Have you watched the news lately? I can’t say that I blame you if you haven’t. There really is nothing but bad news these days. Whether it’s ISIS or North Korea, it seems like civilization stands on the brink of devastation. The pro-choice lobby is stronger than ever. The euthanasia debate has even come back to the fray in recent years. The faces of hopelessness have become even more real.
Is there a better time than now for the Church to rise up and declare the hope we have?
In Colossians 1, the Apostle Paul begins to reveal his ministry to the church at Colosse. Paul wrote the letter from prison after hearing that the Colosse church had begun to believe a mixture of false doctrines. Among those beliefs was the heresy of Gnosticism.
The Gnostic belief that reduced the role of Jesus from Saviour to just another source of knowledge, had quickly distracted believers in Colosse.
To this attitude, Paul asserted that God was using him to make known the full message of Christ–a message that was hidden in mystery to the Colossians because of their mostly Gentile background and their drift back into heresy.
Paul said the key to the mystery is “Christ in you, the hope of glory (Col. 1:27).”
What we have then in Colosse is a church in which Jesus had become a lesser thing. Christ was now just another means of knowledge unto salvation, rather than the hope of all the world.
It was a church that had become just like its surrounding culture.
Could it be that the world is hopeless because much of the church has become hopeless in our day?
Is the Church in America merely an empty shell in today’s culture?
The Church, with Jesus Christ as it’s head is still the hope of the world.
Where Jesus is still the central theme, there’s still hope. Where His Lordship is still celebrated, there’s still hope.
Pastor, if Jesus has become a lesser thing in your sermons, your worship, and your everyday walk, please put Him back where he belongs.
The hopeless world cannot afford to have a hopeless church in this day.
This is an updated post that originally appeared on j31.org in 2014.