Prosperity Gospel #2

In my previous post on this topic Prosperity Gospel, I discussed the dangers of a money orientated gospel. I would like to touch on this topic again with a bit more shocking information. I would also like to show you why I hate the prosperity gospel.

When I used to go to church when I was young, I attended a church that was spiritually competitive. A spiritually competitive church will never be spiritually edifying. It was the type of church that if you were the richest, then you were the closest to God and that’s why you were blessed. So if you drove a Mercedes or a BMW, it’s because you were spending a lot of time with God. Which is strange because non-Christians also drive those cars and so do thugs!

I remember reading prosperity books that members of the congregation recommended and sold. I would pray and read my Bible. Pray and be as good as I can be so that God would bless us. Spending money for school was a rare privilege. We sometimes walked to school. We couldn’t do what the other kids did because I couldn’t afford it. We were just happy with the plate of food we had on our table every day. I would pray for clothes, shoes and money. It was like talking to a brick wall. My uniform would get small and I would need new school shoes hoping that God would provide but nothing seemed to happen. Eventually, I would get what I needed but what about the abundant blessings that God spoke about in His word?

I remember walking 4Km to church while I saw other people with cars never show up. I never had money to godly things but others had cash for alcohol and club nights. God, why are you so unfair?

I remember when I stopped praying about all these things. I just believed and trusted God irrespective whether He ‘blessed’ me or not. I didn’t care whether he provided or not, my allegiance is not conditional. If I die today, I know where I’m going. I’m not living for here and now, I’m living for the mansion that Jesus is preparing for me. We should pray more for our eternal destination rather than temporary things. Don’t get me wrong, God does provide our needs, and wants! However, you have a problem if you only want to get close to God so that you can get what you want. You go to God to get God!

I have no respect for churches who have chosen leaders based on their paycheck. Wearing suits and expensive dresses doesn’t bring you closer to God. Owning that mansion won’t take you to heaven and driving that Ferarri won’t take you closer to God.

One of our leaders said this: “Are you still successful if you excel at your workplace but fail God and your family?”

 

Now to the scary part. The real scary part. Revelations 13:

16And he causes all, the small and the great, and the rich and the poor, and the free men and the slaves, to be given a mark on their right hand or on their forehead, 17and he provides that no one will be able to buy or to sell, except the one who has the mark, either the name of the beast or the number of his name

 

According to Revelation 13, The Bible predicts that unless you accept a mark in exchange for your soul, you will not be able to buy or sell. That means that you cannot work or own a business. No income. No way to pay for your house. No car debit orders. No way of purchasing food or water for your family. It is practically choosing to be a hobo on the street! You can beg all you like but no one can give you money because the mark is what the economy runs on. People will be told not to give you any food, besides in a world like today, people don’t help the poor. Why would they help Christian people that they hate? Farming would be illegal by then. Christians would have to live in jungles or on mountains, anywhere that has water nearby. And you would probably be hunted for breaking the law.

The question is: If the mark were enforced into the economy today, would you leave your job, your bank accounts, your home, your car? Would you leave everything for the sake of eternal life?

The prosperity gospel preachers are preparing people today to receive that mark! People are chasing the dime instead of drawing close to God. And when the mark of the beast comes out, people will take it because they believe in a God who wants them to be wealthy. How many Christians will be taking that Mark? How many will sacrifice their eternity for the sake of status and comfort? Who will tell these prosperity preachers to shut up?

The Trampled Gospel

Hebrews 10:26-29 

26 If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, 27 but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God. 28 Anyone who rejected the law of Moses died without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. 29 How much more severely do you think someone deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified them, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace?

A few weeks ago I came across a video of a man stating that when a Christian accepts Jesus into his life, there is no need to repent of his sins. He can continue drinking or smoking, he can sin as much as he desires because Jesus paid for all the sins from the beginning of time to the very end. Is this Christianity? Is this the truth? Heck no!

Acts 2:38, Repent and be baptized, every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ so that your sins can be forgiven.

Can sins be forgiven without repentance? Just saying a salvation prayer ain’t saving you. Romans 10:9 tells us how to be saved – That if you confess with your mouth ‘Jesus is Lord’ and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.

You are saved by confession and by belief. And of course, if we believe, that belief should change our actions. You cannot say you love God but dwell in sin. If God hates the sin, we too must hate it and avoid it at all costs. Sin is the separation between man and God. Jesus came to reconcile us back to the Father. Every act of sin just drives a wedge between you and God. If we walk in holiness, we walk closer to God. It is not good works! The work of sanctification is the work of the Holy Spirit within us. We just allow Him to change us. It is a decision, a choice we must make. If America and Russia are at war, an American cannot be involved in Russian business because that would be treachery. Same with Christianity. It is the kingdom of light versus the kingdom of darkness. As children of the light, can we play in the dark? No, we will only fall, stumble and get hurt.

