Matt Chandler – Liberty University Convocation

VIDEO by Liberty University

Marriage: A union of the Spirit – Matt Chandler

Dan Darling sits down with Matt Chandler to discuss the biggest difference between the marriages between lost couples and redeemed Christians.

Matt Chandler: The’ “incessant need” that some Christians have “to be seen as cool and relevant must die.”

Pastor Matt Chandler of the Village Church in Flower Mound, Texas, delivered a tough message from the pulpit last Sunday, proclaiming that the’ “incessant need” that some Christians have “to be seen as cool and relevant must die.”

“That’s not who we are,” he said, speaking to his fellow believers. “The marginalization that occurs because we love Christ shouldn’t be run from. We don’t live for this life alone.”

Chandler went on to say that Christians should be “counter culture to this culture” and that there’s a danger in trying to make Jesus look “cool.”

“You’re never going to make Jesus so cool that everybody thinks he’s cool. Once you do that he’s not Christ anymore,” he said. “He’s some figment of your imagination.”

Watch Chandler’s brief, yet pointed, comments below:

(VIA)

Matt and Lauren Chandler to Married Couples: God’s Design Is for You to Have Children

In a new Tuesday video series promoting Matt Chandler’s upcoming book Mingling of the Soul: God’s Design for Love, Marriage, Sex and Redemption, the Texas pastor and his wife Lauren told husbands and wives that God’s big plan for them is to have children.

Examining God’s command to Adam and Eve to be fruitful and multiply, Matt Chandler urged married couples, „You’ve been designed by God physically, emotionally to have children. … God’s big plan is for a man and woman to marry … and have children unless they’re called to singleness.”

Couples questioning God’s design in their lives should consider their motives, he said. „I think the question I’d like to ask back [is] I want to know why you wouldn’t want to have children. I think more often than not what gets revealed is a selfishness of heart or some kind of fear that’s either rooted in an experience or not rooted in reality at all.”

Matt Chandler concluded by advising married men and women to „pursue the gift of God in children.”

Read more at http://www.christianpost.com/

More Matt Chandler post/sermons here – https://rodiagnusdei.wordpress.com

Matt Chandler: All we have is the gospel

Matt Chandler: All we have is the gospel from Oak Hill College on Vimeo.

Matt Chandler – Christ is All – Together for The Gospel (T4G)

Matt Chandler preaches from 2 Timothy 1:8-14, describing how our motivation to evangelize should be God-centered, not man-centered. A preoccupation with the potential persecution of others will paralyze our evangelism, whereas a preoccupation with God will propel our desire to see those for whom Christ died believe. Pastors in particular must lead the way in this, Chandler says, for being a “beast in the pulpit” and scared to death outside it provides an awful example to the church. VIDEO by Truth Endures

Matt Chandler – Recovering Redemption – Q & A with Matt Chandler May 6th, 2014

Read more at – http://recoveringredemption.com

Tell us a bit about the beginning of Recovering Redemption.

My own experience had been that for people who legitimately struggled because of their past or the nature of the sin they were caught up in, the church hadn’t been a safe place for them. So I wanted us to interact with those people in a way that was biblically faithful and pressing them towards holiness, while being gracious and walking with them as long as they were willing to fight.

That moved us toward a recovery ministry, which started after my first year of being pastor here. We had everything from the heroin addict and alcoholic to the guy with an anger issue or the person whose relationships kept breaking down. Any type of short circuit in people’s lives was being ministered to by the Gospel of Jesus Christ in the recovery ministry.

So we wondered if we should take what we’ve been teaching in recovery—which is really just discipleship on steroids—and roll it out on Sunday morning and create small group curriculum around it.

 

Talk about your biblical/theological approach to Recovering Redemption.

Ultimately we want to lay before people the full panoramic of the Gospel—that you’re a broken sinner. Your only real hope is the person and work of Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit giving you the illuminating understanding of that person and work, and then for you to walk in an ongoing Christian ethic of confession and repentance and prayer. That’s going to start to put together relationships and that’s going to begin to help you do amends.

So we pressed that on people in a way that they felt safe confessing where they were coming from, safe unpacking their struggles, even some of the thoughts they were having that they were so embarrassed of. To create that venue really has fueled conversions and maturity at the church.

VIDEO by BibleStudyInsider

Q & A with Matt Chandler May 6th 2014

VIDEO by The Village Church

Matt Chandler – Prayer – The Nations

Prayer (Part 4) – The Nations from The Village Church on Vimeo.

Matt Chandler – Prayer – Racial Reconciliation

Matt Chandler talks bluntly and straightforward about race and the Gospel.

Prayer (Part 3) – Racial Reconciliation from The Village Church on Vimeo.

Matt Chandler at Dallas Seminary – Overcoming Our Prejudices Through Christ

Matt ChandlerMatt Chandler, lead teaching Pastor of The Village Church, discusses the temptation in evangelicalism to be drawn from unity towards homogeny.
http://www.dts.edu

VIDEO by dallasseminary

Matt Chandler – The Sanctity of Human Life

Matt ChandlerMATT CHANDLER: THE SANCTITY OF HUMAN LIFE
It has been popularly quoted that, „the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing”. Science is rapidly proving that abortion is the most horrendous act in this century. Millions and millions of innocent babies are being murdered daily around the world under the approval of their governments that have been put in place to protect them. As from 26:55, Pastor Matt Chandler rightly explains the irrationality of the so-called pro-choice movement and how self-centered and deprave we humans have become.

As evil as abortion is, it is not out of the boundaries of the forgiveness of God in Christ Jesus. The atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ is more than enough to wash away every sin.
After listing a bunch of sins, which makes all of us humans to see our sinfulness and how far we have fallen short from the glory and righteousness of God, God, through the apostle Paul, gave us the beautiful verse in 1 Corinthians 6:11. Therefore we Christians who have been washed should be the salt and light to a dark world. Not just by shaking our fist at the world but actively engaging the culture with Christ-like behavior for the benefit of the unborn and also to bring hope to the millions of women who are being pushed by their coward husbands into the abortion clinics as well as the women who are so self-consumed that they will murder.

The Gospel of Jesus Christ is our only hope and no Christian is without sin but in Jesus Christ, we can be transformed through Repentance, trusting and putting our faith in the person and work of Jesus Christ. We can be sanctified in Christ and Christ will tell us, just like He said through Paul in 1 Corinthians 6:11 that „And such were some of you…”

Please, lets all help join in prayers for the beautiful lives of the unborn.

