Francis Chan answers the question. What advice would he give others in regard to navigating political issues?
Francis stresses the overriding importance of unity within the body of Christ. God wants unity in His church. This is sacred, this is holy. Jesus’ final high priestly prayer to His Father makes it clear how important the unity of His followers is to Him. We should not let issues like Covid vaccination or should I wear a mask or not wear a mask, divide us.
“They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. And for their sake, I consecrate myself, that they also may be sanctified in truth.I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me.” John 17:20-23
Chan shared that his latest book, Until Unity, was inspired by John 17, where Jesus prays for unity among the Body of Christ. Though he didn’t want to write another book, the bestselling author felt compelled to do so after seeing the severe lack of unity among believers.
“When I look at Scripture, I see how much God wants unity. This is why Christ died on the cross; to make the two one. And I see how Ephesians four says that we actually grieve the Spirit of God by our disunity. I really believe this is God’s desire. And I just saw the Church getting worse and worse, and I would see the way people would bash each other. We’re getting further and further away from what God wants.”
The Crazy Love author emphasized the power of silence, citing Exodus 14:14, which reads “The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still,” and Proverbs 10:19: “When words are many, transgression is not lacking.” We don’t know how to quietly be in awe of Almighty God together. If we did, we’d find ourselves on our knees, in tears,” he said.
Unity, Chan stressed, “has to start with Christ; it has to start with, ‘Wow, I was created in the image of the triune God.”
“But how many people wake up in the morning and have this reverent awe?” he lamented. “And because we don’t have that, and we’re not spending time marveling in silence at God and our oneness with Him, we try to jump to, ‘OK, let’s all get along.’ And I’m going, ‘No, we cannot all get along if we’re not in shock that we are one with Him and He’s given us His glory so that we can become perfect.’”
“The reason why we fight and the reason why we’re so sure of our opinions … is we don’t get into the presence of God,” he said. “All of this horizontal stuff is because we really aren’t truly, with all of our hearts, soul and mind loving Him, and entering into His presence.”
The author said he fears that many Christians are becoming the “Second Timothy 3 group that are always learning but never coming to the knowledge of the truth.”
“I don’t want to be one of those that are constantly acquiring information but not knowing it,” he said. “I worry about my friends, everyone else that grew up in the same type of evangelical faith that I did that it’s busy, and we don’t take time to meditate and know these truths. If we did, we wouldn’t be so quick to speak.”
“Get alone with the Lord,” he advised. “Let Him open you up. You may find issues and He may find issues in you that you need to know are wrong. You may have thought you’re just going in for a checkup, and He cuts you open. We’ve got to get back to getting people into the presence of God.”
God is reviving His church, to restore it back to the church as described in the Book of Acts. This is a must watch video for those interested to know what God is doing at this time in the USA. People selling their homes and going as God leads, to make disciples as God instructed. The barriers of the institutional church are being broken down and true, John 17 unity is being restored. It is exciting to hear the testimonies of these transformed Christians. I hope you will be inspired to get in step with what the Holy Spirit is calling you to do in these last days before Jesus returns.
At the first Pentecost, the disciples were in a time of united prayer when the Holy Spirit came in a mighty demonstration of power. They were all baptised with the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit did not just come upon a few of them or only upon the twelve disciples. They all (120) began to speak in languages that they had never learned. Cloven tongues of fire sat upon each one of them.
What the church experienced during Pentecost in the book of Acts may have been the second-most defining event for the body of Christ in church history. If you’ve read Acts 2, you’ll remember that the Holy Spirit came upon the disciples in a powerful way, sparking revival that quickly spread across the known world.
The Body of Christ today must experience this unity of the Spirit. We must be baptised, once again, into one body, one mind, and one accord. We have failed to realise the tremendous power that emanates from being in unity. When we do, the world will see the greatest release of the miracle-working power of God that it has ever seen. We will be living, walking manifestations of God’s miracle-working power.
Why not get together with like minded believers on Pentecost eve to pray that God would release a fresh outpouring of the Holy Spirit as we celebrate the first Pentecost, this Sunday.
In the USA, Rabbi Jonathan Bernis of Jewish Voice Ministries International believes God wants to do something similar during Pentecost this year. And he’s not the only one. Bernis and several other Christian leaders are calling the entire body of Christ to come together for A Night of Promise, a broadcast event taking place at 8 p.m. EST on Friday, May 29.
