Wednesday, February 20, 2008

An Unbelievable Message Pt. 1

So what to bible believing Christians want to hear from the candidates? What message will capture their attention and perhaps garner their support? What can the last three major presidential contenders say that will resonate with this particular constituent group? I’m not sure. For within our unshakable kingdom and unbreakable bond there is a difference of opinion on some very important political issues. We do not all agree on the continued prosecution of the war, the role of government in our lives, the best way to approach climate change, nor the most effective way to address the growing challenge of health care and insurance. Even on an issue like abortion there may not be 100% agreement on the best way to address that politically.

But let’s flip the script. Because the message that’s most meaningful to us isn’t what any candidate has to say nor is it apart of their campaign or their parties’ platform. And that’s fine, for that message is one that’s been committed to God’s people and only God’s people. It is a message that those in Christ must agree on since the church is still the house of God which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth. And with all that the candidates have to say on the important issues of our time (and they are important) the most significant and crucial message that pertains to humanity is the message of the glorious, liberating gospel of Jesus Christ.
That’s the message that we are commissioned and empowered to preach to all people whether Jew, non-Jew, Indian, Asian, white, Arab, black or Hispanic. We preach this message to those from blue states and red states. We promote it to builders, boomers, busters, rockers, skaters and hip-hoppers. What is this message, why is it important and what main issue does it deal with?

As I said before it is the message of the gospel. What is this gospel or good news? It is the message of scripture concerning salvation from sin, God’s anger against those who commit sin and their restoration back into a right relationship with Him through the person and work of Jesus Christ. Why is this message important? It’s important because it addresses the most urgent, pressing and eternal problem and dilemma for any person at anytime, anywhere. From God’s perspective our chief problem isn’t a lack of money or opportunity to make money. It isn’t the lack of good parents or poor education. Our main problem isn’t broken relationships, under-employment or inadequate healthcare. In fact I can go so far as to say that our prime concerns aren’t the felt needs that weigh in on us on a daily basis. Our primary problem has nothing to do with racism, sexism, ageism, or classism. That’s not to say that these aren’t real or actual concerns. However, if we place too much weight on them they can all too easily obscure the truth of our very real and present danger. What is that danger?

We declared war on God and lost badly. We can observe the effects of the collateral damage of that loss all around us. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Once we rejected the good, wise, just, righteous and gracious rule of our creator, Lord and master we gained the ‘privilege’ of running the show ourselves. But even worse than that we inherited a regular, normal human nature that is bent away from God and bent toward rebellion, perversion and disobedience. Where has this nature gotten us? To make a long story short we are the objects of Almighty God’s fierce, passionate, settled, unrelenting, just and certain anger. And it really doesn’t matter how much money we have, our status and position in life, the size and location of our home or how many degrees we’ve attained. When all is said and done all have sinned. Whether black, white, Jew, Arab, Indian, European, Hispanic or Asian, all us are naturally disqualified from enjoying God’s kingdom and presence. What is our main problem? Our main problem is that we have sinned and for that there will be hell to pay.

To Him Who Loves Us…
Pastor Lance


Jim Pemberton said...

Good stuff, Pastor Lance! I would add that we have come a long way when earnest believers can take either side of the political discussion and find aspects that they can honestly believe will glorify God. Many of us fear persecution, but we are blessed when we suffer for Christ. I submit, therefore, that God will be glorified no matter who is in office. Our job as you correctly assess is to bear the message of the gospel.

Pastor Lance said...

good word brother Jim. our ultimate hope isn't in a candidate or political party but in the One who changes hearts and minds through the gospel of Christ.