The start of another year kicks off with yet another disappointing Presidential debate. More, Ridiculous banter, pathetic ridicule, and pre-planned talking points. Ugh!
In the midst of the presidential banner, the turn of the calendar also has me preparing sermons on racial unity and the Sanctity of Life. Sadly, in 2016, babies continue to be born clinging to life as a result of a botched abortion. Born living and breathing, these babies are then denied proper care and are left to die and ….it’s legal! Pouring over Psalms 139 and mingling among the massive statistics of dead babies leaves me angry, sad, numb, and oddly enough…. full of hope.
Other things wrestling for space in my overcrowded head this week….
- There was a time when going to church was the norm. To not go to church was to live on the fringe.
- There was a time when a child’s education included the Bible.
- There was a time when an immoral lifestyle, whatever the sort, was frowned upon.
- There was a time when running for a political office, morality and character was a major consideration.
- I could go on….! You get the point.
We live in a very different time!
Welcome to the seismic shift of our culture.
In the seismic shift there are many opinions.
Some say that the church needs to change and realize the world has evolved and transformed and if the church does not learn to adapt, it will become irrelevant.
Others say, it is time for the church to finally get angry. Take a stand and stop messing around with wimpy Christianity. (This often equates to shouting louder, name calling, online arguments, and childish fighting, that looks awfully similar to the world we are called to reach.)
Some say that we need an updated, revised guide-book… one that understands the sexual culture of the 21st century. One that leaves me alone and God forbid…. judges me for my actions.
Some would say that we need a new message, one that does not call people demeaning words like “sinners” and does not require absolute allegiance to one God. After all, we all know that there are many great ways to God.
Still others would suggest that we stockpile the weapons and food, and when all the junk of this crazy world hits the fan, we make ourselves ready to protect you and yours. Survival of the fittest….
I hold to a different view. I am an odd sort of believer, pastor….. I am not looking to what others say and I am asking you to do the same, as well. Let’s look to what another man said quite a long time ago……
He said, I will build my church and the gates of hell will not stand against it…. Matthew 16:18
I hold to the view of the Apostle Paul…. that the gospel is the power of God unto salvation. Romans 1:16
I hold to the view that Word of God was literally breathed out by God and thus it is useful – all of it! I Timothy 3:16-17
I hold to the crazy notion that the hope of our society is not to be found in a government, legislation, or our actions… rather, our hope is found in a person and His actions.
We should then be the last people on earth to sulk back in fear or apathy. And we ought also to be the last people on earth to uncritically laud any political leader or movement as though this were what we’ve been waiting for. We need leaders and allies, but we do not need a Messiah. That job is filled, and he’s feeling fine. We are neither irrationally exuberant, nor fearfully isolated. We recognize that from Golgotha to Armageddon, there will be tumult— in our cultures, in our communities, and in our own psyches. We groan against this, and work to hold back the consequences of the curse. But we do not despair, as those who are the losers in history might. We are the future kings and queens of the universe.
Moore, Russell D. (2015-07-10). Onward: Engaging the Culture without Losing the Gospel (pp. 66-67). B&H Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
That’s right! Oh Christian, what a hope we have in Jesus Christ. He is still the Savior of the world. The hope for the nations! He gives me peace for this crazy and insane world we call home. He puts my anxious heart at ease. Not only at ease…. but full of faith.
Here are a few more bullet points:
- God is faithful – just read the OT. Watch the amazing patience and mercy of God extended towards His people time and time again, in spite of them!
- God often used secular governments to accomplish His purposes… from Pharaohs, Kings, Caesars, and more announced decrees which made things happen, and in the end, the Kingdom of God was advanced.
- Christ came and took on human flesh to offer salvation to all those who would repent and trust in Him! That offer still remains!
- Christ died and rose from the grave! He is seated at the right hand of the Father. He remains faithful; He is still saving lost people from sin and death!
- Incredible….. He has placed His Spirit in us, that we might grow in godliness and share the gospel with this lost and dying world. He has empowered us and given His Spirit to us… to that end.
What hope we have as we observe this world!
What a day we are living in!
What a Savior!
One minute we are “reclaiming America for Christ,” the next we proclaim that American culture is “slouching toward Gomorrah.” We lose sight both of the fact that all of human history— from Eden onward— is a war zone, and that God’s kingdom triumph is proven not by our electoral success or our cultural influence— as important as that is in being obediently “salt” and “light” in our culture. Our triumph is proven in the resurrection of the world’s rightful ruler.
Moore, Russell D. (2015-07-10). Onward: Engaging the Culture without Losing the Gospel (p. 66). B&H Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
Yep, it is a crazy world… and… what a hope we have in the gospel of Jesus Christ!