MIRACLES WILL NOW APPEAR IN MAINSTREAM AMERICA

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MIRACLES WILL NOW APPEAR IN MAINSTREAM AMERICA

By Mario Murillo

Dear Reader,

Doctors will be amazed. Churches will be revolutionized. We will see the dead raised and the miraculous multiplication of food. Millions will experience wonder. But it is not all good news.

Here are the three reasons that miracles are coming that I was given by the Holy Spirit.

1.It is time because the Bible has been rejected. Outpourings of the Holy Spirit and clusters of miracles occur like weather patterns. Jesus said, “When it is evening you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red’;  and in the morning, ‘It will be foul weather today, for the sky is red and threatening.’ Hypocrites! You know how to discern the face of the sky, but you cannot discern the signs of the times.  -Matthew 16:2,3.

The Bible which was a guiding force throughout our history has been set aside as a myth.  It has never been like this before.  Never have we seen such a wholesale rejection of the Word of God like this.  Psalm 119:126 says, “It is time for You to act oh God for they have nullified Your Word.”  We are now a nation without a Bible.   It is been evicted from our halls of government, schools, and even church.  It is time for God to act…and He will.insert one

America is now the foreign mission field.  The Holy Spirit will now work to confirm the Word with signs following. The miracles, healings, and supernatural signs have been a regular part of outreach in Africa, Asia and Latin America will now appear in America.  Resurrections, multiplication of food, angelic visitations    

2.It is time because judgment must begin at house of God. When these miracles come it will not be an endorsement of the current church. In fact, I believe that God is displeased with the overwhelming majority of what we call church in America.    

These signs and wonders will bring judgment.  They will divide churches.  They will expose sin.  They will even bring death.  Remember, Ananias and Sapphira were killed by the Holy Spirit not simply for stealing money, but for doing it in a time of miracles.

The double lives of carnal pastors will come to light.   The sickly grace message that has believers sleeping around and getting drunk will be plowed under by the true fire of God.  Evangelists who operate in false gifts by the power of familiar spirits will be exposed as fakes in front of their audiences.

Judgment indeed will begin at the house of God but it will not end there.  Look for public officials, celebrities and anti-God voices to be suddenly removed.

3.It is time because America is on the brink of destruction.  Mideast Israel ElectionThe White House is demonstrating breathtaking stupidity by betraying Israel.  Israel, to its eternal credit, rejected the stupidity of the White House and placed its fate into the hands of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jesus.

There is no doubt that America has crossed a deadline.  The White House is guilty of the most blatant animosity toward the things of God that we have seen in American history.

The executive branch of our government is literally shaking its fist at God and daring Him to intervene.  If God does not act now there will be no America.  But there will be a World War Three.

There is radical, remnant core who have not bowed their knee to Baal.  There is a growing army who have discarded dead religion, repented of a prayless life and will obey the voice of God.  They are the rightful heirs of a new anointing that will shatter the darkness.  They will flow in true gifts of power and speak only the counsel of God!

I believe that these miracles, signs and wonders will be upon us within a few weeks.  But never forget that this is sobering news…God is giving America one more chance.

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WHY THIS IS MY FINAL DAILY BLOG

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WHY THIS IS MY FINAL DAILY BLOG

By Mario Murillo

Here is the news:  I am ending my daily blogging but will still write one blog a week.  That blog will be posted on Thursday mornings.

Why the change?  I look back and I honestly do not know how I did it.   Can you imagine trying to post a new blog every day for 3 years on a busy schedule?    And it’s not like the interest in the blog is waning.  We had nearly 50,000 people read the blog in the last 28 days!

Here are the reasons that I am ending the daily blog.

Living Proof Reno Slide

1.We will launch our Living Proof Crusades at our World Convention in Reno on March 30 and 31, 2015. My schedule of crusades after that will make it impossible to post a daily blog.  Prayer will be the biggest reason I cannot blog every day.   The increased focus on winning the lost and healing the sick will summon me to expanded and intensified intercession.

Good Friday Miracle Rally

2.We are reopening the ARC in Martinez, California on Good Friday April 3. This is an outreach center to the San Francisco Area that will also be a studio to live stream Living Proof to the World. We need to keep a footprint in this bastion of liberalism and godlessness.   This is a God event center that is getting a dramatic makeover.

3. I hate my writing. I cringe at what happens when you write on the fly.  Hopefully I will be able to write better if I have time to look at it more than once.  I cannot promise you Pulitzer Prize winning prose but at least I will be able to edit my writing.

