Being Steadfast in a Mad Mad World
Many today see faith as a single event for salvation or a set of beliefs that makes one orthodox. It is these and more. The concept presented in the Scripture is God’s work in the believer producing faithfulness toward Him through a lifetime. It is development of our growth in trusting God and His work in our lives. This faithfulness begins by building our life on a foundation that cannot be moved, shifted or crumble. It is a continuance of what is first given as a seed that has germinated to life, which is to be nurtured, cared for and fed correctly so that it will one day stand on its own and produce abundant fruit. ( Jn.15). This is why Paul says: “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.” (Phil 2:12-13)
The principle that is found in the Old Testament is certainly is developed in the New--
Ps 112:7: “He will not be afraid of evil tidings; his heart is steadfast, trusting in the LORD.
The Hebrew word kuwn means established or fixed.
In Col.1:22-23 Paul speaks of reconciliation “in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight--if indeed you continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast, and are not moved away from the hope of the gospel which you heard, which was preached to every creature under heaven, of which I, Paul, became a minister.”
Steadfast -Greek- hedraios- firm, immovable, steadfast. When people believe another gospel they are no longer steadfast in what was known to them as the truth.
This has become a problem in our day as so many are pursuing an improvement of their spirituality, to grow buy other means than what god has given.
1 Cor 15:1-2 Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you-- unless you believed in vain.”
Paul makes it clear how important this all is to continue and finish the race in the faith- in the gospel.
Paul even uses two words that mean nearly the same thing to convey an even stronger meaning 1 Cor 15:58 "Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord."
Heb. 3:14: “For we have become partakers of Christ if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end” and this is said for good reason, because we have an enemies, three of them specifically- the world the flesh and the Devil; and we are the targets of that enemy-
1 Pet. 5:8-9:“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world.”
We all share being targets of his assaults, he is the grand master of disguise, an invisible terrorist who waits for an opportune moment. In the meantime he works powerfully in the sons of disobedience as he moves the world unbeknown to him to the grand finale. And we are watching this play out today on the world scene and inside the church.
Prophecy, both generally ands specifically is being fulfilled right before our eyes: (Mt.24:4-5,11,24)
The cult Growing in Grace (hardly indicative of what these people believe) members are following the example of their leader, Jose Luis De Jesus Miranda, who first had claimed to be John the Baptist reincarnated, then Jesus and changed his mind; now he wants to be something more important – so he recently declared himself the Antichrist. He has gotten the stylish tattoo of 666 and SSS on him and his thousands of followers are following this pied piper as their stairway to heaven. But it will really be leading them to the pit.
No one in recent history has been this bold or twisted. We can only imagine what it will be like when the real one appears. This man claims to prove he is not false by not do miracles (an argument of the opposite side) but the real antichrist will do miracles to wow the people to believe he is the genuine article.
(Col.2:23; 2 Pt.2:1; 2 Thess. 3:13) We have a rash of visions and trips of people claiming to go to heaven and hell. Not likely, not even biblical but it certainly tickles the ears of those who care less for the truth already written in the word. So the deception deepens in the churches that already have the foot to the floor with an alternate Christianity. The Devil is brainwashing people with counterfeit supernatural stories and experiences. From this are false prophecies about His return, about what will take place in the end. It is silly and stupid at the same time yet you can’t laugh when so many people follow the call of these false prophets.
The we have had a media attack on the faith by discovery channel-“the burial tomb of Jesus”. Wrong Jesus and wrong address.
(1 Pt.3:15 Jude 4-5As the church becomes more dumbed down with its experiences of supernatural counterfeits we have lost the ability and inclination to think and be ready for this massive attack by Gnostics skeptics and haters of the message of Jesus.
Now who is there to stand against this intellectually, biblically, historically and archeologically? Only a few can because so few are equipped.
Nothing got Jesus angrier than seeing the leaders abuse the people and make money off them from their worship and sacrifice. Twice he turned over the tables to show his disgust, once in the beginning of his ministry and once at the end.
Ministrywatch criticizes 28 Christian groups, including some of the most successful televangelists in America, all for having little or no financial transparency. to see the full list- (http://www.ministrywatch.com/mw2.1/pdf/tw1102.pdf in contrast to 500 Christian charities and ministries.
In response to a life of sacrifice Paul Crouch, however, disagrees. In the past, he has fired back, charging that "these critics want us to be humble and poor like Jesus. … Let me tell you how subtle that is from Satan himself. If God's people are poor as Job's turkey, who's going to pay to send the gospel to the ends of the earth?"
Philanthropic Donations Come From Your Heart, but Where Do They End Up? Ex-Money Manager Says 'Enough!' to Secretive Christian Ministry Spending)
The fact is that TBN get just as much money, if not more, from the poor than the wealthy. Many elderly give a portion of their social security checks to them. They take advantage of the widows and orphans despite anything they say or do otherwise.
The apostles turned the world upside down without money. Peter said, silver and gold I have not but what I do have I give to you” and the man got up and walked. There fact that they think TV is the means for the gospel when we are told to all go as teach and disciple people wherever we are. The lie is that we must be rich or poor to preach the gospel. It doesn’t matter. Paul was in jail preaching and seeing results, so Crouch’s argument for the rich is moot. We need workers willing to live sacrificial lioves not send in their funds to TBN and its TV programming.
AUnity made on earth by man
Thirty-six churches and national Christian organizations representing over 100 million Christians will be the founding members of Christian Churches Together in the U.S.A. (CCT), which is said to be the only venue where all the major groupings of churches come together and also the most extensive ecumenical effort in U.S. History.