VIDEO by Doulos Iesou Christou

John Piper, D A Carson, David Platt, Matt Chandler, messages from the CROSS Conference Dec 26-30, 2013

John Piper Cross ConferenceQuotes are from DesiringGod.org and VIDEOS and descriptions are from the Cross Conference website – http://crosscon.com Photos are from the videos.

John Piper

The Chief End of Missions: The Supremacy of God
in the Joy of All Peoples (Main Session I)

“The chief end of missions is the supremacy of God in the joy of all peoples.” These two ends are of an identical essence, totally and completely inseparable, for the only gladness that lasts is a gladness in the glory of God. This reality frees us from choosing either the glory of God or compassion for the lost as the primary desire for missions.

Some quotes from John Piper at the Cross Conference:

  • “There are a thousand needs in the world, and none of them compares to the global need for the gospel.”
  • “I am not a missionary, but I have wanted my life to count for the unreached peoples of the world.”
  • “God aims to look valuable in the world, and that happens when we treasure him above all else.”
  • “If you remove enjoyment of God from faith in God, it ceases to be faith.”
  • “We will not let you choose between being a lover of God and his sovereignty and being a lover of lost people.”
  • “One day America and all its presidents will be a footnote in history, but the kingdom of Jesus will never end.”
  • “God is on the move to rescue people from misery to everlasting happiness, which can only be found in him.”
  • “If you don’t know God as beautiful and satisfying, you don’t know him.”
  • “Jesus came at Christmas to bring glory to God and satisfaction to sinners everywhere.”

Other John Piper quotes from the breakout sessions:

  • “You ought to marry someone who’s willing to go anywhere for God. If they’re not, they’re out.”
  • “You don’t need to see the fruit of your life for there to be real, lasting, exponential fruit.’
  • “Don’t let your personality keep you from missions. God gave it to you and has a place for you to use it for his glory.”
  • “The Great Commission will not get done if we’re not ready to risk our lives and the lives of our family.”
  • “God doesn’t waste anything for those who are yielded to him.”
  • “Bitterness about your parents’ brokenness will kill you. Be the grace-filled end of generational sin in your family.”
  • “Do not be more devoted to your own brain than you are to the Bible.”
  • “God is not worn out running the galaxy. He’s not taxed at all guiding every dust particle all the time.”
  • “All your money is God’s, not just 10%.”
  • “I challenge everyone who hasn’t yet to memorize Romans 8 in 2014. It is useful for everything everywhere all the time.”

D A Carson

“The Church as the Means and the Goal of Missions”

D A CarsonD.A. Carson preaches on the social dimensions of both sin and the gospel. Sin doesn’t just send you to Hell, and the gospel doesn’t just save your soul. Each has necessary social, personal, and horizontal ramifications, culminating in the existence of and a commitment to the church, the bride of Christ, for it is in the church where the love of God is made known and reflected to the nations.

  • “Sin corrupts even our good deeds. We injure our shoulder trying to pat ourselves on the back.”
  • “The gospel overturns everything sin does.”
  • “The greatest aphrodisiac in marriage is kindness.”
  • “Tragically, we buy the lie that the gospel is only for the unconverted.”
  • “The very love of God is fleshed out in our local churches.”

David Platt

Mobilizing God’s Army for the Great Commission

David PlattTo close CROSS 2013, David Platt delivers a clarion call to all Christians, imploring them to consider what their obedience to the Great Commission looks like. For many, it will be as stateside senders; for some, it will be as lifelong goers; for others, it will be as offerings poured out en route to give the gospel to yet-to-be-reached peoples. In every scenario — in going and sending and even in dying — God is achieving His incontrovertible purpose: the supremacy of the glory of God in the Christ-exalting joy of all peoples.

Some quotes from David Platt at the Cross Conference:

  • “I’m asking every single person listening to this message to lay a blank check before God, open to go wherever he leads.”
  • “Ask, could my gifts, education, career, or experience be used to spread the gospel where it’s needed most?”
  • “What if the word of God was enough to inspire passionate worship among his people?”
  • “Saved people this side of heaven owe the gospel to lost people this side of hell.”
  • “There are no innocent unreached people in the world. Their knowledge of God is only enough to damn them to hell.”
  • “Our God is worthy of the worship of 6,000 more people groups.”
  • “If you can trust God to save you for eternity, you can trust him to lead you for a lifetime.”
  • “Do not underestimate what God can do when the church is sending and workers are going to people who need the gospel.”

Matt Chandler

Matt Chandler

The Life Worth Living for Christ
Is a Life Worth Losing

Matt Chandler unpacks the life of the apostle Paul as proof positive that there’s no such thing as a person beyond God’s saving mercy. In fact, his post-conversion commitment to evangelism and, even more, his Christ-exalting fearlessness in the midst suffering depicts the truth of his words in Philippians 1:21: “For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” May the same be said of all God’s people, that a better day is coming where we will receive our reward and see — finally — our treasured King face to face.

Some quotes from Matt Chandler at the Cross Conference

  • “When we join God in his plan for his global glory, we get to be a part of the cosmic take-your-kid-to-work day.”
  • “There isn’t a violent soul on the planet that God might not save and transform for himself.”
  • “Every missionary I know is extraordinarily ordinary. Everything they do, they do by the grace of God.”
  • “When God saves you, he doesn’t do it because you gave him permission. He did it because he’s God.”
  • “Comfort is the god of our generation, so suffering is seen as a problem to be solved, and not a providence from God.”
  • “Why do we try so hard to make Jesus cool?! He doesn’t need a makeover.”
  • “When we see the bankruptcy, slavery, and vanity of everything else, we can finally say, ‘To die is gain.’”
  • “Nobody dies early.”
  • “In 10,000 years you will not regret anything you didn’t have or do in this life.”
  • “Until Christ is our treasure, any other motivation we have to suffer for him is a fool’s errand.”

You can watch the other messages here – http://crosscon.com/

The Cross Conference is a new Missions Conference for Students. You can find out more about them here – http://crosscon.com/about/

Photo credit theGospelCoalition.org

Matt Chandler – What I wish I had known

ChandlerMatt Chandler via churchleaders.com

When is it good to see spiritual immaturity in your church?

