Posted by: tucsonjefe | November 30, 2017

Out of the Abundance of the Heart

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Building People of Substance for Works of Power

Jesus is alive, amigo!

Every once in a while, I am compelled to ask the question, “If Jesus or the Apostle Paul came to one of our meetings, would either of them have any idea that he was in a church?” The Bible descriptions of the early church are pretty vivid. They weren’t bound by the clock, there was no worship band, the seats were not padded, and the AC didn’t work. The Holy Spirit even anointed the preaching without an amplifier. Maybe most shockingly, the Holy Spirit manifested Himself in their midst on a regular basis, doing things the Bible calls signs and wonders and miracles. It seems to me we have lost a good deal of the gritty reality of Christian experience. Instead, we try to manipulate the environment to enhance the “user-friendliness” of our meetings. Christianity is a supernatural thing. It is grounded in a personal encounter with God based on belief in, and a commitment to, a man who is God. This man has been raised from the dead. We call our experience with Him “conversion.” It’s essential. It’s a new birth by the Spirit. It’s a miracle.

After His resurrection, Jesus spent time with His disciples. During that time, the Bible says, “He proved to them in many ways that He was actually alive.” (Acts 1:3 NLT) Believing that Jesus Christ is alive is the crux of the Christian faith. (Romans 10:9) You can’t get to Heaven without believing God raised Jesus from the dead. In our godless age, it’s not sufficient to simply tell the unbeliever that the Bible says Jesus is alive. They don’t believe the Bible. They need proof. If those who walked with Him on the earth, were there for the crucifixion, and saw the empty tomb still needed proof, then so do those who think of Him as either a dead religious leader or a curse word? That’s reason #1 we must contend for the place of the supernatural in the Church today. Without Holy Spirit power demonstrating a living Jesus, we are left with dusty, intellectual arguments about an historical event.

Somebody Said: “If Jesus rose from the dead, then you have to accept all that he said; if he didn’t rise from the dead, then why worry about any of what he said? The issue on which everything hangs is not whether or not you like his teaching but whether or not he rose from the dead.” Timothy Keller

Scripture Reading: And if Christ has not been raised, then all our preaching is useless, and your faith is useless. (1 Corinthians 15:14 NLT)

In approaching the unbeliever, I usually couch it this way, “Jesus is alive, and I can prove it. Will you let me pray for you?” The power of the Holy Spirit and the authority of the Name of Jesus allow me that boldness. He still shows Himself alive through His Church. Let’s continue our quest for supernatural power by going to church with this thought: “What would I expect to happen if the resurrected Jesus were in the service?” Well, He is.

Pastor Virgil L. Stokes
Faith Christian Fellowship of Tucson
3141 W. Ironwood Hill Dr.
Tucson, AZ 85745
www.fcftucson.org
Office: 520-792-3238

Visit us on YouTube to taste the goodness @FCFTucson.

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Posted by: tucsonjefe | November 16, 2017

Out of the Abundance of the Heart

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Building People of Substance for Works of Power

Let the wind blow, Just A .

I have been praying for several weeks about how to approach this subject. Yesterday, the Lord answered me with a vision. I saw a windmill, an old one, sitting in a field. It was very still, no wind blowing. The windmill had all the working parts. It was ready to produce, but there was no wind. Windmills go back many centuries. They originally served two main purposes: to grind grain for food and to pump water for irrigation. Before the windmill, water had to be carried or pumped by hand, and grain was pounded with clubs or ground using oxen to turn a stone. I have pumped a hand pump, and I have seen grain pulverizeded by pounding with clubs. Both produced some results. We eventually had water, and we had some flour. It just took a massive amount of human strength, and it didn’t produce much. I am convinced that the Church is often in the condition of the windmill: everything is in place, but there is no wind. Our response is to redouble our human effort, pumping and grinding as hard as we can. We have a little fruit, but it takes everything we have. What we need is not more sweat or fret, we need wind!

