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Friday, February 18, 2011

‘A Word to the End Times Church’ by Georgie Newman – Book Review and Giveaway

No one knows the day or the hour that Jesus will return to earth, but I am always interested in learning what others think about the topic, and how they interpret what will happen. In ‘A Word to the End Time Church,’ Georgie Newman shares her thoughts after being a Christ follower for over 30 years.

Here is the synopsis of this intriguing book:

Consider this a warning – A Word to the End Time Church – to those yet to establish a relationship with Jesus Christ needing to sincerely consider the claims of the Gospel. It is a warning of false prophets, lukewarm living, depending on an easy-believism gospel and relinquishing our responsibility by following a particular teaching.
Consider this a challenge – to Christians everywhere to check where they stand before the Lord and what they need to do for themselves and other so they do not miss out on the first resurrection.
Consider this a sounding alarm – that we need to prepare for our future based on correctly dividing the Word of God for ourselves, not depending on others interpretation – and an opportunity to prepare for the end to come, no matter what the timing is.
Consider the cost – Our future will be determined by our decisions on this earth, so we need to wake up, take responsibility for what we believe and prepare to endure no matter the cost.
As a collective the human race is rushing towards a culmination of a time that will seal their futures – forever.

Here is the biography of this author:

Georgie Newman lives in Australia and is a mother of three. She has been a part of her church using her unique teaching gifts in youth groups and ladies ministries as well as varying age small groups. As a prayer warrior, she has regularly brought prophetic words to her church and feels God called her in 1990 to “Prepare the Bride” for His return.
Georgie became a Christian over 30 years ago after a supernatural encounter with the Lord and since then her walk has been full of amazing experiences. She has been called to be a mouthpiece and is an integral part of the church. She has often laughed and wondered if her intensive training over the years is just to sound the triangle at the end of the symphony! If so, take note of what she has written.

I love how Georgie opens her book – with a Note to her Readers:

My prayer for you as you embark on reading this book is that your heart will be quickened by what you read, that your soul will be inspired to equip yourself and others, and that the result will be the total immersion of your spirit in Jesus’ presence and the living Word. Only then will you be nourished to the point of saturation and be able to endure the times ahead.
If you wish to run through fire unscathed, you need to saturate yourself in water so there is not one combustible strand the fire can utilize. So too in our lives. When hard times come, especially in the end times, we need to saturate ourselves with the Word and the Spirit so there is not one strand of weakness the enemy can use to bring us down. My prayer is that you will recognize the urgency of equipping yourself by studying the Word, living victoriously, and steadfastly enduring, no matter how the future plays out.

The First Section of the book is entitled ‘How Well Do You Know Him?’ it is important that we accept the free gift of salvation, which came at such a high cost to Jesus. Ms. Newman explains that there are many perks we receive as a result:

The perks of joining this kingdom are too numerous to mention, but listed below are seven foundational benefits:

1.   Escaping the eternal consequences of all that you have even said, thought, and done that was wrong
2.   A relationship with the living God
3.   Peace
4.   God’s Holy Spirit indwelling you, strengthening, guiding, and comforting you
5.   A purpose and destiny for your life
6.   Ensuring your future destination to a place designed for you
7.   Looking forward to a glorious future, free from fear, sickness, sadness, and death (p. 1)

There are many reasons why people don’t accept salvation. The first one mentioned is the belief that people have that God doesn’t exist:

Some people are satisfied with their lives and God is not on their agenda. These people would probably think it was ridiculous not to have a retirement scheme but fail to see the importance of preparing for their eternal “retirement.”
People who believe God doesn’t exist usually have a closed attitude to the possibility that they may be wrong. So to examine the claims of the gospel is unusual. They may have intellectually investigated the question of whether God exists, but He can only be revealed supernaturally by faith as people genuinely search for the truth. (p. 3)

One of the most important topics in the Christian faith in my life is that of grace. Georgie mentions it often in the book; here is one example:

The only way to succeed in this kingdom is by humbly walking in the narrow way, which is only possible by grace. Otherwise, after entering the kingdom, we will not endure or be able to live victoriously.
No matter how mature we may become, we will wrestle with sin as long as we live on this earth, so we need to continually draw on God’s grace. When we do sin, it is important to keep short accounts, asking and accepting God’s forgiveness, which He pours out by His grace. (p. 17)

