Archive for January, 2012
Ed Young said that think about a bride, how eagerly she a waits being joined together with her groom. She is counting the days, the minutes until two become one. The church, those of us who know Christ personally, should be waiting eagerly and expectantly for this union. One day the bridegroom, Jesus, will take His followers, the church, to eternity. And in eternity, two shall become one. A marriage shall occur between the church and Christ. So that is why Christ has to come back. That is why He has to rapture us, so that the marriage can take place and eternity can begin. Why the rapture? Because we matter to God that much.
When? When will this deal take place? Will the rapture take place prior to the seven-year period of pandemonium, prior to hell on earth? Or will we experience it? There is great debate on this issue. Many scholars and many theologians feel like it will occur before the Tribulation, some think it will occur in the middle of the Tribulation and a few think that we will actually endure the Tribulation. According to Ed Young Jr., if you believe one of those three views, that is fine, that is cool. The good news is, remember, we have read the last couple of pages. We have read the final chapter. We win. We are going to take the victory lap. So the end is incredible no matter what. However, I do want to share with you my view on the end and exactly when this will take place.
Most of the scholars and Bible students that I know, like myself, believe that the rapture will take place before the tribulation, before the seven year period of pandemonium, before hell on earth. The Bible says this in Romans 8:1, “Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” In other words, once I take that step of faith, once I ask Christ into my life.
Pastor Ed Young – And that is scary. Because, folks, with our own merits we are in an unwinable, unresolvable conflict with God. We are in an unresolvable, unwinable conflict with God. We are God’s enemies. Perfection is perfection. It is perfect.
That’s what that’s what Nehemiah did. Nehemiah 3:17 reads, “Next to him…” Let me stop there for a second. Do you see that phrase, “Next to him”? When God says something once, you had better pay attention. When he says something twice, you had better, you know, sit up. If He says something 22 times in one chapter…Warning, warning! You had better highlight it, mark it down, and live it out. “Next to him” is mentioned 22 times in Nehemiah chapter 3. You’re talking about team building. You’re talking about the Ritz Bit method of simplification and participation. Nehemiah had it down cold. [The verse reads] “Next to him the repairs were made by the Levites.” Seventy-four different people are mentioned in Nehemiah Chapter 3. Hmmm, amazing!
This past week Preston Mitchell [Fellowship Church’s executive pastor] told me that Dr. John N. Vaughan, a church growth expert, listed Fellowship Church as the sixth highest attended church in America. And here’s what Preston told me that was really unique. He said, “You know,Pastor Ed Young, of all the churches on the list, most of them have triple the amount of staff that we do.”
I said, “Wait a minute. Say that one more time.”
He said, “Ed Young, of all the other churches on the list, most of them have triple the amount of paid employees of Fellowship Church.”
And I said, “Yeah! That’s intentional.” We have a lean staff for a reason. It’s because a lean staff forces us to give the ball of ministry away. It forces us to understand the concept that membership means ministry. It forces us to realize that as the staff, we’re the administers. And you folks, the people, are the ministers. And that’s why we have several thousand, in fact, over 3,600 people that volunteer every weekend just to make Fellowship go and grow. And that’s one of the reasons we’re the kind of church that we are today. We have great and wonderful involvement, participation. We work with the workers. And the shirkers, we love you but, hey, you know. That’s between you and God.
Ed Young Jr. – He cannot have even a blemish or a little mistake or one impure thought in His presence. I blow it every day, so do you. We are in trouble. But the Bible doesn’t stop there.