With everything that is happening in the world today – from a pandemic to civil unrest and corrupt politics – many people are losing hope and asking where God is in all this chaos. The end is at hand, and what we need is a return to spirituality in these chaotic times so that we can be ready for judgment when it comes. Brother Wilton “Tony” Anthony, the pastor of Siloam Baptist Church in Many, Louisiana, strongly drives this message in this fellowship with host, Carrie Miller. Brother Tony believes that many of us have gone astray from the true teachings of God. He calls upon us to return to God’s word, return to praying, and return to doing things that are pleasing to God. We need to take a stand as Christians who love the Lord with our hearts, minds, bodies, and souls. Christ’s second coming is drawing nearer by the day. Are you ready?
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Returning To Spirituality In Chaotic Times With Brother Tony Anthony
I wanted to invite someone on the show who would be the perfect fit to speak on the topic of spirituality. This man of God has pastored Siloam Church in Many, Louisiana for many years. In 2015, he was inducted into the Sabine Parish Louisiana Hall of Fame. In 2018, he was awarded recognition by the Council on Aging as the oldest working person in the parish. He was my childhood pastor at the First Baptist Church in Port Neches, Texas where he pastored for sixteen years. I can’t think of anyone more respected, more truthful, and more heart-centered than you, Brother Tony. Welcome to the show.
Thank you, Carrie. It’s good to be with you. You act a lot different now than you did when you were a little girl and I was your pastor. You have grown up and I’m grateful to God for you and what you do.
I’m grateful to you, Brother Tony. That was a long time ago. I was that shy little girl. You come out of your shell especially when you’ve got parents like I do. They’re bold. I’m excited to be here with you at Siloam Church in Many, Louisiana. I heard through your daughter, Cheryl, that you’ve been pastoring for many years.
I started pastoring my first church in June of 1953. That’s about 15 miles from here. I’ll have made a complete round and I’m back about where I started.
If it’s okay with you, I’d like to dive right into our discussion. We’re in the midst of COVID-19. It’s an election year. There’s been more corruption unveiled than any other time in history. It’s a constant battle of good versus evil. It’s always been like that. Americans are losing hope and they’re asking where is God in all of this chaos? How do you answer?
We’ve got to realize and understand that we’re living in a time when politics is rotten and it has ruined the culture. It has ruined the United States of America like it’s ruined every other country when politics becomes this rotten. I’m not saying that the Democrats are at fault or the Republicans or the lefts or the rights. I’m saying that each of us has made terrible mistakes in our life. If we would have took a stand in 1950 and 1960, our country would be in a lot better condition now than it is, but we didn’t take that stand. We’ve got to realize that as American people, as Christian people, that we’re to love the Lord with all of our heart, mind, soul, and strength. We’re to love our neighbors as ourselves. We’re not in this by ourselves. We need to be in it as a nation.
We need to be fighting the Coronavirus and the rotten politics as individuals, not as groups. We find that we’ve turned our backs upon what’s right and what’s wrong, and that’s a big mistake. I’ve been asked the question many times, how does God fit into this? We need to go back to the beginning of what the Bible says. In the beginning, God created the heaven and the earth. People say the world’s in such terrible shape now. The world is the way that God created it. We’re in the summer season now and we had 107 degrees. That’s what the temperature, the heat index and the humidity. The reason it was 106 because this is the summertime and everything is acting exactly like God created it to. The problem with the world is not God’s fault.
The problem with the world is your fault and my fault and others’ fault. I’ve been asked the question over the past few months, how does God fit into this pattern that we’re in now? I believe that God is still on His throne. I believe that as sure as I believe that I’m sitting here with you, that He’s still on His throne and that He is still in control. We need to remember what happened when Christ was let into the wilderness to be tempted for 40 days and 40 nights by Satan himself. The first temptation was, “If you be the son of God, turn these stones into bread.” I’m sure that Christ being man and being God-man, after 40 days of fasting in the wilderness, He was hungry. Satan knew exactly what to do.
