The ROCK
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Rock Report by Pastor Paul

This is a blog that comes from my personal devotions each day. It will also include sermons as I have to delete them from the audio section of the website. This blog will also keep you up to date with what is happening at the Rock in Strathroy Ontario 

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  •             Assimilation can be defined as “the process whereby a minority group gradually adopts the customs and attitudes of the prevailing culture.” By definition this is the exact opposite of Christianity. As more and more time goes by the Christian and the church has started looking like the world, getting very familiar with it whereas in actuality we and the world should look more and more like Jesus Christ. James 4:4 “You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.” 1 John 5:4 “for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. 5 Who is it that overcomes the world? Only the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.” After this process of assimilation in the wrong direction, the church no longer looks nor acts like Jesus Christ and differs from his word. By now we should not be a minority group but because we have angered God in our disobedience to His word, the enemy is prevailing against us even though Jesus said in Matthew 16:18 “And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.” Before you get upset with me notice that this verse said “on this rock”. The same happened to Israel when they crossed the Jordon. God said no one would stand against them but they were defeated by Ai. Deuteronomy 32:18 “You deserted the Rock, who fathered you; you forgot the God who gave you birth. 19 The Lord saw this and rejected them because he was angered by his sons and daughters. 20 “I will hide my face from them,” he said, “and see what their end will be; for they are a perverse generation, children who are unfaithful.” Why, because they disobeyed.  
                I took a quick peak at some stats and saw that “In 1963, 90% of Americans claimed (claim and are, are two different things) to be Christians while only 2% professed no religious identity. In 2012, the percentage of Christians was closer to 70% with close to 20% claiming no religious identity.” Yes the numbers fluctuate but I think you get my point. Christianity in North America would be called a majority. But now it is more like a lame duck in name only. “In politics this where an elected official who is approaching the end of their tenure, especially one whose successor has already been elected.” This would be similar to Saul and David. David would then build the kingdom the way it was supposed to be. In the days of the kings, when they did not obey, the enemy prevailed. Because of our disobedience the numbers are going the wrong way. After all this time we now have missionaries coming to our countries from other countries to preach the true gospel. Also because of disobedience we have no power.
                We are now on our way to being a minority once again. Right now the church has assimilated with the world. But God true to his promise to David said, Isaiah 37:31 “Once more a remnant of the kingdom of Judah will take root below and bear fruit above.” The church will once again rise up in power and we will fulfil the mission Jesus has sent us on in His strength not ours. 2 Corinthians 6:16 “As God has said: “I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people.” 17Therefore, “Come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you.” 1 And, “I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.” We must get off the path the church is on.
                What I find strange is that we are supposed to have power and authority that Jesus Christ offers his disciples. The only answer for this is that God has removed His spirit just like he did with Samson and he did not know it. Judges 16:20 “Then she called, “Samson, the Philistines are upon you!” He awoke from his sleep and thought, “I’ll go out as before and shake myself free.” But he did not know that the Lord had left him. For example there are minority groups such as the LGBTQ group that are gaining ground as the church looses theirs. This is the same as Israel being vomited out of the land. Leviticus 18:28 “And if you defile the land, it will vomit you out as it vomited out the nations that were before you.” Some say we have advance in our thinking while the truth is we are heading for Sodom and Gomorrah. I find it interesting that this group goes by this acronym LGBTQ because I think if people were constantly bombarded with lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered, questioning they may have their eyes opened. Interesting that Q is said to mean questioning. There should be a lot more questioning not as to sexual orientation but to accepting this as of God but many denominations has accepted this because their traditions, reasoning and experiences say it is okay although scripture has much to say about the abomination of this evil. That is another topic. This minority group as one article described represents about 1.2–5.6% of the adult population. I have always heard around 3-4% but another stat I looked at said about 1.7% as fairly accurate, even though it is hard to pinpoint as many would say. I think you get my point. This is a minority but look at the voice they have. Like others they are trying to grow their acceptance. If you listen or watch any media outlet, even children’s shows and now school curriculum, you would think that most of the population was part of the LGBTQ and foolish not to accept it. Where are the so-called majority of Christians and the power that is supposed to follow the gospel? This small minority with a massive voice is gaining acceptance around the world and in the church. “How could this be “unless their Rock had sold them, unless the Lord had given them up?” (Deuteronomy 32)
                I use this illustration to say that Christianity started as a minority, became a majority at least in this country and now since the church assimilated into the world has angered God; we again are a minority called the remnant. This will cause us to return to being a New Testament church but we must turn from our wicked ways. This will also mean the power and authority will return and it will make insipid the power others think they have. The church in its state now can’t even decide if the above example is of God even though the bible makes it clear this is an abomination. By obeying the word of God and the power returns, we will once again have the power to heal and cast out demons. So it will no longer be a matter of talk but of power. Our voice, the one that created the world will speak once again. Jeremiah 5:14b “I will make my words in your mouth a fire and these people the wood it consumes.”  Jeremiah 23:29 “Is not my word like fire,” declares the Lord, “and like a hammer that breaks a rock in pieces?
