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CHRISTIAN LIFE - IGNITING A NEW REFORMATION Hosea 6:1; Zecheriah 1:3; Jeremiah 3:1; Ephesians 5:16

IGNITING A NEW REFORMATION  -  Hosea 6:1; Zechariah 1:3; Jeremiah 3:1; Ephesians 5:16

 

Chapter 33 in the book of Numbers lists 40 places between the exodus from Egypt and the arrival in the plain of Moab 40 years later. I am comparing a few events of the wandering in the wilderness with our own lives (Romans 15:4; 1 Corinthians 10:11),

 

Exodus 15:22-25 describes the Israelites’ arrival at Marah, which means "bitterness," a fitting description for what had happened. The miracle of the passage through the Red Sea was only three days behind them. Exodus 15:1-21 records the song of praise they sang about it. But at the next opportunity, the Israelites complained. They had lost their trust and lamented. Yet the Lord did not punish them. He pointed at the wood, and they were helped with good water to drink. They deserved to be punished, but instead the Lord pointed to the wood. Our help for all difficult situations, for all the new obstacles and even for our complaining, lie continually in the cross. The redemption of Jesus accompanies us throughout our lives and makes all the bitter things sweet.

 

There are a number of interesting connections between this situation and certain prophecies of the nation of Israel. Isaiah 66:7-8 and Zechariah 3:9 predict that Israel would be born in a day. When the nation was reborn in 1948, the area was a virtual wasteland that most of the surrounding nations had little interest in. Jewish settlers planted forests and made the deserts bloom as prophesied in Isaiah 35:1-2. Israel became

  • an agricultural miracle
  • a nation which leads the world in freshwater technology, and
  • a large exporter of food and flowers!

Today, now that the Israeli countryside is flourishing, the terrorists have a target-rich environment. They want to wipe out the Nation of Israel, and they want the improved land!

 

How often have we experienced the help and mercy of the Lord, and

How soon we were desperate again and unsatisfied with our circumstances.

We may live out of His forgiveness. This does not mean that we use His grace as a cloak for sin. (2 Timothy 2:13) God remains faithful in view of what Jesus Christ accomplished. Under the wood, under the cross, there is continual forgiveness and help and the opportunity of a new beginning.

(Hebrews 4:16; 1 John 2:1) Can we even count how many times we have experienced His undeserved help and forgiveness? I can’t!

 

Five hundred years ago this year, an ordinary priest nailed his famous “theses” onto the door of a chapel in Wittenberg, Germany. The 95-item list of Martin Luther was a protest of abuses in the Roman Catholic Church in an attempt to call the Church back to the authority of God’s Word. Instead, it resulted in the birth of Protestant Churches and no change to Roman Catholicism. That one man put it all on the line. He challenged widely accepted but unbiblical "doctrines” which had crept into churches.

 

Christians should be a catalyst to bring reformation by reclaiming foundations of our faith found in the Bible, from the very first verse. On this 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation, we should seek to honor God and challenge today's Christian leaders by making our theme: "Igniting a new reformation." Yes, I believe we need a new reformation today, a reformation where God’s people--particularly Christian leaders--repent of compromising God's Word beginning in Genesis and return to the absolute authority of the written Word of God, the Bible!

 

When we look at the state of our nation from a spiritual perspective, we are also really examining the state of much of the Church. Church leaders recognize that America, and in fact, the whole Western world, is in serious trouble spiritually. The exodus of generations from the church continues today. Young people who still attend church have become very secularized, and 40% of them are not born again. One thorough research on the state of the Church conducted by America's Research Group clearly shows that the majority of church leaders are ignoring basic Biblical truth. It is obvious that the teaching of evolution and millions of years and the lack of creation apologetics have greatly contributed to this generational loss from the church.

 

I earnestly believe the Lord has raised up apologetics ministries and outreaches to equip Christians:

  • to defend the Christian faith
  • to answer the skeptical questions that cause people to doubt God’s Word
  • to challenge non-Christians to discover the truth of the Bible and its gospel message.

We should be committed to the charge in Ephesians 5:16 by making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.  We need to

  • Ignite a passion in people to know the Bible and stand boldly and uncompromisingly and unashamedly on the Word of God from the very first verse.
  • Ignite a fervor in Christians to contend earnestly for the faith by showing the truth, power, and authority of God’s Word against false teachers.
  • Ignite a zeal in Christian leaders to recognize the need to teach creation apologetics to teens and adults and oppose any compromise within the church with evolutionary/millions of-years beliefs.
  • Ignite a burden in non-Christians to challenge secular icons and seek answers to the questions that have caused them to reject God's Word, so they will discover the truths of the Bible and be saved for eternity by receiving Christ as Savior.
  •  Ignite a desire in parents to educate their children according to Biblical principles and raise up godly offspring who will know what they believe about God’s Word and why they believe it so they are equipped to defend the Christian faith against the secular attacks of our day.

We need all Christians to “symbolically” nail Genesis chapters 1-11 on the doors of churches, Bible colleges, and Christian colleges and seminaries. Why? Because in this era, one of the biggest reasons for the generational loss is due to Christian leaders who have compromised Genesis and not countered the intense public school indoctrination teaching of Evolution and millions of years.

 

And so my challenge is to ask each of you to partner with me in igniting a new reformation. I've heard so many Christians say that they want to see revival in our nation. But I don't believe God will bring revival until there is a reformation in our churches and Christian institutions. We need to see a turning away from man's word, and a humble turning to God's Word.

 

At the time of the Reformers, soteriology, the doctrine of salvation, was in the center, with the Lutheran question, "How can I find a merciful God?" In our time, eschatology, the doctrine of the last things, seems to be central. It seems that God wants us to strive to find the correct understanding of Him spiritually, and attempt to know His Word better. Only those who earnestly seek God will find Him. It must be a true striving that does not blend out unfavorable facts. Unfortunately, it lies in the sinful nature of man to do this, as Daniel 12:9-10 says. If we take these words seriously, then we cannot just simply say we have to return to apostolic Christianity or to the knowledge of the Reformers. We are experiencing today a newly revived conservative reformative theology.

 

I am reminded of the words God gave His prophets to speak to His people in Zechariah 1:3; Jeremiah 3:1; and Hosea 6:1. At that point, God had divorced Israel.

 

Join me in encouraging people to follow Jesus to ignite this new reformation! The Bible is the truth, and its language has the divine will of imparting clear information. God means what He says. We need to emphasize the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross and the return of the Lord for the Rapture of the Church. But more and more, we observe in the Church the great danger of becoming spiritually superficial and worldly. The church in Laodicea had already succumbed to this danger, so the exalted Lord had to say in Revelation 3:16,

So, because you are lukewarm--neither hot nor cold--I am about to spit you out of my mouth.

 

The Lamb of God does not deserve half-hearted disciples.  This is clear. And no less does the Victor of Calvary deserve a sleepy church at His return. Thus the message of the Midnight Call of Matthew 25:6 becomes more and more a call to wake up and repent. This includes the prophecies of the Old and New Testaments receiving increasing attention. (2 Peter 1:19) The focal point remained Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all lords and King of all kings. The goal of bringing people to Jesus and encouraging and admonishing Christians not to become more lukewarm in their faith is just as unchanging. (Hebrews 12:1)

 

Always where there is sin there is sleep. Spiritual weakness and sleep are outward signs of hidden sin.  People who are dedicated to God but become weak in their prayer life, in zeal for the Lord, they are about ready to fall into sin. Sin blinds people and anesthetizes them to spiritual sleep.

 

I have seen many people who do not want to give up a sin.  Don’t be one of them. If you have been blinded by sin, is there a way back for you?  Yes, there is! Humble yourself in repentance before the Lord. Leave your own sinful life in the death of Jesus at the cross of Calvary. Then you will experience

  • that He can turn a curse into a blessing
  • that the power of the Lord comes over you anew   and
  • that the victory of Jesus will be unlimited and more effective than before. 

It is always my aim to lead people nearer to the Lord. Jesus Christ is the only hope. (1 Corinthians 3:11-15) 

 

THE INVITATION

You can't depend on your own goodness to get to Heaven. We've all sinned  (Romans 3:23). Jesus paid the penalty for your sins with His death on the cross and His resurrection (John 3:16).

To be forgiven and be guaranteed a place in Heaven, you need to repent of sin, confess that you are a sinner, and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ in your heart (Acts 2:21).

You can use the following prayer or your own words, but you must actually believe in your heart that your prayer is real:

         Lord Jesus, I believe You are the Son of God. I confess that I have sinned against You in thought, word, and deed.

      Please forgive all my wrongdoing and let me live in relationship with You from now on.

      I receive You as my Savior and recognize that the work You accomplished once and for all on the cross was done on my behalf.

      Thank You for saving me. Help me to live a life that is pleasing to You.

                     In Your name I pray, Amen.