March 14, 2014

'I Wish We Could Go Back to the Good Old Days', and Other Lies We Tell Ourselves

Sorry to break it you, folks, but there never were any ‘good old days’. These words were written by J. Gresham Machen in 1933 in response to growing concerns over the future of the church in the face of a worldwide depression and a growing liberal scepticism.

“The responsibility of the church in the new age is the same as its responsibility in every age. It is to testify that this world is lost in sin; that the span of human life – no, all the length of human history – is an infinitesimal island in the awful depths of eternity; that there is a mysterious, Holy, living God, Creator of all, upholder of all, infinitely beyond all; that he has revealed himself to us in his Word and offered us communion with himself through Jesus Christ the Lord; that there is no other salvation, for individuals or for nations, save this, but that this salvation is full and free, and that whoever possesses it has for himself and for all others to whom he may be the instrument of bringing it a treasure compared with which all the kingdoms of the earth – no, all the wonders of the starry heavens – are as the dust of the street. An unpopular message it is – an impractical message, we are told. But it is the message of the Christian church. Neglect it, and you will have destruction; heed it and you will have life.”

We respond to this generation by chilling out. By that I mean that we shouldn’t be getting our knickers in a twist over this report and that statistic. We are in a spiritual war, ladies and gentlemen. We always have been. Every generation has faced the same—or worse. Be encouraged wherever you are. The Word of the Lord will stand forever. We preach Christ whilst we breathe, as many have done before us and many will after we have gone (yes, yes—unless he comes back first!).


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