WE DON’T START TILL SUNDAY AT 6 PM!

God has already started.  Never have I seen a meeting with this level of anticipation.  The wisdom of the location was utterly confirmed today. “What is this?”  Again, and again we got that question from passersby.  After Joshua Olmos answered one man, he said, I run a recovery home just blocks from here.  I am going to bring everyone in the home to this tent.”

Meanwhile our ringing phones tell another part of the story.  People are braving great distances to be at this meeting—flying in from thousands of miles away—believing for a miracle.

Univision and Spanish radio carry the message of this tent meeting to the Hispanic community.   Pastor Cesar Minera has thrown his considerable influence in the city behind Living Proof Reno.

THE CREW FROM INNER CITY ACTION STOCKTON LAYS OUT THE FLOOR.

This Sunday Morning, the powerful congregation at Spirit Filled Church with Pastor Roger Canary will let me deliver the final marching orders to the army of God.

Is this my last chance to invite you?  Our Living Proof tent crusade starts this Sunday September 23rd at 6PM and then 7PM Monday through Friday September 28th.   Are we expecting many to be saved and healed?  You better believe it!

But here’s the most urgent part of my message to you: Three things will decide the magnitude of this meeting:

1.Prayer: God has chosen to work when we ask. This is the foundation for everything. 

2. The personal invitation: Technology has changed but one thing remains constant…people come because you bring them.

3. Overcoming the myth of distance. I want to spend a extra time on this one. People carried their sick loved ones for days to get to Jesus.  They still do in underdeveloped countries.  Do you live near Reno? I mean within 150 miles.  What is 150 miles in a car when there is the possibility of a miracle?

Mark 6: 55 says, “they ran through that whole surrounding region and began to carry about on beds those who were sick to wherever they heard He was.” That last phrase says it all!

Under the tent, there will be wonderful music, powerful messages and surprises.  But, the greatest reason to bring people is because we know Jesus will be there.

P.S. All seats are free.  Remember, we’ll start at 6 PM on Sunday and at 7 PM Monday-Friday.  Let’s us pray for those you are bringing for healing or deliverance.  Call us at 775 238 3473   MM

BREAKING NEWS ABOUT RENO NEVADA

Today, Mechelle and I prayed with the mayor of Reno.  Cesar Minera who Pastors Word of Life in Reno organized a prayer caravan that encircled the city and culminated at city hall.  We were proud to be a part of  THE TRUCKEE MEADOWS PRAYER DAY.  This was not an event that we put on.  This event happens every year and we were honored to join hearts with the Body of Christ in Reno.

However, as you read this, local churches, outreach ministries, Inner City Action from Stockton, along with Mario Murillo Ministries, are combing the Reno/Sparks Nevada region.   We are in the homeless camps—not just with food and clothing but a powerful witness.  We are inviting the entire community.  You can already see our posters in store windows. We are handing out tens of thousands of cards.

Are the windows of heaven opening over Reno and Sparks Nevada?   A growing number of local leaders sense it.  There’s something special about this moment.  There are powerful indicators:  The region was bathed in prayer today—we saw unprecedented support and unity at our leader’s meeting August 4th—the city has given us a prime site in the heart of downtown Reno. 

Now let me talk to you about that prime site: It’s 700 Sutro Street. Our tent will be visible from interstate 80.  That means anyone who drives through Reno will see our tent.  Our tent will cover most of the lot, so the city has given us permission to use large parking lots that surround the site. FAVOR!

Teams of intercessors will be walking this sacred ground between now and the start of our Living Proof Crusade.  They will ask for signs and wonders to explode on the people.  They will ask that cars driving past will feel the tractor beam of God’s love, pull off the interstate and come in the tent.  Please agree with us for mighty miracles!

 

Here’s the most urgent part of my letter:  It is a fact of war that when armies are stymied, a breakthrough anywhere can turn the tide of the war.  Just the report of a decisive victory anywhere can ignite the morale of an entire army.

This means that even if you don’t live anywhere near Reno you need to pray fervently for this outreach.  It does not matter in which city the American Awakening starts.  Lord, just let it start!

Now I am talking to anyone who lives near the Reno/Sparks region.  Christians have evangelized for thousands of years.  In that time, knowledge and technology has exploded.  Yet, two forces remain omnipotent: prayer and the personal invitation.

