WHY WE DON’T COMPROMISE

At Mario Murillo Ministries we see things differently because we were born different.  From the very first we faced persecution.   While I was still in high school I preached in the Haight-Ashbury district of San Francisco—ground zero for the ‘love and peace’ movement.  Moving across the Bay to Berkeley meant going from the frying pan into the fire. 

The instant we hit Berkeley we had to decide:  What we would preach?  How would we preach it?  Then, as now, people were trying to create a Godless utopia.

If our message was of human origin, or if there were even a speck or a flaw in its nature, the crucible of Berkeley would have blown it to smithereens.  Instead, unexplainable power appeared at each point where the ministry was threatened.  Something out of this world would always step in and provide words, resources, ideas and miracles, exactly when we needed them.

Not once in that cauldron of revolution, did we feel the need to rebrand Christ, or present a ‘new and improved’ Gospel.

For years, there has been a rising tide calling for Christians to “keep your faith to yourself.”  Many modern pastors—and even the Pope—have joined the chorus asking Christians to ‘tone it down.’ Yet our tent is packed with the very people who are supposed to be turned off by a direct approach.

Consequently, many churches have retreated into a cultural bubble where they do everything but preach the Gospel.  We have entertained, amused, inspired and distracted, but we have not converted America.  Because of this, the average Christian can defend neither their faith, nor marriage, and cannot even state why the Bible is the inspired word of God.

The original reason that the Church adopted this “indirect approach” was to get society to like us.  What we got was just the opposite.  Our compromised message has fueled greater contempt for the Church.

The media is now maligning the message of Jesus every day.  Francis Spufford said, “They think we believe in a load of Bronze Age absurdities. We promise the oppressed ‘pie-in-the-sky’ when they die; we are too stupid to understand why what we believe is irrational, and we are savagely judgmental.”

Atheists call us a threat to human progress.  Secular progressives condemn us as hating the poor, homosexuals, and women.

How is it possible, that after all the work we have put into removing the “offensive” parts of our message, that society is even more offended?  The answer is that there is a small but loud faction that hates Christ. 

We at Mario Murillo Ministries violently, totally, and utterly disagree with the notion that we should ‘tone down’ the Gospel in America.  There are millions of innocent bystanders who have not rejected Christ.  They are simply caught in the middle between haters telling lies and the misfiring sermons of voices that are too timid to tell the truth.  We must take our message to these millions who are trapped in the middle. This is why the answer is not to ‘tone it down’ but to turn it up!

The same Holy Spirit that outfitted our ministry to face the city of Berkeley will equip us to mount a fresh invasion of our nation.

Now let me get to the goal of this letter.  We have learned through every trial and breakthrough that God does not just give guidance, He also gives a plan.

We have a plan.  I can say without apology that this plan has come to us from the Holy Spirit.  Again and again, the Spirit of God has used events in the Bible as a model for what we should do. The verses below reveal a three-point plan that was given by an angel to the disciples when the church was gravely threatened.

17 “But the high priest rose up and all who were his supporters, that is, the party of the Sadducees, and being filled with jealousy and indignation and rage, 18 they seized and arrested the apostles (special messengers) and put them in the public jail. 19 But during the night an angel of the Lord opened the prison doors and, leading them out, said, 20 “Go, take your stand in the temple courts and declare to the people all the words of this Life.” (Acts 5:17-20)

Embedded in those simple words, are our instructions for facing the onslaught of the current leftist revolution in America.

1.Take a stand. We cannot judge other ministries. We can only answer for what God asks us to do. He has ordered us to take a stand.  There is no confusion about what the angel was asking the men of God to do.  He was telling them to stand their ground in their nation.  This is not just a physical act, it is also moral and spiritual. We must take a stand against Satan’s agenda for America and we must take a stand for the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

We take a stand because we belong in the national conversation.  America has a drug, divorce, suicide, anger, and atheism problem.  Our voice needs to be heard because we carry the most immediate and effective cure for everything that is hurting America.  The angel was reinforcing to the apostles that their message was valid and urgent. And so is ours today.

2. Take your stand in the temple courts. Ours is not an obscure message that should be whispered in the secret places of society. The temple courts were the heart of Jerusalem. The angel was clearly instructing them to raise their voices in the very center of their culture.

In that same way we must go where the people are and where the biggest lies are being told.  The angel gave them an exact location to take their stand and that location spoke volumes to the apostles.  God is serious about making a difference in the culture.

This is why the tent is perfect. It is a movable miracle that can be pitched in the areas where pain and misery are unchallenged.

3.Tell all of the words of this Life. What a scathing rebuke to ‘popular’ Christianity. While Christian celebrities scurry to and fro to find buzzwords to replace the core doctrines of the Bible, here is an angel telling the apostles that they must tell all the words of this Life. They cannot leave out a single benefit or a single one of the demands of the message of Jesus Christ.

How right that angel was.  There is life in those words.  There is life in the blood of Christ, the cross and the resurrection.  There is such powerful and amazing life in them that no mountain of eloquence or cunningly devised sermon can begin to match.

If only we would learn to brave the offense of the cross in our preaching!  We would find that very soon the supernatural life of God would overtake our preaching and create miracles in people that infinitely surpassed the results of the current ‘seeker-friendly’ preaching.  Society would not care about the demands in our message because of the changes they would see in their souls, minds and bodies.

In city after city, we will take a stand in the heart of that city and tell all the words of this Life! NO COMPROMISE!

 

JOIN US ON SUNDAY NIGHT OCTOBER 20TH AT 6 PM AT CHUKCHANSI STADIUM. ALL SEATS ARE FREE FOR THIS HISTORIC NIGHT OF PRAYER.

 

AMERICA LOVED PREACHERS

By Mario Murillo. A funny thing happened when celebrity preachers tried to get America to like them: America ended up hating them.

I am writing this with deep love for, and loyalty to, the local church. There is no desire to take a cheap shot at anyone, or to cause division within the church.  I have to write this, because love does not lie or withhold needed correction.

America has abandoned God, Christian values, as well as Israel, and our nation is racing toward disaster.  Evil festers when good men do nothing.  Denying it will not change it or make it go away.  Its effect on you and those you love will not be stopped by delusional teachings of spiritual entitlement.

So how do we turn the American Church around?  That is the question I posed in a previous post.  Now I continue to answer that burning question by saying this:  in order to turn the church around we must face the fact that America liked us better, back when we told the truth.

Here is an illustration from the Bible.  Jonah ran from his calling. Then God sent a great storm.  The captain of the ship that Jonah boarded in his flight from God had a gut feeling that Someone was angry about something. When they found Jonah asleep, they asked him, “Who are you?”   When he admitted he was a runaway prophet, Jonah 1:10 tells us, “Then the men were exceedingly afraid, and said to him, ‘Why have you done this?’ For the men knew that he fled from the presence of the Lord, because he had told them.”

Americans feel a psychical resentment toward the church.  I say psychical, because it is intuitive and subconscious.  They really cannot explain why they are angry with us. They may claim it is our politics, or falsely accuse us of racism, or even rightly point out our flaws, yet this present dislike of the church stems from something much deeper.  They are asking us, as those men long ago asked Jonah, “Why have you done this?”

When the outside world observes our ‘illustrated-electronic-happy-talks’ they get a gut feeling that we are hiding something.   They also suspect that our nation’s storm, similar to that of Jonah’s time, is partly because preachers are not confronting sin anymore.  As one non-Christian pundit put it, “If there was more hell in the pulpit, there would be less hell in the ghetto.”

At this point in our national disaster, a mega-church is like having a great party going on on the deck of the Titanic—you may be having a great time, but you will not save America from the frigid angry ocean.

Here is the real rub…if numbers matter so much to our mega-churches, then why are we ignoring the most important statistic: overall church attendance in America has fallen dramatically?

They liked us better, when we were not trying to be liked.  There was a day when men of God stood in pulpits as free men.  They were free of any need to be liked or successful.  A. W. Tozer said, “These free men will serve God and mankind from motives too high to be understood by the rank and file of religious retainers who today shuttle in and out of the sanctuary.  They will make no decisions out of fear, take no course out of a desire to please, accept no service for financial considerations, perform no religious act out of mere custom; nor will they allow themselves to be influenced by the love of publicity or the desire for reputation.”

We are impressed by churches that can draw 15,000 people.  But that is nothing compared to back in the day when America liked us better…a whole lot better.

Look at the picture of Billy Graham in the Los Angeles Coliseum in 1963.  120,000 are inside, and another 30,000, could not get in.  On the scoreboard it says “I am the Way the Truth and the Life.  No man comes unto the Father but by Me.” (John 14:6).   Not one person was offered a visitors gift bag filled with CDs.  No one was in the dark about the purpose of the meeting.  Billy stood there and simply told them that they had to come to Christ or be lost for all eternity.

Look at this picture below of Billy preaching in Times Square in New York City.  We cannot even imagine any of this happening today.

When Billy prayed for sermons he focused on hearing what the Holy Spirit wanted him to say.  He wanted a message that God could use, and not words that would dazzle the audience.  When Billy was in the pulpit, he completely died to his private opinions.  He got out of the way, so that the Holy Spirit could work on the audience.

We bought into the lie that if we ‘made nice,’ and took out the scary parts of our message, we would be liked, but we ended up more despised than ever.

“He who rebukes a man will find more favor afterward than he who flatters with the tongue.” (Proverbs 28:23)

Dr. Robert Jeffress, pastor of First Baptist Church Dallas said, “Jesus did confront his culture with truth—and He ended up being crucified because of it.  I believe it’s time for pastors to say, you know, I don’t care about controversy, I don’t care whether I’m going to lose church members, I don’t care about building a big church. I’m going to stand for Truth regardless of what happens.”

They may not like us for telling them the truth, but they will at least hear the Truth!

Welcome Back To The War

The Holy Spirit has burned a message into my soul that I cannot contain. I want this message to get into the hands of as many people as possible—people who are on the verge of spiritual shipwreck.  I have never felt as great an urgency to open my heart to you.

Millions have left the church.  Many who were on fire for God, even those who were effective vessels, have fallen and have abandoned their faith in Jesus.  A famous Christian singer announced that he is now an atheist.  Is that shocking? The real shock is that the church is not shocked, because this kind of recanting of faith has now become common.

Millions have left the church.  This is the reality that Christian leaders do not want to talk about.  However, facts do not go away.  And the facts are these: an entire generation has virtually discarded the faith of their parents.

Perhaps you also were among those who were wounded on the battlefield, but did not get up again.  The reasons are as varied as are the people themselves.  It may have been an abusive church.  It may have been an old habit that raged its way back into control.  It may have been a divorce, a false teaching that weakened you, or the gravitational weight of the unbelief and skepticism of this age.

The most common cause is sudden tragedy.  Something horrendous happened that ran you off of your theological map.  You felt that you had no choice but to abandon your faith.  You may be angry with God.  You are not alone.  There are millions in this condition.

Let me be frank, I believe that God is turning your heart back to Him.  And He is also doing this on a massive scale with others.

He has done it before.  Just prior to the fire falling on Mount Carmel, Elijah prayed these words, “Hear me, O Lord, hear me, that this people may know that You are the Lord God, and that You have turned their hearts back to You again.” (1 Kings 18:37)

The Lord is doing this not only because He loves you, but because He wants to spare America.

“And he will turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers, lest I come and strike the earth with a curse.” (Malachi 4:6)

You are likely a casualty of the lukewarm American church.  Widespread compromise has left her unprotected.  The active ingredient has been left out of preaching—and that ingredient is surrender.  And that is the reason that the power of God to stand against tragedy and evil has never kicked in.

The voice of the Holy Spirit is intensifying as He calls to those who are the fallen, the wounded, and the forgotten.  His wooing is loving and hopeful, but it never disguises the truth.

And the truth is that, in America, entire churches are backslidden!  And it is not unprecedented.  Look at these verses: 15 “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. 16 So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth. 17 Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’—and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked— 18 I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see. 19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent. 20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.” (Revelation 3:15-20)

Okay. So you may have been caught in the cultural crossfire of the compromised church, or the toxic churcheven the false churchbut why should you lose your soul just to get back at false ministers and sick churches?

This is about you and Jesus.  This is about a destiny that God still keeps for you.  There is one thing that Satan does not want you to remember—it is the one thing that can break the chains of lies and heartbreak.

What Satan does not want you to think about is this: if you brush away the cobwebs of church politics, hypocrites, and unexpected tragedy, you will have to admit that the best days of your life were when you walked with God in fervent commitment.  Those were the days of peace and joy. 

The best days were the days before anybody and anything came between you and Jesus.  You prayed and sensed that no matter what, everything would come out all right.  Even those things that you still had questions about became unimportant, because of your total trust in the character and faithfulness of God!

You have never, before or since, felt anything like His sweet presence.  Those were the best days, and those days can come again.  Jesus is knocking and wants to have dinner with you alone.  “I will sup with him,” Jesus promised.

I admit I am calling forth a divine desperation to come over you.  I want you to break, I want you to yearn to come back home—to return to your best life, your only life.

There is an army rising up, composed of people that Satan thought he had, but is about to lose on a grand scale.

Won’t you turn back to Jesus, and reclaim your first love? Do your first works over again. Then, He will say to you, “Welcome back to the war!”

NUMBER ONE REASON

It threatens the church more than drugs, pornography, Islamic terror, fake news or any impending world calamity.  Left unchecked, it can’t be overstated how much damage it will do.  Yet, as dangerous as it is—and this is the maddening part—it is utterly curable and preventable.  But, tragically, we may not have the heart or the stomach to solve this crisis.

So, who or what is the culprit?  It’s not a situation it is a person. A person we cater to in all our programs.  Let me ask you: Who is using up vital resources? Who is driving pastors into deadly compromise—or out of the ministry entirely?  Who is responsible for shutting down, derailing, and destroying the things that matter to the Christian faith?  The answer is painful…are you even sure you want to know?

The villain is a monster of our own making.  University professors may have invented the easily triggered, woefully self-righteous, self-centered snow flake, quivering in their safe place, but we have concocted something much worse.  We have created the Low Impact-High Maintenance Believer, or the LIHMB.  They are a monstrosity that has been created by the church-growth-by-any-means-necessary-movement.

They have created the perfect storm.

How do I explain them to you? Think of the Intensive Care Unit.  There is a tube up the nose.  There is an I.V. in the arm pumping fluids, or painkillers.  There is a heart monitor, and a breathing machine.  They all serve the same purpose.  They keep the patient alive…artificially.  Many church programs today are doing the same thing.

The difference between hospital care and church care is that machines in the hospital are for those who can’t do anything for themselves…in the church, they are for those who won’t do anything for themselves.  They are why money for soul winning and giving to the poor is (pardon my pun) going down the tubes.  They consume all the time and resources of the church staff.

Because they are fickle, they have started a price war between churches—discounted discipleship.  Pastors compete to have the shortest service, the most convenient parking, the best coffee, and the least offensive sermon—and suddenly church has become speed-dating.

We now have an odd irony.  Church used to be about getting people to God. Now it seems to be about protecting them from God.

The Bible prophesied LIHMBs in 2 Timothy 4:3: “For the time will come when people will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; 4 and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.”

They can’t handle life.  They can’t fathom the concept of self-denial.  They hold preachers hostage to all-consuming programs and sermons they hate preaching. Where there used to be a room full of disciples eager to participate, now there is merely an audience.

LIHMBs are the reason many godly people have given up on Sunday mornings.  But LIHMBs do even more damage.  They create a special kind of discouragement.  Think of the man or woman of God who pastors by the Book.  They see the church across the street use the latest stunts and explode overnight.  An immature believer says, “I am leaving, you don’t have what I need.”   A heartsick vessel of God wonders, “Am I a fool for sticking to my convictions?  Is it true that the pure Gospel, anointed by the Holy Spirit, cannot grow a church today without gimmicks?”

Daniel 11:32 says, “The people who know their God will be strong and carry out great exploits.”  The LIHMB Version should read, “The people who think they know God will be weak and carry out nothing.”

The solution is simple, dear leader:

-REPENT! 

-Meet with your deacon-possessed leaders and drop the gauntlet: “We are going to return the control of this Church to the Holy Spirit. We are going to center it on Christ, and let the chips fall where they may.”

-Expect many to leave.  Expect the presence of God to return.  Expect a whole new crop of true disciples to arrive, ready to serve.  Expect turn-away crowds that arrive early, for the right reasons.

Is it true that the “pure Gospel, anointed by the Holy Spirit, can’t grow a church today without gimmicks?”  Tens of millions of Pentecostals in emerging nations, who regularly see miracles and multitudes filled with the Holy Spirit, prove that to be a silly lie.

There are two massive reasons for us to have hope for real disciples, real revival, and real impact on our culture:  The Holy Spirit and Jesus.

The Holy Spirit is tasked with giving us power, strategy, and a mouth and wisdom that our adversaries cannot contradict or resist.  The Holy Spirit was sent to grow the Christian movement.  The most talented church marketer pales as a pathetic substitute for the wisdom and power of the Holy Spirit.

The Church offers the most irresistible attraction of the universe:  Jesus Himself!

Charles Spurgeon wrote: “King of kings, and Lord of lords, the “Wonderful, Counselor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father. The Prince of Peace.” “Yea, he is altogether lovely.” There are no flaws in Him. Jesus is lovely in the highest degree. Jesus is as lovely to my heart as to my head, as dear as He is good. He is lovely to my hopes: are they not all in Him? Is not this my expectation—to see Him as He is? But He is lovely to my memory too: did He not pluck me out of the net? As David puts it, “My heart and my flesh cry out for the living God”—the whole of the man seeking after the whole of the Savior; the whole Savior sweet and inexpressibly precious to the man’s entire being. May it be so with you and with me. Oh, to love Him wholly, and to love Him only, so that we have no eyes for other beauty, no heart for other loveliness since He fills our souls, and is to us “altogether lovely.”

Amen!

BREAK THE HEAVINESS

The constant barrage of terrifying headlines and mainstreaming of perversion vexes the child of God.  These verses from Second Peter have never been more relevant than now: “and delivered righteous Lot, who was oppressed by the filthy conduct of the wicked 8 (for that righteous man, dwelling among them, tormented his righteous soul from day to day by seeing and hearing their lawless deeds)— 9 then the Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptations and to reserve the unjust under punishment for the day of judgment…” 2 Peter 2:7-9

Angry debates, violent rioting, filth paraded in the streets, Christian leaders renouncing their faith, persecution, and constant bad news can drain the sanity from our souls.

Not only this, but we are forced to keep all our enormous frustrations inside of us. While stupidity and wickedness get a megaphone—wisdom and righteousness get duct tape over their mouths.

These are the times that rob inner peace—that bring intense restlessness—that drain all the color and enjoyment from our life.

These are the times Jesus warned us of—and that He gave us direction for.

First He said, “And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake. But not a hair of your head shall be lost. By your patience possess your souls.” – Luke 21:17-19

Talk about mindless hate! Both the liberals and the feminists have incredible bias for Islam and sheer hatred for Christ and Christianity. It is mind-bending.  It makes zero sense.  Yet that is exactly the kind of irrational hatred our Lord predicted. It is weariness to believers who share their faith openly.

Then Jesus said, “But take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that Day come on you unexpectedly. 35 For it will come as a snare on all those who dwell on the face of the whole earth.” (Luke 21:34)

The dumbest thing anyone ever said to me was, “When you come to Jesus, your problems are over.”  I never had problems until I met Jesus!  I kept wondering, “Why am I being attacked?  Why am I being shot at from all directions?  Why do I meet stiff resistance every time I try to do something meaningful for Jesus?”

Does this sound familiar? You walk through life, minding your own business and wham!  A co-worker rages at you for no reason. Money evaporates.  Your health fails.  Loved ones abandon God.  Someone makes an irrational defense for wickedness. A confluence of demonic attacks falls on you.  Life has never felt so cruel and unfair.

At the apex of one of these attacks, something happened to me.  A terrifying thought became a glorious thought, “SOMEBODY IS MAD AT JESUS, AND THEY ARE TAKING IT OUT ON ME!”  Suddenly, I felt qualified to fight back. And I felt profoundly honored.

Think about it!  A soldier does not go to war because he has a personal grudge against the enemy.  He didn’t declare war—his nation did.  He is not responsible for the battle plan—the military is.  He is not paying his own way to the war—his government is.

Let’s take a look at the things that are not the soldier’s responsibility:  The training he needs; the weapons he uses; the food and shelter he requires; the assignments he receives—these, and a host of other things, are not his responsibility.

“What soldier ever serves at his own expense?” (1 Cor. 9:7) “…No soldier gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to please the one who enlisted him.” (2 Tim. 2:4)

The soldier does not create the organized army.  He does not carry the weight of how the war will be won. If he sits in the foxhole feeling alone and unfairly attacked, it is because he has forgotten who he is and why he is being attacked.  He has taken the battle into his own hands!

But when he remembers that he was recruited—when he recalls that he is not alone, but part of a victorious army, and all he is called to do is obey orders, it changes everything!

When we take the attack personally, we lose hope.  But, when we say, “The battle is not mine, it’s God’s,” we cannot be defeated.  Let’s stay out of things that do not concern us.  Let’s keep our conflict in the hands of God.  We must discern when we are operating in our own strength and by our own wits.

Remembering your attacks are not personal is plainly seen in these verses where Jesus speaks about conditions in the last days:  Luke 21:12 “But before all this occurs, there will be a time of special persecution, and you will be dragged into synagogues and prisons and before kings and governors for My name’s sake. 13 But as a result, the Messiah will be widely known and honored.  14 Therefore settle it in your hearts not to meditate beforehand on what you will answer; 15 for I will give you a mouth and wisdom which all your adversaries will not be able to contradict or resist.

newspaper headlines

When they were arrested, it felt personal. When they were dragged to court, it felt personal.  But when they were asked to speak, it became God’s battle and Christ was glorified!  He gave them the words and the courage to speak.  He even told them not to prepare words beforehand.  That means that we are not to devise ways of fighting back.  It means we will get what we need, when we need it.

Paul experienced the same thing: Philippians 1:12 “But I want you to know, brethren, that the things which happened to me have actually turned out for the furtherance of the gospel…”

Right now we have a presidential election that embodies everything that is wrong with our nation.  It is a hair-pulling, maddening, terrifying, and draining moment for believers. We must put the battle back in God’s hands and let Him replenish our peace and our joy.

Never forget! We have the best message humanity has ever heard, and the best Book ever written.   We have the best Captain in the universe!  We have the all-powerful Holy Spirit, Who has been sent to aid us.   We have access to power, strategy, and wisdom.  All of this, and more, will direct our fighting.

Is someone mad at Jesus, and are they taking it out on you?  What an honor!  What an opportunity!  Whenever Satan comes at you, let Jesus come at him!

The first time an angel stares at you in heaven with wonder and admiration for your service to Christ, you will know why your trials were worth it all.  The first time you hear Jesus say, “Well done, good and faithful servant,” you won’t remember the suffering, the trials, or the battles.

No wonder Paul said, “For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.”  -Romans 8:18

Hallelujah!  –

MY CRY

When I warned about a new law in California that will force preachers to agree with the LGBTQ agenda, one lady commented, “The Church is awake and powerful in California.”  A brother responded, “Then why is California going to hell in a hand-basket?”  Ouch.

What I am about to say is a cry, a loving cry to the spiritual leaders of California: Wake up! Please consider what I am about to say, no matter how painful the facts may be.  I am speaking out of a deep love for California. I feel a heavy burden for my home State.

I survey the moral devastation, but then I hear someone boast that the gates of hell will not prevail against the church in California.  I have to ask, “If the gates of hell have not prevailed, then what on earth is going on?  If this isn’t prevailing, I’d hate to see what is!”  The answer, as is so often the case, is to read that verse again:

Matthew 16:18 “And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. 19 And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”

I am pleading with God for this message to get through to my fellow leaders.  The first clue to what God wants, lies in the phrase, “I will build MY church.”  The problem is that there are two construction projects going on simultaneously in the church: Men are in charge of one, and Christ is in charge of the other.

That these two branches coexist in the Body of Christ is clear in Jesus’ own words:  John 15:5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. 6 If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned.”

Both branches are connected to Him, but only one abides in Him.  Both will grow side by side until the appointed time.  It is easy to tell the difference: The churches that men are building don’t stand a chance against Satan, and Satan doesn’t stand a chance against the Church Christ is building. 

Man-made churches avoid the front line, while the one true Church that Jesus is building draws its life from engaging and defeating the powers of darkness.

The church man builds refuses to offend.  The Church that Christ is building refuses to be ashamed.

It totally breaks my heart to say this, but, California is littered with Christian projects that were built by man, and for man.  This explains how immorality has spread like a cancer, even as churches got bigger. It explains why the government in California is working so hard to ban Christianity.

It makes me weep to have to say this, but I must. Paul leveled a stern warning to all who build “for God,” but do so by their own design.  1 Corinthians 3:10 “According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder, I have laid the foundation and another builds on it. But let each one take heed how he builds on it. 11 For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.”

Beloved, there is a terrifying outcome for those who have built mega-churches that God had no part in establishing.  They will all stand before God and be judged for their works.  1 Corinthians 3:12 “Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, 13 each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is. 14 If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. 15 If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.”

Beloved, the autopsy on California leaves no room for another verdict!

Let everyone who reads this heed the warning!  There are disastrous things about building Christian projects by human power that aren’t readily apparent.

For starters, these man-made churches persecute the true Church in a way that is worse than the world does.  How? By you as the pastor of a church built on a foundation of wood, hay, and straw making Bible preaching offensive. By you who have given believers an appetite for fast food. By discouraging true pastors who feel foolish for holding fast to their convictions. You have left them feeling betrayed when you steal their people, and herd them into a faceless mega-crowd, where they no longer have any accountability.

I am praying right now that my cry will be understood by leaders. I am travailing for leaders to wake up while there is still time.

But, there is an even more hideous fact you need to face: Satan may actually be helping you build your artificial church!  He may even supply the money to build it.  A hundred million dollars is chump change to the enemy of God, if it gets him the prize he seeks: building a powerless center, where thousands can be disarmed and neutralized.

My precious brothers and sisters let me ask you: What could be a better trophy for hell than producing an artificial church?  It has all the right features, but no power.  It is the perfect distraction.  The devil can freely defile a culture in plain view of the church and she will be too powerless, self-satisfied, and oblivious to stop it.

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ: If this describes your church, get out!  If you are the pastor of such a church, get back to preaching the pure word of God and making true disciples, before it is too late. Get right with God, and begin to turn California back from the abyss!

 

 

 

DIVINE FRUSTRATION

In times of acute spiritual warfare, God often allows those He has chosen for a special work to feel a kind of frustration. Maybe you can see that something radical needs to happen. Maybe you see things others don’t.  You survey the church scene and see that what Satan has sold so many believers is merely fool’s gold.  You’re convinced that this feeble generation is not taking up weapons that are ‘mighty to the tearing down of strongholds.’ Instead, they pursue money, cheap grace, and safe spaces.

You can see how teaching that is shallow and flattering is the perfect greenhouse for dulling reality. It kills urgency.  Taking a stand has become a distant fantasy to many.  But, what about you?

You see how the faith of so many has grown flabby.  You can’t bear to see how many Christians don’t even know what ‘the weapons of our warfare’ are.  They don’t know our authority.  They have no marching orders.  They don’t know what to say to this generation.  Most of all, you feel a deep urgency, but you are shocked that the people of God are oblivious as to what is coming next in the plan of God.  They are clueless about the threats to our nation and our freedom.

Peter recognized when government crossed the line.  Acts 4:19 “But Peter and John replied, “Which is right in God’s eyes: to listen to you, or to Him? You be the judges! 20 As for us, we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard.””

Peter also understood what to do when government tries to ban the Gospel, (the high priest replied,) 28 “Did we not strictly command you not to teach in this Name? And behold, you have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this Man’s blood on us!” 29 But Peter and the other apostles answered and said: “We ought to obey God rather than men.”” (Acts 5: 28-29)

Those who hate America are coming after our freedom.  They will force feed our children the Antichrist agenda. That is, unless we wake up to our purpose and our destiny.  

Although I am calling you out for special power in this hour, we must be alert, not alarmed.  Don’t let the threatening clouds grip you with fear. Let them light a fire in your soul!

You see and feel all of this for a reason: God is frustrating you divinely.  It is one of His greatest gifts. Why? Because it delivers you from the mediocre by implanting in you an insatiable restlessnessa restlessness than can only be quelled through prayer and obedience. Is God selecting you to give you weapon-grade faith and boldness?

You simply can’t stay where you are.  Something must break!  My advice to you is…do these things:

1.Be filled or refilled with the Holy Spirit.  You must have fire, or you must have fresh fire. The courage to face the onslaught of hatred that will be thrown at you can never be met by human power.  To say what you need to say and to obey when you need to obey, cannot come from human motivation.  You must have the same Spirit that has fueled world-changing saints throughout history. God never meant for anyone to preach or to lead without the power that the infilling of the Holy Spirit brings. Pray in the Spirit. Pray in tongues. Be bathed in prayer.

2. Make room for signs and wonders. Our culture will not be reached by mere words.  They must see proof of the power of God.  God means for you to provide that proof.

Paul wrote in 1 Cor. 2:4 “…my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, 5 that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.”

The authority you need won’t come cheaply or instantly.  (Read my blog on the price of God’s miracle working power https://wp.me/p1vrzp-53e)

3. Get ready to do something for God that will boggle your mind. God is selecting people and working in them to impart unmatched power for attacking evil.  Habakkuk 1:5 “Look among the nations and watch—be utterly astounded! For I will work a work in your days which you would not believe, though it were told you.”

He is creating people who can turn the tide of wickedness.  He doesn’t care about your age or your education.  He searches for someone who is travailing over the evil and will die unless God fills them with power and purpose.  Someone who wants to be in the fight and who wants to be in the thick of it.  Isaiah 6:8 says, “Also, I heard the voice of the Lord, saying: “Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?” Then I said, “Here am I! Send me.”

4. Prepare to pray in a way you have never imagined. God is pulling you out of the damaged religious crowd into special intimacy with Himself.  You are not going to pray like you have in the past.  E. M. Bounds wrote, “To say prayers in a decent, delicate way, is not heavy work. But to pray really, to pray till hell feels the ponderous stroke, to pray till the iron gates of difficulty are opened, till the mountains of obstacles are removed, till the mists are exhaled and the clouds are lifted, and the sunshine of a cloudless day brightens—this is hard work, but it is God’s work, and man’s best labor.”

What do all of these things I am asking you to do have in common?  Every one of them involves a leap out of dead religion.  They are a courageous declaration of war on the godless ideologies that are destroying our nation.  They are an irrevocable decision to be in the middle of God’s greatest acts in history!