Presentation on theme: "DR. J.L. WILLIAMS JL, PATT & FRIENDS WWW.JLWILLIAMS.ORG Forceful Faith."— Presentation transcript:
DR. J.L. WILLIAMS JL, PATT & FRIENDS Forceful Faith
Introduction 1. We are living in a time of unprecedented storms 2. But there are also Hurricanes of Hate that are assaulting the Body of Christ around the world- as the church experiences the greatest spiritual and numerical growth in history
Introduction 3. BIG QUESTION: What is to be the churchs response? 4. Share a challenging and problematic verse- from the lips of the Lord Jesus. 5. Some translators seem to give it more negative interpretation; others a more positive.
Negative …from the days of John the Baptist until now the Kingdom of heaven suffers violence and violent men take it by force (Matthew 11:12) From the time John preached his message until this very day the Kingdom of Heaven has suffered violent attacks, and violent men try to seize it
Positive From the days of John the Baptist the Kingdom of Heaven has been forcefully advancing and forceful men lay hold of it (NIV) From the days of John the Baptist the Kingdom of Heaven has been taken by storm and eager men are forcing their way into it (JB Philips)
Positive And from the time John the Baptist began preaching and baptizing until now, ardent multitudes have been crowding toward the Kingdom of Heaven (Living Bible) (Dr. Lukes version) The law and prophets were proclaimed until John. Since that time, the Good News of the Kingdom of God is being preached and everyone is forcing his way into it (Luke 16:16)
Which Interpretation is True? 1. Is the positive of the negative question true? 2. I believe that it is BOTH! They are two sides of the same spiritual coin!
Which Interpretation is True? 3. Lets look at the O.T. Background from an important Messianic verse: One who breaks open the way will go up before them; they will break through the gate and go out. Their King will pass through before them, the Lord at their head (Micah 2:13)
Which Interpretation is True? 4. So this minor prophet made a major prediction! He said that One who breaks open the way would come who would make it possible for many others to …break through the gate and go out. In one sense, John the Baptist did this through bold, fiery, teaching and baptizing! 5. But this is a Messianic prophecy that promised that the Good Shepherd would come who would …breaks open the way for the pent-up-sheep so that they could …break through the gate and go out
Which Interpretation is True? 6. So ultimately it is the Lord Jesus as Gods Messiah, breaks the oppositions of the evil one so that we can …go out.
Which Interpretation is True? 7. I believe there are two truths in these words of Jesus- a negative and a positive: Negative: The Kingdom of God Suffers violence because violent men try to take it by force Positive: The Kingdom of God forcefully advances as forceful men lay hold of it. Persecution
Which Interpretation is True? 8. From the time John the Baptist- the forerunner of the Messiah, until Christ began his earthly ministry, both the political and religious leaders forcefully opposed their message and ministries. 9. These hostile and violent men wanted to lay hold of the Kingdom of God on their own terms. 10. This hostility to their messages and ministries was proven by the fact that John lost his head- and Jesus was crucified! Harvest
Which Interpretation is True? 11. Principle: Only forceful men and forceful women boldly advance the Kingdom of God- which causes other forceful, violent men to oppose it. Therefore, whenever and wherever there is revival- there will be counter-revival. Whenever and wherever the Holy Spirit is being poured out- the unholy spirits will be unleashed- provoking violent opposition to Gods people!
Which Interpretation is True? Paul at Ephesus: I will stay on at Ephesus until Pentecost, because a great door for effective work has been opened to me, and there are many who oppose me (I Corinthians 16:9) a) Opportunity and Opposition b) Potential and Problems c) Possibilities and Persecution d) Faith and Fear
Which Interpretation is True? 12. Worldwide the church is growing at an unprecedented rate in human history! You and I are privileged to be living in the greatest days of spiritual harvest in the history of the church! 13. But all over the world there is also a growing revival of Religious Fundamentalism: Islamic Fundamentalism Hindu Fundamentalism Buddhist Fundamentalism
Which Interpretation is True? 14. Why is America the target? Because America is the primary Senders and Funders for evangelism and missions worldwide! 15. Problem: There is a dangerous spirit of passivity in much of the American church! We have ceased to worship the FORCEFUL GOD of the Bible- and have begun to worship the goddess of tolerance and toleration. We have begun to bow down at the altar of plurality- rather than boldly stand for the absolutes of the Scripture! As a result, there is far more fearful faith than forceful faith
Which Interpretation is True? 14. Yoked in some partnership with some men and women of Forceful Faith around the world. By the power of the Holy Spirit and through the Authority of the Word, they are forcefully advancing the Kingdom of God in their countries and cultures- often at a great price!
17. Our Need 1. Forceful Pastor 2. Forceful Prayers: we need men and women who will regularly hit their knees in our behalf and in behalf of our National partners. People who will be like Epaphras who … is always wrestling in prayer for us (Col 4:12) Leadership Dr. Seymour
17. Our Need 1. Forceful Partners: Who will forcefully stand with us as we stand along side our forceful national partners around the world 2. Forceful Providers: And we especially need forceful providers who will give regularly, systematically, monthly- if necessary, sacrificially- to help us advance the Kingdom of God. Men and women who will be more than tippers- but real tithers and givers for the Lord.
Conclusions 1. This is not a time for timidity or fear. It is not a time for holding back or holding on! 2. This is not a time for playing it safe and settling down in the comfort zones of middle class mediocrity! 3. This is a time for BOLDNESS! This is a time for Forceful Faith by Gods people!
It Takes Forceful Faith to… 1. Reach the unreached 2. Feed hungry street children 3. Adopt orphans
It Takes Forceful Faith to… 4. Minister to refugees 5. Do agriculture in Sudan 6. Build leaders in times of crisis