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A Fair and Balanced Gospel – We preach, You decide

Posted by undergroundchurch on May 2, 2009


I’m stealing this title from Fox News, and I think we the church need to take our cues from this philosophy.

The purpose of the Bible is to present a true and accurate depiction of God’s interaction with humanity.  In it we see his love, holiness, kindness and justice.  Someone reading it might even think they are seeing mixed messages – how can a loving God let evil reign or send down judgments on the human race, or my favorite, how can a loving God send people to Hell?

Part of the confusion is found in how the church understands the balanced nature of God. God does not change, he is the same yesterday, today and forever.  The God of the Old Testament is alive and well today.  The question is how do we reconcile this in our hearts.

I have listened to many sermons in my life and watched the evolution of teaching in the church throughout the years.  Two hundred years ago in the holiness movement, the messages were more about repentance and righteousness than the love of God. 

A hundred years ago, the messages evolved into the movement of God through the power of the Holy Spirit.

Fifty years ago, they translated into a global outreach with crusades, evangelism and building the church body through salvation of the world. 

Thirty years ago, a movement known as the “Jesus movement” began a transition the church into seeing God as a loving savior and deserving of our worship – accepting of anyone and everyone. 

Twenty years ago the church began to be marred in the eyes of the world through pride, and in some ways sort of lost its identity.  It began concentrating on building big churches, programs and other off message works.  

Each era of the church tended to concentrate on one side of God with an emphasis toward one characteristic or another. Today, I would say that as a whole, the church is floating.  There is a movement within it to move, but complacency runs amok and it’s going to take a change of heart to get it going.  A sign of the times is that many in the church feel that we are ok and that there is nothing really wrong, but  we have lost our relevance. Just lookat society around us.  We used to set the tone for society, now our voices are ridiculed as intolerant when the opposite is true. 

The question is where will the church go?  What will the church of the next decade look like?

For all my criticism of the current situation within the church, I am exceedingly optimistic and excited for its future.  The church is the tool Jesus is going to use to change the world, and it is going to go through a dramatic transformation to get there.

I have spent some time studying the rising movement within the church, I want to give a glimpse of where I feel the church will transition.

First, the church will balance its teaching.  The most prevalent teaching in the church today is about the goodness of God, the love of God and the mercy of God.  These are all good and true, but like the generations of the past, they look at God rather one sided.  The next transformation will be in the balance of teaching.  It will be a culmination of the last 200 years of church history with a flavor of first century methodology.  It will be strong in every area by balancing the love of God and the fear of God, balancing the mercy of God with the justice of God. 

Second, it will see salvations like never before that really impact those being saved through real repentance, change and power.  No longer will we just pray a prayer from the stage and leave it at that.  You will see people broken before God in their salvation experience.  They will not be getting saved on Sunday mornings only, but throughout the week.  Believers will be sharing the good news of Jesus with those in their workplace, grocery stores and restaurants and witnessing transformations that turn people from their sin and empower them to chase after God – an element lacking in many being saved today.

Third, you will see a fear of God arise that will drive believers to powerful prayer.  The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom. Fear is not the kind of fear you experience going to a horror  movie, it is the understanding that God is everything and you are nothing.  It is knowing that this God who loves you cannot let sin abide in his presence.  The believer will no longer live two lives – one of sin and one of Sunday morning facades. Holiness will be a sign of the believer’s life.

Fourth, you will see the gifts of God explode in the church.  Gifts that far too many in church believe are extinct will rise to a prominent state.  Miracle, signs and wonders will happen in fulfillment of Jesus’ own words in ways that have never occurred in common man.  The power of the Holy Spirit will empower the believer with all boldness, fruits and gifts necessary to usher in day of the Lord.

Fifth, Sunday is not going to be enough.  Like the first century church, the place to be will be with fellow believers.  You will begin meeting daily together because you will find that Jesus is showing up every time you get together.  Home churches, fellowships and just get togethers for prayer, teaching and worship will be in every neighborhood.  The church will blend into the lives of people and not be relegated to a building.

Finally, (and I’m sure there are more) the church will make an impact once again. Make no mistake, the world will hate the church more and more as we stand in righteousness, but the mercy of Jesus will shine through us as we reach out to meet the needs of the downtrodden.  We won’t be just about ourselves; we will have most of our ministries focused on those outside of our local churches where it should be. 

Ever notice that Jesus ministry was mostly to those that weren’t following him? He simply taught those following him, but to those that weren’t he healed, fed and brought the good news. 

Our preamble will be something like this… 

We the church, in order to form a more perfect union in Christ, will establish justice, ensure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense of the Gospel, promote general welfare of the downtrodden, and secure the blessing of liberty in Christ  for ourselves and those living around us, to ordain and establish this Gospel of Jesus Christ for the people of the world.

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One Response to “A Fair and Balanced Gospel – We preach, You decide”

  1. Yep once Zion is established as the new Jerusalem that shouldn’t be a problem.

    web.me.com/angelpalmoni

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