4. To expose the evil in our government and in false religion requires more focus. Do not think for a moment that I am backing down from exposing the spirit of Antichrist where I see it. I backed off of Obama in order to train my guns on other notable targets.  I am going from machine gunner to sniper and that means I must pick my targets with care.

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5.The blogs need to provide positive solutions. America is not hopeless.  We have not lost the battle.  As I said to you in the blog about Hillary, the real question is not whether America can be saved, but rather how we can think that this great nation that has shared Christ with the world for centuries, that has even rebuilt the nations who warred against us, and who has defended Israel, will not be visited by a special miracle at this time.  I pity the fool who believes that they can take down this nation without a furious fight from God himself. 

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This blog needs to chronicle the acts of God as they unfold.  We can reverse the damage of Obama, Islam, atheism and false Christianity. 

It has indeed been an amazing run but I would not be surprised if we end up with a greater impact with one blog a week than 7 blogs a week.   I am humbled that over a million people have read the blog and I am excited about the future of this blog.   Thank you for making this an amazing tool.

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Ground Zero Churches: The Church America Needs Right Now.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Part two: Kirsten Powers, Isaiah the Prophet, and the Glory of God.

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Here is the burning question:  Can the mega church save America?  I am not asking if you think they are successful.  I am asking… do you believe that the rising tide of anti-God, pro-perversion forces that are propelling the nation to oblivion can be reversed by mega churches.

I am positive that even the most famous of seeker pastors would not dare say that their approach is going to result in an American moral awakening…the one and only thing we need now.

Those who blindly hold to the seeker model may be our version of the “Warmists.”   Global warming is such a tenuous theory that they had to rebrand it “climate change.”  In spite of the coldest winter in Chicago’s history they cling to their religion and stick to their guns.   Even playing the ultimate mental goobly gook by saying, “these occasional cold spells are caused by warming.”

Our version of global warming goes like this:  We are facing a spiritual ice age but the problem is actually heat…heat that was caused by hot Bible preaching, revivalism, fervent prayer and repentance.  The solution to the coldness of America is to remove even more heat from the church?query_letter

So what is the answer for the American church?  For some, it is simply “at all cost, keep the lie alive.”  To consider the urgency of revival can lead to the most dangerous of all questions: what is the point of any church program that has zero chance of waking America up?

This is why the conversion of Kirsten Powers matters.   The seeker manifesto orders us to expect conversions that are gradual, comfortable and noninvasive.  Read in her own words how her experience is the polar opposite:

“then one night on a trip to Taiwan I woke up in what I felt like a strange cross between a dream and reality Jesus came to me he said here I am it felt so real I didn’t know what to make of it I called my boyfriend but before I had time to tell him about it he told me he had been praying the night before and felt we were supposed to break up. So we did. I honestly while I was upset I was more traumatized by Jesus visiting me I tried to write off the experience as misfiring synapses but I couldn’t shake it when I returned to New York a few days later I will cost I suddenly felt God everywhere and it was terrifying more important it was unwelcome it felt like an invasion I started to fear I was going crazy”

One of the most recognizable and outspoken voices of secular thought violently reverses courses, claiming a supernatural vision of Christ ala Saul of Tarsus?  We better sit up and take heed! Here is what I believe this miracle says to us:

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1. Our strategy for reaching America must come from the Holy Spirit and not man made marketing.  No matter how unreachable she seems, God has a strategy He wants to execute through us but only by the Holy Spirit.  Jesus gave this role to the Holy Spirit and any plan we invent on our own will not only fail it is disobedience.

2. No active ingredient of the Gospel should be left out in our preaching.  Yes sir, your message was full of inspiration and dazzling anecdotes.  And, I must say, the fancy footwork that left out hell, repentance, the Blood, the Cross, and the Resurrection was indeed impressive but wholly ineffective for deliverance from sin.

3. Conversion is not comfortable but in many cases it is fearful and overwhelming.  When Kirsten got back to New York she felt God everywhere and wondered if she was losing her mind.  People sobbing at the front of a Church, pastors getting calls at 3 AM from distraught souls will become a common byproduct of true awakening.

And this is just the beginning.  The most indispensable fact of Kirsten’s conversion is a message to pastors about the Glory of God.  That is what I will tell you about tomorrow.

Kirsten Powers, Isaiah the Prophet, and the Glory of God

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Kirsten Powers, Isaiah the prophet, and the Glory of God

Have you heard about what happened to Kirsten Powers?  I will tell you all about that, but first I must tell talk about something very disturbing.

