It is imperative that, in every community, the ekklesia comes to see itself as an “outpost of the gospel.” Wherever we reside in New York or Nuevo Laredo, we live on the frontier of the kingdom. It is the border between light and darkness. It is the border between life and death, hopefulness and hopelessness. Moving the border outward requires that the gospel be proclaimed to and lived before those dwelling on the frontier.
It is essential that we climb to a higher profile and draw Satan’s fire. Satan won’t bother to pull the trigger until we quit working to make the trenches more exciting, attractive and comfortable and get out of them. You can’t follow Jesus with your kiester in the kirk, your butt on a bench. Satan is grabbing new converts right and left. Your neighbor is in the cross-hairs. It is urgent that we abandon the trenches and mount a charge beating back the forces of darkness.
Certain adjustments to strategy are urgent and necessary. In short, we must change the way we think about our community and ourselves. We must look upon the hearts and minds of people in our world as territory currently occupied by Satan. These are the battlefields into which we advance with the ultimate weapon: the gospel. Our objective:
We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. (2 Corinthians 10:5)
We’re on a mission to snatch our neighbors out of the fire, to rescue them from the “dominion of darkness” (Jude 23), and bring them into the “kingdom of the Son he loves” (Colossians 1:13). Better preaching and praise won’t cut it. Only the methods of Jesus will successfully make followers of Jesus.
Jesus came to live among mankind, not isolated in some sort of spiritual ghetto. He did not choose an isolated and insular existence that required people to come to him. On the contrary, except for times of prayerful regeneration, he sought the company of the crowds. His love and compassion for them was, after all, the reason he assumed a flesh and blood existence (Hebrews 2:14).
In flesh and blood he came, because God so loved the world. He came not to be served but to serve; not to abandon but seek and save; to heal not hurt; to show compassion not contempt. He brought truth, not tradition. And now, he has cast his mantle upon us, his followers. Do you feel it as it covers your shoulders? Wrap it around you tightly and draw power from it until the day when you can echo His last words on the cross, “It is finished.”