The Church of Philadelphia "The Faithful Church": Are we as faithful as we are to be?
How could this be possible, that at the height of tremendous Christian's persecution the gospel instead of declining in status, it is spreading like a wild fire? I could not understand this phenomenon. Anyone seeing a public execution of a Christian would think twist before accepting the gospel. Most of these countries where Christians are being persecuted barely have bibles, ministries, and have little representation from the western nations. China, North Korea and Middle East Islam nations are the one that come to mind.
What is that gospel that required no in-depth bible study that a believer is willing to lose his/her lives over it? In western nations, Christians have freedom to worship at any time in well establish churches, a building built for that purpose. Nevertheless, these churches are mostly empties and those who are attending sit far in the back pews. In western nations, the body of Christ is scattered in many different denominations. That only show to the surrounding communities that the Church is divided and in disagreement. Division serve Satan very well since it creates scepticism and cynicism from the communities toward our Christian faith in Jesus
We all want to worship Jesus in our own little ways. Christian denominations with it diversities of worship practice are like going into an ice cream parlour. The cone is Jesus the foundation (the corner stone), the ice cream flavours and toppings are the denomination and non-denomination churches. Everybody chose what ever he/she wants on his/her cone. The result is that it might give out a false image of Jesus Church. Be aware that He will test with fire the material that we put on that foundation (Matthew 7:23-27). Jesus does love diversity in worship and expression of praise, let make sure it is made with the right motive, and not with a goody two shoes attitude toward other denominations.
Therefore, I wonder. What would be the consequences if there would be Christian persecution here in Canada? Ask yourself, how many have wanted to be Christians, have heard the message, have been drawn to Christ by the preaching of the good news but due to fear of being different and rejection have quietly melted back into the crowd? How many would disappear from our churches and hide to meet in small groups?
Returning to my first question: How could this be possible, that at the height of tremendous Christian's persecution the gospel instead of declining in status it is spreading like a wild fire? We find the answer in the Book of Acts, Chapter 8: Now Saul (Paul) was consenting to his death. At that time a great persecution arose against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles. 2 And devout men carried Stephen to his burial, and made great lamentation over him. 3 As for Saul, he made havoc of the church, entering every house, and dragging off men and women, committing them to prison. 4 Therefore those who were scattered went everywhere preaching the word.
"Those who were scattered went everywhere preaching the word" (like wild fire). They had no scholarship in the doctrine; they had no bible, which include the New Testament. They had the testimonies of others pass on to them and the evidence according to Old Testament prophecy that Jesus is the Son of God, the awaited Messiah. What was that testimony? Christ resurrected. Thousands witnessed His bodily resurrection. They understood that Jesus was the redeemer, became the mediator, and the advocate between man and God. Thousands receive the gift of Faith, of the Holy Spirit and the gift of Eternal Life. The gospel brought peace and harmony between man and God. It brought tremendous joy with the thought that they were alive for eternity with Jesus.
Christians were persecuted by the Jew's authority because they claimed that Jesus was the Son of God, the promise Messiah and alive, therefore blasphemy under Jewish law, and they were persecuted by the gentile occupied authority of Rome for treason for claiming Jesus as King and God. Caesar was considered god and there could not be any other god but Caesar.
Here in western nations this same gospel falls on depth ear. Why? Very few understand the need for salvation. Few understand that they are separated from God, and consequently will be set apart from God forever in eternity. That is what is called hell. In our society sins have been replace with the term dysfunctional behaviour, which can be corrected with sufficient found from the government to create services to treat people with these disorder. Sin such as homosexuality has been accepted as a "life style". Sin such as killing unborn babies as birth control is up to standard in our society. Who need Jesus when this society can resolve all human problems just by ignoring the consequences of sins?
Depressions are on the rise, the solution; take a vocation in the south, take vitamin D or see a psychologist at $200 dollars/hr instead of seeing a pastor. Suicide is on the increase among teenagers. The churches are not reaching out as it use to. Church members themselves cannot give answer to most questions if ask by those who seek spiritual guidance. Most are ill prepare to give an answer. "Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have" 1 Peter 3:15. Most members have given that responsibility to ministers and pastors. Most Christians keep their Christians' faith for themselves.
The churches expect people to just walk into their building, expect people to just sit in the pews and act like any other members. Few teach how to handle life as a Christian. Many Christians do not know how to face life. At the sign of a single misfortune, many are those who get discourage to a point of despair. Almost no one is teaching the way of life as the first Christians lived by. They lived by faith. They lived by trusting Jesus. They lived by resting in Him. They lived by learning from Him. That is why they were able to face persecution. There is a great apostasy in the churches today because we do not teach to live in faith and are not sharing it. We are being victimized by our own ignorant. How then shall we face real persecution?
'How quick it is to dismiss and to forget that there was a time where Christians were thrown to lions, burned as human torches, mangled by wild beasts, killed by gladiators, tortured, torn apart by wild horses, or martyred in other dreadful ways? Another great period of martyrdom broke out at the time of the Reformation in the 16th and 17th centuries. We can read the accounts in all their gruesome details in Fox's Book of Martyrs'.
