1 Corinthians 7:29 What I mean, brothers and sisters, is that the time is short. From now on those who have wives should live as if they do not; (30) those who mourn, as if they did not; those who are happy, as if they were not; those who buy something, as if it were not theirs to keep; (31) those who use the things of the world, as if not engrossed in them. For this world in its present form is passing away.
Nearly 2,000 years ago the early disciples of Jesus Christ believed that the Second Coming of the Messiah was at hand. As we read in Acts the gospel had spread rapidly throughout the known world of the Mediterranean, and they believed that the Great Commission was nearing completion. The return of the Messiah would follow in accordance with Jesus’ words.
Matthew 24:14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.
But it would appear that something went wrong. Nearly two millennia have passed, and still we have not fulfilled the Great Commission of our Lord Jesus Christ. Islam was born sometime in the early 7th Century, and within a century expanded into an empire extending from Iberia in the west to the Indus River in the east.
Today of course Islam is threatening the United States with the arrival of tens of thousands of refugees from the Middle East to add to the millions of the same religion who already live here. Over half of the people of this faith would like to see Sharia Law implemented in the US. They are “missionaries” sent to convert us to their religion or at the very least to impose Sharia Law on our nation as their numbers multiply and thus as their political influence explodes. We have not yet mentioned those who would engage in Islamic terrorism in our land—now increasing in frequency and magnitude.
How has this come about? Is not the Church supposed to be advancing and making disciples of all nations during these last days? Instead, the reality is today we are being threatened with Islamization.
How did we arrive at this?
One primary reason for the explosion of the gospel in Acts were the powerful miraculous signs—mostly miraculous healings—which provided convincing evidence for the truth of the gospel to the Jews and Gentiles. For some reason, however, following the close of Acts early Church history tells us that the miracles confirming the truth of the gospel to those who never heard gradually disappeared. As a result the rapid spread of the gospel by the Church began to stall. To this day it has never recovered to what it was in Acts. In the Church’s mission efforts today for the most part, we do not see anything approaching what is recorded in Acts.
The teaching of cessationism would strongly imply (if not directly claim) that God simply took away the miracles. We reject that claim outright. Why would God withdraw the powerful miracles that brought us to the brink of fulfilling the Great Commission in Acts? Why would God leave us helpless in reaching gospel-resistant peoples after Acts by a divine decision to take away the miracles?
There is no reason for it.
We should not and cannot “blame” God. The fault is most certainly ours. Over the past two millennia man-made traditions have crept into the Church—as is inevitable when a life-giving body become institutionalized—and crippled us in the area of the miraculous when bringing the gospel to those who are resistant: the billions of Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, idol-worshippers, and adherents of witchcraft who form the great majority of earth’s 7.4 billion population today.
During these last days The Elijah Challenge is called to train God’s people in the use of His supernatural power and authority over disease and demons which Jesus Christ entrusted to His disciples to use as irrefutable evidence of the truth of the gospel to the lost.
Luke 9:1 When Jesus had called the Twelve together, he gave them power and authority to drive out all demons and to cure diseases, (2) and he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal the sick. …(6) So they set out and went from village to village, proclaiming the good news and healing people everywhere.
Luke 10:1 After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go. … (9) Heal the sick who are there and tell them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’ … (17) The seventy-two returned with joy and said, “Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name.”
How then should a believer respond to the mass migration of Syrians (and others of the same religion) to America?
Over the past two millennia the Church has been paralyzed by its traditions and among other things robbed of the dimension of the miraculous for use in presenting the gospel to those who never heard. Consequently we have not been able to reach those of this religion whether during its infancy in the 7th Century or today when it threatens our nation.
Since the Church did not reach them at that time, today they are being allowed to come to us—so that they might finally hear the life-giving gospel. American is OUR LAND, and we will be able to share the gospel with them for the most part freely and safely.
The Elijah Challenge trains believers how to share the gospel effectively and fruitfully using the supernatural power and authority which Christ has entrusted to us for that very purpose.