Without apology or shame as one of the Lord’s heralds of the Gospel and teacher of the faith rooted in the Bible, I preach God’s requirement of repentance from sin for forgiveness leading to salvation and continued right standing with God. The divine call to repentance from sin clearly asserts and exposes the reality of its presence in every human heart as judged by God (Romans 3:9-20, 23; 1 John 1:8, 10). We expect resistance to the truth of sin guilt from rank sinners that love their sin and refuse to turn from it (John 3:17-20). However, many professing Christians and their leaders resist repentance from sin to include heresies among their reasons to save face.
A quick check with Webster’s Dictionary reveals that the layers of definition attached to the word, “face” includes the consideration of our “standing in the face of others;” our “prestige.” All of us to some degree or another have concern about how others see us. None of us wants to be seen in a bad light or found to be something other than what we say we are. From the example of our forefather, Adam and his wife, Eve--who sewed fig leaves together to cover themselves, hid from God when they heard Him coming and then played the blame game as God inquired about their behavior--we especially have a great difficulty with being found guilty of sin (Genesis 3:6-13).
Since Adam, humanity has reflexively employed all manner of device to deflect away sin guilt rather than simply owning up to it. As little children even, we will immediately lie to avoid consequences and of course, to save face. Of the many Bible characters beyond Adam that acted deceitfully to cover their sin and save face, Saul the first king of Israel is a prime example. Like most folk, Saul wanted to first save face in denying he had sinned at all by disobeying the Lord in the Amalekite mission (1 Samuel 15:18-21). After Samuel gave God’s eternally standing instruction on obedience, Saul finally admitted that he had sinned in disobeying the Lord (1 Samuel 15:22-24).
Here is seen again the difference between godly and worldly sorrow over confessed sin (2 Corinthians 7:8-11). For though Saul admitted he had sinned in disobeying the commandment of the Lord, his heart was not truly repentant as is borne out by his behavior in the rest of what is written of him going forward from this incident. Indeed, immediately after reluctantly admitting he was wrong, once more Saul wanted to save face before the people by having Samuel participate with him in worshipping the Lord. At first Samuel refused understanding the very serious nature and consequence of Saul’s sin and no doubt, his motive (1 Samuel 15:25-26).
When Samuel turned to leave the scene, Saul grabbed hold of his garment and ripped it in the process. This gave rise to Samuel’s affirmation of God’s judgment of Saul symbolized in the tearing away of his garment. After this, Saul confessed again he had sinned, but pleaded with Samuel to “honor me now, please, before the elders of my people and before Israel, and return with me, that I may worship the Lord your God,” (1 Samuel 15:27-30, NKJV). Saul wanted to diminish the gravity of his sin and consequence by having Samuel make him look like he was still alright with God. Samuel worshipped with Saul for what he knew was the last time and finished his mission (1 Samuel 15:31-35).
I know well the sin and temptation to save face when I have done wrong in now this fifty-eight year old life. Nevertheless, God, a Father exceedingly great above all, has steadfastly insisted of me to own my stuff immediately not to escape consequences and save face, but always to receive His forgiveness! And since this is also biblical, it is the will of God that all men embrace it (Ezekiel 18:20-23; 1 John 1:9). Yet, over the years I have lost count of the number of professing Christians and leaders that have sinned against me or are in sin and have lied to my face or lied in denial about their sin to save face. Proudly refusing to confess and repent from sin to avoid consequences and save face is shamefully common among professing Christians.
Like Saul, many professing Christians and leaders attempt to diminish the gravity of their sin guilt and any consequence in saving face by going on with church worship and activities. This is very evident in churches where the Holy Spirit is not really operating (emotion is not spiritual fire) or welcome (much religious activity does not mask spiritual deadness). Sin not confessed and repented from before God is sin not forgiven and it does not matter who the guilty party is! Therefore, let every son and aspiring strong man of God in the image of Christ continually confess and repent from his sins being more concerned about how God sees you than men (2 Corinthians 5:9-11)! The risen, living Christ continues His cry among American churches, “Who is on the Lord’s side?”
Having just spent time giving serious thanks to God for all of His blessings this Thanksgiving, the Lord again directs my attention to the persecution being suffered by my Christian brethren among many nations. Though I do not write a lot about the ongoing persecution of Christians, I stay regularly informed and prayerful for all. The aforementioned “all” includes not just the suffering faces of those in faraway lands such as North Korea and Nigeria, but increasingly, those enduring persecution in this Western hemisphere and our own nation. Truly, growing hostility toward and persecution of Bible believing Christians in America is a reality that can no longer be dismissed as only isolated.
As a supporter of similarly named, but organizationally unrelated Open Doors USA, our Ministry regularly receives their reports on what is happening among our persecuted Christian brethren around the world.1 Not only are our brethren suffering from family and community exclusion within the nations they live, but government harassment, arrests, unfair trials, incarceration, legally sanctioned mob violence and martyrdom. When the Christian men are targeted for incarceration or murder, it leaves their families to suffer. While Communist and Islamic run nations fill the list of persecutors, nations such as Christian Eritrea, Hindu India and Buddhist Bhutan are also prominent.2
It is about to get really real for those of us that profess to be Christians in America too. Intensifying opposition to the biblical faith once on the fringe of American society is going mainstream. Moral tenets of the faith once taken for granted as absolute and bedrock to American society are not only being challenged, but cast down as no longer acceptable. These are not just tenets governing marriage and family for example, but definitions of objective truth, right and wrong, good and evil as well as justice and injustice. In the wake of this swiftly moving river of moral upheaval, Christians that would dare stand firm for the moral tenets of our faith are suffering varying degrees of persecution.
