At the Tipping Point?
By Dr. Ted Baehr, Publisher
In the midst of the seemingly gigantic COVID-19 crisis, many in the church are prophetically proclaiming that we’re at the end times tipping point, and maybe so.
But, it should be noted that, if we recall our church history, we have been approaching the tipping point many times. Luther, Zwingli, St. Augustine, St. Frances, Dante, and many others have thought that the end times tipping point was coming in their own lifetimes.
So, what should we do when it’s clear once again that people need revival and renewal in an Age of Fear?
The simplest answer is that a few Christians apostles like Paul eventually turned Rome right-side up by proclaiming the Good News. They understood that pagans will be pagans unless they hear the Good News that will set them free of their barbaric ways, or, as the Scripture says, set them free from the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh, and the pride of life (1 John 2:16), which drags them down into ignominy, or worse.
In this regard, Paul is always seen as an intense apostle, especially when we read about his feud with Peter and the other members of the church from Jerusalem in the book of Galatians. On the other hand, it’s often overlooked that Paul constantly humbles himself (1 Corinthians 15:9) and seeks only to help people grow in the Truth of the Gospel that we are saved by grace alone (2 Timothy 1:9). In 2 Corinthians 10:1, Paul says, “By the humility and gentleness of Christ, I appeal to you – I, Paul, who am ‘timid’ when face to face with you, but ‘bold’ toward you when away!
Paul makes clear that those of us in the church need to allow the Holy Spirit to renew us and revive us and sanctify us, but he says since we continue to live in the world, the world needs to hear the Good News so that they understand that Jesus came to set us free. Paul is like many Christians. He gets angry; he makes mistakes which he admits; he gets impassioned; and, he affirms love constantly. All of his actions, God used for the good.
Paul argued with Bartholomew about Mark. When they went their separate ways, they provided the early church with two vital missionary teams. Paul tells the Corinthians that it’s okay to have quarrels with one another as long as you remain united in the body of Christ (1 Corinthians 11:19).
All of Paul’s writings help us to grow in grace, love and compassion so that we can overcome the world by bringing the Good News of Jesus Christ.
Too often prophetic words resemble the theology of fear, but the love of God and His people casts out all fear. Often, Paul’s prophetic words sound like holier than thou, but Paul is always denying or repenting of this holier than thou attitude. Sometimes, modern prophecy mavens sound like they know it all, but Jesus said no man knows the day or the hour.
The early Christians turned the Ancient Roman world right-side up. The ancient pagans were impressed not only with the calmness and courage by which they met their deaths in the Coliseum, but also by their words and deeds of Grace and Love.
Do we want to turn our pagan world right-side up? Then, let’s proclaim His Good News in word and deed.
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