It may not seem very important, but recently a highly regarded expert made 14 predictions for the American Church in 2014.   If what he says is true it is the worst news for the church in American history.  Here’s why:

It says essence; Americans do not want to hear the Gospel.  Many churches will close their doors and combine with other churches.  Massive layoffs of church staff are coming.  Cities will clamp down on any new church building to protect their tax base. Only mega churches will grow.

None of that is good news, but saying that only mega-churches will grow is really bad news. This is because it is implies:

1. The church is not supernatural.   To survive she is compelled to apply marketing concepts that are from corporate America.  Programs must be based on what the public wants and rebranding Christ to answer the secular objections to His teachings.

 2. That he is giving a ringing endorsement for the seeker sensitive model. The dirty little secret that few want to admit is that seeker churches do not win unbelievers so much as they attract complacent believers.

For a lukewarm believer who wants less accountability but still feels a twinge of guilt about church attendance, the mega church is the perfect hiding place.  They can lose themselves in the crowd, be assured the service will end on time and the chicken soup for the soul sermons can salve the pain of their double life.

3. Since the seeker model does not win souls, growth can only come from stealing sheep from other churches.  This is the worst news.  Let me use Wal-Mart as an example of why this is so destructive.  When Wal-Mart came to your town, it did not increase the number of people who needed sweat socks and beef jerky.  It merely herded the buyers into one location.  Many other stores who could not compete with the price and convenience shut down.  This is a brilliant concept in the business world but disaster in the Christian community.

Like Wal-Mart, the mega church does not increase the number of buyers.  It only rearranges where the already converted worship.  Churches that cannot compete shut down.   Making matters worse, these lukewarm Christians suffer spiritual malnutrition and get even weaker.  The army of God suffers a perilous drop in quantity and quality without even knowing it.

Mega churches can be the best party going on the deck of the Titanic.  As America sinks, the ballroom is filled with people partying as if there is no disaster.  It is possible for a celebrity pastor to beam with confidence even as America, on his watch, suffers the most cataclysmic moral decline in history.

Our actual numbers are dropping.  Our influence in America is declining.  But this addiction to false success blinds us to these realities.  The Christian birth rate in America is virtually zero.  We are not replacing the Saints who are dying off.  Every day we lose influence because there are less of us in number to counteract evil legislation.

But is this expert right?  Is this how the story of the American church ends?  With our numbers dwindling except for a few pockets where the soldiers are getting weaker?  Doomed to fade into irrelevance?   Apparently not.

Kirsten Powers is the outspoken atheist that we all know from television.  She despised Evangelical Christians.  She epitomizes the unreachable American intellectual.  Listen in her own words to why she is now fervently following Christ.

“then one night on a trip to Taiwan I woke up in what I felt like a strange cross between a dream and reality Jesus came to me he said here I am it felt so real I didn’t know what to make of it I called my boyfriend but before I had time to tell him about it he told me he had been praying the night before and felt we were supposed to break up. So we did. I honestly while I was upset I was more traumatized by Jesus visiting me I tried to write off the experience as misfiring synapses that but I couldn’t shake it when I returned to New York a few days later I will cost I suddenly felt God everywhere and it was terrifying more important it was unwelcome it felt like an invasion I started to fear I was going crazy”

Part two tomorrow

UNDER THE GLARE: COMPROMISING BEFORE THE MEDIA AND THE CULTURE.

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By Mario Murillo

Thomas Jefferson said, “in matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock.”

America has changed so fast that many believers wonder if they should change with the times.  Indeed, some of our most famous Pastors have stunned the faithful by saying that they now endorse gay marriage and openly state that the Bible is wrong about hell.

There is a phrase that echoes in my spirit, “either it is always true or it was never true.”  Truth has a stubborn way of staying the same.  Righteousness is timeless.  It does not flex, bend, or twist in the wind of modern thought.  Likewise, love is unchangeable:  full of mercy but it cannot rejoice in a lie.

The Gospel of Jesus Christ cannot be stripped of any part of its message if it is to impart eternal life. The central place of signs and wonders wrought by the Holy Spirit also does not change.  Jesus irrevocably welded miracles to the preaching of the Gospel when He said, “these signs will follow those who believe.”

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Either it was always true or it was never true. Here are examples of the timeless advice of the Bible for preachers today.

1. Integrity in the media:  Proverbs 25: 26 Like a muddied spring or a polluted well are the righteous who give way to the wicked.   This warns Pastors who suddenly lose their moral compass under the hot lights of a talk show studio. You must quote the Bible and be quick to answer questions about the Cross, hell, sin, marriage and repentance.  America needs to hear the truth… you can be poison instead of healing if you betray  your calling!