Matt Chandler shares how he learned to appreciate God’s work in a growing church, as well as what he wishes he had known about asking for help, laughter and discipleship.

What I wish I’d known about the church.

I wish I had understood that if our church is seeing people come to know Christ consistently, we will always look a bit immature and messy around our fringes.

I would often lose heart in my first few years at what I believed was a lack of holiness in some of our members. My eyes would skip right over those who had been significantly transformed and the maturing center of our membership, and would fixate on the baby Christians struggling with their flesh.

I would often lose heart in my first few years at what I believed was a lack of holiness.

I think the burden is a good one.

I want every one of our members to grow into maturity more quickly than they seem to, but the Lord has taught me to shepherd people, call them to repentance and let Matthew 18:12­–14 play out.

What I wish I’d known about asking for help.

When I became a pastor, I didn’t realize how often I would have to ask for help.

I was used to being the smartest guy in the room, and then God dropped me in a place that was well beyond me. It was painfully awesome.

When I became a pastor, I didn’t realize how often I would have to ask for help.

When I started as a pastor, there was a staff of three and a church of 168. I didn’t know how or whom to hire next, or anything about constitutions and by-laws. I had never been a part of a church discipline issue, and I didn’t know how to find and train elders or how to prepare to preach that many weekends for an indefinite period of time.

I could go on and on. God was faithful to send me wise men to help me through.

What I wish I’d known about laughter.

I wish I had known how re-energizing it is to eat and laugh with good friends and peers.

I had read a lot of books and articles on longevity in ministry and was trying to manage energy, sleep, diet and stress well, but having friends over, enjoying good conversation and laughing always seems to refill my cup.

I wish I had known how re-energizing it is to eat and laugh with good friends and peers.

What I wish I’d known about discipleship.

It may sound strange, but I wish I had remembered that although I was working to make disciples, I was still a disciple myself.

I needed mentors and others to speak into my life, hold me accountable and be willing to say things that are hard for me to hear.

We don’t always need to agree

See ENTIRE MESSAGE here – Matt Chandler – Hebrews 12 at the
Exponential Conference 2011 – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ETNMg1…

 

Matt Chandler – The Gospel in 2 minutes

Matt Chandler breaks down the Gospel for us in a new and refreshing way. VIDEO by Radicals4J Photo credit thegospelcoalition.org

The Gospel is

… that there is this infinite, almighty, all-knowing, all-powerfull Creator God who created all things for His glory.

… and you and I have belittled that, belittled His name, belittled His glory.

Everyone of us have at one time or another, actually currently believe that our way is better is better than God’s.

We fail to acknowledge, giving glory for the gifts He’s given us. We question His rule and His authority, while at the same time doing that with the brain He gave us and holds together… and the lungs and the air that He gave us to breathe with.

This is the great blasphemy of the universe.

So, we’ve all belittled God, and God being JUST, RIGHT, and HOLY, is NOT going to allow the belittlement of His name. God then, not being able to spare wrath, sends CHRIST in the flesh and crushes Him. And in so doing, pours out His wrath against the children of God, onto the SON, killing Him. Then GOD raises Him from the dead, and that same power that raised God from the dead is now at WORK in those who BELIEVE.

THIS IS THE GOSPEL:

That you and I have right standing before God, not by our efforts, not by our works, not by our skill, not by whether or not we do this or don’t do that. We are justified before God by the cross of Christ alone.

Your lust? You’re not gonna be able to fix it. Your bitterness? You’re not gonna be able to fix it. Your rage, anger, those deviances that have been following you around? You don’t possess the power of life & death. You can’t resurrect anything! Christ can. That’s the good news. So, we don’t celebrate us… that’s why we continually celebrate Him…

…we boast in the cross, and the cross alone!

 

Matt Chandler – Stability amid difficulty

Matt and Lauren Chandler discuss what they’ve learned, how they’ve grown, and how they prioritize their time. With Mark Mellinger. (VIA theGospelCoaltion.org):

ChandlerOn Thanksgiving morning 2009, Matt Chandler got out of bed, poured his coffee, fed his daughter, and collapsed. Doctors would discover a malignant brain tumor, launching a scary season of suffering for him and his wife, Lauren. The couple recently sat down with Mark Mellinger to discuss what they’ve learned, how they’ve grown, and how they prioritize their time.

„God has grown in my heart a gratitude I’d never really experienced before,” Lauren shares. Rather than producing resentment, suffering has deepened her gratefulness for each day with Matt. Most of all, though, it’s made her thankful the Lord would „love me enough to understand suffering personally—and that he lovingly appointed me to go through a season where I didn’t have anything but him.”

That initial period of agonizing uncertainty and intensive treatment, Matt recalls, shifted his grasp of God’s sovereign goodness from the intellect to experience. „Now with a great deal of confidence,” he says, „I can talk about ‘the peace that passes all understanding.'”

In terms of their marriage, the cancer battle has forcefully „dialed us in to the here and now,” Matt explains. „It’s strengthened what I thought was strong already.” It’s also provided a unique platform, he says, for Lauren to serve with countercultural, gospel-reflecting love. „There’s nothing sexy about going through cancer treatments,” he admits. „The way Lauren has cared for me during the worst times demonstrates a love of the will rarely esteemed in our culture today.”

Given the preciousness of time, Mellinger also asks the Chandlers how they seek to manage their busy schedules. More specifically, how does Matt decide to what to say yesand to what to say no?

Matt and Lauren Chandler on Stability amid Difficulty from The Gospel Coalition on Vimeo.

Other videos of Matt Chandler:

Matt Chandler – Marveling at the Majesty of God

Screen Shot 2013-06-05 at 7.01.48 PMBeing in 2013 is such a gift from God is we have all this history to look back on and to marvel that God has just consistently has done exactly what He said He would do. In Genesis 12, we know our Bibles, the world is fallen, it is broken. I mean, the very fabric of what God created now torn asunder. Death, disease, the world has grown dark, and in the middle of it God calls a man named Abram. And in Genesis chapter 12:1 we read: „Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”

So now, we’ve got this faint whisper of a promise, that all that has gone wrong will be made right. That God is calling Abram from Kush. The first Jew is an Iraqi, let that mingle around in your head a bit. God calls Abram and says: Through you, I am going to create a people and through that people I’m going to bless all people on earth. So that, from the very beginning, the promise is that what God is up to is global. It is making right what has gone wrong and then at the testing of Abraham, in Genesis 22, he puts his son Isaac on the altar, and then we read in Genesis 22:15-18:

 And the angel of the Lord called to Abraham a second time from heaven 16 and said, “By myself I have sworn, declares the Lord, because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, 17 I will surely bless you, and I will surely multiply your offspring as the stars of heaven and as the sand that is on the seashore. And your offspring shall possessthe gate of his enemies, 18 and in your offspring shall all the nations of the earth be blessed, because you have obeyed my voice.” So there we have it, once again God’s plan, through Abraham, in the founding of the covenant community of faith is that the nations would be glad, the nations would be blessed, and that all that went wrong would be set right in this plan of God’s.