25 years ago, the Holy Spirit gave me a prophecy saying there would come a day when even our so-called Word of Faith churches would be dry and without the manifestation of the Spirit. He said, “You will have to contend for the supernatural.” The Christian church without the supernatural is little more than a social club or a study group. Nice people gather to learn how to be nicer, and to think of ways to entice outsiders to join their niceness club. To move from discussion to demonstration, from intellectual contemplation to confounding power, we need the supernatural move of God in our services and in our churches. If you hunger for the manifest presence of God, for the wonder of His gifts, and for the miraculous signs that leave the unbeliever dumbstruck, then I invite you to join me as we lay aside our human effort and seek the power of the Spirit. Let the wind blow!

Somebody Said: “Christian signs and wonders are beyond rationality, but they serve a rational purpose: to authenticate the gospel. The gospel is opposed to the pluralistic lie that says all religious experience is equally valid. Signs and wonders validate Christ’s sacrifice on the cross and His lordship over every area of our lives.” ― John Wimber, Power Evangelism

Scripture Reading: And I myself will send upon you what my Father has promised. But you must wait in the city until the power from above comes down upon you.” (Luke 24:49 GNB)

The first step in our quest for the supernatural is to suspend the desperate search for more programs and practices. The things of God begin with God, not with me. Let’s take some extra time, take a deep breath, and wait on the Lord. Let distractions slip away, put anxieties on hold, and pray in the Spirit until the peace on the inside exceeds the clamor in the mind. Let’s do it daily, use every spare moment, until we get addicted to His peace. Ready? Here we go! Let the wind blow.

Pastor Virgil L. Stokes
Faith Christian Fellowship of Tucson
3141 W. Ironwood Hill Dr.
Tucson, AZ 85745
www.fcftucson.org
Office: 520-792-3238

Visit us on YouTube to taste the goodness @FCFTucson.

Posted by: tucsonjefe | October 25, 2017

Out of the Abundance of the Heart

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Building People of Substance for Works of Power

Let’s live holy, amigo .

“Thank you for being courageous, Pastor.” I was taken a bit off guard when one of my parishioners, a long-time Christian and a very bright man, made this comment after my sermon. The topic of the day was the power, the purpose, and the pitfalls of sex. I knew that some of the material might be challenging to a few members of our congregation, but it never occurred to me that it was “courageous” to broach the subject of sexual sin. I plead guilty to being naïve, maybe even foolhardy, but courageous? The fact that it would be thought so seemed more depressing than the subject itself. Just for your information, here are the main points that were considered “courageous” for a Christian minister to talk about:

· Sex is a powerful drive that leads otherwise intelligent and godly people to do really reckless things. David, Solomon, Clinton, etc. Hebrews 12:16

· Marriage is given by God as a protection against sexual sin. 1 Corinthians 7:2-5

· Sex is sacred for believers. It is confined to the marriage bed. Hebrews 13:4

· God will judge those who ignore these admonitions. Hebrews 13:4

· The Bible encourages us to run from sexual sin, and from all the things that woo us in that direction, including movies, TV, and internet filth. 1 Corinthians 6:18 / 2 Timothy 2:22

· It is the will of God for us to live holy and avoid sexual sin. 1 Thessalonians 4:3-5.

Somebody Said: Men tell us in these days that sin is what you think it is. Well, it is not. Sin is what God thinks it is. You may think according to your own conscience. God thinks according to His. – John G. Lake

Scripture Reading: God’s will is for you to be holy, so stay away from all sexual sin. (4) Then each of you will control his own body and live in holiness and honor— (5) not in lustful passion like the pagans who do not know God and His ways. 1 Thessalonians 4:3-5 NLT

That decrying sin and encouraging holiness would be considered somehow outside the pastoral norm is, to me, a chilling indictment of the condition of our culture and the Church. The culture is awash in problems that have sexual sin at their root. It seems beyond coincidence that the death of the founder of Playboy coincided with the release of a Centers for Disease Control report that sexually transmitted diseases are at record highs. Cohabitation is the norm, single parenthood is esteemed and subsidized, you can solicit anonymous sexual partners on your phone, and folks are kissing others of the same sex on TV. My question is, what keeps us all from taking a bold and loving stand on these issues? I love my people, and my primary charge is to help them navigate the pathway to Heaven. God forbid that I fail to tell them that there is a biblical standard for managing their sexual impulses.

