Sunday, April 11, 2010

The Beliefs that Changed the World

Referencing article by Michael Spencer called "Coming Evangelical Collapse" originally written Jan. 27, 2009 and reprinted in Baptist Messenger April 8, 2010.

"Nothing will reanimate evangelicalism to its previous levels of size and influence. The end of evangelicalism as we know it is close; far closer than most of us will admit."

Question: is the article true? likely?
Answer: "what's ahead?" - don't know. On one hand, it's Christ's church and He'll care for it. Matt. 16:18
On the other hand, the spread of the gospel and the health of the church is largely in the hands of His followers. Matt. 28:19-20

So, again, what's ahead for the church, evangelical Christianity, in the USA? Again, the answer is: don't know.

BUT, we do know: there is a common belief system that undergirds every Christian awakening, corresponds to every revival, parallels every Christian resurgence.
You'll find it A. recorded in the history and theology of the New Testament, and
B. in the fabric of all successful Christian movements since then.

So, let's examine:
I. Common beliefs that led to the actions that changed the world.

II. The application of those beliefs to you and I today.

The beliefs that changed the world.
(or the beliefs behind the actions that changed the world)

#1. Jesus is Lord. Acts 2:36 3:13-15
Therefore, they preached more than morals, ethics, social issues. They preached Christ - death, burial, resurrection, ascension.
If don't have this, will have the death of evangelicalism of the church.

#2. All men should be informed of this truth. Matt. 28:19-20 - Great Commission - was taken seriously.

#3. All men need Jesus. They believed the sinfulness of man, sacrifice of Christ, need to accept and receive Him.
They believed man was free to choose BUT not free to access God your own way. Acts 4:12 reflects John 3:16-18 and John 14:6

#4. All believers have responsibility to spread the gospel. Acts 4:29 Acts 8:1 & 4 - all did not mean only preachers. All meant witnesses.

#5. Jesus is with us in this endeavor. ( Matt. 28:20 ) Mark 16:20

#6. There is great power at work in our efforts.
Phil. 2:12-13 - prayer, proclamation, ministry....
On one hand, rely on the presence and power of God.
On the other hand, work as if the results depended solely on you!!!

#7. Lifestyle is part of the proclamation process. "Christian walk"
pleases God, benefits believers, AND demonstrates Christ. People should look to you and find Christ.

#8. When we are spreading the gospel we are doing God's work. John 14:12

#9. We are making an eternal difference.

#10. We will be blessed for our efforts. According to His definition and according to His timing.

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