Friday, October 30, 2009

Man Raised from the Dead - A Must See!

You have to watch this incredible video! Doctor Chauncey Crandall is a good friend of ours and an anointed man of God who was also one of the speakers at Fire Storm in Dallas (if you weren't there...you missed out). He is a nationally known and much sought-after cardiologist and heart surgeon. Not only is he a man of science, but also a man of faith. He is known to pray for his patients and lead them to the Lord in the hospital, and he has experienced mighty miracles through prayer...including RESURRECTIONS! This video is a report on channel 7 news about one of his patients that was raised from the dead after having no pulse for almost an hour!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

The Gospel is Not Enough…Really?

*WARNING* - Some might find this offensive...sorry.

One well-known charismatic minister who identifies himself as an “evangelist” published this quote recently in one of his books. “We can preach the Gospel all day long, but that won’t win souls. That won’t win the hearts of the people. We can talk, try to theorize, theologize, reason, argue, debate, and spend time trying to prove that Jesus lived, but that won’t win a heart. How often do we see the religious mindset that believes that the more Scripture quoting, the more yelling, the more hell fire and brimstone preaching, the greater the chance to win someone over for the Kingdom? Likewise, how often do we see people sitting or standing there listening in stone-cold silence or indifference?”

This comment is typical of an attitude I have been seeing more and more in Christian circles recently. There seems to be this contempt for the preaching of the Gospel accompanied by the idea that it simply not enough. Preachers seem loathed to preach the simple message of salvation as though it were beneath their academic level; an insult to their profound intellect. I have seen how some crusade preachers never touch the core elements of the Gospel choosing rather to address social issues and give tips on better living. I have not heard the Gospel coming from the vast majority of the most fashionable preachers on television or the popular preaching circuit. I have heard recently how some have declared that the “Gospel” is really not the message of the cross while another told me recently that he wasn’t even sure how to preach the Gospel.

The apostle Paul encountered similar attitudes, even in the first century church. To the Jews, the Gospel was offensive. It made the hierarchy most uncomfortable confronting hypocrisy and challenging religiosity. It was to them a “stumbling block”. For the Greeks, the cross was just too simple and lacked the philosophical sophistication that they were accustomed to. They wrote the Gospel off as “foolishness”.

Early in Paul’s ministry to the gentiles we see how he attempted to conform his message to reach the Athenians by using a sort of “seeker-sensitive” approach. On Mars Hill, He preached a “culturally relevant message” that seemed both profound and appropriate. Rather than preaching the cross, he preached about one of their altars dedicated, “To The Unknown God”. He then went on to borrow poetry from a popular local author. Although a few people believed, the consensus seems to have been relative indifference. The people agreed to discuss the topic more saying; “We will hear thee again of this matter.” But where was the transformational, revolutionary power of the Gospel? It seems to have been missing.

Paul’s approach changed as his ministry matured. In the end we find him confidently declaring, “I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ for IT IS THE POWER OF GOD UNTO SALVATION for everyone who believes…” (Romans 1:16). When you read that verse, put the emphasis on the word "it". IT is the power of God unto salvation. The power is not in clever speeches, dynamic concerts, prophetic conferences or powerful prayer meetings. The power is in the GOSPEL...IT IS THE POWER OF GOD UNTO SALVATION. This is exactly what Paul discovered. It is the great secret - all the supernatural resources of Heaven come to bear when the Gospel is preached. The Gospel could easily do what persuasive words of man's wisdom could never accomplish. IT is the power of God unto salvation.

I must confess...my heart is heavy because I feel as though my generation has forgotten the Gospel and has lost the art of preaching it. Sure, once and a while I hear an "altar call" tagged onto the end of a message about "Seeing Your Dreams Come Alive", "Living A Fulfilling Life" or "Loose Weight and Feel Great". But where is the raw, declaration of the Gospel message: Sin & Salvation - Heaven & Hell - Repentance & Faith. When is the last time you saw people running to an altar to repent of their sins. When is the last time you saw sinners confessing their sins and being baptized by the dozen? When is the last time you saw drug dealers, alcoholics and prostitutes getting saved and becoming faithful church members? In the crusades we see these things all the time, but that is because we preach the Gospel and the power is in the Gospel. If you don't preach the Gospel, you will have good services and profound messages and stirring prayer times, but you will not see transformation come to society. When people don't see results in their ministries they will inevitably resort to more prayer meetings begging God for a revival (because this what we have been taught to do), when all along the answer is so close to us Paul says "it is in your mouth". I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ - IT is the power of God unto salvation.

I would like to go on the record as saying that the preaching of the Gospel is indeed the key to winning souls (regardless of what the above “evangelists” book says). Fashionable trends in preaching may come and go, but in the end, like Paul, we will find that it is the Gospel that brings the results. I have had the privilege of leading millions of people to Christ face to face along side Evangelist Reinhard Bonnke in our Great Gospel Crusades around the world and the great secret has been nothing other than the simple declaration of the Gospel with the power of the Holy Spirit. I will stand by it and preach it with confidence until the day I die. “I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ”. Are you?

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Darwinian Evolutionists are Intellectually Dishonest

One is compelled to stand in awe of the Darwinian evolutionists' total abstinence of rationale so simple that even a child can readily understand. It truly takes a university to make someone stupid enough to believe Darwin.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Evangelist Bonnke & I on Daystar


Last week evangelist Bonnke and I were interviewed on DayStar leading up to the FireStorm event in Dallas. You can watch the full interview below...

TO SEE FULL INTERVIEW -- CLICK HERE --





Sunday, October 25, 2009

FIRESTORM USA


Tonight was the final meeting of FireStorm USA here in Dallas, Texas where Delirious, a South African rapper named Cjay, Kari Jobe, Teresia Wairimu and Dr Chauncy Crandell joined Evangelist Bonnke and I in the Dallas Convention center for a weekend of salvation and impartation. Also, tonight Delirious performed their final concert in North America before they split up. It was a special and memorable weekend and we are all looking forward to the next FireStorm USA event in Atlanta this coming April. If you missed this event, make sure to be at the next one.

Interpretive dance special during worship



DELIRIOUS? performs their final North American concert...awesome!



FIRE!!



Kari Jobe leads worship



My little guy won a t-shirt...he hasn't stopped talking about it



Long lines waiting for the doors to open



Preaching the GOSPEL...and lookin' like a chameleon



Only Reinhard Bonnke can turn a Question & Answer session into a meeting with God

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Update on the Run

I know I missed a couple days blogging, but the last 72 hours or so have been crazy busy:

  • (Monday) Traveled 2.5 hours by car down extremely rugged roads from Afikpo to Enugu (Nigeria)
  • Flew from Enugu to Lagos
  • Arrived in Lagos around 10 am and waited until my flight that evening at 10 pm
  • Flew from Lagos to Atlanta (13 hour flight)
  • (Tuesday) Flew from Atlanta to Orlando
  • Gathered my family and went straight back to the airport
  • Flew from Orlando to Dallas
  • Went to the hotel, had half an hour to change clothes and head straight to Christ for the Nations Institute
  • Preached at CFNI
  • Arrived back at the hotel around midnight
  • (Wednesday) Got up early to preach this morning at Heartland World Ministries Bible School (Steve Hill's school)
  • (Thursday - tomorrow) I will be with Evangelist Bonnke on Daystar from 11 am - 12 noon LIVE
  • (Friday) Firestorm USA starts in Dallas and goes through Saturday night

Please keep the whole team in your prayers. Stay tuned for Fire Storm USA updates...

Monday, October 19, 2009

Interesting Pictures from Afikpo, Nigeria

Click any of the pictures to make the bigger.


During the Fire Conference last week, the Nigerians were flying an "American Flag" on the right side of the platform for some reason. I thought it was so cute. They apparently didn't have a real one on hand so they just made it themselves and in one stroke eliminated all but 12 of the states:-) I was thinking that's not a bad idea. I can think of a few states I would like to get rid of myself



This one is actually from the last crusade (Otukpo) where I saw a restaurant with a name that is both delicious and thankful. "God's Grace Delicious Food Restaurant"



In Brazil we had armored cars with inch thick, bullet-proof glass, but in Nigeria we are protected by people. In this picture we were flying along the dilapidated roads at about 40 mph and guards were hanging on to the SUV - one in front of each window. As the wind blew the jackets back we could see that our guards were not just ushers...they were packing heat. (If you look closely, you will see a 9 mm 1911 handgun holstered on his side) In Nigeria the bullet-proof windows shoot back!



Did you ever wonder what was in those barrels before we burn them? Well...have a look. People bring idols, charms, fetishes ritualistic tools, clothes and all kinds of things associated with witchcraft and the occult. We burn them just as they did in the days of Paul (Acts 19:19)



The witchcraft items in the barrel pictured above are being burned here. I am filming it with my Blackberry. You can watch the video below...



This is the video of the witchcraft stuff in the picture above being burned. Its low quality because I recorded it with my blackberry



One of the tech guys took this picture of spider that roomed with him all week. Notice the distinct impression of a face on the abdomen...CREEPY!! We are searching for the perfect name for it. The two suggestions so far are "hairy bugger" and Repunzel...If anyone knows what kind of spider this is, I would love to know.



What you are looking at here is a 240 volt 13 amp electrical outlet (what we would use to power a washing machine in America) but it is installed outside on a deck face up next to a swimming pool. This is very shocking.



Now that's a hard right turn



The musicians look for innovative ways to keep their instruments from blowing away

Sunday, October 18, 2009

CHURCHES FLOODED WITH CONVERTS! - Afikpo, Nigeria - DAY 5


A group of pastors came to our lodge this afternoon to bring us the report that their churches were flooded with new converts this morning! This is a wonderful indication that the seed of the Gospel has fallen on good soil here in Afikpo and will continue to produce fruit that will remain long after we have gone.

Tonight the crowd increased again to 225,000. Many thousands were born again and after the prayer for salvation, we prayed for the sick:

- A woman, deaf for 20 years demonstrated her sight with great joy (see picture)
- A man who was bent and unable to stand straight for the past 4 years was healed and stood perfectly upright.
- A man crippled for three years after a terrible stroke was healed

Tonight we also prayed for the thousands of prayer requests that have been sent in from around the world by our friends and partners. The huge crowd stretched out their hands and prayed that the long arm of the Lord would reach into every situation and meet every need.

Just before we left I pronounced a blessing over the people of Afikpo. With each declaration came the thundering reply “AMEN!” They have received the full benefits of the Gospel: Salvation, healing, deliverance, peace and blessing. The city we are leaving now is not the same one we found when we arrived five days ago – all glory to God!

Thank you for your prayers and financial support. We are laborers together in the Lord’s vineyard. We are on our way now to Dallas for Fire Storm USA. I hope to see you there.

Pictures by Oleksandr Volyk
Please visit our websites at http://www.cfan.org

Saturday, October 17, 2009

HOLY SPIRIT EXPLOSION! - Afikpo, Nigeria - DAY 4

What a thrilling day we had today in Afikpo, Nigeria! It started this morning with the Fire Conference where 25,000 delegates gathered for the final meetings and then the moment of impartation. The Holy Spirit fell in might power on the hungry crowd. I went down and laid hands on about 600 pastors and sent them out into the crowd to lay hands on the people. “Freely you have received, freely give.” There was an explosion of miracles. Many people were healed as the pastors witnessed how the Lord used them in the miraculous for the very first time.