Pastor Virgil L. Stokes
Faith Christian Fellowship of Tucson
3141 W. Ironwood Hill Dr.
Tucson, AZ 85745
www.fcftucson.org
Office: 520-792-3238

Visit us on YouTube to taste the goodness @FCFTucson.

Posted by: tucsonjefe | October 13, 2017

Out of the Abundance of the Heart

Friday, October 13, 2017

Building People of Substance for Works of Power

Pray without ceasing, amigo.

We live in a truly remarkable time. Day after day the news is filled with horrors: weather events, mass shootings, wildfires, the threat of nuclear war, the opioid epidemic, etc. This morning I read that a volcano in Yellowstone Park may destroy all mankind! It’s a bit much for anyone to process. And thanks to the internet, we hear about things when they happen, even if they didn’t really happen! As a Christian, my first impulse is to pray. Pray for those in harm’s way, pray for the victims, pray for the first responders, and even pray for those who perpetrate atrocities. One theologian’s blog expressed a kind of “compassion fatigue” when it comes to praying. We have prayed so much for so many, we are asking, “how do we pray, does it do any good?” Well, yes and no.

Herein lies the rub. In any given large-scale situation, I don’t know what to pray for exactly. The enormity of it all overwhelms my ability to conceive of interventions that might help. I am continually falling back on “Help them, Lord. You are able.” That is not God’s best. I believe the plan of the enemy has been to de-horn the Church by marginalizing the things of the Spirit in favor of self-help Christianity, political activism, and tepid religious form. Our hearts long to “do something,” but we don’t know what. That longing in our heart is God’s prompting to pray, not with human formulas but with the Spirit. His answer to praying when we don’t know how to pray, or even what to pray for, is to pray in the Spirit. That means praying with other tongues. A tongues-free church is a prayer-neutered church. Satan has made every appeal to pride, intellectualism, and political correctness to keep us from praying with power. Let’s not let the thief get away with our stuff.

Somebody Said: Prayer is an act of love; words are not needed. Even if sickness distracts from thoughts, all that is needed is the will to love. Saint Teresa of Avila

Scripture Reading: And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words. And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God’s own will. (Romans 8:26-27 NLT)

For those of us who have been filled with the Spirit and now speak with other tongues, this is our time. We have been equipped by God to respond to the groanings of the earth (Romans 8:19-22) with the groanings of our hearts. Don’t be distracted by the uproar around you, but give voice to the Holy Spirit longing within you. Give voice to the yearnings of God! We are not fatigued, we are empowered! Let’s do this!

Pastor Virgil L. Stokes
Faith Christian Fellowship of Tucson
3141 W. Ironwood Hill Dr.
Tucson, AZ 85745
www.fcftucson.org
Office: 520-792-3238

Visit us on YouTube to taste the goodness @FCFTucson.

Posted by: tucsonjefe | September 29, 2017

Out of the Abundance of the Heart

Friday, September 29, 2017

Building People of Substance for Works of Power

We are the people of God, Just A .

With all that is going on in the world, it seems a bit surreal that the news is dominated by some wealthy athletes who are kneeling in protest. To the best of my ability to tell, the protest is motivated by a desire to stop racially-based injury of civilians by law enforcement. I absolutely agree, when that happens it should be punished and ended. I also agree that a discussion of the issue is good for our country. On the other hand, watching a sporting event, for me, is supposed to be entertainment. If I want to ponder great questions of social justice, I will watch something else where a reasoned discussion can be had. That is certainly not the case on Sunday afternoons with the intellectual giants who man the broadcast booth. I turned the whole thing off last year.

