THE WORLD IS MY PARISH!
By Pastor Max Solbrekken, D.D.
In the 1700's, a preacher filled with God's holy fire declared, "The world is my parish"! His heart was burning with desire to evangelize the world for Christ. No doubt many of his critics laughed at John Wesley and made light of his speech, but by the grace of God and the power of the Holy Spirit, his ministry helped change the course of this world!
When the Gospel of Christ penetrated John Wesley’s soul, he charted his course, and won tens of thousands to Christ. God’s message then as now, is that Christians should separate themselves from the world and by God’s grace live a Godly life!
He thundered out "the message" without fear or favour of man or devil. Church leaders tried to stop him, but he would not be stopped. Then they threatened to “take away" his parish, but this did not disturb John Wesley. He said, "There is a fire kindled in my breast that no man can put out"!
It wasn’t long before he was removed from his parish and from the Anglican Church. They kicked him out because his message was too straight and too strong for them. Someone asked him, "John Wesley, you have lost your parish, what will you do now"? Then John Wesley made the famous statement, "THE WORLD IS MY PARISH"!
John Wesley preached one of his greatest sermons after losing his parish - standing on his father's grave. He declared, "My father is buried here, and this plot is our property so I have a right to preach here".
Soon he was preaching to tens of thousands who gathered in cow pastures and fields to hear him declare the unadulterated Word of God! Very humbly, I feel that God has also called me to preach the same uncompromising message!
In June 1957, God's grace came into my life. He miraculously saved my soul, filled me with the Holy Ghost and ignited a fire within my breast that is still burning today and stirs me with joy and boldness to proclaim His eternal Word!
God took me out of a cold denominational church and gave me a vision of World Evangelism and placed a divine call burning in my soul that gets brighter and brighter every day as I seek to reach the lost, dying, sick and suffering of our generation for Christ.
While we were conducting a crusade among the headhunters of Northern Luzon on the Philippine Islands in April 1966, God spoke to me one night: "My son, you will be going to many of the cities of the world. The message you preach is what I want preached today, and very few of My servants are preaching this message"!
The message of ‘Repentance and Holiness' prepares the people for the return of Jesus Christ. The Church is often so involved with the world and have left with God out. I realize it is my duty, like John Wesley, to let the message of holiness, righteousness, and God’s judgment upon sin, ring out across the world once more!
For more than 60 years I have sought to be faithful unto Christ in the pursuit of precious souls for His kingdom in many of the nations of the world. Many times we just barely made it financially, as we often over-extended ourselves because of the many desperate needs we beheld, but God always brought us through! Praise, honour, and glory to His name!
Initially, my desire was to declare the Good News of Jesus Christ in Canada, but that was changed in 1965 when I heard Him say, “I send you to the heathen.” As we approach the Return of Jesus and the last great round-up of the Church, my prayer is: “God keep me in the centre of Your will and give me grace to stay true to Your cause and Your call upon my life until the very end"!
The Bible says, "He that shall endure unto the end shall be saved". (Matt. 24:13) St. Paul emphasized, "And let us not be weary in well doing, for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not". (Gal. 6:9-10)
THE DELUSION OF JOSEPH SMITH
Joseph Smith - the founder of the Mormon cult said, "The greatest responsibility in this world that God laid upon us is to seek after our dead"! This was reported by Newsweek, March 1, 1976. Have you ever heard such Apostacy and Rubbish?
Jesus said, "Let the dead bury their dead but go thou and preach the kingdom of God". (Luke 9:60). Mediums seek to talk to the dead, but the only time Jesus spoke to the dead was when He raised them back to life. (Widow's son, Luke 7:11-15; Lazarus, John 11:43-44; Jairus' daughter, Luke 8:51-55)
St. Paul warned: “But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again. If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed." (Gal. 1:8-9).
The chief duty of the Church is to make Christ known wherever possible and to reach as many souls for Jesus and His kingdom as we can before He returns! The Supreme task of the Church is to evangelize the world through the proclamation and demonstration of the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ!
