I’m back in my old stomping grounds for the first time since 05. It seems like forever ago when i actually lived in sunny (think 73 degrees) Southern California. It is crazy to think that driving on these freeways was ever “normal” to me. You can be going 75 mph and have people pass you left and right. It is great to be back at Grace Community Church. Grace was my home church for 12 years. It is a special church with a great testimony in the community and around the world.
Pastor John MacArthur was on fire today during his opening address at the 08 conference. Last year he spoke on “Why every self-respecting Calvinist should have a Biblical eschatology (pre-mill that is)”. This year it was on “Why every self-respecting Calvinist should reject the church growth movement.” It was actually a relevant/updated powerful sermon. Though topical in nature this was another gem from John. He showed how sovereign election actually goes against the entire church growth premise.
God is obv. all about building His church (Matt 16:18); the question is what means does He want to bless in order to bring it about? In other words, by what means does Christ build His church? MacArthur went to the book of Acts and suggested the following 5 means: 1. A Transcendent Message 2. A Regenerate Congregation 3. A Valiant Perseverance 4. A Evident Purity 5. A Qualified Leadership
One of the great quotes from this sermon was as follows, “The modern cry for Contextualization is a curse!” Why? Because the message of the cross transcends all languages, cultures, education backgrounds, social backgrounds, etc. The proof of this statement is revealed in the book of Acts. MacArthur asked we pastors, “Can your message go to every person in your own zip code, in your town, in your home state, nation, world?” “Will your sermon be outdated in 2 weeks?” If so, then you’re not preaching Jesus Christ and Him crucified. Now much more could and should be said but I’m no Tim Challies.