darth-sidius

And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will kill with the breath of his mouth and bring to nothing by the appearance of his coming.” (2 Thessalonians 2:8)

For decades, even centuries, men have been trying in vain to discover who the coming man of sin shall be, and what his name is. They have labored in such fervor, relentless in their pursuit of identifying the evil one, touting possible names such as Ronald Reagan, Henry Kissinger, George W. Bush, and many more, all attempting to solve one of the more intriguing mysteries this side of heaven. Yet with all of their fervor, all of their dedication in summoning something, anything that would reveal to the world, as well as the church, exactly who the coming man of sin is, they have failed to understand, nor even grasp that chances are, they will never know – until it’s too late. And for good reason, maybe they were never meant to in the first place?

It’s actually hard to fathom to think about, but there are two glaring possibilities at play that we need to keep in mind when we dwell on the prophetic future, especially to that which pertains to such events which will change the world as we know it; That one, God has purposely hid the future dark King from being recognized, and second (and very telling to say the least) is that the church won’t even know, nor even recognize him at all when he does appear onto the world stage!

Still, when we examine the word of God, it clearly states who this being is, as well as gives us his name, but shall the evil one go under his given name by which he continues to reign in the bottomless pit? Or shall he take upon himself a more human name, yet keeping his full identity in secrecy? We truly don’t know the full answer to this question, however, when we read scripture upon scripture, we know this, #1, He won’t be revealed until his time has been allotted. #2, He will not come in his own name, but by something else. Yet what bothers me more is the fact that when we study out the word, it’s not so much that God withholds this vital piece of information from us when that day arrives, it’s more that we won’t know when he comes because we will be so deluded by the cares of this life that virtually no one will even catch it until it’s too late. Don’t believe me? Ask those German’s who are still alive today who watched with amazement of the rise of one Adolf Hitler and then ask them, “Why didn’t you know? Couldn’t you see it?” Their answer will astonish you.

There is a very remarkable scene, actually it plays itself out throughout the entire film in “Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith” in which Anakin Skywalker becomes Lord Vador. In one pivotal scene, where Anakin discovers the truth about Senator Palpatine, that he is in fact a dark Sith – Lord Sidious. That Anakin realizes, but all too late, that the Jedi council, as well as the Senate, has been seduced, even blinded by this powerful dark being, that none of the Jedi even recognized who he truly was. That was the power of the dark side.

Although a fictional movie, there is still very much truth to this in real life. I had mentioned briefly about Hitler, asking the question many would pose to those still living who were there when Hitler rose to power, did they not know what Adolf was planning? Did they not see the darkness he desired for all of Germany? Why could they not see Adolf for who he was? An evil man who would thrust the world into a second world war, and cause the death of millions of Jews and Christians? The simple reason why most of the German people supported Hitler in his rise, as well as throughout the remaining weeks of the war, was due to his continuing promise to keep Germany, as well as the people safe. He promised them what they wanted to hear.

This leads us back to our question; Will the church recognize the man of sin when he arrives? And the answer is – probably not. The Apostle Paul mentions to us something interesting in 2 Timothy 4:3 “For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions,” It is quite clear from the scripture Paul presents, that at some point in the last days just prior to the return of Christ, and just before the unleashing of the evil one upon the world, there will be such a departure from the faith that many will simply no longer have any desire for the things of God, or they will succumb to the lie that will unfold before all the world to see.

Jesus warned in Matthew 24:11 that many will rise up deceiving many. In 1 Timothy 4:1 Paul says that many who call themselves Christian, will follow after [strange] false signs and wonders. In 2 Thessalonians 2:3 Paul warns not to be deceived by what is coming in the last years on this earth. Do you notice the pattern? What are Jesus, Peter, James, John and even Paul warning about? They are warning us not to be swept away from strong delusion in the coming days which lay ahead. Yet unfortunately we can see in our current world the modern church being seduced, entangled into false signs and wonders, charlatans, and the rise of numerous false prophets in this late hour.

