IS GOD DOING A SECRET WORK IN YOU?

Mario Murillo says, “Many Christians are fed up with the world system—especially the way it operates in the church.  They leave church thinking, ‘this is not it, there’s something bad wrong here.’  They can’t stomach the glitzy entertainment centers anymore…”

IS GOD DOING A SECRET WORK IN YOU?

by Mario Murillo

Many Christians are fed up with the world system—especially the way it operates in the church.  They leave church thinking, “this is not it, there’s something bad wrong here.”  They can’t stomach the glitzy entertainment centers anymore.

They are angry at ego-centric pastors with grandiose, expense and carnal visions.  They accuse them of being distracted—even derailed from their first love.   Disciples are abandoning attraction churches—something revolutionary is happening inside them.  God has started a secret work in them.

Many honest Pastors are also in divine turmoil.  The enemy condemned them for having a smaller church.   After years of blood sweat and tears their churches were battered, broken and diminished because they can’t compete with mega-mania.

And why can’t they compete? It’s because they keep their integrity!   When they see large crowds and big money pour effortlessly into churches that either hide or pervert the Gospel…it’s easy to feel like a fool for staying true.  The Bible says, “Surely I have cleansed my heart in vain, And washed my hands in innocence. For all day long I have been plagued, and chastened every morning.” Psalm 73:13,14.

However, our friend in Psalm 73 came to a great conclusion. After being bull-dozed by the success of the wicked he took action “16 When I thought how to understand this, It was too painful for me—17 Until I went into the sanctuary of God; Then I understood their end.”  Many pastor’s  hearts are crying out for more—for a miracle they can’t even describe.

When he entered the sanctuary exhausted and discouraged, the greatness of God began to overtake him.  He saw that there is no version of this battle where Satan wins.  This is a part of the secret work God is doing in pastors!

A growing number of hungry hearts agree—with all its money and crowds—the compromised church did nothing to rebuke America’s sin.  The seeker model was a house of cards against the onslaught on the unborn and marriage.  While men slept, we had millions of abortions and marriage was destroyed.  The last 10 years we have lost battle after battle in government, education and the media.  We are a hopelessly divided nation—to a large extent the pulpit is to blame.

Charles Finney said, “If there is a decay of conscience, the pulpit is responsible for it. If the public press lacks moral discernment, the pulpit is responsible for it. If the church is degenerate and worldly, the pulpit is responsible for it. If the world loses its interest in Christianity, the pulpit is responsible for it. 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 ready to fall away, the pulpit is responsible for it.”

Deep, deep in my soul where the real knowing happens—I know God is doing something new.  Every atom of my being tells me that God is doing a secret work in His people.  God is finished with hirelings.  He is drawing a remnant out of corruption and into a special, supernatural nearness to Him.  They will empty themselves of everything, every ambition will be burned out but one…to love and please Christ.

Is God doing a secret work in you?  Has God closed you in and stripped you of all enjoyment of lesser things?  Are you in divine frustration because you are going to be a part of something only God can do?

What if millions of Americans get so miserable that they cry out to God in total desperation?  What if their cry is too deep and their hunger is too great to ever be happy in a lukewarm church?  This is why the Holy Spirit is recruiting a new breed…a breed that can be trusted in an awakening.

God is doing a secret work!  He is pulling a remnant to Himself.  He is taking the prophetic core and communing with them—training them—empowering them—preparing them for one last mighty blast of power.  The Holy Spirit sees that our nation hangs by a thread.  The death-rattle is in America’s throat.   Before God allows destruction—He is going to do one last massive miracle.  What will that look like?

-People no one’s ever heard of will come to the forefront.  They will arrive with awesome power and piercing messages.  Not all of them will be regular ministers.  In fact, the majority will not leave their secular careers as God is using them.  Some will be children!

-Strange locations will house massive outpourings.  Churches that have been small for years will become ground zero of God’s presence.   People will flock in from everywhere to these centers of fire and glory.  Stunning signs and wonders will rock entire communities.  These churches will be forced to stay open 24 hours a day.

God is doing a secret work in you.  He is making you miserable to make you into a miracle.  

A.C. Valdez was a child at Azusa Street who later became an evangelist.  God showed him the future and here is what he said:  “All the electrifying adjectives in the dictionary shaken together, pressed down and running over will not begin to describe the soon-to-come, greatest outpouring of the Holy Spirit of all times-what the Bible calls “the latter rain.”  You are going to see lay members carry out an amazing ministry through gifts of the Holy Spirit.  There will be wholesale cures of “incurable” conditions, healings of the blind, deaf, dumb, and handicapped, and creative miracles that will strain the imagination.  For those born without eyes ears, fingers arms or legs-or those who have lost them through disease or accidents- God will make new ones. Many astonishing miracle swill happen to bring on an international Christian breakthrough.”  I believe A.C. Valdez is not talking about a time far off in the future.. he is talking about now because, my friend it is now or never.