Do you know what century was the most tortuous of all? It is estimated that more Christians were tortured and slain in twelve months during World War II than died under Rome in all the early centuries. In the city of Seoul, Korea, ten thousand Christians have already suffered martyrdom for their faith. Some authorities claim that over fifteen million Christians have been slaughtered in Russia, Soviet-controlled Europe and other Communist countries. Since Christianity began, no generation has seen such worldwide persecution as is now in progress.
In Africa and the Middle East, by the hundreds and thousands Christians are being killed by Muslim. Europe is now at the risk of losing its gripes over the growing Muslim population. They are increasing their population by using the same tactic that the provincial government of Quebec used with the support of the Catholic Church in the nineteen century for the purpose to increase their representation in the Federal government that is by making babies. What do you think will be the result once Muslim reaches a democratic majority? Democracy will prove that it is not the best form of government. At election, there is always part of the population who lose and are left out. Democracy only works when the minority (losers) submit to the majority. Would you submit to Sharia law? Democracy is not necessary the best solution in some country such Iraq. There is more disorder and suicide booming among Muslim now than under the regime of Saddam Hussein.
In spite of the facts, political and some church leaders persist in avoiding any mention of Islam or Muslim when referring to their violence. That is always blamed on extremists. We are now considered racist for our comments toward Muslim. Would I be accused of racism for denouncing Nazism as evil? This society is afraid of Islam. Studying the origin of Islam will reveal that Muhammad himself began this trail of death, and his followers have obeyed, as supported by the Qur'an.
This simple truth of history is brushed aside by the UN and almost the entire world, including some denomination church that support the establishment of a Palestinian State unaware that it is the foothold used by the surrounding Islamist nations who are planning Israel extinction (Ezekiel 38). Those denominations have accepted the "Replacement Theology" proclaiming that the Church have replace Israel as God's representative.
Islam nations are at war with Israel since 1948. Their goal is to annihilate all Jews. Israel is God chosen people. The land belongs to God, Leviticus 25:23-24. God bestow it to Israel, Jeremiah 31:36, and Deut 11:21.
Any nations and church denominations that take side against Israel do so against God. ""I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you." (Genesis 12:2-3). This declaration by God is very well active today. Look at the poor economical state of the nations who are putting pressure on Israel to give up land for peace. Canada is in good standing before God for it role of supporting Israel, therefore blessed abundantly economically compare to its G8 members counter part.
The Church denominations that support a Palestinians state do not understand that Islam is forcing its religion against peoples wills. Their mandate is to convert the whole world to Islam. I am not making this up. It's in the Qur'an. Many accept Islam for fear of losing their business, their family and their life. ISLAM IS A RELIGION OF TERROR that seed fear and submission ruled by Sharia law
Among the horrors of Sharia are death for criticism of Islam, death for leaving Islam, death for non-Muslims living under Sharia, the near impossibility of rape victims to prove rape, wife beating, child marriage, unequal rights for women, no legal rights for non-Muslims, and the subjugation of women. Under Sharia law, there is no retribution by the Islamic state against a Muslim who kills a non-Muslim. If this should happen in Canada, would there not be an outcry for justice? This is it …it is not happening here in Canada…yet! So why should we get involved? No one toke seriously Winston Churchill warning about the dangers of a German Nazi regime.
The Qur'an considers Jesus to be a prophet. At the return of the Mahdi (Muslin messiah), Jesus will be his servant. Frankly, who came first? Jesus Son of God who GAVE His life on the cross by spilling HIS blood so that whoever believes in Him (voluntarily) may have eternal life, and warned us of false prophet to come, or Muhammad the prophet who spilled blood to whoever resists him from converting to Islam?
Why are the Canadian troops in Afghanistan? Why American troops in Iraq? According to the news media, it is for the western nation's interest (oil? Not in Afghanistan). In God perspective, many Muslims are now converting to Christianity at the risk of losing their life. Jesus is the one who open doors of opportunities to reach out to those who are not yet written in the 'Book of life' and have yet to be include in it. "And this gospel of the kingdom of God will be preached to the entire world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come. Matthew 24:14"
Jesus explained that He is the door. 'Then Jesus said to them again, "Most assuredly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep" (John 10:7)'. He also explained that he will go anywhere at the appropriate time to find pasture for His lose sheep. "I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture" (John 10:9).
Paul walked through many doors that Jesus opened for him to preach the gospel in trouble area. "For a great and effective door has opened to me, and there are many adversaries (1 Corinthians 16:9)". The same is founded in 2 Corinthians 2. "Furthermore, when I came to Troas to preach Christ's gospel, and a door was opened to me by the Lord,"
We are to be thankful for the doors that are open in Iraq and Afghanistan, even at the cost of losing love one, the soldiers who sacrifice their lives for a greater cause.
