It’s Time to Reopen Our Churches – R. Loren Sandford

It’s Time to Reopen Our Churches – R. Loren Sandford
Posted by in Facebook's Pentecostal Theology Group View the Original Post

A DAY OF REGATHERING – PENTECOST SUNDAY

[Churches everywhere, let us stand in solidarity, declaring this Pentecost Sunday, May 31 a Day of the Regathering of the Churches, and each do so. The message below from pastor/prophet/author R Loren Sandford (being republished with permission) I truly believe is God’s will. Please spread the word and share it to your page so this message goes viral and brings unity of purpose. Note, that emphasis is mine. – Ray E Horton]:

IT’S TIME TO REOPEN OUR CHURCHES
by R. Loren Sandford

Pentecost Sunday is coming up May 31. It’s a special day and I want to tell you why.

Many prophetic voices, going all the way back to David Wilkerson in the 1980s up through today, have been prophesying that this coronavirus crisis will be followed by a great outpouring of the Holy Spirit. I don’t like setting dates for such things. We’ve seen too many prophecies with dates attached come and go without real fulfillment, but I do believe the greatest outpouring of the Spirit of God in history is coming and I don’t believe it will be long before we see it unfold.

Churches everywhere, let us stand in solidarity, declaring this Pentecost Sunday, May 31 a Day of the Regathering of the Churches

Some say it will actually begin on this coming Pentecost Sunday, May 31. I can’t verify that. I can’t say that God has spoken this to me, but this I do know. That date is significant. Historically, Pentecost Sunday is the day the church remembers and celebrates the outpouring of God’s Spirit and the baptism in the Spirit that John the Baptist prophesied before Jesus began His earthly ministry.

It was the day that the sound of a mighty rushing wind filled the upper room where the 120 were gathered. It was the day that flames appeared on their heads and they began speaking in tongues, praising God in languages they had not learned. The power of it drove them out of seclusion in the upper room into the street to become witnesses for Jesus, making disciples of all the nations. Three thousand men and their families came to Jesus that day because of the power they received.

All across this nation and the world, churches have been forbidden to gather during this crisis. Most have willingly complied with government orders while at the same time a chorus of voices have risen, at least in the United States, to protest this violation of our first amendment rights to freedom of religion and freedom of assembly. Most have gone along with it because they believed they were saving lives, and because they believed they should submit to the governing authorities, but as the days and weeks have passed, both the issue of whether we are actually saving lives and the issue of submission have been legitimately called into question.

Online church can never substitute for eyeball to eyeball ministry

Now in many states businesses are gradually being allowed to open. Marijuana shops and liquor stores never did close. They were deemed “essential services” by our government officials while churches were ordered to remain shut. We were labeled “non-essential”. We were supposed to be content with going online, but going online will never be a satisfying substitute for in-person contact and eyeball to eyeball ministry to one another in an atmosphere of the presence of God.

Some states – and yes, I will say states ruled by Democrats – have forbidden churches to open for many more months to come. But the worship of God and the gathering of the saints is indeed an essential service for the mental and emotional health of a stressed out and fearful people. We need that touch of God and the encouragement of fellowship face to face and eyeball to eyeball. As human beings we’re built for this. It’s the way God made us.

I am therefore now choosing to exert whatever influence I have to call for May 31, Pentecost Sunday, to be a day of regathering across this nation and even the world. Already 500 churches in California, where the governor has stated that churches cannot meet for the better part of three more months, have composed a letter to the governor of their state declaring that they will open their churches on Pentecost Sunday, May 31.

I urge churches across this nation and the world to do two things.

1) Rise up and declare May 31, Pentecost Sunday a day a day of regathering. Declare it a day when we worship together in person once more, a day when, if need be, we obey God rather than men

2) In the runup to that day, inundate the president, governors, mayors and county commissioners with letters and emails calling upon them to lift the restriction on churches. Let them know that whether or not they respond, the saints will gather.

Pastors, write these letters. Lay people write these letters.

I’m not calling for anger or a spirit of rebellion. My own church has been meeting for several weeks now in person, but we have observed social distancing guidelines, six feet between family units, hand sanitizing at the door, and masks for those who want them. And we encourage people experiencing any kind of symptoms to stay home. We do all this even though it reduces our seating capacity by 2/3. Because of the atmosphere of fear that has gripped the nation, most of our people have been fearful to come out and have watched online, but the 1/3 who have chosen to be present have attended some very powerful services of worship. And not a single person in our flock has been infected – not one as of this date.

