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Posts Tagged ‘end times’

LOVE CONQUERS  #2PMLove Conquers Combined 150 ppi

PETER DO YOU LOVE ME?

Ever been put on the spot? I have. After I had been saved only about 7 weeks after I had given my heart to Jesus, I was asked in front of all my drinking buddies, “Will you go and represent the University student union at the Licencing Commission hearing so we ca have a pub on campus?” Only thing is, I’m saved now and I don’t believe we should have a pub on campus. So, I said so and told them I’m a born again Christian now!! The jaws dropped!

John 21:15 After breakfast Jesus asked Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?” “Yes, Lord,” Peter replied, “you know I love you.”  “Then feed my lambs,” Jesus told him.  16Jesus repeated the question: “Simon son of John, do you love me?”  “Yes, Lord,” Peter said, “you know I love you.”  “Then take care of my sheep,” Jesus said.  17A third time he asked him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”  Peter was hurt that Jesus asked the question a third time. He said, “Lord, you know everything. You know that I love you.”  Jesus said, “Then feed my sheep.

Ever been put on the spot? Asked a question that probes the very depth of your heart while everyone is watching. Peter had failed, no doubt, and everybody knew it. Jesus told him, “You will deny me three times”. And Jesus was wrong how many times with His predictions?  Peter was asked a question that pulls out what’s inside and makes him realise what it’s all about really. Yes you failed, but where are you at right now on the inside? Do you love me?

I’m asking you the same question here tonight. Do you love Jesus?

What will keep you going for Jesus through the years? Some Christians who have done the journey with me over the years have fallen away from the faith. Others have stopped going to church and have retained the faith but become unproductive. All they do is criticise the church and all that that they believe is wrong with it; all the time not realising they are pulling down the bride for whom Jesus died.

What will keep you hot for God no matter what happens?

I’m going to make a statement to you right now that it would pay you to never forget. Your love for Jesus is the only thing that will keep you from being lost between now and when you met Jesus in heaven. LOVE CONQUERS!

Jesus foretold what Peter would face as a believer… Luke 22:31 31 Simon, Simon (Peter), listen! Satan has asked excessively that [all of] you be given up to him [out of the power and keeping of God], that he might sift [all of] you like grain,

32 But I have prayed especially for you [Peter], that your [own] faith may not fail; and when you yourself have turned again, strengthen and establish your brethren.

The same for all of us too, satan desires to sift us as wheat; to shake us up. Only what cannot be shaken shall remain. Heb 12:26-29 (NLT)

26 When God spoke from Mount Sinai his voice shook the earth, but now he makes another promise: “Once again I will shake not only the earth but the heavens also.” 27 This means that all of creation will be shaken and removed, so that only unshakable things will remain.   28 Since we are receiving a Kingdom that is unshakable, let us be thankful and please God by worshiping him with holy fear and awe. 29 For our God is a devouring fire.

We are in the last days. That is the time period immediately before the second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. This period will not be a Sunday picnic. Listen to how Jesus describes it…

Jesus predicts what happens in the last days just before His return..

Matt 24:3-8 (NLT)

3Later, Jesus sat on the Mount of Olives. His disciples came to him privately and said, “Tell us, when will all this happen? What sign will signal your return and the end of the world?”4Jesus told them, “Don’t let anyone mislead you, 5for many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah.’ They will deceive many. 6And you will hear of wars and threats of wars, but don’t panic. Yes, these things must take place, but the end won’t follow immediately. 7Nation will go to war against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in many parts of the world. 8But all this is only the first of the birth pains, with more to come.

He also says…

Matt 24:9 “Then you will be arrested, persecuted, and killed. You will be hated all over the world because you are my followers. 10And many will turn away from me and betray and hate each other. 11And many false prophets will appear and will deceive many people. 12Sin will be rampant everywhere, and the love of many will grow cold. 13But the one who endures to the end will be saved. 14And the Good News about the Kingdom will be preached throughout the whole world, so that all nations will hear it; and then the end will come.  (NLT)

These are some of the things that real followers of Jesus will face.

  1. Insult, Vilification, Persecution, and violence. (The article about schools in the USA http://freedomsback.com/michelle-malkin/one-nation-under-godlessness/) The proposed legislation under the Labour Party in Victoria strengthening the anti-discrimination laws to work against Christian Schools. (http://www.acl.org.au/2014/11/why-labors-policy-will-hurt-christian-schools/)
  2. Financial isolation and the confiscating of money and possessions.
  3. Opposition of family, friends and people who once were Christians. Mark 13:12  “A brother will betray his brother to death, a father will betray his own child, and children will rebel against their parents and cause them to be killed. 13And everyone will hate you because you are my followers. But the one who endures to the end will be saved.
  4. The temptation of offences – to live in unforgiveness.

 

HE THAT ENDURES TILL THE END SHALL BE SAVED

Matt 10:22 (NLT) And all nations will hate you because you are my followers. But everyone who endures to the end will be saved.

IN THE LAST DAYS PERILOUS TIMES SHALL COME

2 Tim 3:1 You should know this, Timothy, that in the last days there will be very difficult times.(NLT)

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WHITE RIBBON SUNDAY

Watch this clip – http://youtu.be/_ghqblX8kxM  (Warning: This clip contains disturbing scenes)

What is the White Ribbon Foundation?

http://www.whiteribbon.org.au/

This is a world wide organisation to work for prevention of violence against women.

Plenty Valley Church’s stand against Family Violence.

Culture Changers – Christians in a sick society

Our calling is to change the culture we live in – to be salt and light (Matt 5:13-16); to influence for righteousness. An example of this was Daniel.

The story of Daniel was how he brought change to Babylon and King Darius

Daniel 6:25-28

In the modern day we have examples like Martin Luther King Jr. and Nelson Mandela. These were Christians who stood for righteousness and worked to change the prevailing culture of their own society.

The effectiveness of their stand varies, but the fact that they stood up for righteousness against the ungodliness of their surroundings is a result of their Christianity being outworked.

Christians have stood for change, for righteousness in many different arenas. Often it is a tiny voice against an ocean of unrighteousness. Their results can be:

  1. A standard marker to set direction for righteousness for the generation (Mother Theresa)
  2. The movement creator who led massive change (Nelson Mandela)
  3. A Martyr who’s presence and unjust death galvanised the forces for good into action. (Dr. Martin Luther King Jnr.)

We are called to be salt and light, to be culture changers.

In our local area family violence is a major force. It is the enemy.

Stats and figures are showing an increase 288% in 10 years.

More stats see – http://tinyurl.com/8jzzu53

Explain Family Violence:

It often begins with Violence against women, and includes abuse of children.

Violence against women is understood to occur on a continuum from psychological, economic and emotional abuse through to physical and sexual violence.

It refers to ‘any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual or psychological harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or private life’.   (United Nations 1993)

Forms of violence against women

• Physical: hitting, slapping, choking, stabbing, murder, murder-suicide…

• Sexual: rape, sexual assault, sexual harassment, sexual abuse…

• Emotional and verbal: put-downs, insults, deliberately undermining confidence, humiliating, degrading, threats of violence or punishment, manipulation…

• Social: controlling and isolating, smothering, abusing in public

• Economic: controlling/denying money…

• Spiritual: eroding a women’s cultural or religious beliefs…

Family Violence also includes bullying and harassment

Violence against children includes most of these forms of abuse as well as witnessing the abuse of their mothers.

How we are going to fight it?

  1. Prayer
  2. Self-awareness in the church
    1. be different
    2. be salt and light
  3. Network with other groups and work together
  4. Offer resources to assist families
    1. Marriage counselling and enrichment.
    2. Budget counselling
    3. Assisting Teens issues
    4. Men’s groups
  5. Pull together community leaders to create cultural change.

Violence in the home is wrong. Violence is out of place in the world except as self defence. The home is for love, acceptance and nurture.

Usually it is men behaving badly. Why do men commit violence?

It is learned culture.

–         Violence begins at a young age with video games, cartoons, television and movies.

–         This leads to bullying at primary school which leads to bullying at high school

–         Leads to family violence when adulthood is reached.

When men feel impotent and powerless they act out. They choose violence to affirm their manhood. This is in part caused by:

–         No affirming fathers

–         No celebration on the sporting field, as more and more young boys turn from active sport to sedentary digital screens for recreation.

–         No healthy initiation into manhood.

ANSWER – EQUALITY

The foundation of the home is love and respect. While the bible clearly teaches that the man should be the leader in the home, this role is to nurture, protect and provide.

God calls men and women to equality.

Gal 3:28  In Christ’s family there can be no division into Jew and non-Jew, slave and free, male and female. Among us you are all equal. That is, we are all in a common relationship with Jesus Christ. (MESS)

Eph 5:25  Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her, (AMP)

In the workplace, street, school or uni God calls us to honour love and respect one another regardless of gender, race or age.

Rom 12:10  Love one another with brotherly affection [as members of one family], giving precedence and showing honour to one another. (AMP)

THERE IS NO PLACE FOR VIOLENCE IN OUR HOMES OR IN SOCIETY.

The only righteous place for violence is self defence. In law this must be demonstrated at a lesser level than the attacker’s violence.

Rom 12:16  Live in harmony with one another; do not be haughty (snobbish, high-minded, exclusive), but readily adjust yourself to [people, things] and give yourselves to humble tasks. Never overestimate yourself or be wise in your own conceits. [Prov. 3:7.]

Rom 12:17  Repay no one evil for evil, but take thought for what is honest and proper and noble [aiming to be above reproach] in the sight of everyone. [Prov. 20:22.]

Rom 12:18  If possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.

Rom 12:19  Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave the way open for [God’s] wrath; for it is written, Vengeance is Mine, I will repay (requite), says the Lord. [Deut. 32:35.]

Rom 12:20  But if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals upon his head. [Prov. 25:21, 22.]

Rom 12:21  Do not let yourself be overcome by evil, but overcome (master) evil with good. (AMP)

When we witness violence we must

  1. Protect the vulnerable
  2. Speak up
  3. Call for help

MEN ARE OFTEN THE PERPETRATORS, MEN MUST LEAD THE WAY IN CULTURAL CHANGE.

ACTION PLAN

  1. Pray against the spirit of violence.
  2. Eliminate Family Violence in our homes
  3. Men –  take a stand – take the pledge – speak up
  4. Take every opportunity to be salt and light in your workplace, Street, school, uni.