Grace is not freedom to sin, it’s freedom from sin.

Sin causes hurt, pain and death. Why would we want anything to do with it? Don’t we want to avoid it all? The same sin you enjoy is the same sin Christ suffered for! Repent! 

Repent means to turn away from sin and walk in the opposite direction. Many ‘repent’ but just go back to doing it. They say ‘sorry’ with the full intention to go back to their gratification. This is wrong. We can’t have the excuse that we have a problem or weakness. Christ has given us the victory. Sometimes we need to check our hearts. The only reason why we have that urge is that we still want the pleasure that sin still gives. If your heart is not in line with God’s will, sin will show you the way. 

Mark 9:42-48 – If your hand, foot or eye causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better to enter heaven maimed than to be thrown into hell, where the worm never dies nor is fire quenched. (Paraphrased) Why does Jesus give us such a warning? That’s something to think about…

Sin is the problem, that is why He died. He died to rescue us from sin, so how can we back to it? That doesn’t make any sense.

He suffered so that we don’t have to face hell eternally, so can we not live entirely for Him? He gave His life for us, can we not give ours to Him? And how are we going to live a life for Jesus if there’s sin in it? If there’s guilt in it? How are you going to respond to God’s calling if you are busy running from the consequences of your regretful actions? Or recovering from the foolish decisions? That’s how people become stagnant in their walk with God. Redundant in their purpose. They are just people filled with shame, they feel unworthy to carry out God’s work when in fact they have unlimited potential to do things that could impact the world.

Sin stops you in your tracks and keeps you there, just there.

Another problem with abused grace is that we have grey areas. Like, can we get a tattoo? Can I drink as long as I don’t get drunk? Can I smoke? The Bible doesn’t say anything about that right? Can I go to the club? Can I swear? Can I kiss my girlfriend?

All these meaningless questions are so ridiculous and they don’t even see how meaningless they are! We have come to a point where we are actually asking: God, how far from you can I go without crossing the line?

So it’s no longer about how close we can get to God but how far we away we can go and still be safe. And that is the tragedy of Christianity, the Gospel is trampled underfoot by Christians who have no respect for what was done on the Cross…

Young Hearts

After much planning at our youth group, we had collected as many toiletries as possible. On Saturday, the 29th of October, all 15 of us arrived at Malvern Children’s Home with what we had to offer.IMG-20180930-WA0012.jpg

As soon as we entered the hall, we began to unpack the things we had brought while the children were called in. What we didn’t know was that 137 children would enter the hall creating the greatest cacophony ever possible.IMG-20180930-WA0007.jpg Excitement filled the room as the atmosphere of expectation grew. As the chaos began to escalate, our youth leader, Theo Msomi, began to speak and all of them sat down to listen.IMG-20180930-WA0015

Hanging on Theo’s every word, they listened to his life’s testimony. He gave them the Gospel and told them about Jesus, calling anyone if they wanted to give their lives to Him. Many came forward to accept Jesus, others wanted prayer.IMG-20180930-WA0014.jpg

After that, we engaged with them and gave them the most valuable possession: Our time. They laughed and smiled with excitement and joy as we played games and socialised with them. IMG-20180930-WA0016

If you had the eyes to see beyond into the pain, you would have the heart to change things.

There are 137 children but they can only cater for 120. That means sometimes they don’t even have enough food to eat. Sometimes they don’t even have toiletries. 20 children are not going to school because they have already been rejected. The government only helps them to a certain degree and after that, they have to fend for themselves by relying on sponsors who are gradually diminishing. The question is: What is the Church doing?IMG-20180930-WA0008

 

I had a look at the dormitories they lived in. It’s like a flat with many apartments that they share. I could see that their lives are monotonous by repetition so when they came to the hall, they came with great expectations and maybe a question in mind: Will my life be changed after this? Or will it continue to be the same?

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It was strange for me because a random child approaches you and wants to sit on your lap. Or a girl sucking on a lollipop suddenly approaches you and gives you a hug. They want to be loved because they have not experienced it.

