Saturday, July 20, 2024

                  WAITING FOR THE MOVING OF THE WATER

                                          By Pastor Max Solbrekken, D.D.

  “Now there is at Jerusalem by the sheep market a pool, which is called in the Hebrew tongue Bethesda, having five porches. In these lay a great multitude of impotent folk, blind, halt, withered, waiting for the moving of the water. For an angel went down at a certain season into the pool and troubled the water: whosoever then first after the troubling of the water stepped in was made whole of whatsoever disease he had.” (John 5: 3,4)

From the account of Jesus Christ's healing of an impotent man who had waited for thirty-eight years at the pool of Bethesda, we glean some great truths:

We learn the great desire of our Heavenly Father to alleviate sickness and disease by sending an angel to trouble the waters to bring healing. It was a foretaste of His Son's miracle ministry to heal everyone who came to Him for His healing touch.

It was also a picture of the Church healing the sick and suffering and pointing to freedom from sickness and death in the Millennial Reign of Christ. What strikes me so profoundly when studying this portion of God's Word is the great needs of the sinful, sick and suffering all around us, and their intense desire to be healed.

MIRACLES GET PEOPLE'S ATTENTION!

Secondly, a supernatural move of God is necessary to get people's attention to “wait for the moving of the waters.” When authentic miracles begin happening in a Church or through a preacher's ministry, people will begin to congregate in that place. Wherever Jesus went, He healed the sick and performed miracles and multitudes attended His meetings.

The Bible records: “And a great multitude followed Him because they saw His MIRACLES which He did on them that were diseased.” (John 6: 2); “And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people.

“And His fame went throughout Syria, and they brought unto Him all sick people that were taken with diverse diseases and torments and those which were possessed with devils, and those which were lunatic, and those that had the palsy, and He healed them. And there followed Him great multitudes of people from Galilee, and from Decapolis, and from Jerusalem, and from Judaea and from beyond Jordan." (Matt.4:23-25)

“Now when the sun was setting all they that had any sick, with diverse diseases brought them unto Him and He laid His hands on every one of them and healed them. And devils also came out of many, crying out and saying, Thou art the Christ the Son of God. And He rebuking them, suffered them not to speak, for they knew that He was the Christ.” (Luke 4:40-41)

GREAT MIRACLES OPENED HEARTS!

The same was true in the lives and ministries of the Early Church: “Now Peter and John went up together into the temple at the hour of prayer, being the ninth hour. And a certain lame man from his mother's womb was carried whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful to ask alms of them that entered into the temple, who seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple asked an alms. And Peter fastening his eyes upon him with John said unto him, Look on us. And he gave heed unto them, expecting to receive something from them.

“Then Peter said: “Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have, give I thee: In the Name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk. And he took him by the right hand and lifted him up: and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength. And he leaping up stood and walked, and entered with them into the temple, walking, and leaping, and praising God. And all the people saw him walking and praising God.

“And they knew that it was he which sat for alms at the Beautiful Gate of the temple: and they were filled with wonder and amazement at that which had happened unto him at that which had happened unto him.” (Acts 3: 6-10)

What was the outcome of that great miracle which God performed as Peter and John exercised faith in the Name of Jesus Christ to raise up that impotent man? Here it is: Howbeit many of them which heard the Word believed, and the number of the men was about 5,000. Hallelujah and Amen.

PAUL SAW GOD'S MIRACLES AND REVIVAL!

“For I will not dare to speak of any of those things which Christ hath not wrought by me, to make the Gentiles obedient by word and deed, through mighty Signs and Wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God; so that from Jerusalem, and round about unto Illyricum, I have fully preached the Gospel of Christ.

“Yea, so have I strived to preach the Gospel, not where Christ was named, lest I should build upon another man's foundation.” (Rom. 15:18-20). What a statement from a former persecutor of believers in Christ!

Here was a man who met Jesus Christ the Crucified, Resurrected and Glorified Son of God on the Damascus Road, and who died as a MARTYR after founding Christ's Church in the Gentile world!

Repeatedly, God has triggered genuine Revivals through Signs and Wonders and Gifts of the Holy Spirit. St. Peter writing about Jesus of Nazareth stated: “How that God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with POWER who went about doing Good and HEALING all who were oppressed of the Devil for God was with Him.” (Acts 10:38)

Who can forget the great Revival that God brought to the city of Samaria through the ministry of Philip, the deacon? St. Luke writes about it:

“Then Philip went down to Samaria, and preached Christ unto them. And the people with one accord gave heed unto those things which Philip, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did. For unclean spirits, crying with loud voice, came out of many that were possessed with them; and many taken with palsies, and that were lame, were healed. And there was great joy in that city.” (Acts 8: 5-8)

JESUS USED HIS HUMBLE SERVANT!

By God's great grace, I have seen this phenomenon in my own Ministry around the world for more than fifty years. When Jesus performed staggering miracles in the Manila Philippine’s Crusade in 1966, word spread and about 1,100 souls joined Bethel Temple (now Cathedral of Praise).

When Sal Marasigan’s leg - stunted by polio - grew out more than 12 inches, 100 members of his extended family came to Christ and joined the Church. His uncle Conrad Gadula was among those who gave their hearts to Christ. He went on to become a preacher of the Gospel in New York!

CRUSADE WITH SADHU VANDENAM OPENED GREAT DOORS!

On the first night of our 1966 Gospel Crusade in the Freedom Park in Guntur, A.P. India, Jesus Christ liberated a demon possessed woman in a spectacular show of His power! The Guntur Freedom Park was used solely for Political Rallies because India’s uprising for independence began when six British soldiers were killed there.

The platform was crowded with many important Government leaders and officials who welcomed Thomas Tutyko and me! The crowd surged from 2,000 upwards to ca 15,000. A great miracle brought everyone on the platform to their feet when a well-known demon possessed homeless woman was instantly healed!

As the demons came out of her, they tore her, and she screamed loudly. Red blood flecks came out of her mouth and struck my white shirt. She fell to the ground like dead. I commanded her to open her eyes and stand up. She asked me three questions: Where am I? Who are you? Where are my children? I said, “You are at the Freedom Park. You have been bound by the devil, and I have cast the devil out of you in the Name of Jesus Christ! I do not know where your children are.” She had not seen her children for ten years!

And Dr. Sarala Elisha the Head medical physician of the Kugler Lutheran Hospital publicly confirmed that a 13-year-old-boy who earlier had an eye removed by surgery, three days after prayer in Jesus' Name a new eye appeared in that empty eye socket and continued growing to normal size with perfect vision! The crowds continued to grow!

One day, Six Circle Inspectors came to see me. They handed me an official letter with these words: “Rev. Max Solbrekken:  We the Circle Inspectors of the Police Force request you follow us to the Guntur General Hospital to “Heal the Inspector General of the Police Force in Name Lord Jesus.”

The Inspector General had suffered a stroke and was paralyzed on the right side. He could only speak with much difficulty, as the right side of his face was drooping. His right arm was drawn up in a ball on his chest. The six Circle inspectors stood at attention in his room. His wife and another lady were present, as well as my associate Thomas Tutyko.

 I pulled up a chair near his bed. I said, “Sir, you sent for me.” He spoke very slowly, “Yes. I want you heal me Name Lord Jesus.”

I said, “Since you want me to heal you in the Name of the Lord Jesus, I must tell you why His name is so powerful.” He nodded that he understood. For about fifteen minutes I expounded unto him the Holy Scriptures about Jesus Christ. I asked him to follow me in the prayer of repentance and confession of faith for salvation. He struggled and slowly got the words out.

 The anointing of God came upon me, as I commanded the evil spirits of sickness, disease and infirmity to leave him. I called upon Almighty God in the Name of Jesus Christ, to heal the Inspector General.  When I concluded my prayer, I saw an immediate change in his face. I said, “God has healed you.” He spoke normally, and said, “Yes.”