I know, because I have won souls for over 50 years, starting at U.C. Berkeley and in the Bay Area.  Nothing will ever replace the power of prayer, and word of mouth.  I can’t stress this enough: pray and bring someone to the tent!

Mark 6: 55 says, “they ran through that whole surrounding region and began to carry about on beds those who were sick to wherever they heard He was.” That last phrase says it all!

Under the tent, there will be wonderful music, powerful messages and surprises.  But, the greatest reason to bring people is because we know Jesus will be there.

All seats are free.  Remember, we’ll start at 6 PM on Sunday and at 7 PM Monday-Friday.  Let’s us pray for those you are bringing for healing or deliverance.  Call us at 775 238 3473.   I can’t wait to see you at the tent and I can’t wait to tell our partners across America what is happening under the tent!  -Mario Murillo

P.S.  If you want to volunteer for any of the many opportunities to help us with this outreach please call us at 775 238 3473 or click here to contact us  mariomurillo.org

 

How we pray in this national crisis makes all the difference


The Bible shows us that supernatural evil can establish itself in a culture and open a floodgate of misery.  How these spirits can be confronted and driven back in prayer should be the study of every child of God.

All such prayer must begin with a revelation of the original . The crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ inflicted the greatest wound evil has ever known.  Today, we need evil to take another massive hit in America.  To do this we must realize that we are in a war, an invisible war.

The idea of an invisible war raging all around them paralyzes most Christians. Their daily life overwhelms them.  They are losing their health and their mind because of supernatural stress.  Yet, for all of this, they refuse to open their eyes to the war that is costing them dearly. But see it they must, or they will live out the rest of their days discouraged, helpless and exhausted.

Yes, it is chilling to realize that something supernatural hates you and those you love.  It is even more frightening to discover how much destruction to our nation is caused by these principalities and powers.

The Bible has methods for dealing with Satan’s agenda.  God yearns to reveal Himself as a mighty warrior on behalf of those who will take the time to become armed and dangerous.  But instead of heeding the cry of the Holy Spirit most believers are content to live in dread, defeat, and confusion.

The evil one of course, loves it this way.  He wants you to live on the defensive.  He wants you reacting instead of acting.  He wants you to feel that darkness is inevitable and that the works of vile men cannot be reversed.  In fact, the wicked one wants you to believe that the overpowering demands of your everyday life are so great that you cannot even consider being a warrior in the larger battle for the soul of a nation.  How better to dismantle America than to prevent the army of God from ever entering the theater of battle?

Let me speak plainly.  Have you had enough?  Are you ready to reopen the Bible and apply its message of supernatural victory to your life?

He is Risen

You road map to victory begins by asking the right question.

1. What is God’s will for me as a warrior?  We must answer the bigger questions but this one comes first.  The Bible tells you that your FATHER wants you strong, securing the thoughts and emotions in your mind to force them to submit to truth.  Confess that your father wants to make you mighty through training for and living in a culture of victory forged by habitual breakthroughs in battle.

Ephesians 6:10-13 says, “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

You must settle the question of your victory in this war.  Yes, you must fight but you are designed for triumph in battle.  Admit that the evil one has had the upper hand because of your ignorance of the Word of God and the heart of God, and that you are done with this ignorance once and for all.

That you may not yet know how to fight does not matter at this point.  You may not yet have your emotions under control.  What you need now is to know beyond knowing that God your Father has assured you inward and outward victory.

GodBlessAmerica

2. Now you must take your stand.  “Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace;  above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”  – Ephesians 6: 14-17

This is your personal declaration of war.  Some balk at this because the idea that they are challenging Satan awakens fear.  “If I announce my opposition to Satan I open myself up to attack.”  This is a huge misnomer.  You are already under attack.  The only difference now is that you are fighting back.

It is a disastrous myth to think that if you leave Satan alone that he will leave you alone.  As I have said before, that is like believing that the bull will not charge because you are a vegetarian.

Since you are going to be attacked anyway, you must learn how to return fire.  Nothing matches prayer for retaliation against Satan.

3.  Now we must begin praying prayers that get through and prevail. The truth that God has limited some of His activity to our prayers is a great mystery.  However, we do not have the luxury of waiting until we unravel this mystery before we avail ourselves of the great privilege of prevailing prayer.