2. Changing because of the success of compromise.  It is easy for a preacher to envy the wealth and prestige of secular celebrities and media pastors who have built empires in the name of God.  Psalm 73:1 Truly God is good to Israel, To such as are pure in heart. 2 But as for me, my feet had almost stumbled; My steps had nearly slipped. 3 For I was envious of the boastful, When I saw the prosperity of the wicked.”

3. When you leave out truth from your sermon you are dooming the younger generation:  When the Psalmist realized how he was slipping because of envy he also saw that he could take down a generation with him.  Psalm 73:15 If I had said, “I will speak thus, “Behold, I would have been untrue to the generation of Your children.

4. Don’t make any decision until you see the Glory of God in prayer where you will get a true perspective.  Psalm 73: 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.

5.  Make sure your pulpit is selfless.  Preach what helps them not your career. 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.

Now some final advice for all of us:

Either it was always true or it was never true applies our hope:

Now some final advice for all of us:

If ever there were verses that were designed to encourage conviction and standing in times that screamed for panic or compromise it is these verses:

Psalm 62: 5-12  My soul, wait silently for God alone, For my expectation is from Him. 6 He only is my rock and my salvation; He is my defense; I shall not be moved. 7 In God is my salvation and my glory; The rock of my strength, And my refuge, is in God. 8 Trust in Him at all times, you people; Pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us. Selah 9 Surely men of low degree are a vapor, Men of high degree are a lie; If they are weighed on the scales, They are altogether lighter than vapor. 10 Do not trust in oppression, Nor vainly hope in robbery; If riches increase, Do not set your heart on them. 11 God has spoken once, Twice I have heard this:That power belongs to God. 12 Also to You, O Lord, belongs mercy; For You render to each one according to his work.

I SHALL NOT BE MOVED! Either it is always true or it was never true that He will heal us, protect us, guide us, restore us, and multiply our giving.    Honesty, integrity, fidelity, faithfulness and purity are always valid or they were never valid.  Those who move away from the demands of the Bible will also lose the mighty results of obedience.  Standing like a rock on our principles will release God’s best!

Ground Zero Churches: The Church America Needs Right Now.

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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 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 moved 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.

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.

Los Angeles city skyline in the evening, Los Agneles, California.

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.

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.”

lights over america

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.

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.

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Rick Warren Preaches First Sermon Since His Son’s Suicide

Rick Warren Preaches First Sermon Since His Son’s Suicide

Almost four months after their son committed suicide, Pastor Rick Warren and his wife Kay addressed their congregation for the first time, promising to remove the stigma of mental illness from the church

Rick Warren, Pastor, Saddleback Church (
STAN HONDA / AFP / GETTY IMAGES

Rick Warren has preached thousands upon thousands of sermons, but this message was different. The last time he had stood the pulpit at his Saddleback Church in southern California was on Easter, seventeen Sundays ago — and five days before his youngest son, Matthew, 27, shot and killed himself, ending a lifelong struggle with mental illness. On Saturday night, for the first time since their son’s death, Rick and his wife Kay returned to their 20,000-member congregation. Together they faced the question tens of thousands of Christians have been asking: how are they — two of the world’s most famous Christians — able to hope in God in the midst of their despair?

Thousands of parishioners packed the auditorium and three overflow tents on Saturday for the first of Saddleback’s five weekend worship services. A dozen local pastors all sat in the front row in a show of support for the Warrens, along with Roma Downey and Mark Burnett, producers of the hit television series, The Bible. When Rick and Kay walked hand-in-hand on stage, the crowd stood to their feet in appreciation and applause. Kay began to cry, and Rick kissed her on the forehead as he too grew teary.  “Love you too,” he told the audience. He paused for just a few moments, and then he began to preach.

First he thanked his staff, his church, and, the hundreds of people who have supported them over the last four months. Above all, he thanked the Warrens’ other two children, Amy and Josh, who, he said, had loved Matthew and “talked him off the ledge” time and time again. “They really are my heroes,” he said, voice breaking.

The Warrens spoke honestly about their spiritual struggles with Matthew’s mental illness. “For 27 years, I prayed every day of my life for God to heal my son’s mental illness. It was the number one prayer of my life,” Rick preached. “It just didn’t make sense why this prayer was not being answered.” Kay spoke of how she couldn’t even read certain Scripture passages about hope for months after Matthew’s death.

