Megachurch speaker and author Joel Osteen was among a group of political and religious leaders who met with Pope Francis at the Vatican on Thursday. According to reports, Osteen was part of a delegation organized by the International Foundation in an effort to encourage interfaith relations and ecumenicism. Utah Senator Mike Lee (R), a Mormon, Gayle Beebe, the president of the interdenominational Westmont College in California, and Pastor Tim Timmons, founder of South Coast Community Church also in California, were among those who who greeted the pope, along with Osteen. “I just felt very honored and very humbled,” Osteen told local television station Click 2 Houston. “It was amazing. And even to go back into that part of the Vatican—there’s so much history there, the place that they took us through. You feel that deep respect and reverence for God.” The Lakewood leader also met with other Vatican staff during his visit, including Cardinal Pietro Paroli, Secretary of State for the Vatican, and had dinner with an unspecified staff member.
Christian News Network reports:
Megachurch speaker and author Joel Osteen was among a group of political and religious leaders who met with Pope Francis at the Vatican on Thursday.
According to reports, Osteen was part of a delegation organized by the International Foundation in an effort to encourage interfaith relations and ecumenicism. . . .
Osteen told reporters that he believed the pope’s message and focus is one of unity.
“I love the fact that’s he’s made the Church more inclusive,” he said. “Not trying to make it smaller, but to try to make it larger—to take everybody in. So, that just resonates with me.”
Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it. (Matt 7:13–14)
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.” (John 14:6)
And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved. (Acts 4:12)
Indeed, Osteen is right when he observes that the Pope seeks to be all-inclusive. So much so, in fact, that on Sunday, 8 June, he allowed Muslim prayers to be prayed at the Vatican.
All of this simply re-emphasizes the fact that the Roman Catholic Church is not part of the true Church of Jesus Christ. If it were, it would not seek to unite with those who are hostile to God. Joel Osteen’s excitement and respect for Rome, then, only further demonstrates his biblical ignorance and affirms his own place among the myriad of false teachers in the visible church today. By his false doctrine, he reveals himself to be just as much an enemy of the Lord Jesus Christ as is Pope Francis and the Roman Catholic Church. May he repent, and turn to the true Savior before he realizes that the wide road upon which he has traveled is a road that leads to eternal damnation and torment.
Taizé is a monastic community located in Taizé, France, founded in the 1940s by a Swiss named Roger Louis Schütz-Marsauche, familiarly called Brother Roger. The “brothers” of Taizé have taken a vow of celibacy and are committed to a lifetime of simplicity, service, and community. There is an ecumenical emphasis at Taizé, as expressed in their official website, which says the community “wants its life to be a sign of reconciliation between divided Christians and between separated peoples.” Brother Roger was especially eager to bring Catholics and Protestants together.
The contemplative worship practices of the Taizé community are promoted at an annual international conference. Taizé worship is being incorporated in a wide variety of churches, Protestant and Catholic, and its pattern of devotion is emulated in other monastic communities around the world.
A Taizé worship service involves sung and chanted prayers, meditation, a period of silence, liturgical readings, and icons. There is no preaching. The style of prayer practiced at Taizé has attracted many worshipers from around the globe and from many different denominations. The prayers consist of “short chants, repeated again and again,” according to an introduction in a Taizé songbook. “The words are sung over many times.”
There are several problems with the Taizé style of worship. Contemplative worship, in general, seeks a subjective spiritual experience apart from the objective truth of God’s Word. Also, Jesus specifically forbade repetitive prayer (Matthew 6:7), and the prayers of Taizé are purposefully repetitive. The use of icons and the ecumenical nature of the movement are also problematic.
In short, a Taizé worship service is an unbiblical attempt to connect with God. Scripture says that faith comes by hearing, and hearing comes by the Word of God (Romans 10:17), yet the Taizé model dispenses with preaching. Rather, it relies on idolatrous images, repetitive chants, and mystical experience to manufacture a sense of unity and peace.
 Got Questions Ministries. (2010). Got Questions? Bible Questions Answered. Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.
The death of a parent (or any family member) can be truly taxing on a Christian. Even when the one we have lost is a believer, it is never easy to say goodbye, especially if the bereavement was sudden. Grieving for our loved ones is appropriate and expected; Christ Himself wept at the gravesite of His friend Lazarus (John 11:35). The Bible provides consolation, and we as Christians can find comfort even in the loss of someone so dear to us.
