This Is Spiritual Warfare – Dress Appropriately
More often than not, as I sit down to write these commentaries, the finished message is completely different from what I initially set out to write… as the Holy Spirit guides me, frequently taking the message in a different direction than what I had in mind… so I have a “backlog” of topics in my head that I intend to address in the coming weeks, and as time allows.
But today, I would like to just give you a few updates about what has been going on in our ministry here at Wisconsin Christian News. Our newspaper is now in it’s 20th year of publication. What seemed impossible “on paper,” what seemed impossible to EVERYONE, God has been faithful to make a way for, and to expand… to the point where we are now a NATIONALLY distributed printed newspaper, available in several states across the country on news racks. We also have subscribers in nearly all fifty states, and our website reaches people around the world. We get a tremendous number of amazing testimonies from people — worldwide — on a regular basis.
People are HUNGRY for the truth that we provide — in the pages of our newspaper, on our website, on our Wisconsin Christian News Facebook page (which is updated daily with important news items), through my radio commentaries, which also air nationally, and coming soon, Lord willing, we will be starting up a weekly internet TV program. Twenty years ago, the Lord called me to begin this work, and it has been a DAILY walk of faith; but He has been faithful and gracious to build and expand upon my meager “5 loaves and 2 fishes” that I had to offer Him. Truly, this ministry is very SMALL, but I dare say we are accomplishing more, and having a greater impact than a lot of much larger organizations. Again, I stand in awe at what God has done here.
So today, I encourage YOU as well… God is calling YOU to do something significant for His kingdom; and it may seem impossible, and it WILL be EXTREMELY difficult — that I can assure you. The road is narrow and rocky. But if YOU are faithful to Him, if YOU take that first step of faith to serve your King with the gifts and talents He’s given you, He will use you for His purposes and His glory, and there is no greater calling — and no greater responsibility — than to invest your short life here on this earth as a servant of the Most High God.
So let me tell you a little bit about what’s been happening here with this ministry. Recently, my wife and I attended a Christian conference in Ohio, where we were blessed to fellowship with like-minded, ACTIVE believers and Christ-followers who are ALSO God’s ministering servants. We heard from some powerful, insightful speakers on a wide variety of important topics. But we ALSO wanted to do some street ministry — to be salt and light in this dark and deceived culture all around us.
There’s currently a “movement” going on among those who would like to see the abomination of abortion ENDED in America. Those involved know that if the Institutional Churches in America would rise up and DEMAND an end to abortion, the killing would stop immediately. It’s only because of our apathy and indifference that it’s allowed to continue. While many church-goers give “lip service” to being “pro life,” FEW really do anything about it. I’m reminded of Jesus’ words in Matthew 15: “Hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy about you, saying: ‘These people draw near to Me with their mouth, and honor Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me. And in vain they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’” Indeed, while the vast majority of both Catholics and evangelicals will claim to be “pro life,” less than 1% are actively engaged in the battle to save babies. And so the blood of the innocent continues to run as rivers down the streets of our nation, while the “church” simply sings their praise choruses louder.
In 2014, Barna research confirmed that more than 90% of pastors KNOW the Bible speaks directly and clearly about the social, cultural and moral issues of our day — things that are destroying marriages and families, bringing death and destruction to the innocent and deep deception and confusion to our young people — but the same study showed that less than 10% of those SAME pastors will EVER preach on these issues.
So this “movement” I mentioned calls the pastors, church leaders and church-goers to repent — and urges them to get personally involved in the battle to save babies. Again, we believe that if professing Christians were to rise up and actually DO what Jesus commanded, THEN would God hear from heaven and heal our land. So all across this country, there are a FEW who go to churches to INFORM and EDUCATE the congregations on the truth of abortion. At least they TRY to.
First, they set up an appointment to speak with the pastor and politely ask permission to hand out literature and invite the congregation to stand with those who GO to the abortion centers to rescue babies and provide mercy and hope to the mothers. Because you see, there are so FEW who really know enough — or care enough — about those innocent, precious babies, knit together in their mothers’ wombs by God Himself, to get actively involved.
So they go to the pastors and simply ask for permission to hand out information — and ask those within the congregation to come and intercede for the babies, and the mothers. Ninety-nine times out of a hundred, the pastors refuse to allow even information to be distributed. They give a variety of reasons, including “our church is not called to that type of ministry,” “we’re ‘pro life’ but we don’t get involved in politics,” and even “while I PERSONALLY believe abortion is wrong, who am I to judge if a woman chooses to ‘end’ her pregnancy?”
But when the pastor refuses to allow an appeal for help to his congregation, these faithful Christians don’t just give up — but now instead of working WITH the pastors, they have to get their message to the people IN SPITE OF the pastors (or should I say “hirelings”). And so this is what we did recently in Ohio. The plan was to go to a local church near the Conference venue as people were arriving for the morning service. We would take signs (yes, graphic signs showing the HORRORS of abortion — because the sickening TRUTH of what abortion truly IS MUST be shown — as well as signs appealing for help from Christians) and we would stand near the entrances to the church parking lot and hand out literature, to EDUCATE those church-goers, and plead for their help.
When Sunday morning came, it was pouring rain; it was COLD, windy and miserable. Yet more than 80 from the Conference still went out, and stood as a witnesses “at the gates.” As people would arrive for the morning service, we attempted to hand them literature through their car windows. We were KIND. We were POLITE, we were PLEADING for them to just take a simple piece of literature. I have to tell you, you would be SHOCKED at how many of those “good church-going Christians” had no problem showing us their middle finger as they drove on by.
