THE LIFE AND DEATH QUESTION

I remember when a wise man of God told me, “Answer the question that wasn’t asked.” Example: when Jesus told His disciples that Jerusalem would be utterly destroyed and not one stone would be left upon another, the disciples reacted by asking Him when this would happen. Instead, of answering that question, He answered the question they should have asked, “Take heed that you be not deceived.” The question they should have asked was, “What is the most important thing we should to be ready?”

What question should pastors and the American church be asking right now about the coronavirus?

700 preachers recently participated in a conference-call with Trump and Pence, yet none of them asked the one question they should have asked.

The twelve disciples wanted to know the date of the destruction of Jerusalem, so they could make arrangements. That was their deception. And most pastors just want to know the date when they can reopen their church. That is our deception.

So, what was the question these preachers should have asked the President?

What is that question? That question is, “Why haven’t we repented?”

When it comes to repentance, the American church’s message is as garbled and discombobulated as a Joe Biden speech.

Shame on those who dare to invoke 2 Chronicles 7:14, while blatantly violating the conditions of that sacred text!

“If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”

God says, “My people who are called by My name.” But we are ashamed to be called by His name! Modern preaching made us ashamed of being called by His Name! Christian pastors and singers waffled in T.V. interviews about homosexuality, abortion, the existence of hell, and Jesus being the only way to God.  Denying Biblical truth is even worse that denying His name. Psalm 138:2 says “…For You have magnified Your word above all Your Name.”

Have we humbled ourselves? Many are giddy, many are making light of this pandemic, and others glibly assure us that ‘we will all get through this.’ It is only because the deaths that have occurred have not happened to anyone you personally know and love that you are able to view it from a distance and remain aloof. Because the level of intrusion and financial devastation hasn’t quite struck you personally, you can still act like a spectator.

We as believers are not sober. We are not praying for mercy. We are praying prayers that expose our immaturity, ignorance, and arrogance.

Have we turned from our wicked ways? Talk about arrogance!  Nothing is more arrogant than the way preachers hurdled right over the part about ‘turning from our wicked ways,’ and went straight to asking God to ‘heal our land.’

Social media overflows with singers and preachers who offer advice, devotions, and prophecies that downplay, and even belittle, repentance.

Even when we called a big-time fast, the focus was about stopping the virus, not repenting as a nation. We should be fasting with sorrow over the way ‘church incorporated’ has grieved the Holy Spirit. How we abolished soul-winning. How we created low-impact/high-maintenance converts who drain the church’s resources and produce nothing, instead of training warrior-disciples.

Keeping people calm is important. Inspiring people to make the best of this is important. But national repentance is life and death. Anyone who is guaranteeing you that it can’t get worse for America is deluded. Jesus told the crippled man He healed at the Pool of Bethesda in John 5:14b, “Behold, you have been made well. Sin no more, lest a worse thing come upon you.”

Funny, but those who need it the least are the ones who are interceding and repenting the most. They are letting the searchlight of God give them truth in the inward parts. For them there is a new day. Pastors who are in this company of saints will see glory rise upon their ministry. Protection, blessing and healing is reserved for this remnant. I can’t say it any more simply or clearly than Isaiah.

“Say to the righteous that it shall be well with them, for they shall eat the fruit of their deeds. Woe to the wicked! It shall be ill with them, for what their hands have done shall be done to them.”    (Isaiah 3:10-11)

 

 

 

P.S. I want to thank my good friend Tony Scott Pastor, author, and revivalist for inspiring this blog on repentance. He called me on the phone and fired me up with this insight. He pastors a vibrant end time congregation:  theChurch in Maumee Ohio near Toledo.  https://atthechurch.tv/

 

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I’M NOT SAYING THIS… SCIENCE IS.

I was falsely accused of saying God was banning alcohol.  What I said was, “I am convinced God is calling those who would be excellent, and powerful in the Spirit, to stop drinking alcohol…including beer.”  I never said the Bible banned drinking.

But now—because of science–this has become is a health issue.  There is no safe level of alcohol consumption.

A large new global study published in the Lancet has confirmed previous research which has shown that there is no safe level of alcohol consumption.

The researchers admit moderate drinking may protect against heart disease but found that the risk of cancer and other diseases outweighs these protections.