“Turn those stones into bread if you’re the son of God.” Christ said, “Satan, man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeded from the mouth of God shall man live.” We don’t know what their truth is, but I do know that God is on His throne. He knows about everything. He is in control of everything and that He is going to deliver us through this because He is victorious over death, hell, and the grave. All of us can come to know a relationship with Christ because Christ said unto Thomas in John 14:6, “Thomas, I’m the way, the truth, and the life. No person comes unto the Father except by me.” I’m asked the question also, “If God knows everything and He’s on His throne and the Book of Jeremiah says that he wants us to be successful, to have an intelligent mind and He wants us to see things as He sees things, why is it that God allows all of these things to happen if He’s all powerful?”
Back to the beginning, when He created Adam and Eve and put them in the Garden of Eden, He didn’t want them to be puppets on a string. He said to Adam and Eve, “There’s one tree in the garden I don’t want you to partake.” Satan came in immediately just as Satan does now. He tempted Eve. I’m not saying that women fall to temptation more than man, but he tempted Eve, Eve tempted Adam, and they partook of the fruit and they disobeyed God. The reason we’re in the condition now is that we have disobeyed the Almighty God. It’s not God’s will that any person perish, but that people everywhere repent and come to know Christ and to live peaceable with one another. We need to refer to the word of God as the only truth there is. We don’t take that seriously anymore. We need to study to show ourselves approved unto God, workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
We talk about this world needs to go back to something and our president says that he’s going to make it great again and again. I believe that he can do that with the cooperation of all of us, but I’m telling you what we need to do is go to God’s word, go back to that word because that’s the only truth that we have. There’s not any truth in the media anymore. There’s not any truth in the conversation of people anymore. I was amazed when I watched the news out of Shreveport to Louisiana. It was a state representative with a chainsaw cutting down the mask. A leader that has been elected by people demonstrating himself like that, that only makes us ask ourselves the question, “Who are we to believe?” Let me challenge you and all of us to believe in God and put your faith and trust in God and God will bring us through. God is the answer to all of our problems.
Brother Tony, I’m sure most of our readers know the stats of COVID cases. The death toll in America has been 125,000-plus and all the panic it’s created. It’s a sad thing. We’ve been praying for those who’ve lost loved ones, but I’d like to discuss a cry that is missing from the majority out there. That is nearly one million babies are murdered in their mother’s womb in the US annually. Why aren’t we talking about this more? Where is the public outcry for these deaths of innocent lives?
I’ve come to realize this when the Coronavirus took its peak. It’s back now to what it was at the beginning, but they talked about how vulnerable older people were. I listened to all of that because I’m 85 years old with a lot of stuff in my heart that’s keeping me going and I’m grateful to God for that. I’m grateful for medical science, but back in 1963 at the United Nations, there was a big meeting and I could go over some of those with you verbatim because I have them. I used them with my congregation. If there’s going to be a one-world government, there’s got to be doing away with a lot of people. I’m not going to get into where all of this virus started, how it started, and with whom it started.
I believe that God’s permissive will is being done and I believe that when they said that we are not to care for older people because we don’t have room for them, they said guys my age and my health condition, “Just let them die.” That’s what it sounded like to me, “Let them die and get rid of those people.” Can you imagine getting rid of all the people my age and those that are older? What a gap it would make in the world, in the intelligence, and the commitment to the teachings of God’s word to get rid of us. If you get a one-world government, you get rid of the babies that are to be born. There are a lot of things being done to different parts of those unborn babies. They’re normal body functions that they’re taking out and they’re going to use in the tracking system.God's word is the only truth that we have. Click To Tweet
We’re not educated on all of these things. We’re out here in the country. I’m back where I was born within five minutes of where I was born. I love these people. I know that they don’t know what’s going on in the world now. We have been blessed by God with everything until we don’t get involved in the things that we need to get involved in. We don’t hear about that because they want to get rid of the older people and they want to get rid of the younger people and that’s the way to do it. That’s the most damning thing that we’re doing in America now is getting rid of unborn babies that can’t make a decision for themselves. The ones that are doing that and the ladies that are doing that, and ladies, forgive me but it’s the truth, they’re going to have to answer to God for that because it’s nothing more than murder. That’s what it is.
That’s why nothing’s being heard about it now because you take million-plus babies that would come into the world every year. If those babies came into the world, educated, and brought up in Christian homes, what it would do to this one-world government and to this left group that is trying to take over and make everything controlled by the government of the country. Not just the United States, but every country in the world. That’s why we don’t hear about it. That’s why it’s kept a secret to us. They’ve gone to get rid of the older people and the younger people so they can handle this group that’s following them now. That’s my answer to that question.
Studies show that a spiritual fellowship such as attending church can be a source of social support, which may provide a sense of belonging, security, and community. Now, the church is under attack like never before in the history of our nation. Churches and people of faith are under siege from politicians wanting to silence and weaken the messages from the pulpit. Some are striving to limit the faith community or lock up the church doors indefinitely. What do you believe the church needs to do now to protect our freedom of religion? Where do we go from here?
We’re going to have to become bold and courageous as Christian people. I shared with my people right after this started the Book of Ephesians 6, where it tells us to put on the whole armor of God that we might be able to withstand all the wilds of the wicked. The world is wicked. The community that I live in is wicked. It’s just not as played as a lot of other places, but wicked people are everywhere and they’re going to try to do everything that they can do to destroy the church. I want to encourage you now as I encouraged myself about the church. I want to first say this, that we need to forget about denominationalism.
I’m Baptist. I became a Christian a couple of months before I joined the Baptist church. The reason I joined the Baptist church is because that’s the only church that was in this community. In our community now, there’s a Baptist church every few miles. Wherever people came in years and years ago, the first thing they did was build a one-room church. That one-room church was where they met to worship. That one-room church was where they sent their kids to school. We’ve got to remember that it’s not the Baptist, the Methodist, the Catholic, or the Presbyterians. It’s those who are born again by the Holy Spirit of God. The Bible says that we become new creatures in Christ when we become a Christian and that old things are passed away, behold all things have become new. We need to experience a relationship with God through Christ Jesus led by the Holy Spirit of God that puts our mind in the right order.
I help people now saying to me that the virus is going to close the church down. The virus is not going to close the church down. It’s the membership of the church that’s going to close it down. I’m not talking about buildings. I’m talking about a body of believers who are born again, who are forgiven and washed in the blood of Christ. At 85 years old, I’m of the old school. I don’t believe in all of this modern technology and all of these things that we’re doing now to get the people involved in our denomination. I believe that we need to get people involved in a relationship with God through the Holy Spirit and that will take care of everything. We need to remember that Christ himself said to Peter, “Upon this rock I shall build my church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”
That’s a promise from God and God doesn’t lie. God doesn’t make any mistakes. Until we as God’s people make a determined relationship in our soul and mind with God, the Bible says, “Let this mind be in you, which is also in Christ Jesus, and to see through the eyes of the Holy Spirit.” We’ve got to have the mind of Christ. We’ve got to see with the mind of Christ. We’ve got to have a desire to live the mind of Christ and then we’ll find that the church will be blessed and ministered to by God. There’s one scripture that I use regularly in the last couple of years. It’s from the Book of 2 Chronicles in the Old Testament 7:14. “Here’s the answer folks. If my people who are called by my name shall humble themselves and pray, seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then will we hear from heaven? He will forgive our sin and heal our land.”
I don’t know how to use Facebook. We use it, but I don’t know how to use it. I have people that do that for me, but I see things on Facebook when I’m with somebody that can operate it, pull it up, and do all these things with it. I don’t have time to sit down and do those things. I used to believe that television was the most damnable thing in the home and it’s still not good, but Facebook is one of the most damnable things that we have around now. They air all their dirty laundry. They put all of these things on there. They said, “Look here what so-and-so put on their page,” and it goes on to tell they used a scripture. They then talk about, “If you believe this, say Amen.” We’ve got to do a lot more than believe it. We’ve got to put our belief into actions motivated by the faith of the living God.
The Bible says, “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not saying.” There will be those people that will put things on Facebook and I’ve read them. I know what I’m talking about and I know the people that put them on there. They will use all kinds of vulgar language. At the end of their vulgarity, they talk about how we need to put our faith and our trust in God. People, we need to clean up our lives and we need to make a commitment unto God and unto the church. The Bible says, “Forsake not the assembling of yourselves together, some do.” We need to count it a privilege.
I’m going to stop all the YouTube, Facebook, video, and online. We’ve got to have a desire to come together to worship. I know that people can worship wherever they are. I have people tell me when I talk to them about playing golf, we have one of the finest golf clubs in five minutes from where we’re sitting out at Cypress Bend. “Pastor, I can worship on the golf course,” but we don’t worship on a golf course. I play for some of these guys during the week.