On Pentecost Eve, I am joining a group of members of the International Christian Chamber of Commerce (ICCC) on Zoom. Whilst it was initiated by our Asia Group, we will have members from all over the world joining us including the founder Gunner Olson and the current President of ICCC International, Jan Sturesson. God with Covid19 is stirring up an awakening. Are you heeding the call.
Only when Christians have unity in the Holy Spirit will we begin to function as the true Body of Christ.
We must remember the night before Jesus was crucified He prayed for the unity of all believers. John 17:11,21-23
At the first Pentecost, the disciples were in a time of united prayer when the Holy Spirit came in a mighty demonstration of power. They were all baptised with the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit did not just come upon a few of them or only upon the twelve disciples. All 120 of them experienced the same Baptism.
Let’s pray now that Pentecost 2020 being celebrated Sunday, May 31st will be a time when we ask God for a fresh outpouring of the Holy Spirit to equip us to truly function as the Body of Christ in the unity that only the Holy Spirit can endow.
They all began to speak in languages that they had never learned. Cloven tongues of fire sat upon each one of them. The Body of Christ today must experience this unity of the Spirit. We must be baptised, once again, into one body, one mind, and one accord. We have failed to realise the tremendous power that emanates from being in unity. When we do, the world will see the greatest release of the miracle-working power of God that it has ever seen. We will be living, walking manifestations of God’s miracle-working power.
Acts 2:17-18 says, “In the last days, I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh. Your sons and daughters shall prophesy, your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams. Even on my bondservants, both men and women,I will in those days pour out My Spirit and they shall prophesy.”
You are not left out, this Scripture is inclusive of all people. If you are not experiencing Acts 2 manifestations of the Holy Spirit in your life like those on the Day of Pentecost, I want to encourage you not to measure revival or your personal relationship with God strictly by visible manifestations. In fact, one of the most distinctive signatures of revival is a renewed hunger for God and a deep desire to find your identity in Him. Pursue God with all your heart and He will come in. He is always at the door.
“Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.” Revelation 3:20
Here are a few ways Kris Vallotton of https://krisvallotton.com recommends for you to experience revival and refresh your relationship with God:
Hang out with people who are alive and well in God (even if they may be having manifestations you’re not having). You may have heard me joke about having the “statue of liberty anointing,” meaning it seems like everyone around me is often powerfully touched by God while I seem unaffected! Check out this short clip of a sermon where I share what God directly said to me about being moved by God.
Share your faith and testimony with others.Psalms 119:99 says, “I have more insight than all my teachers, For Your testimonies are my meditation.” This simply means that when you allow your history with God to counsel you, rather than your fears or any other thing, you will indeed grow in stature and wisdom. Allow your testimonies to be your counsel. Share them with others, and witness the power that you’ve been given.
Be humble. You were born to be amazing—in the very image and greatness of God. I find that one of the biggest deterrents for owning your God-given greatness is the fear of stealing God’s glory. If you don’t want to steal God’s glory, then here’s some good news: you ain’t that big! And get this… the truth is you can’t steal something that was given to you (John 17:22)! For more on humility, check out a recent podcast of mine, Humility is the Way Forward.
In these “last days”, I believe you will experience the demonstration of God’s power in your life because, as we’ve learned, God is pouring everything out on “one generation”—all flesh; He is not withholding anything from you. As a Believer, you are a walking encounter of the living God. You are the embodiment of God’s revival.
What are the cultural realities that are crippling the church?
1. Not Holy Spirit led. It is rare to see anything like what you read about in the book of Acts happen in churches today. When’s the last time the Holy Spirit has moved among the people of your church? If you can’t point to something, that may be a sign of a powerless (Acts 1:8) church.
2.Not serving their community. Simply protesting against sin in the world without proactively working for good causes in the community creates a negative impression in the minds of those who drive past your church on Sundays. Also, consumerism has most definitely infected the church and it is reflected in how praise and worship is conducted. When you have Christians (no matter their age) content to sit and attend services (no matter the type) while refusing to stand up and serve others, you have an irrelevant church.
3.Bible knowledge alone equals spiritual maturity. Bible knowledge is foundational to spiritual maturity, but it does not in and of itself equal spiritual maturity. Spiritual maturity comes with obedience and love towards others. Paul warned about this in 1 Corinthians 8:1 when he said, “Knowledge puffs up while love builds up.”
4. No John 17 unity. Jesus himself prayed (John 17:23) that his followers would be one, so that the world may know that we are his disciples. The early church brought men and women, Greeks and Jews, slaves and free, all together under the name of Jesus. Do we see that same unity today, or is the church divided along racial, political, theological and socio-economic lines?