Many take the glorious fact of Christianity and its blessings for granted. Have you ever asked yourself, “Why did Jesus come into the world?” The fact that He did come is well known. Hundreds of millions today date their letters by His birth. A.D. Anno Domini - ‘In the year of our Lord’.
The prophet foretold His coming 700 years before His birth. "...behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel". (Isaiah 7:14). "For unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given: and the government shall be upon His shoulder: and His name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, The Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace". (Isaiah 9:16)
1. WHY DID JESUS COME INTO THE WORLD?
· To destroy the works of the devil. "...for this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil." (1 John 3:8)
· To seek and save the lost. "For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost." (Luke 19:10)
· To do His Father's Will. "Father, if Thou be willing, remove this cup from Me: nevertheless, not My will, but Thine, be done." (Luke 22:42) "...because I seek not Mine own will, but the will of the Father which sent Me." (John 5:30)
"For I come down from heaven, not to do Mine own will, but the will of Him that sent Me." (John 6:38) “I must work the works of Him that sent Me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work." (John 9:4)
· To bring many sons to glory. "...in bringing many sons unto glory..." (Heb. 2:10) "But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name." (John 1:12)
"...that we might receive the adoption of sons. And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying Abba, Father. Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ." (Gal. 4:5-7)
2. WHAT DID JESUS PREACH?
Repentance. "From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand". (Matt. 4:17)
Faith. "...the time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel." (Mark 1:15) “...thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace." (Luke 7:50)
Water Baptism for Believers. "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned." (Mark 16:16)
Divine Healing. "Then He called His twelve disciples together, and gave them power and authority over all devils, and to cure diseases. And He sent them to preach the kingdom of God, and to heal the sick." (Luke 9:1-2). "After these things the Lord appointed other seventy also, and sent them two and two before His face into every city and place, whither He Himself would come.
“Therefore, said He unto them, the harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few; pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest. And heal the sick that are therein." (Luke 10:1-2,9)
Casting out Devils. "Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall be any means hurt you." (Luke 10:19)
"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)
THERE IS ONLY ONE WAY!
a) "I am the way, the truth and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me." (John 14:6) Jesus stated that He is ‘The only way to God’. Anyone else seeking to usurp that position is a thief and a liar!
b) "I am the door: by Me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and go in and out, and find pasture." (John 10:9)
c) "Come unto Me, all ye that are labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." (Matt. 11:28)
HIS DEATH AND RESURRECTION:
"From that time forth began Jesus to show unto His disciples, how that He must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day." (Matt. 16:21)
"For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the whale's belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth." (Matt. 12:40) “...destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up." (John 2:19)
A separated life. "No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one and love the other; or else he will hold to the one and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon." (Matt. 6:24)
"Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it." (Matt. 7:13-14)
“For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for My sake and the gospel's, the same shall save it. 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 8:34-37)
HEAVEN & HELL
“There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day: And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores, And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man's table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores.
“And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried;
“And in hell he lifted up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.
“But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime received thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented.
“And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence.Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father's house: For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment.
“Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them. And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent. And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.” (Luke 16:19-31)
“When the Son of man shall come in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then shall He sit upon the throne of His glory: And before Him shall be gathered all nations: and He shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:
“And He shall set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:
“Then shall He say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from Me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.” (Matt. 25:31-34, 41, 46)
HIS SOON RETURN
“Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.
“And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” (John 14:1-3; “And, behold, I come quickly; and My reward is with Me, to give every man according as his work shall be.” (Rev. 22:12)
3. WHAT DID JESUS DO?
He preached the gospel, healed the sick, cast out devils and forgave sinners. He gave new hope, peace and joy to all those who put their trust in Him! He said, "...neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more." (John 8:11) “...behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee." (John 5:14).