They are willing to set aside differences over theology and other issues to strengthen their Christian witness in the world. Have we heard this before?
Enslin echoed a similar belief in the power of unity. "When people of different denominations pray together and work beside each other, differences lose the power to divide," he said.
The inauguration service is scheduled for, where else, Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, Calif.
Yes, differences lose the power to divide is certainly the point -- especially when the differences are not in the Bible and neither is their unity. Unity without correct Bible doctrine is a mix of dangerous proportions. Babel’s spiritual unity can be used as a powerful force for the world, but not for God.
And this unity extends often outside the church-i.e. Rick Warren’s global peace plan which is to solve the worlds greatest problems by uniting the secular with religions to accomplish its goals. A bed of nails made with good intentions, yet they do not get the point.
Religious multi-culturalism is the flavor of the day –
Interfaith seems to be the answer to our conflicts. A unity based on a God they have all agreed upon despite their religious differences. This semblance of unity is more important then the substance by which it is held. The world unites to worship God- the problem- he is not the true God. If these peoples God is the same God – then there are no false gods. This is not what Gods says?
(Mt.24:6,7) The Muslims are fighting a religious war and we are still fighting a conventional one. Yet politics and weapons are not sufficient to overcome this enemy. This is a spiritual war, a war that I have no doubt will enter the tribulation period and run through it to its end.
Time to wake up- we are fighting Islam, a religion and ideology not just terrorism, all the terrorism is from Muslims. In al Quaida films we see them training the terrorists to shoot a people being represented by a cross. But we are told this is not a religious war.
We all know what the news media portrays the religion of Islam as peaceful and would not think of doing such atrocities, but their history proves otherwise.
Considering all the attacks on American soil I find it amusing that the media can they tie in violence with video games but they see no violence with the religion of Islam. It is a matter of how blind one wants to make themselves to the facts. During the period from 1981 to 2001 there were 7,500 terrorist attacks worldwide, all brought to us by the religion of peace.
This is a snippet of the last five years- here in America.
Nearly 200 people are killed when Islamic hijackers steer a plane full of people into the Pentagon.
Forty passengers are killed after Islamic radicals hijack the plane in an attempt to steer it into the U.S. Capitol building.
New York, NY
Islamic hijackers steer two planes packed with fuel and passengers into the World Trade Center, killing hundreds on impact and eventually killing thousands when the towers collapsed. At least 200 are seriously injured.
A 60-year-old man is gunned down by Muslim snipers on a golf course.
Muslim snipers kill a man as he works in his yard.
Los Angeles, CA
Muslim man pulls out a gun at the counter of an Israeli airline and kills two people.
A 55-year-old pizzaria owner is shot six times in the back by Muslims at close range.
Muslim snipers shoot two women, killing one.
Baton Rouge, LA
A Korean mother is shot in the back by Muslim snipers.
Muslim snipers gun down a program analyst in a store parking lot.
Montgomery County, MD
Muslim snipers kill three men and two women in separate attacks over a 15-hour period.
A man is killed by Muslim snipers while pumping gas two days after a 13-year-old is wounded by the same team.
Another man is killed by Muslim snipers while pumping gas.
A woman is killed by Muslim snipers in a Home Depot parking lot.
Aspen Hill, MD
A bus driver is killed by Muslim snipers.
After undergoing a religious revival, a Saudi college student slashes the throat of a Jewish student with a 4" butterfly knife, nearly decapitating the young man.
A Muslim man runs down five strangers with a car.
In an honor killing, a Muslim father kills his wife and attacks his two daughters with a knife and hammer because he feared that they had been sexually molested.
Saying that it was 'Allah's choice', a Muslim shoots four of his co-workers and a police officer.
An 'angry' Muslim-American barges into a local Jewish center and shoots six women, one of whom dies. The Media makes it seem that he has mental problems.
In an 'honor' attack, a Muslim man rapes and beats his estranged wife, leaving her for dead, then savagely murders their four children.
Besides 9/11,What do all these have in common besides a certain religion- they were downplayed by the media as not having anything to do with the religion. That there was some other cause at work that had these Muslims attack people viciously.
Wake up America, this is how it begins (not to mention all the attacks on other countries). We may have prevented explosions like in England but make no mistake about it- we are under attack by those who are in the Muslim religion. And it will only increase.
The Bible says "They will put you out of the synagogues; yes, the time is coming that whoever kills you will think that he offers God service’ (John 16:2). They did this to the early Christians and it will increase in the end. Think of what you hear from the Imams, they must rid the earth of the infidels and unbelievers. Is this their opinion? No it is written in the Qu’ran, it is their religious duty.
But God never said to kill his own people (Jews or Christian) as Islam says. This religion is being used to remove the people of God from the earth and from the land of Israel, thus trying to prevent specific prophecies from coming to pass on the end times (i.e. the temple, Jerusalem as the capitol of Israel--and to present a false Christ to the nations, their Mahdi who will make the world an Islamic government.
Now we have a new hostage crises not unlike the Iran Embassy Hostages in 1979. Mahmoud Ahamdinejad has stated many times that he can start a war or escalate one this will hasten the appearance of the Mahdi – their Messiah.
See what they say behind closed doors http://www.shoebat.com/movie.html
While we have time left let’s focus on the big picture without ignoring the details—as Paul asked the church:
“meanwhile praying also for us, that God would open to us a door for the word, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in chains, that I may make it manifest, as I ought to speak. Walk in wisdom toward those who are outside, redeeming the time. Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one”( Col. 4:3-6).
God's blessing to all His saints
In Christ's service,Mike Oppenheimer
Let Us Reason ministries