Having a Different Kind of Influence

Steve Viars October 23, 2016 Daniel 10:-12

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 “…In the most crucial section of his essay, Professor Tushnet delivers the ultimatum to the losing side in the culture conflict, including evangelical Christians – ‘You lost, deal with it.’ To his fellow revolutionaries Tushnet announces, The culture wars are over; they lost, we won. Then he goes for the kill in making his argument: “For liberals, the question now is how to deal with the losers in the culture wars. That’s mostly a question of tactics. My own judgment is that taking a hard line (“You lost, live with it”) is better than trying to accommodate the losers, who – remember – defended, and are defending, positions that liberals regard as having no normative pull at all. Trying to be nice to the losers didn’t work well after the Civil War, nor after Brown. (And taking a hard line seemed to work reasonably well in Germany and Japan after 1945.) How to deal with the losers? Here we meet the reality of liberal judgment in a day of liberal ascendency. Tushnet argues that conservatives should now be met with a hard line and a demand for total surrender – no accommodation whatsoever. Don’t even try to be nice to moral enemies, Tushnet commands, since their arguments have no normative authority of any kind. With absolute candor, Tushnet calls for moral conservatives of all stripes to be treated like Germany and Japan at the conclusion of World War II. Both nations, having declared war on the United States and its allies, were required to submit to unconditional surrender and were subject to occupation by the victors. We are to be treated like defeated Nazis and the Japanese high command.” Albert Mohler, The Moral Revolutionaries Present Their Demands: Unconditional Surrender

Daniel 9:1-2 - In the first year of Darius the son of Ahasuerus, of Median descent, who was made king over the kingdom of the Chaldeans— in the first year of his reign, I, Daniel, observed in the books the number of the years which was revealed as the word of the Lord to Jeremiah the prophet for the completion of the desolations of Jerusalem, namely, seventy years.

4 principles to guide our ministry in the world in which we live

I. Be Sure You are Immersing Yourself and Your Family in the Word of God

A. This was an issue even in Jeremiah’s/Daniel’s Day

Jeremiah 27:12-14 - I spoke words like all these to Zedekiah king of Judah, saying, “Bring your necks under the yoke of the king of Babylon and serve him and his people, and live! Why will you die, you and your people, by the sword, famine and pestilence, as the Lord has spoken to that nation which will not serve the king of Babylon? So do not listen to the words of the prophets who speak to you, saying, ‘You will not serve the king of Babylon,’ for they prophesy a lie to you…”

Jeremiah 28:10-11 - Then Hananiah the prophet took the yoke from the neck of Jeremiah the prophet and broke it. Hananiah spoke in the presence of all the people, saying, “Thus says the Lord, ‘Even so will I break within two full years the yoke of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon from the neck of all the nations.’ ” Then the prophet Jeremiah went his way.

B. Avoid being “dull of hearing”

Hebrews 5:11-12 - Concerning him we have much to say, and it is hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing. For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you have need again for someone to teach you the elementary principles of the oracles of God, and you have come to need milk and not solid food.

II. Look for Opportunities to Let Your Relationship with Christ Shine

A. Opportunities to live for God

Daniel 1:8 - But Daniel made up his mind that he would not defile himself with the king’s choice food or with the wine which he drank; so he sought permission from the commander of the officials that he might not defile himself.

B. Opportunities to glorify God

Daniel 2:27-30 - Daniel answered before the king and said, “As for the mystery about which the king has inquired, neither wise men, conjurers, magicians nor diviners are able to declare it to the king. However, there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries, and He has made known to King Nebuchadnezzar what will take place in the latter days…But as for me, this mystery has not been revealed to me for any wisdom residing in me more than in any other living man, but for the purpose of making the interpretation known to the king, and that you may understand the thoughts of your mind.

