Thursday, August 25, 2022
FORWARD MARCH By Max Solbrekken, D.D.
God has challenged my heart to a deeper walk with Him, to a more dedicated and consecrated life in His service, and to a renewed enthusiasm with a more daring, vibrant, and expectant faith in His promises!
I have dedicated myself again as I have done many times before, to redouble and possibly triple my efforts for His Kingdom. I humbly say that with the help of God I want to be a better servant in His vineyard. I want to spend more time studying and reading my Bible, more time on my knees in prayer to God, more time in fasting, seeking His face and more time witnessing to people for Jesus than ever before. My entire aim and purpose in life since becoming a Christian has been to please God.
I want by His grace, however, to cut away all the shorelines and plunge more deeply into His service than I have done in the past. By His grace and with His power I intend to win many more thousands of souls to Christ this year than I was privileged to do last year. May God help me to fulfill His purpose and will in my life this year and until He comes again! I share this message with you that somehow by His Holy Spirit, God will challenge and stir in your life to be more effective for His glory.
BURNING THE BRIDGES
I was a very small boy when the Second World War broke out in 1939 and many times I remember the droning sound of airplanes flying overhead. In my little heart I used to wonder if it was the Allies or the Enemy; when the airplanes continued on their way I realized that they were friends and my heart stopped pounding. Often, we listened to the B.B.C. News which brought tidings from London concerning the advances of Hitler's armies or Allied victories. It was heartening to hear the famous speeches of the late Sir Winston Churchill and how God used him to bring peace and deliverance to the world in that dark hour.
As a young lad I was greatly impressed in hearing of the courage displayed by the Allied soldiers and especially the Marines, who were used to spearhead attacks upon the enemy. These marines were highly trained in the specialized field of invading the enemy from the sea - they would be brought into the area during the nighttime, dropped off into the waters and from that moment on they were on their own. As they moved cautiously in-land they were aware of one thing – they could not retreat! THEY MUST GO FORWARD! It was DO or DIE, win the victory or lose their lives – if they retreated they knew they would die like rats in the water – THEY HAD TO GO FORWARD. They became desperate men. Many of these marines died on the beaches and gave their lives for freedom, but the victory was won as their fellow soldiers went on to gain victory after victory.
FORWARD MARCH, SOLDIERS OF THE CROSS!
On June 6, 1944, the Allied soldiers launched massive attack against the Nazi forces in Normandy, France. They struck on 5 fronts with 4,000 ships, 10,000 planes, 800 guns and 2,200,000 troops. It was the greatest armada of ships ever amassed. That day will always be remembered as D-Day - the day the Allied Forces broke the back of Nazism in France.
When the troops landed on the shores of Normandy their only thought was to advance - to retreat would have meant certain death. Every officer had only one command. “Get off the beaches and move forward.”
We as Christians should take a lesson from this true-life story. As the Marines hit the beaches they could not retreat, since they had no place to take shelter from the enemy; their only hope was to move forward - to retreat was to be killed - to go forward meant victory!
LETTERS OF RECOMMENDATION
FIRSTLY, the marines were highly trained men, and we as Christians should be well trained in the word of God, educated by the Holy Spirit. The Bible says, “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (2 Tim. 2:15)
SECONDLY, as the Marines were hand picked men for this special duty, so we as Christians are called by God and chosen of Him to be His children and to do His bidding. (Eph. 1:4; John 15:16)
THIRDLY, the Marines were courageous men who were willing to die for their country. The love of their country surpassed their love for themselves. God spoke to Joshua and said, “Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee withersoever thou goest.” (Joshua 1:9)
The early church was filled with men who were not only courageous but who were willing to die for the cause of Christ. Hear the words of Paul, “What mean ye to weep and to break mine heart? For I am ready not to be bound only, but also to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.” (Acts 21:13) When the early church in Jerusalem sent out preachers to teach or preach, they sent letters of recommendation to the various elders where the ministers were to go. They wrote, “It seemed good unto us, being assembled with one accord, to send chosen men unto you with our beloved Barnabas and Paul. Men that have hazarded their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Acts 15:25-26)
LET US BURN EVERY BRIDGE
FOURTHLY, as the Marines launched out, and in every instance all support from behind them was cut off, we should burn every bridge behind us and launch forward for Jesus. Let us make up our minds once and for all that we will never turn back – we will not retreat – for to retreat will mean spiritual death! If the Marines retreated, they would be driven into the water and killed. If we retreat and go back into the world, it means we turn our backs on Jesus Christ, on the Bible, on God’s blessings and on heaven.
