Seduced Into Silence (The Muting of the Church)

A lot has changed over the last 50 years. Culture has redefined itself in America and the result is a level of tolerance and an acceptance of sinful activity that has been masqueraded as compassionate, loving, and accepting. John Wesley once said, “What one generation tolerates, the next one will embrace.”

As tolerance has become the theme of the day in America, sadly Biblical truth has taken a back seat, while many of the foundational moorings of the Christian faith have come under aggressive attack on various fronts. In light of this, a muting of the church has occurred. The result is that sin is not only permitted, but it is now aggressively promoted (even in many Christian settings).

While this is a sad reality, there is a much sadder truth that the church must face! What I am referring to is the fact that the church needs to bear the burden and the responsibility for allowing culture to degrade into a place of secularism and darkness, unlike generations in the past could have ever processed or imagined.

I recently attended an event in Charlotte, NC where the city council voted on a new ordinance that would have made it legal for members of the opposite sex to use restrooms, as well as other personal facilities within the city, if it would have passed. The banner that was being waved by the proponents of this ordinance was acceptance, fairness, civil rights, tolerance, etc. This was geared at appeasing a very small percentage of the population that claims to be transgender. However, the result could have resulted in the endangerment of young children who could easily find themselves in very private settings with sexual predators disguising themselves as being transgender.

Even though Charlotte surprisingly voted this ordinance down, the fact is that many large cities in America have already implemented statutes into their municipal laws that do create grave dangers for our children. In truth, I believe that the fight in Charlotte will move forward, as the voice of the minority will continue to be heard until another vote comes before the council again.

Where does the church fit into the present challenges that we are facing regarding the continual resistance and removal of the sacred foundations that develop and sustain any society? The painful fact is that we are a large part of the problem! Instead of maintaining our identity and love for truth, the trend has been to become as much like the world as possible so that we can reach them and not appear to be outdated, legalistic, and old fashioned.

Let me say that I do understand that we must reach modern culture and even as Jesus used parables to reveal kingdom truths, we do need to present the message of the gospel in ways that are understandable, especially to those that have been raised in a postmodern world where there has been no Biblical worldview experienced.

However, even though we might embrace new methods of communication, the message of the gospel cannot be compromised or we cease to really be the church. When we embrace another gospel that does not bring a dying world to repentance by way of presenting the price that Jesus paid on the cross, then we must understand that we are the problem! Even though we love to get together and talk about how bad things are in the world, the hard fact is that we become the origin of the ungodly symptoms affecting our culture, when we lose the ability to be a prophetic voice as the church!

Another reality that we must embrace is the level of sin that has risen in the church and even in the ministry. Not only have we watered down the gospel by way of presentation to modern culture, we have also allowed ourselves to become partakers of ungodly practices and habits that have literally gagged us to the point of becoming mute when it comes to providing direction and warning to a dying world!

The only hope is for the people of God to wake up now! Our silence is and has been in essence a loud proclamation of our lukewarmness, compromise, and sin that has brought us to a place of utter weakness. When we should have been proclaiming and advancing God’s purposes and truth over the last several decades, sadly we found ourselves comfortable in our religious formalities and sideshows, while the armies geared at removing any trace of God from our society were very active and deliberate in their role, purpose, and vision.

Even though it will be painful, the church must look in the mirror of reality and ask some hard questions in light of the condition of our society and our lack of conviction and power to address it effectively. We must get honest before the “Holiness of the Lord” and allow Him to probe deeply into the core of our existence and remove anything within us that aligns us with a gospel that reflects a model of self-fulfillment, personal ministry success, an alignment with the spirit of this world, and a message that calls people to social, religious form void of true repentance and discipleship. Some honest answers follow.

1. We have exchanged the gospel of the cross for a gospel of accommodation. (We have learned not to offend man while at the same time condoned grieving the heart of God). Ref. Matthew 10:37-39
2. We have exchanged the anointing and unction for entertainment and the wisdom of this age. (We have learned to use talent, carnal knowledge and performance based ministry to entice individuals to become a part of our social, religious gatherings while neglecting the eternal condition of their souls). Ref. I Corinthians 1:18-25
3. We have exchanged an eternal awareness or consciousness for the passing delicacies and allurements of this present age. (We invest in the things of this world that will eventually be consumed while neglecting the reality of eternity and the world to come). Ref. 2 Corinthians 4:16-18
4. We have exchanged prayer and fasting (which begets divine assistance) for furious religious activity. (We focus more on ministry mandates and activities then we do on God’s availability to us through intimacy with Him). Ref. James 5:16
5. We have exchanged the fear of the Lord for the approval of men. (We concern ourselves more with what people say and think about us as believers then we do about what God has called us to be as His children). Ref. Psalm 111:10
6. We have exchanged the burden of the Lord for a life of feel good experiences that oftentimes only breed more of the same. (Even though spiritual, feel good experiences are great, if the burden of the Lord’s heart is not real in the life of the church, we become self-fulfilling while neglecting the great commission). Ref. Jeremiah 4:19, 8:20, 9:1