And throughout the Old Testament we see this repeatedly, God’s heart for the nations, on Mt. Sinai when the Lord told Moses, this is in Exodus 19:5-6  Now therefore, if you will indeed obey my voice and keep my covenant, you shall be my treasured possession among all peoples, for all the earth is mine; and you shall be to me akingdom of priests and a holy nation. These are the words that you shall speak to the people of Israel.” 

So what’s gonna be the role of Israel when it comes to the rest of the world? We will serve as priests, we will be the ones that herald the good news of what God is going to do, of what God is going to accomplish at the crossing of the Jordan river- Joshua 4:24 God crosses Israel into the promised land. And He did this that all the peoples of the world might know. At the founding of the Temple, in 1 Kings 8:43 we read „so that all the peoples of the earth might know your name”. Just a cursory reading of the Psalms would have the Psalmist repeatedly saying „the nations, and the great glorious day of the Lord, perpetually painting this picture of the nations gathering around God to make much of God.”

And again, even in the prophets, we see this confirmed yet again, one of my favorites, in Isaiah 45:44 „Turn to me and besaved, you ends of the earth„. And then, we have the incarnation: God in the flesh dwells among us, and He does not deviate off of His plan to redeem and rescue from the nations. In John chapter 10:15-16 „Just as the Father knows Me, and  I know the Father, and I lay down my life for the sheep, I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to My voice„.  So there will be one flock and one shepherd. So, Jesus does not deviate off this Old Testament  declaration that the nations will be glad, that the nations will worship our God, that there is, when it’s all said and done, one group of people that God is drawing unto Himself- sons of God, adopted sons of God. So, you have sons of Adam and sons of Christ, and so Christ is not deviating off of this declaration.

In fact, even in Matthew 28:18-20, if you go up to verse 16, you find some hope for you, if you tend to struggle and wrestle with doubts, because the Bible says upon that mountain they worshipped Him, but some doubted. I’ve always marveled at that. You have the resurrection with Christ ascending into glory , and there are those even on the hill, at that time saying, „I don’t know, just not quite sure”. But what we read, starting in verse 18 is „And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.  Now „All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.”  You can just stop right there, because whatever comes next is happening. So now, at this point, it doesn’t matter what is coming next. It doesn’t matter what He says, what the command is, what He’s gonna order for us to do, it’s happening. Why? Because „All authority”. Where? Everywhere. Has been given to whom? „Me,” Christ says and then the command, „19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age. Remember what the disciples do, they gather in the upper room, they’re praying and waiting for the helper to come? And in Acts chapter 2, the Helper comes and now we’ve got ourselves a completely different ballgame than what we watched with the disciples when they were following Christ. In fact, if you’re really paying attention, the only one who really kind of nails who Jesus is in the Gospels is the demons. Everyone else kind of gets it wrong.

What’s the word on the street? Who do people say that I am? Well, some say that you’re John the Baptist, others say that you’re Elijah. But who do you say that I am. Only Peter gets it right. And the demons cry out „I know who you are, the Holy One of God. You have come to destroy us before the appointed time.” I mean, no dualism in the New Testament when it comes to kingdoms and conflict. No arguments with Christ. No demons say „Make me”. Just ferocious, God besot powerful declaration. When the Holy Spirit falls at Pentecost, Peter stands up and gives the most unseeker friendly sermon in the history of Christianity. And thousands are added to our numbers that day. And we see the Gospel begin to grow, but at this point it’s predominantly, if not entirely a Jewish faith, and then we get Acts chapter 10 & 11, Cornelius of the Italian cohort, a man who has rejected Roman paganism, believes there is one God, not quite sure who that one God is. He’s praying, giving alms, taking care of the poor and he is visited by an angel with very detailed instructions. Simon the tanner in Jaffa, another Simon Peter staying at his house saying, „Go get ‘em and bring him to you”. Simultaneously, around that same time Peter is up on the roof: „Kill, eat,” Peter’s not gonna be fooled again, „Not gonna get me this time. I would never touch that stuff”. „Wrong answer again, Peter”. Can it be unclean if I made it? Kill and eat.

And so, about that time there’s a knock at the door and the soldiers from the Italian cohort grab Peter and bring him to Cornelius where they have, what I believe to be, one of the most awkward exchanges that you find in the Scriptures, where Peter then shows up at Cornelius’s house  and then reminds Cornelius that a Jew shouldn’t even be in this house because he is a Gentile. Cornelius  unpacks why he sent for Peter, „Look, I was praying, angels showed up…” Then Peter says, „This can only be about one thing”. In that moment, Peter shares the Gospel with Cornelius’s household and they believe, they’re filled with the Holy Spirit, they speak in tongues, they’re baptized. In fact, Peter’s got a little inner turmoil here. „What should we do?” They baptize Cornelius  and his household and Peter runs back to report . And the church does what it usually does. It gathers together to vote whether God’s allowed to save the Gentiles. So they get together and they talk about, „Can God do what He just did?” Peter testifies, „All I did was share the Gospel, this one’s not on me”. And then, really, from that moment on, starting in Acts 15 you begin to watch the promise. And here’s what I’m saying, 2013 is such a sweet year to be  in because starting in Acts 15, you have Paul and Barnabas separate and go in different directions and it just takes off.

