House Church echos

All through history God has preserved and encouraged faithful people. The organic presence and growth of the first century Churches of God did not manifest in great cathedrals or elaborate liturgy, but in a variety of simple, family, house churches scattered throughout the known world!

The apostles of yesteryear would marvel at the communication and collaboration between the churches of today. Big churches. Small churches. Worship in hundreds of languages and dialects. And size doesn’t matter either, for if grace and truth exist in a fellowship, there you’ll find Jesus.

The four most recent sermons echo, via media streaming on this website, from a small House Church in the world’s most isolated capital city: Perth, Western Australia. If the messages sound familiar to you, it’s probably because you have a heart for words of Jesus: His Word personified, His written Word, and His Word emboldened on your heart.

john2015thumbaaaYours for Grace and Truth,

John Klassek

Grace and Truth

Take a 30 minute sermon shared about a month ago which focussed on the two great characteristics of Jesus: “Grace and Truth”, and later present it as an eleven minute sermonette. And then, if that’s not enough, distill it even further to just four minutes!

 

Trust you’re blessed with this shorter version but by no means any less important.

By John Klassek

Timely Advice

We have lived in a time of unprecedented wealth, peace and prosperity. The phenomenal rise of Western success, dominance and affluence is really quite unmatched historically. However, things aren’t as they seem anymore. Ask the man in the street, and he’ll probably agree that we live in a troubled world with terrorism high on the agenda, above disease, climate change and other concerns.

We must be prepared to openly admit the truth. We must find the strength of voice of love and impartiality to speak out against rising secularity and political correctness. Otherwise, we in the West will largely fail to understand and respond to perhaps the greatest threat the world has ever faced.

Islam is an unmistakable and brutal political force, driven by religious ideologies. Their stated will and ambition is to overtake the host nation, no matter how long it takes – be it through migration or direct assault. Are not the greatest migrations of peoples today Islamic in origin? There is plenty of shocking rhetoric and evidence, for example, that threatens to turn Buckingham Palace in London, UK, into a mosque. Thus Britain is now struggling with an identity crisis, as are other places elsewhere throughout Europe. Perhaps, God forbid, in a few years we’ll see “Euroarabia” – Europe under sharia law simply because the voting population is greater in numbers than the original inhabitants.

Don’t think it can happen in Australia, or anywhere else in the “free” world? Feel such comments are unnecessarily alarmist? Think we ought to be more politically sensitive?

Given the fact that our nations, including the USA, Britain, Canada, and New Zealand were founded on a Christian heritage and ethos, and given that by our own admission we here in Australia no longer see ourselves as a Christian country, the words of the God who in the first place blessed us ought to urgently resonate in our national conscience.

Some 3500 years ago, as recorded in Deuteronomy 28 (known as the blessings and curses chapter) the One we know as Jesus said:

Deuteronomy 28:15 GNB “But if you disobey the LORD your God and do not faithfully keep all his commands and laws that I am giving you today, all these evil things will happen to you: (33) A foreign nation will take all the crops that you have worked so hard to grow, while you receive nothing but constant oppression and harsh treatment. (36) The LORD will take you and your king away to a foreign land, where neither you nor your ancestors ever lived before; there you will serve gods made of wood and stone. (37) In the countries to which the LORD will scatter you, the people will be shocked at what has happened to you; they will make fun of you and ridicule you. (43) Foreigners who live in your land will gain more and more power, while you gradually lose yours. (44) They will have money to lend you, but you will have none to lend them. In the end they will be your rulers. (45) All these disasters will come on you, and they will be with you until you are destroyed, because you did not obey the LORD your God and keep all the laws that he gave you. (49) The LORD will bring against you a nation from the ends of the earth, a nation whose language you do not know. They will swoop down on you like an eagle. (50) They will be ruthless and show no mercy to anyone, young or old. (51) They will eat your livestock and your crops, and you will starve to death. They will not leave you any grain, wine, olive oil, cattle, or sheep; and you will die. (52) They will attack every town in the land that the LORD your God is giving you, and the high, fortified walls in which you trust will fall.

Jesus is always right. History has a way of repeating itself. It’s called the natural law of “consequences”. Nations who turned their back on God ended up suffering catastrophic misfortune, before simply vanishing into the ignominious sands of history.

It’s time to wake up, change from our indifference towards God, and seek forgiveness, the results of which lead to healing and blessings abundant.

