Arminian Today

A Jesus-Centered Arminian Blog

Posts Tagged ‘United States of America

Early Thoughts on the 2016 Presidential Election

It’s Donald Trump versus Hilary Clinton.  That is the election of 2016.  How I wish there was another option.  I believe both are the judgment of God for the United States.  Both are not conservatives.  Both are weak in many areas especially morality.  We have Trump in one corner with his womanizing and with his past of corruptions.  We have Clinton in the other corner with her lies and with her pro-murdering position on abortion (though Trump clams pro-life now, he has always been pro-murder on abortion and even now has made statements in support of Planned Parenthood).

One dear brother told me of the two he is most afraid of Hilary Clinton because the Rodham’s were once godly people who walked with Christ.  The Rodham’s came to America having been sent over here by John Wesley to spread the gospel.  In fact, Hilary Rodham claimed John Wesley as her favorite person from history until she was in college and turned liberal and made Saul Alinksy her senior thesis while attending Wellesley College.

Who is Saul Alinksy you ask?  He was a notorious radical from the 1960’s who wrote the book Rules for Radicals.  He has become the hero of the American left including both Clinton and Obama.  The #BlackLivesMatter also follows his “rules.”  Alinsky once said this:

ALINSKY: … if there is an afterlife, and I have anything to say about it, I will unreservedly choose to go to hell.
PLAYBOY: Why?
ALINSKY: Hell would be heaven for me. All my life I’ve been with the have-nots. Over here, if you’re a have-not, you’re short of dough. If you’re a have-not in hell, you’re short of virtue. Once I get into hell, I’ll start organizing the have-nots over there.
PLAYBOY: Why them?
ALINSKY: They’re my kind of people.

On June 12, 1972 Alinksy suffered a heart attack and met the God whom he hated.  He will not be leading an organization in hell.  He will be destroyed along with the devil in the lake of fire (Revelation 20:11-15).

In short, Hilary Rodham Clinton is a woman who once read the works of John Wesley and idolized him.  Whether she was ever born again, I don’t know but I do know that she knows her family history and she knows why they came to the United States and it was not to build a socialist state.  The Rodham’s came to preach the Lord Jesus to the lost souls here in the new world.  She is a woman who now hates Christianity whereas Trump is just ignorant of the gospel.

My prayer is that both Trump and Clinton would repent.  Both need the gospel.  I am praying for the rich family history of the Rodham family to awaken Hilary to the truth of the gospel.  I am praying for our leaders to repent of their wicked sins and their wicked views on many issues such as abortion, homosexuality, and that they would turn to Christ for His forgiveness.

So what will I do?  I am not a political guy.  I don’t write about politics much on this blog.  That said, I will likely either abstain from voting (which would be the first time for me since I was 18) or write in a vote.  Right now I am leaning toward writing in a vote.  I will not vote for Trump or Clinton even if that means giving the victory to Clinton (which polls point to).  I view both candidates as wicked so a wicked person will be in the White House yet again.  We are seeing the passive judgment of God as we read about in Romans 1.

The hope of the gospel is that Jesus will reign forever (Psalm 110:1).  The gospel will crush His enemies (Daniel 2:44).  I have the hope of the gospel in my soul (Romans 1:16-17) and nothing will stop the work of the gospel.  Neither a sinful President or a religious but lost Pope will stop the work of Christ.  Neither a wicked woman like Clinton or a wicked man like Trump will stop the gospel.  The gospel will go forth even if the United States turns to socialism and away from capitalism and the strong Protestant work ethic this nation was built upon.  The gospel will go forth just as it has in communist China and just as it has in Africa.  The promise of Acts 2 will not stop simply because a wicked person is in the White House.  The Lord will be glorified and sinners will repent even if the tide is turning toward wickedness with each new day here in the United States of America.

May God have mercy on the USA and send a revival and not merely here but in the entire world.  May the Lord Jesus be glorified through a revival that sees sound doctrine preached and lost souls repenting.