Keith Collins is the founder and president of Generation Impact Ministries (www.keith-collins.org) and currently serves as the lead pastor of FIRE Church (www.fire-church.org) and the director of FIRE School of Ministry (www.fire-school.org) both located in Concord, NC.

An Important Prophetic Exhortation (A Portal of Increasing Glory)

“An Important Prophetic Exhortation”

As I write this today I do so as a result of experiencing a deep prompting from The Lord! I have spent the last 30 years pursuing Jesus, as I have deliberately placed my life in His hands so that He can utilize me for His glory.

During this time I have experienced incredible times of God’s glory being real, even to the point of becoming tangible. I have also had visitations from God that brought great fear and joy at the same time.

As great as my journey with Jesus has been, there is a new season at hand for me, as well as for many others who refuse to stand at a distance and only look into what is possible from and with God. With this being a reality, I write this prophetic exhortation with Scriptures following.

“A Portal of Increasing Glory”

“As we continue to behold the onslaught of evil and darkness in growing measures, a portal of increasing glory has been opened and made available for all that are willing to live in the secret place. For even as The Lord has opened Heaven over distinct individuals, fellowships, regions and nations in past history, so is He now opening a portal of glory over His people that will be fueled by divine intimacy only.

Some will desire to live in this glorious realm, but will not pay the price in prayer to actualize it. Others will scoff at the effort and the embracing of the cross that is required to develop a life of divine union with Jesus, while claiming that they already posses all that they need, without a need to press deeper into The Lord.

However, a genuine group of worshippers and lovers of Jesus with singleness of heart will arise in this hour that will not be lulled into complacency, compromise and spiritual shallowness. Unlike many modern Christian movements that are creating a distinct dullness and weakness due to the idolizing of ministers, ministries, music, etc., above the glory of Jesus, this group of Jesus followers and pursuers will never be satisfied with anything but God’s authentic glory!

As the force of darkness in recent days has brought about a deep sobriety laden with grief to many, so will sobriety grip those that are focused on intimacy with The Lord in this hour. However, the result will be an eternal understanding that will restore the message of the blessed hope that we as the people of God are destined for!

A revelation of great joy will also become a resounding theme in this hour, as a heavenly portal becomes a reality to many. For even in the midst of gross darkness where persecution and even death (martyrdom) are occurring among believers, as well as from the sounds of deep opposition to the genuine gospel of Jesus Christ; a loud voice of praise and incessant joy will break forth, as light violently penetrates darkness and the power of the name and blood of Jesus speaks forth into every nation with the sound of eternity!”

“Lift up your heads, O you gates! And be lifted up, you everlasting doors! And the King of glory shall come in”–Psalm 24:7.

“He commanded the clouds above and opened the doors of heaven”–Psalm 78:23.

“Blessed is the man who listens to me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors”–Proverbs 8:34.

“Most assuredly, I say to you, hereafter you shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man”–John 1:51.

“After these things I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven. And the first voice which I heard was like a trumpet speaking with me, saying “Come up here, and I will show you things which must take place after this. Immediately, I was in the spirit”–Revelation 4:1-2a.

www.keith-collins.org

The Salvaging of America

It is with a great burden and a sense of encouragement that I write this today. In light of Tuesday night’s election results, many Americans who claim to be born-again Christians have come under a sense of dread and even fear concerning the present and future condition of our nation. With this being a reality, in no way do I underestimate or blindly ignore the detrimental dynamics that have been and will continue to weaken and erode our culture due to the resistance of morality and Biblical moorings in this land. However, I have to say that for the first time in a long time the subjects of “Revival & Awakening” are much more to me than just historical themes that breed a sense of nostalgia and desire in my heart. Instead, these themes have now become a source of singleness of heart for me. In other words, without God’s divine intervention in this hour of history in the United States of America, we will continue to spiral out of control and implode on multiple levels. Jesus Christ is our only true hope!

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THE PERILOUS CONSEQUENCES OF POSTMODERNISM

THE PERILOUS CONSEQUENCES OF POSTMODERNISM

In recent decades there has been a great change or shift in the way that many within Western civilization or society think and process basic ideas regarding the way in which culture should function and exist. In truth, this shift is more like a mega shift in comparison to the way that many if not most within the Western world at one time viewed life, values and the mere existence of humanity. For years among Westerners there was a sense of solid apprehension with regard to the understanding of truth and how the Biblical roots of that truth apply to the way in which the human race lives and expresses itself. An understanding of Biblical truth in essence necessitates that there must be a recognition proclaiming that ultimate truth is an objective reality and therefore exists outside of us and remains true despite the way we see or accept it.0 Sadly, there are many Christians who are unaware and greatly unequipped to combat Postmodern philosophy and in turn defend the foundations of solid Biblical doctrine that clearly define what truth really is. Herein I will explain the basic tenants of Postmodernism in an attempt to bring awareness to the perils that befall a society that sleeps its way through the numbing effects of this ever encroaching deception that has an entire generation within its crosshairs.

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For the Love of the Gospel-Part 2 (When Conscience & Opportunity Collide)

1 Corinthians 9:16
For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel!

It has been several weeks since I wrote (Part 1) regarding this theme of loving and being called to preach the gospel. I wanted to follow-up with some thoughts that are foundational when it comes to one’s ability to live a life that truly brings glory to Jesus and He alone!

The subject matter upon my spirit is one that has been a source of great, moral decline in the life of the Church of Jesus Christ in recent decades, especially the Church in America. It is as if we have now entered a season where we are challenged when it comes to dealing with truth and the very essential mandates of the Bible as it applies to life and ministry. With this being said, I know that many will want to throw up red flags and cry out (legalism) at this point! Though this may happen, I want to say here that this has everything to do with basic, scriptural principles that have in many ways been swept away in the name of: freedom, liberty, grace, etc.

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The Pressing

In recent months we have witnessed great levels of tradgedy due to earthquakes in various parts of our world. Though this is tragic and should cause all of us to pray for and assist the affected, it is nothing compared to the shaking that God can and will do in the days ahead. I am convinced as never before that everything will now begin to rapidly change in the world and church, as the Lord stirs His people to become His expression of holiness, mercy, grace, authority and deliverance in the earth in these closing hours. We do not have time to continue to focus on ourselves and our temporal comfort! As God’s people we must become normal and burn with a passion for Jesus and eternal things as the scriptures command us to do!

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Another Gospel

Yet when I preach the gospel, I cannot boast, for I am compelled to preach. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel!” I Corinthians 9:16,

The above scripture reflects the heart of a man consumed or owned by the call of God that stems from the message and the reality of the gospel. The Apostle Paul’s divine unction reflects a normal mindset when it comes to what it really means to love the Lord and to be completely His. As we look at his life and the level of commitment that he ascribed to, one must be honest and say that much of what we see and even promote as Christianity and ministry today is in stark contrast to what Paul lived, preached and reproduced while fulfilling his call on earth. Therefore, the question must be asked; “Is there another gospel being promoted and propagated in this hour?” My immediate response to this is, “absolutely yes!”

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The Depths of Humility

Philippians 2:(5-11), “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father”.

With the above scripture being a platform and foundation, I trust that the following words will encourage and challenge all of us to embrace the meaning and necessity of true humility.

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For the Love of the Gospel (Part 1)

2 Timothy 2:1-3

1  You then, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. 2  And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others. 3  Endure hardship with us like a good soldier of Christ Jesus.

1 Corinthians 9:16

16  Yet when I preach the gospel, I cannot boast, for I am compelled to preach. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel!

Something foreign and unusual has taken place over the last several years regarding ministry and the presentation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. This phenomenon has swept through the Church and caused her to embrace a level of tolerance and dullness that has in many ways stripped the authority and effectiveness that we as the Body of Christ are called to walk in. In the place of a true “spirit-filled/led” lifestyle, many have adopted a new paradigm disguised as freedom and liberty, when in truth it is founded on humanistic aspirations, along with a very real sense of compromise.

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Prophetic or Product Driven Ministry

There is an alarming reality that is taking place among those who are “called into the ministry” in this hour.

What I mean by this is that many of the modern day ministers of the gospel are not driven by the unction of a prophetic burden from the Lord. Instead, the driving force in their life and ministry is product promotion, which in essence is really self-promotion. Sadly, this ungodly phenomenon is not only permitted but promoted. It is as if many of these individuals are proud of the fact that they have mastered the art of acquiring funds and support from individuals as their personal interests and kingdoms are being built on their ability to market themselves, while using Jesus as their mascot.

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