The Surprise in San Francisco

A stunning rebuke to watered down Christianity came from an unlikely place: San Francisco.

It was my honor to partner with Chris Burns and the amazing army that formed to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Summer of Love in Golden Gate Park.  THE SOUND was an outreach of many powerful worship artists, dynamic speakers, and a committed core linked hearts to bless the city.  But one thing that happened has wide implications to all believers. A scientific experiment will help you appreciate what I mean.

Biologists put a thick pane of glass in the middle of a large rectangular aquarium.  After filling it with water, they stocked it with small fish on one side of the glass barrier and their natural predator on the other.

Over and over, the larger fish slammed into the invisible barrier trying to feed on the smaller fish.  This went on for days until they gave up.  Then, the scientists removed the glass divider and saw something remarkable: The predators behaved as if the barrier was still there—they didn’t try to eat the small fish. They didn’t even try to go to the other side of the tank.

When we think of San Francisco—and rightly so—we think of smug, anti-God intellectual, lovers of pleasure.  We also think of youth—hard wired, by activist educators, to reject Christ. The church is conditioned not to fish here. There’s your glass pane.

In outreach after outreach, Mario Murillo Ministries has never acknowledged a glass barrier in San Francisco.  It was true again on July 6th and 7th when we joined forces with Chris Burns to win souls in the city.

Holy Ghost boldness overtook me.  I preached an unvarnished soul-winning message.  I refused to employ verbal gymnastics to appeal to a sophisticated culture.

Why—if this place is so hard—did so many respond, so immediately, to a direct gospel appeal?  Nothing was sugar-coated.  It was no credit to oratory.  It was a simple case of hungry and hurting souls reaching out to Jesus—because He was offered to them.

The pictures tell you how many came forward.  Even more astounding was the report Chris gave me about the invasion the next day: “We saw hundreds saved as we took over Golden Gate Park.”

Time and time again, I’ve warned the American church…there is a great harvest in our nation, even in San Francisco.  And…if there is a harvest in San Francisco, how much more in the rest of America?

Fish treading water refusing to eat is ridiculous; preachers refusing to harvest is beyond ridiculous—it is an embarrassment to our cause.  Watered-down, apologetic, murky preaching is a grandiose, inexcusable, waste of time.

Here is the giant question: why are so many Americans so hungry for Christ now?  The answer is simple: our culture made them miserable—a culture created by an elite core of power brokers.  It might be Hollywood; it might be our—hell-bent on telling Americans what to think—media.  They dictate what we should believe, what is good for us, what is right behavior and finally, what would make us happy. None of it works.

Social prophets bludgeon us with progressive platitudes and put a muzzle on any opposing voice.  Group think is the only way Americans can believe patently stupid contradictions: free speech is a threat to freedom—open marriage deepens commitment—suicide is victory—violence is love.

They can control almost everything, but one thing they cannot control: the damage on the soul—the vacuum that hi-tech selfishness creates—the misery of trying to endure on medicated self-pity.

The American church is bitterly failing a generation because we are still hoodwinked by an old model.  We still see the reluctant seeker—the spiritual looky-look.  We don’t see the desperate hearts that grope in darkest America.

We are failing a generation because we are not stronger than our excuses.  The empty calories served up on Sunday morning are a tribute to denial.  They deny the power of the Gospel, and they deny the hunger of the people.  Half-cures are now irrelevant.

The compromised church isn’t the only problem.  Some churches are just strange. There are pastors who pull their hair out trying to understand why new visitors don’t come to church.  They never consider that their shenanigans are weird to outsiders and their members are too embarrassed to invite friends.

When their bizarre and self-serving antics make visitors walk out, they smugly assume they are under conviction.  No…they just think we’re crazy.

The crushing heartbreak is that both these extremes—with their useless methods—continue to be celebrated.  Meanwhile, a nation dies, and lost souls go into eternity.

Every day, Satan sells a new drug that kills kids faster.  Every hour, a new perversion twists the minds of our children.

 

Mario Murillo Ministries walks the tightrope of the radical middle.  The tepid church rejects us because we preach fire and operate under Holy Spirit unction.  The hyper-emotional church rejects us because we use rigid discipline to keep it real for lost souls.

Right now, I should be rejoicing over the harvest in San Francisco, instead, it ignites fire in my bones.  Millions want the power the Gospel offers.  Leftists lie about it, and Christians misrepresent it.  Nevertheless, I am filled with hope.