If we retreat, we cut ourselves off from the kingdom of God and we go back to our old friends, our old sinful ways and right into the arms of Satan and hell. I repeat, if you have not already made up your mind that you will never ever go back, then with God’s help do it NOW! Settle it once and for all that you will never go back on God, let come what may!
Protect yourselves by cutting off every contact with the world, the flesh and the devil – cut off your association with the old gang of sinners, throw the deck of cards into the garbage, empty the whiskey bottle down the drain, get rid of your cigarettes and carry a New Testament in your pocket or purse instead. Begin reading your Bible every day and pray together with your family. Let your friends and family know what the Lord has done for you – don’t be afraid to show your colours for Jesus! Hallelujah!
FIFTHLY, like the Marines, become desperate and serious about your faith in Christ and the promises of God. Resist the devil and sin as though they were the very plague. Satan is your enemy and sin will be the destruction of everyone who lives in it and is enslaved by its soul-destroying power!
WE CANNOT GO BACK!
When Jesus began preaching the crucified life of denying self and giving oneself completely to him, many of His disciples turned from Him and walked no longer with Him. The great crowds of people who had followed Him soon began to dwindle when He showed them the price they had to pay in laying themselves on the altar of sacrifice. (Rom. 12:1)
As the Master stood there all alone with His disciples He asked, “Will ye also go away?” Then Peter answered and said, “Lord, to whom shall we go? Thou hast the words of eternal life.” (John 6:66-67).
To go back would mean to forsake God, deny the Gospel, and do despite to the Spirit of Grace! Why should anyone want to deny Christ to re-accept the things of the world, when He has so much to offer and the world so little? The answer is found in 2 Cor. 4:4 where the Holy Scriptures declare, “The god of this world has blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.” Peter’s answer was rock solid: There was no one else to go to, and Jesus Christ alone has the words of eternal life. Hallelujah!
TURNING BACK SPELLS ‘PERDITION’
“Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompense of reward. For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise. For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry. Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him. But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.” (Heb. 10:35-39)
The Apostle Paul admonished the Christians to carry on and continue in the faith, without wavering. He warned them not to cast away their confidence of faith because their faith in God had great recompense of reward. In other words, faith in God brings results and reward for the Christians. Our faith in God is very valuable since without faith no one can be saved or enter God’s Kingdom. The Scripture tells us in Hebrews 11:6 that without faith it is impossible to please God and in Eph. 2:8 that we are saved by grace, through our faith in Jesus Christ. Again, the scripture says, “The just shall live by faith.” (Heb. 10:38)
We receive divine healing, the baptism of the Holy Ghost and every blessing through faith in Christ. Everything we receive from God we receive through our personal faith in Jesus Christ our Lord and in God’s Holy Word!
Then Paul explained why some people have not received the answer to prayers: “For ye have need of patience, that after ye have done the will of God ye might receive the promise!” Some people have not received answers to their prayers, healing for their bodies and the baptism of the Holy Ghost with fire, because they have not done the will of God. How can a person who is living in adultery or who is gossiping or not paying his tithes to God’s servants be blessed of God. Naturally anyone living in wilful sin comes under God’s condemnation rather than under God’s blessing. According to this scripture, when we have fully done the will of God, we will receive the promise. Amen.
THE JUST SHALL LIVE BY FAITH
My dear friend, do not cast away your confidence or faith in Christ, or you will miss the rapture and perish in the flames of hell. Martin Luther was seeking after God, but could not find Him in the forms, traditions, and rituals of Romanism. He had however been given the opportunity to study the Bible, a forbidden privilege to the average Roman Catholic in those days. He visited Rome and the old Basilica of St. Peter and as he was crawling up the steps of the Basilica, kissing every step, suddenly God spoke to him and showed him the glorious truth that we are saved through faith in Christ’s finished work rather than through our own good works.
The words of Holy Scripture were driven into his heart by the Holy Spirit: “The just shall live by faith.” Martin Luther was converted to Jesus Christ and God broke the chains of Popery in Europe and the Reformation and its blessings were on their way as a mighty river across the peoples of the world. Hallelujah! Now is the time for the Church to rise to the challenge and move forward for Christ. Too long we have dragged our feet in this the most important time in our history. The handwriting is on the wall. The Signs are everywhere evident: Christ will soon return!
While the world rushes into doom and destruction the church seemingly slumbers and sleeps unaware of the danger or perhaps aware but not concerned! My message to all believers in Christ and to all ministers of the gospel of Jesus Christ is, ARISE and move forward in Jesus’ name to fulfill the great commission! Let us move forward in the power of the Holy Spirit. The victory is ours through the shed blood of our Saviour and upon the authority of the Holy Scriptures. We must win a lost generation to God. Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, ‘Forward March’.
