On the Down-Grade or Pressing on for the Prize of the Upward Call?

2018 has been a very interesting year. I am sure like us you have had good times, you have had sad times and you have had bad times. But there is one thing I have learned as Paul learned, to be content in all situations.

There is much wrong with the body of Christ but in the end Jesus said, “I will build my church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” We are also told that there will be sheep and goats, wheat and tares. The decision is, what are you, a sheep or a goat, wheat or tare? The amazing thing about this is it is one of God’s mysteries. Only you know. Jesus said, “What would it profit a man if he gain the whole world and lose his soul?” This scripture has haunted me all through this year. Another scripture that has challenged me is where Jesus said, “Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you who practice lawlessness.’” (Matthew 7: 22-23)

We see many things in the church today that do not make sense, but Jesus and the Holy Spirit have taken me back to listen to sermons over 100 years old by the mighty men and women of God such as Charles Haddon Spurgeon, and to look at the great controversy the down-grade, which has found its way into many mainstream churches and sadly has compromised the true gospel of Jesus Christ.

There is one word which ministers from all persuasions are reluctant to use: repentance. John the Baptist preached it, Jesus preached it and the apostles preached it. Now we are told we cannot offend people. I believe this is much of what Charles Haddon Spurgeon gave his life for, and if you ever look at the story of Charles Haddon Spurgeon you will find he was an ordinary man from the fens. He was called the people’s preacher, but he preached to many hundreds of thousands in his lifetime. You can find his story on YouTube. I suggest if you really want to know the truth, take a look.

Other stories which have challenged me this year are the story of John Hus from Bohemia, Martin Luther from Germany, John Wesley, Tyndale and Coverdale who changed this world, DL Moody and Hudson Taylor, not forgetting dear old Gladys Aylward and many others who have given their lives for the gospel of Jesus Christ. None of these people looked for fame, adoration or even worship as many do today. They did not ride around in Cessna jets or live in mansions. They were humble and had contrite hearts., So I would challenge these big ministries: are you built on the rock or on sand? Jesus in one of the parables said the foolish man built his house upon the sand and the wise man built his house upon the rock. A brother has just said to me recently, would it not be amazing if Benny Hinn and his like gave everything they had like Zacchaeus did and paid back what I believe they have stolen (but that is just my opinion) to the widow the orphan. We could change this world.

I also believe with many Christians as one great preacher once said, the hardest thing to convert is a man’s wallet. We are all guilty of this. So this holiday season I would challenge you and myself to give fewer presents, reduce our expenditure and what we conserve give to the poor and other ministries around the world. I believe this would send a signal to the world that we are truly God’s people. I know the argument that many use about Christmas, but you owe it to yourself to research all the traditions of men that we have accepted blindly about this season, as I myself have realised much of it has nothing at all to do with our Lord or the kingdom of God. Did not the apostle Paul say that we should not conform to this world or the traditions of men, or have I read a different Bible? Sadly, many Christians do not read their Bibles. They just listen to the opinions of men on YouTube or sermons that they have heard. My prayer for all believers is that we shall get back to our Bibles and if need be challenge public opinion. Jesus said, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away.” (Luke 21: 33) As far as I know, these are the words of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, not the opinions of men.

If you have any arguments about this article, do not blame me. I am just the messenger. I believe the Lord is speaking to His church, but most of the time it is not listening. I believe 2019 is going to be a crucial year for the body of Christ and many of us will have to make choices. Unfortunately, those choices may be painful. We can no longer accept compromise, as sin is sin whether it is inside the church or outside the church. I personally will not accept gay ministers, those who practise homosexuality, liars, cheats, deceivers, as God has made it very clear none of these will enter the kingdom of heaven. As for me and my household, we will serve the Lord, even, as it says in Revelation, if we have to suffer unto death. Are you prepared to do the same as Jesus idid it for you and me when He died at Calvary?

I hope this article challenges you. It many offend you but ultimately you will give an account before the throne one day on how you lived.

If you want to debate this, please add your comment. We should love to hear from you.
God bless you and may you have a good holiday.

Rev Ross Rennie

One Minute to Twelve

Clock at one minute to twelveDear Fellow-Ministers and Brothers and Sisters in Jesus Christ and to the True Church,

Many of us are witnessing in our spirits that the time of the return of the Lord Jesus Christ is very imminent. I am sure like me you are being challenged by the events around the world. The tsunami in Indonesia and it seems every day there is a new disaster around the corner. John the Baptist came with only one message and it was a message of repentance. I do not see much of this going on in our churches around the world today. I see as in the time of Amos:

The Prophet Amos – עָמוֹס- lived in the Eighth Century BC and was a common herdsman and keeper of sycamore fig trees (7:14) before he was called by God. He moved from Tekoa in Judah to the Northern Kingdom of Israel during the reign of Jeroboam II and prophesied the destruction of the Northern Kingdom. He is the first Prophet to have a Book of the Bible named after him. His book should be first if the listing was chronological, as he lived just prior to Hosea.

While Israel was prosperous at the time, it was also a time marked by social injustice – a time similar to our own! Amos castigated the extravagance of the Northern Kingdom, who “trampled the head of the poor into the dust of the earth” (2:7). Amos in 5:24 called for justice – מִשְׁפָּ֑ט – mishpat, and righteousness – צְדָקָה – tsedaqah, in one sentence. We live in a time of corporate greed and domination, a time of social inequality when 20% of the world consumes 80% of the world’s goods. The Book of Amos is relevant to this day!

[biblescripture.net]

So like me I would hope you would agree with the statement above. There are many in the kingdom of God who are living off the fat of the land as Amos warned the Northern Kingdom. I would say this is a parallel with the western church today. As many of you know, I have travelled to many countries and I have seen many injustices. I see pastors running around in the latest Mercedes and there are members of their congregations who cannot afford shoes. I see pastors and leaders living in mansions while their congregations are living on foodbanks. This cannot be right. I see people in the body of Christ giving to receive. Unfortunately, ladies and gentlemen, we as ministers are guilty of this, as we have allowed the world to enter into the church. It is time for the church of Jesus Christ, I believe, to come to repentance. We are crying out for revival and a change in our nations. But I believe, as the word of God says, “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.”

I have just recently seen a YouTube clip of the late Billy Graham calling the nation of America to repentance in the 1970s. Many of you will not remember when the Shah of Iran was their leader and Iran was relatively free and had the freedom of religion. It was a different time. Now his son Franklin Graham is carrying on the message. Just recently, Franklin Graham was in Lancashire and many souls came to Christ. But I pray that the leaders of the major denominations will put away their petty differences and I for one pray will call the nations to prayer. I believe like many around the world that the Holy Spirit is calling the church to repentance. We are at one minute to twelve, and as it tells us in Matthew 24 we should be watching and praying as we do not know the time of our Lord’s return. It is time now, church, that we put aside our denominations, our affiliations, and came back to the word of God and interceded for our nations. This is not an opportunity for another worship service or people to puff themselves up or even sadly some ministers to make some extra money. This is a sincere cry from my heart for prayer. We in the west seem always to turn these into Christian concerts. This is not what the Lord is looking for.

Many of us remember the March for Jesus, which I believe was a move of God, and other events down through the years by people like Bob Dunnett and great prayer initiatives. But where has all this stuff gone? What a signal would be sent to the world if all the true believers around the world came together and prayed. This is not an opportunity for radio stations, TV stations or leaders in the body of Christ to make a few bob or even take up an offering, but to do as they say, seek God and pray. What a time this would be: no celebrities, no superstar Christians, but a true move of God. Who knows what God would do?

Rev Ross Rennie