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I am going to swim upstream all my life!

Jesus said,

Mat 7:14 But the gate is narrow (contracted by pressure) and the way is straitened and compressed that leads away to life, and few are those who find it. [Deut. 30:19; Jer. 21:8.] (AMP)

So it looks like the way to life has some pressure, some obstacles, some challenges.

Many Christians don’t want to live a life of pressure. They are longing for an easy life a life without the slog.

But that is the wrong way to look at it.  The salmon loves the swim upstream to the spawning grounds. It’s hazardous and strenuous but only the salmon that swim upstream get to reproduce.

You can look at life as a constant struggle or you can decide that you love the challenge – it’s a new mindset. Like the athlete who trains every day for fitness and to become better at their sport, we enjoy staying on top of their game. There’s invigorating life and strength that comes from doing the journey well. We press into God and obtain His presence and inner strength (Ephes 3:16 AMP) We delight in seeing lives changed and know that we have been part of the amazing plan God has for their lives. We see the future of God’s Kingdom coming into it’s fullness and the earth being filled with His glory.

The Flourishing Christian life is one that swims upstream of course. We are constantly opposed by spiritual forces and persecution. In Australia persecution comes as a  constant flow of ridicule for anyone who believes in the bible and Godly values. It’s portrayed as intolerant, negative, discriminatory, and outdated. But God’s word and His kingdom are life to us.

2Co 2:15 For we are the sweet fragrance of Christ [which exhales] unto God, [discernible alike] among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing:
2Co 2:16 To the latter it is an aroma [wafted] from death to death [a fatal odor, the smell of doom]; to the former it is an aroma from life to life [a vital fragrance, living and fresh]. And who is qualified (fit and sufficient) for these things? [Who is able for such a ministry? We?](AMP)

If you want to swim upstream then every day you choose to live God’s way in spite of temptations, opposition, spiritual oppression and personal attack…… AND LOVING IT!!!!

 

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FATHERS THAT CHANGE THE WORLD.

VIDEO – fathers day in the car 1:30 http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=endscreen&NR=1&v=XGgS5oh2gfo

(Some special Chuck Norris jokes.

When Alexander Bell invented the telephone he had 3 missed calls from Chuck Norris

Fear of spiders is arachnophobia, fear of tight spaces is claustrophobia, fear of Chuck Norris is called Logic

Chuck Norris doesn’t call the wrong number. You answer the wrong phone.

Chuck Norris has a grizzly bear carpet in his room. The bear isn’t dead it is just afraid to move.

Chuck Norris has already been to Mars; that’s why there are no signs of life there.

Once the cop pulled over Chuck Norris….the cop was lucky to leave with a warning.

Chuck Norris and Superman once fought each other on a bet. The loser had to start wearing his underwear on the outside of his pants.

Death once had a near-Chuck Norris experience

Chuck Norris counted to infinity – twice.

Chuck Norris once got bit by a rattle snake…….. After three days of pain and agony ………………the rattle snake died

Only Chuck Norris can dislike on Facebook

Chuck Norris’s tears cure all kinds of diseases…. Too bad he never cries.)

Chuck Norris is the toughest man that ever lived (in Hollywood anyway) – and he’s a real Christian too!! In today’s world God needs some very tough men to live wholeheartedly for Him. Men will you do it? Or will you wimp out?

What will you do when they come and arrest me for not marrying a gay couple?

Will you jump up and take my place? Will you join me in Prison when the next gay couple comes along? Will endure persecution? Will you turn away from sin? Will you lead your family to the cross and determine to change the world?

A father has the biggest opportunity to change the world in one generation.

Dad, never underestimate your power to change the world.

Leo Tolstoy once said:  Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.

The world constantly needs change. Fathers will have the biggest influence on the lives of their children. If they raise them well they will create a different world. If they raise them badly then the world slips closer to ruin.

The Bible says:

2Ti 3:1  BUT UNDERSTAND this, that in the last days will come (set in) perilous times of great stress and trouble [hard to deal with and hard to bear].

2Ti 3:2  For people will be lovers of self and [utterly] self-centered, lovers of money and aroused by an inordinate [greedy] desire for wealth, proud and arrogant and contemptuous boasters. They will be abusive (blasphemous, scoffing), disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy and profane.

2Ti 3:3  [They will be] without natural [human] affection (callous and inhuman), relentless (admitting of no truce or appeasement); [they will be] slanderers (false accusers, troublemakers), intemperate and loose in morals and conduct, uncontrolled and fierce, haters of good.

2Ti 3:4  [They will be] treacherous [betrayers], rash, [and] inflated with self-conceit. [They will be] lovers of sensual pleasures and vain amusements more than and rather than lovers of God.

2Ti 3:5  For [although] they hold a form of piety (true religion), they deny and reject and are strangers to the power of it [their conduct belies the genuineness of their profession]. Avoid [all] such people [turn away from them].

Tonight if you’re a dad here, let me show you how to raise sons that will serve God. If you’re a young man, let me challenge you to change the world for God and get ready to be a great father when later you marry.

If you’re a woman here let me show you how to find a godly man who will lead you to a walk with God.