There is a story of 4 brave lepers that mirrors the experiment about the fish:  God had scared the enemy away but the city under siege didn’t realize it.  2 Kings 7: 7 “Therefore they arose and fled at twilight, and left the camp intact—their tents, their horses, and their donkeys—and they fled for their lives.  And when these lepers came to the outskirts of the camp, they went into one tent and ate and drank, and carried from it silver and gold and clothing, and went and hid them; then they came back and entered another tent, and carried some from there also, and went and hid it. 9 Then they said to one another, ‘We are not doing right. This day is a day of good news, and we remain silent.’”

All the resources to save a starving city sat unused.  The army they feared was gone.  They simply didn’t bother to check the enemy’s camp.  The same is true now.  God keeps everything ready that we need to reach America.  If only we would see that and act on this great promise.

Mario Murillo Ministries is not going to sit and wait for squeamish theologians to figure out how hungry Americans are for Jesus; and how much provision stands ready for those who will rightly divide the Word of God.  The harvest in San Francisco is only the beginning of surprises that God has in store.  Come with us on this great adventure.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE AMERICAN MIRACLE: ARE YOU FINALLY READY?

So what if some think I am crazy?  So what if saying “an American miracle”  makes even some Christian leaders mad? I am asked all the time what it would take…so if you are finally ready—if you are willing to leave the turkeys and fly with the eagles—here is what you do…

If you are finally ready

By Mario Murillo

“I wish you would give us an answer for America.”  I hear that a lot!   Oh the answer is out there alright, but you have to be ready.  Many believe that they are ready but they are not.

To be ready means an unshakable passion for change.  The sorcerer tried to buy from Peter the power to impart the Holy Spirit.  Peter said, “You have neither part nor portion in this matter, for your heart is not right in the sight of God” – Acts 8:21. The daily behavior of millions of Christians and pastors prove they are not ready.

If you are playing games you are not ready.  Seeker churches are playing a marketing game.  They will never be a force for change in our culture; unless of course, someone invents a way to have moral awakening without repentance.

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The hyper-emotional churches are not ready either.  They are also playing games.  Fire tunnels and prophetic conferences can–if not balanced into actual soul-sinning–easily degenerate a version of Dungeons and Dragons.  Those who chase blessings and “words” are worse than unready, they are immobilized.  They are play-acting at revival.

Do lost souls, national sin, and the loss of our constitution deeply matter to you?   If they do not, God will not enroll you to save America.  How could He?  If you shy away from reality and say silly things like, “I don’t want to know what is going on, it is too depressing,” then you have no part in the solution.

Here are the people who are ready: Pastors who want to influence the culture more than they want a big church are ready.  Pastors who are passionate for the gifts of the Holy Spirit, and cannot live without winning the lost, are ready.   Christians, who are clear that America will soon die without revival, are ready. What is the most urgent sign that you are ready?  The answer is an unambiguous conviction to pursue revival even if no one else joins you.  God is not waiting for the church.  He will start without them.   All He needs is one willing vessel.

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The one willing vessel will unlock awesome power by confessing, “I will do whatever it takes for however long it takes.”  What makes this idea come alive is something called the Stockdale Paradox.  Here is an excerpt from Good to Great written by Jim Collins: The name refers to Admiral Jim Stockdale, who was the highest ranking United States military officer in the “Hanoi  

Hilton” prisoner-of-war camp during the height of the Vietnam War. Tortured over 20 times during his eight-year imprisonment from 1965 to 1973,

Stockdale lived out the war without any prisoner’s rights, no set release date, and no certainty as to whether he would even survive to see his family again. “Here I am sitting in my warm and comfortable office, looking out over the beautiful Stanford campus on a beautiful Saturday afternoon. I’m getting depressed reading this, and I know the end of the story! I know that he gets out, reunites with his family, becomes a national hero, and gets to spend the later years of his life studying philosophy on this same beautiful campus.

afternoon. I’m getting depressed reading this, and I know the end of the story! I know that he gets out, reunites with his family, becomes a national hero, and gets to spend the later years of his life studying philosophy on this same beautiful campus.

If it feels depressing for me, how on earth did he deal with it when he was actually there and did not know the end of the story?” “I never lost faith in the end of the story,” he said, when I asked him. “I never doubted not only that I would get out, but also that I would prevail in the end and turn the experience into the defining event of my life, which, in retrospect, I would not trade.”

