Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Strategy for Reclaiming the Christian Culture

Nathan JonesPDFBy

Has the world gone mad?

If you are asking this question, then you are most likely a devout follower of Jesus Christ who is alarmed at the state the world now seems to be in. This question may have been invoked by an election season that has left you flabbergasted over so many people turning a blind eye to the lack of the candidates' biblical values. Or, maybe your church has dived off the deep end doctrinally and you're wondering when a sermon will finally quote a Bible verse. You see societies openly welcome Islamic subjugation of their nations. Maybe you're tired of hearing about people being thrown into jail overseas or sued in the U.S. for simply praying in the name of Jesus in public. The Christian evangelical movement seems to you fractured and in disarray for want of central leadership with a strong biblical worldview. And finally, you ponder if you are a dying breed in a world that has become increasingly cold and more hostile towards one's fellow man.

It is indeed a world gone mad. You know it. And, you wonder...

What can I do to change the world?

Well, according to Bible prophecy — very little. This may sound defeatist, but the Bible clearly indicates that in the last days before Jesus' return a number of paradigm shifts will occur to remove the biblical worldview from the overall culture. These shifts are:

  1. Mankind — Love for one's family and fellow man will grow cold, replaced by a love only for oneself (Matt. 24:12, 2 Tim. 3:1-4).

  2. The Church — In the last days the Church will primarily be defined by its apathy and falling away from sound doctrine (Rev. 3:15-18, 2 Tim. 4:3-4).

  3. Society — Society will devolve morally back to the days of Noah (Luke 17:26; 2 Pet. 2:5).

Though these tragic signs of the time point to the very soon return of Jesus Christ, we still don't know if that day will come in months or even years. In the meantime, we have to live on, continuing to be lights in the world (Matt. 5:13). We have to fight for what's biblical, moral, and God-honoring until Jesus Himself victoriously sets up his earthly kingdom of peace and righteousness.

And so, in the time we have left, we must dutifully follow the Christian's calling by attempting to reclaim a Christian culture by bringing about the next spiritual revival in our world.

Strategy

What would it take to reach the vision of a revived world reclaimed by Christian culture — a culture of worship of Jesus Christ alone, where the Bible is the foundation of morality and law, and where mankind loves others more than themselves?

Here's the strategy:

1) Start With You

  1. Commit to Christ
    True revival begins by the Holy Spirit working in the human heart. Is Jesus Christ your Savior? Is He Lord of every area of your life, controlling the thoughts and intents of your heart? If not, get right with Jesus first by asking for forgiveness and a renewed relationship with Him.

  2. Be the Example
    The world is going to be looking at how you live your life as an example of the genuineness of the message you're proclaiming. If it sees hypocrisy, your message will be ignored. Are you living a life moment by moment that Jesus would approve? Are you loving others more than yourself? Strive towards becoming Christ-like.

  3. Share Christ
    A Christian culture cannot exist if people don't know who Jesus Christ is — the Son of God and Savior of our souls. Sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ can be scary, but scarier still are people going to Hell while we sit on the sidelines and watch. Have you shared your faith in Christ with someone this week? This is the point where most people give up and because of their fear let the culture slip away. Use your God-given spirit of power, love and self-discipline (2 Tim. 1:7).

2) Secure Your Family For Christ

  1. Invite Jesus to be a Family Member
    A family where Jesus isn't a member of the family is missing its most important member. Do you invite Him in for family prayer every day? Does your family study His Word — the Bible — together at least once a week? A family where Jesus is palpably present lays a rock-solid foundation that will influence one's children long after they've left home.

  2. Get Right With Your Spouse
    Most of the evils in society today — fear of commitment, perpetually broken relationships, loneliness, sexual promiscuity, drugs and suicide — are rooted in Dad and Mom's marriage. Christian parents must stop the divorce! They must put each other's needs first before their own. They must reconcile and forgive. Are you and your spouse setting the pattern of a Christian marriage for your children? Today is the day to begin healing that relationship. Society will not heal unless the family heals first.

  3. Throw Out the Trash
    "Garbage in, garbage out" is a true old saying. Is your house filled with music with lewd and violent lyrics? Are pornographic materials entering the house? Is the computer properly safeguarded? What shows does your family watch? If any of these and materials like them are in your home, they are a cancer, rotting out your family's morality and unity. Dispose of them permanently!

3) Revitalize the Local Church

  1. Know Your Bible
    You won't know if the messages from the pulpit are doctrinally sound if you don't know what the Bible teaches. Do you read and pray on the Word daily? Do you engage in Bible study materials? Equipping yourself in the "full armor of God" will help you detect heresy.

