Out of the Abundance of the Heart

Friday, September 29, 2017

Building People of Substance for Works of Power

We are the people of God, Amigos .

With all that is going on in the world, it seems a bit surreal that the news is dominated by some wealthy athletes who are kneeling in protest. To the best of my ability to tell, the protest is motivated by a desire to stop racially-based injury of civilians by law enforcement. I absolutely agree, when that happens it should be punished and ended. I also agree that a discussion of the issue is good for our country. On the other hand, watching a sporting event, for me, is supposed to be entertainment. If I want to ponder great questions of social justice, I will watch something else where a reasoned discussion can be had. That is certainly not the case on Sunday afternoons with the intellectual giants who man the broadcast booth. I turned the whole thing off last year.

Here’s my question: Why is the Lord allowing this to be so prominent in the national consciousness at this time? I believe He is sounding a warning. Here are the bullet points:

· God created mankind in His own image: Genesis 1:27

· God sees all men as descending from one source: “And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth,” Acts 17:26.

· Because of sin, He divided mankind after the flood: Genesis 11:6-8

· Out of all mankind, He chose one particular tribe to maintain His witness in the earth and usher in the Messiah for the blessing of all mankind: Genesis 12:3

· In Christ, He brought all men to Himself as one new people: Galatians 3:13-14; Ephesians 2:17-22

· Worsening ethnic division is a sign of the end times. Jesus said “Nation (ethnos) will rise against nation (ethnos).” Mark 13:8.

· The Church is the alternative to ethnic division. We have been made one people, the people of God, set in the earth to declare His praises. 1 Peter 2:9-10

Just in the last year, we have seen increasing tribalism around the world, people returning to their ethnic, geographic, and religious roots in an attempt to find identity and meaning. England has left the European Union, the Kurds voted last week to leave Iraq, Catalonia will vote Sunday on secession from Spain, Africa continues to boil with ethnic turmoil, as do the Middle East and much of Eastern Europe. India, Nepal, Afghanistan, the list goes on and on. We will see an increasing division of society into racial and cultural enclaves. Those who draw their identity from these natural sources will be seduced into their respective warring camps.

Somebody Said: When your identity is found in Christ, your identity never changes. You are always a child of God. Tim Tebow

Scripture Reading: Nation will go to war against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in many parts of the world, as well as famines. But this is only the first of the birth pains, with more to come. (Mark 13:8 NLT)

Ethnic identity leaves us in a position of being “against” those who are not part of our group. It is self-centered and exclusive. Christian identity moves us to love those who hate us and offer ourselves in their service. The challenge for us in this hour is to stay centered on who we are as God’s people, not who we are against in our earthly tribes. I love America, and it pains me to see her divided and defamed. My greater concern is getting people ready to see Jesus. It’s the only reason we are still here.

Pastor Virgil L. Stokes
Faith Christian Fellowship of Tucson
3141 W. Ironwood Hill Dr.
Tucson, AZ 85745
Office: 520-792-3238

Visit us on YouTube to taste the goodness @FCFTucson.

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