I just returned from Turkey, man is it time for the Body of Christ to stand up.  The nightly excitement activity was planning who they were going to talk to other Turkish people about Jesus.  I felt like I was in the first few chapters of the Book of Acts. In America it seems we discuss plans to feed our stomach and go do something for the denomination or religion we belong than to tell people about Jesus.  I was amazed at how the Spirit moved without singing, dancing, or working things up.  No money changed hands or promises were exchanged except for a promise to keep things in secret because if certain people found out lives could be called into question.  This brought me back to the central point of sharing the word of God, the message must be brought down to the heart level, by the Spirit of God, where God can work to change our character and nature.  This message is far more than a good story about events in the Bible  in what this person said or did as God used them.  Far more than a message filled with head knowledge or swelling words of going in harm’s way overseas for the LORD yet the preacher does not even have a passport. Talk is cheap and from the pulpit such talk is laziness and hypocritical.  A message where spiritual growth and development is the central focus of the message. Most of the churches we attend speak of love  and salvation (which is important), but lack the ability in the pastors to speak on spiritual growth and development due to the inward lack in them.  This is why the Body of Christ (around the world) is so off track no desire to grow up in God because the pastors, preachers, and teachers fail to teach on spiritual development, yes from their own lack.  I will probably get some hate mail, but that is okay when I saw the commitment and dedication in the face of the danger and even death from the folks in Turkey, well it is time to stand up and speak the truth in love.  

         I cannot believe the politics of the Body of Christ in world.  In America,  now that President Trump (we must keep him in our prayers the terror by night and the arrow by day is very real in his life) is in the White House many Christians feel God is not so angry with America after all a conservative won the White House God’s anger must have been assuaged, well I am here to tell you this thinking is dead wrong. Yes I agree righteousness (when it comes to the word of God) prevailed I do not understand how the so called Christians who voted for Hillary Clinton, who supported killing babies, sodomy, and lesbianism in our society that God calls an abomination, yet millions of so called Christians stood their ground and voted for abomination.  Our Supreme Court said such acts are legal in the eyes of man, well not so in God’s eyes.  Our Supreme Court has always been at odds with God and His word and continues to be.  In 1857 Dred Scott v. Sandford  (this ruling was one marker that led to the Civil War) the decision that legalized slavery, well the Supreme Court was grossly then wrong and still is wrong (on same sex marriage and abortion casing great unrest in America) and on so many moral issues. My friend just because the Supreme Court rules on manmade law does not make it true and final.  There is a higher judge and His name is God Almighty, His law is supreme and all men will kneel to it someday.  I am sorry my friend, but  I can no longer turn my head to such sin  I will give such folks in the world a wide birth and let them believe what they want to believe, but at the same time keep my eye on them as I stand afar off  (both physically and spiritual) from them. You know God does not follow a political ideology or idea God is holy and righteous and He is looking for His character to be birthed in each and every Christian. I hear many Christians say America is a Christian nation, well this is just foolish wishful thinking, oh no, a nation cannot be Christian. But, America can be a nation of many Christians as with other nations around the world and out of those nations God is building a Body of Believers who someday will become His Bride. America and all of the world someday will be no more. And yes I love America I gave 24 years of faithful and dedicated service in the U.S. Navy, but I do not love America more than I do Jesus.  We must be careful as ministers of the Gospel not to miss this point.  To be honest I have and often struggle here. But Jesus did not come to save America, Kenya, Nepal, Germany, Sweden, Russia, China, Japan, or any nation for that matter. Jesus came to save that which is lost and that which is lost is man.  Jesus came to save lost men and women who are lost in heir sin and who know not a Holy God and His Son Jesus Christ, who live in a world of spiritual lack and depravity.  Karen made a statement a few days ago that I have been thinking about she said, “unless we give our heart to the LORD we are a complete failure.”  I shared that with about 150 inmates at a prison in Vanceboro, NC and I got a lot of amens and head bobs, they know what failure looks like. It is time nay it is past time for the Body of Christ to stand up for the truth even if it offends us, the world, or even if it requires persecution. I wonder what the Christians around the world think of the Christians in America claiming they are persecuted yet have not suffered beatings having their life threatened at gun point, family members tortured both physically and mentally, and so much more.  