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The saddest thing that occurred there was when we were about to leave and all the children headed back to their dorms. I happen to notice a young girl who never lost grip of her Christmas hamper gift bag. She had stuff in it as she headed up the stairs. But the ruffling of the crowd tumbled into her and she was pushed against the wall, grazing her arm. Her gift bag fell to the ground bursting all its contents down the stairs. She crumbled to the floor crying as I looked at what was in her bag. It was toys shaped in form of grocery items that one would buy from Checkers. She had collected these things over time and it became of sentimental value to her. I tried helping her fill the gift bag once again with all the toys but the bag was broken and this girl wasn’t going anywhere until she had all her things with her. I decided to get a packet to put all her belongings in and when i had returned with it, she was attempting to use her t-shirt to carry all her things. We deposited all her things into the packet and only then did she get up and go to her room. I then realized something, when we suffer so much loss in our lives, we tend to hold onto whatever we have left…

Horrorscopes

Truth Series Part 1

As stated in my previous post, in order to find the Truth about something, we need to find its origin. The Zodiac, which is a Greek word meaning “Circle of animals” was developed in Egypt and later adopted by the Babylonians. It originated 5000 years ago. So some wise guy decided to believe that the constellations in the sky somehow affects our daily lives. How this occurs, don’t ask me! Practically, the earth spins around the sun, and whatever constellation of stars that creates a straight line determines what Zodiac sign is in that month since a complete revolution is one year. Look at the illustration below…

horoscope13.en

Now, if you look carefully, you would find 13 constellations, not 12. Why? Let me guess… 

Because there was always 13 constellations, even 5000 years ago! The Babylonians had ignored the 13th constellation to entertain the study of astrology. Please understand that there is a difference between astronomy and astrology. We must not confuse the two. The wise men did not worship the stars. The stars give direction in terms of navigation, it does not give direction in life…

Astronomy

Astronomy is a natural science that studies celestial objects and phenomena. It applies mathematics, physics, and chemistry, in an effort to explain the origin of those objects and phenomena and their evolution.

Astrology

Astrology is the study of the movements and relative positions of celestial objects as a means for divining information about human affairs and terrestrial events

While astronomy glorifies the Creator for His creation, astrology worships creation and treats it as a creator.

downloadWe must be careful what we believe because it can keep us in bondage. Now, that we know that there are 13 constellations, we must understand that the cycle of the constellations are now different. 5000 years ago, you may have been Aries but today you are Pisces. This means that nobody is the right star sign! Without the 13th constellation, Ophiuchus, every sequence of the horoscope is distorted and completely untrue. It is also vital that we need to understand that every star sign is named after a Greek, Roman and Egyptian gods. I’m really sorry to say this to you but if you believe in the divination readings of these horoscopes, you are actually serving another god. You are actually giving another god (Which is Satan) control over your life. They are speaking over your life another story than the one that God (Jesus) is saying. You might say that you read a horoscope and it was true or it came to pass but in actual reality, the devil is having a field day with you and is trying to take you away from God.

I once read in a magazine that if you add the digits of your cell phone number, they could tell me what was happening in my life. They could describe your personality as well. My cellphone number digits summed up to 7. According to that number in the magazine, I was ‘spiritual’.

“Wow!” I thought, “This actually works…”

Then I read the instruction which said, “You are going into a new relationship because the current one isn’t working out.”

Which is strange because I had never been in a relationship since I was still in primary school. So sorry, not sorry.

Astrology is demonic because as soon as you believe what they say, you give the devil some control.

Here are some Bible verse about astrology…

Leviticus 19:26 ‘You shall not eat anything with the blood, nor practice divination or soothsaying.

 

Deuteronomy 18:9-12 “When you enter the land which the LORD your God gives you, you shall not learn to imitate the detestable things of those nations. “There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, one who uses divination, one who practices witchcraft, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or one who casts a spell, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead.

 

Deuteronomy 18:10-14  “You shall be blameless before the LORD your God. “For those nations, which you shall dispossess, listen to those who practice witchcraft and to diviners, but as for you, the LORD your God has not allowed you to do so.

Leviticus 19:31 ‘Do not turn to mediums or spiritists; do not seek them out to be defiled by them. I am the LORD your God.
Deuteronomy 4:19 “And beware not to lift up your eyes to heaven and see the sun and the moon and the stars, all the host of heaven, and be drawn away and worship them and serve them, those which the LORD your God has allotted to all the peoples under the whole heaven.
In the time of the Bible, they executed anyone who was involved in astrology, mediums and witchcraft. You cannot contact the dead. They are dead! Mediums only speak to demons who are good imitators of the people who once lived. Psychics cannot tell you the future. The only reason why it happens is because you believe it and the devil arranges events with his agents to make it happen. Psychics are demonic.
I hope this helps you come to the Truth so that you can be set free from every trap of Satan. I see a lot of people posting pictures of horoscopes on their birthday. I think it is ridiculous! It is God that gave you life! In conclusion, I just want to say that you need to trust Jesus for direction and revelation. He knows the plans He has for you, plans to make you prosper… Jeremiah 29:11.

My Testimony

I should not have existed.

But God had other plans.

After my Mum married my Dad she found out that she was barren. My parents were not willing to accept this so they decided to go on a forty hour fast. Shortly after, my Mum became pregnant. This didn’t really please some people so they stated that since that some relatives of my Mum were mentally challenged, I would be the same. On the spiritual side, there were many efforts made to take my life. My Mum would recite Psalms 91 over me everyday.

A woman gives birth after 36 weeks. After 40 weeks, my Mum had experienced no contractions whatsoever. Calling the doctor for advice, they were told to come to the hospital immediately. They decided to perform induced labour in order to start contractions so that I could be born. It didn’t work. I just couldn’t come out. They had to resort to Caesarean birth.

They gave my Mum a shot of Epidural which numbs you from the waist down. My Mum held my Dad’s hand as the scalpel sunk into the flesh along the lower stomach. The excruciating pain that my Mum felt caused her to crush my Dad’s hand and he commanded the doctors to give the anaesthetic. After my Mum became unconscious, my Dad was told to leave the operating theatre.

After they had managed to remove me surgically, they called my Dad in, who at the first glance, thought I was deformed. My head was elongated, (Guess it was all the brain power!) but since the skull of an infant is not well structured yet, my parents massaged it to shape. They then took me to get me cleaned, and while I was in the hospital, the nurses tried to feed me. They were unsuccessful. So they didn’t. I just wouldn’t eat. I started to turn blue because I needed  nutrients. In the nick of time, my Dad returned to check up on me. He saw what happened and made sure I ate something. He scolded the nurses for their negligence.

So with the many attacks against my existence, I know one thing for sure, that I’m alive for a purpose. God has purposely saved me from many tragedies that could have happened. I’m here for a reason and I will not back down in my faith. I have too much proof to let it all go.

I may not see the finish line but I know why I started running.

You may say  “I wish my life was like that” but in all truth, it is. We come so close to death every day that we just don’t see it. In my case, the dangers could be seen and death may have seemed close but every one faces it even if they are oblivious to the fact. God has a plan for your life! There is a reason why you are breathing right now…….

Just because your life feels like nothing is happening doesn’t mean that God isn’t using you. He is preparing you. God is protecting you from danger you don’t even know about.

 

So after a while, my Mum broke down because I wasn’t eating. I just wouldn’t eat! My Dad decided to take over. He used a syringe to feed me just so that I could get some nutrients into my body. It was a while before I started eating normally.

 

My Dad taught me the Bible everyday. In fact, he made sure that I knew the books of the Bible in chronological order so that I could find any scripture in a flash. We would have sword drills where I would verse my sister to see who would open to the scripture the fastest. I’m sure you know who won….

I memorized a lot of Biblical verses and when I came to sunday school, everyone assumed I knew everything.

But I wasn’t a Christian….

KRISTIAN M. MARION

No one is born a Christian. It is a decision you have to make to serve Christ wholeheartedly. My Dad decided we needed to be baptized. So attending a baptism study, the pastor asked if anyone had not accepted Christ as their saviour. That wednesday night, the 21st of January 2009, I made the best decision of my entire life.

I was baptized four days later at the age of 13. So I have been a Christian for almost a decade! And yes, the journey has been glorious! I’m very much excited for what is to come in the race that lies ahead…..

5 Insulting Things Jesus Said

Jesus said only the truth, but sometimes the truth is offensive. This can make some people upset. Jesus must have said many things that made people upset but here are just 5 things that I think is the highlight

Luke 11:27-28

So a woman in the crowd says to Jesus;  “Blessed is the mother who gave you birth and nursed you.”

And Jesus replied..

Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.

This is a direct confrontation to the lady who was complimenting Jesus. His reply was almost an insult. I can’t help to laugh every time I read this verse. I find it hilarious. Jesus said the truth, all or nothing.

 

Matthew 23:15

Here Jesus is scolding the Pharisees with His ‘woes’ and in one of them he mentions this…

Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You travel over land  and sea to win a single convert, and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of hell as you are.

Here He calls the Pharisees and teachers of the law ‘sons of hell’.