Acts 15 is the Council at Jerusalem, 42 A.D. Mark goes to Egypt and  49 A.D. Paul heads to Turkey. In 51 A.D. Paul heads to Greece, in 52 A.D. the apostle Thomas heads to India. In 54 A.D. Paul heads on his third missionary journey. In 174 A.D., the first Christians are reported in Austria. In 280, the first rural churches emerge in Northern Italy. Now this is significant because Christianity in the first century was predominantly an urban religion. It wasn’t out in the rural areas, and so it wasn’t really until 280 A.D. that we began to see rural churches emerging. Stark says that by 350 A.D., 31.7 million people, roughly 53% of the Roman empire confessed Christ as Lord. So there’s a lot of debate as to who made Christianity? Did Constantine make Christianity or did Christianity make Constantine? In 432 A.D. Patrick heads to Ireland. In 596 A.D. Gregory the Great sends Augustine and a team of missionaries to what is now England to reintroduce the Gospel. The missionaries resettle in Canterbury, and within a year baptize 10,000. In 635 A.D., the first Christian missionaries arrive in China. 740 A.D., Irish monks reach Iceland. In 900 A.D. missionaries reach Norway. By 1200 A.D. the Bible is now available in 22 different languages and in 1498 the first Christians are reported in Kenya. In 1554  there are 1500 converts to Christianity  in what is now known as Thailand. In 1630 an attempt is made  in the El Paso, Texas area  to establish a mission among the Mason Indians. In 1743 David Brainerd starts missions to the North American Indians. In 1845 the Southern Baptist Convention Missionary Organization is founded. In 1853 a group of at least 17 people immigrated to America, accompanied by a group of Danish Baptists, arriving in New York, and later settling in Chicago. On March 5th, 1853 F.O.Nielsen planted the first American Baptist Church in Minneapolis, which was the first church to be planted in the territory of Minnesota, before it became a state in 1858 on this side of the Mississippi River. In 1871, 22 Swedish Christians, who branched off from the First American Baptist Church in Minneapolis  planted the first Swedish Baptist Church known today as Bethlehem Baptist Church. The reason for this new church plant was to take the Gospel to a rapidly growing number of Swedish immigrants in Minneapolis. (Chandler goes through the succession of churches that leads up to Bethlehem)(17:00)

You and me, friend, God had us in mind when He pulled Abram aside and said, „I’m gonna fix this”.  And really, at every place along the way, according to Ephesians 1, according to Romans 8, God was coming to rescue me and you. And we are caught up in something so much bigger than most of us can get our heads around and all over the world today, what I just did was such a cursory sad attempt at a linear attacking of our history, but I find it to be marvelous, even in its smallness. In fact, if present trends continue, by 2025 there will be 633 million Christians in Africa, 640 million in South America, and 460 million in Asia. This is what you and I are caught up in, this is our history. This is what’s happening right now, on this day, all over the world. Men and women have gathered, they have preached the Scriptures, they have taken holy communion and they have rejoiced in the God of their salvation. And our family is much bigger than this, and God is at work and He is moving and He is saving. There’s no such thing as a closed country, anybody picking up on this- there’s a lot of Iranian pastors being arrested this year? Seems like God’s doing some pretty good work in a country that doesn’t have any work.

And yet, still, so much to do. You see, you and I, we find our lives playing out in what the reformers call the narrow space, what we call the already, but not yet. See, the prophet Isaiah speaks of this day that’s coming for you and me, friend, where the desert blooms with roses. Where the mountaintops produce sweet wine. Where the wolf will lay down with the lamb and they will dine together. And then, the clarity on that, the next verse is ‘and the lion will chew hay like the oxen.’ And the apostle Paul says these weak frail bodies of ours will be replaced. That what is perishable will be imperishable, we’ll be raised in honor and you get this picture from the word of God of a renewed world with renewed bodies, reigning and ruling alongside the king of glory, having no ceiling on our worship. See, there have been times when I have heard the Word of God proclaimed, we begun to sing to God and I have felt all my emotions hindered, I felt like I hit a ceiling, that either my legs got tired or my voice couldn’t get loud enough. I felt like I was gonna explode, and in my heart I couldn’t be contained, in this gangly body God gave me. And Paul says in 1 Corinthians 15 God’s gonna fix that for me. And God’s gonna fix that for you. And there’ll be a day, unfettered with the constraints of this mortal body. We will make much of Jesus together.

But today, we’re in the space between, today we’re in the space ‘already, but not yet’. So you exist to spread a passion for the supremacy of God in all things, for the joy of all peoples, through Jesus Christ.

Matt Chandler – The Explicit Gospel – Free ebook Download at Christianaudio (June only)

Thanks to Denise A. for pointing this out to me-

Here is the link – http://christianaudio.com/free#June2013. You do need to set up a userID and password with Christianaudio, if you do not already have a free acount with them in order to receive the free download.

Stream „The Story of Matt Chandler” for free, here:

Matt Chandler preaching – The Explicit Gospel

The Crossway simulcast from May in Orlando, Florida, compliments of Lifeway.

Explicit Gospel Simulcast – Orlando, FL from Crossway on Vimeo.

Matt Chandler – Advance ’13 Conference Message – How Both Faithful & Effective Churches Assume the Gospel

Chandler Advance '13

Matt Chandler speaks to Pastors and leaders at the Advance 13 Conference. Here’s a paragraph from his message:

You see how it fits together, as he (Paul) begins to rebuke them for their immaturity, and how they’re viewing personalities and what he’s trying to teach them here is: There’s a way to build on the foundation that was laid, and the way to build on that is with complete doctrine, with an understanding of who God is, that transforms the life and makes us more and more, and more like Christ. So, here you can have possibly faithful and possibly fruitful … but, I don’t think you can have unfaithful, but fruitful. Where it’s unfaithful, it’s not fruitful. It’s apples stapled to a tree.

……

So much where I landed theologically, that right now I believe is right and good before the Lord, and before God, I believe I could give a resounding defense biblically for almost everywhere I land in regards to doctrine  and what I believe about soteriology and ecclesiology, and all the ‘ologies’. In the end, they were all processes, which means I didn’t get there overnight. Over a period of time, as people lovingly just kind of handed me a book, or opened up the word of God for me, or sent me home to look at a passage, allowed me to wrestle- it was all a process and praise God that He did not put in my life or protected me from so many that I see today: the demand that others join them today, what took them years to arrive upon. We are not to be men and women who are unnecessarily harsh.

from Advance 13 Conference – http://www.advance13.com/
SEE NOTES from ENTIRE MESSAGE below the VIDEO.