Dads

1. Be an example:

2Th 3:6  Now we charge you, brethren, in the name and on the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah) that you withdraw and keep away from every brother (fellow believer) who is slack in the performance of duty and is disorderly, living as a shirker and not walking in accord with the traditions and instructions that you have received from us.

2Th 3:7  For you yourselves know how it is necessary to imitate our example, for we were not disorderly or shirking of duty when we were with you [we were not idle].

2Th 3:8  Nor did we eat anyone’s bread without paying for it, but with toil and struggle we worked night and day, that we might not be a burden or impose on any of you [for our support].

2Th 3:9  [It was] not because we do not have a right [to such support], but [we wished] to make ourselves an example for you to follow.

The best way to mess up your teens is preach one way and live another. It’s called hypocrisy. Older people get used to it and they can process it, but teens are idealistic and they see through it straight away. It messes them up big time.

VIDEO – It goes fast dad    2.48   http://youtu.be/IOwWlw5zPcc

2. Pray for your wife and Kids

Luk 18:1  ALSO [Jesus] told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not to turn coward (faint, lose heart, and give up).

There are many temptations. Pray for your wife and kids for God’s protection.

3. Talk about life with them

Tell your kids what will happen as they get older.

Sammy, someone will offer you a drink one day. What will you say to them? What if they ridicule you? Where do you get your strength from?

Mary, a boy will tell you he loves you one day and what he means is; take off your pants for me. What will you say? Let me tell you how to find a boy that will respect you.

Girls – Your advice.

  1. Know your true worth according to what God says about you, not what the world says about you.

Pro 31:10  A capable, intelligent, and virtuous woman–who is he who can find her? She is far more precious than jewels and her value is far above rubies or pearls. [Prov. 12:4; 18:22; 19:14.]

  1. The world says your value lies in how beautiful and slim you are – don’t fall for it, it’s all about the heart.

1Pe 3:3  What matters is not your outer appearance–the styling of your hair, the jewellery you wear, the cut of your clothes–

1Pe 3:4  but your inner disposition. Cultivate inner beauty, the gentle, gracious kind that God delights in. (MESS)

Know a man’s heart before you explore his body. Find out what a man is living for. Is his dream to serve God no matter what the cost? That’s your passion isn’t it? If he lives like that he would die for you. Keep yourself for that wedding day.

Eph 5:25  Husbands, go all out in your love for your wives, exactly as Christ did for the church–a love marked by giving, not getting. (MESS)

 

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ESCAPING THE QUICKSAND OF PORNOGRAPHY

Why a message on Porn?

This is a huge problem in our society, as we will discover in a moment. The church must be bringing answers to hurting people. God’s word brings an answer for any of life’s problems. But as well as that, Christian Men are struggling with porn and we want to bring help and answers to our own church. You may not be struggling with porn, but be aware of what is happening in our families and be prepared to help others. Of course the use of pornography is shameful, and no one is going to want to own up to it. This hidden aspect of pornography is creating a sleeping giant in its capacity to damage teens and families. If you’re a parent here today, you need to understand how to protect your young children and teens from porn’s insidious effects.

THE CULTURE OF OUR TIMES

Teens and Porn

http://catholicexchange.com/the-teen-porn-epidemic-and-what-to-do-about-it/   –

June 7th, 2012  –  Matt Fradd

When Nathan started using internet pornography, he found that over time it somehow got less and less exciting. His daily routine soon included hours spent consuming porn, yet he had grown “almost numb to it,” he recalls. Like many men with addictions, he was discovering that the compulsive use of porn dulls the pleasure receptors of the brain, forcing them to seek ever-greater amounts of stimulation in a desperate quest for sexual satisfaction.

But Nathan was not yet a man. He was just twelve years old.

And unfortunately, he is not alone. We are witnessing the beginning of nothing less than an epidemic of porn addiction among teens and even younger children.

In today’s wired world, internet porn is everywhere, it’s easy to get, and it’s washing like a wave over every child who can hold an iPhone or log on to a laptop—according to one recent study, by the time they reach eighteen only three percent of boys and seventeen percent of girls will have never laid eyes on it. And these kids aren’t witnessing the kind of “soft-core” centerfold images that their parents may have stumbled across in a magazine or cable TV twenty years ago; no, they’re filling their heads with explicit, graphic depictions of sexual acts. In fact, according to the same study, which surveyed 563 teenage boys and girls, sixty-five percent had seen depictions of group sex, and twelve percent had seen rape or sexual violence.

This exposure to porn, which in adults causes dependent behaviours, spiritual emptiness, and a diminished ability to love, does additional harm to children by distorting their mental, emotional, and social development. One young woman—for it’s not just boys who are getting hooked on porn—who like Nathan became addicted at the age of twelve, observed, “’I started to isolate myself, because I hated what I was doing. I hated that I couldn’t stop.” A bewildered mother wrote of her eleven-year-old son, whose dependence on internet porn had left him psychologically devastated, “How could my beautiful boy, who could light up a room and my heart with his smile, have turned into this hollow, self-hating shell? What had I done wrong?”

With the threat that pornography use poses to their children only continuing to grow (as technology makes porn access ever easier and as porn becomes destigmatized in mainstream culture), more parents are sharing this mother’s despair. What can be done? Today’s world is a different place for children than it was even for an adult generation that grew up trained to be wary of drugs, bullies, and sexual predators on every street corner. Today’s new world poses new threats, and those threats require new strategies to keep children safe.