Advertisements

Written by The Seeking Disciple

07/23/2016 at 12:25 AM

After Manasseh Came A Josiah

In 2 Kings 21:1-9 we read:

Manasseh was twelve years old when he began to reign, and he reigned fifty-five years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Hephzibah. 2 And he did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, according to the despicable practices of the nations whom the Lord drove out before the people of Israel. 3 For he rebuilt the high places that Hezekiah his father had destroyed, and he erected altars for Baal and made an Asherah, as Ahab king of Israel had done, and worshiped all the host of heaven and served them. 4 And he built altars in the house of the Lord, of which the Lord had said, “In Jerusalem will I put my name.” 5 And he built altars for all the host of heaven in the two courts of the house of the Lord. 6 And he burned his son as an offering and used fortune-telling and omens and dealt with mediums and with necromancers. He did much evil in the sight of the Lord, provoking him to anger. 7 And the carved image of Asherah that he had made he set in the house of which the Lord said to David and to Solomon his son, “In this house, and in Jerusalem, which I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel, I will put my name forever. 8 And I will not cause the feet of Israel to wander anymore out of the land that I gave to their fathers, if only they will be careful to do according to all that I have commanded them, and according to all the Law that my servant Moses commanded them.” 9 But they did not listen, and Manasseh led them astray to do more evil than the nations had done whom the Lord destroyed before the people of Israel.

In our wicked world it is easy to look around at our wicked, sinful leaders and see the judgment of God.  I look around at my own culture and I see evidence of Romans 1.  People are full of sin.

However, my hope is in the Lord God and in His Word.  I have hope in the gospel.  I know that Jesus will triumph and He alone is King of kings and He alone is Lord of lords (1 Timothy 6:15-16).  Jesus reigns even now from heaven (Acts 3:19-21).  His reign includes all His enemies coming under His feet (Psalm 110:1; 1 Corinthians 15:24-26).  I look around at the wicked world and I can easily be full of despair but my hope is that the gospel will go forth and the reign of Jesus will never be stopped.

In 2 Kings 21:1-9 we read of the wicked king of Judah, Manasseh.  I have yet to live under such a wicked king.  We have had wicked men and women in the past but few compare to the wickedness of Manasseh.  Manasseh went so far in his idolatry that he built altars in Jerusalem in the temple of Yahweh to his false gods.  He offered his own sons on the altars to his false gods.  2 Kings 21:16 says, “Moreover, Manasseh shed very much innocent blood, till he had filled Jerusalem from one end to another, besides the sin that he made Judah to sin so that they did what was evil in the sight of the LORD.”

After Manasseh, his son Amon reigned as king over Judah and he followed in the footsteps of Manasseh.  Amon was a wicked king.

After Amon, however, comes Josiah.  2 Kings 22:2 says, “And he what was right in the eyes of the LORD and walked in all the way of David his father, and he did not turn aside to the right or  to the left.”

The Lord raised up a Josiah after the wickedness of Manasseh and Amon.  This gives me hope.  This encourages me.

In my own wicked nation, I see our leaders full of sin.  They are full of idolatry, greed, corruption, they support the murdering of millions of babies at the altars of the gods of conveyance and sex.  Our leaders are just like Manasseh in many ways.  They even shed innocent blood not just in unjust wars and wicked attacks on citizens but they support the abortion mill industries which murder innocent babies each and every day.  In my own state and in my own city I see the wickedness of our leaders even on a local level.  They give in to the sexually perverted who want their “rights” and they support the wickedness of racism and abortion on demand.  Yes it is easy to be discouraged.

But I have hope that God can raise up a Josiah.  My hope is not in politicians.  They are corrupt.  My hope is not in men.  They are corrupt.  My hope is in the Lord God who can turn the tide through His gospel.  My hope is in the gospel (Romans 1:16-17).  Josiah was a mighty man of God.  We need mighty men of God to turn not just my own nation but he nations of this fallen, sinful world to the Lord God.  This will not come through politicians or through political reform (though they will happen through the gospel) but will only come through a man of God being faithful to God.

