Called out

Gypsy fairSummer in my home town heralded the arrival of the Gypsy Fair.  They would roll into town and park their colourful house trucks by the river.  I’d wander down there with my children to have a look at the entertainment and goods for sale.  I would look at the crafts, clothes, jewellery and watch the entertainment – but I steered clear of the tarot card reading. 

Why?  Fortune telling – isn’t it just a harmless bit of fun?  A friend from a different church took her daughter to have their fortunes told.  “What’s the harm in it?” she said.  There was no way I was going to do that.  Some of you are going to think I’m judgemental.  No, if I had been I wouldn’t have gone to the Gypsy Fair in the first place.  As a Christian I’ve been forbidden to indulge in witchcraft.  Leviticus 19:26 … “Do not practice divination or sorcery.”

Some of you will be thinking the Gypsy Fair is no place for a Christian.  Yes it is, the people need Jesus.  We are commanded to “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.”  Mark 16:15.  Yes we have to be wise and make the most of an opportunity to witness, because we know the world doesn’t think the gospel is good news.  Bear in mind that preaching doesn’t always have to be done with words.

Where was the Apostle Paul in Acts 17?  He was in Athens, “a city wholly given to idolatry.  Where was Jesus when He revealed himself as the Son of God?  He was in Cesarea Philippi, a city dominated by immoral activities and pagan worship, a place dedicated to the Greek god Pan.  The locals called it “the Gates of Hell.”

“When Jesus brought his disciples to the area, they must have been shocked. Caesarea Philippi was like a red-light district in their world and devout Jews would have avoided any contact with the despicable acts committed there.  It was a city of people eagerly knocking on the doors of hell.  Jesus presented a clear challenge with his words at Caesarea Philippi: He didn’t want his followers hiding from evil: He wanted them to storm the gates of hell.”   Source: http://www.followtherabbi.com/journey/israel/gates-of-hell/

At the Gates of Hell, Jesus asked “Who am I?”  Peter answered “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”  Jesus replied “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven.  And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hell will not overcome it.”  (Matthew 16).

The rock that Jesus declared He would build His Church on is the rock at the gates of Hell and the truth that He is the Messiah, the Son of God.  The rock is not the Pope!

He will be a spirit of justice to the one who sits in judgement,
a source of strength to those who turn back the battle at the gate.  
Isaiah 28:6.

PointI know that the fortune tellers at the Gypsy Fair sometimes got hassled by Christians.  They would be told they were evil and ruled by the devil.  http://www.stuff.co.nz/life-style/6224095/Tarot-cards-tell-a-story.

I didn’t agree with that.  In my opinion it would just drive them further away from the Lord.  My husband says that if you point the finger at someone there’s always three fingers pointed back at you.

The Pagans are trying to access the spiritual Kingdom without submitting to the Lord.  How many of us have done that until we’ve learned to obey God?  “For rebellion is like the sin of divination, and arrogance like the evil of idolatry.”  (1 Samuel 15:23) To approach God, truth is the cost of entry.  I chose to walk past and leave them in peace, silently praying for them to come to know the truth so they would turn away from witchcraft.

At the Gypsy Fair you could look through the house trucks for a gold coin donation.  The homes were all interesting and alternative, just what you would expect from Gypsies.  One house truck I stepped into was remarkable in how different the atmosphere was.  Jesus was there.  His music played softly in the cabin.  Bible tracts were scattered throughout the room for people to take.  Imagine that.  I was surprised to say the least.  As the house truck owner handed me a tract, I asked him what they were doing in a New Age, Pagan, alternative community?  He said it was their ministry.  God had called them into it.

I was glad to see them being Jesus to a community that I knew God cared about.  They were being the Church to a community that needed them.   I’ve never forgotten the lesson I learned that day from the travellers.Ekklesia

What do you think when you hear the word Ekklesia?  I used to think it meant religion and priests wearing robes.  Ekklesia are people called out from the world and to God, the outcome being the Church – the universal body of believers called out from the world and into His eternal kingdom.  Source:http://biblehub.com/greek/1577.htm

Here is a brilliant whiteboard demonstration of the role of the Ekklesia and the Kingdom of God;

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gVHz34eiSPE

A guest to the Blog named “Victory Truth” left a comment that inspired me;
“A pastor/friend once said we are a ministry of ministers, so if the church treats all of their members as equal then the community recognize the difference too. instead of Sheeple, they see a holy nation / a peculiar people. The leaves of THIS tree will heal nations! pray We can let our destiny become bigger than ourselves.”  

People of the King, it’s time for us to remember who we are.
We are all in Ministry.
We are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that we may declare the praises of him who called us out of darkness into his wonderful light. (1 Peter 2:9)
We are the Church, called out of darkness into glorious light.  We are the Church, let us turn back the battle at the gate. We are the Church, and the gates of Hell will not prevail against us.

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