Witnesses to Hope

Over the past couple of years, I have participated in the Gospel Life blog hosted by the Billy Graham Center for Evangelism at Wheaton College.

In my post there today I write about the need for us as Christians to become witnesses to hope. This post came out of a lot of my own conversations and reflections upon the present moment in our world and what it looks like to be a voice and presence of hope in the time in which we live. As hopelessness rises up, we must also rise up with hopefulness.

This past year has brought wave after wave of discouraging news. Many people I encounter feel overwhelmed by increasing political incoherence, racial injustice, and global chaos, not to mention their own personal challenges. Despair rises up around us like hunger in the stomach of a famine-wracked child. If I could pick one word to encapsulate the current tone of our society it would be hopelessness.

As followers of Jesus we are called to be people of hope, and this calling is even more important in light of the entangling hopelessness of our day. In fact, our witness as Christians at this present hour will remain inadequate if we do not recapture the hope inherent in the gospel…

[Continue reading the article here.]

The Power of the Gospel to Sustain Unity

unity

Over the past couple of years, I have participated in the Gospel Life blog hosted by the Billy Graham Center for Evangelism at Wheaton College.

In my most recent post, I reflected on the intrinsic value of unity for the gospel mission of God’s people. For those who are a part of the Eastbrook Church, you will not be surprised to see some reflections on Revelation 7:9-10 work into my writing here. I firmly believe that the unity of people from every tribe, tongue and nation is both a reflection of God’s mission and an aim of God’s mission. Without this unifying power of the gospel, our mission itself loses power and becomes less effective.

In Revelation 7:9-10, we read about the heavenly scenes of worship:

After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. And they cried out in a loud voice: “Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.”

This is a picture of the end of all things, where people from around the world and every echelon of society come together around God’s throne through the saving work of Jesus Christ. As God’s people, both individually and corporately, that is the aim we must have. We should, in a sense, become a snapshot of that multiethnic Revelation 7 community here on earth. We should seek to become a 7.

But what does it mean to become a 7 as the Christian community here on earth? If Revelation 7:9-10 is a heavenly vision, then we will likely not attain it fully on earth. However, we should pursue it as if that is the end toward which we are growing.

We must be intentional about this because we will arrive at an end goal one way or another. We are either intentionally moving toward something, or unintentionally sliding toward something else. I would rather intentionally pursue becoming the heavenly vision of God.

Let me suggest three aspects of the vision of Revelation 7:0-10 that are essential for God’s unified community to live our mission and identity.

[Read the whole blog post here.]

Where the Light Shines the Brightest

where the light shines the brightest (2).pngOver the past couple of years, I have participated in the Gospel Life blog hosted by the Billy Graham Center for Evangelism at Wheaton College. Every year the BGCE pulls together a resource on sharing our faith to help individuals and churches prepare for Christmas during the season of Advent. I was privileged to write for that devotional this year, and I’d encourage you to check it out here.