Remember, and many of you have heard me say this before, you know I'm a broken record, but we are called to build the kingdom of God, not the kingdom of Narnia. Okay. We are not called to retreat from the world, in some kind of romantic fairytale dream that has never existed and probably shouldn't exist. We're not called to hide away from the world, but to transform it.
And so the question that I have to ask myself, and I ask you tonight to ponder is, are we an Acts of the Apostles Church? Or some other kind of church?
What do I mean by that? Well, in Acts chapter 13, Paul and Barnabas go to Antioch in Pisidia, where no one up until that point had ever heard the Good News, the Gospel of Jesus Christ. There, they met many Jews and converts to Judaism who, in theory would be the most open to the message. And there was an openness there, but some of the Jews saw their power being threatened. And so they deliberately stirred the pot, resorting to manipulating and lying to turn people against the new Church.
Well, why? Jealousy, pure and simple. We’re told in Acts chapter 13 that that's what it was all about. Now it's easy for us to say, “well you know that was 2000 years ago. Different place. Different time.” Well, do we live in a place which is really all that different than Antioch of Pisidia?
I think that there are numerous people who are open to the Gospel. There’s something in their hearts that wants something more and authentic and beautiful and amazing to make sense of their life and to give them something beyond the grave. There's an openness that's there, all over, I see that. But there are also so many voices which want to drown out the still small voice of God.