I could be tempted to believe that these restrictions on churches are part of a conspiracy to silence the church. I don’t believe, however, that any of the political leaders who have handed down these executive orders for closure have consciously attempted anything like a deliberate attempt to shut down the witness of the church. I prefer to believe that they have been functionally blind to the value of the church for the health of society. They simply don’t know Jesus.

Demonic powers are trying to silence the voice of God

I do know that behind all of this, in the realm of the spirit, these closures have been motivated and driven demonically. As the devil has deceived well-meaning people it has been an attempt by demonic powers and principalities to silence the voice of God as He speaks through the church. It won’t work.

It’s time for us to rise up in authority as the apostles did in Acts 5 and say no. The governing body of the Jews ordered them to stop teaching in Jesus’ name. Here are the pertinent verses: “‘We gave you strict orders not to continue teaching in this name, and yet, you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and intend to bring this man’s blood upon us.’ But Peter and the apostles answered, ‘We must obey God rather than men‘” (Acts 5:28-29).

Open your churches on Pentecost Sunday. Write the governing authorities and ask them to lift restrictions. Let them know that you will be meeting anyway, regardless of whether or not they do. Maybe, like Peter and the apostles, some of us will suffer a flogging for moving forward, but, “...they went on their way from the presence of the Council, rejoicing that they had been considered worthy to suffer shame for His name” (Acts 5:41).

Open ALL churches this Pentecost Sunday

Please let this … go viral. Post it. Copy it. Share it. Let a movement rise. I think one is already under way so please help expand it. Make a declaration. Let our voices be heard. There is power in oneness.

Ray E Horton

Serving the Lord as encourager, reconciler, intercessor and prophetic teacher of God's Word, primarily in person and on Facebook, as well as writer and editor. Beyond, or as part of, the Ministry of Reconciliation that we are all called to, I am serving the Lord and His people as a minister of prayer at a local church, and encouraging the brethren locally among people I know, and worldwide on Facebook

18 Comments

  • Troy Day
    Reply May 12, 2020

    Troy Day

    Demonic powers are trying to silence the voice of God is NOT the proper thesis on this one CA govt got pretty tough perhaps as they should have – I am not sure on this one all the way

    At the same time Sandford and the said 3000 churches were quite adn silent All and while other preachers were arrested – – – now is too late to get on the martyr train but nice try…

    As to our own TN churches I wandered long while they felt compelled to close doors and just shut down | So much for the Bible BELT of America Few grand for 501c3 A loan here and there and hush the preachers went into hiding

    They said a good shepherd take care of his sheep by NOT gathering them Thank GOD this is NOT in the Bible Then TN church did drive through prayers Pictures of members on chairs and so on nonsense Oh well – what a few grand for the church and a PPP loan can do

    10-4 and out https://www.redstate.com/alexparker/2020/05/08/california-church-united-reopen-pentecost-sunday-defiance-gavin-newsom/amp/

    • Ray E Horton
      Reply May 12, 2020

      Ray E Horton

      I think you are being quite unfair. Sandford was not silent! He took a good and balanced position as behooves a man of God. He posted on April 4 –

      R Loren Sandford: “I’m working on the sermon for tomorrow, but I want to post something of an exhortation before I continue. VARYING CONVICTIONS.

      “During this crisis, committed Christians who pray and seek God will come to different personal convictions concerning things like meeting together.

      “Rodney Howard Browne was arrested last week for holding services in violation of the state guidelines. Yes, he did much to enforce social distancing, but it didn’t happen in the sanctuary where people were crowded together. That was what got him into trouble, but he did what he believed God was telling him to do.

      “Our church will be open this week as per the exemption granted in the state decrees, provided there is social distancing, which we will strictly enforce. My personal conviction is that many people are at the point of needing to be physically present for their emotional, mental and spiritual well being. I believe that holding an open service this Sunday is what God has called me to do.

      “Some of my congregation, however, even on my team, feel that in order not to cause offense among unbelieving friends or to prevent the possible spread of the virus, they must stay home and watch online. They’ve prayed and sought the Lord and this is what they feel they have from God.