My hope is that the wicked nations of this world (which is all of them) will turn to the Lord Jesus Christ.  The gospel transformed the Roman Empire and turned them away from idolatry to the truth of the gospel.  Over time, corrupt church leaders corrupted the gospel and turned the church in Rome away from the gospel to idolatry that we now see as the Roman Catholic Church but I have hope that Catholics will repent and be saved.  I have hope that the nations will be saved by the grace of God.

We read in many places that the nations will bow down to the Lord God (see Psalm 22:27; 86:8-9; Isaiah 2:3; Revelation 15:4).  Jesus has conquered the nations by His death and resurrection and He now commands us to make disciples in every nation until He reigns forevermore (Matthew 28:18-20).

May God send a revival of His truth!

Is Patriotism Sinful?

I’ve been enjoying a lively conversation between myself and an Australian brother.  He often writes articles on the United States often attacking us for various reasons.  It got me wondering about patriotism and whether it is sinful.  This brother believes that too many Christians in the United States place Christianity and patriotism side by side and often blur the line between Christianity and the United States itself.

First, let me state that I believe it is not sinful to be patriotic provided your patriotism doesn’t get in the way of the gospel.  The United States is not the kingdom of God and some do struggle to see that distinction.  I confess that Jesus is Lord of all (Romans 10:9-13) and He is Lord over the nations (Daniel 2:44).  The nations are His (Psalm 2:7-9).  The gospel is going to triumph over all the nations including the United States of America (Psalm 110:1; 1 Corinthians 15:24-28).  The United States, like Great Britain before her, like Spain before her, and like other nations will not matter in eternity.  The Lordship of Christ is what matters.

Jesus said that His kingdom was not of this world (John 18:36) not meaning that His kingdom is not coming to this world but rather that its power, its source is not of this world.  Our power is from God (Acts 1:8).  No nation can defeat the gospel.  Whether it be the wicked Soviet Union or the wicked United States, nothing will stop the gospel.  The gospel is going to reign over the nations (Acts 17:30-31).  Revelation 5:9 promises that there will be people from every tribe under heaven in eternity.  People of all races, languages, nations, etc. will be in heaven.  What a joy that will be!

When it comes to patriotism, I know many look at the United States and wonder about this.  Why do Americans stand at the national anthem?  Why do churches display both the Christian and US flags?  Why do churches encourage patriotism?  Even by those who do not claim Christ, patriotism is often encouraged.  Even atheists rejoice in our freedoms and encourage a loyalty to the United States.

For those outside of the US, this can be misunderstood.  I was raised to be thankful for our nation.  I was taught by my Sunday School teachers, my public education teachers, and my college professors to love our nation, to rejoice in our freedoms, to pray for our leaders.   I look around at the world and I see poverty, I see political turmoil, I see religious restrictions, I see wars, I see the government taking away people’s rights to life, to liberty, to the pursuit of happiness (to quote the Declaration of Independence) and I thank God I live in the United States.  This is not a “Christian” nation though I fear that the secular left wants to wash away the Christian foundation that is definitely part of our history that we brought over from Europe.

According to the United Nations:

With a population of over 300 million people, the market value of all goods and services was almost $14 trillion dollars in 2007—equivalent to a staggering 2.5% of the entire world’s total output. Gross domestic product (GDP) data collected by the World Bank in 2007 indicated that the United States produced more goods and services than the next four economic–powerhouse countries—Japan, Germany, China and the United Kingdom—combined.

In the US, we can live anywhere we want, drive anywhere we want, eat whatever we want at all times, do whatever we want (provided it is legal).  I live in the South here in the US and we are called “the Bible belt” for good reason.  We have thousands of churches, Bible publishers, and missionaries.  It is not uncommon to go to a civic event and hear prayers. Our leaders often speak of what church they belong to.   The United States has sent out more missionaries than any other nation in the history of the world.  More money flows from the church here in the US to world missions than any other nations combined.

I have seen people rise through the Protestant work ethic engrained in the United States.  My uncle is now with Jesus but he was born with an eye problem that led to his blindness.  He could see up until near his death but he was legally blind.  When he dropped out of school in the 1940’s, blind people often were destined for poverty.  What could they do?  He worked at a broom shop making corn brooms at $10 a week.  He married his bride and they shared a one bedroom apartment.  Over time, my uncle got saved and Jesus changed his life.  The Protestant work ethic begin to flow.  My uncle worked hard and when he died, he had purchased three homes, multiple cars, and left behind a strong biblical work ethic.   All this while legally blind.  Of course, the biblical work ethic is not about just getting homes, cars, etc. but about working to the glory of God (Colossians 3:23-24).

Despite all this, the US is a wicked nation.  We have turned from our Christian foundation. I am not implying that our founding fathers were all Christians but they did have Christian heritage that came from mainly England.  The first pilgrims to the new world brought with them The Geneva Bible and sought out the new world for the purpose of worshiping God in freedom.  11 of the 13 colonies had a national church.  Yet the liberals today want us to ignore history, to ignore Christianity as what made Europe great and when Europe turned away from Christianity, it too has fallen.  Christianity will make Africa great as well as China and Korea.  I pray that other nations learn from the history of Europe and the United States and embrace the gospel and watch the blessings of God.

The US is full of sin.  Homosexuality, abortion, murder, drunkenness, greed, lust, gambling, sports idolatry and other forms of idolatry, the worship of money, of power, of fame.  We live in a society that has lost its Protestant work ethic (that work is to the glory of God and is rewarded) but now I read that the younger generations favor socialism (stealing from the hard working to provide equality to those who do not work as hard).  This nation must repent.

So back to my original question.  Is patriotism wrong?  I believe that it should not become idolatrous.  It should not blur the gospel.  It should not rob Jesus of His reign over our lives.  We are not citizens of the United States first but we are disciples of Jesus first and foremost (Luke 14:25-35) and our citizenship is in heaven (Philippians 3:20).

Paul the Apostle was not ashamed to say where he was from (Philippians 3:5).  Paul even used his earthly citizenship to his advantage for the gospel (Acts 22:22-29).  He did not boast over others through his Roman heritage but he used it.  I pray the same for my fellow Americans.  I pray that we use our freedom to preach the gospel.  I pray that we use our right to free speech for the glory of God.  I pray that we take our money and use it to spread the gospel around the world.  I pray that we use our religious freedom to preach the gospel in the open air, to witness to people, to gather with the saints of God to worship our true King, and to pray for our leaders to repent (1 Timothy 2:1-7).

If you do not live in the United States, I ask you to pray for the US to repent.  It is a blessed nation but a wicked nation.  May God have mercy on the United States of America.

Written by The Seeking Disciple

02/16/2016 at 6:02 PM

Arminian Denominations Reactions to Same-Sex “Marriage”

I have been greatly blessed to see Arminian denominations coming out against the United States Supreme Court ruling in favor of so called same-sex “marriages.”  I first read of Dr. George Wood and the Assemblies of God releasing their statement against the ruling followed by the Church of the Nazarene.  I have also seen various fundamental Wesleyan and Methodist groups uniting against the ruling.  Other Pentecostals have released statements including the Church of God (Cleveland, TN), the Church of God in Christ, and the Pentecostal Holiness.

I pray that two things will now place in the Church.  First, I pray that we will now see the Church doing what she has failed to do and that is address many of these issues head on with the Bible.  We must address biblical marriages and what they look like.  We must address premarital sex, divorce, remarriage, and other issues with the Bible.  We must teach our children what biblical marriages are and shape the next generation so that when the next generations arise we will see this wicked ruling from the Supreme Court overturned.

