Monday, February 27, 2017

The State of the Church

To Change the World

One likely response to hearing, ‘We are to change the world’, just might be something like, ‘But we’re too small to do much about changing the world’. But saying that reveals some important misunderstandings about this calling.

First, there’s the goal of the Church. To change the world is our calling. That’s clear if you remember the words that Jesus taught us to pray, ‘Thy kingdom come’. What is this but a prayer that God would bring about the ultimate change, the coming of His complete rule over the affairs of humanity. Then, consider Jesus’ parting command to His Church, ‘Make disciples of the nations’. What is this but how God brings about the coming of that kingdom. This is our calling. It’s very important to distinguish this from working for the ongoing existence of Faith Reformed. There have been plenty of churches that were very faithful in working toward this goal which no longer exist. They will be rewarded.

Then, there is the method. How are we to do this? Here’s a key thought for doing this in this culture. These days the Church will make progress in this by Christians working at living well as disciples and being ready for any opportunity to explain their lives, and thus the Gospel, when people ask. If we do a good job of this kind of living, they will come to us, wondering how we do it. This does not mean that we are to be passive in this, but rather that our greatest weapon these days - what will open doors of opportunity for us - is how we live before the watching world.

Last, how long will it take for us to do this? Well, who is that ‘us’? It’s the whole Church throughout history. This is something that we’ve been working on since Jesus told us how to pray and gave us that final command. This is something that has been taking - and will continue to take - generations. Our expectations need to match that. We need to work at this not necessarily expecting to see the result of our labors in this life.

This is how we change the world.

This is the last of a series of bulletin inserts that I wrote for my church.

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