C. What about you?

“As long as fundamentalists and evangelicals have a theology that places them constantly in an adversarial relationship to this world and its culture, they will continue to involve themselves with art only when trying to censor it; with politics, only when it is a quest for control; with science, only when they want to oppose evolution; with victims of AIDS, only when they remind them that they deserve it; and with education, only when school prayer, sex education, and condoms are discussed. Our involvement in this world must not only be negative; it must be positive. It must not only be political and moral; it must be cultural, and it must not depend on mass organization, but on the responsibility each one of us has to fulfill his or her calling. Each one of us, whether a factory worker or an Ivy League professor, is responsible to contribute positively to his or her own sphere of influence which includes one’s calling, family, relationships, neighborhood, and nation. Let us take this world seriously, with no illusions of a “Christian society” and at the same time, no embarrassment in seeking to influence our sphere of activity, to the glory of God and the good of our neighbor.” (Michael Horton, Beyond Culture Wars, p. 208)

III. Allow Your Belief in the Sovereignty of God to Free You to Love and Serve Others

Daniel 12:8-10 - As for me, I heard but could not understand; so I said, My lord, what will be the outcome of these events? He said, Go your way, Daniel, for these words are concealed and sealed up until the end time. Many will be purged, purified and refined, but the wicked will act wickedly; and none of the wicked will understand, but those who have insight will understand.

IV. Rejoice that You Know the King Who will Someday Inaugurate His Kingdom of Righteousness

Here is the article Pastor Viars' references in this sermon: The Moral Revolutionaries Present Their Demands: Unconditional Surrender

Outlined Manuscript

- This morning I’d like to begin by asking you this -- What is the appropriate relationship between Christians in 2016 and the world around us?

- How should you be trying to position yourself at work, how should you be trying to position yourself in your neighborhood, in your community, in your country, in your culture?

- where do you fit in?.....what’s your role?.....what’s your calling?

- Historically, God’s people have often struggled with this question, and often fallen into wrong extremes.

1) On the one hand, you have those who seek to put as much distance between themselves and the world as possible.

- it looks and sounds like they hate the world.....- they’re angry at the world....

- they’re frustrated with the world....

- and they appear to make the critical theological error of assuming that when John said that we shouldn’t love the world.....he was talking about the world of people [which he wasn’t----he was talking about the philosophy of the world that so often ignores God]

- but this group thinks, you’re supposed to distance yourself from unbelieving people, and even despise everything and everyone associated with the world.

- and therefore this group is hyper-critical [nothing good is happening], and hyper-pessimistic [nothing good ever will]…

- with these folks, if you mention the arts, their mind will gravitate to the most bizarre example of funding by the National Association of the Arts, and then talk as if everything about the arts is bad.

- if you mention politics, their minds will go to the worst example in the political realm, and then act as if nothing good is being accomplished there.

- if you mention literature, music, entertainment......it’s all very critical, very negative, very cynical, very angry.....

- and that’s the way they’ve positioned themselves, and that’s the way they come off to others.

- with this group, if you mention social needs and concerns, this judgmental attitude will again surface.

- the hungry or the homeless.....why don't they just go out and get a job.....

- the need for racial reconciliation.....what need?

- label this extreme those whose stance toward the world is angry, negative, critical, hateful, judgmental, and pessimistic.

- truth without compassion, and not much truth.

- I have to wonder how many times the fundamental or evangelical church comes off like this to those who are outside?

2) What about the other extreme?

- does it also exist?

- label it the “love all aspects of the world” extreme

- people here love the world....with very little concern for philosophies and strategies that dishonor God.

- there is very little difference between the lifestyle of Christians living in this extreme and those who don't know the Lord.

- if you mention the arts, they will be quick to speak of tolerance and freedom and have great difficulty speaking of right and wrong.....there’s very little discernment here....

- if you mention politics, they seem to believe that the world’s problems can be solved through political means, entirely apart from the cross-work of Christ or God’s divine intervention in the affairs of men.

- this group has absorbed the world’s music, and literature, and entertainment....

- and in so doing, absorbed many of the world’s values, and philosophies, and ideals...