I took his right fist and pulled it out, saying, “In Jesus' name be loosed.” It became  normal! I said, “Sir, you are healed. What are you going to do?” He said, “I'm going to get up and walk.”

He threw back the blanket and I took his hands and helped him out of bed. He and I began marching back and forth. Then, he shook his hand free from me and marched back and forth perfectly normal.

THE ROYAL SALUTE TO JESUS CHRIST!

He marched up to me and said: “Whom do I thank for this, Sir?”  I answered, “Lift up your arms in the Royal Salute and say, Thank you Lord Jesus.” As He did, the six Circle Inspectors and other Policemen standing up and down the corridor, lifted their arms straight in the air, saying, “Thank you Lord Jesus.”

What was the outcome of that miracle?  Any policeman who had sick family got the day off so they could bring them to me for prayer.  And that is what I did throughout the afternoon. The Guntur City Council begged us to stay another five days, but the weather was so hot (140 F and 100 F at night with no air conditioning) that we deferred.

 The Crusade in Guntur was so successful that the City officials formally invited us back to their city in December of that same year. Both Prime Minister Lester Pearson and the Right Honourable John Diefenbaker wrote me congratulating us for our successful time in India.

In the December 1966 crusade in Guntur, AP India, we attended the Annual Police Sport's Day. It was announced that anyone could compete in the one-mile race. Since I was Saskatchewan's half-miler in 1951, Bob Hoover, Thomas Tutyko and Missionary Lawson Barbour all felt I should compete to get exposure for the Crusade.

I finally agreed and the announcer excitedly said, “You remember the Miracle Man from Canada who had the crusade at the Freedom Park in May. He is back for another crusade this week. He has not run for 16 years. If he wins it will be a miracle. If he does not it will still be a miracle. Rev. Max Solbrekken the Miracle Man is competing in the One Mile Race which begins now.”

I was number three when we came around the track at the halfway mark, when I decided to graciously pull out of the race. We got the publicity for Jesus, and they were thrilled that I had participated. All glory to God!

A MAN OF GOD WILL COME TOMORROW!

I had returned from our 3 ½ month Missionary Crusades and was at my desk doing some much - needed work. My good friend, Bob Rosin called from New Westminster asking if I could join him at the old Hospital to pray for Ella’s mother. The Holy Spirit nudged me to go at once. While walking toward the entrance of that private Hospital I said that we should enquire about visiting hours.

As a nurse approached, I asked if we could see the Matron.  I said, I am a Minister and am not sure of your visiting hours.” She said, “Oh Brother Max, I am Nurse Brown and I’m so glad to see you back from India.  Don’t you remember me?” I apologized for not recognizing her.  Then she added, “Also, please visit an elderly lady who is very ill and may be dying soon. Be careful because she is a very strong Roman Catholic.”

I opened the door to her room and said, “I am a man of God.” She stretched out her arm toward me and said, “Don’t say another word. I know who you are.” I answered, “How could you possibly know who I am?”

She said, “Please come in. All my life I have been a strong Catholic and gone to mass every day. About five days ago, a very strong fear filled my mind. I realized that I was not ready to die. I have not slept for three days and nights. Then, last night I fell asleep, and God spoke to saying, ‘Tomorrow, a man of God will come to you and show the way of salvation. I have been waiting for you all day!”

 Bob and I fell on our knees beside her bed, weeping. Then I shared some scripture texts from the New Testament stating that Jesus Christ paid for her sins on the Cross, shedding His BLOOD, and rising from the dead for her justification. I stated that Jesus Christ was waiting to receive Him as her Lord and Saviour. After prayer she said, “The fear is gone. And yes, I receive Jesus Christ as my only Lord and Saviour.”

Then her face lit up, saying: “I see it now. It’s not the priest, or church or pope. It is Jesus alone, isn’t it?”  I said, “Yes, Jesus Christ is your Saviour. You are now born again and a child of God!” She began to worship Jesus Christ and we praised God together. Then she asked me to bring the waste basket near her bed and with her thin arm, she moved her rosaries and crucifixes into the basket.

 She stated that didn’t need them any longer because Jesus was now living in her heart. She asked if I could give her a Bible. We brought a large print Holy Bible to her that very day. Ten days she went home to be with Jesus.

Matron Brown shared with us about her death. They had fellowshipped together for ten days, and she was gloriously peaceful and joyful. The day of her death, the Doctor told the Matron saying, “It is your duty to ask her if she wants a priest to give her the last rites and absolution.” Sister Brown approached her, saying, “The Doctor has instructed me to ask if you want a Roman Catholic priest, because you going to die today.”

She said, “No, I don’t need a Priest. I have Jesus now. Then, she laid back on the bed and she was gone, into the arms of Jesus! Praise the Lord!

Max Solbrekken World Mission Box 44220 RPO Garside Edmonton, AB T5V 1N6. Email: [email protected]; comehometojesus.ca; Facebook; Youtube; Donations can be made by e-Transfer; make your donation to [email protected]; Thank you and God bless you.

Friday, July 19, 2024

WHY JESUS IS SO UNIQUE!

By Pastor Max Solbrekken, D.D.

 When Jesus enters a life, He changes that life for the betterment of society! Jesus gives direction, purpose and meaning to life because He is LIFE! He does for that person what he cannot do for himself, because man has been less than fulfilled, ever since the major theft of true knowledge, understanding and equilibrium. Jesus restores man back to his rightful place on this planet with life, and that more abundant! (John 10: 10).

Satan, the adversary of God and man - a killer and murderer - executed that theft from our first parents, Adam and Eve, in the Garden of Eden!  He is charged with grand larceny and with rebellion and idolatry! Before I continue with this incredible, yet true story, let me share the following expose of the 'Evil One', whom we call Satan (Heb. adversary) and the devil (gr. liar, false accuser).

SATAN IS: A lying spirit, a defeated foe, a fallen angel, an eternally lost entity, a master deceiver, a subtle counterfeiter and forger, a gigantic masquerade, a deceptive angel of light, the god of filth, a terrible joke and bad, bad news!       

SATAN IS: A murdering personality, a destroyer and killer, a thief, the father of lies, a habitual liar, a constant loser, a tormentor of the first degree, a bully extra-ordinaire, the very plague itself, sickness and disease multiplied, evil personified and the enemy of God and man!                                     

SATAN IS: A quick change artist, the doomed despot, the unsatisfied sadist, the architect of perversion, the defrocked archangel, the disobedient rebel, the world's greatest gangster and saboteur, terrorist of terrorists and father of all jihadists, suicide bombers and child killers!

         Please Note: I wrote this section, by inspiration about 40 years ago! M.S.           

 About 2000 years ago, however, history was made on the grandest scale ever conducted on Earth, when God the Son came to this planet in the form of a virgin-born child in Bethlehem. Incarnated, God in human flesh!

 For what purpose and to what end did He come? To seek and to save that which was lost and to liberate sinful, sick, and dying humanity from the slavery of Satan’s intrigue and invention! To redeem fallen man from the curse of the law! (Gal. 3: 13) And to build His Church and empower it to take back what Satan had stolen from the human family!

What can Jesus be likened to? To frightened sailors aboard an ocean going sail ship, that had been drifting  helplessly  for days, toward an island whose inhabitants were hungry cannibals, He is a merciful wind that suddenly came out of nowhere, in answer to the fervent prayers of the missionary, Hudson Taylor

To Russell Brass, Edmonton, AB (formerly of Norquay, SK), who had drunk nearly a gallon of wine daily for forty years and could not stop his drinking, Jesus Christ is the 'DOCTOR WHO COULD', when others could not help!

Rev. Allan O' Soup of Norquay, SK. writes about his conversion: "My uncle Russell Brass was a changed man after he attended Faith Cathedral (now People's Church) in 1990! He accompanied Mary, his common-law-wife, to hear Pastor Max Solbrekken preach the Gospel. When the call was given for sinners to repent and receive Jesus Christ as personal Saviour and Lord, Russell experienced the awesome power of the Holy Spirit and answered the call, weeping and repenting! God met him at the altar of prayer, and he was genuinely converted!

 RUSSELL STOPPED DRINKING IMMEDIATELY!

"Russell was born again and stopped drinking immediately! For the next eight years, before his death, he never took another drink of wine or anything alcoholic! Shortly after his conversion, Russell asked me to solemnize their marriage! They had lived together for 35 years and decided to make things right in the sight of God and their fellowman. It was my delight to perform the ceremony at Faith Cathedral - uniting Mary and my Uncle Russell in Holy Matrimony!"

 To multitudes of sick, suffering, and diseased people across the world who have received miracles of healing and deliverance from demon spirits in our crusades and those of other 'Men and Women of God', Jesus Christ is the Great Physician!

In the book, 'The Great Physician', Dr. Lillian Yeomans, M.D. tells her story of becoming hopelessly addicted to drugs, because of performing many surgeries without rest! After her miracle through prayer, Dr. Yeomans wrote: "I was a perfect wreck mentally and physically." One of her nurses stated: "She was like a skeleton with a devil inside," to which Dr. Yeomans added: "I think her description, if not very flattering, was accurate."

 After her miracle healing through faith in Jesus Christ, she spent more than forty years bringing the Gospel of Christ and His healing power to multitudes of sinful and sick people across America!

Dr. Yeomans wrote: "At the time I was giving a Bible reading, I was aware of a silver-haired lady, a stranger, who was gazing intently at me from the very edge of the group. She made no move to approach until the others had dispersed. Then she came up to me and, looking right into my eyes, said, "Can you tell me where I can see Dr. Lillian B. Yeomans?"

I said, "Look at me." Her eyes seemed to try to pierce my very soul as she further inquired, "Are you that dope woman that I saw one day, years ago, clinging to any support within your reach to keep you from falling, and in spite of it you did fall on the floor from very weakness?"

"Yes; I am that woman," I replied. And when I had convinced her of my identity, she related to me the story of meeting me in the most deplorable condition while I was still "hurt with fetters" and "laid in iron", before the King sent and loosed me on that glorious and never to be forgotten day, the 12th of January, 1898."

THERE IS NO-ONE LIKE JESUS!

\To millions of hopeless, superstitious, and fearful slaves of sin, false religion, despotic tyrants and enslaving addictions, Jesus gives hope, peace and the sheer joy of liberty, safety, and the sense of family!

What can Jesus be likened to? He is like water to someone dying of thirst, food to the starving refugee and pure familial love to the child of neglect, abuse, and violence! He is peace to the troubled mind, pardon to the tormented conscience and new health to the diseased body!  Jon Calvin - the great reformer - stated: "I gave my life to Jesus and what did I get in return?  I got everything in return."

Jesus said: "All power is given unto Me in heaven and on earth." (Matt. 28: 20). The Bible states: "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever." (Heb. 13: 8). The unchangeable and permanent character of His Word, places Jesus in a category by Himself! Without fear of contradiction, I declare that He alone is the world’s ONLY Saviour! (Heb.1:1-13; 2:14,15).

That means that Jesus Christ is Omnipotent (almighty), Omniscient (all wise), Omnipresent (everywhere present), Eternal (without beginning or ending) and Immutable (His Word and character are permanent)! There is no-one like Jesus in Heaven or earth!

The Bible says: “For God has allowed us to know the secret of His plan, and it is this: He purposed long ago in His Sovereign will that all human history should be consummated in Christ, that everything that exists in Heaven or earth should find its perfection and fulfillment in Him.”(Eph. 1: 10 - Phillips)

And He calls to you, my sinner friend! Will you answer, "Yes, Lord"? I pray that you will! Here is His offer to you: "Come unto Me all ye who labour and are heavy laden and I will give you rest." (Matt. 11: 28). Amen.

PLEASE NOTE:If you desire our prayers on your behalf, my friend, please write to us today. We will answer your letter, and we will pray for you! God loves you and so do we!

Email: [email protected]: Blog: Max Solbrekken World Mission: comehometojesus.ca; Youtube; Facebook Max Solbrekken World Mission  Box 44220 RPO Garside, Edmonton, AB T5V 1N6. Donations can be made by e-Transfer. Make your donation to [email protected], Thank you very much!

Wednesday, July 17, 2024

 

‘God Spared Donald Trump:’ Last-Second Head Tilt Saved His Life




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Monday, July 15, 2024

 

BEFORE WINTER
SETS IN!

by Pastor Max Solbrekken, D.D.

 "Do thy diligence to come before winter." (2 Tim. 4:21)

St. Paul knew his time had come.  It was time to leave this earth and stand in the presence of his Lord.  And he was ready to go!  He had done his job well and there were no regrets.  Soon the Roman sword would sever his head from his body and he would receive a martyr's crown - HIS LABOURS WOULD THEN BE OVER!

 HE WAS GOING ON A JOURNEY

 The great apostle however, was also very human.  He was lonely, cold and sentimental as he considered his situation in the prison, as well as the many things that had happened since his arrival in Rome.  He was also concerned about the welfare of the Church and the Lord's labourers who would continue the work he had pioneered and nurtured!  So he penned a letter to Timothy - his son in the faith - the young man whom he had led to Christ and trained for the ministry.

There was finality and resignation in his words, as he approached the end with faith and anticipation.  "For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand". (2 Tim. 4:6)

He was going on a journey.  His bags were packed and he was giving final instructions.  He admonished Timothy to preach the truth and not compromise.  He laid it on the line.  There was no mincing of words here.

He invoked the name of Jesus Christ in his warning:

"I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, Who shall judge the quick and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom; Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long-suffering and doctrine.  For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers having itching ears".

He also warned Timothy of the pitfalls, and the sworn enemies of the Gospel.  Alexander was a dedicated foe of St. Paul and the Gospel of Christ.  Demas had forsaken him, "having loved this present world". (2 Tim. 4:10)  St. Paul stood alone.  "All men forsook me." (2 Tim. 4:16)  Nevertheless, the Lord had stood by him and delivered him from the mouth of the lion.

 IT WAS COLD IN THE DUNGEON

The Roman prison was no carpeted hotel, no luxurious palace!  To the contrary it was quite unpleasant, damp and sparse.  Paul had experienced his share of prison life and was a veteran in the field of suffering, hunger, nakedness, persecution, stoning and even death. (2 Cor. 11:24-27)

He, was certainly no pussy cat, push over or sissified mama's boy.  He experienced shipwrecks, savage beatings and trials.  He knew what it was like to suffer for the Blessed Name of Jesus!

St. Paul wrote:  "But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men's matters.  Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on his behalf". (1 Peter 4:15-16)

In the very beginning of his Christian training he was told by Ananias of the grievous sufferings he would endure for his master. (Acts 9:16)  He had learned not to complain since God's grace was sufficient to see him through. (2 Cor. 12:9)

In his letter to Timothy he requested his books, some parchments and his cloak.  It was damp in the dungeon and winter would soon arrive.  The cloak would keep Paul a little warmer as he sat huddled on a rough concrete slab or lay on his hard bed.  He needed the books to keep studying the Scriptures and the parchment would keep him busy writing letters to the churches.

Twice in chapter four, Paul reminds Timothy that he would like him to come soon.  "Do thy diligence to come shortly to me." (vs. 9)  And "Do thy diligence to come before winter". (vs. 21)

Historical records seem to indicate that very shortly after Paul wrote the second Epistle of Timothy, he was taken out to meet the executioner's sword.  Apparently the ink had scarcely dried on the letter and even before Timothy had received it, Paul met his MAKER!

