-8/3/2013  Praying for the families of Missionaries & Evangelists.  

Often times, missionaries and evangelists are required for the sake of the call to leave their families for periods of time to be on mission.  Please pray and ask God to provide for their families while they are absent.  Pray also that these men and women will easily adjust to their surroundings while they are away from their homes.    Mathew 28.

Week 13  8/4-8/10/13  Pray for the children and families of those who are ministering to the Body of Christ and for the Missionaries/Evangelists who are preaching the gospel to men, women, boys and girls on the field.   The enemy knows that attacking the missionary/pastor’s family is an effective way of distracting or interfering with the work.  

Job 1:10, 1 Peter 4:8, 1 Peter 4:11, Psalm 103:5

1 Peter 4:8

King James Version (KJV)

8 And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins.

1 Peter 4:11

King James Version (KJV)

11 If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

 

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Speaking of Evangelism…Motivational Quotes for the Missions-Minded

ImageMatthew 28:18-20

King James Version (KJV)

18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.

19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:

20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.  Jesus, The Christ

“Evangelism is not a professional job for a few trained men, but is instead the unrelenting responsibility of every person who belongs to the company of Jesus.” Elton Trueblood

“I care not where I go, or how I live, or what I endure so that I may save souls. When I sleep I dream of them; when I awake they are first in my thoughts…no amount of scholastic attainment, of able and profound exposition of brilliant and stirring eloquence can atone for the absence of a deep impassioned sympathetic love for human souls.” David Brainerd

“We shall have all eternity in which to celebrate our victories, but we have only one swift hour before the sunset in which to win them.” Robert Moffatt

“You have nothing to do but to save souls. Therefore spend and be spent in this work. And go not only to those that need you, but to those that need you most…It is not your business to preach so many times, and to take care of this or that society; but to save as many souls as you can; to bring as many sinners as you possibly can to repentance.” John Wesley

“Perhaps if there were more of that intense distress for souls that leads to tears, we should more frequently see the results we desire. Sometimes it may be that while we are complaining of the hardness of the hearts of those we are seeking to benefit, the hardness of our own hearts and our feeble apprehension of the solemn reality of ­eternal things may be the true cause of our want of success.” Hudson Taylor

“Give me one hundred preachers who fear nothing but sin and desire nothing but God, and I care not whether they be clergymen or laymen, they alone will shake the gates of Hell and set up the kingdom of Heaven upon Earth.”
John Wesley

“If sinners be dammed, at least let them leap to Hell over our bodies. If they will perish, let them perish with our arms about their knees. Let no one GO there UNWARNED and UNPRAYED for.” Charles Spurgeon

“I’d rather have people hate me with the knowledge that I tried to save them.” Keith Green

“Some want to live within the sound of church or chapel bell; I want to run a rescue shop within a yard of hell.” C. T. Studd

“No sort of defense is needed for preaching outdoors, but it would take a very strong argument to prove that a man who has never preached beyond the walls of his meetinghouse has done his duty. A defense is required for services within buildings rather than for worship outside of them.” William Booth

“It is no marvel that the devil does not love field preaching! Neither do I; I love a commodious room, a soft cushion, a handsome pulpit. But where is my zeal if I do not trample all these underfoot in order to save one more soul?” John Wesley

“Preach abroad….It is the cooping yourselves up in rooms that has dampened the work of God, which never was and never will be carried out to any purpose without going into the highways and hedges and compelling men and women to come in.” Jonathan Edwards

“I believe I never was more acceptable to my Master than when I was standing to teach those hearers in the open fields…I now preach to ten times more people than I would if I had been confined to the churches.” George Whitfield

“I am well assured that I did far more good to my Lincolnshire parishioners by preaching three days on my father’s tomb than I did by preaching three years in his pulpit.” John Wesley

“Lord, make me a crisis man. Let me not be a mile-post on a single road, but make me a fork that men must turn one way or another in facing Christ in me.” Jim Elliot

“Those were great days, and great victories were won. We always managed a riot or a revival. Sometimes a riot and no revival, but never a revival without a riot.” William Nicholson

“Could a mariner sit idle if he heard the drowning cry?Could a doctor sit in comfort and just let his patients die?Could a fireman sit idle, let men burn and give no hand?Can you sit at ease in Zion with the world around you DAMNED?” Leonard Ravenhill

“While women weep, as they do now, I’ll fight; while children go hungry, as they do now I’ll fight; while men go to prison, in and out, in and out, as they do now, I’ll fight; while there is a drunkard left, while there is a poor lost girl upon the streets, while there remains one dark soul without the light of God, I’ll fight-I’ll fight to the very end!” William Booth

“Make it an object of constant study, and of daily reflection and prayer, to learn how to deal with sinners so as to promote their conversion.” Charles G. Finney

“Isn’t it staggering when you think that one sermon on the day of Pentecost produced 3000 people? And we had some cities yesterday where 3000 sermons were preached and nobody was saved. And it doesn’t even faze us.” Leonard Ravenhill

“Can we go too fast in saving souls? If anyone still wants a reply, let him ask the lost souls in Hell.” William Booth

“Make it an object of constant study, and of daily reflection and prayer, to learn how to deal with sinners so as to promote their conversion.” Charles G. Finney

“If Jesus had preached the same message that ministers preach today, He would never have been crucified.” Leonard Ravenhill

“Let the victors when they come, When the forts of folly fall, Find thy body near the wall.” Alfred Buxton

“Let us not glide through this world and then slip quietly into heaven, without having blown the trumpet loud and long for our Redeemer, Jesus Christ. Let us see to it that the devil will hold a thanksgiving service in hell, when he gets the news of our departure from the field of battle.” C. T. Studd

“The attitude of the average Christian today is relax and be raptured. But He is coming… and when God gets angry you’ve no idea what it is. Like a thousand volcanoes exploding. He has appointed a day in which He is going to judge the world and the poor blind world doesn’t know much about it and the poor blind church doesn’t think much about it now.” Leonard Ravenhill

“A preacher who preaches the truth uncompromisingly will be asked “does your preaching always have to be so pointy? Does it always have to be so sharp?” And of coarse the answer is no. He can blunt his message if he’d like and become just as dull as the average preacher.” Jesse Morrell

“It is not our business to make the message acceptable, but to make it available. We are not to see that they like it, but that they get it.” Dr. Vance Havner

“We are not called to proclaim philosophy and metaphysics, but the simple gospel. Man’s fall, his need of a new birth, forgiveness through atonement, and salvation as the result of faith, these are our battle-ax and weapons of war.”
C. H. SPURGEON

“Ministers often preach about the Gospel instead of preaching the Gospel. They often preach about sinners instead of preaching to them.” Charles Finney

“Christian people, are you figuring round and round to get a little property, yet neglecting souls? Beware lest you ruin souls that can never live again! Do you say — I thought they knew it all? They reply to you, “I did not suppose you believed a word of it yourselves. You did not act as if you did. Are you going to heaven? Well, I am going down to hell! There is no help for me now. You will sometimes think of me then, as you shall see the smoke of my woe rising up darkly athwart the glorious heavens. After I have been there a long, long time, you will sometimes think that I, who once lived by your side, am there. O remember, you cannot pray for me then; but you will remember that once you might have warned and might have saved me.” Charles G. Finney

“Do all the good you can by all the means you can in all the places you can at all the times you can to all the people you can as long as ever you can.” John Wesley

“All roads lead to the judgment seat of Christ.” Keith Green
“The man whose little sermon is “repent” sets himself against his age, and will for the time being be battered mercilessly by the age whose moral tone he challenges. There is but one end for such a man – “off with his head!” You had better not try to preach repentance until you have pledged your head to heaven.” Joseph Parker

