As I view the world and America in particular, things are going from bad to worse in a hurry. I am a visionary and thus always looking toward the future. But I am also a realist with a constant eye on the present. The bad news is our world is looking more hellish by the second yet on the flip side, Christ Followers are increasingly becoming more radical in their faith (read Radical by David Platt)! The buzzword "missional" still takes on grand meaning in church life. Adoptions are increasing, ministry to the helpless, the homeless, and the hurting are increasing, and giving, praying, and going to the nations for gospel advance are increasing for these "Radical" Christ-Followers (As Francis Chan says, is there really any other type - "There is no middle road"). Yes, Great Commission Christians are on the rise! These type see the Gospel as the Answer to all of the world's problems! Really, the world has always had one problem - the sin problem - and the gospel is the only answer for that problem!
What is America coming to? Tolerance will not prove to be the answer in 20 years. If you think we are the Divided States of America now, just wait 20 more years. Imagine with me as we walk down this road...................Muslims vs. Homosexuals, Muslims vs. Feminists, Blacks vs. Hispanics, political upheavel, increased poverty, increased terrorism, increased gang life, etc. It is said Muslims will take over Europe without a war just by birth rate alone. The Islamic increase is also on the rise in America and you will see it more clearly once amnesty is granted to illegal immigrants (They're not all Hispanic as the media leads you to believe). You see. American can't be Burger King where everyone gets to have it their way. The bumper sticker "coexist" cannot happen on this side of heaven. Tensions will continue to rise in the Middle East and around the world. Homosexuals preach tolerance. Muslims preach kill the homosexuals. Feminists preach women rights. Muslims preach women should be quiet and modest at all times. Lets be real. Blacks and Hispanics as a whole are increasingly becoming less and less happy with each other as welfare rights are taken from one group and given to another. And I cannot imagine what secular culture will look like on tv, radio, internet, social media, etc. in 20 years.
There really is no middle road. The narrow road is getting narrower and the broad road is getting broader. As Christian Rapper Lecrae says "its God or the World and the two don't mix" (Yes, he actually got that from the Book of James).
A missional shift continues to take place in the church! Church planting continues to rise! As bad as things are getting, I hope this blog encourages you, the faithful, to stay excited, enthusiastic, and passionate for the Lord's kingdom building work on this earth yet also expectant, watchful, and hopeful for His return!
God is doing something amazing today in the church! Worship and Preaching are becoming sharper as our hearts are ablaze. Gospel centrality in expository preaching with a Christocentric focus is the fire coming out of many pulpits! Simply put, the entire Bible (OT & NT) points to Christ and ultimately the Gospel! Missionaries are using situational bible stories to eventually bring about oral chronological bible storying with a gospel centeredness to a biblically illiterate world. Musicians are using narratives to sing about the Grand Narrative of the Gospel in their songwriting. Preachers are expounding the text and drawing The Story from biblical stories! I just bought the first edition of a 10 year bible commentary called Christ-Centered Exposition (Exalting Jesus in 1&2 Timothy and Titus). David Platt, Danny Akin, and Tony Merida were the editors and I can't wait to collect the entire commentary over the next 10 years! See, God is up to something special in His Church in the years to come and we need to be anticipating and expecting a great move on His part!
Just yesterday, SBC president Fred Luter preached at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary! Yes, a black man is the President of the Southern Baptist Convention! That in itself shows God is up to something! The Church is beginning to look more like heaven on earth as our diversity shows up in the pews! Perhaps in 10 years, the 11 o'clock worship hour will not be the most segregated hour in a given week in our country. Back to Rev. Luter - He knocked the ball out of the park and was the perfect speaker and message for this new blog to promote. Check out his message on the transforming power of the gospel! --- http://apps.sebts.edu/multimedia/?p=4360