Secondly, we must pray for a national revival.  Let’s face the facts that the reason that this ruling passed is not merely because of liberals on the Supreme Court but from years of wickedness building this up.  The Church has failed to transform this generation and the ones before her so that this event took place.  Having watched TV in the 1980’s and 1990’s, the homosexual agenda was in full view as Hollywood begin to shape the views of people in favor of homosexuality.  The Church should have been pleading with souls, crying to God for revival but we were asleep.  Many of us allowed these programs into our homes week after week that so indoctrinate our children into the homosexual favored view.

We need revival to sweep our land.  We need a move of God.  I long to see souls saved, for people to repent.  We have much more sins than just homosexuality in our nation.  We have all types of wickedness abounding all around us (Romans 1:18-32).  I was reading 2 Timothy 3:1-5 today and it is clear that the many sins there are abounding all around us.  We have been shocked at homosexuality but we should have been equally shocked by the rampant sins that we see each and everyday.  Greed, lust, pride, self-righteousness, lack of apathy, disobedience to parents, etc.  We have tolerated sin so much so that we have become shocked when sinners do what they do and pass laws to affirm their sinfulness (1 Peter 4:3-4).

Thank God for His sovereignty.  Thank God that He is watching over His Church and I know He will hear our cries.  The world is full of evil but we serve a King who is able to destroy all evils and bring about His salvation (Psalm 110:1).

Written by The Seeking Disciple

06/30/2015 at 5:17 PM

My Reaction to Same-Sex “Marriage”

As I write this, I am heartbroken by the 5-4 decision by the United States Supreme Court to legalize homosexual “marriages.”  The SCOTUS in essence ignored democracy, ignored State’s rights, and changed the fundamental definition of marriage.  The issue before the Supreme Court was not about marriage.  It was about affirming homosexuality.  This decision by the SCOTUS will not end the homosexual agenda as the attacks will now turn up toward the religious who do not affirm homosexuality.  It not about marriage but about affirming sin.

So how do I react to this wicked decision by the SCOTUS?

1.  This decision does not change the biblical view.  While I have no doubts that many “evangelicals” will embrace homosexual “marriage,” a true disciple of Jesus will never back down.  Why?  Because homosexuality is a sin.  Homosexuals are homosexuals by their sinful choices.  They can be forgiven just as all other sinners can be forgiven (1 Corinthians 6:9-11).

2.  Marriage will not be redefined by the SCOTUS nor anyone else.  A biblical worldview is against any other view of marriage but the one given to us by God Himself (Matthew 19:4-6).

3.  The Church must continue to preach against the sin of homosexuality just as we must preach the truth of biblical marriages (Ephesians 5:25-32).  God’s truth does not change because our wicked culture now affirms certain sins.  The Church must continue to call all sinners (homosexuals included) to repent and believe the gospel (Acts 2:38; 2 Corinthians 7:10).  I will not cease to preach that homosexuality is a sin and that it can be forgiven by the blood of Jesus.

4.  This decision should cause to pray for homosexuals to be saved.  Again, the fundamental issue here is not about marriage.  It is not about equality.  It is about affirmation.  Homosexuals (like all sinners) know that their actions are against God.  They know that they deserve the wrath of God because of their sins.  We all know this about our own sins whether it be homosexuality or greed or lust.  We know that God is holy and we deserve His just wrath against our sins.  Yet sinners (and not just homosexuals) want to run from this judgment.  They want to pretend that if society affirms their sin, the sin and their guilt will go away.  It will not.  The Holy Spirit is still working, He is still convicting sinners (John 16:8-11) and He will continue to convict homosexuals that their sin is against a holy God.  We must pray for homosexuals to be saved by the grace of God.

5.  This decision, of course, is not final.  God can transform our culture back to the truth of Scripture.  We must pray for Matthew 6:10 to take place.  A revival of God’s truth can not only save sinners but turn our culture back to the Word of God.  Once this happens, the SCOTUS decisions will not matter in light of the ultimate Judge.  A thousand years from now, the rulings of the SCOTUS will not matter as God will still be King.