When Jesus taught us that we need to pray, “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven,” the clear message is that God waits for us to enforce the victory He won on the Cross.   Simply put, heaven comes to earth in pieces, in segments as the product of fervent prayer.   We are commissioned, empowered and trained to take high value ground that was once the unchallenged property of Satan.

It is urgent that you see why that after Paul told us to be strong and to put on all of the armor in Ephesians 6, he concludes his admonition with verse18: “praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints.”

Prayer and prevailing prayer can look the same but they are completely different.  You may have been praying and then settling for something that is not the will of God.  The angel told Daniel, Do not be afraid, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart on understanding this and on humbling yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to your words. 13 But the prince of the kingdom of Persia was withstanding me for twenty-one days; then behold, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, for I had been left there with the kings of Persia.” -Daniel 10:12, 13.

Whatever it takes: The modern spoon-fed believer cannot imagine warring 21 minutes let alone 21 days.  Yet, it is this tenacity in intercession that changes the world.  You pray fervently, utterly and without regard to time or personal sacrifice because your marriage, your children, grandchildren and the miracles that yearn to come are worth it!

gwprayingvalleyforge2

Consider that Daniel did not have the great intercessor Jesus at the right hand of God.  The victory of Calvary was still a future event and its eternal benefits were not yet in place.  How much more then should we feel bolder in prayer than Daniel!

First you counterpunch the attacks in your soul.  Then you take on the attacks on your loved ones.  You enlarge your retaliation to envelope health, finances, taxes, enemies, and your entire daily grind.

With each victory comes a deeper resolve.  You exhale knowing you are finally on the offensive driving back devils that you once tolerated for reasons you cannot even remember.  The days of dread are in your rear view mirror.

Yes, you will be attacked again but now instead of dread you welcome the opportunity to exercise your new found boldness in prayer and to see the new kinds of intervention that the Holy Spirit will unfold.

4. Now you have earned the right to call America back to God through prayer!  You can ask questions you never asked before. Arthur Matthews said, “Questions again flood our minds.  How do these spirit powers exert their influence in society?  Where do they get in?  Is there a distinctive modus operandi that would help us identify them?  What can or what should we be doing to control and prevent their intrusion?”

Here is a historical fact that should deeply sober every American Christian: Israel lost the knowledge of God in one generation.  Judges 2:10,11 says, “When all that generation had been gathered to their fathers, another generation arose after them who did not know the Lord nor the work which He had done for Israel. Then the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord, and served the Baals.”

America is repeating this process.  Our government is guilty of outright war on the things that made America great.  Dr. Benjamin Carson, the director of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital “Let’s say somebody were [in the White House] and they wanted to destroy this nation, I would create division among the people, encourage a culture of ridicule for basic morality and the principles that made and sustained the country, undermine the financial stability of the nation, and weaken and destroy the military. It appears coincidentally that those are the very things that are happening right now.”

Satan has saved his very best lie for God’s remnant. Remember that Jesus said “to deceive, if possible, even the elect.”  Satan is plying a special lie on the elect of God!  Satan is even imitating the voice of the Holy Spirit to tell this lie!  He is doing this because this remnant is the final firewall stopping his agenda for America.

In a nutshell, here is the deceiving message from the devil to the righteous core:  “The best days of the Church are behind you.  God must judge America to allow the return of Christ. God cannot do it again because He does not want to. The bottom line of this lie is the times are too hard, the task is too great and we are too small.”

I have heard from sources I trust that our government has dreadful plans to overrule the Constitution and come after our freedoms.  What do we do with this information?  The saints in Damascus heard Saul of Tarsus was coming with authority from the government to arrest and execute Christians.

Those believers could have cited end time prophecy to justify running and hiding but instead they took their stand.  They set themselves to fervent prayer and unleashed heaven on the situation.  A light blasts Saul off of his horse ending the threat.  As a bonus to this victory, the Church gets a new Apostle named Paul.

In this hour, our revival prayer must be mingled with two seemingly opposing attitudes:  An utter desperation that admits that God must do it again, and a violent confidence that God will do it again!

 

Pitting the Bible and the Holy Spirit against each other

Satan seduced many into separating the Holy Spirit and the Bible—pitting them against each other.  The Bible not only predicted this deception—it exposed the motive behind it.

2 Timothy 4:3 says “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers…”  What they can’t endure is the Bible.  They drop the God card to fulfill their lusts and blame the Holy Spirit.