- if you mention social needs and concerns, there will be interest here.....

- hungry people need to be fed, homeless people need to be housed.....

- but there’s not much interest in going beyond that.....

- so the long term spiritual needs are ignored....

- and the life-giving message of the cross remains out of sight.....

- in many ways, this group is ashamed of the gospel, they are ashamed of the cross....

- because the idea that human beings are sinful and in need of a Savior.....

- and that salvation is available only through the cross-work of Jesus Christ.....

- that’s viewed as negative, embarrassing, and narrow, and bigoted, and backward.

- label this stance optimistic and positive, but shallow, and non-discerning, and unable to take a stand on contemporary issues of the day.

- its compassion with little truth......with invariably skews the compassion.

- if the fundamental and evangelical church often comes off like the description in the first extreme, the liberal church often comes off like the description in the second.

- so I repeat the question – whether we’re talking about us as a church or you as an individual -- What is the appropriate relationship between Christians in 2016 and the world around us?

- now, please allow me to quickly throw 2 complicating factors on the pile from the perspective of where we’re living today…

1. the tendency to quickly move to extremes and therefore lack an appreciation for balance and nuance…

- I would assume you would listen to these two extremes I’ve laid out this am and think – there has to be a balance in there somewhere…

- and I would agree – but how much respect and appreciation does balance receive in this country?...ain’t nobody got time for that…

- I’ve always liked the quote attributed to Bible teacher Warren Wiersbe – Balance is that illusive point I pass on the way to me next extreme…

2. the pressure of our contemporary world to tolerate any involvement by those who love God and His Word…

- those at Faith West know Pastor Aucoin alluded to an article a few weeks ago that I’d like to mention again today because this is critical reading for all or church family…

- Albert Mohler – president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville – The Moral Revolutionaries Present Their Demands: Unconditional Surrender

- in this blog Mohler is responding to an article by Mark Tushnet, William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Law at Harvard Law School. 

- Tushnet is talking about how cultural liberals should deal with people of conservative theological and cultural beliefs now that many of the cultural wars like the sanctity of life and the definition of marriage have been decided by our so-called Supreme Court…Mohler writes…

- …in the most crucial section of his essay, Professor Tushnet delivers the ultimatum to the losing side in the culture conflict, including evangelical Christians – “You lost, deal with it.” To his fellow revolutionaries Tushnet announces, “The culture wars are over; they lost, we won.”

- Then he goes for the kill in making his argument: “For liberals, the question now is how to deal with the losers in the culture wars. That’s mostly a question of tactics. My own judgment is that taking a hard line (“You lost, live with it”) is better than trying to accommodate the losers, who – remember – defended, and are defending, positions that liberals regard as having no normative pull at all. Trying to be nice to the losers didn’t work well after the Civil War, nor after Brown. (And taking a hard line seemed to work reasonably well in Germany and Japan after 1945.)”

- How to deal with the losers? Here we meet the reality of liberal judgment in a day of liberal ascendency. Tushnet argues that conservatives should now be met with a hard line and a demand for total surrender – no accommodation whatsoever. Don’t even try to be nice to moral enemies, Tushnet commands, since their arguments have no normative authority of any kind.

- With absolute candor, Tushnet calls for moral conservatives of all stripes to be treated like Germany and Japan at the conclusion of World War II. Both nations, having declared war on the United States and its allies, were required to submit to unconditional surrender and were subject to occupation by the victors. We are to be treated like defeated Nazis and the Japanese high command ( Albert Mohler, The Moral Revolutionaries Present Their Demands: Unconditional Surrender)

- If you’d like to read the article in its entirety, you can visit our church’s Facebook page – just search on Facebook for “Faith Church of Lafayette Indiana.”