Regardless, God is still on His throne. Jesus is still building his church. The Holy Spirit continues to do his work. My prayer is that the church will start being part of the solution.
Powerful Christians live accordingly, not content simply to invite people to church or stop at “telling their story”. They understand that bringing people to Christ involves taking personal responsibility for all 3 – praying, caring and sharing.
Francis Chan speaks on “Peace in the Church.” This event is just one session of many in the 2019 Church Leaders Conference (Ravi Zacharias International Ministries). Francis talks about what it looks like for the church to be reconciled to God, to forgive one another as the Lord forgave, and to live out our message of reconciliation in a deeply-divided culture. You will need 50 minutes for this session.
Monday (4th February) Townsville Queensland, Australia woke to the devastation that had occurred. 100’s of homes and businesses flooded. 1000’s of people had been evacuated by police, SES (State Emergency Services) and the army. Townsville was in crisis and declared a catastrophic situation. On Friday the 8th February the rain stopped. Many areas of Townsville had over 1,500mls of rain (60 inches). It was time for the Church to shine and God to reveal himself. Amazing stories of care and love flooded the airways, the radio, TV, Facebook and the paper. People caring for people; random acts of kindness; heroic stories; incredible generosity; and at that stage, not a life lost.
The Church leaders responded (John 17 unity) and began to strategise how to meet the needs. Each Church took on a role for which they were they were uniquely equipped.
Rev Bruce Cornish (Townsville City Central Mission) was appointed Liaison person on the relevant committee of the local disaster management board;
Willow’s Presbyterian ran a children’s programme because schools were closed and kids were going ‘stir crazy’;
North reach Baptist established a Facebook page and mobilized there young adults in the clean-up. They also took on a role in coordinating accommodation for those who had nowhere to live;
Salvation Army provided food at the evacuation centres;
Calvary Church provided hot meals for people with no power and no homes;
Aitkenvale Uniting ran an information night;
Northreach Baptist started collecting donations of clothing etc;
Samaritan’s Purse came into the city and provided training and set up teams with local Church folk to help in the clean-up;
YWAM with the Combined Churches, Council, SES and other Christian organisations established ‘Team Townsville’, whatever it takes. This was a programme to visit every affected house in every affected suburb and ask “How are you going?” And then to direct appropriate resources as required.
The intercessors prayed.
What a great opportunity the Church of Townsville has had to love the people of this city. It truly has been a chance for the Church to shine and the character of God to be revealed.
Let us give thanks to God that the Church, the community, and businesses have really stepped up to be good neighbours and also pray that the church will continue to respond in this way, as disasters and persecution increases in these “last days” before Christ returns.
The Bible is coming to life beyond belief in the heartland of the Buckeye state. Clergymen from Richland County, Ohio, are reclaiming the nexus between church and state and proving they are the juggernaut that can bring social change to their region.
Leading clergymen from over 100 congregations across Richland County sent a letter to local and state school officials calling for civil disobedience to the Obama restroom mandate. Citing the mandate jeopardised privacy and safety of women and children, these ministers took a bold stand when many were afraid to challenge a hostile federal government.
Pastors pose with police car with national motto for Clergy Appreciation Month in 2017.
This account also documents tangible blessings that followed hand in hand after biblical obedience.
Bountiful August rains in the midst of a five-month drought in 2016 came at just the right time. This rainfall had a ripple effect, bringing an unusual abundance of milk and honey, and propelling a robust harvest. Despite being the second hottest August on record, milk productivity countywide increased 43 percent from the previous August. Meanwhile, swarms abounded for a bee population still stinging from the colony collapse disorder, with one prominent beekeeper declaring the summer of 2016 as “the best bee season in a decade.”
“Showers of blessing” became new buzzwords to come out of a sticky situation. In spite of the drought, one farmer exclaimed “In 74 years of farming, I have never had 80 bushels of soybeans an acre like I did in 2016!” Another farmer proudly boasted of having five cuts of hay that year. … but that’s not all.
This extraordinary turn of events occurred one month after clergy drew national attention for challenging the Washington, D.C., establishment. This same month also saw a sudden exodus of witchcraft with two out of the three area psychic stores closing. Legislative efforts to attack religious freedoms were also averted. And despite an infant mortality rate nearly twice the national average, no cases of premature infant deaths were recorded. Last but not least, the clergy’s milestone moment saw no traffic fatalities during the same summer vacation month.
According to the ancient promises described in Deuteronomy 28, simple obedience by pastors became a pivot point to set these wheels of blessing in motion; one act of faith can change a nation.