FIRE DRILL: TAKE SHELTER IN CHRIST

FIRE DRILL: TAKE SHELTER IN CHRIST

“But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.” (Jude vss. 20-21) (NKJV).

There is nothing worse than not being properly trained and prepared to evacuate a life-threatening situation. Fire drills are a repeated exercise in schools and at the workplace.  At my former workplace, there were appointed individuals to make sure that everyone evacuated quickly and safely, when a fire drill was rehearsed.  I was assigned to be the “Fire Marshall” on my job.  When the fire alarm sounded, I sprang into action, and led everyone to the fire exits.  It was also my duty to make sure no one was left behind. But there were always people who would not leave their office because they knew there was no real fire. These rebels made my duty to evacuate the staff difficult. There rebellion encouraged others to stay with them during the fire drill. This is the scenario of the many churches.  The leaders are not preparing their congregation to evacuate the world and take shelter in Christ. Too many pulpits are still milking the “prosperity cow” and beating dead horse of “name it and claim it.” The fires of tribulation and extreme suffering and distress, are burning the faith and endurance of many who are weak in Christ. Consequently, prosperity preaching is not the fire drill evacuation plan to salvation.  Prosperity preaching encourages people to stay in the world with their silver and gold and believe there in no real fire.

Jude is writing to the church, to warn them that there are those who are among them, that are defiant; and were distorting the foundation of salvation, which Jesus Christ laid to save their eternal souls. Jude was encouraging the Christians to follow the plan of salvation, which they had been taught when they first believed. The writer was warning them to continue the repeated fire drills of faith and love; and not to allow false teachers to persuade them to practice any other teachings concerning salvation.  He was guiding believers to continue to learn the methods of Jesus Christ; and build themselves in him, that they may be prepared and presented faultless before God, so that they may enter the kingdom of Heaven. He wanted them to move swiftly and in a direct order to take shelter in Christ.

Now the question is, how does the Christian know there is a fire drill?  It is by a spiritual fire alarm. The Holy Spirit is the fire alarm warning us to get ready to evacuate the world, this soul threatening hot spot.  The Holy Spirit announces the outbreak of flammable doctrinal lies.  Our spiritual training sounds an alarm in our hearts, when we are being forced to dishonor God by worshipping false gods. Also, when we hear false teaching and preaching. It is not until someone comes up with an idea that disagrees with our faith, that the fire starts to crackle. Those of us who have been taught the unadulterated gospel of Jesus Christ, will take full shelter in Christ; and evacuate all social and intellectual Christianity that leads to destruction.  Christians must get clear of this inferno of deception.  We must exercise our spiritual training to escape the fumes of heresy and the condemning combustion of sin.

The faithfulness of God’s people has always been a wonder to the world.  We are physically in the world, but we are spiritually in Christ.  There could be, and will be, total chaos all around us and yet, we remain at peace.  This is the result of taking shelter in Christ.  If we are to avoid the flames of despair, do not play with social Christianity and the prosperity teaching because it is useless in a fire drill.  “They shall cast their silver in the streets, and their gold shall be removed: their gold shall not be able to deliver them in the day of the wrath of the Lord: they shall not satisfy their souls, neither fill their bowels: because it is the stumblingblock of their iniquity.” (Ezk. 7:19). There is only one exit in any spiritual fire drill for Christians, and that exist is in Jesus Christ.  We evacuate spiritually from the world’s catastrophic condition, and spiritually rest in the peace and safety of Christ, who is the extinguisher of all demonic fires!  We are always being challenged by tribulations and persecutions.  The Word of God tells us that persecution is inevitable for Christians: “You are going to hear noise of battles close by and …far away; but do not be troubled. SUCH THINGS MUST HAPPEN, but they do not mean that the end has come.” (Matthew 24:6), (GNB). There will be famine and earthquakes and many other disasters.  However, when troubles arise, and I promise they will, just remember we are being tried in the fire: It is a FIRE DRILL: TAKE SHELTER IN CHRIST.”

For the record, this is written to all who want their soul safe and secure in Jesus Christ. It is a warning to turn or burn. God bless you and amen!

Written by Jessica L. Matthews, Missionary Pastor

MAN-MADE BRIDGES LEADS TO SPIRITUAL DEATHS!

MAN-MADE BRIDGES LEADS TO SPIRITUAL DEATH!

“Where there is jealousy and selfishness, there is also disorder and every kind of evil.  But the wisdom from above is pure first of all; it is also peaceful, gentle, and friendly; it is full of compassion and produces a harvest of good deeds; it is free from prejudice and hypocrisy.  And goodness is the harvest that is produced from the seeds the peacemakers plant in peace.” (James 3:16-18) (GNB).