- the point is – it has never been more important for people like you and me to get the answer we’re posing this am right…because I don’t know how else to say it – the pressure to silence and demonize those who choose to love God and His Word has never been stronger…

- and I’m not depressed or mad – but I believe we’re seeing evidence of that right in our own community…

 - with that in mind, I’d like to invite you to open your Bible to Jeremiah chapter 29…page 559 of the front section of the Bible under the chair in front of you…

- now I realize you might say – hey, I thought we were studying the book of Daniel…we are…you could even turn over to Daniel chapter 12 on page 640 before we’ll be there before long…

- but if you were with us last week – you know that in Daniel 9, we read the amazing news that not only had Daniel spent the last 70 years of the Babylonian captivity as a faithful man of prayer…but also as a careful student of Scripture…

- Daniel 9:1–2 - In the first year of Darius the son of Ahasuerus, of Median descent, who was made king over the kingdom of the Chaldeans— in the first year of his reign, I, Daniel, observed in the books the number of the years which was revealed as the word of the Lord to Jeremiah the prophet for the completion of the desolations of Jerusalem, namely, seventy years.

- now if you’re new today – I realize that’s probably very confusing…we don’t want that to happen to anyone…so here’s some context…

- the book of Daniel which we’ve been studying verse by verse and chapter by chapter this fall tells the amazing story of Daniel and several of his friends who were deported as young teenagers from Jerusalem to Babylon by King Nebuchadnezzar in 605 BC…

- and God was powerful enough to help these young men live faithfully and effectively through the reins of several Gentile kings of multiple Gentile nations…

- so all of this goes a long way to answering the question we’re posing this am…

- now obviously, when we get to Daniel 9, we’re at the end of the 70 year Babylonian captivity…but this passage sparks our curiosity about what was happening in the ministry of the prophet Jeremiah 70 years before…at the beginning of all of this…

- and what we’re going to find is – Jeremiah had counsel for the exiles…and not everyone agreed…

- read Jeremiah 29:1, 4-7

- we’re talking this morning about Loving Our World by Having a Different Kind of Influence

- and with the time we have remaining, let’s look for 4 principles to guide our ministry in the world in which we live.

I. Be Sure You are Immersing Yourself and Your Family in the Word of God.

- see, people like Daniel and the other exiles had to decide if they were going to believe truths like the one Jeremiah just gave and act on them…

A. This was an issue even in Jeremiah/Daniel’s Day.

- you say, why?...

- because what Jeremiah was telling them to do was not the only message…

- please look at verse 8 of Jeremiah 29 – Read Jeremiah 29:8-10

- if you want to do more study on that later, you can read through the previous couple of chapters – but the short version is – God instructed Jeremiah to literally place a yoke on his neck – like you would use with an ox – a symbol of submission…an example of this is Jeremiah 27:12–14 - I spoke words like all these to Zedekiah king of Judah, saying, “Bring your necks under the yoke of the king of Babylon and serve him and his people, and live! “Why will you die, you and your people, by the sword, famine and pestilence, as the Lord has spoken to that nation which will not serve the king of Babylon? “So do not listen to the words of the prophets who speak to you, saying, ‘You will not serve the king of Babylon,’ for they prophesy a lie to you;

- but some would not tolerate the Word of God…so look at the next chapter…Jeremiah 28:10–11 - Then Hananiah the prophet took the yoke from the neck of Jeremiah the prophet and broke it. Hananiah spoke in the presence of all the people, saying, “Thus says the Lord, ‘Even so will I break within two full years the yoke of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon from the neck of all the nations.’ ” Then the prophet Jeremiah went his way.

- so people like Daniel had a decision to make, didn’t they---am I going to listen to Jeremiah (even though I really don’t like the message) – and therefore understand that our sovereign God says this captivity is going to last for 70 years…so I better dig in and seek the welfare of the city in which I’ve been placed…or…

- find a prophet whose message I prefer even though at its core it’s not the truth of God?