In the loss of a Christian parent, the greatest comfort a believer has is the hope and confidence that our relationship with our parents does not end at death. A Christian who has lost a Christian parent can rest in the promise that there will be a reunion in heaven. At the time of the resurrection, all who have accepted Christ will be glorified and given incorruptible bodies (1 Corinthians 15:42–44; John 11:25). For the Christian, Christ has conquered death! As Paul gladly writes in 1 Corinthians 15:54–57, “ ‘Death has been swallowed up in victory!’ ‘Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?’ The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
For many unbelievers, death brings nothing but despair. For those whose faith is weak or non-existent, the loss of a parent can mean a total end of the relationship. There is no hope of resurrection, no new heaven, and no new earth. But believers in Christ have the promises of God to cling to. While we miss our loved ones, we look happily forward to the time when all things shall be made new.
Even beyond this, the God of the Bible delights in comforting the afflicted and healing the heartbroken (Jeremiah 17:14; 2 Corinthians 1:3–4; 7:6). When we are grieved by the loss of our loved ones, God is quick to offer us His peace. In the midst of our mourning, we can feel the presence of God with us; even in our sorrow, we can draw near to Him in prayer and worship.
The loss of our parents can be deeply painful, particularly since they play such a key role in shaping our lives. Indeed, our parents are often the ones who comfort us when we are hurting, and to lose them can feel like we are losing our emotional support. But Christians can take heart in that we find comfort in more than our families; the very God of Creation, who knows us better than we know ourselves, understands our pain and is eager to grow us and heal us and give us His peace.
 Got Questions Ministries. (2010). Got Questions? Bible Questions Answered. Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.
Each dispensation has a God-ordained responsibility, stewards (people commanded to fulfill that responsibility), a failure on mankind’s part, God’s judgment, and, finally, evidence of God’s grace. In the dispensation of Promise, God works in yet another unique way with man. This dispensation begins with the call of Abraham. It is called the dispensation of “Promise” because of the covenant made with Abraham, who lived in the “land of promise” (Hebrews 6:13; 11:9). Unconditional promises, both physical and spiritual, were made to Abraham and his descendants Isaac and Jacob (Genesis 12:1–3; 15:4–21; 17:1–8; 22:15–19).
The fourth dispensation is that of Promise—Genesis 11:10 to Exodus 19:4.
Stewards: The patriarchs Abraham, Isaac and Jacob The Period: From the call of Abraham to Israel’s arrival at Mt. Sinai, a period of about 430 years Responsibility: Dwell in Canaan (Genesis 12:1–7) Failure: Dwelt in Egypt (Genesis 12:10; 46:6) Judgment: Egyptian bondage (Exodus 1:8–14) Grace: Moses the deliverer is sent (Exodus 3:6–10)
The promise God made to Abraham was that he would be the father of a great nation, that God would bless Abraham and his descendants, and that the whole earth would be blessed through him (Genesis 12:1–3). As the patriarch, Abraham had failure in his life, notably in fathering Ishmael (Genesis 16), going to Egypt (Genesis 12:10), and deceiving others about his wife, Sarah (Genesis 20:2). Isaac failed in similar manner, and Jacob was an outright deceiver.
Later, the Hebrew people were faced with a test: would they believe the promise God gave to Abraham to protect, bless, and guide them, or would they not believe? They chose not to believe the promise and took upon themselves the bondage of law and separation from God (Exodus 19:10–13, 18, 21; 12:19). Still, God provided grace through Moses, through Passover protection, and through the miraculous meeting of their material needs (Exodus 12–18). In Exodus 19:4 God reminds the Israelites of His grace to them: “You yourselves have seen what I did to Egypt, and how I carried you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself.”
The dispensation of Promise ended at Mt. Sinai, where God gave Abraham’s people the Law to govern them in yet another manner.
 Got Questions Ministries. (2010). Got Questions? Bible Questions Answered. Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.
“These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful.” Revelation 17:14
The book of Revelation is quite clear when it discusses the Catholic system in chapters 17 and 18. The Vatican sitting on seven hills is called the “mother of harlots”, a pagan system of worship that has control over the whole world. She is carried by the beast, and is the enemy of God. More than that, she will rule for a period of time with complete power over kings, mighty men and all the inhabitants of the earth. The One World Religion during the time of the Great Tribulation.
