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Realizing the presence, promise, and power of the Kingdom of God.

Exposed and Undone?

Wrong-belief is imploding.

Declare and Defend (1)

Behold, now
is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation. 2 Corinthians 6.2

‘Tis the season!
At the risk of seeming to be out of touch with reality, I want to insist that the time has never been riper for Christians to be making their case for the Gospel of the Kingdom.

I know, I know: It seems more like a time for us to be hunkering down and lying low. We’re living in a day that looks more like Psalm 12 than Acts 2. Lies abound on every hand; liars mock God and defy His Word; and those who cling to the truth that is in Jesus have no place to shelter save in the Word of God. The wrong-believers are angry and aggressive. Christians are being pot-shot from every angle: We’re uneducated, irrelevant, hypocritical, opposed to science, haters of others, and on and on.

Some of those charges, we know, have the ring of truth. And most Christians seem to be getting the point: All this loud objecting and protesting means we’d better tone down our witness for now and concentrate on getting our house in order.

But I want to insist otherwise.

Throughout the course of this study, we have been making the argument which Paul asserted in Romans 3.4: God alone is true. He is true about everything. His truth is unfailing, and only His truth makes sense of our confusing and uncertain world. All who oppose God, who reject Jesus, and who refuse to submit and give thanks to Him have embarked on a lying course of life. They keep thinking they’ve found the best way to live, but disappointment, disillusionment, and desperation stalk them.

We’ve said it is the loving thing to do to stand firm in Jesus and call our generation to take a hard look at its wrong beliefs, to see that they do not and cannot make sense, and that, most of all, they cannot account for the fact of Jesus Christ and His death and resurrection.

While it’s true we need to shape up our practice of the faith, now is no time for shying away from engagement for the Gospel. Now is the favorable time for Christians to declare and defend the Christian worldview. Now is the day of salvation, and all believers must be diligent in proclaiming the Good News at every opportunity and by every means.

Let wrong believers rage, boast, mock, threaten, and rail on; God is true, and all who do not submit to Him are trapped in lies.

Why all this fuss?
I’ve been thinking a lot of late about all this anti-Christian harrumphing, this wrong-believing Sturm und Drang. There have always been wrong-believers, and probably more in the past than today. Why are they suddenly so up in arms? Why so loud and angry? Why all this protesting against a Christian presence which, in the West, anyway, has become weaker and more marginal over the past two decades? Why all this urgent busyness to flout God’s Law, throw off His rule, and usher in a substitute morality that pines for the days of Sodom and Gomorrah?

Then it hit me. I recalled the words of Hamlet’s mother, the queen, in Act III, Scene II, as she watched the play Hamlet had written to expose her and her new husband’s treachery. They had conspired to murder the king, her husband, and here Hamlet was reproducing that foul act, right before her eyes. The queen began to squirm as the actor playing her confidently insisted she would remain a widow after her husband’s death. Hamlet asks his mother, “Madam, how do you like the play?” To which she whimpers, “The lady protests too much, methinks.”

What the queen objected to was that the play threatened to expose her wickedness in marrying the murderer of Hamlet’s father, the King, and of thus being part to his treachery. She felt exposed and about to be undone, and so she protested the lines of the queen in Hamlet’s play.

Wrong-belief in trouble
Something like this is happening in the various wrong-believing communities of our day.

Wrong-belief, rather than presenting a unified front against the progress of the Gospel, is fragmenting into tribes motivated by self-interest and devoted to political tactics to get what they want. These various tribes will gobble up fellow wrong-believers if it seems their views or practices are a threat to parochial interests. Name-calling, finger-pointing, accusations, and schemes abound as those who have carved out a narrow spot in the turf of wrong-belief struggle desperately to maintain their gains. The house of wrong-belief is divided; the framework of wrong-belief is crumbling; and the irrationality of wrong-belief is increasingly evident.

At the same time, Christians are popping up everywhere – in the former Soviet Union, all over Africa and Latin America, in China, Korea, and Southeast Asia, even among the nations of the Muslim world. Evidence of spiritual stirrings crops up frequently. We have yet to see what may take root and grow from the recent weeks-long revival among students at Asbury University in Kentucky.

The lie-ensnared world is hungry for truth, but the “truth” they cling to seems only to make them angrier and more defensive. Many are sensing the bankruptcy of the various wrong-believing worldviews that are constructed of lies.

Declare and defend
What’s more, certain Christians continue laying a foundation for a comprehensive Christian worldview. They are calling for the application of the Gospel to every area of life, pointing out that true human flourishing comes only when God’s Word is obeyed.

Even more, Christians have established themselves firmly as intellectual leaders in a wide range of academic disciplines, and their views are being received by peers and students with great interest and attention. Christian colleges and universities are flourishing while other university enrollments are in decline.

Wrong-believers are angry, defensive, and protesting because their views are being threatened, their folly is being exposed, and their frivolous view of life is in danger of being overrun by the progress of the Kingdom of God. Now is indeed the favorable time to declare and defend the Gospel of the Kingdom, for now – now – is the day of salvation!

For reflection
1. What is the Gospel of the Kingdom?

2. Why can we be confident that God is true and His Word is truth?

3. Do you agree that now is the day of salvation? Explain.

Next steps: Have you mapped out your Personal Mission Field yet? Now’s the time do so with our free download. Then start making plans to make your case for the Gospel to all the people you see each week.

T. M. Moore

You can download this and all the studies in this series, “Let God Be True,” by clicking here. For a series of discussions on improving your conversational skills, begin here in our Personal Mission Field Workshop to learn the art of Christian conversation.

A companion book to this study, Understanding the Times, is available at our bookstore. Learn more about this book and order a free copy by clicking here. Our booklet, The Gospel of the Kingdom, can help ready you to proclaim the Good News. Order your free copy by clicking here.

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Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
Books by T. M. Moore

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