We are living in a day when Christians could have some cause for concern over the state of the church in our country. Specifically, its health and growth. As Thom Ranier recently noted in an article entitled “Why American churches are at a tipping point,”
If current trajectories continue, American churches will pass a tipping point. Our congregations will likely begin an unstoppable path toward decline that will rival many European churches of the past century. If there is not a significant movement of revitalization, there will be an accelerated rate of decline and death.
Or consider a warning from pastor Mike Woodruff to his fellow pastors of churches in his home state of Illinois, in an article entitled “Churches brace for Illinois exodus,”
“…most Illinois churches are unprepared for [the decline] that is going to happen…in these challenging times.”
How do we reconcile such realities with the Biblical vision of an expansive and growing kingdom of God? Further, with the teaching that the church is to be the means for that expansion? I believe that Luke’s goal in writing, in part, is to provide both a picture and a confidence for how the kingdom will grow, no matter the opposition arrayed against it. And I invite you now to watch or listen to the sermon on Luke, where we learn that the whole book could be summed up this way—God’s Not Done Yet.
If you’d like some additional resources on Luke, head on over to the Bible Project page for this story. You’ll also be interested in a fascinating series of videos on both Luke and Acts, two books which are meant to be read together. You can find that here.
I look forward to gathering with you on Sunday.
Preparation For Holy Week
If you were here on Sunday, then you know that we will not be leaving Paul’s letter to the Philippians as the text for our Good Friday and Easter Sunday services.
Finally, my brothers, rejoice in the Lord. To write the same things to you is no trouble to me and is safe for you.
First, it is Palm Sunday. Which means it is the beginning of a week of remembering the most important events in the history of the world: the entry of Jesus into Jerusalem, his last meal with his disciples, his death at the hands of sinful men as the result of a sham sentence in a kangaroo court, his burial by those who loved him, and his resurrection from the dead just three days later. All of it for the salvation and rescue of the world.
One of the dangers of reading the stories of those followers of Jesus that we find in the Bible is we can treat them as if they are almost super-human.
In the unsearchable counsel of God's will for the world, he has so designed that salvation will come through the church, that body of people gathered by the power of his Holy Spirit.
The Whole Story: Ephesians-Week Two
I attempted to show in the sermon this past Sunday that Paul offers us two anchor points for our lives, and upon which our lives depend.
Why Should I Read The Bible?
Most days I love waking up, coffeeing up, praying up, and then gobbling up the Bible. But not every day. I’m just like you in that. I need reminding about why the Bible — God’s Whole Story — is an important part of my day, for every other part of my day.