 I'm sure Timothy must have felt sad as he read the letter from his beloved father in the faith - who in his last lonely moments kept asking to see him.  "Do thy diligence - do everything possible to get here before winter sets in"!  No doubt, hot tears fell upon the parchment as Timothy read with great sorrow the words, "Do thy diligence to come before winter"!  Timothy had missed that opportunity.

WINTER IS ABOUT TO COME

Without doubt, winter is about to set in for us all!  When winter does come it will be too late.  Too late to do so many things we should have done.  Too late to say those words we should have said and make those things right, which we should have made right!

There is a verse in the Bible that bears out this great truth.  I call it the darkest or blackest verse in the Bible.  "The summer is ended, the harvest is past and we are not saved". (Jer. 8:20)

You might ask, "Pastor Solbrekken, why is this verse so dark and black"? Although Prophet Jeremiah was prophesying the judgment of God against the nation of Israel, there is a message for us today!

There are people alive now, who will not be saved and will be caught unprepared when death knocks at their door, or when Jesus returns, because they stubbornly refuse to give their lives to Christ and receive His Salvation!  Even today, there are millions of people who are hopelessly lost, and filled with despair as they finally realize their tragic mistake and doom!

The people whom Jeremiah referred to had failed to prepare for those eternal things which really matter.  They were a people whose priorities were wrong and who had lived for the moment, with no thought for the eternal destiny of their souls.  For them, the summer was ended and there would be no more summers.  The harvest was past and there would be no more harvests.  In the agony of their souls they realized too late that they were not saved and would be eternally lost!

 WHAT A TRAGEDY!

There is nothing more tragic, than to know The Way and believe that someday you will accept Christ, and yet put it off until it is too late!  Very definitely, procrastination is the thief of time and millions are fooled by evil spirits who are masters at confusion and deception.  To be lost forever in the place called Hell would be the ultimate in torment, agony and pain.  Separation from God, with the knowledge that it could have been different, coupled with the presence of Satan as a near neighbour for all eternity would certainly be the most terrible thing ever to happen to one who was created in God's likeness!

Before I began my sales career with several large commercial food companies, I had the privilege of taking the training program and selling Life Insurance for approximately two years.  During that time I met many interesting people and provided them with "life assurance" protection for themselves and their families through the company I represented.  Often our interviews would become quite emotional as they realized life was uncertain and that they should provide for the future well being of their families.

In my presentation I used a book with a number of photographs and statistics, but the last picture in the book usually touched people's hearts and spurred them into action!

It was a photograph of a white-headed, elderly man - all dressed up - standing on the dock with a suitcase in each hand and the ship pulling away without him.  It was of course, referring to retirement.  The words blazoned across the picture read, "With forty years to make it, he missed the boat".

The message was simple and clear - He hadn't prepared adequately for his retirement by setting aside a certain amount of money on a regular basis.  Now he would have to live on a limited government pension or be dependant on family hand-outs!

Even though I was still unsaved at that time, my presentation made me think about "preparing for eternity".

Jesus said, "For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul"?  What good is a million dollars in the bank, all the influential friends, the most beautiful of homes and the finest of educations when you are dead, six feet under the ground and your eternal soul is languishing in a devil's hell?

 There are many things we could and probably should do in order to be ready for the time when winter will come for us.  In this message I wish to deal with the three most important things each of us should do!

NO. 1    -    GET RIGHT WITH GOD

The first thing you should do - my friend - is to get right with God.  Make your peace with God.  Settle the sin question once and for all.  Prepare today to meet God.  Do it while the Spirit is calling.  Do it while the door of mercy stands ajar.  Do it now!  If you are unsaved you should very definitely receive Christ now, while the Spirit draws you.  Jesus said, "Repent or you will all likewise perish". (Luke 13:3)

Again He said, "Repent, and believe the gospel". (Mark 1:15)  St. Peter said, "Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost". (Acts 2:38)

The Bible says, "...whosoever shall call on the Name of the Lord shall be saved". (Acts 2:21)  Our blessed Saviour still invites sinners: "Come unto Me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest". (Matt. 11:28)

 SALVATION IS ONLY THROUGH THE SHED BLOOD OF JESUS CHRIST!

The Word of God declares, "But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin". (1 John 1:7)

The Bible states that we are born again by the Word of God, (1 Peter 1:23) and by the Spirit of God, and "Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God". (John 3:3)

 Again, the Bible says, "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness". (1 John 1:9)

The Scriptures agree that the death and resurrection of Jesus was necessary for our salvation, and that there is "saving and healing power" in the precious Blood of Jesus! (Acts 4:12-16)

1. We receive forgiveness through His blood. "In Whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace." (Eph. 1:7)

2.  We receive peace through His blood.  "And, having made peace through the blood of His cross, by Him to reconcile all things unto Himself; by Him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven." (Col. 1:20)

3. We are redeemed by His blood.  "In Whom we have redemption through His blood, even the forgiveness of sins:" (Col. 1:14)  We have been purchased by His blood.  "Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us:  for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:" (Gal. 3:13)

4.  We are justified by His blood:  "Much more then, being now justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him." (Rom. 5:9)  We are made righteous (in right standing) by the blood of Jesus Christ!  We are able to stand in God's presence just as if we had never sinned, without condemnation or guilt. (Rom. 5:1; 8:1)

"But of Him are ye in Christ Jesus, Who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:" (1 Cor. 1:30)  "For He hath made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him." (2 Cor. 5:21)

5.  We are cleansed by His blood.  "But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin." (1 John 1:7)

6.  We are set free and delivered from the bondage of sin by His blood.  "And from Jesus Christ, Who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the Prince of the kings of the earth.  Unto Him that loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood," (Rev. 1:5)

 

7.  We have access to the Father through His blood.  "Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus," (Heb . 10:19)

 

8.  We are purged in our consciences through His blood.  "How much more shall the blood of Christ, Who through the Eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?" (Heb. 9:14)  "There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit." (Rom. 8:1)

9. We are sanctified through His blood.  "Wherefore Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people with His own blood, suffered without the gate." (Heb. 13:12)  God demands His people to separate themselves from the world by living holy lives unto Him.  "Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you," (2 Cor. 6:17)

10. We overcome the devil (are victorious) through His blood.  "And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death." (Rev. 12:11)

11. We are healed physically by His blood.  "But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His (bloody) stripes we are healed". (Is. 53:4-5)

"When the even was come, they brought unto Him many that were possessed with devils: and He cast out the spirits with His word, and healed all that were sick: That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses." (Matt. 8:16-17)

"Who His own self bare our sins in His own body on the tree, that we being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness:  by Whose stripes ye were healed." (1 Peter 2:24)

12. We are glorified through His blood.  "...These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.  These are they before the throne of God, and serve Him day and night in His temple: and He that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them". (Rev. 7:14-15)

The Bible says, "without the shedding of blood there is no remission for sins" (Heb. 9:22) and "It is the blood that maketh atonement for the soul". (Lev. 17:11)

Thank God that Jesus Christ gave His life, shed His blood and arose from the dead in order to save us from our sins - Yes, my friend, salvation comes only by, through and because of the blood of Jesus Christ.

 COME TO CHRIST WHILE YOU CAN!

Sinner friend, give your heart to Jesus NOW while you still have the opportunity.  The Bible says, "My Spirit shall not always strive with man". (Gen. 6:3)  The tragedy is that some "sin away" the day of grace and cross the "river of no return", to be lost forever.

Here is a song that states very clearly the seriousness of being unsaved

                                       HAVE YOU COUNTED THE COST?

              "Have you counted the cost,  if your soul should be lost?

          Though you gained the whole world for your own?