Tonight the intensity continued. The barrels were full of witchcraft items to be burned. Also some people brought bags full of stolen items, which we handed over to the police. After the Gospel message we prayed for the massive crowd of 180,000 people to be filled with the Holy Spirit. The crowd erupted in new tongues and I could see how the power of God was touching thousands all across the field.






(picture above) showing the crowd the stolen items that were brought to the crusade field to be surrendered to police


Here are a few of the miracles testimonies that we heard tonight:

- A young man BLIND FROM BIRTH in one eye suddenly received perfect sight tonight. His mother held him weeping as the overwhelming reality of God had done occurred to her.
- A little lame boy walked for the first time in 7 years tonight. One day he will play football with the other boys.
- A man paralyzed on his left side for 22 years was suddenly healed and walked from the very back of the huge crusade ground to the platform to give his testimony. We threw his walking stick away, because he doesn’t need it anymore. Jesus has healed him…PTL!

Tomorrow is the final day of the crusade here in Afikpo. Please continue to pray for one last might harvest of souls. Afikpo shall be saved!

Pictures by Oleksandr Volyk
Please visit our websites at http://www.cfan.org

Friday, October 16, 2009

FROM DARKNESS TO LIGHT - Afikpo, Nigeria - DAY 3


160,000 people attended tonight’s meeting on the rolling hillside crusade ground here in Afikpo, Nigeria. In five days of meetings we have an opportunity to preach the full-Gospel, including some of the less popular topics. Tonight I emphasized the themes of restitution and repentance: “Let him who stole steal no more.” I can truly say that the people responded with Joy, turning from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God.

Here are some of the miracles that Jesus did tonight:

- A woman, blind for 2 years received perfect sight
- A man with a leg that was unable to bend for 23 years kicked and danced for joy (pictured below)
- A lunatic woman suddenly received sanity

Even as we left the meeting the people were still lining up to testify. We are rejoicing and anticipating tomorrow’s meetings where the Jesus will baptize many thousands of hungry souls in the fire of the Holy Spirit.






Pictures by Oleksandr Volyk
Please visit our websites at http://www.cfan.org

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Raw Power - Afikpo, Nigeria Day 2

Our crusade director leaned over to me tonight and said, “This is 'real' Africa.” He told me that one African evangelist came here recently but turned around and left when he saw the living conditions. Afikpo is as rugged and wild as it comes. Everything is raw and organic here – including the incredible power of God that we demonstrate.

Tonight the crowd doubled with over 125,000 in attendance…and this is only the second night! I preached a clear Gospel message and then invited the people to call upon the only name given under Heaven whereby men might be saved…the name of Jesus! In this idolatrous land we saw how many people brought their idols, charms and witchcraft fetishes to be burned just like in the days of Paul (Acts 19:19). By the thousands they surrendered their lives to Jesus tonight. I am sure that all of heaven has taken notice of what is happening in Afikpo.

Many mighty miracles also took place tonight as Jesus was faithful to His Word and mercifully healed the sick. I have attached a picture of a woman blind in both eyes for 12 years that was healed. I told her to catch me if she could and…well you can see for yourself what happened.

This morning was also the beginning of the Fire Conference, which will continue tomorrow and culminate on Saturday morning. Please continue to pray for us and for the salvation of the precious people of Afikpo.


Pictures by Oleksandr Volyk
Please visit our websites at http://www.cfan.org

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

"Tonight we hit the serpent on the head"


“Tonight we hit that serpent on the head,” said Evangelist Reinhard Bonnke as we drove off the crusade field after tonight’s meeting – the first of five. Afikpo is a city steeped in witchcraft and ancient superstitions. The people have lived in fear and bondage to demonic principalities that have gone unchallenged for generations, but tonight, they were confronted by a force more powerful than any curse – the power of the Gospel.