“How do we train our kids to be pure in heart?”

Drawing from my experiences, allow me to offer three strategies that you can implement to cooperate with God’s grace.

1 – Affirm the goodness of their sexuality

2 – Be a parent, not a buddy

3 – Use Filters and Accountability Software

What does the word of God say?

1Th 4:3  For this is the will of God, that you should be consecrated (separated and set apart for pure and holy living): that you should abstain and shrink from all sexual vice,

1Th 4:4  That each one of you should know how to possess (control, manage) his own body in consecration (purity, separated from things profane) and honor,

1Th 4:5  Not [to be used] in the passion of lust like the heathen, who are ignorant of the true God and have no knowledge of His will,

1Th 4:6  That no man transgress and overreach his brother and defraud him in this matter or defraud his brother in business. For the Lord is an avenger in all these things, as we have already warned you solemnly and told you plainly.

1Th 4:7  For God has not called us to impurity but to consecration [to dedicate ourselves to the most thorough purity].

1Th 4:8  Therefore whoever disregards (sets aside and rejects this) disregards not man but God, Whose [very] Spirit [Whom] He gives to you is holy (chaste, pure).

Mat 5:28  But I say to you that everyone who so much as looks at a woman with evil desire for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

Mat 5:29  If your right eye serves as a trap to ensnare you or is an occasion for you to stumble and sin, pluck it out and throw it away. It is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be cast into hell (Gehenna).

THE PREVALENCE OF PORNOGRAPHY

http://www.bpnews.net/bpnews.asp?id=32644

How wide is the problem? The report cites one 2008 study of undergraduate and graduate students ages 18-26 that showed 69 percent of the men and 10 percent of the women viewed pornography more than once a month. But it’s not just adults. In 2009, the fourth-most searched word on the Internet for kids ages 7 and under was “porn,” according to data by OnlineFamily.Norton.com. For all kids — those up to age 18 — sex was No. 4, porn No. 5.

http://www.heraldsun.com.au/opinion/porn-and-violence-do-not-have-a-place-in-childrens-lives/story-fn56aaiq-1226132547946

Research suggests that 70 per cent of boys and half all girls will have looked at porn by the age of 12.

(Large amount of Statistical Data from Australia 2003 – http://www.tai.org.au/documents/dp_fulltext/DP52.pdf )

Research done by Australian Pastor Alan Meyer, author of Valiant Man, has confirmed that in the church around 50% of men are engaging with pornography to some extent.

INTERVIEW WITH JASON HUXLEY

During the service we will interview Jason Huxley, an Australian staying in Canada.

Link for Jason – http://www.guiltypleasure.tv/

I’m glad to say that this is now in my past but I know that I’m still susceptible to porn, so I make sure that I guard myself everyday. For me porn did nothing to improve my life but just made it worse. The compound issues of being a Christian and porn addict made my life almost unbearable and today I feel so much compassion for people who are in the same place. – Jason Huxley

THE EFFECTS OF PORNOGRAPHY

Porn has hijacked sexuality and is destroying men – Gail Dines  October 14, 2010

http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/society-and-culture/porn-has-hijacked-sexuality-and-is-destroying-men-20101013-16jy4.html?comments=189#comments

Porn addicition is a serious issue, with a generation of men accustomed to graphic images.

A generation raised on hard core has trouble with the real thing.

In a recent radio interview the host suggested that since I didn’t like porn, the solution was to not look at it. If only it was that easy to avoid. Many women I know don’t look at porn, but this doesn’t mean that they are not affected by it every day.

The men they date, have sex with and marry are increasingly being brought up on a steady diet of porn, and the more they watch, the less capable they are of forming connected, intimate relationships.

The porn these men consume looks nothing like your father’s Playboy. In place of soft core, soft focus images of naked women smiling coyly at the camera, consumers are catapulted into a world of cruel and brutal sex acts designed to dehumanise women.

In the vast majority of porn today, sex is not about making love, as the feelings and emotions we normally associate with such an act – connection, empathy, tenderness, caring, affection – are missing, and in their place are those we normally associate with hate – fear, disgust, anger, loathing, and contempt.

http://www.bpnews.net/bpnews.asp?ID=32645

“Similarly, pornography is sexual junk food, and we have fallen under the spell of the myth that there is no such thing as too much sex and there’s no sex that’s bad sex,” said Layden, director of education at the Center for Cognitive Therapy at the University of Pennsylvania.

Porn affects society – secular view

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/opinion/porn-not-just-a-little-harmless-fun/story-e6frg6zo-1225935783393

Although not all compulsive users, these men talked about their feelings of inadequacy relating to sex after using porn. Whether it was their inability to bring their girlfriends to a screaming orgasm, their need to conjure up porn images to reach their own orgasm with their girlfriends, their “inadequate size” male anatomy parts or their tendency to ejaculate “too quickly”, they were using “porn sex” as their yardstick and they all failed to measure up.

Some argue that porn has no effect in the real world, while others, especially anti-porn feminists, view pornography as material that encourages and justifies the oppression of women.

http://www.catholichighered.org/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=42KSYEXgZqE%3D&tabid=670

Professors Dolf Zillman of Indiana University and Jennings Bryant of the University of Houston have found that repeated exposure to pornography results in a decreased satisfaction with the sex life that you are experiencing in your marriage, a decrease in the valuation of faithfulness and a major increase in the importance of sex without attachment.

WHY PORNOGRAPHY IS SO ADDICTIVE

From a book: Wired for Intimacy – How Pornography Hijacks the Male Brain. By William M. Struthers.

The male brain is the built like an ideal pornography receiver, wired to be on the alert for these images of nakedness. The male brain and our conscious visual experience is the internal monitor where we perceive them. The images of sexuality grab our attention, jumping out and hypnotizing a man like an HD television among a sea of standard televisions.

The Visual Magnetism of Pornography

Human sexuality affects every aspect of human life, but sexual acts are generally understood as private acts, taking place in the bedroom. We live in a culture that is clothed, and we do not regularly stumble across people having sex in public. We have laws against nudity and performing sexual acts in public. This cultural reality along with the intuitive notion that sex is a private, intimate act makes pornography so qualitatively different from the majority of our everyday visual experience. Our culture has trained us so that there is something about the naked form that is distinctive. When we come across it, we reflexively turn our attention toward it. But why do so many men find it difficult to look away after that first glance? Perhaps it is because their receiver is merely locking onto this strong signal.

A man’s brain is a sexual mosaic influenced by hormone levels in the womb and in puberty and molded by his psychological experience. Male brains can be very different from female brains because of this.

(Arnold, 2004, pp. 701-8; Ariely and Loewenstein. 2006, p. 87; Baron–Cohen, Lutchmaya and Knickmeyer, 2004; Brizendine, 2006; Cahill, 2006, p. 477).

Although neither superior nor inferior, they are very different in the way they detect stimuli, process information and respond to emotions. This is important because men detect sexual cues rapidly when it comes to nakedness or sex-related stimuli. Men seem to be more sensitive to visual cues for sexual arousal.

(Lykins, Meana and Kambe, 2006, pp. 569-75; Janssen, Carpenter and Graham, 2003, pp. 243-51; Karama et al., 2002, p. 1; Koukounas and McCabe, 1997, pp. 221-30).

The visual scanning of the naked image has a power in it that forces itself onto the male brain. The peculiar proficiency that the male brain has to relay this signal, combined with a man’s personal history and thought habits (his experience with looking at pornography), are why so many men have difficulty looking away. The signal is received and then projected onto the display, the visual experience of the viewer. The depiction of nudity and sexual acts have a hypnotic effect and the ability to hold their attention similar to an HD television. As men fall deeper into the mental habit of fixating on these images, the exposure to them creates neural pathways. Like a path is created in the woods with each successive hiker, so do the neural paths set the course for the next time an erotic image is viewed. Over time these neural paths become wider as

they are repeatedly traveled with each exposure to pornography. They become the automatic pathway through which interactions with women are routed. The neural circuitry anchors this process solidly in the brain. With each lingering stare, pornography deepens a Grand Canyon–like a gorge in the brain through which images of women are destined to flow.

They have unknowingly created a neurological circuit that imprisons their ability to see women rightly as created in God’s image. Repeated exposure to pornography creates a one-way neurological superhighway where a man’s mental life is over-sexualized and narrowed. It is hemmed in on either side by high containment walls making escape nearly impossible. This neurological superhighway has many on-ramps. The mental life is fixated on sex, but it is intended for intimacy. It is wide—able to accommodate multiple partners, images and sexual possibilities, but it is intended to be narrow—a place for God’s exclusive love to be imaged. This neurological superhighway has been reconstructed and built for speed, able to rapidly get to the climax of sexual stimulation. It is intended, however for the slow discovery and appreciation of a loving partner. The pornography built pathway has only a few off-ramps, leading to sexual encounters that have only a fleeting impact and hasten the need for more. But these encounters are intended to be long lasting and satisfying for both partners and have many off ramps for creative expressions of intimacy that are not genitally oriented.

http://www.amazon.com/William-M.-Struthers/e/B002LFKZA2

Some authors have stated that the addictive power of pornography has an effect greater than that of heroin in terms of difficulty to break. The reason is, that eventually all the heroin is gone from your system. But for men, these images will stay with them for the rest of their lives. You can’t make yourself forget images in your mind.

ANSWERS

  1. The Church must bring answers not condemnation. Many people stuck in porn addiction do not understand why it is so hard to stop. I encourage wives to understand the predicament men face. We can say there’s no excuse, but that may not help solve the issue. Men need to make tough decisions, but they need understanding and support because many are stuck and can’t get out.
  2. The power of sin is broken when we surrender to Jesus and immerse ourselves in His word. Rom 8:7  [That is] because the mind of the flesh [with its carnal thoughts and purposes] is hostile to God, for it does not submit itself to God’s Law; indeed it cannot.

Rom 8:8  So then those who are living the life of the flesh [catering to the appetites and impulses of their carnal nature] cannot please or satisfy God, or be acceptable to Him.

