GCT Weekly Newsletter

Victorious at the Battle of Armegeddon

Hello Church Family: Does the thought of Armageddon strike fear in your hearts and minds? Well, it really is not supposed to to do that. But thanks to the world and Hollywood they have made Armegeddon something that has nothing to do with Jesus’ clear teaching. There have been over 350 feature-length apocalyptic films produced since 1955. And then added to the endless movies we have environmentalists that say that global warming will bring an end to the world (in about 20 years). Astronomers say a huge meteorite will bring our demise. Some believe that the computers and robots that we have been producing to make our lives easier will turn on us and rise up to destroy humanity. Many believe that aliens from another planet will come and harvest humans for consumption and at the same time destroy our planet with a death star tractor-beam. And then you have the popular zombie-apocalypse bringing an end to all things as we know it. The list of apocalyptic theories are endless and actually very big business for all involved in making them. But what does the Bible say?

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Bowls of Prayer and Bowls of Wrath

Hello Church Family!
 
Well, we have made it in Revelation to the Golden Bowls of God’s wrath. But, why golden bowls? The Seven Bowl Judgments in Revelation 15-16, is in response to the “golden bowls of prayers” that have been being offered to God by His followers since the day they were first persecuted and martyred for following Jesus Christ in the first century. Let’s follow the thread of the prayers of the saints through Revelation. In Revelation 5:8, we see that before the throne of God Himself, there are four living creatures and twenty-four elders that have fallen down before the Lamb with golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of us, all the followers of Christ, the saints. God wants us to absolutely know in a colorful, vivid picture that the prayers of all God’s people fill heavenly bowls that are a sweet-smelling aroma to Him. He is very satisfied and pleased with our prayers. Church, be victorious in prayer!

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Those who conquer the beast- sing to the Lamb

Church family: Do you live your life as if God nor spiritual beings are active in your daily life? Do you live your life as if God and His angels nor Satan and his demons have any sort of genuine, influence or interaction with you? As we continue to make our way through the book of Revelation, we see clearly that we are in a fight as citizens of the Kingdom of God against Satan and his kingdom.
 
As we experience Satan, the great red dragon (Revelation 12), making war against us (Revelation 12:17), every day in our scheduled mundane lives. Satan wants more than anything to deceive the children of God through his satanic global influence that is anti-Christ. Satan uses the world system to wage war against us spiritually. His desire is to wear us down spiritually so that we grow weary and just give up the fight of faith. Satan desires to sow seeds of doubt in our mind about God’s goodness. Satan wants us to think that God does not have our best interests in mind and that we should not trust Him when as we endure trials and tribulations that are testing the genuineness of our faith (1 Peter 1:7). Satan wants you to believe that God is physically and spiritually denying you blessings. Satan wants you to think that God is stingy and unloving. Satan is very creative in his fight against us today, this hour, this week.

There are millions of other ways that Satan will strategize to break us down to conquer us. Whatever way Satan decides to confront us we can be certain that he will not confront us as Satan himself. He is the great deceiver. He will always approach us disguised as something or someone who is more likely to win our approval and trust. Satan speaks to us through the prevailing cultural norms in society that have become anti-Christ. He speaks through movies, songs, social media, laws, politicians, executive orders, professors, teachers, organizations, movements, philosophies, books, an angel of light and even well-meaning friends. What is Satan’s most effective strategy in your life?

Because of these attacks by Satan to destroy us, Jesus calls us to endure in faith and He calls us to wisdom so that we will be victorious to the end against Satan’s attacks (Rev. 13:10, 18; 14:12). We endure by the power of His Holy Spirit being active in our lives and informing us of Christ in His Word and doing His work in this world. We have also been given the gracious gift of fellow believers to call us to endurance through encouragement and edification. Fight victoriously! Fight with passion! Fight with strategy! Fight with faith! Fight with love! Fight with determination! Fight side by side with fellow fighters! Fight spiritually!
 
And then beautifully, in Revelation 15:2-4, Jesus gives us a glorifying glimpse of all of those who remained victorious against the attacks of the unholy Satanic trinity. Before the throne of God and a sea of glass we are singing the song of Moses and of the Lamb, saying,

“Great and amazing are your deeds, O Lord God the Almighty,
Just and true are your ways, O King of the nations!

Who will not fear, O Lord, and glorify your name?

For you alone are holy.
All nations will come and worship you,

for your righteous acts have been revealed.”
 
Can you sing that song today with all your heart? Endure! Be victorious in Christ against the attacks of the kingdom of Satan! And they have conquered him (the beast) by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death. – Rev. 12:11 In Christ we are more than conquerors against Satan and his kingdom – live victoriously today.
 
I look forward to worshiping the Lion and the Lamb, Jesus Christ, with you Sunday. – Steve

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Is God Love or Wrath?

Church Family: As you experience life today, you most likely have heard the world confidently tell you how the God of the Bible is horribly angry and hot tempered. Then they proceed, usually somewhat angrily, to tell us what the God of the Bible should be like – a loving, non-wrathful God. As believers we also have the same tendency to strip God of His wrath. We forget that the God of the Bible clearly warns us that He will and does dispense wrath. God absolutely has promised a future end-time judgment for all who rebel against Him (Rev. 14). And He has also promised judgment now in this life for those who pursue lives of unrighteousness and ungodliness (Rom. 1:18). One of the ways in which God’s judgment is dispensed today is simply by God giving over sinners to a deeper and more intense experience of their sinful behavior that they have chosen.

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Hell is a terrible reality… but Jesus saves

Church Family: Revelation 14, produces some hard questions. Do you believe in a God who shows His power by punishing non-Christians and who magnifies His mercy by blessing Christians for eternity? I know, that is a difficult question, so here is another. Do you believe in a God who decides to punish people who do not believe and follow Jesus Christ?
 
As I write this email, I am sitting in a room with a friend of mine who is laughing and talking and drinking iced coffee that I made him, yet he denies Christ and even mocks me for being a follower of Christ. I really love this friend but Scripture tells me that unless He repents and believes in Jesus Christ he will be heading to hell for eternal damnation that he has earned. That is a terrible thought. It is a sad thought. It is a sickening thought. I do not like that thought.

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Rejoicing with Joy Inexpressible

Church Family, Rejoicing with a Joy Inexpressible we live in a world that tells us what to believe and what not to believe desiring to rob of us of our joy. Let us remember together what we, as Christians, rejoice in this resurrection weekend.
 
We rejoice that Jesus of Nazareth, the God-man, following a sinless and completely righteous and obedient life, died a substitutionary and completely sufficient and saving death, and then rose again to a new life in a glorified human body. That is what we rejoice in with joy inexpressible this Sunday morning and actually every Sunday morning.

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