Facing a Task Unfinished

Is there any wonder as to why we STILL face an unfinished task?

There was a time when prayer accompanied the cry and call to missions throughout the evangelical church of Jesus Christ. Sadly, those days are rare any more for there is little prayer and no longer any calls to serve and deliver the gospel message.

“Facing a task unfinished
That drives us to our knees
A need that, undiminished
Rebukes our slothful ease
We, who rejoice to know Thee
Renew before Thy throne
The solemn pledge we owe Thee
To go and make Thee known

Should We Pray for ISIS?

The following post from Russell Moore can be read in full at The Gospel Coalition. These are some great thoughts about the juxtaposition of justice and justification.

“Over the weekend many of us watched with horror and heartbreak as reports of terrorism came from Paris. At least 120 people were killed in what appears to be a coordinated operation by the Islamic State (ISIS), a terror organization that has murdered thousands of innocent people over the last year, including many Christians.

ISIS is one of the clearest embodiments of persecution and evil that we in the West have seen in many years. Their very existence is a commitment to wiping out political and cultural opposition through violence. They prey relentlessly on the innocent, including children. There’s no question that ISIS is a menace that must be engaged through just war.

But is justice the only thing that Christians should pray for when it comes to ISIS? Should we pray that our military, in the words of singer Toby Keith, “light up their world like the Fourth of July”? Or should we pray that, as a friend of mine posted on social media, there would be a Saul among those ISIS militants, whose salvation might turn the Arab world upside down with the gospel?

These are not contradictory prayers, and to each of them I say, “Amen.”

Continue reading here

Thanksgiving Perspectives

This Thanksgiving Day, we are providing a post written by the Pilgrim from Thanksgiving 2009. So much has happened and changed in the world in the last 4 years, but there are also many things that have not. This is a reminder we should have in front of us every year.

*********

As we in America celebrate Thanksgiving, and all the great freedoms, advancements, and benefits that the exporting of Christianity to this land brought with it, let us not forget about those millions of other people who are trapped in the bondage of their nations who are held captive to false religions and the human wreckage that those false religions bring.

Becoming Last had a post containing some pictures which reminded me exactly how thankful we should be, and exactly how starkly different the continent of North America may have turned out had the light of Christianity not pierced the darkness that covered this land.

The pictures in the post came from a piece in the Sacramento Bee. I’ve included some of these sobering but needful reminders below.


Let us not go to our graves having done nothing to see the advancement of the gospel to the uttermost parts of the world, where the worship of idols and demons keeps millions, if not billions, of souls in bondage.

Quotes (840)

Jim Elliot Consider the call of the Throne above, “Go ye,” and from round about, “Come over and help us,” and even the call from the damned souls below, “Send Lazarus to my brothers, that they come not to this place.”

Impelled, then, by these voices, I dare not stay home while Quichuas perish. So what if the well-fed church in the homeland needs stirring? They have the Scriptures, Moses, and the Prophets, and a whole lot more. Their condemnation is written on their bank books and in the dust on their Bible covers.

American believers have sold their lives to the service of Mammon, and God has His rightful way of dealing with those who succumb to the spirit of Laodicea.

– Jim Elliot

1927 – 1956

Quotes (612)

Jim Elliot You wonder why people choose fields away from the States when young people at home are drifting because no one wants to take time to listen to their problems. Ill tell you why I left. Because those Stateside young people have every opportunity to study, hear, and understand the Word of God in their own language, and these Indians have no opportunity whatsoever. I have had to make a cross of two logs, and lie down on it, to show the Indians what it means to crucify a man. When there is that much ignorance over here and so much knowledge and opportunity over there, I have no question in my mind why God sent me here. Those whimpering Stateside young people will wake up on the Day of Judgment condemned to worse fates than these demon-fearing Indians, because, having a Bible, they were bored with it—while these never heard of such a thing as writing.

– Jim Elliot

1927 – 1956

HT: Desert Pastor

Quotes (607)

hudson-taylor Would that God would make hell so real to us that we cannot rest; heaven so real that we must have men there, Christ so real that our supreme motive and aim shall be to make the Man of Sorrows the Man of Joy by the conversion to Him of many.

– Hudson Taylor

1832 – 1905

HT: The Desert Pastor

The brewing storm and the coming demise of Defcon.

Persecuted Not Persecuted

There’s something in the air. You can’t see it, you can’t smell it, but you can feel it. It’s not necessarily tangible but you can sense its impending approach.

It is persecution. And not just “they-laughed-at-me-because-I-go-to-church” persecution that we’ve all come to consider as persecution here in America, but an intense, relentless, horrifying persecution. A persecution of the likes of which we have never seen.

I’ve pondered posting the following thoughts earlier but I did not want to sound like an alarmist, a conspiracy theorist or jump to any conclusions. However, I just viewed the short video at the bottom of this post and realized that I am not the only one who can see the thunder clouds on the horizon. The video encouraged me to pen my thoughts on this matter to share with those who also hear the clapping of the distant thunder.

The tide is changing, the pendulum is swinging, and the winds are shifting. Although the American government, legal system, churches, and mindset of the masses have been changing for quite some time now, it seems like lately those changes have been increasing in speed.

Intolerance, antagonism, opposition, and hostility against Christians are growing not only from outside the Church, but even more so from within.