- and the point is – we’ve seen evidence throughout the book of Daniel that these young men knew the Word of God and therefore when opportunities came up in this pagan land, and testing came up in this pagan land…they were theologically sharp and able to quickly and appropriately respond…and can I just say this to you as one of your pastors…

B. Avoid being “dull of hearing.”

- the only way this church is going to accomplish our God-given mission is if we are family of followers of Jesus Christ committed to knowing our Bibles well, and skilled at applying it in real time in a disciple, mature fashion…

- Hebrews 5:11–12 - Concerning him we have much to say, and it is hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing. For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you have need again for someone to teach you the elementary principles of the oracles of God, and you have come to need milk and not solid food.

- there’s nothing wrong starting out on milk…but there’s something wrong staying there…

- [if time allows – discuss the “playing on our cell phones in the house of God issue”]…

II. Look for Opportunities to Let Your Relationship with Christ Shine

- see, if you’re listening to the Word of God – like Daniel and his friends obviously were – there will be all sorts of opportunities to stand out…

- What I mean by that is that Daniel looked for ways to bring his relationship with God into his relationship with other people.

A. Opportunities to live for God

- all through this book we see Daniel impacting others for the Lord.

- for example, what happened when he and his friends were deported to Babylon, and offered the privilege of eating from the king’s table?

- Daniel 1:8 - But Daniel made up his mind that he would not defile himself with the king’s choice food or with the wine which he drank; so he sought permission from the commander of the officials that he might not defile himself.

- see, there’s the perfect balance between the extremes we’re talking about.

- Daniel didn’t demand that everyone conform to his OT dietary standards......so he wasn’t angry or mean or harsh.....

- but nor did ignore God’s commands on his own life......

- he saw that situation in culture as an opportunity for influence.....

- let me bring the truth of God, and the power of God to this life situation.....

- he used that event to showcase the glory of God.

- what happened in the next chapter?

B. Opportunities to glorify God

- Nebuchadnezzar has this terrible dream in chapter 2, and none of his other wise men can tell him what he wants to know.....

- so Daniel steps up.....and God reveals the dream to him, and what happens in verse 27.....

- Daniel 2:27–30 - Daniel answered before the king and said, “As for the mystery about which the king has inquired, neither wise men, conjurers, magicians nor diviners are able to declare it to the king. However, there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries, and He has made known to King Nebuchadnezzar what will take place in the latter days…But as for me, this mystery has not been revealed to me for any wisdom residing in me more than in any other living man, but for the purpose of making the interpretation known to the king, and that you may understand the thoughts of your mind.

- do you see what’s happening here?

- Daniel is using the occasion of living in a pagan land, and working for a pagan king, as a opportunity to have influence for God.

- and we walk through the entire book, and see example after example of how Daniel functioned really as a godly entrepreneur....engaging himself in the world in which he was placed and searching for opportunities to take a stand for the Lord....

- he was on a life-time search for the ministry opportunities around him.

- do you see how this is different than the two extremes we mentioned at the beginning?

- Daniel is not separating himself from these people in a mean, hateful, condescending, and cynical fashion.

- but nor is he nuzzling up to them as if all is well and they’re OK and he’s OK.

- he’s positioned himself in such a way that he had great opportunities for influence.

C. What about you?

- is there an application of that for the way you and I live?...there sure is.......

- what about the questions we posed at the beginning of our time this morning?

- how are you positioning yourself at work, in your neighborhood, in the community, etc.?

- have you fallen into either of the extremes we’ve outlined?

- or are you on the lookout for the ministry opportunities that God is giving?

1) For example, if God’s made you an engineer, and he’s placed you in a group where you’re the only one who knows and follows Jesus....what are you doing with that?

- are you chaffing about that wishing that all your co-workers were Christians?

- are you wishing God would have called you into the pastorate so you could work with pastors all day?

- or on the other hand, are you just blending into the crowd, and looking the other way on ethical issues and talking the same way they do and all the rest?

- I hope if God has called you to be an engineer....you’ll seek to be the best engineer you can possibly be.....

- and the most honest engineer you can possibly be......and the most loving and kind engineer you can possibly be.....