After preaching a powerful evangelistic message on the Blood of Jesus, Evangelist Bonnke prayed, calling out the names of the familiar curses and breaking them one by one in the name of Jesus. The results were glorious -- thousands of salvations, dramatic deliverances and remarkable healings…like the one pictured below of a woman blind for 4 years who received perfect sight! Praise the Lord!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The Afikpo Curse

Tonight at the pastor’s dinner, the chairman of the central working committee for the crusade gave a powerful and revealing address. We learned a lot about where we will be ministering over the next week. For instance, he told us that a top local Church leader was murdered recently by locals and cut into little pieces.

The idolaters and witchdoctors in the area are very aggressive and there seems to be a heavy yoke of oppression over this land. I am including a few excerpts from his speech that will give you a good idea of what we are up against here and provide some direction for your prayers.

“...Let me quickly acquaint you with some of the peculiarities of this land: This city is like Jericho, and her people like the Reubenites. Geographically, Afikpo is pleasant to behold and strategically located too, as you have already observed. It is a strategic gateway both spiritually and physically. A city on a hill with beautiful terrains and scenic outlooks, ‘but the water is naught and the ground barren’. Our dwelling seems far from ‘the fatness of the earth and of the dew of heaven from above.’ We inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, in a salt land not inhabited. Good, very often, eludes us, and our rights are taken to other people. We labor much and bring in little, and much of what we bring in, the winds often blow away. …As for our people, they are like Reubens: …we excel only with overbearing difficulties. Our old men spend their days in vanities while our youths languish in shame. We have won several awards but mostly in those things that cause shame. Servants now rule over us

.…Our women are ravished before our very eyes, and our old men are not honored. Our children die in their youth, and our mothers are left without care at old age. All these and more have come upon us, and we know why it is so.

…Although shrouded in myths and legends, the history of Afikpo indicates that she is under some heavy unbroken generational curses, which came upon her due to some acts of wickedness against strangers and innocents in olden times.

…Our addictive strange beliefs led our forbearers into such barbaric acts as killing twins and banishing their mothers, burying ‘criminals’ alive (burning them alive in the recent times) and shedding much blood in the land, even of ministers.

…We are trusting God that by reason of your visit to Afikpo, the curses on the land will be totally broken, and the heaven shall be opened upon our land, making it to yield her increase.

…We are also believing the Lord that the hearts of our people shall be opened to the Gospel and many of them shall be saved and also healed.”Additional prayer requests mentioned:

• That the people would be releasesd to serve God “without fear”
• That the shackles of poverty would be broken
• That the Church would experience unprecedented revival
• Integrity in the political sphere
• Overthrow “the spirit of pride”.

Arrival in Afikpo



I am in a procession right now riding through Afikpo, Nigeria. We just visited with the traditional ruler and now we are making our presence known in the city. The streets have been lined for many miles with beautiful smiling faces. School children dressed in blue and white uniforms run out of their classes to see us. Men and women lean out of second story windows waving exuberant and shouting hearty welcomes. Everyone stops working and comes out of their roadside shops to catch a glimpse of the caravan. A tailor with his measuring tape around his neck stands near an elderly grandma dancing with joy. This is clearly the event of a lifetime for this rural, city. This is how it all begins and only God knows what is in store for us all over the next 5 days.







Monday, October 12, 2009

Back in Africa

We arrived in Lagos, Nigeria last night and have spent the day resting, adjusting to the time zone and preparing for the intense week ahead of us. Tomorrow, early in the morning, we depart for Afikpo where the campaign will take place. Please keep our entire team in prayer this week and stay tuned for daily updates.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Jesus is the Hand that Steadies the Plate

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Fire & Brimstone vs Forgiveness & Blessing

In Genesis 18 we read the infamous story of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. I am fascinated by the account of Abraham and God bartering over the city’s demise.

“Suppose there are in the city fifty righteous,” Abraham asks, “will you destroy the place and not spare it for the sake of the fifty righteous in it?”

The Lord replies, “If I find in the city of Sodom fifty righteous, I will not destroy it.”

Abraham takes it further, “What if you find forty-five righteous?”