I know how they play golf. They’re dirty. They’re crooked. They cuss. They’re not going to worship on the golf course, they’re going to play golf. “Pastor, I can worship in my boat,” or “I can worship in my deer stand.” That’s true, but we don’t do it. God wanted us to collect ourselves together for the fellowship, with one another to bring glory and honor unto his name as a congregation, our blood purchased believers in Christ. That’s what we’ve got to do. We’ve got to get off of our couches. Everything comes before the church. Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 says, “To everything under heaven, there’s a reason and a purpose. He goes on to talk about a time to be born, a time to die, a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which was planted.” A time given unto God. There are 8,760 hours in a year.
You’ve got to realize that this is an average. Three thousand five hundred hours a year, people work. Two thousand one hundred ninety hours, people sleep. Some of my people sleep more than that because they don’t get up until the daytime. One thousand five hundred hours of the year is recreation. We spend 400 hours of dressing ourselves and fixing our hair. We spend 270 hours doing nothing and we spend 200 hours a year worshiping God. That is not full-time worship. There are a lot of people who come to church and they think they’ve done God a favor by coming to church. They haven’t. They’ve just come because that’s their habit. We’ve been out of church long until they’re out of the habit of coming now. They said, “I believe this is a wakeup call.” I’ll tell you, there are a lot of people who got to be woke soon or the church is going to be in bad shape.
Let’s talk about prayer because it is our lifeline to God. Even in a study, they found that clinically-depressed adults who believe their prayers were heard by God responded much better to treatment than those who did not believe. How has prayer transformed the lives of your family and your congregation over the years?
I was privileged before coming to Port Neches’ First Baptist Church to go to the Institute of Religion, which is on the medical campus at Houston. It’s a chaplain school. I was privileged to go there for my chaplain’s training. One of the first things that they taught us was prayer. The Bible teaches us more about praying than it does anything else. I was a country boy from right here, then went to Louisiana College. It’s the second time I’d ever been out of the area in my life because we didn’t have any means to go anywhere. I went to Louisiana College and the professor there said that every preacher ought to pray at least five hours a day when I was eighteen years old. I was in college. I was from a high school that played basketball, the Florin High School Black Cats, probably the strongest basketball team in the state.We need to experience a relationship with God that puts our mind in the right order. Click To Tweet
I think we were there then a C-class school. I think we’re a B-class now. I’m grateful for that school and I’m grateful for the people there. The principal there for my last year was one of my mentors. He helped me because I’d signed to go to LSU to play basketball. He said, “If you’re going to be a preacher, you need to go to a Baptist school,” since we were Baptist. I said, “That’s good, but I have to have help.” He said, “That won’t be a problem.” He took me there and I went there. When I went there and that Bible professor, Dr. Whittington, said that every preacher ought to pray five hours a day, I thought that was God speaking to me through the professor. I tried that. I would pray and pray and pray. I’d look at my watch and I’ve been praying five minutes. I’d start over praying and praying.
There was no way I could pray five hours a day. The Bible says, and Dr. Whittington said, that we’re to pray without ceasing. I think that we can do that. We can pray without ceasing, but here is the heart of prayer. Here’s the power of prayer. First of all, we have to prepare ourselves to pray. People don’t do that anymore. I don’t do that all the time. I did one night. I spent time in confessing my sin. I said, “I’m going to be with this precious girl. Lord, I want to bring glory to your name.” I don’t want to embarrass one of the young people that I had the privilege of ministering to for a few years. I prayed, but the Bible says that the Holy Spirit of God must aid us in our prayer life because the Holy Spirit knows what we need to pray for. This is what the Bible says. The Bible is the truth that we need to seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit to pray because we don’t know what we need to pray for. It’s easy for me to pray. I can open my mouth and start praying. I prayed with people one night in a drowning of their son.
Prayer is work because the devil is attacking us all the time when we’re going to pray. Every day in my prayer life, I’ll be praying and I’ll be filled with the spirit. All of a sudden, my mind thinks about something else, somewhere else. That’s the devil leading us away from our relationship with God and talking to God. My wife and I, there were times that even as a pastor and wife and I had a precious wife. She was my greatest critic, but my best friend and my two daughters are still that. They’re my worst critics, but they’re my best friends. We would get in little arguments with one another. I didn’t like that. I’d just be quiet. I wouldn’t say anything. I’d let her do the talking. It didn’t take me long to break that relationship of not talking because we’d go to bed and I would go to sleep. I don’t have any trouble going to sleep. I can lay down beside the devil and go to sleep.