St. Paul warns all Christians, “But if any man shall draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him. But we are not of them who draw back into perdition.” If you draw back, return to your old life of sin, forsake God and His Word, you go back to the pig pen (2 Peter 2:22) and your last state becomes worse than the first.
If you draw back, you will be lost – “Them who draw back unto perdition.” Don’t let anyone deceive you. Let God’s Word be your guide. It is the absolute truth! My earnest desire and warning to you is to go on for Jesus! Do not slacken your pace in this great race of life. Do not get discouraged and throw in the towel or put on the brakes. Set your course straight and go full speed ahead for our Master.
REMEMBER LOT’S WIFE
When Jesus warned of His Second Coming and the Rapture, He spoke of Lot’s wife. This verse found in Luke 17:32 is the second shortest verse in the entire Bible, but it is one of the most solemn. Jesus compared the conditions that would be prevalent in the days just prior to His return to the conditions that existed in the days of Sodom and Gomorrah and the days before the flood.
Then He added, “Remember Lot’s wife.” Why should we remember her? Lot’s wife turned to look back! Jesus said, “No man having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.” (Luke 9:62). Lot’s wife knew better being married to the nephew of Abraham, the Father of the Faithful. No doubt she had heard the Patriarch Abraham talk about God and His promises many times. Like King Belshazzar, she knew better (Dan. 5:22) having received the command of God and even the warning of angelic beings. (Gen. 19:1-16)
May our Lord’s warning cause us to stand true and never turn back or even look back to the things which we forsook when we accepted Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord. Let us go forward for Jesus for as long as He leaves us here to do His work or until He Returns in the clouds of Heaven!
FORGETTING THE PAST!
“That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings; being made conformable unto his death; if by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead. Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect; but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before.” (Phil. 3:10-14)
The Bible declares that they who hunger and thirst after righteousness shall be filled, (Matt. 5:6) and the Apostle Paul was a man who was constantly hungering after the things of God. The statements he made in this portion of scripture, I believe is one that every Christian should make! It is a model prayer for every servant of God who desires God’s presence, anointing and power in their lives.
THAT I MAY KNOW HIM
Our Prayer should also be: “That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death.” Then Paul goes on to say that he wasn’t already perfect, nor had he already attained to the place of perfection, but that he was pressing on toward the goal of perfection in Christ Jesus. If the great Apostle Paul wasn’t perfect or infallible, then don’t let anyone deceive you into believing that there are religious leaders today who are infallible.
If the Apostle Paul who had received the revelation of the mystery of God, (2 Cor. 12:1-7; 1 Cor. 16:25-26) who had received an abundance of other revelations concerning the doctrines of Christ and the Gospel of our Lord, who had seen multitudes swept into the kingdom of God through his preaching; who had received the baptism of the Holy Ghost and had seen great miracles of healing wrought upon the sick, even to the raising of the dead – then I am sure that no Pope could ever be infallible! Amen.
The scriptures also back me up again in Rom. 3:10 where God’s Word declares: “There is none righteous, no, not one!” The doctrine of papal infallibility is a horrendous error and an abomination in the sight of God! St. Paul stated, “Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended, but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forth unto those things which are before.” (Phil. 3:13).
Let us forget the failures, shortcomings, disappointments, sorrows, and heartbreaks of the past and let us reach forth unto those things which are before. May we not dwell too much on the successes of the past – let us only use them as steppingstones as we go forward. It is good to think back on how God has saved us and blessed us, but we must not dwell on the past! Let us reach forth unto those things which are before us! There is a great job to be done now; there are many people to reach with the Gospel now; there are poor people to help now. Then Paul emphatically declares, “I press toward the mark of the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”
To press means to exert energy, to put forth effort and to actively contend for the prize. Let us fasten our eyes on the trophy; the prize and the reward that God has for those who finish the race.
I HAVE FINISHED MY COURSE
At the close of his life the Apostle Paul could write, “For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith.” (2 Tim. 4:6-7)
My dear friend, “It is one thing to start. It is another thing to finish!” The scripture admonishes us to, “Contend for the faith once delivered to the saints.” (Jude 3) “Hold fast that which is good.” (1 Thess.5:21) “Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life.” (1 Tim. 6:12) God’s word also declares, “He that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.” (Matt. 24:13) “If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed.” (John 8:31) “If ye do these things, ye shall never fall.” (2 Peter 1:10) “But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned.” (2 Tim. 3:14) “Continue in my love.” (John 15:9) “Continue in the grace of God.” (Acts 13:43)
“If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled and be moved away from the hope of the gospel.” (Col. 1:23) “Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine, continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.” (1 Tim. 4:16) “Watch and pray that ye enter not into temptation.” (Matt. 26:41). After reading all these scriptures I am sure that you have received a deep impression that we must not stop but continue in God’s word and in faith until Jesus comes!
