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We are not here to be nice, go to church, and hide from the world. We are on this earth to participate with God in His redemptive plan to save the world. This is not a game, but a war and we must play to win.
Too many Christians treat their faith as if it is some kind of add-on or accessory. We have been trained by decades of marketing to be consumers. So we approach churches and worship as a consumer experience.
Consumers will not change the world for the better.
Church is serious business. I’m not thinking of the Sunday gathering. That’s not THE church, nor is it BEING the church. Sunday morning’s purpose is to equip and encourage the church to fulfill its mission. It informs Kingdom citizens on their tools and roles, and our city needs Kingdom citizens.
Luke 4:18-19 (NLT) 18 “The Spirit of the LORD is upon me, for he has anointed me to bring Good News to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim that captives will be released, that the blind will see, that the oppressed will be set free, 19 and that the time of the LORD’s favor has come.”
Report the News! You’ve won the celestial lottery! The God of the Universe, the creator of all, sees you, knows you, and loves you. There was nothing you could do. But, now you have access to the greatest of all – personally and officially. This is the greatest news!
Represent the Kingdom. There are no POW camps in the Kingdom of God. There is no need for Schools for the Blind. Anxiety is a thing of the past. Crushing stress from people and situations has been destroyed. God is not mad at you. The idea that God’s plan is for his followers to walk through life terrified of God is wrong. Sure, God is terrifying to those who despise Him. But, to those who seek Him, His office door is open. The Kingdom of God is nothing like the kingdoms of this world. We must learn to think as citizens of a Kingdom that rules over what we see.
Restore the Broken. Christians disciples should leave things better than we found them. We should connect and touch people so that they are better for it. The atmosphere of the rooms we enter should change. The attitudes of those we talk to should improve. Our city should be better for us having been here. We are the hope, light, and courage bringers. We are the healers. We don’t deal in pity. We dispense hope.
Jude 1:22-23 (NLT) And you must show mercy to those whose faith is wavering. 23 Rescue others by snatching them from the flames of judgment. Show mercy to still others, but do so with great caution, hating the sins that contaminate their lives.
Rescue the Perishing. People are perishing. That’s what’s at stake. They could die and meet God’s wrath. This is a rescue mission. This is an enlistment mission. This is a training mission, because the battle is larger than our lifetimes. People need to be saved, delivered, and empowered, in order to save, deliver and empower others. Do you understand the stakes?
Matthew 16:18 (MSG) You are Peter, a rock. This is the rock on which I will put together my church, a church so expansive with energy that not even the gates of hell will be able to keep it out.
The Playing Field
Welcome to Heck… Were it not for God’s goodness, there would never be a good day. Pain, misery, losses, guilt, shame, and evil are all that this world has to offer. That is the culture of Earth, much like the white witch ruling Narnia with all of her citizens, hidden, oppressed with few joys. That is the world we live in. This life is cold, unforgiving, dog-eat-dog, and worse.
People complain about all the difficulties. I often wonder why there are so many joys. People accuse God of doing a terrible job when all he has done is give them the power to choose their own life. Their own choices ruin things, not God.
The Energy of Heaven. Hell can’t stop us. Our mission is aggressive. We are the invaders. The Devil is on the defense. We have the ball. So move the pins, drive the enemy back deep into his own territory, and then push him out the back of the stadium.
Luke 14:23 (NLT) So his master said, ‘Go out into the country lanes and behind the hedges and urge anyone you find to come, so that the house will be full.
An Aggressive Invitation. Invite everyone to follow Jesus, come to Jesus, live for Jesus, and declare Jesus as their Lord. He is the answer you are so desperately trying to fill with possessions, popularity, fame, success, sex, addictions, and so on. The Good News is… There is an answer. You don’t have to be your own answer. Jesus is the ‘enough’ you are looking for. Hell can’t stop that.
1 Peter 5:8-9 (NLT) Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. 9 Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith. Remember that your family of believers all over the world is going through the same kind of suffering you are.
Don’t Be Your Own Worst Enemy. We have two primary problems in this life, ourselves and Satan and Company. So don’t give the enemy permission to ruin your life. Don’t wander from God, into paths and habits of sin. Watch that you don’t rebel against God and His ordained authorities. Avoid pride in all its forms. These sins give the enemy a beachhead. Don’t give him one.
Don’t Live in Fear, but also, Don’t Be Stupid. Be lion aware. Paul once wrote, “We are not ignorant of his devices and strategies.” But, we are; we don’t know how to recognize the enemy’s hand. He lies, blinds, masquerades, tricks, tempts, plucks, kills, fights, and accuses. Yeah, he’s busy.
Matthew 6:33 (NLT) Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.
Nothing is more serious than your faith. It’s not a joke. Your eternity is in the balance. Nothing is more important than your obedience to God. God has a purpose for you that accomplishes the mission and wins the war. Nothing is worth the loss of precious people because we majored in minors. So, what is your priority, God’s Kingdom or your own?