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Items filtered by date: October 2014

Horizonte Ministries November Update

 

What is Horizonte Ministries?

We know that most of the people that receive this prayer letter are well acquainted with what we are doing in Mexico, but we wanted to make a video that really put faces to the names. Please select the link below and as you watch this video be encouraged to know that this is part of what God is doing through your prayers and support! 

Bible College construction update

We are building the bible college in two phases: Phase one will house up to 100 people, and phase two will house up to 800 people. We are now building the final dorm in phase one which will increase our capacity up to 100 people living on campus! We are so excited to see all the people that are being trained through the Bible College! 

 

Music by Evelyn 

As we look to communicate more with friends and supporters we want to give you a bit of a snapshot into who we are. My wife is one of the worship leaders for our church and she recently recorded an acoustic session. I know it’s in Spanish but I am sure you will be blessed as you listen!

 Traveling and Speaking Engagements

Thank you so much for your prayers! God is opening doors for me to speak at various churches!  I’ve had the privilege to speak at Horizon North County, at the Calvary Church Planting Conference, and at one of the Regional pastor’s conferences in Mexico in which Pastor Mike Macintosh attended and spoke as well. At our first pastors conference we had 12 churches and 30 people attended.  God has blessed the movement so much that we now have 100 churches and therefore need to have 6 regional conferences! Please pray as this includes a pretty busy traveling schedule!

Thank you so much for taking the time to pray and be involved!

God bless!

Jonathan 

 

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!Halloween! SATANIC OR INNOCENT?

Halloween!

SATANIC OR INNOCENT?

We all know that "Halloween" has dark roots, and just seeing that it is celebrated with skulls, witches, mummies, and vampires tells us it is a celebration of darkness.  The question then arises: Is it wrong to get involved in the festivities of Halloween or the Day of the Dead? I want to present a different way of looking at Halloween:  We may reject it, receive it or redeem it.

Rejecting it

 This is an option that you can consider.  There are many Christians who say "Halloween is from the devil and I want nothing to do with it.”  This is a valid position. The Bible says,”what fellowship can light have with darkness?”  (2 Corinthians 6:14)  The answer is, none.  

Receiving it

There are Christians who receive Halloween with no problem, their sons dress up as the "chupacabras" and their daughters as "lucifer," and their mentality is that there is nothing wrong with it. I do not think this is right and I definitely don’t think that we should receive it in this manner.

The third option is where I want to focus.  As Christians, the option exists to not reject it or receive it, but to redeem it.

Redeem it

This means that there have to be some changes; in other words, we cannot accept it in the same manner as the culture does. We should not rejoice in darkness nor should we love death, but I think we can redeem Halloween and use it for the glory of God. Many of the holidays we have (Christmas and Easter) have pagan roots but they have been redeemed and now we celebrate Christ in those days.

How can we redeem it?

Celebrating the fact that God saved us from death, hell, and the His wrath. If we are going to wear costumes, we can do it in a way that celebrates the light of Christ (for children this can be angels and biblical characters, including superheroes and princesses. These things do not exalt the darkness.)

We can practice generosity. You can tell the kids that come to your neighborhoods that Jesus loves them and give them lots of candy. The worst thing you can do is tell kids “You look ugly dressed up as Dracula!” or “I'm not giving you anything because I am a Christian!”  Better to tell them that Jesus has already saved them from darkness and be generous. It is also a good opportunity to have alternative Halloween events where kids can dress up, play games, and get candy without having to be part of something as negative as Halloween.

My concern is that those who reject Halloween judge those who are trying to redeem it, saying " Oh what pagans!" and those redeeming Halloween belittle those who reject it by, saying "Oh how legalistic!"

Let’s be clear, Halloween itself celebrates death, but this 31 of October let’s celebrate the life that there is in Christ.  If you want to celebrate it in your room praying alone and reading the Bible, do it, and if you want to celebrate it by dressing up and eating sweets for the glory of God, go ahead.


Jonathan Domingo

 

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EBOLA

C h r i s t i a n s are very weird.

We have a double standard. When there is an earthquake in Haiti, we say: "It was divine judgment for all your witchcraft" and when a church burns we say "We have to resist Satanic attack."

When the Twin Towers were attacked, people said, "That’s what happens to America for taking God out of the schools," but when a Christian loses his health, we began to rebuke the enemy's work. 

We assume that if something bad happens to someone good, it’s a Satanic attack and if something bad happens to someone bad, they are getting what they deserve.

Do not forget that we all deserve the bad, and if at any point in time something good happens, it is solely a work of grace and not something that we have produced or deserve.

How about when things happen and affect not only one nation or continent, but the whole world? Things like AIDS, Ebola, or the H1N1 virus? Is this the way that God is "judging the world?"  Or is this something that God doesn’t want to happen and is actually a Satanic work?