      “I want to admonish all of us in the body of Christ that we RESPECT WHAT EACH OF US HAS COME TO IN OUR CONVICTIONS. I want to hear no criticism or mocking of Rodney Howard Browne. I bless the members of my own flock who might disagree with the decision to open our house of worship this Sunday. I respect their personal convictions and will not sit in judgment of whether they are right or wrong. LET THIS BE A SEASON OF RESPECT AND HONOR FOR ONE ANOTHER and the convictions each of us holds.

      “There is no place right now for division of any sort. This plays into the hands of the enemy of our soul in this hour when we must stand together in unity.”

    • Troy Day
      Reply May 12, 2020

      Troy Day

      Ray E Horton well just my c2 There were other preachers in CA who have written the governor and openly opposed the harsh restrictions while he just shut services down

    • Ray E Horton
      Reply May 12, 2020

      Ray E Horton

      Troy Day BTW, Sandford and New Song Church are in Colorado.

    • Troy Day
      Reply May 12, 2020

      Troy Day

      Ray E Horton preachers got arrested in FL and LA In CA pastoral visits and care were ordered to stop I did not hear from him any Its easy to call the shots from CO

      He referred to CA though in his letter

      I am therefore now choosing to exert whatever influence I have to call for May 31, Pentecost Sunday, to be a day of regathering across this nation and even the world. Already 500 churches in California, where the governor has stated that churches cannot meet for the better part of three more months, have composed a letter to the governor of their state declaring that they will open their churches on Pentecost Sunday, May 31.

    • Ray E Horton
      Reply May 12, 2020

      Ray E Horton

      And, did he hear from you 🙂

    • Troy Day
      Reply May 12, 2020

      Troy Day

      Ray E Horton I hope so Lots of Pentecostals read our website globally so one can never really know

    • Ray E Horton
      Reply May 12, 2020

      Ray E Horton

      R Loren Sandford
      March 27 ·
      “Christians need to stop picking at one another over decisions made during this crisis. I have personally been attacked for holding any meetings at all at the church, even though we’ve been in compliance with local and state decrees from the start. But I’ve also been attacked for NOT defying the orders, for NOT holding open worship services at the church. Whichever side of this you’re on, stop it! This is definitely not the time.”

    • Troy Day
      Reply May 12, 2020

      Troy Day

      not sure what such allusive language tells me

      ??? have personally been attacked for holding any meetings at all at the church ???

      here it was plain and simple MARCH 31, 2020 🙂

      http://www.pentecostaltheology.com/today-we-are-all-rodney-howard-browne/

  • Troy Day
    Reply May 12, 2020

    Troy Day

  • Troy Day
    Reply May 12, 2020

    Troy Day

    BTW Ray I do hope churches listen to him and open

  • Troy Day
    Reply May 13, 2020

    Troy Day

    Peter Vandever Ray E Horton I was ALL for keeping churches in service – not just open Now however I am all for control open – this chaotic open and go is worse than just close em all IMO https://www.chicagotribune.com/coronavirus/ct-nw-anthony-fauci-senate-hearing-coronavirus-20200512-b4ayagysanbtjn3cuxeooutc2u-story.html?fbclid=IwAR0W9nWgiH5IJTejbX7RnTcJjen2BnQkksC06tovhXdnK-qIWMXJlD0VbZk

    • Peter Vandever
      Reply May 13, 2020

      Peter Vandever

      Troy Day Dr Falsely is a clown

    • Troy Day
      Reply May 13, 2020

      Troy Day

      Peter Vandever and is clowning around pretty well but so are most preachers nowadays

  • Troy Day
    Reply May 13, 2020

    Troy Day

    Joe Absher Joseph Castillo what did you gather from the Supreme Court hearing yesterday ?

  • Joe Absher
    Reply May 13, 2020

    Joe Absher

    Them is some tough lawyers

  • Troy Day
    Reply May 13, 2020

    Troy Day

  • Troy Day
    Reply May 13, 2020

    Troy Day

    Despite such hostility, something positive is taking place.
    Fox News reported that one ministry alone has seen 117,000 salvations during the Covid-19 as of May
    7, the date of the National Day of Prayer. The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association set up a prayer
    line early during the crisis, and they have received 80,000 calls in a matter of weeks, and thousands
    have come to Christ. The Crisis and Referral Line, which normally receives 200,000 calls annually and
    sees 20,000 conversions, has seen a significant increase in both calls and conversions. https://www.cnn.com/2020/05/13/politics/brian-kemp-coronavirus-georgia-poll/index.html

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