Romans 21:8 But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.
Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
I just read an article online about pastors who may be quitting the ministry in the near future. COVID-19 has brought so many changes to how Churches conduct their services and ministry that it has taken a toll on Church leadership. Chuck Lawless wrote an article where he gives six reasons for why this departure from the pulpit will be a reality for many pastors:
1. Worn out from all the stress of COVID-19
2. Wrestling about their role prior to COVID-19
3. Some were talking to other Churches prior to COVID-19
4. Some pastors' Churches that were struggling before COVID-19 are now facing the reality of their Church struggling even more.
5. Some, I fear, will resign because of marital and family issues exacerbated by the stress of these days
6. Some—particularly those who did not quickly learn to shepherd their Church from a social distance—may have lost a bit of their heart for their congregation.
As with many professions, life itself has become more uncertain. All the uncertainty takes its toll on ministry professionals who are always scrambling to help people deal with it. Changes in how we do Church at a distance is always a challenge for pastors who are so accustomed to teaching to a live congregation rather than a camera.
Aside from all these changes we are seeing around us, there is one certainty that we know never changes … that is God’s Plan to redeem the human race. Discouragement happens when we lose sight of our core Beliefs. If we are motivated by our senses, our accomplishments, or the possibilities of life we will only be setting ourselves up for disappointment and defeat. No accomplishments or objectives in this life will last forever unless they are rooted in The Cross. I have noted repeatedly through this blog that Christianity without The Cross is not Christianity. Christianity is The Cross, and without that Message being front and center, you will have a cultural construct that is no different than the Kiwanis Club or the Shriners.
Christianity cannot be Christianity without the Gospel of The Cross. I have noticed there is a movement away from the theology of The Cross that was a dominant theme in the early 70s. So, what is the theology of The Cross?
1. Man’s ultimate problem is sin and sin can only be atoned by Christ on The Cross. Nothing can replace The Cross and nothing compares to The Cross. Without The Cross, there is no Forgiveness of sin. We are dead in our sins, period.
2. The Cross was the Fulfillment of God’s Plan throughout the history of Israel, the Law, the Prophets, the Covenants, and the Promises. God’s Ultimate Promise was to bring Redemption to all mankind, as Promised to Abraham in Genesis 12:3.
3. The Cross is what creates our Relationship with God, and without it, there is no connection with the God of the Bible. People will always create their own reality of God, but only The Cross connects us with God through Jesus Christ.
4. The Cross is the symbol of Sacrifice; it is what God wants to be remembered for more than any other reminder of His Love for us. Some in today’s Church will say it’s all about the Resurrection, but they are wrong. Without The Cross, the Resurrection is meaningless and proves only that God has power over death, but the provision for life that defeats death is The Cross.
5. God’s Judgment will be a reality for all those who reject the provision of Salvation that God provided at The Cross. All humans will die. All will die physically, and some will die a second time Spiritually because they have not accepted the Salvation of Jesus Christ.
The Cross is the culmination of God’s Plan for human beings. The Cross changes everything by removing our past sins and gives us a future that will last forever. I can’t think of a better theology to accept and to live out.
1 Corinthians 1:18 The message of the cross is foolish to those who are headed for destruction! But we who are being saved know it is the very power of God.
This is the era of Deception, but don’t be deceived. Salvation is through none other than Jesus Christ.
Acts 4:12 There is salvation in no one else! God has given no other name under heaven by which we must be saved.
Keeping Life Honest and Truthful … Larry Kutzler