I didn’t say anything for many minutes, and we continued the slow walk toward the faculty club, Stockdale limping and arc-swinging his stiff leg that had never fully recovered from repeated torture. Finally, after about a hundred meters of silence, I asked, “Who didn’t make it out?” “Oh, that’s easy,” he said. “The optimists.” “The optimists? I don’t understand,” I said, now completely confused, given what he’d said a hundred meters earlier. “The optimists. Oh, they were the ones who said, ‘We’re going to be out by Christmas.’ And Christmas would come, and Christmas would go. Then they’d say, ‘We’re going to be out by Easter.’ And Easter would come, and Easter would go. And then Thanksgiving, and then it would be Christmas again. And they died of a broken heart.”

Another long pause, and more walking. Then he turned to me and said, “This is a very important lesson. You must never confuse faith that you will prevail in the end—which you can never afford to lose—with the discipline to confront the most brutal facts of your current reality, whatever they might be.”Blog 3Why is this Paradox so important to the American church right now?  The answer is the last several years.  These are years that shattered Pollyanna doctrines and fluff faith.  We never dreamed it could get this bad this fast. Our version of optimists has left the church.  They have fallen away because of persecution.

The remnant is ready for untold power if it heeds this lesson: Things are bad, really bad; deal with it.  But never, ever lose faith in the arrival of revival.  Embrace the facts no matter how brutal they seem and at the same time believe with all of your might that everything you are doing to see the power of God released on America will be rewarded. When you pray, God will hear.  When you speak out people will listen.  No matter how unpromising your action feels now, keep going because “there is no restraint with God to save by few or to save by many!”  Hallelujah!

 

 

Is God doing a secret work in you?

Mario Murillo says, “Many Christians are fed up with the world system—especially the way it operates in the church.  They leave church thinking, ‘this is not it, there’s something bad wrong here.’  They can’t stomach the glitzy entertainment centers anymore…”

IS GOD DOING A SECRET WORK IN YOU?

by Mario Murillo

Many Christians are fed up with the world system—especially the way it operates in the church.  They leave church thinking, “this is not it, there’s something bad wrong here.”  They can’t stomach the glitzy entertainment centers anymore.

They are angry at ego-centric pastors with grandiose, expense and carnal visions.  They accuse them of being distracted—even derailed from their first love.   Disciples are abandoning attraction churches—something revolutionary is happening inside them.  God has started a secret work in them.

Many honest Pastors are also in divine turmoil.  The enemy condemned them for having a smaller church.   After years of blood sweat and tears their churches were battered, broken and diminished because they can’t compete with mega-mania.

And why can’t they compete? It’s because they keep their integrity!   When they see large crowds and big money pour effortlessly into churches that either hide or pervert the Gospel…it’s easy to feel like a fool for staying true.  The Bible says, “Surely I have cleansed my heart in vain, And washed my hands in innocence. For all day long I have been plagued, and chastened every morning.” Psalm 73:13,14.

However, our friend in Psalm 73 came to a great conclusion. After being bull-dozed by the success of the wicked he took action “16 When I thought how to understand this, It was too painful for me—17 Until I went into the sanctuary of God; Then I understood their end.”  Many pastor’s  hearts are crying out for more—for a miracle they can’t even describe.

When he entered the sanctuary exhausted and discouraged, the greatness of God began to overtake him.  He saw that there is no version of this battle where Satan wins.  This is a part of the secret work God is doing in pastors!

A growing number of hungry hearts agree—with all its money and crowds—the compromised church did nothing to rebuke America’s sin.  The seeker model was a house of cards against the onslaught on the unborn and marriage.  While men slept, we had millions of abortions and marriage was destroyed.  The last 10 years we have lost battle after battle in government, education and the media.  We are a hopelessly divided nation—to a large extent the pulpit is to blame.

Charles Finney said, “If there is a decay of conscience, the pulpit is responsible for it. If the public press lacks moral discernment, the pulpit is responsible for it. If the church is degenerate and worldly, the pulpit is responsible for it. If the world loses its interest in Christianity, the pulpit is responsible for it. 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 ready to fall away, the pulpit is responsible for it.”

Deep, deep in my soul where the real knowing happens—I know God is doing something new.  Every atom of my being tells me that God is doing a secret work in His people.  God is finished with hirelings.  He is drawing a remnant out of corruption and into a special, supernatural nearness to Him.  They will empty themselves of everything, every ambition will be burned out but one…to love and please Christ.

Is God doing a secret work in you?  Has God closed you in and stripped you of all enjoyment of lesser things?  Are you in divine frustration because you are going to be a part of something only God can do?

What if millions of Americans get so miserable that they cry out to God in total desperation?  What if their cry is too deep and their hunger is too great to ever be happy in a lukewarm church?  This is why the Holy Spirit is recruiting a new breed…a breed that can be trusted in an awakening.