Rick and Kay shared publicly for the first time about how they found out that Matthew had died. On the morning of April 5, both of them had a sense of foreboding that Matthew was not doing well. At 10 am, Rick was at the doctor’s office. He had just been diagnosed with double pneumonia, and so he decided to ask his brother-in-law to give the upcoming sermon, entitled, “What to do on the worst day of your life.” At home, Kay put on her necklace that said, “Choose Joy.” Neither of them could shake the feeling that something was wrong, so the two of them went to Matthew’s house to check on him. His truck was in the driveway, but the house door was locked, and no one was answering. They wept together as they waited for the police to arrive. Then their worst fears were confirmed.

In the four months that followed, the Warrens have drawn comfort from the community of faith, both ancient and new. They have treasured old Biblical passages from the prophet Isaiah — “When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown” — and from the Apostle Paul — “God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others.” Friends and family have also held them close. “I am in this family of spiritual redwoods,” Rick said. “Satan picked the wrong team to pick on.”

Ultimately, they both hold to the hope that God is with people during their times of trouble, and that God will raise the dead. Matthew’s body was buried in brokenness, Kay said, but will be raised in strength. Rick reminded everyone that heaven is coming. He quoted the book of Revelation: “Then God will wipe away every tear from their eyes and there will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things will pass away.”

Rick then made a promise: Saddleback’s next big ministry push will be to remove the stigma associated with mental illness in the church. “Your illness is not your identity, your chemistry is not your character,” he told people struggling with mental illness. To their families, he said, “We are here for you, and we are in this together.”  There is hope for the future: “God wants to take your greatest loss and turn it into your greatest life message.”

For the next six Sundays, Rick will preach a sermon series entitled, “How To Get Through What You’re Going Through.” He will devote a message to each of the six stages of grief: shock, sorrow, struggle, surrender, sanctification, and service. A larger program to address the specifics of mental illness has yet to be revealed, but it will be similar, Rick said, to the way their church has helped to tackle the HIV crisis.

Then, as the service closed, Rick joined the worship team in singing a favorite evangelical hymn, “Blessed be Your Name.” He lifted his Bible high above his head and declared boldly to the God he serves: “You give and take away, my heart will choose to say, Lord blessed be your name.”

Read more: http://swampland.time.com/2013/07/28/rick-warren-preaches-first-sermon-since-his-sons-suicide/#ixzz2aNwonQs6

First Take: Vitriol infests Warren family grief.

First Take: Vitriol infests Warren family grief

Cathy Lynn Grossman, USA TODAY10:02a.m. EDT April 7, 2013

Thousands are responding to Pastor Rick Warren’s grief with compassion but others use the moment to attack him and his Christian message.

Pastor Rick Warren, the best-known name in American evangelism after Rev. Billy Graham, lost his 27-year-old son, Matthew, to suicide this week.

Uncounted strangers have joined the 20,000 congregants who worship at the megachurch network “Pastor Rick” built in Southern California, Warren’s nearly 1 million Twitter followers and hundreds of thousands of Facebook followers in flooding social media with consolation and prayer.

But a shocking number are taking this moment of media attention to lash out at Warren on the digital tom-toms. The attacks are aimed at him personally and at his Christian message

Some unbelievers want to assure Rick and Kay Warren, his wife and Matthew’s bereaved mother, that there’s no heaven where they’ll meet their son again.

 You can find, among hundreds of comments on USA TODAY’s news story on Matthew’s death, comments such as the Cincinnati poster who says, “Either there is no God, or God doesn’t listen to Rick Warren, despite all the money Rick has made off of selling false hope to desperate people.” In another comment, the same poster counsels Warren to “abandon primitive superstitions and accept the universe for what it is — a place that is utterly indifferent to us.”

Some rush to add pain to the Warrens’ world because, in their view, he did not show sufficient compassion for the unremitting pain suffered by gay youths rejected by parents and peers. They were outraged when Warren took a political stand for Prop 8, which overturned legal same-sex marriage in California in 2008 and is now before the U.S. Supreme Court.

Others have appointed themselves 140-character theologians in a debate over whether someone once saved can lose his or her salvation if suicide is against God’s law. These posters, rather than waiting for Judgment Day, have ruled for hell.

But Bruce Kwiatkowski of the University of Toledo posted on Facebook: “I appreciate what Pastor Ronald Cole said about the subject of Christian suicide. He said the Lord will say, ‘We weren’t expecting you yet…’ ”

John Schuurman observed on Facebook that celebrity culture makes everyone “fair game” and the anonymity afforded by social media that allows people to “send out hate flames without any consequence.”

