Thoughts on Fear

I’ve been pondering lately what makes people afraid. To fear is to not trust God but the average person would not give that as a reason for their fears. I know, in my life, my biggest fears have been due to thinking God would not intervene in a bad situation. The bottom line was that I wanted what I wanted and I did not want to accept the fact that God may not give me what I wanted. (How selfish is that!)

In talking with a friend recently, I realized that fear in some people may have to do with knowing that one is not right with God. Maybe they fear God will do bad things to them because of how they are living, or maybe they’re afraid of dying because they know that they are not ready to meet Him.

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If this is the root of your fear, it is not too late to repent of your sins and ask God’s forgiveness. God did not give you that spirit of fear (2 Timothy 1:7). He desires for you to walk in faith and victory, completely trusting Him in everything! This is not impossible.

When one knows that there is nothing hidden in their life that is displeasing to the Lord, he or she can lay down that fear and walk in complete trust, knowing that God will take care of them. Sure, disappointments will still come. We will still face financial stress, sickness, death, and a myriad of other things but we will also be able to say with Job, “Though He slay me, yet I will trust Him” (Job 13:15).

I am praying for strength to trust Him more than ever this year. This past few years, I’ve dealt with more fears than I remember dealing with previously, but I know in reality that nothing can happen to me that my God doesn’t allow. I am continuing to learn to rest in that. I pray that you are too.

Costing Everything

We have used this video before about 3 years ago, but I feel compelled to share it again. Our family watched “God’s Not Dead 2” last night and found it to be a blessing. However, one aspect that stood out to me is the reality that persecution is coming, and it is coming sooner than we hope and think that it will come. To follow after Christ though requires that we are willing to understand that ultimately it will cost us everything.

Cross Encounters Radio Addresses the False Teachings of Bethel “Church”

Kris VallotonOn Cross Encounters Radio, we have been setting up special broadcasts to address the false teachings of the Bethel “church” in Redding, California. Today, Tony Miano took to task the false gospel statements of senior associate pastor Chris Valloton. I highly recommend you check out the article Tony wrote in association with this broadcast, both of which can be found below:

“This article is the second in an ongoing series of articles looking at the false teaching and false practices of Bethel Church, in Redding, CA. In this article I will address the false gospel of false prophet and teacher, Kris Vallotton, Senior Associate Pastor at Bethel Church.

Here is Vallotton’s biography, posted on the Bethel Church website:
“Kris Vallotton is a noted prophetic voice in Northern California, and has trained prophetic teams in this region. He is a sought after speaker with a vision for equipping an “Elijah generation” for the end-time harvest. Kathy’s practical wisdom and prophetic insight combine to give her a unique and profound ministry as both an instructor and the school’s administrator. Kathy is also an anointed worship leader,assisting with the training of the worship teams at the school. Both Kris and his wife Kathy have a vision to raise up a company of warriors to impact this generation for Christ. Their goal is to see the fulfillment of Isaiah 61 with their own eyes. This prophecy begins with individual people getting delivered and healed–it ends with the ruined cities being restored. Kris says it is time for the fire of God to burn up His enemies and warm the hearts of the lost. This mandate has become their mission. God has instructed them to gather together warriors with like hearts, then train and equip them, and send them into the Harvest. Holy Spirit fortifications must be established in the midst of the darkest places of the planet earth. Kris is currently Senior Associate Pastor at Bethel Church in Redding, California and Kris and his wife Kathy are Overseers at Bethel’s School of Supernatural Ministry. They have four children and five grandchildren.”

Read the article here: Bethel Church: The False Gospel of Kris Vallotton

Wake Up Church!

Have you been watching the news this week? If you have, like the rest of us, you are probably aghast at the sight of American embassies in the Middle East overrun by Muslims and our ambassadors being hurt or killed. And, like the rest of us, you may be wondering why on Earth our government isn’t doing something about it. You might be wondering how our government, or the media, or people in general, can be so blind to the fact that Islam is in fact a religion of subjugation and violence, and how they can pretend it is not what we see being played out in front of the cameras on the evening news. You might just see this as the reason you need to get far more politically involved than ever before, because, after all, if this administration cannot see the threat, then it is time for someone else to take the reigns, right? Yeah, I imagine a lot of people are thinking that right now.