This is why, based on everything I am seeing today, that the church, and those who walk in it, who call themselves believers in Christ, will most likely not even recognize the man of sin when he arrives on the world stage. Not because God purposely hid him from sight, but because our eyes and ears (spiritually speaking) could not, nor will not recognize the very one who will make war with the church in the last days until it’s too late. Remember, the Jews never suspected Jesus when he arrived, nor did his disciples, even Peter, the only disciple surrounding Christ, like the other 11, only thru the Holy Spirit, did Peter recognize who Jesus was. Even John the Baptist was not sure, even though he baptized the Lord, John sent his own disciples to ask the Lord if he was indeed the one who was promised to come to redeem man from sin. Yet Jesus had to rebuke Israel for not knowing who he was, and he had to remind his own who he was, why? Because they could not discern.

God help us to keep our eyes and ears open to what is occurring throughout the world, for while I suggest that the church probably not recognize him when the evil one comes, still, I believe, there will be some, like Peter, who are filled with the power of the Holy Spirit, and will immediately recognize him for who he is – the greatest evil ever known to man.

From my desk in China,

Christopher

christopher152@gmail.com

 

 

 

 

 

DO THEY MISS US IN HEAVEN?

Posted: September 11, 2016 in HOT TOPICS, Uncategorized

family-in-heaven

“Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and sin which does so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us.” (Hebrews 12:1)

 

One of the more harder aspects of life here on earth that draws a dark shadow over every person born, is that every person will one day die. Yet in that same mindset of the realization of death, there is nothing more saddening in life than the death of a loved one. Death is simply part of our life. The knowing that at some point every person born will eventually die. From unborns, or children, to young adults and the elderly, the stark reality is that death comes to all and all come to death. But for the Christian who has faced the death of a loved one who died in Christ, there is a constant question that often comes to mind, and that question continues to unfold for millions upon millions of believers, do they miss us once they are gone?

It’s been over one year now since my grandmother has passed, 27 years since the passing of my Father, and eight years since the passing of my grandfather. In each of those periods, there has not been a day goes by that I don’t, in some manner, recall them from memory. They were apart of my life, and interwoven framework that only God could weave together. Yet while time has certainly passed since their departure from this world, and while their presence has been greatly diminished because of death, still, I often find myself asking that same question many have to those whom they loved and knew who have died. Do they remember us? Do they miss us? Or do they have no remembrance at all?

For years it’s been the tradition of preachers and Denominations that when asked this particular question about ‘Do the dead remember?’ the answer was almost always vague, and generally answered Ecc. 9:5,6 “For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not anything, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten. As well their love, as their hatred and their envy, is perished long ago; neither have they any more a portion for ever in anything that is done under the sun” (Eccl. 9:5-6)

The idea (they say) is that the dead know nothing, meaning, in this life and the next. But is that true according to scripture? Not when we rightly divide the word. When we examine the scriptures, and even though there is very little we do know about those who do die in the faith, we can build a clear picture of a more greater thought than what we have been told, that the dead (in Christ) not only do remember the past, they very well remember us!

One of the more clearer pictures of those who have died in Christ can be found in Luke 16: 27-28, where the rich man died and remembered his brothers who were still alive in the realm of the living. Even in Revelation 6:10, we have the saints who were martyred for their faith, who plead before God at his throne to remember their life which was taken that they were clearly had in their knowledge from their life on earth in the past;“How long, O Master, the holy and true, [will it be] before you judge and avenge our blood upon those who dwell upon the earth?” (Rev. 6:10).

When we examine the word clearly, we can see something being drawn out to us that we must continue to remember, that life does not end just because the body ceases to exist, but that man is made up of three components, spirit, soul and body. In each of these aspects of the human framework, God has given man not only the ability to have emotions, to think, or even reproduce, he has given man a mind that will remember long after they have departed this world. Keep in mind, we are after all humans, and it is our very nature to ask questions, be curious about things, long for things, and even hurt at times, yet in that same breath, we also have the common knowledge of stored up memories which I believe in the word clearly indicates that will in fact follow us in the life to come.

The Apostle Paul states something very clear in 2 Corinthians 5:10 “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.” Here we have something very profound Paul is revealing to us, that in the eternal future, every believer who has ever lived for Christ, died in Christ, will stand before Christ to answer for his/her actions on this earth, how can they answer or receive their eternal reward, or even lose their reward if they cannot remember? They can because they do! They (we) will remember. So do they who have died before us in Christ remember us now in heaven? The answer is a clear YES! They not only remember, but they long for us as well! This is why Paul equally stated in his letter to the church that he was in between two hard places, one to remain, while the other to be with the Lord. The fact is, Paul went to heaven in a vision. Paul saw things which were not lawful for him to repeat, nor did he write them down for us to remember, it was enough for us to know that whatever Paul saw, heaven and those who live there among Christ and God our Father, is beyond our comprehension. Yet in that same understanding, he too understood that life here is but a vapor compared to that hope for every person who walks in Christ.