Personal relationships are like bridges, they channel us from one place to another. We are engaged in bridged relationships in every corner of our lives.  We are born into bridged relationships through our primary family. Generally, primary family members stay bridged throughout their entire lives. However, the fact that there is a bridge in family relationships does not, in any way, suggest that the bridged relationship is healthy.  In fact, many family members communicate with each other for reasons that are toxic and leads to carnal and spiritual death!  Many adults tolerate bridged relationships with parents who are worldly and give them everything their hearts desire. Then you have adult children who labor in bridged relationships with verbally and physically abusive parents. The primary family bridges are the bridges I would like to focus on in this article.  These are Man-Made Bridges that Leads to Spiritual Death.

Now, before you all start ducking and dodging and saying, “not me and my family”.  Please take the time to understand what the Lord is relating to my spirit to share with you all. I tell you the truth, a Christian would not be offended at all, in fact, they can understand this message from a spiritual prospective.  Only a Man-Made Bridge would collapse under the power of this truth. So, say your prayers and read this article to the glory of God. I pray at the end of it, you will be ready to tear down some Man-Made bridges in your life.

Family bridges are important and spiritually powerful, if they are built on the foundation of Jesus Christ.  But if you are in a relationship with a family member whose bridge is leading your heart and spirit into a dark and salty place; this bridge is compromised and unsafe for your soul. A bridge that is a crossing into lies, deceit, hypocrisy, jealousy, prejudice and selfishness it is going to collapse under the weight of God’s rebuke.  A bridge is built to take a certain amount of weight.  But when the weight of truth and righteousness stands on it, the bridge will fall, and those who are continually crossing this bridge into spiritual death will fall with it! Family members are just as dangerous as strangers when they are not spiritually rooted in Jesus Christ. Just because they attend Sunday morning service does not mean they have been baptized in the Holy Spirit.  If these members are still causing division and strife in your family and not peace, I would say this bridge is a Man-Made Bridge That Leads to Spiritual Death!

In the epistle of James, he is showing us two bridges: A bridge that leads to God and a bridge that leads to the world.  The bridges that leads to God embraces all that is holy and righteous.  The other bridge, the worldly bridge, leads to all kinds of evil devices and deception. We must take inventory of the bridges we are crossing and determine where they are leading us.  James went on to describe the bridges that are embracing the ways of God. Such as, peaceful, gentle and friendly, which produces a harvest of good deeds. He informs us of the integrity of the bridge, and if the bridge meets the building standards of Jesus Christ.  James wants us to observe if all the scriptural specifications have been met according to the commandments of God.

Bridges that lead us into hate, lies, jealousy, prejudice and other unseemly spiritual misconduct, is not a bridge we should be crossing, no matter who it is in our life. Some of the most dangerous people in our lives is family. Even if you are happy in the company of your backsliding or non-Christian family members, it is still a bridge that will lead to spiritual death. If your family has taught you to be an atheist, this is a faulty man-made bridge. It is not all right with God, and if you know that is the truth and do not make a firm stand in Jesus, then their blood is on your head! There are no free passes to enter into the kingdom of God, only through true repentance can anyone enter in.  We all must make a personal and conscious decision to accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior.  Our fathers, mothers, brothers and sisters will have to kneel before Jesus Christ just like everybody else! “For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God. So, then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.” (Romans 14: 11-12). My dear sister, who went home to be with the Lord, said to me one day after she became a Christian, “You know after you gave your life to Jesus, every time I saw you coming with your briefcase in your hand, I knew you were coming to preach Jesus Christ and repentance to me again!” Friends, my sister was SAVED when she left this life, glory to God! I refused to cross the bridge into her world, instead, God used me to lead her to the crossing bridge of Jesus Christ. A righteous bridge leads to Christ and not hate and division.  If a family member is a destroyer of love and peace, know the spiritual endangerment their bridge leads too!

What is this article all about, you ask?  It’s about knowing how to spiritually identify man-made bridges that will lead us to spiritual death! It’s about bad bridges we are walking across and getting hung up with people and their spiritual junk! The epistle of James is about having spiritual discernment and the ability to recognize a fruitful and righteous person who is about the work of the kingdom of God! One who has grown in understanding and love. Also discovering on the bridge of righteous, the love and peace of God that is implanted in the heart of the righteous. More families are divided by what is said than what is done! “But the tongue can no man tame, it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.” (James 3:8).  “Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing.  My brethren, these things ought not to be so.” (James 3:10). It is time that we stop crossing bridges to join a world of bitterness and envy, solely with the evil intent to exclude the righteousness of God.  The epistle of James teaches us that believers who cross the bridge into the world, will become specialists in all kinds of evil. These bridges are demonic and unspiritual, and anything can happen to your soul at the crossing. Look for the bridge that leads to life in Jesus Christ.  Remember, a person who is governed by the Holy Spirit speaks of sincere peace and the holy things of God.  A person who is governed by godly love and wisdom promotes love, peace and unity.  Beware, Man-made Bridges Leads to Spiritual Death! Amen!