There are two extremes and the goal is to find a biblical balance. One extreme is that God is sovereign, everything that happens is what God WANTS to happen. The other extreme says that God has nothing to do with the bad things that happen and it is from the devil.

What is the Biblical view? God is Sovereign.

This is another way of expressing what the Bible says from cover to cover:  God is almighty and there is no power that can oppose him. He has dominion over absolutely everything. This does not mean that everything that happens is what God wants, but it does mean that whatever happens, He has allowed it.

Satan gives accounts to God.

If God is almighty, that means that Satan is not an autonomous entity. Satan has to submit to the power of God. Therefore, before Satan could take Job’s health, he needed God’s permission. Jesus said that hell was prepared for Satan and his angels and it says in Revelation that they will be tormented in the presence of the Lamb. This means that Jesus has authority over Satan in hell, and in a few words, in everything. There is nothing that operates outside the power of God. 

God created a perfect world.

We see that the Bible does not attribute evil to God, but it is human sin that has produced futility in the world, and Satan who is reigning in the air. What seems to be is that although God is sovereign, He has given man space to spoil the world so that He can be the redeeming hero.

God will perfect the world

God has allowed Ebola, but the reality is we as humans and Satan as the prince of the air, are responsible for any negative element in the world. God's desire is to renew the world. The end of the world is not its destruction, it will be renewed and purified by fire and the results will be a perfect world without sin, injustice, or evil.

The reality is that everything bad that happens is the result of the sins we have produced, but God works supernaturally on behalf of our bad choices to produce something that brings Him glory.

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THANK YOU

As many know, Odile, a category three hurricane impacted Los Cabos, Baja California Sur, a couple weeks ago leaving many homeless, so we felt led by God to open our accounts to anyone who wanted to make a donation.  Thanks to your support we were able to help two churches and through them they were able to help those in need. 

We appreciate your support. 

God bless.

 

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WHAT I LIKED ABOUT THE MOVIE "NOAH"

WHAT I LIKED ABOUT THE MOVIE "NOAH" 

Let me start by saying this: if you expect to go see a biblical movie you will be terribly disappointed. I went knowing that it was going to be a movie that had very little to do with the Bible and, if I'm honest, I learned a lot. I'm not saying it's a movie I'll see again or that I loved.  It did have parts that I liked a lot, like the scenes of silhouettes and Russel Crowe's performance. I want to share some things I learned by watching this movie.

The director believes that creation is more important than the Creator.

Something that fascinated me (and not because I like the concept but because it helps me to understand people whom I want to reach with the gospel):   In the film, Noah, the sin was not that they were killing humans, or were dishonoring God. The sin that caused God to eliminate mankind was that they were eating meat! This shows me that this world in which we live believes dogs are good and innocent and humans are bad ... well, just meat eaters. The love and respect seems to keep increasing for animals rather than humans. In the United States you can abort a baby but if you take an egg of a sea turtle they will send you to jail.  In Romans it says that man worships the creation over the Creator. Although I do not like this concept, the film Noah helps me see the terrible reality that many humans feel more remorse for hurting an animal than offending God.

Christians get angry because Hollywood messes up, but they don’t care when a child’s Bible is wrong.

As I said, the film did not follow the biblical story, and I didn’t have hope that it would. But one of the criticisms I heard a lot was that Noah was represented in a very negative way because he believed that all humans, including his own family should die. The frustration was because he followed the logic that if humans are guilty, he is guilty, and also his family, and they needed to die. The story of Noah is not like most stories told to children, where they say "Noah was a good person and that’s why God loved him. Do you want God to love you and not kill you? Be a good person. “That goes against the whole Bible and people do not mind when they really distort the main message of the Bible.

Misplaced expectations.

There are two views, one that is shared by my good friend Chuy Bustamante (Worship Leader and Pastor of Horizonte Qro) on my Facebook page which said: Actually I expected the story of the Bible, I did not know that the director was an Atheist, and I’m amazed that they don’t have a problem mixing truth with falsehood pertaining to the Bible, (unlike books like Tolkien, JK Rolling which are respected almost 100%) But what can we hope for, the good thing is that the subject lends itself to preach the Gospel.

And I agree, it’s not the same to change The Lord of the Rings and the Bible. And I rejoice that an Atheist has made ​​a movie that has so many people who know nothing about God reading Genesis. But at the same time understand that if you make a film 100% as the Bible says, it would be a 10 minute movie (because the Bible gives very little information) and it would not have enough material to make the production level as good as what was actually done.

Anyway, I cannot say I loved it, I can only say that it was very interesting and it did not bore me. If you want to see a Bible story do not see it, if you want to have a look at the artistic and cultural story of an atheist whichwill help you understand a secular mind, than you will be very interested.