- and then I hope you’ll be on the lookout to speak for Christ, and to explain to others where you get the power to work the way you work, and the joy to live the way you live.

2) If God’s made you a teacher, or a student....and He’s placed you in a public school environment....

- I hope you’ll try to be like Daniel......

- you won’t despise those around you.....or become embittered toward them.....

- be the best educator you can be....and the most loving person you can be.....

- and when those opportunities come to take a stand for God....stand up, and make a difference for God…we need Daniels in that setting just like they’re needed everywhere else.

3) If God has given you gifts and interests in arts or music.....try to be like Daniel.

- avoid these two extremes we’re discussing.....

4) We need Daniel’s in politics.....we need Daniels in government......we need Daniels in law enforcement......

- you can be a Daniel in practically any setting in the world if you’ll keep your eyes open for opportunities to have an influence for God.

- in his book Beyond Culture Wars, Michael Horton wrote, As long as fundamentalists and evangelicals have a theology that places them constantly in an adversarial relationship to this world and its culture, they will continue to involve themselves with art only when trying to censor it; with politics, only when it is a quest for control; with science, only when they want to oppose evolution; with victims of AIDS, only when they remind them that they deserve it; and with education, only when school prayer, sex education, and condoms are discussed.

Our involvement in this world must not only be negative; it must be positive. It must not only be political and moral; it must be cultural, and it must not depend on mass organization, but on the responsibility each one of us has to fulfill his or her calling. Each one of us, whether a factory worker or an Ivy League professor, is responsible to contribute positively to his or her own sphere of influence which includes one’s calling, family, relationships, neighborhood, and nation. Let us take this world seriously, with no illusions of a “Christian society” and at the same time, no embarrassment in seeking to influence our sphere of activity, to the glory of God and the good of our neighbor (Michael Horton, Beyond Culture Wars, p. 208).

- that’s what Jeremiah meant when he spoke about seeking the welfare of the city…and that’s what Daniel and his friends did throughout the 70 year Babylonian captivity…

- so let me ask you this – what’s the next step for you to love your world by having a different kind of influence?...

1. You know – for some who will hear this message – it’s a matter of placing your faith and trust in Christ…[develop the gospel…]

2. For others, it is obeying Scripture’s command regarding baptism…[the first outward demonstration of what has already occurred in your heart] – one of the key ways to avoid “dullness” is to allow as little time as possible between when to see what God’s Word says, and when you’re acting on it…

3. Become a member of a local church – if what Professor Tushnet said in his essay I mentioned in the beginning comes to pass, we are going to need each other more than ever before…

- but on the other hand – we have a greater opportunity to have an impact than ever before…

- [mention Intro to Faith at FE starting this week]…

- [also mention those who have taken Intro to now take the step of joining at one of our 2 remaining CFN’s]

- [prayerfully prepare for Stewardship Month beginning next week]

- [develop – Pastor Leffew’s memorial service]…

- [could talk about opportunity Pastor/Mrs Aucoin had this week to go to a Purdue classroom and discuss biblical manhood and womanhood]

- [if time – could use illus - A Living Bible]

III. Allow Your Belief in the Sovereignty of God to Free You to Love and Serve Others.

- let me ask you to think about this question as we wind up this election season in our country…

- as you think back over all your conversations, social media posts, etc – have you burned any potential ministry bridges with people that would have been best left in the hands of our sovereign God?...

- the book of Daniel ends with an extended and sweeping prophecy that in some cases we believe was already fulfilled in stunning detail through the history of Greece but with some yet to have occurred…

- several weeks ago we described prophecy like a series of mountain peaks…where when you’re driving across the plains toward them…it looks like just one…

- then when you get closer…it looks like several close together…

- then when you get into the mountain range…you realize there are many…and they are separated by hundreds of miles…

- Daniel 12:8–10 - As for me, I heard but could not understand; so I said, My lord, what will be the outcome of these events? He said, Go your way, Daniel, for these words are concealed and sealed up until the end time. Many will be purged, purified and refined, but the wicked will act wickedly; and none of the wicked will understand, but those who have insight will understand.

