This month we had the privilege of meeting and receiving the ministry of Brazilian apostle, Rene Terra Nova, who is based in Manaus, Brazil where he heads up a 70.000 member strong cell church. He is a key member of the International Coalition of Apostles (ICA).
Brother Terra Nova gave a message at the ICA annual meeting about the significance of opposition and persecution.
Whereas the carnal church in the western world generally views opposition and persecution as a negative, Terra Nova boldly proclaimed that it is a blessing. Even that it is from God! God raises up antagonists and persecutors so that the Gospel will advance!
We see it in the Gospel accounts and in the Acts of the Apostles!
Rene Terra Nova´s message was a real prophetic wake up call for me.
For a couple of years I had been buying into the thinking that all the opposition and persecution I was facing in Norway was a curse.
Suddenly I realized that it is a blessing!
God has raised up the negative bloggers, the anti-charismatic “Christian” press, the sinister clerical leaders, and the aggressive atheists to bring growth and vitality to our life and ministry!
I´ve been attacked on the front pages of secular and “Christian” newspapers, and on radio and tv. For several years I would say “ouch!” and feel bad. During the past year I have changed my understanding and approach. These attacks, which have been mostly based on lies and misrepresentations, have given me a great opportunity to teach and proclaim the truth boldly. Once in a while, when an attack has been well founded, I have been able to change things. Criticism is nothing to be afraid of. On the whole, antagonists and persecutors are important reasons why our blogs and webpages are widely read in Europe and around the world.
Thomas Ball Barratt (1862-1940), the founder of European Pentecostalism and leader of Filadelfia Church in Oslo, faced immense opposition and persecution. But each attack gave him the opportunity to teach, expound, explain and take proactive initiatives.
Bring it on!