                The more we allow ourselves to be assimilated into the world because of our traditions, reasoning and experience the further from God’s word we will be. Even though the bible says no, the other three say yes so the bible is set aside. Most people who call themselves Christians are not prepared to stand on the truth of the word. If we deny scripture then these other minority groups will have power of which they have now and the voice of the Christian will be drowned out.  The enemy will rise up in strength as allowed by God as we saw with Israel. Please understand I am talking about the demonic when I say enemy. As we turn back to the word, God gives us the power and authority to take on the world and we will see immeasurable results unlike we are presently seeing now. 2 Chronicles 32:8 “With him is only the arm of flesh, but with us is the Lord our God to help us and to fight our battles.” We will no longer Romans 12:2 “conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
                Another area where assimilation has created problems for the church is family or ‎familia. This is something you do not usually have a choice to be part of. If you are born in a family that is Muslim, then you will probably be Muslim. If you are born Hindu you will probably be Hindu. If your are born in atheism, then probably you will be one too. If you are born into a Christian family, you probably will be a Christian. Then we can divvy up the Christianity. If you were born Baptist you will be one, if born Pentecostal you will be one, Methodist and so on. If you are born Calvinist, Armenian or dispensational or a combination, I know weird but possible in this day, you will probably stick to what you were raised with till death do you are part. We now are seeing people switching from Baptist to Pentecostal and vice-versa. How weird is that? Two opposing viewpoints but since most people don’t really know what they believe this can happen. Some people will die for the doctrines passed down from generation to generation even if they contradict the word. But herein lies the problem. If it is the true gospel handed down then great but if what is handed down is an empty way of life from generation to generation then the result will be very similar to Judges 2 where they did not know God nor what he had done. Because of this empty way of life there are two possibilities for simplicities sake. One is that they don’t like what they see and leave the church. They are not going to stick around. Now we are seeing the church implode all across the country because of this. In the last couple of generations, the older had strong legalism mixed with holiness and the next generation went the opposite direction on the pendulum and then the third has no idea what they believe and many left the church never to return. You see churches across the country with one generation trying to hang on to the old ways. I am not talking about the gospel but ways of doing church, which in many cases are the empty ways and they are trying to hang onto the building that represents their journey but eventually it closes and disappears.
                The other negative product of familiar assimilation is that the generation will continue to attend church on Sunday thinking that this is all they have to do of which I call nominal narcissists. Get baptised, attend church and all is well. This perpetuates a generation of unconverted Christians.  The empty way of life will continue to be handed down unless we understand this passage.  Luke 14:26 “If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple. 27 And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple. We must put Jesus Christ ahead of familia. He gives us this promise if we do. Mark 10:29 “Truly I tell you,” Jesus replied, “no one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel 30 will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age: homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields—along with persecutions—and in the age to come eternal life. 31 But many who are first will be last, and the last first.”