How Both Faithful & Effective Churches Assume the Gospel

Notes from message (headings added by me to facilitate easier reading)

1 Corinthians 3:1-9

But I, brothers, could not address you as spiritual people, but as people of the flesh, as infants in Christ. I fed you with milk, not solid food, for you were not ready for it. And even now you are not yet ready, for you are still of the flesh. For while there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not of the flesh and behaving only in a human way? Forwhen one says, “I follow Paul,” and another, “I follow Apollos,” are you not being merely human?

What then is Apollos? What is Paul? Servants through whom you believed, as the Lord assigned to each. I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth. He who plants and he who waters are one, and each will receive his wages according to his labor.For we are God’s fellow workers. You are God’s field, God’s building.

  1. All ministers, regardless of gifting or placement and assignment are first and foremost servants of God– Paul and Apollos were each given a place by God, and what we can infer from the text, you’ve got men who are given different abilities, asked to do different things by God. So, here’s what I have in common with any heralder of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We’re placed in different locations, I’ve been placed in Dallas, Texas by God, for the glory of God, and you’re from all over and you’ve been placed where you’ve been placed, and you’ve probably got different giftings of where we excel and where we don’t, and what I know about all of us is what we all have in common is this: We are all servants of the most high God! And that we are to regard ourselves as such… I look for a brother who knows he’s the servant, not the master. I get nervous when a guy operates in such a way that he puts out the vibe that God should be grateful that God grabbed him. There’s something about guys who lie low and exult Christ. I try desperately to be one of those men. We are all but servants. There aren’t positional servants in the kingdom. We are all with the gifts He has given us, with the assignments He has given us, faithfully serving God (from C.S. Lewis).
  2. All ministers are tools in the hands of God. What I know about preaching and teaching is that I can study and prep, and  wordsmith and worry, and stand up and proclaim and ultimately I can motivate, but only God can transform. I learned early on that I can say, „We need to do this guys. Here’s what the word says, let’s go.” And people would go out into the foyer and they’d sign up , and then 8 weeks later there would be like 10% of the people still left, involved.  I can motivate, but I cannot transform hearts. Only God can transform hearts. We are all but tools in the hands of God. Here’s why that’s important. You and I, brothers and sister, we are simply tools in the Father’s hands, we’re instruments in His hands. So, in the same way that a saw cannot receive the glory for the way the carpenter used it, so the minister does not deserve the credit for how God ultimately used him. I marvel at how God uses men and of how God uses any of us. I mean, that we would be conduits through which the power of God moves, that should blow your mind. Marvel at God’s use of a man and the God in him. We’re all but tools in God’s hands. 
  3. All ministers are fellow workers with one another, given assignments by God that are distinct, for the purposes of God. We all serve the same purpose. He calls us fellow workersWe’ve got a hard time with that in modern day evangelicalism, a lot of us. That we are fellow workers with one another, all working towards the same goal, all moving in the same direction. I wanna constantly lay before the Village Church (Matt’s church), and I wanna lay it before you: When it’s all said and done there’s one name that’s gonna be praised. Just one. I don’t get my day in glory, my reward is to be in the presence of my King with my crowns cast down, only looking up when he allows me. (22:00)

What is that purpose?

Ephesians 4:11-12 11 And he gave the apostles, the prophets, theevangelists, the shepherds and teachers, 12 to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ’ Now we’re turning our attention away from the man and we’re turning it towards the church. In this next section of Scripture we’re going to talk about faithfulness vs. fruitfulness.

(A) Laying a foundation – Look at 1 Corinthians 3 10 According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled master builder I laid afoundation, and someone else is building upon it. Let each one take care how he builds upon it. 11 For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 

Where does ministry begin? It is laid on the foundation of Christ Jesus. So, all ministry that is faithful and eventually will be fruitful finds its roots in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. And where there is ministry built on something other than that, you’re not dealing with Christian ministry. So, any conversation about fruitfulness is null and void because masses of people coming together to do good, under the banner of „church”, that have not been built on the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ is not fruitful ministry at all, because it fails to be ministry at all. The only foundation that can be laid is the foundation of Jesus Christ, based on the life, death, and resurrection or you cease to be a Christian ministry and you become the rotary club.

I also love church planting, I give it a ton of my energy and time it. There’s something about robust, biblically saturated, Gospel passionate, Jesus centered churches, that the idea of those planting up and springing up in any place really stirs my affections for Jesus Christ. It churns in me a kind of excitement for the Lord’s ability to , and here’s what I know about most church plants: They’re small. But the laying of foundations is fruitful. So, if we follow the apostle Paul’s ministry and we watch him kind of establish these kind of bulkheads of Christian testimony throughout the ancient world, outside of Ephesus and maybe one other, you’re not talking about the megas. You’re just talking about a group of men and women, faithfully loving the Lord, faithfully living out the Gospel and this laying of the foundation is fruitful ministry.

B. Building upon the foundation – But, it doesn’t just stop there. At this point, if you’re laying a foundation on the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, you are actively involved in fruitful ministry. You can throw out all the top 100 growing list, you can throw out all that nonsense and you can just rest in the Bible’s weight, that says, „You’re being faithful.” You’re being faithful, regardless of numerics. This is faithful work. But, the laying of the foundation doesn’t just stop there, so let’s look at what’s next in verse 12: Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw—Now, he just threw out a lot of ingredients. Now, he’s got the foundation laid- Church is planted on the foundation of the Gospel, Christ was preached. Christ’s life, His imputed righteousness. His death, His atoning death, His wrath absorbing death on the cross, and His resurrection- price paid in full. It’s preached- people respond. You’ve got now your foundation, now you’re off and running. That was all faithful and fruitful ministry. Now we’re building upon that foundation, and you’ve got several different materials listed here: gold, silver, and precious stones, and then you have your wood, hay, and straw.

I think the best way to understand gold, silver and precious stones is to understand the wood, hay, and straw. These words seem to imply erroneous or imperfect doctrines that won’t stand the test of time, and which tend to lead to evil practices. I am basing that out of Galatians 4:9, where it says, But now that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, how can you turn back again to the weak and worthless elementary principles of the world, whose slaves you want to be once more? Galatians is one of those churches where a foundation was laid and they began to drift here into erroneous and imperfect doctrine, into a bit of foolishness. In fact, he repeatedly calls them that- who has bewitched you, fooled you- are you so foolish as to….? And he’s saying they went back to an imperfect doctrine, an incomplete doctrine that actually began to lead them into sinfulness and licentiousness, if not legalism altogether.