God is doing a secret work!  He is pulling a remnant to Himself.  He is taking the prophetic core and communing with them—training them—empowering them—preparing them for one last mighty blast of power.  The Holy Spirit sees that our nation hangs by a thread.  The death-rattle is in America’s throat.   Before God allows destruction—He is going to do one last massive miracle.  What will that look like?

-People no one’s ever heard of will come to the forefront.  They will arrive with awesome power and piercing messages.  Not all of them will be regular ministers.  In fact, the majority will not leave their secular careers as God is using them.  Some will be children!

-Strange locations will house massive outpourings.  Churches that have been small for years will become ground zero of God’s presence.   People will flock in from everywhere to these centers of fire and glory.  Stunning signs and wonders will rock entire communities.  These churches will be forced to stay open 24 hours a day.

God is doing a secret work in you.  He is making you miserable to make you into a miracle.  

A.C. Valdez was a child at Azusa Street who later became an evangelist.  God showed him the future and here is what he said:  “All the electrifying adjectives in the dictionary shaken together, pressed down and running over will not begin to describe the soon-to-come, greatest outpouring of the Holy Spirit of all times-what the Bible calls “the latter rain.”  You are going to see lay members carry out an amazing ministry through gifts of the Holy Spirit.  There will be wholesale cures of “incurable” conditions, healings of the blind, deaf, dumb, and handicapped, and creative miracles that will strain the imagination.  For those born without eyes ears, fingers arms or legs-or those who have lost them through disease or accidents- God will make new ones. Many astonishing miracle swill happen to bring on an international Christian breakthrough.”  I believe A.C. Valdez is not talking about a time far off in the future.. he is talking about now because, my friend it is now or never.

A GREAT MAN OF GOD HAS GONE TO HEAVEN

 

A GREAT MAN OF GOD HAS GONE TO HEAVEN

By Mario Murillo

I have just experienced a devastating personal loss.  I have been crying a lot and I am in mourning.  I am overcome with a towering sense of sadness.

Some have tried to tell me that I shouldn’t feel loss.  It has become politically incorrect to mourn the loss of loved ones.  Recently, a famous preacher said this at a funeral, “If you really have faith, you will not feel any sadness at all.”

However, Acts 8:2 says, “And devout men carried Stephen to his burial, and made great lamentation over him.”  That is what devout men do.  They grieve over loss.

Jesus mourned at Lazarus’ grave. “And He said, ‘Where have you laid him?’ They said to Him, ‘Lord, come and see.’ Jesus wept.  Then the Jews said, ‘See how He loved him!’”-John 11:34-36.

These verses overflow with meaning for those who lose loved ones.  Here was the creator of faith, weeping.  How can it be unbelief if Jesus mourned?

Moreover, He was about to raise Lazarus from the dead, so why weep?   The Jews who were watching understood why.  He wept because He loved Lazarus.  That is why I am weeping. I loved my friend Dusty Kemp.

You never heard of Dusty Kemp?  Well then, I am about to enrich your life.  Dusty abruptly went to heaven on Sunday night, December 11th.  A week before that, I stood in his pulpit and called him the best kept secret in America.  It is high time for that secret to get out.

When he taught the Bible, it came alive.  He parked his soul in the Gospels and never ceased to amaze the seeker and satisfy the hungry.  You always got light and a fresh angle to the Word of God.

dusty-and-mary-shot-copy

Repeatedly, the question crashed in my soul, “How could such a mighty man die?”  The Holy Spirit took me to these verses: 2 Kings 13:14, “Elisha had become sick with the illness of which he would die.”  Verse 21: “So it was, as they were burying a man, that suddenly they spied a band of raiders; and they put the man in the tomb of Elisha; and when the man was let down and touched the bones of Elisha, he revived and stood on his feet.”

What can kill a man whose bones raise the dead?  The answer is a broken heart.  Elisha was banned from prophesying for almost 40 years.  The counsel of God that burned within him used him up because it was rejected.

Dusty preached against the grain in a religious culture that valued size and fame.  He did it to his own hurt.  It shortened his life.

Dusty was a contradiction that increased his pain.  He loved people and didn’t want to lose anyone.  He also loved truth. At great personal cost, he would do what was right. 

He would constantly analyze things to death to be sure he was doing the right thing. This also shortened his life.  It was a constant source of frustration to me. I begged him more times than I can count  to stop doing this.

He was not a professional pastor.  He winged it with a singular desperation to do what he believed was right.

He sacrificed himself in his humor.  He could laugh at himself better than anyone I ever knew.

