Get your vision back!

Get your vision back!

“Without a vision the people perish.” So says the well known verse from Proverbs.

 

We will die without vision. Churches all over the western world are dying and closing daily for that very reason.

 

But what, you ask, is vision?

 

A few years ago, I got so tired of hearing about the need for vision statements, I collected a variety of those statements from a number of large churches across the United States.  Most of them had without doubt spent a small fortune on consultants to develop them. And not surprisingly, they were all virtually the same. Maybe the same consultants had done the rounds!

The main thing

The main thing

How many times do churches descend into disagreements over petty issues? How many times do we disagree and divide over peripheral matters? Differences are inevitable, but it’s tragic when we lose our fellowship over them. A church I knew of split over where the flower arrangements were placed.

There are in fact many things that divide us as Christians, even though we all assume and accept the authority of Scripture.

Some of the things that divide us are not petty at all. They are in fact big, at least from a theological viewpoint. Baptism, church government, gender roles, perspectives on the sovereignty of God, eschatology (end-times), styles of worship and preaching are a few that come to mind.

The power of conviction

The power of conviction

There’s a big difference between an opinion and a conviction.

And the difference is this. A conviction is an opinion acted on, regardless of the cost.

Plenty of people have opinions. Opinions are cheap. They don’t cost you anything. But it’s another story with convictions. Having a conviction may cost you everything. Maybe that’s why it sometimes seems very few people actually have many. Some people appear to have none at all!

Martin Luther nailed his convictions to the church door five hundred years ago. It cost him dearly. He suffered untold attack and persecution and was fortunate to have escaped with his life. But Luther and his convictions changed the course of history.

The end is nigh - or is it?

The end is nigh - or is it?

It’s happened yet again.

I had just finished teaching a course last month on the book of Revelation. When I teach on eschatology (events of the end times), I always make a point of mentioning how many times the return of Christ has been mistakenly predicted or “prophesied” by people.

Even if the predicted event does not occur, which it never does, two things can be predicted with absolutely certainty. First, no one will ever apologize for getting it wrong. Second, the name of the Lord will once again be brought into disrepute.

The runner

The runner

There are a lot of things that intrigue me about running.

For one thing, why do so many people enjoy doing it? It lacks all the fun and fellowship of team sports and can be a lonely pursuit.

Though running is often done alone, it can be quite competitive. If you don’t believe me, just get around some runners talking about their personal bests or posting their latest times and running routes on social media.

I took up running as a young man partly because I was pretty uncoordinated and not great at other sports. It was something I could do to get into shape. At one point, I ran quite a lot and was reasonably good for my age. Less so lately, though I haven’t given up!

But what really interests me is that the Bible says some significant things about running.