Besides the “in-your-face” government policies and litigations to remove crosses and nativity scenes as public displays of Christianity to implement falsely believed constitutionally mandated church and state separation, some Christians have suffered being demoted or fired from employment because they had Bibles at their work stations or read them on breaks. And because many secular entities have a “corporate culture” now, that does not tolerate religious expression (though, they publicly trumpet “inclusion” and “diversity” as values), being hired a Christian with a social media presence may be very difficult and once hired, witnessing Christ to co-workers is out.3
American secular colleges and universities that have historically celebrated tolerating various viewpoints as a means in the process of vigorous, but polite debate to sharpen the thinking of young minds have in too many instances today, hung out the “not welcome” sign to a biblical worldview. Biblically conservative Christian students are routinely singled out and held up to ridicule for their faith. Christian professors do not escape either.4 The secular media regularly ignores and mocks Christians that hold to a biblical worldview being quick only to report on high profile “Televangelists” and “Megachurch Pastors” whose sins come to light, while social media giants resist them.5
As I have also commented in other posts, a number of American Christians have been purposely targeted and martyred in mass shootings such as the one at Columbine High School in 1999 along with churches as occurred in Charleston, SC in 2015 and Sutherland Springs, TX in 2017.6 In agreement with all other observers here, none of what American Christians have suffered to date compares with the daily egregious and violent persecution our overseas brethren endure--yet! Praying for “the persecuted church” like it is some disconnected entity that exists only in non-exceptional, often impoverished nations of the world is about to change as persecutors intensify their efforts in America.7 And why? It is their “hour and the power of darkness,” (Luke 22:52-53, NKJV).
For this reason, beyond seeking to sensitize us to the ongoing suffering of our brethren wherever they are as a primary reason for this post, exhorting faithful American Christians to spiritually, mentally and emotionally prepare for the kind of hatred fed persecution our overseas brethren experience is an important secondary reason since our Lord has warned it is to occur in “all nations,” (Matthew 10:16-39, 24:9, NKJV).8 Now, is the time to awake from arrogance and apathy to get ready for what our Lord foretells and assures will take place. Among the equipping resources available is my book, The Strong Man Of God: Back To Basics and related group studies.9 The risen, living Christ continues His cry among American churches, "Who is on the Lord's side?"
1 The organizational parent of Strong Man Ministries is Open Door Communication Ministries, Inc. I was led by the Lord to found August 12, 1985. Read some of the
stories of persecuted Christians among the many countries on the 2020 World Watch List of Open Doors USA.
2 What many of our brethren overseas “normally” suffer from their persecutors has been intensified during the Lord’s Coronavirus judgment. As we are banding together
with other Christians to help and encourage one another here at home, the Lord would have us remember our suffering persecuted brethren in those faraway lands
with tangible support as well (1 John 3:16-18).
3 Sadly, our military as a work place is no exception. Read about the case of Chaplain Curt Cizek.
4 To learn more about the experience of Christians on American campuses read the following ACLJ, Beliefnet and IsChristianityTrue articles.
5 I can attest to the heavy-handed resistance of Facebook to biblically conservative ministries such as this one among the social media giants. “Likes” to our pages by
Christians mysteriously dwindle after I write blogs or make posts on their platform that are not politically correct, tolerant etc. which the Lord has had me call them on.
They want me to believe that just making better posts and spending more money to “boost” them will remedy the situation though, such has not been the case since
they also limit the reach of the same. For the record, I do understand a to be expected number of professed Christians that formerly liked our Facebook pages are sub-
ject to “unlike” them at any time as a show of disagreement with me. I get that, but not what Facebook is doing which lately has even taken away page likes whenever
someone has liked a post! I urge Christians that have liked our pages and those of other ministries to check back periodically especially if you have not received a post
in your newsfeeds for a time and re-like the pages if necessary. Also, enlist other Christians on Facebook to like our pages after you have done so.
6 Read for example, the June 8, 2014 post, And Then There Is The War, under the category, instruction. Revisit the cited respective church shootings at the following
links Charleston, SC and Sutherland Springs, TX.
7 See the November 12, 2017 post, God’s Throwaways?, under the category, Bible Prophecy.
8 Read the two-part post beginning May 17, 2020, Persecution, Hatred And Betrayal, under the category, Bible Prophecy.
9 A print copy or digital download of the book published by the Publishing Division of Open Door Communication Ministries, Inc. with fresh editing in 2019 for greater clari-
ty and updated web addresses in the footnotes is available at major internet booksellers such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, ChristianBooks.com and Apple (digital only).