But, if you are a Christian, I have to ask you a serious question, one that might make you a little uncomfortable. If you see Islam as a threat, if you see the danger that a satanic religion represents, if you see the harm it has caused to so many people, what are you doing about it? I’m not talking about taking up arms here. I’m not talking about some sort of militant activism either. And yes, I recognize there are hundreds, and thousands of muslims who have never so much as looked cross eyed at another person. I recognize there are many who would never even dream of committing acts of physical violence, so please do not misconstrue what I am saying here. I’m talking about what are you doing about the lost souls who bow to Mecca five times a day trying with all their might to please Allah. What are you doing to break them out of the works based, man centered religion that drives them to these acts. If you recognize that this religion, which is at the heart of so many problems in the Middle East, is truly a false and dangerous religion, what are you doing to change it?

Let me put it another way. When you go to church this week, why will you go? To be built up and strengthened so you may go forth and preach the gospel? Or will you go to be entertained and have your self esteem boosted? Will you walk out of church so in love with the Savior that you cannot help but to preach the gospel? Or will you walk out happy that God has made your life so comfortable? See, the point of church is not to make us feel better about ourselves and our lives. It is to make us love Jesus all the more and to drive us into the world, into spiritual battle, so that we might take the gospel to the ends of the earth. However, I fear that a great many people who attend church this Sunday might go there shaking their heads about the terrible things that have happened this week, but will come out feeling so nice and comfy about how much God has a wonderful plan for their lives. It will not even cross their minds that God has commanded them to preach the gospel, and that the answer to the violence in the Middle East is not in governments, political sanctions or military actions, it is in that very gospel they are commanded to preach!

The violence and tragedy in the Middle East this week needs to be a wake up call, not so much for the government, but for the church. For far too long, we have sat by and watched as church growth programs, self esteem seminars and entertainment industries have corrupted the church. We have been too satisfied to see the undershepherds who have been called to equip us for battle lay down that duty to entertain and amuse us. Yes, numbers in the churches grew, but those numbers represented nothing more than false converts because they never once heard the call to repent of their self centered sinfulness and cling to the cross seeking the mercy of the Savior. Church, we must repent of this! We have been commanded by our Savior to preach His gospel unto every nation! And can there be any further evidence that this world needs the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ than what we are seeing happen right now?

Those in the Middle East who have perpetrated these atrocities are sinners like you and me! They need Jesus Christ to wash away their sinfulness through His shed blood alone! They are trapped in a works righteous religion that calls them to appease their “god” through works, through man centered efforts, which will never atone for their sin. If we want see change in the Middle East, it can ONLY come through the gospel! It is the only thing which can change the heart of wicked and sinful man. No government plan, no sanction, no political overhaul can change man’s heart, only the power of the Holy Spirit can accomplish that. And God has ordained that it is through His gospel message that it will be accomplished.

Christians, wake up! When you go to church this Sunday, don’t be satisfied to sit back and be entertained. Weep over sin, starting first with your own. Glorify God that He sent His Son to die for sinners and to save them from the fires of Hell. And then be moved to preach the gospel in every way possible. Obviously, not all of us are called to be foreign missionaries, but maybe God has equipped you to support them. Maybe you can even start your own ministry here in America that will send missionaries over seas. You can even be a missionary here in your own hometown. Start preaching the gospel now, where you live. Share it with someone today. Let the turmoil in our world be the wake up call that makes you realize that God has called you to share the only thing that can change the hearts of men. The only thing that can bring them out of the treadmill of work righteousness. The only thing that can bring them from death to life. Preach the gospel today!

“I Hope You Rot in Hell!”

Yesterday, a terrible tragedy struck Northern Nevada.  Many of you have probably seen the news about a man who fired on several people, ultimately killing four of them, before taking his own life.  Five of the people who were shot were Nevada Army National Guardsman, three of which died.  Many find themselves utterly dumbfounded by this evil act.  Of course, compounding the issue is that, with the death of the shooter, we may never know why he did it.  There is a tremendous sadness, and even anger over this tragedy.  In fact, one commenter on a news website summed his anger toward the shooter by stating, “I hope God doesn’t show you mercy.  I hope you rot in Hell.”

I have found myself thinking about that phrase over the last twenty-four hours.  What should we think of someone who has committed such an atrociously evil act?  Should we truly desire for someone to “rot in hell?”  Should we really desire that God never show that person mercy?  Ultimately, I believe the answer is no.

Why should I make such a statement?  Isn’t God just?  Doesn’t He say that He will punish evil?  Yes, God is just, and yes, He does punish evil.  In fact, I think we should be grateful that God will punish the great evils committed in this world, that no deed done in darkness will escape His sight.  But I also believe that very same justice should make us fear and tremble.

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