The God who Pursues (2) – The Covenant with Abraham
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The next videos in the new monthly series of training videos from St Helen’s Bishopgate is out today – Andrew Sach introduces some tools to help us understand Mark’s Gospel.
Here are four books on Leviticus you might find helpful:
Spurgeon quoting M’Cheyne:
“How diligently the calvary officer keeps his sabre clean and sharp; every stain he rubs off with the greatest care. Remember you are God’s sword, His instrument – I trust, a chosen vessel unto Him to bear His name. In great measure, according to the purity and perfection of the instrument, will be the success. It is not great talents God blesses so much as likeness to Jesus. A holy minister is an awful weapon in the hand of God.”
“For that day will not come, unless the rebellion comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, who opposes and exalts himself against every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God.” (2 Thessalonians 2:3-4)
“This passage is probably the most obscure and difficult in the whole of the Pauline writings and the many gaps in our knowledge have given rise to extravagant speculations.”
Four things we know about the man of lawlessness:
- He will be hostile towards God’s law – the man of lawlessness.
- He is doomed to destruction.
- He will oppose everything that is called God.
- He will exalt himself over God.
“In the post-apostolic centuries of the church Christians have practised considerable ingenuity in trying to identify one of their contemporaries as the man of lawlessness.”
“Although Paul does not call him the ‘Antichrist’, this is evidently who he is. John writes of the expectation of his coming.”
“The final ‘man of lawlessness’, an eschatological yet historical person, the decisive manifestation of lawlessness and godlessness, the leader of the ultimate rebellion, the precursor of and signal for the Parousia.”
“Whether we still believe in the coming of Antichrist will depend largely on whether we still believe in the coming of Christ.”
Analysing the research that has been done in the US on youth ministry (which is probably similar to the UK), Steve Wright in reThink notes four gauges which show that there is a problem.
Gauge #1: Student Retention Rates – 70-75% of young people are leaving the church after finishing youth ministry.
Gauge #2: Student Pastors Tenures – there is a high turnover rate with very few student pastors serving at a church long enough to see a student go through an entire student ministry from beginning to end.
Gauge #3: Student Baptism Rates – a decline in number shows that there is a failure to reach teens with the gospel and baptise them.
Gauge #4: Student Biblical Literacy – 85% of young people from churches who attend public schools do not embrace a biblical worldview. Students are not being equipped with knowledge of the Lord, His Word and His ways.
“If the church is not able to keep its youth or those called to reach and equip them and if the church isn’t effectively reaching and equipping students to defend their faith, then we can easily see that we are in the middle of a major crisis.”