He tried to seem tough, but he was the quintessential softie.  Here is the last text we shared: Me- “I am in your office barking orders so your staff feels at home.”  Dusty-“Awesome! Thank you. Fire someone.”  You see, there it is…he is talking big about something he could never do without great inner anguish.

He was hard on himself but forgiving to others.  If there was a question about who was right, he would find a way to take the blame.

Did Dusty Kemp accomplish a lot with his life?  He would say no.  But he accomplished more that we could ever imagine.  You may not see it at first because our mega-church values only reward those who build empires.

dusty-shotHere’s the thing: the goal is not to engrave your name on monuments, grand buildings or sprawling campuses.  You are supposed to engrave your name on the hearts of people.  A man of God’s legacy is in the souls who were transformed, the minds that reverberate with your teachings and the stories people share about you.  By this measure my friend Dusty was a spectacular success.

That is why New Life Church will continue to thrive.  Mary Kemp will be graced with special power.  The church’s wonderful ministries will continue to excel.  I can’t wait to be a part of it.

Dusty Kemp was not just my friend.  He was a great man, a wonderful intellect, a great soul of matchless courage, one of the great men of the earth—and yet we have no right to bow down to his memory simply because he was great. Great orators, great soldiers and great lawyers often use their gifts for selfish reasons. We pay a tribute of love and respect to Dusty Kemp because he used his matchless power for the good of man and for the Glory of Christ.

PERMISSION TO TREAT THE WITNESS AS HOSTILE

cowboy blog

PERMISSION TO TREAT THE WITNESS AS HOSTILE

By Mario Murillo

I posted the article from TruNews entitled Why the Hillsong ‘Dancing Naked Cowboy’ Story Matters.  Now I want to speak for myself.

 

Permission to treat the witness as hostile

By Mario Murillo

I posted the article from TruNews entitled Why the Hillsong ‘Dancing Naked Cowboy’ Story Matters.  Now I want to speak for myself.

Someone says to a lawyer, “I have evidence that can convict the murderer.”  The attorney arranges it so that this witness can testify in court.  However, something happens when the witness actually takes the stand.  Suddenly they can’t remember, or they contradict earlier testimony.

Now instead of helping the case, they are damaging it.  To combat this damage the attorney can ask the judge for help.  The attorney asks the judge for permission to treat the witness as hostile.  This grants the lawyer power to ask leading questions.

Leading questions either suggest the answer (“You saw my client sign the contract, correct?”) or challenge (impeach) the witness’ testimony. As a rule, leading questions are generally only allowed during cross-examination, but a hostile witness is an exception to this rule.

I am treating the idea of doing a naked cowboy bit as a hostile witness.  I am saying it does more harm than good. How can I justify such a statement?!  It is a very good question.  I am doing it for the very same reason that any attorney would to save his client:

A church is a witness sent by God.  If in the process of calling themselves a church, they begin to damage the cause that they vowed to represent—if in their evolution they begin to be a witness for the other side—then they are indeed a hostile witness.

Rational ministers then have a right to ask leading questions.  Why is a church so long on art and so short on truth? What is the end game of a naked cowboy bit in a women’s conference?  I mean beyond getting attention?  Why are you having to do a press conference every few months to clear the air on some bizarre action by your staff?  So what if you get a big crowd…when do they become disciples and how do these antics turn a wicked culture to God?

To the thousands of pastors slugging it out—who have sacrificed to be a wall of fire against immorality this is a major slap in the face.  That is why I call them a hostile witness.  Furthermore, this emboldens the idea that shock-jock tactics are justified if you want a crowd.

I treat them as a hostile witness because this particular brand of compromise enforces a hideous lie. It is the lie that the Gospel is inherently unacceptable to the culture and therefore must be diluted, rebranded and packaged in a form that the world already likes. This lie has allowed us to win meaningless skirmishes while losing a generation.

And don’t try to tell me about your tolerance.  Just as liberals will drop the race card anytime someone says something valid against them so do these mega pastors drop the legalism card every time a decent question is raised, i.e. “you’re just being religious.”

If this blog only pointed out fault and offered no constructive alternative it would be as bad as the issue it raises.

There is plenty of fault on the other side of the church—the church that is content to spout trite condemnation to a sinning society.  God wants creative juices to flow in the church.  He wants a fresh approach that is compelling and anchored in Bible truth.  So what is the answer?

outreach

In the constant strain to find the right message preachers are mostly divided into two camps.

  1. Those who believe you should tell the people what they want to hear.
  2. Those who believe that you should tell the people what they need to hear.

Those in the “we tell people what they need to hear” often boast, “We are not into entertainment in our church.”   The dictionary defines entertainment as “holding an audience’s attention.”  Some pastors who claim not to “be into entertainment” do not know how right they are.

I believe that both of these positions lack something critical.  In fact, I believe that Jesus practiced something that transcended both of these positions: He told people what they needed to hear and made them want to hear it.

No one embodied this more than Dr. Billy Graham.  His messages were teeming with subjects that society did not want to hear and yet millions hung on his simple words and obeyed his clear appeal.

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Preaching is easy if you do not need to do it right.   Even entertaining preaching is a snap if you are willing to offer up your integrity on the altar of trends.   But the preaching that pierces the lies of your time and makes disciples out of fallen men asks a far greater price than most modern ministers may be willing to pay.

Here are some simple points about reaching the lost in these dark times.

  1. You will never reach a city that you cannot weep over. Tears over the plight of a community are essential to doing a great work in that community. Even if you somehow get a crowd through hard work and technique it will not be a deep or lasting impact without God given compassion.
  2. You can tell the truth without love but you cannot love without telling the truth. The real reason you never get around to calling sin, sin is that you do not love the audience enough. I know men so caught up in church growth that people are nothing but numbers to them.  They would rather hold on to them than help them.  Paul said in Acts 20: 20 “how I kept back nothing that was helpful, but proclaimed it to you, and taught you publicly and from house to house.”   The best preaching in the world has come from hearts that burned with love for their audience.
  3. There are no short cuts to becoming an effective communicator. God requires us to understand the laws of public speaking.

We would not give a second thought to a preacher wanting to know the laws of grammar.  Good grammar makes writing something you can read and retain.  Why wouldn’t we do the same thing for speaking an audience that we care about?

We can learn from Abraham Lincoln, Winston Churchill, and John Kennedy and yes Ronald Reagan. But having learned it we must—like Paul–subdue it to the fire of the Holy Ghost.

I am convinced that our overdependence on music is directly related to the minister’s lack of confidence in their preaching.

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  1. You must have a right relationship with the supernatural gifts of the Holy Spirit.

It is not our place to overrule God’s method to verify the Gospel.  He has chosen miracles, signs and wonders to do this.  For us to impede the gifts of the Spirit is to rob God of His chosen confirmation of truth.

Finding out how you will operate in miracle power is not as important as finding out that you must operate in miracle power.  Once you are convicted of its utter necessity, the means for you to express it will inevitably appear.

The supernatural power of God will deliver us from tricks and sad imitations of Broadway. We will never outdo Andrew Lloyd Webber but we can shine on a level the world cannot approach with the presence and glory of Jesus Himself.

The Pulpit commentary—not known for being Pentecostal says this—“And what we need, as the sustaining spirit of all work, is the conviction that Christ has given his Church power to heal and to cure diseases.”

YOUR GREATEST HOUR

 

Your greatest hourYour Greatest Hour

 The art of doing what people say can’t be done.

By Mario Murillo

This is the hour of darkness, violence and perplexity.  This is the hour that sneers at hope—ridicules faith—taunts righteousness, and abhors dreams and visions.  The bullhorn of evil is drowns out any call to a just cause or a holy endeavor. It screams to every vessel of God, “You can’t do it—compromise or quit!

Hell is belching out defeatism—a defeatism so complete that its victim—redefines their failure and it becomes success.  

The government calls food stamps, condoms, needles, and methadone salvation for the needy.  The real message is “your highest hope is to live out your days in government slavery.”

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-The White House calls acts of surrender to our enemies, diplomatic solutions.

-The thug culture tells urban youth turning tricks, dealing drugs and looting stores beats honest work.

-Political correctness says “keep saying that Islam is a religion of peace because it will keep Muslims from acts of violence.”

-Moral relativists say you can’t overcome perverse desires—therefore they are natural.

-Church growth models tell pastors it is a win—if you remove the Cross, Blood and hell from your sermons—to get a crowd.  This model indeed herded people into harmless meetings…but by distracting God’s people from revival it helped hasten the moral landslide of America.

Recent history proves compromise is unnecessary.  Between 1965 and 1985, 25 million Americans were converted to Christ.  Ministries like Billy Graham, Oral Roberts, Kathryn Kuhlman, Pat Robertson, and Jerry Faldwell had a combined television audience of 40 million people. The largest arenas and stadiums filled with hungry hearts yearning for a true encounter with God.  Those preachers shifted America toward morality.

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We are constantly being told what we can’t do. America can’t believe in God.  You can’t hold a marriage together.  Christians can’t live in victory.  Students in our Bible School hear that they can’t have miracles and the power of the Holy Spirit.   The list of things that are now impossible grows longer each day.

