Archive for July, 2009

Praying for the king of Saudi Arabia

July 29, 2009

As much as we would like to ignore it, the tensions in the Middle East and terrorism around the world continue to dominate the media. Whether we like it or not, such tension plays a major part in today’s history.

What can be done to advance the kingdom of God among Muslims? This question often comes to my mind. One thing I am doing about it is praying daily for the king and princes of Saudi Arabia. I am praying they will be convicted of sin, righteousness and judgement (John 16:8) and that they will have dreams and visions of Christ that will strike terror in their hearts. I have been praying daily in this manner for more than a year.

Why would I pray such a prayer for so long? Firstly it is the Holy Spirit’s mandate from the Father to convict the world of sin, righteousness and judgement as the gospel is preached and openly preaching the gospel is not currently possible in Saudi Arabia. Secondly, I often hear of cases in the Muslim world where Muslims have had visions and dreams, which have turned them to Jesus Christ. With this in mind, and the realization that the holy shrines of Medina and Mecca are in Saudi Arabia and the king and princes are the custodians of such shrines on behalf of all Muslims, I figure that prayers for the conversion of that nation’s leaders would be most influential.

While praying this morning I was led to write this article to all my readers and encourage you to begin praying daily for these king and princes to be convicted by the Holy Spirit and that they would experience dreams and visions that would strike fear in their hearts. Their forefathers in the day of Daniel came under such conviction and fear and Israel was delivered from their hands. Times are different now and we are not calling for Israel to be delivered, but rather that these nations come to Christ and be saved also. 

It was reported in recent times that one of the kings of Saudi Arabia once asked a Western Diplomat this question: “If your Christianity is the truth from God, then why are you not trying to convert me?” When I read challenging report this it convicted me of my own timidity and has compelled me to continually pray for these men. May God bless our prayers in this regard.

Blessings

Bob Chapman MA

Website: www.extremelives.strongchain.com

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God is not in the Medicare business!

July 20, 2009

I have seen folks healed instantly when prayed for in the name of Jesus.

I have seen folks slowly recover when prayed for in the name of Jesus.

I have seen folks fail to recover when prayed for in the name of Jesus.

What is my conclusion about all this? Simple: God is not in the Medicare business!

Can God heal sick folk in the name of Jesus? Yes He can. Does God ask Christians to pray for the sick among them? Yes He does, James 5:13-18. Then why do some recover and some do not?

I cannot answer that question directly; I am not God. As a servant of God though I can believe by faith in His word that instructs me to pray in His Son’s name and leave the outcomes to Him. Yes I would love to see all who are prayed for recover, but that’s the compassion that rises up in me at the sight of illness in others. And it is that compassion, accompanied by my minuscule faith, which continues to move me to pray regardless of the outcome.

I realise that healing and any other direct charismata of the Holy Spirit are not mine to possess or to question. Rather, I am to be Christ’s bondservant who is willing to be filled, led, empowered and anointed in His ministry and be subject to His will. For me to think of myself as being anything more than that is presumptuous. Even Jesus on occasions could not heal the sick or witness the manifestation of charismata among some folk. This is not to say that I am blaming others for their lack of faith or unbelief; far from it. I am merely pointing out a fact about ministry as Jesus experienced it, Mark 6:5-6.

Certainly, it is devastating to most when a loved one is not healed, and they leave us. Moreover, how we cope with that loss is important, and it is something disciples should be preparing for from the very beginning of their walk with the Lord. A disciple’s main focus should always be Jesus and Jesus alone in addition to the saving of souls and the eternal destiny of all, including loved ones. Preserving life and lifestyle is not what disciples should expect of God or demand of God.

All disciples belong to Christ and His will governs their lives. They know that in life it is always Jesus and them alone. It is not Jesus and their minister, their wife, their husband, their family, or their friends, but just them and Jesus alone. They know they will live and die with Jesus alone. They know they will suffer with Jesus alone. Therefore, their sole focus from day one has been Jesus, regardless of what may befall them. For them, Jesus will remain the focus of their life, and they will not succumb to life’s circumstances, rather they will overcome them through Jesus.

Job 13:15 “Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him: but I will maintain mine own ways before Him.” KJV

Blessings

Bob Chapman MA

July 12, 2009

Article from: Reuters From correspondents in London July 12, 2009 07:31am

KNOWLEDGE of the Bible is in decline in Britain, with fewer than one in 20 people able to name all Ten Commandments and youngsters viewing the Christian holy book as “old fashioned”, a survey said today.

Forty per cent did not know that the tradition of exchanging Christmas presents originated from the story of the Wise Men bringing gifts for the infant Jesus, while 60 per cent could not name anything about the Good Samaritan, the Durham University study found.

Youngsters were particularly disillusioned, telling researchers that the Bible was “old fashioned”, “irrelevant” and for “Dot Cottons” – a reference to the church-going EastEnders’ character, the National Biblical Literacy Survey 2009 showed.

“It is the first recognition of something which we all knew in our gut. We knew it was there but we weren’t exactly willing to face up to it,” said Rev Brian D. Brown, a visiting fellow at St.John’s College in Durham University.