For the record, this is written for those who are struggling with family bridges that are causing them spiritual confusion in their heart. Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6).  God bless you and amen!

Written by Rev. Jessica L. Matthews, Missionary Pastor

THE STRENGTH OF GOD’S PEOPLE STARTS WITH ITS LEADERSHIP!

THE STRENGTH OF GOD’S PEOPLE STARTS WITH ITS LEADERSHIP

“A son honoreth his father and servant his master: if then be a father, where is mine honour? And if I be a master, where is my fear?  Said the Lord of hosts unto you, O priests, that despise my name.  And ye say, Wherein have we despised thy name? (Malachi 1:6).

Stop! Before you run away because you think this is a begging article, it’s not.  It is a reminder to the leaders of God’s people: to lead God’s people by example, to honor God through reverence and purity! Christians are not required to offer lamb’s blood as an offering to God. This was made possible through our Lord Jesus Christ, who was the perfect and final blood offering for our sins. However, Christians leaders have a divine duty to make prayer offerings daily, to seek the will of God for his people. The congregation members are not called to be the Priest’s/Pastor’s personal servants! We are all called to be servants of God, and all that we do should be for the kingdom of God. The spiritual talents that we have received from the Holy Spirit, are being misappropriated by the leadership for personal gain.  What honor is left for God when the offerings of service and dedication are being sifted by a leader with a NEBUCHADNEZZAR complex? Jesus always sacrificed prayer to God to receive spiritual power to do God’s will, and not his own! “I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.” (John 5:30). The priests in Malachi were offering God garbage at his altar, not the pure sacrifice that he requires! Spiritually dysfunctional congregations are under a leadership that does offer pure prayers to God for spiritual guidance, thereby lacking spiritual strength. The Strength of God’s People Starts with its Leadership!

Leaders of the house of God knows there is one above them, who will hold them accountable for their spiritually polluted administration. “Thus saith the Lord of hosts to you; O Priests.” God has a word for unfaithful ministers; and it concerns those who speak from God to his people.  The ministers are not preaching the words God wants his people to hear. Such as, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrigheousness.” (I John 1:9). On the contrary, unfaithful ministers avoid preaching on repentance, which is the cord of our salvation! Thereby, the people are convinced they have no sins and return to their vomit! “If we say that we have no sins, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” (I John 1:8). It is an uncompromising and a fitting reproof, which is given to the priests/pastors, for the rebellion of the holy things of God. Are ministers spending sincere time in prayer or are they running a fundraising campaign? If pure and sincere prayers were being offered to God daily, there would be no need for fundraisers.  How could that be, you ask? Because God would touch the hearts of his people and everyone would be obedient in their giving.  Thereby, the congregation’s missionary needs would be met!! Leaders have to offer their quality time to pray for themselves, their congregation and to seek God’s will!

One of the main reasons the Spiritual Church is weak, is because the leadership is spiritually weak! Many leaders are not honoring God and they do not fear God! They have forgotten God their Father and Master in heaven, and the duty they owe him.  Jesus instructs us to go directly to God: who we address, “Our Father,” making our petitions in His name. Jesus directs us “Use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do.  Offering prayer is a time of giving God praise and thanks for his grace and mercy and love.  All ministers should be showing faith in God’s divinity and ability. “He that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (Heb. 11:6). Here is where the Church’s trouble rest, in the lack of prayer. The leaders cannot receive God’s healing application, if the leader is not presenting the sicknesses of the people to God in prayer for a remedy!

Since the lack of sacrificial prayer is the crime of the priests/pastors today, we have reason to fear also, the people are guilty of a non-existing prayer life! Consequently, what is said to the priests/pastors is said to all. It is said to all, who as Christians profess obedient and followers of Jesus Christ. God expects his people to honor him, “A son honors his Father”, God is our Father and we must honor him.  But when the priests/pastors, who are children of God, his servants, do not fear and honor him, what can God expect from the sheepfold?  Ministers must stop despising God by not praying or offering him second-hand prayers, polluted with selfish intentions for their personal ambitions! Stop using the talents of God’s people to lift your business ventures; and minimizing the business of God.  The priests/pastors lack of spiritual duty is weakening the body of Christ; and endangering the souls God’s people. If the spiritual leader is an adulterer, so are the followers.  If the spiritual leader is an alcoholic, so are the followers. If the spiritual leader demand that God be shown honor and reverence, the congregation will do so! The Strength of God’s people starts with its Leadership!

For the record, this is written to strengthen priests/pastors and the congregation of Jesus Christ. It’s time to dismantle the flesh and walk in the Spirit of God and offer our Heavenly Father pure and sincere prayers. God bless you and amen!

Written by Rev. Jessica L. Matthews, Missionary Pastor