  2. Go to Church
    If you are not where the true Church — other believers — are, then you are disconnected from Jesus' primary change-engine in this age. Do you gather with believers in a weekly setting? Do you make sure your family is with you? Whether it's a large mega-church or a tiny home church, it's where God wants you to be for Christian fellowship, accountability and worship (Heb. 10:25).

  3. Engage Within
    Keeping the congregation on the doctrinally sound track and revitalizing the Christian culture within your gathering of believers requires engagement within the church. Do you only come to service and then leave? Do you volunteer in a ministry program? Are you engaged in a leadership role? The pastor ultimately leads a congregation, but the pastor should be led by the Holy Spirit and wise counsel from engaged congregants. If you are directly involved in growing a church and encouraging outreach, then you've earned the right to have the pastor's ear and help chart the church's course in having a passion for Jesus Christ, keeping to doctrinal soundness, equipping believers, and reaching out to those who have yet to meet the Savior.

4) Reclaim the Culture

  1. Take a Stand
    A society that doesn't know Christ has lost its ability to discern right from wrong. When was the last time you made a public stand for Christ against something that was blatantly evil? Have you voiced your opinion against a TV show, art display, movie, school function, newspaper article, label company, business sponsorship or rights movement that is unbiblical? Have you lovingly and in compassion let an organization know that what they are doing is wrong? One person can make a difference if they speak up and act.

  2. Help Those in Need
    Jesus' ministry was spent helping those in need, both spiritually and physically, within and without. These actions by Christ gathered the crowds and made him infamous with his enemies, garnering the attention to have His message heard. Are you involved in helping those in need physically as well as spiritually? Do you support outreach ministries with more than just your finances and prayers? Have you earned the right to be heard? Claim that right by being involved in showing Christ's compassion and love, and you will point lives towards the Cross.

  3. Lead
    Society goes where its leaders' vision takes it. If you are the one setting the vision of a Christian culture, then assuming a leadership role in society will give you the opportunity to act on that vision. Whether you have the personality of a leader or a follower, are you involved in some way with the decision-making processes of your civic leadership? Do you vote? Do you attend council meetings? Do you run for office? Are you a leader in your career field? Are you equipping your children to hold the vital roles that shape society — teacher, journalist, media, lawyer and politician? Use your God-given resources and talents as a leader who directs society towards the vision of being a Christian culture.

In Summary

You say you want a cultural revolution? It can happen. But, not if Bible-believing Christians remain on the sideline. A culture will not change if we are not actively engaged in it. Nobody is going to do the work for us. Engaging society towards reclaiming its Christian culture is up to each and every one of us who call Christ "Savior."

While we prayerfully wait upon the Lord to return and set up a perfect society, with the Lord Jesus' power behind us, we can make a difference for Christ now in individual lives and in the culture at large!

Will you join in the fight to reclaim the culture for Christ?

19 comments:

Tricia said...

This is awesome. I think this is something that needs to be repeated contineously for the next 4 years. Keeping our eyes on Christ. We need God more then ever, and have leaders like you. I have been praying for boldness in sharing Jesus Christ. And I did with our contractor lawn service guy. That was the first time I have ever done with someone that I talk to occasionally. I believe that this election will build up our faith even more!!

Christina Cooper said...

I think that we as Christians should not judge. He who is without sin cast the first stone. Obama is not perfect, neither is McCain. I think that we are all sinners alike. I think that we need to continue to pray for the issues, but as Christians we are to love everyone as ourselves. We are no better than Obama or any other democrat. We all sin. I think that instead of complaining about the campaign, we should practice unity and pray for our neighbors. We are supposed to help bring people to Christ, that means accept them for who they are. We should not be talking about Obama, he is our next president. We should embrace him and pray for him. Mind the laws of the land, pray for each other, and forgive our grudges. That is what the bible says. We don't have time to worry about politics we need to save souls. This isn't accomplishing that. It is awesome that you prayed with your contractor. That is how we should be acting. I would leave politics out. We are too jaded. That is no good.

Christina Cooper
If I Only Had One Wish
www.aframeofmindart.com

Anonymous said...

Yeah, lets not judge people who belong to the KKK or the Nazi Party. Lets not judge Obama who will appoint judges that will enable the continue murder of millions of innocent unborn babies. Lets not judge Muslims who strap bombs to their bodies and murder Jews. Lets not judge people who want to legalize gay marriage which is an abomination in the eyes of God. Lets not judge those who kill people just because they believe in Christ. Lady, you are so far out of it. We SHOULD judge such things and stand up and say they are WRONG! If we, as Christians, don't stand up to evil then who will. God says we should HATE evil...yes...HATE evil. You can't hate evil without making judgements. Your view of life is a fantasy, lady. We live in reality. And the reality is this world is filled with evil. We should do what Nathan says in his article. We shouldn't do what you say...make friends with enemies of God. We should be a light to the world. We can't be a light if we choose to ignore, accept and change darkness. GOOD SHALL BE CALLED EVIL AND EVIL SHALL BE CALLED GOOD. Lady, you want to give a big bear hug to the evil in this world, go ahead. I choose to stand up for what is right in the eyes of the Lord and not sacrifice my beliefs and principles in the name of "can't we all just get along".