There are, however, people who won’t let the vitriol unleashed on social media infect the little corners of the world under their own name.

John H. Armstrong fought back on Facebook, saying, “I just blocked someone that I do not know from my wall for saying that Rick Warren’s son went to hell. What is it with people being so sure that they know God’s final judgment? I fear for people like this. This man added that Rick Warren was being judged for being a ‘false prophet.’ Pathetic, cruel and reckless all come to mind. If I’ve seen the evidence of a false prophet this comes close.”

A day ago, Warren tweeted to his 943,000+ followers: “We pray ‘Thy WILL be done on earth AS IT IS IN HEAVEN’ since in heaven God’s Will is done #always On earth, it’s done rarely.”

Mario’s note:  Disgusting, inhuman, unimaginable and enraging that anyone can possibly attack Rick and Kay Warren as they cope with the ultimate loss.  The report you just read shows how far we have fallen as a species.  It can be so disheartening to hear such hatred.   Even on our Facebook page, a preacher no less, called this “God’s judgment for teaching the heresy of the Purpose Driven Life.”  I could not block such theological filth fast enough.

How strange for believers to join in this unspeakable cruelty with atheists.  Yet it shows me how much fanatical religion and atheism can have in common.  Neither one has a code of ethics, just an amoral, kneejerk reaction to anything they find disagreeable.  In both cases the hurt in their words is sociopathic in its indifference.  In both cases the message is “nobody cares about your problem.”

Thank God that the tidal wave of support and love for the Warrens far outweighs the cruel unfeeling statements of a few misguided individuals but their existence and their gall in saying such vile things is a tragic commentary on our times.

Rick Warren’s son commits suicide

A 10 year old boy hung himself in the German village because he was so unloved by everyone in the community.  A church refused to allow his burial.  Martin Luther took matters into hand by not only making sure the boy was properly buried but even spoke for the boy in a service.

Why is it he asked, that if a man riding through our woods were attacked, robbed and then killed that we would show nothing but mercy at his tragic end?  But when Satan does the very same thing by  attacking a soul, robbing it of its very hope and then causing its death that we condemn and believe they are lost from God’s mercy.”

Today we have nothing but compassion for the Warren family in this unspeakable loss and pray that the Holy Spirit Himself will comfort them in the loss of this precious young man. 

I can only speak for myself but I believe that this is an occasion for the entire Body of Christ to “weep with those who weep.”  – Mario

Saddleback Church Says Rick Warren’s Son Has Committed Suicide

April 6, 2013 11:50 PM

 

LAKE FOREST (CBSLA.com) — Pastor Rick and Kay Warren’s youngest son has committed suicide, Saddleback Valley Community Church announced Saturday.

The evangelical megachurch announced the death of 27-year-old Matthew Warren in a statement. He died Friday night in his Mission Viejo home.

Rick Warren's son, Matthew, died Friday evening. (credit: Saddleback Church)

(credit: Saddleback Church)

Described as an “incredibly kind, gentle and compassionate young man,” the statement said Matthew suffered from mental illness that resulted in deep depression and suicidal thoughts.

“No words can express the anguished grief we feel right now … He struggled from birth with mental illness, dark holes of depression, and even suicidal thoughts,” Pastor Warren said in an emotional letter to his congregation.

“In spite of America’s best doctors, meds, counselors, and prayers for healing, the torture of mental illness never subsided … Thank you for your love and prayers back. We love you back,” the pastor said.

On Saturday evening, church services were held at Saddleback Church in Lake Forest but Warren was not expected to attend.

“We’re in deep pain for the family, just hurting for them,” said Sandra Maddox, who attends the church and is a friend of the Warren family. “He was loving and sweet, extremely intelligent and a bright young man.”

“I’ve walked the road he’s going down right now and it’s hard,” Ron Maddox said through tears. The Maddox family lost their daughter 10 years ago and said they understand how painful this must be for the pastor.

In 2008, the church sponsored a presidential forum between Barack Obama and John McCain. They had arranged to do it again in 2012 but Warren canceled several days beforehand, saying he wanted no part in the mudslinging between Obama and Mitt Romney.

In 2009, Warren gave the invocation at President Obama’s inauguration.

Founded in 1980 by Pastor Rick Warren, Saddleback Church serves the Southern California community with several locations. The pastor is also known for authoring, “The Purpose Driven Life,” which has sold more than 30 million copies worldwide, according to the church’s website.