According to recent Lifeway Research, many pastors are apparently having an “aha” moment due to the tide of our times. They are at last seeing current events today as things the Bible forecast for the end-of-days. The big question is; how will this affect what they preach and how they do church?
Let’s be optimistic. When real church resumes, the pulpits will boldly announce that we are in the last days and Jesus is coming soon. Get your houses in order!
Numerous biblical texts speak of disturbances in the creation. These disturbances have quite a range: earthquakes wars, famines and plagues or pestilence explicitly in Luke 21.
Three out of four pastors in the survey have noted that world and church events have meaning today. They include the rise in apostasy, the love of believers growing cold, the decline in traditional morals, national conflicts, natural disasters, famines, and even the rise in anti-Semitism. So is a new day in the church approaching thanks to some kind of a wake-up call?
Almost 25 years ago, the church-growth movement said teaching any kind of eschatology would not grow the church. Pastors were encouraged to keep quiet about the soon return of the Lord. Pastor Rick Warren even said in his Purpose Driven Life book that teaching Bible prophecy would distract you from your purpose and make you unfit for the Kingdom of God. Pastors listened to him!
In the information produced by Lifeway Research, Joel Rosenberg states, “For too long, many pastors have shied away from teaching on birth pangs and events leading up to the Second Coming of the Lord, but the current pandemic demonstrates the need for solid, non-sensational preaching done in a biblical manner.”
Almost 70% of those surveyed believe the modern re-birth of Israel and the re-gathering of millions of Jewish people were fulfilment’s of prophecies in the Bible. That’s great news but that was 72 years ago. Why haven’t you been preaching that, pastors? More than that, 40% of the pastors surveyed believe that the establishment of the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem two years ago was a sign of the last days! This is great sermon material! It could get a church fired up! But most pulpits I hear about are still silent on the topic.
Love this video: Could the World’s Darkest Hour become the church’s finest hour. It suggests; it’s opportunity time for the church. As church buildings close, Christians are starting to ask questions about how they can be church now. Realisation occurs to some, that the church has never been the building, but the people in the building, and that those people are called to be a blessing to a dying world. Jesus has charged them to bring the good news of Christ to these lost souls destined for judgement by their Creator, punishment and finally a second death.
“Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years.Revelation 20:6
Francis Chan recorded a video from his new home in Hong Kong to remind the body of Christ to hold on to their joy, peace and trust in God during this unpredictable COVID-19 crisis. He says it’s amazing that he’s been preaching sermons about small-group church for years, and now that’s reality in many places around the world.
“This is one of the greatest opportunities we’ve ever had as a church where people are open to talking about serious things, life-and-death things, and suddenly we’re no longer in control,” Chan says. “I understand it is crazy, but don’t lose your love. …
“It’s kind of crazy that for seven years, we’ve been preaching, ‘Come on, you guys, we’ve got to get ready: There’s going to come a day when we can’t get in these big gatherings.’ … And then two weeks after I leave, you’re living, and the whole country is having to live, that. But I believe it’s God’s grace on us to show us, ‘Am I prepared? Have I lost my love, my joy, my peace?‘”