You can also purchase a print copy in the Strong Man Store. Too, leaders can teach, disciple and equip through The Strong Man Of God Men’s Group Study and The
Great Woman Of God Women’s Group Study also in the Strong Man Store.
As the Director of Strong Man Ministries and lead instructor in our Strong Man Institute in-person and virtual course offerings, I am excited to announce the roll out yesterday of our Fruitful Bible Study Self-Paced Video Course on our Strong Man Virtual Institute YouTube Channel!1 With the Lord’s leading, this video course addresses the great need in His Body for knowledge of the Word through the spiritual discipline of Bible study in these latter days. For He and His apostles warned us great deception would exist in the times before His return as it does and lacking knowledge of the Word, many are being deceived and fall away as also foretold (Mark 13:3-6, 22-23; 1 Timothy 4:1-5).
Though there are many false and deceitful doctrines of demons within professing Christianity at this hour, one of the most insidious is in fact “a different gospel;” the likes of which the apostle Paul puts the purveyor under a curse of destruction and that strikes at the very heart of the Christian faith “once for all delivered to the saints,” (Galatians 1:6-10; Jude 3-4, NKJV). It asserts that God does not judge what people do in sin anymore since Christ completely atoned for human sins past, present and future on the cross. Those who know the truth from their regular, Holy Spirit led and helped study of the Bible recognize the foregoing assertion is preposterous and thoroughly false!
Truly, as Scripture teaches the Lord’s death on the cross most certainly did make a full and eternal atonement for human sin before God (Isaiah 53:10-12; John 1:29, 19:30; Hebrews 1:1-4, 2:17, 9:11-15). However, it is only the one who repents of his sins, places faith in the Gospel and is indwelt by the Holy Spirit that will be saved which Scripture also teaches (Acts 2:36-39; Romans 1:16-17, 3:21-26; 1 Corinthians 15:1-4). As it is written and cited in Romans 1:17, ‘“The just shall live by faith,’” (NKJV). There is no work or deed a sinner can do to earn salvation wrought through Christ’s sacrifice God has made available to all mankind by grace (Romans 3:27-4:25; Ephesians 2:1-10).2
I will declare it again. Although He died for all mankind, only those individuals who genuinely repent of their sins, believe the Gospel and receive new birth by the indwelling Holy Spirit, obtain salvation! Those who refuse to repent and believe the Gospel remain in their sins, will die in and face Christ’s “judgment seat” to answer for them (John 8:21-24; 2 Corinthians 5:9-11, NKJV).3 For of first importance salvation is “remission (by God’s forgiveness) of sins” upon repentance and faith in Christ (Luke 24:46-47, NKJV). Anyone who preaches anything contrary to this core, historic and biblical truth for salvation, puts themselves justly under the apostle Paul’s curse since it is a different gospel!
Now, even though no work or deed we do of ourselves prior to salvation can earn it, works and deeds afterward matter as evidence of its authenticity, fruitfulness and enduring faith in Christ which is not a one and done thing (James 2:14-26). We enter salvation through faith in the Gospel of Jesus Christ and continue living by faith in Him moment by moment going forward. Purposely practicing biblically defined sin without repentance is not proof of faith, but of possible insincere or false profession, rank disobedience which is rebellion or apostasy which can never please God who despite another false doctrine, ‘“will judge His people,’” (Hebrews 10:26-39, 11:6, NKJV)!4
Thus, even though Christ’s work to pay for human sin was finished on the cross, our responsibility before God for personal sin does not end there! For this reason, the Lord Jesus explains one must “believe in Him” whom God in love sent into the world to die for our sins in order to “not perish” and instead, “have everlasting life.” Otherwise, apart from appropriating His saving work to themselves by faith, the unsaved are “condemned already” with no other hope; their deeds certifying God’s righteousness to condemn them (John 3:16-21, NKJV).5 Also, what professed Christians do reveals whether they know Christ and bear good fruit (Matthew 7:15-23,13:1-9, 18-23).6
Indeed, the whole Word of God teaches what one does whether in sin or not during this mortal life matters to God! Consequently, every human being that has ever lived will face judgment by Jesus Christ to be rewarded accordingly--those with the fruitful deeds of faith in Him having nothing to fear (Job 34:10-15; Psalm 62:12; Proverbs 24:12; Jeremiah 17:9-10; Romans 1:28-2:11, 14:10-12, 23b; Revelation 22:12). Ours is not a made to order salvation of human construction. It has sprung from the heart and mind of the living God from eternity (1 Peter 1:13-21)! Christians must get and stay in God’s Word to recognize and avoid the many false doctrines today; careful not to even pass along sound good posts on social media from maybe well meaning sources, but that are not biblical.
1 The very first Short-Term Study from the Strong Man Virtual Institute can be viewed on its dedicated YouTube Channel. A course overview with description is provided in
Session One of the six session study. While it is not required, a Study Guide is available as a free download in the Strong Man Store to help interested learners as they
engage with the video course at their own pace.
2 Read the March 21, 2021 post, Good Works Cannot Save You, under the category, The Cause.
3 See the April 24, 2022 post, Messiah Comes Second For Salvation, under the category, The Faith.
4 What has death been to mankind but judgment from God who lovingly, graciously warned Adam of it as the consequence in the day of his disobedience (Genesis 2:15-
17, 3:6-11, 17-19)? And as it concerns Christians, the falsehood God does not judge what we do becomes crystal clear from faithfully reading and studying the New
Testament where God is seen intentionally instilling fear of offending His holiness through willful sin after He put to death Ananias and his wife, Sapphira, on the same
day for lying to Him--something many professed Christians in our times foolishly consider no big deal (Acts 5:1-11). For further reflection on God as the Judge of His
people in the New Testament, read the two-part post that begins August 23, 2020, The Churches Under Judgment, under the category, Instruction.
5 There are those in Christian media and not a few pastors that refute the Bible they claim to uphold teaching God does not condemn. Some even boast that you will not
hear them talk about such a thing, though the whole narrative of salvation in the Bible from Genesis to Revelation is about God saving willing mankind from our sins in
light of His certain coming wrath and condemnation to Hell! Being unwilling to declare “the whole counsel of God” especially for the sake of gaining money from people
who want to hear nothing but positive statements about Him for them, followers or to fill auditorium seats is fraud (Acts 20:26-31; 2 Corinthians 2:17, 4:1-2, NKJV)! It is
also false teaching to deny or purposely omit the fact unrepentant sinners stand condemned before a holy God--woe to the false teachers who bring the Lord’s judgment
upon themselves (2 Peter 2:1-3)! Who really cares for your soul: the one that tells you only the parts of God’s Word you like and want to hear or the one who gives you
God’s whole Word (1 Thessalonians 2:1-12)?
6 Though he may struggle, the saved one is done with sin and is helped by the Holy Spirit to live a holy and righteous life in the image of Christ through his purposeful,
persevering faith (Romans 6-8). As the Lord leads, I present this truth in some detail to the aspiring strong man and great woman of God in my book, The Strong Man
Of God: Back To Basics and its companion Strong Man Of God Men’s Group Study as well as Great Woman Of God Women’s Group Study. These are all available
in the Strong Man Store, at your favorite internet bookseller or brick and mortar bookstore.
Why is it so hard for folk that profess to know and love Jesus Christ to own and repent from their transgressions, sins and iniquities when confronted by Him about these from His Word? From what I have seen of myself, guilty professed Christians and humanity prominently including Israel in the Bible over the years, there are at least five key reasons I will address in this post to help anyone willing. Meanwhile, we are not to deceive ourselves as many do. “God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap” leading to eternal death or life (Galatians 6:7-8, NKJV). Too, Christ returns for a “holy” bride (Ephesians 5:27; Revelation 19:7-9, NKJV). So, where does that leave you?
As the Lord led in 2020, I again announced His call to repent to professed Christians on Palm Sunday in light of His Coronavirus judgment starting to surge globally and followed it after Resurrection Sunday with a post entitled, Does Anybody Repent Anymore.1 In the latter post, I marveled at the lack of repentance among the millions that profess to be Christians in our nation as the Holy Spirit gave perception and Christian media no indication of any biblical signs of it--you know, confession like David when confronted by Nathan, brokenness over, renouncing of and turning from sin in godly sorrow (2 Samuel 12:1-15; Psalm 51:1-17; Acts 19:11-20; 2 Corinthians 7:6-12).
By the fall of 2020 various prayer and revival events (which have become the norm) were ostensibly held for the purpose of calling Christians and the nation to repentance. However, as the Lord has led me to write many times over the years, such events are a sham when some of the sins that He calls for repentance from such as defiantly allowing women as a show of worldly equality to stand with the men to lead out are put on display!2 For this reason, the Lord who has seen this movie before with Israel does not answer in the macro (Malachi 2:1-16), but only the micro among those sincere individuals who humbly come to Him as He requires (Psalm 130; Isaiah 57:15; Daniel 9:1-19).
Pride therefore, is the number one reason many smug, professed Christians refuse to humble themselves before the Lord to fully confess and turn in repentance from all that is defined by Him as sin in His holy Word (Jeremiah 6:16-17)! “Been there, done that!” However, the Lord most excellent Father that He is continues to lead me to trust Him that His forgiveness obtained through confession and repentance is better than guilt in proudly refusing to own my sin. He may not remove all the consequences, but His peace, presence and power operative in my life is more than what I deserve for the sin I was forgiven of.3 This leads to the second key reason many refuse to repent: shame.
Bound up in the pride of refusing to repent is shame at and for our sin failure. We are ashamed at the fact we were wrong--no, not me. But yes, like Nathan told David, “You are the man,” (2 Samuel 12:7a, NKJV)! Guilt and shame go together and is the reason Adam and Eve in this cause were covering up as the Lord exposed them (Genesis 3:6-11). Herein is yet a third key reason many professed Christians find it hard to repent of sin: fear. After the Lord exposed their disobedience, the first couple started the blame game out of fear of consequences. So, we fear not only the Lord’s just judgment, but the loss of status and reputation since we are not as perfect as we have put on.4
Because of the latter statement, I have sought to keep it real about myself without going into graphic detail of every flaw, fault and failure.5 I am a sinner under construction in righteousness and so are you if you are in Christ! I shamefully sin against the Lord and get it wrong sometimes and so do you! The Holy Spirit and God’s Word objectively interpreted and applied are reliable guides for making our sins known to us. Thus, our greatest fear should be of not being transparent with God who sees us as we are, what we do and judges (Psalms 32:1-5, 94:1-11, 135:13-14, 139:1-12)! Nevertheless, much of professing American Christianity refuses to repent because of the fear of man.
This brings us to a fourth key reason many professed Christians refuse to repent: love of family. The world ruled by Satan has deceitfully made standing against sin in its eyes hatred for the guilty person. So, from worldly feminism to sexual immorality in the name of loving and accepting their family members, many Christians to include even conservative evangelical leaders across the nation no longer concur with God’s Word that their ungodly behavior is sin and are unwilling to call it out it for what it clearly is because they now, permit it.6 You can and will not repent from anything you do not believe is sin! Hence, the many call to repentance events where not all sin is repented of. Here finally then, is the fifth key reason many professed Christians are refusing to repent: obstinacy.
The unwillingness at this hour to call out biblically defined sin and refusal to repent of it where guilty is leading to the natural spiritual consequence of hardened hearts (Jeremiah 5:3). I personally thought (hoped) this was still far down the road. But the doubling down and digging in to resist a need for any further talk about repentance or to be concerned about God’s continuing judgment beyond the Coronavirus pestilence I see and hear taking place among those who lead is telling. Rank obstinacy is evidence of a hard heart or did you first get saved with such a heart? I don’t think so! All God wants from the guilty in humility and fullness is five words: “I have sinned, I repent” so, He can forgive. His judgment continues as I have been warning (Proverbs 29:1; Jeremiah 14-15:9).7
1 See the April 5, 2020, God Is Speaking, followed by Does Anybody Repent Anymore? on April 19th both under the category, Call To Repent.
2 The display of self-satisfied obedience to righteousness with open sin at these events is as pitiful to the Lord as the “bleating of the sheep…and the lowing of the oxen”
Samuel heard while king Saul insisted he had done His will (1 Samuel 15:10-23, NKJV). You cannot put on some contrived, superficial event and expect God the
“great King” to be appeased (Malachi 1:6-14, NKJV). How little regard indeed, you have for Him! Read the August 17, 2014 post, The Sham Cry For Revival under
the category, Call To Repent, also cited with related commentary in the sixth footnote of 2020’s, Does Anybody Repent Anymore? In 2014 as well, see the August 31
post, Soul Deep Repentance, under the category, Call To Repent.
3 The Holy Spirit would not have me fail to mention here another great motivator to help us be dislodged from our pride: God’s judgment for it on top of the sin(s) we are
guilty of (Proverbs 3:34, 16:18-19; Jeremiah 6:18-21; James 4:1-10).
4 Here is where many pastors, elders, other church and ministry leaders live as I know from painful personal experience. What won’t sin laden, success driven, reputa-
tion protecting and face saving men in the flesh do to protect their carefully crafted image of righteousness? See the October 26, 2014 post, Saving Face, under the
5 Among the many places including years of this Blog and public articles one can see what God has been working in me as a redeemed sinner, is my book, The Strong
Man Of God: Back To Basics. It is available at your favorite internet book seller and in the Strong Man Store. Also, I commend to you the testimony of my fellow as-
piring strong man of God in the image of Christ, Larry Lugo, a Northwest Native American, you can view in this Ministry’s first Strong Man Of God Online Rally, Gospel
Reset, on its YouTube Channel.
6 They have not only permitted sin, but profited financially from it as in the case of replacing God’s order of mankind with their own to accommodate professed Christian
women in their worldly feminism (Mark 7:5-13).
7 Read the two-part post beginning August 2, 2020, Flavorless Salt Is Worthless, under the category, Call To Repent and The Churches Under Judgment in two parts that
begins August 23, 2020 under the category, Instruction.
You would think the awful toll the Coronavirus pestilence from God, unrest and increased lawlessness is taking on our nation would be enough to bring especially all Christians that claim to love it to their knees in complete humility, brokenness, repentance praying like Daniel of old and grief as called for by God (Daniel 9:1-19; Joel 2:12-14). But while this Ministry and no doubt a few others also have called for this, you do not hear much about it in Christian media as the television networks for example, continue with their usual programming and messaging focused on what God wants to do even now, to positively impact the dreams, ambitions, wealth and health of their audiences.5
Regular readers know the Lord has not led me to anchor His call to repentance and true Holy Spirit fired revival to 2 Chronicles 7:14. It has been repeatedly and hypocritically quoted by many sincere looking Christian leaders and others for years in times of national crisis as though America is Israel of old to whom the verse speaks. America is not Israel that is God’s one and only “everlasting love” among the nations (Deuteronomy 4:32-40; Jeremiah 31:1-3, NKJV)! Among the founders of America and to this day there have been individual faithful Christians including those of my black forefathers for whose sake God has graciously and richly blessed our nation in the past.6
Now, however, as should be abundantly clear to all but the most willfully dull-hearted professed Christians, the Coronavirus pandemic is not just a national crisis, it is so globally as judgment from God! Quite as expected, 2 Chronicles 7:14 uncoupled from the preceding verse that gives rise to it has been trotted out again. If professed Christians would rightly interpret and apply the two verses together as they ought, then, there is an important spiritual application for us as individuals living in a time of divine judgment. For if the guilty as God’s people would truly “humble themselves, and pray and seek” His “face,” and “turn from their wicked ways, then...,” (2 Chronicles 7:13-14, NKJV).
But God will not hear petitions, forgive or heal the land we live in because the folk that are supposed to be His people in it will not repent from their wicked ways; denying that they have any ways that should invite His judgment! However, as I wrote earlier, so-called Bible teachers that for financial gain fixate those they teach only on what God wants to do for them materially now, are teaching falsehood which in God’s view is wicked and sin! They and academic religionists may also tolerate as equally valid corrupt personal interpretations of and opinions drawn from Scripture, but as the Lord showed with His rebuke of Israel’s religious elite and His apostles, the false preachers and teachers, God does not (Matthew 22:23-33; Mark 9:42-48; Galatians 1:6-10; 2 Peter 2:1-3)!
The false presumption one can teach whatever he or she pleases is among many wicked ways professed Christians have that are also idols they have set up in their hearts (Ezekiel 14:1-5). Other idols are success and the pursuit of it through realizing personal dreams and selfish ambitions, the attainment of wealth by covetousness and greed and health involving body and fitness obsession along with the purchase and consumption of related products. Also, there is materialism, racism, sexual immorality, worldly compromise and rebellion entailing the embrace of feminism for example, and its corollary, gender equality as the world defines it contrary to the divinely set order of mankind.7
All of the foregoing idols of the heart and more must be fully repented of by guilty professed Christians for true revival (Ezekiel 14:6-11), to give the nation a temporary reprieve from judgment and forestall that which is greater God holds back to the end more of our fellow citizens might be saved!8 Otherwise, as with ancient Israel our biblically prescribed example, God must judge the “persistent unfaithfulness” of those insisting they are His people (Ezekiel 14:12-13; 1 Corinthians 10:1-11, NKJV). For apart from repentance and true revival, they are flavorless salt that cannot be re-salted; worthless to God and “good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men” according to the Lord Jesus (2 Chronicles 36:15-21; Matthew 5:13b, NKJV).
Consistent with His longsuffering nature, God has given professed American Christians as false prophets, teachers, scoffers, religionists, rebels and de facto apostates plenty of remedial judgments and time to repent (Isaiah 1:1-9, 9:13-17; Jeremiah 5:1-9; Luke 13:1-9). But now, striking to the very pride-filled hearts of these stubborn men and women that do not fear Him, God is bringing unmistakable judgment from Him upon the land. ‘“Even if these three men, Noah, Daniel and Job, were in’” the land, ‘“they would deliver only themselves by their righteousness,’ says the Lord GOD,” (Ezekiel 14:14-20, NKJV). It is therefore, as the Lord has had me warn, only the repentant and Holy Spirit revived will emerge as His people after His judgment (Ezekiel 14:21-23)!9
5 The welcome exceptions have been the networks’ special programming to address the needs of people created by the Coronavirus and the nation’s freshly opened
racial wounds in the aftermath of the George Floyd murder back in May. Regarding the latter, seasoned, sound and articulate national Christian black leaders with
biblical solutions, but that do not espouse the popular prosperity messaging championed by most of the networks are rarely heard from which calls into question just
how serious they are about ministering healing into the crisis. Interestingly too, picking who will speak for and to blacks to their liking, Christian white media owners
continue employing yet another of the historic tools used to create and sustain systemic racism.
6 America is not a Christian nation just because all of its founders tipped their hats to God, sought to include Christian principles in their founding documents and rightly
asserted every citizen must have a moral heart to make it all work. As I wrote in a previous post, while this was all noble, real biblical Christianity is empowered by the
Holy Spirit, not the well intended attempts to live out its precepts and morality through the sinful flesh! Not for the sake of being a “Christian nation” or its high ideals,
but His born again faithful in the midst has God preserved and blessed America! Read the two-part post beginning September 11, 2016, American Culture’s Religion,
under the category, Call To Repent.
7 Siding with the world against God to reject His perpetually standing order of mankind that defines male and female roles for this present, mortal age is not just over the
top, but open, brazen in God’s face evidence of rebellion (Ezekiel 8)!
8 True, biblical revival only results from soul deep repentance from all breaks with God’s Word which is sin. This sharply contrasts with what professed American Chris-
tians usually serve up as revival. Read the August 14, 2014 repost, The Sham Cry For Revival, under the category, Call To Repent. Also, here is where the implica-
tions of viewing America as a secular or Christian nation get real. For if America is a secular nation as from the Word of God I contend, there is hope for a great har-
vest of souls in the aftermath of true revival and God’s judgment of His people though as part of all this, the unsaved realize disobedient Christians have been a major
cause of their pain and react (Jonah 1:1-16; 1 Peter 4:12-19). But if as many contend from their hearts America is a Christian nation, then, its current wicked condition
and refusal to repent is evidence of apostasy with no hope of a temporary recovery or reprieve (Hebrews 6:1-8, 10:26-31)!
9 Most assuredly these will be the aspiring strong men and great women of God He led me to write about in my book, The Strong Man Of God: Back To Basics. A print
copy or digital download of the book is available at major internet booksellers such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, ChristianBooks.com and Apple (digital only). You can
also purchase a print copy in the Strong Man Store.
In the aftermath of my August 26, 2018 repost, Worldly Peer Pressure, under the category, Call To Repent, I write with the leading of the Lord to offer some instructional guidance to especially my younger Christian brothers either hearing from Him about planting a new local church or that are already in the process in these latter days. The things I wrote in that post are not a matter of an old school preacher coming against the innovations of a new school of doing church. There is a place for that conversation, but not where it concerns the immutable God, His message to the world in the Gospel of His Son, Jesus Christ, the transcendent truths, commands and instruction of His Word!
Indeed, the living God speaks to 6th century BC Judah on the cusp of judgment and commanded: ‘“Stand in the ways and see, and ask for the old paths, where the good way is, and walk in it; then you will find rest for your souls,’“ (Jeremiah 6:16a, NKJV). Through the corruptions of her kings, priests and false prophets Judah had been walking down a road that in many ways had been portrayed as new school and beneficial. They were introduced to all manner of idolatry and pagan practices brought even into God’s house in disobedience to the old school Ten Commandments in their covenant relationship with Him (Exodus 20:1-17; Jeremiah 22:24-30, 23:9-15; Ezekiel 8).
God obviously does not share the view that old school as it concerns Himself, His will, way and written Word is something that can be regarded with respect as working for “back then,” but which has no continuing place and should in fact give way to a new school. He is the never changing God and His Son “the same yesterday, today, and forever,” (Malachi 3:6; Hebrews 13:8, NKJV). Perfection needs no change! Thus, God commands Judah standing at the crossroads to see His good way in the old paths of holiness, righteousness, faithfulness and obedience to His Word in order to walk in it and avert disaster. But they defiantly refused to obey or hear (Jeremiah 6:16b-17).
Devastating, nation destroying judgment fell upon Judah in which they never fully recovered though, a remnant as foretold came back from captivity after seventy years. Their descendants some 500 years later experienced the first coming of the promised Messiah, Jesus of Nazareth, but rejected and put Him to death on the cross. He was buried, but after three days rose again and commanded that God’s message of sin forgiveness through repentance and faith in Him should be proclaimed to the ends of the earth! He then ascended and beginning with His apostles has labored with those who became disciples in every generation since to make and teach other disciples until He returns.
Nearly 2,000 years later, the return of Jesus Christ is drawing near as is clearly being understood by those of His disciples watching the prophetic signs He and His apostles left us. His disciples today are expected to remain faithful to His now ancient, old school message and commanded assignment in proclaiming it that includes reaching men as a priority1 though He gives leadership to employ new school means such as communication technology to do so. Or don’t you know when God created radio waves, He intended for them to be used for His causes first and foremost? Still, as new means to communicate are discovered, God’s message in the cross preached remains His primary method for saving sinners (1 Corinthians 1:18-25)!
As 21st century church planters go forth to proclaim the uncompromised Gospel of Jesus Christ to make disciples and establish new churches, teaching His Word as commanded by Him and through His apostles, there should be no old versus new school debate on these. Nor should any new school involve building on personalities, personal views or worldly light flash and bang of music irreverently labeled “worship.” It is as the Lord led me to write in a recent Facebook post: “If a church cannot be built and hold together on the foundation of Christ, the preached Gospel about Him and the Word of God as it is written, then, no attempt should be made to build it!”2 A supposed Christian church built on any other foundation is not His and will be destroyed (1 Corinthians 3:11-15)!
And since these latter days are increasingly as the early days of the Church in terms of worldly hostility and persecution, let the church planters understand God’s house is wherever any number of believers assemble together.3 “Come as you are” should surely apply to unbelievers who visit, but never baptized believers who are all supposed to be taught the holy God they draw near to worship has set them apart as holy to Himself (Ephesians 1:3-6; Hebrews 2:10-12). Clothing that is overly revealing, sexually provocative, profane, purposely dirty and even new school raggedy in mockery of those who truly have no better clothes is offensive to our God who loves the poor (Proverbs 17:5). In exemplary holiness of body, clothes and heart we worship (Exodus 19:9-11; 2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1).
Concerning generational style preferences in music, worshipping God in “spirit and truth” is not a license to disrespect and offend His holiness (Leviticus 9:22-10:3; John 4:19-26; Acts 4:32-5:11; Revelation 4:2-11, NKJV).4 While the church planting target audience and turn out should hold a little weight, respect for elders (who love the youth, right?) upheld by God and His holiness ought to always be the final, decisive factors (Leviticus 19:32; 1 Corinthians 10:23-24, 11:17-34). Nevertheless, those born into this time of worldly political correctness and tolerance must realize everything of the world cannot be baptized “Christian” and brought into God’s house--remember ancient Judah! The risen, living Christ continues His cry among American churches, "Who is on the Lord's side?"
