I was visited recently by a lovely, Christian person who claimed to have received a message from God for me and our church.
The message was this,
“Your church will enter a time of unprecedented miracles, signs, wonders, blessings and conversions. However, you shouldn’t limit God. You need to open yourself to the work of the Spirit”
Apparently, the gospel about Jesus’ death and resurrection is good and essential, but it is not enough. Seemingly, we need demonstrations of God’s power (like healing, prophecy, words of knowledge and miracles) to show people that God is real and the gospel is true.
I tried to persuade the person that, according to the New Testament, the gospel is enough for Christian conversion, Christian growth and Christian life; but I did not convince the person – after all, God had given them a vision.
It’s interesting that throughout the letter of 1 John, the Apostle John warns his readers not to be deceived by those who would undermine the sufficiency and power of the apostolic gospel.
In our world and country, we are inundated with people who claim to speak on behalf of God – Angus Buchan being one of them – claiming all kinds of visions, messages, warnings and prophecies.
What are we to do? Fortunately, this is not a new phenomenon.
Continue reading A call to Spiritual Discernment
A long-lost relative of an eccentric New York heiress, stood to inherit 19 million pounds (R320 million) of her 300 million POUND fortune. Unfortunately, the relative, Timothy Gray – a homeless man, age 60, was found dead from hypothermia under a bridge in rural Wyoming, in the US.
Timothy Gray was a millionaire but didn’t know it.
He ended up dying outside in the cold.
The Apostle John in his letter of 1 John said that Christian people must know what they have in Christ, and not forget it.
If Christians forget what they have in Christ, they will be like Timothy Gray, and miss out on many good things, such as Christian assurance and Christian confidence before God.
Continue reading Christian, stop being Satan’s co-worker
Day Zero refers to the day when the City of Cape Town will shut off the water supply to taps because dams have reached a collective level of 13.5 percent. Residents will have to physically collect water at collection points – a maximum of 25 litres per person per day.
To avoid Day Zero the City is asking residents not to use more than 50 litres per person per day. Unfortunately, it seems that not enough Capetonians are adhering to this limit.
The Democratic Alliance, who controls the Western Cape and the City of Cape Town, has a four-point plan to save Cape Town called #DefeatDayZero
Day Zero now seems to be the topic of every conversation.
And Capetonians are hoping and praying that Day Zero will be avoided.
Yet there is another Day Zero that will have far more severe consequences and repercussions. This Day Zero cannot be avoided or defeated.
Sadly, most Capetonians don’t even think about this day.
Continue reading Countdown to the real Day Zero
In a world of unfaithfulness, what does a faithful gospel worker look like?
Phumezo Masango is a great example.
Phumezo is a good friend of mine and a lecturer at George Whitefield College, the Bible college affiliated with our denomination. He has also been a minister at Christ Church Khayelitsha for many years.
He has faced many challenges serving among many who embrace African Traditional Religions, where the ancestors are venerated and prayed to for help, guidance and protection.
Phumezo and the team at Christ Church Khayelitsha face particular challenges around the practice of circumcision.
They don’t have a problem with circumcision itself, but they do have a problem with the boys being part of rituals that call upon the ancestors.
Continue reading Portraits of faithfulness
We live in a world of innovation and updates.
I love software updates. If there’s an update, I want it.
But that’s not how Christianity works.
We are called to continue in the gospel of Jesus that we have learnt.
We might express the gospel in new ways, sing new songs, do things differently, but it’s always the application or implications of the unchanging gospel.
The gospel – the truth about Jesus – never changes.
Continue reading Some updates are bad for you
The letter of 2 Timothy was written by the Apostle Paul to Timothy, a younger gospel worker. Paul was in a dungeon in Rome because of his faith in Jesus and awaiting execution. Paul’s final instruction was to encourage Timothy to devote his life to the communication of the glorious gospel about Jesus, despite any hardship, suffering or persecution.
The Apostle Paul said that Timothy, and by implication all those in gospel ministry, should be like soldiers.
Interestingly, according to Forbes magazine, these are the top 5 most stressful jobs:
- Enlisted military personal: soldiers
- Fire Fighter
- Airline Pilot
- Police Officer
- Event co-ordinator
Continue reading Christian, you’ve been enlisted
Before you sign up as a volunteer at your local church, please consider these sobering thoughts from 2 Timothy 2.
The letter of 2 Timothy was written by the Apostle Paul to Timothy, a younger gospel worker. Paul was in a dungeon in Rome because of his faith in Jesus and awaiting execution. Paul’s final instruction to Timothy was to encourage Timothy to devote his life to the communication of the glorious gospel about Jesus, despite any hardship, suffering or persecution.
Here are 6 reasons, according the Apostle Paul, not to serve in ministry in 2018:
Continue reading Six reasons not to serve in ministry in 2018