Sunday, May 24, 2015

Christians Under Fire and "The Sifted Generation"

I am so excited to let everyone know that my new book The Sifted Generation is now available! I do hope you will consider reading it or at least downloading the sample at Kindle. (Click Here)

The times we live in are changing so quickly. It seems a day does not go by where some example of hostility toward believers is encountered or a believer is challenged to stand for his/her faith. It's these types of trials and tough encounters that Christians have feared for many years. I have been told many times by faithful believers that they just don't know what they would say or do if they were placed in a trying position with reference to their faith. As a matter of fact the most common thing I hear is, "No one really knows how they would respond." And in many cases that is probably true. 

Although I have only been faced with being fired from a few secular jobs I can say with empathy it isn't easy to make a public stand. But in each case where I have been tested God saw me through. That doesn't mean I have never been sent home without payI have. It also doesn't mean I have not been horrifically ridiculed in front of around twenty co-workersI have. Neither does it mean I have not wept and trembled in fear wondering how God would bring me throughI have. But God in His grace has always provided comfort with His promises and in turn, supplied all of my needs. What's more, I was able to witness much more effectively in the aftermath. In one printing plant I worked in, after several years of tears, harassment, and antagonism, the entire shift started attending church! But it wasn't until I went to a new job that I found this out.

One quick story. One time I came into to my shift only to find they wanted me to print atheist literature for Madalyn Murray O'Hair's atheist organization. Can you imagine that?? Well I didn't think twice and went and told my boss that I would appreciate if he would let me skip that job. He got a little rumpled and asked why? He knew I was a Pastor but asked anyway. I just quoted Acts 5:29b, "We ought to obey God rather than men." I then shared with him my convictions...consequently and without reservation, he sent me home without pay. In the print business you can imagine the different types of literature that come through. I know some may not understand, but witnessing for Jesus is the most important thing we can do. If we cannot stand for Him in the not-so-tough times how will we do when they get harder? The Lord once asked Jeremiah the prophet:

“If you run with foot soldiers and they have made you weary,
        then how will you compete with horses?
  If you have fallen in a peaceful land, [Literally “a land of peace”]
        then how will you do in the thickets of the Jordan?" (Jeremiah 12:5 LEB)

The same could be asked of us today? Soon. I believe those thickets are going to be all around us.

In The Sifted Generation I not only bring to the forefront the urgency of the times we are living in revealing what's ahead, but I also spend some time describing what true discipleship and following Jesus really means. In chapter three, "Sifting Believers,"  I state that maybe it's time the church understood what signing up to follow Jesus really means. (Tweet this) So many Christians believe that Christianity is only about acquiring a place in heaven. But it's so much more than that. God saved us to have a relationship with himHe wants us to get to know Him intimately and to be used by Him to spread His love; and that comes in a multitude of ways. It is so true that the closer we draw to Him the closer He draws to us. And little by little He transforms us into the image of Jesus! How awesome!

It is this loving and gracious work of God in and through us that gives believers a joy unspeakable! It is this desire for others to know God as intimately as weto share in His joythat troubles us when the works of darkness comes against us in force. This revelation of deceptive unbelief and hedonistic behavior brings a strong sense of oppression to our souls. Just like "righteous Lot whose soul was oppressed with the filthy conduct of the wicked" (2 Pet. 2:7), and the Apostle Paul whose spirit was provoked within him when he saw the city of Athens given over to idols (Acts 17:16). 

I am so thankful the Lord Jesus promises us that He is with us and that He will never forsake us.

The Sifted Generation is a real eye-opener. (Tweet this) Soon we will be face-to-face with the living God! How will we face Him confidently if we have lived our lives apart from Him and lost all reward? (1 Cor. 3:11-15). Know this, God's long-suffering is based upon His loving nature. He is giving all of us more time than we deserve to turn to Him with repentant hearts. Certainly, "He has not dealt with us according to our sins, nor punished us according to our iniquities" (Psa. 103:10)

For the church, the curtain call of God is about to be raised, The Sifted Generation asks" Are you ready to meet Jesus? Are you ready for the rapture?

God Bless