BY MIKE ROSTAD
America, a nation that once sent Christian missionaries to evangelize the ends of the earth, stands in danger of God’s judgment, warned Rev. Tim Zello, guest speaker at the Kodiak Assembly of God Church on Crab Festival Sunday.
Rev. Zello accompanied Republican U.S. senatorial hopeful Joe Miller to Kodiak. He is a volunteer on his campaign, still in primary phases now.
“It’s time to suffer,” Zello said, pointing to Christ’s command to take up one’s cross, die to self and follow Him.
The cross represents death — death of self, finances, death of the body, he added.
Also, America can no longer be called the leader of hthe free world because it is spiritually dead, Zello maintains. He was referencing the President’s comment that two NFL football players passionately kissing is a “’great step forward.’ Do people not remember Sodom and Gomorrah … (where the) fire and judgment of God came down?” Zello asked.
“God’s people need to rise up,” Zello said. “Where is the holy remnant who is willing to sacrifice their life to Him?”
Zello said that God had given him a message of warning and exhortation, calling upon Christians to declare their faith and act on convictions, to the point of losing their jobs and even their lives.
“We’re truly living in the last days,” he said, pointing to biblical signs such as the crisis in the Middle East, change in weather patterns, the propagation of the Gospel and the apostasy of many of the Protestant churches.
Zello said that the church, an institution that God created to be a “sacred and holy place, to protect the spirits and souls of man where light can shine in darkness” has apostatized through buying into a phony, cheap, man-made grace “that will lead people to hell.”
He also describes a more counterfeit kind of love that says, “’You can live however you want, do whatever you want to do and God will accept you’ — that’s not in the Bible.”
“God’s grace and love repudiate sin in every shape and form. He didn’t tolerate sin. Jesus was anything but politically correct. If He was He wouldn’t have been crucified.”
There are those who claim to be Protestant but they have no protest, no reformers, no reform, he added.
The womb, another sacred place that was meant for the protection of innocent life, has become one of the deadliest places on the planet, said Zello. He is condemning abortion.
Since 1980 over 1.3 billion babies have been murdered, he said. “How long do you think God will withhold judgment? People wake up! Judgment is coming!”
Every culture that has turned its back on God has paid a high price, but because of God’s mercy and grace, He has raised up a holy remnant, “people who are unashamed of their faith, who will stand for righteousness, (and show) not so much of what they’re against, but what they are for,” Zello said. “They are for life, for traditional marriage, for being fiscally responsible.”
Referring to the Old Testament prophets who were killed or imprisoned for warning their people of impending judgment, Zello said that there are those who will not want to hear the word of truth.
Intolerance toward sound judgment and doctrine, which, according to St. Paul’s letter to Timothy is a sign of the last days, is running rampant, Zello said.
Zello’s passionate, fervent plea for holy living is reflective of Teen Challenge, a Pentecostal ministry he grew up with. Founded by the late David Wilkerson, Teen Challenge ministers to society’s outcast and walks them through a Christ-centered rehabilitation, preparing them to become productive members in society.
Zello’s parents were on the original David Wilkerson team that brought the Gospel to the streets of New York City and eventually developed rehabilitation centers. Teen Challenge has become a global ministry in 104 countries.
When Zello was 21 years old, he represented the ministry as he preached in prisons in Siberia.
In 2005, Zello and his wife, Michelle, founded Jewels 4 God International, a ministry to Teen Challenge, which teaches people around the world who have been delivered from drug and alcohol addictions, drug trafficking, prostitution and other vices, how to hand craft jewelry so that they can support themselves.
Jessica Olsen, a member of the Kodiak Assembly of God, is a representative of the organization.
Zello said that his ministry shares a practical aspect of Jesus’ first public miracle, which was changing water into wine. “He addressed a very practical need, and the wine became the first expression of His love. Teen Challenge makes jewelry as an expression of Christ’s love.”
When Zello is not preaching, he is reaching out to the churches and Christian community to support and pray for Joe Miller, who is also a committed Christian, he said.
The Zellos met the Millers on an Atlantic cruise in February of 2013. They discovered that the two families used the same Christian home-schooling program and shared their love of Alaska, Zello said.
Zello told the congregation that his decision to come to Alaska was made a week before his appearance at the Assembly of God Church and was based on faith.
“God brought me to Alaska,” he said. “When God says ‘Go,’ you’re gone without planning. I don’t do things like this. It’s crazy. It’s kind of like building an ark when it has never rained. In the world’s eyes it’s called irresponsibility.
“I plan on being in Alaska as long as God wants me here,” Zello said.
Zello was in Kodiak last fall to speak at a meeting of Celebrate Recovery.
Zello calls Kodiak, a fishing community, “God’s Island. (Jesus’) disciples were all fishermen. His last meal on earth was broiled fish. He uses the analogy that we are to be fishers of men. I love it here. I see the beauty of God everywhere and the magnificence of His creation. God reveals Himself through His creation, so we can see God.”
Mike Rostad is a freelance writer and longtime Kodiakan who writes a weekly column examining the in-depth stories of Kodiak residents. You can read more about other Kodiak islanders in Rostad’s book, “Close to My Heart-Writing and Living Stories on Kodiak Island, Alaska.”