 


 

Jonathan Domingo

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ARE YOU A KING?

ARE YOU A KING?

And made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

Revelation 1: 6

We are Kings!

God has made you a king, that is what it says here, but something is strange, the word in the original is used 72 times in the New Testament and only 3 times is it translated to mean Kings, Interesting, the rest of the time it translates into kingdom, that's the same word used by John the Baptist, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand".  I think we will be kings; the Bible says that we will judge the nations and the angels. I do believe at the second coming of Jesus we will be kings, but I don’t think that’s what John is referring to in this section. I do not think the 100-year old man who is on an island crushing rocks is saying I am a king!, then, What is he trying to say?

We belong to the perfect kingdom.

The problem is that many preachers use this phrase to imply that you should be treated like royalty, "you're a princess or you are a prince", "you are a child of the King" and "who dares to treat you badly?" Tell that to John the Baptist. When he preached this message he was slain.  Tell this to John the apostle who was boiled in oil while he was alive, as he was writing, possibly with weak fingers, weak hands because of the burns he suffered. 

 

No friend, they are not going to treat you like royalty and if you expect to be treated like royalty because you are a Christian, you are sadly mistaken, you will be treated like trash but it will be worth it, because we belong to a King who is so beautiful, so great and so glorious who loved us and washed us so that no matter how we are treated we have God on our side

"If God is for us, who can be against us?"

That is the reality, and let's not be distracted by things that are temporary and focus on the eternal, that is that we have Jesus and if we have Jesus, what else do we want? If He loved us and washed us and made us kings then let them treat us however they want.  You know what?

We belong to Him & we are part of a perfect kingdom.

 


 

Jonathan Domingo

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WHERE DOES YOUR JOY COME FROM?

WHERE DOES YOUR JOY COME FROM? 

www.calvarychapelacapulco.com

However, do not rejoice that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven. "(Luke 10:20)

Many times our joy comes when we see the fruit of our good works or ministries. But our ministry or work should never be what determines our happiness or joy.

 

The only thing that should determine our happiness is our relationship with Christ. Paul describes it in (Philippians 3: 8), "What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things.  I consider them rubbish that I may gain Christ. "

 

I encourage you, rejoice in Christ and not on the results of your ministry

 

Pastor Hassan Villegas

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D E F E N D E R

D E F E N D E R

If any man sin ...,

We have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.

1 John 2: 1b

The concept of an attorney is interesting, we imagine the Father as a judge and Jesus as an attorney trying to convince the judge of our innocence.

Although there are certain elements that are true regarding this, that is not the mentality that Juan had in writing this. The word used here is not as specific as a lawyer, the right word would probably be DEFENDER.

Meaning: Jesus defends us with the Father when we sin.

Many times we have the idea that the Father wants to destroy us and that Jesus is saying no, do not. When we sin, Jesus insists on our behalf.  “Don’t get mad, he is trying, he’s improving, and he won’t do it again! “

As if Jesus had heavenly excuses for our wrong doings...

That's not what is happening, in fact verse 2 says that

Jesus is the propitiation for our sins.

 

What this means, is that the way Jesus defends us is not telling the Father, “ignore their evil” but He reminds the Father that our wickedness has already been judged upon the cross of Jesus Christ.

 

What gives us access to God is not that we are good people, what gives us access to God is that whatever bad thing we have done has already been paid for on the cross of Jesus Christ. God is not expecting us to be better people, but regardless of all our errors and failures, Jesus solved the problem by dying on the cross and paying the price.

 

Thus, Jesus is not appealing to the mercy of God and His righteousness, because justice has already been done, Jesus Christ the righteous paid the price, guilt has been paid for, and condemnationhas been removed.

Jesus Christ paid for what we did and now we have our Defender, who reminds the Father that we are already free of conviction, not because of anything we have done but because Jesus Christ bore our guilt on the cross.


 

Jonathan Domingo

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IS IT BAD TO DESIRE AN IPHONE 6?

Is it bad to desire an iPhone 6?

Recently, Apple made an announcement that had been anticipated by many “the IPhone 6". It was obvious that many people would be thrilled as usual, but what Apple didn’t imagine is that within 24 hours 4 million people would place their orders months before it went on sale. What is it that leads the human heart to want this technology?

I don’t know about you, but I'm a big fan of technology and I confess, I'm a big fan of Mac and Apple. When I saw the announcement of the Apple Watch my heart started to say "Let's see how we can get one." That led me to think that the Bible clearly speaks about greed; wanting what you don’t have, speaking about vanity; loving your looks, and it also talks about managing money.  My question is: Can a person want an iPhone 6 and not fall into any of these traps?

