Tell The Coming Generation (Sermon Video)

There is a well-known saying: youth are the future of the church. While I can understand the underlying sentiment, it paints an incomplete picture. Youth are not merely critical to the future life of the church; they are crucial to the current health of the church.

Recently, I preached on the importance of passing the gospel on from generation to generation. From Psalm 78:1-8, I pointed out this happens by:

  1. Hearing what God has said
  2. Handing on to the next generation what God has done
  3. Heeding the warning if we do not pass on these truths

The mission of Entrusted By God, in part, reflects this truth as we desire to equip the coming generation to steward the gospel. Within that, we see the goal of passing on the gospel is for the coming generation to place their hope in God (verses 6-7) and become a hopeful generation. I have provided the video of this message if you are interested in hearing how Psalm 78 calls us to this essential gospel work!

The One Sure View of Christ’s Return

One of the most hotly debated topics in theology among Christians surrounds the study of last times and things, or eschatology. These heated discussions typically address the event of the rapture and the timetable of the millennium, whether we are living in it now or if it is to come. For those who seem so sure of their eschatological view, uncertainty arises when all sides seem to use Scripture to make their arguments. They all agree on the second coming of Christ, but they differ on what it will be like and when it will happen. Yet, one aspect of Christ’s return is sure: who it will involve. When Christ returns, people from all nations will gather together to worship Christ, who alone is worthy of glory!

A Sure Salvation

This one sure view of Christ’s return is spoken by Christ Himself when He describes signs pointing to the end of the age, “And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come” (Matthew 24:14). One of Jesus’s disciples, John, records the fulfillment of this prophecy in Revelation 7:9–10 where he witnesses the heavenly vision,

After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!”

Have you ever wondered why this vision of a heavenly worship service involves people from all tribes, tongues, and nations? It is because those are the people who Jesus died to save. Listen to the Apostle John speak of worshipping Christ two chapters earlier in Revelation 5:9–10,

And they sang a new song, saying, “Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation, and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they shall reign on the earth.”

Salvation belongs to God. Worthy alone is Jesus Christ. People saved from every tribe, tongue, and nation.

A Clear Command

If this reality is a sure view of Christ’s return, what does this mean for us as followers of Christ? First, we must recognize Christ’s command to His disciples in Matthew 28:18 is not a call to make disciples in general but to make disciples of all nations. Yes, we are to make disciples wherever we are, but we must also be aware and be involved in supporting and sending fellow brothers and sisters in Christ out to the ends of the earth for gospel ministry.

The Apostle Paul knew this and lived his life for this mission. He knew the only way sinners could call on the name of the Lord and be saved was through hearing and believing the message of the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ (see Romans 10:9–15). It is with this mindset he writes to the Romans and says, “I make it my ambition to preach the gospel, not where Christ has already been named, lest I build on someone else’s foundation” (Romans 15:20).

A Great Need

You may say, “That was nearly 2,000 years ago! Are there really still places and people who have not heard of Christ?” The sobering truth is “Yes!” The reality is around 500 people groups have little to no Christian presence and no one is reaching out to them. In India alone, 495,000 villages have no Christian presence among them. Worldwide there are nearly 2,500,000,000 people who have seldom if ever heard the name of Jesus. Without hearing the name of Jesus, they cannot call upon the name of Jesus. Without calling upon the name of Jesus, they will remain in their sins and face an eternity in hell.

That is why May 20 has been designated the International Day for the Unreached. The heavenly vision reveals this salvation is sure. The Scripture shows the command is clear. The lost world shares the need is great. The hills we die on in eschatology should not be on the secondary specific details of Christ’s return but on the souls Christ has died to save. May our lives be lived on mission toward this vision.

For information on how you can get involved and resources you can share, visit https://dayfortheunreached.org/.

My Real Issue with Hallmark Movies

This article is an adapted excerpt from Theron’s book, Something More: Finding the Joy and Purpose of Life and is available for purchase here.

My family enjoys watching Hallmark movies. They love seeing a romance commence, develop, and bloom. When yet another movie premieres, my loved ones anticipate the time to set aside to view it. I, on the other hand, can be less than enthusiastic about such movies. If you were to ask me, “Why?” my formal response would go, “Because I don’t like chick flicks!” However, an honest reply tells a different story.

Exposing My Soul

My apparent resistance toward and beef with Hallmark movies or any “chick flick” type movie is not due to the unrealistic nature of its endings or its definition of love, although those reasons are topics worth discussing. Rather, my struggle with Hallmark movies stems from the vulnerability it exposes in my soul. As an unmarried person, I aspire one day to be married. As a single person, I desire to enter the realm of a romantic relationship. Yet, none of this has happened for me. So, guess what happens when I sit with the family and watch on-screen two people develop a love for each other culminating in a romantic relationship? My longings for love and a romantic relationship come to light and consume me.

Expectations Unmet

When longings for love and a relationship consume me, my thoughts fixate on the reality of my relationship status. Watching romantic comedies inclines my heart toward desires for romance. Seeing couples together intensifies my longing for love. And, as a single, these contexts provide the reminder my desires and longings have been unmet. The result is I begin to let it take over as my primary identity. As I allow myself to be defined by my relationship status, I answer, “A single and unmarried person,” when asked, “Who am I?” My plea becomes, “If only I had a woman, then I would be happy” as if my main problem in life is I am single and the solution to my problem is marriage. The truth is my problem runs much deeper.

Examining the Problem

My main problem is not singleness. My main problem is sin. This sin has manifested itself through my controlling desire to seek after marriage for a purpose and joy that only a relationship with God in Christ can fulfill. Don’t mishear me. The desire for marriage is not the problem. To desire marriage is a good thing which will bring joy, and marriage itself is a gift from God (see Genesis 2:18–25). The problem in my pursuit for marriage is it has become a consuming desire, where the quality of life depends on my relationship or marital status, singleness viewed as the worst nightmare and marriage viewed as the most wonderful dream. When my desire for a romantic relationship rules my heart, I misplace my worship and misunderstand my identity.

Encouraged in the Gospel

Marriage is a good desire, but it should not be our greatest desire. Our greatest desire in life as we search for purpose and joy is found in a relationship with the One who has given us life. God has created us for His glory and has given us eternal life and joy through the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. “In Christ” we discover our primary identity (2 Corinthians 5:17) and find the solution to our greatest problem (2 Corinthians 5:18–21). While Hallmark movies may remind me of my longing for love, the hallmark of my life will be the love God has shown me in Christ.

Join the Conversation

How can you relate to Theron’s story? What area of life seems to rule your heart and desires?