Loving God, Equipping People, Mentoring Leaders, Reaching Nations
I am in my third of four airports for the day. A 14 hour travel day and I am doing what I usually do when flying and when waiting for a flight. Reading and drinking good coffee. And, when I tire of reading and have run out of things to share in an email with my accountability partner then I watch people.
People are amazing. They come in all different shapes and sizes. They come in different colours. Some speak loudly and others speak softly. They can be relaxed, uptight, anxious, worried, frightened, or apparently at peace with themselves and the world around them. Some look refreshed and ready to go. Others look tired and wanting to finally board their last flight home. Young and old and every age in-between. As I watch some walk with an assurance and a confidence. Others walk with a definite uncertainty and caution. Some are simply lost and can’t find their gate no matter how hard they are apparently trying. People are interesting.
Here is a deep thought… every person walking by me at this moment has two things in common. First, they are travelling from somewhere to somewhere. I told you it was deep. Secondly, every one of them is dying. Some may be young, others may be old but they are all on the journey of life and this journey will, one day, come to an end. They will “pass” as everyone says it today. They will physically die and cease to be a viable human being on the planet as their earth suit (body) is finished. Life has left it.
But this is not the end of life for these people. They truly have “passed.” They have passed from life to death and from planet Earth to … and here’s the rub. They have predetermined their final resting place – heaven or hell. If they have a vibrant, personal, love relationship with Jesus that is a daily reality, then they have chosen ahead of time to enter heaven. And, Jesus, because of His relationship with them, has prepared a place for them for when they arrive. Others, because they have neglected the message of hope and love known as the Gospel of the Kingdom (Matthew 24:14) will have a place reserved for them in hell. John’s gospel speaks of this…
John 3:18 “Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.”
Please note that their sins don’t send them to hell. They chose not to believe in who Jesus is and what He accomplished through His death on the cross. This lack of belief or faith in Christ and His completed work is what opens the door to hell as their final place to spend eternity. They have chosen this place. God did not condemn them to be there forever. He made a way out and sent His Son to die for us (see: John 3:16-17). Jesus made a way where there was no way. And, if we choose not to believe and to ignore or reject His offer then we can blame no one but ourselves for where life finally takes us.
Every person born upon the earth has a default setting of “hell”. So, when they pass that is where the go. However, we can change that default setting by understanding the true Christian message of salvation by grace through faith. And, receiving Jesus as Lord, Saviour, Master, and the Christ – the only door into eternity and God’s presence. When you come to believe that Jesus has made a way where there was no way and receive His gift of the supernatural ability to have a personal relationship with Him (called eternal life – John 17:3) then you have reset your default setting to Heaven.
So, a lot of people walking past me here in the airport rushing to or from their next destination are also moving forward in life to their final destination. And, not one of us knows when that day when we ‘cross over’ is going to be.
Makes one sense the urgency to tell people the good news of the Gospel… that Jesus still saves today.
In the Kingdom of God there are many things happening all at the same time. Some things are generic to all nations. Other events and happenings are specifically targeted for a region or individual nation. God knows what each area needs and fine tunes the Kingdom events and Spirit movements to suit each region and move them forward in His purposes and plan. It is amazing to watch and see. More amazing to be involved in many of the different nations and actually be aware of and have a part to play in the differences.
For example, when I first went to the nation of Kazakhstan the main topics were the church that Jesus was building and the gifts of the Spirit. The main ministry other than teaching was prophesying. Now, when I go to Kazakhstan the topics are leadership, the Kingdom, and the Church – especially house churches. The three main groups I work with have moved forward, matured, grown, and are hungry for the next step as they move into the Kingdom realm and its expansion through soul winning and church planting.
In March of 2020 I will be in Vietnam. This will be my first visit to that nation and so I have begun to read up on some of its history and especially the role of the Church in the nation – both currently and historically. I am told by those planning the trip that I will be holding a school on the Gifts of the Holy Spirit and especially the prophetic. And, that this is the first time ever that this will have been taught to the specific group that is inviting me. So, pioneer work of an apostle. And, in a different place and space than those I work with in Kazakhstan. The Kingdom is amazing that way.
Here is North America …we are seeing the slow death of the traditional Church as younger people no longer find these churches meaningful. But, we are seeing the growth of new churches that are being planted and that target the younger generations. And, we see many traditional born again believers forming or joining house churches where the format of the assembly is flexible and fellowship and prayer are the major focuses. And the mega churches that often have seen major growth through younger people and families transferring in have seen their growth slowing down as smaller church plants become attractive and more suited to the lifestyle of young people and their desire for family type fellowship and relationships.
It is no longer business as usual. Things are changing quickly in the Kingdom. Change is targeted and specific. Different in each place. But the one common feature of all the changes is the return to the primary focus of the Church – seeking and saving the lost. This is what Jesus came to do (Luke 19:10) and what He commanded His Church to do as we “go into all the world and make disciples” (Matthew 28:19). When this becomes the focus of all true believers then we will see the pace of change increase and the growth of the Church reach epic Bible proportions.
I believe we are on the verge of something so amazing and awesome…