So it is with great interest that we note that the Vatican, which represents 1 billion+ Catholics around the world, and Islam which claims more than 1 billion+ Muslim adherents, have begun to merge and join forces. Al Arabiya reports this:
For the first time in history, Islamic prayers and readings from the Quran will be heard at the Vatican on Sunday, in a move by Pope Francis to usher in peace between Israelis and Palestinians. Holy See officials on Friday said the evening prayers would be a “pause in politics” and had no political aim other than to rekindle the desire for Israeli-Palestinian peace at the political and popular level.
In prophecy, the Pope is not the Antichrist, he is the False Prophet. It will be his job to control the One World Religion, just as it will be the job of the Antichrist to create and control the One World Government. The Antichrist, the False Prophet, and the Beast which is Satan himself, are the Unholy Trinity that the scriptures warn will come. If Pope Francis continues on this path, and there is no reason why he wouldn’t, it is highly likely that he is the False Prophet of Revelation. That means that the arrival of the Antichrist is next, and that the Rapture of the Church can happen at any moment.
“Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.” 2 Thessalonians 2:3,4
A 7 Year Peace Treaty is about to be crafted and signed by all parties concerned. This is the goal that Pope Francis is working towards. When will it happen? No one can say. But this is as close to that peace treaty as we have ever been in the 2,000 years since the prophecies were first given. Tomorrow at the Vatican, the Catholic Pope will lead the main representative of Israel and the main representative of Islam in a worship service at the place that the bible calls the “mother of harlots”. They all claim to want “peace” at any cost. A peace is coming, but it will be a false peace administered by a false messiah. It will be the time of Jacob’s Trouble.
The Times of Israel reports that “According to a statement released by Peres’s spokesperson, Abbas, Peres, and Francis will be joined by Jewish, Christian and Islamic religious leaders. The event will feature readings about peace by the clergy from the Tanach, the New Testament and the Quran. Francis will then read religious verses with Peres and Abbas, which the three will have selected for the ceremony.”
Yes, we are really that close.
The post Historic First Ever Islamic Prayers At Vatican Signals Start Of One World Religion appeared first on Now The End Begins.
Apprising Ministries shows you that evangelical charismatics like John Piper, Louis Giglio, and Beth Moore are opening the door for Caine’s advancement of Brian Houston’s charismaniac Hillsong heresies into the mainstream of evangelicalism.
If he was not the most popular preacher in America, with the largest church and the most followers, I would likely not be writing much about Joel Osteen. But because he is, it is imperative that I do discuss the man and his message, especially if it may well be leading millions of people to hell.
Yes you heard me right. A gospel devoted exclusively to self and to selfishness will send no one to heaven. And that is Osteen’s bread and butter. Thus a man who influences millions of people every day around the world needs to be assessed carefully in the light of Scripture.
And that I have done many times before. One simply has to read his books or hear his “preaching” to see that the gospel of our lord Jesus Christ is entirely absent – replaced by a therapeutic, feel-good, man-exalting, self-flattering, saccharine sweet load of baloney. See here, for example: http://billmuehlenberg.com/2009/05/18/will-the-real-gospel-please-stand-up/
His whole message can be summed up in one word: me. It is all about me. What can I get out of all this? Can I get rich, successful, happy, and satisfied? His gospel is the gospel of self: self-fulfilment, self-improvement, self-satisfaction and self-deification.
The biblical gospel is of course completely the opposite: it is about self-denial, self-sacrifice and self-abnegation. Jesus made this perfectly clear time and time again. As but one example, consider Matthew 16:24-26:
Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it. What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul?
Yet Osteen and other TV preachers think this is a lousy message, and needs to be improved upon. Instead of telling people to deny self, they tell people to gorge on self, exalt self, live for self, and glorify self. There is only one source for that message, and it is not coming from God. Hell of course is completely filled with people who put self first.
Yet incredibly so many undiscerning, biblically illiterate, and compromised Christians slavishly follow everything this charlatan says and does. So let me offer several more vignettes about this man. All of them are a major worry, and can be added to the growing list of reasons why we should avoid him like the plague.