So if our departed friends and family remember us here on earth, are they sad? Do they desire to come and see us or make contact? The answer is no. While it is clear that scripture does support the dead in Christ remembers their loved ones, that does not mean, nor implies they seek to contact us, and for good reason, God forbids it, but even more so, their mindset has been changed, radically changed by Christ. For when we die in Jesus, everything changes, we lose every earthly sensation, longing or desire, but that does not mean we lose the memories, we just take on the consciousness of Christ. This means that there is no fear, pain or sadness in heaven, but I do believe that what our loved ones do long for is our reunion. That is the desire to which every believer who walks the streets of glory this day is longing for, the completion of life on earth so that eternity can begin – with our loved ones.

Think of it, every child who died still born is longing for their parents. Every son or daughter who has gone on to be with the Lord that died at an early age is longing to be reunited with their Mother and Father. Every grandparent, husband and/or wife who died while the other lived, seeks for that blessed hope that awaits them in the future. Paul stated that one day we will be known as we were known (1 Cor. 13:12), how can we be known if we had no remembrance of others? The truth is, the fact remains, every person who has died before us, remembers us, thinks about us and longs for us to continue in the faith so that we will be reunited once again in heaven. Yet it’s a perfect longing, not a sad one that only God could instill into each person.

So do they remember us? Yes they do. Do they long for us? There is no question that they do. Do they miss us? Absolutely. Yet we have that blessed hope that if we remain faithful in Christ, we shall see them once more, never to depart again, and together we shall worship God in perfect harmony.

From my desk in China,

Christopher

Contact me at: christopher152@gmail.com

 

 

mel-gibson

 

There is an account in the book of Galatians (Chapter 2: 11-14) where Paul publicly admonished Peter because he was removing himself from the message of grace and going back into law. So much so was Peter’s error that it almost divided the church to such a degree, that had Paul not traveled to Antioch at this most crucial time in the early churches history, the damage caused by one man could have set the church back years, even decades, if not generations. Even Barnabas was caught up in Peter’s theological mess. All because one man’s (Peter) error in judgment. How sad that now we are beginning to see something similar taking shape within the modern church, and like Peter, it has to do with bad theology, which, if not corrected, will cause untold spiritual harm to the current church world.

Paul makes it clear in his letter that at no time should we lay hands on anyone suddenly, as well, Paul makes it equally clear that we should ‘know’ those who labor among us. This should be the rule for all pastors or evangelists when dealing with someone who might not be either in the faith, or a recent convert. Which brings me to my thoughts on Greg Laurie allowing Mel Gibson the stage to discuss Hollywood films.

I am confused, even puzzled at this recent decision which would allow someone who has a public record of bad life choices be allowed a platform on a gospel stage to influence countless lives by someone who for the most part, has never shown one sample of good fruit of being born again (John 15:1-8). Yet Laurie not only welcomed Gibson on stage, he even supported and endorsed his latest movie (one by the way which glorified a Seventh Day Adventist). Truth is, (and this must be clearly understood) Pastor Laurie’s decision to bring the Hollywood star on stage before many in his crusade was his right, after all, it’s his ministry. Yet, the issue though is the message it sends to the church, not that Greg Laurie had the right to do so, but that his actions were one which if anything, lends confusion to others who might not fully understand the spiritual dilemma certain actions might bring. If Mel Gibson has not been truly saved, born again in Christ, and is simply doing a public relations photo op for the recently announced The Passion 2 – The Resurrection, then his presence at a evangelistic event where the gospel will be preached is one which was pure flesh, and worse, another example of how far the church is departing from the truth these days.

More and more these days I’m seeing ministries enticing, even joining up with secular people (actors, pop stars, musicians, politicians, athletes) all in a feeble attempt to garner relevance with the world, much less the church. Yet what is getting left out in this admiration for popular sinners these days is salt – in this case salt which would bring about conviction and not friendship. Jesus made it very clear in Matthew 5:13 “You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet.” (emphasis mine)

Notice what Jesus said? If the salt (the essence of the Holy Spirit and with power) is gone, either by lukewarmness or worse – blatant compromise with the world, then no longer are you able to bring the gospel to the lost, but worse, you will find yourself being cast out because of that very act of compromising the gospel for relevance. This is why the word says that friendship with the world…”You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.“( James 4:4)

But that is the state of the modern church today, accepting anything (or anyone) these days who desires to seek an audience to either influence the body of Christ, or gain from it, in this case the gain is money. Yet I suspect that in Greg Laurie’s case, his intention was…well..to be honest, I don’t know what his intentions were. Either way, only Greg knows why he has chosen to reject sound, biblical doctrine of not entangling himself with the world, and instead, allowing not only his people, but many a believer to be swayed by someone who has never shown to this day any fruit of being born again. That is the problem with the modern church as I see it. Being infatuated by Hollywood “saints” instead of calling the sinners to repent. All of this is yet another example of what’s occurring within the church today – compromise, for the sake of relevancy. Yet the only thing which is being compromised is the word, and when the church loses it saltiness, then we truly will have no ability, or stomach, to deal with the true darkness which is rising up around us, because we’re too busy sipping beers with the world’s famous players, while losing the game. God help us.

Christopher

From my desk in China.

Email me at: christopher152@gmail.com

 

buddha1
Can Satan heal? The answer might surprise you.
 
I have a friend, brother Hong who, along with his wife, are now presiding over a church in another province that my wife and I support, who was once a powerful Buddhist priest. His level of martial arts as a master was only aided by demonic spirits, especially in the art of Kung Fu (originated in China). He would explain how that NO ONE reaches the level 6 and then into a higher plane of Buddhist training in the temple other than through demonic power. As he explained to me in great detail, every priest of this art who is considered a “master” does in fact work with spirits. (This is also part of the legend of Bruce Lee and who gained his powers of speed and accuracy through demonic possession)
 
Brother Hong explained how that one of the “powers” he and others received through the method of spirit contact was the ability to heal. At first I was very off taken by such a comment, after all, we’re taught over and over in western churches that Satan cannot heal, nor does he have any power to do anything, even take life, Satan, as many pastors have boldly claimed, is a whipped puppy dog. Yet, here was a man who, for 28 years was a Buddhist priest, skilled in the art of magic, skilled in the ability to kill, skilled in the ability to heal under demonic powers until Christ saved him.
 