"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 Isaiah the prophet, saying, Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses." (Matt. 8:16-17)
"Jesus answered and said unto them, Go and shew John again those things which ye do hear and see: The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them." (Matt. 11:4-5)
To finish the task that He came to fulfill - namely, the propagation of the gospel of Christ to the ends of the earth. Jesus said, "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:" (Matt. 28:19)
“And He said unto them, 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.
2. Over 120,000 souls go into eternity every 24 hours.
3. More people are alive on this earth presently, than have lived since the time of Adam!
4. Every time one convert is made to Christianity, 3 are converted into paganism. And for every child born to Christian families, 5 are born into pagan homes!
5. More than 750 million souls died in the last generation who never heard the gospel of Christ - We are responsible for those alive NOW! Our generation needs us. Let us not miss the golden opportunity to reach the lost for Christ while it is still day.
TOGETHER WE ARE STRONGER.
“And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.” (Eccl. 4:12). “Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of My Father which is in heaven.” (Matt. 18:19)
“And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. Now Peter and John went up together into the temple at the hour of prayer, being the ninth hour.” (Acts 2:4; 3:1)
WE ARE WORKERS TOGETHER WITH GOD
“We then, as workers together with Him, beseech you also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain.” (2 Cor. 6:1)
“And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! “But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report? So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
“But I say, Have they not heard? Yes verily, their sound went into all the earth, and their words unto the ends of the world.” (Rom. 10:13-18)
“Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.
“And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the LORD of hosts.” (Mal. 3:10-11)
Jesus said, "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)
"But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you." (Matt. 6:33)
7. WHAT WE ARE DOING, NOW!
God spoke to my heart in May 1991 while on a crusade in Norway. Here are His words: "My son, go to Eastern Europe now, while the doors are still open!"
For these past number of years we poured a lot of time and money into Eastern Europe and other poor countries of the world with great success! I obeyed the Holy Spirit and spent a lot of time in Eastern Europe with great success.
We need an awakening of God’s presence among His people so that the Church will be revived to reach the teeming multitudes! Now God has laid a very heavy burden on my heart for our own nation.
PRAY FOR CANADA
Martin Luther stated: “I live as though Jesus Christ died yesterday, arose today and is coming tomorrow”! How do we live and what are our priorities? If He’s “coming tomorrow” we’d better get started. It’s later than we all think!
David Brainerd wrote: “I cared not where or how I lived or what hardships I went through, so that I could but win souls for Christ. When I was asleep I dreamed of these things, when I awoke the first thing I thought of was this great work. All my desire was for the conversion of the heathen and all my hope was in God!”
F. Morley wrote: “David Livingstone came on the words of Jesus: “Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world”. He said in his diary dated January 14, 1856: “It is the word of a gentleman of the most strict and sacred honour so there’s an end to it! ... I feel quite calm now, thank God.”
“He faced the most savage fear, believing that this promise was absolutely true. No man lived a lonelier life than he, and yet no man had such a sense of the companionship of his God. He buried his wife Mary with his own hands, and in anguish wept like a child. He says for the first time in his life he feels willing to die. “I am left alone in the world by one whom I felt to be a part of myself.”
When he died, he died alone, discovered by two natives on his knees beside his bed among the bogs and marshes near Chitambo’s village in Ilala. Among the last entries in his diary is written: “He will keep His word, the gracious One, full of grace and truth; no doubt of it. He will keep His word and it will be all right. Doubt is inadmissible, surely!”
Dr. A.B. Simpson challenged his workers with these words: “If ever there was an age when the world needed the witness of God’s supernatural working, it is in this day of unbelief and Satan’s power. Therefore, we may expect, as the end approaches, that the Holy Ghost will work in the healing of sickness, in the casting out of demons, in remarkable answers to prayer, in special and wonderful providences, and in such forms as may please His sovereign will to an unbelieving world.”
These great testimonies of men and women who blazed trails for the Gospel across the world with outstanding success serve as eye openers to us. May we continue in the great work of God in Jesus Christ as never before! Amen.
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 donations to [email protected]. May God bless you!