By Marcelo Tolopilo
Eyeing the land
Paul promised that in the last days (from the birth of the church until the coming of the Lord) there would be an unrelenting attack on biblical truth (1 Timothy 4:1, 2 Timothy 3:1, 4:3). I take those admonitions seriously, and so I have made it my practice to keep a steady eye on the evangelical landscape. In the last fifteen years or so I have noticed several winds of change pass over the church.The tempests have not been kind to the Lord’s vineyard. And while these gales have varied in intensity they have had a singular and devastating impact; they have diminished the centrality of the word of God and its teaching in the church.
We have often swept aside the “word of Christ” (Colossians 3:16) and replaced it with a “pseudo intellectualism” – e.g., post-modern reconstructions of the biblical message. Others have panted after “pragmatism”, the “whatever works” mentality, or using whatever “programs” work to achieve our man-made goals. Following close behind pragmatism is “consumerism” that is, repackaging and selling the church to appeal to the perceived needs of the unsaved and the desires of the general consumer. These are but three of the many “isms” with which we have often trumped the scriptures in our churches.
None of these approaches asks the question first: “What is true?” or as the noble minded Bereans inquired “What does the scripture say?” (Acts 17:11). Instead the Berean line of reasoning is replaced with “What feels true to us?” (“pseudo intellectualism”), “What works for us?” (“pragmatism”), “What’s in it for us?” (“consumerism”). Such faulty thinking denigrates God’s word in our lives, diminishes the Lordship of Christ in our hearts, and exalts “us” – erring, selfish creatures – as the arbiters of truth, and as the capricious despots of our own existence.
A drought in the land
These gusts of human philosophy blow into the church promising refreshment to its adherents, but instead they run their torrid cycles and blow out of the church leaving behind a scorched landscape of devastated and broken people parched for the reviving truth of God’s life giving word (Isaiah 55:1-2). Having traversed the length and breadth of this country over the last fifteen years as a pastor at large, I have seen the devastation that a lack of biblical preaching has exacted on large portions of the evangelical church. People are thirsty for the word of God. My friends, there is a drought in the land.
A reviving stream for the parched spirit
My aim through Walking In The Promises is to let the flood of God’s reviving word wash over His people. My prayer is that the evangelical pulpit will turn from it’s fixation on the humanistic bobbles that occupy its fancy and strip it of its power, and instead turn to preaching the everlasting word that alone can rescue the perishing, equip God’s people, and revive the church.
As men of God are faithful to unleash the blessed torrents of His promises we will see God flood His church with the power and blessings He reserves for those who fear Him. Make no mistake about it, the Lord will powerfully attend to His revelation if we are faithful to unveil it. As the Lord promised long ago through His prophet Isaiah, “For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, And do not return there without watering the earth And making it bear and sprout, And furnishing seed to the sower and bread to the eater; So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth; It will not return to Me empty, Without accomplishing what I desire, And without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.” (Isaiah 55:10-11) My prayer is that the church will return with renewed vigor to “preach the word” (2 Timothy 4:2) and then “Stand by and see the salvation of the LORD “ (Exodus 14:13). He will do it!