Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name! For the LORD is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations.
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 Executive Pastor and Lead Pastor for Life Training.