6.  No doubt this is a sad time in the United States.  While sinners rejoice in their sins (Romans 1:32), the righteous feel mocked, we feel defeated.  Yet Jesus is still King of kings and Lord of lords (1 Timothy 6:15).  President Obama may celebrate this wicked moment but the righteous know that our true King longs for sinners to repent (2 Peter 3:9).  We should pray for the SCOTUS and for our national leaders to repent.  We should pray for the homosexuals who fought to bring this case before the Court to repent.  We should pray for the homosexual couples who now believe that their sin and guilt will go away by becoming “married” before the Government to repent.  We must pray for God to bring repentance to this nation.

7.  Lastly, we should pray for true marriages to be healthy, to be what God designed them to be.  I am not a perfect husband.  I have my many faults.  Yet I know that my marriage is a true marriage because of the Word of God.  I am married to one woman and our marriage has produced three boys that I am already teaching about true marriage.  The true reality is that only true marriages can produce children and parents of those children can teach their children the truth of marriage before the wicked culture tries to pervert the truth of marriage.  No homosexual couples will ever have children.  It is simply impossible.  Therefore, we who can have true marriages and produce children need to do so and train our children in the ways of the Lord (Ephesians 6:4).  This will turn back the tide of sin and turn our nation back to true marriage.

Written by The Seeking Disciple

06/26/2015 at 6:25 PM

Why the Secular World Has No Answer For ISIS

I recently watched a video on the Islamic State or better known as ISIS.  The video was not produced by Christians so the video simply wanted to tell the story of ISIS and why they do what they do and what is their goal.  The reality was that ISIS members were not murderers bent on simply killing infidels in the name of Islam but they are simple, normal Muslims who truly love Islam and are seeking to follow the ways of their Prophet.  These Muslims fill their day with learning from the Quran, with prayer, and with seeking to imitate the life of Mohammad in every way possible including jihad.  Their passion is simple: they want to do the will of their god as it gave it to their prophet.

The secular world simply cannot fathom this devotion.  They look at ISIS and see a people who must be mad at the West for something.  Perhaps its our morals (and that is part of it) or our freedom (they see it as bondage because the will of their god is not being followed).  The secular world thinks it’s about land or oil or money or even sex.  The reality is that the members of ISIS and especially the leadership are well-educated Muslims who are bent on being true to the Quran and to their prophet.  This is not about a fight for land.  This is not a fight over the US involvement with Iraq or Afghanistan per se (though ISIS hates the Americans for being in Muslim lands).  This is not about Jews or Christians (though they despise them both for their “false worship”).  This is about their god.  And the secular world has no answer.

The reason is simple why the secular worldview has no answer: they have no god.  The “god” of the secular is themselves (Romans 1:22-23).  The false god of Islam is not much different other than that the Muslim believes in a god outside of themselves.  Their god is still a false god.  Either way, the secularist has no answer for Islam.

The Christian reply is that the Muslims are worshiping a false god.  A comparison of the God of the Bible with the god of the Quran shows a god who is much different in Islam.  Even a comparison of the life and teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ with Mohammad shows worlds difference between the two.  The Lord Jesus was perfect, sinless and He never struck down those who attacked Him (1 Peter 2:21-24).  Jesus even prayed for those who were killing Him (Luke 23:34).  The Bible even says that we are to love our enemies (Matthew 5:43-48) and Paul the Apostle advocated the same (Romans 12:12-21).  Jesus did teach His disciples to advance His kingdom (Acts 1:8) because of His authority (Matthew 28:18-20) but this advancement is not with weapons of warfare (2 Corinthians 10:3-4) but with the gospel.  The gospel will conquer the nations (Psalm 110:1; Daniel 7:13-14; 1 Corinthians 15:24-26) and the Lord will redeem sinners from every nation (Revelation 5:9-10).  Yet Jesus, unlike Mohammad, never called His followers to advance His kingdom by force or power.  The gospel alone can transform a person and this comes from above (John 3:3; cf. Luke 17:20-21).