And again, in Colossians 2:8 See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ. Again, you’ve got empty philosophy and vain deceit. So, you can build on the foundation of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.You can build with imperfect doctrines which lead people into licentiousness or legalism. Or you can build with what we see above in the gold, silver, and precious stones, you can preach the full counsel of God, where you’re reliant upon the holy spirit of God, and the word of God to transform and mold the hearts of our people towards holiness and towards Christlikeness. And so, here, you have in this second section, you now have the ability to be either possibly fruitful building upon that foundation, or possibly unfruitful, building upon that foundation. And yet, in the end, numerics don’t tell the story. Rather, maturity does.

You see how it fits together, as he begins to rebuke them for their immaturity, and how they’re viewing personalities and what he’s trying to teach them here is: There’s a way to build on the foundation that was laid, and the way to build on that is with complete doctrine, with an understanding of who God is, that transforms the life and makes us more and more, and more like Christ. So, here you can have possibly faithful and possibly fruitful … but, I don’t think you can have unfaithful, but fruitful. Where it’s unfaithful, it’s not fruitful. It’s apples stapled to a tree.

C. The day of the Lord is coming when what has been built will be revealed – Now look at verse 13. As a pastor, as a man of God, this has me throw myself on the grace of God and on His word, and allows me, if I’m gonna look foolish for planting my feet on the word of God, let me look foolish because of what this next verse says. 1 Corinthians 13:13 13 each one’s work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. What this means is I am currently laboring at the Village Church. That is where God has planted me, that is where God has put me. So, I am building on a foundation that I did not lay, I did not plant that church, I was not the one who established it, Christ was clearly preached there early on, I got to come in and build upon that foundation. And I am trying, with all the grace of God to build with gold, silver and precious stones, and the day of the Lord is coming when what has been built will be revealed. Was it built by me, for me, about me? Or did I build with what is true, right, and good?

And since this day is coming, I tend to be able to once again, since I know I have co-laborers out there that I’m gonna disagree with philosophically, and at some level theologically, and I have this promise coming- that I’m gonna rest and just let the Lord judge my brothers, I do not feel the need to police evangelicalism. Now, do I feel a desperate need to protect the men and women that God has given me, to care over as an under-shepherd of Christ? Absolutely. But, am I out sniping evangelicalism? No. I have no need to. God will judge, God will burn it up. We’ll find out. He’s not like, „What am I gonna do about this guy? Will you start a blog for me? Hey, will you harass him via twitter? Take that you heretic.” You cannot believe that that’s what’s playing out in the heavenlies. That day will determine… In Dallas, we have several churches with which I would have strong differences with, in regards to theology, philosophy, and practice. All of them. I would just go crazy. Now, can I tell you what blows my mind? Three of the guys on my staff, I have already prepped my assistant for the emails that are coming. Three of my favorite guys on staff came to know Christ at that church. As a guy who wants to be extremely precise doctrinally that jacks with my head. I don’t like it. Now, how evil does that make me? I mean, doesn’t that make me the older brother in Luke 15?  It does not make me pure before the… „What, you saved this guy there? No sir!” Does that make me counseling God almighty? I’m gonna let God reveal, I’m gonna let God do His work. The day is coming, I just need to keep my hand to the plow and be faithful to my king. The day is coming… the day is coming.

Now, when it comes to this idea of faithful vs. fruitful, here’s what’s really being asked. More so than ever before, everything’s in front of us. So from twitter to the amount of conferences, really, at any given time, anywhere in the world you can go to a conference on anything you want. It doesn’t even matter how niche you wanna be in theology and practice, you can find a conference there. And what we parade out in front of you more often than not is not a guy that pastors a church of 120, and say, „Look, this is what church looks like.” No, here’s what I’ve spoken at other large conferences, „Let me tell you why I’m here because we went from 160 to 10,000.” I’m not here because I was faithful, because if I would have done the same things and shrank us from 160 to 20, no one would tell me, „Hey Chandler, come teach us how to do that. Come teach us how to be faithful and kill a church.”

Don’t put numeric growth above robust truth 

So what we’re talking about here is numerics. And I think, unfortunately, it’s a caricaturization of two ends of a spectrum that’s unfair to both. And so, let me address the caricature like this: If we’re talking about fruitfulness being sheerly numerics, I cannot biblically define it like that. But, that’s the caricature. So, if we’re talking of simply churches that are based on numerics- let’s call that the fruitful stream- how do they assume the Gospel? I think they assume the Gospel in 2 ways: They put numeric growth above robust truth, in order to see converts. And so, they’re not gonna touch things that are divisive, they’re gonna leave big chunks of Scriptures alone, because those Scriptures will offend people. And so, it’s the belief that you can make Christ cool enough for everyone. And that ain’t happening. You cannot give Jesus such a makeover that everyone goes, „Love that dude.” It’s not ever going to… in fact, the more you try to do that, the more the authority, power, and work of Jesus Christ wanes and you see nothing but shriveled up former life. Jesus doesn’t need a makeover, He needs to be boldly proclaimed. And, you assume the Gospel when you think you have to give the Gospel help.

I also think that another place where this kind of fruitful stream assumes the Gospel is (when) they a lack a plan and process for discipleship. See, they answer the fundamental question wrong: What is the purpose of the church? The purpose of the church is converts. No! The purpose of the church is to make disciples, who have been taught to observe all that He commanded. We already read it. Why did He give teachers, why did He give prophets, and evangelists? Why were these things given in Ephesians 4? For the building up of the body into the fulness of Christ, for the works of the kingdom. That’s what we’re to be about- making disciples. And you assume the Gospel when all the Gospel is is a means of conversion and not a means of sanctification and maturity into the fulness of Christ. You load heavy burdens on people when the Gospel is what saves them, but it relies solely on them to sanctify themselves. Now, the Gospel saves and the Gospel sanctifies. And again, this is a characterization, but, way too many of the fruitful stream lacks any process for the evangelism, or shepherding, or care for its members, partners, whatever word we want to use there, in order to grow them into maturity. I had a friend of mine who went to such a church, and they had no pastoral care. They didn’t do funerals, they didn’t do weddings, there was no hospital visits. It was the weekend. This is no real processes for care, no real processes for discipleship and that’s one of the ways.

