Helen Keller said, “Worse than being blind would be, to be able to see, but not have vision.”
I believe that the United States of America, our culture and the church in general in America are all in a crisis. Furthermore, I believe that this crisis will not be solve or resolved by the government or by legislation. I believe that the only way we will impact the world is for the people of God to experience a great movement of the Holy Spirit of God. We must spiritually awaken to God’s vision for the world or we will suffer the final judgment of God.
There is nothing in the Scripture that teaches us that we are to rest on our past success. There is nothing in the Scripture that says we should sit back with our feet up and watch while others impact the world for Christ.
Have you taken an honest look at our country lately? It seems as though trouble is winning out. I realize that’s not a very spiritual thing to say because as a Christian I know that ultimately God wins. While that is certainly true for eternity, today Satan is having a heyday. This nation is committing moral suicide. Actually, we are experiencing what the Bible describes as the law of sowing and reaping. The escalation of moral problems abounds — pornography, adultery, divorce, abortion, alcoholism and homosexuality are all accepted parts of our local culture.
And what about church problems? The average church today has had more fights and splits than a boxer. We blame it on COVID — but in actuality, COVID only accelerated what was already happening. There is a total lack of commitment to God, His Word, and His church in our world today. 20-25% of those who “regularly” attended church pre-COVID will not return.
Jesus told us that the world is supposed to know us by our love and unity — and to mention these things today brings a snicker from most congregations. There are people who claim Christ as their Savior who won’t speak to other Christians or if they do — it is very cold and uncaring.
I’ll tell you why it seems that evil is winning out in the world. It is because it is winning out in the local church. The church as become too much like the world. We have cast aside and are continuing to cast aside any semblance of God in our public lives. We somehow believe that what we do in our private lives has nothing to do with our “church” life. We think we can go to church on Sunday and then go out Monday through Saturday and live like the devil.
We started out tolerating sinful behavior in the church and then we legitimized it and now we are legalizing it nationally! Our sin today is literally flaunted in the face of our Holy God. Quite frankly, I believe that we are coming to a place in the American church where, if we refuse to call sin what it is and accept it for what the Bible says it is — there will be significant consequences to pay. Personally, I think we have forgotten that God’s clock is ticking and we are getting dangerously close to MIDNIGHT. My friends, just as sure as a time bomb has a timer which, when it reaches 0 detonates — so this world has a timer that is counting down.
I’ve stopped looking for the SIGNS of Christ’s coming and I’m listening for the SOUND of the trumpet of God!
“Pastor…have you given up hope? Don’t you have a word of good news for us?”
I absolutely do! The question is are you going to listen to it? The cure to the problems I have described above is found only in repentance of sin and returning to our first love. If we are truly going to impact the world for Christ, we must develop a vision that sees things differently than they are. We must see things the way God intends for them to be.
I have come to the realization that I am in the 4th Quarter of my ministry and there is one thing I desire to see in the remaining years of life and ministry.
I want to see a vision of Jesus
There is NOTHING that we do that is more important than introducing men and women, boys and girls to Jesus Christ. I’m done arguing about secondary theological issues. I’m done choosing up sides in this fight. There are over 7 billion people in this world and most of them have never heard the God. There are many people who don’t have one single verse of the Bible translated into their language. I believe we need to get a vision of Jesus Christ and then share that vision with our community, our state, our nation and the world.
I am praying that God will use me in the remaining years of my ministry to mentor young men and women who are going to eventually be missionaries in the darkest areas of our world. I’m not going to be the overseer of a nursing home or a funeral home! I’m going to put my effort into the lives of boys and girls, men and women who are truly on fire for God and who want to make a difference in their world. I refuse to allow God to write ICHABOD over my life and ministry!
Leonard Sweet, the E. Stanley Jones Professor Emeritus at Drew Theological School has said, “The church is like a vehicle careening down the road at break-neck speed. It really is somewhat of a danger to people. Everybody in this vehicle — called the church — is absolutely fixated on dome light issues: fighting for who sits where, who gets the pillow, who gets a window seat, who gets to drive, who sits in the front seat. They have forgotten that the purpose of that care is to go down the highway. We are so fixated on dome lights that we have forgotten to turn the headlights on”
Not only have many of us forgotten our purpose for existence — I’m afraid that most people in the church today have never learned what that purpose is to begin with. I keep hearing people say, “When are we going back to normal?” I hope we NEVER go back to normal! Normal wasn’t working. Normal was nothing more than people interested in their own comfort and traditions. I want something SUPERNATURAL. I want to see the Spirit of God move within the people of God in a way that glorifies Jesus and causes the world to say, “Those folks have been with Jesus!”
I WANT A VISION OF JESUS! I pray God will help me to do what I can for as long as I can so that I may help people catch this vision of Jesus and for the plight of lost people.