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!
With “preaching to the lost” being such a basic foundation of Christianity, why do many in the church seem to be apathetic on this issue of preaching in highways and byways of towns and cities?
Is it biblical to stand in the public places of the world and proclaim the gospel, regardless if people want to hear it or not?
Does the Bible really call church pastors, leaders and evangelists to proclaim the gospel in the public square as part of obedience to the Great Commission, or is public preaching something that is outdated and not applicable for our day and age?
These any many other questions are answered in this documentary.
$19.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
“When the lives of the unborn are snuffed out, they often feel pain, pain that is long and agonizing.” – President Ronald Reagan to National Religious Broadcasters Convention, January 1981
Ronald Reagan became convinced of this as a result of watching The Silent Scream – a movie he considered so powerful and convicting that he screened it at the White House.
The modern technology of real-time ultrasound now reveals the actual responses of a 12-week old fetus to being aborted. As the unborn child attempts to escape the abortionist’s suction curette, her motions can be seen to become desperately agitated and her heart rate doubles. Her mouth opens – as if to scream – but no sound can come out. Her scream doesn’t have to remain silent, however … not if you will become her voice. This newly re-mastered version features eight language tracks and two bonus videos.
“…a high technology “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” arousing public opinion just as Harriet Beecher Stowe’s 1852 antislavery novel ignited the abolitionist movement.” – Sen. Gordon Humphrey, Time Magazine
Languages: English, Spanish, French, South Korean, Chinese, Russian, Portuguese, Japanese
Running Time: 28 minutes
$17.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
Who is the Real Jesus?
Ever since the dawn of modern rationalism, skeptics have sought to use textual criticism, archeology and historical reconstructions to uncover the “historical Jesus” — a wise teacher who said many wonderful things, but fulfilled no prophecies, performed no miracles and certainly did not rise from the dead in triumph over sin.
Over the past 100 years, however, startling discoveries in biblical archeology and scholarship have all but vanquished the faulty assumptions of these doubting modernists. Regrettably, these discoveries have often been ignored by the skeptics as well as by the popular media. As a result, the liberal view still holds sway in universities and impacts the culture and even much of the church.
The Real Jesus explodes the myths of these critics and the movies, books and television programs that have popularized their views. Presented in ten parts — perfect for individual, family and classroom study — viewers will be challenged to go deeper in their knowledge of Christ in order to be able to defend their faith and present the truth to a skeptical modern world – that the Jesus of the Gospels is the Jesus of history — “the same yesterday, today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8). He is the real Jesus.
Speakers include: George Grant, Ted Baehr, Stephen Mansfield, Raymond Ortlund, Phil Kayser, David Lutzweiler, Jay Grimstead, J.P. Holding, and Eric Holmberg.
Ten parts, over two hours of instruction!
Running Time: 130 minutes
$19.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
Exposes the Dangers of Abortion to Women!
These shocking eyewitness accounts expose the dangers of abortion not only to unborn children, but to the health and lives women as well. An antidote to the smokescreens of the liberal media, these short clips show what really happens in and around abortion clinics.
Although the content is emotionally gut-wrenching, these videos have been used in church seminars and small groups to educate Christians on the abortion issue and to lead people toward a pro-life position. Contains 2 hours and 40 minutes of materials that can be shown separately.
Watch these pro-life videos on-line.
“These videos helped change my mind from pro-choice to pro-life. Your videos are what did it for me. I will be walking in next year’s March For Life in San Francisco.” — A. Jackson, California
“I was going to have an abortion until I saw your video. Praise Jesus!”
— M. Drew, YouTube Commenter
$4.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
Special Two-Disc Set!
After 40 years of intense study and world-wide ministry, Dr. Francis Schaeffer completed his crowning work of scholarship – to present profound truths in simple film language. Dr. Schaeffer’s brilliant analysis of the past and predictions for current trends have proven so uncannily accurate that this amazing series still feels contemporary almost three decades after its initial release. Ultimately, Schaeffer concludes that man’s only hope is a return to God’s Biblical absolute, the truth revealed in Christ through the Scriptures.
Available for the first time on DVD, this documentary spectacular also includes intimate in-depth conversations with Francis and Edith Schaeffer. With the on-disc study guide, this presentation forms a unique course of comprehensive study. While this series forms an innovative analysis of the past, this outstanding work is more than history. Each episode focuses on a significant era, yet speaks clearly to 21st-century man with answers for modern problems.
$49.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)