The drinking, the carousing, and the blatant new age preaching, did not creep into the church overnight.  It insinuated itself slowly, quietly and under the cover of good intentions.

It began in small doses.  One preacher said, “Why do we trust a book they didn’t have more than the Spirit they did have?”  Another preacher said, “we’re not supposed to worship a book.”

They will tell you they are trusting in the voice of the Spirit more than a book.  What they are really hearing is their own voice…or worse.  They don’t deny the inerrancy of scripture; they simply claim direct revelation from God that’s equal to the Bible.

Bible study has become passé.  Many seek constant prophetic words.  They trust these words without comparing them against scripture.

The Holy Spirit has become on demand.  You’ve all seen the Facebook ads where “prophets” will give you a daily word from the Lord.  Some even charge money to give you a prophetic word. 

A young revivalist claimed to get more from “an angel” than from the Bible.  He even wrote on his website, “I have had experiences in the Spirit that cannot be explained by the Bible.”  Not long after this, he left his wife and children for his secretary.  He is still in ministry defending his experience.

People blame all kinds of things on “leadings of the Holy Spirit.” “The Spirit told me I can leave my husband and children because He wants me to be happy.”  “You may not like the way I dress, but the Holy Spirit does.”  One preacher even compared the Spirit to marijuana and said, “I am toking the Ghost.”

Here’s a typical conversation with one of these:

“I am not just forgiven of the sins I have committed, and I am also forgiven in advance of the ones I will commit.  Therefore, I never need to repent or confess my sin.”

“That’s crazy, 1 John 1:8 says, ‘If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.’”

“Oh, well that was not written to Christians.”

“No Bible scholar believes that.  In any case, that means the Apostle John wasn’t a Christian because he said “if we.”
You can’t prove that.  Where did you get it?”

“It was revealed to me by the Spirit.”

Addiction to alcohol, drugs, pornography and a host of other vices overtake believers because the natural protection of the Bible is erased.  Psalm 119:11 says, “Your word I have hidden in my heart, That I might not sin against You.”

Why am I condemning all of this?  Because the Bible commands me to do so:  2 Corinthians 4: 2 says, “But we have renounced the hidden things of shame, not walking in craftiness nor handling the word of God deceitfully, but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.”

Tuning out the Bible to hear the Spirit has flooded the church with the most carnal and self-centered believers ever.  To reject the Bible while seeking a word from God is to toy with witchcraft. 

The Holy Spirit and the Bible exist in unbreakable agreement.  The Spirit will take you to the Bible, and the Bible will take you to the Holy Spirit.

One of the prime purposes of the Holy Spirit is to help us understand and remember the Bible.  “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.” – John 14:26

You can be sure that if you are not regularly reading the Bible, God will avoid speaking to you through prophecy.  To do so creates a dangerous habit.  Without a biblical foundation, you will have no way to judge prophetic words.

The superiority the Bible over the prophetic is clearly shown by the fact we are told to judge prophecy but never to judge scripture.  2 Timothy 3:16 “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness…”

Daily Bible study is a hallmark of those who seek truth.  Acts 17: 11 “Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.”  True revival is always Bible based.  True preaching will quote scripture liberally. 

We are at a crucial point.  If the Body doesn’t repent of this foolishness, America is sunk.  That is no longer the mindless wrangling of doomsday prophets…it’s a clear reality.

However, there is great hope.  The combination of the Word of God revealed by the Holy Spirit will more than match today’s wickedness.  God not knew the insanity of today was coming—He took steps to prepare a special relationship, that would produce special powers for His children.

But, if even a small remnant repent, gets back in the Word, and obeys the Holy Spirit, He will build an army and it can prevail.   1 Samuel 14: 6 promises this: “Then Jonathan said to the young man who bore his armor, “Come, let us go over to the garrison of these uncircumcised; it may be that the Lord will work for us. For nothing restrains the Lord from saving by many or by few.”

SOME FOR HONOR AND SOME FOR DISHONOR

Former president Obama’s defenders say his failure to salute the soldiers was an oversight—that it’s unfair to judge.  However, the dishonor he felt toward our men and women in uniform showed through many times during his presidency.  This isn’t a photo of a distracted president.  It’s a snapshot of his heart recorded for all time.

President Trump by contrast, goes out of his way to honor our soldiers.  Nothing can distract him from saluting our brave men and women.  President Trump understands honor.  Memorial Day is all about honor.

