I have always been intrigued by Jesus question in this passage: “when the Son of Man cometh, will He find faith on the earth?”. Having grown up under the Word of Faith Movement with Brother Kenneth Hagin, Pastor Joe and I wanted to be sure that we were a part of that company. What an experience to be a part of the charismatic movement! Thank God for the Holy Ghost and good teachers and preachers of the Word!
Having pastored now for over fifteen years with much study behind me, I found that this passage is primarily speaking of constancy or faithfulness. We can call preach and teach the Word; but it is only if we are faithful unto death that we receive the Crown of Life. The Lord proclaims in I Cor. 4:2, “Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.” A passage that is particularly precious to me is found in I Timothy 1:12: “and I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry.” If God saw little or much ability in Pastor Joe, me and our family, it means all to me that he saw that we would not quit; and I want you all to know that nothing that we experience will ever change that.
Everything we encounter as Christians can fall under the category of a “test.” I have often said that it would be nice if there were a megaphone from heaven which warned: “the next few days, (months, or years) will be a test.!!!) Nevertheless, I Peter 4:12 exhorts us “not to think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you, but rejoice….” God’s grace is sufficient (raises up a barrier against) every challenge that we encounter in this life, which only prepares us for our positions when God sets up His Kingdom here on the earth…..so rejoice!
‘Faithfulness’ is the characteristic that I believe will pull Emmanuel Praise Church/Angel Food Ministries through these troubling times. God is aware of each and every one of our lives and ministries and is not surprised by anything. He is aware of whom He has called and chosen and placed in the ministry, including all of you wonderful members and employees. If he brought us all here together, it is for the purpose of accomplishing His will together; and He has given us the grace, the knowledge, skill and wisdom to finish the work.
We appreciate your continued faithfulness to God and to the vision He imparted to Pastor Joe and me. There is much more work to be done, and we will continue to do it with your help. Recent years have required that I give my daily attention to the growth and staff of EPC, and it is my pleasure to do so; but I have you all in my heart, and we hold AFM up in prayer as we go through the waters ahead. EPC staff has organized a 24-hour prayer watch just for such a time as this.
I ask that you lift up the hands of your leader, Pastor Joe. If you are privileged to be employed at AFM or EPC you have been called here to help; and God has given every one of you the grace to pray and stand in faithfulness. Our family will be eternally grateful.
Much love in Christ.