ISIS is not following Jesus.  In fact, ISIS hates Jesus and the true and living God of the Bible as all sinners do (Romans 1:18-19).  ISIS, like other forms of Islam, cannot convert one person because they have no gospel, no power.  Islam offers no forgiveness of sins because they reject sin.  Islam offers no assurance of salvation but to martyrs.  Islam offers no hope that their god loves them but only that it is merciful.  Islam has no concept of individual salvation but with only submission to their god.  The very name “Muslim” means “one who submits.”  Yet ISIS views all forms of Islam false who also do not follow sharia law (or the laws put forth by various Muslim clerics about how to follow the Quran and the life of Mohammad).  If a nation or person does not follow sharia law as set forth by ISIS, they are deemed infidels and must repent and come back to the true religion.  This is not a religion of peace but one of submission.

ISIS’s goal is clear: to raise the black flag of ISIS over every nation.  In the video I watched, ISIS promised to raise the flag over Turkey (if they did not open a dam to allow water into Syria) and over all the Middle East (including Iran and Israel whom they both hate).  ISIS even promised to raise the flag of Islam over the White House in the United States.  This is not a religion of peace but as the name states – of submission.  Sharia law is to be the law of the land wherever ISIS comes.

What can the secularist say to this?  They have no solution.  No answers.  The President of the United States will not even see that they are true Muslims but he views them as false Muslims.  Any simple reading of the Quran and the Hadith would show otherwise.  Some secular religious scholar is giving the President of the United States bad advice.  I agree that warfare is not the total answer.  ISIS wants war.  ISIS would love to face the United States to the battlefield (though they would probably lose in my estimation).  ISIS believes that their holy war is from their god.  The US military would just view it as another war with terrorists.  While the US could defeat ISIS in battles, the hearts for the people living in Muslim lands must be won with the gospel.  And the US (and other nations) would not get that part.  Until they do, they would have to continue to fight Islamic fighters for years to come.

The answer for combatting ISIS is this: send missionaries.  You could (and I think should) fight ISIS on the battlefield for they continue to kill people who are simply in their way.  ISIS must be stopped and stopped by a strong military force (just as the European nations sent the Crusaders in the middle ages not to take over the Middle East but to combat the spread of Islam into European nations).  After stopping ISIS on the battlefield, we must turn the work over to the gospel.  Muslims need to freely hear the gospel.  One ISIS soldier even said that he hated seeing the Americans in Iraq because they would build Christian churches.  This is what we must do.  We must send forth the gospel.

The gospel can transform the Middle East.  It did in the first 600 years after the resurrection of Christ until the false prophet Mohammad sought to build a cult off the teachings of Judaism and Christianity.  Since then, the gospel has struggled against the false teachings of Islam.  Islam is not merely another religion from Christianity but it is the antithesis of Christianity.  Islam doesn’t merely teach against Jesus but another Jesus altogether to pervert the true Jesus of the Bible.

Thank God for the reports of Muslims hearing the gospel through the Internet and through radio.  ISIS will kill whoever converts to Christianity and ISIS will kill whoever is found with a Bible or listening to Christian programs.  This is not about peace but submission.  Yahweh is sending forth His truth against the false teachings of Islam.  Yahweh will be glorified through His Son in all nations and the promise is that all nations will bow to His dominion (Psalm 72:8-9).

I pray that ISIS will repent.  God saved a Jew bent on killing disciples of Christ in Acts 9 and He can do the same with members of ISIS.  I pray that nations will see the threat of ISIS and see that the answer is not found in secularism.  It is not found in money or sex.  The answer for ISIS is the gospel of the Jesus Christ.  I pray that members of ISIS will turn from their sins and the Spirit of God would bring deep conviction upon them (John 16:8-11).  Jesus is able to save even the worse of sinners (1 Timothy 1:15).  May we intercede for this (1 Timothy 2:1-7).

The House Church Movement and the Future of the USA

We in the West are nowhere near the persecution level of those living in Muslim nations or communist nations such as China or Vietnam.  We know little to no physical attacks here for the gospel.  While I know a few open air preachers who have been arrested for preaching and have been physically attacked by people, most people just go through their day-to-day lives without fear of attack for their Christian faith.  That may change in the future but for now, we enjoy only verbal persecution from the secular media and from the liberals on college campuses.

