Through the years, I have been very interested in applying the Gospel of the Kingdom of God to culture. Hence, I have been involved closely and have studied many different models regarding this subject. The concepts regarding how the church should engage culture vary from merely affecting the quality of life of a community to full-blown revival that results in transformation. The following five models summarize my observations and opinions regarding these various approaches.
The word of God teaches us that there are times God’s presence can leave the corporate expression of His people. We see this in 1 Samuel 4:21-22 when the name Ichabod was given to the grandson of Eli, the high priest, after the ark of the covenant was captured by the Philistines. Also, in the book of Revelation 3:1 Jesus told the church of Sardis that they had a reputation of being alive but was dead. Hence, it is possible for communities of faith to be dead or dying.
The concept of a person spending an eternity in Hell is so grave to me that I do not believe it is intellectually possible for me to fully conceive it. As a matter of fact—I believe that most Christians live as though there is no Hell, because if we truly believed its existence we would do much more to spread the good news of Jesus.
a. The Bible teaches that fire is a metaphor describing three types of purging people can experience:
• The fires of testing
• The fires of evaluation
• The fires of damnation
There is a great tendency in human nature to crave the affirmation of other human beings. With some people, their need for affirmation is so great it hinders their ability to discern between the will of God and the will of man. What is more alarming is the fact that those who lead churches and Christian organizations are not exempt from this tendency.
There is a huge emphasis nowadays in the Evangelical church related to evangelism, church planting and the like. This is good since the church should never be separated from its mission of proclaiming Jesus to this lost world. In light of this, I believe the church will fall far short of our goals unless we incorporate the power of signs, wonders and miracles into our methodological norm for evangelism.
Christianity is always only one generation away from extinction!
The only way the witness of Christ can continue in the earth is if His followers continue His mission. Based on my observations, there are five current models regarding attempts by Christ followers to continue the mission of the Lord Jesus.
As I have been travelling the world teaching on the Kingdom of God in many large Christian leadership conferences, I have noticed something of great concern to me. Since many pastors in Latin America, Europe and North America have come from a Roman Catholic background (or a city with a heavy Roman Catholic religious paradigm), their local church application of the kingdom message reflects this influence.
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