I’d be snoring. Flo would wake me up and I would think it was because I was snoring. She would say,
“Tony, the Bible says not let the sun go down on our anger. Are you ready to pray?” I said, “Sure, let’s pray.” I could pray and go back to sleep. That’s the way a lot of our prayer life is, but the Bible says we need to seek the leadership of the Holy Spirit to pray because we don’t know what to pray for and how to pray for. We have a prayer group in our church. This is the strongest praying church I’ve ever pastored, the one I’m pastoring now, and they’re praying all the time about everything. People call them and they pray, but we need to pray.
Flo and my big problem were myself because when I was angry, I wouldn’t say anything. That made things worse because husband and wife are supposed to talk. They’re supposed to share with one another. Christians are supposed to talk to God through Christ. One of the great needs in Christendom now is that we need to return to praying. “If my people which are called by my name shall humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will we hear from heaven? He’ll forgive our sin and heal our land.” One day, while the lady that’s ahead of our prayer chain, she had to go to Lake Charles, Louisiana, which is south of here. She was going to help her daughter find an apartment, a place to live, and she’d made 5 or 6 trips down there and they had found nothing. She said, “Brother Anthony, I’m fixing to go to Lake Charles. I want you to pray with me that we can find a place today for my daughter because this is the sixth trip I’ve made to Lake Charles and we haven’t found anything.”
We prayed. I said, “Lord, if your will can be done in this matter, I trust that today they’ll be able to find an apartment that they can afford and that will be nice for her daughter to live in.” About 2:00 that evening, my phone came on and it was Ms. Ortego. She said, “Brother Tony, let’s praise the Lord because we found a place. Prayer works,” and it does work. I had a young man jump in the lake and he jumped in a shallow place, broke his neck, drowned, and died in the water. I prayed with that family. I remember when I was pastoring in Lake Charles, a man’s daddy was about to die. He called and he said, “Pastor, could you come and pray with us?” and his daddy was not a Christian. I prayed. I talked with his dad two hours before he died.
When I finished praying and the doctor came in and I walked outside, the son walked outside and said, “Do you think the Lord heard our prayer about my daddy becoming a Christian?” I said, “I believe so. God hears our prayers. Sometimes he answers no. Sometimes he says, ‘I’m going to put it on the back burner for a day or two.’ Sometimes he automatically does it right then.” Prayer is a miracle. Only God can answer our prayers. I believe that prayer is one of the greatest things in Christendom, but the Bible says, “If we pray without ceasing, He will grant unto us the desires of our heart.” That’s what I believe about prayer.
I know that we are to be the hands and feet of Jesus to those who are hungry physically and spiritually. Do you believe we may also become the hands of the Lord to change the minds of our nation’s leaders? We’re talking about prayer. Do we just sit back and pray 24/7, look at God’s word, not be engaged, and just wait on him? Do we get involved and be bold about it, reaching out to our leaders, standing up for the truth? What are your thoughts on this?
I believe that we need to reach out to everybody. One of the signs of the times is that people are quitting their jobs. They’re getting unemployment. They’re not quitting, they were laid off. They’re sitting around waiting for the Lord to come. I know that’s a thing because I’ve talked with some people that think like that, but we need to reach out to everybody. I carried the man and his wife that do the cleaning of all of our billings and does all the cooking for the church. They cook for funerals. They cook for other things. They cook for the Wednesday evening meal, which we’re not having now because of the virus, but I carried them out to dinner. We went out and I said, “This is on me.”
When I walked in, I know the people where we were eating, they sat us down and there was a black couple sitting at the next table from us. I told the guy that I did his wedding a couple of years back. He was a waiter there at the restaurant. I said, “I want the ticket of that black man and his wife.” I didn’t know who they were. He brought me the ticket and then they got ready. The black man said to his waiter, who was the same guy waiting on us, “I’m ready for the ticket.” He says, “The gentlemen sitting there has got your ticket.” The black man and his wife come over, he put his hand on my shoulder and he said, “You picked up my ticket.” I said, “Yes, sir.” He said, “Why did you do that?” I said, “I felt that it would be good for me to pick up your ticket. People have picked up my tickets and it makes me feel good. With the trouble that we’re having now, I want you to know that I love you as much as I love this man and his wife that’s sitting at this table with me and I am blessed of God to pay for your ticket.”
