Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and for ten days you will have tribulation. Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life.
The Hope, the Promise, the Future
I received a letter from Steve DeNeff, a pastor from Indiana, concerning the hope, the promise, and the future of the people of God. Regarding the people of God, he says (adapted):
- They want churches that preach repentance.
- They want sermons on absolutes.
- They want worship that transcends the temporal.
- They see a God who is bigger than life, who occupies the center.
- They are ordinary people with annoying consciences.
- They believe the deepest truths have already been discovered.
- They think church growth is not a science, but a function of a sovereign God.
- They believe after every conversion comes a life of discipleship, or it is really no conversion at all.
- When they consider the martyrs, they think of paying to their sons the debt they owe the fathers.
- They sometimes feel estrangement from the visible church.
- They are serious. Intense.
- They are not arrogant or rude.
- They do not go looking for a fight, but they know when they stake out a position, controversy will await them.
- They know their future hinges on the sovereignty of God.
Pastor Sam Crabtree is Bethlehem's Pastor for Small Groups, North.