Look at the two pictures again: Obama strides past two men who earned the right to be honor guards through years of excellent service.  They are being ignored by a man who essentially leap-frogged from community organizer to president.  On the other hand, Trump—a captain of industry for decades—is humbled to be saluted by these men of valor.

It has been said that only two forces have ever offered to die for you: Jesus Christ and the American soldier.  Let that settle into your spirit.

Jesus Himself knew the kind of character and faith military service could create:

Luke 7:1 “Now when He concluded all His sayings in the hearing of the people, He entered Capernaum. 2 And a certain centurion’s servant, who was dear to him, was sick and ready to die. 3 So when he heard about Jesus, he sent elders of the Jews to Him, pleading with Him to come and heal his servant. 4 And when they came to Jesus, they begged Him earnestly, saying that the one for whom He should do this was deserving, 5  ‘for he loves our nation, and has built us a synagogue.’

6 Then Jesus went with them. And when He was already not far from the house, the centurion sent friends to Him, saying to Him, “

‘Lord, do not trouble Yourself, for I am not worthy that You should enter under my roof. 7 Therefore I did not even think myself worthy to come to You. But say the word, and my servant will be healed. 8 For I also am a man placed under authority, having soldiers under me. And I say to one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes; and to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.’

9 When Jesus heard these things, He marveled at him, and turned around and said to the crowd that followed Him, ‘I say to you, I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel!’ 10 And those who were sent, returning to the house, found the servant well who had been sick.”

Let’s be haunted today by the images of moms separated from young children—of men serving in dark and foreboding forward positions with only dreams of home—of wounded warriors returning home to fight a lifelong battle with their injuries—and most of all, remember those who gave the ultimate sacrifice and never saw home again.

If there’s not a lump in your throat or a tear in your eye when you think about the sacrifices made for us, then God help you.  On the other hand, if today, God blesses you to thank a soldier or visit the grave of a fallen hero to give honor, be grateful.  Romans 13:7  “…and give honor and respect to all those to whom it is due.” Amen.

 

THE MESSAGE BEHIND THE SHIRT

Look at message on the shirt.  Is it an offensive in your face message?  No, it is a desperately needed in your heart message.  So, before you judge, get the message behind the shirt.
Let’s begin by understanding something about Satan.  He fears. He fears things deeply.  In fact, his fears are far deeper than yours will ever be.  He fears many things.
Near the top of his list of fears is this one: He fears the genuine Christian.  He understands how contagious a real believer—free of both anger and sin—can be to a generation.  People feel things around such a person.  People find themselves wanting whatever a true believer carries.
I wrote a book entitled I am the Christian the Devil warned you about.  I’ll admit it is not my best effort.  Parts of it make me wince.  But just because I didn’t do a masterful job on the story, doesn’t mean the message isn’t important.
Anyway, in the book there is an encounter with Satan right in his lair.   The protagonist, Daniel is invisible to Satan (Daniel doesn’t know why).  He hears Satan betray one of his greatest fears.  (Before you peruse an early attempt at writing, remember kindness is one the fruits of the Spirit.)
“How can I describe to you the strange sense of destiny I felt? To know that I was standing before the elite of hell, Hearing, their plans, sensing their fears, and yet be totally hidden from their view? I listened with intense anticipation to what Satan would admit next.
‘One authentic Christian,’ he wailed, ‘in which Christ works without resistance is all that it would take to disrupt everything.’ The Father of Lies contorted as if he was having a momentary seizure.  His minions reeled for they had never heard him concede to saying the name of the Lord.
Lucifer continued, ‘One true Christian, rightly fitted for war, will be the ruin of us. Listen, you banal beasts, if just one could read and discover how to ask and then receive, if just one would embrace their potential . . . but most of all if just one were to discover the One who is ever with them to make them strong, wise, and miraculous, then . . .’ At the mention of God’s Spirit, the entire company involuntarily dropped and ducked for cover…”
For this reason, Satan uses most of his energy to create imbalance.  If enough Christians are created and stay in their natural state, revival is inevitable.  Satan understands that revival is a weapon of mass conversion.
As the master of extremes, he’ll make things important to churches that are utterly trivial.  He makes leaders jealous of each other, so they’ll lose their first love—love that would compel the unchurched to be saved.  He sends great temptation to visible Christians, so they will fall and be called hypocrites.  I could go on and on.
If discrediting the Bible is his top priority preventing real Christians is next.  What do people who fear do a lot of?  They lie, and they gossip.  Gossip is rooted in fear and jealously.
A real Christian reminds Satan of the two things that cause him the most agony:  The fellowship he lost and the judgement he is about to gain.
At this moment Satan is broadcasting a global subliminal message: Watch out for the real Christian—the loving Christian—the joyous and holy Christian.  If you wish to stay an atheist—if you wish to remain addicted, miserable and empty…don’t go near one of these.
We aren’t slamming anyone but Satan.  So, we say with a smile and a heart full of love.  You know that Christian that Satan told you to avoid?  That would be me.

