By Editorial Staff
Published March 31, 2008
by Ken Unger
The Lord has made wonderful promises to His end time Church; promises of restoration, abundant fruitfulness and prosperity. He’s predicted a Reformation of Righteousness that leaves no aspect of life untouched by the blessing of God:
“I will restore the fortunes of Jacob and have compassion on his dwelling places; and the city shall be rebuilt… and the palace shall stand on its rightful place. And from them shall proceed thanksgiving and the voice of those who make merry; and I will multiply them, and they shall not be insignificant. Their children also shall be as formerly, and their congregation shall be established before Me; … and their leaders shall be one of them, and their ruler shall come from their midst; … In the latter days you will understand this” (Jer. 30:13-24).
The implication is clear. The Church will disciple the nations, leading them into the incredible blessings that only come to those who obey what Jesus taught. For this to happen, there is something He must do for us. As it stands the Church is neither ready, equipped nor capable of achieving His purposes. It’s too crippled to be an effective army.
The Church has been beaten, bound up and abused. In many places it’s too embattled to do anything beyond survival. The sheep have been wounded by the shepherds; the shepherds ravaged by wolves disguised as sheep; and the satanic lion is free to devour at will. A disabled soldier can’t fight, nor a lame tradesman build, nor a blind physician heal.
Most of Christ’s Body has also been weakened by the spiritual junk food of dispensational theology. It’s a belief system which shamelessly compromises the scriptures, spurning the notion that God still heals or has a crucial purpose for His Church in the latter days. And without that hope many embrace a shallow, escapist eschatology; one that asks no more of us than to break a few bad habits and stay in a celestial holding pattern, furiously circling just off the ground of hard core reality until Jesus returns to rescue us from our defeated, sin scarred existence.
Many are too weak and fearful for anything more rigorous. But for those who embrace Kingdom Christianity God predicts far better:
“I know the thoughts I have for you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart. And I will be found by you and I will bring you back from captivity” (Jer. 29:11-14A).
Marvelous things come to those who wholeheartedly seek Him. Scriptures say we’ve not even conceived of the glorious things He’s prepared for those who love Him; things not limited to Heaven. Eternal life begins now for those who truly know Christ. And the Lord’s calling those who met Him into an intimate knowledge of Him; the kind that enables us to fulfill our highest and noblest destinies.
For that to happen He must heal our wounds. Until we’re mentally, spiritually and emotionally healthy His purposes will be hampered, His hands literally tied by the ropes of His people’s bondages. for much of the church is so unhealthy and babes born into it wouldn’t be discipled or healed. And the Lord loves the lost too much to allow that.
Thank God He’ll feed our hunger for healing. He can heal us, body, soul and spirit:
“For I will restore you to health and I will heal you of your wounds, declares the Lord” (Jer. 30:17A). It’s crucial to His end time plan (vs. 24). And God always keeps His promises.
Without a reformation of righteousness the Church is not ready for revival. If the Lord sent a harvest of new Christians we wouldn’t have enough spiritual nurseries to keep them alive let alone raise them to maturity. But that is not the only reason we are not ready for revival. The Church is too wounded to evangelize, disciple or heal the broken people God wants to reach.
The reason for this is simple. Most people do not come to Christ when they are doing well; they come when they are usually pretty messed up. And unfortunately, few churches are equipped to heal these walking wounded. That is why any church that wants to be used in the upcoming harvest must face its own people’s need for healing and prepare to minister to it. Only then will the world stop saying, “Physician heal thyself.” Only then can God send us the harvest for which we’re praying.
Secular man faces unparalleled problems. Multiple divorce, working mothers, work addicted fathers, abortions, adultery, AIDS, homosexuality, alcoholism, pornography, drug abuse, money abuse, rageaholics, food addictions, rape, violent assault and painful rejection have decimated our society. No one is untouched by slavery to sin and disease. If we think we can lead these people through the sinner’s prayer and persuade them that they don’t have to resolve the damage sin did to them we’re consigning them to an early spiritual death. The Lord loves the lost too much to send revival before we can bring them to health and maturity.
It is estimated that one in three people need serious psychological help. One in six of us will spend time in a psychiatric hospital. And of those who enter the secular mental health system I’m told 93% depend on counselors or drugs for the rest of their lives. Sadly, the Church hasn’t done much better with the hurting. We are known as the only army that shoots its wounded. No wonder people today are so hopeless. There is a hunger for healing that medicine and psychology can’t satisfy. If we can’t offer them Christ’s true healing, New Age religion will offer them its twisted version, and they’ll be worse off instead of better.
But there is good news. Though many Christians have also been wounded by sin that very fact contains the seeds for hope. It is as if the Lord allowed the Church to get inoculated so we can provide the spiritual medicine our sin sick world needs. As we get the healing we need, we’ll also receive the training and sensitivity necessary. Any church that learns to restore the health of its members is preparing to heal the hurting world in which we live. Better yet, the healing God creates for His people a contagious quality of Christian life and a spontaneous flow of His love. It uncorks the fountains of life, shedding abroad rivers of living water to slake the thirsty people in the dry, arid spiritual deserts of our modern world.