This was a “mega church,” the size of a shopping mall. I have no idea the number of people who attend there, but it was huge. One car stopped in front of me, and the man rolled down his window. I handed him a piece of literature, which he immediately threw back out on the street and continued on his way without looking at it. A short time later, he drove back around, rolled down his window again and confronted me, in a very harsh, mean-spirited way. He introduced himself as an ELDER of the church, though he couldn’t have been more than 25 years old. He asked why we were there, why we were doing this, and I explained it all to him.
He told me his church was VERY involved in the “pro life movement.” Yet when I asked him to name just ONE THING his church was doing to save babies or help mothers, he couldn’t think of one. Then, he threatened to call the police if we didn’t leave immediately.
One of our group actually went inside the church, to see what it was like, and to try to have a discussion with the “greeters” and “hosts” at the Information Center. He quickly discovered this church was of the opinion that abortion is a “woman’s right,” that as Christians we are not to “judge.” When he asked where they stand on the topic of marriage and family, he discovered the church had no problem with homosexual marriage, “transgenderism,” and that “all are welcome” — that this was a “no judgment zone.”
But our friend ALSO reported that their coffee bar and lounge was “SPECTACULAR.” And then he went into the church bookstore, and right there, featured in a large, prominent display were dozens of copies of Joel Osteen’s “Your Best Life Now” books.
Did we change any minds that day? Did we get ANYONE to join us from that church? Of course not. But the police DID come, told us we were doing nothing wrong, and went on their way. Incidentally, some who minister in this way outside churches often experience violent confrontations with the pastors themselves. For their safety, the ministers video tape everything, and you’d be shocked at how many PASTORS use filthy, foul, vulgar language as they curse and swear at the street ministers. Such is their hypocrisy.
Nearby was another large church with a sign out front advertising for their big Easter celebration — in which they were planning to have 75,000 candy-filled eggs dropped from a helicopter on Resurrection Sunday. And such is the state of the modern American church today. Pathetic.
On another note, we were recently confronted locally by a muslim woman who picked up a copy of our newspaper at a local restaurant. This restaurant has been a distribution point for Wisconsin Christian News for more years than I can remember, and every month they literally go through HUNDREDS of copies. But this muslim lady was extremely offended by an article by Usama Dakdok. Usama is a Christian man who was born, raised and educated in Egypt — a muslim country — and is one of the foremost experts on the Islamic ideology in the world today. His articles are truthful and educational, and he’s a highly sought-after author and public speaker on Islam. He KNOWS what he’s talking about. You can learn more about him on his website: TheStraightWay.org.
But this muslim lady took great offense to his article, and is now actively working to get our newspaper banned from being distributed locally, because — as she said — we’re “spreading lies and hate about Islam.” She’s also made it her life’s new purpose to stir up the local Islamic community at large against us. Usama was gracious and kind enough to call and speak with this lady personally by phone — only to discover she could not defend her viewpoints or explain the even the most basic tenets of Islam at all. She believes Christians and muslims worship the same god; that Islam is a beautiful religion of peace (even though wherever Islam reigns in the world, there IS NO peace); and she even claimed that USAMA was a “terrorist” himself — simply because he was quoting from their own “holy book,” the Qu’ran.
One thing occurred to me through these two recent events. The average muslim really has no idea what their religion teaches; they can’t explain it nor can they defend it. But the very SAME is true about the average church-going Christian. Again, going back to the Barna study; more than 90% of pastors KNOW what the Bible says about the most vital and serious issues we’re facing today, but almost NONE of them will ever talk about them… and so the average Christian remains JUST AS IGNORANT of their faith as the average muslim is of theirs.
It’s only when people get SERIOUS about their faith that they really have any effect in the world. And this is what’s happening now — if you have eyes to see. It’s SERIOUS SPIRITUAL WARFARE. When a muslim begins to truly follow their “prophet,” the media says they have become “Radicalized.” When a Christian begins to truly follow Jesus, the world (and even the church-people) call us “hateful bigots.” This is a battle of good versus evil. The devil would have Christians remain apathetic and ignorant of God and His Word, worshiping, instead, a “god” of our own imaginations in our “spectacular” church coffee bars and lounges — but doing very little else. But the faithful remnant believers are beginning to wake up and get engaged. They’re tired of vain religion — and they’re learning to serve their King, as our Lord separates the sheep from the goats. Meanwhile, one need only look at the daily headlines to see just how serious the muslims are.
Of course, “Muslim versus Christian” isn’t the ONLY battle we’re facing. This spiritual warfare has MANY fronts. We’re also fighting to end the shedding of the innocent blood of precious babies. We’re also fighting the scourge of the militant LGBTQP+ agenda, “transgenderism” and the destruction of God’s natural order. GOD’s faithful versus Satan’s. Good versus evil. Ephesians instructs us to PUT ON the FULL ARMOR of GOD… because this spiritual battle is INTENSE, and becoming moreso daily. So I encourage you to do that, because the devil is serious and God’s warriors must be prepared. So… dress appropriately.
Audio CDs and transcripts of this message are available when you call me at (715) 486-8066 or email [email protected] Ask for message number 254.
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