After all, Jesus also prefaced his warnings with powerful and encouraging motivation:

Deuteronomy 28:1-2 GNB If you obey the LORD your God and faithfully keep all his commands that I am giving you today, he will make you greater than any other nation on earth. (2) Obey the LORD your God and all these blessings will be yours: (7) The LORD will defeat your enemies when they attack you. They will attack from one direction, but they will run from you in all directions. (10) Then all the peoples on earth will see that the LORD has chosen you to be his own people, and they will be afraid of you. (13) The LORD your God will make you the leader among the nations and not a follower; you will always prosper and never fail if you obey faithfully all his commands that I am giving you today.

Prophets, pastors and preachers – please heed the call and stand up for Jesus. After all, it is His words alone that lead to true peace, power and prosperity.

John Klassek

 

Written by John Klassek

Why I wrote my book

Occasionally I am asked the reasons why I wrote “Hope of the Resurrection”. Others enquire in particular about the nuances of the second resurrection.

The scriptures are quite clear about those who reject Christ, in Jesus’ day and in ours. (I had originally intended, with the editing of the 3rd edition, to write an entire chapter about hell, but decided that there was already sufficient in the book about this subject. Besides, an entire chapter on hell somewhat detracts from the overall “hope” value).

bookcover2014I trust that my book “Hope of the Resurrection” does not make any claims or implications that can be construed as un-Biblical. I do not believe in second-chance theology. Thanks for the opportunity to clarify this. Perhaps in a future edition and printing, I will continue to further develop any passages that may not be as clear as they ought. Thanks for your grace in this.

We can take some comfort in Paul’s statement that, “we only know in part and therefore preach in part” [my paraphrase]. (1 Corinthians 13:9)

With regard to any possible hope outcome in the second resurrection, I like the dichotomy of “near-certainty versus mere possibility”. Many of us are somewhere between the two. On the other end of the spectrum, however, are those who believe in total annihilation of all at the second resurrection, regardless of whether they’ve ever heard the truth or not. This view is somewhat hard to reconcile with the Biblical text that discusses righteous judgment. (John 5:30) It is also hard to reconcile with a loving, merciful God who paid in total the sins of this world.

Thus, I believe there can be a range of “peripheral” understandings of what many regard as somewhat “unclear”. This is where our patience and grace ought to come to the fore. Please note that I always refrain from preaching about these “peripheral” things from the pulpit – knowing that in the fullness of time we’ll all understand!

I felt inspired to write “Hope of the Resurrection” after visiting several Christian bookstores, and seeing numerous titles, such as “To Heaven and Back”, “Ninety Minutes in Heaven”, and “Heaven is for Real”. Conspicuous by its absence, I found that there were no equal books that discussed the resurrection hope in Christ. (I have since discovered NT Wright’s book “Surprised by Hope” that also emphasises a Biblical resurrection hope). But, largely, books on Heaven vastly outnumber those on Resurrection.

My book’s original intended audience was simply for the “man on the street” – folk who may have casually heard about God, and who may be seeking answers following the loss of a loved one. The book has already been read by many thousands of people since it was first published in 2010, and I am delighted to constantly receive very positive responses from people whose lives have been significantly helped.

johnklassek2014b

John Klassek

 

Rebel Bikies

I normally reserve this space for gentler, perhaps more spiritual topics. And so I felt a little notorious by uploading a short video yesterday of the Rebels motorcycle club. All of a sudden, some 1000 bikies on their noisy Harley Davidsons came thundering through the wheatbelt town of Cunderdin where I was working. I was relieved to see a generous police escort.

These men are quite unique. They’re “family”. And while we may not agree with some of their activities, or feel a bit afraid when they walk into a tavern, they have something we all wish for: a great sense of brotherhood and belonging.

Ask yourself: How many good friends do you have? I don’t mean work mates or sporting buddies. What I mean are people you have a deep, deep (non-sexual) friendship with. How many of them can you implicitly trust? Most of us will probably admit that our good lifetime friends can be counted on the fingers of one hand.

You don’t have to ride a Harley Davidson, have a tattoo, or grow a long beard to identify with someone who’ll be a life-long trusting friend. Simply pause in prayer, and the one who longs to be your best friend will, in confidence, listen to your every word. His name is Jesus.

 

The Resurrection of Lazarus

Click here to listen

Things are about to heat up. Jesus knew what he had to do, and what was coming.

We see him among his closest friends; we’re privy to two sisters’ heart and soul; we see Jesus’ moistened eyes when weeping openly and, we’re astonished to see a certified dead man walking again.

John’s testimony is about to escalate. Like a novel that up until now has now set the stage, Chapter 11 of John’s gospel account is the fulcrum, the part of the book that you just can’t put down – because everything John has to tell us now hinges on what happened that week, some 2000 years ago.

Presented by John Klassek on behalf of Christian Educational Ministries