In China, Buddhism is very strong here. Almost every hour someone goes into a temple to pray toward an idol, hoping that their prayers will be heard and granted. Some of these prayers consist of asking for special requests such as love, money and even health, and many seek prayers from their gods for special healing. It was then that brother Hong explained to me how that one particular time, a woman, sick and afflicted, came into the temple and sought healing for her body. I listened intently as he explained how the priest asked her what she needed, and she said healing for her body, as she knelt down to the golden god, brother Hong said something came over her (spirit) and immediately she began to feel different, everything changed, and when she left the temple, she was healed! He was there, he saw it. The woman was healed of her sickness. But the strangest part of the story was what Hong told me next, how that three days later she was dead. There was no evidence the sickness had come back, instead, she died mysteriously. Hong believed that the very same demonic forces she sought in her effort to seek healing from, not only granted it temporarily, but in the end, they took her life as well. How ironic it was three days later.
So the question has been raised; Can Satan heal? The answer is – YES! But to what extent we simply do not know. We do know this however, Satan is a powerful high ranking archangel. Satan was skilled not only in wisdom and knowledge at the moment of his creation, but he was covered in beauty as well as musical talent. We know that Satan is a master manipulator as he convinced 1/3 of the entire heavenly host to follow him in his rebellion, and for reasons we do not fully understand, Satan has been granted insight, even prophetic insight into the future. Yet to what degree we do not know. Still, we know this much, Peter described him as a lion (1 Peter 5:8), Paul warned of his skill to outwit us (2 Corinthians 2:11) and John said he was our accuser before God (Revelation 12:10).
So why can Satan heal? I believe the reason Satan can heal or even take life (as he has done many, many times throughout history) is because God has allowed it under certain situations, mainly to cause judgment, or, as John says in John 10:10 “To kill, steal and destroy”. The fact that Satan can heal might upset a few traditional believers, but the truth is, if we look to the word of God, we will see clearly that most, if not all of the time, Satan does what he does to deceive.
Jesus warned us in his word, along with the words and warnings of both Paul, as well as Peter, that there would come a day in which Satan would bring all of his full power and weight as the evil one to this world, not only deceiving thru words, but thru action as well. All of this through the means of his two servants, the false prophet, and the man of sin – antichrist. It is here that we see the full weight of deception Satan will do, all to cause men to worship him and him alone. That is the reason Satan desires worship, for he cannot stand to allow God to receive glory, when he himself wants that honor, and he will use every skill and deception, including the working of miracles (Revelation 13:14) as well as healing (Revelation 16:14, Revelation 19:20) to do so. Even the ability to raise someone from the dead. All of this is why Satan can, at times, heal. To bring about deception. This is why Buddhism throughout Asia is such a stronghold, because for centuries men and women, even children, have sought the aid of demons to gain their trust, but they are only receiving a limited promise.
The only true promise is thru Jesus Christ. Again, Satan is not willing, nor is he able to heal people at will, only to suit his own selfish purposes, this is why many times the prayers of loved ones are never answered in the temples throughout China, because they seek only the lies of the enemy. Yet we know of one who now only has the power to heal, but to save, to change a heart and change a life, even raise them from the dead – Jesus! Satan has no desire to create life, for he cannot create, he can only destroy. Yet Christ has the power to not only create life, but to heal life, to save life and to redeem life. This is why the gospel must be given to the Buddhist, so that they too can understand why Satan is a liar, and why Jesus Christ has come to set at liberty the captive, because of the cross. Satan hates the cross, he despises the cross, for it is the cross which continues to stand as a testimony against the enemy of mankind, as it stands to show once and for where Satan was defeated – at the cross.
Can Satan heal? Yes, but we know that there is one who is greater than Satan who not only heals the body, but heals the soul, that in itself is far greater than healing this temporary body, for it is the soul of man which will live forever, and why Satan desires to deceive, because he desires none to be set free, but to be damned for eternity in a place called Hell. That is the difference, and why we must be vigilant in these last days of deception which is coming upon this world, for it will captivate the hearts of many, even the elect if possible if we are not careful. Don’t look at the miracles, or the sign of healing as much as we should look to the one who can both save AND heal – Jesus Christ.
From my desk in China,
Christopher
email me at: christopher152@gmail.com
rock buddha

“Thus says the LORD: “Learn not the way of the nations, nor be dismayed at the signs of the heavens because the nations are dismayed at them,” (Jeremiah 10:2)

 

How to be a Buddhist Christian.
There are attempts being made by some who have influence within the church to incorporate false beliefs such as Catholicism, Mormonism, even within the Charismatic camp, the word of faith movement is based on a false belief which says Jesus Christ had to be “born again” in hell. Which leads me to my opening sentence – “How to be a Buddhist Christian”. There are some who are now trying to incorporate Buddhism into mainstream Christianity and it’s becoming a major issue with those who see it for what it is – heresy, but even worse than that – demonic.
There is a subtly within false teaching that sometimes gets overlooked by many a faithful believer in Christ, this is usually due in part to either not faithfully testing out what is being taught against scripture, or the other due to accepting what’s being said at face value due to charismatic personality, or popularity. Either way, the outcome is always the same, people being deceived. Such is the case with breath prayers, which is apart of the contemplative prayer movement. So what is contemplative prayer?
Contemplative prayer defined:

Contemplative Prayer is a prayer of silence, an experience of God’s presence as the ground in which our being is rooted, the Source from whom our life emerges at every moment…. Contemplative Prayer is the opening of mind and heart – our whole being – to God, the Ultimate Mystery, beyond thoughts, words and emotions. We open our awareness to God whom we know by faith is within us, closer than breathing, closer than thinking, closer than choosing – closer than consciousness itself.

Contemplative prayer, in its simplest form, is prayer in which you still your thoughts and emotions and focus on God Himself. This puts you in a better state to be aware of God’s presence, and it makes you better able to hear God’s voice correcting, guiding, and directing you…. The fundamental idea is simply to enjoy the companionship of God, stilling your own thoughts so you can listen should God choose to speak. For this reason, contemplative prayer is sometimes referred to as ‘the prayer of silence.