MAKE YOUR CALLING & ELECTION SURE
St. Peter wrote: “And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; and to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; and to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But he that lacketh these things in blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall.” (2 Peter 1:5-10)
There is a distinct possibility of Christians falling away from the faith if they do not walk close to the Lord, and if they allow themselves to be led away by the wicked one and his lusts, greed, pride and murderous designs. I personally believe that no one can pluck you out of the Father’s hand, but you can of your own free will leave – like the prodigal son. God will never leave you, but you have the prerogative to either stay or leave.
The BIBLE says, “But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition, but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.” Heb. 10:39) St. Peter warns, “…make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall!” (2 Peter 1:10)
A GREAT CLOUD OF WITNESSES
“Wherefore seeing we are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith.” (Heb. 12:1-2). In every race there are always those who sit in the bleachers or stand on the sidelines and watch to see the outcome of the race. There are your friends who have come to cheer you on, there are the friends of your competitors who are wishing you would stumble so that your competitor would win, and there is also your coach or trainer hoping that you will win.
In the Christian life it is much the same! A host of witnesses watch you, try to trip you or try to help you in your life’s race. Your main adversary is Satan himself, who “walketh about as a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour,” (1 Peter 5:8) while at other times he may appear unto you in his great deceiver’s role as “an angel of light.” (2 Cor. 11:14) The answer of course is to obey the scriptures and “resist Satan steadfastly in the faith.” (1 Peter 5:8)
I must carefully point out that before you can resist Satan you must “submit yourself fully to God and then Satan will flee from you. (James 4:7) Also on the negative side of the ledger you have the wicked spirits or demons and all of the hosts of hell who watch for an opportunity to detour you, hinder you or stop you from continuing in the Christian race. Satan also uses people to seduce you into becoming discouraged with the Christian walk or to entice you to follow their example and join the ranks of the pleasure seekers and money lovers of this world. Satan uses many traps, snares, and pitfalls to prevent you from wholly following the Lord.
ALL OF HEAVEN CHEERS YOU ON
The world and the devil’s crowd, together with Satan and his demon spirits are watching the Christian in his great race of life. These demonic forces are hoping you will not make it, but on the other hand all of Heaven cheers you on to victory! Jesus Christ – who is the author and finisher of our faith is seated at His Father’s right hand making intercession for you. (Heb. 7:25; 8:1) Almighty God and the angels of Heaven are on your side. The angels of God are sent to minister to those who are heirs of Eternal life. (Heb. 1:14) Jesus said, “But ye shall receive POWER after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you…” (Acts 1:8) The Holy Ghost endues us with power from on high, power to live above sin and power to be effective witnesses and soul winners for the Kingdom of God!
The blessed Holy Spirit also helps us in prayer and makes intercession to God the Father for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. (Rom. 8:26-27) Then also we have a great host of Christians who not only watch us but also pray for us and intercede to God for us and our needs, and thanks be unto God He hears and answers prayer!
Lastly, we have the silent testimony and witness of the great men of faith spoken of in Hebrews chapter 11, together with great men and women of God down through the centuries, who have proclaimed and lived the truth of God’s word during their lifetime, proving that we can do the same. We must always remember that this cloud of witnesses is constantly watching our lives. Let us do all without our power as we are motivated by God’s power and led by the Holy Spirit and obeying God’s word, to display before the world a good confession of our faith as even Jesus Christ did before Pontius Pilate. (1 Tim. 6:12-13)
WE DARE NOT FAIL GOD!
We must not fail, we must not detour, we must not fall by the wayside, and we must not stand still! We must press on! We must go forward! We must take greater strides for God now, greater than ever before. THERE IS TOO MUCH AT STAKE! Many are watching our lives, and many are looking to us for guidance and leadership. We must not fail our children, we must not fail our neighbors, we must not fail the other Christians, and we must not fail God! We dare not fail God, we cannot fail God and by His grace we will not fail God! Amen.
DO NOT ERR MY BELOVED BRETHREN
We must take heed to the warning found in God’s word concerning the ever-present ability we as human beings have of erring, backsliding or weakening in our position on the side of God and righteousness!
