-Independence Day 2016: Freedom Comes from God

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Happy Independence Day 2016.

The following is our traditional message for the 4th of July:

 

Flags are flying, parades are moving, drinks are flowing, and politicians are speaking today in America.

240 years ago a message was confirmed by representatives of 13 colonies proclaiming their freedom, a freedom that was considered to be derived from God:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

Much has been made of the variety of beliefs held by the founders of this country but their words and convictions remain not only on paper but also in the hearts of the people.

Declaration of Independence: The Emphasis Upon God

When it comes to the Declaration of Independence, the words- “by their Creator” were a major part of the message, the subject, and the emphasis.

Many secularists and atheists today want to de-emphasize the role of faith in the founding of this country to the point that many are attempting to actually rewrite history itself. For them, God could have easily been left out of the document with little or no effect.

But in the context of 1776, those words were the whole linchpin of the document and appealed to as the ultimate authority and source for the rights of the Americans to rebel against the King of England.

In the context of the 18th century the Europeans believed that their Kings reigned and ruled ‘by Divine right’ under the authority of God and were His direct representatives. In fact, the King of England was also the head of the church and was supposed to defend the Christian faith against heresy and all enemies. In that cultural context, to rebel against the King was tantamount to rebelling against God the Creator himself.

In the Declaration the founders made it clear that they were not rebelling against God but that the Creator was actually the ultimate authority they were appealing to saying that their ‘rights’ were derived directly from the Creator and not given to them by the King of England or some parchment or Parliament.

It was a radical document at the time and changed the whole course of human history and ‘the Creator’ was part and parcel of the Declaration of Independence and the ultimate authority appealed to in the whole process.            *Top

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-Tibetan Revival: 200,000 Buddhists Accept Jesus?

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                 (The Potala Palace in Lhasa, Tibet)

We are living in exciting times. According to several reports over 200,000 Buddhists have come to Jesus in the last year. Here’s the story from Charisma News:

All the revival needed was the first spark of a Tibetan monk. When he converted to Christianity last year, the revival fire exploded. Now, more than 200,000 Tibetans have accepted Jesus into their lives, according to multiple reports.  

Asian Access’ Joel Handley says he believes much of the faith sweeping the region stems from Christian response to the devastating Nepalese earthquake more than a year ago.  

“They haven’t seen Buddhists, Hindus or other religious groups helping in the midst of the rubble. Rather, week after week, it is the followers of Jesus who have proved the test of time, sacrificed their own lives to serve and been the hands and feet of Jesus,” Handley says

<Read the whole article>

Response: Not only is this exciting but miraculous. The Buddhist mountain nations of Tibet, Nepal, and Bhutan have been untouched by Christianity for centuries. Every missionary effort in those countries was shut down and rejected by the people and the government authorities in the past. Now the door has been miraculously opened and folks are coming to Christ in those far away countries.

What is happening now in Tibet could not have been planned or expected accept by the Lord himself. Remember, Tibet is politically an autonomous region of China which would limit any formal missionary activity.

This is similar to what is happening among Muslims who were rarely converted to Jesus until recently. Now there are reports all over the place of Muslims secretly coming to Christ through dreams and visions. Then there is the example of more Jewish folks coming to Jesus in the last ten years than any other time in history since the first century. Now Buddhists in unreachable places are coming to Jesus in unprecedented numbers. Praise the Lord.                *Top

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-National Day of Prayer 2016

Today is the 65th annual National Day of Prayer.

The theme for 2016 is Wake Up America, emphasizing the need for individuals, corporately and individually, to return to the God of our Fathers in reverence for His Holy Name. To further highlight the theme, Isaiah 58:1a is the key Scripture chosen for this year:  “Shout it aloud, do not hold back. Raise your voice like a trumpet.

Please take the time to pray today for America and for our leaders. May God continue to bless America as we continue to honor him and his Son Jesus.

Today America is at a fork in the road. It could continue to decline and fall away from the religious foundation it was built upon. This is the enemies plan for our nation as he continues to sows fear and division in our land. Let us pray for revival and a new awakening instead that would bring our nation back to God and bring hope, faith, love, and healing among our people. 

Here’s a link to the National Day of Prayer website for more information and a list of activities for the day.             *Top

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-Will the Chinese Host the Largest Revival?

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                                                             Pastor Kong Hee with his wife, Sun Ho. (Facebook)

Will the largest ‘end-time’ revival take place among the Chinese? According to Pastor Kong Hee that will be the case. Here’s the story from Charisma News:

“Many pop celebrities have received Christ and are boldly proclaiming their faith on traditional and new media. I have no doubt that the largest revival in the End-Times will be a move of God in the Chinese-speaking world,” Kong wrote.

Response: In many ways a hidden revival has been on-going in China since the Communists shut down the churches and missions after WWII. At the time there were less than a million Christians in the country but a generation later there are at least 100 million and maybe as many as 150 million Chinese believers mostly worshipping in house churches.

Now the Chinese church seems to be ready to go prime time and maybe affect the entire culture. However government persecution has also increased as many of the house churches came out of the closet and began building large worship facilities to hold all of the converts.

It will be interesting to see how a hundred million or so Christians will end up affecting the economy and the government in the future. According to reports, there have been numerous conversions of government officials in some areas. Will the supposedly pragmatic current Communist regime continue to crack down on the churches or allow them to be mainstreamed? A turning point one way or another seems to have been reached and the exponential growth of the Christian church in China can no longer be culturally ignored.                *Top

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-Happy Resurrection Day 2016

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He is Risen! He is Risen Indeed!

May You and your family have a wonderful Easter. May we all remember and reflect upon what is really important after all the cultural fun of Easter bunnies, colored eggs, and special ham dinners and family get togethers. May we remember what the day is really all about—the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Happy Resurrection Day!

When the women went to the tomb on Easter morning the rock was rolled away and the tomb was empty. Not only that but an angel met them there and said:

“Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here, for he has risen, as he said. Come see the place where he lay.”

…And behold Jesus met them and said, “Greetings! Do not be afraid…” –Matt.28:5-10

Another good scripture to remember–this is what Jesus told Martha before he raised her brother Lazarus from the grave:

“I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?  –John 11:25-26

The good question for each one of us today—Do you believe this?

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