Rom 8:9  But you are not living the life of the flesh, you are living the life of the Spirit, if the [Holy] Spirit of God [really] dwells within you [directs and controls you]. But if anyone does not possess the [Holy] Spirit of Christ, he is none of His [he does not belong to Christ, is not truly a child of God]. [Rom. 8:14.](AMP)

  1. Valiant Man series. This church will run a teaching series for all the guys called Valiant man which we have run in the past with good results. It is developed by an Australian Pastor Alan Meyer and helps men change and be set free from addiction to sexual images. Our attitude in this church is not to bring shame which is unproductive; but to assume no one has this problem but to equip all men with answers. This series will begin later in the year after a period of promotion.
  2. The author and cinematographer Jason Huxley who we interviewed this morning is producing a resource called Guilty Pleasure that will be available next year and we will bring that resource to this church to further assist everyone.
  3. Counselling is available. For those who are struggling with porn addiction and want to get out sooner rather than later. The pastoral staff of this church will assist you and maintain confidentiality. We will refer you to trained counsellors where appropriate.
  4. The pastoral staff are prepared to fast and pray with anyone who would like to be accountable for their ongoing progress.
  5. We recommend internet filters for all home computers. We recommend one called Covenant Eyes. The link is http://www.covenanteyes.com/  This includes iPhone and iPad apps. Understand that filters do not break the underlying problem of addiction, but are helpful to protect teenagers and to keep people free after they have broken through the barrier of addiction.

EXTRA STUFF

For people who want to use Covent Eyes use this link. http://www.covenanteyes.com/?promocode=guiltypleasure
Guilty Pleasure is an affiliate of Covenant Eyes and 15% of subscriptions go towards Guilty Pleasure if people use this link.
Also, coming up soon; ex porn producer Donny Pauling’s visit as it would be very relevant as a follow up topic. Here is a video clip that you can play  http://vimeo.com/46208764

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ImageThe Most Amazing Church on Earth

Have you ever wondered why there are so many denominations?

 Sometimes people may have pointed to all the different denominations or parts of Christianity and used this fact as an example of the lack of credibility of the Christian faith.

 But today you will see Gods’ unfolding plan to impact the whole earth with His Church.

 It is no surprise to God that so many denominations exist or that the church is so varied and often in disagreement with one another.

God’s plan for the church is coming to fruition. His purpose is to maximise the number of people who will become part of His eternal Kingdom.

 The purpose of these messages about the most amazing church on earth is for you to see the big picture of what you are part of. To see the work of God on a world wide scale and choose to participate in His wonderful purpose and plan.

 Jesus said, “I will build My church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it” (Matt 16:18) Sounds like the church is a formidable, powerful, enduring and overcoming force in the earth.

 Is that how you see the church? Or do you see it as the secular media presents it…. As the irrelevant, powerless, bigoted, self destroying organisation that can never agree with itself and only makes life hard for people.

 He who pays the piper calls the tune.

 What the media never report is the world changing revivals of Christianity that are sweeping the world right now where we see for example…

  • In Sub SaharanAfrica– over 50% of the population are Born again Christians
  • Christianity has been estimated to be growing rapidly in South America, Africa, andAsia. In Africa, for instance, in 1900, there were only 8.7 million adherents of Christianity; now there are 390 million, and it is expected by 2025 there will be 600 million Christians inAfrica. 
  • The US Department of State estimates that Protestant Christianity may have grown 600% over the last decade in Vietnam
  • The Christian population of the Kandhamal district in Orissa was 117,950 in 2001, an increase from 75,597 in 1991, or a 66% growth, higher than the overall population at 18.6%. 42,353 converted to Christianity between 1991 and 2001, and two of them converted back to Hinduism
  • From the period between 2000 and 2005, Pentecostalism experienced a global growth rate of 488% expanding from 115 million to 588.5 million[12] global adherents. This classes Pentecostalism as the fastest growing religion world wide.

 Why doesn’t the media report about strong Christian movements? Because they are secular and this is about world domination.

 So why is the church so diverse?

 Of those who claim to be Christians the various groups there are thousands of different groups and denominations however the main groups are:

Denomination             Date of commencement

Catholic                             350AD

Orthodox                           370AD

Lutheran                            1516

Reformed/Presbyterian        1535

Baptist                               1550

Anglican                             1570

Methodist/Evangelical          1725

Salvation Army                   1865

Pentecostal                         1908

Charismatic                         1945

 The following groups sometimes thought of as Christian denominations, should be viewed as cults an should be avoided because they do not adhere to the bible as their only source of revelation;

 Mormons

Jehovah’s Witnesses

Christian Science

 A study of Church history from a point of view of revelation gives us a great perspective into God’s plan for His church.

 The beginnings

The church began in a blast of revival, the whole of the then known world was impacted by Christianity in the first 3 centuries after the crucifixion.

The church was strong in faith and true to the doctrines of the apostles at the start.

The fruit was

  • Massive numbers of conversions
  • Accompanied by signs and wonders and healings.
  • City changing and nation changing impact

 Gradually, as the apostles died out, different doctrines began to creep into the church. And as the church became more influenced by philosophies of men the results were less converts, and a dying out of signs and wonders and healing.

 In the year 313 Roman Emperor Constantine the Great had a vision of the cross and believed that God had shown him that the religion of the empire was to be Christianity. The persecution of the church byRomeceased and people were converted by the edge of the sword instead of a heart change. This created the beginning of the dark ages where the church became enmeshed with government and more of a political force than life changing force.

