In light of recent headlines, court cases, and cultural trends, over the past few months you’ve probably heard—or said—something like the following:
“Our culture is spinning out of control.”
“I can’t believe how fast the moral slide is happening.”
“We’re living in a different nation than the one I grew up in.”
“I think persecution of Christians is coming . . . soon.”
Without question, the cultural Christianity many of us grew up with has vanished. There is no collective Christian consensus wielding any significant power in this country today. In fact, the more that true Christians endeavor to speak and live biblically, the more we are being labeled as extremists, homophobic, and intolerant. Truly we are aliens. We foresee a day when being a faithful Christian will cost us or our children dearly, and in ways we couldn’t have imagined just a few years ago.
So is there any good news? Certainly. We know that God will use even the current hostilities and the climate of impending persecution for good (Romans 8:28). For years I’ve been concerned by the church’s pursuit of cultural change through political and social activities. Large swaths of Christians have placed enormous time, energy, money, and hope in the wrong things. Hand in glove with that thinking, a superficial, cultural Christianity has blurred the clear lines between the kingdom of heaven and the kingdom of this world. Pragmatists in evangelical pulpits have softened the hard demands of the gospel, making discipleship sound easy and grace sound cheap. As a result, churches have been filled with religious, superficially moral, self-righteous people who don’t understand the gospel and are self-deceived about their true spiritual state.
But with the façade of cultural Christianity shattered, biblical Christianity is beginning to stand out in a way it hasn’t in our lifetime. Scripture teaches and church history confirms that the Body of Christ is most potent and most effective when it simply speaks and lives the gospel without equivocation or apology. With the mask of superficial Christianity pulled down, I believe the best days for the spread of the true gospel are ahead of us.
We see clear evidence of that here. Grace to You is witnessing a strong, enthusiastic, and generous response from the people to whom we minister. We see the Lord’s blessing more clearly today than at any point in our forty-six-year history. Our resources are in demand and reaching people in strategic ways in amazing numbers.
While the world in which we live is dark, the feedback we are receiving from the people to whom we minister is overwhelmingly positive and suffused with expressions of profound gratitude. Far from being discouraged, people are excited by how the Lord is working in them. Amid the darkness, difficulties, uncertainties, and catastrophes, a significant body of believers is undistracted and undeterred. Those we minister to are busy growing in the Lord, feeding on His Word, arming themselves with truth, serving the saints, evangelizing the lost, and entrusting themselves to a sovereign, loving God. Christians, by definition, live for a new day in another world. Our priorities, our hope, our marching orders, our measure of success are given to us by God in His timeless, inerrant, Word.
That is why, more than ever before, I am excited about Grace to You. These are precisely the days for which the Lord has allowed us to exist. We bring people verse-by-verse Bible exposition, teaching them the gospel, instructing them in doctrine, calling them to forsake sin and pursue righteousness, and equipping them for all sorts of ministry. As the world crumbles, our sense of purpose grows stronger.
At the same time, know that I’m thankful for your support of Grace to You. When people write to tell us how the Lord has used this ministry and to thank us, it is obvious to us their indebtedness really is to the Lord, working through the support of friends such as you. You help make this ministry happen through your faithful prayers and giving. We are here for them because you and others like you are standing with us. You’ve been so gracious, generous, and eternity minded. Thank you!
Love in the Truth,