In Good Hands


Brothers and sisters, I have some good news for you. I hope it sets your heart ablaze and that, when you gather with Jesus’ people this Sunday, you pause for a moment and feel greatly encouraged at what you are beholding. We are a little less than a month from Bethlehem’s Conference for Pastors, and my heart is still soaring over this good news. Are you ready for it? Here it is. The church of the Lord Jesus Christ is in good hands.

We live in a day in which it is pretty easy to denigrate the church of our Lord. It takes zero ingenuity to hop on any social media platform and highlight the spots and blemishes of the bride of Christ. It is easy to highlight her hypocrisy, scandals, and immoral failures of her leaders and turn away in disgust. In many cases, the church has brought that upon herself. It is not hard to succumb to discouragement at the state of the church today.

I drove past a mall under renovation one day and received instruction. Wholesale parts of the mall were being torn down to make way for a more beautiful display of stores. I saw a sign with an architect’s final project rendering as I drove by. The projected finished product was amazing. It promised to be an excellent renovation. What caught my eye more than the picture, though, was the projected date of completion. Let’s say that I drove past this construction site in the Fall of 2023. The signage projected the finished product to be in the Spring of 2024.

Now, don’t judge me for this, but I said out loud, by myself in the car, with great confidence, “Please! This looks like a hot mess. There is no way in the world that this project will be completed on time!” A thought occurred to me after my “expert” analysis of the construction site that looked behind schedule as I drove by. “Who do you think you are, Lewis? How do you know that the construction project is behind schedule? Are you the construction project manager?” You might be happy to know that I didn’t answer that thought out loud. I did sit underneath its rebuke for a second and then filed it away for a preaching analogy! The project might be right on schedule, even though it looks like a mess. The construction project manager is the one who oversees, analyzes, and sees to the completion of the project—not an armchair, or in this case, front seat driving, construction worker—the construction project manager’s assessment of the project counts, not mine.

Yes, the church looks like a hot mess to many people. During the conference, my soul craved and found immense joy in the uplifting reminder that the church is in the good hands of the one who is her construction project manager. Let these five words from the conference’s title encourage your soul today and give you much cause for praise on Sunday, particularly if the current state of the church weighs on you. These words come from your Lord, the True Construction Project Manager: “I will build my church” (Mt. 16:18). As the construction project manager, the Lord promises to build his church and bring it to such completion that it will redound to the glory of the Triune God for an eternity of ages to come.

What I love about being a professor at Bethlehem College and Seminary is that I, alongside all of my colleagues, have the distinct privilege of teaching, encouraging, and calling our students not to fix their eyes on the messy construction site that they worship with each Sunday during their academic years. We have the fantastic privilege of calling them to keep their eyes locked on the Construction Project Manager, who has worked on behalf of his church in his life, death, resurrection, and ascension, who works now on behalf of his church as her builder, and who will finish his work one day and declare of his work, that it is very good. Thank you for your constant support in this great endeavor of ours.

Lewis Guest, IV, M.Div. ’15
Assistant Professor of Bible and Theology


Prayer Requests:

  1. Praise the Lord with us for his provision of Dr. Brian J. Tabb as the third president of Bethlehem.
  2. Pray for President Tabb as he assumes the mantle of president.
  3. Pray for our students as they approach midterms.
  4. Pray for the full funding of the Serious Joy Scholarships needed to support this year’s students.