Warning Before He Comes – Get Your House in Order

“Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves.” Matthew 7: 15.

For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths. 2 Timothy 4: 3-4.

Dear Readers,

I have been a Christian for over 36 years. I was saved in Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent, UK, in a free evangelical church. I went from there to Leek in Staffordshire, to an old Baptist Union church. I believe that in those formative years as a Christian I received the finest teaching from the word of God that a young Christian could ever receive. I was grounded in the word of God for my first seven years as a Christian. But there was a problem. I did not know about the gifts of the Holy Spirit. I became very legalistic and sadly I was a hypocrite. I was, as CS Lewis once said, a Sunday angel but a Monday devil. I faced many conflicts in those years as I wanted to serve the Lord with all my heart but I could not. My pastor, who was a very godly man, when he baptised me gave me these verses:

Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. Hebrews 12: 1-3.

What a wise man. He saw this tramp that came off the street. He brought me to the foot of the cross by using a wonderful little book, John Bunyan’s The Pilgrim’s Progress. He and many others grounded me in the word of God, which has kept me through many years. But sadly as Jesus said, even the elect can be led astray (Mark 13:22). I was led astray. Though my own pride and my besetting sins I lost my first marriage by allowing a man I met to introduce me to the doctrine of demons. During that period of time I was filled with the Holy Ghost through pentecostal Christians who knew the word of God and the power of God. But he devil himself is very subtle and as the word says comes to us an angel of light (2 Corinthians 11: 14). This resulted in my being in the wilderness for approximately seven years. I still loved God, I still loved my Lord Jesus, but my life was a mess. I went to Bible college. I graduated. I pioneered a few churches. But I was led astray by false doctrine. I listened to such teachers as Kenneth Copeland, Jesse Duplantis, Morris Cerullo, Joyce Meyer and Creflo Dollar. In short, I became a prosperity preacher. I was part of a large ministry in the West Midlands, but unfortunately, my brothers and sisters, I was chasing after wealth, power, position and adoration from my fellow brothers and sisters. But our Father is so gracious; I did not get what I deserved. It was a time of tremendous growth and in spite of my disobedience and at times complete rebellion God blessed me mightily. I believed at the time that what I was doing was pleasing to God, but sadly it was not.

So I urge you my brothers and sisters to check the word of God, read it for yourself and make up your mind about these megachurches and prosperity preachers, as I have learned that there is only one true gospel and it does not say you or I should be rich or powerful; it does not promise us a new house, cars or lands; it tells us to go and to make disciples of all nations.

And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Matthew 28: 18-20.

The message is to go, preach, teach and make disciples. This is the purpose of the church of Jesus Christ. No matter what denomination or grouping you belong to, go, preach, teach and make disciples of all people.

I believe with what is happening around the world and the fulfilment of much prophetic scripture that the Lord is very close. Most churches today sadly have become entertainment centres and people seem to be spending more time looking after the needs of those inside the church than what Jesus commanded them to do, to go and reach the lost. It is almost as if the leaders in the church have forgotten that the reason we exist is to reach as many as we can and bring them to the foot of the cross. When was the last time you saw anybody saved, healed or filled with the Spirit or your pastor teach on the second coming of Christ, which many of us believe is imminent? The upshot of this is you will not be judged on how many times you went to a church meeting, Bible study, conference or Christian concert; you will be judged on your fruit. So what fruit will you take with you when the trumpet is sounded and Jesus calls us?

Rev Ross Rennie

Training Cambodian Rural Pastors

I have just returned from a trip to Cambodia and seen some amazing developments within the church of Jesus Christ in that country. The church is between approximately 500,000 and 600,000 and in the provinces is growing day by day. The population now is about 16 million, but there are still many challenges for the pastors and leaders. Their biggest challenge is training and equipping the saints for works of service. I would ask all of you to pray for the nation and the leaders of the churches of Cambodia. Please keep in prayer the upcoming election in July that it will go peacefully and not affect the work of the kingdom.

I am at present working on a project where rural pastors can come into Phnom Penh for training. If you would like to find out more about this, please contact me through the web site. It would cost approximately £25 for a pastor to come in from a province and receive training for a week. This training is invaluable for their work when they return to their respective churches. So if you feel led to sow into this ministry, please contact me.

Rev Ross Rennie

What Is Wrong with the Church

Greetings in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ

As we enter into 2016 I have had some thoughts recently. I have been a Christian since 1979. I have been in many churches. In my early years I was a member of the old Baptist Union. I was saved in a free evangelical church. I then went into the Assemblies of God. From the Assemblies of God owing to a series of unfortunate events in my Christian life and being baptised in the Holy Spirit while in the pentecostal church I then went into Elim. From there I became an independent pentecostal Christian.

