On Friday night, I spent seven hours at our church with a small but enthusiastic group who had gathered for a simulcast by author/pastor David Platt called Secret Church.
We were there for a six hour Bible study, as well as to learn about the harsh realities of the persecuted church around the world.
Pastor David has traveled all over the world to meet with Christians who live in hostile countries. He has met in small apartments, homes, and even caves to share God’s Word with those who are desperate to hear it taught. Their time is often limited and there is no time for fluff. Knowing that they could be interrupted at any time and would face certain arrest, these people want to learn as much as they can. Hearing God’s precious Word in all its beauty and power and life is worth any risk.No matter how long Pastor David teaches, they want to hear more. They come hungry and thirsty to hear from their risen Savior.
Would that we in America have that same passion and urgency for Jesus. That is what He longs for. “Who is he who will devote himself to be close to Me?” declares the Lord. (Isaiah 49:25).
I was so excited to dive into God’s Word for such an extended period of time that evening.
If someone had told the 15-year-old me that I would be jazzed about attending something like this, I would have not believed it in a million years. My first thought would have been “How boring!”
I have come a long way.
Life since then— while wonderful in so many ways— has shown me that His Word is my treasure, my solid rock when my world spins out of control, my constant source of comfort and strength, and a deep, never-ending well-spring of pure JOY. Above all, reading and living those words draws me deeper in love with Jesus. It is where He reveals Himself to me, guides me, speaks to me and shows me His beauty.
Pastor David’s topic was “Marriage, Family, Sex, And The Gospel.” Yes, they are all magnificently and spectacularly connected.
As author Jerry Bridges has written, “The gospel is not only the most important message in all of history; it is the only essential message in all of history.”
Because of the good news of the glorious Gospel, there is:
*hope for the hopeless
*healing for the hurting
*peace for the storm-tossed
*restoration for the broken
*acceptance for the rejected
*open arms for the prodigal
*courage for the fearful
*beauty for ashes
*total and complete forgiveness for the repentant sinner
*rest for the weary
*strength for the weak
*light for those in darkness
*joy for the despairing
*dignity and honor for the shamed
*abundant fullness for hollow emptiness
*purpose for the aimless
*intimacy and friendship for the lonely
*guidance and direction for the confused
*love for the loveless
*LIFE for the dying
The Gospel is breathtaking and utterly transforming.
The Gospel joyfully proclaims that redemption is possible over every single area of our lives!
I will never get over it as long as I live and I will tell of its wonders as long as I have breath. I will celebrate it for all eternity.
By the time the simulcast ended at nearly 2:00 in the morning, the five of us who were left were utterly saturated in the beauty of His grace.
I loved every minute of it.
The next Secret Church simulcast will be on Good Friday, April 6. 2012. Mark your calendars and check locations. You will be blessed!