I was in another restaurant and a fireman came in and he ordered his lunch to-go. I told the lady that was my waiter, “Put his ticket on mine.” We need to reach out to people and let people know that we care about them and that we love them no matter what color of their skin. I remember as a little boy out of church where we didn’t even have a piano in that church, we didn’t even have electricity in that church, a little way from here. There was a lady that couldn’t speak plain taught us a song. “Jesus loves the little children of the world. Red and yellow, black and white, they are precious in His sight. Jesus loves the little children of the world.” There are people that are in need not just in the restaurant, those people had money to pay for the meal or they wouldn’t have gone in there. It was a kind act to do.
We need to reach out to people that are hurting. We have a lot of people in our area now that all failed and lost their job. They have no income coming in except the unemployment. We need to help those people and we do. We need to find people. If we have an extra dollar that we don’t need, we need to share that extra dollar with people who need an extra dollar and who need a kind act but toward them. The Bible says that we’re to love the Lord God with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength and to love our neighbors, we love ourself. What a world and what a revival this would be if we practiced that one scripture passage. That’s what we need to do because it’s in God’s word.
I believe that we need to help people now. Not all people. We help a lot of people here. I don’t give people cash anymore because if I give them cash and they were hunting for something to eat, they may go and buy something else. If I go and I have arrangements made at the service station from here and the grocery store from here, that if I call and I will give them the name, “You give them $50 worth of groceries or you give them a tank of gas and I’ll be by and sign the ticket.” We need to help people. We need to care for people. There are those who misuse our gifts sometimes, but they’ll answer for that, not me. It made me feel good to be able to help them. If they do something wrong with it, they’ll have to answer for that. The Bible says that it’s appointed unto all people wants to die and then the judgment. Every one of us is going to die. You can mark that down. I’m excited about dying and that’s another subject. I’m not going to get started on that, but I’m telling you we’re going to meet Him face-to-face at the judgment seat of Christ. Christ is coming soon. I believe that He is.
Do you believe we’re in the end times?Christ is coming. Every day that we live, we're getting a day closer to His return. Click To Tweet
I do. The things that are happening, this is a plague. I’ve lived through a bunch of plagues. I remember the swine flu and some other kind of flu. I forgot where it was from, some other country. I don’t remember this, but I know that there are a lot of people in the cemetery here buried that died in 1919. That was the epidemic of pneumonia that came through and people died. There are those things happening all the time. The Bible says that there will be a turning away of the church and that’s happening now, not just here at our church, but everywhere. It then says that there will be plagues that will come upon us. This is altogether a different subject and I could talk on it for hours. I don’t have the answer to all these things, but I tell my people regularly that they need to stop looking for the signs and start listening for the shout because that’s how close Christ is to coming. They told us that the banks don’t have any more coins. If you go to Walmart and your bill is let’s say it’s $25.30, there’s no $0.30 anymore, it’s going to be $26.
That or you’ve got to use a card.
All of this stuff is the return of the Lord. He’s coming. I remember in school, we’d have plays at school and we’d rehearse. About two days before the play came for it to be done for the last time, they said, “We’ll have a dress rehearsal.” We’re past the play rehearsal and the dress rehearsal. We’re at the threshold waiting to see that Eastern sky split, the trumpet sound, the dead in Christ rise, and we’ll be called up to meet him as Christians. All hell is going to break loose. The seven years of tribulation, the battle of Armageddon, all of those things. That’s altogether a different subject, but I’m telling you, I don’t know the answer to all those things, but I do know this, that Christ is coming and we’re closer to him now than we’ve ever been. If we lived until tomorrow, we’re going to be a day closer tomorrow. Every day that we live, we’re getting a day closer to His return.
Are you believing that there’s going to be an awakening of the Holy Spirit in people, a renewing faith in Almighty God, but not everyone will see truth?
