Some of you know just what I’m talking about, but probably more of you are wondering if I forgot to take my pills today. We’ve all heard the news about people – especially young people – leaving the church. Fewer people show up on Sundays. Christians seem to be represented in public mostly by angry, hateful, oppressive apes in suits who specialize in teaching the faithful to hate everyone in the name of God. And they’re trying to infiltrate our schools, our governments and even our morning coffee to try make sure no one has any choice but to do it their way. Our supposedly Christian country has devolved into one where making money is our God, morality has become a punchline and the poor a punching bag. Surely we need to fix these problems before we can get excited about the direction the church is headed in. Right? Nope. Wrong. Completely wrong.
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. ~ Philippians 4:8
That’s not just a principle there. It’s not an idea or a suggestion. It’s an actual instruction. The truth is that you will never find truth by watching the darkness. There’s no real power there. It’s not where God works. If you want to see the truth and reality of what’s going on in the body of Christ, you need to be on the look out for where there’s joy. Where there is breathtaking beauty. Look for something new that makes your heart leap a little – that’s where God is. Remember? “Behold, I make all things new.” Look for the people loving on each other – “all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”
Ignore the rest of it – it means nothing. There’s no power there. It’s an illusion and nothing else. I recently read a quote from Rob Bell (which I can’t find at the moment. If anyone has it, please pass in on and I’ll fix it. Or if you know Mr. Bell, you can go ask him for me. Tell him I sent ya! 😉 ). He said, “sure the old guard of the Christian faith is really loud and aggressive right now. They are dying and dying hurts.” That’s all it is.
I know that some people are called to engage directly with the old, dying rear guard. To mitigate the damage they cause, light a beacon for those who need help finding their way out or to offer a testimony for those watching which says those loud, angry, fearful voices aren’t the only ones. But for most of us, I we’re better off simply doing what Jesus told us to do. Lighting our lamps, loving each other, doing the work of healing our hearts, providing for those who have need and walking with those who suffer.
Jesus said that he would draw all men to himself. That’s his work. Our work is to become like our teacher. The battles are already won and the victory is already provided for us. God doesn’t need us to go to battle for him – even with those claiming and defaming his name. One of the amazing things about God’s work is that it doesn’t rely on the goodness of men to change the world at all. So those people who seem to be destroying the church? They don’t need to get on board for God to get the Bride ready to join with Jesus (although they will get on board, once it’s all done). God’s ways have a power all their own. We just need to put down the glue, stop worrying about the riffraff and get on board.
So, what exactly am I seeing in the body which has me so jazzed about the church? Strange as it sounds, part of it is that we’re suffering. Pretty much every Christian I know has endured horrible suffering for the last few years. But as Christians, we join our suffering with the suffering of Christ on the cross and then we get to share in his resurrection. That’s the deal. We’re not suffering like people being destroyed, we’re suffering like a woman in labor.
As anyone who’s been through labor knows, there’s a point where you say, “I can’t do this any more. I don’t want to do this. Make it stop!” How many times have you said that in the last few years? How many times have I? But it’s when those words come out that you know you’re getting to the end. There’s a baby coming. All this horrible, awful suffering we’ve been going through? It means there’s a baby coming! It’s new life. The world around us may be dying away, but not us. We are being born of the spirit! It’s happening – I can see it all around me. Check your heart – it will tell you that I’m speaking the truth. It knows.
The other reason I’m excited about the church is because I’ve been looking and listening and there are these beautiful, joyous, loving voices rising up. You may not hear them yet while the dying are making so much darn noise. But you will. They are coming. And they won’t be stopped. Want to know what they sound like? They sound like this:
We are the Living Epistles. I see a group of dangerous people rising from all over the nations. I see a group of explosive Saints who are refusing to submit to the mundane system of religion. I see a group of dynamic… powerful… fierce… Sons & Daughters who will shake the very foundation of Christianity. These are mad people… They are crazy… They are insane… They are psychotic… They are definitely dangerous. Unashamed, Undignified, Unafraid… Satisfied, Steadfast, Selfless… Passionate, Practical, Perfect… And Undoubtedly Peculiar. I hear so many people prophesying about a Jacob Generation or a David Generation that is to come. This isn’t a Joseph Generation. This isn’t an Elijah Generation. God is raising up a group of babblers who knows nothing but Christ and Christ Crucified. God has proclaimed that we will be a Generation of Feasters, Drunkards, Gluttons… People who are completely satisfied in the Finished work of Jesus. This is a Generation of people who look like Jesus… like Paul… like the church of Acts… This is a Love Generation. A Drunk Generation. A Grace Generation. A Gospel Generation. And it’s not coming tomorrow nor are we hoping for it to come today. It’s here. I heard it all through social media. Facebook, Youtube, etc. Most of all, I’ve witnessed it with my own eyes. This is not a generation that will be seeking signs and wonders. This is a generation that has become a Sign and a Wonder to the whole world. This is a generation that will declare the Good news of what God did right and not what Men did wrong. This is a generation that will declare the redemption of the Last Adam and not the fall of the First. This is a generation that will declare the death, the burial, the resurrection, and the ascension of all men… to all men… This is a generation that will proclaim the hope of the Nations… Jesus… to every tribe and tongue. This is a generation that will radiate in the most “darkest regions” as so called men has labeled… They will illuminate… They will shine… We are already glowing… God is raising up people all over the world, who are completely satisfied, completely drenched, completely secure in who they are. I’m so honored to be in the presence of those who are not ashamed of the Good news of Jesus. I’m so honored to be in the presence of those who will not bow to the First Adam but is resting their heads on the Bosom of Christ. I’m so honored to be in the presence of those will not partake of the Tree of the knowledge of Good and Evil, but are feasting on the tree of Life. Get ready religion, because you are not staying in business any longer. You will see the day where Nature will stop groaning… The Beloved Children of God are here… and they know who their Daddy is… who they are. There is no other direction the body can go… There is no escape… This is imminent… We are the manifestations of God on Earth. We are the Gospel on full display. We are the Living Epistles. ~ Jung Hwan Kim
Do you see it? Do you hear it? This is what’s happening right now. We are the generation of the Living Epistles. You and me and a growing crowd of others. We may seem overpowered and out-gunned right now. But this is what the truth looks like. This is what is coming.
So don’t be discouraged. Don’t search the darkness any more. Turn to the light. Seek it out. Listen to it. There are amazing things going on in the church. She is more beautiful than you’ve ever imagined. It’s going to be exciting to watch and see how it all plays out, don’t you think?