Posts Tagged ‘Matt Chandler’

Relax. It’s just a bit of fun. 🙂

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I am still mulling this over in Niddrie. I am so slow to baptise here, largely because I fear doing it falsely and we end up with a community of people who ‘got baptised at the mission’ but are now nowhere with the Lord. we have seen so many profess faith over the years but 90% are nowhere. This is an ongoing battle. The attraction of baptising more people and we could baptise many) is that it makes look like a ministry is more successful and fruitful than it really is. One of the dangers, at least in my mind, of spontaneous baptism is that people do it in ‘the moment’ and don’t really count the cost of what it truly means to follow Christ and declare allegiance to Him publicly. Take a look at see what you think.

Speaker: Matt Chandler

Text: Revelation 21 & 22

Title: The Fulfillment of the Gospel

I will say that I find Matt Chandler to be (on the outside at least) an extremely Godly, humble and passionate man for the gospel of the Lord Jesus. He oozes class. I think his appointment to Acts29 is a shrewd move and I wish him all the best in his recovery from health problems and his future in the movement.

I have to be honest and say this was the speaker I was looking forward to the most and yet, sadly, enjoyed the least. I have only ever heard him speak once before (in Chicago) where he spoke with passion (and extremely movingly) on the book of Ecclesiastes. From what I’ve heard online he’s never jumped out as an example of systematic, expository preaching and, in that sense, he didn’t disappoint (let me be clear that he is an extremely gifted communicator!). Sadly, he just didn’t deliver and that was a feeling pretty much unanimously shared by all those around me (and much of the feedback given afterward). Nevertheless, I will try to pick out a few gems.

Matt was clear that as believers we get front row seats to the “greatest gospel show on earth”. More than that, we are “spiritual first responders” to a world gone awry. We must have our hope anchored in the right place if we are to survive this as men of God battling in the ministry.

The first fruits of our hope are here and now. Jesus has paid the price when he came to rescue us and Matt reminded us (with a quote from Goldsworthy) that:

“Hope without a time of fulfillment is a delusion.”

We must accept the fact that we will look delusional to unbelievers in this world. He pointed out to us that Revelation 21 is actually a picture of a renewed earth (Is. 35v1; Am. 9v13). Perhaps his greatest single quote was,

“There will be a day when we are no longer looking forward to the day.”

In other words, our view of the future should drive us on to faithfulness in the present. Keep going and let’s be all in for Jesus.

Application

It doesn’t take much to convince scheme workers that we are the “spiritual paramedics” (to contextualise) of our day. We live and work in areas where life is just an absolute mess on so many chaotic fronts. Because of that, we must keep our eyes focused in the right place. It is easy to get swamped and downhearted by the endless stream of troubles, suffering, pain and death that lands on our doorstep. That’s why we must be grounded in the gospel. We may not see massive fruit in our ministry on the ground (or we may) but, regardless, our hope is set on a day to come and our aim is to present the good news until that final day is ushered in. Any time spent serving Jesus is never wasted time however it appears to us (and others) on the ground. We press on.

This is an extremely emotive topic and anybody who has been in ministry for a length of time will have faced this particularly painful scenario. I have dealt with several sudden deaths in Niddrie, from overdoses to accidents, young and old. It is a brutal reminder of our mortality and the preciousness of life. Families are left, often bereft, with many questions and the pastoral fallout can be intensely painful. For the one who has died they miss this part of the (after) pain.

Terminal illness, on the other hand, brings with it distinct issues. The person who has the diagnosis wants to have their questions answered. There is the doubt, the fear, the regret and the anger. Guilt is often the biggest issue. Guilt at feeling these emotions. After all, shouldn’t a Christian, upon receiving such devastating news, be celebrating the coming glory? Churches are awash with stories of ‘great saints’ who went to their deaths with a Psalm on their lips and a smile on their face. But the reality, in my experience, is that people feel a whole range of emotions.

Then, we have the loved one of the person who suffers. They feel all the same emotions, with the added burden of ‘staying strong’ and offering a public strength to their private grief. They have to watch the slow decline and then go on living afterward. That may be the hardest part.

Matt Chandler & CJ Mahaney spoke at T4G in 2010 about preparing your church for suffering. Matt is a young pastor from Texas who has recently recovered from a brain tumour. His hour long talk is worth watching. One of their many suggestions was a list of resources to help the church in this particular area. What great joy there is for us as Christians that we have eternal resources at our disposal. Please take the time to watch Matt speak and read the resources here.

May we continue to look to the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation, strength, hope and abiding peace on our difficult times.

Great post here by Matt Chandler. It is very cool these days to slate the local church, particularly amongst young, studenty types who naively think that church boils down to three of or four people meeting together to slag off local (and often very traditional congregations). The church is the bride of Christ and He gave His lifeblood for her. Many of us do well to remember that.