In the wake of that, revival can safely come. And when it comes, (when, not if) God’s people will be ready, willing and enthusiastically able to participate in it. For once they have touched His healing Love they will be compelled to pass it on no matter what the cost.
Ken Unger is director of One Life Ministries, which is dedicated to equipping the church for Kingdom Christianity and a Reformation of Righteousness.
Forerunner - Home » The Forerunner Newspaper » Restoration
Your comments are welcome!
Foundations in Biblical Eschatology
By Jay Rogers, Larry Waugh, Rodney Stortz, Joseph Meiring. High quality paperback, 167 pages.
All Christians believe that their great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, will one day return. Although we cannot know the exact time of His return, what exactly did Jesus mean when he spoke of the signs of His coming (Mat. 24)? How are we to interpret the prophecies in Isaiah regarding the time when “the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea” (Isa. 11:19)? Should we expect a time of great tribulation and apostasy or revival and reformation before the Lord returns? Is the devil bound now, and are the saints reigning with Christ? Did you know that there are four hermeneutical approaches to the book of Daniel and Revelation?
These and many more questions are dealt with by four authors as they present the four views on the millennium. Each view is then critiqued by the other three authors.
$12.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
High Quality Paperback — 219 pages
Foundations in Biblical Orthodoxy
Driving down a country road sometime, you might see a church with a sign proudly proclaiming: “No book but the Bible — No creed but Christ.” The problem with this statement is that the word creed (from the Latin: credo) simply means “belief.” All Christians have beliefs, regardless of whether they are written.
Yet a single book containing the actual texts of the most important creeds of the early Church will not often be found. Out of the multitude of works on the evangelical Christian book market today, those dealing with the creeds of the Church are scarce.
Why Creeds and Confessions? provides a foundation of biblical orthodoxy as a defense against the false and truly heretical doctrines advanced by the spirit of this age.
$14.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
“Here I stand … I can do no other!”
With these immortal words, an unknown German monk sparked a spiritual revolution that changed the world.
The dramatic classic film of Martin Luther’s life was released in theaters worldwide in the 1950s and was nominated for two Oscars. A magnificent depiction of Luther and the forces at work in the surrounding society that resulted in his historic reform efforts, this film traces Luther’s life from a guilt-burdened monk to his eventual break with the Roman Catholic Church.
Running time: 105 minutes
Special offer: Order 5 or more for $5 each.
Watch a clip from Martin Luther.
$9.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
Download the Free Study Guide!
Just what is Calvinism?
Does this teaching make man a deterministic robot and God the author of sin? What about free will? If the church accepts Calvinism, won’t evangelism be stifled, perhaps even extinguished? How can we balance God’s sovereignty and man’s responsibility? What are the differences between historic Calvinism and hyper-Calvinism? Why did men like Augustine, Luther, Calvin, Spurgeon, Whitefield, Edwards and a host of renowned Protestant evangelists embrace the teaching of predestination and election and deny free will theology?
This is the first video documentary that answers these and other related questions. Hosted by Eric Holmberg, this fascinating three-part, four-hour presentation is detailed enough so as to not gloss over the controversy. At the same time, it is broken up into ten “Sunday-school-sized” sections to make the rich content manageable and accessible for the average viewer.
Running Time: 257 minutes
$19.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
High Quality Paperback — 200 pages
A Reasonable Response to Christian Postmodernism
Includes a response to the book Christian Jihad by Colonel V. Doner
The title of this book is a misnomer. In reality, I am not trying to get anyone to shut up, but rather to provoke a discussion. This book is a warning about the philosophy of “Christian postmodernism” and the threat that it poses not only to Christian orthodoxy, but to the peace and prosperity our culture as well. The purpose is to equip the reader with some basic principles that can be used to refute their arguments.
Part 1 is a response to some of the recent writings by Frank Schaeffer, the son of the late Francis Schaeffer. This was originally written as a defense against Frank’s attacks on pro-life street activism – a movement that his father helped bring into being through his books, A Christian Manifesto, How Should We Then Live? and Whatever Happened to the Human Race? These works have impacted literally hundreds of thousands of Christian activists.
Part 2 is a response to Colonel Doner and his book, Christian Jihad: Neo-Fundamentalists and the Polarization of America. Doner was one of the key architects of the Christian Right that emerged in the 1980s, who now represents the disillusionment and defection many Christian activists experienced in the 1990s and 2000s. There is still great hope for America to be reformed according to biblical principles. As a new generation is emerging, it is important to recognize the mistakes that Christian activists have made in the past even while holding to a vision for the future.
$14.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)