I do believe, however, that the house church movement will become a dominant force in the Christian culture in the coming years.  It is the house church movement that has sustained (by the grace of God) the disciples in China.  It is the house church movement that sustained the saints of God in the former communist Soviet Union.  It is the house church movement that is growing in Europe as people grow tired of the institutional church and are looking elsewhere for true faith.  It will be the house churches in the United States that will see growth and souls saved as they remain steadfast in the Word of God.

Why will this be?  For several reasons but let me just name a few.

1.  Authentic Faith.  

House churches offer a place for people to live out their faith with others.  There is no hiding here.  You can just show up at a traditional church and no one may even know you are there or even care in some cases.  Not so with house churches.   A “large” house church would be over 10 people so you can’t hide.  We will know your name.  We know your life.  We will both disciple and challenge you in your faith.  This, I believe, was the model of Jesus and should be ours as well.  True discipleship is not learning from a book or sitting in a class.  True discipleship is taking the “one another” texts of the New Testament and seeking to obey them (there are 52 in the NT).  This leads to authentic faith and not merely a show on the stage of many traditional churches.

2.  No Money.

House churches need no money.  There are no salaried pastors.  No land to buy.  No buildings to pay for.  While house churches do sometimes take up money for missions or for hurting Christians, house churches have no budgets to meet, no bills to pay.  I once read that 75% of money in the traditional churches goes toward salaries and buildings.  None of that is found in house churches.  If a disciple wants to give money to their church then so be it.  The house church would then take the money and give it to help church planters (missionaries) or hurting disciples.  This is the NT pattern.

Many people reject going to church because of the emphasis they perceive on money.  With the false “health and wealth” churches and the so-called “prosperity” gospel, many are turned off to Christianity because of their false teachers.  The house church movement doesn’t want your money.

3.  Can Move Around Quickly.

The house churches in China are said to move around quickly.  They do this to avoid arrest.  I have heard the same of the few house churches in North Korea.  Because house churches are not locked down to a building, they don’t need government approval to meet nor do they have to meet all the time in one place.  House churches in China often will meet several times a week at different locations to accommodate the needs of the saints.  They don’t just meet on the Lord’s Day.

Here in the United States, traditional churches are locked down in their buildings.  They need people to generate money for their buildings to pay the bills.  At times, the gospel can be watered down and pragmatism reigns as traditional pastors need people to keep coming to pay the bills.  Further, traditional churches fall under the watchful eye of the government.  As freedom falls in the West, traditional churches will suffer the most as people flee them.

The house church movement will thrive at this point with no buildings, no bills, no salaries, no paper trails, no 501C3.

4.  Can Preach What They Want To.

Traditional churches will no doubt face sensor from the government.  It may come a time where it is illegal to preach against sins such as homosexuality (it will be viewed as discrimination or gender bigotry).  The government will monitor the traditional church (as they do in China).  Traditional churches will have to comply or be gone.

House churches will continue to preach the gospel without hinderance.  Why?  Because what can they take from us but our lives (Philippians 1:21)?  Jesus promised us persecution as His followers (Matthew 5:10-12).  Jesus said that if we are His disciples, we will face persecution and hatred (John 15:18-20).  But He told us to be encouraged for He has overcome the world (John 16:33).  In the house churches, we will preach the gospel.  We have no 501c3 you can take.  We have no buildings you can cast us out of.  We have no salaries that require that we go soft on the gospel for the sake of money.  We have no need of this world to survive.  We have the Word of God and the presence of the Holy Spirit so we will be fine.

For more information on the house church movement, please see:

House Church Central

New Testament Reformation Fellowship 

Reimagining Church: Pursuing the Dream of Organic Christianity

Written by The Seeking Disciple

10/21/2014 at 10:26 AM

%d bloggers like this: