ARE MEGA CHURCHES NOW A DISTRACTION TO REVIVAL?

Do you believe current church trends  will rescue our nation?  My guess is you don’t.  If you don’t, you are not alone.  A growing number of believers—many of whom will not say it out loud—question the value of attraction churches.

One day, I sat with some “hot names” in church growth in southern California.  We had talked a lot about styles of worship, preaching and marketing.  Being older than most of them, I felt a little bold.  I asked them: “Can any of you give me the name of a mega church in Los Angeles in 1906? “

Not one of them could come up with a name.  Then I said, “but you all remember the Azusa Street Revival, right?  Why is that?”  Because history remembers revivals and forgets mega churches.”  The reason is simple; revivals make history by reforming society.

Those who praise the glories of mega churches never mention how they have no impact on cultural sin.  In this golden age of mega churches, society is experiencing its greatest moral landslide.   On their watch, the number of people who claim to be atheists has doubled.  More anti-God legislation has been enacted than any other time in our history.

But do churches bear any responsibility for the moral landslide of a nation?  Charles G. Finney sure thought so!   He said, “If Satan rules in our halls of legislation, the pulpit is responsible for it. If our politics become so corrupt that the very foundations of our government are about to fall away, the pulpit is responsible.”

Some will say it is not fair to ask mega churches to reverse national destruction.   But you also can’t have it both ways.  You can’t go around extolling the wonders of these mammoth ministry centers and then say they can’t fix the nation.  If they can’t fix the only thing that needs fixing, what is the point?

But people point out, “They produce musicals as good as Broadway” Or, “They give the average person hope” These achievements ring hollow.  In a simpler time, they would be impressive.  Not today.

This is no time for entertainment.  This is no time for mild cures. Society’s condition has forced rule changes.  A demon possessed culture needs a church with power to cast out devils.  A culture reeling with unimaginable addictions needs a church were the Baptism of the Holy Spirit and the fire of God is plainly presented.

Are these churches a distraction to revival?  Let me offer this parable about distraction.  A college football team is losing their homecoming game. Badly.  Halftime is a welcome break.  The people are relieved when the marching band takes the field.

The band leader sees how much the people are enjoying the distraction.  He decides “we don’t need a second half; it is a good thing to just keep the show going.”

The lyrics of American Pie put it this way, “Now the half-time air was sweet perfume
While sergeants played a marching tune We all got up to dance Oh, but we never got the chance ‘Cause the players tried to take the field, the marching band refused to yield
Do you recall what was revealed The day the music died?”

You, dear leader of a mega church, must ask yourself, is my church the band that refuses to yield.  Is my mega ministry a distracting substitute for revival?  Am I keeping the church from starting the second half?

The Bible asks painful questions about times.  Elisha’s servant Gehazi secretly took money and clothes from General Naaman after Naaman was healed of leprosy.  Elisha asked Gehazi, “Did not my heart go with you when the man turned back from his chariot to meet you? Is it time to receive money and to receive clothing, olive groves and vineyards, sheep and oxen, male and female servants?”-2 Kings 5:26,26

In a time of mass murder, mass suicide, of hurricanes floods, and fire, is it time for pastors to parade wealth, and grant mild cures?

Haggai asked another painful question: “Is it time for you yourselves to dwell in your paneled houses, and this temple to lie in ruins?” -Haggai 1:4  The modern application for this is simple:  Pastor, are you building a personal empire, or the Kingdom of God?  Will you allow a nation to go down in flames while you live in a bubble of false victory? 

If we can truly confess that babble has replaced the Bible—that self-enhancement has replaced self-denial –that marketing has replaced miracles—and unconditionally surrender to the Holy Spirit, God will turn our churches into fire-breathing, nation-changing powerhouses.

WHAT IS UP WITH THIS SIGN?

What possessed a church to put up a sign like this in a cynical and cold world, especially in Los Angeles?  But is that right?  Is it right to offer hope to those who medical science cannot help?  Is it right to raise expectations to those who have given up on everything else?

What is up with this sign? Is it right to offer  miracle healing to a skeptical public?

By Mario Murillo 

When that young campus radical put his hands on my throat, I know, neither he, nor I, understood the rage in his hands.  Evil understood clearly what was at stake.  It knows the souls that can be saved, and the bodies that would be healed, if any miracle ministry, anywhere, is born.

In a moment, i’ll explain why my mind races back to that fateful day in Berkeley.

All afternoon I paced and prayed on the hillside above the campus of 44,000 students.  Two violent forces were colliding within me.  The burning question?  How do I reach a generation of students bent on Marxist revolution?  What reminded me of that day?   The fact that we now dealing with a generation that is, once again, bent on Marxist revolution.

On that hill, so many years ago, one inner voice argued that I must study the great modern apologists of the faith.  I should immerse myself in Francis Schaeffer, C.S. Lewis, and G.K. Chesterton.   The other voice said simply, “it is not by might nor by power but by my spirit.”

That night I would get my answer–emphatically.   It happened in front of the Student Union Building of Cal Berkeley at about 11PM.   I was sharing my “apologetic faith” with a flower child.  In the darkness, I could not see the angry radical who was stealing up behind me.

This atheist Goliath grabbed me by the neck and proceeded to choke the life out of me. Now the words of great Christian intellectuals were useless.  There was a demon fueling his rage.

God ordered me to take my stand in the power of the Spirit. In my own faltering way I did.   My assailant suddenly stopped and stood stunned by something behind me in the shadows.  To this day I do not know what startled him, I only know that I ran, and as I ran I affirmed my commitment to the Supernatural Gospel of Christ.

first miracle services in Berkeley

That what when we began telling people they could come and be healed.  But is that right?  Is it right to offer hope to those who medical science cannot help?  Is it right to raise expectations to those who have given up on everything else?

The world began to change when Jesus stood and read these words from the book of Isaiah:  Luke 4: 18 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, Because He has anointed Me To preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives And recovery of sight to the blind, To set at liberty those who are oppressed; 19 To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.”

1. He was hanging out a shingle:   When you start a business you do what is called hanging out a shingle.    A Shingle is a small signboard that indicates a professional office. The world began to change when Jesus stood and read these words.

He was announcing the start and the content of His miracle ministry and He did it publicly.   Here are 6 targets of His ministry:

Give good news to the poor.

Heal the broken hearted.

Proclaim liberty to the captives.

Recovery of sight to the blind.

To set at liberty those who are oppressed.

To declare the time of God’s favor.

2.  He announces by what authority He is announcing this.

“Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”  What an astounding statement that is!   Every Jew knew that verse.  Everyone in Israel has been waiting for that verse to be fulfilled and Jesus flat out says that He is fulfilling it. Talk about raising the hopes of the people!

Yet it is right that He does this so that the miracles can be released.  And that is precisely what the Church of Jesus should do.  We must go public about the resurrection of Jesus did to the works of Satan and all of the benefits of the Gospel.

3.  God was with Him in this project. Acts 10:38 says, “Jesus went about doing good healing all who were oppressed of the devil for God was with Him.  Jesus was not acting on His own initiative.

week-12-slide-3

Likewise, we are the continuation of Christ’s war on the works of Satan.  We too must make a public announcement, we must set the time and the place that the Holy Spirit has designated for the supernatural to appear.

Having settled the question in Berkeley we announced our first healing rally.  I was such a newbie that I stood in front of the audience frozen in fear.  What I did not know yet is that God rewards those who show up for war.

In the crowd was a young man lying unconscious on a couch at the back of the chapel.  He had shot a mixture of LSD and Heroin and it made him comatose.   Supernaturally, he woke up and his symptoms vanished.   He came to the front and knelt in utter adoration of God.   This single healing launched ten years of harvest on that university campus.

So today I am in prayer because we have gone very public in the Inland Empire of Southern California.  Thousands of card invitations have been given directly to the public and they plainly state that miracles will happen in the meetings.

If this was a human endeavor I would be panicking right now instead I am clothed with a divine peace.  Nothing man can say or do will be able to undo the conviction that I feel that this is a God event.

Let Church leadership everywhere listen from their heart.  If ever I knew that Jesus was trying to get a message through it is this:  Seek Him now.  Set a date at His bidding.  Prepare your people for signs and wonders.  Vow to give all glory to God.  Invite to public to come and see the awesomeness of our God!

Yes, you’re right. Revival is now impossible

 

Yes, revival is now impossible.  Everything thing the pessimistic Christians say is true. They are right about our national morals, division and the deadness of the church  but they are forgetting one thing about revival…

Revival struck London through John Wesley when it was impossible.   One out every seven houses in London was a house of prostitution.  More people were attending seances than church.  Nearly 100,000 children lived like animals.  The London times had not mentioned Christmas for decades…not even once.

The Methodist revival under Wesley turned England into the world’s missionary leader.

Revival struck Kentucky when it was unthinkable.  This was the most lawless state in the union.  There was no police.  Every criminal on the run headed for Kentucky.  Murder, rape, and alcoholism were pandemic.  Revival flipped Kentucky so violently that it became the most zealously Christian state in America.

The early twentieth century was a far more skeptical era than today.  The blush of Darwinism and Marxism was so feverish that it was a foregone conclusion that Christianity would go away altogether. Scientists declared the age of reason and solemnly assured us that religion would be gone by the 1920s.

raw bravery

Imagine in that atmosphere, if you were to have said in 1906, “a one eyed black man is going to rent a dingy horse livery on Azusa Street in downtown Los Angeles and start a movement that will engulf nearly 600 million people worldwide.”  

The point is that revivals are impossible…and when it looks totally impossible they happen.

You should also know what the church was preaching in those darkest moments before awakenings began.  Pulpits were filled with pessimists who instead of rebuking the despair joined in the chorus.  They declared the day of revival to be over!  Even that did not stop God.

How is it that revival can strike without warning in the most unpromising times and grow in the hardest soil?  The answer is that when darkness is intense we tend look at the wrong indicators.  It’s not that there are no warnings of revival it is simply that we do not know them when we see them because fear is so loud.

Look at today.  Do you see any signs of revival?  Most would say absolutely not.  They would say all of the same things that people have said before every outpouring of God.   The times are too evil.

That is the argument today.  We legalized gay marriage, drugs and we toy with Islam.  Our leaders are loons that are finding the best ways to drive us into extinction.  Churches are closing and 1,000 ministers are leaving the ministry every month.  You know the rest because you have heard a hundred times.

Atheists are boasting that the whole world in general is becoming secular and anti-supernatural.  The facts are just the opposite.  It is a very religious world, far more religious than it was 50 years ago.

Consider these statistics from sociologist Rodney Stark:

— 81 percent claim to belong to an organized religious faith, and most of the rest report engaging in religious activities such as prayer or making offerings to the gods in various “folk religion” temples.

— 74 percent say religion is an important part of their daily lives.

— 50 percent report they have attended a place of worship or religious service in the past seven days.

-In very few nations do as many as five percent claim to be atheists, and only in China, Vietnam, and South Korea do they exceed 20 percent.

-Furthermore, in every nook and cranny left by organized faiths, all manner of unconventional spiritual and mystical practices are booming. There are more occult healers than medical doctors in Russia, 38 percent of the French believe in astrology, 35 percent of the Swiss agree that “some fortune tellers really can foresee the future,” and nearly everyone in Japan is careful to have their new car blessed by a Shinto priest.

IMG_0619

To be sure, little of this is Christian but it is undeniable that the waters of supernatural hunger are being stirred worldwide.

Another sign is the evil of people itself.   For example, Saul of Tarsus was at the peak of his terrorism when he was violently converted. What no one but God knew was the growing desperation inside of this soon to be Paul the Apostle.   Societies are often at their worst right before revival.

What we do not want to do is miss revival when it hits!

Dark times can absorb our faith in the power of God.  Many believers find themselves in a condition that is truly worse than they ever imagined.  Pangs of fear grip men of God who were once lions in the pulpit.  We invent doctrines that fit our disappointment.  We build ministries based on our lowered expectations.

You need a healthy respect for the power of dark times to rob us of faith.  It has happened to the best of us.

500 people saw Jesus Christ ascend into the clouds.  Think about that.  In the face of such absolute proof that Jesus was the Son of God, how could they ever doubt?

As He ascended he told them to wait in Jerusalem for the promise of the Holy Spirit.  Surely they would wait…right?  Astonishingly, only 120 were still waiting in the upper room on the Day of Pentecost.  How is it possible in the face of so great an assurance that they would falter and abandon their posts?

Their world was filled with sudden terror from a wicked king, oppression from religious leaders, and tyranny from the Roman occupiers.  Their daily grind absorbed their zeal for the promises of God.

Do not be like the 380 people who missed one of the greatest moments in history.  Here are two things that you need to confess and say to your spirit so that you will not leave the upper room.

  1. Either it was always true or it was never true. Times do not alter truth. A lack of money does not change God’s word about prosperity.  Sickness does not nullify the fact of God’s healing power.  The evil of men does not overrule the supremacy of Christ.   If God promised you something, these dark times cannot stop their fulfillment.
  2. This will be like one of them. 1 Samuel 17: 4 But David said to Saul, “Your servant used to keep his father’s sheep, and when a lion or a bear came and took a lamb out of the flock, 35 I went out after it and struck it, and delivered the lamb from its mouth; and when it arose against me, I caught it by its beard, and struck and killed it. 36 Your servant has killed both lion and bear; and this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, seeing he has defied the armies of the living God.”

youth revivalIt is easy to say that evil is more intense and sophisticated than ever before.  Neither Saul, nor Israel had ever faced anything like Goliath before.  David said that it did not matter; this new threat would have the same outcome as all of the old threats.

Jesus is telling us to wait for the power that is about to break out no matter what.   Does revival look totally impossible to you?  Don’t worry, they all look that way until they happen.

LIVING PROOF WEST COAST

West Coast Living Proof Tour copy

It all begins this Sunday night at Bethel Church in Redding.  Our goal is to interrupt the tragedy.  Our mission is to apply the weapons of our warfare—which are not carnal weapons but mighty to tear down strongholds.  Our passion is to have meetings that are unfettered by human agendas, gimmicks and half-cures.

We are an unapologetic force of the love and power of Jesus.  We will pour out every benefit that Jesus won on the Cross—we will spread the cure where the need is greatest. 

I want you to join me for unforgettable nights of hope and power.

Jesus himself said, “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father”-John 14:12.   Those words haunted me and challenged me to answer one of the greatest questions I would ever ask myself:  How do I reach the West Coast in this toxic atmosphere?

I am not asking them to embrace dead religion or a cult.  Reality does not need hype or manipulation.  I am asking you to trade a night of your life to open your heart to God… and let Him use you to give a miracle to someone who would not normally go to a Christian gathering.

Why you should bring someone to these nights: If someone you love is suffering physical illness, bring them and let us pray for them to receive a miracle.  Think of all that they have endured to try to get well.  Instead of waiting for hours in a cold atmosphere let them experience a loving, joyous, faith-filled atmosphere. 

If someone you know is unchurched and is honestly seeking to know that God is real, bring them.  My message these nights will not just touch the needs of the body but also of the soul.  This is a perfect opportunity for them to receive a miracle in their soul.

The impact of these nights does not end with just healing miracles.  An army of love and light is forming from many churches in the area who are seeking an outpouring of the Holy Spirit.  It is our deepest wish and expectation that the power of these nights will flow out to the entire West Coast.

It all adds up to a simple conclusion:  These are nights you do not want to miss.

Living Proof West Coast

Sunday March 20th   

Bethel Church  933 College View Dr, Redding, CA 96003

6:00 PM – 9:00 PM  (530) 246-6000

Sunday and Monday April 3 and 4   

Church of Jesus Christ Spirit Filled  

3175 Goldy Way, Sparks, NV 89434

Sunday 10:30 am/ 6:00pm

Monday 7:00pm

(775) 358-2842

Saturday April 9th

Azusa Now by The Call

Los Angeles Coliseum

3911 S Figueroa St, Los Angeles, CA 90037 All day, gates open at 6am

424-362-5523

Sunday April 17th

Explosion by Star of David Church

520 W Virginia St, San Jose, CA 95125

6:00pm

(408) 808-1443

Tuesday April 19th

209 Awakening

700 N Union Rd

Manteca, California

6:30pm

(209) 479-4182

Sunday May 1st 9 AM

The Bridge of Yuba City

424 Epley Dr.  Yuba City, CA 95991

(530) 674-0400 

Sunday May 1st 6pm 

The Church of Glad Tidings 1179 Eager Rd, Live Oak, CA 95953

Phone:(530) 671-3160

Monday and Tuesday May 2 and 3 7 PM 

The Bridge of Yuba City

Wednesday May 4th

First Assembly of God Church

4472 Snook Ave, Clearlake, CA 95422

(707) 994-3122

7pm

Friday May 13th

Christ Cathedral Church

2301 White Ln, Bakersfield, CA 93304

(661) 834-3311

7pm

Sunday May 15th

Harvest Christian Center

130 3rd St, Turlock, CA 95380

(209) 667-5683

9am/10am/11am/6pm

 

 

 

We made a dangerous promise to America

 3917900.pdf

We made a dangerous promise to America

By Mario Murillo

“So Daniel went in and asked the king to give him time, that he might tell the king the interpretation.  Then Daniel went to his house, and made the decision known to Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, his companions, that they might seek mercies from the God of heaven concerning this secret, so that Daniel and his companions might not perish with the rest of the wise men of Babylon. – Daniel 2: 16-18

How bad was the King’s nightmare?  The King said he would kill every wise man unless they could tell the dream and give its interpretation.  Daniel did not know what the King dreamt but made him a promise anyway- Give me time, I will ask God and I will give you the meaning of your nightmare.

This little detail is often left out in the telling of the story of Daniel.  Think of it!  Death is certain if he fails to get a miracle.  He hung his entire life on a prayer.

America is having a nightmare.   Riots spread and international threats escalate.  The nation is gripped with divisive hate, crippling fear and deep uncertainty.

And just as Nebuchadnezzar despised the wise men for not knowing how to help him, America is taking out her frustrations on Christianity.  Americans are in no mood for religion.  They have made their feelings known loud and clear.  They have strayed away from church in droves.   Even hip churches are fading because the inner pain Americans feel is too great for groovy sermons.Donation page for year end letter copy

By announcing LIVING PROOF, Mario Murillo Ministries has made a dangerous promise to America.  Even before the miracles arrive, before we understand how to speak to the agony of our nation we went as far out on the limb as you can go.  We are in the same place Daniel was that night that he prayed.

We have said to America “give us time and we will tell you of your nightmare and give you the meaning you are so desperate to find.”   Our televisions commercials say it, our flyers say it.  We are totally at the out in the open.

Are we fools?  We are not fools and we have never been wiser.  Think about it.  Daniel was already on the death list.  His action was astute and courageous.   He recognized that the supernatural was no longer optional.   The Christians who are still playing church are the real fools.

We have done the only thing a ministry can do in this desperate hour.   We have prayed, sought the Living God and fasted.  We have allowed the searchlight of God to examine our deepest motives.  We have purchased the gold that is tried in the fire.

To evict devils and declare miracles I had to die to self.  I do not miss the old Mario.  I have never been so glad to see him go.

LIVING PROOF is not a meaningless title it is our reality.  The victims of this present darkness must walk into a meeting that is saturated by the presence of God.  They must be told bold and honest things about their soul and Jesus.  Then the Holy Spirit will provide the proof by healing incurable disease and instantly breaking demonic power.

LIVING PROOF is coming to your area!  When it does you will see with your own eyes the very thing that Peter asked God for when he prayed this prayer “Lord behold their threats and grant to your servants that with all boldness they may speak Your Word while You stretch out your hand to heal and let signs and wonders be done in the name of your Holy Son Jesus.” –Acts 4:29

<div id=”fb-root”></div><script>(function(d, s, id) {  var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];  if (d.getElementById(id)) return;  js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id;  js.src = “//connect.facebook.net/en_US/sdk.js#xfbml=1&version=v2.3″;  fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);}(document, ‘script’, ‘facebook-jssdk’));</script><div class=”fb-video” data-allowfullscreen=”true” data-href=”/mario.murillo.1948/videos/vb.1177376999/10206199682169151/?type=1″><div class=”fb-xfbml-parse-ignore”><blockquote cite=”/mario.murillo.1948/videos/10206199682169151/”><a href=”/mario.murillo.1948/videos/10206199682169151/”>Living Proof Yuba City June 10th-14th 2015</a><p>I will prove it to you. June 10th-14th Yuba-Sutter Fairgrounds.  See more about these 4 spectacular nights in Yuba City and why you should experience them.  http://mariomurillo.net/why-you-should-come-to-these-nights-in-yuba-city/</p>Posted by <a href=”https://www.facebook.com/mario.murillo.1948″>Mario Murillo</a> on Tuesday, May 5, 2015</blockquote></div></div>

 

America liked us better back when we told the truth.

LA Coliseum 1963
Billy Graham Crusade in the Los Angeles Coliseum 1963

America liked us better back when we told the truth.

By Mario Murillo

This is written with deep love for and loyalty to the local church. There is no desire to take a cheap shot at anyone or to divide the church.  I have to write this because love does not lie or withhold needed correction.

America has abandoned God, Christian values, Israel and 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.  This brought a great storm.  The captain had a gut feeling that nature was angry about something. They found Jonah sleeping and 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 psychic resentment toward the church.  I say psychic 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 but this present dislike of the church stems from something much deeper.  They are asking us “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 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 can be like having the best party going on the deck of the Titanic.  You are having a great time but you will not save America from the frigid angry sea.

Here is the real rub…if numbers matter so much 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 my Me.” -John 14:6.   Not one person was offered a door prize.   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.

times square

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.  Billy died to his private opinions in the pulpit.  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.  Proverbs 28: 23 He who rebukes a man will find more favor afterward than he who flatters with the tongue.

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.”

Ground Zero Churches: The Church America Needs Right Now.

high_resolution_widescreen_wallpaper_1-copy

Satan did a number on us.    First he used a counterfeit church growth model to deceive the gullible and discourage the faithful.   When righteous pastors looked at the staggering growth of Seeker Churches, they felt overwhelmed and even wounded.  They wonder, “What am I doing wrong, am I a fool to hold on to my integrity?”  

Growth seminars preyed on weak Pastors.  David Wilkerson said, “Ministers from small churches are being told, in so many words, ‘Attend this mega-church pastor’s seminar, and you will find the keys to success. You‘ll eventually have a church as big as his.’ Yet this only causes pastors to become more discouraged. They end up convinced; I am not doing anything significant for God. He just isn’t using me.”

After this came the reelection of Barrack Obama. The anti-God forces saw how directly Obama challenged and even maligned the church.  They saw blood in the water and are moving to run us off the map. 

The Seeker Church now knows that making nice with secular America did not stop violence, perversion and atheism.  All of these things accelerated on their watch.  After our complete makeover of the Gospel, society hated us even more.

We have been trashed, bashed and left for dead.  Now it is time for the Body of Christ to push back on all of the lies, threats and ominous predictions about our demise.  America is ripe for the church to make a massive comeback.  You heard me, a massive comeback.

wide view copy

I know that all the experts say the Church has lost America and she will never get it back.  These lies have made the rounds in centuries past.  Usually, they pronounce death on the church right before a major revival.  The last time I saw it was when the “God is dead” movement swept America in the 1960’s only to be swallowed up by the Jesus Movement.

To see this we will need a new Church model one that looks nothing like what we see today.   We need Ground Zero Churches.

Christian leader take heed. I am pleading with you to consider a dynamic option for your church.  I want you to consider becoming a Ground Zero Church: a strong and healthy church that grows without stress, compromise, endless striving, or vicious competition.

Let’s define a Ground Zero Church.  It is the epicenter of God’s dealing for a region. They are a body of believers that have made the supreme covenant with God.  Here are the features of a Ground Zero Church:

1. They believe that God can do it here.  I wonder what would happen if we got a jumbo a jet loaded with fired up Bible College students going on a missionary trip. We take off out of Kennedy to go to Africa.  Instead, order the pilot to make very wide circles over the Atlantic for hours finally landing somewhere in New Jersey.  As soon as we get off, we are hustled into vans and dropped in Harlem.

I am convinced that they will raise the dead, save thousands and deliver many of demons and signs and wonders will abound just because they think they are overseas.

part 2 copy

Many delude themselves into thinking it is because the poor are simple in faith and Americans are too sophisticated.  The Bible paints a much different picture.  In Acts, God blasted Saul of Tarsus the zealot intellectual God off his horse.  He became the chief architect of the New Testament Church.  It was in the house of Cornelius, a man of means and influence that the Holy Spirit first fell upon Gentiles.

2.  They allow the Holy Spirit transform their church into a zone of irresistible glory:   Paul described the overpowering effect a church gathering could have on the outside world: 1 Corinthians 14:24 “But if all prophesy, and an unbeliever or an uninformed person comes in, he is convinced by all, he is convicted by all. 25 And thus the secrets of his heart are revealed; and so, falling down on his face, he will worship God and report that God is truly among you.”

When Matthew Henry commented on these verses he said “God can, when he pleases, strike awe upon the worst of men, by the tokens of his presence in the assemblies of the faithful, and force them to acknowledge that God is with them of a truth.”

There are many examples of places that oozed God and dropped hardened sinners to their knees.

-A reporter from London came to Wales to investigate the Welsh revival.  The presence he felt when he entered Wales shocked him. He exclaimed, “This is a nation haunted by God!”

-During the Great Awakening, hardened sailors on clipper ships reported being seized with conviction of sin when they entered certain zones off the American coast.

lights over america

3. They pull the trigger that God has hidden in their culture.    Throughout history, obedient missionaries who listened to God and observed the way that God had prepared a culture through history detonated revivals.   This gave them a supernatural relevance.

-700 B.C. plague kills one third of Athens. Epimenides, a teacher who believed there was one God orders the city leaders to sacrifice prize rams the plague stops.  They build an altar to the unknown God.  Paul pulls the trigger 744 years later, in Acts 17:23 “I even noticed that you have an altar to the unknown God, He whom you ignorantly worship, I openly proclaim!”

-Koreans had a name for God that did not come from any pagan religion.  White missionaries refused to call God by that name thinking it was compromise.  Finally, in prayer a man of God realized that this name was the result of a dealing of God in Korean history. The moment that He called God by this name revival exploded.

-The Lihue Indians wore knots of rope around their wrists.  Once, a missionary from England realized that this was a symbol for their slavery to sin. He preached that Christ cut these rope bands on the cross.  Pandemonium strikes as tens of thousands of the Lihue start sobbing and beg to have their bands cut off.

We cannot fear what our culture is like right now.  The Holy Spirit already has a message and a plan that is uniquely designed for this present darkness.

living proof world convention houston copy