          Even now it may be, that the line you have crossed,

          Have you counted, have you counted the cost?"

Jesus warned, "For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul"? (Mark 8:36-37)

Receive Christ into your life now, remembering the Bible says, "Now is the accepted time; now is the day of salvation". (2 Cor. 6:2)

And again Jesus said, "Him that cometh unto Me, I will in no wise cast out". (John 6:37)

Set your house in order, prepare to meet God.  Allow the Holy Spirit to save and change you. (2 Cor. 5:17)  Come to Christ now before WINTER sets in!

NO. 2   -   BE FILLED WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT

The second thing you must do before WINTER sets in, is be filled with the Holy Spirit.  The Bible says, "Be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit". (Eph. 5:18)

What are you full of?  If you are not full of the Holy Spirit, you will be filled with other things.  The Bible says:  "Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh". (Gal. 5:16)

The Bible speaks of those who are sensual and carnal, who cut you off from their company because they do not have the ‘Baptism of the Holy Ghost’.  Your very presence convicts them of their unspiritual lives, so they shun your company!

"But, beloved, remember ye the words which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ; How that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts.

"These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit.  But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost." (Jude 17-20)  Again let me share the admonition of Paul, "Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh". (Gal. 5:16)

The Bible gives us the definition of “praying in the Holy Ghost”.  It is to talk to God in our prayer language - in other tongues - which is called ‘praying in the Spirit’!  “What is it then?  I will pray with the Spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also:  I will sing with the Spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also.” (1 Cor. 14:5)

Scripture is the best interpretation of Scripture and St. Paul says:  “For if I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prayeth, but my understanding is unfruitful.  I thank my God, I speak with tongues more than you all”. (1 Cor. 14:14,18)

 THE BLESSED HOLY SPIRIT IS GIVEN FOR POWER

During a crusade service I asked a sweet little lady in the congregation if she wanted to receive the ‘Baptism of the Holy Ghost’.  She answered, "I'm not sure".  I countered, "Don't you want God to come into you"?  She said, "I have Jesus".

At that moment the Lord gave me a word of wisdom for her.  I answered, "Yes, you have Jesus, but does Jesus have you?  When you received Christ in salvation, you received Jesus, but when you are filled with the Holy Ghost, Jesus has you."  She was convinced!

THE HOLY GHOST BAPTISM IS FOR POWER AND SERVICE!

Jesus said, "Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.  He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.  And these signs shall follow them that believe; In My name shall they cast out devils; They shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover." (Mark 16:17-18)

Again Jesus said, "But ye shall receive power, after the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto Me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth". (Acts 1:8)

John the Baptist declared, "I indeed baptize you with water; but One mightier than I cometh, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose; He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire". (Luke 3:16)

 ST. PETER:  BEFORE AND AFTER

What a change in a man; before being filled with the Holy Ghost and after!  Peter was saved and had walked with Jesus for three years.  He had received a miraculous ministry from Jesus Christ Himself, preached the gospel, healed the sick, cast out devils and was one of His inner circle disciples.

Earlier, Peter had confessed:  "Though I should die with Thee, yet will I not deny Thee." (Matt. 26:35)

A few short hours later he denied Jesus, cursing and swearing! (Matt. 26:74)  After Jesus died on the cross, he went back to his nets. (John 21:3)

 When he was filled with the Holy Ghost however, he was changed.  He never cursed, swore or denied Jesus anymore.  He never left the ministry to go back to his fishing boats anymore.  The reed became a rock - one of the leaders in the Christian Church (Gal. 2:9) and a spokesman for Jesus.  Eventually he died as a martyr for Jesus Christ and the Gospel which he so faithfully preached.

 RIGHTEOUS LIVERS AND HAPPY GIVERS

The ‘Baptism of the Holy Ghost’ will produce soul winners, righteous livers and gloriously happy givers!

Tertullion - one of the early church fathers - stated, "The blood of the martyrs has become the seed of the church".

History has proved him correct.  Unbelievers received Christ while watching the martyrs die in victory and glorious Holy Ghost power!

SOUL WINNERS - Do we need them in the Church?  A thousand times yes.  Effervescent, happy, joyously victorious Christians who spend their time reaching lost souls wherever they can find them.

Being kind to their neighbours, speaking a word here and there in season and out of season; sharing and testifying the good news of Jesus Christ and His love.

RIGHTEOUS LIVERS - Do we need them?  Yes we do.  We need Christians who preach and live the Christ life!  We desperately need men and women who are loyal to Christ and His Church and who are generous in love, kindness and mercy towards others.

How we need godly people who are more desirous of helping their neighbours, caring for the poor and needy and reaching the dying, than to be seen, heard or applauded!

GLORIOUSLY HAPPY GIVERS - Do we need them?  Yes indeed, we do!  In order for the Church to go forward we need many who will dedicate their lives to winning souls through intelligent, spirit-led witnessing, fervent prayers and sacrificial giving.  The Bible records that in the Early Church, some believers sold houses and lands (no doubt excess real estate) and laid the money at the Apostle's feet.

Peter and John had no problem financing their crusades and missionary endeavours, because people became so stirred that they gave large sums of money for the spreading of the gospel.

It is no wonder the gospel spread throughout Jerusalem and around the world so rapidly! Even thought a great amount of money was given to the apostles, it was used only for the gospel.  Peter did not use it for personal gain – He spent it for evangeliziation!

St. Peter could say to the crippled man, "Silver and gold have I none, but such as I have give I thee.  In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk".  He didn't have any money, but he had God's power and was able to bring healing to the sick.

The story is told of a conversation between the Pope of Rome and the Bishop of Hippo, whom we call St. Augustine.

It seems that as Augustine was being shown all the treasures at the Vatican, the Pope exclaimed, "No longer do we have to say with Peter of old, 'Silver and gold have I none!'  Look at our great wealth".

To this the Bishop of Hippo replied, "That may be true O' Pope.  No longer do you say with Peter 'Silver and gold have I none', but neither can you say to the crippled man 'In the Name of Jesus rise up and walk'."

HOW SAD, BUT HOW TRUE!

THERE ARE CHURCH ORGANIZATIONS THAT HAVE MUCH REAL ESTATE, AND PREACHERS WHO HAVE LARGE AMOUNTS OF MONEY, BUT THEY CANNOT HEAL THE SICK!  THEY HAVE NO SUPERNATURAL POWER, BECAUSE THEY ARE TOO EARTHLY MINDED.  THEY ARE IGNORANT OF THE SPIRITUAL GIFTS AND HAVE NO TIME FOR FASTING, PRAYER AND SEEKING GOD IN CONSECRATED, DEDICATED LIVING.  THEY SAY THE RIGHT WORDS, BUT HAVE NO POWER!

St. Paul wrote of these:  "But I will come to you shortly, if the Lord will, and will know, not the speech of them which are puffed up, but the power". (1 Cor. 4:19)

TALK IS CHEAP AND ANYONE CAN PREACH A SHORT, SWEET SALVATION MESSAGE ABOUT JESUS AND HIS POWER TO SAVE, BUT LET US SEE SOME DEMONSTRATION OF HIS POWER!

St. Paul said, "And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God.  For I determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ, and Him crucified.  And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling.

"And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God". (1 Cor. 2:1-5)  Amen.

 St. Paul declared, "God loveth a cheerful (hilariously happy or joyful) giver".  Again the Bible says, "It is more blessed to give than to receive". (Acts 20:35)  Jesus Himself declared, "Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom.  For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again". (Luke 6:38)

         

To win lost souls to Christ (and that is the number one job of the Church) we must be endued with power from on High.  It is not enough to sing about being filled with the Spirit or preach about the ‘Baptism of the Holy Ghost’, we must in reality be filled with the Holy Ghost and Fire!