I’ll save most of my energy for the way the faithful stream assumes the Gospel. The truth is there isn’t a guy in ministry who doesn’t think he is faithful. It’s not like the fruitful guys are saying, „We’re gonna be unfaithful, to see our place grow.” I just don’t really believe that, there’s not a guy in ministry who doesn’t believe he is faithful. Now, in that faithful stream, which I would define as the caricature that all we’re interested in is doctrine and truth. We don’t really care about people, just give me my 5 points and get out of my face. And, if you don’t believe in definitive atonement, you’re probably not a believer. That’s the caricaturization. It’s only doctrine, that’s all it is. There’s no real love for people, it’s just cold, systematic, intellectual assent. That’s one caricaturization.

Lacking  Gospel ambition 

Now, here’s how I believe the faithful stream assumes the Gospel. Here’s something that bothers me. I’m just gonna be straight with you. I find that in many robust theological churches, that there seems to be a lack of Gospel ambition and that there’s a belief that their smallness somehow validates their faithfulness. „You know how faithful I am? We’re running at 80 (people). We were up to 90 and I’m not having it. So, I did 2 years on Leviticus and shrank us back down.” Now you can giggle, but that kind of trash happens all the time. It’s like being small is a trophy. This assumes the Gospel because it lacks the belief  in the Gospel’s ability to penetrate and draw among the masses faithful, obedient converts unto Christ, who grow and are discipled. It lacks even a belief for that. It doesn’t have a market for it. And I can tell you, as a guy whose church grew, had no intention of it growing, I wanted it to grow, had a desire for it to grow. Just unashamedly, I wanted God to save people. I wanted Him to rescue and I wanted Him to do it like I saw Him do it in Ephesus, where it so shook and rearranged the socio economic climate that people rioted. I want that, I still want it for Dallas. When I drive by our Walnut Hill campus and see all those strip clubs, I wonder, what would it be like for the Gospel to fall in such a way that they couldn’t make money anymore? What would it be like for the Gospel to fall in such a way that there weren’t money to be made in the adult bookstores? What would it be like? That’s what happened in Ephesus. I want that! And for guys who lack that Gospel ambition, there are a lot of us who are so theologically precise that can’t dream like that. Well, you know Matt, narrow is the path. Small is the gate. Well, oh yeah, absolutely. But, you can get in a very long single file, you all. And so, I think, brothers in the faithful tribe have a tendency to lack Gospel ambition.

Being unnecessarily harsh 

I think another one in the faithful tribe have a tendency (again this is all caricature) to be unnecessarily harsh. I don’t know where it came from, I tried to track it down, please hear me: There is a wrong way  to be right! There’s a way to be right and doctrinally accurate, that instead of drawing into the beauty of the truth we find in the Scripture, instead, is unnecessarily offensive. Now, the Bible, parts of the Bible, parts of God’s plan for human flourishing is going to offend secular sensibilities. That’s not what I’m talking about. We should never shy away form that type of offense. But, the kind of brazen- offend to offend sakeThat’s just immature, that’s just spiritual immaturity.  It’s not helpful, it’s not helpful in any way, and if you land in the reformed camp, how that can create such brazen violence and arrogance just blows my mind. If there ever should be a doctrine that lays us low is the doctrine that God saved us by His grace alone, through faith alone. If there ever would be one that would have us dealing gently with people, would it not be that when you see brothers, sisters, doctrine and the truth of Scriptures should always be handled with a scalpel and never like a club? Always like a scalpel and never like a club. So much where I landed theologically, that right now I believe is right and good before the Lord, and before God, I believe I could give a resounding defense biblically for almost everywhere I land in regards to doctrine  and what I believe about soteriology and ecclesiology, and all the ‘ologies’. In the end, they were all processes, which means I didn’t get there overnight. Over a period of time, as people lovingly just kind of handed me a book, or opened up the word of God for me, or sent me home to look at a passage, allowed me to wrestle- it was all a process and praise God that He did not put in my life or protected me from so many that I see today: the demand that others join them today, what took them years to arrive upon. We are not to be men and women who are unnecessarily harsh. May we be people of truth. Amen! May we be people of truth. But, there’s a way to do that that’s right, good, loving and compassionate, and there’s a way to do that that shows that you quite don’t understand the Gospel.

Evangelistic laziness

Another way I find the faithful ones assuming the Gospel is there seems to be evangelistic laziness. It’s almost like a functional determinism. That kind of caricature- Well, if God’s gonna save, God’s gonna save. Whatever. Again, it goes back to: Do you really believe that we can be as broken  and as goofy as we are, conduits through which the Holy Spirit of God works, to draw, rescue and save? See, the faithful crowd, I found, so often wants to argue about little niche corners of theology, that they’ve forgotten about the heralding of the Good News to those around them. See, more than I want to be about converting a guy to a particular doctrine that I believe, I want to see a guy come to know and love the Jesus that I so desperately know and love, and then let’s get to work. But, seriously, how many people that would be categorized in this faithful (group) are far more concerned about converting someone to a specific doctrinal persuasion, rather than they are  seeing people come to know and love Jesus Christ in any type of real way.

So whether it’s faithful or fruitful, our tendency is to assume the Gospel, that’s why Paul perpetually preaches the Gospel to people who already know the Gospel. That’s why almost all of Paul’s letters sans 2 Corinthians are going to address the Gospel, teach the Gospel once again to people who already know the Gospel. Have you ever marveled at the fact he is writing a letter to the churches at Ephesus and the first two chapters are nothing but the Gospel? And Romans is nothing but the Gospel. I mean, just writing the Gospel, the Gospel… Before we talk about marriage, before we talk about children, before we talk about church life let’s talk about what Christ has done for you. Because we all have a tendency to drift, we all have a tendency to assume instead of explicitly  make known the Good News of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Here’s my appeal. I don’t know how many days you have, I don’t know how many days I have. I’ve pastored long enough to know some of us won’t be here next year. And so, my appeal brothers and sisters is with the days we have left, with the breath we have left, may we proclaim Him and be faithful. And with angst, and with gut wrenching prayer, and belief in the power of the Gospel, we expect and long to see fruit. Fruit in the depth of maturity and fruit in the salvation of those in our neighborhoods, in our cities, in our states, and to the ends of the earth. Be faithful, and pray to the God of heaven for more fruit than you can get your mind around. And let’s labor, and scratch, and work, and plead, and beg, and be bothered by it when we don’t see it.

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