On November 18, 2012, “Power of love” church, which is a daughter church of “The Embassy of the Blessed Kingdom of God for All Nations” in Svyatoshin’s district of Kiev, celebrated its 12th Anniversary.
It was a truly amicable family’s feast-day, which was not visited only by relatives in Jesus Christ from different parts of Ukraine, but also from Russia.
There were pastors, along with brothers and sisters from daughter churches of “Power of love”: Pastor Pavel Levchenko with his spouse; and brothers and sisters from the church in the town of Kotsiubinskoe, pastor Oxana Tsaban from the church in Krasnodar city (Russia), pastor Olga Khutornaya from the church in Goryachy Klyuch city (Russia), pastor Galina Demina from the church of Makarov city of Kievskaya oblast (province). Like an inseparable part of “Power of love” church’s family, they brought with them gifts and warm words of congratulations.
But the bishop of God Embassy churches Anatoly Timofeevich Belonozhko, who brought with him a magnificent word on God’s wisdom, became the most important guest at the feast. And, of course, like a welcoming hostess of the feast and spiritual mother for brothers and sisters of “Power of love” church and its daughter churches, Pastor Larisa Nikolayevna Krivoruchko greeted the guests of the feast.
12 years it is not a short period, and during this time, God has moved miraculously through the church in this part of Kiev. Ministers of the church have given the following testimonies about it:
Helena Remniova was helped by God to become a successful and prosperous person and to take an active, civil position in society;
A married couple – Vladimir and Lyudmila Kachkalda, who through attending this church obtained a close relationship with Jesus Christ and each other. And some time later, God gave them two wonderful sons: Volodya and Misha, about whom they testified.
A substantial concert program awaited for the attendees of the feast. There were many musical performances, dances and also a theatrical ministry which presented a scene based on the fairy tale of Lewis Carroll “Alice’s Adventures in the Wonderland”. However, our Alice from Kiev had a special relationship with the Great, Omnipotent and Loving God, and through this she caused all the anti-heroes of the fairy tale to know Him.
But the Anniversary’s central event in “Power of love” church was the anointed sermon by Bishop Anatoliy Belonozhko on the theme “False and real Christianity”.
“How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!”
That’s very important – to be attentive to the Word of God. It is capable of resurrecting us from the death, of changing our life. It is a light. It is our food. It is nutrition for our spirit. I understood that there are real things in the life and there are counterfeit ones. The real and false things we meet in all spheres of our life. There is real money and counterfeit money, or real and false medicines. Some industrial companies produce good, quality products, but there are also some companies, which produce defective articles, but present them as if they are of good quality. The most offensive issue in this case is an intention of counterfeit things to be similar to real ones; they present themselves as though they are authentic.
Of course, it is possible in any city to buy a good copy of any famous artist’s picture for some hundreds of grivnas, while the estimated cost of its original is in the millions of US dollars. It is quite a common “normal” thing. This phenomenon becomes abnormal, when it begins to spread within Christianity. Let’s read one more time the verse from the first Epistle of Apostle John:
“How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!” 1 John 3:1
Pay attention to the phrases: “we should be called” and “that is what we are”. The concepts “to be called” and “to be” are completely different. There are many persons in Christianity, who call themselves “Christians”. The majority of Ukrainians call themselves “Christians”. In our country almost every person will say: “I’m a Christian because I have a cross on my neck, I’m a Christian because I was baptized in my infancy”, etc. These things are all good, but are they the criteria of a real Christian
There are four criteria, which will help us to understand if we are real Christians or not.
The life of a Christian must have been radically changed. And if the person’s life has not experienced any change, he/she cannot be considered a real Christian. Yes, this person can be called a Christian, but he/she cannot be a Christian in essence.
Many people go by the broad road. It means that a person declares to know the truth by his understanding and figures out for himself what he has to do. It path where there is no responsibility or duty, but there are only rights. It is a way without any goal. And it is a life outside of Christ.
We can see a lot of changes realized through biblical anti-heroes in the Old Testament, and in the New Testament. Such persons are Paul, Peter, Abraham, David, and others. Their lives are divided into two parts: before repentance, and after repentance. God gave us a narrow road leading to life. It is a narrow road. It is a road where a person is being reshaped. It is a road that does not destruct, but builds. An indicator of a real Christian is the changed life. And I can’t call a r a person who considers himself to be a believer while he continues to smoke and drink, a real Christian, yet in his life nothing is changing.
It is written:
“…anyone who is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” 2 Corinthians 5:17
Draw a line! Burn all bridges that connected you with sins, with persons who seduce you. Draw a line through all these things and begin a new life. The old has gone and the new has come: new world view, new values, new view of wife and children, etc.
Church. Our church is like an army, and it’s like a family too. There are not to be either bad or good persons in the family. It cannot be that the one is accepted, and the other is not. Anybody is welcome here. Otherwise, it would be equal to saying that one can be a real Christian only by becoming a church member.
“So for a whole year Barnabas and Saul met with the church and taught great numbers of people. The disciples were called Christians first at Antioch”. Acts 11:26
But what does belonging to a church mean? It means regularly attending church. A true believer must have a pastor. He has to serve in the church as well. Serving is a part of belonging. The Word of God says:
“Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms”. 1 Peter 4:10
The phrase “each one” is principal here. Each one serves with a talent he has. We have to serve in a certain sphere of activity, and by this we show that the church is our house. Tithes and offerings also demonstrate our belonging to the church. And we endeavor to adhere to the church’s code of conduct; and strive to help achieve the goals and objective of church.
Written by Vitaliy Snezhik
Edited by Kizito Leacock