Martin Luther is purported to have said that we dare not avoid the most important of battles, but instead give them our utmost attention: “If I profess with the loudest voice and clearest exposition every portion of the truth of God except precisely that little point which the world and the devil are at that moment attacking, I am not confessing Christ, however boldly I may be professing Christ. Where the battle rages, there the loyalty of the soldier is proved, and to be steady on all the battle front besides is mere flight and disgrace if he flinches at that point.”
When the very truth of God is especially being attacked and challenged, Christians have a sacred obligation to stand in the gap and take on the opponents. Perhaps nowhere is God and his word more under attack today than by the militant homosexual lobby.
They are doing all they can to not only smash God’s institutions of marriage and family, but to destroy the church itself. Yet we have frauds like Osteen refusing to raise a finger about this, or to say a word about it. As he said in a recent interview:
HuffPost Live’s Marc Lamont Hill asked whether gay marriage is against the fundamental “rules” of Christianity.
“It would be, but I don’t really focus on a lot of those things,” Osteen said. “I try to stay in my lane of what I feel called to do. [Gay marriage] does come up in interviews and things, but that’s not my core message.”
What his message does include, Osteen said, is advising his congregation on how to let go of the past, raise good children and achieve their dreams. He added that the sexuality of gays and lesbians is one of the “issues” faced by many different types of people in his church.
“Everybody’s welcome, but my take on it is it’s easy to make one issue – to become known for that or to let it sidetrack your message,” he said. “If you look at our congregation … including myself, we all have issues. Everybody’s on a journey.”
Of course he does not want to focus on such things. He does not want to make any of his flock feel uncomfortable. He does not want to rock the boat. He wants the masses to keep pouring in, and just as vitally, he wants the money to keep pouring in. To actually take a biblical stance on an important issue like this would just not do.
Above all Osteen wants the masses to be happy, to be content, to be self-satisfied. He does not in any way want them upset or disturbed or agitated. That is why he does not talk about crucial issues like homosexuality. Then again, that is why he does not talk about sin. That is why he does not talk about judgment to come.
That is why he does not talk about the wrath of God. That is why he does not talk about repentance. That is why he does not talk about hell. That is why he does not talk about the cross. He would never want to get any of his folks in any way uncomfortable. So he will avoid all controversial topics – even clear biblical ones – even though they are vitally important issues.
Also, consider this recent episode: Osteen is now charging up to $850 just for the privilege of hearing him! I kid you not. We used to speak about the sin of simony: making a profit out of sacred things; charging for the gospel. Well, folks like Osteen have raised this to an art form – and millions of gullible and duped believers are falling for it.
I don’t think that even mega rock stars charge this much. Just imagine Whitefield preaching to 20,000 or 30,000 folks in the open air, but charging for tickets along the way! Worse yet, imagine Jesus or Paul or Peter or the early Christians actually charging people money before they could hear the life-giving words of the gospel.
This is greed and avarice compounded, and the worst bit is, it is being done in God’s name. And so many believers are lapping it up. Biblical discernment is at an all-time low today, and the church of Jesus Christ is simply becoming a laughing stock in the eyes of the world.
No wonder we are losing. When a self-help guru no different from someone like Tony Roberts can get away with pretending to be a minister of the gospel on such a massive scale, then the church in the West is all but gone. Why am I reminded of the frauds in the Old Testament which the prophets railed and warned against?
Yet, “my people love it this way” was their only response (Jeremiah 5:31). The same today tragically. But I guess all this money is needed to fund an ever-expanding empire. When you are intent on having the biggest and the best on the planet, this takes big bickies. Indeed, you know you are talking megabucks when you start owning your own satellite radio channel.
As one recent news item states, “Joel Osteen is preaching in Yankee Stadium this Saturday. His sermon will be aired on his personal SiriusXM satellite radio channel, which begins operations this week. The channel will feature live call-in shows hosted by Osteen and his wife, as well as rebroadcasts of his past sermons. He preaches to 40,000 each week in his Houston church. His 2,650,000 Twitter followers include Kim and Khloe Kardashian, Ellen DeGeneres, Justin Bieber, and Oprah Winfrey.”
Um, simply looking at his fan base tells you all you need to know about his message. When degenerate and immoral celebs, homosexuals and New Agers all love your stuff, you know we have an apostate preaching a reprobate gospel big time.