Greed

Greed is when you're not satisfied with what you have. You see the features and objects that other people have around you and you feel bad because you do not have them. One area where greed is more noticeable is technology.  Now there is nothing wrong with wanting a smartphone, and less if you think of a good resource that can be to hear sermons, study the Bible or interact with your friends.  The problem is when the desire is for more than just that.  It’s when you are dissatisfied with what you have at the moment and feel that only having this technology will make you complete; that is idolatry that is greed, that is sin. Many commit this sin when we see the "technology."

Vanity

Vanity is loving your looks.  It is to visualize yourself at a Starbucks, drinking your venti Iced Macchiato with your iPhone 6 in your hand taking a super slow motion video of yourself biting into your sandwich and thinking, "I look awesome.”  Vanity is loving the appearance of success, money, and prosperity. This goes against what we see in the Bible that even those who have much the Bible calls to live in a simple way and condemns those who try to show off their appearance with superficial things. I'm not saying that having a nice phone is sin or having a pre-owned car is sin, or wanting to have something awesome is sin, its sin when your appearance is an unnecessary luxury.

Managing your money (or) being good stewards

Finally, what about buying a new iPhone if you earn little or if you earn a lot of money, The Bible speaks about managing your income, and it is misuse of money to get into debt, paying money that you don’t have for something that you don’t need.  But even if you have money the question is: Do you need it? Because that's the question I'm asking myself, and I have an iPhone. Do I really need a phone that only has a few more features and is a little faster? No. God has called me to manage money well.

Now having said that, it is possible to be totally satisfied with what you have and not be obsessed with your image and be a good steward, and still buy an iPhone 6.  What I’m getting at is this, you have to ask yourself these questions beforehand, because what we do with our money communicates what our hearts believes.


 

Jonathan Domingo

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WHY GO TO A HOME GROUP ?

WHY GO TO A HOME GROUP ? 

If you are from Horizonte

I beg you to read this post and consider what it says. If I ask, what is the most important thing you can do? Why were you created? You were created to glorify God, the main purpose of your life is to join the plan of God for all creation and allow God to have all the honor.  This is done primarily by knowing Him through the word of God, repentance of sins, and fellowship with him.  This produces in your life, glorious and unspeakable joy. It does not end there because if it did end there we would have no reason to get out of bed.  We would just stay in the house and sleep, read the Bible, worship God and eat Cheetos for His glory.  On the contrary, when you know God, it causes you to want to share Him with others, in other words imitate what they've seen from Him. God is love, sharing Him with others means love.  God is generous, telling others about Him is giving. God is forgiving, telling others about Him is forgiveness.  But what we often forget is that this is first and primarily to the family of God, the church.

 John the Baptist

lived almost 100 years old and history tells us that when he wrote 1 John he was preaching in the church of Ephesus.  History also tells us that John was too old and weak to walk so people literally carried him and put him in front of the church while he preached. What was his message? Brothers love each other. This is what Jesus said, He said that the main way that we will be light in darkness is through the love we have for our fellow Christians.

 It's Impossible

to accomplish this great mission by going to church on Sundays and giving a few hugs, smile at a few friends and then say goodbye. Agape love, this love is literally a sacrificial love, we must give our lives for others. How do we do that if we do not know each other?  The answer is obvious! We have to get to know each other. But how do we get to know each other with a church of about 500 members?  It is really impossible, the result is that you have 500 acquaintances and so it’s superficial and none of them are deep relationships but when you develop a deep relationships some people will say it is favoritism. Therefore we need to move the church to a place where it is easier for us to get to know each other, love each other, and serve each other and that is in our homes.

The purpose

of a home group is that you can meet other people from Horizonte, love them, and see how to serve your neighborhood together. The purpose is not so much to be known, but to be part of a community of believers whose mission is to reach the colony in which they live. A home group is not so much a social club for the church, it's more like a campfire when all the coals are gathered together they produce a fire that illuminates the entire region.

When you are 

in a home group, it enables you the ability to be informed when something happens, the Bible says that when one member suffers all the members suffer with it. This is impossible if you only come on Sunday morning but when you go to a more intimate group, a home group, you hear that an old man broke his leg, you can decide as a group to help him, you hear that a single mother is without a job, as a group you can see how to serve her.

The Bible

never says go and fill buildings, it says go and make disciples, discipleship means you have someone who knows you and is helping you serve God and be useful for his kingdom.

 In Horizonte

There are about 20-25 members currently involved in groups at home, I would love to see 50 or 75 percent of the church meeting at home groups to love, know and serve others. Maybe it will take a long time to reach that goal but we believe God wants us to love one another and to be disciples.

 

"Horizonte, I beg you, look for ways to be in a home group so that we can join in the mission of Jesus to reach out to our city."

 



 

 

Jonathan Domingo

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