The scripture very definitely states, “Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away by his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death. Do not err, My beloved brethren.” (James 1:13-16)
St. Paul records that some of the brethren had erred from the truth and made havoc of their lives. “….They have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.” (1 Tim. 6:10) In this account the great apostle wrote concerning the love of money that had corrupted some formerly sincere brethren. They had become overtaken by greed of the filthy lucre. (1 Tim. 3:8)
COVETOUSNESS & GAMBLING ARE TWIN BROTHERS
Some time ago a world-famous evangelist made this statement during a crusade in Las Vegas that the Bible had nothing to say about gambling. What a very foolish statement for any preacher to make! Covetousness and gambling are twin brothers!! The Bible says, “For the love of money is the root of all evil.” (1 Tim. 6:10) The scriptures abound with warnings against covetousness. Here are a few – “And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth.” (Luke 12:15) “But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints.” (Eph. 5:3)
“Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry.” (Col. 3:5 & 6) “Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” (Heb. 13:5)
ST. PAUL WARNS AGAINST FALSE DOCTRINE
He writes, “That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive.” (Eph. 4:14) Some among their ranks had already fallen for false doctrines. “Who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some.” (2 Tim. 2:18)
MANY DECEIVERS HAVE GONE OUT
The Holy Bible warns, “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” (Gal. 6:7) “For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an anti-christ.” (2 John 7) Again the scripture says, “They went out from us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.” (1 John 2:19)
St. James warns, “DO NOT ERR MY BELOVED BRETHREN!” Let us take heed to his warning and walk softly before the Lord and listen to the admonition of the Holy Bible where it states, “Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal. The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.” (2 Tim. 2:19) Again the injunction is, “And if any man think that he knoweth any thing, he knoweth nothing yet as he ought to know.” (1 Cor. 8:2) St. Paul declared, “Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall. Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own steadfastness.” (1 Cor. 10:12 & 2 Pet. 3:17)
THE WAY BACK HOME
The prodigal son found his way back after he had wandered away from home and messed up his life. In the pig pens of the world, he realized the error of his way and cried out within himself, “How many hired servants of my father’s have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee, and I am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants.” (Luke 15:17-19)
He made the long journey back. He did three things – He said, “I will arise, I will go to my father, and I will say I have sinned.” The scripture tells us that his father saw him a far way off and ran out to meet his son saying, “For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.” (Luke 15:24)
The Bible gives us some good advice, “Let him know that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins.” (James 5:20): “Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such a one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.” (Gal. 6:1)
The Bible records the failures as well as the great achievements of its characters! Samson played the fool and found out too late that it doesn’t pay to play footsie with the enemies of God and give away the secret of your power with God. Delilah got 1,100 pieces of silver from each of the lords of the Philistines for the betrayal of her lover, Samson and he got his eyes gouged out, was made a prisoner and died with the Philistines in his final great come back and the restoration of God’s power in his life.
ABNER DIED AS A FOOL DIETH
“And they buried Abner in Hebron: and the king lifted up his voice and wept at the grave of Abner; and all the people wept. And the king lamented over Abner, and said, Died Abner as a fool dieth? Thy hands were not bound, nor thy feet put into fetters: as a mall falleth before wicked men, so fellest thou. And all the people wept again over him.” (2 Sam. 3:32-34)
Many years ago, I was introduced to a family who loved the Lord. They had some wayward children however, who had strayed from he fold. One daughter, it is reported, died with an empty whiskey bottle in her hand crying out for another drink while she cursed and blasphemed the wonderful name of Jesus. In my years pasturing as well as working as a Missionary Evangelist in many parts of the world, I have listened to numerous sad, sad stories of many people who have known the way of truth, have decided to go their own way and did horrible deaths as rebels against God’s kingdom. How terribly sad!
THE SPIRIT OF THE LORD DEPARTED
Saul of Kish showed great promise when he became the first King of Israel but disobeyed God and lost the anointing and the throne. “But the spirit of the Lord departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the Lord troubled him.” (1 Sam. 16:14) When Saul was chosen as the first King to rule over Israel the Bible states that, “from his shoulders and upward he was higher than any of the people,” (1 Sam. 9:2) “and that he prophesied with the prophets.” (1 Sam 10:11) His end was sad also as he went to the witch at Endor (1 Sam. 28:7-20) and finally ended it all in suicide. “Therefore Saul took a sword, and fell upon it.” (1 Sam. 31:4) What a tragedy!
