Paul Nyquist – Moody Founder’s Week 2015 – Opening night

Monday Feb. 2, 2015 Moody Bible Institute – Chicago

Dr. Nyquist:

John S. Dickerson, in his book called ‘The Great Evangelical Recession’ has a chapter on this and he captures 4 different trends that he sees. And, here’s what he says:

  1. The broader ‘host’ culture of the United States is changing faster than most of us realize.
  2. The direction of the change includes pro-homosexuality and anti-Christian reactionism.
  3. The rate of the cultural change in this direction will further accelerate as the oldest two generations die, taking their traditional ‘American values’ and their votes with them.
  4. These changes will reach a point at which they directly affect church as we know it and our lives as individual evangelicals.

John S. Dickerson – The Great Evangelical Recession

Paul Nyqusit: Now, maybe you have not witnessed these changes in your zip code yet, but you will. The storm clouds are forming. And unless God chooses to graciously revisit this country with a spiritual revival, everyone of us who claims the name of Christ is gonna be immersed in a culture that is hostile against us. In short, living the Christian life and running the race has just become infinitely more difficult. So, the question facing us is: How can we run the race in such a hostile environment? How can we keep on running despite all this opposition and finish the race?

Well, this is exactly the topic that the writer of Hebrews takes up in his book. The readers of this book were Jewish believers who were considering abandoning the Christian faith. They had come to faith in Jesus Christ, but then, they began to experience opposition and persecution. Their family and friends turned against them. Society turned on them. So, they lost their jobs, they lost their friends, they lost their community that they so much had enjoyed. And as this went on and on and on, they continued to struggle with this, they finally reached a point where they began to wonder: ‘Maybe we should just go back into the safety of judaism.’

Well. the author of this book picks up his pen to exhort them. And he writes a letter that is filled with injunctions and instructions, and inspiration. And this letter reaches a practical and theological apex right in the first 3 verses of Hebrews chapter 12. So, as those who are now gonna be living in a hostile society, we need to revisit these verses. We need to read them with a fresh set of eyes. And that’s what we’re gonna do tonight. We’re gonna look at these verses and what we are gonna see is the author tells us how we can run this race with endurance. That is, he’s gonna give us three strategies that we can and must use, if we’re not only gonna run this race, but also finish it.

VIDEO by Moody Bible Institute

 

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