Recently Rick Warren, pastor of Saddleback church, tweeted the following as it regards to ‘breath prayer’:

 

breath prayer
Why would Rick Warren, whose well known for his ecumenical stance to bridge both Catholicism and Islam into mainstream evangelical Christianity, why would he incorporate ‘breath prayers’ into his teachings? Because it’s all part of a greater deception to lure believers into mysticism, and worse, idolatry.
Living in China, I am surrounded by paganism. There is no part of China where one can go, visit, eat or shop that does not involve open paganism such as Buddhism. I have visited many a Buddhist temple since coming to China in early part of 2013, and I have become very familiar with its teachings, and one of its beliefs and/or behaviors is what is called ‘meditative centering’. This is a state where the Buddhist comes into the temple, sits in a 4 pattern position and begins to meditate and pray for open awareness, the idea is very simple, one gets into a level of deep consciousness where they become, eventually, aware of the spirit world, and ultimately become one, in mind, body and soul or spirit. Sound familiar? That’s what ‘breath prayers’ as well as contemplative prayers do, they get the believer to reach a higher level of consciousness, this, in their belief, allows them to commune with God. This is why it’s false, because it allows the mind to become open to the powers of the air (demons).
When Christians, even spirit filled Christians begin to dabble in mysticism and new age techniques, they are allowing the enemy full access to their spirit, soul and mind. This will always lead to deception and ultimately being deceived. Christian yoga, Contemplative prayer, Breath Prayers, these are all rooted in early paganism, such as Buddhism. So how does one become a Christian Buddhist and not know it? When they allow false teachings to invade their spirit to such a degree that they no longer realize, nor care they are truly being deceived. Such will always be the case when one turns from Christ to something else.
From my desk in China,
Christopher
Contact me at christopher152@gmail.com

temple mount

 

“Let the work of this House of God alone; let the governor of the Jews and the elders of the Jews build this House of God in his place.” Ezra 6:7

Early this morning (July 3rd, 2016) while I was asleep, I received a dream from the Lord, in that dream I saw a large Bible appear before me, it opened up and white light came out of it, surrounding me to almost blindness. I then saw letters from the pages of the written word start to literally come alive as they began to come out of the Bible and stream their sentences in front of me. Then I heard a voice, the voice of the Holy Spirit, who began to whisper, “Ezra 6, 7 and 8”. It repeated three (3) times, “Ezra 6, 7 and 8” then the dream and images ended. I awoke, stumbling to reach my phone trying to find out what was said, but under a heavy sleep, fell back into REM. Yet the rest of the early morning I could literally hear that same voice repeat the words into my spirit, “Ezra 6, 7 and 8”.

That morning, I went into the word and began to investigate what the Lord was trying to tell me, what was he giving me? I’ve had many dreams and words, but this was the first of something of this magnitude, then, while I went into prayer to seek his answer, the Lord began to speak into my spirit the full meaning, for as I was reading Ezra, chapters 6, 7 and 8, I noticed one theme, it was the rebuilding of the temple by the King. As I began to pray for discernment, the Lord spoke these words to me, “Out of ruin, they shall rebuild the temple, out of ruin, shall they rebuild.” Immediately God was making it quite clear what was going on, that soon, (I do not know how long) but very soon, the nation of Israel will begin to rebuild its third temple.

Yes, some will say this is already prophecy – and I agree. However, sometimes God sends a prophetic word to REMIND us just how seriously close we are coming to the period known as the last days. I believe that soon, how long I do not, nor will not speculate. What I do know is, God seems to be moving quickly, more quicker than what I have imagined to what is coming to these last days. Whatever it is God has called you to do, you should be doing it. Yet I know this, early in the morning God gave me this word, confirmed it in the word itself, and thus I know that soon Israel will be making a huge announcement that they intend, at some pint in time, to bring about the third temple.

From my desk in China,

Christopher

Contact me at: christopher152@gmail.com

 

amusement

“And in their greed they will exploit you with false words. Their condemnation from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep.” (2 Peter 2:3)

I like amusement parks. Actually, I love amusement parks in general. I love the atmosphere of a place where I can let my guard down in an environment where the moment I walk into a particular park, knowing that whatever problems I might have been facing in the “real” world, is lost temporarily in a make believe world, even if for just a few short hours.

In the United States alone, there are approximately more than 400 amusement parks situated across the country. From parks in Ohio, Tennessee, Florida and California (and many more in other States), amusement parks can be found in almost every part of America. Yet they are also money machines. In 2011, theme parks, amusement parks, and water parks generated a total direct economic impact of approximately $55.4 billion. Nearly 30,000 attractions (theme and amusement parks, attractions, water parks, family entertainment centers, zoos, aquariums, science centers, museums, and resorts) produced a total nationwide economic impact of $219 billion in 2011.(source)

All in all, amusement parks are an economic cash cow. This is why Europe and even China is getting in on the amusement park ride, because they generate hundreds of millions of dollars annually. In 2017, China will have 20 theme parks (not including the new Disneyland in Shanghai) across the nation, all funneling hard earned money back to the Communist party. In essence, Capitalism via entertainment sells, and it sells well.

So with all of the money being made from amusement parks, and other family entertainment, is it any wonder why that now the church is getting involved in the business of thrill rides and fantasy? From the Holy Land experience in Florida, owned and operated by Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN), to the latest Christian enterprise called Ark Encounters, where Ken Ham has built a life size replica of Noah’s ark at the cost of over 100 million dollars. This does not include 91 million in the first phase of work that was done several years ago, nor does it include several million in junk bonds that were sold to investors, nor does it include the millions in State revenue tax incentives the non-profit foundation (which is the same group who owns the Creation Museum in Northern Kentucky) will receive from the State of Kentucky, nor does it include the estimated billion dollars in annual profits from the estimated 2.2 million visitors in the first year through ticket sales. In total, this venture, like The Holy Land experience in Florida, will generate billions from Christians looking for another attraction, another flesh fix, another amusement for their already candy flavored gospel they so like to enjoy. But what of the spiritual cost?

There is no question that could be conceived today by someone desiring to understand exactly where we as a church are heading, which would garner an answer to satisfy their curiosity other than what is going on with the Western church? Specifically, the American Christian society. Yet here we are, in the 21st century, and still the Western church is struggling once again to find its path that it has sadly departed from – the Great Commission. Startling facts though reveal something more that is trending which should make us all take account of what’s happening in the modern church; Donations to world missions are down to less than 2% in overall giving, the number of missionaries per country is equally lower today than what it was in the 1950’s, which saw one of the largest growths in missionaries being sent, and now the Southern Baptists have announced a 15% cut in foreign missionaries, as well as support beginning 2016 – 2017. This means that less than 4,000 missionaries will be supported world-wide. This means that over 300-500 missionaries will have to either return home, or find another source of financial support. This means that once again, we are seeing what happens when the church trades biblical evangelism for modernism in the form of entertainment, hence “amusement parks”. (source)

The modern church today has an identity problem, it cannot understand who it is anymore. Is it the church which preaches the cross? Or is it the relative church which relies on entertainment and modernism to relay its overall message? Is it the salt and light of the remnant church? Or has it become one which has lost its savor? Either way, what we are seeing right now in these monstrosities known as Christian “theme” parks, are in essence more about who the church is today, and less of who it use to be. The simple truth is, the church has traded substance and truth for wealth and popularity.

There is a crisis in the church today. A crisis of faith, a crisis of identity, a crisis of truth, and unless we begin to once again reject these attempts to merchandise, and ultimately betray who we are in Christ, I fear that the only thing relative for the American church will be a church not of power, or salt and light, but of weakness, lukewarm and powerless because of our gluttony over the sensuality of our world rather than the humility the cross would bring to the church. In other words, the American church has sold itself for money, fun and the desire to be entertained.

How many missionaries could have been sent worldwide from the revenue these parks will and have generated over time? How many bibles could have (but won’t) been placed across the globe, into areas where there is little bibles to show who God is? How many mouths could have been fed (but wasn’t), or backs covered (but wasn’t) all because of the church desiring yet another gluttonous meal of fleshly entertainment? There will be a lot to answer for at the judgment, and many will question why they wasted so precious time building things which in the end had no true bearing on the gospel itself, but wasted every dollar that could have been used (but wasn’t) on world evangelism. Such is the state of the American church.

From my desk in China,

Christopher

Email me at: christopher152@gmail.com