Here’s my question: Why is the Lord allowing this to be so prominent in the national consciousness at this time? I believe He is sounding a warning. Here are the bullet points:

· God created mankind in His own image: Genesis 1:27

· God sees all men as descending from one source: “And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth,” Acts 17:26.

· Because of sin, He divided mankind after the flood: Genesis 11:6-8

· Out of all mankind, He chose one particular tribe to maintain His witness in the earth and usher in the Messiah for the blessing of all mankind: Genesis 12:3

· In Christ, He brought all men to Himself as one new people: Galatians 3:13-14; Ephesians 2:17-22

· Worsening ethnic division is a sign of the end times. Jesus said “Nation (ethnos) will rise against nation (ethnos).” Mark 13:8.

· The Church is the alternative to ethnic division. We have been made one people, the people of God, set in the earth to declare His praises. 1 Peter 2:9-10

Just in the last year, we have seen increasing tribalism around the world, people returning to their ethnic, geographic, and religious roots in an attempt to find identity and meaning. England has left the European Union, the Kurds voted last week to leave Iraq, Catalonia will vote Sunday on secession from Spain, Africa continues to boil with ethnic turmoil, as do the Middle East and much of Eastern Europe. India, Nepal, Afghanistan, the list goes on and on. We will see an increasing division of society into racial and cultural enclaves. Those who draw their identity from these natural sources will be seduced into their respective warring camps.

Somebody Said: When your identity is found in Christ, your identity never changes. You are always a child of God. Tim Tebow

Scripture Reading: Nation will go to war against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in many parts of the world, as well as famines. But this is only the first of the birth pains, with more to come. (Mark 13:8 NLT)

Ethnic identity leaves us in a position of being “against” those who are not part of our group. It is self-centered and exclusive. Christian identity moves us to love those who hate us and offer ourselves in their service. The challenge for us in this hour is to stay centered on who we are as God’s people, not who we are against in our earthly tribes. I love America, and it pains me to see her divided and defamed. My greater concern is getting people ready to see Jesus. It’s the only reason we are still here.

Pastor Virgil L. Stokes
Faith Christian Fellowship of Tucson
3141 W. Ironwood Hill Dr.
Tucson, AZ 85745
www.fcftucson.org
Office: 520-792-3238

Visit us on YouTube to taste the goodness @FCFTucson.

Posted by: tucsonjefe | September 14, 2017

Out of the Abundance of the Heart

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Building People of Substance for Works of Power

Listen to your heart, Just A

I recently had the opportunity to hear Rev. Doug Jones speaking about being led by the Spirit. He shared this truth: “Most people have very few “Go ye…” experiences where God speaks dramatically about a direction. Most guidance comes by being in motion, following the Word, and being checked by the Spirit on the inside.” That little “ick” on the inside is something we all experience, but often give too little attention. We want to sit in a room praying and waiting for God to speak, but God is waiting for us to get up and go so He can adjust our course on the move. A guided missile doesn’t need any guidance when it is sitting on the launch pad. Doug assigned us to think of the times in our lives when God had guided us by His Spirit in this way. There have been many.

My most vivid recollection is buying a car. We had just become pastors for the first time, and we needed a more “pastoral” vehicle. The choice finally came down to two Ford LTD’s. The one I wanted was green. The one I bought was two-tone, silver and black. The difference? The two-tone was at a dealership where one of my church elders worked. I knew he needed the sale. I had that little “ick” on the inside, but I wanted to help him out, and probably thought it would offend him if I bought from another dealer. So, following the flesh and the desire to please man, I ignored the check. What a lemon! My favorite habit of this vehicle was its propensity to stall when accelerating and turning at the same time. The agency assured me 5 times that there was nothing wrong with it. After some interaction with the Better Business Bureau, the owner of the dealership took a ride with me. I turned left across three lanes of rush hour traffic on US 66. Predictably, the car stalled, exposing the man in the passenger seat to oncoming headlights and angry horns as we coasted to the opposite curb. He finally agreed that something was amiss. Oh, the hazards of ignoring the witness of the Spirit!

