God is issuing a Divine Invitation!
It’s not just an invitation to salvation, although believers begin there.
It’s not just an invitation to experience healing or deliverance, although those are benefits of belonging to the Kingdom.
It’s an invitation to come up higher spiritually, to experience the supernatural dimensions of the Kingdom of God.
Why would we need this? Francis Frangipane says it best: “A Christian is not just a person going to heaven. Shouldn’t a Christian also be a person coming from heaven, with the goods, power and virtues of heaven?”
Christianity isn’t meant to be a just a security blanket, providing comfort when we contemplate death. It’s meant to be a dynamic relationship involving supernatural power here and now. The beloved disciple, John, understood this and gives us a glimpse into God’s multi-faceted invitation.
Do you know the difference between prayer and intercession?
Prayer, according to Merriam-Webster, is “an address or petition to God in word or thought.” It is, as most people imagine, making an earnest request to God.
Intercession, which many people believe to be the same thing, actually takes prayer one step further. While it may include praying to God for something, to intercede is to “intervene between parties with a view to reconciling differences; to mediate.”* In other words, intercession is prayer in action!
In a charismatic church I attended a couple of weeks ago, the pastor asked this question: "Be completely honest. How many of you read your Bible on a daily basis?" Fewer than 5 hands went up.
Alarmed, I decided to ask the same question in a second church where I preached the following Sunday. Again, the same response - just 6 or 7 hands this time. I was amazed.
Not coincidentally, the same week I received Lifeway's "Facts and Trends" magazine in the mail. One of the articles contained this statistic: 66% of Christians (including Evangelical, Mainline and Black Protestant churches) believe that "many religions can lead to eternal life." Among Catholics, that statistic jumps to 79%.*
The Bible teaches that Jesus is "the way, the truth and the life. " (John 14:6) No one comes to the Father except through Jesus Christ. For a Christian, then, this belief in many roads leading to heaven is, quite simply, untenable. How did we get here?
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A severe hearing loss from childhood caused Deborah Perkins to develop what she now calls her secret weapon: tuning in to God's voice. A Wellesley College graduate and an award-winning writer, Deborah is now a wife and mother of 3 boys. Deborah has devoted over 25 years to professional and lay Christian ministry in New England and beyond. Her passion is inspiring people to cultivate greater intimacy with God.