Posts Tagged ‘winning’

Winning is Not Passively Waiting

November 30th, 2009 No comments

Christ’s ascension gives us another clue as to what it means for the Church to win. The Scriptures reveal something very special about Christ’s ascension and what He expects us to be doing until He returns:

“Day after day every priest stands and performs his religious duties; again and again he offers the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God. Since that time he waits for his enemies to be made his footstool, because by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.” (Hebrews 10:11-14)

Notice what Jesus did: He sat the down. His cry on the cross, “It is finished,” now reaches its ultimate fulfillment as Jesus, our priest, takes His seat. The atonement has been made and our redemption is secured. Jesus now sits in the position of ultimate authority. Paul writes, “[God raised Christ] from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. And God placed all things under his feet (Ephesians 1:20-23)

So now what? What is our response to this amazing truth? This passage tells us, “Since that time (the time of His exaltation) he waits for his enemies to be made his footstool. How will this happen? How will Christ’s enemies become His footstool?

Here is where our identity as the Church begins to emerge. Our job is to bring the Kingdom to earth by preaching the good news about our Great King and by extending His Lordship over all creation! We are not passively waiting for Christ to do this by Himself. While we recognize the complete subjection of every enemy will not be fully realized until He comes, we, nonetheless, have been given the authority and power to encounter our enemy, satan, wherever and whenever we find him. This is our call and our privilege as sons and daughters of the King.

Theologian Elton Trueblood observed, “Perhaps the greatest single weakness of the contemporary Christian Church is that millions of supposed members are not really involved at all and, what is worse, do not think it strange that they are not. As soon as we recognize Christ’s intention to make his Church a militant company we understand at once that the conventional arrangement cannot suffice. There is no real chance of victory in a campaign if ninety percent of the soldiers are untrained and uninvolved, but that is exactly where we stand now.”

Winning is not merely watching or waiting. Winning means enlisting in the army and enforcing the victory of our exalted King!

Winning is Not Salvation: Exhibit #1

November 18th, 2009 1 comment

I made the point in the last blog that there is a big difference between preaching the “gospel of salvation” and preaching the “gospel of the Kingdom.” The former focuses on getting souls ready for heaven. The latter preaches a much broader message which involves bringing the reign of Christ, not only to the individual, but also to the major domains of life.

There are seven spheres or domains which influence the values and beliefs of any society: education, church, family, government, business and technology, the performing arts, and the media. When we preach the gospel of the Kingdom, weunderstand that our task is to bring the Lordship of Christ into all of life. As Chuck Colson says, “Transformed people transform culture.”

Africa is a perfect example of the weakness of the salvation message without an emphasis on disciplemaking and culture building. Africa is the most evangelized nation on the planet with 80% of the people claiming to be Christian south of the Sahara. Yet in every nation we see basically the same things: poverty, disease, violence, corruption, injustice and chaos.

How could this be?

Because we have failed to teach new believers the principles of the Kingdom. We have failed to disciple young Christians and to teach them how to rebuild their nation upon biblical principles. So many have heaven in their hearts while they live in communities that look like hell. They received a message of salvation but not kingdom transformation. Jesus commanded the Church to disciple nations. It’s time to enlarge our vision and to get to work.

Winning is Not Salvation

November 11th, 2009 No comments

Hold on…don’t start launching the charges of heresy just yet! Hear me out!

As we are trying to define what “WINNING” means for the Church, we need to address a sensitive, but critically important point. Much of the Church is preaching a very narrow gospel message. Let’s call it “the gospel of salvation.” The message is straightforward – repent and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you’ll be saved. Amen! This is the cornerstone of our message and the entry point. But is this the end? In other words, if our WIN is to get people ready for heaven, then what do we do with them after they are saved? Is salvation THE message or is it just part of what it means to WIN?

Jesus came preaching the gospel of the Kingdom (Mark 1:14-15). While new birth, or salvation, is the entry into the Kingdom of God, it nevertheless is just the starting place. Our job as believers and citizens of the Kingdom, is to spread the good news that “Our God Reigns!” (Isaiah 52:7) We have been created for dominion, not for defeat.

So many Christians have a pessimistic view of the future. They expect things to get progressively worse, with only a handful of faithful believers huddled together in a closet awaiting Jesus’ rescue. They see the world as a sinking ship, so the job of the Church is to merely rescue as many people as you can before the ship sinks.

I’m sorry, but to me, this doesn’t look like a WIN at all! Surely Jesus has more in mind for His Church than this. We’ll contine to explore this in the next blog…