Somebody Said: I don’t have the strength or wisdom to get through a single day without guidance and grace from God. Tony Dungy

Scripture Reading: For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, (Romans 8:14-16 NKJV)

Guidance is ours as we move to live our lives in accordance with His Word. When we approach an option that is not His will, He warns us very gently on the inside. We must be moving, and we must be paying attention to our hearts. What a valuable lesson!

Pastor Virgil L. Stokes
Faith Christian Fellowship of Tucson
3141 W. Ironwood Hill Dr.
Tucson, AZ 85745
www.fcftucson.org
Office: 520-792-3238

Hear Doug’s message on our YouTube. channel.

Posted by: tucsonjefe | September 5, 2017

Out of the Abundance of the Heart

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Building People of Substance for Works of Power

Time to sing and shout, Just A .

Like many of you, I have been watching the remarkable events in Texas and Louisiana as they battle the hurricane. The whole thing is a little overwhelming. Then I heard that North Korea has tested another nuclear weapon, and the nation is poised on the brink of war. Today, Florida and the Caribbean are in the path of another huge storm. Sometimes circumstances seem too much. My ability to pray with my mind gets exhausted very rapidly. I decided I should review some things to help us to pray effectively in these situations:

1. Pray for specific individuals, people and groups that we may know. We can certainly pray God’s protection and deliverance for them, then speak in faith to the circumstances. Mark 11:23-24.

2. We can call on the promises of protection for all God’s people in a given area. Ps. 91 / 34:7 / Malachi 3:11

3. Speaking God’s Word in a situation brings angelic help on the scene: Hebrews 1:14 / Psalm 103:20.

4. When we don’t know specifically how to pray, the Spirit will help us. Praying in tongues allows God to use our voice to dispatch His angels to intervene. 1 Corinthians 13:1 / Romans 8:26-27 / 1 Corinthians 14:2

5. Thanksgiving to God because we know He hears us, and because we know He is good and merciful. Philippians 4:6-7

I am heartened by the story of Jehoshaphat. When Judah was threatened by overwhelming enemies, he called a prayer meeting. The prophets spoke that the Lord would be with them and fight the battle. The army began to march with the musicians leading the way, singing, “Praise the Lord, for His mercy endures forever.” When they came in sight of the enemy, they were shocked to find that they had already destroyed themselves. Here are the verses I want us to take hold of:

“And when he had consulted with the people, he appointed those who should sing to the LORD, and who should praise the beauty of holiness, as they went out before the army and were saying: “Praise the LORD, For His mercy endures forever.” Now when they began to sing and to praise, the LORD set ambushes against the people of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir, who had come against Judah; and they were defeated.” (2 Chronicles 20:21-22 NKJV)

Somebody Said: Groanings which cannot be uttered are often prayers which cannot be refused.” Charles Spurgeon

Let’s join together to pray for people we know, speak God’s word of protection over the areas that are threatened, and pray in the Spirit until the problems are resolved. In addition, let’s be appointed singers to praise and give thanks because we know we will we see the salvation of the Lord.

Pastor Virgil L. Stokes
Faith Christian Fellowship of Tucson
3141 W. Ironwood Hill Dr.
Tucson, AZ 85745
www.fcftucson.org
Office: 520-792-3238

Visit us on YouTube to taste the goodness @FCFTucson.

Posted by: tucsonjefe | August 17, 2017

Out of the Abundance of the Heart

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Building People of Substance for Works of Power

Love your brother, Just A .

