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Matt Chandler, in his sermon “Holiness and Humility” (August 17, 2014):
We have no hope but Christ breaking down the walls of hostility between us. That’s Ferguson. That’s Iraq.
I have been reading over and over the conversion of Saul of Tarsus (Acts 9). Murdering Christians. Well known terrorist among evangelical followers of Christ in the first century. Brutal. Powerfully converted and becomes one of the greatest missionaries of the Christian faith. I feel powerless about what’s happening in Iraq, but I’m also praying that God would raise up a Paul out of the leadership of the ISIS.
Why not? God is God. He’s done it before. Why wouldn’t he do it today?
“While Paul was waiting for them in Athens, he was greatly distressed to see that the city was full of idols.” (Acts 17:16, NIV)
“His spirit was troubled and yet just a few verses later he walks into the Areopagus and proclaims the Gospel using the culture from which he came into and from which he was troubled. I think we need to have a troubled relationship with culture. It doesn’t mean – that because cultural relevance matters – that we just adapt culture without forethought or discernment. I think culture should disturb us. And the problem is that for many of us is that we are only disturbed by other people’s culture. I think there is part of our culture that should disturb us. There are sins and idols and hindrances and strongholds in our culture that ought to deeply concern us. So Paul’s spirit was troubled within him when he saw the city was full of idols … [But] context matters. The how of ministry is frequently determined by the who, and the when, and the where of ministry … If you are going to get the culture then part of the culture needs to trouble you. I’m concerned that for many right now in some emerging church circles that they are more troubled by the Gospel than they are by their culture. Brothers and sisters, I think we need to get troubled by the culture and rely on the Gospel.”
- Ed Stetzer, from the third session of The Resurgence conference titled Breaking the Missional Code.
Frequently I am asked to recommend churches in Omaha, NE. And for some reason these questions typically come from people who are simply not going to church at all. So first let me first exhort you on the importance of the local church.
The local church is God’s plan for the message of the Gospel to go forth into culture and its the place God has chosen for the growth of Christians. There is no way around the importance of the local church (read Ephesians 4:11-16). A faithful local church protects Christians, equips Christians and grows Christians together as the body of Christ. Any search for a local church must begin by understanding the importance of the local church. There are no substitutes.
On to the church I recommend in Omaha:
Omaha Bible Church, a place my wife and I served for over seven years. They are a church centered around the expositional preaching of the Bible with an emphasis on the New Testament and especially the Pauline texts. The preaching style is very similar to expositor John MacArthur. I doubt any preacher in Omaha more clearly defines the biblical gospel than Sr. pastor, Patrick Abendroth. They have a well developed children’s ministry and nursery. Services are held on Sunday morning and evening and there are a number of activities throughout the week. Authors are frequently invited to speak (D.A. Carson, James White, John MacArthur, etc). Affiliations: The Master’s Seminary and John MacArthur. If you like the style and content of MacArthur you will like Omaha Bible Church.