 

Join us for our 4th Annual Living Proof World Convention.  
Our 4th annual Living Proof World Convention.  March 8-11 Faith Life Center Ontario CA  (Eastvale)You are going to a convention or conference this year.  Why not choose the one that will change your life?  Those who have been there don’t need to be convinced.  They would tell you.  My 3 guests are in my opinion the emerging voices of revival. Click on the Link to register now.  It’s free but you must register Click below to get your free tickets to this convention.  

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/living-proof-world-convention-tickets-36123306783

THE NUMBER ONE CRISIS IN THE AMERICAN CHURCH

It threatens the church more than drugs, pornography, Islamic terror, fake news or any impending world calamity.  It is the number one crisis in the American Church.

Left unchecked, it can’t be overstated how much damage it will do.  Yet, as dangerous as it is—and this is the maddening part—it is utterly curable, and preventable.   Tragically, we may not have the heart or the stomach to solve this crisis.

So, who, or what is the culprit?  Let me ask you: Who is using up vital resources? Who is driving pastors into deadly compromise—or out of the ministry entirely?  Who is responsible for shutting down, derailing, and destroying the things that matter to the Christian faith?  The answer is painful…are you even sure you want to know?

The villain is a monster of our own making.  University professors may have invented the easily triggered, woefully self-righteous, self-centered, quivering in their safe place, snow flake.

We have concocted something much worse.  We created the Low Impact-High Maintenance Believer or LIHMB.  They are a monstrosity of the church growth—by any means necessary—movement.  They have created the perfect storm.

How do I explain them to you? Think of the intensive care unit.  There is a tube up the nose.  There is an I.V. in the arm pumping fluid, or painkillers.  There is a heart monitor, and a breathing machine.  They all serve the same purpose.  They keep the patient alive…artificially.  Many church programs today do that.

The difference between hospital and church care is machines in the hospital are for those who can’t do for themselves…in the church, they are for those who won’t do for themselves. 

They are why money for soul winning and giving to the poor is (pardon my pun) going down the tubes.  They consume all available staff and resources.

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

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

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

They can’t handle life.  They can’t fathom self-denial.  They hold preachers hostage to programs that consume—sermons they hate preaching, and shallow audiences.

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

Daniel 11:32 says, “the people who know their God will be strong and carry out great exploits.”  The LIHMB version should read, “the people who think they know God will be weak and carry out nothing.”  Actually the Bible does say, “Having a form of Godliness but denying the power thereof.”  -2 Timothy 3:5

Like I said, the answer is so simple it is maddening.   Dear leader: 

1. REPENT!  Drain the swamp.  Clear your heart of toxic ambition and carnal goals.

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

3. Expect! Expect many to leave.  Expect the presence of God to return.  Expect a whole new crop of true disciples to arrive ready to serve.  Expect turn away crowds coming early for the right reasons.  Expect them to stay and grow.

Is it true that the pure Gospel anointed by the Holy Spirit can’t grow a church today without gimmicks?   To the tens of millions of Pentecostals in emerging nations who regularly see miracles, and multitudes saved, and filled with the Holy Spirit…that is a silly lie.

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

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

The Church offers the most irresistible attraction of the universe:  Jesus Himself!  Phillip Schaff said: “This Jesus of Nazareth, without money and arms, conquered more millions than Alexander, Caesar, Mohammed and Napoleon; without science and learning, He shed more light on things human and divine than all philosophers and scholars combined; without the eloquence of schools, He spoke such words of life as were never spoken before or since, and produced effects which lie beyond the reach of orator or poet; without writing a single line, He set more pens in motion, and furnished themes for more sermons, orations, discussions, learned volumes, works of art and songs of praise than the whole army of great men of ancient and modern times.”  Amen.