TWO THINGS WE DESPERATELY NEED TODAY

Two of the greatest essentials which the Christian Church sadly lacks today is the power of God and the fire of God! 

God’s power makes us strong Christians, dedicated warriors for the cause of Christ and victorious men and women of God, living holy, pure, godly and totally consecrated lives unto His glory.

We need His power to live above sin, and to detest evil as the very plague itself.  The Church desperately needs the power of God in order to cast out devils, heal the sick and demonstrate Christ's victory over Satan!

We will never overcome sin unless we develop a dislike and hatred for it.  If we allow ourselves to enjoy or like sin, we will soon be in love with it and engulfed or overcome by it.  We need the baptism of the Holy Ghost to give us power over sin!

The Bible says, "Sin shall not have dominion over you". (Rom. 6:14)  The Christian must not be bound by sin nor the devil, but be master over these evil powers. (1 John 3:8)

 God gave Adam dominion over all things and through Jesus Christ - the second and last Adam - we regain that dominion.  Jesus Christ gave His disciples power to "tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy".  He also declared, "Nothing shall by any means hurt you". (Luke 10:19)  And I believe His words are applicable and true today!  Praise God.

Jesus said, "These signs shall follow them that believe; In My name shall they cast out devils". (Mark 16:17)  The Scripture states that the 70 disciples whom Jesus sent out as His advertising agents into every city and village which He Himself would go, returned saying, "even the devils (demons) are subject unto us in Thy name". 

And the Holy Record attests to the fact that the 70 disciples cast out many evil spirits and healed many that were sick.  "And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through Thy name". (Luke 10:17

 The Lord warns lukewarm, hardhearted pastors who refuse to feed the flock:  "The sick have you not healed..." (Ezek. 34:4)  His words to them is "WOE UNTO YOU".

POWER TO BRING DELIVERANCE TO THE SICK, DISEASED, TORMENTED AND TROUBLED

I don’t want to be like those selfish, lazy and unconcerned pastors who refuse to carry out their duty of healing the sick and bringing deliverance to "the bound", in the name of Jesus Christ, our Supreme Commander!

JESUS HAS COMMANDED WE WHO ARE IN HIS HOLY MINISTRY, TO HEAL THE SICK AND BRING DELIVERANCE TO THE CHURCH.  AND BY GOD'S GRACE I WILL DO IT!

We need power to preach the gospel and witness effectively for Jesus!

The Bible says, "And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus". (Acts 4:33)  How we need God's power to live, witness and share the good news of Jesus Christ, to this needy and lost world.

THE SECOND THING THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH NEEDS IS GOD'S FIRE

John the Baptist said, "I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but He that cometh after me is mightier than I, Whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire".

John was baptizing his converts in the river Jordan.  He was submerging them under the water. Then he made this staggering statement, "...He shall baptize or submerge, envelop, completely cover and surround you with the Holy Ghost and fire". (Luke 3:16)

The Church needs the fire of God!  Every Christian needs the fire of God burning in his soul!  “Why is it so necessary?”

1)  FIRE IS THE BEST CLEANSING AGENT and the fire of God cleanses and purges away all the dross in our lives.  Fire purifies and God's fire purifies our souls, spirits and bodies!

2)  FIRE BRINGS WARMTH and it is certain the Church of the Living God can use some extra warmth.  We have become too cold in some areas of our lives; so smug, comfortable and preoccupied with our own circle of friends that we have not shown to others, the love, compassion and warmth we should!

The missing ingredient in many lives, is spelled out by one word - COMPASSION.

Instead of the Christian Church being known as the Chosen Few, we are now known in many areas as the Frozen Few.  The fire of God will however, thaw out the Church and bring friendliness, warmth and compassion into the Body of Christ.

Before WINTER sets in, every Christian needs to be filled with the Blessed Holy Ghost and fire.

3)  GOD'S FIRE BRINGS LIGHT, and we need more light in the Church.  The Holy Spirit illumines God’s Word to our hearts!

The Holy Spirit will lead the way!  When we walk in God's light, we will not walk in darkness, we will not stumble or fall.  The Holy Spirit will make sure we do not stray away from His Holy Word!

4)  FIRE ATTRACTS ATTENTION and the Church needs fire to draw attention to Christ, to bring in the unsaved.  Exciting, lively gospel singing and worship services that draw people to the House of God rather than dead, dry, ritualistic ceremonies which put people to sleep.

 5)  FIRE EXCITES PEOPLE and God's people need to get excited about Jesus.Many years ago, the famed Baptist evangelist Billy Graham was speaking at a convention of the National Association of Evangelicals in Denver, Colorado.  His message was titled:  Spiritual Expectancy and Revival.  Here is his challenge to us all:

"WE NEED A REVIVAL OF EXPECTANCY AND EXCITEMENT.  HERE WE HAVE A GREAT DEAL TO LEARN FROM PENTECOSTALISTS AND THE ASSEMBLIES OF GOD.  THEY HAVE ENTHUSIASM FOR CHRIST.  I DO NOT BELIEVE IN CHEAP SENSATIONAL EMOTION FOR EMOTION'S SAKE, BUT I BELIEVE WE HAVE GONE TOO FAR AND WE DON`T HAVE THE FEELING, THE EMOTION, THE TEARS AND THE COMPASSION WE OUGHT TO HAVE.

"OUR LORD WEPT PUBLICLY.  HE WAS MOVED TO TEARS:  AND WHO CAN FORGET GETHSEMANE?  EMOTION!  DR. MACKAY SAYS THAT NAZISM HAD FIRE, FASCISM HAD FIRE, COMMUNISM HAS FIRE - THE CHURCH NEEDS TO CATCH FIRE.

"GRADY WILSON AND I WERE IN MOSCOW 2 YEARS AGO.  WE SAW 50,000 YOUNG PEOPLE IN RED SQUARE STAMPING THEIR FEET, CLENCHING THEIR FISTS AND SHOUTING “WE`RE GOING TO CHANGE THE WORLD, WE`RE GOING TO CHANGE THE WORLD!”  AND THEY LOOKED LIKE THEY MEANT IT.  WHERE ARE THE YOUNG PEOPLE MARCHING TODAY - STAMPING THEIR FEET FOR CHRIST AND SAYING, “WE`RE GOING TO CHANGE THE WORLD?” 

THERE WAS FEELING IN MOSCOW, THERE WAS ELECTRICITY THERE!  AT PENTECOST PEOPLE THOUGHT THE 120 WERE DRUNK.  PEOPLE DON`T THINK WE`RE DRUNK ANYMORE - THEY THINK WE`RE DEAD!"

 Recently Billy Graham prayed this prayer in one of his crusades:

·     “Lord, do it again.  Do what You did when the apostles were called.  Do what You did following Pentecost.

·     “Do what You did with Saul of Tarsus, Augustine, Luther, Calvin, John Wesley, George Whitefield, D.L. Moody and William Booth.  Lord do it again.  And help us reach the world for Jesus Christ!”

When people asked the famous American Presbyterian evangelist Billy Sunday why thousands came to hear him preach when most preachers couldn't draw a hundred, he replied: "I just get on fire for God and the people come to watch me burn"!

 My prayer is, "O GOD, SEND THE FIRE"!  Oh, how we need the fire of God in the Church - "Come Holy Spirit we need Thee, Come Sweet Spirit I pray; Come in Thy strength and Thy power, come in Thine own special way".

Some say that the Holy Spirit Baptism is not for us today, but that is false doctrine!  St. Peter sets the record straight: "Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.  For the promise is unto you, (the people who heard Peter preach) and to your children, (their children) and to all that are afar off, (us today) even as many as the Lord our God shall call". (If you are saved, God has called you and the promise is for you)  Praise the Lord!

Jesus breathed on His disciples and said, "RECEIVE YE THE HOLY GHOST”. (John 20:22)

Thank God, we have been “sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise”, which is the earnest pledge of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of His glory.”

