Do or Die

American preaching has reached a ‘do or die’ moment.

Every Sunday thousands of sermons are preached to millions of people. Some of them will do more harm than good—way more harm than you know.

I am not taking a swipe at all preachers. Most preachers are sincere men and women of God. However, these worthy voices are often drowned out by the modern preaching that leaves out the Cross of Christ, the Blood of Christ, the Holy Spirit, signs and wonders, and Bible verses on sexual sin, and hell.

The modern preachers who leave all of this biblical content out of their sermons do it because they say they want to offer hope. Hope is their big word. Here and now, I am accusing them of offering, at best, an inferior hope, and at worst a false hope.

Paul the Apostle had a totally opposite view of what ‘preaching hope’ is all about. He said, “Therefore, since we have such hope, we use great boldness of speech.” -2 Corinthians 3:12. In their attempts to give hope, these preachers leave out truth. Paul believed that to give hope you must leave it all in.

He said in Ephesians 6:19 “and (pray) for me, that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.” Twice, he refers to boldness.

Again, in 2 Corinthians 4, he detailed why it is such a disaster to leave anything out:

1“Therefore, since we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we do not lose heart. 2 But we have renounced the hidden things of shame, not walking in craftiness nor handling the word of God deceitfully, but by manifestation of the Truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God. 3 But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, 4 whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, Who is the image of God, should shine on them.”

When a preacher handles the Word of God deceitfully and puts a veil over it, that makes the preacher a villain to lost souls.  Worse still, that preacher is in cahoots with the devil. They put a veil over truth, while Satan blinds people to it.

Every day we are losing ground because of this artificial preaching. Since He–the Holy Spirit– is also called the Spirit of Truth. You cannot be anointed unless you are telling the Truth.

Here is what this preaching has cost us so far: Because the church did not take a unified Biblical stand on sexual immorality, the Left has systemically canonized the lie that Christian doctrine is hate speech.

Chick-Fil-A was banned from yet another airport. What did they do wrong? They stood by their Christian values and they gave money to Christian groups. City boards voted to shut them down because they gave to “hate” organizations. Had we as the Body of Christ taken a stand, we would not be in this bind.

More damage was done when these preachers made their congregations biblically illiterate. That is why a huge number of Christians, including famous “gospel” singers, don’t know the values of the Christian faith—don’t know how to answer their culture—don’t see anything wrong with abortion or same sex marriage—and don’t know how to vote.

Back to the issue of hope. I am asking these preachers a simple question: How can you say you are bringing hope if you leave out the truths that carry the hope?

Here is what I mean: real hope comes from true conversion. Only the soul that has repented and utterly opened themselves to new life can feel the surpassing hope of Christ. Let me show some examples of hope:

The Cross: until the soul knows it is lost—until it is broken by the sacrifice of Christ, the true hope of Christ cannot take hold of them. But, brother, when it does, it is awesome to behold. You will have a convert that is in church for all the right reasons. You have a walking miracle that is contagious.

The Blood of Christ: Only those souls that know the Blood has been applied to their sin can feel clean—a moral clean that nothing else can give them. Moreover, the most dangerous young convert is the one that knows they have power over the devil. Revelation 12:11 “And they overcame (the devil) by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives unto the death.”

Sexual sin: Millions of people who genuinely want deliverance can’t find it because society has normalized their behavior. But that does not change the damage. The suicide rate for transgender people is 33 times higher than the general population.

People look at verses like the following verses below, and call them hateful− but look again:

1 Corinthians 6: 9 “Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, 10 nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.”

Two takeaways here:

  1. Sin is sin. There is no sin elevated above another. Thieves, murderers, idolaters, drunkards, and all sexual sins are listed together, and are equal.
  2. True conversion ends with true deliverance from sin. It offers hope of cleansing, sanctification, and justification. That hope is not available if we skirt the issue of what a holy God must judge.

The type of hope found in many of these misguided modern sermons offers little or no real hope. They tout the ‘good life’. But if that kind of ‘good life’ brings real  hope, why are billionaires killing themselves? Besides, what are we doing? Advancing the same lies as the world?

When lukewarm believers leave church, they are swooning in the superficial glow of a happy sense that God is not mad at them. What they don’t have is the blazing reality of being set free and filled with peace that passes understanding, and power to answer a sick world’s cry for help.

These ‘happy time’ sermons must stop now. They are as big a threat to America as the Leftist radicals.

Every night, under our tent we kill the lie of these modern sermons. Lost souls hear Truth under the power of the Holy Spirit. God confirms the Word with miracles and people who have never seen the inside of a church come running for real hope and new life! Glory to God!

Remember this…Paul said it was because of how great the hope is that we are bold to tell all the Truth! Amen.

THE TWO BIGGEST REASONS AMERICA IS SO MISERABLE

The two biggest reasons America is miserable

 

The Left told America to turn her back on God. Everyone who obeyed that disastrous advice inherited acute loneliness, emptiness, and despair.  Or do you really think it is a coincidence that these miseries have increased to the same degree that faith in God has decreased?

Intellectuals told America there are many pathways to the truth.  But, instead of enlightenment, it brought deeper darkness, deeper questions, and a growing inability to know truth. 2 Timothy 3: 7 says, “7 always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.”

Few Americans can make it through a day without alcohol, a toke of marijuana, a pill, powder, or a needle. Our children are taking their own lives over shoes, pictures on Instagram, and bullies at school. Is this what happens when you tell God to leave?

Just released by Gallup Poll: Americans are among the most stressed people in the world.  “Even as their economy roared, more Americans were stressed, angry and worried last year than they have been at most points during the past decade. Asked about their feelings the previous day, the majority of Americans (55%) in 2018 said they had experienced stress during a lot of the day, nearly half (45%) said they felt worried a lot and more than one in five (22%) said they felt anger a lot.”

Billy Graham’s daughter, was interviewed on the Early Show and Jane Clayson asked her “How could God let something like this happen?” (regarding the attacks on Sept, 11, hurricanes and earthquakes). Anne Graham Lotz gave an extremely profound and insightful response. She said “I believe God is deeply saddened by this, just as we are, but for years we’ve been telling God to get out of our schools, to get out of our government and to get out of our lives. And, being the gentleman He is, I believe He has calmly backed out. How can we expect God to give us His blessing and His protection if we demand He leave us alone?”

The Left doesn’t want to own up to their responsibility for the misery of the inner cities that they have controlled for 50 years. The Left chants, “keep taking government money, and it will give you a future. Keep believing you are a victim, and you’ll stop being a victim.”

The Left says America is evil for not opening their borders. Wait. What?! America is the most welcoming nation on earth. The overwhelming majority of the people on earth believe in strong borders. Most nations have much stricter border policies. But the lie must live on because Democrats need new voters.

We are a nation at each other’s throats, and the Left loves it that way.  ‘Mobs, not jobs’ is a totally justified accusation against the left.

Above all, there are two things making America miserable: The Left has a firm grip on a lie and the church has a loose grip on the truth.

Celebrity Christian speakers add to America’s misery by delaying revival.  They distract by saying there are many ways to win a generation to God. We no longer need repentance, Bible preaching, or reliance on the Holy Spirit.

No matter what they boast, the fact remains, they didn’t win lost souls so much as they moved gullible Christians away from Godly pastors into the shallows. Instead of making disciples they provide quarter for those who want a faith without works.

They dread the power gifts of the Holy Spirit. They omit the Baptism of the Holy Spirit.  And so, our nation pays the price for their lukewarm faith.

America became miserable in part, because some preachers told us not to judge. We ended up not being able to discern! Millions of so-called Christians voted for abortion and same sex marriage. We were powerless in America’s hour of need—too disoriented and morally ambivalent to push back on immoral laws. The Great Commission was plowed under the priority of church growth.

Both the Left and the Lukewarm have this in common: They promised happiness, but instead brought misery.

Stuck in the middle between the radical Left and the lukewarm church are tens of millions of Americans who just want truth. They are paying taxes, raising kids, obeying laws, and they still love America. They are vulnerable to the raw power of the Gospel.

Also, stuck between the radical Left and the lukewarm church is the remnant of God. These are pastors, and regular Christians who are praying to go deeper. They are busy saying to each other, “the sideshow is not God, there’s more! No way can Satan win if we take our stand on the authority of the Cross!”

 

They are ready to deliver that raw power of the Gospel.

Woe unto you God haters and lukewarmers. Two radically wonderful groups are about to meet each other in the midst of this misery. God will see to it that the Americans who want deliverance and a life worth living will collide with the holy core of God, whose only wish is to obey the Holy Spirit.

A company of God’s people with a firm grip on the truth will loose many from the power of Satan. Daniel 11:32  “Those who do wickedly against the covenant he shall corrupt with flattery; but the people who know their God shall be strong, and carry out great exploits.”

Let us rise up, shake off the lukewarmness, and decide to become the people God intended us to be!

 

 

THE LESSON

First of all, Mario Murillo Ministries is still a California Corporation and we are dedicated to seeing revival here.  However, to learn how the church lost her witness here demands brutal honesty.

15.8 million Californians claim to be Christian—more by far, than any other state in the union.  When California went abjectly hippie, communist, one has to wonder where were the Christians?   Let’s stipulate that only one third of all believers in California can vote.  According to statistics, that would still be 5.26 million people.

Gavin Newsom won a popular vote margin of  just under 2.9 million.  Why couldn’t the Church—with her vast store of congregants—come up with another 3 million votes to win the election?  If every Christian who could vote, voted for righteousness, they would have won by a landslide. There’s a bigger question:

Why did Christians vote for Gavin Newsom? He is even most hostile to our values than Jerry Brown was.  We know they did, because he could not win without their vote.  The church had the power—at every turn—to stop the liberal agenda in California.  Why didn’t she? 

I know that judges overturned the will of the people with Prop 8.  I get that there are union crime families in California.  I realize that free speech is dying on the left coast.  I also know there is widespread voter fraud.  All of that considered, it still does not explain how such a vast voting bloc could be neutralized.

This is not a hatchet job on believers in the Golden State.  I have sacrificed a great part of my life for the churches there.  I don’t believe the fault lies with rank and file believers.  I also know there are many godly pastors faithfully serving on the West Coast.

No, this disaster crept in like a Trojan Horse.  I saw it firsthand and preached against it from the first day I saw it.  It was a masterstroke of Satan that began over 30 years ago.  When I tell you the culprit, a part of you will be shocked, and another part will recognize why I am right instantly.

The problem was the church growth movement.  More harm than you can possibly imagine came from the seemingly innocuous words “church growth movement.”  And, yes indeed it was a movement.

The initial victim was unity.  The next victim was soul winning.  The final victim was Bible literacy.  Here is how it worked:

When numbers mattered more than anything, California pastors began to see other pastors as the competition.  Hollywood, drugs, atheism, and sexual perversion were no longer the threat—now it was your brother in Christ.  Ministers became suspicious of one another, and began to isolate themselves citing their “big vision.”

Then, these regional pastors inadvertently created a new morality.  Sin was not the sin defined in scripture—sin was now anything that hindered growth.  By removing the offensive parts of the Bible, they also removed the parts that had the power to change people. 

They steered clear of righteousness by saying “confrontational messages offend the very people we are trying to reach.”  This is code for “it is bad for business.”

To maximize growth, churches felt compelled to become self-contained entertainment centers, who didn’t need anyone else.  This destroyed mass evangelism, like what we saw with Billy Graham in neutral stadiums and auditoriums.  The photo below is from the Billy Graham Crusade in the Los Angeles coliseum in 1963.  120,000 are inside and 30,000 more could not get in.  This is unimaginable in Los Angeles today.

Soon California churches became expert at drawing audiences but leaving them unchanged by the Gospel.  Hundreds of thousands could belong to a church and see nothing wrong with abortion or gay marriage. Why?  Because their spiritual leader never talked about it.  Believers assumed that all of this was acceptable under the constant drumbeat of inclusiveness.

When the pastors noticed that the people loved their “nonreligious” appearance and behavior, they began to let down their guard.  The innocent wine and cocktails turned in a drinking habit.  Other dark trends that I will not mention became common among these leaders.  Thus, they were powerless to address the rampant immorality in their congregations.  They were also powerless to form a multi-church statewide voter movement.

Soon, Movie stars, pop stars, and famous athletes became status symbols for these churches.  Instead of the mega pastor discipling these celebrities, the celebrities discipled them.   It became impossible for these preachers to quote scripture, teach doctrine, or oppose liberal agendas.

Finally, taking a stand against left wing politicians became unloving.  Pastors escaped their duty by saying “that is not my calling.”  They took the Bible out of context in telling them that any political statements were judgmental.  Any Christian voter registration effort was downplayed or banned.

Soon Satan had tightened his noose and masses of Christians were oblivious to the warfare around them—most of all, they were ignorant of the ultimate price their children would have to pay for their doctrinal illiteracy.

The things these pastors preached gave no inkling of what believers were about to face.  Their child could be suspended for wearing a Christian t-shirt.  Their job in Silicon Valley could be lost if they testified on the job.  Textbooks that taught alternative sexual lifestyles were forced on their children.  The streets grew violent and the Universities became intolerant.  In short, these churches prepared their crowds for a world that doesn’t exist and did not stop the one that now exists.

California Christians—there is still hope!  The Christian history of California proves that great movements of God can come out of nowhere.  The Jesus movement appeared when a flood of immorality gripped the state.  God can do it again!  As I wrote recently, there is a secret about California that Satan viciously protects: Many in California are searching for God. We see it right now in Marysville where hundreds have been born again and the harvest demands we extend the meetings!

Nevertheless—it is simple truth:  the church growth movement was destructive.   Instead of building on the Rock—which would have given them a large church anyway—they built on sand.  The storm that Jesus warned us of has come.   They sent sheep out of their services unprotected and unable to withstand the storm of left-wing tyranny that  has set the state adrift in a sea of chaos.

Christians across America, take a lesson from California.  If the most popular churches in your state resemble the ones in this blog beware, the same crisis is already in your state.

Trump is right

Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer could not be more wrong or cold-blooded on this issue. Trump is right to declare a national emergency to build the wall.  It should outrage every believer and American to hear Pelosi and Schumer call this a manufactured crisis.

They said this front of millions of Americans and thousands of people who lost loved ones to murderers–murderers who had no right roaming among innocent Americans. Murderers that Nancy and Chuck still protect.

What is truly cold-blooded is that they know they are lying. They know that we know they are lying. They stand there embalmed of all human decency and robotically reel off their talking points.

No compassion. Not even a nod to those whose husbands, wives, sons, daughters, moms and dads were taken from them. Women were raped, beaten to death with a hammer—neighbors shot, beheaded, dismembered—a young police officer shot and killed the day after Christmas by a man who could not be arrested in Nancy’s home sanctuary state of California. Most of them killed Americans after several arrests and deportations.

The real victims, according to Nancy and Chuck, are the federal workers who  didn’t get paid during the shutdown.   But they will get their money back.  However, none of the real victims of the crisis will ever get their loved ones back.

What kind of a mind can draw a moral equivalence between a family that has lost a loved one to murder and a worker who at worst had their paycheck delayed? That is the manufactured crisis.

The smug, dismissive, intelligence insulting tone, of leftist leaders confirms the fear that our nation is run by an elite class.  The are demagogues who deem themselves above any accountability or the rule of law.  An elite class that themselves, live behind walls and are guarded by men with the guns, the same guns they want to take away from us. This elite class is served by everything from the media, to late night sock puppet hosts, and Hollywood.

What you see should enrage you. They are telling you it’s okay for the killing and looting to go on–that they don’t accept Trump’s facts–facts backed up by those who enforce the law and work at the border.

Schumer and Pelosi believe they decide the facts. They issue the only reality we are allowed to believe. They told you that you are too stupid and unworthy to draw any other conclusion than the official one that we give you.  Look closely at their expression it says, “when we want your opinion, we’ll give it to you.”

Trump is a true outsider. That is the root of all the hatred toward him. He shocked the denizens of the Washington swamp by actually keeping his promise. We all know that Chuck and Nancy voted for the wall but only changed their minds because Trump won. They have no motive but hate. They have no plan but to oust Trump.

The wall must be built not just for national security but for national sanity. At some point the people need to see the president they elected exercise the platform that won him that election. If ever a man needed to hold his ground on a matter it is Donald Trump. Do not give in Mr. President. Never!

You are right to declare a state of emergency for two reasons: 1. Drugs and killers are pouring in through the border costing us countless lives. 2. Democrats will let the disaster go on no matter what the cost in lives, so long as they can expand their voter base with illegals. Both are true national emergencies.

Tearing Down Strongholds

What can we do about the demons that are strangling America?  Can we dismantle their ramparts?  They have brought bitter division, mass addiction, and total deception.  Can we stop them?  Not only can we, it is our sworn duty to tear them down.

The Bible says “For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God…2 Corinthians 10:4,5

The Bible says “cast down every high thing.”  Most preaching and teaching today leaves the impression there is very little we can do.  But that begs a question…

If we can’t tear down strongholds isn’t God is guilty of child abuse on a grand scale?  He is guilty of letting Paul awaken a deep hope that can never be fulfilled.  The whole point of 2 Corinthians 10: 4 and 5 was to provoke the church to take up the mighty weapons of God.

 

Want to know why there is so little preached about actually taking ground back from the devil?  There are two elements in the modern church that must silence the message of victory over demons to stay in business.  They are the therapeutic church, and the gloom and doom church.

The therapeutic church must focus on happy talk and self-fulfillment.  Shaking up their comfort zones with talk of warfare threatens attendance.  To survive, they must distract Christians to lesser goals and lower living.  They are guilty of unwittingly helping the devil to keep the army of God powerless.

Gloom and doom preachers keep the church on the defensive by telling them to take cover.  Fear sells books, conspiracy theories sell survival, not revival.  Gloom and doom prophets—like good democrats—must cheer on global domination, global warming and global disasters to keep Christians buying.  They do not equip you to confront and conquer evil because they don’t believe it’s possible.

Now I want to make you mad—not just mad—I want you to be infuriated at what Satan has done to America.  He has built a machine—an evil, wicked, massive machine. Facebook, Google, Youtube and Twitter are working parts of this hideous mechanism.  Other components include most of the print press and news media.

Another tentacle of this device is on campus.  It’s there to poison young minds.  The toxic cloud of indoctrination goes all the way down to grammar schools robbing children of their innocence.

The machine hates Christianity.  It hates Israel.  It hates the family and every form of Biblical truth.  All subtly is gone.  The Marxist insanity once whispered in back alleys now struts its stuff on main street.

So many preachers today remind us, “it’s all in God’s hands.” While that is a comforting truth it is not the one we need right now.  That has been used to make Christians passive.

But everywhere you look in the Bible it is against passivity and advocates action: “fight the good fight of faith…” “Endure hardness as a good soldier…” “Resist the devil…” “Take the sword of the Spirit…”

God has chosen to act in answer to prayer.  He waits until His people rise and take their rightful place in the arena of battle.  Young David saw the stalemate.  No one challenged Goliath.  David couldn’t stand it. He offered himself to God.  God is looking for someone like that today—someone who can’t live with evil, who can’t stomach the perversion, and is enraged to see God dishonored.  Someone God can use to turn the tide of America.

If there is one question this blog asks it is this:  Are you so filled with holy rage that you are willing to lay down your life in order to provide God with an opportunity to vindicate His name before this blasphemous generation?

 

Mario what should I do?

-Pray different than you do now.  Stand between heaven and earth as a true intercessor.  Invoke the Name above all Names to get to the very Throne of God with your petition.  Do it the way Moses raised the rod of Aaron over the battle. When you pray, pray violently, pray exactingly, detailing the damage you want done and where you want it done. By the Spirit, speak directly to evil powers. Call them out and cast them down.

-Talk about God different than you do now.  Why should you apologize?  What you have works.  What they have doesn’t work.  Arm yourself with your testimony and the blood of the Lamb.  Challenge the double standard.  Why is Jesus the only thing this supposedly open-minded generation won’t talk about.

-Plan events that the Holy Spirit can use to bring revival.  Azusa Street was a small effort that exploded into unimaginable proportions.  How dare anyone think that your small meeting can’t be used in a massive way?

There are many more things we can do to get out of fear and get into a great victory.  Here is the great promise : When God sees someone take up the mighty weapons of God—in the Name of Jesus—and attempt the impossible—God will muster all of the resources of heaven to bring that someone total victory.

DEAR CELEBRITY PREACHER…IT’S TIME TO REPENT.

The goal of your preaching was supposed to be influence, not popularity.  Instead, your pursuit of celebrity cost you your influence.  You believed big crowds and popularity would impact the culture.  Instead, it reduced you to a voice that entertains but does not transform.

These verses describe your harmless popularity:  Ezekiel 33: 31 “My people come to you, as they usually do, and sit before you to hear your words, but they do not put them into practice. Their mouths speak of love, but their hearts are greedy for unjust gain. 32 Indeed, to them you are nothing more than one who sings love songs with a beautiful voice and plays an instrument well, for they hear your words but do not put them into practice.”

How else can thousands hear you preach—but you can’t even close the crack house across the street?

What a reverse miracle!  Vast numbers of believers, commute to your church through squalor and human tragedy.  And afterwards go home the same way without making a dent in the works of Satan.

You may have built the first army in history that would rather bask in the beauty and attendance of the barracks, than in actual victories over the enemy.

Its time to rethink addictions to big screens, skinny jeans, and fog machines. Why is it time?  Psalms 119: 126 says, “It is time for You to act, O Lord, for they have regarded Your law as void.”

There was a season that camouflaged your ineffectiveness.  You could distract away from the hollow results and celebrate peace time pursuits.  Not now.  The God-hating left is hell-bent on silencing the church and framing all believers—including you—as bigots, haters and racists who must be silenced and marginalized from mainstream society.  It is over for ineffective churches.  God-hating elites and their mobs are burning down America.  This is America’s final call to choose between certain destruction and the Cross of Christ.

It is time to dismantle church incorporated and restore our allegiance to the Holy Spirit.  It is time to fire your marketeers and surrender to the original purposes of our faith, and the Word of God.

America does not need supermen.  It needs supernatural men.  Men who will consistently say no to self and yes to the Holy Spirit.  In your quest for “relevance” remember the Holy Spirit has the real power to invade this culture with “a mouth and wisdom that no man can gainsay nor resist.”

Today, abandon your career as a celebrity attraction preacher and return to preaching the Cross—the Blood—the dreadful day of the Lord—with signs and wonders.  Do these things:

1. This morning, not depend upon your own wit and ingenuity. Do not enter your pulpit armed with something some else has said that impressed you.  Don’t be an echo, be a voice.  Do not distrust or despair of the immediate and extraordinary aids of the Holy Spirit.  When you ask God for a sermon be ready to see that He already has something in mind that may be the opposite of what you want to say.

2. Make room for the moving of the Holy Spirit. Time to slay the express service and the golden idol of time management! What if God wants to break out among the people?  What if God fell this morning and accomplished in one day what your plan says will take 5 years?

3. Prepare yourself more and your sermon less. Take a truth that God is burning in your heart.  Pray until that truth overcomes you completely.  Let the fire of the Holy Ghost build up in you until you cannot take it anymore and go out and explode on the people.  Burn your notes if you must!

2 Corinthians 10:4 says, ” The Weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but they are mighty through God to the tearing down of strongholds.”   Holy Spirit driven preaching will would cut through our nation’s darkness with mind-boggling effectiveness.

E.M. Bounds said, “What the Church needs today is not more machinery or better, not new organizations or more and novel methods, but men whom the Holy Ghost can use—men of prayer, men mighty in prayer. The Holy Ghost does not flow through methods, but through men. He does not come on machinery, but on men. He does not anoint plans, but men—men of prayer.”

 

 

 

What does God do when a nation tries to silence His Church?

If I listed everything the church could say ten years ago that she can’t say today—you would be horrified.  Without a miracle, your children and grandchildren will have to survive in a world that will totally ban their faith—even scarier, they’ll do it without you.

It is hard to convince many Christians that they are losing their freedom of speech and religion.  They either don’t believe it is happening, or they chalk it off to politics.  But the erosion of liberty is not only real…it is the greatest threat American Christians have ever faced.

The doctrines of our faith that offend are the Cross, the Blood of Jesus, hell, sexual purity, and marriage.  They are already being omitted by preachers who feel the heat.  They’ll tell you it’s to reach a bigger audience—trust me, it’s the heat.

What can we do to stop the church from being driven underground?   No vessel of God can seriously entertain the idea that we should stop preaching these truths.  That can’t be the answer.  What then, can we do to reverse this pernicious loss of liberty?

The better question is what does God do when a nation tries to silence His church?  The answer came to me suddenly.   Hear me out, it is not what you think.  It is way beyond petitions, or elections.  The revelation I am about to relate to you, struck me with paralyzing clarity. I am amazed I never saw it before.

However, nothing I am about to say will help you—not one point I make will have its intended impact unless you have a heart for it.  If you are still in denial about what is happening, I can’t help you—this message can’t help you.  If you think I am dispensing alarmist extremism, then you are just another part of the threat.

But, if you want to hear God’s heart on this crisis—if you hunger for more than half-answers, then you have come to the right place.  You can ask the Holy Spirit the most important question you could ever ask: What do You do when a nation tries to silence your church? Here it comes.

When the leaders of Jerusalem arrested Peter, they didn’t know what to charge him with or how to punish him.  They knew they had to silence the church.  There was no doubt about their intention.  They were prepared to do anything to stop the Gospel.  So what was stopping them?  Answer that, and you get the exact marching orders we need today.

What was hindering them was the man who came with Peter and John.  This is the crippled beggar at the gate beautiful.  This was no ordinary miracle.  He occupied the most visible and lucrative begging station in Jerusalem.  Everyone knew him.  Word of his miracle filled the city.  A mad chorus of praise was rising over the eternal city.

 

Their deep consternation is vividly described in these verses: Acts 4: 14 “And seeing the man who had been healed standing with them, they could say nothing against it. 15 But when they had commanded them to go aside out of the council, they conferred among themselves, 16 saying, “What shall we do to these men? For, indeed, that a notable miracle has been done through them is evident to all who dwell in Jerusalem, and we cannot deny it.”

Their profound dilemma is not lost of Peter.  He is seeing the divine solution to government censorship.  He has clearly settled on a course of action—the action we need to take today.  He leaves, armed with critical information.

He gathers the people of God and orders them to pray.  He is about to pray a prayer that is the precise model for our crisis—our threat.  Remember that word threat.

Remember I told you that nothing good can come to you from my message unless you see how urgent the hour has become.  Peter began his prayer by calling the situation a threat.  We must also do this.  He prayed:

Acts 4:29 “Now, Lord, look on their threats, and grant to Your servants that with all boldness they may speak Your word, 30 by stretching out Your hand to heal, and that signs and wonders may be done through the name of Your Holy Servant Jesus.”

Peter is showing us that boldness is essential.  Only boldness will tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

Not only this, he is forever settling the question of preaching.  Preaching must not leave anything out.  It is by sharing it all, that the church is protected, and able to continue her work.

Next, he is admitting that the vehicle for that boldness is signs and wonders.  God must stretch His hand over an angry culture and perform supernatural healings and overrule the agenda of man.  Such is the case today.  But look at how God answered:

Acts 4: 31 “And when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness.”  Not only were they filled with the Holy Spirit and boldness, but God answered their prayer for miracles.  In the next chapter, the very shadow of Peter was healing the masses.

Ignore those who aren’t willing.  Set the time and place to go to homes, houses of worship, schools, offices—anywhere where true prayer can be raised to God.  Prove this promise and see…the Spirit will fall; you will gain a tongue of fire…miracles will come.  I am not talking about self-absorbed emotional light touches.  I am talking about undeniable, medically verified, city shaking, divine healings.

And you will see that now, as in that day, no law, no argument, and no politician will be able to silence the church.