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All must hear, then the end will come…

In the gospels Jesus talks about end time at several occasions. In doing so he mentions in Matthew 24:14 about the gospel being preached in all the world as a witness to all nations, then the end will come.

Witness is someone giving his life for a cause, a person living for a purpose. Here the purpose is talking about Jesus, what he did on the cross, died for our sins and resurrecting in power now having the authority to forgive sins, heal broken hearts and lives. The whole of Old Testament points to one thing and that is the Cross of Christ. He is the center and the star of the bible!

Jesus talks to His disciples in Matthew 24 about the situation when they go on their witness-mission, war, ethnic conflict, false Messiah’s and so forth. The focus is to establish a witness about Jesus so all ethnic groups will hear the true message of the gospel, not a self promoting, ego centered, human worshipping gospel, but Jesus and His sacrificial death on the cross. Jesus is to be the one witnessed about! Jesus!

There is no salvation in any other name!

These witness centers what is it? What is it Jesus talks about? Well, I think He thinks about groups of people living in community in their community witnessing about Jesus. About the Cross! We call this church! A group of believers living together, worshipping together socially open for integrating new members of their ‘family’ of believers, actually their solemn purpose is to grow in numbers.

Today in the world there are spots where there are no such a witnesses, unreached areas. There might be some barely surviving churches but very isolated from the rest of the community. There is a desperate need of new wineskins, actually tens of thousands of new ‘witnesses’.

The Lord spoke to me recently asking me if I wanted to be a part of a movement of church planting which He carries in His heart. It has already begun, it’s not that public due to the persecution and challenges. I said ‘Yes, Lord I want to be a part of that!’. We saw it when the Iron curtain fell down and we run in preaching and proclaiming the gospel in the former soviet union. Today as a result of mine and many others work tens of thousands of churches has been established and now there is a living testimony about the Cross, about Jesus in that part of the world.

Now we must go to other parts not having a testimony established. Recently when visiting Ethiopia and my good friend Per Åkvist, Joshuacampaign, I talked with an Ethiopian man of god, a church planter who had planted hundreds of churches over the years. Now he had left the movement he once started to start all over again to plant churches. I asked him how many churches he could start in 5 years. His answer came fast and very convincingly ‘100 churches in 5 years’. A missionary pastor is send out and he gets 50 Usd/month for 2 years then he must be selfsupporting. I thought to myself for 30,000 Usd I could help this brother start 100 churches in the unreached areas of Ethiopia.

This was a couple of weeks ago and I can’t get it out of my head. I want to channel those 30,000 Usd to this man.

 

For 50 Usd/month you can support a missionary/pastor to go and start a church. This means it will cost around 1000 Euro to establish one church! Not much.

If you want to help this pastor please write me mjs@matsjan.com and I will get the money over to him. He told me he has 9 ready missionaries he want to send now! Will you send them!

 

Matsjan

 

Freedom…

There are lots of controlling forces in the world we live in. All through the history man has been on a surge for freedom. Freedom is first and foremost inner freedom, the ability to live after my own convictions and to follow my consciousness. There is a price to keep this inner freedom alive and healthy all through life. It demand strength to uphold it.

I read a great book by Nathan Sharansky some years ago, Fear no Evil, where he describes his battle against the Soviet regime to keep his inner freedom of thought and faith. It lead him to spend 11 years in prison. During these years he fought tirelessly to maintain his inner freedom. His method was simple. He never obeyed anything contradicting with or limiting his inner freedom. When commanded to sleep, he stayed awake, when commanded to eat he didn’t. When he finally was released and brought to the airport i Berlin to be united with his wife he was told to walk straight to the car from the airplane. He then turned around and walked zigzag backwards towards the waiting car.

Of course this was an extreme situation but extreme situations demand extreme counter measures!

I value my freedom, my freedom of choice, freedom of religion, freedom of thought, freedom of movement enormously much!

Jesus came to set us free, not to bind us within a some religious system. He came to set us free from sin which so easily and hardly snares us bringing us into captivity. The sacrifice of Christ was to set us free, to make us free from sin and death to give us the gift of life, to live for Him and with Him.

Let us use our lives for His Glory and to fulfill everything He has enabled us too!

 

Matsjan

Openness…

I woke up this morning with one scripture going through my head, I had to open my bible program to find it though. It’s from 2 Cor 4:2 where Paul is writing the following:

But we have renounced the hidden things of shame, not walking in craftiness nor handling the word of God deceitfully, but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.’ 2 Cor 4:2

 

We as Christians are bound to follow our conscience, the seat of our convictions. Truth and openness are like twins, God is truth and the reflection of Him is to be like an open book as Paul writes in another portion of Scripture. Paul repeatedly said he is speaking and acting openly with no hidden agenda or hidden purpose. Our faith and conscience needs this to be operative.

The problem with this is people’s reaction, some will agree some won’t but that is a part of the deal according to Paul. He commands every man’s conscience to God, for every man to walk before God with a pure conscience and according to his own conviction in relationship to the truth understood. God operates when we walk in the light!

Our faith is just that, a faith based on certain dogmas or convictions we have. These where communicated to us in different ways and due to the working of the Holy Spirit in us we adopted certain biblical convictions.

Leadership is to declare its purpose and invite people to follow. It includes an open declaration of the things forming our faith. When idealism are replaced with pragmatism this whole thing corrodes slowly, slowly.

I do respect every man and women following their convictions and clearly communicating them, it’s honest and transparent. It’s honorable I would say with no hesitation!

Paul writes it’s shameful to hide my real faith instead we are to openly declare it and argue for it to give people a possibility to agree or disagree, the risk is they might disagree and then they won’t follow! It might end with me leading myself. That might be the price of conviction!

A few years ago I was serving in an organization where the leadership refused to declare the financial status, salaries and benefits because of fear for the reaction of people. This was very shameful and ended in disaster, lots of pain and agony. It was a hidden things not declared to the people who followed.

We are believers and followers of Christ not politicians, hungry for power and money! Jesus was not like that.

‘If God is on our side, what can men do to us!’

‘Lord have mercy on my soul and help me to walk in the light and truth you provide in your Word, amen!’

 

Matsjan

Ethiopia…

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Preaching in Siree, Ethiopia!

Remembering Ethiopia!
Last sunday I had the privilige to preach at #joshuacampaign Evangelistic Festival in Siree, Ethiopia.
To see how the Lord is using my good friends Per & Abbi Åkvist in Ethiopia is amazing. Our history together goes back to 1987-88 when we where studying at Word Of Life Bibleschool in Uppsala. Little could we in our wildest imagination understand what was ahead of us then. Later Per and Abbi pioneered Word of Life Baku after an historic Evangelistic Festival held by Carl-Gustaf Severin. They stayed there for 18 months when me and my family moved there to take up the baton to build and develope the church which grew to be the largest evangelical church in Azerbaijan. 
Per with family some years later moved to Abbis birth country Ethiopia to proclaim the good news all over the land which they now have done for nearly 10 years.
I have never seem so many deaf ears open as during the meetings in Siree. Amazing, Glory to Jesus!
At the most some 50,000 people attended and thousands recieved Jesus as their Lord and Saviour.
You can read more on www.joshuacampaign.se

Matsjan

Going on a Cruise…

Last summer I and my wife celebrated 25 years of marriage and we decided to go on a cruise, and we did. We flew to Marseille and boarded the ship.

BUT before boarding we looked through the program and the destination, were we were heading. The ship had tones of good entertainment, food, fun and even a running track and a climbing wall. Nice workout studio as well as massage. The ship was awesome, Legends of the Sea. Just imagine if the captain of the ship during night time when we were resting and sleeping in our cozy cabins enjoying the nice sea view through the window decided to change destination? So instead of waking up in Barcelona we woke up in Libya or Morocco or some other place. How would we feel? Well, at least to say fooled. Of course some could just shake their shoulders and continue to enjoy the good food on board and the great entertainment, swimming in the outdoor pool as nothing really dangerous had happened. But I guess most of the passengers would feel fooled because without their knowledge or without any further notice the captain changed the destination of the whole ship.

I bought one thing but ended up with another. I have a hard time when things involving my life destination is decided above my head, giving a pretense of one thing but in reality something else is going on.

Of course when spiritual leaders fail us it’s always easy to come up with the cliché ‘We are to follow Jesus and not man’ but clichés and reality does not always match. Hearts are broken, tears are fallin’ and hopes are failing. In such a situation it’s no time to shout slogans about a greater future, or some other empty wordings having no real substance. Jesus is not like that!

It’s not a time of shallow words but time for heart-searching and repentance, a time to let the Lord touch my life and cleanse me from hypocrisy and worldliness. A time to realize people are hurt, people who trusted, people who put their lives on the line, who gave it all suddenly feel as they have lost their lives. Of course there are those who cynically stand by the sidelines mocking and pointing finger, those who have never loved and never lived for a cause, who doesn’t really know what passion is!

I don’t want to end my life as a cynical man, a living dead, I want to live and I want to love and I want to have passion for Jesus and the Great commandment!

 

Matsjan

Word of Life second Congress…

I am sitting in my room at the eleventh floor in the Surmeli Hotell located about 15 km from ancient Ephesus. I am participating in the second Word of Life Congress with about 400 delegates from I guess 20 nations. It has been dramatic and very powerful days. For me as a veteran Word of Life missionary having a 20 year perspective of how this has come about am just amazed. Many of the pastors and leaders are people once gotten saved in the early days of our Russian Inland Mission, some of them have huge networks of churches, some work in places that used to be unreached with the gospel, some have lived through persecution and extreme situations.

These are my heroes of faith! My spiritual family where I feel totally at home, we are not perfect, we have done many mistakes, but it’s still my family. I love them!

I have laughed with my life friends from Baku, Azerbaijan. Discussed the documents to be adapted with Norwegian, Swedish, Indian and Russian brothers and sisters. Prayed and worshipped together as well as taking a whole day journey to Hierapolis and Laodicea.

My old time missionary colleague and friend Christian Åkerhielm has been elected the chairman and President of Word of Life International and it’s a joy to see him stepping into that role doing an excellent job together with the other members of the board. This is a definitely a new era in Word of Life missions work. A frame and a form is being formed these days and when Carl-Gustaf Severin was announced as being proposed as a new board member the applauds and noise were overwhelming to hear.

Hope is rising in my spirit of a new wave of world missions, church planting, bibleschools and evangelistic outreaches. The world is getting darker and its time to turn up the light brighter in all the continents of the world.

The best is yet to come and a new generation of missionaries are about to be birthed and released into the earth.

 

‘Pray the Lord of the Harvest He will send laborers..’

 

Matsjan

Just one thought…

I thought about Rom 1:16-17 when Martin Luther after years of soul struggle found the verse that came to shake a whole continent. He found peace with God through faith, not by deads! Not what I do for God but what He done for me saved me.

I am falling asleep tonight reading Romans 1:16-17 thanking God for my Salvation, cleansing through the blood of Christ, forgiveness of Sins and a blessed assurance if I will not wake up tomorrow I will find myself standing before the Lamb of God in Eternity.

Thank you Lord for your mercy and Grace, no one is comparable to you!

 

Mats-Jan

My statement…

My desire is to continue stronger than ever in the soulwinning/church planting ministry me and my wife have been in for more than 20 years. I do believe we need more new planted churches around the world especially in unreached areas.
Going to Ehtiopia with www.joshuacampaign.se 19-23/3. Evangelist Per Akvist will hold a campaign in the Ethiopian inland expecting up to a 100000 people to come. Pray for the Lordship of Jesus Christ to be established, signs and wonders to Glorify the One and Only King, Jesus Christ!

I am a charismatic/Pentecostal believer and will continue that way. Since the end of 1989 i together with my lifepartner Caisa have been travelling, ministering in more than 40 nations in different ways. What I believe the Lord gave me for this season was ‘Comeback year’ and step by step I can see doors opening up. The need for revival, outpouring of the Holy Spirit to renew, refresh and challenge a young generation of believers to reach the world for Jesus is eminent. We need a fresh move of the Holy Spirit to fall on us, touch and cleanse our hearts  and souls, opening up our eyes to the main calling of the Church, to reach the lost with the Good News of Jesus Christ. The world is full of people living in despair and spiritual darkness and we are the generation to bring glad tidings to them!