One respondent to the survey said David and Goliath was the name of a ship while another thought Daniel, who survived being thrown into the lions’ den, was “The Lion King“.

Rev Brown said the survey showed the need to push for greater religious education among young people as knowledge of the Bible among the under-45 age group was in decline.

“We have got to recognise that it (the Bible) is the foundation of our society, upon which our whole culture has been based,” he said.

“To understand it and to live in it you do need an understanding of the Bible.”

Atheists, however, were not unduly worried about the decline in the Bible’s popularity.

“It shows really that religion is becoming less important to people,” said Pepper Harow, campaigns officer at the British Humanist Association.

“The fact that people have little knowledge of the Bible perhaps suggests that it’s becoming less and less relevant to people in the 21st century,” she said.

Despite the lack of enthusiasm about the Bible among the 900 respondents, three-quarters said they owned one and almost a third said it was significant in their lives.

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 My comments:

 Though we tend to hear these results from survey’s quite often we should take a good look at ourselves when we do!

 The world is obviouosly getting little from us to convince them they are sinners and, like all of us — they also need to know the saving grace of God.

It is time to return to preaching and teaching the word of God in anyway possible and in every place possible. No matter where I go in the world, there is a glut of singing and dancing and frolocking about in and outside of churches. Sadly though, there is a famine when it comes to Bible reading, preaching or teaching from God’s word.

 No wonder lost folks don’t believe the Bible anymore! They just think “doing church” is pretty good entertainment and a cool place to go. So “cool” man, that you don’t feel uncool telling your friends you “do church” on Sundays. Now, if doing church gets the lost along, that’s great. But if they are offered a foreign Jesus who will accept them as they are and live in their hearts because He loves them, they are being deluded! This kind of preaching cannot be backed up with scripture and that is why the Bible is being discarded. One passage alone refutes this modern day erronous, doing church, deceitfulness and that is:

 Acts 3:19-20 “Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that He may send Jesus Christ, who was preached to your before.”

 No repentance — no refreshment from the Lord. You can’t go out of a “doing church” meeting with Jesus in your heart unless you’ve left the old sinner that came in to that meeting behind. That old sinner has to die, be buried away in immersion and the new man raised in faith in the working of God; it is not about merely accepting Jesus into your heart, Romans 6:2-4 and Colossians 2:11-12.

Where are the preachers, teachers and prophets today who are not compromising and tickling ears with this gospel of compromise? They are very few and far between I can assure you.

Just maybe they are all locked away in prison for calling nations and individuals to repentance? Maybe they have all been killed for the sake of the gospel? Nah, I must be dreaming of the days of the Book of Acts.

 Ah, well, I am sure they will be welcomed back one day among the dancing, singing, Bible-starved believers out there who are deluded about a Jesus who lives in their hearts while they live as they always have. I guess I will just have to keep travelling in the highways, byways, towns and cities across the world looking for those Bible-toting preachers so I can point converted sinners who want to be disciples in their direction. If you know of any Bible-toting preachers out there, let me know as it sure will save me a lot of time.

 Blessings

Bob Chapman

The matter-of-factness of a miraculous life

July 8, 2009

“Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated and untrained men, they marveled. And they realize that they had been with Jesus.” Acts 4:13

Living in the context of the promises of God and the miraculous associated with it, should be normal in disciples’ lives. There should be nothing complicated about it. Their love for Jesus and their desire to know Him intimately should result in their being blind to the seductive appeal of their worldly environment. Rather, they should be enlightened about the heavenly environment to which they are going and for which they earnestly long.

Paul, in 2 Corinthians 5:1-10 longed to be at home with the Lord. He also wrote in Colossians 3:1-11 that we should seek the things that are above and set out minds upon them and not upon the things of the earth.

Such intense focus is often misunderstood by fellow-believers and is totally incomprehensible to those in the world who do not know Christ, 1 Corinthians 2:12-16. The intensely focused disciple’s values are vastly different from those with whom they have to do in this world. Fellow-believers who misunderstand such intensity have not yet fully embraced Jesus as their Master, Teacher and Lord. They have merely delighted in Him as their Saviour, despite the fact that they may have been church members for decades. Whereas, the worldly individual, who is total ignorant of spiritual things, considers such intense focus on heavenly matters a threat to their worldly-lifestyle.

As in the case of Peter and John in Acts 3 (when the miraculous suddenly became a mere matter-of-fact in their daily lives) each disciple today is called to the same intimacy Peter and John had with Jesus – the Jesus who wants to live His matter-of-fact, unencumbered life through them. A life lived through disciples who are crucified to the lifestyles of today’s world, Galatians 2:20 and 6:14.

There is an old saying among some world-loving believers, which is heard when they are confronted by sold-out disciples and it goes like is, “They are so heavenly minded; they are of no earthly use.” What a sad indictment on sold-out disciples whose sole euphoria is for the things of Christ.

The times are now upon us wherein the world needs to see sold-out disciples coming forth from Christ’s presence. Disciples who are totally focused on Jesus Christ’s life being lived by His faith in them. A matter-of-fact faith that scoffs at this world’s attractions and those ensnared by them – inside and outside of the church.

Blessings

Bob Chapman MA