1 God’s priority of reaching men as His chosen leaders in the home, churches and larger society (if it were still accepted) is the spiritual impetus behind our cause to
restore men at Strong Man Ministries and in my book, The Strong Man Of God: Back To Basics. It is available at all major internet booksellers, by order at your fa-
vorite brick and mortar bookstore or in the Strong Man Store.
2 See the August 30, 2018 on the Strong Of God Facebook Resource Page.
3 As has been the increasing norm in non-western nations, homes and other “underground” settings for the assembling of Christians will become so here in America
and the West too as foretold hostility and persecution intensifies (Matthew 10:16-23). Truly, the days of the stadium sized “mega” and building centered churches
are coming to an end (Revelation 17:16-18:8)!
4 This disrespect and offending of the holiness of God most assuredly includes any kind of willful disobedience to Him, but in these latter days, that which is also de-
ceitfully involved in men covering their heads before Christ, their Head during and women leading worship at all (even with their husband’s permission--Jeremiah
44:15-30) when the whole church is assembled (1 Corinthians 11:3-4, 14:20-40). Read my January 2015 Blog Series, Worshipping God Without God, under the
category, Call To Repent.
From antiquity armies have conquered lands and signified their triumph by either destroying or parading captured idols as gods or symbols such as flags. While I admire and spiritually stand on principle with both the Creation and Ark Encounter Museum Founder, Ken Ham’s campaign to take back the rainbow which has been for a time triumphantly co-opted and paraded about by the LBGTQ movement as their symbol, I do not believe it in splendid singularity is a hill to die on (2 Samuel 2:24-28). Given the nearness of Christ’s return, I urge to let the Lord reclaim the emblem of His throne!1 For it is sufficient that we who know God love all those who hate Him enough to proclaim the Gospel to and warn them standing firm on His Word, they have gravely erred in defiantly mocking Him!
To that end, the Lord has led me to repost the following edited 2013 two-part blog today. The act to commandeer God’s rainbow is only a tiny fraction of the acts of rebellion against Him and His Word in these latter days; an act that does not actually yet or ever will signal God’s defeat! In the face of such blasphemous rebel conduct God sends us to extend His gracious offer of restoration in the Gospel and cogent explanation of the offense fearfully knowing that the unrepentant will endure His just wrath and judgment. For this reason, we also warn professed Christians in their churches that side in great deceit with those mocking God’s royal emblem (Psalm 50:16-23; 2 Timothy 2:19-22).
Originally Posted July 14, 2013
Denial is a powerful, negative mental and emotional defense mechanism we humans employ in situations we face that are overwhelming, shocking, threaten consequences, our sense of ordered reality or accepted thinking to name some. Many Christians, no doubt, are tempted to retreat into denial again over the recent Supreme Court decisions essentially establishing a legal status for same sex marriage as they once did when the same judicial body a generation ago decided to remove prayer from the schools.
Denial was not the right response back then--look at the anti-Christian attitudes that have been spawned and are displayed in every facet of our society from that one decision after a generation because many Christians were in denial until too late--and it certainly is not the right response now. A hard, cold, shocking reality must be soberly faced by faithful Christians: the once favorable place Christianity had in American society is being systematically destroyed as a result of a full on rebellion against God, His Son, Jesus Christ and the divinely inspired Word of the Bible (Psalm 2:1-3). Moreover, the rallying symbol for a small, but vocal and disproportionately influential segment of this rebellion is God’s own rainbow!
In the aftermath of the global flood He brought in judgment upon the earth for human wickedness (Genesis 6:5-7:24), the Lord who had spared righteous Noah, his wife, three sons, their wives and two of every creature made a covenant of promise with them all. ‘“And as for Me, behold, I establish My covenant with you and with your descendants after you and with every living creature that is with you: the birds, the cattle, and every beast of the earth with you, of all that go out of the ark, every beast of the earth. Thus I establish My covenant with you: Never again shall all flesh be cut off by the waters of the flood; never again shall there be a flood to destroy the earth,”’ (Genesis 9:8-11, NKJV).
After having safely come through the then worst divinely brought cataclysmic disaster in human history, God compassionately seeks to reassure fallen man (see Genesis 8:20-22) and all other earth creatures by a covenant of His making that they should not fear the sight of rain clouds as the coming of another global, catastrophic flood that destroys all air breathing life. Though it was not necessary since it was the perfectly trustworthy and righteous God making the covenant, He chose to provide a visible sign to all of His earth creatures that would remind everyone including Himself of His promise never to destroy the earth again by flood.
He says, ‘“I set My rainbow in the cloud, and it shall be for the sign of the covenant between Me and the earth. It shall be, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the rainbow shall be seen in the cloud; and I will remember My covenant which is between Me and you and every living creature of all flesh; the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh,”’ (Genesis 9:12-17, NKJV). Science can say whatever it wants about the mechanics of how rainbows appear by sunlight refracted and dispersed through rain drops,2 but the fact remains God declares the rainbow is His and appears ultimately as the result of His creation of and sovereign control over earth’s atmospheric conditions.
1 See the CBNNews.com article, Ken Ham’s Ongoing Quest to ‘Take Back the Rainbow’ published October 1, 2017.
2 See “How Rainbows Work” on the Web Site, howstuffworks.com.
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