                Now this is where it gets interesting as God is amazing and he will provide a way out of this spiral downward. He is gracious enough to always leave a remnant even though we do not deserve it. In 1 Samuel 2:35 said,  “I will raise up for myself a faithful priest, who will do according to what is in my heart and mind. I will firmly establish his priestly house, and they will minister before my anointed one always.” He also did this in the days of the judges. “When they cried out to the Lord, he raised up for them a deliverer.” It is a little scary as in our day not many are crying out for they do not know how close to disaster they are. (Judges 20) But John 3:16 “God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.” Then Jesus taught repent for the kingdom of God is near. He then sent his Holy Spirit. Acts 1:8 “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Mark 16:17 “And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; 18 they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well. 20 Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it.” For some reason the modern church thinks they can do it without the Holy Spirit.
                We are not seeing this power because of the perpetual assimilation with the empty way of life even though we have been warned. Colossians 2:8 “See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ.” 1 Peter 1:18 “For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. 20 He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake. 21 Through him you believe in God, who raised him from the dead and glorified him, and so your faith and hope are in God.” Mark 7:6 “Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you hypocrites; as it is written: ‘These people honour me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. 7 They worship me in vain; their teachings are merely human rules.’ 8 You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to human traditions.” 9 And he continued, “You have a fine way of setting aside the commands of God in order to observe your own traditions!”
                In God’s grace He reveals himself through his word and brings us back to him. This comes in the form of revival or by visions or by reading the word of God. Having said that, all must be in Spirit and in truth. If God speaks by a vision it will line up with scripture. If it is revival it will be truth not something like the Toronto Blessing or Brownsville that does not line up with scripture. The word of God will come alive in power like never before. Exodus 34:10 “Then the Lord said: “I am making a covenant with you. Before all your people I will do wonders never before done in any nation in all the world. The people you live among will see how awesome is the work that I, the Lord, will do for you.”
                We must turn from our wicked ways to stop this generational assimilation. You could even call it generational curses. That is the only way. I have included this whole passage to show three different points. The first is our directive to stop this assimilation of disobedience and sin. This is the requirement and there is no other option. 2 Chronicles 7:13 “When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command locusts to devour the land or send a plague among my people, (We have to remember that there is a famine of hearing the words of the Lord and there are many blind and deaf.) 14 if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. 15 Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayers offered in this place. 16 I have chosen and consecrated this temple so that my Name may be there forever. My eyes and my heart will always be there.
                Now we have the charge to follow as we have been talking about this Lent .17 “As for you, if you walk before me faithfully as David your father did, and do all I command, and observe my decrees and laws, 18 I will establish your royal throne, as I covenanted with David your father when I said, ‘You shall never fail to have a successor to rule over Israel.’
                Then we have the warning. This is the part that for some reason in our day most Christians have ignored, thinking they can do no wrong if they go their own way. 19 “But if you turn away and forsake the decrees and commands I have given you and go off to serve other gods and worship them, 20 then I will uproot Israel from my land, which I have given them, and will reject this temple I have consecrated for my Name. I will make it a byword and an object of ridicule among all peoples. 21 This temple will become a heap of rubble. All who pass by will be appalled and say, ‘Why has the Lord done such a thing to this land and to this temple?’ 22 People will answer, ‘Because they have forsaken the Lord, the God of their ancestors, who brought them out of Egypt, and have embraced other gods, worshiping and serving them—that is why he brought all this disaster on them.’” What makes us think this will not happen? The answer is absolutely abysmal, self-protecting man-made doctrines that bring comfort to the masses in their sin.”
                You do not have to continue with the assimilation. You can turn away from the empty way of life. You have a choice so choose life. Deuteronomy 30:19 “This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live.” Break the cycle and choose to live. Will it cost you? Yes, you may loose a job, a friend and your family may despise and reject you. You will also offend other Christians who do not carry their crosses but you are only accountable to Jesus Christ. Some in this world right now are dying for this decision. They are losing everything for Jesus. Matthew 16:24 “Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. 25 For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it. 26 What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul? 27 For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what they have done.”