I hope and pray the Christians around the world will not judge the Christians in America too hard because they know our time is coming unless America gets back on track with God.  Our message must be bold, strong, and loud again like it was in the two Great Awakenings from days gone by.  Yes I know the Scriptures do not support a third Great Awakening, but that is okay Jesus is still looking for lost men and women and we must do all we can within the limitations and restrictions of the guidelines within the word of the God.  Sadly the apostate “church” is over into Christian entertainment and the selling of truth forfeiting the opportunity to really lead someone to Christ.  Christian TV rangers please do not fool yourselves into believing you are helping the LORD, sadly you are not. This entertainment and selling of the truth for power, influence, and money has led to the spread of many deceptive spirits in the so called “church” and around the world. Service today in America in most “churches” is nothing more than entertainment that have NO spiritual results. If you want to get a big crowd just have a Gospel sing or a party, but the same folks who come to hear the singing or feed their face will rarely come to hear preaching or God forbid come to a home group meeting. Jesus talked about such folks in Luke, “And the Lord said, Whereunto then shall I liken the men of this generation? and to what are they like? 32They are like unto children sitting in the marketplace, and calling one to another, and saying, We have piped unto you, and ye have not danced; we have mourned to you, and ye have not wept.”  (Luke 7:31-32) America’s (our Houses of Government) and spiritual leaders (our houses of so called worship) have entertained the people, but the people have not responded in doing the right things, they have continued to drift further and further away from God’s divine spiritual principles. It is time for true Believers of the LORD to stand up and clean out the houses of iniquity that fill our land.  What it will take is a falling on our knees and allowing God to show us our short comings and waywardness first then a holy boldness to stand and deliver the words “you are the man” as Nathan told King David. It is time for the “church” around the world to be accountable for the word of God and the countless sacrifices of the missionaries who have laid their lives down. It is time for the church around the world to be accountable for all of the money and resources given to them throughout the years. How much money does the nations of the world want from America? When will the nations of the world be accountable to God for the blessings He has given them over the last 200 plus years?  Jesus also said in Luke, “And that servant, which knew his lord’s will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. 48 But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.”  (Luke 12:47-48) I wonder what part of these verses do many denominations refuse to agree with?  “For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.”  God means that.  How long will nations who have been heavily evangelized, who have received the wealth and sacrifice of other nations going to squander what was given to only ask for more?  It seems like an open fire hose, the more given the more is expected.  When will the African continent stand up and support her own people?  Or will her  survival continue to be dependant on America and other wealthy nations?  It is time for the nations of Africa, India, and Asia (and yes I have wonderful brothers and sisters in these place) to stand up and look to God for their help and not America and other wealthy nations.  Lastly it is time for the Body of Christ (the people) to stand up and grow up.  This was the prayer and heart from Paul, spiritual growth and development for the Body of Christ,  “That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, where by they lie in wait to deceive; 15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head,evenChrist:16From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.” (Ephesians 4:14-16) But there is not much a desire to grow up.  Growing up requires us to be responsible for ourselves and our actions. We can no longer blame Satan, our brothers, and/or our sisters for our failures and coming short of God’s glory.  Time and time again Paul encouraged the Christians of his day to be teachable, learn the lessons God has for them, be learning and ever learning not learning and never learning.  Stop making the same mistakes over and over, but learn the lesson God is teaching and drive on to the next lesson God has placed before us.  That is what this time on earth is all about, yes to a degree learning how to function now, but the training is not on this world as much as it is our next life.  Now we are learning how to function, learning how to operate as God operates in our next life.  So when we get to our next life God will not have to train us we will be productive from day one when we arrive into our next life.   

By David Stahl