I believe so. I believe that God is going to give us, I don’t say another chance, He may give us 2 or 3 more chances. I don’t have much longer to live. My days are numbered. When I was born, my days were numbered, but I believe that God and all of His love for mankind, anybody that loved us enough to give us His son to die on the cross for our sin, He loves us. “Greater love hath no man,” the Bible says and to lay down his life for us. I believe that we as preachers, as ministers need to get off of this sound, good gospel. We need to preach. I remember the old preachers that when I was a boy growing up, that scared me to death. They preached hellfire and brimstone sermons. That’s what we ought to get back to.
We’re afraid we’re going to hurt somebody’s feelings. We need to stop that. I don’t feel like I’ve preached a good message unless somebody gets upset with me for something I’ve said. I was thinking because I found in my office at home why we used to have many professions of faith, many additions to our church because we had no air conditioning. We had fans from the funeral home and the funeral home was advertised. It was on a little handle on that fan and you’d sit in church and you’d fan yourself with that funeral home fan. That would remind you that one day, that funeral home that furnishes fans is going to put us in the ground. We better get things right. I believe that we’re going to see a real turning back to God. I believe that it’s going to be in my lifetime. If it’s not, I’m going to be looking down on this church and other churches and I’m going to praise the Lord for the revival.
Before we wrap up this interview, I’ve got one more question for you. I’m sure every single reader encounters this almost on the daily. What do you say to an individual who’s questioning their faith, who has lost sight of the Lord? Maybe they’ve lost a loved one to COVID, lost their job, or closed the doors to their business that they’ve had for 20, 30 years. Maybe they’re a single parent who is overwhelmed, trying to raise kids, and put food on the table. Those who are unable to see their loved one, maybe in a memory care home, like my daddy because my mom is in lockdown. How do you comfort them?
That’s hard to do because they’re experiencing things that we don’t experience. We can study everything there is, but until we walk in their shoes, we don’t know what they’re experiencing. I say to them that God is still on His throne, that He loves us, and that He knows what you’re experiencing now. I use this that there hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man. God will give a way for you to escape. I believe that God uses his permissive will for things to happen. I think that’s what’s happening now. I think that all of us need to realize and know without any doubt in our mind that Christ is victorious over death, hell, and the grave. The Bible says that He’s going to trample sin under His foot.
I use this scripture passage every day just about, “All things work together for good to them that love the Lord and to those who are called according to His purpose.” Ecclesiastes 3:1-8, I shared that. Why do these things happen? Because they’re in God’s plan from the beginning. We can either take it and we can lift it up even though our hearts are burdened. I still miss my wife on anniversaries, on birthdays. July 1st was her and her twin sister’s birthday. I think about it and I’m sad, but all things work together for good to them that love the Lord and to those who are called according to His purpose. God has a will in a way for every one of us. He loves us unconditionally. I don’t have to meet a certain standard. I don’t have to keep all the laws. God will not forsake me or turn away from me. I get away from God occasionally, but it’s not God’s fault. When I make up my mind that I want God, guess where I find him? Exactly where I left Him. He’s always there.
I know you’re extremely busy taking care of your congregation during this difficult time. I know your heart is with your people. You’re making a huge difference in the lives of others all over Many and the surrounding areas. I’m sure you’re appreciated here. I want to personally thank you for setting such a fine example as that bold man of God back in the day at the First Baptist Church in Port Neches, Texas. There was no denying you always spoke truth at the pulpit, even though we didn’t want to hear it sometimes. Thank you for always being there for our family. They don’t make them like you anymore. Brother Tony, thank you for being here. It’s been such a blessing to visit with you. Thank you for being a guest on the show.
I want to thank you for this opportunity. I want to thank God for me having a part of your life and your family’s life. I’m not an eloquent speaker. I’m not a great preacher. All I want is when they pass by the casket where I’m laid is for them to say, “That man touched my life through the Holy Spirit,” and I’ve got lots of them that are going to say that. That’s all that I want. Not a great preacher, not a great pastor, but “He touched my life,” and that’s my desire. God bless you.
God bless you too, Brother Tony. Thank you.
About Bro. Tony Anthony
Bro. Tony Anthony has pastored Siloam Church in Manny, LA for 22 years. Prior to that, he was my childhood pastor at The First Baptist Church in Port Neches, Texas, for 16 years.
In 2015 he was inducted into the Sabine Parish Louisiana Hall of Fame and in 2018 he was awarded recognition by the Council on Aging as the oldest working person in the parish.