Nathan Jones said...

Dr. Reagan once addressed the biblical reasons why Christians must judge or lose the Christian cultural war:

"There is nothing wrong with judging the biblical teachings of anyone. In fact, we are exhorted to do so. In 1 John 4:1 and Galatians 1:8-9 we are told to "test the spirits to see whether they are from God," and we are told to apply that test even to "an angel from heaven" who preaches a gospel contrary to that revealed in the Scriptures.

Paul complimented the brethren in Berea for testing his teachings by the Word (Acts 17:10-11). When Peter was hypocritical in his conduct toward Gentiles, Paul confronted him publicly and rebuked him (Galatians 2:11-14). And Paul also publicly warned the Church about two false teachers named Hymenaeus and Philetus (2 Timothy 2:17-18).

When the Bible warns against judging (Matthew 7:1), it is speaking about judging motives — not words and actions."

Anonymous said...

One more thing, lady. You said "I think that we are all sinners alike." So, does that mean Adolph Hitler who murdered 6,000,000 Jews is the same as you??? We ARE all sinners. BUT, there are degrees of sin. Killing six million people isn't the same as stealing a penny from a cash register. All sin, of all degrees, still requires the blood of the Lamb as redemption. But no one can say all sin is equal. It isn't. DON'T BE AFRAID TO STAND UP TO EVIL.

Anonymous said...

I'm SORRY for my strong comments but I have just had it with this "judge not, live and let live" view that dominates the world. I'm scared. I am really scared for the world. But I can face that fear with the hope and knowledge that Jesus is coming very soon to remove us from this evil world. That will help ease my fear.

Anonymous said...

Praise God for your comments sir! I really needed to hear that. And thank you Nathan for revealing such an awesome plan of action for Christians. We all know what we need to do, lets get movin.

Anonymous said...

Wow... we are really living in the last days. Each day more and more is revealed. Even Christian persecution is on the rise... and now it will be here in America. It has gained a foothold. To my brothers and sisters in Christ be ready, put on the full armor of God, cast your cares upon He who is able. To judge is to convict and really we have no right to convict.. however, as believers we must separate what we see and call out what is of the dark and shine His light in those dark places. No dear sister, we can not all get a long... Jesus said you are either for me or against me. Those who do evil, who give evil a platform are clearly against Him and to that I must shine the light!

Christina Cooper said...

Look, I hear and somewhat agree with what you are saying, but I think that instead of scaring everyone away and claiming fight and war, maybe just perhaps we need to embrace other sinners. I am not gay, I do not kill people, I am a pro-life activist, I counsel women in tragic pregnancy situations often, I also teach the word of God, and I am a republican, I don't do drugs, never drank, smoked, etc... Perhaps I am naive, but I have lived a hard life, and if it wasn't for people who didn't turn their back on me I wouldn't be saved. We ARE supposed to flee from sin, but we ARE supposed to save the lives of as many as possible. Instead of being so quick to shun people perhaps we do need to embrace them. That is what we should do. That is loving. Isn't that the greatest commandment??? 2 Peter 1:7 ...and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love for everyone. That is what I believe. I know that the world is going downhill, but I am not dead yet. I am going to embrace people until the day I die. I will spread God's message. Have you ever witnessed a homosexual person of after 20 years of being so come to Christ? I have. I will not give up on them. Because we all sin, I am not to judge their sins, I am here to help save their lives. I am an active Christian, I do not live in a fantasy land but I have experienced God's love. I wouldn't be so quick to give up on people.

Christina Cooper
If I Only Had One Wish
www.aframeofmindart.com

Sports Fitness Nutrition said...

It is hard to do the right thing- hate the sin, love the sinner. God did, and He even died for Obama as well as you and me. We often identify the person by their sin, they need to be separate issues, how else can you love the sinner? However, this doesn't mean you accept the sin, you must judge the sin, pray against it, and TAKE ACTION to show the world the LOVE of Jesus. It is only through His redemptive Blood can the world change. In defense of the lady above, it is biblical to pray and respect those in authority, is it not? But believe me it doesn't mean you accept anti God, anti family, anti family, anti life issues. Don't fight against them, fight FOR pro life, pro God, pro Family, pro Country issues (there is a major difference in the two perspectives). Make no mistakes, I will speak out about the issues at hand. Remember, fear not God is in control!

cerwin1963 said...