We are to understand that God has a greater purpose in life, and that He is in charge of the world conditions Rom 13:1-7. He is the one who decide who rule nations. The authority behind the authority is God. All government that exist are from God, good or bad. All institutions are from God. They are established for three reasons: protect, punish and promote. God do control the affair of man. A study in bible prophecy revealed that God have a greater purpose than to bring immediate justice when things go wrong. He let man experience the consequences of sins. Daniel 2:20-21
Daniel answered and said:
Blessed be the name of God forever and ever,
For wisdom and might are His.
And He changes the times and the seasons;
He removes kings and raises up kings;
King Nebuchadnezzar came to his sense after seven years of humble living experience. He recognized who was in control over all activity under the sun. This is how he expresses it in Daniel 4:34-37:
"And at the end of the time I, Nebuchadnezzar, lifted my eyes to heaven, and my understanding returned to me; and I blessed the Most High and praised and honoured Him who lives forever:
For His dominion is an everlasting dominion,
And His kingdom is from generation to generation.
All the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing;
He does according to His will in the army of heaven
And among the inhabitants of the earth.
No one can restrain His hand"
How then could Christians understand God's work in the world? Jesus admonishes us to learn from Him, and to ask wisdom to understand God works. God reveal to those who seek him diligently. Amos 3:7 declare; 'Surely the Lord GOD does nothing, unless He reveals His secret to His servants the prophets'. Jesus mentions that we are no longer servant but friend. John 15:14 'You are My friends if you do whatever I command you'. Remember His commandment: 'Seek ye first the kingdom of God'! Subsequently you would know the will of God; you would know that God wants no one to perish: "who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth, 1 Tim 2:4". God does not want to leave you uninformed. Ignorant are those who accused God of not caring and not being involved. Repent and thank God, because at this moment you know as Daniel knew:
He gives wisdom to the wise
And knowledge to those who have understanding.
He reveals deep and secret things;
He knows what is in the darkness,
And light dwells with Him.
Thank You and praise You,
O God of my fathers;
You have given me wisdom and might,
And have now made known to me what we asked of You,
For You have made known to us the king's demand."
Dan 2: 22-23
Whoever read this is blessed with the abundance of God's love.
What Christians are to do? We are to pray for the unity of the Body of Christ 'the Church', no matter what denomination we belong to. Pray so that the Holy Spirit stirs up the ministry in your church for Jesus to rule and pastor. We are to stop quarrelling for doctrines that are mostly misunderstood and related to tradition of man. Let us concentrate on spreading the simplicity of the gospel: the true gospel that so many hungry spirits are looking for. It is free, remember. We are saved by GRACE. Anyone who adds works to this salvation is from the synagogue of Satan.
Pray for doors to open in our own community. Let us focus on saving soul instead of putting so much energy on the survival of the existing church building and denomination existence. Maybe, yes maybe, will Jesus delight in us similarly to the church of Philadelphia "The Faithful Church?
7 "And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write,
'These things says He who is holy, He who is true, "He who has the key of David, He who opens and no one shuts, and shuts and no one opens": 8 "I know your works. See, I have set before you an open door, and no one can shut it; for you have a little strength, have kept My word, and have not denied My name. 9 Indeed I will make those of the synagogue of Satan, who say they are Jews and are not, but lie—indeed I will make them come and worship before your feet, and to know that I have loved you. 10 Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth. 11 Behold, I am coming quickly! Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your crown. 12 He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go out no more. I will write on him the name of My God and the name of the city of My God, the New Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God. And I will write on him My new name. 13 "He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches."'
Do you have ears? Therefore, this was addressed to you. Jesus just spoke to you using His Word.
Pray for the Word of God to reach members of yours family, friends, citizens of your country, and your enemy that persecute you, so that He also will keep them from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth.
Pray that doors wound open in all nations to fulfill the commission as a witness and of salvation. "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," Colossians 4:3.
Can you hear Jesus footstep? I do. He is at your door, knocking. Answer Him. Invite Him in with this simple prayer: "Jesus, I believe that you are the one that God had sent. I believe that you are the one spoken off in the Old Testament, the Messiah. I believe in your love that you have demonstrated by dying in my stead, for my sins again you. I believe in your bodily resurrection. I believe because You say so. I surrender my life to you, for you have so much to give. Be an important part of my life, so that others may see you in me the peace and the joy that come only from you. Thank you Lord Jesus for the new life, 'the new eternal life that begins now and forever'."
All rights reserve to Jesus therefore free to share
What is my reward then? Verily that, when I preach the gospel, I may make the Gospel of Christ without charge, that I abuse not my power in the gospel. 1 Corinthians 9:18
André Delage; firstname.lastname@example.org
"I Will Bless Those Who Bless You" Feature Article by Jack Kelley: http://gracethrufaith.com/selah/prophecy/i-will-bless-those-who-bless-you/
"Thy Kingdom Come, Thy will be done" by Ron Graft and Lambert Dolphin: http://ldolphin.org/kingdom.