And all on his own satellite network! Welcome to the Global Kingdom of Self, where you can have everything, be as rich as you want, never think an unhappy thought, and even lose weight for Jesus! This is what the gospel of Jesus Christ has degenerated to in America in the West. ‘And my people love it this way!’
When someone like Whitefield preached to massive crowds, he had no Yankee Stadium, no satellite network, no TV coverage, no PA system, no cover charges – nothing. He relied on a few simple but imperative things: the power of the Holy Ghost, and the Word of God. And with that countless souls were powerfully convicted of their sins, biblically repented, and were swept into the Kingdom of God.
And all this resulted in Great Awakenings which influenced the course of nations. Yet here we have a money-hungry imposter preaching to the masses, telling them exactly what they want to hear – that they can remain just as they are, stay comfortable in their self-centred lives, and just keep on with business as usual. As I say, millions may end up in hell because of such abominable heresy.
Can I respectfully submit the following: when and if an antichrist appears on the world stage, I imagine he will not be unlike all this. He will fill sports stadiums with masses of gullible groupies. He will mesmerise the crowds and promise them everything that they want.
And these followers, intoxicated on the demonic gospel of self, will basically worship the guy. And they will actually think they are doing God a favour when they put his genuine servants to death (John 16:2). Things are moving along so very nicely for all this to soon happen.
God please, have mercy on us, and rid us of this diabolical religiosity and our man-pleasing gospels that are sending millions to a lost eternity.
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Summer is here! If you’re looking for some light reading that helps you understand where a lot of people are coming from when they think about spirituality, check out the book by Josh McDowell and Dave Sterret that’s been getting a lot of press recently: “O” God: A Dialogue on Truth and Oprah’s Spirituality. Even though this was published in 2009, […]
Parachurch groups can fulfill a variety of legitimate functions in the Christian world but one of the key issues is that of discerning when and where the parachurch starts to usurp the functions of the church. This raises important questions of accountability and transparency as they connect to influence and power. Recent events in the United States provide a good example of some of the problems that can occur when the lines between church and parachurch become blurred.
Scripture: “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more.” Revelation 21:1
Heaven is Real
Have you ever thought about Heaven and wondered if it’s real? Heaven is a real place. God’s Word, the Bible, is full of facts about Heaven. Let’s look at five facts about heaven and learn more about what our eternal lives will be like.
Do you need personal guidance in your journey towards Heaven? We have trained followers of Jesus who can help you figure it out! Click here to share your story with us. You will hear from someone shortly.
Will you pray this week:
● To thank the Father that Heaven is our true home
● That the Lord would increase your desire to be with Him in Heaven
● That God would reveal much more to you about Heaven from His word
● For the right words to tell your loved ones about how wonderful Heaven is
● For your family to accept Jesus Christ as Savior and be with you in Heaven
Where can you go online to get daily encouragement and inspiration, and find out more about Heaven? Visit the GodLife Facebook Page where we can gather daily to share our stories, to express ourselves, and to pray for one another!
Do you have questions? Need prayer? Connect with someone who cares for you!
“I am become a stranger unto my brethren, and an alien unto my mother’s children.“
“Nevertheless, when the Son of Man cometh, will he find faith on the earth?”
“And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake.”
THE NARROW ROAD IS OFTEN A SOLITARY ONE
ARE YOU WALKING IN CHRIST OR WALKING IN THE WORLD?
The road for the true believer is many times a lonely one. The hard road to the cross is one that is seldom congested or busy. The narrow road is most often a solitary way which the popular crowd is unwilling to tread.
Especially in the times in which we now live.
Particularly for those who warn of the broad way.
“Enter ye in…
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by Mike Ratliff
1 O Lord, you have searched me and known me! 2 You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar. 3 You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways. 4 Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O Lord, you know it altogether. (Psalms 139:1-4 ESV)
Our God is beyond our understanding. Thankfully, He has revealed Himself to us, to a degree, in His Word. Those who claim to serve Him, but treat His Word as if it was not important, or refuse to submit to the truths therein are fools. That has always puzzled me about those who take a sliver of God’s Word, misinterpret it, and then build massive man-cenetered doctrines around their misinformation. Have they no fear of God?
God is Omniscient, Omnipresent, and Omnipotent. He knows all, is everywhere at once, and…
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