This coming persecution will not affect those merely professing Christianity (like the average Emergent or mega-church attendee for example). Instead this persecution will be waged against those who tenaciously hold to the exclusivity of the Gospel; that salvation is found only in Jesus Christ (Acts 4:12).

I once believed that the coming inevitable persecution would be against all who claim Jesus as their Savior, but I’ve come to realize that this is not true. Those who are merely professing Christians who just go to church need not fear. The persecution will be directed at those whose lives and doctrine actually reflect and bear the mark that God has called them out of this world because all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted (2 Timothy 3:12).

We are warned of the great Falling Away from the Faith (2 Thessalonians 2:3) and that the love of many will grow cold (Matthew 24:12) and that Christians will betray one another (Matthew 24:10). Those who are secreted within the true Shepherd’s flock that are currently among us but have never been of us (1 John 2:19) are the ones that will give us over to whatever persecuting body comes down the pike. It’s those who we once counted as brethren–those whose books we purchased, those whose sermons we listened to, and those sitting next to us in the pew–that will eventually deliver us up with a Judas kiss.

* We’ve seen many who claim the name of Christ—who fully believe they are bound for Heaven—fall under the charming spell of a political leader who is responsible for the bloodshed of countless children. These professing Christians cast their ballots for this king to rule over them and they justified it!

* We’re seeing laws being proposed to squelch any speech the government deems as “intolerant” or “hateful.”

* We’re seeing sinful lifestyles being given a protective status while anyone who disagrees is deemed an enemy and their right to free speech is being revoked.

* We’re seeing false teachers rise up from the floorboards like cockroaches at such an alarming rate that they’ve deluged our churches with their diseased false doctrines and have sickened the Body of Christ.

* We’re seeing those who’ve stood along side us (nodding their heads in agreement when we take on cults like Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses), only to turn on us with a savage bloodlust when we hold their favorite “evangelical” leaders to the same Biblical standards and doctrinal integrity we hold the cults to.

* We’re seeing once respected men in the Faith begin holding hands with the enemy and push for a religious ecumenicalism that will eventually try to stamp out all those who believe Jesus meant what He said when He said He was the only way to the Father (John 14:6).

These and many other signs are coming together to create the perfect storm. When things begin heating up and moving forward, expect to see sites like DefCon taken down for violating some fairness or tolerance law. Expect to see pastors (who take a stand for the purity and exclusivity of the Gospel) removed from the pulpit and jailed as is already happening. And as things get worse, expect to lose your job, your home, your family, your friends, and even your very life as those who call themselves Christians pick up stones to kill you, thinking they’re doing God a service (John 16:2).

Those who have come to cherish the fellowship and encouragement of fellow believers on blogs such as this (because they’re outcasts at their local church), and those who rely on sound Biblical teaching from sermons on the internet (because their pastors are doing yet another “sermon” series on sex) will suffer as this once thriving venue dries up under hate crime laws.

It won’t be long before the true believers of Jesus Christ will be forced to go underground, not because of a lack of churches, but because of persecution and the fact that leaven has infected almost every church in America and those who resist will not be permitted to exist.

The blood of the martyr is the seed of the Church. It was in times of prosperity that Israel turned her back on God and it is with us as well. It wasn’t until Israel suffered greatly that they returned to their Creator. Whatever is soon to happen–no matter how terrifying it may be–we must remember that God has ordained it to accomplish His purposes.

History testifies this is going to take place, current trends indicate this is about to take place, and Scripture reveals this will take place.

We must be ready and prepared. We must do everything possible to make our families ready and prepared. We must remain steadfast and we must trust that God is sovereign in the storm as much as he is in the calm.

_________________________________________________________________

_________________________________________________________________

It seems to me that persecution never hurts the Church and prosperity always does.

-Paul Washer

_________________________________________________________________

See also: John MacArthur’s sermon A Nation Abandoned by God.

Quotes (512)

hudson-taylorIt will not do to say that you have no special call to go to China. With these facts before you and with the command of the Lord Jesus to go and preach the gospel to every creature, you need rather to ascertain whether you have a special call to stay at home.
– Hudson Taylor

1832 – 1905

HT: The Desert Pastor

Quotes (487)

nate-saint People who do not know the Lord ask why in the world we waste our lives as missionaries. They forget that they too are expending their lives . . . and when the bubble has burst they will have nothing of eternal significance to show for the years they have wasted.

– Nate Saint

1923 – 1956

HT: The Desert Pastor

“If we find any evidence you are a Christian, we will kill you.”

guillotine This death threat was uttered from an Iranian judge spoken to an underground Believer in Iran as quoted in the latest Voice of the Martyrs publication (2009 Special Issue page 8).

It got me thinking about the difference between those who become Christians in nations where it means a death sentence, and those who become Christians in the West. It raised the following questions for me:

– What if we were faced with the same proclamation that this judge gave to this man?

– How would we react in this same situation?

– Are we prepared to face this possible life or death situation?

– If Christianity was made illegal tomorrow and we were brought before a court for the crime of being a Christian, would there be enough evidence in the average life of an American Believer to convict them?

Tough questions, but questions we may one day have to face no matter what comfortable, prosperous, and secure nation we live in today.