Nathan,
I have had this same conversation with other believers. I'm tired of the hand wringing and the "what will we do?" type of mentality. I believe we have lost our saltiness in the universal Christian church. We don't look different because we are just as greedy and financially dependent on the economy as non-believers. The good news is that by the empowerment of the Holy Spirit, we can regain what we have lost. Your ideas are right on and I couldn't have said it better myself.
Our message is probably not going to be heard in a crowd of angry rioters, that homosexuality is a sin. But we certainly can take a stand as individuals, as you suggested. The hurting unsaved go to jobs daily where we rub elbows with them and never share a word with them on what we believe. They go to their homes and live in communities where we live and we don't take the time to get to know our neighbors and be able to share the Gospel with them. In fact if they had a "No on 8" sign in their front yard, we would most likely treat them as though they have the plague. (Yes, I live in California) Do we weaken our message? Absolutely not. We need to remain loyal to the Word, but that does not mean that we hide in our homes and never do what Christ is asking us to do. Great article Nathan. Keep it up!

Anonymous said...

Wonderful article and full of Bible based truth. One way I find helplful to spread the Gospel, is to print this article out and hand it to a person that has asked me about my Faith in Jesus!! This enables me to have the evidence, proofs right at my fingertips.
Also, I encourage those that ask me about Jesus, to visit Lamb and Lion web page. There are so many great teachings here. The video presentations are especially helpful due to fact that folks today will watch a video first ,then read if they find the teaching interesting and helpful.

woodman said...

In the area of being right with your spouse, thiose that are divorced need to remember that this also means to be right with your former spouse. If you have not reconciled with your former spouse then you have not reconciled with God. Remember, that if we can not for give others, including former spouses, God can not for give us. Remmeber that the next time that your former spouse causes you to become frustrated or angry about something. Don't let the sun go down on your anger, reconcile!

Robert Lyons said...

Wow very good topic...I have a problem with so many people as in family and friends and just people in general, I'm referring to section 4,a Reclaim the Culture take a stand. It seems today if I point out something that's not right people say your judging and you must not do this. I feel Jesus new there would be times of judging this is why He said if you must judge, judge righteously. A lot of these people call themselves Christians I know this if you don't stand on Jesus word you will fall....what's wrong with people theses days.

Joe Young said...

In answer to the title question - YES

Anonymous said...

This is a very good article and I hope many will see that we need a return to the Lord and Godly principles in each of our lives. The two things I take exception to is that the scriptures tell us that when Jesus comes again he will take the christians up in a cloud. This earth will be burned up. Christians will live eternally with the lord on high. Jesus will not set up a kingdom here on this earth. Next the churches should be ruled by Elders, making decisions not ministers. The minister is there to preach the saving gospel to the lost. It is a shame that so many churches leave so much responsibility to the preacher.

David R. said...

I strongly agree with most of this article, but want to comment on the very beginning. For over 150 much of the church has been saying "Christ's coming is very soon...and the world is going to go from bad to worse!" During World War II, for example, many preachers were positive that Hitler was the antichrist. The impact of these attitudes has been to create a "waiting" church instead of an "active" church. We need to be careful with those who "know" that we are in the "very last days", and instead of trying to understand how the newspaper lines up with eschatology, we should be about our Father's business. The kingdom is still growing (parable of the mustard seed) and having impact (parable of the leaven).

Blessings!

Nathan Jones said...

That's what's awesome about Bible prophecy, David. Knowing Jesus is coming very soon motivates Christians into action in sharing the Gospel before it's too late. The best evangelists I know are driven by the knowledge that Jesus is coming soon and so the time is short.

For those who have no belief that Jesus is coming back, they feel they have plenty of time to get around to sharing the Gospel. The signs of the times point to that fact that having all the time in the world just isn't the case.

According to Bible prophecy, Jesus is right at the door. So, Christians, let's get out there and give people the life-saving hope of Jesus Christ!

Paul said...

In view of all that is happening in the Middle East on the one hand and in view of the rising anti-Semitism worldwide and the spreading heresy of preterism and amillennialism and the seduction to believe that Jesus will not come back it seems to me that what is missing in this otherwise good summary is the call to pray "for the peace of Jerusalem" - IOW to pray for an awakening in the church worldwide to pray for Israel. Those who bless Israel will be blessed! The Abrahamic covenant is eternal as is its included Davidic covenant according to which Jesus is returning to His throne in Jerusalem in history. Include the reading of Romans 9-11 in your list of Bible readings for a time like this.