HIS HEART WAS TURNED FROM THE LORD
Solomon was the man who God honoured in a great show of blessing in granting wisdom, and great peace during his tenure as King. Fame of his wealth and wisdom reached the entire world and the Queen of Sheba breathlessly exclaimed, “Howbeit I believed not the words, until I came, and mine eyes had seen it: and behold the half was not told me: thy wisdom and prosperity exceedeth the fame which I heard.” (I Kings 10:7)
Yet even though the Lord had blessed Solomon in such a spectacular way, when he grew old he departed from the faith and began to serve the gods of the heathen. Here is the sorrowful account yourself – “For it came to pass, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned away his heart other gods: and his heart was not perfect with the Lord his God, as was the heart of David his father…And the Lord was angry with Solomon, because his heart was turned from the Lord God of Israel, which had appeared unto him twice. And had commanded him concerning this thing, that he should not go after other gods: but he kept not that which the Lord commanded.” (1 Kings 11:4-10)
Judas was the most trusted of Jesus’ disciples. He carried the bag and was the secretary treasurer for Jesus and His small band. No one suspected him, for the Bible records the other disciples asking Jesus, “And they began to be sorrowful, and to say unto him one by one, Is it I? and another said, Is it I?” (John 13:29) Even the disciple John who leaned on Jesus’ chest didn’t know, but Jesus knew by the gift of the Word of Knowledge, “He it is, to whom I shall give a sop, when I have dipped it…” (John 13:26)
How sad that Judas transgressed and refused to repent. St. Peter said, “That he may take part of this ministry and apostleship, from which Judas by transgression fell, that he might go to his own place.” (Acts 1:25)
LOVE NOT THE WORLD
Demas had such a promising future in God’s work, travelling with St. Paul, the great apostle to the Gentiles, but he fell away. Read the sad words from the pen of St. Paul, “For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica..” (2 Tim. 4:10) The great missionary declared, “At my first answer no man stood with me, but all men forsook me: I pray God that it may not be laid to their charge.” (2 Tim. 4:16) St. Paul wrote about false brethren who were preaching to add sorrows to him and to add to his bonds, “The one preach Christ of contention, not sincerely, supposing to add affliction to my bonds.” (Phil. 1:16)
IF THESE SHALL FALL AWAY
There are some who turn away their eyes from the truth and deliberately sin away the day of Grace! The Bible calls it sinning wilfully, “For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sin.” (Heb. 10:26) The scripture also speaks about the sin unto death. If we pray for such a one there is no answer from God. There remains no more sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries. He that despises Moses’ law died without mercy under two or three witnesses:
“Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the BLOOD THE COVENANT, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite to the Spirit of Grace? For we know Him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto Me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord will judge His people. It is a fearful thing g]to fall into the hands of the Living God.” (Heb. 10:26-31)
THE TRUTH SHALL MAKE YOU FREE!
I want to caution everyone reading this treatise to not become discouraged if you have failed to please God. Many who commit sin become disgusted and disappointed with themselves and the devil tells them that they have committed the unpardonable sin and that there is no hope for them! That is a LIE!
JESUS said, “Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you Free. If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.” (John 8:32, 36); “I am the Door: by Me if any man enter in he shall be saved, and shall go in and out and find pasture. The thief cometh not but for to steal, kill and destroy. I am come that ye may have LIFE and have it more abundantly.
I am the Good Shepherd; the good shepherd giveth His life for the sheep. My sheep hear My Voice and I know them, and they follow Me: And I give unto them Eternal Life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of My Father’s hand.” (John 10: 9, 10,11,27,28)
God’s will for us is to be cleansed in the precious blood of Jesus, receive the Baptism of the Holy Ghost, and become strong in the Lord. So strong that we totally overcome sin! However, a provision has been made for those who err, miss the mark, fail God, and sin against the Lord and our fellowman. (That includes us all!)
The Bible says, “My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.” (1 John 2:1-2). “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and the word is not in us. (1 John 1:8-10)
JESUS CHRIST IS OUR ONLY LIFE & SAVATION!
The Bible states: “Neither is there Salvation in any other: for there is NONE other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be Saved.” (Acts 4:12): “He that spared not His Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?” (Rom. 8:28)
“For God so loved the world that He gave His ONLY begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him, should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not His Son into the world; but that the world through Him might be SAVED. He that believeth on the SON hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the SON shall not see life, but the wrath of God abideth on Him.” (John 3:16,17,36)
I thank God for His mercy and grace towards me and countless millions of other sinners who have “found grace to help in time of need.” (Heb. 4:16) St. Paul declared, “This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.” (1 Tim. 1:15) The hymnwriter said it for all of us in his lovely song, ‘At Calvary.’