 The Catholic Church has its beginnings at this time and the orthodox churches grew up beside the Catholic Church until the eleventh century when they formally split.

 Through the period 300AD to 1500 AD the church was far from the power and effectiveness of the early church. It was full of ungodly behaviour, idolatry and heresy.

 But God’s plans were about to unfold.

 In 1516 Martin Luther a Catholic Priest wrote his 95 points thesis and nailed it onto the door of the cathedral where he lived in Wittenberg in Germany. Luther taught that salvation is not earned by good deeds but received only as a free gift of God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ as redeemer from sin. His theology challenged the authority of the Pope of the Roman Catholic Church by teaching that the Bible is the only source of divinely revealed knowledge. Those who identify with Luther’s teachings are called Lutherans

This was the restoration of revelation that Jesus spoke to Peter the apostle that upon this rock (His confession that Jesus was the Christ) Jesus would build his church. The true church, the most amazing church on earth is not built on good works or trying to please God, but it is built on faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and what He accomplished on the Cross.

The next big step of revelation was the Anabaptists who began to teach that people who professed faith in Jesus Christ must be baptised in water. This was an evidence of a changed life and not a ritual for babies. Through he 1500’s these Anabaptists were persecuted by the Lutherans and others who did not believe this strange new doctrine. The Baptist denomination and others can trace their roots to this movement.

 It was almost universal that each move of God would be rejected by the past move of God. People cling so tightly to hard won victories against unrighteousness and heresy that when the next step to freedom takes place they are too suspicious of it.

 As the move of God went on John Wesley came along and his life showed the truths of salvation through faith in God, but also preached sanctification. This was the belief that when someone comes to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ then they will experience change in their life and put away sin. Sanctification means being separated. John Wesley also brought the church to a stand of evangelical fervour. He was the first to preach to thousands in the outdoors with as many as 20,000 people attending his sermons and many professing a faith in Christ after his message.

 This evangelicalism was a restoration of the revelation of the command of Jesus to go into all the world and to preach the gospel to every creature. John Wesley was also to champion the use of small groups meeting from house to house to build a church to which eventually one third ofEnglandbelonged. This great move of God spawned the Methodist church and all its offshoots that is still a string force in the earth today. During this period the work of missionaries began with William Carey going toIndia.

 In the late 1800’s God raised up William Booth an Anglican priest who was thrown out of the Anglican Church for bringing in lost and derelict people into church. Booth started the Salvation Army who saw incredible results of salvation and changed lives. The majority of their converts in the early years were straight out of jail, or ex prostitutes and the poor who found life in Christ. Booth opened up the church to all men not just the educated or the rich. He made it a church for all men.  This passion for social justice still exists today in the Salvation Army however their passion to win souls to Christ has been watered down to a large extent.

 In the early 1900’s the next major revelation to hit the church was healing. Famous Men of God such as John G Lake, AB Simpson, Smith Wigglesworth, brought back to the church the revelation that Jesus not only died for our sins but also he carried our sicknesses on the cross. There are two parts to the Lord’s Supper – The Wine and the Bread. The wine speaks of His blood to atone for our sin and the Bread speaks of His body broken for us to we could be made whole.

 Early in the 1900’s also the Pentecostal Movement began.

This was a great outpouring of the Holy Spirit and restored the baptism of the Holy Spirit which has been almost unknown for the whole of Church history since the early church in the book of acts.

 This movement believed in salvation through faith water baptism of believers and sanctification and reach out to all the world, but now added that only though the power of the Holy Spirit was this made possible. One of the evidences that believers had been filled with the Holy Spirit was their ability to speak in other tongues.

 This movement created the Assembly of God denomination known in Australias the ACC Australian Christian Churches, as well as a host of other Pentecostal denominations.

 In 1960 there was another outpouring of Gods spirit in the Charismatic movement – this was a restoration of praise and worship in a biblical manner with singing, shouting, clapping hands and the song of the spirit – that is, singing in tongues. This move of God also restored the gifts of the Holy Spirit to ordinary believers not just trained clergy. The gifts of healing, miracles, prophecy, speaking in tongues, faith, discerning of evil spirits were all given prominence.  This movement took place within many existing denominations but of course was not universally accepted by all.

 Over the last 50 years since then we have seen the church world wide experience fresh new outpourings of God’s spirit in restoring such distinctives as:

  • The rise and prominence of the prophet to guide and correct the church
  • The rise of the apostolic ministry to influence regions or even nations through strong leadership and church planting.
  • The rise of Church planting organizations.
  • And now the rise again of the community impacting church that does great deal of work in impacting local communities with the gospel through social justice and demographic evangelism.

 What lies ahead for the church? The last days church will be greater in power and effectiveness that the early church. I will speak about this last days church on Sunday in two weeks.

 What lessons can we learn from church history?

  1. God is always moving. He is speaking to who ever will listen
  2. We must remain open and reachable to hear what God is saying in present day truth. For may have been left behind in a dead denomination that failed to embrace change and fresh revelation.
  3. The plan God has is to restore the church to all its former glory as in the book of Acts and more
  4. The church is the bride of Christ and is being washed by the water of the word so that she will become a bride without any spot or wrinkle.

 Are you open, hungry, teachable?

Are you dedicated to the plan God has for the church? To bring the gospel to every nation and the end will come?

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