We hear faith-killing statements everyday: “the day for that is past.  People don’t want to hear it anymore.  There are no resources for that.  You are too young.  You are told old.  You are not educated.  You are overqualified.

Are you sick of hearing that you can’t do great and mighty things?  Does your gut tell you some awesome intervention of God can still happen?  This can also be your greatest hour—the hour you practice the art of doing what others say you cannot do.   Now learn the art!

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1Every visionary that ever lived did what others told them they could not do.   As dark and evil as today is—as daunting as the task may seem—many have faced impossible limits like this before.   In fact, the tortured culture of today was vividly described in this verse: “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.” –Daniel 11:32.   Here are two groups of people: 1.Those corrupted by flattery—seduced into believing that drunkenness and denial was natural.  2. Those that know God and do what their circumstances said they could not do.

This second group shakes off the despair, the religion and the threats of their time by knowing God.  This will take you to the next level.

2. Only you and God know what you can still do in this hour. No matter how many teachers you have, there is no substitute for your private relationship with Jesus.  He alone can tell you how to do the impossible.

Today, there is a core that is being pulled into an intimate knowledge of God.  He is drawing people to Himself—people who refuse to fear and be intimidated by what goes on around them.

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1 Samuel 30: 6 tells us, “Now David was greatly distressed, for the people spoke of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and his daughters. But David strengthened himself in the Lord his God.”

David knew what the circumstances said.  He could hear the death threats.  What he wanted to hear was the voice of the God he had so passionately loved and served.  His cry is—“I know what life is telling me but what do YOU say?   Even when your life lies at your feet like sputtering rubble—like David’s did, the choice to trust God—to be led by God remains.

God said to David in 1 Samuel 30 verse 8 “Pursue, for you shall surely overtake them and without fail recover all.”  This guidance violated all reason!  It opposed logic…it was what everyone would have told David he could not do.

3.You can know with absolute certainty God wants you to do—and when you know, you will become unstoppable. What are the threats of this time compared to God? Paul said, “If God be for us who can be against us.”   If God has spoken, how can your lack of resources matter?  How will He not provide?  If He says it is doable that settles it.

 

It is clear that the times we live in require wisdom and power that we can’t imagine.  The sheer sophistication of evil can overwhelm us.  Nevertheless there is no excuse to compromise.  No one has the right to tell God that reaching this generation is beyond the power of the Word of God.   We can do things to win America that people say we can’t do!

There are more ideas and tactics discovered with the help of the Bible—ideas that will reveal God’s will to the masses—push back the power of Satan—and do more good for this generation than all of the learning of philosophers and politicians combined.

There is unlimited authority and strength available through the Holy Spirit.  Do you really think He won’t show you what to do about your church, your career, your problems and your needs?  It for these matters that Jesus sent Him to us!

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4. Know when to start. When you know God, and you know what He wants you to do then you must start.  You must set the time.  You must take that first step to do what you know you are supposed to do.  He may only give you a first step…but when you take that step you will know what the next step is.

Finally: The greatest vessels of God appear in times of calamity and confusion. This day of trouble is your opportunity to be your best, to be more than you ever imagined you could be.

To do what others say you can’t do is the most eloquent act of defiance against fear: The moment you decide to stand, fight and build you will release the power of the Holy Spirit.  Unknown reserves of courage will well up within you!

Never forget that this will all soon be over:  In heaven, you will only regret what you did not leave on the field of battle.  It is the steps untaken, and the challenges avoided that will haunt you.

This will all soon be over.  The threat that seems so big now will look so puny there.   So let me ask you…what are you saving your courage for?  What are you withholding your talent, resources and dreams for?   Surely they are all for such a time as this.  This is your greatest hour—the hour that you did what others said you could not do.

 

Now I want to invite you to a convention that will help turn America around!

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We three voices agree.  A supernatural intervention unlike anything we have seen in history must come or America is finished.  The church in America has been struck by an iceberg.  Over one thousand preachers a month are leaving the ministry defeated by the open hostility of our culture and the draining effect of lukewarm believers.  We cannot go on this way.  We must rise and face the challenge of a godless America.

This convention will confront the threat against the American Church head on.  We have brushed aside all of the frills and distractions you may associate with religious conventions.  Our focus is for you to receive fresh fire and direction.

The Living Proof World Convention will be held at New Life Church   March 3- 4- 5 New Life Church 10800 Hammerly Blvd, Houston, TX 77043   church Phone (713) 932-1479  

DIRECT CONVENTION LINE:  (775) 432 1665

There is no registration fee for the convention but you must register.  Do not delay click the link below 

Click on the link below to register right now!

http://mariomurillo.org/living-proof-world-convention/

If you have any further questions please call us at  775 432 1665