Thank God for His mercy and grace. If you have been guilty of any sin, cry out to God for mercy and forgiveness and He will abundantly pardon you! Remember, Jesus Christ came into world to SAVE sinners! “There is therefore now NO condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. And we know that all things work out to the good to then that LOVE God, to them that are the called according to His purpose.” (Rom. 8:1,28)
Above article was written in April, 1979 - Max Solbrekken
CHRIST CALLS YOU, MY FRIEND! HE WAITS FOR YOU!
Monday, August 22, 2022
MAX SOLBREKKEN CRUSADES IN UKRAINE
Max Solbrekken Crusades in Ukraine 1989 - 1995
In My Life
by Pastor Max Solbrekken, D.D.
God manifested His presence to me during a 1978 Ghana crusade. I was so lonely and homesick, even though multiplied thousands were attending the crusade and God was pouring out His Spirit in copious measure and demonstrating His power with great miracles! I couldn’t eat their food. I had forgotten to bring my malaria pills and the netting around my bed was torn, so I was battling mosquitos and couldn’t sleep! I fasted, prayed and cried out to Jesus for help!
As God's presence entered my run-down hotel room, I was enveloped in His love and grace and began articulating His praises, with a loud voice. His presence stayed with me for days! When Jesus came into my room and spoke to me, although I did not see Him, all the loneliness was gone in a moment's time!
MY HEAVIEST CROSS! For the past 50 years, I have been working on a book which I hope to publish soon: "My Heaviest Cross"! It is the story of the sacrifice I have made for Jesus Christ and the heathen, being away from my dear wife Donna and our 6 beautiful children for months at a time - for so many years! One visit from Jesus and one word from His lips is all it takes to make our sacrifices seem like nothing.
Twice, our Lord visited me in the nation of Kenya - once in 1980 and again, in 1986. The first time, He gave me "The Key to Answered Prayer". For me, this is the most powerful verse in the Bible: “He that spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?" (Rom. 8:32). Amen!
Since He gave His only begotten Son to die in our place and arose from the dead, Jesus purchased our eternal redemption from sin, fear, sickness, disease and every work of the Devil! Through the precious atoning BLOOD of our Saviour Jesus Christ on Golgotha we are recipients of His Peace, Forgiveness, Healing, Joy and every other blessing! And because He is now on His Father’s right hand as our merciful High Priest, there is no way that He will not give us what He died for to provide for His children!
My heart was broken, as I realized how much God loved me and the terrible price He paid for my redemption. I wept for three days and nights after His visitation to me! He showed me the awful cost He paid when He gave His only begotten Son to die on the ‘Old Rugged Cross’ for me and the entire world!
When I revealed to the crowd of ten thousand people what God had shown me, they began to weep. And as they repented to God, their sobs were heard almost two miles away in Homa Bay. Recently, our gracious Lord spoke to me again with a new commission. He showed His great love for me and His Church, once more.
O’ HOW MUCH HE LOVES US, DEAR FRIENDS!
He loves us with His perfect love and His desire to fellowship with us is so great, it is beyond our comprehension! All I can say at this time: There are great, as well as trying days ahead for the Church of the Living God!
One of the things that gives me the greatest joy is meeting pastors, evangelists or other servants of God who were saved, filled with the Holy Spirit or challenged under my ministry - and are now in leadership in their churches or denominations.
God's goodness never stops flowing: With so many members of my family serving God and Donna and I in good health, what more could I desire? I do thank God so very much! Everything we have accomplished and whatever blessing we have been and are today - to the Church of the Living God - is only because of God's grace in our lives!
Our foremost dedication is spreading the gospel of Christ to as many as possible before Jesus Christ returns! Donna and I are very simple living folks and have always gladly given whatever possible to further the spread of the Gospel of Jesus Christ! Year after year we have shared the gospel to as many as possible through crusades, literature, TV and radio to God's glory! During the past 40 years, I have had the privilege of leading hundreds of thousands of people to Christ, in the sinner's prayer!
I AM WRITING THIS FROM UKRAINE!
At the time of this writing (1992), we are conducting powerful crusades across the country of Ukraine, with great success. For more than 70 years this nation was subjugated, controlled, and systematically decimated (the 1933 forced-famine took 7 million lives), raped economically and humiliated by the Evil Empire - former Soviet Union - which was controlled by the demons of atheistic Communism!
Since the fall of communism and the collapse of that empire, the doors are wide open to preach the gospel in those countries! To God be the glory, great things He is doing! How long they will stay open only God knows!
