This entry was posted on November 13, 2013.
In a few days I'll be sending out our August 2008 e-newsletter in which I interview author S.E. GREGG about her writings and cover many aspects of the importance of her Olympic themed book.
Meanwhile, here, I explain the reason why we as a ministry concerned about discerning the times in which we live, who expose abounding false spiritual teachings through our DVDs, articles and books, are discussing the subject of THE CHRISTIAN OLYMPICS.
I feel this book important because its focus is to help Christians understand WHY we must endure and overcome present difficulties (spiritual, physical, emotional or financial) for the GREAT price of the soon appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ.
I'm deeply grateful to those who taught me as a young Christian to look forward with hopeful anticipation to Jesus' soon coming and that my Christian life would be a difficult race. Many today teach a contrary gospel: movements like the Word Faith, Prosperity, Prophetic, Apostolic, et al, say if a Christian's faith is strong enough then the Christian will have total spiritual and "flesh" satisfaction, no ill health, emotional prosperity, only good things will happen, etc. Such claims opposes the Bible's teaching that our faith in Jesus Christ will bring suffering as our Master, Jesus Christ's faith did for Him. In His sake we must endure tests, trials and tribulations because God highly values, "the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes...." and allows the testing by fire that we "may be found to praise, honor and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ, whom having not seen you love" (1 Peter 1:7-8)
Through many simply explained yet profound unravelling of Scripture stories, author Gregg points out "the high value God places on our numerous and various trials", writing, "When our faith is tested, no matter how severe, it is more precious than gold, which is perishable. It will result in the praise, glory, and honor when Jesus Christ appears." (Yet future!)
Many false teachers today tell how they see Jesus in visions and the heavenlies and encourage their followers to pursue apparitions in the spirit world but Peter stands against this wrong teaching that prevailed also in his day. He wrote, "though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, receiving the end of your faith - the salvation of your souls." (v 9) In other words, the Christian today, as yesterday, must walk by Biblical faith even when wolves in sheep's clothing attempt to seduce with false doctrines in order to steal, cheat, destroy and undermine THE faith with lures of lust of the flesh, eyes, carnality, spiritual deception and anything else. We must stand firm in the Truth of Scripture, reverence its complete Authority and its claims of Jesus being the "narrow way". (Jn 14: 6. "I am the Way, the Truth and the Life..." nothing else!)
With hundreds of "faiths" around today in our multi-cultural society, and the politically correct position that ALL faiths are equal, Chrisitans MUST know what their unique faith in Jesus Christ is all about. Gregg gives the reader an instruction manual of Biblical faith. Jude, the brother of James, encouraged "those sanctified by God the Father and preserved in Jesus Christ" to contend earnestly for THE faith (my emphasis), and in these days of ungodly men with unsound doctrine, mature Christians must rise to the challenge to understand what THE Faith "once and for all delivered to the saints" is all about. I endorse Gregg's book because it not only clearly outlines THE faith, but gives much needed knowledge of the rules of the race and why we as believers in Jesus Christ must fight on with life and press on with runnig the "race" - the 2000 year old Christian Olympics.
The apostle Paul continually likens his ministry of teaching "repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ" (Act 20:21-23) as "a race" that he "may finish with joy" and warns many will attempt to trip us up before the end: "false prophets, deceitful workers, transforming themselves as apostles of Christ...and...ministers of righteousness" (2Cor 11:13-15) with lying signs and wonders, spiritual deceptions and unsound doctrine who will attempt to sabotage God's plan and purposes for true believers in His Grace only.
Paul was well aware of the Greeks celebrations at Olympia in Greece, a sports event held every four years to honor their god Zeus, and he used many sports analogies in his teachings as Gregg's book illustrates. Paul told Christians to "lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, Who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider Him Who endured ..... lest you become weary and discouraged." (Heb 12: 2-4). Gregg illustrates the great love of Jesus as we endure in our race for Him, pointing to the story of Stephen who stood up for Jesus, preaching His name, and saw Jesus stand up for him, at the right hand of God, to show His support for Stephen, prior to his being stoned to death by his accusers. (Acts 7:56)
Paul encourages the body of Christ to continue competing despite trials and tears of the hardship of discipline. He tells us to run the race in such a way that we may obtain the prize, "an imperishable crown" and not "become disqualified". Gregg explains the distinctions of prises and rewards, and what can and can't disqualify us. Also explained are the various reasons we must pursue "the good fight....finish the race...keep the faith..for the crown of righteousness... to all who have loved His appearing" (2 Tim 4: 6-8). The numerous types of crowns are explained and time lines to aid the Christian's understanding of end-times eschatology (doctrines of last things dealing with the second coming of Christ and preceding and following events), about which there is much dispute and confusion which Gregg guides the reader through with clear Biblical explanation.