One of the most valuable chapters in this book is entitled ‘How You Can Hear God Speaking to You.’ Two of the main ways are through the Word of God – the Bible – and through the Holy Spirit. Georgie does make an important point:

The Lord communicates with us in myriad ways. He does not always a write a spectacular message as he did on the wall during Belshazzar’s feast in Daniel 5:1-31. There are far more common ways we can expect to hear from Him.
It is important to be expectant and receptive to hearing the Lord in whatever way He chooses to speak to us. We must not limit God. (pp. 33-34)

Here is what the Bible does for us:

The Bible reveals the nature of God and explains how He wants to relate to humankind. It provides wisdom for us to know how to communicate with the Creator of the universe and provides a blueprint for how we can live a victorious life. It supplies us with the foundation of truth and a yardstick to gauge whether we are hearing correctly.
The Bible is God’s unfailing Word to us. If you believe the Lord is telling you something that goes against what the Bible teaches, don’t act on it.
God speaks to us and teaches us through Scripture. We need to ensure that what we understand the Bible is saying is correct by looking for supporting Scriptures. Scripture that is important to help establish foundational theology will be confirmed by many Bible references. (p. 34)

The second section of this book is entitled ‘Are You Ready?’ Georgie explains that we need to take the steps to be prepared:

This section will help you assess whether you are prepared for one of the greatest events ever to take place in the history of the world.
Building in earthquake areas are constructed with stability in mind. So too in our lives, it is wise to ensure that we are building on solid ground, with materials that are structurally sound.
We can check our foundation by questioning what beliefs we hold, and why. Personally studying the Bible’s teachings can be likened to using material that has proven to stand the test of time. Taking someone else’s word that an interpretation is correct, without personally checking its validity, is like using nonstructural timber in the framework of a building.
Being personally responsible for what we believe strengthens us to mature. Maturity and wisdom will safeguard us from presumption, wrong teaching, enemy attacks, and times of wavering. We will rely on faith rather than fear. (p. 73)

Being a marathoner, I enjoyed Chapter 12, ‘How Are You Running the Race?’:

As a spectator we may admire a marathon runner and aspire to be like him as we see him run in the public arena, receiving the adulation of the crowd. But how often do we consider the supreme sacrifice these runners pay to attain the status that qualifies them to run in these elite races, winning worldwide recognition and attaining coveted trophies?
We know there is a pain barrier that marathon runners need to run through to finish a race. But do we really think about how bad that would be? Do you realize that many athletes train to the point of vomiting?
Running well the Christian race will win us a prize worth far more than any earthly reward. Yet as soon as we experience the first twinge of pain, many of us draw back. Marathon runners shun pain and distractions,  because the most important things to them is to win.
Is winning the most important thing in your life? Just as marathon runners are single minded in their endeavors to win, so too must we be. We need self-discipline, not only to train but to endure. A passion not to be distracted or double minded. A willingness to suffer the pain no matter the cost. (pp. 81-82)

One point on which Ms. Newman and I differ is addressed in Chapter 13, ‘Is It True: Once Saved Always Saved?’ I happen to believe that nothing can take away our salvation once we accept that free gift. Georgie disagrees. I do agree with her summary of the chapter:

No matter what the subject, do not build on sand by accepting someone else’s opinion, embracing a church fad, or emotively accepting doctrine with only a couple of Scripture references to support it. Use wisdom to confirm whether what you believe is indeed truth, especially doctrine that can affect your eternal destiny or your daily walk. Through challenging our beliefs can be difficult, it is far better to do so than to be misled. Let each of us rise up and take on the responsibility of studying the Word for ourselves. (p. 92)

I loved her invitation in Chapter 24:

Do you want to accept this offer that is too good to refuse? If so, are you willing to admit that you are not perfect, to change any attitudes and behaviors that are self-centered or damaging to yourself and others, and be born again, becoming a new creation in Christ? Are you prepared to commit 100 percent, no turning back? If so, ask Jesus to forgive you for all the things you have said and thought and done that have been wrong and ask Him to cleanse you completely. Acknowledge Him as your Lord and Savior and invite Him into your heart. (p. 147)

I found this book to be informative to the new believer and a strong reminder for the long-time Christ follower. I thank Georgie for sharing her wisdom with the readers of this book.  

This book was published by VMI Publishers, and provided by Bring It On! Communications for review and giveaway purposes.

You can order this book here.

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