The Cost

Mark 5:17 And they began to pray him to depart out of their coasts.

The opening line of Mark 5 depicts a demon possessed man who lived in the country of the Gadarenes. The Bible spares no detail of the horrid conditions of his existence or the havoc he caused among the people. The men of the city had often bound him, but the scripture says that he “tore the chains apart and broke the irons on his feet. No one was strong enough to subdue him.”

The lot of them lived in fear as the demons cried out. He cut himself with sharpened stones and lived among the graves. In reality, the man was not the only one tormented; the entire city was also.

Jesus stepped onto the shore of that oppressed place and immediately the man came running to Him. The legion begged Jesus not to torture them, even recognizing Jesus as “Son of the Most High God.” Jesus cast them out and they entered into about 2,000 swine, which in turn ran down a steep hill and drowned themselves in the sea. This deliverance finds the man sitting, clothed, and in his right mind. It was a miracle of supernatural proportions. Nevertheless, the men of the city considered their loss. Their herd of swine were dead.

Verse 17 tells the story of the modern day church and the cost of revival. To have Jesus in all of His power and authority, comes at a personal cost. To see people delivered from demonic oppression and the chains of a world society always comes at a price. To be certain, there is no salvation without suffering. To see a family saved or a person delivered or a revival break out . . . there is a price to pay.

While no one would openly speak, many have begged Jesus to leave their “coasts.” The men of that city asked Jesus to leave because the healing of the maniac from Gadara came at the cost of their lives. Deliverance and revival still makes a demand of us. It will cost us time, prayer, money, energy, and personal pursuits.

My prayer is that we will not consider the cost, but we will consider the difference of an eternal destination. Our prayer is for Jesus to come and not to leave. We pray that Jesus will use us to reach the lost; that He will restore lives given into our hands. Regardless of the cost, our city is worth saving.

Pastor Jeffrey Harpole

The Coming Storm

The moment occurred many years ago. As it was told, a tornado warning was issued for the plains of Kansas. The people knew it was approaching. The swirling clouds gathering in their familiar darkened colors. However, one family was in the middle of an argument and said that they would find shelter after they had “ironed out their dispute.” The report was that a handful of them survived the storm, but most perished for lack of safety.

They knew it was coming, but for whatever reason, the dispute was more important than the 150 mph winds. By the time the storm came, they were ill-equipped to find safety. Some might have won the argument, but it came at the cost of their lives.

Things seem so important at the time: debates, ambitions, pursuits of all kinds. However, juxtaposed against the coming “storm” none of it will matter. John opened up his book with these words: Rev 1:3 Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.

Look closely at the last line: The time is at hand, or “the time is near.” He wrote his book 2,000 years ago. I wonder, if John thought the time was near in his day? How close are we in ours? Jesus is coming! The clouds are gathering and the pressure has increased. Jesus said, Matt 24:22 And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.

My admonition is for those who have ears to hear what the Spirit is saying. Put aside the trivial. Moreover, anything that does not concern itself with the Kingdom, the Gospel, Prayer, the Church, soul-winning, or discipleship should be minimized to the point of obscurity. In Kansas, the wind destroyed the house and all those who were bent on making their point. They failed to heed the warning sirens. It lifted the roof and scattered the furnishings five miles in every direction. Those that remained, mourned the fact that they were too busy making their case that they ignored the storm. All they could hear was their own voice.

Today is the day of Salvation. We will hear the Word and we must align our lives accordingly. Our city must know of the Name of Jesus and the Gospel much be preached. His praise must be heard and His Truth must be proclaimed.

Pastor Jeffrey Harpole


Crossroads. In the more literal sense, a crossroad is simply an intersection of two or more joining roads. The definition does not limit the place to just two roads, but is open-ended. In a spiritual sense, perhaps life and future, this crossroad boasts of many roads that a person could take. This is the place that has far-reaching consequences; far beyond the moment of decision.

It does take an awareness to measure the outlining path before us. Most make decisions not knowing where they will lead. The greatest majority of believers will make self-inflicting wounds that lead them away from a life of holiness and commitment, but at the time their choices do not appear detrimental.

King Saul did as much. He began humble and ended prideful. Decisions happened in the moment and for the moment. He never asked, “What Then?” Christians from every era have done the same. An offense comes; hurt feelings lead to anger or resentment and then suddenly they are standing at a crossroads choosing a path that leads them away from the Call of Christ. The next road is called Self-Justification, which erodes all prior teaching and doctrine.

It is my belief that everyone will come to a Crossroad. The prophet said it, “Choose you this day who you will serve.” From ancient times to this very day a choice is being made, maybe even subconsciously. The rich ruler left Jesus sorrowful because he counted the cost to follow the Lord. The cost was his crossroad and he walked away. Who knows if he even made it back to the knowledge of Jesus Christ. Most never make it back.

I admonish you in no uncertain terms: Do not allow offenses to lead you away from the church. The hour is far too late and day is far spent. Don’t make concessions within your walk with God. Your future cannot handle your lack of total commitment today.

We might all be facing a crossroad today; even as a church body. Shall we grow? Will we give our all, both emotionally and financially? Will we be committed to the Apostolic doctrine handed down to us from the Lord Himself? Will we become soul-winners, Bible study teachers; witnesses of the Gospel? Many churches have lost themselves at this crossroad. They took the path of convenience, passivity, and half-halfheartedness. They deviated from the demands of the Kingdom. I cannot make the decision for you. As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.

Pastor Jeffrey Harpole

Rejoice Not Against Me

Micah 7:8 Rejoice not against me, O mine enemy: when I fall, I shall
arise; when I sit in darkness, the LORD shall be a light unto me.

Micah is speaking in future tense as recorded by the King James
Bible. There are other versions which indicate that he was writing
in past tense. The context helps us as the prophet has cried over
the sinful state of the nation. He is now considering the mercy of
God in reference to their sins already committed. This means that
in some sense Micah is saying, “though I have fallen” i.e., it has
already happened, “I shall arise.” Regardless of the timing, past or
future, the promise is that the Lord will raise them up and the Lord
will be their light. Thus the nation is literally relying on the promise
of the Lord and that blessing was not contingent on the goodness of
the congregation of Israel, but rather it rested on the nature of their
merciful God.

The moment is reminiscent of the country of Peru which boasts of
the great Huachina Desert. The sand and dunes are cast across the
landscape as the prohibitive heat burns away any would-be foliage.
It is a desert boasting of all the commonalities of its own kind.
However, in the middle of that desert is an oasis, the likes of which
are a mystery. A little town has sprung up there where vendors and
tourists frequent. All that sand, heat, and dry air, and then suddenly
water and trees.

The horticulturist reported it this way: “It only takes a small, but
constant water base to change the environment.” The pool of
sustaining water has brought life to the desert. They call it The
Oasis of the Huachina Desert. Its image is beyond compare. Death
surrounds it, but within its circle there is abundance of life.
This is the image of God’s provision in the hardship of life. The Lord
raises us up when we fall. He gives light in the night of our self-imposed
peril. He is the Immutable Savior. When we fail and our sin
ravages the good of life; taking our natural blessing, God is merciful
and provides a place of refuge. He is the everlasting water; the river
without beginning or end.

So rejoice not against me. When I fail, though I have failed, I will rise
again. God’s grace will appear in the middle of my peril.

Pastor Jeffrey Harpole