God concedes, “If I find forty-five, I will not destroy it.”

Abraham: “What if you find forty?”

God: “I will not do it for forty’s sake.”

Abraham: “What about thirty?”

God: “I will not do it if I find thirty there.”

Abraham: “What about twenty.”

God: “I will not destroy it for twenty’s sake.”

Abraham: “Suppose only ten righteous people are found there?”

God: “I will not destroy it for ten’s sake.”

God’s incredible mercy cannot be overstated, yet I think that this dialogue tells us a fundamental truth about Sodom. It was not destroyed because there were so many wicked people…it was destroyed because THERE WERE SO FEW RIGHTEOUS PEOPLE.

God agreed that He would spare the city if He could only find ten righteous, but I think Sodom’s fate would have been the same, even if God had agreed to spare it for the sake of ONE righteous person.

The Psalmist noted, “The Lord looked down from heaven upon the children of men to see if there were any who did understand and seek God. They are all gone aside, they have all together become filthy; there is none that does good or right, no not one. (Ps. 14:2-3)

Isaiah confirmed this when he said, “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way…” (Is. 53:6)

God would have spared Sodom for the sake of 10 righteous men. He may have even been willing to save it for the sake of one righteous man – but none could be found – Sodom was doomed. Notice that Abraham appeals to God’s sense of justice saying, “Shall not the judge of all the earth do right?” (V.25)

What is the difference between Sodom & Gomorrah and the world today? I think Sodom would blush at what is considered socially acceptable in this generation. I am convinced that the only reason that fire and brimstone doesn’t rain down upon us at this very moment is because a single righteous man has been found. He has drunk the cup of the wrath of God and “…the Lord has laid upon him the iniquity of us all.” In this season of God's amazing grace, we have all been spared because God found one righteous man in the city. Where fire and brimstone once rained, today grace, mercy and forgiveness rain. Where Sodom found damnation, we find salvation. It’s no wonder the Gospel means, “Good News.”

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

The Elijah Generation

Elijah is my favorite Old Testament character. He a bold and fiery prophet who impacted an entire nation in one of its most challenging times. He raised the dead and never died himself. He called down fire from heaven and went up to heaven in a chariot of fire. He is one of two Old Testament figures that appears in the New Testament (at the Transfiguration). He is also prophetically connected with both the first and second coming of the Messiah.
In Matthew 17:10-12 we read that the disciples came to Jesus with a question about his Messiah-ship. They said:

10…why then say the scribes that Elias must first come? 11 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things. 12 But I say unto you, That Elias is come already, and they knew him not, but have done unto him whatsoever they listed. Likewise shall also the Son of man suffer of them. 13 Then the disciples understood that he spake unto them of John the Baptist”

The disciples were confused because the scribes were attempting to prove that Jesus was not the Messiah by referencing an Old Testament prophecy by Malachi:

Malachi 4:5 “Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD: 6 And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.”

The scribes said, “If Jesus is the Messiah, than where is Elijah who was promised to precede him?” Jesus helped the disciples by explaining that “Elijah” had indeed already come in the person of John the Baptist. Yet it is clear that He was speaking not of a reincarnation of the old prophet, but the spirit and power of Elijah (Luke 1:17).

But what I find so fascinating about the answer of Jesus is that with the same breath He said “Elijah has come” (that was John), but also…ELIJAH WILL COME! (v.11)

John the Baptist came in the Spirit and power of Elijah to prepare the way for the first coming of the Lord. But Jesus promised that there is an “Elijah” yet to come before His second return. Who do you think that is?

Some people have said he will be one of the two witnesses that are killed in Jerusalem during the tribulation, but I don’t think that is a very good explanation. Look at what is promised – this “Elijah” which is to come, will “restore ALL THINGS.” Surely we don’t see this fulfilled by the two witnesses of Revelation 11.