And St. Paul wrote, "Be not drunk with wine wherein is excess:  but be filled with the Spirit”. (Eph. 5:18)

NO. 3    -    REACH LOST SOULS FOR CHRIST

 The third thing the Church must do before "Winter Sets In", is to reach lost souls with the Gospel! The supreme task of the Church is to evangelize this world and spread the gospel to people everywhere!

The Bible says, "And this gospel of the Kingdom shall be preached in all the world as a witness unto all nations and then shall the end come". (Matt. 24:14). One of the few signs which remain unfulfilled in this midnight hour and which must be fulfilled before Jesus Christ returns is world evangelism;

THE PREACHING OF THE GOSPEL TO EVERY NATION, KINDRED, TRIBE AND PEOPLE!

 The Scripture emphatically declares that the Blood-washed shall come from the ends of the earth. (Rev. 5:9; 7:9-14)

Bible translators are working around the clock, working against time to get the Word of God into every language of the world as the rate of literacy rises. 

There are new tribes springing up in distant lands who will soon have the opportunity to read the Bible.

Powerful radio stations broadcast the Gospel message to almost all natons.  Television satellites beam te message out to multitudes worldwide.  And now, with the dissolution of the former Soviet Union, there are so many opportunities for us to reach multiplied millions more by TV, radio, crusades, building new churches and distributing vast amounts of gospel literature and Bibles, New Testaments and Gospels of John across Eastern Europe!

NOW IS THE TIME!

We are working against time to spread the gospel, as time is very definitely running out and soon TIME SHALL BE NO MORE.  Now is the time to take our stand for Jesus.  Now is the time to awaken the Sleeping Church and to put on new strength!

Every year that passes, is another year that will never come back.  Every golden opportunity that we miss, is another lost chance of reaching someone for Jesus and Heaven.  Every day we idle away - doing nothing constructive for Christ - is another wasted day.

 OH, THE WASTED YEARS THAT MANY CHRISTIANS HAVE LOST!  No wonder the Bible says, "Redeeming the time, because the days are evil". (Eph. 5:16)  We are responsible for the time God gives us and therefore, one day we shall give an account of what we have done with the time, talents and substance that God has graciously given to us.

 Therefore, let us budget our time wisely and not waste it.  Jesus said, "If you save your life (live it for yourself) you will lose it but if you lose your life (for Christ and the Gospel) you will find it". (Matt. 16:25)

At the time of this writing (September 9, 1992), I am sitting in our little compartment on a train from Kiev, Ukraine to Riga, Latvia!

As my travelling companion and interpreter, Igor Arsenjov, a 17 year old, 6 foot 2" martial arts expert, is discussing his future (in Russian) with Babbuska, his 76 year old grandmother who is going to visit relatives in Riga, my mind keeps going back to the open doors in the Philippines, Taiwan and China!

There is so much to do and our finances are so limited for such a great task!  Time is at a premium as we labour continuously to make Christ known in the little time that remains! And soon, we will all stand before God to give account of our lives!

 NOTHING BUT LEAVES

God's Word gives us a solemn account about the fig tree and our Master's displeasure with its fruitlessness!

"And on the morrow, when they were come from Bethany, He was hungry: And seeing a fig tree afar off having leaves, He came, if haply He might find any thing thereon: and when He came to it, He found nothing but leaves; for the time of figs was not yet.  And Jesus answered and said unto it, No man eat fruit of thee hereafter forever.  And His disciples heard it.

"And when even was come, He went out of the city.  And in the morning, as they passed by, they saw the fig tree dried up from the roots.  And Peter calling to remembrance saith unto Him, Master, behold, the fig tree which Thou cursedst is withered away". (Mark 11:24, 14, 19-21)

Here is a very important lesson:  No. 1 - Jesus desired fruit; No. 2 - an outward appearance or showing is not enough.  The fig tree looked healthy and productive with plenty of leaves, but there was no fruit!

JESUS WAS NOT IMPRESSED WITH LEAVES ONLY - THEY DIDN'T SATISFY HIS HUNGER FOR FRUIT.

No. 3 - Jesus was so displeased that He cursed the fig tree and it withered from the roots and died.  The message is clear - produce fruit or suffer the displeasure of God.  In John's Gospel, Jesus is very explicit with His disciples about bearing fruit.

"I am the true vine, and My Father is the husbandman.  Every branch in Me that beareth not fruit He taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, He purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.  Now ye are clean through the Word which I have spoken unto you.

"Abide in Me, and I in you.  As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in Me.  I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in Me and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: and without Me ye can do nothing.  If a man abide not in Me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.

"If ye abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.  Herein is My Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be My disciples." (John 15:1-8)

‘I WILL MAKE YOU BECOME FISHERS OF MEN’

We please the Father by bearing much fruit that is a sure sign that we are His disciples. (v. 8)  Jesus said:  "Follow Me and I will make you to become fishers of men". (Mark 1:17; Matt. 4:19)

Here is the secret:  abiding in Him and purging of the branches which increases production.  Jesus deals with the subject of fruit, more fruit and much fruit and the sad state of having NO fruit.  He warns:  "every branch in Me that beareth not fruit He taketh away.  If a man abide not in Me he is cast forth as a branch and is withered". (v. 2,6)

 THE SUPREME TASK OF THE CHURCH

 The number one job of the Believer is to bring forth fruit; to reproduce our kind and to build the Church of the Living God!

The supreme task of the Church has been and always will be the evangelization of lost souls, the spreading of the gospel, the dispensing of the good news that Jesus Christ is indeed the answer to the problems, frustrations, longings and needs of a lost world that is heading down Perdition's Road at break-neck speed.

The Scripture says, "He that winneth souls is wise". (Prov. 11:30)  Let us be wise with God's wisdom, redeeming the time and using our time to the best of our ability, to promote God's Kingdom in this fast dying world.

Perhaps someone reading this message will say, "I feel so inadequate and useless because I have done so little to reach lost souls", or you might say, "I am so timid and fearful of witnessing to anyone about my Lord and I feel depressed because of my futility".

HERE IS A WORD TO THE WISE!

Notice that Jesus said, "I will make you to become fishers of men".  First - It is Jesus Who makes us what we are to be.  Secondly - He said, "I will make you to become fishers of men".  It doesn't happen overnight or instantly, in many cases.  We all go through a growing or learning process.  

Take heart my friend, and if you will give yourself over totally to God and diligently read His Word with prayerfulness, He will equip you with the tools you need to defeat every foe that stands in your way of personal soul winning.

 BEFORE WINTER SETS IN

"Only one life, Twill soon be past, Only what's done for Christ will last." I've often said, "If I had a million dollars I would give every dollar to Jesus to reach lost and dying souls, and if I had a hundred lives I would give one life to each country of the world, to spread the good news of Christ and His glorious salvation".  Praise God!

Whatever else we do in the Church, we must reach the lost before it is eternally too late!  WINTER is coming for everyone of us; and that is certain and sure.  WINTER - the time when our opportunities are gone and our labours have ended. 

WHEN THE BIBLE LIES CLOSED ON THE PULPIT, OUR LIPS CAN NO LONGER SHARE THE GOOD NEWS AND OUR HANDS ARE COLD AND STIFF, UNABLE TO HELP LIFT UP THE FALLEN, OR WRITE OUT A CHEQUE FOR MISSIONS!

Oh my dear friend, let us do our part and more, while we are still alive and have the ability and capabilities to do so.  Let us labour before WINTER comes to us!

St. Paul urged Timothy to come before winter, when sailing would become impossible in the Mediterranean Sea, due to stormy weather.  He had the feeling that He wouldn't be alive in the spring, and he was right.  WINTER came and apparently Timothy never did get the opportunity to put his arms around the great apostle and spend time in fellowship and prayer with the Man of Faith again!