“How shall I feel at the judgement, if multitudes of missed opportunities pass before me in full review, and all my excuses prove to be disguises of my cowardice and pride.” Dr. W. E. Sangster

” Whenever, in any century, whether in a single heart or in a company of believers, there has been a fresh effusion of the Spirit, there has followed inevitably a fresh endeavor in the work of evangelizing the world.” A. J. Gordon

The invasion of the Church by the world is a menace to the extension of Christ’s Kingdom. In all ages conformity to the world by Christians has resulted in lack of spiritual life and a consequent lack of spiritual vision and enterprise. A secularized or self-centered Church can never evangelize the world.” John R. Mott

“Oh, to realize that souls, precious, never dying souls, are perishing all around us, going out into the blackness of darkness and despair, eternally lost, and yet to feel no anguish, shed no tears, know no travail! How little we know of the compassion of Jesus!” Oswald J. Smith

“Many do not recognize the fact as they ought, that Satan has got men fast asleep in sin and that it is his great device to keep them so. He does not care what we do if he can do that. We may sing songs about the sweet by and by, preach sermons and say prayers until doomsday, and he will never concern himself about us, if we don’t wake anybody up. But if we awake the sleeping sinner he will gnash on us with his teeth. This is our work – to wake people up.” Catherine Booth

“Brethren, do something; do something, do something! While societies and unions make constitutions, let us win souls. I pray you, be men of action all of you. Get to work and quit yourselves like men. Old Suvarov’s idea of war is mine: `Forward and strike! No theory! Attack! Form a column! Charge bayonets! Plunge into the center of the enemy! Our one aim is to win souls; and this we are not to talk about, but do in the power of God!'” Charles Spurgeon

“God save us from living in comfort while sinners are sinking into hell!” Charles Spurgeon

“Oh my friends, we are loaded with countless church activities, while the real work of the church, that of evangelizing and winning the lost is almost entirely neglected.” Oswald J. Smith

“Perhaps if there were more of that intense distress for souls that leads to tears, we should more frequently see the results we desire. Sometimes it may be that while we are complaining of the hardness of the hearts of those we are seeking to benefit, the hardness of our own hearts and our feeble apprehension of the solemn reality of eternal things may be the true cause of our want of success.” Hudson Taylor

“Oh sirs, deal with sin as sin, and speak of heaven and hell as they are, and not as if you were in jest.” John Flavel

“I would think it a greater happiness to gain one soul to Christ than mountains of silver and gold to myself.” Matthew Henry

“How can I help weeping when you will not weep for yourselves, though your immortal souls are on the verge of destruction!” George Whitfield

“Evermore the Law must prepare the way for the gospel. To overlook this in instructing souls is almost certain to result in false hope, the introduction of a false standard of Christian experience, and to fill the Church with false converts… Time will make this plain.” Charles Finney

“A foolish physician he is, and a most unfaithful friend, that will let a sick man die for fear of troubling him; and cruel wretches are we to our friends, that will rather suffer them to go quietly to hell, then we will anger them, or hazard our reputation with them.” Richard Baxter

“Reckon then that to acquire soul-winning power, you will have to go through mental torment and soul distress. You must go into the fire if you are going to pull others out of it, and you will have to dive into the floods if you are going to draw others out of the water. You cannot work a fire escape without feeling the scorch of the conflagration, nor man a lifeboat without being covered with the waves.” Charles Spurgeon

“It is of no use for any of you to try to be soul-winners if you are not bearing fruit in your own lives. How can you serve the Lord with your lips if you do not serve Him with your lives.? How can you preach His gospel with your tongues, when with hands, feet, and heart you are preaching the devil’s gospel, and setting up an antichrist by your practical unholiness?” Charles Spurgeon

“We should never stop at having won a soul for Christ. By this, we have done only half the work. Every soul won for Christ must be made to be a soul-winner.” Richard Wurmbrand