A study author said its findings were the most significant to date because of the range of factors considered.

How risky is moderate drinking?

The Global Burden of Disease study looked at levels of alcohol use and its health effects in 195 countries, including the UK, between 1990 and 2016.

Analyzing data from 15 to 95-year-olds, the researchers compared people who did not drink at all with those who had one alcoholic drink a day.

They found that out of 100,000 non-drinkers, 914 would develop an alcohol-related health problem such as cancer or suffer an injury.

But an extra four people would be affected if they drank one alcoholic drink a day.

For people who had two alcoholic drinks a day, 63 more developed a condition within a year and for those who consumed five drinks every day, there was an increase of 338 people, who developed a health problem.

One of the study authors, Prof Sonia Saxena, a researcher at Imperial College London and a practicing GP, said: “One drink a day does represent a small increased risk, but adjust that to the UK population as a whole and it represents a far bigger number, and most people are not drinking just one drink a day.”

 

A glass of red wine a day is not healthy, say researchers

The lead author of the study Dr Max Griswold, at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME), University of Washington, said: “Previous studies have found a protective effect of alcohol on some conditions, but we found that the combined health risks associated with alcohol increases with any amount of alcohol.

“The strong association between alcohol consumption and the risk of cancer, injuries, and infectious diseases offset the protective effects for heart disease in our study.”

There’s more:

Professor David Nutt  wrote:

The myth of a safe level of drinking is a powerful claim. It is one that many health professionals appear to believe in and that the alcohol industry uses to defend its strategy of making the drug readily available at low prices.  However, the claim is wrong and the supporting evidence flawed.

There is no safe dose of alcohol for these reasons:

Alcohol is a toxin that kills cells such as microorganisms, which is why we use it to preserve food and sterilize skin, needles etc.  Alcohol kills humans too. A dose only four times as high as the amount that would make blood levels exceed drink-driving limits in the UK can kill. The toxicity of alcohol is worsened because in order for it to be cleared from the body it has to be metabolised to acetaldehyde, an even more toxic substance. Any food or drink contaminated with the amount of acetaldehyde that a unit of alcohol produces would be immediately banned as having an unacceptable health risk.

Although most people do not become addicted to alcohol on their first drink, a small proportion do.  As a clinical psychiatrist who has worked with alcoholics for more than 30 years, I have seen many people who have experienced a strong liking of alcohol from their very first exposure and then gone on to become addicted to it. We cannot at present predict who these people will be, so any exposure to alcohol runs the risk of producing addiction in some users.

The supposed cardiovascular benefits of a low level of alcohol intake in some middle-aged men cannot be taken as proof that alcohol is beneficial. To do that one would need a randomized trial where part of this group drink no alcohol, others drink in small amounts and others more heavily. Until this experiment has been done we don’t have proof that alcohol has health benefits. A recent example of where an epidemiological association was found not to be true when tested properly was hormone replacement therapy. Population observations suggested that HRT was beneficial for post-menopausal women, but when controlled trials were conducted it was found to cause more harm than good.

For all other diseases associated with alcohol there is no evidence of any benefit of low alcohol intake – the risks of accidents, cancer, ulcers etc rise inexorably with intake.

Hopefully these observations will help bring some honesty to the debate about alcohol, which kills up to 40,000 people a year in the UK and over 2.25 million worldwide in the latest 2011 WHO report.

We must not allow apologists for this toxic industry to pull the wool over our eyes with their myth of a safe alcohol dose, however appealing it might be to all us so-called “safe” drinkers. Remember these words of a man whose great family wealth and influence was built on illegal alcohol:

“The great enemy of the truth, is very often not the lie – deliberate, contrived and dishonest – but the myth – persistent, persuasive and unrealistic. Belief in myths allows the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought.” John F Kennedy

David Nutt is professor of neuropsychopharmacology at Imperial College London and chairs the Independent Scientific Committee on Drugs.

In conclusion:

I wrote the article about Christian leaders who drink long before this recent, large scale study confirmed there is no safe level of alcohol consumption.   It’s longer a debate about whether the Bible bans wine…it’s a health issue.  Now I know why the Holy Spirit led me to raise the issue.  What you do with this information is between you and God.  Remember, I’m not saying this science is.