I believe it can only be referring to one thing. In these last days, I believe that the same spirit and power that rested upon Elijah and John the Baptist will rest upon an entire generation. I believe that WE ARE THE ELIJAH GENERATION. It is we who will “prepare the way” for the coming of the Lord. It is we who will bring restoration as the agents of God’s power in the earth.

Consider the prophecy of Joel:

"And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: 29 And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit. 30 And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke. 31 The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the LORD come." (Joel 2:28)

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

"SIN" According to Susanna Wesley

It's been said that, "The hand that rocks the cradle is the hand that rules the world." Susanna Wesley is a great example of this. She was the mother of, not one, but two of God's generals: John and Charles Wesley. Susanna was one of the most influential academic and spiritual influences in her sons' lives and helped to mold them into the world-changers they became. Listen to this advice that Susanna gave to her son John with regard to sin.


"Whatever weakens your reason, impairs the tenderness of your conscience, obscures your sense of God or takes off the relish of spiritual things; in short, whatever increases the strength and authority of your body over your mind, that thing is sin to you, however innocent it may be in itself." ~ Susanna Wesley

"Someone may say, "I'm allowed to do anything," but not everything is helpful. I'm allowed to do anything, but I won't allow anything to gain control over my life" ~ Paul the Apostle (I Corinthians 6:12 GWT)

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Happy Blasphemy Day!

A couple of days ago, atheists from around the country celebrated "Blasphemy Day". As one website encouraged them to: "...admit to committing blasphemy against all gods. Religion is mythology. Gods are lies. Preachers are liars (yes, all of them), and anyone who believes in magic men in the sky are fools. Please take a moment to commit blasphemy today. Change your status message on Facebook or MySpace to something blasphemous. Wear an atheist pin. Come out of the closet a little more. Make it known… and make it loud."

Whenever I witness to these blasphemous types (which I have done quite a bit recently), I can't help but wonder if they will be able to retain their arrogant confidence when facing the rising fog of death as it draws them in to the darkness of an eternity without hope.

You see, death seems to have a way of bringing a solemn hush to the pretentious profanities of self-confident blasphemers. In those final hours and minutes of life, courage cannot be found in the fading flower of the mind and body. Excuses, justifications and intellectual arguments are all exposed as cheap covers, for a deep-seated fear of the grave, that cannot offer one ounce of consolation or power over it.

Thomas Paine was a blasphemous, smug deist. He was known to describe the Gospel as a “fabulous invention”. But his last words were, "What a fool I have been. Oh God help me, for I cannot bear to be left alone!"

Voltaire was another deist, infamous for his contempt of the Bible. But on his death bed he exclaimed: "I am abandoned by God and man! Oh Jesus Christ! Oh Jesus Christ!"

Robert Ingersoll's father was a Presbyterian preacher who had even filled the pulpit of Charles Finney. But Robert rejected the faith of his father and became a famous proponent of agnosticism and humanism. On his deathbed he cried, “God, if there be a God, save my soul if I have a soul from Hell if there be a Hell.”

Sir Thomas Scott said upon his deathbed: "Until this moment I thought there was neither a God nor a hell. Now I know and feel that there are both, and I am doomed to perdition by the just judgment of the Almighty."

HonorĂ© Gabriel Riqueti, the French statesman, as he was dying, asked to be drugged, “that I may not think of eternity and what is to come.”

Contrast these experiences with the last words of evangelist D.L. Moody. "Earth is receding, Heaven is descending, God is calling and I am going home. Is this death? Why it is not bad, it is glorious. This is my coronation day."

Or the words of Stephen as he was being stoned: “Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God…”

When a storm is approaching, many animals will nervously burrow and dig for shelter under the ground. But the eagle is not afraid. He simply spreads his wings and effortlessly rides the thermals high above the storm. He looks down at it from above and laughs mockingly.

My friend, when a man has Christ, he has wings. He need not be afraid of death, for when it comes, he will soar above it and taunt it with the words of Paul the Apostle:

“O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (I Corinthians 15:55-57)