In these days many mock the Bible's prophecies about end times rather than be amazed at the unique quality of the Bible. It had 40 authors from diverse walks and social stratus of life, who were inspired by God's Holy Spirit to write of events that took place over about 16 hundred years, and in some cases hundreds of years before they even happened. None of what these men wrote ever contradicted each other in any details. Despite enormous scrutiny by hundreds of sceptics history and archeology have not been able to disprove the Bible's Truth. Rather than trust in the Bible's authority from history past, and be reassured of its sincerity in future yet to happen, thousands in the church quarrel and argue over the Bible's interpretation and meaning, missing its guidelines for obedient living. Spurious misinterpretations of Bible teachings attempt to make Christians fall as they run the race and loose sight of God's goals such as the encouragement of the soon coming of Jesus, the Groom, to take up His Bride, the Church, true believers who've remained faithful to His Words.
To tire us further in our race, another long-held Bible Truth about Jesus' Kingdom has been redefined attempting to make us faint and loose heart. Many in the Church twist "Kingdom" theology to mean a social works-based gospel, the idea that people of the earth must be helped with social programs to help improve poverty and health, Satan's deliberate rebellion against Jesus' last command to "go preach the gospel and make disciples of nations". Mother Teresa and Rick Warren of Purpose Driven fame are among many who forward the social gospel only rather than combining the bettering of peoples physical conditions with spiritual and eternal wellbeing and making disciples as Jesus commanded.
There's also the "kingdom" teaching of Dominionists and Kingdom Now preachers who say the kingdom of God is presently already here on earth, represented in the body of the church, who are Israel, that's Replacement theology, (the Biblical importance of Israel in its end-time scenario is refuted or minimized), some teach they are preparing the earth for Christ to come and reign. All such anti-Biblical interpretations are part of the spiritual conditioning for the appearance of the false christ, the one who the Bible predicts will appear to be like Christ, the anti (in place of) Christ, the man of sin...son of perdition.. who exalts himself as God...the mystery of lawlessness is already at work (2 Thes 2:4-7) and we're in a period when the world's citizens are looking for "peace and safety" (1Thes 5:3) through a man-made solution disregarding God's solution in The Prince of Peace, Jesus Christ.
Gregg's book is a helpful aid for Christians to know why their endurance counts for eternity and who their enemy is. In clear to understand explanations we read Satan is both spectator and competitor in the arena, able to boo, hiss and discourage participants (as seen in the Bible story of Job when Satan gets God's permission to attempt to diminish Job's faith in God through many terrible trials and tests). Satan uses his position as god of this world to manipulate fellow Christians, families, friends, fellow-workers, pagans, etc to compete with one another instead of helping one another for the greater prise and solid evangelism in the "whole counsel of God".
Gregg places Satan, the lust of the flesh, lust of the eye, pride of life, and the goal of Satan's world agenda in its context of eternity. The eternal work of Jesus to defeat Satan and his hold through sin and death is scripturally clarified, and the Holy Spirit's indwelling which is accomplished the moment the believer confesses Jesus and becomes "born again" with a new nature. Sound understanding is essential to combat the false doctrines that are convincing millions of Christians in the prophetic and apostolic movements. Just as Jesus predicted in Matthew 24, many Christians are being told and believing Jesus is here or there, available through this person's vision or that person's insights, they must go to this city or that Church for "the impartation", to be "slain in the spirit" or for "an anointing" by a touch, a breathe, or other technique. Sadly multitudes worldwide are entering wrong spirituality through the "wide gate and broad way that will lead to destruction" (Matt 7:13). They are being deceived by Satan's lying signs and wonders instead of trusting in God's birth of His Holy Spirit, which is sourced in God wishes and direction. (Jn 3: 7-8)
Through a Biblical worldview, Gregg helps to focus the Christian back to God's essentials through His Word and encourage a love for the soon return of The Bridegroom for His Bride, their wedding, His purposes in their intimate relationship, His special privileges and rewards for her who He lived and died for - a truly overwhelming love story!
Book by S.E. Gregg
The Christian Olympics: Going for the Gold Crowns, the unveiling of the Bible's comparison of the Christian race to the Olympic Games, is the spin-off from the newspaper article titled "The Christian Olympics are still going on!" written by the author.
Today more than ever Christians are discouraged in their walk with God because of the multitudes of personal problems, suffering, and worldly events that have occurred. Some have given up, lost hope in their faith, and/or don't feel that living holy lives matters anymore.
The Christian Olympics will stir up Christians, igniting their spiritual fires to look forward to what is ahead. When Christians see themselves as players in an Olympic game, it gives them a new understanding and exhilaration for the Christian life, as spiritual athletes. Readers will actually visualize themselves in a spiritual athletic competition.
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