This past week we saw an outburst of racial hatred at a demonstration in Virginia. Though these things have been going on for some time, this one seemed especially disturbing. I felt obligated to address the issue with our church on Sunday. We have young people who were not alive during the civil rights, movement, who never saw the days of “separate but equal,” and to whom the “I have a dream” speech is relegated to the dryness of a classroom. Here are a few things we need to know:

1. Ethnic division will get worse. It is a sign of the end times. Jesus said “Nation (ethnos) will rise against nation (ethnos).” We will see an increasing division of society into racial and cultural enclaves. Those who draw their identity from these natural sources will be seduced into their respective warring camps.

2. God sees all men as descending from one source: “And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth,” Acts 17:26.

3. God sees only three divisions of mankind, based on their relationship to Him. The Jew the Gentile, and the Church. 1 Corinthians 10:32

4. In the Church, God has created a new nation, a new “ethnic group’, a new culture, for Himself. We are a holy nation, a special people. 1 Peter 2:9-10

5. As Christians, love compels us to see no one according to their outward state or appearance: 2 Corinthians 5:14-17.

6. Within the Body of Christ and before God, there are no distinctions: Galatians 3:28

Our nation needs help. We can pray. We can preach truth. We can love one another. The world around us is going to get worse. I sincerely believe that we are going to get better. For Christians, we have but one injunction: to love one another as Christ loved us. Anything else is sin.

Somebody Said: We may have all come on different ships, but we’re in the same boat now. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Scripture Reading: And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings, so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; for in Him we live and move and have our being, as also some of your own poets have said, ‘For we are also His offspring.’ (Acts 17:26-28 NKJV)

My plea for preachers and parents: Teach and reassure your kids. They are being inundated with information for which they have little context. As the Return of the Lord approaches, wars and rumors of war will increase. That is frightening. Racial strife will increase. That is frightening. Natural calamity will increase. That is frightening. Take time to teach your kids what this all means. Teach them to do the right thing. By all means, teach them that God has us covered. For God chose to save us through our Lord Jesus Christ, not to pour out His anger on us. (1 Thessalonians 5:9 NLT)

Pastor Virgil L. Stokes
Faith Christian Fellowship of Tucson
3141 W. Ironwood Hill Dr.
Tucson, AZ 85745
www.fcftucson.org
Office: 520-792-3238

Visit us on YouTube to taste the goodness @FCFTucson.

Posted by: tucsonjefe | August 5, 2017

Out of the Abundance of the Heart

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Building People of Substance for Works of Power

Love your brother, Just A.

I read again this week of a man, a minister, who fell back under the power of alcohol addiction while in the company of other Christians. In fact, another minister insisted on wine with dinner. As usual, the argument is that we are free to drink, and if you are a “new creature,” then you can do so with impunity even if you suffered from alcohol addiction in the past. The result of such logic is predictable (Proverbs 26:11). With the current attitude in church-world regarding alcohol, I know we will be seeing many more of these preventable tragedies. There are a couple of things you should know. They may not fit your theology, but then, your theology should be subject to change, anyway.

1. Drinking is not a sin. The New Testament makes this pretty clear: John 2:9 / 1 Thessalonians 5:23

2. Drunkenness is a sin. Galatians 5:21 / Ephesians 5:18

3. Alcohol is a drug. Alcoholism is dependency on drug alcohol. Drunkennesss is one obvious characteristic of alcoholism.

4. Once dependency is established, the body and mind will always react abnormally to the ingestion of alcohol, often bringing about a craving for more alcohol. The alcoholic should never drink again. It is a game of roulette.

5. As a leader, I have an obligation to live in a way that does not cause my brother to stumble. My example may actually be followed! God takes this very seriously. Romans 14:12-21 / Matthew 18:6-7

6. Jesus has made us kings and priests unto our God. In that role, is it advisable that we cloud or minds with chemicals? You choose. Revelation 1:6 / Leviticus 10:8-11 / Proverbs 31:4-5

Whatever your doctrinal prejudice regarding drinking, please think of those who cannot safely put alcohol in their bodies. If exercising your liberty offers them license, that is on you when you stand before God. I call it voluntary manslaughter.

