Like last week, I invited you to join in a group Zoom call. We had over 20 of us last Saturday and it was a real good time of catching up with everyone. I would like to do the same this week. Here are the details:
: This Saturday (April 25)
Meeting Details and link
Meeting ID: 865 0955 3169
Feel free to join in and leave as you please. Looking forward to "seeing" you all.
A Punishment from God?
Whenever there's something big, like this pandemic, for some Christian leaders the go-to-response is invoke God's wrath on an unbelieving world, as we have heard this past week from the leaders associated with the Pensacola Movement (Brownsville Revival) and the Toronto Blessing. We heard it quite often in Christchurch during the earthquakes too. Then, of course, came the prophecies. Let me tell you a story!
In 1503 in a small French town called Saint-Remy-de-Provence, not far from modern day Marseille, parents Jacques & Reynière de Nostredame ushered into the world their new son, Michel. He was renowned in the region as a physician and helped a number of small towns that suffered from the outbreak of plague. But around the world he is renowned as a seer. We know him today by his latin name, Nostradamus.
You can read many of his predictions today. His fear of being persecuted by the Catholic Church (he lived during the reformation and the famed religious inquisitions of the sixteenth century) drove him to write his predictions in a style known as Virgilianised Syntax (a style taken from the Ancient Roman poet Virgil). He also mixed in different languages. It's really so obscure that you could attribute multiple events to his prophecies while at the same time attributing nothing at all!
Our modern day equivalent of Nostradamus can unfortunately be found more often in Christian circles.
Many prophecies I hear are so vague in nature that they have more in common with Nostradamus than with anything Biblical. Other prophecies, such as the call for revival, are heard time and again but then, they never really seem to eventuate. And when a "prophet" is wrong we very rarely call them out on it.
They were rampant when Christchurch was being hit by quakes. People who call themselves followers of Jesus, whose main intent, it seems, was to see God's wrath dished out on humanity. It's almost perverse in nature.
These pronouncements are deeply worrying. Worrying because some people feel the right to put the name of Lord to such pronouncements and prophecies, and not many of us are willing to calling them out on this.
We readily forget the famous passage in the bible, John 3:16, and it's following verse. That God so loved the world, that he sent his only son to die for it, so that all may have the chance to embrace salvation and a new life. The cross bore all the wrath... so why do we seem to want to cling to wrath today? Why do we still feel that God is out there punishing people, righteous and the wicked together? If there were just one righteous person in Wellington, would God not spare it!? (Gen. 18:16-33)
God is love, Satan thrives on fear. So when I hear a pronouncement or prophecy that promotes fear... I can only say that it comes from Satan.
Good Friday is known as good because our Saviour died for us in the ultimate act of sacrifice. Evil is defeated. Wrath is abated. Salvation has come.
There is a time when Jesus will return and he will judge the living and the dead. Until that time we are called to bear his image to the world and love it the same way our Saviour does.
A Hutt City Baptist Church Call to Prayer
Have you been joining us at 7.30am and 7.30pm? It doesn't have to be long. I encourage you to join us. A short prayer. Stopping a moment and lifting your words to the Lord. Knowing we are doing it together.
Some thoughts for this week: