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The Jesus Convention
Joe Morris, Christian Fire ©2002

You may have heard about an article that has been widely spread throughout the internet by an unknown author entitled "Satan's Convention." Well Children of God, it's our turn to respond, so in this fiction drama, I present to you...THE JESUS CONVENTION!! We go to our on-site anchor, reporting from all the festivities.

REPORTER: Good evening. Welcome to the first night of the week long Jesus Convention. Throughout the week, you're going to hear from some of America's best pastors and writers. Tonight's keynote speaker is Joseph Morris, founder of Christian Fire Ministries. Joe, as his friends call him, began Christian Fire, believe it or not, as an youth internet e-zine in 1997, now ministering to thousands of youth and adults alike on a monthly basis. Many of his readers have come from all across the nation to see the young man that's been proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ, through a computer. Talk about unbelievable. You are now hearing the chants once again of "JESUS! JESUS!" echoing throughout this great arena. The Rev. Greg Addison has taken the podium to introduce Joe Morris. Let's join him now.

GREG ADDISON: It is my great privilege to introduce a man who loves Jesus, and serves Him greatly through Bellevue Baptist Church. So as he would say, "Let's get FIRED UP!!!" Ladies and gentlemen, would you please welcome, from Christian Fire Ministries, Mr. Joe Morris! (The crowd roars as Joe walks on stage, hugs Greg, and procedes to the podium. The crowd continues cheering for about 2 minutes, with chants of "JESUS! JESUS!" Then Joe begins his speech.)

JOE: Thank you very much! Let me just say tonight, that we are in God's country! (Roars from the crowd erupt from a standing ovation.) I first wanna say "Thank You" to all of the young people and all of the parents who have supported The Christian Fire through your e-mails, and more importantly, through your prayers. I may have ministered to many of you throughout the years, but you have ministered to me in ways you could not imagine, and for that, I give God praise. (Applause and cheers from the crowd.)

Let me just say to the young teenagers in the building, as well as those watching on TV tonight, that we are in a spiritual battle of a lifetime. Jesus said in Luke 12:40, that "the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect." We need to be ready, and we may not have much time. ("Amen's" echo througout the crowd with light applause.) 1 Peter 5:8 warns us that our "adversary, the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour." Satan even took it upon himself, to call a convention of his evil angels. Maybe you've heard about it. Well, that's the reason we are here tonight. We're here to dissect what Satan is planning, and how we are to prepare as the Body of Christ, to see that his wishes are not granted, and that God's Will may be done throughout the earth. (Cheers and applause.) In his opening address, Satan said, "We can't keep the Christians from going to church." Amen to that.

He also says "We can't keep them from reading their Bibles and knowing the truth." Hallelujah! John 8:32 says that "you shall know the truth, and the TRUTH shall make you free." And verse 36 says that "if the Son (Jesus) makes you free, you shall be free indeed." (More "Amens" from the crowd.) Satan added, "We can't even keep them from conservative values. But we can do something else." Uh-oh! Young men and women, listen to me. In the next few minutes, I'm gonna list all of Satan's plots, and what you can do as a follower of the Lord Jesus Christ, through the power of the Holy Spirit, to defeat these plots. Satan mentioned that he wants to keep us "from forming an intimate, abiding experience in Christ." He said if we "gain that connection with Jesus," then his power over us is broken.

There's a friend of mine at church. His name is Ken Rhodes. Whenever I've been in prayer groups with Ken, a verse he always quotes when praying is Matthew 18:18, where Jesus tells his disciples that "whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven." Whenever Ken prays this, he immediately asks for the Lord to bind Satan, so that he will not have power over us. So tonight, we have a message for Satan....YOU ARE BOUND!! (Roaring cheers again in the building.) Satan said that we can go to church. Nothing wrong with that. He says we can have our conservative lifestyles. Nothing wrong with that. But Satan said he wants to steal our time, so that we can't gain that experience in Jesus Christ. Every day, that should be our ultimate goal. Most of us in here would say that we are not all we can be for Jesus. I know that I'm not. But let me remind you what Paul said in Philippians 3:12. He says "Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on." Press on to what? In verse 14 he says "I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus." Are you pressing on in your relationship with God? If you're not, let me encourage you to make a fresh start tonight, because we are not guaranteed much time before Jesus returns.

Satan wants his angels to distract us from gaining hold of our Saviour and maintaining that vital connection throughout their day. How do we maintain that connection? By reading God's Word, and meditating on it daily, for Psalm 119:97 says, "Oh, how I love Your law! It is my meditation all the day." Do you read God's Word? Do you enjoy God's Word? Is God's Word changing your life? If your answer is no, I would like for you to pray about reading God's Word everyday. There are many devotionals, such as "Our Daily Bread." Or, if you want a good reading program to get you started, here's my suggestion. Start in one of the Gospels, like Matthew or John. Read about a chapter a day. See how you can put that to use in your daily life. When you get done with John, which is about the life of Jesus Christ, consider reading Psalms, which is about worship. After Psalms, check out Proverbs, which provides wisdom. After Proverbs, read Acts, which talks about the growth of the early church. Read God's Word daily, and watch God work miracles in your life. (Applause)

How will Satan attempt to distract us? Here's what he said at his convention: "Keep them busy in the non-essentials of life and invent unnumbered schemes to occupy their minds." He's doing this so that you cannot think about God, and what He wants for your life. Listen to first Corinthians 10:13, "No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it." Here's how Satan will tempt you. "Tempt them to spend, spend, spend, then, borrow, borrow, borrow." Dave Ramsey could give you more advice on money problems, as many of you who listen to him may know. I don't know how 401Ks or IRAs work, but I do know that Proverbs 22:7 says that "the borrower is servant (or slave) to the lender." Watch how you spend your money, and be sure to give God what is rightfully His, in your tithes and offerings. Young people, when you grow up and are old enough to have credit cards, I say don't use them unless you are capable of paying them off. I've had problems with this in the past. Praise God that I'm over them now. (Light applause.)

Satan also wants to "Convince the wives to go to work and the husbands to work 6 or 7 days a week, 10-12 hours a day, so they can afford their lifestyles." My pastor says that trying to make all the money you can is horrible advice.

Now there are many Christian families in which the husband makes enough money that the wife doesn't have to work. Praise God for that. But I do understand that there are those families in which the husband doesn't make enough so the wife has to work. I have no problem with that. But husbands and wives alike, make sure you give your children the best of your time, because I believe the time you share with them should be some of the best times of your lives. Satan said at his convention that he wants to keep you from spending time with your children. He said that as your family fragments, that your homes "will offer no escape from the pressures of work." Jesus said in Luke 12:34, "For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." Parents, do you treasure the time you have with your children? And young people, in a few years, you might be married. How are you going to raise your children? What will you do like your parents? What will you do different? It's not too early to think about these things, how you will raise your children in the training and admonition of the Lord (Ephesians 6:4).

Many statistics say that most children who do not trust Jesus by age 18 never will. Are you up to the challenge young people? (Light cheering.) Satan also wants to over stimulate your minds so that you cannot hear the still small voice of God. He wants you to play the radio or cassette player whenever you drive. He also wants you to keep the TV, VCR, and CD's going constantly in your homes. And he wants to see that "every store and restaurant in the world plays music constantly," in order to jam your minds, and break your union with Christ. Now there's nothing wrong with a little TV, a few video tapes, and some CDs when you need music. But if you can spend the first minutes of your day in your Bible, and with God in prayer, Satan has already lost half the battle. And make sure you have more fellowship with your brothers and sisters in Christ, not just whenever the church doors are open, but get together more often with them. Open some of your houses every once in awhile and have people from your Sunday school class over. Have prayer meetings. Reflect on God's goodness with one another. These could be the best times of your lives right now if you make them. (More cheering and appaluse.)

The next part is my Achilles' Heel, to put it honestly. Satan wants his angels to "Fill their coffee tables with magazines and newspapers. Pound their minds with the news 24 hours a day." I don't know about you, but I am a news buff. I love to read USA Today, and I like listening to Rush Limbaugh and Paul Harvey. Again, nothing wrong with them, and I hope you will pay some attention to the news everyday, but the Lord Jesus Christ made news about 2000 years ago, and we're STILL talking about Him today. (Standing ovation.) Thank God for that. My pastor, Dr. Adrian Rogers, sometimes says that the Bible is "more up to date than today's newspaper." I still haven't figuered out what he means by that, but I will say that the Bible is STILL relevant for today, and that the blood of Jesus STILL saves us from our sins today. Can I get a witness in here? (Another standing ovation with chants of "JESUS! JESUS!")

Satan goes on to say, "Invade their driving moments with billboards. Flood their mailboxes with junk mail, sweepstakes, mail order catalogues, and every kind of newsletter and promotional offering, free products, services, and false hopes." Now I don't pay that much attention to the billboards when driving. There will be a billboard once in awhile that will catch my attention. But much of the junk mail I hardly ever use. I say that about 95% of it is useless to me. I don't know how it is with anyone else in here. But the last two words of that sentence caught my eye, that of "false hopes." God has said to His Church in Hebrews 13:5, "I will never leave you nor forsake you." If God is for us, who can be against us? (More cheering.)

Then Satan talked about our fitness and extra activities. He said, "Even in their recreation, let them be excessive. Have them return from their recreation exhausted, disquieted, and unprepared for the coming week." Now we all need exercise, and I hope you get enough. We all need to get out sometime and hang out. But sometimes we overdo it. Just know when you need to slow down. Just because you're not involved in every activity your Sunday School ministry does, doesn't mean you're any less important. Be in all that you can, but know when you need to rest. Paul said it best in 1 Corinthians 6:19 when he says that your body is the "temple of the Holy Spirit." And Paul also says 1 Thessalonians 5:19 to "not quench the Spirit." We often think about that in the spiritual sense, but if we are physically weak, what does that say about ourselves spiritually? (Light applause.)

Oh, and Satan doesn't want us to go out in nature. He would like for us to go to amusement parks, sporting events, concerts, and movies instead. Now I know that many churches often have retreats for people of all age groups, so I would recommend that every Christian should go on one of these at least once a year, if at all possible. Enjoy nature, enjoy the fellowship or brothers and sisters in Christ, and enjoy the presence of the living God. (Applause)

Satan also said "And when they meet for spiritual fellowship, involve them in gossip and small talk, so that they leave with troubled consciences and unsettled emotion." My friends, that right there could break fellowships and churches if we are not careful. Paul said in Colossians 4:6, to "Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one." This was a struggle even for me in my early years as a Christian. But prayer can break all of this, if we believe that with God, nothing shall be impossible. (Loud cheering.) Satan then said "Let them be involved in soul-winning." (A few loud outbursts of cheer around the crowd.) Amen! (Laughter)

That's probably the best thing Satan said in his whole convention. But he told his angels to crowd our lives with so many good causes, that we have no time to seek power from Christ. And as a result of that, we would be working in our own strength, sacrificing our health and family unity for the good of the cause. My friends, the cause of Christ is not only a good cause, it's a great cause. (Amens and applause throughout the building.) But we must be praying for God to give us those opportunites. We must call upon the power of the Holy Spirit to empower us to do the will of God, and to see those witnessing opportunities flourish, that we might see souls saved. (Applause)

The news report on Satan's Convention ended like this. "It was quite a convention in the end. And the evil angels went eagerly to their assignments causing Christians everywhere to get busy, busy, busy, and rush here and there." I say let's not get careless, but let's know who we are in Christ, be the kind of people God wants us to be, and to do the works of God under the anointing of the Holy Spirit. Would you stand to your feet and bow with me in prayer? (Everybody stands and bows in prayer.) To those of you in this building, and to those of you watching on TV (and in addition, those of you reading this article of an imaginary event), if you have never given your heart to Jesus Christ, to come into life to forgive your sins, I would invite you to do that at this moment. The Bible says "For whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved." (Romans 10:13, NKJV)

So if the Holy Spirit has convicted you, and you want Jesus Christ to become your Lord and Savior, pray the following prayer:

Dear God, I confess that I am a sinner. Lord Jesus, I believe that You are the Son of God, and that You died on the cross for my sins. And right now Lord Jesus, I am placing my total trust in You. Lord Jesus, come into my heart, forgive me of my sins, and save me Lord Jesus. From this day forward, I will live for You. Thank You for saving me, In Jesus' Name, Amen.

If you have just said that prayer, welcome to the Family of God. You have just made the most important decision in your lifetime. The first thing I would like for you to do is e-mail me. My e-mail address, if you're on America Online, is ChristianFireJoe@aol.com. If you're not on AOL, e-mail me at SurveyJoe@aol.com. When you write me, put in the subject area: I Have Trusted Jesus. I would love to rejoice with you, and I would like to send you some information concerning baptism and church membership. This is the #1 way to identify your relationship with Christ.

Some of you may already be Christians, you know Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, but you know that you're not living for God. You may have forsaken God's Word. But God still loves you, and He wants to be in control of your life again. Jesus Christ invites you to come home to Him. The Bible says in 1 John 1:9 that "if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."

Do you need to get right with God? Then pray this prayer:

Dear God, I confess that I have sinned against You. Please forgive me Lord. Lord Jesus, I want to place You first in my life again. Make me into the person You want me to be. I pray this in Jesus' Name, Amen.

If you have just said this prayer, and have given your life back to Jesus, and you're serious about serving God again, I'd like to know about that too. E-mail me at ChristianFireJoe@aol.com on AOL, or SurveyJoe@aol.com if you're not on AOL, and place in the subject area: Rededication to Christ. I'd love to rejoice with you as well. Then you'll have the ability serve God as best you know how, with all of your heart, mind, soul, and strength.

As my speech at the Jesus Convention concluded (and it will need some fine tuning before I really give it if that time comes, so if you have comments, e-mail me some "Fireback"), I ended by saying "To God be the Glory, Great Things He Has Done! Thank you very much, God Bless You All!!" (All cheering.)

REPORTER: You have just heard from Joe Morris, the founder of Christian Fire Ministries, God Bless You and STAY ON FIRE FOR CHRIST!!!

Good night everyone.