Somebody Said: I’m glad now, at age 66, that I never used alcohol or tobacco… I’ve buried a lot of friends who used tobacco or alcohol. Jerry Falwell

Scripture Reading: Don’t gaze at the wine, seeing how red it is, how it sparkles in the cup, how smoothly it goes down. For in the end it bites like a poisonous snake; it stings like a viper. (Proverbs 23:31-32 NLT)

As you may know, I am a recovered alcoholic and drug addict. Over time, God took away my desire for intoxicating chemicals and gave me back the power of choice. I choose not to drink. I was employed in two different treatment facilities for addiction before I went to Bible School. I listened to hundreds of disaster tales. Since being in ministry, I have listened to hundreds more. I passionately hate addiction for the lives it destroys. These are avoidable tragedies. Please, Preacher and church leader, put the plug in the jug. It’s not about your warm glow, it’s about the lives of these little ones.

Pastor Virgil L. Stokes

Faith Christian Fellowship of Tucson
3141 W. Ironwood Hill Dr.
Tucson, AZ 85745
www.fcftucson.org
Office: 520-792-3238

We have many resources available for those who want to be more effective in helping addicts. We can also make referrals for those who need help. Call our office for more info: 520-792-3238, or visit us online at www.fcftucson.org.

Posted by: tucsonjefe | July 28, 2017

Out of the Abundance of the Heart

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Building People of Substance for Works of Power

Open their eyes, amigo.

Sometimes I get really frustrated with people who can’t seem to see what is obvious to me. A few weeks ago, I was praying about some people with whom I was particularly irritated, when the Lord spoke to my heart the words “strong delusion.” I knew that was in the New Testament somewhere, so I went and found it in 2 Thessalonians. Paul said that when the Antichrist comes many would believe him because God gave them “strong delusion.” According to Paul, they believe the lie because they have rejected the truth. As I thought about this, I realized I had allowed myself to get angry at folks instead of feeling pity toward them. They can’t see because they can’t see. They’re deluded. If they knew they were deluded, they wouldn’t be deluded.

We live in a world full of self-inflicted blindness. Think about it:

1. Babies in the womb are human. Why is that so hard to see? Blindness.

2. Men and women are different. Why do we try to treat them the same? Blindness.

3. Islam is committed to the conversion or death of us all. Why do we insist on pretending it is a “religion of peace?” Blindness.

4. Gender is genetically determined. Why do we pretend a man is a woman is a man? Blindness.

We could go on ad nauseum. Here’s the point: People who are ignorant are not blind. They just don’t know. People who have been repeatedly exposed to truth but, for whatever reason, have rejected truth, may be blinded. They can no longer see. Indeed, they now believe their darkness to be light. Getting mad at them doesn’t help. Only God can open their eyes. Prayer and compassion are our responses, not anger and argument.

Somebody Said: A blind man will not thank you for a looking-glass. — Thomas Fuller

Scripture Reading: The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, (2 Thessalonians 2:9-11 NKJV)

It doesn’t help to berate the deluded for rejecting truth and hardening their heart. It’s already done, and they can’t see it. Now what? As we accelerate toward the return of the Lord, the delusion will increase. We needn’t be shocked, nor angry, nor discouraged, we must be ready. We must be ready to pray, ready to love, and ready to persevere in proclamation of the truth which frees the receiver and blinds the rejecter.

Pastor Virgil L. Stokes
Faith Christian Fellowship of Tucson
3141 W. Ironwood Hill Dr.
Tucson, AZ 85745
www.fcftucson.org
Office: 520-792-3238

Visit us online at www.fcftucson.org at our You Tube channel.

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