I’ve had the pleasure and privilege of attending The Gospel Coalition conference in Orlando over the last two days. The theme of the conference was focused on our future home—the new heavens and the new earth. It’s so good to be reminded of that beautiful and hope-filled future that awaits all who call on the name of the Lord and have had their sins forgiven through faith in Jesus Christ. It is an especially important topic in light of the dramatic decline of western culture.
As we have witnessed the amazingly rapid descent of our culture’s morals into the abyss (understanding the concept of total depravity is getting easier because now it’s so much more outwardly visible), we have to come to grips with the new reality in which we must live out our faith. The cost of being an obedient believer in Jesus is becoming much higher with each passing day.
The church will likely shrink for a while as the lukewarm, nominal Christians fade away in the face of the intensifying persecution, but I firmly believe it will eventually lead to a new, explosive season of growth for the church as the Christians who are still standing will be strong, active, evangelistic, and fearless. As the culture continues its plunge into darkness, the light of Jesus will be ever brighter!
I believe we are now increasingly being called to be prophetic voices in our time. We cannot retreat. We cannot be silent. We cannot shrink back from declaring the whole counsel of God. No matter what happens in the world, no matter what happens to us, we have a sure hope in Christ. We know how history ends. We know who wins! What’s going on right now is temporary and will not last. It will fade and disappear as quickly as it came.
Be strong and courageous my friends! Our God is with us. He will never leave us or forsake us. As the author of Hebrews tells his readers:
“So when God desired to show more convincingly to the heirs of the promise the unchangeable character of his purpose, he guaranteed it with an oath, so that by two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to hold fast to the hope set before us. We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain, where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf, having become a high priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.” Hebrews 6:17-20
God, through Jesus Christ, is the sure and steadfast anchor for our souls. He is our great and sure hope!
Hoping in God, both now and forever!
Bethlehem College & Seminary
Prayer Requests …
- Please pray for our students as they near “crunch” time in the comings weeks of the semester. It’s easy for them to become weary after a year of hard work and study. Pray for their stamina and their spiritual well-being.
- Please pray for some of our upcoming events at Bethlehem College & Seminary. We are hosting Dr. Ralph Enlow this weekend. Ralph is the president of the Association of Biblical Higher Education and he has graciously agreed to be with us this weekend to celebrate our accreditation.
- Pray also for the ongoing admissions process this spring. Our 2015 seminary class is full, but we’re still accepting students into the college programs. Please pray that we would have full cohorts of students in all of our college programs this fall.
- Please continue to pray for our finances. God has been gracious and merciful to us in recent months and we are encouraged about the future. Pray that the Lord would continue to provide in miraculous ways for us so that we can continue to grow this vision of theological higher education that the Lord has given us.