I have seen many things in my life and as many of you know I have travelled to many countries. I have just come back from one of the largest countries in the world with a population of 1.4 billion and I have met many Christians from many denominations here in the UK and also abroad. I have been a pastor in large churches and small churches. I have seen the many miracles that Jesus spoke about, healings from cancers and tinnitus, blind eyes opening, the deaf hearing, hearts being restored spiritually and physically, and I am amazed at the power and the majesty of our Almighty Father.

But like many of you I have longed for true revival. I have seen manifestations of what man believes to be revival but Toronto and other sparks of God’s power I believe have been snuffed out by man. There is a problem in the body of Christ. Many commentators such as Leonard Ravenhill and other great saints of God who have gone on before us have highlighted that the problem with the church in the United Kingdom and across the world is a lack of prayer. The Bible tells us clearly, ‘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’ (2 Chronicles 7: 14). I long for a day hopefully in my lifetime when the church of Jesus Christ will get serious about prayer. If we put on a chicken supper or a banquet or a praise and worship night, many churches across London and across this country will be full, but sadly when it comes to prayer the prayer meetings in many churches are empty. I would even suggest in many individuals’ lives their prayer life is barren and they wonder why they do not seem to succeed. Many great women and men of the past such as Müller, Tozer, Whitfield and Wesley understood the power of prayer. So I pray quietly that there will be an enthusiastic return to prayers across our nation: not just once a week for an hour giving God a shopping list but solid intercessory prayer. We have seen it in such places as Seoul Korea where they have prayer mountains.

I am 100% convinced if we in the United Kingdom want to see true revival, the church needs to repent and turn back to the things of God and not clever schemes, not clever programmes, but getting down on our knees and praying for the lost, the widow, the lonely and the downcast, and not just them, but the rich, the powerful, our MPs, our Queen, all strata of society, as I know this will bring revival and restoration for our nation. I hope when you read this you will ponder and seek God for yourself, as you do not need to go to buildings; we just need people across the nation to burst into spontaneous prayer in their communities.

God bless you. My prayer for 2016 is we start to take back that which the devil has stolen: our cities, our towns, our families, our children, our nation. Amen

No Reputation

I wonder why…

I wonder why some missionaries are still trying to replicate their home culture in the countries they are working in. I thought we had learned that cultural imperialism was not the way to extend the kingdom of God. Why do some denominations still land in a new country with the aim of building a copy of their home organisation instead of planting culturally appropriate churches? I have always preferred to listen to and work with indigenous churches in Cambodia and Myanmar rather than set up my own empire. How would Jesus do mission?

I wonder why Christians are so keen on criticising and judging others while seeking to justify or ignore their own failings. How would Jesus relate to the ‘tax gatherers and sinners’ of today? How would He deal with Christians who have made mistakes or fallen into sin?

I wonder why church politics are such a hindrance to the work of the kingdom. Why is there so much jostling for power and position in the church? Why is the ‘I did it my way’ attitude so prevalent? How would Jesus run your church?

I wonder why church meetings can so easily degenerate into a performance. Where are the servant worship leaders and musicians whose only desire is to lead us into the presence of God? How would Jesus help us to worship His Father?

Philippians 2: 7 (NKJV) tells us that Jesus ‘made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant’. He left the glory of heaven; as a newborn baby He was placed in an animal’s feeding trough; as an adult on the road He had ‘nowhere to lay His head’; He had to accept the hospitality and generosity of others; He ‘did not come to be served, but to serve’; He submitted to a mistrial, a brutal flogging and the curse of death on a cross.

Because Jesus lived and died in this way, all our sins, past, present and future, and all the sins of others whom we so easily condemn, have been forgiven.

Philippians 2: 5 (NKJV) instructs us, ‘Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus’, or (NLT) ‘Your attitude should be the same that Christ Jesus had.

How would Jesus do mission? Humbly, with grace towards the people he came to serve and save.

How would Jesus relate to the ‘tax gatherers and sinners’ of today? The same way as He did to the tax gatherers and sinners whose company He enjoyed in first-century Galilee and Judaea: with love, forgiveness and acceptance.

How would Jesus run your church? As a servant-leader, a gracious, patient pastor and teacher, whose chief desire is for the spiritual health and maturity of His brothers and sisters.

How would Jesus help us to worship His Father? He would turn our eyes away from ourselves, the band, the singers, and help us to give our all in focused adoration.

Which is more important to you and to me: our reputation? Or the glory of God?

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