I want to dedicate the rest of my life to allow the Holy Spirit to touch my life and thousands of peoples life through me.

The best days are yet to come and the devil is defeated Jesus is Lord and Saviour!

 

Mats-Jan

A new season…

I wrote this about a year ago on my old blog matsjan.wordpress.com…It was a Word from God for sure!

‘Just before New Year while on vacation in Florida, USA, one day I took a walk down the beach to speak with the Lord about 2013. I had no deep expectation to get some dramatic revelation from the Lord but quite immediately I heard in my heart ‘A new season’! As I continued to pray and reflect on these words and now in February looking back just a few weeks 2013 really means a new season. I had no idea the Lord would speak to me 18/1 from Gen 31:3 about returning to the ‘Land of my fathers..’ , both me and Caisa where totally focused on staying for a long period in Kharkov but sometimes our ways and the Lords are not the same.

The Lord gave me 4 steps leading us into a new season that I want to share with you

  1. Crisis – Crisis in our personal lives as well as in our family, business or work can make us break us. We either get lost asking the most unfruitful of all questions, ‘Why?’ instead we are to ask ourselves ‘What now Lord?’. A crisis forces us to make changes and open ourselves for God to move in for us new ways.
  2. Brokenness – Crisis breaks something open in our spirits, in our hearts, pride breaks, self-control is lost, I am in a for me uncontrollable situation and only the Lord can save me, it breaks me, forces me down on my knees seeking Him and His will, like Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane. Brokenness opens my heart for the Spirit of God to lead me to the end of myself, standing on my knees before the Cross of Christ, He who laid down His life for us and died for us also rose from the Dead to lead the way for us into the Presence of the Most High God.
  3. Surrender – I give up and hand my destiny into the hands of the most reliable and loving force in Universe, Almighty God.
  4. New Season – God leads me into a New Season, into a place I haven’t been before. A new level of blessing and glory. A new era has begun in my life!

When He seeks you, when life is getting tough and hard to comprehend, bow before Him Who has all power in heaven and earth because He will never leave you and He will see you through into a new season of blessing.

 

Matsjan

A historic day…

Today I’ve been glued to the computer screens the whole day. I’ve been following the developments of Ukraine. What a people!! I am amazed at the especially those walking toward the sniper and AK 47 fire at Instituskaya with nothing but shields, some in wood some of metal. One by one people fell by the fire, some killed and some wounded. Others carried them away for medical treatment. Finally they managed to put tires on fire creating smoke shields that made I impossible to aim at people.

Why did this touch me so deeply? I have read some very stupid conspiracy articles about people being paid by the US embassy to rebel and so on. This is nothing but old sovjet propaganda. When you see these people no one will do that for money but only out of a burning desire for freedom. Freedom is something hard to understand for those who never experienced anything else than tyranny and the fear it creates. That fear causes a mentality of self-censorship, an inner captivity where I forbid myself to think and act in a certain way out of fear for repression.

The Orange revolution, I know it wasn’t handed in the best way and some of the leaders fell into the moneytrap and mismanaged the whole thing. But still it created freedom, freedom from fear of repression and that inner freedom is like a deliverance. A release from an inner pressure. This freedom of thought and expression is more valuable than all the money in the world. God created us to be creative, to have a creative mind and spirit and when repression forms our heart and minds we become captives, unable to think freely.

When a man or a society have tasted the sweet taste of inner freedom he/she will be marked forever, will never forget and will not exchange it for nothing less. A free society is not a perfect society but it respects people’s right of freedom of expression, faith and view.

It’s hard to explain this for a person who have never experienced it, because he is a captive in his own worldview of conspiracy and suspicion created by himself to morally survive the oppression he live under and that steals his self esteem.

 

Ukraine has a new possibility to create a free and open society where people are free to think and express themselves without fear for reprisal. Take the chance Ukraine! For the sake of those who sacrificed themselves and for your children

 

Matsjan