In April 1986, God gave us a breakthrough in the war-torn land of El Salvador. All 13 Evangelical denominations there, backed our crusade and again "only eternity will reveal" the great things that happened! And in 1986 God spared my life when I was threatened by 50 fanatical Brahman Hindus, in North India.
They came with stones and sticks to start a riot, and possibly kill this preacher - but God performed a staggering miracle, the fanatics remained to pray and the crusade grew to approximately 40,000! In the same park, 2 years earlier, Moslem fanatics rioted, overturning a bus with 17 men, women, and children, burning them to death...Right in front of the pulpit in a Gospel crusade.
Indeed, God has been very good and protected me!
In 1978, God called me to Argentina for a crusade that would be the catalyst in turning that nation around! At that time Dr. Omar Cabrera was sorely persecuted and had left the country. His name had been found on a communist "guerilla hit list" and had decided to move to Paraguay.
Demos Shakarian's son Richard called to see if I would have him for a meeting in Edmonton. Immediately, Omar, Marfa and Donna and I planned a spiritual assault on Ascunsion, Paraguay, where Omar wanted to make his headquarters. Try as we might the Paraguay meeting didn't gel, and I called Omar stating that it was necessary to conduct a crusade soon in South America because we had raised money for that part of the world.
God spoke to my heart to go to Argentina! After much persuasion, Omar agreed to return to Argentina. Cordova was chosen for the site of a May 1978 crusade, just before the World Soccer Cup in Buenos Aires. No one could blame him for his reluctance, due to years of harassment from the R.C. Church, the right-wing government, the communists, and a biased press.
Many times, he had been brought to police headquarters for questioning, charged with practicing medicine without a license and had his meetings broken up, collection confiscated, and associates killed and imprisoned. He had written the book Guns, Guts & God in Latin America.
As we plunged into the crusade at Cordova, everything worked like a Swiss watch! Pressure from the Archbishop to stop the Crusade didn't work, and even though he managed to get a press blackout, we struck fire, and the crusade took off in high gear!
The first night crowd of 6,000 persons increased to 48,000 ten days later! Staggering miracles of healing occurred and the entire congregation of tens of thousands responded eagerly to the gospel nightly!
MANY ROMAN CATHOLIC PRIESTS AND NUNS ATTENDED WITH TAPE RECORDERS, AND TENS OF THOUSANDS WERE CONVERTED AND HEALED BY GOD'S POWER!
Also, Omar and I had the privilege of speaking for 2 hours to the four Army Colonials who governed Cordova. I demanded that they must STOP persecuting the Evangelicals and Pentecostals. They agreed and the official persecution ended! As a result, the pressure against Omar stopped and the revival mushroomed! Today, Omar Cabrera and "The Vision of the Future" Church has more than 200,000 members, 50 churches, 500 preachers, and is on national radio.
And other churches have mushroomed as well, as Omar has led the way in Argentina! In recent years, Carlos Anaconda has been used so effectively in Argentina that more than 1 million souls have accepted Christ through his ministry!
I am writing this to you in 1992 from Lutsk, Ukraine, the home of Bishop Veremchuk, from which we have witnessed awesome revivals and miracles for God’s glory. The Eastern Bloc countries and Baltic states are wide open. God is pouring out His Spirit in Poland, Ukraine, Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary, Estonia, Lithuania, Czechoslovakia and others!
God spoke to my spirit on July 7, 1989: “My son, your ministry will be greater from now onward than hitherto. Take My Word to Eastern Europe Now…” Two years later, Donna and I asked our son Ken to approach Pastor Lawrence Heppelshauser of People’s Church about a possible merger with Faith Cathedral, thereby allowing me to answer God’s call to Eastern Europe and other major countries of the world.
Faith Cathedral was my goal after years of world Ministry, but God had other plans. We consecrated the Edmonton Revival Centre (Faith Cathedral) on October 27, 1969 and amalgamated with People’s Church on October 27, 1991.
The Evil founder of Communism Lenin said, “Give me four years, and I’ll change the world.” The great founder of the Methodist Church, said, “O’ Lord, give me 100 men who love nothing but God and fear nothing but sin, and by these alone, I will change the world.” I say ‘Amen’ to that!
Please pray for us as we launch out even deeper into the waters of Evangelism for God’s glory in Jesus’ name! Amen. Please write to Donna and me with your prayer requests and any help to reach others for His glorious Kingdom!
Max Solbrekken World Mission, Box 44220 RPO Garside, Edmonton, AB T5V 1N6
Gospel Crusade May 15, 1978 Cordoba, Argentina