TIME WAITS FOR NO MAN 

The clock on the wall ticks away endlessly, and the chimes tell us another hour has gone by.  The calendar on our watch changes every 24 hours and the one on the wall is changed every year - Time waits for no man!       

Should Christ tarry, death will come to us all.  We however, are not looking for the undertaker but are anticipating the trumpet of the Lord and the coming of Jesus, "The Uppertaker"!  Praise God.

In 1968, my mother was taken from us into the presence of the Lord.  We all stood beside the open grave as Pastor Fred Hunter committed her body to the grave.

He took some dust in his hand and tossed it onto her casket with the words, "From earth to earth, from dust to dust and from ashes to ashes, I now commit the body of our dear sister departed to the earth, in the sure and certain hope of the resurrection".

Then he proclaimed with a loud voice, "SISTER ANNE SOLBREKKEN SHALL RISE AGAIN ON THE GREAT RESURRECTION MORNING"!

 At that moment my Dad lifted his hands to Heaven and shouted, "Hallelujah"!  As we stood at the open grave on that cold winter day with tears streaming down our cheeks, we sorrowed not as those who have no hope, (1 Thess. 4:13) and we too began to rejoice in the blessed truth that one day we shall all gather home.

Then, God spoke these words to my heart:  "Son, this is what it's all about - This is why you are preaching the gospel.  This is why you have sacrificed down through the years in loneliness and homesickness and being misunderstood and criticized.  So that people across the world could have new life through Christ and be able to face the open grave of their loved ones and shout Hallelujah"!

My mother was a saint of God.  She taught us about Jesus.  She was the one who brought us to Christ, but her time is over and for her, WINTER had come.  Now, we who are left must continue.  We must stand together as one man across this world to lift the heavy load of World Evangelism before it is forever too late for multitudes who sit in darkness and WINTER comes for them also!  Since my Mother’s passing, much water has gone under the bridge.

 IN 1982, MY BELOVED FATHER, INGVAR, PASSED AWAY AT THE AGE OF 82.  He was faithful to the end, also!  Hallelujah!

 I will never forget my father's reaction to our missionary appeals for finances.  He was usually the first to make a pledge for $1000, $300 or $100 in our crusades!  When I looked at his folded hands in the casket, I thought:

"Dad, you were always so generous, kind and good.  I will never forget how you used your hands to hold me, help me and correct me!  I will never forget your love for your family!  You were always reaching out your hands to give something to someone.  But now you have gone home to your eternal reward and you will never again use your hands to help anyone or write a cheque for missions.  You have gone to your etermal reward!"

 WHY DIDN'T YOU COME BEFORE?

The Missionary Evangelist had just concluded a great crusade in an African country and was saying good-bye to the Chief of one of their many tribes.  The Chief and his family were saying adieu to the "man of God".

 Taking the hands of God's servant in his big black hands, the Chief's face beamed with the new found joy that only faith in Jesus Christ the living Saviour can bring.  He spoke of a changed life, love, joy, peace and deliverance from demons and disease.  He praised God for the many tribal people who had been saved and healed.  His own immediate family had accepted Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour!

Then, all of a sudden a strange dark forboding look crossed his countenance and the tears began to slowly form in his eyes.  He looked straight into the face of the man of God and said, "There is something that has been troubling me for the past few days, since I have heard the wonderful message of Jesus Christ".

"What is that?" asked the Evangelist.  "WHY DIDN'T YOU COME SOONER?  Why did you wait so long before you came to my country?  Why didn't you come before my father died of a terrible disease and my brother and two sons were killed in a tribal war?  Why didn't you come before, white man?  Tell me, why didn't you come before?"

The Missionary's eyes filled with tears, he shook the Chief's hand for a long time and without replying he turned and walked away.  How could he tell the African, the reason was a shortage of funds and a lack of support?

As he boarded his plane to return to North America, the preacher asked God to help him with more finances so that he would never have to hear the heathen say, "Why did you wait so long?  Why didn't you come before?"

I wonder how many poor souls will end up in the place of the doomed, simply because we were too cold to hear God's voice and too stubborn to yield to His Holy Spirit in sharing our energies, time, ability and finances in reaching lost souls for Jesus?

Let us join together in the great duty of propagating the gospel to the ends of the earth, so that everyone will have an opportunity to hear the glorious truth of Jesus and His love at least once in their life time

WHY SHOULD SO FEW HEAR THE GOSPEL SO OFTEN WHEN SO MANY NEVER HEAR IT AT ALL?

Please remember, “Only one life twill soon be past, only what’s done for Christ will last!”  Let us make sure ourl lives count for Jesus! Here is a gripping song which has affected my life for God and Missions!

TELL IT AGAIN!

"In a cabin a gypsy boy lay dying slowly at the close of the day.  The gospel story to him it was told.  He kept on repeating, Oh tell it again.  Tell it again, tell it again.  The gospel story repeat o'er and o'er till none can say of the children of men, no one told it to me before."

HOW BLIND SOME CHRISTIANS ARE!

 When I notice the tremendous drift toward materialism and worldly things among the Christians of today, coupled with (in many cases) the apparent total lack of enthusiasm for evangelism and soul winning even among the clergy, my heart is deeply moved and burdened.  The lack of compassion, the seeming smugness and complacency on the part of blood washed, spirit-filled souls is terribly appalling.

My prayer is: "Dear Lord build a fire under the preacher and may a Holy Ghost explosion of warmth, love and compassion fill the environment of every Christian Church in order to shake us out of our coldness, lethargy and complacency in this end time age.

"May we who are God's leaders and workers in this 20th Century 'midnight hour' also pray for daily cleansing, constant guidance and divine protection by the Holy Spirit, as we press further into the devil's territory and advance closer to the Zero Hour, which will usher in Christ's return!  In Jesus' Name, Amen."

 WHAT CAN WE DO?

 No. 1 - We can read this message over and over again until we get a burden for lost souls.

No. 2 - We can give a copy of it to our neighbours and encourage others (Christians and sinners alike) to be challenged by this End Time Message.

No. 3 - We can pray and seek God diligently for revival in our time!  Revival in our own hearts, churches and Christian communities across the nations and around the world.

No. 4 - We can pray for a great national and international awakening of God consciousness among the heathen as we endeavour to go in mass crusades again and again and as we preach by radio, television and great literature campaigns to millions of unreached souls.

No. 5 - We as God's people can fast on a regular basis.  Since 1962, when we formed the Fasting and Prayer Band we have always encouraged people to fast every Wednesday for Revival.  Let us set aside one day per week for fasting and prayer.  The money we save from abstinence of food could certainly be used for missionary crusades.

No. 6 - We can give regularly of our tithes and offerings to undergird this God anointed Ministry that is reaching millions with the gospel of Christ across the world.  We must give in faith expecting God to save souls, bless His great work and reward us accordingly. (Luke 6:38)

Some time ago, the Lord impressed me to start the $1 a day for Missions Club.  Every one of us could set aside at least $1 a day extra for Missions.  Millions of people across the world who are bound by cigarettes spend more money than that daily to destroy their hearts, lungs and nervous systems!  Certainly we can do more than that for Jesus and His Kingdom!

No. 7 - We can, should and must praise God and give Him all the glory, for it is His work and He alone is worthy to be praised!  Hallelujah!

Editor's Note: This message was first printed in the "Cry of His Coming" magazine in 1978.  It was re-edited in 1992.

Max Solbrekken World Mission Box 44220 RPO Garside Edmonton, AB T5V 1N6; Email: [email protected]; comehometojesus.ca; Blog: MSWM; Facebook; Youtube; Donations can be made by e-Transfer; Make your donation to [email protected]; Thank you very much and may the Lord bless you! Amen.