- in other words, the Lord is saying – “I’ve got this…”…

- and we’ve seen evidence of God’s sovereign control throughout this book…

- and the more we truly believe that…the easier it is to focus on our job of in OT terms, seeking the welfare of the city…finding ways to live for God, and speak for God…

- let me mention a couple we’re working on from a church perspective…both as illustrations of what we’re studying and requests for prayer…

1. Our Human Trafficking project…

- [Heather – please insert a picture of the exterior elevation of the HT project]

- this started with some dear folks from our church being concerned about this issue – and well we should, the stats are staggering…and the resources in this state are practically non-existent…

- but the police can’t just deliver a human trafficking victim here – so we have to work with the state…

- then there’s the issue of how all of this would be funded, where it would be built, who would be responsible for the operation, etc..

- so we’ve been in conversations with our local prosecutor, several elected leaders, officials from Child Protective Services…and our VOH staff…

- well, it started out as a neutral short term shelter…like Safe Haven…

- people would be brought there…we would show compassion to them and try to get them stabilized and on their way either back home if that was appropriate or more likely to a longer term treatment option…

- including, for those who wanted it – a faith based approach like VOH…

- so this whole group has been working on that for a long time – but then the state changed their minds this summer and have decided that they want a much longer program, with secular therapists and diagnoses and treatment plans…

- well, that’s a different animal for us because those theories are not theologically neutral…

- so we’re having to reevaluate whether it makes sense for anyone for that to be on our site, and if so – what if any involvement we would have…

- but we’re not setting our hair on fire – because God is sovereign…so we can speak the truth in love with the other good people from our community and state involved in the project and see if there are any logical ways for us to serve without violating our core biblical beliefs…

2. Northend Community Center

- you have a brochure in your bulletin today that explains a project we’re contemplating…

- some of the greatest need in our community is in the north end…

- so we’ve been working quietly for a couple of years to possibly build a third full ministry campus there…

- and the project is really shaping up well…

- develop the collaborative nature of working with other non-profits…

- the funding has also come along well…

- but there are two issues…

a. a few folks in our community are less than thrilled that a Bible believing church would be involved in this kind of urban ministry…

b. we’re also seeking a kind of funding mechanism for the final 25% of the project total called new market tax credits which could bring as much as $3.5 worth of equity into the project…we’ll have an answer on that in the next 30-60 days…

- but again – we don’t have to light our hair on fire because God’s sovereign…

- now do we have to become angry with those who may not particularly like us…yet…

- [ask folks to be submissively, joyfully, and quietly praying…]

- seek the welfare of the city…

IV. Rejoice that You Know the King Who will Someday Inaugurate His Kingdom of Righteousness

- who has been the hero of each one of these visions?...

- it’s the Lord Jesus Christ…the hero of this and every story…

- He’s the one who was willing to be cut off for us…

- and He’s the one who one day will establish his kingdom of perfect righteousness…

- [He will bless efforts to serve Him in these ways – cf. registration in Mexico conference this wk]

- in the meantime – let’s joyfully look for opportunities to be a light in our culture the way Daniel was in his…

Steve Viars

B.S. - Bible, Baptist Bible College
M.Div. - Grace Theological Seminary
D.Min. - Westminster Theological Seminary

Pastor Steve Viars has served at Faith Church since 1987. He and his wife Kris were married in 1982 and have two married daughters, a son, and two grandchildren. Pastor Viars’ gifted teaching ministry, enthusiasm for the Word of God, and organizational skills are instrumental in equipping Faith Church. He oversees the staff, deacons, and all Faith ministries and serves on the boards of the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors, Biblical Counseling Coalition, Vision of Hope, and the Faith Community Development Corporation.

Read Steve Viars’ Journey to Faith for the full account of how the Lord led Pastor Viars to Faith Church.

View Pastor Viars' Salvation Testimony Video