 

Luke 13:32

Some Pharisees decide to make Jesus afraid by warning Him to leave a certain place because King Herod wanted to kill Him. And Jesus’ reply was epic…

Go tell that fox, I will drive out demons and heal people today and tomorrow, and on the third day I will reach my goal.

He calls Herod a ‘fox’ which actually is not so serious since the Pharisees were probably lying to Jesus about Herod who always wanted to see Him. He was rather curious about Jesus.

Luke 12:14

A random guy approaches Jesus asking Him to tell his brother to divide their inheritance, to which Jesus replied…

Man, who appointed me a judge or an arbiter between you?

I like the way He used the ‘man’ in the sentence. I sometimes read it out with American accent in my mind.

 

Mark 7:18

Jesus’ disciples asked Him a question about a parable that He had said earlier. Then Jesus asked them this condescending question….

Are you so dull?

Translate this into modern day and it would sound like someone saying to you, “Are you stupid or something?”

He was extremely rude to the Pharisees, rich men and His disciples who seemed to never understand the important things in life. Yet He was extremely kind to the poor and those who society considered to be sinners. Jesus didn’t like self-righteousness, whether is was by works or riches, neither did He like someone trying to be greater than everyone else. If the truth is real, then something had to be fake. And whatever is fake will be criticized inevitably.

 

My First Outreach

If I remember correctly, my first outreach took place the Easter weekend of the year 2012. We camped at a caravan park in Scottsburgh, a resort town south coast of South Africa. After school that Friday, we took our luggage that was packed the previous day and got to our Church where we were set to leave at 3pm. But of course, some people arrive late so we ended up leaving at 4pm. As soon as we arrived, i was already tired. However, our youth leaders had other plans. There was another youth group that were joining us on this trip, so we were playing games with them on the beach! At 8pm, here I was running around hoping it would be my last game! Finally, when it was all over, the youth leader of the other group decides to take out his guitar and start worshipping on the beach. I love worshipping God, don’t get me wrong, but I was tired and here we are singing and dancing to old classics at 10pm! The other youth were so energetic that I had to move out the way for their rapid movements. I eventually had enough as I was literally falling asleep, I had a shower and hit the sack. Strange thing though, the other youth group had fasted the entire week …..

Youth camp

Our youth group had many items that were rehearsed such as dance and skits so when we visited churches in Scottburgh, we had a schedule that fitted in well with the sermon that our youth leader had prepared. It was a pretty cool arrangement and this stunned the congregation. We then decided to visit a block of flats where speakers and sound were set up and they started to preach the Gospel. We were given tracts and told to go give them out and tell people about Jesus. I walked around handing out tracts as I made my way to the flats. I climbed the stairs as I made my way up along the floors and many accepted the tracts while some shook their heads in disregard.

I finally arrived to the last address at the very top. The door was open but the gate was closed. Not locked. A lady sat on the sofa.

“Jesus loves you ma’am” I stated as I stuck my hand through the gate holding out the tract. She didn’t respond. So I stuck the tract in the gate’s design and turned to leave and stopped when I heard ‘Pray for me’.

I turned back decided to go inside to pray for this old lady. I was praying like crazy! Thinking what could go wrong. At the beginning of the outreach, the youth leader gave us all a sinners prayer card that was laminated. I had stuck it in my Bible which i was carrying with at the time.

“Do you want to accept Jesus as your personal Saviour?” I asked the old lady who just nodded.

So I opened my Bible and told her to repeat after me, “Dear Lord Jesus….”

She nodded.

“You need to repeat after me.” I repeated.

She nodded.

“Dear Lord Jesus….”

She whined, almost like a puppy’s cry.

I was getting freaked out so I just blurted out the entire salvation prayer while I heard her whine the entire time. I got up to leave and she started to raise her hand and praise God. Worshipping Jesus right there. I looked at her as if she as crazy.

“I was mute and now I can speak….”

At first I couldn’t register what was happening, then it hit me….

She was whining because she couldn’t speak. I prayed for her and returned to where the rest of the youth had gathered. That old lady was one of the many souls that were saved that day….

Youth camp2

I woke up the next morning quite early. I sat on those benches that faced the rolling waves that washed up onto the beach. I took picture with my old Nokia that had a VGA camera. The cool breeze wafts through as I read my Bible, thinking, we can claim to say that we believe in this book but do we really? Why do we doubt? Why can’t we see whats happening all around us? Are we too busy with what’s happening with our own lives? Do you really believe that that theological degree you are planning to obtain one day is going to help you accomplish what God has planned for you today?